Audio-Technica covers all bases
Simple operation and plug-and-play functionality is at the heart of the latest Audio-Technica digital conferencing system, promises the Japanese manufacturer. The wired ATUC-50 system integrates features including multi-mode operation, a 12-band feedback suppressor, an onboard four-channel recorder, a translation channel and can support up to 150 ATUC-50DU discussion units connected via standard Cat-5 cabling in either daisy chain or ring network topologies. In addition to the new conferencing system, A-T has introduced a range of new microphones and a all-new IEM system.
The ATUC is comprised of several components. The brain of the system is the ATUC-50Cu control unit, which offers four configurable balanced outputs plus a mirror of Output 1 on an unbalanced out. Additional connections include two mic/line inputs, two aux inputs, and two return inputs. Two additional return channels handle floor and additional languages. A built-in WAV and MP3 recorder offers four-channel audio recording on USB memory and a web interface enables remote system setup and control through an internet browser. The control unit can operate in either Free Talk Mode or Conference Mode with request talk functionality.
The ATUC-50DU discussion units support a three-pin balanced XLR microphone connection and operate at 24-bit/48kHz. A mic LED ring together with multicoloured RGB LED bars on the rear and talk button provide user feedback. Two RJ45 ports support the daisy chaining of discussion units and the top panel is removable for custom painting.
The system’s companion microphones include the ATUC-M43H and ATUC-M58H. Differing only in the neck length, 430mm and 580mm respectively, the gooseneck mics feature a vibration isolation structure between the connector and discussion unit, a double-layer pop shield and RFI-shielding to reject unwanted radio interference.
Also brand new recently from Audio-Technica is the E-Series of in-ear monitors, which are described as ‘bringing the signature of the M-Series to an in-ear design’. Compatible with A-T’s M2 and M3 I.E.M wireless systems, the three models in the series differ most in the drivers utilised. The flagship model, the ATH-E50, uses three balanced armature drivers capable of reproducing high-resolution audio and offering ‘an accurate sound stage’. Aiming to address the demands of modern music production, the ATH-E50 houses single balanced armature drivers aiming to provide a consistent reference in all environments. The final model, the ATH-E40, has a proprietary dual-phase push-pull driver design that the manufacturer states delivers ‘delivers powerful bass along with balanced mid and high frequencies’. All three models feature memory cable loops to increase comfort during prolonged use and a specially designed housing to maximise sound isolation.
Moving over to microphones, the Artist Elite AE2300 is dynamic cardioid instrument microphone that features a proprietary double-dome diaphragm construction stated to deliver ‘a high frequency and transient response that far excess typically dynamics’. The double-dome diaphragm also reportedly results in ‘little off-axis colouration’, with the manufacturer claiming a nearly identical 60-20,000Hz frequency response at 0-, 90- and 180-degrees. Intended as a high-SPL handling mic for guitar amps, brass, woodwind, drums and percussion, the unit is constructed from brass metal and features a low-profile design.
Also new on the microphone front is the ATM230. Housed in a low-profile metal capsule, the mic has been primarily designed for the capturing rack and floor toms, snare drum and other percussion instruments. The mic’s proprietary capsule excels in high SPL applications, for which the polar pattern reduces pickup of sounds from the sides and rear, improving isolation of the desired sound source and directionality. Operating within a frequency response of 20-12,000Hz, the capsules a rare earth magnet provides improved output and transient response, whilst the low-profile design ensures versatile placement around drum kit.
Finally, the manufacturer’s System 10 and System 10 Pro wireless systems have been joined by two new modules. The ATW-T1007 microphone desk stand transmitter accommodates phantom-powered condenser gooseneck microphones with a three-pin XLRM-type connector, and is equipped with touch-sensitive switch for toggling between talk and mute modes, two red/green LEDS for user feedback, and three level of switchable input gain, -6, 0 and +6dB. The ATW-T1006 boundary microphone/transmitter also pairs with System 10 but trades the gooseneck microphone for an integrated boundary mic.