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Archive for December, 2012

Houston’s HS for the Performing and Visual Arts Installs Yamaha AFC System

HOUSTON, Texas—The High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (HSPVA) of the Houston Independent School District evolved in 1971 from a realization that gifted young artists need highly specialized and rigorous training in the arts to be prepared for the intense competition they will meet in colleges, conservatories, and the professional arts world. The creation of HSPVA represented the first attempt by any public high school in the nation to correlate an academic program with concentrated training in the arts.

Recently, the HSPVA completed the installation of a Yamaha AFC3 (Active Field Control) System for the 400-seat Denney Theater. The system, provided by Sound Productions of Irving, Texas and installed by Covenant Communications of Houston, is the first AFC3 installation, using the new AFC-FIR card released at InfoComm 2012, in the world. The HSPVA AFC3 installation includes 20 speakers with four mics all out in the main auditorium.

The project’s architect, Abe Sustatia of Sustatia Architects, contacted Covenant. “We were asked to design and install a new sound system for the Denney Theater and the black box theater,” states Shawn Mullins at Covenant. “While working with both Abe and the school to determine the best route for the sound system, they asked about options to help the acoustic environment in theater. They have multiple choral and musical groups, and since the theater was so acoustically dead, the school had to move musical performances to other venues that became costly and troublesome.”

“This is my fourth year as the Technical Director at HSPVA,” states Marc Duncan. “To say that we have had sound reinforcement issues would be an understatement of exponential proportions. After three years attempting to repair/replace or reinvent our acoustic orchestra shell and its implementation, we thought we had finally found what we believed was the best ‘sound’ we would ever achieve… until now.”

“We designed two systems, the reinforcement system, that is centered around a Yamaha LS9-32 digital console and digital snake and then the enhancement system,” Mullins continues. “We were familiar with two systems being used to enhance room acoustics, Yamaha and Meyer. We looked at both processes and felt that Yamaha suited the venue better. We contacted Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems and began the process of getting design assistance. As the project matured, we contacted Jeff Humphries of Sound Productions to make arrangements for the equipment. Sound Productions has been a great partner for us for over the past 12 years. The original design incorporated the previous generation of AFC equipment, so we were really excited when we were informed that we would be getting the new Yamaha AFC3 for this project.”

Active Field Control is a reverberation enhancement system that adjusts and enhances the acoustic characteristics of a facility while preserving the natural characteristics. This is achieved by creating feedback loops of microphones and speakers located in the reverberant field of the room to “recycle” the reverberant energy, thus extending the RT time. Yamaha AFC is used to create varying RT settings to suit different performance applications within the same facility. The system can be used to add spaciousness to under balcony or stage areas so all audience members and performers can enjoy the same sense of connection to the music and a greater shared experience. AFC systems can also be used to add early reflections or as crowd enhancements systems.

The new AFC3 processor supports transfer of FIR calculations of AFC processing to dedicated hardware. The new AFC-FIR processor card can be mounted in the AFC3 processor, and in addition to handling the processor-intensive FIR calculations, the card also provides four AES inputs for system microphone channels.

“As a performing arts school that averages 30 different events in our Denney Theater a year, half of them being from the Music Department, it is easy to understand how much this system has benefitted us,” says Duncan. “The look of shock and awe when our music department chairs heard the system for the first time was an overwhelming relief that we could finally provide a space to support the magic that takes place in our school every day.”

Duncan said the first event held for the Music Department using the new AFC System was a fundraiser where they had a 40-person choir, Symphonic Band & Wind Ensemble, Jazz Band, Young Performers Pop Concert, and a full Orchestra, all performing in the same space throughout the night. This event takes place throughout the whole building in all of the school’s performing spaces and averages 2,000 guests a year. “Everyone raved about how great the sound was and how shocked they were that this was the same building they had been coming to for years, but had never heard ‘this’ before. Looking back, I wonder how we ever did the event at all without the Yamaha AFC system. When we want a dead space we turn it off, and when we want more, the question now is, ‘how much more?’

As the main operator of the system Duncan said he can’t get over how quick and easy the AFC System is to operate. “We can switch between five different room environments, taking about four seconds to load each setting, and we have a 10 db range of control depending on how live we want it to sound. We can access it from the booth or from backstage, all from a simple panel no bigger than a DVD case. The Denney Theater is not just a performance space; it is also used as a classroom. Now, when we have master classes or guest artists in the space during the day, changing the acoustics of the room to customize it is fast, efficient, and a breeze. The system sounds outstanding; it’s remarkable!”

