At PLASA 2011, HARMAN was presented with the PLASA Award for Innovation for the new HARMAN’s JBL HiQnet Performance Manager™ audio system configuration and control software application. During the show’s opening two days, products were judged by an independent panel, which viewed individual product presentations. Award winners were chosen for their ability to demonstrate a new style of thinking or an improvement to technical practice with new technology or materials, as well as the use of energy-saving and sustainability benefits.
JBL HiQnet Performance Manager is 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, Performance Manager is an application-specific iteration of the category-leading HARMAN HiQnet System Architect™ configuration and control software application for professional-grade audio system integration.
Performance Manager systematically takes sound engineers through a step-by-step process of setting up a sound system of any scale or complexity. Each workflow stage provides a dedicated interface tailored for that specific function, thereby providing a clear focus as to the goal of each operation. The workflow finishes with a built-in and comprehensive show monitoring and control interface. In doing so, it greatly simplifies the networking, grouping, monitoring and control of power amplifiers and loudspeaker management. Most significantly, all design and control is truly achieved at the system level, with the more traditional software model of individual device control still being possible, but rightly repositioned as the advanced use case.
There are several new innovative concepts within Performance Manager, the workflow process beginning with multiple templates for flown and ground-stacked loudspeakers, each with pre-defined grouping information to provide a simple starting point for configuration. The integrated JBL Line Array Calculator II predictive modeling tool drives the detailed configuration of the templates for powered loudspeakers or passive loudspeaker/amplifier combinations. For a passive loudspeaker system design, all amplifiers are added to the workspace and each amplifier channel is associated with the appropriate loudspeaker bandpass input in a single, automated step. The correct loudspeaker tunings and all parameters derived from the predictive modeling are also loaded into powered loudspeakers or amplifiers automatically.
“Performance Manager simplifies loudspeaker management and as well as power amplifier networking, grouping and control. It is the perfect compliment to Crown VRACK and Crown I-Tech HD amplifiers for JBL VERTEC line array systems,” stated Brian Pickowitz, Market Manager Crown Audio.
With Performance Manager, networking has been reduced to a simple drag-and-drop to connect each virtual rack or powered array in the software with the target physical rack or array on the network. All required control interfaces are included in the software for system calibration EQ, system tuning EQ, delay and gain, eliminating the laborious task of creating customized interfaces. All DSP is abstracted with an automatic mapping of controls to devices, regardless of the specific system configuration, providing a consistent interface for each and every system. An integrated final ‘Run Show’ mode converts the design workspace immediately into an interface for running the event, providing monitoring for input/output metering, load, AC and thermal levels.
“Performance Manager is a rare example in professional audio where the hardware platform it controls is so mature that the software can enable a far more cohesive user experience than the accepted norm. Rather than just provide a mechanism of controlling individual boxes within a pile of hardware—the all-too-common approach for today’s industry—instead Performance Manager provides true system-level design and control, doesn’t stand in the way of the user and makes complex design simple,” stated Adam Holladay, Market Manager, HARMAN System Development and Integration Group.
“This award reaffirms our commitment to providing sound engineers with tools that make them more efficient and ultimately more successful in live sound applications. Performance Manager gives them the ability to enhance productivity, simplify workflow, and streamline an optimal system setup from start to finish,” added Paul Bauman, Senior Market Manager, Tour Sound, JBL Professional.