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Archive by Christopher Shuler

XTA Launches New APA Series at InfoComm 2014

The first model, the APA-4E8, set to be unveiled on Group One Ltd. stand C11336

LAS VEGAS – June 2014 – Group One Ltd. stand C11336 — XTA is proud to be debuting the APA series – short for Adaptive Processing Amplification – at this year’s InfoComm show. APA’s new power and DSP platforms have been designed to interact intelligently and adapt to prevailing conditions, protecting drivers and significantly enhancing performance from all speaker systems.

By including studio-quality analog-to-digital converters at the outputs as well as the inputs, real-time audio currents and voltages presented at the speaker terminals can be fed back into the DSP in addition to processing the incoming audio, allowing the amplifier to adapt and correct its performance continuously. The tight coupling of the power supply’s behavior through real-time monitoring of the mains supply, as well as over ten temperature sense points, means that the amplifier can adjust its power consumption and output drive to ensure that maximum permissible power is always available.

“We have included the same A-to-D converters that we use in the DS8000D [XTA's Audio Distribution System], which allows us to monitor the outgoing audio voltages and currents to the same degree of accuracy as we do when digitizing incoming analog audio prior to processing,” notes XTA Technical Director John Austin. “These outgoing signals can then be fed back into the DSP [responsible for all the user adjustable EQ and protection] so that it can make adjustments to ensure that any connected speaker driver is being utilized to the best of its abilities, without undue stress to the driver, or the amp for that matter.”

The Class D amplifier design, combined with a highly efficient power supply and generous energy storage reservoirs result in an amplifier that not only is better at converting input mains power into output speaker power with less wasted heat (system efficiency is 80%), but is also able to offer better sustained peak power at low frequencies – where you need it most. A quick start mode, and an ultra low power stand-by mode (with a power consumption of under 0.75W) mean reduced running costs in all circumstances.

According to XTA Technical Brand Manager Waring Hayes, “It’s not so difficult to add a DSP module to an existing amplifier design in the form of a plug-in card, but to provide the level of monitoring and feedback within the amplifier that we wanted – that took a little longer!”

The first model – the APA-4E8 – features four channels of power totaling 20kW peak output into four ohms, and continuous power available of 3400W per channel into four ohms. Four audio inputs allow all four amplifier channels to be individually utilized if required with a full suite of XTA’s world-renowned DSP, including dynamic EQ, FIR (and phase linearization) and classic IIR filtering, mix matrix and the manufacturer’s famously transparent limiters and soft knee compressors.

“What with all the feedback from the PSU and mains monitoring and all the temperature sensors everywhere, the DSP really is at the center of things in the amplifier, and far from being bolted on to the front end – it’s more an engine management system than a speaker management system,” Hayes points out.

The APA-4E8 can route audio from analog, AES or network sources with automatic fallback. USB and internal SD cards offer additional audio choices for playback of emergency evacuation messages, and quick upload of presets or download of performance logging data. The APA series also includes extensive GPIO and remote control covered by Ethernet, USB and RS485.

Housed in a 2U chassis and weighing 28.2 pounds (12.8 kg), the APA-4E8 sports an elegant front panel interface with a large color LCD, which, in combination with innovative user selectable metrics and tricolor multimode panel metering, offers reassuring feedback of the amplifier status from any distance.

New remote software written to run natively on both the Windows and Mac platforms is available and operable via an Ethernet or USB connection.

Hayes sums up by adding, “Ultimately, what counts can be distilled down to sound quality, power delivery, reliability, usability, flexibility and blue front-panel-ability!”

About Group One Ltd.
Group One Ltd. is a U.S. importer and distributor for a number of professional audio and lighting manufacturers. The company’s audio division currently distributes Blue Sky powered nearfield monitors, DiGiCo digital mixing consoles, MC2 high quality innovative amplifiers, and XTA digital signal processing equipment. The lighting division currently distributes Avolites lighting control consoles, ElektraLite controllers and intelligent lighting, and Pulsar LED lighting.

# # #

Contact:
XTA / Group One Ltd.
70 Sea Lane, Farmingdale, NY 11735
Tel: 516.249.1399 / Fax: 516.249.8870
Email: sales@g1limited.com
Web: www.g1limited.com / www.xta.co.uk

PRG Calls K2 Into Active Duty for National Memorial Day Concert

PRG's initial deployment for K2 was at the 25th annual National Memorial Day Concert on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol (photo credits: Alan Henig)

Two complete L-ACOUSTICS rigs purchased, one immediately deployed at 25th annual event on the U.S. Capitol’s West Lawn

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Leading entertainment and event production services provider Production Resource Group (PRG) has officially begun upgrading to L-ACOUSTICS’ new K2 platform with the purchase of two complete line source array systems. Delivered in mid-May, the sale comprised a total of 48 K2 enclosures and 24 LA8 amplified controllers.

PRG’s inaugural K2 deployment came almost immediately – two dozen enclosures were put into active duty for the 25th annual National Memorial Day Concert, attended by countless spectators on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. on May 26. This year’s event, hosted by actors Joe Mantegna and Gary Sinise, featured an all-star lineup of performers, including the National Symphony Orchestra, Jennifer Nettles, Megan Hilty, the U.S. Army Chorus and Air Force Singing Sergeants.

