Monday, May 05, 2014
CAD Audio Adds MH320 To Studio Headphone Line
Closed-back circumaural headphones for a wide range of applications
CAD Audio has introduced the new MH320 closed-back circumaural monitor headphones for a wide range of studio applications.
Equipped with high output 45mm neodymium drivers, the MH320 offers an extended frequency response with an exceptionally clear and detailed sound.
Constructed of high-grade stainless steel, manganese and aluminum, the headphones are built with the durability and solid construction to ensure years of use.
Large, soft leather earpads outfitted with high-density memory foam provide effective isolation and hours of fatigue-free listening comfort.
Frequency Response: 10 Hz—26 kHz
Sensitivity: 101 dB
Driver: 45 mm neodymium
Impedance: 36 ohms
Power Handling: 2000 mW
Tech Works Takes Delivery Of Renkus-Heinz IC Live
Also recently added several Renkus-Heinz RH62 portable point-source loudspeakers
Tech Works, a leading Las Vegas-based sound and production company, just took delivery of new Renkus-Heinz IC Live digitally steerable loudspeakers, and in fact, has already deployed them successfully on several shows.
“We strive to provide our clients with the very best audio experience, and the IC Live is a fantastic sounding system,” states Tom Bourke, general manager of Tech Works. “It provides a tremendous amount of output from a very compact footprint, while the digital steering allows us to focus audio on the audience and not all over the room.”
The Tech Works IC Live package is comprised of ICL-R full-range modules and IC215S dual-15-inch bandpass subwoofers that can be combined into six different configurations.
“The scalability and flexibility of the system is fantastic, and allows us to configure a rig for a wide variety of events, from small to large,” Bourke notes. “Our clients love the sound, and they also love the look and profile of the slim columns.”
In addition to IC Live, Tech Works also recently took delivery of several Renkus-Heinz RH62 portable point-source loudspeakers, which utilize the same driver compliment as the IC Live Series, making them ideal front fill and/or delay loudspeakers to supplement IC Live main systems.
“With a width of only 8 inches (the same as the ICL-R modules), we can tuck these boxes into places a more traditional cabinet would not fit yet still get impressive output and superb audio quality,” adds Bourke.
Editor’s note: Tech Works is owned by ProSoundWeb and Live Sound International senior contributing editor Craig Leerman.
PreSonus Unveils New Monitor Station V2 Desktop Studio Monitor & Source Controller
Provides easy desktop management of multiple audio sources and up to three sets of monitors
PreSonus has introducerd the new Monitor Station V2, a major redesign of its desktop studio monitor control center, easy desktop management of multiple audio sources and up to three sets of monitor loudspeakers.
Monitor Station V2, which is shipping, provides a S/PDIF digital input and has a more ergonomic, intuitive layout than the original Monitor Station.
Features include four stereo inputs-two pairs of balanced 1/4-inch TRS and one pair of unbalanced RCA Aux inputs with gain control-managed with a source-select switch. A 1/8-inch TRS unbalanced input is summed with the RCA Aux inputs.
The S/PDIF stereo input supports 44.1, 48, 88.2, and 96 kHz digital audio; a button switches between the Aux and S/PDIF inputs.
Three left/right pairs of balanced, 1/4-inch TRS speaker outputs and a Speaker Select switch enables the A/B comparing of audio through up to three sets of reference monitors. A variable, rear-panel control enables fine-tuned calibration of loudspeaker-output levels.
Outputs include left/right pair of balanced 1/4-inch TRS Main outs, left and right balanced 1/4-inch TRS Cue outputs with level control, and four 1/4-inch TRS stereo headphone outputs, each with a Main/Cue source selector and individual output-level control.
Monitor Station V2’s built-in talkback microphone offers variable input gain and is activated with a Talk button. An eight-segment, three-color LED meter indicates left and right levels. Other features include a Dim button with variable attenuation level, Mono and Mute buttons, and an external DC power supply and rocker power switch.
The Monitor Station V2 is available immediately with an expected U.S. MAP/street price of $299.
Friday, May 02, 2014
Sound For The British Music Embassy
While the British Music Embassy at the annual South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin has consistently featured UK artists supported by systems with key components from manufacturers based in their homeland, this year’s event was marked by a different audio approach.
Latitude 30, the venue that’s been home to the showcase for seven years, provides tight quarters for a live music experience, with a total capacity of about 250 topped by a low ceiling. The previous tactic of utilizing line arrays as mains was less than optimum, so promoter Cato Music of London sought a different approach and contacted Scotland-based Tannoy, seeking a more compact, point-source oriented solution.
“We needed to provide coverage and adequate SPL for the venue, but without taking up the whole room,” notes Colin Studybaker, TC Group tour sales manager. “We also didn’t want to bring additional equipment and cabling that would require more set-up time.”
A New Thing
Studybaker and Josh Evans, Lab.gruppen technical sales manager (tour division), were onsite to work hands-on with front of house engineer Fabrizio Piazzini and monitor engineer Chris Kmiec over the 6-day run at SXSW. The team rode herd over efficient systems headed up by Tannoy VQ Series loudspeakers for the house and Tannoy VX stage monitors, both driven by Lab.gruppen amplification.
A look at the house loudspeaker set as well as the Tannoy VX monitors on the compact stage.
Just two VQ60 loudspeakers (60-degree horizontal dispersion), flown at the stage in a split parallel left/right configuration, were needed to cover the entire room, which is wider than it is deep.
The 3-way loudspeakers delivered plenty of coherent full-range output for the application, with a design that effectively combines the company’s unique Dual Concentric coaxial driver approach with a proprietary PSW (Point Source Waveguide) that aligns the acoustical centers of the transducers to produce a single coherent wavefront. Low-frequency energy is supplied by dual 12-inch woofers, and for this project, this was further bolstered by three low-profile Tannoy VS 218DR (dual-18-inch) subwoofers distributed horizontally on the deck.
Over his 15 years as freelance mix engineer, Piazzini has done FOH for acts such as Kula Shaker, Patrick Wolf, Calvin Harris and Amy MacDonald, among others. “It’s been a while since I’ve mixed a club gig, and Tannoy was quite a new thing to me,” he says. “I owned some of their studio monitors and always liked them, and Tannoy has always been very good at what they do. But these speakers (VQ Series) were a revelation.
