Wednesday, August 12, 2015
RF Venue Supports Public Theater’s Shakespeare In The Park
Spotlight antenna and Optix fiber-optic remote antenna system address the RF difficulties in Central Park’s 1,800-seat outdoor Delacorte Theater.
The Public Theater’s Free Shakespeare in the Park series has been a storied New York City tradition since 1952, offering free and open access to outdoor productions and features world-class talent with Broadway caliber production and audiovisual design.
Matthew Bell, assistant audio supervisor at The Public Theater, uses two RF Venue products, the Spotlight antenna and Optix fiber-optic remote antenna system, to address and simplify the RF difficulties in Central Park’s 1,800-seat outdoor Delacorte Theater.
The venue has been home to the Free Shakespeare series since 1962, offering creative possibilities to directors, actors, and scenic designers that no other New York City theater can match, while presenting unique challenges to technical production designers, including audio.
“We have to load an entire Broadway quality sound system into a natural park,” says Bell. “There is no pre-existing rigging of any sort. There are raccoons, birds, and rain, and all those have to be taken into consideration.”says Bell.
The Public Theater’s outdoor Shakespeare productions are technically complex, using wireless for every speaking role. Cymbeline involves more than 40 channels of Sennheiser 3532 and Sennheiser 2000 series, along with Shure IEMs, two matrixed intercom main-stations, and three Telex BTR–800s. Audio equipment rental and frequency coordination is provided by Masque Sound.
Though wireless is of utmost importance, the unique, intimate nature of Cymbeline’s set design paired with the Delacorte’s unconventional upstage area –an expanse of open water named Turtle Pond – makes minuscule wireless audio signals vanish into the trees.
“There is no bounce to the room or anything to reflect RF back onto our actors and antennas, like you would have in a traditional theater,” continues Bell.
“We used two RF Spotlight’s to get our antennas physically closer to our actors. Since they’re low profile, we built them into our set pieces and under the deck, and our antennas are 120 feet closer than we would have otherwise been able to get them.”
The Spotlight’s thin 7mm disc allowed The Public Theater to mount both transmit and receive antennas for some of their UHF equipment directly underneath the actors, maximizing signal-to-noise ratio.
Underneath the stage, the antennas are connected to two Optix RFoF systems which, in lieu of coaxial cable, send signals for mics and IEMs to and from the rack via 1310nm fiber optic cable.
“This park is so big and all our cable runs are so long that we want to get our signal loss down to as little as possible,” says Bell. “We went with the Optix because 2.5 dB of loss is a whole lot better than the 10–12 dB we would get with coax.”
“We have a lot of challenges in New York, and a lot of challenges that you only find in Central Park,” Bell concludes. “These two solutions have allowed us to pick up only the transmitted signals on the stage, as opposed to getting all the extraneous noise around the city.”
Production credits for Cymbeline include direction by Daniel Sullivan, scenic design by Riccardo Hernandez, costume design by David Zinn, lighting design by David Lander, sound design by Acme Sound Partners, hair and wig design by Charles G. LaPointe, and original music by Tom Kitt.
CAD Audio Now Shipping StagePass IEM System
Featuring 16-channel UHF frequency agile performance for connectivity in crowded RF environments and stereo operation.
CAD Audio is shipping its StagePass IEM stereo wireless in-ear-monitor system.
The StagePass IEM Series system features 16-channel UHF frequency agile performance for connectivity in crowded RF environments.
Stereo operation enables discrete signals to be transmitted to the right or left channels for enhanced monitoring capability.
Featuring CAD MEB2 TruPitch balanced armature monitor earbuds with EasyFit silicon molds for a custom fit, the system ensures greater isolation from stage bleed.
A Dynamic Range of greater than 101dB immediately sets the StagePass IEM apart from competitive systems.
CADLock Automatic Tone Code Squelch eliminates unauthorized interference in RF-unfriendly environments.
Other professional features include a shielded metal chassis transmitter, durable carry case, rack ears and an antenna relocation kit.
—Frequency: Q Band 470 498MHz
—Audio Frequency Response: 40Hz – 16KHz
—Dynamic Range: >101dB
—Audio Output Power: 100mw into 32Ohm
—Transmit power: 30mW
—AA Batteries with > 10hrs battery life
—Pricing—MSRP: $459 MAP: $349
Posted by House Editor on 08/12 at 06:56 AM
Tuesday, August 11, 2015
Ed Sheeran Selects Sennheiser Digital 9000 Wireless For U.K. Tour
Front of house and monitor engineer Chris Marsh switches to wireless with Digital 9000 for vocal, loop vocal and guitar.
Singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran’s latest UK tour was considered successful with 400,000 tickets sold over his two weekend appearances at London’s Wembley Stadium and Dublin’s Croke Park.
