A virtual press conference from Sound & Video Contractor

Archive by Heather Davis

DIVERSITY FIN ANTENNA ON TOUR WITH BRYAN ADAMS

VANCOUVER, CANADA – JULY 2013: Veteran monitor mixer and founder of Vancouver-based audio company Gearforce, Robert Nevalainen ensures the many channels of wireless audio systems used on Bryan Adams’ international tours function flawlessly. After reading an article on polarization diversity for wireless microphone antennas, Nevalainen decided to evaluate the Diversity Fin cross-polarized antenna, from RF Venue, against other directional antennas while on a six-city tour through Australia. “We did an A to B type test comparing the Diversity Fin against our stock Shure and Sennheiser systems, and were quite impressed,” Nevalainen remembers.

“Gearforce supplies Bryan Adams with our universal tour kit which now includes RF Venue’s Diversity Fin,” says Nevalainen. “The kit also includes seven wireless channels using Shure UHRF receivers and UA845 amplifiers. Both Adams and lead guitarist Keith Scott use UR-1 body-pack transmitters with U845 combiners. For personal wireless monitoring they use Shure PSM1000s with a PA821A combiner.”

“I carry this exact same equipment around the world with me. So, when we change out a piece, its quite easy to see how well it works, because everything is known,” Nevalainen states. “In addition to its reliability and predictability, the Diversity Fin worked well because of its compact footprint in our congested left stage area. We were also quite pleased with the reduction in switching noise. The antenna basically forces the diversity receiver to choose between signals less frequently, and as a result you get more silent switching.”

Nevalainen has just returned from a series of June stadium shows in Denmark. “We have now been using the Diversity Fin exclusively with Bryan’s guitar setup,” he reports. “It has really simplified our setup and given us very reliable and predictable directional antenna coverage.”

ABOUT RF VENUE RF Venue manufactures wireless audio equipment including remote antennas, RF distribution equipment, and cable assemblies. The company’s primary antenna products include the interference mitigating RF Spotlight, the lightweight foldable helical antenna CP Beam, and the polarization diversity antenna dubbed Diversity Fin. For more information visit: www.RFvenue.com

METRIC HALO ANNOUNCES 2013 SUMMER SALE: BEST PRICES EVER

WHAT: Metric Halo announces their 2013 Summer Sale Extravaganza, running now until September 15, 2013. Featuring the best deals ever offered on Metric Halo’s award-winning products, the 2013 Summer Sale provides you with an excellent opportunity to experience Metric Halo’s legendary quality first-hand.

A 30-day, money-back guarantee backs Metric Halo’s hardware products so you can try them out in your studio with no risk. Metric Halo also provides a free 30-day demo for its software products, so you can try before you buy.

WHY: If you’ve been lusting after a Metric Halo interface, but it was just beyond your reach, Metric Halo’s announcement of the 2013 Summer Sale is great news for you!

WHO: Metric Halo provides the world with high-resolution metering, analysis, recording and processing solutions with award-winning software and hardware.

WHEN: Now until September 15, 2013

WHERE: Metric Halo products are available during the Summer Sale from authorized dealers worldwide (http://mhsecure.com/metric_halo/buy/dealers.html) and direct from Metric Halo (https://www.mhsecure.com/mhdirect/home.php)

ABOUT METRIC HALO Now based in the sunny city of Safety Harbor, Florida, Metric Halo provides the world with high-resolution metering, analysis, recording and processing solutions with award-winning software and future-proof hardware.

www.mhlabs.com

ASHLY AUDIO PRODUCTS NOW ALLOW USER CONTROL FROM APPLE iPAD, iPAD MINI, iPHONE, & iPOD TOUCH DEVICES VIA KEY DIGITAL’S COMPASS CONTROL TECHNOLOGY

WEBSTER, NEW YORK – JULY 2013: Ashly Audio is pleased to announce that all of its processors and amplifiers with Ethernet or RS-232 control capability are now compatible with Key Digital’s Compass Control Technology, which allows end-user control from Apple’s ubiquitous iPad, iPad Mini, iPhone, and iPod Touch wireless devices. Because many users already own these devices, offering user control via Apple’s wireless iOS products is both cost-effective and convenient. Moreover, the “wow factor” is sure to impress clients and win more work via word of mouth.

