At the show I sat in on the D&B Audiotechnik demo room late morning. I've heard their line arrays before, but I hadn't heard their white installation series. Up until this time I would say that the Electro-Voice Xi series of cabinets was the best sounding passive box I've every heard. That changed though during this demo. The D&B white series is absolutely incredible. There was a little phasing going on in the room which was driving me nuts at times, but that is so hard to get rid of in these small demo rooms. They aren't ideal environments. Overall, this range is top notch. Wonderful clarity, great low frequency reproduction, full sound, and very clear.
I also got into the Meyer demo room a bit to hear the Constellation audio system. This has been around for a while, but I've never had a chance to hear it in person. As advertised, it's a great system and a very cool demo. I have no application for a massive 8.1 surround system at this time, but it is very cool. They ended the demo with a full show control of lighting, video, and audio, with video and lighting images matched to the surround sound. Sounded and looked great.
On an ironic note, I caught up with my buddy Lin Buck from Electro-Voice. I mentioned earlier in this post that until hearing the D&B white series, the Xi was my favorite passive box. Apparently the $250,000 tool needed to craft the horns on the Xi broke and so they had to discontinue the product! I was really bummed. Lucky for me I found a new favorite loudspeaker, which I guess is why you come to these things anyway.
The lighting and staging area of the show floor was not great. The booths where impressive for sure, but the products are very much the same old. Nothing too new or Earth shattering going on in lighting right now. Everyone has LED fixtures and LED curtains. They are very much the same products across companies.
I did find one piece of software in the video area that I was very interested in and spent some more time learning about. The software uses a camera to process any object you want to project on and than does the mapping and warping for you. It can work with any projector or display, and they had a demo set up of a 180 degree surround blended and warped with cheap little $600 projectors. It was very cool. The software is called Mersive and was surprisingly affordable. It's definitely something we'll try to get our hands on in the near future.
Overall it's been a very good trip. I've got just a few hours left to hit the show floor today (Friday) before we head home. I'm going to circle back a few places, specifically spending some good time talking with Crestron. I'm very glad I was able to get myself and my team out this year. The training turned about to be a little hit or miss, but we have taken so much from the show floor and from connecting with some great TD's from other churches. It's been a top notch experience.