Wednesday, July 02, 2014
IsoAcoustics Ships Custom-Configurable Modular Acoustic Isolation Stands For Guitar/Bass Amps
Flexible way to enhance the sound clarity and performance of amplifiers via proprietary "floating design.
IsoAcoustics announces the availability of a new line of aluminum Modular Acoustic Isolation Stands that can be custom-configured for guitar and bass amplifiers and loudspeaker situations, including studios, rehearsal venues, performance stages, nightclubs, theatres, concert halls and many other applications.
The new modular stands provide a flexible way to enhance the sound clarity and performance of amplifiers via a proprietary “floating design.” They have an all-aluminum construction that can be built to any size matrix configuration, incorporating any number of isolators required to meet the needs of the particular application at hand.
The IsoAcoustics Design Calculator allows the user to enter the specific amp or loudspeaker model (or other input parameters) in order to be able to create a custom configuration that accounts for size, weight and intended use. Stands can be configured to any size for any application from 8 x 8 inches and larger, and can also address the specific requirements of weight capacities, which may exceed 200 psf.
Custom orders for the IsoAcoustics Modular Stand System can be processed by local retailers, and the stands are also available at retail in standard common sizes to complement popular brands of larger monitors, subwoofers and guitar/bass amplifiers.
“IsoAcoustics is very pleased to be able to offer musicians a custom isolation solution for their instrument amplifiers and speakers,” says Dave Morrison, CEO of IsoAcoustics. “This is the first custom solution of its kind geared toward the musician, which is both very affordable and extremely effective.”
QSC Audio Introduces Three New Loudspeaker Models For Installation
New full-range loudspeaker, subwoofer, and in-ceiling loudspeaker expand options
QSC Audio has introduced three new loudspeaker models designed for fixed installation applications—the new AD-S6T loudspeaker and AD-S112sw surface-mount subwoofer join the AcousticDesign Series, while the new AC-C4T (part of the upcoming AcousticCoverage loudspeaker line) provides a cost-effective, in-ceiling option for voice paging and light background music applications. They were on display at the recent InfoComm 2014 show in Las Vegas.
The new AD-S6T is a 6-inch, two-way surface-mount loudspeaker outfitted with the proprietary X-Mount system. It incorporates proprietary Directivity Matched Transition (DMT) for smooth 105-degree axisymmetric coverage, and is capable of both 70/100-volt and direct drive operation utilizing a multi-tap, low-saturation 60-watt transformer with an 8-ohm bypass.
The new AD-S112sw surface-mount subwoofer employs a long-throw 12-inch driver, with yoke-mount hardware to optimize boundary-coupling. It offers 8-ohm operation only.
Both the AD-S6T and AD-S112sw have the same stylish looks, with unadorned aluminum grilles and paintable ABS enclosures.
The new AcousticCoverage AC-C4T in-ceiling loudspeaker has a 4-inch full-range transducer housed in a ported enclosure for added low-frequency extension. It’s equpped with a low-saturation transformer with multiple tap settings, including an 8-ohm bypass, making it well suited for both 70/100-volt and direct drive applications.
“Today’s integrator is looking for a single solution system including loudspeakers and these new additions to the QSC loudspeaker lineup helps fulfill that growing need,” says Travis Nie, QSC product manager – Install Loudspeakers. “With the continuously growing acceptance of the Q-Sys platform and PLD/CXD amplifiers both of which feature Intrinsic Correction processing, advanced voicing filter sets can be applied enabling integrators and their customers to get optimum acoustical performance from these new models as well as the rest of the QSC loudspeaker line.”
All three new models are now available.
Tuesday, July 01, 2014
Design Principles For Distributed Sound Systems
Before beginning the design process for a business sound system, identify what the customer needs and expects:
Fidelity Expectations. Does the client want a good, basic system; something a little better than average; or maximum bandwidth and maximum fidelity?
Sound-Level Requirements. Will the system be used strictly for background music, or does it really need to rock?
Usage. What kind of music will be played through it? For example, if it’s urban funk, then you’re going to have to think about the bass quality and SPL capability.
Form. Do they want in-ceiling or on-wall loudspeakers?
Coverage Requirements. How even do they want the coverage to be? Is it OK for it to perceptibly vary in volume within the space, or do they want it even throughout? Are there areas that don’t need to be covered at all, or where they might want lower SPL, such as the cash register area in a store?
Low-Frequency Coverage. How even does low-frequency coverage need to be? If you’re using subwoofers, is it okay to use a small number, meaning the sound will be loudest close to the sub(s) and softer elsewhere, or do the subs need to cover evenly?
Paging. Do they need paging? If so, how important is paging intelligibility?
Zones. How many zones need separate volume controls, different source controls or paging assignment?
Benchmarking. Do they want this system in order to keep up with a key competitor? If so, this can give you a benchmark.
Cost. Does the system they want fit into their cost requirements? If not, which functions can be adjusted to meet the budget, or is a budget reassessment advisable?
Collect this information and confirm your understanding with your customer before you start designing. You’ll have a much clearer idea of how to proceed when you know what your customer needs.
As we start thinking about the design, we need to then translate our client’s requirements into specific goals for coverage, sound levels and bandwidth. Once these requirements are identified, we can start thinking about loudspeaker and component selection, speaker layout patterns and speaker density.
We need to be able to correctly commission the system after it is installed, ensuring proper settings and optimal performance. Let’s start here with loudspeakers, and in future installments, I’ll look at other issues, such as loudspeaker layout, as well as SPL and equalization.
Have you ever heard, or followed, rules of thumb like “space ceiling loudspeakers as far apart as the ceiling is high” or “as far apart as the distance from the listener’s ear to the ceiling?” While they are simple to follow, they aren’t very practical. The conditions upon which these rules were supposedly based—the needs of commodity-grade systems—just aren’t what’s required today. No hard-and-fast rule is going to apply in all cases. You need to find out what the customer needs before you start making plans around loudspeakers.
