Monday, April 29, 2013
Duran Audio Announces 2-Day AXYS European Training Course
Duran Audio will be running a two day training course at Duran Audio BV’s R&D facility, Zaltbommel, The Netherlands on May 14-15, 2013.
Duran Audio will be running a two day training course at Duran Audio BV’s R&D facility, Zaltbommel, The Netherlands on May 14-15, 2013.
These two days are aimed at consultants, sound system designers, installers and users who wish to learn more about AXYS products and software. Both days involve a combination of presentations, demonstrations and practical activities. There will also be some “free time” set aside for attendees to experiment with the products.
Day one will focus on the highly successful AXYS Intellivox range. The Intellivox range, first introduced in 1996, was the pioneer of beam steering. AXYS Intellivox units have been installed in Airports, Atriums, Railway Stations, Shopping Malls, Theatres, Concert Halls, Museums, and many more difficult acoustic environments all over the world to provide highly intelligible speech reproduction in environments.
Day two will focus on how to successfully design and commission systems based on Intellivox products.
Attendees will not only learn how to design systems using the AXYS DDA (Digital Directivity Analysis) modelling software but they will then have the opportunity to re-create this design. We will also focus on the incredibly successful AXYS Sound Reinforcement range including the revolutionary Beam Shaping Sub Woofer technology.
TEC Foundation Joins NAMM
Move ensures TEC’s long-term growth and stability, while strengthening NAMM’s commitment to the pro audio, live sound and recording segments
The TEC Foundation for Excellence in Audio has formally entered into an agreement to become part of the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM), strengthening the important work of both non-profits and the NAMM Show.
All TEC activities, including the Technical Excellence & Creativity Awards, will join other marquee activities, events and efforts within the NAMM Foundation portfolio including the Museum of Making Music, research projects, the SupportMusic Coalition and global public service campaigns.
The NAMM Foundation will present the annual TEC Awards event starting in 2014. The Awards, which honor outstanding achievement in audio technology and production, were founded in 1985 and have been held at the NAMM Show since 2011, with NAMM as the presenting sponsor.
NAMM Show exhibitors will now find even more value in the show as this arrangement strengthens the pro audio, live sound and recording segments of the NAMM Show.
“The inclusion of TEC within the NAMM Foundation further unites the important technical and creative communities within the music industry in a way that authentically showcases both worlds,” said Joe Lamond, president and CEO of NAMM. “This relationship will strengthen the NAMM Show by bringing more of the key stakeholders from pro audio, live sound and recording together with other segments of the music industry every January.”
In addition to the TEC Awards, the NAMM Foundation will oversee TEC Foundation activities including the Les Paul Award and other philanthropic activities designed to support and grow the pro audio, live sound and recording world.
“TEC’s partnership with NAMM has not only raised the bar artistically for the TEC Awards, but also highlighted the importance of audio technology to music-making in the twenty-first century,” said TEC Foundation president, Hillel Resner. “TEC is committed to continuing to support the pro audio world and related constituencies as part of the dynamic NAMM environment throughout the years to come.”
Highlights of the TEC Awards include the TEC Awards Hall of Fame recognizing producers, engineers and other technical professionals; the Les Paul Award honoring famed musical artists, including past winners Pete Townshend, Stevie Wonder and Bruce Springsteen; and the TECnology Hall of Fame recognizing inventors, audio products and innovations that have made a significant contribution to the advancement of audio technology.
Martin ShowDesigner (MSD) Demo Version Now Available
Lighthouse of Holland has made available for download a demo version of Martin Professional's ShowDesigner (MSD) lighting and set design software package.
Lighthouse of Holland has made available for download a demo version of Martin Professional’s ShowDesigner (MSD) lighting and set design software package.
The demo version can be used without the need for a Martin One-Key and is available at here.
The MSD demo version contains a ready-to-use scene that matches Martin’s M-PC training show file. After a simple registration, the user gets a license immediately. Connection to the MSD demo version can be made via a Martin M-PC or LightJockey as well as Artnet.
Audix Announces New Guitar Amp Miking Solutions For Stage Or Studio
Audix is pleased to introduce two new affordable, flexible and convenient solutions for miking a guitar amp in live or recording applications.
Audix is pleased to introduce two new affordable, flexible and convenient solutions for miking a guitar amp in live or recording applications. With the new Cabi5 and Cabf5 kits, Audix’s already popular dynamic cardioid instrument microphones are now bundled with the revolutionary CabGrabber microphone mounting system.
Each pack contains either an i5 or f5 instrument microphone, mic clip and the CabGrabber mic mounting system. CabGrabber is a spring-loaded mic support that grips cabinets from the side or top with soft rubber pads. It mounts in seconds - no tools required - and repositioning is quick and easy.
A curved arm and locking choke assure accurate and repeatable mic placement. Final adjustment is made with the mic clip’s angle. (The optional ‘Boom CG’ allows for even more placement flexibility.) Integrated cable clips keep everything neat and secure.
