Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Osceola Performing Arts Center Upgrades To Allen & Heath iLive
New iLive-T112 control surface and iDR-32 MixRack replace aging analog mixer
Originally constructed in 1974, the Osceola Performing Arts Center (OPAC) in Kissimmee, FL, now owned by the local Osceola County School District, has a new Allen & Heath iLive digital mixing system to meet a variety of needs.
OPAC is a mid-sized facility with approximately 2,000 seats on one level, an apron stage and a formal orchestra pit. It hosts a variety of musical, dance and other commercial events and is closely associated with the Osceola County School for the Arts, an award-winning middle school and high school.
About a year ago, the decision was made to replace OPAC’s analog mixer due to its age and poor spare parts availability with a new iLive-T112 control surface and an iDR-32 MixRack.
“We wanted a digital mixer for its flexibility,” says David Edgar, manager of OPAC. “We host a wide variety of performances, and we needed a mixer that could adapt quickly to the needs of each performance. The Allen and Heath iLive is perfect for that.”
Edgar adds, “Most of our performances are mixed by an outside engineer. These are experienced professionals and they appreciate the iLive because they can save their own setup on a thumb drive and recall it quickly when they come back for a new performance.”
OPAC purchased the iLive from Dan Lee at Signature Systems of Florida in Casselberry. Lee had installed an iLive in a local government facility and was able to show this installation to Edgar.
In addition, Edgar attended an iLive training session held by Allen & Heath’s Florida rep firm, Mainline Marketing. “We had looked at several different mixers,” says Edgar, “But, after seeing the iLive in use and attending the training session, I knew this was the right mixer for OPAC.”
He was also pleased to learn about the iLive’s built-in digital snake: “We had issues with the aging analog snake, and it’s great to be able to install Cat-5 cabling instead.”
Edgar makes good use of the iLive’s custom LCD channel labeling in each different profile and for commercial events such as the Nutcracker Ballet and the Orlando Philharmonic. He is also looking forward to adding a wireless router so they can take advantage of the iLive’s iPAD app and also use a pair of netbooks to control the system.
Switcher Supports High-Speed HDMI and Digital Multichannel Audio Switching and Distribution Across Four Zones
Atlona today announced that the company is now shipping its new AT-H2H-44M 4x4 HDMI matrix switcher.
A comprehensive signal routing switch supporting high-speed HDMI and uncompressed digital multichannel audio switching and distribution across four zones, the AT-H2H-44M boasts unique features including advanced EDID management, S/PDIF audio loop outs, multiple control interfaces, in-field upgradable firmware, and Audio Return Channel (ARC).
The AT-H2H-44M’s advanced EDID management feature ensures compatibility across multiple display types, sends communication between sources and displays, and automatically provides a compatible EDID at start up. The unit also features an EDID learning function that can be customized for any connected component such as AVRs, set-top boxes (STBs), and TVs.
S/PDIF port loop outs allow audio distribution to zone amplifiers or A/V receivers within a rack, while the video signal is routed via the HDMI output to the zone display. The S/PDIF output supports digital audio signals up to Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1.
With multiple control interfaces such as RS-232, IR, and the front panel — with future updates for TCP/IP through the unit’s Ethernet port — this 4x4 HDMI matrix switcher was developed with whole-home media control and light professional needs in mind. In addition, the AT-H2H-44M features a field-serviceable firmware port that allows for quick and easy upgrades.
“The AT-H2H-44M 4x4 HDMI matrix switcher is the perfect solution to consumers’ whole-home entertainment needs,” said Steve Heintz, professional product manager, Atlona. “Packed with a full range of advanced features, the unit ensures that users will have the highest digital quality experience when watching a movie, giving a presentation, and much more.”
The AT-H2H-44M is available now at an MSRP of $1,299.99.
New Sound Devices 664 Production Mixer Makes Pro Audio Debut At AES 2012
Offers considerable I/O connectivity and recording flexibility
The new Sound Devices 664 production mixer will make its first professional audio debut at the 133rd AES Convention this week in San Francisco 2012 (booth 934).