Supplied by production company Major Tom, Sennheiser’s 2000 series wireless monitors and its flagship Digital 9000 Series microphones were in use throughout.
Front of house and monitor engineer Chris Marsh decided to change microphone during Ed’s last US tour, using Digital 9000 for his vocal, loop vocal and guitar.
“Digital 9000 Series has changed our lives,” says Chris. “We had been looking at ways of moving Ed’s guitar away from being wired, but we hadn’t found a good enough wireless system for him to lose the cable, which he’d been using since the very beginning. That was until we tried Digital 9000; unlike others we tried, we found it sounded even better than the cable.”
“From an audio point of view, his vocal became a lot more prominent and his guitar sounded more natural. On top of that we’ve been doing stadiums, so having something that has such strong RF capability made a real difference. It meant that Ed could be up to 50m away from the receivers and still have rock-solid reception. It’s made a really big difference to the show and to Ed’s ability to move around the stage.”
“Sennheiser has a long-standing relationship with both Chris and Ed,” says Phil Cummings, relations manager EMEA for Sennheiser. “When we suggested that Chris try Digital 9000 for Ed, we were confident that it would perform as they wanted it to. We’re delighted that it proved to be the right choice.”
“We use a great combination of equipment, all serviced by Major Tom,” Chris concludes. “We’ve been traveling around the world with it for the past 18 months and it has stood up to everything we’ve thrown at it, performing faultlessly throughout.”
Thursday, August 06, 2015
FCC Adopts Rules To Enable Wireless Microphone Use In New Spectrum Bands
Allows greater use of VHF channels, access to significantly more spectrum in the 900 MHz band and more
Editor’s Note: The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued the following news release today (August 6, 2015). We’ll be providing additional details and commentary in the very near future.
WASHINGTON, August 6, 2015 – The Federal Communications Commission yesterday adopted new rules to address the long-term needs of wireless microphone users by providing for continued access to the 600 MHz band and expanding access to other bands.
Wireless microphones play an important role in enabling broadcasters and other video programming networks to cover breaking news and live sports events. Wireless microphones also enhance event productions in a variety of settings – including theaters and music venues, film studios, conventions, corporate events, houses of worship, and Internet webcasts.
Most wireless microphones today operate on unused spectrum in the frequencies currently allocated for TV broadcasting. Wireless microphones also operate in other bands, both on a licensed and unlicensed basis, depending on the particular band. Following the incentive auction – with the repacking of the television band and the repurposing of current television spectrum for wireless services – there may be fewer frequencies in the television bands available for use by wireless microphone operations.
Specifically, the new rules:
• Provide more opportunities for licensed use in the remaining TV bands by allowing greater use of the VHF channels and permitting co-channel operations inside DTV contours without coordination if TV signals fall below specified threshold;
• Expand eligibility for licensed use of the 4-megahertz portion of the 600 MHz duplex gap to include all licensed users in the TV bands (broadcasters, cable programming networks, movie studios, and operators at major sporting/concerts/theater venues); and
• Provide new opportunities for these licensed wireless microphones to operate on a secondary basis in three additional spectrum bands, consistent with the Commission’s spectrum management goals – (1) access to significantly more spectrum in the 900 MHz band; (2) access to a portion of the 1435-1525 MHz band at specified times and places, subject to coordination requirements that protect critical aeronautical mobile telemetry; and (3) access to portions of the 6875-7125 MHz band.
Together with the rules adopted by the Commission today regarding unlicensed use of the 600 MHz band, these new rules provide for efficient sharing of these bands to accommodate various wireless microphone users, while continuing to protect the licensed users of each of the bands.
Action by the Commission August 5, 2015 by Report & Order (FCC 15-100). Chairman Wheeler, Commissioners Clyburn, Rosenworcel, and Pai; Commissioner O’Rielly dissenting in part.
Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
Posted by Keith Clark on 08/06 at 03:50 PM
Carlos Elizalde Selects AKG For Rúckatan And Caravanserai
Latin, reggae and world music band shares front man and AKG wireless with Santana tribute band.
Carlos Elizalde is generally busy singing, playing percussion and dancing with with Rúckatan, the Latin, reggae and world music band he founded, as well as Caravanserai, a Santana tribute band that performs recreated hits.
Elizalde relies on a AKG WMS4500 reference wireless system with a D7 reference dynamic vocal microphone, plus the AKG IVM4500 in-ear monitor system, D7 dynamic mic and C214 condenser mic for percussion.
“When you’re up on stage, the last thing you want to be thinking about is your gear,” Elizalde said.
“I know that the AKG WMS4500 with its wireless Auto-Setup and the D7 will deliver every time, even when I go a little crazy with jumping around and singing with everything I’ve got. OK – maybe more than a little crazy.
“I just plug everything in and it works. The stage is no place to be fussing with wireless frequencies or worrying about dropouts – we’re here to entertain people and get them caught up in the music and the songs they love.”
