Thursday, August 14, 2014
Seattle-Based PNTA Joins Yamaha Commercial Audio Dealer Network
Company adds new Yamaha QL5 digital console to its growing inventory
Seattle-based PNTA has joined the Yamaha Commercial Audio dealer network, recently adding the new Yamaha QL5 digital console to its growing inventory.
The company opened its doors in 1975 as a local Seattle-area supplier of theatrical equipment and consumables, and since that time, has expanded staff and capabilities to provide a wealth of services for customers nationally. Employee-owned since 2008, PNTA has increased its services to include audio, video, and lighting.
With an experienced technical services staff, PNTA installs and repairs equipment and supports both non-profit and private customers through its event services department, providing production requirements for events of all sizes. The company is located in a 20,000 square-foot facility near downtown Seattle, offering a sizeable brick and mortar retail store supporting its dealer activity for entertainment and live production manufacturers, now including Yamaha Commercial Audio products.
“We did an exhaustive internal review of what audio vendor we needed to strategically add to best accelerate our market progress in growing our overall audio business,” says Dave Vaught, Event Services production manager at PNTA. “We were particularly interested in broadening our offering in professional products appealing to our client base. We focused those efforts initially in audio control and sound reproduction as we needed more tools for sale, rental, and event services support. With the substantial market position and reputation of Yamaha and its many new and highly regarded products recently introduced, the answer became clear. We are happy to have become a Yamaha dealer and integrator of Yamaha’s Commercial Audio Systems products.”
Vaught said that PNTA wanted to add consoles that are expected to see high rental demand from both existing customers as well as those traveling into the state of Washington.
“With the announcement of the QL Series, we found a very forward-thinking technological capability in a footprint that was easily transportable while being exceedingly powerful,” he adds. “The expandability of the QL Series clinched our choice and buying depth at key levels. Based on our client history, every need we could think of could be answered by some or all of the features of Yamaha QL desks. We were impressed with a number of the features, including onboard recording, signal and effect processing, auto-mixing, and iPad integration.”
For rentals and event services, PNTA also invested in a loudspeaker line extension, moving into the Yamaha DXR and DXS Series.
“While our company size has grown along with the expanded services we now offer, PNTA retains what we started with when we first opened our doors—a dedication to meeting the needs of our valued customers and finding creative solutions to tough problems,” states Richard Carlson, president of PNTA. “By adding Yamaha products to our product line, we can now offer the ultimate in quality and reliability to our audio customers. Yamaha consoles are specified on many riders and fill rental needs as well as being versatile for our production needs.”
Yamaha Commercial Audio
Complete Production Rentals Deploys VUE al-8 Arrays For Pasadena Symphony
Dual 16-element VUE al-8 arrays on stage at the LA Arboretum
The Pasadena Symphony and POPS, one of California’s most respected ensembles, was recently supported by exclusive audio provider Complete Production Rentals (CPR) with VUE audiotechik al-8 line arrays for a performance at the LA Arboretum.
The symphony presents year-round performances at the LA Arboretum as well as the Ambassador Auditorium and LA Arboretum. Based in nearby Westlake Village, CA, CPR has been the symphony’s sound resource for more than a decade, with CPR president and founder Jack Haffamier’s relationship with the group dating back even further.
Haffamier is highly critical of any new audio technology that seeks a place with the prestigious ensemble. “I first heard a selection of VUE speakers at a demo in Los Angeles late last year,” he explains. “I was immediately impressed with their build quality and exceptional clarity-especially in the key vocal range. While I didn’t get chance to hear the al-8 specifically on that day, I could tell immediately that there was a very consistent and compelling ‘family voice’ across the line.”
In June, Haffamier invited the VUE team out to evaluate the symphony’s needs and produce an EASE model of the venue. “I was very interested in testing the al-8 in real-world conditions,” he says. “The LA Arboretum can be a challenging venue, and I was particularly concerned about getting adequate low- and mid-frequency coverage out to 280 feet.”
The final design included dual al-8 arrays consisting of 16 elements per side. Additional near field coverage was delivered by four al-4 line array elements suspended below each al-8 array with VUE’s al-8-ufb “combo array” transition bar. Eight VUE V6 Systems Engines provided power and processing for the al-8 arrays, while a pair of V4 Systems Engines handled the smaller al-4 elements.
Front fill came courtesy of VUE h-12 and i-2x4.5 loudspeakers, while low-frequency support was provided by eight VUE hs-28 ACM subwoofers. A pair of Midas PRO2 consoles supplied mix capabilities.
“Even with unexpected delays, I was impressed at how quick the al-8 was to fly,” notes Haffamier. “We had a relatively short setup window, and to further complicate things, upon arrival we discovered that our Condor boom had been borrowed by a local film crew. Once the boom was retrieved, the al-8’s simple rigging and compact size allowed us to fly and aim the system with time to spare.”
