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Archive for May, 2012

WORXAUDIO TECHNOLOGIES DEPLOYED AT FIRST CHRISTIAN CHURCH

**** Photo: First Christian Church’s sanctuary ****

Venice, FL – May 2012… With three services each Sunday—two of which are contemporary in nature— First Christian Church has a vibrant worship program that caters to a diverse congregation. After enduring lackluster performance from their sound reinforcement system for far too long, the decision was made to upgrade their sanctuary’s facilities. Seeking a new system capable of delivering a high level of speech intelligibility and first-rate music reproduction, they ultimately resolved their sound system shortcomings by installing a new setup drawn from the TrueLine catalog of Greensboro, NC-based WorxAudio Technologies. more

Toshinaer Outdoor Weatherproof HDTV Line Now Shipping

Currently Available in 42- and 52-Inch LCD and 60-Inch LED Screen Sizes, Toshinaer’s HDTVs Resist the Elements, Allowing Residential and Commercial Customers the Ultimate Outdoor Viewing Option

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif., May 7, 2012 — Toshinaer, manufacturer of premium outdoor LCD and LED HDTVs that serve the commercial and residential markets, is proud to announce that its (N42) 42- and (N52) 52-inch LCD screens and (N60) 60-inch LED screen are now shipping.

“Taking the party, or your business message, outside has never been easier,” said Ryan Moodley, Toshinaer president. “Toshinaer uses high quality panels made by name brand manufacturers. There is a photo cell in each unit so that when the sun hits our units, it brightens up the LCD. And when it is dark, it automatically dims down the LCD so that you have the proper amount of light coming from the flat panel. And, we use powder-coated military grade aluminum which endures the elements, including rain, snow, humidity, dry heat, and freezing temperatures.”

And, according to Moodley, the 60-inch N60 full back-lit outdoor LED (2000 nit) model is the only one of its kind in the marketplace as all other LEDs are edge lit. Made from the ground up, all three models are also the lightest aluminum TVs in the marketplace.

Additional specifications include:
• Full 1080p high definition resolution
• Marine-grade speakers
• Thermostat-controlled internal cooling system
• Specially coated internal components protect from moisture
• IR discrete, IR repeater, IR-plug-in
• Front and back IR windows
• RS232 (standard)
• Fiber optic audio out
• IP65
• MSRP: N42: $4,599.99; N52: $8,599.99; N60: $25,999.99

Besides residential use, such as on patios and in the back yard, Toshinaer outdoor weatherproof LCD HDTVs are perfect for commercial applications such as amusement parks, concert venues, race tracks, sports arenas/stadiums, outdoor exhibitions, restaurants, bars, hotels, and more.

According to Moodley, the outdoor market is in need for not only an outdoor unit that is both reliable and affordable, but can be used for both residential and commercial purposes and be purchased through reliable channels.

“That’s why we have chosen to begin distributing our line through a secure network of online authorized dealers,” explained Moodley. “With our dealer network in place, Toshinaer.com will steer the customer in the right direction once they choose the model that best fits their needs.”

Toshinaer also offers accessories, such as dust covers and mounting solutions.

For more information, including finding a dealer near you, please visit www.toshinaer.com or call 714-702-5966.

About Toshinaer
Toshinaer, based in Huntington Beach,, Calif., strives to be the leader in rugged yet affordable outdoor AV technology. Outdoor residential and commercial entertainment used to be a very concerning and expensive project due to the threat of unpredictable weather. High definition TVs used outdoors had to be utilized under canopies or other types of overhangs, but that still did not always protect them from cold, heat, wind, and dust. Toshinaer TVs now allow homeowners and businesses to break free from the hassle, excessive expense, and these constant concerns thrown at them by Mother Nature.

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HARMAN’s Crown Audio Begins Shipping I-Tech 4x3500HD DriveCore(tm) Multichannel Power Amplifiers

ELKHART, Indiana – HARMAN’s Crown Audio today began shipping its new flagship I-Tech HD 4x3500HD DriveCore(tm) Series 4-channel power amplifier. The 4-channel I-Tech 4x3500HD incorporates Crown’s sixth-generation Class I engine with DriveCore(tm) technology to deliver 3,500 watts per channel burst into two ohms, and offers a host of Crown’s most advanced features including a 4.3-inch TFT LCD with capacitive touchscreen, exclusive HARMAN HiQnet System Architect(tm) 2.0 control functionality and V5 DSP preset support for JBL Professional’s newly-launched VTX Series V25 plus VERTEC(r) Series line array loudspeakers.

