Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Riedel Communications Names Erik Miehs As Service Engineer For Australia
Most recently was a communications and broadcast engineer at the Sydney Opera House
Erik Miehs has joined Riedel Communications as service engineer for Australia, where he will boost the company’s ability to support existing customers and equipment rentals while contributing to the continued overall growth in sales and rentals across the region.
“As an end user in his previous position, Erik brings a wealth of operational Riedel knowledge to our team. With his appointment, we’ve instantly expanded our ability to deliver excellent service to our growing client base,” says Cameron O’Neill, general manager, Riedel Australia. “We’ve had an explosion of new installations in the past two years, and keeping those systems in peak condition is one of our core values.”
Miehs has more than 10 years of experience working in audio and pro sound. Most recently, he was a communications and broadcast engineer at the Sydney Opera House, where he was responsible for all Riedel Artist, Performer, and Acrobat systems deployed in the opera house venues and its new recording and broadcast facility. Previously, he served as an A/V technician for corporate functions and events at Revolver Audio, and was an audio technician and front of house engineer for Glass Chain Audio Services.
Monday, August 11, 2014
Compact Advantages: The Latest On Smaller Consoles & Mixers
Digital consoles have certainly changed the way our workflows and the ways we mix.
No more cumbersome large-frame analog consoles that take four or more stagehands to move and set up.
No more promoters and event planners crying about how much room said large-frame analog console and associated outboard drive and effects racks are occupying at front of house.
No more large, heavy analog snake cables to coil up at the end of the gig now that we can run a single coax, fiber or Cat cable for networking.
The “no more” list seems endless, but the initial buy-in to this digital revolution took some big bucks as early digital consoles were quite pricey.
As with electronic devices over time, prices come down and feature sets go up, with digital consoles being no exception. In fact, a new category of digital consoles sprung up a few years ago when manufacturers listened to those of us who didn’t necessarily want or need a large consoles for our small- to medium-sized gigs.
These “compact” units often offer most/all of the bells and whistles of their bigger siblings with the exception of reduced fader counts, or they may actually be different consoles altogether and offer a reduced feature set. Even with fewer features they still pack a punch and offer up way more processing than we ever had in our analog racks as well as more routing capabilities than a large-frame 48-channel analog console ever could.
The compact digital mixers we’re referring to here fall into the 16- to 32-channel size, but don’t let fader count or onboard inputs fool you, because many offer increased channel capabilities by using fader layers and adding additional stage I/O units. Some can even be cascaded together allowing desks to conveniently increase capabilities or even form a larger console.
Many of these smaller mixers aren’t skimping in the routing department either, as many have quite a few mix buses and matrix outputs. The same goes with processing and effects. Even the most miniscule units offer multiple effects and processing like compression and gating on each channel, again providing more capabilities than the largest tours had with analog desks just 10 or so years ago.
And if you don’t like the onboard effects and processing, many models offer the ability to integrate plug-ins that are software processors crafted to emulate the operation and results of modern or vintage outboard gear, and they can also be used to formulate new creations offering a different take on a particular effect or processor.
As we’re tasked to do more live recording, manufacturers have answered the call by providing a slew of recording options, including recording to USB, external hard drives and tablets, as well as multi-track recording to a DAW via a dedicated path like USB and FireWire or a digital network protocol like MADI or Dante. Not satisfied with the just recording the event, some of these consoles can be configured into a mix-down desk at the push of a button to deliver double duty as both a recording and live audio desk.
Topping it off, the majority of compact mixers can also be remotely operated via computer and/or tablet. Wired or wireless, these remote devices provide access to mix functions that allow users a user to move around the venue rather than being anchored to the control surface. Some even accommodate multiple tablets (or smart phones), allowing performers to control their own monitor mixes.
With all these capabilities and more, it’s no wonder that compact consoles are a big hit. Enjoy our Real World Gear Photo Gallery Tour of a variety of compact consoles.
Thursday, August 07, 2014
Biamp Systems To Share Advantages Of AVB Technology At InfoComm Mexico 2014
Session to highlight how Audio Video Bridging can bring increased flexibility and scalability across AV and IT systems
Biamp Systems area manager for Central America, Ernesto Montañez, will be presenting a session titled “Understanding AVB and its Advantages” at TecnoMultimedia InfoComm Mexico 2014. The presentation will take place from 3:30 pm to 4:30 pm on Friday, August 22 at the Tajin-Peten Lounge at Mexico City’s World Trade Center.
The session will focus on how integrators can use the IEEE’s audio video bridging (AVB) standard to transport audio and video easily over Ethernet networks in order to bridge the gap between AV and IT systems.