With assembly complete, Haffamier, along with technical directors Larry Estrin and Greg Burns, began the process of tuning the VUE array in preparation for Burns’ final “golden ears” test later that afternoon. “The al-8 sounded fantastic from the moment we sent signal to it,” Haffamier states. “With very minimal tweaking, the imaging was set and the coverage was ‘spot on’-even at the 280-foot mark were the low frequency directivity in many line array systems simply breaks down”.
“It wasn’t just Larry and I who were impressed,” he continues. “Greg himself commented on how easy it was to keep the vocals in the heart of the mix without sacrificing intelligibility. That’s a balance that most line arrays struggle with, but the VUE system achieved it effortlessly.”
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Nevada Smith’s Sports Bar In Manhattan Recreates Stadium Sound With QSC Audio
New York "megapub" enhanced with K Series and Acoustic Design loudspeakers and RMXa amplifiers
Nevada Smith’s, a Manhattan mecca for fans of European soccer, recently contracted design-install firm AV/NY to install a high-tech, audio-visual system for its relocation to 100 Third Avenue, with the new multi-million-dollar megapub outfitted with QSC Audio K Series and AcousticDesign loudspeakers driven by RMXa Series amplifiers.
The dynamic system delivers “larger-than-life” audio quality to match the two huge projection screens and numerous flat-screen HD displays installed throughout the venue.
“It was important for us to design a system that made Nevada Smith’s fans feel like they were right in the football stadium,” says Daryl Kral, a former Broadway sound engineer and owner of AV/NY. “During our initial meetings it was evident that Nevada Smith’s wanted to go big, offering their customers the best sound system and the biggest screens New York City has to offer.”
The venue, which occupies three floors and a mezzanine, includes two full-service bars, a separate wine bar, and a VIP room.
“In the large entranceway we used QSC powered K8 eight-inch two-way speakers and the powered dual-12-inch KSubs built into the wall in order to deliver the initial ‘wow’ factor,” Kral reports. AD-52st ceiling loudspeakers paired with AD-81tw ceiling subwoofers, powered by RMXa amplifiers, help recreate the atmosphere of the entrance tunnel into the stadium. AV/NY also installed the same complement of QSC loudspeakers that are in the main entranceway in the hallways on the three upper levels.
In the main bar area there are six active K10 (10-inch) two-way loudspeakers yoke-mounted high along the walls and either side of the 25-foot automated drop-down projection screen. Four KSubs are hidden in the bar and tiled columns below the four 52-inch HDTVs.
“The K Series loudspeakers deliver an aggressive full-range, high-fidelity sound that meet our demands perfectly,” says Kral, who used the same loudspeaker complement in the venue’s other viewing rooms.
And the owners of Nevada Smith’s have expressed their satisfaction. “It’s sometimes difficult for customers in the beginning to envision what their venue will sound like when we’re done, but the guys at Nevada Smith’s trusted us to deliver on our promise,” Kral concludes. “By the time they were ready to open, the owners told us that we had surpassed their vision of what an audio system can do. We’re thankful for all the wonderful opportunity’s our customers have given to us and for companies like QSC that continue to manufacture reliable high performance equipment that help us to push the boundaries of audio and video design and installation.”
Fill-osophy: Proper Fill Goes Well Beyond Just Adding Loudspeakers
Front fill loudspeakers are required in many sound reinforcement situations because the main loudspeakers don’t cover the first few rows of seats, and in some productions, they’re also used because the mains (often far above the seats or positioned to the sides) result in skewed localization.
Another less frequently encountered need is to correct the mix balance as heard from the front rows, primarily in musical theater.
Even very well-designed, pattern-controlled loudspeakers, clusters, and arrays lose pattern control at middle and low frequencies, so if we attempt to cover the front rows with higher frequency energy from the loudspeakers above, we can end up washing the front of the stage or platform with (uncontrolled) middle and low frequency energy.
This results in muddy sound on the stage (which may force stage monitor levels up) plus increased potential for feedback from the front line microphones.
It’s also often the case that the loudspeakers we own (sound departments, rental companies) or which we have selected for other specific reasons (installed systems) simply do not cover from the front to rear rows, or they do, but with significant overlap or projecting sound onto ceiling surfaces.
Other factors which dictate where we locate the primary loudspeakers (and therefore impact how they cover) include architect/event planner/client influence (appearance) and structural needs.
Finally, on rock n’ roll stages (clubs, larger spaces and outdoors), the stage monitor and back line volume levels may, at times, be so loud (due to musician demands) that even if we have complete coverage from the primary loudspeakers, the quality of the mix heard directly in front of the stage has taken a severe hit. This problem is also present in many churches employing louder contemporary worship and/or modern gospel music.
