Monday, April 25, 2011
InfoComm International Announces Allen Weidman To Lead Sustainability Efforts
Weidman appointed to the newly created sustainability officer post.
InfoComm International has announced the appointment of Allen Weidman to the new position of Sustainability Officer.
Weidman brings more than 30 years of association experience to InfoComm, having worked with the Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Consumer Products Safety Commission and a number of other federal and state regulatory agencies.
He has developed, integrated and managed industry coalitions on federal and international environmental issues. He has most recently served as a Senior Account Executive for Kellen Company, an association management firm.
Prior to joining Kellen Company, Weidman served as Executive Director for six different industry sector groups during his tenure at the Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI), where he was responsible for developing industry positions relative to sustainability, the environmental footprint of various plastics, and was instrumental in the strategic analysis of how the emerging “green” standards would impact associations.
In addition, he played an integral role in the development of the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Certification Program and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers’ “Energy Standard for Buildings” and “Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality” standards.
“With audiovisual systems integrated in nearly all commercial buildings, it is more important than ever for InfoComm to collaborate with building industry groups, government agencies and others on sustainability matters,” said Randal A. Lemke, Ph.D., Executive Director and CEO, InfoComm International.
“By having Allen Weidman in this critical position we are adding a great level of expertise at the Association’s most senior level and will have an excellent knowledge manager as a resource for our members.”
As part of his responsibilities, Weidman will oversee the association’s new STEP program, a new rating system designed to assess the impact of technologies in buildings.
He will also represent the association in coalitions relating to integrated building technology and create webinars and other resources for InfoComm members.
Weidman holds a bachelor’s of science degree in Structural Design/Construction Engineering and an associate’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Pennsylvania State University.
He is a member of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating & Air Conditioning Engineers, Inc. (ASHRAE), National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) and American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM).
Friday, April 22, 2011
Midas PRO Series Supports The Stage Performance Of White Noise
Sound designer Garth Helm is pleased that the PRO series has helped them create a smaller than expected footprint at front of house.
One of the most talked-about theater productions in recent years has been White Noise, now playing at Chicago’s Royal George Theater.
This controversial Whoopi Goldberg-produced musical examines the music industry and its willingness to repackage virtually any content, no matter how objectionable, in the relentless hunt for the next big thing.
Sound designer Garth Helm and associate designer/programmer Brian Hsieh have packed an amazing amount of technology into the show, with a pair of Midas PRO Series digital consoles anchoring what Helm likes to call “the biggest little show ever”.
The Chicago production, also planning a Broadway run, incorporates a lot of detail in its sound design.
To accommodate all the inputs and outputs required in the design, White Noise utilizes a PRO9 console for primary mixing duties, augmented by a backstage PRO3 for monitors, both supplied by Sound Associates Inc.
“The PRO Series has all the capabilities of Midas Digital in a small footprint,” notes Helm. “Plus, it’s got that great Midas sound. It’s a perfect fit for musical theater.”
Hsieh agrees. “In the theater world, we’re very cue-based. For White Noise, we have 100-plus scenes programmed into the PRO9,” he relates.
“Almost every scene carries MIDI commands to at least seven devices, with links and follows. We’re able to take any number of the 24 wireless channels and put them on the VCAs needed for that scene.”
“And every line is a fader move, and every scene changes the layout of the VCAs. So we use a lot of automation, and we’re constantly on the VCAs throughout the show.”
Musically, White Noise combines both rock and hip-hop instrumentation. The band inputs are accessed via the PRO9’s POP Groups, divided along instrumental line: drums, keyboards, guitars, bass, effects, and ten playback tracks.
The biggest challenge for the audio team was designing a system that would handle the show’s huge I/O requirements.
The production uses 88 input channels at front of house and 48 at monitors. On the output side, there are 35 individual mix outputs from FOH and 24 from monitors.
The show is also using a Klark Teknik DN9696 high resolution audio recorder to capture the show’s musical performances. “Our game plan is to create a live performance soundtrack CD,” explains Helm.
“Instead of bringing in a remote truck, we’re using the DN9696. It’s a great recorder, and integrates seamlessly into the Midas network. We’re capturing each input individually during the performances, and then we will take them to a recording studio to mix and edit.” The DN9696 offers 96 tracks of recording with 96 kHz, 24-bit resolution.
