Thursday, June 27, 2013

Gand Helps River Edge Park Kick Off Opening Concert Season

To kick off its first season, Gand Concert Sound (GCS) Elk Grove Village IL, provided a NEXO Geo T sound system along with Yamaha PM5D-RH and M7CL-48 consoles for the opening weekend.

Along the banks of the Fox River in Aurora, Illinois, the new River Edge Park represents a strong collaborative effort between the public and private sectors.

The 30-acre park has a 10-acre Music Garden, with its John C. Dunham venue seating 8,500 including the lawn area.

At a cost of 13.2 million dollars, the city of Aurora has taken a huge step in upgrading a former rust belt industrial area and turning it into the place to go for music during the summer months.

To kick off its first season, Gand Concert Sound (GCS) Elk Grove Village IL, provided a NEXO Geo T sound system along with Yamaha PM5D-RH and M7CL-48 consoles for the opening weekend.

The NEXO rig included 24 GEO T speakers, 12 CD-18 subs, plus PS-15 monitors and Alpha side fills powered by NX 4x4 amps.

Entertainment included Buddy Guy, Dr. John, JJ Grey & Mofro, Tommy Castro, Robert Randolph Family Band, and the Stone Foxes for the weekend’s “Blues on the Fox” Festival.

GCS President, Gary Gand said, “It was a great way to start off our outdoor summer season here in the Midwest. BBQ, beer, and Buddy Guy are about as good as it can get under a star-filled sky by the Fox River.”
Audience comments overheard by crew covered the gamut from “I’m all the way in the back, and it sounds great,” to “I’m right in front and it sounds great,” showing off the even coverage provided by the NEXO speakers and GeoSoft plotting software.

Florida swamp rocker JJ Grey, the first artist to play on the park’s stage, had never been to Aurora before the park’s opening night, and called it “beautiful” saying the venue’s sound system, equipment procedures, and crowd made a great impression.

Grey announced to the audience, “They killed it.” during his 90-minute set, referring to the new park.

Yamaha Commercial/NEXO
Gand Concert Sound

Posted by Julie Clark on 06/27 at 09:58 AM
Live SoundNewsConcertConsolesDigitalLine ArrayLoudspeakerSound ReinforcementPermalink

Freeman Coliseum Finds Its Sonic Focus With L-Acoustics

Recently Bexar County and the facility's management team decided to embark upon a multi-year initiative to update the venue with the most recent phase involving the addition of a new L-Acoustics ARCS Focus arena loudspeaker system installed by L-Acoustics Certified Provider LD Systems.

Originally built in 1949, San Antonio’s Freeman Coliseum has hosted everything from rodeos, boxing and hockey to expositions, circuses and concerts.

Recently Bexar County and the facility’s management team decided to embark upon a multi-year initiative to update the venue with the most recent phase involving the addition of a new L-Acoustics ARCS Focus arena loudspeaker system installed by L-Acoustics Certified Provider LD Systems.

According to Garth Hemphill, sales engineer for LD Systems’ Houston office, Nelson Wilcox served as the project manager with project engineering handled by Tom Smith and Whit Whitworth.

Following a careful evaluation of the 11,700-capacity arena’s needs, the LD Systems team worked closely with Andrew Nagel, L-Acoustics’ head of application, install, to ultimately specify a system comprised of 40 ARCS Focus enclosures paired with 16 SB18i subs.

Installed and commissioned by mid-May, just prior to a string of nearly 20 high school and collegiate graduation services that the arena hosts each year, the new system is comprised of eight arrays each featuring five ARCS Focus enclosures flown beneath two SB18i subs.

Powered and processed by a combined total of eight amplified controllers, two LA4 drive the bottom ARCS Focus enclosures on each array—used as downfills to address the floor area when necessary—while six LA8 power both the subs and upper four ARCS Focus cabinets grouped in pairs to cover the main seating.
“We initially put together three potential system packages for the venue: one built on L-Acoustics’ high-performance KARA system, a second system from a competitive manufacturer, and a third comprised of the new ARCS Focus arrays,” says Hemphill. “KARA was really more than they needed, so it was eliminated.

“The second system actually provided a similar performance spec to the ARCS Focus but was considerably more expensive and required 64 rack spaces for amps, as opposed to only 16. Plus, the L-Acoustics product simply sounded better, so it was a much better choice.”

Following the system’s installation, Hemphill admitted that even he was overwhelmingly impressed with the new ARCS Focus arrays.

“This system is amazing,” he enthuses. “I’ve been designing and installing systems for 30 years and have never had a system straight out of the box sound this good in any room, let alone a big echoic arena!

“We walked the entire venue and measured an incredibly consistent 108dB of coverage throughout the seating with almost no fluctuation. And the sound is so naturally clean and present. It reminded me of the sound that our K1 system delivered at RodeoHouston earlier this year, but on a smaller scale.”

Freeman Coliseum Executive Director Derrick Howard agrees.

“Before even listening to our previous sound system, Garth told me that an L-Acoustics solution would sound at least ten times better than what we had been using,” he recalls. “Once the LD team had performed the installation, I brought in one of my favorite CDs, which Garth played as we walked the building, and I had to admit that he was right. The sound is absolutely spectacular.”

Although the new system will frequently be called upon to provide speech reinforcement for graduation ceremonies, corporate functions and other similar events, Howard adds that the L-Acoustics name and reputation for exemplary sound will certainly appeal to musical acts coming into the venue.

“We feel that this system really helps gives us an advantage in attracting top musical artists passing through San Antonio to perform here.”


Posted by Julie Clark on 06/27 at 07:41 AM
Live SoundNewsConcertInstallationLine ArrayLoudspeakerSound ReinforcementPermalink

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Atlanta’s Word Of Faith Love Center Upgrades With RCF

The Word Of Faith Love Center, located in Atlanta, recently installed a new sound reinforcement system featuring RCF HDL line arrays.

The Word Of Faith Love Center, located in Atlanta, recently installed a new sound reinforcement system featuring RCF HDL line arrays.

The church leaders called upon Atlanta Audio Visual to design and install the new system.

“Their goal was a system that would cover every seat in the house while providing vocal intelligibility and enough volume to satisfy their contemporary praise band,” explains Brad McWhorter, CEO of Atlanta Audio Visual. “The sanctuary is a long rectangular room with a back balcony and 30 foot ceilings. I immediately thought of the RCF HDL line array system.”

A long-time RCF fan, McWhorter designed a powered left-right system with each array consisting of one HDL 18-AS sub followed by six HDL 20A line array modules.

The HDL 20-A features two 10-inch woofers and one 3-inch titanium compression driver, a 1400 Watt peak power two-way digital amplifier with switch mode power supply and DSP controlled input section. With a maximum delivery of 135 dB SPL, it would more than cover the church’s requirements.

The HDL 18-AS is a flyable high power subwoofer designed to integrate in the HDL 20-A system.  The bass reflex design guarantees a deep, linear power response while the 4-inch voice coil vented design woofer provides minimum power compression.  The end result is the driving low end the music portion of the services demanded.

“We were originally called in for vocal intelligibility issues,” adds McWhorter. “Their existing system wasn’t meeting the needs of today’s high energy, low bass driving, music oriented services. RCF fit the bill perfectly.”

