Monday, May 13, 2013

DPA Microphones Opens New China Office

Hong Kong site will allow the company to offer enhanced levels of support to exisiting partners and customers in addition to developing business in new areas

Following a record year for sales in the Asia and Pacific regions, DPA Microphones hopes to continue its success by opening a new regional office in Hong Kong, China.

Headed by Ken Kimura, DPA APAC general manager, the new office signals DPA’s commitment to its partners and customers by acting as a hub for sales, marketing and after-sales service. 

The office will also enable the company to expand its sales network and develop new business channels in market sectors. The hope is to bring the benefits of DPA’s high-quality microphone technology and products to customers who have not yet to discover offerings.

Kimura, who was previously based in Shanghai, says: “Establishing our new office in Hong Kong makes sound economic and geographic sense. By basing our office here, we can significantly expand our reach and visibility within the entire region, thereby aiming our ambitions much higher.”

During the last trading year, DPA’s sales have been on the increase in virtually every APAC country, with some showing growth as high as 40 percent. This incredible success has been achieved by DPA developing strong partnerships with its distributors and dealers in order to fully support customers.

“The increased consciousness of good quality in the Asian markets, combined with our ability to develop fantastic products, has resulted in our huge success in this region,” adds Christian Poulsen, CEO of DPA Microphones. “To continue this trend, we are taking the next step by establishing this office to further support our sales partners and encourage their commitment to the brand.

“This support will be delivered in a variety of ways, including listening to our partners’ needs and implementing specific activities such as customer events.”

Renowned for their audio accuracy, reliability and superb engineering, DPA Microphones is the first choice for numerous recording and touring artists and sound engineers. The company’s extensive product range also encompasses many other industry areas including broadcast, film, theater, installation, conferencing and security.

“The breadth and depth of our product range is really quite staggering and gives us plenty of scope to develop our customer base around the world,” continues Kimura. “The APAC region is no exception. There are many applications for our technology that have yet to be explored, and our aim is to be highly visible so that we can make the most of these new business opportunities.”

DPA plans to supplement its existing team in Hong Kong with new sales staff and is interested in hearing from any suitable candidates. For more information, please contact Ken Kimura at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

DPA Microphones

Posted by Julie Clark on 05/13 at 01:49 PM
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The Music Industry Gathers To Remember Phil Ramone

Visionary remembered by peers, family, and artists

With those in attendance underscoring the breadth and depth of a remarkable career in music, family and friends of multiple Grammy Award-winning music producer Phil Ramone came together in New York City on May 11, 2013, to celebrate and honor his amazing life.

Ramone, who passed away on March 30, 2013, was most noted as an inspired record producer, crafting recordings that have sold into the hundreds of millions of copies for artists including Billy Joel, Barbra Streisand, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Natalie Cole, Paul McCartney, Paul Simon, James Taylor and many others.

But Ramone, a classical violin prodigy who studied at the Juilliard School, was as deeply interested and gifted in the technology of music production, and it’s telling that in addition to his 14 Grammy Awards (out of 33 nominations), he was also the recipient of a Technical Grammyfor his many contributions to the science and art of recording.

Such contributions include the establishment of A&R Recording, the Manhattan studio Ramone co-founded in 1958 that set the bar for the industry nationally; his production of Billy Joel’s 1982 52nd Street LP, the first CD album ever commercially released; the Frank Sinatra Duets series of recordings, with which Ramone pioneered recording techniques in which vocalists – in some cases thousands of miles apart – were paired in the studio via fiber-optic technology; and countless more. An early advocate of digital music technology, Ramone also founded one of the first record labels focused on digital music, N2K Encoded Music.

The event, titled Phil Ramone, Music Memorial Celebration, was held at the Centennial Memorial Temple, a landmark Art Deco auditorium inside the Salvation Army’s Greater New York Division Headquarters. The choice of venue held a particularly special meaning, since in November 2011 Ramone founded The Salvation Army Phil Ramone Orchestra for Children — the result of Phil’s lifelong dream to touch the lives of less fortunate children in challenged communities by giving them access to music education. The program currently serves children ages 7 to 12, and teaches these students how to play instruments through group and full orchestra lessons.

The event read like a who’s-who in the music industry. It drew a stream of luminaries who recalled Ramone’s gifts as a person and music professional, including Tony Bennett, engineer Ed Cherney (Bonnie Raitt, the Rolling Stones), Josh Groban, Dave Grusin, Billy Joel, Quincy Jones, Shelby Lynne, Matthew Morrison, Paul Simon, Kevin Spacey, Noel Paul Stookey, Nikki Yanofsky and Peter Yarrow. In attendance were family members Karen, BJ, Matt and Simon Ramone, who shared the stage and the love everyone felt for Ramone.

An all-star backup band accompanied many of the artists who performed and included such renowned musicians as Rob Mounsey (musical director/piano), Steve Gadd (drums), Bashiri Johnson (percussion), Ben Butler (guitar), Henry Hey (keyboards), Zev Katz (bass), Vaneese Thomas (background vocals) and Jill Dell’Abate (background vocals and music coordinator).

After a performance of “When the Saints Come Marching In” by The Salvation Army Phil Ramone Orchestra for Children, some of the attending artists performed songs paying tribute to Ramone. Billy Joel performed “Where’s the Orchestra”; Tony Bennett sang “Fly Me To The Moon”; keyboardist/composer Dave Grusin performed “Sun Song”; Peter Yarrow and Noel Paul Stookey (Peter, Paul and Mary) performed “Day Is Done”; Shelby Lynne performed “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me”; actor Kevin Spacey evoked memories of Ramone’s work with Sinatra and performed a medley of “By Myself,” ”When Your Lover Has Gone” and “The Curtain Falls”; Nikki Yanofsky performed “You’ll Have to Swing It (Mr. Paganini)”; and Matthew Morrison performed a medley that included “Come Rain Or Come Shine” and ”Basin Street Blues.” Finally, renditions of “Slip Slidin’ Away” and “Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover” by Paul Simon, and “Smile” by Josh Groban, brought the event to a gentle and wistful conclusion.

“Phil Ramone was a lovely person and a very gifted musician and producer,” says Tony Bennett. “It was a joy to have him work with me in the recording studio on so many projects, as he had a wonderful sense of humor and a deep love of music.”

Billy Joel adds, “I always thought of Phil Ramone as the most talented guy in my band. He was the band member no one ever saw onstage. So much of my music was shaped by him and brought to fruition by him. I have lost a dear friend – and my greatest mentor.”

The 3-hour event was produced by longtime friend and former manager Nancy Munoz (Anami Music), who also worked with Phil producing The Songwriters Hall of Fame Awards.


The Recording Academy

Posted by Keith Clark on 05/13 at 10:48 AM
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Friday, May 10, 2013

Meyer Sound Constellation Helps Performing Arts Center Combine Several Halls Into One

When planning its new performing arts centre, the Mansfield, Tex., school district faced a dilemma. Though it was determined that both a large auditorium and a smaller performance hall would be ideal for its range of events, their budget could not justify building and maintaining multiple spaces.

