Wednesday, February 04, 2015
D.A.S. Audio Launches LX-221 Dual-21-Inch Subwoofer
Available in both powered and passive versions
D.A.S. Audio has introduced the new LX-221 subwoofer, a dual-21-inch system available in both powered and passive versions.
With a power handling capacity of 6,800 watts (RMS), the 21-inch woofers are equipped with 4.5-inch voice coils offering 60 mm peak-to-peak excursion. They also have a neodymium magnet assembly and a double silicone spider with optimized compliance.
The LX-221 has a stated frequency range of 25 Hz to 100 Hz, yielding a maximum peak SPL of 145 dB.
The enclosure is constructed using 21 mm birch plywood and makes use of extensive bracing to eliminate resonances. The woodwork is finished with a durable D.A.S. ISO-flex protective coating.
A dolly platform with locking casters (model PL-LX221) is offered to stack and move the systems. Protection during transport is provided by the optional covers available from D.A.S.
Tuesday, February 03, 2015
Ear Trumpet Labs Introduces Evelyn Stereo Microphone
Offering modern electronics with a vintage look
Ear Trumpet Labs has announced the release of Evelyn, a new stereo microphone consisting of two closely matched medium-large diaphragm capsules mounted in individually pivoting head baskets spaced at the correct distance for the ORTF stereo recording technique.
Both the capsules and the JFET transistors for each side of the stereo pair are exactingly hand-matched for optimal stereo imaging. The electronics are hand-wired using high-quality components, and the result is natural stereo sound.
Evelyn can be utilized as an easy-to-deploy stereo drum overhead or room mic. It’s a good fit in other applications as well, such as live miking for acoustic ensembles from traditional bluegrass bands to string quartets, with very good feedback control and off-pattern rejection.
The striking aesthetic design of Evelyn is distinctive and gorgeous, hand made from copper plumbing pipe and fixtures, electrical flanges, brass, and stainless steel.
Each mic includes a standard 5-pin XLR to dual 3-pin XLR adapter cable, and the pin-out is standard so other stereo cables can be used. Each Evelyn comes in a solid metal tool case with hand-cut foam lining.
Evelyn is now available directly from Ear Trumpet Labs for $1,200 (USD).
Ear Trumpet Labs
3G Productions Teams With Martin Audio MLA At Calibash Festival In LA
Eight MLA Compacts for the 270-degree hang and 28 MLX subs in double stacks
3G Productions of Las Vegas and Los Angeles provided Martin Audio MLA for Calibash Los Angeles, held recently at the Staples Center and billed as “the leading urban Latin music festival in the world.”
The SRO concert featured a diverse group of acts including headliner Cuban American rapper Pitbull of “Don’t Stop The Party” fame along with Carlos Vives, Tego Calderon, reggaeton artists Wisin and J Alvarez, Don Omar, Becky G, Maluma, 3BallMTY, ChocQuibTown, Plan B, Farruko and Gente de Zona.
The system supplied by 3G Productions included 16 MLA and 2 MLD (down fill) a side for the main hangs; 16 MLA Compacts for side hangs; 8 MLA Compacts for the 270-degree hang and 28 MLX subs in double stacks––24 across the stage and a pair on each side pointed 90 degrees to the audience.
Mixing consoles at front of house included two pairs of Yamaha PM5D’ for the festival and an AVID VENUE Profile for headliner Pitbull.
“We also used Martin Audio DD12s for the front fills,”says 3G systems engineer Manny Perez. “They were awesome; really smooth, clear and responsive, like the whole system.
“In fact, the whole show went really well and all of the band’s FOH engineers were happy, even ecstatic at some points. It was kind of like playtime for them; they didn’t know what else they could do for their mix, which was a real change of pace. They ended up just hanging out, listening to each other’s mix, watching what the other guys were doing. They all really enjoyed the MLA system. They’d all heard about it but many hadn’t mixed on a big PA like that before.
Perez concludes, “The MLA rig was great, we had plenty of headroom and there were smiles all round the room. At the level the engineers had it, which was close to 105 or 106 dB, they were wondering what else they could do, because instead of struggling at that point, it was perfect. They also loved the sub bass being so powerful and smooth.”
It’s DiGiCo Time At The 9:30 Club In Washington, D.C.
Venerable live music venue declares new SD8 the desk of the hour
The 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. has installed a DiGiCo SD8 digital mixing console with an SD Rack, together with a Waves SoundGrid Server and SG Essential plug-in bundle at front of house, all purchased through Washington Professional Systems of Wheaton, MD.
