Wednesday, September 24, 2014
St. Paul’s Lutheran Church Relies On Power Protection From Furman
Furman SmartSequencer protects new sound reinforcement system at St. Paul's church.
St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, in Hanover, PA has a new JBL VRX sound reinforcement system installed in a center cluster earlier this year. The new system has greatly improved the church’s overall sound and especially the intelligibility of the spoken word in the 400-seat sanctuary.
A Furman CN-1800S SmartSequencer 15-amp bidirectional power sequencer, installed by Lancaster, PA-based systems designer and integrator B&B Communications, is in place to protect their investment. A Furman CN15MP MiniPort was also placed on the amplifiers that power audio to overflow areas, such as the Fellowship Hall, to extending the benefits of SmartSequencing to electronics outside of the main equipment rack.
“We spent the better part of three years working on this project, and we stressed to the church how important it is to include surge protection and sequential power-on capability,” explains Jeff Tate, sales engineer at B&B Communications. “The new sound system addresses all of the issues that the previous one couldn’t, such as speech intelligibility and even coverage of the seating areas.
“But as good as the new sound system is, a single power surge could damage or even destroy it. That’s not a chance worth taking.”
One of the reasons that the project stretched over three years was that, like most churches, St. Paul’s has to manage its budget carefully. B&B Communications helped them with that by utilizing existing speakers in the distributed sound system that extends out to the overflow areas and adding new mixer-amplifiers to power and control them, all of which use the Furman PL-8C power conditioner.
“In addition to the dangers of power surges and circuit overloads, leaving surge suppression and sequential power-on capability out of the system can also shorten the life of critical components such as speakers, when components like amplifiers all come on at once,” Tate cautions.
“It can damage the drivers, for instance. But with products like the CN-1800S SmartSequencer and the CN15MP MiniPorts are used together, we can build a smarter network for power, one that conditions, sequences and protects. That’s why Furman is our go-to for anything that has to do with power. They’re simply the best.”
d&b Introduces Y-Series At PLASA London 2014
d&b announces debut of Y-Series loudspeakers.
d&b GB has announced the launch of the Y-Series at the upcoming PLASA London show, stand D80.
The Y-Series loudspeakers provide flexible and configurable solutions for venues with small to medium sized sound reinforcement requirements. Selected products from the Y-Series will be at the stand, along with members of the d&b team to explain why Y is such an exciting new product.
At stand D40, SSE Audio Group will also be exhibiting d&b products. Visitors to the SSE booth will see the component parts of Tte d&b workflow: d&b ArrayCalc simulation software, R1 Remote control software and d&b amplifiers, namely the D80.
As part of the Professional Development Programm, Oran Burns of d&b GB’s Education and Application Support team, will present a seminar entitled “The d&b Workflow”, during which listeners will be introduced to the time saving benefits of the d&b system approach, all the way from planning to simulation and control of the final result.
To find out more about The d&b workflow go to and reserve a place in the Audio and AV Theatre on Monday 6th October at 12:00 or Tuesday 7th at 15:00.
d&b is also proud to be sponsoring the Award for Outstanding Achievement in Sound, as part of the technical Theatre Awards presented on Tuesday 7th at stand S40, home of the Theatres Trust Stage.
Alcons Enhances Dolby Atmos At JT Cinemas In The Netherlands
JT Cinemas installs Alcons Audio for cutting edge Dolby Atmos cinema.
One of the longest-established cinema chains in the Netherlands, JT Cinemas has spent the last few years investing in new sites and upgrading its existing venues to offer Dutch audiences the best possible experience.
Working closely with leading cinema solutions provider dcinex, JT has chosen Alcons Audio systems for the cutting edge Dolby Atmos installation at its Kerkrade site.
JT distinguishes itself from its competitors by having the highest quality cinema technology in its venues. When Dolby approached dcinex to see if any of the company’s clients were interested in Dolby Atmos, JT was the obvious cinema chain to work. Once JT was on board, Alcons pro-ribbon loudspeakers were the ideal choice to help deliver the required audio quality.
“We believe that innovation drives cinema business and, of course, with digital technology there’s been a lot more innovation than before,” says Matthew Jones, dcinex General Manager BeNeLux. “One of JT’s new build projects was a cinema in Kerkrade, where they wanted something really spectacular. They asked dcinex to find something that would be exceptional… not just good, not just high quality, but nearing absolute perfection.
“Our first thought was to talk to Alcons about facilitating the Dolby Atmos system at Kerkrade. We’ve known them for a while and we think that, in terms of quality and being able to reproduce audio in the way it’s meant to sound, their system is probably the best on the market.”
The venue presented a number of challenges, not least of which was its size; with 480 seats, this is one of the larger rooms fitted with the Dolby Atmos system.
“It’s much larger than a typical cinema auditorium, which made it difficult to work with conventional speakers or amplifiers. There aren’t really the surround loudspeakers available that could provide the amount and quality of sound we needed from a single speaker. So we asked Alcons if they could work with us in designing a custom system,” says Matthew.
Alcons took 36 of its standard four inch pro-ribbon drivers, plus 12 of its six inch pro-ribbon drivers and mounted them in bespoke, custom designed surrounds, creating the CRS12 and CRS12/60GT units. These were complemented with five three-way, tri-amped CR4 units and eight CB362 twin 18” subs to deliver a solution that was able to produce all of the required SPL, but from within normally-sized enclosures.
Driven by 14 Sentinel3 and 5 Sentinel10 four channel Amplified Loudspeaker Controllers, totalling 76 amp.channels, the result was a system that would suit both the quality and aesthetic demands of JT and the technical demands of Dolby.
“The experience for cinema goers is absolutely fantastic,” Matthew adds. “At some of the first performances people got up and applauded the sound. Even if they don’t understand exactly what they’ve heard, they know it’s something special and that it’s of a very high quality. It keeps bringing them back and so has had a very positive effect on audience numbers.”
Such is the success of the installation, it is reported that the new cinema is attracting moviegoers from as far as 300km away.
“The Dolby Atmos system equipped with the Alcons pro-ribbon sound system is, without doubt, the single most qualitative audio system I have ever had the pleasure of experiencing in a cinema. And I can tell you, I have heard a lot of them,” comments Albert Jan Vos, operational director of JT Cinemas. “This combination truly allows crystal-clear, high definition audio with perfect intelligibility and no distortion, even at high volume levels, and fully engages the cinema audience in its movie-going experience.”
For more information visit: www.jt.nl , www.alconsaudio.com and www.digitalcinemaready.info
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Outline Helps Drive New Siren Festival In Italy
Outline line arrays provide sound reinforcement for multiple stages during new Siren Festival in Italy.
When Rome’s DNA Concerti decided to launch a brand new festival in a small picturesque town on the Aburzzo Adriatic coast of Italy, they contacted Blackout to provide the audio, lighting and video for the four-day festival. Blackout in turn delivered Outline PAs for each of the stages at the festival.