One of the L-ACOUSTICS K2 arrays

Having supported this annual holiday event for over two decades now, PRG’s new K2 rig replaces the call for V-DOSC used in years past. “PRG has been anxiously waiting for the arrival of the L-ACOUSTICS K2 system and it went right to work at the Capitol for Memorial Day,” says Randy Hutson, GM of PRG Chicago and vice president of PRG Audio. “We’ve been looking for a speaker system that is versatile yet meets the needs of our most demanding clients and L-ACOUSTICS has delivered with the K2. It is a high-powered, full-range speaker that weighs less, has a small footprint, offers excellent audience coverage with superb audio qualities and can easily support multiple markets, from music concerts to corporate events.”

“The K2 gives us more reach into large-scale venues, such as arenas and stadiums, but does so at significantly reduced weight without sacrificing power,” says Mark Boettcher, project manager at the Memorial Day event and a senior engineer at PRG. “At the same time, its lighter weight means it can go into venues like ballrooms and expo centers that have a lower-load rigging capacity.

“Also, the K2 enclosures have the same width as the L-ACOUSTICS K1, so it has complete rigging compatibility with K1 and K1-SB enclosures. That allows us to use K2 for downfill on K1 arrays. And all of that has significant economic implications, making the K2 extremely cost-effective. There’s just so much in the way of flexibility with the system.”

At the National Memorial Day Concert on the U.S. Capitol’s massive West Lawn, the K2 rig was configured in left and right hangs of 12 enclosures each. These were flown from towers, also used for fixed and moving lighting fixtures, positioned 105 feet downstage of the stage deck. Eight SB28 subs deployed in an end-fire array configuration provided the low-end reinforcement, while 16 coaxial 12XT wedges served as stage monitors. Thirteen LA-RAK touring racks, each loaded with three LA8 amplified controllers, furnished power and processing for the entire system.

In addition to the K2s, the project also used a total of 24 ARCS II systems – two hangs of five each for the invited-guest main stage, two more hangs of five for the reverse satellite stage, and two hangs of two each flanking the K2 arrays for wide horizontal coverage. Twenty-four dV-DOSC speakers, in four stacks of six enclosures each coupled with a single SB28 sub, provided delay while two more stacks of four dV-DOSC were used as guest area fills positioned on a tower on either side of the stage, also used for lighting fixtures and video screens.

With K2′s new PANFLEX variable horizontal coverage technology, the familiar challenge of surface reflections was easily overcome. “The stage was playing directly into the face of the Capitol building, which is flanked by stairs on either side, but centered on a large, ornate glass window – beautiful, certainly, but nothing we wanted to purposefully fire acoustic energy against,” notes Chris “Sully” Sullivan, L-ACOUSTICS’ east coast application engineer. “To solve the problem, we viewed the obstacle in SOUNDVISION, predicted which elements in the K2 array were going to hit it, then simply shifted the K2′s pattern asymmetrically for just those loudspeakers in the middle of the array. We reduced the reflected energy in excess of 6dB, and that was just the direct reflected energy! Combine that benefit with the reduction or elimination of the myriad of tangential off-time tertiary reflections and that becomes a massive win for the whole audience.”

PRG employees with a few of their new K2 enclosures

In terms of overall performance, the K2s were troupers. “What I can tell you is that the K2 system went up very quickly thanks to its lighter weight – much faster than the comparable V-DOSC system it was replacing – and the same goes for taking it down,” says Boettcher, who worked on the event with Alan Henig, co-systems engineer. “And the rig sounded extremely transparent. There tends to be a natural fall off of the high frequencies by the time the sound hits the Capitol steps, but the K2 had extended frequency response past 10 kHz that far out, so the sound was exquisite.”

This year’s Memorial Day concert also saw another first. Previously, the show’s FOH had been mixed using a total of three consoles – a Yamaha PM5D, PM1D and an LS9/32, all connected with multiple copper-cable snakes. This year, PRG ran the entire show on just a pair of DiGiCo SD7 consoles, with six DiGiCo SD-I/O racks and an SD-Mini I/O rack, connected by two fiber-optic cables, with the FOH mix handled by Patrick Baltzell. “This really unified operations at the site and, combined with the much lighter K2 system, gave us the same amount of punch in a smaller and more efficient footprint.”

The same system will be deployed for the July 4th concert event in the same location. “The K2 will set the benchmark going forward as its predecessor V-DOSC did when it was released years ago,” Hutson declares. “Along with K1, this gives L-ACOUSTICS the leading edge in line arrays and we at PRG are very excited to add K2 to our extensive inventory of L-ACOUSTICS products. They listened to our needs and have delivered an innovative product that will perform for years to come.”

For more details on the 2014 National Memorial Day Concert, which was broadcast live via the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and American Forces Network, visit www.pbs.org/national-memorial-day-concert.

About Production Resource Group
Production Resource Group (PRG) is the world’s leading provider of entertainment and event technology and production services to a wide range of markets, including corporate events, concerts, special events, theatre, television, film and installations, such as theme parks, museums, retail stores and performing arts centers. PRG provides integrated services and equipment, including audio, video, lighting, rigging, staging, and scenery and automation systems, for these markets from more than 40 offices in North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. For more info on PRG, visit www.prg.com.

