Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Learning Mixing For Musicals

This article is provided by SoundGirls.org

Wherever you are in your career, I believe there’s always something new you can learn. It’s a bit of a buzz when you encounter a new skill, then master it for the first time.

At the start of this year, near the top of my list of skills-to-learn was mixing large-scale (West End, Broadway or touring) musicals. The majority of my experience as a theatrical sound designer and operator so far has been soundscape design and mixing for plays, live variety and dance productions.

Although I have experience mixing for small musicals and bands and music ensembles, my experience with large-scale musicals has been limited to backstage tours and being an enthusiastic member of the audience.

It was a gap that I felt I needed to fill. After all, if I want to work at a high level in theatrical sound design, it makes sense that I know as much as I can about all aspects of theatre sound.

For those who haven’t worked in large-scale theatre in the UK before, here’s a brief overview of the sound team structure. It is similar for touring productions and I imagine probably for large-scale theatre in the US as well. The sound designer is at the top and handles both the live sound and the prerecorded sound – systems, mics, soundscapes, backing tracks and liaison with the creative team.

Under the sound designer, is the production engineer who fulfills a similar role to a system tech: what goes where and how it all fits together. The Sound No.1 reports to the sound designer, is primarily responsible for mixing the show and manages the No.2 and No.3. The Sound No. 2 is based backstage and is in charge of radio mics and will also learn how to mix the show so they can deputise for the Sound No. 1. Larger shows will have a Sound No. 3 (and some have a No. 4) who will deal with radio mics as well and will dep the No. 2 when necessary.

The established route to becoming a No. 1 (the person who mixes the show) is to rise through the ranks. Starting as a No. 3, moving up to a No. 2 on the same show (or a different show), and after enough experience, moving up to work as a No. 1. Many drama schools and universities in the UK which offer technical theatre courses provide students the chance to work as No. 3 or No. 4 as part of practical placements. It is common for technical theatre graduates who specialize in sound to go into No. 3 positions when they graduate, and then work up the hierarchy from there.

This is great if you trained in London or at a drama school with links to London theatres. For those of us who come to London from countries without a large theatre scene or who are based in smaller theatres outside of London, the opportunities to work as a No. 2 or No. 3 on a large show may be few or non-existent. It was certainly that way for me. I’m also at a stage in my career and my life where I can’t afford the time it takes to work up from a No. 3 position.

So how could I learn how to mix musicals? Enter the Orbital Sound course Mixing for Musicals, held over a two-day period at the Orbital Sound facility in south London. I found out about the course via the Association for Sound Designers and it seemed exactly what I was looking for. A chance to get my fingers on faders and practically learn about what it feels like to mix potentially 80-plus channels in one show.

Arriving on the first day, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Orbital Sound is an established and respected hire company who provide sound systems and sound design services for high-level productions around the world. I wasn’t worried about the quality of training, but I was slightly concerned whether I had potentially signed myself up for two days of debating the pros and cons of the config of DiGiCo versus Yamaha desks. There’s only so many acronyms I can take before my brain hurts.

Thankfully, I had nothing to fear. One of the best aspects of the course was that it catered to most levels by establishing the level of knowledge of the group, then structuring the amount of time spent on theory, questions and practical experience accordingly.  There was plenty of time spent on establishing the basics of modern musical sound systems, speaker placement, matrixes and VCAs. There was also time made for those in our group who did want to talk about DiGiCo T automation versus Yamaha recall safe. Best of all, over half of the course was hands-on experience of programming a desk and learning how to mix line by line.

The biggest learning curve for me was VCAs (also known as Control Groups or DCAs, depending on what make of desk you use) and automation.

Modern musicals are all about mixing line by line – when someone isn’t speaking or singing, their mic is completely off. They typically use over 40 radio mics for the cast (including two for each principle performer), 30-plus band mics, then add in soundscape and backing tracks, sound effects, and the monitor mixes.

It becomes impossible to mute and unmute each track at the right moment, let alone ride the faders at channel level. This is where automation comes in, with the programming of the desk becoming vital to the effective mixing of the show.

The DCAs act as remote controls for the channel faders. Instead of the operator having to call up a specific channel in the layers of the digital desk each time they need to alter the level, that channel is remotely operated by one of the 8-12 DCA faders. 

For any given scene in the show (with the desk “scenes” corresponding to changes in what the audience needs to hear, rather than scenes in the script), the operator needs to have the control of the mics that will be live in that scene routed to the DCAs. They then can pull each fader up and down as each performer, or group of performers, speaks or sings. When the scene changes, the DCAs will control a different set of channels, so while DCA 1, 2 & 3 controlled Chorus 1, Narrator and Steve in (desk) Scene 1, they might control Chorus 2, Susan and Steve in Scene 2.

On top of this automation is another level of automation involving EQs, reverb sends, other effects, whatever is specific to the show. And once you’ve programmed everything into the desk, you get to see whether it all works during the tech or in our case, using the multitrack recording of the live show.

The practice of recording live musicals onto multitrack is the reason courses like the Orbital course can teach people how to mix musicals. Many large productions now budget for a DAW system as standard, both for commercial show recordings and as a teaching resource for Sound No. 2s or touring sound ops learning how to mix a show. A No. 2 can load up any scene on the desk, find that scene on the multitrack recording, hit play on the multitrack and mix that scene as if it was live. They do not have to inconvenience any performers or musicians.

On day two of the course, we had the chance to mix scenes from the Dutch touring production of We Will Rock You, the most recent West End production of Evita and a semi-pro production of Rent, on three different desks, all without leaving the Orbital premises.

The course also covered radio mics, A/B systems, score reading and speaker zones in theatres (e.g., stalls left & right, circle left & right, center, fills and delays). Also, how to use the desk matrix to route different sources to zones at different times, which is a totally different way of looking at speaker placement compared to a modern rock gig.

Overall it was a challenging, enlightening and fun two days. I left with a much better understanding of what goes into designing and operating a large-scale musical, and the confidence to look at expanding my musical design and operating experience. Although I’ll probably start with panto, rather than the West End.

(Note for non-British readers, an explanation of pantomime theatre is here.) Yes, it’s a valid and thriving form of musical theatre in the UK. Don’t worry, I don’t quite get it either.

SoundGirls.Org supports women working in professional audio and music production by highlighting their success and providing a place for them to connect, network, and share advice and experiences, in addition to providing career development and tools to help those working in the field advance in their careers.

Posted by House Editor on 07/15 at 12:40 PM
Live SoundFeatureBlogStudy HallConsolesDigitalEducationEngineerMicrophoneMixerProcessorSound ReinforcementStageTechnicianWirelessPermalink

Wisycom MCR42 Firmware Update Field Tested By ToneMesa

The updated firmware allows a collaboration with Sound Devices 688 mixer/recorder and SL-6 SuperSlot powering and wireless accessory.

