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Donal Hodgson Adds Bite to Sting’s Sound with HARMAN’s AKG K812 Reference Headphones

ANAHEIM, California – Donal Hodgson is an award-winning sound engineer who boasts an impressive list of credits, including Sting, Primal Scream, Jeff Beck, the La’s and more. Most recently, Hodgson recorded Ronnie Wood’s performance at BluesFest 2013 at the Royal Albert Hall, with special guests Bobby Womack, Mick Hucknall and Paul Weller. Based in the United Kingdom, Hodgson recently upgraded his recording setup with HARMAN’s new AKG K812 headphones.

“The K812 headphones are amazing,” Hodgson said. “They’re incredibly comfortable, and although they felt quite heavy when compared to my long-standing headphones, wearing them is a different story. I hardly noticed I had them on.”

Even more important than the comfort of the K812 headphones, Hodgson notes their world-class sound quality. “I am really impressed with their performance,” he said. “I’m hearing detail on the headphones I simply don’t hear on my speakers. I am now worried to listen to some of my old mixes because I’m afraid I’ll hear lots of stuff that I’ll want to fix!”

The K812 offers an oversized 53mm driver for the highest dynamic range ever in an AKG headphone. Its copper-covered aluminum voice coil extends sounds beyond the limits of human hearing, hitting a full spectrum of frequencies. Each K812 is built for comfort with a fast, adjustable headband and extremely soft ear pads to ensure comfort in any application, for extended periods of time. It also features a new open-back design optimized for pristine and natural sound.

Hodgson added that he is planning on recording with Sting this week. “I’ll take the K812s with me and see if I can make him jealous!”

In fact, Hodgson plans on taking the K812s wherever he goes. “I have a feeling the K812s will always be close by wherever I am working,” he concluded. “They are the new standard in sonic excellence.”

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 14,800 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $4.7 billion for the last twelve months ended December 31, 2013.

Hubei Business News Channel Network Employs Soundcraft Vi4 Digital Console for Broadcast Production

HUBEI, China – As Hubei’s top-ranked network in revenue for eight consecutive years, Hubei Business News Channel Network covers the entire Hubei province and has arguably the strongest influence of all media of Hubei. Recently, to accommodate its HD broadcasting, the network upgraded to a HARMAN Soundcraft Vi4 digital mixing console.

The console is configured with 32 mic line inputs, 32 EAS/EBU digital inputs and 16 analog outputs. The audio equipment was supplied and integrated by HARMAN distributor ACE.

“The main reason we selected the Soundcraft Vi4 model for this project is because it serves as the perfect balance between price and performance that the network was looking for,” said Rico Fung, VP of Broadcasting at ACE. “Also, the touchscreen interface helps the workflow of operators during live broadcasting, as there are many things to monitor.”

Operators of the network prefer the Soundcraft Vi4 mainly due to its value per dollar, ease of use and scalability of the system. It uses the Vistonics™ touchscreen interface in order to monitor and control input parameters and output channels. This increases the amount of control during live broadcasts, as everything is displayed clearly and intuitively. The sound is processed by the SCore Live DSP engine, providing superb signal quality.

“The Vi4 changes the concept of digital mixing consoles; having all this processing power as well as the intuitive layout allows the operator to focus solely on the mixing. After some general testing, we believe it is much easier to use when compared to our previous digital mixing console, making live broadcasting effortless,” Fung said.

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 14,800 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $4.7 billion for the last twelve months ended December 31, 2013.

HARMAN’s Crown and JBL Play to a Captive Audience at Music In the Zoo Concert Series

ELKHART, Indiana — Nestled in the heart of the Minnesota Zoo, the Wessner Family Amphitheater hosted the Subway Music in the Zoo 2013 Concert Series in an idyllic setting that was named “The Best Outdoor Concert Venue” by Mpls.St.Paul Magazine. This year’s series hosted over 30 national recording artists including Lyle Lovett, Brian Wilson, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Willie Nelson, Carly Rae Jepsen and many more, with sound reinforcement provided by Minneapolis-based Farber Sound consisting of HARMAN Crown VRack amplifiers and a JBL VERTEC® line array system.

