Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Blue Microphones Now Shipping Spark Digital Studio Microphone For iPad & USB
Digital version of Blue’s analog Spark microphone
Blue Microphones announces the availability of Spark Digital, a true studio condenser microphone offering both iPad and USB connectivity.
The digital version of Blue’s analog Spark microphone, Spark Digital delivers professional-quality audio to iPad or any computer, laptop or tablet with USB input.
“We are excited to release the first studio microphone for the iPad. With both USB and iPad connections and a wide range of available recording apps like GarageBand, Spark Digital is the missing link for achieving truly professional results on the mobile platform,” says Brian Biggott, CTO of Blue Microphones. “Bridging the gap between analog quality and digital portability, Spark Digital completes the true mobile studio.”
Spark Digital features the same studio-grade condenser capsule and hand-selected components as the analog Spark. It also includes studio controls directly on the microphone, including volume and gain control, and instant mute.
In addition, Spark Digital is the only iPad microphone to offer a zero-latency headphone out for direct monitoring to eliminate distracting delay or for creating professional multi-track recordings where new tracks need to be synced with existing tracks.
Spark Digital also employs a feature found only on the original Spark: the Focus control, providing two different sonic options in one mic. “Focus Off” captures crisp, powerful audio with enhanced low frequency sensitivity for recordings with greater impact and definition, while “Focus On” captures greater clarity and detail for a tighter, more focused sound.
For the recording novice, the Focus control provides the freedom to experiment with different sonic signatures in one mic, while providing the experienced recordist with versatile options.
Spark Digital comes with a custom angle-adjustable desk stand with built-in shockmount that protects against disruptive rumblings and vibrations from a desktop surface and allows users to quickly position the microphone.
For each platform connection (USB and iPad), Spark Digital includes a y-cable with an attached, extended female headphone jack for zero-latency direct monitoring. It is directly compatible with iPad (3rd generation), iPad 2, iPad, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S and is instantly recognized for use with any recording app, in addition to driverless connection via USB on both PC and Mac.
For storing and sharing, Spark Digital also includes an exclusive Cloud Production Bundle with free access to production tools for easy organizing, storing and streaming of audio content across the web.
It includes a 25 GB storage and transfer account for six months from Gobbler, a leader in music backup and organization, along with a six month Pro Account from SoundCloud, the leading social sound platform that lets anyone create, record, promote and share their sounds on the web—a $125 total value.
Spark Digital (MSRP $199.99) is now available in-store and online at Apple and Best Buy, and arriving soon at Guitar Center, Amazon and additional consumer electronics and pro audio retailers worldwide.
Arturia Announces Availability Of SPARK DubStep Software Suite
Sample library plus rhythm track construction kit that includes 960 pre-programmed MIDI patterns
Arturia has announced the availability of SPARK DubStep, a new production and performance software suite dedicated to heavy-duty dubstep rhythm track construction.
SPARK DubStep features a comprehensive library of 30 kits/480 instruments created in partnership with London-based pro audio loops and samples provider Sample Magic.
SPARK DubStep is more than a sample library, also offering a complete rhythm track construction kit, including 960 pre-programmed MIDI patterns of hard-hitting drums, virtual analog synths, and filter-modulated mayhem.
SPARK DubStep’s powerful, inherently user-friendly interface simplifies beat- and bass pattern-creation, especially when using the step sequencer situated at the top of the default center panel.
Advanced looping modes combined with the XY pad’s real-time slicing and filtering controls allows users to produce stunning breaks.
The 480 instruments comes complete with 12 sound-sculpting parameters that allow users to put their own stamp on the resultant sound—modify the noise color of hi-hat, clip basses using various analogue filters, adjust the LFO rate and depth of a wobble bass, and more.
SPARK DubStep’s integrated 16-channel mixer offers 14 high-quality effects and also mapping of each instrument’s stereo output to the host DAW when seamlessly running as a plug-in (RTAS, AU, VST3) with real- time automation available on all parameters.
It’s also possible to export patterns as .wav or MIDI files to the DAW via simple drag and drop.
SPARK DubStep can be used as a stand-alone instrument independently from a software sequencer and played a MIDI keyboard, or as a drumpad-based controller. Either way, all onscreen key knobs and pads are easily assignable via MIDI.
SPARK DubStep can be purchased as a software download for €99 EURO/$99 USD or boxed for €119 EURO/$129 USD from Arturia’s Online Shop here.
Listen to Arturia Director of Sound Design Mike Hosker putting SPARK DubStep through its stylistic paces here.