About L-ACOUSTICS
L-ACOUSTICS is a leading innovator and manufacturer of high-performance loudspeakers, amplifiers and signal processing devices for touring and installed sound markets. Known around the globe for pioneering and championing the modern line array loudspeaker concept with V-DOSC, the company has received numerous accolades for its K1, K2, KUDO, KARA, KIVA, ARCS, XT coaxial loudspeaker systems and SB line of subwoofer enclosures, all powered and processed with the LA4 and LA8 amplified controllers in fulfillment of a “total system approach.” Product distribution and customer service for the USA is handled by L-ACOUSTICS’ subsidiary in Oxnard, CA.

# # #

Contact:
L-ACOUSTICS US
2201 Celsius Avenue, Unit E, Oxnard, CA 93030
Tel: 805.604.0577 / Fax: 805.604.0858
Email: info@l-acoustics-us.com / Web: www.l-acoustics.com

L-ACOUSTICS Introduces K2 and PANFLEX Technology

New line source with horizontal steering makes official North American debut at InfoComm

LAS VEGAS – InfoComm stand C11908 — Following in the footsteps of the highly successful K1 system for large stadium tours and outdoor festivals, L-ACOUSTICS announces the official North American debut of its new K2 line source array loudspeaker system featuring PANFLEX technology.

The successor to L-ACOUSTICS’ industry-changing V-DOSC system, K2 offers K1 performance in a rescaled package that makes it flexibly well-suited for both permanent installation and touring applications, from theatre to stadium productions. The primary system components include:

- K2 full-range element with PANFLEX horizontal steering, operating from 35 Hz to 20 kHz
- K1-SB low-frequency element reinforcing LF contour down to 30 Hz or LF throw down to 35 Hz
- SB28 low-frequency element extending the operating bandwidth down to 25 Hz
- LA4X / LA8 amplified controllers or LA-RAK touring rack fitted with three LA8

Boasting an unprecedented performance/weight ratio, sophisticated and fast captive rigging system and exceptional sonic performance, the K2 line source benefits from L-ACOUSTICS’ Wavefront Sculpture Technology (WST). Inter-element angles can be set with laser-like accuracy up to a generous 10 degrees allowing the optimization of the vertical coverage with SPL smoothly spread across the audience.

K2 employs L-ACOUSTICS’ new PANFLEX, a unique horizontal steering technology that combines mechanically adjustable fins with DSP algorithms effective from 300 Hz. Four different settings are possible: two symmetric (70 or 110 degrees) and two asymmetric (90 degrees as 35/55 or 55/35). Narrowing or widening the horizontal directivity can serve many purposes: adapt to the width of the listening area, fit long and short distance coverage/SPL requirements, reduce or extend overlapping areas, and avoid reflecting surfaces.

By combining WST and PANFLEX L-ACOUSTICS exclusively addresses the control of directivity in both vertical and horizontal planes. As a result, K2 can match the complex shape of any audience geometry with ideal sonic performance and minimum noise pollution.

Thanks to its three-way quad-amplified design and full range capability, the K2 enclosure can be deployed as a standalone line source. For applications demanding extreme LF impact (contour mode), or maximized LF projection (throw mode), K2 can be arrayed with its dedicated and flyable K1-SB LF extension. The K2 system can also address applications with demanding infrasonic reproduction when combined to the SB28 subwoofer. Before installation, any system configurations can be acoustically and mechanically modeled with L-ACOUSTICS’ SOUNDVISION 3D simulation software.

For touring applications, K2 can be associated to the LA-RAK, a universal distribution platform for power, audio signals and network that facilitates cross rental between rental companies. LA-RAK houses three LA8 amplified controllers and can be flown onto a K2 array. Other applications can feature LA8 amplified controllers. For high-end installation projects, K2 can also be driven by the LA4X amplified controller. The scheme authorizes fully discrete DSP treatment per section and maximum power headroom for the best possible sonic performance.

With its dedicated factory presets, the LA8/LA4X amplified controller constitutes an extremely advanced and precise drive system for the enclosures. All L-ACOUSTICS amplified controllers feature the L-DRIVE thermal and over-excursion protection circuit.

Up to 253 LA8/LA4X amplified controllers can be connected together via the Ethernet-based L-NET protocol. LA NETWORK MANAGER software allows online remote control and monitoring of all the connected units via a user-friendly and intuitive graphic interface and features the Array Morphing EQ. This exclusive tool allows the engineer to quickly adjust the tonal balance of the system to reach a reference curve or to ensure consistency of the sonic signature.

L-ACOUSTICS is a leading innovator and manufacturer of high-performance loudspeakers, amplifiers and signal processing devices for touring and installed sound markets. Known around the globe for pioneering and championing the modern line array loudspeaker concept with V-DOSC, the company has received numerous accolades for its K1, K2, KUDO, KARA, KIVA, ARCS, XT coaxial loudspeaker systems and SB line of subwoofer enclosures, all powered and processed with the LA4 and LA8 amplified controllers in fulfillment of a “total system approach.” Product distribution and customer service for the USA is handled by L-ACOUSTICS’ subsidiary in Oxnard, CA.

