Thursday, February 05, 2015

Ashly Pema DSP/Amplifier Playing Versatile, Valuable Role At Re-Born St. Mary’s School In Joplin, MO

Package delivers the flexibility to allow even non-technical staff to set up the system using Ashly neWR-5 remote control

The new facilities of St. Mary’s Catholic Church and Elementary School in Joplin, MO, built after the previous buildings were destroyed in a devastating tornado in 2011, includes a multipurpose cafeteria with a flexible sound reinforcement system headed by an Ashly Audio Pema 4250.70 network Protea matrix processor and 4-channel amplifier.

The Pema 4250.70 DSP/amp package delivers the flexibility to allow even non-technical staff to set up the system using Ashly neWR-5 remote controls.

David Walters, president and principal consultant at Diversified Design Group (Lincoln, Nebraska) designed the system for St. Mary’s Elementary School, with installation by local A/V integration firm Total Electronics Contracting.

In all, 48 JBL Control 26-DT in-ceiling loudspeakers deliver sound to the cafeteria in three separate zones, strategically aligned to facilitate different uses. Inputs to the system include a CD player, a DVD player, three hard-wired microphone jacks, and a Shure wireless microphone system. The system resides in a Middle Atlantic rack with Middle Atlantic power conditioning.

The backbone of the system is the Ashly Pema 4250.70, which provides a 8x8 Protea matrix processor and a 4-channel network amplifier that delivers 250 watts per channel into each 70-volt zone, as well as all the processing necessary for customized user control. A handful of networked Ashly neWR-5 remote controls mounted with the equipment rack allow users to select inputs and adjust their volumes.

“The Ashly Pema’s simplicity is amazing,” says Nate Pugh, A/V specialist at Total Electronics Contracting. “The Protea processing software was easy to program and will be easy to maintain, and it fits all of the system’s processing and amplification in just two rack spaces. The range of options is also impressive. It was great to get the 70-volt option with the right power delivery and still have the 8x8 DSP up front.

“It’s an excellent, go-to product for installations like St. Mary’s,” he continues. “The fact that we could customize the neWR-5 remote controls cinched it. We were able to give them controls that anyone will be able to walk up to and use. Again, perfect for a situation like this.”

Ashly Audio

Posted by Keith Clark on 02/05 at 05:46 PM
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Home Of The NHL Winnipeg Jets Outfitted With New Yamaha CL5 Console, Rio Boxes

Fosters digital signal path from the control room located in the loading dock area to the press box production booth

The MTS Centre, home of the Winnepeg (Manitoba) Jets of the National Hockey League, has been outfitted with a new Yamaha Commericial Audio CL5 digital console joined by two Rio1608-D input/output boxes, courtesy of Sonic Art Winnipeg.

The arena seats more than 15,000, and also plays host to a multitude of indoor sporting and entertainment events.

The CL5 is used primarily for Jets game production and was chosen for multiple reasons. “The Centre had reached the capacity of its existing analog console,” states Iain Graham, technical projects manager for Sound Art. “There were serious issues with sub-mixes for the concourse, etc., being altered between hockey games and not being reset. The ability to have a digital signal path from the control room located in the loading dock area to the press box production booth was essential.”

Graham adds that in addition to the creation of a digital signal path, it was essential that the facility be able to use all of the analog ‘trunking” from the original install.

“Dynamics on every channel was a welcome bonus and custom fader layers allow the engineers for various scenarios to only see the faders they need to see,” he adds. “Of course, the ability to use a redundant power supply tipped the purchasing decision to the Yamaha CL as compared to the competition being looked at during the selection process. The touch screen was also very attractive.”

The venue has also recently started to use the multi-track feature of the CL with Nuendo. “Nuendo enables the technical staff to archive shows and also allows offline troubleshooting if an action during a game needs to be reviewed,” Graham says. “There are significant fines from the NHL if anything interrupts a game, so staying on top of any potential issue is important.”

The addition of the Yamaha CL5 and Rio boxes is phase two of an audio upgrade at MTS Center, with Sound Art previously upgrading both the bowl and concourse PA systems.

Yamaha Commericial Audio
Sonic Art

Posted by Keith Clark on 02/05 at 02:46 PM
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John Rechsteiner Joins Audinate To Lead Sales & Support

Company also expands training and educations programs

Audinate has announced that John Rechsteiner has joined the company as vice president of global sales and support.

Rechsteiner brings over two decades of sales, marketing and customer support experience in the pro audio, broadcast and post production industries, most recently serving as vice president of sales, Asia Pacific for Avid based in Tokyo, Japan.