The 1,200-capacity live music venue, which moved to its present location in 1996, has been in continuous operation since 1980 and has been a consistent winner of the Pollstar Awards and Billboard Touring Awards over the past decade, also placing number 1 in Rolling Stone magazine’s 2013 “The Best Big Rooms in America” survey of touring professionals.
The upgrade came about as a result of the owners and operators of the 9:30 Club, I.M.P., an independent concert promotions company that exclusively books Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, MD and produces shows in a variety of venues throughout the region, being selected to also operate the historic, city-owned Lincoln Theatre. The 9:30 Club’s former front of house desk was relocated to the venue’s monitor position, with the previous monitor desk moving over to the Lincoln, and the new DiGiCo SD8 system was purchased to replace the house console.
“The main determining factor was how good I thought it sounded; it’s a nice, warm-sounding console,” says front of house audio technician Shawn “Gus” Vitale, who has been working at the 9:30 Club for 20 years. “There’s also something about the stereo separation - when I hear my stereo digital delays coming back, the returns sound like they’re coming not from the left/right PA but off of the side walls. It’s an awesome effect.”
The new SD8 was initially operated at 48 kHz due to limitations in the available cabling at the club. “We had extra cables run and I also got the Waves plug-ins working between the first and second day of a two-day show. The artist’s engineer could really hear the difference when we went to 96k. Plus, he was familiar with Waves plug-ins from the studio, so it was a double bonus for him. He had a fun show the first day, but he felt like it was really good the second day.”
Brian Grant, account executive - audio systems at Washington Professional Systems, oversaw the purchase, also liaising between the club’s staff and the manufacturer to organize an in-house demonstration. “I talked to Brian about which way to go and he thought that DiGiCo offered the best audio quality,” says Vitale. “Brian is a great guy; he’s sold us a lot of equipment over the years.”
Vitale had his first hands-on experience with a DiGiCo digital desk when They Might Be Giants played at the 9:30 Club and the band’s FOH engineer brought in his console. “I mixed the support solo acoustic guy, and when I brought up the faders I said, ‘wow, what’s he done with the PA, this sounds great’ - and we’ve got a good PA: a d&b audiotechnik J Series with B2-Subs. I liked the way the DiGiCo sounded.” He adds, “I think this is a good venue in which to break folks into a new desk, because the PA is great and the room has been treated, so you’re not at a disadvantage - everything is there.”
There was another factor in DiGiCo’s favor, Vitale continues. “We book live shows into a smaller venue just down the street from us, the U Street Music Hall, and they bought an SD9 some years ago. So I knew the audio quality was good, and to get us all in the DiGiCo mindspace doesn’t hurt, because if I need to send another guy down there, at least he knows the desk.”
The new DiGiCo desk has even seen some action outside of the 9:30 Club, Vitale reports. “I took the SD8 over to Constitution Hall a month or so ago, just for the support act. That was primarily because the digital snake is just way easier to run. It worked well for us - one desk, the SD Rack, some MADI cables, and off we went.”
The 9:30 Club, which took its name from the venue’s original street address on F St. NW, has been an essential mid-Atlantic stop on tour schedules since the day it opened, with a show featuring the Lounge Lizards. Since then, a “who’s who” of artists have performed at the club: Chuck Brown, The Police, X, REM, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Smashing Pumpkins (who played the opening of the current location in January 1996), Fugazi, Adele, and many, many others.
NSCA Announces 2015 Winner of Lifetime Achievement Award
Owner of American Sound and Electronics served as NSCA president, headed up Education Foundation's first board of directors
The National Systems Contractors Association (NSCA) has announced Jack Toerner as the association’s annual Per Haugen Lifetime Achievement Award winner.
Toerner will be recognized on Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015, during NSCA’s 17th annual Business & Leadership Conference in Tampa, FL.
“We’re honored to pay tribute to yet another individual who has been instrumental in moving the industry forward,” says NSCA executive director Chuck Wilson. “Jack served as NSCA’s president from 1993 to 1995; he has been supporting the systems integration industry for decades.”
Toerner also headed up the NSCA Education Foundation’s first board of directors when it was established a few years later in 1999. In that same year, his company – American Sound and Electronics – became the first NSCA Education Foundation donor, making a $10,000 gift in honor of Lou Toerner, Jack’s father.
Toerner currently serves as owner of American Sound and Electronics (ASE) in Covington, KY, purchasing the company in 1986 after his father retired. He has helped the company introduce new technologies to its customers. Even though the company got its start in pro audio, it now provides security and video, board room, nurse call, digital signage, and data/voice cabling solutions.