The flagship 664 mixer offers expanded input/output connectivity and recording capabilities, along with greater flexibility and ease-of-use. Its six input channels have dedicated controls for trim, fader, pan and PFL. The inputs and four output buses are all recordable, for a total of 10 tracks of recording.
The 664 contains six ultra-low noise, high-dynamic range and transformer-less preamps, which accept mic- or line-level signals and include analog peak limiters, high-pass filters, input trim control and direct outputs on every channel.
Featuring full analog audio paths for high-performance audio and superb power efficiency, the 664 also has numerous digital capabilities. Inputs 1 and 6 can be selected as AES3 or AES42 inputs for digital microphones, each with its own SRC for simplicity in system clocking.
The analog output compliment includes four output buses. The L and R buses are on balanced XLR, 10-Pin and TA-3M connectors; unbalanced on TA-3M or 3.5mm connectors. Secondary output buses X1 and X2 are available on balanced TA-3M connectors. Inputs and buses can be routed to four AES3 connections for eight digital outputs on the XLR and 10-pin connectors.
The 664 can record up to 10 tracks of 16- or 24-bit broadcast WAV files to SD and/or CompactFlash cards. All inputs and outputs are individually selectable for recording, enabling the mixer to record all 10 channels of audio. With its dual card slots, content can be recorded to either or both cards simultaneously, with the added ability to assign different tracks to each memory card.
The 664 includes a high-precision, Ambient-based time-code generator/reader for multi-camera and double-system sound applications. All common production time-code rates and modes are supported.
Sound Devices also introduces a companion accessory, the CL-6 input expander for the 664, which is designed specifically to add six analog line-level inputs to the mixer.
With the CL-6 attached, the direct output connectors are available as inputs, controlled by faders located on the CL-6 front panel.
The CL-6 also offers additional LED output metering and duplicate-recording transport controls. With the 664 connected to the CL-6 users can now record all 12 input channels and four outputs, for a total of 16 tracks.
The 664 features an abundance of connectivity options in addition to the main audio I/O, catering to the complex productions becoming more common today.
It has expanded return-monitoring capabilities, with three separate camera returns as well as a dedicated private-line communications connection. The 664, like the 552, has a built-in slate microphone and tone oscillator, and includes a dedicated input for an external slate mike. The internal or external slate mike can be routed to either outputs or to the dedicated comm output.
The 664 can easily build a private-line communication with a comm return input, separate from camera returns.
“Our customers are looking for more inputs, connectivity, flexibility and power in the field,” says Jon Tatooles, managing director, Sound Devices. “We have taken the strengths and knowledge gained from our existing mixer line and continue to evolve the technology to meet the growing needs of sound mixers. The 664 is how we see the future of high-performance field mixers; they need to have recording capabilities in order to be a fully functional tool in the field.”
The front panel of the 664 has an intuitive LCD menu enabling users to simply adjust input settings. It also offers the capability to see how an input is routed and connected when its settings are altered.
The LCD display also allows users to quickly activate the individual tracks that are to be recorded. Dedicated front panel controls are provided for gain, trim and faders, as well as full-size XLR connectors. The mixer is powered by five AA batteries or external DC power.
The 664’s top and bottom chassis panels are made from molded, metalized carbon fiber for superior durability and weight reduction. The chassis panels are also gasketed for water resistance.
New Apogee MiC/Zacuto Zgrip Jr. Kit Delivers Professional Sound To iPhone Video Recording
Fusion of Apogee MiC, studio-quality condenser microphone, and the Zgrip Jr. handgrip
Apogee Electronics has introduced the MiC/Zacuto Zgrip Jr. kit to deliver professional sound to HD video recording on the iPhone.
The kit is a fusion of the Apogee MiC, a studio-quality condenser microphone, and the Zgrip Jr., a solid handgrip for shooting video on the iPhone 4 or 4S.
Users are able to mount the MiC directly on the Zgrip and turn their iPhone into a professional handheld rig.
The Apogee MiC is the first studio-quality microphone to make a direct digital connection to GarageBand on the iPhone, iPad and Mac. The MiC’s pristine sound is a result of PureDIGITAL technology, delivering the natural tone of one’s voice or instrument right to the iPad, iPhone or Mac.