For theatrical sound where the primary loudspeakers cover to the edge of the stage, those seated in the front rows have the experience of seeing the actors directly ahead but hearing their voices coming distinctly from above. Transparency takes a big hit!
There can also be audible comb filtering if the acoustic source and the reinforced sound from the loudspeakers are near equal in level because of the difference in their arrival times (location disparity). The need to prevent these distortions also occur in other events such as worship spaces and corporate work.
In these situations, we employ front fill loudspeakers that can be laid across the stage lip/apron, attached via yoke mounts (to stage or pit rail) or propped up in front of the stage. Often they must be visually masked or completely concealed. Front fills should be mounted as low as possible (for sight lines), but their depth of coverage is compromised when mounted too low.
Other than in large-scale concert productions, there is seldom a need for very large front fill loudspeakers with high output. Close proximity to the target seats/patrons plus the efficiency of modern-day loudspeakers allow us to employ compact short throw devices, and in most cases, the vertical coverage is not as big of a concern as the horizontal.
Given the mounting height we’re faced with, and the throw distance required, the vertical pattern typically needs to be in the 40-degree to 60-degree range.
There are two characteristics which effect what we need in the horizontal axis: wider coverage (so fewer devices are needed) and seamless coverage, with no holes nor and overlap across the target seats.
Figures 1 and 2 show two front fill systems in theater spaces. In Figure 1, the seats are far enough away that the 80-degree conical devices are well suited and few are required. In Figure 2, the front seats are much closer and require a larger quantity of wide coverage front fills for complete coverage across the front rows. This tendency for coverage to vary depending on seating versus loudspeaker locations exists in any other type of venue or event.
Figure 1: Three 80-degree (h) loudspeakers cover 17 seats across at front row. (Photo by Kai Harada)
Some stages and almost all platforms in worship spaces are low in elevation. When faced with this, along with the need to reach into several rows of seats, we must get the front fill loudspeakers as high as we can without encroaching into the line-of-sight of the audience.
Fortunately we can rely on the ability of middle and high frequencies to diffract, to some degree, around the listeners and often we can reach into 2-3 rows—“enough to get by”—when this condition exists.
Older and more traditional churches may provide platforms, pulpit design or other millwork at the front that can facilitate installing front fill loudspeakers at an appropriate height and without being conspicuously visible. In some cases we may even seek complete concealment which is great, provided that electro-acoustic performance is not compromised.
Figure 2: Five 100-degree (h) loudspeakers cover 13 seats across. (Photo by Tom Young)
Unlike the other classes of fill, front fills may need to be fed a different mix than that which is sent to the rest of the loudspeaker system. In musical theater, those who are seated close to the orchestra pit are often subjected to an imbalance of instruments over voices.
Correcting this with front fills is the sound designer’s responsibility and requires the cooperation of the music director (conductor) to rehearse and then control the pit band. In this case, the front fill mix (sent via a matrix or an aux mix bus) consists of voices, and the front fill levels are set so that these voices are blended with the instruments emanating from the pit. Localization is also improved as part of this process.
Figure 3: If the main loudspeakers have an A/B or A/B/C configuration, the approach also applies to fill loudspeakers. (Photo by Mark Frink)
Another loudspeaker-related requirement unique to some musical theater productions is the need for A/B or A/B/C loudspeakers in the primary loudspeaker system. Logically this will also be needed for front (and other) fill loudspeakers (Figure 3).
In large-scale concert sound, where there is an effort made to provide better sound at the very front, front fills need to have more horsepower than what we would need for smaller venues.
In this scale of production, we can almost always achieve what is needed with available loudspeakers such as stage monitors or medium size “full range” models that are yoked or propped up at the rear so they are aimed correctly, provided that these devices exhibit appropriate coverage patterns when in this orientation.
Figure 4: Front fills deployed on (left to right) large, medium and small concert stages.
Loudspeakers with rotatable high-frequency horns may be of benefit here (Figure 4). Although they may not be the best candidate, multiband line array elements may be used for front fill duty in this scale of venue—provided, of course, that the HF vertical coverage is not excessively narrow, mounting height is appropriate, and aiming is done correctly.
Finally; in large concert stages we more often see center subwoofer arrays at floor level which can place more demands on the front fills which often sit on, or directly above, the subwoofers.
Under & Over
Almost all point source and line array systems used in performance venues and churches are trimmed at a height that facilitates even coverage to all exposed seats, and in as compact a manner as possible.
In venues with balconies, there will be seats that are shadowed by the balcony overhang. and in many venues the ceiling, or the acoustic reflectors suspended over the audience, obstruct sound from reaching the rear-most and highest seating.
The devices used for under balcony fill are likely to vary from small (i.e., dual-5 or dual-6, 2-way) to medium small (single-8 or -10, 2-way) and installed as close to the ceiling as possible. Although multipurpose loudspeakers are often deployed for this, there are purpose-built fill devices available from a wide range of manufacturers.