“We worked for months on ensuring the success of the festival, which involved approximately forty bands from Italy and abroad,” explains Blackout owner Gaetano. “Meeting everybody’s requirements was no easy job.”
The festival included screenings of films and music-themed documentaries as well as countless DJ sets and concerts by numerous Italian bands and headliners including The Drones, Dry The River, John Grant, Mogwai, The National and Alexis Taylor.
The sound systems increased in size from the Outline DVS enclosures installed for the small stages at the Palazzo d’Avalos gardens and Rotonda Viale Dalmazia, through the Arena delle Grazie, where bands had at their disposal 6+6 Outline Mantas and two DBS 18-2 subs. Another stage at the courtyard of the 16th century Palazzo d’Avalos, was equipped with two main hangs of twelve Mantas systems and six DBS 18-2 subwoofers.
The town square (Piazza del Popolo) hosted the main stage, which featured a wide variety of genres. For this stage Blackout fielded two main hangs of twelve Outline Butterfly line array elements and eight Outline DBS 18-2 subs.
“The Outline Line Array was very nice to work with, the crossover between the main array and the subs was pretty smooth and the main array had excellent coverage with minimal comb filtering as I moved across the axis,” adds Kenny MacLeod, production manager and FOH engineer for Mogwai. “The HF was very pleasant and in no way did it sound harsh, even though it was very hi-fi and had a very musical presence to it.”
After the event, Lombardi stressed his satisfaction, “We proposed our rigs with Outline PAs and monitors and the various sound engineers’ enthusiastic response was confirmed during the event, at which we good numerous positive comments from the ‘users’ – as always, the Outline brand is an international guarantee of quality!”
Monday, September 22, 2014
Journey’s FOH Engineer Guest Speaker At Upcoming Meyer Sound Online Mixing Workshop
FOH engineer Jim Yakabuski will join Meyer Sound Mixing Workshop webinar series in October.
On October 1 and 2, 2014, veteran FOH engineer Jim Yakabuski will join Meyer Sound instructor Buford Jones as a special guest in the newest sessions of the company’s Mixing Workshop webinar series.
The interviews will cover Yakabuski’s long mixing career working with artists from Matchbox Twenty to Journey. He will also share how technology advancements like linear sound systems and plugins are creating new opportunities for FOH engineers as well as practical tips for aspiring audio practitioners.
The Mixing Workshop is free of charge and is conducted at four different times:
October 1 (Wednesday) at 7AM PDT/2PM UTC and 9AM PDT/4PM UTC
October 2 (Thursday) at 7AM PDT/2PM UTC and 9AM PDT/4PM UTC
Register for the webinar.
As part of Meyer Sound’s worldwide education program, Buford Jones brings his lessons from almost four decades of mixing career to his online Mixing Workshop and hands-on sessions around the world. Jones’s mixing credits include Pink Floyd, Eric Clapton, Stevie Wonder, Prince, and David Bowie.
Zac Brown Band Headlines Wrigley Field With Martin Audio MLA
Special Events Services provide Martin Audio MLA sound reinforcement for recent Zac Brown Band concert at Wrigley.
SES (Special Event Services) set up what President Jim Brammer terms as “the largest outdoor MLA system deployed in North America thus far” for a sold-out Zac Brown concert at Wrigley Field for 40,000 fans.
The event also marked Zac Brown Band’s first as a solo headliner in a major league ballpark, having shared staging earlier this summer with Billy Joel at Boston’s Fenway Park. Both shows were part of the band’s successful “Great American Road Trip” tour that runs until the middle of October.
The Martin Audio MLA system consisted of 170 enclosures: A main hang of 22 MLA over 2 MLD per side; 24 MLA Compact per side for outfill; 8 flown MLX subs per side and 24 MLX in 12 stacks of two across the entire downstage area; 4 MLA Compact in a straight array per side for off left/right front fill; 6 W8LMD across the downstage edge for lip fill, and 24 MLA for delays.
Asked about the event, Brammer responds, “The challenge with Wrigley and most ballparks is getting sound up under the overhangs in the upper deck. We were able to solve that with a delay system that consisted of four SES audio carts, each with six MLA, arrayed at home plate, first and third base near the seats.”
In terms of audio quality, “the show was off-the-charts good,” Jim adds. “Everyone was extremely pleased and we had visiting major league ballparks to look at the MLA setup and see if they might be able to use it, and they were very happy with the way it sounded.
Friday, September 19, 2014
Neumann Continues To Expand Monitor Line-up
Neumann expands KH monitor line.
Neumann is expanding the successful KH line with its first midfield monitor – the KH 420. The active 3-way system (10-inch + 3-inch + 1-inch) is ideal for larger 5.1 and 7.1 configurations and listening distances of up to 11 meters.
With a corner frequency of 52 Hz, the KH 120 nearfield monitor set new standards in its class for low frequency performance. Neumann engineers have succeeded in raising the bar with the KH 420 too. Its 26 Hz corner frequency is not only lower than other comparable midfield monitors; it is also a whole octave lower than the KH 120.
Anyone requiring even lower bass reproduction for surround systems with a dedicated LFE channel can add the KH 870 woofer to extend the response down to 18 Hz.
Computer-optimized drivers, the Mathematically Modeled Dispersion Waveguide (MMD), acoustical controls for matching the speakers to the listening room, a highly flexible input section, and a wide range of mounting hardware make the KH 420 a versatile monitoring tool for the audio professional.
The KH 420 has been designed to provide optimum dispersion regardless of the orientation of the cabinet. This is possible thanks to the rotatable waveguide section which contains both the high frequency and midrange drivers.
An optional Digital Input Module (DIM 1) is available for the KH 420 which provides the monitor with digital AES3 and S/P-DIF inputs and a delay function. This feature, which is available on both the digital and analog inputs, may be used for audio/video lip synchronization and to compensate for non-equidistant speaker placement. Maximum delay time is 409.5 ms with a minimum resolution of 0.1 ms.
“The KH 420 delivers an accurate picture of the tonal nuances of the original recording,” says Wolfgang Fraissinet, president of Neumann.Berlin. “In order to deliver a perfect stereo image, the KH 420 pushes the boundaries of what is possible in terms of linearity, performance and close production tolerances. It reflects the quality-driven approach that Neumann.Berlin has been committed to for many decades”.