Monday, November 12, 2012
Hosa Technology Debuts USB-200FB Series High-Speed USB Cables With Pivoting Connector
Design facilitates space-saving right angle connections
Hosa Technology has announced the introduction of the USB-200FB Series high speed USB cables with pivoting A connector designed to conserve valuable space in tight surroundings.
Available in 3-, 6-, and 10-foot lengths (USB-203FB, USB-206FB, and USB-210FB), the new USB-200FB USB cables feature a pivoting Type A connector—the end that typically connects to a computer—that can be set to either straight or right angle positions.
This enables one to use the cable in its straight orientation when space permits and in a right angle position in cramped quarters.
In its right angle position, the computer would typically be placed on an elevated laptop stand (so the cable can hang off the side) or at the edge of the work surface.
For DJ production rigs commonly consists of a laptop computer, mixer, turntables, and a digital controller, the new USB-200FB USB cables can be a valuable means of making connections in an environment where space is frequently limited.
To ensure interoperability with a wide range of USB peripherals, the new Hosa USB-200FB USB cables are fully compliant with the USB 2.0 serial bus interface standard and are backward compatible with the USB 1.1 standard. They also support burst data transfer rates up to 480 Mbps.
As a result, the new cables are a good option for connecting an audio interface, USB microphone or instrument, or most computer peripherals to a PC.
“The new Hosa USB-200FB USB cables provide DJ’s, musicians, and others with a valuable means of making equipment connections in the cramped spaces they frequently find themselves working in,” says Jose Gonzalez, Hosa Technology product manager. “At Hosa, we’ve been providing the cables musicians and audio pros require for over two decades, and these new USB products address a common challenge we’ve all encountered at one time or another.
“All three cable lengths feature our unique connector pivot design, exhibit superior workmanship throughout, and carry pricing that is comparable to most common USB cables lacking these features. I’m certain these new USB cables will be well received by our industry.”
The new Hosa Technology USB-200FB USB Series cables are expected to become available in January 2013.
• USB-203FB: $8.95
• USB-206FB: $10.95
• USB-210FB: $11.95
In The Studio: Five Quick Ways To Excite Your Sound
Adding a little pop and life to the mix
You’ve balanced your tracks, you’ve got everything sitting nice and sounding punchy and defined – now what? How can you add a little pop and life to the mix?
Here are some techniques I use to excite and enhance sounds in a mix – some are obvious, some are a little tricky.
1) Exciters and enhancers. Pretty straightforward, but harmonic exciters or enhancers are a quick and easy way to give a little spark to your sound.
Just be careful – a little goes a long way. Exciters tend to give an immediate gratification by focusing on colorful harmonics in the sound – but this is often at the expense of the rest of the frequency domain.
The effect shouldn’t be a substitute for EQ. Once you’re making distinct frequency boosts with one of these tools, it’s probably too much.
2) Saturation. Saturation is like the little cousin of overdrive. It gives you just enough to liven up the texture of whatever you’re saturating.
Saturation is not limited to emulation plugins – any piece of hardware can be used as a saturator – and a worthwhile experiment is to run a signal through a preamp and crank the gain and listen for how the texture changes.
Really nice pre-amps overdriven a bit can bring out certain textures and frequencies in a cool and unique way.
3) Parallel distortion. Say what? Clone your source, and run the clone through distortion. From there, EQ the distorted clone to highlight the frequency you want to enhance.
Need thicker mids? Hi-pass and low-pass the clone. Need excited upper mid-range? Throw on a hi-pass at around 1.5 kHz. Then take the cloned signal and start blending it in against the original.
About 15 dB down from the original you’ll start to hear a just noticeable change in the texture and liveliness of the original. A little pinch goes a long way here.
4) Short reverb. Early reflection heavy, short tail reverbs have a unique power on a dry source. What we hear in the reverb, we quickly prescribe onto the dry signal.
In other words, if you need to make a source brighter, but regular EQ methods just aren’t working out, you can use a short, bright, reverb to make the high end of your dry source come alive.
I prefer plate emulations for this method, rooms and halls tend to be too “open” sounding.
5) Modulation. Frequency based modulation in particular, such as the Enigma plugin from Waves, or flangers and phasers can be used in really interesting ways. These effects tend to be a bit more dramatic than the other one – but sometimes a sound needs to come back from the dead.
Unfortunately, there’s too many options to really describe in one article, but play around and you’ll find all sorts of gems.
Matthew Weiss is the head engineer for Studio E, located in Philadelphia. Recent credits include Ronnie Spector, Uri Caine, Royce Da 5’9” and Philadelphia Slick.