Operationally, the PRO9 handles all the house mixing chores, while the PRO3 does the monitor mixes, also providing the additional inputs, outputs and processing the show demands. Brian Hsieh explains, “We’ve using three CAT5 cables to pass a total of 144 channels of audio back and forth between the front house and monitor systems.”
“The PRO3 is the source for all the monitor mixes, which includes IEMs as well as wedge mixes for the band, plus various stage foldback speakers. Those mixes are static, so there’s no need for an active monitor engineer for the show. We use the KVM switch on the PRO9 to access and program the PRO3 from the front of house - very convenient!”
“As a sound designer, sound quality and technical ability will always be first for me. But economics are also a factor; ask any producer on Broadway,” says Helm.
“At $150 a seat, if you can save six or more seats by having a smaller footprint at front of house, there’s your business case for the PRO Series right there.”
Hsieh agrees that the Midas PRO Series has already earned its stripes in the demanding world of musical theater. “A big positive for the Midas is how good it sounds.”
“As far as ease of use and the control surface, I think Midas takes the cake over anything else out there right now. I’m also a big fan of the networking scheme, how easily it’s implemented and how flexible it is.”
“But ultimately, the thing that really keeps me coming back to Midas is the relationship. They are always there if I need support, and they really take an interest in their users. When I make the investment in their product, they become invested in how I’m using it. It’s very gratifying. That, to me, is valuable beyond anything and really sets them apart as a company.”
Extron Now Shipping 10-inch TLP 1000 TouchLink Touchpanels
The panels are designed for use in AV system applications that require complete, interactive control of conferencing systems, displays, switchers, and source devices.
Extron has announced the immediate availability of the TLP 1000MV and TLP 1000TV 10” high resolution TouchLink Touchpanels.
The TLP 1000MV and TLP 1000TV are fully configurable and feature a sleek, contemporary look and thin bezels to complement any decor. The large, 1024 x 600 resolution touchscreen surface provides ample room for sophisticated controls and graphics.
The new touchpanels incorporate an MTP – Twisted Pair receiver, which accepts either S-video or composite video input over standard CAT 5 type cable, enhancing connectivity and streamlining cable management.
Power over Ethernet – PoE, allows the touchpanels to receive power via the Ethernet connector, eliminating the need for a local power supply.
The TLP 1000MV mounts on a wall, lectern, or other flat surface, while the TLP 1000TV sits on a tabletop or installs on a VESA mount. Both are ideal for control environments where a larger control surface within an elegant touchpanel design is needed.
“Extron continues our commitment to configurable control for easy and quick installations,” says Casey Hall, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Extron.
“These new 10 inch touchpanels, in conjunction with our new IPCP 505 control processor, will let integrators design and deploy larger, more complex AV control systems.”
GUI Configurator software makes configuration of the touchpanel easy, with no graphic design skills required. This software offers ready-to-use templates for single display rooms, dual display rooms, divisible rooms, multi-image systems and video conference suites.
These designs may be used as is, or customized for the application by simply changing individual graphic elements.
The TLP 1000MV and TLP 1000TV work in conjunction with any Extron IP Link® Control Processor, such as the Extron IPCP 505 Control Processor.
They are designed for use in AV system applications that require complete, interactive control of conferencing systems, displays, switchers, and source devices. The touchpanels and IP Link Control Processors communicate using a standard Ethernet network, allowing utilization of existing infrastructure.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Lectrosonics Wireless Selected By The New World Center
Sound quality and dropout free performance were essential in the choice by the performing arts venue.
The New World Center is the new Frank Gehry-designed home of the New World Symphony, which being under the artistic direction of Michael Tilson Thomas.
The Center is a unique educational environment that prepares gifted graduates of distinguished music programs for leadership positions in orchestras and ensembles around the world.
For sound reinforcement, this performing arts space recently invested in wireless microphone technology from Lectrosonics.
Pro Sound & Video was selected to handle the project. Working from a design penned jointly by Acoustic Dimensions of Dallas, TX, and Sonitus of Los Angeles, CA, the systems deployed utilize Lectrosonics Digital Hybrid Wireless technology and consist of Venue receivers, SMQV Super-Miniature transmitters, UT handheld transmitters (with VMC cardioid capsules), and ALP500 shark fin antennas to increase reception.
Brad Gallagher, Engineering Manager for Pro Sound & Video’s Miami office, managed the project.