The Crown I-Tech 4x3500HD delivers 1,900 watts per channel into eight ohms, 2,400 watts per channel into four ohms and a massive 4,800 watts into eight ohms bridged with all channels driven at full bandwidth all from an amplifier that measures just 2U rack spaces high. This remarkable power to size ratio is made possible by Crown’s exclusive DriveCore amplifier IC chip. The DriveCore chip combines the amplifier driver stage into the power output stage (along with additional audio-signal functions), to dramatically reduce overall size and power-consumption requirements and yield energy-efficient operation that conforms to HARMAN International’s GreenEdge(tm) environmental initiative.

“The I-Tech 4x3500HD DriveCore Series sets a new benchmark in control, connectivity, DSP and system interfacing capabilities for professional high-power multichannel amplifiers,” said Brian Pickowitz, Market Manager, Tour Sound for Crown. “We are confident customers will immediately recognize the distinct benefits of a true 4-channel solution that this amplifier offers for a wide range of live sound and fixed installation applications.”

The I-Tech 4x3500HD provides an ideal real-world solution with its four analog inputs, four AES3 digital inputs and four AES inputs over VDrive and the ability to select four CobraNet(r) inputs. The amplifier also includes SpeakON or banana plug speaker connectors, as well as a Neutrik(r) PowerCON AC input connector to prevent the power cord from coming loose in transit.

The Crown I-Tech 4x3500HD provides more DSP sound-tailoring capability than any other amplifier on the market. Its proprietary BSS OmniDriveHD processing engine employs 32bit/192kHz A/D and D/A converters for superb sonic clarity and the ability to precisely tailor the amplifier’s audio output. Crown’s exclusive linear phase FIR and IIR filters provide optimized loudspeaker crossover points with improved midrange clarity and off-axis loudspeaker response.

The amplifier is compatible with the HARMAN HiQnet System Architect and JBL HiQnet Performance Manager(tm) sound reinforcement system design software. The inclusion of JBL VERTEC V5 DSP preset tunings for VERTEC Series loudspeakers interface with the I-Tech 4x3500HD’s FIR filters to improve the loudspeakers’ sound quality and horizontal coverage performance. For enhanced control and monitoring capabilities the amplifier is also compatible with the Powered By Crown iPad/iPhone application.

The I-Tech 4x3500HD incorporates a host of additional useful features including Crown’s innovative LevelMax(tm) limiter technology that combines the operation of the amplifier’s Peak, Thermal and RMS limiters for more effective protection; and a front-panel USB port that enables users to load preset amplifier settings or device files and update firmware.

HARMAN HiQnet(tm) is the world’s first connectivity and control protocol that integrates all product categories in the signal chain for professional audio systems of all types, size, and applications. HARMAN HiQnet no longer requires the user to manage multiple disparate operating systems or be responsible for programming individual signal processors, speaker controllers, wireless microphone systems, and mixing consoles. HiQnet was developed by engineers from across HARMAN’s Professional Division and is coordinated by the System Development and Integration Group (SDIG), a team of dedicated systems specialists based in Salt Lake City, Utah.

HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of audio and infotainment solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets – supported by 15 leading brands, including AKG(r), Harman Kardon(r), Infinity(r), JBL(r), Lexicon(r) and Mark Levinson(r). The Company is admired by audiophiles across multiple generations and supports leading professional entertainers and the venues where they perform. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of about 13,000 people across the Americas, Europe and Asia, and reported net sales of $4.3 billion for the twelve months ended March 31, 2012.

NanoLumens Expands U.S. Production Capacity To Meet Rapidly Growing Market Demand

NanoLumens®, the pioneering Norcross, Georgia-based company that introduced the world’s first large format flexible LED display technology, today announced that it has entered into a manufacturing agreement with a Georgia based company that will enable it to cost-effectively meet the rapidly growing market demand for its revolutionary line of flexible and fixed LED displays.

