Loudspeaker

Monday, July 02, 2012

Continental Air Show Productions Pumps Star Spangled Sailabration with Community

On June 13, the city of Baltimore kicked off a three-year national commemoration of the events of 1812 with the Star Spangled Sailabration, a seven-day festival of concerts, celebrations, fireworks, an international parade of ships, and a rousing air show featuring the Blue Angels. 

To provide audio support for the Blue Angels air show, Continental Air Show Productions selected a dozen Community R.5HPT loudspeakers. As CASP’s Dave Olmstead of observes, the Community R-Series is unequalled in power, coverage, and intelligibility.

“Obviously, the biggest challenge in providing sound for a Blue Angels air show is competing with the ambient noise of the jets themselves,” he says. “The Community R-Series has been our first choice for our shows over the years, because it’s the only loudspeaker that can provide the levels we need, for the very large coverage areas we have to address, and do it with an exceptionally high degree of intelligibility.”

And they’re rugged enough to withstand CASP’s grueling schedule of back-to-back shows, from Maine to Spokane and back again. 

“Fort McHenry is where Francis Scott Key wrote the Star Spangled Banner,” Olmstead adds. “So to be able to hear the song performed at this historical site with the clarity that our Community R-Series speakers provide was extremely moving, not only for CASP, but for the thousands in attendance.”

Community

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Posted by Keith Clark on 07/02 at 08:29 AM
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Friday, June 29, 2012

D.A.S. Audio Expands Options On Aero & Convert Series Products

D.A.S. Audio announces the introduction of a white paint finish for a variety of its most popular products.

The white color option will facilitate the integration of the D.A.S. loudspeakers in the décor of permanent installations such as houses of worship, auditoriums and multipurpose venues.

The new paint finish will be available as a “special order” item on the company’s popular Aero 8A powered line array system, its companion sub, the LX-212A, as well as the D.A.S. LX-215A powered double 15-inch subwoofer system and it different versions.

Also to be available in white will be the Convert 12A constant curvature array as well as its companion subwoofer, the Convert 18A.

D.A.S. Audio

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Posted by Keith Clark on 06/29 at 01:17 PM
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Renkus-Heinz Iconyx Provides Initiatives Of Change With Clarity

Above the clear waters of Lake Geneva, in the small village resort of Caux overlooking Montreux, the locally-nicknamed ‘Cinderella’s Castle’ hosts an annual series of conferences hosted by CAUX-Initiatives of Change.

CAUX-Initiatives of Change is a member of Initiatives of Change International, an NGO in special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations and participatory status at the Council of Europe.

Their summer seminars in Caux draw people from all over the world, in what was until 1946 the grand Caux-Palace Hotel. A magnificent and peaceful setting, but one whose acoustic legacy has proved a major downside for its current use.

Recently Studio Equipment, a Switzerland-based company, was hired to improve speech intelligibility in the main conference area. British sound designer Terry Nelson, owner of Studio Equipment, recommended Renkus-Heinz Iconyx’s digital beam steering capabilities to direct sound away from the walls and cupola. The main system consists of two IC16-R arrays, controlled by RHAON software over CobraNet via a remote Ethernet port, along with two CF Series subwoofers.

“The main salon of the hotel, where the conferences are held, has high ceilings and a wonderful cupola in the centre, with pseudo-art deco plasterwork,” Nelson explains. “The effect of all this is almost infinite flutter echoes, and the area under the cupola works like a whispering gallery. It’s basically a very difficult environment to deliver clear speech to up to 450 people.”

To make the acoustics more complex still, the central area and stage are flanked by a glass conservatory-style wing overlooking the gardens to stage right, and a corridor to stage left.

The slim arrays fit perfectly either side of a mock proscenium arch and are run via analogue audio lines from an existing DDA Q Series console, with control via Ethernet from a Renkus-Heinz IC-RC1 RHAON remote preset control that allows simple user switching between preset modes. The console also feeds two Iconyx IC7 arrays (via groups), which cover the conservatory and corridor areas.

Says Nelson: “Having looked at the room, I did an initial set-up with Renkus-Heinz’s BeamWare II beam alignment software. With the rear wall around 30 metres from the stage, I set up the IC16s so that five separate horizontal beams covered the audience area evenly from front to back.”

“One of the best comments we had,” says Nelson, “was that the general secretary of the organization was very pleased, saying that for the first time you could understand every word without using the interpreter system headphones, even right at the back or under the cupola.

