Thursday, September 05, 2013

Video: Dave Rat’s Handy Tips For Testing Loudspeakers

"El Raton" on using common items in uncommon ways...

Even need to test a loudspeaker in a pinch with no real tools on hand? Want to verify the polarity of a component on the fly?

Dave Rat, veteran mix engineer and the owner of Rat Sound, shares some tips on quickly and easily testing loudspeakers with common items you may already have in your pockets.

The video is embeded below.



Rat Sound

Posted by Keith Clark on 09/05 at 05:49 PM
Live SoundFeatureBlogVideoConcertEducationEngineerLine ArrayLoudspeakerSound ReinforcementSubwooferSystemTechnicianPermalink

Boulevard Pro Installs Two Yamaha CL5s At bergenPAC

Boulevard Professional recently installed two Yamaha CL5 Digital Audio Consoles along with four Rio 3224-D input/output boxes at the Bergen Performing Arts Center.

Boulevard Professional (Ridgefield Park, N.J.) recently installed two Yamaha CL5 Digital Audio Consoles along with four Rio 3224-D input/output boxes, one at front of house and one for monitors, at the Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC) in Englewood, New Jersey.

Since 1986, Boulevard Pro has been providing audio systems for rental and installation to customers around the Tri-State area.

For 10 years, bergenPAC has been known as northern New Jersey’s busiest not-for-profit performing arts center, and home to hundreds of world-class performances reaching audiences of over 250,000 each year.

The 1,367-seat theater embraces the spectrum of the arts from rock to classical, dance to comedy, with nearly 150 events each year.

The soul of bergenPAC can best be seen in its efforts to provide a home for innovative arts and educational programs that reach out to thousands of families via their performing arts school.

“We’ve built a strong relationship with bergenPAC over the past 10 years,” states James Cioffi, co-owner, Boulevard Pro. “We suggested the new Yamaha CL5 consoles to the audio staff and initially provided them as rentals so the crew would have an opportunity to see how functional the consoles are and how well they sound.

“The staff loved the console’s sound and size, affording the theater extra room at front of house.”

A Yamaha MY lake card is installed in the FOH console and is used to control the existing speaker system and all theater zones.

Since Boulevard installed two complete CL systems, bergenPAC can rotate the consoles from the theater to the Drapkin Cabaret & Lounge as well as its performing arts school located just down the street.

“We’ve been working with Boulevard Pro for many years now, and they always go the extra mile to make sure our shows go off without a hitch,” states Joe Feola, Tech Director.

About the console, Feola says “I’ve been a Yamaha supporter for a long time, and the CL5 fits our needs perfectly. By accommodating the files of other Yamaha boards, it helps to speed up the load in. The venue hasn’t sounded better.”

The Yamaha CL Series is a Dante network-based console featuring remote I/O for a faster, more responsive Yamaha system solution. All three CL models in the Centralogic series, only differentiated by frame size and input capability, feature 24 mix buses, 8 matrix buses, plus stereo and mono outputs, and 16 DCAs.

The footprint of all three CL consoles is small, yet powerful and has been developed specifically for sound reinforcement applications such as performing arts venues, theaters, houses of worship, touring, and remote broadcast. The high output bus count will be a great benefit to live broadcast and monitor applications.

“Recently, I have had the opportunity to make the audio leap from analog to digital,” states Paul Denise, Audio Department Head at bergenPAC. “During this time of change, I was able to do a head-to-head comparison.

“Our sound system responded wonderfully with the new CL. Not only was our lighting dimmer buzz gone, but the clarity and separation in the high end, particularly, was awesome.”

Denise said shows like The Village People, Rock and Blues Fest, and Cheap Trick have enjoyed working with the CL5.

“Even when bands like ZZ Top and Lynyrd Skynyrd bring their own console in, we are still subbing into the CL5 to send to all 8 audio zones in the theater. The more I use the CL5, the more I like it.”

Yamaha Commercial

Posted by Julie Clark on 09/05 at 11:36 AM
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RØDE Adds iPhone Compatibility For Lavalier, PinMic And HS1 Headset

RØDE Adds iPhone Compatibility For Lavalier, PinMic And HS1 Headset

RØDE Microphones has announced the release of the MiCon-11 adaptor cable.

The new adaptor cable provides connection between the RØDE HS1 headset, PinMic and Lavalier microphones, and TRRS devices such as the Apple iPhone, iPad and iPod touch as well as a large number of Android phones and tablets.

Microphone users can now take advantage of the RØDE Rec app on Apple iOS devices, recording high-quality audio direct to their iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.

This functionality will be further enhances with the large scale update of the app that is schedule for release later this month.

“The MiCon system was born out of frustration from working with other manufacturers’ wireless systems.” said Damien Wilson, RØDE’s Global Marketing & Sales Director. “With MiCon the idea is to allow anyone that invests in our microphones a versatile suite of connectivity options.

“If you upgrade your wireless system or want to connect it to another device you don’t have to buy a completely new mic. Today’s release of the MiCon-11 really highlights the benefits of this system.”

He continued. “Since the release of the smartLav in January we’ve been overwhelmed by worldwide demand, proving that this convergent technology is exactly what today’s consumers and professionals alike are looking for.