“It is an absolute honor to have been selected as a recipient of the NSCA Lifetime Achievement Award,” says Toerner. “As someone who was born and raised in our industry, and as someone who was given the opportunity to serve as NSCA president, I can’t overstate my gratitude – not only for the award, but for NSCA’s continuing excellence as an advocate for me, my team, and for all of us.”
The Per Haugen Lifetime Achievement Award is awarded to an individual who exhibits:
—Dedication to philanthropy and social responsibility
—Business practices with high ethics, values, integrity, and honesty
—Active leadership in the financial well-being of his/her company and NSCA
—Strong values in every aspect of his/her life
Posted by Keith Clark on 02/03 at 03:15 PM
CAD Audio Debuts MH100 Multipurpose Headphones
Closed-back, mid-sized design suitable for designed for studio, DJ and general playback applications
CAD Audio has introduced precision-built, multipurpose MH100 headphones, designed for studio, DJ and general playback use.
The MH100 offers a closed-back, mid-sized desig with high-output 40 mm neodymium drivers that offer increased power and an extended frequency response of 20 Hz to 18 kHz with detail and clarity.
Color choices are black (MH100) and red (MH100R).
Frequency Response: 20 Hz—18 kHz
Sensitivity: 98 dB
Driver: 40mm neodymium
Impedance: 38 ohms
Power Handling: 500 mW
Meyer Sound MINA Arrays Lead Upgrade Effort At Performing Arts Center Upgrade In Arizona
Two models with IntelligentDC technology also installed, assisting with distribution issues and providing savings in efficiency and space
To meet the growing demand for high-profile artists and productions in Prescott, AZ, a Meyer Sound MINA line array loudspeaker system has been installed as part of a major renovation at the 1,100-seat Yavapai College Performing Arts Center (YCPAC).
Since YCPAC’s re-opening, the new system has supported productions from Peter Frampton, Magic of Motown, and the Senegal St. Joseph Gospel Choir to the Manhattan Short Film Festival.
“With the new MINA arrays, the YCPAC has an amazing system for live performances, with even coverage throughout the entire venue,” says Tom Aldridge, YCPAC presentation technology manager. “It sounds great, and meeting the requirements on a tech rider is greatly simplified. When people find out we’re running a Meyer rig, everything gets a bit easier.”
The system was designed and installed by Chandler, AZ.-based TPI. “The MINA arrays deliver great musicality and intelligibility with uniform coverage across the entire hall, and their low profile has virtually eliminated any line-of-sight issues,” says Glenn Peacock, vice president of TPI.
The main system comprises left and right hangs of 10 MINA loudspeakers each as well as three 1100-LFC low-frequency control elements in a cardioid array atop the catwalk. Two Meyer Sound models with IntelligentDC technology are installed, including 16 UP-4XP loudspeakers for front fill, balcony fill, and underbalcony delay and four UP-JuniorXP VariO loudspeakers for box and under-box seats.
A Galileo Callisto loudspeaker management system with two Galileo Callisto 616 array processors provides system drive and alignment, while a Compass RMS remote monitoring system with one RMServer communicates loudspeaker performance data.
Peacock adds that IntelligentDC technology solves distribution issues and provides savings in both efficiency and space.
“There are a lot of high-density areas in the venue, and we wanted to add some fills to cover some of those shadowed seats,” he says. “The convenience of IntelligentDC allowed us to install those smaller boxes in the most optimal locations without having to accommodate power cabling and other equipment.”
Monday, February 02, 2015
Event Pro, Inc. Ups The Ante With Second Yamaha CL5
Minnesota sound company expands Yamaha inventory with additional CL5 console.
The response to their first Yamaha CL5 digital audio console has been tremendous, so Event Pro, Inc. (Hastings, MN), recently made the decision to purchase a second through Metro Sound & Lighting (St. Paul, MN).
Event Pro company owner, Neal Wallace, sights high demand, sound quality, and great support from Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, as key reasons for the purchase. Event Pro, Inc. is no stranger to Yamaha having an array of the company’s consoles in its stable.
“The ‘two is better than one’ theory holds true when it comes to the CL5,” states Wallace. “Having the ability to offer this console to our corporate clients, regional festivals and touring acts, and national acts that come through Minnesota is a huge plus. The CL5s have helped take Event Pro, Inc. to another level.”
After Event Pro’s first CL purchase, the renowned Minneapolis Orchestra Hall immediately requested the CL5. “Joel Money (Technical Director) told me he wanted absolute top-quality audio for clients and technicians to operate on, and the CL provides that platform.” The Hall has, for some time, had a Yamaha PM5D at the FOH location.
The renowned Dakota Jazz Club in Minneapolis also uses Event Pro CL consoles upon requests from touring artist engineers, such as Paul Booth (engineer for singer Diane Reeves), and others. The club’s tech director, Craig Eichorn is also involved in Twin Cities Jazz Festival so Event Pro has been fortunate to supply the CL.
