Monday, May 12, 2014

Understanding Relationships: Bringing Clarity To Phase, Frequency And Time

One of the most difficult aspects to comprehend in the field of sound is the relationship of phase response, frequency response, and how each relates to time. Understanding these relationships can help a lot in making optimal choices when you’re deploying and utilizing sound systems.

What the deuce is phase? (Sorry, I was channeling my inner Stewie Griffin.) The term phase response is actually short for “phase versus frequency,” in the way that we typically use the term in our industry. Likewise, when we speak of frequency response, we usually mean “amplitude versus frequency.”

In both cases, whenever the measured data is graphed, the “X” axis of the response curve – which represents frequency – will run horizontally across the graph.

The vertical “Y” axis represents intensity in an amplitude-versus-frequency response measurement (usually scaled in dB), and it likewise represents phase in a phase-versus-frequency response measurement (typically scaled in degrees).

Do time and phase representations differ? It’s a question I get asked quite a lot. The answer seems a bit elusive, but makes perfect sense once we dissect the characteristics. A phase “lead” or phase “lag” is a way of expressing a time differential in relation to a reference point – which usually is an ideal flat-line phase response.

For example, an equalizer that’s set to “flat” will present a flat phase and frequency response curve. But when a boost or cut is introduced, the frequency response will reflect the newly introduced response curve, as will the phase response (Figure 1).

Figure 1: A representation of a nearly perfect loudspeaker. (Phase is offset from 0 degrees for clarity.)

The Ø (zero) crossing point in which the phase response is absolutely flat will always be at the center of the peak or dip of the graphic or parametric EQ (PEQ) filter. But before and after the center frequency, there will be a phase lead (or lag) depending on whether the filter has been set to boost or cut.

Note that this assumes the use of traditional IIR (Infinite Impulse Response) filters father than newer FIR (Finite Impulse Response) filter types. (See sidebar, IIR vs. FIR.)

Signal – Not Time – Delay
Unlike a digital delay that delays all frequencies in the audible spectrum equally, and is rightly referred to as a signal delay device, a phase lead or lag is a more subtle concept. This can be difficult to grasp, which is why we’re going to explain it carefully.

However, there is no such thing as “time delay.” Only a signal can be delayed in relationship to the universal clock that’s always ticking, mind you.

But before we move forward, ponder this: When we speak of phase, as it relates to the usage of pro audio systems, we’re almost always interested in phase “offset.” We don’t really care about the phase lag from a loudspeaker to a listener (correctly referred to as propagation delay), but we intently care about any offset than might occur when one sound source is referenced to one, or more, other sources.

If multiple sources are not precisely in phase with each other, some of the sonic energy will cancel…and some will add…and this occurs purely as a function of the wavelengths of any given frequency in respect to the physical offset of the radiating devices.

The resultant effect of loudspeakers that are offset from one another is the often mentioned “comb filter” response pattern.

The term comes from the hundreds of additions and subtractions that corrupt the frequency and phase response of the system, which end up resembling the teeth of a comb.

Here’s an example of how phase-offset manifests in the real world: a 600 Hz wavelength is 1.5 feet long (18 inches), whereas a 6 kHz wavelength is just 0.15 feet in length (1.8 inches).

Therefore, if one loudspeaker is offset in relation to another loudspeaker by 0.15 feet, a signal at 6 kHz will cause the two sources to totally cancel each other - at least in theory.

In reality, however, total cancellation is actually unlikely, due to the imprecision of most loudspeakers. Nonetheless, a large percentage of cancellation – possibly as much as 90 percent – will inevitably occur.

But move upwards, let’s say to 6.5 kHz, or downward to 5.8 kHz, and the whole picture changes. That’s because acoustical addition and acoustical cancellation will always be a function of the wavelength of the source material in relation to the physical and/or the electrical offset that’s affecting the relevant signals.

Conversely, the same offset of 0.15 inches represents only 1/10th (0.1) of a phase differential of the 600 Hz wavelength. By no means is this desirable, but it’s not going to cause much more than about a 10 percent cancellation of forward radiated energy. (It will also change the polar response of the system, but that’s another topic for another time.)

This is precisely why we speak of – and why we measure – the phase relationship of multiple sound sources, instead of thinking only about the pure time differential. A phase-versus-frequency response measurement will characterize the arrival time of a sonic wavefront at a given point in space, in relation to the wavelength of each relevant frequency.

That may sound difficult so here’s a simplified analogy:  A firing squad of five shoot at the same target at exactly the same time with exactly the same rifles, but each one is standing a few feet behind the other. Therefore, the projectiles do not reach the target at precisely the same time.

While it might not mean much, insofar as the ultimate intent of the firing squad, it means absolutely everything when a “sound squad” wants all of the sonic energy from each loudspeaker in the sound system to arrive at the listener’s position in perfect phase with all the other loudspeakers.

Unlike rifles, if the sonic energy doesn’t arrive at exactly the same time from all sources, cancellations and additions will occur, causing an imperfect and comprised frequency and phase response.

Phase & Polarity
We often hear phase spoken about in a very basic manner, such as “one loudspeaker is either ‘in-phase’ or ‘out-of-phase’ with another.” This is more correctly referred to as the polarity relationship of the loudspeakers. When polarity is reversed, then all of the energy emanating from a loudspeaker – without respect to frequency – is also reversed.

