Monday, November 19, 2012
Atlona Now Shipping LinkConnect Plenum HDMI Cables
Plenum Cables Feature CMP-Certified Kynar Jackets for High Temperatures to 125°C; Signal Enhancing Chipsets for 50- and 75-Foot Distances
Atlona announced that it is shipping new LinkConnect Plenum HDMI cables. Available in lengths of 25, 35, 50, and 75 feet, the cables combine the legendary performance of Atlona’s LinkConnect line with the stringent UL certification required for installation in plenum and riser air spaces.
The plenum space above drop ceilings and under raised floors is the optimal place for routing HDMI cables. However, due to the hazards of smoke inhalation in the event of a fire, the National Electrical Code (NEC) specifies the use of plenum-certified cables in these spaces, which can withstand high temperatures without giving off significant fumes.
To meet this requirement, Atlona’s LinkConnect Plenum HDMI cables offer a CMP-certified Kynar jacket for a temperature rating to 125°C.
Offering a high 4.95-Gbps bandwidth, LinkConnect Plenum HDMI cables utilize 24AWG copper conductors to ensure reliable signal transmission, especially with higher resolutions, color depths, and refresh rates. As HDMI signals become attenuated at longer distances, the 50- and 75-foot versions utilize an advanced signal enhancer chipset to eliminate speckles and dropouts for crystal clear images.
“Atlona was the first company to manufacture plenum HDMI cables, and with our latest LinkConnect offering, we’ve again raised the bar on safety and performance,” said Ilya Khayn, president and CEO, Atlona. “Many other HDMI cables that claim to be for plenum spaces are Teflon based and are only certified to 75°C, which most American certification labs say will not meet UL CMP certification.
“In addition, their thinner 26AWG copper conductors can’t handle the high demands of high-resolution computer sources. Due to their location, plenum cables are expensive to replace, so you want to ensure the highest quality the first time — that can only be found with LinkConnect.”
LinkConnect Plenum HDMI cables support resolutions to 1080p and 1920x1200, pass-through for all 3D formats, and audio up to Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD Master audio. For the best signal, triple-shielding protects against EM and RF interference, while 24K gold tight-fit connectors provide corrosion resistance for improved connectivity.
The LinkConnect Plenum HDMI cables are available now at authorized dealers and distributors.
Posted by Keith Clark on 11/19 at 10:46 AM
Meyer Sound Announces Promotions & New Hire For Digital Products Team
Richard Bugg and Jason Rahoff move up, and Robert Mele joins the team
Meyer Sound has announced two promotions in its digital products team, with Richard Bugg now serving as audio show control product manager and Jason Rahoff taking over many of Bugg’s former responsibilities as the company’s new senior digital products support specialist.
In addition, Cirque du Soleil veteran Robert Mele has joined the support staff as digital products field support specialist.
“These new appointments are a direct result of the rapidly growing acceptance of our digital products,” comments John McMahon, Meyer Sound’s executive director of operations and digital products. “This personnel expansion ensures that our technology remains the leading choice of the creative community pushing to transform sonic experiences worldwide.”
Bugg has more than 12 years of experience in technical support for Meyer Sound show control systems, and has been a principal seminar leader on the topic in Meyer Sound’s education program.
In his new position, he will work closely with R&D, marketing, sales, and technical services departments to identify needs and develop new show control technology solutions.
Prior to joining Meyer Sound in 2010 as technical support specialist for digital products, Rauhoff accumulated 17 years of experience as a recording engineer, live sound mixer, programmer, and sound designer.
His credits include several Las Vegas resident Cirque du Soleil productions as well as Dragon’s Treasure, a multimedia spectacular at City of Dreams, Macau.
Robert Mele worked in the Cirque du Soleil audio department for 14 years. His credits include La Nouba in Orlando, the Corteo touring show, and two resident Las Vegas productions, CRISS ANGEL Believe and The Beatles LOVE.
Rauhoff and Mele are based at Meyer Sound’s Berkeley, CA headquarters. Bugg is based in Southern California.
