Friday, June 13, 2014

Michael Doucot Named Product Marketing Manager, Electro-Voice Portable Sound – North America

Moves into this key marketing role after a successful 10 years in customer service and sales with the company

Michael Doucot has been named product marketing manager, Electro-Voice Portable Sound – North America. The announcement was made by Bosch Security Systems, Communications Systems Division

Doucot moves into this key marketing role after a successful 10 years in customer service and sales with the company, most recently as a regional sales manager for the central U.S. region. He will continue to be based at EV HQ in Burnsville, MN.

Doucot’s new responsibilities include the development and implementation of marketing strategies for EV retail products – including portable loudspeakers, microphones, electronics, serving as a focal point for the voice of customer.


Posted by Keith Clark on 06/13 at 04:27 AM
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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Martin Audio MLA Goes The Distance At BottleRock 2014

Main system needed to deliver throw of 600 feet

Under new management, BottleRock 2014 provided three days of exceptional music without any of the problems that affected last year’s trial launch. As Jason Alt of Delicate Productions, provider of audio, video and lighting for the event points out, “This year’s festival was smoother, more organized and better run. Participating vendors and artists were taken care of in advance and everyone had a very positive festival experience.”

The eclectic lineup for the festival included The Cure, Outkast, Weezer, TV On The Radio, Heart, Third Eye Blind, Blues Traveler, Spin Doctors, Gin Blossoms and dozens more bands, solo artists and comedians that spanned a range of styles and musical generations.

Once again, Delicate provided Martin Audio MLA and MLA Compact loudspeaker systems for the two main sponsored stages, Toshiba and Sprint, to ensure proper coverage within the festival grounds and output control to prevent noise overspill in surrounding residential neighborhoods.

“The city of Napa didn’t have a noise ordinance until after last year’s event and we teamed with the city to establish one that would work for the festival and the city,” Alt explains. “We came up with 105 dB C-weighted at front of house, 110 feet from the stage, measured over an hour period average. This gave us enough latitude for bands to get louder for ten minutes at a time, which allowed for dynamics within that average without adversely affecting any artist’s performance.

“None of the artists or engineers had any issues with the noise ordinance. Even with the newly imposed time restrictions of stopping by 10 pm, the festival went really well. And we had no noise complaints from those living near the festival site either.”

Part of this year’s new PA guidelines included removing the delay towers from the main stage to eliminate excess noise, which had no negative impact on coverage according to Alt. “It made the throw for MLA about 600 feet and the system still performed really well. The audience listening experience didn’t suffer at all. People were able to hear it and everything sounded really consistent and clear.”

The Toshiba main stage system included two arrays per side, each consisting of 16 Martin Audio MLA and two MLD (downfill) enclosures; 24 ground-stacked MLX subwoofers; 12 W8LM speakers for front fill; two clusters for side fill, each containing four W8C, four W8CS compact subs, and two WS218X subs; and six MLA Compact each as side hangs.

An Avid Profile 96/24 console was used for front of house, and Yamaha PM5D-RH, DSP5D and Avid Venue 48/24 consoles were on hand for monitors. Six Shure UHF-R wireless systems with SM58 capsules were also part of the main stage setup.

For the second (Sprint) stage, Delicate combined 18 Martin Audio MLA Compact enclosures per side with 12 DSX ground-stacked subs; two side fill clusters containing two W8Cs, two W8CS compact subs and a WS218X sub; four W8LCs for front fill and Martin Audio LE1200S and LE2100S stage monitors to complete the package.

“I enjoyed the system a lot,” says Outkast FOH engineer Darcy Khan. “The most important thing was the clarity at 200 feet. I was skeptical about that because a lot of line arrays claim to have it but don’t deliver. And this is the only system I’ve come across that can produce enough low end with just 24 subs, but the way Delicate set it up with that block across the front of the stage, it was there. I was very pleased with it, the system really delivered the goods.”

Concluding, Alt adds, “Overall the MLA’s performance exceeded our expectations. Everybody was very impressed with what the system was able to do and all of the engineers, many of whom were new to the system, had a great mixing experience with it.”

Martin Audio
Delicate Productions

Posted by Keith Clark on 06/12 at 04:09 PM
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PreSonus Celebrates Opening Of New Headquarters

Company unveils facilities to research, innovate, and develop its next generation of audio products

Music-industry VIPs, business-community leaders, and PreSonus employees, distributors, and dealers converged on Baton Rouge at the end of April to celebrate the grand opening of the company’s new headquarters.

Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal opened the ceremonies, and PreSonus chairman of the board Kevin Couhig, CEO Jim Mack, co-founder/chief strategy officer Jim Odom, and co-founder/VP of manufacturing Brian Smith each offered their thoughts about the new building at 18011 Grand Bay Court, just off Highland Road.

“This new facility enables us to continue to grow PreSonus and at the same time improve the lives of our staff,” Mack stated. “Its architectural design enables us to work better as a team, be more productive and better create, market, and sell our products.”

“We now have the facilities to research, innovate, and develop the next generation of music and audio products,” Odom added.

Designed by local architects Ritter Maher, LLC, and developed by Moniotte Investments, the new 44,000-square-foot building cost approximately $8.8 million, including land and development.

Among the unique features is a specialized high-tech recording studio/R&D space that was custom-designed for PreSonus’ engineering and testing teams by the Walters-Storyk Design Group of Highland Park, NY. The 2,500-square-foot studio features a control room, a 500-square-foot live-sound room, two isolation rooms, a video-production suite, and five test labs, as well as a separate 1,500-square-foot live sound room.

The grand opening celebration used virtually every inch of the building, with live bands entertaining the crowd in the parking lot, the foyer, and the live sound room, as well as jamming in the studio. Featured performers included Tab Benoit (backed by Louisiana’s LeRoux, with Jim Odom on guitar), Edwin McCain, Briana Tyson, and Chris LeBlanc.