In such a case, two theoretically perfect loudspeakers would perfectly cancel each other’s entire output across the full audible spectrum. However, this won’t actually occur due to the physical imperfection of virtually all known loudspeakers.

What does in fact occur is that the low frequencies will almost totally cancel each other because the physical imperfections of the loudspeakers are relatively minor in relation to the long (and therefore forgiving) LF wavelengths, while the shorter wavelengths of the high frequencies will partially cancel and partially combine, causing havoc with the MF and HF frequency and phase response.

It’s worth noting that a phase offset of multiple sound sources is akin to how a flanger works. The effect of “flanging” was originally created by slowing down a reel of tape on a tape recorder that started out in sync with another tape recorder playing an identical track.

Flanging was accomplished by applying your finger on the edge of the reel to alter the speed of the tape machine (hence the term). The small offset in time created the well-known sonic effect that’s now easily replicated by the use of modern analog and digital electronics.

But it’s also important to note that a flanger is an intended sonic effect.

Conversely, loudspeaker offset – which also creates a form of flanging (albeit not wandering up and down like the tape recorder variety), is rarely intended to be of positive value.

Let’s look again at one of the numerous definitions of phase. Phase-versus-frequency is the relationship of an alternating signal (all sonic energy is comprised of alternating signals) at a given frequency, in relation to the time that it takes the sonic energy to propagate to a given point in space.

When all frequencies arrive at the same time at the same point in space, then the phase response is said to be linear or flat. If some segment of the frequency spectrum arrives earlier or later than another, than the phase response is not flat and phase offset has occurred.

If we were to move one of a pair of matched loudspeakers a few inches rearward while maintaining a fixed listening position, the effect on the phase response of the energy arriving at the listener’s position would be much greater in the higher frequencies than in the lower frequencies, simply because the wavelengths are much shorter in the high-frequency range than in the low-frequency range. 

Thus, phase can be said to be wavelength versus time. Once this concept becomes clear, it also becomes easier to understand what’s happening with your sound system on a practical level. 

Known & Stable Source
Whenever a signal, musical or otherwise, occurs in time and space, it inherently possesses a measureable frequency response and phase response. A sine wave at a fixed frequency exhibits only a simplex frequency response – that of a single frequency – along with possibly some distortion-related overtones. Therefore, the phase response of a single sine wave is generally considered to be a simplex matter.

But speech and music are different. They inherently comprise a complex series of waveforms which make the picture a lot more complicated. This is why measurement equipment is so valuable, because a good measurement system provides a known and stable source, that when acquired by the measurement engine, is capable of accurately characterizing a sound system in a short time span.

Every time an IIR is introduced into a signal path (PEQ, shelving, HP, LP, crossover, etc.), a corresponding phase lead and lag is introduced as well. Phase and frequency are two sides of the same coin. One cannot exist without the other. (Again, refer to the sidebar.)

Figure 2: An example of a simple PEQ boost.

The phase lead, or lag, begins at the lower skirt of the filter and ends at the upper skirt. At the maximum peak or trough of the filter, the phase response is always exactly at zero (Figure 2). Intuitive? Hardly.

But if you spend some time measuring the frequency and phase response of your favorite equalizer as you adjust the settings (highly recommended), you will eventually be able to decipher the response of the acoustic signature of your sound system in a typical venue environment. It takes practice to understand what you’re seeing, but it’s time well spent.

The bottom line is that learning to use measurement equipment, particularly affordable systems like the industry-leading (Rational Acoustics) Smaart package, are essential in developing a solid understanding of what’s really taking place in regard to the system you’re trying to optimize.

While many might argue that “what you hear is more important than what you measure,” this position is usually based on the use of imperfect measuring apparatus—or uninformed interpretation of the measured data.

Peaks & Dips
Offering an alternative perspective, one would need to listen to chromatic scales across the entire audible frequency spectrum, for hours on end, to identify the subtle (and not so subtle) peaks and dips that are always present in the frequency domain.

I sometimes hear about engineers who EQ the system to the tonality of the drums or to the band’s sound check. I then ask what happens if the band decides to play in a different key? Or if the gig is a festival and some acts are playing in, let’s say E Major, while others play in Bb, Ab, or Eb minor – what might have been missed? It’s not far-fetched to imagine that holes or peaks in the spectral response won’t be identified until the next act takes the stage.

But even more so, trying to convert what you hear from the system into making improvements in the time/phase domain is next to impossible without the use of accurate instrumentation.

Ken DeLoria is senior technical editor for Live Sound International and ProSoundWeb, and has had a diverse career in pro audio over more than 30 years, including being the founder and owner of Apogee Sound.

Sidebar: IIR vs. FIR

As in most aspects of life, there are exceptions to everything. Unlike IIR filters, the relatively new breed of filters known as FIR can alter the frequency response of a system without altering the phase response.

However, there is a price to pay. Since phase and time are impossible to separate, the price you pay is that any change in the frequency domain will result in a corresponding effect in the time domain, i.e., additional signal delay. 

For some applications like cinema or AV track playback, this might be perfectly acceptable. For other applications, such as stage monitors or front-fill loudspeakers in small theatres, even a small degree of signal delay may not be appropriate.

Each situation must be carefully considered and addressed in regard to the intended end-result. And that is exactly the approach that helps us all further our craft.