When planning its new performing arts centre, the Mansfield, Tex., school district faced a dilemma. Though it was determined that both a large auditorium and a smaller performance hall would be ideal for its range of events, their budget could not justify building and maintaining multiple spaces.

A solution was soon found in the multi-use Cunningham Performance Hall of the Mansfield ISD Center for the Performing Arts, which utilizes a Meyer Sound Constellation acoustic system to provide the ideal acoustics for its varying room configurations and programs.

While the performance hall holds 5,500 in its open configuration (mainly to accommodate graduations), seating is reduced to 4,200 when moveable walls slide out to form twin 650-seat lecture halls on each side, and reduced further to 1,800 when a thick acoustical curtain closes off the balcony for concerts. However, the 1.3 seconds of reverberation time resulting from the curtain makes the room too dry to support unamplified concerts such as orchestra and choir.

To solve this issue, BAi, LLC of Austin, Principal and President Charles Bonner and Acoustician Andrew Miller encouraged Dr. Russell Sanders, the district’s director of fine arts, to experience the Constellation system at nearby Temple High School.

“I was astonished,” says Sanders. “The system created a transparent and supportive acoustical environment throughout the performance hall.”

The Cunningham Performance Hall’s Constellation system is built around a core D-Mitri® digital audio platform with eight processing frames, including three processors for hosting the patented VRAS® algorithms. Two dozen microphones distributed on stage and around the hall pick up the stage and room’s acoustics, and the DVRAS processors produce augmented early reflections and reverberations that are delivered by 95 Meyer Sound self-powered loudspeakers and subwoofers. Eleven different acoustical presets of varying reverberation times are available on a touchscreen interface.

“There is absolutely no way we could use this space for live musical performances without the Constellation system,” Sanders adds. “The acoustics created by Constellation give kids the experience of performing in a world-class facility. In addition, the technology allows us to fine-tune the natural acoustical environment to suit whatever we are doing in the space.”

The new hall now serves as a concert venue for dozens of school programs and high-profile community events, including a major church-sponsored program and a recent fundraising concert by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.

The Mansfield ISD Center for the Performing Arts was designed by Huckabee architectural firm of Fort Worth. In addition, Infinity Sound of Grand Prairie handled system integration for the centre’s AV systems, including Constellation.

Meyer Sound

Posted by Julie Clark on 05/10 at 01:12 PM
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Engineer Luiz Mazzei Uses Waves At FOH For Brazilian Band Capital Inicial

Mazzei was an early adopter of Waves’ SoundGrid® platform in the live realm.

Luiz Mazzei, a talented engineer both in the studio and at front-of-house, is currently using Waves SoundGrid platform and an assortment of Waves Audio plugins as FOH engineer for Brazilian rock veterans Capital Inicial.

Luiz Mazzei has been a user of Waves plugins in the studio since 2001. Since the introduction of SoundGrid and other products designed for live sound, Mazzei has been able to do what he had always envisioned: “I always felt like I was missing out by not using Waves plugins in Live,” he recalls.

After attending a workshop with FOH engineer Greg Price (Ozzy Osbourne) in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Luiz became even more interested in using Waves plugins at FOH, and he has not worked without them since.

He notes, “Nowadays, as an FOH for the band Capital Inicial, I travel with an Allen & Heath iLive 112 console, M-Waves card and a Waves SoundGrid Impact Server, and the Waves SoundGrid Essentials bundle, plus the C6 Multiband Compressor, H-EQ Hybrid Equalizer, LoAir Subharmonic Generator, MaxxVolume and NLS plugins and many more”

He continues, “As I have been working as a producer in studios for more than 20 years, I am constantly concerned with getting a live mix that is similar to a studio mix. I record all the shows and do a virtual sound check utilizing the Recording and Playback capabilities of Waves SoundGrid before every show, striving to recreate the album sound.

“I manage to do this due to SoundGrid, which enables me to work safely and ensure the quality of my work. My favorite Waves plugin, which I use the most, is the C6 Multiband Compressor, and I use it on almost all my channels.

“On the master, I use the C6 and the Waves NLS Non-Linear Summer, which brings analog qualities to the mix. I’m extremely happy with the results that I am having with WavesLive Processing and Virtual sound-check capabilities in my shows. Waves is great!”

Luiz Mazzei is part of the growing trend among live sound professionals who are making the move to the next-generation workflow with Waves plugins and WavesLive SoundGrid.


Posted by Julie Clark on 05/10 at 12:32 PM
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Thursday, May 09, 2013

Return To Form: Reinforcing The Special Energy Of The Black Crowes

The sound approach for a band known for delivering straighforward rock 'n' roll

The Black Crowes have returned with this year’s Lay Down With Number 13 tour, emerging triumphantly fit and in full fighting form from an “indefinite” hiatus announced in April, 2010 that put performances on hold in the U.S. after the band played San Francisco’s Fillmore Auditorium later that year.

Now, with the band’s fourth live album, Wiser for the Time, released in March of this year as a digital download and 4-record vinyl set, timing was never better for the act to hit the road. Playing something for everyone, on each date there’s a brace of familiar hits, plenty of deep catalog material, and the cool covers they’re known for. 

Building the dynamics of such a show and bringing it to the listeners at each stop is a job that begins at front of house, where engineer Bob Coke resides. Coke, who calls France’s Brittany peninsula home when he’s not on the road or at his other house and studio just outside Paris, brings a perspective to the proceedings which is at once fresh and still grounded solidly in precedent.

Together, Coke and monitor engineer Drew Consalvo are the only manpower giving guidance to the entire spectrum of the tour’s sound reinforcement, keeping with current trends stressing the lean-and-mean. Beyond their sonic orchestrations onstage and in the house, Doug “Red” Redler serves as band member Rich Robinson’s guitar tech, while Greg “Chief” Frahn does double-duty as stage right guitar tech and stage manager. Nick Forchione completes the list as the tour’s drum and keyboard tech. 

Given his decidedly French provenance, it’s surprising when first meeting Coke, who greets you with perfect English bearing the inflection of perhaps the upper Ohio Valley. “I’ve called France home for many years,” he says, “and I even have the rest of the crew speaking some French now. But yes, I am American born-and-bred. I initially worked with this band in Europe, and it was just amazing seeing these guys out live the first time. The vocals are beautiful, the harmonies rich. On guitar, everyone is master of their tone.

Crowes bassist Sven Pipien and guitarist Jackie Greene. (click to enlarge)

“There’s a lot of maturity here. These musicians know themselves and each other, and each one complements the whole as well as the individual parts. There is a palpable air of true musicality in everything they do. Real sounds made by real instruments, all guided by a mindful human touch.”

Very Physical
Coke was one of the first people to go out with digital in France. While with a French rock band early in the decade just past, he manned a Sony DMX-R100 digital console. As technology evolved, he was commonly seen behind Yamaha’s PM1D and PM5D, and then Avid’s VENUE Profile.

When it came to this tour, however, he decided to go with analog gear befitting old-style rock ‘n’ roll. Turning to the sound company of choice for the tour, Camarillo, CA-based Delicate Productions, Coke assembled an assortment of classic gear implemented around his crown jewel, a Midas Heritage 3000.

