In addition to the standard simulation features found in the company’s Shooter program, Blueprint also includes more advanced features such as 3D mapping, multiple virtual microphone locations for examining frequency response throughout the venue, and multiple source setups. These parameters and more are being evaluated as part of the beta testing process.
In addition, Shooter files can be uploaded for instant use in Blueprint. Also, Adamson has also integrated an export feature that allows clients to convert venues into 3D CAD files.
Blueprint is also an integrated control surface for Energia DSP and diagnostics.
On another note, the first North American tour with the Adamson E15 went out with Duran Duran in late 2011.
Front of house engineer for the tour, Snake Newton, discusses working on the Adamson E15 rig in the video below.
EAW Names Scott Pizzo North American Sales Manager, East
EAW has announced the appointment of Scott Pizzo to the position of North American sales manager, Eastern region.
Pizzo was previously part of the EAW team from 2003 through 2008, serving as U.S. sales director among other positions. The announcement was made by Jeff Rocha, EAW president, and reflects EAW’s ongoing emphasis on strengthening its sales channels and enhancing its customer relations.
“Re-hiring Scott is a critical step in strategically growing our internal capabilities,” Rocha states. “He brings tremendous experience and strong connections to dealers and end users. Plus, he’s intimately familiar with the EAW product line, so he can hit the ground running. Having Scott here in the home office will help us keep the sales perspective front-and-center.”
In his new capacity, Pizzo will focus on sales in the eastern half of North America, allowing Kurt Metzler, EAW’s existing North American sales manager, to focus on the West.
As EAW has positioned each sales resource closer to the customers they serve so they can deliver faster, more direct service, Pizzo and Metzler will manage the total North American territory cooperatively.
“Our business is complex to the point that an installation might be specified in one territory, awarded to a contractor in another and installed in a third,” Rocha notes. “It just makes sense for Scott and Kurt to collaborate in driving our North American growth in 2012 and beyond.”
Before rejoining EAW, Pizzo served as Eastern U.S. regional sales manager at Renkus-Heinz from 2008 through 2011. Prior to joining EAW for the first time in 2003, he worked as product specialist/technical sales at Lexicon Professional.
He graduated with a Bachelor of Music in music performance with an emphasis in recording and production technology from University of Lowell (now UMass Lowell). His experience spans both the studio world and event production, and in his free time, he does freelance event production for local-area organizations and businesses.
Pizzo states, “EAW is like home to me. I was an EAW owner before I was an employee, having purchased an FR253HR in 1996 or so. I am looking forward to reconnecting with customers and building EAW to the greatness it deserves, because EAW is the best. It’s good to be home.”
L-Acoustics U.S. Sets Training Dates for KARA, KUDO & SOUNDVISION
L-Acoustics U.S. has announced its first two product training sessions for 2012.
The first three-day training is set for February 20 to 22 in Red Hook, NY and will specifically focus on the new KARA modular line source system and SOUNDVISION version 1.9.
The second session, hosted in Oxnard, CA exactly one month later from March 20 to 22, will cover the large-format KUDO line source system and SOUNDVISION.
“We’re particularly looking forward to our KARA and SOUNDVISION session in Red Hook as it marks our first official East Coast training,” says L-Acoustics head of U.S. touring support Scott Sugden. “We’ve had a lot of interest in a regional event like this from our eastern customer base and we’re very happy to now make it a reality for them.”
Primarily designed for technicians, mix engineers and sound designers referred by L-Acoustics Rental Network agents and clients, the first two days of each training will offer a blend of theoretical knowledge and field procedures focusing on operating and optimizing either KARA or KUDO in a safe and controlled environment.
A third day, which can be attended separately or in conjunction with the KARA/KUDO training, will be dedicated to covering the manufacturer’s SOUNDVISION 3D acoustical modeling software.
Upon completion of these seminars, attendees will receive a certificate of attendance.
The number of participants for both the Red Hook and Oxnard training sessions is limited to 12 people and priority will be given to L-Acoustics Rental Network agents and system owners.
Alto Professional recently sent me a pair of TS115A loudspeakers to check out, and they turned out to be a gig saver - but more on that in a bit. Let’s look at the specs first.
Part of the company’s TRUESONIC Series, the TS115A is a 2-way self-powered model that utilizes a 15-in woofer for the lows and a 1-in neodymium compression driver for the highs.
The injection molded cabinet measures 26.8 (h) x 16.9 (w) x 15.2 (d) inches and weighs 39.6 pounds.
Stated frequency response is 53 Hz to19 kHz at +/- 3 dB. The power rating is listed at 800 watts peak (670 watts LF, 130 watts HF) or 400 watts continuous (335 watts LF, 65 watts HF).
These boxes are attractive, with a nice steel grill that covers the entire front of the box. I prefer full grills because they better protect the box, and also they look a bit more polished and “corporate” to me.
The cabinet has a built-in handle pocket on the top, as well as large handles on each side and a pole socket on the bottom that uses a clamp for added security/stability. Six M10 flypoints are also provided – two each on the top, bottom and rear.
Front and rear views of the Alto Professional TS115A. (click to enlarge)
The rear also includes two input channels with Neutrik XLR-1/4-inch combo connectors. Directly above them are individual gain pots for each input. A male XLR is provided for Line output, and there are “ground” and “contour” switches on the right side of the panel, as well as signal and power LEDs. An IEC power cord socket and power switch are located at the bottom.
Trial By Fire
Normally I set up Road Test gear in my shop first to do some testing and become familiar with its operation before taking it out on a gig – but this was an exception. One might even call it trial by fire.
