Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Musician Joe Ellis Soars To Sonic Heights With Soundcraft
Musician and sound engineer Joe Ellis invests in a new Soundcraft Si Expression 3 digital console.
Musician Joe Ellis’ career is flying higher than ever these days—literally and figuratively. Ellis is a professional commercial airline pilot and a professional musician and audio engineer.
When he’s not flying, Ellis appears as a host on the TV show “The Aviators,” performs with his band under the moniker “Joe.e” and uses a Soundcraft Si Expression 3 console to mix live sound for a growing number of bands and events.
Like so many musicians, Ellis came to the point where he realized he needed to make the transition from analog to digital mixing. The artists and bands he worked with wanted it, and more and more he found that he personally requireda digital console for advantages like increased flexibility, built-in reverb and effects and other benefits.
Recently, Ellis found another reason to take his sound system to a higher level.
“Every summer the city of Wausau, Wisconsin does a series of weekly outdoor concerts called ‘Concerts on the Square,’” Ellis noted. “I was fortunate enough to be chosen as the front of house mixer for the series. However, that meant I had to buy an entirely new sound system. I’d been used to doing small to mid-sized clubs and didn’t have the gear the event required.”
Ellis realized this challenge offered the perfect opportunity to move up to a digital console. After looking at what various companies had to offer, Ellis chose a Soundcraft Si Expression 3. He had worked on Soundcraft Si Compact models before and liked their audio quality and ease of mixing and thought the Si Expression 3 would be a logical upgrade.
“What sold me on the Soundcraft Si Expression 3 was the sound quality,” said Ellis. “I was used to using very high-quality analog consoles and was not willing to compromise on audio performance. The sound I can get from the Si Expression 3 is as good—if not better—than anything I’ve used before, and its functionality and ability to do everything I need are perfect for me.” In addition to the “Concerts on the Square” shows, Ellis uses the Si Expression 3 for everything from club dates with his band to mixing local rock bands to mixing a 9-piece wedding band.
Summer is the busiest time of the year for Ellis, and now that he’s using the Soundcraft Si Expression 3, it’s getting even busier, and not just from his front of house role for “Concerts on the Square.”
Ellis works with a production company that subs work out to him and now that he has an Si Expression 3, he’s getting more business from the company.
“They appreciate the fact that I have a console that they know will sound great in any situation, and that plays well with their other gear,” Ellis concluded.
Martin Audio MLA Delivers For 3G Productions At EDC Festivals
Power and coverage of the venue combined with off-site noise control
3G Productions recently provided audio for the Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) festivals in New York, Chicago, and Las Vegas, utilizing Martin Audio Multi-cellular Loudspeaker Arrays (MLA) for power and coverage inside the venue while controlling noise spillage to surrounding residential areas.
The three-day Electric Daisy Carnival 2013 was the culmination of Insomniac’s EDC festivals with eight of the world’s Top 10 DJs, and more than 200 acts performing on seven stages for over 350,000 attendees at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
The combination of several stages producing hours of high SPL dance music in urban locales adds up to unique challenges for 3G Productions.
3G marketing director Keith Conrad notes, “EDC events are really unique because they’re all in large open-air areas that aren’t necessarily traditional venues for concerts such as stadiums or amphitheatres. They’re in parking lots or racetracks, so the ability to control the sound is extremely important. A big reason why we looked at the Martin Audio MLA system was to control SPL in areas surrounding the venue.
“We also need a lot of bass, so the amount of subs we have on any one show is unheard of,” he continues. “Plus you’re doing multiple stages within one area at the same time, which is all about the configuration of the stage in terms of the coverage and direction of the loudspeakers.”
3G senior system engineer and designer Julio Valdez, a specialist in EDM events, gets site plans before the event for the areas that have to be covered so h can design systems suitable for what the client (Insomniac, who produces EDC and major dance events worldwide) needs.
“It’s mostly to provide a whole lot of power and have the system sound good,” Valdez says. “Then we go to the location and make sure all of the techs have everything they need to complete the build and address the changing needs of DJs, artists and other performers. Sometimes we have to submit designs to DJ management for approval.
“Finally, I lay out the stages so they don’t have too much of an impact in terms of nearby homes. We have people walking around with dB meters before the show determining what’s acceptable at certain distances from the stage and referencing those SPL at front of house.”
The typical setup for EDC consists of a main hang of 16 MLA and two MLD down fill cabinets per side with a complement of 32 MLX subs ground-stacked across the front of the stage.
In addition, 12 MLA Compacts per side are used for out fill, and eight MLA Compacts plus for ground-stacked MLX subs per side are used for delays. Avid VENUE Profile mixing consoles and Lake loudspeaker processing are also part of the system.
