Monday, September 23, 2013

JBL VTX Network Continues To Build Momentum In France

JBL VTX continues to build support in France.

The arrival of system and sound engineer Laurent Delenclos at French Harman Professional distributor SCV Audio not only boosted the company’s technical support, but provided added reassurance to the growing network of JBL VTX users.

Although Delenclos is supporting all the represented Harman Professional brands, his primary focus has been on spreading the word about VTX via demos and at the SCV Audio facility outside Paris.

Following the VTX system’s French debut in September 2012 at the summer festival, Foire en Scène in Chalons en Champagne, three companies—Pan Pot, Echo Animation and Audio Scène—have made substantial investments in the platform, and Delenclos believes this is just the beginning.

“All three companies that have bought into VTX technology are delighted with their purchases and the benefits that this system brings,” Delenclos confirmed.

As an existing JBL VERTEC user, Audio Scène (based in north-central France) was the first to commit, consolidating its rental fleet with 12 VTX V25, six G28 subs and four Crown VRack 2 complete touring amplifier racks.

Also based in the north, Echo Animation boosted its inventory with 12 V25, six S28 and four VRack 2 systems, while across in the French Alps, Pan Pot purchased 18 VTX V25, twelve G28 subs and six VRack 4 in a complete overhaul of its existing rental fleet.

Since all companies specialize in the event and concert market, this provides JBL with a growing network of partners.

“Without this new generation of speakers, the breakthrough would have been much more difficult to achieve,” Delenclos said. “I joined SCV with the idea of overturning old preconceptions about JBL. In France, the mere fact of having a good PA system is not enough—users also want to work with competent partners, with complete support of the distributor—and I remain available for that.

“The system is very easy to troubleshoot.”

Technical training is of paramount importance, he insists. “It is the first implementation of the system, and I support this personally—carrying out duties such as hosting seminars and demos, as well as checking JBL Line Array Calculator (LAC) simulations for installations and supporting dialogue between the users — in other words acting as a link between them and JBL.”

Delenclos says the addition of Crown VRacks has also been particularly welcome.

“This standardization of amplification and DSP is a real plus for the VTX system,” he said. “The Crown I-Tech HD amps are powerful and reliable and they are fitted with an exemplary DSP resource. In addition, JBL HiQnet Performance Manager software is an extremely flexible tool that facilitates the implementation of VTX and VRack systems.”

A number of high profile one-off events have already benefited from the power of VTX. These include Les Nuits de Frejus, Festival d’Hyères, Les Arènes de Frejus, Festival Amnésique and Jazzaramatuelle (all with Pan Pot), Jazz in Marciac (Antoine Crespin /SCV Audio) and of course Foire en Scène 2012 et 2013 (SCV Audio).

Delenclos says is more than happy with the penetration of the French rental market to date, but added, “We will not be resting on our laurels and I will be continuing to work hard to promote VTX.”


Posted by Julie Clark on 09/23 at 08:53 AM
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Friday, September 20, 2013

Meyer Sound LEO Powers Metallica’s First Shows In China

The core flown LEO system comprised main front hangs of 18-each LEO-M line array loudspeakers, 32 1100-LFC low-frequency control elements deployed in dual steerable arrays, and a Galileo Callisto loudspeaker management system featuring four Galileo Callisto 616 array processors and one Galileo 616 AES processor.

For the band’s first-ever performances in China, heavy metal legends Metallica delivered two packed shows at Shanghai’s Mercedes-Benz Arena.

A Meyer Sound Sound LEO linear large-scale sound reinforcement system was deployed by Ling Hua ProSLV.

“I was immediately struck by the linearity of the LEO system, even when it was pushed to very high levels,” says Freddy Kot, chief engineer for Ling Hua ProSLV. “Even with sustained readings of over 112 dB at FOH, there was no distortion. And of course, the audience was just ecstatic with what they heard.”

The system configuration for the show was handled by “Big Mick” Hughes, Metallica’s long-time FOH engineer, with assistance from consultant “dB Dave” Dennison. The core flown LEO system comprised main front hangs of 18-each LEO-M line array loudspeakers, 32 1100-LFC low-frequency control elements deployed in dual steerable arrays, and a Galileo Callisto loudspeaker management system featuring four Galileo Callisto 616 array processors and one Galileo 616 AES processor.

“The mix position was placed quite a long way from the stage so as to avoid taking up good audience seats,” says Hughes. “This wasn’t really problematic as the main LEO system easily threw that far. The crowd was great and sang along to a lot of the songs, despite the language barrier.”

Rounding out FOH reinforcement were dual side hangs of 14-each MILO line array loudspeakers, six MICA line array loudspeakers for down fill, six MILO loudspeakers for front and lower corner fill, and 18 floor-stacked 700-HP subwoofers.

On stage, 20 Meyer Sound monitors were placed around the band’s two-level platform, with twin hangs of five-each MICA loudspeakers for side fill.

Hughes mixed behind a Midas XL8 console, while monitor engineer Bob Cowan and monitor assist Adam Correia manned Midas PRO9 and PRO2 boards. On stage, Metallica’s vocals were captured by Shure Super 55 Deluxe Vocal Microphones.

Meyer Sound

Posted by Julie Clark on 09/20 at 02:25 PM
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DELEC Presents New oratis compact Intercom

DELEC, intercom and commentary systems experts within the SALZBRENNER STAGETEC MEDIAGROUP, has introduced the oratis compact intercom unit.

DELEC, intercom and commentary systems experts within the SALZBRENNER STAGETEC MEDIAGROUP, has introduced the oratis compact intercom unit.

The DELEC oratis compact series currently includes two different sized matrix frames.

The smaller MF1212 provides connectivity for 12 subscriber units plus 12 additional four-wire connections. The larger MF1624 version provides an audio matrix with ports for 16 subscriber units and 24 four-wire connections.

“These two variants cover a large number of small-scale intercom applications. The units are suitable not only for compact TV-production installations but theatre staff will surely welcome this user-friendly and well-priced solution,” says DELEC sales engineer Jürgen Malleck

“However, our new range should not be regarded just as a stand-alone system. It can also be combined with our modular oratis series and used, for example, as an extension unit to a large oratis system.”