“Guitarists go to all lengths to create their own unique tone; from the choice of instrument, pick-ups, strings, amp, settings, pedals and so on,” explains VP of Marketing, Cliff Castle. “With the Audix CabGrabber and mic packs, the guitarists control the final step to managing their tone; a choice of microphones, the opportunity to experiment to determine the preferred mic placement and a secure system for stage or studio that they can then give to the sound guys.”
“I’ve had a guitarist’s sound go bad during a live show,” adds Peter Moshay, FOH mixer for Hall & Oates. “When I can see all of the stage, I can maybe see that someone has tripped over the amp’s mic stand and that the mic is moved or knocked over, but many times I can’t see what’s happened and I can’t really do anything about it.
“With the Audix CabGrabber system these problems just go away. And I love the i5!”
The packaged CabGrabber can accommodate guitar cabinets from 8’-inch to 14-inch deep and can mount to recessed, flush or slanted designs. The soft rubber pads protect cabinet finishes. The optional CabGrabberXL accommodates larger cabinets 14-20-inches deep, including bass amps.
The Audix i5 dynamic cardioid mic can handle up to 144 dB SPL, 50Hz - 16kHz. With tailored frequency and polar response patterns and the ability to perform in high volume applications, the i5 is a natural choice for guitar amp use.
The affordable f5 dynamic hypercardioid mic, with a tight pattern control and performance up to 136dB, 55Hz -15kHz, is a great choice for guitarists on a budget. Both microphones are constructed of a precision cast zinc alloy body, steel mesh grill and black finish.
MSRP for the Cabi5 is $190. The Cabf5 pack is $150. Both kits are available through authorized Audix retailers.
Alibrani Takes Post-Production Out-Of-The Box With DiGiCo
Engineer Vinnie Alibrandi has found a new use for his DiGiCo SD11 console in the post-production world.
The 19-inch rackmountable mixer, which has typically ended up on small tour riders and install gigs where small but powerful were the major requirements, proved to be the perfect solution for Alibrandi to handle mastering duties in the studio.
Alibrandi, who is a Post Production Engineer at the Capitol Christian Music Group, also engineers at FOH at Nashville’s HopePark Church on the weekends.
Two of the artists he recently mastered for Radio, iTunes, and CDs charted at #1 on the iTunes Christian Gospel charts: Tye Tribbett, with the single “If He Did It Before (Same God)”, and Tasha Cobbs’ album Grace (plus the single “Break Every Chain”).
Alibrandi will be also be mastering CeCe Winan’s ICON album (coming in July) on the newly named Gospel Motown label.
“The concept of mastering is expanding into the film world of using ‘stems’ for surround and I found that the DiGiCo SD11 served as a fantastic mastering centerpiece,” he explains. “It’s well suited to mastering for its center section layout.
“With the same engine as DiGiCo’s larger-format consoles, the SD11 offers built-in multi-band compression, snapshot automation (including effects allow for a more efficient automation vs. the linear method that DAWs use), plus having the ability to allow any of its many channels to become true stereo channels, surround channels, or custom-built multi-channels, is unparalleled.”
Mastering has become an important step for Alibrandi in the process of readying CCMG’s songs for broadcast consideration.
“We value the sonic difference between our mixes and our masters. Sometimes a song ‘comes to life’ in the mastering and even though the music may be used just as a ‘bed’ track underneath dialogue, we still want the artistic statement that our artists signed off on, preserved.
“The team that I work with has the opportunity to coordinate mastering instrumental tracks, and at times, mastering in-house along with co Post Production Engineer Bryan Raitt. I believe it helps the film or TV show have a more meaningful impact when the underlying vibe is as impacting as the dialogue and the sound effects. The SD11 allows us the freedom to let the music dictate what to do with the gear; not the other way around.”
At Capitol CMG, the in-house Post Production group also works directly with its artists on acoustic videos for YouTube/Vevo.
“In the fall of 2012, I multi-tracked, mixed, and mastered acoustic music videos for our label group artists. Acoustic videos can be challenging because of ambient mic bleed. I have learned a lot about Izotope RX, an amazing application that lets you erase sounds that are usually thought to be permanent, such as random noises from the set even continuous underlay sounds such as air conditioning noise.
“It’s also a life saver for any post work where the source was captured in the field. The SD11 is an amazing counterpart to any DAW especially via MADI allowing 56 channels of audio to flow to and from the console (with word/house sync) and its layer and banks allow the engineer to quickly move from channel 1 to channel 32 without scrolling.”
Alibrandi’s independent mastering company, Mastering.me, has also handled audio post on the SD11 for a few independent films, namely Alex Dreaming by Dane Dakota.
“With so many new amateur film makers out there with newly purchased HD cameras, there also exists a huge potential for post audio work. The obstacle most of these ventures run into is in capturing audio that’s as stunning as the video. Great field recording is a paradox. With so many ‘clean up’ tools available some amateur filmmakers either try to ‘fix it in the mix’ or say, ‘I meant it to sound edgy or raw.’
