Monday, October 15, 2012
Adaptive Technologies Group Appoints Ramon Cano As Production Manager
Brings extensive experience in manufacturing, production and rigging to company
Adaptive Technologies Group, comprising Allen Products, ATM Fly-ware and Adaptive Video Walls and Displays, and a developer of state-of-the-art rigging and mounting solutions for a wide range of audio and video applications, has named Ramon Cano as production manager.
Cano will oversee both of Adaptive’s California manufacturing and assembly operations that produce the Allen, Adaptive and ATM-Fly-Ware branded products as well as all large-scale custom projects.
Based at Adaptive headquarters in Spring Hill, CA, he will also negotiate purchases and contracts with outsource vendors and handle all the logistics.
Prior to joining Adaptive, Cano served in the metal furniture manufacturing industry, where he blended his extensive IT background with production control systems and manufacturing operations.
He is also keenly familiar with Adaptive’s rigging discipline as he served in the U.S. Army for eight years, six of which were in the 101st Airbourne Division - Air Assault Group, rigging (slinging) both personnel and equipment from airborne helicopters.
“Since acquiring ATM Fly-Ware and, later, a California manufacturing facility, Adaptive has searched for a professional with a blend of experience to bring all the different elements of Adaptive’s unique operations together. Cano brings that talent, which will result in updating our production controls, improving our scheduling, manufacturing efficiency and purchasing power,” says Paul Allen, president, Adaptive Technologies Group.
“We are very excited to have Cano join our team at this time. He brings several years of solid manufacturing and production control experience to the table that will undoubtedly improve the predictability of Adaptive’s production, as well as making our operations more cost effective.”
Adaptive Technologies Group
Posted by Keith Clark on 10/15 at 09:52 AM
Community Expands Distributed Design Family Of Loudspeakers With DA6
Form factor designed for environments such as restaurants, restorts, hotel lobbies and ballrooms, and retail establishments
Community Professional has introduced the DA6, a high-output, full-range architectural surface-mount loudspeaker with a sconce-like form factor and contemporary styling designed to complement environments such as restaurants, resorts, hotel lobbies and ballrooms, and retail establishments.
It is the newest member of the company’s Distributed Design Series loudspeakers.
The DA6 offers a 115-degree cone-shaped coverage pattern that emanates from the face of the loudspeaker downwards at a 26-degree angle from the wall.
The 2-way, 6.5-inch surface mount DA6 integrates Community’s patented Carbon Ring Cone Technology, delivering uniform voicing and consistent coverage from zone to zone when combined with other Distributed Design Series ceiling, surface mount and pendant loudspeakers, including the D10SUB ceiling mount and DS8SUB surface mount subwoofers.
The DA6’s coaxial design achieves higher sensitivity and dramatically lower distortion thanks to the implementation of separate, discrete magnets for its LF and HF drivers.
A built-in autoformer offers selectable 70V or 100V operation in a distributed system, as well as standard 8-ohm use.
The DA6 is available in standard black or white finishes, and can be painted to match any décor.
Enclosures are constructed of high-impact ABS plastic to reduce unwanted resonance, and the included flush-mount wall plate makes installation fast and efficient.
Friday, October 12, 2012
Voltage Surges: The Real World Of Power Quality Problems
Properly designed solutions can limit even catastrophic power disturbances to insignificant levels
Most electronic equipment is designed to operate at voltage levels of 120 volts in North America or 230 volts in Europe.
Occasionally some very current hungry equipment might be powered from 208 volts in North America.
Regardless of the power line voltage, power supplies inside the electronic equipment convert this AC voltage into much smaller DC voltages that power the integrated circuits and transistors which in turn do the work inside the preamp, mixing console, graphic equalizer or amplifier.
Voltage surges are a commonly recognized but somewhat misunderstood power quality phenomenon. They are typically hundreds or even thousands of volts in amplitude, and may contain substantial amounts of energy.
Back in the days when electronics was largely based on vacuum tubes, a voltage surge of a thousand volts might not have’ been a big deal. It’s much more of a problem, however, for systems that use solid state components whose operating voltages are five volts or less.
The damage caused by a voltage surge may be either visible or invisible. If surge energy is large, destruction of an electronic device may occur, and damage will be tangible in the form of charred components.
Unfortunately, surges don’t always cause outright damage. Sometimes surges contain smaller energy amounts, and the damage they cause is invisible. That’s because smaller energy amounts merely erode semiconductor material at a microscopic level - a phenomenon sometimes called “electronic rust.”
The component gradually degrades, and damage accumulates with repeated exposure to smaller energy surges. Eventually the component fails and usually without visible damage. It’s difficult to associate cause with effect in such cases, and equipment failure may often not be attributed to voltage surges at all.
DEFINING THE PROBLEM
Voltage surges come in different shapes and sizes depending on where they occur in a facility. The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), in its standard IEEE C62.41, classifies voltage surges as Category A, Category B, or Category C according to where they occur within a building’s electrical system. The figure at right illustrates the three general categories.