“Now with the MiCon-11 we can easily enable users of our broadcast-quality compact wearable microphones to take advantage of the many benefits of recording direct to their iOS device with the RØDE Rec app.”

The 1.2m/4’ cable adaptor also includes a MiCon male-to-male interface to allow it to be used as an extension for other MiCon cables from RØDE.

With this announcement RØDE now offers eleven different interface options for customers to connect their microphones, including wireless systems from seven different manufacturers.

RØDE Microphones

Posted by Julie Clark on 09/05 at 11:12 AM
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Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Special Event Services Supports The Avett Brothers With Martin Audio MLA

U.S. leg of arena tour typically utilizes 11 MLA and one MLD down fill per side

SES (Special Event Services) of Winston Salem and Nashville recently supported the first leg of the world tour by the Avett Brothers on with 36 a Martin Audio Multi-cellular Loudspeaker Array (MLA) system.

Michael Brammer, SES director of touring operations notes, “We did a trial show at the beginning of the tour, and due to the success of the MLA and the overwhelming positive fan response, the band decided to take us on the road. The band went from a bus and trailer to three trucks virtually overnight, in part because they fell in love with the Martin Audio MLA system.”

The Avett Brothers are led by Scott and Seth Avett on vocals and a variety of stringed and percussion instruments, along with Bob Crawford (double bass), Joe Kwon (cello) and Mike Marsh (drums). With several chart albums, they combine an eclectic mix of bluegrass, country, punk, pop, folk, rock and roll, honky-tonk and ragtime into solid original songs.

With stops in Canada and Europe before wrapping up in the U.S. this Fall, the Avetts headlined “The Carpenter” tour with acts such as The Old Crow Medicine Show and Grace Potter and the Nocturnals opening for them in a mix of amphitheatres, arenas and theaters, including two sold-out nights at Red Rocks.

In order to cover the crowds that averaging 10,000-12,000, with a bump to 18,000 at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, SES deployed 11 MLA enclosures and one MLD down fill cabinet per side along with six MLX ground-stacked subs per side. When the band returns later for the final U.S. leg, they will play larger arenas, so SES plans to add MLA Compact loudspeakers for out fill to increase the coverage area.

“Front of house engineer Justin Glanville really likes the dynamic range and stereo imaging of the MLA system, as The Avett Brothers are a very complex band,” Brammer says. “They play a variety of instruments and exchange them from song to song, so there’s a constant circle around the stage. The show ranges from very energetic moments down to just two guys singing into one microphone acoustically. It’s a very dynamic show and MLA really responds well to it.

“The coverage has been uniformly excellent in all kinds of venues, and MLA doesn’t take long to set up,” he continues. “In fact, Andrew Steelman, our systems tech, was able to fly it in the morning and have Justin behind the console by lunchtime. The MLA system really has given us everything we’ve needed and more from a loudspeaker rig.”

Martin Audio

Posted by Keith Clark on 09/04 at 03:14 PM
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Tuesday, September 03, 2013

FiberPlex Connects High School Marching Band To Guitars And Keyboards

Howard High School’s unusual music program is one example of how fiber optic technology is being leveraged to foster creativity in learning at schools and colleges.

Howard High School’s music department started the school year with an unsuual marching band program that combines brass and drums with guitars and keyboards, thanks to fiber optic connectivity by FiberPlex Technologies.

“We’re reinvigorating the traditional scholastic music program and mixing in contemporary music with the marching band,” explained Christopher Campbell, Band Director for Howard High School, Ellicott City.

Howard High School recently added to its band program a complete synth ensemble – all able to chime in live and amplified alongside band instrumentation during halftimes on the football field due to FiberPlex LightViper optical technology.

“Imagine a rock band on the 50-yard line with a marching band moving and playing around it,” he added.

During a recent game documented in this video, Howard High School incorporated popular music tunes “Where Have you Been” by Rihanna and “The Pretender” by Foo Fighters with the formation of an all-electronic front ensemble.

“Because of the kind of music that we’re doing, it gave us strong opportunity for a lot of creative input and thought from the kids,” said Daniel Roberts, Front Ensemble Director for Howard High School. “The kids learned a lot more. They actually became involved in the creative process of that music that we were performing.”

It all started last year when the high school set out to combine traditional with contemporary music in order to engage more students in the school’s music program.

The two music directors knew they could add a couple of contemporary keyboards off to the sidelines of the school’s football field in the band pit, and maybe a guitar or two, but the problem was what to do about amplification.

Any guitar or keyboard that could be heard over the brass of a full marching band required an amplifier, which, of course, meant some sort of audio snake between the instrument set and the amplifiers to get the sound across.

Wireless communications was out; too much interference. Copper cable was also out due to problems with bulk and signal degradation.

The two were at a loss until a parent suggested an alternative: fiber optic cable.

Parent Buddy Oliver, whose son Bo is very active in Howard High School’s Music Department, and who is an accomplished musician himself, is the CEO of optical equipment manufacturer FiberPlex in nearby Annapolis Junction.

He explained to Campbell and Roberts that fiber optic cable can transport music error-free and transparently over greater distances, by a 400:1 ratio compared to copper. One fiber cable weighing less than eight pounds can transmit the same data as two, 40-pair copper cables weighing 700 pounds.

