Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Yamaha NUAGE Filling Key Production Roles At Undercurrent Labs In Atlanta
Software and content developer upgrades studio capabilities with advanced DAW production system
John Penn is an independent film/music composer, 3D sound designer, producer, media-tech entrepreneur, and owner of Undercurrent Labs, the company he founded in 2011.
Part of the Atlanta tech community, the company is focused on virtual and augmented reality and content development for web and mobile applications. Working with several companies that are pushing the boundaries of immersive surround, a networked infrastructure is key to the company’s development.
As a software and content developer, it’s focused on enterprise mobile apps for the MedTech and streaming video markets, and is also currently developing augmented reality and location aware technology for mobile devices to help medical device manufacturers and hospitals reduce the risk of accidents, complications, and costs of operating complex medical equipment.
“I believe music is an important form of medicine and I’ve been researching the application of 3D sound and music as a more natural application to improve medical conditions that affect the brain, nervous system, and chronic pain conditions. Harnessing song, sound frequencies, and rhythm as another tool in treating physical ailments is an emerging field,” states Penn. “Fundamentally, our biological existence is closely tied to vibrational energy, and tapping into 3D space and other dimensions that is hard for us to consciously perceive, but our core being understands, can ultimately render medically beneficial outcomes previously not thought possible. There is a connection between dimensional sound vibration, m-theory physics, and medicine that we have barely scratched the surface on.”
Penn says the company’s strategy to provide full-service and on-time delivery is built on the best network infrastructure available for audio and video that helps to scale dynamically to each project with post-production talent, workflow, and equipment. For that reason, Undercurrent Labs has added Yamaha Commercial Audio NUAGE production DAW system.
“I was sharing my studio upgrade plans with my brother Mark, also a Nuendo user, and had just seen the Yamaha announcement for NUAGE,” Penn notes. “For years, we waited for the right control surface for Nuendo, so when we saw the pictures and specs for NUAGE, we knew the wait was over.”
NUAGE dealer RSPE recommended a demo, and so Penn reached out to Yamaha’s Chris Hinson for that purpose. “You don’t have a real appreciation of the presence and feel of NUAGE just by looking at pictures until you see it in person, touching the surface and realizing the freedom of not being confined to a box of semiconductors,” Penn says. “Sitting at the NUAGE console and looking at the new Nuendo 6, I actually felt at home again, in a musical sense. The design is that good.”
The collaboration of Yamaha and Steinberg to harmonize the workflow of an established DAW like Cubase/Nuendo and Yamaha’s portfolio of digital mixers and their combined design and engineering philosophy helped Penn to affirm the benefits of NUAGE, since he was already comfortable with Nuendo since Version 2 and the Yamaha 01V and 01V96 mixers. “It’s kind of like mixing peanut butter and chocolate, for most folks, you’re going to get something great,” he says.
Penn put NUAGE to the challenge on its maiden voyage in his surround mix room where he served as supervising sound mixer for Hollywood veteran actor and director Tommy Ford (Martin on Fox; New York Undercover, UPN; The Parkers), editor Kevin Christopher, producer Shannon Nash and executive producer Bryant Scott of Tyscot Films, for a new film being released this year titled “Switching Lanes.”
“Nuendo’s ADR mode enables me to accomplish more in vocal and Foley sessions by allowing multiple takes in one batch for scenes, providing more freedom for greater spontaneity in performance by the artist and guidelines from the director or producer,” says Penn. “I’m currently test driving Yamaha’s Rio 32-channel I/O box to remotely control the head amplifiers from either the NUAGE Master and Fader control surfaces, by-passing my analog patch bay and cable snakes.
“Touch is everything to me when I’m in a creative vibe, a real break from flat glass,” he continues. “I love the natural texture of the hand rest, stainless steel jog wheel and the frame accurate precision it provides as I nudge video or audio tracks. Designing in 3D space in real-time on a Sci-Fi Q-Bik Muz soundtrack ‘PsychoPlasmic’ was nearly impossible without JL Cooper’s Surround Panner, enabling three axis of control and automation manipulating audio objects around nine monitors.
“The integration of NUAGE to manage 3D audio for real-time 3D motion graphics for live video production, animation, and content branding, using virtual sets, and augmented reality, brings a level of creative collaboration to Georgia usually exclusive to LA and UK studios,” Penn adds.
“One of my film dialog editors, Elliot Glenn, a Pro Tools user said he never thought he’d be able to learn a new DAW using a control surface specifically created for that DAW,” he concludes. “The integrated approach Yamaha has perfected not only sped up the learning curve but revealed many features of Nuendo sometimes hidden in software. Believe me when I say that the NUAGE integration with Nuendo is truly seamless.”
