Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Church On the Move With Harman Professional Sound And Martin Professional Lighting

Mega-church utilizes Harman's Martin Professional Lighting and Professional Sound.

The term “mega church” might have been coined to describe Tulsa, Oklahoma’s 12,000-member Church on the Move.

At services, the church’s message is delivered on a scale that rivals major rock concerts, with full-scale lighting, sound and video in a sanctuary that’s bigger than many top music venues.

The rock concert analogy is appropriate in more ways than one – the church’s audio and video staff rent rather than purchase most of their lighting, giving them access to the latest Harman Martin Professional lighting gear to complement the church’s Harman Professional sound system.

“We rent 90 percent of our lighting and it gives us the freedom to change frequently and try new ideas and technologies. We don’t want to be left behind when the industry makes a major shift, ” said Andrew Stone, Church on the Move’s production manager and audio director.

Renting also cuts down on the need to retain additional maintenance staff – the church can handle all its lighting needs with two technicians.

“The rental model also lets us use high-quality gear without spending a ton of money. We can rent more equipment as needed for bigger events.”

Church On the Move utilizes a host of Martin intelligent lighting products including MAC III Profile lighting, MAC Viper Profile high-output 26,000-lumens fixtures, MAC 700 Wash 26,000-lumens lighting and TW1 tungsten wash lights.

Stone and crew will buy equipment when it makes economic sense, and recently purchased a number of Martin VC-Dot 1 fixtures, individually controllable LED dots that are used to create customized video displays.

The VC-Dot 1 provides new ways to integrate video technology into stage designs, ceilings and other structures.

“We can use the VC-Dot 1 as a design element, as a backdrop or split it up for use in several auditoriums,” Church On the Move lighting designer Daniel Connell states. “It’s amazingly versatile and enables us to easily add dramatic visual impact to a space.”

Connell notes that music is a key element of Church On the Move’s services and that along with the Harman JBL, Crown and BSS-based audio system, a major role of the Martin lighting is to create a modern concert looking feel.

He doesn’t want “a lot of flash” but the ability for the lighting to set a mood or tone on stage and throughout the sanctuary.

“We don’t have a backdrop or a physical stage set so the lighting is our set,” Connell said. “Other house of worship lighting designers don’t do it this way but we feel it’s an interesting and powerful way to do it.”

Connell finds Martin fixtures provide superior color range and saturation; while some fixtures fall off toward the saturated end of their range and some moving lights aren’t the best at delivering a certain color, Martin handles the full light spectrum equally well.

Stone agrees, noting that the church has tried every brand of high-end moving light in the six years Connell’s been on staff and that he and Connell prefer Martin’s richer colors and better look and “feel.”

Reliability is paramount, especially with rented gear.

“I don’t want rental fixtures dying in the middle of a service,” Connell states. “After a year of use you can start to have problems but I’ve never experienced that with Martin.”

Like many organizations, Church On the Move is bringing in more LED lighting for its reduced maintenance and energy costs.

Since 2010 Church On the Move has enjoyed the sonic benefits of a large-scale JBL, Crown and BSS Audio sound system, comprising 38 JBL VerTec line array element hung in four clusters and complemented by 16 JBL ASB6128V subwoofers, 10 flown and six under the stage.

Seven JBL AC28/95 speakers behind the perimeter of the stage provide front fill and the speakers are powered by 49 Crown MA5000i and 10 CTs 3000 and CTs 2000 amplifiers.

The speakers and amps in the sanctuary and other JBL speakers and Crown amps throughout the church are linked by BSS Soundweb London BLU-160 digital audio processors, and all A/V is networked using Harman HiQnet System Architect software.

“We recently had a conference with 2,500 worship and creative directors from around the country, and have held many major events and big services,” Stone said. “Many people came just to hear the JBL VerTecs because of everything they’d heard about them, and that says a lot. Like the Martin lighting, the audio system has performed admirably.”

Martin Lighting

Posted by Julie Clark on 07/30 at 02:04 PM
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Meyer Sound CAL Brings Clarity To Steel-and-Glass Atrium At National WWII Museum

The US Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center now relies on the Meyer Sound CAL column array loudspeaker to tackle the acoustic challenges in its massive vaulted pavilion.

At the National WWII Museum in downtown New Orleans, the US Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center now relies on the Meyer Sound CAL column array loudspeaker to tackle the acoustic challenges in its massive vaulted pavilion.

Using CAL’s beam-steering technology, New Orleans-based JBA Consulting Engineers has created a system that delivers highly intelligible music and speech while tailoring coverage for the audience size at an event.

The US Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center is a 36,000-square-foot angular edifice dominated by a five-story, steel-and-glass atrium which houses six wartime aircraft suspended in frozen flight, including a B-17 Flying Fortress.

Despite the acoustical hazards posed by surfaces of glass and concrete, the CAL loudspeakers allow the museum to direct exceptional audio clarity to the audience for almost daily programs of lectures, video screenings, and musical entertainment.

“We were originally skeptical about having decent sound in the space, largely based on prior experience in another pavilion using older technology,” admits Paul Parrie, associate vice president of operations for the museum. “But we are amazed at how well the Meyer Sound CAL system works here, and we are very pleased with it.”

