Wednesday, October 09, 2013
Dortmund Stadium Goes Active With RCF
The deployment of 14 RCF clusters of 14 TTL33-A MKII line array elements (with a TTS26-A sub at the base of each), will future-proof the famous stadium for decades to come.
As the largest football stadium in the German Bundesliga, with a capacity of over 80,000, Signal Iduna Park — home of Borussia Dortmund (BVB) — recently sanctioned a radical upgrade to its public address system utilizing RCF loudspeakers.
Their aim was to achieve higher intelligibility, even pattern control (with extended low frequency capability) and unobscured sightlines — but most importantly to link the voice evacuation and stand systems into a unified network, that could be monitored, error- and health-checked remotely. The solution was provided by RCF.
The deployment of 14 RCF clusters of 14 TTL33-A MKII line array elements (with a TTS26-A sub at the base of each), will futureproof the famous stadium for decades to come. But the most remarkable aspect is that this is an entirely active solution, wrapped around the beams to keep the sightlines intact.
Loaded with RCF’s proprietary RDNet DSP and additional electronics for monitoring it is this inherent software that has been programmed to integrate the new PA/VA evacuation system — thereby fulfilling the EN 60849 standard for performance requirements.
The planning and design of the system was a joint venture between RCF’s 10-strong Engineering Support Group , led by Product Market Manager (Install Sound), Antonio Ferrari, and RCF Group German Subsidiary, led by Georg Hofmann and Norbert Wessel, working in conjunction with integrators fulfil engineering GmbH, headed by Norbert Labudda. It is fulfil engineering’s planning department that initiated, coordinated and supervised the project.
The EASE 4.3 predictions provided the design architecture to develop a fully optimised system, setting the splay angles and placements of the hangs — which are spaced equidistant, some 20 metres apart. Four clusters each are mounted down the East and West tribunes (firing into the upper and lower tribunes) and three each cover the South and North stand.
All 196 active line array elements have been especially weatherized and the cone drivers coated, as is the wooden enclosure, which is is painted with polyurea both inside and out. All metallic items are fabricated in stainless steel.
The decision to completely overhaul the system had been taken after complaints about intelligibility and coverage — particularly the insufficiency of the low frequency response.
Responding to an original tender for a standard passive system by consultant, Michael Creydt, RCF’s progressive active proposal ensured their bid was successful against most other major manufacturing brands who responded to the tender.
Adamson E15s Support China’s Inter City Music Festival In Qingdao
Adamson Systems Engineering's distributor in China and Hong Kong, Real Music Acoustics & Lighting, supplied an Energia E15 line array system for the two-day festival.
Pilot Record’s Inter City Music Festival recently took place at the Golden Sands Beach in the Huangdao district of Qingdao, China.
Many of record label’s acts performed including Reflector, Zheng Jun, CMCB, Twisted Machine and headliner Miserable Faith.
Real Music Acoustics & Lighting Technology Co. Ltd., Adamson Systems Engineering’s distributor in China and Hong Kong, supplied an Energia E15 line array system for the two-day festival.
“The record labels artists represent many different genres of music,” explains Richie Wang, GM for Real Music Acoustics & Lighting. “We provided a substantial Adamson E15 PA in order to accommodate their heavy metals bands as well as pop and folk music acts.”
The E15 line arrays – 12 enclosures per array – were hung from scaffolding erected to the right and left of the stage. Under each array were a stack of six T21 subwoofers sandwiched between double stacks on each side—a total of 10 subs per side.
Stage monitoring was serviced by two M212 low profile monitors while frontfill was provided by eight M15 placed equidistant along the lip of the stage.
“The system really sounded fantastic,” Wang adds. “No matter who was playing, the sound quality was unmistakable. The Pilot Record management team were extremely impressed.”
Japan’s Fuji Rock Festival Deploys Outline GTO
The White Stage was equipped with an Outline large-format line-source rig: 24 GTO elements, 2 GTO-DF (Down-Fill) and 18 ground-installed DBS 18-2 subwoofers.
Japan’s 2013 Fuji Rock Festival utilized 24 Outline GTO line array modules on the White Stage. of the world’s most important: there were 24 GTO at the White Stage of the 2013 Fuji Rock Festival.
Since it’s inception in 1997, Fuji Rock has been a start-studded event. Weezer, Green Day, Foo Fighters, Massive Attack, Prodigy, Rage Against the Machine and Red Hot Chili Peppers have all graced the stages of the Festival. The 2013 event attracted more than 100,000 fans.
The 2013 edition featured performances by top names on the Japanese and international alternative rock and electronic scenes including Bjork, The Cure, Nine Inch Nails, Vampire Weekend, XX, Skrillex and Tame Impala.
The White Stage was equipped with an Outline large-format line-source rig: 24 GTO elements, 2 GTO-DF (Down-Fill) and 18 ground-installed DBS 18-2 subwoofers.
Masaaki Azuma - pro audio veteran and sound engineer at the event - is the owner of well-known Japanese rental company Try Audio, which was responsible for the Fuji Rock project. The company’s equipment stock already includes forty-eight Butterfly systems, eighteen Mantas and thirty-six Subtech 218, with relative Outline T Series power amplifiers.
