Thursday, December 03, 2015

Song Fei Combines Music And Art With Alcons In China

Along the River During the Qingming Festival performance supported by QR24 ribbon arrays and 4 BF362 subwoofers.

Chinese violin artist Song Fei is hailed by the media as the “new generation of talented female violin players”, “world-famous contemporary Chinese erhu player among international orchestras”, “leader in Chinese folk music” and “Chinese erhu Queen.”

SongFei’s Along the River During the Qingming Festival musical performed two days in November, at the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing, China supported by loudspeakers from Alcons.

Along the River During the Qingming Festival is one of the ten most famous paintings in China. It captures the daily life of people and the landscape of the capital, Bianjing, today’s Kaifeng, from the Northern Song period. Successive scenes reveal the lifestyle of all levels of society from rich to poor, as well as different economic activities in the countryside and the city, with manifest period clothing and architecture.

Contrary to most of the art pieces, that were first in the form of music and later in images, SongFei’s Along the River During the Qingming Festival musical was based on the famous painting that was made nearly a thousand years ago. This performance combined music with image to create a tremendously authentic spectacle, leading the audience to walk through that period of time.

Combining audio and visual without disturbing the integral aesthetics was the first consideration of the director.

Chief sound designer of this musical, Tian, about the reason he chose an Alcons solution: “The Alcons QR24 pro-ribbon line-source column is especially suitable for these kinds of performances in theaters, as its low profile does not affect the decoration of the stage scenery.”

In this musical, a total of 12 Alcons QR24 pro-ribbon array columns and 4 Alcons BF362 subwoofers were deployed to cover the auditorium. The QR24 comprises four 6.5-inch woofers with two 12-inch proprietary RBN1203 pro-ribbon tweeters; The BF362 features double 18-inch woofers in X-venting configuration. All speaker systems were driven by Alcons Sentinel 10 4-channel DSP amplified loudspeaker controllers, with 192kHz AES3 inputs.

The music melted into the scene with Alcons’ high-resolution sound reproduction and Tian gave a thumbs-up for Alcons’ excellent performance. “Alcons really surprised me; When I set up an Alcons sound system, the only thing I need to do is to recall the right factory setting in the processor and what I got is crystal-clear Hifi sound without any EQ or adjustment needed.”

“The coverage angle of this speaker is so well controlled that it offers a flat SPL throughout the audience, while also reducing the disturbance to the artists on stage hugely.” says Tian.

Miss Chen, the general director of this musical also gave particularly high evaluation for the clear sound of the speaker and the excellent feedback from the visitors.


Posted by House Editor on 12/03 at 12:43 PM
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Adamson Shines At Riot Fest In Chicago, Toronto & Denver

StagePro and Audio Visions deploy E15 and E12 enclosures with E219 subwoofers for festival featuring a variety of genres.

Riot Fest, a three-day, multiple-stage rock, punk, alternative and hip hop music festival rocked audiences in Chicago, Toronto and Denver with help from a sound reinforcement system featuring Adamson loudspeakers.

This year’s lineup included performances by Billy Idol, Iggy Pop, Motorhead, CIV, the Damned, Ice Cube, and even country music’s Merle Haggard.

Kansas-based StagePro was tasked with providing production services for all three events. Omaha, Nebraska-based Audio Visions provided additional sound reinforcement support. Audio Visions deployed their newly purchased Adamson E Series PA at one stage in all three locations.

“When we purchased the system we were looking for a PA that would keep us on the cutting edge,” explains Jasper Goforth, general manager for Audio Visions.

“It’s events like these when you want to make sure that you are providing artists with the quality they expect. The Adamson rig has everything we could need and it really delivers for performers.”

Although the specific stage and performers varied from location to location, the sound requirements stayed fairly consistent. Goforth originally input the stage dimensions into Blueprint AV, Adamson’s predictive simulation software, and then would add the scope of the audience area that required coverage in each city.

“We were really blown away by the Blueprint software,” he adds. “It is incredibly accurate. We were used to using software that still required a fair amount of tweaking once the PA was hung. Blueprint is spot on every time. It’s a tremendous time-saver.”

The left-right line arrays – made up of 12 Adamson E15 and two E12 enclosures – were hung from an APEX 5040 hydraulic stage to the left and right of the stage. A total of 16 E219 subwoofers provided low end. Six were ground stacked under each array with another four up the center. Two Adamson S10 enclosures were placed along the lip of the stage for front fill. Four E119 subwoofers were utilized for side fill subs while another two were deployed for drum subs.

Both the Adamson E15 and E12 are 3-way line source enclosures. The E15 is loaded with two 7-inch Kevlar Neodymium midrange transducers paired with two 4-inch high frequency compression drivers while the E12 features a single 7-inch Kevlar Neodymium midrange transducer paired with a 4-inch high frequency compression driver.

Enhanced low end is provided by two 15-inch (E15) or two 12-inch (E12) proprietary Kevlar Neodymium woofers. The end result mid-high energy with minimal distortion at very high SPL levels and substantial low end for most applications.

The system was powered by racks of Lab.gruppen PLM amplifiers. Goforth adds, “The Lab.gruppen amplifiers, which Adamson recommends with their loudspeakers, are terrific. They are clean and drive the system without breaking a sweat.”