The TS115As had just been delivered to my home when my neighbor Matt, a part-time DJ, asked me to help him with a problem with his system.
He had a gig that night so had set up his system in his garage to test it, and quickly discovered that his powered subwoofer and satellite loudspeakers had issues. After a bit of troubleshooting accompanied by a lot of head-scratching, it became clear that the amplifier to power his full-range boxes, built into the subwoofer, was dead.
Two input channels with Neutrik XLR combo connectors, each with its own gain pot. (click to enlarge)
I offered him the use of the TS115As. Straight out of the box, one loudspeaker made the “long trip” next door, where we hooked it up to give it a listen. Right away we were both impressed with how nice it sounded and how loud it got.
Next, I engaged the contour switch to see what it did, and realized immediately that it added a “loudness” curve (a.k.a., smiley-face EQ), boosting both the bottom end and the highs. But it had ample bass with and without the contour switch engaged, so Matt decided to leave his sub at home and do the gig with just the pair of TS115As.
To The Rescue
Because some cabinets have different-sized stand-mount sockets, I set up one of Matt’s aluminum tripod stands to make sure that they fit. The side handles on the box made it easy to grab the cabinet and position it on the stand, and I really like the adjustable clamp that allows you to get a secure fit to different sized poles.
The top handle to me was less than handy as it just does not seems to fit my hands well, and I’ve since found that it’s uncomfortable to carry the box for a long distance by just the top handle pocket alone. That said, the top handle is very convenient when you have to just grab the box and move it a short distance.
Matt actually used the TS115As on two consecutive gigs, reporting back to me that they had more than enough volume and that they were also easier to move and set up than his three piece system with the large, bulky subwoofer.
Because he does jobs ranging in size from small parties to larger dances, he doesn’t need subs for every event, but because his sub houses the full-range amps, he always has to bring it, regardless.
In fact, Matt was so impressed that he asked me where he could buy his own pair, and asked to use my Road Test models until he could get his own.
A look at the TS115A without the grill. (click to enlarge)
A few gigs later, I got my set back, and the next day received a call from my daughter’s choir teacher, who asked if I would be available to operate the school’s portable PA system for the upcoming fall choir concert at the gym.
I discussed the school system with the teacher, and decided that it wouldn’t cover audience members seated at the far sides on bleachers. So it was the TS115As to the rescue again!
For the concert, I placed them on their sides like floor wedges and covered the bleacher seats. Because they’re powered cabinets, it was easy to integrate them into the system, and they covered the area with ease.
Back In the Shop
After the concert, I finally had an opportunity to take the cabinets to my shop and do some listening.
For source material, I used a few of the (now very familiar) tracks we played at the Compact System Demo at WFX in Dallas.
With the boxes set flat, they sounded good with a variety of material. With the contour switch engaged, they sounded better on some tracks, but not as good as the flat setting on a few others. If I were doing DJ work, and didn’t have subs, I think I’d just leave the contour switch engaged.
Next, I added a small 15-inch front loaded sub. The TS115As played well with the sub – it would make a great small band (or again, DJ) rig. The TRUESONIC Series also includes some active subwoofers that would be great paired up with these full-range cabinets.
Last, I tested the dual inputs, which to me is one of the best features of the box. Instead of just one line input, there are the two separate inputs with gain pots, with the knobs labeled “line” on the left side of the range, and “mic” on the right side of the range.
A low-profile solution at the gym to cover the bleachers at the choral concert. (click to enlarge)
I plugged a Shure SM58 microphone into one of the inputs and turned up the knob. While no substitute for a mixer with tone controls, it would certainly do in a pinch if you needed to make announcements or had a small speech only gig. Then I plugged an iPod into both inputs and it also worked well.
I also wanted to check out the rigging but didn’t have any M10 eyebolts handy. I did notice that the top and bottom fly points are very accessible, but the two on the rear would require longer bolts due to the way the cabinet is molded.
While not a deal breaker, I found it a bit odd that apparently, two different bolt lengths are needed for one box.
My last test came when I took the TS115As to a small corporate meeting. Normally I would have used a smaller 10-inch and horn box, so these were a bit overkill, but they looked good and worked great.
With a little EQ work, I had a nice, natural sound with the podium mic as well as a lavalier.
Go to the Road Test Forum on ProSoundWeb to read Craig’s full review and other comments from the community, as well as to ask questions about the TS115As.
Craig Leerman is senior consulting editor for Live Sound International and ProSoundWeb. He is also the owner of Tech Works, a production company based in Las Vegas.
Public Beta Version Of JBL HiQnet Performance Manager Software Available
JBL Professional HiQnet Performance Manager sound reinforcement system design software is now available to users as a public beta version.
Previously it had been available to a closed group of 60 worldwide beta testers.
HiQnet Performance Manager is a highly refined user interface that facilitates the design of touring and live performance venue sound reinforcement systems.
Created especially for touring and theatrical sound engineering, Performance Manager is an application-specific iteration of the HARMAN HiQnet System Architect configuration and control software application for professional-grade audio system integration.
“JBL HiQnet Performance Manager is a powerful tool that makes the design, setup and tuning of a JBL VERTEC loudspeaker system a lot faster and more efficient,” notes Adam Holladay, market manager, HARMAN System Development and Integration Group.
