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HARMAN’S AKG Microphones Are There for Edwin McCain 300-Plus Nights a Year on the Road

AKG_EdwinMcCain copyVICTORIA, Canada — For more than two decades, singer, songwriter and musician Edwin McCain has been winning fans the world over with his richly emotive voice and compelling songs like “I’ll Be,” “I Could Not Ask for More” and “Solitude.” Blending indie rock, soul and roots rock with other less definable styles, McCain takes his music on the road with the Edwin McCain Band and a gig schedule that is among the most demanding of any touring musician: more than 300 nights a year. His constant companions: a WMS4500 professional wireless system for his guitar, along with a WMS4500 vocal system with an HT4500 wireless transmitter using a C535 capsule.

“We’re always playing out, always gigging nonstop,” said McCain, who prefers performing live rather than recording because “it feels more natural” and the experience is everything he had hoped for as a 15-year-old musician just starting out. “I’m older now but if I’m feeling old and stiff and sorry for myself, I remember myself at age 15. If that kid heard me complaining, he’d burst through the door and kick my butt! So it’s hard not to love what I do.”

McCain plugs his acoustic and electric guitars into an AKG WMS4500 wireless system, designed to provide clear, reliable, long-range reception in even the most demanding onstage environments.

“The C535 is the perfect complement to the sound of my voice,” McCain noted, praising the condenser microphone’s ability to reproduce all the nuances of his voice from rough-edged to smooth and soaring, while being able to rock out at any volume. He finds the exceptional transient response and smooth frequency balance of the C535 to be especially well suited to intimate acoustic shows yet points out, “no matter what setting we’re playing in, the equipment works great.”

“Reliability is all-important, and the durability of the C535 has been great,” said McCain. “We are rough on gear because of the amount of shows we play, the constant travelling, setting up and tearing down and all the varying conditions we encounter. We play all over the country and when we play for the military we’re all over the world. Not many people bring their microphones onto the landing strip of an aircraft carrier, but we do!”

McCain always has a backup wired microphone onstage—but in all his time using the C535 and HT4500, “I have never had to use that backup microphone, ever. The same with my wireless guitar pack—we have a backup cable just in case but I’ve never had to plug it in. We are talking a decade at least without a failure. I find that remarkable.” McCain can’t think of any other band that has the real-world experience of the Edwin McCain Band, who plays “every kind of gig you can think of from playing with a symphony orchestra to rocking a bar joint.”

“It’s nice to never have to worry about the microphones and wireless I use,” McCain concluded. “I’m much more concerned about our tour bus making it to the next town than my AKG microphones failing!”

For more information on Edwin McCain, please visit www.edwin.com

Photo Credit: Rich Singer

HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures and markets premier audio, visual, infotainment and enterprise automation solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets. With leading brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, Mark Levinson ® and Revel®, the Company is admired by audiophiles, musicians and the entertainment 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 approximately 16,600 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $5.6 billion for the 12 months ended September 30, 2014.

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California State University Bakersfield Upgrades Theater Acoustics With HARMAN’s Soundcraft Si Performer 3

Scraft_CSUBakersfieldBAKERSFIELD, California – Known for its accessible, student-focused higher education programs and individualized attention to students, California State University Bakersfield recently purchased a HARMAN’s Soundcraft Si Performer 3 to solidify the technology supporting its growing music and theater programs. The console is used for live mixing during shows in the 485-seat Doré Theatre, which include jazz and other music productions, theatrical productions, musicals, and opera. The board was purchased through Full Compass Systems.

To accommodate the 14 to 20 wireless microphones for the Music and Theatre Department productions, Performing Arts Technician Frank Robinson chose the Soundcraft Si Performer 3 with 32 channels for sufficient capacity and room for future expansion. The sound booth that houses the console also allows for a simplified wiring network, and will permit elimination of much of the internal house wiring at a later date.

“We chose Soundcraft because we wanted a brand-new system within our budget that works consistently and reliably,” said Robinson. “From my decades of tour sound experience, I know that Soundcraft makes solid consoles, and the Si Performer is a good combination of intuitive design and great sound for the money.”