# # #

Contact:
L-ACOUSTICS US
2201 Celsius Avenue, Unit E, Oxnard, CA 93030
Tel: 805.604.0577 / Fax: 805.604.0858
Email: info@l-acoustics-us.com / Web: www.l-acoustics.com

DiGiCo Releases V685 Software

LAS VEGAS – InfoComm 2014 stand C11336 — UK digital solutions manufacturer DiGiCo has now released V685, the latest software upgrade for its range of digital mixing consoles. It is the power of DiGiCo’s proprietary Stealth Digital Processing that allows the company to unlock the incredible amount of new features with each new software version for live, broadcast and theatre applications.

V685 is no exception and includes:
- Increased Buss count for the SD9 from 16 to 24 Flexi Busses
- SD11i/B input channel count increased from 32 to 40 Flexi Channels
- Support for Optocore DD4MR, DD2FR, X6R and DD32R devices in audio I/O
- Any SD5, SD8, SD9, SD10 and SD11 running Waves 9.5 will now have 32 stereo Waves racks
- The availability of Aux Sends on Groups in the live and theatre versions
- Support for the D-Rack AES input card and the addition of the D2 Rack as an I/O device

For theatrical environments, the Relative Faders in Cue Groups is now a Macro command; Auxes, Groups and Matrix channels can now be added to channel sets; and Channel Cues now defaults to showing names.

And for broadcast applications, Backstop PFL is now functional on output busses, plus there is a new option on the SD7B and SD10B for Speaker Mute to do Dim.

“Waves is happy to provide the increasing number of DiGiCo SoundGrid MultiRack users the added benefit of doubling their rack capacity,” comments Mick Olesh, Waves EVP Sales and Marketing. “Increasing the number of racks provides DiGiCo SoundGrid users the capability of running 32 racks of Waves and third party plugins to their workflow.”

“It was always our intention to ensure that our SD range of consoles was as future-proof as we could possibly make it,” adds DiGiCo Managing Director James Gordon. “We believe we have the most comprehensive range of consoles currently on the market that deliver exactly what our customers need and want, whatever the changing demands of their use requires. Being able to deliver such substantial upgrades again and again means that they should stay that way.”

V685 is being provided free of charge for an introductory period. For full details of this, and of the wealth of new features and functions, please visit www.digico.biz.

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Starlight Theatre’s Sound Shines with L-ACOUSTICS

Kansas City's Starlight Theatre, home to a new L-ACOUSTICS KARA system

KARA system installed at Kansas City’s famed outdoor theatrical venue

KANSAS CITY, Missouri — Seating nearly 8,000 patrons, Starlight Theatre has been a staple of Kansas City’s performing arts community since it first opened in 1950. Hosting a full calendar of Broadway plays and musicals each summer season – not to mention numerous concerts, corporate events, weddings and fundraisers – many classic productions have trod the boards of the large open-air venue over the years, including Jesus Christ Superstar, Oliver!, Hair, Camelot, Sweet Charity and West Side Story.

As to be expected, Starlight, which is operated by the not-for-profit Starlight Theatre Association, has been through a few sound systems in its time, with the last one holding out for the past 14 seasons. But none of them have ever been able to deliver the critical combination of the intelligibility needed for theatrical dialog with the full-range frequency response necessary for music. Until this year, that is. A new L-ACOUSTICS KARA Modular WST line source sound system was installed over the winter and is already taking Starlight’s 2014 season to new heights.

48 KARA and 24 SB18 are flown above the stage

The new L-ACOUSTICS house system, designed by Dallas-based Idibri (formerly Acoustic Dimensions) and installed by Clair Brothers Audio Systems’ Nashville office, consists of a total of 48 KARA line array modules divided into three hangs of 16 each, positioned left, center and right along a steel framework above the proscenium stage. Flanking either side of the center hang and the outside of the left and right arrays are flown arrays of six SB18 subwoofers accompanied by eight ground-stacked SB28 subwoofers split between the left and right sides of the stage floor. Proscenium fills are handled by two ARCS WIDE and two ARCS FOCUS, one each per side, while six tiny 5XT coaxial loudspeakers and three larger 8XT enclosures comprise the front-fill complement. A total of 16 LA8 amplified controllers power the entire system.

“We put a lot of effort into choosing the new sound system,” states Justin White, Starlight Theatre Director of Operations and Theater Plant, noting the winnowing process began with five systems that Idibri Project Manager Ryan Knox suggested Starlight investigate. This field was eventually narrowed down to three finalists, for whom Idibri arranged a demo that let dozens of Starlight staffers, board members, donors and city officials listen to audio systems in the venue itself and do an A-B-C comparison using the same program material.

Three 8XT enclosures deliver the center front-fill

They emphasized the key criteria of intelligibility and music reproduction, as well as other areas of importance, such as the ability of the system components to endure outdoor use throughout what Barb Schulte, Starlight’s Director of Communications and Outreach, euphemized as Kansas City’s “challenging weather environment, especially in summertime.” And, says White, it became clear very shortly who the winner would be. “After as little as ten minutes for some individuals in attendance, it was unanimous: everyone loved the way the L-ACOUSTICS system sounded.”