Posted by Keith Clark on 05/12 at 07:23 AM
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New Gors Concert Hall In Latvia Outfitted With d&b audiotechnik V-Series

Left/right system of V-Series loudspeakers, with d&b 10S for fill duties, made for a very affordable package

The new Gors Concert Hall in Rezekne, Latvia, offering a main multi-function performance room that can seat 1,000 and be reconfigured to accommodate more than double that amount, has been outfitted with a sound reinforcement system headed by d&b audiotechnik V-Series line arrays.

Lead construction company Arcers, led by project manager Uldis Dundurs, called upon the services of Latvian consultancy SGS Sistemas to manage the technology needs of a modern concert hall. “The acoustic solution presented by Akustion of Sweden was particularly challenging,” says Dundurs. “Nothing of this kind had ever been built in Latvia before.”

SGS managing director Normunds Eilands embraced the challenge, “Akustion have done a magnificent job; the room flatters the rudiments of orchestral performance beautifully, but at more than two seconds the reverberation presents real problems for sound reinforcement.”

Eilands contacted two domestic sound reinforcement specialists for the project, with Riga-based Universal Baltic Sound (UBS) winning with a proposal based upon d&b audiotechnik V-Series line arrays. “The concert hall is wholly funded by the Rezenke city council,” said UBS director Edmunds Zazerkis. “A total budget of 12.8 million (Latvian Lats) is realistic, but that didn’t mean they could be profligate with the audio spend. A left/right system of V-Series loudspeakers, with the d&b 10S for fill duties, made for a very affordable package.

“More importantly,” Zazerkis adds, “the precise constant directivity of the V-Series, with the V-SUBs flown above the main line arrays, gave us absolute pattern control down into the lower frequencies. Yes, the exquisite acoustics of Akustion can be adjusted down to a reverb of one and a half seconds but that does mean the longer wavelengths still need careful management, and for frequencies of 100 Hz and above the sound is open, transparent and completely unfiltered.”

Gors Concert Hall director Diāna Zirnina notes, “All of the contractors have done great work, especially SGS with the sound and lighting, and have made us very proud that we can achieve such things in Latvia. The contemporary concerts we’ve staged here using the d&b system, even ones where we place modern pop vocalists in front of our orchestra, have proved a great success.”

d&b audiotechnikthe precise constant directivity of the V-Series, with the V-SUBs flown above the main line arrays, gave us absolute pattern control down into the lower frequencies. Yes, the exquisite acoustics of Akustion can be adjusted down to a reverb of one and a half seconds but that does mean the longer wavelengths still need careful management, and for frequencies of 100 Hz and above the sound is open, transparent and completely unfiltered.”

Gors Concert Hall director Diāna Zirnina notes, “All of the contractors have done great work, especially SGS with the sound and lighting, and have made us very proud that we can achieve such things in Latvia. The contemporary concerts we

Posted by Keith Clark on 05/12 at 07:07 AM
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RCF Unveils ART 745-A Active Loudspeaker With 4-Inch Compression Driver

Driver/horn combination fosters a crossover point of 650 Hz, meaning that almost all of the vocal range is handled by the driver, enhancing vocal clarity and projection

The latest member of the RCF ART Series of loudspeakers—the new 2-way, active ART 745-A—is outfitted with a 4-inch voice coil compression driver joined by a 15-inch woofer (with 3.5-inch voice coil).

The newly engineered ND 940 compression driver is further bolstered by a neodymium magnet structure, and it feeds a 90- x 60-degree (h x v) constant directivity horn. The driver/horn combination fosters a crossover point of 650 Hz, meaning that almost all of the vocal range is handled by the driver, enhancing impulse response, fast waterfall decay and efficiency that results in exceptional vocal clarity and projection.

Performance is furthered with the 15-inch woofer that also incorporates a neodymium magnet structure, engineered to supply very linear response and precise, deep low-frequency control.

Transducers are driven by a class D 1,400-watt (peak) onboard power amplifier, joined by comprehensive DSP that includes crossover, equalization, phase alignment, soft limiting and loudspeaker protection. The amplifier has a solid mechanical aluminum structure that not only stabilizes it during transportation but also assists in heat dissipation.

The rear panel input/output configuration of the new ART 745-A includes both XLR/jack (combo) balanced inputs, XLR output link, volume, and a switchable EQ mode (flat/boost).

The cabinet, designed for use in standard or stage monitor modes, is molded of a special polypropylene composite material designed to dampen vibrations, even at maximum volume settings. The reflex porting has also been re-sized to offer more efficiency, while ergonomically designed, forged aluminum handles with rubber handgrips supply greater portability.


Posted by Keith Clark on 05/12 at 05:57 AM
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Mackie Now Shipping New Thump Series Powered Loudspeakers

Two full-range models joined by 18-inch band-pass subwoofer driven by 1,200-watt amplifier

Mackie is now shipping the new Thump Series of powered loudspeakers, outfitted with more than twice the onboard audio power of their popular predecessors.

Full-range models include the Thump12 and Thump15 loudspeakers, integrating an amplifier that is specified as delivering more than 1,000 watts of power, joined by precision crossovers, transducer time alignment and a unique 3-band EQ with a sweepable mid. Also included are flexible mounting options, combo mic/line inputs and a stage wedge angle.