The Ashly Audio products that integrate with Compass Control include the ne24.24M modular matrix processor; the ne4400, ne4800, & ne8800 processors; the Protea 3.6SP & 4.8SP processors; the ne800, ne1600, ne2400, ne4250, & ne8250 amplifiers; the nXe & nXp amplifiers; and all Pema integrated processor/amplifiers. “In this age of highly integrated A/V systems, we at Ashly Audio are excited to be able to give our customers yet another means of controlling their pro sound equipment via Compass Control® and Apple iOS devices,” said Ashly CEO Mark Wentling.

“Resulting from cooperative efforts between Ashly and Key Digital, the integration of its audio products within the Compass Control® environment represents a powerful and user-friendly comprehensive solution delivering iOS-based control and entertainment functionality,” said Key Digital’s Vice President of Sales, Michael Lakhter. “The Compass Alliance™ Partners have come together to create a system that has full-driver integration already completed, increasing efficiency for integrators.”

ABOUT ASHLY AUDIO Ashly Audio Inc. is recognized as a world leader in the design and manufacturing of high quality & high performance signal processing equipment and power amplification for use in the commercial sound contracting and professional audio markets. The 37-year old company is headquartered in Webster, New York U.S.A. www.ashly.com

KANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY DANCES WITH ASHLY’S NE800.70PE AMPLIFIER

MANHATTAN, KANSAS – JUNE 2013: Nichols Hall was originally built in 1911 on the campus of Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas. With its façade patterned after a medieval castle, Nichols hall stood until 1968, when an arsonist reduced its interior to ashes. Spared from the wrecking ball by student protests, it returned to service in 1985 and today houses, among many other things, two of the dance programs studios. Recently, Cytek Media Systems of Topeka, Kansas pulled out the studios’ tired old sound playback systems and replaced them with new, reliable ones centered on the flexible Ashly ne800.70pe two-channel amplifier with optional on-board Protea™ digital signal processing.

“Apart from its age, the old sound system wasn’t really living up to modern expectations for what a sound system should do,” explained Joe Greene, pro audio manager at Cytek Media Systems. “Not only did we need to give them a system that would work, we needed to give them a system that would work well and that would work well far into the future.” Each room is approximately 80 feet by 40 feet with a twelve-foot ceiling. The walls are mirrored but can be covered by curtains for black box theater applications. A small existing mixer in each room serves as a familiar user interface for each system. Its output feeds an Ashly ne800.70pe, a two-channel network amplifier rated at 400W into a 70V line featuring a built-in Protea DSP Processor. One amplifier output feeds the new full-range SoundTube CM82-EZ loudspeakers, while the other powers the new SoundTube CM1001d-T subwoofers.

“I’ve been working with Ashly products for over thirty years,” said Greene. “Ashly equipment simply does not fail. It’s trustworthy to the bone. Kansas State’s dance program can expect years and years of faithful service from the new system. From my end, it was intuitive to set up and work with. The onboard processing is very convenient. It’s easy to get in, and although it’s loaded with cutting-edge technology, it’s not rocket science to get done what needs to get done. In addition, Ashly is one of the few companies that has not only stayed on top of the latest connectivity and features, but has also maintained excellent audio quality.”

When Greene checked back with the University staff, they indicated how pleased they were with the new system’s performance. “Since then, I haven’t heard from them,” Greene laughed. “In this day and age, that’s always a great sign!”

