Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Metallica Adds 76 Meyer Sound MJF-210 Stage Monitors To Touring Kit

Monitor was developed to the exacting demands presented by the Metallica production team

Metallica will expand its touring inventory with 76 units of the new MJF-210 stage monitor from Meyer Sound.

The lightest self-powered stage monitor in the company’s product line, the MJF-210 was developed to the exacting demands presented by the Metallica production team. The new monitors will first be used on the band’s South American tour this spring.

Looking for a new solution to meet a series of on-stage reinforcement requirements, including weight, footprint, power, and clarity, the Metallica team turned to Meyer Sound. The team, including Dan Braun, show director, along with monitor engineer Bob Cowan and assistant monitor engineer Adam Correia, subsequently took part in the beta product testing during the Asian leg of the band’s recent tour.

“Meyer Sound embraced our demanding performance specs for a new compact stage monitor that would stand up to the rigors of Metallica touring and satisfy the critical ear of James Hetfield,” says Braun. “The resulting MJF-210 exceeds every parameter without compromise. The support we received from the company’s engineering staff demonstrates that everybody at Meyer Sound is indeed a part of the Metallica family.”

Each monitor measures less than 14 inches high and weighs 67 pounds, and provides the sonic and practical advantages of a self-powered system, including reliability, low distortion, and ease of setup and configuration. With the amplifier built into the cabinet, the MJF-210 eliminates amplifier racks and saves backstage and truck space.

The front of the MJF-210 slopes at an optimal 40 degrees from the stage, while the exceptionally well-behaved constant directivity horn (50 H x 70 degrees) gives the performer more freedom to move on stage while staying within the wide vertical coverage. The drivers are powered by a 3-channel class D amplifier.

Meyer Sound

Posted by Keith Clark on 03/11 at 09:24 AM
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Thursday, March 06, 2014

Telefunken Microphohnes To See Heavy Use At Next Week’s SXSW In Austin

Mics for several stages, as well as at a performance venue, on display at Gear Expo, and more

Telefunken Elektroakustik microphones will be out in force at next week’s South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin.

Telefunken has partnered with the Continental Club in Austin, which will have its entire main stage equipped with a variety of Tfunk mics, including the M80, M81 and M82 dynamics, in addition to DD5 dynamic drum sets.

Telefunken also hosts its own open SXSW party at the Gallery @ the Continental Club on Thursday, March 13, from 6 pm to 8 pm, with performances by artist Gone By Daylight and others to be announced.

In addition, Telefunken has partnered with Austin-based audio specialists Nomad Sound and will provide dynamic microphones for additional outdoor stages throughout the SXSW event.

Continental Club production manager and Nomad Sound lead engineer Jamie Wellwarth notes: “Telefunken has changed the whole sound of the Continental Club. Their M80 and M81 dynamic mics have brought out a clarity to the vocals that we just didn’t have before. We use the M82 on kick drum giving us solid boom and attack.  It’s great working with Tfunk, because we are going for the same thing—great sound in a rockin’ nightclub.”

Tfunk mics will also be used for the SXSW tapings of Jimmy Kimmel Live. Audio engineer Bart Chiate states, “The Telefunken M80s are my go-to mics for the live performances on JKL. But with the show happening in Austin it wasn’t logistically possible for us to bring our own mics, so we reached out to Tfunk and they fixed us up with all the mics we need for our crew at the festival.  It’s gonna be a blast, especially since we know we have the sound totally nailed.”

And finally, Telefunken will be showing its entire line of microphones again this year at Gear Expo—booth 209—during SXSW.

Telefunken Elektroakustik

Posted by Keith Clark on 03/06 at 05:43 PM
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Sound Designer Tony Meola Utilizes Meyer Sound Constellation To Add Dimension To “Wicked”

Musical production features first Mexico’s first Constellation acoustic system

Mexico City’s Teatro Telcel is hosting the first Spanish adaptation of the musical Wicked, with a record-breaking 50,000 tickets sold in its first five weeks. As with eight other Wicked productions worldwide, noted Broadway sound designer Tony Meola has chosen Meyer Sound as the audio foundation, this time including Mexico’s first Constellation acoustic system.

“Constellation works amazingly well with amplified musicals in houses like Teatro Telcel,” states Meola. “Amplified sound in a dead acoustical environment makes it sound like the room doesn’t have any dimension to it. But with Constellation, all of a sudden the sound is given dimension, and everything sounds much more real. I was surprised when I heard the effect, and I imagine it would be very welcome in many of the road houses where Wicked tours will play well into the future.”

To ensure Teatro Telcel would accommodate events ranging from symphonic concerts and operas to hard rock shows and Broadway musicals, the architects specified a dry baseline acoustic signature so it could be augmented as needed through Constellation’s acoustical adaptability.

The heart of Constellation is a D-Mitri digital audio platform with 20 modules and 57 ambient sensing microphones. After the patented VRAS acoustical algorithms are applied, sound is distributed to the system of 114 Stella-4 and 18 Stella-8 installation loudspeakers, 48 UP-4XP 48 V loudspeakers, 38 MM-4XP self-powered loudspeakers, 13 UPJunior loudspeakers, and 24 MM-10XP 48 V subwoofers. The Constellation system was installed by Naucalpan de Juárez-based Teletec.

“The effect of Constellation is remarkable,” says Meola. “In the final rehearsals for Wicked, when we had the system off, the associate director commented that ‘It sounds very canned.’ We turned on Constellation, and I never heard that comment again.”

For sound reinforcement, Meola has specified main line arrays of 20 MINA and 22 M1D line array loudspeakers each, as well as six UPJ-1P VariO loudspeakers and seven UPA-1P, nine UPJunior, nine UPM-1P, 16 UPM-2P, and 52 MM-4 loudspeakers. Four 700-HP and two 600-HP subwoofers provide low end, while system drive and optimization are provided by a Galileo loudspeaker management system with five Galileo 616 processors.