Rechsteiner will lead the worldwide sales and customer support teams as Audinate scales these teams in response to the growing number of manufacturers who have adopted Dante. Earlier in his career, Rechsteiner led the expansion of DigiDesign (now Avid) in the Asia Pacific region.

“We’re excited to have John join our team as we expand rapidly throughout the world. John is the right person to further build, develop and inspire our talented sales and support team,” states Lee Ellison, CEO of Audinate. “He brings a wealth of experience and we look forward to adding such a high-caliber sales leader to manage this period of rapid growth.”

“Audinate’s growing list of OEM partners signals the broad acceptance of Dante in the marketplace and customers’ desire for networked audio in commercial, live and broadcast applications,” adds Rechsteiner. “I’m excited to play a role in the transition of the AV industry to a networked world.”

Audinate also announced the expansion of its technical solutions team to further expand its educational and awareness programs. Bernie Farkus has joined Audinate as senior technical sales engineer for North America and Kieran Walsh has moved into a new role as regional manager of Global Support Services for EMEA. These positions will help facilitate the wide adoption of Dante by developing education and training programs to support Audinate’s OEM distribution channels, AV design consultants and systems integrators.


Posted by Keith Clark on 02/05 at 02:02 PM
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Sennheiser Celebrating 70th Anniversary This Year

Remains a family-owned and operated enterprise that's headed by a third generation of the Sennheiser family

This year Sennheiser is celebrating its 70th anniversary, remaining a family-owned and operated enterprise that’s headed by a third generation of the Sennheiser family: today’s CEOs, Daniel Sennheiser and his brother Dr. Andreas Sennheiser, are the grandchildren of the company’s founder, Prof. Dr. Fritz Sennheiser.

The list of product innovations from Sennheiser is extensive. The company has made a significant impact on the evolution of audio technology over the past seven decades, from the world’s very first open headphones, the HD 414, to present-day technologies such as the Digital 9000 wireless microphone system and MobileConnect, an inclusive audio-streaming solution for people with sight and hearing impairments.

The company has earned numerous patents and awards – including an Emmy, a Grammy, a Scientific and Engineering Award of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and the Engineering Emmy‘s Philo T. Farnsworth Award. “In the past, our products have surprised and amazed the audio world over and over again. Why? Because they have gone beyond the common standard. As a result, nobody anticipated them,” says co-CEO Dr. Andreas Sennheiser.

Right to left: Prof. Dr. Jörg Sennheiser, Alannah Sennheiser, Daniel Sennheiser, Prof. Dr. Fritz Sennheiser, Dr. Andreas Sennheiser, and Karin Sennheiser.

The Beginnings
The company was founded on June 1, 1945 as Laboratorium Wennebostel – or “Labor W” for short – by electrical engineer Prof. Dr. Fritz Sennheiser in Wennebostel, near Hanover, Germany. Initially, the young enterprise produced tube volt meters. They sold well, but Fritz Sennheiser had higher ambitions, with the the lab developing a constant stream of new solutions and the product range gradually expanding over the years.

In 1947, Sennheiser launched its first microphone developed in-house. The first “shotgun” microphone followed in 1956, and a year later the company was producing 100 different types of products. In early 1958, Labor W was renamed Sennheiser electronic – the inception of a brand that ten years later would spark a worldwide boom by developing and producing the first open headphones.

Second & Third Generation
In May 1982, Sennheiser saw its first change of generations. Prof. Dr. Jörg Sennheiser, son of Prof. Dr. Fritz Sennheiser, was appointed managing director, while his father became a limited partner. Over the years, Prof. Dr. Jörg Sennheiser gradually modernized and inter–nationalized the company’s structure, turning Sennheiser into a GmbH & Co. KG.

Prof. Dr. Jörg Sennheiser, Prof. Dr. Fritz Sennheiser.

Leading developments across various areas of acoustics, and new sales locations worldwide, followed with momentum. Sennheiser opened an additional production plant in Tullamore, Ireland, and a branch office for research and development in the U.S. An additional plant followed in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and a joint venture with Denmark’s William Demant Holding was initiated, forging a path for the founding of Sennheiser Communications A/S in 2003.

In July 2013, Daniel Sennheiser and Dr. Andreas Sennheiser, the sons of Prof. Dr. Jörg Sennheiser, took over as the CEOs of Sennheiser electronic GmbH & Co. KG. Both share their grandfather and father’s entrepreneurial ambition of aiming to shape the audio sector through a dynamic culture of innovation and a passion for excellence.