The main objectives in deciding about the placement pattern and density of loudspeakers in a distributed system are covering the area effectively, providing sound that is audible and intelligible over the entire area, and making sure the system is capable of sustaining whatever sound pressure level the application requires.
A Common Misunderstanding
The following misunderstanding about the coverage angle specification of loudspeakers can easily result in system design mistakes. First, let me clarify that the term “coverage angle” is the angle at which the sound level is 6 dB down from the on-axis sound level.
It’s very common to see a polar coverage spec of the “coverage angle” on a spec sheet and assume that the speaker will actually cover this angle when installed. It seems like it would be the case, doesn’t it? But the truth is that loudspeakers actually cover less area than their spec sheets would imply.
Polar vs. Listening-Plane Coverage
There are two different types of coverage measurements that get confused for one another.
It’s standard in the loudspeaker industry to state the coverage in a polar pattern—in a sphere that is 1 meter from the loudspeaker in all directions.
The angle where the sound level is down 6 dB from the on-axis level is called the edge of the polar coverage pattern. This is what appears on spec sheets.
It’s a legitimate specification, but it does not represent what the coverage will be over a flat listening plane, as in any room, because it doesn’t take into account the difference in distances that people are from the speaker.
For loudspeakers projecting from a ceiling onto a flat listening plane, the sound has to travel farther off-axis (to the sides) than it travels on-axis (directly below the speaker) resulting in a much greater drop-off of sound level off-axis.
The result is that the actual coverage angle (at -6 dB) on the listening plane is more narrow than the polar spec. Some ceiling loudspeaker manufacturers use their polar measurement to claim extraordinarily wide coverage. Do not use this specification to lay out coverage patterns of ceiling loudspeakers!
To Illustrate, imagine a loudspeaker with a 180-degree polar spec. If you were to incorrectly interpret this as 180-degree coverage on the listening plane, then one loudspeaker would be all you would ever need for any application. Imagine a single loudspeaker trying to cover an entire department store or restaurant. In fact, you will see that unless a loudspeaker can send more sound to the sides than it does directly on-axis, it never covers more than 120 degrees.
The system designer needs to work with the actual coverage over a flat listening plane because that is the plane in which we live, listening at a height of 3 to 6 feet above the floor, depending on how tall we are and whether we’re standing or seated. This is called the listening-plane coverage specification of the loudspeaker. The listening-plane spec represents the reality of the speaker’s coverage for the listeners. Laws of physics dictate that the listening-plane coverage is always more narrow than the polar coverage pattern.
Figure 1 shows a loudspeaker that has a 140-degree polar coverage (i.e., its 6 dB down points). We can see that it would be a mistake to assume that this speaker can cover 140 degrees over the listening plane. In fact, the level at the edges of a 140-degree pattern is actually more than 15 dB down compared to on-axis — not 6 dB down.
It’s interesting to note that the same proportions hold true for any ceiling height: No matter how high the ceiling is, the off-axis distance is farther away by the same proportion. So for the loudspeaker in this example, whether the ceiling height is 8 feet or 20 feet, the listener who is at the edge of the 140-degree pattern, who you might have thought would be at the 6 dB down point is really at the 15 dB down point!
The actual listening-plane coverage depends on the polar plot of each loudspeaker. On average, the coverage of the listening plane from a speaker with a 140-degree polar coverage is usually between 90 degrees and 110 degrees (see Figure 2).
How do you convert polar coverage to listening-plane coverage as you design sound systems? There are two ways.
One is to use a computer program that does the conversion for you. If you have a copy of EASE, place the loudspeaker in the ceiling, set the listening plane height to the typical application height and see how much area it covers (at the 6 dB down point).
Usually that’s enough, but you can also do a little bit of math and figure out what the real listening plane coverage angle of the loudspeaker is. JBL Pro created a simple program, “Distributed System Design,” to do this same conversion for its loudspeakers. I also think there are some programs available that have a more generic database of loudspeakers.
The second way to compute the listening-plane coverage is to start with the exact polar plot of the speaker and use a conversion table. (Real polar plots directly from test equipment are more accurate than an artists’ re-drawing.) Polar plots are usually normalized to the on-axis value, which is usually labeled “0 dB.” For every angle off-axis, there is a “difference-figure” between this normalized on-axis value and the volume at that angle.
To convert to listening-plane coverage, add the dB Correction Factor figure from Table 1 for that angle off-axis to the figure from the polar plot. If you’re doing this correctly, the coverage pattern is getting more narrow than the original polar plot.
By using the actual polar plot of the speaker and applying these correction factors from the chart, the angle that results in a figure of -6 dB is the angle of coverage for the loudspeaker. This angle is the real 6 dB-down angle for that loudspeaker when it is projected onto the listening plane. Remember that this coverage angle is valid regardless of the ceiling height.
Example 1. If we look at the polar plot of our hypothetical speaker with 140-degree polar coverage, we see that at 70 degrees off-axis (140 degrees total for both sides) the level is down 6 dB compared to the on-axis level.
By looking at the polar-to-listening-plane conversion chart, we need to add -9.3 dB to this -6 dB figure to find the actual level on the listening plane at this off-axis angle.
We find that the level of this 140-degree loudspeaker (as specified by the polar coverage) is actually -15.3 dB, not -6 dB, down at 70 degrees off-axis.
Therefore, listeners located at this off-axis angle will hear sound that is more than 15 dB down from the level they hear when they pass directly underneath the loudspeaker. This is a very large difference.
To find the actual 6 dB down point of the speaker for the listening plane, take the actual polar plot of the speaker and at every increment of 5 degrees off-axis, apply the correction factors from the polar-to-listening-plane conversion chart.
The 6 dB-down angle is that angle at which the new figure reads -6 dB (polar dB down plus the additional dB down from the correction factor). While the final resulting angle depends on the actual polar plot of the loudspeaker, it can generally be said that most loudspeakers with a nominal polar coverage of 140 degrees can be expected to reach -6 dB between 45 degrees and 55 degrees off-axis, resulting in an actual listening-plane coverage between 90 degrees and 110 degrees.
