Tuesday, September 01, 2015

John Harris Mixes Montreux Jazz Festival 2015 With Waves

Music Mix Mobile selects Waves SoundGrid technology and Waves plugins for the “Le Voyager” Broadcast Truck.

John Harris, music mixer for the Stravinsky Hall at the Montreux Jazz Festival and partner in Music Mix Mobile, along with head technician Jerome Blondel and technician Rene Weis, use Waves SoundGrid technology and Waves plugins for mixing the Montreux Jazz Festival 2015 in the “Le Voyager” Broadcast Truck. 

Jerome Blondel says, “The configuration we used in Le Voyager for mixing the Montreux Jazz Festival’s broadcast for the Stravinsky Hall was a SSL C200 HD console.”

“In order to run Waves plugins we used the DiGiGrid I/O devices that handled the MADI/analog-to-SoundGrid conversion with a SoundGrid Server One that enabled us to run 32 inserts of plugins in low latency, all controlled via the Waves MultiRack plugin host that was running on an iMac.” 

John Harris notes, about running Waves plugins, “We used the Waves CLA-76 Compressor/Limiter, Waves Renaissance Vox and Waves Renaissance DeEsser in some combination on pretty much everything: kick, snare, bass, guitars, keys and vocals. I used the Waves SSL G-Master Buss Compressor and the Waves L3-LL Ultramaximizer on the master output.” 

Harris adds, “The Waves H-Reverb Hybrid Reverb is really fantastic. I was really taken with the 224 preset; I owned an analog 224 back then, and the H-Reverb is so like it it’s scary. I am a big fan of drum rooms, and the H-Reverb has a bunch. It is now a permanent part of my sessions.” 

On the particulars of mixing for the festival, Harris states, “I needed a solution to getting Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga’s vocals to both ‘pop,’ separately of course, but it was more important to get them together for the Montreux Jazz Festival mix. They have different styles, volumes, microphones, monitoring, everything, but it had to sound like two halves of one whole.”

“Combining the Renaissance DeEsser, Renaissance Vox and the CLA-76 Compressor/Limiter, with just a few tweaks, did the trick. I have the Waves SSL G-Master Buss Compressor at a ratio of 2:1 before it, just touching the signal, and the L3 set at -10, just tickling it. It’s how I know my TV broadcast will be spot-on -24 on the DialNorm. Great packing for the music.” 

Harris concludes, “The SSL console, Waves MultiRack, and the Waves Mercury plugin bundle are a winning combination. My mixes are 98% Waves, and the ability to bring ‘my’ sound anywhere in the world on any mixer via Waves MultiRack is the key for me. It’s now the sound of the Montreux Jazz Festival, and I couldn’t be happier.”


Posted by House Editor on 09/01 at 06:51 AM
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Friday, August 28, 2015

Allen & Heath iLive Out With The Summerland Tour

This year’s tour comprises Everclear, Toadies, Fuel, and American Hi-Fi, travelling across North America to over 30 different venues.

The Summerland Tour, previously hailed by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the “10 Hottest Summer Package Tours”, returned this year with Allen & Heath iLive digital mixing systems managing front of house and monitor positions.

Now in its fourth year, the annual Summerland tour is devised by Art Alexakis, front man of 90s alternative rock band, Everclear. This year’s tour comprises Everclear, Toadies, Fuel, and American Hi-Fi, travelling across North America to over 30 different venues.

Alexakis gives credit to the iLive systems – comprising iLive-T112 Control Surfaces and iDR-32 MixRacks - for playing a huge role in the success.

“We have used Allen & Heath for the last couple of years and the sound has just been phenomenal. I am so glad to be able to use them on every tour,” says Alexakis.

According to Derek Steinman, production manager/front of house of Everclear/Summerland Tour, iLive provides superiority in sound that surpasses the competition.

“We carry two Allen & Heath iLive T-112 surfaces and two iDR-32 mix racks for front of house and monitors. The board sells itself, and I can just hit the ground running. This console allows me to be connected to the band and get a focused mix at the same time,” said Steinman.

John Riley, monitor engineer/stage manager, strongly believes Allen & Heath created the best console on the market.

“We only wanted this brand. It’s simple and I personally favour the side chain filters and side chain compressions. I recommend Allen & Heath to all my engineering friends.” says Riley.

Allen & Heath

Posted by House Editor on 08/28 at 09:02 AM
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DPA Microphones Support PBS Series 11th & Grant with Eric Funk

Audio director Jeremiah Slovarp selects d:vote 4099 and d:facto for Emmy Award-winning music program.

For the PBS series 11th & Grant with Eric Funk, audio director Jeremiah Slovarp selected DPA Microphones’ d:vote 4099 stereo microphone system for pianos, d:vote 4099 classic touring kit and d:facto vocal microphones.

“It’s a very high-end show, especially in terms of production value, so it has to be visually appealing on camera and, because it’s a music television show, it must sound great,” says Slovarp.

“I’ve found the d:vote 4099 mics to be particularly camera ready, as they are mostly invisible yet still sound great. That’s really important.”

Slovarp first witnessed the d:vote 4099 mics in action during a live piano demo, which prompted him to purchase them for use on the show. Once he observed their performance on set, he knew he had made the right choice.

“Mikng a piano is really hard to do, and even harder to do well,” Slovarp explains. “I knew when I was looking into the d:vote 4099 mics and started seeing them for so many different applications, they would sound great on the other instruments we use on the show. For this upcoming season, which will consist entirely of classical artists, the d:vote 4099 mics are going to get a heavy workout.”

Now in its 11th season, 11th & Grant with Eric Funk has become the premier showcase for music performances in Montana. Filmed at the KUSM-TV studios, located at 11th and Grant streets in Bozeman, Montana, and hosted by composer and musician Eric Funk, who also serves as the show’s artistic director.

Each episode details an artist’s personal story and inspirations, with the artists typically representing a variety of musical traditions, everything from jazz, classical, country and zydeco, to rock and fusion.

Slovarp’s positive experience with the d:vote 4099 mics prompted him to purchase DPA’s 4099 Classic Touring Kit as well. The ready-made kit, which comes in a Peli case, includes a variety of clips to accommodate various classical instruments. It simplifies finding mic accessories during filming, and can be used on a maximum of seven artists on the stage at any time. The d:vote 4099 microphones serve as helpful add-ons for when musicians join the production over the course of an episode.  

“The musicians used to feel like they were trapped in place,” Slovarp continues. “But with the d:vote 4099 mics, they can move around and breathe a little bit, which is especially useful on double basses and cellos, where mics typically slip. The d:vote 4099 microphones stay put.”

