Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Turbosound Flashline Goes Wireless At Olympic Park

A turbosound Flashline PA was deployed by Britannia Row Productions for the Pepsi Max Stage, which also saw appearances by Calvin Harris and Tinie Tempah.

The Wireless Festival, now in its ninth consecutive year, is the quintessential urban open-air music experience, with headliners Jay-Z, Justin Timberlake, will.i.am, Snoop Dog, A Tribe Called Quest, and Rita Ora drawing record crowds to London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

A Turbosound Flashline PA was deployed by Britannia Row Productions for the Pepsi Max Stage, which also saw appearances by Calvin Harris and Tinie Tempah.

Britannia Row Productions’ Johnny Keirle was systems tech for the event and, despite arriving in the UK from New Zealand recently, has seen plenty of Flashline action.

“I’m pretty familiar with Turbosound as I worked a lot with Oceania back in New Zealand, they have a large Flashlight and Floodlight rig that’s one of the best sounding systems around. The very first time I heard Flashline, I loved it. Since then, the more I work with Flashline the more I like it,” he says.

“Mechanically, the rigging is very well thought out. The flying and angling system is very thoughtfully laid out and labeled, making it easy and straightforward to put in the air. With four boxes to a dolly you can set the majority of angles on the ground, resulting in a quick and easy flying process.

“The flybar case is a clever design and it’s tidy and compact. Flashline is extremely easy to put in the air and equally importantly, very easy to land after a long day’s work!”

For the Pepsi Max Stage – which measured about 100 metres by 50 metres wide– Turbosound’s latest large scale line array system consisted of 10 TFS-900H high packs flown per side, with six each TFS-900B subs at left and right, plus a centre stack of six TFS-900Bs.

Extra subs were added to the original specification in order to beef up the sub-bass frequencies for will.i.am and the festival’s hugely popular and predominantly electronic-based hip-hop, RnB and rap artist line-up.

Flashline is a complete turnkey sound reinforcement system designed to deliver ultra-high quality audio to large audiences. The TFS-900H is a four-way flown line array comprising 11 discrete drive units uniquely deployed across four frequency bands, teamed up with Lab.gruppen’s industry-leading four channel DSP-based amplifiers with Lake processing in custom-designed Turbosound racks.

The TFS-900B subs are a hybrid-loaded design that makes use of energy from the rear as well as the front of the 18-inch neodymium drivers’ cones for an impressive 141dB peak output. The Flashline high packs travel pre-rigged in groups of four on custom dollies allowing a loudspeaker array to be flown quickly and easily.

An EASE Focus plot run on the morning of the festival set up day helped to determine the optimum inter-box angles, which were then implemented while still on the dollies.

“It takes only five or ten minutes to go through the configuration to make sure it’s going to look good, and once you’ve got them in the air you can trim levels accordingly from the Lake software,” explains Keirle. “We can do that because of the way the racks are configured.

“I’m running the top three cabinets on one amplifier channel, the next three on one channel, and the bottom four as two pairs. This way we have a lot of control over the directivity of the array – such as trimming the lower cabinets back quite a bit at the bottom to hit the first 30 metres, and as it’s around 100 metres to the back we’re going to push the tops to achieve that long throw. There are no delays at all, which is great from the audience’s point of view.”

Flex Array TFA-600H three-way mid/high in-fills positioned just in front of the side fills covered the front audience area. “We have this curved crowd barrier and those cabinets cover the centre really nicely, and then we have a couple more Flex Array boxes at the outside to cover the flanks,” says Keirle.

Low end was provided by a total of 18 TFA-900B subwoofers, ground stacked three high by two wide at left and right, and a centre block two high by three wide which was phase aligned appropriately to break up the power alley/power valley complications frequently encountered with widely spaced traditional left/right sub configurations.

“The subs were great in the room,” he says. “We had very even coverage for the majority of the space and easily reached the back of the tent. In fact I was running the subs at -6dB over the weekend; we had plenty of headroom there!”

According to Keirle, the coverage of the flown Flashline boxes was exceptional. “We weren’t dealing with a huge amount of boxes but achieved a great result,” he says. “Vertically (front to back) our coverage was great – I trimmed and EQ’d boxes independently to accommodate throws varying from10 metres to 100 metres in the array, but the transitions were pretty seamless across the room.

“We had no issues in the horizontal domain. The TFS-900H high packs offer a true 90° horizontal spread, and the areas closer to the stage were covered very nicely with Flex array boxes positioned where needed and delayed appropriately.”

Flashline was put through its paces with a broad range of music and was particularly impressive on the DJ sets. The commercially mastered music presented an opportunity to demonstrate the accuracy of the PA and display the responsiveness of the sub and low frequencies, as well as the articulated reproduction of high frequencies.

“During Calvin Harris’ set I was sitting at FOH, 60 odd metres from the source, and could still feel the extreme highs from 16kHz on up being pushed forcefully past my ears,” enthuses Keirle.

“Flashline offers a unique HF – the majority of modern line arrays have a very smooth, soft-sounding top end, whereas Flashline gives you a more in-your-face, up-front top end,” he comments. “Even when the HF needs boosting, when at a good level you can definitely feel the extreme highs pushing past you a lot more noticeably than other modern line array boxes.

“The Flashline subs definitely stand out. The large enclosure offers an extremely deep sound more reminiscent of the older 21-inch Turbosound folded horns, while retaining the tightness and responsiveness of modern double 18-inch configurations.

“The levels were running reasonably comfortably at FOH. Due to the long throw, the HF was getting more of a workout than the other elements, but overall we were sitting pretty comfortably. Our limit was just over 100dB and I’m confident we could have achieved a lot more before running out of headroom.”

Based purely on audience reaction, the public and visiting FOH engineers alike enjoyed the sound of the Flashline PA, reports Keirle. “As with every show, engineers are never afraid to ask for a little more gain, more low end, less of this or that frequency, and I always do my best to keep them happy with on-going collective improvements to the system processing.

“Over the entire weekend, we had no complaints whatsoever.”

The Britannia Row crew for the Pepsi Max stage at Wireless were Craig Ross (FOH), Alex Hore (monitors), Johnny Keirle (systems technician), Hector Rivera and Danilo Z (stage technicians), and Lez Dwight (audio coordinator).


Posted by Julie Clark on 08/14 at 04:11 PM
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Monday, August 12, 2013

Audio-Technica Artist Elite 5000 Series Wireless The Choice For Justin Timberlake On Current Tour

Engineer Andy Meyer says Timberlake's vocal through the A-T AEW-T6100 is “like taking the studio out on the road”

Justin Timberlake’s 20/20 Experience World Tour is the live iteration of the artist’s album of the same name, which debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 earlier this year.

The record was Timberlake’s second number-one album and best-selling debut week of his solo career, spawning hit singles including “Suit & Tie” and “Mirrors.”

To assure that the album experience translates to the concert realm, front-of-house mixer Andy Meyer chose an Audio-Technica Artist Elite 5000 Series frequency-agile true diversity UHF wireless system paired with an AEW-T6100 transmitter (wireless iteration of the AE6100 hypercardioid dynamic handheld microphone) and AEW-R5200 receiver.

“The AE6100, as well as its wireless counterpart, is an amazing-sounding microphone, and it really works for Justin’s vocals,” says Meyer. “The sound quality is superior – it sounds like we’re taking the studio out on the road.”

At the same time, he also points to the AE6100’s live performance characteristics. “It has great rejection, especially with the kind of volume we’re getting from the crowds on this tour. There’s very little bleed from the stage or the venue that gets in there, which really helps keep Justin’s vocals clean for FOH and monitors.”