For more information on the Houston High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, visit www.hspva.org.

For more information on the Yamaha AFC System, visit www.yamahaca.com.

-END-

About Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc.:
Celebrating 125 years of Passion and Performance, and 25 years in the manufacturer of high quality digital audio consoles, 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.

BORMANN MARKETING EARNS SYMETRIX U.S. REP OF THE YEAR AWARD

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON: Symetrix, manufacturer of a broad range of signal processing and control equipment for professional audio applications, announces that Bormann Marketing has earned its U.S. Rep of the Year award for fiscal year 2012. Bormann Marketing has been representing Symetrix in the Dakotas, Minnesota, Wisconsin and northern Illinois for the past year-and-a-half. The award is an even more noteworthy accomplishment “given the particularly talented rep force that we currently have,” in the words of Tim Murray, director of sales in the U.S. & Canada for Symetrix. In addition to the Integrator Series of application specific installed system DSP, the Jupiter series of app based turn-key DSP, and the powerful Dante network audio SymNet Edge & Radius DSP, Bormann cited strong sales of the SymNet Solus standalone fixed I/O DSP as key ingredients in the past year’s success.

“Company Principal, Jon Bormann and his team form a very professional, talented organization,” said Murray. “They epitomize all of the characteristics of a successful independent manufacturer’s representative. Not only do they consistently meet and exceed sales goals, they have a strong infrastructure, they make it a point to learn and master the technologies and products, and of course, they have excellent rapport and relationships with their/our customers, as well as with personnel here at Symetrix. We are quite pleased to be working with Bormann Marketing and look forward to more growth and success together in the coming year.”

“We make it a priority to keep on top of the technology so that we can confidently assist in trainings and system design,” said Bormann. “And of course Symetrix is rapidly bringing innovative, new products to market that perfectly meet the needs of our clients. Thus, we have a great synergy with Symetrix. In the past year, the SymNet Solus processor was especially popular, owing in equal parts to its flexible open-architecture DSP, transparent sound quality, and fiercely competitive price-point.”

ABOUT SYMETRIX Symetrix engineers high-end professional audio solutions, specializing in DSP hardware and software. Symetrix products are distributed worldwide, and designed and manufactured in the U.S. at the Seattle area headquarters. Since 1976, customers have enjoyed the benefits of Symetrix’ independent ownership and management. For more information on Symetrix professional audio products, please visit www.symetrix.co or call +1 (425) 778-7728.

ROBUST, AFFORDABLE ASHLY PROCESSORS, AMPLIFIERS, AND NETWORK FADER REMOTE CONTROL REJUVENATE ST. CLEMENT CHURCH

DES PERES, MISSOURI: St. Clement of Rome Catholic Church has served as the spiritual bedrock of Des Peres, Missouri for over half a century. Today, over 5,000 parishioners call St. Clement home, and over 500 students attend its schools. Like most mid-sized churches, the impact of its services relies on a well-functioning sound reinforcement system to deliver transparent, intelligible spoken word and emotionally compelling music. When St. Clement’s old sound system started failing, it called on local A/V integrator Tech Electronics to install a new system that would provide trouble-free service for years to come. Tech Electronics met that goal with a new headend comprised of an Ashly ne24.24M modular processor, three Ashly KLR 3200 amplifiers, and an Ashly FR-16 network fader remote control.

“The church had last updated its equipment over a dozen years ago,” explained Tony Badamo, systems specialist at Tech Electronics. “They don’t modify their setup very often, so when they do, they want to choose an integrator and equipment that will provide a stable system to carry them far into the future. The auto-mixers in the old system were starting to fail, as were some of the amplifiers.” Badamo wanted to try a complete Ashly system, based on its reputation for reliability and its competitive price point. “The power you get per dollar with Ashly amplifiers is very efficient,” he added. “If you compare it with the other leading amplifier manufacturers out there, you’ll see it’s a big difference.”

All of the loudspeakers – which are arranged as a center cluster with a left-right complement – were in good shape, and Badamo left them in place. Only the rack equipment needed to be replaced. To accommodate the church’s CD player input and its many microphone inputs, he outfitted the modular Ashly ne24.24M processor with twelve analog inputs. Eight outputs handle all of the existing loudspeakers, including a 70-volt system for hallways and other areas outside the sanctuary, as well as a listening assistance system. Badamo easily configured one of the Ashly KLR 3200 amplifier channels to power the 70-volt system. The remaining channels power the house system.