Thanks to this spirit, Labor W, a start-up based in a half-timbered house in Wennebostel, has grown to become a global player, sustaining a continual increase in turnover over the decades. Today, Sennheiser has more than 2,700 employees, with around half of them based in Germany. In 2013, the family company, whose management board still regards independence as a core value, generated turnover of €590.4 million.

Dr. Andreas Sennheiser (left), Daniel Sennheiser.

The Future
As an innovation-driven company, Sennheiser plans to continue playing a key role in shaping the future of audio. The foundations for this have already been laid with its new Innovation Campus, built on the company site in Germany.

“Here, as at our worldwide innovation centers, we will work in cross-functional teams that bring together our breadth of expertise to shape unique solutions, such as ones to individualize audio content even more,” co-CEO Daniel Sennheiser explains. “In the future, we will align our product development even more closely to customers’ true needs, wherever they arise – on live stages, at professional studio productions, in offices, or simply while listening to music and relaxing – while always striving to achieve acoustic perfection.”

With adaptable and increasingly smart products, Sennheiser will keep on developing and delivering future solutions that redefine audio technology.

Check out a cool animated history of the company here.



Posted by Keith Clark on 02/05 at 01:05 PM
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Wednesday, February 04, 2015

K-array Firenze Series KH8 Takes On The Challenge Of Hahnenkamm Ski Races In Austria

New KH8 arrays push sound "up the mountain" in very challenging winter environment

Considered the “Super Bowl of Ski Racing,” the Hahnenkamm Downhill and Slalom Races at the Austrian ski resort of Kitzbühel benefitted this year in its 75th run from a sound reinforcement system headed by K-array Firenze Series loudspeakers, provided by rental company Murdock Event & Media of Fieberbrunn, Austria.

At Hahnenkamm, up to 100,000 fans come to see skiers take on the notoriously difficult Streif, traveling at more than 85 miles per hour on the steepest ski slope in the world, as well as navigate the Ganslernhang, famous for its difficult and tricky slope.

The event’s organizers rely on the partnership with Murdock Event & Media, which assembles a large production team to take on a very complicated audio challenge on its own, let alone one furthered by difficult terrain, blizzards and sub-zero temperatures. 

Upping the ante this year, Murdock Event & Media chose to base its main system design on K-array Firenze Series KH8 line arrays and KS8 subwoofers. The new KH8 offers flexible digital “slim array technology” (S.A.T), fully controlled by onboard DSPs for very detailed beam steering and operational flexibility. (Read more about it here.)

Specifically, the sound team flew arrays KH8 loudspeakers to deliver coverage to the audience area at Hahnenkamm, joined by KS8 subs and K-array KH15s for side fill.

A perspective of some of the coverage area at Hahnenkamm, with a KH8 array on the right.

Klaus Hausherr of K-array technical team was also on hand to assist in the design via use of the system’s FIRmaker software. K-array worked closely with audio/acoustic software provider AFMG on the development of the software, which allows users to establish their own acoustic modeling. Configurations can also be designed off-site, prior to the show, and then simply activated with the click of a mouse.

“During setup, I dedicated myself to finding the exact measurements of the site, distances and settings, with a professional laser measurement tool,” Hausherr explains. “We then altered the parameters on (Powersoft) Armonìa software for complete control and monitoring.”

Screenshot of the KH8’s FIRmaker software.

System load-in began at 7:30 am, with the system flown, optimized and ready to perform by 11 am. “It was notable that an array made up of only six boxes and weighing just 600 kg (about 1,300 pounds) was easily able to push clear sound over a distance of 200 meters (650 feet),” Hausherr states. “It really is a whole new frontier.”

Karl Wienand of K-array Austrian distributor Musik Lenz adds, “It’s a great advance to have the up-tilt capability for these kinds of events. You can easily play the sound up the mountain, which is really different than any other system.”

The loudspeakers proved impervious to the tough winter elements.

Murdock managing director Stefan Gieringer concludes, “The system was ultra-reliable even during the blizzards we encountered at the event. With the steering of the new Firenze series, we can keep the system out of sight, making more room for the fans. We loved the KH15s for side fill; they supported the Firenze system to give it more than we’ve ever heard before at this event.”

Murdock Event & Media


Posted by Keith Clark on 02/04 at 06:31 PM
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LA’s Regent Theater Is Reborn With JBL VTX And Crown I-Tech HD

Revitalized venue blends eclectic combination of historic architecture with modern amenities such as Harman Professional system components

Originally built in the 1920s, the Regent Theater in downtown Los Angeles has been renovated with an eclectic combination of preserved historic architectural details and modern amenities, including a new audio system with Harman Professional’s JBL VTX Series line arrays and Crown Audio I-Tech HD Series amplifiers.

