Technician

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Second Annual Pensado Awards Set For Sunday, August 30, 2015

Awards show will once again “recognize the faces behind the sound”

The Pensado Awards, an award show created by the producers of the online video series Pensado’s Place, has announced the date and venue for its second-annual ceremony.

Last year’s ceremony hosted a crowd of over 600 recording industry figures, with the live ceremony highlighted by presentations from the likes of Neil Young and Sir Paul McCartney.

Some as proud nominees, some as presenters, some there to simply be a part of the evening – and this year’s show is set to be even bigger.

The awards will be held outdoors under the stars in Calley Park in the middle of the Sony Pictures Studios lot.

A VIP reception will be held on the complex’s Main Street area; the “AfterMaster Lounge” will be located in the Rita Hayworth Theatre; and an afterparty will take place in the Sony Commissary, which is connected to the park. 

The Pensado Awards are a natural outgrowth of the ethos behind Pensado’s Place.

In recent years, developments in music and technology have changed the landscape for producers, songwriters, engineers and musicians, encouraging artists and composers of all types to hone their craft. From the self-taught basement amateur to the seasoned industry producer, all manner of music professionals are discovering new methods of working and novel ways to reach fans.

The science and art of music-making are in a rapid state of flux, with exciting opportunities awaiting among the talented figures in and out of the spotlight – the people who are currently engineering the next sound that will move the world in the music, film, television and digital realms.

Over 100,000 albums and millions of songs are released every year, not to mention the hundreds of thousands of concerts put on worldwide, but the awards often end up in the hands of a lucky select group. So the brilliance and hard work of all those producers, songwriters, DJ’s, engineers, mixers, live wizards and behind-the-scenes technicians in audio often go unnoticed. The Pensado Awards, founded as a means of acknowledging these talented individuals and their work, are a grand opportunity for the best pros, amateurs, brands and press to come together as one community to celebrate the uncelebrated. 

Working behind the scenes to make the second annual Pensado Awards a reality are the producers from Pensado’s Place and a group of top industry PR/marketing professionals. Leading the charge are Pensado and Trawick, along with Pensado Awards supervising producer Karen Dunn of KMD Productions (producer of the TEC Awards for 29 years and various other Pro Audio Events). Rounding out the Pensado Awards Team are social media guru Will Thompson, PR professionals Clyne Media and Lisa Roy, business development manager Shevy Shovlin, and production coordinators Chongor Goncz and Kevin Sanford, Clair Brothers Global president.

Herb Trawick, the co-host/executive producer and creator of Pensado’s Place, as well as manager and advisor to co-host Dave Pensado, stated, “We are very thrilled about the opportunity once again to put on an awards show that is by the people and for the people. Last year’s ceremony was a roaring success, and we look forward to making this one even bigger.”

“As an engineer and mixer myself, I am acutely aware that so many of the most talented people in the industry never get the recognition they deserve,” stated Dave Pensado (co-host of Pensado’s Place, GRAMMY-winning mix engineer, teacher). “We founded these awards last year to acknowledge amateurs and professionals for their craft. We hope you join in this year’s celebration, either in person or online.”

This year’s festivities will take place on Sunday, August 30, 2015, at Sony Pictures Studios, 10202 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232.

A video production of the ceremony will follow and be posted on the Pensado’s Place YouTube channel.

AfterMaster Audio Labs is serving as presenting sponsor.

Pensado’s Place Title Sponsors include The Blackbird Academy, Audio-Technica, Vintage King, Izotope, The Recording Connection and Avid.

A more extensive list of sponsors, as well as a full roster of categories, nominees and co-hosts, will be announced in the coming weeks. Tickets for the live ceremony are available for $50.00.

The Pensado Awards

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Posted by House Editor on 06/23 at 09:58 AM
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SoCal’s Largest Hotel Selects Symetrix SymNet For Conference Center Upgrade

With a hectic schedule, Dante networked audio solutions by Symetrix helped speed installation time and deliver significant cost-effectiveness for Audio Associates.

The Manchester Grand Hyatt, Southern California’s largest hotel, recently received an extensive AV renovation that included solutions from Symetrix.

The two towers, one 34 floors and one 40 floors, are the seventh and third tallest buildings in San Diego, and most of its 1600 rooms offer spectacular views of the city, the Pacific Ocean, or both.

The quality and quantity of the Manchester Grand Hyatt’s accommodations paired with Southern California’s weather guarantees that its 125,000 square feet of flexible ballrooms and breakout rooms (40+) remain booked without pause. However, that tight schedule, while a blessing in every other respect, became the principle challenge in an extensive renovation of the hotel’s AV system.

Due to their ease of programming, cost effectiveness and complete flexibility when expanding via Dante, San Diego-based Audio Associates chose a number of Symetrix SymNet Radius 12x8 open architecture networked DSPs and affordable SymNet xIn 12 and SymNet xOut 12 I/O expanders as the audio heart of Manchester Grand Hyatt’s new AV system.

“This is a large, multi-phase project,” explained Eric Evans, sales engineer at Audio Associates. “Most of the system is up and running, but as the work expands to other floors and other areas, we will be installing more SymNet Radius 12x8 DSPs and further SymNet xIn 12 and SymNet xOut 12 expanders.” Because the hotel is so fully booked, Audio Associates has to run double- and sometimes triple-time to get the work done.

The previous sound setup involved behemoth analog systems with large racks of switches to deliver the necessary room combining functionality. “The bid provided lots of options for replacement systems,” Evans continued. “I got prices for a number of possible product choices, but nothing was coming close to the cost-effectiveness that SymNet Radius 12x8 could offer. And because the job was evolving and changing, the fact that we could network via Dante and add inputs and outputs at will with the SymNet xIn 12 and SymNet xOut 12 I/O expanders made Symetrix the best solution.”

