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Archive for September 28th, 2012

Berkeley’s Crowden Music Center Extends Community Outreach with Meyer Sound Constellation

By installing a Meyer Sound Constellation acoustic system in its principal performance and rehearsal space, the Crowden Music Center in Berkeley, Calif. has greatly extended outreach opportunities to music ensembles throughout the Bay Area, while enhancing performance acoustics for its students.

The Crowden Music Center’s programs encompass The Crowden School, an independent day school for grades four through eight, and the Crowden Center for Music in the Community, which supports classical music in the Bay Area by hosting performances and rehearsals and also by offering classes, private lessons, workshops, and summer camps.

Formally titled the Jacqueline and Peter Hoefer Auditorium, the intimate venue holds an audience of about 200 in flexible seating for small ensemble, choral, and chamber orchestra performances on the stage. In this same space, performers often share the open floor with the audience, or the entire floor becomes a rehearsal stage for a full symphony orchestra. Also, the auditorium must adapt to an exceptionally diverse range of ensembles and music styles as it hosts both its own students and a packed calendar of programs for the local community. As a result, for such a modest facility, the acoustical requirements are extraordinary.

“The original physical acoustics were fine for a school auditorium,” observes Michel Taddei, Crowden’s director of artistic administration and principal double bassist for several area orchestras. “But as we’ve grown into a musical hub, with so many others using the facility, the fixed acoustics were not adequate for the wider range of demands.”

As an example, Taddei cites the Oakland East Bay Symphony, which often uses the auditorium floor as its rehearsal stage. “Before, it was a bit too loud and boomy for a group that size. Musicians were distracted by the room’s sonic buildup. Now, with the acoustic treatments and Constellation, they are delighted with the room’s sound and will be back on a regular basis.”

To address Crowden’s programming requirements, a controllable baseline acoustic was created through physical treatments. The Meyer Sound Constellation team then designed an active acoustical system adaptable to the full range of demands. Constellation here is split into two zones—upper and lateral—and employs the patented VRAS variable room acoustic system hosted on a D-Mitri digital audio platform to create a precise mixture of early reflections and late reverberations across five acoustic presets: speech, chamber, opera, symphony, and choir.

The complete system, installed by San Francisco-based integrator Bug ID, includes 29 Meyer Sound miniature MM-4XP and directional MM-4XPD loudspeakers, 14 MM-10 subwoofers, and 24 microphones.

According to Doris Fukawa, executive director for Crowden Music Center, Constellation’s flexibility is key. “In our after-school programs, it’s invaluable to be able to easily provide the proper acoustics for the smaller chamber ensembles as well as the large symphonic orchestras,” says Fukawa. “For our young students, Constellation allows them to become more aware of any acoustic space they play in and then learn to adapt to these environmental factors.”

The Jacqueline and Peter Hoefer Auditorium is currently still under renovation, with a grand reopening scheduled for fall 2013. The renovation is designed by Donn Logan of Marcy Wong Donn Logan Architects, the Berkeley-based firm behind the AIA Citation Award-winning Pearson Theatre at Meyer Sound’s headquarters. “Since I previously served on the Crowden Board for several years, it has been a special treat for me to see this system installed in Crowden’s Hoefer Auditorium,” says Logan. “Given Crowden’s diverse array of performance and rehearsal requirements, Constellation is the only solution that I know of that could have solved its acoustic needs.”

www.meyersound.com/news

Review of Meyer Sound System at 2012 Telluride Film Festival: “So Incredible, So Crisp”

At the 2012 Telluride Film Festival in the scenic Colorado ski town, a school gymnasium was once again skillfully transformed into a world-class screening room named the Galaxy. Here, a Meyer Sound system based on Acheron screen channel loudspeakers played an instrumental part in creating an environment that left a favorable impression on festival guest director and English writer Geoff Dyer, who selected several film revivals for this year’s event.

“I’ll never forget showing ‘Baraka’ there in 70mm,” says Dyer, who was surprised to learn that Galaxy was not a permanent entity. “The projection was amazing and the sound so incredible, so crisp.”

Film connoisseurs, including esteemed guests from the film industry, are drawn to Telluride every summer for its carefully curated program packed with sneak peeks of new movies as well as Q&A sessions and panels with the filmmakers. In addition to “Baraka,” movies that were heard this year through the Meyer Sound system at the Galaxy included “Argo” by director Ben Affleck, “The Iceman” by Ariel Vromen, “Hyde Park on Hudson” by Roger Michell, and “Frances Ha” by Noah Baumbach.

