Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Derik Lee Utilizes JBL LSR4300 Monitors In Soundtrack Work For “Bring It On: The Musical”
Derik Lee, a New York-based musician, composer and recording engineer, utilized JBL Professional LSR4300 studio monitors in recording and mixing the score for “Bring It On: The Musical,” a new theatrical musical comedy that recently debuted at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles.
“I began recording and producing the music in my Brooklyn home studio, which of course I’m intimately familiar with, and which is based around JBL LSR4328 monitors,” notes Lee, who learned his craft working with renowned producer/ engineer Frank Filipetti. “Soon after, I had to move my setup to a room in Studio 54 in New York, which turned out to be fine.”
Things changed when composer Tom Kitt and orchestrator/arranger Alex Lacimore asked Lee to come to Los Angeles to continue work on the project. “When I got to the room—which was normally used by the theater ushers—I took one look and thought, ‘I’m dead.’ I was in an area that was like a little box and didn’t see how it could possibly sound good,” Lee explains. “I set up my laptop, keyboard, and a pair of JBL LSR4328 monitors—and the sound was way too boomy. My heart sank…but that was before I turned on the RMC Room Mode Correction feature.”
Using a supplied microphone and internal analyzer, the LSR4328’s RMC system measures and compensates for the misleading peaks in bass response caused by room modes and the speakers’ proximity to walls and work-surface boundaries.
“I turned on the RMC system and the clouds parted and the butterflies came out,” says Lee. “After a huge sigh of relief, I knew I could keep working. Having a reliable reference monitor is important for any project, but it was especially important for ‘Bring It On’ because of the nature of the music. It’s intensely synthesizer-driven and has a lot of sonic elements.”
Just when Lee was getting a handle on the project, he had to relocate again—this time to an office. “If that wasn’t enough, after a while I had to move once more, to the conductor’s dressing room. The dressing room in particular had trouble written all over it,” Lee says. “But once I kicked in the LSR4328P RMC system, the low-frequency response I was getting was excellent. That and some judicious speaker positioning enabled me to get accurate mixes no matter where they stuck me.”
In addition to smooth bass response, Lee needed speakers that were accurate through the rest of the frequency range, and had resolution of musical detail that would let him know exactly what was being recorded. “I couldn’t have gotten through this project without the LSR’s,” Lee said. “I never had to use the RMC feature in so many places before and under conditions where we were constantly making revisions to the score right up until opening night. No matter what rooms they threw me in, I knew I could trust that my mixes would translate well in the theater.”
The new RCF Media Series of compact, 2-way passive loudspeakers includes five models that can serve as mains for small-to-medium sized projects, as well as being a solution in distributed systems.
All models come with a 1-inch compression driver on a constant directivity horn (except the smallest model, M501, which has wave-guided titanium dome tweeter), with several cone driver sizes available. Dispersion for all models is 90 degrees by 90 degrees.
The Media Series offers high power handling capability, with a proprietary Low Impedance Compensated Crossover - with electronic protection - for the drivers.
The line offers a variety of installation options, including a swivel bracket and wall-mounting U brackets, with installation points are available on the rear panel, top and bottom.
All models are outfitted with steel front grilles with robust double mesh polyester clothing, and the RCF logo is rotatable.
Back panels offer “Quick Lock” audio input and link output connectors.
—Model M501 has a 5.5-inch cone driver and power handling of 80 watts (AES). —Model M502 has dual 5.5-inch cone drivers and power handling of 130 watts (AES). —Model M601 has a 6.5-inch cone driver and power handling of 100 watts (AES). —Model M801 has a 8-inch cone driver and power handling of 150 watts (AES). —Model M602 has dual 6.5-inch cone drivers and power handling of 160 watts (AES).
Prompted by the growth of its digital product line, Meyer Sound has announced promotions for two key Design Services team members.
Todd Meier, formerly director of Design Services, has been promoted to the newly created position of Digital Products Manager.
Meanwhile, Michael Creason, who had served as a Design Services Associate since 2008, is taking over duties for Meier as Design Services Manager.
“Our engineers have pushed the boundaries of digital audio since as early as 1984 when the first SIM audio analyzer and CP-10 equalizer set a new standard for acoustical measurement and correction,” says Helen Meyer, executive vice president of Meyer Sound. “As we look ahead, it’s important to expand our resources so we can continue the mushrooming growth of our digital efforts in a structured manner, while making sure we are meeting our customers’ project support needs. We are extremely pleased to fill these key positions by drawing on exceptional talents inside our company.”
As digital products manager, Meier will assume a pivotal role in guiding the continued growth of Meyer Sound’s digital systems, including the award-winning D-Mitri digital audio platform and the development and integration of company software offerings. They range from acoustical prediction, loudspeaker management, system monitoring, and optimization to audio show control.
Meier will work closely with R&D, marketing, sales, and technical services departments to identify customer needs, develop new technology solutions, and help ensure customer satisfaction through the product life cycle.