In addition, participants will understand the technology’s future role in networking as well as how AVB can simplify network infrastructures, reduce implementation costs, and ensure the successful delivery of cutting-edge AV applications. Attendees will gain knowledge of how to plan, design, and implement interoperable AVB systems throughout their installations.
“As the AV industry continues to evolve and integrate into IT networks, AVB will become an extremely important enabler for ensuring effective AV networking capabilities,” says Montañez. “This InfoComm session will help integrators better understand how AVB will provide system advantages, greater cost effectiveness, and higher performance levels than ever before. Biamp is a strong supporter of AVB as it promises greater stability, flexibility, and scalability for today’s AV projects an all sizes.”
Based in Mexico City, Montañez oversees all sales and installations within the region. With more than 15 years of hands-on experience in sourcing and promotion of audio systems, he is specialized in IT within audio/video installations and has successfully managed solutions for large-scale installations within venues such as stadiums, convention centers, hospitals, airports, and offshore platforms. An engineer, Montañez has previously worked with Bosch Security Systems and Sennheiser Electronics and holds a degree in Audio Engineering from Universidad Tecnológica Vicente Pérez Rosales.
More information on seminars at TecnoMultimedia InfoComm Mexico is available at here.
Roland Systems Group Releases Behind The Scenes Video From “Gino Vannelli Live in LA”
Focuses on console, snakes, recording, networking and other system facets deployed for top-shelf production
To provide a closer look at the production of the “Gino Vannelli Live From LA” DVD that became available in May, Roland Systems Group (RSG) has released a “behind the scenes” video and write-up of the project at V-MixingSystem.com.
The behind the scenes video examines the RSG V-Mixing System setup and interviews the technical and production staff. Ross Vannelli mixed at front of house using an RSG M-480 console with inputs from an S-4000-3208 digital snake. A split also fed the monitoring system where monitor engineer Matt Greco used the RSG M-380 console to control both in-ear monitors for Gino and other frontline musicians, as well as M-48 personal mixers for the rest of the band.
In addition, recording engineer Nick Moon took splits off of the S-4000D directly to two R-1000 multi-channel recorders to capture all of the live audio channels redundantly. He was also responsible for mixing and mastering the live concert in both stereo and 5.1 surround.
Ross Vannelli, Gino’s brother, is the owner of COA Productions and also produces Gino’s live concerts. He approached PBS stations to produce the “Gino Vannelli Live in LA” DVD from an exclusive performance at the Saban Theater in Beverly Hills in November, 2013.
Touring extensively with the V-Mixing System, he’s very familiar with the system and appreciates how each part integrates—from console to snakes, splits, multi-channel recording, and monitoring and personal mixing. The REAC two-way audio communication and transport protocol allows every component in the system to communicate with each other.
Over the course of a long-spanning career, Gino Vannelli has recorded a string of hit recordings that have sold more than 10 million copies worldwide. To order the DVD or CD, go here.
Roland Systems Group
Symetrix Delivers Upscale Audio Processing To Hong Kong’s V City
Symetrix SymNet Radius DSPs foster flexible and reliable audio to sprawling facility
A substantial deployment of Symetrix processors is helping to deliver flexible and reliable audio in the clubhouse area of V City, New Territories West, Hong Kong. Since opening its doors in 2011, V City has become one of Asia’s most acclaimed and well-visited retail complexes thanks to its energetic feel and diverse selection of brands.
Project collaborators AV consultancy Dino and systems integrator Betrue called on the services of Soundclassy, which supplies Symetrix products to integrators throughout Hong Kong and Macau on behalf of distributor Sanecore. The need for effective network control of processors located in multiple control rooms dictated a solution based around Symetrix SymNet Radius 12x8 open architecture DSPs.
“Dino has used Symetrix on a number of previous projects, so knew the brand very well,” explains Soundclassy’s technical adviser, Bill Chu. “For the V City project, there was a need for quality and reliability, and that’s been answered with a system that features nine Dante-enabled Radius 12x8 DSPs, along with two xIn 12 and four xOut 12 audio I/O expanders and no fewer than 20 ARC-2e wall panel remotes for easy control.”
The clubhouse – which housts live performances as well as general background music – is now a flagship for the huge retail complex, which was developed by Sun Hung Kai Properties. The Symetrix package provides audio networking capabilities over Dante, while the manufacturer’s own ARC RS-485 based protocol manages control between the Radius 12x8 units and Symetrix’ ARC-2e wall panel remotes. “The system has been performing brilliantly, and the operators are very happy with the installation,” says Chu.