“First and foremost, sound quality was the overriding concern in this project,” Gallagher explained. “As a premiere music performance space, everyone wanted to ensure the highest level of sound quality possible.”
“Being compandor free, the Lectrosonics wireless systems don’t have the odd-sounding sonic artifacts characteristic of many competing wireless systems. The client was looking for ‘cabled’ sound quality and to help accomplish this, these microphones were interfaced with high-end mic preamps by Grace Design, Millennia Media, and Aphex.”
“The Lectrosonics equipment delivered the audio quality essential to this project’s success.”
“There was also an awareness about the form factor of the transmitters and system reliability,” Gallagher continued. “No one wanted transmitters that were cumbersome or that might compromise the comfort of the performers and interfere with their ability to perform.”
“The small form factor of the Lectrosonics SMQV transmitters certainly addressed this issue. Equally important, reliability and dropout-free performance was yet another concern. Here too, Lectrosonics’ equipment was the right choice.”
For the New World Center’s main performance hall, the Pro Sound & Video crew deployed a 12-channel setup consisting of Lectrosonics Venue receivers fully stocked with VRT receiver modules. This equipment is housed in a portable equipment rack that can be moved as required to accommodate the nature of the performance.
Additionally, there is an additional, 2-channel wireless system permanently housed in an equipment rack that is used solely for announcements. Further, there is a third, 6-channel Lectrosonics Venue setup (with VRT receiver modules) that resides in the Suntrust Pavilion, a multipurpose space that is used for rehearsals and smaller performances.
On the transmitter side of the equation, 10 Lectrosonics SMQV transmitters and 12 UT handheld transmitters are available—depending upon the requirements of a given performance.
“For the most part, this equipment is used to support the orchestral performances,” Gallagher said, but the New World Center also rents space for private functions such as meetings, banquets, plus concerts of varying musical styles. The Lectrosonics equipment is made available for these events as well.”
The new Lectrosonics wireless equipment was deployed during late 2010 and was first placed into service in January 2011.
Since that time, Gallagher reports the equipment has proven itself to be extremely successful. “Our client has been very pleased with the system’s performance,” he said. “The sound quality of the system is exceptional and the performance has been robust and trouble free. Every aspect of the Lectrosonics system has performed just as we envisioned.”
Symetrix Announces The Appointment Of Two New Asian Distributors
Electronics & Engineering as well as Soundus Corporation will be partnering with Symetrix as distributors.
With growing international sales of its established lines and expansion in sales of its Jupiter “zero learning curve” processors, Symetrix is pleased to announce that it will be working with two new distributors in Asia: Electronics & Engineering (Singapore, Malaysia, India) and Soundus Corporation (Korea).
“I am impressed by the Apps paradigm (borrowed from smartphone technology) and the wealth of features of the new Jupiter DSP platform,” said Gary Goh of Singapore-based Electronics & Engineering.
“It certainly is a powerful product that promises to win many fans in Southeast Asia. As we supply solutions for projects across a wide range of scales and specificities, we are pleased that the Jupiter, Integrator Series, and open-architecture SymNet systems meet our range of needs.”
Taeryung Park, head sales manager of Seoul-based Soundus Corporation stated, “We feel that our market is ready to learn about the benefits of the Symetrix Jupiter DSP processor and Integrator Series products as they are performance-driven, reliable and well-suited to our installation projects.”
“Like Symetrix, we pride ourselves in superior customer service and support and are looking forward to a long-lasting relationship.”
“We are happy to be partnering with Electronics & Engineering and Soundus,” said Paul Roberts, Symetrix’ vice president of sales and marketing.
“Both companies are respected, established, and networked in their regions. Thus, they are well positioned to introduce their clients to the performance and value of Symetrix and its family of product lines.”
“We are especially excited to gain increased market penetration in Asia with the new Jupiter line of ‘zero learning curve’ processors, which has already taken other markets by storm.”
Datapath Wins Prestigious Queen’s Award For Innovation 2011
Datapath is proud to receive the awards which reflects their engineering teams wealth of experience and dedication as well as their partnership customers.
Datapath is pleased to announce they have been awarded the Queen’s Award for Innovation.
The Queen’s Awards are internationally recognized indication of excellence. Datapath’ award, under the Innovation category acknowledges the success it has achieved through outstanding innovation with the continuous development of technology incorporated in large video wall controllers.
