AudioControl Launches M8 Surround Theater Preamp – The Maestro M8 has UHD processing amd balanced audio circuitry. The feature-laden back panel includes multi inputs and outputs for HDMI and digital sources. An AudioControl exclusive port allows use of an optional HDBaseT signal extender to extend HDMI signals via standard CAT-5 cabling to remote- mounted display devices. It is geared towards audiophiles demanding an amazing audio experience as part of home theater performance. It has proprietary room correction with signal alignment, level and EQ assignable on a per-source basis, Dolby Volume technology, compatibility with control systems such as Crestron, Savant, Control 4 and RTI, a 12-volt trigger and IR control options. It comes with a programmable remote and a five-year warranty program, and there is an AudioContrtol iOS app available for smart phones. Retail is $8900.
CEA Says Consumer Confidence High for 2014 – The Consumer Electronics Association measures consumer expectations about the broader economy, and found that it increased 1.2 points this month from last month—the highest level this year. While tech sentiment dropped on a sequential basis, it remained about 5% above the August average for the past three years. A spokesman said “Despite continued softness in the housing market, fundamentals of the economy are slowly strengthening…”
Batter Named Gracenote CEO – John Batter, formerly M-Go CEO, has been named Gracenote CEO and Tribune Media Co. executive VP. M-Go is a digital movie and TV streaming service and is a joint venture between DreamWorks Animation and Technicolor. Gracenote is the music and video metadata and technology business headquartered in Emeryville, CA which is contacted by the iTunes software on your computer for every CD you play or download. Gracenote was acquired by Tribune in February.
A Synaesthesia Music Festival in Australia – A music festival like no other took place in Hobart, Australia, exploring how the senses can be affected by melding music, light and colors. The neurological condition of synaesthesia involves two normally separate senses becoming intertwined, and a number of music artists have it. Violinist Richard Tognetti (who does not have synaesthesia) played with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra together with sound and visual artist Robin Fox. Gospel/soul musician Andrew Legg has synaesthesia and experiences vivid colors when he hears music. He says he sometimes finds it hard to concentrate on the colors his brain shows him and he needs to shut his eyes and be happy in his own little world. A color organ was used, which combines a keyboard, high-power lasers, and lots of cellophone to try to replicate the experience. When Tognetti played selections by Bach every stroke was projected in green spirals.