Thursday, July 16, 2015

Synchro Arts Releases Revoice Pro 3.1

This update offers a selection of new pitch editing tools, track group controls and a host of other audio processing and workflow enhancements.

Synchro Arts announces the release of Revoice Pro 3.1 - a free update to V3.0.

This update offers a selection of new pitch editing tools, track group controls and a host of other audio processing and workflow enhancements.

These improvements, based largely on customer feedback, further increase the time and effort savings already provided by Revoice Pro.

Revoice Pro is a purpose-built, stand-alone program which includes two unique, automatic editing processes, manual time/pitch Warp processes, and tight integration with DAWs.

Revoice Pro’s unique APT (Audio Performance Transfer) process can automatically and instantly transfer the timing, pitch, intonation or loudness features from one signal to one or more target signals. This is perfect for matching the timing and tuning of double tracks or syncing ADR - and because you control the tightness, you keep it sounding natural. APT is powered by an advanced version of VocALign. 

If double tracks haven’t been recorded, Revoice Pro’s Doubler process can create them. 

Warp Processing with an improved graphic interface provides fast, manual manipulation of audio timing and pitch with transparent audio quality. Automatic grid-based pitch correction is also available.  

Integration with most DAWs is fast and easy, using Revoice Pro Link plug-ins or drag-and-drop / copy-and-paste operations. 

What’s new in Revoice Pro 3.1
—Manual Pitch Editing Tools: with hot keys support
—Track Group Controls:  supports group creation, display, solo and mute
—New APT functions: Align using pitch values (for legato phrases).
—A/B Comparison: of different process settings on output audio
—Multicore background processing: speeds up large session editing
—Interface and Operational Improvements: more intuitive and faster
—Revoice Pro 3.1 is a free update for V3.0 owners and runs with a Revoice Pro 3 iLok license.

Revoice Pro Applications include: 
—Tightening the timing, pitch and vibrato of “stacked” lead and backing vocals or instrumental tracks. 
—Creating one or more realistic double tracks from a single input track. 
—Lip-syncing dialogue (ADR) and vocals by the same or different performers, even when there are noisy guide tracks. 
—Changing the inflection in dialog (ADR, voice-overs etc.) with the desired Guide pattern provided by recording the director or dialog editor. 
—Revoice Pro accomplishes these tasks automatically, saving editing time.  

“I’ve only recently starting using Revoice Pro and have become completely addicted to it. It’s so easy to play around with vocals and instruments without wasting the artist’s time or energy.” Gordon Fordyce - producer, engineer, mixer and editor (David Bowie, Mötley Crüe, Boyzone, Marilyn Manson and Puff Daddy)

“Revoice Pro has allowed me to reference the pitch and pacing of a piece of recorded dialog on set and using the calculations from such to then impress upon another dialog recording from another take void of troublesome distracting sounds or a clean wild line the timing and pitch.” Jonah Guelzo – sound supervisor - Ryan Gosling (Actor - ‘Drive’, ‘The Place Beyond The Pines’ and ’Lost River’), Peter Berg (Director- ‘Lone Survivor’) and Damon Lindeloff (Writer- ‘Lost’)

Trials, Downloads and Purchasing 
A 14-day free trial license (iLok-based) for Revoice Pro 3.1 can be obtained from the website along with downloads of the Revoice Pro program, online manuals and demos. 

Full licenses (iLok-based) can be purchased from Synchro Arts’ dealers or on-line.  

Recommended Retail Price  (RRP) of Revoice Pro:  
$599 for North America
£374 (ex VAT)  for UK and the rest of the world
€497 (ex VAT)  for Europe

Discounts are available on trade-ins for current VocALign owners. 

Synchro Arts

Posted by House Editor on 07/16 at 01:45 PM
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Community Welcomes Meyer Marketing As Florida Sales Representative

Celebrating its 30th year in business in 2015, the firm prides itself on serving both the integrators and consultants in its territory.

Meyer Marketing, an independent sales representative firm based in Wellington, Florida is now representing Community Professional.

Celebrating its 30th year in business in 2015, the firm prides itself on serving both the integrators and consultants in its territory.

Meyer Marketing’s staff includes founder Larry Meyer, Larry Boscarino, Garrett Meyer, Sherry Halecki and Daniel Orr.

President Larry Meyer emphasized the importance of building strong relationships with integrators and consultants through regular on-site business meetings, product demos and sales and applications support. 

He commented, “Community is a great company and we are very pleased to represent their products to our integrators and consultants. Community is a great fit with our company and I’m excited about growing their brand and sales in Florida.”

Steve Young, Community’s Director, North American Sales, added, “Meyer Marketing’s reputation for great service and strong support along with their complementary, integrator focused line card will help us achieve Community’s goal for strong growth in Florida. We’re very pleased to have them represent our company.”

Community Professional
Meyer Marketing

Posted by House Editor on 07/16 at 11:28 AM

DiGiCo Selected For Ordway Center’s New Concert Hall

Audio Logic Systems supplies three SD9 consoles for the new home of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.

The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts in St. Paul, Minnesota inaugurated its new Concert Hall in March 2015 with a month-long grand opening celebration, Rock the Ordway, which featured an eclectic selection of music.

Built at a cost of over $40 million and now the new home of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra (SPCO), the Concert Hall features three DiGiCo mixing consoles—an SD9 at front-of-house, an SD9B at the monitor position and another SD9B in the studio—on an Optocore fiber-optic network.

“The primary console is the SD9B that went into the recording and broadcast studio, which is used primarily by MPR,” says Andy Luft, Ordway Center production director and construction project manager for the new Concert Hall.

“The room is set up not only with a broadcast studio but there’s also a host booth, so they can grab the conductor or the musicians for interviews.”