Azuma states, “Before purchasing Outline’s large-format system, I had the opportunity of testing it personally at several large concerts in Asian stadia with famous bands from both east and west. Thanks to the enormous dynamic range, I realized that - as well as Rock - the system can easily handle the nuances of any genre, including orchestral music”.
He concludes, “Its intelligibility is unrivalled at astonishing distances: what I heard at Fuji Rock during the mix confirms the objectivity of Outline’s claims regarding the long-throw performance of this ‘contraption’. I’m really impressed.”
“The presence of GTO in Japan, the super-technological Far East nation, is an important strategic ‘tessera’ in our expansion plans”, commented Giorgio Biffi, CEO Outline.
“As is already the case in China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Australia, and elsewhere soon, from now on it will be easier to meet the numerous requests for our products – regularly included on riders – in that part of the world, which has such a dynamic live sound reinforcement sector. Welcome to the Outline family, Try Audio!”
Tuesday, October 08, 2013
Two Meyer Sound Rental Houses Join Forces For Metallica’s Malaysian Debut
EHQ Projects and SES Sound & Lighting create 146-loudspeaker system based on MILO line arrays
Two of Malaysia’s leading rental companies came together this summer to ensure Metallica’s first-ever concert in the country would be a memorable event. By merging their Meyer Sound inventories, Kuala Lumpur-based EHQ Projects and Selangor-based SES Sound & Lighting created a huge 146-loudspeaker system based around MILO line array loudspeakers.
“There were no delays, but the sound was clear and very loud even 100 meters back from the stage,” recalls Jay Neil, technical director of EHQ Projects. “Afterwards, I had people telling me it sounded like a CD on a great stereo.”
In order to cover an audience of 30,000 in Kuala Lumpur’s Stadium Merdeka, the two companies configured a system of 72 MILO loudspeakers, including 40 for main hangs, 30 for side hangs, and two for out fills. Front fill was provided by 12 M’elodie line array loudspeakers, and 40 700-HP subwoofers provided ample low end.
System drive and alignment was supplied by a Galileo loudspeaker management system with two Galileo 616 processors. Dual side fill arrays featuring five-each MILO loudspeakers over two-each 700-HP subwoofers combined with 26 MJF-212A stage monitors to provide on-stage foldback.
FOH mixing duties were handled by “Big Mick” Hughes, Metallica’s long-time engineer. Monitor engineer Bob Cowan and assistant monitor engineer Adam Correia handled the band’s on-stage mix.
“After the show, the media reported that it was the first time they’d head really great sound at an outdoor rock concert in Malaysia,” says Neil. “Big Mick deserves a great deal of credit for mixing Metallica as only he can.”
Andrew Warren, managing director for EHQ Projects, worked closely with Neil, while Frankie Lau, Marcus Koay, and Frando Ho coordinated logistics for SES Sound & Lighting under the supervision of managing director S.T. Ho.
“Metallica was the show of a lifetime,” says Neil. “We want to thank SES for coming on board as a partner to make it a great success.”
Metallica’s Malaysian appearance was produced and organized by Galaxy Group, in association with LAMC Productions and Rockstar Touring.
Jeffrey Page Joins WorxAudio Technologies As Sales Administrator
Overseeing a number of important operations for the compan
WorxAudio Technologies has announced the appointment of Jeffrey Page to the position of sales administrator. With a background that encompasses music performance, audio engineering, customer service, and operations, Page is well suited to the new position.
As sales administrator, Page oversees a number of important operations for the company, including being the “go-to” person for all customer service inquiries, assisting sales reps and dealers, helping with drawing/design of room layouts and loudspeaker configurations for clients, and working with the company’s warehouse operations.
Page is a performing musician and also has FOH experience mixing audio for church services, and previously he served in management in the hospitality industry.
“WorxAudio Technologies is regarded as a premiere boutique loudspeaker manufacturer and I am delighted to have the opportunity to join the company,” Page says. “I believe my background in music, customer service, and warehouse logistics makes me well suited for the responsibilities of this new position.
“In the short time I’ve been working in this capacity, I’ve found this opportunity to be truly rewarding. Since starting with the company this past April, I’ve learned a lot and I look forward to contributing to the company’s continuing growth as we move forward.”
Hugh Sarvis, WorxAudio Technologies CEO and director of engineering, adds, “From day one, Jeff has demonstrated a unique combination of know-how and enthusiasm that is contagious. Jeff is a self-starter who knows how to take the ball and run with it.
“He’s already contributed to this company’s growth in numerous ways and I’m absolutely confident he will excel in this new capacity. All of us at WorxAudio are very happy to have him as a vital contributor to our team.”
Cerwin-Vega! Loudspeakers Boost Audio At Hollywood Music Venue
The Cerwin-Vega! setup at AMPLYFi features two P-Series stacks, which each include a P1500X two-way, bi-amped, full-range bass-reflex speaker and a P1800SX powered subwoofer.