“From our point of view, when we were doing the first commissioning, one of my colleagues stood right under the cupola, where the sound comes at you from all directions.

“It takes a lot to impress him and he said he couldn’t hear a single echo, just some natural room reverb.

“The whole team was there at the time and it was a case of ‘problem solved’. As a final touch, Renkus-Heinz delivered the Iconyx arrays in a finish that precisely matches the white decor.”
 
Renkus-Heinz

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Posted by Keith Clark on 06/29 at 10:07 AM
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Line 6 Ships StageSource Digitally Networkable PA System

Line6 Inc. proudly announces the availability of StageSource L3m high-performance digitally networkable PA system. 

Using L6 LINK digital networking and six innovative Smart Speaker modes, StageSourceL3m optimizes its output for a variety of performance scenarios: front-of-house PA, floor monitor, personal PA, keyboard and acoustic guitar backline or with Line 6 POD multi-effect processors as a high-performance electric guitar speaker system.

Smart Speaker modes can be set manually or automatically via built-in orientation sensors that detect whether the speaker has been pole-mounted or rotated and tilted for use as a monitor.

A compact, full-range three-way speaker system, the StageSource L3m tri-amped design delivers 1,400 watts of balanced, clean and articulate audio through dual 10-inch woofers and a horn-loaded, one-inch exit compression driver that combine to deliver a powerful 132 dB maximum SPL.

A precision-engineered 100 x 50-degree constant-directivity waveguide delivers consistent coverage throughout its entire frequency range and optimal dispersion throughout the audience area, wide enough for solo use yet controlled enough for arrayed pairs. The narrow vertical pattern ensures minimal energy is reflected off the ceilings and floors.

“The StageSource L3m is the perfect companion for an L3t based system,” says Simon Jones, vice president of new market development at Line 6. “Connected via L6 LINK digital networking, the system couldn’t be easier to set up, and the integration of the Speaker Modes makes sure the system sounds amazing in every scenario, from solo performances in a coffee shop through to full-on rock shows.

“StageSource L3m goes way beyond the capabilities of a standard powered loudspeaker, offering advanced DSP, smart design and true scalability with L6 LINK digital networking. We’ve also included 12-band feedback suppression technology so performers sound their best at all times.”

From solo performers all the way to larger bands, live sound events or houses of worship, StageSource L3m can be used standalone or configured into full front-of-house and monitor systems.

Connected via L6 LINK, the proprietary Line 6 networking protocol, StageSource L3m speakers automatically detect each other and adjust their settings accordingly. \

Used in a system with StageSource L3s subwoofers, crossovers and levels are automatically set for best performance.

When connected via L6 LINK, StageSource speakers and the StageScape M20d digital mixer are capable of excellent power and flexibility. Together they introduce a smart live sound experience in which the live rig is a complete, intelligent ecosystem rather than merely a linear combination of components.

StageSource L3m features heavy-duty plywood construction, durable fitments, a steel grille with a protective screen backing, four M10 suspension points, and a pull-back for install scenarios.

“Line 6 recognized that it’s a challenge for the performing musician to choose the perfect high-performance loudspeaker system,” Jones adds. “Over the course of their career, a musician may play many styles of music, using multiple instruments and play many different sized venues.

“The scalability, integrated feature set and sound quality of StageSource loudspeaker systems meet that challenge, delivering a high-performance speaker for every musician’s entire career.”

StageSource L3m is now shipping and widely available.

Line6

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Posted by Keith Clark on 06/29 at 09:40 AM
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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Single-Source Loudspeaker Solutions For Meeting Room Spaces

A common application of both fixed and portable sound reinforcement systems is for meetings spaces of 50 people or less seated on a flat floor plane.

Here are some approaches that have produced good results.

Arrays
One of the important principles to follow in such spaces is to aim the loudspeaker at the back row. Those folks need the highest SPL and directivity, both of which are usually on the main axis of the loudspeaker.

It’s also important to not overpower the front rows when projecting sound to the back rows. This mandates a tight vertical coverage pattern – one that can miss the front when aimed at the back.

Elevating the loudspeaker helps tremendously in achieving even coverage, but meeting rooms generally have ceiling height restrictions that limit how high the loudspeaker can go.

Line Array
Since so many of our seminars are held in rooms that are approximately 50 ft x 50 ft x 12 ft, I modeled the room and tried a few loudspeaker balloons for coverage.

Above-Behind-Tilt placement of an active and passive line array. (click to enlarge)

It is immediately apparent that a low loudspeaker placement requires vertical pattern control. The small-format line array (or sound column) is well-suited for this task.

