A virtual press conference from Sound & Video Contractor

Archive for December 12th, 2012

Christie Lights Up University of Waterloo’s New Campus With Tallest Christie MicroTiles Installation in the World

Christie® visual technology solutions are playing a key role in visualizing the University of Waterloo’s mission to intersect technology, business and art under the Faculty of Arts programs – a first in Canada – at its new Stratford, Ontario campus.

Christie’s world-leading digital projection and display technologies are omnipresent on the new Stratford campus – a campus designed to create the next generation of digital media graduates, jobs, content and companies. With innovative solutions that meet the needs of this campus, Christie products will unleash the creative minds of university students and establish an incubator that affords leading researchers and businesses the opportunity to drive new ideas for commercialization.

Christie MicroTiles Light Up the University of Waterloo's Stratford Campus

“Christie’s technology will showcase our students’ content work, highlight creativity and provide a unique canvas for complex and detailed digital media research, visualization and commercialization,” said Ginny Dybenko, executive director of the University of Waterloo Stratford Campus.

Christie MicroTiles – A Towering Presence
As the atrium’s commanding centerpiece, the built-in 5 units wide by 30 units high (6.5 feet wide by 30 feet high), digital video wall incorporates 150 award-winning Christie® MicroTiles®. These eye-catching, digital building blocks enable architects and integrators to incorporate stunning video into their designs and builds. Combining the strengths of both DLP® and LED technology, MicroTiles can reproduce 115 percent of the NTSC color gamut, exceeding typical LCD flat panels by more than 50 percent. Each display unit automatically detects its neighbours, and self-calibrates for color and brightness to optimize the overall presentation. To keep the massive three-storey installation secured to the wall, rp Visuals Solutions, working with Christie’s Research and Innovation group designed and installed a rear-mounting bracket with steel-support beams. Toronto’s Westbury National Show Systems project managed the installation on behalf of the University of Waterloo.

“Digital media technologies in the classroom give university students access to technologies that are rapidly evolving in today’s business economy. The shaping and spacing of the global digital economy begins where students can practice, develop and innovate firsthand and where researchers can generate and drive innovative ideas,” said Dr. Paul Salvini, chief technology officer at Christie, about the company’s contribution of visual digital technology to the university campus.

Christie Solutions Powering and Managing Christie MicroTiles behind the scenes
In addition to the Christie MicroTiles in the atrium, several other Christie products make up the technology mix on campus. The Christie-designed media management system, which when used with the Christie Spyder X20 video processor allows students to switch from multiple zones of high-resolution and low-resolution content simultaneously, or to drive the entire wall with uniform resolution and portray dramatic three-storey tall images. The students also have a range of options for publishing content onto the canvas. Christie Jumpstart content management software makes it easy to put stunning, high resolution content onto a multi-display or large tiled digital canvas. With its simple interface, even students at the beginner level can use it. This combination of powerful processing capabilities and simple content management software will help the students to stretch the capabilities of what is currently possible.

55” flat panels create PIE concept for control room environment
The Christie PIE (Personal Immersive Environment) concept at the Stratford Campus features a four-panel arrangement using Christie FHD551-X HD LCD 55” flat panels in portrait mode for a roughly 90 degree field of view (FOV). The PIE is currently being used to monitor and program the content that is featured on the showpiece digital wall. Easily flipped into landscape to suit the user’s needs, it is a low-cost faceted display system that is perfect for control room environments.

Christie in the classrooms and on-foot
Six Christie LWU505 3LCD projectors, with premium features, high resolution in a widescreen format are ceiling mounted at the Stratford Campus. The LWU505 is compact, full featured making it a perfect presentation devise. Stratford Campus incorporated the Christie LW401 for its low maintenance and low cost of ownership to be used in mobile situations due to is portable design, making it easy to bring presentations from classroom to classroom. With the projector’s various options of wireless capability, PC-Less presentation via USB port or content delivery when installed on a network. It also provides a crucial feature of displaying campus wide notifications when integrated to the network.