Popular Hollywood music venue AMPLYFi recently upgraded to the new P-Series Professional PA system and CVA Active Series Speakers from Cerwin-Vega!.
Though the all-ages nightclub has always had a reputation for unfaltering, high-quality sound, when owner Kota Wade first heard the P-Series system, she decided to make the switch to the Cerwin-Vega! System.
The Cerwin-Vega! setup at AMPLYFi features two P-Series stacks, which each include a P1500X two-way, bi-amped, full-range bass-reflex speaker and a P1800SX powered subwoofer.
Equipped with a large woofer and amplifier, each P1800SX offers high-level bass punch with extreme low-end response. The hemi-conical horn of the P1500X gives the venue enhanced sound clarity over an even and wide coverage area.
“Changing the entire sound system was a huge decision for me,” says Wade, who is also a musician and AMPLYFi’s FOH engineer. “I was just so stunned with the clarity I heard from the P-Series and CVA at every volume level, even when I ran it through multiple music genres. That was when I knew I had to make the switch.”
Rounding out the audio setup at AMPLYFi are several Cerwin-Vega! CVA-28s, two of which are strategically facing the audience at center fill, and four being used as sound monitors.
Primarily a live music venue, AMPLYFi is home to Wade’s two bands—Girl Radical, managed by ‘N Sync’s JC Chasez, and Bad Wolf, an alternative rock band – as well as several renowned artists, such as Echosmith, The Maine, the Brobecks, the Bolts.
The 800-square-foot space features music of varying styles, including ambient, electronic and rock, and groups of all sizes, from acoustic outfits to big bands, which is why Wade especially loves Cerwin-Vega!’s sound control.
“When I decided to make the switch to the P-Series and CVA, I didn’t just change my gear, I changed my setup,” adds Wade. “I included subwoofers, which I had never used in this space before, because I felt safe knowing that the P-Series allows me to have total control over the sound, which is very important in a room this size.
“People of all ages can stand less than a foot away from the speakers when a band is playing, and I know that I won’t blow out their ears because I can control the sound levels.”
The Cerwin-Vega! P-Series delivers a new standard in power and bass punch and is suited for any sound reinforcement application, from live performances to public speeches.
The P1500X speaker employs a 15-inch woofer and high-frequency compression driver, powered by a custom 1500W Class-D amp.
The P1800SX powered subwoofer features an 18-inch woofer with a custom 2000W Class-D amp.
Both pieces include a built-in mixer with I/O connections, allowing for simple and fast setup, while enhanced EQ, VEGA BASS boost and high-pass filters enable exact tuning and exceptional performance for any event.
Situated in the heart of Hollywood, AMPLYFi is an all ages live music venue. Over 1,500 bands have graced the club’s stage since its opening, with many more scheduled to perform in the upcoming months.
L-Acoustics And Robbie Williams Take The Crown
The full equipment inventory for the Robbie William's tour included a full complement of L-Acoustics gear.
Robbie Williams’ “Take the Crown” European stadium tour, his first solo tour for seven years, kicked off on June 14 of this year, taking in 11 countries across June, July and August.
Sherif el Barbari, Audio System Designer and System Engineer for Robbie Williams, designed and specified the entire PA system around the requirements of the tour. Britannia Row, who had already serviced Robbie Williams’ tours for almost two decades, supplied the all of the audio equipment for the tour.
The full equipment inventory included a full complement of L-Acoustics gear including 64 K1, 32 K1-SB, 44 SB28, 24 V-DOSC, 240 KUDO, 24 KARA, 12 ARCS II and 150 LA8 amplifiers.
According to Joshua Lloyd, Brit Row’s PA Crew Chief, “K1 is one of, if not the best, systems in the market currently.” It was deployed in full for this special tour.
To match the video screen backdrop and extensive gold stage scenery and design, the K1, K1-SB and ARCS II enclosures were all customized with gold grills.
“How could the K1 grills be any other color than gold?” el Barbari asked. “This top of the pops high end sound reinforcement system deserves no less than a gold finish. Everyone was extremely satisfied with the looks and I’m not alone in saying that finish is just the perfect match.”
A flown ring delay system was also deployed in the stadiums where the roof structure allowed the system to be hung, dramatically improving the quality of sound right to the back of the stadium audiences.
The largest deployment of ring delays was at Wembley Stadium, London.
“126 KUDO were used to cover the upper bowl, distributed into 14 hangs of nine cabinets,” el Barbari explains. “The selective horizontal coverage of the KUDO made it the perfect choice to minimize triangulation time path problems when using multiple sources, which overlap in coverage.
“The 50-degree horizontal K-LOUVER setting was used wherever possible to overcome these problems. We received high praise for the sound quality in the upper bowl in each stadium where we used the ring delay system, especially notable in the Wembley Stadium in London.”
Lloyd agrees, “The ring delay system made a huge difference in the large stadiums where every seat in the house got the best coverage we could achieve. It provides a very different experience going to the back of a stadium and having that vocal in your face. Overall, it meant that everyone had great audio and felt involved in the show as they could hear every word.”