According to NanoLumens President & CEO, Rick Cope, the company has entered into a contract manufacturing agreement with PartnerTech AB, the owner and operator of an ISO 9001 Certified United States manufacturing center in Lawrenceville, Georgia. PartnerTech AB, headquartered in Vellinge, Sweden, develops and manufactures products on behalf of leading businesses in the Defense and Maritime, Industry, Information Technology, MedTech & Instrumentation, CleanTech and Point of Sale industries. PartnerTech provides its clients with production expertise across the entire life cycle of a product, along with leading edge skills in electronics, mechanics and systems integration. The company employs approximately 1,300 people at plants in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Poland, the UK, and the United States.

“PartnerTech is a world-class contract manufacturer that has a demonstrated track record of working successfully with rapidly growing technology companies,” Cope said today. “We believe that the combination of their expertise in electronics, systems integration, and manufacturing and our proprietary technology will enable NanoLumens to cost-effectively meet the growing market demand for our innovative LED flexible and fixed signage solutions. At the same, the demand for our signage solutions will ensure that more jobs are created and maintained here in the United States.”

NanoLumens displays are extremely slim, ultra-lightweight, energy efficient, and feature a seamless, edge-to-edge picture quality (up to a brightness of 5,000 nits) that can be viewed from any angle or any distance without color shift or picture drop-off. The company’s patented display technology, which allows customers to select from 4mm up to 10mm pixel pitch (depending on the model), promises to transform the way marketers engage their customers in every type of trade show, retail, hospitality, stadium, arena, transportation and public event environment.

NanoLumens displays are designed and engineered with the environment in mind, and consume significantly less energy per square foot than conventional digital displays. Further emphasizing their commitment to eco-friendly technology, NanoLumens displays are composed of up to 50% reclaimed materials, and are completely recyclable. What’s more, some NanoLumens displays can be serviced from the front, making maintenance easier than ever before possible.

Designed and assembled in the United States, NanoLumens displays are available in both flexible and fixed frames in five product lines: NanoFlex™, NanoFlex Wrap, and NanoFlex Ribbon flexible displays; NanoSlim™ fixed rectangular displays; and NanoShape™ fixed round, square, and triangular displays.

The company’s technology has been recognized by Entrepreneur magazine as a 2011 future-proof tech trend and was cited by The Wall Street Journal in its 2010 Technology Innovations Awards. NanoLumens’ technology also received the 2011 Breakthrough Technology of the Year Award at the American Technology Awards. Digital Signage Magazine awarded the NanoLumens NanoFlex a 2011 DIGI Award for “Best New Display Device – Non-LCD or Plasma”.

About NanoLumens:
Headquartered in Norcross, Georgia, NanoLumens, Inc. (http://www.nanolumens.com) is a privately held corporation engaged in the research, product development, marketing and sales of unique flexible and fixed displays that address a yawning technology gap in the $14 billion digital display industry. Since its founding in 2006, NanoLumens has built a portfolio of more than 20 international families of issued and filed patents on its flexible display technology that effectively address the commercial market void between relatively small flat-panel displays and huge, limited application LED boards. NanoLumens technology is not constrained by standard sizes and shapes, or by the weight, noise and cost issues traditionally associated with commercial LED products.

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Valparaiso, Indiana’s The Alley Recording Company Stands Above the Pack with Help from GC Pro

— Chief engineer and co-partner Marc Nelson keeps the overhead low in small-city Indiana, offering great value to acts from nearby Chicago and elsewhere —

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CA, May 3, 2012 — The Alley Recording Company, located in the arts-friendly city of Valparaiso, Indiana, is the brainchild of co-partner and chief engineer Marc Nelson. After a stint at the Chicago Recording Company and time spent as a protégée of producer legend Bill Schnee (Carly Simon, Whitney Houston, Steely Dan), Nelson decided to open his own studio in 2008 in his hometown of Valparaiso, despite a shaky economy and an even shakier studio industry, an atmosphere in which far more studios were shutting down than opening successfully. Nelson and co-partner Chad Clifford saw the opportunity to keep the overhead low in the small yet arts-rich Valparaiso, and offer a friendly, thrifty alternative to the studios in nearby Chicago. “We initially thought about opening a facility in Chicago, but competition kept me out – there are about 425 studios there alone,” Nelson recalls. “And out here there is zero overhead. Our rent is very low and I would say we are the nicest studio between here and Indianapolis.” The business model is paying off so far, with The Alley bringing a new level of studio professionalism to the area. The studio has an impressive arsenal of gear, much of which was sourced through Guitar Center Professional (GC Pro), the outside sales division of Guitar Center that focuses on the needs of professional users, and with whom Nelson has a longstanding relationship. “If I ever need something, GC Pro is always there,” notes Nelson. “I can’t stress enough how important they have been to my studio, simply because they always deliver.”