Example 2. Let’s look at a loudspeaker that has a 180-degree polar coverage. Let’s further assume that it is a mythical “perfect” loudspeaker where the volume doesn’t go down at all at any angle. Its polar pattern when placed in a ceiling is a perfect half-circle.
To find the real 6 dB-down point, we apply the correction factors and find that at 60 degrees off axis (120 degrees coverage), the sound is 6 dB down (again, polar dB down plus the additional dB down from the correction factor).
Therefore, the real listening-plane coverage of a perfect 180-degree loudspeaker is only 120 degrees. Now, given the fact that speakers with a “spec” of 180-degree polar coverage can actually be down as much as 6 dB at the 180-degree point and still have a spec of 180 degrees, the fact is that virtually all loudspeakers have a real coverage of less than 120 degrees.
A couple of interesting points follow from this discussion.
First, let me point out that subwoofers resemble Example 2. They have omnidirectional coverage of 180 degrees (when in the ceiling). So they, too, have listening-plane coverage of only 120 degrees.
Second, while it is not within the scope of this article, you can see that this principle applies to all loudspeakers projected anywhere. The fact that the listening plane in any venue is hardly ever a perfect sphere around the loudspeaker means that you will almost always be projecting loudspeakers onto a somewhat listening plane; and the coverage is almost always going to be more narrow than what the polar spec would indicate.
A student once mentioned to me that he had done some church designs taking a protractor and scribing the coverage pattern onto the floorplan drawing. When the system was installed, they had more holes than expected. After a class on coverage, he realized that it is a matter of projecting a loudspeaker onto a listening plane so that the actual coverage is going to be narrower than what he plotted.
Let’s talk about broadband vs. single-frequency coverage specifications. You may have done all the conversion work above, and it might apply only to one frequency!
If the loudspeaker does not have similar coverage at all frequencies, then it covers wider or narrower angles at different frequencies. Some ceiling loudspeakers specify their coverage only at a particular frequency, often at 2 kHz. The reason 2 kHz if often used is that 2 kHz is the most important octave for speech intelligibility. However, other octaves a still very important for intelligibility and all octaves are important for music.
Many types of loudspeakers do not provide even coverage throughout the audio spectrum. Every spot within the listening area ends up with a different frequency response and different sound level (see Figure 3). In addition to this making it impossible to set a coverage angle, it also defeats attempts to equalize because whatever spot you choose to set your EQ, it’s different everywhere else.
But there is a good solution: Choose loudspeakers that cover similar angles throughout a broad frequency range. This is one advantage of having loudspeakers with small diameters (so they don’t start beaming until a very high frequency), or having multiway loudspeakers with goo crossover networks where higher frequencies are reproduced by small drivers (tweeters or compression drivers for high-power loudspeakers).
Horns on the high-frequency drivers further help in providing even coverage at all frequencies. See Figure 4 for a well controlled loudspeaker.
Let’s take one more look at the old rule of thumb that says to space the loudspeakers as far apart as the distance from the listener to the loudspeaker.
First, this rule was based on an incorrect assumption that all loudspeakers covers 90 degrees. Even for loudspeakers where this coverage is true for some frequencies, it may not be true for all frequencies.
In today’s high-quality sound systems, you need to consider real coverage, not polar or incorrectly assumed coverage.
Next time I’ll focus on SPL and equalization of distributed systems.
Rick Kamlet is senior manager, commercial sound, JBL Professional. Published with permission by JBL.
Tannoy Introduces CMS 3.0 Ceiling Loudspeaker
The CMS 3.0 brings higher degrees of intelligibility, more consistent broadband directivity, and a brighter, more accurate soundstage.
Tannoy has introduced the CMS 3.0, the third generation of Tannoy’s premium in-ceiling loudspeaker system, featuring a new development of their Dual Concentric transducer technology.
The CMS 3.0 brings higher degrees of intelligibility, more consistent broadband directivity, and a brighter, more accurate soundstage. The new ceiling speaker represents a new level of sonic performance from a ceiling loudspeaker.
In addition to improved sound and smooth predictable coverage, the all-new CMS 3.0 also introduces several mechanical and aesthetic features that benefit both systems designers and contractors.
The new line of Dual Concentric equipped CMS consists of five models – CMS 403DCe, CMS 503DC, CMS 603DC and CMS 803DC – each designed to replace previous equivalent iterations. In addition the all-new CMS 803DCQ 8-inch high-Q model is designed for high-ceiling/longer throw applications. At the heart of each device is the next-generation Dual Concentric transducer.
The new driver features Omnimagnet technology and a unique Torus Ogive Waveguide assembly to deliver more consistent and controlled directivity, with notable improvement in higher frequency ranges, in comparison to previous generations.
The new design also delivers improved time alignment and greater coherence between LF and HF, resulting in an even wider sweet spot and brighter, more defined and precise sound – for appreciably enhanced performance both on and off-axis.
Philippe Robineau, director of engineering for Tannoy, comments, “Having enjoyed huge success with CMS Series over a long period, we had a good feel for the market in terms of how we could develop the product further. We listened closely to the consultant community and our key contracting customers and identified the areas where we needed to focus, in order to make a great loudspeaker even better.”
“We believe we have achieved just that, and we’re confident that CMS 3.0 represents the new benchmark in the premium in-ceiling audio space. We can only make that assertion, given that we had ourselves to beat.”
In addition to new driver technology, CMS 3.0 also benefits from new magnetically adhering grilles, easy to fit or remove (for hassle-free custom painting) and available in either Classic (traditional, inset within the bezel) or new Arco style – designed to conceal the entire unit including the bezel beneath a sleek architectural grille for use in applications where mitigating any aesthetic impact is a driving factor.
A new molded baffle design contributes further to the loudspeaker performance, providing subtle extension to the waveguide effect of the driver itself.
Around the back, there’s an all-new clamp design which offers greater extension (for thicker ceiling panels) and a unique locking design that prevents over-screwing that could lead to clamps falling out during installation.