Visiting 11 different countries with such a big production poses challenges even for the most experienced of system engineers. Thanks to the help of L-Acoustics’ SOUNDVISION software, these challenges could be predicted and resolved ahead of set up at each venue.
As el Barbari noted, “The extensive simulations that I was able to do beforehand in SOUNDVISION proved once again to be the most powerful tool to cope with the time limitations one faces in such a big stadium production when it comes to aligning a system comprising of more than 36 arrays and clusters.
“Without it, I can’t think of how we would have been able to run our first show of the tour in the Dublin Aviva stadium where we had a tight noise window of only two one-hour sessions over two days to align and tune the PA system in a challenging environment.”
Lloyd concurred noting that “the reviews were all good and everyone from the musical director to production seemed very pleased with the results.”
“I would like to express my sincere thanks to all of the Britannia Row Audio Crew,” el Barbari concludes. “They have worked hard to make it all happen. Their efforts and determination are highly appreciated and I will be looking forward to a new challenge to master with such a talented and professional crew.”
AKG Unveils New K812 Reference Headphones
Offers open-back design optimized for pristine and natural sound
At the ongoing PLASA show in London, AKG has introduced new K812 reference headphones, offering an open-back design optimized for pristine and natural sound.
The K812 offers an over-sized 53mm driver for the highest dynamic range ever in an AKG headphone. A copper-covered aluminum voice coil extends sounds beyond the limits of human hearing, hitting a full spectrum of frequencies.
Each K812 is built for comfort with a fast, adjustable headband and extremely soft ear pads to ensure comfort in any application, for extended periods of time.
“The AKG K812’s are not only our newest reference headphones, but they are the very pinnacle of technological innovation to which we’ve aspired in our 65 years of innovation,” stated Kent Iverson, director of marketing and product development, AKG. “K812 is the result of an intensive 5-year research and development program to achieve, as near as possible, the perfect headphone.
“The level of technology and engineering invested in K812 exceeds the industry standard, resulting in truly the best sounding headphones AKG has ever released.”
AKG’s long-standing tenure in the headphones industry begain with the original K120 in 1949, and also includes the iconic K1000 head speaker system for advanced, binaural reproduction for hi-fi purists and studio pros, as well as flat-wire technology K701s for studio professionals.
Fulcrum Acoustic Announces Todd Foster As North American Director Of Sales
Will work directly with the company's dealers, sales rep firms, and distributors
Fulcrum Acoustic has named industry veteran Todd Foster as director of North American sales, where he will work directly with the company’s dealers, sales rep firms, and distributors.
Foster brings strong experience to the position, having been involved with sales and system design in the pro audio industry for more than 20 years.
“Todd brings a tremendous amount of sales expertise to Fulcrum,” states Stephen Siegel, president of Fulcrum Acoustic.“I’ve known Todd for about 15 years now; he is one of those rare individuals who has deep familiarity with the pro audio marketplace, yet also understands how to grow a brand. Fulcrum’s growth to date has been quite strong, and I’m confident that with Todd’s help, we will continue to expand our dealer and project base.”
Foster began his career in pro audio working as a design and sales engineer for a regional system integrator serving the church and commercial markets. In 1996, he became a field sales representative in the Southeastern U.S. for several prominent audio manufacturers.
By 2000, he merged his firm into Quest Marketing and expanded service into the Florida region, and over the last several years, has continued to support the Quest dealer network with sales and technical assistance while also serving as the technical director for his church.
“This is a very exciting opportunity,” Foster says. “Having known most of the Fulcrum team for many years, I look forward to working alongside them to promote the brand and develop new markets for this great-sounding range of loudspeakers.”
Monday, October 07, 2013
Church Sound: We Need To Lower The Volume!
Making it dynamic, just not as loud
“We need to turn down the sound.” Do those words strike fear, anger, frustration, artistic disruption, etc., within you and your team?
If so, it’s take a long hard look in the mirror and ask, “Why are we doing this?”
If instead you’re thinking, “Hmm… this could be an opportunity to make use of our skills and solve an irritating problem,” then you know where this post is going to go.
As a church sound person, I know having worship music at high levels can be good for the congregation, especially those congregations where they don’t know how to move around and haven’t felt the powerful impact of a worship song that’s allowed to fully breathe and exult God’s presence.
I’ve been a part of the magical mystery that happens at a large event where with the last thunderous chorus the music comes way, way down and you feel the mist of the Holy Spirit washing over the crowd and something happens to people.
But I get it—not everyone wants to hear that sonic energy all the time. So do I impose my style onto the congregation or do I find a way to make softer levels sound as good as possible, regardless of my personal opinion? If we’re doing this for the right reasons, the answer is clear.
Some background is appropriate. Our church is a “gymnatorium” in its current phase of life. A big, square, very reverberant, non-treated environment. Hard surfaces everywhere, including the floors and ceiling. We have an electric guitar-driven worship team with live drums in a shield without a lid. Even the stage, which is about 4 feet off the ground, doesn’t have carpeting.