Cher Concert Tour Traveling With Three DiGiCo SD7s Provided By Black Box Music
Front of house engineer Dave Bracey multitracks the entire show at 96 kHz to a laptop using DiGiGrid MGB coaxial MADI interfaces
Cher recently completed the first North American leg of her Dressed to Kill (D2K) tour, scheduled to resume in Albany, NY in mid-September and traveling with three DiGiCo SD7 consoles supplied by Black Box Music of Berlin, Germany, the live sound production provider for the entire tour.
The DiGiCo consoles are operated by Dave Bracey at front of house, with Jon Lewis mixing monitors for Cher and Horst Hartmann supplying monitor mixes to the seven-piece band, dancers and technical crew. The D2K tour, Cher’s eighth solo venture, reunites the three engineers, as well as system tech Ulf Oeckl, other crew members and some of the musicians, who all worked together on P!NK’s 140-plus-date The Truth About Love tour, which wrapped in early 2014.
Bracey, who made the transition from DiGiCo’s D5 to the SD7 for Massive Attack’s 2008 European tour, and whose resume includes extensive touring with The Cure, Robbie Williams and Björk, reports that he typically does a lot of programming in the console. With Cher going through nearly a dozen costumes during the 18-song show, the D2K tour features numerous film and video montages while the star is offstage changing.
As Bracey reports, some of the audio for the archival footage is less than pristine: “You have to process it in a way that makes it intelligible in the room,” he says. “So every interlude between every song needs its own snapshot. Some of the archival movie clips have such disparate audio signatures that only some well-adjusted multi-band comp and a channel of dynamic EQ would make the whole segment intelligible. The SD7 offers so much that I am yet to use a plug-in.”
The programmable features of the SD7 are part of the reason that Bracey has used the console exclusively for the past six years. “It’s infinitely controllable, but it never controls you or gets you into a situation where you’re too scared to call up the next snapshot. It makes life easy.” Like the D5 before it, he says, the SD7 allows the operator to update a single snapshot or apply changes across every snapshot, on the fly. “No other desk does it as well—that’s the reason I still use it. I see no reason to mix on any other console,” he says.
With Cher making so many costume changes it makes sense to have one mixer focusing solely on her needs, according to Jon Lewis, who has worked with AC/DC, David Gilmore, Paul McCartney and many others. “DiGiCo is my go-to board,” says Lewis, not least “for the support that you get from the guys, especially initially setting it up.”
The three SD7s are on an optical loop that allows the three engineers to share anything on the network, including video and communications. “That gives us the ability to throw something to each other at the click of a button, as opposed to having to go and find some XLR cables and patch it,” says Lewis. “If Dave suddenly needs her talkback mic, he can get it. If I need Dave’s effects returns, they’re there. It’s very quick and easy. And the ability to send video feeds around the system is great as well.”
“Even simple things like text chatting during the show,” Bracey chimes in. “If there’s something that’s not worth disturbing someone over, you just send them a message and they can answer in their own good time.”
Hartmann, whose credits include Kraftwerk, Scorpions and Sade, generates 12 stereo and 12 mono sends from his SD7. He manages all of the wireless equipment and crew communications while also feeding mixes to the musicians, who are all on in-ear monitors, several of them with separate ButtKicker low frequency effects feeds, and the dancers, via floor wedges and flown side fills.
“Every musician has a talkback mic, every crew member has a talkback mic,” says Hartmann, noting that all of the technicians are either under the stage or off to the sides. “There’s a lot of communication going on.” Since their sightlines are obscured, Hartmann and Lewis are able to follow the on-stage action on their consoles’ video screens.
At front of house, Bracey multitracks the entire show at 96 kHz to a laptop using DiGiGrid MGB coaxial MADI interfaces, both as an archive and as an aid to perfecting his mixes. “Two little boxes, a couple of Ethernet cables into an Ethernet bridge and into the computer—how easy is that? Most days I feel the need to listen back to it,” says Bracey. “It’s always very revealing.”
(click to enlarge)
Black Box Music
Wednesday, August 06, 2014
Shure Wireless Helps Turn MidState Medical Center Operating Rooms Into Virtual Classrooms
ULX-D digital wireless system and PSM 900 personal monitor system fosters interaction between students and surgeons
When surgeons enter operating rooms at MidState Medical Center in Meriden, CT, they take on two critical roles. Their primary responsibility is patient health, but the second role they have is to demonstrate best practices and procedures in front of a virtual classroom.
Two specific operating rooms, the Hybrid OR and the Robot Room, at the medical learning facility enable a global student audience to observe surgical procedures through videoconferencing technology.
When Gary Blumberg, Hartford Healthcare collaboration services manager at MidState Medical Center, was charged with selecting audio equipment for the new, advanced operating rooms in 2013 he had very specific, nonnegotiable requirements. To avoid the heavy RF interference caused by the hundreds of surrounding medical devices, Blumberg wanted a system with high-end wireless technology.