The video wall technology, enables co-ordination of many screens and acceptance of inputs from a variety of sources, is based on custom designed graphics card solutions and high bandwidth backplanes.
Through innovation, the company has continually replaced products made obsolete by developments in the computer industry and thus sustained high performance in international markets.
Datapath make hardware components, plug-in cards and device driver, software, which are supplied to original equipment manufacturers worldwide.
They are key elements in the building of equipment controlling, for example, transport, utilities, process industries, financial trading and security systems.
Bjorn Krylander, CEO at Datapath commented “We are all very proud to receive this awards which not only reflects on our engineering teams wealth of experience and dedication but also on the partnership with our customers who has continuously allowed us to make our product easier to use, and better adapted for many different market segments.”
Gefen Offering Connectivity Tours At CETW
Industry experts will offer guidance on how to best plan, install, deliver and monitor high quality digital signage installations.
Gefen has announced that John Novak, Director Digital Signage, will be conducting semi-private guided tours throughout the Digital Signage show at CETW (Customer Engagement Technology World).
All tours are designed to get attendees quickly up to speed on the new technologies, services and strategies currently available to present a full-circle understanding of digital signage today.
The Digital Signage Connections Tour takes place on the exhibit hall floor, with visits to key manufacturers, service providers offering cutting-edge products and services to create world-class digital signage installations.
Everything from behind-the-scenes connectors and cables, to front line content management will be included in the tour.
The goal is to educate attendees on the various offerings that are available to them, explained Novak.
Ideally the tour will encourage attendees to have more educated and productive conversations with vendors on the show floor.
The tour is free to all attendees, and will be conducted throughout both days on the exhibit hall floor.
Each tour lasts approximately 45 60 minutes and will guide attendees to key booths that represent a complete digital out-of-home (DOOH) ecosystem, including displays, content management, mounting, installation, service and connectivity.
Tour guides will give a solid overview of how the different parts of digital signage and DOOH programs develop, the roles that the various vendors play, the scope of services, some keys to success, and an overall picture of how a digital signage project fits into an organization.
Customer Engagement Technology World takes place on Wednesday and Thursday, April 27-28th at the Moscone Center in San Francisco California.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Powersoft Amplifiers The Choice Of Eisenhower Hall Theatre
Big Mo Pro selected Powersoft K8 and K6 amplifiers for the installation.
The Eisenhower Hall Theatre at West Point Military Academy, the second largest proscenium-style theater in the United States, recently chose Powersoft K Series amplifiers.
Big Mo Pro, the systems integrator contracted by the theater to upgrade its audio system, chose to install 32 Powersoft K6 and K8 series amplifiers driving a 72-box line array system for the 4,325-seat performance space.
“Powersoft has been my amplifier of choice since it was introduced to me five years ago,” says Greg Rosenkrans, co-owner and CEO of Big Mo Pro.
“For the Eisenhower Hall Theatre installation, we employed Powersoft amps to drive line arrays from EM Acoustics. We replaced the original system that was installed back in 1970 (we are actually using the old system for emergency paging) and the sound from the new system is simply superb.”
“We now have extremely tight and powerful bass response with loud and clear sound to support the many activities and performances presented at the hall. With Powersoft driving the system, we are confident that it will be serving the theater for the next 20 years.”
The Eisenhower Hall Theatre at West Point is used by United States Corps of Cadets for internal programming and is also available to the public at large as the premier performing arts center serving the Hudson Valley area of New York State.
The lineup of top entertainment offerings includes Broadway plays, opera, dance productions, symphony orchestras, staged spectaculars and country and rock concerts. The 193,000-square-foot Eisenhower Hall complex also houses Ike’s Riverside Café (a 600-seat dining room), a 13,000-square-foot Ballroom, Benny’s Lounge (a bar/lounge), the Class of 1929 Art Gallery, offices and meeting spaces.
Upcoming events include Fiddler on the Roof, Shen Yun Performing Arts, Toby Keith, comedian Jim Gaffigan, Celtic Thunder and the Moscow Ballet Nutcracker. The redesign of the facility was managed by Collette Contracting, Inc.
“Powersoft really made a difference for this installation on many levels,” says Rosenkrans. “Because they only take up one rack space, I was able to put the entire system into two 44-space racks.”