Precise, uniform coverage of the 700-person capacity audience area is provided by two CAL 64 loudspeakers, aided by two UPJunior VariO loudspeakers for near-stage fill. Low end for music and video playback programming is supplied by dual 600-HP subwoofers. The CAL loudspeakers are programmed with two presets: one uses dual split beams on both sides for larger audiences, while the other uses a single beam at a steeper angle for smaller audiences.

“The wall opposite the stage is five stories of solid glass, and because the room is asymmetrical, the throw is much shorter on one side than the other,” notes Rob Pourciau, senior project consultant for JBA. “We needed loudspeakers that could tailor precise coverage for the space, then change coverage depending on audience size, while providing both high speech intelligibility and superb music quality.

“CAL is the only system that could do it all and still keep the architects happy with its unobtrusive appearance.”

In addition, two Meyer Sound UM-100P stage monitors provide foldback, and a Galileo loudspeaker management system featuring one Galileo 408 processor is used for optimization and drive. The pavilion’s event audio system also includes a Yamaha LS9-32 digital mixing console, Clear-Com intercom, and eight Shure ULX wireless systems which include Beta 58 handhelds and beltpacks with Countryman lavalieres.

All sound and lighting systems were designed by JBA Consulting Engineers, while New Orleans-based Soundworks handled system integration.

The US Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center was part of a recent $35 million renovation to the museum. Voorsanger Mathes, LLC was the architect and Woodward Design + Build was the general contractor. Since its dedication, the pavilion stage has hosted a broad range of high-profile speakers, including Pulitzer Prize-winning author Rick Atkinson and former vice president Dick Cheney.

Musical entertainment is often provided by the female vocal group the Victory Belles.

Dedicated in 2000, the National WWII Museum features interactive exhibits, artifacts of all sizes, and special programs that together reveal how the war was fought, how it was won, and what it means in today’s world.

Meyer Sound

Posted by Julie Clark on 07/30 at 01:55 PM
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FOH Engineer James Dunkley Chooses Waves Plugins For Anthrax, Fun Lovin’ Criminals And Others

FOH engineer James Dunkley uses live tools from Waves Audio.

Front-of-house engineer James Dunkley (Anthrax, Fun Lovin’ Criminals, Amon Amarth) is part of a growing number of young cutting-edge live engineers turning to live tools from Waves Audio.

“All of my effects are Waves,” Dunkley says. “On the last run with Anthrax, I came to rely on the Waves V-EQ4 Vintage Equalizer and the CLA-76 on the lead vocal. Joey [Belladonna, Anthrax lead vocalist] is particularly loud, so I like to use a nice but aggressive compressor on him so that I can rein him in into the mix when he’s really going for it.

“The V-EQ4 is just a nice, musical EQ in that it brings out the characteristic of his voice without sounding too ‘surgical.’ I also use the CLA-76 on backup vocals.”

He continues, describing his workflow: “I am currently running three separate instances of Waves Renaissance Reverb – one at about 1.6 seconds for the snare, another at 2.4 seconds for the toms (to make them sound massive, as obviously they’re not played as much as the snare, so when they come in I want them in like a ton of bricks!), and the last one at about 3 seconds as a sort of vocal wash.

“I also buss the lead vocal out to a Waves H-Delay, switching it in and out on the channel sends. The H-Delay was actually a massive surprise, because you do end up thinking, ‘How different can one delay be from another?,’ but sonically, the H-Delay is something else.

“I have a stereo group for the drum kit (apart from the kick and snare), and I put a Waves H-Comp across as kind of a parallel bus compressor in two busses. It tightens up the kit nicely, and it makes sure I have more consistency on fast tom rolls while ensuring each drum punches through the guitars. I also run a Waves C4 over a stereo guitar bus that all my guitars go through.

“I am almost using this as an overall EQ, as I can cut the extreme lows, bring up the sparkle in the top end and tighten up the low mid on the typically Anthrax ‘chuggy’-sound parts. The compression on the drum and guitar busses just really tightens things up and makes sure everything stays in its place within the mix so my vocal can ride on top. Basically my mix is pretty much Waves-dependent and just adds the character and control I need to mix a band like Anthrax on a digital console.”

Waves audio

Posted by Julie Clark on 07/30 at 07:37 AM
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Monday, July 29, 2013

Clearwing And L-Acoustics Kick Out The Jams At Summerfest

World’s largest music festival heard via K1, KARA, KUDO and ARCS WIFO

Recognized by Guinness World Records as the world’s largest music festival for the 15 consecutive years, Milwaukee’s Summerfest knows how to throw a party.

Serving up a smorgasbord of brats, brews and bands – over 700 national and regional acts performing on 11 stages – this year’s “Big Gig” at Henry W. Maier Festival Park on the city’s Lake Michigan shoreline drew more than 840,000 visitors over its 11-day run in late June and early July.

Milwaukee World Festival, the non-profit organization that runs the event, once again turned to local provider Clearwing Productions to handle audio production duties for the event.

Clearwing specified the use of more than 340 L-Acoustics loudspeaker enclosures for FOH throughout the grounds.

