Tuesday, June 02, 2015
Earthworks ZDT Preamps Bring Transparency to The Killers’ Battle Born Studios
Robert Root selects Earthworks microphones and preamps for colorless and pure sound.
Recording studio engineer Robert Root has recorded artists like The Killers and their solo albums, Imagine Dragons, Motley Crue, BB King, and Elton John. Since 2008, Root has recorded all of The Killers albums at Battle Born Studios in Las Vegas.
Battle Born Studios is equipped with Earthworks ZDT Zero Distortion Technology Preamplifiers, as well as a myriad of Earthworks omni and cardioid microphones, which Root has been recording with since becoming the studio’s chief engineer in 2008.
Root explains his experience with the ZDT preamps: “We ran all sorts of mics through the ZDT preamps and I found them to be exactly as the slogan claims―‘Like Wire with Gain.’ The ZDT preamps are very transparent, like the preamps are not even in the chain, and let the mic do the work it is supposed to, and translates it beautifully. However, as many different mics as we tried using the ZDT preamps, I was never really able to get that ultra-realistic ‘being there’ sound as I was when using the Earthworks mics through the ZDT preamps.”
Root found the ZDT preamps excelled at capturing the source in an ultra-transparent way. “We also have other high-end preamps such as the Neve Porticos and Universal Audio 610s. It gives one perspective when using these other types of preamps because they are very ‘colored’ and do a lot to the signal, and many times that is not desirable,” explains Root.
“When you care so much about the source sounding good, such as tuning your drums and using the right drums, and you put an Earthworks mic in front of that, a lot of times you don’t want it to be colored through a preamp. So going through the ZDT preamps with the Earthworks mics is a perfect combination. I know a lot of people who buy high-end preamps want ‘color,’ but I am not of that frame of mind, as you can always color after the fact. You can never undo the color, once it is captured and recorded. If you want the Neve sound, you can dial in that type of color when you mix.”
Christian Ulbrich Mixes With Waves For The Ina Müller Tour
Front of house engineer selects Waves Plugins, MultiRack and SoundGrid for tour with German artist.
Live front of house engineer Christian Ulbrich (Ina Müller, Jazzanova, Rebekka Bakken, Eivind Aarset, Jessye Norman, Johannes Oerding, Dhafer Youssef, The Bad Plus) uses Waves plugins, Waves MultiRack and SoundGrid DSP Server One on a DiGiCo SD5 console when touring with German artist Ina Müller.
Ulbrich notes, “The first time I worked with Waves was when I was doing studio sessions years ago. Waves was on the forefront of the plugin business, and everybody was using them.”
“The jump to live sound was only a question of time, and when Waves finally came up with the SoundGrid technology and MultiRack I was more than willing to try it out. Implementing Waves plugins in your live sound workflow gives you all the possibilities that you have in the studio.”
“Meanwhile, PA systems are getting more and more sophisticated and deliver great results. Together with a great desk like the DiGiCo SD5, I can really shape my sound and use all the great tools that would eat up tons of rack space if I were using hardware. And there’s also the portability: when I’m on smaller tours and have to deal with local PA and sound desks, I just bring my MacBook together with an interface (i.e. DiGiGrid/SoundGrid) and am able to use my favorite Waves plugins.”
On his Waves plugins of choice, Ulbrich adds, “The Waves H-EQ Hybrid Equalizer is a plugin that I love to use on piano. It is a very musical-sounding EQ with plenty of settings ranging from good old analog filters to digital ones that really cut through. It has an analyzing function and a keyboard compressor/limiter layout, which come in handy for quickly translating harmonics into frequencies.”
“I love the Waves CLA-76 Compressor/Limiter and use it a lot. Its warm compression and fast attack make it ideal for vocals. In this digital age, we are always looking for tools that bring back the warm sound of analog, so I also like to add the NLS Non-Linear Summer or the Kramer Master Tape to give a mix buss a good measure of tape saturation.”
“The one plugin I’m probably using the most is the Waves C6 Multiband Compressor. It’s the most versatile tone-shaping plugin, and it can be used on practically every channel and buss. I use it mainly on vocals/vocal groups and on the bass drum. Because it is so intuitive, I sometimes send the master mix to the C6 and make only a couple of subtle adjustments, for example to get rid of harsh mids at the high dynamics.”
On working with Ina Müller, Ulbrich adds, “Ina is not only a fantastic singer but also a comedian, and in between the 17 songs, a good part of her 2.5-hour show is the comedy part. She often steps down into the crowd to interact with the audience. It is absolutely paramount for the crowd to hear every whisper. When Ina stands directly in front of the main PA or the front fills, this can present a challenge sound-wise. I’ve found that for these occasions the Waves NS1 Noise Suppressor is a huge help. It automatically detects where dialog is cutting off and acts as an advanced gate, leaving me with more gain before feedback and with a much cleaner signal. I also use the NS1 on lavaliers when I’m mixing Ina’s late-night show, ‘Ina’s Nacht.’ The NS1 works great in conjunction with the Waves Dugan Automixer, a great tool that is easy to use and really saves your day.”