“Rock music doesn’t have a tremendous amount of sub-bass,” Coke says, giving better definition to his analog ways for The Black Crowes. “This isn’t hip-hop, we’re trying to get a certain kind of energy out of the system, and I’m not looking for anything below 80 Hz.

An analog Midas Heritage 3000 is the choice of FOH engineer Bob Coke for this tour. (click to enlarge)

“The energy level onstage that drives this band is quite a bit higher – between 100 and 400 Hz. That’s where all the good warmth is, and the Midas just reproduces that with total accuracy. You can feel it physically. That’s a large part of this show too, it’s very physical.”

A 48-line snake winds its way from the stage to the Heritage 3000, and in his own words it’s “pretty much full.” With 40 mono inputs and six stereo channels, three of his stereo channels are used for delay and reverb returns, while the other three—channels 41, 42, and 43 respectively – are used for keyboards.

Frontman Chris Robinson, brother of guitarist Rich, has presented Coke with some unique challenges. “He has moments when he’ll hold a guitar and sing into the mic while it’s on a stand, and then others where he’ll just take the mic in his hand,” Coke relates. “Sometimes, as an aid to cutting through the sound onstage, he’ll cup the entire capsule in his hand and sing through a hole he makes between his thumb and forefinger to accent certain frequencies.

“The technique works great to help him get on top of all the sound coming off everyone’s wedges, but it generates a lot of offending frequencies at 800 Hz, 1k-2, 1k-6, and 2k-3 at different times. To compensate, I’ve split his vocals two ways coming into the board, and treat each split with a different array of devices.”

On the first split, which goes straight into the preamp of the board, Coke squashes a pair of frequencies using BSS DPR 901 sequential compressors. From the 901s, signals can be treated further with Distressor EL8 units from Empirical Labs which also reside in his outboard collection. 

Conversely, signals run through an Avalon VT-737SP tube preamp/opto-compressor/sweep equalizer on the second vocal channel split. From the VT-737SP, signals come back to the preamp of the console. In practice, Coke mixes the different colors afforded by both splits as needed, depending upon how Chris Robinson is managing his mic.

“I have one finger on Chris’ vocals all night,” Coke notes. “My one direct channel with the BSS 901 and Distressor takes some of the edge off of those harsh frequencies and EQs them away, making them infinitely more listenable. They sit better in the mix too because now they’re not so aggressive.

The band in mid-concert form. Note the kick drum miking approach with a Shure SM91 suspended inside on a Kelly SHU Composite shock mount and a Shure Beta 52 mounted over the sound hole. (click to enlarge)

“This channel is probably 10 dB higher than the Avalon VT-737SP channel. When he grabs his guitar and sings into the mic while it’s on the stand, I’ll switch up and boost the VT-737SP channel, and pull the other down 10 dB.”

Drawing from the Avalon catalog once again, Coke calls upon VT-747SP compression and EQ to smooth out his entire mix. Essentially utilized as a quasi-mastering device in his hands, the VT-747SP is a compressor with a tube circuit and six-band graphic EQ that he uses to push the mix down a bit so the vocal will ride on top better. The unit’s 6-band graphic is put to work “religiously” to contour the whole mix.

“If the band starts getting really loud I’ll pull out the fader at 2k and 5k,” Coke says with a quick sweeping motion, illustrating some of the action routinely observed at his outboard racks. “And if at some point I need a lot of kick drum or something, I’ll just push up the 30 Hz fader. It’s really my go-to EQ that lets me perform a lot of tasks quickly. I’m on this thing all the time.”

Nothing Flashy
Fulfilling Coke’s requests for gear required some dedicated searching, as analog gear is just not as common as it once was given that many sound companies routinely sell off the components to make room for more digital pieces. Having just sold all of its Aphex 661 Expressor comp/limiters – a piece Coke also swears by for acoustic guitars in these kinds of applications – Delicate Productions had to scramble to find a suitable replacement, in this case the 661’s predecessor, the 651.

Stripped down to its bare essentials in terms of production, this one-truck tour doesn’t carry its own “stax and rax,” choosing to rely on whatever PA it may find at any given venue. “You adapt,” concedes monitor engineer and production manager Drew Consalvo, “and at this point I feel like it’s a nice way to go. There are special challenges though. We don’t enjoy the uniformity of loading-in our own rig everyday, putting it in just like the day before, and then off to catering we go. Some days go smoothly, others are longer, and still others seriously task you at a professional level to bring the show up to the high levels we demand with the tools at hand.”

Monitor engineer Drew Consalvo at his digital Avid VENUE Profile console. (click to enlarge)

As a digital yang to Coke’s analog yin (he’s on an Avid VENUE Profile), Consalvo nonetheless maintains an honest reverence toward the traditional approach both engineers feel the band is best served by.

“My corner of the stage may be digital,” Consalvo says, “but it’s straight-ahead with no funny stuff. I’m not using anything flashy in terms of plug-ins. What’s in the machine is fine. I’m not doing any effects or in-ear work.

“Everything is loudspeakers, so compression is minimal, gates are where you’d expect to find them on the drum kit, and from a mixing standpoint it’s all about the cues and just getting a lot of level out of the wedges. The last part hasn’t changed at all since I first came here 15 years ago. It’s loud. Freaking loud.”

Wedges, in the form of low-height, 2-way M2 cabinets from d&b audiotechnik, do most of the heavy lifting onstage. Six of the enclosures lie at the ready downstage, while a Martin Audio double-15 F1 bottom is used for the drummer along with a Martin LE2100.

Chris Robinson relies on three of the total number of enclosures – two downstage and one upstage – to provide a pair of separate mixes. d&b and Martin Audio-branded amplifiers supply the necessary power.

While stage volume may indeed be freaking loud, Consalvo adds a qualifier that levels are much more contained than in the past. “There was a time when it was just a big wash of sound over the stage and I was really practicing more damage control than any kind of mixing from a stage audio perspective,” he admits. “But everyone ultimately realized that the logical thing to do was to not push as hard.

“Coming down to a more realistic level hasn’t curtailed the impact of what these guys deliver. If anything it has given us more to grab onto and feature in the PA. There were times before when not everything would make it into the house, especially on theatre gigs. The guitars wouldn’t get louder on a solo, they would just get wider.”

Sense Of History
A band that has remained true to time-honored rock ‘n’ roll traditions in terms of both artistic expression and its production elements, audio gearheads with a sense of history won’t be surprised to learn that the Crowes’ input scheme calls upon classic elements that are hardwired at every position.

Copious racks of analog outboard gear deployed by Coke. (click to enlarge)

“This is totally rock ‘n’ roll, no question,” Consalvo likes to confirm for the record. “The Black Crowes are purists in every sense, and we’ve responded accordingly with our mic selection as well as the way it’s patched.”

Shure, which Consalvo readily admits “supports the hell out of us,” has been the Crowes’ favorite microphone brand in the past, and this time out is no exception, with the company filling the spec for every mic heard on the tour.

Starting out front, Chris Robinson’s vocal mic remains unchanged. “He will only sing through a 58 or Beta 58,” Consalvo says. “There was a time about 10 years ago I tried to put him on some different mics and considered going wireless, but he just wouldn’t have it. I put him back on a Beta 58 and he was all smiles.”