Badamo was careful to give St. Clement Church enough control to meet its needs, but not so much control that curious fingers could wreck the setup. The Ashly FR-16 is a bank of sixteen faders plus a master that communicates with any Ashly processor via a simple network connection. Each fader’s effect is fully customizable, and Badamo gave the church simple volume control of each input, along with master volume control. Because the church was hoping for a “set it and forget it” setup, the Ashly FR-16 resides in the rack. Everything else is off limits. “I love that the volume knobs on the Ashly KLR amplifiers can be locked out,” Badamo said. “Especially in systems like this with multiple outputs, giving the user access to the volume knobs is a recipe for blown-up speakers!”

ABOUT ASHLY AUDIO Ashly Audio Inc. is recognized as a world leader in the design and manufacturing of high quality & high performance signal processing equipment and power amplification for use in the commercial sound contracting and professional audio markets. The 37-year old company is headquartered in Webster, New York U.S.A.

www.ashly.com

SYMETRIX JUPITER 8 APP BASED TURN-KEY DSP PROVIDES WYOMING SCHOOL AUDITORIUM PERFORMANCE AND CONTROL

PINDALE, WYOMING: Nestled amid the soaring, snow-capped peaks of the Rocky Mountains, Sublette County School District #1 serves the students of Pinedale, Wyoming and its neighboring communities. Total enrollment across all grades falls just over 1,000 students. With an auditorium available for school performances and community events, the Pinedale High School operates as one of the cultural cornerstones of the small community, and the responsibility of maintaining and operating it’s A/V system falls to Patrick Rookus, the district’s auditorium manager and tech director. When the room’s aging sound reinforcement system approached its thirtieth birthday, Rookus made the call to renovate it, both as a way to prevent imminent equipment failure and, perhaps more importantly, as a way to keep up with the needs of the auditorium’s diverse users. A Symetrix Jupiter 8 app based, turn-key DSP resides at the heart of the new system and delivers transparent audio quality, system flexibility, and intuitive user control.

“We wanted the new system to be versatile enough to satisfy the needs of the varied types of performances and presentations that take place, while also anticipating the sound system requirements for many years to come,” said Rookus. He contacted Performance Audio of nearby Salt Lake City, Utah, where system design & installation expert Jake Peery worked out an affordable and effective solution. “By using a Symetrix Jupiter, I knew we could create a system that would be simple, flexible, and – together with a Symetrix ARC-2e wall panel remote – easy to operate,” said Peery. “The Jupiter possesses all of the necessary processing power, including delays, limiting, and equalization, at a very affordable price point.”

The system is composed of eight new Sennheiser ew 114 G3 wireless microphones, along with a range of other existing wired and wireless microphones that feed an existing console. The outputs of the console feed two of the eight analog inputs of the Symetrix Jupiter 8. An additional microphone runs directly into the Jupiter 8 to allow speech reinforcement for simple applications. The additional inputs of the Jupiter 8 accommodate other “guest” consoles that can be utilized without having to un-patch the main console. On the back end, a new stereo Electro-Voice EVA line array with three top cabinets and two subwoofers per side provides impactful coverage, and four Electro-Voice XI-1082 loudspeakers provide front fill. Electro-Voice amplifiers power the system.

The Jupiter 8 runs the “Sound Reinforcement #6” app, which provides a high-pass filter, a low-pass filter, a 15-band EQ, a split compressor, and a feedback fighter on each input. On each of the outputs there is a speaker manager module, which contains eight bands of parametric EQ, a high-pass filter, a low-pass filter, and up to 243ms of speaker delay. A flexible matrix creates eight submixes, where any input can be routed to any output with full input level control. Peery installed a Symetrix ARC-2e wall panel remote at the rack, which allows Rookus to easily select between the Jupiter 8 inputs. Moreover, the ARC-2e allows for selecting different operating modes, such that the guest consoles can patch in and be processed as left/right only, as left/right and separate fills, or as left/right, fills, and subwoofers.

“It’s an efficient system that does everything required of it,” summarized Peery. “Moreover, it has sufficient flexibility to meet the school’s future needs.”