IEEE surge categories. (click to enlarge)
Category A surges are associated with long branch circuits, the type that typically power audio equipment. Category B surges are found near the service entrance to the building (short branch circuits), and Category C surges are those found at the service entrance or outside the building. Not surprisingly as one moves from
Category A to Category C, the maximum voltage amplitude of the surge along with the maximum surge current and surge energy become greater.
Category A surges may measure up to 6,000 volts and 200 amps while Category B surges may measure up to 6,000 volts and 500 amps. In Category C locations, substantially larger voltages and currents are possible.
In addition to lightning, surges have a variety of causes.
Some are internal, some external, and some quite mundane.
Large loads like the motors used in elevators and air conditioners can cause voltage surges every time they start and stop.
When a power outage occurs, the rapid de-energization of electrical loads throughout the grid also generates substantial voltage surges.
In one documented case, a faulty light bulb socket in a refrigerator caused surges of as much as 5,000 volts whenever the refrigerator door was opened or closed.
Surge energy is mitigated by using a surge diverter. As its name implies, this is a device that reacts to surge voltages over a certain threshold by diverting surge energy away from the power conductor to ground.
If the system is microprocessor based (such as an audio mixing console), this is undesirable because the diversion action will create a neutral to ground voltage that is likely to cause system upset.
If part of a larger, interconnected system, surge energy on ground is likely to circulate throughout the entire system on the grounding conductors. Surge protectors should never be installed at the end of a branch circuit for these reasons.
The most appropriate place for a surge diverter is at the service entrance of the building where it will divert surge energy directly to the building’s earth reference without causing a neutral to ground voltage or disruption to computer-based systems within the building.
At the point where the electronic system plugs into the branch circuit, a much higher level of protection is desirable. At this point, the goal is to eliminate both destruction and electronic rust and to do it without creating a neutral to ground voltage that will disrupt the system. The best way of accomplishing this is with a power protection solution that uses an isolation transformer.
Properly designed solutions can limit even catastrophic power disturbances to insignificant levels ensuring both the survivability and operability of the system.
Dennis Ver Mulm works with POWERVAR, based in Lake Forest, IL.
Posted by Keith Clark on 10/12 at 04:44 PM
Audio-Technica Microphones Capture Sound For Vice Presidential Debate
A-T mics for both candidates and moderator, and also to capture room ambience
Audio-Technica microphones were utilized for both candidates as well as the moderator at the 2012 Vice Presidential debate on October 11 at Centre College in Danville, KY.
Products used included A-T’s Engineered Sound ES935ML6 MicroLine condenser gooseneck microphones on vice president Joe Biden and Republican vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan.
Two AT898cW Subminiature cardioid condenser lavalier microphones with 5000 Series wireless were used for moderator Martha Raddatz, while BP4071 Line + Gradient condenser mics were used to capture room ambience.
Backup mics at the event included AT898cW wireless lavaliers and AEW-T5400 handheld transmitters with 5000 Series wireless for the candidates, and AT898 wired lavalier mics for Raddatz.
Larry Estrin of Best Audio in Studio City, CA, serves as audio and production communications director for the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) and has chosen to use Audio-Technica microphones at these landmark events.
Posted by Keith Clark on 10/12 at 03:53 PM
Neon Trees Request Allen & Heath iLive To Handle Private Gig In London
Handled both front of house and monitor duties
Popular rock artists Neon Trees recently requested a dual front of house/monitor Allen & Heath iLive digital system for a recent performance at a private function in central London hosted by Universal Music. The show also featured a set by British performer Ellie Goulding.
Formerly a grand hotel, the venue, called 8 Northumberland Avenue, is now a conference and functions facility, with the actual performance held in the facility’s Billiard Room, and also featured a set by British performer Ellie Goulding.
PA company Sound Hire provided the system and support for the event, sub-hiring the iLive system from SRD Group. It was comprised two iLive-112 control surfaces with an iDR-32 and iDR-48 MixRacks.
“iLive was very straight forward to set up. I emailed the show files for SRD to pre-load, and the systems were sent straight to the venue,” states Colin Partridge of Sound Hire. “Neither my FOH nor monitor techs had used iLive before, so it was a relief to find it so easy to hook the systems up with just the one CAT5 cable between rack and surface. In fact, I had to call SRD to make sure that only the one cable was needed.
“The show went without a hitch and Neon Tree’s engineers were happy with the results. iLive’s small footprint is a major plus at these shows, where invariably I end up trying to find space for multiple FOH and monitor consoles.”
The band has UK concert dates scheduled in 2013, when they will also be using an iLive system.
