Tuesday, August 14, 2012

HOW-TO Sound Workshops Utilizing Lab.gruppen E Series Power Amplifiers

Full FOH system powered by two Lab.gruppen E 12:2s and one E 8:2

When HOW-TO Sound Workshops chief instructor Mike Sokol started out in church sound, the average house of worship audio system often consisted of a few microphones and a basic console – all typically locked away behind a sign reading ‘DO NOT TOUCH’.

While house of worship audio systems have become far more complex, the training available for those running them hasn’t kept pace, he says. The HOW-TO Church Sound Workshops have been working to change that.

Lab.gruppen E Series amplifiers are one of the tools they’ve acquired most recently to serve that goal, Sokol says. “We want to showcase technology that wastes less electricity, sounds better and has more headroom. I have a number of Lab’s Contractor Series and they’re fabulous, but for smaller churches the E Series are a better fit in terms of wattage, performance and size.”

Dedicated to providing audio engineers and praise teams across North America with the skills to maximize the worship experience they offer congregations, HOW-TO Sound is a unique hands-on ministry.

“Imagine a cooking class, where somebody is showing you how to whip up a frosting, or whatever, that’s what I do,” Sokol says. “I have a full FOH system, powered by two Lab.gruppen E 12:2s and one E 8:2. I have a Sony pan-tilt-zoom video camera over the console and up to thirty separate mixers connected by a digital snake. I turn on the camera and students see my hands on one of the [large-format] front-of-house consoles on a six-foot wide video screen.

“I mix either a full praise band or pre-recorded multi-track musical examples through FOH at full volume and get them to reproduce that mix on their consoles and in their headphones, then I critique their mixes.”

The E Series offer multiple benefits, Sokol says, including great sound, ample power and rock-solid performance. Additionally, Lab’s IntelliDrive Energy Efficient Amplifier (IDEEA) platform, auto-power down function and temperature controlled fan also save substantial amounts of energy.

“The fact that they shut down after 20 minutes of activity and that their parasitic draw is only 1 watt is fantastic,” he states. “I’ haven’t driven them full-tilt boogie for hours yet, but if I did, I’d bet you they’d still run cool. The more efficient the amp, the less power you pay for running them and the less you pay for air conditioning. Plus, the more amps that you can route off of your service without major rewiring.”

Here’s Marc Bertrand, CEO of TC Group Americas, talking with Hector LaTorre of HOW-TO Sound Worshops about Lab.gruppen amplifiers at the 2012 InfoComm show in Las Vegas:


The E Series’ compact footprint is also a plus for portable churches. “Lighter is better when you’re moving gear in and out every Sunday morning, and it’s bordering on insanity how light these are. When I first got the boxes I was literally thinking, ‘are there amps in here?’”

The most important factor, however, is sound quality. When Sokol first received the amps, they went right into his truck for a recent workshop in Lima, NY.

“I’d done all of the patching ahead of time and didn’t have a chance listen to them until I fired the system up, but when I did, it sounded incredible – like a big hi-fi. Amplifiers may not be the sexiest part of a system, but they’re the weightlifter of your gig and have a lot to do with how your system sounds. It used to be the pastor would shout from the pulpit. Now people expect a very high level of intelligibility and CD-quality music.”

HOW-TO Sound’s approach is very much based on demystifying the details for sound engineers and church volunteers, from helping them establish what equipment they need, to demonstrating outboard gear, such as TC-Helicon’s VoiceLive Rack mic channel and vocal F/X processor that can help make their bands and choirs sound bigger and better.

Sokol greatly appreciates it when manufacturers like Lab also pay attention to detail. “I don’t like Phoenix connectors; either the wires pull out of them, or they get stuck, but the E Series have these cool little tabs so you can tie the wires down. It’s little touches like that that show Lab.gruppen really have their act together’.

Mike Sokol has 40 years of experience as a live sound/recording/design engineer. Over the past decade he’s hosted over six hundred HOW-TO Sound Workshops, produced by Fits & Starts Productions, LLC, for organizations including AES, the Society of Broadcast Engineers and NARAS [Grammys], and in churches, recording schools and universities all across North America.

HOW-TO Church Sound Workshop 2012 National Tour

Richfield Church of the Nazarene
7524 E. Mt. Morris Road, Otisville, MI 48463
Saturday, August 25, 2012—9 AM to 6 PM

System Analysis & Training (SAT)
Crossroad Christian Church
4867 N. DuPont Highway, Dover, DE 19901
Saturday, September 8, 2012—9 AM to 6 PM

System Analysis & Training (SAT)
Breath of Life Seventh-Day Adventist Church
11310 Fort Washington Road, Fort Washington, MD 20774
Sunday, September 9, 2012—9 AM to 6 PM

How-To Sound Workshop - Training for Volunteers
Trinity Fellowship Church of Tyler
10344 Highway 31 East, Tyler, TX 75705
Saturday, October 13, 2012—9 AM to 6 PM

HOW-TO Sound Workshops
TC Group Americas

Posted by Keith Clark on 08/14 at 01:40 PM
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The PA People Call On JBL Loudspeakers to Deliver Sound Reinforcement At Ausgrid Stadium

Application Engineered (AE) loudspeakers with weatherized treatment for external use (WRX), along with JBL Control 29AV-1 and Control 25AV loudspeakers

Ausgrid Stadium in Newcastle, Australia (formerly Energy Australia Stadium), home to the Newcastle Knights, has undergone a facelift with the redevelopment of its Western Grandstand as well as implementing a new audio system designed and implemented by The PA People.

