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Archive for January 10th, 2013

The Super Powers of DiGiCo’s SD7T Propel Batman Live Production

A superhero and cultural icon operating out of the fictional American Gotham City, Batman is assisted by various characters including his crime-fighting partner, Robin in his continuous war on crime. Armed with a keen intellect, detective skills, technology and physical prowess coupled with an indomitable will to fight an assortment of villains from Catwoman to the Riddler, Batman is proof you don’t need superpowers to be a superhero. Adopted for the stage, Batman LIVE is a spectacular live action adventure filled with stunts, acrobatic acts and illusions. The show’s North American circuit started in the fall of 2012, following a popular and acclaimed arena tour throughout the United Kingdom, Europe, and Latin America.

A DiGiCo SD7T at FOH was chosen by the show’s sound designer Simon Baker in conjunction with Clair Global, with a D5 local rack and DiGiCo stage racks connected via 500-feet of fiber optic cable. Two Apple Mac Pro’s with internal RME MADI cards run as hot, swappable redundant show playback machines, running QLab theatre control software enabling 48 channels of playback and flexible MIDI and Timecode programming.

The FOH system handles around 140 inputs overall: 24 channels of Sennheiser RF receivers, 2 x 48 channels of MADI playback, and 16 channels of external effects, as well as 22 zoned outputs to the FOH PA comprised of eight hangs of Clair Global i3 loudspeakers (56 boxes), 12 zones of Clair FF-2 boxes for front-fills built into the stage (26 boxes), two end-fire sub-arrays of Clair BT 218′s (12 boxes) and another 30 outputs for onstage and backstage monitoring in-ear monitors and press feeds. All effects are obtained within the console with the exception of an external Mac Mini running Apple’s MainStage 2 with a RME fireface interface for all vocal effects, and a TLA Audio valve compressor sitting across the vocal subgroups. [Pictured at right: Clair systems engineer Tim Peeling, FOH engineer James Meadwell, PA's Dane Barber and Kevin Leas.]

“The QLab machines send and receive MIDI signals back to the SD7 with pre-recorded Timecode to trigger all video cues, and some of the automation sequences,” says Clair systems engineer Tim Peeling. “We also pass MIDI triggers through the console exiting the stage rack to fire a hundred or so lighting cues. The comprehensive programming options available on the SD7T for this very snapshot-hungry theatre show are extensive. The powerful matrix, including the ability to delay matrix inputs, allows me to time-align the live mics separately to the track and sound FXs within the console. Sonically, the console is great as well, but where the SD7 really wins in this situation is the flexibility of the snapshot programming.”

“The SD7 is being used in a ‘control via MIDI’ mode with each of the snapshots assigned a MIDI value,” adds FOH engineer James Meadwell, who brings extensive experience mixing shows on London’s West End theatre district. “We then configured the desk’s NEXT and PREV buttons via the SD7 Macro page to send out MIDI commands to control the QLab’s Next and Previous functions. This created a loop with the desk triggering QLab, which in turn sent a trigger back to the SD7 recalling the snapshot needed. The music for the show has all been pre-recorded and we were able to get the SD7 snapshots to be recalled at exact musical points within the show. We programmed the QLab so the SD7 ‘reacted’ to the show’s sound cues, which makes mixing the show a very intuitive and enjoyable experience!

“We also used the SD7′s macro buttons extensively,” Meadwell continues. “We created a full set of transport controls for QLab, which meant that we could control both our main and backup machines simultaneously from the surface of the SD7. This was invaluable as it effectively did away with two computer keyboards and helped when cueing up to start from different points within the show. We assigned a whole page of macro buttons to trigger spot sound effects within the show. These were for moments that varied and therefore couldn’t be programmed into a set cue list structure. We assigned a MIDI note value to each macro button, which in turn, triggered a separate cue list of sound effects within QLab. An example of this in the show is where the Scarecrow walks around the stage on giant stilts. We follow his walk playing a sound effect with every step. Every performance is different, which gives the actor the freedom to do whatever he likes. Having the macro button as a sound effect button gives me total flexibility without having to jump around the show’s main cue list. We use the Alias feature heavily as a lot of the characters double up on inputs, so the ability to switch EQ settings between snapshots was great! Overall, I’d say the SD7T is by far the best digital desk for theatre I have ever used.”