“I have found that once you get a client hooked on quality, there’s no going back. Just having the single function of total recall on a center section style console like the SD11 on your desk is more than helpful. When working with indie films—or indie anything—having the ability to save and recall the entire state of your studio with date codes is, again, a time saver and a project saver.”
“Around the office at Capitol CMG,” sums Alibrandi, “I am know as an ‘outside of the box’ thinker. I just really like to make the music sound open and alive. Mastering outside of the box with the SD11—besides giving me a second chance with my ‘upper transient bit resolution’—is just more fun!”
Watch Alibrandi’s pilot podcast, “Let Them Hear Music & Mastering”.
Posted by Julie Clark on 04/29 at 11:10 AM
Friday, April 26, 2013
Lectrosonics Wireless Technology Deployed On “Big Brother Canada”
Big Brother Canada relies upon wireless microphones systems from Lectrosonics.
Reality TV is all the rage these days and one of the most enduring shows of this genre is Big Brother. With Big Brother Canada, a group of contestants, known as HouseGuests, are sequestered in the Big Brother House, under the surveillance of cameras and microphones.
Each week, the HouseGuests vote to evict one of their own until two HouseGuests remain on finale night. The winner is decided by the last seven evicted HouseGuests, known as the Big Brother Jury.
Capturing the interactions of the contestants is a key element of the show and, for audio, much of the responsibility lies in the wireless microphones—all of which rely on Lectrosonics’ Digital Hybrid Wireless technology.
P.A. Plus Productions of Toronto is the equipment rental provider for Big Brother Canada, which is produced by Insight Productions, one of Canada’s foremost production companies.
Adrian Sterling and Robert Kennedy—both of P.A. Plus Productions—have been actively involved with the show’s equipment, providing nineteen Lectrosonics WM series watertight beltpack transmitters and three fully stocked Venue VRMWB wideband receiver mainframes outfitted with VRT receiver modules.
“One of the challenges we had to consider during pre-production was that there would be no audio personnel allowed near the talent during the run of the show,” Adrian Sterling, audio systems operations manager for P.A. Plus Productions, explains. “The durable build quality of the WM packs were a big seller for us, as they are in use 24/7.
“The fact that they are watertight—with a watertight connector—sealed the deal and we hope to make use of this feature on future projects.”
“Since we have no access to the cast, we needed a very robust transmitter,” said Dave Vanderploeg, one of the audio mixers on the project and the RF technician for Big Brother Canada. “The Lectrosonics WM transmitters have exceeded our expectations, by far.
“The transmitters have been submerged in water numerous times and not once has there been an issue. They have been dropped, dragged, and generally abused far beyond what would be considered normal for a ‘standard’ television production. We are extremely happy with how robust they are.”
“As for battery life,” added Sterling, “the WM’s are exceptional. These transmitters are capable of 250 mw of transmit power for a duration of 7.5 hours, which makes them a very good tool for anyone’s wireless kit.
“The cast changes their own batteries and they were able to pick this up very quickly. The fact that the transmitters continue to operate on a single battery has proved to be a really useful feature, as we have uninterrupted audio, even during battery changes.”
Sterling was equally complimentary of Lectrosonics customer / technical support services, “Dealing with Colin and Joe from Lectrosonics Canada has been a good experience for P.A. Plus.
“Lectrosonics is a new product line for us and their expertise and knowledge has been very helpful in guiding us when making choices regarding accessories and deployment. We look forward to interfacing with the Lectrosonics team in the future as we expand our inventory.”
With Big Brother Canada up and running on the Slice network, a division of Global TV/Shaw Communications, Vanderploeg summarized his experience with the Lectrosonics systems.
“The RF performance of the Lectrosonics gear has been rock-solid,” he said. “We’ve been able to run at the lowest power setting (50 mW) and have not had a single dropout throughout the first several weeks of the show.
“We couldn’t be happier! It’s clear to me that the technology behind these systems is in a league of its own and the ‘extra effort’ put into the designs pays off handsomely—especially for a mission-critical production such as Big Brother.”
Posted by Julie Clark on 04/26 at 01:11 PM
Danley Anchors Performing Arts Center At Community College
The new performing arts center at Finger Lakes Community College features sound reinforcement from a system comprised of Danley SoundLabs loudspeakers and subwoofers.
Given its exceptional faculty and its extensive facilities for Music and Music Recording Technology, the Finger Lakes Community College in Canandaigua, New York is rare among community colleges.
The campus is home to the Constellation Brands-Marvin Sands Performing Arts Center (CMAC), a popular outdoor venue that seats 5,000, and a John Storyk-designed recording studio.
Recently, the school committed to building a new Student Life Center building, which, among many other amenities, includes a 410-seat Performing Arts Center and a smaller multipurpose room with flexible seating.
The performing arts center is acoustically- and technologically-flexible and capable of effectively delivering acoustic music, high-SPL rock, and everything in-between. Both rooms rely on Danley Sound Labs loudspeakers and subwoofers to convey high-fidelity sound reinforcement with precise pattern control.