Kent Andel, Production Manager for the theatre, says he was a fan of the previous system because of the warmth of its sound, but says that the new system exceeds its performance in a number of ways. “The intelligibility we need for diction and dialog are all there,” he says. “At the same time, it works for music. So the L-ACOUSTICS system won hands down.” This is especially impressive when considering that the compact modular KARA system went head-to-head with systems looking much bigger on paper.

The new L-ACOUSTICS line source array system was first used in late May for Starlight’s Blue Star Awards, a Tony Awards-style program to recognize metro area high school musical theatre talent. All of the system’s critical parameters were on the line, and it performed flawlessly. It will get an even more vigorous workout for the season’s first Broadway musical when The Wizard of Oz comes to Starlight in mid-June.

But even between those shows, the L-ACOUSTICS system is showing its versatility; it’s already been divided into three mini arrays – each with two SB18s, six KARA modules and all four ARCS enclosures – and used indoors in the Jeannette and Jerome Cohen Community Stage that’s part of the Starlight Theatre complex for off-season private events, receptions and parties. “In addition to sounding great, it’s also a very flexible system,” White says. “It’s as loud as we needed it to be, super clear, flexible and just a great choice for us.”

About Starlight Theatre
Starlight Theatre, winner of the 2013 Venue Excellence Award from the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM), is the largest and oldest performing arts organization in Kansas City and the second-largest outdoor producing theatre in the country. Opened as a theater in 1950 and as a not-for-profit organization in 1951, Starlight presents and produces Broadway musicals and concerts. It also offers extensive community outreach and educational programming, including classes, scholarships and Starlight’s Blue Star Awards, one of the largest high school musical theatre award programs in the nation. Located on 16 acres in Swope Park, Starlight’s venue includes rehearsal halls, gift store, club area for dining, concessions, gardens, fountains and a 10-story, climate-controlled stage. For more information, visit www.kcstarlight.com

About L-ACOUSTICS
L-ACOUSTICS is a leading innovator and manufacturer of high-performance loudspeakers, amplifiers and signal processing devices for touring and installed sound markets. Known around the globe for pioneering and championing the modern line array loudspeaker concept with V-DOSC, the company has received numerous accolades for its K1, K2, KUDO, KARA, KIVA, ARCS, XT coaxial loudspeaker systems and SB line of subwoofer enclosures, all powered and processed with the LA4 and LA8 amplified controllers in fulfillment of a “total system approach.” Product distribution and customer service for the USA is handled by L-ACOUSTICS’ subsidiary in Oxnard, CA.

Credit for all images: Bob Compton

# # #

Contact:
L-ACOUSTICS US
2201 Celsius Avenue, Unit E, Oxnard, CA 93030
Tel: 805.604.0577 / Fax: 805.604.0858
Email: info@l-acoustics-us.com / Web: www.l-acoustics.com

Santa Monica Pier’s Breathtaking View Accentuated by Pulsar

ChromaPoint floor lighting system installed at Tongva Park’s scenic Ocean Avenue overlooks

SANTA MONICA, California — Dramatic lighting always adds to the ambiance of public spaces at dusk as lovers take a romantic stroll, especially around a $42.3 million setting like Santa Monica’s Tongva Park.

Helping to create different, colorful moods for the park’s striking walkway, which opened last fall, Horton Lees Brogden (HLB) Lighting Design tapped lighting manufacturer Pulsar for key equipment.

According to HLB lighting designer Clifton Manahan, it was never a question which vendor would be selected for the project along two of Tongva Park’s scenic Ocean Avenue overlooks at the Santa Monica Palisades Garden Walk.

“At the time of design, Pulsar’s ChromaPoint IP66 was one of the only wet-rated miniature color-changing in-grade lights available on the market,” Manahan points out.

HLB ended up specifying 75 Pulsar ChromaPoints, which are weatherproof, as well as two Pulsar ChromaZone PSU/controllers, for the installation’s dramatically lit structures, which sit on the park’s western edge, just one block east of the famous Santa Monica Beach and Pier.

“The ChromaPoints were the right choice because their IP weatherproof rating is ideal for this salty outdoor setting. In addition to being durable, the ChromaPoint LEDs feature an exceptionally smooth color mix and excellent dimming curve,” comments Vicci Stewart, account executive with Entertainment Lighting Services (ELS), the dealer on the project.

Commenting about the environmental elements, HLB’s Manahan adds: “The light output and effect highlighted the architecture very well, and the color-changing ability allowed the owner to program special effects for events or holidays. The IP rating and marine grade stainless steel finish also will help with fixture longevity at this location right next to the ocean.”

Stewart notes that the setup, which was installed by Cupertino Electric, also called for a Nicolaudie computerized lighting controller programmed by ELS system engineer Rick Corley to scroll the static Pulsar LEDs through a variety of colors.

Adding flexibility and a creative flair, the color schemes may be reprogrammed as desired by the operator or client – in this case, the City of Santa Monica.

HLB has done a fair amount of public park or plaza-type projects, although to Manahan’s knowledge it was the first time in the past few years that HLB’s Los Angeles office has used Pulsar fixtures.

Manahan credits Omar Arnold from Quantum Sales and Technology and Vinny Finnegan from Group One Limited, which distributes Pulsar in the U.S., with being “quite helpful in procuring samples for us and answering our questions or connecting us with the factory for further information when required.”