ABOUT SYMETRIX Symetrix engineers high-end professional audio solutions, specializing in DSP hardware and software. Symetrix products are distributed worldwide, and designed and manufactured in the U.S. at the Seattle area headquarters. Since 1976, customers have enjoyed the benefits of Symetrix’ independent ownership and management. For more information on Symetrix professional audio products, please visit www.symetrix.co or call +1 (425) 778-7728.

METRIC HALO’S PRODUCTION BUNDLE GOES COUNTRY

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE: Gifted producer and engineer Julian King brings an exceedingly rare blend of talent, temperament, and training to all of his projects. He entered the Nashville scene with a music degree, but quickly gravitated to the technical side of music production under the tutelage of engineering greats Chuck Ainlay, Steve Marcantonio, John Guess, and Lynn Peterzell. World-class chops paired with an easy-going personality have earned King jobs with a who’s who-list of country legends and rising stars, including George Jones, George Strait, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Tim McGraw, Vince Gill, Charlie Daniels, Hank Williams Jr., Kenny Rogers, Clint Black, Martina McBride, Randy Travis, Brooks & Dunn, Toby Keith, Trace Adkins, Alabama, The Judds, Chris Young, Lauren Alaina, Casey James, Sugarland, Kellie Pickler, and Tyler Farr, among many others. His engineering on Faith Hill’s crossover sensation Breathe earned King a Grammy, and in total, his work has sold over one hundred million units.

Shortly after moving to exclusively in-the-box mixing, King found Metric Halo’s ChannelStrip plug-in, and he has since used it on almost every single channel of each and every mix he’s done. Recently, he picked up Metric Halo’s Production Bundle of plug-ins and is discovering that a full-course of Metric Halo’s “musical” algorithms and intuitive, results-oriented interfaces will be a benefit to his mixes and workflow going forward.

“I’m very fortunate to be a busy guy, but I don’t work 24/7 – I’ve managed to still maintain a life outside of the studio!” King asserted. Although he admits to working the occasional eighty-hour week, he also frequently enjoys taking time off to play golf or to go on outings with his wife and children. “I have duplicate rigs at home and at Loud Recording,” King said. “I’m able to work flexibly, but perhaps more importantly, I’m able to work quickly. I only use tools that are musical and intuitive.”

When King first entered the business in 1987, he was, of course, mixing on large-format analog consoles. “It wasn’t that long ago that I would work on a mix for a day or two, and then the producers and artists would come to the studio to close that one song with me,” he said. “You could get everybody in one place back then. But these days, everybody’s traveling and it’s nearly impossible to get everybody in one place.” Responding to that trend, King made the move to exclusive in-the-box mixing about six years ago. That way, if he can get everyone involved in one place, they can complete an entire album in a day or two by tweaking his nearly-completed mixes. If he can’t get everyone together, he can post files and dial in the perfect mix via iterations of comments and corrections.

“I discovered Metric Halo ChannelStrip shortly after I started mixing in the box,” said King. “Now I use it on almost every channel of every song I mix. I have a default preset that I created with the most common compression ratios and EQ center points dialed in, but with the threshold all the way up and the EQ flat. It’s very quick and intuitive, and it’s easy to get musical results very quickly. That said, it’s also easy to dig in and make more fine-scale changes. It offers flexible processing and a flexible interface. I can see as much or as little detail as I like.”

He continued, “Of course the sound quality of ChannelStrip is awesome. I wouldn’t use it if it didn’t sound great. It doesn’t impart any unfortunate side effects to the signal. It’s transparent unless I want it to add some color. It’s a bit like a great offensive line – it’s in there day-after-day doing a critical job but it doesn’t get a lot of glory. Among my friends in Nashville, I’m in good company as a ChannelStrip user. Just as I see a lot of the same hardware when I visit different studios, I see a lot of Metric Halo ChannelStrips. I think we all realize we’ve got something solid here.”

King was poking around on the Internet one day recently, exploring options for multiband compression. He wasn’t entirely satisfied with the plug-in he had been using. He happened upon the Metric Halo website and saw that the Production Bundle included Multiband Dynamics, in addition to ChannelStrip 3, HaloVerb, Character (an analog circuit modeler), Precision DeEsser, TransientControl, and Multiband Expander. Given his daily reliance on ChannelStrip, he thought it would be worth a try. “It was an immediate success,” he said. “I modified one of the presets and managed to get some pretty heavy compression that was still quite transparent. It worked well in stereo and surround.”