Over balcony devices vary from medium-small (single-8 to single-10, 2-way) up to mid-size 2- and 3-way horn-loaded designs. Most often, we use multipurpose products adapted to this application (Figure 5).
For portable sound applications such as Broadway show bus and truck tours, under and over balcony loudspeakers are likely to be hung from lighting pipes and/or box trusses that are already installed or brought in for lighting.
Rock n’ roll shows in road houses seldom carry their own fill loudspeakers and will tie into the installed fill systems. When these are aligned and equalized to the primary system, they can work very well. However, not taking the time to measure and correct the alignment, etc. can result in severely compromised sound for those who are seated in the “wrong” seats.
Figure 5: Under balcony and over balcony fill deployment.
With installed systems, we have the opportunity (and often the need) to position under and over balcony devices in a more streamlined manner. Yoked fill loudspeakers are most often used, provided there are structural elements behind the ceiling surfaces to anchor them to. In some cases we can work with the architect/client to embed the loudspeakers into the ceiling and color-match them.
Placement & Coverage
In general, it’s good practice to position overhead fill loudspeakers forward of the target seats so that, along with delay, the acoustic energy from these is localized toward the stage.
More often than not, under balcony ceilings do not work well with recessed ceiling loudspeakers due to the direction that the sound is projected as well as the resulting limited area that these will cover. However, acceptable results can be achieved with such loudspeakers when the ceiling is curved or angled upwards, from front-to-back.
Where we place these devices and where their coverage begins are determined primarily by intuition and experience. It’s been my experience that sighting where the balcony occlusion begins to obstruct where one sees (while seated) the HF elements in the primary loudspeaker(s) simply doesn’t work and locating the fill devices 2-3 rows ahead of this point is necessary.
From this point to several feet above standing height at the rear wall determines the required vertical coverage. We should avoid reflections from the ceiling, especially when it is flat and low. Ceilings that are curved up, from front-to-back, are less of a concern. Reflections off untreated rear walls are seldom an issue because we typically angle the fill loudspeakers down and therefore the reflections are “grounded” (absorbed) by the audience.
Figure 6: Polar graphs showing coverage, in both axes, of a typical small-format 90-degree (h) by 40-degree (v) loudspeaker.
The depth of the under balcony seating determines whether one or two delay “rings” are required as well as the coverage required from these devices. Unless complex computer models are constructed (and you trust them), when determining the best-suited fill loudspeaker and how many are needed, one should (at the very least) utilize the manufacturer’s polar response graphs or beamwidth chart and pay particular attention to the coverage pattern over the 2 kHz -12.5 kHz range.
This frequency range significantly affects clarity/intelligibility as well as timing cues (localization). Note that in most cases the specified coverage is less in both axes at these higher frequencies (Figure 6).
Tom Young is the principal consultant at Electroacoustic Design Services (EDS) with both worship and performance space projects in and around New York City and throughout New England. EDS specializes in sound reinforcement system design, loudspeaker system measurement and optimization, acoustic design and noise reduction. He’s also the moderator of the Church Sound Forum here on PSW.
Adamson Systems Energia Arrays Rise At Stairway To Heaven Festival In Russia
Low end delivered by six blocks of Adamson T21 subwoofers arranged in an end-fired configuration in festival's inaugural run
The first-ever Stairway to Heaven Festival, held in the Krasnodar Region of Russia, made its debut this summer, with production company Live Master (Krasnodar City) providing sound reinforcement headed by Adamson Systems Energia line arrays.
The festival line-up included a variety of performances, including Joe Lynn Turner, Ian Paice, Ken Hensley, Pink Floyd Show UK and Russian heavy metal band Aria. The large 115-foot-wide main stage was flanked by left-right Energia arrays in a sound design by Live Master, supported by Jochen Sommer of Adamson Systems.
“In comparison to similar events, this was an extremely large undertaking,” notes Oleg Ivanov of Adamson Russia. “The Adamson system performed extremely well delivering exactly what the artists and those that ran the festival required.”
Specifically the main arrays were each comprised of 12 Energia E15 enclosures, with an additional flown in fill system of four Energia E12 modules per side deployed due to the width of the stage. Four more E12s lined the stage for lip fill purposes. Low end was delivered by six blocks of three Adamson T21 subwoofers arranged in an end-fired configuration, left and right of the stage at ground level.
Loudspeakers were driven with 22 Lab.gruppen PLM20000Q amplifiers with Lake processing. A Midas PRO 6 digital console was the primary component at front of house, joined by a Lake LM44 for main system control. Stage monitoring was handled with up to 16 Adamson M15 wedges joined by two A218 subwoofers for the drummers.
“All of the performers were impressed with the sound quality,” Ivanov adds. “Aria’s lead guitarist, Vladimir Holstinin, said that the technical implementation of the concert could easily beat any other festival in Russia.”