“Power is impressive coming out of the MLA,” Valdez offers, “it’s definitely mind-boggling when you see the size of the rig that’s out there and the output you get from the system. In terms of sound quality, it’s very consistent and, as intended, one can really tailor the sound to what they want and MLA will do it.”
Las Vegas doesn’t present as many problems with noise complaints because the speedway is quite a ways out of town, with only Nellis Air Force base nearby that makes its own kind of noise created by F16 jets flying in and out on a regular basis.
The site also has a large open area in the speedway oval and even though there are so many stages that Conrad notes, “In terms of the DJs and what they’re playing, you can go from one stage to another in Vegas and you can lose the sound. All of the stages are facing in different directions with as much spread as possible between them, plus there’s a carnival in the middle of the festival with rides and attractions.
“Insomniac is committed to having a true carnival and festival experience and they want it to be the biggest, best and the loudest. They always push the envelope in terms of how much they can give their fans, but we are often walking a fine line with the surrounding communities. As such, we have to control sound to the best of our ability.
“The sound control was a big part of MLA’s initial appeal for us. And we really like where MLA is going in terms of control, ease of setup and quality of the boxes. We’ve had a great experience with MLA so far and there’s a very real application in other areas we are growing as well, such as corporate and TV broadcasting.”
GLD OneMix iPad app gives musicians wireless control of their personal monitor mix.
Allen & Heath has launched GLD OneMix, an iPad app that gives musicians wireless control of their personal monitor mix.
GLD OneMix locks control to a single Aux mix, providing instant access to a customized easy-to-use monitor mix environment.
Multiple iPads can be set up by an Admin user to give numerous musicians personalized monitor control without affecting each other or the FoH main mix. A musician’s own aux monitor mix is assigned and locked into the ‘My Mix’ layer, and a selection of input splits dedicated to the individual musician can be added.
Similarly, all other instrument send levels can be assigned to any of the three extra layers, allowing unique personal monitoring configuration. The range of accessible settings is defined by custom permissions for each layer.
When in User mode, the musician is presented with simple-to-use access and control of their aux master level and processing, instrument send levels and processing, if enabled. Depending on the application and the performer’s technical knowledge, the layout and level of access can be kept minimal or extended to a more complex musician’s monitor mix involving a high channel count across multiple layers.
Notably, the mix can be tweaked and listened to by both the user on stage and the sound engineer at the desk, enabling easy interaction between the two. Up to 16 iPads running OneMix can be connected to a GLD system.
“Joining GLD Remote, OneMix offers yet more control options for the GLD system. OneMix is a customizable solution for personal monitoring, drilling down the mix into very simple local control for performers without affecting the greater mix environment. OneMix also complements the ME distributed personal monitor system and ideal for wireless In-Ear users who can have a complete wireless system with this app,” comments Nicola Beretta.
Tait Creates Custom Backdrop For Robbie Williams’ European Stadium Tour
A 133-feet by 75-feet back wall was created, which was finished with screen-printed, gold polycarbonate panels. The back wall was made from 700 panels incorporating 20 different custom shapes.
Working alongside designers Mark Fisher, Ric Lipson and Willie Williams and Production Manager Wob Roberts, TAIT created an immense LED integrated backdrop for Robbie Williams’ European stadium tour, which opened in Dublin, Ireland earlier this month.
A 133-feet by 75-feet back wall was created, which was finished with screen-printed, gold polycarbonate panels. The back wall was made from 700 panels incorporating 20 different custom shapes.
18,000 TAIT pixel tablet were inserted into these panels, to create a LED wall. With a focus on sustainability, the pixel tablets were from the system that was used during the London 2012 Olympic ceremonies, and packaged within a new and unique design.
These LED-integrated polycarbonate panels formed a video back wall around an immense three dimensional model head of the artist himself. The LED back wall has a door on either side, allowing props to travel on and off stage with ease. Both 19-foot x 25-foot doors tilt back 6 degrees before raising 25 feet when fully opened.
Robbie Williams’ 3D scenic head was built by creating 50 custom cut panels which were modelled from a scan of the singers face. This scan was imported in to CAD software and moulds of fibre glass were made to match each section. Holes were then drilled to house 50,000 Barco FLX24 pixels within these panels, bringing the huge sculpture to life. The head is 12.6 metres high and 7.5 metres wide, containing a hole at the top of his head for the singer to fly from at the start of the show.