Goforth notes that as they moved from one location to the next he noticed that the Adamson rig was getting placed on more “featured” stages. After inquiring why, he was told that the engineers on the other stages heard it and asked to use it on their stage.

Shawn London, front of house engineer for Eagles of Death Metal, adds, “I found that the hang and sub configuration gave me much more headroom and signal flow than the PAs at the other Riot Fest stages. I had people coming up to me and saying that they were about 500 feet back from the stage and could hear my mix as clear as day. I also noticed that the downstage coverage was much better than the other systems.”

Goforth concludes, “I have to add how impressed we were with the entire Adamson team. We are not a huge house and knowing that we would get the attention we needed from the manufacturer was a big plus. Everyone we worked with was knowledgeable and anxious to help. I think we’ll reap the rewards of this decision for years to come.”


Posted by House Editor on 12/03 at 07:43 AM
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Symetrix Supports New York’s Le District Market

El Media Group provides multi-zone music for 30,000 square feet of shopping with SymNet Radius DSP.

Opening its doors for the first time in spring 2015, New York’s Le District offers a very fresh take on French cuisine with a wide variety of vendors situated under one roof.

The approach taken to the audio is similarly original, with music unexpectedly to the fore thanks to infrastructure based around a single Symetrix SymNet Radius 12x8 EX open-architecture Dante DSP.

Locally-based El Media Group was enlisted to specify and install the audio system, and as co-founder and chief creative officer Ernie Lake observes, there were several primary factors that influenced the choice of DSP.

“Firstly, this is a large site of around 30,000 square feet and there needed to be the option to play back different music in different areas. Ultimately, the space was divided into eight zones – café, dining rooms and so forth – and we required flexibility of playback for all of them,” he says.

“Secondly, and in contrast to many other public spaces of this kind, the operators really wanted the music to be positioned to the fore – it’s really an integral part of the brand. So guaranteeing a high quality of playback was extremely important.”

Positive experiences with SymNet Radius DSPs on a wide range of retail, restaurant and bar-style installations meant that “there was no hesitation in determining that this would be an appropriate processing solution for Le District,” says Lake. Equipped with a SymNet Four-Channel Analog Input Card to ensure sufficient accommodation of multiple sources, the SymNet Radius has been deployed in conjunction with two Symetrix ARC-2e wall panel remote controls – one located in the bar area and the other adjacent to the main systems rack.

“In addition, the managerial staff at Le District have the free Symetrix ARC-WEB browser-based interface accessible via their smartphones so they can control volume, mute, source selection and other primary parameters quickly and easily,” remarks Lake.

Rounding out the core audio specification at Le District are amplifiers from Lab.gruppen’s install-dedicated C Series, along with loudspeakers from Community Professional, SoundTube and Tannoy. Installation and fine-tuning were completed shortly before the market welcomed its first visitors in March.

“Once again SymNet Radius has proven to be a very versatile processing tool, allowing us to configure it perfectly for the application at hand,” says Lake. “I would also highlight the high standard of support that we continue to receive from Symetrix – which always helps to provide the reassurance you need for projects where 24/7 reliability is of the utmost importance. They never let us down.”

El Media Group

Posted by House Editor on 12/03 at 07:33 AM
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Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Videogame Sound Designer Gregory Allen Turns To Blue Sky Monitoring System

New surround sound system comprises Sat 6D active monitors, a Sub 12D subwoofer and Audio Management Controller.

Gregory Allen, an award-winning composer, senior sound designer and director with more than 25 years of experience in the fields of game audio and cinematics, feature trailers, television and motion picture marketing, has installed the latest generation Blue Sky 5.1 monitoring system—the Star System One—at his personal studio in Austin, Texas.

Allen’s surround sound speaker system comprises five of Blue Sky’s new Sat 6D active monitors, a Sub 12D subwoofer and a brand new Audio Management Controller (AMC).

Allen, who has been using Blue Sky monitors for a decade, notes that the Sat 6D system features both digital and analog inputs with Burr-Brown 192 kHz/24-bit converters, plus a “pure-digital” mode that enables direct digital input from a DAW at 48 kHz or 96 kHz.

“Blue Sky made them that way so that you have flexibility,” he says. “I’ve been testing them in both digital and analog modes, and the A-to-D converters are really impressive sounding.”

Not everybody has the budget to create a well-tuned studio, observes Allen. Although his facility is fully acoustically treated.

“The ability to tune each speaker perfectly to my room has been phenomenal and a time saver. I can pull them out of my studio if I’m going to some other location, recalibrate them and get them set perfect for the type of room that I’m in,” he adds.

The sound designer appreciates the benefits of Blue Sky’s new AMC monitor controller, even in environments where he isn’t able to bring in his Sat 6Ds and Sub 12D.

“The controller is the perfect tool to allow me to tune each speaker and set presets for the type of speakers and EQ,” he says. “I have been wanting a box like this for years.” He points out that the AMC has nicely remedied a host of issues previously experienced at many studios by creating a trusted reference point of balanced sound regardless of what monitor system is being utilized.

Allen has extensive experience in composition and sound design, working as a supervising sound designer and music director for major game developers such as Activision, Electronic Arts, Interplay, Sony and Ubisoft, and as a freelancer in Europe and the United States. He has used Blue Sky monitors at many of the game studios, working on top titles like Call of Duty, Prince of Persia, Star Wars, Killer Instinct, Def Jam: Icon, Fight Night and Medal of Honor.