“It was only after we had designed the room for acoustic music that the school added high SPL amplified music to the list of requirements,” explained Seth Waltz, principal of AVL Designs (Penfield, New York). “It was originally designed as a classic recital hall, and we did all of the acoustic work with that in mind. Our initial plan called for a small central cluster of loudspeakers that would be used strictly for voice reinforcement.
“But then they changed things and wanted to be able to accommodate rock bands and dramatic theater. So we had to move backwards, working around the acoustics and the lighting positions that were already in place.”
JMZ Architects (Glens Falls, New York) led the project, and AVL Designs designed the acoustics, rigging, lighting, video, and sound reinforcement for both rooms. Platinum Sound (Victor, New York) installed the audio and video systems, and BMI Supply installed the rigging and lighting.
“Given the new requirements, we had to find a very well-controlled loudspeaker that would keep energy off the walls and ceiling, yet deliver tremendous SPL with audiophile fidelity,” said Waltz. “Because of sight lines, lighting positions, and the geometry of the room, a line array was out of the question.
“Danley Sound Labs’ Synergy Horn technology was the obvious, and perhaps only choice.”
AVL designed stereo clusters mounted at either edge of the proscenium, each composed of a Danley SH-64 with a Danley SH-95 for downfill. Four Danley TH-112 subwoofers support the low end from below the stage.
A Digidesign Venue SC48 sits at FOH and feeds an Ashly ne24.24M modular I/O processor configured four eight inputs and sixteen outputs.
“In terms of sound quality for the dollar, I love the Ashly processors,” said Waltz. “The Ashly ne24.24M is the perfect FOH processor.”
A pair of four-channel Lab.gruppen c48:4s power the Danley TH-112 subwoofers and the Danley SH-64 loudspeakers, and a c28:4 powers the SH-95s. Crestron control integrates all of the A/V system functionality and lights. A high-definition Christie Digital LX1500 projector illuminates a Da-Lite 270-inch screen for cinema-quality video, and ETC lighting with 192 channels of dimming allow for flexible and dramatic staging.
The design goal was not merely to make the Performing Arts Center acceptable for a wide range of music and performances, but to make it excellent across that range. Because they have such low distortion and because it is largely independent of the output volume, the Danley loudspeakers and subwoofers contribute significantly toward that goal.
Going further, AVL Designs incorporated a Yamaha AFC electronic reverberation system for the room. A series of sixteen hidden microphones feed a processing engine that outputs to approximately forty hidden loudspeakers with small subwoofers built in. Using the Yamaha system, the room’s reverb can be adjusted between 1 and 2.5 seconds.
Although much smaller in scope, the multipurpose room was the first space in which the college’s discriminating faculty had an opportunity to hear Danley loudspeakers installed. A pair of Danley SH-100Bs provide stereo output with integrated subwoofer support.
“The faculty – and these are all veteran recording engineers – were blown away by the Danley SH-100Bs,” said Waltz. “And when these people say that they like the way a loudspeaker sounds, it really means something!”
A Yamaha 24-channel digital console feeds another Ashly ne24.24M, this time configured as 8x12. A QSC PLX 3102 amplifier powers the system.
Danley Sound Labs
Yamaha And NEXO Play Key Role In Gary Allan Tour Stop
GEO S12 arrays driven by NXAMP amplifiers, joined by PM5000 console
For a tour stop on the current Gary Allan concert tour at the American Music Venue in Lancaster, PA, Bauder Audio of Horsham, PA supplied NEXO GEO S12 line arrays. The tour is also carrying a Yamaha PM5000 console, supplied by Sound Image of Nashville.
Specifically, the system included 24 NEXO GEO S12s over eight RS18 Ray Subs were all powered and processed with NXAMP4X4 amplifiers.
“Besides the fact that the GEO S12 sounds great, it is easy to set up which makes for a quick load in,” states Bauder Audio systems engineer Tom Hogle. “NEXO continues to manufacturer studio monitors for large venues,” adds Chris “Sully” Sullivan, front of house engineer for the tour.
Monitor engineer Jason Spence specified the PM5000 console for the tour. “We had options and, in fact, listened to other consoles,” Spence notes. “However, after listening to the 5K, Gary and the band chose to go analog. The production requirements did not necessitate a digital mixer so we went with the PM5000.”
Yamaha & NEXO
Soundcraft’s Mixing With Professionals Series Coming To Dallas On May 15
Sessions to be lead by Ken Newman, long-time engineer for Barry Manilow
Soundcraft continues its Mixing with Professionals (MwP) educational series with a stop in Dallas this coming May 15. MwP offers tips and tricks about using Soundcraft Vi Series consoles from some of live sound’s most accomplished engineers.
Ken Newman, front of house engineer for Barry Manilow and owner of Newman Audio will conduct the Dallas sessions. Currently on tour with Manilow, Newman has done live sound for Chris Isaak, Anita Baker, Stevie Nicks, Liza Minnelli, Paul Anka and other top performers. No stranger to a front of house console, He’s mixed sound since 1972.