And for patient privacy purposes, he also required reliable and advanced encryption capabilities. Headsets that were comfortable and lightweight were also critical, which required Blumberg to be selective about the headset chosen, because he knew doctors wouldn’t have an opportunity to adjust the microphone during surgery.
After evaluatiung the advanced frequency coordination, monitoring, and control available with the Shure ULX-D digital wireless system and Wireless Workbench 6, Blumberg enlisted Viju Group to install four channels of wireless. He was also confident that the system’s AES 256-bit encryption would provide secure wireless transmission and protect patient privacy.
“The features we needed from a wireless system for this installation weren’t optional, they were all must-have requirements,” says Blumberg. “Frequency management, secure wireless transmission, and a lightweight, hands-free design are all factors that could potentially interfere with surgeons’ performance and our patients’ well-being. ULX-D didn’t just meet these requirements—the system exceeded them. So far, its performance has been flawless, and we’ve been especially impressed by its set of frequency management tools—that feature alone is priceless.”
To give students an opportunity to engage directly with the experts after each procedure, Viju Group also installed the Shure PSM 900 wireless personal monitor system in the operating rooms. Two-way communication between medical students and physicians is coordinated by a control room technician, who facilitates the discussion from a Shure Microflex 418 gooseneck microphone.
“Virtual learning at MidState Medical Center has brought an invaluable advantage to students around the globe,” Blumberg notes. “For the future success of medicine, it’s imperative that tomorrow’s doctors have an opportunity to interact with and learn from today’s leading physicians. ULX-D is helping us empower the next generation of doctors.”
Extron Introduces Six Input, Four Output Audio Expansion Processor With AEC & Dante
Places six mic/line sources onto a Dante audio network, and routes any four Dante channels from the network to an amplifier or other destination
Extron Electronics has introduced the AXP 64 C AT, an audio expansion processor with six mic/line inputs and four line outputs for remote connectivity to a Dante-enabled DMP 128 audio system. It is used to place six mic/line sources onto a Dante audio network, and route any four Dante channels from the network to an amplifier or other destination.
The AXP 64 C AT is equipped Extron ProDSP with gain, filtering, and dynamics processing for all inputs and outputs. Four of the inputs also include AEC, 48-volt phantom power, and control ports. FlexInputs offer the additional capability to process Dante channels in place of the first four local inputs. A single Ethernet cable from one AXP 64 C AT, or several linked units, to a central equipment rack greatly reduces the effort and expense of pulling one cable for each endpoint.
“Integrators need a way to eliminate the effort and expense associated with pulling multiple cables to the digital signal processor in the equipment rack from the microphones and audio amplifiers in the meeting space,” says Casey Hall, vice president of sales and marketing for Extron. “The AXP 64 C AT routes signals from the meeting room to one or more DMP 128 AT digital matrix processors on the Dante network but also receives and processes signals back to the room from the network all using a simple Ethernet link.”
The AXP 64 C AT includes four independent channels of AEC with advanced algorithms for fast convergence and optimal intelligibility in conferencing applications. The AEC-enabled inputs also offer FlexInput capability to route a Dante channel through the processor in place of a local mic/line input. The flexible input selection enables the AXP 64 C AT to process audio from remote wireless microphones, wallplates, and other sources from anywhere on the Dante network.
In an installation with a large number of mics, the AXP 64 C AT audio expansion processor places audio signals onto the Dante audio network using standard IP networking. Signals are received as expansion inputs at one or more DMP 128 AT processors.
A sound system designer can incorporate several AXP 64 C AT or Extron AXP 50 C AT audio expansion processors to create a large mixing matrix with up to 56 remote inputs and 24 outputs per DMP 128 AT using the built-in four-port Gigabit switch. This greatly simplifies scalability and the audio cabling infrastructure by avoiding long analog mic cable runs.
To further simplify the audio cabling infrastructure, the AXP 64 C AT converts four channels from the Dante network to line level audio signals, processes them, and routes the optimized audio to local sound reinforcement systems.
Tuesday, August 05, 2014
Allen & Heath Adds To Xone Line With New Xone:K1 MIDI Controller (Includes Video)
Offers flexible layout that allows users to define and customize an individual workflow and mixing experience, and it works with all leading DJ software
Allen & Heath has introduced the Xone:K1 to extend the MIDI controller range of its Xone DJ line, joining the Xone:K2 controller.
The K1 has a flexible layout, allowing users to define and customize an individual workflow and mixing experience, and it works with all leading DJ software. It’s also easily configurable to allow fast access for setting levels, triggering hot cues, adding effects and instant looping to relieve the DJ from focusing on the computer screen.