PRG (Production Resource Group) Mexico provided and installed the sound reinforcement system, in conjunction with the technical crew of OCESA. OCESA, Mexico’s leading theatrical and concert promotion organization, operates Teatro Telcel.

Meola points out that Meyer Sound systems have been a constant in the design of the Wicked franchise, and have made a significant contribution to its storied success. “There’s never been a time when I was unhappy with what I was hearing from the loudspeakers,” he says. “We’ve made major changes in consoles and radio mics in step with technology, but the base Meyer system continues as the foundation of the show’s sound.”



Meyer Sound

Posted by Keith Clark on 03/06 at 04:12 PM
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Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Happy Mondays Celebrates 25-Year Anniversary Tour With Avid S3L

Front of house engineer Gerry Parchment and monitor engineer Jasen Hattams pushed to carry their own consoles

For a UK tour by British alternative band Happy Mondays celebrating the 25th anniversary of its second album entitled Bummed, the band and crew returned home when possible.

As a result, the tour made extensive use of splitter buses—van-based transports that double-up as both gear and personnel carriers. Although space on the splitters was limited, front of house engineer Gerry Parchment and monitor engineer Jasen Hattams pushed to carry their own consoles to ensure the most consistent sound possible throughout the tour.

For this they engaged Miles Hillyard at SSE Audio Group to supply two Avid S3L mixing systems.

Comprised of a compact control surface, HDX-powered processing engine running on-board AAX plug-ins, and networked remote stage boxes for up to 64 inputs, S3L’s modularity and easy Ethernet AVB connectivity over lightweight Cat-5e cables allowed Parchment and Hattams to carry this highly portable package in the back of the lighting crew’s van throughout the tour.

“Initially there was to be no control package at either end of the multicore, as we were in splitters and space was tight” says Parchment. “This left both Jay and myself with a myriad of in-house analogue and digital desks at the venues. [With Avid S3L] we could achieve a consistent sound and be ready to soundcheck the band in 30 minutes from the time the equipment got onto the stage,” Parchment continues. “We would not have been able to achieve this with any other system.”

“My Production Manager loves the footprint,” states Hattams. “It’s compact, and the less space we take up, the more seats are sold out front—that makes the band and promoter very happy. And I love a lampie carrying my desk.”

Both Parchment and Hattams are experienced engineers who have mixed on Avid live systems over the years. They both felt at home with S3L, as it runs on the common VENUE software platform and offers the same functionality as Avid’s larger consoles, including on-board plug-in processing,  integration with Pro Tools for show archiving and Virtual Soundchecking, and complete show file compatibility across all systems.

“[Avid] Profile has become the staple choice for many engineers,” Parchment notes. “[For the ‘Mondays tour] I initially took an old show file from a Profile system and modified it [on the S3L] as the tour went on.”

“We had a great show that [first] night,” adds Hattams. “The band was happy with the sound, so job done.

“On monitors I had 28 inputs, with 24 outputs doing a mixture of wedges and IEMs,” he continues. “There were 10 wedge mixes and four stereo IEMS. I have found the system easy to use, and most of all, it’s stable.”

A key feature of the is Virtual Soundcheck, which allows engineers to fine-tune mixes based on previous live recordings. With the combination of Pro Tools and Virtual Soundcheck, it’s possible to EQ the room, set up snapshots, and more—all without requiring the presence of the band.

“The single most impressive aspect of Virtual Soundcheck is its ease of use,” says Parchment. “That and the fact that a single channel may be switched between a return or live input. The ‘Mondays were present at sound check every day, but I used [Virtual Soundcheck] for setting individual items such as dynamics and effects.

“I recorded most of the Bummed album tour for archive and the intention is to mix certain shows for future use,” he concludes. “Recording [to Pro Tools] via a single Ethernet cable is heaven-sent.”


Posted by Keith Clark on 03/05 at 04:26 PM
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Allen & Heath iLive & ME Personal Monitoring On European Tour With Ane Brun (Inlcudes Video)

iLive-T112 system handles both FOH and monitors,

Swedish PA company Parashoot supported the recent European tour by Norwegian singer-songwriter Ane Brun with an Allen & Heath iLive digital mixing system as well as A&H ME personal monitoring systems.

Specifically, Parashoot deployed an iLive-T112 system to handle both FOH and monitors, joined by xDR-16 I/O expander racks positioned stage left and stage right, along with an iDR-16 MixRack.

Parashoot, which has worked with Ane Brun since 2007, served a line-up comprised of two drum kits with open miking, an upright bass with FX pedals, various guitars, two keyboards, backing vocalists, and Brun.

All musicians except one were on in-ear monitors working with ME personal mixing systems. Parashoot provided five ME-1 personal mixers, with an ME-U hub delivering power and distribution on stage.

“I took the ME-1s down to rehearsals and everyone was thrilled with them,” notes Parashoot sound engineer and owner Oscar Söderlund. “The layout is easy, you can pan and it’s a sleek looking tool.”

As Söderlund was also managing monitors from FOH, the ME-1s helped take the stress out of soundcheck and the show so he could focus on the PA and Brun’s mix. He discovered Allen & Heath in 2008 when a friend suggested he try iLive, which resulted in him investing in an iDR-48 MixRack and iLive-T112 system. The company now owns a flexible hire stock, including three iLive-T112 surfaces, two iLive-R72 surfaces and four MixRacks, which are interchangeable systems.

“When I first toured with iLive, the feeling was great,” he states. :You pull up the fader and it sounds so different to what I had heard before with other consoles, it’s so natural - I fell in love.  What struck me was the FX, they are the best emulations in the digital console business. I was dealing with 28-inch bass drums with no padding, and I found I could really extend the reverbs in my mix and create great landscapes.”

“It’s not often that you do something and think I couldn’t have done that any better. Would it have been better with another console? No, I’d always go back to A&H. It’s been the best five years of my life,” he concludes.