Combining the clarity and detail more typical of a condenser microphone with the presence of a dynamic mic, Elizalde prizes the AKG D7 for its warm, rich, punchy sound that enables the audience to clearly hear his vocals in the midst of thundering, multi-layered polyrhythmic percussion assaults. Key to the D7’s superior performance is its dual-thickness Varimotion diaphragm, which provides accurate, open sound in all frequency ranges.
To capture all the dynamics, overtones and nuance of his hand percussion, Elizalde uses a second D7 and an AKG C214 large-diaphragm condenser mic, a cost-effective offering with a heritage drawn from the AKG C414.
“We use a wealth of percussion instruments in Rúckatan and Caravanserai, and the D7 and C214 are really outstanding at capturing the percussive attack and individual ‘personality’ of each instrument.” Through it all, the AKG IVM4500 in-ear monitor system ensures that Elizalde hears everything onstage with clarity and consistent sound.
As if playing in two bands wasn’t enough, Elizalde is also working on a new record at Secret Studios in Alameda, California, where the band is tracking with AKG mics and a Harman Soundcraft Si3 console. “Music is our life, and I and the musicians I work with want to share it with as many people as possible,” Elizalde said. “Thankfully we have these wonderful tools to help make that happen.”
Wednesday, August 05, 2015
Jason Derulo Tours Worldwide With TELEFUNKEN M81-WH
Front of house engineer Rick Wright, Jr. and monitor engineer Adam Rebacz find new favorite vocal mic.
Siinger, songwriter and dancer Jason Derulo has chosen TELEFUNKEN‘s M81-WH wireless capsule for his touring around the world.
Since the start of his career as a solo recording artist in 2009, Derulo has sold over 50 million singles and has had 11 Platinum singles, including “Want To Want Me,” “Whatcha Say,” “In My Head,” “Ridin’ Solo,” “Don’t Wanna Go Home” and “It Girl.”
Front of house mixer Rick Wright, Jr. commented about Derulo’s wireless mic, “Easiest vocal mic I’ve ever used—gain it up and turn it up. My time invested tuning the mic has been minimized, making the M81 my new favorite go to vocal mic. I love this mic because it’s tailored to the way I envision a vocal mic should sound and it absolutely fits the style of my mix.”
Monitor mixer Adam Rebacz added, “The M81 is my favorite vocal mic—hi pass and go. Due to the sonic response and transparency of the M81, I have the freedom that even without EQ, Jason is happy with the natural sound in his ears. Rick and I have both given the M81 a prime place in our toolboxes. Since we’ve been using the M81, there is an aura of simplicity to our jobs as audio engineers at both ends of the snake.”
Derulo’s 2014 album, “Talk Dirty,” earned five Platinum singles that sold a collective 16 million units worldwide, including: “The Other Side,” “Talk Dirty” (feat. 2 Chainz), “Marry Me,” “Wiggle” (feat. Snoop Dogg), and “Trumpets.” This June, Derulo released his fourth studio album “Everything is 4” (Warner Bros. Records). The album’s first single, “Want To Want Me,” went Platinum, became the most added track in the history of Top 40 radio, and was added to 156 monitored pop stations, making it the biggest Top 40 US radio launch ever.
Audio-Technica Honors Millar Electronics With President’s Award
Award recognizes leading rep firm's outstanding commitment and dedication in the U.S. professional audio marketplace
Apex, NC-based Millar Electronics has been presented with the Audio-Technica President’s Award for its work representing A-T during the 2014-2015 fiscal year in the U.S.
Millar Electronics principals Herman Civils and Pete Petty accepted the award, which recognizes a leading manufacturer’s representative for outstanding commitment and dedication in the U.S. professional audio market.
Philip Cajka, A-T U.S. president and CEO, presented the award at a ceremony during the 2015 InfoComm Expo this past June in Orlando.
Millar Electronics represents Audio-Technica in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.
“Millar Electronics is one of our newer rep firms, but they have distinguished themselves since their appointment in 2014 with a high level of service, sales and marketing of the A-T brand,” states Cajka. “We thank them for their dedicated service and hard work, and we are proud to celebrate with them.”
Converting A Missile Factory Into A Church With Help From Shure
Cross Pointe Church campus in Duluth, Georgia relies on Shure Axient, ULX-D and PSM1000.
Cross Pointe Church in Duluth, Ga., was once home to a guided missile factory where the construction of the Hellfire anti-tank missile and assembly lines for 500-pound bomb fuses could be found.
When Cross Pointe took over the facilities in 2003, it underwent a major renovation project to suit the needs of its dynamic and growing church including new wireless gear from Shure.
By 2015, the former warehouse and bomb fuse assembly line had become a worship center with student and children’s areas as well as offices that welcomes thousands of people to Sunday services.
