Monday, October 24, 2011

Outline Highlights New GTO-DF Down Fill Loudspeaker At 2011 AES

Rounds out the performance coverage of the GTO line array loudspeaker system

Outline featured the GTO-DF, the newest member of the GTO (Grand Touring Outline) Series of line array loudspeakers, at the just-concluded 131st AES Convention in New York.

First introduced at PLASA 2011, the GTO-DF is designed to serve as a down fill box, providing high-quality sound to the first several rows of the audience while located within a GTO array.

“The GTO-DF rounds out the performance coverage of the highly regarded GTO line array loudspeaker system,” says Tom Bensen, senior vice president and managing director of Outline North America. “In the past, the front several rows of the audience could be slightly off axis to the main FOH arrays, leading to an audible reduction in coverage, especially in the critical high-end frequencies that are responsible for intelligibility.

“The GTO-DF, with its bottom-mounted constant directivity horn with embedded acoustic lens, is designed to reside on the bottom of a GTO array to provide the first several rows of seating with the signature GTO sound enjoyed by the rest of the audience. GTO has set a high benchmark for audio quality in the live event market and the GTO-DF continues that tradition.”

The unique new waveguide was designed at the request of Jason Farah, co-owner and vice president of Special Event Services in Winston-Salem, NC, who identified the need to address the issue of down fill coverage from a new perspective.

The Outline engineering team looked at the problem and designed a better solution than simply tagging on an Outline Mantas loudspeaker to the bottom of the array. The GTO-DF, with its purpose-built, radical new horn design and acoustic lens, delivers accurate performance within the form factor of a GTO array.

Special Event Services was one of the first companies to adopt the GTO line array system and the first to deploy the GTO-DF with simultaneous debuts of the cabinet on both the Darius Rucker Tour and ZZ Top/Lynyrd Skynyrd Tour.

“The GTO-DF made all the difference in the world,” says Farah. “The coverage was exactly as the Outline 3-D Open Array prediction software envisioned and the sound was magnificent. Plus it’s the same footprint and hardware as the rest of the GTO family, so it made flying the rig so much simpler.”

GTO-DF incorporates Outline’s exclusive acoustic lens aperture gradually flaring out downward. It is loaded with four 8-inch mid-woofers and two 3-inch compression drivers (the standard GTO line array cabinet features 10 speakers with two 15-inch woofers, four 8-inch mid-woofers and four 3-inch compression drivers).

GTO-DF is also mechanically compatible with GTO, so it can be easily added to a flying array. Unique to the GTO-DF is a vertical dispersion range of 0 degrees to minus 25 degrees to ensure precision aiming of the sound into the audience and not onto the stage. The waveguide offers 120-degree horizontal coverage from 315 Hz to 17.5 kHz.

The GTO-DF, a bi-amped system, can handle 800 watts (AES) and 3,200 watts (peak) for the mid-woofer section covering the 200 Hz to 1 kHz range. The high-frequency section handles 250 watts (AES) and 1,000 watts (peak), covering a 1 kHz to 17.5 kHz range. The cabinets weigh 172 pounds each.


Posted by Keith Clark on 10/24 at 06:48 AM
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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Electro-Voice Arrays Provide Top To Bottom Coverage At Duluth’s New AMSOIL Arena

Using Electro-Voice EVA line arrays for the brand new AMSOIL Arena turned out to offer the best coverage and intelligibility while reducing overall purchase and installation costs

In an ideal world, sonic perfection would be the sole consideration shaping sound system design. In reality, however, it’s a very rare installation in which budget doesn’t play a major role.

Fortunately for hockey fans in Duluth, Minnesota, using Electro-Voice EVA line arrays for the brand new AMSOIL Arena turned out to offer the best possible coverage and intelligibility while actually reducing overall purchase and installation costs compared to the alternatives.

Home to the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) Bulldogs men’s and women’s hockey teams, the all-purpose AMSOIL Arena is part of the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center on the city’s downtown Lake Superior waterfront.

The complex also includes exhibit halls, a symphony hall, an Omnimax Theater, and another arena. One of the first LEED certified arenas in the world, the AMSOIL Arena seats 6,600 for hockey and ice shows, and more than 8,500 for concerts and other entertainment. Its sound system was designed and installed by TSI Technology Solutions LLC, the systems division of TSI Global LLC, in St. Charles, Missouri, with consulting provided by Gary White of WHJW in Dallas.

“The budget for this job was smaller than what we typically have to work with for a sports stadium or coliseum,” says Scott Durham of TSI, “so we had to be creative. We wanted to hang the least amount of speakers from a limited number of points, but still achieve nice, even coverage. The EVA line arrays’ coverage is fabulous.”

The original design concept for the system, Durham says, involved 24 multi-cabinet hangs throughout the arena.

“That’s what’s commonly done in sports stadiums, but when we factored in the cost of hanging from that many points, it turned out to be more cost-effective to go with a solution of 12 line arrays. And, when we did the EASE modeling, we realized that the arrays would also give us more even coverage across the seating area.”

The key to the success of the design, Durham says, is the way the arrays were hung. “We flew them at steep angles right above the seats. The speakers are actually fairly close, about 55 to 65 feet, but we get very smooth coverage. Unlike a lot of arenas I’ve been in — some of which I’ve actually worked on — the sound is exactly the same from the bottom seat right up to the top. So whether you’re in the really expensive seats or all the way up, there’s no loss of quality. And that was our goal.”

Durham credits Electro-Voice technical services, particularly Robert Deyarmond and George Georgallis, as being instrumental in validating the overall design concept and suggesting modifications that yielded improved coverage. “I’ve worked with EV on multiple projects over the past five years,” he says, “and, compared to all the major manufacturers that I deal with, their engineering support is bar-none the best.”

