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Michael Franks Chooses HARMAN’s Martin Professional For the 2014 NFL Draft

NEW YORK, New York — Held at New York City’s prestigious Radio City Music Hall, the 2014 NFL Draft was the highest rated ESPN Draft telecast in more than two decades. To ensure proper lighting of the players, audience and for the live television broadcast on both ESPN and NFL Network, Christie Lites and Principal Lighting Designer, Michael Franks, deployed HARMAN’s Martin Professional fixtures to provide light to the entire venue.

In total, more than four miles of cable were used to power 14 Martin MAC Auras, 20 MAC Viper AirFxs, 19 MAC Viper Performances and 24 MAC Viper Profiles throughout Radio City Music Hall from Thursday, May 8th – Saturday, May 10th.

What began as a relatively quiet experience in 1936, the NFL’s annual Draft has become one of the largest productions and most anticipated yearly events. As the NFL has continued to grow, so has the emphasis on production quality.

“This was our first year with a complete Martin rig,” Franks said. “Doing this project for 18 years, the Draft has consistently grown into a bigger event. We are constantly looking at how we can make it better each year and this year Martin played a big part in that. With two different networks now covering the event, the challenges grew even more as additional areas needed lighting coverage. It was a lot to manage but having the consistency of one team, we were able to create a uniformed look that worked for everyone.”

Franks decided to make the transition to Martin fixtures after several product demos and side-by-side comparisons with competitors. “We did the entire set-up in a matter of three days so there was definitely a lot of pressure to get it perfect the first time,” he said. “In addition, there is a new red carpet set-up outside the Draft before the first night that we were responsible for lighting. There were a lot of different parts but Martin helped tie it all together.”

Echoing Franks’ statement, John Trowbridge, Gaffer Crew Chief at The Wolf Productions stated that he enjoyed working with a quality product such as Martin. “In prior years,” he said, “we’ve used a selection of different manufactures, so it was nice to tighten things up with just Martin. Christie Lites is a Martin shop with a bunch of great fixtures so it made my life and my team’s life easier dealing with one company.”

At Radio City, the team needed to ensure that every area of the venue, including the hallways and all three balconies, were lit for live television. “Martin’s fixtures helped us to keep a uniform look and they also proved to be really even and bright,” said Franks. “We used a few of Vipers as follow spots which gave us the ability to light the players when they walked into the audience, since the ‘house’ followspots couldn’t reach them there. The Viper AirFXs and Viper Performances were used to light the walls, giving them color and patterns that were shown behind players and correspondents on both ESPN & NFL Network. We also used the Performances to light the tables in a controlled way due to the fact that this year, they were positioned behind the fans.”

Franks said he appreciates the quality of light, and color of the Martin fixtures, as they are different than what he has seen from competing lighting manufacturers. “I’m always one to refer to the phrase that ‘change is the only constant’,” he said. “A project like this never stops changing and the switch to Martin was a great choice for this production. We always need to find ways to be more efficient and Martin has been an improvement and a refinement in how we handle the Draft.”

Chris McMeen, Christie Lites, was the account representative for the package.

For additional information on Christie Lites, please visit: www.christielites.com

For additional information on The Wolf Productions, please visit: www.thewolfproductions.com/

As a world leader in the creation of dynamic lighting solutions for the entertainment, architectural, and commercial sectors, Martin lighting and video systems are renowned the world over. Martin also offers a range of advanced lighting controllers and media servers, as well as a complete line of smoke machines as a complement to intelligent lighting. Martin operates the industry’s most complete and capable distributor network with local partners in nearly 100 countries. Founded in 1987 and based in Aarhus, Denmark, Martin is the lighting division of global infotainment and audio company HARMAN International Industries. For more information please visit: http://www.martin.com.

HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures, and markets a wide range of infotainment and audio solutions for the automotive, consumer, and professional markets. It is a recognized world leader across its customer segments with premium brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, and Mark Levinson® and leading-edge connectivity, safety and audio technologies. 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 15,200 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $5.1 billion for the last twelve months ended March 31, 2014.

Raiding the Rock Vault Continues to Thrill Audiences with HARMAN’s AKG Microphones

LAS VEGAS, Nevada – Recently rated by The Las Vegas Review Journal as “Best Musical 2014”, “Raiding the Rock Vault” uses HARMAN’s AKG Microphones to provide the ultimate classic rock concert experience in Las Vegas. Written by GRAMMY™-winning producer David Kershenbaum and John Payne of Asia, this 2-hour experience weaves an entertaining storyline with some of the greatest rock hits of the ‘70s and ‘80s.