Allen & Heath
Posted by Keith Clark on 10/12 at 07:39 AM
Auralex Introduces ProFusor II Fabric Wrapped Sound Diffusor
Keeps sound waves from grouping without removing acoustic energy in a critical listening environment
Auralex Acoustics has introduced the new ProFusor II fabric wrapped sound diffusor, designed to address flutter echo without removing acoustic energy in the room or greatly changing the frequency content of the sound.
Implementing ProFusor II diffusors can help can make a small space seem large and a large space seem even larger while also allow users to enhance the accuracy of critical listening environments and create a larger “sweet spot.”
Ideal for use in residential theaters, listening rooms, concert halls, recording studios, houses of worship and various other residential and commercial applications, the engineered quadratic residue diffusor is available in two sizes (ProFusor22 is 2’x2’x3” and ProFusor24 is 2’x4’x3”) and five fabric color options (Ebony, Pumice, Mesa, Sand and Shadow).
ProFusor II is manufactured from Class A fire rated materials, and its 3-inch depth and decorative fabric allow it to fit well into many attractive custom designs for applications with aesthetic requirements.
New Fillmore Silver Spring Live Performance Venue Gears Up With JBL VerTec Line Arrays
System also includes Crown Audio amplifiers and dual Soundcraft mixing consoles
The newest Fillmore venue in Silver Spring, MD is outfitted with a sound reinforcement system headed by JBL Professional VerTec line arrays and driven by Crown Audio amplifiers, with mixing handled via two Soundcraft consoles.
The 28,000-square-foot, 2,000-capacity Fillmore Silver Spring was built as a collaborative effort between the State of Maryland, Montgomery County and Live Nation.
The state and the county put up the money and Live Nation leases the facility from both on a long-term basis. Sound Image of Escondido, CA was contracted for the audio system design.
The Fillmore’s main loudspeaker system includes two columns of eight JBL VerTec VT4888DPDA powered midsize line array elements flown left and right of the stage, complemented by eight ASB7128 subwoofers across the bottom front of the stage, four VRX915M stage monitors and 10 SRX712M monitors.
The delay system consists of pairs of JBL AC28/26 loudspeakers for upper balcony fill, VIP areas at the sides of the stage, under balcony fill and for the rear bar are. Amplification is supplied by 14 Crown XTi 6000 amplifiers and Harman HiQnet System Architect software is used for system monitoring JBL DrivePack enclosures and Crown power amplifiers.
Completing the system, a pair of Soundcraft Vi6 96-input digital live sound consoles handle front of house and monitor mixing duties.
“First and foremost, the new PA system needed to sound amazing,” says Dan Schartoff, VP of production for Live Nation. “We needed a system that would be adaptable for all types of events and live performances by the likes of Deadmau5, Guns N’ Roses, Mary J. Blige, Kid Rock, Trey Anastasio, Childish Gambino…the list goes on and on.”
Schartoff noted the many criteria that must be met to achieve that amazing sound. “We needed clarity from the audio system,” he adds. “The system needed to pack a punch and have the ability to be a blank canvas for visiting engineers while also being rider-friendly.”
The two Soundcraft Vi6 consoles at the Fillmore Silver Spring also provide tremendous benefits, Schartoff notes. “We have Soundcraft consoles in many of our venues and they give the engineers a chance to store their show settings on a drive. They can make changes offline or have them ready to go when they arrive at the venue. They sound great and enable users to eliminate most of their outboard gear.”
Fillmore Silver Spring
Thursday, October 11, 2012
David Labuskes Named Next InfoComm International Executive Director/CEO
Succeeding executive director/CEO Randal A. Lemke, Ph.D. who is retiring at the end of 2012
David Labuskes, CTS, RCDD, will become the next executive director/CEO of InfoComm International, effective January 1, 2013, succeeding executive director/CEO Randal A. Lemke, Ph.D. who is retiring at the end of 2012. The announcement was made by the board of directors of InfoComm International
For more than 13 years, Labuskes has served as vice president of RTKL, now a division of ARCADIS, a leading architectural and engineering firm.
He is the founder of the company’s Technology Design Practice, overseeing the delivery of audiovisual, voice, data, wireless, environmental media, electronic security and acoustics services. Responsible for the operational, financial and marketing of technical services globally, Labuskes has led projects in the corporate, government, commercial and healthcare spaces.
Prior to joining RTKL, Labuskes served as president and CEO of Premier Technology services, a software and systems design consulting firm.
Previously he was executive vice president of Accelerated Payment Systems, an electronic payments processing firm. He holds a B.A. in International Politics and Business from Penn State University, and an MBA from Loyola University of Maryland.
“David Labuskes is a leading expert on the intersection of technology and the built environment. He is the executive who can help chart the course for InfoComm and our industry when it comes to the future of networked AV, smart building technology and more,” states Greg Jeffreys, president of InfoComm International. “His commitment to creating excellent environments will help the industry continue the quest for quality experiences for the industry’s end-customers.”