The SPCO, the only full-time chamber orchestra in the United States, frequently broadcasts on Classical Minnesota Public Radio and is often featured on “Performance Today” and “SymphonyCast,” which are broadcast nationally by American Public Media, Classical MPR’s parent company.

The 1,100-seat Concert Hall was built in almost the exact same footprint as the former McKnight Theatre, a 306-seat venue that was torn down to make way for the new music performance space. The new hall is intended to relieve some of the scheduling pressure on the Ordway’s 1,900-seat Music Theater, enabling the larger venue to accommodate longer performance runs of Broadway-style productions, operas and so on.

“We have an SD9 at front of house for when we do electro-acoustic work,” continues Luft. “It’s located on an open mix porch—it’s actually a great place to mix—dead center behind the people on the first balcony. So you have to be extremely quiet, but at the same time you can see not just the room but also the speaker systems in a good perspective.”

Luft repurposed the McKnight’s original Meyer Sound speaker system for the new space for the relatively few events annually that require sound reinforcement.

“We have another SD9B that functions as a monitor desk on stage when we need it. It functions as the backup desk to both the front-of-house and the broadcast studio, and also is a backup to the Music Theater,” he says. “This is a DiGiCo facility—we have a D5 Live in the Music Theater and a DS-00 in its broadcast studio.”

Luft was brought onto the project to examine the plans and make the Concert Hall operationally efficient.

“I said we had to put our money into infrastructure, so we went down the path of fiber-optics. DiGiCo has a good deployment of Optocore, and the SD software and operating system is extremely flexible and absolutely exploitable.” In fact, he adds, “Had we known more about the depth of the software, I probably wouldn’t have purchased some of the outboard gear that we have in the broadcast studio.”

Although Luft and his team did their due diligence on alternative consoles and networks before the purchase, “We all felt—and I felt very strongly—that we’d get the biggest bang for our buck sticking with DiGiCo. Plus, we have had good support here.” Audio Logic Systems of Eden Prairie, Minnesota supplied the consoles, and Matt Larson, national sales manager for Group One, DiGiCo’s US distributor, is based in the Greater Minneapolis-St. Paul area.

He continues, “We have a DiGiCo SD-Rack off stage left, and an SD-Mini Rack up in the catwalk, where a remote Grace preamp feeds directly into the local rack; we have local racks at every station. This being primarily a classical music venue, the front-of-house console often has to be turned off, as it has a fan. So we’re always taking out parts of the loop but having to reestablish it. We worked with Audio Logic Systems to install and ensure that the fiber loops were working correctly.”

In addition to the 7.5 miles of conduit and 750,000 feet of electrical cable that was installed in the new venue, 150,000 feet each of fiber-optic and high bandwidth copper were also run, along with 375,000 feet of structured Cat6 cable.

“We made sure that there is isolated power connected to all the audio systems and I made sure that there’s enough rack-to-rack communication everywhere,” Luft elaborates. “All the recording booths and all the rack rooms are connected. We have made it such that we can now connect the entire facility through fiber-optics, including the loading dock, where there is also isolated power for recording trucks, if desired.”

Tim Carl, CEO of HGA Architects and Engineers, a nationwide firm headquartered in Minnesota, designed the Ordway’s new addition, which was built by McGough Construction. From a-kus-tiks in Norwalk, Connecticut, Paul Scarborough and Chris Blair consulted on the Concert Hall’s acoustics and broadcast studio room design while Anthony Nittoli and Jordan Lytle provided electro-acoustic consultation.

The opening month at the Concert Hall allowed Luft and the staff to experiment with electro-acoustic reinforcement in the new space.

“We had a hardcore Latino rock band out of L.A., La Santa Cecilia, who won a Grammy a few years ago; flugelhorn player Hugh Masekela and guitarist Vusi Mahlasela from South Africa; Sounds of Blackness, who are local to Minneapolis; and some local singer-songwriters. We took what we learned every time we did a show and we changed the way that we dealt with the electro-acoustics,” Luft reports.

“So far, the consensus is that the room is incredible. The best review I heard was from one of singer-songwriters, Haley Bonar, who said it was the first time she could actually hear what the audience heard. She soon realized she could do anything she wanted with her voice and guitar, and the room responded automatically to what she was doing. So it’s fun.”


Posted by House Editor on 07/16 at 11:09 AM
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Turning Up The Heat At Hot 97 Summer Jam

More than 50,000 fans were on their feet when Kendrick Lamar, Chris Brown, Trey Songz, Big Sean, Fabolous, Meek Mill hit the stage at this year’s Hot 97 Summer Jam.

Held in June at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ, the annual event pulled in some of the biggest names in the hip-hop genre.

Eighth Day Sound, headquartered in Highland Heights, OH, supplied its recently acquired Adamson Systems rig that includes E-Series and S-Series loudspeakers to deliver 270 degrees of coverage.

In fact, it marked the inaugural use of the complete rig.

Eighth Day systems engineer C.W. Alkire spearheaded the sound design and set-up, working with Adamson Systems engineer Ben Cabot in tuning and optimizing the system on its maiden voyage.

“We’ve had the E15 and E12 line arrays out before, but this was the first time we used them in conjunction with the new S10 compact line array and the E119 subwoofers,” says Alkire. “We’ve done this show for years and I have to admit, the power and clarity this year was exceptional.”

A look at the Adamson E-Series and S-Series arrays on one side of the Summer Jan stage, as well some of the ground-stacked E119 subwoofers.

Making It Consistent
The turntable stage, which allowed for very fast transitions between artists, was located at one of the far ends of the stadium, positioned to offer maximum visibility.