Key technical specifications of the KH 420:
Drivers: 10”/3”/1”, amplifier output: 330/140/140 watts
Free field frequency response: 26 Hz … 22 kHz, +/-3 dB
Maximum SPL: 122.4 dB
Crossover frequencies: 570 Hz and 2 kHz
Dimensions/volume/weight: 645x330x444 mm / 93 liters / 35 kg
Key technical specifications of the DIM 1:
Analog signal -> analog XLR input
AES 3 signal -> digital XLR input
AES 3, S/P-DIF signal -> digital BNC input
Delay section: 0 … 409.5 ms for analog and digital input
Sampling rate: 32 … 192 kHz
Key technical specifications of the KH 310 D nearfield monitor:
Drivers: 8.25”/3”/1”, amplifier output: 210/90/90 watts
Free field frequency response: 34 Hz … 21 kHz, +/-3 dB
Maximum SPL: 116.3 dB
Crossover frequencies: 650 Hz and 2 kHz
Dimensions/volume/weight: 253x383x292 mm / 28.3 liters / 13 kg
Analog signal -> analog XLR input
AES 3 signal -> digital XLR input
AES 3, S/P-DIF signal -> digital BNC input
Delay section: 0 … 409.5 ms for analog and digital input
Sampling rate: 32 … 192 kHz
Both monitors will be available from the beginning of October 2014.
Posted by Julie Clark on 09/19 at 10:52 AM
One Systems Provides Intelligible Indoor/Outdoor Solution For Wong Tai Sin Temple In Hong Kong
DinoTech Ltd installed a distributed One Systems loundspeaker system at Wong Tai Sin Temple in Hong Kong.
The Wong Tai Sin Temple in Hong Kong is a well-known shrine and major tourist attraction. The traditional Taoist temple is situated on four and a half acres with grounds that feature three memorial archways and beautiful gardens.
DinoTech Ltd was recently commissioned to design a new audio system that would provide intelligible paging and provide traditional background music throughout the interior and outdoor areas. They ultimately created a distributed audio system – 15 zones – that combines 70 One Systems 103IM, 108IM and 112IM direct weather loudspeakers.
Joey Chan, senior consultant with DinoTech explains that “the intent was to broadcast high quality background music or live event audio to selected areas indoors and out.”
The injection molded One Systems enclosures utilize a copolymer material developed for use in extremely harsh weather environments that offers a high degree of UV protection. The grille assembly is a 3-layer design optimized for acoustic transparency and protection from windblown particles and water.
The 103IM loudspeaker is loaded with a high-frequency driver coupled to an elliptical constant-directivity horn. Its 4-inch woofer delivers extended bandwidth response and superb performance. The end result is superior system intelligibility, good vocal range and exceptional music reproduction.
The high-performance 108IM and 112IM are loaded with 8-inch and 12-inch woofers respectively. The loudspeakers are ideal for direct-weather outdoor installations, as well as for indoor applications where high vocal intelligibility and good musical accuracy are required.
Both the 108IM and 112IM utilize One Systems patented ET driver technology. Both the ETS driver in the 108IM and the -1ET driver design in the 112Im have a unique “equivalent throat” design that allows its radiation pattern to be controlled by the phase plug’s summation plane, instead of the conventional “exit diameter” at the end of the driver’s structure. The ETS and ET-1 drivers have a pure titanium diaphragm and a close-spaced circumferential ring phase plug that insures extended high-frequency bandwidth.
The Wong Tai Sin Temple sound reinforcement system is powered by four Lab.gruppen C 28:4 amplifiers. A Biamp AudiaFLEX DSP audio platform monitors and controls the 15-zones.
Special thanks goes to Pro Audio Asia for their contribution of information and photos for this news article.
Posted by Julie Clark on 09/19 at 10:44 AM
Klipsch Audio To Power Music City Food + Wine Festival
Klipsch has announced that it will power the second annual Music City Food + Wine Festival as the event’s official audio sponsor.
Klipsch has announced that it will power the second annual Music City Food + Wine Festival as the event’s official audio sponsor.
Taking place in Nashville, Tennessee, September 20-21 and produced by GRAMMY-award winning artists Kings of Leon, world-renowned chef Jonathan Waxman, Vector Management’s Ken Levitan and Andy Mendelsohn and C3 Presents, the festival will feature a star-studded line-up of chefs, live music, interactive cooking demonstrations and more.
“I’ve known about Klipsch since I was a little kid and my next door neighbor had Klipschorn speakers in his basement … it was the best sound I have ever heard in my entire life,” says Jonathan Waxman, co-founder of Music City Food + Wine Festival and chef/partner of Adele’s. “I fell in love with Klipsch at an early age and when I played trombone on stage, they used Klipsch speakers as sound monitors with tube amplifiers.
“They sound like the real thing: music that I played on stage and the music I played in the house sounded exactly the same. And you can play them really loud. I am privileged that Adele’s has the ability to have the best sound in the restaurant business thanks to Klipsch!”
As the official audio sponsor, Klipsch professional speakers will power the branded DJ booth located in the center of the festival, as well as the Grand Taste tents where cooking demonstrations, panel discussions and other festival programming will take place. A Klipsch mobile listening station outfitted with the brand’s latest acclaimed Reference headphone assortment will also be on site for attendees to experience the products’ power, detail and emotion first hand.
The “Klipsch Kitchen” will be open throughout the weekend for attendees to sample their favorite vinyl records via high-end turntables and the brand’s latest legendary Reference speakers. Representatives will also present recommended playlists for any culinary gathering. In addition, Klipsch is asking fans to tweet their favorite music and food pairing that weekend with the hashtag #KlipschCooks. One lucky participant will be named a winner and take home a pair of Klipsch Reference bookshelf speakers.
“It is a pleasure to return to Nashville to be among the country’s renowned and emerging chefs,” said Paul Jacobs, CEO of Klipsch. “We are passionate about the dining experience, and helping those in the industry create an unforgettable ambience with the help of our high-performance speakers. We look forward to meeting fellow enthusiasts and experiencing the unforgettable food and live music the event has to offer.”
The Music City Food + Wine Festival will bring together acclaimed national chefs and superstars of Nashville’s local culinary scene. Located in the heart of downtown Nashville, the festival features interactive cooking demonstrations and panel discussions; Tasting Sessions; Grand Taste tents offering food, wine, and cocktail samples from local and regional artisans; and Harvest Night, presented by Infiniti, which brings together signature dishes from world-renowned chefs with live musical performances, curated by Kings of Leon.
Posted by Julie Clark on 09/19 at 09:55 AM
Thursday, September 18, 2014
L-Acoustics K2 Has Oregon Music Festivals Covered
K2 systems handle main stages at two large festivals, joined by SB28 subs driven by LA8-equipped LA-RAKs
Two of this season’s most successful regional festivals took place in August in Oregon where the five-year-old BI-MART Willamette Country Music Festival in Brownsville drew upwards of 25,000 fans who came to hear acts like Blake Shelton, Gary Allen and Eric Church.
Meanwhile, BI-MART, a regional discount retailer, also launched a new sister event in Sixes this year, the Cape Blanco Country Music Festival, which attracted at least 15,000 to hear Brad Paisley, Eric Church and Justin Moore, among others.
What tied them together, aside from their mutual corporate sponsor, was the sound provided at each site by U.S. Audio & Lighting (USA&L), which deployed an L-Acoustics K2 system at both.