Labuskes has been a long-time volunteer with InfoComm, BICSI, National Systems Contractor Association (NSCA) and TIA, offering guidance in industry training, best practices and credentialing.
“As an integrator, I think David Labuskes is the ideal choice to share his unique insights on the future of AV in the built environment, and advise the integration community on the IT skills that our businesses will need to acquire, says Jim Ford, PE, chairman of the InfoComm Leadership Development Committee. “I believe he will be able to use his experience as an industry instructor to share practical advice that will benefit InfoComm’s heritage members – AV dealers and integrators.”
The executive search committee remained committed to finding a candidate with practical business experience. “As the president of a leading company in the live events space, it was very important to me that the next executive director and CEO of Infocomm International have a solid corporate background,” said Johanne Belanger, InfoComm secretary-treasurer. “InfoComm is a $40 million association, and keeping the organization in solid financial condition is of paramount importance if the group is to continue serving the industry with training, certification, networking opportunities and more.
“I believe David Labuskes will be an excellent steward of the association’s funds. As an MBA and a former CEO, he has the experience needed to keep InfoComm on solid financial ground.”
Labuskes will begin preliminary work at InfoComm on November 26, transitioning into the executive director/CEO position on January 1, 2013. “I’m looking forward to becoming the leader of InfoComm International, and getting to know more about the concerns and aspirations of all segments of this great industry,” he says. “Whether you are an integrator, live events professional, manufacturer, programmer, technology manager or design consultant, I am eager to work alongside you, with InfoComm’s professional staff, to make this great association even better.”
Studer 5 Console Does Double Duty For First Baptist Church At The Mall In Florida
Growth of church prompted need for a more capable live sound console
The First Baptist Church at the Mall in Lakeland, FL has a rich history of serving its parishioners since it was founded as the First Baptist Church of Lakeland in 1885.
From its beginnings with 12 charter members worshipping in a 32-foot by 50-foot wooden frame structure, the church has been steadily expanding to where it now stands on the site of a former mall (hence its name) that can accommodate almost 2,500 congregants.
With growth came the need for a more capable live sound console: a Studer Vista 5 M2, which the church uses for both front-of-house and monitor mixing.
“We simply outgrew our old console,” says Daniel Livingston, program technology supervisor at the Church at the Mall. “We now have three services on Sundays alone, which along with our pastor can include a full choir, a praise band, recorded music and more.
“We reached a point where we needed to upgrade our audio facilities, and we wanted to make sure we acquired a console that was not only up to the task but could handle our future needs.
“Input count was a major factor in choosing the Studer Vista 5 M2,” Livingston continues. “We need to accommodate more than 100 FOH and monitor inputs for a Sunday service—not only the pastor, choir and band but also pre-recorded music sources and effects sends and returns.
“The Vista 5 M2 was one of the few digital consoles we looked at that we could configure with the required number of inputs, and we went with 104 channels. Another important consideration was that we can upgrade the console in the future with even more inputs, DSP and other functionality if we need to—having a future-proof console is a big deal for a church like ours.”
Reliability and redundancy are also paramount, Livingston adds. “The console simply has to work. In addition to our own busy schedule of services and events, we regularly bring in national Christian artists like Christy Nockels, Tenth Avenue North and Avalon, so we need the console to be fully functional, 100 percent of the time,” he said. “The Vista 5 M2 has backup power supplies and redundancy and if there’s ever an issue, the console will identify the problem and you can correct it immediately. However, we haven’t had any problems. The Vista 5 M2 has been solid as a rock.”
In addition, the Vista 5 M2 is easy to use. “The Vistonics interface and the console’s meter bridge provide lots of information,” Livingston says. “Everything just seems to be right there when you need it, or else you can get to it quickly. Every knob has a label and with the console’s color coding there’s no guessing about what anything does.”
“The Vista 5 M2 sounds absolutely amazing,” Livingston said. “The preamps are incredible. The Vista 5 M2 sounds better than any analog or digital desk I’ve ever mixed on.”
First Baptist Church at the Mall
NTP Technology Introducing Penta 721 IP-Compatible Audio Interface To U.S. Studio, Broadcast Markets
Eight AES/EBU input/output channels are provided, plus up to three MADI input/outputs, two IP Audio Ethernet inputs/outputs, and an interface allowing control from Pro Tools
NTP Technology is introducing the new Penta 721 IP-compatible audio router and distribution interface to U.S. professional audio and broadcast markets at the upcoming 133rd Audio Engineering Society Convention in San Francisco, booth 1237.
“The Penta 721 is a versatile and flexible core for distribution of digital audio via AES/EBU and MADI as well as routing via Dante IP Gigabit Ethernet and optical fibre networks,” states Mikael Vest, sales director at NTP. “The interface versatility and compactness of the Penta 721 make it the audio equivalent of a Swiss Army knife, as will be appreciated by sound engineers needing to integrate audio equipment across various locations at a production venue.