Situated in an educational environment, the theater features continental seating that is both wide and shallow, creating perfect acoustics for theatrical and musical applications. Robinson capitalized on these favorable acoustic conditions by specifying a console that is great not only in sound quality but also workflow. So far, the intuitive onboard dynamics such as Soundcraft FaderGlow™ are greatly appreciated by the students and staff alike.

“At our venue, not a lot of reproduction is needed, but we still wanted to get the perfect mix, and this board delivers on that,” said Robinson. “Since installation, events for which we used the Si Performer went smoothly, partly thanks to how quickly the students learned how to operate the board. Compared to some of the more expensive Yamaha consoles, this Soundcraft console sounds great and makes mixing easier, especially when it comes to patching.”

For more information on California State University, please visit http://www.csub.edu

HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures and markets premier audio, visual, infotainment and integrated control solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets. With leading brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon® and Mark Levinson ®, the Company is admired by audiophiles, musicians and the entertainment 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 approximately 16,000 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $5.3 billion for the twelve months ended June 30, 2014.

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Edward Jones Dome Undergoes Major Upgrade with HARMAN’s BSS Audio, Crown and JBL

Dome08MorningST. LOUIS, Missouri – Opened in 1995, the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis is no stranger to bringing new attractions to town. Owned by the St. Louis Regional Sports Authority and operated by the St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission, the facility is part of the city’s convention center complex and seats up to 68,000 people. Its new HARMAN Professional audio system, featuring BSS Audio, Crown and JBL VERTEC® loudspeakers, is part of the continuous program to improve the experience of attendees at a variety of sporting events, as well as large conventions, religious gatherings, and much more.

The Edward Jones Dome project is the largest installation of powered VERTEC equipment in the world. At the heart of it are 12 arrays that each contain 12 JBL VERTEC VT4889A fullsize line array elements with DrivePack® DPDA input modules. In addition, there are two arrays of nine and two arrays of 12 JBL VERTEC VT4887A compact line array loudspeakers with DPDA modules that cover the field. All arrays utilize a top and bottom short frame and are suspended by a custom Polar Focus rigging system that allows every array to be operable for service. The installation also features four BSS Audio BLU-800 devices, two of which are used in the control room to create new networks. Of the remaining two, one feeds all bowl loudspeakers and the other all of the under deck and back of the house fill speakers.

Rounding out the installation are 25 Crown amplifiers. The South Amp Room, which powers underdeck and back-of-house loudspeakers is equipped with 10 DriveCore™ Install (DCi) 4|1250N amplifiers. The North Amp Room, which powers underdeck and back-of-house loudspeakers as well as an overflow press area, has 11 DCi 4|1250N amplifiers. There are three DCi 2|300N amplifiers in the main control room which power various booth monitors and elevators, and one Crown DCi 4I1250N amplifier, also in the Main Control Room, which is available as an auxiliary amp for various speaker needs on and around the field.

“For this project we worked very closely with HARMAN to identify an audio solution that would address all of the goals the owners had to improve audio performance throughout the facility in an efficient, cost-effective manner,” said Paul Murdick, who heads the technology solutions division of TSI Global, a St. Louis-area full-service systems integrator. “With this installation we wanted to take advantage of the acoustical upgrades, which we were confident would make the audio sound better than it did before. Also, with the Sports Authority’s plans to diversify the kinds of events it hosts, it was the perfect time to upgrade the entire system rather than do a quick fix.”

Lee Buckalew, systems designer for TSI Global, explained that he found the fact that the amplifiers were network-enabled to be particularly beneficial. “It was our first time using them, and we found them to be amazingly stable,” he said. “Their networking and error-reporting capabilities are impressive.”

Throughout the project, TSI worked closely with consultants Ross & Baruzzini, Inc, as well as John Powell, vice president of sales for JBL, Doug Nelson, accounts manager with Network Sales and Marketing, and Aaron Kunz, HARMAN territory sales manager. Brad Ricks and George Georgallis from HARMAN assisted with system tuning and Emilian Wojtowycz, also of HARMAN, offered pre-tuning assistance. Polar Focus provided engineering input, creating a system that provided solutions for ease of service while simplifying the seismic restraint needs, all while increasing the seismic protection offered.