The meeting and ballroom spaces are spread out across three floors. Some of the original analog mixers were repurposed for budgetary reasons, but everything else has been replaced or is slated for replacement. In total, four SymNet Radius 12x8 DSPs, eight units of SymNet xIn 12, and seven units of SymNet xOut 12 now artfully provide input processing, loudspeaker conditioning and, critically, room combining functionality in a fraction of the space used by the old analog setup.

“Programming the Symetrix system was easy, which was very important given the time constraints we were working with,” said Evans. “And once we had the system in place, the hotel requested tweaks which were remarkably quick and easy to implement.”

A contracted AV company resides in-house to handle all of the Manchester Grand Hyatt’s event production. “They love the new system because it’s so much easier using Crestron control to make adjustments,” said Evans. “Before, they had to run back to the equipment room every time. They’re excited to have the entire system completed as now they also have comprehensive Symetrix ARC-WEB iPad control. Going forward, we’ll be using Symetrix SymNet Dante-scalable DSPs for conference centres and the like because they have the performance, flexibility, programmability, and price-point that we need.”

image
One of the meeting rooms shown prior to an event at San Diego’s Hyatt Grand Manchester (Credit: Hyatt Corporation)

Symetrix
Audio Associates

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Posted by House Editor on 06/23 at 08:11 AM
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Friday, June 12, 2015

Hungarian Sound Recordist Ottó Oláh Relies On Lectrosonics SMb Transmitters

With over 30 years of experience in film and broadcast, Hungarian engineer believes in using only the best technology available.

Sound recordist Ottó Oláh has been in the movie business for more than 30 years, and has worked as a location sound recordist on more than 25 films internationally, including several blockbuster American and European films, as well as several television shows and commercials.

He has come to rely upon the Lectrosonics SMb transmitters to help him meet the challenges of location sound work.

According to Ottó, the duties of a production sound engineer in Hungary are challenging like everywhere else in the world, consisting of shooting sessions in extreme weather conditions, or on heavy terrain or in a very dark studio. 

In Hungary, according to Oláh, “It is required that I know the A to Z’s of the sound profession – from recording to supervising post-production, which is an overall knowledge that is very useful in my approach to work.”

Recently, Ottó recalled the challenges of working on the film, Álom.net (Dream.net) for director Gábor N. Forgács, which captures both the action of a boys’ high school basketball team and high school cheerleaders rooting for them.

While capturing the sounds of the basketball training and dialog was difficult enough, Ottó’s real challenge was getting the sound right for the cheerleaders. The difficulty was not only that the cheerleaders were often simultaneously, cheering, chatting, jumping and shouting – their tiny costumes for the film consisted of very short miniskirts and half tank tops.

“The Lectrosonics SMb transmitters were the perfect solution, says Ottó, who purchased them from Lectrosonics’ distributor in Hungary, TWELCO.

“The SM Series transmitters are so small that we could hide them in the tops; we just had to be careful when taping down the mics so the girls were ready for exercise. The unique RM remote control helped in setting the frequency and audio gain, sleep, wake, lock and unlock modes. The RM was working fine but the boom operator always looked for the SM transmitter on the cheerleaders, Sound quality was, of course, beyond reproach and with a 12-track file-based recorder, we could also handle the scenes with many actors.”

With this experience with Lectrosonics, Ottó was confident when working together with this director during the shooting of their next film together, Pillangók (Butterflies), even when shooting a scene where the little boy in the lead role was talking to his friends while playing soccer on the field.”

In terms of choosing Lectrosonics and other equipment to help him master the challenges, Ottó has a firm motto:

“My motto is: Move with the times. This is the reason why I always have the latest, state-of-the art-equipment available, which, along with my experience and knowledge, allow me to work on any number of varied international film, commercial and television productions.”

Lectrosonics
Ottó Oláh

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Posted by House Editor on 06/12 at 07:10 AM
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Thursday, June 11, 2015

Revolabs Executives Share Industry Insights At InfoComm 2015

Sessions to discuss AV/IT consolidation, state of the AV industry, and AVB/TSN for enterprise audio.

Revolabs announces that Revolabs’ chief executive officer JP Carney, chief technology officer and executive vice president of new business development Tim Root, and executive vice president of global sales Jim Fairweather will be panelists in sessions at InfoComm 2015 as part of the Solutions Summit: Unified Communications and Collaboration (UCC).

“InfoComm is the industry’s most important platform for discussing the trends, technologies, and challenges affecting our marketplace,” said Tim Root, cto and evp of new business development, Revolabs.

“At this year’s show, Revolabs will address topics including steps for successfully merging AV and IT, how to leverage AVB/TSN within the enterprise, and a wide range of UCC topics. We look forward to many impactful discussions with participants.”

In “The Merger of AV and IT,” Root will outline how successful organizations are addressing the merger of AV and IT, integrating new technologies without compromising IT security or user engagement, and using new strategies to effectively combine today’s AV and IT systems.

In the second panel session on this topic, Fairweather will speak on how to merge AV systems into IT-based UC infrastructures, share insights into planning and project management, and discuss how to combine AV best practices with existing IT infrastructures and governance.

The sessions will take place on June 17 from 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. and June 18 from 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. in room W315AB.

On June 17 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. in room W314AB, Carney will take part in InfoComm’s “State of the Industry” lunch alongside industry experts and senior executives. The panel will address the latest issues related to conferencing, collaboration, and unified communications — including upcoming disruptions, the impact of mobility and interoperability, and the latest user applications within business, education, and healthcare environments.

