18 companies to watch at Prolight + Sound 2018

With a key focus on immersive technologies and the future of sound and with a number of audio exhibitors making a return to the halls of Frankfurt’s Messe from 10-13 April 2018, this year’s Prolight + Sound conference is not to be missed.

These are 18 companies we recommend you keep an eye on at this year’s event:

1. Adam Hall

The manufacturer and distributor of event technology solutions, the Adam Hall Group will be presenting its comprehensive range of products at stand E60-F70 in Hall 3.1 at Prolight + Sound. The range includes many new products and technologies from the pro audio, lighting, stands and stage equipment sectors including the LD Systems MAUI P900 and the LD Systems CURV 500 TS.

2. Alcons Audio

The Alcons LR28 large format pro-ribbon line array will deliver the soundtrack to the hourly Production Resource Group (PRG) demonstrations in the Festhalle. Complemented by further Alcons pro-ribbon and sub systems, the LR28 will demonstrate its unique audio qualities, along with great visuals. The system will also be an important part of Prolight+Sound’s annual opening event, the PRG Live Entertainment Awards.

3. Amadeus

Audio Media International revealed that France-based Amadeus will debut a new spatial sound processor called HOLOPHONIX at the 2018 Prolight + Sound show in Frankfurt. The HOLOPHONIX processor brings together several different spatialisation techniques including Wave Field Synthesis, High-Order Ambisonics, Distance-Based Amplitude Panning, and more, enabling placement and movement of sources in a 2D and/or 3D space.

4. Astro Spatial Audio

Astro Spatial Audio will be present at Prolight + Sound from 10-13 April where it will host special presentations highlighting the integration between ASA’s SARA II Premium Rendering Engine and third-party systems, including TTA’s Stagetracker II next-generation performer tracking, Alcons Audio loudspeakers, and QLab playback automation software. In addition, ASA will debut new v4.0 software, incorporating substantial improvements in loudspeaker management, matrixing and show control.

5. Audio-Technica

Audio-Technica (Hall 3.1, stand E51) is to show its new ATH-M60x on-ear professional monitor headphones – the latest addition to the company’s critically acclaimed M-Series line – for the first time in Europe at Prolight+Sound 2018. Designed for studio, broadcast and mobile applications, the ATH-M60x is a low-profile, on-ear professional headphone model that utilises the same proprietary 45 mm large-aperture drivers found in the ATH-M50x (with rare earth magnets and copper-clad aluminium wire voice coils), delivering exceptional clarity throughout an extended frequency range with accurate bass response.

6. Cadac

Cadac is celebrating its 50th anniversary with with two new CDC consoles and the company will be demonstrating an array of new products on booth H3.1 F37 throughout the show. The two new CDC consoles are running the latest V.5 CDC OS on its low latency (sub 0.4 milliseconds) MegaCOMMS network, including new network devices and software developments.

7. Celestion

Located in Hall 3.1, on Stand B40, Celestion will launch its CDX14-3040 – a 1.4-inch exit, 3-inch voice coil neodymium magnet compression driver. It features a stiff and light edgewound coil copper clad aluminium voice coil and delivers 75Wrms (AES standard) power handling as well as a sensitivity of 106.5 dB from 500 Hz to 20 kHz. The CDX14-3040 is the third large format compression driver developed by Celestion to incorporate a 3-inch single-piece titanium diaphragm and surround, following the introduction of two ferrite magnet drivers: the 1.4-inch exit CDX14-3030 and 2-inch exit CDX20-3020.

8. Crest Audio

Crest Audio debuts its new XD-16 and XD-28 small format digital mixers at this year’s show. Available in either 16-or 28-channel frames, XD Series digital mixers offer optional Dante networking as well as real-time remote control and monitoring from any Android, Windows or iOS device. The vast range of configurations available enables use as a simple FoH mixer, a monitor mixer, a personal monitor mixer or indeed a combination of all three. Crest Audio’ will also be introducing its Versarray PRO powered line array.

9. d&b Audiotechnik

d&b will introduce the SL-Series, GSL System, the next generation line array in the d&b series that sits above the J, Y and V-Series. As well as a focus on the official release of GSL, there will be further opportunities for attendees to experience the newly released d&b Soundscape at daily demo sessions. Introduced in February, Soundscape, powered by the DS100 Signal Engine, opens up a world of creativity for sound designers, artists and audiences, enabling object-based mixing and sophisticated room emulation. The demos will run from 10 to 13 April at Messe Frankfurt in the Panorama Hall.