All campus buildings had been constructed and remodeled to serve the unique worship needs of Cross Pointe, but one issue still remained—the existing audio gear caused unexpected dropouts during worship services due to a crowded RF environment.
To address audio issues, Alfred Burgess, pastor of worship and creative arts at Cross Pointe, set out to find replacement equipment.
Being situated near the Arena at Gwinnett Center—home to ECHL hockey games, concerts, conventions, and more—and Georgia’s Interstate 85, the church campus was not an ideal location for wireless microphones. Burgess tapped the expertise of Technical Innovation, an A/V systems designer and integrator, and after receiving a demo of the Shure Axient Wireless Management Network, he knew the solution was exactly what Cross Pointe needed. Axient systems were installed, with the gear list featuring the AXT610, AXT400, AXT100, AXT 900, and the AXT600 Axient Spectrum Manager. Since the Axient installation, audio for Cross Pointe services has been flawless.
“When we prepped for the first Sunday service when Axient was going to be used, we tested the equipment by trying to cause interference,” said Burgess.
“Despite us wreaking havoc with the frequencies selected, the Axient signal stayed as solid as can be, moving to a clean, compatible frequency automatically. It did everything it was supposed to do, and we’ve had no issues whatsoever, which is incredible given how much RF we have in our unique area.”
For RF management, Burgess and his team used the Axient Spectrum Manager for spectrum scanning, analysis, and compatible frequency coordination—all in a single rack. The solution offers a sophisticated interface and precise information for allocating the best available frequencies to any number of wireless channels. Cross Pointe uses the Spectrum Manager with Shure Wireless Workbench software, where audio team members can view the RF world for not only Axient, but the other networked Shure wireless gear the congregation relies on, including the Shure ULX-D® Digital Wireless System.
“Vocalists leading worship rely on ULX-D with KSM9 handhelds. We not only get uncompromised audio quality and RF signal stability with ULX-D, but its durability is best-in-class. Our older handhelds looked dated because the paint wore out quickly. For in-ear monitoring, singers and band members are set up with PSM1000 and SE425 and SE535 earphones.”
To ensure microphones are powered service after service, Burgess has found peace of mind with Shure rechargeable battery options. The charging systems for Axient’s and ULX-D’s lithium-ion batteries let Cross Pointe sound techs drop the gear at a station to power up. Transmitters and receivers display remaining battery life in hours and minutes, accurate to within 15 minutes.
“Switching to Shure rechargeables has been awesome, and we don’t have to worry about throwing hundreds of batteries in the trash,” added Burgess.
In addition to having 4,000 people attend Sunday services at the Cross Pointe Church campuses, the organization also broadcasts its worship through Touching Lives, an international television broadcast program reaching one million people across the globe per week.
“When you reach that many people during a church service, there isn’t room for error, and the audio gear has to perform as planned,” said Burgess. “Shure has the best wireless gear on the market, and we continue to have great success using it.”
Monday, August 03, 2015
Rick Alexander Takes On Challenging Audio With DPA Microphones
Veteran engineer uses d:screet 4071 miniature omnidirectional microphone for miking star athletes like Bubba Watson and Richie Browne.
A 30-year industry veteran, Rick Alexander has learned the vital importance of carrying DPA Microphones’ products in his audio kit.
As an audio engineer for both broadcast and live events, Alexander trusts the company’s mics to combat any auditory challenges he faces during a project.
Whether environmental noise arises while filming on location, or the visibility of a mic is problematic, the company’s d:screet 4071 miniature omnidirectional microphone has always been his go-to ‘secret audio weapon.’
Alexander first discovered DPA Microphones five years ago while searching for a lavalier, and found that the quality of the d:screet 4071 was unmatched by any other mic he’d tested.
“We were checking different microphones and kept returning back to the 4071,” he explains.
“When you’re in the field, you’re going to be in horrible audio environments with traffic around you, an airplane flying over, a truck coming by and people talking. You never know what’s going to happen. I found that the best place to pick a mic is always at NAB, where about 10,000 people are speaking at once. While testing the 4071 at the show a few years ago, we noticed how the background noise dropped out significantly.”
The d:screet 4071 rejects other unwanted environmental noises as well; from weather conditions to cars, trains and airplanes.
“The 4071 is very impressive. In fact, we were shooting near the ocean for the first project I ever worked on with the DPAs,” he recalls. “The wind was loud, we had a crow that wouldn’t go away. My client called me up the next week and he said, ‘man, what did you do?’ and I thought I was in trouble, but then he said, ‘My God, remember that crow and the wind issues we had? We barely even hear it in the background.’ That just sold me on the mics even more. Now when I have a client with a challenging audio situation and they’re nervous about filming, I can reassure them to trust me and the mics. Sure enough, I get that call, ‘you were right, we don’t hear the trucks as much, we don’t hear the plane as much, etc.’”