Denmark’s Esbjerg Performing Arts Centre Upgrades To L-Acoustics KARAi And KIVA
Has been utilizing L-Acoustics loudspeakers for 15 years
Situated on the rugged west coast of Jutland, Denmark, the Esbjerg Performing Arts Centre is host to more than 100 shows a year, varying from rock to opera.
The shoebox-shaped main hall seats 1,121, and since 1997 had utilized L-Acoustics ARCS loudspeakers, now recently upgraded to KARAi and KIVA systems.
“Contrary to what you might believe, our PA has not yet really started showing its age despite its heavy workload. In its 15 years with us we only had to diaphragm, and re-cone one single speaker element,” says Paul van Zijl, the in-house sound technician. “That kind of longevity in today’s throwaway society demonstrated to us that our investment in an L-Acoustics system 15 years ago was a solid decision.”
So why replace a well functioning PA? The answer is simple says Christian Sovad, technical head at the Musikhuset, “There has been a vast improvement in the quality of sound we hear through digital media at home in the last five years. This has changed what our audience perceives as ‘good’ sound. We had to re-invest, not just in a new line source array, but invest in the future happiness of our audience.”
“A track record of 15 flawless years with L-Acoustics ARCS makes it clear why we chose to stay with the French speaker system manufacturer. We were impressed with the predictable way our ARCS system performed in the demanding and ever changing shows we have hosted over the years. Our choice was always going to be L-Acoustics.”
To accommodate the throw requirement, the Esbjerg Performing Arts Centre invested in 2 x 9 KARAi as a left/right system together with 9 KIVA and 2 KILO in the center cluster and 8 x SB18i along with LA8 amplified controllers used to control, filter and power the system. L-Acoustics distributor Moto Audio Sales ApS supplied the systems and All Stage ApS (http://www.allstage.dk) took charge of the installation.
The main hall posed a serious challenge with a “floating” roof system that allows the roof to be lowered in five separate sections between 10 and 18 meters in height. Combine this with removable seating and an orchestra pit that also functions as a protracted part of the stage (allowing it to sit one meter above the stage and four meters below the floor), and you have all the hallmarks of a difficult acoustic application.
“We made use of local sound engineer Martin Paulsen and All Stage ApS, who has a long history and knowledge of L-Acoustics products. Martin presented us with various SOUNDVISION 3D simulations of the hall in all its different configurations, confirming that a KARA/KIVA configuration would provide more than adequate coverage across the whole venue,” says Sovad. “It gives you a great sense of security to know in advance how your investment is going to perform, and even better when it performs exactly as was predicted on SOUNDVISION.”
“As for our ‘old’ ARCS system, well, that is now serving us in our spectacular main foyer, thus ensuring the L-Acoustics legacy lives on in this part of Jutland,” addss van Zijl.
Friday, November 16, 2012
Download The Latest PSW Webinar: Understanding Linearity In Sound Systems
Access to a lively presentation on the concept and definition of linearity and how it directly applies to audio reproduction
The recent ProSoundWeb and Meyer Sound webinar entitled “Understanding Linearity In Sound Systems” is now available for viewing and download HERE.
The webinar featured a lively presentation by Meyer Sound instructor Steve Bush, who discussed the concept and definition of linearity and how it directly applies to audio reproduction.
The presentation also provided a comprehensive look at different terminologies associated with linearity, and explored means of testing and evaluating the linearity of audio systems.
This was followed by a Q & A session with the audience.
Again, go HERE to view and download “Understanding Linearity In Sound Systems” presented by Meyer Sound.
Bose Introduces New Ground Stack Accessories For RoomMatch Array Loudspeakers
Full-range boxes and subwoofer can support stage- or ground-mounted front-fill applications and temporary side-stage coverage
Bose Professional has expanded the flexibility of its RoomMatch array module loudspeakers with new rigging accessories that allow easy-to-assemble ground stack arrays.
Now, the 20 unique RoomMatch full-range coverage patterns and RMS215 subwoofer can support stage- or ground-mounted front-fill applications and temporary side-stage coverage in areas that require removable seating, such as performing arts centers.