Christie’s Dave Muscat, senior director of sales for Canada, who participated in the opening of the campus, recalls people’s reaction to the brilliant fireworks on the three-storey wall when they were illuminated for the first time during the opening celebration. “It was a very magical moment for me to see our MicroTiles in a higher education setting and knowing that Christie’s products will make a difference in advancing students’ and researchers’ knowledge of digital media. Christie looks forward to working with the students to develop new ways of collaborating with the facility in content creation and design,” Muscat added.

Hofstra University Upgrades TV Studios with HARMAN’s Soundcraft Si Compact 32 Consoles

HEMPSTEAD, New York — Hofstra University is Long Island, New York’s largest private college, offering a broad range of liberal arts and sciences, education, health sciences, law and other courses with full accreditation in 19 academic areas. When the Hofstra University School of Communication finally needed to replace the analog broadcast production consoles in its two TV studios, it chose HARMAN’s Soundcraft Si Compact 32.

“We’d been living with two analog consoles for 25 years!” noted Joseph J. Valerio, Chief Video Engineer. “We were ready for a serious upgrade to our studios. As part of a complete rebuild, we took our time to explore all console technologies and manufacturers and the choice came down to another brand and Soundcraft. We compared them neck and neck at NAB and at a dealer demonstration and the vote was for the Soundcraft Si Compact 32.”

Hofstra’s consoles have 32 mono inputs, though these can be grouped to stereo by linking faders, and two additional stereo line inputs for a total of 36 inputs. The Si Compact 32 also has an AES input and 16 outputs plus an AES out. “Although the board is the smallest in the line of Soundcraft ‘smart’ consoles, it’s the largest model of the Si Compact Si range and has proven to be just right for our needs,” Valerio said.

“We recently used the Si Compact 32 for a very large production in our main studio that involved a band, live audience, a mix for television and the web and a mix for stage monitors,” Valerio continued. “For the first time there was no longer a need for an external console in the studio to mix the band, as we had done in the past. The Soundcraft handles all these mixes at the same time.”

Valerio finds that the Si Compact 32 is well suited for an educational environment. “The students, with some basic training, essentially programmed the configurations and handled all the mixes themselves with no problems,” he said. “One of the students specializing in audio production was glad to see we’d installed this console as he had worked with it at various venues and knew its capabilities.”

“The operating surface has a good clean layout with plenty of indicators to assist the person using the console,” Valerio said. “A simple mix is easy to set up, but so are highly complex mix-minus feeds, mono feeds and groups of busses. You can get very complicated if you need to or want to. Also, the onboard effects are wonderful especially considering they’re genuine Lexicon effects. If you want to, external effects are easily connected—we have a vintage compressor and effects unit.”

“I want to put in a word about the optional Compact Stagebox: outstanding,” Valerio continued. “We connect it with Cat5e cabling to run MADI audio to the board. You can get up to 32 ins and 16 outs although in practice we need some in the control room for monitor functions. The setup was literally plug and play; no fancy tricks needed to be done other than basic board mapping of inputs and outputs.”

“The sound quality is invisible, pristine.” Valerio concluded. “Overall for the money this board is astoundingly powerful and easy to use–a winner.”

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 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of about 13,900 people across the Americas, Europe and Asia, and reported net sales of $4.4 billion for year ended June 30, 2012.

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Visual Unity and CESNET Demonstrate New Version Of 4K Gateway Real-Time Low-Latency Streaming Device at Cinegrid

At the CineGrid International Workshop 2012 in La Jolla, California, Czech academic association CESNET, as a partner of the common project with leading multimedia solutions provider Visual Unity, will be demonstrating a new version of its award-winning product – 4K Gateway for the next generation of 4K content distribution supporting low-latency internet video up to 3D 4K.

Hailed as the latest step in the evolution of online video, 4K digital video offers approximately four times the resolution of the most widely-used HD television format, and 24 times that of a standard broadcast TV signal. The cost-effective 4K Gateway streaming device allows film, post production and visualisation companies to harness the power of 4K over unlimited bandwidth/distance in collaborative environments.

The 4K Gateway is currently being integrated into Visual Unity’s vuMedia™ solution. vuMedia™ is a PaaS (Platform as a Service) that includes a comprehensive suite of modules, enabling content owners to deliver video through the internet.