“There were numerous instances throughout the four-day Telluride Film Festival when a filmmaker would remark how amazing the sound presentation was at the Galaxy theatre,” comments Julie Huntsinger, co-director of the festival. “Ariel Vromen and his colleagues with ‘The Iceman’ were particularly thrilled when they heard their film presented—they couldn’t believe the quality of sound.”

The configuration deployed at the Galaxy included the Acheron screen channel loudspeakers, HMS-10 cinema surround loudspeakers, and X-800C subwoofers. MINA line array loudspeakers provided live sound reinforcement. System implementation was handled by festival staff and Boston Light & Sound.

At the Telluride Film Festival’s 40th anniversary in 2013, Meyer Sound will be supplying sound reinforcement for the Galaxy for the third straight year. Passes will be available beginning March 2013.

www.meyersound.com/news

John Meyer Receives PLASA’s 2012 Gottelier Award; Attributes Company’s Success to Teamwork

Meyer Sound co-founder and CEO John Meyer is honored to be the recipient of the 2012 Gottelier Award at the PLASA Show Awards Ceremony in London on September 10. This significant award is voted for by industry professionals and recognizes exceptional individuals and innovators who enable entertainment technology practitioners to push the boundaries of event production, presentation, and installation.

“For those who grew up in the industry, John Meyer is a true icon, not just in audio but also for those who work in different aspects of live entertainment,” says Matthew Griffiths, CEO and director of events for PLASA. “My background happens to be in theatre, and we’ve been looking up to John Meyer and Meyer Sound technology for many years.

“The Gottelier Award is named in honor of Tony Gottelier, who was a well-respected industry innovator and writer, and he would be very pleased to see this year’s award given to John Meyer,” continues Griffiths.

John Meyer’s career in professional audio spans over 40 years but the majority of his technological achievements and advances have taken place since founding Meyer Sound in 1979 with his wife Helen Meyer. In receiving the award, Meyer acknowledged the importance of collaboration and credited his team for their contributions.

“It’s like a play, where everybody has to do their part,” said Meyer. “I’d like to thank my wife, Helen, who has played a tremendous role in the success of the business, and all the people who support the products that we make. It’s a huge team effort, and I gratefully accept this award on behalf of everybody at Meyer Sound.”

John Meyer launched his career in professional audio in the 1960s by developing custom loudspeaker systems used by the rock luminaries of the San Francisco Bay Area, including the Steve Miller Band, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and the Grateful Dead. After embarking on extensive research into audio transducer linearity at the Institute for Advanced Musical Studies in Montreux, Switzerland, he and Helen Meyer returned to the Bay Area in 1979 to establish Meyer Sound. Over the following decades, John Meyer has led an engineering team that has set new benchmarks for performance and reliability and revolutionized sound reinforcement. He was made a Fellow of the Audio Engineering Society in 1985, and was awarded the AES Silver Medal in 2007.

www.meyersound.com/news

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Lenny Kravitz Always on the Run With HARMAN’s JBL VTX Line Arrays

Lenny Kravitz recently completed his summer tour through Europe, where he relied on JBL VTX line arrays for sound reinforcement.

NORTHRIDGE, California – When it comes to being particular about their sound, few artists are as demanding as Lenny Kravitz. The 4-time GRAMMY®-winning musician and songwriter might incorporate some retro gear into his guitar rigs and recording studios but for live sound, Kravitz wants the best today’s technology has to offer. While touring Europe this summer, Kravitz made the move to HARMAN’s JBL VTX Series line arrays.

For the European leg of Kravitz’s tour, Sirius Showequipment AG of Germany supplied the VTX system to Escondido, California-based Sound Image, Kravitz’s longtime audio system provider. The PA system featured a variety of JBL VTX V25 fullsize line array elements and S28 subwoofers, along with Crown Audio VRack complete prepackaged amplification systems to drive them.

“We have been long-time JBL VERTEC users and had heard about the VTX line arrays and were extremely interested in hearing them, but did not have the opportunity until we went to Europe with Sirius supplying the touring rig,” noted system technician John Leary of Sound Image. “Because of the tight touring schedule, [front of house engineer] Laurie Quigley and myself more or less had one opportunity to listen to the VTX and make a decision on whether to use it for the rest of the tour.”

