Thursday, June 24, 2010
Church Soundguy: Rechargeable Batteries For Wireless Microphones
We welcome a new blogger to the PSW fold - David McLain, a.k.a. "The Church Soundguy." David's a veteran audio professional who runs a great blog of his own about audio and church sound related topics, and he also works with CCI Solutions in Olympia, Washington.
I was asked recently about using rechargeable batteries for wireless microphones. I discovered that I have two completely different opinions on the topic:
1) What I say I believe: There’s no two ways about it: batteries are expensive; 9v batteries are the worst, but even AA batteries aren’t cheap in the quantities we need for a largely wireless church stage. Current professional rechargeables are up to the task, and NiMH is a competent technology.
Consumer rechargeables only produce about 7½ volts on their best day, so we don’t go there, but pro batteries can power nearly all wireless well for at least a couple of hours.
I never really liked the memory challenges with NiCad batteries, but with nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) batteries, the batteries are more reliable.
However, some manufacturers like Shure and Lectrosonics, still don’t like using any rechargeable 9v batteries, though they’re not as fussy about rechargeable AA batteries; apparently there are enough differences in the batteries and in the wireless technologies that use them that AA rechargeables aren’t so evil. Fortunately, many wireless manufacturers have moved to AA technology.
2) What I really believe: I don’t use rechargeables for my own church’s wireless, and I have six or eight wireless systems. (I just did a quick survey: nobody here uses rechargeables in their own or their church wireless systems.)
Some of our reasons:
a. Power curve: Rechargeables drain non-linearly. Alkaline drains linearly. That means that an alkaline battery, when it nears the end of its lifespan, is still usable. You know it’s getting tired, because you’re getting a few dropouts. It’s frustrating, but it’s not the end of the service.
When a rechargeable battery starts to go, you have a few seconds until it’s completely dead. If that happens 5 minutes before the service is over, you’re toast, whereas with an alkaline, you can easily cope for that last few minutes.
b. Battery life: Because of the non-linear power curve, an alkaline battery lasts for up to 5 or 6 hours in a wireless. Since my church can run 3 hours (including sound check), rechargeables are a challenge. (Consumer grade rechargeables last a matter of minutes.)
c. Convenience: To make rechargeables work, you need to be more disciplined than I am. You need to take batteries out of all wireless after every service and load them into the rechargers (professional rechargers, not Radio Shack toys), and then re-load back into the wireless before the next service. If you don’t use pro rechargers, they’ll overcharge the batteries left in them for the intervening days; this is not a minor detail, but it’s outside of this conversation.
In addition, you’ll really need to plan on replacing the entire lot annually. They might be good for a couple months more, but I hate the uncertainty.
d. Redundancy: If you use rechargeables, you still need to have a handful of alkalines handy for when (not if) the rechargeables fail.
e. Cost: If you’re comparing consumer grade rechargeables to retail alkalines, there’s a huge advantage for rechargeables, but that’s not the comparison for us. We need to compare pro grade rechargeables (including pro chargers) vs. bulk industrial grade alkalines such as CCI sells. The cost is much closer, and – at least in our opinion – not enough to justify compromising the services.
CCI sells (and I buy) the industrial grade alkaline batteries, which are essentially re-packaged Energizers (sorry, no pink bunnies included) and Duracells (likewise, without copper tops). I buy them in case lots and they’re less expensive than Costco batteries, and they’re certainly more convenient to use and store.
Check out more from David McLain at the Church Soundguy blog.
Adobe Audition Coming To Mac OS In Future Release
Mac users can sign up to be a part of the public beta.
Adobe has announced that Adobe Audition will be available for the Mac in a coming future release.
Audition, Adobe’s professional audio tool set for recording, mixing, editing and mastering, will initially be available as a beta in Adobe Labs in Winter 2010.
Adobe Audition for Mac will bring modern audio post-production to the Mac, including familiar tools for audio editing, multitrack mixing and recording, enhanced workflow flexibility, and optimized performance.
Audition will also include audio restoration tools to make it easy to clean up production audio.