TELEFUNKEN Introduces New THP-29 Extreme Isolation Headphones
Designed for both live sound and studio applications
TELEFUNKEN Elektroakustik has introduced new THP-29 Extreme Isolation headphones, designed for both studio and live sound environments.
The new headphones are designed to protect eardrums from damage while improving the recording, performing and listening experience. They incorporate high-fidelity, high-input 40 mm drivers with proprietary TruSound Tonal Accuracy, joined by 29 dB of natural passive isolation.
Suggested applications include live mixers who need to block out monitor loudspeakers, drummers who need to be able to hear the mix without setting their volume at an unreasonably high level, and critical mixing during post production.
The closed-back design, lightweight construction, adjustable head strap and padded ear cushions provide optimum comfort during lengthy recording or listening sessions. The advanced isolation capabilities eliminate extra bleed while giving an average of 29 dB of noise reduction over a wide frequency range.
Developed in partnership with Direct Sound, THP-29 headphones come with padded adjustable headband, storage pouch, and jack adaptor that provides passive isolation with no batteries required.
U.S. MSRP $135. Orders can be placed here.
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Community R-Series Loudspeakers Head Up New System At Cardinal O’Hara Football Stadium
Sound design covers all audience areas well, including a standing area in front of the home bleachers
Lions Stadium at Cardinal O’Hara High School in Springfield, PA, has been upgraded with a new sound system headed by Community Professional R-Series loudspeakers.
As the only Philadelphia Catholic League school with a home football stadium on school premises, Cardinal O’Hara’s stadium offers large home and visitors bleachers, an enclosed press box, an artificial turf field and a modern track.
Designed and installed by Tony Albano of Naamans Creek AV in Avondale, PA, the new system uses three Community R.5 loudspeakers and one R.25 loudspeaker.
Two of the R.5s are installed at the outside corners of the press box to cover the left and right sections of the home bleachers, and a third is installed on a lighting pole behind the press box to cover the visitors’ bleachers. The single R.25 covers the center section of the home bleachers from the front of the press box.
Albano says he could have installed all three of the R.5s on the lighting pole but he wanted to avoid high SPL levels on top of the press box where the videographers stand. His design covers all of the audience areas well, including a standing area in front of the home bleachers.
For electronics, Albano chose a Rolls mixer and a CTS 4-channel amplifier, installed a push-to-talk mic in the press box, provided a wireless mic for field announcements, and added a 3.5 mm input for portable music players.
A Community dSPEC DSP provides loudspeaker management and system equalization., and Albano added a switch that reprograms the DSP to turn off the R.5 covering the visitor’s bleachers. This minimizes feedback and delay issues during field announcing.
The entire electronics system was installed in a portable electronics rack which can be removed between events for security.
Albano says the system delivers sound levels that are very even throughout the audience areas, while announcements are clear and music sounds great.
Gand Concert Sound Reports Record-Breaking Month In Serving Top Festivals & Backline Clients
Delivered audio at both stages at recent Pitchfork Festival as well as backline to dozens of top artists
Gand Concert Sound of Elk Grove Village, IL (a.k.a., “the NEXO guys”) just wrapped up a record-breaking month of July, beating the company’s previous record for total gear and events served that was set in May, 2013.
GCS vice president Tim Swan notes “Our new warehouse is making it possible to handle the summer festival season with over 250 NEXO loudspeakers moving in and out on a daily basis.” GCS has also added Yamaha Commercial Audio CL5 and Avid VENUE Profile digital consoles in the past year to meet national band riders.
Most recently, GCS provided sound reinforcement and support for both the Red and Green stages at the annual Pitchfork Music Festival, held for three days each summer in Chicago’s Union Park. The company’s inventory of NEXO GEO T arrays delivered clear audio to more than 55,000 fans on hand for a wide variety of music, including alternative rock, rap and hip-hop, EDM, hardcore punk, experimental/avant-garde rock, and jazz.
Meanwhile, at Lollapalooza in Chicago’s Grant Park, one of the longest running music festivals in the U.S., GCS band gear guru Ken Stevens provided a valuable helping hand after coming on board this year to handle the expansion of the company’s backline presence.
GCS president Gary Gand states, “We started in the instrument rental business in the mid 1970s out of our award-winning retail music store, and quickly moved into concert sound and permanent installations in the following years. Now we’re back to the beginning with a big expansion in back line.”
Bands on the “Gand List” of recent clients include Jimmy Vaughn, Beck, Kendrick Lamar, St. Vincent, America, 10,000 Maniacs, Joan Jett, Smashmouth, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Sonny Landreth, Pusha T, Mint Condition, Cold War Kids, The Head and the Heart, Portugal the Man, WAR, Average White Band, Dawes, Thao and the Get Down, Stay Down, Foghat, Blue Oyster Cult, George Thorogood and Maroon 5.