The Pulsar ChromaPoint is an extremely compact LED fixture that features three RGB TriColor emitters, which produce stunning mixed color right from the source. It is supplied with an optional opal disc and retaining O-ring that can be fitted internally to give an evenly illuminated disc of light rather than viewing the LEDs directly.

This tiny fixture has a wide viewing angle of 100 degrees making it ideal as a decorative point light source in architecture, interior design or stage and set design and is IP67 rated for temporary immersion up to 1 meter for 30 minutes max. The external ChromaZone power supply and LED driver allows for full DMX control of RGB levels, plus its numerous internal sequences provide impressive operation without the need for a dedicated external control system.

About Group One Ltd.
Group One Ltd. is a US importer and distributor for a number of professional audio and lighting manufacturers. The company’s audio division currently distributes Blue Sky powered nearfield monitors, DiGiCo digital mixing consoles, MC2 high quality innovative amplifiers, and XTA digital signal processing equipment. The lighting division currently distributes Avolites lighting control consoles, ElektraLite controllers and intelligent lighting, and Pulsar LED lighting.

# # #

Contact:
Pulsar / Group One Ltd.
70 Sea Lane, Farmingdale, NY 11735
Tel: 516.249.1399 / Fax: 516.249.8870
Email: sales@g1limited.com
Web: www.g1limited.com / www.pulsarlight.com

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Britney Spears Doubles Down on DiGiCo in Vegas

Marc Delcore, Britney: Piece of Me's musical director and keyboard player, seated at the DiGiCo SD10 house console with FOH engineer Robert "Cubby" Colby (left) and 3G Productions' Julio Valdez just outside the mixing bunker

Robert “Cubby” Colby and Johnny Balistrere both using SD Series desks for Britney: Piece of Me residency at Planet Hollywood’s AXIS theater

LAS VEGAS — Britney Spears is currently taking a break from touring, settling into a two-year residency on the Las Vegas Strip at Planet Hollywood’s AXIS theater, which was revamped for the purpose at a reported cost of $20 million with new staging, lighting, projection, and sound equipment, including a pair of DiGiCo digital audio mixing consoles. Britney: Piece of Me, which has already grossed nearly $18 million, brings a dance club atmosphere to the 4,600-seat theater, where the singer, backed by 14 dancers and a four-piece band, performs hits from her 15-year career.

Marc Delcore, the show’s musical director and keyboard player, appreciates the finesse with which veteran front-of-house engineer Robert “Cubby” Colby, using the DiGiCo SD10 console, is able to deliver every nuance of the band’s performance to the audience. “I spend as much time as I can during soundcheck with Cubby,” reports Delcore, who joined Spears in early 2000 as a keyboard sound designer and programmer before first appearing onstage with her on the 2009 Circus tour. “If I ask him to bump a track that might not be sitting where I need it, the flexibility to make that change but also keep what we just did is really important for me.”

According to Colby, the DiGiCo console’s snapshot functionality enables him to translate the tracks coming off stage, which have been carefully crafted by the musicians, to the audience. “With the help of virtual soundcheck and snapshots I’m able to recall sequenced tracks that are a very big part of a show like this, especially a dance show,” he says. “Britney sings every song live, but there are additional tracks when they’re doing the heavy dance numbers. Snapshots give Marc the security of knowing that these levels that they work on so hard translate to the live environment.”

“Britney pretty much has to stick to her script, but I have a lot of freedom to play different chords or different sounds,” continues Delcore. “Anything that the band throws at him, Cubby hears right away and he makes the adjustment. He catches everything and is able to make those adjustments with the console. It’s important for him to be able to make those changes on the fly. He’s such a great engineer.”

Monitor engineer Johnny Balistrere, generating 42 sends to side fills and wedges for Spears and the dancers, with in-ear feeds for the band, had not previously used a DiGiCo console. Once he learned that he would be using an SD5, Balistrere spent some time on the phone with Matt Larson, national sales manager at Group One, DiGiCo’s U.S. distributor, who also directed him to an online video tutorial. “It’s a great training video,” says Balistrere. “I was able to retain most of what I watched and apply it to this console. It’s the most impressive, well-thought-out console I have ever used in my career. You can operate it with ease.”

Balistrere continues, “It’s a very musical console. Certain things I want to be digital, certain things I want to be analog. The fact that I can customize digital and analog sounds in my mixes, separating inputs into a digital head amp or putting a DigiTube [tube emulation] on and making it a little more gritty, is one of the greatest features.”

By chaining effects, Balistrere is also able to deliver significant sound pressure levels to Spears’ wedges without having to worry about feedback, he says. “With condenser mics and headsets, I’ll take a vocal and send it to five or six effects, turn the sends down, and use them as vocal boosts with minimal effect. I’m able to get 112 or 113 dB, A-weighted, three feet from the wedges with her Crown CM-311A headset mic without even a hint of feedback. I’d never experienced that in my life until I used a DiGiCo console.”

Balistrere prefers to fix problem inputs at the source rather than use subtractive EQ. “But with the DiGiCo console I find I’m running even flatter EQs than I was previously in other consoles. So I can experiment more with my mic technique and placement, and not have to go right to the EQ section and cut it. It’s a very easy, precise, smooth console. I’ve got to say, it’s hard to go back to anything else!”