The new Thump18S is an 18-inch subwoofer in a band-pass design, driven by a 1,200-watt amplifier. Also onboard are system protection and a range of I/O for easy integration.

“Building an extremely high-output Mackie system that delivers the professional sound you want has never been more affordable,” says Greg Young, Mackie product manager. “With the new Thump loudspeakers you get incredible sound for the money. With the massive increase in power and bass response plus the all-new subwoofer, you can Thump more than ever.”

LOUD Technologies

Posted by Keith Clark on 05/12 at 05:51 AM
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Bose Professional Hosts RoomMatch Demo Series In Nashville

Some of southeast’s leading engineers and integrators experience system live

Bose Professional Systems recently held a three-day series of events in Nashville to demonstrate its RoomMatch modules, presented in collaboration with studio designer/system integrator Steve Durr. The educational sessions were held at Ben’s Studio, the historic Music Row studio space formerly known as RCA Studio A that’s now operated by singer-songwriter and producer Ben Folds.

The demonstrations included in-depth discussions of RoomMatch systems – product philosophy, design parameters and technical specifications – and attendees were encouraged to move freely throughout the venue to experience specific coverage patterns during live performance and playback of contrasting tracks. 

A highlight of this series was the evening of the second day, which featured a live performance from a group of Nashville-based musicians assembled as The Cunningham Willis Consortium (mixed by Durr) attended by leading engineers, system integrators, entertainers, management, press and more.

For these demos, the following RoomMatch modules were hung above the stage at Ben’s Studio: two RM7010, two RM9010, two RM9020, two RM12020, and two RMS218 subwoofers. Six RMU208 modules were used as floor monitors for the band. Five Bose PowerMatch® PM8500N amps provided amplification for the system. Processing was handled by a Bose ControlSpace ESP-88 engineered sound processor and CC-64 Control Center. 

“It is really hard to describe in words how pristine the audio is from a Bose RoomMatch system – you must actually experience it for yourself,” states Durr. “RoomMatch is the most musical, most enjoyable speaker system that I have worked on, and from my perspective as an engineer and designer, I felt that it was important to let people hear and experience a RoomMatch system for themselves first hand. Our Nashville event clearly let attendees hear what is possible from a PA system if it is designed properly, and Bose totally nailed it with RoomMatch.”

Bose Professional

Posted by Keith Clark on 05/12 at 05:41 AM
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Friday, May 09, 2014

QSC AcousticDesign Loudspeakers Cover Moorea Beach Club At Mandalay Bay In Vegas

Loudspeakers selected for their weather resistance and durability

A recent upgrade to the sound system at the Moorea Beach Club at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas includes 22 QSC Audio AcousticDesign AD-S282H surface-mount, full-range loudspeakers.

Selected for their weather resistance and durability, the dual 8-inch, two-way AcousticDesign Series loudspeakers support background music and DJ performances at the club, which is described as providing a sophisticated European bathing experience.

“The AD-S282H can take the Vegas heat, and it can take how dry it is,” says Matthew Paupst, director, Lighting and Control Systems at AVDB (Audio/Video/Design/Build) Group in Las Vegas, which handled the project. “It doesn’t matter: rain, shine, dust, dirt, whatever, the QSC Loudspeakers take a beating and keep on going strong.”

The Moorea Beach Club is a “Toptional” day club offering its adult-only clientele a variety of poolside cushioned chaise lounge, cabana, living room and villa options. The venue’s sound system upgrade was designed to compliment the sound system at Mandalay Bay’s Daylight Beach Club, according to Paupst, who worked with Mike Cromer of QSC’s regional rep firm Audio Geer on the project.

“They wanted an outdoor sound system that would be great so they’d be able to have their own great sound for the pool parties,” he explains.

The AcousticDesign AD-S282H loudspeakers are located throughout the club, including the bar, cabana, Moorea Day Bed and upper Moorea Pavilion areas. “There are also two AD-S282Hs at the entrance,” says Paupst. “So the party starts right when you walk in the door, and continues throughout.”

Musical entertainment comes from a variety of sources, he adds. “During the pool party times, they have a DJ. During normal operations, when they’re not having a pool party, they’ve got a DMX player that provides background music.”

AVDB Group
QSC Audio

Posted by Keith Clark on 05/09 at 02:17 PM
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L-Acoustics ARCS Deliver Long-Awaited Sonic Upgrade At Bicentennial Center In Kansas

Wide and Focus (WIFO) combination deliver significant upgrade at 7,500 multipurpose venue

For the past 35 years, the 7,500-seat multipurpose Bicentennial Center in Salina, KS has hosted a wide range of sporting events and productions, yet while the venue has undergone a number of changes over the years, the original sound system remained in place until recently when Parkway Communications (Holland, MI) recently installed new L-Acoustics ARCS Wide and ARCS Focus (“WIFO”) loudspeakers for the city-owned venue, which is managed by Philadelphia-based Global Spectrum.

“Global Spectrum, L-Acoustics and Parkway Communications did a super job of quickly getting a high quality sound system for the Bicentennial Center ordered, installed and ready for prime time,” says Salina city manager Jason Gage. “This system is second to none and provides the facility’s patrons with an unforgettable audio experience.”

