Monday, September 21, 2015
Detroit-Based Burst Delivers Reinforcement At Pemberton Music Festival In British Columbia
Deploys system headed by d&b audiotechnik line arrays and subwoofers for all main stage performers
Detroit-based Burst recently provided sound reinforcement for the main stage at the four-day music Pemberton Music Festival, held near Mount Currie in British Columbia.
The festival, which drew more than 115,000 attendees, offered multiple stages of live entertainment, including rock, indie rock, hip-hop, electronic, heavy metal and comedy. Burst deployed a system headed by d&b audiotechnik line arrays and subwoofers for all main stage performers, including headliners The Black Keys, Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, Tiesto, Hozier, Kid Cudi, and Missy Elliot.
Specifically, the system consisted of left-right line arrays, each made up of 14 J8 and four J12 array modules. Low end was covered by two arrays of four JSUBS flown behind the main PA along with 2x2 JSUBs ground stacked under each array. Six Y10P loudspeaker took care of front fill.
Left-right delay towers provided coverage for the further out seating areas. An array consisting of six V8 and two V12 hung from each tower. The complete system was powered by 12 D80 racks, each with three d&b D80 amplifiers.
“The client was extremely pleased with the coverage and fidelity of the system,” says Burst owner Scott Ciungan. “The range and low end is terrific – weather is was comedy or EDM – the system delivered exactly what was needed.”
Burst equipped both the front of house and monitor positions were equipped with Avid D-Show digital consoles, which Ciungan notes “is a work horse.” Front of house also utilized a Venue Rack, Stage Rack and a Lake LM44 processor. The monitor position was equipped with another Stage Rack and Venue Rack.
The monitor rig include six V8 loudspeakers and four V Series subwoofers, split left and right. Twelve M2 bi-amped monitor wedges were on hand for performance purposes. DJ monitoring was handled by eight L-Acoustics Kara loudspeakers and four dv-SUB subwoofers. Burst also had an assortment of Shure wireless microphone and Sennheiser IEM systems available for artists.
“We received a number of compliments on the PA from the visiting engineers,” Ciungan says. “Everyone was thrilled to work on such a well-known and respected PA. All in all it was an amazing four days of music.”
Chicago And Earth, Wind & Fire Tour With Martin Audio MLA
MLA, MLA Compact and MLX subwoofers for just-completed "Heart and Soul Tour 2015" at amphitheaters, casinos and arenas
Chicago and Earth, Wind & Fire recently wrapped up their co-headlining “Heart and Soul Tour 2015” of amphitheaters, casinos and arenas with a Martin Audio MLA system provided by Delicate Productions of LA and San Francisco.
One of the main challenges for the tour besides scaling the PA system for different venues was the fact that both bands open and closed each show with “greatest hits” medleys featuring 21 musicians and vocalists on stage at the same time. The crews were faced with the challenge of finding and maintaining 47 clear active channels of wireless for the musicians and vocalists during the medleys plus mixing for both bands without too much volume.
As Nate Lettus, front of house engineer for Chicago who had mixed with a MLA Compact system on a previous tour explains, “The biggest challenge for the medleys and the shows in general is overall volume, trying to keep everything under control. We have a lot of energy onstage and can end up with a big powerful sound and these bands don’t sound that good at really high volumes. I find my levels are pretty consistent, especially with the Martin Audio MLA system.
“The boxes sound really smooth from bottom to top,” he adds. “I’m actually rolling off some high end because there’s so much of it, which is good because I’d rather have more than less. We’ve got plenty of low-end with six MLX subs per side that are tight and punchy. The show just sounds so good and I’m barely doing anything, my inputs are just high passed and my outputs are barely touched on a day-to-day basis.”
Typically, the MLA setup for amphitheaters is either 12 or 14 MLA and 1 MLD (downfill) cabinets per side with six to eight MLA Compacts for outfills and side hangs. Six MLX subs per side are ground-stacked on the floor or the stage depending on space in the venue or sightlines. For the arenas, the system included 16 MLA per side, a side hang of 12 MLA Compact and a 270 degree hang of 10 MLA Compact.
This tour was the first time Earth Wind & Fire front of house engineer Terry “TJ” Jackson mixed with the MLA system. “The first day I heard the system it sounded really clean with a lot of high end,” he states. “A high fidelity type sound, which I really like. It’s easy to get the vocal out which is very important. I would definitely recommend the speakers without question. They’re very controllable and sound really good, I’d put them on the rider.”
Considering the problems Chicago monitor engineer Scott Koopman and his EWF counterpart Terrence Chism had coordinating and mixing close to 50 wireless frequencies and controlling ambient noise on stage, the MLA system was a welcome addition.
“You’ve got a lot of microphones on stage with the potential to pick up ambience,” explains Koopman, “especially in a venue where FOH is mixing louder than normal and we’re getting a lot of crowd noise or the room is naturally loud. The sound can get messy really quickly. Using the full MLA system greatly improved rejection on stage, especially from the sub-bass, which is a huge deal with Chicago because it’s hard for the horn players to find their pitch when there’s a lot of sound washing up on stage. They feel they have to play over it which often causes more problems.”
DiGiCo SD10 (Lettus) and Soundcraft Vi6 (Jackson) consoles were deployed at front of house. For monitors, Koopman combined a DiGiCo SD10 with Sennheiser G3 in-ear wireless and Shure SR4D wireless systems while Chism used a DiGiCo SD5 with Sennheiser G3 in-ear monitoring systems.
Delicate Productions MLA audio tech Kyle Anderson concludes, “MLA is a great sounding box right off the bat and makes a lot of things easier. It does the processing for me, so once I get my angles, set it up and do my optimization, it pretty much sounds good everywhere in the room. I’ll still do some time aligning and adjust a few EQ settings for the room in the software. But once you put that stuff in, everywhere you tell it to sound good will sound good.
“Here’s a good example of how the software can help out. There was a top tier for the Pepsi Center at the side hang which we hadn’t expected to be sold so we didn’t cover that zone. But when I found out that the ticket sales grew, we were able to splay the coverage upwards for that whole area just by using the DSP and software as the show was happening. You can’t really do that with any other speaker that I’ve used. It’s a real advantage to change the coverage quickly without changing the angles on the boxes or redeploying the speakers.”
