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Archive for June 18th, 2012

Peltrix Aids in Rebirth of Historic Howard Theater with Yamaha Consoles

BUENA PARK, Calif.—For decades, The Howard Theater was more than a theater; it was an institution, a place where performers of color could get a foothold in the profession, where the community could listen to the sounds and power of the black musician. Sadly neglected since the early 1980s, today the theater is enjoying a rebirth and a entering a new era in its long and prestigious history.

As part of its rebirth, contracting firm Peltrix (New York) installed two Yamaha PM5D-RH digital consoles, one at front of house and one at the monitor position. The theater, which seats 600 and houses 1,000 for standing-room only events, hosts high-caliber music performances as well as corporate and political events, given its proximity to the Capitol and its adjacent location to Howard University.

Peltrix owner, Amit Peleg, was brought in to replace another designer in August 2009. The building design plans were at 30% completion at the time but it was early enough to allow Peltrix to do what was needed in the design stage. It took two and a half years from the point Peltrix was brought in to completion of the theater’s overhaul. In addition to the design, the Company was responsible for the integration and installation of the AV system along with assisting the new owners to hire and train production staff.

“We were recommended by the Bensusan Group who are the operators of the Howard Theater, since we’d worked for them at other venues in the past, such as the Blue Note and BB King’s in New York, states Peleg. Since we are very familiar with their type of business and style of operation, it made communication with the Howard Theater Restoration developers easier.“

Peleg said the building was completely gutted, and the outer walls were supported externally while a basement was dug and new foundation was put in. This allowed Peltrix to fit a completely modern system into a historical building that originally was never meant for amplified music. “I actually set the requirements which were based on my experience working with the operators on their other venues,” says Peleg.

The philosophy behind this installation, Peleg said, was to put in a system that is rider-friendly and flexible since the space is used for many styles and genres of music along with private parties and corporate events. “We needed a system that could accommodate anything thrown at it without the need for modifications, augmentation or replacement of gear on a per-show basis, he notes. We went the extra mile to design a very flexible wiring scheme that allows patching of any kind of signal anywhere in the building and everywhere on stage along with preparation for expansion for a recording studio planned in the near future. The Yamaha PM5D-RH consoles were the most logical fit for this kind of setup. We are running the consoles at 96k using a Big Ben external clock that gives us superior sound quality. Signal path is all AES/96k from the console to the DSP and through to the amps.”

In addition to the Yamaha consoles, Peltrix installed a JBL speaker system and a new video system consisting of Da-Lite projection screens, Samsung and Sharp LCDs, Sanyo projectors, Vaddio cameras, and an Elation LED screen.

For more information on Peltrix, visit www.peltrix.com.

For more information on Yamaha PM5D-RH consoles, visit www.yamahaca.com.

-END-

About Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc.:
Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc. (YCAS) provides a full line of integrated professional audio products offering complete systems solutions for the broadcast, sound reinforcement/installed sound, touring, commercial recording, and post production markets. With the addition of NEXO to the product line, the company remains the official U.S. and Canadian distributor for all NEXO speaker models. YCAS offers comprehensive in-house and field product training for its customers, a dedicated dealer network, and 24/7 technical support.

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Classic 19th Century Church Merges History and High-Tech

Wilmington, DE, June 2012…  In the middle of the 19th Century, the Industrial Revolution was in full swing, and Wilmington was a booming shipping port and steel town with a rapidly growing working class populace. Founded in 1868 as a “workingman’s church,” Grace United Methodist Church has been a landmark in the heart of downtown Wilmington since well before most of its neighboring structures, earning it a spot on the National Register of Historic Places.

Though the 500 seat sanctuary is not overly large, it’s nonetheless as majestic and impressive as any mega-cathedral. The building’s hand-built stone edifice is a gateway to a soaring 55-foot arched ceiling and a collection of stunningly beautiful stained glass masterpieces.