The current version operates in uncompressed mode providing bit-by-bit precise 3D 4K transmission with very low latency. JPEG 2000 compression with a DCI profile and subframe latency will be available in the forthcoming release.

“With the broadcast market discovering 4K format, and 4K taking off in the worldwide film industry, there is an increasing call for ‘faster-than-software’ based compression solutions,” says Jakub Kabourek, CEO of Visual Unity. “Working in conjunction with our partners, we have now integrated JPEG 2000 FPGA-based compression technology into 4K Gateway so that we can meet the new challenges of this growing market.”

At CineGrid, CESNET will demonstrate a collaborative clearing of scanned film tape in a high speed PC network environment. The demonstration will show how 4K Gateway device can facilitate the transfer of 4K video content from a post-production facility in Prague to a cinema in San Diego, through a high speed GLIF fiber infrastructure.

This clearing process is often used by film creators who want to digitize old movies but don’t want to physically move them from the archive where they are stored because of environmental damage concerns and health of the master film stock. Using this process, directors can be remotely located from the archive yet still access the film content. Transferring the content via high speed 4K networks makes the whole process much faster and cheaper and reduces the need for directors and their film to physically travel long distances.

4K Gateway has been developed in cooperation with Visual Unity, an international systém integrátor and Czech academic association CESNET and Prague-based independent post-production facility ACE.
Operating over dedicated photonic networks or shared Internet, 4K Gateway offers very low latency of less than 1 ms plus networking delay, thus ensuring a truly interactive experience. Higher buffering can be optionally selected to compensate for high network jitter or for special applications.

4K Gateway uses industry standard HD-SDI interfaces for eight video inputs and eight video outputs, all working simultaneously in multi-channel full-duplex operation to deliver 4K video. Each HD-SDI channel can operate in full mode (all areas of a frame transmitted) or view mode (only selected areas of a frameare transmitted). The latter allows the transmission of eight HD-SDI channels over a single 10 Gigabit Ethernet interface, thus enabling uncompressed 3D 4K or 4K RGB (4:4:4) transmissions.

-ends-

About Visual Unity

Visual Unity is an international Systems Integrator bridging the gap between linear broadcast, IT and IPTV to help clients reach and engage audiences on any screen. Since 1991, the team has been designing and delivering turnkey broadcast and complex multiscreen solutions worldwide – from HD Outside Broadcast vehicles and major playout facilities to live internet streaming and Video on Demand services.
Visual Unity’s award-winning vuMediaTM platform helps broadcasters and content owners control how their brand and assets are managed and monetized in the multiscreen environment. Highly scalable and flexible, vuMediaTM delivers a cutting-edge live viewing experience on the web or any mobile or connected device, comprehensive VoD services, social network integration and secure robust content distribution – all of which can be deployed into existing workflows and business processes.

Visual Unity is based in Prague, London, Cologne, Moscow, Bratislava, Belgrade, Nairobi and Dubai. For further information, please visit www.visualunity.com

GUITAR CENTER OPENS NEW STORE IN MIDLOTHIAN, VIRGINIA

— 239th Guitar Center location features on-site lessons and repair services, along with GC’s vast inventory selection —

Westlake Village, CA (December 11, 2012) – On the evening of Thursday, November 29, 2012, Guitar Center held the grand opening of its new location in Midlothian, Virginia, located at 13357 Rittenhouse Dr., 23112. The Midlothian store is Guitar Center’s 239th retail location and the sixth in Virginia, as well as the first Virginia store to offer Guitar Center Studios. Local musician and Guitar Center veteran Curtis Marion serves as the store manager.

Guitar Center Midlothian’s grand opening introduces customers to a vast selection of products and a dedicated staff with unparalleled musical knowledge and experience. To celebrate the store opening, Guitar Center hosted a Grand Opening Weekend celebration featuring exclusive savings, gear giveaways and free events. Guitar Center’s Midlothian location features showrooms equipped with the latest products for musicians – from guitars, amplifiers, percussion instruments and keyboards to live sound, DJ, lighting and recording equipment and more.