A stage-side view in concert showing one of the main Tannoy VQ loudspeakers.
“Point-source loudspeakers are not dead, and in this application, were really nice – smooth, not harsh at all, and when you walked out of the beam, it sounded natural,” he continues. “You could feel it when you weren’t in the beam, but there was still coherence, so when you walked into the venue it was a very smooth transition from the entrance to the middle where it really hit you.”
Both the mains and subs were powered by two Lab.gruppen 4-channel PLM 20000Q amplifier/controllers with Lake digital processing, sharing just a single rack at the stage with five 1RU Lab.gruppen IPD 2400 amplifiers for the monitors.
House engineer Fabrizio Piazzini at an Allen & Heath GLD-112 mix surface.
The efficiency of the amplifiers was key in avoiding any undue strain on the venue’s electrical infrastructure. In fact, the PLM amplifiers include breaker emulation limiters that limit current draw to protect the venue’s circuit breakers.
“We wanted as much power as we could get with as little current draw as possible,” Studybaker notes. “We chose the IPD 2400s based on the amount of house (AC) power available. That was a big thing because there’s no generator and we had roughly 40 amps total to tie into.”
“I mix bass heavy and like heavy mixes,” Piazzini says. “We peaked a couple of times – where we drew about 80 percent – but I never felt like the power draw was limiting me.” Adds Kmiec: “This was the first year I’ve been involved where we didn’t trip the venue power at any point.”
Both Lab.gruppen amplification platforms proved valuable in the application. IntelliDrive Controller software onboard the IPD amplifiers saved rack space usually dedicated to outboard processors, providing control for ringing out monitors.
And each PLM 20000Q contains two full-featured Lake Processor modules, each offering settings for gain, delay, crossover slope, equalization, and limiting that can be applied to the loudspeakers.
Lake Controller 6.1 software, available on laptop computers tablets that allowed the engineers mobility, supplied a unified source for overall system control, offering things like digital input gain and attenuation as well as comprehensive load verification and monitoring.
The Rational Acoustics Smaart v7 test and measurement platform was also implemented in conjunction with Lake Controller, delivering a fluent single interface for comprehensive system optimization.
Beyond the fact that they originate in the UK and thus meet one of the specific criteria for the stage, the choice of an Allen & Heath GLD-112 console at FOH and a GLD-80 console for monitors was also due to their Dante networking capability, implemented here with the addition of optional Dante cards.
“Dante was key to this project because it allowed Smaart and Lake to co-exist on the same signal platform, along with routing Dante channels to the measurement platform,” Studybaker says.
Piazzini notes that this networking approach, unveiled for the first time here, proved highly effective. “It worked seamlessly from the first,” he says, “so we could focus on the system and the job at hand rather than the infrastructure.”
Lab.gruppen PLM 20000Q amplifiers driving the mains. Above them in the same rack are the IPD 2400s for monitors.
Because the venue had windows right behind FOH that open, a single Tannoy VX 8.2 loudspeaker – driven by an adjacent PLM 20000Q and time delayed to the main loudspeakers – was placed on a windowsill behind the console to cover the crowd in the street.
“I set up that amplifier so it wouldn’t pull more than five amperes, because the outlet we were using was powering everything at the FOH position,” Studybaker explains. “I could have used another IPD 2400, but it was cool to be able set a 20,000-watt amp so it pulled that little power.”
The small stage meant that stage monitoring was limited. AKG wireless in-ear monitoring systems were available, but for the most part, artists utilized five Tannoy VX 12HP coaxial monitors (bi-amped), joined by a single VSX 15DR sub for drum fill. There wasn’t space for side fill.
Making system adjustments via Lake Controller on a tablet.
“The VX monitors are a very clean-sounding speaker straight out of the box,” Kmiec says. “The advantage to the coaxial configuration is that they sound the same at the left and right of the speaker, which was a big advantage in a small venue like this where many band members had a single speaker rather than a pair. With a traditional format speaker, you often force yourself into using a pair per musician to get the sound even across their plane of movement.”
On stage, the microphone package was all AKG, including a D12 VR on kick, D40 cardioids for snare top/bottom and toms, C 451 condensers on hi-hat and overheads, and P4 dynamics on guitars cabinets. All vocalists were provided with D7 dynamics except drum vocals, which received a D5 with tighter supercardioid pattern to limit bleed.
In addition to his work as an engineer, Piazzini is a Waves Live product specialist, and he relied heavily on the technology during the week. “I put Waves NLS analog summing plug-ins on every mic input; a different plug-in on each input to give different flavors to the mix,” he says. The ability to use an iPad in tandem with the GLD at FOH also allowed him not only the freedom to move and to tweak the system remotely, but to do so on occasions when other engineers were setting up without disturbing their workflow.
Monitor engineer Chris Kmiec at a GLD-80 in his world to the side of the stage.
“I used to mix on an Allen & Heath iLive but hadn’t used the GLD yet, so I was looking forward to it because I hadn’t had a chance to play with one before,” he adds. “It was spot on.”
In a multi-band situation, maintaining a fluent workflow and staying on schedule is also part of the challenge. “To deal with the amount of bands in a small space of time, you really have to go back to the analog mindset of how you lay everything out, with a set patch list that everyone fits into,” Kmiec says. “There’s no time during a 15-minute changeover to re-patch. The digital advantage is that you can move how these channels appear on the desk to match any preferences.”
In addition, the amount of inputs on the GLD-80 proved useful given that he was swapping between the stage monitors and IEM systems.
Most importantly, beyond ease of setup and meeting the challenges the venue presented in terms of space and power, the system was a hit with concertgoers who’d come to hear British artists like The Wytches, Slaves, Temples, and Dinosaur Pile-Up.
It did that job admirably, Studybaker concludes, adding that over the course of the six-night festival he received numerous complements. “Actually, I was told that this is one of the best-sounding venues of this size at the festival this year. We’ll be doing it again next year.”
Based in Toronto, Kevin Young is a freelance music and tech writer, professional musician and composer.
VUE i-Class Serves Up Great Audio At New York’s Sao Restaurant
Six VUE i-6 full range systems join three is-26 compact subwoofers
New York welcomes a new high-end restaurant later this month with the grand opening of Sao, an upscale lounge and Brazilian eatery located in heart of the city’s Washington Heights neighborhood, with lively music served up through loudspeakers from VUE Audiotechnik.