“The response from our beta testers has been extremely positive,” continues Holladay. “In venue after venue, JBL VERTEC system engineers have been able to achieve consistently higher levels of performance than before. They note that they are also able to set up a system more quickly, saving time and money. Now that we are making it available in a public beta version, many more users will have the opportunity to take advantage of the benefits of Performance Manager as a free download.”
The beta version is functional except that users will need to apply for a license key in order to go online and access the online operate modes of certain system devices. An in-depth series of training videos can be viewed at http://hiqnet.harmanpro.com/training/.
The full version of JBL HiQnet Performance Manager will be available in early 2012 at a suggested retail price of $399.
JBL HiQnet Performance Manager provides a comprehensive, step-by-step workflow that directly corresponds to real-world system configuration, taking the workflow paradigm introduced in System Architect 2 to a higher level of functionality for any live performance audio application. It is fully integrated with JBL’s Line Array Calculator II loudspeaker configuration and acoustic modeling software.
The user begins by loading templates of the speaker arrays used in the system, and then runs Line Array Calculator II for each array as part of the initial sound design task of determining how many and which type of loudspeakers are required to cover a given venue.
For each array, Performance Manager automatically loads the passive VERTEC or powered VERTEC DrivePack DPDA line array configuration into the main application workspace – the first of many automated design processes native to the software application. Loudspeakers can also be manually loaded into the templates if desired.
Once the user defines the required amplifier parameters for the passive loudspeakers within the arrays, Performance Manager automatically loads the correct number of Crown Audio VRACK or other user-determined amplifier racks into the audio system.
The software then associates the amplifier outputs with the bandpass crossover inputs for the selected array and programs the amplifiers with the correct JBL preset data, as well as gain shading and JBL Line Array Control Panel equalization parameters that are determined in JBL’s Line Array Calculator II as part of the modeling process to optimize sound pressure level and frequency response over the defined audience geometry.
Representations of the bandpass inputs for each loudspeaker section are overlaid onto the arrays, enabling the user to easily visualize the array configuration, whether JBL DrivePack-powered or driven by external Crown power amplifiers. Performance Manager software also significantly simplifies system-networking configuration – the user can simply drag and drop devices discovered on the network onto the pre-configured devices within the Performance Manager workspace to synchronize all addressing and parameter values.
In addition, the Performance Manager graphical interface provides embedded control panels for array calibration, time alignment and system EQ which utilize input section digital signal processing resources available in either Crown I-Tech HD power amplifiers or JBL DrivePack-powered loudspeakers with DPDA digital audio input modules. Input attenuation, equalization, delay settings and bandpass controls are all readily accessible directly within the main application workspace along with flexible grouping and comprehensive solo/mute functionality for system testing.
Once system tuning is complete, Performance Manager’s Show Mode display is optimized for the actual live performance, offering appropriate adjustment control ballistics for equalization and dedicated monitoring interfaces for levels, speaker loads, thermal conditions and AC power requirements.
The workspace for all stages of Performance Manager’s workflow has a common design motif, with monitoring functions overlaid on top of the same loudspeaker bandpass representations within the workspace, making visualization easier and more consistent across various workflow screens.
The first time I heard the word crossover was in the context of “Chris, plug those into the crossover unit.“ I was clueless.
I was helping with a live gig setup and even after being told EXACTLY where to plug in the cables, I still didn’t know what the crossover unit did.
Funny thing about it, crossovers are easy to understand. Implementation…well, that’s a bit harder.
What Is A Crossover Unit?
A crossover unit takes the incoming audio spectrum signal, everything from 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz and splits it into two or more bands. Those new frequency bands are then sent to different loudspeaker drive units that are created specifically for those frequencies.
Think about home stereo units with midrange speakers, tweeters, and subwoofers. The tweeters are dealing with high frequencies, the subwoofer with the low end, and midrange with midrange.
Why Not Send All Frequencies To One Speaker?
You can send the whole frequency range of sound to a single loudspeaker. The problem is a single loudspeaker cannot provide equal support to all frequencies. You can do it but you aren’t getting an optimal sound.
Once upon a time, the television show Mythbusters attempted to shatter the windows of a car. Their theory was simple; by creating a low-end speaker so powerful the sound waves would be so great that they would shatter the car windows. How big was their sub speaker? About five feet wide.
While their effort was applauded, I think the implementation was messed up, but that’s another story. The point is that in order to create low-end frequencies, you need to move a lot of air. The same can’t be said for high-frequency sounds.
A tweeter can’t create the intense low-end energy. Also, subs can’t create accurate high-end frequencies. The reason is that as the frequency of sound generated by the drive unit increases, the cone stops moving as a unit. Think of it like a circle of waves. This is called cone breakup.
A crossover unit enables you to get a great sound because you are giving the right frequencies to the right speakers so they can do the best job of creating the sound.
Other Features Of Crossover Units
In addition to frequency separation, crossover units can have other functions. Not all crossover units can do this so check with the manual/installer to see what your unit is doing.
Some other functions: —Equalization: They can modify the frequency responses of the drive unit. —Sensitivity Correction: They can correct for unmatched drive unit sensitivities. —Time Delay: Add a time delay element to correct for physical alignment differences in loudspeakers.
If Only Crossover Separation Was That Easy
It’s Thanksgiving dinner and a surgeon offers to cut the turkey. After carefully slicing it apart in a beautiful array of pieces, everyone claps and says it’s truly the work of a skilled surgeon. The surgeon’s brother-in-law says, “I’ll be impressed if he can put it back together.” Thus, the issue of frequency summation.
