Tuesday, October 13, 2015
QSC Introduces New AcousticPerformance Loudspeaker Models
New installation products include a multipurpose 12-inch coaxial loudspeaker and a dual 12-inch subwoofer,
QSC announces the addition of two new models to the AcousticPerformance loudspeaker series.
Consisting of a multipurpose 12-inch coaxial loudspeaker and a dual 12-inch subwoofer, these additions expand the AcousticPerformance series with versatility and performance in mind.
“Install loudspeakers are often required to perform multiple tasks”, says Travis Nie, QSC product manager – Install Loudspeakers.
“Having a product solution that can effectively meet these demands of different applications is invaluable. The new additions to the AcousticPerformance Series offer versatility without compromise. In addition, when you combine these new loudspeaker with the QSC PLD4.2 or CXD4.2 processing amplifiers, you create a very formidable yet cost effective package”.
The new AP-4122m is a 12-inch two-way coaxial system with 40 and 60 degree wedge angles, top hand hold, pole cup, and M10 fittings for flown or yoked applications.
The coaxial design delivers true source point performance with 90 degrees of conical DMT coverage. DMT (Directivity Matched Transition) matches the HF to the natural conical performance of the woofer at the crossover point. This innovation provides a smooth power response both on and off axis, resulting in better sound within real rooms. The AP-4122m is available in black (RAL 9011).
The new AP-212sw is a dual 12-inch direct radiating subwoofer specifically designed to complement the full range AcousticPerformance models.
The AP-212sw features four hand holds, an optional caster kit for ease of transport, two M20 pole mount plates (top/side), and a unique input plate having two NL4 connectors in a crossed configuration. This input plate feature allows a single NL4 cable to power both sub and top without the need for a custom turn cable.
The versatile AP-212sw matches the width of the popular AP-5122m and new AP-4122m allowing for stacked or pole mounted solutions. When deployed horizontally, the AP-212sw is just 15 inches tall, making it ideal for under riser deployments. Available in black (RAL 9011).
For your system integration needs, complete EASE, CF2, CAD, and BIM files are available for download at the QSC website.
The AP-4122m and AP-212sw are available and shipping now.
K-array Selected For Ancient Greek Amphitheater In Sicily
Arkaservice provides a KR200S system with KMT18 subwoofers and Kobra arrays elements for performance at Tindari.
Il nostro tango per Borges, starring Giorgio Albertazzi and Mariangela D’Abbraccio, is a theatrical piece that was recently performed at the ancient Greek theatre of Tindari, an almost entirely preserved amphitheater in Messina, Sicily
Rental company Arkaservice was selected for its K-array system to provide sound and to produce an aesthetically homogeneous result without compromising the acoustic performance and the visual integrity of the theatre.
Salvatore Barone, audio engineer at Arkaservice knew he needed to obtain a uniform and consistent effect in the entire venue maintaining the original acoustics of the ancient theatre but modifying to avoid echoes or reverberation.
Barone planned for a left and right system with 8 floor monitors for five musicians, the actor and the singer.
He selected K-array a KR200S system with two KMT18 18-inch subwoofers paired with a pair of Kobra line array elements each because of its discreet, compact form and its true line array capabilities that achieves a minor difference of acoustic pressure between the front and back rows of the venue.
Both the director and the musicians were positively impressed by the size of the system compared to the sound quality and SPL produced, along with the short time required for the setup.
Monday, October 12, 2015
Studiomaster Now Shipping New LIVESYS5 Portable Micro-PA
Personal floor or microphone stand-mounted stage monitor system features 150W of power and integrated mixer.
Studiomaster is now shipping the new LIVESYS5 portable micro -PA and stage monitor throughout Europe.
Measuring just 290x210x175mm and weighing in at a mere 3.3kg – the 150W self-powered, integrated mixer, speaker system is a solution for all manner of “carry-on” performance, playback, presentation and public address applications.
In addition the LIVESYS5 is a personal stage monitor system, either floor-standing or mountable on a microphone stand for close personal monitoring (for drummers and percussionists, keyboard players, solo instrumentalists and singers, or DJs).
The class-D powered 5-inch speaker system, provides 150W continuous and 300W peak power, and features a low noise 3-channel mixer section with 2 mic/line inputs on XLR (balanced) / TRS (unbalanced) combo connectors and a line input on stereo phono or 35mm jack connectors. 3-band EQ, switchable 48v phantom power and on-board effect are all included.
For monitor applications, a rear mounted XLR / TRS input enables connection of a stage monitor signal. An XLR ‘thru’ output is mic / line level selectable (with switchable phantom power) to enable supply of mic or line signals from the LIVESYS5 to a front of house mixer, or to feed an additional monitor loudspeaker.
With a street price of just £139 / 200€, the LIVESYS5 is feature / price competitive in the micro-PA product sector.
“Expanding our portable PA range is a key element in increasing our presence in the MI market,” says Studiomaster general manager (and sales and marketing manager), Patrick Almond.
“Products like the LIVESYS5 are key in opening up new opportunities for us; being so versatile, the LIVESYS5 offers more than just a portable PA, it is also designed for personal monitoring, using the included mic stand mounting kit.”
“The first shipment of the LIVESYS5 has now landed in the UK, and we are shipping the back orders. LIVESYS5, follows on the terrific success of other latest PA products, the CLUBXS mixer series and DRIVE powered speaker series. These products are rapidly re-establishing a clear and cohesive product portfolio for Studiomaster that is improving brand recognition.”
Solotech Installs Yamaha CIS In Montreal Pubs
Ye Olde Orchard Pub and Lord William Pub receive almost identical systems with MTX3 processors and VXS Series loudspeakers.
Solotech (Montreal) has recently installed a Yamaha Commercial Installation Solutions (CIS) system in two new pubs in and around the Montreal area, Ye Olde Orchard Pub and Lord William Pub. The pubs each can comfortably seat 200.
The CIS system is almost identical in both pubs consisting of one MTX3 processor, five DCP1V4S digital controllers, three XMV4280 amplifiers, 16 VXS8 speakers, two VXS10S and four VS6 speakers, two IF2112 and one IL1115 Installation Series Speakers, two P5000S-CA amplifiers, and two DXR8-CA speakers used for band and DJ monitors.
“The owner of the pubs wanted user-friendly wall controllers in each location and capable of Wi-Fi control,” states Mario Lessard, senior sales representative, Solotech.
“Each pub offers live music including duets and trios as well as DJs so sound quality and reliability along with price played a considerable role in the decision process.”
Lessard said the variety of CIS VXS Series Speaker sizes was an important factor in Solotech’s decision to recommend the Yamaha system, along with amazing Yamaha technical support during set-up and programming of the system.