The store features Guitar Center Studios, an in-house, state-of-the-art lesson facility, which is already creating unrivalled opportunities for area musicians of all ages and skill levels. Guitar Center Studios provides music lessons from beginner to advanced featuring certified instructors teaching world-class curriculum as well as one-on-one courses on Pro Tools, Logic Pro and GarageBand. Guitar Center Studios will be the most modern lessons facility in the area. Guitar Center Midlothian also features GC Garage, Guitar Center’s on-site guitar repair service.

As part of Guitar Center’s initiatives designed to educate and inspire artists nationwide, Guitar Center Midlothian will offer unique opportunities for musicians to craft their skills, maintain their instruments and experience many other aspects of the music industry first-hand. Musicians interested in learning about the industry will be able to come to the store to interact with and pick the brains of several industry leaders.

Midlothian shoppers are also able to enjoy Guitar Center’s new multi-channel “endless aisle,” which includes multiple combinations of product options to conveniently choose from. Not only does the “endless aisle” include Midlothian’s inventory, but it also provides easy access to Guitar Center’s $400 million in new and used inventory located in hundreds of GC stores and warehouses nationwide. Customers have the ability to combine a variety of in-store, online and phone options to purchase music equipment from anywhere they may be, allowing for a personalized and convenient shopping experience.

In addition to special programs at the new Midlothian store, Guitar Center offers nationwide programs designed to spearhead creativity and highlight the nation’s most promising undiscovered talent. Midlothian residents will now be able to participate in these ongoing national events from their hometown:

Guitar Center On-Stage is an annual competition that provides unsigned artists the chance to open for established artists such as Motley Crüe, KISS and Jane’s Addiction.
Guitar Center Singer-Songwriter is an artist discovery program that aims to find the nation’s best unsigned singer-songwriter. Last year’s winner received a career-altering prize package which has included recording 3 songs with accomplished Grammy® Award-winning Producer John Shanks, recording time at Converse Rubber Tracks studio and $10,000 cash.
Guitar Center’s Battle of the Blues is a nationwide amateur guitar skills competition with the goal of finding the next great undiscovered blues guitar player. This year’s winner, Daniel “Boscoe” France, performed alongside Grammy Award-winning Producer Pete Anderson at the Grand Finals in LA, and won an incredible prize package valued at over $50,000.
Guitar Center’s Drum-Off, entering its 24th year, is the nationwide search for the next great undiscovered drummer. Drummers from across the nation compete in the world’s largest drum competition, vying for thousands of dollars in prizes and the coveted title of Guitar Center’s Drum-Off Champion. The grand prize package is valued at nearly $50,000.

Guitar Center Midlothian is open seven days a week. Store hours are 11:00 am – 8:00 pm Monday-Thursday; 10:00 am – 9:00 pm Friday; 10:00 am – 8:00 pm Saturday; and 11:00 pm – 8:00 pm Sunday.

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Richard Brooker Chooses Waves Audio for The Bodyguard Musical

— Acclaimed sound designer’s credits include Jesus Christ Superstar, Never Forget, The Sound of Music, Cabaret, Chess, Daddy Cool and many more —

TEL AVIV, ISRAEL, December 7, 2012 — Waves Audio is proud to be the DSP manufacturer of choice for U.K.-based Sound Designer Richard Brooker in the new stage musical adaptation of the award-winning film The Bodyguard, which recently opened in London at the Adelphi Theatre.

Brooker has a long history as an acclaimed sound designer on some of the industry’s biggest theatrical performances, including such credits as Jesus Christ Superstar, Never Forget, The Sound of Music, Cabaret, Chess, Daddy Cool, I Dreamed a Dream and many more. He has witnessed his job evolve as audience expectations and the theaters themselves have changed, demanding a higher level of audio production, and he has come to rely on tools from Waves for both live situations and his personal studio.

For The Bodyguard, he is using a DiGiCo SD7T with Waves SoundGrid® and the following Waves plugins: Renaissance Compressor (his personal favorite Waves “problem-solver”) across all of the main vocals and bass; H-Delay for vocal effects and to create sound effects; Renaissance Reverb for drum kit and backing vocals; and Bass Rider.

