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Archive for July 30th, 2014

DANLEY LOUDSPEAKERS DELIVER AUDIO HORSEPOWER AT CHURCHILL DOWNS

LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY: Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky held the very first Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks horse races in 1875, the year it opened. The track acquired its now-iconic twin-spires grandstand in 1895 and subsequently added to it on either side in pieces during the last century, bringing the grandstand’s current capacity to 52,000. In anticipation of the 2014 Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs commenced installation of a 171-ft. by 90-ft. video screen, the largest 4k video board in the world. Because the facility’s low-fi sound reinforcement system had been designed ages ago for only spoken word reproduction, the new screen would require a serious sound system upgrade to realize its full potential and impact. Dallas-based Marsh/PMK International, LLC designed the new sound reinforcement systems for all of the outdoor areas including nearly sixty clusters in the grandstands comprised of Danley Sound Labs SH50, SM96 and SM60F loudspeakers as well as TH212 subwoofers.

Encompass Develop, Design & Construct oversaw the installation of both the new video board and the new sound systems and they hired Marsh/PMK. Dave Stearns and Tim Lindstrom worked with Marsh/PMK to execute the sound system project from conception to completion. “The timeline for such a large-scale project was incredibly short – only six-and-a-half months from start to finish,” said David Marsh, owner of Marsh/PMK. “We were selected as the consultant in early October and delivered the design to Encompass at the end of December with two addenda following in January. Siemens was awarded the installation contract at the beginning of February. They won the bid in part because they have an ongoing contract to operate and maintain the sound systems at Churchill Downs. As such, they were already familiar with the facility and all the relevant operational aspects. Minor installation work and punch list corrections were still going on after the opening of Churchill Downs’ spring meet on April 26. Final testing and adjustments followed to make the system fully ready for the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby race days on May 2nd and 3rd.”

“I’ve been listening to Danley systems at trade shows for years now,” said Marsh. “I like the company’s philosophy of building large horn systems instead of adding to the already flooded market of line arrays. We see line arrays used in many permanent installations where properly designed horn arrays would work better. People have the idea that line arrays are a panacea, the cure-all for every situation, because they can throw sound long distances and because the main sound lobe can be electronically shaped and steered. True, but there is another side to that story.” Marsh goes on to explain, “Constructive and destructive interference that makes line arrays work also causes noticeable variations in tonal quality. Interference also produces lobes of sound in unintended directions, including behind the array. Lastly, most line arrays have wide horizontal dispersion, the angle of which is usually fixed by the basic building block of the array. In such cases, it is not possible to vary the horizontal dispersion angle along the length of the array to optimally match the intended coverage area.”

Marsh said, “I’ve been looking for the right project for Danley. Churchill Downs became the one. Danley clusters positioned along the front edge of Level 300 serve the largest covered seating tier and all the trackside sections in front of the grandstand building from one end to the other. A tight vertical pattern with sharp cut-offs was critical in our long-throw situation. We had to throw sound all the way down to the edge of the track without ‘sizzling the hair’ of people seated below the clusters where Level 200 protrudes out from the building. The system performs as intended. I was also pleased by the performance of Danley’s TH-212 subwoofers. This is a tapped horn design that delivers an impressive amount of bass in a relatively small package.”

Our original design was based on a different loudspeaker manufacturer, but they couldn’t guarantee that their products would be delivered on time,” said Marsh. “Danley had slightly greater vertical coverage patterns in similar box sizes [to those of the other manufacturer], which allowed us to modify our design to use one less box per cluster. That would ultimately be a cost savings. Danley emphatically stated that the boxes would be delivered on time and that sealed the deal. They made good on their promise.”

Danley Sound Labs, Inc. President and CEO Mike Hedden commented, “One of the things we are very proud of is our U.S.-based manufacturing. From the time we got the order until it was shipped complete was four weeks; 250 fully weatherproofed loudspeakers in four weeks, that’s unheard of in this day of off shore production! During this time the south got hit by two severe snowstorms that wreaked havoc on the region. Even with raw goods being lost in logistics which delayed shipments, we still delivered the products in organized pallets so that each load represented a finished cluster on the job site in four weeks.”