The new ground stack accessories include a base frame that attaches to the RMS215 subwoofer and enables one or two full-range RoomMatch modules to be mounted on adjustable-pitch brackets.
New subwoofer brackets allow the base frame to be used with up to three subwoofer modules, and through optional casters, be easily moved to different stage locations.
Introduced in 2011 and recently expanded with several new modules, the Bose RoomMatch series offers a new class of curvilinear array loudspeaker – the progressive directivity array. The full-range modules are available in 20 different combinations: horizontal coverage patterns of 55, 70, 90 or 120 degrees, and vertical coverage patterns of 5, 10, 20, 40 or 60 degrees.
The progressive directivity array offers the ability to vary both the horizontal and vertical coverage patterns for each module in the array based on the room dimensions. More precise coverage control helps sound system designers ensure good intelligibility with spoken-word program material, especially in reverberant rooms, as well as the best possible tonal balance throughout the listening area.
The new RoomMatch ground stack accessories will be available through authorized Bose dealers beginning October 31, 2012. Visit for more information.
Renovated Lausanne Opera Opens Its Doors With Newly Designed System Featuring Adamson
Metrix arrays at left, center, and right deliver coverage
The Opéra de Lausanne in Switzerland recently re-opened its doors after an extensive renovation and expansion with a new production of The Elixir of Love by Donizetti.
Winners of the expansion contract, architects and Ines Lamunière and Patrick Devanthéry delivered the design challenge with grace. The opera house was built in 1871, modernized in 1930, with the latest upgrades made to the stage, the backstage, orchestra pit, and the interior design of the public areas.
The venue also received a technical upgrade, including a new sound reinforcement system specified by audio consultant Jacques Moyal, assisted by Vincent Taurisson. The design centers on Adamson Systems Systems Metrix line arrays controlled and powered by Lab.gruppen PLM10000Q amplifiers.
Two left and right arrays of three Metrix 5-degree boxes provide coverage to the main floor level, and in the same array structures, two more specially aimed Metrix 5-degree boxes cover the balonies. The arrays also incorporate one Metrix subwoofer.
In addition, a terracotta red loudspeaker array made up of one Metrix sub with four Metrix W cabinets was deployed to cover the center from the very top to the floor, and it appropriately disappears into the classical valance of the stage.
The integrated Lake processing in the amplifiers can independently manage each group of loudspeakers. Audio distribution and PLM control is implemented via a optic fiber network running the Audinate Dante digital audio network protocol, keeping the signal path from console to amplifier purely digital.
Yamaha Commercial Audio Training Sessions Set For November & December
Coming to Washington DC, Michigan, Ohio and Florida
Yamaha Commercial Audio Training Seminars (YCATS) will make stops in Washington, DC; Cincinnati, OH; Novi, MI; and Orlando, FL during the months of November and December, 2012.
YCATS trainers will hit the District of Columbia on November 28-30 (Wednesday through Friday) for Yamaha CL digital console operational training, M7CL digital console for beginners, M7CL for advanced users, digital audio networks for engineers, and an LS9 digital console workshop.
Further, Yamaha CL operational training will be held in Cincinnati on Tuesday, December 4 and in Novi on Friday, December 7.
In addition, Orlando training will be held December 11-13 (Tuesday through Thursday), and will consist of M7CL for beginners, M7CL for advanced users, CL Series essentials (for those who are familiar with “Centralogic” on M7CL or LS9), and digital audio networks for engineers.
Go here for more information and to register.
Yamaha Commercial Audio
UBS Takes First New Soundcraft Si Performer Console In The Baltics
Latvian company takes possession of first digital audio mixer with integrated DMX for lighting control
UBS (Universal Baltic Sound) of Latvia has purchased the first new Harman Professional Soundcraft Si Performer console in the Baltic region.
The rental company had originally been invited by Soundcraft’s Latvian distributor Audio AE to test the Si Compact 24 console on the recent tour of top local rock act Brainstorm, as the front of house mixing console for support band The Sound Poets.