The PreSonus management team with Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal in front of new PreSonus headquarters in Baton Rouge.


PreSonus employees, distributors, and dealers converged on Baton Rouge at the end of April to celebrate the grand opening of the company

Posted by Keith Clark on 06/12 at 02:11 PM
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Harman Professional Names Erik Tarkiainen As Vice President, Global Marketing

Leading marketing strategy and execution across the professional division and driving new initiatives

Harman Professional has appointed Erik Tarkiainen as vice president of global marketing, where he is leading global marketing strategy and execution across the professional division and driving new initiatives in online marketing, social media, public relations, events marketing and education.

Tarkiainen will operate from Harman’s Northridge, CA facility and will report to chief marketing officer Ralph Santana and president Blake Augsburger.

He comes to Harman Pro with a strong background in audio technology. His experience includes serving as vice president of marketing communications for Line 6 as well as co-founding audio processing and music effects company iZotope. Most recently he was vice president for lynda.com, an online education company. He has also held marketing and product management roles at Bose and Cakewalk.

In addition to his executive career, Tarkiainen currently serves as an adjunct professor of marketing at California State University. He holds an MBA from Boston University and a BSEE from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with graduate studies in acoustics and signal processing at Penn State.

“Erik Tarkiainen is an excellent addition to a strong team and I am confident he will lead a comprehensive program that couples Harman’s unique heritage and depth with progressive, entrepreneurial and engaging communications,” says Augsburger. “Harman Professional has made strong advances on the product and organizational aspects of our business and now is the time to effectively position and promote the unique value we bring to partners and customers around the world. Erik is just the leader to take on that role.”

Santana adds, “Erik’s background in audio, marketing and digital strategy positions him as a unique person for this role.  His experience will help us elevate our brand communications and educational programs. Most importantly, he will evangelize our emerging technologies and platforms in a way that solidifies Harman’s global reputation in new and exciting ways.”

Tarkiainen states, “It’s an honor to represent the legendary brands in the Harman Professional portfolio. Through a combination of digital and traditional marketing, I look forward to extending our reach and introducing our products and services to customers and partners across the globe.”

Harman Professional

Posted by Keith Clark on 06/12 at 09:59 AM
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EightyTwo Lounge In LA Bolsters Reputation With QSC Sound

QSC loudspeakers with Q-Sys Core 250i processing

QSC Audio K Series and AcousticDesign Series loudspeakers are delivering tunes to the gamers at EightyTwo, a new 4,000-square-foot classic video arcade and pinball bar that recently opened in LA’s Downtown Arts District.

EightyTwo—a reference to 1982, the peak year of the golden age of arcade games—offers a DJ, a dance floor and video games in one room with pinball machines in another room, with the sound system controlled by a Q-Sys Core 250i integrated platform.

EightyTwo features more than 40 period arcade games from the 1980s, such as Donkey Kong, Ms. Pac-Man, and Space Invaders from the personal collection of Scott Davids, who co-owns the venue with Noah Sutcliffe. Across the 1,700-square-foot outdoor patio is a roomful of vintage pinball machines supplied by “Pinball Molly” Atkinson, owner of the Pins and Needles arcade in Echo Park.

Design and installation services for the project were completed by Gridworks, a professional AVL company located in Torrance, CA at the recommendation of Ben Frederick from Audio Geer.

According to Christopher Johnson, VP of sales for Gridworks, the sound design focused on adding power to the dance floor: “We have two K8s and a KW181 sub local to the dance floor and there are two K8s along the wall where the patio is, shooting into the venue and providing support for the back of the room.

“We also added a KSub for low frequency response in the back of the room and all of the full range speakers are at the ceiling line, including the ones fixed on the wall,” he adds.

A pair of AcousticDesign AD-S52 five-inch, two-way surface-mount speakers provide fill along the side wall by the bar. “We added the AcousticDesign speakers because we wanted to fill in the space so there wasn’t a dead spot and maintain the sound quality, but keep the sound levels lower so that people could actually talk and order at the bar,” Johnson explains.

In the pinball room at the rear of the venue, Gridworks installed two K8s at opposite ends of the room, hung from the ceiling facing downwards, with a KSub for low end response. “It’s a smaller room, so one KSub for that area was fine,” says Johnson. “That room is kept at about 85% of the volume of the main room.”

“We installed a Q-Sys Core 250i as the brains of the operation; that gave us a couple of different options,” he adds. “We could scale the project if they want us to, and it allowed us to use a wireless router connected to Q-Sys to give them control of the system from their iPad. They are able to adjust the levels independently in each area or for the whole system.”

Gridworks provided several level presets with programmed crossfades that can be selected according to the number of customers and time of day.

In addition to the main input from the DJ booth there is also an audio input in the staff room that allows different music to be played in the back room or just in the restrooms. “We added a parametric EQ for both of the inputs that will allow Scott and Noah to fine tune each input to their liking.” says Johnson.

Gridworks also installed an Extron Electronics MAV 84 AV 8x4 Video & Stereo Audio switcher that allows video feeds from some of the games to be projected onto the wall above the bar. This switcher is controlled by Lua script sending command codes via the RS-232 out of the Core 250i. “They’ve even had a DJ doing some video mixing use the system,” Johnson notes, “A video feed from the DJ booth allows connection to the projectors for just this purpose.”

Johnson says the response to the new audio system has been great. “The comments that we’ve gotten back, both from the owners and from guests are that they really like the fact that the music can be loud, and clear enough that you can still have a conversation.”

