Wednesday, January 09, 2013
Church Sound: 10 Tips For Improving The Monitor Mix Prior To Sunday
Success comes largely outside of the mix position
The worship mixer’s job is executed in the mix position during worship, but its success is mostly established outside the mix position, prior to worship.
1. Know The Music Beforehand
Get whatever rehearsal music media is available to the worship team for review (legally). Learn the arrangements by listening during the week. Not only will your mixes come together quicker for each song, you’ll also anticipate things like guitar solos or false endings before they happen—not just after they’ve already begun.
Does it really make sense when everyone on the stage knows the songs and arrangements thoroughly, but the sound tech does not?
2. Host A Pre-Production Meeting
Meet with the music/worship and production teams well in advance of each planned service. Reviewing plans and expectations can ensure an appropriate audio setup, and can avoid potentially tough sound reinforcement surprises.
Example: the worship department requests three wireless lavalier or headworn systems for a worship service. At sound check, they are placed on three actors and the tech quickly finds they’re not actors at all… they’re singers, and they’re asking for their vocals in the monitors! If they are omnidirectional it’s a tough situation at best, and practically impossible in many environments.
Now, the worship department may have requested the drama-style mics because the presentation or mood doesn’t suit the normal handheld vocal miking approach. But they didn’t anticipate the technical disaster that comes with their request. (Is it really their job to understand all the tech stuff?) Heading this surprise off at an advance meeting allows the audio tech to suggest a better miking technique, such as normal handheld vocal mics or possibly cardioid headworn mics.
Our point here is not about which mic technique is right for this application, it is that regardless of the chosen solution or compromise, it can be sorted out in advance – not at sound check.
3. Check RF Performance
If any wireless microphones, wireless personal monitor systems, wireless assistive listening systems or any other RF devices are used in the worship space, they must be properly installed and their frequencies coordinated for compatibility. Assuming proper installation, antenna orientation, and frequency coordination have been accomplished, it remains wise to periodically check RF performance. New sources of interference and other surprises are better found during testing—without an audience!
To properly check the systems, turn on all RF devices that will be on during worship, and turn on any equipment in close proximity to the RF devices. Portable transmitters and receivers should not be clustered together for the test—piling them together on a desk or other surface at the sound booth is convenient, but a common mistake. They should be at least several feet apart, and located onstage or in a general area where they will be used.
The outputs of all devices should be auditioned over the PA or with headphones (RF mics), on headphones or earphones (wireless personal monitor receivers), or the receiver/transducer that will be used by the worshipper (assistive listening device).
Note: It can be alternately argued that piling all portable RF devices together for an RF test/sound check can actually be a wise move as it creates a worst case scenario.
4. Perform System Checks
Verify the PA system is in working order before Sunday morning. A brief walk/listen check a day (or a few) in advance can confirm that all PA zones/loudspeakers are working with no failures, and it’s wise to check other output zones too, like lobby, overflow and monitor sends. A blown horn driver in the main PA cluster is not easy to resolve at 7:45 a.m. on Sunday!
5. Optimize Microphone Technique
Review the microphone selection and placements onstage. Choosing appropriate mics and optimizing placement can influence the PA mix notably by reducing leakage, increasing gain-before-feedback and capturing better sounding sources.
6. Make Or Obtain Cue Sheets
Get a copy of whatever cue/tech sheet or order of service outline is available or draw one up. Clearly mark mic and roll-in cues, and any other important audio notes, in advance of sound check. Mixing notes can be added during sound check.
If mixing on a suitable digital platform, it may be possible to pre-program some or all of the cues and mix changes. But manual control should always be available, and the cue sheet should always be visible, whether in paper or electronic form.
For very busy events, such as dramatic pageants, enlist an assistant to manage and announce the cues.
7. Remember That Sound Check Is Not Set-Up
Clearly distinguish between set-up and sound check. Sound check is the time for the audio team to dial in the mixes, with the elements (gear and musicians, etc.) working exactly as they will be during the worship service.
Complete all audio set-up work in advance of sound check, so that sound check really is just that—sound check!
8. Perform I/O Checks
Some worship audio techs add an input/output (I/O) check procedure prior to sound check. This is highly recommended. I/O check takes a sound source (such as a CD), one person on stage, and one person at each mix position (two people in many church applications). Every input and output is briefly tested over the PA system (inputs) and over wedges or earphones (outputs).
It’s a 5- or 10-minute effort at most, and this procedure verifies the entire signal paths from sources to worshippers (FOH) and sources to artists (monitors). And the occasional I/O that doesn’t work is identified and hopefully resolved before the worship team hits the stage—preserving sound check.
9. Review Mixes
If you record your mixes, review them. If you’re making a classic “board tape” right off the console’s PA mix, review it with the knowledge that it is mixed for the house sound and it does not include the live acoustic portion of the listening experience (which affects mix balance). If you multi-track your services, you’ve got a great practice and training tool—play the tracks back through the FOH console.