The new system incorporates JBL Professional Application Engineered (AE) loudspeakers with weatherized treatment for external use (WRX), along with JBL Control 29AV-1 and Control 25AV loudspeakers.

All loudspeakers are driven by Crown Audio CTS amplifiers fitted with the latest Crown DSP card—Crown IQ PIPUSP4/CN. Overlay processing and control is via BSS London BLU systems.

Loudspeakers for the stands consist of six clusters of spaced elements mounted close to the leading edge of the roof and a quantity of fill speakers to cover areas shadowed from the main clusters.

Each of these six clusters utilizes a JBL AM5212 and AM4315 loudspeaker to cover the grandstand upper seating and one JBL AM4315 loudspeaker to cover the grandstand lower seating.

Both loudspeaker models feature rotatable horns that allowed them to be installed horizontally. Careful selection of the horn coverage pattern and orientation allows the grandstand upper seating to be serviced by a single enclosure while maintaining SPL variation of within the target +/- 3dB.

Servicing the grandstand upper seating with a single enclosure has the added advantage of virtually eliminating interference effects such as comb filtering which occurs when arraying loudspeakers to cover a common zone.

The JBL AM4315 is operated as a passive 3-way and is driven from a dedicated channel of Crown CTS2000 amplification which also provides over 6 dB of headroom. The multi-band Progressive Transition mid-high frequency waveguide provides increased sensitivity in the critical midrange vocal region between 500 Hz and 2.8 kHz. The JBL AM4315 also has extended bandwidth and a well-controlled coverage pattern.

Open arena viewing areas are covered by using the long-throw JBL PD5212/95-WRX weatherized loudspeaker. JBL Precision Directivity (PD) loudspeakers are well regarded by professional sound operators for their excellent pattern control down to 250 Hz.

A total of 72 JBL Control 25AV loudspeakers and 24 JBL Control 29AV-1 loudspeakers are deployed for coverage to the grandstand infill areas.

JBL Professional
Crown Audio

Posted by Keith Clark on 08/14 at 10:43 AM
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InfoComm Sets Future Show Dates Through 2019

Orlando to Las Vegas in alternating years...

InfoComm International has announced its future rotation plans for its annual InfoComm exposition and conference.

InfoComm 2013 will be held at Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center’s West Building, June 12 to 14.

InfoComm 2014 will be held at Las Vegas Convention Center’s North and Central Halls, June 18 to 20.

The show will rotate between the two cities in the same halls in mid-June thereafter through 2019.

InfoComm has signed lease agreements with both facilities.

“InfoComm exhibitors and attendees have been well accommodated in both Orlando and Las Vegas, and we are pleased to continue our rotation between these great convention cities,” says Jason McGraw, CTS, CAE, senior vice president, expositions, InfoComm International. “Our show has experienced phenomenal growth over the past several years based in large part to the well-run convention centers, large hotel selection and premium entertainment options offered by both of these destinations.”

A schedule of future dates:

2013 - Show 6/12-6/14, Conference 6/8-6/14, Orlando
2014 - Show 6/18-6/20, Conference 6/14-6/20, Las Vegas
2015 - Show 6/17-6/19, Conference 6/13-6/19, Orlando
2016 - Show 6/8-6/10, Conference 6/4-6/10, Las Vegas
2017 - Show 6/14-6/16, Conference 6/10-6/16, Orlando
2018 - Show 6/6-6/8, Conference 6/2-6/8, Las Vegas
2019 - Show 6/12-6/14, Conference 6/8-6/14, Orlando

InfoComm International

Posted by Keith Clark on 08/14 at 09:42 AM
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Monday, August 13, 2012

Rome Selected As Host City For 134th AES Convention

May 4-7, 2013 At The Roma Eventi – Fontana di Trevi Conference Centre

The Audio Engineering Society has announced that the 134th AES Convention will be held in Rome, May 4-7, 2013.

Set in the heart of the “Eternal City” at the new Roma Eventi – Fontana di Trevi Conference Centre, the convention will be chaired by Umberto Zanghieri, vice president of the AES Southern Europe Region.

The announcement was made by AES executive director Bob Moses.

Recently opened in the heart of Rome, a stone’s throw from the Quirinale Palace and, its namesake the Trevi Fountain, the modern Roma Eventi – Fontana di Trevi Conference Centre is situated in a neoclassical palace built in 1930. 

Designated by Benedict XV as home to the Gregorian University, the Conference Centre covers almost 30,000 square feet, and consists of 15 meeting rooms able to accommodate over 1,000 participants.

The 134th AES Convention will bring together audio engineers from around the world to “Listen, Learn, Connect” and, share the latest knowledge in audio research, development and applications.

This marks the first time an AES Convention will be held in Rome.

The 133rd AES Convention will be held at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, Oct. 26 – 29, 2012.


Posted by Keith Clark on 08/13 at 03:14 PM
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Altinex Debuts New TNP528/TNP528C Tabletop Interconnect Boxes

Hybrid solution with Digital (HDMI) and Analog (VGA) interconnects, as well as network and USB ports

Altinex has announced the availability of the new TNP528/TNP528C tabletop interconnect boxes, two new additions to the expanding line of Tilt ‘N Plug offerings.