Newman will give MwP attendees in-depth training on the Soundcraft Vi Series consoles in a classroom atmosphere that allows plenty of hands-on training. If participants bring a USB stick they can save their settings and take them on the road for their next gig, or keep working on their settings using the Soundcraft Virtual Vi offline editors, which is available free on the Soundcraft website.
“I really enjoy doing the Soundcraft Mixing with Professionals seminars and so do the attendees, who learn a lot about using the Vi Series consoles in the real-world of live performance,” said Newman. “There’s no console I’d rather have in front of me than a Soundcraft Vi6—it puts everything I need at my fingertips and let’s me handle the most demanding live mixing situations with complete assurance.”
The upcoming May 15 MwP sessions will be held at Dobbs Stanford Corporation, 2715 Electronic Lane in Dallas. Two time slots will be available from 9 am – Noon and from 2 pm – 6 pm.
Waves Audio GEQ Graphic Equalizer Plug-In Now Available
Offers both Classic and Modern mono and stereo componentstarget="_blank"
Waves Audio announces the availability of its new GEQ graphic equalizer plug-in. Developed primarily for live users (but also suitable for the studio as well), Waves GEQ is graphic equalizer plug-in with both Classic and Modern mono and stereo components, offering 30 ISO bands plus high- and low-pass filters, a precision floating parametric EQ bell filter, and a real-time analyzer.
GEQ Classic components use traditional proportional Q filters inspired by renowned DN Series 1/3-octave equalizers, which narrow the filter width as a band’s gain is increased; GEQ Modern components utilize special Flat-Top filters, which eliminate the artifacts associated with band interaction, and provide perfect plateau and stair-stepped responses.
Users can set band gains one-by-one, or draw their curve via touch-screen or mouse. And, GEQ’s integrated real-time analyzer lets users compare the difference between two sources.
—30 ISO bands with selectable 6, 12 & 18 dB scales
—Independent HPF, LPF and parametric bells per side
—Classic component with Proportional Q filters
—Modern component with non-interactive Flat-Top filters
Graphic EQ Section:
—SCALE controls the maximum range of GEQ faders.
—Q functions as a multiplier for the proportional Q algorithm.
—ISO FADERS control the gain of selected frequency centers.
—DRAG selects the method of setting the band faders.
—LINK relatively links left and right channels, including all bands, high and low pass filters, floating Parametric Bell EQ and Master Gain settings.
—FLAT snaps all bands to 0 dB.
Floating Parametric EQ Section:
—HP activates the high pass filter.
—HP FREQUENCY sets the cutoff frequency of the high pass filter.
—LP activates the low pass filter.
—LP FREQUENCY sets the cutoff frequency of the low pass filter.
—PARAMETRIC BELL activates the floating parametric bell filter.
—PARAMETRIC BELL FREQUENCY sets the cutoff frequency of the floating parametric bell filter.
—PARAMETRIC BELL GAIN controls the gain of the floating parametric bell filter.
—PARAMETRIC BELL Q determines the width of the floating parametric bell filter.
—MASTER GAIN controls the output level of the entire plugin.
—GRAPHIC DISPLAY/ANALYZER show the EQ curve, RTA1 and RTA2 input RMS frequency responses and the Difference between them.
—INPUT METER displays input level (peak) in dBFS.
—OUTPUT METER displays output level (peak) in dBFS.
—RTA1 assigns the first input to the real-time analyzer.
—RTA2 assigns the second input to the real-time analyzer.
—DIFFERENCE mode turns off the real-time analyzer and displays the difference in frequency response between RTA1 and RTA2.
—CALIB activates the Calibration mode which calibrates the analyzer.
—RTA1 & RTA2 FADERS are used to adjust and match the analyzer input levels.
—RTA RESPONSE sets the response time of the analyzer.
—RTA1 DELAY sets the alignment of RTA1 to RTA2.
The GEQ graphic equalizer plug-in is now available with a U.S. MSRP of $200, with a special introductory price of $99.
Marc Goossens Joins Meyer Sound As Business Development Manager, Installation Markets
Will serve as a key point of contact supporting principal players in the global installation market
Meyer Sound has appointed Marc Goossens to the newly created position of business development manager, installation markets.
Goossens will serve as a key point of contact supporting principal players in the global installation market, identifying growth opportunities and coordinate company efforts to ensure that consultants are equipped with the necessary tools for all stages of their Meyer Sound projects, from initial systems concept through to final commissioning and user training.
Working as part of the company’s sales team, Goossens will report to Antonio Zacarias, vice president of worldwide sales.
“Collaboration with consultants is pivotal to Meyer Sound’s ability to extend our presence in the installation market,” says Zacarias. “Marc has worked on some of the most complex AV systems, and brings with him invaluable technical expertise and industry knowledge that are sure to benefit our installation projects.”
Prior to Meyer Sound, Goossens was most recently senior vice president, CTO, and CIO at FUNA International Inc., which specializes in the design, integration, and project management of large scale and highly complex AV systems. Goossens was cofounder and CEO of TeleDimensions International Inc. (TDI) before it was merged with FUNA in 2007.