And if you’re fortunate enough to own a digital mixing platform that offers “virtual sound check” technology, you’ve got the ultimate tool for practicing, training and fine tuning the sound reinforcement mix.
10. Train Your Ears
Good mixing requires good listening skills, which require training and practice. Listen to great mixes that are relevant to your worship style, and “take them apart” mentally.
Discover the details that make good blends and mixes. Train your ears to identify frequency ranges. This skill is critical for sound reinforcement mixing. There are a number of useful training tools on the market. Or, simply practice with a tone generator and real-time analyzer (RTA).
For more worship audio tips and techniques, go to Sennheiser.
Monday, December 17, 2012
Shure Announces Enhanced Tech Support For Wireless, Software & Conferencing Products
New Systems Support Group responsible for providing applications support and technical training to installers and users
Shure Incorporated has announced that is is expanding the technical support resources for its customers beyond its existing Product Technical Support department.
A new Systems Support Group in the company’s Americas Business Unit will be responsible for providing applications support and technical training to installers and users of Shure high-tier wireless systems, software-enabled products, and networking products.
These include the Axient, ULX-D, and PSM 1000 wireless systems. as well as the DIS line of conferencing systems.
“Software and networking technologies are an integral part of these products, and are essential to delivering key features and providing the ability to interconnect with a wide variety of non-Shure products,” said Stephen Kohler, director of product marketing. “By establishing a dedicated Systems Support group, we are providing our customers with even higher levels of expertise before, during, and after the sale.”
Led by manager Gino Sigismondi, the Systems Support Group will include Doug Totel and Tim Vear. The Product Technical Support department will continue to be led by Michael Pettersen, and will be responsible for the support of entry- and mid-level products.
To support the rollout of Shure’s DIS-branded conferencing products, the company is devoting more resources to this significant and growing category.
Effective January 1, 2013, Luis Guerra will assume the position of product marketing manager for Conferencing products. In this role. he will lead Shure’s go-to-market activities involving DIS conferencing systems and other Shure products used in conferencing applications.
“Luis has developed deep expertise in the installation and conferencing market and has worked closely with A/V system designers and integrators,” said Kohler. “By focusing his attention exclusively on these opportunities, we are helping our channel partners to succeed in the conferencing market.”
Thursday, December 13, 2012
Official Blues Brothers Revue Touring Company Chooses Shure Wireless Systems
UHF-R wireless mics and PSM 1000 wireless IEM systems boost production values
The Official Blues Brothers Revue, a live touring performance that pays homage to Chicago’s history of blues, soul music, and gospel, involves dancing, comedic acts, and an eight-piece band.
The show features the characters of Jake and Elwood Blues created by John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd in 1978 that were featured on Saturday Night Live and in two subsequent feature films. It’s produced by Dan Aykroyd and Judith Belushi, with Paul Shaffer serving as musical director.
The tour and production manager is long-time Shure user Bill Girdwood, who made it an immediate priority to upgrade the show’s existing gear to more reliable, higher-quality Shure wireless systems.
“When I came in during pre-production and rehearsals, the performers were using non-Shure products that weren’t up to the quality I felt Judy [Belushi] and Dan [Aykroyd] would want the show to run on,” Girdwood says. “I needed to switch to gear that sounded good and could support non-stop movement on stage.
“When I saw the flexibility and stability of Shure’s UHF-R wireless and PSM 1000 in-ears, our production team quickly made the decision that this was the technology we needed to power performances.”
Running six channels of UHF-R with Beta58A capsules, Girdwood has high confidence in the systems, even in tour stop cities that have crowded RF conditions.
“On the in-ear side, Wayne Catania and Kieron Lafferty—who portray Jake and Elwood—did not have positive experiences with other manufacturers. There wasn’t consistent, quality sound,” he notes. “Now, using the PSM 1000, dialing in and finding clean, clear frequencies is a piece of cake, making it that much better for everybody—my audio guys and the talent.”
With a program that has performers gliding from one side of the stage to the other, Girdwood has also benefited from the control and flexibility of the Shure systems.
For example, the UR3 plug-on wireless microphone transmitter enables him to mic Kieron’s vintage harmonica wirelessly, which is a big plus because he can move freely around the stage.
In addition, the performance characteristics of the Beta 58s helps prevent feedback. “This is a busy, cinematic performance,” Girdwood states. “There’s foot stomping, hand clapping, and fast choreography that typically results in feedback and noise issues. I’ve had great success with Shure’s UHF-R/Beta58 combo. It’s dependable and sounds perfect, whether we’re on tour stop one or tour stop 15.”
The Official Blues Brothers Revue, which has been praised by critics, is noted by Girdwood as being a positive testament to the entire Blues Brothers brand. “This is a respectful show that pays tribute to blues and soul; the quality can’t be compromised. Bringing in gear that’s top-of-the-line was a requirement; between the quality and stability, the switch to Shure was the right choice.”
The Official Blues Brothers Revue will be touring North America throughout 2013.