Be sure to visit the Pro Audio Files for more great recording content. To comment or ask questions about this article go here.
Mojave Audio Plays Role In Latin Grammy Award-Nominated Recording
Forthcoming MA-302ST stereo tube condenser microphone delivers unprecedented sonic accuracy and warmth
In the music industry, there is no greater honor than the Grammy Award. For Cuban-born composer and producer Yalil Guerra, the double Latin Grammy Award nomination of “Live in L.A.” — performed by Cuban pianist Elizabeth Rebozo — represents another accomplishment in a long list of milestone achievements.
Capturing all the fine nuances of a world-class recording takes skill and the right tools for the job. So when it comes to microphones, Guerra depends on Mojave Audio.
Live in L.A. was recorded in May 2012 on the campus of California State University Los Angeles (CSULA). The performance featured solo piano works by Cuban and Latin-American contemporary composers, including Argentinian composer Ástor Pantaleón Piazzolla, Cuban composer Aurelio de la Vega, and Guerra.
Of particular note, Live in L.A. received a double Latin Grammy Award nomination in the category ‘Best Classical Contemporary Composition’ for Guerra’s Seducción (Seduction) and de la Vega’s Preludio Nº.1. The album was released May 18th, 2012 by Guerra’s own label RYCY Productions Inc.
Guerra reports that for this recording project, he used a prototype Mojave Audio MA-302ST stereo tube condenser microphone extensively.
“For this recording,” Guerra explained, “I used the prototype MA-302ST in a close range position over the piano strings, inside the soundboard of the piano. I was extremely impressed with the mic’s performance and it was very easy to work with.
“For recording classical music, the MA-302ST’s sound quality and warmth have no comparison— I fell in love with it. In stereo recording situations, it’s very easy to encounter phase issues. With the MA-302ST, I had no worries at all. The MA-302ST is a ‘set it up-record-no worries’ stereo microphone.”
“I’ve worked with Mojave microphones for several years now and have never been disappointed,” Guerra reports. “When the opportunity to try the MA-302ST presented itself, I felt very good about its prospects, as I have always trusted the sound quality, build quality, and overall performance characteristics delivered by Mojave products.
“The richness of sound without any coloration is impressive and the various stereo positions available as a result of the mic’s moveable capsule are perfect. The microphone handled the grand piano’s high SPL levels with ease and all the nuances and colors were beautifully captured for this record. The MA-302ST will definitely become part of my recording sound for the foreseeable future.”
“Composed in 2009, Seducción exposes a romantic and tender musical theme reminiscent of the old movie love themes,” says Guerra. “The simple texture and harmony travels deep inside the heart of the listener. The middle section introduces tension and, with fast virtuosic scale passages and cluster-like chords, creates an ambience of desperation and solitude before returning to the main theme in another key with new harmonic variations.
“The composition concludes in a Coda-Finale that portrays hope and gratitude. When I spoke with Mojave’s Dusty Wakeman about recording this work, he quickly recommended I try the MA-302ST. I trusted Dusty and, in light of the Grammy nomination, I’d say the result was quite obvious—and beautiful at the same time.”
Summarizing his experience with Mojave’s forthcoming MA-302ST, Guerra offered these parting thoughts, “As a composer and producer, I make every effort to select great musicians for my recordings. The musicians need to have good sounding instruments—with vibrant strings—and as players, they need to have the technique and musical sensitivity that enables the music to flow.
“On the technical side, the same holds true. Engineers need to have capable tools, including warm microphones that can accurately capture the waves generated by the instruments. It is this combination that empowers the audience to listen to and experience the detail and all the nuances of the musical performance.”
“For this type of recording task,” Guerra continued, “Mojave makes a great ‘go-to’ microphone. The MA-302ST is a state-of-the-art engineering tool for capturing all the melodic and harmonic colors characteristic of Live in L.A. I highly recommend this mic. The MA-302ST will accurately capture any musical idea or project you may have.”
Genelec Offers SpeakerAngle App for Android & Update For iOS Devices
Allows users to correctly configure and match the angling of stereo or surround-sound loudspeakers
Genelec has announced that its SpeakerAngle app is now available for Android devices. (It is available here.)
Priced at 99 cents (USD), the Android version of SpeakerAngle is functionally and graphically identical to the popular iOS version released in August and already in use by thousands of audio professionals and home studio/theater owners.
It works on all Android smartphones and tablets running OS 2.3 (Gingerbread) or later and equipped with a gyroscope chip, including the Samsung Galaxy II and III; the HTC Evo 3 and 4; the Google Nexus; and the Asus Transformer and Samsung Galaxy Tab.