The Zacuto Zgrip iPhone Jr. also helps in attaining professional and stable mobile recordings on iPhone 4 or 4S. The phone (which is not included in the kit) simply snaps into the cradle attached to the handgrip. The handgrip has a ¼ 20” thread on the bottom for mounting to a tripod. It also has a 1/4 20” thread on top for mounting the Apogee MiC.
The kit includes:
—Apogee MiC —Zacuto Zgrip Jr. —0.5m cable for connection to iPad and iPhone —1m cable for connection to Mac —Quick start guide —Desktop tripod —MiC stand adaptor
Revolabs Introduces Hybrid HD Microphones & XLR Adapter
Designed specifically for Revolabs HD wireless audio systems
Revolabs has announced the release of new Hybrid HD microphones and XLR adapter, designed for conferencing installations requiring a powered audio solution.
Constantly powered and located around the conference table, the wired Hybrid microphones and XLR adapters provide optimized audio pick up during meetings.
For meetings where wireless operation is required, the microphones can easily be removed from the power source and placed where required around the table.
“Responding to feedback from our key integration partners and customers, we are pleased to announce the Hybrid HD microphones and XLR adapter for applications requiring little or no user intervention,” says Marc Cremer, COO at Revolabs. “The Revolabs Hybrid HD products combine the best of both wired and wireless microphones into one versatile solution. And no matter how long a meeting may last, users never have to worry about a microphone losing power.”
Offering plug-and-play functionality, Hybrid HD microphones and XLR adapter simplifies the administration and installation of audio systems in any room. Power is available at conference room tables, and the wireless audio connection insures that installers do not have to run new microphone cable.
Powered yet functioning wirelessly, Hybrid HD products also provide ease of use for unfamiliar users, alleviating the need for any setup prior to the beginning of a meeting or the need to return microphones to a charger tray after the meeting has concluded.
Designed specifically for Revolabs HD wireless audio systems, the Hybrid HD microphones and XLR adapter utilize “Designed for Speech” HD audio technology to provide crystal-clear audio.
Integrated RF Armor technology makes audio impervious to GSM noise from cell phones, avoiding unwanted audio interference. To keep meetings private, the microphones also offer secure 128-bit encryption technology.
Hybrid HD microphones are available in omnidirectional and directional tabletop versions, and come complete with a power supply.
The Hybrid HD XLR adapter provides audio coverage for any dynamic gooseneck microphone (sold separately) with an XLR connection. This allows for the easy installation of gooseneck microphones in any room without having to run audio wires.
To reduce the number of power outlets required for the Hybrid HD solutions, Revolabs offers users the ability to power four microphones with one power supply with its Hybrid 4 Multi Microphone Power Adapter Kit, sold separately.
Will spearhead sales efforts in cruise ship market for company's entire product line
Following growing demand, Riedel Communications has announced that Rik Hoerée has joined the Riedel team as key account manager, cruise ship engineering, where he will spearhead the sales efforts in the cruise ship market for the entire Riedel range including intercom, fiber and audio solutions.
“I’m looking forward to developing new business opportunities for Riedel here in this market,” Hoerée says. “From my past experience with Apex in Belgium and France, I’m already familiar with the Riedel product portfolio for a long time.
“Riedel is one of the most forward thinking manufacturers in this industry. I’m excited to be onboard,” he adds.
Hoerée has almost 20 years pf sales experience in the pro audio and broadcast industry, and has spent the last 14 years as sales and technical director at Apex BeNeLux and Apex France.
DigiTech Introduces HardWire V-10 Power Block Pedal Power Supply
Offers 10 fully isolated outputs that deliver dependable, noise-free power for effects pedal
DigiTech has introduced the HardWire V-10 Power Block 10-Pedal Isolated Power Supply, a pedalboard power supply with 10 fully isolated outputs that deliver dependable, noise-free power for effects pedals.
The HardWire V-10 Power Block’s isolated, high-current outputs and a shielded low-stray-field toroidal transformer eliminate hum and noise that can be caused by ground loops and interference.
