InfoComm Audio Demo Room Crawl: Part One

The art of the Audio Demo Room presentation is one that continues to evolve, and it’s looking like we’ve reached a new level of maturation this year. So much so that we’re going to write this round-up over all three days of the show.

  • The entertainment and edification began yesterday, before the gates to the show floor could be flung open and cause attentions to be divided between demos and booth visits. My first stop was the TC Group (Demo Room 204B), where the new Tannoy AMS Series of IP-65 rated speakers were dressed to impress.

“They’re not just waterproof, they’re corrosion resistant and undergo a tremendous number of environmental tests,” emphasized Graham Hendry, VP of application engineering and training (AET) with Tannoy’s AEC Group.

Tannoy is also making the North American debut of the VX-8M compact, light-weight PA system, which features the manufacturer’s renowned dual-concentric design and therefore will serve well in the intelligibility department for speech and vocals.

There’s a new edition of Tannoy QFlex in the lineup as well, the 32LS, or Life Safety, model. Complementing the QFlex Series, the LS version is configured for speech intelligibility in voice evacuation scenarios and its diminutive 32-amplifier/driver setup will put a lighter load on UPS backup systems in the event of emergencies.

Over in the Lab.gruppen section of TC Group land is a new LUCIA 70V edition and a bold demonstration of the D Series of DSP amplifiers introduced last year. Check out vignettes with D Series amps running on QSC Q-SYS, Harman BSS Soundweb and Peavey MediaMatrix platforms. This is cool not because it works in a live setting, but because Lab.gruppen built in some pretty cool system-monitoring surveillance software and basic UI options. Its Dual Pilot loudspeaker surveillance technology sends out two pilot tones to measure output and alert the user of any faults at the rack. It also features an automatic pilot tone calibration procedure to match the tone to installed loudspeakers.

Down the way in Demo Room 202B, Community Professional will dazzle you with truly awesome and entertaining music selections in a very thorough demo that will inform and engage you even more captivatingly than Steely Dan would. Creating the demo room playlist was a serious collaborative endeavor, said Rich Bellando, strategic development manager for Community. “It’s all about creating the oasis, entertainment,” he said.

When I used that conversation opener to boisterously share my opinions about demo room music fails, Community CEO Steve Johnson explained what makes a good play list: “What you’re looking for is music that people have an emotional connection with, a positive association.”

Community is showing products from across its CODE (Community, Outdoor, Distributed and Engineered) speaker lines, including the mammoth R6-51 MAX, which can blast 96dBs across 622 feet, and a new weatherized iSeries offering, both of which will be available in Q4 this year.

Also up for avid discussion is Community’s complete, exclusive line of BalancePoint Flyware, which is built to handle a plethora of aesthetically sensitive rigging scenarios. Want to hide your rigging from line of sight? Want to hang some stuff in seriously complex configurations? Check out BalancePoint Flyware, built tough for the commercial integration market that Community dedicates itself to every day.

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Kirsten Nelson is a freelance content producer who translates the expertise and passion of technologists into the vernacular of an audience curious about their creations. Nelson has written about audio and video technology in all its permutations for almost 20 years; she was the editor of SCN for 17 years. Her experience in the commercial AV and acoustics design and integration market has also led her to develop presentation programs and events for AVIXA and SCN, deliver keynote speeches, and moderate and participate in panel discussions. In addition to technology, she also writes about motorcycles—she is a MotoGP super fan.