Allen & Heath

Posted by Keith Clark on 03/05 at 09:53 AM
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Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Lectrosonics Digital Hybrid Wireless Technology For Alt Rock Band Our Lady Of Peace

Natural audio performance and rock-solid stability enables freedom of movement

Duncan Coutts, bassist for Canadian alternative rock/post-grunge band Our Lady Peace, is utilizing an IS400 wireless instrument system with Digital Hybrid Wireless technology from Lectrosonics.

Toronto-based audio engineer Tim Murray serves as the lead technician for Our Lady Peace. He’s been with the band for more than 12 years, which presently consists of lead vocalist Raine Maida, Jeremy Taggart on percussion, Duncan Coutts on bass, and Steve Mazur as lead guitarist. Our Lady Peace has sold millions of albums worldwide, won four Juno Awards, and won ten MuchMusic Video Awards, the most MMVAs ever awarded to any artist or group.

Several years back, Jamie Howieson, the band’s system engineer, turned Murray on to Lectrosonics wireless products and this is how he and, shortly afterwards, Duncan Coutts, discovered the IS400 wireless instrument system.

“At this point, Duncan has actually been using the IS400 wireless system for a good 10 years,” Murray reports. “His setup consists of the R400a receiver, which sits on his pedalboard, the LMa beltpack transmitter, and the Lectrosonics MI39ARA instrument cable, which feeds the output of his bass guitar to the LMa. We’re both really impressed with the performance of this equipment.

“Audio quality is very natural sounding and transparent. You really can’t tell that we’re using a wireless system because the instrument’s sound is an absolutely accurate representation of the bass. It’s as if Duncan were connected with a cable.”

Murray also reports that Lectrosonics manufacturing is first rate. “We’ve been very impressed with the rugged build quality of the Lectrosonics gear,” he says. “Not only does the system provide consistent, dropout-free performance, it’s built like a tank. These aspects of the gear inspire confidence in the product, so we never have to worry about signal strength or equipment failures. The system has been very impressive in this regard. In the ten years we’ve been using the IS400, we’ve performed in many cities around the world and we’ve only had to tune the unit perhaps twice.”

“After using wireless technology for many years,” he concludes, “it’s very rare that you come across a wireless system that gives you all the tone and punch with rock-solid, dropout-free signal flow, very little required maintenance, and little time spent tuning frequencies—no matter where in the world you may be.”

Coutts concurs with Murray’s assessment, “I’ve been using my Lectrosonics wireless system for more than a decade. It has never let me down. I will never use another wireless system. Lectrosonics is truly unparalleled. Tim and I couldn’t be happier with this gear.”


Posted by Keith Clark on 03/04 at 06:40 PM
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Monday, March 03, 2014

WorxAudio Loudspeakers Deployed At Parker Chapel Free Will Baptist Church

Parkers Chapel Free Will Baptist church, located in Greenville, North Carolina, recently installed a WorxAudio line array.

Parkers Chapel Free Will Baptist church, located in Greenville, North Carolina, has been a spiritual leader throughout the greater Greenville community for more than 150 years.

The church has a vibrant worship program consisting of several ministries designed to address the wide range of interests represented within its diversified congregation.

In an effort to improve the audio quality in its sanctuary, the church recently upgraded its loudspeaker system with a WorxAudio Technologies sound reinforcement system.

Greenville, NC-based Hi-Tech Electronics, a design / build firm with a focus on the installation market and a concentration on houses of worship, was selected to handle the deployment of the church’s new sound system.

The Parkers Chapel sanctuary measures 100 feet long by 90 feet wide, with exposed wood beams that compliemtn its cathedral type A frame ceiling.

“Acoustics are generally quite good, but as the room is nearly as wide as it is long, gaining consistent sound coverage throughout the area was a challenge,” David Williams, owner of Hi-Tech explained. “Services are traditional in nature and music plays a vital role in their services. They regularly have a good sized choir and an accompanying instrumental ensemble perform in support of the services.

“As a result, having a sound reinforcement system capable of providing a high level of speech intelligibility and strong music reproduction characteristics was deemed critical.”

To address these concerns, Williams and his crew deployed a 7-element WorxAudio X1i-P loudspeaker cluster. The new system is centrally positioned over the front edge of the stage / pulpit area facing into the length of the room.

The WorxAudio X1i-P is a self-powered, 2-way, high efficiency, ultra compact loudspeaker system that incorporates a 1-inch exit high frequency compression driver and dual 8-inch cone transducers for the low frequencies. The loudspeaker cluster was suspended using WorxAudio’s TrueAim® Grid.

“The WorxAudio X1i has a very broad, 160-degree horizontal dispersion pattern and this was precisely what was required in order for the sound to cover the extreme sides of the sanctuary,” explains Williams. “The previous sound system lacked this ability and, as a result, many people simply couldn’t hear clearly.”

Mounted at the rear of the center loudspeaker cluster, Williams installed another X1i passive loudspeaker. This enclosure is not visible from the congregation’s perspective. Instead, this loudspeaker is angled down at the area where the choir is located and serves as the monitor system.

This particular loudspeaker is powered by WorxAudio’s PXD8080 power amplifier, which provides 800 x 800 watts.

“When I install WorxAudio loudspeakers,” states Williams, “I know the company will have my back should I encounter any technical issues. The company has always been very responsive and routinely assists with items such as loudspeaker modeling and other technical issues that might arise.”

The Parkers Chapel project was installed during April and placed into service in early May. Since that time, church personnel have been extremely complimentary.

“We were all blown away with the WorxAudio system,” says Rev. Sam Harris, the church’s Minister of Music. “The new system has a totally ‘transparent’ sound. You don’t notice the system, you just notice the music and the message! You do not hear the system, you hear the service. 

“I have been in church music ministry since 1988 and this is the best system I have ever heard—not only in a church, but anywhere. The ability to cover every seat in the auditorium—including the balcony—with one center array is amazing. Everyone loves it!”