The head was constructed on six different levels, with a control rack used on each. Sandwich panels support each of the 50 head pieces, with each being set to a specific depth to ensure a seamless and true-to-life face surface. Displaying TAIT’s ability to constantly innovate, this is the first time a tourable 3D video model of this scale has been manufactured.
Production Manager Wob Roberts said, “The Back Wall was only ever going to be realised by TAIT; no-one else could have come close. Oli Clybouw was instrumental in getting this thing out of the workshop and into rehearsals, and Frederic Opsomer was a man of his word when he said that the job would be completed before the deadline.”
The design, prototyping and production was completed in just 10 weeks.
Video content for the tour was programmed by Video Director Smasher Desmedt.
The artist dedicated the June 25 show in Hampden Park in memory of Mark Fisher.
Band’s Audio Crew Chooses Fiber System as Reliable, Cost-Effective Solution to Copper For Latest Tour
While mixing the Pet Shop Boys’ current Electric world tour, the band’s longtime sound engineers, Holger Schwark (FOH) and Seamus Fenton (monitors), needed to transfer signals and keep the sound within the digital domain.
In order to do so, the duo have been relying on a multicore system from Optocore. The Optocore system (aided by experienced Capital Sound system technician Al Woods) plays a vital role in the tour.
Handling the tour’s production is Capital Sound, which is utilizing a Nexo STM PA line array to provide the audio.
Schwark, a longtime Optocore user, has been relying on two Optocore DD4ME MADI converters in his compact FOH side rack for years, with a third DD4ME at the monitor desk.
For the Electric tour, Schwark and Fenton chose the compact DiGiCo SD10-24 consoles and a DiGiCo SD-Rack at the monitor desk. While these consoles come equipped with an optical loop interface, the duo decided instead to run Optocore as an independent network in order to keep the entire workflow digital.
Having the Optocore system in place gave the team greater flexibility to patch signals between their “playback world,” the SD-Rack, the two mixing desks, a MADI-equipped Mac Mini at FOH and FX units at FOH, along with an additional independent MADI output for occasional multichannel recording.
The selection process began during a previous tour in 2009, when the duo’s DiGiCo SD8 consoles did not have optical connections.
“Since we use MADI-enabled multichannel playback equipment on stage, I did not want to rely on copper connections, so I was looking for a reliable, redundant fiber system that would also guarantee that the digital clocks on stage and FOH stayed in perfect sync at all times,” says Schwark.
“Once we started using Optocore DD4MEs, it quickly became obvious how much extra flexibility they gave us in patching communication mics across or sending FOH special effects back to monitors, without needing an XLR return core,” he says.
Meanwhile, for his work with the monitors, Fenton has been running two fibers out of his Optocore system that are linked to FOH and merge two MADI streams. The DiGiCo SD-Rack, which provides inputs for mics, as well as live keyboards, is connected to the monitor console via BNC MADI cables, with full control over gains, etc., from the monitor desk.
A second MADI output on the SD-Rack feeds one of the DD4ME inputs, to be picked up by FOH and the recording output.
“We decided early on that gain control from FOH is not required,” says Fenton, “We only have a few mics anyway and rarely change their gains.”
The multitrack playback, which contains an essential part of Pet Shop Boys’ music, originates in a redundant pair of MADI-equipped computers near the monitor desk that have been combined using a DirectOut EXBOX.BLDS switchover unit, which feeds the other DD4ME input on stage.
The first output of that DD4ME goes into the monitor desk, carrying the multitrack playback, comms mics and some effects from FOH, while the second output is reserved for recording.
The DD4ME was designed to offer digital I/O compatibility with a range of devices, such as digital consoles with coaxial BNC MADI I/Os.
The huge amount of channels exchanged by a single DD4ME makes it a highly cost-effective interface, with two MADI input and two MADI output ports allowing the transmission of up to 128 input and 128 output digital audio channels per device.
At the FOH end of the two fiber cables, fitted with standard expanded beam connectors, the two DD4ME devices have a total of four MADI I/Os — two connected to the MADI ports of the FOH desk, offering a theoretical maximum of 112 channels each way between the console and the Optocore network.
The third DD4ME MADI I/O is taken by a Mac Mini with DiGiCo’s UB MADI interface, featuring tasks like system alignment tools, analyzers, live plugin processing and recording for virtual sound checks, while the final MADI I/O connects to a TC6000 reverb, with a DirectOut EXBOX.AES converter in line.
“Optocore is our entire backbone,” says Schwark. “It allows me to patch everything through the network. I connect both of the consoles’ ports to the network, as well as my peripherals, and can now use the desk’s built-in tricks for virtual soundchecks for, say, 40 recorded channels, while still connecting to my reverb engines and analyzer software on the higher-numbered channels.