Allen has additional experience in the trailer and marketing world using the Star System One and AMC to compose, mix and master literally hundreds of movie trailers, TV promos and Web marketing spots. Recent theatrical trailers that he’s worked on have included The Martian, Victor Frankenstein, Furious 7, Jurassic World, Robocop, Amazing Spiderman 2, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Godzilla, 300: Rise of an Empire, Draft Day and Tomorrowland, while TV promotions have included projects for NBC, CBS, FOX, CW Network, MTV and Sony Computer Entertainment, plus specific shows like Orange is the New Black, E!, On Air and American Idol.

Having already put his Sat 6D system to work on a wide variety of projects, Allen has discovered that he is able to work more efficiently.

“They translate really well; I can 100 percent trust that what I’m hearing here will translate elsewhere. The quicker you can make decisions on your speakers, the faster you can get done with your work. With these Sat 6D monitors, I spend less time referencing all my other speakers and just and get more work done faster”.

He continues, “I’ve touched everything with these Sat 6Ds: audio for iOS, Android, PC, mobile, web-based and console games, theatrical trailers and TV trailers. Clients have been completely happy—I’ve had zero re-dos when it comes to the mix. For the stuff that I do, they’re perfect. These speakers help me get more work and get it done faster with a sound I can trust.”

Working with production music company Position Music, Allen has produced countless music cues and thousands of sound effects for trailer marketing using his Blue Sky monitors. With his music and sound effects licensing albums, his work has appeared on more than half of 2015’s major trailers, and the composer expects to have two more albums available before the close of 2016.

Allen also currently serves as audio director for Bee Cave Games, an Austin-based developer specializing in casino games for the web, mobile and other gaming platforms. To ensure that his work translates perfectly to those platforms, “I’ve now just put another Sat 6D system into Bee Cave’s studio, plus some eXo monitors,” he reports.

Blue Sky

Posted by House Editor on 12/02 at 01:58 PM
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PMC Creates Custom Monitors For Wu-Tang Clan Album

Owner of a one-off project "Once Upon a Time in Shaolin" to experience the audio exactly as its producers intended.

British loudspeaker manufacturer PMC Speakers has produced a unique pair of its MB2-XBD studio monitors that are allowing the new owner of a one-off musical work of art created by the Wu-Tang Clan to experience the audio exactly as its producers intended.

The album, entitled Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, was recorded and mixed on an identical pair of PMC loudspeakers. It was made exclusively available in a private sale to one single collector – there is no physical or digital duplicate in existence.

A retrospective soundscape that threads 31 songs, skits, and stories into a 128-minute-long aural screenplay, Once Upon a Time in Shaolin is the last album to include contributions by the entire surviving Wu-Tang Clan and represents the apotheosis of the group’s three-decade career.

As a one-off album envisioned from execution through distribution as both a work of art and an audio artifact, the piece is a sonic sculpture presented in a unique hand-carved nickel-silver box. It is accompanied by a 174-page manuscript containing lyrics, credits and anecdotes on the production of each song, printed on gilded Fedrigoni Marina parchment and encased in leather by a master bookbinder. The conditions of sale stipulated that the buyer agreed not to release any of the album content or artwork to the public for a period of 88 years.

Recorded and mixed exclusively on PMC’s MB2-XBD monitors on Staten Island, New York, the Clan’s producers, Robert “The RZA” Diggs and Tarik “Cilvaringz” Azzougarh, insisted that a pair of the speakers should be included within the sale, so that the new owner could hear the piece exactly as it was intended.

Commenting on the speakers, RZA said: “In order to curate the experience of Once Upon a Time in Shaolin for the collector, we decided to have two PMC MB2-XBD speakers included with the album. These speakers were used during production and mastering and distil this work into its purest form and in sculpting each beat, each frequency and each flash of feeling, they are themselves a work of artistry.”

Miles Roberts, PMC’s head of sales & marketing, added: “It is a real privilege to be included within the project and is the ultimate ‘from studio to the home’ message we aim to convey. The speakers created to accompany the album are an absolute one-off, the likes of which we will never create again. We are sure that the lucky owner will be delighted with the performance.”

PMC Speakers

Posted by House Editor on 12/02 at 10:44 AM
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MB Audio Visual Selects Proel Axiom For Lightwater Valley’s Frightwater

Yorkshire-based company deploys Axiom AX2065 arrays with SW215 subwoofers for events at Lightwater Valley Theme Park

Yorkshire-based audio-visual technology supplier MB Audio Visual has provided sound reinforcement in the shape of an Axiom line array from Proel for Lightwater Valley’s spectacular fireworks and Frightwater events during October and November.

Set amongst 175 acres of stunning North Yorkshire countryside, Lightwater Valley Theme Park is jam-packed with thrilling rides and amazing attractions, and is perhaps best known for being the home of Europe’s longest rollercoaster ­– The Ultimate.

To mark the end of another successful season, two separate events were staged over two weekends – Fantastic Fireworks, and Frightwater Valley.

Having previously worked on smaller scale projects for Lightwater Valley, MB Audio Visual’s Craig Hoyland and Giles Copeman were asked to supply a complete sound and lighting package for the two events.