As is usual with DELEC systems, the oratis compact acts as a fully summing audio matrix to which the various oratis series subscriber units can be connected.

For this purpose, it is equipped with 12 (MF1212) or 16 (MF1624) AES/EBU ports which are connected via RJ-45 connectors and CAT5 cabling to the subscriber units or they can be used as digital four-wire connections.

12 or 24 additional analogue ports are used to set up analogue four-wire links. When connected in this way, the oratis compact is a fully-fledged stand-alone system.

Using a DELEC connection to Gigabit Ethernet, they can also be networked with other DELEC components, which enables them to be used as an extension to a large oratis installation.

The oratis compact can also be equipped with an optional Audinate Brooklyn module which provides additional connectivity options using Dante. This opens up a huge range of possibilities for other applications, such as IP-based integration into large audio networks.

The oratis compact has a minimal footprint with maximum packing density. The processor, the DSP module and the optional Dante module are hosted in a 1U 19” rack enclosure. Thanks to its compactness, the oratis compact is the ideal broadcast companion.

oratis compact configuration is undertaken using the control software which can be installed on any standard PC. The computer is used here solely for setting up the system and is not required during normal operation. The oratis compact is connected via an Ethernet link. The system also includes a built-in redundant power supply integrated into the unit.

“Versatility is a clear advantage of our new oratis compact,” Malleck concludes. “It serves both as an introductory product for straightforward installations and as a remote interface node within a campus-wide system – including the option of IP networking.”


Posted by Julie Clark on 09/20 at 11:48 AM

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Enrique Iglesias FOH Engineer Tim Holder Does It All With Metric Halo

In recent years, Holder's Metric Halo ULN-8 interface, together with Metric Halo’s SpectraFoo, ChannelStrip, Character, and HaloVerb software, have raised the bar, giving Iglesias a huge, warm, well-defined sound.

Tim Holder, FOH engineer, has defined the live sound of Enrique Iglesias for over thirteen years.

In addition to his regular stints with Iglesias, which take him around the world, Holder is a Clair Brothers employee of fourteen years and is currently doing “weekend warrior” work with Blake Shelton as a system engineer.

Part of what defines his approach to live sound is an endless effort to improve sound quality.

In recent years, Holder’s Metric Halo ULN-8 interface, together with Metric Halo’s SpectraFoo, ChannelStrip, Character, and HaloVerb software, have raised the bar, giving Iglesias a huge, warm, well-defined sound.

“In addition to forming the heart of my home studio, I use my ULN-8 in a unique way,” he explained. “The live digital console that we use has a lot of great things going for it but I’m not totally happy the way the stereo bus sums nor the overall quality of the converters.

“To work around these issues I send stems to my ULN-8 via AES and sum them in Metric Halo’s MIO Console. That gives me the ULN-8’s superior summing and bypasses the converters in the console’s FOH rack.”

He uses the ULN-8 as the clock source, which gives him the ability to drive the sound system via analog or AES.

A huge part of what Holder loves about his job is that he gets to fully engage his creative side. He enjoys the new challenges that arise on a daily basis and finding creative solutions to them.

Nevertheless, he acknowledges – even embraces – the fact that his creative work is underpinned by a solid science.

“We often use local PA systems, so tuning the system is a big part of my job,” he said. “I walk into a new challenge every day.”

For over a decade, SpectraFoo has been Holder’s sound analysis software of choice, in part because its interface is so intuitive and useful and in part because it integrates beautifully with his Mac and the ULN-8.

Holder time aligns a PA system using SpectraFoo in combination with Metric Halo plug-ins to delay, equalize, and filter as appropriate via MIO Console.

“The flexibility of MIO Console is unparalleled and its dependability is rock solid. I should also mention that I use it for multi-track recording. I can record the same stems that I’m driving the PA with and mix them down later.

“Alternatively – or in conjunction – I can create a custom record mix within MIO Console. I’m limited only by my imagination.”

Holder’s go-to Metric Halo plug-ins include ChannelStrip, HaloVerb, and Character. Although he does some general coarse-level filtering and EQ’ing on Iglesias’ vocals using the board, most of the substantial processing takes place using ChannelStrip on a stem that he sends to the ULN-8.

He uses its comprehensive equalization and compression to dial in a perfect representation of Iglesias’ voice and then sends that signal back to the console with no conversion necessary and no perceptible latency. He also uses HaloVerb on vocals and the snare drum.

“I love how easy HaloVerb is,” he said. “No matter what I do, I find something I like.”

In addition, he uses the “Soft-Sat” emulation in the Character plug-in on the whole mix.

“The way that algorithm translates to a big PA is unbelievable. All I do is push one button and any edginess or harshness goes away, replaced by a huge, warm sound. It’s an amazing plug-in.”

“By using the ULN-8 in combination with the Metric Halo software, my mixes have been transformed from cold and compressed to astonishingly warm, deep, and clear. I first tried this method on a short six-show run in India.

“The venues were all outdoors with minimal acoustic issues, and we used local PA. They were the best sounding shows of my career. The local sound guys appropriately named my ULN-8 the ‘magic box.’

“I have not mixed a show without it since,” he concluded. “The difference is that big.”

Metric Halo Labs

Posted by Julie Clark on 09/19 at 03:47 PM
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Alcons LR24 Is The Beef At Hamburg’s ELBJAZZ festival

Hamburger ELBJAZZ festival 2013 saw the deployment of Alcons Audio’s LR24 pro-ribbon line-array.

With more than 15,000 visitors and a total of 60 concerts, this year’s Hamburgs ELBJAZZ festival was a tremendous success. The festival takes place in several locations of the Port of Hamburg and HafenCity in Germany.

The general sound and light contractor for the event was ProfiMusik from Lüneburg, Germany.

The main stage, positioned inside the shipyard of Blohm+Voss, utilized Alcons Audio LR24 pro-ribbon line arrays.