Yamaha Commercial Audio
Monday, October 13, 2014
Barefoot Introduces New MicroMain45 Monitors
Barefoot Sound has unveiled its newest studio monitor, the MicroMain45, a 3-way active monitor with controls for equalization contour and an input level stepped attenuator.
The new MicroMain45 offers the same signal path, amplifier and driver technologies as the flagship MiniMain12, but is stripped down to the bare essentials to deliver high performance at a more affordable price.
The cabinet has a total of 14 liters internal volume, sealed woofer and midrange enclosures, machined aluminum baffle plate, and long fiber wool acoustic damping throughout.
The MM45 tweeter has a 1-inch ring radiator, advanced geometry motor, and rear waveguide chamber, with 180-watt Hypex amplifier. The midranges includes two 2.5-inch aluminum cones, advanced geometry motors, and +/- 2 mm linear excursion, also with 180-watt Hypex amplifier.
The woofer has an 8-inch aluminum cone with high linearity motor, and +/- 13 mm linear excursion with a 250-watt Hypex amplifier.
Input Impedance: 50k Ohm
Frequency Response: 40 Hz - 45 kHz (±3 dB), 53 Hz - 40 kHz (±1 dB)
Bass Response: -3 dB @ 40 Hz, Q = 0.707, Slope = 12 dB/octave
Crossover Frequencies: 600 / 2500 Hz
AC Power Input: Nominal 115 VAC or 230 VAC selectable
Power Consumption: Idle: 18W, Maximum: 400W
Weight: 37.5 pounds each (17 kg); shipping: 47 pounds each (21 kg)
Dimensions (h x w d): Cabinet: 11 x 15.5 x 10.75 inches (279 x 394 x 273 mm)
Overall: 11 x 15.5 x 11 inches (279 x 394 x 279 mm)
PreSonus Introduces Temblor 8 Active Studio Subwoofer
Complements any full-range monitoring system, making it well-suited for personal studios, gaming, and audiophile applications
Designed for critical listening in the studio or at home, the new PreSonus Temblor T8 active subwoofer complements any full-range monitoring system, making it well-suited for personal studios, gaming, audiophiles, and home theaters.
Like its larger sibling the Temblor T10, the T8 naturally extends the low-frequency response of full-range loudspeakers without overshadowing them.
It delivers punchy, musical lows and offers user controls that include a continuously variable low-pass filter (50 Hz to 130 Hz) for creating a smooth crossover transition and a switchable high-pass filter that removes content below 80 Hz from the full-range signal sent to satellite loudspeakers
While an companion for the PreSonus Ceres Bluetooth monitors, the Temblor T8 has been designed to pair with any studio loudspeaker, including those in the PreSonus professional studio lines.
It has an 8-inch, down-firing, glass-composite woofer with high-density rubber surround driven by a Class AB amplifier that delivers up to 200 watts of power. It also sports a round, front-firing acoustic port; left and right 1/4-inch TRS and RCA main inputs; and left-right 1/4-inch TRS and RCA pass-through outputs to connect satellite loudspeakers.
As with PreSonus Ceres speakers, the Energy Conservation mode meets the European ErP directive.
Waves Audio & DiGiCo Debut DiGiGrid Audio Interfaces With DLS/DLI/IOS
Adds power to existing DAW systems, leverages plug-ins, and with very low latency
Waves Audio and DiGiCo have expanded their offerings with DiGiGrid Advanced Audio Interfaces featuring DLS/DLI/IOS functionality.
DiGiGrid DLS is an all-in-one processing and networking hub that enhances a Pro Tools system. With its built-in SoundGrid DSP server, network switch, and two DigiLink ports providing as many as 64 digital inputs and outputs, DiGiGrid DLS provides more processing power and lets users take full advantage of their existing Pro Tools system.
With full plug-in integration inside the DAW, users can track, monitor and mix while running hundreds of SoundGrid-compatible Waves and third-party plug-ins in real time – all with very low latency of only 0.8 milliseconds. The result is more power to the plug-ins by adding more DSP power to the system.
DiGiGrid DLI is a networking hub that bridges Pro Tools and SoundGrid. With two DigiLink ports providing as many as 64 digital inputs and outputs, DiGiGrid DLI also helps users get the most out of an existing Pro Tools system. Adding a SoundGrid DSP server to a DLI provides far more processing power, as well as more options for recording, monitoring and mixing in real time.
DiGiGrid IOS is a comprehensive audio interface with a built-in SoundGrid DSP server that also adds more plug-in processing power to an existing system. Designed for professional and personal production environments alike, IOS is an all-in-one solution for Native DAW users (Logic, Cubase, Nuendo, Ableton, Pro Tools Native, etc.).