Features also include:
- Audio editing and multitrack mixing views
- Superior noise reduction capabilities
- Native 5.1 Surround support and multi-channel effects, plus other new effects
- Optimized audio post-production workflows
- Fast start-up, high performance multi-threaded processing, and parallel workflows
Audio editors and video professionals will now have more choices for audio production with Adobe Audition available on both PC and Mac.
Mac users can sign up to be notified when the Audition beta is available.
They will then get a preview of Audition’s audio editing environment and will be able to provide the product team with feedback, helping Adobe deliver the best final product possible.
Included below are videos by Adobe that provide a technical overview of the new product.
Audition Beta Website
Audio / Video Microphones Explained
The most common microphone types used for video and when they're appropriate.
In audio, it’s not unusual to have multiple responsibilities semi-related (or completely unrelated) to audio.
Though you may be the Front of House guy, it’s not out of the question to be asked to handle some audio/video sound either in your free time or on a job.
No matter if you’re a seasoned pro or a volunteer still learning the ropes, here are some good application hints for when to use the following are some good hints on choosing the right mics for some common audio/video applications.
In most situations, there is no “right way” to do it, but by understanding the different options, you’ll be better equipped for every eventuality.
Though obvious to some, it’s worth stating that the first step in getting the sound of someone’s voice onto tape is the microphone. Microphones serve a very basic purpose: to change acoustic energy to electrical energy.
They convert sound waves into an electrical signal which can be modified, amplified, or recorded. Since the microphone’s function is so basic, you might well ask why there are so many different kinds of microphones.
It’s simply because some types of microphones are better suited to certain uses than others, just as pickup trucks are better than small sports cars for carrying large, heavy loads.
If you are familiar with the different types of microphones, and how and when to use them, your productions will start sounding less like a home video and more like the nightly news
In choosing a microphone for a specific application, the first thing that must be considered is how it will be used.
Will it be held by the person talking? Will it be clipped to the user’s clothing? Will it be located a few feet away from the subject, so that it remains out of the frame?
Examples of different microphone designs.
Handheld: The most common kind of microphone is the handheld type. This style is the most flexible, because it can be held by the user, mounted on a floor or desk stand, or attached to a flexible “gooseneck” on a lectern.
A good quality handheld mic should have an internal shock mount which will minimize handling noise (thumping sounds transmitted through the handle and picked up by the microphone cartridge), and it should be ruggedly constructed to withstand physical abuse.
If you can have only one microphone in your kit of audio gear, it should be a handheld mic. Models at the upper end of the price scale will usually offer clearer, wider-range sound, better shock mounting, and more durable construction.
Tips on Using Handheld Mics: Whether held in the hand or mounted on a stand, the microphone should be positioned about 6”-12” from the talker’s mouth, pointing up at about a 45-degree angle.
With some types of microphones, holding the microphone very close (3”-6”) will cause additional emphasis of the lower frequencies (known as proximity effect), resulting in a “warmer”, bass-heavy sound.
Lavalier: Another popular mic for video use is the lavalier type.
Historically, the word “lavalier” refers to microphones which are hung on a cord around the wearer’s neck, but the term has grown to include almost any small microphone that attaches to the user’s clothing.
Lavalier microphones leave the talker’s hands free to gesture, hold notes, or demonstrate a product.
In addition, they are usually very small and therefore tend to disappear on camera. Also, using a lavalier will keep the distance from the microphone to the talker’s mouth fairly constant, reducing the need for frequent mixer adjustment once the levels have been set.
A disadvantage of lavalier mics is the fact that they tend to be single-purpose microphones — they rarely sound good if handheld or used away from the body.
While the lavalier mic’s small size makes it easy to conceal behind lamps or other objects, an equalizer is usually necessary to make the mic sound natural when it is not attached to the person talking.
Tips on Using Lavalier Mics: For best results, lavalier mics should be placed on the outside of clothing, about six to eight inches below the chin.
They are generally clipped to a pocket, lapel, or necktie. If none of these options are available, the mic can also be clipped to the collar of a shirt or blouse.
Illustration: Ideally, a handheld microphone should be positioned six to twelve inches from the user’s mouth, at an angle of 45 degrees or less. This usually avoids air currents that result in “popping” sounds when the consonants “P” or “T” are pronounced.