The horizontal pattern is typically broad due to the use of small transducers in the array. The vertical pattern is narrowed at high frequencies due to the phase relationships of the vertically-stacked drivers.

This “Frisbee-shaped” pattern allows sound energy to be concentrated on the farthest listeners, and fall off in the front of the room where the listeners are closer to the loudspeaker (and talker).

image

Placement
One often hears that the loudspeaker should never be placed behind the talker.

On the contrary, this is an excellent placement, as it allows natural acoustical imaging for nearly all of the audience.

On many occasions I have heard Don Davis proclaim that “microphones don’t have eyes, they only have ears!”

This means that the only thing that matters are the relative sound levels presented to the mic by the talker and loudspeaker. As long as the talker’s level dominates what the mic “hears” the system will be stable.

There are two ways to assure that this happens:
1. Utilize the loudspeaker’s radiation pattern to reduce the sound energy at the microphone, and
2. Reduce the mic-to-source distance until the talker’s level dominates.

I maximize both principles by using an elevated line array and headworn mic. This combination produces excellent acoustic gain.

I made an angled pole cup by chopsawing a straight one and welding it back. Be sure that the ldspk center-of-gravity is correctly positioned! (click to enlarge)

Another benefit is the natural acoustic image experienced by the audience – the sound is coming from where the lips are moving. Since the array-to-audience distance is longer than the talker-to-audience distance, a nice precedence effect is also achieved.

The Whole Package
While the aforementioned principles can produce excellent results, one can make things even better with a few simple embellishments to the process.

Elevating the loudspeaker provides some increased isolation from the microphone pattern. Tripod stands that raise it to 10-12 ft are readily available.

A Frazier 2X7 line mounted with angled pole cup. (click to enlarge)

Elevating the loudspeaker also necessitates some downward tilt. An active beam-steered line array (i.e., from EAW, Intellivox) can be positioned perpendicular to the floor and the pattern can be tilted to the desired angle electronically.

A passive line array can be tilted mechanically. I achieved this by modifying a metal pole cup to have the 10-degree downward angle that the room modeling program suggested as ideal. The “Above-Behind-Tilt” method is a simple solution to a common problem.

The benefits include:
• Single loudspeaker
• Excellent imaging
• Quick Setup
• Universal Application

The only downside that I can think of is constantly having to explain how it works, and that I am not violating any physical laws by using this method.

Pat and Brenda Brown head up SynAudCon, the leading independent organization for in-depth, practical audio education.

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Posted by Keith Clark on 06/28 at 04:47 PM
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Eastern Acoustic Works Debuts Next-Generation SUB.two Subwoofer System

EAW has introduced the SUB.two, the first subwoofer system in the new, next-generation Avalon by EAW line of dance club loudspeaker systems.

SUB.two represents a completely new technology platform for the subwoofer genre: Hybrid Subwoofer Technology. By combining a dual 12-inch bass horn-loaded with a single 21-inch direct radiating cone speaker, SUB.two produces crisp, powerful concursion at 80 Hz and deep, warm lows down to 20 Hz.

SUB.two complements the already-released CLUB.two and CLUB.three three-way, main channel systems.

“Like every product in the Avalon by EAW line, SUB.two is a radical departure from existing systems, and will totally transform the discussion of what a subwoofer can be,” states EAW president Jeff Rocha.

The Avalon by EAW line was co-designed by dance club designer/owner John Lyons, whose Avalon Hollywood club is a favorite performance venue for world-class DJs. Lyons worked with EAW in the late 1990s to produce the original line of Avalon loudspeakers.

The original Avalon line sold worldwide and came to represent the state-of-the-art in dance club sound. Lyons initiated the renewal of the line in 2011 and played an active role throughout.

“Working with John Lyons takes us to a new level,” Rocha notes. “He’s never satisfied and always tries to take that next step. It puts our ingenuity to the test, but when we dig down for that ‘something extra’, it’s always there.”

EAW

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Posted by Keith Clark on 06/28 at 04:38 PM
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Church Sound: Building A Portable System

This article is provided by ChurchTechArts.

 

On Twitter, @busyscott asked if I knew of any “How To” guides for building a portable sound system.

I thought for a while, and realized I couldn’t think of any. So I thought I’d write up a Reader’s Digest condensed version.

This won’t be comprehensive, but will have a few thoughts on what I consider important for portable system design.

Of course, all these ideas need to be considered in light of your needs, which may be different from mine.

