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Archive for December, 2011

Electrosonic Helps Convey Excitement of Lunar Launch at Apollo/Saturn V Center’s Updated Firing Room Theater

Saturn V

Saturn V

Few people get a chance to relive history, but visitors to the Apollo/Saturn V Center at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex have the opportunity to experience the tension and excitement of NASA’s Apollo 8 lunar launch in the newly refurbished Firing Room Theater. Electrosonic was contracted by executive producer MAYAD (My Design Inc.) of Orlando, Florida, to design the show control and AV equipment installation, integrate show systems between the control room and supplied lighting and effects systems, and program all new and existing show components.

Visitors to the 100,000 square-foot Apollo/Saturn V Center get an inside look at what it was like to be part of the Apollo firing room during the Dec. 21, 1968 countdown of the first manned vehicle to orbit the moon. The sense of being part of history commences in the bus entry area where Electrosonic programmed a new countdown and messaging Reader Board that gives visitors information about show times and fun facts about space as music of the era plays on 14 Klipsch CA-525T speakers.

The pre-show film, documenting the struggles and triumphs of the space race, is displayed on a trio of 90×120 inch Da-Lite screens by three Christie LX505 video projectors; new audio gear includes 14 Contractor series 70-volt JBL speakers and four JBL AC2212 point source speakers. A large mural of Apollo 8 blasting off into space has been restored and lighting effects now dissolve clouds over the upper portion of the mural.

When the pre-show ends, the doors in front of the audience slowly open to reveal the Firing Room with streams of blue light slashing through banks of monitors.

The theater, which seats 400, simulates the final three-minute countdown sequence of the Apollo 8 launch. A stage recreates the actual Firing Room with chairs and jackets naming those companies present on the historic day. Large monitors and a countdown clock surround the stage.

A video narrator explains that the audience is about to witness the last minutes leading up to Apollo 8′s historic lift off, the most-watched event of its time. Hundreds of colored buttons blink on the consoles recreating the status of the mission. Upper status board indicators are illuminated on either side of the audience to reveal Ground Station and rocket status. Three rear-projection screens in front of the audience, fed by three Christie DS+6K-M projectors, come to life with archival footage of the launch. Real audio of the countdown is heard over JBL AM 5215 and six JBL AC2212 point source speakers in the consoles and two EAW SP528 subwoofers synchronized to the clock. The newly added benches give the audience a special “butt-shaker” effect for the blast off!

When the main show concludes, the side doors silently open and visitors exit to the centerpiece of the attraction: a giant floor mounted Saturn V rocket spanning the entire length of the building.

Electrosonic was tasked with removing outdated control products for the Firing Room Theater that ran on discontinued and unsupported Windows platforms. The company installed a new control system integrating existing Allen Bradley PLC equipment with an AMX media controller.

The upgrade also replaced individual single-channel MPEG players with Alcorn McBride SD Binloops, which occupy less real estate and feature Compact Flash media storage.

Control room equipment was reduced from six racks to three. Equipment was chosen to match gear in other Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex installations to minimize the need for replacement spares and technician training. It included Alcorn McBride SD Binloops, Crown CTs series amplifiers, NION nX audio processing, AMX NI series control gear, Christie video projectors, and JBL and EAW speakers.

New media was installed to improve the transitions between the pre-show area and the main show theater. Automated announcements were incorporated to improve show quality and intelligibility while visitors move around the facility.

Using the show timing extracted from the previous show control system, the new AMX software was programmed using multiple timelines to automate audio control, media playback control, lighting triggers, console simulation lighting triggers, and physical effects triggers for the blast shield and new bench-shaker effects. The AMX system also acts as the watchdog, which monitors the projector and monitor status, building power and UPS status. The fire alarm and show stop systems were maintained on the main PLC with two-way communications to the AMX.

LCD monitors provide ingenious continuous open-captioning playback. On the pre-show area’s monitor, which is hung behind the center projection screen with only the lower-third visible, the captioning text is played on a video channel through the monitor in a standard two-line format.

In the theater, two 16:9 captioned monitors are mounted in the front handrails. The video on the screen duplicates the center video projection with captioning visible in a window under the image for an intriguing and space-efficient solution.

Throughout the project, Electrosonic was faced with a number of technical challenges. “Some of the equipment was a little hard to find,” says project manager Dee Rowat. “We had to find very small black-and-white monitors that could slide into the consoles onstage. The large hanging TVs are no longer available because the CRT glass is now out of production.”

Many of the 50 9-inch CRT monitors used in the theater were in poor shape and needed to be replaced, she adds. “Finding manufacturers and available stock was a purchasing and project management challenge. Then identifying the worst of the remaining monitors and adjusting them to match the new ones was time consuming.”