“It works beautifully well and makes the best use of the existing I/O on the back of the desk, without adding a bulky local I/O rack.
“From the first day, what I loved about this system was its reliability, and the fact that it has ‘Link 1’ and ‘Link 2’ LEDs for the fiber connections, so I can see if communication with the stage end is established.
“This means that we don’t have to do extensive line checks anymore, which is great in festival situations where we don’t use our own cables, but rather festival-provided DiGiCo-style fibers.
“Plug it in, wait until the other end has plugged in by occasionally checking the Link LEDs, check if the shout mic works … line check done!”
Fenton agrees, praising the Optocore system. “It is a phenomenally flexible tool,” he says. “It just always works!”
Venezuela’s PROmontaje Commissions First Meyer Sound LEO System In Latin America
Caracas-based PROmontaje has taken delivery of a Meyer Sound LEO linear large-scale reinforcement system.
Caracas-based PROmontaje has taken delivery of a Meyer Sound LEO linear large-scale line arrays, the first to be available in Latin America. The new line arrays were initially deployed at the Vive Movistar Festival in Caracas this summer.
“We have been using Meyer Sound MILO and MICA line arrays with great success,” says Pablo Bonilla, the managing director of PROmontaje. “Now, with LEO, we will be Venezuela’s leading provider of large-scale audio production for big concerts, festivals, major sporting competitions and large-scale corporate, governmental, and cultural events.”
PROmontaje’s new LEO system comprises 30 LEO-M line array loudspeakers, 18 1100-LFC low-frequency control elements, a Galileo Callisto loudspeaker management system with four Galileo Callisto array processors and a Galileo 616 AES processor. The system was purchased through the Caracas-based distributor Audio Concept, C.A.
PROmontaje’s investment in a LEO system is part of a long-term commitment to raising the standard for audio in live events throughout Venezuela.
“It’s about quality,” Bonilla explains. “When I’ve gone to concerts in the past, I would too often pay a high ticket price and hear low-quality sound. That’s because concert producers were only looking for the lowest-cost system. I’m determined to change that attitude with LEO, and I’m convinced the quality will be a good long-term investment both for us and the concert producers.”
The feedback about LEO’s performance at the Vive Movistar Festival confirmed Bonilla’s decision to purchase LEO was the right one.
“My musician friend told me that even as he was entering the venue around 300 meters from the main stage, the music was coming through strong and clear,” Bonilla says. “Crew members with experience working other large systems also told me that they have never heard anything like it.”
PROmontaje is the event production technology arm of Grupo DEC, a larger diversified enterprise which provides a full range of creative, management, and production services for corporate events, large sporting events, and major music concerts. Since its launch in 2001, Grupo DEC has continued to invest in its own staging, lighting, audio, and video equipment. In 2011, the company grew to where PROmontaje was given its own identity as a supplier of production technology.
In addition to LEO, PROmontaje’s Meyer Sound inventory includes MILO, MICA, and M’elodie line array loudspeakers; 700-HP, 600-HP, and 500-HP subwoofers; JM-1P arrayable loudspeakers; and UM-1P and MJF-212A stage monitors.
Martin Professional M6 Console A SMASH Hit In European Debut
SMASH Productions purchases new Martin Professional M6 lighting console.
Creative visual design company SMASH Productions has ordered and taken delivery of the first Martin Professional M6 lighting control console in Europe, making it readily available for rental and deployments for assorted shows and productions around the UK.
SMASH, headed by Alex ‘Junior’ Cerio and Tim Smith is known for its innovative, imaginative and fresh approach to production design, creating fabulous environments by combining lighting, video, visuals and scenic elements for any type of live event.
Their work has encompassed many genres and styles, from corporate launches and parties, to touring with international DJs and bands.
“Investing in control elements to run mixed media shows is very much on our agenda, so we wanted a forward-looking console,” stated Cerio. “M6 definitely fits the bill, providing straightforward and simple control of complex multimedia and supplying the user with a look into the future with its variety of visual tools.”
The M6 is a state-of-the-art lighting console, which functions as an advanced ‘visual control’ surface, able to control any lighting rig from conventional moving lights to digital fixtures and LED pixels. The console can be hooked up to media servers in SMASH’s studio and used for pre-visualizing, designing, planning and programming shows in advance.
The console also provides an element of continuity for shows on worldwide tours. With a Martin M2GO console and Ether2DMX8 node already in its rig, SMASH is well aware of the reliability and intuitive operational philosophies of the Martin M-Series of products.