Although nothing that King has used the Production Bundle on is yet released, there promises to be a torrent in a month or two. He used it to mix the CMA awards tribute to Willie Nelson that featured Lady Antebellum, Blake Shelton, Keith Urban, Tim McGraw, and Faith Hill. He’s using it with in-progress projects for Chris Young, Kix Brooks, Casey James, Maggie Rose, Tyler Farr, and the CMA Christmas special, which features stereo and surround instrumental mixes for Jennifer Nettles (Sugarland), Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Dierks Bentley, Colbie Caillat, John Legend, Martina McBride, Scotty McCreery, The Band Perry, Keith Urban, and Katherine Jenkins.

“Unfortunately dynamic range in commercial recordings is almost non-existent and there seems to be an expectation for songs to be nearly full scale from start to finish,” continued King. “My job is to create the impression of dynamics in the mix even if they aren’t really there, as there has to be some lift as you transition from, say, a verse to a chorus. My mentor Lynn Peterzell called this “illusionary dynamics.” The Metric Halo Multiband Dynamics does a great job of keeping things nice and full and musical while still delivering a modern, full-scale output. It does its job, but you don’t sense that it is beating up the music.”

In the short time that he has had the Production Bundle, King has also enjoyed the quick musical results of HaloVerb. “I’ve recently use it to create a space around some studio recorded music that was going to air on TV as though it were live,” he said. “With only a few small, intuitive adjustments, I had HaloVerb sounding really nice. I placed it in the rear channels on the surround mix almost exclusively. Like the other Metric Halo plug-ins I’m familiar with, HaloVerb gives me quick, effective results.

ABOUT METRIC HALO Now based in the sunny city of Safety Harbor, Florida, Metric Halo provides the world with high-resolution metering, analysis, recording and processing solutions with award-winning software and future-proof hardware.

www.mhlabs.com

For More Information on Julian King, visit: www.julianking.net

FULL SAIL UNIVERSITY TO OUTFIT STUDIO B WITH A 64-CHANNEL API VISION ANALOG SURROUND SOUND CONSOLE

WINTER PARK, FLORIDA: With 17,000 students and over 44,000 alumni filling the ranks of the entertainment industry, Full Sail University is among the best-known and highly-respected institutions for audio, film, design, show production, game development, computer animation, and entertainment business education. Its flagship recording arts program dates back to the school’s founding over thirty years ago and is currently supported by a massive studio complex. After a comprehensive search and thorough vetting, Full Sail has announced it will replace the existing console in Studio B with a 64-channel API Vision analog surround sound console.

“It was important that we provide our students the invaluable experience of working with high-end analog audio,” explained Dana Roun, director of audio arts at Full Sail University. “Today, most of our incoming students have been working with digital audio their entire lives. And yet the sound that defines our industry, the sound of the classic albums, the benchmark in professional audio, is the sound of finely crafted analog equipment. API embodies that real analog sound.”

Of course, Full Sail University does not make a decision on one of its large-format consoles in one of its signature control rooms lightly. Some of the school’s audio educators and technicians met to whittle down a long list of possible replacements. “We considered everything,” said Roun. “But we were aiming for that boutique, sought-after, no-questions-asked, flat-out great analog sound.” Once a short-list existed, Roun and a small party of faculty traveled to Nashville, where they could test-drive each console in close proximity. “We left Nashville sure in our decision that API had the sound we were after,” he continued. “When we heard it, it felt unmistakably right.”

“API is pleased not only to be chosen to build and supply a custom API Vision console for Full Sail, but also to show this 64-channel console on the floor of the recent AES Show,” said Gordon Smart, managing director of API. “This special desk, scheduled for commissioning at Full Sail on January 2, 2013, was unveiled at this past AES convention in San Francisco. It’s exciting to welcome one of the most prestigious secondary schools on the planet into the API family!”

Because the API Vision can mix in stereo and surround sound simultaneously, Full Sail will be able to merge it with audio-for-video courses and projects. Its flexibility provides room for growth and will allow the school to realize the full value of its investment for many years to come, independent of the often-unpredictable shifts in digital audio technology.