With a goal to perfectly balance sound quality and aesthetics, Sao’s owners reached out to restaurant and club designer Kenny Fiesta, with whom they’d collaborated previously on two successful establishments in the Washington Heights area.
“When I first saw Sao’s beautiful and detailed interior, I knew instantly why the owners were so adamant about selecting a loudspeaker system that would integrate with the room’s decor,” explains Fiesta. “But they were also planning to host DJs, so in addition to being compact, the system needed to be capable of exceptional output and dynamic range as well.”
Fiesta arranged for the owners to audition compact offerings from a variety of different manufacturers. Among the options were a selection of two-way systems and subwoofers from VUE Audiotechnik’s i-Class range.
“I had just attended a VUE demo several weeks earlier,” says Fiesta. “And while I was personally blown away by what I heard, this was the first time I put the VUE speakers in front of a customer against some very recognizable competition.”
Fiesta continues, “We listened to about five different brands over the course of several hours, and ultimately Sao’s owners heard exactly what I heard. In terms of sound quality and output for their size, absolutely nothing could touch the VUE.”
Six VUE i-6 powered two-way systems were mounted at ceiling height throughout the main dining and lounge areas utilizing the supplied mounting hardware. For additional low frequency support, three VUE is-26a powered subwoofers were discreetly installed inside custom housings underneath the booth seating.
“The results are simply amazing,” concludes Fiesta. “The VUE systems take almost anything we can throw without ever breaking apart sonically. And the is-26a is easily the most capable compact sub I’ve found yet. It even holds its own with our resident DJ.”
Sao officially opens its doors on May 8.
Oklahoma’s Pioneer Cellular Event Center Opens With QSC Equipped Arena
Multipurpose sports and events facility outfitted with WideLine arrays, PowerLight 3 amplifiers, Q-Sys Core 250i and more
Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford recently celebrated the grand opening of the new Pioneer Cellular Event Center, a 93,000-square-foot multipurpose sports and event facility that includes a 4,000-seat arena equipped with a QSC Audio WideLine Series line arrays providing 360-degree coverage, driven by PowerLight 3 Series amplifiers and a Q-Sys Core 250i integrated system platform that handles signal processing and distribution.
AVL Systems Design, a design-build firm located in Edmond, OK, supplied and installed the QSC equipment as part of an integrated audio, video and control system at the venue. “We installed 48 of the WideLine WL2082-i arrays,” says Marc Pierce, president of AVL Systems Design.
The line arrays are installed in six hangs of eight cabinets each. Two arrays are flown along each long side of the arena plus one at either end. Four GP218-sw dual-18-inch subwoofers are positioned above the scoreboard at center court. A total of four PL340 and eight PL380 two-channel amplifiers power the QSC loudspeakers.
“The QSC system is very efficient—that was one of the main cost-saving benefits of a QSC solution,” says Pierce. He reports that he recommended QSC equipment to the client in preference to products from another manufacturer. “While there were some cost savings in choosing QSC, it wasn’t something we went after because of the cost savings—it was for overall better performance. QSC has a better product.”
In addition, four QSC AcousticPerformance AP-5152 15-inch two-way speakers are installed in the arena’s control booth. “They can patch in any feed for monitoring,” explains Pierce. “The booth is open to the main room, so they don’t need a reference monitor for the arena PA system.”
The Q-Sys Core 250i and I/O Frames, located in a machine room next to the control booth along with four PL340 and eight PL380 two-channel amplifiers and other equipment, handle audio distribution and processing throughout the building.
“All of the audio goes in and out of the Q-Sys Core for the main PA, the distributed audio around the perimeter of the arena, some outdoor speakers around the perimeter of the building and a couple of conference rooms,” says Pierce.
The scalability of Q-Sys further enables the university to expand the platform into other areas of the campus. “They’re going to be adding some facilities in the future. That’s another reason why we chose the Q-Sys Core, as it allows us to easily expand,” he notes.
The facility, which also includes new locker rooms, coaches’ offices, a film room, training room and various multifunctional rooms, plus a VIP suite, provides a home for the university’s men’s and women’s basketball teams and women’s volleyball squad and provides additional amenities during games at the adjacent football complex.
Although the official opening was late March of this year, the center has been in operation since January, providing plenty of opportunities for event attendees to experience the new sound system. The first major act to visit the center was comedian Bill Cosby, as part of Comedy Central’s Far From Finished Tour, on April 3. “People here have been extremely ecstatic about the new system,” says Pierce. “The clients say that the speech intelligibility and the coverage are even more than they had hoped for. Everybody is very pleased.”
AVL Systems Design
D.A.S. Audio Driving Concert Sound For Gerardo Ortiz On Tour
Aero 50/LX-218CA Aero Series 2 system delivers audio quality with lots of muscle
Vocalist/composer/performer Gerardo Ortiz, a stand-out artist in the Norteño-Banda, Corridos music genre, is currently on tour with a system supplied by Los Angeles-based International House Of Music that’s headed by D.A.S. Audio Aero Series 2 and Convert loudspeakers.
Specifically, the main system includes 36 D.A.S. Aero 50 3-way, large-format line array modules—powered by Lab Gruppen 10000Q power amplifiers—as well as 24 LX-218CA powered subwoofers. The system is augmented by D.A.S. Convert 15A powered multifunction loudspeakers, Aero 12A powered, 2-way, mid-high line array elements, and Road 15A 2-way powered stage monitors.
“Prior to the start of the Gerardo Ortiz Tour Mexico 2014,” explains Oscar Naranjo, Jr., who is serving as system tech and FOH engineer for the tour. “Mr. Ortiz had used a D.A.S. Aero 12A-based sound system for numerous engagements here in the U.S. and was very pleased with its performance. He wanted to ensure that, for the Mexico tour, he had consistent sound everywhere he was scheduled to perform. Hence he selected this large D.A.S. system.”
While the details of each setup vary from one venue to another, Naranjo reports the basic loudspeaker setup calls for 12 Aero 50 enclosures each for the left-right mains, which are augmented by six additional Aero 50 enclosures for the left-right out fills. If out fills are not required, the left-right mains then increase to sixteen Aero 50 boxes per side.
Four D.A.S. Aero 12A enclosures are utilized for front fills while the side fill setup consists of two D.A.S. LX-218CA subwoofers plus two Convert 15A loudspeakers. And for stage monitors, there are 24 D.A.S. Road 15A loudspeakers.