Wisycom announce that the first user of its MCR42 UHF camera receiver with new firmware, Jesse Parker is having great results with the product.

The updated firmware allows a collaboration with Sound Devices 688 mixer/recorder and its SL-6 SuperSlot powering and wireless accessory.

Parker, a production sound mixer at Los Angeles-based ToneMesa, finds the MCR42 with new firmware update to be an asset on projects ranging from reality television to episodic to full-length feature films all over Hollywood and Los Angeles.

ToneMesa is a location/post audio service and technology rental company and was the first adopter and integrator of Wisycom products in North America on broadcast television.

Parker employs the MCR42 for audio input for his recorders in every production he does.

“The Wisycom MCR42’s are present in each of my kits and I always have one with me,” Parker says.  “A key advantage to working with the MCR42 is the ability to quickly find clean frequencies across many channels with no interference, no matter if I am working on a set or in the studio. The MCR42s have also improved the quality of my workflow being that I am accustomed to working digitally.”

The new firmware update [3.5] enables the MCR42 to connect with Sound Devices 688 mixer/recorder, which gives the user new possibilities including audio mixing,  recording and wireless receiver control directly from the mixer.

With the addition of the 688 mixer/recorder and SL-6 accessory, the MCR42 can use two analog channels or a digital AES3, or it can be managed and monitored by the SuperSlot to use all its advanced features, like the ability to probe TV channels for interference on a wide spectrum.

The MCR42 comes with Wisycom’s patented PTT [push-to-talk] feature, as well as operation on a wide frequency, up to 230MHz.

The DSP board allows analog and digital (AES3) output, with multi-commander compatibilities and other digital features. Parker utilizes many different pieces of equipment depending on his production needs. A typical set-up includes a Sound Devices 633, 664 and most recently 688 production field mixer with integrated 12 channel recorder coupled with the SL-6. Parker relies on Wisycom as his primary receivers and also employs Wisycom’s MTP41 Pocket UHF transmitter and MTP40S Wideband bodypack transmitter with DPA 4061 lavaliere microphones. 

“The MCR42 receivers and the MTP41 and MTP40S transmitters are critical to my workflow,” Parker continues.  “I am in full control when I am working on a production. The Wisycom MCR42’s have improved many aspects of my work. I am confident in the Wisycom equipment because of their high sound quality and durability. This peace of mind allows me to focus on the many other responsibilities I have on set. I know that no matter where I spend a production day, I am connected to my work, thanks to Wisycom.”


Posted by House Editor on 07/15 at 12:31 PM

Radio Active Designs Expands UV-1G Wireless Intercom System Line

New products include VHF antenna splitter, periodic dipole array, high gain polarized antenna and lithium ion battery packs.

Radio Active Designs has announced a range of new accessories for the recently introduced UV-1G wireless intercom system.

The intercom system is equipped with a range of proprietary technologies, including belt packs (RAD packs) that operate in the relatively unused VHF frequency range.

“While the UV-1G sets a very high standard in terms of audio quality and wireless performance, we’re providing professionals with additional options to meet the increasing challenges of working in today’s RF environment,” explains James Stoffo, chief operating officer, Radio Active Designs.

“All of these new accessories enhance flexibility while also delivering the features and functionality necessary to meet the needs of the most demanding applications.”

The V-8 VHF antenna splitter, designed to work with UV-1G receivers, splits RF signal from the VHF antenna input to feed up to eight outputs. It also includes a switch to send DC voltage up the coaxial cable input to power a remote VHF filtered amplifier for long cable runs. An RF gain control allows setting proper gain staging for each specific application.

The VF-1 log periodic dipole array receives VHF band signals from the RAD pack transmitters. A directional antenna, it can be used to focus RF energy from one relative direction and is particularly recommended when forward gain and directivity is required. It effectively doubles the range of RAD pack transmit signals in comparison to the supplied omnidirectional whip antenna.

And because antennas are reciprocal, the VF-1 can also be used as a transmit antenna for IFB systems in the 216-217 MHz band. Overall, it has an operating frequency of 170 to 220 MHz, a beam width of 70 degrees, provides up to 6 dBd of gain, and is equipped with a microphone stand thread-mount for mounting.

The UD-1 high gain circularly polarized antenna, which operates in the UHF band, is ideal for situations that would benefit from bolstering the gain of UV-1G base stations and RAD packs. In transmission, the circular polar pattern further reduces the potential for dropouts. It operates in the 470 to 700 MHz band, and beam width is 75 degrees. It supplies up to 8 dBd of gain and is also outfitted with a mic stand thread-mount for mounting.

While RAD packs are designed to operate with standard 9-volt alkaline batteries, they can also be powered by new BP-1 lithium ion battery packs, which are rechargeable with the new BC-4 battery charger. The BC-4 includes four re-charging bays (each providing 12.6 volts) housed in a 1RU rack-mountable package that weighs just 2.5 pounds.

The front panel of the BC-4 provides LEDs to indicate charge status, with flashing yellow indicating conditioning, solid yellow confirming that charging is underway, flashing green depicting 90 percent charge status, and solid green for 100 percent charge status. Red indicates a fault. Total charging time is less than three hours.

Radio Active Designs

Posted by House Editor on 07/15 at 08:41 AM

Austin’s Twin Sound Depends On Sound Devices

Location sound engineers use 664 production mixer with CL-6 input controller throughout the city.

Twin brothers Erik and Joseph Duemig form the Austin-based mix/boom duo known as Twin Sound, a business that is growing alongside the local film industry.

The brothers have selected the 664 Production Mixer with CL-6 Input Controller from Sound Devices, for their audio needs.

“Working in the film industry is a unique experience for a young audio freelancer as it is one of the only positions in which the crew member is expected to supply their own gear,” says Erik.

“So, crafting our kit has been a major part of our growth, both in Austin and the industry.” 

“Our first bag/rig was a Sound Devices 552 mixer and 744T recorder combo that had been given to us by a friend we knew from Columbia College Chicago, where we’d gone to school,” adds Joseph.

“She is now in a career outside of filmmaking, so when we ran into her at South by Southwest (SXSW) and she told us the kit was sitting in a storage unit, we asked if we could have it.” 

This access to professional equipment allowed the twins to dive straight into the Austin freelance film world, quickly landing them gigs on a handful of independent feature films and shorts. They have also provided audio support for video projects at some of the city’s major music festivals, like SXSW and Austin City Limits.

“Once we got the Sound Devices 664, things sort of skyrocketed,” says Joseph. “We would post pictures of us using our gear on an indie feature to social media, and almost immediately we started getting messages from producers or coordinators looking for a local sound team.”

The Web also helped the brothers to foster active and direct relationships with the equipment manufacturers. 

