A virtual press conference from Sound & Video Contractor

Archive by Heather Davis

dB AUDIO AND VIDEO INTEGRATES A/V AT FORWARD-THINKING HALL COUNTY SCHOOLS

ATLANTA, GEORGIA – MAY 2013: Exceptional by any standard, the Academies of Discovery and the Da Vinci Academy are pioneering schools in Hall County, just northeast of Atlanta, Georgia. The Academies of Discovery is dedicated to multi-cultural and language education, whereas the Da Vinci Academy is dedicated to the arts, technology, and science. The schools occupy opposite sides of the same building and share a common area between them. A/V integration firm dB Audio & Video also of Gainesville recently helped the schools update their educational technologies. The classrooms now possess innovative instructor and student computer displays, and the common area now possesses theatrical, musical, and distributed audio, broadcast video, control/automations, a video wall, and multifunctional tabletop connectivity for various laptop and wireless tablet usage. Each component of the renovation has a specific purpose, yet all function within an integrated whole.

At first glance, each classroom looks like any other classroom. However, a closer inspection reveals a 65-inch Samsung ME65B with touch screen overlay and two “input stations,” one for the student and one at the teacher’s desk. These inputs go to the FSR CB-22 ceiling box with both a Pocket Navigator VGA with audio switching device, as well as a HDMI switcher. From these devices, a user can display laptop content and annotate over, save, and recall any document or video from the school’s server.

The commons area is a unique combination of black-box theater, corporate presentation center, and public transportation hub. Its most obvious attraction is a huge video wall composed of Samsung’s ultra-thin bezel UD55A HDTV monitors. This video wall content is fed from multiple input locations around the wall via the Crestron DM-MD8x8 Digital Media matrix switcher. These inputs include multiple HDMI and VGA with audio inputs, as well as the school’s Safari streaming media systems, a Samsung BD-E5700 Blu-ray player, and a mixed camera feed from a Panasonic TV Studio. All the resources are controlled from a Crestron Pro2 via a TPS-6X dockable wireless touch panel. Audio resources include a Tascam CD-200i CD player and iPod dock, two wired microphone inputs, and two Sennheiser wireless microphone systems. A 64-channel Allen & Heath GLD digital mixer comes on line in theatrical mode.

The commons area audio speaker system consists of a single Danley SH-100B full-range loudspeaker for the main content, two Danley SH-100 loudspeakers for fill, and a single Danley TH-112 subwoofer. The unparalleled performance of the Danley boxes delivers tremendous gain before feedback (a must in black box theater performances), as well as unmatched frequency response and phase coherency. The net effect is increased intelligibility in the vocal range and heart-pounding low end. The speaker system is driven by a complement of Crown amplifiers and Bi-Amp Nexia CS DSP. In the theatrical mode, the commons area uses the Allen & Health GLD-80 digital mixer with full automation and scene recall. The ZED mixer and Genelec monitors are used in the TV production studio with their own mix of all the audio inputs and sources.

The all-LED Elation EAR495 theatrical lighting system provides for numerous scenes of display as well as colors, while delivering the school’s request for low power consumption efficiency. Included in this “green” initiative project are also two Design Spot 250P moving lights for programmed lighting effects, as well as spot light positioning for the talent anywhere on the floor. Two options for controlling these LED lights are from either a simple DMX Operator192 light board or a more involved computer-based CompuLive program.

The school’s full HD broadcast television studio rivals many higher education facilities. Primarily a Panasonic project, this system touts two AG-AC160 studio HDSDI cameras and two AW-HE50SN pan/tilt/zoom cameras with AW-RP50 controller connected via a router to the AWHS50 sub-compact HDSDI live switcher with multi-viewer output. An AJA KI-PRO-Ro provides digital file recording on Apple ProRes 422 format, allowing students to shoot nearly any program, presentation, or theatrical performance, stream it live to the school’s Safari system, and then edit for archival or streaming later. A Clear-Com MS-232 two-channel communications system allows the producer to communicate with the video camera operators and the audio production team. The audio production team uses an Allen & Heath ZED22FX mixing console and two Genelec 8030a studio monitors.

