Interconnect

Sunday, June 19, 2011

JBL Introduces CSM-32 And CSM-21 Commercial Series Mixers

Do not require a computer for configuration and are designed with simple analog-style controls

JBL has debuted the CSM-32 and CSM-21 Commercial Series mixers that provide an entry-level, cost-effective approach to commercial audio applications such as retail, hospitality and conferencing.

The new mixers can be configured for a range of uses such as paging, background music, and security applications, do not require a computer for configuration and are designed with simple analog-style controls. An included security plate can be placed over the controls to avoid uninvited changes to a commissioned system.

The CSM-32 features three stereo inputs and two stereo zone outputs and the CSM-21 features two stereo inputs and one stereo zone output. Both processors are stereo throughout the entire digital processing path and can be run in stereo or mono mode.

The CSM-32 offers an isolated output, specifically designed for supplying music-on-hold audio to phone systems.

The new JBL Commercial Series Mixers offer a diverse palette of processing tools, including priority override, page ducking, source and zone EQ, LevelGuard, AutoWarmth and a built-in crossover. 

LevelGuard helps maintain optimum levels through the system by automatically applying the correct amount of compression to the source signals based upon the incoming level.

AutoWarmth helps maintain musical warmth at all operating levels by automatically adjusting the tonal balance within a zone based upon the zone output level.

“Combining simple analog-style control with digital signal processing provides commercial integrators and their customers in retail, hospitality and other verticals the best of both worlds,” stated Iain Gregory, market manager for installed sound at Harman Professional Signal Processing Group. “Making sophisticated digital signal processing accessible to more users through a simple control interface means that the standard of business music systems can be redefined, which in turn enhances the overall customer experience.”

Three wall controllers are available for the CSM-32 and CSM-21 devices, which offer volume control and source selection from convenient remote locations.

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JBL Professional Website

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Posted by Keith Clark on 06/19 at 10:03 AM
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Bosch Communications Systems Announces OMNEO Media Networking Technology At 2011 InfoComm

Provides both program transport and system control for professional media networking applications

Bosch Security Systems, Inc., Communications Systems Division announced OMNEO, its media networking technology, at the 2011 InfoComm show in Orlando.

OMNEO has two components:

1) An audio program transport protocol suite that offers low-latency, high-quality multichannel audio stream exchange.
2) A robust control protocol suite that provides reliable and secure system control for pro media networks of all sizes, from small to intercontinental.

OMNEO’s program transport component is the result of a partnership between Bosch Communications Systems and Audinate.

Specifically, OMNEO uses Audinate’s Dante networking technology to provide standards-based, routable IP media transport. 

OMNEO’s system control component is an open Bosch Communications Systems development descended from the Audio Engineering Society’s AES-24 protocol architecture. Named OCA, for Open Control Architecture, it includes many features for flexibility, reliability, security, and compatible growth over the years.

Bill Scott, VP of engineering & technology, explained the driving factors behind OMNEO’s development: “Since the early 1990s, the pro audio industry has sought a common scheme by which audio and video devices from diverse manufacturers could interoperate harmoniously over standard digital networks. In such networks, devices share both program content and system control to provide users with powerful integrated multi-vendor solutions.

“Until recently, industry progress in this area has been discouraging.  However, new IEEE developments – the 802.1AVB protocol suite and related media transport standards 1722 and 1733 – have made major advances on one of the two fronts: program transport. Collectively known as ‘AVB,’ these accomplishments are rekindling industry optimism in universal media networking. It now seems that for the first time in history, common professional media networking standards are within reach.”

Three years ago, Bosch Communications Systems began its own work on a standards-based media networking solution.

“The intent of this project was threefold,” continues Scott. “Firstly, to develop technologies which provide full interoperability of all Bosch Communications Systems network-enabled equipment; secondly, to allow Bosch Communications Systems customers to use standard, off-the-shelf Ethernet infrastructure; and thirdly, to merge the Bosch Communications Systems solution with emerging public standards such as AVB as soon as possible, allowing Bosch Communications Systems customers to enjoy fully standardized media networks in which equipment from many manufacturers interoperates smoothly.”

Bosch Communications Systems is firmly committed to using and supporting open public standards and offering fully interoperable systems:
• An open standard is one whose details are available to all without restrictions.
• A public standard is one that is maintained and supported by an accredited public standards organization.
• An interoperable system is one in which products from multiple manufacturers can operate harmoniously and with full functionality.

Over the last three years, Bosch Communications Systems and Audinate have been developing OMNEO as a future open public pro media networking solution that will be compliant with emerging program transport standards such as AVB, and with emerging system control standards as they are announced.

OMNEO’s program transport will be based on RTP, a widely adopted IP streaming protocol. Dante (and therefore Bosch Communications Systems media networks) will comply with this standard. Thus, the Bosch Communications Systems solution will be compliant with public standards, including AVB. 

Specifications of OCA, OMNEO’s system control architecture, will be published in the near future, and Bosch Communications Systems will be working with industry and with public standards organizations to ensure OCA’s ratification as an open public standard for pro media network control.

Bosch Website

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Posted by Keith Clark on 06/19 at 09:35 AM
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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Aviom Unveiling AllFrame Multi-Modular I/O System With New Accessories At 2011 InfoComm

Brings the flexibility of the company’s Pro64 audio network to the wall box, stage box or floor pocket

Aviom is showcasing the AllFrame Multi-Modular I/O System and its accessories at the 2011 InfoComm show in Orlando at booth 415. New accessories for the AllFrame include the POA-80 power supply, PST-80 2U rack tray, the Fan6 and the LabelKit.

Scheduled to ship this summer, the AllFrame Modular I/O system brings the flexibility of the company’s Pro64 audio network to the wall box, stage box or floor pocket.

At the center of the AllFrame Multi-Modular I/O System is the F6 Modular I/O Frame, a multi-purpose network frame with six field-configurable I/O card slots and integrated Cat-5e and fiber optic connectivity.

The F6 can be outfitted to meet the audio I/O requirements of nearly any application. Mounting options for the F6 include the RK6 rack mounting kit for on-wall or in-wall mounting using a standard NEMA Type 1 enclosure or rack-mounting, with connectors facing the front or rear.

Other mounting kits include the FK6 and SK6, which allow for AllFrame I/O boxes to be installed in existing floor pockets or used as drop-boxes on stage.

The F6 can be powered through a four-pin XLR connector, a Euroblock connector or one of the Cat-5e A-Net ports. Installations that use Power Over A-Net will require the POA-80 80-watt Power Over A-Net power supply.

Other new accessories for completing AllFrame installations are the PST-80 2U rack tray for mounting multiple POA-80s; the Fan6, a replacement fan assembly for F6 and the LabelKit, which includes Trimm label strips for AllFrame I/O cards.