In addition, Genelec has announced the availability of SpeakerAngle version 1.2 for iOS devices as a free update on the Apple iTunes Store. (It is available here.)
This latest version offers improved functionality that indicates when loudspeakers are angled at +/- 3 degrees of 30 (the range of angles that will generally work best when speakers are equidistant from the listening position).
All iOS versions of SpeakerAngle are fully compatible with iOS 6 and with the iPhone 4 and later (including the new iPhone 5), iPad 2 and later and iPhone Touch 4th Generation and later.
SpeakerAngle is the first digital tool that allows anyone to correctly set and match the angling (“toe-in”) of both stereo and 7.1 surround sound loudspeakers, helping to ensure optimum audio fidelity. It was co-developed by Genelec and AudioApps (a new mobile apps company founded by industry veteran Howard Massey).
In the app, dedicated onscreen loudspeaker icons move as the actual speaker is rotated, while number boxes below each loudspeaker icon continuously display the angle of the loudspeaker.
The number boxes also change color to let users know when their speaker is angled within industry recommendations, and when it is angled to the same degree as the other one in the pair (i.e. left and right in stereo systems; front left/front right, rear left/rear right and side left / side right in 7.1 surround systems).
Information screens provide a tutorial on speaker angling, as well as step-by-step instructions for using SpeakerAngle.
“The Genelec SpeakerAngle app is a convenient and intuitive way to quickly set and confirm the angle of your speakers in your listening environment, and it was important to us that we listen to our loyal customers and meet their request for an Android version while continuing to offer enhanced functionality for iOS devices,” states Will Eggleston, Genelec USA marketing director. “This is a perfect tool for recording engineers, system installers, home theater owners and anyone else working to get optimum sound from any loudspeaker system. The possibilities are exciting, and we look forward to audio enthusiasts everywhere putting it to good use.”
Friday, November 09, 2012
In The Studio: 15 Ways To Scare Away Musicians
Do the opposite of these, and you’ll be in good shape
Got a fun list for you today—here are 15 ways to scare away musicians.
1) Act like you know more than they do.
2) Don’t listen to their suggestions.
3) Listen to their suggestions, and then don’t do any of them.
4) Don’t take any time to get to know them…and then criticize their performance during the session…then wonder why they don’t seem comfortable.
5) Check your email, Twitter, and Facebook while they’re recording a take. They definitely won’t notice. And you’ll definitely be on your game.
6) If the performance is lacking, have the musician record roughly 17 takes. It’ll be easier to comp together a perfect take than to actually work with them to get one good performance.
7) Make your studio as warm as possible. Sweaty musicians are happy musicians.
8) Just set up mics and press record. Have ZERO input into the creative process. That’s really valuable to musicians.
9) Don’t explain why you’re doing what you’re doing. Make demands. Be as short and snippy as possible. It makes you look professional.
10) Don’t offer any sort of refreshments to the musicians (especially the singers). If they want water, they should bring it.
11) When tensions are mounting, or the recording is getting more frustrating, do NOT offer to take a break. You gotta power through this.
12) While recording one musician, tell lots of stories about other clients you record. Make sure you make fun of them. It’ll make you look cool.
13) Talk about how amazing your OTHER clients are.
14) Don’t be prepared for the recording session. Instead, make the musicians wait at LEAST a half hour while you set things up. (It makes you look “in demand.”)
And finally, number 15:
15. Don’t have any sort of portfolio of music you’ve worked on. The musicians should blindly trust you, without any proof of your skills whatsoever.
If you haven’t guessed yet, this is one of my famous sarcastic posts. Do the opposite of these, and you’ll be in good shape.
I’d recommend starting with number 15. Build your portfolio. That’s what’s happening inside of Dueling Mixes. (New song drops as of November 1, by the way.)
There are a TON of people, just like you, who are building their portfolio (AND their ninja mixing skills), one song at a time, one month at a time.
Joe Gilder is a Nashville based engineer, musician, and producer who also provides training and advice at the Home Studio Corner.
Posted by Keith Clark on 11/09 at 04:09 PM
Radial Introduces The Gold Digger Passive Microphone Selector
Engineers can quickly compare and select the best-sounding microphone for the application
Radial Engineering has introduced the Gold Digger, a unique device that enables the studio engineer to quickly compare and select the best-sounding microphone to suit the character of a particular voice.
Radial president Peter Janis explains: “Capturing the essence of a voice is critical during the recording process. This is best accomplished by selecting the most appropriate microphone and suitable mic preamp. But setting up an ‘honest’ comparison between microphones can be difficult due to the time lapse involved when routing signals and discrepancies between mixer channels.