“This has been an incredibly challenging project,” stated Neil Philpott, dB Audio & Video’s Systems Advisor for the entire project. “We spent countless hours discussing the project with Aaron Turpin, Hall County’s technology director, working through construction and infrastructure issues, and determining exactly what functionality would be required to meet the vision of the schools’ and county Administrators’ expectations. All in all, this was a project that raises the bar, not only for dB as a company, but also for the entire state. I believe this is the blueprint for many schools to come.”

ABOUT dB AUDIO AND VIDEO dB Audio and Video is a Gainesville, Georgia-based design/build technologies integrator specializing in audio and acoustics, broadcast and presentation video, digital signage, and control automation for houses of worship, schools, sports arenas, government and military. For more information visit: www.dbaudioandvideo.com

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

SEE DANLEY AT INFOCOMM BOOTH #143 • COME TO HEAR THE OS80 IN DEMO ROOM W203B

CARVER SPORTS COMPLEX HITS A TRIPLE: ASHLY PROCESSING, ASHLY AMPLIFICATION, AND ASHLY USER CONTROL

NEOSHO, MISSOURI – MAY 2013: Neosho, Missouri serves as the western gateway to the Ozark Mountains. Recently, the Neosho R-5 School District initiated a multi-phase plan to convert an open field adjacent to Carver Elementary School into a sports complex with two baseball/softball diamonds and a soccer field. Lance Brummett at Warren Smith & Associates, Consulting Engineer P.C. (Tulsa, Oklahoma) designed the electrical infrastructure for what will be known as the Carver Sports Complex. Nate Pugh, project supervisor and Vince Hightower, installation foreman of Total Electronics Contracting (Joplin, Missouri) oversaw its installation. In order to provide the district with reliable, affordable sound reinforcement for the sports complex, Ashly Audio processing, amplification, and user control forms its core.

“Although they only have the first softball field completed, we have already installed the audio systems that will cover both ball fields,” said Pugh. A pair of Community R.5 loudspeakers covers each field (four loudspeakers total) from atop a concessions stand that resides between the two fields. A single Ashly KLR-2000, rated at 1000W on each of two channels, powers the system, one channel per field. An Ashly ne24.24M processor handles all of the input management, signal processing and routing logic for both fields. Because it has a modular I/O design, the ne24.24M is perfectly tailored to the complex’s needs. Twelve inputs collect six identical sources from each field, and four outputs feed the amplifier with two spares.

“This was my first experience using the Ashly ne24.24M processor,” said Hightower. “After just an hour with it at the shop, I felt completely comfortable and ready to take it to the field. It went in easily and without a hiccup. The fact that it’s modular is nice; we were able to give them what they needed without wasting a lot of untapped potential. The Ashly KLR-2000 is a great sounding amp. It’s nice and clean and promises to deliver reliable sound for a long time to come.”

A pair of Ashly FR-8 Network 8-Channel Remote Faders provide simple, intuitive user control of source volume and muting, as well as output volume for each field. Because the FR-8 connects to the ne24.24M with just a simple Ethernet jack, installation was a snap. Input sources are identical for each field and include a tuner, a Marantz CD/iPod player, an ElectroVoice wireless microphone, a Shure wired announcer microphone, and an additional microphone jack. Furman sequencing provides power to the system in a Middle Atlantic rack.