Brooker reflects on the unique challenges of The Bodyguard: “This is a massively dynamic show, where we have to provide a filmic-sounding piece while capturing the raw edge of a live band and live vocals, while telling the story and supporting the narrative in a theatrical way. These can be quite opposing requests. What has been achieved is a show full of FX soundscapes with big, live pop numbers, breathtaking power ballads and a complex, tender, exciting storyline.”

Brooker continues: “For instance, Heather [Headley, lead actress] is enormously powerful and dynamic vocally. While she is a genius in terms of her vocal control, when amplifying her voice, we need to tame and control it to make it live perfectly within the overall mix. The Renaissance Compressor is my best friend for this task – it is a very effective but virtually transparent compressor, which means that I can really hit the compressor hard with the vocal and yet not really hear it working in the mix. Brilliant!”

Visit www.waves.com and www.waveslive.com for more information.

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Tajci Delivers Her Passion Through Bose® L1 Systems on the Road

After experiencing the incredible portability, exceptional sound clarity and extensive control capabilities of the Bose L1 Model II portable line array and T1 ToneMatch® audio engine, Tajci says she can’t go back to conventional PA systems. Instead, she proclaims, “I want my Bose!”

Framingham, Massachusetts, December 6, 2012 – Tajci regularly fills the venues on her “I Do Believe!” tours, from intimate church spaces to 1,000-seat auditoriums. What every gig has in common, though, are her amazing voice and the equally amazing sound of the L1® Model II system with B1 Bass from Bose® Professional Systems Division. Tajci, as she is known professionally, was a leading pop-music star in Croatia before the unrest in the region in the early 1990s. In 1992, she fled her homeland and took her talents to the U.S., where she has established herself as an inspirational artist with a national following. Her “I Do Believe!” tours host capacity crowds at churches across the country. A key element that has helped her maintain consistency in her live sound and helped keep overhead costs under control has been the L1 sound system and the T1 ToneMatch® audio engine, a digital multichannel mixer specifically designed for use with all Bose L1 systems. Taj?i tours with three L1 Model II systems – each one a 24-speaker articulated line array that delivers 180-degree horizontal sound coverage – three B1 bass modules and three T1 mixers that feature over 100 proprietary ToneMatch presets for instruments and microphones and include Bose zEQ, storable scenes and a suite of studio-class effects. These nine components are all Taj?i needs to take on the road to accommodate virtually all of her live-sound needs.

Denny Bouchard, Tajci’s long-time musical director, arranger and co-producer, also plays keyboards on tour with her, and he says the Bose L1 systems have made a remarkable difference in so many ways. “As musicians, we have total control over our sound,” he says, noting that Taj?i has one of the T1 controllers attached to her keyboard, allowing her to precisely control the level and effects on her vocals. “If we play a room that becomes less ‘live’ sounding as it fills up with people, she can add reverb to compensate, and she can do it in real time and exactly to her taste. And since the L1 Model II system performs so consistently from venue to venue, we’ve nearly eliminated formal soundchecks, which saves us a lot of time and effort.” Matthew Cameron, Tajci’s manager, co-producer and husband, says the Bose L1 systems have been cost effective for their tour, since they reduce the need for a separate sound person on the road, as well as the fact that the L1’s feedback avoidance capability means that they can perform in front of the speakers, eliminating the need for separate monitor speakers. “That reduces the amount of equipment we have to carry and reduces our set-up times,” he says. Cameron says Tajci was an early adopter of the Bose L1 approach to live sound, starting with the very first L1 system in 2006, and they upgraded to the L1 Model II with B1 bass as soon as it became available. “The sound and the control that we get from the L1 Model II and T1 audio engine is fantastic, but so is the customer support we get from Bose,” he says. “Working with Bose has positively impacted so many aspects of what we do.”