Meyer is also using A-T mics in other applications on the tour, including the ATM25/LE (Limited Edition) hypercardioid dynamic instrument microphone on toms, and the AE5400 cardioid condenser handheld microphone—normally a handheld vocal microphone—on the top and bottom of the snare drum.

“I’ve been doing that since I was like seven years old,” Meyer jokes. “Seriously, you cannot beat the 5400 in that application, and I keep trying.”


Posted by Keith Clark on 08/12 at 05:28 AM
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Thursday, August 08, 2013

Austria’s Bühne Baden Theater Upgrades To Lectrosonics Wireless Systems

Storied theatre finds audio quality, compact form factor, and reliability well suited for artistic endeavors

Located in the northeastern-most state of the nine states in Austria, Bühne Baden—formally known as Theater Baden Betriebs GmbH—is one of the leading theatrical houses in the country.

Offering a broad range of performances, including spoken-word theatre, opera, operetta, musicals, plus classical, rock, and pop concerts, Bühne Baden employs wireless microphones on a regular basis, and in an effort to improve wireless quality, the theatre recently upgraded to Digital Hybrid Wireless technology from Lectrosonics.

Vienna, Austria-based TON Eichinger Professional Sound Systems, which provides audio equipment sales and rentals in addition to acoustical and audio restoration services, was contracted to handle the theatre’s wireless system upgrade.

“Bühne Baden wanted to upgrade their wireless microphone system to match the high-end digital mixing setup recently installed by our firm,” says Othmar Eichinger, techical director of TON Eichinger. “In addition to seeking equipment that offered superior audio performance compared to their prior wireless system, they really stressed the importance of transmitters that were resistant to perspiration, and had a slim, compact build that could be more readily hidden on the talent.

“After performing a thorough on-site spectrum analysis—the results of which I included in the frequency planning—I specified a system that incorporated thirty Lectrosonics transmitters, including SMDB/E01 beltpack transmitters, HH/E01 handheld transmitters, and HM/E01 plug-on transmitters. On the receiving end, I chose a 24-channel Venue system consisting of four modular receiver mainframes, each stocked with six VRS receiver modules.”

Eichinger highlights the Venue receiver’s design. “Before upgrading to Lectrosonics,” he explains, “they had to use a big equipment rack with double receivers and splitters, plus extra antennas with combiners. This equipment occupied a lot of rack space. By contrast, the 24-channel Lectrosonics Venue system occupies a mere four rack spaces. With this benefit alone, they will never change back.”

In addition to the system’s overall space efficiency, Eichinger was also complimentary of the equipment’s additional attributes. “The Lectrosonics system delivers perfect sound with higher dynamic range—free from the sonic artifacts that wireless systems using a compandor frequently exhibit. I also like the redundant powering of the SMDB transmitters and their very compact form factor, which makes them easy to hide on tight dancer’s costumes.”

“There is one additional feature that can’t be beaten,” Eichinger continues. “When actors unintentionally swap the transmitters, which can easily occur when multiple actors have identical costumes, and the sound guys don’t know about this, they can always set the correct frequency before the actors enter the stage via the Lectrosonics RM remote or the iPhone audio-remote app—without removing the transmitter from the costume.”

Eichinger reports the system has performed above and beyond expectations, “When they first started using the Lectrosonics system, their expectations were exceeded. The sound is really clean, with lots of detail and the range of clean reception is considerably greater than it was with the previous system.

“The audio tech can receive actors in wardrobes without any extra antennas, whereas the previous installation used extra antennas near wardrobes plus antenna-combiners to be able to reach the required distance. Bühne Baden’s new Lectrosonics system has made a dramatic difference in all the theatre’s presentations.”

TON Eichinger Professional Sound Systems


Posted by Keith Clark on 08/08 at 12:41 PM
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Radioactive: Sound Reinforcement For Imagine Dragons On Tour

Amplifying a blend of the powerful music styles in a high-energy show

Alternative rock band Imagine Dragons has enjoyed a steady rise since the release in September of last year of their debut album Night Visions, which went platinum in early 2013 and is headlined by the current hit single “Radioactive.”

And now the group is back on the road with a concert tour of Europe and North America (followed by dates in Australia), with most dates sold out at venues ranging rather dramatically in capacity from 800 to 17,000.

The Las Vegas-based quartet is comprised of lead vocalist/percussionist Dan Reynolds, bassist Ben McKee, guitarist/cellist Wayne “Wing” Sermon, and drummer Dan Platzman, who also plays viola. All three latter players also contribute backing vocals.

They blend the power of straight-ahead rock interwoven with backbeats, bass lines, and percussion in a show that’s high-energy, to say the least, with Reynolds even going airborne during performances on the current tour, hoisted via a wired harness.

The Nashville office of Sound Image is handling sound reinforcement and support for the U.S. portions of the tour, which continues through the end of September before moving on to Australia. System engineer Andrew Dowling of Sound Image is working closely with front of house engineer Scott Eisenberg, monitor engineer Jared Swetnam, and production manager Eric “Shakes” Grzybowski on the tour’s sound and systems approach.

Monitor engineer Jared Swetnam, front of house engineer Scott Eisenberg, and system engineer Andrew Dowling on stage prior to a show.

“When we received the bid (for this tour), it came down to determining which system would provide the SPL, flexibility and sonic quality the band requires,” explains Dowling. “There needed to be the ability to do full-size sheds and arenas, as well as smaller venues.”

Meeting Requirements
In discussing various options, the sound team decided that a main loudspeaker system headed by Adamson Systems Energia E15 line arrays would meet both scalability and sonic quality requirements.

The 3-way E15 is built around the proprietary e-capsule, a rigid aluminum module that houses all rigging, electronics and mid/high components (2 x 7-inch MF cones and 2 x 4-inch NH4 compression drivers) and their waveguides. The e-capsule is flanked with two separate birch ply enclosures, each containing a proprietary Kevlar 15-inch woofer.

“The Adamson boxes are light while still putting out a ton of horsepower,” Dowling states. “It allows us to get the volume needed even in venues where hanging a huge line isn’t an option.”

A set of flown Adamson Energia E15 arrays with T21 subs below.

The tour is carrying 42 E15 line array modules, plenty to handle the largest venues and able to be scaled up and down as necessary. At most stops, the arrays are flown, but they can be ground-stacked if necessary. “We’ve been in some odd venues that have required less than conventional configurations to get the larger than life sound the band wants,” he notes.

Also on hand are up to six SpekTrix compact line array modules with 120-degree horizontal dispersion to provide down fill while flown at the bottom of each main array, as well as up to eight more SpekTrix boxes for front fill on the deck.

“From a front of house engineer’s standpoint, this system seems to make the snares and kicks come alive while the vocals sound incredibly smooth,” Eisenberg says. “It behaves naturally and maintains a good transient response. You don’t have to work hard to tighten up the low end and the top end isn’t too bright – it’s working out really, really well.”

To which Dowling adds, “From a system engineer’s perspective, I like that it flies really quickly and comes down fast. Angles can be preset on the ground before points are set, which is a real time saver.”

Low-end is delivered by two stacks of Adamson T21 single 21-inch (6-inch voice coil) subwoofers. Each stack of three units remains on a wheeled car, making it easy to do a variety of placements – arc delay, left-right or side by side – depending upon what works best for the given room.

Making It Happen
The system is driven by four networked Lake LM44 processors that provide crossover and general equalization. The linear phase filtering of the LM44 is also applied to optimize the mid-range and high-frequency drivers of the E15s.