“One of the things we really like about Sound Devices is the company’s accessibility, especially on social media platforms,” says Erik. “We can reach out to them on sites like JWSound or Facebook,  and know that we’ll hear back pretty quickly.  The responsiveness of the support team is top-notch. They’re genuinely interested in making our jobs easier, and that’s a cool dynamic.”

Since purchasing the 664 with CL-6 Input Controller roughly one year ago, Twin Sound has used the equipment on four independent features, and today they collectively give Sound Devices four thumbs up.

“We really like the internal routing capabilities and were also drawn to the design and interface,” continues Erik. “Setting up the metadata is easy, and the menus and submenus are simple to use and easy to organize. We decided to add the CL-6 accessory because we really liked the large Record and Stop buttons.”

“The sheer number of outputs on the 664 is also a standout feature for us,” adds Joseph. “We have enough flexibility with this single system to send individual signals to the headphones, hopped camera and one signal to me as the wireless boom operator. We also use the AUX sends and talkback intercom during shots. This way, Erik can speak to me without interfering with the take. I like this general flexibility; it feels more like a cart than a portable mixer.” 

The 664 features six low noise, high dynamic range transformer-less preamps that accept mic- or line-level signals and include analog peak limiters, high-pass filters, input trim control and direct outputs on every channel. Direct outputs for input channels 1-6 can be switched to six line inputs (7-12)  for a total of 12 inputs.

The 664 records up to 16 tracks of 16- or 24-bit broadcast WAV files to SD and/or CompactFlash cards. All inputs and outputs are individually selectable for recording, enabling the mixer to record up to 12 ISO and four mix tracks. With its dual card slots, the 664 can record WAV or MP3 content to either or both cards simultaneously, with the added ability to assign different tracks to each memory card.

For applications requiring fader control of inputs 7-12, the available CL-6 Controller adds six dedicated rotary faders with PFL switches. It also offers additional LED output metering and recording transport controls.

Sound Devices

Posted by House Editor on 07/15 at 08:03 AM

Monday, July 13, 2015

Road Test: Audio-Technica System 10 PRO

Checking out a new 2.4 GHz digital wireless microphone system with a unique design...

The new Audio-Technica System 10 PRO digital wireless system (not to be confused with the System 10, released a couple of years ago) offers numerous advanced features, including dual channel units, the ability to remotely locate the receivers/antennas, rack-mounting, and a total of 10 units that can be used together.

A durable metal body, half-rack-sized chassis unit can house two receiver units, and the receivers can also be located up to 328 feet away from the chassis, linked via standard Ethernet cable. Each receiver comes with a remote housing that also allows it to be securely wall mounted. Because the antennas are located on each receiver, this allows the user to place them in an optimal position while securing the chassis in a rack.

In addition, up to five chassis (10 receiver units) can be linked using an included RJ12 cable, creating a multichannel system with simultaneous use of up to 10 channels without the need for frequency coordination or group selection issues.

See it in Action- View the System 10 Pro Video from Audio Technica

The System 10 PRO operates in automatically selected frequencies in the 2.4 GHz ISM band, providing digital 24-bit/48 kHz wireless operation. Every time a receiver/transmitter pair is powered on, they automatically select clear frequencies and also have the ability to change transmitting frequencies automatically during power-up or performance if interference is encountered.

A closer look at the receiver, with antennas attached.

Three levels of diversity assurance are provided: frequency, time, and space. Frequency diversity sends the signal on two dynamically allocated frequencies for interference-free communication. Time diversity sends the signal in multiple time slots to maximize immunity to multipath interference. Space diversity uses two antennas on each transmitter and receiver unit to enhance signal integrity.

Plenty Of Options
Systems are available configured as either single- or dual-channel, and with handheld and belt pack transmitters (or one of each). My test unit was the ATW-1312 package, which includes two ATW-RU13 receivers, and one ATW-RC13 chassis, ATW-T1001 UniPak body pack and ATW-T1002 Unidirectional handheld. Also included are receiver mounting brackets, a joining plate (for dual-channel systems only), an RJ12 cable, an AC adapter, and an AT8456a Quiet-Flex stand clamp for the handheld transmitter.

Out of the box the first thing I noticed is the ruggedness of the dual-receiver chassis. Because it’s a half-rack unit, up to four channels of wireless can now be had in a single rack space. If you’re constantly running out of rack space (like me), that’s a great feature. The receivers easily plug into the chassis, and pop out by pushing a button.

The receivers easily slide in and out of the half-rack chassis.

And as noted earlier, the receivers and their antennas can be remotely mounted with the included holders that are designed to mount to a flat surface like a wall, but I’m sure the more resourceful types among you will have no trouble adapting the housings to fit on a microphone stand or other support. The bottom line is that it’s no problem to mount them for line of sight with the transmitters.

Operating in the 2.4 GHz, there’s no concern about TV station interference or other production wireless systems. Note, however, that routers can generate interference, so it’s best not to locate the receivers within about 30 feet of a wireless access point. 

The ATW-T1001 body pack is light but the plastic body is rugged, taking a pair of AA alkaline batteries. My system was supplied with an MT830cW omnidirectional condenser lavalier mic, with headworn, instrument, and guitar cables also available from A-T. The ATW-T1002 handheld transmitter is also powered with dual AA alkalines. I really like the recessed single switch at the base of the mic in helping to thwart inadvertent muting or turn off.

More Information About the System 10 Pro is Available for Download from Audio Technica
System 10 PRO Literature (pdf 2.83 M)
System 10 PRO Manual (pdf 901.35 KB)

Setting Up
Hooking up the system was a breeze. The rear chassis offers both XLR and 1/4-inch outputs as well as output volume, a ground switch for each channel, and a power supply jack.

There are also jacks for running the receivers remotely and for linking up the units. The very skinny wall-wart power supply does not block adjacent outlets.

The front of the chassis includes a power switch, central screen, pair and ID buttons, and the two docks for the receivers. It was easy to pair the receiver to the mic. Assign the channel an identity from 1 to 10, press the pair button on the receiver, then press the pair button on the transmitter within 30 seconds, and they link. The screen displays RF strength, transmitter battery strength and signal with clip light.

Having evaluated the body pack in a previous Road Test, this time I focused on the handheld transmitter. It’s a nice looking unit with a plastic body, and feels comfortable in the hand. The element is dynamic with a cardioid pattern. The transmitter is rated at 10 mW of output, with battery life for normal usage rated at 7 hours. There’s a window on the side of the body that displays the ID channel as well as LEDs for active (green) and mute (red).

Unscrewing the battery cover reveals the pair button and adjustable input level control. A small screwdriver is provided that stores in the transmitter (same for the belt pack) to adjust the recessed input trim.