Grace United Methodist has also gained a reputation throughout the region for its music and musicians, including a highly sought after choir and a resident chamber music ensemble, Mélamonie. As Tony Hersch, President of Pottstown, PA-based Audiobahn, explains, the talent and professionalism of the church’s musicians has gone a long way in setting it apart.

“Many of the singers in their choir are accomplished professionals, and virtually all of them are phenomenally talented, on an operatic level,” says Hersch. “Their director is a highly accomplished pianist and organist, with a doctorate in music, and their performances are always in high demand.”

With such a strong emphasis on music, it’s not surprising that Grace United Methodist Church’s elders and congregation were less reserved than many Methodist congregations in their approach to sound system design. “They were very involved in the process of selecting their new audio system,” says Hersch. “They really did their research and knew what they wanted to accomplish.”

With its vintage lathe and plaster walls, reflectivity has long been a problem in the sanctuary, and spoken word intelligibility was a prime requirement for the new sound system. But musicality was also a critical factor – the system had to deliver full-range performance that could complement the choir and musicians.

The idea of a traditional line array was first suggested, but as Hersch points out, this was a project where a line array would have looked out of place. “Aesthetics are really a consideration in a place like this,” he says. “The architecture is absolutely gorgeous, and hanging a bunch of speaker cabinets would have just destroyed the aesthetic completely. We were suggesting a very different approach.”

Hersch arranged to demo a pair of ENTASYS steerable arrays. “We set up a pair of ENTASYS full-range cabinets on tripods, along with a VLF208 subwoofer to give it some bottom end,” he says. “We ran an EASE program on the room, set things up, and they were just blown away. Everyone in the choir got up and sang through it. We utilized a Shure wireless lavalier system and a Countryman podium mic for the demo. We were able to tune the lav mic to a point where it sounded like a good quality handheld mic. The sound was just wonderful.”

The church also took delivery of one of the first-available Soundcraft SiCompact digital mixing consoles, incorporating it into a new custom-built booth at mix position. The console is connected via MADI to a Pro Tools|HD system. “They record most of their services to two-track as well as multitrack, and then mix and master it for download on their website,” Hersch explains. “The services are very popular.”

To pick up the choir, Hersch provided four Audix MicroBooms on mic stands, while the vintage piano is outfitted with a Helpinstill Piano Pickup System. On the main platform, monitoring is handled by four custom-stained Community iBOX i2w8 cabinets. Community VERIS 8 cabinets provide monitoring for the choir.

Reactions to the new system have been overwhelming, says Hersch. “The ENTASYS sounds fantastic. The sound is focused where it needs to be, and the new system allows them to easily record the service and make it available to others. We’ve taken a church from the early 1800s and incorporated 21st century technology into it.”

 

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Community is a manufacturer and supplier of professional audio equipment.  Since 1968, Community has led the pro-audio industry with technological innovations which have become industry standards. Today, Community offers over 150 professional loudspeaker products, including installed loudspeaker systems, weather-resistant outdoor loudspeaker systems, ceiling loudspeakers, high level voice paging systems, and portable entertainment systems.  

Visit www.communitypro.com for more information. 

ALTINEX ANNOUNCES MUSE™ POWER, HDMI®, AND IR DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM

**** Photo: Altinex Muse power, HDMI, and IR control distribution system ****

Brea, CA – June 2012… At this year’s InfoComm show in Las Vegas, NV, Altinex, a leading manufacturer of Signal Management Solutions®, introduced Muse, a revolutionary system for distributing power, HDMI, and IR control signals in AV systems. This new, disruptive technology dramatically changes the way integrators install AV systems—particularly in environments where multiple video displays are required, such as sports bars and digital signage applications. With the ability to distribute power, HDMI, and IR control signals up to 300 feet (90m) over a single, low voltage, shielded CAT-6 cable, Muse is an innovative system that enables AV Integrators to eliminate the worry of electrical outlet placement. Muse provides AV installers full control of their projects. more

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