BTX Now Offering ZeeVee’s ZvBox(R) and HDbridge(TM) HD Encoding/RF Modulation Products

ZeeVee Digital Video Distribution Products Save Money and Simplify Installations; Utilizing Existing Coax Cabling to Share Video Sources With Unlimited HDTVs

HAWTHORNE, N.Y. — Jan. 10, 2013 — BTX Technologies, a value-added distributor and manufacturer of interface, integration, and system products, and ZeeVee, North America’s leading manufacturer of digital encoders and QAM modulators, today announced that BTX has been appointed a distributor for ZeeVee’s ZvBox(R) and HDbridge(TM) lines of HD encoding/RF modulation products. For BTX’s customers, ZeeVee solutions provide unprecedented ease of use and value by converting video sources such as digital signage players, satellite receivers, or any other content device into digital cable channels that can be broadcast over existing coax cabling to an unlimited number of HDTVs. more

Lachlan Carrick Chooses Earthworks Microphones for Gotye World Tour

Earthworks P30/C on xylophone

Milford, NH, January 10, 2013 – With over 364 million views as of December 2012, Belgian–Australian multi-instrumental musician and singer-songwriter Wally de Backer, known by his stage name Gotye, has likely become somebody that you know with his hit song featuring Kimbra “Somebody That You Used to Know.” In May 2012, Gotye announced a world tour and as they wound the globe, Earthworks microphones came along along for the ride.

Gotye’s FOH engineer Lachlan Carrick was familiar with Earthworks in a studio setting, yet discovered the live sound microphones while touring with Gotye and Kimbra in early 2012. “I’d used Earthworks mics a couple of times in the studio for various things, and was always impressed with the way they came up,” explains Carrick. “Then more recently I was introduced to the new series by a fellow Australian engineer, Angus Davidson, who was mixing Kimbra at the time. The Earthworks mics sounded like they provided excellent transient response, with a natural, full tone. Although the Kimbra sound was very different to what I was going for with Gotye, I could see how the mics could work well for us.”

And work well they did. With 12 Earthworks microphones covering the stage and 1 M30 in the FOH booth for analysis, Carrick quickly found his favorite applications. “The DP30/Cs sound killer on congas and bongos!”

The complete Earthworks setup includes 3 SR40s on hats and overheads on the main drum kit, 4 DP30/C mics on congas, bongos and toys on the percussion kit, 2 P30/C flexible gooseneck instrument mics on various percussion instruments on the frontline specials, and 1 M30 measurement microphone in the FOH booth for analysis. And on Wally’s kit you’ll find 3 DP30/C mics on snare and toms.

As a touring professional who has used his fair share of microphones on stage, Carrick explains how Earthworks microphones differ from other mics he has used. “The Earthworks mics have a great build quality, and seem to be very robust,” says Carrick. “But the biggest difference is the dynamic response. Drums can really sound lively and exciting when the mics fully capture the very start of the hits. They really are quick and detailed.”

Carrick was equally complimentary of Earthworks’ support services, “The experience has been fantastic. Communication has been excellent, and everyone seems to want to help out!”
“I wouldn’t hesitate recommending Earthworks microphones for live concert applications,” concludes Carrick. “They’ve proved themselves to me many times over.”

earthworksaudio.com

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HARMAN’s AKG D12 VR Showcases Versatility, Going Vocal

VIENNA, Austria – Developed in the 1950s, the first-of-its-kind AKG D12 microphone was marketed as a vocal microphone, ideal for broadcasting and public address, becoming a staple in television and radio studios around the world. Over the years, use of the legendary microphone has shifted and is now one of the most versatile and reliable microphones in the industry, with artists playing their instruments through the mic.

The newly launched HARMAN AKG D12 VR large-diaphragm cardioid microphone for recording and live applications has since been utilized as a vocal microphone in numerous applications. Many professional audio reviews reinforce the fact that D12 VR is a versatile vocal tool.
STUDIOTEC, the Finland-based distributor for AKG recently held a launch event for the D12 VR, where the mic was used for vocals and instruments. “We came to realize the fantastic quality of the D12 VR and provided our guests with perfect sounding entertainment during our launch of the mic,” stated Perttu Siren of STUDIOTEC. “During the event, our guests, the artists and long-time AKG customers were thrilled to see the versatility of D12 VR and we look forward to providing the industry with the revamped piece!”

D12 VR (vintage sound re-issue) offers an ultra thin diaphragm within its newly designed capsule – normally a foil with only 7 microns of thickness is used in condenser microphones. The low-frequency performance gets enhanced with an updated bass chamber below the capsule-element. With phantom power disabled, the D12 delivers accurate, pure character from the sound source. With phantom power enabled, one of three switchable active-filter presets can be used to quickly adapt the mic’s response to suit the user’s desired kickdrum

“It was very exciting for us to see the continued reliability and quality D12 VR offers musicians and we hope to spread the word that even though we market the microphone to the drumming community, it is quite versatile and will provide warm sound in many applications,” stated Thomas Umbauer, Product Manager, PPA, AKG. “With D12 VR, musicians have an opportunity to showcase their talent, whether it be their voice or instrumental prowess. AKG’s engineers and designers have developed a fantastic tool and we look forward to seeing the D12 VR used to its full potential by our users.”