Showing ingenuity at the drum kit, Consalvo and crew implemented a mic blueprint buttressed at kick with an SM91 suspended inside on a Kelly SHU Composite shock mount and a Beta 52 mounted externally over the sound hole.

The production team for the Lay Down With Number 13 tour, left to right: Greg “Chief” Frahn, stage right guitar and stage manager; Nick Forchione, drum and key tech; Doug “Red” Redler, stage left guitar tech; Drew Consalvo, monitor engineer and production manager; Bob Coke, front-of-house engineer; and John Allbee, lighting designer. (click to enlarge)

Employing off-the-shelf DW drum hardware that allowed them to dog-bone off of existing cymbal stands and the drum stands themselves to mount other mics including a KSM32 on snare bottom and SM7 on snare top, the team was able to eliminate the use of dedicated drum mic stands almost entirely.

“We were experimenting at snare bottom the last time out and we had a KSM32 lying around so we figured what the hell,” Consalvo said, explaining the unorthodox choice for snare bottom. “As things turned out, it translates real well. The snares sound exactly like snares, the mic captures them with total accuracy.”

KSM137s on cymbals round-out the list of drum kit mic assignments; moving onto guitars, a Beta 27 got the call for Chris Robinson’s cabinets. Brother Rich’s rig, as well as that of newcomer Jackie Greene, relies upon a single SM57 and a single KSM313 ribbon mic.

Keyboards on the tour, which include a Hammond B3/Leslie combo as well as a Fender Rhodes, get the Shure treatment in the form of a pair of 57s at Leslie top and a Beta 52 on the bottom, and a pair of SM7s on the Rhodes speakers.

In addition to Chris Robinson, everyone else in The Black Crowes sings as well, with the exception of the drummer. To adequately capture these voices, “Every other vocal position is a Beta 58 too,” Consalvo notes without much astonishment to anyone.

Adapt & Improvise
As PA du jour is the order of the day out front, so it goes for lighting the tour. Just like Coke and Consalvo, the LD has to constantly adapt and improvise according to changing conditions.

Coming into a venue one day, he could be faced with a group of PAR cans augmented by a dozen moving lights. The next stop could reveal a stage filled with intelligent LED instruments requiring a lot of programming.

“Luckily the venues we’re booking have nice lighting rigs,” Consalvo says from his vantage point as production manager. “Occasionally we find ourselves in a place where they only have PAR cans on an up-and-down truss and maybe a couple of Lekos, but this isn’t the kind of band that’s looking to create a large light show.

“That doesn’t mean they don’t like certain things about lighting, because they do,” he continues. “We certainly don’t want to look like an Italian game show with a whole bunch of programmed ballyhoos and chases going on.

“Overall, the band wants the LD to feel the music. This is an improvisational show that changes its set list every night. The band believes the lighting should be in tune with the music, played like an instrument if you will, to reflect what’s heard onstage.”

In broad terms, then, look and impact are what’s important in terms of lighting. Just because something moves and wiggles doesn’t mean it should. Keeping things simple once again, no spot operators are ever used during the show. The LD does carry his own board, a Full Boar Road Hog with an expansion kit.

A glimpse of the lighting approach for the Crowes. (click to enlarge)

For both Consalvo and Coke, mixing for The Black Crowes offers a special opportunity that should never be taken for granted: The chance to mix in the moment every night within the context of a constantly changing stage dynamic that never occurs exactly the same way twice.

“When it comes to the sets, the band will choose to play a song a different way every night,” Consalvo says. “There is constant improvisation, curve balls are thrown regularly. It’s the real deal musically in every respect and the crew has to be on its toes at every moment. The band takes the most honest of approaches to what they do, with a high degree of integrity. Besides these cats being like family to me at this point, that’s what keeps me coming back year-after-year.”

For his part, Coke offers similar sentiments. “I don’t even look at the set list on any given night,” he adds. “I just go where they want to go. What comes from the stage can be quiet, loud, acoustic…whatever. I’m ready to respond to what they want to do and give it everything I have in return. That’s what we all do, and what we get back is priceless in terms of just being part of the experience itself.” 

Gregory A. DeTogne is a writer and editor who has served the pro audio industry for the past 30 years.

Posted by Keith Clark on 05/09 at 04:19 PM
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Canadian Duo Uses Yamaha CL Digital Console On International Tour

Console for engineer Scottie Baldwin supplied by Gearforce

A Yamaha CL3 digital audio console with two Rio3224-D racks has been provided by Gearforce of Coquitlam, BC, Canada for front of house mixing by Scottie Baldwin on the international tour by Canadian duo Tegan and Sara.

Robert Nevalainen, president of Gearforce, says that the CL line represents a leap forward in audio quality. “Yamaha managed to retain the Centralogic interface that so many engineers love, and the company has such market penetration, that it just made sense,” he notes.

“The CL Series sounds amazing; a perfect blend of the sonic purity and coloration add up to the most musical console on the market,” adds Baldwin. “I’ve found the Dante networking to be not only simple to set up, but incredibly reliable as well. The simple setup of the Dante network gets me where I need to be: into the music. 

Baldwin also makes extensive use of the console’s Premium Rack; specifically, the Neve compressors and EQ’s as well as the multi-band compressors. 

He has been a Yamaha end user engineer from the first days of Yamaha digital consoles, choosing a PM1D as the first large-scale digital console he used for a Prince tour in 2002.

“The thought behind where an engineer’s hands and eyes will be during a show are most impressive,” Baldwin says, “It’s completely intuitive to live mixing, that allows maximum capability to focus on the most important element of all: the music.”

Tegan and Sara’s 13-year career has seen them build an avid global following of fans and fellow musicians alike. Born in Calgary, Alberta, the Quinn sisters’ unique ability to bridge the pop and indie worlds has allowed their music to cross all traditional boundaries of genres, from being covered by The White Stripes to collaborating with noted DJs such as Tiesto and David Guetta.


Posted by Keith Clark on 05/09 at 02:35 PM
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Opéra Royal de Wallonie Chooses L-Acoustics

The need for a modern, flexible and efficient audio system was underpinned by the theatre's management plan to make multifunctional use of the building.

On the occasion of the restoration of the Opéra Royal de Wallonie (Royal Opera of Wallonia), a full L-Acoustics line array system was put in place.

After more than two years of restoration work, the 1875-built Théatre Royal de Liège, home of the Opéra Royal de Wallonie (ORW), re-opened its doors to the public at the end of last year in Liège. The whole renovation project, unique in its kind, represented an investment of 31 million euros.

In 2008, Riva Audio was appointed by the main contractor, Putman, to carry out preliminary research, design and install the new audio system using its expertise in stage mechanics and technical installations of theatres and studios.

“The big challenge was to persuade the city officials and opera management to place new audio gear in a classified 19th century building—they wanted the venue to be ‘sound reinforcement-less’,” says Frédéric Vard, managing director of Riva Audio. “For example, it took us quite some negotiations with the government’s Monuments and Landscape Department to obtain permission to place the speaker cabinets.”

XLR sprl a distributor within the L-Acoustics Certified Provider Network for Belgium, collaborated with Riva Audio on this installation.

