As the NAB Show gets closer, we continue our series of short Q&As with manufacturers about their plans and offerings, to help you get the most out of the big annual trade show. Gary Boss is marketing director, Professional Products, Audio-Technica.
Radio World: How has business been for the company since last year’s NAB Show?
Gary Boss: Great. In the past year we’ve introduced several exciting products for various pro markets. For the installed sound market, we debuted a mic and desk stand with integrated Dante network outputs — an industry first. Our large-diaphragm, rectangular capsule AT5045 studio instrument mic was a wonderful addition to our 50 Series line of premium microphones. We also brought out new flagship models in our studio headphone line. And we have a handful of new broadcast products that we’ll be introducing or showing for the first time at this year’s NAB Show.
RW: What do you anticipate will be the most significant technology trend at the 2015 NAB Show?
Boss: Within the microphone industry, I think we’ll see a lot of new wireless tech. The overcrowding of the TV band spectrum and the regulatory uncertainty surrounding it has everyone in the industry looking for ways to adapt.
RW: What new goodies will your company be showing? Why should attendees visit your booth?
Boss: We’ll be introducing the BP40 large-diaphragm dynamic broadcast microphone. It features a 40 mm diaphragm with patented floating-edge construction that maximizes diaphragm surface area and optimizes overall diaphragm performance. The AT2020USBi mic, which includes both USB and Lightning connections, will also debut at NAB. And we’ll be showing the AT8024 stereo/mono camera-mount microphone and the System 10 camera-mount and system 10 Pro rack-mount digital wireless systems for the first time at this year’s show, along with our new studio headphones.
RW: What is the microphone growth area/technology push that gets the Audio-Technica crew out of bed in the morning?
Boss: We’re truly excited about the innovations of our System 10 digital wireless platform. As I mentioned, the challenge of addressing concerns with TV band wireless and with the reliability of systems that work outside of that spectrum is one everyone in the industry is facing. We think we have something pretty special in the 2.4 GHz System 10 platform, and our camera-mount and Pro models bring this innovative wireless technology to an even broader audience.
RW: The Internet has changed the way people do business. Some would say that it has rendered shows such as the NAB obsolete. Is this true?
Boss: No, there’s still nothing like getting together with people to demonstrate our products. You can’t get the full picture of a product and its capabilities just by looking at it online. That said, the Internet has certainly allowed us to take a more focused approach at these shows. People now have easy access to online information about our existing products, so we can spend more time at shows introducing them to what’s new. And since the Internet also makes people more aware of the new products, they can take a more targeted approach, as well, in planning what they want to see. So far from making NAB and other shows obsolete, I’d say it has enhanced the experience.
RW: Audio-Technica does a lot of events and demos at its booth. What are the thoughts behind going to all that trouble?
Boss: It’s one thing to be manufacturer, but quite another to be a thought leader in an industry. We want to play an active role in the audio industry, not just pump out product. So it’s important to us to present these educational events, host discussions with audio experts and so forth. We have veteran audio professional Fred Ginsburg with us again this year, and he’ll be providing hands-on miking demonstrations throughout the show.
RW: You’re a show veteran, what’s your favorite thing about the show? Least favorite thing?
Boss: We love how qualified NAB attendees tend to be — they are second to none. These are people who are genuinely interested in researching, learning and perfecting their craft. So they’re a joy to work with. The downside of this passion, however, is that it makes for a lot of intense hours for us. We don’t get many breaks. But, really, we wouldn’t have it any other way.
RW: Will you be attending any sessions or looking forward to any events?
Boss: Our press meeting with Radio World is always the highlight of the show for us. Outside of that, unfortunately, we’re usually too busy at our booth to get out and participate in much else.