Together with the SoundGrid Studio System, IOS enables users to mix and monitor in real time using hundreds of SoundGrid-compatible Waves and third-party plug-ins, with latency of only 0.8 milliseconds.
Note that DiGiGrid DLS and DLI both come with the complete SoundGrid Studio System software: the SoundGrid ASIO/Core Audio driver, the SoundGrid Studio Application, StudioRack, and the eMotion ST Mixer.
Genelec Introduces 8351 Smart Active Monitor (SAM)
Designed with mechanical, acoustical and signal-processing designs linked closely together
Genelec has introduced the new 8351, a 3-way Smart Active Monitor (SAM), designed with mechanical, acoustical and signal-processing designs linked closely together.
The 8351 borrows its size attribute from Genelec’s 8050, with dimensions of 17.75 x 11.25 x 11 (h x w x d) inches.
The center of the 8351’s enclosure is outfitted with the Minimum Diffraction co-axial midrange/tweeter driver evolved from the 8260, providing extremely accurate imaging and improved sound quality, with a very high degree of accuracy, both on and off-axis, vertically as well as horizontally.
Aesthetically, there’s an absence of visible woofers, which are concealed beneath the proprietary Directivity Controlled Waveguide (DCW). The areas on the perimeter of the DCW are the acoustic openings for the proprietary Genelec-designed Acoustically Concealed Woofers (ACW).
This arrangement forms a 3-way co-axial enclosure with large continuous Directivity Control Waveguide (DCW) across the entire front. The 8351 is designed for either the vertical or horizontal orientation, with closely similar directivity characteristics as users move off-axis. The smooth frequency response and dispersion pattern lead to clarity and definition of the audio signal.
Further, the new 8351 is capable of delivering 110 dB at 1 meter through a combination of efficient Genelec-designed Class D amplifiers for the bass (150-watt) and midrange (120-watt) drivers, while a discrete (90 watts) Genelec-designed Class A/B amplifier applies power to the tweeter. Frequency response is stated as 35 Hz to 40 kHz +/-3dB, (38 Hz to 21 kHz +/-1dB), with low distortion.
SAM (Smart Active Monitoring) technology is designed to take all that can be good about a monitor by itself and integrates it further into the listening environment. It creates a computer controlled, flexible network of monitors and makes them as a fully aligned system with regard to level, timing and room response equalization – all done automatically – as well being configurable by the end user.
Every sub-system in the 8351 – electronics, the drivers and mechanical assembly – is designed by Genelec’s R & D team and built entirely in-house at the company’s factory in Iisalmi, Finland.
Avid Unveils Compact Pro Tools | S3 Desktop Control Surface
Offers open integration with Pro Tools | Software and other EUCON-enabled digital audio workstations like Logic Pro, Cubase, and more
Avid has introduced the compact Pro Tools | S3 desktop control surface, a streamlined mixing solution. Based on the Pro Tools | S6 control surface, the S3 offers open integration with Pro Tools | Software and other EUCON-enabled digital audio workstations like Logic Pro, Cubase, and more.
By combining traditional console layout with the advancements of the S6, Pro Tools | S3 delivers intuitive recording, editing, and mixing control, along with the power and efficiency to meet fast turnaround times.
The compact form factor fits into any space, making Pro Tools | S3 well-suited for small project studios or on-the-go music and post mixing.
Users can customize the surface to their unique needs by creating custom channel layouts, all recallable at any time. Pro Tools | S3 can switch between two applications with ease, giving users the choice to work however they want.
Pro Tools | S3 easily integrates with solutions across the Avid MediaCentral Platform, as well as a studio’s existing systems and workflows to deliver deep hardware/software integration and control.
Hardware controls include:
—16 channel strips, each with a touch-sensitive, motorized fader and 10-segment signal level meter (supports up to 6 fader banks)
—32 touch-sensitive, push-button rotary encoders for panning, gain control, plug-in parameter adjustments, and more (16 channel control, 16 assignable), each with a tricolor LED function indicator
—32 high-resolution OLED displays for viewing track names/numbers, detailed metering data (from mono to 5.1 surround), parameter names/values, current automation mode, and more
—Solo, mute, channel select, and record/automation-enable keys on every channel
—Touch strip provides easy access to transport controls
—Dozens of dedicated buttons and switches for navigation, automation, control assignment, and software control
—Built-in 4 x 6 AVB Core Audio interface includes 2 XLR mic/line inputs, 2 TRS line inputs, 2 XLR line outputs, 2 TRS line outputs, and a stereo headphone output
“In today’s competitive post and music mixing environment, shrinking budgets and tighter schedules are commonplace,” says Chris Gahagan, senior vice president of Products and Technology at Avid. “To succeed, audio professionals need to streamline and accelerate their workflow, as well as broaden the scope and capabilities of their mixing solutions to handle the most sophisticated projects. The affordable Pro Tools | S3 delivers the power, efficiency, and versatility engineers need to deliver fast turnarounds in the most demanding environments.”