Gand Concert Sound
Markus Dehmer Joins Meyer Sound Germany As Sales Manager, Install
Previously led the pro audio department of Mörfelden-Walldorf-based system integrator Landau Electronic where he was responsible for Meyer Sound projects
Meyer Sound Germany has appointed industry veteran Markus Dehmer to the position of sales manager, install.
Tasked with supporting theatre and studio customers throughout Germany, Dehmer joins a sales team that also includes Florian Kresse, project manager, install; and Chris Wiedenbeck, sales manager, install.
“Our goal has always been to offer customers cutting-edge audio solutions that are best suited to their project requirements,” says Sascha Khelifa, managing director of Meyer Sound Germany. “This requires a team that brings substantial expertise across the entire installation project lifecycle. We’re proud to welcome Markus to Meyer Sound.”
Dehmer previously led the pro audio department of Mörfelden-Walldorf-based system integrator Landau Electronic, where he was responsible for Meyer Sound loudspeaker installations in locations such as City Casino Basel and CongressForum Frankenthal. His past experience also includes positions at Munich-based studio equipment provider SMM and Mainz-based system integrator BFE.
“As a system consultant working with Meyer Sound products, the company always provided me with the perfect tools and support to achieve the best results possible,” says Dehmer. “Meyer Sound has won me over completely, and I’m excited to join the team.”
Monday, August 11, 2014
Foreigner Deploys Bose Professional L1 Systems For Meet-And-Greet Performances
Four L1 systems in a stereo configuration serves as a house mix, left and right, as well as monitors for the band
At select concerts, legendary rock band Foreigner presents special guests with pre-show acoustic “meet-and-greet” performances, utilizing L1 Model II systems with B2 bass modules and a T1 ToneMatch engine from Bose Professional for sound reinforcement.
The performances generally feature a three-song acoustic set for an audience of anywhere from 35 to 150 people. The band sets up four L1 systems for these performances, in a stereo configuration. The system serves as a house mix, left and right, as well as monitors for the band.
To accomplish this, they place an L1 Model II system with single B2 bass module in the rear corners of the stage and to either side on the floor in front of the stage. This allows them to create a full stereo mix and accommodate each of the band members’ monitoring needs.
The performances usually happen earlier in the day in the same venue they will be performing with full instrumentation that evening. Brian Simon, audio engineer for the band, states, “When we do two shows in a day, time is everything, so the product that I’m using is the Bose L1 system. It is compact, lightweight, easy to set up and tear down, and it sounds amazing. A nice full-range sound out of a very small product. It’s very smooth, but it’s very crystal clear as well. I do very little EQing.”
Founding member and lead guitarist Mick Jones likewise appreciates what this setup does for the band’s sound and energy, noting, “If you’re in close proximity [with your bandmates], to be able to hear the natural harmonies creates more of a unified field of sound, and that’s what this system gives us. [Bose] is a class act to be affiliated with, I must say.”
“We’ve always had a great experience with this Bose system,” adds Kelly Hansen, Foreigner’s vocalist. “We’re hearing the performance as a whole. Performing that way kind of glues you together; you’re all hearing the same thing. You set this up behind you so you are hearing it and the audience is hearing what you’re hearing. It’s like a blanket of sound that we’re all listening to.”
Foreigner bassist/arranger/producer Jeff Pilson states, “As Foreigner’s audio producer over the last several years, I couldn’t be more excited about the Bose L1 system, which has been delivering the sound we’ve been going for, evenly distributed throughout the audience. Ordinarily, in a live setting, you have speakers and you have monitors, and generally those are two different worlds.
“But in this case, the speakers are the monitors,” he continues. “There’s no way to describe how important it is to an artist to make sure that your sound is right. Because of the way it’s designed, to spread all around, we’re hearing a very pleasant mix. And that has helped with the synergy between us and the audience. We’ve never had so many compliments on our sound. For everything that we’re doing with these, they’re absolutely the only and best system I can imagine using. Bose gets it right.”
“David Bowie Is” At Chicago’s Museum Of Contemporary Art Enhanced With Sennheiser
guidePORT technology helps visitors experience unique journey through artist's sound and style
On September 23, the “David Bowie Is” exhibition makes its U.S. debut at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA). The exhibition, meticulously curated by the Victoria and Albert (V&A) Museum in London, explores the diverse work of a great artist of our time.
For each of the exhibits, including the MCA exhibit coming to Chicago in September, V&A has partnered with Sennheiser to help insure a memorable audio experience for visitors.
The exhibition takes visitors on a sonic and visual journey, retracing his creativity and influences from all areas of his art using a wealth of material — including videos, stage costumes, album covers, stage sets, photographs and of course his music. To develop the exhibit, curators Victoria Broackes (V&A) and Geoffrey Marsh were given unprecedented access to the David Bowie Archive, consisting of more than 70,000 pieces.