Owner Mitchell Frank took an unusually hands-on approach in the sound system upgrade for the 1,100-capacity venue. The system install was done in-house without the services of an outside contractor.

Frank relied on the help of JBL’s Paul Bauman for support, but already had a clear vision of what he wanted for the Regent, having worked for many years as, among other things, a concert and event producer and currently owner of Spaceland Productions.

“I’ve always been a fan of the VerTec line arrays,” Frank states. “When I first learned about the top-of-the-line JBL VTX Series, I knew we wanted to be first in line to have the rig installed here,” Frank states.

The theater’s VTX complement includes six V20 line array elements and four STX 828S dual-18-inch subwoofers on each side of the stage, augmented by four JBL AC26 2-way compact loudspeakers for front fill, two PRX735 3-way full-range loudspeakers used as side fills, and a dozen VRX915M 2-way 15-inch stage monitors.

Six Crown I-Tech 4x3500HD amplifiers power the main left/right line arrays, three Crown I-Tech 12000HD amps drive the subwoofers and four 4x3500HD amps handle the stage monitors.

The Regent has a main floor that slopes to the stage and a newly built second-floor mezzanine level and Frank finds the VTX arrays deliver wide, even, controlled coverage to both levels. “The VTX line arrays are relatively compact, but really powerful and clean and it’s amazing how much space they can cover, and do it so well. We did not have to install separate speakers for the mezzanine,” he says.

He adds that the Regent hosts an eclectic variety of music, and the loudspeakers, subs and amps can go from pounding yet completely undistorted deep bass on the venue’s dance music nights a to delicate, nuanced and sonically layered ‘high-fidelity’ presentation for acoustic-based acts.

The Crown amplifiers also helped to simplify the system design. “The I-Tech 4x3500HD is incredible,” Frank says. “The amplifier’s built-in processing and ability to be matched to the VTX arrays and the stage monitors saved us space because the loudspeaker management technology is all in the amps. We didn’t have to add outboard hardware for this functionality and JBL HiQnet Performance Manager software provides a great control and monitoring interface.”

Frank is doing some final fine-tuning of the venue with acoustic treatment: “We’re dampening up the room just a bit and just kind of tightening it up, but it’s been pretty much ready to go. We’ve had 10 shows already and everything sounds great.”

Bauman notes, “The advantages of the Harman JBL VTX and I-Tech HD system really shine in applications like the Regent Theater. Until the advent of these products it would have been impossible to implement a sound system in this kind of venue that was this streamlined in configuration, yet could be so precisely fine tuned. The performance of the VTX/I-Tech HD system has immediately taken the Regent to being one of the premier music venues in LA.”

JBL Professional
Crown Audio
Harman Professional

Posted by Keith Clark on 02/04 at 03:52 PM
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EAW Names Top International Distributor, U.S. Sales Rep Firm & Sales Rep For 2014

Quest Marketing, Dasan SR and Brad Horbal of Bormann Marketing take company's top honors

Eastern Acoustic Works (EAW) has named Florida-based Quest Marketing as its sales rep firm of the year, South Korea-based Dasan SR as its international distributor of the year, and Brad Horbal of Bormann Marketing (Hopkins, MN) as its sales rep of the year.

The announcements were made at the recent Winter NAMM show in Anaheim by EAW president Jeff Rocha.

“We have some of the best people in the world working for us,” Rocha states. “Every year it is a challenge to narrow it down to the winners. This year these these folks really stood out for taking support of EAW to a new level and helping us exceed expectations in their respective regions – that deserves recognition.”

Quest Marketing is responsible for EAW sales and promotional efforts throughout the southeastern region of the U.S. The team at Quest not only exceeded its sales quotas for the year, but also showed tremendous support of the brand.

Dasan SR stepped up its commitment to EAW in 2014 and also participated in several key trade shows and dealer trainings in heightening the sell-through of EAW in Sound Korea. In addition, Dasan SR’s sister company provided a support team of 12 and a significant amount of EAW gear (including 32 Anya modules) for the world championships of the League of Legends video game held at Sungnam World Cup Stadium.

“John and his team at Quest have done an exceptional job this year,” says EAW vice president of sales Rusty Waite. “The work that Dasan put into events like the League of Legends was really impressive. Both companies are very deserving of these awards.”

Bormann Marketing represents EAW in several north-central U.S. states, with Brad Horbal demonstrating exceptional dedication and support to the EAW brand. U.S. sales director Scott Pizzo notes, “People like Brad Horbal, who wear a million hats and still have the time and energy to promote and educate people about EAW are amazing. He has helped EAW thrive in his region.”