Thursday, December 06, 2012
Parsons Electric Fits Brooklyn Nets’ Barclays Center With AKG Digital Wireless Systems
The Barclays Center, home to the National Basketball Association’s Brooklyn Nets, has finalized its internal PA and is now equipped to host concerts, conventions and numerous additional events with the help of an AKG DMS700 digital wireless system.
Newly constructed over one of the busiest transportation hubs in New York City, The Barclays Center, home to the National Basketball Association’s Brooklyn Nets, has finalized its internal PA and is now equipped to host concerts, conventions and numerous additional events with the help of an AKG DMS700 digital wireless system.
Installed by Parsons Electric, the complete system is used for numerous aspects of sound reinforcement throughout the 18,000-seat arena.
The Barclays Center has numerous club level suites, which will be used for events throughout the basketball season and beyond. The versatility of the suites allows events ranging from company presentations, birthday parties, or additional ‘meet and greet’ opportunities with the Nets.
Each club is installed with two DMS700 systems to ensure flexibility and quality, without signal weakness. The suites and additional back rooms also host post-game interviews, press conferences and VIP events for the Nets.
In the arena, or “bowl,” the AKG system is deployed for the national anthem before the games, and during events as emcees carry handheld units, running around entertaining the crowd with promotions.
In such a large venue, where numerous events may be live at once, it was imperative the wireless functionality was not easily impeded. Project Engineer, David Potts of Parsons literally sat in the announcer’s booth for a week to perform an RF analysis for the entire building.
During the center’s debut concert series, eight performances by Nets co-owner Jay-Z, the in-house AKG wireless system was running in the background and showed no signs of interference.
“AKG is very reliable, feature-packed and easy to use,” stated Potts. “As system designers, we chose DMS700 for its reliably, durability, ease of installation and functionality. The customer-friendliness of the system is amazing, and each club maintains a strong signal. It sounds great in all of the rooms, which makes the customer happy.”
The Barclays Center now boasts 18 AKG DHT700 D5 handheld transmitters, 16 SRA2B-W remote antennas, nine DSR700 dual wireless receivers, two HSC271 headsets, two Perception 170 condenser microphones, a DPT700 digital bodypack wireless transmitter and a PS4000-W antenna DA/power distributor.
“When I first saw the AKG systems on the spec sheets, even before I was allowed in the building, I was excited to come in and try them out. DMS700 are robust units, and have plenty of feature sets other systems simply do not,” said Matt Kaitila, AV Technical Engineer at the Barclays Center. “Our mics are providing a thick sound, with a nice bit of brightness to it.”
“AKG has a trust worthy reputation and it compliments the Barclays Center sound system quite well,” continued Kaitila. “DMS700 cuts through nicely. We’ve basically locked in all of our frequencies. It’s going to be a great unit for the different type of events we’ll have for the bowl.”
The Latin music world’s hottest artists came together for the 13th Annual Latin Grammy Awards earlier this month at the Mandalay Bay hotel and casino in Las Vegas.
Professional Wireless Systems (PWS) was stationed on the green carpet, managing frequency coordination and equipment—working to avoid any possible interference issues during the pre-awards green carpet show.
Broadcast by television network Univision, the Latin Grammy Awards, presented by the Latin Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, recognize outstanding achievement in the music industry.
For this year’s Latin Grammy Awards package, PWS integrated in-ear monitors and wireless communication for the Latin Grammy’s and managed all wireless audio systems for the green carpet show pre-show.
“This year was a little different for us in that we switched from a 2.4-GHz wireless intercom to the Telex BTR800 series wireless intercoms,” said Jason Eskew, PWS project manager. “We found the RF performance was better outside on the crowded green carpet. The BTR systems gave longer distance and more consistent coverage.”
PWS also provided Univision with 16-channel PSM 1000 in-ear monitors. For the Latin Grammy Awards, Univision took delivery of two custom racks to replace its former aging in-ear monitors. According to Eskew, “The PSM 1000s allowed us to completely focus on all of the other things we needed to do. Knowing the PSM 1000 system was rock solid, low stress and maintenance free is a huge weight off our backs. Even when the PSM 1000s get into a low-signal-strength condition, they mute quietly and cleanly. It’s much safer for the artist and makes our job a whole lot easier.”
Another responsibility the PWS crew took on was monitoring the green carpet for any potential interference from ENG crews. “With all of the frequencies being used in and around the strip, doing a live show in Las Vegas is always a bit of a challenge from a wireless coordination standpoint,” added Eskew. “Our experience, the services we are able to provide, along with the gear we select, allows us to find, isolate and minimize any potential problems that may arise.”
The inaugural annual Latin Grammys ceremony was held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on September 13, 2000. Broadcast by CBS, that ceremony became the first primarily Spanish language primetime program carried on an English-language American television network.
Professional Wireless Systems
Thursday, November 29, 2012
Lectrosonics Debuts Dual-Channel Slot-Mount ENG Wireless Receivers
Offer two independent channels and fit into standard video camera slots
Lectrosonics has announced the introduction of the SRB and SRB5P (domestic) and SRB/E01, SRB5P/E01 (export) two-channel slot-mount Digital Hybrid Wireless diversity receivers.
