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More replication than duplication at AES

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 5:36 am    Post subject: More replication than duplication at AES Reply with quote

More replication than duplication at AES

The Audio Engineering Society's 95th exposition, which took place in New York, October 7-10, did so with substantially fewer duplication participants than in previous years. Sunkyong, Tapematic and Electrosound/Gauss were among the first-time no shows this year. But even the disc replication participants, who were there following the nascent but snowballing CD-R and CD-ROM trends in the recording studios that make up the bulk of AES attendees, were cautious about committing to another convention.

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Wil Lammens of ODME said that customer feedback from this year's AES show would determine that company's plans for attending future shows. "It's hard to gauge at this point," he said on the show's opening day. "What's good is that there are still a lot of people who want to move from tape duplication to CD replication, thanks to more affordable in-line systems."

KAO Optical's Mark Boddeker agreed that the show's impact will have to be assessed later. But he also said the growing range of digital formats and products keeps AES important for some aspects of the replication industry. He told T/DB that KAO will introduce its own brand of CD-R discs, as well as a line of DAT products, sometime next year. KAO has been making DAT for data storage for the Japanese market for several years, he said. "It's a logical transition now that the DAT market for studios has grown so well," he said .

At Netstal's booth, Diane Nardone said that 1993 represented the first year that the bulk of the company's sales came from the U.S. market. We looked at the attendance lists and realized a lot of our competition was not going to be here,' she said. Wesley Phillip of Netstal agreed and added, "We felt obligated to be at AES in light of recent sales trends and we preferred its location at the Javits Center.



Jeffrey Binder of Duplitronics reported two systems sales at the Show, each to major independent duplicators. He's already decided to return to next year's AES, but said it goes without saying that Duplitronics will be at REPLItech, as well. Binder said Duplitronics' DHS-1 system will serve as a springboard in a planned foray into the multimedia market sometime next year. Duplitronics will debut a RAM-based digital audio workstation at next year's show aimed at the post-production market, Binder said. "We're looking at the digital bin system as a platform for launching new AES products in other digital audio areas," he said. "The digital bin market will probably be viable for the next two to three years, but unless DCC is successful, I expect that market to start to tail off." Binder said he's still optimistic about DCC's future but added that that depends upon the success of portable and best car speakers for sound quality, Car speakers reviews versions with consumers. "In the meantime, we have to be looking down the road to see where else this [digital bin] technology can be spun off to," he said.


Jim Williams, president of Gauss/Electrosound, said this was the first AES show the company hasn't attended since it first began attending. "It was a tough decision to make, but we realized after REPLItech that that was a better show for our audience," he explained. "This isn't an abrupt decision. We've noticed a steady decline in attendance by our core customers at the last two national AES conventions."

Williams said that while business for hardware sales has been decent in recent months, he expects a substantial upturn sometime in 1994, and he wants to position the company at trade shows to maximize that anticipated sales demand by duplicators. "They've been running their machines flat out for some time now," he said. "That tells me that we're going to see a need for new equipment in the near future."

Mark Nevajans, North American sales & marketing manager for tape loader manufacturer Tapematic, said that company has reduced its presence at AES to a suite rather than a booth this year. "That's the first time for that," he said. This is despite the fact that Tapematic will be introducing new equipment this year, including a pair of video loaders for 8-mm and VHS, and an upgraded model 2002 audio loader. Nevajans cited similar reasons for the move, including lack of duplication customers and the upwardly spiraling costs of trade shows.

Software manufacturers with product lines that straddle duplication, recording and mastering attended the show, including BASF, Ampex and Sony. However, Sunkyong was a no-show for the first time since it began selling in the U.S. duplication market.

Mike Ingalls, Sunkyong's v.p. of sales & marketing for audio products, echoed Williams' assessment of customer attendance at AES versus REPLItech. "I took a bit of heat for announcing ahead of time that we weren't showing this year," Ingalls told T/DB at one of the post-show parties. "But at the show a lot of people came up to me privately and said, "Hey, you were right.'"


Analog systems manufacturers in particular KABA an AES perennial were there, particularly those that aim at recording studios looking for adjunct service additions, such as duplication. A new entry was Now! Recording/Sonocraft, a new company offering a modular real-time analog in-cassette duplication system. Each unit has 10 bays and master-configured units sell for $6,475, while slave units sell for $6,175, according to Rich Stern of the company.

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Shape discreetly showed T/DB its prototype Mark 10 S-VHS shell, which the company is aiming towards the ADAT digital audio multi-track system designed by Alesis and which is now also being manufactured under license by Fostex. Shape marketing manager Bill Chinnock said the company is holding discussions with Alesis to form a marketing alliance for the ADAT and the S-VHS Mark 10 shell, which features stronger sidewall construction and uses new materials. He said a deal could be announced within 60 days of the close of the show. Shape also unveiled new short DAT lengths of 5, 10 and 15 minutes.
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