Farber Sound (www.farbersound.com), utilizing a venue designed for a daily bird show at the zoo, provided sound and lighting for the 1,340-capacity venue and its 32-foot-wide by 24-foot-deep open-air stage. In two hours’ setup time, the production crew was able to transform the space into a first-class performance venue. The stage was surrounded by a framework of four columns at the corners with overhead roof trusses to hold the lighting, and covered by a tent-shaped awning. The stage is at ground level and the seating is arranged around it in a quarter-round tiered configuration.

Two columns of four JBL VERTEC VT4888 midsize line array elements were deployed as the main left and right ground stacks, complemented by two ground stacks of four VERTEC VT4886 subcompact line array elements for left and right outfill. Two VT4886 loudspeakers were mounted on the roof trusses to provide downfill, and four VTX G28 subwoofers were placed equidistantly on the ground along the side of the stage. Twelve JBL SRX712M loudspeakers were used as powered stage monitors, along with a JBL VRX918S subwoofer for the drum monitor mix powered by Crown I-Tech amplifiers.

Power to all VERTEC elements was delivered courtesy of two Crown VRack 4×3500 HD racks, each including three I-Tech 4×3500 HD 4-channel amplifiers. One Crown VRack 12000 HD rack provided amplification to the VTX G28 subwoofers. VRack is a complete, transportable amplifier solution that includes Crown I-Tech HD Series power amps, analog and digital connections and a universal power distribution system, housed in a wheeled rack with a suspension system that enables VRacks to be flown.

Farber Sound owner Dave Farber and his crew ground-stacked the left and right VERTEC arrays because the stage framework wasn’t tall enough for them to be hung without blocking the audience’s view or getting in the way of the performers. Farber used HARMAN’s HiQnet System Architect™ software to configure and control the system from front of house, and took advantage of JBL’s VERTEC V5 preset tunings to precisely tailor the output of the Crown amplifiers to the loudspeakers.

“Under the right circumstances VERTEC line arrays can work just as well on the ground as in a flown stack,” Farber said. “In the Wessner Amphitheater the stage is right at ground level and the seats are relatively close, so we placed the ground stacks on 6-foot platforms, and in combination with the flown downfill speakers this worked really well. Another advantage is that the VTX G28 subwoofers are specifically designed to be placed on the ground.”

In fact, Farber found the VERTEC loudspeakers provided such even coverage and volume and clarity that it wasn’t necessary to use any additional fill loudspeakers in the seating area itself. “We were able to use a relatively modest number of VERTEC’s and the sound was absolutely stellar,” Farber concluded. “They delivered everything we needed and then some.”

HARMAN 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 14,800 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $4.7 billion for the last twelve months ended December 31, 2013.

HARMAN’s Crown DCi Series Amplifiers and JBL ScreenArray Loudspeakers Highlight Germany’s Haus Zoar Dolby Atmos™ Movie Theater

MÖNCHENGLADBACH, Germany — Located in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, Mönchengladbach has a history that goes back to the 10th century—but the city’s newly completed movie theater boasts up-to-the-second technology. Haus Zoar is Germany’s first cinema to feature a Dolby Atmos™ Connect interface with HARMAN’s Crown DCi Series network amplifiers. The cinema has also deployed JBL ScreenArray loudspeakers in an installation that takes surround sound realism to new heights – literally.

Dolby Atmos is a newly developed surround-sound technology that employs any number of overhead speakers as well as traditional side-surround speakers to create an astonishingly realistic 3-dimensional sonic environment.

The Haus Zoar system employs three JBL ScreenArray 3732T loudspeakers for the main left, center and right channels. Two JBL 4642A subwoofers are located in the front of the theater and two 3635 18-inch subs are installed at the back of the theater. To deliver the full potential of Dolby Atmos sound, 50 JBL 8350 surround loudspeakers are placed at the sides of the theater and mounted from the left and right of the ceiling and aimed diagonally downward. Its high power handling capability and smooth coverage over a wide area make the 8350 ideally suited for the demanding sonic and technical requirements of Dolby Atmos soundtrack reproduction.