“We’ve been using a D.A.S. Aero 12 system in the US for a couple of years and have been very happy with its sound quality and ease of use,” Naranjo says. “We have also used D.A.S. Aero 50s at some events here in the States, so when the time came to design a system for the tour throughout Mexico, D.A.S. was at the top of our list. From the time the [lift] motors are ready, it only takes us about 45 minutes to have audio up and running for the entire system—thanks to D.A.S. Audio’s excellent flyware.”
The Gerardo Ortiz Tour Mexico 2014 launched February 22 at the Explanada de la Feria Leon Guanajuato and is scheduled to finish at Palenque de la Feria San Isidro, Metepec, Estado de Mexico on May 31.
“There is a lot of competition in Mexico when it comes to sound systems and Mr. Ortiz did not want to fall short in terms of the audience’s expectation for high quality sound, Naranjo concludes. “We are very happy with the system. To this day, we have not encountered a single issue and we’ve had more than enough loudspeaker performance to cover every venue. We’ve also done two 360-degree show setups with this system and, throughout every location, the D.A.S. equipment has delivered the goods.”
International House Of Music
Bose Pro Loudspeakers & Amplifiers Utilized For Artist Performances At Sundance Film Festival
Park City Live (PCL) was equipped with new RoomMatch loudspeakers driven by PowerMatch amplifiers for 11 nights of musical performances by artists such as O.A.R., Matisyahu, Kaskade, Ludacris and Steve Aoki
Live performances have been on the increase at the annual Sundance Film Festival in Park City, UT, has seen its live music element increase substantially in recent years. This year, a popular club venue – Park City Live (PCL) – was equipped with new Bose Professional RoomMatch loudspeakers driven by PowerMatch amplifiers for 11 nights of musical performances by artists such as O.A.R., Matisyahu, Kaskade, Nervo, Dash Berlin, Ludacris and Steve Aoki.
In addition, a second, temporary venue at the exclusive Montage Deer Valley hotel and ski resort hosted shows by O.A.R. (in a rare acoustic set), John Popper, Richie Sambora, KT Tunstall, Lee Dewyze and others. These shows also utilized a Bose RoomMatch loudspeakers set up specifically for shows during the festival.
At PCL, the system was composed of two arrays, each consisting of RM5505, RM7010, RM9020 and RM12040 loudspeaker modules. At the front of the stage were eight RMS215 subwoofers and eight RMS218 VLF subs. These were powered by 15 Bose PowerMatch PM8500N networked amplifiers and managed by three Bose ControlSpace ESP-00 engineered sound processors.
At the Montage hotel, the system offered dual RoomMatch groundstack configurations, each containing RM12020 and RM9010 modules with a RMS215 and a RMS218 VLF sub. These were powered by four PM8500N amps and used a single ESP-00 processor.
“This is a music festival inside a film festival,” says Kathryn Burns, a longtime Park City resident who took over Park City Live in 2012 and has transformed it into a premier music venue. “The RoomMatch speakers sound amazing. People are not walking in expecting this level of sound quality. Many times attendees complimented the sound, and the fact that it sounded amazing no matter where you were in the room.”
O.A.R. front-of-house mixer Michael Larcey liked mixing on the RoomMatch system. “It has an incredibly smooth sound for vocals,” he states. “I mixed through it in two very different kinds of rooms from one night to the next, from PCL to the Montage, but I heard lots of the same characteristics in each space. There’s just a real consistency and smoothness to it that you don’t hear in other systems.”
Alfred “Al-Tee” Williams, FOH for the Ludacris show at Park City Live, adds, “I had never mixed a Ludacris show using Bose RoomMatch array loudspeakers. During sound check, I walked all around the main floor then up to the balcony VIP sections – I was amazed at how good the coverage was in all areas – very smooth everywhere.
“But the real test came when I played some tracks for sound check that contained some really deep bass parts. His song, ‘How Low Can You Go’ has a drop-tone that goes below 30 Hz and many subwoofers just cannot handle this at the sound levels we need. I was blown away by the low-bass depth and impact that the RoomMatch subwoofers provided. I’m telling all my buddies, ‘You’ve got to check out these new Bose RoomMatch subwoofers.”
Sean Quackenbush, house mixer at the Montage venue during Sundance, as well as for steel guitar virtuoso Robert Randolph, has had several experiences with the RoomMatch system and has nothing but praise for its ability to tame even the most challenging of environments. “RoomMatch is an amazing piece of technology,” he says. “It sounds great with very little processing at all.”
Shure Adds Flush-Mount Discussion Units To DDS 5900 Line
Designed for meeting rooms and spaces where styling and performance are equally important
Shure has added new flush-mounted discussion units to its DDS 5900 Digital Discussion System that are designed for meeting rooms and spaces where styling and performance are equally important.
The DC 5900 F offers a modular design that provides numerous configuration options. The complete unit consists of a base unit, front plate, button overlay, gooseneck microphone, and an optional external loudspeaker.
By selecting different combinations of components, the system can be configured with the controls, loudspeaker placement, and alternate language selection capabilities that the installation requires.
The optional LS 5900 F loudspeaker module may be installed adjacent to the base/microphone unit to provide sound reinforcement of both the microphones in the system and external audio sources such as a presenter’s wireless microphone or audio from a videoconferencing system.
In rooms that utilize conventional wall-mounted or ceiling-mounted loudspeakers, the LS 5900 F loudspeaker can be deleted for an even more compact footprint.
“The DC 5900 F flush-mounted discussion unit combines sleek appearance and unparalleled ease of installation with the proven capabilities of the DDS 5900 Digital Discussion System,” says Stephen Kohler, senior director of marketing for the Americas Business Unit. “The flush mount design offers a cleaner appearance with no visible wiring and helps installers to reduce installation time and labor cost.”
The DC 5900 F is compatible with the GM 5923 (40 cm/16 in) and GM 5924 (50 cm/20 in) gooseneck microphones as well as microphones from the DCS 6000 series.
System designers can also choose Shure Microflex MX405RLP (13 cm/5 in), MX410RLP (25 cm/10 in), or MX415RLP (38 cm/15 in) gooseneck microphones, which attach to the DC 5900 F using the new AC 5901 XLR/Microflex adapter. The Microflex gooseneck microphones are available with an omnidirectional, cardioid, or supercardioid polar pattern.