According to Bryan Baumgardner, Clearwing audio operations/logistics manager, eight of Summerfest’s nine largest stages – including the 25,000-capacity Marcus Amphitheater – featured L-Acoustics systems.

Five of those stages – the Marcus, as well as Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard, Harley-Davidson Roadhouse, BMO Harris Pavilion (formerly Classic Rock Stage) and U.S. Cellular Connection – utilized K1 for the primary house arrays.

Additionally, the system for the Johnson Controls World Sound Stage (formerly Potawatomi Stage) was built around KARA, while Uline Warehouse featured V-DOSC.

A new addition to Summerfest’s gear list this year was the use of L-Acoustics’ ARCS WIFO enclosures. At Jo Jo’s Martini Lounge, Clearwing vertically flew one ARCS FOCUS over two ARCS WIDE per side, which replaced two six-enclosure KIVA arrays used in years prior.

ARCS WIDE systems were also used on half of the stages for both front-fill and side-fill.

“We previously used standard ARCS boxes, but ARCS WIDE has a larger dispersion pattern that makes it particularly ideal for side-fill,” says Baumgardner, “Plus the power rating is better suited for front-fill applications. They worked perfectly and everyone was really happy with them.”

He adds that Clearwing has been providing audio for the festival since 1995 and first began deploying V-DOSC there back in 2000, shortly after acquiring its first rig.

Since then, L-Acoustics has been on the equipment spec every year.

“One of the primary reasons we use L-Acoustics is because of its high rider acceptability; nobody says ‘no’ to K1, KARA, KUDO or V-DOSC,” says Baumgardner. “We’ve been using these systems at Summerfest for a long time now and they consistently prove themselves to be the right choice year after year.

“It’s what the festival wants as well as what the artists want. We don’t have to convince anyone to use it.”

Less than two weeks after the close of Summerfest, Clearwing supplied 80 K1, 32 K1-SB and numerous other L-Acoustics enclosures for a huge Pearl Jam concert at Chicago’s Wrigley Field.

A portion of Clearwing’s L-Acoustics inventory is also regularly being used at Maier Park this summer for a number of ethnic festivals, including Polish Fest, Festa Italiana, German Fest, African World Festival, Irish Fest, Mexican Fiesta, Indian Summer, Asian Moon Festival, Arab World Fest and PrideFest.

Over Labor Day weekend, the Summerfest grounds will once again be packed as Clearwing provides concert systems for Harley-Davidson’s 110th anniversary featuring performances from Toby Keith, Aerosmith, Kid Rock, ZZ Top, Dropkick Murphys, Lupe Fiasco, Common, Brantley Gilbert, Doobie Brothers, Buckcherry, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, Gaslight Anthem and Sublime, among others.


Posted by Julie Clark on 07/29 at 12:44 PM
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Stanco Productions Covers Fair St. Louis With Martin Audio

W8LC arrays deliver coverage under the Gateway Arch

Fair St. Louis, “America’s Biggest Birthday Party,” was celebrated under the city’s iconic Gateway Arch for the last time before a two-year renovation, with Stanco Productions providing audio, video and lighting for the fourth year in a row.

To ensure quality coverage throughout the fairgrounds for this year’s featured acts, including Trace Adkins, Brett Michaels and Counting Crows, Stanco chose to provide Martin Audio arrays consisting of 16 W8LC per side with 12 W8LM and 4 W8LMD down fill cabinets per side for out fill.

Loudspeakers were driven with Crown audio amplification, and Avid VENUE Profile consoles were supplied for front of house and monitor mixing.

Stanco’s crew for this year’s festivities included technical director Sam Wehrmeyer, front of house engineer Justin Slazas and monitor engineer Brennan Houser.

The only real issue was getting enough PA hung from the roof and staying with weight limits,” Wehrmeyer states. “The W8LC is the perfect solution for this. Its light weight and high output allows us to hang more boxes for better coverage than other line array systems.

“Once again the client told us they continue to be impressed with the sound of the rig,” he concludes. “They told us Martin Audio is the best sound they’ve heard.”

Stanco Productions
Martin Audio

Posted by Keith Clark on 07/29 at 04:36 AM
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Friday, July 26, 2013

Gand Concert Sound Pitches In At Music Festival

Pitchfork Music Festival, held July 19-21 in Chicago’s Union Park, utilized a Nexo sound reinforcement system and Yamaha consoles.

Pitchfork Music Festival, held July 19-21 in Chicago’s Union Park, brought the best of emerging music to over 50,000 attendees.

This year, 40 artists entertained on three stages including Bjork, Solange, Lil B, R Kelly, Savages, The Breeders, Swans, and Wire.

Gand Concert Sound of Elk Grove Village, IL, provided audio production for both the Red and Green stages.

Red stage included 15 Nexo GEO T line array boxes per side, 16 Nexo CD18s, a Yamaha CL5 digital audio console at FOH, and a Yamaha M7CL for monitors.

The Green Stage audio set up consisted of 18 GEO Ts per side, 20 CD18s, and Yamaha PM5D-RH digital consoles for front of house and monitor mixing.