As for the benefits to the rest of the crew, the cameramen are often very happy to see the small microphones on set. They make it easier for them to work around valuable real estate that would otherwise be clogged with mic cables and gear.

Now in its third season of using DPA, 11th & Grant with Eric Funk plans to add DPA’s d:facto vocal microphones into the mix for some of the upcoming episodes, as the mics will allow the crew to get closer to the artist’s true sound. Slovarp adds that due to the nature of DPA’s consistent transparent sound from mic-to-mic, it will increase the quality of the production that much more.

In addition to his work on 11th & Grant with Eric Funk, Slovarp is president of Jereco Studios, a commercial recording facility, and the founder and president of Peach Street Studios, a cooperative production studio, both located in Bozeman. He is also the Montana Chair for the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and an instructor and technical director for the Montana State University’s Music Technology Program.

DPA Microphones

Posted by House Editor on 08/28 at 07:17 AM
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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Mastermind Production Group Supports MTV Fandom Awards With JBL And Crown

Mastermind services a large number of outdoor summer productions with inventory featuring VTX V20 loudspeakers and I-Tech amplifiers.

Regional event production company Mastermind Production Group of Orange, California has enjoyed a successful summer of high-profile events with its Harman JBL VTX line array system and Crown I-Tech HD amplifiers.

With an inventory featuring JBL VTX V20 loudspeakers plus S25 and S28 subwoofers, Mastermind has serviced a large number of outdoor productions in recent months, highlighted by the MTV Fandom Awards.

Held at Petco Park in San Diego during Comic-Con International, the 2015 MTV Fandom Awards were hosted by Bella Thorne and Tyler Posey, with performances by pop artists including Flo Rida and All Time Low.

The stage was set up in the “Park at the Park” area of Petco Park—a large open area behind the stadium’s center field wall.

The PA system at the MTV Fandom Awards featured a left-right configuration of 10 VTX V20 loudspeakers and two VTX S25 subwoofers flown per side. Twelve VERTEC VT4886 loudspeakers provided out fill, as well as VIP area coverage. Twelve VTX 28 subwoofers and additional VT4886 and VRX932LA loudspeakers provided front fill. Two V20 loudspeakers and two S25 per side provided onstage side fill with SRX712M rounding out the monitor package.  Crown I-Tech 4x3500HD amplifiers powered the V20 and VT4886 loudspeakers, while I-Tech 12000HD amps powered all the subwoofers and the entire system was configured using JBL HiQnet Performance Manager software.

Later in the summer, hip-hop artist Nelly performed a concert at the same venue, with Mastermind there to deliver a high-impact PA system featuring six ground-stacked V20 loudspeakers per side over three S25 subwoofers per side in a cardioid configuration, with eight S28 subwoofers in the center. Crown I-Tech 4x3500HD amplifiers powered the V20 and S25 boxes, while I-Tech 12000HD amps powered the S28 subs.

Having purchased the VTX components a little over a year ago, Mastermind has delivered consistent sound for a variety of productions. “The size versus power output is great, the high end is nice and smooth and we get a lot of punch out of the system,” said Chad Griswold, owner of Mastermind Production Group.

In addition, Griswold has found the simple and flexible rigging of the VTX system to be a significant advantage. “At the MTV Fandom Awards, we modeled the system based off the information we were given, but the stage setup changed a bit when we were setting up,” Griswold noted. “However, it was very easy to modify the angles on the array while it was suspended—we didn’t have to take any of the loudspeakers down to make the necessary changes.”

In addition, Griswold found the I-Tech 4x3500HD amplifiers to be a perfect complement to the system. “Crown has been great with I-Tech HD, utilizing the built in presets for the boxes has proven to be a reliable and stable platform when used in conjunction with the VTX systems and beyond” he said. “The fact that I have four channels of high-power amplification in two rack spaces with full DSP is great.”

Ultimately, Griswold noted that the purchase of the VTX line arrays and I-Tech HD amplifiers ties in with Mastermind’s company philosophy. “We try to treat our clients with the best service possible and make a point of having really high-quality gear, and we aim to uphold that reputation,” he said. “I’m looking forward to getting the system out there for more and more events. A lot of people have the perception that bigger is always better, but these V20 boxes pack a lot of punch.”

Mastermind Production Group

Posted by House Editor on 08/27 at 03:19 PM
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The Big Ministry Inside The Big Shows

Many years ago, we hosted a three day worship arts conference.

Not like the conferences I was paid to do, traveling around the country with large budgets and excessive amounts of gear.

This one confined me to my home church, with no budget and no warehouse full of touring grade audio toys.

It would prove to be a challenge to my maniacal, control-freak nature which served promoters and bands so well during my career.

Basically, this conference was about various forms of dancing, music and choreography. We used the main sanctuary stage for the opening night. It was also used for the group events to begin and end the two day event. We used classrooms in three different buildings on our property. We used classroom and sanctuaries at two other churches in our area. We ran shuttle vans all day.

It ended up being a very complex event.

I agreed to assume responsible for the tech side of the entire event. I knew that I had to relax my psychotic, death grip on productions and get help.

At the time, there were only four people on my crew. Since thy were volunteers, I couldn’t get more than one of them at a time. You know, they had jobs and families. I had to create another team.

I went through the youth group. There were a few that I already knew would do fine. But, I needed eight more techs and one runner to make it happen. It was going to mean training a few who had never done it before. I talked to the ones I was hoping to get and asked them for some suggestions. We got our team together and did some quick training.

Each tech was responsible for one room. Each room had a basic sound system, a wireless headset, a CD player, a direct box and line up front for another input. The larger rooms also had an audience response mic for questions. Every room was also set up to record the class, some by video. The tech was given a written routine for things to do during and between classes.

We had one kid who was our runner. She went to each room and harvested the recordings, dropped off batteries and made sure they had everything they needed. She also carried a two way radio to call me if there was an issue that they couldn’t handle. She was a lifesaver on several occasions. We made sure she got the same training as the others, in case there was a problem and she had to fill in.

The only problem we really had was one kid who may have had narcolepsy. Either that, or the class was just painfully boring to him. He fell asleep several times the first day. It seems like we resolved that with threats or coffee or something.

Another thing that helped us tremendously, was our relationship with a local music store; something all churches need to develop.

In Macon, Georgia, there’s a store called Bill Hardin Music that went out of their way to help us out. They have always been a huge supporter of local churches. We ended up being short on wireless headsets, small speakers and speaker stands. They saved our hide on that one. I will continue to promote them as much as possible. Thanks, Chuck.