Together, the team worked to address challenges unique to the Edward Jones Dome, including the shape of the dome, which made solid, even coverage for both lower and upper seats a potential problem.

In order to expedite tuning of the massive PA the team utilized JBL HiQnet Performance Manager™ and the system is now remotely configured and managed on a day-to-day basis using HARMAN HiQnet Audio Architect™. “We were able to minimize our time from start to finish on this project using both HARMAN software platforms,” added Buckalew.

“From start to finish, HARMAN was overwhelmingly supportive,” says Murdick. “As a project that began more than two years ago when the owners spoke to us about fixing a center cluster of loudspeakers and getting more field coverage with the audio system, HARMAN really demonstrated its commitment to working with systems integrators over the course of a relatively long-term installation.”

HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures and markets premier audio, visual, infotainment and enterprise automation solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets. With leading brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, Mark Levinson ® and Revel®, the Company is admired by audiophiles, musicians and the entertainment 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 approximately 16,600 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $5.6 billion for the 12 months ended September 30, 2014.

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Engineer Eric Masip Adds HARMAN Soundcraft Vi1 To His Mobile Inventory

Scraft_EricMasipLLEIDA, Spain – Providing audio services for concerts, theater events and conferences, freelance engineer Eric Masip recently acquired a HARMAN Soundcraft Vi1 digital console to streamline his services into a compact but powerful mixing package. While supporting several live production companies, Masip uses his Vi1 for multiple situations, including monitors mixing, FOH mixing and live recording. The console was sold to Masip by Vtecnics En Ruta, through EARPRO, Soundcraft’s distributor in Spain and Portugal.

With a versatile audio background, Masip wanted a new digital console that would complement his jack-of-all-trades work ethic. To that end, he relied on his previous experience with Soundcraft Vi Series consoles. With the Vi1, he gained the flexibility of a compact console, and the power of MADI protocols to distribute audio signals to other interfaces.

“Since I have previously worked with the Soundcraft Vi6, I am convinced that the Soundcraft brand is better for me than all of the others that I have tried,” said Masip. “A freelance engineer like myself needs something portable enough to carry to shows, but also something powerful enough to provide quality services. Ultimately, I was impressed by the compact dimensions, clean interface, good sound and elegant design of the Vi1.”

With BSS EQ’s, Lexicon effects and Soundcraft FaderGlowTM illumination, the Vi1 console offers comprehensive mixing capabilities despite it being the smallest product in the Vi Series. Many engineers recognize a Soundcraft console by its intuitive layout and design, but the improved workflow is especially important for those that wear as many hats as Masip.

“The sound is really brilliant and clear, and it performs great with many of the top bands, but it’s the workflow that is truly amazing, offering me a lot of possibilities during a show.” said Masip. “The combination of the touchscreen and the vertical organization gives the console an analog-like feel, allowing me to operate very quickly, and the FaderGlow function is an excellent addition.”

HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures and markets premier audio, visual, infotainment and enterprise automation solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets. With leading brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, Mark Levinson ® and Revel®, the Company is admired by audiophiles, musicians and the entertainment 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 approximately 16,600 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $5.6 billion for the 12 months ended September 30, 2014.

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HARMAN’s Martin Professional MAC Quantum, VC-strips and Tripix Entertain The Audience Alongside Robbie Williams

Swings Both Ways Tour 2014.2 Credit Ralph Larmann (c) Farrell Music Ltd.jpg copyNEW YORK, New York — It’s all about glitz and glam in Robbie Williams’, Swings Both Ways Tour, which started in May and ends this September. The stage design is theatrical in every possible way. The lighting design, by Mark Cunniffe, is the perfect accompaniment to an inspired stage design and features a substantial rig by HARMAN’s Martin Professional, which is also the first major outing for lighting supplier NEG EARTH’s new stock of MAC Quantum Wash.

Martin Professional spoke to Lighting Designer, Mark Cunniffe, NEG EARTH MD, Dave Ridgway and Project Manager Caroline Beverley to hear about the lighting design process and their experiences working with MAC Quantum for this major production.