The mid-sized 3-way pro-ribbon line-array, consisting of 8x LR24 cabinets per side, was complemented by 4x VR8 ultra-compact pro-ribbon monitor as near fills and 12x BQ211 carbon 21-inch quarter-wave subwoofer in cardioid arrangement, as sub extension.

The system was powered and controlled by 4pcs. Alcons Sentinel10 (4ch. DSP) amplified loudspeaker controller per LR24 array. Further Sentinel10s were used for controlling the subwoofer systems.

Tobias Lange (managing partner ProfiMusik), technical production manager for ELBJAZZ and one of the first testers of the new Sentinel10 amplified loudspeaker controllers: “The Sentinel amplifiers are in terms of weight, power and sound experience ahead of time.”

“All Alcons systems are characterized by an incredibly clear and lifelike resolution at mid and high frequencies,” explains Jonas Hellberg, managing partner ProfiMusik. “They offer an unparalleled homogeneity of the sound stage, both at low as well as high sound pressure levels.”

The LR24 easily covered the audience of 8,000 that came to hear the Main Stage entertainment. 

“The LR24 system allows a sonic experience that has undoubtedly contributed to the exclusivity of this festival,” adds Tina Heine, organizer of the festival. “Our collaboration with ProfiMusik and Alcons Audio was visionary, as the partners thought, planned and implemented within the meaning of the festival. For this we are very grateful.”

In addition to the LR24 on the Main Stage, further Alcons systems were used in the Fischauktionshalle (Fish auction hall); Initially for Jazz Echo and subsequently for the Elbjazz festival, 16x Alcons LR7 micro pro-ribbon line-arrays and 18x LR14 ultra-compact line arrays were deployed, with another 4x Alcons VR8 as near-fills.

With these systems, the Fischauktionshalle was sonically reinforced to the highest standard, despite the acoustic difficulties resulting from the hall’s architecture.

“The high precision of LR systems in terms of directionality and sound stage clearly enabled us to execute this task much easier,” says Jonas Hellberg.

Alcons Audio

Posted by Julie Clark on 09/19 at 03:39 PM
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Mumford & Sons Brings Babel To North America On L-Acoustics

Solotech deploys K1 System for summer and fall tour legs, while LD Systems does likewise for "Gentlemen of the Road" festival dates

Following the 2010 release of Sigh No More and relentless international touring, Mumford & Sons’ rise to fame has been nothing short of meteoric.

Currently supporting its newest album, Babel, the band has once again been back on the road with “The Full English” tour, which marks its second sweep across North America this year.

Montreal, Canada-based Solotech has been providing L-Acoustics concert sound systems and support for “The Full English” as well as the band’s May/June “Summer Stampede” leg. Systems and support for August/September’s “Gentlemen of the Road” (GOTR) two-day stopover shows have been provided by fellow Rental Network company LD Systems of Houston, Texas.

According to Jamie Howieson, Mumford & Sons’ audio system engineer and sound designer, the production crew has been deploying 28 K1 mains and six KARA down-fills, plus 16 K1-SB flown subs with 16 SB28 below for most shed dates. Out-fill hangs are comprised of 24 KUDO, with 10 dV-DOSC for lip-fill.

Arena shows are typically reinforced via 32 K1 and 12 KARA, paired with 16 K1-SB and 16 SB28. Out-fill hangs consist of 24 K1 with 12 KARA down-fills, and lip-fill is accomplished via a dozen dV-DOSC.

GOTR festival dates, which have each boasted sell-out crowds of 40,000 fans, take advantage of 24 K1 for mains, 20 more K1 for out-fill, and 16 K1-SB and 16 SB28 for low end. Three delay towers featuring a combined total of 24 K1 and six KARA provide extended throw, and LA-RAK touring racks each loaded with LA8 amplified controllers have provided system power and processing for all shows.

With Mumford & Sons performing largely on traditional acoustic-style instruments—albeit plugged into Marshall, Orange and other amplifiers—the band is known for its energy and huge dynamic range in concert. From ultra-quiet to roaringly loud, Howieson notes that he and FOH engineer Chris Pollard have been duly impressed with the performance of the L-Acoustics rig.

“Chris is very comfortable mixing on K1 and is achieving some fantastic mixes from night to night,” he says. “This system lends itself very nicely to the band’s sonic requirements and we’ve been hearing many compliments from local promoters at the venues on its musicality and coverage, both of which are remarkable.

“I’ve also been very pleased with how quickly we can fly everything, which frees up more time for system optimization and sound check. In short, the equipment and support from L-Acoustics, Solotech and LD Systems have been excellent.”


Posted by Julie Clark on 09/19 at 10:00 AM
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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Avid Unveils State-of-the-Art S6 Control Surface

Avid delivers innovation in a control surface featuring modularity, ergonomics and speed.

Avid unveiled a major new addition to its family of control surfaces for sound recording, mixing and editing.

The Avid S6 is designed for audio professionals in the most demanding production environments, delivering the performance needed to complete projects faster while producing the best sounding mixes.

In addition, S6 provides mixing professionals with a state-of-the-art solution that easily scales to meet their current and future challenges.

“Working in ever more complex environments with fast project turnarounds, mixers need intuitive, tactile control of editing and mixing, and the ability to easily work with other artists, engineers, and facilities,” said Chris Gahagan, senior vice president of products and services at Avid.

“Drawing on more than 20 years of leading edge innovation, the S6 delivers the game-changing modularity, superior ergonomics, and streamlined collaboration to meet mixers’ changing business requirements.”

Built on the same proven technology that is core to the industry-leading ICON and System 5 product families, the Avid S6 enables mixers to quickly turn around complex projects while swiftly handling last-minute changes.

With its ability to simultaneously control multiple Pro Tools and other EUCON-enabled DAWs over simple Ethernet, S6 also speeds workflows and enables network collaboration on a single integrated platform.