“New sound and lights are going a long way for our fans, clients and internal operations,” adds Global Spectrum’s Chris Bird. “Our fans are now able to see and hear events better than ever before, and our clients are able to present a higher quality product. It’s a ‘win-win’ for all involved with the Salina Bicentennial Center.”

Prior to the much-needed sonic upgrade, the Bicentennial Center utilized an exploded cluster system located at one end of the arena that was simply not up to current standards. When the city agreed to a full audio redo, provided it didn’t stray from a strict municipal budget, the L-Acoustics Applications team got to work designing a system that was big on performance without busting the budget.

“L-Acoustics was one of a number of loudspeaker manufacturers who submitted system concepts for consideration and we were extremely honored to have been selected as the sound system provider for Bicentennial Center,” says Dan Palmer, L-Acoustics’ national manager of installation projects. “Having successfully placed ARCS WIFO systems most recently at San Antonio’s Freeman Coliseum, Miami’s BankUnited Center and Phoenix’s Grand Canyon University, we have a growing body of experience in municipal and professional sports arenas and know how to effectively address them with L-Acoustics solutions.”

Following the design and bid process, the install contract was awarded to Parkway Communications, which according to Palmer, “provided flawless integration.”

“Since we have had a good deal of experience with all of L-Acoustics product lines—especially the ARCS WIFO systems—we knew exactly what it would take from an integration standpoint to help this system really perform to its full potential,” states Parkway’s Josh Maichele, the systems engineer on the project. “We wanted to make sure from the very start that we were getting every ounce of signal we could to the speakers and no detail was left out, from the eight-gauge wire feeding the clusters to input and output from the booth or floor being transported via AES audio.”

The new rig incorporates 28 ARCS Wide loudspeakers flown in four arrays of four cabinets for the north/south ends of the arena, plus two cabinets for the west end and four corner positions. The east-facing array pairs an ARCS Focus with two ARCS Wide, while six SB18i subs and four LA8 and one LA4 amplified controllers round out the system.

Additionally, a portable “floor” system consists of four ARCS Wide tops mounted on poles above four SB18 subs. The flexibility provided by this portable system was key to the job’s success as it can also be deployed as separate point sources on tripods, or as a flown left/right system above a portable stage as dictated by the event. A pair of LA8s powers the portable system.

“Flexibility and functionality were key, and the ARCS WIFO system can accomplish all of this with standard rigging,” Palmer notes. “The system provides articulate, full-range, high-impact sound to all audience listening areas.”


Bicentennial Center
Parkway Communications

Posted by Keith Clark on 05/09 at 12:17 PM
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Ron Pilon Joins KV2 Audio As Director Of Sales For Canada

Heading up a new distribution arm for the company under the guise of KV2 Audio Canada

KV2 Audio has appointed Ron Pilon as director of sales for Canada, heading up a new distribution arm for the company under the guise of KV2 Audio Canada.

Pilon previously worked with Yorkville Sound for more than 13 years, climbing to the position of export sales manager before leaving in 2012 to join Monster Cable. He comes to KV2 Audio with considerable knowledge in both local and international sales as well as logistics and distribution.

Dave Croxton, director of sales and marketing for KV2 Audio, states, “It’s great to have Ron onboard to drive the redevelopment of the Canadian market for KV2 Audio. With the opening of KV2 Audio Canada we are looking to rebuild the brand with better stock availability and improved customer service. We believe this investment by the company will give Canadian customers of KV2 Audio greater confidence in the brand and the reassurance they have a local office and warehousing of stock and parts to support them.”

Pilon adds, “My true passion is pro audio and I was heavily involved in this field at Yorkville. After a short time in the consumer electronics industry it is great to get back to my roots and take on a role with a company of the caliber of KV2 Audio. Their reputation as a high end sound reinforcement manufacturer is growing rapidly around the world and I am excited about rebuilding the brand in the Canadian market and connecting with KV2 users across the country”.

KV2 Audio

Posted by Keith Clark on 05/09 at 05:35 AM
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Thursday, May 08, 2014

JBL Professional Enters Paging Horn Market With CSS-H15 & CSS-H30 Models

Designed for public address systems, announcement/paging, intercom, security, alarm and industrial applications

Harman’s JBL Professional has launched the new CSS-H15 (15-watt) and CSS-H30 (30-watt) paging horns, the first products from JBL specifically designed for the commercial sound paging horn market. The new CSS-H paging horns are designed for public address systems, announcement/paging, intercom, security, alarm and industrial applications.

“Many of our systems integration customers utilize paging horns in their projects, and now they will have access to these top-quality, high-intelligibility, cost-competitive paging horns from JBL at their disposal,” said Rick Kamlet, senior manager, Commercial Sound, JBL Professional. “The JBL CSS-H paging horns provide excellent voice range clarity for a variety of environments.”

Constructed of sturdy ABS with corrosion-resistant all-stainless-steel mounting bracket and hardware, both models include a built-in UL registered multi‐tap transformer (15-watt for the H15, 30-watt for the H30) for use with 70-volt and 100-volt distributed speaker lines, with a screwdriver adjustable tap switch, and a bypass position for direct 8-ohm operation.

The new CSS-H paging horns are also highly weather-resistant (IP-65 rated) for outdoor applications. Both models pass JBL’s 100-hour continuous full-power test to ensure long-term reliability.