Sound quality in this position tends to be somewhat muffled, however, because some high frequencies (which contain consonants) do not fully wrap around to the area under the chin.
Concealing a lavalier microphone: In some productions, it is necessary to conceal the microphone.
It is important to prevent both the microphone and the first few inches of cable from rubbing against either the body or clothing, which will cause noise. Here are some options:
- Under the shirt collar. The mic is lightly taped to the inside of a dress shirt collar, near the opening in front. The cable can be routed around to the back of the neck, over the collar and under the shirt.
- On eyeglasses, on the inside of the temple. The cable is routed over the ear and down the back.
- On the forehead or cheek, secured with medical tape or gum. A disadvantage of this method is that the microphone is directly exposed to perspiration and makeup.
- On the chest, secured with double-sided tape to both the skin and the inside of the shirt. Try to avoid placing the mic behind any material having more than one layer. This reduces pickup of high frequencies, which results in a flat, “muddy” sound.
Double-miking: In some cases, even a remote chance that the microphone might fail during a live event constitutes an intolerable risk.
For this reason, a news anchor or key presenter may wear two lavalier microphones for redundancy. Only one mic is used at a time; if the primary mic fails, the backup mic channel can be turned up immediately.
Double-miking with lavalier microphones is usually achieved with a special tie clip or bar that holds two microphones. When wireless microphones are used, each lavalier mic must be connected to its own body-pack transmitter.
These two transmitters must be on different operating frequencies, and their signals must be picked up by two different receivers, as discussed later.
Surface Mount: These microphones are designed to work on a flat surface. They are usually physically contoured to look less intrusive on a conference table or desktop.
The microphone element is located very close to (but not touching) the surface, so that sound waves reflected from the surface arrive at the mic element at the same time as the direct sound.
This effectively doubles the sensitivity of the microphone compared to a free-standing handheld type at the same distance. (This sensitivity boost assumes that the surface is sufficiently large to reflect even low-frequency sound waves.)
Tips on Using Surface Mount Mics: Surface mount microphones work best when positioned on a smooth, flat surface, such as a table or desk.
If table vibrations are a problem, try putting a very thin piece of soft foam rubber underneath the mic. (A computer mouse pad with a hard top surface often works well.) In some situations, surface mount mics can even work well when mounted on a wall.
Keep in mind that the sound quality of this type of microphone is affected by the size of the surface on which it is placed. For best results, use a surface at least 3 feet square; using a smaller surface will tend to reduce pickup of low frequencies.
The effect on speech frequencies is usually mild, and may actually improve intelligibility of very low voices by reducing boominess.
Shotgun: The shotgun microphone is so named because the long, slotted tube in front of the microphone cartridge makes it resemble a shotgun.
This “interference tube” helps reject sounds coming from more than about 30 degrees off to the sides, while still picking up sounds from the front.
A lavalier microphone should be positioned six to eight inches below the wearer’s chin (Shure WL93 shown).
This extremely directional pickup pattern (called a line/gradient pattern) makes shotgun mics popular for TV news and movie sets.
Shotgun microphones are not telephoto lenses for sound. They do not allow you to zoom in on a conversation from 100 feet away. Here’s a much more accurate analogy: imagine looking through a long tube at a person standing 20 feet away.
The person’s image does not appear to be any larger or closer, but is somewhat easier to see, because the eye is not distracted by things happening off to either side. This is exactly what shotgun mics do best - screen out sounds coming from the sides.
In practice, a shotgun microphone can typically be placed at four to five times the acceptable distance for a standard omnidirectional microphone. Keep in mind that the shotgun mic will also pick up sounds coming from behind the subject.
Tips on Using Shotgun Mics: Shotgun mics can be positioned either slightly above, below, or to the side of the sound source, so that the mic does not appear in the camera frame. Try to avoid aiming the mic at a hard surface, such as a tile floor, brick wall, or hard ceiling.
These surfaces reflect sound waves, and may reflect background noise into the microphone or cause the sound to be slightly hollow. A heavy blanket can be placed on a reflective surface to provide some temporary sound absorption.