“If I used traditional amplifiers, that would be three or four racks and there was simply not enough room to install 20 feet from stage right. We are also using Powersoft’s Armonía Pro Audio Suite amplifier control package, which is ideal for this fixed installation, allowing us to streamline our setup and drop outboard EQ and crossovers for more space saved.”
“The K Series has power factor correction circuitry that really works. When we were testing out the amplifiers, we started with the subwoofers and the sonic results, in our opinion, crushed all the competition.”
“It’s pretty amazing technology they have going on there. We tried every way to make the amp fail and it just kept on going. For an installation as prestigious as the Eisenhower Hall Theatre, nothing but the best would do and that meant Powersoft.”
Group One Announces Dave Roman To Join Technical Sales & Support Team
Roman brings over 15 years of experience to his position as pro audio/broadcast specialist.
Group One is pleased to announce the addition of Dave Roman to its Technical Sales and Support team, with an emphasis in broadcast applications.
Roman brings over 15 years of proven experience in the areas of consultation, system design and integration, and installation and training to broadcast, recording/post production studios and live sound clients.
For over a decade, he served as Senior Product Specialist/Applications Engineer at Dale Pro Audio, an industry leader in pro audio gear and systems. Prior to that, he worked in sales and studio management. Roman continues to lend his mixing skills as principal mastering engineer at 4130 Mastering.
“It’s an exciting time in the broadcast industry,” offered Roman.
“Networks are continuing to upgrade their infrastructures with the latest in 5.1 consoles and monitoring, the loudness problem has reached its apex and everyone is looking for the right products to suit their specific needs.”
“Group One represents manufacturers offering solutions that are scalable and can grow with a facility. As Senior Product Specialist for Dale Pro Audio in New York City for the last eleven years, I have had the opportunity to assist true professionals in staying ahead of the digital curve.”
“The move to Group One is one that allows new challenges nationwide, as well as concentration on key product lines to meet those challenges. As their Technical Sales and Support, I look forward to working with the broadcast community and helping them incorporate the latest technology into their daily workflow.”
“We are very excited to have Dave join our team at Group One,” offered President/CEO Jack Kelly. “With our expansion into the broadcast market with the addition of DiGiCo Broadcast, Junger Audio and RTW we need the expertise that Dave can bring to our experienced team.”
Stewart Audio Announces New AV100 Power Amplifier
The new AV100 provides sonic accuracy, high efficiency, and a low pass subwoofer filter.
Stewart Audio is pleased to announce the introduction of the AV100 power amplifier.
As the company’s latest addition to its line of versatile power amplifiers, the new AV100 makes a great choice for driving both subwoofers and full range loudspeakers.
The AV100 is designed and built to meet the rigorous demands of commercial and residential integrators in addition to being a great choice for musicians looking for high quality audio performance.
The AV100’s competitive pricing, lightweight design, and its convection cooling (no noisy fans) give this AB Class power amplifier unparalleled fidelity for a multitude of applications, including installation in boardrooms, classrooms, AV projection systems, audio/video production suites, project studios, and broadcast environments to name but a few.
Further, it is an excellent choice for fixed installations with amplifiers located in the listening environment and, with the available pole and universal mounting brackets, the AV100 can be pole mounted, attached behind flat panel displays, recessed in lecterns, and placed in countless other locations.
With its compact, half rack form factor that enables the AV100 to reside wherever space is at a premium, this 100W monaural amplifier is optimized to drive 4- and 8-Ohm loads and, with the inclusion of a Low Pass filter, is well suited for driving subwoofers.
The AV100 also uses an ultra-efficient switch mode power supply for its conversion of electrical power.
The AV100 provides a push button switch to toggle between Full Range (30 Hz – 20 kHz) and Subwoofer (30 Hz - 150 Hz) modes and provides LEDs for visual confirmation of Power and Clipping. The rear panel provides RCA- and banana plug-type connectors.
“Our new AV100 power amp features a rugged, reliable design based on a time tested platform that has been proven in countless applications by the PA50B family,” said Brian McCormick, Chief Marketing Officer for Stewart Audio.
“The result is an amplifier that delivers clean, full–range dynamic power and the world-class reliability Stewart Audio products are well known for.”
“I’m quite certain integrators, audio professionals, and others will find the AV100 a compelling choice for a myriad of sound reinforcement applications.”
