AV

Thursday, June 06, 2013

EAW Introduces QX300 Full-Range Loudspeaker Series

Extends QX Series technology platform to smaller enclosure, two-way design

Eastern Acoustic Works (EAW) has announced that the new QX300 range of full-range loudspeaker systems is available for order.

“EAW customers have quickly fallen in love with the unique combination of high output, tremendous pattern control and focused fidelity found in the surprisingly compact QX500 range,” says EAW President Jeff Rocha said. “But they have challenged us to design the same core feature set into an even smaller package. The EAW team has once again delivered and is now thrilled to be launching the QX300 range, a two-way marvel at a price point that’s extremely attractive.”

The QX300 range surrounds a high-output, low-resonance, 4-in coil/1.4-in exit high frequency compression driver with four 10-in low frequency cone transducers in vertical and horizontal pairs.

EAW engineers have drawn upon their extensive horn design experience to offer six distinct coverage patterns within the range. And unlike the QX500 range, the QX300 range uses different spacing for the vertical and horizontal pairs of LF devices to better match the beamwidth of the system through the crossover transition.

“EAW engineers carefully crafted the low frequency driver spacing in the QX300 range to transition smoothly to the high frequency section in both the horizontal and vertical planes,” Rocha continues. “The smaller format of the QX300 horns and the nature of a 2-way system push the optimal bandwidth of the low frequency section to a higher frequency than that found in the QX500 range. At these frequencies, the horns are exhibiting the targeted pattern control of the finished system which is most commonly wider in one plane than the other.

“In order to ensure a beamwidth-matched crossover on both axes, the engineering team developed a symmetrical enclosure that delivers wider LF spacing in one plane than the other. It’s like taking the founding principles of the MK Series from 15 years ago and bringing them to a completely new level.”

Like the QX500 range, all models share an identical enclosure. EAW designed the QX300 range for permanent installation only, and the products can be ordered in standard black or white or with EAW’s WP weather-protected coating.

The QX300 range includes:

QX399: 90° (h) x 90° (v)
QX396: 90° (h) x 60° (v)
QX394: 90° (h) x 45° (v)
QX366: 60° (h) x 60° (v)
QX364: 60° (h) x 45° (v)
QX326: 120° (h) x 60° (v)

EAW

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Posted by Keith Clark on 06/06 at 09:14 AM
AVLive SoundChurch SoundNewsProductLoudspeakerSound ReinforcementPermalink

New Meyer Sound Compass 3.0 Unifies System Control & Monitoring

Will be shown atat InfoComm 2013, and available for free download from the company website

Meyer Sound has released version 3.0 of its Compass software program, providing a centralized platform for controlling the new Compass RMS remote monitoring system, in addition to the Galileo and Galileo Callisto loudspeaker management systems and CAL column array loudspeakers.

Compass 3.0 will be shown at the Meyer Sound booth (1143) at InfoComm 2013 in Orlando, and is available for free download from the company website (here).

The streamlined user interface in Compass 3.0 makes achieving top-notch system performance much easier, even when working with complex loudspeaker configurations and prohibitive time constraints.

With the remote monitoring control interface moved to Compass 3.0, Compass RMS allows users to perform mute, solo, and wink ID functions and monitor more than a dozen loudspeaker performance parameters much more efficiently.

Compass RMS supports both Windows and Mac operating systems and is backwards compatible with all Meyer Sound loudspeakers equipped with an RMS module.

Use of Compass RMS with the Compass 3.0 software requires RMServer, the new purpose-built network hardware that hosts the loudspeaker status reporting functions.

Meyer Sound

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Posted by Keith Clark on 06/06 at 09:04 AM
AVLive SoundChurch SoundNewsProductLoudspeakerNetworkingProcessorSoftwarePermalink

Lectrosonics Announces New ASPEN Certified Dealer Program

Certification of technical expertise intended to bolster installation quality

Lectrosonics recently launched the ASPEN Certified Dealer Program, created with the goal of ensuring higher standards of technical expertise when deploying the company’s ASPEN Series products.

The program is a three-fold initiative designed to help integrators gain the technical expertise necessary to ensure top-quality AV system deployments.

ASPEN dealer certification constitutes the following requirements:

1) Someone on staff at the AV integration firm must have successfully completed Lectrosonics’ ASPEN Factory Training Program.

2) The AV integration firm must have at least one successful, fully completed ASPEN installation.

3) At least one member of the AV integration firm must be either CTS-I (Certified Technology Specialist-Installation) or CTS-D (Certified Technology Specialist-Design) certified.

Gordon Moore, vice president of sales at Lectrosonics, states, “Today’s AV installations are more challenging and technologically sophisticated than ever. Being that our ASPEN Series processors manage a variety of functions such as signal routing, automixing, and other audio tasks for a multitude of sources—often in a fully automated, unattended environment—this program ensures someone on the design and installation team is fully trained and certified on our equipment.

“The program is a great means of ensuring the highest levels of expertise for today’s AV integrators while also providing end users the peace of mind that comes from knowing their AV installation crew is up to speed with the equipment their facility will use on a regular basis. Ultimately, this program is a win-win for all involved.”

Learn more about the ASPEN Certified Dealer Program here.

Lectrosonics

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Posted by Keith Clark on 06/06 at 08:53 AM
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Wednesday, June 05, 2013

UC Irvine’s Celebrated Sound Design Program Adds DiGiCo SD9 To Curriculum

New console as well as DRack and UB MADI make debut on series of student programs

The University of California, Irvine is home to a celebrated Sound Design program created in 2006. Under the umbrella of the Drama department at the university’s Claire Trevor School of the Arts, the program is spearheaded by Mike Hooker along with Vincent Olivieri, who is the head of the undergraduate sound design program.

Late in 2012, the department added a DiGiCo SD9, DRack and UB MADI into its inventory, which made its debut on a series of student-designed programs this spring.

One of those shows was the Festival of New Musicals, a unique partnership between the university and the Academy for New Musical Theater, a three-decade-old creative incubator.

The alliance paired the talents of professional writers and composers affiliated with the ANMT with UCI students to create the fourth annual festival, staged at UCI’s xMPL - Experimental Media Performance Lab (featuring a flexible seating capacity of 25-150) this spring. One of the festival pieces, ‘Digital Natives’, featured sound design by second year MFA student, Matt Glenn.