Each model (except CMS 401DCe) is available in both PI (pre-install) and BM (blind-mount) variants, as with previous CMS Series iterations.
All models are 16 ohm, making them ideal for use in low-impedance systems, such as in conjunction with Lab.gruppen LUCIA amplifiers, while additionally featuring an integrated low insertion loss line transformer for 70 V / 100 V distributed applications.
GC Pro Works With Make-A-Wish Southern Nevada To Help Aspiring Young DJs
Assembles and provides full rigs for youngsters suffering from debilitating conditions
Guitar Center Professional (GC Pro), the outside sales division of Guitar Center that focuses on professional users, has been regularly collaborating with Make-A-Wish Southern Nevada, a chapter of the national organization that grants the wishes of children diagnosed with life-threatening medical conditions in the United States and its territories, to provide access to musical instruments and professional audio equipment for children in the program.
Most recently, the GC Pro office in Las Vegas worked with the southern Nevada chapter to make the dreams of two young DJs come true. In the cases of Kyle and Diego, two youngsters suffering from debilitating conditions, GC Pro fulfilled their wish list.
The new rigs for each DJ now include a Numark NS7II DJ Controller with case and stand, QSC K12 powered loudspeakers and KW181 powered subwoofer, an Apple MacBook Pro laptop computer, Pioneer HDJ2000 professional headphones, Ableton Live 9 software, a Sennheiser E835 microphone and an Akai Professional EIE PRO 24-bit Audio/MIDI interface with USB hub. All of this equipment was provided fully assembled, configured and installed by Michael “Mickey” Lomboy, a member of the GC Pro Affiliates Program, with training also provided by GC Pro personnel.
“These kids are amazing,” says John Stevens, the account manager at GC Pro’s Las Vegas office who acted as the liaison for the project and for other similar collaborations since June of 2013. “They’re up against some serious illnesses — Kyle is permanently in a wheelchair and Diego has a serious neurological condition. But they are both really focused on becoming DJs. We wanted them to have the tools to achieve those dreams.”
Miriam Ceballos, Wish Granting Coordinator at Make-A-Wish Southern Nevada, states, “We work with many vendors on these projects, and I can say that every time we’ve worked with GC Pro it’s been a pleasant and fulfilling experience, for us and for the kids. DJ wishes have become very popular lately, and GC Pro knows exactly what the kids want and need, and it’s always right there when you need it. Sometimes the kids know what they want, and whatever it is, you know GC Pro has it in stock. And if the kids aren’t sure, GC Pro is there to help them figure out what works best for them.”
Guitar Center Professional (GC Pro)
Harman Brands Unite To Power Up Dierks Bentley’s 2014 Riser Tour
Country music star Dierks Bentley is currently out headlining his 2014 Riser Tour with a full complement of Harman products.
Country music star Dierks Bentley is currently out headlining his 2014 Riser Tour through the fall. VER Tour Sound is supplying a sound reinforcement system featuring Harman’s JBL VTX line arrays powered by Crown I-Tech HD amplifiers.
Christie Lites is providing a full Harman Martin rig for the dynamic lighting system, highlighted by MAC Quantum fixtures.
The audio system features a left-right hang of 16 JBL VTX V25 line array loudspeakers per side, with six VTX S28 subwoofers per side in cardioid configuration.
For side fill, VER has supplied supplying eight V25 loudspeakers per side, along with six G28 ground-stacked subwoofers per side.
Powering the V25 loudspeakers are Crown I-Tech 4x3500 HD amplifiers, with I-Tech 12000 HD amps powering the subwoofers.
“Dierks really combines country and rock together and this show is very much like a rock and roll production,” said Chance Stahlhut, Account Manager, Tour Sound, VER. “At the same time, he’s true to his musical roots and the country element comes through in his performances.”
FOH Engineer James “Pugsley” McDermott has been working with Bentley for approximately nine years, and on this tour is working with monitor engineer Scott Tatter, system engineer Kennith Sellars, and RF tech Ashley Zapar.
“With Dierks, how it sounds on stage is exactly how he wants it to sound out in the audience,” McDermott said. “He knows his crowd and he wants it to be an energetic show.
“He’s spent a lot of time putting the show together and he keeps you on your toes as an engineer. He’s the kind of client you want: someone who will push you to be as good as you can be and will make sure you’re always on your game.”
In his approach to mixing Bentley’s shows, McDermott’s priority is finding the perfect balance.
“I treat this as a true rock and roll setup,” he said. “I want to mix to my audience, so if the crowd is loud I want to be just as loud. I want the first downbeat of the very first song to knock people back, to be impactful and surprising. That way the people know they’re in for a high-energy show. The PA and console are my instruments in that regard.”
McDermott added that he has worked with JBL throughout his entire career.
“I’ve seen their products evolve over several decades and I’ve spent the past five years working with every loudspeaker you can name,” he said. “I’ve never had issues with JBL because I always know what to expect. They’re workhorse products in this industry.”
McDermott first heard the VTX system two years ago and was impressed.
“I think it’s an accumulation of line array concepts and processing and drivers and design working together to get a good product,” he said. “It’s not too heavy, you can fly it in most places; you can hang more boxes compared to other speakers. I love the top end of it, I think it’s the most brilliant sounding speaker that JBL has developed.”
“The VTX is just a really great box, it’s very consistent and we’ve had great results with it,” Stahlhut adds.
On the lighting side, Chris Reade, Lighting Designer for Dierks Bentley, uses Martin’s MAC 2000 Wash, MAC 700 Profile, MAC Viper Profile, MAC Aura and MAC Quantum, all provided by Rod “Red” Gibson of Christie Lites. The Lighting Crew Chief is Marc “Chainsaw” Wuchter and the Production Designer is Bruce Rodgers of Tribe, Inc.
Reade mentioned that he was impressed right away with the MAC Quantum after seeing it at the LDI trade show in November, and decided he wanted to make it the workhorse in his rig.