After using it on various shows, they were impressed with the feature set. Although USB senior sound engineer Maris Liepa had never previously worked on the desk, he was surprised at how easy it was to navigate.
“I instinctively knew how to use it without referring to the manual,” he says. “The tour was a great test for a new product and we were able to run both FOH and monitors from a single Si24.”
They were all set to purchase the desk and add it to their extensive inventory of Soundcraft analog boards, until the Si Performer hybrid desk, which is based on the same platform, was announced.
“When we learned of the Performer 3, we were particularly impressed with the bigger channel count, the two option slots, which allow I/O expansion…and the more attractive appearance,” says Maris. “And so we didn’t hesitate to place the order for this instead.”
The Si Performer is the first digital audio mixer with integrated DMX for lighting control. With a total possible capacity of 80 inputs, it takes the Si Compact platform as its base but provides almost twice as much DSP power and increased functionality.
The Si Performer 3 offers 32 mic and eight line inputs, offering 14 aux/group mix buses, as well as four FX return channels; and with the aforementioned input cards it is possible to patch up to 80 inputs.
In addition, the integration of a DMX512 port offers core lighting control, with the initial release of software providing four scene masters (A-D) with associated slave channels on the ALT fader layers.
Posted by Keith Clark on 11/16 at 09:48 AM
Waves Audio Names Val Gilbert Live Product Specialist
Will act as a resource for engineers throughout the U.K.
Waves Audio has appointed U.K.-based audio engineer Val Gilbert as Waves Live product specialist.
In his new capacity, Gilbert will communicate with other live sound engineers across the U.K., sharing his knowledge of Waves plugins, the SoundGrid system and typical workflows in the live sound arena.
The addition of Gilbert further emphasizes Waves’ ongoing expansion in the live sound sector. For several years, he was based in France, where he gained an extensive background in live sound as a front-of-house engineer for major touring acts, working with artists such as Makali and Really Addictive Sound, and for companies such as Universal and TS Productions, across Europe and to Russia and the USA. He relocated to the U.K. just over two years ago.
Gilbert is a long-time Waves user both live and in-studio. “I’m currently working with French/Belgian Afro-folk band Namogodine, as we prepare the release of their next album for this coming spring and the supporting tour,” he says. “I’m in the process of mixing the album, so it will be great to take the Waves processing I’ll be using in the studio with me on the road, and not have to compromise on dynamics and effects.
“As a Waves Live Product Specialist,” he continues, “I know the ins and outs of the Waves SoundGrid system across all the different platforms for which it is available. I will be conducting demonstrations and training at different locations across the U.K., as well as providing frontline technical support for Waves SoundGrid users.”
Extron Now Shipping Select DMP 128 Audio DSP Models With Acoustic Echo Cancellation
12x8 audio mixers with Extron ProDSP, automixing, and I/O expansion capabilities
Extron Electronics has announced the immediate availability of the DMP 128 and DMP 128 C digital matrix processors.
Both DMP 128 models are 12x8 audio mixers featuring Extron ProDSP, automixing, and I/O expansion capabilities. The DMP 128 C version also offers AEC - acoustic echo cancellation.
The DMP 128 Series offers a configuration approach to DSP that simplifies mixing, routing, conferencing, and room optimization. Quick and intuitive configuration using the DSP Configurator Software allows the DMP 128 Series to be installed in very little time, with easy-to-learn adjustments that can be heard in real-time.
A digital audio expansion port allows two DMP 128 units to be linked together to expand input and output signal management and routing capabilities.
“The DMP 128 is our latest ProDSP processor featuring a 12x8 audio matrix mixer, plus Extron AEC that delivers robust, dependable acoustic echo cancellation, and is very easy to set up and configure,” says Casey Hall, vice president of sales and marketing for Extron. “This DSP also includes an expansion port which allows two DMP 128 units to be linked for creating an expanded matrix.”
The DMP 128 C model includes Extron AEC for conferencing applications. AEC is essential for effective remote room-to-room conversations, ensuring clear, natural communication for all participants.