Avid S6 key features that include:

· Modular design — Adapting to every stage of a user’s business, the S6 control surface can be customized with the addition of the modules needed to match current workflow. It can be horizontally and vertically scaled as the client base grows. Pre-configured S6 M10 or S6 M40 surfaces may be purchased with the required faders, knobs, etc. already provided or, with S6 M40, further personalized with different channel control combinations.

· Ergonomics — A traditional, familiar console layout allows easy transition from previous systems. The multipoint touchscreen quickly and easily accesses plug-ins, large track counts, surround panning and more, while top-lit status knobs and high resolution OLEDs add operational efficiency. Additional 12.1-inch displays on S6 M40 systems further enhance instant project overview by providing deep visual feedback on key items such as channel names, audio meters, routing, clip names, and scrolling waveforms. Ultimate recall enables quick location for last-minute mix changes.

· Intelligent studio control — Compatible with Pro Tools and other popular EUCON-enabled DAWs, S6 enables detailed work on up to eight audio workstations simultaneously, as well as the ability to switch sessions in seconds from a single control surface across the facility. High-speed Ethernet connectivity makes it easy to reconfigure operations as business requirements dictate.

Avid S6 will be available at Avid resellers worldwide in Q4 2013.  As a modular system, S6 is available at a variety of prices, with M10 configurations starting at $21,995 and M40 configurations starting at $43,480.


Posted by Julie Clark on 09/17 at 10:47 AM
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Monday, September 16, 2013

New York Philharmonic Presents Summer Park Concerts With Meyer Sound LEO

The New York Philharmonic performed a series of five concerts throughout New York City using Meyer Sound LEO sound reinforcement.

This summer, New York Philharmonic performed a series of five concerts in parks throughout New York City using a Meyer Sound LEO linear large-scale sound reinforcement system. Two large shows took place on Central Park’s Great Lawn, where Meyer Sound loudspeakers covered a widely dispersed audience estimated at more than 50,000.

For the 15th consecutive summer season, both sound coordination and FOH mixing duties for the New York Philharmonic were entrusted to Larry Rock, audio director for the symphony orchestra. For Rock, a Grammy-winning veteran of hundreds of classical concerts and recordings, LEO’s debut performance raised the bar for large-scale presentation of classical music.

“It was a new experience,” says Rock. “The LEO system is very powerful—it is particularly clear and efficient in the high-frequency ranges. Also, its throw is rather astonishing. I expect we could have eliminated the first delay ring, or moved it back 50 to 100 feet.”

The main LEO system for Central Park comprised dual main arrays of 12-each LEO-M line array loudspeakers, with 12 1100-LFC low-frequency control elements arranged in four cardioid arrays. System drive and alignment was provided by a Galileo Callisto loudspeaker management system with five Galileo Callisto 616 processors.

To cover the entire audience on the expansive Great Lawn, the stage’s main LEO system was augmented by a delay system which included 18 M3D, 16 MILO, and 26 MICA line array loudspeakers. Twin arrays of 12-each M’elodie line array loudspeakers provided stage side fill.

Sound Associates of Yonkers, N.Y. supplied the delay system and logistical support, with principal designer Robert Hanlon assisted by console tech David Bullard. Robert Gorton assisted Rock at FOH, and Josh Marks was head of sound.

“This is the first time I’ve ever heard a line array behave as a single, giant loudspeaker,” attests Domonic Sack, project coordinator at Sound Associates. “When you walk from front to back, you don’t hear any changes. It exhibits seamless consistency both vertically and horizontally, which is an incredible accomplishment.”

At FOH, Larry Rock mixed behind a Studer Vista 5 digital console, augmented by a Lexicon 300 reverb processor. The orchestra used MK4, MK21, and MK4V Schoeps microphone capsules, as well as several Neumann KM 184 microphones.

The first of the New York Philharmonic’s two free Central Park shows was a benefit for Hurricane Sandy relief sponsored by Major League Baseball, featuring a guest appearance by Mariah Carey. Two days later, the Philharmonic presented Dvořák’s Cello Concerto and Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony.

Meyer Sound

Posted by Julie Clark on 09/16 at 08:18 AM
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Friday, September 13, 2013

Bruno Mars’ World Tour Goes All Digital With DiGiCo

DiGiCo’s sonics and ultra-customizable surface provide a ‘staggering amount of features and power’ to showcase one of the top artists touring today

Bruno Mars is riding high off the success of his sold-out ‘Moonshine Jungle’ outing. Sporting a diverse set-list with a mix of eclectic covers, radio hits, and originals (many from his latest outing, Unorthodox Jukebox CD), the tour was recently made Rolling Stone magazine’s list of “50 greatest live acts right now.”

The Clair Global tour is outfitted with dual DiGiCo SD7s at FOH and monitors, both running redundant Waves SoundGrid servers.

Each desk has two SD racks for individual control of preamps and are connected completely via digital Optocore fiber cable.

FOH engineer Derek Brener sends MADI lines direct from FOH to the record rig, handled by Charles Moniz, who records 96 channels to a Pro Tools system seamlessly without the need for an expensive audio router for archival purposes.

Brener’s managing a total of 108 physical inputs for the eight-piece band consisting of two drum kits, bass, guitars, multiple keyboards, a B3 organ, plenty of vocals, horns, playback, and a couple of talkback mics.

He’s been a DiGiCo fan since Mars’ first run in 2011, and stepped up into an SD7 (from an SD8) because of the larger input requirements.

“We have 108 physical inputs and I still have plenty of capacity for eccentric bussing, effects, and outboard apparatus,” he explains. “I also take advantage of the macros, too.

“I love to have hot keys to turn sends on and off to delays. For example, the delays in ‘Just the Way You Are’ are live so the hot keys make it very easy for me play the desk like an instrument and delay just certain words instead of either having it on or off.

“I love DiGiCo consoles for their smooth sonics and ultra-customizable surface. The SD7 is a monster and gives me a lot of freedom and space to experiment and tweak. It has a staggering amount of features and power.

“Do you need to use all of the features? Hell no! But is it nice to have them right there if you need them? Absolutely! The snapshot recall scope is great, dual engines, dynamic EQs, etc.