“The Microflex adapter gives system designers expanded options to tailor audio performance to the room by selecting the polar pattern that is most appropriate in consideration of the room acoustics, table dimensions, and seating arrangement,” Kohler adds.
The DC 5900 F is the first conferencing unit on the market to use optical sensing to automatically configure the unit’s functionality. Byattaching the appropriate button overlay, the unit is automatically configured as either a Chairman or Delegate unit with a specific feature set. Sensors in the front plate detect which button overlay has been attached to the unit, which dictates how the unit operates.
The DC 5900 F is available through select Shure authorized dealers and Shure distribution centers worldwide.
U.S. MAP Pricing:
DDS 5900 F with interpretation (microphone not included)—$302
DDS 5900 F without interpretation (microphone not included)—$264
LS 5900 F loudspeaker—$45
Thursday, May 01, 2014
Meyer Sound LYON Has Power For Days With Brantley Gilbert Tour
“For the bigger arenas this year, we needed a lot of horsepower that would still fit into a tight truck pack. LYON arrived just in time." -- Howard Jones, owner, DCR
Brantley Gilbert’s “Let It Ride” spring tour marks the christening of the new Meyer Sound LYON linear sound reinforcement system from Nashville-based Digital Console Rental (DCR).
“LYON is extremely smooth and linear, and has power for days,” says Andy Wacker, FOH engineer for Brantley Gilbert. “It just keeps on going. It’s also easy to work with—there’s no need to manipulate the sound, to pull tricks from up your sleeve. It’s all straightforward, so I can concentrate on my mix.”
LYON incorporates the technology of the LEO family in a more flexible and compact package, and extends the advantages of highly linear self-powered systems to a larger range of venues and applications.
“Brantley has been a DCR client for more than six years,” says company owner Howard Jones. “For the bigger arenas this year, we needed a lot of horsepower that would still fit into a tight truck pack. LYON arrived just in time. The sound quality and the power-to-size ratio are absolutely the right combination for us.”
For the larger arenas with capacities up to 20,000, the system comprises arrays of up to 12 LYON-M main line array loudspeakers and four LYON-W wide-coverage line array loudspeakers. For the smaller venues, the system is cut back to 12 LYON loudspeakers total in each array.
The tour also carries 24 MICA and 12 MINA line array loudspeakers for out fill and front fill, respectively. Six 1100-LFC low-frequency control elements in cardioid or end-fired configuration provide low end, while a Galileo Callisto loudspeaker management system with two Galileo Callisto 616 array processors and a Galileo 616 processor handles drive and optimization.
With only six 1100-LFC loudspeakers up front, the audio team has been asked if the tour has enough subwoofers. “I just say, ‘Wait until you hear them,’ and that settles it,” says Wacker. “The 1100’s have an amazingly high output, and supply more than enough low end for the venue sizes we’re playing.”
The tour audio package also includes Avid VENUE Profile consoles for FOH and monitor, while the band uses Shure PSM 1000 personal monitoring systems. A Shure UHF-R wireless microphone system with a KSM9H mic capsule is used for Gilbert’s vocal.
DCR also supplied the tour’s lighting and video systems, with overall show design by Howard Jones. DCR’s system techs are Chris Wilhelm and Patrick Johnston.
“LYON is what I’ve come to expect from a Meyer Sound product,” Jones continues. “It does all they say it will do, and more. For one thing, the new rigging hardware is exceptional—it makes the arrays so much easier to fly. The whole package is a great step forward for Meyer Sound, and for us.”
Digital Console Rental (DCR).
St. John Neumann Ready For Future With New Tannoy And Lab.gruppen Sound System
St .John Neumann Catholic church located in Sunbury, Ohio, recently underwent a major renovation which included the installation of a new Tannoy loudspeaker system powered by Lab.gruppen amplifiers.
St .John Neumann Catholic church located in Sunbury, Ohio, recently underwent a major renovation which included the installation of a new Tannoy loudspeaker system powered by Lab.gruppen amplifiers.
Kahl’s Telecom & Sound of Mansfield, Ohio was called in to design and install the new sound system. Because of their long working history with the archdiocese, Kahl’s Project Leaders Tom Howell and Steve Cyrus were confident they would put together a system that would fit the aesthetics of the space, as well as provide the audio quality and vocal clarity the sanctuary required.
Part of the building renovation included adding a transept across the nave, which expanded seating for the church to 1,100. A day chapel was also added to the building, which is used as a crying room during mass and as a space to hold prayer group meetings or smaller services at other times.
Acoustically, the sanctuary was exactly what one might expect from a room adorned with marble and stained glass, flat wooden pews and a two-story tall cathedral ceiling. The reverberation was significant making it difficult for parishioners to hear the priest clearly during mass.
“Vocal intelligibility was a key component to the sound system,” explains Howell. “But for a traditional church, it offers non-traditional music. So the sound reinforcement needed to have a degree of musicality to it, as well. Lastly, in accordance with the traditional look, whatever we installed needed to blend into the aesthetics as seamlessly as possible.”
It didn’t take long for the team to figure out that a columnar line array would provide the best vocal intelligibility, aesthetics and – with the right system – the best musicality, too.
“Jon Johnson and Mark Warling from Online Marketing came in and showed us the Tannoy QFlex system and we were immediately impressed,” adds Cyrus. “We had not worked with the loudspeakers before, but they had every feature we needed and we were sure they would meet the church’s expectations.”
Tannoy’s Qflex digitally steerable column array loudspeaker system is designed to steer audio beams away from surfaces that cause reflections, making it ideal for spaces with acoustical problems. It can be directed to cover specific seating areas eliminating any bounce-back off of walls or balconies.
St. John Neumann’s has a platformed alter located at the back of the nave. Two pillars, located to the left and right of the alter, proved to be the ideal location for mounting the QFlex arrays. Two QFlex 32s were directed to cover the main seating area while two QFlex 16s covered the pews in the transepts.
“Because the Qflex 32s are just under 55-inches tall, 7-inches wide and 6-inches deep, it was relatively simple for us to install them so that they were barely visible to the parishioners,” says Howell. “The enclosure blended into the color of the wall perfectly – we installed them approximately 10 feet off the ground using the provided brackets. They are practically invisible.”
