Audio

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

RCF TT+ Line Array For Sandwell’s New Central Campus

Stage Electrics carry out full AV integration in West Midlands further education complex installing RCF TT+ line arrays.

Sandwell College’s new $119 million Central Campus building in West Bromwich, England, took four years in the planning and provides an exciting new-age space for its performing arts students across the West Midlands.

The building boasts a new theatre space and two dance and drama studios that required state-of-the-art technology. As a result the school turned to Stage Electrics to provide the design and installation of the new sound reinforcement systems.

Having installed the sound system at Sandwell College’s previous building a short distance away, Peter Coleman and Karl Formstone of Stage Electronics knew what was the college required. Ultimately their design was accepted by the main contractors on the building, Interserve Project Services and the work began.

Once again, they turned to RCF to meet all their loudspeaker requirements, specifying the active, fully-processed TTL31-A and TTL12-AS line array system for the main theatre, along with a pair of neat white CW3108 loudspeakers
 for each of the two drama and dance studios.

In order to provide public address for the public areas, corridors and staff room they also specified a PD1066 6-zone RCF paging system, with BM3002 mic and UP4121 Mixer/Amplifier.

Messages are played out through four of the stylish RCF MQ50-W wall mount speakers on the mezzanine above the giant atrium, with nine PL60 ceiling speakers, recessed into the adjacent false ceiling. The same ceiling speakers are also being utilized in the general staff room and other public areas.

It is in the performance theatre, with its 153-capacity removable seating, that Stage Electrics cleverly integrated and repurposed some of the College’s previous technology (notably moving head and generic lighting) with the newly-specified equipment.

Two loudspeaker hangs positioned to the left and right of the stage, contain four TTL31-A elements, with two TTL12-AS subs at the base. They provide technical manager Des Lee with a versatile requirement for lectures, conferences, dramatic productions, dance and fashion shows (the theatre even hosted a recent broadcast of BBC’s Question Time).

“The RCF system came as a recommendation from Peter [Coleman] as he was fully aware of the productions to be staged. This is an excellent plug-and-play system with a small footprint. As a powered system it meets all our purposes, delivering great quality and SPL so that we won’t have to upgrade for a few years.”

This was already a proven platform for Stage Electrics, and Coleman’s recommendation was based on the success they have enjoyed with the TT+ (Touring & Theatre) system on previous projects — such as the much larger Adrian Boult Hall in Birmingham and The Cultural Urban Centre in Liverpool.

But the RCF component is only one piece of a complex jigsaw that includes a highly specced control bridge, with separate audio and lighting stations, a control rack, and Stage Electrics’ own modular portable table top Stage Management desk.

The infrastructure is also well equipped with custom lighting bars and winches, with tracks and masking curtains at the stage.

This breathtaking new Central Campus building, which plays host to 10,000 full- and part time students seeking further education, will now offer these students a workshop and performance environment of which they can be proud.

RCF

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Posted by Keith Clark on 07/24 at 12:27 PM
Live SoundNewsPollConcertLine ArrayLoudspeakerSound ReinforcementStageAudioPermalink

Soundcraft And SCV Audio To Host “Mixing with Professionals” Seminars At Festival

For those wanting to learn more about Soundcraft Vi Series consoles, making the transition from analog to digital consoles, new engineers and others

At the upcoming Festival d’Avignon in France, Soundcraft and its French distributor SCV Audio will host “Mixing with Professionals” seminars from July 23-26.

Sessions will be held each day from 10 am to 5 pm. Registration is free.

The “Mixing with Professionals” sessions will be held at the ISTS (Institut Supérieur des Techniques du Spectacle), a center for training in the techniques of performing arts.

The sessions are open to professionals wanting to learn more about the Soundcraft Vi Series digital consoles, those making the transition from analog to digital consoles, new engineers and others.

Founded in 1947 by Jean Vilar, the Festival d’Avignon is today one of the most important contemporary performing arts events in the world. Every year in July, Avignon becomes a city-theater, transforming its architectural heritage into various performance venues, welcoming tens of thousands of theater-lovers (over 130,000 admissions) of all ages.

Registration is online here.

Soundcraft
Harman

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Posted by Keith Clark on 07/24 at 06:16 AM
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Monday, July 23, 2012

Prime Loops Launches Arcade Flashback Sample Pack

Up your game with “Arcade Flashback”, the pixel pounding new sample pack from Prime Loops.

More than just a nod to nostalgia, this retrospective take on old skool game sounds emulates the golden age of the arcade, bringing the 8-bit orchestra back to life.

K.O every enemy with this array of pulsating pings, rising chimes, percussive punches, frenetic fuzz and flipped out glitches! Scoring a mighty 350MB+, “Arcade Flashback” will reward you with some classic 8-bit crunch in blistering 24-bit clarity.

Stretch and squeeze any of the loops and samples in this pack to any desired tempo and the quality will remain totally uncorrupted.