“We are extremely happy with the Yamaha set up, notes Nathaniel Devine, Lord William Pub. The sound is rich and performs well in both quiet background scenarios and when we need to get loud. Controlling the system is very easy; our managers love it.”
Good To Go
Following a summer on the shed circuit plus a sizable number of theatre gigs, Grace Potter is taking a turn into the fall season with what she calls her “magical midnight road show.”
A tour that steps out with synth sounds, sequencers, and arrangements that bear the fruits of her constant musical evolution and experimentation, the show still features her powerhouse vocals, albeit with an added conversational, and at times even funky twist.
It’s all in support of Midnight, her new solo album, and proves that beyond her reputation for belting it out as a gutsy rocker and ability to guest onstage with the likes of The Rolling Stones and Kenny Chesney, she’s willing to break out and take new chances.
Still backed by the rhythmic stylings of drummer/husband Matt Burr and other regulars from her band the Nocturnals, which includes lead guitarist Benny Yurco, Potter keeps her wheels turning with the help of a lean and mean production scheme provided by Nashville-based Morris Light & Sound.
“Over the years, we’ve benefited from an occasional bump upward in our budget,” production manager and monitor engineer Niles Anderson notes shortly before the act landed in Morrison, CO for its fall launch at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in mid-September. “Back in the day we were on PA du jour, console du jour, amps du jour, wedges du jour, you name it. We were like one step up from having to borrow someone else’s shoes in order to go out there and do the show.
Grace Potter and band back
on the road this fall with a compact touring package provided by Morris Light & Sound.
“Fortunately, those days are past. PA du jour may still be the order of the day for us, but now we’re packing our own front-end, and that has given us both better consistency and an amazing increase in audio quality.”
Lean & Mean
By design, the tour travels extremely light, for both efficiency’s sake and good economics in these frugal times, all without sacrificing performance. Things are so spare, in fact, that when the band pulls into a venue, local stagehands keep looking for the rest of the caravan after only two buses show up, each with a 16-foot by 8-foot trailer in tow.
“We definitely had to think about our footprint on this one,” Anderson says. “I mean, two buses, two trailers, that’s it. All of our audio has to fit into this, along with all of the backline, plus a floor package of lighting. We have a sum total of six cases of audio, which includes a snake case and the audio split, and a cable trunk. Morris did an exceptional job packing us. Give us a place to plug-in, a PA, and some drive lines, and we’re good to go.”
Production manager and monitor engineer Niles Anderson orchestrates events on stage from behind a Midas PRO9.
Joining Anderson on the tour is front of house engineer Samuel Leonard. In keeping with the less is best philosophy of things, the only other crew members to be found are guitar tech Joseph Fantucchio and drum tech Jimmy Mullins.
As an aid to maintaining a svelte equipment profile without sacrificing audio quality, both Leonard and Anderson rely on Midas PRO Series consoles. Out front, Leonard orchestrates the house sound from behind a PRO2, while Anderson pushes the faders of a PRO9 onstage.
“If there’s anything good to be said about the days when we were doing console du jour,” Leonard confides, “it’s that for better or worse, it really got my skills finely tuned on every board you can imagine.
“The downside was that in terms of consistency on a night-to-night basis, I was just banging my head against the wall most of the time. For one show I’d be in the digital realm and have the luxury of using 30 compressors. Then the next night I’d find myself on an old analog desk and be limited to 12.”
With the Midas desks, Anderson concurs that consistency has gone up by an order of magnitude, and provided them with the tools they need to make things sound good at any stop.
“This band has solid musicianship, and the gear they play is outstanding,” he says. “Helping us to economize once again while still obtaining superior fidelity, the Midas consoles give us everything we need to capture that sound and reproduce it accurately right out of the box.
“With other consoles we considered we would have conceivably wound up paying thousands more for plug-in bundles to make that happen. We just can’t do that, and rightly shouldn’t, even if we had money to burn.”
Front of house engineer Sam Leonard with his Midas PRO2.
Onstage, most of the musicians have opted for in-ear monitoring. Wedges are still part of the mix too, however, and when combined with the presence of guitar cabinets, make for an environment Leonard describes as “still kind of loud.” In-ear systems employed are a “nice mixture” in Anderson’s estimation, all of which are from Ultimate Ears, and range from the UE11s Grace Potter uses to UE7 and UE5 models.
“I run my end of the show in a very straightforward fashion,” Anderson explains. “Grace doesn’t ask for much, she isn’t effects or compressor heavy. I mix her ears just like I would the entire band if I was at front of house, she loves hearing everything. Whatever effects I do use, I use internally from the console. Simple plate reverb for the drums, a couple of hall reverbs – one as an instrument reverb, the other for vocals – and then two more ‘verbs for vocals: one for Grace and another for background vocals. I like to keep those separate using different parameters, and I also run a stereo delay on Grace – she basically likes that just for the fun of it.”
Potter is also a multiinstrumentalist, playing Hammond B3 and guitars.
Beyond those effects, Anderson runs a little compression on the ear mixes, and that’s about it. Midas POP groups are also a favorite – he places all of the guitars on one page, all of the drums on another, vocals on their own page, and so forth. Running the show this way makes it so much simpler, he says, because he doesn’t have to flip through myriad pages looking for his inputs.
Anderson feels it’s not a stretch at all to compare this show to a Bruce Springsteen concert, as at any moment Potter can step up to a talkback mic and divert from the set list entirely.
“That’s why I don’t run any sort of snapshots whatsoever,” he adds. “My snapshots are pretty much in my head. At this point I have a really good sense of what every band member needs as far as changes go. I keep a close eye upon my gain structure and make changes as we go along, my hands are always pushing faders. At the end of the night I save the settings from every show and file them according to the city we’re in. We use these files merely as a reference if someone wants to replicate or experiment with a certain sound.”
Inputs start out front at Potter’s downstage center position, where a Shure UR wireless transmitter outfitted with a Telefunken M80 capsule captures everything from a whisper to a scream that the lead singer can and does routinely dish out.
“When I first started with Grace,” Leonard recalls, “people were making all these comparisons like Tina Turner meets The Rolling Stones, or Janis Joplin fronting The Band. That was true to some degree, but as I spent time with her and she grew and evolved, and then a couple albums came and went, I realized there is a lot more soul and R&B in there than most people realize.
“Tracks from this new record stretch her vocal repertoire even further to include dance and pop-flavored stylings,” he continues. “Along the way to where she is today, she never lost any of her influences. She has merely taken them all in and created something that is truly her own.”
Given the nature of Potter’s voice, Leonard chose the extra tight cardioid pattern Telefunken M80 capsule based upon its presence, ability to cut through the mix, and accuracy in the low/mids.
A Shure KSM9 was initially in the running for the task as well, but with Potter’s proclivity for keeping herself close to the drum kit (and adjacent guitar cabinets), either of the mic’s selectable polar patterns would have essentially picked up everything around it, making it another overhead or guitar mic instead of a vocal one.