Plopsaqua Water Park Selects Renkus-Heinz
FACE and Painting with Light outfit storm pool with Renkus-Heinz CFX81 loudspeakers to create the illusion of a storm passing overhead.
Indoor water parks have become increasingly popular across Europe in recent years, bringing year-round swimming to a region with never enough summer.
Part of the popular Plopsaland De Panne theme park on the Belgian coast, Plopsaqua offers 4000 square meters (43,000 square feet) of enclosed subtropical environment, replete with 65ft Sky Drop, an interactive ‘disco slide,’ and a storm pool with waves, thunder and lightning; supported by loudspeakers from Renkus-Heinz.
As Plopsaqua Project Manager Steve van Camp explains, “we didn’t want to build a traditional indoor swimming pool. We opted for a closed construction, allowing us to implement and control special effects.”
Designed by FACE and lighting designers Painting with Light, the storm pool is outfitted with 16 Renkus-Heinz CFX81 two-way compact loudspeakers, arrayed to create the illusion of a storm passing overhead.
“The challenge was to create a genuine thunder storm, moving over the storm pool and exploding above the 15 x 15m rain-shower zone before softly fading away,” explains Steven Kemland, FACE’s project division manager. The system is driven by Powersoft amplification, processed by Media Matrix NION and programmed by a TiMax 2 SoundHub.
The CFX loudspeakers have been specially treated to resist the sub-tropical temperatures, high humidity and chlorine content in the enclosed environment, as have all rigging and peripheral components. “The speakers are covered with a special chemical finish, and so is every bolt and plug used in the rigging,” says Kemland.
Despite their compact profile, Kemland says the CFX81 cabinets were the perfect choice for the project. “The CFX-81s are used to create the thunderstorm effect. Instead of steering the sound over individual speakers, the TiMax SoundHub uses the full configuration, creating a realistic surround effect of a tropical storm’s movement.” The system also serves as general PA system for safety or emergency messages.
Open only since March 2015, Plopsaqua has thus far exceeded all expectations, racking up more than 100,000 visitors in its first three months of operation. Steve van Camp concludes, “this project is the result of years of experience and a professional approach, making this thematic water park one of kind.”
Posted by House Editor on 09/21 at 05:39 AM
Friday, September 18, 2015
Veggie Grill Locations Outfitted With Bose Professional Components
FreeSpace loudspeakers driven by PowerMatch amplifiers that provide volume control, setting of on and off times, and content mix for the audio in all locations
Virtually all of fast-casual vegan restaurant chain Veggie Grill’s two dozen-plus outlets (in three states) are outfitted with Bose Professional FreeSpace loudspeakers driven by PowerMatch amplifiers.
Depending upon an individual location’s overall size and interior dimensions, a Veggie Grill restaurant will have anywhere from four to 16 FreeSpace DS-16F, DS-40F or DS-100 surface-mount loudspeakers provide full-range sound for background music.
These are powered by PowerMatch PM4250N configurable networked amplifiers that allow management to control volume level, on and off times, and the content mix for the audio in all of its locations, from its central office in Santa Monica via Ethernet connection. Locally, each store manager can also control the audio mix, using the Bose ControlSpace CC-64 networked controllers that are wall-mounted in each outlet.
“I’d say that the Bose brand was a huge part of their decision when it came to choosing sound systems,” says Rene Perez, field engineer for Accelerated Communications, the systems integrator that is doing the AV systems installations for Veggie Grill nationally. “The Bose brand conveys a perception of very high-end audio, and that fits well with Veggie Grill’s message about the quality of its food.”
Perez says the Bose systems fill the stores with music all day long, drawing on content loaded on locally based music servers, with the FreeSpace DS Series loudspeakers able to provide full-spectrum sound without the need for subwoofers.
“The most widely used are the DS-40F speakers because of their versatility and flush-mount design; we use the DS-100 in locations that have very high ceilings; the DS-16SE on outdoor patios; and the DS-16Fs for small areas such as hallways and bathrooms,” Perez explains, adding that FreeSpace 3 subwoofer/satellite systems are also used in a few smaller locations.
“What’s great is that Bose offers a range of speaker sizes that let us address every type of situation we encounter,” he adds. “And the networkable aspect of the PowerMatch amplifiers and the CC-64 controller gives the company control over how its message is conveyed but at the same time lets local managers adjust the sound as they need to as business changes during the day. Bose Professional offers the whole package — great sound, great functionality, and a brand name that people associate with high quality. It’s the perfect choice for a restaurant like this.”
Auralex Integral To Recording Success At Lattitude Studio South
Company's acoustical treatment products tie together facility south of Nashville that hosts a variety of top recording artists
Michael Lattanzi created Lattitude Studio South to be a recording haven for any kind of music, and it’s tied together by an array of acoustical treatment products from Auralex in hosting sessions for artists such as Thompson Square, Hunter Hayes, Aerosmith’s Brad Whitford, John Popper & Blues Traveler, and most recently Megadeth.
The studio is located in Leiper’s Fork, TN, an exurban artistic community 30 minutes from downtown Nashville, where Lattanzi moved four years ago from Los Angeles.
“Auralex is completely integral to the way I work,” says Lattanzi, who has collaborated as a producer, engineer, mixer, co-writer and in other capacities with a wide range of artists, including Wyclef Jean, Lauryn Hill, Paul Abdul, Smash Mouth, LL Cool J, Jewel, Wilson Phillips, Steve Vai, Jessica Simpson and others in New York, Los Angeles and Nashville, music centers where he has lived during various phases of a successful career in music production.
He points to the Auralex ProPADs underneath each monitor, which include EVE SC407 and Yamaha NS-10m models (among several other options), as well as Miller & Kreisel MX-350 MK II 350-Watt subs. “I swear by these,” he says. “And under the subs I use the SubDude and GRAMMA v2 pads on the floor. I get total isolation between the speakers and the studio.”