Seating was provided on the field as well as on all three concourse levels.

To cover this expansive, multi-level space, Alkire designed a main PA with left-right arrays each made up of 21 E15 and three E12 elements.

Side fill arrays each consisted of 18 E15 and six E12 enclosures, and 270 degrees of coverage was attained with 10-each arrays of the new S10 elements flown further out from the stage structure.

Alkire utilized Adamson Blueprint AV software for support in designing the loudspeaker arrays and coverage.

“The 270 arrays insured that the audience to the far right and left of the stage had the same experience as everyone else,” he notes. “Because the S10s are so light and compact, we were able to hang the arrays off a single point, which made setting them up that much simpler.”

A perspective of the festival stage and main system arrays at MetLife Stadium.

The new S10 is a 2-way, full range cabinet with two of Adamson’s signature Kevlar neodymium cone drivers (model ND10-LM) and an NH4TA2 1.5-inch exit compression driver.

The sound chamber produces a slightly curved wavefront, with a nominal dispersion pattern of 110 by 10 degrees (h x v). 

“I was amazed when we tuned the system,” Alkire states. “We had one EQ filter on the mains, three on the side, one on the S10s, nothing on the subs and it sounded great. We spent a lot of time during setup and sound check walking the stadium and listening, and it was incredibly consistent.”

The Big Boom
Eighth Day deployed 72 subwoofers in the air and on the ground to deliver the driving low-end that’s a signature of hip-hop.

The main arrays where joined by two hangs of a dozen E119 subs, with 48 more E119s ground stacked – 24 per side – under each main array.

The new E119, developed with input from Eighth Day, met the sound company’s need for a powerful, compact sub that would pack well into trucks on both sides of the Atlantic as well as sea containers.

It utilizes a long-excursion 19-inch Kevlar neodymium cone driver – with a 5-inch voice coil and dual-spider suspension for added stability –  that’s front loaded in the enclosure.

“It was a very loud show, running around 110 dB and never below 102 dB, and the HF and MF never went to the limit,” Alkire notes. “The subs were rock solid and performed very well, tight and punchy with a nice low end extending below 40 Hz.

All loudspeakers were driven by 48 Lab.gruppen PLM 20K44 power amplifiers offering a 4-in/4-out configuration and equipped with a new Lake core module, Dante network signal distribution, and system control and monitoring. The amplifiers were rack mounted and located under the stage.

A closer look at two dozen of the Adamson E119 subwoofers on the ground that generated tremendous low-end energy.

“The PLM 20K44 with Lake and Dante is very impressive,” Alkire says. “They certainly delivered for this show, even exceeding Lab.gruppen’s reputation for exceptional power and reliability. Only 10 amplifiers total were required to power all of the subs.”

Non-Stop Music
Front-of-house, located 150 feet from the stage, was equipped with two identical Avid VENUE Profile consoles to handle the mixes of several guest engineers, with Alkire and other Eighth Day personnel also stepping in to mix when needed. The pair of consoles, designated “A” and “B,” switched from one to the other each time a new act took the stage.

Each Profile fed into a custom shout rack loaded with a production mixer, intercom systems and three Lake LM44 processors that matrixed together the consoles to the PA as well as provided a feed to Sirius Satellite radio and Hot 97 (WQHT, New York), both of which broadcast live throughout the event.

Ed Ehrbar of Eighth Day Sound providing monitor mixes at Summer Jam on an Avid VENUE Profile console.

“With the turntable stage the music was non-stop,” adds Alkire. “When one act finished performing the show would transition directly to a DJ or emcee located off stage while the stage would rotate to the next act – once the concert started it was back to back to back. There was a lot of music packed into 10 hours.”

Performers could utilize Shure PSM 1000 personal monitoring systems with their own in-ear monitors, while both Shure UHF-R and Sennheiser SKM 5200 wireless were available. Up to 12 channels were in use at certain points, without a glitch.

Monitor engineers were provided with the same console package and configuration as the house system. On stage, up to 20 d&b audiotechnik wedges could be deployed, with fill supplied by compact d&b arrays on top of subwoofers positioned both stage left and right.

Left to right: Eighth Day front of house tech Krysten Dean, Adamson engineer Ben Cabot, and Eighth Day systems engineer C.W. Alkire at the dual Avid consoles at front of house. Dean mixed two acts at Summer Jam.

Alkire concludes that audio production went off without a hitch, with the rotating stage and dual-console approach making for fast, smooth transitions.

He’s also pleased with his company’s new main system.

“Everyone who mixed was very happy with the new PA. There was far less cancellation or interaction between the sub boxes than in previous years. The end result was very clean and tight, which is so important at an event as loud as this.”

Posted by House Editor on 07/16 at 11:00 AM
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Avid Introduces New Subscription Bundles For Pro Tools | Duet And Quartet

Delivering on Avid Everywhere, Pro Tools | Duet and Pro Tools | Quartet give music creators tools that are now more affordable and even better value.

Avid announces that Pro Tools | Duet and Pro Tools | Quartet now deliver even better value and choice to music creators with the introduction of new subscription bundles.

Customers who purchase Pro Tools | Duet or Pro Tools | Quartet can now choose between bundles that come with either a one-year subscription or a perpetual license to the digital audio workstation Pro Tools.

In addition, both of these bundles include the choice of two premium Avid plug-ins.

Together, this delivers on Avid Everywhere by giving artists and music creators the tools they need to create their best work and making them accessible in more flexible ways.

When customers purchase Pro Tools | Duet or Pro Tools | Quartet, they now receive a low-cost one-year Pro Tools subscription, which includes all future upgrades throughout its duration.