Ideal for permanent installations such as houses of worship, theaters, schools and conference centers, as well as touring and portable live sound applications, the AllFrame Multi-Modular I/O system eliminates several expensive and labor-intensive stages of the signal chain while reducing cable clutter.

Since the AllFrame requires only a single Cat-5e or fiber connection, plus DC power (which can also be supplied over the Cat-5e cable), it eliminates the need for soldering, terminating and testing scores of analog connections as well as installing conduits and pulling separate cables for each audio signal, significantly reducing setup time.

“By digitizing the audio input signal at the initial connection point, the AllFrame Multi-Modular I/O System keeps analog cabling to a minimum, reducing system complexity and labor costs while delivering improved performance and flexibility,” explains Aviom product research and development manager Ray Legnini.

The AllFrame system offers users multiple connectivity options via modular I/O cards. The C4m Mic/Line Input Card provides four remote-controllable analog mic- or line-level inputs.

With the same mic preamp circuitry found in Aviom’s 6416m Mic Input Module, the C4m provides clean, transparent, archival quality sound. Inputs from the C4m can be controlled from an MCS Mic Control Surface, select Yamaha digital consoles or Pro64 Network Manager software.

The C4o Output Card provides four XLR analog outputs with variable output levels, controllable in 1 dB increments.

For those looking to stay digital throughout the signal chain, there is now the C4dio Digital I/O Card with 4x4 AES3 I/O with Word Clock I/O. This card provides greater channel density and offers twice as many channels in the same amount of card space as the previous 2x2 version, making it more cost-effective while offering more flexibility all within a single frame.

Every AllFrame device supports Cat-5e cable runs up to 400 feet (120m) between devices, with no loss of fidelity. With integrated fiber optic connectivity, cable runs can be extended to over a kilometer (multi-mode fiber) or tens of kilometers (single-mode fiber).

The AllFrame can be used in conjunction with Aviom’s complete line of Pro64 audio networking products and Pro16 Series personal mixers. Because Pro64’s Auto Mode supports any combination of serial and parallel wiring topologies, without affecting signal flow at any point, I/O points can be placed anywhere the application requires.

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Aviom Website

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Posted by Keith Clark on 06/14 at 11:34 AM
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QSC Premiering New Products To Enhance Q-Sys At 2011 InfoComm

Compact touch screen controller and CobraNet audio I/O card

At this year’s InfoComm show, QSC Audio (booth 1022) is introducing two new products which enhance the capabilities of the Q-Sys integrated system platform.

The new Q-Sys TSC-3 is an elegant touch screen controller which enables simple and cost-effective control for Q-Sys systems and other devices under Q-Sys control. 

The TSC-3 utilizes Q-Sys Designer software to create custom control panels (called User Control Interfaces or UCIs), with buttons, faders, custom navigation and other software tools including bitmaps and other graphical images, and then deploys those control panels to this interface.

These UCIs can then be utilized to control any aspect of a Q-Sys system and other elements that are put under Q-Sys control including CD and DVD players, projectors, video switchers and other devices. 

Designed to be wall-mounted and fit into a standard US 2-gang wall box, the TSC-3 employs Power over Ethernet (PoE) making it easy to install, and utilizes a Capacitive Touch surface so it is very intuitive for the end user to be able to control any part of a Q-Sys system.

QSC is also premiering the Q-Sys CCN32 CobraNet audio I/O card, which enables system bridging between Q-Sys and a CobraNet legacy platform.

The CCN32 fits in either a Q-Sys Core or I/O Frame and provides up to 32 x 32 channels of CobraNet audio in/out of a Q-Sys system.

Designed specifically for those customers who have a very large networked legacy system, the CCN32 provides a very cost-effective means for a phased approach to bridge between an existing CobraNet platform and the conversion to the Q-Sys platform.

Both the products are expected to ship this July. The suggested retail price of the TSC-3 is $699 and the suggested retail price of the CCN32 is $2,999.

QSC Audio Website

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Posted by Keith Clark on 06/14 at 07:16 AM
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Audinate Debuts Dante Netspander That Enables Synchronized Audio Routing Over WANs

Software application that runs on target PC platforms specified by Audinate

At the 2011 InfoComm show in Orlando, Audinate has announced the introduction of Dante Netspander, which allows scalable digital A/V networks to be built without current constraints.

Dante Netspander makes it possible to deliver tightly synchronized networked audio across subnets in a Layer 3 TCP/IP routed network.

In addition, it uses Dante’s zero configuration networking capabilities to enable devices in a routed network to be discovered and easily managed.

Dante Netspander will be made available as a powerful software application that runs on target PC platforms specified by Audinate.

Ethernet is a Layer 2 protocol limited to implementing flat networks that quickly become difficult to operate and manage as the number of nodes grows.

Layer 3 TCP/IP Networking was introduced to provide scalable and manageable networking. Using Layer 3 routers, large networks can be partitioned into subnets and network congestion is eliminated by restricting the broadcast of unnecessary data.

Today’s corporate networks are all Layer 3 routed networks, but until now, digital audio networking technologies have been limited to operation on a single Ethernet network or a single subnet of an IP network.

Dante is a layer 3 audio networking technology, and Dante Netspander allows the full potential of Dante networking over routed networks.

“A/V design consultants and contractors have been requesting solutions to route synchronized audio across subnets for large scale enterprise solutions such as campus-wide networks, universities, hospitals, theme parks, convention centers, broadcast centers, and other large scale network deployments”, stated David Myers, COO of Audinate. “Dante Netspander is yet another example of Audinate’s thought leadership position in networking to solve customer problems.”

The emerging Audio Video Bridging (AVB) standard will support either a Layer 3 (IEEE 1733) or Layer 2 (IEEE 1722) transport.  While Dante will support both AVB transport versions, the RTP based Layer 3 transport will be required to route audio across subnets.

Dante Netspander is scheduled to be available by the end of this year.

Audinate Website

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Posted by Keith Clark on 06/14 at 06:47 AM
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Clear-Com Showcasing Concert Version 2.6 At 2011 InfoComm

Helps streamline installation and improve user experience

Clear-Com is showcasing Concert Version 2.6 Intercom-over-IP communications solution at the 2011 InfoComm show in Orlando (booth 349).

Concert, which provides professional voice conferencing and intercom capabilities over the Internet or a standard Local Area Network, is enhanced with several new features to expand upon its compatibility, intelligibility and ease of use.

Concert offers a communication solution for professional work groups, distant learning programs, virtual event organizations and similar applications to conduct high-quality group or individual conferences from their personal computers.