Left to right, EAW president Jeff Rocha with Quest Marketing’s Jim Greene, Jerry Sehi, John Saviano (holding award), EAW sales director Scott Pizzo and VP of sales Rusty Waite.

Eastern Acoustic Works (EAW)

Posted by Keith Clark on 02/04 at 01:24 PM
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Hosa Technology Re-Launches Zaolla Silverline Brand Cable Products

Line includes selection of microphone and guitar cables, analog interconnects, and digital audio cables and snakes

Hosa Technology has announce the re-launch of the Zaolla Silverline brand, which includes a selection of microphone and guitar cables, analog interconnects, and digital audio cables and snakes.

Zaolla Silverline cables utilize solid-silver conductors for a improved transfer rate in comparison to copper while remaining transparent in terms of audio quality. They’re also designed with redundant shielding that ensures EMI and RFI interference does not penetrate the cable and corrupt the signal.

In addition, Zaolla Silverline cables now utilize premium Oyaide connectors to further enhance quality while fostering reliability. Manufactured in Japan, Oyaide connectors incorporate 1-piece contacts made of silver or phosphor bronze for optimum conductivity, plus rhodium plating to prevent corrosion. The connectors have chrome-plated housings that further durability and also lend a striking appearance.

Zaolla Silverline product manager Jose Gonzelez states, “Our mission with Zaolla Silverline has always been to design and manufacture the finest cables in the world, regardless of cost. At the heart of every Zaolla cable, you’ll find a pure, solid-silver conductor, which compared to copper, offers less resistance and improves signal conductivity. It’s this use of superior materials, construction optimized for specific applications, and the addition of premium Oyaide connectors that results in audio signals that exhibit deeper bass and pristine highs.”

Because Zaolla Silverline cables are terminated in the U.S., they can be made to just about any length. Pricing varies by the type and length of the cable. U.S. MSRP pricing ranges from $99.95 for a 6-inch guitar patch cable to $2,559.95 for an 8-channel, 20-foot XLR snake. All products are available now.

Zaolla Silverline
Hosa Technology

Posted by Keith Clark on 02/04 at 01:09 PM
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D.A.S. Audio Launches LX-221 Dual-21-Inch Subwoofer

Available in both powered and passive versions

D.A.S. Audio has introduced the new LX-221 subwoofer, a dual-21-inch system available in both powered and passive versions.

With a power handling capacity of 6,800 watts (RMS), the 21-inch woofers are equipped with 4.5-inch voice coils offering 60 mm peak-to-peak excursion. They also have a neodymium magnet assembly and a double silicone spider with optimized compliance.

The LX-221 has a stated frequency range of 25 Hz to 100 Hz, yielding a maximum peak SPL of 145 dB.

The enclosure is constructed using 21 mm birch plywood and makes use of extensive bracing to eliminate resonances. The woodwork is finished with a durable D.A.S. ISO-flex protective coating.

A dolly platform with locking casters (model PL-LX221) is offered to stack and move the systems. Protection during transport is provided by the optional covers available from D.A.S.

D.A.S. Audio

Posted by Keith Clark on 02/04 at 12:58 PM
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Tuesday, February 03, 2015

3G Productions Teams With Martin Audio MLA At Calibash Festival In LA

Eight MLA Compacts for the 270-degree hang and 28 MLX subs in double stacks

3G Productions of Las Vegas and Los Angeles provided Martin Audio MLA for Calibash Los Angeles, held recently at the Staples Center and billed as “the leading urban Latin music festival in the world.”

The SRO concert featured a diverse group of acts including headliner Cuban American rapper Pitbull of “Don’t Stop The Party” fame along with Carlos Vives, Tego Calderon, reggaeton artists Wisin and J Alvarez, Don Omar, Becky G, Maluma, 3BallMTY, ChocQuibTown, Plan B, Farruko and Gente de Zona.

The system supplied by 3G Productions included 16 MLA and 2 MLD (down fill) a side for the main hangs; 16 MLA Compacts for side hangs; 8 MLA Compacts for the 270-degree hang and 28 MLX subs in double stacks––24 across the stage and a pair on each side pointed 90 degrees to the audience.

Mixing consoles at front of house included two pairs of Yamaha PM5D’ for the festival and an AVID VENUE Profile for headliner Pitbull.

“We also used Martin Audio DD12s for the front fills,”says 3G systems engineer Manny Perez. “They were awesome; really smooth, clear and responsive, like the whole system.