QSC Audio

Posted by Keith Clark on 06/12 at 04:43 AM
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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

North American Debut At InfoComm 2014 For New L-Acoustics K2 With PANFLEX Technology

New line source with horizontal steering

The upcoming InfoComm 2014 show in Las Vegas will mark the official North American debut of the new L-Acoustics K2 line source array loudspeaker system featuring PANFLEX horizontal steering technology. (L-Acoustics is at booth C11908.)

The successor to V-DOSC, K2 offers K1 performance in a rescaled package that makes it well-suited for both permanent installation and touring applications, from theatre to stadium productions. The primary system components include:

—K2 full-range element with PANFLEX horizontal steering, operating from 35 Hz to 20 kHz

—K1-SB low-frequency element reinforcing LF contour down to 30 Hz or LF throw down to 35 Hz

—SB28 low-frequency element extending the operating bandwidth down to 25 Hz

—LA4X / LA8 amplified controllers or LA-RAK touring rack fitted with three LA8

The K2 also benefits from L-Acoustics Wavefront Sculpture Technology (WST). Inter-element angles can be set with high accuracy up to a generous 10 degrees, allowing the optimization of the vertical coverage with SPL smoothly spread across the audience.

PANFLEX is a new, unique horizontal steering technology that combines mechanically adjustable fins with DSP algorithms effective from 300 Hz. Four different settings are possible: two symmetric (70 or 110 degrees) and two asymmetric (90 degrees as 35/55 or 55/35). Narrowing or widening the horizontal directivity can serve many purposes: adapt to the width of the listening area, fit long and short distance coverage/SPL requirements, reduce or extend overlapping areas, and avoid reflecting surfaces.

By combining WST and PANFLEX, K2 addresses the control of directivity in both vertical and horizontal planes. As a result, it can match the complex shape of any audience geometry with quality sonic performance and minimum noise pollution.

With a three-way quad-amplified design, the K2 enclosure can be deployed as a standalone line source. For applications demanding additional LF impact (contour mode), or maximized LF projection (throw mode), K2 can be arrayed with its dedicated and flyable K1-SB LF extension. The K2 system can also address applications with demanding infrasonic reproduction when combined with the SB28 subwoofer.

System configurations can be acoustically and mechanically modeled with SOUNDVISION 3D simulation software.

For touring applications, K2 can be associated to the LA-RAK, a universal distribution platform for power, audio signals and network that facilitates cross rental between rental companies. LA-RAK houses three LA8 amplified controllers and can be flown onto a K2 array. Other applications can feature LA8 amplified controllers.

For installation projects, K2 can also be driven by the LA4X amplified controller. The scheme authorizes fully discrete DSP treatment per section and maximum power headroom for the best possible sonic performance.

With its dedicated factory presets, the LA8/LA4X amplified controller constitutes an advanced drive system for the enclosures.

Up to 253 LA8/LA4X amplified controllers can be connected together via the Ethernet-based L-NET protocol. LA Network Manager software allows online remote control and monitoring of all the connected units via an intuitive graphic interface. The Array Morphing EQ tool allows engineers to quickly adjust the tonal balance of the system to reach a reference curve or to ensure consistency of the sonic signature.


Posted by Keith Clark on 06/11 at 04:56 PM
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Horizontal & Vertical: Attaining Uniform Coverage

We have a big job with a small budget. One loudspeaker. How hard could it be? The goal is straightforward: uniform coverage over the seating area, i.e., minimum variance over the space.

There are four answers required for our specification: horizontal and vertical aim, horizontal and vertical coverage. We seek to match the loudspeaker coverage shape to the audience shape. The audience shape is visible. Loudspeaker coverage, not so much. Let’s work on defining the loudspeaker shape in terms of uniformity over the space.

Standard Lines Of Variance
The propagation of a single loudspeaker can be described by four standard lines of variance (Figure 1) in each plane:

• Forward variance line—between 0 dB and -6 dB in a forward direction

• Radial variance line—between 0 dB and -6 dB on an equidistant radius

• Lateral variance line—between 0 dB and -6 dB on a straight line perpendicular to the loudspeaker

• Minimum variance line—between 0 dB and 0 dB in a forward, radial or lateral direction

Figure 1: Standard lines of variance.

The forward radial and lateral variance lines are all maximum acceptable variance lines (0 dB to -6 dB). The minimum variance line for a single loudspeaker is derived by linking the location milestones: ONAXfar (the -6 dB end of the forward line) and OFFAXnear (the -6 dB end of the radial/lateral line). The key is that both ends of the line are the same, hence minimum variance.

It’s tempting to think of the horizontal and vertical planes as simply two versions of the same story. Our approach to coverage belies the fact that these are vastly different from our perspective. The key difference is how we reach the people.

In the horizontal plane we plow the coverage through the front rows to the back. The path of propagation flows over the shape and it matters whether or not our coverage shape matches the room shape. We need wide enough coverage to fill the width at the front row and yet we don’t want to overflow when we reach the rear.

By contrast, the vertical plane is only one person deep (lap child excepted). It doesn’t matter if our coverage is too narrow a few meters above the audience, just as it doesn’t matter if we have excess overlap when the lines of coverage hit the basement. We evaluate the shapes in fundamentally different ways, and will use the different versions of the loudspeaker shapes as required to fill them.

Horizontal Room Shape
The horizontal room shape is evaluated as a solid, a container to fill. We design to the audience seating plan (not the walls). The macro shape is depth by width: the distance from the loudspeaker to the last seat versus audience width at the midpoint depth. The loudspeaker’s coverage shape seeks to approach this dimensional ratio.

A rectangle shape is the easiest to evaluate since the beginning, middle and ending width are the same. A splayed room (trapezoid) uses the mid-point width, as would other variations around the basic rectangle. A narrow fan-shaped room can be approached this way, but a wide fan can’t easily be characterized as having a mid-point width. If a fan shape resists rectangular approximation then it is probably a bad candidate for a single loudspeaker (a helpful correlation).