“The WorxAudio sound system has greatly enhanced our service and time of worship,” concurs Rev. Gene Williams, the Senior Pastor. “The new sound system is a great tool to minister to our people with, as we give them a message from the Lord. I have been very pleased with its performance. I would recommend WorxAudio to anyone.”


Posted by Julie Clark on 03/03 at 02:51 PM
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VUE Audiotechnik Expands Global Footprint With New European Operation

VUE marks its second anniversary with the formation of VUE Audiotechnik Europa GmbH

Just two years after its founding at 2012 Prolight+Sound, VUE Audiotechnik today announced the immediate appointment of Holger de Buhr as Managing Director for the newly formed VUE Audiotechnik Europa GmbH (VUE Europe).

Headquartered in Berlin, VUE Europe is a service and support organization for the VUE Audiotechnik brand across Europe, providing distributors, dealers and customers alike with a broad list of regional resources, including technical support and service personnel, application engineering, and a state of the art demo facility and showroom.

VUE Europe will also assume direct distribution responsibilities for the VUE Audiotechnik brand in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. All VUE European distributors will soon benefit from the additional tools made available through the company’s new European operation. 

“Europe is an extremely important market for VUE,” commented CEO Ken Berger. “Even though our focus to date has been primarily on North America, VUE has enjoyed some pretty significant momentum in Europe, thanks in part to a growing network of extremely dedicated distributors.”

Berger continues, “We’ve now reached a tipping point in the US where VUE is perceived as a major player, and our products are being specified into notable projects across the country. We’re ready to bring the same focus to Europe, and we know from experience that building a truly exceptional service and support organization in the region is critical for the long term success of VUE and our European customers.”

Joining as Managing Director of VUE Audiotechnik Europa GmbH, Holger de Buhr brings nearly 30 years of industry experience to the role. In addition to serving as CEO of VUE’s German distributor Media Logic GmbH, de Buhr has also held strategic leadership positions with the Just Music Group as well as Audio Sonic GmbH, where he was responsible for regional distribution of the d&b brand, permanent installation and project business, as well as worldwide service for Neumann Broadcast consoles.

“Despite being quite young, VUE has made a significant impact in Europe, with early installations fueling a growing reputation for exceptional sound and build quality,” said de Buhr. “In all my years these are the first PA speakers that can easily keep pace sonically with studio monitors. I’m tremendously excited to help the European market learn more about VUE, and to establish a world class support network to serve the region.”

VUE Audiotechnik Europa GmbH begins operations immediately. VUE’s EVP Jim Sides, who has extensive European experience, will work directly with de Buhr during the initial ramp-up phase. Their immediate focus will be expanding support services and technical personnel, increasing regional inventories and fulfillment capabilities, as well as growing VUE’s distribution network to all points in Europe.

VUE Europe will mark the opening of its new Berlin headquarters and showroom with at a special ceremony and reception later this spring. More details about the event will be made available in the coming weeks.

Posted by Julie Clark on 03/03 at 02:34 PM
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In Profile: Rick Camp—Mix Engineer & Founder Of Master Mix Live


Location: Las Vegas
Years In The Business: 30
Favorite Tools: Avalon 737 mic preamps, Sonnox plug-ins, Avid Profile console, Waves L3 Multimaximizer
Worked With: The Whispers, Earth Wind & Fire, Jennifer Lopez, Madonna, Beyoncé, Anita Baker, Natalie Cole, Chris Brown, Babyface, Burt Bacharach, Mary J. Blige, San Diego Pops Symphony, Nashville Pops Symphony, Jacksonville Pops Symphony, Stevie Wonder, Kelly Clarkson, Gladys Knight, Faith Evans, Erykah Badu, Dionne Warwick, The Temptations, and many others

Asked what quality he brings to the job that attracts so many A-list clients, Rick Camp notes with a laugh, “It’s being able to come up with a good mix fast.”

But he quickly follows that every situation presents unique challenges with examples: “With Jennifer (Lopez), it was a 50-foot thrust going out into the middle of the audience that the PA was just blazing on. She sang some songs on a headset microphone and it was a bit of a challenge to get that mic over the band and keep the band pumping. With Earth Wind & Fire, they were used to hearing their vocals hitting the back of the arena. If they couldn’t actually hear their vocals bounce back to the stage, they felt like they weren’t loud enough.”

And with Burt Bacharach, Camp continues, the quest was ensuring a mix meeting the venerable artist’s stringent standards. “He has very sensitive hearing and could tell,  from the stage, when one violin was out of tune or one section was too loud in the mix and he’d be like, ‘Rick, the viola’s too loud’.”

Changing Times
Born and raised in Cincinnati, Camp excelled as a trumpet player in high school and then moved on to the Berklee College of Music in Boston. That was in 1980, a time when pop musical styles were transitioning to more of a reliance on synthesizers and bands were getting smaller. Both meant that the artists he grew up listening to – Earth Wind & Fire, Chicago, and Tower of Power – were becoming less influential.

“I saw what was going on and it was like, ‘You know what, horn players are going to be out of work here, real fast.’ If I wanted to be in the music business, I knew I needed to do something else. I always did sound for the bands I played with, and it just came naturally to me.”

Ultimately the move from the stage to the console provided him with more opportunities to be creative than he would have had as a horn player. “But I never went to school for audio,” he adds. “I taught myself by working with local bands and sound companies and reading. I also read a lot of books and called up manufacturers like SSL, Neve, and Midas to get the manuals for their consoles.”

Camp began his touring sound career in 1987 while working for Cincinnati’s Festival Audio on the national Miller Sound Express Tour. Mixing a local band that opened for popular West Coast based R&B artists The Whispers led to meeting the production manager and FOH engineer, Michael Carter, an association that would prove to help take his career to the next level.

Camp in the studio with Walter Orange of the Commodores. (click to enlarge)

The two stayed in touch following the tour, and the following year when Carter needed a last-minute replacement to mix The Whispers at a gig in Delaware, he reached out to Camp. He went on to mix the group for the next 12 years, and by 1988 relocated to Los Angeles.