Unlike a typical baseball or football stadium, the grandstand building at Churchill Downs has seating tiers that are stacked vertically, straight up and down. Moreover, various expansions have occurred over the years adding sections on either side of the historic “twin spires.” All of these sections have slightly different profiles. There are varying ceiling heights, seating depths and column spacing. It was a unique situation that required careful planning. Unfortunately, Churchill Downs did not have CAD drawings of the facility. In fact, PDF drawings provided to Marsh/PMK trickled in over a period of weeks and none of them were to scale. “This put the already tight design schedule in serious jeopardy.” Marsh said. “How were we going to get this project into EASE [for coverage modeling] and how were we going to produce usable CAD backgrounds?”

Tim Lindstrom worked with Melvin Saunders, another consultant working on the Marsh/PMK team, to meet the challenge. Tim used dimensions obtained during the initial site survey to create re-scaled PDFs. Melvin used Google Earth to confirm or correct the dimensions and then created a SketchUp model of the complicated grandstands. The SketchUp model was imported into EASE, which finally allowed Dave Stearns to get into the detailed loudspeaker system design. Tim subsequently set about creating the necessary CAD backgrounds. “I was very proud of our team’s resourcefulness.” Marsh declared.

Two basic cluster types alternate along the length of the grandstand, just under the front edge of the Level 300 ceiling. There are nearly sixty clusters in total. The first type of cluster includes a Danley SH50 long-throw box and a companion TH212 subwoofer. The SH50 covers the seating in front of the grandstand building all the way out to the edge of the track. The second type of cluster replaces those boxes with a Danley SM96 to provide near coverage in between the horizontal cut-off angles of the SH50s in the adjacent clusters. Both cluster types include a rear-firing full-range SM60F aimed toward the top of the Level 300 seating tier and a more-or-less down firing SM96 with its woofer removed.

Marsh/PMK expanded existing Q-Sys DSP and QSC amplification to power the system. Existing Renkus-Heinz and QSC loudspeakers were repurposed and added to as necessary to improve coverage on the “porches” in front of upper level suites and on Level 200 of the grandstand building. Renkus boxes were also used on the front edge of Level 200 to cover walkways in front of the building and the rear of Level 100 seating where the Danley coverage is shadowed by overhangs. Existing Community loudspeakers were repurposed and added as necessary on poles to cover seating that extends beyond the building as well as the track infield, the entry plaza and the paddock area. “Re-use of existing equipment where possible was a goal of our design, but Danley now provides the major audio horsepower for the grandstands at Churchill Downs,” said Marsh, claiming no pun intended.

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

Extron Tackles Lecture Capture with the Introduction of the SMP 351 and FlexOS

We are pleased to introduce the SMP 351, an H.264 streaming media processor for capturing and distributing live AV sources and presentations. Featuring up to five inputs, the SMP 351 creates high-impact content by combining two high resolution signals, a background image, and metadata into dynamic layouts that enhance a presentation’s message. The SMP 351 supports both live streaming and recording capabilities, allowing a presentation to be delivered anywhere a network can reach. Extron’s FlexOS embedded operating system makes it easily-adaptable to new requirements, and applications can be uploaded to the SMP 351 to automate system operation using control ports. It is easy to use, and with no licensing fees, has a low cost of ownership. The SMP 351 is a flexible, cost-effective solution for delivering presentations to a larger audience. more

Starlight on Powering Back-to-Back Heavy Metal Festivals: “Rigging & Tuning Meyer Sound LEO is That Fast”

Supporting heavy metal festivals STHLM Fields and Sonisphere not only took tremendous sonic power, but also an intelligently designed loudspeaker rigging system built for mission-critical circumstances. For the festivals’ headliners Metallica, Slayer, and Mastodon, Starlight built a massive Meyer Sound LEO™ linear large-scale sound reinforcement system with close to 200 loudspeakers. Within 24 hours, the system was flown and tuned for action for the two productions located 500 km from each other.

Both produced by Live Nation, the STHLM Fields welcomed a sold-out crowd of 50,000 in Stockholm’s vast Gardet Royal Park, while Sonisphere drew 40,000 metal fans to Oslo’s Valle Hovin stadium.

“Although the shows were two days apart, Metallica preferred to have the system ready for a 6:00 pm check in Oslo the day after the first show,” says Fredrik Arwidson, systems engineer for Starlight. “We managed to deliver on the band’s demands with only seven people on the audio crew; rigging and tuning LEO is that fast.”