Out in the spacious tracking room, the drum kit rests on a 16-foot by 16-foot riser made of Auralex HoverDecks, with a set of HoverMat pads on top of that. “These keep the kit and the mics around the kit completely isolated from the floor,” he explains. “That’s really helped the drum sound — they sound tight and there’s no resonance through the floor.”
In the control room, Auralex ProPanels attached securely to the walls between the windows keep reflections in check, providing an accurate, reflection-free mixing environment. In the studio, freestanding Auralex ProGOs act as sound-restricting gobos between amplifiers and around vocal microphones.
Lattanzi also uses them in the control room as baffles behind the studio’s three full-sized consoles – a Neve 8078, an SSL SL4000 E/G/G+ and an API 1604 (“I know, I’m crazy,” he laughs) – to deter reflections from the windows between the control room and the studio.
Finally, the control room has Auralex LENRD bass traps in every corner from floor to ceiling. “I would not build a studio without them,” he says. “They give me a very predictable bass response.”
He adds that Auralex provides what every music production professional seeks in a recording environment: acoustical and sonic predictability and consistency: “I want to know that what I’m hearing is the voice, the instrument, the song, not coloration from reflections or resonances. I want to know that what I’m hearing is real, and that’s what Auralex gives me — reality.”
Thursday, September 17, 2015
Powersoft M Series Amplification Drives New System At Good Shepherd Lutheran Church In Minneapolis
Systems serving unique "split space" system driven by a single M50Q amplifier
A new sound reinforcement system serving both traditional and contemporary services at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, located approximately 20 miles due west of Minneapolis on the shores of Lake Minnetonka, is driven by Powersoft M Series power amplification.
Minneapolis-based Excel AV Group handled the system design for the 350-capacity sanctuary. The room is relatively square in shape with one quadrant comprising the altar, while on the exact opposite side are the musicians and the mixing area, which consists of a small, centralized mixing space.
The nature of this “split space” provided an unusual challenge for system designer Caleb Dick of Excel AV Group, since the audio for the music and the pulpit was essentially coming from opposite directions.
“To get the high intelligibility we wanted, we had to have a single point source for the sound to have a single time arrival,” Dick explains. “This ruled out line arrays and stereo, so we had to have either mono or exploded mono. Meanwhile, the power had to be very efficient since we didn’t want the electrician to have to pull another circuit. Also we had a very minimal rackspace footprint to work with.”
The team ultimately decided on an exploded mono system. “We recommended localization of the audio, so when there is someone speaking from the altar or the video screen is active, you close your eyes and the sound is localized from that source,” says Dick. “When the musicians play, there is a second sound system that has much more output capacity so when you close your eyes, the sound of the music is coming from the rear.”
After exploring several options to drive the system, the system team team ultimately chose a Powersoft M50Q amplifier. “By using the M50Q, we were able to power both systems from a single rack space and get excellent audio quality that is also power efficient,” Dick notes. The entire system for the church — including the amplifier, loudspeakers, mixer, and all the musicians’ gear — runs off of just two 20-amp circuits.
“The Powersoft amp delivers more power than they will ever need,” he adds. “Now, whether there is someone speaking from the pulpit or there is dialog on the screen, there is excellent sound quality and high intelligibility.”
The audio system goals for the front and rear parts of the room were slightly different. “For the front system, which is more than just speech, we needed even coverage, high intelligibility and a full frequency range except for sub frequencies,” explains Dick. “For the musicians area, we wanted even coverage and great intelligibility, but a higher SPL and a full range of bass frequencies that go down to the 27 Hz range.”
The front system incorporates a pair of Fulcrum Acoustic DX8 loudspeakers and the rear system consists of two Fulcrum CX1526 15-inch coaxial loudspeakers, complemented by a Danley Sound LabsTH112 subwoofer to handle the low end for the musicians.
Given the loudspeaker positioning for the two different zones, Excel AV Group had a challenge of concealing extremely long cable runs to preserve the visual aesthetic of the sanctuary. Despite the challenges of concealing several feet of audio cable, Dick says that there was never a concern that the Powersoft M50Q would not deliver more than a sufficient amount of power.
Other components of the audio system include an Allen & Heath Qu-24 mixing console. The choir has a pair of Turbosound monitor wedges, and the musicians are able to mix using Allen & Heath ME-1 personal monitor mixers. The entire mix system is controllable using iPad connectivity.
For any house of worship installation, the intelligibility of the pastor is the most important thing. Dick says that this requirement was fulfilled, and that the church now have a system that brings full dimension to the music program as well. “They are very happy with the audio, and in particular how deep the bass is,” he concludes. “One of the most important things in a church installation is to have the fewest amount of tweaks, fixes and changes. For us, Powersoft is the brand to go with. If you get it right once, it is a great investment and will be working for years and years to come.”
Excel AV Group
Adamson Supports Pope Francis’ Mass In Ecuador
Colombian production company provides a large assortment of line array enclosures for hundreds of thousands of people covering over 100 acres.
Sound production company C. Vilar, headquartered in Bogota, Colombia, provided Adamson loudspeakers, as well as video support, for mass performed recently by the Pope in Samanes Park, located in the port town of Guayaquil, Ecuador.
“People are expecting perfection from one microphone, there’s no room for mistakes,” explains Mauricio Vilar, co-owner of C. Vilar.
“Fortunately we are long-time users of Adamson loudspeakers and we were able to ensure the clarity necessary utilizing their loudspeaker systems.”
Samanes Park is an on-going project that will ultimately provide the Guayaquil community with more than 2,102 acres of recreational space.
The area set aside for the Papal mass utilized 118 acres, of which a large portion was an undeveloped open field that could accommodate the anticipated 1.2 million Catholics onsite for the mass.
In preparation for the event, a large pavilion (800 x 800 meters) with a seating capacity of 600, was constructed at the front of an undeveloped, 188 acre field at the Park. Beyond the pavilion the area was divided into 28 100 x 100 meter sections, each providing space and amenities for up to 30,000 people.
Vilar worked with his system design team to create a large main PA as well as several delay lines to ensure the entire 118 acres were covered. Because the main PA as well as the first line of delays were made up of Adamson line array enclosures, he used Adamson’s Blueprint AV software in conjunction with AutoCad to build the listening area. Blueprint AV allows designers to hang multiple arrays, simulate response with a variety of acoustic measurement tools and provide a detailed and accurate rigging plot for the primary systems.