Audio from the Avid VENUE Profile house console is provided via AES to the first LM44 in the chain, with the others linked in via Dante networking. “This is easy to set up and provides all of the flexibility and monitoring we need,” Dowling says.

Monitor engineer Jared Swetnam ready to mix at his Avid VENUE Profile.

Audio power comes courtesy of up to 48 (depending on system size and configuration) Crown Audio iTech HD 12000 amplifiers under the control of the Harman HiQnet System Architect (now called Audio Architect) platform that facilitates individual zone shading, EQ and delay.

Eisenberg chose the Profile console as his mix device for several reasons, a relatively compact footprint among them. The smaller size has proven valuable in fitting within tight quarters at certain venues, and has even allowed the addition of some extra audience seating on sold-out shows.

“VENUE also sounds great, is easy to set up, and has everything on board that I need,” explains Eisenberg. “It’s intuitive to use and easy to get to the plug-ins, which play a role in the Imagine Dragons sound.

“The engineers for the opening acts also use it, and they’re equally impressed,” he continues. “They pull up their show file and the plug-ins that they use, and it’s ready to go.”

Monitor engineer Jared Swetnam mans another Profile at the monitor position, located stage left. He’s providing mixes to a rack of dual-channel, networkable Shure PSM1000 personal monitoring transmitters located nearby, with all band members outfitted with receivers feeding custom-molded in-ear monitors from ACS. 

Imagine Dragons going full-throttle with big percussion, a hallmark of their sound.

“There are no wedges on stage,” Swetnam notes. “The quality of audio over in-ears can’t be beat – the band just loves them.”

The stage is adorned with an assortment of microphones, most of them from Shure. Reynolds’ lead vocal is captured by an SM58 capsule on a UHF-R wireless transmitter, with SM58s for backing vocals. There’s a Beta 52 on kick and taiko drum, an SM57 on snare, an SM81 on hi-hat, and dual KSM32s for overhead. More SM57s are applied for guitar amp sound.

“The guys want the show to be larger than life,” Dowling concludes. “No one is disappointed. The band is on top of the world. The Adamson arrays and all of the other gear deliver night after night after night – no one could ask for more.”

Posted by Keith Clark on 08/08 at 10:22 AM
Live SoundFeatureBlogConcertConsolesEngineerLine ArrayMonitoringProcessorSound ReinforcementSubwooferTechnicianWirelessPermalink

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Audio-Technica Honors On the Road Marketing With President’s Award

Recognizes a leading manufacturer’s representative for outstanding commitment and dedication

Audio-Technica has announced that Nyack, NY-based On the Road Marketing has been presented with the President’s Award for their work representing Audio-Technica U.S.

On the Road Marketing principal Doug Brown accepted the award, which recognizes a leading manufacturer’s representative for outstanding commitment and dedication during the Audio-Technica 2012/2013 fiscal year.

The award was presented by Philip Cajka, Audio-Technica U.S. president and CEO, and Michael Edwards, A-T VP Professional Products.

Also representing On the Road Marketing were Justin Walker, Chris Grajewski, Jon Stafford and Jason Longobardo. On the Road’s Frank Portalatin was absent. The award was presented at a ceremony during the 2013 InfoComm Expo in Orlando.

Phil Cajka states, “On the Road Marketing has been awarded this honor for their continued dedication to sales, customer care and the marketing of the A-T brand. Their team has a vast base of knowledge and experience in the audio industry.

“We are proud to give them this honor, and extremely grateful for their hard work and continued service.”

Left to right: On the Road Marketing’s Justin Walker and Chris Grajewski, Audio-Technica’s Michael Edwards, On the Road’s Doug Brown, Audio-Technica’s Philip Cajka, On the Road’s Jon Stafford and Jason Longobardo.


On the Road Marketing

Posted by Keith Clark on 08/07 at 05:03 PM
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Monday, August 05, 2013

Sennheiser RF Wireless Sound Academy Seminar Coming To New York City On August 13

Single-day workshop covers creating trouble-free RF wireless operation

Sennheiser will be presenting its RF Wireless Sound Academy Seminar in New York City on Tuesday, August 13 in mid-town Manhattan.

The seminar costs $199 and includes continental breakfast, full lunch, workshop materials, and a $50 rebate coupon good towards Sennheiser and Neumann products.

Participants who complete the seminar will earn 6 RU CTS credits.

This single-day workshop is designed to teach attendees how to plan for trouble-free operation of multi-channel wireless microphones and wireless personal monitoring systems in even the toughest environments. Topics will include:

• Tips and tricks to maximize reliability
• Reserving TV channels for events on the new FCC spectrum database system
• Best practices for system planning and frequency coordination
• Working with wireless monitoring systems
• New developments in digital RF systems

The event will feature experts in the field including host and presenter Joe Ciaudelli, Uwe Sattler of Sennheiser, Broadway RF and audio engineer Andrew Funk, and Henry Cohen, senior RF engineer at CP Communications specializing in FCC compliance.  Following are details on the event and how to register:

• Where: Musicians Union Local 802, 322 W 48th St., New York City
• When: Tuesday, August 13th 2013 between 9:30 a.m. and 5 p.m.
• Cost/registration: $199 per participant.

Complete registration details, bios of guest speakers and more information are available here.


Posted by Keith Clark on 08/05 at 12:22 PM
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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Lectrosonics Integral To Production Of ABC’s “Revenge”

Lectrosonics Digital Hybrid Wireless technology streamlines audio production of TV Show Revenge.

With two successful seasons to its credit, ABC’s primetime soap opera Revenge has proven itself to be a potent contender in the highly coveted and extremely competitive Sunday evening timeslot.

Capturing that dialog is crucial to everything that happens on camera—and this is precisely why Lectrosonics wireless microphone technology is vital to the show’s production.

Scott D. Stolz, CAS, Production Sound Mixer and owner of LA-based Good for Sound, handles the show’s location sound services. With a 3-man crew consisting of Chris Quilty, Sean Byrnes, and himself, the team makes extensive use of Stolz’ arsenal of Lectrosonics equipment, which features the company’s acclaimed Digital Hybrid Wireless technology.

Key Lectrosonics components include UM400, SMV, SMa, and SMQ transmitters, a Venue receiver mainframe outfitted with one VRT and five VRS receiver modules, as well as an IFB system comprised of a T4 compact transmitter and two R1a beltpack receivers. Stolz discussed his use of this equipment and his preference for Lectrosonics’ wireless technology.

“I started using Lectrosonics equipment in the late 1990’s when I was handling sound for TV news,” states Stolz. “I was always impressed with the audio performance of the gear, which continues to improve with each new generation of equipment.

“Working on Revenge for ABC Studios, we find ourselves in all types of locations and frequently these areas are heavily congested in terms of RF frequencies. I love Lectrosonics’ one-touch SmartTune auto frequency select feature, which makes the selection of clean frequencies a simple and reliable experience in crowded RF environments.

“The ability to change frequencies quickly, easily, and reliably, is really a key to our success in obtaining useable production sound.”

Stolz reports that he uses his two Lectrosonics UM400 transmitters for the wireless booms while the SMV, SMa, and SMQ transmitters are routinely used on the talent.

“The small form factor of the SM series transmitters is a terrific benefit,” says Stolz. “Two of the principal actresses— Emily VanCamp and Madeleine Stowe—routinely wear very stylish, form-fitting clothes. The ability to discreetly place the SM transmitters on them without disturbing wardrobe has been critically important.”