“In fact, the whole show went really well and all of the band’s FOH engineers were happy, even ecstatic at some points. It was kind of like playtime for them; they didn’t know what else they could do for their mix, which was a real change of pace. They ended up just hanging out, listening to each other’s mix, watching what the other guys were doing. They all really enjoyed the MLA system. They’d all heard about it but many hadn’t mixed on a big PA like that before.

Perez concludes, “The MLA rig was great, we had plenty of headroom and there were smiles all round the room. At the level the engineers had it, which was close to 105 or 106 dB, they were wondering what else they could do, because instead of struggling at that point, it was perfect. They also loved the sub bass being so powerful and smooth.”



Martin Audio
3G Productions

Posted by Keith Clark on 02/03 at 03:54 PM
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It’s DiGiCo Time At The 9:30 Club In Washington, D.C.

Venerable live music venue declares new SD8 the desk of the hour

The 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. has installed a DiGiCo SD8 digital mixing console with an SD Rack, together with a Waves SoundGrid Server and SG Essential plug-in bundle at front of house, all purchased through Washington Professional Systems of Wheaton, MD.

The 1,200-capacity live music venue, which moved to its present location in 1996, has been in continuous operation since 1980 and has been a consistent winner of the Pollstar Awards and Billboard Touring Awards over the past decade, also placing number 1 in Rolling Stone magazine’s 2013 “The Best Big Rooms in America” survey of touring professionals.

The upgrade came about as a result of the owners and operators of the 9:30 Club, I.M.P., an independent concert promotions company that exclusively books Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, MD and produces shows in a variety of venues throughout the region, being selected to also operate the historic, city-owned Lincoln Theatre. The 9:30 Club’s former front of house desk was relocated to the venue’s monitor position, with the previous monitor desk moving over to the Lincoln, and the new DiGiCo SD8 system was purchased to replace the house console.

“The main determining factor was how good I thought it sounded; it’s a nice, warm-sounding console,” says front of house audio technician Shawn “Gus” Vitale, who has been working at the 9:30 Club for 20 years. “There’s also something about the stereo separation - when I hear my stereo digital delays coming back, the returns sound like they’re coming not from the left/right PA but off of the side walls. It’s an awesome effect.”

The new SD8 was initially operated at 48 kHz due to limitations in the available cabling at the club. “We had extra cables run and I also got the Waves plug-ins working between the first and second day of a two-day show. The artist’s engineer could really hear the difference when we went to 96k. Plus, he was familiar with Waves plug-ins from the studio, so it was a double bonus for him. He had a fun show the first day, but he felt like it was really good the second day.”

Brian Grant, account executive - audio systems at Washington Professional Systems, oversaw the purchase, also liaising between the club’s staff and the manufacturer to organize an in-house demonstration. “I talked to Brian about which way to go and he thought that DiGiCo offered the best audio quality,” says Vitale. “Brian is a great guy; he’s sold us a lot of equipment over the years.”

Vitale had his first hands-on experience with a DiGiCo digital desk when They Might Be Giants played at the 9:30 Club and the band’s FOH engineer brought in his console. “I mixed the support solo acoustic guy, and when I brought up the faders I said, ‘wow, what’s he done with the PA, this sounds great’ - and we’ve got a good PA: a d&b audiotechnik J Series with B2-Subs. I liked the way the DiGiCo sounded.” He adds, “I think this is a good venue in which to break folks into a new desk, because the PA is great and the room has been treated, so you’re not at a disadvantage - everything is there.”

There was another factor in DiGiCo’s favor, Vitale continues. “We book live shows into a smaller venue just down the street from us, the U Street Music Hall, and they bought an SD9 some years ago. So I knew the audio quality was good, and to get us all in the DiGiCo mindspace doesn’t hurt, because if I need to send another guy down there, at least he knows the desk.”

The new DiGiCo desk has even seen some action outside of the 9:30 Club, Vitale reports. “I took the SD8 over to Constitution Hall a month or so ago, just for the support act. That was primarily because the digital snake is just way easier to run. It worked well for us - one desk, the SD Rack, some MADI cables, and off we went.”

The 9:30 Club, which took its name from the venue’s original street address on F St. NW, has been an essential mid-Atlantic stop on tour schedules since the day it opened, with a show featuring the Lounge Lizards. Since then, a “who’s who” of artists have performed at the club: Chuck Brown, The Police, X, REM, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Smashing Pumpkins (who played the opening of the current location in January 1996), Fugazi, Adele, and many, many others.

9:30 Club

Posted by Keith Clark on 02/03 at 03:26 PM
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NSCA Announces 2015 Winner of Lifetime Achievement Award

Owner of American Sound and Electronics served as NSCA president, headed up Education Foundation's first board of directors

The National Systems Contractors Association (NSCA) has announced Jack Toerner as the association’s annual Per Haugen Lifetime Achievement Award winner.