“Blueprint AV is a tool that we can rely on to create a system design that will deliver what the client requires,” he continues.
“This was a particularly important event without much room for error. Using Blueprint AV helped ensure a flawless event.”
The system consisted of a main PA with two sets of outfill arrays to cover the pavilion and first 125 meters of the field. From there three more lines of delay towers – each made up of six line arrays – covered the rest of the field. The C. Vilar team hung a total of 24 line arrays to blanket the listening area.
The main PA was hung under the eaves of the pavilion in the far left and right corners. Each array was made up of 12 Adamson S10 line array enclosures. The first pair of outfill towers were placed roughly 80 meters from left and right of the pavilion. Each consisted of nine E15 enclosures and nine E12 enclosures. A total of 20 Adamson Y10 enclosures – 10 per side – were hung 180 meters to the left and right of the pavilion to cover the far-front seating areas. Eight Adamson SpekTrix, stacked four high to the left and right of the stage offered sidefill coverage.
The first delay line was placed 125 meters out from the main PA. The primary rig consisted of left-right line arrays made up of nine E15s per side located 60 meters apart. The first pair of outfill towers – placed 80 meters out from the center system – were equipped with 12 Adamson Y18 enclosures each. Additional outfill was provided by another set of towers, this time located another 100 meters out, with eight Adamson SpekTrix enclosures hung from each.
In order to continue coverage for the second half of the field, Vilar set up the third delay line approximately 120 meters from the first and placed another six line arrays spread equally across 300 meters. The fourth delay was placed another 100 meters out.
The entire system was powered by Lab.gruppen amplifiers. Amplifier racks as well as Adamson’s E-Racks were positioned throughout the listening area in close proximity to the arrays they powered.
“Having a PA that can be consistent at close, medium and large ranges is mandatory in this business,” Cesar Vilar, co-owner and founder adds. “It was such an honor for our company to be chosen to provide sound reinforcement for this event – I was grateful we could exceed all expectations with our Adamson systems.”
Hundreds of thousands of people traveled to Guayaquil, Ecuador to witness Pope Francis celebrate an outdoor mass at Samanes Park reinforced by Adamson line arrays.
Mumford & Sons On Tour With L-Acoustics
Solotech deploys K1 and K2 mains with K1-SB subwoofers for North American tour run and Gentlemen of the Road Stopover Festival dates
UK four-piece Mumford & Sons brought their 2015 tour to North America this summer, playing a string of arena, amphitheater and outdoor shows in support of their third album, Wilder Mind, which was released earlier in the year.
Canadian production provider Solotech, headquartered in Montréal, supported the tour with L-Acoustics loudspeakers selected by the band’s audio team for flexibility, scalability and, above all, musicality.
“A Mumford & Sons tour plays very diverse venues; that’s the fun of it,” comments Jamie Howieson, the band’s audio system engineer and sound designer. The band, supplemented by four additional musicians on this tour, is very dynamic and really do go from the proverbial whisper to a scream, he says.
“They go from all standing around one microphone in front of a crowd of 40,000 people to full-on rock. So we wanted a system that would produce the best possible full-range sound and frequency response, and be very musical. The L-Acoustics K1/K2 rig allows you to be flexible and get a lot done. “
“Personally, I like a PA vocal to sound as natural as possible,” says Chris Pollard, who has been at front of house for the band since 2008. “I like a band to sound raw, with plenty of room for dynamics. For me, the K1/K2 system does that job. It just sounds awesome.”
Howieson designed a K series system that could be scaled up or down in size in order to handle the diversity of venues on the tour. The core setup was optimized for arena-sized halls and comprised a total of 28 K1 and 12 K2 mains, respectively flown 14 over six per side. Each hang was accompanied by a separate hang of eight K1-SB subwoofers, and the engineer deployed anywhere from nine to a dozen Kara boxes for front fill.
For sub bass, Howieson generally ground-stacked 21 SB-28 cabinets in front of the stage. “I do three stacks of three in cardioid configuration on each side of the stage, and then a cardioid stack of three in the center. Sometimes I put them on their ends, sometimes I leave them in stacks of three; it depends on the venue,” he says.
The entire system was powered by LA8 processing amplifiers. “I like to do things by the book, with what the R&D team have developed,” he says. “If you stick to the math that L-Acoustics have come up with, you’re in a really good starting place every time.”
In addition to large indoor venues and appearances at outdoor festivals, the Wilder Mind 2015 Tour also included several Gentlemen of the Road (GotR) Stopover Festival dates. Established by the band a few years ago, the two-day, multi-act shows, with overnight camping, are organized worldwide in locations that are not included on the usual touring circuit. Headlined by Mumford & Sons, who also provided production, this tour’s Stopovers also featured Foo Fighters, The Flaming Lips, Alabama Shakes and a host of others.
At the outdoor Stopover dates—Seaside Heights, New Jersey; Waverly, Iowa; Walla Walla, Washington; and Salida, Colorado—Howieson had various options available for delays, depending on the location. “The GotR shows were at some really cool venues, but every venue was different. Although sometimes we could fly large arrays, other times we only had two stacks of six K2s. The diversity of venues that they play in is what’s great about working for them. And the L-Acoustics system is so flexible that you can switch from day to day.”
According to Howieson, the performance of the L-Acoustics rig dovetails nicely with Pollard’s expectations. “Chris is a great mixing engineer. He’s always looking for an organic, musical sound, and the K1/K2 system is magic for that. That’s one of the main reasons Chris is attracted to it.”
“We all like consistency from venue to venue, and typically Mumford & Sons have very little of that on the tour schedule, mixing up venue types along the way—sheds, arenas, sports fields, stadiums,” says Pollard. “Capacity shoots up and down from day to day and we need to be able to adjust for that with as little fuss as possible. It needs to be adaptable, and consistent. The K1/K2 combination works a treat, and Jamie’s understanding of what I like to hear when voicing the system provides the consistency from which to mix the show.”