Shotgun mics are more sensitive to wind noise than standard microphones, so try to avoid moving the mic rapidly and use a foam windscreen if possible. Larger “zeppelin” or “blimp” type windscreens are usually necessary outdoors. Also, it’s a good idea to use a rubber-isolated shock mount to control handling noise that may be transmitted through a stand or boom.
Hopefully, no matter your skill level, you’ve found some new information that will be useful when the next time you find yourself working with video. Remember, when it comes to microphones, the number one goal is clean audio, but a little bit of experimentation never hurt anyone.
Supplied by Shure Incorporated. For more information visit Shure.com.
Alliance Audio Group Named NEXO Sales Representative Firm
Representing the NEXO product line in Southern California, Southern Nevada and Arizona
Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems has furthered its NEXO rep firm expansion by the addition of Alliance Audio Group (AAG) based in Los Alamitos, CA.
Alliance Audio Group will be representing the NEXO product line in Southern California, Southern Nevada and Arizona.
“NEXO is a brand any sales team would be thrilled to take to market,” states Matthew Jensen, owner of AAG. “Simply put, NEXO has no rival when it comes to manufacturing high-end speakers, processors, and amplifiers for the professional touring and installation-minded consumer. Alliance is privileged and honored to expand NEXO’s place in the market.
“It’s going to be a spectacular collaboration between our two companies.”
“We are excited that AAG is joining the NEXO team,” states Paul Furtkamp, national sales manager of Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems. “We value their expertise and are confident they will bring significant growth to the NEXO brand within their territory.”
Yamaha Commercial Audio Website
Audio-Technica Names The Farm Technical Sales & Marketing As Its Rep Of The Year
The Farm sells Audio-Technica’s complete line of professional audio products to sound contractors and retailers in Northern California
Audio-Technica has recognized Roseville, California-based The Farm Technical Sales & Marketing as its Rep of the Year for the 2010 fiscal year.
Marc Lee Shannon, Audio-Technica Vice President, Sales, and Tracy Brefka, Audio-Technica Territory Manager, Professional Products, presented the award to The Farm principal John Hood.
The Farm sells Audio-Technica’s complete line of professional audio products to sound contractors and retailers in Northern California.
Audio-Technica held the awards ceremony during this year’s InfoComm Expo in Las Vegas to honor its dedicated force of manufacturer’s representatives.
The A-T Rep of the Year recipient was congratulated for outstanding sales performance and bestowed with Audio-Technica’s beloved Samurai doll award.
The Farm Technical Sales & Marketing was acknowledged for its consistent success in the areas of sales, marketing and customer service.
Marc Lee Shannon stated, “The Farm is truly one of the cutting edge rep firms in the pro audio industry. They represent the best in utilizing new technology while at the same time they understand the importance of taking care of our customers. We are extremely proud to have them take the top award in fiscal 2010.”
In the image above, Audio-Technica presents The Farm Technical Sales & Marketing with its Samurai doll award in honor of winning Rep of the Year. Shown from L-R: The Farm Technical Sales & Marketing Sales Reps Larry Lauzon and Jon Skinner, Audio-Technica V.P. of Sales Marc Lee Shannon, The Farm Technical Sales & Marketing Principal John Hood, Audio-Technica Territory Manager Tracy Brefka and The Farm Technical Sales & Marketing Sales Rep Phil Klinkenborg.
Audio Technica Website
NSCA Honors Efforts Of Several Individuals Beneficial To Entire AV Industry
Rose L. Shure receives 2010 Per Haugen Lifetime Achievement Award, Ray Bailey of Lone Star Communications presented with Above and Beyond Award, and numerous instructors honored as well
The National Systems Contractors Association (NSCA) honored industry professionals whose individual commitments to excellence have had a significant influence on the industry during a special award ceremony at 2010 InfoComm in Las Vegas.
Rose L. Shure, chairman of Shure Incorporated, is the recipient of NSCA’s 2010 Per Haugen Lifetime Achievement Award.
With more than 60 years of dedicated service and support for the audio industry, Shure’s commitment to the future of the commercial electronic systems industry has helped the company earn the highest respect from its product users and channel partners. She has also led Shure to become a leader in philanthropic opportunities and social responsibility.