“There is of course much more to a crossover than simply splitting the audio signal into separate frequency bands. The vital point to understand is that the splitting has then to be followed by summation. The frequency bands have to be joined together again seamlessly. This requires the acoustic signals be summed to be correct not only in amplitude but also in phase.” – The Design of Active Crossovers (Douglas Self)
The problem is that because you can detect sound differences between your two ears then frequency summation must occur in the right places in the church sanctuary so as there are not time or phase differences. And that leads me to tell you about a Christmas gift I received.
The day before Christmas, I opened my front door to see a package on my porch. It wasn’t for the kids. It wasn’t for our family. It was for me! And it was HEAVY!
I brought it inside and quickly busted open the box and saw a nice letter from Elsevier. Elsevier is not one of Santa’s elves. I’m going to say Elsevier is the patron saint of audio books. The fine folks at Elsevier (owner of Focal Press) gave me a selection of pro audio books for review. One of the books was “The Design of Active Crossovers” by Douglas Self.
There is a science to working with crossovers. All crossovers are not the same. As well as functional differences, there are also two types of crossover units; active and passive crossovers.
The more you dedicate yourself to working in the live audio environment, the more you will need to know about all facets of sound manipulation so you can be the best resource for your church. And when it comes to working with crossover units, “The Design of Active Crossovers” is a great place to start.
In the book, Douglas Self covers crossover basics, how loudspeakers work, crossover requirements, crossover types, types of filters, designing filters, equalization, and design. This is not a light book by any means. It’s 500-plus pages of crossover goodness with a wealth of charts and graphs which make it easier to conceptualize key concepts.
A crossover unit gives the right frequencies to the right speakers so they can create the best sound. Using a crossover unit is more than just plug-and-play. It’s plug-and-configure. It’s a science.
Whether you already have a crossover unit or are looking at upgrading your existing speaker system, consider adding “The Design of Active Crossovers” to your bookshelf. I’ve added it to mine.
Ready to learn and laugh? Chris Huff writes about the world of church audio at Behind The Mixer. He covers everything from audio fundamentals to dealing with musicians. He can even tell you the signs the sound guy is having a mental breakdown.
JBL Professional Debuts PRX400 Series Portable PA Loudspeakers
At the NAMM 2012 Show, JBL Professional introduced the new PRX400 Series of passive portable loudspeakers, designed to bring true professional-quality performance, power handling and durability to more affordable price points.
The PRX400 Series includes the 15-inch PRX415M, 12-inch PRX412M and dual 15-inch PRX425 loudspeakers, as well as the 18-inch PRX418 subwoofer.
The PRX415M and PRX412M can be used as either mains or monitors, and when used with the PRX418 subwoofer, provide a sat/subwoofer system capable of delivering 135dB of full-range, high-quality sound.
The PRX425 dual-15-inch, 2-way speaker is ideal for DJs and bands that require powerful low-frequency extension from the convenience of a stand-alone cabinet.
“Since their introduction, our PRX600 Series portable PA loudspeakers have been tremendously popular with touring musicians, DJs and in a variety of live performance venues,” says Richard Ruse, senior director of worldwide sales, JBL Professional. “Our new PRX400 Series models offer the same exceptional sound and rugged reliability in a passive loudspeaker format, at pricing that offers outstanding value in its category.”
PRX400 loudspeakers are designed to work hand in hand with Crown Audio XTi2 Series amplifiers, which incorporate enhanced pre-set performance tunings for PRX400 Series loudspeakers, including crossover points for a sat/subwoofer setup, and optimized parametric filter that bring out the full potential of PRX400 Series loudspeakers.
PRX400 tunings will also be available in the dbx DriveRack PA+ signal processor/complete loudspeaker management system.
The new loudspeakers utilize high-quality, tour-tested drivers and components to deliver clear, detailed and dynamic sound for bands, DJs, nightclubs, schools, houses of worship or other professional touring and installed sound applications.
They also feature Neutrik SpeakON combination connectors and are built from lightweight, tough 18mm birch/poplar multi-laminate hardwood covered in JBL’s resilient DuraFlex covering. All models are outfitted with rugged 16 gauge steel grilles.
All full-range models incorporate twelve M-10 suspension points and hardened steel eyebolts for safe hanging in light-duty installations.
Built-in dual-angle pole-mount sockets enable the PRX415M and PRX412M to be mounted either straight out or at a 10-degree downward angle to deliver the best audience coverage pattern.
With a 10-degree down angle, the speakers can be aimed down at the audience, keeping sonic reflections off the back wall for better clarity and more efficient coverage. In addition, all cabinets have ergonomic handles made from road-tough, lightweight glass-filled nylon.
In common with all JBL Professional products, PRX400 Series loudspeakers have survived JBL’s 100-hour power test, in which they are submitted to 100 hours of continuous, high-level input. The speakers also go through a barrage of unforgiving environmental and strength tests including harsh temperatures and humidity, ensuring they will perform perfectly anywhere.
All PRX400 models incorporate JBL’s Sonic Guard speaker protection circuit that automatically attenuates the signal going into the high-frequency section of the speaker if too much input signal is detected, and restores normal operation when the overload condition passes.
d&b audiotechnik White Range Loudspeakers Meet Challenges At St Paul’s United Methodist Church
St Paul’s Methodist Episcopal Church (presently known as St Paul’s United Methodist Church) in Cedar Rapids, Iowa is listed on the United State’s National Register of Historic Places and is essentially the work of architect Louis Sullivan, the so-called “father of skyscrapers.”