“I can go on and on about the features it offers, but simply put, for a digital desk, it’s the cream of the crop. Straight up.”

For outboard gear, Brener’s using three Empirical Labs Distressors (“the best compressors on the planet”), a TC Electronics 2290 for stereo delay (equipped with a custom non-latching footswitch for tap tempo), and a Lexicon 960L.

“The EL and Lexicon units are must haves for me. The EL comps are truly the Swiss army knife of compressors and are my favorites. They emphasize that round warmth to Bruno when he really digs into the comp.

“Bruno has incredible mic control, which is a blessing and a curse because when he gets too far away from his mic, he thins out tremendously. I found the distressors provide the best tonal and level consistency applicable to his style.

“The Lexicon is the smoothest, most authentic and believable verb, at least to my preferences. Don’t leave home without it!

“Of course, I’m using the Waves SoundGrid server to enhance what the SD7 has already made sound amazing. I mostly use the CLA stuff. My go-to lately has been a chain of the CLA-3A>H-EQ>L2. I use that for Kick, Snare, and Toms.

“The 3A gives the tones so much weight and characteristic and the H-EQ has so much personality. Playing with the slopes is the key. They provide so much color and nuance.

“Lastly, the L2 adds the incredible punch in the low-mid area, especially noticeable on drums, when you set the threshold just right.—For guitars and horns, I hit 2As pretty damn hard for a nice, unabrasive creamy sound.

“I always end up playing with the hi-freq knob to squash the nasty tones up top. I’m always careful with that. Also, on the horns, I am using the REDD .17 for analog graininess and a certain articulation.

“The Leslie hits an 1176 hard as our keyboard player is extremely dynamic. The only thing I use on vocals is the supreme and omnipresent C6 for de-essing and squashing problem areas.

“Other than that, there isn’t much else going on. I have a couple of onboard verbs for snare, acoustic guitar, and horns, (which rarely get used in big arenas), but are lifesavers in outdoor, dry-as-a-bone situations.”

James Berry’s also no stranger to DiGiCo desks, having used an SD7 on recent outings with Beyonce on monitors before signing on with Mars.

The band recently transitioned to all in-ears, utilizing J&H in-ears, Sennheiser 2050 IEMs and Sennheiser 3732 wireless systems.

“The new features in this latest software version are very helpful,” he says. “I love the way the new control group feature helps control auxes. It’s great to be able to splay out all my auxes at one time on one channel.

“I’ve been using the Copy Audio feature extensively to route audio anywhere, which gives us a lot of multitasking opportunities and lets me connect a lot of gear with better quality.

“We also have a total of four SD Racks between FOH and monitor world, as well as two Mini SD Racks loaded with all AES cards taking in all the wireless. This allows us to keep everything digital.”

Berry is also making use of everything onboard the SD7 for his effects, with the exception of a few Waves plug-ins for Bruno’s output and vocals.

“I’m using a TC Electronics 2290 for Bruno’s delay, and running three TC M6000 taking that AES to my vocal rack on the SD7 and its all clocked in at 96k off the console.

“I’m also using MIDI to control those from the snapshots. In addition, I’m using the Waves C6 plug-in on both his vocal and outputs.”

Additionally, he’s used the SD Conversion software extensively on this tour.

“Early on, we were carrying an SD5 as a backup, so I was able to easily transfer between the platforms using the software seamlessly.”

Overall, Berry says the most important reasons that keep him satisfied with the DiGiCo platform are “the sound, first and foremost. From there, usability, service and reliability. The support from DiGiCo when needed has always been top-notch. Needless to say, I’m a huge DiGiCo supporter.


Posted by Julie Clark on 09/13 at 02:05 PM
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Metallica Headlines Roskilde With Martin Lighting

The Roskilde Music Festival in Denmark, one of Europe’s biggest summer music festivals, utilized Martin lighting throughout the event.

The Roskilde Music Festival in Denmark, one of Europe’s biggest summer music festivals, has brought together some of the world’s most popular artists since the early 1970s.

On this year’s Orange Stage, Metallica headlined the festival, with performances from many other globally acclaimed artists, including Rihanna and Slipknot.

Designed by veteran lighting designer Kasper Lange, the Orange Stage featured a vast amount of Harmn Martin lighting fixtures for the Metallica set.

The Orange Stage included 68 Martin MAC 2000 Wash XB’s and 34 MAC III Profile moving heads, along with 65 MAC 101’s and 10 MAC Aura LED moving heads. Thirty-four Atomic 3000 strobes with Atomic Colors scrollers were deployed for blinding punch effects. Copenhagen-based rental company Litecom, supplied the gear.

Martin lighting, which has graced Roskilde for years, also played a role on several other stages at the 2013 festival including the Pavilion Stage, featuring MAC III Profiles and MAC Auras supplied by rental company Victory, the Odeon Stage, with MAC Auras also supplied by Victory, and the Apollo Stage, featuring Atomic 3000’s supplied by rental company Comtech. Comtech also contributed MAC Auras, MAC 700 Profiles, MAC 350 Entours, MAC 250 Beams, MAC TW1s and Atomic 3000’s for various other areas.

“Martin has been used during the historic Roskilde festival for many years, and we are proud to continue this partnership, supplying the brightest and highest quality lighting systems for the bands and fans,” said Steen Matthiesen, Martin Vice President EMEA Sales. “Having a large variety of fixtures deployed throughout the festival speaks to the versatility of Martin and will undoubtedly provide our latest and greatest fixtures for next year’s Roskilde!”

Orange Stage Crew:
Jonas Ritz – Head Rigger
Balder Thorrud – System Tech
Hrannar Hafsteinsson – System Tech
Timo Kauristo – FOH Tech
Thomas Brockmann – FOH Tech
Leif Hellberg – Wysiwyg suite


Posted by Julie Clark on 09/13 at 11:10 AM

Thursday, September 12, 2013

India’s SNL Pro Provides L-Acoustics For Historic Concert In Kashmir

India's SNL Pro provides L-Acoustics K1 line arrays for Bavarian State Orchestra event in Kashmir.