Not only did the line arrays meet the criteria of the growing church, but they also were lightweight enough to meet the installation requirements as well.

“The most logical location to hang the arrays were from beams that were constructed of laminated wood back in 1979,” McWhorter explains. “It was going to be a challenge to hang 800 pounds from them. Size and weight were definitely a factor in the design process.”

Because the beams would have to serve as the structural base to hang the arrays, Sykes Consulting was brought in to ensure the system was hung from a structurally sound location.

“Sykes designed a one-half inch thick steel U bracket to slip over the beam that could support 445 lbs per anchor,” says McWhorter. “With two anchors per array, it was more than sufficient for the HDL arrays.”
Atlanta Audio Visual also provided dbTechnologies DVXZ DM 12 stage monitors for the choir area and an additional four DVA S09DP active subwoofers that were positioned on platforms to the left and right of the alter.

To further counter acoustic challenges, the team installed Auralex acoustical panels across the columns and the balcony face to quiet the room by an additional 10 dB.

“The church is extremely happy with the end results,” concludes McWorter. “The 6-piece band, choir and vocalists sound outstanding and the members can still hear the spoken word clearly. It was the ideal solution all around.”


Posted by Julie Clark on 06/26 at 02:42 PM
Live SoundChurch SoundNewsInstallationLine ArrayLoudspeakerSound ReinforcementPermalink

Bose Expands Line of RoomMatch Array Module Loudspeakers

Company adds 22 new RoomMatch modules that improve sound quality by reducing side-wall reflections without the need to “yaw in” array aiming

Bose Professional Systems Division has expanded its range of RoomMatch array module loudspeakers with 22 new models with horizontally asymmetrical coverage patterns.

Building upon the innovative designs pioneered by the Bose engineering team, with the addition of these asymmetrical array modules, the RoomMatch series now includes 42 unique coverage patterns providing system designers with unprecedented coverage control and scalability for venues including houses of worship, auditoriums, performing arts centers and sports arenas.

The asymmetrical pattern modules improve sound quality in many room shapes by reducing side-wall reflections, which helps improve consistency of sound quality, seat-to-seat, without the need for “yaw in” array aiming.

The asymmetrical pattern modules also improve stereo soundstage effects when used either in left/right pairs or in L/C/R array configurations. The modules feature the industry’s only large-format asymmetrical waveguides, with pattern control down to 800 Hz, which improve vocal clarity by reducing room reflections in the critical 1-4 kHz vocal intelligibility range.

All RoomMatch full-range modules utilize six Bose EMB2 extended–midrange compression drivers with 2-inch voice coils for the high frequencies and dual Bose LF10 high-excursion, 10-inch woofers with 3-inch voice coils for the low frequencies. RoomMatch full-range array modules feature a frequency response of 60-16k Hz (+/- 3 db) with long-term continuous power handling of 500 W and peak handling of 2000 W.

The new RoomMatch asymmetrical array modules will be available through authorized Bose dealers beginning in October 2013.

Bose Professional

Posted by Julie Clark on 06/26 at 02:16 PM
Live SoundChurch SoundNewsProductInstallationLine ArrayLoudspeakerSound ReinforcementPermalink

Church Sound: In-Depth Primer On Fixing Coverage & Related Issues In Houses Of Worship

Becoming more familiar with the concepts of acoustics, processing, system configuration and more
This article is provided by Rane Corporation

Audio is an essential element in any modern-day religious service. What is heard by the congregation is a combination of the acoustic qualities of the room and the performance of the audio system.

Some of the desirable acoustic qualities in a house of worship are:

Reverberance: When well controlled with early decay, the effect is perceived as a beautiful sound that enhances the quality of the audio. See the Rane Pro Audio Reference for a definition of “reverberation.”

Clarity: The ratio of the energy in the early sound compared to that in the reverberant sound. Early sound is what is heard in the first 50 - 80 milliseconds after the arrival of the direct sound. It’s a measure of the degree to which the individual sounds stand apart from one another.

Articulation: Determined from the direct-to-total arriving sound energy ratio. When this ratio is small, the character of consonants is obscured resulting in a loss of understanding the spoken word.

Listener Envelopment: Results from the energy of the room coming from the sides of the listener. The effect is to draw the listener into the sound. Where a conference room would be optimized for articulation and clarity, a symphony hall is optimized for reverberance and listener envelopment. A good house of worship is optimized as a compromise between the somewhat conflicting requirements of music performance and the spoken word.

Articulation must be excellent but sufficient reverb is required to complement music performances. All reflections must be well controlled to achieve this balance and ensure the best possible listener experience.

An Example Of Good Sound
There are other possible examples, but the author really likes this one: In some mosques, cathedrals and tabernacles there are wonderful domed ceilings that have marvelous natural acoustic properties.

The acoustic coupling from performers to the congregation grouped under the dome makes for a very (dare I say) “spiritual” experience. For the purpose of this article, this level of performance is a “gold standard” to which other acoustic spaces will be compared in the search for improvements and recommendations.

The USA Pavilion at Florida’s Epcot Center makes for an interesting case study. There is a dome ceiling in the pavilion. Under the dome an eight-part acappella group called the “Voices of Liberty” performs. For those under the dome listening to the group, the sound is beautiful and inspiring. Moving out from under the dome, the “magic” is gone.

This level of performance is not feasible in a typical house of worship, but it does establish an icon as to what could be if there was sufficient skill (and budget) applied to the acoustic and audio system design.

And Now The Ugly World In Which We Live
Contrast this to a typical public address system squawking bad sound to the congregation. That which was good is replaced with misery.

You reach for a bottle of aspirin to calm the headache induced by a pair of blaring powered loudspeakers. Some of the problems encountered by audio designers/consultants include:

Excessive Reverberation, such that articulation and clarity is poor.

Echo, where a discrete sound reflection returns to a listener more then 50 milliseconds from the direct sound and is significantly louder then the reverberation sound.

Flutter Echo, repeated echoes that are experienced in rapid succession that occur between two hard parallel surfaces. All echoes ruin the acoustic properties of a room and a flutter echo is particularly damaging.

Coloration Due To Reflections, where a reflection destructively recombines with the direct sound, modifying the frequency response in the process. These are non-minimum-phase colorations as correction with equalization is not possible.

Delayed Sound, from coupled volumes (contamination from adjacent rooms storing sound energy and then returning the energy to the main room).

Psychological Reconditioning, a common problem for the clergy and congregation to be so preconditioned by bad sound that they become resistant to change and find it difficult to (at first) recognize good sound.

This can also work in the audio consultants favor when the customers are preconditioned by good sound and are willing to invest the required resources toward good audio design.

For those of us designing audio for houses of worship with a rectangular room, flat walls and probably a vaulted ceiling, some form of sound reinforcement is required. Through attention to detail and careful design of the audio system, the experience of the congregation can be non-aspirin inducing and the system simple to use.

Common Signal Processing Blocks
Let’s begin by looking at the universal signal processing chain common to all audio systems.

In the simplest systems these functions are accomplished in an audio mixer that feeds a pair of powered loudspeakers.

More sophisticated systems include equalization, compression, limiting, automation, feedback suppression, electronic crossovers and other tools of the trade. These days it is possible to include all of these functions in a DSP (digital signal processor).

Figure 1: Microphone to amplifier chain.