The main LEO system comprised dual main hangs of 16 LEO-M line array loudspeakers with two MICA® line array loudspeakers for down fill. Low end was provided by 42 1100-LFC low-frequency control elements in dual flown arrays of 12 each and dual end-fire arrays stacked in rows of three by three, in addition to six M3D-Sub directional subwoofers for center coverage. Main stage out hangs each used 14 MILO® line array loudspeakers, with six MICA loudspeakers for front fill. Four delay systems deployed a total of 24 MILO and 32 LEO-M loudspeakers and 24 flown M3D subwoofers.

System drive and optimization was provided by a Galileo® Callisto™ loudspeaker management system with two Galileo 616 AES and eight Galileo Callisto array processors.

“The sound quality was great,” says Christian Schøyen of Live Nation Norway. “The LEO system filled the entire stadium with plenty of volume, and it looked good, too.”

Arwidson adds: “Every time we set up LEO, I’m surprised by how effortlessly it delivers extremely high output with no power compression. It seems that the headroom never ends. The audience was excited all the way to the back.”

In addition to the main LEO system, the Stockholm site featured a dual-stage setup using a Meyer Sound system also provided by Starlight. It included 54 M3D line array loudspeakers, 42 700-HP subwoofers, eight JM-1P arrayable loudspeakers, and a Galileo loudspeaker management system with one Galileo 616 AES and two Galileo 616 processors.

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Meyer Sound JM-1P & 1100-LFC Drive High-Energy Worship at The Crossing Church in Las Vegas

To attract a younger, media-savvy demographic, The Crossing Christian Church has installed a concert-grade Meyer Sound system. The design features the JM-1P arrayable loudspeaker and the 1100-LFC low-frequency control element, Meyer Sound’s most powerful loudspeaker for 30 Hz to 85 Hz frequency range.

“It’s great to finally have a system with enough headroom so that we can push it hard when needed, and have it respond with a smooth increase in gain, without distorting or changing the tonality,” says Bob Meyers, principal audio engineer at The Crossing.

For uniform coverage of the wide, 1,800-seat room, the system relies on four main clusters of JM-1P loudspeakers, with four in each end cluster and five in each of the two center clusters. One UPA-1P loudspeaker provides down-fill under each cluster, while six UPJunior™ VariO™ loudspeakers supply front fill. Four 1100-LFC low-frequency control elements are flown in an end-fired array over the stage, and two 600-HP subwoofers are placed underneath the deck. System drive and optimization are handled by a Galileo® Callisto™ loudspeaker management system with two Galileo Callisto 616 array processors.

Kevin Potts and David Starck of Las Vegas-based Coherent Design handled system planning in close consultation with the church’s principal audio engineers: Meyers and Aaron Beck, a volunteer who is also head of sound for a resident Cirque du Soleil® production. System integration was handled by Las Vegas-based AVDB Group, with Bob Langlois responsible for overall direction and Daryl Porter handling on-site project management.

“They are serious about audio quality at The Crossing,” says Starck. “When they built this new worship space, they wanted to make sure everything was done to the highest standards.”

From an integrator’s perspective, the Meyer Sound solution has saved both time and money. “With a Meyer system, you pull it out of the box, and it works,” says Langlois. “The amount of labor is so much less than with other non-powered systems.”

The front end of The Crossing’s new audio system includes a Yamaha CL5 digital mixing console at FOH, Shure ULX-D wireless microphone systems, Shure PSM 900 IEMs, and wired microphones from Countryman, Audio-Technica, Sennheiser, Shure, and Audix.

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Essence Electrostatic Speaker Systems Finds Subwoofer Harmony with SVS

SVS sealed subwoofers were chosen for their musicality, quickness, style, and value befitting the Model 1200 and 1600 Electrostatic Speakers and will now be available via the Essence website and through dealers worldwide.

Girard, OH – July 29, 2014SVS, a worldwide leader in high performance home audio products, was chosen to be the exclusive subwoofer brand recommended and sold by Essence Electrostatic Speaker Systems. The SVS Gloss White SB-1000, SB-1000 in Black Ash, and the SB13-Ultra Gloss Black sealed subwoofers were chosen for having qualities that complement the unique sound profile of the Essence 1200 and 1600 electrostatic speakers and will be available from the Essence website and its audio/video dealers worldwide.