The mic sounds very good, with excellent off-axis rejection. While it’s stated as a cardioid, I found the pattern to be a little more narrow, which I like. I tested the range in my shop and had no dropouts even with rows of loaded pallet shelving in between the transmitter and receiver. Satisfied that everything was working correctly, I packed up the system and took it out to a few shows.

Click for a larger look at the System 10 PRO components.

Diverse Applications
First up was a day-long trade expo at a hotel ballroom with a variety of entertainment, including comedians, game shows, solo and duo acoustic artists, and bands. We employed the System 10 PRO as the main announcer mic, also providing it for the comedians and the lead singers of the bands. The mic sounded great no matter who used it, including folks who “cupped” the mic head.

After five hours we still had a bar of battery life left, but swapped in fresh batteries because it was a 10-hour event. A few performers stepped into the audience area in front of the main PA during their sets but there were no issues with feedback. 

Next we utilized the System 10 PRO with a female singer at a fundraising concert. Her repertoire consisted of everything from ballads to show tunes to pop and rock. At sound check it was easy to get a good sound with her voice and it required way less EQ than the hard-wired backup mic placed onstage “just in case.” She commented on the great sound quality, and the RF performance was rock solid.

Finally, we used the system as the primary announcer mic at the Live Sound Loudspeaker Demo at the recent USITT show in Cincinnati, held in a very large ballroom at the downtown convention center. A quick scan of the airwaves showed that the 2.4 GHz spectrum was extremely crowded (like it is at every convention center), so we decided to remotely locate the receiver and antennas a bit closer to where I would be using the mic. The receiver/antenna unit was attached (with gaff tape) to an upright drape pole on an exhibitor’s booth, linked via a 30-foot Cat-5 cable to the chassis at front of house.

We didn’t have any drop-out issues until I was more than 100 feet away from the receiver, which was more than enough distance to walk around the area and present the loudspeakers to the audience. At a standard gig, the receiver would be located next to the stage, with the transmission distance at about 40 feet or so.

Some of the participating manufacturers also used the system during their individual demonstrations, which generated nothing but compliments regarding the sound quality. It’s hard to think of a tougher test for a digital wireless system than operating in a packed downtown convention center with dozens of discerning audio professionals on hand.

So if you’re looking for a versatile wireless system with high sonic quality and solid RF performance, and at a price that won’t break the budget and still capable of problem-free operation after the next round(s) of FCC spectrum auctions, then put the System 10 PRO at the top of your list.

U.S. estimated street prices: $429-$899, depending on configuration.

Find out more about the Audio-Technica System 10 PRO wireless system here.

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

Learn More About the System 10 Pro with this Video from Audio Technica

More Information About the System 10 Pro is Available for Download from Audio Technica
System 10 PRO Literature (pdf 2.83 M)
System 10 PRO Manual (pdf 901.35 KB)

Posted by Keith Clark on 07/13 at 02:03 PM
Live SoundFeatureBlogProductDigitalInterconnectMicrophoneSignalSound ReinforcementWirelessPermalink

Friday, July 10, 2015

DPA Microphones For FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015 Coverage

The d:fine headset microphones were selected for wind and noise rejection as well as versatility for on-screen soccer demonstrations.

The FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015, presented by Fox Sports, drew to a close last weekend, with a total of 26.7 million viewers tuning into the month-long tournament, including Telemundo viewers.

Kicking off studio coverage in Vancouver, the network selected DPA Microphones’ d:fine headset microphones to provide sound for broadcasts from the field and remote studios.

The tournament began on June 6, with the final match taking place on July 5 at Vancouver’s BC Place Stadium where the United States defeated Japan to win the coveted trophy.

Using outdoor remote studios in each of the cities made equipment selection essential.

“The environments that we were inwere very loud, especially at home base, which had an active sea plane terminal directly behind it,” explains Kevin Callahan, Fox Sports technical director, World Cup. “We selected the dual-ear d:fine first and foremost for its excellent wind and noise rejection. The versatility of the mic was also important as there were many instances when the presenters, many of whom are former professional soccer players, would give on-screen soccer demonstrations.”

DPA Microphones

Posted by House Editor on 07/10 at 01:16 PM

Lectrosonics Introduces Wireless Designer Software v1.1

New version is back ported for use with existing venue receivers and offers detailed spectrum scan and frequency coordination.

Lectrosonics announces the availability of the latest version of its Wireless Designer Software, v1.1.

Originally designed to work with the DSW (encrypted) system, the new version is now back ported to allow use with existing Venue receivers and offers a detailed spectrum scan view and frequency coordination page for improved ease of use.

Wireless Designer is a software package developed to enhance setup and operation of studio and rack receiver systems.

The software provides an overall view of Lectrosonics wireless systems, including all receiver mainframes which are connected.

A summary of each channel is displayed with real time indications for essential levels and settings on each installed module within the system. With multiple receivers, the main display window can be scaled and zoomed for the desired viewing, and several color themes are provided.

The Wireless Designer software includes a spectrum scanner and coordination package for ultra-fast and confident setup. The receiver can be tuned across the available bands (via the modules) and presented in a graphic display. The data from the scan can then be incorporated into the frequency calculations for an accurate, real-world channel coordination.

When individual carriers are moved manually, compatibility is instantly recalculated and displayed, including any warnings for potential intermodulation problems or other conflicts. The powerful spectrum scanning and walk test recorder features make site surveys easy.

Three different user-selectable viewing modes are included for daylight, indoor, and dark conditions. All that is required is a PC or Mac running Silverlight (a free download from Microsoft) and a connection via USB or RS-232.


Posted by House Editor on 07/10 at 08:57 AM

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Made In Sud Broadcasts Live With DPA Microphones

All presenters and comedians in the show are delivering their sketches and jokes via d:fine headset microphones.

Made in Sud is a primetime cabaret-style show performed by comedians, which is broadcast live every week from the historical RAI Auditorium, a large theatre in Naples.

With more than 40 artists playing several characters during a three-hour live television show that included at least 120 costume changes, Giacomo Ramaglia, sound engineer and technical and audio management team in RAI’s production division, knew he would need a very durable microphone to cope with such a punishing regime.

Given that the program attracts over 2.5 million viewers every week, sound quality was an important consideration,which is why he chose DPA Microphones’ d:fine Headset Microphones.

“In my opinion, sound quality should always be the first criteria when it comes to choosing a microphone,” Ramaglia says.

“DPA’s d:fines were perfect for this show because they deliver exceptionally high-quality audio. They have proven very robust and reliable, and we are more than happy with their performance. We chose the d:fines for all of the performers and found them very easy to set up, which was another important consideration.”

Ramaglia was familiar with DPA microphones, having used them on previous television projects, but it was the company’s Italian distributor M. Casale Bauer that suggested using the d:fine headset microphone range.

“It made sense because the d:fine headset microphones are extremely durable and easy to fit, and are therefore ideal for fast costume changes,” adds Bauer Product Manager, Salvatore Zocco.“The d:fines are also very comfortable to wear, so we knew the performers would be happy with them.”