The need for a modern, flexible and efficient audio system was underpinned by the theatre’s management plan to make multifunctional use of the building.  Alongside the ORW’s performances, the theatre would host conferences, gatherings and concerts. The venue’s iron safety curtain, compulsory in this category of theatres, was equipped with a projection screen on the audience’s side to facilitate the projection of movies.

“When we received the go-ahead to for the sound system, we had to take into account the new furnishing of the theatre,” continues Vard. “In the end, we agreed to install an L-Acoustics line array system on either side of the subtitling projection beam above the stage, before the stage curtains. The amplifiers are located close to the speakers and are remote-controlled through a network, like all other equipment in the ORW.

“The line arrays, consisting of 20 KIVA cabinets—two six-KIVA arrays in front of the curtain and two four-KIVA arrays to serve the lower seats—plus eight SB18 and 14 8XTi as infill ensure complete coverage of the whole theatre; every seat offers the same listening comfort.”

Instead of painting the KIVA speakers in the same red as the curtains, the Monuments and Landscape Department decided to paint them black, turning the technical equipment into a decorative element of the stage.

The installation of the line arrays and cables followed thorough research and design, with Riva Audio presenting a complete construction document indicating the placement of loudspeaker cabinets within the constraints of the ancient building.

“We, together with XLR Project Manager Sébastien Desaever, presented three speaker configurations to the theatre management; L-ACOUSTICS’ contracting and fixed installation department was instrumental in providing the necessary technical plans,” continues Vard.

Vard made use of the stage level boxes in the theatre to install two four-KIVA arrays serving the lower seating of the 1440 capacity theatre. The whole venue was cabled with CAT 6 fiber optics, replacing the ‘traditional’ microphone cables. “Installing Soundcraft stageboxes for the signal transfer from the stage to the Soundcraft Vi4 console was a crucial measure; in an opera environment, noiseless connections are essential throughout the system,” says Vard.


Posted by Julie Clark on 05/09 at 11:15 AM
Live SoundNewsConcertLine ArrayLoudspeakerSound ReinforcementStagePermalink

Elation To Show “EZ-er” Video Panel And More At PLASA Focus

Looking for more user-friendly LED video panels or lighting design software? Faster and smaller RGBW LED moving heads? Or extreme ACL beam effects that are even more extreme?

Looking for more user-friendly LED video panels or lighting design software?  Faster and smaller RGBW LED moving heads?  Or extreme ACL beam effects that are even more extreme? Then stop by Elation Professional’s display at PLASA Focus: Orlando, held here at the Wyndham Orlando Resort, May 15-16.

Elation will be showing exciting new products that address these and other hot lighting/video trends at its PLASA Focus Booth #520:

EZ6 LED Video Panel – Adding the professional look of an LED video wall has just gotten “EZ-er.”  The EZ6 is a high-resolution 22.7” x 22.7” indoor video display panel, powered by premium Tri-Color 3528 SMD LEDs, that delivers a 6mm pixel pitch, 1,800-nit brightness and 960 Hz refresh rate, allowing it to produce sharp, clear high-definition graphics, text, logos and images. Yet it is also very affordably priced, light weight and easy to assemble, making it the ideal choice for nightclubs, concert venues, live stages and exhibit halls – anyone who wants the excitement of a video screen without overstepping their budget or having to undertake a complicated installation.

Rayzor 7 and Rayzor 12 – Ramp up your designs into the next gear with the amazing Rayzor Series. The smallest and fastest LED moving head ever created by Elation, the Rayzor 7 delivers unsurpassed brightness for its size (11 lbs., 9.25” x 5.5” x 12.5”), a razor-sharp 7° beam angle, smooth Quad-Color RGBW color-mixing, and new high-speed 3-phase motor technology that makes its eye-popping beams literally fly around the room.  Powered by 7 x 15-watt OSRAM 4-in1 (red, green, blue, white) LEDs, the Rayzor 7 also offers the bonus of 4-zone chase effects for added visual excitement.  For applications that require greater output, Elation has introduced a more powerful version, the Rayzor 12, with 12 x 15-watt 4-in-1 RGBW LEDs that can produce up to 5,840 lux at 5 meters.  The Rayzor 12 features the compact size, lightning-quick movements, sharp 7° beam, smooth Quad-Color mixing and zonal chase effects that characterize this groundbreaking series, along with some great new features such as a rainbow effect.

Platinum Beam 5R Extreme – The original Platinum Beam 5R ACL beam moving head was one of the most popular and widely acclaimed effects in Elation’s history—now the company is building on its success with the next-generation Platinum Beam 5R Extreme.  Like its predecessor, the new “Extreme” is an intense concentrated searchlight-like narrow-beam (3°) effect that utilizes the Philips MSD Platinum 5R lamp, allowing for much greater energy-efficiency and a more compact, lightweight design compared to discharge fixtures of equivalent output.  But the Platinum Beam 5R Extreme moves at even faster speeds than the original and achieves new levels of brightness and output, thanks to the use of 3-phase motors and an improved optical design.  It also offers some exciting new features, including a remote focus and a wireless DMX option.

Capture Lighting Design Software – Elation is now giving lighting pros an easier way to design and visualize their lightshows.  The company has entered into an agreement with Sweden-based Capture Visualisation AB, to distribute Capture lighting design and documentation software in the U.S. Available for both Windows and Mac OS X, Capture software is world-renowned for being easy to use and having a minimal learning curve, while giving lighting professionals the ability to work in real-time with all elements of their design—lighting, truss system, stage and scenery.  Featuring a built-in library of more than 6,000 fixtures from all major lighting manufacturers, Capture is available in three affordable versions based on users’ needs, and no annual subscription fees are required.


Posted by Julie Clark on 05/09 at 11:09 AM

Paragonis MMP Marks CarniRiv Milestone PreSonus StudioLive

One of the country's top events providers, Paragonis Multimedia Productions was brought in to provide sound and lighting for the event. As Paragonis founder and President Kunle Akintayo explains, CariRiv was an ideal application for their collection of PreSonus StudioLive consoles.

Now in its fifth year, the annual Port Harcourt Carnival, better known as CarniRiv, has evolved from its modest beginnings as an informal regional gathering to become a major festival event - a true carnival in many respects.

This year, with Port Harcourt celebrating its centennial, the program was even bigger. Held at the 25,000-seat Elekahia Liberation Stadium, the six-day lineup featured more than 40 regional and international artists including Shaggy, Morgan Heritage, 2face, Timaya, Duncan Mighty, and many more.

One of the country’s top events providers, Paragonis Multimedia Productions was brought in to provide sound and lighting for the event. As Paragonis founder and President Kunle Akintayo explains, CariRiv was an ideal application for their collection of PreSonus StudioLive consoles.

“The StudioLive never ceases to surprise me, and CarniRiv was another example,” says Akintayo. “We had originally purchased it as an alternative to lugging around our larger live consoles and all the outboard processors, and the plan was to use it for a while and move on to something more elaborate. But we have been so pleasantly surprised with all the StudioLive’s cool features, and since then we’ve purchased more than ten of them for our company and for installations in nightclubs and other venues.”