In the end, the conference was a huge success. The attendees were very complimentary of my crew. The whole event actually went very smooth. Looking back, we accomplished much more than we planned to.

Several of those kids ended up staying with us as regular volunteers. Two of them went on to full time careers in audio and video production. Some of the others are career musicians now, still involved in production. We also developed an even better relationship with that music store. Half of those kids worked there at one time or another. I ended up working with that store for a while, eventually creating a pro audio division for design and installation.

Creating that team of volunteers opened career doors for those kids. Asking them for help was also giving them opportunities that they might not have ever gotten.

The crazed megalomaniac within me will always want to be in complete control. It is still not natural for me to ask for help. I resist it whenever possible. But, asking for help will often benefit others more than yourself. You never know what kind of opportunities you are creating for someone else. You never know how much they need to be involved in something. If you are determined to do it all yourself, you are missing out on developing relationships that may not happen any other way.

I think that’s the big ministry within tech. Creating connections, relationships and opportunities. Stuff that the control freaks tend to overlook. Don’t miss those opportunities because you won’t ask for help.

Senior editor .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) has worked in professional audio for more than 20 years in live, install, and recording. Read more of his random rants and tirades here.

Posted by House Editor on 08/27 at 09:30 AM
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Ed Sheeran Performs At Wembley And Croke Park Stadiums With Meyer Sound LEO

Production manager and front of house engineer Chris Marsh discusses production for the record-breaking shows.

Using Meyer Sound LEO loudspeakers, Ed Sheeran has become the first solo artist to sell out five 80,000-capacity shows at London’s Wembley Stadium and Dublin’s Croke Park Stadium.

For the one-man band relying only on an acoustic guitar and loop pedal, the production team was tasked with providing an “up close and personal” sonic experience, despite the massive size of the venues.

“It takes an exceptional PA to make you feel that you’re actually involved, rather than having the experience relayed to you, and for that reason LEO is our first choice,” says Sheeran’s long-time production manager and front of house engineer Chris Marsh.

“It’s extremely important to give all of Ed’s fans the feeling that they’re having an intimate experience, even if they’re 200 meters away. You need to make sure every consonant, every catch of breath is heard clearly in the back corners, and LEO manages to hit every seat in a stadium as if it were in the near field. That’s the big difference compared to other PAs I’ve worked with.
“Other systems can bring the sound out to you, but with LEO, you genuinely feel like you’re in it,” continues Marsh. “That’s incredibly important with Ed—it’s all about hearing his songs like he’s right there with you, and that’s what happens with a LEO system.”

Marsh also appreciates the impact of the 1100-LFC low-frequency control elements. “Ed’s slapping of the guitar is a low-frequency transient hit that is much faster than any kick drum, and that’s why the 1100-LFCs are my favorite for sub-bass,” he says. “They throw far and are very, very quick.”

The system for the Wembley shows was built around 96LEO-M line array loudspeakers configured as 20 for each main front hang, 16 for each side hang, and 12 for each crane-flown upper side hang. For even distribution up and around the tall stadium, 12 LYON linear line array loudspeakers, 32-each MILO and MICA line array loudspeakers, and two JM-1P arrayable loudspeakers were deployed as delays and fills. Sixty 1100-LFC elements were both flown and ground-stacked as directional arrays.

Onstage foldback consisted of four MJF-212A stage monitors and side fills of two MICA loudspeakers and four 700-HP subwoofers. A Galileo Callisto™ loudspeaker management system with 16 total Galileo 616, Galileo 616 AES, and Galileo Callisto 616 array processors provided signal distribution and precision tuning. UK-based Major Tom, Ltd. was principal audio provider for all five shows, with additional loudspeakers supplied by POOLgroup of Germany.

The systems were designed by Marsh in close consultation with long-time associate Lars Brogaard, managing director of Major Tom. Brogaard was insistent on deploying LEO to best effect, according to Marsh.

“We went to great lengths to get the loudspeakers up as high as possible, so they were aimed directly at the audience and not firing up from the pitch and bouncing off the roof,” reports Marsh. “An enormous, 25-meter high structure allowed us to hang our front arrays much higher than usual, and we also hired giant cranes for the upper side hangs and flew fewer rear delays than is usual for Wembley.”

Sheeran used a Sennheiser Digital 9000 wireless system with an MD 9235 condenser capsule on the vocal mic. Marsh mixed Sheeran on a DiGiCo SD7 digital console.

Q&A with production manager and front of house engineer Chris Marsh.

Seemingly overnight, Ed Sheeran has rocketed from energetic pub busker to global pop phenomenon, culminating in five recent stadium performances at Wembley in London and Croke Park in Dublin with a staggering total of 400,000 ticket sales.

Supporting concert audio since Sheeran’s first headline tour has been production manager and front of house engineer Chris Marsh.

In this Q&A, Marsh reveals the painstaking preparations required to deliver an “up-close-and-personal” experience to each fan in the 80,000-capacity stadiums.

How long have you been working with Ed?

Marsh: It’s been almost four years now. I met him at a festival in the north of England when I was mixing another artist and Ed was opening at the same stage.  He asked a lot of questions about what I’d done before, and was very keen on learning whatever he could from me.

Shortly after that, when he started on his first headline tour, he gave me a call and said, “Hey, can you help us out with a bit of production? It will only be for two weeks in January.” I thought, sure, January is slow, so I could fit him in then continue on with what I’d been doing. Well, those two weeks never ended. He just kept getting bigger, and the two weeks in the UK went into three weeks in Europe, then off to L.A. and New York. And, well, here we are.

What appealed to you about working with Ed?

Marsh: He was enthusiastic to learn about anything, to know how to better connect with his audiences. I really quite liked that about him. He realized that there were lots behind the scenes.
In contrast, what size venues did you play on that first tour?

Marsh: We did 1,000 to 3,000-seat theatres. I think the biggest was the Brixton Academy. Our first Meyer Sound system was four JM-1P arrayable loudspeakers and three 700-HP subwoofers per side. That was it.

What did you learn from those early tours?

Marsh: The crucial sense of intimacy. It was important to hear every little detail, to get that sense of closeness even in a crowd—so that when he was talking, and telling stories in his songs, the sound would get everybody intimately involved.

Sometimes the installed PAs in the early venues were very tired, very slow. So when we brought in our own PA, that made it more exciting. The way he plays is very rhythmic, very precise, and you need a system that can respond to it.

Has Major Tom been a key production supplier since the beginning?

Marsh: Yes, Major Tom has provided at least some equipment for every show we’ve done. I started with taking along my own console, from baby DiGiCo SD11 moving up to the SD7 along the way.