Users can simply scroll through their contact list and click on the appropriate name to connect with that individual via a call, chat box or both simultaneously.  Moreover, a user can drag-and-drop multiple contacts into a group conference call.

New to Version 2.6 is the option for users to purchase a server which is already pre-loaded with the Concert 2.6 software. This allows for an easy installation process with minimal IT knowledge.

Another first for Concert 2.6 is support for MAC and Windows 7 platforms, allowing more people in an organization to access the system.

For improved communication, Concert now offers echo cancellation, which negates microphone feedback.  This provides users with the option of utilizing a headset or a computer’s built-in mic — a handy feature when calling in from the road.

In addition, important messages can automatically interrupt an ongoing program feed that may be heard by many users.

“Concert has truly defined Intercom-over-IP with its ability to seamlessly integrate with traditional intercom systems and external audio interfaces over standard IP networks, making it at home in boardrooms as well as theaters and production spaces,” says Patrick Menard, product manager of Concert at Clear-Com. “With Version 2.6, we continue to evolve this system, giving enterprise and similar users even more options for communicating, helping them focus on the subjects of their communications, not technology.” 

Also new for Concert 2.6 is the automatic client software update function which posts an alert directly on the Concert user interface every time a new version of the client software becomes available. The administrator has the option to designate where updates are downloaded from, whether it be the Clear-Com website or the user’s local server.

Concert can easily interface with external audio systems, including partyline systems, paging systems, program feeds and other matrix systems using a 4-wire interface over a standard IP network, providing a seamless communications network. 

Not only does Concert guarantee secure and private calls, but Concert also empowers users by informing them about their contacts’ call availability, allowing users to invite others into already proceeding conferences and enabling ad-hoc parallel conferences.

Modes of available communications include talk-and-listen, listen-only and text messaging.

Concert is based on Clear-Com’s revolutionary I.V.Core technology, a suite of IP technologies at the heart of the system. I.V.Core delivers low latency through the use of an intelligent decision engine that routes only the audio packets containing needed voice information.

The use of wideband CODECs is enabled by a highly optimized design that eliminates multiple encode/decode cycles to ensure superb audio quality. Encryption, noise-reduction, and error-recovery through proprietary algorithms have been optimized for human voice characteristics.

Current Concert users can download the Concert 2.6 updates right from the company website.

Clear-Com Website

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Posted by Keith Clark on 06/14 at 05:16 AM
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Monday, June 13, 2011

Meticulous Balance: The Sound Design For “Follies” At The Kennedy Center

“This is a classic type of show that was written before productions became too over-arranged. The various sonic elements are balanced naturally, so I wanted the sound system to be as transparent as possible.” - Kai Harada, sound designer

The current production of the multiple Tony Award-winning musical Follies at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., presents a beautiful yet haunting study of youth as seen through the eyes of age and experience.

Featuring a score recognized as one of Stephen Sondheim’s greatest works, Follies originally opened on Broadway in the spring of 1971, running for more than 500 performances in the Winter Garden Theatre.

The limited-run revival at the Kennedy Center’s Eisenhower Theatre, which began in early May and continues through June 19, features a stellar cast that includes principals Bernadette Peters, Jan Maxwell, Danny Burstein, Ron Raines, and Elaine Paige.

A New York Times review noted that the show “glitters with grandeur, lyricism and an uneasy undercurrent of fragility. It is the sound of beauty with fracture lines, just about to crack.”

It’s appropriate that the review makes an allusion to sound, because the sound design for the show presents another interesting study, carefully conceived by veteran theatrical sound designer Kai Harada and mixed live by Patrick Pummill on a Stagetec Aurus console surface.

A 28-piece orchestra presenting Jonathan Tunick’s original orchestrations joins the vocals of the cast of veteran theatrical performers as the primary elements in a soundscape that requires meticulous balance.

“This is a classic type of show that was written before productions became too over-arranged,” Harada explains. “The various sonic elements are balanced naturally, so I wanted the sound system to be as transparent as possible.”

Original Sources
The Eisenhower Theater seats 1,100, and is the smallest of the theaters on the center’s main level.

It contains an orchestra pit for up to 40 musicians that is convertible to a forestage or additional seating space, as well as a main (“orchestra”) seating level followed by a box tier and then the balcony. The walls are of East Indian laurel wood, and the stage curtain of hand-woven wool is a gift from the people of Canada.

A perspective of the Eisenhower Theatre at the Kennedy Center.(Photo by Roy Blunt)

“The theatre is a very well designed acoustic space, which enhances the natural elements of the production,” notes Harada, who has sound design credits for several top shows such as Million Dollar Quartet on his resume. “It works with my primary goal, which is to present the superb original sources of the actors and the orchestra in their native state, without noticeable electronic enhancement that would detract from their innate power and beauty.”

A modern sound reinforcement system was installed in the theatre a few years ago during a renovation of the room. Comprised of premium components, it was deemed well-suited to serve the needs of this production. Line arrays are JBL VerTec Series incorporating Drivepack (DP) electronic modules with Crown Audio amplification and dbx digital signal processing.

Key elements in this set are a center cluster for the main level seating and box tiers made up of seven JBL VT4887A compact modules and five more VT4887A modules serving the balcony.

Several JBL Control 25 compact loudspeakers handle front fill and under balcony needs, and Harada specified an additional four Meyer Sound UPJunior compact self-powered loudspeakers for the orchestra.

Two Meyer Sound Galileo 616 loudspeaker management systems have also been brought in and inserted in the system signal path.

The orchestra is mic’d with the venue’s package of premium microphones, including models from AKG, Neumann, Sennheiser and Shure.

Performers are served by 44 Sennheiser SK 5212 UHF wireless microphone bodypack transmitters with EM 1046 receivers.

Countryman B6 minature omnidirectional lavalier mics are the choice for most of the actors, although a couple of the male actors are better served by Sennheiser MKE 1 miniature lavalier mics.

“I didn’t want the actor microphones to be visible, and the B6s and MKE1s are the best options available,” adds Harada. (All supplemental gear with the exception of the Stagetec system was supplied by PRG.)

Versatile Package
Harada first began working with Stagetec system elements about two years ago for a traveling production of Wicked, where the goal was to cut the overall footprint of the system.

Sound mixer Patrick Pummill (left) and sound designer Kai Harada.

The key was Stagetec Nexus base devices that provide all input/output, routing, mic preamps, and much more in an extremely versatile package that is modular, portable, and reliable.

After that initial positive experience, it’s now become a staple of his designs, including Zorro in Moscow and Hinterm Horizont in Berlin.

The Stagetec complement for Follies is extensive, with four Nexus base devices working in tandem with a 48-channel Aurus mix/control surface.