The existing subwoofers were installed in such a way that they shook components off of the small CRT monitors in the control consoles. Chris Hartwell, part of Electrosonic’s project team, adds, “There was considerable maintenance expense to keep the monitors running. The new subwoofer installation used fewer drivers and physically isolated the boxes from the suspended floor in the console space to avoid direct vibration to the CRTs and their internal components. Not only is the low frequency better controlled, it makes more of an impact on the audience and causes less damage to the sensitive components just feet away from the drivers.”

Communication between the AMX and the six PLCs in the building also demanded a lot of attention. “In a previous installation at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, we used a serial to DH+ converter to make this connection between an AMX and a single PLC,” says Hartwell. “Talking to multiple PLCs involved a more structured and carefully timed approach to avoid buffer overload on the converter.”

The Firing Room Theater has taken out a maintenance contract with Electrosonic to protect its investment in and expand the lifespan of Electrosonic’s AV systems solution. The company provides a wide range of service solutions including on-site staff, priority repair, preventative maintenance and projector lamp replacement.

If the successful refurbishing of the Firing Room Theater wasn’t enough, the Electrosonic team happened to be on site during the final rollout of the space shuttle Discovery to its launch pad. They were also there to witness the final launch of this orbiter and celebrated with VIP guests.

Mike Yager is the principal at MAYAD; Doug Wohlert is Manager of Project Management at Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts at Kennedy Space Center, Inc. Electrosonic’s salesperson for the project was Toni Losier.

About Electrosonic
Electrosonic is an international AV company with a strong reputation for working on complex projects, both large and small, and has through its 47 year history developed lasting partnerships with customers and suppliers. Electrosonic brings a unique breadth of experience to each project; backed by solid engineering skills, project management and quality production facilities. Beyond complete integrated systems, Electrosonic can provide a wide range of services including technical design, maintenance and operational support.

Learn more about Electrosonic. Visit http://www.electrosonic.com

About Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex opens at 9 a.m. Closing times vary by season. The Visitor Complex is open daily except December 25 and certain launch days. Admission includes the Kennedy Space Center Tour, Shuttle Launch Experience, 3D IMAX(r) space films, Astronaut Encounter, STAR TREKTM LIVE, Exploration Space: Explorers Wanted and all exhibits. Admission also includes the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame(r), featuring historic spacecraft and the world’s largest collection of personal astronaut memorabilia, open from noon until 6:00 p.m. daily. Parking, wheelchairs, strollers and pet kennels are free of charge. Admission is $43 + tax for adults and $33 + tax for children ages 3-11. The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Commander’s Club Annual Pass is $56 + tax for adults and $46 + tax for children ages 3-11. For more information, call 877-313-2610 or visit www.KennedySpaceCenter.com.

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ALTINEX INTRODUCES TP115-201/202 TWISTED PAIR TRANSMITTER/RECEIVER

Brea, CA – December 2011… Altinex, a leading manufacturer of Signal Management Solutions®, is pleased to announce the introduction of the TP115-201/202 Video+Audio+IR+RS-232 To Twisted Pair Transmitter/Receiver. The ideal solution for transmitting video (computer or component), stereo audio (analog or digital), RS-232, and IR signals over a single Twisted Pair-type (CAT-5) cable, the Altinex TP115-201/202 Transmitter/Receiver enable AV integrators to take advantage of existing cable infrastructure to contain costs while providing an effective means of distributing these signals up to 300 feet, making these units a great choice for conference facilities, lecture halls, presentation spaces, and similar venues. more

ToolsOnAir Releases just:play and just:live v1.6

Vienna, Austria – November 2011…..  ToolsOnAir, creators of innovative QuickTime-based applications for broadcast video production professionals, has announced the release of version 1.6 of their play out products just:play and just:live.

Part of ToolsOnAir’s acclaimed Broadcast Suite of video production tools, just:play and just:live v1.6 offers a host of new features and enhancements that take the concept of TV Station in a Mac even further.

Included in the version 1.6 update is full support for Mac OS 10.7 (Lion), as well as support for Apple’s Mac Mini. As ToolsOnAir Director of Marketing Gilbert Leb explains, “With Apple’s recent integration of Thunderbolt technology and the increased processing power of all Mac models, the concept of ‘TV Station in a Mac Mini’ is now fully viable. Using video hardware such as AJA’s IO XT Box or Black Magic Designs’ Ultrastudio 3D, it is now possible to implement a truly professional grade broadcast facility, delivering playout automation, real-time graphics and router control in a single Mac Mini with a mere 85 Watts of power consumption. Our customers are now looking at implementing literally dozens of channels – with redundant backups – using minimal space and resources.”