“One of the interesting things about the way we run our sound design program here is that, with little exception, all of the equipment we own is independent of venue,” explains Olivieri. “Most of the equipment is kept in storage, in workshop rooms, and when a show is being developed, the sound designers are able to choose the tools that they need for their particular project, and can spec what they need and just plug in and play.”

The SD9 was the first DiGiCo purchased by the school and was chosen by Mike Hooker, UCI’s Head of Sound Design, in conjunction with RSPE Audio Solutions. “We knew that we were looking for a digital console of a certain size,” Olivieri recalls, “something that was beefy and designed for live playback and mid-range in size. The SD9 fitted that bill perfectly as it’s great for a mid-size show like this.”

DiGiCo

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Posted by Keith Clark on 06/05 at 03:38 PM
AVLive SoundNewsAVConsolesDigitalMixerSound ReinforcementPermalink

Altinex Muse HDMI+Power+IR Transmitter And Receiver Now Available

New disruptive technology ideal for AV installations, digital signage, and more

Altinex is pleased to announce the availability of its Muse HDMI+Power+IR Transmitter and Receiver. This new technology dramatically changes the way integrators approach AV systems.

With the ability to distribute power, HDMI, RS-232 and IR control signals up to 300 feet (90 m) over a single, low voltage, shielded or unshielded CAT-6 cable, Muse is an innovative system that enables AV Integrators to eliminate the worry of electrical outlet placement—providing AV installers full control over their projects.

Consisting of the MU400-111 transmitter and the MU500-112 receiver, Muse products enable users to transmit video, display power, RS-232, and IR signals up to 300 feet (90 m) over a single CAT-6 cable.

The Muse is powerful enough to power a 150 watt LCD display or LED lights. The actual power available to the load depends on the gauge and length of the cable.

The Muse video distribution portion of the system is compliant with HDMI and HDCP standards and is pending safety (UL60950-1) approvals. The advanced features of the MU400-111 transmitter provide a safe and reliable way of sending both video signal and power over a single shielded / unshielded CAT-6 cable.

With the Altinex Muse system, installations become easier than ever before, making Muse a ‘no brainer’ for one’s next AV system design.

The output of the MU400-111 transmitter is monitored for power consumption and when power is exceeded, the output is turned off to protect the system. The Muse is designed to withstand direct shorts both on the low voltage side and high voltage side.

The current consumption is monitored continually and output is disabled if an overload or short is detected. The Muse can power a 46-inch to 52-inch display with a maximum of 150 watts power consumption.

The Altinex Muse product line incorporates numerous advanced features to safely transmit power to a display. These features include: current monitor, auto shutdown, and auto receiver detector. The MU400-111 transmitter has a durable metal enclosure with a built-in temperature controlled cooling fan to provide years of trouble-free operation. The MU500-112 receiver operates without any fans so as to minimize noise on the display side of the system.

The Altinex transmitter and receiver combination have a built in IR channel that facilitates sending IR signals from the receiver (display side of the system) back to the transmitter (source side) to control the AV equipment.

This handy feature enables one, for example, to change the TV channel while viewing the display, regardless of where the TV receiver unit is physically located. This feature simplifies setup and provides convenience when AV equipment is hidden out of sight. Additionally, an RS-232 connection is provided for bidirectional communication on both sides of the transmitter / receiver system.

The MU500-112 receiver easily fits behind a monitor due to its small size and light weight—enabling integrators to easily hide the receiver from view, thus ensuring clean looking installations.

The receiver’s metal construction and durable design provides reliable operation over a wide temperature range. The MU500-112 is powered by the Muse transmitter and provides both power and video to a display for a trouble-free installation.

Grant Cossey, Altinex Vice President of Sales, commented on the Muse HDMI+Power+RS-232+IR Transmitter and Receiver,

“Muse is, without question, a brilliant new technology that will totally change the AV installation market as we know it today,” concludes Grant Cossey, Altinex Vice President of Sales. “With its ability to transmit power via the CAT-6 line, integrators retain far greater control over their projects—bypassing the complex running of electrical lines through walls—not to mention the building permits and inspections associated with this aspect of a project.

“This solution enables integrators to own the installation from start to finish. In addition to its significance as a solution for AV and digital signage applications, the Muse makes a terrific option for rental and staging operators—enabling them to access displays where, previously, running electrical was not feasible.

“I’m confident that Muse will have tremendous appeal to anyone involved in the commercial AV markets.”

The Altinex Muse HDMI+Power+RS-232+IR Transmitter and Receiver are fully compliant with HDMI and HDCP standards, is pending safety approval. Muse is slated to become available early Q3, 2013. MSRP pricing is as follows:

• MU400-111 transmitter: $595.00
• MU500-112 receiver: $395.00

Altinex

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Posted by Julie Clark on 06/05 at 02:14 PM
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Harman Pro Appoints Vincent “Vinnie” Perreux As Tour Sound Market Manager For Asia

Supporting tour sound customers in region and work with team to expand awareness and sales

Harman Professional has appointed Vincent “Vinnie” Perreux as market manager, tour sound for its Asia Regional Sales Office (RSO).

In this role Perreux will provide support for existing tour sound customers in Asia and work with the RSO team in expanding product awareness and increasing system sales throughout Asia. He will report to Stuart Dingwall, applications manager, Asia, Harman Professional.

Perreux brings 20 years of global touring experience to the position, with extensive touring experience in Asia and worldwide as a system engineer, front-of-house and monitor engineer support technician, crew chief and product trainer. Most recently he served as a tour sound specialist with rock band Muse and on U2’s 360° global tour.

Other past affiliations and credits for Perreux have included work with major rental sound companies Clair, Showco, SSE Audio Group and Eighth Day Sound, working on tour with bands including Smashing Pumpkins, Leonard Cohen, Gloria Estefan, Justin Timberlake, Beyoncé, Green Day, Michael Jackson and Elton John.

“From working with FOH engineers and major artists in front of tens of thousands of people to touring some of the biggest shows across six continents, Vinnie has done it all,” says Dingwall. “Individuals with this kind of wide-ranging experience are exceptionally rare and we are thrilled to have Vinnie on our team as we continue to expand our presence in the growing Asian market.”