The Nexus devices take 48 mic inputs from the orchestra, another 44 inputs from the actors wireless systems, as well as a variety of other digital and analog inputs, including 10 channels (via MADI) of QLab pre-programmed effects from a Macintosh computer.

Another scene from Follies at the Kennedy Center. (Photo by Joan Marcus)

Outputs of the foldback and surround systems are equalized in the Aurus realm, while outputs to the vocal and orchestra systems are directed to the two Galileo loudspeaker management systems that provide critical final tailoring capability.

All inputs and outputs can easily be routed everywhere and anywhere desired via the Stagetec system interface.

“Stagetec Aurus and Nexus are such a powerful, flexible package, and each time out, I discover further ways to take advantage of that flexibility,” Harada states. “There’s really nothing else like it that sounds as good and is also such a customizable solution to meet any technical or creative need that might arise.”

Moving Digital
Sound mixer Patrick Pummill, a 20-plus year veteran of musical theatre work, had not been exposed to the Stagetec platform prior to this show.

Up to this point, he’s primarily worked with analog consoles, and has tended to favor the Cadac models that have long proven their worth in live productions.

Faced with this unfamiliar format heading into Follies, he did some homework to get comfortable with the Aurus surface.

“It’s only been recently that I’ve started desiring more overall control on a scene-by-scene basis, which is the primary advantage of digital systems,” Pummill
notes. “This opportunity to use the Stagetec system has completely changed my outlook. Simply, it’s an extraordinarily powerful and configurable console that sounds fantastic.

“Sonically, it’s invisible,” he continues. “You get the system programmed, and when the show is up and running, the Aurus is a joy to mix on.”

This outlook is echoed by Harada, who notes that “part of the reason I prefer this system is that it’s transparent and responds very quickly, and the mic pres sound absolutely wonderful.”

Left to right, the sound team of Jana Hoglund, Patrick Pummill and Kai Harada at work simultaneously on the Aurus.)

“One of the other great features of the Aurus is that, as a designer, I can be very hands-on with the desk,” he adds. “The Aurus provides the capability to have many channel strips available outside of the central section. I can be making changes on channels on one end, and Jana (Hoglund, his associate) can be handling other channels on the other end of the console, all while Patrick is mixing. It feels like an analog console in that regard, and I find it a far more efficient system than other digital desks.”

True To The Source
The additional system components for Follies were loaded in on a Monday and up and running by the end of that day, and then were fully integrated with the house system on Tuesday.

Harada notes this ease of setup is another positive factor of the Stagetec system, as well as the skill of the technical crew of the Kennedy Center. He adds that the hands-on support of both the German and U.S. offices of Stagetec has been another big plus.

Pummill’s approach to mixing Follies is perhaps most accurately summarized with “first, do no harm.” The overall mantra is a true-to-the-source presentation.

“We’ve got a great orchestra and a bunch of great voices, so we really try to stay out of their way – we do not want to be reinterpreting their performances,” Pummill concludes. “Every voice is different – quiet, loud, different pitches, so it’s vital to be aware of each of those unique signatures.

“Particularly when it gets quieter, we want the added nuance that drives that compelling story being told on stage. A lot of it is feel with respect to levels. The idea is to draw the audience into the moment.”

Keith Clark is editor in chief of ProSoundWeb and Live Sound International.

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Posted by Keith Clark on 06/13 at 01:39 PM
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Roland Ships UM-One USB MIDI Interface

1x1 MIDI Interface With High Performance FPT Processing

Roland U.S. is now shipping the UM-ONE USB MIDI Interface, a super-compact, affordable, and easy to use MIDI interface ideal for hobbyists, musicians, and educators who need MIDI connectivity to control or record music with a computer.

The UM-ONE is a bus-powered 1-In/1-Out MIDI interface with LED indicators for MIDI I/O signal monitoring, and conveniently integrates both USB and MIDI cables for easy compatibility with today’s computer-based music systems. The UM-ONE features high-performance FPT processing, which provides superior MIDI transfer rates with lower latency and tighter clock timing.

The UM-ONE is perfect for hobbyists who want to connect a MIDI keyboard to a computer, and is also ideal for small studios or academic settings where only one MIDI device will be connected in close proximity to the computer. In live performance settings, the UM-ONE can also be used to control a synth, drum machine, MIDI light set-up, master recording console, or any other MIDI device from a computer.

The UM-ONE is available now with a suggested retail price of $49.99.

Roland U.S.

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Posted by admin on 06/13 at 06:30 AM
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Friday, June 10, 2011

The “Necessary Evil” Of Paperwork: Rider & Stage Plot Clarity Can Really Pay Off

An experienced mixer and production manager shares a few ways of insuring that he gets what he wants and needs for his clients

Before handling tour and production management for bands, I worked in various venues as a sound guy.

I got really sick of crews coming in, looking at the stage plot and input list we had for them, and saying, “Oh, the agent sent you the wrong one!”

So, in other words, they didn’t have five minutes in the last month to call up and make sure that we had the right one.

I used to patch the stage before they got there, hoping to get a head start on soundcheck, but eventually I got out of the habit of doing that because so often it needed to be re-done.

This made me want to be the person walking into a venue, with the local guy skeptically asking, “Is this the right input list?” And I glance at it and answer, without breaking stride,“Yes, it is.”

There are a few ways I’ve developed to insure that I get what I want for my clients.

A few years ago, I made a new backline sheet, input list, and stage plot for a band I was touring with. The plot was faxed to the agent’s office, and the input list and backline sheet e-mailed to his administrative assistant. I requested, specifically, that she destroy all other previous versions in her possession.

However, I discovered shortly after that there is another task to perform – rewriting the basic tech rider that goes out with the contract.

I confess that I’d never really looked at it since taking over from the previous tour manager; rather, I just talked to personnel at venues and sound companies ahead of time, worked out agreements as to what would be supplied for us, and never had any problems.

When it came time to advance one particular show, the owner of the sound company supplying it said, “It’s going to be really expensive to subrent a Midas console for you.”

I asked him what he meant and he said the band’s tech rider specifically insists on Midas or Yamaha for FOH and he offered Crest only. I assured him that a Crest console would be just fine.

Make that stage plot as clean and clear as possible. Simple computer programs help in this quest. (Click to enlarge)

More recently, I walked up to a monitor tech at a show, who asked me if a t.c. electronic unit would be O.K. for reverb in the monitors.

.

“We don’t use reverb in the monitors,” I replied.

“Well, your rider says you do,” he responded.

I guess I really do need to rewrite that thing!

From working in different venues, I’ve seen some ludicrous demands, including one from a band that shall remain nameless, asking for half a dozen Focusrite compressors.

