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Archive for November 5th, 2013

Lighting and Video Designer Breckinridge Haggerty Opts for MA Lighting’s VPU

Lighting and video designer Breckinridge Haggerty is a proponent of MA Lighting’s VPU (Video Processing Unit), the media server for still and moving images that’s fully integrated into the MA system. VPU is MA’s solution for controlling, live- accessing and altering video, stills and 3D objects in realtime. A.C.T Lighting is the exclusive distributor of MA Lighting in North America.

“I’ve used grandMA lighting consoles to control Tool’s video show since 2002 and have always enjoyed a comfortable relationship with the system and the people behind it” says Haggerty. “They’re well-engineered, reliable consoles that have been excellent over the years.”

“When I was recently auditioning DMX media servers, I was pleasantly surprised by MA’s VPU Video Processing Unit. The new hardware features beefy internal shock-mounting, and a very useful touch-screen on the front panel. The VPU has some great features that drew me in, and the system integration sealed the deal. The software integration of the VPU media server with the grandMA2 range of lighting consoles is unprecedented, and they have ambitious plans for the future.

And it goes beyond that; The integration of grandMA2 and VPU means one-stop technical support, and Bob Gordon’s team at A.C.T Lighitng has been answering my 2am calls consistently for well over 15 years, so committing to the VPU was an easy choice.”

Haggerty worked with Delicate Productions Inc. to ensure a total of four VPU are available for his work. Haggerty has been the video designer for the band Tool for 11 years, and works with artist such as Sting, the Beastie Boys, Puscifer, Eminem the Foo Fighters, on projects ranging from systems design to production design. He also has credits for broadcast TV.

Haggerty notes that, “The VPUs did very well on short notice through Australia and New Zealand. The show was rebuilt in 5 weeks and thrown in a shipping container. The VPU saved us time on our only setup day on many fronts. I was able to get my dark programming time and a good night sleep.”

He cites the VPU’s video inputs as a feature he likes. “Live video inputs are a requirement for my work, and the VPU video input cards are quick. There’s very little delay pushing two 1080 HD streams through. I personally use the inputs for external playback, but these inputs are fast enough for live cameras. Maybe the grandMA2 is the next great live video desk?”

Haggerty finds that the VPU works well with LED and projectors alike. “The warper is useful for projection adjustment and mapping, but it is also great for pixel-perfect segmenting of LED displays.” he says. “The warper, pixel mapper, and content manager all update themselves system-wide in real time, and everything can be manipulated with a laptop at FOH where the changes can be seen directly. The net result is less stress and more creative programming time.

“The Tool video show took a big step forward with the incorporation of A.C.T Lighting’s MA VPU video processors. It was a sea-change on short notice, and both A.C.T and MA were very responsive through the whole process. MA’s VPU technology is excellent and evolving fast, and ACT’s technical support is going the extra mile as always. I’m on board.”

About A.C.T Lighting

A leading importer and distributor of lighting products, A.C.T Lighting, Inc. strives to identify future trends and cutting-edge products, and stock, sell and support their inventory. The company provides superior customer service and value for money to all of its clients.

For more information call 818-707-0884.

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The Music Producers Guild Opens Voting For Its 2014 Awards

The Music Producers Guild is delighted to announce that voting for its 2014 Awards is now open. All Full Members of the Guild are entitled to take part in this process and their votes will decide which nominees make the shortlist in 12 of the 15 award categories.

MPG Chairman Steve Levine says: “Once again, our call for nominations has generated a fantastic response and we’re thrilled to see such a diverse range of projects and individuals on the list. In the five years since we launched the MPG Awards we have seen a steady increase in the number of nominees. This indicates just how coveted an MPG Award is to those recording professionals who work so hard to create the music that we all enjoy.”

The Music Producers Guild Awards fly the flag for the achievements of the UK’s top producers, engineers, remixers and mastering engineers. The 2014 Music Producers Guild Awards will take place at the Park Plaza Riverbank Hotel in Vauxhall, London, on Thursday February 13th. 2014. As in previous years, the winner of the MPG UK Producer of the Year category will also be awarded the prestigious BRIT Award for Best Producer.

In total there are 15 award categories, three of which are in the gift of the MPG Awards committee. However, MPG Full Members are entitled to vote for the following categories and are encouraged to do so before the closing date of December 1st 2013.