“I’m very honored to have been given this award,” Shure said. “Really, it doesn’t belong to me; it should go to my husband [Sidney N. Shure], who founded and built this company. I am pleased to accept this in his memory.”
A special award was also presented to Ray Bailey, president of Lone Star Communications Inc. A long-time supporter of the association, Bailey is a member of the NSCA Board of Directors and has spent much of his time developing NSCA’s SystemsPlus Insurance Solutions program to help industry professionals combat the rising costs of doing business through economical, industry-specific insurance offerings.
“NSCA members have made a significant impact on the industry during the last year through their commitment to increase the level of professionalism, education and abilities for system integrators to enhance their skills and business,” said Chuck Wilson, NSCA executive director. “NSCA represents an outstanding community of professionals who go the extra mile to ensure an optimistic and bright future for our industry.”
NSCA also recognized its top instructors from the 2009 show, as determined by evaluations completed by course attendees. Peter Mapp of Peter Mapp Associates, received the top NSCA University honor, the 2009 Educator of the Year. Individual Instructors of the Year were also awarded for each college within NSCA University.
The 2009 Instructors of the Year were:
• Paxson Laird of RTKL
• Ben Wilson of Safeguard Security and Communications, Inc.
• Bob Coffeen of The University of Kansas
• Brian Lockie of Creative Technology
• Bill Whitlock of Jensen Transformers
NSCA members volunteer their time and work together to create programming and products designed to help integrators build better businesses and improve their bottom line through advocacy, education, research and business tools.
Danley Powers The Message For “One Lord Sunday” In Wasilla, Alaska
Local A/V firm Sound Decisions created a Danley based system that allowed the churches of Wasilla to gather together.
Every year, twenty of the churches in Wasilla, Alaska join together in the Wasilla Multi-Use Sports Complex for “One Lord Sunday.”
The event highlights the common ground that the denominations share through a mixed-style service that draws on the strengths of the participating churches.
One Lord Sunday brings together some 4,000 congregants, as well as dignitaries such as the Governor of Alaska.
This year, Phil Ballard of local A/V firm Sound Decisions built the temporary sound system that would convey a spirit of unity using Danley loudspeakers and subwoofers, as well as Danley’s newly-introduced amplifiers and DSPs.
Notably, Ballard is on record for the first orders of Danley’s new SM-60 F molded horn full-range loudspeaker, two of which were used for side-fill.
The main house system used four of Danley’s flagship SH-50 full-range loudspeakers, two to a side flown six feet below the 31-foot ceiling, along with four Danley TH-115 and two Danley TH-212 subwoofers.
Two Danley SH-95s (smaller versions of the SH-50) delivered front-fill and down-fill. In addition, One Lord Sunday provided one of the first on-the-ground trials of Danley’s new SM-60 F.
“Like the other Danley products, the SM-60 Fs were remarkably transparent,” reported Ballard. “For a fifty-pound box, it delivers sound with surprising ‘largeness’ and volume.”
One Lord Sunday also put the new Danley amplifiers and DSPs through their paces. Five Danley DSLA 6.5k amps each delivered two channels at 2,200-watts (@ 4-ohms) to power the main SH-50s and subwoofers. Two networkable, easy-to-configure Danley DSLP48 digital processors provided vastly more DSP muscle than the system ended up requiring.
“The Danley amps and processing gave the system a seamless and wonderfully-transparent sound that was remarkably easy to set up,” said Ballard.
“My partner was able to walk the floor with an Apple laptop. We used a wireless Apple hub with a $29 switcher to flip between the two DSP units. Although we were ready to tackle anything, the transparent Danley loudspeakers didn’t need much.”
“We pulled out 4 dB at 200 Hz and 2 dB at 300 Hz and that was it. The room didn’t like those frequencies and once we removed them, everything tightened up considerably. Start to finish, system tuning took all of ten minutes.”
A temporary football field was in place during set-up, and the absorption provided by the turf was a decent substitute for the absorption of the people that would fill the room on Sunday. At the FOH position, Ballard adjusted overall system volume on the big day to rise slightly above the volume of the congregants singing along.