The arrays are each composed of either four or six Electro-Voice EVA-2082S full-range dual-element line array modules, with 64 used in all. “We went with Electro-Voice arrays primarily because of the EV horn,” Durham says. “We needed incredible intelligibility for voice, and they build an amazing horn. Their array horns are unbeatable compared to anything on the market at less than $5,000 per box. As for EVAs in particular, we chose them because the arrays were close enough that we could still get quality sound with a smaller, less obtrusive cabinet, and that also gave us quite a cost savings.”

The system also includes eight EVH-1152S loudspeakers used as downfills for the ice, and a pair of FRi-2082 full-range, low-profile loudspeakers that provide fill under a couple of small overhangs. “Subwoofers were not specified as part of the design,” Durham notes, “but when we tested the system it ran clean up to 116 dB, A-weighted. So for concerts, if you wanted to, you could just bring in subs and run with the installed system.”

System control and processing is provided by four Electro-Voice NetMax N8000 Digital Matrix Controllers operated via three Electro-Voice IRIS-Net touch panels. The system is powered by 24 Contractor Precision Series amplifiers, each equipped with an RCM-810 DSP module to enable monitoring and amp switch-over.

“The biggest factor in choosing EV amps,” Durham says, “was their very low rate of failure and replacement. In a big stadium, that gets to be very costly. With EV amps, we typically have no failures or problems whatsoever. And the CPS amps have a very low power draw for their output, which actually helps with the LEED certification of the building.”

With the arena in regular operation as of the start of the year, the Electro-Voice system is proving that budget-friendly cost is no impediment to superior performance. “Our customers at DECC have been pleasantly surprised at both the sound quality and the amount of SPL that the PA can put out cleanly,” Durham says. “They are extremely pleased and happy with this system.”


Posted by Keith Clark on 10/20 at 09:40 AM
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Creative Technologies Takes It Up A Notch With L-Acoustics

CT adds LA-RAK, KIVA/KILO and 108P to its event production inventory

Based in Los Angeles with satellite offices in San Francisco, Las Vegas and Chicago, Creative Technology (CT) ranks as one of the West Coast’s largest L-Acoustics KUDO and dV-DOSC Rental Network companies.

With 62 KUDO and 80 dV-DOSC line source systems in its collective inventory, the audio/video/staging provider has successfully used them on countless corporate functions, tradeshows, concerts and other events over the years.

Recently, CT opted to delve further into the L-Acoustics catalog with the addition of four LA-RAK touring amplifier racks – each loaded with three LA8 amplified controllers – 36 KIVA line source elements, 12 KILO low-frequency extension cabinets, and 20 self-powered 108P coaxial enclosures.

According to William Nealie, CT’s director of US audio services for the past eight years, the company’s first deployment of its new KIVA, KILO and LA-RAK gear was at a G8 Brand event in San Francisco.

“Cross-renting some additional cabinets, we flew 48 KIVA and 14 KILO split into multiple clusters in a fairly narrow room with a low trim height,” he says. “KIVA was perfect seeing that the actual setup ended up being eight feet further offstage on both sides than originally designed.”

“With any other box, the majority of our signal would have been on the wall instead of in the space. KIVA, being small, met the weight requirements, gave us the SPL we needed, and had the perfect horizontal coverage to do the trick. Plus, the flexibility and sound quality we’re getting with the LA8 presets is really nice. I’ve been advising everybody that if they use these boxes, these are they only amplifiers they’ll want to pair them with.”

With the US auto show season on the horizon, Nealie adds that he’s looking forward to putting CT’s new 108P fleet to good use.

“Creative Technology provides tradeshow and press event production services for quite a few of the biggest and best-known auto manufacturers, including Ford, Volvo, Mazda, Range Rover, Jaguar, Lexus, Toyota, Kia, Hyundai, Fisker and Bentley,” he says.

“Compared to the boxes we’ve used in previous years, the 108P throws a greater distance and sounds more full-bandwidth because it’s a coaxial system. So we’ll put them up over the cars for narration and turntable presenters,” Nealie continues. “But it’s also flexible enough that if I have a band that needs some small wedges, or I want to throw a few of them up on sticks, these can handle those situations just as well.”

“The 108P adds a greater level of creativity and versatility to our inventory, not to mention a better bandwidth and frequency response. I expect that we’ll be adding even more of these to our product portfolio on the next go around.”


Posted by Keith Clark on 10/20 at 07:42 AM
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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Yamaha Offering DSR Loudspeaker Cash Back Promotion, Enhanced Warranty Policy

Warranty upgrade will also be instituted retroactively for consumers who have already bought the loudspeakers under the previous warranty policy

Buyers of any new Yamaha DSR powered loudspeaker who makes a purchase now through November 30, 2011 from an authorized Yamaha dealer will receive a $100 rebate direct from Yamaha for each unit bought.

The redemption form, containing all of the promotion’s details, is available for viewing and/or downloading at www.yamaha.com/rebates.

In addition to the cash back offer, Yamaha has enhanced its limited warranties for defects in materials and workmanship relating to DSR loudspeakers, which are now in effect for five years from the date of purchase for the original owner only.

This five-year term will also be instituted retroactively for consumers who have already bought the loudspeakers under the previous warranty policy.

“The DSR speaker line already offers sound value for powered, but now, with this cash back program, we are making these advanced powered speakers available at an even greater value,” states Wayne Hrabak, marketing manager, Yamaha Live Sound Department.