These include the Cloud Collaboration and Avid Marketplace features coming soon to Pro Tools 12 that will enable artists and musicians to connect and collaborate with friends, band mates, engineers, and producers in real time, anywhere in the world.

Customers will also receive their choice of two Avid plug-ins, including one Tier 2 ($299 value) and one Tier 3 premium plug-in ($499 value).

Avid Pro Tools | Duet and Pro Tools | Quartet provide everything needed for professional music creation, enabling customers to turn their Mac or PC into a portable music and audio production studio.

With more than 60 AAX virtual instruments, effects, sound-processing, and utility plug-ins for Pro Tools | Software, combined with compact USB audio interfaces from Apogee, Pro Tools | Duet and Pro Tools | Quartet deliver the creative tools and sound quality to create great mixes. EUCON-enabled Pro Tools I/O Control Software enables users to control the interfaces using any Artist Series controller, or a Mac or PC.

Pro Tools | Duet pricing: $799 USD, €739 excluding VAT, £634.80 including VAT
Pro Tools | Quartet pricing: $1,599 USD, €1,499 excluding VAT, £1,318.80 including VAT

Pro Tools | Duet and Pro Tools | Quartet with a one-year Pro Tools subscription and two free plug-ins are available now to purchase online and through authorized Avid resellers.


Posted by House Editor on 07/16 at 09:08 AM

Acoutech Supports Billboard Latin Music Awards With Soundcraft

Acoutech uses Vi3000 consoles for the first time along with trusted JBL VERTEC and Crown I-Tech amplifiers.

For the 14th consecutive year, Acoutech of Miami provided a sound reinforcement system featuring Harman’s Soundcraft Vi3000 digital consoles, JBL VERTEC line arrays and Crown I-Tech HD amplifiers for the Billboard Latin Music Awards.

The Awards were held at the Bank United Center in Coral Gables, Florida and aired on the Telemundo Network, with music performances by top Latin artists including Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony, Daddy Yankee and more.

For the first year, Acoutech deployed a pair of Soundcraft Vi3000 digital mixing consoles, one for the front of house music mixing and one for monitor mixing.

The front of house board featured 96 inputs, while the monitor console drove 16 stage mixes, plus another eight stereo hardwired in-ear mixes over MADI.

In addition, Soundcraft Stageboxes fed 16 stereo wireless in-ear monitors.

“The two Soundcraft consoles shared the same I/O so we were able to distribute and manage all the signals between the consoles and the production and music trucks,” said AJ Perez, president of Acoutech. “We haven’t worked very much with the Vi3000 so it was a new experience for us. The consoles performed great.”

“The Lexicon processing and built-in effects with the Vi3000 consoles were very impressive,” added JC Aguila, audio and network supervisor for Telemundo. “I’ve found these desks to be very user-friendly, and the overall quality of sound is top-notch.”

The main PA system for the awards featured JBL VERTEC VT4889 and VT4888 line array loudspeakers, along with VT4880 arrayable subwoofers. JBL VRX932LA Constant Curvature loudspeakers were used for front fill and side fill monitoring, while SRX712M stage monitors rounded out the loudspeaker system.

“VERTEC is always our first choice because we trust them,” Aguila said.

According to Aguila, this year’s awards show was particularly challenging because the stage production featured more visual components than ever before, including a giant LED wall. However, the VERTEC line arrays enabled Acoutech to find an optimal balance between acoustics and aesthetics.

“We’ve used the VERTEC loudspeakers for many years now because they continue to allow us to do particular setups that not all loudspeakers can accomplish,” Perez noted. “The VERTEC line arrays are able to deliver a high amount of output while maintaining a low visual profile, so we can meet the directors’ and producers’ requirements of keeping the audio system out of the camera shots.”

“VERTEC is absolutely a phenomenal piece of equipment,” said Raphael Alkins, production A1 mixer for the Billboard Latin Music Awards. “It’s amazing to see and hear a 14-year-old box that still has an unbelievable sound and can run side by side with anything on the market today.”

Crown I-Tech 4x3500HD amplifiers powered the loudspeakers. The amplifiers feature a variety of DSP capabilities including V5 preset tuning support for the VERTEC line arrays. “We have upgraded with I-Tech 4x3500HD and more advanced presets, so through the years, little by little, we’ve been able to give the VERTEC boxes more life by keeping the system up to date and the system continues to perform great for us,” Perez noted. “We usually fly the amp racks behind the loudspeakers, so we keep the cable lengths short and out of the way.”

“The Crown I-Tech 4x3500HD amplifiers made a big difference in the sound, and the system engineer was also able to make critical adjustments at my request, within the cluster via the amplifiers to make mixing the show much easier for me,” Alkins said.

“Since I oversee broadcast audio as well for past years I’ve been in the broadcast truck; this year I was at front of house,” Aguila said. “I was very impressed. The quality of sound and the dynamic of the room was amazing.”


Posted by House Editor on 07/16 at 08:23 AM
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Nico Efthymiadis And Shure Celebrate 45-Year Partnership

Efthymiadis began as an importer of phonograph cartridges and earned the opportunity to become the exclusive distributor in Greece.

This year, the N. Efthymiadis Company is celebrating its 45th year as Distributor for Shure Incorporated in Greece.

Owner Nico Efthymiadis accepted a special commemorative certificate from Shure president and CEO Sandy LaMantia.

“For more than four decades, we have maintained a strong partnership built on productivity and cooperation,” said LaMantia.

“It is a testament to the hard work and dedication of each and every employee, past and present, at N. Efthymiadis. We appreciate their support in our continued commitment to providing great sound to the world.”

Nico Efthymiadis began his relationship with Shure as an importer of phonograph cartridges. He facilitated successful installations of Shure audio equipment at international trade fairs and stadiums, and earned the opportunity to become the exclusive Shure Distributor in Greece for all Shure products.