“As we put our second CL console out on as many summer festivals as possible, and with guest engineers experiencing it, they know they can get a CL from us whenever they return to local venues. Many are carrying USB sticks now which makes supplying a CL a natural.”
An event or corporate budget may not support a CL5 but Wallace says if their clients are looking for great sound, they know they will be happy with the console. “100% of the guest engineers, who use it, love it. And for us, personally, it is the best sounding console in its price range.”
Providing their clients with better sound and a better desk is Event Pro’s ultimate goal. “Of course,” Wallace notes, “the small size, using less space, less road cases, the on-board Premium Effects, and the pre-amps doesn’t hurt either. The Yamaha Rio input/output box, cat5 cabling, networking system, means for us we can leave the three road cases housing our analog 300 ft. splitter snake off the truck (and, that’s a lot of truck space).”
Many of the Event Pro rentals include a split mix/two console shows, and setting up dual CL5s with the Rio boxes is easy. “We use a Duracat cat6E cable, and running that co-ax from the CL consoles to the Rio is a breeze. Stagehands love us for this, especially when flying the cat5 instead of a 2-inch snake.”
Event Pro techs are always exploring networking interface possibilities with other gear like Shure wireless microphones, etc, so the Dante/Rio platform is coming in handy. The company currently has two Rio units totaling 48x24 and often split up the units bringing the 16x8 box to front of house in corporate situations that demand more inputs at that position. Eventually, they would like to have two 48-input systems. With the iPad StageMix App for the CL, the company also sends out a top- level Asus router with the console to support the application.
Wallace said he has even established a good networking relationship among Yamaha CL owners in his area so they can quickly supply any artist, venue, or tour with CL consoles anywhere. “Yes, Event Pro wants these desks to always be out, so they are going to work very hard! Sonically, the desk sounds great, and makes the PA sound better. It’s that simple.”
Event Pro, Inc.
Yamaha Commercial Audio
AKG K553PRO Studio Headphones Combine Closed-Back Performance And Open-Back Sound Quality
The KAG K553 PRO provides an optimal balance of noise-isolating qualities of closed-back headphones and the spacious, multi-dimensional sound of an open-back design.
Offering closed-back performance and open-back sound for monitoring, mixing and mastering, Harman’s AKG today introduced its K553 PRO closed-back studio headphones.
The K553 PRO provides an optimal balance of noise-isolating qualities of closed-back headphones and the spacious, multi-dimensional sound of an open-back design.
The K553 PRO headphones feature 50mm drivers for a strong, yet accurate and distinguished bass response as needed for monitoring and mastering contemporary music. The extra-large soft ear pads and lightweight over-ear design ensure stress-free listening over several hours, while the 2D-axis mechanism enables full flat folding for easy storage and handling on the road.
With its low-impedance drivers, the K553 PRO is sensitive enough to also be used on laptops and mobile devices, so the soft high-quality cable is equipped with a 3.5mm (1/8”) plug. A screw-on adapter to 6.3mm (1/4”) is included.
“Regardless of environment, requirements for headphones remain constant: realistic, sophisticated sound reproduction and comfort,” said Philipp Schuster, Product Line Manager, Headphones, AKG. “The new K553 PRO offers these qualities and more, while also being extremely affordable!”
Posted by Julie Clark on 02/02 at 03:11 PM
Las Vegas-based H.A.S. Productions Partners With VUE Audiotechnik
H.A.S. Productions has embarked on a partnership with VUE, which brings the largest all-VUE system to date to the world's live entertainment capital.
With more than 100 VUE Audiotechnik loudspeaker boxes added to their rental stock, Las Vegas based H.A.S. Productions has embarked on a partnership with VUE, which brings the largest all-VUE system to date to the world’s live entertainment capital.
H.A.S. Productions has become the backbone of VUE’s Southwestern rental network.
Initial inventory comprises a mix of 48 al-8 line array elements and 32 sub-compact al-4 elements, powered by VUE’s V6d and V4d systems engines which include dedicated DSP and networking capabilities. The V Series Systems Engines are housed in new H.A.S. standard rack packages with multi-cable interconnect.
These are directly supported with an inventory of hs-28 dual 18-inch ACM (Active Compliance Management) subwoofers with internal DSP, power and networking.
The recent order also includes powered i-6a near-field point source boxes, which will be called into service for a combination of front-fill and stand-alone uses. Stipulated in the partnership, H.A.S. will expand their VUE inventory to include the new hm-112 and hm-212 stage monitors before the end of the first quarter.