The new receivers offer two independent channels and fit into the standard video camera slots found on slot-equipped professional cameras such as those from Panasonic and Ikegami (SRB & SRB/E01) and Sony (SRB5P & SR5P/E01) by using the appropriate optional mounting kits.
The two audio channels can feed separate inputs or can be mixed internally to feed a single input.
The SRB family of receivers includes a newly-designed receiver front end with a more robust RF amplifier stage and tighter IF (intermediate frequency) filtering. The results are significant performance enhancements over previous designs including better immunity to adjacent channel interference and increased sensitivity. Operating range is enhanced and greater multi-channel operation is now possible with fewer dropouts.
A talkback feature is also included in the new receivers to work in conjunction with the HH handheld microphone transmitter. With the talkback feature engaged, one audio output is used for the standard signal feed. When the talkback button is pressed on the HH transmitter, the audio is routed to the second receiver output, which thus can be sent to an IFB (interruptible fold-back) system, a com desk, or anywhere else the user requires.
Two diversity modes are offered in the SRB family. SmartDiversity reception is employed by combining antenna phase for each independent receiver channel. Alternately, the two channels can be used together as a single receiver in “True Diversity” Ratio mode for enhanced performance in some environments. Graphic spectrum scanning provides quick and easy location of clear operating frequencies for interference-free operation.
The two independent Digital Hybrid Wireless receivers inside the SRB Series units offer 256 frequencies each in a wide variety of available frequency blocks, and operate with any of the Lectrosonics’ 400 Series transmitters without a compandor in the audio path. In addition, compatibility modes also facilitate operation with Lectrosonics’ 100 Series, 200 Series, and IFB analog systems, along with analog transmitters from two other manufacturers. Transmitter battery strength is monitored in the new receivers when using compatibility modes for 200 and 400 Series transmitters.
While mounted in a camera slot, the SRB family of receivers are splash resistant—thanks to sealed membrane switches and LCD, along with a special gasket covering the slot opening. Along with slot mounting, the receivers can also be mounted outside cameras using an optional kit, powered from external DC, and providing two locking mini-XLR analog audio outputs.
Additionally, an optional battery sled kit is available, offering two balanced outputs along with the ability to dock a “M”- or “L”-style rechargeable battery pack for truly portable use. A variety of hardware mounting accessories are also available.
“We have been pleasantly surprised at the high demand and the wide range of applications for our original dual-channel slot receiver,” says Gordon Moore, VP of sales at Lectrosonics. Frankly, we never envisioned it being used in many of the ways that it has been. With that in mind, the new version addresses some of the issues brought up by users, particularly in applications where high channel counts are needed, such as reality TV production.”
The new Lectrosonics dual-channel slot-mount ENG receivers carry an MSRP of US $2,800 (SRB, SRB/E01) and US $2,985 (SRB5P, SRB5P/E01) and are available through authorized Lectrosonics dealers.
Older SRA and SRA5P receivers or E01 export variants can be upgraded to the SRB/SRB5P (or E01 variants) for $250 at the factory or a Lectrosonics authorized service center.
Monday, November 26, 2012
Skyline College Theatrical Program Relies On Countryman Microphones
E6 Omni Earset Microphones deliver pristine audio quality and plenty of level
With top tier production facilities, the Skyline College Theater in San Bruno, California, is a great place for those with an interest in the technical production aspects of theater to learn the ins and outs of the profession.
The theater has a full rotation of events. One of its most recent offerings was the production of the Broadway hit musical Cabaret.
Microphones frequently assume an important role in contemporary theater, and to ensure the best possible audio performance, Skyline College relies on Countryman E6 Omni Earset Microphones.
With a background that encompasses both production house and touring experience, Alan Ceccarelli is Skyline College Theater’s theater and technical production manager.
In addition to these responsibilities, he also serves as the school’s Drama 680 Instructor. Over the past two years, Ceccarelli has acquired twenty Countryman E6 Omni Earset Microphones and they are clearly his ‘go-to’ mic solution for sound reinforcement purposes.
“Skyline College Theatre features a traditional proscenium stage with seating for 530 people,” Ceccarelli explained. “The stage is 40 feet deep with a 40 foot proscenium and there’s an orchestra pit.
“It’s a good sized room, so sound reinforcement is frequently required. I find the Countryman E6 is an ideal microphone for our applications. For Cabaret, we used all twenty E6’s on the talent and they served us very well.”
“I especially appreciate the ease of placement the E6 provides,” Ceccarelli continued. “The mic fits very well, is comfortable, and as a result, enables the students to focus on their performance without distraction.
“Occasionally, we’ll use a bit of medical tape to keep the boom close to the corner of the performer’s mouth, but in most cases, simply placing the mic over the ear works well with no tape.
“During my career, I’ve found earset microphones ultimately yield the best results in a teaching environment, as they are generally easier to handle than an omni lavaliere, which might end up being fed through a wig, taped to one’s forehead, and so forth.”