The N. Efthymiadis Company offers its customers in Greece professional audio solutions. Shure values its network of global channel partners and has built strong relationships with Distributors worldwide by demonstrating its commitment to quality, loyalty, and trust.

“Throughout the years we have visited, talked, and cooperated with Shure Associates from different countries with different cultural backgrounds, and all of these people had the same passion and were part of the same family: The Shure Family,” said Efthymiadis.

“Our 45-year partnership was and remains an exhilarating cooperation, leaving me only with the best impressions and a success story.”

Shure Incorporated

Posted by House Editor on 07/16 at 07:58 AM

The Radial Space Heater 500 Tube Overdrive Now Shipping

The Space Heater 500 is a single-wide tube overdrive module for the Radial Workhorse and other 500 series racks.

Radial Engineering announces the Space Heater 500 is now shipping.

The Space Heater 500 is a single-wide tube overdrive module for the Radial Workhorse and other 500 series racks that delivers natural crunch to drums, adds character to voice, and natural compression to bass and acoustic guitar.

According to Radial product guru, Jay Porter: “When we launched the eight channel Space Heater, it became immediately apparent that we had no choice but to make a module for our growing 500 series customer base.  The Space Heater sounds huge and brings so much excitement to production it will likely become one of those tools that you use each and every time you lay down a track.”

The design begins with a single-wide 500 series module in a fully enclosed steel enclosure. This not only protects the sensitive electronics but also helps prevent outside radiation from causing noise, or from the Space Heater 500 creating buzz, due to the high voltage required by the 12AX7 tube. This, in fact, is part of the magic.

A 3-position HEAT switch enables the user to choose between 35 volts, 70 volts or 140 volts for the desired level of tube distortion. Distortion is further adjusted using the combination of a drive control plus a level for make-up gain. The plate voltage is generated by an internal charge pump while the Workhorse or 500 series 16V supply provides the 12AX7 tube the 12 volts needed for the heater. A Jensen transformer is employed at the output to bring a more vintage character to the signal path while benefiting from galvanic isolation to reduce hum and buzz caused by ground loops.

To further refine the sonic response, the Space Heater 500 is equipped with both high-pass and low-pass filters. These allow the engineer to focus the tube effect on a particular frequency band or spread it out as needed. The EQ can also be applied to the signal path either pre or post tube for even greater tonal flexibility.

As the Space Heater 500 employs a high voltage tube circuit with a current draw of 235 milliamps, a special power allocation switch adjacent to the card edge connector is available to balance the draw for use with most 500 series racks.

MAP for the Space Heater 500: $699.99 USD

Radial Engineering

Posted by House Editor on 07/16 at 07:48 AM
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Some Vocals Are Hard To Mix

This article is provided by Behind The Mixer.

Churches aren’t packed with angelic voices, at least from an audio engineer’s perspective.

Instead, there’s a variety of vocal talent; from the first-timer to the experienced singer and if one’s lucky, a trained singer.

But the real problem isn’t the talent level, it’s what they’re tasked to do.

A common production phrase says the quality of the mix depends on the quality of sound coming from the stage. It’s for this reason microphone selection and usage is of critical importance. But today, we’re going past the mic and past the talent to the real source of mixing difficulty: poor song arrangement.

Home On The Range
Some vocals are hard to mix because the vocalist is asked to sing outside their range. The term range refers to the full spectrum of notes a singer’s voice is able to clearly produce, starting from the bottom-most note (lowest pitches) and reaching to the upper-most note (the highest pitches).

People cannot all sing in the same range. Untrained singers have a limited range compared to trained singers who can rely on technique and vocal exercise to extend that range. For some, their full range is a few octaves while for others, their range spans four-plus octaves.

Given any time a pitch cannot be carried by the singer then it’s considered out of their range, look at how many times untrained church singers are singing out of their range. Just listen for it.

Singing outside of the range creates a rather unattractive sound. And when a song arrangement includes octaves outside a singer’s range, it’s time to start the vocal EQ process from scratch.

No matter how perfect the vocalist settings are on an in-range song, when anything else comes along, the EQ settings need to go out the window.

General EQ
Take for example a male voice. My generic male vocal mix build goes as follows. I hit the HPF (high-pass filter) and roll it to around 100 Hz. Later, I’ll tweak to the optimal setting. Next, I use a low-end cut in the 250-350 Hz range to clear up muddiness common with male vocals. Lastly, I remove the primary offending frequencies.

That three-step process works on analog and digital consoles. The only limitations now are what else I can do given technological limits.

Start Over
Back to the vocalist’s range. The above process works but the moment a song requires them to sing out of their range, it’s time to start over.

The offending frequencies will be in a new place, the HPF point might be different, and certainly the later extra EQ work will be in different areas.

The vocalist should own the frequency band in which they’re singing and when they start singing at an extreme, that frequency area will change and the rest of the mix needs to be adjusted.  Don’t have other dominate sounds fighting for that space.

Engineer Kim Lajoie says of lead vocal mixing, “Make sure it sounds exactly how it needs to, and then bring the other instruments back in around the vocal. The vocal is the most important part of the mix and the song – don’t compromise it by jamming it into a sans-vocal mix.”

A lead vocalist may not be the worship leader and therefore, expect times for this to happen whereas the worship leader has a handle on their own voice. But what about times when it’s a backing vocalist? Use the same process but if it still doesn’t produce a usable sound then tuck the voice behind the others.