The two-suite facility certainly does not disappoint in terms of size, aesthetics and gear. The large live room measures 28 feet by 20 feet with 14-foot ceilings, with two isolation booths adjacent. Instruments include a Yamaha C3 grand piano, a Wurlitzer spinet, a vintage set of Ludwig drums, a Hammond A100 organ, various mallet percussion instruments, and guitars from such manufacturers as Gibson, Taylor and Rickenbacker, among other instruments. Nelson selected Focal Twin6 Be three-way monitors with matching subwoofer for his control room. “These are the only monitors I use and for my size, they are perfect. The top end is never shrill and they have plenty of power,” he states. His main console is a 36-channel MCI-Sony MXP-3000, which he runs with his Avid Pro Tools|HD2 system. The console also features eight integrated preamplifiers customized by Greg Norman from Electrical Audio. Outboard amplifiers include models from Daking, Great River, Chandler, Universal Audio, Vintech, Avalon and others. Other gear includes limiters and compressors from Summit, API, Empirical Labs and Chandler. And of course the microphone closet is fully stocked, with units from Audio-Technica, Blue, AKG, Flea (Flea 47 and Flea C12), Royer, Shure, Schoeps and others, which Nelson has mostly bought in pairs.

Valparaiso is known for its great music community, and Nelson spearheaded a 13-episode PBS series, “Live at the Alley,” filmed entirely at the studio. PBS has since asked the studio to do a second season. Nelson notes, “The main thing for the PBS series was for us to host high quality live performances – it wasn’t about money or even advertising the studio.” But the show has indeed raised the studio’s profile, and more and more acts from the Chicago area are turning to The Alley. “We got many of the large Chicago groups and a handful of others from Boston to Los Angeles involved with what we’re doing here. Let’s hope our good luck continues!”

For more information, please visit www.gcpro.com .

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Independent Studios Calls Fairlight Constellation The “Fastest Editor In The World”

MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin- For greater flexibility in providing advertising agencies with audio and video post-production services for high-end clients such as Tax Act, Ski Do and West Bend Insurance, Milwaukee, Wisconsin based Independent Studios uses Fairlight’s 3-bay Constellation XCS console.

Randy Bobo, Owner at Independent Studios, made the switch to Fairlight almost 12 years ago to have the “fastest editor in the world. “All of our clients come from ad agencies, therefore we need to be ready to handle any project that comes our way,” Randy explained.

Most of the work the Independent team does is short-form commercial work for regional and national campaigns. Recently, Independent completed a commercial for Tax Act, which aired during Super Bowl XLVI. Independent has also been highlighted for its work with independent films and documentaries, including Sweet Land, which won the 2007 Independent Spirit Award and starred Elizabeth Reaser.

“Budgets are being cut everywhere, but we haven’t missed a step,” Randy says. “We were able to build the entire film using our Fairlight system and pre mixed it so it could be exported through an OMF, we even had time to spare. Our work to organize and prep the soundtrack made it even easier for the final mixing process to be done in four days after we passed it on”

By upgrading the entire Independent Studio’s facility to Fairlight, “It really opens up our options and allows us much more flexibility in how projects can get done,” Randy explains. “We can swap projects between mixers and rooms without any hold up.”

The ability to get everything done using Fairlight without the need for a third-party console makes things easier at Independent as Randy explained. “It’s great when we have to revise a project or do additional versions especially for commercials, everything is in one box and we can be confident that all the data and tools are there. Now that picture and effects are integrated it makes it even nicer.”

With Independent’s own in-house server, sending files back and forth between mixers and clients is simple and stress-free. “Everything comes in and out through the server and we can store everything there for easy access. It makes workflow constant and we never waste time looking for files or plugins,” said Randy.

Randy mentioned that the sound quality of the console is superb and at times he will compare a dynamic plugin to the onboard dynamics, and most of the time he’ll end up using the onboard plugin because it sounds so great. “It’s great to have all the plugins. We use them mostly as sound effects rather than cleaning up the audio, but it’s nice to have the ability to use different reverbs and effects if needed.”