Four 9-volt outputs are provided, along with two pairs of 9V/12V merge-able outputs for power-hungry digital pedals, and two outputs with variable voltage from 5 to 12 volts.
The HardWire V-10 Power Block is built road-tough with a heavy-grade aircraft aluminum chassis that allows for maximum heat dissipation.
The V-10 measures 7.5 x 3.5 x 2.2 inches, and mounts perfectly under Pedaltrain pedalboards. It utilizes standard 2.1 x 5.5mm barrel jack connectors and delivers 1200mA total DC current.
The V-10’s front-panel LEDs provide ready indication of output jack status. It is supplied with 17 DC power cables from 18 to 30 inches, including 2.1mm and 2.5mm barrel plugs with positive (+) and negative (-) centers, 3.5mm phone plugs and 9V battery clip.
“A guitarist’s pedalboard is only as good as its power supply,” says Scott Klimt, marketing manager for DigiTech. “We designed the V-10 Power Block to be the best power supply on the market and give musicians the best sound and performance from all of their effects pedals, night after night.”
The DigiTech HardWire V-10 Power Block carries a six-year warranty and is available in October 2012 with a suggested retail price of $299.95.
Geffen Debuts GAVA, A New End-to-End A/V Automation Solution
Utilizes a configuration wizard and an IP-based system that controls all connected audio/video devices, as well as window shades and lighting
Gefen has announced the release of GAVA (Gefen Audio/Video Automation), a new system for both residential and commercial and residential applications that offers an easy installation using a configuration wizard and an IP-based system that controls all connected audio/video devices, as well as window shades and lighting.
GAVA uses an HTML5 interface and is optimized to work with smart phones and tablets such as the iPhone, iPad and Android using a web browser as the control interface.
Unlike many other automation systems offering control through smart phones, GAVA does not require any special downloaded applications.
“GAVA offers the most intuitive system setups available today,” said Orrin Charm, Gefen automation project manager. “By using templates and a driver library to identify and configure A/V equipment, you can set up a multi-zone rooms in in just a few minutes. Yet it is a multi-room, multi-user control system, and not just another ‘smart’ remote.”
Once configured, GAVA retains a unique IP address that enables any authorized device with wi-fi capability the ability to access and control the entire A/V system. Although designed to run on a network, it does not require Internet access for configuration or use, but it can be connected to the Internet for firmware and library updates or for remote technical support or control.
“One of the best features of GAVA is the ability to save the configuration onto the computer hard disc, then have the ability to recall the setting later on,” says Hagai Gefen, president and CEO of Gefen. “With this option, you can essentially ship GAVA to the installation site and literally drop it in with total plug and play functionality.”
GAVA works with A/V receivers, matrix switchers, Blu-ray players, Apple TVs, iTunes, set-top boxes and HDTV displays. If some devices are not IP ready, GAVA can be combined with Gefen’s PACS (Professional Automation Control System) or the Mini PACS.
These bridge devices connect via IP to use RS-232, IR and triggers to control A/V components. Eight IR emitter ports, three RS-232 ports, 10 trigger outputs and an Ethernet 10/100 BaseT connection are included on PACS. The Mini PACS has three IR ports, one RS-232 port, two relay contacts plus the Ethernet port.
“Another great feature of GAVA is that it’s easy to integrate with Gefen’s other A/V products including matrix switchers,” adds Hagai Gefen. “Its simple design and installation process makes it perfect for both small or large systems.”
GAVA is available to purchase through the many Gefen distributor partners and comes in several different “kit” packages. Initial packages are available for residential environments, conference rooms, auditoriums and residential environments.
GAVA also comes with remote service access and can be upgraded throughout the life of the product.
Gepco Debuts Touring Line Of RunONE Powered Cables
Combine audio and power, along with optional data, under a single jacket
Gepco International has announced the expansion of its line of RunONE powered cables to include a version specifically for touring and production use. The company is showing the new cables at the LDI show, booth C2423.
RunONE powered cables combine audio and power, along with optional data, under a single durable yet flexible jacket. They allow users to pull a single cable in place of multiple cables, providing a portable and neat solution that saves time and hassle.