“After conducting exhaustive research on every subwoofer brand we could think of, it became clear that SVS sealed subs were more articulate, musical and transparent than any others we tested,” said Bob Rapoport, vice president sales and marketing for Essence Electrostatic. “We call the Essence Electrostatic speakers the “ultimate listening experience” because they are capable of producing a palpably realistic stereo image, something that’s easy to hear and gives you the goosies. SVS sealed subwoofers will only enhance this experience.”

Unlike traditional speakers with magnets and woofers, electrostatic speakers use an ultra low-mass thin-film Mylar diaphragm suspended in an electrostatic field between two perforated acrylic panels called “stators” to propagate sound out the front and back of the panel. Electrostats are known for rendering astonishing clarity, resolution, transient response, and image specificity in the mid to high frequency ranges. As a result of this design, electrostatic speakers don’t generally move enough air to fill a listening room with visceral bass output. Knowing its strength is in electrostatic speakers, Essence chose SVS to fill in the low frequencies, the bottom two octaves of bass.

SVS sealed subwoofers feature sophisticated Class D amplifiers with custom DSP (digital signal processing) for effortless performance and refinement at all volume levels. Sealed subwoofers are known for providing cleaner, tighter bass than ported models with heightened musicality, articulation and transient response. SVS sealed subwoofers integrate with both electrostatic and traditional speakers.

“Essence Electrostatic speakers provide a sense of realism and transparency that is unique in the world of audio and there’s no doubt the new models are an impressive achievement,” said Gary Yacoubian, president and CEO of SVS. “Most subwoofers would muddy the experience of listening to electrostatic speakers, so we’re flattered to be chosen and consider it a real validation of the engineering we put into our sealed subwoofer designs.”

Essence loudspeakers and SVS sealed subwoofers are available now from www.Essenceelectrostatic.com and from select specialty AV retailers.

For more information about SVS, please visit www.svsound.com  or like them on Facebook or Twitter.

About SVS

SVS is a global leader in high performance home audio products; designing, manufacturing and selling subwoofers and speakers through its Internet direct business. Founded in 1998 by a group of audio enthusiasts seeking to develop an alternative to traditional audio manufacturers, SVS was forged out of a passion for the science of sound married to a disruptive, forward-facing go-to-market strategy. Today, SVS takes a radical approach to how audio products are developed. Built on collective decades of experience, SVS is redefining performance and value for people who love music and sound.

Press Contact:  Caster Communications, Inc. at 401.792.7080

Nicholas Brown: nbrown@castercomm.com

Kimberly Lancaster: klancaster@castercomm.com

For digital images log on to: www.castercomm.com

 

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Christie Donates Technology and Services to USC School of Cinematic Arts

Christie®, a global leader in advanced cinema technologies and visual display solutions, continued its technology partnership recently with the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts (USC SCA) by launching a state-of-the-art cinema experience at USC’s showcase theater, the Eileen Norris Theatre. Christie, through a generous donation of equipment and installation services, will be the sole provider of all cinematic and audio equipment within the Eileen Norris Theatre, and will be working together with USC SCA in enhancing visual technologies, specifically cinematic ones.

USC Eileen Norris Theatre


The Eileen Norris Cinema Theatre is a 341-seat motion picture theater set within the campus of USC and adjacent to the Cinematic Arts Complex. It is home to some of the School of Cinematic Arts’ largest classes and is the primary theater often used for large guest movie premieres and screenings of major Hollywood and International films at USC.

The Norris Theatre has undergone a total renovation of its projection and audio equipment, and with the help of Christie’s Professional Services team, will now showcase movies with the most immersive projection and audio system available. Highlighting the theater will be the Christie Solaria Series DLP® CP4230 4K projector. This 4K series projector is prepared for the next generation of digital cinema, giving audiences the best visual experience possible. The theater is now also outfitted with a complete Christie Vive Audio system, utilizing over 40 different speakers, sub-woofers, and amps. The Vive S218 and S215 subwoofer, LA3 and LAC3 line array speakers, as well as the LA45 and LA4C speakers are all installed and complement the theater’s Dolby Atmos® installation.