Julio Valdez, systems engineer and designer for 3G Productions – the rental house that supplied the show’s DiGiCo desks and d&b loudspeaker system – notes that the SD10 and SD5 were the natural choices for this massive production that is nightly drawing capacity crowds. “The sheer number of channels, pristine 96K sound, and ease of use were all huge factors in making these consoles the right gear for the job,” he says. “They say you’re only as good as your tools, but I really must compliment Cubby on the consistently exceptional mix he’s providing. He really makes the SD10 shine and I know he’s very happy with DiGiCo, as we all are.”

Cubby agrees: “My relationship with DiGiCo goes back to the company’s inception and I can honestly say that out of all of the digital consoles available to musical productions and mixers around the world, DiGiCo holds the key to undisputed audio quality and function. And with spill sets and other new features, the company continues to set the bar even higher. I love the SD10.”

“I also have to give a lot of credit to Marc Delcore,” he adds. “To be able to work on pursuing the best possible musical experience and audio quality with a musical director and keyboard player of his caliber really benefits this whole production. The same can be said of production manager Jason Danter, who has worked with Lady Gaga, Beyoncé and many others. Music is the number one focus of this production, and it has been a pleasure to be part of a show with such great audio facilities and a band that really cares about how it sounds.”

Britney: Piece of Me began its most recent leg on April 25. Following a summer break the show is scheduled to run through August into early September, tentatively wrapping up in February 2016.

About DiGiCo
DiGiCo is a UK-based manufacturer of some of the world’s most popular, successful and ground-breaking digital mixing consoles for the live, theatre, broadcast and post production industries and is exclusively distributed in the U.S. by Group One Ltd. of Farmingdale, New York. For more information, go to: www.DiGiCo.biz

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L-ACOUSTICS Grows North American Team With Three Hires

Left to right: André Pichette, Chris "Sully" Sullivan and David Brooks

David Brooks, André Pichette and Chris “Sully” Sullivan join L-ACOUSTICS US

OXNARD, California — Bolstering its commitment to both the permanent installation and touring markets, L-ACOUSTICS announces the strategic appointment of three new employees to its US team: David Brooks, André Pichette, and Chris “Sully” Sullivan. The announcement comes from Laurent Vaissié, General Manager, L-ACOUSTICS US.

Having served as Applications Engineer for L-ACOUSTICS’ worldwide headquarters in Marcoussis, France for the past nine years, David Brooks has now joined the Oxnard, California office as Applications Engineer, Touring Liaison, USA. With 30 years of experience to his credit – including running monitor mixes for N’Sync, among many other artists – Brooks is now tasked with providing additional support for touring clients, liaising with production and sound companies, and facilitating education for FOH and system engineers.

André Pichette, who most recently served as Director of Integration and Operations at Solotech Las Vegas since 2010, comes to L-ACOUSTICS as Head of Applications, Install, USA. Similarly bringing three decades of audio experience to his new role with the loudspeaker manufacturer, Pichette has performed audio design and engineering work for numerous Cirque du Soleil productions, Olympic Games, and high-profile tours like Billy Joel and Elton John, Backstreet Boys, and Barenaked Ladies over his career.

The new position of Application Engineer, East Coast, USA has now been filled by Chris “Sully” Sullivan, who previously served as Optimization Engineer for Elite Multimedia in addition to mixing touring FOH sound for Gary Allan, Luke Bryan, Joe Nichols, Jaci Velasquez, and Point of Grace. Involved with live sound for almost 30 years as well, Sully takes charge of L-ACOUSTICS’ first technical support position based on the East Coast for increased support and future development in the Northeast.

“L-ACOUSTICS US experienced a steep 74 percent growth in permanent installations in 2013, as well as a very strong demand from production rental companies for our variable curvature products following the introduction of K2,” says Vaissié. “As this trend continues into 2014, I am pleased to announce the appointments of David, André, and Sully to key strategic positions in support of our touring and installation clients, and dedicated local support in the Eastern US, respectively. These men each share a passion for uncompromised high-performance audio, education, and customer support that fits perfectly with our values. Benefiting from nearly 90 years of combined experience, our North American customers and end users can count on, now more than ever, premium support for their L-ACOUSTICS sound systems.”

L-ACOUSTICS is a leading innovator and manufacturer of high-performance loudspeakers, amplifiers and signal processing devices for touring and installed sound markets. Known around the globe for pioneering and championing the modern line array loudspeaker concept with V-DOSC, the company has received numerous accolades for its K1, K2, KUDO, KARA, KIVA, ARCS, XT coaxial loudspeaker systems and SB line of subwoofer enclosures, all powered and processed with the LA4 and LA8 amplified controllers in fulfillment of a “total system approach.” Product distribution and customer service for the USA is handled by L-ACOUSTICS’ subsidiary in Oxnard, CA.