DPA Microphones

Posted by House Editor on 07/09 at 08:07 AM
AVNewsAVManufacturerMicrophoneRemoteSound ReinforcementStageStudioWirelessPermalink

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Countryman Microphones Essential To Paradigm Video Productions

The B3 omnidirectional lavalier microphones have become critical tools for wide range of Eric Cosh's projects.

From documentaries and product promotions to wedding videos, Paradigm Video Productions handles a wide range of projects.

The B3 omnidirectional lavalier microphone from Menlo Park, CA-based Countryman Associates has become vital to everything Paradigm Video Productions produces.

Owner Eric Cosh is a filmmaker, photographer, and musician whose artistic career started with the famous New Christy Minstrels vocal group.

In recent years, he has focused his efforts on documentaries.

He recently completed Sammy The Journey, the story of one of the youngest Holocaust survivors, is an insightful look at one of history’s most troubling periods. It is also a wonderful example of Cosh’s detail oriented approach to all his production work.

“I recently purchased two Countryman B3 lavalier microphones after visiting the company’s booth during this year’s NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) show,” Cosh reports.

“In the relatively short time I’ve owned the microphones, they have proven to be invaluable. I used the B3s on two dance videos for a company called Ageless Aerobic Dance, on a promotional video for Alpine Freezer’s yogurt machines, a three series video for a local financial institution, as well as a wedding event in Sedona, AZ.

In each case, my Countryman microphones performed beautifully. I’ve been using the Countryman mics with Sennheiser ew 100 (G2) wireless systems and, together, they make a great wireless microphone setup.”

Cosh discussed those attributes that make the Countryman B3 such a compelling choice for his video work.

“I absolutely love the B3’s wonderful audio quality,” he said. “I’ve been equally impressed with their rugged build and their incredibly small size. These qualities enable me to discreetly place the mic on the talent and get first rate audio performance—without ever having to worry about equipment failure. Since I do so many live events, I only get one shot at getting it right. These mics inspire confidence when your business is location sound.”

When queried about one such project where the Countryman B3s really came through, Cosh offered the following, “For the Ageless Aerobic Dance video, which was shot in the desert, I had to hide the B3 by attaching it to the bra of the dancer so it wouldn’t show. In the past, I always had to worry about interference from the rubbing of the clothing and the resulting microphone noise. With the B3, the audio was crystal clear, even under those conditions.”

For anyone involved in location sound, quality customer support is of paramount importance. Here, too, Cosh has been impressed.

“The reason I decided to purchase the two Countryman B3s was because of my experience with Rosa Pimentel, the manager at Countryman. I figured if company staffers would spend that much time with me before I purchased these microphones, this was the kind of company that I wanted to deal with—and I haven’t been the least bit disappointed.”

In the few months he’s been using his new Countryman microphones, Cosh reports he is very pleased with his purchase.

“I’m extremely satisfied with the results I’m getting with my new Countryman B3s,” he says. “I love the ease of use and confidence I have when using them. One of the things that I find really helpful is the protective case that comes with each unit. I now routinely disconnect my microphones from the transmitter and carefully fold up the mic and place it back in the compartment for the next use. It may seem like a small point, but it promotes careful handling, and that, in turn, results in improved performance from my equipment.”

Countryman Associates
Paradigm Video Productions

Posted by House Editor on 07/07 at 08:50 AM

Friday, July 03, 2015

The Same And Different

Garth Brooks is back.

Following a 13-year hiatus from touring, the Garth Brooks World Tour with Trisha Yearwood has been on the road for several months in support of his latest album, Man Against Machine, continuing on an open-ended basis in selling out arenas across North America.

Prior to announcing his retirement in 2001, Brooks had undoubtedly been the top-selling recording artist on the planet for a decade.

His first album, released in 1989, peaked at number 2 on the U.S. country album chart while reaching number 13 on the Billboard album chart.

Total album sales are now more than 134 million. Meanwhile, co-bill Trisha Yearwood, who wed Brooks in 2005, is a top performer in her own right, with eight number 1 singles and twenty top-10 hits.

Brooks has also been a top draw on the concert circuit, noted for high-energy live performances of his unique traditional country infused at times with pop/rock flair. His recent return to touring picks up where he left off, greeted by packed houses at every stop, including numerous multi-show engagements.

Times Have Changed
As he has since 1989, Brooks’ long-time front of house engineer Dan Heins is providing the artist and band PA mix, while monitor engineer Troy Milner signed on last year after more than a dozen years with Bruce Springsteen. Clair Global is the sound company for the tour.

Things have changed a bit in terms of sound reinforcement technology since the big tours of the 1990s, when both house and monitor desks for Brooks were ATI Paragon analog desks. Now, both Heins and Milner are utilizing DiGiCo SD7s – the first tour ever for Brooks mixed on digital consoles.

Additional modern technology touches can be found in wireless world. The band and Yearwood are outfitted with JH Audio JH16 in-ear monitors fed by Shure PSM 1000 personal monitoring systems. Milner’s also using this combination for himself in the course of providing 16 separate stereo mixes in all. 

Wireless microphone systems for all performers are Shure Axient, including transmitters, receivers and spectrum management working in tandem with the Shure Wireless Workbench 6 platform that also accounts for the wireless PSM 1000 monitoring systems. It makes coordinating the tour’s dozens of frequencies in the increasingly challenging RF environment – particularly present today in metropolitan areas – a much more manageable task for Milner. 

The stage layout on the current tour. (Credit: Steven Wolf)

“I come in every day, set up the antennas, put in my numbers and hit deploy. The program pretty much does it all for me,” he says. “I don’t consider myself an RF guy by any means, but the system works absolutely great. We’re very happy with it.”

Operating in the UHF band, Axient is designed for advanced live concert and event situations, offering comprehensive remote control of all transmitter parameters. Audio is transmitted simultaneously on two independent frequencies, with interference detected in milliseconds. It also provides the ability to continuously monitor, prioritize, queue and assign compatible frequencies.

On stage is a veritable a sea of loudspeakers, including Clair CM22 wedges that Brooks prefers in a big way – to the tune of 44 of them. They’re joined by Cohesion 8 side fills (12 per side) and CP218 subwoofers. “The CM22 is a beast. I’m always amazed at what comes out of that box and how great it sounds,” Milner says. 

Of course, keeping stage levels at the high volume Brooks prefers while maintaining control and delivering quality mixes is a balancing act. “It’s essentially one common stereo mix for all 44 stage monitors, but it keeps me busy, constantly riding the faders to keep each zone hot as he moves around on the stage,” he adds.

Getting Comfortable
A primary factor in the selection of the SD7 consoles is their capacity. For example, Milner is running 140 channels and 68 mixes between floor wedges, side fills, stereo in-ear monitors, and talkback systems.