Christie Vive is specially configured to meet Dolby Atmos® sound technology requirements. Filmmakers use Dolby Atmos to place and move sounds anywhere in the movie theater, including overhead, to make film audiences feel as if they are inside the movie and not merely watching. Altogether, Christie has delivered to USC a solution to drive a captivating and unique experience that will give theatrical viewers a unique and truly immersive movie experience.

Commenting on the Eileen Norris Theatre installation, Eric Furie, Senior Technologist, USC CSA, said, “Christie and our staff are to be congratulated on their support, input, and hard work in making the Norris Theatre into such an extraordinary space. The theater and the content displayed in it have never looked or sounded better; it’s truly impressive!”

Christie’s CEO Jack Kline had a vision to partner with the prestigious cinema school, located in Los Angeles, near Christie’s headquarters, and cultivate a relationship through generous giving. Always wanting to give back, Mr. Kline believes that USC is the perfect educational environment in which to do that. The students in the School of Cinematic Arts are using cutting-edge technology in the creation of current content, film and visual experiences, and Christie’s equipment will be the foundation for that.

“Christie’s innovative culture, manifested through the cinema services, audio and visual technologies donated to USC, will complement the already vast knowledge and experience of the USC School of Cinematic Arts’ educators,” said Christie CEO Jack Kline. “Combined, the tools and expertise will inspire and equip future film makers to recreate humanity’s stories in the most lifelike and engaging ways possible.”

“The USC School of Cinematic Arts is one of the top-ranked film schools in the world so it’s only fitting they have selected Dolby Atmos for the Eileen Norris Theatre,” said Doug Darrow, Senior Vice President, Dolby Laboratories. “Now the entire USC community including student and Hollywood filmmakers, many of which have embraced Dolby Atmos, will benefit from the premium quality Dolby delivers.”

Christie has been working with USC SCA in a philanthropic effort to provide not only current cinematic projection equipment, but also cutting-edge technological visual solutions for the school’s recently constructed Interactive Media Building. Through the working relationship with the university, Christie plans to further its donation efforts and become the primary technology provider for the school.

Oregon Shakespeare Festival: “The Meyer Sound System has Completely Changed the Artist & Audience Experience”

The 79-year-old Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) in Ashland has chosen Meyer Sound MINA™ line array loudspeakers to anchor the first full reinforcement setup in its 1,190-seat, outdoor Allen Elizabethan Theatre. With a stage house and thrust stage originally built for non-amplified performances, the theatre now benefits from an architecturally pleasing audio solution that heightens vocal clarity and musicality for the audience, while making performing easier for the actors.

“The Meyer Sound system has completely changed the experience for both artists and audience,” says Bill Rauch, artistic director of OSF. “The amplification is so subtle in the Shakespeare plays that the audience often cannot tell the actors are amplified, but they appreciate hearing and understanding every word.”

The move to a full reinforcement system was prompted by several factors, including the scheduling of more musicals, concerns about comprehension of Shakespearean language, and the directors’ desire to free the actors from always facing forward to project. With the repertory theatre changing the complete set daily, it was important to OSF that the system blended into the architecture without being incorporated into the scenic design.

OSF’s audio staff worked with Meyer Sound to design a visually unobtrusive solution using split center arrays of MINA loudspeakers, with two arrays of seven covering the orchestra and two of five covering the balcony. Outer left and right clusters of two-each UPQ-1P and UPQ-2P loudspeakers per side add stereo dimension for music and effects, while four 500-HP subwoofers supply musical low end and convincing effects—such as the giant’s footsteps in Into the Woods.

“For a language-based theatre company such as ours, nothing is more important than to hear the words with clarity,” says Rauch. “During Into the Woods, the singers are able to be heard clearly over a 20-piece orchestra—a revelation on this stage.”

Douglas Faerber, head of OSF’s sound department, adds: “Our new system is working beautifully. We really love it. We’ve had feedback from audiences about how they appreciate the clarity and the even and natural coverage, and the directors have been ecstatic about what they’re hearing.”

In addition, six UPM-1XP, two UP-4XP, and seven MM-4XP self-powered loudspeakers provide under-balcony, box-fill, and front-fill coverage, respectively. System drive, optimization, and delay alignment is supplied by a Galileo® loudspeaker management system with one Galileo 616 and two Galileo 408 processors.