Each RunONE cable combines one channel of power with two, eight or 12 channels of 110 Ohm balanced audio for line level, mic level or digital AES audio signals and can be used with self-powered speakers or in DMX lighting control.
Additional configurations of RunONE include two channels of Category 5e cable that can be used for data drops in remote power and audio applications. Snakes with optional data can also be used for digital audio transmission while sending power to Front of House (FOH) for remote locations.
Shielding around the power channels eliminates power noise from interrupting the audio/data signal, ensuring high-quality performance.
Joining the existing Professional Line of RunONE cables, the new Touring Line was designed with larger-gauge power conductors and an overall shield. The 12 AWG power conductors of the Touring Line provide a lower voltage drop for long distance runs, while the overall shield reduces outside noise often encountered during those longer runs.
Terminated with industry-standard connectors, RunONE cables offer the option of Edison, IEC and Neutrik powerCON connectors for the power channel; 3-pin XLR, 5-pin XLR (for DMX lighting), TRS and Neutrik convertCON connectors for audio channels; and RJ45 and Neutrik etherCON connectors for optional data channels.
RunONE cables are available in pre-defined and custom configurations.
“The RunONE cables are a great solution for anyone looking to save time,” said Joe Zajac, sales and applications engineer for Gepco. “Now the Touring Line of RunONE cables also provides a neat solution where extended runs of cable are needed.”
Biamp Systems Introduces New TEC-1 Interface Device For The Tesira System
In addition to the new control device, new Tesira v1.1 software will also be available
Biamp Systems has announced the addition of the new TEC-1 Remote Ethernet device, which are the remote controls for the Tesira system.
The new control device, available in two configurations – TEC-1i and the TEC-1s – offers a simple, intuitive interface for end users and can be installed and configured to fit the unique needs of a particular application.
Leveraging standard CAT5/6/7 cabling, the TEC-1 devices are powered over Ethernet, eliminating the need for custom cabling and local power sources.
“The TEC-1 device provide end users with control of system settings quickly and easily through an intuitive and attractive wall panel,” says Graeme Harrison, executive vice president of Biamp Systems. “Installations can be designed with multiple control panels in a room, or to control many rooms from one panel if this is desired. This gives an unmatched level of flexibility in design and use.”
In addition to the new control device, new Tesira v1.1 software will also be available. This new software supports the TEC-1 design and configuration capabilities.
Some of the features of the new device:
—Select and adjust up to 32 controls per device
—Control and/or select sources, volumes, presents and mutes
—Capacitive touch technology eliminates protruding and moving parts and increases reliability
—End user control and/or access to a single room or several rooms included in the entire system design
Multiple TEC-1 control devices can be connected over large distances using standard network technology, making them a good fit for both simple and complex installations such as restaurants, AV conferencing and room combining.
Apogee Electronics Announces New Symphony I/O Configurations And Pricing
Intended to simplify the customer buying experience with clear, scalable choice
Apogee Electronics has announced Symphony I/O, the company’s flagship audio interface, is now available in select configurations, and with new pricing.
The new pricing and configuration structure is intended to simplify the customer buying experience with clear, scalable choices.
Symphony I/O is now offered in four configurations with the ability to expand using one of the five available I/O modules.
Configurations include Symphony I/O 2x6, Symphony I/O 8x8, Symphony I/O 16x16, Symphony I/O 8x8+8MP. These four configurations offer the perfect starting point when purchasing Symphony I/O.
With each configuration, customers have the ability to easily expand with up to 14 possible combinations, maxing out at 32x32 analog I/O in a single Symphony I/O.
Further, the 16x16 Analog I/O module receives a price reduction from $3,495 to $2,995 and the 8 Mic Preamp module from $1,995 to $1,495. At $1,495, the 8 Mic Preamp module delivers a $186.88 cost per channel creating unprecedented value for a professional recording interface. (All prices U.S.)
Riedel Communications Key To Red Bull Stratos Historic Skydive
Integrating both wireless and wired digital intercom systems
The Red Bull Stratos, the 120,000-foot skydive from the edge of space on October 14, was a mission that transcended human limits. Riedel Communications provided the communications solution for the project, integrating both wireless and wired digital intercom systems.