Harman Professional

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Posted by Keith Clark on 06/05 at 01:53 PM
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Blazing New Trails: Starin Develops A New Way To Serve The AV Marketplace

Moving beyond the classic "distributor" model

“We have a little bit of a different business model than everyone else,” says Jim Starin, talking about the company he founded in 1988 that has grown from a fledgling Midwest-based regional sales rep firm to playing a significant role in the success of a “who’s who” of manufacturers, as well as the thousands of professional designers, installers and dealers who utilize their products across North America.

The original rep firm was called “Starin Marketing,” a moniker now simply adapted to “Starin.” But the subtraction of that second word actually reflects the steady addition of a huge array of services – marketing being just one of many – that the company provides. A short-hand term to describe the Starin model is “distributor,” but really, it’s only a starting point.

Based where it started 25 years ago in Chesterton, IN, about 40 miles east of Chicago, the company defines itself as a “channel manager,” a hybrid of a product distributor, customer service and fulfillment center, and sales and marketing team representing more than 55 brands at current count. And, by the way, the rep firm aspect remains, although it’s now less than 10 percent of the overall picture.

“Our mission is to make the job of the AV professional easier and more profitable,” Jim Starin explains. “We can exactly mirror what each manufacturer we work with wants in terms of programs, pricing, and so on, for its dealer/re-seller customer base. Each of these arrangements is custom and has to account for every single detail for every single manufacturer, so there’s nothing cookie-cutter about how it’s set up.

“In the past, customers felt like they were being put on the ‘B team’ if they dealt with a distributor, but that’s definitely not the case with the way we approach it,” he continues. “Our customers also understand the advantages of the consolidation of brands and services we provide. If something goes wrong with a component or system, there’s no finger-pointing – they know that they have a single source to go to in order to directly address and fix the problem.”

A headquarters facility in Chesterton serves as the heart and hub of the operation, custom-built in 2006 to provide 10,000 square feet of warehouse space for product staging and distribution, and another 6,000 square feet for dozens of staff specialists and infrastructure to support it, including a large technical training and education facility outfitted with plenty of A/V capability.

A Starin warehouse stocked and shipping AV product throughout North America. (click to enlarge)

Owing to its substantial growth, a few years ago Starin began leasing another 50,000 square feet of warehouse space in nearby Portage, IN, and has also revamped a previous facility to accommodate the company’s IT operation.

Numerous other Starin team members work remotely, spread among 10 offices, joined by more than 70 contracted independent rep firms, in order to provide face-to-face, hands-on support of the continent-wide customer base. It’s an arrangement that enhances both convenience and communication between the company and the customer. “We have ‘feet on the street’ for every re-seller in North America,” notes Starin.

How It All Works
Originally from the Chicago area, he hadn’t set out to work in the professional A/V industry when hired by a hi-fi store as a college student in the early 1970s in DeKalb, IL, but this chance employment opportunity proved to be the catalyst.

“I found the business aspect of the store to be absolutely fascinating,” he explains. “Things like inventory management, the process of opening a new store location, and so on, really intrigued me. They’re the key to how it all works, the difference between success and failure, no matter what you happen to be selling.”

After college, Starin took a position with the Advent loudspeaker company in Cambridge, MA, and was soon charged with traveling around the country to provide customer support and business-building consultation to stores carrying the Advent line. It was helpful to the stores, to be sure, which in turn meant that they were likely to sell more of his employer’s loudspeakers. He notes that this is still the MO (modus operandi) for his company today.

Wanting to return closer to home and also transition to the professional market, Starin eventually joined Audio Resources, a Chicago-based pro audio sales rep firm founded by brothers Wayne and Terry Hrabak. “I prefer the objectivity of professional AV as opposed to the consumer market, both in terms of business and technology,” he says. “It’s much less ‘ethereal,’ far more direct and reality based.”

Plenty of meeting and conference facilities
for the company and clients alike. (click to enlarge)

He learned the ropes of the pro market as well as the unique facets of the sales territory, representing several leading brands while building relationships and working with a talented team that included Bill Mullin, who now serves as “second in command” to Starin.

When Audio Resources decided to transition out of the rep business, Starin formed his own firm based in Chesterton, representing several notable companies, including Electro-Voice, an association that remains to this day. The fledgling business thrived, on the path to garnering more than 100 “rep of the year” awards (and counting) over the years.

The defining moment came in the mid-1990s when a major manufacturer represented by Starin sought to eliminate smaller dealer accounts as a downsizing measure, deeming them not worthy of investment.

“I understood their thinking but didn’t agree with it. Instead, I saw a lot of potential,” Starin says. “The lion’s share of our territory was rural, some of it urban, but a lot of smaller customers, and when you look at a composite of all of them, it’s a significant amount of profitable business. So I talked the manufacturer into letting us buy product direct and serve those deals backed by commensurate support. That really got the ball rolling for us.”

Jim Starin and his team celebrating joining the local Chamber of Commerce just after the company was founded 25 years ago. The enterprise was based in Jim’s basement, and five of these six people are still employed by Starin.  (click to enlarge)

World Of Difference
And it’s gone and grown from there. The 55-plus brands now in the Starin fold span four primary market channels, including pro A/V, MI, conference/presentation and broadcast/video products, with each channel headed by an experienced manager in that market and backed by a dedicated staff.

Just a sampling of audio brands in the A/V channel includes Midas/Klark-Teknik, Turbosound, RCF, Sony Pro, CAD Audio, and dozens more, joined by leading names from the other channels such as Gentner, Bosch, ETA, Barco, Grass Valley, and on and on.

Each brand is served with its own custom approach, defined between Starin and the individual entity, and it often includes design and application support that can be dispatched to a job site within 24 hours.

The practice extends to the online world, where Starin has stepped up with a customized web portal program for each brand that allows business to be conducted online at any time, day or night. The portals are standardized in terms of form, function and operation, so it’s the same experience for customers across brands.

The program demands a tremendous amount of IT support, with each portal providing the unique information of the individual brand, their various product and training services, differing password protections, and more. There’s also the matter of making it all work with every manufacturer’s own IT system and preferences. Just keeping product pricing and ever-changing terms current is mind-boggling, yet Starin insures this happens on a weekly basis on every portal. (Click here to go to the Starin website.)