Also of interest to the school administrators is optical fiber’s environmental profile. Fiber strands are made from sand, a sustainable resource, unlike copper, which is a limited resource that is expensive to mine.

“Being in the optical transport business I see it as an obvious choice for applications like this, certainly,” stated Oliver, who helped configure the school’s sound system. “But speaking as a musician and parent, this is a great way for students to experience music differently and maybe get involved in music where they might not have otherwise.

“It demonstrates to the students that all that science and math they are taking can be leveraged to create high end technology with real practical (and cool) applications.” 

The system includes a LightViper optical snake system that collects all the signals from the keyboards, guitar and bass on the field and transports them up to a mixer in the stands where a student technician can sit in a prime mixing position.

The resulting ‘mixed’ signals are sent back down the fiber to amps and speakers on the field for the musicians and crowd to hear.  The whole project was facilitated through the professional staff at Mid Atlantic School Equipment Company out of Virginia.

“We just started the mix of synth and marching band for halftime programs last year, and got a fantastic reception. We were told it was quite revolutionary,” said Campbell, who recently rolled out the small spool of fiber from the music room to a 20-workstation music lab just down the hall, where students can network into Pro Tools and music notation programs for arranging and writing music on their own.

“There’s a sense of community and culture of learning that happens when you get kids together to create something that they feel passionate about, and that’s what we’ve done here,” added Roberts.

Howard High School is just one example of how fiber optic technology can be leveraged to foster creativity in learning at schools and colleges. FiberPlex makes fiber optic products and systems for government agencies as well as for houses of worship, corporate facilities, broadcast applications, and K-12 and higher education. 


Posted by Julie Clark on 09/03 at 09:46 AM
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Friday, August 30, 2013

Toledo’s Hollywood Casino Spotlight Summer Nights Series Powered By RCF

The Hollywood Casino in Toledo, Ohio is hosting their first Spotlight Summer Nights series of concerts in an open-air amphitheater setting on the banks of the Ohio River utilizing a RCF sound reinforcement system.

The Hollywood Casino in Toledo, Ohio is hosting their first Spotlight Summer Nights series of concerts in an open-air amphitheater setting on the banks of the Ohio River.

Scheduled headliners for the series include Air Supply, Leann Rimes, Wynonna, Chevelle, Ronnie Dunn and Travis Tritt.

The “amphitheater” is a re-purposed parking lot with temporary staging and seating with an interstate running behind it. As such it is a venue that calls for proper sound control and reproduction.

Metro Detroit area-based Parks Audio Systems proposed a system from RCF loudspeakers to cover the outdoor grounds. Their choice – an RCF TT Series line array coupled with dB Technologies subwoofers.

The system is comprised of 8 RCF TTL33A active three-way cabinets flown per side along with 8 dB Technologies DVA S30N 18” subwoofers.

For sidefills, Parks added one RCF 4PRO 6001 three-way cabinet coupled with one dB Technologies DVA S20DP subwoofer per side. dB Technologies DVX DM15 active monitors cover the stage.

“My hats off to RCF for the support they have provided,” notes Parks Audio owner Gregg Parks. “Never in my years of having a sound company have I had the support of a manufacturer like I have from RCF.”

As the system is flown on a temporary basis for the shows, the fact it features RDNet is a critical component as they system literally gets set up the day of the show using a StageLine trailer for the summer events.

RDNet is RCF’s RS-485 proprietary protocol allowing for monitoring of all system components and control of system parameters. As the rig is flown for the show, all components including on-board amplifiers and each individual transducer can be tested to be in proper working order. And, with RDNet control, Parks is able to meet with the performer’s front-of-house engineer during rehearsal walk-through and apply any necessary changes needed in the system quickly to meet the artist’s sound requirements.


Posted by Julie Clark on 08/30 at 04:38 PM
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FOH Engineer Bruce Jones Utilizes AKG For Joe Cocker Tour

FOH engineer Bruce Jones relies on AKG microphones for Joe Cocker tour.

Joe Cocker’s European tour stretched from France and Germany to Croatia and Monaco, as the band performed for sold-out crowds in numerous cities.

On stage, FOH engineer Bruce Jones needed to ensure fans’ favorite songs of the band were clearly audible, in addition to maintaining a durable equipment rig.

A complete Harman AKG microphone set traveled with the band, quickly deployed every night.

“I was looking for a clean, crisp sound, but also a system that could handle high sound pressure levels and work in any weather condition,” stated Jones.  “If the artists aren’t happy with their sound, you’re wasting everyone’s time.

“Since deploying AKG for our shows, the entire band has said the sound is better than ever before!”

Included in the rig are AKG D7 and D5 handheld microphones, D40’s, D212’s, D12 VR’s, C451’s and C519’s.

The durability and reliability aspects are key in the continued use of AKG for Cocker, according to Jones, who hasn’t had one failure under in any situation.

“With today’s accurate sound systems, you have to have the best,” Jones continued. “The mics bring high fidelity sound to my mix – I can get the whispers of singers audible in even large arenas.

“Any weakness in the line will show up and AKG, without question, gives me the best sounding shows I’ve ever had.”