The loudspeakers are driven by a total of 10 Crown DriveCore DCi Network Series power amplifiers, including DCi 8|300N, DCi 4|600N and DCi 2|600N. The digital audio signal from the Dolby CP850 Atmos Cinema Processor is fed directly into the Crown amplifiers’ digital input via HARMAN’s BLU link networked audio connectivity. This eliminates the need for digital-to-analog and analog-to-digital conversion and preserves the sonic purity of the original multichannel soundtrack recording. In addition, the Crown DCi Series amplifiers include preset tunings that are optimized for various models and types of JBL loudspeakers, to further optimize the performance of the Haus Zoar system.

Commenting on the installation, Carsten Peter, Product Manager for Audio Pro Heilbronn, HARMAN’s German distributor who handled the installation stated, “Haus Zoar is truly a showcase installation that demonstrates the full potential of Dolby Atmos surround sound.”

“The Dolby CP850 Atmos Cinema processor, the new Crown DCi amplifiers, the large-scale JBL loudspeaker system and the superb acoustics of Haus Zoar all combine to create a remarkable and totally immersive sonic environment in what is surely one of the world’s most extraordinary movie theaters,” added Peter.

HARMAN 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 14,800 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $4.7 billion for the last twelve months ended December 31, 2013.

Miller Pro Audio, HARMAN’s JBL VTX Line Arrays and Crown I-Tech HD Amplifiers Add Pop to Fun Fun Fun Fest

NORTHRIDGE, California – For the eighth straight year, Miller Pro Audio supplied a HARMAN’s JBL line array system, powered by Crown I-Tech HD amplifiers, at the Fun Fun Fun Fest in downtown Austin, Texas. The system was deployed for the festival’s main (Orange) stage, which hosted performances by Snoop Dogg, MIA, MGMT, Slayer, Television and more.

The main PA system featured a left-right configuration of 10 VTX V25 fullsize line array elements per side, with an additional six V25 elements for front fill. The system also included nine ground-stacked G28 subwoofers, with 12 S28 subwoofers hung as a center cluster. Crown I-Tech 4×3500 HD amplifiers powered the V25 loudspeakers and S28 subs, while I-Tech 12000 HD amplifiers powered the G28 subs. The system was controlled via JBL HiQnet Performance Manager™ software.

According to Oliver, the challenges of the event ranged from the large number of acts to staying within strict noise limits from the city. “We try very hard to find a happy medium that keeps everyone as happy as possible,” he said.

With offices in Austin, Dallas, Lubbock and Oklahoma City, Miller Pro Audio was founded more than 20 years ago by Danny and Leslie Miller, growing from one truck and a small shop on a dirt road to averaging well over 1,000 shows per year spanning from clubs to top 10 shed tours. “We are a turnkey company, meaning we stock a full inventory of audio, backline, lights, video, staging, truss-built roof systems and stage lines,” said Aaron Oliver, Corporate Comptroller/Corporate Trainer for Miller Pro Audio. “We also provide production management, stage management, event planning and have a thriving install department.”

This year’s Fun Fun Fun Fest marked Miller Pro Audio’s first use of the JBL VTX line array system. “We found the VTX to have great, smooth response while remaining very musical,” Oliver noted. “The output power of the V25 was killer and the subs were powerful yet smooth and punchy. We really liked the VTX system and would love to experience what it has to offer again.”

Miller Pro Audio also owns Crown I-Tech HD amplifiers and have been pleased with the products’ performance. “We utilize the I-Tech amps to power many other products we supply and all in all, we love what the I-Tech’s allow us to achieve,” Oliver said.

In addition, Performance Manager has proven beneficial to Miller Pro Audio’s business. “We used Performance Manager for the Fun Fun Fun Fest and we use it on many other shows as well,” Oliver added. “The control it provides really helps us cut back on the need for additional hardware, which means less cases, less labor and lighter trucks—all of which translate to savings in budget.”

For more information on Miller Pro Audio, please visit www.millerproaudio.com

HARMAN 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 14,800 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $4.7 billion for the last twelve months ended December 31, 2013.