“That’s where they were based and there were more opportunities in LA,” he explains. “I couldn’t have done what I’m doing if I’d have stayed in Cincinnati. I never would have met the people I’ve met.”

Once there, one gig led to the next, keeping him busy, and he eventually signed on with Earth Wind & Fire during the band’s resurgence in the mid-90s. He’d been working as both a house and monitor mixer, but the work with EWF put him at FOH almost exclusively, with the exception of occasional monitor roles with the likes of Whitney Houston and Stevie Wonder.

By the late 90s, he was manning the desk for some of the top touring artists in the world, including Madonna and Destiny’s Child, as well as that latter’s lead performer Beyoncé when she went solo. And Camp continues his association with Carter to this day. crediting him with helping foster mix gigs with Chris Brown, Mary J. Blige and a variety of other high-profile performers.

New Directions
Studio work has always been part of the equation as well. Early on, he recorded local bands in Ohio and then took an engineering gig at Troutman Sound Labs in Dayton. “I learned a lot of my studio chops from Roger Troutman,” he says. “That was a major milestone in my career.”

Over the past 12 years, Camp has also operated his own studio, a facility he originally worked at as an engineer for two years before taking it over from previous owner Walter Orange of the Commodores. “I actually ended up buying his house and his studio in Los Angeles,” he says, adding that he moved the studio to Summerlin, a suburb of Vegas, when he relocated to Nevada 10 years ago.

It’s enough to keep anyone busy, but in June of last year, Camp increased his workload substantially by opening Master Mix Live, a dedicated school that offers an hands-on, 20-week program aimed at preparing students for a career in professional audio. Students learn basic electrical principles, rigging practices, and mix techniques. They work with live bands as well as multi-track recordings of shows Camp has mixed, and intern at local casino showrooms and sound companies.

“We start from the beginning and build. I talk about etiquette, because before you get to mix a Beyoncé, you’ve got to know how to deal with the politics of mixing a Beyoncé, so I talk about the business, how it operates, the do’s and the don’ts,” he notes, adding that the program is wholly dedicated to audio.

“A lot of kids go to schools where they’re in a class with 30 people and never touch a console,” he adds. “They take video, lighting and everything else under the sun, but just a bit of audio. I only have eight students at a time because I want to make sure that they really know what they’re doing and can get a job.”

Establishing Master Mix Live is an expression of Camp’s long-standing commitment to sharing his knowledge of the art and science of sound with others. “I’ve always taught people as I go. and never have a problem showing them what I know or how to do something.” The idea for a formal program eventually came to him: “It’s been a work in progress for probably about 10 years, but in the last three years I got serious about putting it together.”

Camp is currently finishing up mixes for an upcoming Jennifer Lopez DVD, recorded in 2012 in Lisbon, Portugal, and is also working on a project that requires his skills as a live and studio engineer: a reworking of the Bally’s Casino production of “Jubilee,” a classic Vegas revue that’s been running for 32 years.

Camp working with his son Noel Edwards. (click to enlarge)

“The last time they did something to freshen up the show was about 20 years ago,” he notes. “I’m restoring and remixing it in 5.1 surround, and adding music for the new production that opens in March.” The final stage in revitalizing these tracks, which were originally recorded with a 60-piece orchestra, is a final mix in the theatre itself to optimize the sound for the venue.

Family Matters
Both of the recent projects have Camp working again with musical director Kimberly Burse, who also brought him onboard with Beyoncé. And to handle monitor mixing for a portion of the superstar performer’s recent tours, she chose a talented audio professional in his own right, Noel Edwards, who is Camp’s 31-year-old son. 

In high school, Noel was an aspiring basketball player who unfortunately severely injured a knee on the football field. “The next thing I knew, he was asking me questions about audio,” Camp relates. “By his senior year, he was mixing at clubs, and I actually sent him out on a one-off gig with Lil’ Kim when he was still in high school. And he’s done a lot on his own, working with Rat Sound, Delicate Productions, and a mega church in LA.”

It was family that prompted Camp’s move to Nevada in the first place, the desire to settle down with his Las Vegas-based wife, Jorina, whom he met while touring with Beyoncé. “She’s an actress and model, and was actually Beyonce’s stand-in for camera blocking at an awards show.” They’ve been together 10 years, and in addition to Noel, he also has three adult daughters by way of an earlier marriage.

Camp says he’s trying to slow down a bit and spend more time at home, but even so, keeps up a pace that might wear out far younger folks. “I don’t know,” he concludes, laughing.

“I’ve just had that work ethic since I was a kid. I just go at it and get it done. I guess it’s from my grandfather, who owned his own refrigeration business. I grew up watching him do his own thing every day, getting up and going to work. I guess that’s where the entrepreneurial spirit comes from.”

Based in Toronto, Kevin Young is a freelance music and tech writer, professional musician and composer.

Posted by Keith Clark on 03/03 at 01:05 PM
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Saturday, March 01, 2014

Adamson Debuts Redesigned Blueprint AV 3D Modeling Suite

Adamson Systems Blueprint AV (Audio Venue) is a 3D modeling suite that offers a highly precise, fast and intuitive workspace.

Adamson Systems has announced the release of the newly redesigned Blueprint AV™ for Energia partners. 

Blueprint AV (Audio Venue) is a 3D modeling suite that offers a highly precise, fast and intuitive workspace.

Using basic geometric shapes, Blueprint AV users are capable of designing any space; from a basic field, to a complex building. When arena or stadium design is required, a multi-point extrude surface allows multiple inclines and elevated surfaces with a few keystrokes. In addition, the revolve surface is available for tricky rounded areas and can be easily linked to the extrude surface.

Once the space is designed, end users merely choose any of Adamson’s products and deploy them in their virtual space. Complex simulations are also intuitive and have many options available with a mouse click. 