ABOUT ASHLY AUDIO Ashly Audio Inc. is recognized as a world leader in the design and manufacturing of high quality & high performance signal processing equipment and power amplification for use in the commercial sound contracting and professional audio markets. The 37-year old company is headquartered in Webster, New York U.S.A. www.ashly.com

A SINGLE DANLEY SOUND LABS BC412 SUBWOOFER MOVES 10,000 SEATS

ST. CHARLES, MISSOURI – JUNE 2013: Built in 1999, Family Arena in St. Charles, Missouri hosts hockey, basketball, soccer, exhibitions, circuses, concerts, and more. It seats about 10,000 spectators, and, until recently, the main components of its sound system hung from a central scoreboard. However, the newly formed Missouri Monsters indoor football team will begin playing at Family Arena this year, and the central scoreboard hung too low for regulation play. In the process of removing the scoreboard and hanging the loudspeakers from a higher grid, the arena’s owners recognized the need for bass extension; the existing system only fell to about 200Hz. Given limited space to occupy and a vast space to fill, Chip Self, president of Logic Systems Sound and Lighting, Inc, contacted Danley Sound Labs and is now responsible for the installation of one of the first Danley BC412 installations in the world. Outrageous output for its size puts the BC412 in a class all its own.

“Apart from the general improvement low end would give to all of Family Arena’s events, the football team would be playing a lot of contemporary music that wouldn’t sound right without good low-end reproduction,” said Self. “But given architectural constraints and the indoor football requirements, the only space we had in which we could place a subwoofer was about 6’ x 6’ x 2’. That’s a very small space for the coverage requirement of 10,000 seats.”

Given Danley Sound Labs’ knack for pulling off magic tricks with innovative subwoofer designs, Self contacted Danley President Mike Hedden. The application was perfect for the newly created Danley BC412. “The other requirement we had for the sub was that it had to be able to take a direct hit from a football for safety reasons,” explained Self. “Most subs have a simple grill, and it’s not hard to knock it off with a football if you try. In contrast, the BC412 uses all internal drivers, so that kind of damage is a non-issue. But really, what makes the BC412 special in this situation is its tremendous output for its size.”

The existing loudspeakers were reused in the newly-raised system, as were existing Crown amplifiers. Because a few of the amplifier channels had failed, Self collected and reassigned functioning channels to existing loudspeakers. A new Lab.gruppen four-channel amplifier powers the BC412, which Danley custom built to accept four amplifier channels. Given its down-firing placement near the ceiling, the BC412 exhibits a 180-deg conical pattern, which delivers energy to the seats and not to the ceiling.

“Family Arena’s owners and staff love the new low end,” said Self. “It’s amazing what robust low end can do for a system like this. Everyone who hears it is astonished that so much bass is emanating from just one subwoofer!”

ABOUT DANLEY SOUND LABS Danley Sound Labs is the exclusive home of Tom Danley, one of the most innovative loudspeaker designers in the industry today and recognized worldwide as a pioneer for “outside the box” thinking in professional audio technology. www.danleysoundlabs.com

SYMETRIX CEO MARSHALL CONFIRMED

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – JUNE 26, 2013: Symetrix announces today the appointment of Mary Marshall to the position of CEO. Marshall has worked in an advisory role with Symetrix for many years and has been an integral part of the management team. As CEO she will be able to bring her experience as a leader and strategic driver to the forefront of the Symetrix story. Marshall’s experience includes growing companies from the ground up, owning and operating multiple businesses, orchestrating corporate financial planning, and designing and executing business development strategies. Recently, Marshall ran the U.S. Western Division of Vistage International, running business development programs, leadership development programs, and working with hundreds of companies and their leaders through Visage’s network of partners.

“Symetrix is perfectly positioned to move to the next level with our strong product line and the most dynamic team in the industry. After decades of building our brand we are excited to include Mary’s successful track record as a change agent and a builder of companies,” said Dane Butcher, Symetrix Chairman.