Cunniffe worked closely with Set Designer, Ric Lipson from Stufish. Based on Lipson’s initial stage design concept, Cunniffe designed the lighting. He also provided suggestions for additional stage elements, such as the chandeliers “floating” above the stage, which became a major feature of the show and have received a lot of attention.

Cunniffe started plying his trade over 20 years ago and has witnessed many advances in lighting fixture design. The rise in LED products requiring less power has allowed him to continue to develop his art in an increasingly eco-friendly way. “I find that Martin’s new MAC Quantum Wash provides me with a very good theatrical unit,” said Cunniffe. “I was lucky enough to get a glimpse of it last year and was totally blown away by its brightness and its color quality.”

Initially Cunniffe thought that he would need Quantums both on the top and bottom of the 90 x 55 ft Austrian drape, but soon realised that the Quantum was sufficiently bright and its beam sufficiently even to light up the whole drape from top to bottom. Another pleasant surprise was how straightforward it was to match the color of the MAC Auras to the new Quantums for the stage elements. Cunniffe recalled:

“We thought there would definitely be a discrepancy because of the age difference in the fixtures,” said Cunniffe. “We use a pallet of around 30 colors – very few pastels and a lot saturated and secondary colors. It didn’t take much programming and the color match between all of the units was excellent.”

“The original idea was to use MAC Auras to light the Austrian drape,” said Ridgway. “They would have done a good job, but we would have needed more of them. The Quantum is a different sort of light; its wider and more powerful, and it looks great.”

MAC Quantums were also used as audience lighting, mounted as a separate rig. According to Cunniffe, five years ago, no one would have used an LED product as an audience wash light on a show, but the Quantum is perfect for it. “The tungsten values you can get now from an LED fixture are very good,” Cunniffe said. “The Quantums allowed me to do achieve all I wanted to achieve, which is a real testament to it.”

The Tripix range was also deployed in great numbers on the tour. Although essentially an outdoor architectural fixture, it did extremely well on the semi-circular walkway. Initially, Cunniffe wanted to use them solely to get some soft light shining up on Robbie when he took to this part of the stage. “It worked so well that it turned into a stand-alone scenic element of the show, which is also why we saved it for the second act,” he said. “It wasn’t just functional; it was absolutely faultless in an entertainment environment.”

The design process concluded with a three week rehearsal period to test and adjust the stage and lighting design. “Rehearsals can be the most tricky period and the units aren’t necessarily designed to be on for 100 hours straight, but the Quantums performed as well as we could have hoped and overall we are very happy with the quality,” Beverly said.

“The lights came out of the box, they were rigged and they worked,” Cunniffe said. “Everyone involved have done a fantastic job. We also appreciate the help from the guys at Martin UK.”

“We don’t often get a chance to come in at an early stage in the production process and help things develop,” said Michael Walker, Sales Director for Martin Professional in the UK. “Although we’ve only played a small part in this incredible production, it’s great to work with such talented people, to experience the challenges and technical demands and to see what happens on the basis of a creative brief. The knowledge we gain from being part of such an epic-scale production, helps us develop new products based on real demands.”

The Swings Both Ways Tour ended September 28th with a final show in Sydney.

Martin Equipment:
MAC Quantum Wash, 62 pcs.
MAC Viper AirFX, 64 pcs.
MAC Viper Profile, 30 pcs.
MAC Viper Performance, 12 pcs.
MAC Aura, 52 pcs.
Tripix range, 300 pcs.

For more information, please visit: http://martin.com/en-US/View-Case?itemId=CaseStory:14196

Photo Credit: Ralph Larman © Farrell Music Ltd. and Ric Lipson © Farrell Music Ltd.

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 premier audio, visual, infotainment and enterprise automation solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets. With leading brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, Mark Levinson ® and Revel®, the Company is admired by audiophiles, musicians and the entertainment 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 approximately 16,600 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $5.6 billion for the 12 months ended September 30, 2014.