Larry Hall, founder and president of H.A.S., started looking for a new PA in 2013. He organized a shootout between five brands and hung a total of 11 arrays in an arena to get side-by-side, real-world comparison of the systems.
“It really came down to three things, for me,” Hall explains. “First, the sound. Something about the use of beryllium in the high frequency driver makes the sound less brittle in the high-end, while at the same time making the coverage perfect. Volume levels may change from place to place in a venue depending on how the rig is deployed, but the audio quality and the tonality never change.”
“I have owned lots of PAs since starting H.A.S. 20 years ago,” he adds. “And while I have loved some of the companies, I have rarely loved the service.”
Hall pointed to the fact that after the 2013 shootout, he liked the VUE system, but had concerns about its versatility and longevity for the variety of gigs H.A.S. does. And that’s where VUE’s service made the difference.
“VUE’s man-on-the-street, Jeff Taylor (recently promoted to VP Americas), came in and broke down all the application challenges - with our tech team, until we were confident that the al-Class system would meet our needs.” Hall and his team were very impressed with how VUE took the concerns seriously and responded without hesitation.
Still undecided, Hall arranged a second shootout in 2014, and says the decision after that was an easy one. “The al-8 and even the al-4 just flat out beat other systems that were both larger in size and substantially more expensive.”
Since taking delivery, the VUE system has been used on a variety of shows ranging from rock to R&B to Latin, and has impressed every engineer that has mixed on it.
“The size can be deceiving,” Hall said. “Some engineers may walk in and look at it and think it is not enough to cover the room, but they have been convinced from the moment we fired it up.” Tellingly, every engineer that mixed on the VUE rig has said they would gladly use it again.
The final piece of the puzzle was the newest member of the H.A.S. team, Jay Easley. He recently moved from the console manufacturing world (Midas and SSL) to the regional production world as H.A.S.’ new chief operations officer. Jay needed to be convinced. When he and Hall were talking about him coming aboard, Easley wanted a new PA, but he had other ideas about what that would be.
“I was sure that I wanted a certain brand that would immediately put us into an established rental network and that is on every rider we receive. What I wanted was a ‘safe choice.’ When I went to the shootout, and listened to the VUE system, I was convinced.
“Having worked with Jeff Taylor in the past, I know how committed he is to his customers success, beyond just a sale or rental. When you consider the value of a manufacturer’s support and vision for the future, the total VUE package meant more than just being the box of the day. It is one we can build our future on.”
Both Hall and Easley point to the small size of the VUE rig especially the diminutive al-4-and how it out performs systems much larger - as a big part of the decision.
“We do a lot of ballrooms,” Easley said. “We are in Las Vegas and hotel ballrooms are a very significant part of our venues. In them, the trim height and weight have always been a headache, and the VUE system alleviates those headaches. Not to mention the fact that they are so small that we never have sight-line ‘discussions’ with the client. In Las Vegas, the ideal PA sounds huge and is the size of a pack of gum and preferably invisible. The al-4 comes pretty close. We get small size, which affects hanging, truck pack, labor and a thousand other things. But we never have to compromise in terms of sound.”
As a gear sales guy himself, Easley points to Jim Sides as having been a big part of building several major audio brands. Both acknowledge that Mike Adams has had his fingerprints, both credited and not credited, on some of the biggest name line array products on the market from numerous manufacturers. “To say nothing of Ken Berger creating EAW when guys were still building boxes in their garage,” notes Hall.
“When you put together a team like that and you combine it with a desire and willingness to not just make a ‘me-too’ product, but to really stretch to build the best PA in the world, it’s a pretty unstoppable combination,” Hall said. “We are happy and proud to carry the VUE banner here in the live entertainment capital of the world.”
Golf Central News Show Stays In Swing with Lectrosonics
Digital Hybrid Technology plays a central role in location sound recording for the news show's production.
As part of the Comcast Programming Group, Golf Channel operates in partnership with the PGA Tour and showcases the biggest and the best of everything related to the sport for the television news show, Golf Central.
Because capturing the magic of this sport must be done efficiently and without distracting the competitors, Digital Hybrid Wireless technology from Lectrosonics plays a central role in location sound recording for the show’s production.
Los Angeles-based Stef Butler serves as the show’s camera operator and high-definition engineer and selects and specifies equipment. He relies on an arsenal of Lectrosonics UM400 beltpack transmitters, SRb5P slot mount ENG receivers, and IFBR1a beltpack IFB receivers to capture the activity without holding up production.