“The Quantum has powerful looks that can be used in a dramatic fashion,” Reade continued. “This fantastic set and video design by Bruce Rogers has big rock and roll features, but also some subtle theatrical elements as well. It was fun to work together with Bruce, and together make the complete design with the Quantums in mind.”
“The Quantum light has a lot of effect possibilities and narrowing it down to get powerful, unique looks, without overdoing it was a challenge,” Reade said. “I believe effects are more powerful if they are not used over and over throughout a show.”
“The Quantum is a great pairing with the Viper because the output is amazing, and after I showed Reade the fixture at LDI, we immediately found a way to incorporate it into his design,” said Gibson. “Reade and the Dierks Bentley tour have been great, loyal clients. We work well together and I always try to provide him with the latest products. I gave him the Auras a couple years ago and then the Vipers last year, and I’m proud to say that he is now one of the first tours with the Quantums!”
Reade mentioned that the MAC Viper is a powerhouse, being extremely bright and very fast with great optics and color mixing; it’s his number one choice.
Reade also said he enjoys the MAC Auras as well and typically uses them in groups to add to the effect, while the MAC 700 Profile is used for front key lights to provide a great look. He also uses the standard MAC 2000 Wash for color wash and punchy stabs when they are zoomed in.
“The reactions have been amazing,” Reade added. “Everything came together really well between all the departments, it was a great collaborative effort. I think we’ve been able to create something powerful and unique, and I’m really proud to be a part of this.
“I think the Quantums get a great reaction from the audience when they go from being used as a wash light to then being used as an effect. It’s pretty cool and unexpected and to be able to quickly transform from one type to another is pretty incredible.”
“The support from Martin has been outstanding,” Gibson said. “Grif Palmer was a huge help in making sure we had the Quantums in time for the start of the tour, and we couldn’t be happier!”
a href=“http://www.jblpro.com” title=“JBL ” target=“blank”>JBL
Meyer Sound Constellation Fosters Idea Sharing At Enbridge Corporate Learning Center
Goal is clarifying corporate communication and facilitating the free flow of ideas.
Calgary-based energy company Enbridge recently implemented a Meyer Sound Constellation acoustic system with the goal of clarifying corporate communication and facilitating the free flow of ideas.
Eliminating the need for lavalier or handheld microphones, the systems support a variety of functions in two adjacent meeting rooms located in the company’s new Learning Center and are are part of a complete AV design by Bill Schuermann, senior consultant at the Houston office of SLR Consulting.
“The rooms are used for everything from executive meetings, teleconferencing, and employee training to safety orientations for construction workers, and even occasional social events,” says Amin Ladha, AV subject matter expert at Enbridge. “Constellation has performed exceptionally well for all of them.”
Constellation is an active approach to expanding the acoustic capabilities of a multipurpose space. In environments where speech communication is essential, the voice lift feature of Constellation enhances speech intelligibility by generating precisely articulated and directed early reflections.
In Learning Center A at Enbridge, the system is equipped with three preset modes to take advantage of the voice lift feature. For presentations, the system picks up signals near the presenter and reproduces them in the audience area. In Conference Table mode, the system focuses on sounds from the center of the room, and Small Groups mode uses subtle reverberation effects to provide acoustical isolation between adjacent groups.
“Learning Center A is a large room, and several important staff members are very soft-spoken,” says Ladha. “If that person is at one end of the room, he or she could not be heard at the other end without Constellation turned on. But when it’s on, they can talk in a natural tone of voice, and everybody hears clearly at the other end, even though the voice stays localized in place. It sounds like the person is five feet away rather than 50.”
Worldwide partners connecting with Enbridge via teleconferencing have also noticed the improvements in intelligibility. “We used to have people at the other end complain that it sounded like we were in a tunnel,” reports Ladha. “In the new rooms, that is all eliminated.”
The system in Learning Center A comprises 66 MM-4XP self-powered loudspeakers and six MM-10XP subwoofers, both with IntelligentDC technology, and 24 miniature condenser microphones tucked close to the ceiling. Learning Center B has a similar setup, employing 30 MM-4XP loudspeakers, two MM-10XP subwoofers, and eight microphones. A D-Mitri digital audio platform with the patented VRAS acoustical algorithm is at the core of both systems.
Ladha also notes that, since the new systems have been installed, requests coming to him for technical support to solve audio problems have dropped by about 75 percent. “These are multi-purpose rooms, and Constellation’s voice lift technology is in use constantly,” he says. “It’s easy to use, highly effective, and is proving exceptionally useful. Before Constellation, people in the back were asked to stand and talk louder. Now, people can stay focused on the conversation.”
In addition, the Learning Center has equipped its small meeting room and two social areas with 39 Stella-8C installation loudspeakers and three MM-10XP subwoofers.Other technologies include Biamp Systems Tesira audio DSP and routing, NEC and Sharp video screens, and a Crestron DM control system.
All systems were installed by the Calgary office of AVI-SPL, with project management by Chad Lavoie. With more than 11,000 employees in Canada and the U.S., Enbridge specializes in distribution systems for crude oil and natural gas, as well as renewable energy projects.
Monday, June 30, 2014
Martin Audio Introduces DD12 Powered Loudspeaker
Incorporates onboard networking, DSP and class D amplification with high-end transducers and proprietary Differential Dispersion horn technology
Martin Audio has introduced the new DD12, a multi-purpose loudspeaker incorporating onboard networking, DSP and class D amplification with high-end transducers and proprietary Differential Dispersion horn technology to meet the needs of a wide range of applications.
Differential Dispersion technology is designed to provide more consistent audience coverage than systems with X- x Y-degree horns, providing more throw to the rear to distribute sound evenly front-to-back, with close-up horizontal coverage for the front rows.
The DD12 will meet stand-alone and distributed sound reinforcement requirements, including touring, theater, church and portable live sound applications in small-to-medium size coverage areas. It can also be used as an in fill loudspeaker in large-scale systems.