Ceccarelli is equally enthusiastic about the E6’s audio performance. “The Countryman E6 sounds fantastic,” he said. “The mic has excellent rejection of wind and ambient noise and most significantly, it offers high gain before feedback. As a junior college and a teaching theater, there are students behind the sound board as well as those on stage.
“Being a hi-gain mic that remains close to the mouth, the Countryman E6 eliminates a wide range of feedback issues that can readily occur with less capable microphones—enabling both performers and the supporting technical staff to achieve the best possible results.”
Quality customer and technical support services are an important consideration for any group of performers.
On that note, Ceccarelli rates Countryman Associates’ support among the best he’s encountered. “They’ve been great,” he says. “The company is very responsive and, on several occasions, they have taken the time to advise me how to best handle the microphones. It’s been a very positive experience.”
“We typically use our E6’s with Sennheiser ew 300 series wireless systems and, together, they provide a terrific microphone solution,” Ceccarelli concludes. “These mics deliver great quality audio, high gain before feedback, and a very comfortable, secure fit. We couldn’t be happier.”
DPA Captures The Drama Of The Tango
Accordionist Richard Galliano relies on DPA’s d:vote 4099 Instrument Microphones to deliver the true acoustics sound of his live tribute to ‘King of Tango’ Astor Paizolla
Richard Galliano, a musician widely regarded as the world’s greatest living accordionist, is currently touring the world with a quintet of musicians to celebrate the life and works of his mentor, Astor Piazolla.
In order to deliver the true acoustic feel of Piazolla’s acclaimed tango music, the tour’s sound engineer Rémi Bourcereau has chosen eight DPA d:vote 4099 Instrument Microphones, which he is using for Galliano’s accordion and bandoneón and also for the violins, viola, double bass and cello played by Galliano’s quintet.
For the piano, Bourcereau is using two DPA 2011C twin diaphragm cardioid microphones, which are positioned on a stereo bar. All of these microphones were bought from DPA’s French distributor Audio².
“I first used DPA microphones a year ago on a different tour and was delighted with the results they gave me,” Bourcereau explains. “For this tour, we wanted the audience to feel as acoustically close to the instruments as possible and that is why I chose DPA. In close miking conditions they deliver a very natural sound, which is exactly what this type of music requires.”
Richard Galliano, who was born in 1950 of Italian/French parentage, was taught to play the accordion by his father when he was just four years old. In 1983 his musical talent was recognized by Argentine tango composer and bandoneón player Astor Piazolla, a man whose ability to integrate classical, modern and jazz music influences had elevated tango music to concert hall status and earned him the title of the ‘King of Tango’.
Piazolla invited Galliano to be the bandoneón soloist at the Comédie Française where his original music was being used to accompany William Shakespeare’s comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream. This was the starting point of their decade-long friendship that lasted until Piazzolla passed away in 1992.
Galliano’s current tour, which is designed to mark the 20th anniversary of Piazolla’s death, has already taken him to numerous concert halls in the USA, Canada, South America and Europe. Most recently he has been in China where he performed a number of concerts in Guangzhou, Changsha, Shanghai, Wuhan, Xi’an, Beijing and Shenzhen.
“We have attached the DPA d:vote 4099s to Richard’s accordion and bandoneón using magnetic piano holders with scratch tape wrapped around the clips for added security,” Rémi Bourcereau says. “Richard is really enjoying the sound he is getting from the DPA microphones and, because they are now his regular microphones, he is finding that he can always get the dynamic that he wants.”
The other musicians in the quintet also appreciate the audio quality delivered by their DPA microphones – and the fact that having the same microphone in every venue means they know exactly how they are going to sound and don’t face any nasty surprises.
“The d:vote 4099s are very easy for the musicians to use because they simply clip onto their instruments – something that is really helpful when you are on tour,” Bourcereau says. “From my point of view, I’m really happy with the sound the DPA microphones are delivering, especially with the strings. The d:vote 4099s have a good sounding off axis response and this brings a lot of acoustic coherence on strings.”
Richard Galliano’s Piazolla tribute tour will continue into 2013, taking in more European dates. DPA microphones are now a permanent feature of this tour, ensuring the highest possible audio quality in every venue.
Monday, November 19, 2012
Shure Announces Finalists Of Ninth Annual Fantastic Scholastic Recording Competition
Ten academic institutions compete for more than $10,000 in Shure gear
Shure Incorporated today announced the ten university and college institutions that have been randomly selected to move onto the final round of its ninth annual Fantastic Scholastic Recording Competition.
In its ninth consecutive year, Shure’s recording contest gives students across the country the unique opportunity to have access to the same legendary, high-quality Shure equipment used by professional musicians and engineers.