“Everyone who enters Independent is instantly blown away by the way we work,” adds Randy. “To get another console or system to do what Fairlight does would cost way too much money. It’s amazing how people are drawn to the system after a short time working on the console. There isn’t a better tool out there for what we do,” Randy summed up.

For more information on Independent Studios, please visit: www.independentstudios.tv

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About FairlightUS:
FairlightUS is headquartered in New Jersey USA and is the exclusive distributor for Fairlight products in the North American market. Fairlight has been at the forefront of digital audio development since its inception in 1975. Fairlight designs and manufactures media creation tools including digital audio recording, editing and mixing systems for standard and high definition audio post, broadcast and music production applications. www.fairlightus.com

About Fairlight:
Headquartered in Sydney, Australia Fairlight designs and manufactures media production systems powered by the company’s groundbreaking CC-1 FPGA digital processing engine. The Fairlight product range includes EVO, Xynergi and the new PyxisG2, all of which feature in the world’s leading broadcasters, commercial post facilities, music studios and film production studios. Fairlight has a rich tradition of innovation and development and is at the forefront of green computing technology.

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Audio-Technica and Celebrated Artists Support Music Education

— Nine scholarships/donations honor A-T’s 50th anniversary —

Audio-Technica, a leading innovator in transducer technology, officially kicked off its 50th Anniversary Year in the U.S. with a special gala event held January 19, 2012, during the Winter NAMM Show in Anaheim, California. The event featured an all-star music revue produced by legendary GRAMMY® Award-winning producer Phil Ramone. Among the featured all-star cast of performers were saxophonist and longtime Audio-Technica endorser Mindi Abair, R&B/jazz vocalist Patti Austin, new age/adult-contemporary superstar and Audio-Technica endorser Jim Brickman, smooth jazz saxophonist Dave Koz, vocalist Monica Mancini, legendary trumpeter/pianist/composer Arturo Sandoval, gospel/R&B music legend BeBe Winans and Canadian jazz-pop vocalist Nikki Yanofsky. In commemoration of the event, all eight performers have decided to donate their performance honoraria to different music education programs and institutions, helping promote the importance of music education and assisting students in their pursuits.

Greg Pinto, Audio-Technica U.S. Vice President of Marketing and Consumer Sales, stated, “It was thrilling to have Phil Ramone produce the concert, and to have these eight world-class artists perform at our anniversary celebration in Anaheim marking ‘50 Years of Passionate Listening,’ and it is a special honor that they are donating these funds toward music education, a cause that is very near to the hearts of the A-T family.”

Phil Ramone donated his honorarium to The Salvation Army’s Phil Ramone Orchestra for Children. Abair has decided to donate to the Berklee College of Music Five-Week Summer Performance Program, creating the Mindi Abair/Audio-Technica Berklee Five-Week Summer Performance Scholarship. Austin is also donating her honorarium to the Berklee College of Music. Brickman is giving to his alma mater Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM), creating the Jim Brickman/Audio-Technica Scholarship. Koz is proud to donate to the GRAMMY Camp® (held at and in partnership with the USC Thornton School of Music), creating the Dave Koz/Audio-Technica GRAMMY Camp Scholarship. Mancini selected The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, thereby creating the Monica Mancini/Audio-Technica Donation for Music Education. Sandoval chose the Young Musicians’ Camp at the University of Miami Frost School of Music, creating the Arturo Sandoval/Audio-Technica Scholarship for the Young Musicians’ Camp. Winans is donating to Juilliard’s Summer Jazz Workshops, creating the BeBe Winans/Audio-Technica Scholarship. Yanofsky has selected the Schulich School of Music and its Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Music Media and Technology (CIRMMT) at McGill University, creating the Nikki Yanofsky/Audio-Technica Scholarship.

Audio-Technica endorser Abair stated, “Audio-Technica has been helping me achieve my sound for more than 18 years on the road and in the studio. I was honored to play for their 50th Anniversary and even more honored to give back with a scholarship to Berklee’s five-week program. I grew up musically and personally while getting my degree at Berklee. I was encouraged to be an individual there and create my own musical vision. That’s priceless. I couldn’t be happier to pass that gift along to another individual.”