“I am thrilled to join Meyer Sound,” says Goossens. “The company’s innovative spirit and dedication to quality has been an inspiration during my 24 years as an active Meyer Sound user. Together with the team at the company, I look forward to supporting the installation community and helping to facilitate their project needs.”
Thursday, April 25, 2013
High End Systems Shines At SXSW 2013
High End Systems takes a unique approach to the SXSW festival, both in support of the visiting lighting designers and of the amazing Hype Hotel venue, which featured Passion Pit, Cold War Kids, Ra Ra Riot and 60 other performers at the transformed downtown space.
Held March 12-18 in Austin, the annual South By Southwest (SXSW) Music Conference has in recent years grown to encompass film and interactive media, but for many who travel to Texas, it’s all about the music.
With over 2,000 acts from 49 countries performing on over 100 stages, the capital city truly lives up to its’ moniker, ‘Live Music Capital Of The World’. And although SXSW’s focus remains on emerging talent, established artists now line up to play intimate showcases during the festival.
With Austin as home base, High End Systems takes a unique approach to the festival, both in support of the visiting lighting designers - many who are embracing the new Hog 4 console, and of the amazing Hype Hotel venue, which featured Passion Pit, Cold War Kids, Ra Ra Riot and 60 other performers at the transformed downtown space.
Sponsored by Taco Bell, Hype Hotel is the brainchild of MP3 blog aggregator Hype Machine.
Founder Anthony Volodkin explains, “The Hype Machine has worked in partnership with Taco Bell to create a diverse showcase of fantastic artists who have gained popularity on hypem.com, all under one roof in a raw space we created from the ground up.
“The huge amount of trust between the different teams in this partnership allowed us to create a remarkable experience that transformed excitement about music on the web into an intense live show.”
Hype Hotel sported an all High End rig of 14 TechnoArcs, six TechnoSpots, four intellaspots, eight SolaSpot LEDs, eight Trackspot Bolts, six DLVs and eight ShowGun 2.5’s, as well as the new Hog 4 and Playback Wing. Three Barco RLM W8 projectors and three Axon Media Servers rounded out the equipment specifications.
Hype Machine’s Production Designer for Hype Hotel is Brian H. Kim, Head of Lighting for Cirque Du Soleil’s Totem. With this wide mix of sources, Brian created a cornucopia of stunning lighting looks for the multitude of acts, resulting in what many attendees called ‘the best show in town’.
The LD says he loves using TechnoArcs for their ‘fat beam which is also really bright’, and that the eight ShowGuns were his secret weapon, adding ‘if you really want to punch through, the ShowGun is the fixture to use’.
“This was our eighth SXSW and our second Hype Hotel,” explains Event Producer Josh Rowe. “High End have been one of our trusted partners for the last five years, and always help us to create an incredible experience for both the attendees and the bands.
“Their equipment and support gives us the ability to provide world-class production for these bands, some of who have never played a real venue with professional lighting equipment.”
“Brian is the production expert,” continues Rowe, “and he’s the person I trust to create a masterpiece of visual art using this state-of-the-art gear. His talent amazes me; designing lighting for over 60 bands is quite a challenge in itself.
“With the flexibility of the HES fixtures, he did a fabulous job of creating unique visuals that people haven’t seen before, and also provided appropriate and sympathetic lighting for the many different styles represented at Hype Hotel.”
LD Marc Janowitz lit Jim James’ ‘Live In Austin’ showcase and several other headlining gigs with a Full Boar 3. He also headlined The Hype Hotel with Marc using the Hog 4 console. High End Systems fixtures and consoles were also in prominent display at the Moody Theatre, where resident LD Bryan Schrumpf used 40 intellaspots and a Full Boar console with expansion wing to illuminate the prestigious ‘ACL Live’ shows.
The 24 concerts included performances by John Fogerty, Green Day, Cirque du Soleil #EVOKE13, Divine Fits, Natalie Maines, Iron and Wine, Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings. Down the road, vintage techno met EDM when Deadmau5 (sans giant smiling mouse helmet) and DJ Richie Hawtin performed at Stubbs for the 2013 Interactive Closing Party, where LD John McGuire used 12 ShowPix fixtures and a Full Boar 3 desk to create gorgeous and trippy LED panel effects. The Smashing Pumpkins played an intimate but blistering set at Red Bull’s Sound Select, with LD Loz Upton providing his signature rich visual textures for the 90 minute show via a Wholehog 3 desk.
Reflecting on the 2013 SXSW experience, High End Systems National Sales Manager Craig Burross says “South By Southwest is such an amazing experience for the city of Austin, the festival attendees, the venue producers, performers, and production providers such as Olden Lighting, Ilios, Big House, Gemini and On Stage Systems.
“Everybody comes together to put on amazing shows in every nook and cranny possible. The professional camaraderie is just incredible, and High End Systems is very fortunate to be based in Austin, TX, and be able to participate in every single key SXSW showcase.”
