500 Dante-Enabled Products Confirm Audinate's Position as Leading AoIP Technology
Audinate, creator of the industry-leading media networking solution Dante, has announced that over 500 Dante-enabled products are now available from licensed manufacturers worldwide. This represents more than a 60% increase in the number of available products in the last 12 months, including a remarkable take up in the broadcast market.

Fraunhofer IIS and Modulation Index Present World's First xHE-AAC Enabled Live Streaming Encoder
At the IBC 2015 show, there was a unique chance to compare how really efficient audio compression algorithms have become - from mp3 and ogg-vorbis to AAC, HE-AAC and the new xHE-AAC - optimized for speech and music transmission with very low bit rates. The Fraunhofer Institute For Integrated Circuits IIS together with Modulation Index promoted the demonstration.  Read More

Bowers & Wilkins Unveils New 800 Diamond Series Loudspeakers 
On the eve of the company's 50th anniversary, Bowers & Wilkins introduced a reimagined 800 Series Diamond loudspeakers. The new range features new midrange drivers with a composite cone material replacing the Kevlar and a new curved cabinet design. Even the famous diamond tweeter domes received a new motor system.  Read More

German Physiks Exhibits With Merging Technologies at the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2015
It's going to be the place to hear true high-resolution audio at the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest (RMAF) in Denver, Colorado (October 2-4, 2015). German Physiks will be playing DSD256 and 24-bit 352.8 kHz DXD masters directly from Merging's new NADAC system, through a pair of Carbon Mk IV loudspeakers.  Read More

Cymatic Audio Offers New uTrack-X32 Live Recorder and Player For Behringer and Midas Mixing Consoles
Engineered in Switzerland and manufactured in Germany, the uTrack-X32 is an all-new expansion card from Cymatic Audio for the Behringer X32 and Midas M32 series of digital mixing consoles, allowing to record 32 channels directly from the console, without the need for additional hardware or computers.  Read More

iZotope Announces RX Post Production Suite and RX 5 Audio Editor
iZotope promises to take audio repair to the next level with the announcement of RX 5 Audio Editor. The new application was demonstrated for the first time at the International Broadcasting Convention (IBC) 2015 in Amsterdam, together with the new iZotope RX Post Production Suite which includes audio repair, mixing enhancement, and final delivery solutions.  Read More

Linear Acoustic and Minnetonka Audio Merger Addresses Audio Content Chain from Creation to Transmission
Linear Acoustic announced a merger with Minnetonka Audio Software during the IBC 2015 show in Amsterdam. The merger was announced as the culmination of a long-discussed plan of cooperation between the two companies, opening new opportunities addressing the full audio content chain, from creation to transmission, as part of the Telos Alliance group.  Read More

First MQA-Ready Portable Digital Audio Player Introduced at IFA 2015
Exclusively unveiled at IFA 2015 in Berlin, the Pioneer XDP-100R Digital Audio Player becomes the industry's first portable player to offer MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) support. Pioneer intends to be the first to bring the potential of MQA's technology to market, and in portable player form. Meanwhile, CEDIA has named Bob Stuart, the inventor of MQA, as this year's Lifetime Achievement Award recipient.  Read More