Also, regardless of the house PA, we now carry our own MJF-212A stage monitors, so Ed will have consistency in what he’s hearing. And so he can feel the low end properly on stage, we added 700-HPs as side fills. Those are the fundamentals for every show—the desk and the monitoring.

What’s easy about working with Ed as a solo artist, and what’s difficult?

Marsh: The easy thing is that it’s just Ed! There’s only one personality to deal with, and we’ve become so close over the four years that it’s predictable. I can feel where he’s going to go next with his show, so I can be ready.

But the fact that it’s just Ed also makes it difficult. From a sonic point of view, there’s no room for error. There’s no way to cover up something by turning elsewhere in the mix. Everything has to be exactly right on the audio side because there’s nothing to hide behind.

Now that Ed is playing arenas and stadiums, how do you maintain that sense of intimacy?

Marsh: You need to make sure that every consonant, every catch of breath, almost every falling bead of sweat is heard clearly in the back corners. Also, you want to make sure that, when somebody closes their eyes, the image stays on the stage and doesn’t move to some speaker hanging over their heads. Those are the two big keys. You want it full-range, with a clean high end reaching the back corners, and with attention focused on Ed on stage.

Accomplishing that in a venue like Wembley is extraordinarily challenging. For the first time anywhere, we brought in a massive, 25-meter stage structure. But the audience sits almost 34 meters high. Of course, the more you have to point the energy up at them, the more it slaps back from the room, or gets lost up there. The only way to deal with this is to get the boxes up as high as possible, at eye level or if need be a bit higher.

And thus the cranes?

Marsh: Yes, Wembley has huge left and right sections up high, and we decided to bring in huge cranes. It became a major production expense that Ed had to bear, but he wanted to get it right for everybody. We also hung more arrays to cover the very back corners. These are things we wouldn’t have to do at every stadium, but Wembley is particularly high. And the way the roof comes over, if you try to get coverage from down on the pitch with the typical, 20-meter high delay tower, you would hit smack on the roof and lose the initial impact. So the idea was to get the entire PA as high as possible and shoot directly at everybody, instead of pointing it upwards at them.

Is this the largest PA you’ve ever designed, and who else was involved?

Marsh: Absolutely the largest. It was mostly my job to achieve it, but I got a huge amount of good advice from Major Tom’s Lars Brogaard who has been my mentor since 1999. He emphasized the importance of not compromising when it came to getting direct sound to the audience. If something needed to be flown up high, we had to do it regardless of the expense. It was also Lars who found the staging structure.

Where did you find a stage this tall?

Marsh: It came through a company called European Staging. It’s a structure that normally is used on building sites in Poland to allow high-rise construction regardless of the weather. It had genuinely never been used for a show before as a stage. It’s 25 meters high, incredibly strong, with an open and clear span. It took 15 trucks to get it around, so it’s quite a serious structure.
I understand that Meyer Sound LEO has been your first-choice system lately. When did you first start using it?

Marsh: We moved from the MILO to LEO, which probably became my first choice following one of Ed’s soundchecks. He strummed his guitar three times and I said, “Oh, now THAT sounds big!” And that’s when I fell in love. The guitar and vocal hit me like never before, because there was no front-end compression that you get with a CD. It was all right there in my face, like he was next to me, rather than 40 meters away on the stage.

How is working with LEO different than with other stadium-size systems?

Marsh: LEO manages to hit every seat as if it were in the near field. Whether you’re at FOH or at the back of the stadium, you feel like you’re mixing with near-field speakers. That’s the difference. Other systems can bring the sound out to you, but with LEO, you genuinely feel like you’re in it. That’s incredibly important with Ed, because there are no dancers, there are no fireworks, there are no other distractions. It’s all about hearing his songs like he’s right there in a small room with you.

Ed’s shows are just his vocal, his Martin acoustic, and loop pedals. Why do you need subwoofers?

Marsh: The total energy is important, and without the low end, Ed’s acoustic guitar playing and percussive effects would lose their power. And for that, the Meyer Sound 1100-LFCs are amazing boxes. They throw far and are very, very quick. Ed’s slapping of the guitar is a low-frequency transient hit that is much faster than any kick drum, and that energy requires that the sub-bass responds in kind. They’re also great from a production standpoint because you don’t need that many of them. They are incredibly powerful, so you can use half as many as typical subwoofers.

And what about the front end gear? I assume you’re looking for the same transparency there as well.

Marsh: Yes, and that’s one reason we’re now using the Sennheiser Digital 9000 wireless system for both guitar and vocal. We didn’t use wireless on his guitar before because I couldn’t find a system I liked that didn’t compress. But the 9000 means we can put him on a system that sounds natural and still let him move around more on stage.

The Guardian noted in its Wembley show review, “It’s a state of affairs aided by the fact that, improbably enough, the venue boosts rather than swamps his sound.” How did you manage that?

Marsh: I really don’t know! It’s kind of a call and response situation—you hang your PA as best you can, get the best coverage you can, follow the guidelines of the design programs, and then listen to what you’ve got. What we discovered was that Wembley would really hold on to 300 Hz and keep delivering it back in bucketloads, so I had to deal with that using EQ as best I could.

After that, you adjust your effects on the console to the situation. But Wembley is what it is, and you need to work with it and not try to fight it. You may not get your reverbs exactly as you want them because of a characteristic of the stadium, so you make adjustments. At the end of the day, it’s Wembley and you have to do what you can do to make it “sing along,” so to speak.

Meyer Sound

Posted by House Editor on 08/27 at 08:38 AM
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Sound Image Deploys L-Acoustics For CMA Music Festival

Record-breaking crowd experiences K1 for sound provider's third consecutive year supporting world's largest annual country music festival

This year’s CMA Music Festival set records with daily attendance of 87,680 fans coming to see and hear artists including Zac Brown Band, Lady Antebellum, Darius Rucker, Dierks Bentley, Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, Sam Hunt, Rascal Flatts, Brad Paisley, Keith Urban and Eric Church.

Returning for a third time as the sound reinforcement provider for the shows at LP Field was Sound Image, which fielded a huge L-Acoustics K1 system featuring 72 K1, 12 Kara and 16 Kudo line source elements, 16 K1-SB enclosures, 32 SB28 low frequency elements, and 78 LA8 amplified controllers.

The system was similar to what Sound Image has deployed for the previous two CMA Music Festival events, but featured additional subwoofers and even more precise and consistent audience coverage thanks to refinements in L-Acoustics’ Soundvision predictive software, which enabled system designers and crew to position speaker arrays with accuracy.