“The Gold Digger solves the problem by routing four microphones to a single output via a ‘straight wire’ signal path,” he continues. “In other words, there are no buffers or any form of gain stage in between the microphone and the output, thus assuring a color-free signal transfer without distortion or artifact.”
The Gold Digger includes four “radio-style” switches to ensure only one microphone will be activated at any one time. Phantom power (48-volt) is generated and managed inside the unit to ensure switching between mics will be quiet and pop free.
One simply plugs in the microphones, activates phantom power for condensers and then sets the trim control so that all mics produce the same output level. The “live” mic is activated by selecting the desired channel.
The Gold Digger will start shipping in November 2012. Estimated retail price: $400 (USD).
The Gold Digger recently debuted at the 133 AES convention in San Francisco and picked up a “Best of Show” award along with Radial’s new Cherry Picker preamp selector.
Wednesday, November 07, 2012
DiGiCo SD9 Rack Pack For All-Star Opening Of Mick Fleetwood’s Hawaiian Venue
An additional SD10 was brought in for the second and third nights to handle stage monitors
Studio and live sound engineer Lynn Peterson, owner of Maui Recording, helmed a newly purchased DiGiCo SD9 Rack Pack console for four shows celebrating the grand opening of Mick Fleetwood’s new restaurant and club in downtown Lahaina, Maui called “Fleetwood’s on Front Street.”
The four-night musical celebration boasted a star-studded roster of performers. Night one kicked off with the Grammy-nominated Mick Fleetwood Blues Band, featuring guitarist/singer Rick Vito, bassist Lenny Castellanos, and keyboardist/harmonica player Mark Johnstone, with blues phenom Jonny Lang sitting in.
The second night featured the Island Rumors Band (IRB) with Fleetwood, Vito, Castellanos, Johnstone, singer/guitarist Eric Gilliom and vocalist Gretchen Rhodes, with special guests Steven Tyler, Jonny Lang, Joe Caro, and Maui’s own Willie K.
Night three also featured the IRB, and included Hawaiian singer-songwriter-guitarists, Henry Kapono and Willie K… with Amy Hanaiali’i Gilliom singing a tune as well.
On the final night, everything moved upstairs for the restaurant’s first rooftop show, with King Paris and his Hip-notic Guitar featuring Rick Vito and his band, the Hypnotics.
In addition to the new SD9 Rack Pack console, Peterson also had an additional SD10 brought in by Pat Ku of Rhema Services for the second and third nights to handle the on stage monitor needs. The club’s PA was comprised of L-Acoustics ARCS and SB28 subs, with EAW monitors and Crown amplifiers.
“The concerts went off without a hitch, and the walls are still shakin’,” laughs Peterson. “It’s always a blast to mix any version of the Fleetwood bands. It was my debut outing on a DiGiCo of any sort, and it all worked great.
“As we are in a restaurant and extremely tight on space, the SD9 served as both our FOH and monitor console. On the night of the Blues Band, I set up eight monitor mixes from the SD9 and Pat Ku from Rhema did monitors onstage using the laptop remote. It was a challenge to say the least as our monitor mixes changed a lot throughout the night.
“Handling monitors without a dedicated monitor console is certainly not for the faint of heart when you are working with this scale of artist, on what is technically a one-off.
“I also sent a Matrix feed to the video, so I could beef up the guitar levels for them,” he continues. “I started out with a second matrix for the speakers on the rooftop, where we had several video screens, more SB28 subs and some JBL VRXs. I decided to change and use an aux send instead, starting out with all the levels at unity, in post-fader.
“That way, I could raise the aux send levels of guitars, and things that were really loud off the stage on the main floor, (and not balanced in the mix going upstairs), while still having everything follow my fader moves. With a little compression on the whole mix to the roof, it worked pretty well. There were a couple hundred more people up there, and I heard there were about 2,000 down in the street! So we wanted to make it nice for all of them as well.”
For the second and third shows, Peterson brought in the SD10 and a splitter for monitors. “We had decided during sound check for the first show, that our needs for the lineup on the next two nights, were going to be a little too demanding to use just the remote laptop.
“However, by the end of the Blues Band’s show that night, we had gotten by amazingly well. The console was flown in from Oahu the next morning and was set up in a VIP booth, and Pat Ku did a wonderful job of getting it in sync with the SD9, and ready to rock just in time for sound check.”
The shows were recorded to multitrack using Nuendo on a MacBook Pro with an RME MADIface. “We were able to simply copy the MADI feeds from the racks to the RME MADIface for a seamless recording,” Peterson says. “I’m putting them into Pro Tools over at my studio, where I will mix the stuff and sync it to the four-camera HD shoot we did. As for what they’ll be used for, you just never know. Stay tuned.”