UK Producer of the Year
International Producer of the Year
Breakthrough Producer of the Year
Recording Engineer of the Year
Breakthrough Engineer of the Year
Mix Engineer of the Year
Mastering Engineer of the Year
Re-mixer of the Year
UK Album of the Year
UK Single Song Release of the Year
Studio of the Year
The A&R Award

Voting for Full Members is simple and takes place via the website at www.mpgawards.com. Instructions on how to log in and vote will be emailed to each Full Member individually. Every Full member who completes voting in all the available categories will automatically be entered into a prize draw to win a Dave Hill Designs Europe 1 mic/line preamp, worth £1,200 (including VAT) and kindly donated by KMR Audio.

The shortlists for the MPG Awards and the prize draw winner will be announced in December 2013, with judging for the final winners taking place in January 2014.

-ends-

About Music Producers Guild (UK):
The Music Producers Guild (UK) is an independent and democratic organisation that encourages the highest standards of music production, and actively engages with other music industry organisations to campaign and lobby on matters of important mutual interest.

The MPG represents and promotes the interests of all those involved in the production of recorded music, including producers, engineers, mixers, re-mixers, programmers and mastering engineers. www.mpg.org.uk or www.mpgawards.com

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METRIC HALO JUMPS ON ECLECTIC FUMUJ RELEASE

PARIS, FRANCE: The French band Fumuj blends elements of hip-hop, dub, electronica, and – in the words of co-founder, sound designer, engineer, and drummer Romain Pasquier – “loud music” on their fourth studio effort FUMUJ – Eponym Album. The five-song EP surveys the eclectic content of Fumuj’s prior work and reframes it with an urgency and intensity that suggests a band that has matured into form. Beyond its genre-bending take on composition and style, Fumuj is also known for its unique and vibrant sound, which is carefully curated by Pasquier. Metric Halo hardware and software figures prominently in that sound: Fumuj and its members own one or more Metric Halo ULN-8s, ULN-2s, and 2882s, and most of Pasquier’s processing and mixing relies on Metric Halo MIO Console (the free routing and recording software that runs the interfaces) and Metric Halo’s ChannelStrip plug-in.

“The new EP is somewhere between Mogwai, Helmet, and Bill Laswell, I guess,” said Pasquier. “We had a lot of fun creating these songs because we felt free to do anything. There were no limits. We all love to deconstruct and reconstruct elements, playing on contrasts, and building something new and inspiring through that process.” Having equipment with the flexibility and reliability to let that process unfurl naturally and without interruption is essential, and after first discovering Metric Halo a few years back, Fumuj has enjoyed the inspiration that comes with a transparent workflow.

“In anticipation of our recording sessions, a friend lent us some high-end, customized preamps and some crazy mics,” said Pasquier. “They were fun to use, but at some point in the first day I decided to use the ULN-8 preamps because I wasn’t feeling very happy or confident about the sound we were getting. It was like I turned to the ULN-8 because I wanted to know what was actually going on in the new room we were using. I realized I just wanted that Metric Halo transparency! I can trust what I hear from the ULN-8, ULN-2, or 2882. There’s no compromise. The preamps are great, the converters are great, the DSP – including the 80-bit summing mixer – is great, and it all fits in one rack unit! We can recall the MIO Console for each song, which makes the workflow easy.”

Pasquier used the Metric Halo ChannelStrip 3 plug-in extensively on FUMUJ IV. “I love ChannelStrip because the equalization and compression can be so subtle,” he said. “It’s very painless to use, and the newly-integrated spectrum analyzer makes it easy to see where adjustments will be most effective. I know it’s a small thing, but I’m also grateful for the ability to resize ChannelStrip 3.” In addition to his work with Fumuj, Pasquier also uses ChannelStrip and his Metric Halo hardware to do freelance work in Paris, which gives him an authentic sound that sets his work apart from engineers that use run of the mill equipment.

Fumuj’s FOH engineer, Alain Lesparat, recently purchased two Metric Halo 2882 interfaces and is now using them with Apple MainStage as a virtual effects rack and as an archive recorder for all shows. Although Pasquier has used his ULN-8 together with Ableton Live and the band’s hardware synthesizers, he looks forward to acquiring another 2882 or LIO-8 to dedicate to the live rig. “I can’t live with the ULN-8 in the rack on the days off,” he laughed. When asked what makes Metric Halo interfaces so useful for Fumuj’s live applications, Pasquier cited “a fat, open sound” and the tremendous flexibility of MIO Console. In addition, he said, “They’re also completely reliable. They just work, period. All the other members of Fumuj now have a ULN-2, and they aren’t engineers! They would have no patience for bugs or latency. With Metric Halo, they can simply make music.”