Posted by Julie Clark on 08/30 at 11:47 AM
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Hillsong UNITED Brings WELCOMEZION Tour To U.S. With L-Acoustics

Mid-America Sound deploys full L-Acoustics system for international worship group

Hillsong UNITED, the chart-topping worship band that rose out of the youth ministry of Sydney, Australia’s Hillsong Church, recently wrapped up a U.S. summer arena tour in support of its 12th and latest full-length album, ZION.

The outing, known as “WELCOMEZION”, picks back up with a second three-week leg of North American dates in November and will continue to be supported by Greenfield, Indiana-based Mid-America Sound, which has been supplying an L-Acoustics K1 system for the tour.

The group’s summer jaunt, which stopped at a dozen cities in June, sold out shows in Phoenix, Dallas, Denver and Chicago, averaging almost 7,000 people each night.

This tour marks the third year that Mid-America Sound, along with supplementary gear support from Cincinnati-based partner Loud & Clear, has been providing concert sound for Hillsong UNITED, which switched from L-Acoustics V-DOSC to K1 two years ago.

Mid-America Sound Co-founder Kerry Darrenkamp details Hillsong UNITED’s current touring system as featuring left and right arrays each comprised of 14 K1 with six KARA enclosures below for down-fill, while a dozen KUDO per side provide out-fill coverage.

Low frequency reinforcement is supplied by two hangs of eight K1-SB, flown adjacent to the K1/KARA, supplemented by nine SB28 subs per side ground-stacked below in a cardioid arrangement.

On stage, six additional KARA enclosures are spread out as needed across the lip for front-fill, while eight coaxial 115XT HiQ wedges serve monitors, with a single dV-SUB on hand for drum monitoring.

Twelve LA-RAK, each containing three LA8 amplified controllers, deliver the full system’s power, filters and networking.

“Over the years, Hillsong UNITED has developed a hugely diverse song list that encompasses a large dynamic range and various musical styles,” says Hillsong UNITED FOH Engineer James Rudder. “When mixing front of house, I need the confidence that I can throw anything at the PA and it will handle the information in a detailed fashion.

“Our input list has also grown over the years and I really need to utilize all aspects of the depth and width that a PA can provide. Whether it be an intimate musical moment with few inputs or a wide open musical surge, I feel like I can rely on K1, KARA and KUDO to accurately reproduce what I am doing on the console.”

According to Hillsong Touring Audio System Designer Ricki Cook, “Since moving from V-DOSC to K1 a few years ago, our horizontal and vertical coverage has greatly improved, along with tonal consistency at varying SPLs.

“Our current system feels much more linear with the transition between elements now being quite seamless. The whole K product group is very easy to align and tune, and the overall sound of the system can be easily replicated from venue to venue.”

“From a production managers’ perspective, I appreciate how quick and simple the K1 system flies compared to other PAs on the market,” adds Hillsong UNITED Tour Production Manager Stephen Pippett. “As Ricki mentioned, our team is especially happy with the way the K1 and KUDO work together as mains/out-fills.

“Using LA Network Manager, we’re able to tailor the DSP settings of the KUDO side arrays to mimic K1, which produces spectacular results.”


Posted by Julie Clark on 08/30 at 09:27 AM
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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

ESS Audio Promotes JBL VTX Line Arrays Through Busy Summer Season

ESS Audio Promotes JBL VTX Line Arrays Through Busy Summer Season

ESS Audio, Harman Professional’sdistributor in Poland, is midway through a busy summer festival season with JBL VTX line arrays, highlighted by the recent Heineken Open’er Festival at Gdynia-Kosakowo Airport on the North Coast.

Organized by concert agency Alter Art, Heineken Open’er Festival is one of the biggest festivals in Poland (and the third largest in Europe), with daily attendance of 50,000 throughout the 4-day festival daily.

ESS Audio’s customer—rental company, GMB Pro Sound—took responsibility for equipping the main stage, using their new JBL VTX system.

They fielded a total of 64 V25 fullsize line array elements, with the main front-facing PA comprising 18 elements per side. This was supported by outfills (in hangs of nine) and downfill enclosures, complemented by 48 G28 subwoofers in a broadside reverse cardioid array.

Four VERTEC VT4889 fullsize line array elements were added for near-field coverage and a further 24 VT4889 were used for delays further down the field.

The entire system was powered by Crown I-Tech 12000 HD and Macro-Tech MA5000 amplifiers, while the company dipped further into its Harman Professional inventory for digital control.

Four Soundcraft Vi6 digital consoles were deployed for use by the FOH and monitor engineers for internationally-famous acts such as Rihanna, Blur, Steve Reich, Arctic Monkeys, Editors, Skunk Anansie, Nick Cave, Queens of the Stone Age and Kings of Leon.

Earlier in the month, GMB Pro Sound had again deployed its premium JBL VTX system for the main stage at Orange Warsaw Festival, held at the National Stadium, Warsaw, featuring Beyonce, Fatboy Slim, Basement Jaxx, Tinie Tempah Offspring and Cypress Hill.

Since the Festival began in 2008 it has grown to become one of the country’s most important events, televised by commercial network TVN.