ABOUT SYMETRIX Symetrix is dedicated to making life sound better. As a world leader in the development and manufacturing of digital audio signal processing (DSP) systems and accessories, Symetrix provides best in class audio management solutions to businesses, schools, non-profits and government organizations. Please visit www.symetrix.co for more information.

BEHIND THE SCENES IN THE BIG WEB 2.0 COMPANY CONFERENCE ROOMS WITH SYMNET AEC EQUIPPED EDGE DSP

SUNNYVALE, CALIFORNIA – JUNE 2013: Headquartered in Silicon Valley, Thresher Communications has been designing and installing cutting-edge corporate A/V systems since 1995. It’s commitment to building cost-effective, simple, and powerful audio/video systems has made Thresher the go to A/V contractor for rising star Web 2.0 companies. Pick almost any big Internet name: it’s likely on Threshers’ client list. Longtime champions of Symetrix SymNet DSP technology, the company has seized on Dante networking and the advanced acoustic echo cancellation (AEC) technology of SymNet Edge to further simplify and enhance the systems it installs.

“We’re all about the ubiquity of A/V,” said Dave Haynes, vice president of engineering. “Our goal is to build systems that are immersive and fun for the end user yet simple and reliable for the IT staffs that maintain them.

Haynes sites SymNet Composer open architecture software and the Edge DSP frame with AEC option cards as key components. “Edge hardware and software are completely flexible, allowing us to customize each system to meet the precise needs of the client,” he said. “The Composer software is fast and easy to use. Our guys can make client directed changes on site without having to bog things down with change orders.”

The fact that SymNet Edge uses the Dante network audio protocol dramatically streamlines Threshers’ designs. “Shure has also embraced the Dante protocol, and so these days most of our installations involve Shure wireless microphones with SymNet Edge processors,” Haynes added. “The Shure ULX system and the forthcoming MXP system deliver output from a ceiling-mounted wireless receiver via Dante. Of course, Shure also sells hardware that converts that Dante stream into other audio formats, but we bypass that by going straight into SymNet Edge with Shure’s Dante output. The simplification is tremendous. We roll out a few of those systems a month.”

Advanced AEC processing is also a critical component of Thresher Communications installations. “Most of the Web 2.0 companies go for a ‘European look’ in their offices and meeting rooms,” said Haynes. “We’re often dealing with spaces that are nothing but brick, concrete, and glass surrounding a large hardwood table. The RT60 times can approach two seconds! That’s challenging for any AEC algorithm, but Symetrix’ processing deals with it effectively. Almost without exception, we place separate AEC processing on each microphone for the best results.”

With the march of technology led by Symetrix and other pioneering companies, the systems that Thresher Communications designs and installs are becoming smaller, more reliable, more intuitive and more powerful. “It used to be that A/V contractors tried to oversell clients on hardware as much as possible,” said Haynes. “Audio/video was thought to be expensive and complicated. Apart from questionable ethics, overselling sacrifices long-term client relationships for short-term gains. We built Thresher Communications with a smarter approach, and now clients in general have become more savvy.” Of course, Thresher Communications maintains its edge… with the help of the SymNet Edge!

ABOUT SYMETRIX Symetrix is dedicated to making life sound better. As a world leader in the development and manufacturing of digital audio signal processing (DSP) systems and accessories, Symetrix provides best in class audio management solutions to businesses, schools, non-profits and government organizations.

For more information on Symetrix products visit www.symetrix.co

UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA GOLDEN GOPHERS ENJOY NEW LOCKER ROOM SOUND SYSTEM WITH SYMETRIX JUPITER 4 APP BASED TURN-KEY DSP

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA – JUNE 2013: Four years ago, the University of Minnesota’s Golden Gophers men’s football team moved into the TCF Bank Stadium, a brand new, on-campus football stadium that seats 51,000. Around the same time, the completion of a new athletic facility, the Gibson-Nagurski Football Complex, provided a new home for the team, its coaches, and its support staff. After a few years settling in, the team requested improvements to the audio playback system in the complex’ locker room, where the players often hang out between classes and practices. Alpha Video & Audio of nearby Edina, Minnesota designed and installed a cost-effective, new system centered on the powerful, but easy to use, Symetrix Jupiter 4 app based turn-key DSP.