As a versatile interconnect device, the TNP528 is a hybrid solution with Digital (HDMI) and Analog (VGA) interconnects, as well as network and USB ports designed for mounting into tables, podiums, or other furniture as part of an AV presentation system.

The TNP528 and its customizable sibling—the TNP528C—offer convenient, one touch access, making the tabletop connection point attractive for any boardroom or conference room table.

The new TNP528 is UL/cUL certified for the highest standard of electrical safety. The standard pre-configured sectional plate (identified as the SP3501SC) contains one USB Type A, two VGA video, two HDMI, two 3.5 mm audio, and two RJ-45 CAT-6 network connectors. All connectors have 6 foot cables.

To ensure easy access to power, the TNP528 and TNP528C both incorporate dual 12-amp AC sockets.

The Altinex TNP528C is the customizable tabletop interconnect version and can be outfitted with a wide range of available connector options—all factory-configured and terminated. A variety of options are available.

While the standard TNP528 employs a black matte finish, the TNP528C is also available in brushed aluminum and the black Reflection Series mirror finishes.

The TNP528’s input plate is accessed by pushing down on the top cover. The unit then auto-tilts open with assistance from an internal leaf spring mechanism. Once open, the input plate remains securely in place. The input plate is hidden, or closed, by pressing down on the top cover until the latching mechanism engages.

In its closed position, the top panel lies flush with the table’s top, held in place by the latching mechanism. This secure fit also means less chance for paperwork to catch the TNP528’s edges when being passed across a table.

“Our TNP528 and TNP528C Tilt ‘N Plug interconnect boxes are a terrific boardroom choice for creating a quick and convenient means of patching equipment into a company’s data network or presentation system,” states Grant Cossey, Altinex vice president of sales. “With its ability to be customized in so many ways, the TNP528C offers tremendous flexibility for configuring a presentation space exactly to one’s preferences.

“And since the TNP528C’s bezel can be finished in brushed aluminum or the mirror finishes from our Reflection Series, the unit makes for a truly impressive connection point in the contemporary boardroom or presentation space.”

The Altinex TNP528 and TNP528C Tilt ‘N Plug interconnect boxes are available now with a MSRP price of $828 and $927, respectively. An additional charge applies when a Reflection Series cover/bezel is selected.


Posted by Keith Clark on 08/13 at 10:06 AM
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Michael Bierylo Named Chair Of Berklee Electronic Production & Design Department

Intends to embrace advances in video game design, software development, and all aspects of computer music and video performance

Berklee College Of Music has announced that Michael Bierylo has been named chair of the Electronic Production and Design Department (EPD).

Bierylo, an electronic musician, guitarist, composer, and sound designer, has been a Berklee faculty member since 1995 and member of the band Birdsongs of the Mesozoic since 1991.

In his new role at the college, he intends to embrace advances in video game design, software development, and all aspects of computer music and video performance.

“Music technology is a moving target, and while new trends tend to disregard what precede them, EPD looks to celebrate all avenues and vintages of electronic expression,” says Bierylo. “We look to both analog and digital systems, lo-fi and hi-fi. Our students design software for iPads and hack Speak and Spells. They create thumping dance tracks, interactive audio-visual installations, and inspired sonic landscapes for video games.”

Bierylo’s commercial work includes music and audio production for Hasbro Interactive, the Smithsonian, Nickelodeon, and the Oxygen Network, as well as music and sound design for the Incredible Hulk Roller Coaster at Universal’s Islands Of Adventure.

As a composer, Bierylo’s work has been featured on A&E’s Biography, the Learning Channel, and Martha Stewart Living. Recent projects include work on the films Granito, the Reckoning, and Traces of the Trade, all featured at the Sundance Film Festival.

Bierylo holds a B.M. from Berklee College of Music and has completed additional studies in jazz composition and audio engineering. A Berklee faculty member for over 17 years, he received the Music Technology Division Excellence in Teaching Award in 2003, and was the 2009 recipient of a Newbury Comics Faculty Fellowship that funded two trips to Berlin to study laptop performance, modular synthesizers, and new music software.

As a member of Birdsongs of the Mesozoic, Bierylo has performed throughout the U.S. at venues as diverse as the Knitting Factory, Honolulu Academy of Arts, Duke and Emory universities, and Dartmouth College.

Bierylo’s compositions are featured on the group’s albums Dancing On A’A, Petrophonics, the Iridium Controversy, and Extreme Spirituals, all on Cuneiform Records. As a solo artist, Bierylo has performed in the U.S. and Berlin, Germany, including a concert with Grammy-nominated electronic musician BT in 2012.

Electronic Production and Design (formerly Music Synthesis) teaches the musical and creative use of electronic production and sound design tools and technologies. Working in professional-level 5.1-equipped studios, classrooms, and labs, students learn electronic composition, synthesizer programming, interactive performance systems, digital signal processing, music with integrated visuals, alternate controllers, and more. The curriculum provides a solid foundation for continued learning and effective performance in a profession that is constantly changing and evolving.

Berklee College Of Music

Posted by Keith Clark on 08/13 at 09:16 AM
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Bar Sport Enjoys Successful Inplementation Of Variety Of Community Loudspeakers

Ceiling loudspeakers, full-range systems and more

Oxfordshire-based RealSound and Vision has completed the installation of Community Professional loudspeakers for Cedar Sports Management at Bar Sport in Maidenhead, Berkshire, England.