Guitar cabinets, including this Fender Super and handwired Vox AC30, are all miked with SM57s.
Shure Beta 57As are posted at all other vocal positions onstage. A multi-instrumentalist, Potter plays guitar and a Hammond B3 organ, the latter of which resides with her downstage center, and utilizes a Leslie speaker miked with a pair of Sennheiser 421s at the top and a Shure Beta 52 on the bottom.
With an Ampeg 8x10 cabinet miked with a Shure Beta 52 being the bass player’s choice, lead guitarist Benny Yurco and Potter both use AC30 hand-wired heads and cabinets from Vox captured with Shure SM57s.
Sticking within tried-and-true tradition again, drums start at kick with a Beta 91 inside and a Beta 52 on the outside. At snare top lies a ‘Shorty” Telefunken M80-SH, which is buttressed at the bottom by an SM57. Rack toms, which are played with the bottom resonant heads removed, are captured with Sennheiser e904 cardioid dynamics mounted inside. Overheads are Shure KSM32s.
Potter’s Leslie speaker captured with Sennheiser 421s at the top and a Shure Beta 52 on the bottom.
Keyboards universally use Radial J48 DIs. Within keyboardist Eliza Jones’ world, Nord keys, sample patches, and a small MIDI keyboard used almost like a vocoder are sub-mixed down to a Mackie mixer before turning over a left-right feed to Anderson and Leonard.
Like Anderson, Leonard has found that the best way to keep up with these musicians is to shun snapshots and mix on the fly. An admirer of the Midas POP groups as well, he concedes the function has changed the way he mixes, allowing him to have anything he wants directly in front of him, and use quick keys to quickly switch between pages.
First and foremost for Leonard within the house mix is vocal intelligibility. “That’s the one thing every crowd comes out for, to hear what she’s singing,” he says. “Beyond vocals, I want the mix to be exciting. I use a lot of low-end to get people moving, but I don’t want to hurt anyone.
Miking drums and percussion follows a traditional rock ‘n’ roll blueprint, using tools from Sennheiser, Shure, and Telefunken.
“I tend to think of the sound I’m trying to achieve as an analog one, even though we’re very much in the digital world. This music demands a vintage, even retro feel, but it needs to be modern at the same time.
“Also of importance is the foundation of drums and bass, and I mix guitar a little louder than some do these days. We really try to keep her in a rock vein. People constantly tell us how refreshing it is to see and hear a real band without endless Pro Tools and backing tracks. You won’t find any of that here, we’ve purposely avoided it since the very beginning.”
Gregory A. DeTogne is a writer and editor who has served the pro audio industry for the past 32 years.div class=
Review: KRK ROKIT Generation 3 Studio Monitors
It’s become a regular gig, opening boxes of toys and forming opinions for these reviews. Sometimes I’m impressed, sometimes not. Normally, I don’t have a problem keeping my cool and writing something moderately monotone.
This might be different.
For those who know the story, I have a pair of vintage Pioneer HPM-100 reference monitors from the 1970s in my office. These have been nicknamed “the lie detectors” because of how clean and accurate they are. No details escape them. So far, no other monitors have really impressed me.
Again, this might be different.
For the sake of amusement, I fired up Herbie Hancock’s “Possibilities” album and jumped over to the Christina Aguilera track “A Song for you.”
It’s become one of my favorites for hearing the full range of a system. Her voice matched with his piano is hypnotic. If there’s a weak spot in a system, that track will identify it.
ROKIT 4 two-way powered monitor
Once I got comfortable with Christina singing to me through the old lie detectors, I smugly switched over to the KRK ROKIT 4 monitors, first making sure that the rear panel controls were flat. By the way, each monitor offers an overall volume control, along with separate controls for lows and highs. There’s also the option of connecting with RCA, 1/4-inch or XLR plugs. Plugged them in, powered them up and hit play.
What I heard was not what I expected.
Although it isn’t fair to compare a pair of 4-inch monitors to the monsters I usually mix with, these blew me away. With the exception of low-frequency presence, which trails off around 75 Hz, they’re beautiful. The specs claim 51 Hz to 35 kHz, and these monitors are capable of that.
They also claim 30 watts of total power with 10 watts to the highs and 20 watts to the lows. Sure. OK. They sound much more powerful than any 30-watt boxes I’ve ever listened to. Clean, full and rich.
Rear panel of the ROKIT 4 two-way powered monitor
They’re also tiny. Each ROKIT 4 weighs in at about 8.7 pounds and stands about 9 inches tall. But don’t let that little footprint fool you—these are serious monitors. I’m impressed. If I were working in a smaller room or on a tight budget, they’d be my first choice, providing more than enough (and then some) for most projects.
From there, I moved on to the big brother, the ROKIT 10-3, a three-way box with a single 10-inch woofer, 4-inch mid and 1-inch tweeter. The power spec is 140 watts total, with 80 watts for the lows, and 30 watts each for the mids and highs. OK. Fair enough. That seemed justifiable, considering the size.
These are big monitors, more than 21 inches tall and weighing in at 46 pounds. Brace and balance yourself when lifting them out of the box; it’s not an easy one-handed grab.
KRK claims a response of 35 Hz to 25 kHz. I’ve seen other reviews talk about how completely unnecessary a subwoofer is for most rooms and projects. Several also raved about the overall sound quality and accuracy. But being a guy who processes hyperbole on a daily basis here on ProSoundWeb, I’m prone to brush off glorification.
So with that in mind, how do they sound?
My wife will vouch for my response: Wow. I actually yelled something like that across the room to her. The stereo image is wide and generous. The highs are crisp and detailed. The mids are honest and full. The low end… Yeah. Skip the subs.
ROKIT 10-3 three-way powered monitor
I went back to the Christina track. The love was all there. Every sparkling high and pulsing low greeted me with passion. It was the same result with Herbie. These monitors did absolute justice to my favorite tracks.
But I needed to verify that it wasn’t a fluke, and pulled out all of the tracks I’ve used over the years to find flaws in sound systems. Janice Ian’s “Breaking Silence” was perfect. Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” was perfect. Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” was perfect. Lionel Ritchie’s “Easy” was perfect. Motley Crue, Lady Gaga, Kings of Leon, Keb’ Mo’ and even the London Symphony Orchestra were all well represented.
I also pulled out some Nina Simone and dropped that sultry and dynamic voice on them to see what happened. “Feelin’ Good” was breathtaking. With my eyes closed, I felt like I was sitting in the room as she recorded it. I wanted to get her a drink of water because I could hear her lips touch.
With all honesty, I couldn’t identify any other monitors in this price range that have ever gotten my attention like these did. Give the KRK ROKIT Generation 3 serious consideration before buying anything else. These are the real deal.