One example of the signal chain from the minister’s microphone to the power amplifiers is shown in Figure 1.

The signal processing flow starts at the analog input. A 2-band parametric equalizer filters out-of-band low frequencies. The microphone signals are summed together in an automatic mixer. An AGC (automatic gain control) reduces the dynamic range and a high-pass filter in the side chain improves the performance of the AGC.

The level control can be tied to a pot on the wall or a smart remote. There is a feedback suppressor for good measure. A 2-way crossover supports a biamplified system. The 10-band parametric equalizers are utilized for both wide- and narrow-band corrections.

Generally, wide-band filters correct minimum-phase frequency response irregularities in the speaker drivers and in the room response.

Narrow-band filters are useful to partially correct non-minimum-phase related problems such as energy stored in room modes (reverberant energy).

A limiter could also have been added to protect the system from clipping if that feature is not included in the power amplifier.

Now let’s take a look at some of these signal processing blocks in greater detail.

Analog Input / Microphone Preamp
It’s surprising how often even experienced audio consultants will configure an audio input incorrectly. It’s important that as much gain as possible is accomplished at the front end of the system in the analog gain stage.

Any additional gain from digital trim after the input stage degrades optimum signal-to-noise performance. As an example, let’s set the input gain to a value of +40 dB.

One way is where the analog gain is set to a value of +45 dB and the digital trim is set to -5 dB (as in Figure 2), the measured input referred noise is -127 dBu.

Figure 2: Rane Drag Net input block.

A common (but incorrect) way would have the analog gain set to a value of +30 dB and the digital trim set to +10 dB (the author has seen this repeatedly), to give the same Mic gain of 40 dB—but now the input-referred noise is degraded to -114 dBu.

That is an increase of 13 dB for the noise floor, or a change (in the bad direction) of 8 dB in the maximum SNR (signal-to-noise ratio). Your exercise is to determine why the SNR was only degraded by 8 dB rather then the intuitively obvious value of 13 dB.

Answer: The noise floor does drop by 13 dB, but this combination of settings causes the analog input stage to clip at an input level that is 5 dB lower. Hence, the change in system SNR is 8 dB.

Applying attenuation after the input stage (rather then gain) reduces overload performance and so should be used with skill and discretion.

It is the proper technique to maximize noise performance.

Figure 3: Drag Net parametric for input low cut.

Input Low-Cut Filter
A very good idea is to add a low-cut filter set to ~80 Hz after the input stage to minimize the effects of undesirable low-frequency noises such as bumps and thumps that come from handling the mic and also wind blasts and pops from speaking too closely into the microphone.

In Figure 3, both 2nd-order filters are set to the same frequency to produce a 4th-order filter.

There should also be a low-cut filter in line with the SC (side chain) input of the AGC (automatic gain control).

Figure 4: Drag Net [arametric for AGC side chain.

This filter can be set to a higher corner frequency (such as 120 Hz in Figure 4) to improve the performance of the AGC by rejecting the effects of low-frequency noises.

The Auto Mixer
A Little Automation Buddy

Figure 5: Drag Net auto mixer block.

An auto mixer (shown in Figure 5) is a good idea when there is more then a single open microphone.

Auto Mixers combine the signals from multiple microphones and automatically correct for the changing gain requirements as the NOM (Number of Open Microphones) changes.

Threshold with “last on” is a useful setting for all microphones used in a worship service (Figure 6).

Figure 6: Auto mixer input edit block.

Unused microphones (input levels are below threshold) are gated. When the input of a microphone is above threshold then other inputs with a lower assigned priority level are ducked.

Automatic Gain Control
A compressor is the correct processing block in this link of the audio chain. Something is needed here to prevent exuberant preaching from melting down the congregation.

Surprisingly, an AGC can be very useful in this position but configured to behave more like a specialized compressor by using the settings shown in Figure 7.

Figure 7: Drag Net AGC block.

The value of “Threshold re: Target” is set to have an offset of 0 dBr so that “Threshold” has the same value as the “Target.” “Maximum Gain” becomes 0 dB and the gain curve starts to look like a compressor but there are additional controls in an AGC for Hold and Release that are useful when the input level is below threshold.

These settings avoid the problems of compressor “pumping” when that exuberant loudspeaker is at the microphone as attenuation levels are held between spoken phrases. Then, when transitioning to a more reserved loudspeaker, the hold time (below threshold) is short enough to expire so that the gain returns to a normal level.

An Exciting Labor-Saving Tip:
Put a Control On the Wall

Here is an exciting tip: A level control can provide attenuation as needed under the control of a pot on the wall or a smart remote.

This is handy in systems where a minister needs to run a system alone without the assistance of an audio specialist who is running a mixing board.

The remote can be located on or close to a pulpit which places control of the audio system at the fingertips of the minister.

The DSP control is shown in Figure 8.

Feedback Suppression:
A Gift From Above?

The next item in this processing chain is somewhat controversial. It is a feedback suppressor.

To some audio consultants. these are heresy!

The argument is that a properly calibrated system has no need of such a band-aid.

This is generally true, but there is one case when it is wise for an audio consultant to suffer the ignominy of using a feedback suppressor (Figure 9)—a lay clergy where the person speaking is untrained and/or unfamiliar with proper use of a microphone.

Figure 8: Drag Net level block mapped to a remote level control.

The author has witnessed such a person cup their hands (in the attitude of prayer) directly around the microphone capsule.

The hands form a resonant chamber that results in squealing feedback.

A good feedback suppressor would have locked on to the offending tone and notched it out post-haste.

Figure 9: Drag Net feedback suppressor.

Parametric Equalization:
Now We’re Having Real Fun

Parametric equalizers are used for both wide and narrow band corrections. Generally, wide-band and shelf filters can correct for minimum-phase frequency response irregularities.

One interesting detail of Figure 10 is Hi-Shelf Filter 1. This filter was added after achieving flat in-room response. Since the system was calibrated in an empty room, this extra high-frequency energy is intended to compensate for the high-frequency absorption of the congregation when the room is full of people.

There is also a noise-masking effect in some congregations that will tend to obscure the intelligibility of the spoken word.

In practice this approach of adding a bit of extra high-frequency energy into the room works well.

Figure 10. Drag Net parametric block (may have up to 15 bands per block).

Narrow-band filters (see Figure 11) are useful to partially correct non-minimum-phase related problems such as energy stored in room modes.

At low frequencies this energy causes bass to sound indistinct, and in midrange to lower treble this energy is perceived as reverberation.

These filters attenuate the frequencies that bounce about the room. In an acoustically live room, room resonances can propagate for a surprisingly long time causing these frequencies to “build up.”

Figure 11: Parametric with narrow-band filters.

Narrow-band filters are just a partial solution. Greatest effectiveness is achieved when filters are used in conjunction with acoustic room treatments such as diffusers, high/mid frequency absorbers and bass traps.

Specific Examples

Example #1: A Small Church

The ceiling is low suspended acoustic tile over an open space covered with thin carpet. The RT60 (the time it takes the reverberant sound to decrease by 60 dB) is short, so controlling reverberation is not a problem for audio clarity.

In fact, the room is a touch “dry” for music, and content of the worship service includes live musical performances.

The sources of audio are the minister with a wireless microphone and the band. Additional sources are DVD/CD players and other devices as needed. Control is via a 24-channel mixer with all inputs used.