Additionally, Riedel furnished the fiber-based video and signal distribution as well as the wireless video links from the capsule’s onboard cameras – enabling the stunning pictures delivered from the Red Bull Stratos capsule.
Felix Baumgartner, extreme base jumper and sky diver, ascended to 24 miles (39 kilometers) in a stratospheric balloon and made a freefall jump, rushing toward earth at supersonic speeds before parachuting to the ground, breaking three world records with one jump: the highest skydive, the longest free fall, the first to reach supersonic speeds in free fall, and the highest manned balloon ride.
For the capsule that transported Baumgartner into the stratosphere, Riedel provided the on-board video control system for nine HD video cameras with specially developed telemetry control.
This system was responsible for the control of the video recording and also worked as a comprehensive digital video router – not unlike a mini OB truck inside the capsule. It offered complete remote control of the whole video system and featured three HD video downlinks that were dynamically assigned to the selected cameras.
Click to enlarge (Copyright: Red Bull Media House)
For providing a reliable communication between Baumgartner and mission control, another specially developed communications solution from Riedel was used.
The communications infrastructure on-site included the entire compound, the mission control, the production offices, the media/press center, and the OB truck. All of these facilities and positions were integrated into one single communications infrastructure via a Riedel Artist Digital Matrix system.
Artist is a fiber-based communications solutions that offers highly flexible, reliable and decentralized communications in broadcast quality audio. The redundant ring topology makes Artist a reliable solution for mission critical applications such as the Red Bull Stratos project.
Click to enlarge (Copyright: Red Bull Media House)
Further, Riedel furnished the on-site digital radio network with more than 100 radio receivers and 10 channels, which were seamlessly integrated into the wired matrix intercom system. This means radio users were able to directly talk to intercom users, and vice versa.
All video signals on the ground were distributed and routed with Riedel MediorNet technology, a fiber-based real-time network for HD video, audio, communications and data signals that also provides integrated signal processing that saves time, cost and effort in installation and maintenance.
For Red Bull Stratos project, 24 Riedel MediorNet nodes were installed in a redundant ring topology to provide maximum reliability. In case of a potential connection loss between two nodes, the signals would have still been distributed due to the redundant topology.
Mission control. Click to enlarge (Copyright: Limex Image Production GmbH)
The connection to the launchpad of the capsule was also realized with the MediorNet system – specifically, by two MediorNet Compact frames that were connected to the main system.
All links in the MediorNet system were realized with Riedel PURE, a robust, tactical fiber cable for demanding mobile applications that is equipped with ruggedized Neutrik OpticalCON Quad connectors.
The MediorNet backbone transported all video signals of the Red Bull Stratos mission as well as all signals from the OB truck and from the tracking truck. It also distributed the broadcast audio between Mission Control and recording facility.
Further, the data of the telemetry that was used for some broadcast applications, such as the Moving Map, was also transported via MediorNet.
In addition to the video transport, MediorNet also served as a network backbone for the on-site Internet connection to provide Ethernet connectivity in all areas of the compound.
NTP Technology Launching AX32 Audio AD/DA/DD Converter To U.S. Market At Upcoming AES
All 32 mic feeds can be connected back to the control room along a single Cat 5 cable via IP Ethernet
At the upcoming 133rd AES Convention in San Francisco (booth 1237), NTP Technology is introducing the new DAD AX32 mastering-quality audio AD/DA converter to the U.S. market.
Housed in a 2RU chassis, the AX32 allows large multi-microphone arrays to be accommodated without the need to transport a second processor.
All 32 microphone feeds can be connected back to the control room along a single Cat 5 cable via fully transparent and uncompressed IP Ethernet.
“The AX32 is a development of the highly successful 24-channel AX24 which is used by many of the world’s leading studios for ultra-low-noise microphone preamplification as well as transparent analog-to-digital, digital-to-analog and bit-rate conversion,” states Mikael Vest, sales director for NTP Technology. “Designed for no-compromise audio recording, mastering, post-production, and future-proof archiving, the AX32 retains the flexible control features that have made the AX24 so popular.