In addition to potential environmental challenges on set, Alexander must also be prepared for the aesthetic obstacles of a shoot. When the talent needs to be close-miked without using a visible solution, the d:screet 4071 can be concealed underneath wardrobe.
Recently, during two days of filming a docu-series with Richie Browne, who earned a 2012 bronze medal through the U.S. Paralympics Track and Field National Championships, Alexander needed a mic that could be hidden during exterior shots of Browne at the track.
“I strapped a 4071 around Browne’s chest, with a windscreen on it to kill the noise from his running, and it sounded great,” says Alexander. “It was a lot of long shots and even some footage from drone shots, and he was sweating the entire time, but the mic didn’t fail once.”
The established audio engineer discovered the true benefit of taping the d:screet 4071 underneath clothing during what he recalls his most demanding project, doing a behind-the-scenes shoot with Bubba Watson just after he won the Masters.
“The catch was that he’d need to change outfits 40 times without us being able to keep miking him,” says Alexander. “Since we were shooting with a wide shot, [booming] wasn’t an option. When Bubba showed up, I taped the mic to his chest, gave a lot of slack to the cable underneath and strapped the transmitter on his thigh. Bubba said it didn’t bother him at all, he changed so many times and it was windy and raining, but the audio turned out great.”
Over the years, Alexander has shared his knowledge from working in the field as a lab specialist of audio at Full Sail University and by serving on the Board of Directors for Women in Film, an international organization.
“My advice to other professionals is to spend the extra money on DPA to get the quality results they desire,” Alexander adds. “A lot of people don’t understand that if you can get that first source of audio to sound good, it makes your job, and that of your post team, so much easier. You don’t have to worry about background noise or proper mic placement. I say that to them and see the light bulbs go off. I just trust my mics and love the results.”
On top of DPA’s d:screet 4071, Alexander occasionally turns to a variety of the company’s other mics to fit the wide range of productions he works on, including a major network singing competition show, international commercials and documentaries. Some of the industry veteran’s other production experience includes serving as a booming operator on Magic City and Graceland as well as freelance work as the A1 for The Golf Channel.
Posted by House Editor on 08/03 at 02:42 PM
Galaxy Audio Introduces DHXR4 Four Wireless Mic Receiver
Each independent receiver features an LCD display, Auto Scan, IR Sync, 120 selectable channels and AF/RF indicators.
The Galaxy Audio DHXR4 is a single space rack mount quad receiver chassis, loaded with 4 independent UHF diversity wireless mic receivers.
Each receiver features an LCD display, Auto Scan, IR Sync, 120 selectable channels and AF/RF indicators.
The receivers have also been improved with Tone-key squelch for rejection of outside interference.
The chassis has an individual balanced XLR output for each receiver, and a mix output (balanced XLR and unbalanced ¼-inch jacks).
The mix output provides a mixed signal from all of the receivers, based on the individual volume control settings.
The internal antenna distribution system allows the 2 detachable antennas to serve all of the receivers.
In addition, the DHXR4 chassis provides power to all 4 receivers while occupying only 1 AC outlet. The DHXR4 is perfect for churches, schools, and any live sound application. This unit will save you at least 2 full spaces in your rack.
The Galaxy Audio
Friday, July 31, 2015
L.A. Opera Premieres The Ghosts of Versailles With Lectrosonics
Soundmirror’s Grammy Award-winning team takes 24 channels of Lectrosonics wireless to the Music Center campus in Los Angeles.
Classical music recording and production company Soundmirror took the new Lectrosonics Digital Hybrid Wireless bodypack LT transmitters straight from the production line to the stage earlier this year to capture L.A. Opera’s West Coast premiere of The Ghosts of Versailles.
Soundmirror utilized 13 of the new L Series Large Bandwidth transmitters in combination with 11 Lectrosonics SMQV transmitters and 4 six-channel Venue receivers for a total of 24 channels of wireless to record composer John Corigliano’s opera, which was being fully staged in the U.S. for the first time in two decades.
“We got the first 13 LTs ever straight off the production line,” confirmed John Newton, who founded Soundmirror in Boston, MA in 1972 to provide digital recording services to the major record labels.
Newton had no concerns about putting the first production models straight into service, he said: “We have used Lectrosonics products so much over the years that we know that the reliability and ease of use is there. Sound Mirror is known for being an innovator, and our clients want the very best. Lectrosonics equipment sounds good and is of the quality that we require.”
Soundmirror’s veteran Grammy Award-winning team capturing the production at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, part of the four-venue Music Center campus in downtown Los Angeles, included producer Blanton Alspaugh, recording engineer Mark Donahue and Massachusetts-based independent wireless specialist David Williams.
Operating out of a temporary control room at the venue, the team recorded three of the six performances of The Ghosts of Versailles, which was being produced in repertory with The Barber of Seville and The Marriage of Figaro, the two classic “Figaro” operas that inspired it.