Find out more about ROKIT Gen 3 monitors here.
American Music & Sound Announces New National Sales Manager For dBTechnologies
Ken Blecher brings over 30 years of experience to the US market for the Italian manufacturer.
American Music & Sound announces the appointment of Ken Blecher as national sales manager for dBTechnologies.
Blecher’s role is to increase sales within the United States by providing essential marketing strategies and product training to dealers and representatives.
AM&S president Lynn Martin welcomes Blecher onboard.
“Ken is an industry veteran who has a knack for the MI, Production, and Installation Audio Markets. He also has extensive experience developing international brands throughout the U.S,” Martin said.
As a pro audio sales professional with over 30 years of experience, Blecher’s career has always been based around his passion for sound. He has watched dBTechnologies grow over time and knows what it takes to develop and market products around the world.
“I’m excited to be apart of dBTechnologies’ expansion.” he states. “This is a great opportunity for all of us to work together as a team to promote the brand in North America,” said Blecher.
AM&S and dBTechnologies, announced their partnership earlier this year. The two companies will kick off their U.S. distribution arrangement with the introduction of the ES 503, the first born of dBTechnologies’ ES Entertainment System series.
American Music & Sound
Georgia’s Union County High School Outfitted With Renkus-Heinz
Southern A&E of Austell, Georgia selects VARIAi full-range arrays for controlled coverage in new multipurpose performing arts center.
Union County High School in Blairsville recently completed a new performing arts center, which features Renkus-Heinz VARIAi modular loudspeaker arrays.
“The entire building is new,” says Frank Campo, Jr., VP of electrical engineering at Southern A&E of Austell, Georgia, the full-service architecture and engineering firm behind the building and the sound system.
“The auditorium is a multi-purpose space, used for assemblies, movies, concerts, and even a local church’s services on weekends.
It seats 985, all on one level, with no balcony, sloping toward the front and raked toward the back.
The room is 115 feet deep and about 75 feet wide, so it’s relatively narrow. The side walls are somewhat parallel but acoustical panels help a lot.”
“The acoustics are more difficult toward the back because of the lowered ceiling,” notes Southern A&E electrical designer Jason Leatherwood.
“With other loudspeakers, we would have had issues with sound hitting the side walls. One reason we liked Renkus-Heinz VARIAi is that we could change the width as we went higher in the stack.”
VARIAi 101 full-range arrays are available in three vertical cabinet angles: 7.5, 15 and 22.5 degrees. Southern A&E chose four VARIAi arrays, with a VAX101i-7 on top, two VAX101i-15s in the middle, and a VAX101i-22 on the bottom, equipped with the unique VARIAi 90-to-120-degree transitional waveguide and configured as a horizontal center cluster. This enabled them to customize the pattern for each coverage area.
“In the center array the top cabinet has a 60 degree horizontal pattern, the next box down has a transitional 60 to 90 degree waveguide, the third box has a 90 to 120 waveguide, and the bottom cabinet in the array has 120 degrees of horizontal coverage,” explains Brian Phillips, founder and CEO of Greer, South Carolina, theatrical systems integrator Productions Unlimited, which installed the system.
“It was good to have those transitional waveguides as the intermediaries between the top and bottom boxes.”
The center cluster is flown above the front of the stage. “It covers the middle of the left and right seating sections and the rear,” Leatherwood expounds. Renkus-Heinz PNX121 two-way Complex Conic loudspeakers, flown on the far left and right, cover the first 25 percent of the front. “They’re pointed in to avoid splashing,” adds Leatherwood. Four Renkus-Heinz TRX61 two-way Complex Conic loudspeakers, mounted in the stage lip provide coverage to the front rows.
“Technically it’s an LCR configuration plus subs and front fills,” says Leatherwood. “But the system has individual control so you can have just the L/R, or just the center cluster, or the whole system.”
Sub-bass is handled by a pair of Renkus-Heinz DRS18-1B direct-radiating subwoofers, hung to the left and right of the center cluster to account for the relative narrowness of the room. “We tested with a Batman movie that has a lot of low-end sounds,” Phillips recalls, “and the subs did an excellent job. The system is great for cinema.”
All speakers are powered by Lab.gruppen amplifiers. “We did not go with self-powered speakers mainly because the speakers are flown high, and we wanted to leave easy access to the amps,” recalls Leatherwood. Biamp Tesira DSP handles speaker processing, and everything is tied into a Crestron automation system. An Easy mode enables users to run two wireless mics, the video system, and the main speakers without having to operate the console.
The results were all the team had hoped for. “VARIAi arrays are easy to hang, and they look good; they’re not intrusive. And they provide awesome sound,” declares Leatherwood. “I was impressed with the uniformity of coverage; we couldn’t find a dead spot. We pushed the system pretty loud, and it was really clean.”
“You feel the low-frequency energy in the back,” adds Campo.
“All in all it turned out to be a really good project,” Leatherwood concludes. “Production Unlimited did a great job, the school staff is happy, and we love the space-and the Renkus-Heinz system.”
In The Studio: A Tale Of A Project-Saving Monitoring Technique
As guitarist Jeff Baxter once said to me during the “heat” of a Rod Stewart recording session: “We can do anything—the impossible just takes a little longer.”
Along with talented musicians like Jeff, engineers, producers, and live mixers often are called upon to solve problems that are at first glance, flat impossible.
To a technically challenged client, all the flashy and complicated gear, computers and the alacrity at which a pro uses them to produce nearly instant, seemingly magical results (I think) hypnotizes or lulls people into a state of “anything is possible”—even though what they want defies the basic laws of physics!
One such situation occurred to me a while back when I was in Sydney Australia recording an album with an R&B band called The Rockmelons. (A rockmelon is Aussie for a cantaloupe if you were wondering) Australia is a wonderful and mystical place especially out in the middle of the country—a U.S.-sized desert.
So perhaps the laws of physics are suspended in parts of the “down under” but they were not for us at EMI 301 Studios in downtown Sydney.
The lead singer in the band, at that time, had the worst case of “red light” fever I’ve ever encountered—actually more like a severe headphone phobia. As soon as he heard the track and his voice in the cans, he acted intimidated and overwhelmed; he would stop, not sing at all, or sing terribly.
All of us were puzzled because at live gigs in front of an audience, he was wonderful—the main attraction. The most peculiar thing was that if we suddenly stopped the track’s playback, for a few measures he would sing the most spectacular soul riffs and melodies all acapella.
Robin Smith, the producer was obviously extremely concerned because if this guy couldn’t sing, we would not have an album—they were not an instrumental group.
The first flash of “can do” brilliance came from Smith when he had the second engineer setup a two-track tape deck so that it recorded the same audio feed from my vocal recording chain at the session’s multi-track received. This machine was to be kept it in record, rolling at all times.