The full microphone system for “Raiding the Rock Vault” comprises 16 DMS700 V2 wireless channels connected to all the guitars through PT700 V2 transmitters, 12 WMS4500 wireless channels for vocals, with HT4500 D5 and D7 capsules for the singers and PT4500 transmitters for the actors. Twelve channels of IVM4500 are used for in-ear monitoring, while AKG’s HELICAL antennas take care of transmission.

“Everything has worked great, and that’s the most important thing,” said Keith Marks, production coordinator for “Raiding the Rock Vault.” “When we listened to the quality of AKG’s wireless microphones, we found that even artists who have never worked with wireless microphones before are loving it. The DMS system sounds perfect, on par with the quality of wired microphones.”

The “Raiding the Rock Vault” cast, which recently added Doug Aldrich of Whitesnake and Dio, performs over 200 shows annually. Naturally, the intensity and repetition of these shows require the production crew to maintain an inventory of extremely durable sound equipment.

“It’s a testament to the quality of the equipment, when it keeps performing great, day in and out,” Marks said. “Also, AKG provides incredible customer service: I can get Joe Wagoner or anyone else at AKG on the phone whenever I need them, which is an invaluable benefit.”

HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures, and markets a wide range of infotainment and audio solutions for the automotive, consumer, and professional markets. It is a recognized world leader across its customer segments with premium brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, and Mark Levinson® and leading-edge connectivity, safety and audio technologies. 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 15,200 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $5.1 billion for the last twelve months ended March 31, 2014.

Southfield Jazz Orchestra Upgrades to HARMAN’s Soundcraft Vi1 For Jazz Ensembles

SOUTHFIELD, Michigan – Having founded the sound reinforcement company EBR Providers LLC. in 2012 to support regional events in Michigan, Eric Rayford recently purchased a HARMAN’s Soundcraft Vi1 digital console for local acts such as the Southfield Jazz Orchestra, which began in 2010 in collaboration with the City of Southfield Parks and Recreation Department. The Vi1 will serve as a powerful upgrade that not only fits into the budget of the orchestra, but also the modest spaces of its venues.

The Southfield Jazz Orchestra performs mostly as a jazz ensemble playing tunes such as “In The Mood”, “Teach Me Tonight”, “Love For Sale”, and many more. Privileged to have saxophonist George Benson and vocalist Barbara Ware perform in the band as artists-in-residence, Rayford wanted to move into the digital age with the Vi1 console.

“Sixteen channels are sufficient for what we need and the Vi1’s size is ideal for the small venues that we play in,” said Rayford. “The ability to control some venues remotely on the iPad is great, because sometimes we don’t have enough room for a board near the stage. With the Soundcraft ViSi Remote App, I am able to keep the system in a protected area when performing in a bar, out of harm’s way from the audience.”

Moving away from the analog consoles he used previously, Rayford appreciates the familiar analog-like controls on the Vi1. Every knob and button correspond to only one function, eliminating the layering of controls. Although it is the smallest member of the Vi Series, the Vi1 console still packs the intuitive Soundcraft FaderGlow™ for color-coded illumination of the motorized faders, and the Vistonics™ touchscreen user interface for all other surface controls. The Southfield Jazz Orchestra also uses JBL Professional EON Series portable loudspeakers for many of its performances.

“This board is so well-designed and packed with so many functions, I won’t ever need a larger one for this act,” said Rayford. “The dedicated buttons for EQ’s and effects are very useful, and the layout is not cluttered at all. I can finally put EQ on an individual channel, which is great!”

Besides generating more success for the band with the brand new digital console, Rayford also assists with managing the sound at three different church sites under the Third New Hope Baptist Church, one of which is equipped with a 32-channel Soundcraft Vi3. He also would like to see the remaining two locations to be outfitted with Vi Series consoles as well.

HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures, and markets a wide range of infotainment and audio solutions for the automotive, consumer, and professional markets. It is a recognized world leader across its customer segments with premium brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, and Mark Levinson® and leading-edge connectivity, safety and audio technologies. 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 15,200 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $5.1 billion for the last twelve months ended March 31, 2014.