“For my work with the Golf Channel, I’m using eight UM400s, four SRb5P receivers, plus four of the IFBR1a beltpack IFB receivers,” says Butler. “Much of my work for the Golf Channel show, Golf Central is news related, so it’s fast paced. The Lectrosonics SRb receivers are an essential part of my kit in such an environment. It really makes a tremendous difference having the receivers mounted in the slot inside the camera’s body, as it increases both ease of use and efficiency.”
A matter of vital concern to someone in Butler’s field is the equipment’s ease of use. “The very nature of news gathering is demanding,” says Butler. “Having a wireless system that is intuitive is a tremendous help.
“I constantly encounter situations where the RF frequencies need to be changed in order to avoid RF interference and optimize sound quality. Lectrosonics equipment makes it very easy to scan for open frequencies and then lock them down with a single button press.”
Sound quality is, of course, central to Butler’s work.“Lectrosonics’ Digital Hybrid Wireless technology sounds terrific and makes for a strong signal with very low power consumption,” adds Butler. “I experience great range with this equipment and the sound never exhibits any of the sonic artifacts that are common with wireless systems using a compandor.”
“My Lectrosonics gear delivers excellent sound quality, bulletproof reliability, along with great tech support and customer service,” Butler concludes. “I wouldn’t trust my business to any other manufacturer.”
Posted by Julie Clark on 02/02 at 02:20 PM
Audinate Rolls Out Regional Dante AV Networking Training Events
Interactive, hands-on training sessions planned for six cities across the US
Audinate is taking its successful Dante AV Networking World events on the road to six North America cites. These free, full-day training events are geared toward anyone involved with the design and installation of networked audio systems, including design consultants, system integrators and sound engineers.
The interactive sessions will introduce attendees to the benefits of Dante and audio over IP networking, showcase example Dante installations, and feature of a full afternoon of hands-on training.
The events are co-sponsored by Audio-Technica, Bose, ClearOne, Focusrite, Presonus, Shure, Symetrix, and Yamaha, and will feature products from these manufacturers during the hands-on training sessions and in a dedicated demonstration room. Participants to AVNW may also earn four CTS InfoComm RU credits.
The winter/spring sessions are scheduled for the following locations and dates:
· Atlanta, GA on February 25th
· Seattle, WA on March 25th
· Philadelphia, PA on April 22nd
· Houston, TX on May 12th
· Dallas, TX on May 14th
· Orlando, FL on June 16th
“The goal of these regional events is to empower channel partners and their customers with knowledge and hands-on training of Dante” says Joshua Rush, Vice President of Marketing for Audinate. “Our desire is to inspire all the participants with new ideas on how Dante can be used, highlight the commercial benefits of AV networking, and expand their comfort level with Dante and Dante-equipped hardware.”
A more detailed agenda and registration for any of the events is available online.
Lenny Kravitz Goes Wireless With Shure Axient
Artist moves to wireless without sacrificing the organic tone of his guitar and amplifiers.
Throughout his career, Lenny Kravitz has always insisted on accuracy in his guitar tone, sticking with a wired microphone solution as none of the wireless systems met his expectations.
All that changed during production rehearsals for Kravitz’s European tour in support of his latest album, Strut. After a demo of multiple high-end wireless systems arranged by Tour Supply, Lenny, Alex, and guitarist Craig Ross agreed that Shure Axient Wireless Management Network was the one system that could deliver his sonic requirements on stage.
“It started as a conversation with Lenny,” Alex Alvarez, Lenny’s guitar tech of 23 years, relates. “The subject of wireless guitar came up, and I told him there was a system I wanted him to check out. He said, ‘We’ve been down this road before. I would like to, but you know if it doesn’t sound right, I’m not going to do it.’ So I called Lance at Tour Supply to set up a demo.”
With rehearsals being in Miami, Lance Wascom, CEO of Tour Supply, had two days to set up the requested shootout.
“We showed two Shure systems, Axient and ULX-D, plus two other major brands,” he says. “Everything had to come together quickly and accurately, so I flew to Miami to set up the demo. Being that Lenny and Alex are such great clients, we really wanted to offer every level of support possible.”
Axient was the system that Alvarez had his eye on from the start. “I had heard about it, both from Shure and from other guitar techs,” he notes. “The fact that it can detect interference and change frequencies on its own made it really attractive to me, but I knew that if the sound wasn’t perfect to Lenny’s ears, he would just stick with his cable. But since we already use Shure PSM 1000 in-ears, I figured it was worth a try.”
The first day of rehearsals, Kravitz was not available, so his longtime guitarist and writing partner, Craig Ross, did the initial testing. “Craig really liked the sound and said, ‘Man, Lenny’s got to approve this.’ So we set up two more units for Lenny to check out the next day, and he was very impressed with both the sound and the technology. It turned out to be an easy decision.”