Output is to a pair of powered loudspeakers mounted high in the corners of the room in a stereo configuration. This installation was done by members of the congregation without consultation with an audio professional.

Next, let’s look at some specific examples to bette illustrate these points.

The quality of the audio is poor with numerous problems including uneven frequency response. An experienced sound person is required to run the mixer for all audio system use.

•Futher, there is poor coverage of the congregation from the stereo speaker pair. People sitting in the “hot spots” just in front of the loudspeakers are blasted with excessive level, and the rest of the congregation is exposed to a strong interference pattern between the two loudspeakers (Figure 12).

Figure 12: Stereo loudpeaker pair coverage.

The system is uncompensated for room modes, room response and loudspeaker response irregularities. There is a small “sweet spot” in the center of the room where the two speakers combine coherently but there is an isle down the center of the seats. Since there are no chairs, no one is seated in the “sweet spot”.

So does this audio system work the way it is? Yes, but everyone knows the congregation may not be receiving the best possible audio experience. This example is rich in possibilities.

Improvements to this system are accomplished in a number of ways. A DSP can be used for equalization, other processing and to add automation to the minister’s microphone. The entire worship band could be run through a mixer with each individual input processed by an AGC.

There are admittedly downsides to automating the audio mixing of a large group, as the automation is not as intelligent as an experienced sound person, but is possible in some cases. On addition, the loudspeaker are examined to look at options that provide more even coverage of the congregation.

Improvements to this audio system can be introduced in phases.

Phase 1:
Add a DSP box between the output of the mixer and the feeds to the main speakers and on-stage monitors.

Features added could be:

• Parametric wide-band equalization. This alone would greatly improve this system.

• Parametric narrow-band equalization. A short RT60 makes this unnecessary at this time. However, remodeling could increase RT60 to where narrow-band equalization would be needed. (This room could use bass absorbers).

• High-pass filtering. If not in the 24-channel mixer already.

• Compression. Always a good idea with microphones because of the inverse square law relationship between the preacher’s mouth and the location of the microphone.

• Feedback suppression. If needed.

Phase 2:
Automation is incorporated with automixers and remote controls. There are many exciting ways to add these features depending on the needs of individual congregations.

The most obvious upgrade would be to add the ability for a minister to turn on and control the main microphones from a simple control panel located in easy reach at the front of the room.

Phase 3:
The very uneven coverage of the congregation by the stereo loudspeaker pair needs to be addressed, as shown in Figure 12. The seats directly in front of the speakers have enough level to kill small animals.

If the audio system were perfect then each seat in the congregation would have the same audio level. In the author’s experience, similar rooms have been controlled within a couple of dB.

In this example, the seat closest to each loudspeaker is about 15 dB louder then the worst seat on the floor, and interference between the two speakers adds to a very lumpy and unpleasant frequency response.

Another problem is that the FOH (front of house) mixer is placed in a location for good sound, causing the levels at the ends of the front rows to be way too loud.

Line Array Loudspeakers
One improvement is to remove the stereo pair of point-source loudspeakers and install a floor-to-ceiling line array located in the center of the back wall as shown in Figure 13 (below).

Coverage of the congregation is more even, and the level at the FOH mixer location is very similar to the coverage level over the whole floor of the congregation.

The level of the stage monitors is greatly reduced and some of the stage monitors may no longer be needed depending on the individual needs of the musicians.

Within the near field of the line array there is a range were the audio level will decrease by only 3 dB for each doubling of distance which greatly helps even the coverage across the entire floor.

One other characteristic of this application is that the audio is distributed across the whole line so that even if a microphone is right next to the line there is little tendency to feedback.

In this example, there is a low suspended-acoustic-tile ceiling that shortens the length of a line array speaker. This limits some of the good qualities of a line array, so it might not be the best solution.

If the room were remodeled so there was a high ceiling, then a line array would make more sense because a longer line array would fit.

This is especially true if the newly remodeled ceiling was acoustically reflective causing the RT60 of the room to be much greater.

Figure 13: Line array loudspeaker coverage.

The high directivity of a long line array greatly helps to project the audio out to the floor rather then have the audio directed toward the ceiling where it contributes to the reverberant energy and slap echoes in the room.

Supplemental Distributed Array Loudspeakers
Because of the dropped ceiling, another option would be a distributed array of supplemental ceiling loudspeakers in the back of the room as shown in Figure 14. The loudness level of the main stereo pair could be reduced by at least 12 dB.

Figure 14: Distributed array loudspeaker coverage.

This would greatly diminish the effects of the hot spots in the front of the room but would leave the level at the back of the room way too low. Ceiling loudspeakers can be added in the locations shown to fill in the audio in the back of the room.

It would be very important to include a speaker over the mixer location so the audio at that location matches the level in the congregation to aid in achieving an accurate mix.

Why The Delay?
The ceiling loudspeaker signals should be delayed in time, so their output combines coherently with the output from the point-source pair in the front of the room.

If the rear loudspeakers are not correctly delayed then the loudspeakers in the room will not combine correctly.

This room is too small for audio from the front of the room to be perceived as a distinct echo.

Applying a proper delay to the ceiling loudspeakers can minimize the problem of localization confusion that occurs if the first arrival sound is coming from the overhead loudspeakers and not the front of the room.

Example #2: A Mid-Sized Contemporary House Of Worship

This second example is a medium sized house of worship. The vaulted ceiling is high and the floor in the congregational seating area is covered with hard-industrial vinyl.

The RT60 is longer then the first example at approximately 1.5 seconds so reverberation is a problem in an empty room. The sources of audio are again ministers on a microphone and a worship band.

Control is via a 32-channel mixer. The speaker system is an array of three large boxes mounted as a central cluster high in the peak of the ceiling. A professional audio company did the installation and calibration of the audio system.

The quality of the audio in this church is much better than in the first example. An interesting question is: how good is “good enough”? When interviewed, members of this congregation can usually hear. Rarely is the audio painful to listen to so some say that the audio quality is fully acceptable.

This is a good time to reflect back on the example in the introduction where domed ceilings were held up as an icon of natural acoustic wonderfulness. Let’s examine each individual audio characteristic previously discussed and see how this audio system installation stacks up.

Reverberance is not well controlled and is dependent on the configuration and occupancy of the room. Low-mid frequencies are a particular problem as the energy builds up and is never trapped or controlled.

•Clarity is fairly good and meets a minimum standard. But articulation is acceptable but not outstanding. The ALCONs (Articulation Loss of Consonants) rating of this room is fairly low but in the acceptable range. However, there is room for improvement.

•Listener envelopment is nonexistent and completely pales in comparison to the example of a domed ceiling.

•Again, as in the first example, an experienced sound person is required to run the mixer for any use of the audio system, as there is no automation in the audio system.

•There is good coverage of the congregation from the central cluster, but people sitting in the area where the coverage patterns between two of the loudspeakers overlap experience uneven frequency response due to the comb filtering caused by the interference between these two loudspeakers.

•Bass response is particularly poor. The poor bass response leads to the impression that the system lacks sufficient power.

A DSP is already in the system and can be used for additional equalization and other tasks. The same recommendation applies to add enough automation so that a simple service can be done without bringing in a sound person.