Another thing that has always amused me are riders that ask for a given number of watts of amplifier power per audience member, in relation to the room’s capacity. You don’t see so many of them nowadays, but they were once quite prevalent.

What does that mean, really? What if there’s a bunch of big amps blowing at an assortment of crappy cabinets? What if the cabinets aren’t aimed correctly, so there is tons of power, but it’s banging off the walls and ceiling?

Sound companies can sometimes nitpick you to death. I used to mix a band of women whose drummer had grown up steeped in the East Bay funk exemplified by Tower of Power. She liked a ton of kick in her monitor.

Many sound companies and venues automatically provide a drum fill that includes a sub, but we went to play an outdoor festival at a beautiful site in rural Northern California, where many of the other acts on the bill were quieter.

List out those inputs, and feel free to explain seemingly strange requests. (Click to enlarge)

After the show, the drummer said to me, “Man, I was dying up there! I couldn’t feel the kick at all!”

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You Didn’t Ask
I looked up by the drum riser and saw a single 12-inch-loaded wedge, so I asked the monitor tech from the sound company about why he didn’t bring a “real” drum fill with a sub.

He looked me right in the eye and calmly said, “You didn’t ask for one.”

As a result, the stage plot drawn up for every band I work with says, “Drum fill with sub” next to the drum riser.

The drummer in another band I worked with carries his own mini-mixer that he hears a click from, and also puts up an ambient mic behind himself.

When the drum fill does not put out enough energy, he is very self-sufficient and has an XLR Y-split that he will insert on the kick mic, and run it to the mini-mixer for his IEMs.

Speaking of stage plots – if you don’t have a computer-based program to generate them, just use a Sharpie!

When a computer isn’t available, be sure to still prepare a stage plot, even if it means using a Sharpie! (Click to enlarge)

That is what I do, and one time the veteran stage manager at the Key Club on Sunset Strip actually congratulated me on it, saying, “I can tell you’ve seen a lot of these!”

.

It’s true, I have, and from that experience, I go with the simplest representation possible. I hate the plots done by an excitable person with a new whiz-bang software program that has countless little symbols all over the place, that you can’t easily decode the meaning of.

With my plots, the techs will know where to put their mics and stage boxes, we will get power drops where we need them, I indicate where the playback outputs are located, and my phone number is also on the sheet if they need to know anything else.

It’s important to speak to the sound company yourself ahead of time, since promoters are notorious for not passing on the info we provide. Also, there may still be operator error, even if you personally fax the paperwork directly to the sound company.

Left At The Shop
Once I worked a show at a resort hotel on the East Coast, and took the precaution of walking by the area where the stage was being assembled a couple hours before our scheduled load-in time.

Introducing myself to the monitor tech, he confessed that he’d left our input list and stage plot at the shop.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot from people whose main goal is a successful show instead of making other people feel small or stupid, oo I didn’t castigate or humiliate this person; I needed him on my side later on. It wasn’t going to help matters to cuss, frown or roll my eyeballs sarcastically.

This is where learning to bring more sheets with me paid off, instead of assuming, “Oh, I faxed these to them before we left, I don’t need to bring any more.” That one has ambushed me in the past.

This time, I was able to smile and say, I smiled and said, “No problem, I’ve got some extra copies down in my room. I’ll go get them and bring them back up to you.”

So what if that takes 15 minutes out of my life? I’d rather do that than spend eight hours a day driving a messenger car all over Los Angeles, or holding pieces of steel against a grinder in a lab animal cage factory, or chop frozen pork and make tostada shells in boiling oil – all of which I did when I was younger.

I’m grateful for the way I make a living now. So what if it takes faxing, sending e-mails and taking a little time on the phone to insure my show days run much more smoothly?

I’ll gladly spend the time, and a few dollars, to do it.

Chris Kathman is a veteran mixer and production manager, and he also served as an editor in the formative days of ProSoundWeb.

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Posted by Keith Clark on 06/10 at 01:02 PM
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Everything You Need To Know About Investing In A New Loudspeaker System

A thorough look at the many factors to take into account

It’s a good time to invest in a new loudspeaker system. The economy is stabilizing and clients who had pulled back on events are showing signs of life.

Your inventory is tired and may be outdated. The new technologies are genuinely impressive. And banks aren’t as terrified as this time last year.

Better yet, manufacturers are chomping at the bit to get you into a new system. They’ve had a bad year, too.

You’re in the catbird seat (thank you, Red Barber), but there’s a lot to consider this time around. So get a cup of coffee (I’m in Seattle), and walk through this with me.

If you’re in the middle of a deal, or even if your new system was just delivered, it’s not too late to consider much of this as well.

Patience
Patience is perhaps the single most important factor. There’s much to do and it will be time well spent as you consider your investment.

Start with a budget and a checklist. Understanding just how much you have to spend and where the limit is will be essential when the last “add-ons” are thrown at you.

Beyond the loudspeakers you must remember amps, cases, racks, covers, cabling, motors, steel, and even a new laptop or tablet.

Then there’s the marketing you should do as a company owner. Don’t just leave it to the manufacturer to market your system.

You’ll be disappointed. You have to have a plan and a budget to do your own regional or national work. Get out there and let people know you’re in the game. This costs money too. So define this part of your budget and remember that it could be another 20 percent. Most importantly, proceed with patience and diligence.

System Aproach?
Here’s an interesting conundrum. Should you purchase everything from the same manufacturer? Let’s break it down. When it comes to “mains and subs,” I’m a strong advocate of those being from the same guys.

If it’s a well designed “system” there are performance considerations that are intrinsic to the products, most notably, crossover designs that optimize the combined behavior under a variety of applications.

Certainly size, truck pack, “look,” cabling compatibility and rigging (does the sub array require a different bumper?) are additional reasons to match mains to subs.

What I’m referring to is the larger view: front fill, off-stage fill and delay. Here’s where a pro and con discussion can ensue.

Best case is a manufacturer has a “sonic signature” that’s inherent across their product line, so working with products that come from another camp can be problematic. But, it’s not uncommon for companies to not define a sonic footprint. Big mistake.

What if your coverage requirements for off-stage fill aren’t inherent in what you are being offered as a solution? Ninety degrees horizontal is often too narrow for shed out fill, so is there a 100- or 110-degree solution? What about vertical coverage requirements? Is there a dedicated down fill for the mains, or is it just a supplemental set of enclosures from the catalog?

Pro and con discussions may lie here if the ancillary products aren’t what you’d hoped or what you need; or if they even have them at all.

Remember, you’re investing in more than this set of boxes; you’re investing in the potential of broad-scope growth and the consistent integration of other products through that growth.