“We were measuring 102 dB,” he said. “That seems loud, but we had to overcome the largeness of the room. It felt very natural, given the fidelity of the Danley loudspeakers. Because their beamwidth is so tight, even at very low frequencies, I was able to focus all of the energy on people. By keeping it off the concrete walls and metal ceiling, we reduced the reverb time from five seconds in previous years with line arrays to just two seconds!”
“Apart from my own satisfaction,” he continued, “I received a lot of compliments on the sound this year. That’s saying something, as the worship styles of these twenty churches are far-ranging.”
“Some crank serious SPL with heavy drums and contemporary music, whereas others go a cappella with no sound system at all. The pastors all had great reviews and, more importantly, everyone in attendance was focused completely on the music and the message – not on trying to hear that music and that message!”
Danley Sound Labs Website
Tech Tip Of The Day: EQing Stage Monitors
Is there a "right" (or best) way to EQ stage monitors?
Q: I’ve been working for a local band a little while now, and I’ve really been building my mixing chops.
Recently, though, I’ve been having some trouble with feedback in the monitors.
Is there a “right” (or best) way to EQ stage monitors?
A: One commonly accepted method for EQing monitors is to “ring them out.”
Here’s the procedure: Set the gains on all of the mics to be open in the monitors to the same relative level, and then turn the monitor system up until feedback occurs. At that point, pull down the offending frequency on your graphic equalizer.
When the feedback at that frequency stops, turn the monitor system volume up again, repeating the procedure. If you do this five to seven times, or until multiple frequencies (more than three) are feeding back at the same time (whichever comes first) then you have EQed your system for maximum gain before feedback. It may not sound great, but it will get loud!
Once you’ve accomplished this, you can turn the monitor volume down to a more reasonable level, and begin to tweak the EQ for better sound and to address other specific concerns — ringing the monitors out just establishes a good starting point.
You’ll be surprised at how expert you can get at this procedure. Many experienced sound engineers immediately recognize the frequency of feedback, and can very quickly locate the correct slider on their EQ. As with most skills, practice makes perfect!
Disclaimer: Be careful when working with a monitor system in this way! feedback can fry components (including ears) if you’re not careful — keep your hand on the volume control! Ringing out monitors is not for the faint of heart, but it works.
For more tech tips go to Sweetwater.com
NBA Playoffs Audio Enhanced By Allen & Heath iLive
Oklahoma City chose iLive for its functionality but received vastly improved audio and workflow in return.
When the Oklahoma City Thunder made the 2010 NBA playoffs, drawing Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers as their first round opponent, they knew they would need to step up their game.
That thought was applied to every aspect of the team’s operation, on the court and off – including the audio mix.
“The Thunder organization contacted me and they were concerned that Ford Center’s sound system wasn’t adequate to handle the playoffs,” said Jerry Hooper, owner of Hooper Sound Production Services in Norman, Oklahoma.
“The Thunder fans are among the loudest in the NBA, and a playoff scenario against the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers was sure to test the limits of the current system.”
“They asked what should be done to give them the best results, and we determined that the analog FOH console was the weakest link in their situation.”
Hooper consulted with the house sound engineer for the arena, Jeremy Griffin, and recommended the Allen & Heath iLive, primarily for its ability to be integrated quickly.
“We brought in an iLive-144 console and tied it into the existing sound system. In about three hours, we had it all plugged in, checked out, and ready to rock.”
“With our system, it’s not really a question of channel count. It’s more about flexibility,” notes FOH engineer Jeremy Griffin. The systems audio sources include the PA announcer, video playback audio, music from two DJs, a CD player, and four wireless mics that are used for everything from vocal groups to drums as needed.
“The wireless mics are the biggest challenge. During the course of the game, I might be asked to cover almost anything using those mics, because you can’t run cables out onto the court.”
“Everything happens on the fly, and you can’t use the same mics for choirs and percussion and expect both to sound good. But the iLive changed all that instantly.”
“I just set up different EQs, duplicate the channels and put them anywhere I want on the surface, then call them up when I need them.”