Management and audience members alike, commented on how good the shows sounded. “Great tools certainly help me get there faster,” Peterson says. “As I mentioned, on the first night I used three matrixes, eight monitor mixes, (for the butt thumper, video feeds, and rooftop speakers), four effects, and 56 channels of multitrack recording all happening simultaneously from one SD9, and it all worked great.”
Waves Audio Helps Dallas-Area Gateway Church Find The Right Mix
Variety of plug-ins enhance audio for live congregation and broadcast at Texas megachurch
Waves Audio plugins are key tools for Jason Aulds, the associate director/front-of-house engineer at the Dallas, TX-area Gateway Church.
The church, a large worship community spanning four campuses, is led by Pastor Robert Morris.
The church’s sound systems include three DiGiCo SD7 consoles at the main campus; four DiGiCo SD8 consoles across the other campuses; and an AVID Venue D-Show console set up for travel.
The SD8’s are paired with the Waves SoundGrid Essentials bundle, and the D-Show is complemented by the Waves Live Bundle.
Aulds, who spends most of his time with the SD7 on the main campus, points out some of the unique challenges of mixing for large-format worship: “I need to bring the highest level of service that I can in order to engage the congregation without being distracting. That’s both for music and speech.
“Some of the challenges include helping the worship team create dynamics without becoming too loud; getting an isolated drum kit to sound natural, big and lively; and bridging the gap between the volume of music down to a lapel or headset without it sounding small,” he continues. “I’m always making sure I have great clarity and headroom, and that my effects are proper for the type of song.”
Aulds singles out a few plug-ins as particular favorites: “C6 and C4 compressors, and the entire Renaissance Maxx bundle,” he enthuses. For vocals, he uses the Renaissance Vox, Renaissance DeEsser, CLA-2A Compressor/Limiter, C6 and occasionally the Aphex Vintage Aural Exciter plugin.
In addition, on drums he uses Q10, CLA-76, SSL G-Channel, and the wide-band component of Trans-X for kick; SSL Channel for snare; Q10 and the four-band Trans-X Multi for toms; and API 2500 for the group mics. He usually uses CLA-76 on bass, but occasionally he’ll use C4, API 560 or MaxxBass.
And for guitars, the choice is the SSL Channel and sometimes the OneKnob Series Phatter, Driver and Brighter plugins. He also uses the CLA-2A for keyboards. On the main mix bus, he rounds things out with the MaxxVolume, C6 and PAZ Analyzer.
“Waves plugins feature simple, straightforward controls, offer great visual feedback from meters and displays, have awesome presets, and most importantly, deliver great audio quality,” Aulds says.
AES & OCA Alliance To Collaborate On Open Control Architecture Networking Standard
Goal is to produce a public, open, and royalty-free communications protocol standard
The Audio Engineering Society (AES) and the OCA Alliance have jointly announced that an AES standards project has been founded to consider OCA, the Open Control Architecture, for a public standard for control and monitoring of professional media networks.
The goal of this project, identified as AES-X210, “Open Control Architecture (OCA),” is to produce a public, open, and royalty-free communications protocol standard for reliable and secure control and monitoring of interconnected audio devices in networks of 2 to 10,000 elements.
When the standard is complete, it is hoped that OCA will find broad acceptance in the media systems industry, and open a new era in standardized, interoperable control of devices from diverse manufacturers.
OCA will be a control and monitoring standard, not a media transport standard. It is intended to operate seamlessly with a wide range of media transport standards such as AES-X192, “High-performance streaming audio-over-IP interoperability” - currently in development - and IEEE AVB.
Together, these standards will offer a path to complete network application solutions for future media networks that include both media transport and system control functionality.
OCA is substantially based on work done in the early 1990’s by the AES24 project, a pioneering effort in network system control. Although AES24 never reached full standards status, it offered a number of advanced concepts, which have found their way into various developments over the years.
In the coming months, the AES-X210 task group, part of AES working group SC-02-12 on Audio Applications of Networks, will be meeting to render the current OCA 1.1 specification into standards form and to shepherd its processing through the AES open standards process. Interested individuals are encouraged to participate.
The full standards participation policy is available from the AES Standards website. (Direct link is here.) During this period, the OCA Alliance will undertake various initiatives to support the work of AES-X210, and to define proposals for future extensions to the standard.