The second engineer and the producer also worked out a system of hand signal routines—a rating system where the assistant would jot down the two-track’s tape counter number and a 1 to 5 rating whenever the producer heard a piece of a vocal he liked. These chunks of vocals might be used in the final vocal compilation process.
So for the rest of the day, whenever I would stop playback, we captured all these cool riffs and lyrics on the two-track. Later, after the singer left, the producer and I would “fly” in all the good bits into the multi-track master vocal take. To say the least, this was not a satisfactory record production method that grew very old very fast.
So after a couple of days when the singer did not get any better, we decided to tackled the problem at the root cause: what was it about the phones that put this otherwise great singer off? We played with volume; mix, compressing the phone mix, reverb and other effects, different brands of headphones—everything we could think of.
We determined that the singer was a sensitive fellow who just felt physically uncomfortable and a little paranoid wearing headphones—and it was worst when music was coming out of them.
So I remembered a trick I saw Crosby, Stills and Nash used ‘back in the day’ at a Hollywood studio called Sound Labs. I was working on another project in studio 1 and they were banging away in studio 2.
Of course everybody in those days would occasionally check out “who was in the other room” and what it sounded like. It was a great learning atmosphere with a very rich and free exchange of remarkable ideas from very talented people—artists, engineers and musicians who sometimes were not that technical but always open to any sonic experiment no matter how ludicrous-sounding.
I went in and saw they were using two Yamaha NS10ms or Auratone monitor speakers mounted on mic stands instead of headphones!
I think it was Graham Nash who said they had always harmonized as a group around a single microphone listening to each other more than the track. I went into the studio during a playback to hear how low in volume the speakers were. They were very quiet.
But the big revelation to me was when I stood equal-distant between the two speakers and discovered they were flipped in polarity—out of phase from one another.
Apparently I (being a recording engineer trying to be vigilant for such serious problems) was much more sensitive to this than CSN. It was also true that none of them ever stood exactly equidistant between the speakers.
Further, this “wrong” hookup was anathema to everything I was ever taught or had experienced. But this was situation where practicality outweighs technical correctness.
So I used that idea for my singer in Australia and it worked! The main point of this trick is to place the vocal mic exactly—dead on—in the null-point of the two speakers. I did this by playing the cue mix and listening to the mic channel in solo.
I put headphones to hear only the mic’s signal and would just move the mic around until I got minimum speaker spill or leakage.
Is the leakage a problem? No, not unless you want to do some wacky dance remix where the lead vocal is solo’d or you produce and record an entirely new track under the vocal.
The other ‘detail’ is to make sure you play only the most minimal track mix out on the speakers and try to keep it mostly monaural. You might have to play with panning positions etc. Play just enough elements of your track’s production for the singer to sing well.
I’d probably leave out most of the sweetening ideas, fancy percussion playing and vocal effects off. I’d also try to keep the bottom end not too big and the Yamahas will help in the regard.
Barry Rudolph is a veteran L.A.-based recording engineer as well as a noted writer on recording topics. Be sure to visit his website
Friday, October 09, 2015
October’s Very Own Festival Deploys Adamson
Eighth Day Sound unleashes E15 and E12 line arrays with E119 subwoofers on 35,000 people at the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre.
More than 35,000 people descended upon the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre in Toronto, Canada recently to experience the 2015 OVO (October’s Very Own) Fest.
Eighth Day Sound, headquartered in Highland Heights, Ohio, was on hand to deploy Adamson loudspeakers for the event.
The three-day music event headlined Kevin Hart, J. Cole, Big Sean, YG + Jeremih and Drake with guest performances from Future, Pharrell Williams, UK’s MC Skepta, Kanye West, and Krept & Konan. OVO Fest is one of the largest hip-hop festivals in Canada.
The main PA consisted of left-right hangs made up of 18 Adamson E15 and three Adamson E12 line array enclosures, with sidefill arrays made up of 12 E15 and three E12 enclosures. Two subwoofer arrays – eight Adamson E119s each – were hung next to the main PA. Another 24 E119 were stacked 2x6 per side to deliver Drake’s signature low end.
“The high end of this PA is one of the clearest, and smoothest I have ever heard – not harsh at all and extremely consistent,” explains Demetrius Moore, front of house engineer for Drake. “The low end is huge with a smooth range, great for my hip-hop 808s and my R&B kick drum.”
The Molson Canadian Amphitheatre is a bowl-shaped outdoor shed with a seating capacity of 16,000 – 5,500 reserved seats under the 60-foot high covered roof, 3,500 seats under the open sky and another 7,000 seats on the grass bowl. In order to ensure pristine coverage, Eighth Day Sound utilized Adamson’s Blueprint AV software to design the system.
“The PA was solid – we didn’t need delays at all,” adds Moore. “The sound was clean with a consistent SPL throughout the venue and it was plenty loud.”
The OVO Fest PA was powered by racks of Lab.gruppen PLM 20K44 amplifiers which combine a true 4-in, 4-out configuration with a new Lake core module, Dante networked signal distribution, and system control and monitoring. The amplifiers were rack mounted and located stage left during the event.
Thursday, October 08, 2015
Guitarist Julian Catford Expands Mobility With Mackie FreePlay
Internationally known musician, and guitar instructor at Seattle Pacific University, performs locally with personal PA system.
For more than 30 years, Julian Catford’s music has been a mainstay at dozens of venues in the Seattle area; performing solo as well as sharing the stage with such greats as Cab Calloway, Rosemary Clooney, The Mills Brothers, Ed Ames and Little Anthony.
Catford, who has performed internationally, also teaches guitar at Seattle Pacific University and performs at weddings and other event using his Mackie FreePlay to provide him with a portable personal PA.
“It’s really the perfect system for weddings, garden parties, and a lot of the more intimate gigs I play every week,” Catford remarks.
“It’s portable like crazy - the rechargeable battery enables me to be completely self-sufficient, and position myself in the best location, rather than having to be near an electrical outlet. And even at a show lasting several hours, I’ve yet to run down the battery.”
Sonically, FreePlay offers the tone and performance Catford needs for his instrument.
“For classical and flamenco in particular, it’s important to have a system that delivers the subtlety and overtones of the guitar,” he observes. “FreePlay sounds great, and gives me a nice, full-spectrum sound - great bass and articulate high end. The built-in reverb and EQ are more than enough to shape the sound I need, regardless of the space I’m performing in. And I love the FreePlay Connect app, which enables me to not only control my mix from my iPhone, but to stream music to it from my phone during breaks.”
Even for larger gigs, Catford finds FreePlay useful. “I’ve used it with one of the acoustic trios I gig with, and it makes a great personal monitor. It’s got enough output to easily cut through, even when I’m playing with a louder instrument like an accordion.”