Make It Portable

This may seem obvious, but based on some of the “portable” systems I’ve seen, it seems this rule is oft-ignored.

Mike’s first rule of portability is this: Never carry what you can roll. The second is like it: Never roll what you can get someone else to roll.

Even when people remember this rule, there are a few things that sometimes get missed.

First, use good wheels. And by good, I mean at least 2-inches to 2 1/2-inches in diameter (larger is better).

Second, make sure the wheels (at least some of them) lock. In portable situations, you may find yourself setting up on un-level ground, and locking wheels will keep your portable system from ending up in a pond.

Part of portability means smart packaging. SKB and others make very slick rolling racks with mixer rails in the top, and vertical rack rails below. These make ideal small system building blocks. Drop in a rack-mountable mixer, add necessary outboard gear and you’ve got front of house taken care of.

I’ve been working on a system like this at Coast Hills for a few years. I’ve slowly been re-purposing equipment, and filling out my rack to get us to a place where we can roll it out and be ready to go.

Manage Expectations

This isn’t so much a rule as a reminder as you’re building your system. We sound guys like to overkill everything, all in the name of the best possible sound. That’s a good thing, generally. But in portable systems, we’re typically doing simple events that don’t require concert level sound (and if they do, bring in a concert level PA…).

I find myself using my portable system with an iPod for background music and one or two mics for announcements about 80% of the time. The other 20% consists of off-site retreats and the like where the acoustics are much, much less than ideal and the expectations are similar.

This is a good thing, as we don’t need to spend a small fortune to build a high-end system. We are typically looking for basic sound reinforcement, so a set of powered speakers usually work just fine. If you pair them with a set of powered subs as well, you’re well down the road to decent sound.

In our case, when we installed the EV Live-X system in our student room, I pulled down the old EONs and the subs. Those got re-purposed as my portable speakers. They’re not the best, but they work fine for what I need.

Consider Analog

Digital is all the rage right now, but for a portable system, I don’t mind going analog; though this is primarily a cost issue for me.

I have a lot of older, still working analog gear that worked great in my system. A couple of dbx 166A comps gives me four channels of compression, an SPX 990 works wonders on effects and the DriveRack PX works fine for basic PA tuning.

Add in a Furman for power and a rack drawer for sharpies, board tape, gaff and batteries and we’re ready to roll. I’m short just two channels of wireless for our system, and I’m still debating what I’ll buy for that.

While digital is nice in that does package all that outboard gear in one box (a Yamaha 01V could work really well), it’s a lot of money if you have to go buy one.

And given how infrequently we use our system (5-6 times a year), it’s too much money for me to tie up sitting in a closet. Of course, if you have an 01V sitting around…

Keep It Self-Contained

One of my biggest goals for my portable system is to make sure I have everything I will need in the case without having to pull anything from my regular stock. That includes patch cords, mic cables, extension cords, etc..

Now, I do sometimes break that rule when it comes to mics. If I’m doing a retreat and need a few DIs and drum mics, I will pull from my regular mic locker.

Again, it doesn’t make sense to me to have $1,000 in mics and DIs sitting in a closet most of the year, waiting for that occasional outside event.

However, as much as possible, I want to be able to grab the racks and cases and go; I don’t want to be grabbing a ton of stuff from main stage to make it happen.

Consider your possible needs for cabling, then assemble those cables in a rack, box, or other rolling container and keep them there. You might even want to label them.

Adjust As Needed

Now, the system that I’m describing is very basic and handles small events very well. If you find yourself doing outdoor worship services multiple times a year, or other larger events, you should consider the cost of building your own portable system versus renting what you need. You may find that simply renting a PA for the day will get you better quality at a lower cost than you could afford to buy.

On the other hand, if you need it often enough, it may make sense to build your own system. Keep in mind, you could ease into it.

Start by renting the whole system to figure out what you need. Then build your own front of house rack with mixer and other gear, but rent the speakers. When it makes sense, buy loudspeakers.

Obviously, this is not a comprehensive guide, but hopefully it gives you some ideas and a launching off point.

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.

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Posted by Keith Clark on 06/28 at 04:22 PM
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Firehouse Productions Provides JBL VerTec Line Arrays For 66th Annual Tony Awards

“If only real life could be more like theater,” joked host Neil Patrick Harris as he opened the 66th annual Tony Awards at New York City’s historic Beacon Theater. In order to bring Broadway’s memories over the past year to life, Red Hook, New York-based Firehouse Productions relied on Harman’s JBL VerTec line arrays and Crown amplifiers for the live sound reinforcement system.