The Stewart Audio AV100 power amplifier carries an MSRP of $499 and is available now.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Industry Perspective: Marketing…What Marketing?
Breaking out of the commodity/price mode of operation.
I’ve spent the past 20-plus years marketing professional audio products to touring sound and A/V rental companies.
It seems that every year the hue and cry from the owners of these companies gets louder, who universally claim that their competitors are trashing the pricing of rental equipment and that profitability is sorely lacking.
And I happen to believe them.
Why is this happening? I believe many factors contribute, including general saturation of rental equipment in the market and poor business management such as a lack of understanding of overhead structure and operating costs within the rental company.
But two other factors that generally get very little airtime need to be seriously evaluated and considered. As you’ll see, they go hand in hand.
1) The nature of negotiation between rental companies and their (potential) clients.
2) The marketing of equipment and services by the rental companies to their (potential) clients.
Let’s first focus on point number one. Client negotiations frequently divide into two broad categories.
At the outset, the rental company defines the agreement with someone who usually understands both the value of equipment as well as qualified support, and the differences these two elements can make in terms of the quality of a show.
Typically, this stage of negotiation is done with a production manager or person in a similar capacity.
But then the negotiation shifts to its second phase, where focus becomes the dollars and cents of the transaction.
This is done with individuals (accountants or accounting types) who have little to no interest or understanding of what the equipment even does, let alone its value and the added worth of related support and experience. And this, my friends, is most often where things fall apart for the rental company.
Rather than simply taking over the negotiation after the knowledgeable production manager has approved a list of qualified vendors, the accountants like to “spin bid” the project.
They take the lowest bid to the “preferred vendor” and ask (require?) them to beat it. Too often in our business, rental companies simply roll over and lower their price rather than risk losing the bid, regardless of profitability.
The big question: why do we, in the professional audio industry, continue to participate in - and by timid association - even support this ruinous practice?
This brings me to the second point, which is MARKETING. More often than not, I see rental bids that are little more than glorified equipment lists. There is absolutely no attempt to define the quality of the equipment, let alone the service value of the rental company and its support individuals.
My experience on the manufacturing side has taught me three things about marketing professional audio products.
First, a successful product must have superior value to those with which it is compared. Second, a successful product must be differentiated from competitive offerings. Third, a successful product must provide a barrier to competitive entry.
Any product that does not have strong attributes in each of these areas becomes a commodity, and that’s where the accountants take over.
And can you blame them? A simple equipment list, without further explanation or distinction, is an open invitation for the non-informed to simply compare non-defined apples with equally non-defined oranges.
After all, speakers are speakers, amps are amps and processors are processors, right? And two support techs are the same as the next two support techs, correct? And one rental company is identical to all others in terms of its attention to detail, commitment to quality and cumulative experience, yes? Well, no.
Marketing is many things, and at the top of the list, marketing is differentiation. To break out of the current mode, rental companies must take every opportunity to differentiate their equipment and level of service. The simple question to be answered - as fully as possible and in each and every situation - is “why”?
Why should a rental company be hired at the exclusion of all others, why is each component in the system important, why is experience important?
All of these, and more, are compelling questions begging for answers, and the dogged pursuit of providing these answers is what leads to differentiation.
You do not want to be in a commodity market, I assure you. If so, then all competition is decided on price alone. Sound familiar?
The challenge for rental companies is to move from selling contracts for commodity rental equipment to differentiated systems and services that offer the client real value that is understood. If we, as an industry, can’t learn to do this, price will continue to erode over time.
And that is a sad prospect indeed.
Michael MacDonald has been involved in the professional audio industry for more than 20 years. Beginning as a freelance mixer/engineer in the ‘70s, he transitioned to working for manufacturers in the mid-‘80s. He has provided sound for touring acts, special events broadcast and permanent installations, and he has been employed, developed products and consulted with major companies such as Yamaha and JBL Professional.
Lab X Technologies Promotes Chuck Ruffino To Vice President Of Engineering
Ruffino reinforces Lab X’s customer relations and technology capabilities, combining customer service with design expertise.
IEEE 802.1 Audio Video Bridging (AVB) solutions design resource Lab X Technologies has promoted Chuck Ruffino to Vice President of Engineering.
In his new position, Ruffino will have an even greater hands-on responsibility with customers as he focuses on advancing the Lab X technological agenda.