Avid Pro Tools | S3 will be available November 2014 through Avid resellers worldwide.
Sunday, October 12, 2014
Audio-Technica Debuts New AT5045 Cardioid Condenser Microphone
Hand-built studio condenser instrument microphone is latest addition to A-T’s flagship 50 Series
Audio-Technica has introduced the AT5045 cardioid condenser microphone, the latest addition to A-T’s flagship 50 Series of studio microphones.
The hand-built AT5045 is a “stick-design,” large-diaphragm electret side-address condenser design for instruments, with a cardioid polar pattern that enables the user to capture audio with realism and depth.
Available separately or as stereo pairs (AT5045P), the new mic has a large diaphragm, fast transient response, low noise, the ability to handle high sound pressure levels (149 dB SPL), and a wide dynamic range (141 dB). These specs make it well-suited for use on overheads, percussion, acoustic guitar, strings and other acoustic instruments in studio applications.
The AT5045 employs a large, rectangular element, created by A-T engineers to improve transient response and increase response bandwidth. Carefully selected discrete components optimize performance. The two-micron-thick, vapor-deposited gold diaphragm has been aged to achieve optimum sonic characteristics that will remain constant over years of use.
The cardioid polar pattern of the microphone is more sensitive to sound originating directly in front of the element, making it effective in reducing pickup of unwanted sounds and providing isolation of the instrument.
Another key AT5045 design feature is its advanced internal shock mounting, which effectively decouples the capsule from the microphone body. For additional isolation, the AT5045 comes with an isolation clamp that was engineered not only to isolate the microphone, but also to provide versatile positioning while offering effective dampening of unwanted mechanical noise and unwanted resonances that could be transmitted to the microphone.
The AT5045 is enclosed in an elegant, rugged housing of aluminum and brass, which also allows it to also be used for live sound applications. The included AT8481 isolation clamp permits mounting on any microphone stand with 5/8”-27 threads. An AT8165 windscreen and custom hard-shell carrying case are also included.
Friday, October 10, 2014
dbx Introduces 676 Tube Mic Pre Channel Strip
Vacuum tube-based microphone preamplifier that offers flexible sound-tailoring options for live and studio applications
Harman’s dbx Professional has introduced the new model 676 tube mic pre channel strip, a vacuum tube-based microphone preamplifier that offers a host of flexible sound-tailoring options to deliver audio quality in recording and live sound applications.
The dbx 676 employs a high-gain, Class A tube preamp section based around a 12AU7 vacuum tube that can be adjusted to be clean and pure-sounding or “dirty” and full of harmonic character. The 676 incorporates the compressor/limiter design from the dbx 162SL and a 3-band parametric EQ, enabling exacting control of dynamics and tonal balance.
“We created the dbx 676 to be nothing less than the ultimate mic preamp,” says Jason Kunz, market manager, Portable PA and Recording & Broadcast, Harman Signal Processing. “Whether you need a preamp that provides pristine, rich sound quality and tube warmth, want to add some edge and personality to vocals and instruments or are seeking to improve the sound of your recording or live rig, the dbx 676 is the ideal tool for taking your sound to the highest level.”
The dbx 676 offers 1/4-inch and XLR inputs and outputs, a front-panel instrument input and a side chain insert. An optional digital output card is available. The 676 allows for precise tailoring of input and output levels which can be monitored by its large multi-function VU meter.
The compressor/limiter section provides extremely flexible control of dynamics including threshold, attack, gain and release, auto attack and release, hard and soft knee compression, dbx-exclusive AutoVelocity manual and OverEasy modes and PeakStop limiting algorithm and many additional functions. The 676’s 3-band parametric EQ allows adjustment of level and bandwidth at frequencies that have been carefully chosen for maximum musical effectiveness.
The 676 is designed for ease of use, with vintage-style controls and VU metering. It has a military-grade build for added reliability, and mounts in a 2U rack space.
The new dbx 676 tube mic pre channel strip will be available in January 2015 at a U.S. street price of $999.95.