Daystar Television Network Reaches Viewers Around the World with HARMAN’s Studer Digital Consoles

BEDFORD, Texas – Since 1997, Marcus and Joni Lamb have owned the Daystar Television Network, the fastest-growing Christian television network in the world. Daystar currently operates 70 TV stations across the United States and broadcasts globally. It also operates significant online and mobile broadcast services. Underlying the network’s success is an unwavering commitment to quality, as evidenced by its reliance on HARMAN’s Studer Vista digital audio consoles.

Daystar is a Christian, family-friendly network, featuring specifically religious programming as well as other content, including family-oriented films and music programming. In addition, the Lambs host the network’s flagship program, Marcus & Joni, a variety/chat show that focuses on guest interviews and music, with an in-house band and several guest bands throughout each episode.

David Ribb, Daystar’s Director of Audio, uses a Riedel MediorNet system as the hub and router for its three Studer Vista consoles (two Vista 9 consoles and one Vista 5). One of the Vista 9 consoles is for Daystar’s broadcast mix, while the other Vista 9 is for the studio and band mixes. The Vista 5 is used on a secondary studio/sound stage but is also road-ready, so it can be used on location production.

“Because of our output requirement—auxes and mixes, the combination of interview talent, IFB, house band and singers, guest bands and satellite feeds, the Vista 9 was an ideal solution,” Ribb said. “The all-Studer solution means that if personnel have to change out between the broadcast side and the studio side, they’re already familiar with the console.”

Core wireless requirements in the system total 42 channels, including 28 channels of wireless microphones and belt packs attached to the system, and 14 wireless in-ear belt packs for the band mixes and IFB. There are many more wired mixes allocated to band members. In addition, the studio Vista 9 provides another 10 foldback mixes for each of the sets around the sound-stage, through loudspeakers mounted in the lighting grid.

The Daystar team doesn’t rely much on cue lists or snapshots during the show. They set the consoles up for the day’s work by reallocating I/O as necessary, and operating all sets from a single setup. The consoles also provide multitracking facilities to attached ProTools systems.

“It’s another thing that we’ve integrated into the Studer system,” Ribb said. “We multi-track each program in ProTools on both the broadcast side and the studio side, depending on what the need is. It means we can go back in and fix anything in post or index, or whatever needs to happen.”

“Also, the music the in-house band has played in the shows is often released to albums during the year, and we do some music specials directly from the music that’s captured during the show, using those ProTools sessions to mix them. We try to go in and give them extra attention.”

For more information on the Daystar Television Network, please visit www.daystar.com

HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures, and markets a wide range of infotainment and audio solutions for the automotive, consumer, and professional markets. It is a recognized world leader across its customer segments with premium brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, and Mark Levinson® and leading-edge connectivity, safety and audio technologies. 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 15,200 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $5.1 billion for the last twelve months ended March 31, 2014

Bellevue’s Bake’s Place Boosts Business By Increasing Entertainment Value With Hitachi Projector

Bellevue, Washington, May 27, 2014 – Like its home city of Bellevue, bar/bistro Bake’s Place has grown from quaint beginnings into a high-tech destination. Bake’s Place serves up delicious food, special event nights and frequent concerts, which are boosted by a Hitachi CP-WX8255A projector.

Owner and founder Craig Baker, who has been in the music and restaurant business for 16 years, wanted to improve his venue’s traffic on slow weeknights. Perfectly timed with the Seattle Seahawks’ stellar NFL season, he bought a Hitachi CP-WX8255A projector to show Monday night games on a 24 x 14-foot screen inside the restaurant. After seeing an increase in sales, he began using the projector for special events like the Academy Awards and the Super Bowl, the latter of which amassed a 100-person waitlist after selling out quickly.

“We’re not a sports bar, but people were more than happy to pay for a ticket during the Super Bowl,” said Mr. Baker. “Businesses will often rent out the restaurant and they’ve been grateful for the ability to easily project presentations. We use a special backdrop with custom ripples, colors and special effects that’s definitely boosted several band performances.”

Located a few blocks away from the center of downtown Bellevue, Bake’s Place features a 3,500-square-foot patio. Its indoor dining area, also 3,500 square feet, boasts 18-foot floor-to-ceiling windows and casts a sophisticated atmosphere, complemented by the Hitachi projector.

“Our customers have been very impressed by the projector’s image clarity, especially on such a large screen,” said Mr. Baker. “It has definitely helped Bake’s Place create a unique experience for both regular and first-time customers.”