Vertical Room Shape
The vertical room shape is evaluated as the head height coverage line from the front row to the last seat. The shape is evaluated as angular spread (from top seat to bottom seat in degrees) and range ratio (the difference in distance from top seat to bottom seat). If the shape is too complex to be evaluated like this then a single loudspeaker is a bad choice.

Horizontal Aim
The horizontal aim target is defined as the middle/middle (middle seat at the midpoint depth). If the loudspeaker is centered on the shape, then the aim point is obviously along the front/back center line. If the loudspeaker is not centered, then the asymmetry is best balanced by aiming through the midpoint center. For every inch we move off center, we must pan the loudspeaker inward to cross the mid-point depth. This assures equal distribution of the over and/or under coverage.

Vertical Aim
The vertical aim is found by the range compensated coverage method (Figure 2). Consider the vertical bottom (VBOT) of coverage to be 0 degrees (relative). Our example coverage target is 50 degrees, so the range is from 0 degrees at the vertical bottom (VBOT) to 50 degrees at the vertical top (VTOP), with a midpoint of 25 degrees (ONAX). If the range ratio from VTOP to VBOT is 1:1 (0 dB) then the aim point is the vertical center of the coverage line: 25 degrees.

Figure 2: Vertical aim and coverage calculations.

As range ratio rises, the aim point gradually moves upward toward the farthest point. A range ratio of 1.4 (3 dB) moves the aim point upward by a factor of 1.4 (+40 percent) to 35 degrees (10 degrees above the original aim). Increasing the ratio further raises the aim until the 2:1 limit is reached, and the loudspeaker is aiming at 50 degrees (VTOP).

Horizontal Coverage Angle
There are three logical points to evaluate coverage: start, middle and end (Figure 3). If we use the start, our loudspeaker covers the front fully but is too wide for every row beyond. We may drown in reflections as coverage overflows to the side walls.

Figure 3: Horizontal aim and coverage example (2:1 depth/width, 60 degrees, variable location).

The opposite extreme is the rear width as reference. We have just enough coverage across the back (6 dB variance) and not enough anywhere else. Reflections are minimized, but tell that to the half of the audience that has no coverage.

Using the mid-point width as the reference evens out the errors. The result is 6 dB of level variance across the midpoint depth. If the shape is a simple rectangle then the front half will be under-covered and back half over-covered in equal proportion.

Reflection risk rises in the rear while coverage gap risk rises in front. The gaps in the front corners can be reduced if the loudspeaker is raised in the vertical plane (which expands the effective coverage width).

Alternatively we can beg for fill loudspeakers to plug the gaps. Both the underage and overage errors are reduced if the room has expanding splay walls.

Vertical Coverage Angle
The vertical aim was determined above and we will reuse the 50-degree coverage shape example (Figure 4). The minimum variance coverage angle is found by range ratio multiplication of the target angular spread.

Figure 4: Vertical aim and coverage example (50-degree spread, variable range ratio).

If the ratio is 1:1, then the loudspeaker coverage angle equals the target angle: 50 degrees. The ONAX location will be 0 dB and the VTOP and VBOT locations will each be –6 dB. A wider loudspeaker will reduce the level variance, which can be weighed against the potential for increased reflections. 

A range ratio of 1.4 (3 dB) moves the minimum coverage angle upward by a factor of 1.4 (+40 percent) to 71 degrees. Recall that the loudspeaker is now aimed above the vertical midpoint; therefore we need a wider loudspeaker to reach the bottom. The loudspeaker coverage angle rises proportionally with range ratio until the limit is reached at 2:1, and we have a 100-degree loudspeaker (a 2:1 ratio of the original 50-degree loudspeaker coverage) aiming at the top row.

ONAX is now at VTOP and both are -6 dB. VBOT is also -6 dB. Level variance is minimized while risk of reflections is maximized. If the reflections are too great then a single loudspeaker approach should be abandoned in favor of an array.

Bob McCarthy has been designing and tuning sound systems for over 30 years. His book Sound Systems: Design and Optimization is available at Focal Press (www.focalpress.com). He lives in NYC and is the director of system optimization for Meyer Sound.

Posted by Keith Clark on 06/11 at 01:08 PM
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Mackie Extends SRM Professional Line With Two New Dual-Woofer Designs (Includes Video)

New 1,600-watt dual 15-inch full-range model and dual 18-inch subwoofer

Mackie has launched two new 1,600-watt, high-output additions to its popular SRM Professional Series of powered loudspeakers—the SRM750 dual 15-inch full-range loudspeaker and the SRM2850 dual 18-inch subwoofer.

Both new models benefit from the features and technology of the SRM family, which also includes the SRM550, SRM650 and SRM1850. This includes a 1,600-watt amp platform paired with custom transducers housed within professional-grade, internally-braced all-wood cabinets.

Like all SRM full-range boxes, the SRM750 incorporates proprietary Mackie HD Audio Processing, a powerful DSP that includes patented acoustic correction algorithms for high-definition sound plus system optimization tools like application-specific loudspeaker modes and an accurate feedback destroyer. It also includes an integrated 2-channel mixer with Mackie Wide-Z inputs. 

The SRM2850 dual 18-inch subwoofer delivers high output LF performance, making it highly suitable for applications such as stacked rigs at festivals, clubs and other live sound applications.

“These are truly the big boys of the SRM family, with the raw power and speaker configurations that high-output applications demand,” states John Boudreau, Mackie SVP. “The powerful dual-woofer designs can really move some air. They’re perfect for festivals and clubs. Stack two SRM2850 subs with an SRM750 on top for an amazingly high-output and great-sounding stacked PA.”