“Over the past several years, we’ve learned from our experiences at LP Field with the CMA shows, and each year the sound system performance gets better and better,” says Everett Lybolt, general manager of Sound Image’s Nashville office.

“The K1 is a great system and it’s especially good for this kind of festival show, because it provides such great coverage while giving our system techs lots of flexibility to tailor it to each artist.”

LP Field’s two primary loudspeaker arrays consisted of six K1-SB and 16 K1 with three Kara downfills below, flanked by angled side hangs each featuring two K1-SB, 12 K1 and three Kara. Two six-Kudo auxiliary arrays covered the extreme left and right upper stadium seats, while two delay hangs near the back end of the field were both comprised of eight K1. Low-frequency reinforcement was augmented with three cardioid stacks of four SB28 per side and four pairings of two SB28 for center sub fill. Two stacks of two Kudo enclosures were perched atop the far left and right center sub fills to both cover the first 30 feet of the audience as well as help bring the imaging down from the main system. All systems were powered and processed by a combined total of 24 LA-Rak touring racks, each equipped with three LA8 amplified controllers.

The system was supervised by Sound Image director of shop logistics Roz Jones, heading up a crew that included crew chief Dan Shipp, Ted Bible at front of house, Jason Glass on RF coordination assisted by Michael Pollard and James Burr in monitor world, and truck and stage patch technicians Billy Szoska, Dave Shatto, Katlyn Mountain, Brendan Hines and Anthony Shlifka. Sound Image crewmembers worked in two teams, assuring that the gap between artists on stage was never more than 10 minutes.

What the audience also enjoyed was highly consistent coverage everywhere in the venue. “We continue to take advantage of refinements in L-Acoustics’ Soundvision predictive software,” explains Sound Image systems engineer Vic Wagner, who is also touring with the Zac Brown Band, another Sound Image client. “This enabled us to improve coverage on the floor and to minimize hot spots.”

Wagner notes that, like last year, the 2015 setup moved the side hangs approximately 25 feet further to the edges of the stage versus CMA’s original K1 system design in 2013. “That eliminated the potential for destructive interaction between the two hangs, avoiding low-mid buildup from wave propagation, and it also improved the sightlines. The L-Acoustics prediction software, amplifier presets and network management software keep getting better and that improves the overall experience for everyone.”

Wagner claims that K1 is the best solution for this show because country music continues to change, bringing in more genre influences that make for a far more varied array of artists.

“The sheer amount of variety on stage now is huge, and that means the sound has to adapt,” he explains. “For instance, The Oak Ridge Boys will want less of a rock kick drum and a curtailed low end, while an artist like Luke Bryan will want a ton of low end and a big kick drum. The K1 is a great match for that kid of variety. It’s got the power you need for an outdoor show that keeps getting bigger and its sonic capabilities have proven themselves many times over.”

Sound Image

Posted by House Editor on 08/27 at 07:31 AM
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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Quadraphonic Funktion-One Sound For Noisily Festival

Bassline Productions and Audio Feed saturate festival in Leicestershire, England with Resolution 4 loudspeakers and F221 subs.

Set deep in the rolling hills of Leicestershire, in the heart of rural England, Noisily Festival of Electronic Music and Arts is veiled by one of the most beautiful wooded valleys in the country.

The fourth Noisily Festival spanned a range of musical genres through a first class Funktion-One set-up from Bassline Productions and Audio Feed.

Noisily Festival 2015 saw 3,000 revellers descend on Coney Woods in Leicestershire.

Across four stages and a smattering of smaller venues, performances from artists like Stefan Bodzin, Grouch, Loud, Outsiders, James Monro, Whyt Noyz and Victor Ruiz laid down the soundtrack to a weekend of underground electronic music.

The line-up was complemented by the Funktion-One sound systems, manned by Oz Jefferies from Audio Feed.

Last year’s festival saw the expansion of the site with the addition of the Liquid Stage. After a decade at the sorely missed Glade Festival, Liquid Records had found a new home with a bunch of kindred spirits at Noisily - on the same weekend of the year that Glade made its own.

Both the Liquid Stage and the Noisily Stage had quadraphonic Funktion-One systems, featuring four points of two Resolution 4 speakers and two self-powered F221 bass enclosures. A pair of Funktion-One Resolution 2 speakers was deployed as monitors. Amplification for both stages came from MC2 E100s for the Res 4s and E25s for the Res 2s, with XTA DP448 processors for control.

Discussing the sound, Bassline Productions’ Charles Audley said: “The quadraphonic arrays, installed with speaker stacks at four points, were measured with pin point accuracy and delivered perfect sound with no phasing issues at all. A handful of skeptics, who voiced their opinions before the festival, wrote to us personally afterwards to congratulate the engineers on their stellar work. 

“As well as the impeccable audio delivery, the stage structures, décor, pyrotechnics, acrobats and performers, lighting and laser shows tied together to create an event which didn’t just keep everyone entertained; they were blown away. With universal praise and early bird tickets selling out in under 24 hours, Noisily’s 5th birthday in 2016 promises to be even more memorable.”


Posted by House Editor on 08/26 at 12:20 PM
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Grateful Dead Deploys Sonnet Technologies For Recording Final Tour

Music Mix Mobile leverages Echo Express III-R and xMac Pro Server Systems for Thunderbolt 2 connectivity.

Sonnet Technologies’ Echo Express III-R and xMac Pro Server rackmount expansion systems played starring roles in a 96K recording workflow adopted by Music Mix Mobile (M3) and used for the Grateful Dead’s recently concluded “Fare Thee Well” (Dead 50) concert tour.

M3, an Emmy and Grammy Award-winning provider of mobile audio facilities for high-profile live entertainment events and broadcasts, deployed the Sonnet solutions on its Eclipse mobile production vehicle to provide reliable and redundant Thunderbolt 2 connectivity and PCIe card expansion for recording the five-concert tour.

Marking the 50th anniversary of the Grateful Dead’s founding and also its final public appearances, the “Fare Thee Well” mini-tour included two dates at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California, before arriving in Chicago for the final three concerts, played to sold-out crowds at Soldier Field on July 3, 4, and 5.

M3 provided recording and broadcast services for the tour, which broke the pay-per-view record for live music shows with more than 400,000 cable and satellite viewers. An even broader audience watched the shows at theater simulcasts and online through live streaming services.

“Our biggest challenge for the Dead 50 tour was their requirement that we track each show at a 96K sample rate — which puts a whole new set of hardware demands on the truck. To make it happen, we needed to rely on Thunderbolt technology and expansion systems that would take up a minimal amount of space,” said Joel Singer, co-founder and general manager at M3.