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Firehouse Productions Supports Inspiring Music At Global Citizen Festival With HARMAN’s JBL VTX Line Arrays and Crown I-Tech HD Amplifiers

Photo Credit: Anthony Quintano (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode)

Photo Credit: Anthony Quintano (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode)

NEW YORK, New York – With a stellar reputation for managing audio at major events throughout the country, Firehouse Productions once again pushed HARMAN’s JBL VTX loudspeakers and Crown I-Tech HD amplifiers to its limits to reinforce the sound for the 2014 Global Citizen Festival. Famous world-renowned artists and bands such as Jay Z, The Roots and DJ Tiesto performed at this show, delivering an event that matched the passion of individuals supporting this movement.

Dedicated to ending extreme poverty by 2030, the Global Citizen movement hosts this annual event to raise awareness to drive change in this world, promoting activism through live music. Firehouse Productions took this goal to heart, when it designed and set up an incredible system at the stage in the Great Lawn of Central Park.

For this outdoor venue of 55 acres, the system featured two hangs of 18 VTX V25 line arrays per side, 38 VTX G28 and 16 VT4880A subwoofers for the main PA, complemented by four hangs of 12 VT4889 loudspeakers for delays. The entire system was powered by 60 Crown I-Tech 12000HD amplifiers loudspeakers for the mid-high sections and 24 I-Tech 12000HD amplifiers for the subwoofers. The system was monitored and controlled with JBL HiQnet Performance Manager™.

“Both our engineers and the audience liked the sound very much,” said Mark Dittmar, VP of Design and Engineering. “The VTX boxes performed consistently, with powerful bass and clear highs. Though it’s an outdoor venue, we’ve set up enough delay towers to reach every corner of the venue. As always, there were no challenges that we couldn’t overcome with these line arrays.

“The biggest thing for us is to have a single amplifier that can power every JBL loudspeaker we use, so we can use just one amp rack design for everything,” said Dittmar. “The flexibility is really incredible.”

Transcending international boundaries and languages, the one-day show called upon this generation to take real action in terms of education, sanitation and healthcare. Thus, there could be no room for failure when it came to the compelling messages by the top musicians in the world.

“We’ve meticulously designed and tested this unique system for the purpose of being able to support a show that goes on for the whole day,” said Dittmar. “Thanks to the Crown amplifiers, we were confident that performance remained uninterrupted.”

HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures and markets premier audio, visual, infotainment and enterprise automation solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets. With leading brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, Mark Levinson ® and Revel®, the Company is admired by audiophiles, musicians and the entertainment 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 approximately 16,600 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $5.6 billion for the 12 months ended September 30, 2014.

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Church of the Highlands Delivers High-Energy Worship Experience For 20,000 Members With HARMAN’s Martin Professional Lighting Fixtures

MARTIN_ChurchoftheHighlandsAARHUS, Denmark — With ten campuses and more than 30,000 active members throughout Alabama, the Church of the Highlands delivers a unique style of prayer that utilizes professional production elements to create a high-energy, high-worship atmosphere. Now in its second decade, the church was in need of a versatile and reliable lighting solution for its weekly services and Lighting Designer, Brian Worster, turned to HARMAN’s Martin Professional lighting fixtures to provide stage and effect lighting across the ten campuses.

Services for the church are held at a variety of campuses ranging from high schools to community centers and entertainment venues and are produced primarily by volunteer “worship teams”. While the sermon is delivered from the Grants Mill main campus in Birmingham, Alabama via the Internet, each campus worship team runs the program and services locally. “We wanted to create a passionate high-energy worship atmosphere with lighting that could be quickly loaded-in and loaded-out by volunteers every week,” said Worster.

The main campus deploys Martin’s MAC Viper moving head luminaires and MAC 250 wash lights. Worster also often specified the Viper series for youth conferences put on by the church, citing their optics and power. “We recently put on a youth conference in which we brought in 28 Auras and 18 Vipers,” said Worster. “The Vipers offer great gobos, they are extremely punchy, and have incredible optics that deliver strong output and framing.”

Martin’s MAC 101 series wash lights are also used at each of the church’s locations to ensure that volunteers can easily update positioning on short turnarounds. Worster also brought in the 101s for their ability to color mix as well as for their efficiency because many of the campus locations have little to no infrastructure for large amounts of power consumption.