Whether configured stand-alone or as part of a larger MLA/MLA Compact system, individual DD12s can be controlled and monitored from a laptop or wireless tablet PC via VU-NET proprietary software. PC connection can be made directly via USB or via Martin Audio’s proprietary U-NET network and Merlin loudspeaker and network management system.
In addition, the DD12 is equipped with internal memory, which allows factory plug-and-play’or user-generated DSP preset snapshots to be recalled by means of a preset selector button on the rear panel, instead of using computer control.
Accessories support a wide variety of mounting options, including surface, ceiling and pole mount. The DD12’s universal bracket facilitates a range of down-tilt and up-tilt angles in both portrait and landscape orientation, and can be mounted directly onto the pole of a speaker stand or attached to a scaffold clamp.
Jason Baird, R&D director for Martin Audio, notes, “This market sector has been underserved from a technology and innovation point of view for far too long. DD12 will signal a true shift in fidelity, output capability and coverage and bring our Differential Dispersion horn technology to, quite literally, a wider audience”.
Equator Monitors Intregal To Pacific Beat Recording Success
Recording engineer/producer Alan Sanderson relies on his Equator D5 studio monitors at Pacific Beat Recording.
Recording engineer/producer Alan Sanderson relies on his Equator D5 studio monitors at Pacific Beat Recording to create consistent playback quality for his clients’ projects – a high priority demand for his customer base.
Sanderson’s credits involve all types of recordings, ranging from music production and live radio broadcast to TV and Film sound. Sanderson has recorded in state-of-the-art studio facilities in Los Angeles, San Diego, New York, London, San Francisco, Zurich, and Rio de Janeiro.
Working on many sessions with internationally recognized artists such as The Rolling Stones, Elton John, Elvis Costello, and Fleetwood Mac, he has engineered for notable producers including Don Was, Bill Bottrell, and Glyn Johns. He discussed his experience with Equator’s D5 monitors.
“Here at Pacific Beat Recording, the D5s have become an integral part of everything we do,” Sanderson reports. “They serve as a very important secondary pair of monitors for mixing and recording music projects.
“These monitors have a very significant role, as they enable me to check and verify what I hear from my other monitor system. This process enables me to have a high level of confidence that any work coming out of this studio will play properly on other systems.”
In the few short months that Sanderson ahs das the D5s, he has been working on a number of different artist’s projects, encompassing a wide range of musical styles and genres. He has been recording Eagles songwriter Jack Tempchin as well as Jason Mraz protégé Cody Lovass and Nashville recording artist Taylin Rae. The D5s are in the trenches with him every step of the way.
Sanderson explains, “When I first heard these speakers, I was blown away and amazed at how good they sound. I was looking for a great set of secondary monitors to place next to my Focal Twin 6Be for the new studio and couldn’t believe how well these small speakers stood up to the larger monitors in terms of imaging and frequency response.”
“The D5’s low end was similar—very present and clear,” Sanderson added. “For a small monitor speaker, I was surprised that they didn’t distort easily when turning them up loud. I especially like the mid-range of these little guys, as it really helps me dial in my mixes.
“The D5s help me make the mix more focused and find the right balance for the most important part of a recording—the lead vocal(s). I get a lot of mixes these days where there are 150-200+ tracks and the Equator D5s have been able to handle any situation. If it sounds good on the Equators, I know it sounds good at home.”
Before shifting his focus back to his current project, Sanderson offered these parting comments, “I’m really happy with the Equator D5 monitors at Pacific Beat Recording and was actually very surprised that such a small monitor sounds so good. Being that the studio is based in San Diego, having guys like Equator here in town is a huge plus. I hope to be able to use some of their other products in the future.”
Pacific Beat Recording
Posted by Julie Clark on 06/30 at 02:50 PM
Professional Performance Meets Affordability With AKG Project Studio Microphone Line
Building on almost 70 years of experience in developing world-class microphone technology, Harman’s AKG is adding five new models to its Project Studio line of microphones.
The new models are designed for enthusiasts and professionals alike, meeting the needs of makeshift project studios as well as professional environments.
The Project Studio line was built on AKG’s heritage of technical excellence and was developed in collaboration with some of the audio industry’s top professionals. The new Project Studio microphones deliver historical premium AKG sound quality in a classically designed series.
“As more and more manufacturers continue to enter the marketplace, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for end-users to identify the best microphones for their needs,” said Erich Gaertner, Product Line Manager, AKG. “Therefore, we chose to update the Project Studio line with professional-grade microphones at accessible prices, thereby making it easier for our customers to find the perfect microphone to meet their demands.
“Thanks to AKG’s depth of research and development resources, the new Project Studio line of microphones are both high-quality and affordable.”
The new additions to the Project Studio line include: the P120 general purpose recording microphone; the P170 general purpose instrument microphone; the P220 large-diaphragm true condenser microphone; the P420 large-diaphragm dual-capsule true condenser microphone; and the P820 dual-capsule tube microphone.
The P120 is a 2/3-inch diaphragm true condenser microphone that offers durability, outstanding performance and excellent value. The low-mass diaphragm delivers a clear sound with accurate sonic detail for vocals, speech and instrument recording in project studios and for home recording.
The P170 is a small-diaphragm condenser microphone for recording of overheads, percussions, acoustic guitars and other strings. Its lightweight half-inch true condenser transducer diaphragm delivers outstanding clarity and transient response. The P170 utilizes the experience of sound engineers from around the world and is considered an affordable alternative to the legendary AKG C451 B.
The P220 is a large-diaphragm true condenser microphone offering a warm and clear sound for lead vocals, acoustic guitar and brass instruments. A switchable bass-cut filter and attenuation pad make it perfectly suited for use on loud sound sources with sound pressure levels up to 155dB SPL. The rugged and roadworthy design also makes the P220 a perfect choice for on-stage applications. The P220 represents the most popular and successful microphone within the actual Project Studio Line. It comes complete with a spider-type shock mount in an aluminum carrying case.