In addition, on June 17 and 19 at 12:00 p.m., Root will discuss “AVB/TSN for Enterprise Wireless Professional Audio Solutions” at the AVnu Alliance booth 551.

Revolabs
Solutions Summit

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Posted by House Editor on 06/11 at 12:31 PM
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Waves Audio Announces Exclusive Discount Offer For AES Members

AES members now get 25 percent off retail price on Waves plug-ins

Waves Audio has announced an exclusive offer for members of the Audio Engineering Society (AES). Specifically, AES members are eligible for 25 percent off the retail price of all plug-ins from Waves. 

To redeem the offer, AES members will enter a coupon code at checkout when buying a Waves product at www.waves.com or through a dealer. For more information, visit the AES Membership Rewards page here
 
AES executive director Bob Moses states, “We’re very glad to have Waves participate in our AES Membership Rewards Program, which allows our manufacturer partners to engage with our worldwide membership and help AES members benefit from state-of-the-art practical tools they can use every day.” 

Mick Olesh, Waves EVP of sales & marketing, adds: “Waves recognizes the importance of partnering with AES and its membership for this exclusive arrangement. AES members span the entire range of audio specialties and skill levels, but the common thread is that they all take the craft and science of audio seriously — which is something that they share with Waves.”

Waves Audio
Audio Engineering Society

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Posted by Keith Clark on 06/11 at 08:38 AM
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Check One, Two: A Primer On Sound Check (And More)

For many engineers, the term “sound check” refers to the time the band hits the stage before the gig, plays a few numbers, has their monitor levels adjusted and then heads off to relax before the show.

For others, including me, the term encompasses an entire procedure from system tuning through line checks, not stopping until both the performers and sound crew are happy. This is especially important because my company handles a lot of one-offs where we’ve never previously worked with the acts.

We start with loudspeaker positioning, making sure they’re going to cover the entire audience without too much spill on to the stage. A frequent problem is too much bass spill, so we arrange the subwoofers in cardioid or end fire configurations to reduce the problem.

In tuning the main system, we start with the mains and make sure each box or driver band is working by sending them noise or a song. Next we test any front or side fills, as well as delays (if applicable).

Once we’ve verified that every cabinet is working correctly, a test track is played with the system EQ flat and we critically listen to each zone (mains, fills, delays) independently to make sure they’re sounding OK. At this point we’re not worried about the interaction of the system and room, just that the loudspeakers are performing properly.

If we’re using an installed house system or a portable system not our own, it’s fed a mono track that’s panned left and right to make sure the speakers sound the same on each side. Quite frequently we encounter installed systems that sound vastly different from side to side.

Ringing It Out
We’re certified “old school” so don’t just rely on software-based analyzers for tuning, but they’re a valuable tool, particularly in evaluating higher frequencies that our (older) ears don’t hear quite as well.

The process starts with a stand-mounted cardioid microphone placed near the front edge of the stage with the capsule pointing straight up. Meanwhile the measurement mic for the analyzer is placed an equal distance from left and right main loudspeakers. (Think of a triangle with the mic at the point and each main stack at the corners.)

Analysis tools can lend a valuable assist in getting to the sound check as ready as possible.

Before making any noise, we warn everyone in the room (via the board mic) that some feedback is coming soon. They can clear the area or put in ear plugs (which we offer).

We start with the mains and bring up the level until there’s a single ring of feedback. We make a note of the frequency and pull it out via the system graphic EQ, then push the level up until another ring is heard. This continues until there are multiple rings at the same time. Note: If you’re not good at picking out frequencies, then a system analyzer’s display can be valuable in showing what frequencies are being excited. This process is then repeated with fills and delays playing. And if drastic cuts are called for, a parametric EQ is utilized for a more “surgical” approach.

Next, the mic on stage is moved where the primary performer will be located and faced the correct way, and then we evaluate the sound of the system and how much gain is available. A few test tracks confirm how the system sounds, and at this point, balance is set between the mains, fills and delays. I walk the room listening to tracks, judging tonality and balance, and making any adjustments by ear. I also talk into a vocal mic and listen.

One At A Time
Now it’s time to wire up the stage. One of the keys to an easy show is to label everything in case of a problem.

We label all input cables and sub-snakes to trace a signal path quickly or for a quick, accurate re-patch when changes happen (and they always do). 

When working corporate shows, we also run a few backup lines for important channels like the podium, wireless feeds and video sends. 

For bands, the console is arranged in a typical festival style, kick in channel 1, then snare, hat, toms, overheads, percussion, bass guitar, guitars, keys, other instruments like horns, and then vocals. On corporates, the podium mics are the first channels, followed by wireless, playbacks, audience Q & A mics, VOG (“voice of god”) mic and board talkback mic.

Now it’s time for a line check, starting with making sure every input is working and then testing every mic and DI. If we have enough crew at the gig, this may take place simultaneously while the stage is being wired. Once the mics and DIs are placed and tested, it’s time to start dialing in the channels before the band arrives.

For example, we roll off the bottom end of the vocal mics and drum overheads to keep any stage rumble from bleeding into the PA. The input trims are set to a good starting position and the vocal mics are double-checked. Groups and VCAs can be assigned now, along with setting up a few standard effects like snare and vocal verbs and delays.

When the band arrives we give them time to noodle around a bit and get things positioned to their liking. Then we begin sound check by going through the instruments one at a time. Kick drum is the usual starting point, with drummers asked to strike as hard as they do during a show. The gain setting is checked to make sure there’s no clipping, and then the tone is dialed in with the channel EQ. Compression and gating are also set.

Label those cables for an efficient setup as well as faster adaption to changes.

Once kick is done, the channel stays live as we move on to snare. When it’s sounding right, the snare verb (if requested) is dialed in, and then the drummer is asked to play both kick and snare so the balance can be evaluated. Then it’s on to hi-hat and toms, played individually first and then with the other parts of the kit.