If you’re looking for a sample pack that blasts the past straight into your mix, “Arcade Flashback” is the name of the game – take control now and allow this fusion of classic and new sounds to leave you well and truly wired!

Prime Loops

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Posted by Keith Clark on 07/23 at 10:07 AM
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Behringer Launches ProZone Tour In North America

ProZone showcases X32 Digital Mixer, S16 Digital Stagebox, ELX Series and much more... Specialists have been dispatched on a North American tour in a fleet of branded trucks aimed at bringing the experience direct to dealers and end-users alike.

Behringer is staking its claim in the professional audio market with the launch of ProZone; a focused line of products aimed at Production and Rental Companies, AV and Professional Sound reinforcement applications.

Comprising the company’s highly anticipated X32 Digital Console, S16 Digital Stagebox, P16 Personal Monitoring System, ELX Vertical Line Array Speakers and iNUKE High-Power Amplifiers, the ProZone line-up includes all of the components needed to stage high-performance sound in a variety of portable and fixed applications.

ProZone specialists have been dispatched on a North American tour in a fleet of branded trucks aimed at bringing the experience direct to dealers and end-users alike.

“The ProZone initiative is a natural extension of our steady move deeper into performance audio since the acquisitions of Midas, Klark Teknik and most recently, Turbosound,” states company CEO and founder Uli Behringer. “While we have always been known for exceptional value in personal sound reinforcement, these new products bring Behringer quality and affordability to a whole new set of customers and audiences.

“I am truly proud to bring our commitment of affordability to those people who rely on their sound reinforcement equipment for major events and productions.”

ProZone products will be demonstrated at a series of events across Canada and the United States throughout the summer and into fall at Behringer dealers, festivals and concerts.

Fully-equipped ProZone trucks will bring full ELX Line Array speaker systems with multiple X32 consoles to each location in support of each event.

Behringer Product Specialists and Product Managers will be on hand to set up, operate and explain all aspects of the products and their applications. A full schedule of events is posted at Behringer.com/prozone.

Behringer

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Posted by Keith Clark on 07/23 at 09:37 AM
Live SoundNewsPollConsolesDigitalLoudspeakerMixerSound ReinforcementAudioPermalink

Extron Fiber Optic USB Extender Now Shipping

The FOX USB Extender is an efficient solution for professional AV system designs that require KVM - Keyboard/Video/Mouse support, reducing the need for additional IP network drops, equipment, and software.

Extron Electronics is pleased to announce the immediate availability of the new FOX USB Extender, a fiber optic transmitter and receiver set capable of extending USB 2.0 signals over very long distances.

Peripheral devices can be located up to 10 km (6.25 miles) from the host computer.

The FOX USB Extender is an efficient solution for professional AV system designs that require KVM - Keyboard/Video/Mouse support, reducing the need for additional IP network drops, equipment, and software.

To ensure proper system boot-up and operation in switching environments, the transmitter enables uninterrupted communication between the host computer and USB device.

The FOX USB Extender is ideal for extending USB signals over long distances in a wide variety of professional AV applications.

“AV system designers and integrators are often challenged with integrating KVM signals into fiber optic AV systems,” says Casey Hall, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Extron. “The FOX USB Extender enables KVM distribution systems up to 1000x1000 and larger, sending USB transmissions over miles of fiber optic cabling.”

The FOX USB Extender enables long haul transmission of USB 2.0, 1.1, and 1.0 compliant signals with data rates up to 480 Mbps, and peripheral emulation ensures reliable communication whether or not a tie is made to a connected device.

Both the transmitter and receiver include front panel LED indicators for visual confirmation of system activity. As an added benefit that simplifies integration, the receiver provides an active four-port hub for simultaneous connection of multiple peripheral devices.

As part of the extensive FOX Series of fiber optic products from Extron, the FOX USB Extender can be used for simple point-to-point applications or in combination with FOX Series matrix switchers for support of signal distribution systems up to 1000x1000 and larger.

Also, when used in conjunction with an Extron FOX Series HDMI, DVI, or VGA extender, the FOX USB Extender is capable of transmitting KVM signals very long distances over a fiber optic infrastructure.

Extron Electronics

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Posted by Keith Clark on 07/23 at 08:45 AM
AVNewsPollProductAVInstallationSound ReinforcementAudioPermalink

Mojave Audio Captures “the american mosaic: an unsung requiem”

Mojave MA-201fet condenser mic used extensively in unique ‘assembly’ recording.

While it’s not uncommon for pop music recordings to be engineered on a track by track basis, it’s extremely unusual for a symphonic work to be recorded in this manner.

Such was the case recently for film composer Chris Anderson, who recorded each instrumentalist one player at a time and, slowly but surely, ‘assembled’ a 30-minute orchestral piece.

While Anderson could have used any microphone or combination of mics, he ultimately selected an MA-201fet condenser microphone from Burbank, CA-based Mojave Audio for the majority of his work.