Hitachi Projectors Offer the Best Solution for Evangelical Free Church’s Technology Needs

Bozeman, Montana, February 13, 2014 – Today’s houses of worship are a far cry from the small churches of medieval Europe. Where priests used to project their voices to be heard by their parishioners, now they employ digital projectors to accompany their sermons. The Evangelical Free Church is no stranger to these technological advancements: streaming services online, uploading sermons, and, most recently, purchasing two Hitachi CP-WX8265 projectors to be used for every mass.

“We needed new widescreen projectors that could be networked together, handle high room temperatures and provide a high enough brightness to overcome constant sunlight,” says Kyle Blackmore, Technical Ministry Director at Evangelical Free Church of Bozeman. “Hitachi’s CP-WX8265 projector has proven capable and consistent and came highly recommended for everything we needed.”

Mr. Blackmore had been on the lookout for new projectors when his older non-Hitachi projectors’ bulbs burned out and the LCD panels needed replacing. In October of 2013, he installed two Hitachi CP-WX8265 projectors in the main sanctuary room, which has a vaulted ceiling leading to high temperatures and lots of light.

“The projectors are suspended 30 feet high, but we’ve experienced no issues with overheating,” said Mr. Blackmore. “The picture quality has been excellent, clear and bright even in direct sunlight.”

The networking capability has also made Mr. Blackmore’s life much easier—with so many people using the projector, being able to monitor the projectors’ status and temperature remotely saves him time.

Consistent and high-quality performance made the Hitachi CP-WX8265 projector ideal for Bozeman’s Evangelical Free Church.

“So far, they’ve been running great,” said Mr. Blackmore. “And I expect they will continue to do so for many years to come.”

The Hitachi CP-WX8265 3LCD projector features a brightness of 6,500 ANSI lumens and supports an aspect ratio of 16:10 (WXGA).

For more information on Evangelical Free Church of Bozeman, visit http://www.efcb.org/

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.

Hitachi, Ltd. (TSE: 6501), headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is a leading global electronics company with approximately 326,000 employees worldwide. The company’s consolidated revenues for fiscal 2012 (ended March 31, 2013) totaled 9,041 billion yen ($96.1 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 material & components, automotive systems and others. For more information on Hitachi, please visit the company’s website at http://www.hitachi.com/.

Spring Training Starts Now- SunBriteTV’s 3260HD Consumer Rebate Is A Home Run For All Baseball Fans

THOUSAND OAKS, California, February 12, 2014 — Not every dedicated fan can make it to the ballpark for Spring Training, but a SunBriteTV outdoor television right in the backyard is the next best thing to catching a fly ball at the game! And now that SunBriteTV is offering a direct-to-consumer mail-in rebate on the Signature Series 32”, these outdoor TVs are now a grand slam of a bargain!

The $300 consumer rebate, which runs February 15 through April 15, 2014, effectively reduces the price of the SB-3260HD by 20 percent, making outdoor TV an affordable reality for more fans everywhere.

“There are still so many baseball fans who haven’t experienced the thrill of their favorite game right in the comfort of their backyard,” says Tom Dixon, VP of Marketing, SunBriteTV. “We’re hosting the 3260HD rebate to give those fans an affordable opportunity to step up to the plate and try outdoor viewing for themselves!”

SunBriteTV’s outdoor televisions are superior to indoor televisions when it comes to both safety and performance. Specialized gaskets and insulated electronics keep all wiring safe from every kind of natural element from moisture to insects. All models function flawlessly in temperatures spanning -24 to 122°F and feature ruggedized exteriors that can handle any climate. The bright, anti-glare screens are specially designed to deliver bright HD images outdoors, day or night.

The rebate can be claimed through May 15, 2014. Please see SunBriteTV’s website (www.sunbritetv.com) for more details.

Every SunBriteTV includes a two-year warranty, a weatherproof remote, and 20 watt built-in or detachable speakers. Optional accessories include a variety of weatherproof wall-, ceiling-, or deck pole-mount installation solutions, wireless HD transceivers and media box enclosures.

For more information on SunBriteTV please visit www.sunbritetv.com or call the sales department directly at 866.357.8688.