Stolz is also very fond of his IFB T4 transmitter and R1a receivers—used in conjunction with a Lectrosonics SNA600 dipole antenna—that form a private line to the director and script supervisor. He’s also using Lectrosonics’ D4 Multi-Channel Digital Wireless Audio Link system, which consists of the D4T digital transmitter and the D4R digital receiver.

“I use this to shuttle four pristine audio channels to my boom operators,” he explained. “I wanted the best possible audio quality for this purpose and the equipment has really been exceptional. I’m also using the Lectrosonics Quadra IEM system for my boom operators, as this enables them to adjust the individual levels to their preference.”

“On this show,” he said, “which has a lot of scheming and conniving among the various actors, there are a lot of scenes where the characters are whispering. The noise floor of the SM transmitters—and all our Lectrosonics gear for that matter—is phenomenal.

“We’re able to capture useful dialog under very difficult circumstances. There are times when we really have to crank the gain, and I’m always amazed at how clean the audio is. As a result, the sound editors do very little looping.”

Reflecting on his long term experience with Lectrosonics, Stolz offered these final comments, “I couldn’t be happier with the performance of my Lectrosonics gear. The company’s service and support are first rate and the equipment continues to perform beautifully.  I use this equipment every day that I’m working and, quite frankly, it never fails.

“I go to great lengths to purchase what, I feel, is the best gear for the job, and that’s why I’m so happy to be a Lectrosonics user. I wouldn’t choose anything else.


Posted by Julie Clark on 07/30 at 07:55 AM
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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Lectrosonics Wireless Integral To Production Of Skull Bound TV

Pristine audio quality and robust performance from Lectrosonics wireless microphones make all the difference when shooting Skull Bound TV.

When it comes to wide open space, few areas of the country can top Montana. With an abundance of open territory and a general lifestyle emphasis on the great outdoors, it should come as little surprise that a show about fishing and hunting originates there.

Skull Bound TV is the name of the show and it follows host and Associate Producer Jana Waller as she combs the planet with bow, gun, and rod in hand searching for that next adrenaline rush—much of it faithfully captured using wireless microphone technology from Lectrosonics.

Jim Kinsey is the executive producer of Skull Bound TV. With a background that encompasses more than a decade of production experience Kinsey’s first exposure to Lectrosonics equipment occurred in 2001 during production of National Geographic’s Women Smoke Jumpers.

“This project took place among some really incredibly rugged terrain,” Kinsey recalls, “and, after experiencing Lectrosonics’ performance on that project, I knew I had to add a set of Lectrosonics gear to my own kit.”

Kinsey discussed his use of Lectrosonics equipment on the show.

“Being an ‘on-the-fly producer’ with a single host, we don’t have time for re-creates. It’s a one shot deal in the ‘Hunt and Hook’ market,” he explains. “We’ve been using the Lectrosonics 100 series units, which are completely portable and designed for camera mounting.

“My system includes the UCR100 camera mountable receiver and LM beltpack transmitter. This has been a perfect setup for ‘run and gun’ production.  I’m a one-man band and do all the sound, shooting, and editing for the series.”

In addition to the audio quality of his Lectrosonics equipment, dropout-free, performance and durability are crucial factors in Kinsey’s type of production.

“On many occasions Jana will be far away from the UCR100 receiver while searching for big game,” Kinseys explains. “I am continuously impressed with the fact that I get crisp sound all the time—without dropouts.

“Equally important is the build quality of the 100 series units – they are as rugged as the day is long. They really hold up under some very adverse conditions.”

“While filming a two part series in southeast Alaska,” Kinsey continued, “my equipment encountered high humidity and got rained on quite often.

“While the UCR100 receiver and the LM transmitter aren’t waterproof, the gear performed flawlessly and got me through the shoot without a single hitch. This equipment is really built to withstand the brutal conditions that one frequently encounters in field production of this type.”

Kinsey reports that, in addition to the exceptional performance he routinely experiences with his Lectrosonics wireless equipment, he is equally impressed with the quality of the company’s customer and technical support services.

“Quality customer service is extremely important in this line of work,” says Kinsey, “but to be perfectly honest, I have to say I’ve yet to need any assistance from Lectrosonics. It all boils down to this: when you buy the best in the business, you get the best results.”

“When you find a product that consistently delivers year in and year out, an old saying holds true: ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’” Kinsey concludes. “When it comes to uncompromised functionality that stands up against the rigors of producing reality television, look no further than Lectrosonics for your next production—no matter how big or small the project may be.”

Skull Bound TV airs on the Sportsman Channel on Wednesdays at 8:30 and 11:30 PM EST, Friday’s at 9:30 AM EST, and Saturdays at 2:30 AM EST. For additional information about the show, go to http://www.skullboundtv.com.


Posted by Julie Clark on 07/23 at 01:53 PM

Monday, July 22, 2013

Audio-Technica U.S. Names Alliance Audio Visual Group Rep Of The Year

Audio-Technica U.S. Names Alliance Audio Visual Group Rep Of The Year

Audio-Technica has recognized Los Alamitos, California-based Alliance Audio Visual Group as its Rep of the Year for the 2012/2013 fiscal year.

The award was presented to Alliance’s Matthew Jensen, Principal, and Jim Chase, Account Executive, by Philip Cajka, Audio-Technica U.S. President and CEO, and Michael Edwards, A-T V.P. Professional Products. Also in attendance were Doug Swan, A-T Director of Sales & Marketing, MI/PRO Audio, and David Marsh, A-T Director of Sales & Marketing, Installed Sound & Broadcast.

Jensen and Chase accepted the award on behalf of other Alliance personnel not in attendance, including Kenny Andrews and Karen Lopez. Alliance represents Audio-Technica in the region of Southern California and Southern Nevada.

Audio-Technica held the awards ceremony to honor its dedicated force of manufacturer’s representatives during the InfoComm Expo on June 12, 2013, in Orlando, Florida. The A-T Rep of the Year recipient was congratulated for outstanding sales performance and bestowed with Audio-Technica’s beloved Samurai doll award. Alliance Audio Visual Group was acknowledged for its consistent success in the areas of sales, marketing and customer service.

Michael Edwards said, “Audio-Technica has an excellent team of manufacturer’s representatives, and Alliance Audio Visual Group has distinguished itself over the past year with a high level of service and support, which A-T is proud to acknowledge. We appreciate the relationships they have developed with their customers and their extensive knowledge of the A-T product line.”


Posted by Julie Clark on 07/22 at 10:01 AM
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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Microphone Approaches For A Wide Range Of Meeting Facilities & Applications

Basic principles and selection of the right mics for the specific situation

In order to select a microphone for a specific application, and to apply it properly, it’s first necessary to know the important characteristics of the sound source(s) and of the sound system.

Once these are defined, a look at the five areas of microphone specifications will lead to an appropriate match. Finally, proper use of the microphone, by correct placement and operation, will insure best performance.

Following are recommendations for some of the most common meeting facility sound applications.

The desired sound source, for a lectern microphone, is a speaking voice. Undesired sound sources that may be present are nearby loudspeakers (possibly overhead) and ambient sound (possibly ventilation, traffic noise, and reverberation).

The sound system in this and the following examples is assumed to be high quality with balanced low-impedance microphone inputs.

The basic performance requirements for a lectern microphone can be met by either dynamic or condenser types, so the choice of operating principle is often determined by other factors, such as appearance.

In particular, the desire for an unobtrusive microphone is best satisfied by a condenser microphone, which can maintain high performance even in very small sizes. If phantom power is available, a condenser is an excellent choice. If not, dynamic types, though somewhat larger, are available with similar characteristics.