This years’ awards show featured performances from some of the top theatrical productions of the year, including The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, Jesus Christ Superstar, Follies, Once and more.

The house system at the Beacon Theater includes a center cluster of four JBL VerTec VT4887 compact line array loudspeakers and a balcony hang of six VT4888 midsize line array elements per side, with an additional two per side of VT4881 compact arrayable subwoofers.

To accompany the house system, Firehouse provided two hangs of 14 VT4886 subcompact line array loudspeakers for the main PA, four hangs of two VRX932LA-1 Constant Curvature loudspeakers used for side fill, and six VT4886 subcompact loudspeakers were used for front fills. In addition, four VT4880 fullsize arrayable subwoofers were tucked under the stage.

“The hardest part of the project was finding a placement for the PA to hang that fit in with the rest of the set and lighting fixtures and wasn’t visible from a TV and audience perspective,” said Mark Dittmar, lead design and integration engineer at Firehouse Productions. “The VT4886’s were the only solution and the best in my opinion.

“With a 500-pound hang limit, they give us the power and coverage we need without a sacrifice. The VRX’s are great for tight pattern control for side fills as they are light and can be flown at the bottom of set features.”

The challenge of any awards show is dealing with the many microphones on stage and ensuring there is no feedback stemming from the house PA system.

Dittmar noted. “The VT4886’s help to solve this problem,” he added. “In the past we’ve used a variety of small boxes, but this is a much more cohesive design and we’re thrilled that it worked out so well.”

To supplement the JBL loudspeakers, Firehouse utilized 24 Crown I-Tech IT 12000HD amplifiers, providing consistent power and sound quality.

“We’ve been using Crown since the beginning,” said Dittmar. “They give us so much power in such a small package and communicate wonderfully with the JBL speakers.”

Dittmar explained that by setting the amps at 208 volts it gives them balanced power and produces less noise as well.

“One of our favorite aspects about Crown is the ability to build a custom library of presets so we can control any speaker in our inventory with the proper power, our favorite being the VT4886’s.”

“It’s an honor to be a part of such a significant night and we are extremely pleased with the results from both JBL and Crown. Their excellence and support continues to give us the confidence we need to do our job to the best ability,” Dittmar summed up.

Firehouse Productions
JBL
Harman

 

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Posted by Keith Clark on 06/28 at 07:10 AM
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Ministry Of Sound Teams With Martin Audio For Innovative Nissan Juke Box

Nissan and Ministry of Sound recently introduced the Juke Box, a breakthrough automotive design with one of the best nightclub sound systems in the world, capable of producing up to 150dB.

Nissan and Ministry of Sound turned to Martin Audio to create a totally self-sufficient 18,900W sound system for Nissan’s Juke sport corssover vehicle—aptly calling the end result the “Juke Box”.

Martin Audio is also the company responsible for creating the current iteration of the world-renowned Box Room at Ministry of Sound in London. The Box is a five-sided room within a room completely insulated and suspended from the outside wall that is considered to be acoustically perfect and one of the best sound systems in the world.

The automobile sound system features a set of custom made cabinets and enclosures housing two 18” powered subs and the same Mid Hi enclosures used at MOS enable an exceptionally high output with no compromise in sound quality. All of the custom speaker housings were designed to fit into the back of the Juke around the chassis and framework of the innovative crossover model.

“When we got the phone call from Ministry of Sound asking us if we wanted to be involved in this project, we knew it was going to be very exciting,” explains Martin Audio Research & Development Director Jason Baird. “The more I heard about the project, the more I realized it was something we had to make the time for because it was so unique.

“The trick with getting as much of the experience from the Box into the back of the car is to retain the ability to reproduce loud sound pressure levels along with the clarity, definition and abundant low end you can get in the Box. This is something we’ve managed to achieve in a surprisingly compact system.”

The Juke Box also features an integrated radio studio, allowing anything played on the system to be captured for broadcast via Ministry of Sound’s digital radio app. After its debut at the world famous Le Mans 24-hour endurance race, the Juke Box will tour Europe highlighted by the “Nissan Juke Box Sessions,” a six-month radio partnership broadcast on the Ministry of Sound’s Digital Radio channel. The show will be built around a series of exclusive DJ sets recorded at Juke Box events across Europe throughout the summer.

Martin Audio

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Posted by Keith Clark on 06/28 at 07:08 AM
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L-Acoustics Welcomes KIVA Owners To Rental Network

L-Acoustics is pleased to announce that its Rental Network Charter has been extended to include current and future KIVA system owners.