The audio renovation also includes a Yamaha CL5 digital mixing console and 32 channels of Sennheiser 2000 Series wireless systems with G3 beltpacks and MKE II Gold lavalier microphones.

Founded by Angus Bowmer in 1935, and recipient of a Tony Award for outstanding achievement in regional theatre, OSF presents an eight-month season of 11 plays in three theatres. Attendance at the approximately 800 yearly performances normally exceeds 400,000. The Allen Elizabethan Theatre was named in recognition of a $3 million grant from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation. The new sound system was made possible by a gift from Judy Shih and Joel Axelrod of Ashland.

Prior to the 2014 season, another new Meyer Sound system was installed in OSF’s Thomas Theatre, with flexible deployment of UPJ-1P VariO™ loudspeakers along with UP-4XP and MM-4XP loudspeakers.

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Christie Poised For Continued Innovation with New Executive Appointments

Christie®, the global leader in helping customers create the world’s best shared experiences, today announced several senior management appointments for its product and solutions management, engineering and operations’ functions.
Jennifer Smith is promoted to executive vice president of Christie’s new Global Market Solutions group. In this new role, Smith is responsible for the identification of customer and market needs for Christie’s key areas of business and strategy to meet those needs. Her team brings a wealth of experience and will define the products, solutions and services needed to continue to maximize the value and benefit of these deliverables to Christie customers. Smith has been with Christie for 14 years and was most recently vice president, Global Engineering, prior to her promotion.

Succeeding Smith as vice president, Global Engineering for Christie, is Mike Esch, promoted from senior director of engineering. In his new position, Esch is responsible for the company’s global engineering team and will create ground-breaking products and solutions that meet the customer needs uncovered by Smith’s team. Esch has more than 15 years of engineering management experience, the majority of it with Christie.

In the new position of executive vice president, Operations, Ihor Stech is responsible for global operations, supply chain management, logistics and after-sale services. Working with Christie Professional Services and the Global Sales teams, Ihor will maximize Christie’s varied global service offerings, including such key areas as RMA, service inventory and service and repair locations. Stech has 14 years of Christie experience and nearly three decades of like-industry experience.

The company stated that it is recognizing and expanding the responsibilities of the same hi-level team that helped grow Christie from a small portfolio of projection products in 1994 to where it is today, with more than 150 display products and solutions specifically designed to help customers create the world’s best shared experiences. It added that the appointees have the vision and the experience to ensure that the company continues to exceed customer expectations with the best products, services and solutions possible.

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Meyer Sound Launches User Training Videos for LYON Line Array System

Meyer Sound has released four online video tutorials to support users of the LYON ™ linear sound reinforcement system, the newest addition to its LEO™ Family of line array products. Covering topics that range from system design and rigging to optimization, the video modules are available for viewing on meyersound.com and Vimeo.com.

LYON Product Introduction: The comprehensive overview outlines the system’s coverage patterns, rigging features, connections, and integration with the 1100-LFC low-frequency control element and the Galileo® Callisto™ loudspeaker management system.

LYON Array Assembly: The video gives a step-by-step tutorial for presetting splay angles, lifting and locking an array, and pullback techniques. It also shows the rigging calculator features in the MAPP Online XT™ acoustic prediction software.

LYON Compass Presets and Controls: The module shows the user workflow for optimizing a LYON loudspeaker array, featuring presets in the virtual Galileo Callisto array processor, array configuration in zones, integration of 1100-LFC loudspeakers, and the U-Shaping™ filters for output equalization.

Using Array Correction and Delay Integration: The video demonstrates the use of array processing and correction and delay integration for Meyer Sound line array systems.

These training resources complement Meyer Sound’s industry-leading education program, which includes in-person seminars and online resources for all aspects of sound reinforcement, from audio theory and mixing workshops to in-depth courses on the design and optimization of complex systems.

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Masque Sound Blows the Roof Off The Acorn Theatre for Explosive New Musical, Atomic

Custom Audio Equipment Package Brings the Story of the Creation of the First Nuclear Bomb to Off-Broadway Stage

NEW YORK, JULY 30, 2014 — When the highly charged, new rock musical, Atomic ignited the stage at The Acorn Theatre at New York’s Theatre Row, Masque Sound, a leading theatrical sound reinforcement, installation and design company, was on-hand to provide a custom audio equipment package to support Sound Designer Jon Weston and his team.