How Not To Soundproof Your Studio
Recently I received a number of questions about home studio soundproofing, and they all seem to revolve around using certain materials like mattresses or carpet to do it. These aren’t very good solutions however,
Here’s an excerpt from my The Studio Builder’s Handbook (written with Dennis Moody) on the topic.
I’ll cover just what to do to improve your studio’s isolation in another post, but first, here’s what not to use.
Mattresses—There are so many things wrong with this that it’s hard to know where to start. Sure mattresses are made up of a lot of soft material, but it’s not the right kind for sound absorption, won’t affect the low frequencies at all (which are what causes most of the the isolation problems), accumulates mold and moisture, and makes nice homes for rodents and other unwanted critters.
Plus, it’s pretty difficult to get enough of them to cover a room, and they take up so much space for so little benefit in return.
Egg Crates —Egg crates are light porous cardboard and do absolutely nothing for soundproofing. They can act as a sound diffusor at higher frequencies, but the bandwidth is so limited that they’re virtually useless there as well.
Plus, they’re highly flammable! It’s difficult to find enough of them to cover a room, but frankly, even using one is too many.
Carpet—Carpet attached to the wall is another product that will affect the sound of the room yet do nothing in the way of soundproofing since it doesn’t affect the low frequencies, which are the ones that you’ve got to control for good isolation.
Carpet has exactly the same problem as mattresses in that it will begin to smell over time. Old or new carpet makes no difference, except that older carpet will smell more.
Foam Rubber—Foam rubber does have some acoustical absorption properties, but once again will do very little for the low frequencies that will cause all of your problems with the neighbors.
It can be as expensive as materials with real acoustic control properties, degrades over time, and will burn like crazy if given the chance.
Rubber—Floor matts, mouse pads, neoprene, or any other variation of rubber will do very little to stop sound coming or going from your room.
Once again, it’s much cheaper to buy proper acoustic materials that are easier to work with, but they won’t help your isolation problem either.
Wall Cellulose—Pumping cellulose insulation into walls can make a slight difference, but it’s marginal since there are much more effective ways to improve the isolation that are much cheaper.
It can be helpful if used along with some other techniques, but isn’t particularly effective by itself.
Fiberglass Insulation—Common fiberglass insulation once again has little ability to stop enough of the low frequencies that bug your neighbors, although, like with blown cellulose, it can be useful in conjunction with other techniques. Just pinning it to the wall won’t help though, but it will affect the acoustics of the room.
It’s also a skin and eye irritant, takes up a lot of space, and the dust can be hazardous to your lungs when left exposed. As you’ll soon see, there’s a much better way to use fiberglass for acoustic control (although it still won’t help with isolation much).
Plywood Panels—It’s true that plywood panels provide mass and mass is what’s needed to stop sound transmission (especially the low frequencies), but the problem is that wood transfers sound too well so the construction technique used is crucial.
Not only that, if the panels are too thin they’ll resonate and vibrate, causing an even bigger problem.
Particle Board—See plywood panels.
Bales Of Hay—Unless you live out in the country, it’s unlikely that hay bales are much of an option, but they actually do work. The problem is that they take up a lot of usable space, make a nice home for critters, and are a major fire hazard. Not recommended!
Acoustic Foam—Acoustic foam is helpful in controlling the acoustics within a room, but it does nothing to stop sound transmission and is expensive to boot. Acoustic foam doesn’t even begin to affect the offending low frequencies, and using too much just makes the room seem dead and uncomfortable. There are much cheaper ways to achieve a better result.
Understand that all of these materials will have at least some affect on the sound of the room (which we’ll cover later in the chapter), but will do almost nothing by themselves to help improve your isolation.
Bobby Owsinski is an author, producer, music industry veteran and technical consultant who has written numerous books covering all aspects of audio recording. For more information be sure to check out his website and go here for more info and to acquire a copy of The Studio Builder’s Handbook.
TASCAM Introduces US-16x08 Multichannel Audio Interface
Includes DSP mixer for low-latency digital mixingm and each channel has 4-band EQ and compression
TASCAM has announced the new US-16x08 audio interface, offering 16 mic and line inputs and advanced features to help manage larger sessions.
Eight Ultra-HDDA microphone preamps are clean and quiet while delivering up to 56 dB of gain. An additional eight line inputs are provided, two of them switchable to instrument level for direct guitar or bass recording. Eight balanced line outputs are also available, two with a level control on the front panel for monitoring.
Built into the US-16x08 is a DSP mixer for low-latency digital mixing. Each channel has 4-band EQ and compression for polishing monitor mixes.
In addition to interface mode, the US-16x08 can be used as a stand-alone mic preamp. Mac and Windows drivers are provided, as well as USB Audio Compliance 2.0 drivers for iOS compatibility. MIDI input and output are also available on the rear panel.