For the microphone to match the desired sound source (the talker’s voice) it must first have a frequency response which covers the speech range, (approximately 100Hz to 10kHz).

Lectern Mic

Within that range the response can be flat, if the sound system and the room acoustics are very good, but often a shaped response will improve intelligibility. Above 10 kHz and below 100 Hz, the response should roll off smoothly, to avoid pickup of noise and other sounds outside of the speech range, and to minimize proximity effect.

The choice of microphone directionality that will maximize pickup of the voice and minimize undesired sounds, is unidirectional. This type will also reduce the potential of feedback since it can be aimed toward the talker and away from loudspeakers.

Depending on how much the person speaking moves about, or on how close the microphone can be placed, a particular type may be chosen: a cardioid for moderately broad, close-up coverage; a supercardioid or a hypercardioid for progressively narrower or more distant coverage.

The electrical characteristics of the microphone are primarily determined by the sound system: in this case, a balanced low - impedance type would match the inputs on the mixer.

Of course, this would be the desired choice in almost all systems due to the inherent benefits of lower noise and longer cable capability.

The sensitivity of the microphone should be in the medium-to-high range since the sound source (speaking voice) is not excessively loud and is picked up from a slight distance. Again, this is most easily accomplished by a condenser type.

The choice of physical design for a lectern microphone must blend performance with actual use. The most effective approach is a gooseneck-mounted type, which places the microphone close to the sound source and away from both the reflective surface of the lectern and noise from the handling of materials on it.

Another approach is the use of a boundary microphone on the lectern surface, but this method is limited by lectern design and by the potential for noise pickup.

As mentioned above, the desired physical design may also suggest the operating principle. The most effective small gooseneck or boundary styles are condensers.

The ideal placement of a lectern microphone is 6 to 12 inches away from the mouth, and aimed toward the mouth. This will give good pickup of the voice and minimum pickup of other sources.

Also, locating the microphone a few inches off-center will reduce breath noise that might occur directly in front of the mouth. It is not recommended that two microphones be used on a lectern as comb filtering interference is likely to occur.

Proper operation of the microphone requires correct connection to the sound system with quality cables and connectors, and correct phantom power if a condenser is used. Use a shock mount to control mechanical noise from the lectern itself.

Some microphones are equipped with low-cut or low-end roll-off filters, which may further reduce low frequency mechanical or acoustic noise.

Goosenecks should be quiet when flexed. It is strongly recommended that a pop filter be placed on the microphone to control explosive breath sounds, especially when using miniature condenser types.

Good technique for lectern microphone use includes:
•—Do adjust the microphone position for proper placement.
•—Do maintain a fairly constant distance of 6 to 12 inches.
•—Don’t blow on microphone, or touch microphone or mount when in use.
•—Don’t make excess noise with materials on lectern.
•—Do speak in a clear and well-modulated voice.

Table Mic

Meeting Table
The desired sound source at a meeting table is a speaking voice. Undesired sounds may include direct sound, such as an audience or loudspeakers, and ambient noise sources such as building noise or the meeting participants. A boundary microphone is the physical design best suited to this application.

It will minimize interference effects due to reflections from the table surface and will also result in increased microphone sensitivity. A condenser type is the most effective for this configuration, due to its high performance and small size.

The frequency response should be slightly shaped for the vocal range and will usually benefit from a slight presence rise. A unidirectional (typically, a cardioid) pattern will give the broadest coverage with good rejection of feedback and noise.

Finally, the microphone should have a balanced low-impedance output, and moderate-to-high sensitivity.

Placement of the microphone should be flat on the table, at a distance of two to three feet from, and aimed towards the normal position of the talker.

If possible, it should be located or aimed away from other objects and from any local noise such as page turning. If there is more than one distinct position to be covered, position additional microphones according to the 3-to-1 rule.

The microphone should be connected and powered (if necessary) in the proper fashion. If the table itself is a source of noise or vibration, isolate the microphone from it with a thin foam pad.

A low-frequency filter may be a desirable or even necessary feature. A pop filter is not normally required. And make certain the microphones are never covered with papers.

Good technique for meeting table microphone use includes:
—Do observe proper microphone placement.
—Do speak within coverage area of the microphone.
•—Don’t make excess noise with materials on table.
== Do project the voice, due to greater microphone distance.

Handheld Speech Microphone
The desired sound source, for a handheld microphone, is a speaking voice. Undesired sounds may include loudspeakers, other talkers, ventilation noise, and other various ambient sounds.

Suitable microphone performance for this application can be provided by dynamics or condensers. Due to frequent handling and the potential for rough treatment, dynamic microphones are most often used, though durable condensers are also available.

The preferred frequency response is shaped with a presence rise for intelligibility and low roll-off for control of proximity effect and handling noise.

Handheld Mic

These microphones are typically unidirectional. A cardioid pattern is most common, while supercardioid and hypercardioid types may be used in difficult noise or feedback situations.

Balanced low-impedance output configuration is standard while sensitivity may be moderate-to-low due to the higher levels from close-up vocal sources.

Finally, the physical design is optimized for comfortable hand-held use, and generally includes an integral windscreen/pop filter and an internal shock mount. An on-off switch may be desirable in some situations.

Placement of handheld microphones at a distance of four to twelve inches from the mouth, aimed towards it, will give good pickup of the voice, relative to other sources.

In addition, locating the microphone slightly off-center, but angled inward, will reduce breath noise.

With high levels of unwanted ambient noise, it may be necessary to hold the microphone closer. If the distance is very short, especially less than four inches, proximity effect will greatly increase the low-frequency response.

Though this may be desirable for many voices, a low-frequency roll-off may be needed to avoid a “boomy” or “muddy” sound. Additional pop filtering may also be required for very close use.

Use of rugged, flexible cables with reliable connectors is an absolute necessity with handheld microphones. A stand or holder should also be provided if it is desirable to use the microphone hands-free. Finally, the correct phantom power should be provided if a condenser microphone is used.

Good technique for handheld microphone use includes:
—Do hold microphone at proper distance for balanced sound.
—Do aim microphone toward mouth and away from other sounds.
—Do use low frequency roll-off to control proximity effect.
—Do use pop filter to control breath noise.
—Don’t create noise by excessive handling.
—Do control loudness with voice rather than moving microphone.

The desired sound source, for a lavalier microphone, is a speaking voice. Undesired sources include other talkers, clothing or “movement” noise, ambient sound, and loudspeakers.

A condenser lavalier microphone will give excellent performance in a very small package, though a dynamic may be used if phantom power is not available or if the size is not critical.

Lavalier microphones have a specially shaped frequency response to compensate for off-axis placement (loss of high frequencies), and sometimes for chest resonance (boost of middle frequencies) .

The most common polar pattern is omnidirectional, though unidirectional types may be used to control excessive ambient noise or severe feedback problems. However, unidirectional types have inherently greater sensitivity to breath and handling noise.

Balanced low-impedance output is preferred as usual. Sensitivity can be moderate, due to the relatively close placement of the microphone. The physical design is optimized for body-worn use.This may be done by means of a clip, a pin, or a neck cord. Small size is very desirable.

For a condenser, the necessary electronics are often housed in a separate small pack, also capable of being worn or placed in a pocket.

Some condensers incorporate the electronics directly into the microphone connector. Provision must also be made for attaching or routing the cable to minimize interference with movement. Wireless versions simplify this task.