“The portals make all of the difference in the world, really set us apart in terms of serving our customers,” explains Starin. “Anything and everything you need to do business with a brand and company is included, and it’s all there and up to date, any time you want it.”

A recent addition provided to the portals is Learning Curve, an effective way to provide training to individuals and businesses on their own schedule, available when it works best for them. Learning Curve helps fill the educational gap created by the lack of time to devote to in-person product introduction and application sessions.

Extending its online capability even further, Starin also become the first participating distributor with brands listed within the InfoComm AV-iQ master product directory.

The launch point to individual web portals tailored to every brand – more than 55 total.  (click to enlarge)

“At the same time, for those who don’t want to be in front of a computer, we still do real, live, in-person hands-on training and product information sessions,” Starin states, bringing focus back to what he sees as the biggest key to business success: people. A look at his own company’s approach provides the proof. Starin’s first employee, Susan Kelley, still serves after more than two decades on staff, joined by more than a dozen 10-plus-year veterans.

The company has also long been an ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan), with almost 45 percent now owned by its employees. “It’s pretty straightforward,” Starin states. “If you want your people to behave like an owner, make them one. That’s really paid off.”

After a long climb to building the company to its current status, Starin is looking to cut back on his day-to-day involvement, gradually turning over the reins to Mullin (who was named president in May) and the well-prepared and motivated team. Still, it’s not hard to envision him continuing to pursue his passion for figuring out what makes businesses tick and helping people achieve their goals.

“This is what we live by: nobody ever dies wishing they had spent more time in the office, so we work to shorten their workdays,” he concludes. “That’s really our whole concept, the primary mission.”

Keith Clark is editor in chief of Live Sound International and ProSoundWeb.

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Posted by Keith Clark on 06/05 at 01:43 PM
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Revolution Nightclub Upgrades With Martin Audio Loudspeakers, Processors & Amplifiers

“We’d already owned Martin Audio gear for over 10 years, so this was a natural choice for an upgrade." -- Gary Stewart

Revolution, a large, popular dance/nightclub in Waterloo, Southern Ontario, Canada, recently underwent an upgrade to its sound, lighting and video systems, a project that includes a host of new Martin Audio components.

Owned by Gary Stewart and his wife Sue, Revolution has been around in its current incarnation since 1996. The club is open Friday and Saturday and shares a 10,000-square-foot building with Flying Dog Restaurant, a casual dining emporium that offers DJ-driven entertainment on weekends.

“We’ve been bobbing and weaving over the years, always on the move to stay ahead of changing styles and demands of the market,” says Gary Stewart. “This year, we decided on a complete audio, video and lighting system upgrade because it was time for a change.”

Although Revolution occasionally features international DJs such as Avicii and Hardwell, Stewart insists the club isn’t guest DJ driven. “In terms of music program, we offer more variety because our guests don’t want to be hammered by a straight EDM program five or six hours a night,” he says. “They still want Top 40 material and a more accessible pop/dance format to break things up. Most of the pop music on the radio has an EDM slant from a production standpoint anyway. So eventually it all falls into place and works for us on the dance floor.”

In addition to a large dance floor, Revolution also includes The Purple Room and a number of VIP suites. “The Purple Room is our EDM space. We’ve been programming house DJs there for over 15 years,” Stewart explains. “This space offers the more specific EDM fan a place to hear their favorite beats without having to go to a different club. It’s small and intimate with a crushing Martin PA in a room that holds up to 130 customers while total capacity for the club is 1,590.”

Specifically, the new house audio system includes eight Martin Audio Blackline H3H+ 3-way Hybrid loudspeakers, 10 WSXa subwoofers, DX2 processing, and MA5.2K and MA9.6K power amplifiers.

“We’ve gone to a much larger box with the H3H+’s that are mounted on flying points in the ceiling,” he notes. “They give us a whole lot more headroom, which makes it more fun for the customers and the DJs. The 10 WSXa subwoofers are groundstacked in a line in front of the DJ booth and they provide more than enough low end.

“We’d already owned Martin Audio gear for over 10 years, so this was a natural choice for an upgrade,” Stewart continues. “Basically, we wanted a bigger, fuller, louder sound,” Stewart states. “Fifteen years ago we were top of the heap and state-of-the-art, and you can quickly fall backwards in the ranks if you don’t keep changing.”

The updated system also incorporates new Pioneer CDJ Nexus 2000 and 900 Multi players with new technology that allows DJs to use USB, data cards and Wi-Fi in addition to CDs.

The video portion of the project is led by 92 Microh LED video panels with 11 screens running around the perimeter of the dance floor and three screens behind the reconstructed DJ booth that is now a featured attraction. Meanwhile, the new lighting system consists of an Arkaos Media Master stage server; 24 Elation Design Spot pro 250s; six Martin Professional Atomic 3000DMX strobes; two Titan RBG 6 watt lasers, 60 Microh LED RGBW Max Zoom quad wash lights; a Livid OHM 64 MIDI controller; two Martin Professional/Jem K1 hazers and a 23-inch LCD touch screen monitor.

Martin Audio

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Posted by Keith Clark on 06/05 at 12:28 PM
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Roland Systems Group Adds Powerful Video Scan Converter To VC-1 Series Lineup

The VC-1 Series of products recently introduced at NAB 2013, addresses the market demand for high-quality, video and audio converters for live/post production as well as installed systems.

Roland Systems Group is pleased to announce the addition of the VC-1-SC Video Converter to the powerful VC-1 Series line-up.

The VC-1 Series of products recently introduced at NAB 2013, addresses the market demand for high-quality, video and audio converters for live/post production as well as installed systems. 

The new VC-1-SC is an Up/Down/Cross Scan converter to SDI/HDMI with Frame Sync.

Video devices that accept digital signals such as SDI and HDMI have become more common in live production, and as a result, the need for video conversion is essential.

The Roland VC-1-SC Video Converter is ideal for live production where you need analog or digital sources to match a certain SDI and/or HDMI video format, aspect ratio, or input type.

The versatility of this converter to support a variety of configurations for live production and installed application make it highly valuable in many environments.