As an award winning film and TV composer, Anderson has had successes in every area of his composing career. His 60+ film scores range from full orchestral works to jazz, swing, rock, and modern cutting-edge soundscapes.

Equally at home in front of a piano, a computer, an orchestra, a funk band, or a Javanese Gamelan, Anderson is, without question, a musical chameleon.

He discussed his reasons for recording the american mosaic: an unsung requiem in this unusual manner and his experience with the Mojave Audio MA-201fet.

“As a film composer,” Anderson explained, “I’m constantly working with different ensembles / orchestrations.

For many projects, I’ll record acoustic guitar or Weissenborn (lap slide guitar) at my own studio.

I also routinely record a few soloists ranging from violin and cello to clarinet or trumpet, depending on the project. I find the MA-201fet performs very well in all these scenarios.”

“Recently,” he continued, “I completed a personal project, a 30-minute piece for symphony orchestra, entitled the american mosaic: an unsung requiem.

“In an effort to get a demo out to some symphonies, program directors, etc., I wanted to create a recording that could accompany the conductor score. 

Although I have an arsenal of great orchestral samples that I use regularly, there is some esoteric and solo writing in the piece that I really wanted to have played live for the recording.”

“The ideal way to record this composition would’ve been with a full scoring orchestra in one of the large rooms around town,” Anderson added. “Instead, I chose to do something fairly unorthodox. I recorded each player one at a time in my own studio, and for the strings I brought in 3-4 instrumentalists at a time and stacked the various passes and parts.

“In an effort to help keep the recording cohesive, I decided to try the MA-201 on every instrument: all the winds, the brass, the strings, etc.  After working with the Mojave MA201-fet for about a year, I was confident the mic would be a good fit for this project - It turned out to be my main close-mic for everything.”

“I’ve come to rely on the MA-201fet and its ability to handle the wide dynamics of each instrument brilliantly,” Anderson says. “On this project, the low strings were full bodied yet present while the high strings had a natural presence and vibrancy with a well-rounded sound. 

“All the winds—from bass clarinet to piccolo—were easily captured with a transparency and honesty that made mixing fairly straightforward, without having to add a lot of EQ.

“I was especially happy that the MA-201fet’s ability to handle the high SPL of the brass from ppp to sffz without any issues. The mic is so good that once proper placement was set up, it was ‘set it & forget it’. 

“The MA-201fet is fast, able to handle big swings in dynamic range, and able to transparently capture instruments with a wide frequency response.”

When queried about his experience with Mojave Audio’s customer / technical support services, Anderson was equally enthusiastic, “Mojave has a great website and even better customer service. I’m also lucky to be located close to Mojave’s headquarters.  Dusty [Wakeman] is great, helpful, and enthusiastic about his products. They’re a terrific company to work with.”

Before shifting his focus back to the business of the day, Anderson summarized his experience with Mojave Audio and the MA-201fet.

“Even with a very unorthodox approach to this orchestral recording—where I stacked 17 players, 1-3 at a time, to fully create an 84 piece orchestra—I never had a second thought about mic choices.

“When tracking and editing was finished, I brought the enormous ProTools session to my scoring mixer. He was impressed by the overall sound quality of the individual performances and the cohesive whole we were able to accomplish in the mix.

“The final result sounds like 84 people in a room, far beyond my original expectations of a demo.

“I’m receiving great response from the recording. One symphony director / conductor I sent it to asked me which orchestra I had used to record it! I simply couldn’t have done this without my MA-201fet.”

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Posted by Keith Clark on 07/23 at 08:15 AM
RecordingNewsPollConcertMicrophoneStudioAudioPermalink

JBL Professional VTX Line Arrays Grace The Stage At Hove Festival

Oslo-based production company Frontlite recently supplied JBL VTX line arrays for main stage coverage at one of Norway’s predominant annual summer music events, the Hove Festival.

The event took place on the island of Tromøya, outside Arendal, and was promoted by Festival Republic.

Having been caught up in the buzz surrounding the launch of JBL’s new high-directivity line array, Frontlite’s Per Marius Larsen met product specialist Espen Andersen of JBL’s Norwegian distributor, LydRommet, at the 2011 PLASA Show in London.

By the following spring he was back in contact, realizing this major event was coming up in June, and taking the decision to try out the PA.

“Although we had not considered JBL previously, we know Espen and LydRommet well and have always had a great relationship. After speaking with our client we were happy to go forward with this.”

This enabled Frontlite to reinforce the sound for an all-star cast, including Snoop Dogg, Skrillex, Lostprophets, Lana Del Rey, Emeli Sandé and Ed Sheeran, with Espen Andersen acting as system tech for the duration of the 4-day event.

Site measurements were taken to assess coverage requirements, with the VTX system optimized using a combination of EASE predictions and JBL Line Array Calculator acoustic modeling.

