MPE 2014: Doors close on a dynamic and crowded trade show

Audio Media paid a visit to this year’s Music Production Expo, which ran from 14-15 November at the Emirates Stadium in north London, and found there was much of interest for the pro-audio professional.

Audio-Technica showcased its updated M-Series range of headphones. After incorporating user feedback into the design, new models include a detachable cable for greater flexibility; higher end models now come with a range of studio and portable cables in straight and coiled varieties.

Also on display were its range of Vicoustic panels. A new acquisition for the company’s UK distribution, the acoustic panelling specialises in absorption, diffusion and basstrap treatment. Brands manager Gary Maguire noted: “We have a two year plan for the Vicoustic range. They are really picking up and we feel it could be a very big brand for us.”

Sound Technology was present, with the first showing of the new Solid State Logic XL Desk console. Designed to be the ideal analogue centrepiece for a modern DAW-focused studio, the 24:8 analogue console features 40+ inputs of SSL SuperAnalogue summing, an in-built 18-slot 500 format rack (with SSL Stereo Bus Compressor pre-loaded), eight SSL VHD mic preamps on board, four stereo mix busses, a fully featured monitoring and talkback section (with SSL Listen Mic Compressor) and an array of connectivity and routing options.

PMC offered one of the loudest booths at the show, with music blasting from a range of its TwoTwo speakers in a live demo. However, its most exciting new product, the QB1-A monitor, could not be shown – sales & marketing technical support coordinator Ross Gilbert explained that the venue lacked the complex and sensitive environment the unit requires, and PMC “didn’t want to underwhelm people with bad acoustics”.

Gilbert was keen to extol the virtues of the absent product, and explained that the QB1-A features “bigger drivers that provide deeper bass but still have the responsiveness of much smaller speakers”, providing up to 4,825W per channel in headroom and a maximum SPL of 132dB at one metre, but at no cost in accuracy. Gilbert likened the transition from previous technology to “a step from a high performance car to a supercar to Formula One”.

Also present were Sennheiser, Focusrite, and Shure. Synthax displayed its RME Madiface XT USB3 audio interface, while Sontronics offered visitors the chance to win an STC-20 pack alongside a showcase of its latest products.