The new Bar Sport venue is located at Grenfell Island, a popular area in the town for cafés, bars, restaurants and the cinema. “Being a sports venue, the timeline for their scheduled opening was pretty much dictated by Euro 2012,” explains RealSound managing director David Nibbs. “This defined a tight schedule for the sound and dance floor lighting to be designed and installed, but with a decisive client and good service from our suppliers we were able to complete the installation on time.”

RealSound designed the system using Community Professional ceiling loudspeakers to maintain clear sightlines to the bar’s 42 video screens in the low-ceiling venue.

“With high ambient noise levels we chose Community for their high efficiency, intelligibility and well defined coverage” says Nibbs. “Bar Sport has four zones over two levels and required 15 Community D6 ceiling loudspeakers to provide optimum coverage. Their high efficiency meant we only needed to tap each loudspeaker at 15W and could comfortably drive the system with a t&mSystems Project120.4P four-zone power amplifier and still have ample headroom.”

“The more challenging area from a design perspective was the central dance floor,” Nibbs continues. “With the ceiling height and sightline issue, traditional large box loudspeakers were unacceptable. I discussed this with Stuart Cunningham of CUK Audio, the Community distributor. He came up with an unusual but ideal proposal, suggesting four Community MX10 monitor loudspeakers, ceiling mounted at each corner of the dance floor.

“This provided a perfect solution: With their mounting brackets, the MX10s were easy to ceiling mount and presented minimal intrusion into the room. The loudspeakers could be accurately directed to the dance floor, minimizing reflected sound both within the venue, and to the surrounding residential areas. And the MX10 uses the same family of drivers as the D6, giving consistent sound quality throughout the venue.”

The dance floor system is completed by two Community VLF212 subs for high power low frequency energy. A Powersoft M28Q four-channel amplifier drives the dance floor system. System control is via a dbx ZonePro 1261 central processor, with four dbx ZC-8 remote control wall plates providing user flexibility.

The venue is additionally used for both live music events and DJ entertainment. In the DJ booth, RealSound provided a Denon DN-X1100 DJ mixer and two Denon DN-SC3900 media players. For continuous music playback throughout the day, they also installed a Tascam CD200i CD player with integral iPod dock plus a Numark iDec as a second iPod docking and control facility.

A very compact and discreet lighting system was also installed around the dance floor, consisting of six Chauvet ColorBand Pix RGB LED battens and two Chauvet DMF10 LED moonflowers, operated via a Martin Professional 2510 lighting controller.

“The Community loudspeakers allowed us to achieve a powerful foreground system very discreetly, and the client is suitably impressed with the result,” concludes Nibbs. “Bar Sport has chosen a bumper sporting year to open this new venue and I’m pleased we’ve delivered a system which will enable their customers to enjoy the many upcoming events to the fullest.”

Community Professional

Posted by Keith Clark on 08/13 at 08:42 AM
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Friday, August 10, 2012

Genelec Introduces SpeakerAngle App For iOS Devices

New app allows users to correctly configure and match the angling of stereo or surround-sound speaker systems

Genelec has introduced the SpeakerAngle app for iOS devices, which helps users correctly set and match the angling (“toe-in”) of both stereo and 7.1 surround sound loudspeakers.

SpeakerAngle was co-developed by Genelec and AudioApps (a new mobile apps company) and is compatible with iPhone 4 and later, iPad 2 and later and iPhone Touch 4th Generation and later.

In the app, dedicated onscreen loudspeaker icons move as the actual speaker is rotated, while number boxes below each speaker icon continuously display the angle of the speaker.

The number boxes also change color to let users know when their speaker is angled within industry recommendations, and when it is angled to the same degree as the other one in the pair (i.e. left and right in stereo systems; front left / front right, rear left / rear right and side left / side right in 7.1 surround systems).

Detailed information screens provide a tutorial on speaker angling, as well as step-by-step instructions for using SpeakerAngle.

“The new Genelec SpeakerAngle app is a convenient and intuitive way to quickly set and confirm the angle of your speakers in your listening environment,” stated Will Eggleston, Genelec USA marketing director. “This is a perfect tool for home theater owners, recording engineers, system installers and anyone else working to get optimum sound from any loudspeaker system.

“The possibilities are exciting, and we look forward to audio enthusiasts everywhere putting it to good use.”

To use SpeakerAngle, the user simply selects the desired mode of operation (Stereo or Surround), then places the iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch on top of the speaker to be angled.

Set the speaker so that it is facing straight towards the user, then touch the corresponding speaker icon so that it lights up.

Next, touch the icon’s number box to let SpeakerAngle know that the selected speaker is currently at “zero-axis.”

The speaker is then physically rotated inward (that is, towards the listening position). The selected speaker icon will move accordingly, and the number box below it will display the degree to which the speaker is angled.

When the speaker is angled within the industry recommendation of 20 degrees to 45 degrees, the number box changes color, from red to green.

Touch the speaker icon once again (or select any other speaker icon), and the number box changes color to orange, and “freezes” the currently displayed angle.

Next, touch the paired speaker icon (for example, the right speaker in a stereo system if you have just angled the left speaker).

Pick up the iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch and place it on top of that speaker, then touch the number box below the speaker icon. Physically rotate the speaker inwards until the number box changes color to yellow, indicating that this speaker is now angled to the same degree as the first one.

To continue experimenting with different speaker angles, start from scratch at any time by pressing SpeakerAngle’s RESET button.