Nexo PS15R2s were supplied for the both the Red Stage (passive) and Green Stage (bi-amped) along with Nexo NX4x4 amps for mains and Yamaha T5n amps for subs, front fills and monitors, along with Nexo NX241 and 242 processors. Alpha E/f and S2 side fills were used on the Green stage

“Of all the fests in the USA, Pitchfork stands out as the place to be for fans of up and coming bands and indie’s who have established themselves as must-see acts,” says Gand President, Gary Gand. “It’s a great test of what our audio production set up centered around the Nexo systems can do. From a solo harp player to a 20 piece hardcore rap act and all points in-between.”

“Many, many kudos to Gand from the audio folks that the artists brought, and from us,” states Mary Jones, director of Pitchfork Festival Artist Production & Artist Relations.

Gand Concert Sound

Posted by Julie Clark on 07/26 at 12:40 PM
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D.A.S. Provides Pristine Sound Quality At Las Vegas Theater

Saxe Theater installs a new D.A.S. sound reinforcement system.

Located inside the Miracle Mile Shops of the Planet Hollywood Resort on the world famous Las Vegas Strip, the Saxe Theater is home to several of this town’s most popular shows.

The Saxe Theater recently upgraded their sound reinforcement capabilities by installing new D.A.S. Audio loudspeakers.

GC Pro was contracted to design and install the Saxe Theater’s new sound system. GC Pro Account Manager Don Hartley, working in conjunction with Jeff Pressler, head of audio for David Saxe Productions, designed a system that consisted of eight Aero 12A powered two-way, mid-high line array modules with additional support from a pair of Convert 12A powered two-way full range loudspeakers.

The Saxe Theater is uniquely laid out with a main area approximately 80 feet by 60 feet. There is also an upper seating area that is oddly shaped, measuring roughly 20 feet wide and stretching back 40 feet. The theater’s ceiling has an average height of 30 feet and the venue has a seating capacity of 420 people.

Because of the combination of the lower and upper level seating areas, it was critically important that the new loudspeaker system provide consistent sound throughout all areas of the room with, of course, a high level of speech intelligibility and strong music reproduction characteristics.

To address these concerns, Hartley and Pressler ultimately deployed the D.A.S. Aero 12A line array elements in a flown left – right configuration, with each side of the main stage area having four enclosures. The two Convert 12A loudspeakers were installed as rear fill for the upper level triangular area, which also resides behind the FOH mix position.

“The self-powered loudspeakers make a terrific solution for this type of venue,” Hartley elaborated. “The Aero 12A loudspeakers provide a very streamlined installation in terms of system cabling while also ensuring that all amplification is optimized for the transducer complement.”

With the D.A.S. Audio Aero 12A, the captive rigging system splay angles range from 0- to 10-degrees and can be adjusted in 0.5-degree increments from 0-degrees to 3-degrees and 1-degree increments from 3-degrees to 10-degrees —allowing a wide range of column curvatures to be created.

“The flyware on the Aero 12A loudspeakers is excellent,” Hartley reports. “The design makes it quick and easy to connect the various enclosures together and to adjust the pins to ensure the proper positioning of each individual enclosure. It’s a very well-designed system with great flexibility.”

“I’ve always been impressed with how informative and easy-to-reach D.A.S. Audio’s customer services team is,” Hartley continues. “I considered it very important that the loudspeaker provider have our backs throughout the entire design and installation process, and D.A.S. came through with flying colors.

“Carlos Henao, D.A.S. Audio’s U.S. Accounts Manager, was extremely helpful. He helped me set up a demonstration system for Jeff Pressler and his FOH engineer, Mariano and, later, came back to do a second demo at the theatre where multiple producers were able to hear how the system would sound. You can’t ask for more than that! ” 

The Saxe Theater’s new sound system was deployed and placed into service this past June and since that time the system has been very well received.

“Our new D.A.S. sound system is performing wonderfully,” reports Pressler. “The Aero 12A line array covers the theatre evenly and sounds great in all applications. One show may use only a lapel mic while Vegas! the Show has 20 live pieces.

“This system can handle anything we throw at it. The Convert fill speakers do an equally impressive job in the upstairs area where some guests are 80 feet from the stage. Our new system provides a clean, full sound that really helps our shows deliver the excitement.”

D.A.S. Audio
GC Pro

Posted by Julie Clark on 07/26 at 12:17 PM
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DUSHOW Covers France’s Main Square Festival With Meyer Sound

LEO system on the festival’s main stage supported headliners such as Sting, Green Day and The Prodigy

At the recent Main Square Festival in Arras, France, Paris-based rental house DUSHOW supplied a Meyer Sound LEO linear large-scale system and a MILO line array loudspeaker system for the event’s two stages. The three-day festival attracted a total crowd of approximately 100,000.

The LEO system on the festival’s main stage supported headliners including Sting, Green Day, The Prodigy, and Indochine. With a maximum capacity of 30,000, the main stage field was fully covered by the LEO system’s long-throw capabilities.

“This system’s consistency of coverage and high output allowed us to avoid the need for delay towers, and to maintain sound integrity over the required distance of 110 meters,” says Marc de Fouquières, general manager of DUSHOW. “LEO’s excellent directivity also prevented conflict with audio from the second stage, which was located in parallel and only 100 meters away.”