“A massive amount of thought has gone into the M6 console and how it can be used by the most demanding designers, programmers and operators, like our friends at SMASH,” said Dave Stewart, Martin Show Consultant. “The M6 presents a real challenge to established control brands, with inventive and easy-to-use hardware like fast-dials access to parameters and multi touch-screens.”
The first SMASH Productions show for the new M6 was David Guetta’s special guest appearances on Rihanna’s UK & European stadium shows. SMASH recently provided production and visual design (lighting and video) plus technical co-ordination for the main stage of the Love Saves The Day Festival in Bristol. Additionally, Cerio is the Lighting Director for David Guetta’s on-going live performances.
Special Event Services Relies On Outline Loudspeakers For Justin Moore Tour
System Features GTO, GTO-DF, Butterfly, Mantas, LIPF and Lab 21 Speakers
Special Event Services (SES) deployed an Outline GTO-based sound system for the 2013 Justin Moore Outlaws Like Me concert tour, presented at major arenas and concert venues across the country.
With Outline’s exclusive OpenArray 3D Simulation Software, SES employed the company’s integrated flying hardware system to achieve audience coverage and uniform, sound quality at each stop.
A mix of GTO, GTO-DF, Butterfly, Mantas, LIPF and Lab 21 speakers deliver the excitement of Justin Moore’s country rock and emotional ballad performances.
“The most significant aspect of the Outline system that we used for Justin Moore is that it replicates everything I give it without coloration,” says Jeff Oliver, front-of-house engineer for Justin Moore. “Every stage source, from all the guitar amps and microphones, to the drum kit and Justin’s vocals, are faithfully reproduced at each venue with unbelievable consistency.
“Such replication can be difficult to achieve live, and the Outline system does so with ease. The system puts out exactly what I put in, and I think that is the hardest aspect to achieve for live, touring concerts.
“With Outline, the sound is so good that the audience members feel like they are on the stage with the band no matter where they are sitting. Once you work with Outline, you get the chance to learn how an intimate sound can be achieved in a large arena.”
SES is a veteran company that has earned an international reputation for designing and deploying audio and lighting systems satisfying the needs of a broad range of audiences and venue types.
The team at SES relies on the sophisticated integrated flying hardware system included on each speaker in conjunction with Outline’s exclusive OpenArray 3D simulation software to achieve stunning results.
“Outline’s OpenArray software and the design of the cabinets make setup very fast and straightforward,” says John Kaylor, systems engineer for SES. “We go in, measure the room and do all of the predictions in OpenArray, which is really simple to use. The result is a very detailed and accurate sound across every venue.
“The system’s automatic function chooses the angles for each cabinet. We set each cabinet in the array accordingly and fly the system quickly and accurately every time. I believe that the Outline system is one of the most powerful and easy-to-use products I’ve ever encountered. When you need it, the system delivers.”
Oliver also helps with flying the system, and while he appreciates its ease, he loves the results.
“I’ve heard elements of our band out of this PA system that I never knew were there before,” he states. “The Outline system delivers the level of clarity you generally see in a recording studio, a much more controlled listening environment.
“The stereo imagery is second to none. There are nuances that you just don’t hear in other speaker systems. The way Outline’s high-end drivers and wave guides are designed reproduces the top end better than anything I’ve ever heard in my entire life.
“When you pan a guitar in the sound field, you can feel it in the room, you can feel it shift. It just kind of blows your mind that the system reproduces all the way up to 18-19 kHz where all that pretty sonic information is found, like overheads in a drum mix.
“Things like that give you that spatial feel at a concert, and that is good for the performer and the audience. We have achieved this all because of Outline.”
GLP Launches iPad App For Impression X4 Pattern Effects
iPad allows designers to visualize and create custom pixel patterns quickly
GLP German Light Products have launched a new iPad app for their impression X4 fixture.
One of the versatile features of the impression X4 is that users can create their own pixel designs on the fly and store them directly into their control console.
The new iPad app makes the process fast and easy by bringing up a mimic of the fixtures front lens layout. Users can tap individual lenses on and off to design the output that they would like.
Simultaneously the app displays the corresponding DMX channels and values to be input to the controller for the physical fixture.
An additional feature of the app is the color picker allowing you to see color selection on top of any pattern for a real feel of how a final pattern will appear.
The app is free to download from the Apple Store, and will soon be released for the iPhone and Android platforms.
The impression X4 from GLP is part of the award winning series of fixtures and features 19 high powered RGBW LED’s giving a homogenized output across a full zoom range of 7 to 50 degrees. With its lightweight baseless design, the impression X4 packs a huge punch of output for its size.
