What to expect at PLASA this year.
Analysis, Content production


Next month’s PLASA 2010 is sure to give tech-heads a decent dose of new products to mull over – S&S takes a look at what to expect at this year’s event.

With exhibitor space expected to be sold-out, Tannoy, Lab.gruppen, Lake and TC Electronic have teamed up to jointly exhibit across the one large stand. 

Event orgainsers have reported a ”surge” in the number of audio companies in particular signing up for space, with Allen & Heath, AXYS, DiGiCo, Electro-Voice, Harman, Sennheiser, and Yamaha just some of the big names to showcase their wares.

Bose are also set to attend after a notable absence from PLASA exhibitions over the past several years. Explaining the decision, Bose Professional Systems’ divisional manager, Simon Holley, says: “We have some exciting new products in the developmental stage, so this year is all about establishing new contacts and building on existing relationships to create a strong foundation from which to move forward.” 

Tannoy will be showing its fixed installation and live sound products including the flagship VQ Series (incorporating the latest developments in its ‘tour ready’ VQ Live guise) and smaller footprint, compact V-Series range of point-source loudspeakers.

Also on show will be the British manufacturer’s QFlex digitally steerable array system, which has been winning favour in the install market as a solution for dealing with challenging and problematic acoustics. Delivering significant improvements to intelligibility, QFlex is a must see if you’re involved in the installation of audio systems in house of worship, auditoria and transport hub projects in particular.

On the power and loudspeaker management front, Swedish manufacturer Lab.gruppen will be exhibiting for the fifth year running, with their C Series range of installation-dedicated power amplifiers their focal point.

Also on show will be the brand-new System 6000 mk2 from Danish leaders in audio processing, TC Electronic. The new version of the industry-staple will bring the 6000 mastering and reverb DSP platform “bang up to date for the 21st Century with a host of cutting-edge features and powerful new capabilities,” according to TC.

Over at APEX, a new version of its dBQ-zero EQ will be released, which they say will have better inter-channel crosstalk and THD+N figures, as well as load stability with the inclusion of updated line driver circuitry.

The new model will have the same 30-band constant-Q graphic EQ section on each channel, filter section consisting of high-pass filter, high and low shelving equalisers and two notch filters as its predecessors. Apex will have demo models on hand so S&S suggests checking out the latest version yourself.

The PLASA Innovation Gallery, which profiles all the launch products nominated for a PLASA Innovation Award, will showcase a new format on Sunday September 12, when entrants will publicly demonstrate their products to the award judges as part of a new ‘interactive gallery’ feature, which will be given a prime position at the entrance to Earls Court 2.

All the presentations will be recorded and the winning ones will be replayed in the gallery and uploaded to the show website after the show.

Rigging marvellous
The first event of its kind, the PLASA International Rigging Conference will be held in conjunction with the exhibition on September 13 and 14.

PLASA says it will be unique, specialist forum, bringing together “rigging companies, riggers, venue operators, tour and event production managers to focus specifically on rigging and working at height for temporary installations.”

As the entertainment technology industry is going through a process of standardisation, the conference is a chance for the international community to discuss key issues, share their knowledge and dispel myths.

There will be presentations from industry leaders, panel discussions, Q&A sessions and live demonstrations as well as platforms to air questions and concerns.

“This is one of those ideas that when you mention it, everyone says ‘what a fantastic idea - it’s long overdue’. There has been a lot of demand from the rigging community for an opportunity - one that doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world - for production professionals, whose work either directly involves rigging, or working with riggers, to come together and discuss the many issues that affect us all,” says Chris Higgs, rigging training manager at Total Solutions Group and speaker at the conference.

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