Sales Reps
These guys are your lifeline, or so you think.

How experienced is the guy you’re talking to? Frequently they know how to craft a deal and the numbers associated, but they’re challenged when it comes to SPL, rigging, truck pack, or how many processors will be needed (if any).

They rely on their contacts and resources inside of the manufacturer for this information and experience. I’ll get to that.

Manufacturers are highly dependent on their sales force and channels. It’s not uncommon for manufacturers to “go direct” in an effort to establish solid control over sales and the required communications.

This also necessitates the obligatory costs of employing and maintaining the staff and the associated overhead.

Some manufacturers establish this structure in foreign countries to clearly present themselves in full force and presence. There is a lot of common sense associated with this structure.

The more prevalent organizational structure has sales reps and distributors, in order to both reduce costs and to have a regional presence that understands local business dynamics.

There are some exceptional ones out there who are committed to your best interests, and who provide staffing that can clearly address your needs. They will be your day and night resource.

Also find out the key people at the manufacturer. Have your rep or distributor introduce you to them. Communicate with the company’s product manager and head of engineering. These pathways allow you to get what you need if your sales contact is unable to help or if you’re in an “I can’t get an answer” moment.

Support
This is a broad, multi-definitional topic. Everyone needs support at one time or another, but it’s a subjective term. In a perfect world there would be a team of people on duty “24/7” via phone and internet to answer questions and help solve issues.

Providing this resource to end users is a Herculean task and not practically viable. Several years of downsizing and restructuring has also reduced these resources in many cases.

Given that, what you need to evaluate is “What does your potential provider offer you in real time?” The heart of the issue is the connection between your company liaison and their engineering department.

The internal structure of the company will dictate your immediate access to answers and support. If your contact is knowledgeable in the company’s technical properties, then you’re going to be well serviced. This is not uncommon, but also not the norm.

What probably is happening are a stream of exchanges between your contact and the engineering staff. This is not necessarily a bad thing. But what is of practical consideration is the rapidity of those exchanges.

Frequently, companies have established an internal group that is tasked with support. Not service, but support.

Well executed, this contact can become the best resource for you, the user. In your research and conversations, ask about the support organization. Does it exist? Who are they? What are their resources and group makeup?

It’s common for companies to have one or more product managers. Typically, these individuals oversee new products from development into production, and know all the issues inside out. They can be responsible for the company’s entire product offerings or just a quadrant of it.

Knowing who the product manager in the company is and having access at critical times is important. Client-focused companies incorporate this aspect of client contact into this person’s job description. They’re commonly at trade shows and product demos. Seek them out. This is a killer way to stitch together your relationship. You won’t regret it.

Spare Parts
There isn’t a system out there that shouldn’t be sold with a complete set of spares. Spare diaphragms, transducers, and recone kits are a must.

Demand them in the initial delivery. They should be purchased on generous terms: net 120, at least. You’re depending on the system’s performance and reliability.

Without spare parts it’s impossible to repair something in the field. It’s a known issue that most new products will have some sort of failure or issue.

It can be a rigging part that doesn’t fit just right, or a compression driver that passed QC but the diaphragm fails during its second show, or whatever. There are a myriad of possibilities, and you don’t want to struggle for solutions.

I want to raise a point on behalf of manufacturers. Getting parts from subcontractors (transducers, chips, etc.) is increasingly fraught with problems.

It’s not uncommon for the best driver manufacturers to have gaps in production due to shortages, and the same goes for electronics.

We’re seeing shortages today with the huge swell of consumer electronics and the components that populate them. Long-lead components can take 12 weeks to deliver. Something’s gotta’ give, and smaller industries like pro audio lose out to the PCs and iPads.

My point is to investigate and understand how your potential manufacturer schedules production and stock parts, be it for production or as spares.

Companies that are timid in this part of the process will forever suffer the repercussions from you, the buyer.

Distributors
Distributors (as opposed to sales reps) typically hold a unique position in the sales organization. They’re not located in the country of the “mother ship” (manufacturer). They’re almost always provided with the best pricing and consideration.

With that benefit comes the responsibility of full representation and support; everything from in-country marketing, in-country product inventory and perhaps most importantly, in-country parts and support.

There is a smart exception, which is the manufacturers that establish their own offices, staffed by their own people, in key strategic countries.

This is a great way to maintain corporate structure and visibility in foreign countries, establishing missions and directives under their control.

Having full language and cultural connection in outlying countries is essential to the position and prominence of the brand.

I mentioned responsibility above. It’s my experience that the most successful distributors are those that understand their responsibilities and engage them. One of the most important responsibilities is stocking inventory and parts.

Since they’re often on the other side of the world, there must be a well thought-out stock of critical components, parts and inventory to quickly assist dealers and end users.

If you’re dealing with a distributor, the first issue to clearly understand is what they hold as inventory. How regularly do they restock? Do shipments come in via ocean or air? If you’re told that they can get what you need any time, you might be a bit circumspect.

What you’re looking for here is a robust reflection of the products you are interested in owning. Remember, they’re charged with the initiative to be your provider in your country.

If the company is not based in your country, it’s vital to clearly understand this issue. How deeply invested in that brand is the distributor?

How deeply invested in the distributor is the brand? Got parts? How is the company’s marketing executed in your country? What are service and support options? Who (and where) are the key “go-to” people?

Network
This term has varying depths of definition. On the surface, and at its most basic, it can refer to a list of people that own similar systems, posted on the manufacturer’s website.

You’re in the network because you own some gear, and can search out companion owners to communicate and exchange whatever you’d like.

Sharing or cross-renting systems can be done, but frequently there are incompatibilities that disallow fully integrated systems.

Amplifiers may be different in make or model. Processing is sometimes different, and cabling and connectors aren’t necessarily interchangeable.

In the deeper depth of the concept, a network can be a strict union of owners worldwide that is well-defined by the manufacturer as sales are made.

Systems can be strategically placed in countries and cities to minimize potential conflicts of clients and to establish a unique, marketable alliance.

Typically, owners are selected for their prowess in the industry and technical competence. Systems sold under this model are most commonly fully-defined systems complete with amplification, cabling, racks, covers and cases.

With this paradigm, everything is interchangeable in the field. What you get in New York is the same thing you’ll see in Singapore or Moscow.

There are costs associated for you, the owner, to be involved in this type of network, but there can be substantial benefit to this approach, and it has been successful across the pro audio industry.

In the middle ground there is an iteration that’s becoming more prevalent: identical gear in a complete system, but no selective sales model.

In this case, the manufacturer is providing a “complete system solution” but conducting sales with whomever is interested.