As a result, 12 elements a side of JBL VTX V25 line array loudspeakers were flown from each side of the stage with four VERTEC® VT4886 subcompact line array loudspeakers suspended below the hangs to provide down fill.

Two further clusters of four VT4886’s, operating as front fills, and eight of the new VTX S28 arrayble subwoofers were ground-stacked on each side of the stage.

The system was powered by 12 Crown VRacks (six a side), with I-Tech HD 12000 amps running the system in High Power Mode.

Two tops and two subs were assigned to each rack and the four remaining channels in the spare racks drove the VT4886 speakers.

Although this was Frontlite’s first encounter with JBL, LydRommet has been supplying the company with Soundcraft digital consoles over the years.

The Vi platform was in evidence here, both in the marquee and on the main stage, where a Vi2 acted as a matrix, enabling visiting production engineers to plug in their desks and have AES-EBU signal distribution from the matrix.

Explained Espen Andersen, “Sound engineers could choose how they wanted to assign their mix via AES-EBU, running analog as backup in parallel.”

Frontlite project manager, Per Marius Larsen, remarked that the VTX had left him and visiting sound engineers with a very favorable impression.

“From our point of view the result was excellent and we are proud to have supplied our client with this level of sound production,” he said. “Espen was a great asset all week and made sure that the PA sounded fantastic, so that we received nothing but praise from the visiting artists.”

JBL

Harman

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Posted by Keith Clark on 07/23 at 07:54 AM
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Friday, July 20, 2012

Stanco Repeats Success With Martin Audio At Fair St. Louis

For optimum coverage, Stanco deployed 32 Martin Audio W8LCs supplemented by 12 Martin Audio W8LM’s and 4 Martin Audio W8LMD’s for sidefill and downfill. The setup also included Crown amplification, XTA processing and two Avid Profile consoles.

A quintessential celebration of American Independence, Fair St. Louis was held for several days over the July 4th holiday and featured Air Shows during the day and a series of concerts highlighted by fireworks at night.

The concerts were staged under the iconic St. Louis Arch and this year featured headliners Heart, Third Eye Blind and Dierks Bentley. Audio, video and lighting was again provided by Stanco Productions with a crew that included Sam Wehrmeyer (Technical Director), Brennan Houser (Monitors), Justin Slazas (FOH, System Tech) and Matt Nichols (A2).

For optimum coverage, Stanco deployed 32 Martin Audio W8LCs supplemented by 12 Martin Audio W8LM’s and 4 Martin Audio W8LMD’s for sidefill and downfill. The setup also included Crown amplification, XTA processing and two Avid Profile consoles.

Asked why Stanco again opted for this setup, Wehrmeyer said, “Martin Audio has been solid for three years running. The speakers continue to amaze us here at Stanco.

“We do sound, video and lighting at Fair St. Louis, but the reason we keep getting hired back every year is because of our superior sound. Every year, the client says that it’s the best sound they’ve ever heard outdoors, and that’s why they keep coming back. Martin Audio not only sounds great, it’s our best sales tool. When you sound better than everyone else there’s no reason to look elsewhere.”

Martin Audio

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Posted by Keith Clark on 07/20 at 02:30 PM
Live SoundNewsPollConcertLine ArrayLoudspeakerSound ReinforcementAudioPermalink

Renkus-Heinz Iconyx Breathes New Life Into Eden Resort Courtyard

Champagne Sunday Brunch in the Eden Courtyard at the Best Western Eden Resort & Suites has become a local area tradition.

But while the Courtyard is known for its dining and social events, the room’s acoustics have long made it a challenge to attract speaking engagements. With its 40-foot-high glass ceiling, hard stone floor and hard walls, the room’s reverberation made intelligibility nearly non-existent.

In addition to a massive water fountain at one end of the room, there is a rather large vaulted skylight running across the middle of the room that creates some very “strange” reflections.

To address the room’s acoustical challenges, Manheim, PA-based Clair Brothers Audio Systems selected the Renkus-Heinz Iconyx IC24-R-II digitally controlled column loudspeaker system, installing the arrays in the two front corners of the courtyard.

The ability to precisely steer the Iconyx array’s multiple sonic beams had an immediate impact on the intelligibility factor.

“Being able to direct the sound downward and away from the walls was huge,” explains Bob Bickelman, senior audio designer with Clair Brothers.

Bickelman selected the Iconyx system based on both on price and performance.

“We had previous experience with the Iconyx,” he explains. “Not long ago I did a synagogue down in Cherry Hill, NJ, and liked the way they performed and their ease of use. And they certainly cost less than some alternatives.”

Using Renkus-Heinz’s RHAON CobraNet-based DSP software, individual Iconyx elements can be shaped and aimed with programmable precision, lowering or raising the acoustic center as desired.

The newly installed system at Eden Resort & Suites also includes several Shure wireless microphones and is managed by a Symetrix DSP automixing and processing system with ARC (Adaptive Remote Control) programmable wall panels.