The sound reinforcement system for the Frightwater Valley event had to cater for an audience of around 4,500 people per day, but needed to cover a wide horizontal area as the crowd was four or five deep in most places. The PA was set up with four Axiom AX2065 cabinets flown each side of Swan Lake with one SW215 subwoofer on the ground each side – one speaker cluster high up on an embankment and the other located in front of it, and delayed using a simple click, in the yard of the theme park’s miniature railway. A further two SW215 subs and four AX2065 cabinets provided audio cover for a rollercoaster and the River Rapids ride.

At front of house located inside the miniature railway train station music playback was provided by a laptop, which also handled the fireworks input from the detonator. The use of timecode allowed the music program material to be automatically switched from the beginning at 10am, changing to spookier music from 4pm to 6pm.

The Frightwater finale took place around Swan Lake, with the fireworks displays originating from either side of the lake and crossing in the middle. The surrounding trees were lit up in shades of green and pink, created a fittingly picturesque setting.

“Despite the distances involved and the placement of the speaker clusters 150 metre apart either side of the lake, coverage worked well and the sound quality was great,” said Hoyland. “The subs worked remarkable well – I think that because of the slight bowl shape down to the lake it helped the subs with their fantastic coverage. I certainly didn’t need any more bottom end.”

Lightwater Valley’s head of marketing, Jane Oswald, was delighted with the production.

“We enjoy working with MB Audio as they always offer us creative solutions and new ideas to enhance our events,” she commented. “They provide first-class systems and represent excellent value for money. No request is too big or time consuming for any of their staff to deal with and having them on hand during events gives us great confidence. The sound system was of excellent quality, with a richness of tone that’s not usually experienced with outdoor music.”


Posted by House Editor on 12/02 at 09:07 AM
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Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Italian Speaker Imports Hires New Special Programs Manager

Tracy Brefka brings more than 25 years of experience, including extensive sales expertise, to the position

Italian Speaker Imports, the exclusive U.S. distributor of FBT loudspeakers, has announced the addition of Tracy Brefka as its new special programs manager.

Brefka comes to his new role with more than 25 years of experience. In addition to extensive sales expertise, he brings a passion for customer service, and for music, to his new role.

“Having Tracy in this role has been fantastic,” states John Krupa, president and owner of Italian Speaker Imports. “His reputation in the industry is second to none; there’s just no one better. Between his years of experience, his personality and his exceptional work ethic, anyone can see why he has such an outstanding reputation among his colleagues and with dealers.

“We’re lucky to have him and fully expect that his contributions to Italian Speaker Imports will be a great benefit to our growing company.”

Prior to joining Italian Speaker Imports, Brefka spent the bulk of his career with Audio-Technica, starting in inside sales (both professional and consumer) before moving up to assistant sales management and then management.

“I’ve known John Krupa for about 20 years now and have always respected him,” says Brefka. “His integrity and knowledge of the business make him successful at everything he’s done, and people trust him just like I do. I wanted to work with him, and having the chance to step into a company of this caliber, to help them to grow and make a mark of my own is just the icing on the cake.

“As for FBT,” he continues, “it’s superior to so many other products out there with regard to sound quality, components, how they’re built. Because FBT is so dedicated to quality and Italian Speaker Imports has that same dedication to customer service, it’s a perfect fit for me. It’s a product – and a company – that I can stand behind and believe in.”

Italian Speaker Imports

Posted by Keith Clark on 12/01 at 05:16 PM
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Halloran Centre Invests In Meyer Sound Constellation

Memphis Audio upgrades performing arts center with D-Mitri digital audio platform to control acoustical issues.

Equipped with a Meyer Sound Constellation acoustic system, the new Halloran Centre for Performing Arts & Education in Memphis can be instantly optimized to host a wide range of diverse events.

With the push of a touchscreen button, Constellation adjusts the acoustics in the 361-seat theatre to host everything from educational programs to a regional film series, dance recitals, and music concerts of varied genres.

“As much as I understood what Constellation did before the system was installed, actually hearing the different acoustical presets is still stunning,” says Alice Roberts, vice president of programming and education at the Halloran Centre.

“It’s astonishing how you can experience the subtle characteristics of an acoustical space just by clapping your hands. This alone will be a tremendous boost to our technical training programs in sound for musical performance and theatre.”

The Halloran Centre sits adjacent to the historic 2,400-seat Orpheum Theatre, both operated by the non-profit Memphis Development Foundation. The $14.5 million complex now assumes the bulk of the foundation’s educational programs while providing facilities to accommodate artists in a smaller venue as appropriate.

“Constellation was a terrific investment, both financially and artistically,” notes Roberts.

“Artistic programming has expanded as we can work with dramatic theatre, dance, acoustic musicians, and brass ensembles—all kinds of music. And yet we still have the highly controlled acoustics required to host an independent film series. We now have the ultimate flexibility to serve all groups in the community without compromise.”

The dual-zone Constellation system leverages a D-Mitri digital audio platform hosting the patented VRAS acoustical algorithm. This works in conjunction with 24 ambient sensing microphones and 120 small, self-powered loudspeakers, including Stella-8C and Stella-4C installation loudspeakers, MM-4XP self-powered loudspeakers, UPJunior-XP VariO loudspeakers, HMS-5 surround loudspeakers, and MM-10XP subwoofers. More than a dozen presets are available to create a wide spectrum of acoustical environments, including one that emulates the on-stage acoustics of the Orpheum.