Maestro Zubin Mehta and the Bavarian State Orchestra recently hosted a landmark event known as “Ehsaas-e-Kashmir” (Concert for Kashmir) in the foothills of the Himalayas.

The town of Srinagar had not witnessed any official form of cultural activity since a cricket match in 1983, making this one of the most eagerly anticipated concerts in recent times. Nearly 2,000 guests attended the event hosted by the German Embassy in the Shalimar Gardens in Srinagar.

Mehta, the Music Director for Life of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and main conductor for Valencia’s opera house, was fulfilling his lifelong dream of performing in the beauty and serenity of the Shalimar Gardens.

The garden is over 500 meters in length with natural waters running through the grounds before feeding into the famous Dal Lake. A nineteenth century Mughal house was chosen as the backdrop. The setting provided many challenges with the stage needing to be constructed across many different levels for the orchestra.

For sound reinforcement, India’s Sound and Light Professionals (SNL Pro) debuted its brand new L-Acoustics K1 rig for this historic event.

The main array only had to cover 65 meters as the concert was for a very select audience.

When the final venue layout was determined it was sent to System Engineer Bruce Rodericks who used SOUNDVISION to predict the required inventory.

The arrays, hung from scaffolding constructed to the left-right of the stage, consisted of two K1-SB and six K1. Two SB28 subwoofers were groundstacked under the arrays. Three pairs of 115XT HiQ served as front-fills. The end result was even coverage throughout the seating in the outdoor location.

Four LA-RAKs powered the system with three LA8 in each controlled by the LA NETWORK.

Jakob Palfrader, the front of house engineer for the Bavarian State Orchestra, was very pleased to see the L-Acoustics K1.

The magical evening was one of the many landmark events that the SNL Pro team is proud to be a part of. The concert was televised live in 32 countries, streamed live on YouTube and filmed in HD for a future concert DVD.


Posted by Julie Clark on 09/12 at 10:08 AM
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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Coming Up: Compact Loudspeaker System Demo In Conjunction With WFX In Dallas

The Live Sound International Compact Loudspeaker Demo at the upcoming WFX Conference and Expo in Dallas provides you with the opportunity to directly listen to, evaluate, and compare more than a dozen compact loudspeaker systems.

The first two iterations of the demo have drawn a total of more than 1,500 church sound and production personnel from around North America.

The demo presents a unique controlled environment demonstration designed to provide side-by-side listening opportunities for you to evaluate compact loudspeaker systems from around the industry, in addition to getting further technical details and pricing information from qualified representatives of each company participating in the demo.

Industry leading loudspeaker manufacturers participating this year include Renkus-Heinz, L-Acoustics, Adamson Systems, Martin Audio, Danley Sound Labs, D.A.S. Audio, Bose Professional, EAW, Alcons Audio, Electro-Voice, PreSonus, Line 6, and Elipsis Audio.

The demo will be held October 2 and 3. The site is an expansive exhibit hall in the Dallas Convention Center, adjacent to the WFX show, where each day, three 1-hour demo sessions will be held.

During each session, all systems will be played, using identical tracks. Listeners will move from system to system, evaluating what they hear and also observing each system’s scale, components and other important details.


Each participating compact loudspeaker company will also be offering a dedicated 15-minute exclusive demo session for interested attendees on both days of the event.

Demo sessions are open to all attendees of WFX as well as other groups and individuals interested in audio and loudspeaker systems.

In addition, an “A-list” of technology sponsors are also involved with the demo, including Yamaha (consoles), Shure (wireless microphone systems), Link (digital signal transport), Mega (lighting), and Dicolor (LED displays).

Don’t miss this opportunity to gain valuable insights on what’s available in the world of compact loudspeaker systems in this comprehensive event!

Go here to register (FREE) for WFX.

Demo Participants

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Technology Sponsors

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Posted by Keith Clark on 09/11 at 12:51 PM
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Starlight Express Celebrates 25th Anniversary With Martin Audio MLA Compact

Next-generation production remains faithful to original sound design

The updated production of Starlight Express in Bochum, Germany’s Stadionring—celebrating 25 years since its premiere performance at the specially constructed “Starlight Express Theater” in 1988—is supported by sound reinforcement provided by Martin Audio’s Multi-cellular Loudspeaker Array (MLA) platform.

Advertising itself as “the fastest musical in the universe,” it fell to sound supervisor Riccardo van Krugten and system engineer/installation manager, Georg Hentschel to direct the next-generation production while remaining faithful to Martin Levan’s original sound design.

Hentschel was already familiar with Martin Audio MLA, since his company (LiveAudio) has owned an MLA rig since May 2011. He later attended the launch of the second-generation MLA Compact in London, and it is the smaller system that his company has now installed for this production.

Overseeing the sound in Bochum since early 2010, van Krugten was eager that the production remained faithful to a single system to cope with the fast roller skating action. “We wanted a stereo set-up for the orchestra, and a separate system for vocals, positioned above the main performance area,” he states. “This required a PA solution that would reproduce music and vocals equally well.” Another issue was the need to reduce spill and crosstalk from the PA speakers into the 25 fast moving Microport headsets.

Since the new production promised “to take audio engineering to the highest level,” van Krugten knew that the audience expectation is greater than it was two decades ago. He was also mindful of past complaints concerning vocal intelligibility and clarity in parts of the auditorium. “And so we searched for a system that would provide even coverage for all seats in the house, maintaining frequency response and sound levels.”

That search began after Andreas Karsten had produced a 3D EASE model of the Starlight Express Theater. van Krugten: “We ran various simulations with the existing speakers and looked at the problems. Then we ran the same simulations with a two conventional line array rigs at different positions to identify whether a line source solution could be used in this situation, before inviting nine manufacturers for two shoot out sessions.”

Atlantic Audio, Martin Audio’s German distributor, organized the hardware and crew for this shoot out, which took place in front of the full production team, including Phil Edwards, the musical supervisor from England.