The Qflex 32 arrays are loaded with sixteen 3-inch low frequency and sixteen 1-inch high frequency drivers and designed for a maximum SPL of 100 dB at 100 feet. Given that the length of the sanctuary from the loudspeakers to the back of the church is 80 feet it was relatively simple to dial them in to cover the pews and nothing else.
The smaller QFlex 16s were installed on the same pillars but around the corner from the QFlex 32s. Because the depth of the pews was only 50 feet, they were more than sufficient for the space. In this case, each loudspeaker is loaded with eight 3-inch low frequency and eight 1-inch high frequency drivers.
Stage wash is provided by two compact, surface mount Tannoy Di5DC two-way loudspeakers.
Kahl’s Telcom was also responsible for a new sound system in the smaller day chapel and for a distributed system for the rest of the building. They installed two Tannoy DVS8T loudspeakers to handle the variety of applications the chapel hosts. The hallways and entry areas of the church utilize a distributed system consisting of thirteen Tannoy CVS6 ceiling speakers.
Lab.gruppen amplifiers were chosen to power the passive parts of the new sound reinforcement system. An assortment of E Series amplifiers rack-mounted in furniture-grade racks in the choir loft handle their duties well. The system is powered on 24/7 so the Energy Star™ certified amplifier is a nice addition.
Kahl’s Telecom & Sound also provided a new Allen & Heath GLD 112 for front-of-house, located in a balcony at the rear of the church. A Biamp Nexia SP digital signal processor provides signal routing throughout the church. An Audio-Technica wireless microphone system rounded out the audio package.
“As total system, it’s a very conservative/traditional building with a lot of technology built into it,” concludes Howell. “The Tannoy system is flexible and versatile enough to adapt to any situation – so it becomes a very contemporary space when needed, which is exactly what they were looking for.”
Size Matters: Observations On Loudspeaker Directivity
Trap boxes and line arrays get all the attention. And that’s no surprise—they’re big and loud, and dare I say it, glamorous.
But the truck rarely rolls without a complement of two-way loudspeakers sporting a 12-inch or 15-inch woofer and a horn. Whether its monitor wedges, drum fill, front fill or just “speakers on sticks,” small 2-way boxes do many of the everyday jobs that make up a typical sound reinforcement day.
We take the performance of these boxes for granted, but they can be used to better effect if we really understand their directivity characteristics and what makes them perform the way they do. They’re often described as a “90 by 60 box” or some other dubious reference. But 90 degrees by 60 degrees at what frequency? Certainly not from DC to light.
There are four principle ingredients that govern the dispersion pattern of these loudspeakers, including the cone driver, horn, crossover and cabinet. Let’s look at these one at a time and assess their contributions. Before we go through our list, though, let’s review some basics.
The amount of directivity any device can exert on a sound wave is directly related to the proportional sizes of the device and the sound wave. To understand this relationship it is important to have a good grasp of how big or small a sine wave is at a given frequency.
Sound at sea level at 72 degrees Fahrenheit travels at approximately 1,130 feet per second. We express frequency or cycles (sine waves) per second as Hertz. So if the frequency of a wave is 1 Hz, the wave is 1,130 feet long. Logically, a 10 Hz wave is 113 feet long, a 100 Hz wave is 11.3 feet long, and a 1,000 Hz wave is 1.13 feet long, etc.
While it’s not overly difficult to do the math to determine the wavelength of any given frequency, there is an old “cheat” called the rule of 5-2-1:
20 Hz = 50 feet
50 Hz = 20 feet
100 Hz = 10 feet
200 Hz = 5 feet
500 Hz = 2 feet
1,000 Hz = 1 foot
2,000 Hz = .5 foot
5,000 Hz = .2 foot
10,000 Hz = .1 foot
While not perfectly accurate, it fills the bill for “quick and dirty” calculations. Physics dictates that a source be physically large in comparison to a wavelength to exert directional control over it.
Figure 1: Horizontal directivity balloon of a 12-inch 2-way loudspeaker at 100 Hz (box facing left)
So let’s look at the low frequency directivity of a 12-inch driver in a 2-way loudspeaker with a 90-degree by 60-degree horn.
Matter Of Control
Remember that the low frequency driver’s only means of controlling the dispersion of the sound wave in a front-loaded loudspeaker are its cone diameter, and to a lesser extent, some boundary effects (we’ll discuss that later).
At 100 Hz, the driver is physically small in comparison to the 10-foot wavelength and provides almost no directivity (Figure 1).
Figure 2: Horizontal directivity balloon of a 12-inch 2-way loudspeaker at 500 Hz (box facing left)
If we increase the frequency gradually, the 12-inch driver does not suddenly exert pattern control over the sound wave when it reaches 1,000 Hz (1 foot), and is the same size as the driver itself.
Rather, it has more and more effect as the frequency gets higher and the wavelengths get shorter (Figures 2 & 3). In this frequency range (800 Hz as shown in Figure 3), the cone driver is actually providing approximately 90-degree horizontal dispersion.
Figure 3: Horizontal directivity balloon of a 12-inch, 2-way loudspeaker at 800 Hz (box facing left)
But also realize that since this pattern is conical (the driver is round), it is not producing the specified 60-degree vertical pattern. As the frequency increases the driver exerts more and more control until it begins to “beam” at higher frequencies. But by the time it narrows that much, it’s above the crossover frequency.
This particular loudspeaker crosses over about a half-octave above the balloon in Figure 3. This has an overriding effect on the polar behavior of the box, especially in the vertical domain, so we will discuss the range from 1,000 Hz to 1,500 Hz when we discuss the crossover.
Now, on to the horn.
Dominate The Wavelength
There are multiple elements in a horn’s design that contribute to its ability to achieve pattern control at a given frequency. Some of them are throat geometry, length and flare rate.
But the most obvious factor is the size of the horn mouth. The same rules apply here as to the cone driver. Size matters. The horn mouth must be large enough to dominate the wavelength in question in order to provide complete directivity at that frequency.
So if a horn mouth is 6 inches wide by 3 inches tall it will be somewhat omnidirectional at 1,000 Hz. It will not dominate the sound wave until the frequency reaches about 2,000 Hz in the horizontal plane and 3,000 Hz in the vertical plane. It may provide a 90-degree by 60-degree pattern above 3,000 Hz, but almost certainly not at lower frequencies.