The new DSR Series active loudspeaker line, including the compact and lightweight full-range DSR112, DSR115 and DSR215, along with the DSR118W subwoofer, delivers power, digital sound processing, plus the all-new D-CONTOUR multi-band dynamic processing.

Digital technological innovations incorporated into the DSR Series loudspeakers include Integral Digital Tuning, Intelligent Dynamic Control, Powerful Digital Drive and extensive DSP protection.

Yamaha Live Sound

Posted by Keith Clark on 10/19 at 09:06 AM
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Blue Note Redux: In-Depth Look At New Sound For An Iconic NYC Jazz Showcase

Sound designer Amit Peleg takes us behind the scenes on the development of the venue's new sound reinforcement system

Beyond the stellar names that have graced its stage, one of the other enduring legacies at New York City’s Blue Note is its sound.

Forged within a long, narrow, and asymmetrical space, the voice of this venerable jazz club in Greenwich Village between 6th and McDougal Streets extends from a centrally-located stage out onto a crowd seated at multiple levels, most within 20 feet of the performers.

Imbued with good acoustics, the room nonetheless presents its fair share of audio design challenges, given dimensions measuring about 15 feet from the front of the stage to the rear wall, ceiling heights as low as nine feet, and distances to the outer walls at the left and right of the stage measuring 30 and 46 feet respectively.

The Blue Note was opened in 1981 by Danny Bensusan, with son Steven now serving as president. For much of the club’s life, Amit Peleg has been the guardian of its sound reinforcement.

Hired as the sound person upon his arrival in NYC in 1988, when Peleg first walked into the room he stopped, looked up, and stood face-to-face with three loudspeakers suspended over the stage.

Comprising full-range boxes on the bottom and separate horn-loaded HF sections on top, these three boxes were all there was for sound reinforcement in the entire house, with one aimed forward and two to the sides.

“The club was about seven years old then,” Peleg recalls. “They had been booking all of the heavy-hitters - the biggest names in the business - for some time. These were musicians that would normally never play a club. But with the Blue Note, because of its reputation, it was different. This stage may be little, but it’s world class. Ray Charles not only performed here, he brought along a 27-piece band.”

Amit Peleg at the club’s new Yamaha M7CL-48ES house console in the sound booth. (click to enlarge)

Meritorious Service
With the Blue Note already ensconced as a jazz epicenter, Peleg was given the go-ahead to draft plans for a sonic renovation.

A proponent of loudspeakers with ribbon-based high-frequency sections, he felt the technology was especially appropriate for this situation, where given the proximity of the stage to the rear wall, horn-loaded loudspeakers may tend to overexcite the room.

“I have a hard time mixing on loudspeakers loaded with compression drivers,” Peleg adds. “To me, the distortion and ear fatigue are disturbing. One of the drawbacks of ribbon-based designs at the time, however, was that they weren’t normally capable of producing the output you could get from a compression driver.”

The previous system’s Stage Accompany loudspeaker set. (click to enlarge)

Researching the limited options, Peleg ultimately uncovered a Dutch company, Stage Accompany (SA), that was producing a line of ribbon tweeter-equipped enclosures that could deliver the sound pressure levels required of the task at hand.

Impressed with the low distortion, flat frequency response, and lack of high frequency build-up within the boxes, Peleg inked a deal with SA that brought the enclosures to the club, largely flown above the stage.

Using them as the building blocks of his new system, they performed for the next 23 years without failure, eventually passing the torch to another system in a version 2.0 upgrade performed once again by Peleg earlier this year, this time under the auspices of his contracting firm, Peltrix.

“The self-powered SA loudspeakers did an incredible job right up until the moment we switched on the new system this year,” Peleg says. “Consider, too, that the amplifiers in those loudspeakers incorporated computer control. This before even Crown’s IQ System was unveiled.

“We had a (Windows) XT 286 PC in the rack - the computer of choice at the time - and were running proprietary networking software called SA Net,” he continues. “We basically could do everything you can do now with computer control then.”

Balancing Act
Still sold on the ribbon HF concept, Peleg initially began working in 2005 with Garth Showalter of SLS Audio to bring Blue Note audio into the 21st century. The two turned the Blue Note into a living laboratory when given the chance, testing vertical arrays of steerable columns (flown horizontally) used with combinations of fill loudspeakers and various formulas for delay.

While amazingly precise, the steerable arrays were difficult to position - holes in coverage emerged because of too much cancellation. The steerable array idea was eventually let go, heralding a return to an update of what is basically the original Peleg design.

Detailing the room and loudspeaker positioning. (click to enlarge)

Based around seven SLS 115RT-I 2-way loudspeakers suspended above the stage on custom-made mounts from Massachusetts-based Polar Focus, the latest Blue Note audio blueprint adds three smaller SLS cabinets (model 8190Tv2-I) above the stage, another 115RT-I firing from further into the audience at stage left into an alcove that includes the sound booth, and a pair of SLS 112RT-I loudspeakers mounted well off of stage right aimed into the bar area.

“Because of the room’s small size and configuration,” Peleg explains, “one of the main concepts you have to grasp in order to truly understand how this system works is that it’s used mainly to give balance to the sound coming off the stage.”

To reach this harmony between what’s reinforced and what’s naturally arising from the stage, Peleg divided the club into three separate zones for mixing, each of which takes into consideration where members of the audience are in relation to the instruments onstage.

Another perspective of the challenging Blue Note room configuration. (click to enlarge)

Due to the positioning of the stage, stereo imaging isn’t possible, but each zone can be mixed to give a full and accurate representation of the music being made using the appropriate loudspeakers for that zone.