It also includes eight independent channels of high performance AEC, as well as selectable noise cancellation. AEC processing can be challenged by conditions such as double-talk, when talkers from both ends are speaking simultaneously, and when near end talkers use wireless microphones.
Extron AEC utilizes advanced algorithms to deliver fast echo canceler convergence for optimal intelligibility, even in challenging conditions.
Both models include an automixer with gated and gain sharing modes for managing up to eight groups of microphone signals. Gating threshold, signal level reduction, and timing parameters are user-adjustable per channel. This allows for fine-tuning to avoid the “chopped” sound characteristic of a traditional automixer when a mic is gated off.
As the number of active microphones is doubled, system gain is automatically reduced by half, uniformly attenuating microphone signal levels to minimize audible changes in the overall sound and the possibility of feedback.
For a natural sounding mic mix, the automixer also offers a gain sharing mode when the NOM - number of open microphones is bypassed, allowing all mics to gate on. When a DMP 128 is linked to another unit through the expansion port, each incoming expansion bus can be assigned to an automixer gating group.
Extron ProDSP is engineered from the ground up using a 64-bit floating point DSP engine and studio grade 24-bit converters with 48 kHz sampling. It is managed by the intuitive DSP Configurator Software, a PC-based application featuring an easy-to-use GUI that allows for complete audio system visualization within a single window. Designers can quickly get a snapshot view of the entire audio system, including processing blocks and routing assignments, all at once.
Outfitted With Martin Audio Components, U Street Music Hall System Named To Top 10 In U.S.
System includes Martin WS218X subwoofers
Washington, D.C.’s U Street Music Hall, equipped with Martin Audio loudspeakers (including powerful WS218X subwoofers) has been recognized as having one of the Top 10 U.S. Club Sound Systems by Beatport, an online music store specializing in electronic dance music and culture.
Designed and installed by Adam Weiner, principal of ITI Audio Inc., working with partner William McClure and consultant Brian Miller of Edit Design, the system consists of four Martin Audio Blackline+ H3+ three-way loudspeakers, two H3H+ three-way loudspeakers, and two F15+ enclosures as DJ monitors in addition to the five WS218Xs.
Power is provided by Martin Audio MA9.6K and MA12K amplifiers, while BSS Soundweb London BLU-160 and XTA DP226 supply processing.
The system had already earned praise since the edgy Washington club’s inception. Chris Richards of the Washington Post wrote, “Bass drips like subsonic honey from U Hall’s six-figure sound system, an incredible machine that trumps any nightclub’s in the city.” Club principal Will Eastman noted to DCist, “One of our friends from the 9:30 Club was here last night, and he said, ‘nobody that works in this club will ever have kidney stones.’”
Weiner told Beatport, “U Hall is an example of what happens when people who care about how their music sounds do everything right in designing their club.” Beatport added, “Although the system bumps like no other, it only has five subs. That’s a true testament to the power of Martin Audio.”
Thursday, November 15, 2012
Yamaha And NEXO Collaborate To Offer Enhanced Integration & Control
Will allow NXAMP discovery and patching operations to be executed directly from the touchscreen of CL Series consoles
Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems has announced that effective January 2013, Yamaha CL Series digital mixing consoles and NEXO powered TD controllers equipped with NXDT104 Dante network cards will offer a new level of integration and control.
Together, Yamaha and NEXO are developing this integration to allow NXAMP discovery and patching operations, currently requiring a computer running the Dante Controller software application, to be executed directly from the touchscreen display of CL Series Consoles.
The new advancement will be available with CL Series firmware update V1.5.
The NXAMP Powered TD Controller was initially developed by engineers from both companies combining years of expertise to create the NXDT104 Dante network card, announced in March 2012.
The card allows for Dante network protocol compatibility between CL consoles and NXAMP, and enables the console to communicate directly with the amplifier via the Dante network.
“The synergy that exists between NEXO and Yamaha enables products like the NXDT104 to be developed,” states Marc Lopez, marketing manager, Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems. “Our goal is to make all Yamaha and NEXO systems less complex, fast, and easy to use for our customers, and this new development for CL and the NXAMP marks yet another significant step in that direction.”
Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems
Allen & Heath Releases Version 1.9 Firmware For iLive Digital Mixing System
Includes new GEQ, dynamic EQ, multi-band compressor emulations, and more
Allen & Heath has released the latest version of iLive digital mixing system firmware, V1.9, offering a range of enhancements including new GEQ, dynamic EQ and multi-band compressor emulations, increased MIDI control options, and improvements to the functionality in the supporting iLive Editor software and MixPad app.
All 32 mix outputs now benefit from extra graphic EQ low-frequency bands and a choice of four GEQ emulations with accurate modelling algorithms: classic 1/3rd octave Constant-Q, industry standard Proportional-Q, Digi-Q for minimal band interaction, and a new asymmetric Hybrid - plus display of the resulting frequency response and a superimposed RTA view.
This is a first in live audio, as the four models are available at a touch of a button and can be audibly and visually auditioned in real time with no patching or recall needed.
Added to the library of outstanding FX emulations are two multi-band compressors (3 and 4 band) and a 4-band dynamic EQ. Both additions give sound engineers the complete tool kit for ultimate control over dynamic range in mix mastering or tone shaping applications, including dealing with vocals.
Among the many new developments, V1.9 also includes an array of improvements to functions such as mix bus coherency, bank linking preferences on larger iLive surfaces, stereo input channel width control with modes such as M&S, configurable input meters source point, channel and mix delay bypass and extended MIDI functionality.
There are also specific improvements for permanent installations, such as enhancements to user permissions and networking flexibility. These include new audio synchronization and routing options and full control of audio networking cards when fitted in an xDR-16 expander.
Key developments in the supporting iLive Editor software comprise a quick input set up window to mirror the iLive Surfaces and MIDI control of the Mix button, while the MixPad app can now hold up to 32 strips in custom layers, features an FX tap tempo control and Aux pan control improvements.
“From the beginning we have invested a lot of energy in keeping iLive at the forefront of digital mixing. We have also been very fortunate to have the support and feedback of a diverse community of passionate iLive users whose feedback and enthusiasm have helped to shape its success,” states Rob Clark, Allen & Heath director of R&D. “This latest firmware updates add some powerful new tools like additional graphic and dynamic EQs and multiband compression, but we have also made a huge number of refinements that add up to an even better mixing experience for the people working with iLive on tour and in venues across the globe.”
V1.9 is available to download now from www.allen-heath.com.
Allen & Heath will also be hosting a webinar on Tuesday, November 20 for customers to learn more about the new features. There will be two sessions to suit different time zones:
10:00 GMT Sign up for Session 1
16:00 GMT Sign up for Session 2
Allen & Heath
American Music & Sound
Sound Image Outfits House Of Blues Las Vegas With JBL VTX Line Arrays
Installation makes Sound Image the first company to install JBL VTX array
The House of Blues Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay hotel, one of the city’s premier concert venues, was recently outfitted with JBL Professional VTX Series line arrays.
The House of Blues hosts major touring acts and will be home to a two-year residency by Carlos Santana, performing his “Greatest Hits Live: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” through 2014.
Sound Image of Escondido, CA provided the system design and installation under the direction of Jason Schmidlapp, with support from Dave Kaiser of Sound Marketing West, Harman Professional’s regional sales rep firm.
The system includes two 13-box hangs of 10 VTX 25 line arrays and three VerTec VT4880A fullsize arrayable subwoofers on each side of the stage, complemented by six ASB7128 subwoofers under the stage and six VerTec VT4886 subcompact line array elements for upper balcony fill.
In addition, a JBL AC18 compact 2-way loudspeaker and ASB6112 compact 12-inch subwoofer are installed in each of the VIP suites.
“The House of Blues Las Vegas had gotten to the point where it really needed to upgrade its sound system,” says Dan Schartoff, VP of production for House of Blues Entertainment. “The VTX boxes were a bit larger than the previous system so the suspension points had to change, and we also had to work around the room’s upper balcony. We had to move the array stacks slightly upstage and offstage to keep the sight lines to the stage clear.