“Iconyx has been a wonderful addition to our courtyard,” comments Stephen Sikking, managing partner, Eden Resort & Suites.. “Now we can take a 400- to 500-person room and actually use it for an event that includes speaking engagements.

“Because of the Iconyx system we are now able to be on individual company lists, social lists, and so forth for speaking events. These speakers have made a dramatic difference.”

Renkus-Heinz

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Posted by Keith Clark on 07/20 at 09:53 AM
AVLive SoundNewsPollInstallationLoudspeakerSound ReinforcementAudioPermalink

Onstage Systems Gets Onboard With L-Acoustics K1

Longtime V-DOSC Rental Network company joins top-tier K Standard provider list

For nearly a quarter of a century, Dallas-based Onstage Systems has been steadily updating its equipment inventories to continually raise the production bar for clients like George Strait and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.

This summer, that initiative has continued with the company’s purchase of a full K1 stadium loudspeaker system from L-Acoustics.

According to Onstage Systems President Hyacinth Belcher, the company has now added 48 K1 line source elements and 24 K1-SB subs to its roster, along with 48 KUDO and 12 KARA elements, 48 SB28 and four SB18 subs, and 30 LA-RAK touring amplifier racks, each loaded with three LA8 amplified controllers.

A V-DOSC Rental Network company since 1999, Onstage Systems has had K1 ownership in its sights since the very start of the product’s Pilot Program three years ago. In particular, the company made a leap toward L-Acoustics’ K Standard last year through sizable purchases of KUDO and LA-RAK.

“Choosing to move to the K Standard for K1/KUDO was something we’ve wanted to do for a few years now,” says Belcher, who, along with her brother, Chris, has headed up the company since 2006. “In our opinion, K1 is the best touring speaker system available and our clients deserve the best.

“It outperforms any festival system in the US and we’ll be utilizing it for all of George Strait’s stadium events as well as on other large-scale tours and events.

“We’re also very excited about KARA, which will be used for a wider variety of events, especially after rounding out the system with additional SB18s and rigging accessories.

“The wide pattern and light weight L-Acoustics’ newest WST box in the K series makes it a perfect fit for ballrooms and corporate events, and the SB18s really add some power to the system in a small package.

“We feel honored to be a part of a group of companies that dedicates itself to the best in audio. We take sound very seriously and can think of no better manufacturer than L-Acoustics to keep us at the top of the field.”

Belcher notes that the company will soon be deploying its new K1 system at several large electronic music festivals promoted by SFX – Disco Holdings Corp. Onstage’s KARA enclosures, in particular, will also be used by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra for its concert series at Exall Park in the spring of 2013.

Onstage is currently offering its K1 rig for a touring group as well as planning to keep the systems active as cross-rentals with other K1 Rental Network companies.

L-Acoustics

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Posted by Keith Clark on 07/20 at 09:39 AM
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What, Me Worry? Ruminations On Potentially Troubling Developments

Changing definitions of "audio equipment," more RF spectrum rumblings, understanding the basics...

A fair portion of the grumbling among the “more seasoned” generations of sound professionals can simply be chalked up to our inner curmudgeon.

Every generation thinks the next wave of “kids” is largely comprised of know-nothing, spoiled brats who “have no idea how tough this job used to be, and by the way, their music is a bunch of noisy dreck.”

That said, there are some emerging issues that really do keep me up at night worrying about the future.

For example, what is now defined as “audio equipment” runs a very wide gamut from complete junk all the way up to truly professional gear.

There’s even an inside joke in the industry that anything with the word “pro” in the name certainly isn’t. Why this is a problem is harder to define.

Let me put it this way: when I was a young buck, I knew that a certain well-known 4-track cassette recorder was a decidedly amateurish piece of gear. The real stuff was to be found in big studios and on big stages.

The difference was quite obvious and the thought of getting to work on the big-time systems provided inspiration to learn, study, practice, experiment, and move forward inch by inch.

I knew that I wasn’t big time yet but I definitely wanted to get there, and there was a lot of learning along the way: how to be efficient with your time, gear, money, while taking the patience of friends to the limit.

Fast forward to today. Sure, there’s still a difference between levels of gear, but the lines aren’t nearly as clear.

You can literally buy “audio equipment” at national discount chains, along with car parts, kitchen accessories, greeting cards, toys, garden implements and even a dozen eggs and a gallon of milk. Ditto musical instruments. Meanwhile, Garage Band comes free on iMac.

One can argue that this puts music- and sound-making equipment into the hands of a much wider base group of people, thus making it possible for more and better music to be made.

However, I think it can also be argued that we’ve not seen that kind of result. If anything, there’s more formulaic, pre-packaged “teen pop” drivel than ever before.

Both Sides
One of the effects of having this equipment available so widely and cheaply is that it may not seem special in any way.