The main stage was outfitted with 48 LEO-M line array loudspeakers and 32 1100-LFC low-frequency control elements, as well as eight each MICA and MINA line array loudspeakers and four MSL-4 loudspeakers. The system was controlled by a Galileo Callisto loudspeaker management system featuring seven Galileo Callisto array processors.

The Green Room stage featured 30 MILO line array loudspeakers and 24 700-HP subwoofers. System control was provided by a Galileo system with two Galileo 616 AES processors.

“As we have come to expect from Meyer Sound, the systems delivered superb and trouble-free sound throughout the weekend,” says de Fouquières. “We are delighted by the performance of our LEO systems.”

DUSHOW is the exclusive lighting, audio, video, and rigging supplier for Main Square Festival, a production of Live Nation France Festivals SAS, and the company recently purchased its second full LEO system in preparation for the busy summer festival season.

Meyer Sound

Posted by Keith Clark on 07/26 at 05:38 AM
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Thursday, July 25, 2013

JBL VTX Line Arrays Help Story Sound Raise Emporium Festival Thresholds

Overcoming strict off-site sound limits at a popular festival

Twelve months ago Dutch rental company Story Sound mobilized its new inventory of JBL Professional VTX line arrays to cover eight stages for the Emporium Festival in the city of Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

Bolstered by enclosures sub-hired from AED Rent—Story Sound gave the system its first major baptism.

But after working with the system for a year, and learning much about its capabilities, Michael Story, managing director of Story Sound, was able state, “With what we have been able to do with VTX we can now guarantee a different future for this event.”

He was referring to an easing of the sound thresholds traditionally imposed on this one-day event by the local authorities. For this dance/DJ festival site—the picturesque Berendonck recreational park, situated on 160 hectares in the suburb of Wijchen—is surrounded by a densely populated neighborhood.

Promoters Matrixx have always been heavily restricted with their off-site sound—bound by an agreement with the original production manager to taper off the sound at the perimeter to just 80 dB(A) at 50 meters in order to avoid neighborhood sound pollution. “It was just mad as sound is so frequency-dependent—and you can’t promote a festival on that basis,” says Story.

However, this year the production company, aided by AFMG EASE data, was able to show that by isolating the individual areas with the VTX system that it could exercise greater control. “In the past we have used the VerTec VT4889—but due to the new high frequency waveguide structure, VTX provides us with better tools,” he notes.

“Also, we had better knowledge about how the sound would behave—we know a lot more about shaping the beam and are much more familiar with the EQ tapering and putting in the shelving features,” Story adds. “The JBL Line Array Calculator is really accurate and after a year we can see much greater correlation between how the calculations are implemented and the actual reference sound. We proved that you could simply walk in and out of the sound field—and this convinced the authorities.”

Permission was granted to play 80dB (A) at 100 meters outside the festival area and on the field they were able to run the sound at around 105 dB, with a distance of 50 meters between the stage and mix position—which satisfied both the promoters and audience.

This year’s Emporium Festival grew to a 9-stage event, embracing every genre of dance music, which saw 30,000 people reveling under the theme, “Colours of India.”

To achieve a soundscape that appeased both the artists and the authorities, the main stage in particular required high rigging towers, supporting 12 V25 line array elements per side (with eight per side on the smaller stages), so that the lows and mids could be spread.

“By raising the trim level we could achieve greater directionality,” Story explains. “We also used 21 S28 subwoofers in a reverse cardioid set up on all stages so there was a good coupling of energy and we deployed two extra stacks of six V25 loudspeakers each on stage tilted to the near rows.”

Two delay stacks were set up behind the main mix tower, each with six VerTec 4887A compact line array enclosures.

All passive loudspeakers were powered by Crown VRacks, with mixes done on Soundcraft MH3 analog and Vi1 digital consoles (with Soundcraft Si Compacts on the smaller stages). This enabled Story Sound technicians to control the input of the DJ and monitor feeds, as well as the MC mics, using the desk faders.

Story Sound again provided a sound technician to supervise each stage, with wireless laptop communication back to the central network control position in the production village, overseen on the Harman HiQnet™ platform. This allowed them to listen to the measuring devices, on the same network. “We monitored the system throughout the entire day and adjusted any disturbing frequencies and levels to stay within the allowed values,” they confirm.

So successful was the connection to the wireless backbone of the three measuring devices set strategically in a circle around the field that Story Sound has now set up a dedicated wireless satellite Internet facility called Event Connection, headed by the company’s Barney Broomer and Michael Story.

“In effect we are selling security, and the possibility of carrying out wireless measurement. It means that in the future, production people, police and authorities can deal with just a single source,” Story concludes.

JBL Professional
Harman Professional

Posted by Keith Clark on 07/25 at 01:19 PM
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VUE i-Class At Front of House For Doobie Brothers’ Engineer Gary Hartung

Utilizing new loudspeakers as reference monitors at FOH

For more than two decades Gary Hartung has worked with a top touring and installation sound company, mixing sound for an impressive roster of talent including Crosby Stills & Nash, Pat Benatar, and Mary Chapin Carpenter.

For the last six years, he’s added production manager to his resume—a role he balances with front of house duties for the Doobie Brothers.