“A full-bandwidth uncompressed network can be established quickly and easily, connecting an entire remote site or studio premises over a single Cat 5 Ethernet cable.”
Eight AES/EBU input/output channels are provided, plus up to three MADI input/outputs, two IP Audio Ethernet inputs/outputs, and an interface allowing control from Avid Pro Tools. A mini-module slot accommodates ST optical MADI connection or dual SFP MADI optical in/out.
The IP Audio protocol is based on the Audinate Dante digital audio network technology and will interoperate with Dante-compliant third-party products.
IP Audio routing allows low-latency tightly-synchronized transport of uncompressed signals over Gigabit IP Ethernet Layer 3 networks using-off-the-shelf switches and routers.
A total of 512 channels can be routed on a 1 Gigabit network; more if the network capacity is higher.
The Penta 721 is TCP/IP controlled via one or two Ethernet ports. IP Audio routing of large systems is manipulated via NTP Technology’s RCCore router control system which allows easy setting of connections on Gigabit IP Ethernet.
Dedicated control software compatible with Microsoft Windows can be used for controlling and setting up the Penta 721 on a unit-to-unit basis when less advanced operation is required. The Penta 721 can also be controlled via Audinate Dante IP Audio routing controller software.
Available now at $3,490 (U.S.), the Penta 721 occupies a one rack unit chassis and can be fitted with a single or main-and-redundant dual power supply.
Atlona Appoints Mark Vecchiarelli As New Director Of Worldwide Sales
Will lead company's sales activities across its retail, commercial, and professional A/V product lines
Atlona has appointed Mark Vecchiarelli to the position of director of worldwide sales, where he will lead the company’s sales activities across its retail, commercial, and professional A/V product lines through its network of distributors, dealers, manufacturers’ sales representatives, and support channels worldwide.
“Mark’s vast range of technology sales and business development experience make him an excellent fit to lead our team into the next phase of growth,” says Ilya Khayn, president and CEO, Atlona. “He has a proven track record of building strong sales organizations for both new and established technology companies, and this is just what we are looking for to take us to the next step in expanding Atlona’s global presence.”
Vecchiarelli has almost 30 years of experience in sales, marketing, and operations with sub-system, software, and semiconductor companies includes experience in building and managing global sales, support, and distribution in more than 25 countries.
Previously, he held the position of vice president of sales and technical support for RedMere and Analogix, where he accelerated design wins, percentage growth in value-per-design, and revenue growth.
Vecchiarelli has also held senior sales positions in leading semiconductor firms such as ZettaCom, AMCC, and TranSwitch. Vecchiarelli holds an MBA in strategy and marketing from Pepperdine University, as well as a BSEET in engineering from DeVry Institute of Technology.
“Atlona’s award-winning professional and commercial A/V technology is redefining the traditional economics of some of today’s most important distributed A/V connectivity trends,” says Vecchiarelli. “This makes it an exciting time for the company and I look forward to working with the team and executing on the opportunities ahead of us.”
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Smooth Performer: Sound Reinforcement For The new eTown Hall
Alcons Audio pro-ribbon based compact line arrays deliver even coverage throughout the space
Recognized nationally as a premier radio music program and broadcast on over 300 stations in North America, eTown has recently completed the renovation of its own 17,000-square-foot specialty venue called eTown Hall, located in Boulder, CO.
The weekly radio broadcast heard from coast to coast on NPR, public and commercial stations is taped in front of a live audience and features performances and interviews with top musical artists.
The format has attracted former presidents and icons including Jane Goodall, Jimmy Carter, Sarah McLachlan, Bob Weir, Lyle Lovett, JJ Cale, Mavis Staples, Willie Nelson and James Taylor.
Founder and host of eTown Nick Forster has been working to create eTown Hall for many years.
“We’ve been dreaming of having our own space, one that could serve as a multi-purpose, media-making performance hall and community center – all powered by the sun – and now we have it. For a non-profit organization, the process of designing and building the space took some time, and we had to assemble an amazing team to get it right,” Forster explains.
The result is a space that meets the needs of eTown’s performance and broadcast criteria while paying heed to eco-friendly practices.
A recent performance at new eTown Hall.
The structure that houses eTown Hall was formerly a Church of the Nazarene built in 1922. Transforming the 90-year old building into a state-of-the-art music hall presented multiple challenges.
To meet the ambitious design requirements, which include not only the offices of eTown but also a live recording facility, multiple edit suites, a music cafe and the main performance hall, Forster chose Sam Berkow and SIA Acoustics, based in New York City, as acoustical engineers and consultants.
“Nick had a very specific vision for this new facility. The scope of that vision included multiple spaces that required isolation in a number of areas.” Berkow explains. “We started with the structure – down to the new steel beams and all new walls and floors – and then we added treatment.