“We’ve had enough experience with Sonnet’s Thunderbolt expansion chassis to know that they’re absolutely reliable and rugged. Plus, they’re some of the quietest expansion systems we’ve ever worked with, a critical requirement in the cramped recording environment onboard the truck. Sonnet systems have become an integral part of our equipment mix, and the fact that they’re certified and qualified by Avid, Blackmagic, and other key technology providers is a huge plus.”

The Sonnet Echo Express III-R and xMac Pro Server provide a highly reliable and scalable, yet cost-effective, means of extending and streaming M3’s on-location audio recording workflows.

For recording the “Fare Thee Well” tour, M3 extended two six-core Mac Pro cylinder computers by connecting each, via its Thunderbolt 2 ports, to an Echo Express III-R Thunderbolt 2-to-PCIe card expansion chassis housing three Avid Pro Tools | HDX DSP I/O cards. Each Pro Tools | HDX card was attached to a MADI I/O device that enabled M3 to record 192 stage inputs at 96K. This master recording configuration was duplicated to provide a safety backup, and a third recorder system utilized a MacBook Pro and an Echo Express III-R in a similar Pro Tools | HDX configuration to record 128 channels in 96K.

For video recording, another MacBook Pro was connected to an Echo Express SE I Thunderbolt 2-to-PCIe card expansion system housing a Blackmagic DeckLink Extreme HD PCIe recording card, which output Apple ProRes 442 LT files for playback by the M3 postproduction team. An additional Mac Pro cylinder housed in a Sonnet xMac Pro Server was extended via Thunderbolt 2 to three Pro Tools | HDX cards and three MADI I/O devices. Sonnet’s RackMac mini 1U enclosure housed two Apple Mac Mini computers to provide backup in the event of any computer failure within the recording workflow.

“We have relied on a broad array of Sonnet expansion and storage solutions since our founding in 2008, and the equipment has always worked flawlessly. The devices give us extra peace of mind in high-pressure recording scenarios,” Singer added. “Thunderbolt technology has transformed our workflows by enabling ever-higher data rates for recording and storage, and the Sonnet expansion chassis lets us take maximum advantage of Thunderbolt technology using minimal rack space. All of the Sonnet devices are extremely well-designed, well-built, and easy to use, and the support we’ve received from the Sonnet technicians has been absolutely top-notch.”

Sonnet Technologies

Posted by House Editor on 08/26 at 10:28 AM

Saint Saëns Records Organ Symphony With Mackie DL32R (Video)

Recording and live sound engineer Dan Kury finds a portable, digital recording solution with impressive results.

Recording and live sound engineer Dan Kury refers to himself as an old school engineer, having logged more than 40 years mixing and recording a wide variety of musical genres in all sorts of venues while hauling around big consoles, outboard racks and huge audio snakes.

When he discovered the Mackie DL1608 16-channel digital mixer, he was a happy man.

“The DL1608 is the first piece of equipment that changed my life,” Kury begins.

“The equipment, the labor, the time setting up and tearing down, the lids for the cases stacked under the table-all eliminated or greatly reduced.” Besides, he says, “You don’t need a console when you can grab an iPad and go up to the balcony or mix from anywhere in the venue.”

Still, for some gigs, he wanted more than 16 input channels. So when Mackie released the DL32R 32-channel rack-mount digital mixer, Kury jumped on it.

“Now I have a DL32R in a four-space rack, along with two wireless systems,” he explains. “It sits on the side of the stage, so no need for a big, heavy snake. Setup time and teardown time is half of what it used to be with a traditional console. Not only that, now I have DCAs. What an incredible luxury.”

Kury is also a big fan of Mackie’s Master Fader control app. “It’s easy to get around,” he explains. “The DL32R does a lot of things, so you’d think the app would be complicated, but it’s so well-designed and efficient to use.”

Although he was confident that the DL32R preamps would compare well with the high-priced preamp/interface he typically uses for recording shows, Kury wanted to be absolutely sure. His opportunity to compare the preamps came when he mixed the Metropolitan Orchestra of St. Louis performance of Saint Saëns’ Symphony No 3 at the First Presbyterian Church of Kirkwood, Missouri.

Saint Saëns’ Symphony No 3 is known as the “Organ Symphony,” and First Presbyterian Church of Kirkwood has a beautiful new Casavant Frerespipe organ, designed in the style of the great Parisian symphonic organs of the late 19th century.

“It’s a magnificent instrument,” says Kury. “If you play the lowest C with the pedal, and you pull the 32-foot stop, the 32-foot pipe produces a root pitch of 16 Hz.” This recording would indeed be a great preamp test.

“For my comparison test, I made two separate recordings,” Kury recalls. “I sent the mics to a splitter, and I recorded one feed through my high-end interface and preamps and the other feed through the DL32R.” Kury then sent the signals via FireWire to a Mac computer running a DAW.

The results were as Kury predicted. “The Mackie preamps absolutely held their own against the high-end preamps,” he says. “In a blind test, I could not tell the difference. There is no question that you can use a Mackie iPad-controlled mixer to do a multi-track symphonic recording. If I do more multi-track symphonic recordings, I will happily use the DL32R preamps.”

“The DL32R is absolutely remarkable,” he concludes. “It blew my mind.”

Dan Kury

Posted by House Editor on 08/26 at 08:09 AM

Imagine Dragons Mixes Concert Footage On The Road With Genelec

Front of house mixer Scott Eisenberg works in various environments with the 8250A SAM Studio Monitors with GLM Software

GRAMMY Award-winners Imagine Dragons is currently on their Smoke + Mirrors tour, in support of the album of the same name. And as band frontman Dan Reynolds told Rolling Stone magazine in June, they’ve actually been more on the road than off since going out to support their 2012 Night Visions LP.

However, that’s not stopping Imagine Dragons’ front of house mixer Scott Eisenberg from working on the mix of what may one day become an Imagine Dragons concert film, mixing in hotel rooms and dressing rooms with a pair of Genelec 8250A SAM studio monitors with Genelec Loudspeaker Manager (GLM) software.

Together, they offer Eisenberg both the best-sounding monitoring system possible and one that will give him a consistent monitoring environment no matter where he’s working.

The 8250A monitors and GLM software were purchased from GC Pro in Sherman Oaks, California. 

“There’s no other way this could work as well,” says Eisenberg of this combination of Genelec technologies. After mixing the night’s concert through the Adamson Energia P.A. system on an Avid Profile console the tour is carrying, he finds a space he can get to work on the film-sound mix from the multitracks from the Avid Pro Tools system he uses to record the band’s shows.