In his new management role, Creason will lead a Design Services team that works with audio consultants and Meyer Sound dealers to create audio systems that meet or exceed customer requirements for performance, reliability, and cost efficiency. Using the company’s MAPP Online Pro acoustical prediction program, Design Services supports the full spectrum of sound reinforcement applications, as well as Constellation acoustic systems and EXP cinema systems.
Meier joined Meyer Sound in 1997 with a strong background in theatrical system design. His work include several major projects in Las Vegas including “O” by Cirque du Soleil at the Bellagio and Rio’s Masquerade Village. Meier was also a key contributor to sound for productions of Beauty and the Beast (in Toronto and touring) and Ragtime: The Musical. He holds an MFA degree in Sound Design from UCLA.
Creason gained extensive experience in theatrical sound design as an associate collaborating with major Broadway designers before joining Meyer Sound. He served as audio supervisor for Glimmerglass Opera Festival for eight seasons, and designed and mixed a range of productions in the New York City Area. Creason’s Broadway credits include Proof, Take Me Out, Grease, A Chorus Line, The Pajama Game, and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
On Point Audio Introduces Suspension Accessories For Its Loudspeaker Lineup
On Point Audio is offering a new line of suspension accessories that enable its range of powered and passive speakers to be suspended safely and cost-effectively.
All of On Point Audio’s front of house loudspeaker systems are equipped with various configurations of M8 or M10 inserts that allow the use of several suspension accessories.
These inserts are structurally reinforced with heavy-duty steel that ensures a safety factor greater than 8:1. This high a safety factor means more peace-of-mind when enclosures are suspended overhead.
For each model, On Point Audio offers optional M8 and M10 Eye Bolt Kits each comprised of 4 x 304-grade stainless steel, forged-shoulder eye bolts for use with safety-rated suspension materials.
Additionally, there are optionally available U-Brackets that can be used for wall or ceiling mounting horizontally or vertically.
The U-Brackets are made of heavy-duty, e-coated 304-grade stainless steel, and include all necessary hardware for attaching the bracket to the loudspeaker.
The On Point Audio OPA 15 NP is a wide-range 15-inch two-way system with a fully rotatable High-Q 60- x 40-degree horn. To enable use of the OPA 15 NP in large-scale applications and installations, On Point Audio offers the optional Fly-NP array bracket. The Fly-NP allows two OPA 15 NP’s to be arrayed together to achieve higher output and wider coverage.
In addition to their range of inserts for flying and installations, all portable On Point Audio systems are also equipped with 35-mm (1-3/8-inch) pole mount sockets for use in portable applications.
“The On Point Audio range of Passive and ACTIVE speakers are incredibly flexible thanks to their built-in inserts, pole mounts and the assortment of Eye Bolt Kits, U-Brackets and Array Brackets we offer,” says On Point Audio president and founder Doug MacCallum. “For portable use, for rental and for fixed installation, there is a On Point Audio model that will deliver accurate, detailed sound, excellent output and the flexibility necessary to do the job very well.”
QSC Audio distributor Kilim Electronics has permanently installed a new system based on QSC KLA Series active line arrays and both K and KW Series active loudspeakers at one of Israel’s hottest nightclubs, The Beat, located in Haifa.
Two KLA arrays, each with three KLA12 loudspeaker elements, are suspended on either side of the nightclub’s main stage. Eight KW181 subwoofers provide extended low end, while six K12 active loudspeakers act as the on-stage monitors for The Beat’s performing musicians. Two additional K12s around the club act as out-fills for the PA.
One of Israel’s best-known music venues, The Beat regularly hosts live music from significant local artists and performers, as well as big-name artists on the international touring circuit. Every Tuesday night the club holds an ‘open mic’ night, when any artists may take the stage and perform their art, bringing only their instruments with them. For this reason, the quality of the venue’s PA, through which all of these artists have to perform, is of particular importance.
According to Doron and Erez, owners of The Beat, since the installation was carried out many artists performing in the club have noticed the improvement: “A lot of artists play at The Beat on tour, and most of the live sound engineers who’ve worked here since the summer have commented on the improved sound quality and power offered by the new QSC system. Most have liked the fact that the system produces audio at a high volume but does not hurt their ears like other nightclub PA systems.
“The sound is clear without distortion, the subs are strong but not too overpowering, and the number of people who arrive at the club is increasing from week to week.”
Gadi Kilim, head of Kilim Electronics, adds, “The use of KLA, KW and K Series loudspeakers is very convenient and efficient. Since there are no amplifiers which physically take a lot of space, and the current draw of the K Family amplifier module is so low… the QSC system is the smart solution for permanent installations, especially when the audience is located close to the stage.”
Renkus-Heinz Iconyx Draws Praise At New St. Gabriel’s Church Sanctuary
More than a decade has passed since Fr. Michael Froidurot and the planning committee at St. Gabriel’s Catholic Church in Poway, CA, set in motion their vision for a new worship space. Recently, the church unveiled their long-awaited new sanctuary to applause from the congregation and accolades from the surrounding south Poway community.