The Hitachi CP-WX8255A 3LCD projector features 5,500 ANSI lumens brightness and an aspect ratio of 16:10 (WXGA).

For more information on Bake’s Place, visit http://bakesplacebellevue.com/

For more information on Hitachi projectors visit www.hitachi-america.us/projectors

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About Hitachi
Hitachi America, Ltd., headquartered in Tarrytown, New York, a subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., and its subsidiary companies offer a broad range of electronics, power and industrial equipment and services, automotive products and consumer electronics with operations throughout the Americas. For more information, visit www.hitachi-america.us. For more information on other Hitachi Group companies in the United States, please visit www.hitachi.us.

About Hitachi, Ltd.
Hitachi, Ltd. (TSE: 6501), headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, delivers innovations that answer society’s challenges with our talented team and proven experience in global markets. The company’s consolidated revenues for fiscal 2013 (ended March 31, 2014) totaled 9,616 billion yen ($93.4 billion). Hitachi is focusing more than ever on the Social Innovation Business, which includes infrastructure systems, information & telecommunication systems, power systems, construction machinery, high functional materials & components, automotive systems, health care and others. For more information on Hitachi, please visit the company’s website at http://www.hitachi.com.

HARMAN Professional Opens New Technology Center In Salt Lake City, Utah

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – HARMAN Professional today announced the opening of its Technology Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. The 50,000-square-foot facility employs 165 and houses the company’s Signal Processing Business Unit Professional Systems Development and Integration Group, responsible for the development of HiQnet™ networking software, Corporate Technology Group, and the HARMAN Professional Training Center. The facility is located at the foot of the Wasatch Mountains in the high-tech South Jordan RiverPark area of Salt Lake City.

“By bringing our resources and our talented engineering, design and research staff under one roof we have created a world-class facility that will enable us to be more efficient in all elements of our day-to-day operations than ever before,” said T.J. Smith, General Manager, HARMAN Professional Signal Processing Business Unit.

HARMAN Professional’s Signal Processing Unit develops and supports professional audio products used by musicians, studios, houses of worship, theaters and large venues such as stadiums, arenas and convention centers. Their iconic brands include Lexicon, dbx, BSS Audio and DigiTech. The technology developed at HARMAN Signal Processing is also used in larger audio systems applications for other HARMAN brands JBL Professional, Crown Audio, Soundcraft, and Studer.

HARMAN’s Corporate Technology Group leads the company’s cutting-edge research efforts and the development of HARMAN International products and technologies. The HARMAN Signal Processing Business Unit is responsible for product engineering, development, sales, marketing and administration of the DigiTech, Lexicon Pro, dbx and BSS Audio brands.

The HARMAN Professional Training Center was created to train audio professionals in the use of the company’s products and HiQNet audio system control software. The Center includes four studios/sound rooms, provides in-depth, instructor-led training and also provides the opportunity for professional certification for HARMAN products and systems.

“HARMAN Professional is evolving to meet the changing needs of our customers worldwide,” said John Fitzgerald, Vice President and General Manager, HARMAN Amplifier and Signal Processing Business Units. “This facility underscores our commitment to investing in our employees and providing them with the resources to build, service and support the best professional audio products available.”

HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures, and markets a wide range of infotainment and audio solutions for the automotive, consumer, and professional markets. It is a recognized world leader across its customer segments with premium brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, and Mark Levinson® and leading-edge connectivity, safety and audio technologies. 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 15,200 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $5.1 billion for the last twelve months ended March 31, 2014.

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The Pixies Tour the World with HARMAN’s Martin Professional Lighting

BOSTON, Massachusetts — Legendary alternative rock band The Pixies have made quite the comeback after their revival 10 years ago, and are now on a worldwide tour with a full lighting rig from HARMAN’s Martin Professional.

Full service lighting, sound and rigging rental company based in New York, See Factor, worked with Myles Mangino, Lighting Designer for The Pixies, to create a rig featuring 15 MAC Viper Profiles, 12 MAC Auras, four RUSH MH3s and three Jem K1 Hazers.

The Pixies, who recently stopped at the renowned Coachella Music Festival after their reunion tour began nearly 10 years ago, needed a versatile lighting solution designed for different venues, stages and festivals.

“The real challenge was to have a show that could be as closely as possible duplicated in markets across the world,” stated Mangino. “Having a kit that was small enough to fit in a container, and also using fixtures that could be sourced in different markets was paramount.”