This year’s finalists include the following schools:
Anderson University, Anderson, IN
Appalachian State University Hayes School of Music, Boone, NC
Belmont University, Nashville, TN
Berklee College of Music, Boston, MA
Ex’pression College for Digital Arts, Emeryville, CA
Peabody Institute of the John Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
Purchase College, Purchase, NY
University of Miami Frost School of Music, Coral Gables, FL
University of North Alabama, Florence, AL
University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
For the next three months, students from the selected schools will practice and record original composition projects using a microphone locker provided by Shure. The contents of this locker includes two KSM313, two KSM32, two KSM44A, one KSM42, two KSM141, four SM57, two SM27, one Beta 52A, one Beta 57A, one Beta 91A, three Beta 98AMP, two Beta 181/S each with an additional Omni capsule, one SM7B, one VP88, and one A27M. This year, schools will also receive six pairs of SRH440 headphones, which can be kept following the competition period. Musical content is created at the discretion of team members, but must include no less than one vocal track.
All finalists will submit their original music pieces before a judge’s panel comprised of renowned musicians and seasoned industry professionals. Projects will be evaluated based on overall fidelity, clarity, sonic balance, and creativity in selection and placement of the microphones. At the conclusion of the judging process, Shure will announce the grand prize, runner-up, and honorable mention winners. The grand prize winner will receive an assortment of KSM, SM, and Beta products, valued at more than $10,000. Additionally, students from the top three finalist teams will receive prizes ranging from a KSM42 microphone, valued at $999, to SRH840 headphones, valued at $250.
“We’re proud to continue this competition to help foster the creativity of the student teams, and give them an opportunity to use the same equipment being used by some of today’s top recording engineers,” said Terri Hartman, Director of Marketing Communications for the Shure Americas Business Unit. “We wish all of the finalists the best of luck and are eager to hear about their experiences.”
Winners of the Fantastic Scholastic Recording competition will all be announced on or about April 29, 2013.
Posted by Keith Clark on 11/19 at 11:42 AM
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Sennheiser Offering Rebate Program For Wireless And Wired Microphones
Applies to evolution Wireless G3 and XS Wireless, and select wired microphones
Sennheiser is offering end-user rebates on evolution Wireless G3, XS Wireless and select wired microphones, valid on all systems purchased from an authorized U.S. Sennheiser dealer between November 1, 2012 and December 31, 2012.
During the promotion, customers can take advantage of the following rebates on Sennheiser wireless systems:
—XS and G3 LE: $25 rebate
—ew 100 (excluding EW 100 ENG): $50 rebate
—ew 300 and EW 100 ENG: $75 rebate
—ew 500: $100 rebate
Sennheiser is also offering rebates on the following wired microphones:
—e609, e614 and e835: $10 rebate
—e906, e914, e935 and MD 421: $20 rebate
—e965, Neumann KMS 104, Neumann KMS 105: $30 rebate
To receive a rebate on eligible products, customers will need to mail the following to Sennheiser following their purchase:
—A completed rebate form, which can be downloaded from the Sennheiser website at http://www.sennheiserusa.com/micrebate
—The original UPC code (no photocopies will be accepted)
—A copy of the sales receipt, dated between November 1, 2012 and December 31, 2012, from an authorized Sennheiser dealer for a product listed above.
All rebates must be postmarked no later than January 31, 2013.
Shure Wireless Systems Called Upon For “Country Music’s Biggest Night”
Artists and engineers rely on UHF-R and PSM1000 systems for 46th CMA Awards
Shure wireless and personal monitor systems were utilized for a range of live performances by country music’s top artists at the recent 46th annual Country Music Association (CMA) Awards show held at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville and airing live on ABC-TV.
This year, monitor engineers Jason Spence and Tom Pesa relied on Shure PSM 1000 personal stereo monitor systems for most of the live performances.
“The PSM 1000 system has become one of my cornerstones for providing a solid mix to the performers on this show,” says Spence. “Delivering clean, dynamic audio with rock solid RF has never been better.”
Specifically, Spence and Pesa used 16 channels of PSM 1000 with more than 50 receivers.
In addition, Shure endorsers Little Big Town (Jimi Westbrook, Kimberly Schlapman, Karen Fairchild, and Phillip Sweet), who won Vocal Group of the Year (their first CMA Award win), performed “Pontoon” using Shure UR2/SM58.
Several other Shure endorsers also performed using UHF-R wireless systems with SM58 transmitters, including Dierks Bentley, Luke Bryan, Brad Paisley, and Vince Gill. The Band Perry also performed, although they opted for UR2/KSM9.
Most of the other performances also used Shure UHF-R wireless and PSM 1000 systems, including those by Hunter Hayes (UR2/SM58), Faith Hill (UR2/SM58), Taylor Swift (UR2/Beta 58), Eli Young Band (UR2/SM58), Brantley Gilbert (UR2/SM58), Keith Urban (UR2/SM58), Kenny Chesney (UR2/KSM9HS), Willie Nelson (UR2/SM58), and Kelly Clarkson (UR2/SM58).
“It’s no surprise to me that a majority of the artists on this show are relying on Shure UHF-R wireless systems with the SM58 capsule for their performances,” states audio producer Paul Sandweiss before the broadcast. “The RF stability and sound quality continue to be the benchmark.”