Sullivan’s aspirations however, were high, beyond what the church’s congregation could reasonably afford back in 1912. The restraint exercised back then by architect W.C. Jones, when he re-drew Sullivan’s plans under instruction from the church, meant that two years later Bishop William Quayle was able to dedicate the freshly completed St Paul’s.
The church building remains true to Sullivan’s clean modernist design, sacrificing only his more elaborate ornamentation. In the intervening 97 years, just the lightest of touches has been required to keep this building aligned to purpose, not least a new organ in 1946; however the acoustic of the sanctuary had always been problematical.
“The church’s acoustic is quite a challenge, the sanctuary is a semi-circle,” begins Wes Nygren, the man responsible for soliciting technological proposals at this most traditional of churches.
The fact of St Paul’s Historic listing added a dimension of complexity that many found challenging, as Nygren explains. “We consulted with different people but found we were not able to get proposals from any of them; not one single person we consulted would submit.”
Succinctly, the shape of the room produced a confused sound image but due to the Historic listing, acoustic modification of the church’s interior demanded a very particular sensitivity. Fortunately Nygren and the church elders were made of sterner stuff and spread their research further afield.
Jason Kartak hails from Audio Logic based some three hundred miles away in Bloomington, Minnesota; he found the conundrum of St Paul’s just the sort of challenge he enjoys.
“The room is large, it holds a congregation of eight hundred, so some amplification had always been desirable, but their 1980s vintage horne-based system produced more problems than it solved,” Kartak says. “To the front of the pulpit is one huge parabola and reflections from the front edge of the balcony were a disaster.”
Audio Logic first submitted plans in late 2009 to apply acoustic treatment to the balcony front and other areas of the Sanctuary; these are under consideration and as is the nature of such things, will pass through many revisions before all vested interests are satisfied. As was stated earlier, this is a long and considered route.
Meanwhile Kartak has turned his attention to the audio system, which has brought immediate benefits. “For the hall itself, again, historic building restrictions apply; we ended up having to create suspension systems concealed above the ceiling for the three clusters we eventually installed. We drew up a design based on the d&b audiotechnik White range, a new range of loudspeakers that launched when we were maybe 12 months into the project.
“The White loudspeakers, in this instance the xA-Series, provide a really elegant solution for a visually sensitive environment such as this, as well as proving highly economical; fund raising had been underway for some time and unknown to us hit budget pretty much as we submitted the proposal.”
The three clusters are identical; each has a 10A-D 110-degree cabinet at the top, and then beneath a pair of 10A 75-degree boxes flanks another 10A-D.
“The services here are very much in the traditional fashion, heavily speech based with choir and organ accompaniment to the hymns,” Kartal continues. “However, there is a discrete nod to contemporary worship, but that’s with a small ‘c’, as such we have installed three 27A-SUBs, an inherently cardioid cabinet, in an array up in the organ loft.”
Nygren assessed the whole process: “The people at Audio Logic have been very patient with us as we went through the process. They first suggested an acoustic treatment to the walls; it’s only an inch thick but we have to adhere to the recommendations of the preservation architect, who found the proposal unacceptable, so we will have to find another way to deal with that.
“But the new audio system equipment is now installed, and very sensitively to the Sanctuary’s interior. Audio Logic has been very attentive throughout as far as any problems are concerned, and they have corrected or amended as needed. It has been very pleasant dealing with them; when they first presented their proposal we price checked and they were very competitive. As for the new d&b system, it has definitely improved the situation.”
Meyer Sound UPQ-1P Loudspeakers Help Spread Cheer At Houston Improv
Now settled into its new purpose-built theatre, the Improv Comedy Club in Houston, TX., has cemented its reputation as one of the country’s premier showcases for comedic talent.
A fan-shaped room with raked seating ensures that everyone gets a clear view of both the stage and the 16-foot-wide projection surface by Stewart Filmscreen, while Meyer Sound loudspeakers deliver all the punch lines with crisp intelligibility to 510 seats.
“It’s a great sounding room,” asserts Houston Improv general manager Raymond Cook. “The sound is so much more crisp and clear than what we had at the old location. Performers love it, and we’ve had more than one say, ‘I want to come back and film my special here.’”
Designed by Bill Schuermann of HFP Acoustical Consultants and installed by the Whitlock Group (both Houston-based), the main system comprises two UPQ-1P loudspeakers, three UPJ-1P VariO loudspeakers for delay, two UPM-1P loudspeakers for front fill, and a single 500-HP subwoofer.
One UM-100P stage monitor provides artist foldback, and a Yamaha M7CL digital mixing console anchors the front of house mix position.
“The under-stage sub is awesome,” continues Cook. “In the pre-show video segments, when it wipes from one segment to the next, the sound effect shakes the whole room. It really gets your attention.”
“For comedy, intelligibility is paramount,” notes Schuermann. “Meyer Sound’s phase-coherent self-powered loudspeakers deliver uniform intelligibility regardless of level. And by using the MAPP Online Pro acoustical prediction program I could guarantee seamless, uniform coverage.”
A separate system for the outer bar area sports eight MM-4XP self-powered miniature loudspeakers and a UMS-1P subwoofer, all suspended from the ceiling grid. “The sound quality in the bar is great,” states Cook. “And I can’t believe there is so much sound coming out of those tiny little speakers. It’s amazing.”
The new Improv theatre was designed by Rhonda Woodall and Todd Arenz of Hermes Architects of Houston. Houston Improv is one of 24 Improv-branded comedy showcases stretching from coast to coast.