SpeakerAngle is available now at the iTunes App Store (here), at a cost of 99 cents.


Posted by Keith Clark on 08/10 at 12:53 PM
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Thursday, August 09, 2012

To Match Or Not To Match? Paying Attention To Impedance

Principles involved in feed a number of inputs from a single signal source

A common task in “audioland” is the need to feed a number of inputs from a single signal source. This may include driving a rack of amplifiers, providing feeds to the press, or distributing a signal around a building or campus.

The methods used to accomplish this range from the profoundly simple to quite complex, and the appropriate method can only be determined after sizing up the situation.

Impedance matching means that an output is terminated with a “mirror” input impedance. This configuration yields maximum power transfer, and more importantly, reduces reflections from a load back to the source.

In multimedia systems, the matched interface is used for very high frequency signals. These include video, antenna and digital interfaces.

One drawback of the matched interface is that active or passive splitters must be used if the source must drive multiple inputs. Otherwise the impedance match is violated and problems result.

One of the most common mistakes in audio is to attempt to apply this interfacing method to the basic analog interfaces that dominate today’s sound reinforcement systems.

In a constant voltage interface, an electronic signal source with a low source impedance (i.e. an output) is used to develop a signal voltage across a high load impedance. The minimum ratio between the source Z and load Z is one order of magnitude (1:10).

This scheme is used universally in the audio industry for passing signals from component to component. One utility of this interface is that it provides the possibility of driving multiple parallel loads from a single source without additional hardware.

The stipulations are as follows:
—The parallel combination of all loads cannot violate the 1:10 minimum impedance ratio.
—The path length (interconnecting cable) must be short when compared to the wavelength of the highest frequency component of the signal.

Figure 1: The relative lengths of an audio waveform, a VHF waveform, and an audio cable. (click to enlarge)

Because the speed of propagation of electricity approaches the speed of light, and audio cables are typically less than a few hundred feet, the second condition is easily met in the bulk of audio applications.

Radio frequency, digital, and video signal wavelengths are much shorter, and the impedance-matched interface must be used in lieu of the constant voltage interface to prevent signal degradation. (Figure 1)

Figure 2 below shows an equivalent circuit of a single source driving multiple loads. Note that even though the load impedances are not the same, this is a parallel circuit so all of the inputs have the same voltage impressed across them.

Signal distribution requires a simple “Y” cable connected from the source to the multiple loads. This is a perfectly acceptable method of distributing the signal from a source to multiple loads.

There is no need for impedance matching if the components involved are typical analog audio products or even digital products if they are being fed an analog signal.

A drawback to Y-cable signal distribution is the lack of isolation between the individual loads and the source. For instance, a short circuit across any of the inputs will kill the signal to all of the inputs.

For this reason (and others), this method is not recommended for driving loads that lie outside of the equipment rack that houses the source. In these cases, load isolation can be achieved by using a distribution amplifier (DA).

Figure 2: An equivalent circuit of a single source driving multiple loads. (click to enlarge)

The DA provides a single high impedance input for the signal from the source, but provides buffered low impedance outputs that can be used to drive the remotely located loads. The load buffering is achieved by using an active stage for each of the DA’s outputs.

A short across any one output is buffered from the other outputs by the active stage (Figure 3). Note that this is not impedance matching since the output-to-input impedance ratio is still at least 1:10.

Figure 3: Isolation between source and loads. (click to enlarge)

It must be strongly emphasized that while the Y-cable makes an excellent signal splitter it should NEVER be used as a mixer. Doing so places the source device under a load, resulting in an increase in output current that can lead to distortion under high signal conditions.

When a mixer is needed - get a mixer.

While the DA solves the isolation issue, we’re not out of the woods yet. Another problem that plagues distribution systems results from multiple ground connections between the various components.

These “shared” ground paths include the AC safety ground, the cable shields, and possibly connections to the building ground through equipment racks, etc.

Noise currents will circulate through these “ground loops” (Mother Nature does this without our permission) and possibly infect the audio signal if this parasitic ground current finds its way onto a circuit board.

Isolation devices can allow the audio signal to be coupled from an output to an input with no physical wire joining the two circuits, eliminating at least one of the ground loops.

Transformer isolation allows the signal to be coupled via induction (Figure 4).

Optical isolation uses pulsed light to couple the signal, but usually requires that the signal be converted to a digital format.

The transformer has an advantage in that the signal can remain in analog form.

Figure 4: An isolation transformer. (click to enlarge)

The irony is that the same mechanism that allows a signal to be coupled between two circuits inductively also allows power supply fields to be coupled into ground loops (Figure 5).

We’re faced with the common engineering task of maximizing the effect when it helps us and minimizing it when it is working against us.

Putting all of these mechanisms to work, an active distribution amplifier with transformer balanced inputs and outputs may be the optimum way of distributing an audio signal to multiple components.

Figure 5: Ground loops and power supply radiation form an unwanted transformer in a sound system. (click to enlarge)

The active stages buffer the inputs from short circuits, and the transformers allow ground loops to be interrupted while allowing the signal to pass, while at the same time providing excellent common-mode rejection.

Many DAs also include level controls for each output, allowing the signal level to be optimized for mic or line level devices.

When distributing an audio signal to multiple inputs, don’t overlook the simplicity of simply using a properly wired Y-cable to accomplish the task. If the signal needs to extend beyond the rack, a good DA will easily justify the investment. 