With no two shows alike, “I do a lot of my legwork before we get to the venues. That’s the beauty of L-Acoustics’ Soundvision software,” notes Howieson, who taps into a comprehensive library of worldwide venues mapped by himself, as well as L-Acoustics and other engineers. “It’s a very, very powerful tool. You just make a proper model of the whole set design and run Soundvision. That way, I know what we’re getting into when we get to the venue. The music is always the same, it’s just the coverage that changes from show to show.”
He adds, “The support from L-Acoustics is excellent. Those guys are amazing; they’re always there for me.”
EM Acoustics Selected For Thorpe Park Resort
White Light installs HALO-C line arrays with MSE-218 subs powered by AQ-10 and AD-9 amplifiers at theme park in Surrey.
Thorpe Park Resort theme park in Surrey has recently been supplied with a new audio system based on EM Acoustics HALO-Compact line arrays supplemented with MSE-218 subs, AD and AQ amplifiers and a number of just-launched M-C12 monitors.
The sound system as well as lighting equipment was supplied and installed by production solution specialists, White Light, to cater for Thorpe Park’s busy outdoor events season which includes the monthly Ministry of Sound club nights and the Island Beats concerts over the summer.
White Light’s business development manager, Jonathan Haynes, led the project.
“After a number of onsite product demonstrations, it quickly became apparent that the EM Acoustics system was ideally suited to their requirements as it provided the flexibility they required in order to handle the wide variety of events and functions held at Thorpe Park.”
White Light supplied EM Acoustics components including 20 HALO-C line array elements, eight MSE-218 subs, three AQ-10 and 4 AD-9 amplifiers in addition to eight M-C12 monitor speakers.
EM Acoustics provided onsite training for Thorpe Park’s technical team in order to familiarize them with their new system and to explain how it can quickly be upscaled for larger, one-off events. The system can easily be supplemented by the hire of additional boxes from White Light’s rapidly growing rental inventory of EM Acoustics equipment.
According to Thorpe Park’s Entertainments technical coordinator, Martin Swain, the installation has been a complete success.
“We had a great experience working with White Light,” he commented. “They were extremely understanding when it came to our needs and not only worked within our budget but provided the necessary solutions to any issues we faced. We’re delighted with both the equipment and the service provided by all concerned.”
d&b audiotechnik Debuting V-Series Point Source At PLASA, London 2015
Launched earlier this month V7P, V10P and V-GSUB will be on the d&b stand J50 alongside other mobile and installation products.
PLASA, London 2015 marks the UK debut of the d&b audiotechnik V-Series point source loudspeakers.
Launched earlier this month V7P, V10P and V-GSUB will be on the d&b stand J50 alongside other mobile and installation products, and on d&b Sales Partners’ SSE / Wigwam stand L10.
“PLASA London is a significant show for d&b this year,” says Gianni Abruzzese, d&b GB commercial manager.
“We’re really pleased to be showing the V-Series point sources, which we think are pretty special. The design of the mid range horn means that the vocal performance is in a league of its own. I think the market has been waiting for a point source with this level of performance for a while now.”
Adam Hockley and Steve Jones of d&b GB Education and Application Support will be contributing to the line up of pro audio seminars, as part of the PLASA Professional Development Program. Register for these seminars at the PLASA link.
On Monday 5th October at 10:30 Hockley will present ‘Line arrays unraveled’, in which he explores line array directivity and examines some of the pros and cons of using this technology. The talk will clarify commonly misunderstood behaviour and look at techniques and tools to improve performance, including ArrayProcessing – the d&b line array optimization software.
In ‘Delighted audience. Happy neighbours‘ on Tuesday 6th at 14:30 Jones will discuss how sound propagates over distance and explore the methods and technologies that can reduce offsite spill, (noise) outside the audience area.
d&b is also proud to announce its official sponsorship of the 2015 Technical Theatre Award for Outstanding Achievement in Sound, and a nomination of the V-Series point source for a PLASA Award for Innovation.
About the V-Series point sources
The V-Series point sources build on the 3-way passive design of the V-Series line array modules. The V7P and V10P both house two 10-inch drivers in a dipolar arrangement with a rear mounted 8-inch MF driver attached to a dual chamber horn. The exits from this horn design create another dipole around the centrally mounted single 1.4-inch exit compression driver with a constant directivity horn. This maximizes the performance to size ratio, by making almost the entire baffle board radiate.
V7P / V10P deliver 75° x 40° and 110° x 40° (h x v) dispersion characteristics respectively. All components are arranged symmetrically around the centre axis of the cabinet to produce a perfectly symmetrical dispersion pattern. Due to the dipolar arrangement of the LF drivers, broadband dispersion control is maintained down to approximately 350 Hz in the same plane as the dipole. The rotatable horn and wide range of rigging options make mounting in either orientation simple.
Frame Of Reference: Choosing The Right Material For Critical Listening
When I was a budding sound engineer with the U.S. Air Force Band during the 1990s, one of my mentors was a consultant in the Washington, D.C. area named George Weber.
George was a somewhat eccentric guy and definitely a dyed-in-the-wool audiophile. He had done some modifications to the band’s K&H studio loudspeakers, and those things did sound amazingly good.
George once invited me to his home and played some record albums on his super-high-end stereo system. The turntable alone was amazing – it had an air bearing for the spindle and a linear-tracking arm also with an air bearing.
To keep the air noise to a minimum, the air pump was in a separate room. I don’t believe I’ve ever heard LPs sound that amazing. And if I remember correctly, he had a personal pair of K&H loudspeakers in ceramic housings.
For the listening session, George suggested I bring some of my favorite (and familiar) albums, which leads me to my point: the material we choose for critical listening and sound system tuning should satisfy several criteria.
First, we should very familiar with it. Second, it should be well recorded. And third, it helps if we like it.
George stressed something else about critical listening: limit the sections of music to specific passages, and repeat those passages over and over again during evaluations.
What’s so important about being intimately familiar with the playback material? The most obvious answer is that when we are familiar with something, we notice differences very readily.
In a general sense, we best know the sound of the human voice, particularly the voices of friends and family. Thus at least one of the recordings to use for evaluation of a system is something containing a familiar voice, because right away, it should clearly show problems, particularly in the midrange. (As a side note, this is one of the reasons loudspeaker designers work so hard to get things right in the midrange.)