Lavalier Mic

Placement of lavalier microphones should be as close to the mouth as is practical, usually a few inches below the neckline on a lapel, a tie, or a lanyard, or at the neckline in the case of a woman’s dress.

Omnidirectional types may be oriented in any convenient way, but a unidirectional type must be aimed in the direction of the mouth.Avoid placing the microphone underneath layers of clothing or in a location where clothing or other objects may touch or rub against it. This is especially critical with unidirectional types. Locate and attach the cable to minimize pull on the microphone and to allow walking without stepping or tripping on it.

A wireless lavalier system eliminates this problem and provides complete freedom of movement. Again, use only high quality cables, and provide phantom power if required.

Good technique for use of lavalier microphones includes:
•—Do observe proper placement and orientation.
—Do use pop filter if needed, especially with unidirectional.
—Don’t breathe on or touch microphone or its cable.
•—Don’t turn head away from microphone.
•—Do mute lavalier mic when using lectern or table microphone.
—Do speak in a clear and distinct voice.

The desired sound source is a group of talkers. Undesired sound sources may include loudspeakers and various ambient sounds. The use of audience microphones is governed, to some extent, by the intended destination of the sound.

In general, high level sound reinforcement of the audience in a meeting facility is not recommended. In fact, it is impossible in most cases, unless the audience itself is acoustically isolated from the sound system loudspeakers.

Use of audience microphones to cover the same acoustic space as the sound system loudspeakers results in severe limitations on gain before feedback. The absolute best that can be done in this circumstance is very low level reinforcement in the immediate audience area, and medium level reinforcement to distant areas, such as balconies or foyers.

Destinations such as isolated listening areas, recording equipment, or broadcast audiences, can receive higher levels because feedback is not a factor in these locations.

A condenser is the type of microphone most often used for audience applications. They are generally more capable of flat, wide-range frequency response. The most appropriate directional type is a unidirectional pattern, usually a cardioid.

Audience Mic

A supercardioid or a hypercardioid may be used for slightly greater ambient sound rejection.

Balanced low-impedance output must be used exclusively and the sensitivity should be high because of the greater distance between the source and the microphone. This higher sensitivity is also easier to obtain with a condenser design.

The physical design of a microphone for audience pickup should lend itself to some form of overhead mounting, typically hanging. It may be supported by its own cable or by some other mounting method.

Finally, it may be a full size microphone, or a miniature type for unobtrusive placement. A particular method that is sometimes suggested for overhead placement is a ceiling-mounted microphone, usually a boundary microphone. This position should be used with caution, for two reasons.

First, it often places the microphone too far from the desired sound source, especially in the case of a high ceiling. Second, the ceiling, in buildings of modern construction, is often an extremely noisy location, due to air handling noise, lighting fixtures, and building vibration.

Remember that a microphone does not reach out and capture sound. It only responds to the sound that has travelled to it. If the background noise is as loud or louder at the microphone than the sound from the talker below, there is no hope of picking up a usable sound from a ceiling-mounted microphone.

Placement of audience microphones falls into the category known as area coverage. Rather than one microphone per sound source, the object is to pick up multiple sound sources with one (or more) microphone(s).

Obviously, this introduces the possibility of interference effects unless certain basic principles, such as the “3-to-1 rule”are followed.

For one microphone, picking up a typical audience, the suggested placement is a few feet in front of, and a few feet above, the heads of the first row. It should be centered in front of the audience and aimed at the last row.

In this configuration, a cardioid microphone can cover up to 20-30 talkers, arranged in a rectangular or wedge-shaped section.

For larger audiences, it may be necessary to use more than one microphone. Since the pickup angle of a microphone is a function of its directionality (approximately 130 degrees for a cardioid), broader coverage requires more distant placement.

As audience size increases, it will eventually violate the cardinal rule: place the microphone as close as practical to the sound source.

In order to determine the placement of multiple microphones for audience pickup, remember the following rules:
1) The microphone-to-microphone distance should be at least three times the source-to-microphone distance (3-to-1 rule).
2) Avoid picking up the same sound source with more than one microphone.
3) Use the minimum number of microphones necessary.

For multiple microphones, the objective is to divide the audience into sections that can each be covered by a single microphone. If the audience has any existing physical divisions (aisles or boxes), use these to define basic sections.

If the audience is a single large entity, and it becomes necessary to choose sections based solely on the coverage of the individual microphones, use the following spacing: one microphone for each lateral section of approximately 8 to 10 feet.

Microphone Positioning For Audience Pick-Up

If the audience is unusually deep (more than 6 or 8 rows), it may be divided into two vertical sections of several rows each, with aiming angles adjusted accordingly. In any case, it’s better to use too few microphones than too many.

Once hanging microphones are positioned, and the cables have been allowed to stretch out, they should be secured to prevent turning or other movement by air currents or temperature changes. Fine thread or fishing line will accomplish this with minimum visual impact. Use only high quality cables and connectors, particularly if miniature types are specified.

Many older meeting facilities are very reverberant spaces, which provide natural, acoustic reinforcement for the audience, though sometimes at the expense of speech intelligibility. In spaces like this, it is often very difficult to install a successful sound system as the acoustics of the space work against the system.

Most well-designed modern architecture has been engineered for a less reverberant space, both for greater speech intelligibility, and to accommodate modern forms of multimedia presentations. This results in a greater reliance on electronic reinforcement.

The use of audience microphones is normally exclusively for recording, broadcast, and other isolated destinations. It is almost never intended to be mixed into the sound system for local reinforcement.

If it is desired to loudly reinforce an individual member of the audience, it can only be done successfully with an individual microphone placed amid the meeting participants: a stand-mounted type that the member can approach or a handheld type (wired or wireless) that can be passed to the member.

Good technique for use of audience microphones includes:
—Do place the microphones properly.
—Do use minimum the number of microphones.
—Do turn down unused microphones.
—Don’t attempt to “over-amplify” the audience.
—Do speak in a strong and natural voice

Non-Meeting Applications
Today, the life of meeting facilities extends far beyond just meetings, to include classes, plays, and social events. Sound systems can play an important role in all of these situations.

While it’s not possible to detail microphone techniques for every application, a few examples will show how to use some of the ideas already presented.

Though most classrooms are not large enough to require the use of a sound system, it is sometimes necessary to record a class, or to hold a very large class in an auditorium. In these cases, it is suggested that the teacher wear a wireless lavalier microphone to allow freedom of movement and to maintain consistent sound quality.

If it is desired to pick up the responses of students, it is possible to use area microphones in a recording application, but not with a sound system. A better technique is for questions to be presented at a fixed stand microphone, or to pass a wireless microphone to the student.

Microphone use for plays and other theatrical events involves both individual and area coverage. Professional productions usually employ wireless microphones for all the principal actors. This requires a complete system (microphone, transmitter, receiver) for each person, and the frequencies must be selected so that all systems will work together without interference.

While it’s possible to purchase or rent a large number of wireless systems, it’s often more economical to combine just a few wireless systems with area microphones for the rest of the players.

Use unidirectional boundary microphones for “downstage” (front) pickup, and use unidirectional hanging micro-phones for “upstage” (rear) pickup. Always use a center microphone, because most stage action occurs at center stage.

Use flanking microphones to cover side areas but observe the 3-to-1 rule and avoid overlapping coverage. Turn up microphones only as needed.

Social events, such as dances, generally require only public address coverage. Use unidirectional, hand-held or stand mounted microphones. Dynamic types are excellent choices, because of their rugged design.