“The music sounded excellent in both places,” says Patrick Coughlin, general manager of U.S. Audio & Lighting North, the Northern California branch of the North Hollywood-based company that has become one of the largest K2 users in the U.S.
For the main stage at the Willamette festival, where it has been the SR provider for the last three years, USA&L flew a combined total of 52 K2 enclosures for its main and out fill hangs, anchored by 32 SB28 ground-stacked subs. A full complement of L-Acoustics gear also covered the stage, including 115XT HiQ monitors, flown ARCS II/SB28 side fills and 108P stage lip fills.
For Cape Blanco, 48 K2 belted out the main LR house sound bolstered by 28 SB28 subs, while LA8-equipped LA-RAKs supplied the power and processing for both festivals.
Coughlin says what attracted him to the K2 is the sonic and directional flexibility afforded by its steerable pattern down to 300 Hz. “It assures us of even, consistent coverage for the audience,” he states. “We also like how light the boxes are, which makes transporting and rigging them easier.
“Plus we like that the 12-inch speaker allows us good control of the low end,” he continues. “It’s just a great package, and we were able to run the entire system wirelessly via LA Network Manager. It’s unbelievable control. I use no outboard EQ at all; all of the EQ is on the network.”
The K2 systems are expected to get a workout in coming months at U.S. Audio & Lighting North. After being deployed in late August at the First City Festival, the successor to the legendary Monterey Pop Festival, they do a schedule of shows that includes Diana Ross at the Santa Barbara Bowl and EDM shows at the Event Center Arena in San Jose, culminating in a rave show on New Year’s Eve at the Oakland Oracle Arena, which will employ 96 K2, 48 SB28, 24 ARCS, and 80 LA8 controllers.
And U.S. Audio & Lighting North and K2 will be back next year for both the BI-MART Willamette Country Music Festival and the Cape Blanco Country Music Festival, as well as a third planned BI-MART-sponsored festival—this one in Idaho at a time and place to be determined. “The K2 is the perfect system for these kinds of shows,” Coughlin concludes. “It’s easy to move, simple to control and sounds fantastic.”
U.S. Audio & Lighting (USA&L)
AudioXL To Distribute Intellivox And AXYS Products In Benelux
Harman Professional's distributor, AudioXL, has been named the exclusive distributor of the JBL Intellivox and AXYS loudspeaker products for the Benelux region.
Harman Professional has announced that its Benelux distributor, AudioXL, has been named the exclusive distributor of the JBL Intellivox and AXYS loudspeaker products for the Benelux region.
In October 2013, HARMAN acquired Duran Audio and its flagship Intellivox and AXYX lines, before incorporating them into the JBL product lineup.
“We are very excited about having the Intellivox and AXYS products as part of the JBL portfolio,” explained William van Druten, General Manager at AudioXL. “Intellivox was the first digitally steerable array on the market and the engineers from Duran Audio are widely regarded as the pioneers of and the authority on this technology.
“Intellivox is a great solution for delivering clear and intelligible speech in difficult acoustic environments and there are already many high-profile applications of the products around the world. This, combined with AudioXL’s experienced and skilled team and the wider portfolio of HARMAN products, is a recipe for success. I am sure we can continue to grow the market for the product and deliver fantastic solutions for many more projects.”
In recent years, Intellivox has become the preferred loudspeaker solution for major railway stations in Holland. Intellivox has not only been chosen for its ability to deliver the ultimate intelligibility but also for its subjective sound quality and natural sound reproduction. Stations now installed with Intellivox include: Den Haag, Rotterdam, Utrecht and Eindhoven.
The product has also enjoyed great success in the worship and AV markets. The AXYS range is also widely used by many rental companies in the region and is known for delivering transparent sound reproduction even at high sound pressure levels.
“This new relationship with AudioXL presents some really exciting opportunities,” Nick Screen, Harman Sales Director – Duran Audio Products. “With Intellivox it has always been about selling solutions, but it was a niche solution for intelligibility and many clients want a complete audio system.
“The Harman acquisition and the partnership with AudioXL means that we can now offer a complete HARMAN-based sound system solution that delivers Intellivox-quality intelligibility. Combine this with AudioXL’s team and large customer base and you have a winning formula.”
Singer-Songwriter Jeff Campbell Relies On Bose
Whether for solo or full-band performances, Campbell’s L1 system offers the versatility, sound quality, reliability and portability that he needs on the road
San Francisco-based singer-songwriter Jeff Campbell has been playing hundreds of shows a year in dozens of cities and continues to build a loyal following through his energetic performances. Recently selected as the winner of Guitar Center’s National Singer Songwriter 2 Competition out of over 13,000 entrants, Campbell was given the chance to record a five-song EP with GRAMMY-winning producer John Shanks and perform on Jimmy Kimmel Live.
“I’ve been lucky, and I’m doing well,” states Campbell. “In between my larger gigs, a lot of my shows are smaller, more intimate affairs – cafes, coffee houses, house concerts, corporate events and the like. And I need to schlep a guitar and a sound system to these venues.”
For his P.A. needs, he has found the right solution in the L1 Model II system from Bose Professional Systems. Campbell has been all over the country with his L1 system, playing both solo and full-band shows to the delight of his growing fan base.
“I had been using P.A.’s that I was piecing together myself, but commonly had feedback problems,” he recalls. “I acquired a Bose L1 model II system with the ToneMatch audio engine and B2 bass module, and all of a sudden everything was different – I was performing more confidently, and things just sounded great.”
Campbell is a fan of the system’s small profile and portability. “In terms of touring, I’m able to fit all of the Bose components, plus my other gear, in my trunk,” he notes. “So now when I’m on the road I have my trusted sound system, for all of my smaller gigs. If I’m by myself, I can carry the whole thing in two trips, because it’s compact and super light.”
“And, of course, the sound,” he adds. “I’ve never had so much positive audience response than after I started using the L1 system. Often fans will come up after the show and say something like, ‘I could hear everything, but it wasn’t too loud,’ which I think is a great compliment. And the L1 system acts as my monitor too, so I’m hearing exactly what the audience is hearing.
“Every time I use it, I get somebody coming up to tell me how great it sounds, and my band notices that we don’t get any feedback issues happening. The other thing is the pre-amps in the ToneMatch engine are so good. I use passive pickups in my acoustic guitars, and I’m able to just plug in and go, with no outboard preamp, and it sounds incredible. It’s just seamless. It’s taken so much of the stress and pressure out of my smaller gigs, and added so much positivity. We can focus more on the performance. It’s a really brilliant machine. I’m lucky to have it.”
Bose Professional Systems
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Excel AV Group Provides Multipurpose Church/School With dBTechnologies Solution
dBTechnologies provide audio solution to multi-purpose auditorium and worship space.
Lakeville High School and Southland City Church, both located in the Minneapolis area, recently teamed up to find a sound reinforcement solution for the Lakeville High School auditorium, which is used by the church for Sunday services and by the school for classes, assemblies and theater productions.