Catford says his Freeplay is not his first portable system, but it’s certainly the best he’s used.
“I had another small amp I used for quite some time, but I could never really depend on it - sometimes it was just too loud for the space, sometimes it was just too boomy, sometimes it wouldn’t work at all. And it didn’t have nearly the features that Freeplay does. With FreePlay, I can take it to a gig with confidence that it will sound good and do what I need it to do.”
EAW And John Lyons Redesign Loudspeakers For Avalon Hollywood
Custom versions of the new CLUB series loudspeakers and SUB series subwoofers were installed in Avalon Hollywood earlier this year.
Avalon Hollywood owner John Lyons recently teamed back up with EAW engineers to create Avalon by EAW loudspeakers.
Custom versions of the new loudspeakers were installed in Avalon Hollywood earlier this year.
The new design was driven by advances in the technology used in loudspeaker design.
For all intents and purposes, Lyons was still looking for the same features as the original loudspeaker series – SPL with enough clarity to hear the nuances of the music – but in a smaller footprint and capable of a higher SPL.
“The new Avalon by EAW loudspeakers provide exactly that,” Lyons explains.
“Advances in transducer design enabled EAW to create a system that was half the size with twice the output, so we have a much better mousetrap.”
The loudspeaker series, Avalon by EAW, consists of four full-range loudspeakers (CLUB.two, CLUB.three, CLUB.four, CLUB.five) and a subwoofer (SUB.two). In addition, Lyons was interested in the development of an extreme version of the CLUB.two loudspeaker and SUB.two subwoofer specifically for Avalon Hollywood. EAW created these one-of-a-kind loudspeakers – the CLUB.one-JL and SUB.one-JL – at his request.
With the design complete, Lyons renovated the main PA at Avalon Hollywood with the new Avalon by EAW loudspeakers and made a number of physical upgrades to the venue at the same time. The entrance and lobby to the club was transformed while the original 1927 features throughout the club were restored to their former glory.
The main room, with a capacity of 2,000, features an extended balcony with great views and new VIP booths. More VIP seating is available in tiered levels surrounding the dance floor, with two exclusive VIP booths located backstage.
Six CLUB.one-JL loudspeakers were installed in the main room. The loudspeakers are mounted roughly 14 feet off the ground and placed in each of the four corners of the dance floor with two additional enclosures located in the middle of the side walls. The CLUB.one-JL is loaded with four 15-inch LF cones arranged in a symmetrical pattern behind two 10-inch midrange cones and a coaxial mid-high compression driver that produces peak output of around 136 dB.
The design creates solid sound levels on the dance floor while minimizing spill onto walls and ceilings. The loudspeakers – with black enclosures, red grills and black horns – blend into the red velvet and black décor nicely.
Six SUB.one-JL subwoofers are positioned under the stage and in front of the dance floor. Each of the subwoofers incorporates a 40-inch cone and three horn-loaded 12-inch woofers into independent subsystems that are powered and processed separately. By creating a hybrid subwoofer that combines direct-radiating and horn-loaded sections together, the enclosures deliver the perfect blend of impact and extension. The end result is absolutely earth-crushing sub bass.
“The subs are clean and powerful – they absolutely blow people away,” he continues. “It is amazing what a 40-inch cone can produce. The combination of the horn-loaded and direct radiating sections together really allows me to dial in the tonality to get the best of both worlds. We are nowhere close to maxxing them out. As a matter of fact, I’m not even sure we can max them out.”
Disc jockey, producer, and record label owner Erick Morillo, is a stickler for high quality audio systems. As one of the godfathers of the musical genre, he performs regularly at Avalon Hollywood considering the venue a “home away from home”.
Once the new system was installed at Avalon Hollywood, Morillo was one of the first performers to put it through its paces.
“The new Avalon by EAW boxes are unbelievable, it was loud and clean and they weren’t even close to being tapped out,” he explains.
“The new bass bottom? The sheer size is crazy. The box itself sounds phenomenal. I was blown away by the design and quality of the entire system. Avalon is easily my favorite club in LA and the new system makes it even more so.”
The entire system is capable of generating in excess of 140 dB SPL on the dance floor. However, on a typical night the systems sits around 115-120 dB, delivered by more than 200,000 watts of amplifier power.
Two CLUB.two loudspeakers along with two SUB.two subwoofers are in place backstage to cover the exclusive VIP booths. The CLUB.two uses four 12-inch low-frequency woofers arranged in a symmetrical pattern behind the mid/high section. The drivers sum to product the output of larger drivers without suffering from the slow response usually associated with big cones. Two Sub.two subwoofers drive the low end of the backstage system. A hybrid subwoofer similar to the SUB.one-JL, the SUB.two delivers extreme extension and the physical impact required by high-end night club like Avalon.
The DJ booth, front and center on stage, is equipped with three CLUB.three loudspeakers. The CLUB.three combines a coaxial MF/HF design with a vented woofer directly behind it for optimal alignment making them truly world-class DJ monitors.
When asked about the monitor system Morillo adds, “So many systems don’t include enough bass – I need to feel what the audience is feeling – if I can’t, then what is the point? If you feel what they are feeling then you can create a good mood. Avalon pays attention to that. Using the Avalon by EAW CLUB.three loudspeakers as monitors is amazing, absolutely brilliant.“
Lyons has a team of people that are constantly pushing the envelope to repeatedly amaze club-goers. Every few weeks they take it all down and build something new and different to keep it fresh and vibrant.
“It’s all about providing club goers with the extreme audio experience – something different than what they get everywhere else,” Lyons adds. “It’s loud, almost body shaking loud, but with accuracy and pleasing sounds like you would get out of a great set of headphones. That is what we provide at Avalon.”
Meyer Sound Selected For Gabriela Cámara’s First U.S. Restaurant
San Francisco's Cala features Constellation and Libra acoustic systems to customize the acoustic environment.
Meyer Sound makes its San Francisco restaurant debut with Cala, Mexico City chef-owner Gabriela Cámara’s first U.S. restaurant.
The new Civic Center neighborhood restaurant is the first in San Francisco to feature Meyer Sound Constellation and Libra acoustic systems, implemented to combine ease of conversation and a desired level of “buzz.”
Constellation offers restaurateurs like Cámara the opportunity to adjust the acoustics and offer a dining experience for all the senses.
With a simple swipe on an iPad, Cala staff can customize the acoustic environment through an array of tiny microphones and loudspeakers working in sync with digital processing.
This ensures that conversations, music, and the energy of the collective restaurant dining experience are in perfect balance.
Meyer Sound’s patented Libra acoustic image system is critical to the creation of the ideal sonic environment, uniting the art and science of acoustics. Libra’s sound absorptive properties offer reverberation control while the visual artistry of photographer and Libra artistic director Deborah O’Grady assures perfect between eye and ear.