All processing, EQ and effects are handled by the console, joined by various plug-ins from Waves. “I don’t use a lot of effects or compression on the mixes,” he notes. “We don’t want the band playing off compression.”

At front of house, Heins’ outboard approach is relatively restrained, with a primary goal of keeping Brooks’ vocal on top of the mix.

An SPL Transient Designer 4 processor helps manage dynamics in the mix without affecting loudness, and an SPL De-Esser removes undesired sibilant frequencies without compromising the natural character of vocals. A Summit Audio DCL-200 hybrid compressor/limiter helps keep things clean while lending a touch of tube “warmth.”

The selection of the consoles is also attributed to a newer reason. “The ability to put the DiGiRacks and consoles and everything on one fiber loop was huge for us,” says Heins.

“I switched to the SD7 a few years ago because I needed more ins and outs, and I haven’t looked back,” Milner adds. “Monty Carlo and I moved to the SD7s on Springsteen’s last big tour in 2009 since we had a lot of unknowns about band requirements when we were starting and knew we needed room to grow. I’m glad we made the switch because we added a lot of stuff and it worked out perfectly.”

Front of house engineer Dan Heins at the DiGiCo SD7 that’s replaced the API Paragon analog console he used on the previous tour. (Credit: Steven Wolf)

Reaper is implemented for recording for purposes of virtual sound checks. In addition, Pro Tools receives a multi-track feed in record shows at 96 kHz/24 bit into a set of hard drives that are sent for archiving. 

“There have been some nights when we really paid attention to the recordings and got some amazing material,” Heins notes. “There’s also video being shot on the tour, so it only makes sense to multi-track along with that. It doesn’t take any more time or effort to record, and since the cost is so low, it only makes sense to capture these shows in case something magical happens.”

The Best Fit
Brooks is still using his trademark Crown CM311 headworn condenser microphone that he adopted in the 1990s. Linked to an Axient body pack transmitter, it provides both the vocal presence he and the engineers are seeking while also delivering the feedback rejection required for a show running at high volume. 

Monitor engineer Troy Milner at his beach with DiGiCo SD7 console and Shure wireless behind him. (Credit: Steven Wolf)

“We just haven’t found anything else that works for him the way the CM311 does,” Milner explains. “With the stage volume and crowd noise, it’s the best fit and it sounds good too.”

Yearwood, meanwhile, sings through her preferred mic, a customized Shure SM58 on an Axient handheld transmitter. Background vocals are also primarily handled by SM58 capsules on Axient handhelds.

Kick drum sound is captured with the combination of a Telefunken M82 dynamic with end address design and a Shure BETA 91A half-cardioid condenser. A Telefunken duo of an M81 and M80 (both dynamics) are applied for snare, with Heil Sound PR28 dynamics on toms. Another Shure (KSM137 end address condenser) and Telefunken (M60 FET cardioid condenser) combo handle hi-hat. More M60 FETs are deployed left and right for overheads on the kit.

It’s back to old school on guitar cabinets with Shure SM57s. They’re also applied left-right on the Hammond B3’s Leslie cabinet, joined by a BETA 91A for low frequencies. Bass is taken direct via a Countryman Type 85 DI, and more direct action happens with keyboard and piano with Radial Pro D8, JD6 and JDI boxes.

Unique Perspective
The tour is a beast that harkens back to the epic Brooks tours of a decade-plus ago.

Out front is a large-scale rig capable of delivering 360-degree coverage that includes 40 i218M three-way line array elements and an additional 16 i218-LT long-throw elements and 48 i212 medium format line array cabs. 

Thirty iS218 (dual 18-inch) subwoofers are flown, and if that’s not enough low end, another 16 iS218s are on the floor to further shake the seats.

Lab.gruppen PLM amplifiers (up to 80) with onboard Lake processing deliver the audio power to all loudspeakers.

The system can easily reach levels of 105 dB at front of house. “We’re mixing for some very excited audiences,” Heins states.

“The crowd noise is often as loud or even louder than we’re pushing.”

Heins got his start as a free-lance engineer who first mixed Brooks in 1989. Previously, while working with MD Systems, he was system engineer for acts like the Kentucky Headhunters and Diamond Rio. During the hiatus, he stayed busy working for Clair Brothers Systems out of Nashville, which provides sales and installations.

As noted, Milner was long on the road with Bruce Springsteen (for 13 years, to be specific), and prior to that, he developed his skills with artists such as Backstreet Boys, Sugarland, Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, Sammy Hagar and the Charlie Daniels Band.

A rare time Brooks isn’t singing with his trademark Crown CM311 headworn microphone.

Primarily a front of house engineer, his personality and skills made him a great fit for the hot seat on monitor beach. And he has a unique perspective having mixed monitors for Brooks and Springsteen, two of the biggest and most fan-beloved artists on the planet.

“They’re both amazing artists to work with and they both keep me on my toes,” he says. “Both feed off the crowd and it’s all about the connection with their audiences, and neither one of them follow the set list. The big difference would be that one wears a hat and the other one doesn’t. But on this tour, Garth’s vocal is the show, period. When he plays four notes of a certain song on his guitar, the crowds go through the ceiling. It’s pretty amazing.”

Senior editor .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) has worked in professional audio for more than 20 years in live, install, and recording. Read more of his random rants and tirades here.

Posted by House Editor on 07/03 at 12:28 PM
Live SoundFeatureNewsConcertConsolesDigitalEngineerLine ArrayLoudspeakerMonitoringProcessorSoftwareSound ReinforcementStageSubwooferWirelessPermalink

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Sound Devices Announces SL-6 Powering And Wireless System Now Shipping

The optional SL-6 accessory streamlines linkage between the 688 and wireless by providing tighter integration for up to three dual-channel, slot-in receivers.

Sound Devices announces that the SL-6 powering and wireless system for its 688 mixer/recorder is now shipping.

The optional SL-6 accessory streamlines linkage between the 688 and wireless by providing tighter integration for up to three dual-channel, slot-in receivers. 

When combined with SuperSlot-compatible receivers, the SL-6 offers wireless receiver control and monitoring direct from the 688 mixer, in addition to its power and antenna distribution.

“Representing the next step in a production sound mixer’s approach to wireless audio and control, we are excited that this groundbreaking innovation is now available,” says Paul Isaacs, director of product management and design. 

“We look forward to hearing feedback from our customers in the field, as they start to deploy this new technology for a range of productions.”

The SL-6 easily attaches directly to the 688’s top panel. With its NP1 battery slot, USB charging port, two 12-V isolated outputs and two non-isolated direct battery outputs, the SL-6 is an ideal powering hub for peripheral devices. The SL-6 features Sound Devices’ SuperSlot technology, non-proprietary, open wireless control and interfacing standard. SuperSlot is the result of Sound Devices’ collaboration with a number of leading wireless manufacturers, including Lectrosonics, Sennheiser, Wisycom, and Audio Ltd.