CSS-H paging horns expand JBL’s lineup of cost-effective CSS Commercial Solutions Speakers, adding to the collection that already includes CSS-8000 Series ceiling loudspeakers, CSS-1S/T surface-mount loudspeaker, and the JBL Commercial-branded CSM mixers, CSR remotes, CSPM paging microphones, CSA amplifier, the new CSMA mixer-amplifiers, and other products that are all designed for the needs of a wide range of commercial applications.

JBL Professional
Harman Professional

Posted by Keith Clark on 05/08 at 10:04 AM
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Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Bose RoomMatch Loudspeakers Deployed At The Listening Room Cafe In Nashville

Top songwriting venue debuts new system in time for annual Tin Pan South citywide festival

Nashville’s The Listening Room Cafe moved into its new home downtown in early 2013, with the new location’s size and setup allowing owner Chris Blair to achieve his dream: a songwriter venue with great sound. It’s now a reality with the recent installation of new Bose Professional RoomMatch loudspeakers in time for the city’s annual Tin Pan South festival that was held in late March.
Logan Hanna, the venue’s lead audio engineer who worked closely with Blair to implement the system, states, “Chris and I have always wanted to have the highest possible fidelity for The Listening Room, and we’ve achieved it with this system in our new location. If you want to be ahead of the game, you really have to be on top of the technology that’s coming out. And Bose has allowed us to be at the forefront.

“The response from the performers has been great too – I have only heard positive things since we launched the new system,” he continues. “Everybody has been blown away by it.” 

The new system is flexible; with the flip of a switch it can accommodate full band stage performances or intimate acoustic “in-the-round” performances. It his headed by two Bose Professional RM7020 modules, two RM12040 modules, 10 RMU208 modules, one RMS218 subwoofer module and one Panaray MB12-III modular bass loudspeaker, all powered by three PowerMatch PM8500N amplifiers and a single PM4500N amplifier. Processing is handled by a ControlSpace ESP-4120 Engineered Sound Processor and CC-64 Control Center. 

All five nights of the festival, The Listening Room was a key venue for Tin Pan South, showcasing award-winning songwriters and artists, who got to experience the system firsthand as performers and audience members.
Artist Craig Campbell, whose notable songs include “Family Man,” “Fish,” “Outta My Head” and “Keep Them Kisses Comin’,” was featured as a performer during a SESAC showcase Wednesday night. He states, “The sound was crystal clear. As an audience member, I walked around the venue, and the coverage is the same everywhere. It’s remarkable. And as a performer, I could feel the sound, warm and clear, resonating through the whole room. I’ve known Chris for several years, and I know this has been his dream. The room deserved a system and sound like this.” 

Grammy-winning songwriter Josh Osborne, whose work has rendered hits for Kacey Musgraves (who scored a recent ACM win for Album of the Year), Eli Young Band, The Band Perry, Billy Currington, Blake Shelton, Kenny Chesney and several others, was similarly impressed: “I performed at The Listening Room on Tuesday night of Tin Pan South. The system was amazing. I could hear everything really great on stage. It seemed like the whole room was just full of sound. I had performed there before the new system was installed, and it is a significant upgrade. You can sense a warm, resonant sound going around the whole room. It’s very powerful as a performer and as a listener.” 

“I’m very proud of where we have come in the last several years,” states Blair. “Our new location downtown has been an incredible move and we are so excited for everything that is happening in Nashville right now. I have always loved the sound of Bose, and we used their L1® portable systems at the old Cummins Station location. The new RoomMatch system can handle the full band drive or acoustic performances with complete clarity. It’s something you truly have to hear for yourself.”

Bose Professional

Posted by Keith Clark on 05/07 at 03:59 PM
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Alcons Audio Unveils New LR24 Pro-Ribbon Large-Format Line Array

For use as a vertical array, either in stacked or flown configurations, to meet the needs of even the largest sound reinforcement applications

Alcons Audio has introduced the LR24, a 3-way larger-format line-source loudspeaker for use as a vertical array, either in stacked or flown configurations, to meet the needs of even the largest sound reinforcement applications.

Loaded with Alcons proprietary pro-ribbon technology for mid and high frequencies, the LR24 offers very fast impulse response with full dynamics, and up to 90 percent less distortion under the lowest power compression. The all-natural (Isophasic) cylindrical wavefront of the pro-ribbon HF transducer enables a precise pattern control, without any distortion-inducing horn constructions.

Philip “Dr. Phil” de Haan, head of Alcons R&D and initiator of multiple patents, states, “Until now, this extraordinary high level of precision in sound quality was not obtainable in sound reinforcement, especially not at these sound pressure levels. With the new RBN02 pro-ribbon transducer platform, the HF output capabilities lie above that of the largest line-array system.

“The design objective was to create a system with an absolutely neutral, 1:1 non-coloring and predictable linear response behavior at any sound pressure level, with highest projection accuracy,” de Haan continues. “Thanks to our 25-plus years experience in pro-ribbon transducer technology, DSP electronics, and acoustics we were able to realize our goal: What you mix is what you get.”

The HF section features the RBN1402rsr pro-ribbon driver with 14-inch voice coil. The combination of the high sensitivity and the unusually high HF peak power handling of 3,000 watts delivers unique intelligibility and throw, with ample dynamic headroom reserve under any condition. The purpose-designed RBN1402rsr driver is covered by four patents.

