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Archive for October, 2013

SONNOX & FRAUNHOFER INTRODUCE NEW COLLABORATION: CODEC TOOLBOX

OXFORD, UK: Musicians, DJ’s, producers and engineers seeking an affordable solution to encode music for the web can now rely on the new Codec Toolbox. A collaboration between innovative plug-in developer Sonnox and mp3 creator Fraunhofer IIS, Codec Toolbox offers real-time codec auditioning, metadata editing and batch encoding, for only £35 GBP (approx. $55. ex. sales tax.)

Sonnox Sales & Marketing Manager explains, “The impact made by the Pro-Codec on the professional mastering world convinced us that today’s generation of independent producers, engineers and artists need their music to sound great in every format. The Codec Toolbox uses high quality codecs from Fraunhofer and Apple to ensure that every mix sounds as good online as it does in the studio.”

Codec Toolbox is comprised of two applications: the Toolbox Plug-In, for real-time mix auditioning through various codecs; And, the Toolbox Manager, for encoding and adding metadata. A ‘clip safe’ function ensures clean encoded files, as the software auto-compensates for any overs during the encode process.

The Codec Toolbox is available to try for 15-days or to purchase at www.sonnox.com/codectoolbox

To learn more and watch an overview video, visit: www.sonnox.com/codectoolbox

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Photo: The Codec Toolbox

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Genelec CEDIA 2013 Press Kit

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Electrosonic Helps Michael Lee Design and Technifex Transform the Polynesian Cultural Center’s Digital 4D Theater

The Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC) in Laie, Hawaii, celebrated its 50th anniversary with an upgrade of its theater, which now features AV support from Electrosonic. A new digital 4D theater replaces the center’s aging film-based IMAX theater, which was more than 20 years old, and offers an enhanced guest experience both inside and out.

Set on 42 acres on the North Shore of Oahu, PCC enables visitors to explore all of the Polynesian cultures in the South Pacific. Since opening, PCC has welcomed over 37 million guests, becoming Hawaii’s number-one paid attraction.

Although the IMAX theater and its “Polynesian Odyssey” film served PCC well, it had become apparent that the center needed something new and different to help overall efforts to grow attendance and make better use of the facility for alternative purposes.

The exterior of the new 4D digital theater was transformed by Michael Lee Design of Orem, Utah (MLD), from a gray box that had nothing Polynesian about it into an ancient volcano whose visuals – including volcanic vents that exhale “steam” from deep below the surface – blend in with PCC’s natural, tropical surroundings.

MLD also converted the interior, leading guests through dark and glowing “lava tubes” where guests see flame-effects lighting and hear the sound of the ocean coursing through rock fissures. Upon entering the theater, black-light illumination and artwork create the impression of being inside a large volcanic chamber. Once guests are seated, the new 14-minute production, “Hawaiian Journey,” takes them on a breathtaking flight through the islands as they explore the spectacular beauty of Hawaii through the eyes of the first Hawaiians.

Electrosonic installed a new digital AV system, including a Christie 4K projector, 7thSense 4K media server and Strong/MDI 40×74-foot projection screen. “Converting to digital 4K projection offers numerous advantages over the former IMAX 15/70 film system,” says Electrosonic project manager Guy Fronte. “The cost of maintaining the film-based system – the price of lamps for the 15,000-watt projector, the IMAX maintenance agreement and the high fees for shipping and replacing the films – was excessive. The Christie digital system is more economical and efficient. It has no significant operational costs other than lamp replacement, and it doesn’t require a projectionist.”

Electrosonic also provided a new 7.1 surround sound system (five screen speakers, two theatrical subwoofers and 11 surround speakers) featuring JBL Cinema Series speakers and QSC amplifiers. An assistive-listening headset system allows simultaneous playback of the signature film’s narration in eight languages. A Medialon Show Manager system was selected for show control.

Technifex of Valencia, California, designed the 252 motion-base seats from the ground up to fit into the rake and rise of the former IMAX theater. The new high-back, special-effects seating was custom engineered with forward and backward motion, two headrest speakers in each seat, additional low-end speakers for vibration sensations, and water mist and scent spray effects. Six subwoofer speakers in the theater generate sounds down to 2Hz to create realistic rumblings evocative of an erupting volcano.

One of PCC’s goals was for the theater to serve as a true multi-purpose facility. To achieve that end, the MLD team filled in the screen pit and built a stage platform in front of the screen. A stage door was added for quick load in/load out and as an entrance/exit for performers. Electrosonic installed AV system connections to accommodate a presenter on stage giving PowerPoint presentations from a laptop or iPad projected through the Christie projector. A black curtain in front of the projection screen can be opened to the appropriate width for each media source.