Designed in traditional cruciform style by design-build contractor T. B. Penick & Sons, Inc. and architects Hyndman & Hyndman, the church’s patience and planning are clearly evident in its beautiful architecture.
Toward the front of the church, the pulpit and altar reside beneath a massive domed wood and aluminum barreled ceiling that has been blow-torched and sanded to give it a rustic appearance. Hundreds of unfinished wood pews sit atop an expansive polished concrete floor, surrounded by a drywall interior.
The many reverberant surfaces throughout the new building posed a challenge for AMT Systems, the Santa Clarita, CA-based audio visual contractor responsible for designing and installing the church’s new audio system.
Like many contemporary churches, St. Gabriel’s incorporates music into most worship services, with live musicians and vocalists frequently featured in religious services. In addition to being aesthetically pleasing, AMT Systems had to provide a steerable system with high intelligibility and musical output.
“It’s a gorgeous looking facility, but acoustically it presented some difficult musicality and intelligibility issues,” explains Mike Shelton of AMT Systems. “Cruciform architecture presents its own special challenges. Typically you have sound bouncing all over the place, muddying the intelligibility with echoes and timing problems. It’s very hard to get even coverage in cruciform transept spaces.”
Together with St. Gabriel’s, AMT selected Renkus-Heinz Iconyx digitally steerable line array loudspeakers, with two IC32/16-R systems column-mounted on either s side of the domed ceiling.
The pastoral mics route back to a DSP processor controlled by a Crestron touch screen and iPad. All musical instrument inputs route to a Yamaha LS9 console. Both inputs remain live throughout the program or service.
Utilizing Beamware modeling software, Shelton configured shape and throw distance to direct sound to the nave and other areas that have previously been dead spaces.
Shelton reports that Beamware helped them eliminate much of the need for acoustical treatment, now only necessary on the domed ceiling to ensure maximum sound absorption from its highly reflective corrugated aluminum panels.
“The church has really perfected their use of the Iconyx technology with this audio system,” he says. “They’re extremely pleased with the musical quality and the voice intelligibility is outstanding. Everybody loves the system.”
Church Sound Files: The Fallacy Of A “Flat” System
Flat is great for home stereos, headphones and interstate highways, but sometimes not so much for church sound systems
On more than one occasion, I’ve been called to a church to inspect the facility for the purpose of designing a new sound system. Upon arrival, I discover that the church has perfectly adequate audio components that have been tuned and balanced perfectly inadequately.
It never fails - when I inform the owner that the system is fine and simply needs to be properly tuned, I get the response that the church has just paid somebody several hundred dollars to tune the system with pink noise and a computer, and thus, it is as close to “flat” as possible.
But these clients have been sold a fallacy: flat is always good, and flat is what you want.
Not so fast, and here’s why. About 40 years ago, home stereo systems began to improve exponentially. The ability of loudspeakers to exactly reproduce what was happening in the studio recording became extremely good, and providers of high-end stereo system equipment began bragging that the loudspeakers had nearly perfectly flat response. They were indicating to the potential buyer that the loudspeakers were going to exactly reproduce what the studio engineer had worked so diligently to create in the recording studio.
Without question, a stereo system with a perfectly flat response over the entire audio spectrum is indeed a wonderful thing to experience. So why is “flat” not the end-all and be-all?
As previously mentioned, the recording and mastering engineers go to great lengths to EQ every single track on a project to sonic perfection. These guys are true professionals at producing breathtaking audio, and they don’t want your home loudspeakers messing with their art. Therefore, a perfectly flat loudspeaker response should in theory reproduce a sonically perfect example of the original work.
Because many of us enjoy listening to music in the home (and some pursue sonic perfection with great zeal), it has become widely known that flat is good. Flat is desirable. Flat is what we want.
Let’s get back to our church. The technician we speak to about tuning the room tells us that he will use a computer analysis tool to determine which frequencies in the spectrum are deficient, which ones are too prevalent, and which are just right. He’ll reduce the overly prevalent and increase the deficient, until all frequencies in the audio spectrum are represented at the same decibel level. The system response is now flat. Oh good! This Sunday the sound is going to be awesome!!
But Sunday comes along and the sound is very thick, muffled and somewhat dull. Disappointment city. Why?
Because flat usually only sounds good if you’re playing a recording through it. Recall that the studio engineers went to great lengths to sonically shape the sound.
If your church is fortunate enough to have a quality console with lots of sweepable EQ on each channel and an engineer that really knows how to listen and how to mix, each individual channel can be tweaked to sound fabulous (just like they do in the studio).
On the other hand, if your console is closer to entry level and your Sunday mix engineer is a volunteer who is helpful and willing but perhaps lacks adequate experience, then it’s time to rethink the “flat” idea.
I own and use a spectrum analyzer, but the work doesn’t start there. It ends there.