Overheads come next, with the drummer asked to play all around the kit while we listen on headphones soloed to the overhead mics. The goal is to pick up mostly cymbals and not so much snare. Depending on the show, a mic might also be employed for ride cymbal because it can get lost in the mix when using just overheads.

If the PA is stereo, drums are panned a bit to add some depth. Specifically, kick and snare remain centered with hi-hat panned slightly to one side and toms to the other side.

Solid Foundation
The monitor engineer does sound check simultaneously with front of house. But if we’re also running monitors at front of house, now’s the time to get the kit sounding good for the drummer.

We ask them what they want in their monitor mix, it’s provided, and once they’re happy, we run a quick check to make sure the monitor and house sound are playing nice, and that’s that.

Percussion follows, subject to the same methodical approach as the kit, with instruments first followed by “toys” like shakers. Panning percussion left or right (or even to both sides) can create a nice soundstage for the rest of the band.

Moving along to bass guitar, it’s usually on a DI, sometimes with an additional channel for a mic on the bass amp. When that’s dialed in, the bass player and drummer are asked to play a groove, which is used to set and check the balance. In stereo, the bass is usually centered with the kick.

Then the percussionist (if there is one) is asked to join the groove so that all three elements can be evaluated. To me, drums, bass and percussion form the foundation of a good mix.

All stage mics are kept live as additional instruments are dialed in to make sure they aren’t picking up anything they’re not supposed. If so, time to move the offending mic and/or source.

For performers playing an instrument and singing, the instrument is dialed in first, but with the mic on in order to hear any interactions between the two elements. Keyboard players are asked to change patches to check for drastic level and/or tonal changes between the different sounds.

Background vocalists come before the lead. More often than not, lead singers are the “stars” of the band who want an inordinate amount of time in sound check, and once they’re done, they want to move on to playing a few songs.

With everyone happy with their monitors and front of house dialed in, we move along to full band songs where the mix can be fine-tuned, with every instrument heard appropriately and panned correctly. This is also the time to adjust gain settings to account for the fact that bands are usually louder in the performance than for sound check.

Finally, we talk with the band to make sure we’re all on the same page, to see if they have any concerns, to talk about where they want the vocals to sit in the house mix, and so on. It’s also a time to inquire about specific cues and get a set list (if one’s not already been provided).

The kit is usually the starting point of the sound check process.

Additional Variables
In the corporate event world, sound checks work differently. Some events provide an entire day to set up and tweak the PA, others only have a couple of hours available. There may be rehearsals that provide the chance to dial in settings for individual presenters, or we may first meet presenters when clipping a mic on them right before they walk on stage.

Typically, there’s enough time to set up and ring out the system. It’s also best to make sure there’s a ton of gain before feedback with the podium mics. Recently we’ve been using a cardioid mic as the main together with an omni mic for recording and as a backup. The omni has come in handy in better capturing the voices of presenters who move the mics down and away from the pre-set position.

Since presenters are hard to pin down before the actual event, a crew member is outfitted with lavalier or headworn mics and sent on stage to read some copy. This allows us to dial them in pretty well, and without having to hear “test” and/or “check” over and over.

Our biggest concern at corporate events is wireless Q & A mics in the audience. They need to be carefully placed (i.e., not in front of the PA), and a lot of time is spent removing threats of feedback. Of course, they’re wireless, so they can travel anywhere…

But that’s the point of the whole setup and sound check process – doing our committed best to optimize everything as fully as possible while being absolutely vigilant in eliminating potential problems.

Senior contributing editor Craig Leerman is the owner of Tech Works, a production company based in Las Vegas.

 

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Posted by Keith Clark on 06/11 at 07:21 AM
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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Symetrix To Offer Training Programs At InfoComm 2015

Symetrix’ range of presentations will include multiple session on the integration and future of Dante enabled products.

In line with its ongoing policy to keep the industry informed about the latest developments in its own DSP technology and broader audio processing and networking trends, Symetrix has announced a busy program of seminars and presentations to take place on its booth (#321) during InfoComm 2015.

The largest pro AV show in North America, InfoComm 2015 takes place from June 13-19 (conference) and 17-19 (exhibits) at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.

Symetrix SymNet processors’ support for Audinate’s Dante media networking technology has contributed to products from the range being specified for a huge variety of installation projects.

Accordingly, at InfoComm 2015, Symetrix’ range of presentations will include Symetrix field applications engineer Greg Suchomel demonstrating the ease and speed with which it is possible to use Symetrix DSP and Dante to create a large-scale conferencing system that will integrate with any hardware or software-based video codec.

The busy hourly program of presentations will also feature Christopher J. Maione – founder of AV consultancy Christopher Maione Associates – on how Dante-based workflows can save time/money and improve audio in the sometimes challenging conference room environment. In addition, Audinate cto Aidan Williams will provide a comprehensive update on the current capabilities and future roadmap of the Dante technology.

The ever-growing opportunities for third-party device control and configuration through Symetrix SymNet Composer Software will be the focus of another presentation by Greg Suchomel, while Symetrix International Sales Manager Mark Ullrich will explore the ability of the Symetrix SymVue software application to provide customisable user interfaces for the control and monitoring of SymNet open architecture DSPs. In a separate presentation, Ullrich will highlight the suitability of Symetrix DSPs for hospitality projects with reference to the landmark recent installation at Virgin Group’s inaugural hotel development in Chicago.

The above-named presentations will take place on multiple occasions during the three exhibition days. Additionally, there will be one-off sessions featuring Symetrix regional sales manager Jim Latimer on the latest adaptive remote control for SymNet Composer, ARC-3 (17 June), and Symetrix regional sales manager Tim Murray exploring the potential of the ARC-WEB control environment.