“The 101s are super bright and in some locations we are throwing 100 feet or more to the stage and still only at 70-80 percent output,” said Worster. “The lens accessories are great for zooming or narrow the beams to blend the front wash. We also use the 101s during the message portion as a supplement to house lights like in a theater.”

The Tuscaloosa campus features 16 101 RGBs on the upstage floor shooting on the ceiling above the stage, while the Woodlawn campus, a high school theater uses 8 101 WRMs for front wash as well. The Fultondale and Huntsville campuses feature 10 101 RGBs on trusses upstage as well as several 101 CTs downstage for front wash.

“We’ve used the 101s at the Fultondale campus for almost two years and they’ve totally changed the way we approach launching a campus with the church,” said Worster. “They offer more flexibility and provide an atmosphere that we can recreate at every location. Also, budget is an important when launching a new campus and the 101s are extremely bright yet also inexpensive enough that they were a no-brainer for our productions.”

“The service Martin has provided to us has been incredible,” summarized Worster. “The fact that Martin has a team specifically dedicated to the House of Worship market is huge for us—we feel like we have another ally on our team and I could not have imagined the success of our services without their help!”

For more information on Martin’s stage lighting solutions, please visit: www.martin.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 premier audio, visual, infotainment and integrated control solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets. With leading brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon® and Mark Levinson ®, the Company is admired by audiophiles, musicians and the entertainment 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 approximately 16,000 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $5.3 billion for the twelve months ended June 30, 2014.

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Culture Club Kicks Off Reunion Tour with HARMAN’s Soundcraft Vi3000 Console and the Realtime Rack, Soundcraft’s UAD Plug-In Engine

Scraft_CultureClubLONDON, United Kingdom – More than 30 years since winning the world over with pop classics like “Karma Chameleon” and “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me”, Culture Club is reuniting for a string of concerts throughout North America, to be followed by a multi-arena tour in the United Kingdom. The band’s longtime front of house engineer, Jimmy Sarikas, aka “Mixologist”, recently purchased a HARMAN Soundcraft Vi3000 console, which he put to use for a private Culture Club performance at the Heaven nightclub in London. The console was sold through SSE Audio Group, Soundcraft Vi Select dealer.

Jimmy purchased the Vi3000 for multiple purposes, including live mixing as well as studio and mobile recording. “I’m a one-stop shop, so I needed a console that could perform multiple functions,” he said. “I can roll up to a festival and do live multi-track recording and broadcast, and I have multiple duplication systems in my truck, so I can give you 200 CDs in a half-hour after the show.”

The first task for Jimmy’s new desk – was a private performance from the group at the Heaven nightclub in London.

Alex Penn, Sales Director for SSE Audio Group commented, “As SSE Hire has been working with Culture Club on various recent events, and SSE Audio Group has been long term suppliers of Soundcraft Vi consoles for both Hire and Sales, Jimmy got in touch with SSE Sales when he decided that the Vi3000 was his console of choice. As Jimmy really wanted to use all of the available features of the console we had to develop some customised packaging solutions, housing two screens (record overview and Realtime Rack) in the case, as well as the Realtime Rack itself and a UPS.”

According to Jimmy, the Vi3000 offers multiple benefits compared to other consoles on the market. “For starters, the sound quality of the Vi3000 is just amazing,” he said. “Vi Series consoles have always had an amazing sound and that’s the case with the Vi3000. The second major factor is ease of use. I personally feel that manufacturers are making boards that are too small. I want some faders! My arms are more than capable to open as wide as 24 faders, so it’s Soundcraft all the way for me.”

For the Culture Club shows, Jimmy is running 53 channels to accommodate the multiple vocals and diverse instrumentation on stage, which includes two piano players, several guitars, a brass section and a variety of percussion. Jimmy is also utilizing the Soundcraft Realtime Rack, a 1RU box that features a library of Universal Audio plug-ins.