# # #

Contact:
L-ACOUSTICS US
2201 Celsius Avenue, Unit E, Oxnard, CA 93030
Tel: 805.604.0577 / Fax: 805.604.0858
Email: info@l-acoustics-us.com / Web: www.l-acoustics.com

MerleFest 2014: The Tradition Continues with DiGiCo

Merle Haggard and his band performing on MerleFest 2014's Watson stage, which featured DiGiCo SD10 house and monitor desks (plus an SD11 for the adjacent Cabin stage)

SE Systems deploys numerous SD series consoles for 27th annual event

WILKESBORO, North Carolina — Country music superstars Alan Jackson and Merle Haggard, as well as bluegrass icons Dr. Ralph Stanley and Ricky Skaggs, were among the 130 acts over four days in late April whose tunes wafted pristinely from MerleFest 2014. As has been the case for the past 26 years, DiGiCo consoles processed much of the music emanating from the Wilkesboro, NC festival’s 13 stages, helping to cement MerleFest’s reputation as a highly celebrated perennial American music event.

MerleFest was founded in 1988 in memory of Eddy Merle Watson, son of bluegrass legend Doc Watson, as a fundraiser for Wilkes Community College and to celebrate “traditional plus” music, a term coined by Doc Watson to describe the wide variety of musical genres and styles celebrated at MerleFest.

Since the festival’s beginnings, Greensboro-based SE Systems has been handling sound for MerleFest. SE Systems CEO and Founder Cliff Miller was working with Doc Watson at the time and helped put the audio production in place for the first MerleFest, which was quaintly mounted on the back of a flatbed.

Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder mixed via a pair of DiGiCo SD10 desks on the Watson stage of MerleFest 2014

Sound quality is SE Systems’ primary consideration in anointing DiGiCo as its console supplier of choice. “The SD10s have been our workhorse for the last few years; they just sound great,” says Miller, a pro sound pro, as well as a first-rate musician himself; after Merle died in a tractor accident, Miller started filling in on guitar at many of Doc’s gigs.

DiGiCo consoles, according to SE Systems Media Relations Director Bryan Smith, are ideally suited for country music and bluegrass. “Acoustic instruments come across in a very natural way,” he says. “When you put acoustic instruments in front of a mic, you don’t want the preamps, effects or processing to change the sound. Cliff carried the DiGiCo SD10s on tour with Alison Krauss and we currently have two out with her now. When you’re mixing the number one female Grammy Award winner, it better sound good. The DiGiCos have proved that night after night.”

He goes on to explain that the DiGiCo boards are “very transparent and sound like the old analog desks.” When comparing digital consoles, DiGiCo’s 96KHz performance was “what also helped us decide on the SD10s. All of the plug-ins and effects work perfectly and it’s a fairly easy console for guest engineers to mix on in a festival situation. We also see DiGiCo on many of the artist’s riders.” This detail was underscored by the fact that headliner Alan Jackson brought in a DiGiCo SD8 for his Thursday night set.

On the main Doc & Merle Watson Theatre stage this year, two DiGiCo SD10-36 consoles were used for mains and monitors. The adjacent Cabin stage, which was used for smaller acts while the primary stage was reset, featured a compact SD11 to mix mains and monitors and was positioned next to the primary stage SD10 FOH desk. Smith describes the SD11 as “a great small rack mount mixer with all of the ‘big boy’ features.”

Scythian and a DiGiCo SD9 monitor console in action at the MerleFest 2014 Dance stage (photo credit: Todd Dupree)

The Creekside stage used two SD10-24s for mains and monitors, while the Dance stage used two SD9s for mains and monitors. “This was the first year we used the SD9 at this stage,” Smith notes. “It worked fantastic; all the guest engineers loved it.”

An additional DiGiCo SD9 was used in the recording trailer. With every DiGiCo console deployed using either a D-Rack or SD Rack, all stages had fiber runs and SE recorded everything to a Live Tracker for archival purposes.

That DiGiCo still figures prominently in the MerleFest gear complement is hardly a surprise. Three years ago Miller bought two SD10s – SE Systems’ first DiGiCos, not to mention the first SD10 desks in the US – sight unseen. “I have been in the industry for a very long time and this was the first time that I ever purchased two new consoles without even putting my fingers on the faders! The sound quality is the best I’ve ever heard in a digital console, surpassing most analog consoles. The SD10 can be configured to operate like any old favorite console, but with hundreds more features,” he says.

About DiGiCo
DiGiCo is a UK-based manufacturer of some of the world’s most popular, successful and ground-breaking digital mixing consoles for the live, theatre, broadcast and post production industries and is exclusively distributed in the U.S. by Group One Ltd. of Farmingdale, New York. For more information, go to: www.DiGiCo.biz

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Salina’s Bicentennial Center Salutes L-ACOUSTICS

The Salina Bombers play a home game in the venue

Parkway Communications updates 7,500-seat arena’s sound with ARCS WIFO arrays

SALINA, Kansas — For the past 35 years, the 7,500-seat multipurpose Bicentennial Center Arena in Salina, Kansas has hosted everything from concerts, theatre, circuses and civic events to rodeos, basketball, roller derby and home games for the local Salina Bombers, champions of the Professional Indoor Football League. But while the venue has undergone a number of changes over the years, the original sound system remained in place until Parkway Communications recently installed a new L-ACOUSTICS ARCS WIDE and ARCS FOCUS loudspeaker rig – aka “WIFO” – for the city-owned venue, which is managed by Philadelphia-based Global Spectrum. more

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