As with KARA, KUDO, K1 and (d)V-DOSC rental agents, KIVA system owners are now similarly given access to the many Rental Network benefits, including:

• Privileged access to innovative systems with high brand acceptance
• An opportunity to raise the agent’s corporate profile and visibility amongst top sound companies
• Development of cross-rental business, cooperation and synergies between agents
• Flexibility of rental supply with worldwide availability of standardized systems

Additional benefits include:

• Company listing on the L-Acoustics website
• Referencing of productions in the L-Acoustics ON THE ROAD website section
• Authorization to use the L-Acoustics RENTAL NETWORK logo for promotional purposes
• Access to PR resources for success stories
• Publication of agent activity in newsletters

For more information, please contact an L-Acoustics sales representative via the website below.

L-Acoustics


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Posted by Keith Clark on 06/28 at 05:54 AM
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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Yamaha Audioversity Expo Heads To Atlanta

The third annual Yamaha Audioversity Expo will take place in Atlanta, Georgia on August 1-2, 2012 at the Cobb Galleria Centre. The specialized event is catered toward audio professionals and all those interested in gaining in-depth knowledge and hands-on experience of Yamaha Commercial Audio and NEXO products.

The Yamaha Audioversity Expo will feature digital mixer training seminars including sessions on the new Yamaha CL console, panel discussions with leading industry professionals, NEXO and Yamaha speaker listening demos featuring live music, hands-on line array rigging demonstrations, acoustic prediction software presentations, clinics featuring Dante audio networking solutions, portable sound applications from small to large, and Commercial Installations Solutions.

A special appearance will be made by the state-of-the-art Rolling Showroom housing the new Yamaha CL digital console as well as all the latest Yamaha Commercial Audio products. There will be plenty of time for Q&A with knowledgeable experts on all things Yamaha Commercial Audio and NEXO as well as with industry partners. Audioversity will feature live music, raffle prizes*, and additional surprises.

This event is free-of-charge and open to the audio community. For those attending from out-of-town, hotel recommendations can also be found on the Audioversity Expo website.

Yamaha Audioversity

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Posted by Keith Clark on 06/27 at 11:50 AM
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Adlib Provides System & Crew For Capital FM Summertime Ball

Adlib Solutions’ audio division once again supplied a complete L-Acoustics sound system and crew to Production North for the 2012 Capital FM Summertime Ball staged at Wembley Stadium, London, UK in early June.

This year’s star-studded line up included Coldplay, Justin Bieber, Usher, Katy Perry, Jessie J, Ed Sheeran, The Wanted, Flo Rida and many more. The event kick starts the summer with an action packed day of pop music.

Adlib’s crew of 17 was chiefed by Marc Peers. Key people included systems tech Tony Szabo, RF co-ordinator Dave Kay, presenter console operator Ian Nelson and patch by Michael Bernard Flaherty all intent on delivering a precisely planned mission involving some superlative teamwork.

Peers worked closely with Production North’s sound supervisor Ant Carr and their event production manager Sarah Hollis on the advance logistics ensuring all the requirements of the acts performing were met.

“We have an extremely harmonious relationship with Production North on these shows,” comments Peers.

“A vast amount of detailed ground-work in the months leading up to the event is needed in order for things to run smoothly on the day,” comments Peers.

It’s the second time the Liverpool based company has supplied audio for the Summertime Ball. It also services the Jingle Bell Ball winter version – again under the auspices of Production North - at the O2 Arena.

The precise schedule, similar in format to a large live TV show, kicked off at 4.03 p.m. and ran until 10.30 p.m., with the average changeover between bands being two minutes and the shortest just 30 seconds.
A flip flop desk setup and two days of sound checks enabled all bands to be catered to.

Everyone was mic’d up separately, which involved a lot of kit with no margin for error. A revolving stage was utilized in order for upcoming bands to be set up and the backline rotated around and ready for their performance.

A large upstage LED screen also flew in and out for stage entrances and exits.

The L-Acoustics K1 sound system consisted of two 16-speaker arrays for the main hangs, with side hangs of 15 x V-DOSC speakers left-and-right and an upstage hang of five V-DOSC a-side.

Two sets of delays – with another 10 x K1s in each - were located just behind the FOH mixer position.

To cover the top tiers of seating, Adlib integrated the venue’s house system speakers into theirs.

The subs were 16 x L-Acoustics SB28s a-side ground stacked, and the entire system was processed through the standard Adlib Lake set up with the audio transported back to the amp racks via a Dante optical backbone.