Maple Grove, Minnesota-based Excel AV Group, the systems integrator called in to work with both organizations, designed and installed a dBTechnologies line array system to meet their needs.
“I took one look at the 750-seat auditorium with the steep raked floor and soft theater-style seats and knew that a line array solutions would be the best for the room,” says Excel AV Group owner Kevin Crow. “I tasked my engineer Caleb Dick with the responsibility to find an affordable solution.”
The Excel AV team looked at both traditional point source boxes (like ones being proposed by a competitor) and line array solutions. Further investigation revealed that although the dBTechnologies DVA-T4 active three-way line array system solution was slightly higher in equipment cost, the installation costs were much lower, making it an affordable solution.
“We didn’t have to fly four traditional point source boxes in the room, two in front and two in back,” adds Crow who also pointed out that the point source solution would have also incurred the additional expense of delay configurations, more wiring, amps and rigging.
The final design consisted of two hangs of seven DVA-T4 line array modules, augmented with two dB Technologies DVA-S30N active dual 18-inch subwoofers on the floor.
“The coverage is simply amazing,” says Justin Vagle, director of worship for Southland City Church. “We have measured only 1 dB difference front to back. In addition, the subs are tight and impacting.”
“I remember when my guys were out tuning the system and finishing it by our very challenging deadline,” Crow says. “Around 10 p.m. I got a text from Grant Kluempke my tech operations manager that read ‘the system at Southland pounds!!!’ It was really fun to hear that. What’s more it proved to be true when I attending the first services with the new rig, it made the worship music so powerful.”
Regarding the dB Technologies system, Crow concludes, “In the big picture I think the value that dB Technologies offers the marketplace is phenomenal. I don’t see how anyone (after hearing these boxes) could deny that – especially at such an affordable price. We are already introducing this line to other clients and couldn’t be more excited.”
Excel AV Group
Church Sound: Got The Low-End Frequency Blues?
Do you suffer from the low-end blues?
The symptoms include instruments lacking clarity, vocals lacking distinction, and a general feeling that “something’s rotten in the state of Denmark.”
You’ve never been diagnosed with it until today. Time to determine the source of the condition and prescribe a cure.
Consulting with churches on their audio quality, I’ve found a handful of common problems and the most common is excessive low-end frequencies in the mix. It’s the result of many factors, three of which are outlined below.
1. Poor Bass Definition
I didn’t say “poor bass EQ” because the blame doesn’t fall entirely on the sound tech. The tone of the bass guitar comes from the bass, the bass amp, and any effects pedals the musician uses. And believe me, I’ve heard a wide range of tones coming from a bass player. ’ve heard a mush of low end coming from a bass channel and I’ve heard what I’ll call outer space sounds.
Why it’s a problem…
You’re at the mercy of the musician and whatever they send down the line. A bass tone without definition is just a source of low-end mush. But even a great bass tone might have more low end than needed. It still needs to be distinct from the kick drum.
What to do…
Listen to the raw tone coming through the bass channel. All of the mix work will either be working with this sound or against it. If the bass is sending mush, it’s not going to be easy. EQ the bass so it’s distinct from the kick drum.
Don’t think that just because it’s a bass that the low end should be cranked. I’ve cut a bass channel below 40 Hz because it cleared up the mix and gave the bass guitar definition. Many of the key bass frequencies exist above the 100 Hz mark.
The biggest way to improve bass definition is to listen to recordings of the song. YouTube, Spotify, iTunes, Rdio, whatever works, just pick one and listen to where the bass sits in the mix. Know the song before the sound check so the bass sound is in your head.
Put on headphones and listen to the recording while mixing if it helps. Compare the recording to your mix to determine what needs to be done.
2. Poor Keyboard Mix
Keyboards can create a wide range of sounds and frequencies. These sounds can drop into the same range as bass and electric guitars, even drum toms.
Why it’s a problem…
The more similar frequencies occupying a mix, the less instrument and vocal distinction. A song using a bass, an electric rhythm guitar, and the normal drum kit is already filling up the lower frequencies and requires proper EQ’ing for separation. By adding in a keyboard, it’s another source of low end, the amount depending on the keyboard voicing.
What to do…
Apply the high-pass filter and modify the EQ so the keyboard fills in the mix as intended by the arrangement. By cutting the lower frequencies, a simple volume change might be all that’s needed.
I find that by using a substantial low-end cut on the keyboards, not only does it clear space for the lower instruments but it also adds clarity to the keyboard.
3. Low-End Flooding
The more microphones on stage, the more channels capturing stage volume. Add a bass amp and drum kit on the stage and there’s low-end frequencies bouncing all over the place, both from the amp and drums as well as through the monitors.
Why it’s a problem…
Every little bit matters in mixing and when it comes to microphones, every little bit of extra low end adds up to a lot of low end in the house mix. Low-end frequencies will bounce around the room, lasting longer and flooding the room.
What to do…
Apply a high-pass filter (HPF) to all vocal microphones. Start around the 80 to 100 Hz range. On mixers with variable HPF frequencies, roll the filter up until it negatively affects the sound, then back it off. This can range anywhere from 120 to 220 Hz.
If it seems like I’ve been talking about HPF a lot recently, it’s because I have and because I believe it’s under-utilized.
Next, use some form of drum shield to reduce the lows. But wait, there’s more! Here’s where an oversight can be costly. If the drummer is sitting in front of a flat surface, the drum shield is only going to reflect the sound back to the wall and then back into the drum shield and the microphones.
To control the lows, use a full drum enclosure or cover the wall with sound absorbing material. This can be anything from acoustic panels to heavy theater curtains.
Finally, in the case of stage amps, reduce them to only their required volume and point them at the musician. For example, a guitarist with a guitar amp needs the amp pointed at their head. If they’re using a full-stack amp, then mic the amp and turn down the amp. If they want the amp cranked, look into isolation cabinets.
The Take Away
The low-end blues can be overcome. Focus on these three points and listen to the results after each one. Eventually, the low-end frequencies will be reduced in the room and clarity will return to the mix.
Ready to learn and laugh? Chris Huff writes about the world of church audio at Behind The Mixer. He covers everything from audio fundamentals to dealing with musicians, and can even tell you the signs the sound guy is having a mental breakdown. Chris is also the author of Audio Essentials For Church Sound, available here.
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
The Great Pyramid: Early Reflections & Ancient Echoes
Editor’s Note: This fascinating article first appeared in the July/August 2000 issue of Live Sound International. What follows encapsulates audio, acoustics, truth, fiction, legend, innuendo, road rage, taboo, and prognostication. We hope you find it fine reading for an unspoiled moment.
For some 20 years I worked for Intersonics, a company that developed experimental space flight hardware for sounding rockets and the space shuttle, and we also did contract R&D. It was while there, the Boss let me launch the Servodrive part of the company. The caveat was “as long as all it costs was space and lights.” So we were off in our “spare time” to create some “perfect bass.”