More manufacturers are moving in this direction, with the benefits of a common system design available to any end user. The manufacturer knows and understands the behavior and therefore its expectation of the performance of the system.

A common problem in the 1990s involved systems made up of the same loudspeakers and rigging that sounded entirely different due to processing and amplifier dissimilarities. This was hugely frustrating to manufacturers and end users alike.

One system sounded great while another sounded terrible and cast aspersions on the performance and viability of the brand and equipment.

This also ticked off touring engineers who were picking up systems on a night by night basis, because they’d never know what they were going to get despite the fact it was “the same system.”

Understanding what level of network a potential purchase may involve you in is an important consideration for your expectations and potential growth of your business. There is a lot to explore on this topic, and I highly recommend doing so.

Global Inventory
Placement around the world may seem an unnecessary consideration if you’re doing regional work. It’s not.

Where identical systems are placed, and with whom, can be an essential resource for you one day. Understand the world-wide strategy and its current status.

People the world over have the same difficulties, whether it’s getting clients, growing business, working with front of house engineers, staging a festival, relationships with manufacturers and making money. You’re all in it for both egalitarian and functional reasons.

Also remember that when it’s winter in North America and Europe, it’s summer in South American and Australia. While you’re shoveling snow, they’re in full festival mode, and vice versa.

To further global relationships, it’s a good idea to attend trade shows like MusikMesse in Frankfurt or PLASA in London, or if you’re from Europe, the InfoComm show held alternately in Las Vegas and Orlando.

These trips can lead to relationships that will last a lifetime. Manufacturer worldwide strategies are essential to your long-term success, but you must participate too.

Training
What is their program? Does it include everyone from your shop?

Beyond your system technicians, you need to be trained too.

Is there a surcharge? Understanding everything about your investment is crucial.

You need to learn the technologies and verbiage of the new system.

This will be critical at times of urgency in your communication with your staff in the field and the manufacturer.

Specific training on the product deployment, servicing and any associated expertise are essential.

Some top-line manufacturers provide a training course that is robust and thorough, to the point of providing a certification acknowledgement that allows a worldwide prestige for their knowledge base.

This has proven to be a marketable anointment for the most dedicated technicians - there’s money in that certificate.

Final Stages
When you’ve stepped through your checklist and gotten the decision down to one or maybe two, it’s time to press for some real-time action.

Ask for the opportunity to use a demo system for one of your key events, one that typifies your usage.

If the manufacturer says it can’t be done, for one reason or another, you may have discovered a telling lack of commitment on their part. Chances are they’ll get it done for you.

Is it deployable in the ways and environment you expected? What’s the “out of the box” performance and sonic behavior?

At the end of the gig, how was it? This seems simple, but it’s an important litmus test. What you’re also looking for here is “who shows up from the manufacturer?”

Delivery
The truck just left your shop and you’ve got a pile of equipment. Open it all up in a staged and well laid-out process, checking your invoice with the packing list to make sure everything ordered is there.

Establish a test set of racks for the processing and amplification, and step through evaluating each loudspeaker carefully, inspecting both visually and sonically.

Join enclosures together on the floor and make sure everything mates up correctly. If possible, hang a couple of motors and fly each one to test the rigging compatibility and structures. Test everything.

I opened with the subject of patience. Employ extreme patience at delivery. For example, be sure to log the serial numbers of each and every part and unit.

It doesn’t hurt to photograph everything as well. Most insurance companies will require this anyway. Put a set of that data in a safe, off-campus location as well. Do it, and don’t wait.

Do The Homework
As I began writing, my desk was littered with notes and “oh-by-the-way” topics to cover. I’ve tried to hit the key subjects for your consideration.

There are still a lot more issues and ideas to be pursued, and I will provide a further discussion soon.

The bottom line is gaining an overall appreciation of some of the crucial aspects of this entire process, as well as an understanding of your power and what to expect from the manufacturer(s) you’re doing business with.

Diligence in research will net rewards every single day. Ask the tough questions. It’s your livelihood and your profession.

Jeffrey Cox has spent the past 43 years on the road and in studios, in airplanes and cabs, hotel rooms and at front of house, dumps and dives, clubs, sheds, arenas, and a couple of “very big chairs” - all for the love of audio and music. He has established a new firm, 17 Degrees, as a consultancy and support group for manufacturers, rental companies, product developers and design engineers, and can be reached at and can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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Posted by admin on 06/10 at 11:15 AM
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Rane Debuting HAL Exapndable DSP Platform At 2011 InfoComm

Seamlessly interface HAL to an application with a broad variety of peripheral devices

At the 2011 InfoComm show in Orlando, Rane (booth 615) is introducing HAL, an expert in room combining, paging and distributed audio systems.

HAL easily guides even novice users through what used to be complex tasks in just minutes.

No intricate matrix mixing or presets are required for room combining and paging, and no virtual wiring required to distribute pages and background music to multiple zones.

Seamlessly interface HAL to an application with a broad variety of peripheral devices including smart Digital Remotes, Remote Audio Devices (RADs), portable and in-rack auto mixers, bus Expansion devices, and an advanced Paging Station.

In addition, HAL and Halogen software check the status, location, CAT 5 wiring integrity, and that audio is flowing in all peripheral devices, so you know your system is properly connected and ready to go.

HAL is fully compatible and easily integrated with existing Rane products like gain-sharing auto mixers and Rane’s wide variety of RADs.

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Rane Website

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Posted by Keith Clark on 06/10 at 09:01 AM
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Thursday, June 09, 2011

Roland TRI-CAPTURE And DUO-CAPTURE USB Audio Interfaces Now Available

Offer both high performance and affordability using either Windows or Mac OS platforms

Roland U.S. is now shipping the TRI-CAPTURE UA-33 and DUO-CAPTURE UA-11 USB audio interfaces, the latest additions to the company’s growing lineup of USB audio capture devices for computer-based recording.

The new portable interfaces offer both high performance and affordability using either Windows or Mac OS platforms.

The TRI-CAPTURE UA-33 is an inexpensive, easy-to-use stereo audio interface that’s great for guitarists, vocalists, and other musicians. It also works well for video production, web streaming, and creating podcasts.

Powered via USB, TRI-CAPTURE is equipped with three kinds of inputs — an XLR mic input with phantom power, a 1/4-inch input with a Hi-Z switch that allows users to connect a guitar directly, and a stereo AUX input with a dedicated volume control for connecting a stereo sound source such as a keyboard, rhythm machine, mixer, or portable music player.

Sound output from the computer is provided on stereo 1/4-inch TRS output jacks and a headphone jack. The three unique recording modes provide instant selection of recording scenarios, including LOOP BACK for web streaming applications. TRI-CAPTURE records and plays back 24-bit audio at sample rates up to 96 kHz, and is bundled with Cakewalk SONAR X1 LE.