And it may also not be obvious to the aspiring musician, producer, engineer, tech, etc., that this stuff is not pro.

By the same token, of course, using “real pro gear” does not make someone good at their craft. The two go hand-in-hand: improvements in the quality of the gear can only be fully utilized by the improved skills of the operator.

Unfortunately, as we’ve all seen, clients often don’t know the difference either. They ask to “borrow a microphone” and then are taken aback when “there’s no way to get the sound out.” (Oh, you meant the PA system?)

In general, this is an effect of globalization. Should we really expect to get a toaster for $9.99 or a printer for $29.99? How about a 24-channel mixer for $199? If you know anything about manufacturing, you’ll recognize that the toaster costs about $2 to produce and the mixer costs about $40. Difficult to comprehend, isn’t it?

Of course, this is a complex issue with many facets, and I don’t profess to have the answers, but at times, thinking about it does deprive me of sleep. That is, unless I’ve been hitting the bottle of Laphroig18 I received for Father’s Day…

Lack Of Balance
Another troubling subject: the government of the United States is currently hard at work on possibly further screwing things up for wireless microphone systems.

Didn’t we just get through a decade of warnings, misunderstandings, deliberate obfuscation, fear and panic over the 700 MHz issue?

Now it looks like the FCC wants to take even more spectrum from broadcasters. They want 500 MHz overall, and claim to expect about 120 MHz or so to come from broadcasters. Say what?

It’s all part of the “National Broadband Plan,” and the FCC is hoping that the broadcasters voluntarily “give up” this spectrum. In fact, they’ve proposed that the broadcasters share in the auction proceeds when it’s sold off to broadband network providers.

Yes, these are the same broadcasters that A) had to invest heavily in DTV technology just a few years ago, and B) already had to vacate the 700 MHz band. I can’t imagine that they’re too happy with this proposal. The government hints that if the spectrum is not given up voluntarily… well, you get the idea.

So what about wireless microphone systems? The vast majority of these systems, whether analog or digital, share the spectrum with the broadcasters.

What’s troublesome about all of this? It’s not that there aren’t efforts by wireless manufacturers to develop new products and new technology platforms - in fact we’ve even seen products that work outside the broadcast spectrum brought to market by an intrepid few.

And it’s not that everyone involved hasn’t already made significant sacrifices - from TV broadcast equipment makers and users to wireless system makers and users - because they have.

No, what is really troublesome about all of this is that the government still does not seem to understand that there must be a balance between content creation and content distribution; they’re seemingly only concerned with the latter. 

It begs the question: just how is content going to be created? Clearly, the message that major sports, casino showrooms, Hollywood, theme parks, TV production, Broadway, churches, major tours, and so on rely heavily upon wireless systems has not sunk in with these folks. Even political debates and campaign tours benefit from this very same technology!

Why is this so difficult to understand? No wonder more scotch is required for me to sleep. Preferably at least 15 years old, Islay. Thank you.

Doing The Homework
Let me get back to audio for a minute. This is related to the first part, where I think equipment has been watered down and manufacturers are ever-tempted to cater to the lowest common denominator. As already stated, equipment is only half the issue.

What concerns me even more is that it has become increasingly rare to talk with someone who really understands the fundamentals of audio.

It seems a lot of folks have long-held beliefs about audio issues that are based on anecdotal information, an isolated personal experience, a less-than scrupulous manufacturer’s marketing literature - or parts of all of the above.

It leads me to posit (once again) that not enough people in our industry are learning the fundamental principles behind the work they’re doing.

There was an interesting post on ProSoundWeb recently that linked to an article about how “experts” quite often steer us wrong.

The only solution, really, is to think for ourselves. But before we can do that, we need to educate ourselves about the important issues. And to do that, we must first understand the fundamentals.

How many times have you heard someone say “Sorry, captain, but I can’t change the laws of physics?” (With or without a Scottish accent).

So, what laws of physics are we trying to break when doing our jobs? Inverse Square Law? The speed of sound? Ohm’s Law? The fact that latency is inherent in A/D conversion? Mismatched impedance?

O.K., maybe all of them aren’t laws of physics, and hopefully we know which is which. But still, they’re all based on those laws.

Hopefully, none of this causes you to lose sleep, but just as hopefully, all of this does provide something to think about. And maybe we can talk about it further, preferably over a glass of single-malt.

Karl Winkler is Director of Business Development at Lectrosonics and has worked in professional audio for more than 15 years.

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Posted by admin on 07/20 at 09:21 AM
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Symetrix Jupiter Processor At Heart of Zoned Sound System At Tai O Lookout Restaurant

Tai O Heritage Hotel is located in a traditional fishing village on the west coast of Lantau Island, Hong Kong. In keeping with the Tai O Heritage’s elegant atmosphere, Hong Kong-based A/V designer Sound Classy Holding Limited gave the hotels restaurant a high-fidelity sound system based on the Symetrix Jupiter 8 turnkey signal processor and the Symetrix ARC-2e user interface.