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

STOP BY AND SEE ASHLY AT INFOCOMM BOOTH #335

SYMETRIX PROMOTES HOCK THANG TO REGIONAL SALES MANAGER ASIA/PACIFIC

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – MAY 2013: Spurred by Symetrix’ increasing global presence and the rise of a robust Asian market, former Symetrix Technical Sales Engineer Hock Thang has been promoted to the newly-created position of Regional Sales Manager – Asia / Pacific. Based in Singapore, Thang’s mastery of the Symetrix product line – including Jupiter app based turn-key DSP, Solus standalone fixed I/O DSP, as well as Edge and Radius Dante network audio DSP – has been winning Symetrix converts throughout the region.

“Since 2006, Hock has been an invaluable resource for Symetrix in Asia,” said Mark Ullrich, Symetrix international sales manager. “From his home base in Singapore, Hock has been providing trainings and superior support to the Asia-Pacific Symetrix distributor network. He will continue with this fully but will now also add new focus on strategic sales activities, territory management, and increased connection and support for our distribution partners.”

“I’m privileged to work with such a great team at Symetrix,” said Hock Thang. “Together with our extremely committed distribution partners I look forward to growing Symetrix further in my new role. As our products evolve and become more sophisticated and competitive, we must have the presence and sales infrastructure in place to support it. With the recent release of SymNet Radius AEC Dante network audio DSP, for example, I’ll be focusing heavily on growing the awareness of our full range of conferencing solutions. I look forward to working even more closely with distributors, consultants, and end-users alike, to continue to install superior Symetrix DSP products in the Asia-Pacific region.”

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.

JAY RUSTON, AN ESTABLISHED CHANNELSTRIP USER, ADDS METRIC HALO’S PRODUCTION BUNDLE PLUG-IN COLLECTION TO HIS UPDATED RIG

SAFETY HARBOR, FLORIDA – MAY 2013: Apart from being a seriously nice guy, veteran engineer and producer Jay Ruston is a monster talent behind a mixing console, be it physical or virtual. He’s been at it for twenty years and recently leveraged his seasoned perspective and sonic-smashing tricks to mix Anthrax’s return-to-form masterpiece Worship Music and Steel Panther’s much-lauded mocurockery Balls Out. Ruston took to Metric Halo’s ChannelStrip plug-in for those efforts, citing its musical sound and useful presets as part of what made those works so effective.

Even more recently, Ruston relented to the rising tide of incoming Pro Tools sessions that were incompatible with his “if-it-ain’t-broke-don’t-fix-it version” 7.4 and upgraded to 10. Associated with that giant leap and given Pro Tools 10’s move to AAX, he had to reconsider his plug-in pallet. “I was pleased with the results I was getting with Metric Halo’s ChannelStrip, and I saw that the company was now selling a Production Bundle of plug-ins,” he said. “I needed a de-esser, a multi-band compressor, an enhancer, and more. Coming from the same minds that made ChannelStrip, I figured the Production Bundle would be a good bet.” As it turns out, it was.

The upgrade to Pro Tools 10 was happening just as Ruston was finishing the mixes for the debut album from The Winery Dogs, a super group composed of Richie Kotzen (Mr. Big, Poison), Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big, David Lee Roth, Steve Vai), and Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater). He held on to the 7.4 mixes in order to give them one more tweak with the new system and the new Metric Halo plug-ins. “The vocals were critical, and after doing some basic equalization and compression with ChannelStrip, I used the Production Bundle’s Multiband Dynamics to smooth out the top end and upper midrange,” he said. “I’ve always used multiband compressors, and Metric Halo’s version is very effective. In addition, I cleaned up some sibilance with Metric Halo’s Precision DeEsser, and I’ve since found that it works just as well with female vocalists.”

Ruston used Metric Halo’s HaloVerb on Portnoy’s otherworldly drum tracks. “All of these Metric Halo plug-ins are so easy to use,” he said. “HaloVerb has only a handful of well-labeled knobs, and it immediately sounds good using any of the presets. I dialed in the sound using the presets as a starting point.” Those statements about HaloVerb generalized: “The Production Bundle is simple to look at and understand. The parameters are sensibly labeled with meaningful descriptions like ‘release’, ‘attack’, ‘Q’, and so on; none of those weird parameter names I find in other manufacturers’ plug-ins.” Despite the fact that The Winery Dogs recorded the album in Kotzen’s house, Ruston couldn’t be happier with the way the final mixes sound.

