At Prolight + Sound 2011, HARMAN Professional announced the introduction of its HiQnet Performance Managerâ„¢ software, a highly-refined user interface that facilitates the design of touring and live performance venue sound reinforcement systems. Designed especially for touring and theatrical sound engineering, HiQnet Performance Manager is an application-specific iteration of the category-leading HARMAN HiQnet System Architect 2 connectivity and control software application for professional-grade audio system integration.
“In touring, time is money and Performance Manager dramatically streamlines the system design, setup and tuning process, allowing the JBL VerTec® System Engineer to achieve a higher level of performance with more consistent results on a daily basis from venue-to-venue”, explained Paul Bauman, Director of Tour Sound Product Application and Application Engineering, JBL Professional.
HiQnet Performance Manager provides a comprehensive, step-by-step workflow that directly corresponds to real-world system configuration, taking the workflow paradigm introduced in System Architect 2 to a higher level of functionality for any live performance audio application. It is fully integrated with JBL's Line Array Calculator II loudspeaker configuration and acoustic modeling software. The user begins by loading templates of the speaker arrays used in the system, and then runs Line Array Calculator II for each array as part of the initial sound design task of determining how many and which type of loudspeakers are required to cover a given venue. For each array, Performance Manager automatically loads the passive VerTec or powered VerTec DrivePack® DPDA line array configuration into the main application workspace – the first of many automated design processes native to the software application. Loudspeakers can also be manually loaded into the templates if desired.
Once the user defines the required amplifier parameters for the passive loudspeakers within the arrays, Performance Manager automatically loads the correct number of Crown Audio VRACK or other user-determined amplifier racks into the audio system. The software then associates the amplifier outputs with the bandpass crossover inputs for the selected array and programs the amplifiers with the correct JBL preset data, as well as gain shading and JBL Line Array Control Panel equalization parameters that are determined in JBL's Line Array Calculator II as part of the modeling process to optimize sound pressure level and frequency response over the defined audience geometry.
“HiQnet Performance Manager greatly simplifies loudspeaker preset management as well as power amplifier networking, grouping, monitoring and control. It is the ideal complement to the Crown Audio® VRACK turnkey power amplifier rack solution for JBL VerTec line array systems and the automated generation of pre-configured control panels combined with a tablet-friendly, highly-intuitive user interface will be a huge timesaver for the touring sound engineer”, added Brian Pickowitz, Market Manager, Crown Audio International.
Representations of the bandpass inputs for each loudspeaker section are overlaid onto the arrays, enabling the user to easily visualize the array configuration, whether JBL DrivePack-powered or driven by external Crown Audio power amplifiers. Performance Manager software also significantly simplifies system networking configuration – the user can simply drag and drop devices discovered on the network onto the pre-configured devices within the Performance Manager workspace to synchronize all addressing and parameter values.
In addition, the Performance Manager graphical interface provides embedded control panels for array calibration, time alignment and system EQ which utilize input section digital signal processing resources available in either Crown I-Tech HD power amplifiers or JBL DrivePack-powered loudspeakers with DPDA digital audio input modules. Input attenuation, equalization, delay settings and bandpass controls are all readily-accessible directly within the main application workspace along with flexible grouping and comprehensive solo / mute functionality for system testing.
Once system tuning is complete, Performance Manager's Show Mode display is optimized for the actual live performance offering appropriate adjustment control ballistics for equalization and dedicated monitoring interfaces for levels, speaker loads, thermal conditions and AC power requirements. The workspace for all stages of Performance Manager's workflow has a common design motif, with monitoring functions overlaid on top of the same loudspeaker bandpass representations within the workspace, making visualization easier and more consistent across various workflow screens.
HiQnet Performance Manager is ultimately a product of Harman's ongoing commitment to develop application-specific versions of the HiQnet® platform, addressing the day-to-day tasks of audio professionals in a broad range of markets. “By comprehensive analysis of the workflow of audio professionals in touring applications, HiQnet Performance Manager provides an enhanced productivity tool unlike anything else available,” summarized Adam Holladay, Senior Market Manager, HARMAN Professional System Development and Integration Group.
HiQnet Performance Manager is on exhibit in a dedicated demonstration area at Prolight + Sound 2011 at Exhibition Centre Frankfurt, Location 8.0, F32 (6 – 9 April, 2011).
HARMAN HiQnet® is the world's first connectivity and control protocol that integrates all product categories in the signal chain for professional audio systems of all types, size, and applications. HARMAN HiQnet no longer requires the user to manage multiple disparate operating systems or be responsible for programming individual signal processors, speaker controllers, wireless microphone systems, and mixing consoles. HiQnet was developed by engineers from across Harman's Professional Division and is coordinated by the System Development and Integration Group (SDIG), a team of dedicated systems specialists based in Salt Lake City, Utah.
HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of audio and infotainment solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets – supported by 15 leading brands including AKG®, HARMAN Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon® and Mark Levinson®. The Company is admired by audiophiles across multiple generations and supports leading professional entertainers and the venues where they perform. More than 20 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of about 11,800 people across the Americas, Europe and Asia, and reported sales of $3.5 billion for the twelve months ended December 31, 2010. The Company's shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol NYSE:HAR.
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