Needless to say, it’s a bit of a challenge to get decent sound and intelligibility out of the system, which itself is pretty decent: PreSonus StudioLive 24.4.2 console, dbx DriveRack digital processor, QSC RMX amplifiers, and Electro-Voice main loudspeakers and subwoofers.
Musicians are on in-ear monitors, and everyone goes direct into the snake except for the worship leader’s electric that’s in an amp closet. So the only stage volume is from the drums, which is substantial. Our worship team is good with dynamics.
For some reason, the company that installed the system (way before I came on the scene) decided that four main loudspeakers would be best for coverage. Unfortunately, the way they positioned the loudspeakers creates significant phasing issues and reverberant “splash” around the room.
All that to say being quiet is not easy. Initially, I wanted to disconnect the bottom two main loudspeakers to help eliminate the phasing and reverberance issues. The worship leader didn’t want to do that, thinking that it would sound “weak” with just the two loudspeakers, so I experienced some pushback. This led to an alternative of trying EQ the system as much as possible to gain some intelligibility.
Side note: At this point, you may be wondering about adding acoustic treatment. It would certainly help, that’s true. However, due to budget considerations, and because the room is used as a basketball court and will eventually become the Youth Center when phase 2 gets going, it wasn’t an option.
The worship leader also likes a heavy kick and bass presence, meaning I needed to run the mix hotter to keep everything coherent. To get things to sound “correct,” we were running at about 98 dB (C weighted, slow), close to concert levels. By working the dynamics of the mix, we would vary between 85 dB up to sometimes 100 dB (both C weighted, slow).
Our congregation is primarily in their 30s and 40s. They’ve grown up on rock concerts. They’re used to loud music. But some of them have probably commented to the senior pastor about the volume.
Eventually, the senior pastor asked the worship leader to turn it down, who then turned it over to me. So let me repeat this point again because it’s important in general, and in particular, those of you that are just getting started in sound. Whoever is in charge of the event gets to dictate the rules. Whether it’s a corporate gig or a worship service, ultimately there’s one person in charge, and he/she gets the final word.
A true mark of a professional is being able to accommodate the varying styles and preferences of the client willingly and without fuss. So to put this in the perspective of the church, the senior pastor is where the buck stops. It doesn’t matter if the worship leader doesn’t agree with his decision. It’s his decision. You can either deal with it or leave.
Sorry to be so blunt but I’ve seen churches where there is such a large disconnect between the senior pastor’s wishes and the attitude of the worship and/or tech teams that it’s impossible not to feel the tension between them. Do not make life difficult for whoever is in charge. You won’t win any friends.
OK, time to get off my soapbox!
At our church, after getting the mandate from the senior pastor, the worship leader and I got together and brainstormed what would be required to make the senior pastor’s request happen while keeping the fidelity of the music and even improving it, if possible.
We came up with a plan consisting of several elements:
—Relocation of the drums and drum shield to bring it closer to the back wall (now), and to close off the sides with the addition of a Sorber Lid (to be purchased next year).
—Disconnection of the two lower main loudspeakers.
—Flattening of the DriveRack EQ and letting the console handle the EQ processing for a cleaner signal.
—Changing the crossover frequency and pattern to bring more bass to the mains while also adding some mid-low to the subs. This should result in a fuller sound, with more overall balance.
In addition to improved fidelity and performance, the overall goal was reducing average volume down to 90 dB, with peaks at 95 dB.
After doing these steps (except adding the Sorber Lids). I played pink noise through the system and checked that the console was seeing everything flat, which it was. I then fired up the Room EQ Wizard software and checked the frequencies coming into my measurement microphone. Overall, not bad and about where I expected it would be. But there were definitely areas that I could tweak.
I then flattened the EQ on the processor, and reconfigured the sub delays and the crossover. After a quick “pinking,” I played back a multitrack recording from the previous Sunday’s worship service, first at the old sound level to get a base feel, and then at the target dB setting. It sounded decent but a bit muddy.
Looking at the master EQ on the console, I decided that I’d start over by flattening the EQ and going from there. In an effort to not mess myself up, and because I was too lazy to add another scene, I just turned off the EQ. And as soon as I did, the sound came through nice and clear.
You may be thinking that I’m nuts for not running a house EQ. Keep in mind that this is my specific situation, and I don’t recommend arbitrarily turning off the house EQ permanently and tweaking the channel EQs to compensate. If I had to make the same EQ changes on every channel, I would have kept house EQ in and changed those settings.
Now that I had the band sounding really good without any house EQ, I next focused on the kick and bass. Rolled off some low-end and mid-lows on both of them, and got them both sitting in the mix all pretty and not walking over everything else. That enabled me to bring the volume down even further while maintaining the clarity that I wanted to keep. (Yeah!)
Next I had the drummer go up and whack the skins while playing back the mix to see what the drums sounded like live. While they’re a bit louder and I have less control than I’d like because we don’t have a lid on the drum shield, it’s still a lot better than before. Outside of those minor channel tweaks, not much had to change.