The MF section incorporates high-efficiency neodymium 6.5-inch midrange transducers in a symmetrical loaded configuration. The section is made of aluminum and forms an integral part with the HF section for optimized heat management, maintaining high output over a longer period of time.

The LF section consists of two long-excursion, reflex-loaded 12-inch woofers with carbon-reinforced cones. The neodymium motor structure is outfitted with a 4-inch voice coil and dual-spider suspension with forced venting, again for improved heat dissipation and reduced power compression.

The proprietary “SignalIntegritySensing” pre-wiring of the LF and MF sections ensures a fully dynamic cable/connector compensation between the LR24 and Sentinel, resulting in a fast and tight mid and bass response, regardless of impedance or cable length, while also reducing distortion even further (system damping factor >10.000).

The LR24 has a linear frequency response from 51 Hz to 20 kHz (-3 dB). Low-end control can be extended by the LB24 double-12-inch bass array extension with the same cabinet footprint. The horizontal dispersion of 80-degrees is maintained down to 190 Hz. The vertical dispersion enables a maximum cabinet splay angle of 6 degrees, still maintaining complete wavefront coherency without any disruption or lobing up to 20 kHz.

The system is to be exclusively driven by four channels of the proprietary Alcons Sentinel 10kW amplified loudspeaker controller. Through the integrated (steering) processing and feedback, the ALC offers LR24-specific drive processing with optimal response, directivity, reliability, and user-friendliness.

To insure utmost reliability, each Alcons transducer design must pass a rigorous 1000-hour test at maximum (clip) levels.

The rigging system enables angle-setting on the cabinets without lifting the array. This results in faster set-up times with minimal handling. The flying system supports different ways of array assembling, per single cabinet or 4-cabinet pre-rig, and is certified for 24 cabinets in a 10:1 safety ratio.

The LR24 is an element of a complete, application-configurable package, including the LB24 bass array extension, BC543 triple-18-inch cardioid subwoofer, Sentinel amplified controller, ARC 3D-simulation tool and system connection, and transport logistics.

The new LR24 is part of “The Ribbon Network” inventory, the Alcons global hire and partner network, and it comes with a 6-year “no hassle” warranty.



Alcons Audio

Posted by Keith Clark on 05/07 at 10:34 AM
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NEXO Hosts First STM Series Owners Conference

An international crowd from 16 countries made the trip to Paris, representing 22 of the first rental companies to adopt company's new flagship PA technology

Two years after NEXO first unveiled the STM Series modular line array system, the company hosted its first-ever Owners Conference.

An international crowd from 16 countries made the trip to Paris, representing 22 of the first rental companies to adopt NEXO’s new flagship PA technology. The group included five new system owners, yet to be announced, from Germany, U.S., Canada, India and China.

NEXO’s concert sound team encouraged the STM owners to share their experiences with the system in a wide range of musical applications, from simple acoustic jazz concerts to one of the top-grossing concert tours (Kenny Chesney) in the U.S. With owners reporting on several events attracting upwards of 120,000, STM is justifying NEXO’s claim that it will perform as a large-format system as well as scale down for smaller, more intimate shows.

Following a presentation on the latest developments of the system by NEXO technical director Francois Deffarges, the owners were invited to an exclusive listening session in the “NEXO meadow.” And, the company notes that further additions to the STM suite of products are in development, designed to add further versatility.

Yamaha Commercial Audio

Posted by Keith Clark on 05/07 at 09:05 AM
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Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Luther College Adopts Adamson Systems

A ring of seven pairs of Adamson Point 8 loudspeakers hangs from the ceiling grid, serving the two seating tiers -- a mono pair of Point 12 cabinets fit just out-of-sight above the timber cloud serve as the acoustic focus of the system.

Luther College in Croydon, Australia recently undertook a major audio upgrade of their school chapel, appointing South Melbourne-based Factory Sound to install a new sound reinforcement system based on Adamson Systems loudspeakers.

The most dominant visual feature in Luther College’s Chapel is the floor-to-ceiling leadlight window behind the altar, which drove the topology and layout of the speaker system. The sanctuary is horseshoe shaped with a two-tiered seating plan that seats 400.

“The school’s leadership team were very specific in keeping sight lines to the leadlight absolutely clear from any seat in the house” commented Daniel Thomas, Factory Sound’s head of installation. “This meant that conventional arrays were out of the question, and we had to strike a compromise between keeping the loudspeakers out-of-sight and maximizing the direct-to-reverberant ratio.”

“There was up to 4 seconds RT60 at low frequencies and limited hanging points, so it was definitely a challenge. The final design was settled after detailed EASE acoustic modelling, and several discussions with Luther College’s Music, Finance and IT staff about ways to maximize their budget for the project.”

A mono pair of Adamson Point 12 cabinets fit just out-of-sight above the timber cloud above the altar, and serve as the acoustic focus of the system. Directly above hangs a single Adamson Metrix Sub for LF reinforcement - again, virtually invisible from below. A ring of seven pairs of Adamson Point 8 loudspeakers hangs from the ceiling grid, serving the two seating tiers.

The Point 12 is recommended where high SPL is needed with a moderate amount of low frequency energy. The 12” ND12-L 8Ω Neodymium Kevlar driver and 1.4” exit HF driver mounted on an Adamson fiberglass waveguide give the Point 12 remarkable power.