The microphone should be equipped with an on-off switch if it is not possible to turn down the microphone channel on the sound system. In any case, turn up the microphone(s) only as needed.

Outdoor use of microphones is, in some ways, less difficult than indoor. Sound outdoors is not reflected by walls and ceilings so that reverberation is not present. Without reflected sound, the potential for feedback is also reduced.

However, the elements of nature must be considered: wind, sun, and rain. Because of these factors, dynamic types are most often used, especially in the likelihood of rain. In any case, adequate windscreens are a must.

Microphone principles are the same outdoors, so unidirectional patterns are still preferred. Finally, because of frequent long cable runs outdoors, balanced low-impedance models are required.

Though it is one of the smallest links in the audio chain, the microphone is perhaps the most important. As it’s the connection between sound source and the sound system, it must interact efficiently with each. Choosing this link successfully requires knowledge of sound and sound systems, microphones, and the actual application.

Through the examples given, the correct selection and use of microphones for a variety of meeting facility sound requirements has been indicated. Applying these basic principles will assist in many additional situations.

The subject of microphone selection and application for meeting facility sound systems is ever changing, as new needs are found and as microphone designs develop to meet them. However, the basic principles of sound sources, sound systems, and the microphone that links them remain the same, and should prove useful for any future application.

This article is provided by Shure.

Posted by Keith Clark on 07/17 at 11:27 AM
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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

It Takes Two: Double-Miking Approaches For Drums & Other Instruments

The technique can provide a whole new palette of tonal colors

If you’ve never experimented with double-miking a musical instrument, you’re in for a treat. Properly utilized, the technique provides a whole new palette of tonal colors, along with surprising ease of control. It’s especially useful when working with an unfamiliar console, one that has limited EQ capability, or when multiple operators are working together on the same control surface.

Further, with two or more microphones on key instruments, there is built-in redundancy. If one mic fails, falls off its stand, or gets whacked by a drum stick, mic number 2 is likely to still be in-service and able to keep the show going along relatively unscathed. For this reason, it’s a good idea to mix condensers with dynamics whenever possible, so that a failure of a phantom supply won’t cause both mics to go down.

Let’s start with kick drum, as it provides the foundational anchor for many modern musical styles. Certain shell materials, heads, and beater combinations can lack definition, sounding big but muddy and indistinct. Or at the other end of the scale, definition might be fine but the desired low-frequency “whoomph” is less than inspiring.

The usual practice of placing a single mic in front of the outer head or the sound hole (if there is one), or inside the shell on a pillow, may not provide the desired sonic quality – though each position will certainly produce different tonalities.

But even if you find a sweet spot with a single mic, you may not want that same tonality for every song, or you might have settled for a tonal compromise to begin with. Traditionally the problem is solved by applying EQ, maybe also a compressor and a gate, or endlessly changing out mic types to try to get closer to the mark. But there’s another way. It’s faster, easier, and comes with collateral benefits that solve other problems at the same time.

One or the other… or how about both? (click to enlarge)

On The Kit
With more than one mic to work with, it’s possible to create a wide range of tonal colors merely by blending the channel faders together proportionally to obtain the sound quality you’re after. In practice the technique is fast and simple. Depending on the sophistication of the console, the relative levels can either be recalled by using presets for different songs, or, on a modest analog mixer, the useful range of relative levels can simply be marked on tape alongside the faders. The only downside is the requirement for additional mics, multi-core channels, and console inputs.

I’ve found that the combination of a “half-cardioid” mic, such as a Shure Beta 91A placed inside the kick drum, coupled with a traditional dynamic cardioid such as an Shure SM7B or a Beta 52A located outside the sound hole or near the center of the front head, are a solid pairing. The 91A inside the shell captures a sharp, well-defined attack, while the SM7B outside the shell provides punch, and with a bit of EQ it can add a good measure of “thunder” when it’s needed.

This Ludwig snare is miked with a Sennheiser 442 on top and a Brüel & Kjær 4007 on the bottom. Its character can be changed in an instant by blending the ratio of the two mics, and also reversing their positions. (click to enlarge)

By blending the two faders together in different ratios, it’s possible to radically alter the timbre without ever touching the EQ, which can be held in reserve for creating additional layers of sonic potentialities.

Other mics can accomplish much the same thing while adding their own particular “flavor.” Good candidates are the AKG D12 or Electro-Voice RE20 used outside the shell, paired with an AKG C547 or Audio-Technica U851R inside the shell. The real value here is making use of the differences in physical placement and the differing types of the mics, rather than adhering to specific models. 

It’s no rarity to see a snare miked from both the top and bottom heads. This is perhaps the most common usage of dual-miking, and again gives the mix engineer a lot to work with. Want a more snappy sound to cut through screaming guitars? Increase the level of the bottom mic. Need to mellow it out some? Take the bottom mic down or out altogether. Try an AKG C451 on the bottom head and an SM7B on the top. Then reverse their positions and see what happens. It can be an ear opener. 

The same concept can be applied to toms, especially if they’re fitted with bottom heads. Depending on how the toms are tuned, there can be significant differences in what each mic picks up, thus creating an opportunity for making the toms sound larger than life on one end of the scale, or providing only mild accents on the other end. All without using EQ.

In situations where time allows, such as preparing for a lengthy tour, installing mics inside the shells will provide tremendous isolation from drum to drum, as well an extremely sharp attack that you can’t get from exterior miking.

However, the mids and lows tend to be very thin, so additional support is likely to be needed from exterior mics. On a big kit this might eat up a lot of channels, but if they’re available, the level of control you’ll experience is astounding.

You can even delay the exterior mics by a few milliseconds relative to the interior mics, producing the effect of a bigger and longer “body” that follows the impact of the initial stick contact. This is highly recommended for complex, demanding music such as fusion and progressive rock.

Spreading The Concept
Other percussion instruments can also benefit from a double-miking approach. Try miking both the top head and the bottom flare of a djembe. Listen to what happens. The depth of LF content from the bottom mic will put to shame many large-diameter kick drums. The modest djembe now becomes a powerhouse!

The same approach can also be applied to congas whenever a “power factor” is desired. (If recording, be sure to allocate two tracks for maximum flexibility when mixing.)

If a system is configured in stereo, there’s nothing like a pair of mics positioned over the tray of percussion “toys.” When a shaker is being moved around the stereo pair, the wide expanse and motion of sound in the loudspeakers can be breathtaking.

A conga miked with a Sennheiser e835 on top and a B&K 4007 on the bottom for a deeper, more defined LF response. (click to enlarge)

If taking this approach, it’s important that the percussionist has stereo stage monitors in order to provide some idea of the effect the movements are having on the spatial localization in the main system.

When a traditional lead instrument is present – one that plays an important role in the music such as a sax, trumpet, clarinet, or flute – miking in two places can capture the essence of the instrument’s voice in a way that no amount of EQ will achieve. A lot of tone emerges from traditional instruments, and it’s not all coming from the bell or the mouthpiece.

On a large baritone sax, for example, the lower part of the instrument often provides a resonant character that’s an important component of the sound the player is hearing and working off of. Fortunately with today’s miniature clip-on mics and readily available wireless transmitters, it’s not as hard as it once was to capture the very best that a given instrument has to offer without cramping the stage movements of the performer. 

Next time I’ll continue the discussion by focusing on bass, guitar, other stringed instruments, and more.

Ken DeLoria is senior technical editor for ProSoundWeb and Live Sound International and has had a diverse career in pro audio over more than 30 years, including being the founder and owner of Apogee Sound.