Follow SunBriteTV on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SunBriteTV

About SunBriteTV
SunBriteTV engineers and manufactures award-winning televisions and displays built specifically for outdoor use. SunBriteTV developed the industry’s first all-weather TV in 2004 and its products have been time-tested in home installations, outdoor sports arenas, restaurants, hotels, amusement parks, and airports. All models are available through SunBriteTV’s network of Authorized Dealers. To inquire about becoming an Authorized Dealer, contact SunBriteTV at 866.357.8688, or visit the Dealer Inquiry page at www.sunbritetv.com.

HARMAN’s Martin Professional Fixtures Showcase Versatility, Illuminating Residential Property

YORK, Pennsylvania — Inspired by the exterior illumination on Philadelphia’s Mann Center for the Performing Arts, a York, Pennsylvania resident recently pursued his own professional lighting solution to brighten his hilltop property. Walking into local lighting integrator Production Express, Inc. unannounced, this customer aimed to illuminate massive trees lining the driveway approaching his home with a professional solution. HARMAN’s Martin Exterior 100 lighting fixtures were installed to meet the customer’s high expectations.

“The customer wanted something that would last, and we needed a fixture that would provide high intensity and a long throw distance to cover each of the 80-foot trees on the property,” stated Matt DeMascolo, lighting systems manager, Production Express. “Without hesitation, we brought the Martin lights to the location for a demo and the customer was immediately convinced. The ability to let the lights run themselves without any control, but also having the ability to manipulate the colors and brightness from a mobile device were key elements that pleased the end user.”

Initially, only three trees were going to receive the lighting treatment, but once the Martin Exterior 100’s were installed, the customer demanded all the property’s trees be illuminated. A total of 20 units shine on the trees along the driveway – a light so bright, that on a clear night, neighbors up to three miles away can view the art.

The landscape is controlled automatically by Martin MX Manager and runs off of Martin MPC. The lights automatically engage at dusk and deactivate at 5am for a nightly show.

The Exterior fixtures provide a powerful brightness, but are small in size, not to become too overbearing on the natural landscape. “We continue to offer our clients Martin products because of the quality and reliability of the fixtures and the unparalleled service Martin representatives provide,” DeMascolo continues. “This untraditional professional lighting project turned out exactly how we planned. The Martin lights look phenomenal.”

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 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 14,800 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $4.7 billion for the last twelve months ended December 31, 2013.

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HARMAN’s AKG Earns Prestigious TEC Award for K712PRO Reference Studio Headphones

VIENNA, Austria – At the 2014 Winter NAMM Show, HARMAN’s AKG earned a prestigious TEC Award for “Outstanding Technical Achievement” in the “Headphone/Earpiece Technology” field with its K712PRO reference studio headphones.

For the 29th years, prizes were awarded in 30 categories by a panel that consisted of readers of Mix, Pro Sound News and Pro Audio Review magazines, as well as representatives of NAMM, the Recording Academy’s Producers & Engineers Wing™, the Game Audio Network Guild and Broadjam.

The AKG K712PRO features pre-selected transducers that provide consistency and accurate localization. Its sophisticated open-back design, 3dB improved low-end performance, and revolutionary flat wire voice coil provide mastering and mixing professionals the performance they need to deliver the best possible results, while its genuine soft leather headband and light weight provide a comfortable fit for hours of fatigue-free work. Included with the headphones are an additional coiled cable and a premium carrying bag.

“We are thrilled and honored to have earned a TEC Award for our K712PRO headphones,” said Philipp Schuster, Product Line Manager, Headphones, AKG. “We designed the K712PRO headphones with durability, clarity and value in mind and they have been widely accepted in the industry as the standard for studio headphone quality. This year’s TEC Award further demonstrates this acceptance!”

For more information on the K712PRO, please visit http://www.akg.com/K712+PRO-827.html?pid=1408

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 14,800 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $4.7 billion for the last twelve months ended December 31, 2013.