Beverly Tryon, Director, Corporate and Foundation Relations, Berklee College of Music, remarks, “We are very grateful to Mindi Abair for selecting her alma mater to receive this generous scholarship support, and to Audio-Technica for making it possible. This scholarship will allow a deserving young person to participate in this life-changing summer experience at Berklee.”

Fellow A-T endorser Brickman stated, “I want to express my thanks to Audio-Technica for the opportunity to create the Jim Brickman/Audio-Technica Scholarship at the Cleveland Institute of Music. CIM is the school where I found my sound. I think it’s important to cultivate musicianship, and their teachers do just that. My hope is that through scholarship efforts like this one, it will open doors and further the music education of another aspiring pianist.”

“It is particularly gratifying that Jim has chosen the Cleveland Institute of Music as the beneficiary of this wonderful gift, since he is one of our own, having studied here with Marshall Griffith and Olga Radosavljevich. It was their teaching that helped transform Jim’s future life, and through this gift, CIM will be able to continue our goal of transforming lives for their future, through all that we do,” said Conservatory Dean Adrian Daly. “In consultation with the piano faculty, the scholarship will be awarded to a student who ‘reminds us of Jim,’ with the special qualities he has and has developed to be the wonderful musician, artist and entertainer that he has become. We are also extremely grateful to Audio-Technica for their connections with Jim Brickman, and for their ongoing support of our institutional mission of providing a world-class educational and transformative experience for our students, and for those with whom we interact.”

For more information, please visit www.audio-technica.com.

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Stampede University Online Courses Approved For Continuing Education By CEDIA

Reinforcing its commitment to provide dealers with the highest quality of continuing education courses, Stampede Presentation Products Inc., North America’s largest and oldest dedicated ProAV distributor, today announced that all of the online courses offered by Stampede University (www.stampedeuniversity.com) have been approved for Continuing Education Units by CEDIA. Stampede is the industry’s only ProAV distributor to have its entire library of online courses approved for CEDIA CEUs.

According to Stampede President & COO Kevin Kelly, the approval by CEDIA follows a complete redesign of Stampede University that became effective in January 2012. As part of this initiative, the company introduced a completely new series of integrated online courses that allow dealers to learn at their own pace and on their own schedule. Each course features built-in LMS (learning management system) administrative tools that track and certify each learner’s progress through each and every course.

“What’s more,” Kelly emphasized, “Stampede University’s training programs now include more business-oriented courses, including courses on transitions and mergers and acquisitions, as well as a consulting program designed to help residential dealers develop commercial markets and vice versa. The addition of CEDIA approval now makes our course offerings even more valuable to dealers seeking to maintain their CEDIA certification. I am very proud to note that Stampede is the only ProAV distributor in North America to offer its dealers their complete catalog of courses for official CEDIA CEUs.”

The new course offerings come in addition to Stampede University’s already substantial collection of dealer and integrator learning aids found on the website. These include training materials in the form of webinars, how-to videos, white papers and other media that cover the breadth of the AV technology experience from video walls to distance-learning technology, and represent large numbers of major equipment manufacturers, including Hitachi, Sharp, VUKUNET, InFocus, NEC and Samsung.

According to CEDIA, the CEU Provider program is open to members only. Member companies wishing to become CEU providers may submit educational courses to CEDIA for pre-approved CEU awards. Companies requesting to become CEDIA CEU providers must complete and submit the CEU Provider Petition Form for approval. CEDIA evaluates each submission on its length, course description, and learning objectives.

CEDIA is an international trade association of companies that specialize in designing and installing electronic systems for the home. The association was founded in September 1989 and has more than 3,500 member companies worldwide. CEDIA members are established and insured businesses with bona fide qualifications and experience in this specialized field. For more information on CEDIA, visit the association’s website at www.cedia.org.

About Stampede
Known for its value-added distribution, Amherst, New York-based Stampede is the leading distributor of presentation equipment including LCD/DLP projectors and flat panel displays. Stampede provides a complete range of brand name presentation equipment to a variety of audio/video, computer, and home theater resellers and integrators in the United States, Canada and Latin America. These resellers rely on Stampede for value-added services in distribution, marketing and solution- based sales. Stampede annually produces the “Big Book of AV,” an 816-page catalog and companion website (www.BigBookofAV.com) providing hundreds of sales, installation and spec tips for Stampede’s dealers in addition to product details on more than 5,000 SKUs. For more information on Stampede, log onto www.stampedeglobal.com.