Tai O Heritage Hotel is located in a traditional fishing village on the west coast of Lantau Island, Hong Kong. Originally a police station, it was recently restored and converted to a 9-room boutique hotel with a fine dining restaurant, the Tai O Lookout, located on the top floor of the building.

In keeping with the Tai O Heritage’s elegant atmosphere, Hong Kong-based A/V designer Sound Classy Holding Limited gave the restaurant a high-fidelity sound system based on the Symetrix Jupiter 8 turnkey signal processor and the Symetrix ARC-2e user interface.

Sound Classy works directly with Sanecore Audio Ltd, Symetrix’ distributor in Hong Kong.

Sound Classy designed the system to be intuitive for the restaurant staff to operate. At the same time, the system’s processor had to be capable of properly implementing the FIR filters needed for Fulcrum Acoustics loudspeakers, which Sound Classy had specified for their unique ability to blend visually into the architecture of a space. SCHOT Ltd. A/V integration company installed the system at Tai O Lookout, which covers the restaurant itself, as well as the adjoining outdoor balcony.

A few wireless microphones join a CD player and an iPod docking station at the input side of the Symetrix Jupiter 8, which accepts both mic- and line-level signals.

Australian Monitor XA Series amplifiers power the distributed loudspeaker system across four separate zones, each with independent volume control.

Fulcrum Acoustics Prophile series “P” loudspeakers convey the input source with an honesty and intimacy befitting the Tai O Lookout’s elegant décor.

The Symetrix Jupiter series processors possess a design topology inspired by Smartphone app paradigm. Just as a Smartphone can turn into any number of quite divergent tools with the application of divergent apps, so too the Jupiter can turn into any number of quite divergent signal processors.

Users simply upload an app appropriate for a particular sound-processing situation, and the Jupiter configures itself appropriately.

Sound Classy specified the “Sound Reinforcement 10” app, which possesses all of the necessary routing logic necessary and signal processing (including FIR filters) for Tai O Lookout.

The addition of a simple Symetrix ARC-2e wall panel remote allows restaurant staff to select the input and to adjust volumes within the different zones.

“No other processor is so easy to set up, so great sounding, and so affordable as the Symetrix Jupiter,” said Him Chan, system designer at Sound Classy. “Not only was it simple to find and install the correct app, it was easy to dial in the correct settings on the FIR filters.

“The hotel owners and the restaurant staff are very happy with the sound and its operation.”

http://www.symetrix.co

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Posted by Keith Clark on 07/20 at 09:13 AM
Live SoundNewsPollInstallationLoudspeakerProcessorSound ReinforcementAudioPermalink

Peavey Kicks Off ‘Rehearsal Room Makeover’ Giveaway

Peavey will reward the lucky winner of its Rehearsal Room Makeover online promotion with a free 1,000-watt sound system that includes a professional mixer, loudspeakers, microphones and more, totaling thousands of dollars in gear (U.S. MSRP).

The Peavey Rehearsal Room Makeover prize package includes a Peavey TriFlex II portable sound system with two speaker stands; a Peavey PV 14 USB mixer with direct USB output for recording; a Peavey PV-1 wireless handheld microphone; and three PV MSP2 XLR microphone and accessory packs.

“Having a quality sound system is crucial for any artist or event, and it can make the difference in an artist’s career,” said Hartley Peavey, founder and CEO of Peavey Electronics Corporation. “This professional Peavey sound system packs plenty of power and features to bring down the house.”

The Peavey TriFlex II is a portable sound system providing 1,000 watts of power through a three-speaker setup—one 15” Peavey subwoofer plus two satellite speakers with 10” premium woofers and Peavey RX14 1.4” titanium compression drivers on patented Peavey Quadratic Throat Waveguide horns. The TriFlex II chassis is housed in the subwoofer enclosure and includes all of the system electronics—two-channel preamp, electronic crossover and subsonic filter—as well as the three power amps.

The powerful Peavey TriFlex II sets up in seconds. Simply remove the two satellite speakers and turn the subwoofer onto its rubber feet so the preamp controls, inputs and outputs are conveniently positioned at the top rear of the subwoofer enclosure. For easy transport, the TriFlex subwoofer can be turned onto its built-in 3” casters, with the satellite speakers secured in the sub’s grille cavity.

The Peavey PV 14 USB mixer features ten reference-quality, low-noise microphone inputs and dual, switchable stereo line inputs, plus a built-in DSP effects section, pre-fader monitor send, post-fader effects send, and a USB port to connect to a computer for recording or playback.

Enter to win now by liking Peavey on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/peaveyelectronics.

Please see the complete contest rules for the Peavey Rehearsal Room Makeover promotion at http://www.peavey.com/facebook/RRM_Contest. Some restrictions apply.