To thoroughly evaluate the competing systems, van Krugten prepared a file in ProLogic containing samples from the show (and other vocal recordings of different tonalities), as well as music that everyone would recognize. “For the second half of the session we had the Starlight rhythm section and three cast members perform live from different positions on stage,” he said. “In two shoot out sessions, we heard nine different (mono) arrays rigged side by side. The MLA Compact never left any doubt it would handle reliably whatever kind of audio we threw at it.”

As a result, 27 MLA Compacts have been divided into three flown left-center-right arrays of nine elements each, along with three DSX subs ground stacked left and right of the stage. This is designed to cover the entire auditorium including the balcony and the middle sub on each side is reversed to produce a cardioid pattern. The subs are set unconventionally just outside the left and right array — stacked on the middle track level a few meters above the ground — and are sunk into the proscenium wall, via a specially-designed setup.

A pair of Martin Audio W8VDQ hybrid boxes provide outfill coverage extension of the center array, while production rigged a so-called “crossfire” system, so that those sitting at the sides of the auditorium would also receive a stereo orchestra image.

Hentschel explains, “Starlight has a large cast equipped with omnidirectional lavalier mics who constantly move around the set on three levels behind the speakers and also in front of the PA, often directly facing the arrays. During one particular scene, six highly amplified singers are elevated directly behind the center array, which mainly handles vocals. The amazing reduction in backspill of the MLA Compact masters these challenges in a very impressive way. The other aspect, of course, is MLA’s outstanding tonal quality.“

Hentschel set “Hard Avoid” for the areas behind the arrays where there is a lot of singer traffic as well as to the areas underneath the speaker systems. Further back down the auditorium, the problems become even more complex, with two tracks running right through the audience, who are seated on different levels. Finally, there is a balcony and several rows of seating at both side walls that need to be covered.

“I challenged the system with various optimizations to achieve the best solution, and it has really delivered; we were able to solve many problems with MLA’s advanced technology, and it was absolutely the right system for the job,” he says.

van Krugten also commends the seamless swap-over between old and new sound systems. “The transition was smoother than expected. We knew it would be a whole new world for the performers. Part of the new concept was to reposition and reuse some of the old PA speakers for monitoring purposes, and that idea played out really well. All in all, I believe we have respected Martin Levan’s clever original sound design by replacing existing components with more advanced technology.”

Martin Audio 

Posted by Keith Clark on 09/11 at 07:38 AM
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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

POOLgroup Powers Germany’s Deichbrand Festival With Meyer Sound LEO

POOLgroup Powers Germany’s Deichbrand Festival With Meyer Sound LEO

This summer in Cuxhaven, Germany, rental house POOLgroup deployed its Meyer Sound LEO linear large-scale sound reinforcement system for the main stage of the 2013 Deichbrand Festival.

Headlined by acts including Bush, Die Toten Hosen, and Funeral for a Friend, the four-day festival attracted around 35,000 people a day to an airfield near the ocean. According to the audio team, the effects of wind became a key consideration in designing the sound system for the main stage.

“The LEO system is so much more powerful than anything else we have worked with,” says Tim Humpe, head of entertainment and touring production for POOLgroup. “The biggest challenge with this festival is the wind. With LEO, the sound stays focused and in your face, without the need for delay towers.”

The main stage system provided sound for the entire 150-meter-long audience area. “Not only does that make our lives easier, but it’s also better for the audience in terms of sightlines,” says Felix Suwelack, production manager for Deichbrand.

Featuring 48 LEO-M line array loudspeakers, the main stage system was augmented by eight MICA loudspeakers spread across the stage lip. Low frequencies were handled by 30 1100-LFC low-frequency control elements, while system drive and alignment was provided by a Galileo® Callisto™ loudspeaker management system featuring two Galileo 616 AES and six Galileo Callisto array processors.

The smaller Waterstage’s reinforcement system included 42 MILO loudspeakers and 32 700-HP subwoofers, while the Palastzelt stage incorporated 24 MICA loudspeakers per side, along with 18 M’elodie® line array loudspeakers. Low end was handled by 18 600-HP subwoofers and six 1100-LFC loudspeakers.

Founded in 2005 with a capacity of around 2,000, Deichbrand Festival has steadily grown in size to become one of Germany’s premiere rock festivals, attracting a devoted crowd to the coast of the North Sea year after year.

POOLgroup owns two Meyer Sound LEO systems, which have been busy supporting productions this summer around Germany, Austria, and Scandinavia, including tours by Peter Maffay and David Garrett.

Meyer Sound

Posted by Julie Clark on 09/10 at 02:08 PM
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Monday, September 09, 2013

Digitally Different: Breakfast In America Travels With AVB-Based Personal Monitoring

Multi-tasking to make the life of the engineer a bit easier

“Wouldn’t it be cool if someone built a little black box that we could connect an iPad to and do our own mixes onstage?” Little did Roger Hodgson, the voice of Supertramp and composer of the band’s biggest hits, realize when he made this wish out loud that just such a box would be handed to him in short order.

Hodgson and his current band, which includes multi-instrumentalist Aaron MacDonald, Kevin Adamson on keyboards, bassist David J. Carpenter, and drummer Bryan Head, are currently crossing the globe as part of the ongoing Breakfast in America world tour. They’ve been hailed as making timeless Hodgson classics like “Give a Little Bit,” “Dreamer,” and “The Logical Song” sound better than when they first climbed the charts years ago.

Exceptionally melodic and fluid onstage, and capable of routinely dispensing complex orchestrations, the band had been listening to its own personal mixes with a 16-channel system until recently. “There are limitations with only 16 channels,” says Howard Heckers, Hodgson’s front of house engineer. “Everyone is pretty much going to be listening to the same things in one fashion or another. That’s why at the beginning of this year we had hopes of discovering a new system that would provide us with a broader aural palette.

“We thought if we could double our capacity, there would be more choices available,” he continues. “Everyone wouldn’t necessarily have to use all 32 channels, but we could provide seven or eight channels of drums, for example, and let everyone pick what they wanted. Improving our fidelity along the way was anticipated by all as well.”