“I’m loving the Dante connectivity because I record 64 channels in and 64 channels out for virtual sound checks as well as my multi-track recordings,” Jimmy noted. “I’m working with two machines for that [Mac Minis with SSD hard drives]. Both computers fit in a 1RU rack located in the flight case of the Vi3000: one is my recording device and the other is the Realtime Rack.” The computer with the “Realtime Rack” software also records a redundant 64 channels of multi-track audio via the secondary Dante output. The two screens also slide into compartments in the case. Can you believe all this and the Vi3000 in one box on wheels?”

In addition, Jimmy’s positive experience with Soundcraft boards in the past played a factor in his decision to add the Vi3000 to his arsenal. “I’ve used Vi6 consoles at festivals before and they always felt a bit daunting at first, but the truth is that Vi consoles are probably the easiest control surfaces to use,” Jimmy said. “There aren’t any hidden pages—what you need is right in front of you.”

For more information on Jimmy Sarikas, please visit www.mixologist.co.uk or www.payperviewconcerts.co.uk

For more information on Culture Club, please visit www.culture-club.co.uk

For more information on SSE Audio Group, please visit www.sseaudiogroup.com

Soundcraft and Harman products are distributed in the UK and ROI by Sound Technology Ltd, for more information, please visit www.soundtech.co.uk

HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures and markets premier audio, visual, infotainment and enterprise automation solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets. With leading brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, Mark Levinson ® and Revel®, the Company is admired by audiophiles, musicians and the entertainment 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 approximately 16,600 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $5.6 billion for the 12 months ended September 30, 2014.

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The Linq’s High Roller Observation Wheel Enhances The Iconic Las Vegas Skyline with HARMAN’s Martin Professional Lighting

Martin_Linq High RollerLAS VEGAS, Nevada — In March 2014, The LINQ Resort by Caesars Entertainment altered the Las Vegas skyline when it completed the world’s tallest observation wheel. The High Roller, shaped like a giant floating hoop, now rises above the cityscape of Las Vegas, illuminated from sunset throughout the night by fixtures from HARMAN’s Martin Professional’s Tripix range of products.

Commissioned by Caesars Entertainment in 2009 with an overall vision to change the Las Vegas Skyline with a new iconic landmark, construction on the world’s tallest observation wheel began. On the lighting side of this extravagant architectural project, NYXdesign teamed up with Martin Professional, systems integrator 4Wall Entertainment and electrical contractors Bombard Electric.

The installation includes 1,120 Tripix 300 fixtures, 1,008 Tripix Wash fixtures, 560 Tripix Power IP66 power supplies and four MAC Viper fixtures.

“Working with Henrik Kristensen from Martin and the rest of the team was very rewarding,” said Buddy Pope, Senior Systems Project Manager, 4Wall Entertainment. “We had to make sure everything would be able to withstand being turned upside down every 30 minutes over and over again. Also, everything had to be designed down to the last hole before we were able to test anything. Martin’s willingness to come up with customized solutions was a key success factor in these early stages.”

“The amount of time we spent and the level of detail we worked with in the mockup stage really was worth it,” said Lighting Designer, Abigail Rosen Holmes. “It allowed us to know the choices we were making would work as we intended when installed. This information had to be carried through to the drawings, and eventually construction, as it would not be possible to adjust the fixtures’ mounting positions.”

One major challenge that had to be considered in the early stages of the project was to accommodate the user experience from both inside the cabins and from various angles and viewing distances make the lighting design successful from every possible perspective. The Tripix products were chosen because at the time it was the only fixture on the market with a converged light source, also known as a tri-color chip, meaning that when you look directly at the light source you only see the color that the fixtures is programmed to show. As visitors would be able to see directly into the light source from the cabins, a traditional RGB light source was not an option.

“Apart from the difficulty in getting to the fixture locations, our involvement was a ‘bolt-up’ and ‘plug and play’ installation of a well-designed lighting system,” said Mike Gurule, Bombard Electric. “It is clear to us that Martin places a high emphasis on quality control.”

The guidelines for the lighting design was that it had to respect the beauty and simplicity of the structure while at the same time embracing its kinetic qualities. In contrast to a lot of Las Vegas lighting, the design for the High Roller was not meant to be flashy and carnival-like.

“The vision of everybody involved allowed me to treat the object very simply, because in its pure form the structure is extraordinarily beautiful,” said Holmes. “They had this clear idea and vision and were very consistent on keeping it all the way through.”