Equipped with 6 endless rotary encoders with push switch, 12 analog pots, 4 linear faders, and 30 backlit performance switches with three-color illumination, the Xone:K1 allows comprehensive mapping to leading DJ and production software, such as Traktor Pro, Ableton, Virtual DJ and MixVibes, offering a total of 52 assignable hardware controls.
Powered over USB so that a separate power cable is not needed, Xone:K1 can be mixed and matched with other Xone:K series controllers and daisy-chained using Allen & Heath’s proprietary X:LINK protocol without the need to carry a separate USB hub. X:LINK also enables DJs to expand their set-up by connecting directly to Allen & Heath’s Xone 23C, DB2 and DB4 mixers.
Xone:K1 is both lightweight and hard-wearing, with a steel front panel and employing Allen & Heath’s nutted pot construction. A black padded case is available as an accessory, which doubles as a stand, bringing the K1 up to the same height as most pro DJ mixers.
“Xone:K1 is a valuable and key addition to the Xone family, providing vast control of popular software programs, slotting into multiple DJ hardware set ups across the range with simple plug ‘n play connection, and constructed to withstand life with the traveling DJ,” states Xone product specialist Greg Ibbotson.
Allen & Heath
Friday, August 01, 2014
Producer Joe Chiccarelli Chooses Lynx Aurora Converters For Latest Morrissey Album
16VT converters at both ends of transatlantic project from France to LA
Aurora 16VT converters from Lynx Studio Technology were used for the transatlantic recording and mixing of the new album by Morrissey, “World Peace is None of Your Business.” Produced by Joe Chiccarelli, tracking was done at La Fabrique Studio in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France while overdubbing and final mixing were completed at Sunset Sound in Los Angeles.
Aurora 16VT converters have been in use at La Fabrique for many years and provided Chicarelli with the clarity and response required for tracking the Morrissey sessions.
“We’ve been using Lynx Aurora at La Fabrique for many years now. It was after testing different other converters that we finally decided to buy Aurora. As an engineer I’m very satisfied and regularly track and mix with very good results,” according to Hervé le Guil, La Fabrique’s owner. “I always keep the Aurora’s stereo mix that is very close to my stereo console output, very close. It’s really fantastic that passing through the converters you never lose the quality of the initial sound. It’s a really good machine.”
Noted French engineer Maxime Le Guil assisted Chiccrelli with tracking in France. “La Fabrique is a state of the art studio. It’s an idyllic setting and an extremely inspiring place to work,” states Chiccarelli. “There are many options in terms of recording spaces. The staff is top notch and it’s always a musically rewarding experience to record there.”
After tracking was completed in France, Chiccarelli resumed work in Los Angeles for completion at Sunset Sound. In an effort to maintain the same sonic character he had achieved in France and after evaluation, he determined that a change in converters may be the difference. Working with Chris Bolitho at Vintage King LA, he brought in a pair of Aurora 16VT converters and immediately got back to the exact quality audio he had in France.
“It was really important for me to maintain some continuity throughout the project. Since we tracked through the Lynx Aurora, I really wanted to maintain that sound through the mixing stage,” explains Chiccarelli. “There is an openness and smoothness in the top end of these convertors that is quite unique. It was very noticeable in the Vocal sound and the acoustic guitar sound especially.
“The change in converters to Aurora made all of the difference,” he continues. “The Auroras sound great. They have lots of air on top. It is indeed the vocal sound that I had recorded. In mixing we used a combination of Lynx convertors and other converters, but the extension in the top and bottom end that the Aurora has was really helpful on instruments that needed the air. I’m very thankful that Aurora allowed us put this album
back to where it started.”
Lynx Studio Technology
La Fabrique Studio
Thursday, July 31, 2014
LaChapell Audio Launches Single-Bay 500 Series Tube Preamp
High-voltage vacuum tube preamp accommodates mics and Hi-Z instruments
LaChapell Audio has released the new 583s MK2 single-bay tube preamplifier, replacing the company’s first 500 series tube preamp, the 583S, after a successful run.
The 583s MK2 improves on the original while retaining identical microphone and Hi-Z topologies. Noted as the only true 500 series high-voltage vacuum tube preamp that accommodates mics and Hi-Z instruments, it incorporates a Cinemag input transformer and Jensen JT-11 output transformers. A convenient handle is provided for easy insertion and removal.
“Our users have been asking for a single bay 583s so that they could fit more of them in a 500 series chassis. Not only have we been able to accomplish that, we have also improved the signal-to-noise ratio,” explains Scott LaChapell, owner of LaChapell Audio. “Our technology allows us to properly power the 12AX7 tube with a full 250-volt supply so recorded sources sound natural with the vacuum tube warmth that other manufacturers cannot deliver, all while staying within API/VPR power requirements.”