In all, the 16 channels of UHF-R and all of the PSM 1000 systems were used during the evening’s performances, provided by ATK Audiotek.
Aladdin The Musical Opens With DPA
The combination of exceptional sound quality and discrete wearability makes DPA the microphones of choice for both cast and orchestra
Denmark’s Fredericia Theatre is using an extensive selection of DPA microphones to capture the audio for a very special musical production of the Disney classic Aladdin.
All of the cast members are using DPA d:fine Headset Microphones, which were chosen for their discrete size, comfort and exceptional sound quality.
DPA microphones also feature heavily in the orchestra pit, where a combination of DPA d:vote™ 4099 Instrument Microphones, 2011C twin diaphragm cardioid microphones and 4015C wide cardioid microphones are handling the audio requirements.
The Fredericia Theatre’s Aladdin production, which premiered on October 4th 2012, is a significant endorsement of the theatre’s ability to produce exceptional musicals. After hearing glowing reviews from a number of US directors who had worked at the Fredericia, the Disney Group chose the theatre as its only European partner for this brand new musical.
Søren Møller, Artistic and Executive Director of the Fredericia Theatre, says: “We are thrilled that our theatre is one of only five in the world that Disney has asked to partner with – and the only one in Europe. At the Fredericia, we are committed to the development of new musical theatre and the presentation of Danish and European premieres.
“Our focus is very much on nurturing talent to support our productions and for the last 12 years we have been working closely with the Danish Musical Academy, a school for musical performers that now delivers approximately 80% of our cast members. We also take technical innovation very seriously and like to partner with equipment manufacturers so that we can push the boundaries in terms of what can be achieved.
“DPA fits this brief perfectly because its products offer very high quality audio and its headset microphones are so discrete that they don’t deter from the casts’ performance.”
For the Aladdin production Lars Frederiksen, director of DPA’s Danish dealer Alfa Audio, supplied 40 dual-ear, omni directional d:fine Headset Microphones – 20 with long booms and 20 with mid-length booms.
Tim Andreasen, the theatre’s sound director, says: “I wanted to get as close to the sound source as possible, which is why we didn’t go for the really short boom. By having a selection of long and mid-length booms we could pick exactly the right length for each cast member so that the microphones were on the side of their faces where they didn’t show, but were still very close to their mouths.
“From an audio perspective they sound great and are so discrete that they blend in perfectly. I also love being able to change a microphone without having to detach its cable. This is a really useful feature when you are doing a live performance and don’t want to disturb the actor too much.”
At the request of the theatre, DPA also supplied one of the d:fine microphones in a special blue color so that it blends in with the genie’s theatrical make-up.
“I was really delighted that DPA went the extra mile to create a blue microphone for our genie,” Andreasen adds. “It blends in perfectly with his color and is hardly visible to the audience, which was the effect we wanted to achieve. All of our other d:fines are brown and when I first saw them I thought they might be too dark, but when the cast have their make up on and have their hair done, the mics suddenly disappear. Brown is actually a great color for this production.”
The production also uses four DPA 4061 omnidirectional miniature microphones to capture the sound of Aladdin and the genie’s feet when they are tap dancing.
“During their tap dancing scenes we place one microphone in each leg of their trousers and fix them with tape so the microphones are just sticking out below the hem,” Andreasen explains. “We have tried this before and find it works much better than placing mics on the floor.”
For the orchestra, Andreasen selected a package of DPA microphones that includes 16 d:vote 4099 instrument microphones, 2011C twin diaphragm cardioid microphones and 4015C wide cardioid microphones.
“The 2011C microphones are used for the horns and reed instruments, as well as for overhead micing,” he says. “I chose this model because it delivers exceptional sound quality and because I particularly like it’s off axis response. These groups of instruments are placed close together and the ‘bleed’ from the different microphones sounds really good – you feel that you are very close to the sound source even if you are actually a bit further away.
“For percussion I am using three DPA 4015C microphones that are carefully spaced around the instruments so that the overall sound feels very intimate.”
Andreasen adds that he is also using DPA d:vote 4099 instrument microphones for specific instruments that really benefit from close micing, most notably the drums, strings, bass and woodwinds.
“It is hard to balance a bunch of different instruments without close micing everything but the DPA microphones we have chosen and the positions in which we have placed them has resulted in a fantastic overall sound,” he says. “DPA have always been my favorite microphones for theatre work and for this production they are perfect. We carry out some EQ-ing, although nothing at the low end. Our approach to EQ is to only use it where we want to make a particular part of the sound stand out in the mix.”
The Fredericia Theatre’s production of Aladdin has been so well received by audiences and reviewers that the run has been extended until November 25th. DPA is delighted to have played a part in this unique European musical success.
Monday, November 12, 2012
Audio-Technica Provides Microphone Solutions At 2012 CMA Awards
More than 200 A-T mics for Country Music's Biggest Night
Audio-Technica is celebrating its 19th year of supporting the Country Music Association (CMA) Awards by providing an extensive selection of vocal and instrument microphones for its annual awards show.