Atomic is a thrilling new off-Broadway musical that blasts open the doors of The Manhattan Project, a Government-funded program of top scientists who were faced with the task of creating the world’s first Atomic Bomb. The production depicts Hungarian American physicist and inventor Leó Szilárd as the mastermind behind atomic power whose heart has reservations. Ethics, scientific progress and true love are tested as Szilárd discovers exactly what he’s capable of when someone believes in him.

One of Weston’s biggest challenges in designing the sound for Atomic was the theatre’s layout itself. “The space we were dealing with is very wide and shallow, so coverage was a big concern,” says Weston. “In order to address those issues, equipment selection and its placement within the theatre, was critical. To accommodate the large scale of the show, we created an extensive sound system with Masque Sound’s assistance and support. Working in such a vast space, it was important to both the composer and director that the sound accurately depicts the many different emotions that run throughout this production, and I think that this custom audio equipment package allowed us to achieve that.”

In order to attain the soundscape he desired, Weston turned to the Avid VENUE Profile Console, which provides the sound quality, flexibility and reliability he was after. The main speaker system is comprised of a pair of d&b audiotechnik C7-TOP 15-inch two-way speakers. “The C7-TOP is a very musically-inclined, accommodating speaker,” Weston says. “It doesn’t wrap around or spill everywhere; its range goes exactly where it’s intended to and not much comes off the sides. It really is an excellent speaker and ideal for this production. We rounded out the main system with EAW JF200s and Meyer Sound UPA-1Ps, and it really sounds great.”

The surround system features RE Audio MT18s and Meyer Sound UPQ-1Ps that are also used as part of the effects system. The large, low end of the system includes d&b audiotechnik B4s and Q-subs, and Meyer Sound 650Ps. “The goal in the design of this surround system was to have an abundance of speakers working well within their set range, as opposed to having fewer speakers set up in a way that they sound draining,” adds Weston. “The system appears loud because of the contrast, but in reality it isn’t that loud.”

Additionally, Masque Sound supplied a microphone package featuring Sennheiser MKE-2s for the cast, as well as a wireless package featuring Sennheiser 5212 and 3532s. Masque Sound also provided frequency coordination for the 14 channels of wireless used for the show.

“Working with Masque Sound allows me to maximize my available options and budget,” says Weston. “It’s all about the relationship with the shop. I usually deal one-on-one with department personnel at Masque Sound, and they are always willing to go that extra step to help, which is critical to the success of a production’s sound design. I am very specific in my visions, and I know that can sometimes slow things down a bit, but they are always happy to oblige me, which is wonderful. The equipment Masque Sound provides, especially the microphones, are always top-notch. Even legacy equipment, which I like to use, is in stock and always in great shape. In addition to Masque Sound, I could not do what I do without the hard work of my personal team. Mixer/Associate Josh Millican and Assistant Sound Josh Staines do a great job of bringing it all together every performance.”

Atomic, running for a limited eight-week engagement, officially opened on Sunday, July 13 and is slated to run through August 16 at The Acorn Theatre at Theatre Row (410 West 42nd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues). To learn more about Atomic, visit www.atomicthemusical.com.

About Masque Sound
Founded in 1936 by a trio of Broadway stagehands, Masque Sound evolved into one of NYC’s most successful theatrical sound reinforcement, installation and design companies specializing in theatrical, house of worship, sporting, corporate, TV broadcast and live concert events. Celebrating more than 75 years in the industry, the company is lead by Geoff Shearing, the firm’s 3rd generation owner, and Vice President and General Manager Stephanie Hansen. The company also operates Florida-based Professional Wireless Systems, a leader in the development and implementation of wireless technology. Credits range from major Broadway shows and tours including “Phantom of the Opera,” “Mamma Mia!,” “Lion King,” “Jersey Boys,” “Memphis,” “The Book of Mormon,” “Newsies,” “Once” and “Kinky Boots” to yearly Super Bowl broadcasts and installations of varying sizes, including New York’s New Victory Theater and historic St. Bartholomew’s Church. Masque Sound’s 70,000 sq. ft. corporate headquarters and main assembly facility is located at 21 East Union Ave., East Rutherford, NJ, 20 minutes from midtown Manhattan. For more information, call (201) 939-8666 or visit www.MasqueSound.com.

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