With its transformation complete, PCC’s digital 4D theater is enticing crowds to take an exciting new “Hawaiian Journey” and is fulfilling the center’s need to repurpose the space for conferences and special events.

Alfred Grace is PCC’s president and CEO. Les Hill was the Electrosonic account executive. Mike Lee heads Michael Lee Design, and attraction producer Pat Scanlon heads PRS Associates, Inc. in Colorado Springs. “Hawaiian Journey” was written and directed by David Warner and shot by Reed Smoot. Sam Cardon composed the score with Mike McDonough sound designer. Rick Gordon was the postproduction technical director with Lee and Scanlon acting as executive producers.

About Electrosonic
Electrosonic is an international audio-visual company that creates tailored, state-of-the-art solutions for a wide range of markets including theme parks, museums, control rooms, and corporate meeting rooms. Since its founding in 1964, Electrosonic has built a strong reputation for working on complex projects, both large and small, and has developed lasting partnerships with customers and suppliers. Beyond complete integrated systems, Electrosonic provides a comprehensive scope of services including technical design, projector lamp sales, maintenance and operational support.

Learn more about Electrosonic. Visit http://www.electrosonic.com

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PixelFLEX Featuring New 7mm High-Resolution LED Video Curtain at LDI 2013

Already the leading provider of flexible and lightweight LED video screens, PixelFLEX announced today that it would be featuring a new 7mm high-resolution curtain video panel at LDI 2013 in November (Booth 2321). With the introduction of its new 7mm video curtain, PixelFLEX is taking flexible LED screens to another price and performance level.

Providing a variety of video display solutions to meet any and all live event needs, PixelFLEX’s LED curtains are easy to operate and set up – videos and images can be sent to the screen using any computer with a DVI-D connection. Flexible in all directions, the curtains are able to bend and shape around structures for a more creative display effect and can be stored in a single road case to simplify shipping logistics while minimizing transportation costs.

PixelFLEX’s 7mm panel is 9.84′ x 2.46′ in size, but modifications can be made easily to provide a customized video content delivery solution to meet any need. Offering an optimal visual distance at 5m, each 7mm curtain video screen weighs approximately 11Kg/sq.m (24 lbs), which is 70-80 percent less than most other high-resolution LED video screens of this size.

“It’s no secret that video content is king, whether you’re a musician on the road, a professional basketball team or a small business,” said Jeremy Byrd, PixelFLEX’s founder and president. “Delivering high quality video content is critical to building and strengthening your brand. With the introduction of our 7mm LED screen, we’re opening a variety of doors to those looking to improve audience engagement.”

To meet the increased demand for its panels by musicians, houses of worship, universities and other venues, PixelFLEX plans to introduce several other high-resolution LED curtain video screens prior to the LDI Show in Las Vegas. The new line of panels will join PixelFLEX’s growing line of products that include 18mm, 20mm, 25mm, 30mm, 37.5mm, 50mm and 100mm curtain screens, in addition to the company’s LR-4 and LR-8 lightweight rigid video screens for outdoor and indoor applications.

PixelFLEX customers include Luke Bryan, Rodney Atkins, Darius Rucker, Joel Osteen, Google Science Fair, Skillet, Boots & Hearts Festival, Jeremy Camp, University of Iowa, Student Life and Second Baptist Church. Visit PixelFLEX at Booth 2321 during LDI 2013.

For more information on PixelFLEX’s 7mm LED curtain video screen, visit www.LEDCurtain.com. Follow PixelFLEX at www.Facebook.com/PixelFLEXUSA and @LEDCurtain.

Clay Paky Sharpys and grandMA Consoles Make Different Kind of Headlines at 2013 MTV Video Music Awards

While the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards attracted lots of press for its outrageous performances, the show made headlines among professionals for its creative staging, too. Clay Paky Sharpys and Sharpy Washes, controlled by grandMA2 consoles, lit up the stage at Barclays Center, Brooklyn where artist and designer KAWS reimagined the VMAs’ iconic moonman statuette. A.C.T Lighting, Inc. is the exclusive distributor of Clay Paky fixtures in North America.

“For the 30th anniversary of the VMAs and its first time in Brooklyn we were celebrating Brooklyn and Brooklyn artist KAWS, who redesigned the moonman as a 60-foot inflatable silver statue that towered over the main stage,” says lighting designer Tom Kenny. “I wanted to make it feel like you were in a gallery or museum honoring his work – it’s an unusual idea for an awards show, but MTV is always on the edge.”