The loudspeaker system may already be fully adequate. The first temptation may be to add a subwoofer to add bass power, but after a quick survey it is probable that the buildup of mid-bass energy in this room makes the quality of the bass so poor that adding more bass will only make matters worse.

To fix the room, the ceiling and walls could be completely covered in bass absorptive panels, but this is not really practical so a compromise is to add bass traps to the corners of the room and the ridge of the ceiling.

If it is not possible to tame the room with traps, then narrow-band filtering techniques could be employed.

Figure 15: Distributed array loudspeaker coverage.

This is where the room is evaluated for the natural modes that build up energy in the room and these frequencies are notched out with a very narrow filter. A combination of some absorptive panels and narrow-band filters might be the best compromise.

There are regions (as shown in Figure 15) where the coverage from the individual speakers in the cluster interfere with each other rather than combine cooperatively. This interference is frequency-dependent.

The solution is to reduce the contribution of some of the loudspeakers of those problem frequencies so that interference is minimized. The system would then require re-calibration to complement the above changes. That should do it.

At the time of publication Michaël Rollins was a senior digital design engineer for Rane Corporation. This and other educational articles are available in the RaneNotes Library, a subset of the Rane Pro Audio Reference.

Posted by Keith Clark on 06/26 at 12:47 PM
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San Antonio Sound & Light Installs Tannoy VQNET At St. Phillips

Watson Auditorium at St. Phillips evens seating coverage utilizing Tannoy VQNET loudspeakers.

When St. Phillip’s College, located in San Antonio, Texas, built the Watson Auditorium 10 years ago the idea was to provide a state-of-the-art performing arts center for the college and surrounding community.

Unfortunately, the sound reinforcement system that was installed, although adequate, had intelligibility issues and was not keeping up with the demands of the theater’s programming.

The school contacted San Antonio Sound & Light who worked closely with system designers from Wrightson, Johnson, Haddon & Williams (WJHW) to remedy the situation.

“The auditorium is used for a variety of applications – everything from concerts and plays to lectures – so it was important that the new system be very versatile,” explains San Antonio Sound & Light owner Mark Stevens. “We worked closely throughout the four month project with both WJHW and the architects to ensure that we met the college’s needs.”

The performing arts center is a rectangular room with seating for 500 on the first level and another 200 in the balcony. The goal was even coverage throughout the room, while at the same time providing the musicality and vocal clarity this multi-purpose venue required.

Tom Falgien from WJHW specified a LCR system consisting of Tannoy VQNET loudspeakers with additional Tannoy loudspeakers for delay and under balcony coverage.

The LCR system consists of a three VQNET 60 full range, self-powered, three-way loudspeakers. The center loudspeakers are backed by a VQNET MB double 18-inch subwoofer. A VQNET 85 dedicated two way down-firing Mid/High loudspeaker is included for additional front seating coverage.

All of the components are VNET compliant, avoiding the need to input the correct speaker management setting or dynamics during installation. A VNET USB RS232 rack-mountable interface is utilized to connect a Windows PC running VNET Software to the VNET loudspeaker network, allowing full control, tuning and diagnostics of the devices in the network.

WJHW utilized EASE and VNET to model the system to room specifications and acoustics.

San Antonio Sound & Light also installed Tannoy VX 12 two-way, 12-inch passive loudspeakers for delays and under balcony fill.

“We have worked with Tannoy loudspeaker products for years,” explains Stevens. “The system met all of the schools requirements and then some – reliability, vocal intelligibility and outstanding sound quality.”

San Antonio Sound & Light


Posted by Julie Clark on 06/26 at 12:13 PM
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Moving On: John Wiggins Retires From Community Professional

Led several key company and industry initiatives over more than 40 years with company

Community Professional Loudspeakers announced today that vice president John Wiggins will retire after a distinguished career spanning 41 years with the company.

Wiggins joined Community’s founder, president and chief engineer Bruce W. Howze in 1971 and became a partner in 1972. He has held multiple roles during his time at Community, including VP of sales, VP of marketing and his current position as VP of business development.

The quality of technical documentation of loudspeaker systems delivered by Community has been industry-leading since Wiggins provided acoustical measurements and calculations for the famous “Community White Book” published in the 1970s.  The book comprehensively detailed the directivity factor and spherical propagation characteristics of Community products, together with many competing loudspeaker products of the day. 

Along with the development of electroacoustic design software like EASE, Modeler, CATT, Ulysses and others, Community’s leadership in providing accurate loudspeaker data has been instrumental in the proliferation of the computer-aided acoustic modeling of performance venues and predicting the performance of sound systems.

n 2003, John Wiggins and Dave Howden, Community’s Director of Technical Services, created the Community TAG Team, the Technical Applications Group which has become one of the pre-eminent “hands-on” audio tech teams in the industry.

Throughout his career with Community, Wiggins has worked closely with countless audio luminaries, contractors, consultants, musicians, film studios, NASA, professional sports venues, motorsport tracks, cruise ships, themed entertainment and amusement parks, and government organizations.

He is a member of SMPTE, ASA, AES, TEA, IAVM and InfoComm, and is active with NCAC and various theatrical groups. He was awarded a patent for the voice coil centering method used in one of the most powerful transducers ever manufactured, the Community M4.

Community founder Howze states: “It is with equal parts sorrow and joy that we accept John’s decision to retire. John has been a trusted partner and colleague for over 40 years and has made numerous contributions to Community. He leaves the company at a time of unprecedented achievement, much of which can be credited to his contributions.

We will miss him. However, I am pleased that he is making time to pursue other passions in his life. Christine and I wish him success, health and happiness.”

Wiggins will continue to pursue several academic and professional interests.

Community Professional

Posted by Keith Clark on 06/26 at 11:37 AM
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EV Supplies Cool Sound For Icehouse

Working with Electro-Voice’s Mike Doucot and the customer support department, they put together a system that succeeds in directing sound to listeners while minimizing unwanted reflections from the room’s hard surfaces.

One of the hottest new venues in Minneapolis’s thriving live music scene, Icehouse is located in a former ice harvesting plant in the city’s hip Whittier neighborhood. The interior finishes—wood and brick ceilings and walls of metal, glass and brick—underscore the building’s industrial past even as the space has been reborn as a bar and restaurant featuring live performance nightly.

But while these surfaces reflect the history of the room they also literally reflect a lot of sonic energy, which doesn’t make it easy to achieve clarity and intelligibility.

To handle this challenge, Icehouse’s team of sound gurus Jay Perlman, Alex Proctor and Cody Anderson turned to Electro-Voice dealer Chris Vnak of Metro Sound and Lighting.

Working with Electro-Voice’s Mike Doucot and the customer support department, they put together a system that succeeds in directing sound to listeners while minimizing unwanted reflections from the room’s hard surfaces.

Given the variety of the club’s on-stage offerings, the Icehouse system had to have not only exceptional pattern control but also a great deal of versatility.

“We feature all genres of music, including hip hop, jazz, rock bands and occasional touring acts,” says Icehouse owner Brian Liebeck. “We also have private conference and corporate events. The system had to be able to handle all of these different needs.”

“The stage is in the middle of the room,” Liebeck continues, “with the audience all around it. So we couldn’t do a traditional left-right setup. Because of that and also the reflective surfaces, we decided that instead of pushing fewer boxes to do more we should go with more boxes to get to more places in the room, with each box handling its coverage area at a lower sound level.