ToolsOnAir’s just:play and just:live v1.6 now offer real time aspect ratio conversion, automatically detecting different aspect ratios and converting the files to match playout format. In addition, the user can override the preset selection for each clip individually. For frame accurate play out, the internal time used for scheduling and playing out can now be synchronized to an LTC signal.

Also supported is playlist within playlist functionality, where saved playlists can be dragged and dropped into a previously scheduled playlist.

Advanced native router control for external interfacing and control including routers from AJA, BM, Harris, Kramer and other manufacturers, GPI control of external devices and control of just:live as a server application over the VDCP standard.

“This latest update is yet another step in ToolsOnAir’s ongoing pursuit of offering a complete, powerful, end-to-end solution for multi-camera ingest, editing and automated playout, integrating live graphics feed and more,” says Leb.

For more information, visit www.toolsonair.com

 

Antelope Audio Names Vintage King Audio “Dealer of the Year” for its Pro Audio Category

Santa Monica, Calif., December 19, 2011 — Antelope Audio has named Ferndale, Michigan-based Vintage King Audio its 2011 Dealer of the Year, Pro Audio. Vintage King was recognized for its outstanding sales performance, customer support and overall product knowledge of Antelope Audio’s master clocks and digital to analog converts (DACs).

“We are pleased to present Vintage King with our Dealer of the Year award in the Professional Audio category,” commented Marcel James, Director of Sales for Antelope Audio. “Since its founding in 1988, Vintage King has been an essential resource for the pro audio community, serving the market with not only the best products but also an incredibly knowledgeable staff. In 2011, they have done a fantastic job with Antelope Audio’s products — particularly with our Trinity and 10M clocks.”

“We are proud to have won Antelope Audio’s Dealer of the Year award,” said Jeffrey Ehrenberg, West Coast Sales Manager for Vintage King Audio. “Our goal is to supply our customers with the best audio gear in the world, and we believe that Antelope Audio’s Trinity/10M combination is the best word clock in the world. I let people audition this unit, and it kind of sold itself. I have had Grammy award-winning engineers say that it has made a remarkable difference, making their mixes more lifelike.”

Trinity/10M: A winning combination and category-leading features
Antelope Audio’s Trinity features sophisticated varispeed functionality, the ability to simultaneously generate up to three separate word clock signals of sampling rates up to 384Khz, as well as three discrete HD video signals and standard definition video. The Trinity also features 64-bit Acoustically Focused Clocking, which allows for even greater detail and frequency response. By adding the Isochrone 10M Atomic Clock, users can attain an even more accurate clocking reference, ‘supercharging’ the already outstanding qualities of the Trinity.

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Antelope Audio Names Sound Science Dealer of the Year in its Consumer Audio Category

Santa Monica, Calif., December 19, 2011 — Professional and audiophile gear manufacturer Antelope Audio named Castle Rock, Colorado-based Sound Science its 2011 Dealer of the Year for outstanding sales performance, customer support and overall product knowledge of its product line of digital to analog converters (DACs).

“We are pleased to recognize Sound Science as Dealer of the Year in the Consumer Audio category,” commented Marcel James, Director of Sales for Antelope Audio. “In 2011, Sound Science delivered very impressive sales results on our Zodiac product line, while introducing many music lovers to the Antelope Audio brand. We are thrilled to have Sound Science carrying our products and we are pleased to be playing an important part in their business”

“It is a great honor to be recognized by Antelope Audio in this way,” commented Neal Van Berg, owner of Sound Science. “When I first listened to the Zodiac, I was taken aback. The Zodiac is more musical than other DACs on the market and is also very competitively priced. It is an easy sale and it sounds great.”

Unprecedented detail for listeners

The Antelope Audio Zodiac DACs help music affectionados experience a new level of detail, sound clarity and warmth. Featuring a plug and play interface that connects seamlessly to a Mac, PC or just about any other digital media source, Zodiac DACs deliver up to 384kHz resolution audio, dramatically improving the listening experience on both loudspeakers and headphones. Antelope’s proprietary clocking technology, which is shielded from other electronic components to maintain a consistent temperature, is at the core of the Antelope sound and results in astounding accuracy, dynamics and stereo placement of the audio.

Zodiac DACs are particularly attractive also to audio consumers who use headphones, being designed for precise monitoring with a wide range of headphone impedance. Ultra linear, dual stage headphone amplifiers, which are controlled by a dedicated volume knob deliver smooth sound at both high and low levels.