Toerner will be recognized on Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015, during NSCA’s 17th annual Business & Leadership Conference in Tampa, FL.

“We’re honored to pay tribute to yet another individual who has been instrumental in moving the industry forward,” says NSCA executive director Chuck Wilson. “Jack served as NSCA’s president from 1993 to 1995; he has been supporting the systems integration industry for decades.”

Toerner also headed up the NSCA Education Foundation’s first board of directors when it was established a few years later in 1999. In that same year, his company – American Sound and Electronics – became the first NSCA Education Foundation donor, making a $10,000 gift in honor of Lou Toerner, Jack’s father.

Toerner currently serves as owner of American Sound and Electronics (ASE) in Covington, KY, purchasing the company in 1986 after his father retired. He has helped the company introduce new technologies to its customers. Even though the company got its start in pro audio, it now provides security and video, board room, nurse call, digital signage, and data/voice cabling solutions.

“It is an absolute honor to have been selected as a recipient of the NSCA Lifetime Achievement Award,” says Toerner. “As someone who was born and raised in our industry, and as someone who was given the opportunity to serve as NSCA president, I can’t overstate my gratitude – not only for the award, but for NSCA’s continuing excellence as an advocate for me, my team, and for all of us.”

The Per Haugen Lifetime Achievement Award is awarded to an individual who exhibits:

—Dedication to philanthropy and social responsibility
—Business practices with high ethics, values, integrity, and honesty
—Active leadership in the financial well-being of his/her company and NSCA
—Strong values in every aspect of his/her life


Posted by Keith Clark on 02/03 at 03:15 PM
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Meyer Sound MINA Arrays Lead Upgrade Effort At Performing Arts Center Upgrade In Arizona

Two models with IntelligentDC technology also installed, assisting with distribution issues and providing savings in efficiency and space

To meet the growing demand for high-profile artists and productions in Prescott, AZ, a Meyer Sound MINA line array loudspeaker system has been installed as part of a major renovation at the 1,100-seat Yavapai College Performing Arts Center (YCPAC).

Since YCPAC’s re-opening, the new system has supported productions from Peter Frampton, Magic of Motown, and the Senegal St. Joseph Gospel Choir to the Manhattan Short Film Festival.

“With the new MINA arrays, the YCPAC has an amazing system for live performances, with even coverage throughout the entire venue,” says Tom Aldridge, YCPAC presentation technology manager. “It sounds great, and meeting the requirements on a tech rider is greatly simplified. When people find out we’re running a Meyer rig, everything gets a bit easier.”

The system was designed and installed by Chandler, AZ.-based TPI. “The MINA arrays deliver great musicality and intelligibility with uniform coverage across the entire hall, and their low profile has virtually eliminated any line-of-sight issues,” says Glenn Peacock, vice president of TPI.

The main system comprises left and right hangs of 10 MINA loudspeakers each as well as three 1100-LFC low-frequency control elements in a cardioid array atop the catwalk. Two Meyer Sound models with IntelligentDC technology are installed, including 16 UP-4XP loudspeakers for front fill, balcony fill, and underbalcony delay and four UP-JuniorXP VariO loudspeakers for box and under-box seats.

A Galileo Callisto loudspeaker management system with two Galileo Callisto 616 array processors provides system drive and alignment, while a Compass RMS remote monitoring system with one RMServer communicates loudspeaker performance data.

Peacock adds that IntelligentDC technology solves distribution issues and provides savings in both efficiency and space.

“There are a lot of high-density areas in the venue, and we wanted to add some fills to cover some of those shadowed seats,” he says. “The convenience of IntelligentDC allowed us to install those smaller boxes in the most optimal locations without having to accommodate power cabling and other equipment.”

Meyer Sound

Posted by Keith Clark on 02/03 at 12:55 PM
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Monday, February 02, 2015

Audinate Rolls Out Regional Dante AV Networking Training Events

Interactive, hands-on training sessions planned for six cities across the US

Audinate is taking its successful Dante AV Networking World events on the road to six North America cites. These free, full-day training events are geared toward anyone involved with the design and installation of networked audio systems, including design consultants, system integrators and sound engineers. 

The interactive sessions will introduce attendees to the benefits of Dante and audio over IP networking, showcase example Dante installations, and feature of a full afternoon of hands-on training. 

The events are co-sponsored by Audio-Technica, Bose, ClearOne, Focusrite, Presonus, Shure, Symetrix, and Yamaha, and will feature products from these manufacturers during the hands-on training sessions and in a dedicated demonstration room. Participants to AVNW may also earn four CTS InfoComm RU credits.