To obtain this equilibrium, the house mix engineer walks around within the different zones, remotely making adjustments via an iPad running Yamaha’s StageMix App that offers access back to 31 channels at the house’s Yamaha M7CL-48ES digital console (Channel 32 is used for an announcement mic.)

Role Of Control
As a practical illustration of how this works, take, for example, the three smaller 8190Tv cabinets suspended above the stage. Why are they there?

“Just imagine sitting right there in front of the stage,” Peleg imparts. “The kick drum is five feet from your right ear, and the bass and guitar cabinets are six feet from your left ear. The vocalist is standing right in front of you, and if it weren’t for those cabinets, you’d be able to see his or her mouth move clearly, but unable to hear anything coming out.

“These loudspeakers compensate for those who can only hear stage sounds, not those in the house - this is where their vocals or anything else that may be missing come from.”

Transpose that same logic to the rest of the loudspeakers, each adjusted for what the audience can and cannot hear in each area.

Delay between each cabinet prevents interference as needed, and control plays a huge role in putting everything into its perfect place.

“Each loudspeaker is powered and controlled separately,” Peleg continues, “to prevent inter-cabinet interference.”

A total of 13 Yamaha TX4N DSP-based amplifiers power the full-range portion of the house, each programmed by SLS with a unique preset expressly for its dedicated tasks.

Modifications were made to these presets when the system was tuned, but the SLS settings proved a very good starting point in each case.

“Now we can control the levels of each speaker individually, plus compensate for bass traps, limiting, levels of acoustical absorption, or any one of a number of things that can be addressed within the DSP,” Peleg notes. Overall system processing is handled with two dbx DriveRack 4820s located in the racks with the amplifiers.

The Yamaha TX4N amplifiers that drive the full-range system, each with a unique preset tailored to meet specific needs. (click to enlarge)

Networked for both signal and control, the entire system is digital from stem to stern. The only points of conversion are A/D at the stage box input and return, and D/A at the output of the amplifiers. In between, it’s a digital domain entirely using either EtherSound or AES/EBU.

Lowering The Boom
Prior to this latest upgrade, the Blue Note never had subwoofers. Increasingly over the years, however, acts seen and heard in the room coming from outside the jazz world required an extended range of LF.

For a time, the club rented subs as needed, setting them up on the floor. In purely functional terms this worked, but killing off space for two tables of four patrons to accommodate the addition of subs can impact profitability in some circumstances. Given ceiling height and performance factors, flying the subs wasn’t an option either.

What was seemingly a minor problem actually held up implementation of the new design for a time, until d&b audiotechnik appeared on the scene with the B4-SUB.

Standing a little less than 19 inches high and loaded with single 15-in and a 12-in woofers in a cardioid pattern to cancel rear-firing bass energy, four of these units provide the means to locate subs under the stage.

Beyond conquering spatial issues, the cardioid-canceling LF cabinets don’t resonate much under the stage floor.

Stage monitoring is supplied in three mixes via a pair of JBL AM6215/95 ceiling-mounted loudspeakers aimed downstage center for mix one, and a pair of JBL VRX 115Ms divided one apiece between the second and third mixes.

An added plus of going with the new M7CL digital console at front of house is that its version 3 software allows a network ASIO driver from AuviTran to be used for DAW recording. Engineers can now easily multitrack shows right to Pro Tools, a function useful for archival purposes as well as to the efforts of Half Note Records, the Grammy-winning label owned by Blue Note.

Quick Switch
The new rig was installed by Peleg and his crew in a process that allowed the old system to keep running until the final switchover was made.

Note that the Blue Note has only closed three times in its history (over 9-11 and 9-12, 2001, and for a day during Hurricane Irene), a fact that made the transition from one system to the next a delicate and no-excuses operation.

When that moment came, everything had to be completed overnight. With some drywall removed to expose the joists, new wiring was run from the amplifier room out to the new loudspeakers.

Also during the transition, the old system’s outboard gear was moved just outside of the sound booth so it could continue being used while the new console and outboard gear were installed. Despite all of this activity, the new system was tested, tuned and ready for sound check at 4 pm the next day.

Since commissioning the system, the Blue Note has hosted an eclectic mix of artists including such as jazz great Toots Thielemans, R&B vocalist Al Jarreau, and hip-hop favorite Mos Def. “This new system has the breadth, range, and stamina to run with anything we’ve thrown at it so far,” Peleg concludes. “It’s versatile and pleasing to both the crowds and artists. The music experience here is better than ever, and that’s the best insurance for a brighter future that I can think of.”

Gregory A. DeTogne is a writer and editor who has served the pro audio industry for the past 30 years.

Posted by Keith Clark on 10/19 at 08:56 AM
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NEXO, Yamaha Components Chosen By CSD For System Serving New Eastern Star Church Campus

"CSD and Eastern Star Church were looking for a high-output yet small-format speaker system that could keep up with the high-energy worship style of the church." - Doug Hood

CSD of Fort Wayne, Indiana recently completed a design/build project for the new Northwest Campus of Eastern Star Church in Indianapolis.

A major undertaking, the 3,000-seat contemporary gospel northwest campus features a choir, band, praise team and for most sermons, has 120 members located on the stage. The audio system serving the facility includes NEXO GEO S12 line arrays - specifically 14 GEO S1210s and 27 GEO S1230sm all in white.

The system also incorporates a Yamaha PM5D-RH digital audio console at front of house, and a Yamaha M7CL-48 for monitors.

“We always stay on top of new products from manufacturers, and since CSD and Eastern Star Church were looking for a high-output yet small-format speaker system that could keep up with the high-energy worship style of the church, we knew the NEXO system would be a perfect fit,” says Doug Hood, owner/president of CSD.