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Smart Monkeys, Inc. Provides Show Control for Batwin + Robin at the New NRC at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences

When the new Nature Research Center (NRC) wing of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences held its grand opening recently the SECU Daily Planet dazzled visitors with its immersive, three-story multimedia space. Smart Monkeys, Inc. was hired by Batwin + Robin Productions of New York City to provide system design, consulting and programming for extensive amounts of content it created for the Daily Planet and throughout the NRC wing.

The Raleigh-based North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences is the largest museum of its kind in the southeast. The new 80,000 square foot NRC offers state-of-the-art labs, research opportunities, interactive exhibits and live presentations designed to make science a tangible and enjoyable experience and help visitors understand the practical applications of science in their everyday lives.

The SECU Daily Planet is a globe-shaped structure attached to the NRC that spans the three-story wing and serves up content illustrating the wonders of science. It operates in several modes to deliver pre-recorded and live content designed to turn visitors into active citizen scientists.

Smart Monkeys, Inc. was brought onboard the project by Batwin + Robin about two years ago to help provide the tools that would enable the content creators to deliver the captivating, immersive and entertaining content they’re known for.

“We specialize in show control, which allows production companies to take control of the display systems and not be dependant on technical specifications,” says Alan Anderson, one of the owners of Smart Monkeys, Inc. and a consultant on the project. “Batwin + Robin needed to get the right flow and feeling out of the system to help them tell the Daily Planet’s stories on the 40-foot HD screen in the dome-shaped structure.”

“Most people don’t bring in the show control programmer until the end of the process, but I was part of the master planning of the museum going back almost five years and wanted to ensure that the show control would make our vision a reality,” says Linda Batwin, partner/creative director at Batwin + Robin Productions.

“I brought in Alan as a consultant when we were producing content for the Daily Planet and the NRC exhibits. He was instrumental helping us achieve what we wanted to do and deal with the Daily Planet’s various operational modes.”

Anderson notes that Batwin + Robin’s role went beyond that of a typical content provider. “They design the whole emotional feel of the environment, and the control system is a key element of that. By working closely with them to give them control over the system and its implementation, we enabled Batwin + Robin to develop more complex narratives.”

Smart Monkeys, Inc. also teamed with Electrosonic, which handled the technical design and system integration for the Daily Planet. “Once we knew what functions Batwin + Robin needed, Electrosonic was able to design and engineer a system to accomplish those things,” Anderson says.

The Daily Planet’s primary operational mode is the Ambient mode, which displays content continually throughout the day. Batwin + Robin created 50 beautiful, poetic pieces and mini documentaries for the Ambient mode, giving a sense of the space and the wonders of science to museum visitors. Several times an hour these elements are punctuated by the Intro mode, a three-minute video about the museum’s vision. Fun interview segments with scientists – who discuss why do what they do – comprise “Windows Into the Scientist’s World,” which also play within the Ambient mode.

The Presentation mode is employed for live appearances by scientists in the Daily Planet. “We provided a GUI that allows them to choose from 25 backgrounds that we created and use up to 10 windows for their content,” explains Batwin. “The Presentation mode is very user-friendly: The scientist plugs in his or her computer, chooses a background and the windows they need, gets a mic and goes! Live camera feeds can stream the presentation to remote connections; scientists at other sites can Skype into the presentation in at least three of the input windows.”

Scientist presenters stand on a small stage on the ground floor of the Daily Planet; they can control the presentation from this position or an operator at a nearby kiosk can provide control. Visitor seating is available on all three floors.

“One of the challenges was to design an easy to use control system for these frequent Presentation modes,” says Anderson. “A touch interface allows the scientists and museum employees to run presentations without a crew of outsiders.”

Other content displayed in the Daily Planet includes video science bulletins shared by other museums nationwide and event footage recorded in the NRC’s new Science Café, which hosts scientific presentations over informal dinners.

Batwin + Robin also worked with scientists and curators to craft more than 50 media and interactive components for the NRC wing.

To deliver content for the Daily Planet, Smart Monkeys, Inc. harnesses the power of four Delta high-resolution uncompressed media servers from 7thSense Design. “We dynamically drop content onto the timeline using a fade technique, from one video to another, that we developed with Batwin + Robin and 7thSense Design,” Anderson reports. “The servers feed into each other to achieve the right transitions.”