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

API APPOINTS STUDIO CONNECTIONS AS AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR

NUNAWADING, AUSTRALIA: API proudly announces the appointment of its new Australian distributor, Studio Connections for both API modules and 1608 console sales. Studio Connections has been a dominant player in the Australian pro audio market for over twenty years, and has recently completed relocation to its new facility in the Melbourne suburb of Nunawading. The new location is designed with the professional in mind, and prominently features a 1608 demonstration room, offering pros hands-on experience with the console and other API gear.

“Our new facility is fabulous and funky,” said Studio Connection’s Managing Director, Deb Sloss. “We intend to be a relaxed and welcoming space where customers can drop in for a coffee, a chat, and be able to experience all the great gear from API, including our own fully-operational 1608 console.”

Studio Connection’s longstanding association with the finest audio manufacturers highlights their commitment to the Australian pro audio market. Working closely with their network of dealers, the staff at Studio Connections pride themselves on customer service and are eager to expand the API presence in Australia. “We have witnessed an unprecedented level of interest in API products from our dealers and end users alike,” said Sloss. “API carries a rich heritage of extremely high-quality audio products and consoles. It’s been extremely gratifying to receive such wonderful support and endorsement from this appointment.”

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

SYMETRIX SYMNET RADIUS 12X8 DANTE NETWORKED AUDIO DSP DELIVERS PRESENT AND FUTURE AUDIO EXPANSION FOR WISCONSIN HIGH SCHOOL

JACKSON, WISCONSIN: Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School serves over four hundred students from in and around Jackson, Wisconsin, a town 45-minutes northwest of Milwaukee. In the last decade, the school has expanded its facilities, and the crowning jewel of that expansion is the 750-seat Performing Arts Center. The center includes facilities for the school’s choirs, bands, and theatrical productions, as well as a state-of-the-art venue for Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School and other area schools and artistic organizations. Because funds were limited, the school asked Professional Audio Designs of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin to build a cost-effective sound reinforcement system that could start with simple coverage for Sunday services and have the ability to scale up to handle full theatrical productions as the funds became available. To accommodate that challenging request, Professional Audio Designs built the system around the Symetrix SymNet Radius 12×8 Dante Network Audio DSP.

“At the outset, the money allocated to the sound reinforcement system was generous, but the building itself ran way over budget,” explained Kim Leonard, president of Professional Audio Designs. “They came back to us and asked us to pare down the sound reinforcement system initially, while at the same time laying the foundation for the more expansive system that they will eventually have. That future vision includes a full-sized mixing console, dozens of mics and inputs, and a full stage monitoring system. But for now, they have a modest four microphones and a line-level input. We’re using the SymNet Radius 12×8 to auto-mix them.”

With the core system now in place, Fulcrum Acoustics loudspeakers powered by QSC amplifiers provide high-impact, high-fidelity coverage of the auditorium’s seating area. Three Symetrix Radius 12x8s provide the modest processing needed for basic sound reinforcement and will go on to provide the more advanced processing necessary. A Symetrix ARC-2e wall panel remote control gives users simple and intuitive control of volume for all four microphones, volume control for the line level input, and an overall master volume control.

When they get the funds, the school can simply plug in the digital mixer, the assisted listening system (ALS is installed now), the online streaming system, and a back stage monitoring system. Additional Symetrix ARC-2e units in the control room, in the house, and on a future portable backstage paging rack complete the system. Importantly, the simple quick-mix system that is already in place is selectable from the main ARC-2e so that the school and church can hold simple events and services without requiring an audio technician on hand.

“The whole system is networked via Dante,” said Leonard. “We built a primary network and a secondary network for backup. We’re glad Symetrix is leading the charge with fully-integrated Dante technology. It’s extremely cost-effective and robust and the fidelity is excellent. In addition, we always use Symetrix with Fulcrum loudspeakers because the FIR filters required by Fulcrum are fully supported within the SymNet software.”

ABOUT SYMETRIX Symetrix is dedicated to making life sound better. As a world leader in the development and manufacturing of digital audio signal processing (DSP) systems and accessories, Symetrix provides best in class audio management solutions to businesses, schools, non-profits and government organizations.