The 24 channels of Lectrosonics Digital Hybrid Wireless were paired with DPA 4071 lavalier microphones, positioned at each performer’s wigline.
“The 24 wireless got paired up with another 30-something Schoeps mics in the orchestra pit, and 15 or so mics on the stage and buried in the set,” reported Donahue.
A total of 80 tracks passed through Merging Technologies Horus interfaces to a SmartAV Tango control surface then into redundant Merging Pyramix DAWs, with a laptop for back-up, recording at 192 kHz.
“My job, when I’m mixing, is to mix the wireless,” said Donahue. “I have my 24 wireless mics and I have eight channels of VCAs if I have to rebalance the orchestra. I don’t pan the wireless mics—they all go into the center and support the zone mics to add a little bit of dialogue clarity. As Blanton is listening for audio quality issues and marking the score he’s also giving me on/off cues when people leave the scene and come back.”
The ability of the new LT to tune to as many as 3,072 selectable frequencies across a 75 MHz range—three standard Lectrosonics blocks—allowed Williams to successfully navigate the hostile RF environment in downtown L.A. “It was really nice to have the LT,” said Williams, who initially planned to evenly distribute the 24 channels across three Lectrosonics blocks before discovering that there was no space available in block 23. That necessitated squeezing 10 channels into block 22, he said. “The SMQVs are locked into a block, but the LTs have that three-block range,” which enabled them to be tuned to fit into the available frequency spectrum.
“Lectrosonics’ sound quality has always been superior, the reliability has been great and the cost is reasonable,” adds Donahue. “They were also the first to wade into the digital hybrid market, which gave us more channels with greater fidelity. You factor in all those things, and how many channels you need, and Lectrosonics really does rise to the top.”
Soundmirror’s orchestral, solo; opera and chamber recordings have received over 80 Grammy Award nominations, with the company’s staff collectively winning 25 Grammys. John Newton has won seven Grammy Awards, Blanton Alspaugh is a four-time Grammy Award-winner, including one for Producer of the Year, Classical in 2012, and Mark Donahue has five Grammy Awards to his credit.
Thursday, July 30, 2015
Riedel Gear Selcted For Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour In Madrid
Production team uses Riedel's Artist digital matrix intercom systems and MediorNet real-time signal distribution and management platform.
Riedel Communications equipment provided the communications and signal management capabilities for the Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour Freestyle Motocross event at Madrid’s Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas.
On July 10, as more than 23,000 fans looked on, top professional freestyle riders impressed the fans with their tricks.
The Red Bull production team used Riedel’s Artist digital matrix intercom systems and MediorNet real-time signal distribution and management platform to produce and bring the live event to the world.
The fiber-based Riedel Artist digital intercom system provides a decentralized infrastructure for live audio and intercom applications, in turn allowing the Red Bull X-Fighters’ production team to establish and maintain complete coverage with distances of up to 500 meters between two nodes.
In Las Ventas, the Riedel Artist digital intercom system ensured that the entire production staff, as well as security, medical, and technical operations, were in constant contact via 80 Motorola DP4400 radios.
Riedel’s Performer Digital Partyline system was also used to ensure high-quality and secure communications for the judges and scorers.
Fans unable to attend the competition in Las Ventas were able to watch the event live on numerous TV stations around the world, on Red Bull TV, or on the big screens of Callao City Lights in the heart of Madrid. Production of these signals, and the images that were shown on giant LED screens installed on site, were provided by German OB provider TVN.
The MediorNet fiber network deployed on site by Riedel staff was used not only for transport of video signals to the LED screens in the arena but also to receive video from a CableCam that “flew” over the ring and a Steadicam that collected images on the ground.
“Since its inception in 2001, Red Bull has depended upon Riedel technology to ensure the highest quality in communications and signal distribution,” said Bernhard Brandner, head of technical services at Riedel Communications Austria.
“The competition in Las Ventas was as phenomenal as ever, and we’re proud that our Artist and MediorNet systems helped to make the event another raging success for the Red Bull X-Fighters team.”
Posted by House Editor on 07/30 at 09:11 AM
Wednesday, July 29, 2015
MIPRO Provides Wireless Solution for Historic Catholic Church In Taiwan
Wireless PA systems help overcome acoustical and aesthetic issues while upgrading audio quality in beautiful worship sanctuary
The beautiful Sainte-Ode Catholic Church in Chiayi, a city in the southwestern plains of Taiwan, is highlighted by high ceilings, ornate glass and classic lines, and now it has upgraded audio to match via the use of components from MIPRO.
Applications consultant Daniel Ku of MIPRO, headquartered just 10 minutes away from the church, did an on-site analysis and recommended MIPRO MA-303 wireless PA systems to better handle the sanctuary’s tough acoustical environment that the previous system. Working on a limited budget and needing to preserve the church’s aesthetics, he sought to avoid utilizing larger loudspeakers in the upgrade project.