Of course, well-labeled parameters would only be appreciated on a plug-in that sounded fantastic, and Ruston described the Production Bundle by way of ChannelStrip. “ChannelStrip is so useable because it sounds so musical and pleasant,” he said. “I can slide the EQ curves around and it all sounds good. It’s just a matter of finding the most effective position given the track and everything else that’s happening in the mix. It can go from extremely broad and smooth to extremely tight and clinical, depending on what I need. All of the Metric Halo plug-ins share that same sonic quality – smooth, musical, and yet precise. They do what they’re supposed to do, like a piece of high-quality analog equipment. In that way, they’re also speedy, which is important because I like to work as quickly as possible.”

Ruston also used Multiband Dynamics, Precision DeEsser, HaloVerb, and, of course, ChannelStrip for the drums and vocals on Steel Panther’s follow-up to Balls Out. In addition, he’s had a chance to try out some of the other goodies in the Production Bundle. “The Character plug-in is versatile and sounds, to me, like tape emulation,” he said. “I can use it on bass, which adds some nice grind and really lets it tear. That’s especially useful with Steel Panther because they don’t always lay a rhythm guitar underneath a solo. Another trick I found was putting the snare and kick on a separate bus, compressing with ChannelStrip, and adding Character for drive. Then I mix that back in with the clean tracks to get a really punchy sound.” In addition, Ruston uses TransientControl to dial in percussive attack where needed.

“I know that a lot of mix engineers are anti-preset,” said Ruston. “Not me. I want the maker to show me what a plug-in was designed to do. I want to learn all the secret weapons and tricks that they built into it. The Metric Halo presets are totally usable. I can use the presets for a particular task or I can fire through them and listen for something that catches my ear. Either way, I usually dial things in from there.”

Ruston is excited to use the new Metric Halo Production Bundle on a live DVD for Anthrax that was recorded in Santiago, Chile. Previously, he had to rent rooms to do surround work, but now his system is set up for surround. “For the first time, I’ll be able to use all of my own stuff on a surround recording,” he said. “It’s gonna be great!”

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

BOX HILL INSTITUTE CHOOSES API 1608 FOR STUDIO R

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – MAY 2013: When the Box Hill Institute’s Centre for Creative Industries console needed replacing, they looked no further than the API 1608. The 32-channel console can be found in Studio R of the Institute’s Whitehorse campus in Melbourne, Australia. Here, students use the console to earn degrees in Applied Music, specializing in audio production courses that teach both analog and digital recording techniques.

Adam Quaife, former freelance engineer and producer, who is now a lecturer in audio production, heard of API in past professional experiences with other respected engineers and producers. “We searched for a new console that would give our students the very best experience of what analog audio could offer.” he said. The obvious choice was the API 1608.

The API 1608 was chosen for its quality of sound, level of control and solid build, as well as the reliability and timelessness of API’s products. “We are very happy with our choice of an API 1608. The sound of the console and the 550A EQ is awesome. The whole thing feels and functions like a high-quality studio instrument,” said Quaife. The department also uses other API products such as the 2500 stereo bus compressor, 5500 dual equalizer and the A2D mic pre amplifier.

“Box Hill institute has long been regarded as a great institution to study creative arts, audio production and music,” said Quaife. “Our students immediately appreciate the flexibility and quality of sound that this console brings to their productions.”