The new Mackie SRM750 and SRM2850 will be available soon at authorized Mackie dealers. The SRM750 has a U.S. MSRP of $1,499.99 and the SRM2850 has a U.S. MSRP of $1,999.99.




Posted by Keith Clark on 06/11 at 12:45 PM
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RCF Line Arrays For Toledo’s Hollywood Casino Spotlight Summer Nights Series

Situation calls for exceptional sound control and reproduction

For the second consecutive year, the Hollywood Casino in Toledo, OH is presenting the Spotlight Summer Nights series of concerts in an open-air setting on the banks of the Ohio River, with scheduled headliners including Smokey Robinson, .38 Special, Night Ranger, Travis Tritt, Wilson Phillips, George Thorogood, Pat Benatar, Everclear, Soul Asylum, Chevelle, and Robby Krieger’s Jam Kitchen.

Toledo-based Great Lakes Sound, in tandem with the casino, has put together a sound reinforcement system for the series that’s headed by RCF line arrays joined by dB Technologies subwoofers to provide coverage in a space that’s a re-purposed parking lot with temporary staging and seating, with an interstate running behind it. It’s a situation calling for exceptional sound control and reproduction.

Specifically, the main system incorporates eight RCF TTL33-A active 3-way line array elements flown per side, joined by eight dB Technologies DVA-S30N dual 18-inch subs. Sets of RCF 4PRO 6001 loudspeakers coupled with a dB Technologies DVA-S20DP subwoofer deliver side fill, with the stage outfitted with dB Technologies DVX DM15 active monitors.

“On delivery day the system was rigged and immediately put to the test,” notes Great Lakes Sound owner Bill Robison. “The dB Technologies DVA-S30S subwoofers do a great job and are a perfect compliment. The system is quick and easy to install. Also, because all of the boxes in the system are powered, our normal footprint is greatly reduced. This is nice because it’s a pretty cozy venue in terms of backstage and wing space.”

He adds, “So far, all of the traveling engineers who have mixed on the system have had pleasant things to say about the RCF and dB Technologies package.”

Because the loudspeakers are flown on a temporary basis, RCF RDNet is a critical component, with the RS-485 proprietary protocol allowing for monitoring and control of components and parameters. As the rig is flown for a show, on-board amplifiers and each individual transducer can be tested to be verified as being in proper working order. And, Robison is able to meet with each performer’s front-of-house engineer during rehearsal walk-through and quickly apply any necessary changes needed in the system.

dB Technologies

Posted by Keith Clark on 06/11 at 08:22 AM
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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Community Professional R-Series Loudspeakers Deployed At Three World Cup 2014 Stadiums

Chosen for all-weather reliability, well-defined coverage, and high intelligibility.

Community Professional R-Series loudspeakers are being utilized at three stadiums hosting matches for the upcoming FIFA World Cup soccer (football) tournament in Brazil.

Estádio Mineirão, a 62,160-seat stadium in the Brazilian city of Belo Horizonte, underwent an extensive renovation over the past couple of years that includes a new sound reinforcement system. Soundvision Engineering, the largest professional audio and video contract integrator in Brazil, was commissioned by contract holder Emílio Miranda of Johnson Controls Brazil to design and install the system.

Soundvision CEO Antonio Tadeu Torquato and new business manager Leandro Freire carried out an extensive evaluation of loudspeakers, choosing Community R2 full-range loudspeakers designed for large outdoor applications such as stadiums, basing their choice on all-weather reliability, well-defined coverage, and high intelligibility.

Specifically, the main system incorporates 24 loudspeakers clusters, each with four or five R2s. In total, the project includes 24 model R2-52, 24 R2-694, 6 R2-94, 4 R2-77 and 48 R2-474. They’re fed by amplifiers and processors in five technical rooms that are networked with CobraNet with D-link redundancy and BSS-BLU processors. The system is also connected to the stadium’s fire alarm system, enabling the distribution of live and pre-recorded messages for mass notification or emergency evacuation.

After installation, performance analysis measurements made by Soundvision systems manager Fernando Gargantini and Community technical director Dave Howden showed that the system performance met the project specification and provided the desired coverage.

Soundvision was also chosen to provide systems for two more World Cup stadiums, Arena de Sao Paulo and Arena Amazonia, and both were also fitted with Community R-Series.

Arena de Sao Paulo (in Carmosina, Sao Paulo) has been built specifically for the 2014 World Cup, offering a seating capacity of 65,000 for the event. This system incorporates 16 Community R2-94, 16 R2-694’s and 16 R2-77. Meanwhile, Arena Amazonia, located in the city of Manaus in the Amazon rainforest, seats 42,377 spectators, with the system utilizing 64 Community R2-474 and 76 R.25-94T.


Community Professional

Posted by Keith Clark on 06/10 at 01:19 PM
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Grund Audio Design Debuts Gala Series GA-LC9/GA-LC9P Line Source Column Loudspeakers

Both passive and powered versions available

Grund Audio Design has expanded the Gala Series product line with the introduction of the GA-LC9 (passive) and GA-LC9P (powered) line source column loudspeakers, designed for both fixed installation and portable sound reinforcement applications for small to medium size spaces, including house of worship, education, and presentation facilities.

They will be on display at the upcoming InfoComm 2014 show in Las Vegas at booth C11240.

Manufactured in the USA, the GA-LC9 and GA-LC9P enclosures are manufactured with 13-ply Baltic Birch wood for superior cabinet rigidity. As a 2-way loudspeaker system, each enclosure utilizes nine 3.5-inch transducers. Frequency response is rated at 140 Hz – 20 kHz, while system coverage provides 120-degree vertical and 10 degree horizontal dispersion.

Pole mount adapters are included on both the enclosure’s top and bottom, making them a choice for use with the Grund Audio GT-LPB-24C companion subwoofer. Enclosures also include 2 x 2 flypoints for easy mounting, and are available in black or white paint as well as unfinished.