Sam Berkow of SIA doing the nitty-gritty work onsite, ironing acoustical fabric. (click to enlarge)
“Then, Nick and I listened to a few different speaker boxes. Not only did the live performance room require special acoustical treatment, but we had to choose a sound system that worked well with the size of the space and the more ‘rootsy’ type of music performed.
“There were also a number of other spaces to consider. In particular, isolating the recording spaces from the live venue proved somewhat challenging, but these are the types of projects where SIA excels. At the end of the day, every detail and design consideration had to mesh with all of the practical challenges presented by eTown as an organization.”
A look upward at one of the venue’s five-element Alcons LR14 arrays.
To provide even coverage throughout the space, Berkow and Forster chose Alcons Audio pro-ribbon based compact line arrays, with five full-range LR14/90 cabinets flown per side. The LR14 incorporates two 6.5-inch woofers joined by the Alcons RBN401 4-inch pro-ribbon drivers.
A stage monitor package and small café system also utilize Alcons loudspeakers, including six VR8 and two VR12 enclosures. Both are 2-way designs that are also outfitted with pro-ribbon HF devices.
Left to right, key contributors to the project, including Sam Berkow, David Rah, Marc Nutter and Preston Smits, also of Sound Sense.
The compact nature of the monitor systems worked well in the design due to sightline considerations, as well as the desire to provide the same level of fidelity for the artists as well as the patrons.
All loudspeakers in the project are driven by Alcons ALC2 class G amplifiers with integral DDP digital drive processing modules handle amplification. These amplifiers are designed by the company for exceptional low-noise and high-fidelity to ensure that the ribbon drivers are able to reproduce the original source faithfully.
Alcons ALC2 class G amplifiers driving the loudspeakers on the project.
Sonic Sense of Denver performed the system installation, with owner Marc Nutter working closely with Berkow to measure and tune the system. On-site factory assistance was provided by David Rahn, North American sales manager for Alcons, to help achieve the final outcome.
“We spent a lot of time listening to a number of high-end systems but ultimately chose Alcons Audio for the smooth performance in the top end, which we all agreed did the best job of presenting the type of acoustic oriented performances that eTown is known for,” Berkow concludes.
Atlas Sound Now Shipping 3-Way Dual 12-Inch AH Series Stadium Horns
Provide high-output, full-range paging and musical reproduction at sports complexes, campuses, and other venues
Atlas Sound has announced that three new 3-way stadium horn models in the AH Series are now shipping.
The AH Series is designed to provide high-output, full-range paging and musical reproduction at sports complexes, campuses, and other venues.
All three new models, as with the rest of the AH Series, offer weather resistant construction, including UV-resistant molded fiberglass enclosure and a three-stage, corrosion resistant steel mesh filter system that prevents weather and unwanted pests from damaging internal parts.
The 3-way design of the new models all include dual 12-inch woofers, a 1.5-inch-exit compression midrange driver and a 1-inch-exit high frequency driver. A specially designed crossover provides frequency division and extensive driver protection for each band pass.
All models offer 8-ohm impedance and can be easily bi-amped (LF/MF+HF) by removing an exterior jumper for use with high-powered systems where greater system control and protection is required.
More information on the new models:
40- x 20-degree dispersion
100 Hz—17 kHz frequency response
750 watts RMS power
65- x 65-degree dispersion
100 Hz—17 kHz frequency response
750 watts RMS power
90- x 40-degree dispersion
100 Hz—17 kHz
750 watts RMS power
Anatomy Of A System Measurement Rig: Probes, Preamps & Processors
A look at the basic dual-channel analysis setup
Feed The Brain. The primary job of a measurement rig is to acquire electrical and acoustical signals and feed them to the processor so that it can analyze, compare, slice, dice, fold, spindle and mutilate those signals and produce multi-colored charts, graphs and the all-important squiggly lines.
“But my software can produce squiggly lines all by itself without all those bothersome wires, preamps and microphones. Isn’t that enough?”
It depends on whether you are getting paid to pose or produce results.
We shall assume that you fall into the latter category, and therefore, the reason you have employed an analyzer is to measure your system and learn something about the signals passing through it, and in turn, what your system is doing to those signals as they pass through.
Your job is to decide what you want to measure, and from that, determine what measurement signals you need.
The point here is, the effectiveness of an analyzer is tied directly to its ability to acquire the measurement signals you need — and of course, those signals must be of a usable quality* (see note) and format.
With this basic functionality in mind, and for the purposes of this discussion, we shall divide our measurement rigs into three basic parts: probes (signal acquisition), preamps (signal transmission) and processors (signal analysis).
Probes (Signal Acquisition)
Put simply, our probes (sounds so scientific) are where we grab our measurement signals. We can split this group into two types: electrical and acoustical.
Once we have determined what electrical signals we want to grab — the points in the system signal flow we want to use as measurement points – accessing those electrical signals is basically a wiring exercise, generally accomplished via patching into device outputs or by splitting the signal path.