ABOUT API (AUTOMATED PROCESSES, INC.)
Established more than 40 years ago, Automated Processes, Inc. is the leader in analog recording gear with the Vision, Legacy Series and 1608 recording consoles, as well as its classic line of modular signal processing equipment.

www.apiaudio.com

ABS Helps Oregon History Museum Visitors Remember Columbus Day Storm with Video Exhibit

SEATAC, WA — Visitors to the Oregon History Museum in downtown Portland are reliving the Columbus Day Storm of 1962 with the help of professional video and audio systems integration firm Advanced Broadcast Solutions (ABS). Presented by Portland General Electric, “The Mightiest Wind” exhibit includes an area engineered by ABS, where patrons can act like a meteorologist by standing in front of a green screen and creating a video weather report.

Considered the most disastrous weather event in Oregon’s history, the Columbus Day Storm was blamed for almost 50 deaths in the region and had damaging wind gusts that knocked out power in some locations for several weeks. According to Marsha Matthews, director of museum services, response to the exhibit has been very positive. “Our attendance was way up in October,” she noted.

KGW, the NBC affiliate in Portland, which is a media sponsor and partner for the exhibit, loaned the museum some video equipment, including a video camera and pedestal. The station also provided file footage and new video interviews for the exhibit, and KGW chief meteorologist Matt Zaffino is serving as a guest curator. KGW’s director of technology, David Boyd, helped the museum connect with ABS to create the green screen area.

ABS designed and installed the system, coordinated content with KGW, and provided training to the museum staff. Using a Blackmagic Design ATEM switcher, LaCie LaCinema PlayHD media player, and Litepanels LED lighting, ABS was able to create an operational and cost effective weather video production demonstration. Matthews said the setup took less than two days and the ABS crew was very professional.

“The green screen area of this exhibit has been a huge hit with museum visitors,” said Mark Siegel, President of ABS. “The Columbus Day Storm was a significant event in Oregon’s history, and we are thankful that KGW helped us contribute to this project.”

“The Mightiest Wind” opened on Oct. 12, the 50th anniversary of the storm, and will be on display through Jan. 6, 2013.

About the Oregon Historical Society:

The Society has served as Oregon’s primary research collection and museum about Oregon history since 1898. OHS has an extensive collection of historical pieces, including over 85,000 artifacts and 3 million photographs and films. It safeguards and presents Oregon’s history through a museum, research library, traveling exhibits, school programs and website content.

About ABS:

Based in SeaTac, WA, ABS (Advanced Broadcast Solutions) delivers customized, technologically superior solutions for broadcast, corporate, house of worship, entertainment, government, and educational facilities – from design and integration to installation and support services. Since 1982, its experienced technical staff has installed more than 700 systems for clients including Fisher Communications, Cowles California Media, Real Networks, Cisco Systems, and Microsoft Studios. For more information, call 206-870-0244 or visit www.advancedbroadcastsolutions.com.

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NEW API 1608 ANALOG CONSOLE INSTALLED IN THE PEABODY CONSERVATORY AT JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND: When the highly-respected Recording Arts and Sciences Program at the Peabody Conservatory/Johns Hopkins University needed to replace an aging console the clear choice was with a new sixteen-channel API Audio 1608 console, largely because of its authentic sound quality and flexibility. The University program, which awards a double-major Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s of Arts in Audio Sciences is the American equivalent of the European Tonmeister training program, and its students benefit from being in close alliance with the JHU’s G.W.C. Whiting School of Engineering, a dedicated faculty of experts and a comprehensive recording studio facility to anchor the program.

Students from the Peabody Conservatory engage in over one thousand performances a year in five venues of varying size, and the Recording Arts and Sciences Program’s studio facilities tie into those venues. Recording arts students record each and every performance under the guidance of faculty members. Beginning students handle simpler stereo recording sessions and assist on more complex sessions, whereas advanced students conduct multi-mic recording sessions for the orchestras, operas and jazz ensembles. Studio D is connected to three of those performance venues, and the new API 1608 console will play a large role in those recording sessions.

The API 1608 is paired with a Pro Tools HD system, which Scott Metcalfe, director of the program, asserts is an excellent hybrid analog/digital combination. “With the API 1608, students can experiment with the full range of possibilities, from in-the-box mixes, to analog summing, to DAW fader control, to full-analog mixing and processing,” he said. “It’s a very flexible design, and we will use it in a lot of different ways.”