“With Constellation, Meyer Sound has opened up the possibility of a truly holistic dining experience at Cala,” says Cámara.
Rapidly gaining momentum in the restaurant industry, Meyer Sound’s Constellation technology is already widely used throughout the world as a sound solution for major concert halls and performing arts venues in addition to classrooms and office spaces.
Just blocks away at SoundBox, Constellation enables the San Francisco Symphony to transform a cavernous rehearsal space into a new venue for experimental music. The San Francisco Opera will also employ the technology in an intimate new black box theatre, opening next summer.
By bringing Constellation to restaurants, Meyer Sound extends its leadership in audio technology and room acoustics to solve a common challenge for restaurateurs.
“Sound plays an integral role in the quality of our dining experience,” says John Meyer, founder and CEO of Meyer Sound.
“Diners deserve to be able to hear the person across the table without sacrificing the fun of eating out at a buzzing restaurant. Constellation seamlessly improves the room’s acoustical properties, enhancing the experience for restaurant guests.”
Cala—the Spanish word for “cove” or “creek”—features seasonal, sustainable, and local seafood. The restaurant is located at 149 Fell Street between Franklin Street and Van Ness Avenue. Just blocks from the city’s jazz centre, ballet, and opera house, Cala is a lively gathering spot and a welcomed addition to the neighborhood’s rich cultural traditions. Cala is the fourth Bay Area restaurant to feature the Constellation acoustic system, joining the East Bay’s Comal, Oliveto, and The Advocate.
RE/P Files: Control Room Design For The Small Studio
From the March/April 1977 issue of the late, great Recording Engineer/Producer (RE/P) magazine, the principals of Abadon/Sun Studio, which was located in San Antonio, TX, look at the practical and technical sides of studio design.
We at Abadon/Sun decided to write this article because we felt a large number of small studio owners required more information to properly design and build their first studio.
What we’ve tried to do is to simplify things as much as possible and provide the builder with the design fundamentals.
Since most small control rooms are rectangular in shape we’ll detail the design considerations for a room of that shape. Our primary goal is to eliminate severe resonant modes in the room and establish the low-frequency response of the room through the proper selection of room dimensions.
A room with parallel surfaces and no acoustic treatment will exhibit resonant modes between opposite surfaces. That is, we will have resonances created between the two side walls, the front and rear walls and the floor and ceiling surfaces.
When selecting the various room dimensions the objective is to avoid common resonances between any of the room modes to avoid build-up of sound at the resonant frequencies (Figure 1). If a common resonance is present, it will probably result in an increase in volume of that one frequency producing a very boomy sound (for low-frequency resonances). Since the low frequencies are the main source of difficulty in room design (and are the hardest to correct) this article will concentrate on them.
The frequencies at which resonance occurs are determined by the distance between the two walls under consideration. The formula for the resonant frequencies is:
where d is the room dimension (in feet) and fn is the resonant frequency (in Hz. or cycles/second). The resonances will occur at multiples of the fundamental frequency f(I). For that reason we use the multiplier (n). For example, two walls separated by 10 feet will produce resonances at 56.5 Hz., 113.0 Hz., 169.5 Hz., etc. By this method the resonances occurring in the room can be readily calculated. Considering a room 10′ x 15′ x 20′:
Our conclusion from these calculations is that 10′ x 15′ x 20′ is a very bad choice of room dimensions. The reason is that we have a resonant frequency (113 Hz.) common to all three room dimensions. This would produce a very bad room resonance every time we encountered a 113 Hz. signal which would probably occur fairly frequently.
Changing our choice of dimensions to 10′ x 14′ x 22′ and applying the same equations we find these resonant frequencies:
As can be seen there is no common resonant point between the dimensions selected this time. One limitation we will impose on your choice of room dimensions is that the ratio of dimensions should lie within the limits of the graph given in Figure 2. For example, a room measuring 10′ x 11′ x 18′ would have a ratio of dimensions of 1: 1.1: 1.8 which would not be acceptable. A room with dimension ratio of 1:1.4:2.2 is within the acceptable range.
[NOTE: Some of the ratios within the limits of the graph may produce undesirable additive resonances. For this reason you must check them thoroughly by calculating the resonant frequencies before committing yourself to a selection.]
Another calculation which will enter into your choice for dimensions is the diagonal dimension of the room. For a room to reproduce low-frequencies well, there has to be a sufficiently long dimension to allow the low frequency waves to propagate themselves. The equations are:
The room diagonal can be found from the equation:
From these equations you should be able to determine the lowest frequency that can be propagated in the room. The diagonal lengths required for some sample frequencies to propagate are given as:
Looking at another example, a room 9′ x 11′ x 14′ is suggested. The ratio of dimensions is 1: 1.2: 1.6 which is acceptable according to our graph of acceptable ratios. The lowest frequency will be:
Room resonant frequencies are:
From these calculations we can see that this is an acceptable choice of dimensions.
Once the room dimensions have been selected we can begin looking into the finishing of the walls, ceiling and floor.
Sound travels by both acoustic and mechanical means. That is, it not only travels through the air but also through solid objects.
So, to minimize the leakage of sound between rooms we must provide both acoustic and mechanical isolation.
Maximum mechanical isolation is best achieved when the inner and outer walls are independent; as in the use of double-wall construction.
This type of construction uses separate, staggered studs for the inner and outer wall surfaces with fiberglass insulation in between (Figure 3).
Also, care should be taken to insure that no holes exist between the two rooms, such as through adjacent electrical outlets or mic lines run through the walls, since an air-tight seal between the rooms is required for maximum isolation from air-borne sound.
Walls other than those between the studio and control room may be of single-wall construction but should be packed with insulation.
As to wall surfaces, the heavier a wall covering is, the lower its’ resonant frequency. Normally we’ll want the resonant frequency to be as low as possible. Sheetrock will resonate at a lower frequency than thin paneling because of its increased weight. We can also reduce sound transmission and lower the resonant frequency of a wall by the use of a highly damped material such as sound attenuation board.
For example, by attaching thin wood paneling to sound attenuation board added weight and thus, damping will be achieved. This provides the twin advantages of an attractive surface that exhibits good acoustic characteristics. Typically, windows should be of double-pane construction with the two panes at angles to each other to eliminate internal resonances. All seals around the window should, of course, be air-tight (Figure 4).
Experiments have led to the belief that the ceiling should be padded with 4″ thick fiberglass insulation folded slightly to produce a corrugated surface. This should then be covered with burlap or other similar material. The effect is to deaden the ceiling and reduce floor-to-ceiling resonances.
To retain a proper stereo image in the control room the need to have a room symmetric about its center (front to rear) axis has been well proven. That is, the side walls should be mirror images of each other. If they are not, the acoustic characteristics of the two walls may be different.