Ulbrich sums it up: “The ability to get all those tools out of the SoundGrid Server One’s 2U rackspace opens up tons of possibilities. I love it, and I find myself toying around with all the new options whenever I get the chance.”
dbx DriveRack VENU360 Loudspeaker Management System Now Shipping
Successor to the DriveRack 260, now including mobile device support, enables live or installed sound speaker system to be precisely optimized.
Harman’s dbx DriveRack VENU360 loudspeaker management system is now available with a host of features including mobile device control, additional input channels, improved DSP and easier operation.
The DriveRack VENU360 is a highly configurable and flexible device, which includes the latest advancements in dbx’s AFS and AutoEQ algorithms (first introduced in the DriveRack PA2).
It provides expanded input processing and includes dbx’s AFS (Advanced Feedback Suppression), which automatically detects and precisely removes problematic feedback-causing frequencies.
Other input processing includes 31-band graphic EQ, 12-band parametric EQ with narrow-notch capabilities, dbx compression, subharmonic synthesis for enhanced low-frequency impact, backline time delay, and noise gating.
Multi-crossover configurations are possible with support for full range, 2-way or 3-way operation (custom mono 4-way, 5-way or 6-way configurations are also available). Extensive output processing is provided with 12-band AutoEQ (eight AutoEQ bands, four user configurable bands), dbx compression, automatic gain control, subharmonic synthesis, noise gating, tower delays (up to 1000ms per output), 8-band parametric EQs (used for speaker tunings), dbx limiting and driver alignment delays.
Connecting a dbx RTA-M measurement microphone (sold separately) to the front-panel RTA mic input allows dbx’s proprietary Level Assist and AutoEQ algorithms to be utilized, for automatic, precise system balancing and equalization of the loudspeakers within the venue, for a smoother, more accurate system frequency response.
“The DriveRack VENU360 provides a level of loudspeaker tuning that’s far beyond anything previously available,” said Jason Kunz, market manager, portable PA and recording & broadcast. “The result is sound systems that simply sound better, with the major advantage of having complete control of the VENU360 from a laptop, tablet or even a smartphone.”
The DriveRack VENU360 can be set up and operated from a compatible iOS, Android, Windows or Macintosh device via an easy-to-use app and a standard Wi-Fi router connected to the rear-panel Ethernet port. The VENU360 also has a front-panel LCD display with on-screen “map”-style navigation and input and output meters and mutes for system setup and monitoring.
The dbx DriveRack VENU360 has a suggested retail price of $799.
Sonnet Announces USB 3.0 PCI Express Adapter Card With Powered Ports
Allegro Pro USB 3.0 PCIe features four dedicated 5Gbps channels, supports aggregate data transfers up to 1800 MB/s, bus-powered drives and USB 3.0 charging.
Sonnet Technologies announces the Allegro Pro USB 3.0 PCIe, a professional 4-port, 4-controller SuperSpeed USB 3.0 PCI Express 2.0 adapter card with charging capabilities.
The Allegro card provides users with a simple way to add four USB 3.0 ports, each providing full 5Gbps bandwidth, to Mac Pro and Windows computers with PCIe slots, and to Thunderbolt-to-PCI Express card expansion chassis.
This Sonnet pro adapter card supports bus-powered hard drives, SSDs, DVDs, and Blu-ray devices through each of its ports, and supports simultaneous sync and charge of iPad mobile digital devices and other devices that support USB 3.0 charging.
A typical USB 3.0 adapter card utilizes a single USB 3.0 controller chip, splitting its bandwidth among two to four ports. For users wishing to copy files between drives connected to the card, bandwidth sharing has a measurable impact on data transfer speed potential. Sonnet’s Allegro Pro USB 3.0 PCIe card is equipped with four independent USB 3.0 controllers, with each port receiving its own dedicated bandwidth. As a result, the Sonnet pro card supports data transfers up to 450 MB/s per port and up to 1800 MB/s aggregate for the card, enabling high-speed data transfers between connected drives.
Sonnet specially engineered the Allegro Pro USB 3.0 PCIe card to provide extra power through its ports without the need for the user to connect an auxiliary power cable. Delivering up to 10W of power per port, this Sonnet solution supports USB 3.0 bus-powered hard drives, SSDs, DVDs and Blu-ray devices without the need to connect an additional AC power adapter.
The Allegro Pro card also supports the USB 3.0 charging specification that enables users to charge and sync simultaneously iPad, iPhone, and other devices that support USB 3.0 charging.
The Allegro Pro USB 3.0 PCIe is a full-height PCIe 2.0 card that can be installed into any x4 mechanical or larger PCIe slot in a Mac Pro tower or Windows desktop or server computer. The card is also ideal for use in any Thunderbolt-to-PCIe card expansion system, such as Sonnet’s Echo Express line, xMac Pro Server, or xMac mini Server. The combination enables users to add four more SuperSpeed USB 3.0 ports to iMac, Mac mini, new Mac Pro, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro computers with Thunderbolt ports.
“With the card’s one-controller-per-port design and charging port capabilities, the Allegro Pro USB 3.0 PCIe card is a uniquely powerful solution for users needing to add USB 3.0 ports to their system,” said Robert Farnsworth, ceo of Sonnet Technologies. “Users connecting multiple drives for backups and drive-to-drive duplication can benefit from significantly faster data transfers, and all will appreciate the 10W of bus-power per port with charge and sync capabilities.”