The passive GA-LC9 column line array is rated at 300/600 watts RMS/program. The GA-LC9P, with its integrated power amplifier, is rated at 350 watts RMS. A single LC9P can power one LC9, enabling one to eliminate the necessity of transporting a power amplifier when using these loudspeakers for portable PA applications.

Enclosures measure 32.63 x 5.38 x 6.75 inches (h x w x d), and weights are 15 pounds (passive) and 22 pounds (powered).

“Our new column line arrays address a myriad of portable and installed sound reinforcement applications,” says Frank Grund, president of Grund Audio. “These loudspeaker systems are easily transported, making them an excellent choice for gigging musicians. Similarly, they are ideal for hotels and convention facilities that frequently need to set up a PA system for various meetings, lectures, and other events.

“And as an installed sound product, they are very low profile and, hence, make a great choice for meeting rooms, lecture halls, and similar spaces. Being that we have both active and passive models, I’m confident these loudspeakers will find a home in a wide range of applications.”

Availability for the new GA-LC9 (passive) and GA-LC9P is June 2014.

Grund Audio Design

Posted by Keith Clark on 06/10 at 10:22 AM
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Monday, June 09, 2014

Artist Bill Fontana Enlists Meyer Sound For Chilling WWI Soundscape In UK

Remotely powered IntelligentDC system to accurately reproduce soundscape and immerse museum visitors

In his newest sonic sculpture, Vertical Echoes, noted sound artist Bill Fontana brings the horror of the WWI battlefield to IWM North, part of the Imperial War Museums, in Manchester, England.

As in several of his sound installations, Fontana has selected a remotely powered IntelligentDC system from Meyer Sound to accurately reproduce his soundscape and immerse museum visitors.

Vertical Echoes is housed inside a 55-meter-high tower known as the AirShard, located at IWM North. To evoke battlefield dynamics, Vertical Echoes juxtaposes the crescendos of battle against a backdrop of softer nature sounds.

Featuring recordings of a Sopwith Camel warplane and vintage field gun, the soundscape is reproduced by eight self-powered UPJunior-XP VariO loudspeakers with IntelligentDC technology. The loudspeakers are evenly spaced along the vertical axis of the structure.

“There’s extreme dynamic range in the work, from artillery fire and the buzzing biplane, to wind in the trees and twittering birds,” says Fontana. “The UPJunior-XPs were ideal for this piece because they offered both clarity and dynamic range.”

Providing the same sonic performance as the company’s self-powered AC systems, Meyer Sound loudspeakers with IntelligentDC technology are driven by a rack-mount IntelligentDC power supply, with one cable carrying both power and balanced audio to reduce installation times and costs.

“It’s just so much easier to work with in situations like this,” notes Fontana. “You don’t have to run AC or long speaker cables, but you still get true bi-amplified systems. The UPJunior-XPs were perfectly suited to this application.”

Bill Fontana

The Meyer Sound loudspeakers were provided and installed by Pro Audio Systems of Bradford, West Yorkshire, with project management headed by Lee Unsworth. A Meyer Sound dealer in the north of England, Pro Audio Systems is also a long-time supplier for IWM North.

“I was really impressed by the quality of the loudspeakers, and their capacity to play such clear and loud sound,” observes Zoe Dunbar, head of exhibitions at IWM North. “The vertical positioning of the speakers creates a breathing wave of sound that you experientially feel. Our aspiration was to mark the centennial by engaging visitors in a challenging way and giving contemporary relevance to the First World War. I believe we have achieved those goals with Vertical Echoes, and our visitors have reacted positively.”

Vertical Echoes is the first in a series of artistic responses to World War I commissioned by IWM North in honor of the war’s centennial. The installation runs through September 21. (Go here to listen to a sample track from Vertical Echoes.)

Recognized as one of the world’s foremost sound artists, Bill Fontana has created innovative and intriguing sound sculptures around the world since 1976. In 1999, Fontana’s requirement for very small, high-quality loudspeakers for his installation along the Lyon, France tramway provided the impetus for Meyer Sound to develop the MM-4, the first in the company’s popular line of miniature loudspeakers.

Find out more about IntelligentDC systems here, and check them out in live demos at InfoComm 2014 in Las Vegas at demo room N110.

Meyer Sound

Posted by Keith Clark on 06/09 at 05:16 PM
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In Profile: Mick Whelan

Across more than four decades in pro audio, Mick Whelan has worn a substantial number of different hats: mix engineer for Paladin, The Sweet, and Manfred Mann’s Earth Band; Martin Audio’s first employee; sound designer and systems operator for Robin Trower, the Beach Boys and Carole King (to name just a few); executive for some of the top manufacturers in the industry ... and many more.

Now, the tireless 63-years-young native of the UK has taken on his latest challenge as director of U.S. operations for Adamson Systems Engineering. “I first met (company CEO) Brock Adamson in the mid 1980s when I was designing systems in California,” Whelan says. “He’s always way ahead of the curve in many areas.”

So several months ago, when a mutual acquaintance mentioned there might be an opportunity to work with Adamson, he was intrigued. “Brock and I got to talking and thought our skills and philosophies would be compatible, so we made it happen.”

Officially coming aboard this past April, Whelan is focused on increasing the company’s visibility in the U.S., noting that Adamson Systems’ vision, technologies and outlook fit well with his core belief that the imagination of those he works with is integral to creating solutions that will help everyone – clients of all descriptions and the company itself – progress.

The willingness to be responsive to the ideas of others has been an integral part of his own success. “The day I stop stop learning or contributing, I’ll give up,” he states emphatically, adding that in his view, being open to learning is one of the prime drivers for success in pro audio specifically and the entertainment business in general.