High End Systems
Posted by Julie Clark on 04/25 at 11:40 AM
WorxAudio Installed At Grace Church
TrueLine X5i-P powered line array system delivers superior coverage and audio quality
As a dynamic United Methodist church with four campuses, Grace Church offers its congregation a blend of traditional and contemporary worship services.
In an effort to improve the audio quality in its sanctuary, the Cape Coral campus recently completed the installation of a new sound reinforcement system consisting of a WorxAudio compact line array system.
Cape Coral, FL-based Creative Sound Solutions, LLC, an AV design/build firm that handles audio, video, lighting, and acoustics for the commercial and church markets, was contracted to handle the installation of Grace Church’s new sound system.
After careful review of the facility and discussions with church management, Creative Sound Solutions’ owner Tony Flammia ultimately determined that the WorxAudio TrueLine X5i-P “All-In-One” Compact Line Array system made an ideal choice for the project.
“Grace Church offers its congregation both traditional and contemporary worship services,” Flammia explained. “For this reason, it was critically important that the new sound system be equally capable of delivering a high level of speech intelligibility and music reproduction.
“Featuring moveable seating designed to best accommodate the nature of its various services, the sanctuary measures 100 feet long by 60 feet wide with a Cathedral-type ceiling. The stage / pulpit area faces into the width of the room, so it was extremely important to deploy a loudspeaker system that provided broad horizontal dispersion. This is precisely what ultimately led us to install the TrueLine X5i-P.”
As an all-in-one, powered compact line array system, the WorxAudio TrueLine X5i-P incorporates five modules—each encompassing a medium format, 1-inch exit compression driver coupled to a stabilized proprietary FlatWave Former wave shaping device that delivers clear, penetrating high frequencies over a controlled coverage area.
Dual 8-inch cone transducers complement the high frequency components in each of the five modules within the enclosure. With a total of five high frequency drivers and ten bass drivers, the X5i-P delivers a horizontal pattern of 160 degrees and a vertical of 40 degrees.
“We suspended the system using WorxAudio’s X-MiniBeam 5 aluminum installation rigging grid,” says Flammia. “This system is designed expressly for the X5i-P line array and works very nicely—creating a clean, unencumbered appearance. Flown at a height of 18 feet at the bottom of the enclosure, this new system is a dramatic improvement over the church’s previous loudspeaker setup.
“The WorxAudio X5i-P was an upgrade from a multipoint source system, which had numerous dead spots and sounded thin. The single X5i-P with the built-in DSP amplifier enabled us to cover the entire sanctuary with one box and get a much fuller, far more natural sound.”
Creative Sound Solutions has deployed WorxAudio loudspeaker systems in a number of projects over the years.
“WorxAudio delivers a quality product at a fair price—and with far superior customer support,” he said. “Whenever I have questions, I get right through to someone who understands the products and knows how to get the most from them. This level of support makes all the difference when I’m working on a new project.”
The Grace Church installation took place in the fourth quarter of 2012 and the system was placed into service immediately thereafter. Since that time, Flammia reports the system is performing well.
“I’ve received numerous compliments about the new loudspeaker system,” Flammia said. “The X5i-P has a small footprint that doesn’t interfere with line-of-sight considerations, speech intelligibility is excellent, and music sounds big and full. Both church management and members of the congregations have expressed their appreciation of the sound quality. Finally, no matter where you sit, you can understand clearly.”
Clay Paky’s New A.LEDA Series Fixtures Hit The Luke Bryan Tour
Country singer Luke Bryan’s 20-city “Dirt Road Diaries Tour” has a lighting inventory that includes Clay Paky’s new A.LEDA Wash K10 and K5 LED moving heads provided by Elite Multimedia Productions.
Country singer Luke Bryan’s 20-city “Dirt Road Diaries Tour” may have a down-home name, but its lighting inventory includes some pretty cutting-edge equipment, including Clay Paky’s new A.LEDA Wash K10 and K5 LED moving heads provided by Elite Multimedia Productions.
The tour is using 12 K10 and 36 K5 fixtures as part of its “big, powerful rock ‘n roll rig,” says Lighting Designer Justin Kitchenman of Fadeup Design Group.
He was introduced to the A.LEDA Series at LDI 2012 where he was “looking for the next generation moving light.” After seeing the A.LEDA fixtures, “We feel we found the best the industry has to offer,” he says.
The A.LEDA Series is the first professional Clay Paky product line to use LEDs as light sources. An alternative to discharge lamp wash lights, it offers all the benefits of LED technology: low energy consumption, long light-source life, small size, light weight and a robust build.
The K10 is the mid-range model in the Series and the K5 the smallest. Both are fitted with multicolor RGBW LEDs that produce a full range of vivid colors as well as excellent shades of white. Each color of each LED may be controlled separately to produce an endless range of color variations and to use each LED of the array as a pixel to draw graphic images that change dynamically in shape and color.
The lights come with a library of customizable pre-programmed graphic effects. A.Leda Wash K10 is also equipped with a motorized and fully-controllable 14º-70º beam angle.
Kitchenman is deploying the K10s as floor fixtures on the corners of the thrust as well as around the center of the thrust, which serves as Bryan’s B stage.