There’s no such thing as a perfect vocal EQ setting that works all the time. What works today might not work tomorrow. What works for one song might not be right for the next and that’s even when it’s within range as a song arrangement can call for effect changes and vocal EQ changes. But when a song arrangement requires a vocalist to sing outside their range, it’s time to start their vocal mix from scratch.

Ready to learn and laugh? Chris Huff writes about the world of church audio at Behind The Mixer. He covers everything from audio fundamentals to dealing with musicians. He can even tell you the signs the sound guy is having a mental breakdown.

Posted by House Editor on 07/16 at 07:01 AM
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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Scotty Simpson On The Road With Tube Tech And The Oak Ridge Boys

Veteran studio and touring bass player finds signature sound with the CL1B Compressor.

Scotty Simpson was only eleven years old when he picked up the bass, and he was only fourteen years old when he started playing regular gigs in clubs.

He is now signed on to play bass for the Oak Ridge Boys on the road, which he currently does using a Tube-Tech CL1B Compressor.

In the beginning, his guitar-playing older brother served as a “guardian” when he played the clubs, though Simpson admits (with a wink) that his parents may have held a different view of the arrangement if they knew the full story.

By the time he could legally attend his own shows, Simpson was playing six nights a week in his hometown of Dallas, Texas and amassing bass and vocal chops upon which he would build a successful career.

After a year playing bass on cruise ships (“which got old quick,” he noted), Simpson relocated to Nashville and played for Tanya Tucker and Pam Tillis, and then landed at job as Travis Tritt’s bandleader. When that gig ended thirteen years later, Simpson found The Oak Ridge Boys.

He has also found his signature sound in the Tube-Tech CL1B Compressor. “It’s like the Rolls Royce of compressors, and I’ve got that perfect Tube-Tech sound 150 nights a year.” he said.

“There’s a reason why the Oak Ridge Boys are in the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Gospel Music Hall of Fame and why they’ve won umpteen awards,” said Simpson. “It’s because they’re the real deal. Even though their average age is north of 70, they bring tremendous energy and enthusiasm to each and every show. They’re kind to their employees and always respect their fans. Playing in the Oaks has been a real light bulb experience for me and it’s the most rewarding job I’ve ever had as a professional musician.”

Perhaps those good vibes rubbed off on his attitude toward his live bass rig as well. Because the Oak Ridge Boys play so many shows in such a huge range of venue sizes and situations, these days Simpson avoids the trouble of dragging a head and cabinet everywhere.

“Sometimes I’d get to use the amp, but a lot of times I wouldn’t,” he said. “And even when I did get to use it, I was often forced to keep it quiet. In the end, it didn’t seem worth it.” But that means his tone is entirely dependent on his DI signal chain.

“I’ve been doing session work for most of my life, and nine times out of ten, the engineer puts my bass through a Tube-Tech CL1B,” said Simpson.

“What a sound! I recently got my own CL1B, but like most people, I left it at home for fear it would get damaged on the road. Then I’d be playing dates with the Oaks and my sound was good, but not great. I’d get home, play through the CL1B, and think, ‘wow, now that’s the sound.’ I finally decided that since I’m playing 150 nights a year, I might as well fully enjoy it. I brought the Rolls Royce on the road. I put it in a shock-mount rack, and now I’m having fun just listening to my bass every night.”

Simpson plays Jazz- and Precision-style basses made by Mike Lull, which he feeds into an Avalon U5 class A direct box.

His front of house engineer takes one output directly from the U5, which serves as the “bassier” part of his signal. A second output from the U5 feeds an Avalon 737 channel strip, which allows him to dial up the mids that accentuate the bass’s growl and string noise. Output from the 737 feeds the Tube-Tech CL1B, with the input gain slightly above unity (“just enough so you can hear that tube.”), the attack around 11 o’clock, the release around 1 o’clock, and the ratio near 2.5:1. Depending on the venue, he adjusts the threshold up or down.

The front of house engineer also gets the post Tube-Tech signal and mixes it with the direct DI signal to obtain the right overall tone. On average, the Tube-Tech signal comprises about 70% of the mixed signal.

“I wouldn’t do it any other way now,” he said. “With all that quality going into my in-ear monitors, I can’t tell that I don’t have a huge cab behind me. The Tube-Tech takes all of the drastic mids that I accentuate with the 737 and shapes it into one beautiful, consistent sound. And it’s definitely colored. If you took away the Tube-Tech, you’d notice a big difference.”

In many months on the road, the only injury to Simpson’s CL1B has been a screw that shook loose. “I called Richard [Bowman] at TransAudio Group [Tube-Tech’s US-distributor] and, Richard being who he is, had a bag full of replacement screws delivered to me a few days later,” Simpson said.


Posted by House Editor on 07/15 at 03:35 PM
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Wisycom MCR42 Firmware Update Field Tested By ToneMesa

The updated firmware allows a collaboration with Sound Devices 688 mixer/recorder and SL-6 SuperSlot powering and wireless accessory.

Wisycom announce that the first user of its MCR42 UHF camera receiver with new firmware, Jesse Parker is having great results with the product.

The updated firmware allows a collaboration with Sound Devices 688 mixer/recorder and its SL-6 SuperSlot powering and wireless accessory.

Parker, a production sound mixer at Los Angeles-based ToneMesa, finds the MCR42 with new firmware update to be an asset on projects ranging from reality television to episodic to full-length feature films all over Hollywood and Los Angeles.

ToneMesa is a location/post audio service and technology rental company and was the first adopter and integrator of Wisycom products in North America on broadcast television.

Parker employs the MCR42 for audio input for his recorders in every production he does.

“The Wisycom MCR42’s are present in each of my kits and I always have one with me,” Parker says.  “A key advantage to working with the MCR42 is the ability to quickly find clean frequencies across many channels with no interference, no matter if I am working on a set or in the studio. The MCR42s have also improved the quality of my workflow being that I am accustomed to working digitally.”