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Listen Technologies Announces New 2012 North American Dealer Price Catalog

Listen Technologies announces the release of its annual dealer price catalog for 2012. The catalog offers all Listen solutions including the new Wireless Listening systems designed to meet the 2010 ADA requirements. The catalog also includes the new Wireless Conferencing solution and a lower price on the CDS 4000 Discussion systems which has become a solid “go to product” for many rental partners.

Bluffdale, Utah, USA — Listen Technologies Corporation announced the release of its 2012 dealer price catalogs. The Listen dealer catalogs have become an important tool to many dealers who offer Listen solutions for Assistive Listening, Tour Group, Language Interpretation, Soundfield and Conferencing.

In an effort to meet the needs of all Listen dealers the catalog is offered in many versions including hard copy and electronic. The electronic versions are available in PDF (shareable and interactive), Excel or the InfoComm E-Zip Excel standard. To understand what the E-Zip standard is reference http://www.listentech.com/blog/infocomm-ezip-format/

Listen’s preferred method of providing pricing to dealers is via customizable quotes. Listen has established a high standard for responding to inquires and can proudly state that 99% of quotes are sent within 30 minutes or less of their being requested. These requests should be sent to sales@listentech.com.

“When we have the opportunity to provide a customized quote for our dealers, we are able to guarantee the pricing for a longer period of time, we ensure that nothing is missed on the recommendation ensuring the dealer has everything required to complete a project and we are able to build a closer relationship with our dealers.” said Cory Schaeffer, Listen’s Vice President of Sales Worldwide. “The most successful dealers for Listen are those that we customize quotes for on a regular basis. We are able to learn more about them and their clients and this helps us know their verticals better. We then know who best to forward Listen leads to and it helps us understand how our solutions are being used which helps everyone.”

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Compact Manhattan Pub Gets Big Sound with Renkus-Heinz

New York, NY – December 2011… The Pig ‘n’ Whistle in midtown Manhattan is typical of many of the area’s taverns. What the narrow storefront space lacks in width, it more than makes up for in depth and height, spanning two floors and extending far to the back of the building it occupies.

“It’s only about 25 feet wide, but it’s more than 75 feet deep, and there’s an open veranda and dining area upstairs, with a high open ceiling,” says Rich Trombitas of Cornwall-based Cardone Solomon & Associates Inc.

“It’s a beautiful place,” says Trombitas. “The architecture is just stunning, the finish and detail looks wonderful. But sonically it’s very challenging. The stage is located on the second level, and particularly on Friday and Saturday nights when they have Irish bands and DJs in there, the noise level can be a real challenge.”

The main floor is served by three wall-mounted TRX82 two-way cabinets per side, with low frequency coverage augmented by a PNX212 subwoofer mounted in a closet, as well as an SGX-12S sub concealed at the end of a banquet seating area. The second level veranda and dining area is covered by six SGX61 compact two-way boxes, with a second SGX12S sub. The system was installed by Rego Park, NY-based Starview Satellite.

The system design was further complicated by architectural changes during the construction phase that limited the number of viable locations for speaker mounting. “We were originally going to go with six TRX81 cabinets per side, but we replaced them with three of the TRX82s,” says Trombitas. “It’s a longer cabinet, with two 8-inch woofers. They turned out to be perfect for the application, because you’ve got 120 degree coverage that’s uniform throughout the entire listening area. You can walk all the way from the front to the back and the coverage is nice and even.”

Despite the architectural challenges, Trombitas says the end result was a great success. “The owners love the system,” he says. “They’re getting good quality background music during the day, and high-impact performance with great vocal sound at night for DJs and live shows. It sounds great on both floors, with no feedback issues.”

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Greater Beth-El Temple Renovates with Iconyx IC Live

Omaha, NE – December 2011… The restoration of Omaha’s Greater Beth-El Temple is complete after a June 2008 arson fire set by mischievous neighborhood youths that nearly destroyed the Apostolic Christian church, popular among Omaha’s African-American community. The congregation was forced to relocate while the temple underwent a complete renovation. Left virtually an empty shell after the fire, the building required new floors, a ceiling, a stage, seating, and numerous other necessities including a sound system.

Greater Beth-El services include a full musical ensemble playing contemporary Christian and gospel music. Theatrical performances and concerts are also regular events at the temple. According to John Manhart of Direct Pro Audio LLC, the contractor who designed and installed Greater Beth-El’s new audio system, low profile looks combined with large sound capability were paramount in selecting the new system.