When time is of the essence, the auto-shoot function is available to quickly give the user an idea of the splay settings to use. The Mechanical page tells the rigging team all they need to know to hang the system.

For applications that require a detailed proposal, the high resolution 3D simulations provide SPL, time, directivity and even the placement of virtual microphones. Even basic geometric shapes have the option of arced edges, so getting stuck with blocky surface points is no longer an issue.

Once the room design is complete, it may be exported to a .DXF file for easy distribution to colleagues.

Bluprint AV is available for Adamson Systems Energia partners as a native, Java-run program for both PC and Mac Platforms.

Adamson Systems

Posted by Julie Clark on 03/01 at 08:29 AM
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Friday, February 28, 2014

DiGiCo’s SD5 Wins At Super Bowl XLVIII

Twin FOH and monitor consoles deployed for Halftime Entertainment Extravaganza featuring Bruno Mars and Red Hot Chili Peppers

For the 82,529 fans that braved forecasts of cold, snowy weather predicted for Super Bowl XLVIII on February 2, Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers delivered an enthusiastic show that was long on great musicianship and killer showmanship. A pair of DiGiCo SD5 digital audio consoles used for both front-of-house and monitor mixes made sure the show also sounded great.

The SD5 used for the FOH mix was positioned at the NFC end zone end of the Met Life Stadium, the site of the 2014 Super Bowl between the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks.

The monitor SD5 console, meanwhile, was located in field-level suites underneath the stage, which was built into one side of the stadium. Between them, the DiGiCo SD5s filled the stadium with crystal-clear live sound pumped through 66 JBL VT4889 speakers and 32 VT4880A subwoofers.

The two DiGiCo desks are part of a recent acquisition of six DiGiCo digital consoles—two SD5s, two SD7s, two SD10s and 14 full-sized SD I/O Racks, capable of delivering up to 192-kHz high-resolution analogue I/O converters and multiple digital formats, including MADI, AES and ADAT—by ATK Audiotek, which provided the live sound for the Super Bowl halftime show, as it has for the past 16 years.

No stranger to live broadcast audio, the award-winning DiGiCo SD console platform has also been the choice for FOH and monitor mixing for many other high-profile televised awards programs, including the GRAMMY Awards and Billboard Music Awards.

“The DiGiCo consoles performed fantastically,” comments Patrick Baltzell, sound designer and FOH mixer for this year’s Super Bowl halftime show and for 16 of the iconic events that preceded it.

He mixed the live show for the stadium audience with the SD5 FOH console connected to a Mini-SD Rack, which held all of the I/Os for the live and recorded elements of the show, as well as for several key pieces of outboard processing, including four Empirical Labs Distressors used on vocals, an Izotope ANR-B adaptive real-time noise reduction hardware unit, a Dolby CAT-430 dialog processor, and a Lexicon PCM 96 digital reverb.

The rest of the processing used for the live sound for the entire show was from the SD5 console alone, including all of the EQ, compression and gating for all of the performers and instruments.

“Anything that was outboard was something very specific for the show, like the Distressors, which Bruno likes because they give vocals a real vintage R&B edge,” Baltzell explains. “But everything else was just the SD5, which made managing the mix much easier.”

Baltzell was particularly enthusiastic about the Dynamic EQ on the SD5 that he says was especially effective on the large choirs backing Queen Latifah and Rene Fleming during the pre-show music segments. “The EQ on the SD consoles has exceptional transparency in the upper frequencies,” he says. “We could do things with the sound that you cannot do with any other console.”

This was only the DiGiCo SD5’s second Super Bowl, so it was naturally going to be under some scrutiny.

“This would be a similar venue for all of the other Super Bowl halftime shows I’ve worked on, and the music would be played through the same PA system we’ve used for over a decade—this would be the ultimate A/B comparison for a mix console,” Baltzell observes. “And the sound was just great. The SD5 really came through sonically.”

It also came through on another level. For 11 days preceding the Super Bowl, rehearsals had to endure temperatures that went into single digits at night and wind chills that reached into negative territory. When it wasn’t freezing, it was raining or snowing. It was, in short, a horrific environment for audio equipment. But the SD5 consoles weathered the adverse climate, in part, because once they were turned on, they stayed on—for a dozen days straight.

“We left the DiGiCo boards ‘simmering’,” Baltzell jokes. “In weather like that, condensation can build up inside the console, then freeze, and then turn back into liquid as soon as the temperature goes back above 32 degrees. When you’re constantly going above and below the dew point outdoors, leaving the electronics on all the time is the way to deal with it, and the SD5s were totally reliable, even under those difficult circumstances.”


Posted by Julie Clark on 02/28 at 11:53 AM
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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Once Upon A Time… The Evolution Of Digital Consoles

An engineer's walk through the development of a game-changing sound reinforcement technology

I remember the first time I used a digital console for a live show, at a corporate event that was taking place on an airfield in the California desert.

I was mixing in a tent with the “talking heads” on lavalier micro­phones, standing in front of a para­bolic set, and rented air conditioning units giving off about 90 dB of noise.

Outside, professional drivers were racing the cars of the company put­ting on the show.

A tight corner on the track sat right outside my tent, and the screech of tires at the mix position was deafening.

The console was a Yamaha O1V. I’d never used it before and had about 15 minutes to learn before rehearsals. Somehow, I managed to get through the show.

After that experience, I quite liked the idea of a digital console.

The abil­ity to set up cues had made mixing the show very easy, and even if the console didn’t sound exactly as I was used to, it was very convenient. The onboard dynamics were a bonus.

So I ordered a digital console for my next corporate show; unfortunately, it had some “problems” during rehearsals so I went back to analog. A couple of years passed before I would turn to a digital console again.

Yamaha 01V

From those early days, the next time I got behind a digital board was with the U.S. introduction of the first Innovason model. The “French Console” – as we called it back then – was pretty remarkable.