The new firmware update [3.5] enables the MCR42 to connect with Sound Devices 688 mixer/recorder, which gives the user new possibilities including audio mixing,  recording and wireless receiver control directly from the mixer.

With the addition of the 688 mixer/recorder and SL-6 accessory, the MCR42 can use two analog channels or a digital AES3, or it can be managed and monitored by the SuperSlot to use all its advanced features, like the ability to probe TV channels for interference on a wide spectrum.

The MCR42 comes with Wisycom’s patented PTT [push-to-talk] feature, as well as operation on a wide frequency, up to 230MHz.

The DSP board allows analog and digital (AES3) output, with multi-commander compatibilities and other digital features. Parker utilizes many different pieces of equipment depending on his production needs. A typical set-up includes a Sound Devices 633, 664 and most recently 688 production field mixer with integrated 12 channel recorder coupled with the SL-6. Parker relies on Wisycom as his primary receivers and also employs Wisycom’s MTP41 Pocket UHF transmitter and MTP40S Wideband bodypack transmitter with DPA 4061 lavaliere microphones. 

“The MCR42 receivers and the MTP41 and MTP40S transmitters are critical to my workflow,” Parker continues.  “I am in full control when I am working on a production. The Wisycom MCR42’s have improved many aspects of my work. I am confident in the Wisycom equipment because of their high sound quality and durability. This peace of mind allows me to focus on the many other responsibilities I have on set. I know that no matter where I spend a production day, I am connected to my work, thanks to Wisycom.”


Posted by House Editor on 07/15 at 12:31 PM

Paul David Hager Uses DiGiGrid IOS For Tracking Miley Cyrus’ Vocals

DiGiGrid IOS features eight mic/line inputs with broadcast/studio-quality preamps and MIDI, S/PDIF and AES ins and outs.

Front of house/studio mix engineer Paul David Hager (Miley Cyrus, Goo Goo Dolls, Jonas Brothers) uses the DiGiGrid IOS and Waves SoundGrid technology to simplify and enhance his workflow. 

“Using the DiGiGrid IOS’s low-latency monitoring with plugins is a great benefit to my workflow when tracking vocals for Miley Cyrus,” says Hager.

“Having the ability to use StudioRack as Native or SoundGrid with DiGiGrid IOS is more than useful.”

“DiGiGrid IOS’s preamps and I/Os sound amazing. Since I do both studio and live work, having SoundGrid capabilities allows me to easily transfer settings and presets between those two environments. SoundGrid offers me the stability and capacity to open up way more plugins than previously possible.” 

He adds about Waves StudioRack: ”Waves StudioRack allows me to open chains of plugins as presets, which is a real time-saver in that it quickly puts me in a great starting point.”

Hager further comments about switching from stage to studio: “I can now simply give an engineer the processing chain settings in a single preset file, for their live or studio mix. This is a major benefit since in the past it was not so easy to do that. So, while I am using StudioRack to run processing chains in a studio environment, I am now also able to use the same chain in my MultiRack application, which is the SoundGrid platform that I am using in my Live shows.” 

DiGiGrid IOS is an audio interface with a built-in SoundGrid DSP server for plugin processing, featuring eight mic/line inputs with broadcast/studio-quality preamps, eight line outputs, two headphone outputs, and MIDI, S/PDIF and AES ins and outs.

DiGiGrid IOS comes with the complete SoundGrid Studio System software (the SoundGrid Studio Application, StudioRack, and the eMotion ST mixer).

Used in combination with this software, DiGiGrid IOS lets users mix and monitor in real time using hundreds of their favorite SoundGrid-compatible Waves and third-party plugins, with super-low latency of only 0.8 milliseconds. 


Posted by House Editor on 07/15 at 12:10 PM
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Riedel Communications To Introduce New Products At IBC2015

New products include a 80G media distribution network, rack mountable Smartpanel and three different control apps.

Riedel Communications announces several new products to be introduced at IBC2015.

MediorNet MicroN
Being showcased at IBC2015, MicroN is an 80G media distribution network device for the company’s MediorNet line of media transport and management solutions.

Working with the MediorNet MetroN core fiber router, MicroN is a high-density signal interface with a complete array of audio, video, and data inputs and outputs, including 24 SD/HD/3G-SDI I/Os, two MADI optical digital audio ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port, two sync reference I/Os, and eight 10G SFP+ high-speed ports at a very competitive price point.

MicroN offers routing and processing capabilities that can be tailored for productions of all sizes and complexity. A single unit serves as a stand-alone point-to-point router and processor while multiple interconnected units support scalable decentralized video routing.

New Smartpanel Apps
At IBC2015, Riedel will feature the RSP-2318 Smartpanel, offering features and capabilities that will enrich the user experience for broadcasters and A/V professionals.

As a control panel designed to serve as a multifunctional user interface, the Riedel device boasts a unique feature set that includes three high-resolution, sunlight-readable, multitouch color displays; premium-quality stereo audio; a multilingual character set; and 18 keys in just 1 RU.

These features make Riedel’s new Smartpanel a user interface that can be further expanded through the use of apps.

Three apps are available offering different levels of functionality.
With the “BASIC” app, users have 12 intercom keys and connectivity to RAVENNA/AES67 or AVB.

The “PLUS” app also has 12 intercom keys and adds an analog audio port for 4-wire integration and three GPI/Os.

The “PRO” app has 18 intercom keys and two analog audio ports for 4-wire integration, three GPI/Os, and the ability to connect an independent second headset.