VC-1-SC Product Highlights:

•  3G (Level A and B)/HD/SD SDI In/Out
•  HDMI In/Out
•  RGB/Component In
•  Composite In
•  HDCP Support
•  Built-in Frame Synchronizer and Scaler
•  Up/Down/Cross, Frame Rate, I/P, and Aspect Ratio Conversion
•  Audio Embedding or De-Embedding
•  PC/Mac Control Application (VC-1 RCS) for deeper level settings control

The VC-1-SC provides a high picture quality by maintaining the video characteristics of the original signal. There are no conversion or signal errors sometimes found with other video converters.

The unit also features an on-board re-clocker to compensate for attenuation of SDI signals enabling longer distance runs. The VC-1-SC also supports both level A and B 3G-SDI, letting you connect to for from a variety of SDI devices.

Selectable audio embedding and de-embedding lets you route different audio sources to or from video devices.

The VC-1-SC shares in the same rugged build quality with 2mm aluminum case and connectors screwed to the chassis, as well as HDCP compliance.

The VC-1-SC will be introduced at InfoComm in Orlando at the Roland Systems Group booth #1458.

Roland Systems Group
VC-2 Series

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Posted by Julie Clark on 06/05 at 12:13 PM
AVLive SoundProductionNewsProductProductionAudioVideoAVPermalink

Peavey MediaMatrix Celebrating 20th Anniversary

Peavey was a pioneer of the distributed digital signal processing market in 1993

Peavey Electronics is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its MediaMatrix division, the multi-faceted digital audio processing, distribution and control system for professional audio applications.

Peavey was a pioneer of the distributed digital signal processing market in 1993 when it introduced the world’s first graphically configured, programmed and controlled digital audio network system. Over the last 20 years, MediaMatrix has expanded to meet and exceed the stringent demands of contractors and integrators across the globe.
 
First appearing within the U.S. Senate Chamber, MediaMatrix systems can now be found in facilities including the Parliament Houses of China, Canada, New Zealand, Russia and Germany, the Beijing “Bird’s Nest” Olympic Stadium, the Qatar National Convention Center, and in over a quarter of the NFL stadia in North America. MediaMatrix solutions are used in airports, cruise ships, educational facilities, houses of worship, theme parks, convention centers, casinos, resorts and hotels around the world.

“Twenty years ago, we launched MediaMatrix as the world’s first computer-based audio processing and control network, which revolutionized commercial sound installation,” states Hartley Peavey, founder and CEO of Peavey Electronics. “Since that time, MediaMatrix systems have provided solutions for more than 10,000 venues around the world. As we evolve the MediaMatrix platform, our customers’ feedback assures that we continue to engineer and offer the most advanced digital audio solutions on the market. Peavey Commercial Audio continues to be an industry leader, in our scope and our innovation.”

Encompassing more than 70 products, MediaMatrix provides the designer, consultant and integrator with a palette of system creation tools to create the system.

NWare programming software supplies a graphical design environment in which the designer can choose, drag and drop programming blocks, connect them virtually, extract control interfaces and then compile their design into a fully functional audio processing, distribution and control network.

MediaMatrix can scale from smaller, rack mounted systems with a few inputs and outputs to large enterprise systems incorporating thousands of inputs and outputs. Audio and control signals are conducted via Ethernet networking utilizing digital audio transport protocols such as CobraNet and Audinate Dante.

MediaMatrix has received a variety of accolades during its first 20 years of service, and was honored most recently with the 2012 Audio Installation of the Year AV Award for the extensive installation at the Qatar National Convention Center. This world-class meeting space was the first of its kind, built to the gold certification of the U.S. Green Building Council’s “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design” (LEED).

Go here to learn more about MediaMatrix.

MediaMatrix
Peavey Commercial Audio
Peavey Electronics

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Posted by Keith Clark on 06/05 at 10:35 AM
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Auralex Debuts ProGO Portable Stand-Mounted Absorbers

Designed for a range of stage and studio applications

Auralex Acoustics  has introduced new ProGO stand-mounted absorbers, portable, lightweight and efficient baffles designed for a range of stage and studio applications.

ProGO is short for Professional Gobo (a gobo is a freestanding acoustical treatment device usually used in studios), but it is a solution for any space where boundary-mounted acoustical treatments might not be desirable. They can be used to control early reflections as well as act as a bass trap when stood across a room’s corners.

Each ProGO absorber consists of a custom, two-sided ProPanel assembly fitted into a custom black melamine-laminated base that can be outfitted with optional casters for increased portability.

ProGO can also be used to minimize sound leakage between instruments, amps and vocalists during recording sessions or live performances while retaining line of sight with performers.

Users can “dial in” the right amount of room ambience by varying the position and number of ProGOs, and can quickly put together an enclosed booth within a larger space by utilizing multiple ProGOs in an array.

ProGO absorbers are available in 2-ft x 6-ft x 8-in and 4-ft x 4-ft x 8-in configurations and rest in the included floorstand, and can be specified in 12 fabric colors to match a variety of décors.

Auralex Acoustics

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Posted by Keith Clark on 06/05 at 08:49 AM
AVLive SoundRecordingChurch SoundNewsProductAVMeasurementSignalSound ReinforcementStudioPermalink

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Alford Media Services Expands Portfolio Of Riedel Equipment

Adds range of Performer digital partyline intercom systems, Artist digital matrix intercom systems, and more

Alford Media Services, a supplier of event technology support to corporate clients across the United States, has upgraded and expanded its portfolio of Riedel Communications equipment.

With this investment, Alford has increased both its capacity for providing complete top-quality event communications systems and its ability to offer comprehensive training for new and existing users of Riedel gear.

“Riedel Communications offers flexible, state-of-the-art intercom solutions that address our customers’ requirements for performance, audio quality, and ease of deployment,” says Rich Tate, director of creative support at Alford Media Services. “We strive constantly to maintain versatile and highly efficient solutions that can be configured quickly and easily to support high-end corporate events, and our new Riedel gear meets this test very well.”

Alford has continued to systematically upgrade its inventory with a comprehensive range of Performer digital partyline intercom systems, Artist digital matrix intercom systems, and related control panels and stations, split boxes, interfaces, beltpacks, and headsets. Making these systems available from its Coppell, TX facilities, the company offers another U.S. source for Riedel gear rental and training.

