HARMAN Professional today announced that its JBL HiQnet Performance Manager™ sound reinforcement system design software is now available to users as a public beta version. JBL HiQnet Performance Manager had been previously available to a closed group of 60 worldwide beta testers.
JBL HiQnet Performance Manager is a highly refined user interface that facilitates the design of touring and live performance venue sound reinforcement systems. Created 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.
“JBL HiQnet Performance Manager is a powerful tool that makes the design, setup and tuning of a JBL VERTEC loudspeaker system a lot faster and more efficient,” noted Adam Holladay, Market Manager, HARMAN System Development and Integration Group.
“The response from our beta testers has been extremely positive,” continued Holladay. “In venue after venue, JBL VERTEC system engineers have been able to achieve consistently higher levels of performance than before. They note that they are also able to set up a system more quickly, saving time and money. Now that we are making it available in a public beta version, many more users will have the opportunity to take advantage of the benefits of Performance Manager as a free download.”
The public beta version of Performance Manager is available at http://hiqnet.harmanpro.com. The beta version is functional except that users will need to apply for a license key in order to go online and access the online operate modes of certain system devices. An in-depth series of training videos can be viewed at http://hiqnet.harmanpro.com/training/. The full version of JBL HiQnet Performance Manager will be available in early 2012 at a suggested retail price of $399.
Winner of a 2011 PLASA Innovation Award and a finalist for the upcoming EMEA 2012 InAVation awards for which voting is currently open, JBL 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.
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 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.
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.