Compatible with OS X 10.8.5+ (including Yosemite); Microsoft Windows 8 and 7; and Windows Server 2012 and 2008; the Allegro Pro USB 3.0 PCIe (part number USB3-PRO-4PM-E) is available now at a suggested retail price of $129.
Attero Tech Appoints New Rep For Southeastern States
Millar Electronics was founded in 1924 as a multi-line independent manufacturer’s representative firm, specializing in the Pro-Audio and A/V integration industries.
Attero Tech announces the immediate appointment of Millar Electronics to represent Attero Tech AV products in Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi.
Pete Petty, Millar Electronics sales manager, says, ”Attero Tech’s innovative Dante endpoint and bridging products are the state-of-the-art in this product segment.”
“Millar’s real value to our customers is to offer system solutions rather than ‘box sales’. Attero Tech’s AV products offer exceptional integration with the Symetrix line of Dante DSPs, and makes it easy for system designers to stay Dante all the way to the edge of the network. By doing so, they can replace costly and interference-prone analog wiring with standard CATx cable - lowering the cost and complexity of any size installation”.
“Millar Electronics is the right company to move the Attero Tech product line forward in the Southeast US”, stated Mike Sims, Attero Tech’s director of marketing and sales. “They are committed to great customer service, and have the technical depth to provide first class design and system setup support to their customer base. I’m looking forward to working with Pete and his team to bring Attero Tech solutions to even more AV installations”.
100 gigabytes of drum sounds, pre-mixed kits, and thousands of grooves by award-winning producers and drummers.
EASTWEST has released ProDrummer 1 & 2, new dedicated drum virtual instruments that combine recorded drum sounds, pre-mixed drum kits by top recording and mix engineers with drums performed by top drummers, and MIDI drum grooves.
The first two volumes of ProDrummer are brand-new additions to the catalog of EASTWEST’s newly launched subscription model Composer Cloud or can be purchased individually.
“ProDrummer 1 & 2 are the most powerful and easy to use drum virtual instruments on the market,” says producer Doug Rogers.
“Typically, you need several products to create great drum tracks. We hit the trifecta of sounds, mixes and performances in one package, giving users all the tools they need in a user friendly interface to create superb drum tracks. The producers I worked with on this project are some of the best mixers in the music industry, working with top artists every day that rely on their expertise to keep them at the top of the charts. ProDrummer is most likely the only opportunity users will have to include drum tracks recorded and mixed by them included in their songs.”
Apart from a combined 100 Gigabytes of professional drum sounds in the two volumes, ProDrummer also features 16 channels of pre-mixed drum kits from the producers using the state-of-the-art tools in the ProDrummer software. The producer’s drum mixes can be used as they are, or as starting points to customize to the users’ needs and taste with the included tools, such as Solid State Logic EQ and Dynamics, Transient Shaper, and the legendary Stereo Bus Compressor; Ohmforce’s Ohmicide multiband dynamics and distortion effects processor (perfect for creating EDM drum tracks); plus EASTWEST’s Velocity Processor, Amp Simulator with 80 presets, and Expanded Convolution Reverb with 726 Additional Reverb Pre-sets. All parameters in ProDrummer are user adjustable and can be saved as custom user pre-sets.
ProDrummer also includes over 14,000 MIDI drum grooves in many different styles which makes it easy to build the drum track of any song. The Groove Search Engine allows the user to quickly find the right grooves, create favorites, and assemble the drum track right inside ProDrummer with the built in sequencer. The drum tracks can then be exported into any DAW to add additional instruments and vocals.
Multi-award winning EASTWEST producer Doug Rogers has worked once again with the elite of the industry: The first volume in the ProDrummer series includes approximately 60 Gigabytes of drum sounds and kits produced by Grammy-winning engineer Mark “Spike” Stent (Coldplay, Muse, Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, Usher, U2, Madonna, Linkin Park, Björk, Depeche Mode, Maroon 5, Moby, No Doubt, Oasis and more) and Doug Rogers, with drums played by Steven Sidelnyk (Madonna, Seal, Massive Attack).
The second volume in the ProDrummer series includes approximately 40 Gigabytes of drum sounds and kits produced and pre-mixed by producer, mixer and engineer Joe Chiccarelli (U2, Beck, The Killers, The Raconteurs, The White Stripes, The Strokes, Morrissey, Jason Mraz, Elton John, My Morning Jacket, Rufus Wainwright, Cafe Tacuba and more) and Doug Rogers, with drums played by Matt Chamberlain (Pearl Jam, Bruce Springsteen, Peter Gabriel, etc.).
EASTWEST producer Doug Rogers co-produced both ProDrummer 1 & 2. His virtual instrument productions include ProDrummer 1 and ProDrummer 2; Steven Wilson’s Ghostwriter; Hollywood Strings, Hollywood Brass, Hollywood Orchestral Woodwinds, and Hollywood Orchestral Percussion; The Dark Side; Fab Four; Symphonic Orchestra; Symphonic Choirs; EastWest/Quantum Leap Pianos and more. His company has been the recipient of over 70 international industry awards.