“Alford is an extraordinary rental company that not only has invested in and supported our products, but has also taken on the task of making product training a priority for its staff and clients,” states Patti Gunnell, Riedel entertainment solutions manager, North America.

“We are seeing rising demand for our products in markets around the world, and the U.S. is no exception,” notes Christopher Street, general manager, North America at Riedel Communications. “Alford’s expansion and upgrade of its Riedel systems will make it easier for U.S. companies in the corporate space to take advantage of our renowned communications technologies, and its ramped-up training capabilities will ensure the availability of freelance operators who are familiar with our intercom product lines.”

Riedel Communications

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Posted by Keith Clark on 06/04 at 05:04 PM
AVLive SoundNewsAVBusinessEthernetInterconnectManufacturerNetworkingPermalink

Why Power Matters: Beyond Amplifiers To The Big Picture

Audio people need not be electricians, but we must know how power distribution works

For professional audio people, the word “power” usually conjures up visions of racks of amplifiers are used to drive the loudspeakers in a sound system. But the amplifier and other system components must have a stable power source from which to operate. 

Thus the issue of power distribution, all the way from Hoover Dam to your sound system, is vital. Some of the principles of audio signal distribution in sound systems are borrowed directly from utility companies, and so much can be gained by taking a look at how they do it.

Most of the useful stuff in the modern world requires an energy source to operate. Several have been widely exploited, including petroleum and its derivatives, natural gas, and even atomic energy. All of these energy sources can be used to generate another form of energy that exists naturally in the environment—electricity.

Our world is teaming with energy just waiting to be harnessed. The atomic age began when scientists discovered that matter is a vast energy source. It’s mass is the “m” in E = mc2. Even a small amount of matter multiplied by the speed of light squared equals a very large “E”—which stands for energy. We don’t create energy; we transform and modify it for our own use.

An energy source has the potential for doing something that scientists call work. From our friends at dictionary.com, work is defined as, “The transfer of energy from one physical system to another, especially the transfer of energy to a body by the application of a force that moves the body in the direction of the force. It is calculated as the product of the force and the distance through which the body moves and is expressed in joules, ergs, and foot-pounds.”

Once we understand the nature of work, power is easy. Power is the rate of doing work. When electricity was first being harnessed, a common power source was the horse. A typical horse can do a certain amount of work over a certain span of time.

James Watt determined one “horsepower” to be 33,000 foot-pounds per minute. Horses can be ganged together to multiply their power, so a team of horses can out-pull a single animal.

While horses are no longer a common power source in developed countries, but horsepower lives on as a way of rating other sources. Any electrical power rating, such as watts, can also be stated in horsepower.

An important concept to grasp: power is a rate, and when properly specified it must be accompanied by words like “average” and “continuous” to be meaningful.

Most modern power sources can be used in multiples to create bigger ones, like the engines on an airplane or the amplifiers in an equipment rack. The concept is used nearly everywhere that power is generated or consumed - small sources can be used in multiples to create larger sources.

Not An Invention
Electricity is the power source of interest for producing and maintaining a modern lifestyle. It’s what makes life as we know it today possible.

While people existed long before electricity was harnessed, life became a lot easier once humans had a readily available electrical power source at their disposal. Its use is so widespread that we take it for granted.

Few would question the integrity of an electrical outlet found anywhere in a modern building. We just “plug in” without thought and expect it to work—and it usually does.

It’s a great thing that this source can be so reliable, but the bad part is that high reliability causes us to take it for granted, and discourages us from seeking an understanding of how it works.

Contrary to popular belief, electricity is not an invention. It has existed for as long as there has been matter in the universe.  We know that all things are comprised of atoms, and that electricity is the flow of atomic parts (electrons) from one place to another.

The rate of electron flow is called a current. The pressure under which it flows is called a voltage. Both of these quantities (and most units in general) were named to honor electrical pioneers. All electrical power sources can be characterized by their available voltage and current.

In fact, the simplest formula for electrical power is:

W = IE
Where W is power in Watts,
I is current in Amperes
E is electromotive force in Volts

Alternating And Direct
If current flows in one direction only along a wire, it is called direct current or DC. If the current flows in two directions, such as back and forth along a wire, it is called alternating current or AC.

It’s possible to convert AC to DC, and DC to AC, and in fact, this is necessary to get a sound system component to work.

The utility company generates AC by using some other form of energy in the environment, such as flowing water turning a turbine (hydraulic power), the wind turning a propeller (pneumatic power), the burning of coal, or even nuclear reactions. The discovery and utilization of new power sources is of prime importance to modern humans. Our continued existence depends on it.

The electrical power generation process was invented and refined with a great number of influences, including the physical limitations of electrical components and wire, and even the political and economic forces that existed at the time.

Because it’s highly impractical to change a system once it’s in place, many possible approaches were considered. I doubt if Edison or Westinghouse (or perhaps even Nikola Tesla, the genius inventor of AC and numerous other milestone technologies) could envision the far-reaching implications of their choices regarding electrical power distribution.

Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla, pioneers of electrical distribution.

After much experimentation, debate, and lobbying, it was decided that the method of electrical power distribution in the U.S. would be AC, primarily due to its inherent advantages with regard to generation and transportation over long distances. (The true turning point of the debate proved to be the first successful use of widespread AC distribution at the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago.)

AC has at least three advantages over DC in a power distribution grid:

1) Large electrical generators generate AC naturally. Conversion to DC involves an extra step.

2) Transformers must have alternating current to operate, and we will see that the power distribution grid depends on transformers.

3) It’s easy to convert AC to DC, but expensive to convert DC to AC.

The sine wave is a natural waveform from things that rotate, so it is the logical waveform for the alternating current. The frequency of the waveform describes how often it changes directions. An optimum frequency for power distribution was determined to be 60 Hz.

Any devices that required DC could simply convert the 60 Hz AC provided by the utility company, and this is exactly what sound system components do, even today.

Source Be With You
The core electrical power sources that are created to supply electricity to consumers are truly massive.

For example, Hoover Dam has a power generation rating of about 3 million horsepower (imagine feeding them!), and an electrical generation capacity of about 2000 megawatts.