Joćo Martins

Editor's Desk

The Future of Audio is Personal

I just returned from another edition of the International Broadcasting Convention (IBC) in Amsterdam. This increasingly influential trade-show is an excellent follow-up to the IFA Berlin consumer electronics tradeshow and provides a broader market perspective from what can be seen at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) convention in Las Vegas. It also provides an industry insight to many of the technologies that are normally introduced to the consumer market at the CES Show in January.
I attended the IBC in search for all the missing pieces of information which were lacking since the latest announcements regarding new television and home video distributions formats which have mainly focused on the visual side. Ultra-High Definition (UHD) is the first truly multi-platform audiovisual technology being introduced to consumers, targeting traditional broadcast platforms, IPTV, Internet streaming and physical media. Offering increased image resolution (4K) allowed the industry to also implement significant improvements in Higher Frame Rates (50/60 frames per second or even 120 fps are considered), together with High Dynamic Range (the extension of brightness levels from white to the deepest blacks) and Wider Color Gamut.
All international industry consortiums and standards bodies represented at IBC 2015 agree that 4K UHD content is the next evolutionary step for the whole industry and, even though there might be some years until broadcasters complete the transition from current HDTV standards, the technology adoption in cable and satellite and certainly in Internet streaming (Netflix being the leading example) is a reality. At IBC 2015, announcements regarding new 4K channels and content distribution from major CDN providers (Amazon, Akamai, etc.) were everywhere.
Among the organizations promoting the technology and, most importantly, the content, the UHD Alliance, is currently promoting unified, premium quality standards to govern the next generation ecosystem - from consumer electronics to content and distribution. The intention is to provide a new and differentiated next generation entertainment experience - through advances in resolution, contrast, color and audio. Licensing of the specification, name and logo is expected to begin early 2016.
At the Amsterdam show it was also obvious that the debate around 4K will not be restricted to Ultra-HD Blu-ray or the distribution of pre-produced content. Broadcasters are discussing the potential for real-time programming - which increasingly is accepted to be the most important revenue stream for traditional (linear) TV services and is also becoming attractive for premium streaming services. Sports, News, reality-shows, all sorts of live entertainment are already being produced in 4K. Still, the discussion about sound remains and not even the UHD Alliance is certain of what will be featured in its soon to be published specification.
At the IBC 2015 show we have seen impressive demos from Dolby - with its new AC-4 delivery frameworkwhich together with Technicolor's And Fraunhofer's MPEG-H Audio Alliance TV System are currently both candidates for the future ATSC 3.0 television broadcasting system in the US. In Europe, discussions around the new DVB-UHD Phase1 standard also include Dolby AC-4, MPEG-H and DTS:X.
DTS decided to step aside from the ATSC 3.0 race and instead is focusing on promoting the foundation if its DTS:X technology for immersive audio production and object-oriented audio distribution. DTS promotes the technology for content production, theatrical release and distribution to mobile platforms, based on Multi-Dimensional Audio (MDA), DTS' open platform for creation of object-based immersive audio, which has been submitted to the SMPTE for standardization.
In common with all the demonstrations we have attended is the fact that all the fundamental technologies are being introduced to the content-production and broadcast industry not only as "new immersive audio formats" (e.g., Dolby Atmos or Auro 3D) as they have been previously promoted but, instead, focusing on "personalization."
All the demonstrations - Dolby AC-4, MPEG-H and DTS:X - included  additional flexibility for viewers to optimize their experience on a broad range of devices, whatever the data rate of the channel. This means that object-based audio or the additional metadata layer which complements the standard multichannel information (from stereo to 7.1 formats) can be applied not only to create immersive experiences, but also for advanced personalization of the user experience - much more attractive for current users.
Since the end user decodes and renders the object-based metadata on top of channel-based audio, even with live broadcasts, users are able to adjust commentary levels and ambience, independently. This means being able to select different language commentary, selecting between broadcast commentary or listening to communication channels of a sports team, adjusting dynamic range, loudness and selective output level to the playback device. The experience can be freely customized depending on the user device (TV, tablet, set-top-box) and the listening scenario, including the possibility of creating headphone virtualization and full immersive experiences in home-theater installations. It could also be as simple as offering dialogue enhancement or "late-night modes" with optimized loudness and dynamic ranges.
Who knows? As the technology matures and the infrastructure evolves, this could even allow personalization options for users to chose between optimized codecs for low bit-rate or high-resolution lossless audio for playback in high-end equipment. Suddenly, this seams like a whole new and exciting perspective for audio evolution.

Call for Submissions
The January 2016 edition of audioXpress (the NAMM 2016 issue) will be dedicated in part to guitar or musical instruments amplifiers, effects, recording, and related projects. We are looking for some great DIY articles or development stories, and we are hoping you have been busy working on projects that you would like to share with our readers!
The submission deadline for the January issue is the first week of November. If you are interested, have an idea, or know someone who is working on a project and might want to submit an article, send us an email.

From the Vault
Testing the Spin-Clean LP Washer Machine - A Handy System for Cleaning Vinyl Records
By Victor Staggs
The Spin-Clean Record Washer MKII was reviewed in audioXpress April 2013. The company continues to manufacture and hand-assemble the Spin-Clean in Pittsburgh, PA, since 1975, and enjoying international success. The package includes seven drying cloths and enough washer fluid to clean almost 6,000 records and they also sell extra supplies of their non-alcohol-based cleaning solution. The fluid is great for removing dirt, dust, and oily fingerprints from records without harming any of the vinyl's properties, and even works well with moldy recordsRead the Review Available Online

Voice Coil Spotlight
Plastic Speaker Cone History 
By Mike Klasco
Consulting for multiple loudspeaker and driver manufacturers for more than 30 years, Mike Klasco explains the evolution of speaker cone materials, from paper to the first experiments in plastics and finally to Polypropylene (PP), which became the preferred resin sheet material for thermoformed speaker cones. The article also discusses recent trends in woven composite cone fabrication, like glass, aramids, and carbon fiber. This article was published in Voice Coil, February 2014.  Read The Full Article Available Online

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