All three units can be expanded via an integrated options slot and are ready for add-ons as well as additional intercom and non-intercom apps. Riedel’s intercom app can be quickly and easily upgraded to the desired edition, without changing any hardware components.

Other Products on Display:
- Tango Networked Communications Platform
- MediorNet Modular, MediorNet Compact, and MetroN
- Performer, Artist, and Acrobat Communications Systems
- RockNet Fiber-Optic Converters and Console Interfaces

“At IBC2015 we will showcase our newest addition to the MediorNet line of real-time signal networks, the MicroN. This 1 RU box is a powerful and flexible 80G media distribution device that can be used in several different ways to create unique signal topographies and simplify signal transport like never before. We will also demonstrate the new apps that are available for the stunning Smartpanel. We hope to see you in Amsterdam in September.” Thomas Riedel, CEO, Riedel Communications.

Riedel Communications

Posted by House Editor on 07/15 at 09:32 AM

Pete Townshend’s Classic Quadrophenia Production Selects Allen & Heath

iLive digital mixing system employed to manage front of house for the recent production at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

Allen & Heath’s modular iLive digital mixing system was employed to manage front of house for the recent production of Pete Townshend’s Classic Quadrophenia, taking place at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

A classical reworking of The Who’s 1970s album, Quadrophenia, Townshend’s production featured the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the London Oriana Choir, and guest singers Billy Idol, Phil Daniels and Alfie Boe.

“The brief was to emulate the Quadrophenia studio album, and provide clean, open sound, so I knew I had to choose iLive because it fits the bill exactly - it has a very open, clean sound, great audio processing, is super flexible, networkable, and is customisable so I can make it work for me, rather than the other way round. With an 80-strong orchestra, 90-strong choir and various guest celebrity singers, there was a lot going on, so iLive is just what I needed,” explains front of house engineer, Ian Barfoot.

The PA was provided by Capital Sound, and the iLive system comprised two modular iDR10 MixRacks installed on stage and linked using ACE, with an iLive-112 control surface at front of house position linked to the racks using fibre optic and cat5 working in tandem.

The system needed to manage a total of 128 inputs, with approximately 12 outputs, 16 DCAs, and providing orchestral stems to the monitor board, left and right to the main venue system, and recording feed to the mobile broadcast trucks.

“The iLive-112 surface has a compact footprint which is ideal for theatre situations but the impressive thing is that I can run the console as a 224 strip surface, using the soft keys to recall different control strip configurations as scene recalls, greatly expanding the scope of what I see in my layers. By programming various soft keys to provide completely different control strip setups for different parts of the orchestra, I can instantaneously recall a different channel configuration all at the touch of a button. In fact, I could multiply up to 9 times the 112 channels… but that’s madness.” says Barfoot.

Barfoot also used a laptop running iLive Editor as an extra meter bridge so the system technician could monitor the first 50 microphones, mainly the string section, where most sound reinforcement problems occur. He also used an iPad with the app as a remote control during rehearsals.

Allen & Heath

Posted by House Editor on 07/15 at 08:56 AM
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Radio Active Designs Expands UV-1G Wireless Intercom System Line

New products include VHF antenna splitter, periodic dipole array, high gain polarized antenna and lithium ion battery packs.

Radio Active Designs has announced a range of new accessories for the recently introduced UV-1G wireless intercom system.

The intercom system is equipped with a range of proprietary technologies, including belt packs (RAD packs) that operate in the relatively unused VHF frequency range.

“While the UV-1G sets a very high standard in terms of audio quality and wireless performance, we’re providing professionals with additional options to meet the increasing challenges of working in today’s RF environment,” explains James Stoffo, chief operating officer, Radio Active Designs.

“All of these new accessories enhance flexibility while also delivering the features and functionality necessary to meet the needs of the most demanding applications.”

The V-8 VHF antenna splitter, designed to work with UV-1G receivers, splits RF signal from the VHF antenna input to feed up to eight outputs. It also includes a switch to send DC voltage up the coaxial cable input to power a remote VHF filtered amplifier for long cable runs. An RF gain control allows setting proper gain staging for each specific application.

The VF-1 log periodic dipole array receives VHF band signals from the RAD pack transmitters. A directional antenna, it can be used to focus RF energy from one relative direction and is particularly recommended when forward gain and directivity is required. It effectively doubles the range of RAD pack transmit signals in comparison to the supplied omnidirectional whip antenna.

And because antennas are reciprocal, the VF-1 can also be used as a transmit antenna for IFB systems in the 216-217 MHz band. Overall, it has an operating frequency of 170 to 220 MHz, a beam width of 70 degrees, provides up to 6 dBd of gain, and is equipped with a microphone stand thread-mount for mounting.

The UD-1 high gain circularly polarized antenna, which operates in the UHF band, is ideal for situations that would benefit from bolstering the gain of UV-1G base stations and RAD packs. In transmission, the circular polar pattern further reduces the potential for dropouts. It operates in the 470 to 700 MHz band, and beam width is 75 degrees. It supplies up to 8 dBd of gain and is also outfitted with a mic stand thread-mount for mounting.

While RAD packs are designed to operate with standard 9-volt alkaline batteries, they can also be powered by new BP-1 lithium ion battery packs, which are rechargeable with the new BC-4 battery charger. The BC-4 includes four re-charging bays (each providing 12.6 volts) housed in a 1RU rack-mountable package that weighs just 2.5 pounds.

The front panel of the BC-4 provides LEDs to indicate charge status, with flashing yellow indicating conditioning, solid yellow confirming that charging is underway, flashing green depicting 90 percent charge status, and solid green for 100 percent charge status. Red indicates a fault. Total charging time is less than three hours.

Radio Active Designs

Posted by House Editor on 07/15 at 08:41 AM
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