First I get rid of feedback using the system EQ. Then I get rid of lingering overtones, and then I do some tonal shaping (again, using the system EQ).
How do I do this? By listening first (see my prior article about EQ). When I’ve got the system sounding as good as possible, I then fire up the Real Time Analyzer (RTA) to see what it looks like. I may find a part of the spectrum that is lower than it should be and will tweak it up a bit. Almost always, with very few exceptions, the midrange has to be reduced in relation to the lows and highs because the human ear hears mids more readily, and we need to compensate for that.
Take a listen to a quality recording of a singer you like. Notice how crisp and breathy - yet rich and full - that singer sounds. It doesn’t take a lot of listening to realize that the magical voice you have grown to love has been carefully EQ’d. We have to do the same thing with our sound systems in order to achieve that musical quality, both in speaking and in singing (and of course in all the other sound sources one can find in a church).
Technicians who tune systems by listening sometimes get a bad rap in the the pro audio industry. Computers and analysis programs are wonderful tools that help us in the field to achieve better results. There is, however, no computer that will tell you that if the sound is nasal you should reduce 1 kHz just a bit, or that if the sound is too boomy you should get rid of some level at 100 Hz.
If a technician tells you they tune by ear, ask for some references. You may be very pleasantly surprised. The system will be tuned nowhere near flat, but hopefully it will be crisp and articulate without being piercing, as well as rich, warm and full without being muddy or boomy.
Flat is great for home stereos, headphones and interstate highways. In our church sound systems, sometimes it’s better with some valleys and hills.
D.A.S. Audio Provides Sound For 28,000 At ADAC Supercross In Germany
The recent two-day ADAC Supercross motorcycle competition at the Westfalenhallen exhibition centre in Dortmund, Germany offered 360-degree sound reinforcement handled by a system headed by D.A.S. Audio line arrays.
The live event was broadcast onto huge LED screens hung in the center of the venue to bring the experience and performance of the leading drivers even closer to the more than 9,000 spectators each day. Music clips, advertisements, statements, progress reports, greetings, and awards ceremonies were recorded and broadcast to every seat in the hall, and every spectator seated around the perimeter of the venue could see at least one full unobstructed LED screen.
In addition to the need to provide 360-degree sound reinforcement, the sound design also needed to take coverage into account the distance from the spectators in the first rows, which varied between about 60 feet to 140 feet. Additional factors included the anticipated background noise stemming from the roar of 10 motocross motorbikes at a time driving past fans as well as the resulting cheering of all those spectators.
In the preliminary planning meetings for this project, it quickly became clear to Lars Schnier, D.A.S. Audio system sesigner in Germany, that, “It’s a jungle out there. The only way to win this fight is with every weapon in your arsenal at the ready.” He selected the company’s Aero 50 line arrays to cover the venue’s long throw requirements, with each array comprised of six elements.
The longer diameter of the venue was fitted on one side with Aero 12A compact powered line array enclosures and, on the other side, with an Aero 28A system to test and compare the two options. The under-balcony sound system consisted of 24 Variant 25A powered, mid-high line array elements—rigged under the galleries in order to minimize shadows in the rows furthest back.
Sixteen Lab.gruppen FP10000Q power amps—augmented by 4 Lake LM26 controllers—provided amplification and processing for the Aero 50’s as well as signal distribution to the Aero 12A and Aero 28A enclosures. This equipment was distributed throughout the ceiling areas using the accessible rigging in the hall.
All system controllers for the Aero 50 loudspeakers, along with the D.A.S. DSP-4080 signal processors for the Aero 12A and Aero 28A enclosures, were controlled by a wireless remote. At the end of the installation, Lars Schnier and his system assistant, Lucas Gripshöfer, had 24 discreet audio zones to measure, level, and bring into phase with each other: a considerable task that the two managed most efficiently.
The Aero 12A proved to be a very good loudspeaker choice for this application. The two clusters of eight Aero 12A’s were positioned to provide coverage over an angle of roughly 28 degrees. The system, as tuned and positioned by Schnier, provided consistent coverage for the entire horizontal and vertical area as far as the adjacent Aero 50 units. Checks on all the different levels during the breaks showed both systems to be complementing one another nicely—providing dropout free audio coverage throughout all areas of the venue.
The results of all of the measurements, loudspeaker placement, and fine-tuning resulted in uninterrupted views of all of the LED screens and a full-range sound system that provided the high level of speech intelligibility and even coverage throughout the venue that the various event managers, technicians, and VIP guests had hoped for—even against the background racing noise, which meant that Lars Schnier and Lucas Gripshöfer for D.A.S. Audio, in cooperation with Soundart GmbH & Co KG and HWS Veranstaltungstechnik, delivered sound quality that helped make the event a rousing success.
d&b audiotechnik Loudspeakers Upgrade Sound At The Rose Theatre In Canada
The Rose Theatre in Brampton, Ontario, is a confident combination of glass and brick that boldly reflects the city’s pride.