Cobra sound light provide Adamson Energia E15 rig for popular international reggae star Sean Paul tour.
Popular international reggae star Sean Paul recently toured Germany with an Adamson Energia E15 line array PA provided by Hamburg, Germany-based COBRA sound light.
The compact, 10-date tour took place in arenas across the country. COBRA sound light, a full-service provider for pro audio and event technology equipment, recently added the Energia E15 PA for its sound quality, scalability and simple rigging.
“The tour was very compact—Sean Paul played at 10 venues in 12 days with seating ranging anywhere from 3,000 to 7,000,” explains Michael Buchner, partner at COBRA sound light. “It was important that the system be flexible and scalable. Fortunately we had just added the E15s to our inventory, which were exactly what was required.”
The tour traveled with 24 E15 line array modules powered by 8 Lab.gruppen PLM 20000Q amplifiers. The size of the left-right arrays varied depending upon the size of each venue and the amount of audience area to cover.
“The clarity and loudness of this line array system is superb,” Omatali “Tali” Beckett, FOH engineer, says. “The sound of the box is amazing. I didn’t experience any ear fatigue even after mixing at 95 dB – 100 dB for an hour – truly genius engineering.”
The E15 is a 3-way system, with two 15-inch neodymium Kevlar cone drivers, two 7-inch Kevlar cone drivers, and two 4-inch Adamson NH4 compression drivers. Frequency response is 60 Hz to 18 kHz, horizontal dispersion is 90 degrees, and vertical dispersion is 6 degrees.
“When the tour promoter gave me the choice between an L’Acoustics K1 and the new Energia system from Adamson it was a no brainer for me,” adds Robert Stewart, production manager for Sean Paul. “Everyone loves the system and I hope we have a chance to use it again after Sean releases his new album.”
Use of Adamson’s Shooter software facilitated the use of the system in each venue. The predictive software provides a quick way to achieve a balance between speaker placement, vertical coverage and equal SPL throughout the room.
“The Shooter software really simplifies set-up from venue to venue,” adds Buchner. “It is easy to get the the system up and running and then optimize it for the room quickly and easily.”
COBRA sound light also provided a Digidesign Venue Profile at FOH and a Yamaha PM5D-RH at monitor for the Germany tour.
“I can’t say enough about the Energia E15 line array,” concludes Buchner. “It sounds fantastic, is easy to use, and provides tremendous SPL and excellent coverage. We couldn’t ask for more from a line array.”
New MGM Grand Nightclub Hakkasan Chooses Turbosound
New MGM Grand nightclub in Las Vegas boasts five levels of Turbosound loudspeakers.
Las Vegas’ brand new MGM Grand nightclub Hakkasan is rocking the famous strip with high performance Turbosound loudspeakers installed throughout the main room and five additional levels.
At the heart of Hakkasan is a 10,000 sq ft multi-tiered nightclub kitted out entirely with 24 TFA-600HW Flex Array modules and 12 TFA-600L low frequency loudspeakers, flown in four arrays of three low frequency cabinets with six wide dispersion mid/highs. Twelve RACKDP-50 4-channel amplifiers power the 24 Flex Array cabinets.
In addition, the dance floor system employs six ground-stacked TFA-600B single 18-inch bass cabinets and three TFS-900Bi install-specific dual 18-inch subwoofers.
Twenty-two TCX-8 compact passive two-way loudspeakers, and eight NuQ-6 ultra-compact passive loudspeakers supply under-balcony fill. Upstairs, a further 21 TCX-8 speakers have been deployed for balcony coverage.
Audiotek’s Frank Murray — who has been designing audio, lighting and video technology solutions for more than three decades—specified the incredible array of top-notch TURBOSOUND speakers at the mega-venue.
This is without exception the biggest installation Murray has ever been responsible for.
“Hakkasan is a completely different twist to the standard, conventional nightclub format,” he explains. “It had to be treated as five different venues, because none of the areas were to be ranked as secondary. All of them have to excel and perform in their own right. That was the client’s absolute aim — to ensure that every guest, no matter where they are in the building, feels like they’re having the absolute experience.”
“We are motivated primarily by the music,” explains Murray. “With Turbosound here, as in many other landmark projects, we’ve had the use of their resources to spend time ensuring we retain all the musicality while creating the massive, powerful presence demanded by these events. Our aim was to create a dynamic, uplifting and immersive environment to captivate the club’s customers.”
The TFA-600HW is a compact trapezoidal wide dispersion three-way mid-high enclosure, consisting of a 1-inch high frequency compression driver on a Dendritic horn, a 6.5-inch high-mid frequency driver on a patented Polyhorn device, and two Turbo-loaded 10-inch low-mid frequency drivers.