Asked to comment on his adoption of the Shure Axient guitar system, Lenny Kravitz stated, “After 25 years of resisting wireless systems, I am finally free from my beloved cables without sacrificing the organic tone of my guitar and amplifiers.”
Kravitz ordered three dual-channel Axient systems: two each for himself, Craig Ross, and bassist Gail Ann Dorsey. To fully realize the system’s networking and control capabilities, the band also purchased an AXT6000 Spectrum Manager and ShowLink Access Point.
Being Axient certified, Tour Supply’s Lance Wascom took on the task of educating the production crew on the system’s extensive monitoring, control, and frequency management capabilities. Along with Alex Alvarez, Wascom conferred with monitor engineer Josh Mellottsi on how to best integrate the new systems into the Kravitz backline.
“I love the technology,” says Wascom. “Axient tends to blow people’s minds. To see their reaction as it switches channels by itself, and to see how excited the monitor engineer gets when you coordinate all their frequencies in less than a minute… it’s just a lot of fun! It’s especially gratifying to know that you’re making an impact on the crew’s day-to-day workload. Frequency coordination and monitoring can be time consuming and stressful. Axient automates much of this, which saves time and allows the guys to focus on other tasks. In that sense, Axient can be as much as a ‘win’ for the crew as it is for the band.”
While the three Axient receivers sit in racks atop each of the guitar and bass rigs, the tour’s total wireless package is networked together and operated from Mellottsi’s monitor position. Frequency coordination is handled through Axient Spectrum Manager and Shure’s Wireless Workbench software. Each day, Mellottsi scans for available frequencies and deploys them through the system.
“Between microphones, in-ears, and now guitars, we have so many frequencies that it’s best to have one person manage it all,” says Alvarez. “Of course, what I like best about Axient is that it always has spare frequencies ready to deploy in case there’s a problem. I remember the first time the system changed frequencies on the fly, and nobody noticed anything on stage. Very awesome.”
Alvarez is also very enthused about Shure’s rechargeable battery system, which is used for the six Axient transmitters as well as the band’s 11 channels of Shure PSM 1000 in-ears. “That’s another huge saving grace,” he enthused. “We get far more time out of a full charge than alkalines, and the system actually monitors remaining life down to the minute, so there are no surprises. We used to spend $10,000 in batteries for each leg of a major tour, so it’s not just the responsible thing to do, but they also pay for themselves.”
Having used the system on the Lenny Kravitz Strut tour of Europe, Alex Alvarez reports the Shure Axient guitar systems have been a total success. “We’ve literally had zero technical problems with the system,” he reports. “But with Lenny, it always comes back to the sound. He wouldn’t go wireless unless the system didn’t change what he’s worked so hard to sound like. Shure Axient does that for him.”
Wednesday, January 28, 2015
dbx Launches New 500 Series Lunch Box Processors
Harman’s dbx Professional has introduced new 500 series processors, including the 560A compressor/limiter, 530 parametric EQ, 580 mic pre, 520 de-esser and 510 sub harmonic synth.
The 560A compressor/limiter provides flexible control of dynamics including threshold, compression ratio and output gain. It offers selectable classic hard-knee compression or exclusive OverEasy mode incorporating dbx’s musical program-dependent attack and release times.
The compression ratio is variable from 1:1 through infinity:1 to -1:1 and the 560A also has a unique Infinity+ compression mode using negative ratios. Adjustment is simple due to the 560A’s ladder-style LED RMS gain-reduction and input/output meter displays with true RMS level detection.
Based on the classic dbx 905, the 530 parametric EQ is a 3-band parametric equalizer with selectable bell or shelf-type filters on the low- and high-frequency bands, and adjustable Q on each band. It allows adjustment of level and bandwidth at frequencies that have been carefully chosen for maximum musical effectiveness.
The 580 mic pre is designed to deliver pristine audio quality with clarity, nuance and presence. Its custom-designed, low-noise mic preamp circuitry provides up to 60 dB of gain and can accommodate mic or line-level signals. Controls for gain, low cut, high detail, low detail and polarity invert allow precise sonic tailoring, and the large analog VU meter combines “old school” visual appeal with accurate level indication.
The 520 de-esser is remarkably effective at removing sibilance from vocals for smooth, professional-quality recordings. Taking its heritage from the acclaimed dbx 902, the 520 has a frequency control range from 800 Hz to 8k Hz and provides de-essing ranging from 0 dB to 20 dB. Its gain reduction metering provides at-a-glance indication of the amount of de-essing applied.