(click to enlarge)
This is why the measurement rigs for engineers who work on many, varied systems normally include a wiring kit with a healthy selection of adapters, y-cables, impedance matching connectors and other wiring knick-knacks/doohickies (pardon the technical jargon).
When grabbing electrical signals, it is important to note that, while standard practices of splitting the signal path and routing it into your preamp/audio I/O normally does not produce noise issues (worse case: noise introduced into the signal path), it is a good idea to always be aware of system grounding and is often a good idea to carry some isolation transformers in your bag o’ tricks just in case.
OK, microphones. There, we’ve said it.
Microphones are a critical part of our measurement rig. They are our analyzer’s window onto our acoustical environment and the signals that are arriving at our audience, artists’ and our own ears.
As tiny transducers, they are also the most variant component in our measurement rigs; from mic to mic, and also over time.
In a perfect world, our microphones would act as completely neutral acoustical probes — perfectly omni-directional with razor-flat frequency response from DC to light and 200-plus dB of dynamic range.
In the world in which we actually live and work, this is sadly not the case. It is only the ideal to which our mics aspire. So let’s get real about our measurement microphones.
The short take on the measurement mics we use for our rigs is that we need need to be honest about how close to our “ideal” mic we actually need.
It is relatively simple (and inexpensive) proposition in this day and age to produce a microphone that has a good free-field, omni-directional pattern with a respectably flat frequency response between 50 Hz and 5 kHz (and reasonably flat from 20 Hz to18 kHz), and with a dynamic range that is generally usable for measurements between 30 dB and 130 dB (SPL).
For a large number of our real-world applications, that may be all you require for your rig (and you can save money to spend on other cool gear.)
The microphone costs start increasing when you:
* expand the flat FR (particularly in extending and flattening the VHF response)
* extend the dynamic range, either raising the max SPL or dropping the self noise
* require tighter overall sensitivity ranges (mic to mic)
* require exactly matched responses
* require individual measurement plots for every mic
* increase the ruggedness and environmental capabilities
All of this is to say, you always can spend huge money on a measurement microphone if you so desire, but you may not need to for every single application.
Preamps (Signal Transmission)
This section should really be called, “Preamps, Cables and Audio I/O” - but that would defeat our cute alliterative naming scheme.
Also, while “signal transmission” includes all the connecting cables in your measurement rig, we will, for the purposes of this discussion, assume they are of professional quality and functioning properly (but don’t just go making that assumption in practice — check ‘em), and focus on the preamps and computer audio I/O (interface.)
Often these two functions are combined in one device, but not in all cases. Here, we shall address the two functions separately. (Also, please read this signal path quality note.)
Measurement rigs require preamps to perform four critical tasks:
1. Allow adjustment of incoming measurement signals to appropriate levels for our computer audio interface. In determining choices of preamps, we must consider what type/level of signals we will be accessing (mic, instrument, commercial line level, pro line-level), and what type of connectors will be needed (XLR, 1/4-inch, RCA, BNC).
2. Allow adjustment of measurement signals for appropriate levels for our measurement purposes. Throughout the course of standard measurement processes, it is often desirable to be able to finely adjust the levels of multiple measurement signals relative to each another.
3. Allow measurement signal selection and routing. In many cases, you may be using multiple mic and line signals which you need to select from over the course of your measurement sessions. While one can employ the old stone-knives-and-bearskins approach of just re-patching cables on the fly, multiple, routable preamps (mixers, switchers) make the job easier, cleaner, and less error prone.
4. Provide phantom power for measurement microphones.
There are many ways that these preamp requirements can be met. In touring and permanently installed systems, it may be beneficial to build the measurement preamp requirements into the system’s existing signal preamp and routing scheme (i.e., feeds directly from the mix console or system DSP units).
It’s important however to remember requirements 1 and 2 above, and make sure that the “built-in” measurement signal feeds have their own, separately adjustable levels apart from the main system drives — we can’t very well go asking the mixer to turn up or down during a performance just to make our measurement signals happy.
Computer Audio I/O
Once we have our measurement signals, the final step along the signal transmission path is the analog to digital conversion (A/D) and the journey into the computer processor (sorta sounds like an Orlando theme park ride).
The big question: “How do we get there from here?” The most convenient path is to use the converters built into the computer, their stereo line-level inputs, however, over the past 10 years, most PC laptops have dropped that input from their built-in components in favor of a simple mono-mic input (Mac laptops still have them standard.)
If one is available to you, it is certainly a viable option as those inputs usually meet/exceed our humble requirements (again, see the note on measurement system signal path quality.)
In the all-to-frequent case that your laptop does not have a stereo line-level input, or where your measurement rig requires more than two input channels, the standard solution is an external audio I/O unit.
Over the same past 10 years (not coincidentally), there have been a number of computer audio interfaces that have come on the market that satisfy our requirements — most of which including our required preamps.