Even though the fixtures are moving around with the rim, it is possible to program the fixtures to make the wheel appear to be one color in the bottom half and another in the top half. The programming frequently returns to white to reestablish the pure form of the object and there are subtle design choices that may not all be perceived by spectators, but contribute to the overall perception of the design.

As the sun goes down a slightly different time every day, there are 365 individual cues timed to actual sunset. It starts with a sequence designed to play from sunset to dark. When darkness falls another set of sequences carry on all through the night. Sets of special sequences are designed for holidays and special events, including, according to Holmes, an awesome one for Halloween.

There is an obvious challenge in lighting up a structure like The High Roller. Unlike The London Eye, which is designed as an open truss structure, The High Roller is a massive white object that has to be illuminated from the outside.

“The 2,000 Martin fixtures were individually mapped and numbered to provide the detail and variety we wanted in the programming,” said Holmes. “This formed the basis of the varied movement patterns and groups which play out in the programming for the wheel lighting.”

Holmes, working with programmer Jason Badger, created the initial wheel lighting sequences using an offline 3d visualizer, allowing the project team to further review and develop the feel and aesthetic of the programming in advance of installation. For onsite programming, a position was set up on a hotel balcony overlooking The High Roller. All the fixtures are wirelessly DMX-controlled and during this phase all the pre-programmed sequences were tested and more were developed.

More than a year into its completion, many believe The High Roller has become an integral part of the Las Vegas Skyline with its beautiful shape and elegant lighting design, making it fully deserving of its status as the latest and greatest Vegas landmark.

“To me the most exciting moment was the first day when we were able to turn everything on and knew that it worked,” said Pope. “Three years of work and planning turned out successfully but you can’t help but hold your breath right up until the moment you turn it on. To me it is magical when, at night the wheel comes to life with light and turns into something different.”

Video: http://youtu.be/QTlA5PV5B0k

Image credit: Denise Truscello

Lighting Team
4Wall Entertainment
NYXdesign
Bombard Electric
Martin Professional

The High Roller project also features a complete Harman audio solution provided by JBL, Crown and BSS.

Full story: http://www.martin.com/en-US/View-Case?itemId=CaseStory:14169

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 premier audio, visual, infotainment and enterprise automation solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets. With leading brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, Mark Levinson ® and Revel®, the Company is admired by audiophiles, musicians and the entertainment 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 approximately 16,600 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $5.6 billion for the 12 months ended September 30, 2014.

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HARMAN’s AKG CS3 Delivers Subtle Simplicity For Onyx AV’s Conferencing Services

CS3_SystemALMERE, The Netherlands – Having provided sound reinforcement for hotels and corporations that required subtle but effective conferencing solutions, Dutch-based Onyx AV has recently upgraded its inventory with HARMAN’s AKG microphones. When the time came to refresh its inventory and to address the increased demand for reliable microphones during presentations, Onyx AV reached out to audio equipment distributor Audio XL to supply the new AKG CS3 Series conference system.

The modular and flexible AKG CS3 system supports up to 60 microphones with the base unit connected to PA, recording and external audio sources and camera control systems. Not only does it come with a detachable microphone that can be swapped to suit different preferences in length, but it also ensures user-friendly operation for fast conference management.

After dealing with other brands for a long time, Onyx was ready to switch to obtain higher quality performance that offers plug-and-play flexibility, allowing its customers to focus on the conference with ease. Following a live demo of the new CS3 system in Onyx’s head-office in Almere, the engineers were convinced that AKG was the right choice for them.

The system’s rigidity and compact size exceeded Onyx’s expectations and is able to serve all of its needs. Compared to the legacy system, the enormous leap in sound quality and durability has delivered excellent results during the first few weeks of the upgrade.

For more information on AKG, please visit www.akg.com/pro

HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures and markets premier audio, visual, infotainment and integrated control solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets. With leading brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon® and Mark Levinson ®, the Company is admired by audiophiles, musicians and the entertainment 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 approximately 16,000 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $5.3 billion for the twelve months ended June 30, 2014.

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