“We also have a balcony where people sit to see the show, so we wanted separate speakers to cover all the way around the top. For this type of situation the guys felt we got the most bang for our buck by going with EV.”

To cover the main floor the system relies on four EVF-1152D/66 15-inch two-way loudspeakers for mains and three EVF-1152D/96 for the sides. Front fill is provided by six flown ZX1i 8-inch two-way full-range loudspeakers. The system is filled out on the low end with four QRx 218S compact dual-18-inch subwoofers mounted under the stage.

“The EVFs give us really nice top end with clarity in the mids,” Proctor says. ”The ZX1is also have great intelligibility, and ensure seamless coverage in front of the stage. And the subs give us lots of power with plenty of punch and no low-end flabbiness.”

Four Electro-Voice TX1152FM are used as stage monitors. The monitors and mains are all powered by Electro-Voice Contractor Precision Series amplifiers, with one CPS2.9 for monitors and seven CPS2.12 for fronts, sides and fills. The system is controlled by two Dx46 two-in/six-out FIR-Drive sound system processors, which handle routing, filtering and parametric EQ.

“We really like the easy connectivity of the CPS amps, and the fact that they are well matched to the EV speakers. And the Dx46 gives us great flexibility in configuring and optimizing the system.”

Liebeck says that Electro-Voice customer support was “very helpful with the installation and with their tips on how to use the system the best. And they also helped a ton when it came to tuning the PA. The system sounds great. It’s exactly what the room needed, and the response we’ve had to the sound from customers and performers has been amazing. We are more than happy!”


Posted by Julie Clark on 06/26 at 10:39 AM
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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Sweden’s Torsåker Church Upgrades To Renkus-Heinz Iconyx

New system implemented to attract larger attendance

Situated to the east of Hofors Municipality, Gävleborg County, in Sweden, a small rural town with less than 1,000 inhabitants, the Torsåker Protestant church was completed in 1758, replacing the medieval church that had stood on the site since the 13th century.

Outside the church are two rune stones, placed there during the 11th century and much sought after by adventurous tourists. Inside the church the altar piece and pulpit both date to the late 17th century, carved by master craftsman Marten Jonsson.

Over the years Torsåker church has seen much restoration, with its stained walls painted white and new pews installed, followed by a new heating system.

On holidays like Easter Sunday and Christmas, the congregation swells. Although the acoustics in the stone church are reasonable the church, this year decided to try to attract larger numbers by installing a new sound system, replacing the old, conventional system of four small speakers with an altogether more potent and accurate system.

System integrators Luthman SMTTS AB recommended Renkus-Heinz Iconyx digitally steerable loudspeakers, and started by photographing the church’s interior, replacing the old loudspeakers in the photos with Iconyx units, allowing them to show the church leaders exactly how the new system would look.

It then took just a single live demo on site to convince the church that this was the way to go. Göran Sjöström installed the system and is responsible for the technical implementation.

The system is divided into two portions: the main system, consisting of a pair of Iconyx IC16-R units, mounted flush to pillars either side of the central nave and finished in matching white, and a secondary mechanically steerableIC7 system in an area off the nave that’s used for smaller, more intimate ceremonies such as baptisms. 

In control is a PreSonus StudioLive 16.0.2 digital mixer, which can also be used as an interface with multi-track recording software. Luthman also specified wireless headsets and microphones that have proved very popular with the clergy.

Luthman’s Karl-Gustaf Kahlau states: “One thing that is very exciting is that while tuning this system I received the first beta version from Renkus-Heinz of the latest version of RHAON (Renkus-Heinz Audio Operations Network), which among other things adds the ability to apply a high-pass filter to individual beams.

“I used that feature to fine-tune the sound in the front. The church didn’t need more low frequencies but there was a lack of beam focus in the very front rows. With the new RHAON software I was able to high-pass one beam either side at 1,000 Hz, and just aimed it at the first rows—which is kind of unique in terms of using these systems.”

Göran Sjöström added: “We are delighted with this system. All the old echoes have gone and instead there is great clarity all the way to the back of the church.”



Posted by Keith Clark on 06/25 at 04:36 PM
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In The Studio: Recording The Bass Amp

Many times miking a bass amp is completely overlooked
This article is provided by Bobby Owsinski.

Today everyone is conditioned to go direct with the bass guitar that many times miking a bass amp is completely overlooked.

That’s too bad because it can bring something to the track that you just can’t get any other way.

Here’s an excerpt from my Audio Recording Basic Training book that provides an exercise for bass amp miking.


Back in the 60s and 70s, the way engineers recorded the electric bass was by miking the bass amp. As direct boxes became more and more available, the trend eventually swung the other way, with most bass recording done direct.

Today it’s very common to record a bass using a combination of both an amp and direct, which provides the best of both worlds. While the bass will sound full and warm with a direct box, the amp can add just enough edge to help the bass punch through a mix.

When using a direct box, be aware that they’re not all created equal in that some will not give you the low fundamental of the bass that you expect when recording this way.

Active DIs do a better job at this than passive, although some passive boxes (like the ones made by Radial) do an excellent job because of the large Jensen transformer used in the circuit.

Depending on the sound that fits the track best, mix the amp track with a DI track. The sound will change substantially depending upon the balance of the DI and miked amplifier.

ALWAYS check the phase relationship between the amp and DI to make sure there’s no cancellation of the low end. Flip the polarity switch to the position that has the most bottom. Also remember that there’s no rule that says that you have to use both tracks, so don’t hesitate to use just a single track if it sounds best in the mix.

Miking The Bass Amp

A) Listen closely to the amp as the bass player plays. If there are multiple speakers, find the one that sounds the best.

B) Place a large diaphragm dynamic mic like (AKG) D-112, (Electro-Voice) RE20 or (Shure) Beta 52 a little off-center and a couple of inches away from a cone of the best sounding speaker in the bass cabinet. 

C) Move the mic across the cone. Is there a spot where it sounds particularly good? Keep the mic at that spot. Is the sound balanced frequency response-wise? Can you hear any of the room reflections?

D) Move the mic towards the end of the cone? Is there more low end? Is it more distinct sounding?

E) Move the mic towards the center of the speaker? Is there more low end? Is it more distinct sounding?

F) Move the mic about a feet away from the speaker. Is there more low end? Is it more distinct sounding?

G) Move the mic about 2 feet away from the speaker. Is there more low end? Is it more distinct sounding? Can you hear more of the room? Does it work with the rest of the instruments?

H) Raise the cabinet about a foot off the floor. Is there more low end? Is it more distinct sounding?

I) Place the mic where it gives you the best balance of body and definition, and balance between the direct and ambient room sound.

Bobby Owsinski is an author, producer, music industry veteran and technical consultant who has written numerous books covering all aspects of audio recording. For more information be sure to check out his website and blog.

Posted by Keith Clark on 06/25 at 03:23 PM
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Monday, June 24, 2013

Las Vegas South Point Hotel, Casino and Spa Builds For Future With QSC Audio System

AcousticDesign Loudspeakers, CX Series Amps and Q-Sys Core 500i Set the Foundation for Expansion

South Point Hotel, Casino and Spa, the first mega-resort to be built south of McCarran Airport on the Las Vegas Strip, has installed a QSC Audio Q-Sys Core 500i network processor, CX Series amplification and AcousticDesign ceiling speakers to handle paging and P.A. in its recently expanded Arena and Equestrian Center.