Akintayo points to the console’s ease of use as a tremendous asset. “So many times, I have been giving a quick crash course to an engineer for some foreign band, and in less than ten minutes I hear ‘I’ve got it.’ It’s just such an easy and intuitive workflow.”

With a client base that includes Coca Cola, Virgin Atlantic, MTN Nigeria, Guinness, Economist of London, and various state and national government agencies, Paragonis prides itself on a reputation for stellar production and top-notch, state-of-the-art equipment. “The quality of the StudioLive is simply exquisite,” says Akintayo. “The sound of the console is simply amazing, and the feature set truly rivals many of the much larger and more expensive desks. I just love everything about the PreSonus.”


Posted by Julie Clark on 05/09 at 10:40 AM
Live SoundNewsConcertConsolesDigitalSound ReinforcementPermalink

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

SE Systems Deploys New NEXO STM Arrays & Yamaha CL5 Consoles For MerleFest

STM rig shared and alternated between the main Watson Stage and the side Cabin Stage

As it has for the past 26 years, SE Systems of Greensboro, NC recently provided sound reinforcement and support for the annual MerleFest in Wilkesboro, NC, deploying its new NEXO STM line arrays as well as Yamaha CL5 digital consoles.

This year’s roster of artists at MerleFest included long-time roots artists like Leon Russell, The Charlie Daniels Band, Avett Brothers, Del McCoury Band, Donna the Buffalo, Jim Lauderdale, Michael Martin Murphey, Peter Rowan, Jerry Douglas, Sam Bush, and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. The festival is named for famed guitarist Doc Watson’s late son, Merle, a gifted musician in his own right. Doc passed away in May 2012, so this is the first year he hasn’t graced the stage himself.

The NEXO STM rig shared and alternated between the main Watson Stage and the side Cabin Stage. The arrays consisted of 15 M46/B112 modules per side for mains, joined by 16 S118 subs in cardioid mode per side, two M46 for front fill, and a 3-stack of M46/B112 modules for out fill in the VIP area.

A Yamaha DME64 digital mixing engine functioned as a converter from analog to Dante that was networked to all NXAMPs. Twenty NEXO 45 N-12 line monitors were also used on the main stage.

“The NEXO STM system was very musical and even horizontally and vertically,” states Chris West, front of house engineer at the Watson Stage. “The mix sounded the same on the ground and at FOH. The throw was incredible; we hardly used the delays.”

“The NEXO STM system sounded natural, even at high volume,” adds Haley Miller, monitor engineer at the Watson Stage. “When dealing with acoustic music, the environment plays a large part, so a natural sounding system is always a plus. On stage it was quiet, and sometimes we couldn’t tell if the PA was on; the system allowed great isolation from stage to FOH with no bleed.”

Four new Yamaha CL5 digital audio consoles with Rio 3224 input/output boxes all connected with Dante were used on the Americana Stage for mains and monitors and at the Dance Stage for mains and monitors. “

The overall impression was they sounded great,” says Myron Surber, sales associate for SE Systems. “The preamps were warm and the Premium Rack was a real plus with delays on the input channels and the additional 1/3 octave EQs.”

“The Yamaha CL5 is a great improvement on previous Yamaha consoles having mixed on both the PM5D and M7CL in festival situations,” states Josh Berneking, who mixed front of house for all the acts on the Americana Stage. “The CL5 is much better in that situation. The new premium rack plug-ins, especially the Rupert Neve EQ and Compressor, sound great.

“I also like the increased naming and labeling capabilities; and color-coding my channels was a huge help at the festival. I also found that it was similar enough in navigation to the M7s that guest engineers walking up to the consoles having no experience were able to jump right in on the desk and mix on the fly with very little help from me.

“The Dante network and stage boxes worked great; they were very easy to patch on, and setup. We were also able to connect my talkback mic to the monitor console through Dante.” Jeff Neubauer mixed monitors on the Americana Stage.

“The console sounded great and was sonically very clean,” says Todd Dupree, who mixed monitors on the Dance Stage. “We had two Rio boxes on our stage; they are great devices, well made, and solid. The indicator lights for signal, peaking, 48v, and the Ping feature worked great in the frantic festival setting.” John Adair mixed front of house at Dance Stage.


SE Systems
NEXO & Yamaha

Posted by Keith Clark on 05/08 at 12:50 PM
AVLive SoundNewsAVConcertConsolesLine ArrayLoudspeakerSound ReinforcementSubwooferPermalink

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

A Great Mix? Sometimes It Depends On Who You Ask…

“That was the most amazing show I've ever heard!” When someone walks out of a concert saying this, is it accurate?

Mixing sound in the live realm is not rocket science. In fact, it’s probably closer to voodoo.  A studio engineer creates a masterpiece that will (hopefully) live forever in permanent hard copy existence. But the very nature of a live mixing dictates that every show will be unique - and that none will be perfect. 

A front of house engineer is in the business of creating a memory. Impact, excitement and anticipation form the landscape of the journey you’re guiding the audience through. Perception is everything.

“That was the most amazing show I’ve ever heard!” When someone walks out of a concert saying this, is it accurate?

Are they referring to fidelity, tonal balance, and mix perfection? Or is it possibly the impact, anticipation, and excitement that affected them in an emotional way?

We can’t force the audience to have fun, but we can make sure the audience hears the most important aspects of the music while doing our best to mask and acoustically downplay any negative issues that arise.

Imagine mixing a show with the utmost finesse, articulating a series of precision and complex cues, and then an irritating knucklehead from the audience leans over the console and says, “Hey man, can’t hear the keyboard.”

My first thought is to strangle the annoying punter. He obviously knows nothing about the intricacies of mixing or he’d be behind the console, right? Well, maybe not. Sometimes as engineers we get so wrapped up in displaying the depth of our skills that we forget exactly what is most fundamental and important. 

Have you ever heard an engineer fumbling with effects while the mix sounds tragic? Don’t kid yourself - 95 percent or more of the audience has no idea and really does not care whether you used a macro-pristine-ultra-chamber or a $20,000 tube comp on each of the 12 vocals.

What they do care about:

—Can they hear the vocals?

—Can they also hear the vocals?

—Can they hear everything else? 

—Does it capture their attention, take them to a state of bliss, happiness, rage, or whatever direction that particular music is supposed to take them, so they can stop worrying about whether they can hear the vocals?

No matter what goes wrong sound-wise during a live performance, if it’s noticed from the audience perspective, then the problem belongs to the house engineer. There are no excuses.

Here’s the important point for engineers: “NOTICE.”

The show starts and all seems good, but then I realize there’s no guitar microphone in PA left. I can immediately turn it on and “fix” the problem, also thereby instantly letting 10,000 people know about the goof.

Or, I can slowly pan the guitar mic to center, then left, and back to center. If I dialed it up correctly, then for the next song the odds are that the problem has now actually become a cool guitar effect. It’s not about hiding mistakes; it’s about giving the audience the best show possible.

“That snare sound is my sonic signature!” Yes, someone did tell me this once, and yes, it’s got to be one of the most irritating things I’ve ever heard. 