The winter/spring sessions are scheduled for the following locations and dates:
· Atlanta, GA on February 25th
· Seattle, WA on March 25th
· Philadelphia, PA on April 22nd
· Houston, TX on May 12th
· Dallas, TX on May 14th
· Orlando, FL on June 16th

“The goal of these regional events is to empower channel partners and their customers with knowledge and hands-on training of Dante” says Joshua Rush, Vice President of Marketing for Audinate.  “Our desire is to inspire all the participants with new ideas on how Dante can be used, highlight the commercial benefits of AV networking, and expand their comfort level with Dante and Dante-equipped hardware.”

A more detailed agenda and registration for any of the events is available online.


Posted by Julie Clark on 02/02 at 02:05 PM
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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Martin Audio MLA Enjoys Successful “First Night Out” With The Tenors

Highly detailed music from string players, large choir, five-piece band and featured performers demands precise dynamic control

Kevin Sucher, front of house engineer for popular Canadian operatic pop foursome The Tenors, recently had a successful first experience mixing with a Martin Audio MLA Compact loudspeaker system supplied by RMB Audio (Selma, NC).

For two concerts at Memorial Auditorium in Raleigh, NC, Sucher utilized a house system comprised of 12 Martin Audio MLA Compact enclosures and six DSX subwoofers per side, with four MLA Mini cabinets for lip fill, all networked via U-NET. Avid VENUE Profile consoles were provided for the house and monitors.

“It was my first time and it turned out to be a very pleasurable experience,” Sucher says. “For this tour, we didn’t carry any production with us, including backline, which presents its own challenges when you’re using different equipment from city to city.

“There can be a lot iffy pairings,” he continues, “but when you have the correct rig paired with the right desk some magical things can happen and this was one of those very pleasantly surprising situations. Bottom line, the MLA system blew me away. It was really exceptional. We do many of these shows all around the world and I’ve mixed on a lot of different systems, but this was one of those rare occasions when the responsiveness and the ability to make a small change in the dynamics was amazing—3 dB really felt like 3 dB.”

“And the frequency response was fantastic, like 800 Hz was truly 800 Hz. There weren’t any of these situations where you’re trying to borrow or cut frequencies from areas you don’t want to cut, but you have to because your ears are telling you what you’re hearing isn’t correct. Every frequency was exactly where it was supposed to be.”

Mixing The Tenors is challenging because of the complex dynamics presented by having 20 to 30 string players on stage along with a 30-member choir and a five-piece band. The music is highly detailed, which demands precise dynamic control.

“I started out as a recording engineer and then became a front of house engineer many years ago so I approach live mixing in a very ‘studio’ kind of way,” Sucher explains. “Staying true to their music and recordings as closely as possible is very important, and when you have a lot of live microphones onstage it’s difficult to keep the dynamics contained.

“Adding to the challenge is the fact that The Tenors’ repertoire ranges from classical crossover all the way through different types of pop music that changes from night to night,” he adds. “As such, the speaker system needs to be very responsive and my approach to mixing them is as if they are a large pop act so I need adequate bottom end, much more than some venues they’re booked into. That wasn’t a problem with the MLA system.”

RMB Audio’s Cooper Cannady guided Sucher through the MLA Compact system’s capabilities. “Cooper is very knowledgeable about MLA and he quickly educated me how to use ‘hard avoid’ to duck the ceiling response around the 7 dB to 8 dB range so we could eliminate unwanted reflections we didn’t want in the performance, which made a noticeable difference. The flexibility to change the direction of the energy is like having extra amenities in a very sexy car. These are really well thought out additions.

“That kind of flexibility also allowed us to control feedback in situations where The Tenors performed in the audience 30 to 40 feet in front of the main hangs, which can be tricky depending on the microphones you’re using.”

Because the Memorial Auditorium is almost as wide as it is long without a true balcony and a second level of seats that begins high up far behind the front of house position, the MLA system had to be rigged much closer to the ceiling to provide proper coverage. That said, MLA’s control proved to be “a big help in terms of what was a challenging space in terms of getting real boxy-sounding.

“At this point, I could not at this point think of a better rig than the MLA system for that situation,” Sucher concludes. “I would be eager to hear it again in a more typical space. In terms of the sound for all of our shows, it was probably the highlight of the tour. A lot of people walked by after the concert and gave us thumbs up. I’d be very eager to use it again.”

Martin Audio
RMB Audio

Posted by Keith Clark on 01/28 at 04:41 PM
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