“I’ve been really fortunate in that I’ve been able to listen to a lot of great ideas,” Whelan notes, citing as an example a conversation he had with Lars Brogaard, front of house engineer for Rod Stewart. “One day Lars told me that he wanted to hang a full PA with zero ground support. We take that for granted today, it’s common, but in the 70s and 80’s, it wasn’t.

“Lars saw that doing so would make for better sightlines as well as make more seats available, leading to more revenue. Others had flown horns before, but I worked with his idea and came up with what I’d say was the first full-range front fill that flew from the main PA.”

Healthy Respect
While he’s learned a lot of valuable lessons throughout his career, Whelan also admits there are a few he would prefer not to have to re-learn. As an example, he recalls the project he took on after first becoming interested in audio at the age of eight while growing up in Coventry, England. It enhanced his interest but also inspired a focus on life safety going forward.

“I had this tube radio, which I think was given to me because the tuner was broken,” he explains. “I’d added an extension loudspeaker to it and then proceeded to place external loudspeakers in our ventilation vents that probably caused all sorts of mold in the house, but they sounded really cool. To tune the radio I had to put my hand inside it and rotate this massive variable capacitor.

“Well, I was tuning it one day and, all of a sudden, I got a shock. It was like a hand grabbing my hand from inside the flipping radio and not letting me go. Fortunately, I was able to pull the plug with my other hand, but afterwards I had a healthy respect for everything thermionic.”

Continuing to indulge his passion for audio while growing up, including taking a course in telecommunications at Coventry Technical College, it was actually a lighting rig he’d designed for a local venue that won him his first professional gig.

“It was an automated lighting system that would randomly sequence lights, so they wouldn’t stop if I left the mixer to fix something on stage. I always liked playing around with things and pushing limits, but it was that rig that prompted an offer to work with a band professionally.”

The band, progressive rock act Paladin, had just played the venue where Whelan was working and asked him who had come up with the automated rig, and were impressed enough with it to offer him a position. The problem: not only was he still studying telecommunications, he also had a job in that field.

“It was about six weeks before finals, and I’d already passed the first two years. And I had a job,” he notes. “I went away for a weekend to think about it, and my friends talked me into it. So I handed in my notice on Monday when I got back and went from having a job I was doing well in to giving it all up and to join the flipping music industry.

“When I’m asked how I got into this business, I tell them that I said yes to the wrong people,” he continues with a laugh. Admittedly, it was a bit like running away to join the circus, but Whelan adds, “They told me, “Look, you’re going to get this beautiful Mercedes truck to drive, and our next album will be done at Apple Studios in London. And that all actually happened.”

He relocated to London and stayed with Paladin until the band folded in 1973, and he also ran FOH for other acts signed to the same management agency, such as Terry Dactyl & the Dinosaurs after a surprise hit record. Next up was joining Dave Martin of Martin Audio not long after he first opened an office in an old mushroom cellar at London’s Covent Garden Market.

Mick serving as front of house engineer for George Benson at Wembley Arena in London, 1981.

“I was Dave’s first employee,” Whelan recalls. “I was hired after he got a contract to build these three big systems for the Sundown Theatres around London, which one person can’t do alone. After a few weeks, we needed someone else, so I brought in Terry Price of TASCO, who used to look after the drums for Paladin.”

Road Stories
The theatre installations were the largest of their kind in the UK at the time, and after their completion, Whelan was asked to run one of the theatres. But that stationary gig couldn’t compare with the excitement of touring, so after a year he hit the road again and was soon traveling the world with the likes of The Sweet and Manfred Mann.

He points out that many in the younger generation of pro audio don’t necessarily realize how dramatically different the technological and logistical challenges facing bands and technicians on tour were then.

“It was an age when, if you wanted a stereo record, you had to special order it. Unless you worked in a studio, the straight fader hadn’t been introduced, almost everything was rotary. Even by 1974, when the band I was with was supporting Uriah Heep on a major summer tour in the U.S., all of the gear – Showco PA and lights – traveled in one semi truck.”

The most common touring PA in Europe was made by Watkins Electric Music (WEM), but often each band on a bill would use a different system.

“You had to cooperate,” he says, referencing a 24-hour festival in Essen, Germany. “It was insane. There were rows and rows of PA, so we hooked up with the people who were scheduled close to our time to coordinate taking their PA down while we shoved ours forward. And I’m talking about some pretty big walls of PA.”

There were many other interesting moments along the way. At the same Essen gig, for example, the system went down and Whelan watched panic grow in the eyes of one of the artists he personally idolized as the crowd began to get agitated.

On the same gig, he unknowingly taunted Ritchie Blackmore of Deep Purple and immediately dealt with the sinking feeling that his budding career might suddenly come to a screeching halt. (More about that here.)

Not every story is amusing, he adds. “I was babysitting the monitor system during the filming of the Pepsi commercial with Michael Jackson where he was burned by the pyro. In the aftermath, when everyone was still in shock and huddled around Michael laying on the stage, I had the delicate mission of retrieving the handheld wireless mics from his band members. That was undertaken with supreme diplomacy.”

His move from FOH to system design was more a natural progression than a change in career path, an extension of a fascination with pushing the envelope, as he’d done when designing a horn-loaded mid range box for Manfred Mann. So when leading touring company Electrotec (Electrosound/TFA) offered him a job in 1975,  he notes, “I didn’t say yes until they added, ‘We’re going to put the world’s largest PA together.’ Who wouldn’t say yes to that?”

A lot of horn-loading going on in the stacks for the PinkPop Festival in The Netherlands in 1978, where Mick handled system tech.

As chief engineer at Electrotec, Whelan designed systems for artists such as Rod Stewart, Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, and Bob Marley, and for venues with capacities ranging from 5,000 to 100,000, spending 19 years with the company. “The gear was fantastic. We were all tech-heads, and 24/7, all we were interested in was making music good and loud,” he recalls enthusiastically.