Metcalfe and colleagues also look forward to putting the API 1608’s modular design to equally practical use. Each channel features a slot for an API 500-series format module, with eight spare slots that can be patched in. Although API is famous for having pioneered the format and makes many popular 500-series processors, a huge number of established and boutique manufacturers have adopted the 500-series format for their processors as well. Thus, the API 1608 readily accepts third-party processors of tremendous scope and variety.

API is already present in the facility’s other studios. A four-channel API 3124 preamp and a ten-space 500V rack loaded with API equalizers and dynamics processors lend the warm analog “API sound” to Studio A. “In addition to the sonics of API and the flexibility of the 1608, I was also happy to be working with our neighbors,” said Metcalfe, acknowledging the fact that API’s headquarters are a mere twenty-five minutes from the Recording Arts and Sciences Program at the Peabody Conservatory/Johns Hopkins University.

ABOUT API (AUTOMATED PROCESSES, INC.) Established more than 40 years ago, Automated Processes, Inc. is the leader in analog recording gear with the Vision, Legacy Series and 1608 recording consoles, as well as its classic line of modular signal processing equipment.

www.apiaudio.com

DANLEY SPEAKERS GIVE NATIONWIDE ARENA THE HOME ADVANTAGE

COLUMBUS, OHIO: Nationwide Arena is home to the Columbus Blue Jackets of the National Hockey League and is host to most of the popular musical acts that travel through Ohio’s capital city. Depending on its configuration, Nationwide Arena can accommodate between 17,000 and 21,000 people, and its recent turn-of-the-millennium design and construction have been widely praised by sports fans and critics. ESPN The Magazine wrote that Nationwide Arena is “the No. 2 stadium experience in professional sports” and the “Ultimate Sports Road Trip” deemed it the greatest arena in the NHL. However, poor sound system coverage had been Nationwide Arena’s dirty little secret since it opened its doors in 2000, and the owners were wisely unwilling to rest on their laurels. Recently, as part of a project that included a massive video upgrade, acoustical consultant Anthony James Partners joined A/V integration firm Daktronics to bring sound reinforcement in line with the rest of the arena’s amenities using efficient, point-source Danley Sound Labs loudspeakers and subwoofers.

“Achieving even coverage with conventional loudspeaker technologies is challenging because low-frequency pattern control is seldom very good,” explained Larry Lucas, director of audio engineering with Anthony James Partners. “As a result, system components interfere with each other and create uneven coverage that cannot be rectified with all the processing in the world. Danley Sound Labs’ unconventional designs array seamlessly and deliver excellent pattern control. Moreover, they are inexpensive relative to their output, which provides exceptional return on investment for the client.”

The design called for eight primary clusters distributed equally around the arena. Each cluster contains two Danley SH-96 full-range loudspeakers hard-packed side-by-side and a Danley TH-118 subwoofer. Eight wide-dispersion Danley SM-100 loudspeakers populate a delay ring that provides coverage for Nationwide Arena’s highest tier. Two additional SH-96s cover the ice. Daktronics installed all of the clusters on chain motors for easy servicing and, in the case of those clusters whose positions would interfere with musical acts, easy hoisting.

The rest of the sound reinforcement system benefitted from the retrofit as well. A new Allen & Heath iLive console provides 32 inputs and 16 outputs at the main mix position and 16 inputs and 8 outputs at a remote position. A QSC Q-Sys processor with a 500i core provides input conditioning, routing logic, and modest loudspeaker conditioning. Lab.gruppen PLM-series amplifiers deliver clean power to the Danley loudspeakers and subwoofers. Because both the Q-Sys processing system and the PLM-series amplifiers are network-ready, Daktronics was able to provide the owners with comprehensive monitoring facilities in the A/V control room.

Nationwide Arena’s new high-definition sound reinforcement system complements a new high-definition video system. Its showpiece is a new 43,000 lb. scoreboard that uses nearly sixteen million LEDs to display high-definition video on four 25-foot by 15.5-foot screens. The brilliant scoreboard hangs over center ice. In addition, two “party towers” now use LED technology to project 25-foot by 14-foot video images in the west corners of the arena. Various smaller screens project in upgraded high-definition, and the resolution of the ribbon video board that circles most of the arena is doubled.