The upstage truss has 8-foot tail down bars for the MAC Vipers that went over the back screen. “The second we saw the Viper fixture we were impressed with its capabilities,” said Alban Sardzinski, See Factor. “It’s a compact light with a large zoom and high output which really helps Myles due to the fact that he can position it super close while still be effective. The first time we tried it at New York’s Bowery Ballroom and we only had a few feet behind his screen but it worked perfectly!”

“The Viper is currently my favorite fixture,” said Mangino. “The optics are wonderful and the speed of the zoom is unmatched. For a show like the Pixies, I run everything live, off temp faders. There are no cues or chases running so the responsiveness is critical for me. The Martin fixtures pan, tilt and the wheels seem to respond to manual movements with faders better than anything else I’ve tried.”

At first, Mangino was skeptical of the RUSH MH3s, but after just one show they were part of the rig. “I love the colors! They all match and we more or less use them as the bands key light by reflecting them off the mirrored domes above the stage.”

“The Auras, in my opinion, are the most essential element,” mentioned Sardzinski. “I knew Mangino had used them prior to the Pixies and they would fit in perfectly with the rest of the rig. I love the look of the beam and the colors they create. They are perfect for the backlight effect we were going for.”

“When the tour first launched we weren’t using Martin hazers,” Sardzinksi continued, “but they were so loud and obnoxious that we swapped them out for the K1s and we couldn’t be happier.”

“We’re proud to work with Mangino and with Martin,” said Sardzinski. “We’ve always found Martin to have very durable fixtures and whenever we have them out there we know we’ll have a perfect show, every time!”

Photo Credit: Robert Fuller

For more information on See Factor, please visit: www.seefactor.com

As a world leader in the creation of dynamic lighting solutions for the entertainment, architectural, and commercial sectors, Martin lighting and video systems are renowned the world over. Martin also offers a range of advanced lighting controllers and media servers, as well as a complete line of smoke machines as a complement to intelligent lighting. Martin operates the industry’s most complete and capable distributor network with local partners in nearly 100 countries. Founded in 1987 and based in Aarhus, Denmark, Martin is the lighting division of global infotainment and audio company HARMAN International Industries. For more information please visit: http://www.martin.com.

HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures, and markets a wide range of infotainment and audio solutions for the automotive, consumer, and professional markets. It is a recognized world leader across its customer segments with premium brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, and Mark Levinson® and leading-edge connectivity, safety and audio technologies. 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 15,200 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $5.1 billion for the last twelve months ended March 31, 2014.

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Hisense H6 55” SMART TV With Android 4.2.2 Now Available at Walmart

Suwanee, GA – May 22, 2014 — Hisense today announced the immediate availability of the new H6 SMART TV powered by Android™ 4.2.2 for under $700 at select Walmart stores nationwide. The 55-inch H6 features a stunning, intuitive new user interface and comes with an incredibly simplified Merlin™ remote control air mouse.

“Today, by coupling Hisense’s television expertise with Walmart’s immense retail reach, we are delivering a truly smart TV at a highly accessible price point,” said Jonathan Frank, Vice President of Marketing, Hisense USA. “We are proud to bring Android TV to the North American market with the Hisense H6 and look forward to working with our various partners to advance the viewer experience of consumers everywhere.”

The H6 comes with the Hisense Social TV™ App and Hisense Cloud Services Hi-Media™ Player and Receiver for sharing and storing all of your favorite videos and photos. It features a 120Hz refresh rate and is Energy Star 6.0 qualified. The H6 remote comes with just 30 keys, a built-in air mouse with IQQI Smart Input and voice search with a built-in microphone.

The SMART functionality of the H6 brings Vudu HD Movies, Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Chrome™, YouTube™, Google Play™, Google Voice Search™, and PrimeTime applications into your living room. The Android-based TV v4 Media Streaming, multiple HDMI-In/Out, WiFi, Ethernet, Bluetooth and USB ensures that the consumer is never without content.

Android, Google Play, Google and other marks are trademarks of Google Inc.

For more information please visit: www.hisense-usa.com. You can also find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HisenseUSA or follow us on Twitter and Instagram @Hisense_USA.

About Hisense USA Corporation
Established in 2001, Hisense USA Corporation is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Hisense Company Ltd., headquartered in Qingdao, China.