Similar to the Point 12, the Point 8 is loaded with a single Adamson 8” ND8-LM 16Ω Neodymium Kevlar driver and 1” Exit HF driver mounted on an Adamson fiberglass waveguide. The point 8’s rotatable 90° x 60° waveguide offers a defined coverage pattern which was exactly what the chapel system required.

“The school is very happy with the result,” says Thomas. “The venue now caters to everything from sermons and musical theatre to concert bands and rock ensemble performances and everything in between.”

Adamson Systems

Posted by Julie Clark on 05/06 at 02:32 PM
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One Systems Adds Clarity To Oklahoma State Supreme Court Chamber

Audio Associates installs two One Systems 108IM loudspeakers in the Oklahoma State Supreme Court Chamber.

Two One Systems 108IM loudspeakers were recently installed in the Oklahoma State Supreme Court chamber to resolve vocal clarity concerns.

Located in the historic Capitol building in Oklahoma City, the chamber had been plagued with intelligibility issues for years. The assistant to the Chief Justice contacted nearby Audio Associates to remedy the situation.

“We have a 40+ year history of designing, installing and maintaining sound systems utilized in the Capitol building, including the House of Representatives and Senate chambers,” explains Greg Robertson, owner of Audio Associates. “All of the rooms have plenty of hard surfaces and are extremely reverberant. Intelligibility is always a problem.”

The Supreme Court chamber is approximately 40 feet deep, 60 feet wide with 25 foot ceilings. The Justices are seated behind a raised bench in the front of the room. Wooden benches behind the bar provide seating for 60+ spectators.

After careful evaluation, Robertson determined that a pair of One Systems 108IM loudspeakers would cover the room extremely well. The loudspeakers were positioned on the left and right corners of the wooden structure located behind the bench, approximately 12 feet off the ground.

The 108IM is loaded with an 8-inch (203.2 mm) woofer and a One Systems’ ETS driver coupled to a fully rotatable, constant-directivity high-frequency horn. The 60-degree by 40-degree coverage pattern ensures complete and even coverage throughout the room, including the justices on the bench.

The eleven miniature, cardioid condenser gooseneck microphones are controlled by two Shure SCM810 8-channel automatic microphone mixer.

“The goal was to provide sound reinforcement for microphones used by the Justices, the witness and the court clerk,” adds Robertson. “We ultimately equalized the room using narrow band and very narrow band filters and “tuned” the reverberant frequencies out – the end result was crystal clear sound.”

Established in 1969, Audio Associates is a consulting, design, sales, installation and service provider in the Oklahoma City area. They have installed One Systems loudspeakers in many applications with very positive results.

“The Justices were absolutely thrilled with the new system,” Robertson concludes. “The quality of the loudspeakers is very impressive. The difference between the new and old systems is like night and day.”

One Systems

Posted by Julie Clark on 05/06 at 01:52 PM
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Meyer Sound Appoints Karen Ames As VP Of Marketing & Communications

Charged with the overall leadership for corporate communications, marketing, philanthropy, and public affairs

Meyer Sound has bolstered its marketing efforts by recruiting Karen Ames for the newly created position of vice president of marketing and communications.

A veteran communications professional who has worked with a diverse range of artists and institutions—from the San Francisco Symphony to George Thorogood—Ames joins the Meyer Sound senior leadership team to head up its global marketing and communications strategy. She is charged with the overall leadership for corporate communications, marketing, advertising and sponsorships, social media, public relations, philanthropy, and public affairs.

As part of this restructuring, Ames heads up a marketing team that includes Jodi Hughes, who assumes the director of marketing position, and Rachel Archibald, who drives strategic marketing initiatives such as competitive research, market development, and industry alliances. The changes take effect beginning May 31, 2014.

“John Meyer and I are both thrilled that Karen is joining our team,” says Helen Meyer, co-founder and executive vice president at Meyer Sound. “Karen has a deep understanding of performing arts and the music business, and brings incredible creative energy, strategic thinking, and solution-oriented perspectives. Her contributions will be crucially important as we build on the company’s growth and expand our global presence.”

Ames has handled the strategic communications and promotion for artists and cultural institutions for three decades, including Cal Performances and the San Francisco International Film Festival, to name a few. Her career includes senior executive roles with the San Francisco Symphony, San Francisco Opera, and Houston Grand Opera.

She has led the promotion of world premiere operas from composers Philip Glass, Meredith Monk, and John Adams, as well as recordings with Decca Records, BMG and SFS Media. Most recently, she was president of her own consulting firm, and helped Meyer Sound launch the Stephanie Blythe recording which deployed a pioneering recording technique based on the company’s Constellation acoustic system.

“Throughout my many years in the music industry, I have been fortunate to work with artists determined to enrich the lives of audiences,” says Ames. “Meyer Sound’s founders and engineers share that same goal. They understand what those onstage and in the audience need and want in terms of sound that communicates. They believe that, in the world of sound and sound reinforcement, everything is possible. And they have the genius, drive, and sense of adventure to achieve their ideal. I am privileged to become part of this legendary company.”

Ames will be based at the Meyer Sound headquarters in Berkeley, CA.

Meyer Sound

Posted by Keith Clark on 05/06 at 01:17 PM
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