The new LaChapell Audio 583s MK2 is available now, with a street price of $945 (U.S.).
Avid MediaCentral Platform Fosters Live Performances At 2014 Gent Jazz Festival
S3L for both front of house and monitors enabled floor space in front of the stage to be maximized, and all aspects of live mixing and recording were speeded up
An Avid MediaCentral Platform was at the heart of a collaborative live sound workflow at the recent 2014 Gent Jazz Festival (Gent, Belgium) that featured noted artists such as Michael Kiwanuka, Melanie De Biasio, and Gabriel Rios.
Key to the decision to select Avid as the exclusive partner of the festival’s Garden Stage live sound workflow was the need to be able to capture and mix live performances as quickly and as cost-effectively as possible. Given the wide variety of acts appearing on the Garden Stage and its relatively small footprint, the festival’s organizers also required a proven, compact live sound set-up.
Ives Mergaerts, artist production manager at Gent Jazz Festival, explains, “Crucial for us was to achieve exceptional sound with as compact a footprint as possible. By choosing an Avid live sound workflow, we had the confidence and peace of mind of knowing that we were in safe hands. Importantly as it’s the industry’s live audio production technology of choice, we knew that it is well known and trusted by our front of house engineers.”
The festival utilized the portable Avid S3L system powered by the Avid MediaCentral Platform. Using the S3L for both front of house and monitors enabled the floor space in front of the stage to be maximized and all aspects of the live mixing and recording were speeded up through the integration with VENUE software. This allowed the mix engineers to run an expanded creative toolset of Avid and third-party plug-ins using the board’s Pro Tools HDX-powered processing engine.
An additional S3L System was used to record the output from all stages through Pro Tools, presenting monetization opportunities for the artists beyond the festival.
“The lifespan of a live performance carries on long after the curtain has closed and the audience has left the venue,” said Tim Carroll, vice president of worldwide audio programs at Avid. “Artists of the caliber that play at the Gent Jazz Festival need to make their performances available for future use in order to connect more powerfully with audiences even after the show is over—so the ability to replay, resell, and reproduce content through a variety of channels is critical. The Avid Everywhere vision guides the integrated and versatile nature of our live sound workflows, enabling future monetization and delivering massive benefits for both festival organizers and artists.”
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Saelig Introduces 100 MHz Touchscreen Digital Oscilloscope With Deep Memory
FFT functionality is also included for instant display of the frequency spectrum of the signal under test
Saelig Company announces the Owon TDS7102, a new 100 MHz four-channel benchtop scope with touch-screen capabilities that make instrument setting, operation, and adjustment faster and more intuitive.
With 1GSa/s signal capturing on all four channels simultaneously, a 7.6MSa record length, and 50,000 wfmSa/s capture rate, zooming in and finding fast, intermittent pulses is now much quicker and simpler. Controlling waveform position, display, and triggering is much faster with touch control, but buttons are also provided to offer conventional operation.
The TDS7102 also offers deep memory, external, video-capable trigger, auto-measurements, auto-scaling, 8-inch full-color 800 x 600 pixel LCD display, XY mode, auto-set, averaging, math functions, USB output, waveform storage, pass/fail output and a 3-year warranty. FFT functionality is also included for instant display of the frequency spectrum of the signal under test. Another feature is the ability to switch the input impedance from 1 Mohm to 50 ohm—a built-in termination to eliminate signal reflections.
The Autoscale function can automatically adjust the vertical gain, or the horizontal time base, or both together. This is useful for circuit probing—as the probe is moved from point to point on a circuit board, the display auto-adjusts for best trace presentation. It functions in the same manner as “AutoSet,” but instead of being a one-time function, it’s active until turned off, keeping “hands-free.”
The TDS7102 can automatically measure and display frequency and peak-peak/rms/mean values, but cursors can also be moved to make individual readings. A built-in self-calibration facility improves measurement accuracy. Video signal monitoring is also facilitated with triggering on NTSC/PAL/SECAM line or field waveforms.
TDS7102 features include: manual cursor measurements, up to 19 automatic measurements (including frequency), high-speed screen update, storage for up to four reference waveforms and set-up parameters, convenient USB serial interface with PC software, 400V (DC+AC peak) maximum input, and multi-language capabilities.
With interfaces such as USB host and device, VGA for external display or projector, and Ethernet LAN for remote operation, the TDS7102 will find application in a wide range of environments such as electronic circuit debug and circuit testing, design and manufacture, education and training, and automobile maintenance and testing.
The TDS7102 offers on-board storage, and USB output, making it an unbeatable value for use in design, maintenance and lab applications. The TDS7102 comes in a sleek, attractive case and is possibly the lowest cost touch-capable digital oscilloscope available on the market.