Perhaps the most heartfelt observations come from Tajci herself, who says the L1 Model II systems have done what no other sound system has ever come close to accomplishing. “Because we can play with speakers behind us, the audience is hearing what we’re hearing on stage, and because of the degree of control that the T1’s give us, that sound is like listening to the speakers in a recording studio,” she says. “It’s that clear. I also think it’s made me a better musician, because I can hear everything – my vocals, my keyboard – in ways that you never could before on stage in a live performance environment. I can hear every note. I can express more.” Tajci also evokes a terrifically passionate response from her fans at shows, and she says that by having a sound system that is essentially invisible on stage, it removes that perceptual barrier between her and her audience. She recalls the few occasions when in very large venues she’s had to work with installed PA systems with floor monitors. “The monitor mixers do their best, but it’s never the same as when you can hear yourself like you can with the Bose L1 systems. I don’t ever want to go back to traditional sound systems. I want my Bose!”

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Eric Smith, Founder and President of Auralex® Acoustics, Shares His Knowledge Through Lectures and Speaking Engagements Nationwide

— Ongoing series of events sees Smith traveling to schools and conferences far and wide to educate and entertain students, faculty and industry veterans alike —

INDIANAPOLIS, IN, December 6, 2012 – Eric Smith, Founder and President of Auralex® Acoustics, Inc., the world’s leading brand of acoustical treatments and currently celebrating its 35th anniversary, has had a busy travel itinerary lately, as he has been a featured guest lecturer at a number of colleges and universities across the country. A highly-sought-after speaker, Smith has had the opportunity to speak to faculty and students at The New England Institute of Art; Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU); Nashville’s Belmont University, International Academy of Design and Technology, The Art Institute of Tennessee-Nashville, SAE and Dark Horse Institute; and others, with more such engagements planned indefinitely.

Smith, throughout his career, has been a strong advocate of education, and he has guest-lectured at high schools and colleges throughout the country on the subjects of acoustics, broadcasting, entrepreneurship and business ethics. Smith brings a wealth of personal experience, technical knowledge and a sense of humor to all of his presentations, which focus on basic acoustic theories, sound control issues and solutions, product design strategies, the challenges of a start-up company and what it takes to be successful in business.

During his recent travels, Smith was also the featured guest on the online webcast, The East West AUDIO Body Shop, hosted by studio designer George Whittam and voice talent/studio consultant Dan Lenard. Smith fielded numerous questions involving studio acoustic design and sound control issues, and the initial webcast was streamed by visitors from around the world and then downloaded or streamed by thousands more online. In addition to this interview, Smith has participated in streaming interviews with a number of schools around the country, most recently with a marketing class at Middle Tennessee State University.

Smith was also a featured panelist at the recent PotLuckCon 2012 Audio Conference. Eric participated in a panel discussion along with studio designers/acousticians Chris Pelonis, Wes Lachot, Carl Tatz and Larry Swist. The topic of the well-attended panel discussion was “Studio Acoustics: Design and Monitoring,” and the panel was moderated by engineer/producer and pro audio journalist Russ Long.

David Fischer, Auralex CEO, stated, “Everyone at Auralex is very proud that Eric Smith is able to impart his extensive knowledge and expertise to the wider audio community. Public speaking is really a strong suit of his, and he very much enjoys the opportunity to speak to students – the producers, engineers and studio designers of the future – and share his real-world experiences as a way of giving back to the industry that has given him so much.”

“This series of events has been very fruitful,” stated Eric Smith. “I love getting the opportunity to promote good sound and good listening environments to current and future engineers and members of the audio community. When I see tomorrow’s audio professionals asking great questions and paying close attention, I know that the industry is in great hands. I am lucky that I can make an impact on these minds in the process, and I look forward to participating at more of these events in the near future.”

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

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Hear Holiday Music the Way It was Meant to Sound with Audio Xciter™ App

— Aphex cures technology’s tin ear with iOS and Android app —

BURBANK, CA, December 6, 2012 — Listening to Holiday music on your mobile device just got better. Hear Bing Crosby and Eartha Kitt the way they were meant to sound with the Audio Xciter™ app – free to demo and now only $0.99 for unlimited play. Aphex, a leader in audio enhancement technology for more than 35 years, today released Audio Xciter app for Android devices (previously only available for iOS). Audio Xciter is the only music player app that dynamically improves the sonic quality of music, audio books and podcasts on mobile devices through its patented Aphex DSP.