The solid metal case was designed by designbox studio in Germany, and includes a pair of removable “bio-cell” side panels that angle the interface towards the user, making the switches and knobs easier to read. Rack ears are also included.
Whether using the ergonomically-designed angled desktop stand or mounting with the included rack ears, the US-16x08 includes enough I/O for almost any music recording application.
• Eight Ultra-HDDA microphone preamps with 56 dB of gain
• 16-in/8-out interface with up to 96 kHz/24-bit resolution
• Eight 1/4-inch balanced line inputs, two switchable to instrument level
• DSP mixer for low-latency monitoring with EQ and compression
• High-quality audio components for 125 dBu EIN and 105 dB S/N ratio
• USB Audio Compliant 2.0 drivers for iOS compatibility
• Independent line out and headphone level controls
• MIDI Input and Output
• Metal body with angled design for better desktop visibility
• Rack-mount adapter included
The new US-16x08 will be available in November for an estimated street price of $299.99.
Neumann Reissues U 47 fet Condenser Microphone
Production according to the original production documents and schematics
An icon that helped to shape the sound of the 1970s is the Neumann U 47 fet, and it’s now been reissued by the company as the new “Collectors Edition U 47 fet.”
Neumann has resumed production of the mic according to the original production documents and schematics. The Collectors Edition is supplied with a wooden case with special packaging and an individual certificate with the serial number of the microphone.
As the transistorized successor of the original U 47, the U 47 fet permitted the processing of very high sound pressure levels; for instance, allowing positioning directly in front of loud amps. Due to this feature as well as the capsule sound derived from its tube-based predecessor, the U 47 fet contributed to many legendary recordings of the time.
In terms of technical design, the U 47 fet is a condenser microphone with a cardioid directional characteristic and fet 80 circuit technology. Among other things this technology, also used in the U 87, is characterized particularly by a wide dynamic range. The K 47, already employed in the U 47, is a double large-diaphragm capsule with a slight boost in the range above 2 kHz.
If required, a switchable low-cut filter raises the lower cut-off frequency electronically from 40 Hz to 140 Hz, and switchable attenuation can reduce transmission levels by 10 dB. In addition, to prevent overloading of the connected preamp, the output signal can be reduced by 6 dB via a switch on the bottom of the microphone.
Wolfgang Fraissinet, president of Neumann.Berlin, explains: “Today many new musical currents are defining themselves through the possibilities of digital production technology. The relaunch of the U 47 fet now provides the opportunity of using epoch-making technologies from different decades side by side. Vintage sound meets the modern world – providing ideal conditions for the realization of new creative soundscapes.”
The list of renowned artists who have created musical masterpieces with the sound of the U 47 fet includes AC/DC, Kate Bush, Bruce Springsteen, and later R.E.M, the Pretenders, a-ha, Dire Straits, Metallica, Michael Bublé and many others.
The Collectors Edition U 47 fet is available in classic nickel finish. A website with much more information on the microphone is here.
Posted by Keith Clark on 10/10 at 08:57 AM
Thursday, October 09, 2014
Sound Recordist Richard Meredith Chooses Lectrosonics For TV Project “Release The Hounds”
Helps assist top production values in huge open forest several miles west of London
Sound recordist Richard Meredith was able to choose the right gear for the job when faced with recording in a forest at night for a new reality show with some demanding circumstances. The brief was recording sound for “Release The Hounds, a new TV series for Fox and ITV.
The “Hounds” set was a huge open forest several miles west of London with games. The shoot would be done in studio style, with the director in a central gallery and all camera feeds incoming and recorded on a stack of recording decks, as opposed to shooting in camera. The location was spread so far and wide that it ended up being two galleries.
Richard’s team initially considered the option of recording out in the field and sending a monitor mix to the director. However there were so many other elements that required the sound mixer to be near the producers and director in the gallery that it was decided to run an audio gallery too courtesy of an Ethos Audio truck, itself capable—and with the added advantage of coffee on tap day and night.
With such great distances involved that fiber runs would be required in one form or another for the radio microphone systems. Two options were considered: either RF over fiber, bringing several remote antennae feeds long distances into a central radio mic receiver rack; or running a receiver rack locally at the game and bringing the audio back to the truck over fiber, possible because the Ethos truck already ran a fiber infrastructure for audio.
Coupled with the fact that there were other feeds to run back and forth—talkback and comms etc. the team settled on audio over fiber. There were other factors too, including the fact that the Studer Vista 5 console in the Ethos truck could run a redundant backup fiber simultaneously with the main one, meaning that if the main got damaged mid game, then the console would invisibly switch to the spare.