Turner Studios Selects DELEC For New Intercom System
German intercom manufacturer will deliver a 2,048-port intercom system comprised of 140 intercom panels to facilitate enhance communication throughout complex.
DELEC, a member of the Salzbrenner Stagetec Mediagroup organization, announces it has been selected by Atlanta, GA-based Turner Studios to replace its aging intercom system with new technology.
As the broadcast production division of Turner Entertainment Group, which provides turnkey services for film, video, and audio production for all of the Turner Entertainment Networks, Turner Studios’ new DELEC intercom system will effectively tie together the studios and offices at the facility to streamline workflow and enhance communication.
German intercom manufacturer DELEC will deliver a 2,048-port intercom system comprised of 140 intercom panels.
All 140 panels will incorporate redundant Dante audio-over-IP connectivity — a unique feature only DELEC can provide. The DELEC Dante interface supports 64 bidirectional audio channels or up to 32 DELEC Intercom Panels (or any combination of audio signals and Intercom Panels). Providing redundancy on all Dante devices, DELEC offers the first highly available audio-over-IP intercom solution.
The DELEC intercom system to be deployed at Turner Studios also includes 7 MADI interfaces to connect to the facility’s existing audio network. Further, the system will include a 128-line PBX-Gateway and several analog 4 wires for 3rd party integration.
Arnie Toshner, vice president of sales & marketing for Salzbrenner Stagetec Media Group, commented on Turner Studios’ selection of the new DELEC intercom panels, “We are both honored and delighted that Turner Studios has chosen DELEC intercom technology for their in-house communication. The new DELEC intercom panels will bring Dante interactivity and single cable connectivity convenience to Turner Studios’ production facility and, in the process, provide a new level of communication that, we’re confident, will enhance the ability of the staff to work more efficiently.”
Deployment of the new DELEC intercom system is expected to be completed by October 2015.
DPA Microphones Supporting Final Season Of Don Francisco’s Sábado Gigante
Company’s d:fine, d:screet and d:facto mics supply longest-running variety series with supportive audio solutions.
Sábado Gigante is a Spanish-language television program broadcast by Univision and hosted by Chilean TV star, Don Francisco. The show currently filming its final season after 53 years on the air, making it the longest-running variety series in history.
To capture the skits, interviews, competitions and live performances of the program’s conclusive season, the sound team has selected DPA microphones’d:screet 4061 omnidirectional miniature, d:fine 4066 omnidirectional headset and d:facto vocal microphones.
“I was introduced to DPA Microphones over 20 years ago, when I was working on musical productions, and continued using them when I transitioned to television,” says Jose Freddy Gonzalez, audio supervisor productions-entertainments for Univision Network.
“The quality of the company’s products is exceptional, not only from an audio standpoint, but the design and durability is also amazing.”
On a weekly basis, Gonzalez and his team depend on 12 of the company’s d:screet 4061s to mic Francisco and guests. By incorporating the lavaliers into clothing and close-miking musical instruments, they are able to conceal the amplification method used on the performers.
The d:screet 4061 capsule provides a clean and dynamic sound, with a flatter frequency response for the live broadcast environment.
“The d:screets have performed flawlessly during ourSábado Gigante tapings,” continues Gonzalez. “This is a large production that requires many hours of filming. The mics perform well throughout production, keeping speech intelligibility and audio levels steady, while rejecting unwanted noise from the 250-person studio audience. Further, since the mics are so small, they are practically invisible. The show’s producer is especially a fan of how easily the d:screet 4061 is concealed; and I love its ability to fit our audio needs.”
The audio team also relies on eight of DPA’s d:fine 4066 Headset mics for situations that require an unobtrusive and comfortable headset application, such as during contests. Three d:facto vocal microphones are additionally used for live performances, as they provide extraordinary natural sound and high separation from nearby sound sources.
Launched in 1962, Sábado Gigante airs in the U.S. on Univision. Hosted by Francisco, Sábado Gigante has produced a new episode every week of the show’s five-decade-long history. The final episode of Sábado Gigante will air on September 19, 2015.
Prism Sound Helps Preserve Unique Tanzanian Music Recordings
Digitally archiving Tanzania's musical heritage, from acoustic folk songs to distinctive dance music from the late 1960s and 70s.
The Tanzanian Heritage Project (THP) is using Prism Sound‘s Lyra Audio Interface in a unique bid to rescue and digitize the country’s tape-based music archive, thus preserving a precious musical heritage for future generations.
Rebecca Corey, co-founder and executive director of the Tanzania heritage Project hatched the idea for the digitization project in 2010, with her Tanzanian friend and THP co-founder Benson Rukantabula, while Corey was at home in the US recovering from a motorcycle accident in Dar es Salaam.
“Just before leaving Tanzania, Benson had given me a few CDs of old Tanzanian music,” explains Corey. “The quality of the recordings weren’t great - they sounded as though they had been recorded from the radio on to a cassette and then transferred to CD - but the music was wonderful.” The music became a soundtrack to Corey’s recovery and she spent hours talking with Rukantabula and researching the history of Tanzanian music.