With so much of the company’s NASA work having to do with acoustics and having good measurements, we were also one of the early companies to get a TEF machine. Being the main “acoustics guy,” I used the TEF to measure vibration resonances in space flight payloads and locate flaws in concrete blocks (looking for echoes).
Another task set was to measure/develop new transducers for acoustic levitation, another for producing a sonic boom. I even used TEF for measuring resonant modes on pecan shells. Let’s just say it got seriously “multi-tasked.”
While at Intersonics, a movie company asked to film the acoustic levitation process used by our space flight hardware. I ended up demonstrating it and being in the movie (“Mystery of the Sphinx” with Charlton Heston). During filming I had made a wisecrack to the producer about going to Egypt and measuring the pyramids.
Tom Danley in his lab.
Several years later, the same producer calls up out of the blue and asks if I was interested in “finding out why the inside of the Great Pyramid sounded so weird.” This would be for another movie — all expenses paid and a decent “nut” to boot.
Some quick research on the pyramid revealed it was a lot bigger than I imagined. It had a number of chambers and levels above the “King’s Chamber” — opening the possibility that it was not a “simple”acoustic system. A rough (and I mean rough) estimation of the resonance of the granite ceiling beams in the King’s Chamber put them at about 300 Hz. A somewhat less rough Helmholtz resonator and transmission line model suggested resonances starting at 2.5 Hz or so.
Into The Wild Blue Yonder
My long, fairly comfortable flight on Egypt Air from New York City landed in Cairo where my Egyptian adventure got off to a bad start.
Not being sure what to expect, or if my modeling meant anything in the real world, I’d packed two speaker systems for producing test tones, one for above 100 Hz and a second much larger unit for below. Both were shipped in sealed boxes containing a power amplifier, my trusty TEF 12, a B&K microphone, and an accelerometer (and a brace of cables).
Unfortunately, my power amplifier “got lost,” when we arrived at the Cairo airport. I suppose they thought the elaborate “tour” they took me on, through the dank, dark caverns under the airport looking for it, would offset the loss. Maybe they hoped this search party experience would combine with relentless jet lag to dissuade my pursuit.
Come to think of it, they never did pay up on the insurance claim (grumble, grumble). I was immediately on the phone to the Crown dealer in Helliopolis to arrange for indigenous amp rental. Thankfully several days of free time were scheduled before I was “on camera.”
My 01:30 trip from the Cairo airport to Giza, where the pyramids are, documented the chaos of local Egyptian “road rules.” Car horns are the “linga franca” for inter-driver communication. Headlights are almost never used at night on highways, but are frequently flashed in a fashion similar to horn honking.
Also curious, a marked 3-lane road can often have five lanes of door-to-door, bumper-to-bumper traffic, consisting of a zillion wannabe Formula 1 drivers in beat up cars. This routine requires constant lane changing, horn honking and jockeying for the pole position all at 15-30 mph.
During a return to Cairo proper, I discovered that even the traffic lights are different. Like everywhere else, green means “GO,” but yellow also means “GO” and red means “GO” if nobody is coming. A cop standing directly in front of your car means stop, but if you are in the car next to the one with the cop, you can go regardless of his hand motions or how hard he blows his whistle.
Photo 1: How the Great Pyramid looked on the cover of the July/August 2000 issue of LSI.
Go With The Flow
I settled in at the Movenpic hotel near the pyramids. Several days of pre-film preparation remained. It was immediately clear that many production details remained undefined.
When I asked whether or not we had any sort of production schedule, outline or anything, the answer was “it isn’t ready yet…don’t worry.” I thought that maybe that’s the way Hollywood is…real casual. So I made my best attempt to go with the flow.
The first day we went to look around the Great Pyramid (Photo 1) and the area where we needed to get to inside. The thing is huge! It’s 500 ft (152 m) across and 480 ft (146 m) high, and made of about 2.5 million 3-4 sq ft (1 sqm) blocks of limestone with interior constructed of Red Granite.
To enter the Great Pyramid, one must first enter the cave El-Mamun. A would-be robber bored into the limestone here in around 600 AD. This tunnel goes in approximately 50 ft (15.2 m) to a point they were supposedly about to give up, but heard a noise inside and re-directed the tunnel to the left.
There they hit the Red Granite casing on one of the interior passages and by following it (the tools they had couldn’t cut granite), they eventually located the Great Pyramid’s interior. From the end of this tunnel, one climbs about 120 ft (36.6 m) stooped over in a space barely 1 yard/meter high.
This section is fairly steep with an approximate 30-degree incline. Without the wooden boards fastened to the stone for footing, it would be almost impossible to make this climb while carrying gear. For me, this path created a whole new meaning to the term “walk like an Egyptian.”
Walking With The King
Next you enter the Grand Hall. It’s also inclined but now about 40 ft (12.2 m) tall with a corbled (stepped) ceiling. After trudging up another 120 ft (36.6 m) up the grand hall one finally reaches the entry to the King’s Chamber, which is another tunnel. This time, however, it’s level and about 10 sq.ft (1 sq.m) and perhaps 20 ft (6.1 m) long.
The King’s Chamber is about 40 ft (12.2 m) long, 20 ft (6.1 m) wide and 20 ft (6.1 m) high. The walls, floor and ceiling are all made of Red Granite. The granite blocks that make up the walls are huge. The one over the door is nearly 8 ft (2.4 m) high 14 ft (4.3 m) long and 5 ft (1.5 m) thick, yet all the blocks fit so tightly you can’t get a business card between them. They are polished to a surprisingly smooth finish.
However, it was kind of a pain just to get this far (and this was the easy part). When I expressed concern about getting the gear up to the King’s Chamber, I was encouraged to hear the producer’s plan to hire some locals to haul our gear in and out. He acknowledged the degree of difficulty, and he was right.
The producer was also right about the acoustics in the King’s Chamber. It sounded very weird inside there. Think of the “livest room” you’ve ever experienced, and then double that. It was acoustically “solid as a rock.” Given a minimum of 200 ft (61 m) of stone in all directions, it should be.
Photo 2: Our crew at idle.
On The Skids
Our crew had a heavy heap of equipment (larger than my gear pile). So, our fearless leader decided we would go to a wood shop and have a skid made that could be dragged up the incline. After measuring the passages, we were off the next day to find a “wood shop” known to the staff’s hired Egyptian cab driver.
When we arrived at the shop, I was underwhelmed to say the least. Our wooden skid was promised to be ready in a few days. The crew (Photo 2) were already scheduled to explore/plan for other parts of the film, so I tagged along. During these few days it became obvious that the producer and his financial backers were following two somewhat different game plans.
Photo 3: The Sphinx from the front paw view.
“Plan A” included the production goals that included me. Specifically, we sought to access the cavity they had found with sonar and ground penetrating radar under the paw of the Sphinx. Psychic/cult hero Edgar Cayce predicted this cavity to be there in the 1930s.