Three Avid Profile consoles were provided for the FOH mix, two were used for the live acts and one for the video play-ins which featured heavily throughout the show. The video console was also used for all the presenter mics.

For monitors, Adlib supplied two Yamaha PM5D consoles and 24 of their new MP4 low profile wedges, which feature upgraded drivers from the original MP3 wedge. The stage was approximately 60 feet wide, 100 feet including wings, with side fills comprised 3 x L-Acoustics ARCs and 2 x SB28s a-side.

The entire monitor system was powered by Lab Gruppen PLM 10000s, for which the wireless remote was invaluable for tuning and EQ’ing.

Peers noted that thanks to Sennheiser’s Mark Saunders and Tim Sherratt, they were provided with Sennheiser’s invaluable support on these shows.

The load-in commenced on the Wednesday afternoon with everything up, running and ready for inspection 24 hours later. Friday was a full day of sound-checks (as was Saturday morning) and then the group rolled into the show.

Peers says, “Each and every one of our crew were complete superstars on this, all playing their integral roles in ensuring a seamless audio performance under very high pressure - a real team effort in every sense of the word”.

Account handler Phil Kielty added “Working with Steve Levitt, Ant Carr and all of the Production North team is always a complete pleasure. People have no idea (thankfully!) what a huge military-style operation goes on behind the scenes but no-one gets flustered and everyone pulls together with a great stage crew to make it all look so effortless & smooth!

“The K1 system was so well received and I can’t think of many pop festivals that can pull off the staging of performances by such an amazing array of superstars”.

Adlib Solutions

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Posted by Keith Clark on 06/27 at 11:24 AM
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L-Acoustics Previews 5XT And SB15m Compact Subwoofer

L-Acoustics previewed the 5XT ultra-compact coaxial enclosure and SB15m compact subwoofer at the recent InfoComm show – both are scheduled for winter 2012 availability.

The newest and smallest member of L-Acoustics’ XT coaxial series, the 5XT is based on a two-way passive design with a nominal impedance of 16 ohms. The compact system contains a one-inch diaphragm compression driver coaxially loaded by a five-inch low-mid frequency transducer mounted in a bass-reflex tuned enclosure.

The 5XT cabinet is made of premium-grade Baltic birch plywood to ensure maximum acoustical and mechanical integrity. A 3/8-inch microphone stand insert and two M8 inserts for the ETR5 flying bracket are integrated into the cabinet. The 5XT enclosure operates over a frequency range of 90 Hz to 20 kHz.

The coaxial transducer arrangement produces a 100-degree axi-symmetric directivity output along with a smooth tonal response free of secondary lobes over the entire frequency range. Its design makes the 5XT perfectly suited to various distributed applications, as a main or fill system.

Power and processing for the 5XT is delivered by the LA4 or LA8 amplified controller, each of which ensures linearization, protection and optimization for the loudspeaker system in its different operating modes.

“The introduction of 5XT responds to our rental agents’ and system integrators’ requests for a coaxial product with an even more compact footprint than the current 8XT/8XTi models,” says L-Acoustics Marketing Director Stéphane Ecalle.

“With the 5XT, our clients will be offered a discreet and high SPL solution for both rentals and fixed installation such as front-fills, under balconies, distributed systems and surround speakers. Market segments will cover congress centers, hotels, lounges, bars, AV rooms, theatres, etc.”

Recommended for use with L-Acoustics’ KIVA and XT series enclosures – including the 5XT – the new SB15m extends the operating frequency range of these systems down to 40 Hz.

The SB15m features a single 15-inch driver in a bass reflex tuned enclosure to provide impact, sensitivity, low thermal compression and reduced distortion. The vent features a progressive profile allowing laminar airflow and reduced turbulence noise even at the highest operating levels. These combined properties contribute to the sonic qualities of the SB15m in terms of precision and musicality.

The SB15m cabinet is likewise made of premium-grade Baltic birch plywood to ensure maximum acoustical and mechanical integrity. A pole-mount socket is integrated into the top of the SB15m cabinet allowing one XT enclosure or two KIVA to be mounted directly above. SB15m subwoofers can be flown or ground-stacked as a standalone vertical array or within an SB15m/KIVA array.

Like the 5XT, the SB15m is powered and processed by the LA4 or LA8 amplified controller, each of which ensures linearization, protection and optimization for the loudspeaker system in its different operating modes, including cardioid.