“That’s when I learned about Radio Tanzania, and the fact that pretty much all of the music recorded, from independence in the early 1960s through the mid-1980s, was all stored on reel-to-reel tapes that had never been professionally digitized,” she recalls. Corey was determined that once recovered, she would go back to Tanzania to preserve and digitise those tapes. She also wanted to raise awareness of the country’s wealth of musical heritage. “While West African music has got a fair bit of attention, East African music is virtually unheard of on a global level,” she says.
Finally able to return to Tanzania in early 2012, Corey visited the archives. “That year, we managed to purchase a Tandberg reel-to-reel machine and a Studer was donated by the British Library,” Corey explains. But due to lack of funds, the digitization project effectively stalled for most of 2013 and 2014. “In the end, we weren’t able to negotiate a satisfactory agreement with the government radio station about future access to the digitized material,” she explains. “So we’ve shifted our focus to digitizing the reel-to-reel archives of other radio stations and private collections.”
As well as the Studer A67 and Tandberg TD 20A, Corey has been using Prism Sound’s Lyra Audio Interface, and Ableton Live software. “We bought the Lyra after speaking to several professional archivists and they all recommended the unit as being the best for A/D conversion on the market. We found it to be affordable for our limited budget and a great centrepiece to our DAW.”
Corey says the THP studio setup is kept “relatively simple. The key is achieving the highest quality conversion possible from the analog signal from the reel-to-reel machine, to the digital version on the computer. We’re confident that the Lyra is capturing and converting the signal and making the most faithful copy possible.”
Ease of use has proved crucial on this project, which relies on enthusiasts. “No one on our team is a professional audio engineer or archivist,” says Corey. “We took on this project because we were music lovers who believed that this music needed to be preserved before it was too late, and because no-one else had stepped in to do it. So the fact that the Lyra is easy to use and produces incredible quality sound has made us very satisfied with its performance so far.”
Having just got the project moving again, thus far around four hours of material from 12 tapes have been digitized. Many of the tapes are in poor condition and need to be assessed and cleaned before they can be played and digitized. As Corey explains, it’s a slow, careful process. “We assess the condition of each reel to determine whether it is in good enough condition to digitize. We don’t want to attempt digitization on a reel and end up damaging it further. Once a reel is ready, it sometimes needs to be re-wound so that the ‘pack’ of the tape is even and won’t rub against the reel flange. We minimize the number of times the reel is wound and played as much as possible, to avoid any potential damage to the tape.”
Due to the slow nature of the work, Corey estimates the process will take at least another eight to ten months of full-time work, using one Digital Audio Workstation to preserve and digitize the remaining reels. “We are continuously searching for additional reels to digitize though, so it’s really an ongoing process,” she adds.
The process has already unearthed many cultural gems, with Corey’s favourites being songs dating back to the time of the country’s struggle for independence, and just after. “At that time, the music was all about building unity, promoting peace; gaining (and then celebrating) freedom from colonization,” she explains. “Musically, there’s some wonderful content, ranging from acoustic folk songs to Tanzania’s distinctive dance music from the late 1960s and 70s, with influences encompassing Congolese rumba guitar styles, full horn sections, and beautiful vocal harmonies.”
When the digitization project is eventually complete, Corey plans to make the music “as widely accessible as possible to Tanzanians, particularly music students, through music schools and arts programs. We also hope to release the material internationally, through a record label. Any proceeds from these potential releases would then go to musicians who have never received royalties from their work, and to the musicians’ health insurance scheme, jointly administered by the National Social Security Fund and the Tanzania Musicians’ Network.”
THP’s studio is located in the same compound as the Music Mayday music school, which as she explains, also organizes listening and discussion sessions, seminars and workshops with elder musicians, and studio recording projects. “In this way, the digitization is just a piece of a larger cultural revitalization effort that THP is undertaking.”
Indiana Church Selects Allen & Heath Digital Console For New Sanctuary
In His Image Baptist Church installs an GLD-80 digital console in their newly built sanctuary.
In His Image, a Baptist church located 50 miles north of Indianapolis, continues to transform their newly constructed sanctuary by transitioning from their analog console to the Allen & Heath GLD-80.
Moving from an older building the main sanctuary now has a larger set up. Phil Mitchell, the installer from Mitchell Design Group, told church organizers that the GLD-80 would be perfect for their needs.
“I installed a GLD at another church in town and they were able to look at it. They absolutely loved the features of it. The ability to store different scenes for different events, plays, and regular church services was a hit. They are able to store the practice sessions in a separate scene and then go back to the church’s regular Sunday scene. They also liked the ability to have scribble strips, name the channels, and color code everything,” said Mitchell.
The installation was easy for Mitchell; he just had to prewire well in advance. Since it’s a wood structure he needed to do some special bracing with the construction.
“I installed the mixing console in the front of house mix position along with the AR84 unit that is in a rack in the booth to receive the wireless input,” he said. The AR2412 is installed in a rack behind the platform along with the amplifiers, which helped to simplify the installation. There was no snake cable running from the front of house up to the stage, just a cat 5 cable.