Posted by Keith Clark on 07/16 at 02:06 PM
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Sennheiser Announces “Trade In, Trade Up” Wireless System Promotion

Rebates of up to $200 available on purchase of select systems

Sennheiser has announced the new “Trade In, Trade Up” promotion in which customers can trade in their old wireless equipment from any manufacturer and receive a credit of up to $200 toward the purchase of a new Sennheiser wireless system.

Rebates are valid on select Sennheiser XS and EW G3 wireless systems purchased from an authorized U.S. Sennheiser dealer between now and September 30, 2013. 

Following are trade-in rebate values for the various products that are included:

—XS Wireless - $50 rebate
—ew 100 - $100 rebate
—ew 300 - $150 rebate
—ew 500 - $200 rebate

To receive a rebate on eligible products, customers will need to mail the following to Sennheiser following their purchase (postmarked no later than October 31, 2013):

1) A completed rebate form, which can be downloaded from the Sennheiser website here.
2) The original UPC and EAN code, cut from the box (no photocopies will be accepted).
3) A copy of the sales receipt, dated between July 1, 2013 and September 30, 2013, from an authorized Sennheiser dealer for a product listed above.
4) he old wireless systems being traded for cash rebate (quantity of trades will be matched one-to-one against purchases, up to the quality of new systems purchased).

All rebates must be postmarked no later than October 31, 2013.

Learn more and take advantage of the promotion by visiting http://en-us.sennheiser.com/promos.


Posted by Keith Clark on 07/16 at 01:35 PM
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Coast Hills Community Church Records With DPA Microphones

Church Relies on d:fine Headsets and 4098H Hanging Mics for Live Streaming and Recording of Sermons and Worship Performances

As production technology grows more sophisticated, the audio crew members at Coast Hills Community Church are finding themselves increasingly responsible for streaming productions live to the Internet or recording them to DVD.

In order to deliver high-quality audio in these scenarios, the church relies on DPA Microphones’ d:fine headset microphones and several DPA 4098H hanging supercardioid microphones.

Designed to function much like a traditional performing arts center, Coast Hills Community Church is housed in a nearly square building with seating for 1,300 worshippers.

The sanctuary has undergone minimal acoustical treatments and exhibits a lot of natural reflection, making intelligibility of the spoken word an issue.

With the front-of-house production setup situated on a balcony above and behind the parishioners, mixing and equalizing can also be a challenge.

To cope with these factors, Mike Sessler, the church’s technical arts director, employs the d:fine headset microphones. The d:fine mics ensure that Coast Hills Senior Pastor Ken Baugh always sounds natural, without producing any feedback.

The microphone requires little-to-no EQ, allowing Sessler to concentrate on other aspects of recording the sermons, such as mixing. While the audio can be improved in post production, if the EQ input is perfect right from the beginning, the resulting audio will sound much better.

“Baugh has a very distinct voice that is difficult to mic and still sound good,” explains Sessler. “Previously, we had to balance a lot of EQ to make him sound acceptable.

“With the DPA d:fines, we use very little EQ to produce his natural voice. He sounds like him, not like a processed, analyzed version of himself.”

The placement of the microphone also has an important effect on audio, making it critical to find the right position. Even slight changes to the angle or location of a microphone can result in sound that is less than harmonious.

The DPA d:fine headset features a miniature capsule that allows Sessler to position the microphone on Baugh in a spot that produces the biggest sound without losing clarity. The miniature capsule also keeps the microphone discreet, making Baugh’s voice sound loud and clear without making it look like he is wearing the mic.

“That is what I love about DPA mics,” says Sessler. “You can just put them up, or on, in the case of the d:fine, and you don’t have to do a lot of work on them. They just make the sound you’re trying to amplify louder.

“The d:fine is comfortable and sounds great without my having to do a lot of work. I am confident that I can hand Baugh the mic and that it will go in the same place every time.”

Duke DeJeong, church relations director for DPA dealer CCI Solutions, which often works with Coast Hills, says that the most critical microphone for any service is the one the pastor wears.

“As 60 percent of the service is focused on his spoken word, it is definitely not the mic to skimp on,” he notes. “The DPA d:fine ends up in the right place every time, so there are never any gain before feedback issues, and the sound is natural, loud and clear.

“In the end, it is one of the best microphones out there to use for services, especially those that are being recorded.”

While the pastor should be outfitted with the highest-quality microphone during a service, Sessler knows that other audio elements must be attended to as well. For the recordings, he relies on several DPA 4098H Hanging Supercardioid Microphones to capture the live sound of the congregation for a variety of church functions, including baptisms and large-scale musical performances.

These mics are positioned over the house to provide live ambient sound back to the musicians’ in-ear monitors, and also near the choir and musicians for both live performances and recordings. As with the d:fine, the 4098H provides the clear, natural sound important to capturing a musical performance.

“DPA Microphones has earned a reputation for exceptional clarity, high resolution and, above all, pure, uncolored and accurate sound,” concludes Sessler. “Whether recording or producing sound reinforcement for theatrical or broadcast productions, DPA’s microphones have become the choice of professionals who demand sonic excellence.”

The church also relies on the DPA’s d:vote 4099 Instrument Microphones to pick up audio from its worship band.

DPA Microphones

Posted by Julie Clark on 07/16 at 01:17 PM
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Fishman TriplePlay Software Update Adds New Features & Enhancements

Now 64-bit compatible on both Mac and Windows platform, and increased functionality

Fishman has announced a comprehensive new software update for the TriplePlay wireless guitar controller.

The new TriplePlay v1.1 software contains more than 50 new improvements, features and updates.

With software update v1.1, TriplePlay is now 64-bit compatible on both Mac and Windows platforms and provides improved support with Windows 8.

A new Basic Enhanced Mode allows iPad GarageBand users to easily activate Pitch Bend. Factory patches now can use Komplete sounds directly instead of requiring Elements.

The new Import/Export feature allows the transfer of patches from one TriplePlay installation computer to another. Improved hardware support allows the entire patch list to be loaded into the controller for use in the Hardware Mode. The TriplePlay software also now lets users know when new software releases are available.

Other features include improved Encoder/Receiver communications to ensure greater connection stability; new plug-in support to improve scan time and accuracy; new Windows support to improve overall performance, and new support to enhance TriplePlay’s robustness in popular DAWs such as Cubase and Ableton Live 9.

Two new TriplePlay mixer audio options allow the Guitar Channel Level to be adjusted independently of Synth Channels and also allow the final Output Volume to be controlled by assigning CC80 to an external MIDI pedal.


Posted by Keith Clark on 07/16 at 12:58 PM
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Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Line 6 Announces XD-V Digital Wireless Rebates

Line 6 announces rebates for the XD-V digital wireless systems.

Line 6 has announced rebates for the XD-V digital wireless system. From now through August 31, customers can get up to $150 back on the XD-V digital wireless systems.

The company is offering a $150 mail-in rebate on the XD-V75, a $100 mail-in rebate on the XD-V55 and a $50 rebate on the XD-V35.

Line 6 has been making digital wireless systems for a long time—the technology provided in the XD-V systems reflects that experience. It’s the same technology used in the industry-standard Relay instrument wireless that’s been proven on major world tours.

XD-V also offers something only Line 6 can provide — mic models (handheld systems) and EQ filters (bodypack systems) that let you choose the sound that’s right for your voice. With one-step setup, superior audio specs and the widest available range, the system provides solutions for most scenarios.

Terms and conditions apply. Download the rebate form from the Line 6 website to learn more.

Line 6

Posted by Julie Clark on 07/09 at 11:31 AM
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