Musician Aaron Macdonald’s iPad with personal monitor control is immediately accessible in front of him.

Stemming from a chance meeting in an Air Canada lounge between band members Adamson and MacDonald and Bill Coons of Contact Distribution, the road to meeting Heckers’ 32-channel, high-fidelity personal monitoring goals, as well as Hodgson’s own iPad vision, was to be paved.

Via Coons, who represents Pennsylvania-based Pivitec in the Canadian market, a meeting was arranged between Heckers and Pivitec’s Tom Knesel.

Pivitec had just introduced a 32-channel personal monitor mixing system based around Ethernet AVB protocols.

Engineer Howard Hecker (left) and stage tech Wim Daans showing the system’s iPad control interface.

After Knesel showed Heckers a demo system one night backstage using components including an e16i input module, e32 mixer, and an iPad running the company’s V2Mix Pro app, his interest ratcheted up. He went and got Hodgson. handed the frontman the iPad, and simply said, “This could be your monitor mixer.”

“Fantastic,” Hodgson replied. “Can you leave this here with us? We’ll buy it.”

Communicating Needs
“He hadn’t even heard it yet,” Knesel recalls, “and then he told me how he had been hanging out with his band talking about getting such a device not long before our meeting. If ever I was in the right place at the right time, this was it.”

That night Adamson was enlisted as the band’s first “test mule” for the system. Gaining valuable feedback from him after the show, Knesel developed the system further and set a date for the band to try a full-on test the next time they were in Pennsylvania. This next test proved to be a success, and at that point it was agreed that the band would implement it.

“But this was the last gig of an American leg of the tour,” Knesel adds, “and they were going to be off for a few months. We decided that rather than do something crazy like try to assemble a system and shove them out the door to do their next one-off gig in South America, we’d meet them at the Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, Florida, in March of this year when they came back to resume the North American tour. That would give us all time to communicate our needs back-and-forth and really fine-tune the full system.”

As conceived by Pivitec and the Hodgson team, the band’s new personal monitoring system receives analog input from Heckers’ DiGiCo console, with signals arriving at a pair of e16i 16-channel input modules, which Ethernet-connect to a e9sw-p switch.

Tom Knesel backstage with the Pivitec rack. (click to enlarge)

A 9-port managed GbE switch supporting PoE, the e9sw-p makes all of the system’s network connections. A sum total of six of e32 32-channel mixers plug-in here, as does a wi-fi base station that interfaces with the system’s iPads for control.

As a result, the band was able to ditch an entire flight case of old gear. In its place, four channels of Sennheiser wireless mic systems and another four channels of wireless Sennheiser IEM systems all drop into a 5-space rack that also houses all of the wireless antenna combiners, receivers for the mics, transmitters for the IEMs, antenna combiners, and power supplies. In turn, this entire package fits into a Pelican case.


Ready To Travel
The Pivitec system follows a similar plan, once again easily packing itself into a 5-space rack that slips into a Pelican case. Both cases tip the scales at less than 70 pounds and have been confidently checked as baggage on flights around the world since the system was commissioned in March.

Knesel (in hat) addressing the finer points of the system interface with musicians (left to right) David J. Carpenter, Bryan Head and Aaron Macdonald. (click to enlarge)

Three of the e32 mixers are rack-mounted. Two more are hardwired onstage for drummer Bryan Head and bassist David Carpenter. The sixth e32 provided with the rig is officially designated as a spare, but sees regular use under the guidance of stage tech Wim Daans, who uses it to keep tabs on the network audio that’s traveling to each of the musicians.

Each e32 has a high-output headphone amp built to work in loud environments. Stereo line outputs are provided for driving other devices like wireless IEMs, power amps, or powered loudspeakers.

Digital-to-analog conversion (24-bit/48 kHz) is onboard, and the built-in DSP offers three bands of EQ on each channel as well as a stereo 3-band EQ and limiter on the master outputs.

There’s also a “local” stereo line level input found on the device as well that’s useful for connecting an MP3 player or click track. The musicians simply plug directly into the headphone amp to activate their “ears.”

All of the musicians control their mixes from onstage using their iPads, except for Hodgson, who has Heckers dial-in his. “Roger likes a house mix,” Knesel explains. “So what we built for him with the Pivitec gear is house minus some things. Those channels can be added back if he wants.” 

The V2Mix Pro iPad app gives the musicians 32-channels worth of faders arranged on four screens housing eight faders apiece.

Solo, mute, and pan is available on each channel, there are 16 mix presets, and there is a master section with volume, 3-band EQ, and a limiter.

Adapt & Thrive
With Ethernet AVB serving as its network backbone, the system is ready to easily adapt to whatever the future holds. “The Ethernet AVB protocol holds the promise of continuing to work reliably well into the future,” Heckers states. “Cost, user acceptance in the industry, and interoperability are issues of major concern, and the technology addresses all of these well when compared to other systems.

The sonic quality is exceptional, I think for two reasons: one is inherent within the transport circuitry itself, and the other lies in the A/D conversion process used.”

On the mixer side of the equation, the e32s follow suit using a discreet Class AB headphone amplifier and a bipolar power supply that increases headroom once again at plus or minus 15 volts. As used by Hodgson and his band under digital control, the mixers all operate in their own separate worlds with their own DSP. From the musicians’ standpoint, this translates into clean, powerful sound with low background noise.

Drummer Bryan Head and the iPad (at left) providing access to his monitor mix.

The system was buttoned-up by the time it was delivered to the Ruth Eckerd Theatre in Clearwater. A quick-disconnect panel on the back of the rack facilitated easy load-ins and speedy exits, while the same logic guided the addition of quick disconnects on the mixer ends of the rig onstage.

“My hat is really off to Howard,” Knesel says on a parting note. “In his capacity, he’s been doing FOH and monitors simultaneously over the course of many tours. Much can be said of how this system has changed the working roles of the musicians onstage, but it certainly has made Howard’s life easier as well.”

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 09/09 at 05:29 PM
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