The same company also supplied a pair of Soundcraft Vi6 digital consoles for the Top Trendy Festival at Opera Leśna in Sopot (close to Gdynia). Organized by television station, Polsat, the event is divided into two sections: ‘Top’ presents the 10 most popular artists in Poland while ‘Trendy’ presents emerging artists, who participate in a talent show.

Viewers voting by SMS chose the winner, with the prize a Polsat TV appearance.

For this event sound coverage was provided by 30 V25 line array elements and 18 G28 subwoofers, each driven by a Crown VRack system, supplemented by a further four VERTEC VT4880 arrayable subwoofers (powered by Crown Macro-Tech MA5000), eight VERTEC VT4887 compact line array elements and four VRX932 Constant Curvature loudspeakers on fill duties—all assigned to Crown I-Tech 8000 amplifiers.

Finally, in the south of the country, the National Festival of Polish Song is staged and broadcast annually at the Millennium Amphitheatre (Amfiteatr Tysiąclecia) by TVP, Poland’s national broadcaster. One of the two most important music festivals in Poland, the Opole festival reflects the past year’s achievements by Polish song writers and performers, incorporating hits of the previous season with new songs and performance debuts (including a tournament).

For this event, GMB Pro Audio fielded 18 VRack-powered JBL V25’s, along with 12 SRX712M monitors and a pair of Soundcraft Vi6’s—one at the stage and one at FOH.

Summing up, the challenges of getting so many large VTX systems out to so many major events, ESS Audio director, Witold Karalow said, “Poland is a great place to see how versatile and powerful the JBL VTX system is. We have been able to cover the four biggest and most famous festivals in the country with JBL line arrays—presenting totally different music genres, from rock and pop thru classical, R&B and club music.”


Posted by Julie Clark on 08/28 at 06:31 AM
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Sirkus Finlandia Upgrades With d&b audiotechnik

Sirkus Finlandia invests in new d&b audiotechnik system

“Communicating with animals in a circus environment is one of the most important things that happen under the big top,” explains Sirkus Finlandia technical advisor NØrager. “That’s why we paid it so much attention when we considered purchasing a PA system for Sirkus Finlandia.”

“I have been with the circus for thirty years. In Finland the circus began to engage with modern lighting about twenty years ago, sound about ten years later,” he continues. “I’ve been looking after the Sirkus audio system for the last four or five years.

“By profession I’m a performer, but I’ve worked with sound since I was a teenager, I have done live mixing, studio recording, all sorts. I already had a good experience with d&b audiotechnik loudspeaker systems having used the d&b C systems with B2-SUBs before. We wanted something more compact and faster for touring.

“We put on over two hundred and fifty shows in the touring season, which being this far north, lasts about seven months. We weren’t looking for power; we wanted something different for our audiences.”

The circus had other important considerations, not least the animals.

“The tent accommodates one thousand two hundred people and my idea was for the sound to appear natural, exactly as if it was coming from the position of our live orchestra.

“The orchestra is positioned above the ring entrance. My concept was for a d&b T-Series rigged stereo either side near to the band.”

NØrager had seen and heard the T-Series through a colleague who had purchased a system for an installation.

“I went and listened and thought, this could be ideal for the circus application,” NØrager adds. “Rigged up beside the orchestra does mean that we end up with the performer’s mic in front of the PA, but that is pretty much always the situation with a circus.

“I chose T-Series because it easily fulfils the demands for size and power, and there is a real advantage from having a well defined and known dispersion above the ring performers, and likewise beneath the aerial acts, because of course they need to hear commands.

“That is especially true for the animals; a clown or trapeze artist might read the visual signals from their partner, but a prancing horse won’t, they need to be able to hear.”

NØrager approached Tero Hölttä at msonic Oy (the d&b distributor for Finland), who modeled the tent and determined that three T10 each side would work.

“That’s enough of a line array to create the inherent hundred and five degree horizontal pattern, ” said Hölttä, “and we have enough elevation being up at orchestra height to shoot above the ring floor avoiding most microphone problems.”

NØrager saw the system design in clearly defined technical terms.

“The directivity is so good there’s little energy into the roof, so we don’t get that pumping off the fabric, even at higher SPLs. The 105 degrees of the T10 covers the main audience, then we fill the fine outer audience at the sides with a T10 each side in point source mode, laying on its side to produce 35 (h) by 90 (v). It fills the space perfectly.”

“Between Tero and me we resolved a mono SUB solution and it is ideal. One B2 is enough and the single source means no low end holes or peaks in the venue. We did consider B4-SUBs, the T-Series natural partner, thinking the cardioid pattern might prove advantageous, but in the end the B2 solution is better for speed of rigging and simplicity.

“Speed is always an important consideration for a touring circus. I particularly like the d&b range because in my experience it always sounds good whatever you put into it. In the tent I use almost no EQ and that’s typical of my experience with d&b systems.

“It’s also a well established brand; when you’re touring one hundred and twenty five cities in seven months that’s important if something happens, I haven’t found an amplifier yet that can survive a king pole being dropped on it; at short notice you can find a D12 pretty much anywhere in Finland.”