The 46th Annual CMA Awards aired live in 5.1-channel surround sound on Thursday, November 1, 2012, on the ABC Television Network from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, and featured over 200 Audio-Technica microphones, including an array of hard-wired mics and Artist Elite 5000 Series UHF wireless systems. .
The CMA Awards presentation is recognized as Country Music’s Biggest Night and represents the pinnacle of achievement for those involved in country music.
The team responsible for the audio at this year’s CMA’s again included a who’s who of broadcast audio. The audio was supervised by award-winning audio producers Tom Davis and Paul Sandweiss; ATK/Audiotek provided the sound system with FOH (front-of-house) mixers Patrick Baltzell and Rick Shimer; the broadcast music mix was handled by New Jersey/California-based M3’s (Music Mix Mobile’s) John Harris and Jay Vicari. Stage monitoring was handled by Tom Pesa and Jason Spence.
Audio-Technica’s Artist Elite 5000 Series UHF wireless system with the AEW-T6100 hypercardioid dynamic handheld microphone/Transmitter was used for lead vocals by A-T endorser Jason Aldean, who opened the show performing “The Only Way I Know.” Aldean later returned in the show to perform his hit “Take A Little Ride.”
The backline mic complement of A-T wired microphones included the AT4080 phantom-powered bidirectional ribbon microphone on guitars; AT4050 multi-pattern condenser microphone on guitars and bass; AT4040 cardioid condenser microphone on overheads; AE2500 dual-element cardioid instrument microphone on kick drum; AE5100 cardioid condenser instrument microphone on hi-hat and ride cymbals; AE5400 cardioid condenser microphone on rotary speaker top and AT4050 on rotary speaker bottom; ATM650 dynamic instrument microphone on snare; and ATM350 cardioid condenser clip-on microphone on toms and fiddle/violin.
Tom Davis states, “Audio-Technica has been a longtime go-to microphone for the CMA Awards, based on their reliability and performance. Their ability to deliver clean, clear, consistent audio makes them exactly what I need when choosing microphones for this awards show.”
Wednesday, November 07, 2012
Shure Axient Wireless Drives Audio For Volkswagen At 2012 International Auto Shows
Serves as high-performance wireless engine for shows in Beijing and Paris
The new Shure Axient system proved to be the high-performance wireless engine behind Volkswagen’s 2012 trade show presence, providing flawless audio across the exhibit floors at the 2012 Beijing International Automobile Exhibition and The 2012 Paris Motor Show.
Volkswagen contracted Swiss rental company Winkler Multi Media Events to manage any potential interference issues posed by the challenging spectrum environments at the shows.
The first event in Beijing required the system’s design team to create a wireless blueprint that would deliver uncompromised audio performance at Volkswagen’s exhibit showcase — despite 230,000 meters of crowded exhibition area, 8,000 attendees, and more than 2,000 exhibitors.
Axient emerged as the solution, according to Sebastian Hornung, head of audio engineering of Winkler Multi Media Events, who cited the system’s Spectrum Management tools in Shure’s Wireless Workbench software, Frequency Diversity, and Interference Detection and Avoidance as key factors for maximizing reliability during these exhibitions.
Hornung explains, “Axient solves the interference problems and allows secure and safe wireless transmission. The system affords our team an unparalleled level of control and flexibility that helps us navigate complicated RF environments with a stable and reliable signal.”
In Beijing, Winkler relied on the AXT400 dual channel receiver to produce 11 channels, five of which benefited from Axient’s Frequency Diversity function that enables full-bandwidth audio from a single source on two separate frequencies to produce clean, uninterrupted performances.
The automotive industry is not exempt from the normal demands of a live trade show.
“A major challenge in these settings is the increasing number of time constraints on show setup. Additionally, spokespersons often arrive at the stand within a couple of minutes of the show’s start time, removing any opportunity for our team to conduct a sound check with presenters onsite,” Hornung says. “This is where Axient’s Remote Control lends a huge advantage, as gains can be set and frequencies changed remotely in real time.
“Prior to using Axient, we always had to swap transmitters, which would interrupt sound check in an already time-limited situation, and now we have the Remote Control function to accommodate on-the-fly adjustments,” adds Hornung.
Following the successful show in Beijing, Winkler again selected Axient to use at Volkswagen’s exhibit during the recent Paris Motor Show. There, the Axient systems configuration included three channels on Frequency Diversity with beltpacks, along with 12 channels operating in single mode.
“Two major shows were executed without a hitch, and, more importantly, we didn’t have to worry about spectrum or interference issues. This wasn’t always the case in the past and Axient’s robust feature set gets the credit for combating hostile wireless environments, thus eliminating the headaches typically synonymous with live exhibitions,” comments Hornung.
Axient systems will also support Volkswagen’s presence at North America’s upcoming Detroit Auto Show in January 2013.
Go here for more information about Axient.