A major evolution for Sound Devices’ mixer and recorder products, the 688 harnesses the best of Sound Devices’ 633, 664 and 788T units.

It comes equipped with such stand-out features as 12-channels of auto-mixing, known as MixAssist, 12-inputs, eight-outputs, digital mixing and routing, 192-kHz sampling, audio delay on both inputs and   outputs, PowerSafe and QuickBoot. 

Sound Devices

Posted by House Editor on 06/30 at 01:05 PM

Monday, June 29, 2015

Redeemer Church Completes Construction With CSI And Ashly Audio

Christian Sound Installation resolves an unfinished integration project with Ashly amplifiers and processing.

Twenty years after its founding, Redeemer Church celebrates the completion of a brand new 16,000-plus square-foot sanctuary, fellowship hall, and classroom complex in its hometown of Riverview, Florida.

Local A/V integration firm Christian Sound Installation specified Ashly Audio network-ready processors and amplifiers, which, together with an Ashly WR-5 remote control, gives the church the ability to conduct full, audio-engineered services or smaller, auto-mixed events, such as weddings or funerals.

CSI picked the project up midway through the design phase when another firm folded, taking the best elements of the existing work and tweaking it for increased integration, impact, and functionality.

Inputs to the system include a large collection of new Shure ULX-D digital wireless microphones and Shure wired microphones, along with various playback devices and other line-level sources.

These feed an Allen & Heath GLD-80 console via an Allen & Heath AR2412 digital snake. An Ashly ne8800 8x8 Protea Matrix Processor takes the console’s outputs for normal, human-mixed services, but it also taps several key microphone inputs from the digital snake.

CSI owner Paul Garner configured an Ashly WR-5 programmable wall-mounted remote control to operate two preset states: Preset 1 mutes the tapped microphone inputs and passes the console output for normal services, and Preset 2 reverses that arrangement for simpler auto-mixed events. The ne8800 also provides loudspeaker processing, a protective brick-wall limiter, and, when in auto-mix mode, intelligent feedback suppressors on each input.

Garner specified three Ashly nXe1.52 dual-channel 1,500W network amplifiers, each of which uses its network-ready feature to reside on a private amplifier network.

“Having the amps on the network makes it simple and convenient to power up and down from front-of-house,” said Garner. “But more importantly, it gives the operator an immediate overview of system performance. They can watch temperatures, along with the input and output levels. That greatly simplifies troubleshooting, heads off problems before they become catastrophes, and generally promotes confidence in the system’s performance.”

CSI installed Electro-Voice EVH horn-loaded loudspeakers for the mains, but ran into a snag with regard to low-end support. Because the sanctuary is inside a pre-fab metal building, weight constraints forced Garner to find a very efficient low-end solution. “The Danley TH-118 has a tremendous amount of high-fidelity output for its size,” he said. “We were able to complement the EVH’s with just a single TH-118 flown above the center of the stage. It’s so efficient, they actually asked us to turn it down a bit from the level we set at commissioning.”

He continued, “All in all, it’s a great system because it has a great signal path that plays well together from start to finish: Shure mics, an Allen & Heath console, Ashly processing and amplification, Electro-Voice loudspeakers, and a Danley sub. No weak links there! In addition to Ashly’s great sound quality – which is hugely important – Ashly also has a proven record of reliability. And that’s ultimately just as important to a successful installation. Redeemer will enjoy continuous, day-in, day-out operation for years and years.”

Ashly Audio
Christian Sound Installation

Posted by House Editor on 06/29 at 12:34 PM
Church SoundNewsAmplifierAVDigitalEngineerEthernetInstallationLoudspeakerMicrophoneNetworkingProcessorSound ReinforcementStageWirelessPermalink

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Voice Of NASCAR Selects Lectrosonics Digital Hybrid Wireless Technology

Motor Racing Network upgrades from bulky belt pack systems to new lightweight units from Lectrosonics.

Motor Racing Network (MRN), known as “The Voice of NASCAR,” provides lap-by-lap coverage of the three top National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing touring series—the Camping World Truck Series, the Xfinity Series and the Sprint Cup Series—to approximately 500 radio stations every week.

To cover the busy race schedule, which runs from February through November, MRN fields three mobile broadcast production vehicles that together carry more than 50 channels of Lectrosonics Digital Hybrid Wireless technology.

“Between the three trucks we have 54 pairs of SMQV transmitters and Venue receivers,” reports Doug Watson, chief engineer of Motor Racing Network, which also maintains production studios at its headquarters in Concord, NC.

When MRN was building its latest truck, which rolled out for the 2014 season, Watson and his crew took the opportunity to also upgrade its Lectrosonics wireless packages for the pit interview and turn calling talent.

Previously, talent was weighed down with a big belt holding a large battery pack and an older, bulkier transmitter. “We found the Lectrosonics SMQVs and discovered they weigh 3.8 ounces with the batteries in them,” he says. “So we took a project box and put nuts and bolts in it until it weighed 3.8 ounces, then we taped it to one of our headsets to see if we could eliminate the equipment belt. Now we clamp the SMQV on the metal band that goes across the back of the headsets, which are supplied by Racing Electronics.”

With the new wireless set-up, even with a spare pair of AA batteries taped to the headband, says Watson, “It’s a lot less weight to carry around. And with the Ultimate Lithium batteries in them they’ll run for seven and a half hours.”

He continues, “On a typical race weekend we have three guys in the pits on wireless, a guy at each end of the track on wireless and we’ll put a crowd microphone out on wireless as well. We also provide wireless pre- and post-race coverage for Sirius XM. Plus, we always program a couple of spares, just in case.” When NASCAR visits the four-mile Road America racetrack in Elkhart, WI, he adds, “We have nine turn positions, so there are 11 Lectrosonics wireless channels out on a weekend like that.”

The pit and turn audio packages may have the SMQV wireless transmitters in common, but the headset styles and applications are very different, Watson explains. “For the pit guys, we come right off the transmitter to a mic cable. They carry around a Sennheiser handheld mic, with an on/off switch, for their interviews and pit calls. For the turn guys, we put a Beyerdynamic mic on a boom attached to the headset, with a push-to-talk switch. As the race comes around they push-to-talk and call the action in front of them.”

The workhorses of MRN’s mobile fleet are two 53-ft. Featherlite trailers, the newest of which is essentially a radio production facility on wheels and is outfitted with primary and secondary studio/control room pairs, an edit suite, work space for the on-air talent, an office and an engineering area, plus kitchen and bathroom amenities. All of the broadcast equipment is networked on an Axia Audio Livewire backbone, which is connected over redundant fiber paths to an Axia node in the racetrack broadcast booth.