The Sirkus Finlandia started its 2013 season the first week in April, NØrager reliably informs us that the horses like the new sound system, “Put it this way, there have been no complaints from their stable. To be honest they are more interested in their hay-phones.”

d&b audiotechnik

Posted by Julie Clark on 08/28 at 05:55 AM
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Clear-Com Unveils Enhancements To Tempest Digital Wireless Intercoms

Recent Clear-Com Updates Include Tempest2400 Roaming and Remote Line Extender

Clear-Com announces further enhancements to its Tempest Digital Wireless Intercoms at IBC 2013 (Stand 10.D29)

Included among the latest offerings is a new CCT-RT-EX Remote Line Extender for the Tempest CCT-RT transceiver as well as Tempest2400 Seamless Roaming features.

Being shown for the first time at IBC, the new Tempest CCT-RT-EX Remote Transceiver Line Extender is used to increase the maximum distance between a Tempest BaseStation and the Remote Antenna Transceiver.

The CCT-RT-EX expands the distance of a BaseStation signal to a remote antenna by as much as 914 metres (3,000 feet) with one Line Extender or 609 metres (2,000 feet) per Line Extender if using more than one Line Extender.

A total of three Line Extenders can be connected to provide total coverage of up to 2286 metres (7,500 feet). These solutions further enhance the system’s application for users requiring ultra-portable wireless communications in RF-rich environments.

Additionally, Clear-Com will also show the Tempest2400 Seamless Roaming features, which allow Tempest2400 BeltStation users to move freely between as many as 16 different BaseStations (coverage areas or zones).

This provides users with continuous wireless coverage without the need to reconnect to the BaseStation in each zone, allowing broadcast professionals to focus on critical production cues rather than on the settings of their wireless BeltStations.

This is useful throughout large venues separated by large distances, such as multi-studio broadcast complexes and sports arenas, or to help overcome RF signal barriers.

With Tempest’s Seamless Roaming, BeltStations function as they normally do while roaming and there is no interruption of the signal because the BeltStations automatically switch from one BaseStation connection to another.

Both Seamless Roaming and manual iSelect Roaming are available to accommodate virtually every application need.


Posted by Julie Clark on 08/28 at 05:40 AM
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Danish Rockers D-A-D Get Down And Dirty With DPA Microphones

d:facto Vocal Mic, d:dicate Recording Mics and d:vote 4099 Instrument Mics are used to ensure D-A-D fans enjoy the full benefit of the band’s loud, punchy sound

Rune Slot, live sound engineer for Danish rock band D-A-D, has turned to DPA Microphones to deliver the loud, punchy sound for which the band is famous.

Slot has been on tour with D-A-D for most of this year, taking in countries such as China and the US as well as plenty of places in Europe.

To mic drummer Laust Sonne’s snare drum, Slot uses a combination of a DPA d:dicate 2011C twin diaphragm cardioid microphones and DPA d:vote 4099 instrument microphones, with the former positioned above the snare and the latter below.

The d:votes are also used to mike the toms, high hat and cymbals, with reinforcement provided by a DPA d:dicate 4011 compact cardioid microphone positioned underneath the cymbals.

He also uses the 2011Cs to pick up Jacob Binzer’s lead guitar. The musician has two cabinets that give a great combination of clean and dirty sound so Slot positioned the 2011C mics about 12cm from each of the speakers.

“D-A-D’s music is not jazz, it’s very rock-and-roll, so I experimented with a number of different condenser microphones before settling for DPA,” saus Slot. “They are fantastic – awesome really – and it’s great to have high-end microphones supplying the inputs to the desk.

“D-A-D is incredibly loud, so for this tour I wanted to use high-end microphones that could really capture the band’s noise and energy. The DPA mics that we have chosen are great and do the job perfectly.”

Vocals are another area where DPA has come up trumps. Not only has Slot equipped lead singer Jesper Binzer with a DPA d:facto vocal microphone with Wisycom wireless adapter, but he is also using the mic for backup vocals as Sonne, Jacob Binzer and Stig Pedersen all use wired versions of the d:facto.

“The mic helps me to stay in control without having to go primal,” says Jesper Binzer.

Slot adds that with a loud band like D-A-D, lead vocals need to be clearly heard in the mix and initially he thought this might not be feasible with a condenser microphone capsule.

“It is a really great sounding capsule that truly grasps all the spirit and energy of Jesper’s performance,” adds Slot. “Even when he sings from the side, it grabs the sound and pulls it into the mix.

“I didn’t need to worry because the d:facto is of such good quality that it is more than capable of giving me the sound I want. I was really surprised when I tried it for the first time because, usually with condenser microphones, you get feedback issues, especially in the high frequency range. But with the d:facto, this just wasn’t a problem. It does what it is supposed to do and there is very little of bleed from the rest of the band, even though the band plays insanely loud.

“These microphones are really good at isolating the vocals and they are also happy to take plenty of punishment. The guys like to ‘eat’ their mics, but the d:factos cope with that brilliantly and still deliver a very punchy sound.”

Originally known as Disneyland After Dark, D-A-D formed in the early 1980s and, apart from one change when Sonne replaced former drummer Peter Lundholm Jensen, it has retained its original line-up.

Its international breakthrough came in 1989 when it signed to Warner Bros in the USA. At that point the band was forced to change its name to D-A-D to avoid an impending lawsuit from the Walt Disney Company.