Participants who attend a seminar and have their badge scanned will go into a draw to win an Apple Watch. Symetrix will announce the prizewinner in Orlando.

Symetrix
InfoComm 2015

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Posted by House Editor on 06/10 at 01:01 PM
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Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Hires Marc E. Check As VP Of Technology

Check will head the technology division to manage the ever-growing volumes of digital data created from archives and new assets made from physical artifacts.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum announces that Marc E. Check will join the organization as the vice president of technology.

In this new role, Check will head the Rock Hall’s technology division to manage the ever-growing volumes of digital data created from archives and new assets made from physical artifacts.

“Marc is a strategic hire,” said Greg Harris, ceo and president of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. “

His experience, creativity and perspective will empower the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to leverage technology to bring our collections and exhibits to life and amplify our ability to tell stories that engage, teach and inspire our fans, both in the Museum and online.”

Check brings more than 17 years of experience and comes to the Rock Hall from the Museum of Science in Boston where he served as vice president of information and interactive technology. He developed the Museum’s strategic plan for the use of digital platforms in their exhibits, including the Hall of Human Life.

Check was also responsible for technology strategy for The Science Behind Pixar, which is launching this month, using interactive media as the primary medium for interpreting the science concepts behind digital filmmaking.

In addition to digital-based exhibit components, his long-term strategy includes IT infrastructure planning, web platforms, and other technologies including mobile and location-awareness.

“What attracted me to the Rock Hall is the type of conversations that are taking place around strategic planning for the future,” said Check. “The Rock Hall has terabytes upon terabytes of absolutely fantastic content and a strategic digital plan can transform those assets into stories and experiences.”

Check’s past roles include associate director at The International Center for the History of Electronic Games, information technology manager at American Journal of Play, director of technology at Strong National Museum of Play, and director of technology at Rochester Museum and Science Center. He holds a BS in Mathematics from the State University of Brockport, New York and a MS in Information Technology from the Rochester Institute of Technology, with a focus on Interactive Media and Game Design.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum

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Posted by House Editor on 06/09 at 02:31 PM
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Monday, June 08, 2015

Roland Professional A/V Division Holds Rep Training Event In Burbank

Two-day training event at CenterStaging Rehearsal Studio in California introduces sales representatives to the M-5000 and other new products.

Roland’s Professional A/V division recently held a two-day training event for the new M-5000 live digital mixing console at CenterStaging rehearsal studio in Burbank, California.

The hands-on training was designed to equip Roland’s independent U.S. sales network, along with Pro A/V sales teams from Latin America and Canada, with in-depth knowledge of the M-5000’s design and operation to support end users in the field.

CenterStaging pro audio staff members participated in the M-5000 hands-on training in preparing for M-5000 placements at the rehearsal facility.

A portion of the training also covered video system design, featuring the Roland V-1200HD and integration with the Roland M-5000.

Additionally, Roland provided training on the recently released version 2.0 software update for the Roland XS Series AV Matrix rack mount switchers. The updated software features uninterrupted output mode switching, cross dissolve switching, PGM/PST operation mode, enhanced customization Picture-in-Picture capabilities and a new customizable iPad app for wireless touch control.

Roland will be demonstrating these new products later this month at the InfoComm Show in Orlando, Booth #853.

Roland

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Posted by House Editor on 06/08 at 01:18 PM
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Thursday, June 04, 2015

Listen Technologies To Host Training And Certification Sessions At InfoComm 2015

"Hearing Loop Training, Level II" and "Assistive Listening and Compliance" courses available through Listen Technologies.

Listen Technologies Corporation is offering two certification courses for contractors and system integrators in Florida around the 2015 InfoComm Show – one just before the show, on Tuesday, June 16, and the other at the show, on Wednesday, June 17. 

Hearing Loop Training, Level II (Tuesday, June 16, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.)
One-Day Integration & Commissioning of Hearing Loop Systems (Level 2) Classes
This full day (8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.) course will thoroughly work through all the steps to properly install various types of hearing loop systems, including:
An introduction to loop system principles
Specification and design considerations of different types of loop systems, basic, advanced, and phased array
Installation, setting up, testing, and certifying a loop system to the IEC60118-4 standard
Cost is $495 per person, per session; on-site training for companies and groups can be arranged. Contact Listen Technologies for more information. Four RU of InfoComm CTS Renewal Credits are available upon completion of this one-day Hearing Loop class and passing the final exam. NOTE: Hearing Loop Training, Level 1 is a required prerequisite.
Hearing Loop, Level II course location:
Holiday Inn
1805 Hotel Plaza Blvd.
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
407.827.7066
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Assistive Listening and Compliance (on site at InfoComm, Wednesday, June 17, 2015, 3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. EST, room W306B)
Hearing disability is the number-one condition covered under the ADA/IBC, yet all too often whenever compliance is mentioned, we think about other disabilities. It is important to understand the compliance needs of every project, including assistive listening. This course, geared specifically toward architects, consultants and designers, provides a comprehensive overview of the legislative requirements for assistive listening. Participants will have the opportunity to learn about hearing loss, the largest disability covered under the codes, the specific types of assistive listening technologies, and other pertinent building code requirements.
Topics of discussion:
Recent changes to compliance regulations and the legislative requirements for assistive listening systems
Why assistive listening systems are mandatory and how the aforementioned regulations apply to every project
The three types of assistive listening technology: Radio Frequency (RF), Infrared (IR), and Hearing Loop and why to use one vs. another
Understanding the needs of those with hearing loss and why hearing aids are not enough in venues
This FREE course qualifies for InfoComm CTS renewal credits and AIA HSW credits.
Registration for InfoComm training

Listen Technologies Corporation

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Posted by House Editor on 06/04 at 07:09 AM
AVNewsAVBusinessEducationEngineerInstallationManufacturerRemoteSignalTechnicianPermalink

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Church Sound Boot Camp Class Coming Up June 12-13, Prior To InfoComm 2015

Additional classes set for Baton Rouge in late June, Denver in July, and Dallas in August

Just prior to the upcoming InfoComm 2015 Expo in Orlando, Curt Taipale (Taipale Media Systems) is presenting his renowned Church Sound Boot Camp class in nearby Plant City, FL, on June 12-13.