The P420 is a multi-pattern large diaphragm true condenser microphone for demanding project studio recording applications. Offering high sensitivity and 155dB maximum SPL, the P420 delivers a warm, transparent sound quality perfectly suited for ensemble recording, grand piano, woodwind and brass instruments, as well as drums and percussion. With three selectable polar patterns—cardioid, omnidirectional or figure 8—it is an ideal tool for stereo miking techniques and ambient recording.
The P820 Tube high-performance multi-pattern tube microphone is an excellent tool for highlighting lead vocals, brass instruments, electric guitars and drums. With its dual one-inch diaphragm capsule and the advanced ECC83 dual-triode circuitry, the P820 Tube delivers real tube sound and raises the bar in its class of affordable tube microphones.
a href=“http://www.akg.com” title=“AKG” target=“blank”>AKG
Friday, June 27, 2014
D.A.S. Audio Delivers For Pro Football Hall Of Fame’s Fan Fest
Held in the International Exposition (I-X) Center, a sizeable D.A.S. Audio sound reinforcement system was deployed to ensure the capacity crowd could hear everything.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame’s first-ever Fan Fest was held recently with thousands of fans mingling with a star-studded lineup of 100 Hall of Famers.
This event marked the most Hall of Famers gathered in one place outside of Canton, Ohio, the home of the NFL’s Pro Football Hall of Fame. Held in Cleveland’s International Exposition (I-X) Center, a sizeable D.A.S. Audio sound reinforcement system was deployed to ensure the capacity crowd could hear everything.
Cleveland-based Hughie’s Event Production Services was contracted to provide sound for Fan Fest. Rick Kish, the company’s production consultant, along with audio engineer Dave Taybi, were charged with delivering a sound reinforcement setup capable of handling the crowd.
“The I-X Center is a very large facility,” explains Kish. “The Fan Fest took place throughout the facility’s Main Entrance and Walk Through Experience areas. Audience members could walk through this area while videos of previously recorded Hall of Fame Induction Speeches took place.
“The goal was to evenly cover the area with museum level speech intelligibility and then add in crowd noise—simulating the experience of entering a stadium football field as they passed through.”
In order to provide even coverage throughout, Kish, Taybi, and the Hughie’s Event Production Services crew elected to fly forty D.A.S. Audio Aero 12A powered two-way, mid-high line array modules. These were arranged in eight loudspeaker clusters evenly dispersed throughout the area, with five elements to each hang.
This setup was augmented by a single cluster of D.A.S. Aero 40A powered, three-way line array elements—with five enclosures in this group.
“This job requires a high level of speech intelligibility,” Kish reports. “It was absolutely critical that the audience be able to clearly hear what the various football Hall of Famers were discussing.
“Equally important, the sound coverage had to be consistent throughout the entire area. Without this, dead zones would interfere with the fans’ ability to hear clearly. These two qualities are what sets D.A.S. Audio apart from many competing loudspeaker systems.”
Kish also notes the captive hardware found on D.A.S. Audio’s Aero Series 2 loudspeakers and the fact that their self-powered design helps streamline the setup process.
“It helps that these loudspeakers are powered which ensures that the power amplification is properly matched to the transducer complement,” he adds. “Not only does this simplify system cabling, it also helps with transportation since there’s no need to carry multiple racks of heavy power amplifiers.”
At the end of the weekend, the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Fan Fest proved to be a resounding success. “It really couldn’t have gone much better,” states Kish. “We were extremely pleased with the system and how well it performed. Speech intelligibility was excellent and the quality of ‘Arena Anthem’ music also sounded great as it played between the various speeches.
“Members of the I-X Center and the Pro Football Hall of Fame commented on how pleasing the area was—both aesthetically and in terms of audio coverage. The D.A.S. Aero 12s were the perfect complement to the area both visually and audibly.
“There were many ways we could have gone in terms of the audio design for this event, but the D.A.S. Aero cabinets gave us all the quality we could have possibly hoped for and they exceeded the expectations of our customer. That’s how I define success.”
Renkus-Heinz Helps Bring Intrepid Museum’s Legends To Life
Renkus-Heinz loudspeakers help manage acoustic challenges in New York City museum.
In a city with no shortage of museums (New York City), the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum is truly one of a kind. Founded in 1982 as a final home for the historic aircraft carrier USS Intrepid, the museum’s treasures now include the world’s fastest commercial jetliner, the British Airways Concorde; the first space shuttle, Enterprise; and the USS Growler, the only American diesel-powered strategic missile submarine open to the public.
More than a million visitors every year tour the museum, which is also home to 27 other authentically restored military aircraft and an 18,000-square-foot education center, all overlooking the famed Manhattan waterfront.
Needless to say each of these grand machines on display has a rich story to tell. But the logistics of telling those stories within the museum’s daunting acoustics is no easy feat—especially in the Space Shuttle Pavilion. Fortunately, Leo Garrison of Washingtonville, NY-based Metro Sound Pros, designed a system around Renkus-Heinz CFX81 two-way loudspeakers to tame the acoustics.
“The Space Shuttle Pavilion is a large steel facility, which can be acoustically challenging,” says Garrison. “They’ve got fabric covering the inside walls, which helps a little bit with reflections, but it’s still a very large and reverberant space.”
The Pavilion’s interior, measuring approximately 100 feet by 70 feet, is covered by ten CFX81 two-way eight-inch loudspeakers, with five speakers hung, facing each other, on each of the long walls.
“We flew them upside down and about 12 feet up,” says Garrison. “We divided the space into essentially five zones, each with left and right speakers. When they have a live event, that enables them to shut off any zone where a microphone will be positioned.”
A pair of Biamp MCA 8150 amplifiers power the system, bridged to provide approximately 300 Watts per pair. A Symetrix Jupiter provides signal delays and processing.
“We set up different pre-sets for spoken word presentations and other program material,” says Garrison.
“The CFX81s were really the ideal solution for their needs and for their budget,” Garrison concludes. “The pattern control is excellent, and because the coverage they deliver is so wide - 150 degrees by 60 degrees - we were able to cover an exceptionally large area with very few of them.”