10. Fohhn Audio

Fohhn Audio will demonstrate the latest developments in its new concert sound system at this year’s show. Designed for use in large-scale live venues (such as halls, arenas and stadia), as well as in clubs, the new system integrates Fohhn Beam Steering Technology with the company’s latest digital strategy developments to provide a full range loudspeaker, subwoofer and amplifier combination that can be networked and digitally controlled, in real time, using a single piece of software.

11. Funktion-One

Loudspeaker manufacturer, Funktion-One, will introduce the new F124 bass enclosure to the European market. First introduced at The NAMM Show 2018 in January, this unique addition combines Funktion-One’s horn-loading technology with a 24-inch driver. By re-visiting a 24-inch frame and tooling they had developed during a previous R&D phase, the basis of the new enclosure quickly fell into place. To create the completed package, Funktion-One invested significant time into ensuring the other elements were exactly right. Key among these was the magnet and coil. Founder Tony Andrews and the Funktion-One design team worked closely with Precision Devices to find the best performing solution, eventually developing a double 6-inch voice coil motor with an unprecedented Bl factor of 50 to give the necessary motive power. To Funktion-One’s knowledge, this is now the most powerful electromagnetic structure in a loudspeaker.

12. HK Audio

HK Audio is preparing to roll out the largest product launch in the firm’s 35+ year history at this year’s show. Having mainly focused on PA systems for musicians in recent years, the brand‘s first examples of a new pro audio range will be on display at HK Audio’s main booth, located at Hall 3.1 E91. They are the first components of a “highly integrative product family” which will comprise HK Audio’s portfolio for professional sound reinforcement services.

13. L-Acoustics

L-Acoustics will present its multifunctional P1 AVB Processor and Measurement Platform at this year’s show. Unveiled last year, the P1 processor is a three-in-one-unit, unique on the market, that combines front-end processing, audio bridging and signal distribution as well as system measurement and tuning in one convenient, solid package. The P1 takes the complex and hardware-intense task of system deployment and optimization and streamlines it to a single piece of hardware, fully integrated into the industry-leading LA Network Manager software platform.

14. PMC

PMC’s new result6 compact nearfield reference monitors will be on show at this year’s Frankfurt Musikmesse (Hall 4.1, booth C21). Launched last October 2017, these two-way active loudspeakers from PMC will be demonstrated in a 5.1 configuration at the Frankfurt show. Also on show will be PMC’s large format MB3-XBD-Active monitors.

15. Powersoft

Powersoft will use this year’s Prolight + Sound show to launch its new M-Force 301P01 transducer on stand C17, in Hall 3.1. The transducer has been updated with a series of additional features to simplify the workload of OEM partners. M-force is now available as the M-force 01 long throw linear motor for infra sub applications and the M-force 02 short throw linear motor for high acceleration applications.

16. Stagetec

Stagetec‘s Router Interface AES67 (RIF67), the latest board for the NEXUS router, will be shown and demonstrated for the first time in Germany. The equivalent for the NEXUS Base Devices the NEXUS Fibre and IP Interface (XFIP) is brand new and will have its world premiere. Both boards implement the AES67.IO module as a result of the partnership with DirectOut and support the approach of non-proprietary audio and control networking.

17. TiMax

UK immersive audio and show control specialists Out Board will introduce the new TiMax 500S software for TiMax SoundHub, which features enhanced programming and showcontrol workflows for rendering and control of live, presentation and experiential spatial reinforcement and immersive audio, including new-look variable day/night skins optimised for outdoor, rehearsal and show conditions. TiMax

18. Yamaha

The launch of RIVAGE PM7 was one of the audio highlights of the ISE show in Amsterdam earlier this year and the new system will again be the focus of a lot of interest at ProLight+Sound. Yamaha’s entire range of industry-leading digital mixing consoles will also be on display, alongside other new products, including the updated R series Dante I/O racks, Version 2 firmware for RIVAGE PM10 (which brings the latest facilities to the entire RIVAGE PM family) and the updated DXSmkII subwoofers.