When it opened in 2006, the theatre came equipped with a brand new loudspeaker system but, as technical coordinator Trevor Nash explains, all was not rosy in the garden.
“Plans on paper don’t always successfully translate into real world situations,” Nash says. “There were coverage issues in several areas of the auditorium. Although adding ground stacked subwoofers and 2-way cabinets provided some acoustic improvement, sight lines were compromised as a result.”
Nash had worked with a rented d&b audiotechnik loudspeaker system from APEX Sound and Light on Jesse Cook’s Canadian tour in 2010 and thought it the right choice for the Rose.
“Having mixed on just about every type of speaker system around the world, for me the d&b product produces the best sound of them all, this was our main criteria,” he states. “However, we did obtain quotes from another manufacturer but d&b’s innovative specification, the passive boxes that reduce the amplifier count; the internal processing in d&b amplifiers that reduce the need for external processors and the compatibility with our digital consoles made the d&b choice the more cost efficient option. The clear cut winner was d&b audiotechnik.”
Nash and the Rose team made use of d&b’s ArrayCalc simulator before opting for a combination of d&b Q-Series and E-Series.
François Corbin, head of d&b Canada, explains, “They wanted to go with B2 subwoofers but when we showed them the J-SUBs in ArrayCalc they were able to reconsider their decision without incurring extra cost or wasting time at a later stage of the installation process. It’s what the ArrayCalc system is all about, providing that extra reassurance for our clients.”
The Rose Theatre is an intimate space with a capacity of 876, with a horseshoe design placing the furthest seat is only 65 feet from the stage so coverage has to be achieved without overwhelming the listener. The main array is flown high to avoid sight line issues, but Nash has been able to compensate with intelligent use of the other loudspeakers. “
The Q1’s horizontal and vertical dispersion does a great job of covering the main audience space,” Corbin notes. “The E6s cover corners just outside of the array coverage while the rotating horns of the Q10s allow us to completely cover under the balcony without conflicting with the main array.”
Nash is unambiguous about the results, “We’ve had great feedback from performers telling the audience how great everything sounds and playing longer sets as a result; engineers raving about what a pleasure it is to mix on the rig and last, but not least, audience appreciation. We have very discerning customers here at Brampton and they have always been very quick to complain in the past.”
The installation has been so well received that The Rose has gone on to purchase a mobile Q-Series system to support outdoor events staged by local community groups and the City of Brampton who have invested in a mobile stage system.
“Our outdoor events happen in many areas. There is a ‘fountain stage’ in the Garden Square directly in front of The Rose,” Nash explains. “This is in the heart of downtown and hosts many events ranging from small afternoon concerts to full production festivals and special events. We also facilitate festivals in nearby Gage Park. Our biggest event is the Brampton Canada Day celebration that usually draws ten thousand people.”
In such circumstances, flexibility is the key as Nash confirms, “The range of these shows require us to have a very versatile system. The d&b system is amazing for this much needed versatility. On a given day we could have a symphony orchestra playing in the morning, an afternoon bluegrass concert then an evening theatre performance of Shakespeare, all capped off by an evening movie under the stars. With the d&b system of complete compatibility between all their amplifiers and loudspeakers we can quickly shift to any configuration.”
Meyer Sound Low-Voltage Loudspeakers Chosen For KMPG Headquarters In Denmark
The Danish arm of KPMG, a worldwide accounting and consulting firm, makes a bold statement through its new 33,000-square-meter headquarters building in Copenhagen designed by architects 3XN.
As part of the building architecture characterized by three interlocking polygons, KPMG’s auditorium features a virtually invisible system of Meyer Sound MM-4XP miniature self-powered loudspeakers to ensure intelligibility for company presentations.
“It was a challenging room because the architects did not want any loudspeakers visible, not even color-matched ceiling grilles,” states Anders Jørgensen of Kastrup, Denmark-based Stouenborg, the firm responsible for the A/V systems. “The only place allowed for speakers was in angled lighting slots built into the ceiling design. And the only systems available that could provide the power and clarity we needed inside that small space were the Meyer Sound MM-4XP loudspeakers.”
A total of 23 MM-4XP loudspeakers are strategically spaced throughout the auditorium in four delay zones. When the room is split into two smaller spaces, 15 MM-4XP loudspeakers can be assigned to the larger room and eight to the smaller with a single touch of the Crestron touch panel.
The MM-4XP loudspeakers draw DC power from remote 48-volt MPS-488HP power supplies, making it possible for Stouenborg technicians to install the entire system with Class 2 wiring while still retaining the clear performance advantages of self-powered loudspeakers.
“There’s a metro train line directly underneath the building, and we needed to minimize possible interference,” notes Jørgensen. “The MM-4XP speakers did that and also reduced the number of rack units we normally need in the equipment room. The overall level is incredible compared to the systems typically used for ceiling speakers. The client is extremely pleased by the results.”