Cone drivers and horns by themselves are fairly predictable devices. But combining the two in close physical proximity can be quite challenging.
The first problem is physical offset. In a typical 2-way box, the devices are located one above the other ,and may also be at different depths. Even if we use delay to correct the time alignment between the drivers on axis, any other vertical angle will skew the time arrivals from the horn and the cone driver.
Because the bandpasses and vertical dispersion patterns of the drivers necessarily overlap in the crossover region it is probable that at any vertical angle that is off axis we will be hearing contributions from both drivers out of phase.
Figure 4: Vertical directivity balloon of a 12-inch, 2-way loudspeaker at 1,250,Hz, crossover at 1,350 Hz (box facing left)
This means there will be lobes and nulls (Figures 4 & 5). This particular box was crossed over at 1,350,Hz with a symmetrical Linkwitz-Riley 24 dB slope.
These lobes will vary in direction and intensity based on driver offset and pattern control, crossover slope, and overlap and alignment delay settings, but they will always occur in multiple driver boxes with physically separated sources.
If a cabinet is laid on its side we get the same phenomena in the horizontal plane. Floor wedges, anyone? This is one reason there has been a resurgence in coaxial boxes.
Because there is no vertical offset between the sources, we only have to correct for the variation in depth between the acoustic origin of the cone and the horn driver, and that distance stays more constant with off-axis listening positions.
Figure 5: Vertical directivity balloon of a 12-inch, 2-way loudspeaker at 1,600 Hz, crossover at 1,350 Hz (box facing left)
The trade-off is that many coaxial designs use the driver cone as the horn flare to guide the high frequencies, and while this may be fine for monitors or other near-field applications, more precise pattern control is often required for sound reinforcement duties.
The final piece of the directivity puzzle is the cabinet itself and the boundary effect created by setting it on something. Fractional space loading is created when we decrease the space that a device is radiating into.
As we saw in Figure 1, low frequencies are omnidirectional, so when we set a loudspeaker on the floor, we effectively halve its radiating space at low frequencies. This produces an additional 3 dB of output (double the power) in the hemisphere that it is still exciting.
If the baffle on the cabinet is physically large enough versus a given frequency, it can act as a boundary to create half space loading. This is what is sometimes called “baffle step.” In modern cabinets, the baffle is rarely much larger than the driver that is mounted in it, because generally, priority is given to things like weight, truck pack, handle location, flying hardware, arrayability and profile.
Technology has gone a long way towards providing a ton of output and fidelity from small packages. But physics hasn’t changed. When it comes to pattern control, size still matters!
Bruce Main has been a systems engineer and front of house mixer for more than 30 years, and has also built, owned and operated recording studios and designed and installed sound systems.
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
In The Studio: Acoustics 101 For Rooms Large & Small
Improving our ability to discern what we want to hear and what we do not...
Just like large big commercial studios, smaller and home studios suffer from acoustical interference that can make it more difficult to mix, especially when surrounded with the sound effects and ambiance that now typifies today’s stereo and 5.1 surround sound mixes. In professional studios, the walls are strategically treated with fabric-covered absorptive panels on the sides, front, rear and sometimes on the ceilings.
The key to improving intelligibility (or our ability to discern what we want to hear and what we do not) is achieved by reducing unwanted reflections from hard wall surfaces.
What happens is that the direct sound from the loudspeaker arrives at the listening position first and then the reflected sound arrives a few milliseconds later. These loud reflections cause the brain (human hearing mechanism) to have to ignore the second sound, thus making us work hard for nothing. In the studio, this effect is known to contribute to listening fatigue.
The solution is actually quite simple. Sound, especially in the voice range, is directional. This means that by using simple vectors, you can strategically position acoustic panels where they will be most effective.
By sitting in the various listening positions and simply moving a mirror on the wall to mark the areas where you see the speaker in the mirror, you will establish the ideal locations on which to position your panels.
The most common surfaces to treat a project studio is on the side walls in between the reference monitors and the listening area. These are usually positioned waist-high to control the upper section of the wall, which will be most prone to reflections. By leaving some open space on the wall, you retain some of the natural ambiance of the room, which will yield a more natural sound.
Treating either the receive wall or the transmit wall (behind the loudspeakers) will also help eliminate flutter echo and standing waves that can further deteriorate the sound. This is particularly helpful in square and rectangular shaped rooms where the parallel surfaces work in tandem to cause long trailing echoes.
Peter Janis is president of Radial Engineering, whose Primacoustic division offers a wide array of acoustic solutions that span all market segments.
Mark Linett Upgrades To Barefoot MM27 Gen2 Monitors
Three-time Grammy winner Mark Linett upgrades studio to Barefoot MM27 Gen2 Monitors.
Top producer/engineer Mark Linett recently upgraded his Barefoot Sound MicroMain27 monitors to the latest Gen2 models.
The monitors are utilized at “Your Place or Mine,” his private studio in LA, which features a customized API 2488 console with Flying Faders, and two original Universal Audio tube consoles, as well as an extensive mic and outboard gear collection.
All tape formats from mono to 24 track are available along with a Pro Tools 32x32 TDM system.
“I’m on the Gen2s, but I’ve had the MM27s pretty much since their introduction,” Linett explains. “I really liked my previous monitors, but there was always something in the bottom end between the bass and the kick that was always tricky to get right the first time.
“You’d do a mix, take it somewhere else, and realize, ‘The balance isn’t quite right, I’ll have to come back and do it again.’ Tedi Sarafian at Barefoot convinced me to try their speakers, and I don’t try a lot of this kind of stuff.”
Linett is a three time Grammy-winning engineer and producer whose early career was spent mixing live sound for Frank Zappa, Earth Wind and Fire, Journey and Rufus, among others.
Later, as a staff engineer at Warner Records Amigo Studios, he engineered albums for a wide range of artists including Randy Newman, Los Lobos, Jane’s Addiction and Rickie Lee Jones.
“My feeling has always been that it’s kind of dangerous to change your monitors,” he continues. “Right or wrong, you get used to what you’re working on. If you’re good at it you can get used to anything. But I tried the Barefoots and I really liked them.
“I did a bunch of quick mixes, and it was so easy to get the balance right, they sounded good elsewhere, and then Tedi told me that they were the demo pair and that I was going to have to wait four weeks, five weeks to get my real pair.