All trace their roots back to The Improvisation, a club started by Broadway producer Budd Friedman in New York City in 1963. A dozen years later, Friedman planted a second iconic Improv club in Hollywood, and celebrated performers who launched their careers at the two showrooms represent a who’s who of American comedy talent.
Yamaha DSR Loudspeakers Deployed For Audio Upgrade At Atlantic City Church
New Hope Baptist Church in Atlantic City, which offers contemporary-style worship services in a sanctuary that seats 250, called upon ACIR Professional (Egg Harbor Township, N.J.) for new main loudspeakers as well as their installation.
ACIR recommended Yamaha DSR112CA self-powered loudspeakers, to be joined later this year by Yamaha DSR118s subwoofers.
Bobby Harper of ACIR notes that size, weight, price, and especially sonic performance were the deciding factors in selecting the dual DSR loudspeakers that are flown above the front of the main platform. All DSR loudspeakers are outfitted with class D amplification, FIR filter processing (FIR-X Tuning), and a proprietary D-Contour a multi-band dynamic processor.
“Power and points were readily available,” Harper says. “We replaced the old loudspeakers and hung the DSRs right in front of a new Eiki LC XL100 5000 lumen projector so that we would have power readily available.”
“The Yamaha DSRs add much needed power, clarity, and enhancement to our worship services,” adds John Howard, Jr., director of worship & arts for New Hope Baptist Church. “Our audio capabilities have expanded ten-fold.”
The church is also utilizing an aging console that will soon be replaced by a new Yamaha LS9-32 digital model. Stand-along power amplifiers are being phased out as well, in favor of adding additional Yamaha DSRs for monitors.
Yamaha Announces DXR Series Of Active Loudspeakers
Yamaha has announced the DXR Series of active loudspeakers. The four full-range models—the DXR8, DXR10, DXR12 and DXR15—deliver exceptional sound pressure levels and high-definition sound in a more compact, versatile design.
High-efficiency 1100W Class-D amplifiers and Yamaha-mastered DSP, combined with an intelligent onboard mixer with flexible IN/OUT connectivity, a very functional enclosure design, makes the DXR Series ideal for front-of-house, floor-monitoring, rigged applications, and a multitude of commercial applications.
The DXR is quite advanced in that it features a three-channel signal input on the speaker’s back panel enabling end users to mix their own settings as well as a unique Mixing/Link function for daisy-chaining additional powered speakers. Inputs include XLR, ¼” TRS, and RCA jacks, with signals from the inputs mixed inside the DXR unit. Each channel has its own level control and the XLR input can accept MIC/LINE sources. Each DXR cabinet features a built-in, selectable-frequency High Pass Filter (HPF) for use with a subwoofer.
The DXR speakers provide DSP-assisted EQ (Dynamic COUNTOUR) tailoring the frequency response when used as floor monitors or mains. Proprietary FIR-X filtering ensures that the DXR cabinets perform under all circumstances, even at very high levels. FIR-X tuning technology achieves a more accurate and smooth response, better clarity, and imaging than what is possible with crossovers that are currently available.
All models incorporate integrated rigging points for installation using standard rigging eyebolts, and optional U-brackets are also available for additional installation versatility. All models also feature built-in, dual-angle pole mount sockets for vertical or angled applications.
Joining the new DXR series are the high-powered DXS12 and DXS15 active subwoofers that will further enhance the DXR speaker’s performance.
Newly developed D-XSUB technology dynamically controls the low frequency range, and by adding BOOST mode, you’ll experience more punch in the overall sound. The new sub’s XTENDED LF mode will enhance the bottom end of the low frequency range. Ideal for commercial installation in churches, schools, regional performing arts venues, and a multitude of applications requiring high SPL, the DXR and DXS provide stunning clarity and an unsurpassed level of reliability.
“The DSR Series launched last year has been very well received by the commercial marketplace, and we have utilized every internal resource of our development team, including collaboration with NEXO, to ensure that the DXR and DSX are as well received as the popular DSR,” states Marc Lopez, Marketing Manager, Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc.
The new Yamaha DXR Series is now available at a suggested MSRP ranging from $829 to $1,199. The DSX will be available in February with an MSRP for the DSX12 sub of $1,049 and $1,199 for the DSX15.
Montereys Perry House Chooses Tannoy And Lab.gruppen System
In designing a distributed audio system for Monterey, CA event venue, Perry House, balancing the needs of the venue’s guests against the expectations of their neighbors was key to the choice of Tannoy and Lab.gruppen products. “They wanted reliability and high quality, but they needed it to sound very clear, even at low volumes, especially outside,” explains Kurt Yeager, owner/president of Monterey’s StreamLife Home Technologies.
Purchased and renovated by Jim and Cheryl Cox’ of Events by Classic in 2010, Perry House offers up a unique venue for couples looking to tie the knot in true California style. “If you’re looking for a big sit down venue in a ballroom, you gotta go to a hotel. Here, you get something a little more interactive, fluid and fun.”
Essential to the classic Victorian home’s signature atmosphere is its location; one block from historic downtown Monterey, but in the heart of what is still very much a residential neighbourhood. In order to operate in the area, however, Events by Classic must conform to rigid regulations concerning volume. “We can’t go over 65 dB at the property line,” says Cox.