“The K10s work as a fantastic floor wash fixture,” he says. “When zoomed all the way out they provide great coverage, but they are also soft enough that it doesn’t hurt to have them shining directly in your eyes. This is important since the thrust is surrounded by the audience and the K10s are essentially at audience head height.
“They give us the ability to cross- wash the stage without blinding the people closest to the action.”
He also uses the fixtures in a narrow zoom to create powerful aerial beam patterns. “With their positions out in front of the stage it almost appears that beams are coming out of the crowd,” he notes.
The K5s occupy two positions. Four groups of four fixtures are mounted above the stage as part of the main lighting rig.
“Their purpose is pretty basic: They act as fast-moving ACL-type beams. This placement also gives me another option to wash specific band positions during the show,” Kitchenman explains.
The second location is surrounding the side-hung IMAG screens.
“We wanted to have the ability to expand our lighting looks as widely as possible. We were able to achieve this by modifying an already existing, but usually pretty bland, element of the show,” he points out.
Kitchenman is flying two 24-foot long sections of 12-inch truss with the IMAG screens hung between them. “By adding 10 K5s to each side – four on the top truss and six on the bottom – we now have an element that adds plenty of eye candy and tons of audience light, gives us the width we desired and looks great on camera.”
Kitchenman admits that one of his biggest concerns with any type of LED fixture is its source.
“I can’t stand seeing the ‘gum-ball dish’ look where you can see all the RGB LEDs at the source,” he says. “For the most part LEDs are faster, have nice beams and are energy and heat efficient – all of those things are a plus.
“But as soon as I look at a monitor and see the source I want to shut them off. It almost becomes a distraction at that point. But the A.LEDA fixtures don’t have that problem; they are a beautiful source. If you are outputting amber the source is amber not red and green.”
Perhaps the most important factor in selecting the A.LEDAs was the ability to pixel map the fixtures’ cells.
“This allows us to not only use it as a moving light but also to incorporate it into the video content of the show,” he explains. “To be honest, this feature is new to us, and we are still working it into the show. But by having all the fixtures patched in extended mode we consider it a work in progress: As the show evolves we will be using the fixtures more and more to their fullest extent.”
Kitchenman is also a “big fan” of the fixtures’ color correction channel. “It enables me to closely match my color temps with the rest of the lighting rig so my LEDs don’t look so LEDish,” he says.
Tom Wilson, vice president of event productions at Elite, notes that Clay Paky’s new A.LEDA Series is viewed as an extension of the manufacturer’s offerings at “the high end of the business. We’ve had some experience with the Sharpys over the last year and have been thrilled with them. With Clay Paky it’s all about the quality of the build. The equipment is fully engineered and ready to go out of the box. We haven’t had any failures at all. As a company owner that’s a huge thing to me.”
The A.LEDAs on the tour are controlled by grandMA2 consoles. MDG the One digital fog/haze atmospheric generators and MDG Ice fog generators showcase A.LEDAs’ beams from the powerful lighting rig.
A.C.T Lighting is the exclusive North American distributor for Clay Paky.
Posted by Julie Clark on 04/25 at 11:20 AM
Renkus-Heinz Iconyx Makes Things Clear For MannKind Pharmaceuticals
Multipurpose room at MannKind Pharmaceuticals installs Renkus-Heinz ICONYX steerable column array speakers to improve rooms intelligibility.
Besides their corporate headquarters in southern California, MannKind Pharmaceuticals maintains two other campuses, including their technical operations team, located in Danbury, CT. It’s a busy campus, hosting several hundred employees involved in the company’s manufacturing, engineering, and quality assurance divisions.
The campus’ central meeting point is a large, multipurpose room used for everything from lunches to corporate meetings and all types of presentations. It’s a bright, airy, and welcoming space, but as Richard Trombitas of New York-based Cardone, Solomon and Associates explains, the room has long been an acoustical challenge.
“It’s a really nice looking space, but not great for spoken word intelligibility,” says Trombitas. “It’s got a fairly high ceiling, a wall of windows, and lots of reflective surfaces.”
Colortone AV’s Joe Lemischak adds, “they had an old distributed system that had probably been installed when the room was built.”
According to Traci Centofanti, Mannkind’s Director of Information Technology, the room has long been problematic. “The system that was in here originally never quite did what it was intended to do,” Centofonti says. “The coverage was very spotty - some places in the room sounded okay, but if you moved a few feet over, you could barely make out what the presenter was saying.”
The solution was easily realized with a single pair of Renkus-Heinz Iconyx digitally steered array loudspeakers. Dual ICX7-II stacks on either side of one wall can easily provide even coverage all the way to the back of the room.
“We had the columns custom-painted in metallic gray to match the room,” says Lemischak. “You can barely see them.” Custom mounts were designed to integrate the columns with the room’s existing structure.
Centofanti says the improvement was immediate and dramatic. “We’ve had numerous comments from people about the difference in the way things sound in there now,” she observes. “People are more involved and more attentive in presentations - they can finally hear what’s being said.”