The DUO-CAPTURE UA-11 is a compact and portable USB audio interface designed for musicians and engineers that record on-the-go with laptop computers. It features a 1/4-inch Mic/Guitar input with an impedance selector and a 1/8-inch stereo input for connecting stereo devices.

Stereo output is provided on 1/8-inch and 1/4-inch headphone outputs, both of which are available simultaneously. The device also has convenient input and output volume controls, and is powered via USB.

Both interfaces are available now. MSRP is $159.00 for the TRI-CAPTURE UA-33 and $89.99 for the DUO-CAPTURE UA-11.

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Roland U.S.Website

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Posted by Keith Clark on 06/09 at 12:14 PM
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Atlona Technologies Appoints Jon Baker as International Sales Manager

Baker will be responsible for the sales and marketing of Atlona's digital connectivity solutions in the international home theater and professional A/V markets

Atlona Technologies has announced the appointment of Jon Baker as International Sales Manager. In his new role, Baker will be responsible for the sales and marketing of Atlona’s digital connectivity solutions in the international home theater and professional A/V markets, while providing support for Atlona’s current and prospective overseas clients.

Atlona has continued to grow internationally with distributors all across the world, including the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and more. To further the company’s global growth, Atlona has recently exhibited at Integrated Systems Europe, CEDIA New Zealand, and CEDIA Australia.

“It was essential, as a growing international company, to choose the right person to lead us in the expanding global market. Jon brings more than 10 years of sales experience in the consumer electronics and the professional A/V industries to Atlona, along with the keen ability to find, create, and build relationships,” said Ilya Khayn, president of Atlona Technologies. “With Jon leading the charge, Atlona will continue to successfully promote its product lines within multiple markets across the globe.”

Baker comes to Atlona from Audio Plus Services, a high-end A/V distributor, where he served as sales and marketing manager for the western United States. Previously, he worked in sales for Bay Area Audio, a provider of custom electronics and entertainment systems.

“Joining Atlona has been a very welcoming experience,” said Baker. “I am excited for the opportunity to personally take the helm for Atlona’s international accounts, and look forward to broadening our horizons on a global level while cultivating personal relationships along the way.”

In his new role, Jon Baker will be in attendance at the upcoming CEDIA UK and at next year’s ISE to support the Atlona dealer base as the company continues its international expansion. The CEDIA UK Home Technology event takes place from June 28-30 in London and visitors can see Atlona at booth E8. For ISE 2012 from January 31 to February 2 in Amsterdam, Altona plans to exhibit at booth 4U63.

Atlona Technologies

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Posted by admin on 06/09 at 08:55 AM
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CAD Remote Control Variable Pattern Microphones Now Available Across Multiple DSP Platforms

Now compatible with systems from Biamp, Symetrix, and AtteroTech

CAD Audio is announcing at the 2011 InfoComm show (booth 620) that its Remote Variable Pattern products are now compatible with Biamp Audia and Nexia, Symetrix Symnet, and AtteroTech Control Center Software.

CAD Audio’s Variable Pattern Control microphones can be set up using the respective software modules located within the DSP design software. This control block can be adjusted on the fly, built into system presets or accessed from a remote location via IP.

The Custom Variable Pattern Control Blocks are included with each Remote Variable Pattern mic by CAD Audio, a line that currently includes the 2220VP, 2600VP, 2700VP and 2800VP mics.

The 2220VP is a boundary “button” microphone designed for installation in tables, walls or ceilings for use in conference and meeting room applications. It can also be used in observation and ambient monitoring audio systems. The remote variable pattern provides ultimate flexibility for multi-use rooms and establishing the proper polar pattern for any application.

Designed to hang from a ceiling, the 2600VP is effective in the recording and sound reinforcement of choirs, stage productions and conference room applications, the company says. Easy to install, it allows easy polar pattern control without requiring ladders for access to the microphone.

The 2700VP is supplied with a low-profile 56-inch carbon fiber boom for mic stand mounting and is highly effective in the recording and sound reinforcement of vocal groups, orchestral point miking of instruments where a traditional suspended microphone is inappropriate.

The 2800VP is supplied with an 18-inch dual-flex gooseneck with XLR-M quick mount. It is designed to be used on a podium where the polar pattern can be actively adjusted according to the person or persons using the microphone.

The remote variable polar pattern control system employs a two conductor shielded cable (maximum length 2,000 feet) between the microphone head and the DSP microphone input. This feature enables the installer or end user to change polar patterns from the DSP software. Patterns can be changed from week to week or scene to scene without inducing noise into the audio chain. Adjustments to the pick-up pattern can be made on the fly without changing capsules or using additional mic accessories.

The 2220VP, 2600VP, 2700VP, and 2800VP have been designed to resist interference from cell phones, two-way communication devices and lighting apparatus. Using Astatic’s RF Resistant Architecture, they meet the stringent RF standards set by the European Union.

CAD Audio Website

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Posted by Keith Clark on 06/09 at 08:35 AM
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NCast Introducing First Open Presentation Management System At 2011 InfoComm

Available in two different configurations: a virtual, web-based, cloud hosted service or as a hardware server

NCast is unveiling the world’s first open-standard presentation content management system at the 2011 InfoComm show in Orlando, booth 1482.

The NCast Presentation Production Server offers a completely open-standard architecture, allowing for easy custom modifications, collaboration with industry partners and enhancements by third parties. It is fully compatible with industry-wide learning management systems (LMS) like Sakai and Blackboard.

The Presentation Production Server is available in two different configurations. It can be utilized as a virtual, web-based, cloud hosted service or, for users who wish to host their own content, the product may be purchased as a hardware server.

Both options offer high-definition, H.264 compliant video, superior audio quality, and seamless integration with industry class management tools and workflows.

A Presentation Portal for administrators and end-users is included with the server. Unlike other video portals, it supports both video and graphics presentations.

An advanced Optical Character Recognition (OCR) system extracts text from all sources, even graphics, creating a comprehensive, searchable index. Closed Captioning support is integrated for the hearing impaired.

Fully integrated with Amazon’s EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) service, the Presentation Production Server provides a true turnkey, cloud-based solution, eliminating issues of storage space, broadcast bandwidth, energy costs, and dedicated IT staff.

The Presentation Production Server seamlessly integrates with NCast encoders to provide the highest level of video and audio quality. NCast encoders feature dual capture, high-definition inputs, full-frame rate recording, and a variety of powerful monitoring tools to deliver constant, automated feedback during use.

Both products are available through authorized NCast resellers.

NCast Website

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Posted by Keith Clark on 06/09 at 07:25 AM
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