Also installed is a Meyer Sound reinforcement system of three UPQ-1P loudspeakers and two 700-HP subwoofers with UPJ-1XP VariO, UPJunior-XP, and HMS-5 loudspeakers as fills and delays. All systems were specified and installed by Memphis Audio under the direction of Matt Britt and Craig Yarbrough.

“I’m really surprised at how transparent Constellation is,” reports Matt Cantelon, technical director for the Halloran Centre. “Unless you’re already familiar with the room’s physical acoustics when it’s off, you’d never know it’s there. It sounds completely natural.”

A 2014 system renovation of the adjoining Orpheum included installation of a new Meyer Sound system of MINA line array loudspeakers and 1100-LFC low-frequency control elements.

The Halloran Centre for Performing Arts & Education is named in honor of Pat Halloran, longtime president and CEO of the Orpheum Theatre.

Meyer Sound

Posted by House Editor on 12/01 at 03:03 PM
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Lincolnshire High School Football Stadium Upgrades To One Systems

ClearImpact Sound & Event Services selects 212CIM direct-weather coaxial loudspeakers for stadium.

Adlai E. Stevenson High School, located in Lincolnshire, Illinois, recently installed a new sound reinforcement system for their football stadium featuring One Systems direct weather loudspeakers.

The existing 15-year old system had become unreliable during the state championship team’s 2014 season, making replacement a necessity.

ClearImpact Sound & Event Services, located in nearby Lake Zurich, Illinois designed and installed a system that would provide the vocal clarity and musicality the school administrators required.

The ClearImpact team installed the system right before the beginning of the 2015 season, and it has since been operating flawlessly.

John Rustirasiri, owner of ClearImpact and a veteran live sound and electrical engineer, was impressed with the One Systems 212CIM’s coaxial design and speech intelligibility. Upon hearing the clarity of the loudspeaker, he knew he had found the right product.

During the design process, he worked closely with One Systems’ Mike O’Neill and Mike Torlone as well as regional rep Tom Parnell, to ensure the coverage would match the requirements of the school.

The 212CIM is a very compact dual 12-inch high power system that uses a coaxially mounted high frequency horn to enhance higher frequency vocal information and reduce distortion. The vocal fundamentals are reproduced by a two element direct radiator design.

“With the old system well beyond its intended operational life, the school decided a full upgrade was in order,” explains Rutirasiri.

“We opted to install CIM loudspeakers not only for their direct weather properties and excellent vocal clarity, but also sound containment. In the past, the school would regularly receive complaints from the neighbors during home games. I’m pleased to say they have not heard from anyone since the One Systems loudspeakers were installed. Noise pollution is no longer an issue.”

The ClearImpact team installed six 212CIM loudspeakers on light poles: two to cover the field, and four flanking the home and visitor bleachers. Each bleacher loudspeaker is positioned to cover half of each of the seating areas.

Two direct weather 112IM loudspeakers – mounted on the home and visitor press box at the same height as the 212CIMs – were provided to cover areas in the center of the bleachers.  The evenness of the coverage and clarity exceeded the school administrators’ expectations.

Rutirasiri replaced the existing analog system with an all-digital system consisting of a digital mixer and snake, DSP and digital transport where all audio and control run over inexpensive CAT6 cabling between the 500ft span of the two press boxes. The new system also allows seamless wireless mic coverage with no dropouts and wireless iPad control anywhere in the stadium. Built-in redundancy takes care of a “the game must go on” philosophy with no downtime.

“Even for the season opener with 5,000+ people in the stands, it was clear and loud. Everyone could hear everything without the volume set at the ear-splitting level the previous system required,” Rutirasiri concludes.

“These loudspeakers provide the pattern control, throw, fidelity and speech intelligibility needed for a stadia environment in a sturdy and durable direct weather enclosure, plus they are affordable.  The school administrators, athletic department, students, parents—and neighbors, are extremely happy.  It was also pure pleasure to work with the One Systems team.”

One Systems

Posted by House Editor on 12/01 at 02:35 PM
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Masque Sound Supports Production Of Musical Allegiance

Company creates audio package for sound designer Kai Harada supporting Broadway debut at Longacre Theatre.

When the American musical Allegiance made its Broadway debut at the Longacre Theatre, Masque Sound pledged its support to sound designer Kai Harada with a custom audio equipment package.

Inspired by the true-life experience of its star George Takei, Allegiance follows one family’s extraordinary journey in this untold American story.

Allegiance tells the story of mysterious envelope that leads Sam Kimura back 60 years to a time when he and his sister Kei (Tony Award-winner Lea Salonga) strived to save their family from the wrongful imprisonment of Japanese Americans during World War II.

In designing the sound for Allegiance, Harada wanted to ensure that it would not get in the way of the significant storyline.

“Allegiance is such a powerful musical that it was important for me to keep the sound clear and natural — to make sure every word of the story is told, but to also present it in such a way that the audience has to participate in the listening,” says Harada.

“Additionally, we needed a system that would not only allow for lyrical transparency but also for power. The songs in Allegiance range in volume from quiet to loud, with some very strong sound effects as well.”