Since 1975, legendary musicians from Paul McCartney to Led Zeppelin as well as today’s top artists including Flo Rida, Bruno Mars and Rihanna have relied on the technology behind Audio Xciter for audio mastering. This technology now allows music lovers to experience the detail and richness of an artist’s original sound created in-studio on their mobile devices.

The patented Aphex technology behind Audio Xciter restores missing harmonics to music and voice. Unlike EQ apps, which typically add gain and distortion, Audio Xciter is gain-neutral, resulting in increased brightness, clarity, spaciousness and presence.

“In this era of HD video and 4G download speeds, I’m amazed that smart phones and tablets still deliver compressed audio that sounds flat and boring. The quality of music downloads and streams has not improved in more than a decade. Consumers have been fooled into buying music that’s only good enough, not great,” said David Wiener, CEO of Aphex and founder of DWV Entertainment, Aphex’s parent company. “Audio Xciter turns compressed audio into a new listening experience by exposing the ‘quality gap’ – now vocals are clear and airy, the bass hits harder and you’ll hear instruments and voices appear that were previously buried in the mix.”

A free demo of Audio Xciter is available through iTunes for iOS and Google Play and Amazon for Android devices. An upgrade provides unlimited use (only $0.99 through the end of the year, $2.99 thereafter) and the professional Audio Xciter Studio ($4.99, regularly $7.99) allows users to fine-tune the Xciter DSP settings for a truly custom experience.

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of Audio Xciter goes to Respect the Music, Aphex’s nonprofit foundation supporting musical education in schools.

Additional information including demo videos and screenshots are available at http://AudioXciterApp.com.

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GC Pro and HARMAN Professional Team Up for a Triple Play of Great New Restaurant Sound Systems

— Boston-area eateries The Salty Pig, Canary Square and Trade get new indoor and outdoor sound systems specified and sourced by GC Pro to assure maximum integrated performance —

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CA, December 5, 2012 — In today’s “foodie” culture, every new restaurant needs to immediately establish its own distinct look and feel, but also ensure that the customer experience there will be top notch. Where can three very different kinds of restaurants go to make certain that they have the best AV system design and components for their specific styles? Guitar Center Professional (GC Pro), the outside sales division of Guitar Center that focuses on the needs of professional users, was able to answer that question definitively for a trio of new establishments in the Boston area. GC Pro drew upon its depth of resources, such as access to the full array of audio systems solutions from HARMAN Professional, to supply these three restaurants with sound systems that perfectly match their particular styles and are helping them each make their mark with their unique audiences.

At the Salty Pig, GC Pro Senior Account Executive PK Pandey designed a sound system that provides full-range music reproduction and intelligible paging with no compromises for either task. “The challenge here was the many hard, highly reflective surfaces, including wood and tiled floors and table tops,” explains Pandey, who assembled a system that uses seven JBL Control Series C67P/T pendant-type speakers, two JBL SB210 subwoofers, five JBL Control 24C ceiling speakers, along with a JBL CBT 50LA columnar line array on the restaurant’s outdoor patio, powered by Crown XLS 2000 and XLS 1000 amplifiers, and managed by a dbx 1260m zone controller. As critical as the audio equipment components was the Auralex acoustical treatment that Pandey also sourced for the design. “In addition to the highly directional speakers we used, we needed a lot of absorption around the dining areas to enable the sound be present and very clear,” he explains. “The results were excellent.”

In fact, the sound was so good that the Salty Pig’s owners asked GC Pro to work their same magic for their other restaurant, Canary Square, where Pandey redesigned the sound systems to include a dozen JBL C67 P/T pendants and four CBT 50LA line arrays on the outdoor dining patio, powered by Crown XLS 2000 and XLS 1000 amplifiers, and managed by a dbx ZonePro 1261m controller with ZC9 and ZC1 remotes. “The problems they were having at Canary Square were volume level and intelligibility – the same issues we were able to successfully tackle at the Salty Pig,” says Pandey, who also used carefully-aligned acoustical treatment panels to minimize reflections and maximize intelligibility, allowing the music to be present without being overpowering.