Peavey

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Posted by Keith Clark on 07/20 at 08:27 AM
Live SoundRecordingChurch SoundNewsPollAmplifierLoudspeakerMicrophoneSubwooferAudioPermalink

Jiangsu TV Station Adds Soundcraft Vi6 And Vi1 Digital Consoles

To meet its high standards of television production, Jiangsu TV recently invested in a brand new 8-channel and 4-channel HD EFP audio system. To work in conjunction with this purchase, the station also invested in Soundcraft Vi6 and Vi1 digital consoles to mix the in-house shows on the 8-channel and 4-channel systems, respectively.

To meet its high standards of television production, Jiangsu TV recently invested in a brand new 8-channel and 4-channel HD EFP audio system. To work in conjunction with this purchase, the station also invested in Soundcraft Vi6 and Vi1 digital consoles to mix the in-house shows on the 8-channel and 4-channel systems, respectively. 

The 8-channel audio system is configured through the Vi6 through two Soundcraft stageboxes and fiber wiring. The main functionality for this setup is for the popular “If You Are The One” dating show, which boasts the highest ratings of any variety show in the country. 

“With our new Soundcraft consoles, our operations are more convenient and more flexible, helping us to achieve higher-quality programming and, we hope, even higher ratings,” stated Senior Sound Engineer Jingsong Shen, who also appreciated that the interface of Vi6 can be easily separated into different zones with different colors for different functions. 

Advanced Communication Equipment, the largest HARMAN distributor in China, provided the Soundcraft consoles.  Two years ago, Jiangsu TV Station purchased a Studer Vista 8 and a Soundcraft Vi6 from ACE.  The leadership among the station was very pleased over the past two years with the performance of the Vista 8 and Vi6, so there was zero hesitation with the latest purchase, reinforcing Jiangsu TV’s confidence in Soundcraft and its reliability and quality.

Soundcraft

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Posted by Keith Clark on 07/20 at 08:12 AM
AVRecordingNewsPollConsolesDigitalStudioAudioPermalink

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Castlesound Studio Relies On SSL AWS 948 Hybrid

Castlesound Studios, located in Scotland, has installed a Solid State Logic AWS 948 Hybrid Console/Controller. The new console was recently used to complete music tracks featuring renowned Gaelic singer, Julie Fowlis, for the soundtrack for the new Pixar feature ‘Brave.’

Castlesound Studios, located in Scotland, has installed a Solid State Logic AWS 948 Hybrid Console/Controller.

The new console was recently used to complete music tracks featuring renowned Gaelic singer, Julie Fowlis, for the soundtrack for the new Pixar feature ‘Brave.’

Replacing an original AWS 900, the AWS 948 provides Castlesound with an expanded channel count and new features to adequately handle larger productions.

“As our business has progressed, we felt the need to get a console with a greater number of channels to handle larger projects,” says Stuart Hamilton, owner of Castlesound Studios. “The AWS 948 builds on the successful tradition established with our AWS 900 of recording acoustic music for jazz, Scottish traditional, rock and pop artists.

“We have been producing an increasing amount of music for film as well. The reason for the upgrade was that the original AWS had 24 mono channels, and the new one has 24 stereo channels, which makes the integration with Pro Tools incredibly slick and seamless.

“With the 948, I don’t have to make any channel count compromises, and that makes the entire job more clear-cut.”

Castlesound Studios is housed in a 200-year old Victorian-era primary school, offering spacious recording areas, soaked in natural daylight as well as a control room.

Converted into a studio in 1973, with the emphasis on capturing acoustic music performances, the Castle Studio room handles up to 20 musicians, allowing Castlesound to capture a big band or add in a full string section to a project.

The smaller Slate Studio room features a black slate floor to achieve a completely different acoustic signature. Both rooms are tied to the AWS 948 that brings together the recording spaces and the extensive set of outboard gear.

“Because of the stereo nature of the channels, the 948 actually makes it easier to integrate all of my outboard,” states Hamilton. “I can, for example, create a sub group of strings, all coming up on one stereo channel with a stereo compressor patched in, so the console becomes even more of a central hub for the studio to integrate all of the analog gear with all of the DAW pieces. With the AWS 948, we simply have more options to complete a project.”

For the Julie Fowlis tracks produced at Castlesound, the Total Recall system was used extensively to revisit the material for additions and re-mixes, while allowing the studio to be used by other clients.

“For the Fowlis sessions, we started with a simple demo and kept going back and forth, adding new tracks to finish the music.

“Because of the time differences between the directors of the film commenting from California and here, we were constantly resetting the console to work on each song, so the Total Recall and expanded channel count of the AWS really worked in our favor and made this job technically straightforward.

“Working with the AWS 948 has been, in a word, brilliant, and the console has definitely increased our bookings.”

Solid State Logic

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Posted by Keith Clark on 07/19 at 12:41 PM
RecordingNewsPollConsolesDigitalStudioAudioPermalink
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