If the audience is focused on the way we mix, we’re fighting an uphill battle. I realize that there are many situations where the sound engineer is an integral part of creative process of the show. But the point remains - don’t muck with the frill until the basics are dialed in.

It all comes down to this: drawing attention to the mix, rather than the performers on stage, is often good for the ego. But it can be bad for the career.

Dave Rat heads up Rat Sound, based in Southern California, and has also been a mix engineer for more than 25 years.

Posted by admin on 05/07 at 04:31 PM
Live SoundFeatureBlogStudy HallConcertEngineerMixerSignalSound ReinforcementSystemPermalink

High End Systems Hog 4 And Catalyst On Bloc Party

The band's biggest show to date, the performance hinged on proper video support for the 19,000 capacity venue. Video Director Matt Askem and XL Video rose to the occasion with a stunning visual package that perfectly complemented LD Rob Sinclair's lighting.

Popular British indie band Bloc Party celebrated the release of their new album, “Four”, by performing a one-off show at Earls Court in London.

The band’s biggest show to date, the performance hinged on proper video support for the 19,000 capacity venue. Video Director Matt Askem and XL Video rose to the occasion with a stunning visual package that perfectly complemented LD Rob Sinclair’s lighting.

XL Video supplied two Catalyst Media Servers, a Hog 4 console from High End Systems and two Barco FLM HD20 projectors, along with their Kayak based HD PPU with four Sony HXC-100 HD cameras and five Bradley Engineering CamBall2 HD remote cameras.

Well-known for his concert film work with Take That, a-Ha, Simply Red and others, Askem was also the live video director for the opening and closing Olympic Ceremonies. For the Earl’s Court gig, the video director brought in media server programmer Hugh Davies-Webb to assist at the Earls Court show, giving Hugh his first opportunity to work with the new Hog 4 control platform.

Hugh explains, “Our goal was i-mag that complements what’s going on with the songs by blending content and live cameras, and by shaping the video to fit the lighting and set designer’s vision of the show, so everything is working together.

“We took lots of camera feeds from the Vision Mixer and treated them in appropriate ways - either colorizing, or doing different shades, and then used different sized PIP’s and such to really shape the video. With a bit of rewiring we actually got six different video feeds going into the Catalyst media servers that I was driving with the Hog 4, and we had up to six feeds that we could put up on each screen.”

The additional horsepower of the Hog 4 platform proved a major timesaver for Davies-Webb during pre-production. “This style of programming is quite meticulous,” says Hugh, “in that you’re often using one camera image over another image over another image - and putting different colors in and blending them all together.

“I’ve got a day with the video director before he runs off to meet the band and make sure that they’re going to approve what we’re doing - and about 24 songs to get in the bag, so with this style of programming, there’s not much time to get it done and dusted.

“That’s when a desk like the Hog 4 is a real lifesaver. The Hog 3 OS is still one of the fastest operating systems for a proficient programmer to use, but the Hog 4 is a real step up. The syntax on the Hog desks is really awesome; with a couple of keystrokes you can achieve something that would take several loads of key presses on other desks.”

The Hog 4’s User Kinds were utilized by Hugh for a significantly quicker programming experience.

“As someone who loves Full Boars and Hog 3’s,” says Hugh, “I must say the Hog 4 platform is brilliant. One feature that stands out to me is the User Kinds, which is just a fabulous feature for media server programming.

“Rather than continually shuffling between different wheel sets on the desk, to go from my keystoning parameters to my scaling and to my positioning parameters, User Kinds allows the programmer to - with the push of a button - get the desk to bring up the parameters that you actually want to use. That feature is a massive timesaver.”

Davies-Webb also found himself enjoying the Hog 4’s motorized fader feature.

“I’ve been a bit of a motorized fader Luddite,” he confesses, “and I never saw the point - but with the way the Hog organizes info, the motorized fader is a really nice feature and it made my show easy to operate.”

In closing, the programmer gives high marks to the entire Hog 4 range. “High End have really done it right. They launched a whole range of desks that look cool, have great features, and the price is right as well. They’re going to give the competition a few sleepless nights!”

High End Systems

Posted by Julie Clark on 05/07 at 01:45 PM
ProductionNewsProductionLightingProduction SoftwareVideoConcertPermalink

David Rosenthal Finds Lexicon PCM Total Bundle Essential Live And In the Studio

David Rosenthal has enjoyed a remarkably successful career as a keyboardist, synth programmer, orchestrator, and touring musician and that doesn’t begin to cover it all.

David Rosenthal has enjoyed a remarkably successful career as a keyboardist, synth programmer, orchestrator, and touring musician and that doesn’t begin to cover it all.

Rosenthal is also Billy Joel’s musical director, a role that recently has him performing worldwide at events like 12-12-12: The Concert for Sandy Relief and the upcoming New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival 2013.

Besides working with Billy Joel for the past 20 years, he’s also worked with Bruce Springsteen, Enrique Iglesias, Elton John, Cyndi Lauper and many others, provided synth programming and musical direction for the Tony-winning Broadway Musical “Movin’ Out” and runs Sonic Adventures Studio in New Jersey.

The sonic adventure continues with Rosenthal’s recent discovery of Harman’s Lexicon PCM Total Bundle reverb/effects plug-in.

“I’ve been a Lexicon user since the early ’90s,” said Rosenthal. “In fact I was one of the people who contributed customized Music FX presets for the PCM 80 when they used to sell preset sound cards. I’ve used products like the Lexicon PCM 80, 81, 90, 91 and 480L and they’ve always been a big part of my sound.”

Rosenthal has always embraced the latest musical technologies, but it wasn’t until recently that he felt that computers and software had reached the point where he could forego his outboard effects.

He used to use banks of keyboards and racks of outboard effects processors because it was the only way he could get the sounds he needed live. It’s only been in the past year or so that computer technology has gotten to the point where Rosenthal needed it to be.

“The tech has turned the corner, thanks to resources like laptops with 16 GB of memory, better synth plug-ins, solid-state drives, 64-bit operating systems and plug-ins like the Lexicon PCM Total Bundle. Now everything can keep up, I have enough processing power and polyphonic capability and everything responds like a musical instrument.”

He hasn’t given up his cocoon of keyboards entirely, he still uses multiple keyboards live because he doesn’t want to map a lot of sounds on a limited number of keyboards. “When I’m on stage I want to think about playing, not about program changes and which buttons I have to push during a song.”

“The Lexicon PCM Total Bundle doesn’t sound like it’s close to the ‘Lexicon sound’ – it is the Lexicon sound,” Rosenthal emphasized. “It has the smooth reverb tails and that beautiful natural decay, and its algorithms don’t ‘smear’ the initial attack of my keyboards.”

In live performances Rosenthal primarily uses a tweaked sound based on the Concert Hall algorithm that he calls “Bright Keyboard Hall,” finding that it gives depth and spatiality to his keyboard sounds without getting too boomy in an arena or large hall.

In the studio, Rosenthal is still exploring the sonic possibilities of the PCM Total Bundle. “Other reverb plug-ins have fallen short for me and I have always used Lexicon hardware units for my important studio projects – until now. I also like the fact that the PCM Total Bundle gives me 100-percent total recall of my settings, which is an incredible timesaver in the studio and assures I’ll never lose any of my customized sounds.”