This AC electrical power must be transferred from the dam to the consumer. The problem is that most people live at remote distances from the really big power sources. A power transmission system must be used to get electricity from point “A” to point “B” with a tolerable amount of loss.

There are electrical advantages to doing this at a high voltage, since it minimizes the losses in the electrical conductor used. Voltage and current can be “traded off” in a power distribution system. This is the job of the transformer.

Remember that that W = IE so we can make an equivalent power source with a lot of E and a little I, or a lot of I and a little E. Transformers are the devices used to make the trade-off.

With the power remaining the same (at least in theory) a step-up transformer produces a larger voltage at a smaller current, and a step-down transformer does the opposite. Both types are found in the power distribution grid (and also in the signal chain of a sound system!).

Typical voltages for long distance transmission are in the range of 155,000 volts to 765,000 volts in order to reduce line losses. At a local substation, this is transformed down 7,000 volts to 14,000 volts for distribution around a city.

There are normally three legs or “phases.” Three-phase power is the bedrock of the power grid. A large building might be served by all three phases, where a house would normally be served by only a single phase. Before entering a building, this distribution voltage is converted to 220 volts to 240 volts using a step-down transformer (there is a tolerance - your mileage may vary).

For our discussion here, we will use 220-volt/110-volt nominal values. The place where the power comes into the building is called the service entrance. This is of prime importance, because, in effect, it’s the “power source” of interest with regard to electrical components in the building. Any discussion of power distribution within a building is centered upon the service entrance and how its electricity is made available throughout the structure.

A food chain is now apparent. Electricity is harnessed from the environment, converted into a standardized form, distributed to various locations, and converted again into the form expected by electrical devices and products.

Most of the local wiring from the power substation is run above ground on utility poles, making it a likely target for lightning strikes, falling limbs, high winds and ice. Many locales choose to bury all or part of the wiring to reduce the risk of interruption and to remove the eyesore of wires strung from poles.

On To The Outlet
In most parts of the world, 220 volts (or close to it) is delivered to the electrical outlets for use by appliances.

In the U.S., the step-down transformer on the utility pole is center-tapped to provide two 110-volt legs. This is called “split phase” and requires a third wire from the center tap into the dwelling (neutral) and a neutral wire from each outlet back to the service entrance of the building to connect to it.

On the other hand, 220-volt circuits and appliances do not require a neutral, although it is often included if some sub-component of the appliance uses 110 volts.)

In the U.S., most household appliances are designed for 110-volt power sources. Using a lower distribution voltage has some pros and cons. The advantage is that a lower voltage poses a lower risk of electrocution, while still providing sufficient power at an outlet for most appliances. The down side is that the lower the distribution voltage, the large the wire diameter that must be used to minimize wire losses.

So a 110-volt circuit requires more copper (less resistance) to serve its outlets to maintain the same line loss as a 220-volt system. Most households have several appliances that are designed to take advantage of the full 220 volts delivered by the utility company. These appliances have high current demands and the higher distribution voltage allows them to be served with a smaller wire gauge.

It’s unusual (but not unheard of) for sound reinforcement products to require a 220-volt outlet, at least in the U.S.

Many motorized appliances utilize AC in the form it’s delivered by the utility company. But other products (including sound reinforcement components) internally convert the delivered 110 volts AC to DC.

This is the very first step taken inside a product when power is delivered to it from an electrical outlet. The power supply provides the DC “rails” necessary to power the internal circuitry. These rail voltages can range from a few volts to hundreds of volts, depending upon the purpose of the product. Some power supplies are external to the product.

“Line lumps” and “wall warts” are commonplace in sound systems. These offer the advantages of mass production and more efficient certification, as well as keeping AC (and its potential audible side effects) out of a product. But external supplies can be inconvenient and proprietary, so consumers are split in their acceptance.

Battery-powered devices bypass the whole system and place a DC power source created by chemical reactions right where it’s needed - inside of the product. The disadvantage is that there is no way to replenish this source other than replacing it or running a wire to an external power source.

Why This Matters
Audio people need not be electricians, but we must know how power distribution works. The AC power distribution scheme that is thoroughly entrenched in the U.S. infrastructure can be intermittent, noisy and even lethal.

The common practice of plugging different parts of a sound system into different electrical outlets can have very negative audible side effects, such as “hum” and “buzz” over a loudspeaker.

Far more serious, an improperly grounded system can prove deadly. Perhaps you’ve heard tales of unsuspecting musicians who lay their lips on microphones while touching their guitar strings. This is no urban myth - it can happen without proper power practice.

Pat Brown teaches SynAudCon seminars and workshops worldwide, and also online. Synergetic Audio Concepts has been the leading independent provider of audio education since 1973, with more than 15,000 “graduates” worldwide, For more information go to www.synaudcon.com.

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Posted by Keith Clark on 06/04 at 04:37 PM
AVFeatureBlogStudy HallAmplifierAVMeasurementPowerSignalPermalink

Yamaha CL5 At Heart Of System For Elon University Commencement Delivered By NBC’s Brian Williams

Console was later used for the Elon Law School commencement

While NBC Nightly News Anchor Brian Williams recently delivered the undergraduate commencement address at North Carolina’s Elon University, the sound was delivered via a Yamaha CL5 digital audio console provided by Draughon Brothers of Fayetteville, NC.

The console was later used for the Elon Law School commencement. Overall production was a combination of in-house equipment and that provided by Audio & Light of Greensboro, NC. 

“Our commencement activities take place in four different venues, with four ceremonies (MBA, Masters of Interactive Media, Undergraduate and School of Law), as well as a student marshaling location and rain plan location that is also used for Baccalaureate,” says Rick Earl, Elon University technical director for cultural and special programs. “There were approximately 12,000 people in attendance during the weekend.”

Yamaha digital consoles were used at all venues. The marshalling location and the rain plan venue were linked via the Dante network and have been for the past three years, this year using a Yamaha M7CL-48 and LS9-32.  Two LS9s and an M7CL-48 were used for MBA, Media, and Baccalaureate commencements as well.