DPA Microphones

Posted by Julie Clark on 08/28 at 05:31 AM
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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Classical Crossover Violinist David Garrett Tours With Meyer Sound LEO

German production service provider POOLgroup deploys system

Known for his boundary-crossing repertoire that includes classical arrangements of rock, pop, and punk music, violinist David Garrett recently performed a series of open-air shows across Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, with German production service provider POOLgroup deploying a Meyer Sound LEO linear large-scale system for the tour.

Kai Ulrich, front of house engineer for Garrett, was first attracted to LEO’s headroom, which would allow him to eliminate delay loudspeakers for many shows.

“Everything sounds so effortless with LEO,” says Ulrich. “You can really feel the headroom, even though the David Garrett show is not very loud. The first time I used the system I was actually completely overwhelmed by the sound, and I am not at all ‘brand religious.’”

David Garrett’s touring LEO system featured up to 12 LEO-M line array loudspeakers per side, along with 12 1100-LFC low-frequency control elements.

The show also used six MICA line array loudspeakers for downfill, four UPQ-1P loudspeakers for in fill and out fill, and six UPJ-1P VariO loudspeakers for near fill. Meyer Sound Galileo Callisto loudspeaker management with five Galileo Callisto 616 processors provided control and optimization.

DiGiCo SD7 mixing consoles were used at both FOH and monitors, while Garrett’s violin was run through a Lexicon PCM 90 reverberator and an SPL Frontliner valve preamp for extra warmth and texture. DPA microphones were used on all string instruments.

“The tour went extremely well, and the LEO system was a big part of that success,” says Ulrich. “It was absolutely the best choice for these shows.”

Meyer Sound

Posted by Keith Clark on 08/27 at 04:09 PM
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Keeping The Boss Happy: The Monitor Scene For Bruce Springsteen & The E-Street Band

Talking with the dynamic duo of monitor engineering

Troy Milner and Monty Carlo have worked seamlessly side-by-side for more than a decade as monitor engineers, riding the faders for Bruce Springsteen and his 17-piece E-Street Band at stage left and stage right respectively – and they wouldn’t have it any other way. I recently caught up with the dynamic duo backstage prior to a show at London’s Wembley Stadium.

Paul Watson: So, four hands are better than two, then?

Troy Milner: I guess so! [laughs] We are completely independent of each other though; we each get our own splits, and we each have our own set of stage racks and Waves servers.

Monty Carlo: With 18 people on stage, it’s pretty involved, and with Bruce, you never know – he does a set list but he doesn’t follow it, ever, so we’re always on our toes!

TM: They’ve actually always had two monitor engineers. Monty’s been here a lot longer, and I joined on in 2000. It’s actually the way they’ve always liked it for 20-plus years, but we can do a lot more now due to the technology advancements.

How does your partnership work, exactly?

TM: Well, I take care of the drummer, the violin player, the guitarist, the bassist, and the keyboard player who is right here next to me; then I deal with various wedges that are located around the stage for some solos for Bruce.

MC: I hadle pretty much everybody else, really. We each have a lot going on and there are a lot of cues for each song; and again, as Bruce doesn’t follow the set list, well…

I can’t see any wedges on stage – where are you hiding them?

MC: [smiles] There are a number of proprietary Solotech wedges imbedded in the stage, a mixture of double 12s, single 12s and single 15s, and we’re using JBL VT4888s for side fills. The rest of the band is on in-ears, but Bruce is completely old school.

Troy Milner (left) and Monty Carlo at one of the DiGiCo SD7s in Springsteen monitorworld prior to a show at Wembley Stadium in London. (click to enlarge)

What in-ear systems are you running, and do you have any RF issues?

TM: We use Shure kit, PSM1000 IEM systems and the Axient wireless mics, which we like a lot. The boxes underneath are Albatross headphone amps that I use for the drummer – he’s hard wired. When he sits down he plugs right into his seat on his left side and never moves, so he doesn’t need to be wireless.

MC: We have 70 channels of RF between backline and myself and Troy, and although here [in the UK] it’s not too bad, when we’re in Italy… Well, it’s notorious for RF issues. Thankfully, the kit we’re using makes life a whole lot easier than it could be!
What does Bruce like to hear in his wedges?

MC: He’s got a little bit of everything – it’s so tough as each musician has their own wants and needs, but with Bruce, I just kind of fill it up around him between the side fills and the floor wedges so that he hears everything. I have everything panned to make it feel more “live” – the piano is coming from his left and the organ from the right, and the same with the horns, just to kind of open things up, and so he knows where it’s all coming from.

And after all these years, Bruce is still on a classic Shure SM58 capsule.

MC: Absolutely – it still does the job great. We’ve tried a few different things, but it’s still the best sounding and most reliable solution. Also, when it rains and Bruce is out running through the crowd, we don’t have to worry about it falling apart. You can build a house with it.

You both mix on DiGiCo SD7s. Is it essential that you’re on the same console?

Proprietary Solotech wedges in the stage keep it really clean. (click to enlarge)

TM: For our setup, absolutely. We have snapshots for all of the songs, and I’m up to 205. There are some songs that I know Bruce won’t do, but every one is programmed for me on the snapshots. I couldn’t do that without the SD7.