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

CRAIG RICHARDSON, Ph.D., JOINS SYMETRIX AS V.P. OF GLOBAL SALES

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – MAY 2013: Symetrix announces today the appointment of Craig Richardson to the position of Vice President of Global Sales. Richardson assumes responsibility for management of the company’s worldwide sales and business development. Richardson most recently served as Vice President of A/V Integrator Market Development with Polycom and prior to that was the Vice-President and General Manager of Polycom’s Installed Voice Business for many years. According to Symetrix CEO, Paul Roberts, “Craig Richardson is a major player in the world of audio for voice and video conferencing. We’re extremely excited to have a person of his caliber on board as we rapidly add teleconferencing products to our complete range of digital signal processors and accessories.”

“At Symetrix, I found a company with talented and dedicated people, a reputation for great products and customer-support, and a palpable level of enthusiasm for their new products and direction,” said Richardson. “It’s exhilarating to experience the passion and focus a rapidly growing company like Symetrix has for creating best-in-class products and services.”

During InfoComm Richardson will deliver a session called, “Designing and Troubleshooting Audio Conferencing Systems” on Wednesday, June 12th from 8 am to 10 am.  The session will focus on the lifecycle of an audio conferencing system: from the needs assessment and design guidelines to troubleshooting during installation and commissioning. “This session will streamline participants’ installation efforts and allow them to finish an installation sooner and with greater customer satisfaction,” said Richardson. “From a solution perspective, Symetrix’ new conferencing products, including SymNet Edge, the SymNet 4 Channel AEC Input Card, and SymNet Radius AEC, have a number of unique strengths including audio performance, audio routing options, form-factor, and price points. Their flexible architectures support both cost-effective smaller conferencing systems typically with eight or fewer microphones, and large, complex, conferencing systems connected via a Dante network over Ethernet.”

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.

STOP BY AND SEE US AT INFOCOMM BOOTH #922

SYMETRIX EXPANDS GLOBAL CTS CERTIFICATION BOTH ON SITE AND ONLINE

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – MAY 2013: Symetrix, manufacturer of high-end professional audio solutions, specializing in DSP hardware and software, is pleased to announce the global expansion of its INFOCOMM accredited training. The announcement parallels the growth of Symetrix’ international sales.

“As we continue to expand internationally, the need for training also increases,” said Mark Ullrich, International Sales Manager with Symetrix. “We’re excited to now offer worldwide training courses that are INFOCOMM accredited. We have trainers covering Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and Australia, and the full-day course carries four CTS renewal points. Alternatively, for those who are unable to join in person for training, our self-paced online training provides renewal points as well. With CTS becoming more popular everyday among A/V professionals we’re glad to be able to offer this extra benefit for those attending our training.”

Ryan Curtright, Senior Technical Sales Engineer with Symetrix, will deliver domestic training throughout the United States. Hock Thang, Symetrix Technical Sales Engineer for Asia, will cover Asia. Iain Cameron, Director of Technical Support and Training with World Marketing Associates, will provide training throughout Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. Udo Stoof, Product and Project Manager for Digital Audio Products with TRIUS GmbH & Co., will focus on training in Germany. Matt Vance, Technical Training Specialist with Production Audio Video Technology, will deliver trainings in Australia. Mark Ullrich himself will provide training throughout the world based on demand. Online trainings are also available worldwide.

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.

STOP BY AND SEE US AT INFOCOMM BOOTH #922

DANLEY’S NEW OS80 TAKES THE LEAD AS A FULLY-WEATHERIZED OUTDOOR LOUDSPEAKER WITH PATENTED SYNERGY HORN TECHNOLOGY

GAINESVILLE, GEORGIA – MAY 2013: Danley Sound Labs brings its revolutionary Synergy Horn technology to the great outdoors with the Danley OS80. Like its Synergy Horn siblings, the OS80 delivers tremendous output, both in terms of sound pressure level and transparency, as well as precise pattern control. Unlike its Synergy Horn siblings, however, the OS80 is housed in an enclosure that is utterly impervious to weather, making it the ideal loudspeaker for outdoor installations at sports venues, arenas, athletic fields and complexes, theme and recreational parks, public gatherings, race tracks, community centers, cruise ships, hockey rinks, water parks, swimming areas, and more.