Let’s say one wall has a hard flat surface and the other wall is made very dead. The hard surfaced wall would produce lots of reflections back to the console making that side seem both bright and loud. The deadened wall would do just the opposite by absorbing the sound hitting it, resulting in a dull sound at reduced level. It’s obvious from this that the hard surfaced wall and the dead wall both have shortcomings.
We prefer to use side walls that are irregular in shape and texture to minimize resonances between the two walls and also to break up any reflections from the walls. We will try to avoid using deadening materials on the two walls because we do want them to retain a bright sound.
This type of side wall construction can be seen in Figure 4, for which we’ve used cedar shingles to form a pattern on the wall. The wall also has a slight curvature to it to further reduce resonances between the two side walls. The surface formed by the shingles is acoustically hard but very irregular so that reflections produced by the wall are diffused. This will further enhance the stereo image produced by the monitors through de-centralization
of the sound source.
An additional prerequisite for proper design is that the console must be centered between the walls, and the monitors should be placed at equal distances from the side walls. The criteria for monitor placement has been outlined in Figure 5. From your position while mixing, the angle between the monitors shouldn’t exceed 900 and their axes should cross about one foot in front of you. If possible you should be about two-thirds of the distance back from the monitors to the rear wall.
The choice of monitor loudspeakers is practically unlimited. The monitors ultimately selected should be as reliable as possible and be capable of high sound pressure levels. The reasoning behind this is that in mastering use a monitor is fed a fairly high continuous level of uncompressed sound. Allowing 10 dB of headroom for peaks in the music, a 95 dB SPL signal may reach 105 dB SPL on transients.
This is not very dramatic to the ear, but is a drastic change to the speaker. 10 dB translates to ten times power, so if we were using 20 watts continuous power for 95 dB SPL, the speakers would require 200 watts peak input for 105 dB SPL.
A speaker requiring only 8 watts for the same 95 dB SPL would require 80 watts peak. It is advisable to allow at least 10 dB above your continuous monitor level for peaks and you should select a monitor capable of handling repeated inputs at 10 dB above that level without failure or distortion.
Obviously, the power amplifier should be chosen after you choose the speaker unless you plan on buying a big amplifier. We normally install Crown D-150As with JBL 4311 (monitors) or Klipsch monitors, and Crown DC-300As with everything else.
Placement of the monitor speaker in a corner of the room will reinforce the bass output of the monitor as will placing it near the floor or ceiling of the room.
Placement in the center of a wall will provide the least amount of reinforcement. If you want to demonstrate this effect simply place a speaker on the floor, run pink noise (or FM inter-station noise) through the speaker and slowly lift it off the floor. You will notice a marked change in the sound of the speaker.
We recommend that you allow some time to try out several different monitor placements in your control room before committing to a certain spot. However, the relationship between monitor and console placement as outlined in Figure 5 should still apply regardless of your final choice for the monitor placement.
At Abadon/Sun we consider several things to be important in the early stages of design concerning the aesthetics of the control room. We center our designs on providing the mixing engineer a comfortable place to work. This includes providing comfortable surroundings and eliminating unnecessary distractions.
For that reason we like to place all the recorders and accessories behind the mixer, or to his side so that when he is mixing there are just the artists performing and the console readily visible to him. This excludes, of course, such things as limiters which must be adjacent to the console but should be below eye level.
Proper lighting of the control room is also important. We normally light the area of the console with multiple low intensity flood lights on overhead tracks and soft light the recorders with additional track lighting. This eliminates quite a bit of the distraction that arises from all the moving meters and lights on equipment other than the console.
The point behind all this is that the mixing engineer’s attention is concentrated on the work at hand which in turn leads to a better product. As a further extension of the same ideas, we recommend the use of dark colors and wood surfaces in the control room. For example, try using sections of dark walnut paneling and sections of padded felt in dark blue or black. The effect is very pleasing.
You should now have all the basics required to construct a good control room without a lot of guesswork. The 9′ x 11′ x 14′ room discussed earlier has been recently built and seems to work very well. Please remember that it is based on a small control room situation and as such is merely one design approach, however, it is a proven approach which provides excellent results in a minimum of space.
Editor’s Note: This is a series of articles from Recording Engineer/Producer (RE/P) magazine, which began publishing in 1970 under the direction of Publisher/Editor Martin Gallay. After a great run, RE/P ceased publishing in the early 1990s, yet its content is still much revered in the professional audio community. RE/P also published the first issues of Live Sound International magazine as a quarterly supplement, beginning in the late 1980s, and LSI grew to become the monthly publication that continues to thrive to this day.
Our sincere thanks to Mark Gander of JBL Professional for his considerable support on this archive project.
SkyWay At Mont Blanc Evacuation System Outfitted With RCF
CED Impianti specs and installs a DXT 9000 digital system with 4500 watts for three new cableway stations in the Aosta Valley.
The SkyWay at Mont Blanc has been equipped with an evacuation system manufactured by RCF, and specified by installation company CED Impianti.
An RCF DXT 9000 digital system, certified in accordance with the new EN54-16 standard, was used for this engineering challenge.
“We already knew the DXT 9000 products,” explains the installer Jacopo Franchin.
“The central system is powerful, reliable and it conforms to sector regulations. It was a great choice from both the technical and commercial points of view.” The installation at Mont Blanc is made up of three independent systems, one for each station, and is divided into separate zones corresponding to fire detection areas.
Three amplified master units were chosen from the MX 9504 series, one for each level of the new SkyWay cable car, while the pre-recorded messages have been made in three languages instead of the more usual two.
“In the Aosta Valley French is spoken just as much as Italian and the SkyWay has a great influx of French speakers. For this reason the client also requested French as a language,” explains the installer. The MX9504 units allow multiple messages to be sent simultaneously in order to manage a well-organised evacuation of the various areas that are open to the public.
The digital amplifiers used are RCF UP 9502 and 9504 models, while the PS 4048 PSU ensures continued power to the DXT 9000 system in case of network interruptions. The system also includes the RCF MS1033 dual sound source, with integrated CD/mp3 player and a radio tuner. Microphones from the RDF BM 9800 series are also used.
“Not only did we want a good evacuation system, but one that could also have a broader use for the distribution of music or various types of messages,” states engineer Petrella from Dimensione Ingenierie, the company that developed this project with RCF technical staff.
Three types of loudspeakers were chosen for their sound performance, UV and weather-resistance properties – the purpose designed RCF DP1420 EN sound projector, the DU 50EN and HD 21 EN horn speaker.
The final project has been designed to achieve an average SPL more than 10 dB higher than the background noise, and therefore falls within the range established by the regulations. The average STI is higher than 0.5, with slight normal variations, calculated at 627 measurement points, resulting in great sound clarity and speech intelligibility.