Designed and manufactured by Owon, a test equipment manufacturer specializing in very affordable, reliable, and easy-to-use precision benchtop and handheld instruments, the TDS7102 is in stock now at $899 from Saelig Company.
East Kentucky Power Cooperative Selects Shure Microflex Wireless For Multipurpose Corporate F
MXW8 gooseneck base transmitters with push-to-talk feature were installed for accurate sound reproduction and to remedy sound delivery issues
East Kentucky Power Cooperative (EKPC), responsible for powering more than 520,000 homes and businesses in 87 Kentucky counties, is owned by 16 electric distribution co-ops located in central and eastern Kentucky.
Each of the 16 parties is involved in monthly decision-making meetings, comprised of 45 or more participants. Hosted in an EKPC multipurpose boardroom, the meeting facility became a growing concern, as it quickly proved to be inefficient due to an A/V configuration that included just six microphones suspended from the ceiling.
To help alleviate the issues, EKPC partnered with dBA Acoustics, a consulting and design services firm, to create a new conferencing environment that would offer audio clarity through an intelligent wireless solution.
With a layout featuring a large U-shaped table, when designing the new conferencing system, it was crucial to have at least one gooseneck base transmitter per two board members. A solution that could be turned on and off by individual members was also requested to limit interruptions and prevent excess ambient noise from drowning out the speaker.
Shure Microflex wireless systems were selected to address these requirements. MXW8 gooseneck base transmitters, with a simple push-to-talk feature, were installed for accurate sound reproduction and to remedy the sound delivery issues associated with the limiting ceiling microphones.
EKPC facilities supervisor Troy Varner states, “Shure Microflex Wireless was exactly what we needed. It is extremely user-friendly and the bi-directional wireless capabilities ensure we can monitor and control all settings in real-time. Additionally, with the premium technology all meeting attendees can be clearly heard, while the table top goosenecks make it easy for members to participate in the conversation.”
Each transmitter offers bi-directional wireless capabilities, enabling return channel audio and real-time remote control and monitoring of all settings. This functionality enables the EKPC team to always have access to transmitter battery status for long meetings or back-to-back sessions.
Outside of solving A/V issues for monthly board meetings, Microflex wireless has had a positive impact on EKPC training presentations, smaller meetings, and the annual meeting, which also occur in the corporate boardroom. For these occasions, the room relies on four compact Microflex wireless hybrid bodypack rransmitters that connect to earworn or lavalier Shure microphones for presenters.
Additionally, the room has three podiums that are equipped with Microflex Wireless handheld transmitters. For added convenience, all EKPC’s selected Microflex wireless transmitters fit into the system’s networked charging station that brings batteries to 50 percent in one hour, with smart charging that safeguards against battery damage.
“We stream training sessions to other facilities and also record all board meetings, so high-quality audio was our biggest concern. We needed a system that would work in a boardroom setting but could also support presentations at a podium and training sessions, where the presenter is mobile. Shure Microflex wireless fits the bill, and our past events have been flawless thanks to the audio technology,” says Varner.
And All That Jazz… Backstage At The Monte-Carlo Jazz Festival
Picture this—it’s mid afternoon, the sun is shining; I’m relaxing in the lobby of the prestigious Hotel de Paris, sipping on a chocolate-coated cappuccino, admiring the décor and soaking in the chilled-out atmosphere…That’s not quite true—I’m milking their free WiFi, praying the stunning waitress won’t charm me into another 11 Euro coffee before I set off for sound check. I’m actually staying in the Novotel… in Nice.
Nevertheless, with a spring in my step, I make the short walk across the square to the festival venue – and it’s no ordinary venue. The Opéra de Monte-Carlo is more like a palace; its 150-year-old walls house a plentitude of very regal looking rooms and corridors, as well as the 900-capacity Salle Garnier.
As I walk in, I notice Alain Courieux walking out for a smoke. This man is a true gent, and a magician at front of house. Last time I saw him, he was juggling about 20 keyboards for Jean-Michel Jarre at Wembley Arena on his DiGiCo SD7, and this time around, he’s mixing on an SD10, which I can’t seem to locate…
Where’s The Desk?
“That’s because front-of-house isn’t actually at front-of-house here, you see,” he explains, with a smile. “We’re in the dressing room—we call it the studio, actually, as we have a pair of Genelec 1031s to monitor the audio—and we’re located two floors below the arena; it sounds crazy, I know, but it works beautifully for this gig.”
The reasoning for this setup is threefold: to respect the building’s character and aesthetic; to save battling the venue’s acoustics, and to keep all of the seats available.