Hood notes that Yamaha consoles were chosen for this location, as was the case with the first two Eastern Star Church campuses, with console familiarity by church staff members playing a large part.

“Another deciding factor for us was the similarity in the M7CL experience as compared to the PM5D. We felt it was important for volunteers to be able to move from monitors to FOH with as little change as possible,” he adds.

Additional audio system components include 12 NEXO PS15s and four PS10s, NEXO Alpha Subs, eight 4x4 NXAMPs, and one 4x1 NXAMP. CSD also installed DLP 10K Digital Projectors, a Panasonic PTZ Cam System, and ETC and Leprecon lighting systems.

Two Yamaha P3500S amplifiers, two P7000S amps, Aviom personal mixing and digital snake, and WorxAudio Techologies loudspeakers are used in perimeter rooms.

The church began its history in 1920 with a congregation of 12, and now, three campuses later, has grown to a congregation of over 25,000. The new location was required to fill the need for a larger worship space to accommodate the growing congregation. It also provides a presence for Eastern Star Church on the west side of the city.




Posted by Keith Clark on 10/19 at 07:07 AM
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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tannoy Introduces New OCV Series Pendant-Style Loudspeakers

Unique cylindrical form-factor has been conceived to meet the exacting demands of the architectural sector

Tannoy has introduced the QCV Series, a new range of “open ceiling” hanging pendant loudspeakers, designed for applications such as airports, railway stations, malls and large double/triple height commercial floors.

The unique cylindrical form-factor has been conceived to meet the exacting demands of the architectural sector, minimizing the impact on aesthetics and allowing the systems designer to locate the loudspeakers discretely, at a desired height without regard to the physical ceiling height, and in a manner that won’t conflict with other suspended systems such as lighting fixtures and ventilation.

Available in black or white as standard and comprising two models - OCV 6 and OCV 8 - OCV Series is by design a full-bandwidth open-ceiling speaker system.

Each model is built around a mid-bass driver (6-inch or 8-inch respectively) with a coaxially-mounted 0.75-inch high frequency section – all mounted in the cylindrical steel enclosure with mild steel powder coated grille.

The mineral loaded polypropylene cone material and nitrile rubber surround of the driver assembly enhances durability and provides long-term reliability, while the enclosure is IP54 rated for dust and water ingress, UV resistant – making it suitable for operating within high temperature and high humidity environments.

Both the OCV 6 and OCV 8 are equipped with a low insertion loss 60-watt line transformer easily configurable via a top-mounted rotary tapping switch, while audio connection is catered for via an adjacent euroblock connector.

Both connector and tapping switch are protected by a rubber weather boot which fits securely in place after connections has been made.

Tannoy provides all the required hardware for hanging as standard, including steel wires, gripple speed clamp and 3/8” threaded rod adapter – making installation a simple and time-efficient process.

The OCV Series is shipping now.


Posted by Keith Clark on 10/18 at 12:38 PM
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HK Audio Introduces SoundCaddy One Compact Portable PA System

A push on its top releases a mid/high loudspeaker array, which rises from the cabinet on a pneumatic lift

HK Audio announces the SoundCaddy One system, which incorporates three 6-inch bass speakers, six 3.5-inch mid/high drivers, a 600-watt class D power amplifier and a 4-channel mixer.

Easy to transport, the SoundCaddy One can be moved into position on its built-in wheels. A firm push on its top releases a mid/high loudspeaker array, which rises from the cabinet on a pneumatic lift. Once adjusted to the desired height, it can be twisted to lock into place.

The back panel offers access to the 4-channel mixer. The mono channels (Mic In and Combi In) are each equipped with a Neutrik XLR/Guitar combo input, a volume knob and a tone control.

Next to those are 2 stereo channels (Line In, Aux In), each offering a Volume and a Contour control. The Combi In channel features two Neutrik combo inputs; the Aux In provides both stereo RCA jacks and a single stereo eighth-inch input.

Using the XLR Line Out, a second SoundCaddy One can be connected to create a fuller stereo or dual-mono system. Recording Out (RCA Stereo) jacks allow connections to other equipment. A bass level control helps in balancing highs and lows.

The three 6-inch bass drivers provide a tight, deep low-end sound, while the “pop-up” line array contains the six 3.5-inch broad band drivers that together deliver solid intelligibility and an easy-to-aim 70-degree horizontal dispersion.

The 19-millimeter birch cabinet construction is outfitted with cutaway handles, integrated wheels and protective skid guards. A protective cover is included.

HK Audio SoundCaddy One is now available at select U.S. retailers with an MSRP (U.S.) of $4,000.


HK Audio

Posted by Keith Clark on 10/18 at 06:12 AM
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Monday, October 17, 2011

Staples Center Unveils New Audio System Headed By JBL VerTec Line Arrays, Harman HiQnet Control

Most comprehensive installation to date of JBL’s digitally-networked, powered VerTec loudspeakers

Staples Center in Los Angeles, home to four professional sports franchises - the NHL’s Kings, the NBA’s Lakers and Clippers and the WNBA’s Sparks - is opening the doors for its 13th season with a new audio system headed by JBL Professional VerTec line arrays.

The sound system upgrade follows the recent installation of a new Panasonic LIVE 4HD video scoreboard system, upgrading audio quality provided for the tenant teams as well as a wide range of special events.

The new system is also designed to enhance the sound of touring production shows by allowing them to selectively use the installed system in a signal-delayed capacity.

Staples Center will provide touring sound crews with a wi-fi tablet for remotely adjusting delay times, EQ, and levels. By augmenting the incoming portable touring systems this available option will provide better coverage and sound quality throughout the arena.