To meet their client’s aesthetic and acoustic needs, StreamLife’s Stuart Newhouse designed a multi-zone system incorporating 6 Tannoy CVS 4 in the venue’s lounge and dressing room, 6 Tannoy CMS 501 and 2 CMS 801 Subs in Perry House’s Great Room, 10 Tannoy SR 601T Rock Speakers in the garden and 5 Tannoy CVS 6 in a freestanding Carriage House. “We couldn’t have anything interrupting the look of the rooms,” Yeager says. “Tannoy’s in-ceilings are very unimposing and the Rock Speakers were a natural choice for the exterior.”
“In the main event space, the Great Room, they really needed to keep the sound localized,” Newhouse adds. “The CMS 501s and 801s provide impact, but allowed us to be directional, instead of having speakers on sticks pointing out the back door at the neighbours.”
With the exception of the CMS Subs (which are driven by Tannoy’s iwSA 500 Sub Amplifier), the loudspeakers in the great room, carriage house, and most exterior areas are part of a 70-Volt system powered by one Lab.gruppen C 16:4. “With the sheer number of speakers I had, and size of the coverage area, I couldn’t have done otherwise without spending much more money on amplifiers. The Lab will give them years of reliable service, and the sound quality is top notch – I’ve not heard anything, in that kind of amplifier range, that sounds that good.”
“We also needed something that would run cool,” Yeager adds, “because the room the amp is in isn’t environmentally controlled and temperature is an issue.”
“We’re primarily a residential integrator,” he continues, “and this was a hybrid residential/commercial application. We chose Tannoy because it’s become our ‘go to’ for architectural speakers and, increasingly, in in-room applications. They had the perfect products for the mixture of 70 Volt and 8-Ohm systems, with the sound quality, durability and price point we were looking for.”
The system’s performance has been excellent, says Cox. “We don’t have to blast the music for people to hear and enjoy it all over the property, but it’s not obtrusive for the neighbourhood. I couldn’t be more happy with the job StreamLife did, and the fact we have so many speakers running off the Lab.gruppen amp is unbelievable to me.”
JBL Professional Introduces Next Generation VTX Line Array Series
JBL Professional today announced the introduction of the VTX Line Array Series designed for portable and fixed-venue system operators.
The first product from the VTX Line Array Series is the VTX V25—a full-size, 3-way, high-directivity line array element. The VTX V25 features two 2000W, 15-inch Differential Drive woofers mounted in die-cast aluminum baffles, with four 8-inch Differential Drive mid-range transducers and three of the revolutionary new D2 Dual-Diaphragm Dual-Voice-Coil Compression Drivers mounted on a 3rd generation waveguide and patented RBI Radiation Boundary Integrator® assembly.
“Of all the achievements JBL has made over the years, the VTX Series stands as a milestone in the practical application of creative engineering,” said Paul Bauman, Senior Manager, Tour Sound, JBL Professional. “VTX truly represents the next generation in line arrays—an evolution of JBL’s industry-standard VERTEC that heralds a new era in performance, system integration and user-friendliness.”
At the heart of VTX is the D2 Dual Driver, a revolutionary device developed by JBL that dramatically improves the sound and performance of high frequencies. D2 overcomes the limitations of conventional compression driver technology: limited high frequency extension due to mass of the diaphragm and voice coil, and distortion characteristics that arise due to dome breakup modes.
JBL’s patented Radiation Boundary Integrator combines the high frequency and mid-range sections of the VTX V25 so the transition across each band is uninterrupted, undistorted and seamless. A patent-pending, tuned resonant absorption chamber (TRAC) is integrated into the waveguide itself, effectively eliminating throat-related cancellations due to back pressure from the mid-range section. VTX’s refined RBI waveguide implementation provides improved horizontal coverage—broader and more stable.
The VTX Series draws from the expertise and integration of the entire range of Harman Professional audio technologies. As a result, in addition to the best sound possible, setup, tuning, networking and controlling the VTX Series is efficient, intelligent and truly a system solution.
For example, the VTX Series features Crown Audio VRack DSP and amplification. VRack is a rugged touring rack fitted with three Crown I-Tech HD Series power amplifiers, power input panel, and custom-engineered input/output panels that is available in two configurations: VRack 12000 and VRack 4 x 3500 are loaded with three IT 12000HD and three IT 4 x 3500HD amplifiers, respectively.
Apart from the performance advantage of a standard package ensuring that VTX Series enclosures are optimally powered and processed, VRack ensures compatibility for cross rental between VTX Network Partners. Since VRack is supplied with all components installed and internally connected, there is also no need for laborious rack building; no chance that a component might be improperly connected; and a dramatically lower chance of connection failure.
The patented workflow paradigm of the Performance Manager interface guides the system designer through the complete system design, configuration and control process and, in many ways, the entire process feels and acts like a simple step-by-step wizard.
Using JBL HiQnet Performance Manager control software and with reference to measured spatial response, circuit level gain and JBL Line Array Control Panel tapering adjustments are performed as a first step in system tuning with the VTX V25. Once SPL and frequency response has been optimized on a circuit level, global equalization can then be applied to the entire array to compensate for room-related effects. This patented approach to system tuning has been specifically designed into the workflow of Performance Manager.
VTX’s patented SAFE suspension system is streamlined for speed and efficiency with improved hardware for faster setup with fewer pinning operations and greater security. A custom-designed protective cover and dolly makes transport easy and the suspension process fast, efficient and safe.
All suspension hardware is integrated into the enclosure and strategically positioned for fast and secure operation. Front flip hinges and captive rear hinge bars utilizing a unique Angle Stop Mechanism (ASM) allow for efficient assembly that is not only secure, but anti-rattle. Also included is provision for mounting a Laser Sighting Module accessory for greater ease and precision in array focus and system tuning.