“A larger control screen on the front panel of the AX32 interacts with four adjacent pushbuttons to provide fast and easy local control. Remote operation can be achieved from an Ethernet-connected PC. Preamp parameters can be represented on the channel strip of third-party audio production consoles and workstations.
“The AX32’s audio via IP Ethernet capabilities allow master recordings to be networked from one studio to another or across a large building complex,” Vest continues. “The Ethernet IP audio interface handles up to 512 channels and uses the highly robust Audinate Dante technology employed in our Penta 725 IP audio routing system. AES/EBU and MADI inputs and outputs plus a Gigabit Ethernet IP interface are provided for use with a Dante Virtual Soundcard for PC, Apple Mac and other Dante compatible devices.”
The AX32 is designed to integrate closely with Avid’s ProTools|HDX multitrack capture/editing/mixing system. A versatile interface structure allows the AX32’s processors to be assigned to any digital interface or patched between the interfaces on a channel-to-channel basis.
Compatible with all standard sampling rates up to 384 kilohertz, the AX32 allows production of future-proof master-quality Digital eXtreme Definition (DXD) and Direct Stream Digital (DSD) audio data formats as well as the 44.1 to 192 kilohertz formats commonly used for audio editing and distribution.
An optional ultra-low-noise microphone preamplifier provides analogue gain control in 3-decibel steps as well as digital gain control with 0.25 decibel precision. Dynamic range of analog to digital and digital-to-analog conversion is 126 dB. The preamplifier’s equivalent noise floor is -132 dB.
Apple computers are almost studio ready right out of the box. There is very little required from the user in terms of optimization.
—Enable secondary click in Mouse Preferences
—Disable Natural scrolling direction in Mouse Preferences
—Set scrolling to without inertia in Universal Access>Mouse>Mouse Options
—Change show spotlight from CMD+Space to Option+Space in Keyboard>Keyboard Shortcuts
—Disable Put the hard disk(s) to sleep when possible in Energy Saver preferences
These are just some of my own suggestions.
My friend Randy Coppinger recently posted about Pro Tools and Spotlight Indexing, advising to disable the Indexing service because it could interrupt long recordings.
I personally use Spotlight more than the dock or desktop shortcuts so I don’t think I could live without that. I’m not a Pro Tools user anymore and I have not had any issues with Spotlight. If Pro Tools is your DAW, why not test your system with and without Spotlight?
Randy’s advice reminded me of when I was using Pro Tools, and while doing long test records, it would often stop after an hour of recording. It turned out to be that Time Machine was trying to back up the files that were still recording.
Switching Time Machine to “Off” and doing manual backups after recording solved the problem. (This was a few years ago.)
On my new iMac I use Gobbler to backup my audio projects off my external FireWire drive and Time Machine with a USB2 drive dock to backup my important files on my system drive. Both of these require minimal thought and effort, once configured are completely automatic.
Have a backup plan, no one wants to hear your sad story about losing a year of work on an album because you didn’t backup.
I highly recommend taking some time to set up your Time Machine options to keep the backup from filling up with unnecessary files. Things like Melodyne transfer files, temp files, the trash, Dropbox (since it is already backed up to the cloud).
1) Recording Drive (backed up separately)
2) ~Trash (this is a hidden file)
3) ~/Library/Audio/Apple Loops (that overused junk that comes with Garageband and iMovie)
4) ~/Library/Caches (system and application temp files)
5) ~/Music/Celemony (Files generated by Melodyne)
6) ~/Downloads (usually this is recently downloaded installers and unsorted documents)
7) ~/Dropbox (duh, this is already in the cloud)
8) ~/Music/GarageBand (don’t exclude if you actually use GarageBand)
9) ~/Music/iTunes (don’t exclude if you actually use iTunes)
10) ~/Desktop/TEMP (I use this folder for Reaper’s peak files and auto backups, this is emptied monthly)
After some testing of the Energy Saver preferences on my iMac, I noticed that FireWire devices can start acting weird coming back from sleep. I have a FireWire interface and hard drive chained.