The control capabilities provided by Harman HiQnet System Architect software enables rapid configurability of the system to meet different event programming requirements. The new system includes the following elements:

—Main Clusters: Eight arrays of JBL VT4889DP-DA three-way powered line array modules are in use for the main system. Each cluster contains between 11 and 13 cabinets, with special attention having been paid to improving sound coverage and clarity in the upper bowl seating areas through precise array positioning and focusing technique.

—Fill Clusters: Two dedicated fill clusters are specially positioned to cover the end seating areas specifically during basketball games. Each array contains four VT4889DP-DA cabinets.

—Subwoofer Clusters: Four subwoofer arrays, each comprising six JBL VT4880A dual 18-inch subwoofer enclosures, produce extended low frequencies to create a full range musical system.

“The specialized audio needs of a multi-purpose sports and entertainment venue like Staples Center, combined with today’s audience expectations for an exciting and immersive sound experience, require a truly unique solution,” states David Scheirman of JBL. “When we designed this new VerTec system, it was with top-tier venue applications like Staples Center in mind.

“Our entire team took a personal interest in this project, and we took a hands-on approach to working with the designers, installers and venue staff to really dial-in this system. Staples Center is now equipped with our latest loudspeaker system technology, combining advanced networking capabilities with digital signal processing, integral power amplification and advanced control software. This is the largest and most comprehensive installation to date of JBL’s digitally-networked, powered VerTec loudspeakers.”

“We are incredibly excited to unveil the brand new JBL system to kick off our thirteenth season,” adds Lee Zeidman, senior vice president & general manager, Staples Center. “Technology has grown tremendously since we opened Staples Center in 1999 and as part of our overall annual upgrades we decided it was time for us to improve our audio system. It is important to us to keep providing a better fan experience for our guests and offer cutting edge audio technology to our tenants and the numerous tours and special events that we host each year.”

JBL Professional
Harman Pro

Posted by Keith Clark on 10/17 at 07:39 AM
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Friday, October 14, 2011

Real World Gear: Developments In Cardioid Subwoofers

The quest to keep up with the those tall columns of coupled transducers, a.k.a., line arrays

Ever since the introduction of line arrays, it has become harder for subwoofers to keep up with the efficiency of tall columns of coupled transducers in large full-range systems.

This has helped drive transducer and amplifier manufacturers to produce increasingly powerful low-frequency components. Multi-kilowatt dual-18 enclosures are now the standard.

However, while flown full-length line arrays do a superb job of getting full-range sound to the back of enormous venues, stacked subwoofers – even with their advantage of half-space coupling with the floor – must create huge amounts of sound pressure to keep pace with them.

And the omni-directional characteristic of traditional subs pushes that energy in all directions: towards the stage and its performers, and then reflecting off rear walls to produce late arrivals in the main listening areas.

Anyone who’s worked at arena shows with ground-stacked subs can attest to the low-frequency energy wasted backstage. The goal of all sound designs is even, coherent coverage at all frequencies throughout the listening area.

There are many flyable bass reflex subwoofers that are designed as companions for compact line arrays and can be integrated into their arrays and flown above or beside them.

Many of these enclosures, such as the Adamson dual-18 SpekTrix Sub and dual-15 Metrix Sub, JBL dual-12 VT4883, and D.A.S. Audio LX-212R, offer rigging hardware that allows the enclosures to be flown within arrays in seconds, and reversed orientation that allows cardioid arrays to easily be configured by reversing one cabinet’s direction, which inverts the polarity and adds a few milliseconds of delay.

Indeed, cardioid arrays can be constructed from well-manufactured front-loaded subs, and Steve Bush offers a concise description of the three basic types of cardioid sub arrays here.

With access to manufacturers’ prediction software (Electro-Voice LAPS, d&b audiotechnik ArrayCalc, Meyer Sound MAPP, Martin Audio Viewpoint, etc.), it’s easy to set up a scenario and play around with polarity, delay and distance to see the results.

Meanwhile, there are situations where cardioid enclosures provide a compact solution that’s quick and easy.

Companies that manufacture directional multi-element single-cabinet subwoofer enclosures remain a fairly select club. The principal is simple: one or more transducers at the rear cancel the arrival of sound from the front, in a way that also reinforces the energy going forward.

In smaller venues, a single-cabinet cardioid subwoofer enclosure allows system engineers to quickly install a product with predictable results, without a requirement for measurement or additional DSP.

While most cardioid subs are slightly larger than conventional subs, due to their rear-firing transducers, they often take less space and effort than building cardioid arrays. They’re also more fool proof and the stage-hands won’t restack them because they look wrong.

In the challenge for consistent coverage of listening areas, cardioid subs are efficient tools for extending pattern control to a system’s lowest octaves.

When used with point-source cabinets, they combine to make efficient pole-mount systems, especially for delays, where low-frequency energy better aligns with the mains.

When used as a base for ground-supported compact line arrays, they create full-range solutions with a minimal number of enclosures.

By themselves, they can focus low-frequency energy more precisely where it’s wanted.

Take our PSW Photo Gallery Tour of single-cabinet cardioid subwoofer enclosures.

Posted by Keith Clark on 10/14 at 11:14 AM
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Community Professional Appoints Mittelmann For Asia-Pacific Region Sales

His return to the company is well-timed as Community continues to see significant growth in international markets and expand its product range

Community Professional Loudspeakers has announced the appointment of Thomas Mittelmann as director of business development, Asia-Pacific.

Mittelmann most recently worked with Powersoft, successfully concentrating on global brand building and marketing while overseeing sales in the Asian region. Prior to that, he worked with Lab.gruppen, where rapid growth led him from managing all overseas sales to focusing primarily on Asia, prompting his relocation from Germany to Singapore in 2007.