“Plan B” was to produce a TV documentary, which overlapped Plan A as much as possible. We had permits that essentially gave us free access to everything, so we spent a couple days filming at the Sphinx compound (Photo 3). Note: I ate lunch one day sitting between its paws.
The radar also suggested there was an underground tunnel leading from the cavity, under the sphinx and continuing on.
At the rear of the Sphinx, the sound guy and myself saw an opening at the bottom of its rear and after seeing no one was around, both of us went in (Photo 4).
Photo 4: The Sphinx rear entry point.
This cave has two forks. One fork goes down about 12 ft (3.6 m) and sounds hollow if you stomp on the floor. The other fork goes up into the body and stops.
There were no other ways of reaching the cavity and by this time the permit to drill a hole for a fiber optic camera had mysteriously been yanked by the antiquities department. Being problem solvers, the bosses decided to look for another way to reach the Sphinx cavity.
Optional Methods (Plans C, D & E)
The producer lived in Egypt part-time and had heard about a water well on the causeway.
The causeway, by the way, is the big stone ramp used to haul the stones up from the Nile for the Pyramid. One enters from the side through a short tunnel into the side of the actual roadway.
From here, you carefully climb over an iron gate and try NOT to fall into the 30 ft (9.1 m) deep hole immediately on the other side. Then you carefully descend a decrepit iron “ladder” down into the dark.
The bottom opens in to a room about 20 x 20 ft (6.1 x 6.1 m). At the far side is a down shaft about 6 x 6 ft (1.8 x 1.8 m) or so. You carefully get on another iron ladder (looks to be like 3/8-in round rusty steel bar) and climb down into the blackness about 60 ft (18.3 m). This was spooky. All we had for light was a helmet mounted flashlight (Photo 5).
This climb ends by opening into a tomb with three sarcophagi. They are set into deep niches in the walls. One is very large, made of smooth black stone, apparently precision made, with sharp corners even on the inside edges/ How did they do that? The other two made of limestone much smaller and in poor shape. All had been robbed.
Photo 5: Arches in the water well, author in frame.
Good To Go
After the lighting gear made it down and was set up, I immediately noticed the room was rectangular with square corners and had about 8 ft ceilings. At one edge was yet another downshaft. This one was smaller, maybe 4 x 4 ft (1.2 x 1.2 m), and went down quite a long way.
After climbing down an even worse ladder with ropes for safety, one encounters two pillars which would have held up the ceiling of the next “space” that once seemed to have been a two story room. The remains of the substantial rubble pile disguises that this room was ever man made. This level was a fairly creepy place with ample broken pottery shards and many human bones in the rubble.
The back walls are squared off. There’s a 7 ft (2.1 m) deep trench-like affair (full of water) around the back and two sides. It was like we were standing on top of the rubble pile created when the second story collapsed on the first. Anyway, they dug away a little at the center mound and about 10 in (25 cm) below the surface was a large granite slab. Radar detected a cavity below this slab about 6 ft (1.8 m) tall, and it seemed to lead off towards the Sphinx.
At this point more permits were needed so this discovery and all further work was snatched up by the head of the antiquities department.
(For semi-related fun I strongly suggest a visit to http://guardians.net/hawass/osiris1.htm.)
We had gone as far as we could in the waterwell. The wooden skid was now done, and it was time for my part of the show. We had the Great Pyramid to ourselves every night after about 20:00 when the last of the sightseers depart and only the Bedouin guards remain.
As to not look the “wimp,” I grabbed a decent sized handful of cables and trudged up the slanting tunnel. When you get to the King’s Chamber, most people will have worked up a sweat. I am no marathon runner, and I had to stop at the top and catch my breath for a bit. These skinny kids come staggering up to the top with the gear and turn around go back down and get more.
The same guy carried my TEF 12 (which isn’t light), my main woofer (which was 80 lbs), and three trips of lighting batteries (each is a big car battery in a plastic cooler). I was impressed. And I realized that I was a wimp and there was no way around it. From then on when the crew hired locals to carry everything I knew they were earning a good wage — by local standards.
The lighting guy tapped into the AC mains (240-volt, 50 Hz) and set up his transformer, and we were ready. I picked a spot on the wall in the King’s Chamber to set up my stuff. I placed the source at one wall and the microphone at the opposite wall and was ready to go.
I had figured the use of a “known” sealed box woofer (whose roll-off slope would roughly compliment room gain slope) that would allow useful measurements to extremely low frequencies (LF). The producer wanted to get the sound on film clearly. He asked that I test it at as loud a level as practical.
I applied the first loud slow sweep starting at 200 Hz to 10 Hz — a comfortable level. Around 90 Hz I observed a strong room mode and sweeping at 1.1 Hz/sec — some real energy was transferred.
What really made everyone get up and run to the exit was the resonance near 30 Hz. At that moment I aborted that test. This was a good resonance, it got nice and strong and scared the wits out of a several crew members. Frankly, I was a little concerned myself. High-Q resonances at low frequencies can be very exciting!
The chances of something bad happening are small, but the consequences are large. Not wanting to be known as the first person in modern times to be buried in the pyramid, I moved the TEF and myself to the tunnel entry way instead of inside the King’s Chamber.
I spent several nights taking measurements there and was filmed without incident. I observed a good distribution of room modes and curiously, the red granite sarcophagus displayed several resonant modes, which directly corresponded to these room modes.
What The Witness Heard
Lying in the sarcophagus, one finds it’s nearly impossible to hum any note other than ones related to the main resonances. In that position when you do hum at the “right” frequency, it’s easy to make it seem very loud. But for someone standing next to you, it’s not loud at all. Also lying in it, the outside sounds that get coupled throughout, colors other people’s voices for a very “Darth Vader” effect.
My general observation is that the pyramid’s dimensions, the pyramid’s construction materials, and the box inside the King’s Chamber were designed to passively (as in zero electricity) enhance whatever sounds were present inside the chamber.
It also appears that any wind pressure across the pyramid’s internal air shafts, especially when it was new and smooth, was like blowing across the neck of a Coke bottle. This wind pressure created an infrasound harmonic vibration in the chamber at precisely 16 Hz.
Being a musician myself, I was especially interested to discover a patterned musical signature to those resonances that formed an F-sharp chord. Ancient Egyptian texts indicate that this F-sharp was the resonant harmonic center of planet Earth. F-sharp is (coincidentally?) the tuning reference for the sacred flutes of many Native American shamans.
Bottom line: We have 2.5 million blocks piled up in Egypt. Halfway around the world you have a guy whittling a tree into a musical instrument with exactly the same F-sharp resonance.
How Do They Do That?
The producer and crew were hot to film me placing an accelerometer on the big red granite beams which make up the roof of the King’s Chamber. Each of these beams weighs up to 90 tons (91.444 kg), and they were quarried at Aswan some 600 mi (966 km) away. They are also about 150 ft (46 m) high inside the pyramid. Another “how did they do that” question.