By leveraging Sennheiser guidePORT technology and 3D immersive sound simulation equipment, visitors are left with an unforgettable experience that explores the essence of Bowie. Sennheiser guidePORT expert Robert Généreux is on site to install and configure the system at MCA.
In preparation for the exhibition, each museum visitor is given a pair of Sennheiser headphones and a guidePORT receiver, enabling them to walk freely into 25 different “display zones.” Inside a control room behind the scenes, Sennheiser is constantly broadcasting 25 live audio streams through transmitters that are perfectly mapped to the floor plan of the exhibit.
Each time a visitor walks towards a different display, the relevant audio stream activates, broadcasting high-quality audio through corresponding antennas located nearby. Small trigger units called “identifiers” located throughout the exhibit are able to recognize the geo-location of each visitor and pick up the appropriate audio stream.
In addition to the streaming audio occuring throughout the exhibit, visitors are also invited to experience a 3D audio spectacle, consisting of Bowie concerts from over the years and an exclusive “mash up” of his songs, created by Tony Visconti, Bowie’s long-time producer. The immersive audio experience is made possible by a special 3D upmix algorithm created by Gregor Zielinsky, Sennheiser international recording applications manager, and the experience is delivered through an array of hidden loudspeakers from Neumann
USO’s 4th Of July Concert At White House Celebrates Veterans With Event Tech & Harman
System delivering 280-degree coverage configured and controlled with JBL HiQnet Performance Manager
Contracted by the United Service Organizations (USO) for the sixth year to integrate the sound at the 4th of July concert on the South Lawn of the White House, live production company Event Tech deployed Harman’s JBL Professional VTX line arrays, Crown Audio amplifiers and dbx Professional signal processing to meet the demands of the venue and to deliver high-quality sound.
International pop star Pitbull gave an hour-long performance for the 1,200 U.S. servicemen and servicewomen that were present, as well as their families and the White House staff. Besides the show, there were various activities such as barbecue, lawn-games, photo stands and meet-and-greets.
Because of a gradient on the South Lawn, it was a challenge to balance the sound between the two ends of the stage; stage-left was elevated two feet above the ground, and stage-right was elevated five-and-a-half feet above ground. To provide coverage of 280 degrees, Event Tech used four stacks of six ground-stacked JBL VTX V20 loudspeakers and one VTX S25 subwoofer per stack, as well as six VTX G28 subwoofers per side in cardioid arrangement as the main PA. Two VTX F12 and two VTX F15 loudspeakers were deployed for front and out fills.
Four VRack 4x3500HD and two VRack 12000HD amplification systems powered all loudspeakers. A dbx DriveRack 4800 unit delivered the signal processing and routing for the overall system. The system was configured and controlled with JBL HiQnet Performance Manager.
“We did a lot of pre-work at our office with the VTX rig, because we wanted to make sure that the coverage was precise and make it drop off 300 feet from stage left, so that the sound did not penetrate the White House,” says Jeremy Meyers, account executive and audio systems designer for Event Tech. “I was very impressed with the output from these small V20 boxes, given their relative size compared to those from other manufacturers that I have worked with in the past. The detailed coverage from JBL’s patented waveguide and the precise frequency output of the D2 drivers allowed us to accomplish our goal.”
Since the stage was set up between the fountain and the White House, space was tight and the front of house position was at an awkward location. Also, the crew was forced to use smaller sized loudspeakers in order to fit all the equipment onto the stage. However, compromising on power was not an option either, since Pitbull’s music has significant output requirements, especially for low frequencies.
“The VTX V20s were truly perfect because of their power-to-size ratio and the Crown amplifiers were also compact and powerful enough for this event,” says Raul Gonzalez of Harman. “The front stacks could throw the music 225 feet to the back of the audience, and the stacks on the side were so powerful that we did not need separate loudspeakers for the FOH position. Overall, the performance was great and we were able to deliver everything in a compact, tightly-integrated package.”
“We were also impressed with the VTX F12 and F15 fills, which had amazing output, even when compared to the V20 boxes,” adds Meyers. “Thanks to our experience in live corporate events and the incredible caliber of these JBL loudspeakers, our veterans received a terrific 4th of July gift.”
Renkus-Heinz ICONYX Adds Audio Sparkle To The Galaxy Macau In China
IC8-R and IC16-R columns provide even sound distribution throughout cacophonously reflective environment
The Cotai Strip in Macau, China, is modeled after its namesake in Las Vegas, offering high-end casinos, resorts, and all the glitz that accompanies them. At the Galaxy Macau, one of the largest of a recent crop of hotel-casino towers on the strip, visitors are greeted in the lobby by a fountain that transforms into a giant roulette wheel, just before a 10-foot diamond rises from its top.