For more than two decades, Church Sound Boot Camp has helped church sound teams raise the bar of technical excellence—without stress—in equipping them with the knowledge and understanding to make clearly noticeable improvements to the quality of their sound.

Instructor Curt Taipale has more than 30 years of experience in audio as a church tech team leader, recording and live sound engineer, consultant, AVL system designer, design/build contractor, educator, author, and professional musician.

He is the founder of ChurchSoundcheck.com, author of “The Heart of Technical Excellence,” and a contributing author to Yamaha’s “Guide to Sound Systems for Worship.”

Curt Taipale

Curt has taught literally thousands of church sound team volunteers, technical staff, worship pastors and musicians. In the classes, he’ll cover all the primary components of every sound system, exactly how they should be connected, how to feel confident in operating that equipment, and how to deliver a pristine, smooth, clear musical mix consistently at every worship service.

Attendees are advised to register as soon as possible. Go here for more details and to register.

In addition, Church Boot Camp sessions are also scheduled for Baton Rouge (June 26-27), Denvery (July 24-25), and Dallas (August 13-15). Note that early registration discounts are offered. More here.

Church Sound Boot Camp
ChurchSoundcheck.com
Taipale Media Systems

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Posted by Keith Clark on 06/03 at 10:22 AM
AVChurch SoundNewsTrainingAVEducationEngineerSound ReinforcementSystemTechnicianPermalink

Friday, May 29, 2015

Seven “Dirty Words” Of The Systems Integration Business

Some warning signs that can bring fear to the hearts of even the most experienced integrator.
This article is provided by Commercial Integrator

 
When it comes to running a systems integration business, we all have phrases we love to hear. Some that immediately come to mind are, signed contract, margin rich, or design build. All of them exude a certain positivity integrators can get behind.

But in a business where there are more than a few things that can go wrong, there are some phrases that can bring fear to the hearts of even the most experienced integrator. These are the “Seven Dirty Words/Phrases For Integration:”

1. Bid. Perhaps no word wreaks of “not-profitable"more than bid work. Between the layers of contractors the integrator often has to work through, the slow pay and being the last on the job site, this is often a no-win proposition.

If bid work is where you want to live, be careful and read EVERYTHING. The bigger the project the shakier ground you may be walking on when it comes to potential losses.

2. Owner Furnished. I love it when the customer shows you the room full of old projectors or plasmas they want to put into their new rooms. Coupled with a few new pieces of gear and they have everything you need to do the install.

Be sure and test everything twice to make sure it works. Once you sign the okay to use their gear, it is in your hands. And when it doesn’t work, it is still in your hands.

3. Shared Labor. “We will pull the cable and put the equipment in the racks, can you do the rest?” This is the start of something really bad. When the customer is trying to save money by piecing together the install, it is never a good thing for the integrator.

If you decide to go down this road, you need rock solid agreements as to where there work ends and yours begin. Otherwise, making money will be in the rearview mirror for this project.

4. Extended Terms. For the customer that is. This is common when dealing with the biggest companies. They generate cash flow by extending out payments as long as possible, sometimes waiting to pay until the job is delivered 100 percent.

In some projects, getting to 100 percent starts to look like searching for your contact in the middle of a corn field.

5. Consultant. Unrelated to the part where these very smart engineers design systems to bid. This group also loves to specify “next gen” technologies, often before they are proven to work.

What makes it worse is the projects they specify are often tremendous in scope. Taking the newest tech on the biggest projects with the least margin is a dirty, dirty word in my book.

6. Charge Back. Often buried deep in the contracts is the potential for charge backs to be incurred by integrators if they do not meet project timelines. This wouldn’t be so bad if we were 100 percent in control, but in the world we live in we wait for electricians, carpeting, ceiling, drywall and everyone else to do their part.

So when the schedule gets compressed at the end, they love to hit up the integrator for restitution. Not cool and definitely a dirty word.

7. Trunk Slammer. The security guy, the drywall company or the CIO’s nephew also does home theaters. They said this project can be done for half of your price and they will come in at night and the weekend to do the work.

If you hear this, or any iteration of this, turn around and run, not walk, but full out sprint out of the building. There isn’t a penny to be made. 

Daniel L. Newman currently serves as CEO of EOS, a new company focused on offering cloud-based management solutions for IT and A/V integrators. He has spent his entire career in various integration industry roles. Most recently, Newman was CEO of United Visual where he led all day to day operations for the 60-plus-year-old integrator.

Go to Commercial Integrator for more content on A/V, installed and commercial systems.

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Posted by Keith Clark on 05/29 at 12:19 PM
AVFeatureBlogAVBusinessInstallationSystemTechnicianPermalink

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Climbing The Sound Mountain: Part 2, The Job Interview

Editor’s Note: Go here to read the first installment in this series.

Ben Davis knew this was it, and he was ready. He had secured an interview with Frank of Frank’s Sound Company and Show Rentals, and he was right on time.

Frank let Ben walk into the office behind him, and then shut the door and motioned for Ben to sit down in one of the leather couches at the corner of the room. “You can relax, Ben,” said Frank with a warm smile. “This will be nice and casual.”