For video presentations, the system includes a trio of Meyer Sound UPJunior VariO loudspeakers behind each of the two video screens, with each configured as left-center-right to the ISO 2969 cinema standard. The integrated A/V systems provided by Stouenborg also include Sennheiser wireless microphone systems, DPA lectern microphones, and dual Sanyo HF10000 2K projectors.
KPMG Denmark is part of KMPG’s global network of accounting, tax advisory, and business consulting firms, with more than 138,000 employees in 150 countries worldwide.
Tannoy Unveils VLS Series Passive Column Array Loudspeakers
Tannoy has introduced the VLS Series passive column array loudspeakers offering a balance of performance and cost, when active beam-steering may neither be required nor affordable.
The VLS Series is the first Tannoy product to incorporate FAST (Focused Asymmetrical Shaping Technology), which delivers unique acoustic performance benefits. Central to this is its asymmetrical vertical dispersion, gently shaping the acoustic coverage towards the lower quadrant of the vertical axis. By the nature of a typical application, an “ideal” column loudspeaker should be biased in the vertical plane, toward the audience and away from reflective surfaces above (like ceilings) which are detrimental to intelligibility.
FAST also facilitates quicker, easier installation with less need for tilting or specific concern for optimal mounting height. Mounting is handled via supplied wall brackets.
Tannoy has packaged this performance in a slender and narrow profile, aesthetically refined, powder-coated aluminum chassis with curvilinear aluminum grille. Each model is available in either black or white as standard, with custom RAL finishes available at additional cost and lead-time.
Three models are available – VLS 7 (7 × 3.5-inch LF) designed for speech-only applications, VLS 15 (7 × 3.5-inch LF with 8 × 1-inch HF) and VLS 30 (14 × 3.5-inch LF and 16 × 1-inch HF), both of which are designed for more demanding full-range applications as well as speech.
All are IP64 rated for dust and water ingress and are salt spray and UV resistant as well as subject to rigorous high/low operational temperature and humidity testing.
Specification is aided by the addition of an exclusive Tannoy edition of EASE Focus v2.0 software, allowing systems to be designed with predictable results, along with the ability to specify VLS Series in conjunction with Tannoy’s existing column loudspeakers – including I Series and QFlex.
Meyer Sound Promotes Miguel Lourtie To European Technical Services Manager
Meyer Sound has announced Miguel Lourtie as its new European technical services manager, where he will supervise the company’s technical support team in Europe and assume primary responsibility for sales support and design services in the region.
“Customer support is paramount at Meyer Sound,” says John Monitto, Meyer Sound’s director of technical support worldwide. “Our customers expect an extremely high level of technical expertise and customer service. With his outstanding technical skills, customer rapport, experience in the field, and fluency in several languages, Miguel is a great fit to lead our technical group in Europe.”
Lourtie joined Meyer Sound European technical services in 2007, and has played a vital role in supporting a number of major Meyer Sound projects across the continent, including the Mantziusgården Culture Center, Montreux Jazz Festival, and the Grimaldi Forum. He also serves as a seminar instructor as part of Meyer Sound’s extensive education program.
Prior to joining Meyer Sound, Lourtie founded Lourisom, an audio consulting and distribution business in Portugal and previously a Meyer Sound distributor.
“To ensure a seamless show, high-quality audio tools and the person driving the system are equally crucial,” says Lourtie. “The Meyer Sound tech support network has some of the best sound engineers in the industry, and I look forward to working even more closely with them to help our customers get the best out of their Meyer Sound equipment.”
Lourtie will continue to be based in Lisbon, Portugal.
The Right Sonic Blend For An Electronic Ensemble & The New York Philharmonic
Reinforcing the live performance of a motion picture score at Avery Fisher Hall in Lincoln Center
The Philip Glass Ensemble, along with members of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and the Collegiate Chorale symphonic choir, recently performed Glass’ powerful score for the 1982 landmark motion picture “Koyaanisqatsi: Life Out Of Balance” as the film screened at Avery Fisher Hall in Lincoln Center.
The two exclusive live performances (and screenings), held on consecutive nights for sold-out audiences at the 2,738-seat home venue of the Philharmonic, presented some sound reinforcement challenges.
The hall does not have a house system, yet the Philip Glass Ensemble, founded by composer Glass in the late 1960s to perform his experimental minimalist music, is always amplified when playing live.
As a result, Dan Dryden, long-time front-of-house engineer for the ensemble, worked with Audio Production Services of Amawalk, NY to design a reinforcement system to serve the unique needs of the event while fitting within the scope of the hall.
“With an event like this you want all of the instruments, acoustic and electronic, to sound like they belong together,” Dryden explains. “The sound system needs to be clean and consistent, in addition to being capable of covering the entire hall without impeding any stage site lines.”
He adds that, in general, he prefers the footprint of compact line arrays, and following a site review, decided that approach would work for this project as well. The choice was the compact RCF TT+ Series, with single arrays each comprised of 10 TTL31-A modules flown left and right, attached to the overhead stage grid.