While managing engineering projects, Ruffino will be the liaison between engineers and customers to keep each party up to date on all tasks, from tracking milestones and budget planning to designing and manufacturing AVB switches.
“Lab X continues to grow as one of the most recognized AVB leaders in the industry,” said Lee Minich, president of Lab X Technologies.
“With Chuck’s passion for design and development of new technology and his ability to successfully manage our customer base, we trust him to help Lab X reach even greater heights in upcoming years.”
With more than 20 years of networking and connectivity experience, Ruffino joined Lab X in 2010 as an Embedded Digital Engineer.
His original core responsibilities were focused on enhancing the team of Lab X engineers to develop the best in network connectivity.
“Since joining Lab X, there has been a great push to simplify our daily routine, while ensuring our clients receive the best in service and technology,” stated Ruffino.
“My new position helps us continue structuring the company to accommodate the growth we expect in the near and distant future. I am thrilled to be part of Lab X’s success.”
Lab X Technologies
Aphex Announces The Expansion Of Their Engineering Team
Boehm brings a long history in designing innovative, leading-edge products to Aphex.
Aphex has continued its growth with the appointment of pro audio veteran Charles Boehm to its engineering staff.
Boehm joins Aphex after many years as hardware design engineer for Avid Technology’s M-Audio division, where he was responsible for heading up design teams behind such successful products as their Prokeys88 and DCP-200 digital pianos, GSR studio monitors and Midisport USB MIDI interfaces.
Prior to his tenure at Avid, Boehm worked with Nemesis Technology, where he also made significant contributions to a number of USB and FireWire audio interfaces.
“Charlie is the ideal addition to our engineering team at Aphex,” remarked CEO David Wiener.
“His expertise and long-term history in designing innovative, leading-edge products, combined with a very forward-looking perspective on our industry and technology, makes him ideally suited for the very aggressive program we have targeted over the coming months. We’re absolutely thrilled to welcome him on board.”
“I’m really pleased to join Aphex at this particular time,” added Boehm.
“It’s not often one gets the opportunity to work with a company that’s so deeply entrenched in the history and tradition of modern recording, and to come into the company at a time when there’s so much growth and opportunity to create new and exciting products makes it even more rewarding.”
Boehm will be based out of the company’s Sun Valley offices.
Monday, April 18, 2011
Kramer Introduces VP-472 3G HD-SDI To HDMI Proscale High-Performance Digital Scaler
The VP-472 automatically detects the incoming signal format and supports SMPTE standards 259M, 292M, and 424M.
Kramer Electronics has announced the introduction of the VP-472 Digital 3G HD-SDI to HDMI Scaler.
The VP-472 is a high-performance digital scaler for SDI signals up to 3G HD-SDI. The VP-472 will up and down-scale SD, HD and 3G SDI signals to resolutions of up to WUXGA and 1080p.
The VP-472 has one SDI input and one SDI looping output on BNC connectors to accept an SD, HD or 3G SDI signal.
Its input automatically detects the incoming signal format. Supported formats include SMPTE standards 259M, 292M, and 424M. The VP-472 also has one scaled HDMI output on an HDMI connector.
The VP-472 supports output resolutions of 800x600, 1024x768, 1360x768, 1280x768, 1280x1024, 1440x900, 1400x1050, 1680x1050, 1600x1200, 1920x1200, 720x576 @50, 720x480 (NTSC), 1280x720 @50/60 (HD 720), 1920x1080 @50/60 (HD1080); SDTV at 480p and 576p, and HDTV at 720p @50/60Hz, 1080p @50/60Hz, and 1080i @50/60Hz.
The VP-472 features a built-in proc amp that can adjust the brightness, contrast, and color of the output signal.
These picture adjustments can be conveniently made via the on-screen display (OSD) of the VP-472, which is accessed via the front panel buttons. Also included on the front panel is a button for image freeze.
These settings are stored in non-volatile memory that retains the last settings used. The VP-472 also features an external 5V DC power source, making it suitable for field operation.
The VP-472 is housed in a compact Kramer MegaTOOLS enclosure, and sells in the United States at a list price of $1495.00 per unit. The VP-472 is currently in stock and available from Kramer Electronics sales companies around the world.
The Hidden Benefits In Attending Trade Shows For Church Technical Directors
Though show attendance costs money, you'll likely save many times as much by actually finding the right solutions and support.