“As it turned out, this enabled us to give patrons a better view of the stage since previously some of the speakers were stacked on the stage underneath the flown speakers. The better, more focused coverage of the VTX line arrays enabled us to eliminate the on-stage speakers while delivering much better sound.”
The upper balcony was a large hurdle to overcome, Schartoff notes. “The two array hangs are fairly close to the balcony, so we decided to install the subwoofers in the middle of both arrays. Six VTX V25 provide balcony coverage with three VT4880A flown in the middle of the array and four V25 for floor coverage. The 13-box arrays were carefully designed to fit the available space and the bottom V25 enclosure of the balcony section is at the same elevation as the first row of the balcony, providing excellent off-axis coverage.
“The subwoofers are in the middle and close to the balcony surfaces, which helps to reduce reflections while at the same time allowing for improved under-balcony penetration since the lower V25 enclosures have line of sight coverage to the back of the room.”
The loudspeakers are powered by CrownAudio IT 12000HD and XTi Series amplifiers, with loudspeaker management is performed via dbx DriveRack 4800 speaker management systems. A Soundcraft Vi1 digital live sound console handles some front-of-house mixing duties.
“We used Harman HiQnet System Architect software to do the setup and installation,” says Schmidlapp, “which really streamlined the whole process.
“We were eager to do an installation with the new VTX line arrays as soon as we’d heard about them, and we bid on the House of Blues job, which would give us a great setting as a showcase room,” he adds. “If you’re going to go big, what better place to go big than Las Vegas? At the same time we were contracted to do the install, Carlos Santana was looking for someplace with a younger, hip clientele for his upcoming residency and chose the House of Blues. The timing wound up being perfect for us.”
The installation makes Sound Image the first company to install JBL VTX arrays.
“Carlos Santana performing through a VTX line array system at the House of Blues Las Vegas is a match made in heaven,” states Paul Bauman, senior manager, Tour Sound for JBL Professional, who was instrumental in providing onsite support during the installation. “This project was truly a team effort under the guidance of Dan Schartoff and his team at Live Nation, coupled with Sound Image’s expert design and implementation and outstanding support from Sound Marketing West.”
“I can honestly say JBL hit the nail on the head with VTX—I can’t say enough about how good this box sounds,” says Rob Mailman, touring operations manager for Sound Image and FOH engineer for Santana. “It is very transparent, solid throughout all bands and does really well not leaving me fatigued at the end of a long and loud show.”
James River Assembly Moves Up To DiGiCo SD5/SD10 Consoles
New consoles help accommodate growing congregation on two campuses
James River Assembly (JRA) is among the first venues in the United States to take delivery and install a new DiGiCo SD5 consoles.
Taking advantage of a limited-time “Trade Up” offer from U.S. distributor Group One Limited–and working through Special Event Services (SES)–the 12,000-member house of worship in Springfield, MO, traded up their outdated large-format digital console with credit toward the purchase of two SD5s, plus an SD10 to accommodate its growing congregation.
The consoles were also a perfect fit for their staff, offering stellar flexibility, expandable I/Os for future growth, and a streamlined audio footprint for their South Campus as well as their West Campus, which opens in December.
JRA audio director Stephen Maddox selected the SD5 for the main campus FOH after seeing its debut at the 2012 InfoComm show, adding an SD10 for monitors. An additional SD5 was purchased for FOH at the West Campus with technical engineer Brian Roggow overseeing the installation there.
JRA pulled the old consoles—which freed up loads of space—after a Sunday morning service and had the DiGiCo units up and operational for rehearsals the following Tuesday.
“With the audio system revamp, we waited because we knew it would be a larger undertaking,” explains Maddox, “and one that would entail putting in an entirely new speaker system but also modifying the architecture of the room, and updating the microphones, soundboard, etc. We moved forward with the vision of our lead pastor John Lindell in mind. It was a team effort from the whole staff here. When the previous system was designed, the church was doing a classic contemporary musical style, which included a choir and orchestra.