Hartung recently had the opportunity to audition a pair of i-Class loudspeakers from VUE Audiotechnik, with the result being that he’s added a pair of VUE i-8a powered two-way loudspeakers, and he also now brings along a pair of i-6a powered systems for use when space is limited. 

“I’d been in the market for a new set of powered systems to use as reference monitors for the current Doobie Brothers tour,” explains Hartung. “I rely heavily on my monitors at the FOH position as a critical reference point in challenging rooms.”

He continues, “I’d heard a lot about VUE from friends in the industry. They spoke highly of VUE’s sound quality and consistent voicing. Plus I’ve worked closely with Mike Adams for nearly 20 years now and have tremendous respect for his design talents. I knew immediately that these speakers were worth a listen.”

Hartung keeps his i-Class systems handy at every show, and notes that they’re getting more and more use as time goes by.

“Over the years I’ve tried countless different loudspeakers in this capacity and have never been truly satisfied until I plugged in the VUEs,” he states. “The i-8A’s are so powerful and smooth. They image perfectly and have an incredibly flat response-an essential quality for a monitor. “

“We’re planning to utilize virtual sound check more frequently on the Doobie Brothers tour in the coming months,” Hartung concludes. “I really trust the i-8as, so I fully expect they’ll play an even greater role moving forward. In fact, I can’t imagine using anything other than the VUEs from now on. They’re just smokin’!”

VUE Audiotechnik

Posted by Keith Clark on 07/25 at 08:26 AM
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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Sensaphonics Adds Three Audiologists To Gold Circle Network

Sensaphonics is pleased to announce the addition of three audiologists to its exclusive Gold Circle industry referral network.

Sensaphonics is pleased to announce the addition of three audiologists to its exclusive Gold Circle industry referral network, including the group’s first Brazilian member.

Gold Circle members complete a two-day Gold Circle seminar that includes in-depth teaching sessions at Sensaphonics headquarters, plus a hands-on lab session with a live band, held at Mystery Street Recording Company, both in Chicago.

Audiologists that gained Gold Circle certification at the seminar, held June 21-22, 2013, include: Karina Otubo, an audiologist from São Paulo, Brazil; Melissa Wikoff, Au.D. of Atlanta Hearing Associates; and Rachel S. Pizarek, Au.D, of Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City.

Among manufacturers of custom in-ear monitors (IEMs), Sensaphonics remains unique in its commitment to hearing health in the music industry. The Gold Circle seminar teaches audiologists the specific skills required to serve musicians and those who work around them, including, but going far beyond, the taking of ear impressions.

“Taking good ear impressions is important, but hearing health is critical. We think audiologists need to be aware of the audio capabilities of in-ear products, most of which can get dangerously loud,” says Sensaphonics founder and president, Dr. Michael Santucci. “This isn’t part of most audiology curriculums, so we have stepped up to teach audiologists, and by extension, their clients, how to use in-ear technology safely without sacrificing the performance benefits.”

The Gold Circle seminar is taught by Santucci, assisted by Sensaphonics audio engineering consultant, Joe “Sound Guy” Tessone.

The personalized, hands-on sessions include instruction on concert sound systems, backstage etiquette, and taking proper ear impressions. The latest technology in hearing health solutions, including patented technologies like the Sensaphonics 3D Active Ambient IEM System and dB Check in-ear sound level analyzer, are also presented. 

The highlight of the seminar is a hands-on lab session working with a live band that is using in-ear monitors for the first time. The Ross Originals, who record at Tessone’s Mystery Street studio/rehearsal facility, were the featured performers.

“It’s a great opportunity for the audiologists to participate in the process and see a band using in-ear systems for the first time,” says Tessone. “They get to interact with the musicians, take level measurements, and experience how a real sound system works. It’s definitely not the kind of thing they teach in audiology class.”

“Musicians are very different from the typical audiology client,” Santucci notes. “In-ear monitoring is really about improving one’s performance on stage, and today’s musicians are becoming more and more aware of the importance of doing that safely.

“Our Golden Circle members are among the few who have the specialized training to serve these clients properly, whether in the office or backstage.”

There are two more Sensaphonics Gold Circle seminars this year, scheduled for August and September in Chicago. Class sizes are extremely limited. Interested audiologists can contact Sensaphonics to register online or over the phone at 1-877-848-1714.


Posted by Julie Clark on 07/24 at 06:29 PM
Live SoundNewsConcertMonitoringSound ReinforcementPermalink

OCESA PRG Mexico Backs Soundgarden With Martin Professional Lighting Solutions

Seattle-based grunge band Soundgarden recently performed at the Palacio de los Deportes in Mexico City utilizing Martin Professional lighting solutions.

Playing to a crowd of more than 20,000, Seattle-based grunge band Soundgarden recently performed at the Palacio de los Deportes in Mexico City during its international tour, running through summer 2013.

The band’s 26-song set list was highlighted with the band’s extensive catalog and was brought to life by a Harman Martin Professional lighting system, deployed by OCESA PRG Mexico.