The decision over which wireless mics to use was eventually decided by the brief—four games per night for the team to get hold of the money, but then an added challenge which had to be done by each team member separately to actually escape with the money intact. The locations for all these activities were at best several hundred meters apart from each other, and in some cases over a kilometer.
There were four different games in different locations every consecutive shooting night, and some locations required two drops of receiver rack as the distances involved went beyond the sensible capabilities of a single multiple antenna system. It required a solid “rack” style receiver, which was easily portable and at times able to run off a 12-volt supply in some locations, criteria leading to the selection of a Lectrosonics Venue rack—or 5 Venue racks, to be precise.
Meredith explains: “It really was a ‘no-brainer.’ The games designers were coming up with new ideas which involved several other artistes to be mic’d in addition to the main game contributors. I could see that flexibility would be the key as greater or lesser importance was placed on these additional characters dependant on how the competing team was doing. Each venue rack was loaded with nominally five receiver modules but we had the ability to increase or decrease as and when necessary if required. We generally ended up with 6/5/5/5/4.”
With a split crew running the operation , one set on nights filming the games and a second on days re-rigging for the next set of games, the sound team imposed a strict patching scenario. The fiber interface units at each game were all given a thorough treatment of white labeling tape and each input and output on every end box was always allocated the same job, therefore any pair of fibers plugged into the truck always had the same inputs and outputs derived from the same place irrespective of location of game. Because there was no time to test individual feeds during the daytime rig, this consistency was essential to quickly fault find any missing feeds or returns to the game, during the short re-set period between every game on the night.
Meredith adds: “We very quickly established a routine and the night crew game rigger, would potter about with a venue rack tucked under one arm in case extra receive channels were required at short notice on any particular game, a very lightweight solution to moving six channels of radio mic receiver around.”
The other factor which drove home the choice of Lectrosonics on the project was transmitter choice. Production wanted as little interference as possible with the game players to maximize a solitary feel and battery life. That, coupled with compact form factor was ideal for the SMDBs.
In addition, during planning another potential pitfall of water entered the discussion. Aqua-packs and etc. were impractical due to the costumes. To resolve the issue, the team doubled up the transmitters to include Lectrosonics WM waterproof models. With no prior warning as to which of the contributors might get wet, they would simply able to rig those likely to with WMs from the start and not give the game away to the contributors with very obvious waterproofing tactics going on.
The whole system worked very well, achieving huge range in the forest using ALP650 active shark fins, identical performance from the SMDBs and the WM’s in all conditions and were able to react instantly with minimal disruption if plans for radio mics changed late in the day, (which it did on several occasions) as additional receiver capacity was very easily deployed on a bicycle.
The terrain on site was in patches so dense and inaccessible that the site was split in two, to make cable runs actually possible. Two gallery setups were needed to look after half the location each because it was totally impractical to have every game permanently facilitated with the maximum possible number of receivers. It would have more than tripled the receiver requirement. So in the end there were two sound mobiles, interfacing two comms systems, and of course two coffee machines!
Meredith concludes: “One final Lectrosonics plus point was, of course, the ability to remotely alter the TX gain, which was invaluable for all the barking dogs—watch ‘Release the Hounds’ on ITV in the UK, or Fox in the USA, to fully understand.”
Salzbrenner Makes North American Debut Of Polaris Evolution Network Mixing System
Cloud-based mixing approach offers exceptional flexibility
Salzbrenner is presenting the North American debut of the new network-controlled Polaris Evolution cloud-based digital audio mixing system with the Polaris Scala audio DSP unit at this week’s 137th AES convention in Los Angeles (booth 1547).
Polaris Scala is the node where all aspects of the Evolution system’s simultaneous audio processing operations originate and come together. It’s where controllers are connected via Ethernet or Wi-Fi, resources are allocated for the tasks at hand, and where signal sources and output devices are connected.
Each Polaris Scala DSP unit can process up to 256 inputs, 128 matrix channels, and 256 output buses that connect to the outside world via MADI. For larger projects, several DSP units can be cascaded to control several thousand channels.
Controllers like Polaris Evolution’s 16-fader Access module, the Polaris View motorized multi-touch screen, computers, tablets, and smartphones can be connected either via IP/Ethernet or Wi-Fi. The number of controllers can be selected as required, depending upon the nature of the project.
The Polaris Evolution cloud-based audio mixing system eliminates limitations of traditional mixing concepts: the available DSP power can be used to configure consoles for stadium tours or to accommodate several simultaneous projects in broadcasting stations, OB trucks, on-site locations during live broadcasts, convention centers, or theatre venues.