Since I’ve been at Coast Hills (or more correctly, since I’ve lived in Southern California, which is near Las Vegas…), I’ve had the opportunity to attend six major trade shows.
In the past, I’ve been able to get to one or two here and there, but the last few years have been a boon.
We were talking at NAB the other day about how important it is to be able to go to trade shows, especially for church techs.
We also realized that most churches don’t see the value in sending their tech guy to a trade show. That’s truly a tragedy, as the church is missing out on a valuable resource.
I can see the perspective of church leadership, but I think it’s misguided. A pastor or board may see the costs associated with sending their tech guy to a trade show and figure that money could be better spent on equipment (or better yet, on something non-tech related).
However, by missing out on trade shows, the church is actually spending more money and potentially getting the wrong gear.
To help curb this trend, I want to present to you a few reasons why your church should send you to a trade show. Feel free to pass this on to your pastor or church board.
One of the biggest reasons to attend a trade show is to gain contacts inside manufacturers.
If you’re a tech guy at a church somewhere is the rural midwest, it can be really tough to find anyone who can help you solve technical problems. However, by going to a show, you meet engineers and product managers who can walk you through solutions to technical challenges.
For example, I’ve been working on trying to come up with a cost-effective solution for the video system in our community room. We have a weird distribution system and unusual input needs.
Yesterday, I talked with engineers at two companies who outlined solutions for me. One told me that at the moment they didn’t have a super-elegant way to solve the issue, but if I could wait a month or two, at InfoComm in June, they would be introducing a product that would fit the bill perfectly.
Now I have some real options to consider, and we’ll end up with a better solution than if I had tried to figure it out based on looking at their web sites.
Plus, I have contact info for those guys, and I can now call them up and run scenarios by them. That’s a valuable resource.
Finding Unusual Solutions
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to a show thinking I was going to just look at the product I was already aware of, and then came away with a whole new plan.
Trade shows are the best place to see a cornucopia of gear all in one place.
More than once I’ve been on my way to see one product and a similar product in another booth caught my eye.
Upon some investigation, this other product turns out to be a much better fit than the original. Sometimes this causes a complete change in the plan.
For example, last year I went to InfoComm to meet with DiGiCo and Aviom to talk about how we could make a system work. At the DiGiCo booth, I noticed a prototype of the S-MADI Bridge from Roland.
I started talking with the Roland guys and found out that I could use that to connect the M-48s to the SD8. As I was literally a week away from ordering my system, this altered the landscape significantly.
We ended up buying the Roland system along with the SD8 and it’s been a huge improvement to our sound system. That’s an understatement actually; the system we ended up with is orders of magnitude better than it would have been had I not gone to InfoComm.
Meeting Other Techs
This is perhaps the least appreciated aspect of going to a show. But, now that organizations like CTDRT are putting together dinners and breakfasts, there are more opportunities than ever to get to know other tech guys.
Also, by following people on Twitter and Facebook, we can easily arrange ad hoc meet ups and get to know the people behind the tweets. We talk about this all the time, but we can’t emphasize enough how important this is.
I think some pastors are threatened by their tech guys getting to know other tech guys, but I have to tell you, nothing will burn your TD out faster than keeping him isolated.
The simple fact is that very few people truly understand tech guys, and we have to have someone else to talk to. We need support and the best way to do that is to reach out to others who do what we do.
Moreover, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve learned of a new solution to a problem I’ve been having simply talking to some other TDs over dinner at a show. A few months ago, I found out I can save almost $2,000 by changing the way I re-lamp one of my projectors. I learned that by talking to anther TD.
So the bottom line is this: Yes, sending your TD to a show might cost you $1000-1500 by the time you fly him in, put him up in a hotel and give him a meal allowance.
But you will get that back and more. Your TD will come back energized, more excited about his work and full of ideas for solving problems. And you will likely save many times as much as you spend based on actually getting the right solutions.
Find some money, and get your TD out to a trade show. You won’t be sorry.
Have you had a great experience at a trade show? Be sure to let me know in the comments below!
Mike Sessler is the Technical Director at Coast Hills Community Church in Aliso Viejo, CA. He has been involved in live production for over 20 years and is the author of the blog, Church Tech Arts . He also hosts a weekly podcast called Church Tech Weekly on the TechArtsNetwork.