“As a punter, you don’t need to be punished by the acoustics of the room; and what we get out of the speakers here is the exact sound that’s coming from the stage mics,” Courieux explains. “Then we send that via MADI to the [DiGiCo] SD9 in the main room, where Olivier Moreau [of Arpège, the audio provider for the event] controls a stereo feed, the subs level, and the announcer mic.”
The FOH console is packed out at 96 inputs running at 48 kHz; audio is being distributed via three DiGiCo racks on site: two SD Racks and a DiGiRack, the latter is for the SD9, the former are shared between FOH and monitors.
“The monitor board is in charge of the level of the preamp—the master—and we adjust the level of the SD10 in the dressing room with the digital trim,” Courieux continues. “The SD10 is very versatile, like all DiGiCo boards, and plenty powerful for a show like this. Also, we’ve connected DiGiGrid, which is great; we only got the unit two days ago, but it’s easy to use and it’s running like clockwork.”
Using DiGiGrid, Courieux will record 92 tracks of audio tonight for Marcus Miller (bass player extraordinaire-cum-Grammy Award-winning producer): a two-hour set with a 52-piece orchestra and full band; everything’s going down dry so Miller can work on the material himself, post-show.
Courieux has copied the outputs from the two SD Racks to the MADI output of the main SD10, fed audio to the DiGiGrid, then sent the signal via RG45 cable to his MacBook Pro, which is running Logic 9.
“I’m using the internal effects from the SD10, which are all excellent—the only outboard I carry these days is a Lexicon 960,” he says, booting up a second MacBook Pro. I ask him what he’s doing. “I am taking care of the orchestra on this Mac. Using both laptops, I have control of the DiGiGrid and the remote DiGiCo control; this one is giving me extra channels.”
Woman On A Mission
Backstage, Rebekah Foster, Miller’s tour manager, production manager, co-monitor engineer, and pretty much anything else she sets her mind to, seems to have multi-tasking down to a fine art. “Walk with me,” she insists, so I scuttle along after her like a stage hand, concluding that she is not to be messed with.
“This is jazz—we’re a family here, and we look out for each other. If I’m needed somewhere else, my stage manager will hop onto the monitor board, as he’s also an engineer; and Alain has one of Marcus’s audio crew mixing with him—Marcus has his own audio team as well as the core crew.
“We all pull together for each other here. Having DiGiCo consoles makes life a whole lot easier, especially with an orchestra. I love the snapshots, the control groups, the I/O racks; and DiGiGrid allows us to record the shows very easily.”
Foster uses no outboard whatsoever – she gets “all the processing she needs, and more” out of her SD10, and her channel count stands at 98. “Our relationship with DiGiCo is great,” she insists. “Basically, we say the word and Webby makes it happen. In fact, if you’re listening Webby, we need a pair of consoles to take on the road next year, OK?”
And with that, she’s gone—no doubt to conquer another set of challenges. Next port of call is the man at the top of the festival tree, Jean-René Palacio, artistic director of the Société des Bains de Mer (SBM), promoter, and booker.
“We have several roles here, really,” Palacio explains. “First and foremost, it’s about bringing new and exciting artists and new technology into this historic venue with the most respect we can. Secondly, it’s an economic thing - when you put a big mixer in the middle, you lose seats—and you don’t expect a positive reaction from your sound guy when you tell him that’s not going to happen! However, Alain’s come up with a great solution that everybody is now comfortable with.
“Alain was the one who introduced me to Webby and James [Gordon, DiGiCo’s managing director]. We get on great and they are now our partner here. DiGiCo is on all the riders, and we use them all year round. They’re a standard for us; we always know that every artist and crew will be happy.”
As soon as the show begins, one thing is clear: the musician- ship is entirely world class. Miller may be renowned for his bass playing, but he is one mean saxophonist too; and let’s not forget his outrageously talented guests including Columbian-born harpist, Edmar Castaneda, and harmonica player, Gregoire Maret.
The sound in the room is superb, and it’s interesting (and bloody knackering) flitting between the auditorium and FOH to compare the two; as unusual the setup is, it’s a winning one!
As I exit backstage, I ask Courieux what kind of relationship he has with Miller in terms of artist/engineer. He turns to me, stubs out his cigarette and offers a wry smile:
“Marcus knows exactly what he wants; he sends us his three bass feeds—DI, mic, and amp - and we take it from there. We don’t discuss sound so much; to be honest, we much prefer to talk about wine…”
Headliner is a recently launched UK-based publication that supports the creative community, focusing on live performances, recording sessions, theatre productions, and major broadcast events. The spotlight is on the technology, but with a lifestyle approach. Find out more here, and subscribe here.
Headliner editor Paul Watson has 10 years live touring experience with bands in the UK and the US, and ran an independent recording studio for five years close to London. He also serves as the editor for Europe for Live Sound International and ProSoundWeb.