The MA-303 systems compact, slim in size and light in weight, also they operate wirelessly. Components utilized in the Sainte-Ode project include four MA-303S single-channel wireless PA systems joined by a MIPRO ACT-312B dual-channel diversity receiver, an ACT-312BT quad-channel diversity receiver, an AD-707a 4-channel antenna divider, four ACT-32H handheld transmitters, two ACT-32T bodypack transmitters, two MU53HN head-worn microphones, and an MT-90A wireless interlinking transmitter .
“Besides the tremendous time and initial cost savings, there’s very low maintenance requirements with this approach, and it’s easily expandable by adding more MA-303 systems with built-in receivers to cover more areas in the church,” Ku explains. “Since MIPRO wireless PA systems can be powered by either AC or rechargeable battery, the systems offer the ability to place remote loudspeakers where other active speakers cannot be easily added or installed.”
Father Pu Ying Hsiung, who was assigned to Sainte-Ode earlier this year, is pleased with the upgrade. “The seamless integration of the speakers into the décor was completed beautifully, which was a major concern,” he says. “The powerful yet clear sound quality and reduced feedback were clearly noticeable and pleasing to the congregation during masses.”
A perspective of the Sainte-Ode Catholic Church sanctuary, including the MIPRO MA-303S wireless loudspeakers nstalled discretely on the support columns.
This 55-year-old mosaic architectural style church was the first of its kind in Taiwan and is widely considered one the most beautiful churches in southern Taiwan. Funded by an American woman, Lang Ode, and designed by a Mexican Father Francisco Borboa, the church is named after Ode to honor her contributions
MIPRO is distributed in the U.S. by Starin.
Full Compass Systems Supports Opera In The Park In Madison
Sound team deploys several solutions that contribute to quality sound reinforcement to more than 15,000
A record crowd of more than 15,000 converged on Garner Park in Madison, WI last Saturday night for the 14th annual Opera in the Park, featuring performances by professional opera singers, the Madison Opera Chorus and the Madison Symphony Orchestra.
Jonathan and Susan Lipp, Full Compass Systems CEO and chairman of the board, respectively, as well as Bag End owners Henry Heine and Jim Wischmeyer once again donated their time and equipment to help the event deliver quality sound reinforcement. The team is rounded out by a number of Full Compass staff members and Sennheiser national key account manager Adam Livella, who also volunteers time and lends equipment to the event.
“It’s the largest concert of its kind in the nation per capita, and who knows, maybe the world,” Susan Lipp states. “Which is totally amazing. You’d think San Francisco or New York would have the largest, but no, it’s right here in Madison.”
Now in it’s 13th year of aiding Madison Opera, the group is expanding, adding grandson Jake Lipp to the team in recent years. The 25-year-old comes from Chicago each summer to mix audio alongside his grandfather. He’s the third generation to make music and sound his career, working with the IATSE Local 2 as a stagehand, engineer and audio freelancer around Chicago.
Instead of close-miking instruments, the team deployed a minimum number of overhead mics to help the instruments blend naturally.
Jake Lipp working side-by-side with his grandfather Jonathan at Opera in the Park.
Further, Sennheiser MKH 800-P48 microphones were also placed at the front of the stage for the vocalists. In this instance they were set to the figure-8 pattern. The approach helps eliminate sound from the sides, reducing feedback and affording more control over the sound projected. This allowed the team to set up side-facing Bag End floor monitors at the front of the stage so the vocalists could hear themselves, while also saving space on a full stage.
The team also utilized Sennheiser A5000-CP passive antennas to send directional wireless signals to remote loudspeakers placed high up the hill at Garner Park. It streamlines the process in eliminating the need for cabling while also being resistant to dropouts.
Full Compass Systems
A Real World Gear Look At Wireless Microphone Systems
Looming in the background of recent wireless microphone development lies the growth of high-bandwidth wireless broadband services, smart phones, digital television, and other spectrum-hungry applications.
Driven by the repurposing of wide swaths of RF spectrum traditionally used for wireless mics (2010’s clearing of the 700 MHz band, the upcoming Incentive Auction of the 600 MHz band, and their equivalents throughout the world), manufacturers are pursuing solutions so that the wireless mics and similar devices will remain viable in the future.
A flurry of activity over the past five years or so has resulted in a variety of digital wireless systems in both the UHF television and higher unlicensed bands – with performance, features and pricing ranging from not much above entry-level to pro touring quality.
These systems make more efficient use of spectrum, typically have lower transmitter RF power coupled with more sensitive yet selective receivers, and can cover a much wider section of spectrum within a single unit than their frequency-agile predecessors.