“I’m literally setting up a mix studio in hotel rooms and dressing rooms on the road,” he says. And every time he fires up the Pro Tools system, the sound he hears through the Genelec 8250A speakers is instantly familiar, enabling him to pick up exactly where he left off the day before.

That’s because the GLM 2.0 Genelec Loudspeaker Manager’s monitor control networking system will electronically analyze whatever room he’s in, recall all parameters and settings he’s stored in system setup files, and then adapt them for the acoustical properties of that particular space at that particular time.

The GLM software features adjustment of levels, distance delays and flexible room response compensation equalization using Genelec’s state-of-the-art and robust AutoCal calibration system.

Genelec AutoCal is an integrated process for automated measurement, analysis and adjustment of every SAM monitor and subwoofer on the GLM network for either a single location (SinglePoint), or for one-, two- or three-person mixing environments (MultiPoint). GLM will adapt Genelec SAM monitors to various spaces, allowing reduced perceived differences between listening environments or positions, and providing automatic calibration of levels and distance-compensating delays for accurate and stable sound stage imaging. 

“The acoustics change from day to day, location to location, but I start with a good foundation every time with the GLM,” says Eisenberg, who says he has used the SMAART software he uses to tune the live-sound system in concert venues as a reference for the GLM, and has discovered that the GLM is giving him accurate soundfields that recreate what he experienced during the live shows.

And it gets him there quickly — “I hit a button and within thirty seconds the GLM software has analyzed the room, made the delay and EQ corrections and I’m ready to go,” he says. “That saves me tons of time, which is something I don’t have a lot of on the road. It’s pretty amazing what the GLM software can do, and how good the 8250As sound. It’s really like having a great mix studio anywhere I am.” 


Posted by House Editor on 08/26 at 07:26 AM
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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Riedel Supports The World’s Largest Heavy Metal Event

Wacken Open Air Festival in Germany deploys Riedel's MetroN and STX-200 for 90,000 metalheads.

When tens of thousands of heavy metal fans descended upon the small town of Wacken, Germany, for the Wacken Open Air festival, organizers were ready, having deployed a communications solution built on Riedel Communications’ MediorNet real-time media network and Artist digital matrix intercom system.

The Riedel equipment provided the fiber backbone and communications infrastructure necessary to support security, radio communications, and audio and video transport throughout the expansive festival site.

“The world rocks with Wacken, and Wacken rocks with Riedel,” said Holger Hübner one of the founders and organizers of the Wacken Open Air festival.

“The signal network backbone that Riedel provided in 2015 for the 26th anniversary of the Wacken Open Air festival ensured a safe and unforgettable experience for 90,000 metalheads enjoying the show. We’ve been well-satisfied with Riedel’s state-of-the-art equipment and highly competent crew, and we look forward to rocking on with Riedel into the future.”

Each summer, prior to Wacken Open Air, the small town of Wacken transforms into a festival venue with multiple stages, fields in which festivalgoers can camp, and the infrastructure required to handle thousands of fans. The communications system supplied by Riedel since 2000 plays a key role not only in supporting audio and video distribution during the four-day event, but also in enabling festival organizers to ensure the safety of each and every guest.

This year, two MetroN core routers with a huge total routing capacity of 2 x 640 Gb provided the heart of the MediorNet installation, adding further flexibility to the well-known convenience of the MediorNet installation and providing redundancy for the overall security concept. With its 10-Gb links, the MetroN system supported the interfacing of two MediorNet rings and, in turn, the transport of multiple HD-SDI signals — from the stages to the production compound and back to multiple screens — and several separate IP networks and audio streams.

Each of the nine stages at Wacken Open Air 2015 had a large video wall, and a further five freestanding video walls were scattered throughout the grounds. Video from each stage was sent back to the operations center via the MediorNet network so that any video could then be displayed on any screen as “infotainment” for guests. A Riedel Artist intercom panel and line level audio at each stage allowed security to talk directly to each PA mixer to instruct the band to stop playing for an emergency announcement, such as a weather warning. Voice announcements could then be routed through the PA systems and any other information displayed on screen.

Thirty remotely controlled IP-based cameras were installed throughout the grounds for security surveillance. Data transported to and from these cameras was delivered to the Wacken Open Air Security Center through the Riedel MediorNet fiber backbone. Riedel also supplied nearly 700 TETRA radios to ensure that security staff and stewards maintained clear communications throughout Wacken and the festival grounds. The radios were interfaced directly with the Artist system to ensure comprehensive communications. Because the mobile radios of the security vehicles patrolling the vast campsites were GPS-enabled, organizers were able to determine the user’s location immediately in the event of a problem or emergency.

For fast and trouble-free accreditation of the hundreds of working crew members, the organizers arranged a check-in location at the very border of Wacken. To welcome the team members with the right spirit and keep the local staff connected to the live event, Riedel deployed the company’s new STX-200 broadcast-grade professional interface. Capable of bringing any Skype user anywhere into the professional broadcast environment, the STX-200 was used to transfer live feeds from the stages into the check-in via the available public Internet connection and to facilitate a Skype connection between the production compound and the staff check-in area.

“Wacken is a truly spectacular event, and we’ve been privileged to be part of this immense show since 2005,” said Simon Korzen, project manager at Riedel Communications.

“It was a great pleasure and great fun to provide the Wacken organizers with a flexible, reliable solution that met their requirements for onsite media, infotainment, and a sophisticated security concept, in turn helping to make this year’s festival a huge success for everyone involved.”

Riedel Communications

Posted by House Editor on 08/25 at 07:57 AM

Volbeat Breaks Danish Records At Homecoming Show With Meyer Sound LEO

The largest concert ever played in Denmark by a local act was heard by more than 37,000 in the Tusindårsskoven forest of Odense.

Danish rock band Volbeat’s recent homecoming show broke records as the largest concert ever played in Denmark by a local act.

With Meyer Sound LEO linear large-scale sound reinforcement loudspeakers, the show was heard by more than 37,000 in the Tusindårsskoven forest of Odense.

“I was blown away by the coverage,” reports Mads Mikkelsen, long-time front of house engineer for Volbeat.

“It’s great to know that fans in the back hear the same thing as I do when mixing the show. That’s really what I’m aiming for. The band should translate perfectly to every corner of the audience, and the last seat in the house should enjoy the same feeling that I get when I hear the guitars kick in.”

Providing coverage across the 160-meter deep audience area, the main system arrays comprised 14 LEO-M, two LYON-M main, and two LYON-W wide-coverage line array loudspeakers each.