The digital console was ordered in advance so the volunteer sound team could get familiar with how it runs. Mitchell suggested that each person who operates the console visits the Allen & Heath website to review the videos that are available. He also mentioned downloading the GLD editor to have something to practice with. “That really seemed to help them all grab the concepts a lot more quickly,” he said.
“There are a lot of digital consoles out on the market and of course we as integrators are free to choose anything. However, I’ve really settled on the Allen & Heath format as being the best sounding, easiest to train people on console. This is critical for me because I am the one who will get the call backs if they don’t understand how to do something and that saves me a lot of time in terms of getting people up to speed,” said Mitchell.
ELDRA Supplies SSL Live. L500 For Oliver Dragojevic
Attendees of the 2,000-seat Vatroslav Lisinski Concert Hall in Croatia experience sold out shows mixed on SSL.
Croatia’s Oliver Dragojević recently sold out back-to-back shows at the 2,000-seat Vatroslav Lisinski Concert Hall. For front of house mixing of these concerts, his sound team selected a Solid State Logic SSL Live. L500, supplied by ELDRA production services company.
The team is comprised of main sound engineer Dejan Krošelj; producer and manager Nenad Drobnjak; ELDRA chief sound engineer Igor Pauk and ELDRA technical director Damir Dražić.
“Oliver delivers an outstanding performance to his audiences, so every sonic detail must be taken into consideration,” explains Drobnjak. “The SSL Live console delivers an effortless sound quality, so the whole performance is outstanding.”
“The SSL L500 is all about quality, ease and speed of operation, and the sound is second-to-none,” adds Pauk.
Even Dragojević himself has noticed a significant clarity upgrade “With the SSL, I can finally hear my natural voice.”
“We are very proud and happy to have our Live console chosen by Mr. Dragojević and his entire crew,” says Bojan Kotzmuth, SSL regional sales manager. “We look forward to providing continued support to both Mr. Dragojević and the Vatroslav Lisinski Concert Hall whenever the opportunity arises.”
Uses capsule of omnidirectional MKE 1 broadcast mic combined with unobtrusive design
At InfoComm 2015, Sennheiser is unveiling its new SL Headmic 1 presenter’s microphone – at just 7 grams, a lightweight that is sturdy enough even for the toughest corporate applications.
The condenser microphone for talks and presentations uses the capsule of the omnidirectional MKE 1 broadcasting microphone, while its design ensures that it is unobtrusive when worn. The SL Headmic 1 is connected to a bodypack transmitter via the 3.5 mm jack cable included.
“The SL Headmic 1 leaves nothing to be desired in terms of audio quality. It ensures excellent voice clarity and outstanding speech intelligibility right through to the very last row of seats,” explained Kai Tossing, portfolio manager business communication. “At the same time, the microphone is almost invisible to the audience – and its feather-like weight of just seven grams makes it extremely comfortable for the presenter to wear.”
Alongside its high level of speech intelligibility, the SL Headmic 1 also features clear and pleasant trebles. The microphone can be optimally adapted to the shape of the head, and the microphone boom can be worn either on the left or right. Its modular design means that all components of the SL Headmic 1 can be easily and conveniently replaced.
The SL Headmic 1 ensures that speech and even music vocals are transmitted naturally and with their full frequency and dynamic range. This makes it the perfect partner for the corporate and hospitality sectors, as well as for live shows and broadcasting. The headworn microphone comes with a 3.5 mm jack plug cable that connects it to a bodypack transmitter, for example from Sennheiser’s evolution series. For bodypacks with a 3-pin audio socket, such as the SK 5212-II, an adapter is available as an accessory.
The SL Headmic 1 is now available in black or beige. The set includes a windshield, a frequency response cap to raise the trebles when the windshield is being used and a soft case that can also accommodate a bodypack transmitter.
JBL VTX And Crown Deliver 360-Degree Sound For Romeo Santos At Arena Monterrey
Pro Audio was the first sound contractor in Mexico to add VTX to its inventory and uses the line arrays in all their events.
Romeo Santos is known as the King of Bachata, garnering seven number one hits on the Hot Latin Songs chart in the last three years alone and selling out stadiums in the US and Latin America.
A recent tour stop at Mexico’s Arena Monterrey was one of the tour’s most challenging for sound contractor Pro Audio, as the concert was centered around a rotating stage with 360-degree sound, provided by a Harman Professional audio system featuring JBL VTX Series line array loudspeakers and Crown I-Tech HD Series amplifiers.
A total of 48 JBL VTX V25 line array elements were arranged in four clusters of 12 V25 loudspeakers each, with two left and right hangs on the north side of the arena and two left and right hangs on the south side. Thirty-two JBL VERTEC VT4889 line array elements were deployed on the east and west sides of the arena in a similar manner in four clusters of eight each. In addition, 24 VTX G28 ground-stackable subwoofers were arranged around the stage and 12 VTX V20 loudspeakers were used for front fill.
The loudspeakers were driven by Crown VRack amplifier systems. VRack is a complete, transportable amplifier management solution that includes Crown I-Tech HD Series power amps, analog and digital connections and a universal power distribution system, all housed in a wheeled rack with a captive suspension system that enables VRack to be flown in the same manner as a line array loudspeaker system.