The resort, which purchased the QSC Audio components through Solotech Las Vegas, intends to extend the Q-Sys network into a $30 million bowling arena planned for completion at the beginning of 2016.

When the property opened at the very end of 2006, QSC Audio BASIS networked audio products were installed.

“When we expanded the arena we took the opportunity to upgrade the processing in there from BASIS to the new Q-Sys 500i,” explains Jason Lein, South Point’s production manager. “The system has so much processing power that all of the bowling arena expansion will be run off that same core as well.

“The bowling center will be built for broadcast TV and we’ll have two new equestrian arenas as well—we’ll run it all off that same system.”

South Point recently expanded a concourse and added meeting rooms to its Arena and Equestrian Center, which features a 4,600-seat show arena, an indoor practice arena and a covered outside arena. The center also hosts motor sports and other events in addition to equestrian shows.

Using the new Core 500i, adds Lein, “We created four different concourse zones. We’ve got a bar, tunnels, a practice arena and 1200 air-conditioned horse stalls; the new meeting rooms located on the concourse.

“We run approximately 144 different page configuration options, using both wired and wireless mics for paging. Depending on what horse events are in here we have to set up several different page zoning scenarios on the fly.”

Lein and his crew installed a dozen AcousticDesign AD-CI52ST two-way, high fidelity in-ceiling speakers in the concourse and meeting rooms, as well as TSC-3 networked touch screen controllers in the meeting rooms. South Point added QSC CX602 amplifiers to power the new ceiling speakers.

“Everything is QSC amp-based, even in the main arena,” reports Lein. “We’ve got some PowerLight 4.0 amps from the original install that we never need to replace, and we’re using the PL380s as well.”

Production staff members typically employ wireless control of the Q-Sys set-up, says Lein. “Whichever tech crew is assigned to an event will grab an iPad or the computer controller and set the paging configurations up prior to that show, based on that event’s needs.

“Switching from the BASIS to the Q-Sys system made it very easy for us to program these iPad-controllable UCIs [user control interfaces] to fit those needs, then reset the whole system before the next event, and then set up the next event, all off these UCIs. The Q-Sys system has been a big benefit for that alone.”

At the end of April, South Point, Las Vegas Events and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority jointly announced a 12-year agreement with the United States Bowling Congress to host seven championship events in Las Vegas beginning in 2016.

South Point, which already features a 64-lane Bowling Center, home to the Professional Bowlers Association’s World Series of Bowling, will build a two-story complex housing a 60-lane bowling facility outfitted with the latest technology on the top floor and two additional horse arenas—sound isolated from the floor above—on the lower level.

“When we get into the new expansion, the two new arena bowls, we’ll install the new QSC AcousticDesign Series speakers,” says Lein. “We’ll be installing over 100 of the 5 ¼-inch AD-CI52ST ceiling speakers throughout the bowling center hallways.

“We’ll also be installing AcousticDesign series speakers for the bowling lanes, with QSC subs placed throughout the bowling center. We’ll probably be adding more Q-Sys I/O Frames later this year.”

The upgrade to the Q-Sys system’s advanced Layer 3 networking technology has made it easier for Lein to program the new set-up. “Our new design with Q Sys, where the schematics are all-in- one is phenomenal. It definitely makes it easier on the programmer,” he observes.

Lein also praises the remote access offered by the system.  “We’ve got one or two people, myself included, who handle the programming. When we’re at home and we get service calls, it’s so great to be able to have the remote Signal Probe and be able to analyze what’s going on with the system from anywhere.”

QSC Audio

Posted by Julie Clark on 06/24 at 02:46 PM
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RCF TT55 Line Array Rocks Extreme Thing 2013

H.A.S. Productions, also located in Las Vegas, was tapped to provide sound reinforcement systems for four of the six stages. Larry Hall, CEO/President of H.A.S. Productions put together an RCF system for the Verizon Main stage.

Nevada’s largest action sports and music festival—Extreme Thing 2013 – was recently held in Dessert Breeze Park in Las Vegas. The day-long event that combines action sports and a music festival drew more than 27,000 people to the Clark County Park.

This year’s event featured two main stages along with four secondary stages providing a mix of musical genres including rock-n-roll, punk, metal, hip-hop as well as a DJ stage.

H.A.S. Productions, also located in Las Vegas, was tapped to provide sound reinforcement systems for four of the six stages. Larry Hall, CEO/President of H.A.S. Productions put together an RCF system for the Verizon Main stage.

“The Verizon stage was located 700 feet from one of the secondary stages,” explains Hall. “It was important to provide the high SPL the bands wanted while still not interfering with the audience’s listening experience at the smaller stage.  With RCF’s RDNET protocol we were able to cut the PA at 500 feet and everyone was happy.”

Hall hung two TTL55-A line arrays, each consisting of ten boxes, to the left and right of the stage. Driving low end was provided by 18 subwoofer cabinets—12 TTS56-A and 6 TTS36-A—stacked on the stage below the line arrays.

The TTL55-A is an active, high power touring array module equipped with a digital amplifier that delivers high levels of SPL while keeping the energy use efficient. The integrated processing and the cabling reduction provide a fast set-up and, thanks to its compact size, the truck space requirement is greatly reduced compared to similar line array systems.

The TTS56-A is loaded with two 21-inch neodymium woofers with integrated 2-channel digital amplification providing 6800 watts of power. The TTS36-A is equipped with two 18-inch neodymium woofers with 4000 watts of internal 2-channel digital amplification.

“The stage featured national punk and metal bands all day long,” adds Hall. “The subs were outstanding putting out more than enough low end for the bands.”

To round out the systems H.A.S. Productions also provided a Midas PRO6 and PRO2 at front of house along with a Midas PRO2 and Yamaha PM5D-RH for monitors. Adamson M15 wedges powered by Crown I-Tech HD amplifiers handled stage monitor duties while Sennheiser ew 300 IEM G3 systems were provided for artists that required in-ear systems.


Posted by Julie Clark on 06/24 at 02:36 PM
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Atlas Sound Introduces New In-Ceiling Loudspeaker

Designed to provide high performance in a very compact footprint, the FAP40T-B is ideal for high-intelligibility voice, music, and signal reproduction in commercial, industrial, and institutional applications.

Atlas Sound is proud to release the FAP40T-B four-inch in-ceiling speaker system. The FAP40T-B is part of the Strategy II Series in-ceiling speaker family utilized by thousands of consultants and integrators for the last ten years.

Designed to provide high performance in a very compact footprint, the FAP40T-B is ideal for high-intelligibility voice, music, and signal reproduction in commercial, industrial, and institutional applications.

A unique (patent pending) tap selector switch design allows for easy system tuning. A full selection of taps up to 16 watts as well as an 8Ω transformer bypass setting is included for maximum system versatility. This switch “knob” also functions as a diffuser cone, providing smooth, even dispersion of the high frequency content from the center of the 4” polypropylene driver. The grille and baffle are finished in black.

“The Strategy II Series has been incredibly successful for Atlas over the years”, said John Ivey Senior Vice President of Sales. “As architectural and style changes have occurred in the industry, our dealers have found a need for black version of the FAP40T and we were happy to supply them with a solution that their customers are asking for.”