Mittelmann previously had spent eight years with Community handling European sales. His return to the company is well-timed as Community continues to see significant growth in international markets and expand its already comprehensive product range.

Julia Lee, sales and marketing director of Community comments, “Thomas brings invaluable international sales experience and market knowledge to Community. He is joining our team at a pivotal time for our company, which has been experiencing strong growth despite the economic climate. We’re excited to have him on board to help us grow our presence in the Asia-Pacific region, especially in important expanding markets like China and India.”

Mittelmann adds, “I’m very happy to be re-joining Community and in many ways it feels a bit like coming home; most of the same great people and spirit.  But ten years is a long time and Community has grown on all levels and with a much expanded product range.

“During this time I have also had the privilege of learning a lot, much of which I look forward to using in my new role and the markets I will be working in.  Together we will serve the needs of the region even better, to the benefit of all existing and future Community customers.”

Community Professional

Posted by Keith Clark on 10/14 at 10:55 AM
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Massachusetts General Hospital Utilizes JBL VerTec Line Arrays For 200th Anniversay

Northeast Media Services deployed left-right hangs of JBL Vertec VT4888 midsize line array elements for the main PA system and seven sets of VRX932LA Constant Curvature speakers for center fill, out fill, and delays.

Massachusetts General Hospital recently celebrated its 200th anniversary with a huge gathering of members of the hospital and medical community at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. To support the celebration, which included an appearance by Henry Kissinger and entertainment by the Tanglewood Festival Chorus and Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra, Northeast Media Services deployed a JBL VerTec line array system.

Since 1811, Massachusetts General Hospital has been a leader in innovation and medical leadership. To celebrate the bicentennial event, the hospital transformed the Convention Center with a large projection screen imposed on three walls of the main hall from top to bottom. For sound reinforcement, left-right hangs of six JBL VerTec VT4888 midsize line array elements each were used as the main PA system, with seven sets of four VRX932LA Constant Curvature speakers for center fill, out fill, and delays. Eight SRX712M’s were employed for stage monitoring and the entire system was powered by Crown Audio I-Tech and Macro Tech i Series amplifiers. To manage the system, three dbx 4800 processors were used with Harman’s HiQnet System Architect™ software.

The main challenge of this event was enabling the audience to fully see the video projection screens without any visual interference from the sound system, while still providing proper audio coverage throughout the space.  “The VerTec line arrays sounded terrific and worked perfectly with the accompanying VRX932LA’s to provide a visually discreet but high-impact audio system,” stated Wayne Strauss, President at Northeast Media Services. 

“Everyone gave compliments of how nice the venue was set up and how clear the sound was, especially with so many people conversing,” Strauss said. “It was a remarkable event and I’m glad that we were able to be a part of this memorable experience.”

Northeast Media Services

Posted by Keith Clark on 10/14 at 07:28 AM
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DVA Drives Motocross Championship In Italy

dBTechnologies digital line arrays towered above the Motocross World Championship racecourse in Fermo last month.

Motocross has never sounded so good, with db Technologies digital line arrays towering above the Motocross World Championship racecourse in Fermo last month. The dramatic undulations of the Italian track used for the last Grand Prix of the season presented quite a challenge to provide complete coverage during the two-day event, but Andrea Salvioli was up to the challenge.

Making use of the manufacturer’s newest release, DVA T12, dBTechnologies Product Manager and Audio Specialist, Salvioli explains the system’s design.

“We used three clusters each comprising ten T12 modules, flown from a crane at a height of 16 metres. Beneath these were a further two stacks of the DVA S20 subwoofers, six facing one way and six the other, to get the best possible low frequency coverage for the area. One stack of subwoofers was delayed by 4.5 milliseconds to compensate for the gap between the two stacks, which was easily adjusted by RDNet remote control.

“The starting line - the highest point of the track - was made up of two clusters of four T12s, each cluster coupled with four S20s. The difference in height between the lowest and highest points of the track was 150 metres, so it was hard to organise coverage for all the public, but using the three clusters at different angles turned out to be the perfect solution.

“The total area of the track was about 500 x 400metres and with the dBTechnologies DVA system, we were able to spread the sound almost everywhere,” Salvioli says, clearly very pleased with the outcome. “We were all impressed by the efficiency of the system and especially the ease of installation, despite the peculiarities of the place.”

Transmitting the audio signal between the three clusters and the control room was exceptionally slick, using dBTechnologies wireless system comprising MS120 (directive transmitter antenna) and a PU920 (receiver). “We used two different radio frequencies rather than signal cables for the total distance of 350 metres, and two repeaters for safety. There weren’t any drops in transmission though,” says Salvioli.

Both the event organisers and dBTechnologies customer/rental company Bebo Service were extremely satisfied. Salvioli added conspiratorially, “They told me that previous races during the championship didn’t sound as good as this one!”

db Technologies

Posted by Keith Clark on 10/14 at 05:42 AM
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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Martin Audio MLA Provided By Delicate Productions For Selena Gomez U.S. Tour

Will soon be embarking on a Canadian tour with an additional four MLA enclosures and three more MLX subs per side

Selena Gomez recently completed a successful U.S. tour of 25 cities that required a cost-effective sound system with a small footprint that had to deliver uniform coverage and exceptional sound quality in a wide variety of venues.

As front of house engineer Jason Moore explains “We were looking for the best possible sound we could get in a small, powerful package that would allow us to find a happy medium between amphitheaters, theaters and arenas.”