It marked the first time I’d seen a large-format digital console built for the live market: 48 inputs (great!); 23 outputs (what am I going to do with all of those?); gates and compressors on every input (this could lead to trouble); compact stage box connect­ing to your local rack via two coax cables. (“Who are these people at Innovason and why haven’t we heard of them before?”)

InnovaSon Sensory, a.k.a., The “French Console”

I started working with an Innovason Sensory and was very impressed. Once you figured out the quirks, it was very easy to get around and store cues on. Others seemed impressed too, with Sensory desks showing up on a few tours.

Around that time, Soundcraft came out with the Broadway, a digital con­trol surface that would control analog input and output racks. Celine Dion toured with one, but then we didn’t hear much more about the Broadway.

Soundcraft Broadway

I think it was an LDI show, can’t remember where or when, and for some odd reason I strayed onto the Vari-Lite booth to look at some nod­ding buckets. Over in a corner was Howard Page of Showco sitting in front of a sleek looking thing with faders on it.

Fletch: “Hi Howard, why are you sit­ting in a lighting booth?”

Howard: “I’m showing our new mix­ing console, the signal stays in the analog domain and is controlled digi­tally from this surface.”

Fletch: “What the (expletive deleted)?!?”

Howard: “Would you like a run-through?”

I was thoroughly impressed by the ergonomics and audio quality of what Howard was calling the Show Console – it was well thought out and easy to use.

Fletch: “How much?”

Howard: “We’re not selling them. You have to rent them from Showco.”

Fletch: “I see.”

A bit later, Harrison, which manufac­tured the Show Console for Showco, would offer a version for sale at about $500,000 – a bit much to pay for a thing that’s going to bounce around in a truck most of the time.

But the Show Console became very popular with Showco, and after the merger, with Clair Brothers. Still, the exe­cution racks wouldn’t travel too well, and cards had to be re-seated when the console got to a show. Also, the rotary encoders on the surface would sometimes catch fire, although they would still work afterward.

Various people I knew in the industry were claiming to have been flown to Japan, taken into a small room and made to play around on some kind of prototype digital mixer.

Having done this, they were required to come up with suggestions for improvements, promise to speak with no one regarding this matter and were put on a plane home.

Yamaha was working on something big and digital, and they took their time with it. When they finally finished, we had the PM1D. I was lucky enough to be at the first training seminar given on the “1D,” which was attended by all of the Yamaha dealers who were going to distribute the product.

We were shown a product that had been well laid out, with an easily understandable work surface, configurable input and output hardware, 96 inputs and 48 outputs (need more now please), great internal dynamics and effects, all at a price range that was affordable.

The digital console had come of age, and would be the only piece of equipment I would need at front of house apart from a CD player (and still is, to this day).

We used the PM1D at the Grammy Awards show the following year. Instead of having to constantly reset consoles by hand, as in the past, I could now hit recall and announce to the rest of the audio crew who hadn’t even began to strike the last band that I was ready to line check the next one.

Yamaha PM1D

If I still smoked, I would have had time for a cigarette outside the venue and still be back in plenty of time for the next line check. Life was good.

Unfortunately I no longer smoke, so I ended up having to listen to award acceptance speeches, which are mind numbingly boring at best.

So here we are, in the present day, the PM1D has been “retired” by Yamaha after a trailblazing decade in our industry, and there are many great large- and small-format from a slew of manufacturers. The digital console train has taken me for a heck of a ride to this point.

And it’s fascinating to think of where it will end up.

Based in Los Angeles, Fletch is noted as a top mixer for high-profile shows and corporate events.

Posted by Keith Clark on 02/27 at 05:12 PM
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Delhi’s Gymkhana Club Uses Allen & Heath GLD-80

Allen & Heath GLD-80 digital console utilized for prestigious Jashan-e Diwali event.

Delhi’s famous Stellar Gymkhana Club used an Allen & Heath GLD-80 digital mixer for its prestigious Jashan-e Diwali event.

The exclusive members-only club hosted a glittering banquet, and the mixer, supplied by local rental company Thukral Productions, managed entertainment provided by several renowned folk musicians.

“The GLD-80 is a great audio experience at a simple price,” explains product specialist, Shailesh Awasthi, from A&H distributor, SunInfonet. “The labelling is clear, the fader banks make sense, the control strip across the top is laid out well, and the surface is uncluttered. And the presence of a Select button that opens its accompanied window in the Touchscreen makes it very easy to handle.

“The design team even placed the Copy/Paste function buttons right at the front of the mixer, so there’s no need to scroll through windows, you can just do it on the fly,” he continues. “The ‘digital snake’ part of the system, achieved with either of the two Audio Rack stage boxes, handles the conversion from analogue stage sources to digital mix inputs and digital returns to analogue line outputs, and provide all the necessary connectivity in a single rackmount unit.”

Stellar Gymkhana is a multi-function venue containing several conference and banquet halls, sports facilities, restaurants, a spa, library, as well as accommodations.

“We were impressed with the turn up of so many beautiful people for the event. No doubt, the evening was enlightened with the awesome sound system by Allen Heath,” commented one of Stellar Gymkhana’s owners.

Allen & Heath

Posted by Julie Clark on 02/27 at 03:09 PM
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Thunder Audio Storms Into 2014 With L-Acoustics K2

Prominent Midwest-based SR provider takes delivery of its first L-Acoustics system

Fresh back from the 25th annual Pollstar Awards in Nashville, where they were nominated for “Sound Company of the Year,” Thunder Audio President Tony Villarreal and Vice President Paul Owen proudly announce that they have now officially taken delivery of their company’s first L-Acoustics system, the new K2.

Comprised of 36 K2 and six KARA variable curvature WST line source elements, eight K1-SB and 18 SB28 subs, six ARCS II constant curvature enclosures and 10 LA-RAK touring racks – each housing three LA8 amplified controllers – the sound reinforcement provider’s recent purchase marks one of the very first K2 systems sold in the U.S.