“The school was revamping the locker room and wanted the improvements completed in time for recruiting season,” said Darren Whitten, account representative for Alpha Video Sports and Entertainment. “The existing flat panels and the sound system were underperforming, in part because the system had no subwoofers and in part because the players had blown some of the components by driving it too hard. Also, the system regularly disturbed the coaches and other personnel in the adjoining offices. So they wanted a system that sounded better but that was also limited so that no one nearby would be disturbed.”

The new audio system starts with two iPod docks, a DirecTV input, and a cable input. Those feed the four inputs on the Symetrix Jupiter 4 DSP, which uses the freely-downloaded “Sound Reinforcement 5” app to provide modest input conditioning, hard limiting to keep the volume in check, and user control. Three Lab.gruppen E4:2 amplifiers and three Lab.gruppen E12:2 amplifiers power a distributed array of Tannoy Di8 DC full-range loudspeakers and Tannoy VS10 BP subwoofers. Flat screen TVs deliver clear visual content throughout the locker room.

A Symetrix ARC-2e wall panel remote located in the locker room gives the players intuitive control of the input source and volume. A second ARC-2e located in the coach’s office gives him override control of the system. When they installed the system, Alpha Video & Audio tested various volume selections and dialed in the limiting so that no one would be disturbed by the players’ music. However, the university’s A/V staff expressed interest in being able to make adjustments on their own. “The Symetrix Jupiter 4 DSP is very easy to set up and very easy to adjust,” said Brad Horbal of Bormann Marketing, Inc., the local Symetrix rep. “I knew the school A/V staff would be able to get into the program and make adjustments without a problem.”

Now that the men’s football team has a clean, updated sound system for its locker room, other University of Minnesota teams, including volleyball, gymnastics, and hockey, are contacting Alpha Video & Audio to get updated systems of their own!

ABOUT SYMETRIX Symetrix engineers high-end professional audio solutions, specializing in DSP hardware and software. Symetrix products are distributed worldwide, and designed and manufactured in the U.S. at the Seattle area headquarters. Since 1976, customers have enjoyed the benefits of Symetrix independent ownership and management. For more information on Symetrix professional audio products, please visit www.symetrix.co or call +1 (425) 778-7728.

ASHLY AUDIO PROCESSING AND AMPLIFICATION MAXIMIZE VALUE FOR NEW CHRIST BAPTIST CHURCH SANCTUARY

RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA – JUNE 2013: Christ Baptist Church in Raleigh, North Carolina branched off of nearby Providence Baptist Church. For many years, Christ Baptist used a converted office building as their worship center until funds could be raised to build a sanctuary that would serve the needs of the fledgling church for decades to come. That time arrived recently, and now Christ Baptist Church has a 1,200-seat sanctuary with a 150-seat choir. A/V integration firm Provision Audio/Video Services of Rolesville, North Carolina designed and installed a first-rate sound reinforcement system for the new sanctuary, relying on Ashly Audio amplifiers and processing, along with a custom Ashly GUI to give the church reliable, high-performance audio for the long haul.

“Christ Baptist Church is a very traditional Baptist church,” said John Linden, managing owner of Provision AVS. “Their music is primarily orchestral and choral with a sixteen voice organ. The church wanted an appropriate acoustic space to support their worship style.” A digital snake from the stage feeds a DiGiCo SD9 digital console at FOH. The main sound reinforcement system is comprised of a pair of Renkus Heinz ICLive-Dual steerable column arrays. Two Danley TH-212 subwoofers provide deep low-end support while simultaneously delivering “tight low-end that punches,” in the words of Linden. A pair of Ashly KLR-3200 dual-channel amplifiers, each running in bridged mono mode, power the subwoofers.