Posted by Julie Clark on 06/27 at 11:37 AM
George Thorogood Extends 40th Anniversary Tour With RCF HDL20-A Arrays
Sound company 242 Concepts traveling with 24 HDL20-A modules, with specific number deployed dependent on size of venue
George Thorogood has announced the extension of his 40th Anniversary Tour through the end of July, traveling with RCF HDL20-A line arrays and SUB-8006AS subwoofers, with systems and support for the tour supplied by Hendersonville, TN-based 242 Concepts.
Specifically, 242 Concepts is traveling with 24 HDL20-A array modules and a dozen SUB-8006AS subwoofers, with the specific number deployed dependent on the size of each venue. The tour has been on the road since February.
“The system has performed flawlessly,” notes production manager/FOH engineer Jeff Pitt. “It’s super-easy to rig, and the aiming software has been an excellent tool for preparing the system for implementation into the wide array of venues we encounter. We chose the HDL products due to the plug and play nature of the design, and we’ve been able to hang more boxes than in previous tours due the light-weight design of the box. The system has fit quite nicely into the truck pack taking up a mere 12 feet of truck space.”
242 Concepts engineer Brian Belcher concurs. “There is so much headroom in these boxes, we’ve never clipped in any way,” he says. “That’s refreshing.” Belcher goes on to provide power usage readings demonstrating that a 24 box HDL20-A rig with 12 SUB8006-AS subwoofers drawing less than 13 amps total. “I don’t think anyone else out there can say they can do that,” he notes.
The HDL20-A is a 2-way line array cabinet with dual 10-inch LF/MF transducers and a 3-inch HF compression driver specified as capable of achieving 135 dB max SPL. The SUB-8006AS is a dual 18-inch subwoofer specified to achieve 141 dB max SPL.
“We all grew up appreciating the music of George Thorogood,” says RCF USA director of dales John Krupa, “and we at RCF wanted to be part of this historic 40th anniversary tour.”
Upcoming dates for the tour:
6/25/14—Albany, NY, Empire Place
6/26/14—Verona, NY, Turning Stone Casino
6/27/14—Buffalo, NY, Buffalo Rocks the Harbor
6/28/14—Rochester, NY, International Jazz Festival
6/29/14—Augusta, NJ, Rock, Ribs & Ridges Festival
7/1/14—Northfield, OH, Hard Rock Live
7/3/14—Elizabeth, IN, Horseshoe Casino
7/4/14—Davenport, IA, Mississippi Valley Blues Festival
7/6/14—Naperville, IL, Ribfest
7/9/14—Traverse City, MI, National Cherry Festival
7/10/14—Toledo, Hollywood Casino Summer Series
7/11/14—Manchester, IA, Delaware County Fair
7/12/14—Michigan City, IN, Harrah’s Blue Chip Casino
7/18/14—Sioux Falls, SD, Sioux Falls Jazz Festival
7/19/14—Walker, MN, Moondance Ranch Jam Festival
7/20/14—Mankato, MN, Vetter Stone Amphitheatre
7/22/14—Janesville, WI, Rock County Fair
Thursday, June 26, 2014
Mixing Metallica: Backstage Video Interviews With Band’s Dual Monitoring Team
"Being consistent is absolutely key to making the artists feel like they're in a safe place wrapped up in their favorite blanket." - Bob Cowan, monitor engineer, Metallica
Watch the interviews with Metallica’s dual monitoring team, Bob Cowan and Adam Correia, as they share the lessons they have learned from mixing the band.
They cover everything from Metallica’s stage volume, the utmost importance of consistency, earning and maintaining the artists’ trust, and how they meet the high expectations from the band, front of house engineer Big Mick Hughes, and fans.
Metallica has recently added 76 Meyer Sound MJF-210 stage monitors to its touring inventory. Looking for a new solution to meet a series of on-stage reinforcement requirements, including weight, footprint, power, and clarity, the Metallica team turned to Meyer Sound.
The team, including show director Dan Braun, as well as Cowan and Correia, subsequently took part in the beta product testing during the Asian leg of the band’s tour. Find out more here.
3G Productions Deploys Martin Audio MLA At Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) In Las Vegas
More than the required amount of low end was provided by 40 MLX subwoofers
The recent Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) in Las Vegas easily earned its reputation as the world’s largest electronic music festival with seven stages and more than 400,000 in attendance.
The three-day multimedia event took place at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway and focused on providing a total entertainment experience for EDM fans, with over 70 DJs performing each day. 3G Productions of Las Vegas/Los Angeles, which once again provided audio for the event, set up a Martin Audio MLA loudspeaker system on Stage Two (Cosmic Meadow) to deliver coverage and ample low end required for the shows.
Specifically, the loudspeaker set included 16 MLA and 2 MLAD enclosures per side, 12 MLA Compact per side for side fill and 3 MLA Compact per side for front fill. More than the required amount of low end was provided by 40 MLX subwoofers stacked one on top of the other along the front of the stage. A Yamaha CL5 console was used at front of house, with a Yamaha PM5D for monitors.
“The system performance each night was fantastic and the Martin Audio stage blew everybody away,” says Keith Conrad of 3G Productions. “The client (insomniac) was happy with the way MLA performed, the show was packed every day and the DJs and their engineers were really impressed with the system.
“Because Cosmic Meadow stage was facing out towards the speedway and wasn’t competing with any other stage,” he adds, “we got the full impact and power of the system, which was amazing. As it turned out, we didn’t even need delay towers because the coverage was so exceptional. This was due in part because of Martin Audio’s Display 2.1 modeling software.
“What makes EDC unique from other music genre festivals is the incredible amount of bass that’s required for EDM. The MLX subs were so powerful, the artists and their crews were smiling from ear to ear as soon as they turned it on,” he concludes. “Of course, we were fortunate to have our secret weapon, FOH engineer Manny Perez, who is definitely a veteran with MLA and knows how to tweak the system so it sounds exactly right from the low to high frequencies, which made it an ideal situation for everyone. Overall, I’d say that the system exceeded expectations from every aspect.”