Voice alone usually isn’t enough, since it covers a limited frequency and dynamic range, while we’re usually dealing with musical sources. But the same rule of familiarity applies when choosing material that covers the whole range, because problems with the bass, drums, guitars, etc. should be obvious if we really know the tracks.
One of my favorite tracks was “Famous Blue Raincoat” performed by Jennifer Warnes and engineered by George Massenburg. The voice is so clearly represented, and so are the strings and upright bass – no drums though.
Robert Scovill shared a different but related approach with me back in those days. For a Tom Petty tour during the mid-1990s, he recorded each raw microphone input to ADAT (remember those?). Then for the next show’s sound check, he would play the tracks from the previous show to help suss out the system and acoustics of the room.
I thought that was a unique and cool idea, and it certainly satisfies the familiarity issue, with the added bonus of being recorded from live instruments.
NOT CREATED EQUAL
Recordings should be the best quality possible, particularly in this era of iPods, iPhones and other MP3 players. If you’re ripping the songs yourself, use first-rate CDs or other original source material, as opposed to, say, the first-edition CD from 1985 that was cut from the LP masters and sounds terrible.
Instead, use a more recently re-mastered version, and set the conversion process to use the highest bit rate available.
Today we can readily choose AIFF, .WAV, and other lossless formats. So what if they’re larger files? Do we really need 10,000 songs in our pocket? How about a couple dozen really good ones that are well recorded and properly ripped?
One of the reasons I loved that Jennifer Warnes recording was that it sounded flat-out amazing for its day. Another cut on that album, “Bird on a Wire,” has great drums, too. Between those two songs, I often got a pretty good idea of the condition of the system and the state of the room.
Another superb track is Patricia Barber’s “Modern Cool” recorded by Jim Anderson. Check this one out for sure – super clear voice, sublime piano, upright bass to please upright bass players, and incredibly realistic drums. It’s not a pop/rock record, though, and you probably need some of that genre in your collection.
However, be picky – not all pop/rock records are created equal. You may not like Lady Gaga as an artist, but the production values of many of her recordings are pretty amazing. Check out “Bloody Mary” from the Born This Way album, if you haven’t already.
The bottom line is that most of what we hear today on the radio, at shows, on our personal music players and in our cars is far from ideal. Low bit rates, second-rate recordings, and shows that are too loud and too distorted all work to undermine our frame of reference. I’ve said it before but it bears repeating: listen to live acoustic music and then find some recordings that sound like that.
At the same time, I’m not at all opposed to creating new sounds in the studio or on the stage that never existed before. Just do so with fidelity and integrity.
Finally, try to avoid tracks that you don’t care for, no matter how amazing they might sound and/or how many others like them. I have my personal collection of favorites for this purpose, and you should have yours.
This gets back to the thing about short passages that get repeated over and over during the course of critical listening and system tuning. By doing so, we can really start to pick out how certain aspects of the sound change when the parameters of the system change. And if you like the tracks, this process won’t drive you quite as crazy.
On one night, in a hall, the acoustics may aggravate a certain harshness in the cymbals on the recording, while on the next night, outside, the addition of a high shelf might be needed to bring those same highs back in.
As we get increasingly familiar with a select group of high-quality passages, we get increasingly better at hearing these changes and knowing what kinds of subtle adjustments should be made to provide a consistent sound to the audience.
Karl Winkler is the vice president of sales/service at Lectrosonics and has worked in professional audio for more than 20 years.
Wednesday, September 16, 2015
San Francisco Symphony Chooses Meyer Sound LEOPARD Line Array
Davies Symphony Hall becomes the first performance venue to permanently implement LEOPARD and 900-LFC.
The San Francisco Symphony (SFS) has implemented new Meyer Sound LEOPARD linear sound reinforcement loudspeakers in its home, Davies Symphony Hall.
While highly regarded for the orchestral acoustics, the hall’s warm and reverberant characteristics pose a suite of challenges for its amplified events, which have evolved and diversified under the leadership of music director Michael Tilson Thomas.
Now with LEOPARD, SFS can offer the same experience it brings to traditional orchestral events to its range of amplified programs, such as film series, pop concerts, Broadway favorites, and leading-edge contemporary music.
“Regardless of content, sound reinforcement should feel natural and undistorted and defined and clear so that you can focus on what is on stage,” says SFS operations director Andrew Dubowski.
“LEOPARD is an exponential improvement in how we’re able to offer amplified concerts. The system can fool me into thinking the sound is not really amplified, even though I know it is—that feels like magic.”
LEOPARD replaces a central above-stage loudspeaker cluster installed in the 2,743-seat venue in 1992. The new configuration includes twin arrays of 14 LEOPARD line array loudspeakers and three 900-LFC low-frequency control elements per side. The system’s first show was a performance of John Cage’s “Renga” narrated by actor Tim Robbins.
“It’s extremely comfortable and reassuring, in that I’m not getting boxed in by the system and its capabilities when I’m mixing,” says head sound engineer Hal Nishon Soogian.
“The system isn’t fighting me. If I need some higher end, it doesn’t get brittle. I use very little EQ on my inputs. I try to pick the correct mic for the correct instrument and do very little to it, so you get no coloration.”
Stage electrician Jim Jacobs adds: “It’s exciting, after so long trying to solve some of these problems, to have a system that puts sound presence so clearly in every seat.”
The San Francisco Symphony, founded in 1911, presents more than 220 performances annually and reaches an audience of nearly 600,000 through its concerts, education and community programs, media initiatives, and national and international tours.
Q&A with the staff of the San Francisco Symphony
This past summer, Davies Symphony Hall became the first performance venue to permanently implement LEOPARD and 900-LFC, the newest line array system from Meyer Sound.
Here, three members of the Davies audio team discuss the new LEOPARD system: how it will be used, and what it can achieve for the San Francisco Symphony and its audience. Taking part in the conversation: SFS operations director Andrew Dubowski, stage electrician Jim Jacobs, and head sound engineer Hal Nishon Soogian.