“The Danley OS80 brings high fidelity to outdoor loudspeakers,” asserted Mike Hedden, president of Danley Sound Labs. “Until now, installing a fully-weatherized loudspeaker meant significant compromises in fidelity and impact. But like all Danley products, the OS80 doesn’t play by those rules. The OS80 not only delivers the kind of clarity and power that characterizes our flagship SH-50 loudspeaker, but it can do it in a driving rain or after a winter spent buried under snow. In addition, the OS80’s precise pattern control created by the large horn makes it possible for outdoor sound reinforcement systems to deliver superior Synergy Horn fidelity to every seat.”

The Danley OS80’s coverage pattern is 80 deg conical with an operating frequency range that spans 113 Hz to 18 kHz (+/- 3 dB). It has 101 dB SPL sensitivity and a maximum output that rates 127 dB SPL continuous and 133 dB SPL program. A single high performance 12-inch driver and a single 1.4-inch driver energize the Synergy Horn and are hidden away inside a thermal molded poly-composite exterior measuring 32.25 inches high by 26-inches wide by 14.5 inches deep. Total weight is 51 pounds, and a U bracket is included as are other flexible mounting options which allow the Danley OS80 to make itself at home in any circumstance.

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

SEE US AT INFOCOMM BOOTH #143 – COME TO HEAR THE OS80 IN DEMO ROOM W203B

METRIC HALO’S SPECTRAFOO THE BACKBONE OF THE OAK RIDGE BOYS LIVE ENGINEER MARKO HUNT

SAFETY HARBOR, FLORIDA – MAY 2013: Marko Hunt is closing in on four decades behind the mixing console, and he has spent the last thirty-two of them with The Oak Ridge Boys – first at monitors and then later at FOH. Before securing that enduring gig, Hunt cut his teeth touring with the Little River Band in its heyday. He also spent several years touring with Johnny Cash. Suffice it to say, Hunt is no newbie! And after all those countless gigs in the innumerable venues of the nation and the world, he can hear things with awe-inspiring precision and objectivity, although he’s too modest and soft-spoken to admit it. Perhaps because of that ability, Hunt is also keenly aware of the multiple advantages of regularly “calibrating” his ears with the analysis software that has been his constant companion for the last decade: SpectraFoo by Metric Halo.

“As good as my ears may or may not be (that’s an opinion!) it’s still a good idea to use a measurement tool to maintain accuracy,” Hunt said. “Anybody who does what I do knows that there are so many things in a room that can throw you off. I can hear a frequency and call it. By now, I’m good at that. But I can still get fooled; it’s not uncommon to mistake a frequency for one that’s an octave higher or lower. Moreover, I’m used to calling frequencies in the standard 1/3 octave bands. But with SpectraFoo, I can objectively see what’s going on with much greater resolution, switching to 1/6 or even 1/12 octave, which allows me to pinpoint a frequency on my parametric EQ. Very often, that center point may sit between the 1/3 octave bands.”

In addition to the tricks and phantoms that acoustical spaces and PA systems love to conjure, there are often physiological reasons why the objectivity afforded by SpectraFoo and Hunt’s Earthworks M30 omni-directional measurement microphone can be a life saver. “Because of the timing of things, there are some days when I go over the mountains flat on my back in a bunk,” he said. “God never meant for you and your ears to go over the mountains on your back! Or I may fly, and the pressure change may leave my ears completely whacked. But my computer doesn’t care. My mic doesn’t care. And SpectraFoo doesn’t care. I can still tune a room – close to perfectly – even if my ears are still recovering.”