Overall I’m pretty pleased with the reduced volume sound. Would I like it louder? Sure, but again, it’s not about me. It’s about someone coming into this church for the first time who’s longing for God’s saving grace and being able to possibly experience it because another distraction has been reduced or eliminated. And if bringing down the volume helps to accomplish that, then I’m all for it.
The takeaways? The senior pastor gets to make a request. Our job is to make it work without making the pastor feel bad about asking for it. That’s what we’re there for.
Further, don’t be afraid to change things and start over. Look for opportunities to make things better instead of just turning the volume down. Could I have accomplished the request without going through all this by simply turning down the master fader? Yes. Would it have sounded as good? Absolutely not.
So we need to bring our A-game to everything we do. Always look for improvements, and starting over can open up unexpected results.
Brian Gowing has helped over 30 churches meet their technology requirements. Brian works towards shepherding the church, analyzing their technical requirements, sourcing the equipment, installing the equipment and training the volunteer personnel. As he likes to say, “equipping the saints with technology to help spread the Good News.” Contact Brian here.
Renkus-Heinz ICONYX Digitally Steerable Arrays Deliver At New LAX International Terminal
Puts sound where it needs to be while avoiding difficult reflective surfaces
Expansive and airy in design, the new Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX greets international travelers with a bright, open floor plan, high ceilings, and enough glass to pull in the welcome glow of southern California’s most ample natural resource.
With its towering walls and abundant reflective surfaces, the joint design team from Fentress Architects and HTNB Corporation knew early on that the new space would present some unique acoustical challenges. They turned to Whittier CA-based VSA Associates, an acoustical consulting firm with more than 20 years of experience and a client list that includes Hilton Hotels, Caltrans, and Arizona State University.
What VSA’s design team created was a sophisticated system based around ICONYX digitally steerable arrays from Renkus-Heinz. Michael Kalmanson, vice president at VSA Associates, explains, “The ICONYX systems allows us to direct sound exactly where we needed it to be, while avoiding difficult reflective surfaces or wasting energy outside of the listening areas.”
The new terminal offers 14 modern gates with facilities to accommodate today’s larger, trans-oceanic aircraft like the Airbus A360 and Boeing 747-B. A combination of IC16 and IC8 arrays are deployed throughout the terminal, all fully concealed within the structural detailing. “We selected IC16s or IC8s, depending on ceiling height and how far we needed to throw the sound,” says Kalmanson.
The crown jewel of the new terminal is the 150,000-square foot, $1.9 billion Antonio R. Villaraigosa Pavilion, home to premier dining, shopping and relaxation services, along with an impressive AV information hub.
“At 80 feet high with tons of glass, the pavilion was one of the more challenging spaces,” states Kalmanson. “We opted for the ICONYX IC16 arrays there, and then dialed in the multiple steering lobes to target individual listening areas while ensuring that sound didn’t splash into the aisles or up onto the walls.”
He continues, “The ability to define multiple steering lobes from a single array is one of the most compelling aspects of the ICONYX system-especially for a job like this. You can literally steer a portion of the array down 30 degrees, the next part down 15 degrees, and the final portion straight out. It’s extremely sophisticated equipment that offers an amazing amount of control.”
Pulling everything together for the expansive new terminal is a multi-zone paging system from Innovative Electrical Design (IED), which synchronizes the massive flight information displays and PA systems throughout the pavilion and terminals. The IED system combines the audio into zones for easy operation and adjustment during heavy traffic times.
“In most places, the ICONYX arrays are assigned to their own paging zone, but in some instances we combined multiple arrays into a group zone,” says Kalmanson. “Each zone is tuned perfectly for the space. We even have ambient noise compensation, which automatically raises or lowers the output depending on crowd noise.”
Hawthorn, CA-based Direct AV handled installation duties. Working closely with the architects, Direct AV ensured a highly finished installation, with minimal visual impact. As a result, all ICONYX arrays are flush mounted into existing structural elements throughout the terminal, with only their grills visible to visitors.
While Kalmanson comfortably credits the power of the ICONYX system as an essential ingredient in the successful design, he also notes the support provided by Renkus-Heinz directly.
“I simply don’t know of a better product for jobs like this than ICONYX,” he concludes. “But I’m also pleased that Renkus-Heinz was so involved, from modeling the spaces in EASE, to ensuring that we had exactly what we needed to meet our schedule from start to finish. I couldn’t be happier.”
MFO Producciones Invests In Turbosound Flashline
MFO Producciones owner Oscar Fragio was impressed by the unique features and system packaging of the new five-way large scale line array.
Spanish production company MFO Producciones has taken delivery of a Turbosound Flashline PA system consisting of 24 TFS-900H four-way line array modules, 18 TFS-900B double 18-inch subwoofers, and six complete amplifier racks, and immediately put it to work on a series of arena events during the month of August.
Founded in 2008, MFO Producciones carries a permanent staff of eight experienced audio professionals as well as employing freelance technicians and sound engineers, and majors on corporate shows and television productions, live music events and tours.