“Since that time the church has transitioned musically to a rock/contemporary style of worship, but the old sound system wasn’t able to keep up with the output,” he continues. “The speakers were the main culprit and got the conversation started for the revamp. Once we decided on the PA—an Outline GTO with Powersoft K8 amplifiers and XTA DSP—we moved on to looking for consoles.”
Having consistency with the consoles at both the South Campus and the West Campus—running at 96 kHz—helped JRA achieve a streamlined sonic clarity as well. “It’s not like each venue is different,” Maddox says. “It’s the James River sound. Our tagline is, ‘one church, two locations.’ We want the experience at either campus to be the same. The PM1D was a nice board at the time we bought it but it lacked the warmth and depth that the DiGiCo has. When we first turned it on, I could hear the difference. It’s a very clear console, very warm, and the clarity alone is a nice feature in itself.”
The console’s flexibility was another bonus for both engineers. “I think the DiGiCos are very easy to understand and get around on,” Roggow offers. “You can see a lot of information at a quick glance. I like the fact that they can easily be a multi-user, multitasking console. I like that much better than a single-channel control approach, too.”
“With a lot of the other manufacturers’ consoles, you’re limited by its design in how you have to use it,” Maddox adds. “Since I started programming on the DiGiCo, it’s been very much of a, ‘this is what we’re giving you, how do you want to use it?’ experience. That was extremely beneficial to me because no longer was it how do I have to do it but rather how do I want to do it. Part of that intuitiveness is being able to lay out the console like you want to, with either a musical or logical layout, for a specific part in our service; it’s very straightforward and easy to program. Some of the specific features I like are the floating inputs, allowing you to put anything where you want it. The virtual sound check is a huge performance boost allowing you to mix without people on stage.
“Also, the Set Spill option is great. Even though I have each piece of the band individually laid out in layers and banks how I want, it’s very nice to be able to spill them out and it allows me to have the whole band show up on both banks with quick access to them. The macros are a huge plus, too, giving you the flexibility to program them for any scenario you can imagine because you can virtually program anything on the desk to a Macro.”
The Waves SoundGrid Bundle also adds to the overall palette. “Having them as an option is great,” explains Maddox, “but everything onboard is pretty phenomenal and the console itself is good enough on its own—from the DigiTubes, which give you the nice dynamic, tube-quality EQ, to the onboard dynamic EQ, to the multiband compressor or built-in De-esser they all sound nice. I would be fine if I didn’t have the Waves plug-ins, but they give you more to paint with and they’re a nice option to have. The PuigChild, modeled after the Fairchild, is a favorite, or the CLA compressors. The C6 is a great multiband compressor and it’s very easy to use. The Renaissance De-Esser is good, as is the SSL Compression or the SSL Channel Strip with its compressor and EQ options.”
Along with their new in-ear monitor systems, comprised of a wired Shure PSM 600 for the six-to-seven-piece band, wireless Shure PSM 900 for the three to four main leaders and soloists, and Sennheiser EW500 G3s, (each with a stereo mix), for the five to six background singers, the SD10 at monitor world has been another seamless experience for JRA.
“I don’t think I’ve ever had such an easy experience on a monitor console,” offers Maddox. “It’s all right there and a very nice, simple process. Our in-ears are so much clearer and sound so nice. It’s been a seamless upgrade and a great experience for everyone.”
The console’s main monitor engineer, Tucker Fredock, has found a lot to love onboard the console. “The layer feature makes it simpler to move around the board,” he says “Also, since we have so many different musicians that play each week, I can save their mixes as mix presets. It’s great to have a touchscreen on the SD10. The DiGiCo Gain Tracking is very accurate since in our setup FOH has gain control and it seamlessly follows when FOH makes adjustments. I love the multiband compressors and use them on the output mixes.
“Also, because we’re running the console in 96 kHz, it brings out more of the clarity in each instrument. The drums sound fuller and the voices stick out more in the mixes, kind of like a 3D image. Overall, I think the SD10 is a better product than what we were using before.”
Group One Limited