“The PCM Total Bundle is exactly what I expected a Lexicon plug-in to sound like,” Rosenthal concluded. “Nothing else sounds like a Lexicon reverb, and the PCM Total Bundle gives me the same sound quality and musicality I’ve come to rely on from Lexicon that I can’t get anywhere else.”

The Lexicon PCM Total Bundle is designed to work with popular DAWs like Pro Tools and Logic, as well as with any other VST, Audio Unit or RTAS-compatible platform. Compatible with Windows Vista, XP and 7 and Macintosh computers, it offers 14 unique Lexicon reverbs and effects, and hundreds of finely crafted studio presets.

Its intuitive user interface provides control of key parameters with a graphical real-time full-color display and flexible sonic customization capabilities.


Posted by Julie Clark on 05/07 at 12:25 PM
Live SoundRecordingNewsConcertDigitalDigital Audio WorkstationsProcessorSoftwareSound ReinforcementStudioPermalink

Sardou’s “Les Grand Moments” Tour Features 93 Martin Professional MAC Vipers

In late 2012, popular French singer Michel Sardou began a four-month "Les Grands Moments" tour across France, revisiting his biggest hits in a truly energetic show.

In late 2012, popular French singer Michel Sardou began a four-month “Les Grands Moments” tour across France, revisiting his biggest hits in a truly energetic show.

Lighting designer Jacques Rouveyrollis used just one type of spotlight on stage throughout the tour -  the MAC Viper Profile from Martin Professional – a somewhat bold choice given it was the lighting fixture’s French début. Fortunately it more than delivered on all its promises. 

A total of 93 MAC Viper Profiles, supplied by the Dushow Group (who currently have 160 in total), were installed, 56 equally spaced over three gantries and 37 on the floor spread across four levels.

No traditional spotlights were used – a rare occurrence for such a show. The simple lighting plan acted as the sole stage design element and provided the performance area with structure by offering a wide variety of effects.

At front of house, 6 MAC III Performances were installed behind the control desk for extra punch.

The MAC Vipers enabled Jacques Rouveyrollis to design several different lighting scenarios to accompany the various songs.

Using a single type of light source provided a sense of harmony between songs as the color temperature remained identical throughout. Even when changing beam density and direction, the lighting remained uniformly consistent.

The MAC Viper also gave scope to a variety of effects thanks to the gobos it offers from two 5-slot rotating gobo wheels.

Jacques Rouveyrollis was able to make the most of the graphics both within the space and as projection, and also had the chance to incorporate animation looks from the fixture’s FX wheel into his design.

Another advantage of the MAC Viper on the tour was its size. Increased power typically means increased size but that’s not the case with the Viper, whose compact and lightweight format eases the riggers’ work, a significant advantage on such a long tour.

What’s more, its compact format doesn’t compromise on power since the MAC Viper can reach a light intensity of 26,000 lumens (brighter than 1200 W models available on the market).

All that from a lamp rated at only 1000 W, meaning the energy saved is considerable - about 100 KW per Viper compared with 600 KW on traditionally lit tours. On the “Les Grands Moments” tour, that power savings allowed for enough headroom to create an intense light curtain as a backdrop.

Lighting Designer: Jacques Rouveyrollis
Assistant Lighting Designer: Jessica Duclos
Lighting Director: Nicolas Gilli
System Manager: Georges Da Silva
Automation Technician /
Servomotor Manager:    André Lassiva
Rental Company: Dushow

Martin Equipment:
93 x MAC Viper Profile
6 x MAC III Performance

Martin Professional

Posted by Julie Clark on 05/07 at 12:12 PM

Outline iMode Provides Networking Backbone For New Orleans Saloon

The two-floor venue features two new, state-of-the-art sound reinforcement systems consisting of Outline loudspeakers and iMode networking and control technology.

New Orleans’ latest traditional jazz venue, the Little Gem Saloon, recently celebrated its rebirth and grand opening. The two-floor venue features two new, state-of-the-art sound reinforcement systems consisting of Outline loudspeakers and iMode networking and control technology.

Outline’s iMode-based sound system provides the venue a crystal-clear, transparent sonic foundation for delivering authentic live jazz.

Located at the head of New Orleans’ famed “Jazz Alley” on the 400 block of South Rampart Street, the Little Gem Saloon has been resurrected on the site of its original 1903 location. Jazz historians unanimously agree that no other single location is more significant to the founding and evolution of jazz than the Little Gem Saloon.

“When I was approached to provide a sound design for the Little Gem Saloon, I immediately thought of Outline,” says Michael Paz, a New Orleans-based sound designer and music industry veteran. “Knowing that we would have two separate performance spaces one floor apart, Outline’s iMode technology was the clear and obvious choice.

“The ability to monitor, control and, if need be, run the same program material through both systems simultaneously, was really appealing. Plus having all that control at the engineer’s fingertips via Outline’s iMode app for iPad and iPhone really gave Outline an advantage over other systems.”

The upper and lower performance spaces of the Little Gem Saloon have almost identical front-of-house systems based on three Outline DVS12P-iSP self-powered, 12-inch, two-way trapezoidal cabinets arrayed in a left-center-right configuration.

A total of five Outline iSM112-iSP cabinets, two on the ground floor and three in the upper level space dubbed “The Ramp Room” in homage to Rampart Street, act as floor monitors in the venue. In addition, one Outline DVS118SW-iSP single 18-inch subwoofer rounds out the installation. All iSP designated speakers are iMode-capable.

The iMode technology embeds a Linux-based CPU with an integrated DSP chip, parameter control software and Web server right into its powered speaker systems, thereby eliminating outboard gear between the console and power amplifier. Audio conversion is done at 24-bit/192 kHz resolution, with users having real-time control over levels, delay, EQ and shelving filters per speaker.

iMode also allows the user to monitor performance parameters across the system, including VU-metering, selected preset parameters, clip and limiter status, amplifier overheating and protection. These parameters can be accessed using an iPad with a dedicated Outline software app or via any standard Web browser on any Internet-capable device.

“In a historic venue like the Little Gem Saloon, the sound system should be pleasing to the eye, but invisible to the ear,” said Tom Bensen, Outline North America’s senior vice president and managing director. “When it comes to sound reinforcement needs, traditional jazz music is akin to classical music.

“The transparent, crisp and natural sound that the DVS12P-iSP delivers is perfectly suited to reproducing and reinforcing each instrument and performance nuance note for note, without coloration. I was very pleased with the way the systems blended in each of the performance spaces both visually and sonically.”

From 1903 to 1909, Frank Doroux’s original Little Gem Saloon indelibly linked a series of three late-1880s Italianate terrace houses at 445-449 South Rampart Street to the birth of America’s greatest indigenous art form, jazz. The club became the watering hole for jazz legends such as Buddy Bolden, Freddie Keppard, and other early performers of the neighboring Back-of-Town district (known today as Mid-City and Central City). The original Little Gem closed its doors in 1909, re-opening on January 20, 2013


Posted by Julie Clark on 05/07 at 11:59 AM
Live SoundNewsConcertInstallationLoudspeakerSound ReinforcementStageSubwooferPermalink
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