Owner Oscar Fragio has worked with Turbosound products for many years, from the TMS-3 modular full range PA cabinet to the present day, and reckons the company’s principal value is a combination of this extended experience, together with the skills of its varied and highly experienced staff.
“We aim to offer a high level of technical resources, and this is what makes MFO a leader in its field,” says Oscar.
Having looked at most of the major sound systems on the market, Fragio was impressed by the unique features and system packaging of Turbosound’s new five-way large scale line array.
“It’s something completely different,” he comments. “Flashline has the sweetest sound, clear and powerful at all frequencies — and few systems can throw that far with such little distortion. When you factor in the subwoofers, which at this time have no rival in the market, it is the perfect mix for today’s type of music.”
Flashline is a complete turnkey sound reinforcement system designed to deliver ultra-high quality audio to large audiences. The TFS-900H is a four-way flown line array consisting of eleven discrete drive units uniquely deployed across four frequency bands, teamed up with Lab.gruppen’s industry-leading four-channel DSP-based amplifiers with Lake processing in custom-designed Turbosound racks.
The TFS-900B subs are a hybrid-loaded design that makes use of energy from the rear as well as the front of the 18-inch neodymium drivers’ cones for an impressive 141 dB peak output. The Flashline high packs travel pre-rigged in groups of four on custom dollies that allow a loudspeaker array to be flownquickly and easily.
As soon as MFO had taken delivery of the system, the Flashline PA’s first outing was at Gijon Sports Palace for popular international artist Pitbull.
“I think the system adapted well to the 8,500 capacity venue’s difficult acoustics and reflections, showing the loudspeakers’ ability to bring vocals clearly into the foreground,” says Fragio.
The second show was outdoors for 11,000 people and capably demonstrated Flashline’s power and presence to the promoter, assistant crew, and Pitbull’s FOH engineer Wilberto Madera.
“You will not believe the indescribable pressure that Flashline generated, even with plenty of headroom in reserve,” he comments. “It just goes on and on!”
Fragio continues: “The system rigs quickly and easily, and our first thought was that if it’s this good with recorded music, how would it sound with a live band? Well, there’s nothing to say, you only have to listen to it to realize that Flashline is spectacular.
“What I particularly like in the PA is the mid band, the soft, sweet and natural voices — for all ranges of music from rock and roll to extreme heavy metal, electronic music and opera.”
On to early August, and the town of Viana (Logroño) played host to probably the most important singer-songwriter of the Spanish music industry, Joan Manuel Serrat, with a history of nearly 50 years on the stage, who performed with the Viana orchestra, interpreting his best known songs including Mediterráneo, and Penélope.
This gala charity event was organized by the City Council and Juan Manuel especially for the town’s elderly folks, and was not only a public success with over 4,500 tickets sold, it also presented the opportunity to put Flashline fully to the test.
The outcome was nothing less than spectacular, with excellent sound quality and, most importantly, the presence of all the instruments in their respective positions, with Joan Manuel’s voice projecting clearly into the foreground without having to adjust anything. The outstanding purity and quality of the system’s components gave the technical staff the feeling they were witnessing possibly the bestconcert touring system in the world.
Sound engineer Juan Gonzalez gave his resounding approval: “This is a great system, the coverage is perfect wherever you go. It sounds really nice, congratulations!”
Bass Player Ed Lanouette Joins The QSC K For Musicians
First utilized KW loudspeakers as stage monitors for bass
QSC Audio welcomes Shadows Fall bass player and music educator Ed Lanouette into the K for Musicians family, which is made up of users of the company’s K Series loudspeakers.
Lanouette first experienced K loudspeakers in Odessa, TX while on tour with Shadows Fall. Playing at a small venue where there was no room for bulky cabinets, the house sound engineer offered him QSC KW loudspeakers as stage monitors for bass.
“Of course I didn’t think that the self-powered KWs would keep up, as many self-powered cabinets are a disappointment,” says Lanouette. “I was quickly put in my place with the QSC’s, and humbled. I knew right then and there that I wanted them – period! I was so done trying all the boutique bass amps, and believe me, I have had them all. I’m over it.”
On stage, Lanouette is currently using a KW152 and a KW181 with a Bass Pod xt Live to drive them. “The KW Series are amazing in that they are perfectly transparent; from the bottom to the top they are clean and accurate,” adds Lanouette. “The power is awesome and I have plenty of headroom for those situations you run into in larger venues where they seem to gobble up the volume.”
He’s not normally a fan of effects on bass because he feels that most bass rigs don’t project effects well live, is also rethinking this now because he ‘s using the the KW Series. “You can stomp on the pedals all day and most people have no idea you’re even are using an effect!!” he adds. “The clarity of the KW’s solves this issue and has me rethinking my approach to effects. The KW sSeries are amazing in every way including articulation and punch.”
Lanouette is also committed to the education of bass players, and established www.ebassonline.com, a free website for musicians to be inspired, explore theory, learn improvisation techniques and broaden their abilities.