For more information on Symetrix products visit www.symetrix.co

SYMETRIX SYMNET EDGE AND RADIUS DSPs HANDLE PERFORMING ARTS CENTERS IN HOUSTON’S KATY SCHOOL DISTRICT

HOUSTON, TEXAS: The rapidly growing Katy Independent School District serves over 65,000 students in the greater Houston area. To meet their growing audio and visual media demands, school officials recently earmarked funds to update the performing arts center A/V systems in four of its seven high schools. Broadcast Works of Tyler, Texas was contracted to do the installation and used SymNet Edge and Radius AEC open architecture Dante network audio DSPs.

“The old A/V systems were 1990s vintage and entirely analog,” explained Aaron Comer, project manager with Broadcast Works. “The system designer, Erich Friend of Teqniqal Systems assessed their existing systems and determined that they could transform the performing arts centers from outdated to cutting-edge by revamping only the front end and control systems. The existing QSC amplifiers and Renkus-Heinz loudspeakers were basically in excellent shape.”

Although the original design called for another DSP manufacturer, Comer and his team lobbied hard for SymNet Edge and Radius DSP. “We had worked with this other manufacturer’s products in the past, and it was always a challenge,” he said. “In contrast, we’ve done a lot of Symetrix jobs, and they always go well. Ryan Curtright, Symetrix’ senior technical sales engineer, worked with us to put a nice package together centered on SymNet solutions. Based on our past experience, we knew it would work well and reliably… and would save the district some money.” The new systems make use of the Dante network’s stability and flexibility to send signal long distances without copper and provide digital patch bays that allow users (including first-year students) to select among each stage’s 70+ inputs for allocation to a 48-channel Avid SC48 console.

Stage inputs include a multitude of wired input plates together with a portable rack feeding a SymNet Edge and SymNet xIn12 expander. Rather than home running all of the stage inputs back to the sound booth, as in the old design, the new system uses a stage-located SymNet Radius AEC to collect them for transfer to the sound booth via Dante. That same Radius AEC, together with a SymNet xOut12 expander, receives the final house mix from the sound booth (again via Dante) for output to the stage-located amp rack. The portable SymNet Edge rack pairs up with a sixteen-count wireless microphone system or an additional twelve-count hardwired microphone collection and can connect to the system via any one of four Dante ports located around the stage.

Each sound booth contains three SymNet Radius AEC units with additional input cards, three SymNet xIn12s, and three SymNet xOut12s. Broadcast Works designed a custom computer interface using Symetrix’ SymVue software that allows users to connect any input source to any channel on the Avid SC48 console. In turn, the console outputs thirty-two channels that feed back into the SymNet system for transfer to the amp rack via Dante. “The students love it,” said Comer. “We trained a group of freshmen who had zero experience with a system like this. Within a couple of hours, they were completely comfortable and playing with the whole thing. Despite its complexity from our perspective, SymVue makes it simple from their perspective. They get it.”

For less elaborate events, Broadcast Works gave each school an iPad outfitted with Crestron control that would allow them to turn the system on with a minimal number of commonly-used microphones and input sources. The iPad gives them control over which commonly-used inputs are active, their individual volumes, and the overall volume.

The new systems’ easy learning curve made it possible for the theater and music departments in all four schools to start production on fall programs without delay. A few of the highlights include The Wizard of Oz, a Masquerade Serenade concert, and a play called The Cherry Orchard.

ABOUT SYMETRIX Symetrix is dedicated to making life sound better. As a world leader in the development and manufacturing of digital audio signal processing (DSP) systems and accessories, Symetrix provides best in class audio management solutions to businesses, schools, non-profits and government organizations.

For more information on Symetrix products visit www.symetrix.co

DANLEY SOUND LABS LOUDSPEAKERS AND SUBS CONTRIBUTE TO TRUE STEREO IMAGING AT FIRST FREE CHURCH

ROCKFORD, ILLINOIS: First Free Church has been a cornerstone of spiritual life in Rockford, Illinois since 1884. Over the decades, First Free has occupied several buildings of ever-growing size and, since the advent of A/V technology, ever-growing technical sophistication. Its current sanctuary seats close to 1,800 congregants in an arc spanning nearly 180 degrees, with a balcony and under-balcony area that stretches from wall to wall. Tired of poor coverage from a faux-LCR system of mid-1990s vintage, First Free hired SVL Productions of nearby Cherry Valley, Illinois to build a new system that would provide nearly every seat with crisp stereo imaging. Of course, this would be no small feat to achieve. SVL Productions turned to Chicago-based Johnson AV Engineering to help design and commission the new system, which relies on the tight pattern control of Danley Sound Labs loudspeakers to meet – and then greatly exceed – the church’s expectations.