“We went with Ashly amplification based on its sound quality and value,” said Linden. “They have a low-noise floor and clean output. Ashly’s great range of options and formats, including big, beefy amps like the KLR-3200 allowed us to order the power we need. On Ashly’s ne Amplifiers, we can add DSP as needed and specify the input configuration. The ne Series includes networking capability. It’s like having a huge menu of options, and we can pick exactly the right combination of features so as to maximize system performance at the minimum cost. Reliability is also a factor. In the many years we’ve been using them, we’ve had very few problems. In fact, we have never had an Ashly amp fail.”

Two Ashly ne8800 Protea DSPs provide all of the necessary processing for the main system. To complement the formats on the upstream devices, one is outfitted with standard analog inputs, whereas the other is outfitted with AES/EBU digital inputs. One ne8800 handles all of the processing requirements for the main system, including the subwoofers. The other handles all of the processing requirements for the floor monitors and satellite systems. “The sound quality on the Ashly processors is impeccable; they’re very musical,” said Linden. “They’re easy to program and operate and are a remarkable value for the church.” In addition to input control at the DiGiCo console, the FOH operator can remotely control the Ashly DSP via multiple pages of intuitive, custom GUIs that determine the operation of the main system and the various systems that support it.

Four K-array KV50 miniature column loudspeakers powered by an Ashly ne800 amplifier provide front- and side-fill for the main system. Thirty-three 70-volt SoundTube SM31 loudspeakers cover the choir loft. An Ashly ne8250.70pe not only provides power, its optional on-board DSP allowed Provision to custom tailor the frequency and dynamic response across eight separate zones in the choir loft. Similarly, an Ashly ne4250.70pe amplifier with optional DSP controls an overflow system in the adjoining Fellowship Hall. Finally, a pair of Ashly KLR-2000 amplifiers powers the smaller systems in the adjacent choir room and the gathering hall.

ABOUT ASHLY AUDIO Ashly Audio Inc. is recognized as a world leader in the design and manufacturing of high quality & high performance signal processing equipment and power amplification for use in the commercial sound contracting and professional audio markets. The 37-year old company is headquartered in Webster, New York U.S.A. www.ashly.com

API 1608 VENTURES INTO THE CANADIAN NORTH

QUEBEC, CANADA – JUNE 2013: When singer-songwriter Florent Vollant updated his studio, it was a 32-channel API 1608 console that found its home in an interesting place in the far north. Established in 1997, Vollant’s Studio Makusham is located in Mani-Utenam, Quebec, Canada, a part of the Innu Reserve, where over 3,000 indigenous people reside.

Florent Vollant’s music history runs deep. He has released three albums in his Innu-language and is well-known in the Inuit community. His Christmas album, Nipaiamianan, received a blessing from Pope John Paul II and the Juno Award for Aboriginal Recording of the Year in 2001. Throughout the years, Studio Makusham was very interested in API gear and finally, in December 2012, they made a major upgrade to the facility, acquiring an automated 1608 console through API’s dealer Studio Economik in Montréal.

“The Makusham home – it is the traditional dance, this is a gathering, a feast, a celebration of the rhythms Teuaikan. I am pleased to invite you to this place of creation to live an experience of freedom, sharing, exchange and respect for the music of the world,” said Vollant of Studio Makusham.

The first endeavor on the console was Vollant’s upcoming album, but the 1608 has also lent its capabilities to Quebec recording artists such as Richard Seguin and many others. “The sound is very pleasant and surprising and the build quality is undeniable,” said Volant. “Thanks to Marc-Andre at Studio Economik for consulting on the deal. We are extremely happy customers!”

ABOUT API (AUTOMATED PROCESSES, INC.) Established more than 40 years ago, Automated Processes, Inc. is the leader in analog recording gear with the Vision, Legacy Series and 1608 recording consoles, as well as its classic line of modular signal processing equipment.

www.apiaudio.com

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