For more information about AKG, please visit http://www.akg.com and http://www.youtube.com/AKGacoustics.

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.

HARMAN’s Soundcraft Si Compact Supports Leeds Community Trust

LEEDS, United Kingdom — HARMAN’s Soundcraft recently lent its support to the new Leeds LS14 Trust Event Hire enterprise in the north of England with a Soundcraft Si Compact 16-channel digital desk.

Established in 2009, LS14 Trust is a not-for-profit organisation, owned and led by the local Seacroft community of Leeds 14, with a vision of making the area a welcoming, vibrant and happy place.

Having already established a Digital Lounge—where people can use the internet for free, have meetings and get help with their CVs—the Trust has now gone a stage further, receiving funding to set up the LS14 Trust Event Hire.

“We have purchased equipment that is essential for any community event, including a marquee, silent generators, large van with tail lift, and state of the art PA System—as well as the Soundcraft digital sound desk,” said Development Manager Nicola Greenan.

The Soundcraft solution had been recommended by Greg McKay, Technical Manager of O2 Academy Leeds and Ms. Greenan’s partner. The Academy Music Group has had widespread experience of Soundcraft platforms and McKay himself said, “The Si Compact 16 is a great weapon in my sound engineering arsenal these days.”

The LS14 Trust is also linking with Leeds Met University to offer event management training for local people who see this as a potential career path, with all profits going back into the Trust to enable the continuation of community events, new projects and sustaining the Digital Lounge.

The LS14 Trust Event Hire was formally launched on November 23 with an event at the Powerlite Warehouse in Leeds.

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.

Clay Paky Sharpy Fixtures Help Fans Get Blown Away on Carrie Underwood’s World Tour

Country music superstar Carrie Underwood continues her “Blown Away” Tour with a large inventory of Clay Paky Sharpy fixtures on hand to accent the video components of the show. The singer’s first worldwide tour is in support of her fourth album, “Blown Away.” Bandit Lites supplied the fixtures for the tour.

Lighting designer Peter Morse of Peter Morse Productions in South Lake Tahoe, California, based his lighting scheme around three extremely large, trapezoid-shaped, moving LED panels, which posed dynamic weight, power, and sight-line challenges. A tilting projection floor added to the task, “necessitating a ‘surgical’ application to lighting design and programming to avoid washing out all the projected images,” Morse reports. He decided to hang the trussing in a way to complement and amplify the angles created by the trapezoid-shaped moving LED walls.

Lighting programmer Brian Jenkins notes that, “we were crunched on programming time for starters and then there were complications with the overall size of the rig when we hit rehearsals. Thankfully, within a five-day span of programming, we didn’t have to worry about the Sharpy fixtures. Yoked out, on extreme angles, upside down, right side up – they’re an absolute work horse, the one fixture in the rig we didn’t worry about. Everyone sees Clay Paky’s engineering and reliability in their products. It’s about time someone set the bar higher in our industry.”

Morse opted to use the Sharpys for “visual amplification of various musical punctuation in an attempt to draw the eyes of the audience to the artist or other areas of importance” from which the extensive LED video imagery may have distracted them. “The Sharpy fixtures were positioned to accentuate the angular look of the scenery and LED panels,” he explains.

The Sharpys are performing “flawlessly,” according to Morse, who calls them “fast, bright and amazingly competitive against the otherwise overwhelming output of the LED walls.”

The Blown Away Tour has been “lots of fun,” he says. “A great artist, great music, fabulous visuals – it’s a large and physically complex show with a look you won’t see anywhere else.”

A.C.T Lighting is the North American distributor for Clay Paky.

Francesco Romagnoli, Clay Paky Area Manager for North and Latin America, adds, “I’m proud to see the Sharpys on such a high profile tour and glad that Brian and Peter are getting the most out of them.”

About Clay Paky
Headquartered in Seriate (Bergamo), Italy, Clay Paky SPA has a history of designing and manufacturing innovative professional show lighting. The company was founded in 1976 by entrepreneur Pasquale Quadri who anticipated the enormous impact the evolution of technology would have on the show and entertainment worlds.

For more information on Clay Paky products, please contact:
Francesco Romagnoli francesco@claypaky.it
Davide Barbetta webmaster@claypaky.it

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Stay up to date on the latest technology news. Select press representatives post company news several times a day. Check back often to get the latest news on product releases, mergers and acquisitions, and product applications. To be included in this virtual press conference, please contact The Wire.

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