LONDON, United Kingdom — September 11, 2011

At PLASA 2011, HARMAN is showcasing its JBL HiQnet Performance Manager™ software, which has undergone an extensive beta test period in advance of its imminent shipping. JBL HiQnet Performance Manager is a highly refined user interface that facilitates the design of touring and live performance venue sound reinforcement systems. HiQnet Performance Manager is an application-specific iteration of the category-leading HARMAN HiQnet System Architect connectivity and control software application for professional-grade audio system integration.

Since its successful launch at Prolight + Sound 2011 and live demonstrations at InfoComm 2011, the software has been deployed to a group of 45 online beta testers in all parts of the world. The beta tester community has examined software functionality and performance by putting pre-release versions of Performance Manager through their paces on a host of varied system applications. With the experiences gained through these Performance Manager systems, the beta team has been able to provide considerable real-world feedback to ensure the highest level of usability in the field, openly discussing operational enhancements and refinements with the Performance Manager team and with each other.

“Performance Manager’s Run Show mode is perfect for live performance. It offers easy to see, real-time monitoring and adjustment for EQ and dedicated monitoring interfaces for levels, speaker loads, thermal conditions and other important factors. We’re a staging company and we do all kinds of events with Performance Manager. We can even configure someone else’s rental system into our own system and tie everything together using Performance Manager. It really makes everything a lot simpler,” stated beta tester Edward Gonzalez, Audio Engineer and System Designer for Multi Image Group.

“At the Prolight & Sound 2011 exhibition in Frankfurt, JBL Professional’s Paul Bauman introduced me to the Performance Manager and I was immediately thrilled about it. My company handles music festivals, corporate events, and theatre shows where the sound system is designed specifically for that individual event. With Performance Manager I have the capability to set-up and control a completely new system within minutes. Additionally, the integrated JBL Line Array Calculator II software gives me the possibility to see adjustments made to the audio-signal inside the amplifier, before the speakers are suspended and these adjustments get transferred into the system when going online,” added Sebastian Mueller-Eckhard of Germany based production company B+B Veranstaltungstechnik.

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 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.

“JBL HiQnet Performance Manager greatly simplifies loudspeaker preset management as well as power amplifier networking, grouping, monitoring and control. It is the ideal complement to the Crown VRACK turnkey power amplifier rack solution for JBL VERTEC line array systems, and the automated generation of pre-configured control panels combined with a tablet-friendly, highly-intuitive user interface will be a huge timesaver for the touring sound engineer,” added Brian Pickowitz, Market Manager, Crown Audio.

“In touring, time is money, and JBL HiQnet Performance Manager dramatically streamlines the system design, setup and tuning process, allowing a JBL VERTEC® system engineer to achieve a higher level of performance with more consistent results on a daily basis from venue to venue,” explained Paul Bauman, Director of Tour Sound Marketing, JBL Professional.

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 Managerworkspace 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.

JBL HiQnet Performance Manager is ultimately a product of HARMAN’s ongoing commitment to develop application-specific versions of the HiQnet® platform, addressing the day-to-day tasks of audio professionals in a broad range of markets. “By comprehensive analysis of the workflow of audio professionals in touring applications, HiQnet Performance Manager provides an enhanced productivity tool unlike anything else available,” summarized Adam Holladay, Senior Market Manager, HARMAN Professional System Development and Integration Group.

Performance Manager will be available beginning October 26, 2011.