What drew the San Francisco Symphony to a LEOPARD system?
Dubowski: Davies Symphony Hall is a very live hall, and it’s easy to overdo amplification. The resonance that feeds back can become a muddy wall of sound. That’s what we aimed to solve by implementing LEOPARD.
What kinds of shows will LEOPARD be used for?
Dubowski: LEOPARD will support any concert that requires amplification, such as our Film Series and holiday concerts or traditional subscription series that feature contemporary composers such as Mason Bates. We are also presenting more artists requiring pop-style amplification like Chris Botti, Pink Martini, and Johnny Mathis.
Is LEOPARD a component in building a new audience?
Dubowski: Absolutely, because we’re focused on what today’s audiences are expecting when they come to a concert, which is different from what they expected 25 or 30 years ago when the hall was first built. We are also presenting programming that we did not have 25 or 30 years ago. For example, if patrons of the Film Series have bad experiences—the sound is too loud, or they can’t understand the dialogue in a movie—they’re not coming back.
Jacobs: Our old Meyer Sound MSL-3 cluster system was state of the art in 1992. But because many people now have high-quality sound available in their home or car, and Meyer Sound has also taken technology to a new level, the old PA wasn’t competitive anymore; it didn’t give enough presence over the balance of the orchestra.
Line arrays appeared in the mid- or late ‘90s, and they’ve gotten more sophisticated. With a line array, you can deal more specifically with certain reflective qualities and certain zones—with small pieces at a time. You can tailor each one of the 14 loudspeakers on each side to provide a specific quality and detract from certain problem areas for each throw of each loudspeaker. It’s exciting, after so long trying to solve some of these problems, to have a system that puts sound presence so clearly in every seat.
How did you hit on LEOPARD as the system you wanted here?
Soogian: In addition to the MSL-3 at Davies, we have also used Meyer Sound’s newer MILO system at open-air shows in the Shoreline Amphitheatre to great success. Then more recently, I heard Metallica mixed on a Meyer Sound LEO system. I jokingly said, “That’s great when you’re in a stadium or outdoors. Let me know when you build a rig that fits inside Davies.” At [music director] Michael Tilson Thomas’s 70th birthday concert at the beginning of this year, we hung the more compact LYON rig, and it was incredible.
Dubowski: Then LEOPARD was demonstrated in May for performances of John Cage’s “Renga” narrated by actor Tim Robbins. LEOPARD provided excellent clarity for his voice.
Jacobs: We have always liked Meyer Sound systems, and the latest generation has some interesting things in it. The way the drivers are arranged, where they cross, gives them a much wider spread. In this hall, we have the complexities that arise with the use of the acoustic canopy—sightline considerations for film and semi-staged events, and the existing stage lighting positions in Davies—therefore larger systems like LEO or even LYON are too big, and the MINA loudspeakers are a little too small. LEOPARD fills that gap in the Meyer Sound lineup and works beautifully in this hall.
What is it like to mix on LEOPARD?
Soogian: It’s extremely comfortable and reassuring in that, when I’m mixing, I’m not getting boxed in by the system and its capabilities. The system isn’t fighting me. If I need some higher end, it doesn’t get brittle. I use very little EQ on my inputs. I try to pick the correct mic for the correct instrument and do very little to it, so you get no coloration.
How do you define “perfect” in a sound system?
Dubowski: “Perfect” amplification means the sound should not seem amplified. It should sound natural and undistorted and defined and clear so that you can focus on the artists on stage. LEOPARD can fool me into thinking the sound is not really amplified, even though I know it is—that feels like magic. It’s got a lot of punch. It can rock the hall. But it can also be delicate, and can hold its own. Having a system that’s state-of-the-art and accurately represents how the orchestra sounds is an exponential improvement in how we’re able to offer amplified concerts.
Martin Audio MLA Deployed For South West Four Festival
London's Lock N Load Events selects MLA to contain the DJs and dance music on a site closely surrounded by residential buildings.
The South West Four Festival (SW4) on Clapham Common’s south side is the latest in a long line of events that has called on the expertise of Capital Sound and the advanced controllability of its flagship Martin Audio MLA loudspeaker array.
This time it was needed to contain the energy delivered by a host of DJs and dance music specialists, on a site closely surrounded by residential buildings.
Promoter Andrew Mattle of Lock N Load Events had called in the London based production company and its MLA last year for main stage only, having been initially impressed with the production they had delivered with Martin Audio for one of his promotions at Alexandra Palace back in 2011. As a result, the use of MLA and MLA Compact was extended to other stages this year.
Recalling the background, Capital’s senior project manager, Martin Connolly, said, “There had been criticisms in social media about how quiet the sound [at SW4] had been for a dance event, and Andrew was curious about whether by using MLA we could get the SPL up on site while at the same time containing it.”
Mattle himself had first become aware of Martin Audio’s award-winning system through “general industry buzz”, adding, “We are always looking for PA systems that might improve the levels we get at Clapham.”
Of course, MLA has proved this ability time and time again, and was able to work within the measurements set by consultants Three Spires Acoustics for an audience capacity of 30,000.
After successfully debuting MLA at the 2014 event, Capital Sound succeeded in fielding Martin Audio systems in all five locations.
With MLA tech Joseph Pearce employing the standard MLA site preset, the extreme width of Main Stage (which hosted headliners Faithless, Eric Prydz on the Saturday and Skrillex and Basement Jaxx on the Sunday), and lack of depth negated the need for delay towers but required a tailored approach to avoid sound spillage out wide.
Thus production flew 13 x MLA plus an MLD Downfill as the main hang down each side, but instead of flying side hangs at the customary 45° angle for outfill, two drops of eight MLA Compact elements were set on the same plane as the main system but 24m apart. Explaining the decision, Martin Connolly said, “A conventional side hang would have radiated too much energy offsite into noise sensitive areas on both sides.” A broadside cardioid array, of 20 MLX subs boosted the low frequency, and a further 12 W8LM Mini Line Arrays were deployed for front fills.