It combines a Dendritic HF waveguide and a midrange Polyhorn together in a single physically-aligned, equal path length waveguide with 100 degree horizontal dispersion, ensuring a phase-coherent wavefront at the horn mouth. In addition, the drive units are symmetrically arranged within the enclosure, which contributes to the smooth and consistent horizontal and vertical coverage.
The TFA-600L is a compact horn-loaded bass enclosure that consists of a single 18-inch neodymium low frequency driver loaded with a TurboBass device. The integrated flying system allows it to be flown at the top of the Flex Array column using a simple conversion frame between the three bass enclosures and the mid/highs.
These work in collaboration with the ground-stacked TFA-600Bi install-specific subwoofers to deliver lower frequencies to the main room, using an identical single 18-inch neodymium low frequency driver loaded with a TurboBass device to maintain consistency with the flown subs.
Finally, the TFS-900B dual 18-inch subwoofers employ hybrid loading techniques, combining the efficiency of a folded horn with reflex loading’s extension, to provide the all-important sub-bass frequencies that contribute so critically to the ultimate emotional experience.
Adjacent to the main nightclub is the Pavilion — an indoor space with an outdoor feel. In terms of the specified equipment, the Pavilion mirrors many of the choices made in the main space. Four hangs of four TFA-600HW Flex Array wide dispersion modules and two TFA-600L low frequency cabinets cover the main space. Further low frequency reinforcement comes from six ground-stacked TFA-600B bass enclosures. Six TCS-122 two-way loudspeakers address the peripheral areas and numerous TCS-C50T ceiling speakers cover the corridors and bathroom areas.
“The goal has been, and always will be, to create benchmark venues, combining world beating technology and effects with the best sound reinforcement. We want to leave people with a lasting set of experiences, which they will carry with them long after their visit is over,” emphasizes Murray.
Dual Allen & Heath iLive Consoles Manage Album Launch In Open Air Theatre
Two Allen & Heath iLive digital mixing systems managed FOH and monitors for performance by People's String Foundation.
Two Allen & Heath iLive digital mixing systems managed FOH and monitors for a special performance by the band, People’s String Foundation, held at the Minack open-air theatre in Cornwall to mark a forthcoming album launch.
The 12-strong band debuted all tracks from its new album, due for release this summer, accompanied by a ten-piece orchestra.
“Positioned on a cliff top, the open-air amphitheater was a logistical challenge, requiring a mixer that would fit with the rest of the PA in a van small enough to negotiate the narrow lanes leading to the venue but could also handle the 50 plus channel count,” comments FOH engineer, Tommy Williams.
An iLive-T80 surface with iDR-48 MixRack was selected at Monitors, expanded with an xDR-16 to handle the microphones from the string section. The xDR expander had an M-MADI card fitted for multi-track recording of the show on a Soundscape DAW. The other ACE link from the iDR-48 fed the FOH system, comprising an iDR-16 on stage and a T-80 on the upper terrace.
The iDR-48 was set up with 8 wedge mix outputs and 6 stereo in-ear mixes, to cater for extra requirements and supporting acts. In addition, two ME-1 personal mixers were used on stage by the drummer and bassist. The ME-1s received a premix by the Monitor engineer, plus a separate mix of the drums and individual vocals, so that the musicians could dial in what they needed on top of the default mix from the iLive.
“Due to acoustics and integration of the PA with the resident delay speakers, I mixed the gig from my iPad most of the time. The ability to walk all the way up to the upper terrace, or sit down with the audience close to stage was key in setting up the delays, tuning the system and getting the mix balance right,” comments Williams.
Here’s an interesting development that could signal a major advance in stage and concert lighting - audio powered LEDs.
Yes, researchers at Hirose-Tanikawa Group at the University of Tokyo have developed an LED that can actually be powered by nothing but audio.
An experimental setup of the new system uses an off-the-shelf speaker to deliver an ultrasonic sound wave which is converted into power by a circuit board covered in microphones.
The power yield is only about 10mW at a distance of about 20 inches, and that drops to just 1 mW at 16 feet, but it’s enough to power low-energy electronics like LEDs.
Don’t forget, this is still experimental, so there’s lots of room for the eventual improvement in the technology.
This technology can eventually be used as a new way to deliver wireless power to all sorts of devices, not just LEDs, from greater distances.
But getting back to stage and concert lighting, imagine your whole lighting rig being powered by nothing but music!
Bobby Owsinski is an author, producer, music industry veteran and technical consultant who has written numerous books covering all aspects of audio recording. For more information be sure to check out his website and blog.