Pat and Brenda Brown own and operate SynAudCon, conducting training seminars around the world.

Posted by Keith Clark on 08/09 at 01:11 PM
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Hosa Technology 2nd Generation Elite Series Mic Cables Now Shipping

Available with Neutrik XX-Series connectors plus a new nylon webbing over the cable’s PVC jacket, the Elite Series delivers performance attributes that are every bit on par—if not superior to—more costly boutique cables.

Hosa Technology is pleased to announce that a significant upgrade of the company’s popular Elite Series microphone cables is now shipping.

Available with Neutrik XX-Series connectors plus a new nylon webbing over the cable’s PVC jacket, the Elite Series delivers performance attributes that are every bit on par—if not superior to—more costly boutique cables.

Available in both Lo-Z (XLR3F to XLR3M) and Hi-Z (XLR3F to ¼ inch TS) configurations, the cable used in the Hosa Elite Series is a vitally important contributor to overall audio performance.

These cables use 20 AWG Oxygen-Free Copper (OFC) conductors that reduce resistance in order to facilitate maximum signal transfer.

Polyethylene dielectrics reduce capacitance for crystal-clear high-frequency transmission while conductive PVC reduces handling noise.

Further, a 95% OFC braided shield is employed for noise-free signal transmission. Take all this and complete it with nylon webbing over the cable’s PVC jacket, which is cut- and abrasion-resistant for a lifetime of trouble-free use, and the end result is a cable audio professionals can place their trust in.

A clean, reliable connection to one’s mic preamplifier or console input is of paramount concern for any audio engineer or recording enthusiast, and the Hosa Elite Series microphone cable cuts no corners in this regard.

The Neutrik XX-Series connectors employ gold-plated contacts for corrosion resistance and superior signal transfer and utilize a zinc die-cast housing for rock-solid reliability.

With a polyurethane gland to prevent cable kinking for longer cable life and chuck-type strain relief for maximum cable retention combined with a sleek, ergonomic design for easy handling, these connectors deliver the ideal blend of performance and long-term reliability.

“These second generation Elite Series cables offer exceptional audio performance and have been field tested for maximum reliability,” said Jonathan Pusey, Hosa Technology’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “With a rich feature set and a highly competitive price, we are extremely optimistic that this product line will find favor with a wide range of customers.

“The Elite Series has always been an exceptional product and now, with the addition of Neutrik connectors and abrasion-resistant nylon webbing for a lifetime of dynamic, noise-free sound quality, I’m confident these mic cables offer the best possible combination of performance and value.”

The Hosa Elite Series microphone cables are available in lengths from 3 to 100 feet and carry MSRP pricing that ranges from $42.75 – $203.55.

The Elite Series is in stock and available now.

Hosa Technology

Posted by Keith Clark on 08/09 at 09:24 AM
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Audio-Technica U.S. Appoints Javier Tiburcio As Support Specialist For Mexico, Central America

Will be responsible for providing product training and sales support to A-T distributors and customers

Audio-Technica U.S. has appointed Javier Tiburcio as training & sales support specialist for the territories of Mexico and Central America.

He will be responsible for providing product training and sales support to A-T distributors and customers in Mexico, Central America and South America, as he works as part of the team to grow the brand and increase sales within these regions. The announcement was made by Philip Cajka, Audio-Technica U.S. president and CEO.

Tiburcio has broad experience in microphone sales and training. A native of Acapulco, he has lived and worked his entire career in Mexico, and will continue to be based there. 

His previous positions at Hermes Music and Grupo Imis have included sales and marketing responsibilities for the A-T brand in Mexico.

An experienced musician and audio engineer, Tiburcio studied music at the School of SUTUM, and digital audio and audio for broadcasting at CECAT, gaining expertise in microphone placement for live sound and recording.

He has visited music industry dealers throughout Mexico and conducted clinics and training seminars at a variety of music expos with musicians like Moderatto Drummer Elohim Corona.

“Javier is a tremendous asset for us to expand our sales and training strategies in Mexico, Central America and South America,” said Cajka. “He comes to Audio-Technica with a wealth of experience, and we look forward to all of the great things we can accomplish together.”


Posted by Keith Clark on 08/09 at 06:17 AM
AVLive SoundRecordingChurch SoundNewsTrainingAVBusinessEducationManufacturerMicrophoneAudioPermalink

Furman Now Shipping Contractor Series CN-15MP MiniPort

Extends SmartSequencing technology to components outside the equipment rack

Furman is now shipping its Contractor Series CN-15MP (15A capacity) MiniPort.

Designed for components outside the equipment rack, it combines Furman’s SmartSequencing technology with power protection and optional compatibility with Panamax/Furman’s BlueBOLT hosted remote power and energy management platform.

The CN-15MP features one pair of AC outlets with configurable delay on/off options, while Extreme Voltage Shutdown circuitry protects connected equipment against under/overvoltage conditions.

When connected to a Furman SmartSequencer (CN-1800S or CN-2400S), the CN-15MP’s SmartSequencing technology allows bidirectional, safe sequenced power on/off of remotely located equipment with the simple press of a button or turn of a key.

Remote control/monitoring is available via Panamax/Furman’s BlueBOLT cloud-based platform or third-party control systems when utilizing a BB-RS232 adaptor with the SmartSequencer.

The CN-15MP can also be integrated with legacy (non-Contractor Series) and non-Furman power conditioners/sequencers via remote terminal blocks.