Thunder Audio’s company principals made the decision to join the L-Acoustics family after critically listening to K2 late last year at the manufacturer’s corporate headquarters in Marcoussis, France. Fully aware of the impact that L-Acoustics’ larger K1 system has had on the festival and touring industries, both Villarreal and Owen are equally optimistic about K2’s potential.

“In the past, we’ve always purchased large-scale systems based on the requirements dictated by a specific tour or application,” notes Owen. “This is the first time, however, that we’ve taken delivery of a product purely from the standpoint of feeling in our gut that it will be a success.

“Given the overwhelming reputation of K1 – as well as the more than 20-year legacy of K2’s predecessor, V-DOSC – we knew that getting in on the ground floor of this new system with such a stellar pedigree was absolutely the right choice for us and our client base.”

“With its compact profile, surprisingly light weight and exceptional horsepower, K2 is perfect for so many of our customers – from corporate to touring to theatrical,” agrees Villarreal. “And, of course, the sound is absolutely phenomenal. We A/B-ed it with the other four systems in our inventory and felt that it shined above and beyond anything else.

“We really have a sense that this is very quickly going to become the number one requested box on the market, and we’re so confident in that fact that we’ve already put in a purchase order for an additional 48 K2 for early next year, which is about the soonest we can get more seeing how popular they are right now!”

According to the two company principals, Thunder Audio is ultimately hoping to set its sights on K1 ownership as well.

“In addition to being terrific as a standalone system, K2 is also a great stepping stone for us potentially getting into K1,” Owen describes. “It would make a lot of sense for us to be able to repurpose our K2 arrays as side hangs on a stadium-sized rig, which is one of the big reasons that we began looking into it in the first place.

“We’ve had some prior clients that have requested L-Acoustics in the past, and with K2 – and eventually K1, perhaps – we’ll be in a position to give them both the service that has been our hallmark and the systems that they’re looking for.”

Villarreal sums things up by adding, “We feel that we’ve definitely made a wise investment here. The demand for the product is strong and the support we’ve received from L-Acoustics has been fantastic. It’s truly a winning combination.”

Thunder Audio

Posted by Julie Clark on 02/27 at 02:32 PM
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Club 8 Pulsates To The Sound Of D.A.S. Audio

Club 8 features multiple D.A.S. Audio sound systems.

The recently opened Club 8 is one of the largest and most lavish clubs in Dallas. Opened in November 2013 and billed as ‘The Ultimate Dallas Nightclub Venue”, Club 8 consists of 10,000 square feet, has 39 VIP tables, is connected to a 7000 square foot pool area that has 10 VIP cabanas with 6 circular lounge beds, as well as ballrooms that can be used for private events.

This property operates on a high level, so outfitting the venue with an equally impressive sound system was no small undertaking. That’s why Club 8 management ultimately selected a sizeable sound reinforcement system utilizing D.A.S. Audio loudspeakers.

Kevin Deal, an account manager with the Dallas office of GC Pro, was contracted to design and install Club 8’s sound reinforcement system.

Working in conjunction with Plano, TX-based DJSL, who served as the installation contractor, Deal’s goal was to deploy a ‘festival style’ sound system that was ultimately centered around a collection of D.A.S. Aero 12A powered line array elements and LX218-CA powered arrayable subwoofers.

“Club 8 has a wide range of musical entertainment,” Deal explains. “They primarily feature DJ acts that play electronic dance music, but they also have shows that include both regional and national acts. For this reason, it was imperative that we assemble a sound system capable of supporting high end musical performances.

“After several walkthroughs and revisions, we sent our design to Carlos Henao, D.A.S. Audio’s U.S. accounts manager, who fine-tuned the system. We ultimately arrived at a 4-point line array system with subwoofers on the ground to accommodate the main acts. With the assistance of EASE Focus modeling software, we were able to accurately check our design before hanging our first box.”

The main room at Club 8 is structured with a ceiling area that is 20 feet tall. The room is about 100 feet long and 65 feet wide. There are several tables and VIP booths in this space and the area’s capacity is 2300 people. To provide coverage for this area, a combination of twelve D.A.S. Aero 12A powered line array elements were flown—with two clusters (left and right), each with six enclosures.

Low frequency support is provided by eight LX-218CA subwoofers, positioned on the floor four enclosures per side. To service the back area of the club, there is a delay system comprised of two clusters, each with three D.A.S. Audio Convert 12A powered, 2-way line array elements.

For monitoring purposes, Club 8 has four D.A.S. Audio Avant 15A compact full range point source loudspeaker enclosures. These are dedicated to the main system. Additionally, there are another four D.A.S. Action 12A powered, 2-way enclosures that are intended to provide the flexibility to enable the house to make sound system adjustments as events mandate. These loudspeakers can be used with the main system when necessary, at the pool area, or with a portable system consisting of ground stacked Convert 12As and LX-218CAs.

Outside, there is a second zone that extends the main sound system to an outdoor pavilion with a pool area. Consisting of four D.A.S. Convert 18A powered subwoofers and six Convert 12 powered line array enclosures, this equipment creates a two point line array setup with flown subwoofers directly above the pool. This area can serve as a second stage when two acts are performing simultaneously.

“D.A.S. is among the best in the industry when it comes to technical and customer support,” Deal says. “Their involvement with the system’s design was very ‘hands on’, which shows that they were really invested in all aspects of the project. The equipment is performing beautifully.

“The clean sound of the mains and the punch of the subs were the characteristics our client loved the most. Many national and local acts have already performed on this system and we’ve receive 100% positive feedback. Our client has already informed us that they plan on opening additional properties in the near future and will be using D.A.S. in those locations as well.”

Ross Endinboro, the General Manager for the Night Hotel, where Club 8 resides, is equally enthusiastic. “This is, by far, the best sound in any Dallas club.”

D.A.S. Audio

Posted by Julie Clark on 02/27 at 02:26 PM
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