To achieve his goal Kenny deployed a large complement of Sharpys and Sharpy Washes supplied by VER. “I had extremely high trims and needed audience light, back light and aerial beams,” he explains. “They did a great job for me. The whole idea was that the show didn’t look like a normal awards show, yet it needed the performances to be theatrical. Even though the trims were high, the Sharpys were powerful enough to do the job.”

Kenny marshaled 220 Sharpys and 40 Sharpy Washes for the event, all of which were hung in the air. “They worked great – the color was great. I had the lights on site for three weeks without a problem.”

To control the Clay Paky fixtures he used two grandMA2 consoles “with massive amounts of universes” and had two more grandMA2s on hand as back ups. “There’s really only one kind of desk for this type of show,” says Kenny. “When the artists are rehearsing we only have a turnaround of a couple of minutes because they’re so busy. The grandMA2 is perfect at making the quick changes. It’s really the only lighting desk that can do it. Everywhere I travel in the world I see grandMA2s.”

Kenny notes that the VMA Awards tallied huge ratings and always enjoys worldwide appeal. “Emails from my peers after the show complimented me on how great and iconic the show looked,” he reports. “It really achieved the status of art piece. And we had a great time in Brooklyn, where the crew was fantastic.”

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Digital Rapids’ New StreamZ Live 4000EX Advanced Multiscreen Encoder Wins STAR Award

October 1, 2013 — Passfield, UK: Digital Rapids – the trusted provider of innovative media transformation and workflow solutions for bringing video to wider audiences — announced today that the company’s new StreamZ Live 4000EX encoder for advanced live and linear multiscreen applications was honored with a 2013 STAR Award, given by the editorial staff of TV Technology Europe magazine at the 2013 IBC Conference and Exhibition.

Part of the newest generation of Digital Rapids’ StreamZ Live encoder family, the recently-released StreamZ Live 4000EX builds on the unsurpassed quality, multi-format flexibility and robust reliability of the StreamZ Live series with enhanced fault-tolerant redundancy, increased performance and expanded control capabilities for premium live and linear multiscreen encoding applications from over-the-top (OTT) services and IPTV head-ends to high-profile live event streaming. more

Renkus-Heinz ICONYX Brings Clarity to Beirut Parliament

Beirut, Lebanon – October 2013… The tall, domed central hall of the Lebanese Parliament building in Beirut has long been known as an acoustically challenging environment. But after many years and numerous attempts, a recent renovation has brought the building’s rogue reverberation under control, bringing clarity and high intelligibility to the iconic space with Renkus-Heinz Iconyx digitally steered array loudspeakers.

The building, designed in 1931 by Beaux-Arts architect Mardiros Altounian, is believed to be on the site of the Roman Forum of Berytus, where the Roman School of Law stood before being leveled by the great earthquake of 551 AD. During Lebanon’s civil war, the structure suffered considerable damage, and its renovation is a symbol of the vision involved in the reconstruction of Beirut city center.

The parliament building’s architecture, in particular the dome, has long presented challenges with reflectivity and poor speech intelligibility — certainly a major drawback for any debating chamber.

Today, the building is a blend of heritage architecture with a modern interior complete with contemporary high-tech amenities, including a pair of Iconyx steerable arrays specified and installed by system integrators Mac Audio sarl. Mac Audio specified Iconyx, using its beam steering capabilities to focus audio beams on individual seating areas and away from the roof and walls. The project proved an interesting and enjoyable audio challenge, said Nader Arzouni, General Manager of Mac Audio. “We deal with all the Lebanese Republic’s government departments,” he said proudly, “including the Prime Minister’s office and parliament buildings.”

The ground floor’s main area, with seating for 165 including 128 deputies, is covered by two Iconyx IC8 columns, with a pair of IC7 mechanically steerable units for the  president’s podium. Two IC16s serve the balcony level, where up to 100 guests can be accommodated.

Two Shure feedback eliminators, one for the balcony and another for the main hall, a Crest Audio rackmount mixer and a single XTA DP448 controller to add even more flexibility to the main floor’s IC8s, complete the system. A final touch was the provision of Renkus-Heinz SGX41 compact cabinets for the Prime Minister’s residential palace.

As the technical skills of the system operators can vary widely, Mac Audio preset the system so that very little adjustment is needed, making life as simple for them as possible.

“It’s all very good,” said Nader Arzouni, “a very flexible, modern system that has completely eliminated all the old intelligibility issues and delivered crystal clear sound that parliament is delighted with.”

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Headquartered in Foothill Ranch, California, Renkus-Heinz, Inc. is the worldwide leader in the design and manufacture of audio operations networks, digitally steerable arrays, powered and non-powered loudspeakers, system specific electronics and fully integrated Reference Point Array systems.

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