Atlas Sound

Posted by Julie Clark on 06/24 at 01:56 PM
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d&b Bridges The Gap At The University Of Southampton Students’ Union

The new d&b system handles a diverse line-up, from student societies and comedy nights that demand a clear vocal performance to live music and club nights featuring big names like The Ministry of Sound.

The University of Southampton Students’ Union building, more familiarly known as SUSU, is a busy place offering a broad and varied range of facilities to the twenty two thousand students enrolled at the University of Southampton.

The Bridge venue offers a relaxed bistro dining experience during the day and in the evenings is host to a varied line up of events and performances. Consequently when Ed Blackwell, Assistant Technical co-ordinator at SUSU, needed to install a new loudspeaker system into The Bridge venue, his shopping list needed to tick a lot of boxes simultaneously.

The choice of a d&b audiotechnik xS-Series loudspeaker system was made after extensive research despite SUSU already being a d&b customer through Entec Sound and Light.

“When The Bridge was refurbished, the aim of the project was to create a space that appealed to a wider demographic of students, provide a small gig space for acoustic acts, comedy and student led society events and to provide a relaxed social space during the day,” explains Blackwell. “As a current d&b customer it might have seemed a foregone conclusion that we would opt for d&b, however I had very tight financial constraints to work with and our final choice had to prove itself both in quality and value for money.

“I approached two or three different companies each offering various systems. The only demonstration I observed was with d&b audiotechnik at Nailsworth, as I had already heard the other systems previously.”

Blackwell originally had reservations about the 5S loudspeakers being an appropriate choice and was unfamiliar with the xS-Series generally, so accompanied by Entec’s Audio Sales Manager Peter Codron, Blackwell visited the d&b UK Headquarters in Nailsworth, Gloucestershire for a demonstration.

There he was met by Oran Burns of d&b Education and Application Support who commented,

“Ed and Peter had a good idea of what they were after but the demo gave them the reassurance that they were picking exactly the correct system for the variety of jobs the system needed to do,” Oran Burns, d&b education and application support, explains. “We listened to the whole xS-Series and then had a discussion on which systems would be suitable.

“Once we had established which mid / high cabinets we would use, we then moved on to the different subwoofer options available. As the venue will be used for live performances and for DJ events it was important to provide a system with adequate low frequency extension. I felt that Ed went away very happy with the outcome.”

Blackwell himself concurs, “The purpose of the visit was to listen to what d&b could offer that would work within the design I had come up with. I had never heard the smaller installation range before so the visit was crucial to the final decision.

“The demonstration was amazingly helpful and the staff there on the day were very knowledgeable and informative. I was originally concerned about the performance of the 5Ss, however I was astounded by the quality and range of performance they gave and amazed by the dispersion.

“We then went on to selecting the larger boxes which would be used for evening events and band reinforcement. I had in mind the 10Ss however having heard the 12Ss I knew that that was the box for us, the dispersion and response from the unit was exactly what I was after. The real struggle came with what subs to go for. My original plan went for the smaller 12S-SUBs, however after a good hour of listening to various combinations I eventually went for the larger 18S-SUBs.”

Back at SUSU Blackwell set about trying to address the acoustic challenges of the room itself.

“The venue has three walls of glass and a sprung, wooden floor along with hard and reflective furnishings which made any form of sound reinforcement challenging due to reflections and multiple standing waves,” he describes. “So we softened the response by moving to large, soft furnishings and installing carpet. The addition of wooden slatted blinds to the windows and added breakup blinds to create booths around the venue also helped.”

The Bridge reopened in October 2012 after the refurbishment project. It now seats two hundred and fifty people for food during the day and accommodates a comfortable two hundred plus during evening events.

Just as one would expect in a lively and vibrant students’ union, performances are very diverse, from student societies and comedy nights that demand a clear vocal performance to live music and club nights featuring big names like The Ministry of Sound.

Variety is the name of the game, as Blackwell remarks, “During the day we need a very controlled and high fidelity system for background music to provide atmosphere. When evening comes the system needs to cater for regular spoken voice events where dispersion and fidelity is key, but equally needs to provide a front of house PA for when live music is on the agenda.”

When asked if the refurbishment was a success, Blackwell concluces, “A resounding yes from all. All of our engineers love working in the venue. DJ’s and acts alike have all commented on the clarity of the system and we no longer have any issue with noise spill; that’s purely down to the system design and the lack of kick back from any of the boxes. All boxes duly ticked then.

d&b audiotechnik

Posted by Julie Clark on 06/24 at 11:56 AM
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Friday, June 21, 2013

George Strait: The Cowboy Rides Away With L-Acoustics K1

“King George” shatters Alamodome’s attendance record on tour leg’s final night

After 40 studio albums and an unprecedented 60 number one country music singles, George Strait, the “King of Country”, has now wrapped up the first half of his farewell tour dubbed The Cowboy Rides Away.

With the second leg of dates set to take place in early 2014, the final in-the-round performance of his 2013 trek took place on June 1 at San Antonio’s Alamodome in front of a record-breaking crowd of more than 73,000 fans.

For touring sound reinforcement, Strait has long turned to FOH Engineer George Olson and Dallas-based Onstage Systems, which furnished the artist’s standard L-Acoustics V-DOSC and KUDO package for most of this year’s tour stops.

However, given the sheer size of the Alamodome concert in Strait’s hometown, the company chose to deploy its full inventory of K1 enclosures, which it augmented with additional cabinets from fellow Rental Network provider Clearwing Audio for an impressive total of 120 K1.

According to Onstage Systems’ K1 Audio Tech Eric Thomas and Systems Tech Jason Chamlee, the concert’s eight flown arrays were evenly spaced in a ring above the perimeter of the circular rotating stage.

A total of four hangs of 16 K1 with six KARA downfills addressed the longer north and south ends of the room, while the east and west sides were covered by four hangs of 14 K1 plus six KARA, each topped with two K1-SB filler enclosures to maintain visual continuity between all arrays.

To power and process the K1/KARA enclosures, Onstage positioned three LA-RAK touring racks – each containing three LA8 amplified controllers – on top of every array, significantly minimizing the copper cable runs.

Down on the floor level, four more LA-RAK were deployed to drive 16 dV-DOSC front-fills and 24 SB28 subs set up in an asymmetrical cardioid configuration around the stage.

“Even standing at the very back of the Alamodome’s nosebleed seats, the K1 arrays sounded like they were still right in our faces at more than 360 feet away,” says Thomas. “The indoor throw capability of the system is insanely impressive.”

“K1’s rigging is also absolutely incredible,” he adds. “Once we had the points straightened out, we were able to rig the entire system in four hours, which is just amazing.

“And utilizing LA Network Manager to group individual boxes and adjust a few FIR filters as needed, the system sounded fantastic right away. Although I love V-DOSC and KUDO, trying to load in and fly those boxes for a venue of this size would literally require a couple of days, so from a logistical standpoint, K1 is totally the best option out there for stadium sound.”

For his final The Cowboy Rides Away stop at the Alamodome, which sold out within an astounding six minutes of going on sale, Strait performed a two-hour concert following sets from the tour’s special guests, Martina McBride and Miranda Lambert

Onstage Systems

Posted by Julie Clark on 06/21 at 12:57 PM
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