When working with The Oak Ridge Boys, a well-tuned room is essential. With four vocalists, four soloists, and percussion, there is a lot going on and a lot of open mics. Indeed, the high pass for bass vocalist Richard Sterban (think “oom-pa-pa-oom-pa-pa-mau-mau” from “Elvira”) is often as low as 80Hz, and he’s a fairly quiet singer. If Hunt doesn’t take care of the 200 to 300Hz especially, his mix will invariably turn to mud. “Although I travel with my own console, every night I’m faced with a different room and a different PA,” he said. “SpectraFoo helps me to maintain consistency from night to night.” Of course, Hunt also relies on his ears – you can often find him walking around a venue before a show listening to Steely Dan, Diana Krall, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea and other “clean recordings” that he’s very familiar with.

Apart from helping Hunt to objectify his experience, SpectraFoo can also make it easier to communicate with others about sound, which can otherwise be a very subjective topic of conversation – or of disagreement. “I remember one time when I was setting up, and the left side of the PA sounded funny,” he said. “I talked with the venue technicians, who insisted that they had just had someone out to tune things up and that the problem must therefore reside with our gear. So I showed them with SpectraFoo: first the right side where everything looked good, then the left side, where things were obviously messed up. Then they said, ‘it has to be your console!’ So I hooked up the console output to SpectraFoo and it was obvious that both channels were fine. They couldn’t fix it that day, but they did call me later to say thanks and that, yes, a few of the components had been wired out of phase.”

Although he doesn’t use them all, Hunt appreciates the huge diversity of tools available in SpectraFoo, and he uses a fair number of them – both on the road and in the studio. “The main tools that I use for tuning a room and for the actual performance are the Spectragraph (volume versus frequency) and the Spectragram (volume versus frequency versus time),” said Hunt. “I’ll usually compare the output from the console with the output from my Earthworks mic using the Transfer Function (source versus mic). If I hear a frequency poke up, I can turn to the time-based Spectragram, and that lets me know where it is and whether it’s in the console or only in the room.” He uses many of the additional tools, such as the oscilloscope, the Lissajous phase scope, THD Distortion Analyzer and the Phase Torch to confirm the operation of his equipment and to help out in the studio. “I also can route my monitor buss to the source input and compare any channel on the console to what’s coming out of the P.A. or using separate busses compare any two channels on the console, i.e. kick and bass guitar. Once you’re set up it’s as simple as switching window sets.”

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

API 1608 STARS IN ONE-OF-A-KIND STUDIO IN MILAN

MILAN, ITALY – MAY 2013: A new studio in Italy features a 16-channel API 1608 as the main attraction for a one-of-a-kind studio experience. INDIEHUB, located in Milan, is a “co-working” facility with a primary focus on creating music. Here, engineers, producers and musicians can rent space using either their own equipment (such as a laptop, audio interface, etc.) or supplied equipment and the recently installed 1608.

It all started with the idea that people in the music industry should have access to quality equipment in order to create quality music. Giving them the opportunity to meet each other and encouraging the comparison in a professional workflow is the goal of the INDIEHUB.

Owner Andrea Dolcino was introduced to a similar idea in a different type of facility, and thus the idea for INDIEHUB was born. “Before starting INDIEHUB, I’d been working for ten years as an audio engineer, specializing in post-production for advertising jingles. Three years ago, a customer took me to a co-working facility for a job,” says Dolcino. “So I decided to start the first co-working facility dedicated to music production.”

When it came time to choose a console, INDIEHUB worked with Paolo Orizio of Funky Junk in Italy. The API was the clear choice. “For our budget, the 1608 was the only console with a strong personality and a comfortable and modern routing,” says Dolcino. “It’s modern and vintage at the same time. The routing is perfect for HD recording and the 1608 preamplifiers are really attractive, especially for their response to the bass frequencies. For that money, it’s the best choice.”

The INDIEHUB facility invites clients to rent space for as little or as long as they like and can also host concerts and showcases, making this a unique experience – not only because of the facility, but also because this is the first 1608 console in Milan. “We are excited to spread our wings in Italy,” said Mark Seman, API sales. “This is a great endeavor for both API and INDIEHUB.”

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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