One of Harada’s biggest challenges in designing the sound was the layout of the theatre itself.

“The Longacre Theatre is the perfect size for a musical like Allegiance from an audience’s standpoint; however, there is very little room offstage, in the trap room or in the orchestra pit,” adds Harada.

“The orchestra is split over four different locations. The mix position is also in a not-so-ideal location at the back of the mezzanine — essentially in another acoustic space. Speaker positions were also a challenge as the theatre was designed well before sound reinforcement was a prominent fixture, but we’ve come up with a good selection of equipment to give the show the system it needs. Fortunately, Masque Sound had most of the equipment that I wanted for the show and purchased some other items that I couldn’t do without.”

For Allegiance, Masque Sound supplied a custom audio equipment package that included a Studer Vista 5 SR digital console as well as a large assortment of Meyer Sound and d&b loudspeakers, which Harada chose for their sound quality and comfort level.

The package features a full surround system and several subwoofers located in as many places as possible, as it was important to have the ability to reproduce some very low-end sound effects. Masque Sound also supplied 30 Sennheiser SK 5212 transmitters and EM 1046 receivers. Sound effects are run via QLab 3.

“As usual, Masque Sound was very supportive and great to work with,” adds Harada.

“As with other shows, Masque Sound sent Gary Stocker to consult with us at the theatre for our Studer Vista 5 SR console system, and to make sure that everything provided was working as smoothly as possible. In addition, my team, including front of house mixer Liz Coleman, A2 Jana Hoglund, production sound Phil Lojo [responsible for installing the system according to Harada’s specs] and assistant sound designer Stephanie Celustka, all worked very hard and did a wonderful job. The show sounds great and I am very proud of it.”

Masque Sound

Posted by House Editor on 12/01 at 12:33 PM
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Monday, November 30, 2015

Chesapeake College Upgrades To Yamaha QL5 Digital Audio Console

Convergent Technologies Design Group overhauls the Todd Performing Arts Center with new audio system.

The Todd Performing Arts Center (TPAC) at Chesapeake College in Wye Mills, MD recently upgraded its 903-seat theatre audio system thanks to the efforts of Convergent Technologies Design Group of Baltimore.

Chesapeake issued an RFP for design services, and Convergent won the project which includes a new Yamaha QL5 digital console.

The company began working on campus for the new Center for Allied Health and Athletics, previous experience designing systems similar to TPAC, and resumes of individual Convergent designers, all secured the project. Local contractor, Lee Hartman and Sons, handled the install and rigging of the new system.

The Todd Performing Arts Center (TPAC) runs the gamut in productions held there including three concerts per season by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, in association with the Mid-Shore Symphony Society.

“The existing audio system was installed in the 1990’s, and sounded poor with limited dynamic range and inadequate seating coverage,” states company principal and project manager, Bill Holaday. 

“There was very low, available SPL for program audio, limited speech intelligibility, and the system was prone to feedback. Feeds to stage were noisy and an old analog mixer lacking features, but creating a high noise floor added to the need for change. The pre-function space was also unintelligible. And, without any networking connections, such as Dante, Chesapeake College knew the system was in need of an immediate upgrade.”

The decision was made to install a Dante-enabled Yamaha QL5 digital audio console (purchased through Lee Hartman and Sons in Baltimore) and Bose speaker system to address the theatre issues. The QL5 is equipped with MY8-DA96 and MY8-AD96 cards.

A Community speaker system was added to the pre-function room. The system also includes products from Middle Atlantic, Shure, ClearCom, and others and was designed and installed under the direction of Paul Corraine, principal in charge.

“We wanted a console that could satisfy visiting touring engineers from a learning curve perspective, familiarity, and flexibility, so the QL was the way to go, states Corraine, Dante was required for the system because we wanted the same flexibility at the stage as well as at the mix position.” The I/O comes out of the Yamaha QL at front of house and into the pre-function area for pre-event music, etc.

Corraine said the Bose system was chosen for the theater because of the challenge they faced in finding a system that would provide an even coverage solution for the theater that consists of 25 ft. ceilings, and that would provide good intelligibility while maintaining the building’s architecture.

“I had heard great reviews on the new pattern-able boxes for the front of house area, he said. The shape of the room really lent itself to the boxes, which were modeled down to one db between every seat in the house with a very high, intelligible SPL.

The Community speakers with Lab Gruppen amps work well to provide a big sound and even pattern in the pre-function room,” Corraine adds.

“I found working with Convergent easy and exciting.” states Richard Peterson, CFE executive director.

“We were on the “same page” almost immediately with the needs of the Todd Performing Arts Center’s audio system. They listened to my explanations of how the hall is used and what audio issues we have had since the facility opened in 1997. Convergent suggested some alterations for the system and when they came back to us with the proposal of installing the BOSE Room-Array system with the Yamaha QL5, I was sure we had the right team for this project. It is a perfect match. I have worked on quite a few renovations and new construction projects in various venues during my career; I must say this one has been easy, successful as well as smooth from concept through installation.

“Dick Peterson, executive director at TPAC, and I shared the same vision as to what would work best for the theater and pre-function space which was carefully thought out, and we were both quite pleased with the outcome,” Corraine notes.


Posted by House Editor on 11/30 at 03:53 PM
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Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum Goes With Bose Professional

L1 Compact portable line array sound systems support tour guides and galleries which feature period musical pieces.