A Medialon Manager show control system talks to the lighting array and powers a complement of Christie Roadster S+12K DLP projectors.

Medialon Manager also controls all the exhibit elements for the NRC, including interactive players and PCs, video players, audio equipment, lighting and projectors.

“Smart Monkeys is excellent at what they do,” says Batwin. “The testing they did early in the process was extremely helpful as was the preprogramming before they arrived on site. Even though they did a lot beforehand, it’s always a challenge to arrive on site where you have to get every piece of equipment talking to every other piece of equipment. But Smart Monkeys did a great job. I can’t say enough good things about Alan Anderson and his team.”

She notes that installations with the complexity of the Daily Planet and the NRC would do well “to have show control become part of the design process so everyone is on the same page from Day One.”

At Smart Monkeys, Inc. D.J. Cole was the programmer for the Daily Planet and the NRC. At Batwin + Robin Productions, Linda Batwin oversaw all aspects of the project, Elle Kamihira was the lead producer with Megan Gargagliano and Valerie Chin as project coordinators. Yannis Cabolis of Electrosonic’s Burbank office handled the Daily Planet system design.

About Smart Monkeys, inc

Smart Monkeys, Inc. specializes in providing advice, project management and programming for show control offering a reliable, high-quality alternative to inhouse Researchs for project-based consulting, control systems development and project specific system programming. For more information, visit www.smart-monkeys.com.

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Renkus-Heinz Takes Center Stage at Jelenia Góra Spa Theatre

Poland, May 2012…   Established in 1976 by the Wroclaw actor Andrzej Dziedziul, the Zdrojowy Teatr Animacji (or Spa Theatre) in Jelenia Góra, is housed in the classically designed Spa Theatre, which was built in 1836. Used mainly for children’s productions, it also stages adult plays as well as outdoor performances.

With the prevailing demand for state-of-the-art technology in theatre, the plan for Zdrojowy Teatr Animacji’s modernization began in 2008. Enter Polish entertainment technology specialists M.Ostrowski, with a brief to supply and assemble a lighting, stage management and theatre audio system for an audience capacity of 200.

Recognizing the need for a top-performance sound reinforcement system, M.Ostrowski deployed the newest CF Series solutions from Renkus-Heinz, guaranteed to provide maximum operational reliability while delivering excellent dynamics, listening comfort and uniform sound distribution for the audience.

Using EASE 4.3 software to determine the optimum position of the loudspeakers, eight full-range Renkus-Heinz CF101LA speaker modules were arranged in two line array clusters either side of the stage, and two Renkus-Heinz CF15S subwoofer modules in a central cluster.

The deployment of active speaker modules with RHAON (Renkus Heinz Audio Operations Network) technology, allows for remote system configuration, adjustment of DSP signal corrections as well as monitoring of the state of the speakers.

In consideration of the surroundings, M. Ostrowski engineers also designed a unique mounting for the line array hoists to ensure that the equipment blends in with the theatre’s historical interiors.

M. Ostrowski also supplied and installed a complete lighting system, with a GrandMA2 Light management system; the theatre was also equipped with more than 130 projector lights and spotlights.

The installation also included a Digital Soundcraft Vi4 console; a wireless microphone system based on 500 G3 Sennheiser units; a two-way wireless communication system based on solutions by 3M and a stage-manager system based on Riedel digital intercom solutions, as well as a wireless stage action confirmation system, which was developed specifically to accommodate the needs of the Spa Theatre.

Some 20 facility panels around the stage, auditorium and audio control room provide 52 microphone inputs, 31 return lines, 17 speaker lines as well as a Cat5e network, for transmission of data, audio and video signals as well as control of devices connected to the internal network. The entire system is freely configurable at the patch panels, located within the main equipment rack. The installation also allows a show to be run from the audience, with a patch panel to plug in a console along with its peripherals.

M. Czechowicz, the Spa Theatre’s Sound Engineer, said: “The new audio system’s versatility and quality make it wonderful to work with and we’re delighted that M.Ostrowski has created this solution.”

###

Headquartered in Foothill Ranch, California, Renkus-Heinz, Inc. is the worldwide leader in the design and manufacture of audio operations networks, digitally steerable arrays, powered and non-powered loudspeakers, system specific electronics and fully integrated Reference Point Array systems.

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