AES Standards Committee Chair Bruce C. Olson remarks, “AES Standards has been deeply involved with standards for digital audio since starting work in 1977. The AES-X210 project to standardize OCA takes us to the next important milestone by integrating control with transport of audio over a variety of networks.
“Combined with a number of other projects in this exciting area of audio the AES continues to lead the world in audio standards, which enable a thriving marketplace for compatible products from competing manufacturers. We are very pleased to collaborate with the leading manufacturers in the OCA Alliance on this standards project.”
Robert Habersaat Rejoins Studer As Vice President Of Sales
Takes over the Studer brand sales job following Adrian Curtis's new appointment
“A return to the family” is how Robert Habersaat describes his new appointment as vice president of sales for Harman’s Studer team as he rejoins Studer after seven years working as head of broadcast sales for Dr.W.A.Günther in Switzerland.
Habersaat takes over the Studer brand sales job following Adrian Curtis’s new appointment running Harman Professional’s EMEA Regional Sales Office which created two vacancies, this one for Studer, the other for Soundcraft.
Habersaat originally joined Studer in 1996 managing sales for Switzerland and distribution in Germany, Austria, France, Italy and the Nordic region. In 2001 he headed up the Studer sales team before joining Dr.W.A.Günther, the Harman Pro distribution partner for Switzerland.
Habersaat comments, “Studer has been the continuous thread running through my entire career; as a customer, distribution partner and as a staff member of the team. I am very proud to return and contribute to one of the best companies in the professional audio industry.”
Studer general manager Bruno Hochstrasser adds, “To have Robert return to the Studer family gives me a great deal of satisfaction. He is a wonderful individual with a lot of professional expertise in the broadcast business and most of all Robert is a loyal and very hard working team player always putting the business and our clients’ interests first. I am looking forward to working with Robert again and a bright Studer future.”
HARMAN (http://www.harman.com) designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of audio and infotainment solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets — supported by 15 leading brands, including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon® and Mark Levinson®. The Company is admired by audiophiles across multiple generations and supports leading professional entertainers and the venues where they perform. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of about 13,900 people across the Americas, Europe and Asia, and reported net sales of $4.4 billion for year ended June 30, 2012.
Posted by Keith Clark on 11/07 at 02:01 PM
Audiofile Engineering Launches Triumph Audio Editing Application
Redefines Wave Editor with new interface, features and functionality
Audiofile Engineering has introduced Triumph, the sequel to the popular Wave Editor audio editing application, available as an app for Mac OS X and sporting a newly redesigned interface and a host of new features and functionality.
Triumph is more than just a new version of Wave Editor, which is also the reason for the new name. “Our goal is to always be on the cutting edge of technology and interface design. We completely rewrote Wave Editor. We rethought everything, not only how to improve on what we built in Wave Editor, but how we could bring the concept of an audio editor forward”, says Matthew Foust, founder of Audiofile Engineering, “Triumph takes full advantage of all of the latest technologies Mac OS X has to offer.”
Users of Wave Editor will take note of Triumph’s single window and full screen support, as well as the completely rewritten audio system and the significantly improved arrangement and mastering features, all fully 64-bit.
Triumph provides a unique and patented method for editing audio: Layers. It’s similar to image editing in technique, but is specifically tailored for audio. The Layers method is an innovative way to create combinations of sounds. It saves time by keeping everything live and editable until the final product and results in less guesswork and more speed.
The new FHX effect in Triumph solves a number of the issues often associated with listening to music on headphones. FHX creates a more spacious, natural sound stage over headphones — enabling an improved listening experience.
Audiofile Engineering has teamed up with iZotope and now includes iZotope Restore & Restoration as well as the advanced iZotope MBIT+ and 64-bit SRC options for disc burning in Triumph.
New features include:
—Redesigned Meters inspired by the UI from the Spectre, Audiofile’s real-time analysis application
—Auto Save & Versions - automatically save projects with browse history
—Full Apple Script Support for complex workflows, automation and interacting with other applications
—Actions for a clean, uncluttered interface and intuitive workflow
—Effects Groups - save a group of Effects including their settings for use on future projects
—Effects Automation – new Shapes feature can automate the parameters of an effect
—High performance scrubbing and innovative FHX headphone listening plug-in
—Hardware Output & Channel Mapping for greatly improved system configuration
—Full Support for iXML
—Support for Retina displays
When it comes to mastering in Triumph, audio professionals can streamline their workflow with greatly improved layout tools, DDP 2.0, and Red Book CD burning.
Triumph requires Mac OS 10.7.0 or higher (10.7.5 recommended). It is available via Audiofile Engineering’s online store and is on sale for $59.99, 25 percent off the regular price of $79.99, through November 16. Users who purchased Wave Editor 1.5 on or after May 1, 2012 may request a license key for Triumph 2.0 at no charge.