A view of Avery Fischer Hall with the main RCF TTL31-A arrays flown to each side of the stage. (click to enlarge)
“When specifying systems for the ensemble I’m looking for smaller line arrays with flat frequency response,” explains Dryden. “These were perfect. The low-mid frequencies are rich and warm, and the coverage was excellent.”
The overall footprint of these arrays indeed was relatively miniscule, measuring just less than two feet wide by only about 10 feet deep. The self-powered, 2-way active line array modules are outfitted with a single-8-inch cone driver and three compression drivers feeding a horn with horizontal dispersion of 100 degrees. They proved capable of covering all four levels of seating (main and three balconies) as well as boxes.
“The arrays had no problem throwing all of the way to the back row of the top balcony without any need for delay fills. We had plenty of power for the space,” Dryden states.
The mains were joined by four RCF TTS56-A dual 21-inch subwoofers, two side-by-side on each side of the stage, and each of these sub sets hosted a single TT25 compact powered loudspeaker supplying in fill presence, particularly for higher frequencies.
The house loudspeaker complement was completed with front fill via four TT052-A low-profile 2-way loudspeakers deployed evenly along the front lip of the stage.
The ensemble, positioned centrally on stage, was comprised of eight players, including three on keyboards, three more on woodwinds, one soprano vocalist, and for this show, a bass vocalist. The orchestra’s 30-piece string section and 19-piece brass section, as well as the 40-member choir, resided in a semi-circle around them.
Each string instrument – violas, cellos and double bass – was outfitted with a DPA 4061 omnidirectional miniature clip-on microphone, while Sennheiser MD 421 II dynamic mics were stand-mounted for each trumpet, trombone, French horn, bass trombone and tuba in the brass section. Each two vocalists of the choir shared a Shure SM58 mic, also stand-mounted.
A closer look at one of the compact arrays that provided the advantage of a minimal footprint. (click to enlarge)
The ensemble feeds went directly to both front-of-house and monitor consoles, with Dryden manning a Yamaha PM5D board for house and Stephen Erb on another PM5D for monitors.
All of the orchestra and choir feeds (more than 80), meanwhile, routed to a DiGiCo D1 Live console. There, Dan Bora did a mix of the individual stems that were then supplied to the house and monitor consoles.
“One big challenge for a performance of this scale is the number of inputs,” Dryden notes. “In this case we decided to utilize a sub mix, which ended up being a very big job. Not only did Dan Bora have to make sure signal integrity and placement of each of the microphones were good, but the mixes provided to house and monitors were key to the sonic performance.”
All effects were supplied via the PM5D consoles with the exception of a Lexicon 300 reverb at front-of-house that Dryden likes to apply to certain passages or sections.
The ensemble on stage surrounded by the orchestra and choir during one of the performances of “Koyaanisqatsi.” (click to enlarge)
“The Lexicon algorithms are excellent,” he says. “I’ve used Lexicons forever – for me they’re the smoothest, best-sounding digital reverbs.”
Monitor engineer Erb fed mixes to 12 dBTechnologies DVX D12 powered 2-way loudspeakers that acted as stage monitors for the ensemble - keyboards, woodwinds, soprano vocal and bass vocal.
The strings, brass and chorus sections were served monitor mixes with stand-mounted dBTechnologies K70 multipurpose ultra-compact loudspeakers (also powered).
Dryden reports that the project produced the results he was seeking. “I think it’s always important to remember that you need to work with a room rather than try to impose your will upon it,” he concludes. “In this case, it’s a terrific room and, when equipped with the right system, it sounded fantastic. The musicians in the symphony and the chorus added so much to the ensemble’s performance. It all added up to a lot of fun.”
Julie McLean Clark is a writer and marketing consultant working who has worked in the pro audio industry for more than 15 years.
Community Delivers Sound Throughout New Salvation Army Kroc Center (Includes Video)
McDonald’s founders Ray and Joan Kroc were known for supporting a variety of charitable causes, and their legacy continues with a multi-billion dollar donation to the Salvation Army for the construction of several community centers in cities across America.
The latest Kroc Center, recently opened in North Philadelphia, is one of the largest facilities of its kind on the East Coast, with 130,000 square feet that includes a world-class aquatics center, fitness center, worship and performing arts facilities, café and culinary education center, as well as a wide range of programs for kids, adults and senior citizens.
Quality sound reinforcement was also a big part of the plan for the facility, explains Joe Zamborsky of RTS Unified Communications, which specified a selection of Community Professional Loudspeakers for the project, including R-Series, WET-Series and CLOUD6 in-ceiling systems to cover the pool areas, worship center, fitness center gymnasium and numerous other areas.
“In any major project like this one, there are a number of challenges,” says Zamborsky. Clearly, the project’s tight six-month schedule was a demanding one, as was the need to be exceptionally flexible in the face of numerous logistical challenges.