“I’ve had guitar players, horn players and of course bass players asking me about theory and how to use it. So I created ebassonline.com in an effort to help players who are looking to grow musically,” he says. “I love music and I do this for the love of music. It’s my way of giving back to something that has afforded me some of the most amazing experiences in my life.”
Lanouette is currently writing and producing a project called “Midnight Whiskey Worship” with Jason Bittner (Shadows Fall drummer) and Steve Etzel, which has says is “a chance for all of us to breathe as musicians and to express ourselves.” And, he’s working on a variety of freelance recording sessions and touring as the schedule arises.
K for Musicians
Friday, October 04, 2013
Community Covers Back-to-Back Playing Fields At Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School
Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School in New Jersey installs new Community loudspeaker system for both football and soccer fields.
Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School is a comprehensive regional public high school serving the Township of Scotch Plains and the Borough of Fanwood in north central New Jersey.
Scotch Plains-Fanwood has an active athletic program. Its Raiders football and soccer teams enjoy back-to-back playing fields with large bleachers, new turf, a common press box and a new audio system covering both fields with Community R-Series loudspeakers.
“The old audio system failed on homecoming day in 2012,” said contractor Scott Hibbard of Scott Hibbard Audio. “They had no audio for sports announcements or even for emergency paging.”
Hibbard designed the new system to cover both fields from the common press box. For the football field, he installed four Community R.5-94s for the home-team bleachers and two R.5HPs firing across the field for the visitor seating. He covered the smaller soccer field bleachers with a pair of Community R.25-94 loudspeakers.
The system uses a dbx ZonePRO Digital Zone Processor for system control, mixing and equalization.
Hibbard provided a Shure announce microphone and a pair of Shure wireless mics for use on the field. A wall panel provides source selection and volume control. Another wall panel configures the system for football games, soccer or events that utilize both fields simultaneously. For security, both wall panels are located in the equipment rack.
The loudspeakers are aimed away from adjacent neighborhoods yet provide excellent coverage with only 3dB to 4dB of variation across the entire field. The system was used in its “both fields” mode for this year’s graduation ceremonies. The school is very pleased with the system’s performance.
“The old system had used traditional paging horns and had a narrow frequency response and poor dynamic range,” said Hibbard. “The students love the new system and, when the school officials heard it for the first time, their jaws dropped!”
Thursday, October 03, 2013
Meyer Sound LEO Makes First Appearance At Sziget Festival (with Video)
Meyer Sound LEO makes first appearnce at annual Sziget festival on the river Danube in northern Budapest.
Held on Óbudai-sziget (Old Buda Island), a 266-acre island on the river Danube in northern Budapest, the annual Sziget Festival is one of the largest music festivals in Europe.
Over eight days this summer, Sziget attracted 1,000 Hungarian and international artists performing at 60 venues, and welcomed a total of 362,000 fans.
For the festival’s main stage, a Meyer Sound LEO linear large-scale sound reinforcement system supported headliners including Blur, David Guetta, and Franz Ferdinand.
“Bringing LEO into the fray is a real leap forward, as it’s a fantastic system with a huge throw,” says Karoly Molnar, the main stage sound designer and managing director of Animative Ltd., which handled production management for Sziget.
“Because the music styles are so varied at Sziget, this system is perfect. And because LEO is so linear with a flat frequency response, engineers don’t need to tweak it—they can spend all their time on the console.”
For the eighth consecutive year, London-based Capital Sound provided sound reinforcement for the festival’s main stage, with the company’s Robin Conway working onsite as project manager and Mark ‘Magic’ Ellis-Cope serving as crew chief. Equipment support was provided by Warsaw, Poland-based GMB Pro Sound, and Adam Szczęsny from GMB oversaw the rigging process.
The LEO system included two main hangs of 16 LEO-M line array loudspeakers each, as well as two out-fill hangs of eight LEO-M loudspeakers each. Providing low end were two ground stacks of 18-each 1100-LFC low-frequency control elements per side, supported by 22 700-HP subwoofers for center fill and out fill.
A Galileo Callisto loudspeaker management system featuring Galileo Callisto 616 array processors provided system drive and alignment.
“The festival setup has changed dramatically over the years—it’s all about coverage now, and the audience expects a great sound,” says Tamás Dragon, Sziget’s resident FOH engineer. “Not only is LEO powerful, but its throw is massive. The 1100-LFC subs have lots of carry and thump, and that nice punchy bass sound is exactly what we need.”
Molnar adds: “The feedback from engineers, managers, and festival-goers was excellent. The Galileo Callisto system made tuning the system easy, and the headroom of both the LEO-M and the 1100-LFCs was impressive. We never reached limit—that is very unusual at this festival. And we even got some nice comments from the lighting guys, who liked the small footprint and the elegant, narrow look of the arrays.”
2013 marked the 10th consecutive year that Meyer Sound equipment was used at Sziget. Systems based around M3D, MILO, and MICA line array loudspeakers were also used at a number of smaller stages throughout the festival.
Sziget Festival has grown dramatically since its inception in 1993 as a small student event. In 2011, Sziget won Best Major European Festivalin the European Festivals Awards.