Learn more about Triumph here.
In The Studio: Five Best Audio Editing Apps?
What computer literate people consider when it comes to their audio editor of choice
Lifehacker recently ran a survey trying to find the five best audio editing tools, and it turned up some interesting and surprising choices.
Granted, Lifehacker is not a site with a core audience of audio professionals, but it’s still interesting to see exactly what computer literate people consider when it comes to their audio editor of choice.
So here we go:
1. Audacity (56% of the votes) - I can see why this was chosen since it’s a fairly powerful audio app and the price is right (free). Plus, it’s cross platform.
2. Adobe Audition (14%) - I think that a lot of people use this because it’s included as part of the Adobe Creative Suite.
3. Avid Pro Tools (10%) - The big daddy in the pro world, Pro Tools has dominated music, film and broadcast for the last decade. If you’re going to be a real-world pro, use anything else at your own risk.
4. Reaper (10%) - Here’s a DAW that’s coming on strong. The price is only $60, and so many people rave about it that I can see it taking over as the top dog if Pro Tools should ever falter.
5. Ableton Live (10%) - If you’re making or working with electronic music, then Ableton Live is the center of your universe. If electronic music isn’t on your radar screen, then probably neither is Live.
There was also honorable mention for Goldwave, which I wasn’t even aware of, and Soundforge, which has now come to the Mac after a long run as a PC-only app.
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 blog.
Tuesday, November 06, 2012
Performers Using Sennheiser Score Big At 46th Annual CMA Awards
Roster of Sennheiser users performing included Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert, Lady Antebellum and Zac Brown Band
During the 46th Annual Country Music Association (CMA) Awards last Thursday, Sennheiser users including Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert, Lady Antebellum and the Zac Brown Band were at the fore, delivering performances through Sennheiser transmitters, capsules and wireless systems.
Shelton took home the coveted “Entertainer of the Year” and “Male Vocalist of the Year” awards and also took part in a “Lifetime Achievement Award” performance honoring Willie Nelson along with Lady Antebellum. Lambert was also recognized with “Female Vocalist of the Year.”
“Song of the Year” also went to Shelton and Lambert - the first married couple to ever win the award. The duo wrote the song in memory of Shelton’s brother, who passed away many years ago.
Following an intense week of rehearsals and technical preparations with its sponsored artists and their production teams, Sennheiser microphones and wireless systems performed flawlessly for the duration of the awards ceremony, which was broadcast live from Nashville to an audience of over 13 million viewers.
RF Consultant James Stoffo reports that 12 Sennheiser EM 3732-II receivers were used for the show, along with Sennheiser SKM 5200 and SKM 2000 wireless transmitters.
Shelton, Lady Antebellum and the Zac Brown Band all chose an SKM 5200 transmitter and a Sennheiser MD 5235 dynamic capsule combination to help their vocals cut through the often-loud stage volumes, whereas Lambert opted for a customized pink SKM 2000 and Sennheiser MMD 935-1 capsule combo. Throughout the evening, hosts also used a SKM 5200 paired with a MD 5235 capsule.
Stoffo states that he appreciates the ease of set up and flawless performance of the Sennheiser wireless: “In the EM 3732-IIs, the ability to align the audio processor to work in multiple modes is a really useful tool. Also, the wide frequency tuning over the entire 470-698 MHz band made finding the cleanest frequencies available easier than it has ever been since the invention of wireless microphones.”
In addition to being the wireless transmitter of choice for Shelton, Lambert, Lady Antebellum and the Zac Brown Band, a full complement of Sennheiser evolution wired mics was also in constant use on the backline and other vocal applications over the course of the evening.
This broad range of microphones included:
· 20 e 935 (vocals)
· 20 e 840 (vocals)
· 5e 901 (inside kick drum)
· 5 e 902 (outside kick drum)
· 5 e 905 (snare)
· 20 e 904 (toms)
· 10 e 906 (guitar amplifiers)
· 10 e 914 (overheads)
· 30 e 602-II (bass / kick drum / floor toms)
· 5 e 614 (high hat)
“Everything about my mixes starts with drums, and I specifically request Sennheiser evolution series microphones all over the kit,” comments John Harris, music mixer. “In particular, the e602-II on the toms and kick drum allow me to get the crisp sound I need much faster with little or no equalization. Also, the balanced frequency response of the MD 5235 and MMD 935-1 wireless mic capsules allow me to capture an honest, natural sound from the vocals.”