“Greater Beth-El needs a sound system that blends well aesthetically with the temple’s décor but still provides enough output to handle their sound requirements,” explains Manhart. “They want to avoid big hanging speaker boxes that might block the view of their stage backdrop and projection screen.”

Direct Pro Audio opted to install an Iconyx IC Live Digitally Steerable Array System by Renkus-Heinz. IC Live’s slim profile and customized color make it virtually disappear into the wall, a major factor in its selection.

The installed system includes two ICL-FR-DUAL loudspeakers, each with 16 drivers per side. The loudspeakers have been custom-painted to blend almost seamlessly into the temple’s stage area and are mounted permanently on both walls flanking the stage. Two IC Live sub-woofers are tucked into a nook just below the speakers.

Other system components include a Roland M-300 digital mixing console and a variety of Audix wired and wireless mics.

The renovated temple has seating for approximately 600, but a moveable air wall located in the rear of the temple allows them to accommodate up to 800 people when necessary.

Reports Manhart, “The IC Llive system is low profile, custom painted to match the décor, and has great quality sound output. Nothing else on the market can really do that.”

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Community Announces Promotions in Sales and Marketing

Steve Goodwin

Chester, PA – December 2011….. Community Professional Loudspeakers has announced several promotions within the company’s Sales and Marketing division.

Steve Goodwin has been promoted to the position of Latin America Sales Manager. In addition to his current responsibilities as Marketing Services Manager, Goodwin will now handle all sales for Central and South America and the Caribbean, investigating new distributors and driving increased sales in those territories.

Julie Henn

Julie Henn has been appointed to the post of Senior Sales Associate. Henn’s new duties will include overseeing both inside sales operations and customer service within the company’s Inside Sales Department.

And LizAnne McConlogue has been promoted to the position of Inside Sales Administrator. In her new post, McConlogue will be responsible for order processing and customer service for domestic and international export accounts.

LizAnne McConlogue

“We are very happy to congratulate Julie, Steve and LizAnne on their new positions,” said Community’s Director of Sales and Marketing, Julia Lee. “Community has always been fortunate to have an exceptional degree of loyalty and longevity amongst our employees, with the majority of our people having been with us for many years. It’s a true pleasure to watch people ascend within the company, and to reward their hard work and dedication.”

Henn, McConlogue and Goodwin will all continue to be located at the company’s headquarters in Chester, PA.

 

 

Alcorn McBride Inc. Announces New Distributor in Canada

Randal Tucker and Larry Howard

Randal Tucker and Larry Howard

Alcorn McBride, the leading manufacturer of show control and A/V equipment for themed entertainment appoints SF Marketing (SFM) to expand their sales and support network in Canada. Effective immediately, SFM is the exclusive distributor for Alcorn McBride products in Canada.

“The Canadian market is important to us and we felt the need to establish a local presence to better serve our customers, as Canada is an expansive country.” said Jeremy Scheinberg, COO. “We looked for a company that would be an extension of our brand, delivering the same level of service and support our customers expect from Alcorn McBride. After spending significant time with the SFM Sales and Technical Teams, we are confident we found a company that matches our stringent criteria.”

Alcorn McBride products will compliment SFM’s current suite of brands including Shure, QSC, and Symetrix. With 28 full-time sales associates, 4 certified technicians, and 10 customer service representatives, SFM is well equipped to provide sales, distribution, and service for Alcorn McBride’s full product line.

“Alcorn McBride products are innovative and well-known in the industry,” said Randal Tucker, COO of SFM. “We’re excited to partner with a leading brand that offers unique value to our customers, and that in conjunction with our other brands allows us to offer a complete multimedia solution for many entertainment applications.”

About SFM:
SFM has been providing professional-quality products and services to the live entertainment and audiovisual industries since 1978. Headquartered in Montreal, the company has sales offices across Canada, and provides education, training, and technical support from coast-to-coast.
About Alcorn McBride:
Founded in 1986, Alcorn McBride is the leading manufacturer of show control, audio and video equipment for the themed entertainment industry, and a rapidly growing provider of audio and video systems for retail environments and transportation applications. Staffed by some of the industry’s best engineers and backed by outstanding customer support, the company has demonstrated great agility in bringing new designs to market. A hallmark of Alcorn McBride products is their durable, zero maintenance design. The company’s products provide consistent, reliable operation for audio and video playback applications worldwide. Alcorn McBride appears in the 2011 Inc 5000 list of fastest-growing private companies in the USA. For more information, visit www.alcorn.com.

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Stay up to date on the latest technology news. Select press representatives post company news several times a day. Check back often to get the latest news on product releases, mergers and acquisitions, and product applications. To be included in this virtual press conference, please contact The Wire.

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