NAMM 2019 rétrospective

Les nouveautés qui nous ont marqués

Roland announces VR-1HD AV Streaming Mixer

Roland Pro AV has introduced the VR-1HD AV, a streaming mixer designed for content creators looking to improve audience engagement.

This handy portable device has numerous features geared towards talents who double up as their own operators or directors. The three Auto Switching Modes are prime examples. As its name suggests, the Video Follows Audio mode sets the camera to switch to whoever’s speaking into their mic. Next, the Beat Sync Switching mode switches camera inputs in tandem with a musical tempo. And finally, in the Auto Scan mode the VR-1HD switches between sources randomly or in order, at a preset rate.

The streaming mixer is no pushover in the audio department either, featuring equalisers, compressors, gates and reverbs, as well as Roland’s popular Voice Transformer technology for real-time effects. If you’d rather use pre-recorded sounds, these can be recalled via USB memory with the push of a button.

In terms of inputs, the VR-1HD has three HDMI ports that accommodate HD and computer resolutions up to 1080p. There’s also two XLR mic inputs and an analogue line input. Check out our video above to learn more.

Steinberg AXR4

Steinberg is entering the Thunderbolt audio race with the announcement of the AXR4, a rack-mountable interface aimed at professional producers and engineers. This 28-in/24-out box offers latency-free DSP-powered monitoring and effects, stacks of I/O and plenty of routing flexibility.

Up front you’ll find four Neutrik combo inputs and two headphone outputs, while the back panel houses eight TRS line inputs, eight TRS line outputs and two sets of ADAT I/O doubling as S/PDIF. The second pair provides an alternative AES/EBU Sub-D connector. MIDI I/O sits alongside word clock I/O, while two Thunderbolt 2 ports enable computer connection and daisy-chaining of up to three interfaces.

With 32-bit integer resolution and a max sample rate of 384kHz, the AXR4 doesn’t compromise on audio quality, and the four hybrid mic preamps benefit from refined transformer circuitry and Rupert Neve Designs SILK processing.

DSP effects include the VCM 276 compressor, VCM EQ601, the Sweet Spot Morphing Channel Strip and the REV-X reverb. These integrate directly with Cubase AI, a dedicated version of Steinberg’s DAW that comes included and supports 32-bit integer recording. However, you can use the AXR4 with any DAW, with routing of the 28x24 matrix mixer handled by the dspMixFx AXR mixing application.

Icon’s Platform Nano

You get a single 100mm touch-sensitive motorised fader, a jog wheel, transport controls, a backlit LCD display and various shortcut keys and rotary encoders. The Platform Nano runs over USB, and supports all the major DAWs. Indeed, you get silicon shortcut overlays for many of them, though you can also enter User-Define mode to create your own custom MIDI maps, should the need arise.

The Icon Platform Nano is slated to ship in the first quarter of the year. We’re still waiting on a price.

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