“Music is a vital component of First Free’s services,” said Aaron Johnson, president and principle engineer at Johnson AV Engineering. “The old system had three clusters to cover different wedges of the room’s wide arc, but despite the fact that they were set up as a Left-Center-Right system, none of the seats had any true imaging to speak of. The church wanted true imaging, where each instrument seems to emanate from the empty space between the loudspeakers, but that’s very hard to achieve in such a wide arc. You can’t simply place a couple of clusters on either side of the stage and expect even coverage and convincing imaging. The relative volume and time delay of each loudspeaker at the listener’s location have to be nearly equal to make the stereo effect work.”

The solution was to divide the room into three 60-degree wedges, each of which would receive its own stereo image. Although that’s easy to conceptualize, it’s very difficult to actually implement because almost all loudspeakers spill energy “off-axis.” That spillover would cross the dividing line between one wedge and the next and destroy the stereo imaging effect. “Danley’s tight pattern control made it the obvious choice for this application,” said Johnson. “No other loudspeaker manufacturer comes close to Danley’s razor-sharp pattern control, which extends even to lower frequencies.”

Because of their specific coverage patterns and the geometry of the room, Johnson specified a Danley SH-60 on top of a Danley SM-96 at each loudspeaker location for coverage of the main seating area. A total of six such clusters comprise the main system: three sets of left and right. Four monophonic Danley SH-Micros provide front fill for seats very near the stage. Partitions separate six under-balcony areas, four of which seat thirty to forty each and two of which seat only eight. For the larger partitions, a stereo pair of Danley SH-Micros deliver convincing stereo imaging, whereas a single Danley SH-Micro in each of the smaller partitions deliver a monophonic summed signal.

“I don’t know of another loudspeaker that can achieve the kind of pattern control that Danley has managed,” said Brent Hayes, president of SVL Productions. “Aaron and I walked the room during commissioning, and it was truly astounding to step just past the edge of one loudspeaker’s pattern. It fell off immediately. One more step and we were clearly into the pattern of the next loudspeaker. I remember seeing it on paper, but it’s a whole other thing to experience it.” Johnson agreed: “I love that Danley products always model exactly like they work, and they work exactly as you expect them to.”

But the miracles of great pattern control don’t stop with the loudspeakers at First Free Church. Johnson designed a directional subwoofer cluster comprised of three Danley TH-118s flown near the ceiling, just in front of the stage. By paying careful attention to each unit’s phase and signal delay, the bass volume on stage is a full 18 dB lower than it is in the seats, which is an obvious and significant difference. The dividing line is, in Johnson’s words, “like a curtain,” and even the first row of seats is fully immersed in bass. By keeping so much low-frequency energy off the stage, the sound quality captured on stage by open microphones is much better and far less likely to growl or feed back.

Processing support for the new system is extensive, as proper alignment required a separate processing channel for almost every individual loudspeaker and subwoofer. BiAmp Audia provides that fine-scale level of control. Because the Danley loudspeakers and subwoofers require only a single amplifier channel, the total number of amplifiers was kept to a minimum, but the sheer number of loudspeakers and subwoofers involved still amounted to an impressive 26 channels. Powersoft K-Series and Ottocanali-Series amplifiers provide that power. “The new system requires more power to the loudspeakers and subs than the old system did, but the efficiency of the Powersoft units allow us to draw less AC power!” said Hayes. “As a result, we didn’t have to call in an electrician. Moreover, their physical compactness left an entire rack from the previous installation wide open. In summary, we had more processing channels, more amplifier channels, and more loudspeaker power, but less current draw and less space consumed.”

New video projectors and screens, together with a new high-end Chauvet lekos and LED lights completed the installation.

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

GRUNDORF CORPORATION ANNOUNCES NEW WEBSITES

Council Bluffs, IA – November 2013… Grundorf Corporation, a leading manufacturer of equipment for musicians and audio professionals, is pleased to announce the debut of two new websites—one for the division that sells cases and accessories (Grundorf) and the other for the division that sells loudspeakers, audio processors, and related equipment (Grund Audio Design). The two website URL’s are www.grundorf.com (cases / accessories) and www.GrundAudio.com (loudspeakers / processors). more

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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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