Ben sat down and felt the cool luxury of the leather, which did nothing to diminish his excitement. He handed his resume to Frank, who set it down on the stylish coffee table between them without looking at it.

Frank started out by asking Ben: “So, tell me: why do you want to work here?” This question threw Ben momentarily because he simply hadn’t thought of that in so many words.

He stammered just a touch, “Well, uh, that’s a good question. I think it comes down to my desire to work in the audio field and you guys are the big company in town. Your reputation is excellent, as both a place to work and as a service provider. Mainly, I want the opportunity to work in a place that will give me opportunities to grow, both personally and professionally, and to use the skills I’ve learned in a positive way.”

Frank had heard this kind of thing plenty of times, and he recognized some of the typical job placement coaching that students typically received before they left school.

At the same time, nothing about Ben had offended Frank yet so he asked another question: “So, tell me about these skills. Which ones you think are the most important in terms of working here?” Ben was ready for this one, so he jumped right in. “Well, for starters, I have a pretty good handle on basic electricity like Ohm’s Law and I understand fundamental acoustic issues like the Inverse Square Law.”

 

Looking for a great position in pro audio? Seeking the most qualified candidates? It all starts with the ProSoundWeb Jobs Center.

 

Frank nodded, so Ben continued: “I have a pretty good amount of experience mixing, and I’ve helped set up a number of sound systems at my college, for events like Spring Fling and all that. I’ve tuned a system with Smaart before, and I’ve even mixed monitors.”

Frank was still smiling and Ben thought he was doing well – but he was waiting to have Frank take him out back and let him mix, or to maybe at least talk about audio.

Frank continued: “So, what was the worst problem with a sound system you’ve ever encountered, and how did you solve it?” This stumped Ben, because he had never really had to dig himself out of a hole on the job yet.

But he remembered one thing: “Yeah, there was this one time when the bass player’s channel was humming real badly at the festival. We had his amp miked, and then the preamp out into a direct box for the PA as well. We tried the ground switch on his Fender amp, and also on the DI box, but it didn’t get much better. So we used a ground lifter on the AC power for the amp. Problem solved!”

Frank inwardly cringed, but didn’t show it. “Just a couple more questions. How are your soldering skills?”

Ben thought this was kind of weird, but went ahead and answered: “I guess I can solder OK. I helped our teacher fix an amplifier once that had some cold solder joints. Didn’t seem too hard.”

Frank had expected as much. Then he said “Final question. Tell me about how you work in a team situation and whether or not you’ve been a team leader.”

Ben replied, “Sure, I’ve been in plenty of teams, both audio and otherwise. I played soccer in college and was even team captain for a semester. At Spring Fling, I was on the blue team first year, and red team leader second year. I think I do well in teams and can follow instructions and all that.”

“OK, Ben” said Frank. “I think we can use a guy like you here at FSC. When can you start?” Ben had to blink and let the words register. Was he just offered a job? It took him a couple of seconds to respond: “Great – wow. OK, yes – that would be great! Um, I can start on Monday if that’s OK with you!”

Frank nodded, and then added, “Well then, we’ll see you Monday. Just stop at the front desk and ask Sonya for copies of our job application form and tax forms. Just fill those out and bring them in on Monday. See you at 9 a.m. sharp!”

Ben was flabbergasted, both by being offered a job, and also because there really was no discussion of audio or any kind of audition. But it hadn’t yet dawned on him that he wouldn’t be doing audio – at least not for a while.

Just as he was about to head out the door, Frank called to him “Ben, just one thing – and please remember this – don’t EVER use a ground lifter on a guitar amp. Unless you want someone to end up dead.”

As Ben drove home, he was thinking about the interview and how it went. Overall, he was pleased although some things puzzled him.

But mainly, he was concerned about what Frank had meant about the guitar amp grounding. “Someone could end up dead,” he muttered to himself. “I guess I need to learn about what’s going on there.”

Ben resolved to get up to speed on that subject because obviously he had missed something in his classes. As he pulled up to his building, he started thinking about how he was going to spend the next few days before Monday.

After entering his apartment and dropping his keys, CD, greenie and sharpie on the table by the door, Ben sat down at his computer, determined to be ready on Monday with new knowledge about grounding. He was up late into the night gathering information from forums, online articles and book excerpts. “Hmm – looks like this Yamaha Sound Reinforcement Handbook is something I need to own.”

He placed an order on Amazon for a used copy, then finally went to bed trying to sleep despite the lingering thoughts from the day invading his mind.

Taylor Jensen is a freelance pro audio writer.

Looking for a great job in pro audio? Searching for the best candidates? Check out the ProSoundWeb Jobs Center.

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Posted by Keith Clark on 05/26 at 10:31 AM
Live SoundFeatureBlogStudy HallBusinessEducationEngineerSound ReinforcementSystemTechnicianPermalink

Friday, May 22, 2015

Mic Methods: Two Sides Of The Same Coin

Everyone agrees with the idea that you point the microphone at what you want it to pick up.

But there’s another side to the coin: pointing the mic away from what you don’t want. This perspective applies both for using a particular polar pattern to eliminate undesired pickup or miking unconventionally to find a desired sound.

Take drum miking. Snare bleed in the hi-hat mic can blur the snare in the mix, especially for those drummers who know how to play the brass sweetly.

Some time ago, I picked up the method of turning a small diaphragm cardioid condenser nearly horizontal above the hi-hat and pointing it away from the snare. Having the snare in the “nulling area” of the mic’s polar pattern is very effective in reducing bleed.