When considering an audio I/O unit for a measurement rig, the primary concerns (apart from preamp requirements) in general are:
* Physical Connection Format - USB, USB 2, FireWire (IEEE1394) 400, FireWire 800, PCMCIA card, dixie cups on strings? The question is which is easiest, any will it carry the number of signals you need. USB (1 and 2) are the most commonly available connections built into laptops and are generally the preferred connection type for simple two channel (stereo) input. USB 2 and FireWire connections are required for multi-channel input (3-plus channels).
* Audio Driver Format - Just because the signals get into your computer doesn’t mean your measurement software can use them. It’s very important to determine what driver formats your program can access (i.e. wav/wmd/mme, ASIO, coreaudio). This issue is further compounded by OS version issues and is the source of severe headaches for users and developers alike.
* Powering Mode - bus-powered or externally powered. Simple stereo USB units often utilize the buss power available via the USB connection (500 mW max). This is extremely convenient as it adds portability (no need to plug in to AC) and ease of set-up to your rig. It’s also a great feature when traveling between countries that use different standard AC voltages because the bus-powered unit gets its power from the computer, which normally utilize auto-ranging power supplies. Once you are into multi-channel I/Os, it’s pretty much guaranteed that bus power will not suffice and it will need to be plugged into local AC for power.
* Form Factor - simply put, what type of audio connectors does it have and how big is it. For those of you who need an extremely portable measurement rig, rack-mount gear is most probably too big for your requirements. A corollary to this issue then is ruggedness/roadability — sure it’s portable in size, but is it really built to withstand the transportation demands/conditions placed on it?
The proper choice of audio I/O and preamps is truly defined by the intended use for the measurement rig — what systems are going to be measured, under what condition and whether or not (and how) the rig is going to be transported. No one solution works for every user and use case.
Often, it’s preferable to field a basic set of stereo preamps and I/O, and then supplement that with additional preamps and signal routers (mixers, switchers) when the complexity of the rig and system requires.
Jamie Anderson is a founding member of Rational Acoustics, which provides training courses, hardware products/packages, and professional consulting for sound system measurement, analysis, and alignment. He has been teaching and working in the field of sound system engineering, measurement and alignment for almost 20 years. During his career, Jamie has worked as a technical support manager and SIM instructor for Meyer Sound Laboratories, as a system engineer on tour for A-1 Audio (kd Lang) and UltraSound (Dave Matthews Band), and most recently, as a product manager and instructor for SIA and EAW. Also check out the Rational Acoustics Store for a selection of many of the components discussed in this article.
Shure Announces Fall Rebates For SM Microphones And Wireless Systems
SM57 and SM58 Included in Shure rebate promotion for SM microphones and wireless systems.
Shure Incorporated has announced it is offering fall rebates of up to $40 back on select wireless microphone systems and microphones.
Customers who purchase a SM57, SM58, DMK 57-52, PGX digital wireless system, PGX wireless system, or a Performance Gear wireless system between October 1, 2012, and December 31, 2012, are eligible to receive the rebate. Also included in the promotion is Shure’s X2U XLR-to-USB signal adapter bundles, available with the SM57 or SM58.
Providing outstanding performance, reliability, and application diversity, the legendary SM57 and SM58 microphones offer clean sound and extreme versatility. The SM57 is most often relied on for musical instrument pickup and vocals, as it delivers a bright, clean sound and contoured frequency response.
Designed for professional vocal use in live performance, sound reinforcement, and studio recording, the SM58 is a global standard for performing consistently, outdoors or indoors. When combining the microphones with Shure’s X2U adapter, users have plug-and-play USB connectivity for convenient digital recordings at home and on the go.
A universal drum microphone kit, the DMK 57-52 comes with three SM57s and one Beta 52A, an ideal supercardioid microphone for the kick drum.
The PGX wireless and PGX digital wireless systems deliver tailored wireless solutions for vocalists, guitarists, and presenters, combining the trusted legacy of Shure’s microphones with state-of-the-art wireless technology. A comprehensive solution for audio engineers at any skill level, Performance Gear wireless is engineered with superior sound quality and ruggedness, while providing a hassle-free setup.
“Our customers have trusted Shure for more than 80 years, relying on our products to be consistent workhorses wherever audio performance is a top priority—on the road, in the studio, and on the stage,” said Terri Hartman, director of marketing communications, Shure Americas. “We acknowledge all of our fans—from beginning artists to top-selling performers—and extend our gratitude for their ongoing commitment to produce great sound.”
Rebates include $10 back for a SM57 or SM58 purchase; $15 back for a SM57 or SM58 X2U XLR-to-USB signal adapter bundle; and $30 back for the DMK 57-52 drum kit. Wireless system rebates include $40 back for the PGX digital wireless system; $30 back for the PGX wireless system; and $20 back for the Performance Gear wireless system.
For more information on Shure’s fall promotion and how to take advantage of the current rebates, please visit www.shure.com/rebates.