“They took them away and I put my previous monitors back up, and suddenly I could tell exactly what had been the problem, that the mid range was pushed and that the bottom end was a little funny. It was great when the real pair arrived.”
When Amigo Studios closed in 1983, Linett built his own studio/ remote recording system and worked with Laura Nyro, Dave Alvin, and Kris Kristofferson, among others. A chance phone call in 1987 landed Linett in the engineer chair for Brian Wilson’s first solo album and began a 25 plus year relationship which continues to this day. Along the way Mark has mixed the Beach Boys Pet Sounds in both stereo and surround and was nominated for the best engineering Grammy in 2004 for “Brian Wilson Presents Smile.”
“I guess it’s been a little less than a year since the Barefoot Gen2s came along,” Linett says. “I really like them, an improvement, and although I don’t use it a whole lot, the digital modeling of other speaker types is really nice just to reference something for a few minutes after you think you’ve got it right.”
In late 2008, Linett started a new company, Music Mix Mobile West (M3West), which owns a 40-foot remote music truck that has recorded numerous shows in the past five years, including the Grammys, the CMAs and the I Heart Music Festival, and artists including Arcade Fire, Coldplay, Steve Martin and Queens of the Stone Age. The M3West truck features dual 192 track recorders, Avid D-Control console and 128 channels of remote controlled Aphex 1788 mic preamps.
“In theory, you just want monitors that are accurate,” Linett concludes. “You don’t want something that’s a huge hype. Most home speakers have a smile curve, the bottom end and the top end tend to be boosted loudness. It’s nice to listen to what the consumer is going to listen to, but in terms of a studio environment, you want something that’s quite a bit more accurate, especially the imaging, that where the placements are is accurate.
“Also, while there’s always a sweet spot more or less in the center, you don’t want it so restricted that you have to really concentrate to figure out where the sound field is being represented. For me, the thing about the Barefoots has always been that whatever I do in here, whether it’s quick or I spend a lot of time, I hear little things that I want to change, but it’s never big, major changes in the frequency response, which was always the problem with other speakers.”
Posted by Julie Clark on 04/30 at 02:59 PM
Toronto’s New Ripley’s Aquarium Takes Control With Q-Sys Core 500i
Multimillion Dollar Facility Features Full Complement of QSC Q-Sys, Acoustic Design and K Series Loudspeakers and CX Amps
Located at the base of the iconic CN Tower in Toronto, the state-of-the-art Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada opened earlier this year.
The new high-tech building’s new sound reinforcement and paging systems feature a full complement of QSC loudspeakers and amplifiers, managed by a Q-Sys Core 500i integrated system platform.
The Q-Sys system centralizes the control of all background audio content throughout the new aquarium and represents the first large-scale installation of the processor to feature the optional MTP-128 playback engine, which expands the system’s capabilities from the standard 16 tracks to 128 tracks.
At 135,000 square feet (12,542 square meters), Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada is the largest indoor aquarium in the country ,encompassing nine galleries that represent freshwater and marine habitats ranging from the Great Lakes to tropical reefs and housing over 16,000 fish from over 400 species in 1.5 million gallons (5.7 million liters) of water.
The audio portion of the aquarium experience features a 70V distributed system comprised of more than 230 QSC AcousticDesign surface and ceiling-mount loudspeakers, powered by nearly 50 channels of CX Series amplifiers, plus K Series active loudspeakers, all under the control of Q-Sys.
The Core 500i acts as a single point source for playback of all background music and some sound design elements throughout the aquarium and outside the building’s main entrance.
The Core 500i was factory-fitted with the MTP-128 playback engine, together with a media drive upgrade enabling storage of up to 130 hours of audio, eliminating the need for any external media servers. Q-Sys also manages two-way communications with the dive shows at some of the exhibits, as well as routing and reinforcement of the wireless microphone systems used at the various sea life presentations.
“The Q-Sys offers a fully integrated solution and is based on a centralized processing architecture, allowing all of the processing to take place in one unit,” says Khalil Williams of Design Electronics. “This gave us complete flexibility with the system design as we could route any input to any output without convoluted signal paths. Q-Sys offered us a powerful suite of software and peripherals that made this project’s objectives very easy to achieve.”
The Core is installed with six Q-Sys I/O Frames that provide interconnection and routing to and from external equipment.
“Due to the vast size of the building, two networked rack rooms were required on separate floors,” says Williams. “By leveraging the Q-Sys system’s layer 3 protocols, we were able to build a simple audio network and transmit all sources throughout the entire building, including to a third rack room on the office level for the classroom environments at the Discovery Centre.
“Q-Sys works on standard Gigabit ethernet, so it can easily run on a shared network without segregating audio traffic via VLAN configuration
The Core 500i is configured to feed 40 individual zones that are outfitted with a variety of AcousticDesign ceiling-mount loudspeakers, including AD-Ci52T 5.25-inch and AD-C42T 4-inch models, and surface-mount loudspeakers, including AD-S82 8-inch, AD-S52T 5.25-inch and AD-S32T 3-inch models.
CX108 8-channel, CX204 4-channel, CX602 2-channel and CX1202 2-channel amplifiers power the AcousticDesign loudspeakers through the facility.
Design Electronics also installed two QSC PS-1600H 16-button page stations at the aquarium.
“The PS-1600H features a simple and redundant Ethernet connection to Q-Sys, and the Q-Sys software allowed us to provide extensive and sophisticated paging functionality to suit the client’s needs. The User Controlled Interfaces are very user-friendly, and allow the facility staff to easily manage daily security code changes or pre-recorded announcements. Virtual paging stations can be created on any networked computer and there is even the capability to page remotely via the internet” says Williams.
Design Electronics of Niagara Falls, Ontario was selected to supply and install all audio, video, security and CCTV equipment throughout the building. The company’s key personnel during the 12-week-long installation process included Khalil Williams, director of operations/project manager; Felice Taddeo, manager of technical services; Robert Jones, lead integrator; and Scott Daeng, project engineer.
As this was the company’s first experience with Q-Sys, four members of the installation team took QSC’s online certification course, QSCtraining.com, prior to the start of the project to gain a better understanding of the power and capabilities of the Q-Sys platform. Both QSC and SF Marketing, QSC’s distributor for Canada, also provided product support and consultation.