“With the Danley system installed, the coverage is close to perfect,” said David Sturzenbecher, audio project engineer with Daktronics. “The design specification called for +/- 4dB throughout, and the system measures closer to +/- 2dB throughout. Because the Danley products deliver so much output, we needed vastly fewer boxes to provide full coverage than we would have used with conventional loudspeakers or line arrays. That let us give them a very high-performance system at a much lower price tag. And not only is the coverage excellent, but so too is the fidelity and low-frequency extension.” Jeff Baumgartner, Nationwide’s in-house A/V engineer stated, “Daktronics design engineers created a virtual arena and accurately predicted the performance throughout the arena. Overall, I am extremely pleased with the system. Coverage is darn near perfect.”

ABOUT DANLEY SOUND LABS Danley Sound Labs is the exclusive home of Tom Danley, one of the most innovative loudspeaker designers in the industry today and recognized worldwide as a pioneer for “outside the box” thinking in professional audio technology.

www.danleysoundlabs.com

Visual Data Announces Opening of New Premier Facility

Company to Launch 21st Century Facility in Burbank

(Burbank, CA) Visual Data Media Services – an industry leading provider of integrated end-to-end post production solutions and distribution for all media outlets – has announced the opening date of their new, state-of-the-art facility in Burbank, California. The new location will greatly expand the capacity of Visual Data’s current space and was designed from scratch to support 21st century workflows and accommodate the needs of a changing industry. Upon taking ownership of the Hollywood Way building earlier this year, the veteran post production company gutted the space to its outside walls, and an innovative, data centric facility arose in its place. The new Visual Data location will open its doors, with no interruption in service, on January 2, 2013.

John Trautman, President of Visual Data, commented, “We simply had to increase capacity to meet demand, and moving was a long term investment we were willing to make. When I first looked at the building, it was apparent that a lot of work would be needed to meet our goals, but I also knew that it presented an amazing opportunity. We had the chance to gut a strong structure in a great location, and then visualize exactly how we would build out a space and infrastructure to meet the demands of today’s industry and tomorrow’s as well. A place that would be thoroughly outstanding for our clients and our staff to work.”

The 30,000 square foot facility features 20 suites for editing, QC, color correction, and captioning, built around a highly secure Data Center, a large Digital Machine Room, and an Encoding Center. The cutting-edge Data Center was built to support the company’s proprietary Asset Management System, which will simplify and refine distribution and archival tasks for the company’s clients. The new space will also offer 2 mix stages, an ADR stage, and a Foley stage that will be unveiled early in 2013. The latest products from a number of leading vendors are being installed; including DVS-SAN, Aspera, Isilon, Avascent, Miranda, and DaVinci.

The increased capacity afforded by the new facility will support Visual Data’s wide ranging service offerings dedicated to the creation, management, repurposing and distribution of content; including Subtitling and Localization, Closed Captioning, DVD services, Syndication services, Asset Management, Encoding, Digital Cinema DCP, and Digital Delivery. “In today’s content driven world, everything is repurposed, repackaged and delivered a number of times. There are many steps involved to the work that we touch, and we’ve made it our business to make that process as easy as possible for our customers. That’s a core part of our business, and we wanted to bring a future-centric strategy to those services, including automation and data centric workflows,” noted Trautman.

The company’s investment, totaling more than eleven million dollars, comes at a time when some independent facilities are facing an economic slowdown. However Visual Data has carefully structured its business in a way that supports the evolving needs of its client base. Concluded Trautman, “This move is a fantastic opportunity for us to grow our footprint and accommodate the changing needs of our customers. We see this as an investment in a bright future.”

About Visual Data Media Services, Inc.
Visual Data earned its reputation for outstanding quality, service and dependability by providing integrated end-to-end post-production solutions for over 17 years. To meet the ever evolving needs of television, feature film, and new media clients, Visual Data focuses on the seamless repurposing and distribution of content for all media outlets; including Domestic Syndication, Network Broadcast, International Distribution, Home Video, Video-On-Demand, the Internet, and Mobile Devices. Visual Data’s veteran management team, with over 85 years of combined industry knowledge, ensures that customers will be met with a high level of service and efficient turn-around on tight deadlines. Strategically integrated services, all under one roof, allow Visual Data to fulfill complex deliveries and solve difficult problems for clients with ease.

Visual Data is currently located at 145 West Magnolia Boulevard, Burbank, CA 91502. The new Visual Data facility will be located at 610 North Hollywood Way, Burbank, CA, 91505.

For more information on our services, please call 818.558.3363 or visit www.VisualDataInc.com.

# # #

Media Contact:
Sally Christgau
p. (415) 238-2254

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