MC: On the whole, the SD7 has been really flexible. It’s also great for moving stuff around. Troy double-assigns the drums so the drummer has his own set of drum inputs and the rest of the band has their own set too, so in terms of tailoring things quickly, everything’s just so easy to do on this desk.

TM: That’s right, the drummer is a little more demanding, so I kind of mix him old school; the control groups are pretty static for him. I’ll hammer him with certain parts that he just wants to hear. For example, he might want two bars of the opening riff from the guitar player, then he wants to get rid of it, so I have to be very hands-on. Monty’s obviously got different stuff that he handles, too.

So on one hand you’re mixing dynamically, yet you’re also relying on hundreds of snapshots… It must get scary if Bruce throws you a curveball.

TM: Oh it can get pretty crazy, that’s for sure! Although the SD7 is pretty much instant access with regard to recalling snapshots, because Bruce has so many songs, it does slow the process down a little: for example, 27 of his songs start with the letter “s,” so it can still take me a second to locate them even with the shortcut buttons.

In fact, I recently asked one of the software guys at DiGiCo if he could give me the first two or three letters rather than just one to search snapshots, as that would be perfect, and he was like, “You guys are worse than Broadway!” [laughs]

How advantageous is it having banks of 12 faders on the console rather than eight?

TM: Oh, very, and for drums especially. Also, having 12 in the center for the control groups is a real bonus – I have a bank for mixing control groups and another bank for mute groups and that works really, really well.

Additionally, the console’s assignable rotaries are perfect for me on my drum bank. I’m always writing thresholds on the gates for the drums because he is so dynamic, and so that I always know when I am in the drum bank – it’s just a visual thing. These functions save me huge amounts of time. 

What are your mix counts?

TM: With all the reverbs, tech mixes and crew mixes, we’re at 60 outputs; and there’s two of us, remember. I scratch my head and think “how did I get to 60?” But I have a lot of sends that I use and the keyboard player has his own mixer, so instead of doing direct outs I just send 16 stem mixes to his mixer, then he sends his mix back to me so I can broadcast it wirelessly for him.

Is there much digital processing in Bruce’s vocal chain, or is this also old school?

TM: I’m real simple on it, because Monty is doing Bruce’s monitor mix. I take care of the vocal for everybody else, so I can tailor it a little more and control it as he is so dynamic and all over the place, which is awesome.

But again, it means you’re having to ride the fader?

Springsteen’s mic is a blend of cutting-edge Shure Axient wireless technology and an old school SM58 capsule. (click to enlarge)

TM: That’s right. I’m feeding Bruce’s vocals to the six people I take care of. I run the multiband compressor, which is just great, and then use a little bit of EQ before running it through the Waves Blue 76 just as an overall “grab.”

How are you finding the Waves SoundGrid?

TM: It’s been great, but obviously the stuff in the desk has been great too. We do have some guitar amp sims and distortions though – Bruce plays the harp through his vocal mic and it sounds like a distorted miked amp, which we’re using a Waves guitar simulator for.

You’ve got two DiGiCo SD Racks each?

TM: Yes. In my world, I’m running old school copper snakes from Monty, and Monty is basically “control central.”

MC: I have all of the splits of everything and we split copper to Troy, copper to me, and then copper to front of house. We’ve talked about sharing racks between us; we haven’t done it yet, but maybe down the road it’s something we can do.

Communication between the two of you during a show must be crucial – how vocal are you?

TM: It depends, but we do have a great talkback system. I basically have a stereo mix of all the talkbacks that I send to a matrix, then I send whatever I am cueing to that same matrix to my wireless cue system, so no matter what I am listening to, the talkbacks are also there too.

MC: Exactly, so if there’s a problem on my side I can say “hey we’re gonna switch this.” We always make sure we have direct communication, as it’s another tool to keep us ahead of the band. Some shows we’re more vocal than others, but we’re always on top of things.

Sounds like you’ve got the perfect setup going on…

TM: Unless we’re in Italy…

MC: [laughs] Yep, we’re all good until we go to Italy!

Paul Watson is the editor for Europe for Live Sound International and ProSoundWeb.

Posted by Keith Clark on 08/27 at 04:01 PM
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New Microphone Boom Stand From Strukture

Strukture has introduced a cost effective new mic boom stand SPRM1.

Leading music accessories manufacturer Strukture introduces new mic boom stand SPRM1.

Designed to be the highest value microphone boom stand on the market, SPRM1 is the latest in a series of new stands from Strukture, and a further expansion of the profit-focused Strukture product offering.

The SPRM1 mic boom stand is constructed using heavy duty steel, and skillfully crafted to provide optimal functionality at a customer-friendly price point.

Each stand features a convenient folding tripod base, standard threading and a generous 31 inch boom arm for maximum reach.

The sturdy design of the boom arm clutch is both reliable and easily adjustable, and all SPRM1 microphone boom stands are completed with a gloss finish for a durable, modern appearance.

With the perfect balance of value and function, Strukture mic boom stands drive profit, at a price every musician can afford.


Posted by Julie Clark on 08/27 at 02:18 PM
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