Throughout the stage, 34 Martin MAC Viper Profiles, 13 MAC 2000 WASH beams, 20 MAC Aura LED’s, 12 Atomic Strobe 3000’s and 12 Scroller 3000 lighting units were deployed, strategically designed to provide a spectacular visual landscape for the show.

Soundgarden’s live production team ordered the Martin lighting solution specifically for the Palicio de los Deportes performance.

“We’ve been using Martin lighting for years and our inventory has been trustworthy and bright from the beginning,” stated Sandro Arellano, OCESA PRG Mexico. “Even with such a complex production, the visual aspect posed no challenges for the Martin equipment. The band and fans were quite pleased throughout the entire show!”

Martin Professional distributor Audio Acustica provided the lighting equipment to OCESA PRG Mexico.

Martin Professional

Posted by Julie Clark on 07/24 at 10:16 AM

Line 6 Loudspeakers Fuel “The Beatles Down To Earth” One-Man Show

Mike West is a California-based acoustic guitarist and vocalist who plays well over 200 shows per year.

His current solo show, “The Beatles Down To Earth – A Magical History Tour,” is drawing rave reviews and ever-growing audiences.

Recently, West upgraded to the Line 6 StageSource loudspeaker system.

“I own an L3t and an L3m and use them as my house PA system,” says West. “I’ve found them to be a fantastic addition to my stage.

“In terms of power, sound quality, and set-up time, they are a big upgrade from the articulated linear array I was using before.”

With the growth of his show leading to more gigs at bigger venues, West began to realize the limitations of his old system.

“Basically, it didn’t play well with others,” he says. “Introducing another speaker required all these weird extra connections and adapters. It wasn’t easy. So as my stage show was growing, it became clear that I needed a sound system that could grow with me.”

The solution Mike West found was the Line 6 StageSource system.

“I had seen them at NAMM and had a friend who owned the L3t model and loved it,” he recalls. “He let me borrow it for a week of shows, and I was quite blown away by it.

“I found I was able to perform just as well, if not better, no matter what kind of venue I was in.”

It was technology as much as sound quality that helped convince Mike West to purchase a StageSource system of his own. The 12-band feedback suppression system, which detects and automatically eliminates acoustic feedback, has proven to be particularly useful for West who performs without a stage monitor system.

“My Line 6 speakers are up on stands, set to Reference/P.A. mode. I actually stand a bit in front of them so I can hear them directly,” he says. “Any sound engineer will tell you that’s a big no-no, but with the feedback suppression system on board the speakers, I’m able to do it and hear exactly what my audience is hearing. Never a problem. It’s been fantastic for me.”

In addition to his solo acoustic shows, West also finds Line 6 feedback suppression handy at other gigs, which include DJ duties, wedding receptions and corporate events.

“There are times when I have to turn off the mic when somebody is using it who is not very experienced,” he says. “They might wander in front of the speakers or point it straight up in the air. And if there’s feedback, it’s me that looks unprofessional.

“But since getting the Line 6 system, that just isn’t a problem anymore.”

For his solo acoustic shows, West acts as his own road crew, packing everything he needs into his car.

“They’re 1400 watts each, so all I need is two of them for audiences of several hundred,” he says. “I can fit both of them, plus speaker stands, guitars, pedal boards, and everything else into my little Honda Insight hybrid. That’s how I roll.”

While his current choice is between using one speaker or two, West is already planning to expand his Line 6 system further.

“The show is getting pretty popular, and I love the fact that the Line 6 system is set up to grow with me,” he says. “The system actually recognizes each speaker automatically, so if I add an L2m monitor or maybe a subwoofer, it’s no problem.

“The L6 Link system lets you expand the system with one simple connection, so there’s no jungle nest of cables, which makes for an attractive stage presentation.”

As his audience expands with the popularity of his “Beatles Down To Earth” show, Mike West appreciates his Line 6 StageSource system even more.

“On stage, I always want to make sure that I am represented as professionally as possible,” he says. “A big part of that reputation is built on the tools that I use. The people who book me need to know they can rely on me to sound good, to be consistent and professional. My Line 6 system has become a big part of that.”

Line 6

Posted by Julie Clark on 07/24 at 09:58 AM
Live SoundNewsConcertLoudspeakerSound ReinforcementStagePermalink

Musician Joe Ellis Soars To Sonic Heights With Soundcraft

Musician and sound engineer Joe Ellis invests in a new Soundcraft Si Expression 3 digital console.

Musician Joe Ellis’ career is flying higher than ever these days—literally and figuratively. Ellis is a professional commercial airline pilot and a professional musician and audio engineer.

When he’s not flying, Ellis appears as a host on the TV show “The Aviators,” performs with his band under the moniker “Joe.e” and uses a Soundcraft Si Expression 3 console to mix live sound for a growing number of bands and events.

Like so many musicians, Ellis came to the point where he realized he needed to make the transition from analog to digital mixing. The artists and bands he worked with wanted it, and more and more he found that he personally requireda digital console for advantages like increased flexibility, built-in reverb and effects and other benefits.

Recently, Ellis found another reason to take his sound system to a higher level.

“Every summer the city of Wausau, Wisconsin does a series of weekly outdoor concerts called ‘Concerts on the Square,’” Ellis noted. “I was fortunate enough to be chosen as the front of house mixer for the series. However, that meant I had to buy an entirely new sound system. I’d been used to doing small to mid-sized clubs and didn’t have the gear the event required.”