Hisense USA offers a broad range of technology driven consumer electronics products that are manufactured and distributed across North American, including televisions, refrigerators, air-conditioners, dehumidifiers, beverage coolers and freezers. Hisense USA sells into national retailers across North America, including Walmart, Sams.com, Costco, P.C. Richards, Canadian Tire and more. The Company has established R&D centers in Atlanta, Georgia and San Jose, California to enable localized product development and innovation.

Hisense Company Ltd. has production facilities in China, South Africa, Algeria, Egypt as well as Mexico and is one of the largest television manufacturers in the world with over 10 million televisions produced per year. The Company has sales offices in North America, Europe, Australia, South Africa, the Middle East and Asia while exporting products to over 130 countries and regions throughout the world.

Renowned Audio Engineer Dave Natale Finds the Right Reverb With HARMAN’s Lexicon PCM Native Reverb Plug-In Bundle

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – As one of the top audio engineers in the business, Dave Natale has been the front-of-house engineer for a who’s who of artists, including Yes, Olivia Newton-John, Tina Turner, Joe Cocker, Lionel Richie and many more. He currently mixes shows for The Rolling Stones, but when he’s not on the road you can find him at Right Coast Recording, which he established in 1990. One of the factors that’s made it one of the oldest and well-equipped recording studios in central Pennsylvania is Natale’s commitment to making sure that nothing goes into Right Coast unless it sounds right. The most recent component to pass Natale’s rigorous test is HARMAN’s Lexicon PCM Native Reverb Plug-In Bundle, which he recently selected as his reverb software.

“I’ve relied on Lexicon since my days in the early 1980s working for Clair Brothers Audio on a Yes, Tour” said Natale. “We must have been one of the first sound companies to use the Lexicon 224, Lexicon’s first digital reverb that became an industry classic. I memorized the manual.”

Since then, Natale has gone from the 224 to other equally revered Lexicon hardware offerings, such as the 200, 480L and the PCM80, 81, 90 and 91, which he still uses today on tour with The Rolling Stones with Clair Global.

Natale is impressed with Lexicon’s move from hardware to software-based reverb processing. “To my ears, because of the quality and consistency of their algorithms and the sounds they’ve delivered, they’ve made the leap with complete success,” he said.

Natale’s appreciation of the Lexicon components is based on his in-depth understanding of the complexity of reverb. “I think what impresses me the most about Lexicon is the fact that reverb is the hardest thing to model and get to sound right,” he said. “There are too many parameters. When you think about how complex real-life reverb is, with all its variables and decay characteristics, you start to realize how hard it is to make really great-sounding reverb units.”

Needless to say Natale had high expectations when he decided he needed to hear the Lexicon PCM Native Reverb Plug-In Bundle. He said that while there’s nothing like the sound of Lexicon hardware processors, it’s hard to beat the convenience of software plug-ins. “Now that I’ve had a chance to work with the PCM Native Reverb Plug-In Bundle I can tell you that it’s equally impressive and I’m hearing the same quality as I’m used to from the hardware,” he said. “We have been using a 224 and a PCM 70 at Right Coast and I’ve worked with many other Lexicon processors, and the Plug-In Bundle absolutely meets the level of quality I’m looking for.”

Bobby Gentilo, engineer at Right Coast Recording and manager of the studio’s day-to-day operations also considers Lexicon an essential sonic tool. “I trust Lexicon,” he said. “The reverb we’ve always relied on in the hardware has translated nicely to the software in recent years. We work with a variety of artists including some with very critical ears who aren’t shy about telling you what they do and do not like. Lexicon reverbs always pass the test with our clients.”

“Dave is not only one of the most talented audio engineers out there today, he is also one of the great people in our industry,” stated Jason Kunz, Market Manager, Portable PA and Recording & Broadcast for HARMAN Signal Processing. “ It’s a great feeling to knowing that whether he is out on the road with some of the biggest names in music or in his own studio, Lexicon is an integral part of his work.”

HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures, and markets a wide range of infotainment and audio solutions for the automotive, consumer, and professional markets. It is a recognized world leader across its customer segments with premium brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, and Mark Levinson® and leading-edge connectivity, safety and audio technologies. 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 15,200 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $5.1 billion for the last twelve months ended March 31, 2014.

Multi Image Group Upgrades to HARMAN’s JBL VTX Line Arrays and Crown I-Tech HD Amplifiers

Andy Kakas (left) and Edward Gonzalez (right).