“On more than one occasion, plans had to be altered due to unforeseen surprises during the construction process. “The number one most important thing is communication,” he observes. “We maintained a daily, ongoing dialogue with everyone involved in the project, and that was key to our ability to keep things moving.”
The Community loudspeakers fit the bill on multiple levels, says Zamborsky, “particularly in the pool areas, which combined a tremendously reverberant environment with an exceptionally high humidity, the R-Series was the only choice. Not only do they look great, but they sound terrific.”
The competition pool area offered up additional challenges as well. “Aside from having to cover the pool area itself, we were tasked with creating a separate system to cover the stands, which are tucked away in their own alcove,” Zamborsky adds. “We chose the Community WET Series to cover that area, because they provided both a tight, focused coverage pattern and a high degree of intelligibility.”
Audio Video Electronics Implements Tannoy QFlex At St. Frances Basilica
Home to one of the oldest Catholic congregations in the United States, the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi is sometimes referred to as the heart of Santa Fe, and for good reason. Although the Cathedral Basilica was dedicated in 1887, the site has been a focal point of worship for the community since 1610.
The first church built where the current structure now stands was destroyed during the Pueblo Indian Revolt of 1680, but another was built to replace it in 1714; a portion of which still stands within the existing building – a small adobe chapel dedicated to Our Lady La Conquistadora housing the oldest representation of the Virgin Mary in the nation.
In addition to serving the spiritual needs of it’s own congregation, the Cathedral Basilica’s rich history attracts approximately 100,000 visitors annually. As beautiful as the Cathedral is, however, for some years it has had a problem, says Wanda Vint, Director, Development and Donor Relations at the Cathedral Basilica. Put bluntly: “You couldn’t clearly hear the word of God.”
With the August 2011 installation of a state of the art sound system that depends heavily on a pair of Tannoy QFlex digitally steerable column arrays that’s all changed.
The major thrust behind the project was a 2009 visit made by the Cathedral’s Rev. Monsignor Jerome Martinez y Alire to the Basilica of Saint Mary in Minneapolis. Surprised that such an old and similarly acoustically reverberant space could sound so good, he asked who had designed and installed the system and was referred to Minnesota-based, Audio Video Electronics (AVE).
The project that initially caught the Monsignor’s ear was undertaken before QFlex was available, explains Kevin Crow, AVE’s VP of sales and marketing, but both spaces had similar issues: “In the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, the RT was 5 to 6 seconds in the mid frequency band.”
In order to meet the Cathedral Basilica’s needs, Stefan Svard, AVE President and system designer, specified a pair of Tannoy QFlex 40s. Placed on a pair of columns roughly 6 feet above the floor just in front of the altar, the QFlex provide coverage to approximately 75 percent of the 1200-capacity, 90 - 65 foot space. They also provide low frequency support throughout the nave, the south transept, and the Our Lady La Conquistadora chapel.
Additionally, smaller Community Entasys arrays were installed as rear fills for the nave, and to provide reinforcement for the chapel and other ancillary spaces.
Basic EQ, tuning and system commissioning was done via Tannoy’s proprietary VNET software, with the processing handled by the onboard DSP within each QFlex, Svard says, but the system also incorporates a Lectrosonics Aspen DSP to handle mic mixing for the Earthwerks FM series podium condenser microphones specified by AVE, and matrixing for both the QFlex 40 and the additional fill speakers. The Lectrosonics Aspen is controlled by an iPad, which allows users to adjust volume levels easily depending on the type of service in progress, how much of the space is in use and the number of congregants present at any given time.
Naturally, the Cathedral Basilica’s atmosphere had an impact on the choice of QFlex, as did the ability to diagnose any issues the church might have using the QFlex array’s remote monitoring capabilities. But the main reason for choosing QFlex, Svard says, was experience. When he first heard QFlex he was cautious in his assessment. After a shootout with a competitor’s product in a St. Cloud, Minnesota house of worship, however, his opinion changed.
“We’ve done a number of Catholic churches, going back 6 or 7 years, using various steerable array products. Every product has strong points and weak points, but in that case, Tannoy’s QFlex was the clear winner.”
“If I’m in the front, middle or back of a room, the EQ that I need to correct is the same,” he continues. “Other products I’ve used shift in character. QFlex is the only product of its kind that retains its frequency response – its spectral consistency – across its coverage pattern.”
The result is a dramatic improvement in speech intelligibility and the sound quality of both background music and live performances by the Cathedral Basilica’s choir. Still, Vint was concerned some parishioners would not welcome the technology, particularly those who were uncertain they needed a new system, or that it might detract from the church’s historic atmosphere. “But the sound is so clear, we haven’t had any complaints at all.”
Monsignor Jerome Martinez y Alire is equally satisfied: “The sound quality is incredible, as is the appearance of the loudspeakers themselves. We were concerned about how modern speakers would look in such an old, historic church – with custom paint finish to match our walls they all but disappear. The clear, audible sound is a gift to our parishioners and visitors alike.”
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