Another problem for Griffin is his mix location, which is up at the top of the arena. “I’m sitting outside the coverage area of the PA, which is far from ideal. So if I’m starting to get feedback, I’m literally the last one to hear it,” he said.
“But the iLive gives me full RTA (real-time analysis) of each channel, which is incredibly useful in that situation. You can see everything on a full 31-band meter, with the loudest band at any given moment being lit up in red.”
Jerry Hooper courtside mixing the iLive-144 from his laptop
“So you can instantly see your trouble spots and prevent feedback before it happens. So even though I can’t hear the house mix directly, I can achieve a more balanced sound.”
“The coolest for me,” he said, “is the ability to go mobile and mix from my netbook.” Griffin simply downloaded the free control software available from Allen & Heath and installed it in his netbook, then connected a wireless router to relay the Wi-fi signal between the devices.
“We literally did this as the console was being installed, and it worked like a charm. All year long, I’m dependent on someone else’s ears, hoping they can communicate what kind of changes to make. Suddenly I was adjusting the mix and EQ from down on the floor.”
“To go downstairs to the expensive seats, to hear what’s really happening and make real-time adjustments in a 15-minute soundcheck before the game, made all the difference in the world. It was a real eye-opener for me.”
The change in mixing consoles has had an immediate and positive effect throughout the audio chain. “I was somewhat familiar with the iLive from seeing demos here in town, but I was doing my hands-on learning on the system as it was being installed, and didn’t have any of my sources available until three hours before tip-off. But it was all very intuitive for me.”
“Probably the most shocking thing was how fast it happened, and the fact that the improvement was so immediate. The very first game, we had a significant increase in quality of the overall mix, and that was an opinion shared by everybody involved and everyone who listened, including everyone from the video guys to the team executives.”
“It’s like the difference between a dynamic and ribbon microphone, where you’re suddenly hearing all this detail, with a silky smooth high end. So from that perspective, we really hit a home run with the iLive.”
Allen & Heath Website
JBL Vertec System Deployed For Mexican Music Festival
Troya Eventos chose Vertec knowing it could handle the weather, coverage requirements, and the clients expectations.
Troya Eventos recently deployed a complete JBL Vertec line array system to support Fenahuap, one of Mexico’s largest music festivals, in Ciudad Valles, Monterrey, Mexico.
The 20-day event featured an array of performances from leading acts such as Juri, Aklex Syntec, Sasha, Sin Bandera and Pitbull, on stages throughout the event grounds.
Responsible for the sound reinforcement of the festival’s main stage, Troya focused on achieving good coverage and output for the massive crowds attending the outdoor setup.
The company needed the ideal system that would cater to the needs of the talent on stage, while also ensuring that weather and other factors would not affect the sound quality.
“We chose Vertec line arrays for their reliability, easy setup and excellent performance in extreme environments, which is what Fenahuap is known for,” said Alberto Gonzalez, Troya Production Manager.
“Vertec equipment is also a global industry standard accepted by international artists, which makes our job much simpler.”
Troya outfitted the main stage at Fenahuap with 36 VT4889-1 full-size line array elements - 24 for the main system and 12 for the out fill.”
“Twenty-four VT4880 full-size arrayable subwoofers provided low-end reinforcement, while the stage monitor system included eight VT4887A compact line array elements. Crown I-Tech 4000 and I-Tech 6000 amplifiers powered the system.
“I felt completely comfortable with the JBL equipment throughout the entire festival, which reinforces my confidence in the brand,” he said.
“Troya was fortunate to be able to showcase our ability to provide reliable service on a grand scale. Following this festival’s success, we will continue deploying Vertec equipment on our future projects.”
Soundcraft Vi6 Chosen By Royal Danish Theatre For Outdoor Production
The Vi6 was an easy choice for the theatre's engineer due to his familiarity with Vistonics II.
The Royal Danish Theatre (Det Kongelige Teater) is presenting its fifth and largest outdoor production thus far.
Alexandre Dumas’ classic The Three Musketeers story is being played out by more than 200 participating actors, singers, horses and stuntmen, all accompanied by pyrotechnics.