All commencement ceremonies featured live musicians. The primary venue is an outside location on Elon’s historic campus, called “Under the Oaks” which is where the CL5 resided. Adjacent to that venue is Whitley Auditorium that houses a Casavant pipe organ. The organ, along with a brass quintet, performed live in the auditorium. Herald trumpets were located in the outside venue in a balcony over the stage.

The National Anthem and Alma Mater were sung from the stage accompanied by the organ and brass. The entire undergraduate commencement ceremony was simulcast and recorded in HD at the university’s on-campus television studio. With this year’s added attention brought to the ceremony by Brian Williams, the sound system also required dedicated feeds for NBC News as well as additional press feed locations. 

“The Yamaha CL5 offered the ultimate in reliability, flexibility, routing, recall and operability,” says Earl. “Elon has an excellent IT department and takes pride in the technology on campus. The use of the CL5 was also to determine if it would fit in our plan to completely network all audio for the weekend’s events.  After the main undergrad ceremony, we needed that capability in order to allow the musicians to stay in one venue in the event of rain. Television could also mix in the studio for broadcast.” 

Earl adds that the overall benefit of the Yamaha CL5 is not just for the school and ceremonies but the students as well, as they are present in all phases of set up and interfacing. “Our Music Production, Recording Arts, and Communications students are hands on with state of the art technology and complex set ups. Other beneficial features of the CL is the ability to see the display, channel markers, and scribble strip in daylight, as well as the console’s size and weight.  And, possibly, my favorite feature is the custom layering; I was able to have all necessary faders on one layer which made for quick and intuitive operation.”

“Yamaha’s service also weighed into this decision,” notes Earl. I did not need to call them for assistance at any time while using the console, but knew they were available. The company’s support prior to this event, however, was invaluable, I cannot think of another pro audio company with the level of aid offered by Yamaha.”

Audio & Light
Draughon Brothers
Yamaha Commercial Audio

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Posted by Keith Clark on 06/04 at 03:29 PM
AVLive SoundNewsAVConsolesMixerSound ReinforcementPermalink

Crest Audio Announces New Tactus Digital Mixing System

Built in partnership with Waves, new platform delivers quality audio, custom configuration and pro features

Crest Audio has partnered with Waves to create the Tactus digital mixing system, providing a simple, customizable touch-screen operating interface that puts all of the audio routing, processing and mixing tools within immediate reach. It’s designed to work with the new Waves eMotion mixer for SoundGrid.

The Tactus hardware is comprised of the Tactus.FOH, the audio processing core for the system, and the Tactus.Stage, a 32-in/16-out remote stage box. The modular capability of the Tactus Digital Mixing System, which interconnects via standard Gigabit Ethernet cabling and an internal Gigabit switch, allows multiple configurations in a range of channel counts to best suit each application.

The Tactus.FOH is powered by the Waves SoundGrid audio processing/networking platform, providing extremely low latency with precision audio processing. The Tactus.FOH frame provides 8 local microphone/line inputs and 8 line outputs, and serves as the audio signal processing engine.

The Tactus.Stage includes 32 microphone/line inputs and 16 line outputs. The digitally controlled high-quality mic preamps offering low input noise, high slew rate, low THD, and 66 dB adjustment range in 1 dB steps to maximize dynamic range. An integrated gigabit Ethernet switch allows for easy networking. Users also benefit from the option of combining Tactus.Stage I/O interfaces for a total of 64 stereo inputs by 32 stereo outputs.

Tactus.FOH highlights:
• Primary server for the Tactus mixing system, hosting and supporting the eMotion LV1 software mixing platform.
• Will function as a standalone core for an 8 in, 8 out mixing platform.
• 8 balanced mic/line inputs, XLR, TRS and 1/4-inch Phono
• 8 balanced outputs - First 4 are male XLR connectors, 2 of which have parallel TRS jacks, plus 4 additional TRS jacks.
• Mic input accepts a +27 dBu input signal without pad
• 66 dB adjustment range in 1 dB steps to maximize dynamic range
• Gain changes on zero crossing to minimize adjustment noise.
• 48-Volt phantom power switchable on every mic input.
• Integral gigabit Ethernet switch for easy networking
• Waves SoundGrid Digital audio network protocol
• Balanced output maximum level switchable between + 24 dBu and + 18 dBu
• Supports sample rates of 44.1 kHz, 48 kHz, 88.2 kHz and 96 kHz
• External word clock input and output
• Two AES digital outputs
• Headphone output with level control
• MIDI in and switchable out or thru
• 3U rack mount package
• Universal input power supply

Tactus.FOH


Tactus.Stage highlights:
• 32 microphone/line inputs
• XLR mic and TRS 1⁄4-inch line inputs
• 16 Line outputs
• Mic input accepts a +27 dBu input signal without pad
• 66 dB adjustment range in 1 dB steps to maximize dynamic range
• Gain changes on zero crossing to minimize adjustment noise.
• 48 Volt phantom power switchable on every mic input.
• Integral gigabit Ethernet switch for easy networking
• Waves SoundGrid Digital audio network protocol
• Balanced output maximum level switchable between + 24 dBu and + 18 dBu
• Supports sample rates of 44.1 kHz, 48 kHz, 88.2 kHz and 96 kHz
• External word clock input and output
• Two AES digital outputs
• Headphone output with level control
• MIDI in and switchable out or thru
• 4U rack mount package
• Universal input power supply

Tactus.Stage


eMotion LV1 mixer highlights:
• 64 input channels (mono/stereo)
• 32 stereo buses + return channels
• L/R, center, mono main buses + master channels
• 8 DCA faders, 8 mute groups, 8 user-assignable function controls
• Cue/SIP and talk-back
• EMO-Q4 Equalizer: 4-band EQ with HP and LP per channel
• EMO-D5 Dynamics Processor: Comp/Gate/Expander/DeEsser/
• Limiter/Leveler per channel
• Up to 6 plugins per channel
• Connect to multiple DAWs for recording and playback
• Save and transmit sessions and snapshots from any DAW to eMotion
• Connect and share SoundGrid I/O devices, drivers and applications
• Up to 1,000 Scenes/Snapshots
• Up to 96 kHz sample rate
• Automatic plugin delay compensation

Tactus touch-screen interface


Waves
Crest Audio

 

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Posted by Keith Clark on 06/04 at 12:51 PM
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