Two arrays of 12 LEO-M and two LYON-W loudspeakers each provided out fill. Four delay arrays comprised a total of 16 LEO-M and 20 LYON loudspeakers, while 34 1100-LFC low-frequency control elements were both flown and groundstacked in front of the stage and at delay positions. Eight JM-1P arrayable loudspeakers, four 1100-LFC elements, one 500-HP subwoofer, and 14 MJF-212A stage monitors provided onstage foldback. A Galileo Callisto loudspeaker management system provided system drive and alignment.

Arhus, Denmark-based Victory Tour Production provided full audio, lighting, and staging for the show, led by CEO Jesper Danius Sørensen.

“With LEO, I know exactly what I’m getting before I even turn the system on,” says Mikkelsen. “I don’t hear the system alter character or color when I change volume—it’s always completely transparent and clear.”

Mikkelsen mixed Volbeat through a DiGiCo SD10 digital console equipped with a DiGiGrid server for plug-ins, while monitor engineer Kristoffer Hinrichsen mixed on another SD10 console. All microphones were from Audix.

Led by system tech Theis Romme, the audio crew included PA techs Mads Nørgaard and Nicolaj Biermann Larsen and monitor tech Rasmus Rosenberg. A LEO system was also used for Volbeat’s recent North American tour.

Meyer Sound

Posted by House Editor on 08/25 at 06:47 AM
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Bohemia JazzFest 2015 Deploys JBL VTX V20 Line Arrays

AudioMaster CZ provides reinforcement for a festival covering eight historic squares throughout the Czech Republic.

Since selling the Czech Republic’s first JBL VTX V20 system to Brno-based Kletch, enabling them to service the Pohoda Festival at Trenčín Slovensko, Harman Professional’s territorial distributor, AudioMaster CZ, has ensured the rig has been seen regularly at outdoor festivals throughout the summer.

The most recent of these was the Bohemia JazzFest 2015, for which AudioMaster CZ fielded its own system to give it further exposure.

The company’s business marketing specialist, Jiri Tomášek, explained: “We bought the system this summer in order to show it off to Czech sound engineers and investors at festivals.”

Started in 2006 by jazz guitarist Rudy Linka, who wanted to present and promote world-class jazz in the Czech Republic, Bohemia JazzFest takes place around eight historic squares throughout the country—including the capital, Prague, which became AudioMaster CZ’s VTX demo site.

For this event, AudioMaster CZ partnered with one of its best clients, AV Media. Around 4,000 people attended the festival each day in Prague’s Old Town Square, the historic center of the Czech capital, while other host cities included Plzen, Domazlice, Tabor, Liberec, Brno, Pisek and Prachatice.

Reviewing the attributes of the V20, a smaller format version of JBL’s groundbreaking V25, AudioMaster CZ technician, Marek Barabas, stated, “This system is great for setting and tuning. I really like the step-by-step workflow in JBL HiQnet Performance Manager—it enables me to make the design offline at home, then bring my laptop to the venue and add real values into LAC [Line Array Calculator]. I can then make small changes in the setting before finally going to the true measurement, for EQ, delays etc. Performance Manager is very intuitive—you can understand it very quickly, and all changes you make, you can hear immediately.”

Walking the venue with his tablet to tune the system, Barabas added, “The most superb function is the Live mode, as this provides a real time overview about what’s going on with the system. I can see both RMS/Peak levels on all circuits and I can see gain reduction if the system reaches limiter thresholds. These limiters really work in the way they protect transducers, yet they are inaudible while in operation.”

In Prague’s Old Square the installation team—with Vilem Komarek production managing for AV Media — flew nine V20 tops per side, with six G28 subs in a center broadside array, and two hangs of four S25 column subs. In addition, they had a V20 per side as front fill and VTX F15 as out fill. The system was powered by four Crown VRack 4x3500HD systems with a custom rack (comprising Crown I-Tech 5000HD and I-Tech 4x3500HD).

Front of house mixing was performed on Soundcraft’s new Vi3000 digital console, with a Vi1 down at the stage.

As for the V20, Jiri Tomášek reports that it came through its test with flying colors. “It survived the rain and everything else thrown at it from an eclectic program of international musicians,” he said. These included American genius Bill Frisell and EWF Experience featuring Al McKay (from the US) as well as an assembly of Europe’s finest.

Meanwhile, festivals covered by Kletch this summer (aside from Pohoda) include Trinity Festival at Ostrava Trojhalí (for which AudioMaster CZ provided JBL’s G28 subs), VUT FIT MONSTER at Brno Velodrom and the massive, PRIGL Electronic Open Air Festival at Brno Přehrada.

Harman Professional

Posted by House Editor on 08/25 at 06:21 AM
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Monday, August 24, 2015

Denver Center For The Performing Arts Goes Digital With Studer

Vista 1 digital console selected for front of house duty at the performance of The 12 in the 770-seat Stage Theater.

The Denver Center for the Performing Arts (DCPA) is the nation’s largest non-profit theater organization and was founded in 1972 by Broadway producer Donald Seawell who, now at 103 years old, can still be found in his office most days.

Looking to add a new digital console in anticipation of an original production called The 12, the DCPA recently purchased a 32-fader Harman Studer Vista 1 digital audio mixer.

The 12 is a rock musical that follows the 12 disciples as they wrestle with fear, uncertainty, anger and love in the days after their Teacher’s death. The 12 was held in the 770-seat Stage Theater, which put the Vista 1 to the test as the front of house console.

The Vista 1 is a compact, all-in-one digital console, with the control surface, I/O system, DSP and power supplies all contained within the board. It is equipped with Studer’s exclusive Vistonics user interface and Vista control surface, plus 32 mic/line inputs, 32 line outputs and Multi Mode MADI. An additional Dual MADI card is available for remote stage boxes.

“The 12 required more sound support than is usually required for our productions, and was designed by Zach Williamson,” said John Pryor, director of sound for the Theatre Company division of the DCPA.

“Zach has worked with Studer in the past and wanted to design the show on a Studer console, so he encouraged us to purchase the Vista 1. But we also listened to the advice of several other colleagues in the industry who recommended Studer and we purchased the Vista on the on strength of a product demo given to us by [Studer US sales director] Rob Lewis.”

The 12 was a resounding success and the Vista 1’s performance gave Pryor and his team the confidence to continue working with the console, with an eye on possibly adding more Studer equipment in the future.

“The opening went very well and we are entirely pleased with the Vista 1,” Pryor noted. “We are considering the purchase of two more Vista consoles over the next two years, replacing our legacy analog consoles in each of our primary theaters.”

Studer Vista 1

Posted by House Editor on 08/24 at 03:25 PM
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