The music accompanying the fountain is provided by a series of Renkus-Heinz ICONYX digitally steered column arrays. Eight IC8-R columns and eight more IC16-R columns provide even sound distribution throughout the area, overcoming the noise of the crowds and the fountain in this cacophonously reflective environment.
The system, installed by Birket Engineering Ltd. and Audio System Consultants (Asia) Ltd., also includes eight ST8R self-powered three-way systems, with 12 PN112-SUBR 12-inch subwoofers for floor-shaking low frequency coverage. The entire system is digitally networked via RHAON for complete distribution and control.
On the other side of the Galaxy, the bus lobby is home to a series of giant crystals, floating above a shimmering pool. The crystals are designed with advanced motion sensor technology to trigger special visual effects as guests approach them, with good luck symbols flashing from the crystals and reflecting on the water.
The crystal display is also aligned with a Renkus-Heinz sound system, including 16 CF121 two-way systems and another dozen PN121 two-way systems. Nine SG81 loudspeakers provide spot fills, and 12 PN112-SUBR subwoofers complete the system.
The Galaxy Macau opened its doors in 2012, and is presently undergoing the addition of another phase, to be completed in 2015.
Friday, August 08, 2014
Harman Pro Strengthens Support For Microphones & Headphones From Northridge Operations
Under the management of Bryan Bradley, GM, Loudspeaker Strategic Business Unit
Harman Professional has announced a significant investment in marketing and customer service and the concurrent decision to place professional microphone and headphone operations under the management of Bryan Bradley, GM, Loudspeaker Strategic Business Unit. The decision will see the appointment of a general manager reporting to Bradley as well as marketing and sales leads for Harman Microphones & Headphones in Northridge, CA.
Harman Pro president Blake Augsburger notes the success of the loudspeaker business unit and the opportunity to provide microphone and headphone customers with the same depth of innovation, marketing leadership and care. “Investing in proven success is the foundation for long-term growth,” Augsburger states. “As an organization, we’re continually learning from our decisions, we’re acting decisively on positive information and we’re placing more resources and responsibilities with those leaders who drive success.”
Housing design, prototyping and testing centers for Harman’s professional, consumer and automotive divisions, the Northridge campus provides advanced research and development facilities. The combined R&D budget of these divisions has enabled Harman to invest in pure research in transducer and acoustic design that, in turn, has driven product-level innovations at JBL Professional. By co-locating, it is expected that innovation, product marketing and customer care for microphones and headphones will see similar success.
“The AKG brand has a 67-year legacy of delivering award winning professional headphones and microphones,” Bradley says. “We’re committed to increase our investment in this brand to grow its awareness and market share across the globe. Microphones with loudspeakers is a natural fit. I look forward to working with the team in Vienna and our growing team here in Northridge to help customers around the globe experience and appreciate the Harman pedigree, quality and customer commitment.”
Bright Norway AS Deploys Largest Meyer Sound LYON System To Date
360-degree system entertained 8,500 at Telenor Arena in Oslo
The largest Meyer Sound LYON linear sound reinforcement system assembled to date was recently heard at Telenor Arena in Oslo, Norway. Provided by Bright Norway AS, the 360-degree system entertained 8,500 employees of Scandinavian supermarket chain REMA 1000 with performances by Norwegian musicians Karpe Diem, D.D.E., and Kurt Nilsen.
Named “1000 Colours of REMA,” the show required a system that could provide even in-the-round coverage at rock music levels with high speech intelligibility. The solution, designed by Bright Norway’s Preben Frostad, incorporated eight arrays of 11 LYON linear line array loudspeakers each. To deliver powerful. even low-end coverage, the audio team specified a TM Array configuration, with four arrays of seven 1100-LFC low-frequency control elements suspended directly over the center stage.
“The whole audio package was perfectly put together by Bright,” says Jens Hagen of Playroom Event AS, the event producer. “LYON was smooth and powerful, yet quite small in size, and the center hang of bass loudspeakers also worked perfectly. The system had good punch throughout the arena, so it was full party mode everywhere.”
System drive and control was provided by a Galileo Callisto loudspeaker management system with eight Galileo Callisto 616 array processors and two Galileo 616 AES processors.
“Because the load on the three center beams could not exceed 150 tons for all the audio, video, and lighting elements, we needed arrays that were lightweight, but also had enough power, coverage, and headroom to fill the huge arena,” notes Asle Nilsen, head of audio for Bright Norway AS. “The answer was LYON, which delivered clear audio to every seat. We were all amazed at how it performs like its big brother, the LEO linear large-scale sound reinforcement system.”
Mixing consoles for the event were two Midas XL8 at front of house and two Midas PRO2C at monitors. Geir Østensjø was the front of house engineer, and Jarle Kvalsund was the monitor engineer.