Shifting Gears
While he continued to reside in London, Whelan spent an inordinate amount of time on tour, and finally relocated to Los Angeles in 1978 after being in the U.S. an average of 10 out of 12 months a year over a long period. Even after taking on system design full time in 1983 he still spent a fair chunk of time working on the road.

“If you’re not going to jump in the swimming pool, you’re not going to find the best way to swim,” he explains. “And if you’re not on the road, people think you’re not necessarily designing solutions for their situations.”

By now married with two daughters, he calmed the waters a bit in accepting an offer to join JBL Professional in Northridge, CA, followed a couple of years later by a bit of family-shared culture shock in transitioning to a marketing position with Crown Audio in northern Indiana.

“One daughter was about to go into high school and the other into middle school,” he says. “I knew it was a risk, and the kids probably hated me because I took them away from their friends. That was a real challenge, but my wife and I both felt it was the right thing. I was concerned about the increasing gang influence in the specific area we lived in. Another upside is that we got to take advantage of seasons other than ‘mudslide’ and ‘fire’,” he adds, laughing.

Whelan was going to handle artist relations for Crown, but that suddenly changed to product line manager before he even walked in the door. Though unexpected, the role proved quite beneficial, ultimately leading to the position of VP of marketing, where he was instrumental in substantially raising the profile of both the company and its products.

And in doing so, he came to some conclusions about marketing, the approach he feels companies should take to it, and the importance of engineering and marketing departments carefully listening to others and mining their ideas for better solutions.

It’s a conviction he’s held to during subsequent stints with Telex Communications (Electro-Voice, Midas and Klark Teknik), a role that took him to his current home base of Burnsville, MN, and later as manager of the global relations department for Sennheiser.

“Simply, you can’t forget what the customer is looking for,” he concludes. “I’ve really felt the power of marketing, but it has to be done in such a way where you are actually on the bridge where you can see everything, where you’re working with engineering and manufacturing. When everybody shares a vision, how powerful is that?”

Based in Toronto, Kevin Young is a freelance music and tech writer, professional musician and composer.

Posted by Keith Clark on 06/09 at 04:09 PM
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Eighteen Sound Presenting New ND4015Ti2 Neodymium Compression Driver At InfoComm 2014

Outfitted with next-generation titanium diaphragm that provides higher sensitivity and extended HFperformance

Eighteen Sound will present the new ND4015Ti2 high-frequency neodymium compression driver to the U.S. market at the upcoming InfoComm show in Las Vegas, booth C12211.

The 4-inch compression driver is the result of extensive experience with its predecessors in the ND4015 line. It’s outfitted with a next-generation titanium diaphragm that provides higher sensitivity and extended high-frequency performance, resulting in enhanced HF clarity.

The ND4015Ti2 has a 4-inch edgewood aluminum voice coil and 1.5-inch throat exit 4-slot phase plug, and is also available in 1.4-inch and 2-inch throat configuration, making it a truly flexible design and “platform-agnostic” choice. 

Eighteen Sound

Posted by Keith Clark on 06/09 at 03:57 PM
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Canvas Church In California Brings PreSonus Active Integration Into Its New Home

Primary components in new system are AI mixers and loudspeakers

As the old saying goes, sometimes you have to break away to come back home. The founders of Canvas Church in Irvine, CA know that story well, as a small group of self-described “entrepreneurial misfits” that broke away from Irvine Presbyterian in 2011 to form a different kind of church: a church “for people who don’t like church.”

The original congregation has more than tripled in size since then and recently relocated to a larger home. The new digs are a bit unconventional, occupying a warehouse space in a relatively nondescript industrial park. The sanctuary is outfitted with a sound reinforcement system headed by the new PreSonus StudioLive AI Active Integration line of mixers and loudspeakers.

“We do a sort of post-contemporary service, and we’ve typically got anywhere between four and nine musicians up on the stage,” explains Norman Gordon, the parishioner who specified the system and can typically be found running front-of-house. “It’s a full band: bass, drums, guitars, keyboards, and a few vocalists. There’s a lot of stuff going on.”

Gordon recommended the new PreSonus StudioLive 32.4.2AI console, along with StudioLive 328AI full-range loudspeakers and a StudioLive 18sAI subwoofer as the main front-of-house system. “The AI series really had everything we needed,” he says. “We had a 24-channel analog console we’d been using, and even though we really didn’t need the extra channels right away, we went for the 32-channel mixer because it was the first console released in the AI line.”

For Gordon, it begins with the sound. “Having been an analog guy most of my life, I really love that warm, English, analog sound. It’s something I wouldn’t have expected with digital. I have to say, though, I was really, really pleasantly surprised at how warm and open the console sounded.”

The StudioLive’s digital features are also well utilized. “We use the snapshot scene memory for a lot of stuff: mute scenes, mix scenes. It allows us to get to things very quickly. And having all that DSP horsepower, with compression and EQ and everything, really enables us to do a lot of very cool stuff.”

Every service gets recorded, using Capture software to record the individual tracks in real time, which are then imported into Studio One for mixing.

A pair of StudioLive 328AI Active Integration monitors completes the package, with an 18sAI subwoofer for low-frequency reinforcement.

“While we were waiting for the speakers to arrive, we had a couple of different loaner systems in here,” Gordon notes. “It didn’t sound bad, but when we installed the StudioLive speakers and fired them up for the first time, the difference in clarity was just amazing. Articulation is really, really important to me—the ability to understand both the singing and the spoken word. And the StudioLive monitors sounded great right out of the box. They’ve got a really smooth response.”




Posted by Keith Clark on 06/09 at 01:21 PM
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