BOCA RATON, Florida – Multi Image Group (MIG) is a full-service corporate communications company with resources to produce events worldwide. MIG supplies complete sound, lighting, video projection, digital signage, set design and technology for events ranging from 50-person sales meetings to 50,000-seat stadium concerts. The Boca Raton-based company employs 150 people and prides itself on providing its clients with nothing less than the very best—to that end, the company recently upgraded its audio system inventory with HARMAN JBL VTX Series line array loudspeakers and Crown I-Tech HD amplifiers.

Multi Image Group has been a HARMAN Professional dealer and user for nine years. “I’ve always been a fan of JBL and have used their loudspeakers since 1981,” said MIG Audio Department Manager Andy Kakas. “I’ve been blown away by their VERTEC® line arrays, especially the way they maintain a stable sonic image in a variety of situations. I really wanted to put the newer VTX line arrays through their paces because in my experience JBL loudspeaker systems just keep getting better.”

Kakas’ interest dovetailed with Multi Image Group’s need to acquire another loudspeaker system for arena events—in the last two years MIG had been doing more and more arena and stadium events along with ballroom and theater productions. Kakas had heard a VTX V25 line array system at an Orlando stadium concert and was impressed by the way it sounded, how easy it was to rig and the way the sonic image stayed intact even from 200 to 250 feet away. Soon after, JBL introduced the smaller V20 loudspeaker and Kakas knew it would be even more adaptable to the type of venues MIG services.

Knowing from his own experience the benefits of upgrading to the I-Tech HD amplifiers, Kakas believed the VTX rig would represent another major step forward. “We weren’t using Crown amplifiers when I joined the company. I didn’t agree with this because I had been using Crown since I started in the professional sound industry back in 1981 and they were always bulletproof.”

However, Kakas first had to convince MIG’s owner. Kakas pointed out that in eight years of owning VERTEC VT4888 line arrays they had almost no driver failures, and had recouped their investment on them in three years. An audition of the V20 at the recent Winter NAMM show sealed the deal: “We heard them and realized, that’s the way a PA should sound.”

Since taking delivery of the JBL VTX V20, MIG’s initial impressions have only been reinforced. “The size of the V20 is perfect for what we do, the loudspeakers sound exceptionally good and the V20 is loud for its size, so in situations where I’d normally have to bring a bigger box, I can stick with the V20,” said Edward Gonzalez, Audio Engineer and System Designer at Multi Image Group. “In a lot of the corporate events we do, I’m fighting height–I have to work around low ceilings in ballrooms, so the smaller size of the V20 is a major advantage.”

Gonzalez, Kakas and the rest of the MIG crew are impressed with every aspect of the V20’s sound, yet single out the newly refined Radiation Boundary Integrator™ (RBI) waveguide, which provides broader, more stable horizontal coverage and a more seamless transition between the high-frequency and midrange drivers. “The new HF driver throws really far and sounds incredibly clean and smooth,” Gonzalez noted. Using the V20 with the Crown I-Tech HD Series amplifiers provides another advantage—the amps’ internal processing is designed to optimize the performance of the V20 (and other JBL models) and enables the crew to carry one less piece of external gear.

“With the I-Tech HDs there is a lot of sonic detail. It has a transparent top end, which has an open and natural sound. It maintains the Crown dampening that gives you that punch in your chest. Also, the Cobranet™ integration is quite useful since we have had a need for multiple channels of AES from front of house to the stage and the amp racks,” added Kakas.

MIG controls its systems with JBL HiQnet Performance Manager™, which Gonzalez helped beta test and finds a major step forward from the previous System Architect. Performance Manager now provides pre-configured control panels instead of having to build them from scratch – a significant time saver. The built-in JBL Line Array Calculator II loudspeaker setup and calibration software is improved to the point where Gonzalez can predict the locations of where the loudspeakers should be set up and get them almost dead-on to their final placements. He also likes Performance Manager’s ability to automatically reconfigure itself. “If the number of amplifiers in the system is changed, I don’t have to manually re-address the locations of the amplifiers on the network,” Gonzalez noted. “I’m excited to mix on something that sounds so good. It’s a very high-fidelity system. It doesn’t sound like a PA—it sounds like a high-end audio system you’d have at home.”

HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures, and markets a wide range of infotainment and audio solutions for the automotive, consumer, and professional markets. It is a recognized world leader across its customer segments with premium brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, and Mark Levinson® and leading-edge connectivity, safety and audio technologies. 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 15,200 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $5.1 billion for the last twelve months ended March 31, 2014.

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