“We have a Venue shelf that sits in the booth where we receive all of our pit guys—it’s a straight shot from right above the track,” says Watson. “We run RS-232 over the fiber as well; that’s how we talk to the Venue receivers in the booth.”

Out on the racetrack, the turn talents’ transmitters are running at full power. “I’m sure we stretch them far beyond how they were designed to be used,” laughs Watson. For example, he says, “Daytona is a two-and-a-half-mile track, one mile rim-to-rim, so we’re probably shooting more than a half-mile from the far turn to the truck. A lot of times we have to take a Yagi antenna out and point it at the truck. At our truck we have a pneumatic mast that we put Yagis on, pointed at the turns.”

But as good as the equipment might be, says Watson, “One of the things that make a company great is their service—and the Lectrosonics guys are awesome. We’ve got 54 pairs of wireless, so you’re going to have issues. We send them in, they repair them and get them right back to us. We couldn’t do our job without Lectrosonics.”


Posted by House Editor on 06/24 at 08:17 AM

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Las Vegas Academy Of The Arts Tells A Love Story With DPA Microphones

Theatre students rely on d:screet 4071 miniatures for production of Aida.

DPA Microphones’ d:screet 4071 omnidirectional miniature microphone recently played a big role during the Las Vegas Academy of the Arts (LVA) production of Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida, providing both leads with a comfortable audio solution.

During the three-week run of the musical, students learned how to use the company’s miniature microphone, exposing the theatre department to a behind-the-scenes, first-hand lesson in the simplicity of DPA’s products. 

At LVA, a publicly funded magnet arts school, the curriculum is designed to teach students the focused skills of their chosen major as well as life skills such as time management and leadership, along with academics. 

An average academic year for the theatre program includes three or four main stage and two black-box productions, run nearly entirely by the students. Adjunct faculty member Eric McFall, LVA’s volunteer resident sound designer, has been an advisor of the theatre program since 2006.

When he was presented with the chance to use DPA’s d:screet 4071 on the production of Aida, McFall jumped at the chance to expose the students to the benefits of using DPA mics.

“As an educational institution, we try to put professional products in the hands of the students as much as possible,” says McFall. “So, when the opportunity came along to introduce the students to DPA’s high-end microphones, I knew I had to take it. We take great pride in the fact that we challenge our students to perform at a level well beyond what they thought they could ever accomplish; we treat them like the professionals they will become. Owing to this mindset, all technical and performance operations for Aida were controlled completely by the students. The feedback they had from using the miniatures was extremely positive. DPA is known for being the best in the business, and the d:screet 4071 has proven that it is no exception.”

Small enough to be easily hidden without hindering the audio of a performance, DPA’s d:screet Miniature Microphones are a great fit for young professionals and industry veterans.

“Right out of the gate, it was clear to my lead engineer, who has never had the opportunity to work with DPA before, that we wouldn’t need to be nearly as aggressive on the EQ as we typically are,” adds McFall. 

“With the mics positioned so close to the performer’s mouth, we often run into issues with a nonlinear response. The 4071s, however, didn’t have any feedback problems and allowed us to find an EQ that sounded equally good at the high end as it did at the low end.”

In addition to the technical improvements noted by the lead engineer and students working behind-the-scenes, the aesthetic differences were also noticeable.

“The performances are mostly funded by ticket sales, so we’re used to working with lower budget mics,” continues McFall. “I was impressed by the construction of the 4071’s — they are very well built and the cables are very easy to hide in the costumes.”

McFall began his career in the live audio industry doing corporate events and installation work before he later moved to the touring circuit, working with NETworks Presentations on national tours of Cabaret and RENT. In 2004, McFall took a position with Cirque du Soleil’s “O” at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, where he currently serves as a systems engineer when he’s not volunteering at LVA.  LVA’s theatre season for the 2015/16 school year includes RENT, Footloose, and Crimes of the Heart.

DPA Microphones

Posted by House Editor on 06/23 at 09:38 AM
AVLive SoundNewsAVConcertEngineerManufacturerMicrophoneSound ReinforcementStageWirelessPermalink

New Soundcraft Vi5000 And Vi7000 Digital Consoles Hightlighted At InfoComm 2015

Offer optional 96 kHz processing, upgraded channel counts and more hardware

At the recent InfoComm 2015 show in Orlando, Harman’s Soundcraft showcased t he new Vi5000 and Vi7000 digital consoles, which offer optional 96 kHz processing, upgraded channel counts and more hardware.

The Vi5000 and Vi7000 replace Soundcraft’s Vi4 and Vi6 consoles, delivering technology and feature set improvements while retaining and building on the user interface and sound quality characteristics.

The Vi5000 and Vi7000 provide a choice of compact control surfaces with new local rack and active breakout box hardware, delivering simultaneous mixing of up to 128 inputs and 32 mono/stereo buses with up to 384 inputs and outputs in the I/O system allowing unlimited record feeds from all channels. Sound quality is enhanced with low-noise microphone amplifier designs and enhanced 96 kHz 40-bit floating point digital audio processing, with the digital implementation of the BSS DPR901ii dynamic EQ adding to the channel processing.

Effects contain eight independent Lexicon multi-FX units, and a BSS graphic EQ on every bus output. Both consoles also offer an additional dedicated 64-channel MADI interface for Realtime Rack; a collaboration with Universal Audio that gives users access to UA studio plugins.

Configuration via new encoder assign functions and shortcut keys are joined by a new extension to the Vi’s patent-applied-for VM2 radio microphone status monitoring feature, with Shure ULXD systems now recognized alongside AKG’s DMS800 and WMS4500 systems. The Vi5000 and 7000 consoles have configurable local and Stagebox I/O hardware, with ViSi Connect I/O expansion options available (EtherSound, CobraNet, Dante, MADI, etc.) plus a choice of Cat-5e or optical fiber Stagebox connection to suit budget and cable length. The Vi5000 and Vi7000 also feature the latest 3D Vistonics II and FaderGlow interfaces, plus an improved ViSi Remote iPad control interface completes the package.

“Our Vi4 and 6 consoles have been enormously popular with countless tour sound professionals, as well as theatres, houses of worship, and more,” says Dave McKinney, vice president and general manager, Soundcraft and Studer. “With the introduction of the Vi5000 and Vi7000, we are showing that we’ve listened to our customers and are offering a significant step up with the User Interface features they need and the world-class audio quality and processing tools they expect, so that any engineer can have the very best mixing technology at their fingertips.”


Posted by House Editor on 06/23 at 08:44 AM
AVLive SoundNewsProductConsolesDigitalMicrophoneMixerNetworkingProcessorSoftwareSound ReinforcementWirelessPermalink
Page 21 of 78 pages « First  <  19 20 21 22 23 >  Last »