The 510 sub harmonic synth provides deep, powerful bass that’s an octave lower than the original signal. Whether it’s used for adding low-frequency impact to an entire track or beefing up an electric bass, synthesizer, bass drum or other instrument, it can add a subterranean punch. The 510 includes a low-frequency boost, subharmonic level and frequency range controls.
“Our 500 series processors bring renowned dbx signal processing to a smaller footprint than ever before while delivering the signature sound quality engineers, producers and musicians know they can rely on from dbx,” says Jason Kunz, market manager, Portable PA and Recording & Broadcast at Harman Signal Processing. “In addition to taking up little real estate, they’re extremely simple to use yet provide the sound-tailoring flexibility needed to create the perfect track or final mix.”
Pricing: 560A compressor/limiter, $399; 530 parametric EQ, $399; 580 mic pre, $499; 520 de-esser, $299; 510 sub harmonic synth, $299. The 560A will be the first product in the series to ship, available in April 2015, with the others following soon after.
Posted by Keith Clark on 01/28 at 05:28 PM
Martin Audio MLA Enjoys Successful “First Night Out” With The Tenors
Highly detailed music from string players, large choir, five-piece band and featured performers demands precise dynamic control
Kevin Sucher, front of house engineer for popular Canadian operatic pop foursome The Tenors, recently had a successful first experience mixing with a Martin Audio MLA Compact loudspeaker system supplied by RMB Audio (Selma, NC).
For two concerts at Memorial Auditorium in Raleigh, NC, Sucher utilized a house system comprised of 12 Martin Audio MLA Compact enclosures and six DSX subwoofers per side, with four MLA Mini cabinets for lip fill, all networked via U-NET. Avid VENUE Profile consoles were provided for the house and monitors.
“It was my first time and it turned out to be a very pleasurable experience,” Sucher says. “For this tour, we didn’t carry any production with us, including backline, which presents its own challenges when you’re using different equipment from city to city.
“There can be a lot iffy pairings,” he continues, “but when you have the correct rig paired with the right desk some magical things can happen and this was one of those very pleasantly surprising situations. Bottom line, the MLA system blew me away. It was really exceptional. We do many of these shows all around the world and I’ve mixed on a lot of different systems, but this was one of those rare occasions when the responsiveness and the ability to make a small change in the dynamics was amazing—3 dB really felt like 3 dB.”
“And the frequency response was fantastic, like 800 Hz was truly 800 Hz. There weren’t any of these situations where you’re trying to borrow or cut frequencies from areas you don’t want to cut, but you have to because your ears are telling you what you’re hearing isn’t correct. Every frequency was exactly where it was supposed to be.”
Mixing The Tenors is challenging because of the complex dynamics presented by having 20 to 30 string players on stage along with a 30-member choir and a five-piece band. The music is highly detailed, which demands precise dynamic control.
“I started out as a recording engineer and then became a front of house engineer many years ago so I approach live mixing in a very ‘studio’ kind of way,” Sucher explains. “Staying true to their music and recordings as closely as possible is very important, and when you have a lot of live microphones onstage it’s difficult to keep the dynamics contained.
“Adding to the challenge is the fact that The Tenors’ repertoire ranges from classical crossover all the way through different types of pop music that changes from night to night,” he adds. “As such, the speaker system needs to be very responsive and my approach to mixing them is as if they are a large pop act so I need adequate bottom end, much more than some venues they’re booked into. That wasn’t a problem with the MLA system.”
RMB Audio’s Cooper Cannady guided Sucher through the MLA Compact system’s capabilities. “Cooper is very knowledgeable about MLA and he quickly educated me how to use ‘hard avoid’ to duck the ceiling response around the 7 dB to 8 dB range so we could eliminate unwanted reflections we didn’t want in the performance, which made a noticeable difference. The flexibility to change the direction of the energy is like having extra amenities in a very sexy car. These are really well thought out additions.
“That kind of flexibility also allowed us to control feedback in situations where The Tenors performed in the audience 30 to 40 feet in front of the main hangs, which can be tricky depending on the microphones you’re using.”
Because the Memorial Auditorium is almost as wide as it is long without a true balcony and a second level of seats that begins high up far behind the front of house position, the MLA system had to be rigged much closer to the ceiling to provide proper coverage. That said, MLA’s control proved to be “a big help in terms of what was a challenging space in terms of getting real boxy-sounding.
“At this point, I could not at this point think of a better rig than the MLA system for that situation,” Sucher concludes. “I would be eager to hear it again in a more typical space. In terms of the sound for all of our shows, it was probably the highlight of the tour. A lot of people walked by after the concert and gave us thumbs up. I’d be very eager to use it again.”