Bose Professional L1 Compact line array systems were recently installed at the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum in Auburn, IN to enhance the experience of visitors.

The facility brings together some of the best examples of American automotive craftsmanship from the Duesenberg and Cord marques, with over 120 automobiles and related artifacts as well as a wealth of historic information about the cars and the people who built them in the early part of the 20th century.

The seven new L1 Compact systems, sold and commissioned by Sweetwater Sound (Ft. Wayne, IN) reinforce period musical pieces played in various galleries and other sections of the museum.

“The music makes a huge difference in this museum; it really adds to the experience,” says Kenny Bergle, senior sales engineer with Sweetwater. “It was also crucial how that music was delivered. This is a National Historic Landmark building, including the interior showroom being listed in the National Register of Historic Places, so we did not want to use any installed-sound systems that would be hung from the walls or run wire or conduit. We needed a portable system with sound quality equal to what’s available in an installed speaker.”

“Also,” he continues, “sound must fill the spaces completely without being too loud or obtrusive, and some of the galleries are oddly shaped, so coverage in some of them could be challenging. Any sound components we used had to aesthetically fit into a museum that celebrates beautiful design.” 

The L1 Compact system has a small footprint that allows it to be positioned as needed and unobtrusively do its job in the museum’s architecturally diverse galleries. “This museum is all about design, and the L1 Compact system fits perfectly with the sleek lines of these elegant cars,” adds Bergle, adding that the systems also provide intelligible spoken-word audio for tours.

“Plus, the Bose L1 system is famous for its resistance to feedback, which is important as the tour guides will often walk directly in front of the speakers as they give their lectures,” says Bergle. “They never have to think about that, which means they can concentrate on the history. That’s what a museum is all about. Bose takes the worry out of it.”

“We’re among the top automobile museums in the world, and we feel music adds greatly to the beautiful and educational experiences of every visitor celebrating our nation’s deep automotive heritage,” observes Laura Brinkman, executive director and CEO of the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum. She was sold on the idea of using the Bose L1 Compact portable line-array sound system to deliver that music because she’s already a huge fan of the brand, enjoying music at home on her Bose Wave music system, and she’s more than pleased with the result.

“I’m impressed with how glorious and clear the L1 Compacts sound throughout the museum’s galleries. Each gallery has a different music style, so the separation and accurate dispersion patterns of the L1 Compacts were a critical design element to prevent spillover of one style of music into the adjacent galleries with other styles of music happening.”

Bose Professional

Posted by House Editor on 11/30 at 03:29 PM
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Martin Audio MLA Supports Pope Francis For 50,000 In Italy

Amandla Productions and All Access deploy 132 Martin Audio cabinets in Florence’s Artemio Franchi Municipal Stadium

More than 50,000 people assembled in Florence’s Artemio Franchi Municipal Stadium on November 10 to welcome Pope Francis on his short Italian tour, to mark the Fifth National Congress of the Italian Church.

The Holy Father celebrated Mass accompanied by a 400-piece orchestra, a giant chorus of 1,037 people, and an expertly designed Martin Audio MLA system to distribute the message to the faithful who had flocked to the stadium.

No fewer than 132 Martin Audio cabinets were deployed across the stadium — provided by Lucca based Amandla Productions, while the All Access consortium, of which Amandla is a founding member, supplied the Martin Audio MLA loudspeaker array.

The success of the event was due to the close cooperation between the technical managers of the respective companies, Wolfgang May for Amandla Productions and Paul ‘Red’ Talami for All Access.

David Lapini, owner of Amandla Productions, said: “The event was very successful, thanks to close cooperation between the mangement and production teams, which is always required to assess the feasibility of changes requested directly from the Vatican.

“The Pope is extremely accommodating when those who work with him have to change the logistics of his movements.”

Lapini added that the sound system, co-designed and managed by May and Talami, had proved hugely popular. “We received compliments from many industry experts, which was a source of great pride and satisfaction for our company,”  he said.

The system was based around a main PA consisting of two arrays of 16 Martin Audio MLA including, two Martin Audio MLD Downfill boxes, while 12 W8LC Compact Line Array enclosures for outfills were suspended from each stage wing, including Downfills. Finally, 18 Martin Audio W8LM Mini Line Array enclosures took care of frontfill duties.

“Under the main hang we mounted a further six Martin Audio MLX subs on each side,” continued Talami. “Although not strictly necessary for the ceremony itself, they came into their own with the resumption of the orchestra—particularly the organ and percussion—and they were aesthetically appealing.”

Set 262 ft. from the stage were two delay towers, composed of 8 + 8 Martin Audio MLA in line with the main PA, whereas for the curved front of the stage, they installed three stacks of six Martin Audio W8LC on 11.5 ft. towers—set at a distance of 575 ft. from the stage. The curve behind the stage was covered with four stacks, each containing six Martin Audio W8LC.

The music program in the curve ‘backstage’ had a dedicated mixing position to avoid drop off and feedback, given that two of the four W8LC stacks were adjacent to the choir and orchestra.

“It was really satisfying to have received praise from production, for what we achieved at an event of this magnitude,” concludes Talami. “I would like to thank all the technicians, both from All Access and Amandla Productions, who made this audio production so impeccable, in particular Wolfgang May, Vittorio Magro, Tonio Gargano, Andrea Frassy Marco Zaffuto, Mirco Lenzi and Paul Marradi.”