Leary noted the clarity and power of VTX in choosing the system for the tour. “The VTX system delivers consistent coverage at the levels we need throughout any venue,” he said. “In one sense, the power of the VTX line arrays enable us to do more with less boxes, but at the same time, because of their light weight, we can hang more of them than we could any other line array speaker.”

Another major advantage is the improved DSP presets for VTX in the Crown I-Tech HD amplifiers that power the system. “The performance of the V25’s and S28’s is simply more even right off the bat—we’re finding that we have to do a lot less system equalizing in general.”

“The V25 delivers surprising volume for its size – I think it’s the best line array out there in this regard,” Leary concluded. “The VTX Series’ capacity to deliver high output over large distances and its ability to be deployed in a variety of configurations made it tremendously versatile for the Lenny Kravitz tour. We achieved better sound than we ever have in every venue and that made Lenny and the rest of us very happy.”

For more information on Sound Image, please visit www.sound-image.com

For more information on Sirius Showequipment, please visit www.siriusag.de

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, Harman Kardon, Infinity, JBL, Lexicon and Mark Levinson. The company is admired by audiophiles across multiple generations and supports leading professional entertainers and the venues where they perform. More than 20 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of about 13,400 people across the Americas, Europe and Asia, and reported sales of $4.4 billion for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2012.

Kramer Electronics Brings its Successful “Designing in a Digital Age” Road Show to the NY/NJ Area

Free One Day Workshop Worth 10 CTS RU’s Comes to Newark, NJ

Kramer Electronics’ premiere training event, the “Designing in a Digital Age” Road Show, will be held on October 16, 2012, in Newark, NJ. This one day workshop will cover the intricacies of designing and implementing professional digital AV solutions as well as demonstrating the technology involved. At the end of the day attendees will understand the key concepts and concerns when working with digital AV signals. They will leave with knowledge and drawings that can be used immediately to aid in system designs.

The NJ road show will continue the momentum that began with Kramer’s first Road Show in March of this year in Chicago, IL. “The response to our first Kramer Academy Road Show was overwhelming. Numerous Kramer dealers, integrators, consultants and users had previously indicated that they would like to gain a better understanding of how to design and work with digital AV signals; resulting in the creation of Kramer’s ‘Designing in the Digital Age’ Road Show,” stated Malissa Dillman, Kramer’s Training and Education Manager.

The Road Show, conducted by industry consultant and expert, Pete Putman of ROAM consulting, will provide attendees with a full understanding of digital signals. Specifically, attendees will learn how to avoid common mistakes with EDID, HDMI and HDCP. “The most successful and unique component of the Kramer Academy Road Show is the concept of taking only one day to delve into all aspects of digital systems design. It is an extremely comprehensive training program,” Dillman explained. Participants will also earn 10 InfoComm CTS Renewal Units for attending the one day event, receive a free lunch, and be entered for the chance to win door prizes, including a Kindle Fire.

In addition to the free Road Show workshop, Kramer will also host a special bonus event entitled “Challenges of Digital Signal Integration” on October 17, 2012. Led by two of Kramer’s Engineers, this will be a rare opportunity to discuss one on one the challenges of digital AV signal system design and troubleshooting.

This bonus event will include over a dozen “live” demonstrations including how to uncover and solve problems regarding the effects of HDMI color space and bandwidth, signal cross talk, HDCP handling and signal re−clocking and re−equalization. The session will also cover analog and digital EDID handling, analog and digital signal transport over twisted pair cabling, the differences between skew free and non skew free cabling and much more. This training session will teach attendees how to save money by teaching what every professional needs to know, to allow you to get home from the job site sooner. Those who participate in the bonus event will receive an additional 8 InfoComm CTS RUs.

Kramer believes that your time is valuable and we continue to strive to bring commercial free educational offerings of high value directly to our clients through our Kramer Academy. Wherever there is an audience, Kramer stands ready to provide training services at your desired location. Invite our instructors to your office for an afternoon of education, a lunch and learn, regional trade shows, or ask us to conduct a webinar for your team; our Kramer Academy will bring the education and training that you need to stay current with the latest trends in technology.

Joining Kramer in sponsoring the “Designing in a Digital Age” Road Show in Newark, NJ will be AQAV, Projection Design, Quantum Data, SpectraCal, and Stewart Filmscreen.

For more details about this road show and full schedule of the event, visit www.kramerus.com.

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