But the million dollar question: how many drummers or techs then try to “fix” my positioning of the mic? Too many to count. Having the mic positioned this way is just “wrong”—they’re firmly convinced that it’s supposed to point directly at the hi-hat.

Smack Dab In The Middle
A young band I regularly worked with had a guitarist using a notoriously sub-par guitar amp. I’d already resigned myself to the sound we were getting with a Shure SM57 and heavy EQ on the console.

Then one day I walked in via backstage during a rehearsal and immediately thought that he’d gotten a new amp. But surprise of surprises, it was still the same. The only difference was that the house assistant, not knowing the “right” way to mic a guitar amp, put the SM57 smack dab in the middle of the cabinet, pointed at nothing more than the cabinet baffle, inches from the nearest driver.

The assistant, having yet to be tainted with the ideas of center, edge, on-axis and off-axis miking techniques, just intuitively stuck the mic in front of the cabinet with no thought as to “proper”—and it sounded great. I swallowed my pride and learned something.

Worthy Of A Roadie
Then there was the Saturday of doing a parking lot youth gig with four bands throughout the afternoon. I kept it simple on this, choosing for drums to just use mics on kick and snare, along with a pair of overheads for the complete kit. 

Being outdoors, I’ve found that drum overheads can really be pushed for a whole kit perspective in a way that’s not wise indoors. This plan worked just fine with the maximum of five-piece drum kits that were showing up—until the last set.

The final band didn’t have a teenage drummer, but rather, employed a grizzled veteran who’d been through rehab and was playing for redemption. Via a 12-piece kit. So my method had to evolve to include the second kick drum. Not having another Sennheiser e602 in my bag, or for that matter, any other “proper” kick mic, the band’s roadie grabbed another SM57 and went to work.

And in short order, my level of respect for the guy went way up. He pointed the 57 one way, listened, then drastically changed the position of the mic and listened again, while the drummer kept up a double-kick beat.

He did this probably a dozen times, randomly re-positioning the mic until he was satisfied with the similarity between the sound of the two. He looked at me. I matched the levels, applied some gentle EQ, and marveled at how identical the two completely different mics sounded. The guy found success by pointing the mic at the sound he wanted, and away from the sound he didn’t want.

Whether reducing the snare in the hi-hat mic, finding a good guitar sound from a frowned-upon amp, or using a non-kick specific mic to match another mic—it can all be accomplished as long as we don’t confine ourselves to the self-imposed limitations inherent in viewing one technique as “right” and all others as “wrong.”

Since his start more than 35 years ago on a Shure Vocalmaster system, James Cadwallader remains in love with live sound and has held a wide range of professional audio positions, performing mixing, recording, and technician duties.

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Posted by Keith Clark on 05/22 at 08:02 AM
Live SoundFeatureBlogStudy HallEngineerMicrophoneSignalSound ReinforcementTechnicianPermalink

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Talamas Broadcast Celebrates 25th Anniversary With Lectrosonics

Dave and Diane Talamas also celebrate 35 years in business, starting Talamas Broadcast in 1979 as a sales-oriented firm, then adding rental capabilities.

For Dave and Diane Talamas, the couple behind dealer Talamas Broadcast, 2015 marks the 35th anniversary of providing their customers with technology and service. This year also marks the 25th year of Talamas’ partnership with Lectrosonics, which they celebrated by ordering the company’s latest products straight off the production line: 20 of the new L Series kits with patented digital hybrid wireless technology, including 10 LMb/LR kits and 10 LT/LR kits.

“We are still going strong because we are constantly evolving our business; we anticipate what our clients’ needs are now and what their needs will be in the future,” says Dave Talamas. “Lectrosonics is known for their excellent products, and when they manufacture something new, we are a part of the process; they listen to us and respond to our customers’ needs.”

“Talamas is committed to ensuring that our customers have the latest technology; we have to be able to offer them the best,” adds Diane Talamas. “I am honest when I say that I know Lectrosonics’ performance, reliability and support are something that my customers can count on. Lectrosonics products set the industry standard.”

Talamas even has an in-house RF technician who specializes in Lectrosonics’ products, Dave Goldblatt. “We have a fully-equipped RF Lab here for Lectrosonics that we call, “The Dave Cave,” says Dave Talamas.

After early experience building a film dubbing studio for Stuart Cody then working in sales and rentals as well as studying Electronics at Lowell Institute, Dave Talamas enlisted wife Diane, and together they started Talamas Broadcast in 1979. Starting off as a sales-oriented firm, then adding rental capabilities, Talamas has always kept current with technical innovations in the industry, and has been growing ever since. Throughout the years, this dynamic duo has kept their focus on customer service, with Dave Talamas crediting his wife Diane with excellent customer communications.

“Several years ago, we learned that CNN was refitting all their cameras will new wireless mics, so Diane and I flew to Atlanta to make a presentation. It was a time when analog and digital television signals were still in play together and we had to offer them a solution that would work then and into the future. I spoke with the various engineers, but Diane was the one who developed a relationship with them,” says Dave. “Taking Diane to CNN was like JFK taking Jackie to Paris – I am with her. We ended up outfitting them with Lectrosonics SRs and HMs as well as SMQVs. Since then we do business with them all over the country.”

“Talamas and Lectrosonics both have something big in common,” adds Diane. ”As companies, we both care greatly about customers and are very open to their needs – that’s why our companies have a great working relationship together.”

Over the years Talamas has installed wireless microphone and communications equipment for clients such as CNN Washington, WFXT, WCVB, WBZ and WHDH TV. Talamas has engineered and managed rental of the video production unit for WGBH’s ‘This Old House’ since 1982, for ‘The Antiques Road Show’ for over 17 years.
 
Lectrosonics
Talamas Broadcast

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Posted by House Editor on 05/19 at 12:47 PM
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