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Mixing console market: disruption ahead

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In October CX attended exclusive demonstrations of new ‘3D’ immersive sound systems in France and Germany. These systems, from market leaders L-Acoustics and d&b audiotechnik promise a revolution in venue audio – rendering traditional stereo and L-C-R systems obsolete.

This will be driven by demand from artists, designers and audience alike, because once you compare multi sourced audio to what we now experience, you have an epiphany. It’s just so much better, on every level, with every kind of show – music, theatre, EDM, and even house of worship.

While the European loudspeaker firms ramp up their offerings for public consumption early in 2018, the mixing system makers are developing plug-ins to help get the source channels out to the processors. But right now, to use these new systems, you need the mixing surface, then you need to get the sources (each input channel) out post-fader, then you need to control the user interface for the 3D system.

CX saw two different approaches to the user interface, and it doesn’t take too much imagination to see how the very next generation of mixing surfaces may handle this new world. There will be some transition – but there will be change.

Big changes. With winners, and losers.

More on these technologies soon.

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