“Packed with features for the ultimate in flexibility, the CN-15MP provides a convenient way to extend the benefits of our SmartSequencing technology to remotely located equipment,” says Dave Keller, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Panamax/Furman. “When combined with our SmartSequencers, installers can also take advantage of our cloud-based BlueBOLT platform for remote outlet control, energy monitoring, email alerts during power events, and more.”

The CN-15MP is available now to Certified Furman Contractor Series resellers. More information is available at www.furmancontractor.com.


Posted by Keith Clark on 08/09 at 06:09 AM
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CPL Takes Delivery Of Its First Yamaha CL5 Digital Console

Also have sights set Yamaha’s new CL1 and CL3 variations

West Midlands, UK-based AV specialist Central Presentations Ltd. (CPL) is one of the first UK rental companies to take delivery of the Yamaha CL5 digital mixing console, introduced earlier this year.

CPL already has a large stock of Yamaha LS9 and other desks. One reason the CL5 was chosen is that it runs on the same operating principals as these, so all their engineers who are used to working with Yamaha digital consoles will be able to use the CL5 immediately, and quickly familiarize themselves with its many features.

The CL5 system was supplied to CPL by the Birmingham office of LMC Audio Systems.

“The compact size and weight for 72 channels is a ‘no brainer’,” explains CPL managing director Matthew Boyse, who adds that it is “perfect“ for so many of the corporate events and presentations that CPL services. “It is a truly multi-purpose console that will fit neatly into any space and transport very easily.”

The CL Series is the first Yamaha console family to run natively using the Dante digital audio network protocol, with connections between Dante elements via Cat5e cable further reducing overall weight and truck space requirements.

Other Dante devices can be connected to the network keeping the domain completely digital, and in this context, CPL’s CL5 was supplied with two Yamaha RIO-3224-D stage racks giving 64 inputs and 32 outputs which connect via Cat5e in a simple daisy-chain or redundant star-network. Up to eight RIO stage-boxes can operate on the same network, including the smaller RIO1608-D, providing excellent expansion and audio distribution potential.

James Lawford, sales manager at LMC Audio Systems, states, “The availability of the RIO-1608-D stage box, and the move towards Dante by other third party manufacturers, will allow CPL to harness the power of a fully integrated digital audio network, working across standard Cat5e cabling and Ethernet switches, future-proofed with the move towards AVB, and with the reliability, ease of use and wide industry acceptance of a Yamaha console.”

The CL Series also includes a Premium Rack with a Rupert Neve Designs five band Portico 5033 equalizer and a Portico 5043 compressor/limiter. Up to eight Premium Rack devices can be assigned, including VCM technology emulations of other classic analog devices.

Via Dante, the console is also optimized for very straightforward live multitrack recording, utilizing Steinberg Nuendo Live that is supplied with the system and runs on Mac or PC, or any other digital audio workstation.

Nigel Griffiths of CPL notes, “You can set the system up to minimize the need to run analog multicores and the multitrack record and playback facility, without needing additional sound cards or having to stray back into an analog domain, is brilliant. I can’t wait to get my hands on it.”

CPL is already anticipating hot demand for the console and it becoming a valuable cross rental item. CPL has arranged with LMC to provide training days for both its full-time and regular free-lance engineers and technicians, enabling them to maximize their experience with the console.

In addition to further CL5 purchases, Boyse also has his sights set on Yamaha’s new CL1 and CL3 variations, which will become available late summer, the idea being that the company will stock the full CL range.

Central Presentations Ltd. (CPL)

Posted by Keith Clark on 08/09 at 05:51 AM
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New German Soccer Stadium Relies On QSC Audio Q-Sys Integrated System Platform

Controls all audio in the stadium from the main operations center

The soccer team Offenbach Kickers, based in western Germany near Frankfurt, have a new home — a futuristic, 25-million Euro stadium sponsored by the local Sparda Bank in their native German state of Hesse.

The stadium houses a QSC Audio Q-Sys integrated system that controls, routes and processes all of the audio feeds and systems in the new facility.

With four weatherproof, covered spectator stands in the style of recently constructed English stadiums, capacity for more than 20,000 spectators, 10 VIP boxes, a special reception area for business club members and various fashionable retail outlets, the new Sparda Bank Stadium was completed in time for the club’s 111th anniversary.

The Q-Sys platform controls all audio in the stadium from the main operations center, including the associated PA/VA system.

In addition, QSC PowerLight amps, in service for many years at the Kickers’ old stadium, have been re-commissioned for use in the new facility, following extensive performance testing at the headquarters of the QSC distributor in Germany, Shure Distribution.

In addition, a QSC CX302 power amp was additionally purchased to power fill-in loudspeakers at the outlying reaches of the stadium.

Cable runs in a large stadium can be up to several hundred meters, particularly in this case where each spectator stand has its own control center.

The center in the main stand also acts as the audio control centre for the whole ground, and houses the Q-Sys Core 1000 processor. This is linked to the other control rooms via a fiber-optic cable network which allows full integration with the Q-Sys I/O Frames in the individual stand control centers.

These in turn act as the audio I/O boxes for the inputs and outputs in each stand, converting the analog signals to digital and back as required.

Most of the design work on the Q-Sys platform at the Sparda Bank stadium was carried out according to the club’s requirements using the Q-Sys Designer software before installation took place on site.