Meyer Constellation Brings “Volume, Bloom & Envelopment” To ASB Theatre In New Zealand
At the heart of ASB Theatre’s Constellation system is a D-Mitri digital audio platform with three core processors, 12 input/output frames, one core matrix, and six dedicated processors running the patented VRAS acoustical algorithm.
The principal venue of Aotea Centre in New Zealand, the ASB Theatre has installed a Meyer Sound Constellation acoustic system as part of its recent renovation.
By subtly augmenting the theatre’s reverberant characteristics, Constellation creates an immersive acoustic atmosphere and enhances the audience’s sense of envelopment.
The improvement was noted by New Zealand Herald music critic Brian Rudman: “From the opening rumbles of the orchestra it was obvious that something magical had happened during the interior upgrading. Instead of the underwhelming ‘mono LP’ sound, there was volume, bloom, and the stereo-like envelopment you get in a great lyric theatre.”
The 2,068-seat hall’s original acoustics were optimized for amplified events. To provide acoustics that support ASB’s orchestral and operatic performances, Principal Consultant Chris Day of Marshall Day Acoustics specified a balanced approach blending both structural and active electronic solutions.
On the structural side, Day added new side and overhead hardwood reflector panels and parquet flooring. To provide the ideal acoustic support for classical music, ASB decided against the cost-prohibitive option, which required raising the ceiling to add room volume. Instead, ASB chose Constellation as a cost-saving option that provides a broadband extension of the reverberant envelope. The system also allows room operators to tailor the acoustics for any event with the press of a button.
“We’ve had good feedback from patrons, particularly during the recent opera,” reports Kerry Griffiths, head of technical operations for THE EDGE, the umbrella group that operates Aotea Centre and other Auckland venues. “Management has been pleased. And I’m relieved that we now can provide concert hall acoustics for orchestral presentations. It’s also enhanced what we can offer for opera, both for singers and what we hear from the pit orchestra, which is vastly improved.”
At the heart of ASB Theatre’s Constellation system is a D-Mitri digital audio platform with three core processors, 12 input/output frames, one core matrix, and six dedicated processors running the patented VRAS acoustical algorithm.
Forty-four cardioid and 32 omnidirectional microphones provide ambient sound pickup, while the enhanced acoustical response is precisely reproduced through a total of 268 very small self-powered mid-high loudspeakers including Stella 4-C installation loudspeakers, MM-4XP self-powered loudspeakers, UP-4XP 48 V loudspeakers, UPJunior VariO loudspeakers, and 24 MM-10XP subwoofers.
The Constellation system was provided and installed by Bartons Sound Systems of Auckland under the project supervision of Robert Waddell and Tony Wehner.
A critical element in Constellation, the VRAS algorithm was developed by Dr. Mark Poletti of Industrial Research, Ltd. Poletti’s early work on VRAS was prompted in part by reports that the Aotea Centre was seeking improved techniques for high quality, cost-effective acoustical enhancements.
Arctic Monkeys Rock Sasquatch Festival With Soundcraft Vi1 Monitor Console
The Artic Monkeys are back on a new tour with a Soundcraft Vi1 console on monitors.
The Arctic Monkeys are back with a new tour and a HarmanSoundcraft Vi1 console, recently kicking off at the Sasquatch Music Festival at the renowned Gorge Amphitheater in George, Washington.
New York-based Firehouse Productions provided the desk for Monitor Engineer, Will Doyle, who has great experience with Firehouse and Soundcraft’s line of consoles from prior tours with the group.
“The Vi1 was a great choice, especially for a massive and spectacular venue like the Gorge,” stated Doyle. “It has a small footprint meaning it’s easy to travel with and there is no hassle fitting it anywhere; but it still has nearly all the features of my usual Vi6.”
“We’re excited to get this tour underway,” continued Doyle. “It’s a Soundcraft Vi desk, so it sounds just like the others in the range and feels like mixing on a sound desk or console rather than a computer.
“With custom user layers and VCAs for each mix, I found there’s a lot less button pushing than some other consoles, which means more time looking at the band!”
Doyle, who continues to deploy the desk for stereo ears, wedges and side fills, is still amazed at how much the board feels like an analog desk and how easy it is to manage all the channels on each layer.
“The board responds beautifully and is extremely user-friendly,” he said.
While festivals can sometimes be hectic with limited changeover time between acts, Doyle mentioned that the ViSi Remote iPad app is really useful and can eliminate many challenges before a show. “With Soundcraft, I am always confident in what I need to do. This was a great show and I look forward to continuing our journey with Soundcraft.”
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