The production is taking place in Ulvedalene, Dyrehaven, a public deer forest north of Copenhagen, situated next to a famous 1000-year-old oak tree.
The show has been in the planning stage for a number of years by the famous Copenhagen venue, which incorporates The Royal Danish Theater, Royal Danish Opera and Royal Danish Ballet under one roof.
The production proved a significant challenge for FOH sound engineer, Jonas Vest, who for the past five years has been the resident tonnmeister.
Talks began in earnest on The Three Musketeers production late last year with the idea of creating a festival-type atmosphere. The 90-minute adaptation of the Dumas classic, which runs through the first week in July, tasked Vest with balancing the sound between the Lyngby-Taarbæk Concert Band, a huge choir and sound effects in a surround environment.
Vest acquired a 64-input Soundcraft Vi6 digital console. Said Jonas, “I love the Vistonics software and interface and the Vi6 is great for live production work. In terms of sound quality and ergonomics the desk sounds so much better and it’s easy and fast to generate your own configuration — there’s no comparison.”
One attribute that he draws on heavily is the ‘scope’ function. “I find it’s really useful to cope with the overlapping cues of orchestra and spoken words.”
In addition to using snapshot recalls to crossfade smooth transitions from one setting to the next — critical to a show such as this — with the new operating software Jonas has also been able to benefit from user-configurable fader layers, enabling him to map out his own channels on any of three user layers so that a combination of different inputs can be placed on one layer.
The five main output fader layers may also be customised in a similar way while the ability to assign output busses to the channel faders for immediate control, makes access to the bus masters much faster — all vital attributes in a complex theatre show.
The Three Musketeers production has been running QLab as show controller to change the snapshots on the Vi6 desk, and for playback of the multichannel sound effects.
Additionally, the virtual layers he has experienced on most digital consoles — for changing fader banks or adjusting EQ or aux send levels etc — can be confusing for operators and detrimental to achieving a fast workflow. But this was not the case with the Vi6. “There has not been one single issue and we feel entirely safe with it,” he says.
A reverb system around the 3,600 seats gives additional ambience and dimension achieved by the Vi6’s onboard Lexicon FX and reproduced with coaxial point source speakers surrounding the audience. All the processing is done in the Vi6, without the need for any outboard FX.
Other features that the FOH engineer has needed to call in is the console’s talkback system since the orchestra is located in a cellar, buried right under the stage. “Imagine a WW2 concrete bunker,” he says. “Also it’s 100m away from the mix position.”
Production is using an optical fibre system to cover the long distance without the need for extenders but Jonas Vest admits that “after dragging fibre through small canals” it was a relief to get everything connected up and operational.
Although there will be no multi-tracking of this show, one recent classic drama did take a MADI split between the Vista 5 at one end and a Vi6 at the other, which was rented in.
But now the Royal Theatre has its own Vi6, and on conclusion of the present production, it is expected to be deployed on other outdoor productions, including concerts and ballet.
Behringer Appoints Italo Trading LLC To Enhance Distribution Network In Latin America
"Latin America is and always has been a valuable market for our business, and drawing upon Daniel’s expertise and recommendations, we plan to aggressively focus our efforts in the area over the coming years." - Uli Behringer
Behringer has announced the appointment of Italo Trading LLC, an independent sales organization owned and operated by Daniel Costa Salomao, to play a pivotal role in the restructure and management of Behringer’s distribution network in Latin America.
“Behringer is proud to be associated with Italo Trading and is convinced that this relationship will play a key role in expanding our success in this region. Latin America is and always has been a valuable market for our business, and drawing upon Daniel’s expertise and recommendations, we plan to aggressively focus our efforts in the area over the coming years,” commented CEO Uli Behringer.
Salomao brings with him over 13 years of experience in the audio industry, having held previous sales management roles with companies such as Selenium and Proel.
Based in Miami, he has lived and worked in the U.S., South America and Europe, and fluently speaks English, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian.
“I am very excited and honored to take on this challenge,” remarked Salomao. “Behringer is a major player in this industry, and offers from production to distribution the best product-for-value ratio in the market. I look forward to enhancing and strengthening the distribution network, to ensure Behringer’s success in Latin America.”
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