To reach the upper levels above the King’s Chamber, one re-enters the grand hallway, then climbs 40 ft (1.2 m) up an old extension ladder to a hole in the wall. A small bundle of knotted cords comes out of the hole, which is also the entrance to a small tunnel.
Once in the tunnel, you make a right turn and crawl a little more to an enlarged area carved out around a red Granite wall with a hole in it. Climbing through that opening, you come into the chamber directly above the King’s Chamber. This room is only about 4 ft (12.1 m) tall but is the same length and width as the King’s Chamber. The ceiling is flat and is covered with some very old graffiti.
The floor consists of big rounded bulges, which are the center beams that run the width of the room. It took some time to haul all the camera and lighting stuff up, set up, then blow all the dust out of the sensitive gear before preparing to roll.
Let Me Take You Higher
After filming at that level and climbing up through a tunnel, we got to the next level up to do the same filming bit.
It was in this room that we found a huge pile of burlap sacks filled with the chips the diggers had removed from the level below.
This room also featured a large trash pile and hundreds of water bottles from the diggers. It’s clear they were at work for some time.
Our passage to the rest of the upper levels was a real pain. Whoever did this part of the work used explosives. Essentially, this turns the experience into rock climbing. I got as far as I was able to go without help.
Fortunately, the camera and lighting guys were climbers and helped me up the last step. The top level has a peaked ceiling. There I had some time to look into any and all cracks I could find with my headlamp. I found a place which looked like it opened up into a room as I could not see anything past the edge I was peering in.
On the next trip up, the camera guy put a 40 ft (12.1 m) fiberoptic bundle into the crack to see what it was. It turned out to be a very long (couldn’t see the end) row of blocks all aligned (instead of the normal stager pattern) together — all with big parts of the lower corner broken off.
While the accelerometer footage was good for the movie, the measurements were not informative. The signal was totally swamped by 50 Hz and other electrical noise. I had a DAT recorder on hand, recording the test and mic signal for later analysis.
After being home for a few months and trying to see what else might be revealed on the DAT tape using Hyperception software, I found several things I couldn’t have seen with the TEF. The TEF showed a large number of room modes some going below 20 Hz.
How Loud Does It Get?
While doing an FFT on the between-sweep time or quiet parts of the recording I found some very LF sound — resonances which start at a few Hz and go upward to 15-20 Hz or so. At least some of these were the same LF resonances I excited with my sweep, but not all of them. This sound was present even if everyone is silent.
I crunched the results of the measurements, and they were sent on to a musicologist that was part of the staff. As mentioned, he identified that there was a pattern of frequencies, which roughly form an F-sharp chord.
Not all the resonances fell in the right place but many did and some repeated the pattern for many octaves. In other words, it was roughly tuned to F sharp over many octaves.
It has been suggested (by others) that the Great Pyramid is NOT a tomb at all but actually a temple of sorts and that these resonant frequencies were “designed into” the structure. While many exotic and often far-fetched properties have been ascribed to “the power of the pyramid,” I see a possible argument that some of the phenomena people experience in it may be caused by the acoustical properties that were measured.
The effects of LF sound were extensively studied by various government agencies to determine the effects on humans, partly for the space program. One of the things that was discovered is that infrasound (very LF) can effect ones brain wave activity (Alpha rhythms, etc.) and other biological functions.
If, as some suggest, these pyramids were constructed as a “temple” or for an initiation ritual rather than a tomb, then the LF sounds may be deliberate and have served a scared purpose — with the sound triggering and even forcing changes in brain wave state (i.e., one’s level of consciousness).
Brain Waves, Sound Waves
One of the latest rages in controlling one’s brain wave state are the light/sound machines which use black glasses and headphones with flashing lights in the glasses and LF pulsing sound in the headphones to literally trap your brain into synchronizing at the pre-programmed frequency.
It would seem like sort of a meditation ride. You need no practice to do it. It just takes you. The frequency range, which causes this effect, is at the low end of the audio spectrum or even below the LF that we hear (infrasound).
Low-pitched sounds have long been known to cause emotional responses. The massive pipe organs of the ancient cathedrals were built (at considerable difficulty one should remember) to produce powerful LF sounds to frequencies below “audibility” or infrasound because of the powerful emotional and physiological effects they have on people.
Music and movie sound tracks are reproduced loudly to have an emotional effect on most people. Before the industrial revolution (and the attendant noise pollution) humans had more sensitive hearing than we do now. Accordingly, to the ancients, the sound in the pyramids would seem even more powerful.
How Did We Forget?
Apparently man has been intentionally designing acoustic spaces for quite some time. During 1996, A Journal of the Acoustical Society of America paper, authored by Paul Devereux and Robert G. Jahn, detailed a number of ancient structures in England and Ireland which were apparently designed to enhance the bass frequencies in the voice range. Among other conclusions, Devereux and Jahn believed this was done because of the group chanting used in their rituals. Mantra’s were often part of the meditation process and are even now.
The dimensions of the Sarcophagus in the main chamber are also such that there’s acoustical reinforcement of the LF voice range as well.
As such, it seems obvious that architectural acoustics are simultaneously very old, and yet a virtually new science. The ancients had a grip on these principles, yet acoustic sciences seemed nearly lost for thousands of years. We ask why, yet we have no answer.
In many cases, architectural designs made more than 100 years before the computer are still considered to be among the best there are. This is further evidence, it seems, of how cyber-analysis can never fully replace life experience. Still, these days, architectural acoustics exist almost entirely within the computer.
One Last Thing
Lacking a time machine, one cannot “know” what the designers really had in mind when they built the Egyptian Pyramids. Clearly, they went to an amazing amount of work and had a powerful reason for doing it.
Equally clear, they had techniques and skills used in its construction that we are aware of, but what they did looks impossible with what is known about them. Still, it obviously was possible.
“High Technology” (aliens, etc.) seems very unlikely as the pyramid’s interior nooks and crannies are very roughly shaped. If they had a laser or other high-tech voodoo tools, logic predicts they would have used them everywhere, not just where it showed.
On the other hand, machining marks were visible on the inside of the sarcophagus wall from some “rotary” type cutting process. Obviously they had some mechanical help.
Anyone who has been in the Great Pyramid and chanted or hummed will tell you that it feels weird, and that the acoustic effect is powerful. In short, it is possible that the ancient builders may well have been aware that sounds, even inaudible ones, can have a profound effect on one consciousness.
The fact that they were able to quarry huge red granite blocks six hundred miles away, transport them, “machine” them to a precise fit and then polish them, implies that there is an ocean about the ancient’s we don’t know — especially regarding their application of acoustic science.
Tom Danley is the inventor of the ServoDrive, and as one of the most innovative loudspeaker designers in the world, makes his home at Danley Sound Labs.