The main 75m x 55m (10,000 capacity) Stage 2 tent (known as Fatboy Slim’s Smile High Club on the Saturday, and decorated with his signature smiley face) saw a further eight MLA and MLD Downfill per side with six MLX subs set on each side in a Left/Right cardioid design, with four Martin Audio W2 as front fill and LE1500 floor monitors on stage.
“With this design we were able to produce a lot more bass ‘thump’,” assesses Connolly. “We were flying from a mast and were able to stack all the subs on the base of the mast.”
Meanwhile, another globally famous DJ, Sven Vath, was appearing on the 60m x 45m Stage 3 (dubbed Dream Don’t Sleep Arena). Capital deployed 12 MLA Compact and six MLX per side, the subs again in cardioid L/R configuration. Stage 4 was fitted out with six MLA Compact elements, ground stacked along with four WS218X on each side, in an end fire design with three W8LM in fills per side. Finally, a Martin Audio W8LC Compact Line Array provided the Stage 5 sound.
Reflecting on the event, Martin Connolly believes, “Upgrading to MLA and MLA Compact in most key locations produced a superior overall SPL, particularly at the rear of all tents, which were generally bigger structures than last year. On main stage the power of MLA at the back provided superior clarity in an area with only 45m between stage and front of house mix position.
“The aim was to deliver the same sound experience to everyone—whether they were at the front or back—and we achieved that.”
Andrew Mattle confirmed, “It was our satisfaction with how well MLA performed on main stage last year that prompted the decision to use it more extensively this year—and we were equally happy with the result.”
Gwinnett Church Plans For Growth With DiGoCo Consoles
Part of North Point Ministries in Atlanta, church opens new worship center with SD10 consoles as part of long-range growth strategy
As part of a long-term growth plan, Gwinnett Church recently opened a new 1,300-seat auditorium as the main sanctuary for the three services that 3,000 congregants attend each Sunday.
One of the primary investments for Gwinnett Church was its choice of two DiGiCo SD10 digital audio consoles to be used for front of house and monitor mixes.
The new DiGiCo SD10 consoles, the centerpieces of a new sound system that also includes Martin MLA loudspeakers and d&b audiotechnik J-Sub cardioid subwoofers, were sold and installed by Alpharetta-based dealer/integrator Clark ProMedia.
Discussing the thought process behind the decision to acquire the two SD10 desks, Gwinnett Church technical director Adrian Varner explains that the non-DiGiCo consoles the church had been using in its previous building were nearing the end of their useful lifespans (the manufacturer discontinued their sales at the end of last year).
The need was for a platform that could accommodate a large number of inputs—the church’s eight-piece worship band alone requires upwards of 60 inputs—and offer the flexibility needed for ancillary functions such as multichannel recording of services.
“We needed a high channel count, for the band and because we have other mixes going to other parts of the building, such as overflow rooms, and to do mix-minus mixes when they’re needed,” says Varner. “We required a console that was more powerful to move beyond just mixing a left-right PA system.”
Varner says that a smooth workflow is critical: “We had become very used to using plug-in processing on our previous consoles, and we wanted to maintain that kind of workflow and not have external plug-in processing as it would have been with some other console choices. The fact that the DiGiCo consoles have Waves plug-ins fully integrated into their workflow is a huge plus. It makes using plug-ins easy and quick.”
In addition, both consoles share the same two DiGiCo SD-Racks, located near the SD10 used for monitors, on a shared fiber loop, with direct home runs between the racks and the consoles. The SD-Racks will also support these and any additional DiGiCo consoles once the new auditorium is finished.
“Because we know growth is coming down the road, we can’t make purchasing decisions just for today,” says Varner. “DiGiCo gave us the best options for now and also the bandwidth to go into the future. We feel comfortable that the SD10s will still have plenty of life left in them years from now.”
VUE Audiotechnik Supports 30th anniversary Of Concorso Italiano
Glastonbury and Bell Event Services deploys al-4s and h-12s line arrays for auto enthusiast event at the Black Horse Golf Course in Monterey, California.
Italian automobile enthusiasts from around the world recently descended on Black Horse Golf Course in Monterey, California for the 30th anniversary of Concorso Italiano.
VUE Audiotechnik‘s al-4 subcompact line arrays could be heard across the expansive grounds.
Concorso Italiano is the annual event for classic gear-heads, centered around as many as 1,000 collectible Italian automobiles while embracing all the cultural elements of Italian style, including music, cuisine, fashion, and travel.
The Concorso emphasizes display and appreciation over competition, and although the cars are truly magnificent, this event is as much about the people who attend as it is about the finely engineered cars.
For the second year in a row, audio support was provided by Sand City, CA’s Glastonbury with help from their colleagues to the south Bell Event Services from El Segundo, CA. Tim Campbell, audio operations manager of Bell Event Services, served as A-1 and system designer and was presented with a myriad of challenges.
“The venue consisted of two par four golf holes from the Bayonet and Blackhorse courses, plus an additional football field-sized lawn. Add a stage, bleachers, and dozens of tents and the challenges increase,” said Campbell.
“Last year, the stage was at the very end of the venue and I was able to spill delay towers down the length of the fairways. This year, the stage was moved to a more central location so I had to emanate my delays from a more central point, making the delay calculations a bit more difficult. Also, last year I used two towers of VUE al-4s to demo for this application. This year, I did the whole thing with five towers of eight VUE al-4s and some h-12s for fill and the stage system.”
According to Campbell, compared to the line arrays he used before, the al-4s were better in every way.
“We got it to the point where, anywhere on the field, the announcer sounded like he was standing next to you and not shouting,” says Campbell.
“I used two different arrays; one pinned very flat for long throw areas over 100 yards, and a gentler curve to the array for towers covering less than that. We had a minimum of overlapping zones and almost no echo areas, which is pretty amazing considering each hang was only 170 pounds. The show was over at 5:00 pm and we buttoned up the truck at 8:30 pm, in part thanks to the easily manageable arrays and my fantastic crew. We are looking forward to next year’s event.”
Of the enthusiasts attending this event, eighty percent are entrepreneurs or professionals and 70 percent are in the highest income bracket. Concorso Italiano is also a major contributor to several local, national and international charities. Print, internet, film and television media from around the world constitute the more than 400 media passes requested each year.