The VTX Series complies with Harman’s GreenEdge initiative, combining environmentally friendly design with dramatic energy savings without compromising the excellent performance for which Harman products are known.
Like all JBL Professional products, the VTX Series is comprehensively tested in JBL’s power testing facilities. Unique in the industry, during the design phase JBL power testing submits each component and system to 100 hours of continuous, high level input, ensuring that your system will deliver extraordinary sound even after years of hard use and thousands of hours of performance.
“The VTX Series is a result of JBL’s continued effort to deliver more powerful, more compact, lightweight and flexible sound reinforcement systems,” Bauman commented. “JBL has invested heavily in the tools necessary to design, measure, evaluate and refine components throughout the development cycle. In addition to state-of-the-art CAD systems, we have developed proprietary R&D tools unique to JBL. With these tools, we are assured of meeting each product’s intended design goals, able to find opportunities for even better performance, and perhaps most important, have the resources to develop technologies that never existed. The VTX System is a premier example of this.”
Renkus-Heinz Iconyx Helps St. Matthews Church Get Message Across (Includes Video)
Nestled in the rolling canyons of Pacific Palisades, California, Saint Matthew’s Episcopal Church is one of the area’s oldest and largest parishes.
The sprawling 42-acre grounds are home to multiple buildings including St. Matthew’s Day School and Pre School, as well as recreational facilities and the acclaimed Moore Ruble Yudell-designed sanctuary.
While wonderful to behold, the sanctuary’s stunning architecture, with its soaring ceilings and exquisite glass work, has long suffered from problematic acoustics.
As Daniel Bae, project manager for Sierra Madre-based Platt Design Group, explains, the room’s previous systems did little to alleviate issues of intelligibility and poor sound distribution.
“A lot of the complaints about the previous systems had to do with speech intelligibility and coverage,” says Bae. “The room isn’t very deep, but it is very wide, so time alignment was a major problem.”
“When the sanctuary was first built, we had two speakers on the ceiling,” adds Jeremias Mendez, plant manager at the church for more than 30 years. “One side of the room was completely dead - people were only able to hear the sermon from a few seats.”
“It’s my understanding that the sanctuary’s architecture was designed to make the most of the choir and organ, and not the sermons,” observes parishioner Jim Dutka, the project leader behind the drive to upgrade the church’s audio system.
Dutka and company contacted Platt Design Group, who recommended a pair of Renkus Heinz Iconyx IC-Live steerable arrays, one on either side of the proscenium. “The IC-Live enabled us to steer the sound where it needed to go - away from the walls and reflective surfaces and into the seats,” Dutka says.
Not surprisingly, aesthetics was also a major concern. “Renkus-Heinz provided custom paint for the IC-Live cabinets, helping them to blend almost invisibly into the sanctuary’s beautiful architecture,” says Bae.
“We have a number of older parishioners who have traditionally relied on hearing-assisted technology systems every week,” says Dutka. “Since we’ve installed the new system, many of them have come to us and informed us that they no longer need the assisted listening.”
Tannoy Provides Purity Of Sound At Manitobas Centennial Centre
When the concept of Manitoba Centennial Centre originated in 1960 the project was intended as a means of commemorating Canada’s centenary and part of a wide ranging attempt at urban renewal in Winnipeg’s Point Douglas Area; a facility purpose-built to serve succeeding generations of Manitobans as a permanent focus for the performing arts. In November 2010, the 253, 014-square-foot, 2,305-seat venue’s ability to do so was dramatically enhanced with the installation of a state of the art acoustic enhancement system featuring 70 Tannoy loudspeakers.
The driving force behind the project was a need for more presence for orchestral performances, says project coordinator, Glen Jonatchick, president and founder of Integrated Entertainment Technologies (IET), sound contractor on the installation. “They felt the hall had a long delay and no early reflection, or presence, in the acoustic signature.” The system’s function, he adds; to provide natural sounding support of unamplified program material for which the venue’s pre-existing sound reinforcement system would not be used.
The system consists of three major components, he continues; a compliment of Sennheiser microphones, a proprietary central processing, amplification and software hub provided by Netherlands-based, Acoustic Control Systems (ACS) and a comprehensive package of Tannoy V12s, i9s, V8s and Di6DCs positioned throughout the hall, all individually time-delayed and EQ’d to enable the room’s acoustic signature to be altered. “In essence, to make it sound like the building envelope is smaller, or larger, depending on the program selection and what you want to achieve.”
Each of the Tannoy products were chosen to fulfill distinct output functions, with 16 V8s located in the proscenium serving as early reflection speakers, 32 higher output V12s ceiling mounted over the audience for short reverberation and 12 Di6DCs , for long reverberation, in the rear wall. Additionally, 10 Tannoy i9s (chosen specifically because of their superior directivity) were installed above the audience and angled toward the stage as foldback for the
The result is a measurable improvement in listener experience across the board – for both the audiences attending performances by the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the Manitoba Opera, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and various international ensembles, as well as for the performers themselves.
Still, Jonatchick insists, the effect is subtle: “It’s about purity of sound.” Achieving that purity was the primary reason behind the choice of Tannoy. “All three major system components are important, but the output side is a major factor in the acoustic signature of the room. The idea of this system is not for the music to sound amplified, but to sound natural, and the Tannoy products were the best choice to achieve that on the output side. We actually had a review meeting not long ago and the WSO is absolutely ecstatic about how much more present the orchestra sounds.”
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