For the Santos concert Pro Audio furnished 16 VRacks with Crown I-Tech 12000HD power amps to drive the V25 loudspeakers and V28 subs, and 16 I-Tech 6000 and I-Tech 4000 amps to power the VT4889 arrays. A dbx DriveRack 4800 handled loudspeaker management and the entire system was set up, calibrated and controlled using JBL HiQnet Performance Manager software.
“A big event like this always presents great challenges,” noted Victor Gutierrez Zubieta, director of Pro Audio, “and the 360-degree arrangement also meant that setting up the sound system was far from what we usually have to deal with.” Pro Audio had to determine the correct positions for all the loudspeakers that would provide even coverage throughout the venue in a complete circular pattern, but would not block the four central video screens and would not visually intrude upon the elaborate and extensive lighting and video design. In addition, because of the full 360-degree arrangement Zubieta and his crew had to run cables over much longer distances than usual.
On top of it all, the assembly of the rotating stage took a very long time, which took away from the time the crew had to set up the sound system. Here, Zubieta found distinct advantages in the VTX’s lighter weight and ease of assembly and transportation and the VRack’s modular, pre-assembled design. “The networked integration of the VTX speakers, Crown VRacks and JBL Performance Manager is simply spectacular. It has been extremely helpful to have total control of the entire system from front of house.”
Pro Audio was the first sound contractor in Mexico to add VTX to its inventory about a year ago, and since then the company has been using the line arrays in all their events. “We’ve used VTX in over 30 shows with excellent results. They deliver focused coverage yet over a wide area considering their size, attributes we knew would work to our advantage in delivering sound to all areas of Arena Monterrey even though it was an unusual 360-degree rather than the standard front-to-back hall arrangement.”
He pointed out that Arena Monterrey has a capacity of 17,000 people and high SPL is required for Romeo Santos and his band. “With VTX that has never been a problem – we always have plenty of headroom to spare and zero distortion. The combination of the VTX and Crown VRack modules gives us great power and clarity – which do not always go hand in hand. With Romeo it’s all about his voice – and this system conveys his range and dynamics with remarkable naturalness and presence.”
“The VTX system is one of the best in the market,” Zubieta states. “Some people may have a different opinion and I respect that but in all our shows, everyone who has heard them has loved the VTX and I-Tech HD amps, whether they’ve had much experience with them or are hearing the combination for the first time.”
Martin Audio Unveils CDD Installation Loudspeakers (Video)
The new series combines a distinctive curved enclosures with unique Coaxial Differential Dispersion technology.
Martin Audio is introducing a new dedicated installation loudspeaker range—the CDD Series—at InfoComm 2015, with both a dedicated booth (#809) and demo room (W203C).
Combining distinctive curved enclosures with unique Coaxial Differential Dispersion technology, the series is designed to deliver fidelity and consistent coverage.
The CDD series includes six two-way full-range coaxial systems—from the micro CDD5 to the CDD15. When complemented by subwoofers, CDD will cover the majority of install applications; all models come in black or white as standard, and all RAL color variants are available as special order.
Coaxial Differential Dispersion technology delivers more consistent audience coverage than systems with fixed dispersion X° x Y° horns; projecting more output to the rear of the audience to distribute sound evenly from front-to-back, while having wide horizontal coverage close-up. This increased coverage area can reduce the speaker count in larger installations.
Molded in rigid UPM Formi—a natural fiber composite which combines stiffness with internal damping properties—the curved shape allows each enclosure to be discreetly mounted close to a wall or ceiling. They can also be used in either horizontal or vertical orientation, with rotation of the coaxial driver accomplished by removing the screw free, protective grille.
R&D director, Jason Baird, says, “We didn’t want to do ‘just another’ installation box, we really wanted to bring fresh thinking and innovation to the install market and with it deliver superior sound quality and coverage.”
“With CDD we have all the benefits of coaxial point source, but because we have developed a patent pending two-part static and moving waveguide that merges with the low frequency cone, we are able to maintain the dispersion pattern out to very high frequencies.
“By making these waveguides produce differential dispersion, we’ve created a rectangular coverage pattern to reach all corners of the audience, while wide horizontal coverage is achieved very close to the loudspeaker. Walking the room, the consistency in frequency response and SPL—both close to the loudspeaker and further back—is exceptional. Essentially we’ve advanced point source technology to bring MLA-like consistency to the more intimate spaces of the install market. The improved coverage close-up also means that CDD speakers can be spaced further apart in some instances, reducing overall speaker count.”
Managing director, Luke Ireland, summarized by saying, “This is a significant landmark in Martin Audio’s history but more importantly our customers are being offered a vastly superior product at a price that’s significantly less than our current AQ range that CDD is replacing. It’s not often that superior technology and performance are offered so competitively, but that’s another reason why we expect big things for CDD in the installed sound market.”
The new series will be available in North America from late July.
Aurora Multimedia To Introduce New Products At InfoComm 2015
Aurora Multimedia provides A/V solutions for a variety of global markets including government, education, security, hospitality, corporate and house of worship.
Aurora Multimedia will present several new audio and video products at InfoComm 2015.