“The SB15m will fulfill two goals,” Ecalle notes. “First, it will extend the frequency response of our compact coaxial enclosures, namely 5XT and 8XT/8XTi. Second, SB15m will be introduced with a new KIVA-SB bumper to offer full compatibility with our KIVA modular line source and with added rigging possibilities.

“With a maximum SPL of 135 dB and operating range down to 40 Hz, as well as a progressive profile with laminar airflow, the SB15m will provide KIVA with significantly reinforced low frequency resources and bandwidth. The KIVA-KILO system was originally designed for speech reinforcement, but with the addition of the SB15m, its application range can be further extended for today’s music.”

Shipping Q4, 5XT at $850 and SB15m at $2660

image

L-Acoustics SB15m compact subwoofer.

L-Acoustics

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Posted by Keith Clark on 06/27 at 06:01 AM
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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Community Provides Loud And Clear Flood Warning For Venice

While it’s well known that the city of Venice’s transport infrastructure relies heavily on its canals, not many people are aware of the sometimes tenuous relationship Mother Nature has on this arrangement.

The canals, which carry thousands of gondolas, launches, barges and water buses daily, are subject to tidal conditions and therefore constantly changing. 

High tide levels mean reduced headroom under bridges, and the city’s transportation often needs to be re-routed.

When pavements and other pedestrian areas disappear under water, raised walkways may need to be erected. The city’s population and its large number of commuters are used to these changes, but accurate, timely information about the tides is important to keep daily life on track.

To that end, a powerful audio system based around Community R-Series loudspeakers has been installed as part of a flood warning system for the city of Venice.

Located in fifteen bell-towers in central Venice and at a further fifteen locations on outlying islands, the loudspeakers play a series of alert and musical tones that inform residents of the coming tidal levels, so that they can plan accordingly.

The system, supplied by Prase Engineering, was specified by audio consultant Ing. Umberto Nicolao and installed by Verona-based S.T.A.S. 

The loudspeaker system is one of many ways the city of Venice’s Previsioni E Segnalazioni Maree (Tidal Forecasting and Signalling Centre) is utilizing technology to keep city residents and working commuters informed. (The city also maintains a website, a toll-free phone line, touchscreen information kiosks, and even a smartphone app.)

An old siren-based audio system had also been used for many years but it was increasingly less reliable, due to mechanical deterioration, and it could only broadcast one alert signal.

The new multi-tone audio system uses a specially designed version of Community’s R.5 loudspeaker, designed precisely for the power, frequency response and dispersion required.

Size was also critical in being able to deliver and mount the loudspeakers in some of the ancient towers where they were to be deployed.

And of course, Community’s legendary weather resistance was also a factor in selecting the R-Series.

This new approach to a centuries-old challenge was a custom project for city planners, as well as the system designers, installers and for Community. Its implementation has already made a tremendous impact on the daily flow of traffic around this busy city, improving the lives of commuters and residents alike.

Community

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Posted by Keith Clark on 06/26 at 12:15 PM
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Meyer Sound Appoints John McMahon To Executive Director Of Operations & Digital Products

Meyer Sound has announced John McMahon as executive director of operations, a newly created position, effective immediately.

McMahon will play a key role in aligning the long-term mission, operational goals, and expansion programs across the company, while continuing to fulfill his existing duties as executive director of digital products and managing director of Meyer Sound China.

“It’s important to maintain our responsiveness in our engineering and support services as we develop more system-based products like EXP [cinema system] and Constellation [acoustic system] while entering new vertical markets and expanding our global presence,” says Helen Meyer, executive vice president of Meyer Sound. “John McMahon will play a key role in connecting the different departments and making sure they are in sync as the company builds towards further growth.”

Under the strategic oversight of Helen Meyer and CEO John Meyer, McMahon will work to strengthen the company’s operations and its ability to innovate in collaboration with the key department leaders. They include Pablo Espinosa of R&D engineering, Dean Marshall of product development, Tim Wise of manufacturing & sustaining reliability, Mike Panko of production services, Cliff Eldridge of finance, Rachel Archibald of marketing, and Antonio Zacarias, who has recently been promoted to VP of worldwide sales.

McMahon joined Meyer Sound in 2005 during the acquisition of Level Control Systems (LCS Audio) at which he was serving as CEO. Since then, he has been working closely with consultants, sound designers, and other end users while growing the company’s digital engineering and technical teams to make Meyer Sound digital audio technology accessible to audiences worldwide.

Meyer Sound

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Posted by Keith Clark on 06/26 at 12:00 PM
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