Ellis realized this challenge offered the perfect opportunity to move up to a digital console. After looking at what various companies had to offer, Ellis chose a Soundcraft Si Expression 3. He had worked on Soundcraft Si Compact models before and liked their audio quality and ease of mixing and thought the Si Expression 3 would be a logical upgrade.

“What sold me on the Soundcraft Si Expression 3 was the sound quality,” said Ellis. “I was used to using very high-quality analog consoles and was not willing to compromise on audio performance. The sound I can get from the Si Expression 3 is as good—if not better—than anything I’ve used before, and its functionality and ability to do everything I need are perfect for me.” In addition to the “Concerts on the Square” shows, Ellis uses the Si Expression 3 for everything from club dates with his band to mixing local rock bands to mixing a 9-piece wedding band.

Summer is the busiest time of the year for Ellis, and now that he’s using the Soundcraft Si Expression 3, it’s getting even busier, and not just from his front of house role for “Concerts on the Square.”

Ellis works with a production company that subs work out to him and now that he has an Si Expression 3, he’s getting more business from the company.

“They appreciate the fact that I have a console that they know will sound great in any situation, and that plays well with their other gear,” Ellis concluded.


Posted by Julie Clark on 07/24 at 09:42 AM
Live SoundNewsBusinessConcertConsolesDigitalSound ReinforcementStagePermalink

Martin Audio MLA Delivers For 3G Productions At EDC Festivals

Power and coverage of the venue combined with off-site noise control

3G Productions recently provided audio for the Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) festivals in New York, Chicago, and Las Vegas, utilizing Martin Audio  Multi-cellular Loudspeaker Arrays (MLA) for power and coverage inside the venue while controlling noise spillage to surrounding residential areas.

The three-day Electric Daisy Carnival 2013 was the culmination of Insomniac’s EDC festivals with eight of the world’s Top 10 DJs, and more than 200 acts performing on seven stages for over 350,000 attendees at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

The combination of several stages producing hours of high SPL dance music in urban locales adds up to unique challenges for 3G Productions.

3G marketing director Keith Conrad notes, “EDC events are really unique because they’re all in large open-air areas that aren’t necessarily traditional venues for concerts such as stadiums or amphitheatres. They’re in parking lots or racetracks, so the ability to control the sound is extremely important. A big reason why we looked at the Martin Audio MLA system was to control SPL in areas surrounding the venue.

“We also need a lot of bass, so the amount of subs we have on any one show is unheard of,” he continues. “Plus you’re doing multiple stages within one area at the same time, which is all about the configuration of the stage in terms of the coverage and direction of the loudspeakers.”

3G senior system engineer and designer Julio Valdez, a specialist in EDM events, gets site plans before the event for the areas that have to be covered so h can design systems suitable for what the client (Insomniac, who produces EDC and major dance events worldwide) needs.

“It’s mostly to provide a whole lot of power and have the system sound good,” Valdez says. “Then we go to the location and make sure all of the techs have everything they need to complete the build and address the changing needs of DJs, artists and other performers. Sometimes we have to submit designs to DJ management for approval.

“Finally, I lay out the stages so they don’t have too much of an impact in terms of nearby homes. We have people walking around with dB meters before the show determining what’s acceptable at certain distances from the stage and referencing those SPL at front of house.”

The typical setup for EDC consists of a main hang of 16 MLA and two MLD down fill cabinets per side with a complement of 32 MLX subs ground-stacked across the front of the stage.

In addition, 12 MLA Compacts per side are used for out fill, and eight MLA Compacts plus for ground-stacked MLX subs per side are used for delays. Avid VENUE Profile mixing consoles and Lake loudspeaker processing are also part of the system.

“Power is impressive coming out of the MLA,” Valdez offers, “it’s definitely mind-boggling when you see the size of the rig that’s out there and the output you get from the system. In terms of sound quality, it’s very consistent and, as intended, one can really tailor the sound to what they want and MLA will do it.”

Las Vegas doesn’t present as many problems with noise complaints because the speedway is quite a ways out of town, with only Nellis Air Force base nearby that makes its own kind of noise created by F16 jets flying in and out on a regular basis.

The site also has a large open area in the speedway oval and even though there are so many stages that Conrad notes, “In terms of the DJs and what they’re playing, you can go from one stage to another in Vegas and you can lose the sound. All of the stages are facing in different directions with as much spread as possible between them, plus there’s a carnival in the middle of the festival with rides and attractions.

“Insomniac is committed to having a true carnival and festival experience and they want it to be the biggest, best and the loudest. They always push the envelope in terms of how much they can give their fans, but we are often walking a fine line with the surrounding communities. As such, we have to control sound to the best of our ability.

“The sound control was a big part of MLA’s initial appeal for us. And we really like where MLA is going in terms of control, ease of setup and quality of the boxes. We’ve had a great experience with MLA so far and there’s a very real application in other areas we are growing as well, such as corporate and TV broadcasting.”

Martin Audio

Posted by Keith Clark on 07/24 at 07:25 AM
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