Aurora’s InfoComm lineup includes a wide range of solutions made to simplify the installation and delivery for next-generation media applications.
IPX 4K Video Over IP Series With IPBaseT
At InfoComm 2015, Aurora will be showcasing the IPX-TC1 Audio and Video over IP Transceiver. Leveraging Aurora’s IPBaseT Technology, the device is the market’s first 4K2K transceiver with zero compression and zero latency.
Combining the ability to use the unit as a transmitter or receiver, the solution simplifies overall system design, ordering, stocking, and deployment. Equipped with an option slot to add IP capabilities such as USB 2.0 over IP or Dante audio, the complete, distributed system also enables audio, video, data, and control to be securely delivered to one or many units using standard 10G Ethernet fiber or copper switches.
The IPX-TC1 can support up to 128x128 channels with HDCP (virtually unlimited without HDCP) and provides users with an OSD menu and Web-server to deliver incredible ease of use.
The new DXP-62 scaler accepts up to four HDMI inputs and two VGA/YPbPr/Composite inputs and scales up to 1920x1200 HD resolution at 60Hz via the units HDMI and HDBaseT simultaneous outputs.
Leveraging One Room – One Cable features, the HDBaseT output will pass PoH power to the awaiting HDBaseT receiver as well as RS-232 and IR control for the display. The unit will be available in packages with any of Aurora’s award-winning DXE-CAT receivers allowing the customer to configure with onboard amplification, relay control and background/paging integration for a complete single cable solution. With the addition of four external audio inputs, additional MIC input with independent volume control, de-embedding line level stereo output and auto sensing/switching video inputs, the DXP-62 is perfect for classrooms, conference rooms, and A/V cart applications.
One Room — One Cable Kits
Aurora’s product display will also feature the company’s three single-package One Room — One Cable kits. Packaged with two ceiling tile loudspeakers, a dual-input HDBaseT wall plate switcher, HDBaseT receiver with 2x35W amplifier, and an eight-button in-wall control panel, the kit makes the installation process simple by only requiring a single cat-cable between switchers and displays.
Comprised of the ORC-1, ORC-2 and ORC-3, the solutions enable more efficient out-of-box setups for today’s classrooms, conference rooms, and other single room A/V applications via Web-based control, HD video distribution, IR, and RS-232 connectivity.
VTUNE Pro 4K Tuner
The Aurora VTUNE Pro 4K tuner is the industry’s first 4K2K RF Tuner/IPTV all-in-one solution. Designed for any integrated system requiring IPTV, ATSC, QAM, NTSC and PAL, the tuner is capable of decoding MPEG2, MPEG4, VC-1, H.264, and H.265 with resolutions up to 4096x2160 at 60Hz via both RF and LAN. In addition, the device is equipped with an onboard 4K scaler for viewing 1080P HD content on 4K displays.
QXT-700 HD Platform-Agnostic Touch Panel
Aurora’s 7-inch QXT-700 quad-core HD touch panel is a platform-agnostic Web-server based solution embedded with an integrated control system. Featuring a 1280x800 resolution HD screen and 2D/3D graphic accelerator, the unit ensures both stunning graphics and a responsive GUI experience for a wide variety of environments.
Equipped with a quad-core processor, PoE-enabled 1 Gbps LAN port, multiple on-board RS-232/IR/Relays, as well as DIO ports, the QXT-700 is specifically designed to bring more efficient control to any conference room, classroom, or hospitality A/V application. For seamless video streaming, the solution features a MPEG2/H.264 high definition decoder while a built-in Web server accommodates iPad, Android, and MS tablet connectivity without the need to install any additional apps.
The TCW3 is a three-gang transceiver wall plate with dual HDMI inputs and a single HDMI output. Its modular SFP+ port for single or multimode fiber (also available in a copper 10G version) makes it the first fiber-based networked HDMI wall plate on the market (a copper 10G version is also available).
When configured as a transmitter (input), the auto-detectable HDMI inputs allow for two sources to be selected from a single wall plate over the network. HDMI output becomes a local loop-through for the selected source. When configured as an output, the TCW3 really shines — it serves as an output HDMI plate installed behind the display for easy wiring. In this scenario, in addition to the networked matrix sources, the two HDMI inputs become local source inputs for in-room viewing.
DXM Third Generation Matrix Switchers
DXM third generation Matrix switchers, the DXM-88-G3 8x8 matrix, DXM-1616-G3 16x16, and the DXM-3232-G3 32x32 card-cage matrix systems. Updated to 4K UHD, these completely new systems add features to the system, such as embedding Aurora’s QXT touch panel control engine as the main interface for the matrix.
The front panel will now house the new QXT-700 touch panel offering not only control for the Matrix but full control for the entire system adding IP, RS-232, IR, relays, and DIO ports directly to the Matrix. Additional updates include an embedded 1G network switch allowing Ethernet to pass directly over the HDBaseT inputs and outputs for streamlining wiring infrastructure throughout a facility. The DXM-G3 system provides PoH for all Aurora HDBaseT peripherals (HDBaseT wall plates and receivers). The system also adds audio breakaway switching giving complete flexibility for multi-zone audio enhancement.
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