BPM Pro is an event primarily aimed at DJs and live music production, but with a healthy amount of studio production tools included as well.
While the emphasis isn’t strictly on making music we went along to check out the live sound reinforcement people along with the noisemakers and several interesting companies in between. BPM Live is an event primarily aimed at DJs and live music production, but with a healthy amount of studio production tools included as well.
BPM Pro has been running for eleven years, is visited by thousands of people over 2 days and hosts an impressive array of exhibitors.
Our first visit was to the Novation stand and we made a beeline for their new Circuit and Peak production tools. Novation demonstrator John was very pleased to run us through some of the tricks and features of the devices and he encouraged us to experiment with the Circuit and the Circuit Mono Station, although he was on hand to answer all of our questions.
The Bass Station II was also on show and we were genuinely impressed at how immediate it was to adapt and shape sounds. The impressive Ableton controller Launch range were also present but it was the Peak that was the star of the stand, with its hybrid digital and analogue architecture along with a classic styling.
Onto a more workhorse product and we were introduced by John (a different John) from MC2 to the Delta S80DSP. What, on the outside, looks like a typical 4-channel power amp turns out to be a tech-heavy, networked digital signal processor and speaker management system as well. Input connections can be via the Dante protocol, AES or line level XLR and an app gives control of the signal flow in and out of the various components of the system. Multiple units can be used together for large, multi-channel speaker installations and can output to passive and active speaker systems. This is particularly interesting now that networked audio is becoming standard in the live audio world, as well as the studio, and can take care of the work of previously separated components.
We also saw the Radial DINet and now we have actually handled the physical product can confirm it is very rugged and would take some punishment out in a live setting, if you needed a networked DI solution.
Korg’s inflatable synth igloo was the next stop and we were given a great rundown of the new Vox Continental by Luke. Based on the classic transistor organ from the 60s, this latest performance keyboard from Korg also incorporates tonewheel organs and pianos, along with synth sounds that can be layered into new variations. This instrument also has the added ‘Nutube’, which operates as a standard vacuum tube does to add smooth distortion and accentuate overtones, but is built on much more stable components. The keyboard is also replete with a touchscreen panel of drawbars for the transistor and tonewheel organs, but can also act as controls for filter or amp envelopes for the synth sounds as well as a 9-band graphic EQ.
BPM Pro wasn’t just about the noise makers, there was also plenty of innovators. We spoke to online music distribution facilitators Ditto. They were happy to tell us the concept behind their ‘record label in a box’ product.
One of the most innovative products we saw, came from an unlikely source and had no flashy lights or bleepy noises at all. The age-old issue of beer-soaked subs in your live sound rig has been addressed by Stuart and the appropriately named company and product, Subsafe. They’ve designed a fold-away covering that opens up to a pyramid shape to sit on top of your subs and can be customised with various textures and even your company logo. They’ve even included a hole for a pole! Subsafe is available in a range of sizes to fit your subs or you can provide your own measurements if your cabs are of non-standard size. All materials are sourced in the UK and the construction and finishing is done by hand, so you know this is going to be a quality product.
Finally, a different form of protection and one that every musician, performer and technician should be aware of, that of hearing protection. At the ACS stand we were greeted warmly by Jono and had a great chat about the importance of protecting a musician’s most important asset, as well as seeing some custom mouldings being taken for customers. A range of ear plugs from disposable, single-use to bespoke fitted, at a range of cost points, were also available from the stand, along with the very good advice from Jono.
Making-music.com would like to extend their thanks to everybody who took time away from a very busy exhibition to talk to us and for appearing in the videos.