If the computer goes to sleep these are disconnected. When I wake the computer they reconnect, but a couple of times in the past week things just don’t work right after waking:
—DAW freezes when loading
—Contents of hard drive hidden/inaccessible
1) Log off/restart, or,
2) Unmount drive, power cycle audio interface (off, wait, on).
The drive should remount automatically and be back to normal.
There is one way to prevent this: set computer sleep to “Never” in Energy Saver preferences.
Safely Unmounting Hard Drives
I’m including this info because I don’t want you to ever say no one told you. This applies to any removable storage device – iPhones, iPods, cameras and memory cards.
If you’re using external hard drives for audio and backup (you should be!), you have to correctly unmount the drive volume from the system before turning off or disconnecting. If you don’t the whole drive can become unusable. You really don’t want that.
To unmount the hard drive first make sure any transfers etc are completed, then right-click the drive icon and select “Eject.” Alternately you can drag the drive icon to the trash bin, you’ll see the trash turn to the eject symbol.
It is now safe to turn off the drive.
This used to be a big deal for Pro Tools users a few versions back. If PT was still open when the drive was ejected from OSX, the drive would still be attached to Pro Tools. When the user turned off the drive it was like playing Russian Roulette. I had a few friends kill drives this way while in school. To my knowledge, this bug was fixed.
External Hard Drive Doesn’t Mount
OSX usually detects new hard drives within a few seconds. If you connect an external drive but it doesn’t appear in Finder within a minute, see if it appears in Disk Utility.
If it does, check that it is readable by OSX and attempt to mount it.
If it doesn’t: DO NOT turn it off or unplug it, just restart the Mac with it still connected.
If it still doesn’t after a restart, turn off the computer and try the drive in a different case, dock or different computer.
Incorrect Memory Card Capacity
If you use SD or other removable flash memory in your camera or portable recorder, you may run into the problem of not being able to add more recordings/photos to the card but there should be lots of space left. This is because removing files doesn’t always clear up space. The files are still saved in the trash bin.
Connect the card to the mac and empty the trash. That should fix it. The alternative is to reformat the card. Jon Tidey is a Producer/Engineer who runs his own studio, EPIC Sounds, and enjoys writing about audio on his blog AudioGeekZine.com. To comment or ask questions about this article go here.
Prism Sound Launches Lyra Family Of Audio Interfaces
Connects seamlessly with both Macs and PCs via a simple USB interface
Prism Sound is introducing Lyra, a new family of audio interfaces, at the upcoming 133rd AES Convention in San Francisco.
“Lyra connects seamlessly with both Macs and PCs via a simple USB interface,” says Graham Boswell, sales and marketing director for Prism Sound. “For recording professionals who don’t need eight channels of analog I/O, Lyra is the perfect interface because it allows them to access Prism Sound quality in a convenient package and at an affordable price.”
Prism Sound, which plans to launch a number of different variants of Lyra, has started the ball rolling with Lyra 1 and Lyra 2. Both incorporate new ARM Cortex-based ‘Xcore’ processor design offering class-compliant USB interfacing, plus DSP and a low latency ‘console-quality’ digital mixer for foldback monitoring.
Both products also have optical SPDIF capability and Lyra 2 also supports ADAT.
Lyra 1 offers two analog input channels – one for instrument/line and one for mic/line – plus two DA output channels and optical-only digital I/O.
Lyra 2 takes the concept a little further by offering two AD input channels with switchable microphone, instrument or line input modes and four DA output channels. Both optical-only digital I/O and copper S/PDIF are available on this version of Lyra, which also offers wordclock In/Out enabling synchronization with other digital devices.
The front panel has a master volume control assignable to selected output channels, while the unit’s small size – just 11 inches wide – makes it very easy to transport. For studio use, Prism Sound can supply dedicated rack mounts as an extra.
“We know there is a market for Lyra because our customers have been demanding this product ever since we launched Orpheus,” Boswell adds. “However, we are very protective of our reputation for delivering the highest possible audio quality so we were not going to bring any product to market until we were 100% convinced that it could live up to our exacting specifications. Lyra does just that, and we are very proud to introduce it.”
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