On the high end, the introduction of digital wireless has coincided with the push toward digital audio networking and computer control within the audio equipment chain. Touring-class wireless is likely to have the ability to be remotely monitored and controlled, and with integrated AES/EBU or Dante receiver outputs can offer the option of keeping the signal in the digital domain from the stage through the console to the loudspeaker system.
Much work has gone into enhancing the efficient use of available spectrum, so that more wireless system channels can work together without interference within a particular 6 MHz television channel or other patch of available spectrum. Key to this spectral efficiency is digital transmission of the signal between the transmitter and receiver, as the digital signal has much lower harmonic sidebands than an analog FM transmission – thus a lessened tendency to create intermod products.
In addition, digital signal requires a lower signal-to-noise ratio in order to be decoded from data packets to an audio signal. Most of the transmitters in this genre offer selectable RF transmission levels and are generally emitting levels under 20 or 30 mW at their highest settings. One professional system offers a 1 mW, high-density mode when distances over approximately 100 feet are not required, specifying up to 47 simultaneous channels within 6 MHz of spectrum.
Digital wireless will add some latency to the audio signal whereas analog will have none, though that latency is usually well below 4 ms. On the other hand, these newer technologies have enabled greater dynamic range since companding circuitry is not required, and provide a wider frequency response on both ends of the audio spectrum.
Some of these systems have also added technologies for increasing reliability and resistance to dropouts, transmitting the same signal on more than one frequency (frequency diversity) and transmitting the same audio data in different time slots (time diversity), with algorithms at the receiver reassembling the digital information into coherent order.
Because the emitted signal from the transmitter is digital and the source audio has been converted to data, the audio can be encrypted before it is sent – and therefore protected from being monitored by anything other than its assigned receiver. Security is now readily available for applications that require it. Encryption at levels of 128-bit and 256-bit is common, and one newly introduced system has upped the ante to 512-bit encryption.
Spectrum At Higher Frequencies
Since the UHF band is the target of much of the spectrum repurposing, wireless designers are also developing systems that operate in the 2.4 GHz (WiFi), 1.9 GHz (DECT), and 900 MHz (ISM) bands.
Though these limited spectra can be crowded with other applications, the new designs are able to offer a handful to perhaps a dozen simultaneous channels with excellent audio quality – enough channels to fully cover many requirements or to supplement a more complex production.
Unlike many of the UHF-band systems, the 2.4 GHz systems are more likely to offer channel designations rather than direct access to particular frequencies within the receiver’s bandwidth, such as setting a transmitter to 2.4385 GHz. These systems instead will display a set of pre-selected channels transmitting on the underlying coordinated frequencies, allowing the user to set transmitter/receiver pairs to channels 1 – 14, for example.
Other systems use frequency hopping or similar technologies, where the same channel number on a transmitter/receiver pair may use different frequencies each time the system is used while also calculating and holding backup frequencies that can be instantaneously changed at both the receiver and transmitter if RF conditions change.
Remote Antennas & Receivers
Attention has also been directed toward placing antennas closer to the performing area where the transmitters are in use. And at least one manufacturer has the ability to remove their modular receivers from the chassis bays and remotely mount them (with antennas attached), running a Cat-5/6 cable between these small receiver modules and the receiver chassis. Such actions can help support the use of lower powered transmitters.
Some of the available antenna systems are active, boosting the received signal level before it travels to the receiver via coax cable. Directional antennas accomplish double duty, with increased sensitivity aimed toward the desired signals and lower sensitivity at the rear to attenuate interfering RF signals within their null zones. These specialized antennas may be offered by third-party vendors, who create various tools to make a wireless installation successful though they don’t manufacture wireless mics.
RF-ResQ (and it’s software interface), new from Kaltman Creations.
Third-Party RF Tools
Companies such as Kaltman Creations and RF Venue are another growing resource for wireless professionals, offering tools that can ease more complex wireless applications.
Both companies offer CP (circular polarization) antennas that help reduce interference and dropouts by more effectively picking up a transmitter signal in phase even as it moves through the performing area – along with other specialized antennas and antenna distribution systems.
RF Venue provides a rack-mountable spectrum analyzer combined with frequency coordination software, and an optical fiber RF distribution system. Kaltman Creations offers professional spectrum analysis and wireless coordination/monitoring tools for computers and tablets, along with handheld and multi-transmitter frequency counters within its Invisible Waves line. Kaltman also just introduced RF-ResQ, a distribution system with adaptive filtering to “clean up” the RF environment as seen by connected wireless receivers.
More Channels, Less Spectrum
Though in the years ahead we’ll certainly be dealing with placing more channels of wireless into shrinking spectrum resources, these leading manufacturers are working to stay ahead of the curve. The new wireless offerings are more powerful and flexible than ever before.
Enjoy our Real World Gear Photo Gallery Tour of the latest wireless microphone systems on the market.
Gary Parks is a pro audio writer who has worked in the industry for more than 25 years, holding marketing and management positions with several leading manufacturers.