The completed design was loaded into the Core 1000 unit when the units were installed at the stadium, and final adjustments were then made to accommodate the practical realities of the installation.

All the audio systems in the ground can now be adjusted and controlled from a wireless-connected laptop if required.

Looking back, Alexander Hülshorst, head of the stadium reconstruction project at the design and construction company Beckhoff Technik GmbH, comments, “I’ve never worked with an audio networking platform that was so easy to integrate as Q-Sys.”


QSC Audio

Posted by Keith Clark on 08/09 at 05:14 AM
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Wednesday, August 08, 2012

The Essentials Of Lavalier & Headworn Microphones

Two widely used microphone types, and tips on how to use them with maximum effectiveness

Lavalier Microphones
The desired sound source for a lavalier microphone is a speaking (or occasionally singing) voice.

Undesired sources include other speaking voices, clothing or movement noise, ambient sound, and loudspeakers.

Balanced low-impedance output is preferred as usual. Adequate sensitivity can be achieved by both dynamic and condenser types, due to the relatively close placement of the microphone.

However, a condenser is generally preferred. The physical design is optimized for body-worn use. This may be done by means of a clip, a pin, or a neck cord. Small size is very desirable.

For a condenser, the necessary electronics are often housed in a separate small pack, also capable of being worn or placed in a pocket. Some condensers incorporate the electronics directly into the microphone connector.

Provision must also be made for attaching or routing the cable to allow mobility for the user.

Placement of lavalier microphones should be as close to the mouth as is practical, usually just below the neckline on a lapel, a tie, or a lanyard, or at the neckline in the case of robes or other vestments.

Omnidirectional types may be oriented in any convenient way, but a unidirectional type must be aimed in the direction of the mouth.

Avoid placing the microphone underneath layers of clothing or in a location where clothing or other objects may touch or rub against it. This is especially critical with unidirectional types.

Locate and attach the cable to minimize pull on the microphone and to allow walking without stepping or tripping on it. A wireless lavalier system eliminates this problem and provides complete freedom of movement.

Again, use only high-quality cables and connectors, and provide phantom power if required.

A condenser lavalier microphone will give excellent performance in a very small package, though a dynamic may be used if phantom power is not available or if the size is not critical.

Lavalier microphones have a specially shaped frequency response to compensate for off-axis placement (loss of high frequencies), and sometimes for chest “resonance” (boost of middle frequencies).

The most common polar pattern is omnidirectional, though unidirectional types may be used to control excessive ambient noise or severe feedback problems.

However, unidirectional types have inherently greater sensitivity to breath and handling noise. In particular, the consonants “d”, “t”, and “k” create strong downward breath blasts that can result in severe “popping” of unidirectional lavalier microphones.

Placing the microphone slightly off to the side (but still aimed up at the mouth) can greatly reduce this effect.

Good techniques for lavalier microphone usage include:
• Do observe proper placement and orientation.
• Do use pop filter if needed, especially with unidirectional.
• Don’t breathe on or touch microphone or cable.
• Don’t turn head away from microphone.
• Do mute lavalier when using lectern or altar microphone.
• Do speak in a clear and distinct voice.

(Go to next page for discussion of headworn microphones.)

Headworn Microphones
Again, the desired sound source for a headworn microphone is a speaking or singing voice.

Undesired sources include other voices, instruments, ambient sound and sound system loudspeakers.

Most headworn microphones are of the condenser type because of their small size and superior sound quality. A dynamic type can be used for speech-only applications or if larger size is not an issue.

For either type, the frequency response is shaped for closeup vocal with some presence rise.

An omnidirectional polar pattern is suitable for most applications, especially if the microphone does not reach all the way in front of the mouth.

A unidirectional pickup is preferred in very high ambient noise applications or to control feedback from high volume monitor loudspeakers.

For proper operation, unidirectional types should be positioned in front of or directly at the side of the mouth and aimed at the mouth. A windscreen is a necessity for a unidirectional headworn microphone.

Headworn designs put the mic element very close to the voice.

Balanced low-impedance output is preferred for hardwired setups but headworn types are often used in wireless applications. In that case, the impedance and wiring are made suitable for the wireless system.

For condenser types, the bodypack transmitter provides the necessary bias voltage for the microphone element.

There are many different headworn mounting designs. Most have a headband or wireframe that goes behind the head, while a few are small enough that they merely clip over the ear.

In all cases, the microphone element is at the end of a miniature “boom” or flexible arm that allows positioning close to the mouth. Again, an omnidirectional element can be positioned slightly behind or at the side of the mouth while the unidirectional type should be at the side or in front and aimed toward the mouth.

The main advantages of the headworn microphone over the lavalier are greatly improved gain before feedback and a more consistent sound level.

The increase in gain before feedback can be as much as 15-20 dB. This is completely due to the much shorter microphone-to-mouth distance compared to lavalier placement. The headworn can nearly rival a handheld type in this regard.

In addition, the sound level is more consistent than with the lavalier because the headworn microphone is always at the same distance to the mouth no matter which way the user may turn his head.

Good techniques for headworn microphone usage include:
• Do observe proper placement and orientation.
• Do adjust for secure and comfortable fit.
• Don’t allow microphone element to touch face.
• Do use pop filter as needed, especially for unidirectional.
• Do adjust vocal “dynamics” to compensate for fixed mouth-to-microphone distance.

(Copyright Shure Incorporated, used by permission.)

Posted by Keith Clark on 08/08 at 12:49 PM
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