“Strictly Come Dancing” Has a Ball with HARMAN’s Studer Consoles

HERTFORDSHIRE, United Kingdom — “Strictly Come Dancing”, one of the BBC’s flagship family entertainment programs, has become the latest to benefit from the comprehensive broadcast production services at the new home of BBC Studios And Post Production – Elstree Film Studios. Facilities include a new audio installation featuring a MADI / fibre-optic infrastructure and flexible routing and mixing framework, with HARMAN’s Studer Vista and OnAir technology at its core.

Only the second show to use the new facility, “Strictly Come Dancing” made full use of the George Lucas 1 sound gallery’s 70-fader Studer Vista 8 console for primary mixing duties. In addition, a Studer OnAir 3000 console was used for grams and as a system routing hub—with control from BBC Studios and Post Production’s Broadcast Network Control System. A Studer Vista 1 console took care of the surround mix and down-mix check for the BBC 1 HD channel feed.
Sound Supervisor Andy Tapley specified the audio system, which is replicated across the other BBC Studios and Post Production stages/studios at Elstree, in order to maintain consistency and cope with some of the UK’s most complex TV productions.

Strictly Come Dancing is especially demanding. “By half past six on a Saturday night we have to be ready to go, whatever,” comments Tapley. “…And that involves the live music as well, which is one of the things that sets Strictly apart from other shows.
“The music is incredibly diverse—it can range from Carmen to classical pieces to heavy rock for the next one. We rely on instant snapshot recall…You can’t rely on the woodwind section just being one type of instrument so you might have to dial in another 15dBs on a mic, plus high pass filtering, just to get a flute through; and it has to happen just like that.”
Studer D21 I/O systems were used to move approximately 150 feeds from the show floor, including the 20-piece band and 60 channels of RF from contestants, presenters, judging panel, and IEM systems. More were employed for the Vision Apparatus Room (VAR) I/O, the grams/OnAir 3000 system, and the reverb/outboard bay.
The Vista 8 was the main show console, configured as a dual operator board for Andy Tapley and Sound Mixer Tony Revell. “The dividing line between operators is constantly re-definable,” comments Tapley. “It doesn’t have to be set before hand… If I need a hand I can drag and drop channels anywhere, as we go.”
On the evening, Tapley takes responsibility for the band mix, while Revel manages all of the microphone feeds, including an extensive audience mic set up. The Vista’s unique cascading control groups make the surround stem provisions much simpler, while for Tapley every spare moment before the show starts is an bonus: “Because of the schedule we’re grabbing every opportunity we can to refine the music mix. The second we get a break we can, at the press of a button, turn our band channels round to their second inputs and have the multitrack replay back though, refine the mix, and then save that as a snapshot.”

The new Studer VistaMix automatic mixing system was used for managing the judges’ and contestants’ microphones—especially effective in the show’s mezzanine area where co-presenter Tess Daily and the contestants gather in close proximity, often contributing ad-hoc comment.
Overall, the facilities and the crew at BBC Studios And Post Production, Elstree have proven themselves worthy of the biggest and most demanding broadcast productions around. The Studer Vista and OnAir systems are an important part of that story.

Photo Caption 1: (Left) Andy Tapley and Tony Revell working on the Studer Vista 8.

About BBC Studios and Post Production
BBC Studios and Post Production is a commercial subsidiary of the BBC, providing world-class studios, post production and digital media services. It works with media companies and broadcasters, making content for a variety of broadcasters including BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Five and Sky, from Channel 4’s Deal or No Deal and Big Fat Quiz, to EastEnders and Strictly Come Dancing. It’s award-winning digital media services team preserves, re-masters and manages content through its digital archiving, restoration and distribution services, working with content owners like Imperial War Museums to conserve and maximise the value of their material. Credits include Dr Who, David Attenborough’s Life on Earth and Trials of Life, The Sweeney, The Queen’s Coronation and The Trumptonshire Trilogy. Whilst Television Centre is being redeveloped, BBC Studios and Post Production has relocated its London studio business to Elstree, where it offers fully equipped HD TV studios and post production services. Its award-winning Digital Media Services team operates from a new permanent, purpose-built facility at Odyssey Business Park, South Ruislip.

www.bbcstudiosandpostproduction.com

HARMAN 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 14,800 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $4.7 billion for the last twelve months ended December 31, 2013.

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