Production manager Javier Alcaraz adds, “Delicate Productions, one of the companies competing to provide audio for the tour, had asked me to listen to the Martin Audio MLA system. So I went to a demo in North Carolina where I listened to MLA and was floored. I called Jason and told him, ‘I think this is the rig for you, where we are, and what we need to do with the tour.’”

Initially drawn to another system, Moore says “Javier really opened my eyes to what MLA could do in terms of controlling the sound, a key factor in theaters with balconies and sheds with aluminum roofs and other kinds of problems.

“As it turned out, the MLA system we were looking at could perform the way we needed it to, no matter what type of venue. Plus I was pleasantly surprised with the rig. I’d never been on the MLA before, but it wound up exceeding my expectations.”

According to Alcaraz, size was also a factor: “For the tour, they gave me three production semis for all the sound, video, production, backline––everything. And with the rig coming in as small as it did in the truck—the footprint was ridiculously tiny––that was a big help.”

The actual MLA system supplied by Delicate consisted of 11 MLA enclosures, one MLD Downfill, six MLX subs per side and Display 2.0 software. The audio setup also included Martin Audio WT2s for front fill and LE1200S stage monitors. Avid Profile consoles were used for front of house and monitors.

As compact as the system was, there weren’t any problems in terms of getting the levels they needed. As Moore puts it, “It was fine for the decibel level I need with this artist and demographic. I ran 102 to 104 dB peak with no problems whatsoever.”

Even more critical was the MLA system’s ability to put the sound exactly where it had to be: “The most helpful thing for us was the ‘Hard Avoid’ function in the software that really helped us focus the PA where we needed it,” says Moore. “A number of times Javier and I would walk around the room during the opening acts and be amazed at the coverage and the fact that there were so few reflections. We’re all used to doing amphitheaters and we all know what they sound like, but the MLA sounded different than anything we’d ever heard before.

“The ability to control the sound so precisely was a huge advantage,” he continues. “The box threw so far that in some of the amphitheaters, our system tech Brennan Houser would tune the rig and turn off the delays. We didn’t use delays in close to 60 percent of the sheds because the MLA boxes threw so far and sounded so much better. Brennan would direct the sound off the shed, taper it up the amphitheater, focus it out of the gap between the shed and the last row of seats, and it would make it every time.”

Alcaraz adds, “I was back at monitors and there were so many shows where I’d have to take my ears out just to hear if the PA was even on because the rejection off the back of the box was truly unbelievable. The first few days of rehearsal, I pulled up the mix I’d been on for months and have to completely rework it. You can’t hear the MLA system at all.”

The tour included two opening acts geared to Gomez’ fan base––Christina Grimmie and Allstar Weekend––in addition to Selena and her band, The Scene, which consisted of a keyboard player, drummer, bass player, guitarist/musical director and two background singers.

“This tour was really efficient and awesome considering the budget,” Moore says. “All of the stars came into alignment for this considering the PA and crew and how well we all got along. We had a really nice asymmetrical lighting and video package and minimal staging which was very effective. And a small but effective PA system that sounded really good.”

Buoyed by their last experience, Alcaraz and Moore will soon be embarking on a Canadian tour with Gomez that encompasses 12 cities and includes four more MLA enclosures and three more MLX subs a side.

Alcaraz concludes, “We’re happy and so is the label. Everyone has had some really nice things to say about how good it sounded. As far as audio goes, the feedback has been very positive.”

Martin Audio

Posted by Keith Clark on 10/12 at 07:38 PM
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ASC & Renkus-Heinz Bring Beatlemania To Life In Hamburg Interactive Exhibition

"We wanted to build a creative exhibition that could be developed - not a museum." - Ulrike Salten, project manager

Almost half a century after their first gig in the city, The Beatles finally came home to Hamburg when the concept of a permanent interactive exhibition dedicated to the Fab Four became a reality, with a Renkus-Heinz loudspeaker system powering an immersive cinema experience.

Situated at the end of the Reeperbahn, in Hamburg’s famous red-light and club district, and close to many of the venues where the band performed, Beatlemania is a 1,300 square meter (4,000 square foot) five floor celebration of the Liverpool band, from their early days in Hamburg’s Indra club and Kaiser Keller to their break-up in 1970.

Technical partner for the ambitious project was Hamburg-based Amptown System Company (ASC), which designed and installed audio, lighting and video technology and integrated media systems.

The client brief also called for a ticketing system using RFID technology to coordinate ticket desks with visitor flows, guide visitors through the exhibition in an enjoyable way, guarantee safety, generate meaningful visitor statistics without involving staff in time-consuming data analysis, and meet data protection requirements by deleting visitors’ personal details at the end of their visit.

From the Port of Entry, where visitors collect a passport-style ticket, they embark on a journey through the exhibition’s 11 different spaces, each focusing on a different stage of the band’s career. Step into a stretch of street in the district of St Pauli, lined with shop windows and nightclubs from the 1960s, and wander through the dimly lit Backstage Area with its old jukebox and threadbare sofa, to Abbey Road Studios, where you can listen to a recording session. 

From the studio, a connecting walkway plastered with photos and press cuttings takes you to the heart of the exhibition, Beatlemania itself, where a purpose-designed cinema transports you straight into the biggest live performances by the Beatles in 1966.

To achieve an immersive audio experience, ASC chose Renkus-Heinz loudspeakers, using the company’s CFX81s for their combination of high audio quality and compact design.

“We wanted to build a creative exhibition that could be developed - not a museum,” says Ulrike Salten, project manager for FKP Ausstellungs-und Betriebs GmbH, the company behind Beatlemania. “ASC was the only supplier who could deliver the technical media expertise and the solution.”


Posted by Keith Clark on 10/12 at 07:10 PM
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