In addition to the sound, Amandla Productions were also responsible for the video in the Franchi stadium, as well as lighting on the main stage and the many mega-screens installed in the streets of Florence and the Stadium Luigi Ridolfi—into which the Pope had flown earlier that day—which allowed the city to be able to follow the event direct.


Martin Audio

Posted by House Editor on 11/30 at 12:34 PM
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msm Studio Group Upgrades To Dolby Atmos With PMC

Munich-based facility adds IB2S and DB1S loudspeakers for surround sound mixing with the new audio format

Media production company msm Studio Group has expanded its studio and services in Munich, Germany, to offer the immersive Dolby Atmos format with PMC.

Opened in 1991, msm has been a PMC user for many years, with the company’s MB2S, IB2S and DB1S loudspeakers installed throughout the facility.

As well as working daily with clients such as Universal Music, Deutsche Grammophon and Sony Music, msm has grown from a CD mastering facility into a complex that now also offers DVD and Blu-ray mastering and audio/video postproduction.

“We have two mastering rooms (one in stereo and one in 5.1), a smaller editing and QC room and a home cinema style studio that has full HD projection,” says msm founder and managing director Stefan Bock.

“We also have facilities for video editing, colour grading and Blu-ray/ DVD authoring.”

For several years msm has been pioneering Pure Audio Blu-ray, an audio-only format that utilises Blu-ray discs to deliver high resolution stereo and multichannel audio. The success of Pure Audio, ciombined with client demand for immersive formats, led Bock and his team to expand msm’s current 7.1 cinema room into a 9.1+4 Dolby Atmos environment .

“We have been dealing with immersive audio formats for the last two years, especially in the context of Pure Audio Blu-ray, and we have been really excited by these developments,” Bock says.

“Last November we contacted Dolby to discuss how to turn our home cinema studio into a Dolby Atmos Mixing suite and we have now completed this project. It is amazing how excellent the room sounds.”

msm’s cinema room now houses PMC IB2S three way loudspeakers for the L, C, R channels and DB1S speakers for the surround and height channels. Designed by acoustician Jochen Veith and driven by a ProControl desk with Trinnov Altitude for monitoring and decoding, msm’s cinema room was always an impressive sounding space. However, since the Atmos upgrade Stefan has grown even fonder of the studio.

“I love the room,” he says. “It’s hard to leave, and I have to admit that I’m now getting a bit bored if the mix is only 5.1…”


Posted by House Editor on 11/30 at 11:15 AM
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American Reformed Church Outfits New Worship Center With Danley

Audio Video Electronics specifies SH-60 and SH-95 loudspeakers for new 800-seat facility.

Way back in 1955 American Reformed Church held its first service with just thirty families in the lovely city of Luverne, located in the extreme southwest corner of Minnesota. After decades of steady growth, the now vastly-larger congregation recently completed construction on a new eight hundred-seat worship center.

Twin Cities-based Audio Video Electronics (AVE) selected loudspeakers from Danley Sound Labs for the project.

The architect for the project was Architecture, based is Sioux Falls, SD with Derrick Knight, Derrick Knight Acoustics, as acoustician.

“American Reformed Church is definitely big into music,” said Stefan Svärd, owner and president of AVE.

“They have a progressive, contemporary worship style, but their old sanctuary had a distributed system that didn’t have a lot of impact. They were looking forward to getting a great sound system with their new worship center, and it really helped that they invited us to the project early in its development.”

Citing sound quality, pattern control, and amp-channel-saving passive crossovers, AVE specified Danley Sound Labs SH-60 and SH-95 loudspeakers.

“I’ve been a fan and supporter of Tom Danley’s designs for a long time,” said Svärd.

“At American Reformed Church, we needed great pattern control to deliver great speech intelligibility. Moreover, we could close-pack the Danley boxes with the assurance that they would operate acoustically like a single point source, that is, without any comb filtering that would mess with the system’s clarity and fidelity. The Danley design was also cost effective – where other manufacturer’s boxes require bi- or tri-amplification, each efficient Danley box only needs a single amp channel.”

AVE gave American Reformed Church a stereo sound reinforcement system comprised of two Danley clusters. Each cluster contains two Danley SH-60s for main coverage and a single Danley SH-95 for down fill. A Yamaha LS9 console provides the necessary user control, with QSC processing and amplification providing the back-end support.

“Their budget didn’t leave room for subwoofers,” explained Svärd. “Nevertheless, the SH-60s provide respectable low end by themselves.”

Another nice feature of the system is a client-inspired trough that runs the length of the stage. Paneling covers the trough, and small holes allow cables to seemingly disappear into the stage floor. “It’s an usually-clean looking stage,” said Svärd.

The LED lighting, designed and installed by Architecture is stunning inside, as well as outside. In the evening, the large cross behind the stage is illuminated by holes in the wall, which are niched with recessed lighting. That same lighting provides a striking visual of the church wall from the outside, as well. During the day, those same holes allow sunlight to stream in around the cross. Two rear-projection systems flank the cross and provide bold visuals to accompany the church’s impactful sound reinforcement.

Danley Sound Labs

Posted by House Editor on 11/30 at 10:38 AM
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