In a multi-user setting, operators have their own monitoring and talkback lines. For rental companies, the Polaris Evolution’s flexibility enables them to cater to a host of applications with a single system.
With an intuitive design and surprisingly small number of menus, operators can select the desired channels rapidly and adjust all the required system settings.
“For the first time, users can forget about channel numbers,” says Salzbrenner’s Dominik Stepanek, the project manager of the Polaris product family. “A clever routine selects all drum kit-related channels, for instance, and assigns them to the touch-sensitive user interface where they can be edited.”
Polaris Evolution’s user interface has been streamlined to such a degree that most tweaks and adjustments can be performed in the same familiar way. By default, all channels provide the following audio processing functionality: 6-band EQ, delay, compressor, limiter, multiband compressor, and de-esser. Polaris Scala enables users to create redundant mixing systems within one and the same 3U rack unit, or to set up hardware redundancy based on two separate racks.
The Polaris Evolution cloud-based audio mixing system consists of the Scala DSP unit, the Access 16-fader module, and the View motorized multi-touch screen. With hardware reduced to the bare essentials, this cloud-based system with new software is both future-proof and maintenance-friendly. Adding new functionality requires no hardware modifications, and pinpointing all aspects of the system’s operation is quick and easy. Evolution is built on a software framework that will serve as the core for all future functions.
Arnie Toshner, vice president of sales & marketing for Salzbrenner, states, “As a cloud-based audio production tool, we at Salzbrenner believe our Polaris Evolution system addresses the requirements of today’s audio professional, whether it be for broadcast, live performance, AV applications, and more. As these disciplines frequently overlap, we’re confident that the system’s connectivity, flexibility, expandability, and the ease with which new functionality can be incorporated combine to create a mixing system that not only addresses the requirements of today, but well into the future.”
Pricing and availability for the new StageTec Evolution cloud-based audio mixing system have not yet been announced.
St. Louis Symphony Optimizes Capabilities With Studer Vista 5 Console
Offering 128 channels at a 96 kHz sample rate, it provides versatility, redundancy and top audio quality
Looking for a digital console to meet its needs for high-resolution recordings and live radio broadcasts, the St. Louis Symphony selected Harman’s Studer Vista 5 console. Offering 128 channels at a 96 kHz sample rate, it provides versatility, redundancy and top audio quality.
The St. Louis Symphony is currently in its fifth season of broadcasting, where each of its Saturday evening orchestral series performances are aired live on St. Louis Public Radio 90.7-KWMU.
“It’s truly a live broadcast, nothing is pre-taped,” says Paul Hennerich, lead engineer for the St. Louis Symphony and owner of the Pan Galactic Company. “The Vista 5’s redundancy and flexibility have really made a difference this season. And the board also enables us to work with multiple streams during the performances.”
In addition, the symphony’s concerts are also recorded in 96k, with some of them being used in releases of John Adams’ music by subscription through Nonesuch Records. “For our recordings with Nonesuch, the Vista 5 was one of the few consoles that had the ability to do high-resolution recordings that we need to track,” Hennerick notes. “And, of course, the sound quality is phenomenal, so the console hit all the requirements we had.”
Hennerich adds that the Vista 5’s speed in live situations has enabled him to work efficiently and quickly. “The Vistonics interface is just incredible. Having the touchscreen built in with the physical controller is a huge difference from other consoles. Other consoles might have the touchscreen feature, but it isn’t integrated with a physical controller.”
In addition, the Vista 5’s EQ capabilities also made the console a good fit for the application. “With classical music you need a phase-accurate EQ to really bring out the subtleties of the orchestral performances,” Hennerich says. “We also have the Vista FX feature with the built-in Lexicon effects. Having the ability to adjust multiple reverb sends at the same time makes the workflow that much faster. Also, being able to have two engineers work on their own control surface has been a nice feature.”
Looking ahead, the St. Louis Symphony will be adding the new Infinity Core processing engine to its Vista 5. “The current DSP core we have is pretty great, but I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do with the Infinity Core,” Hennerich concludes.
Pan Galactic Company
In The Studio: Mix Processing Listening Test
I acquired a new piece of audio equipment and got the idea to run a mix through it for coloration.
This equipment is not designed for this task. I don’t normally run hardware on my mix bus.
Arriving on a subtle setting where there was no audible distortion, I thought it might be a fun ear training exercise.
The two files below are labeled Track A and Track B. One has been processed and one has not.
Click on each one to listen, and then click on the box below for the answer.
Did you correctly identify the processed file? Which did you prefer? Did you think the difference was significant?
Posted by Keith Clark on 10/09 at 11:21 AM