Trade, another trendy Boston-area eatery, called on GC Pro after experiencing the exceptional sound of the Salty Pig. “The owners of Trade liked the way we used the speakers to enhance the architectural/aesthetic appearance at the other restaurants,” Pandey says. “This was of primary importance to them, as well as great sound. We worked closely with the architect on the project to achieve both goals.” For Trade, GC Pro specified 10 JBL C67 P/T pendant speakers, eight JBL 226C/T ceiling speakers and a JBL SB210 sub, powered by Crown CTs 3000 and XLS 1500 amplifiers and managed by six dbx ZonePro 1261m controllers with ZC9 and ZC1 remotes.

These are just three of the numerous, recent restaurant projects where GC Pro has been able to help deliver great sound in challenging situations. “We can offer them what no one else can – access to great equipment, like the technology from HARMAN Professional, as well as system designs that are within the client’s budget, flexible installation options and project management from start to finish,” says Pandey. “We understand what our clients are attempting to accomplish, and we become their partners in helping to achieve it.”

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

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Leading Artists, Engineers and Producers Choose Auralex® ProPAD™ Monitor Isolation Pad

— ProPAD™ is designed for decoupling monitors and reducing structural vibrations —

INDIANAPOLIS, IN, December 5, 2012 – Auralex® Acoustics, Inc., the world’s leading brand of acoustical treatments and currently celebrating its 35th anniversary, is proud that its ProPAD™ Monitor Isolation Pad, the latest product in its ISO (Instant Sound Optimizer) line, has been chosen by leading artists, engineers and producers as a vital piece of their recording setup. ProPAD provides superior isolation from the vibrations and resonant energy created by studio monitors, preventing this energy from being transmitted into the supporting furniture, which would greatly color the monitors’ sound and degrade their imaging.

Guitarist/multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and producer Adrian Belew is noted for his work with Frank Zappa, David Bowie, Talking Heads and King Crimson, as well as his acclaimed solo career. He is blown away by the difference the ProPADs make in his monitor setup. “Once you listen to your monitors on the Auralex ProPADs, you won’t want to hear them any other way. They’re the best I’ve heard,” he states.

Producer/engineer Russ Long, whose credits include Wilco, Dolly Parton, Steven Curtis Chapman, etc., is also impressed by the contrast between his monitors with and without ProPADs: “After making records in my studio for nearly 20 years, I added ProPADs to my configuration, and my monitoring became more accurate than ever.”

Mixer/engineer/producer Peter Moshay has worked with such acts as Hall & Oates, Mariah Carey and Sean Lennon, and currently he serves as house engineer for Daryl Hall’s Live at Daryl’s House program. He states, “I never thought my monitors could sound better until I tried ProPADs. I’ll never be without them.”

Producer/mixer/engineer/songwriter Glenn Rosenstein’s CV features many of music history’s heavy hitters: Madonna, U2, Talking Heads, Ziggy Marley, etc. He adds, “The Auralex ProPADs are unlike any other professional monitor isolators I’ve used. No harmonic resonance … and no sonic artifacts!”

Paul Umbach’s tenure in the pop world has led him to a stint as a key producer at Jive Records, where he worked with superstars Britney Spears and ‘N Sync, to name a few. He has also collaborated with acclaimed singer-songwriter Matt White. He is similarly impressed with his ProPADs: “The new Auralex ProPADs are amazing. It’s like somebody pressed the clarity button.”

The ProPAD is sold in stereo pairs and is designed to work with nearfield monitors employing up to 8″ woofers. ProPAD’s updated design features a 0.75″ layer of laminated black MDF covered with a thick layer of Auralex’s proprietary IsoPuck™ isolation material, which is made of recycled rubber. Six stick-on feet, also made from IsoPuck material, are supplied for flat or angled applications. The ProPAD is the perfect solution for decoupling monitors and reducing structural vibration in all manner of sound-critical spaces, including recording studios, post-production/edit suites, mobile recording facilities, hi-fi listening rooms, home theaters or anywhere a monitor/speaker isolation platform is needed to improve sonic purity.

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

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