A virtual press conference from Sound & Video Contractor

Archive by Heather Davis

ASHLY GETS THE MESSAGE AND MUSIC TO STUDENTS IN THE ROCHESTER HIGH SCHOOL CAFETERIA

ROCHESTER, NEW YORK – MARCH 2013: The principal at John Marshall High School in Rochester, New York had a simple request. He just wanted to be able to speak over the commotion of excited students that always seemed to overwhelm the school’s cafeteria at lunchtime. A sound reinforcement system with a simple microphone was the solution. But since a sound reinforcement system would also be capable of playing music – and perhaps because music might soothe the raw spirit of rambunctious youth – he also wanted the ability to play music over the system. Rochester’s AAA Sound stepped in to install a cost-effective, high-performance system centered on an Ashly Pema 4125 integrated processor/amplifier combo and an Ashly RD-8C remote fader user interface.

“The principle told our technician that the kids were simply too loud at lunchtime,” said Rich Petty, AAA Sound president. “It was a really straightforward request for a really straightforward sound reinforcement system. The ability to play music at lunchtime was a bonus.”

Inputs to the system include a pair of Mipro handheld wireless microphones, a wired microphone, a tuner, and a Tascam combination CD player and iPod dock. The inputs feed the Ashly Pema 4125, which has eight DSP inputs and outputs with full processing and matrixing capabilities, as well as four integrated amplifier channels rated at 125W each. Each amplifier channel drives a single Community MVP-12 loudspeaker, and the four loudspeakers are distributed around the room. An Ashly RD-8C provides nine software-assignable faders, one of which is separated in the style of a master fader. The system at John Marshall High School uses the simplest possible configuration: each of the eight faders controls an input volume and the master fader controls the output volume.

“The Ashly Pema is a cost-effective solution for a situation like this,” said Petty. “The pricing is very favorable and very competitive. Our company specs jobs with a number of different processors, and the feedback that I get from my techs is that Ashly processing is the easiest to work with. It doesn’t take a lot of training to become familiar with the operation… literally five minutes in the shop with a tech that’s not familiar with Ashly is all it takes for him to feel comfortable enough to go out and install it. Every now and then they run up against something that takes a minute; they either figure it out or a quick call to Ashly’s service department clears up the matter.”

“For a school cafeteria,” proclaimed Petty, “John Marshall High School has a really nice sound system.”

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

TANGLES TAMED AT OKLAHOMA CHURCH WITH SYMETRIX JUPITER 12 AND JUPITER 8 APP BASED TURN-KEY DSP

OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA – MARCH 2013: Since its founding during the hard dustbowl years, Oklahoma City’s Southwest Church of Christ has grown steadily in membership. A series of buildings and sanctuaries of ever-growing capacity trace a path from the church’s first meeting, which took place in a member’s living room, to its modern 700-plus-seat sanctuary. Although only a decade old, Southwest Church of Christ’s latest building quickly amassed an ad hoc collection of sound reinforcement equipment that strained the capacity of the technician’s booth and often flummoxed the volunteer technicians who attempted to use it. Hoping to maintain its functionality while greatly simplifying the user interface, the church contacted Robert Rogers, senior design consultant with Audio Video Designs (AVD) of nearby Moore, Oklahoma. AVD used a cost-effective Symetrix Jupiter 12 app based turn-key DSP to replace all of the analog clutter. The church was so pleased with the improvement that they asked AVD to integrate their three fellowship halls, and AVD obliged using a Symetrix Jupiter 8 running the Sound Reinforcement #6 app configured to do room combining.

“The audio booth was cluttered with consoles, switches, and dials, with a few computers and screens thrown in for good measure,” explained Jeff Brocaw, design consultant with AVD. “They just kept adding on as new needs presented themselves. Not only was the sanctuary system controlled from the booth, so too were the more modest systems in the three fellowship halls.” Because the input sources and loudspeakers were all still in fine shape, AVD was able to leave them in place. However, new Crown and ElectroVoice four-channel amplifiers now power the system.

“Of course, money was a huge factor, and the Symetrix Jupiter 12 DSP was the logical choice,” said Brocaw. “We could eliminate all that clutter with the processing power in that single rack space unit, and they wouldn’t have to spend $20K on a digital console.” The twelve inputs of the Jupiter 12 collect outputs from all of the stage microphones, as well as from video playback devices and a pair of ambient microphones for use in recording. The Jupiter 12’s four outputs send signal to the main sanctuary system, the three fellowship halls, and a computer-based recorder, as well as hallways and other areas of the building. One of the outputs is currently unused and awaits future expansion.

Partly because there are a lot of open microphones on stage, Brocaw used the “Gating Automixer” app with the Jupiter 12. The gates effectively eliminate feedback problems that the church was having with the old system. For Sunday service, the system operator makes adjustments from a computer running the Symetrix Jupiter software. “Now it takes very little effort to run a service,” said Fred Lowery, with the church. “When needed, we mix from within the app. For the simpler Wednesday service, the pastor can make any necessary adjustments from a Symetrix ARC-2e wall panel remote. He doesn’t even have to turn on the computer! The church fell in love with the simplicity of the new Jupiter-based system.”

In fact, they were so pleased that they requested a similar transformation of the ad hoc room combining system that they had constructed. With eight inputs, eight outputs, and an app easily-made to perform room-combining (Sound Reinforcement #6) the Symetrix Jupiter 8 was the obvious cost-effective solution. “As with the Jupiter 12, the Jupiter 8’s interface is sufficiently simple that church staff and volunteers can use it reliably,” said Brocaw. “That simplicity, together with processing power and affordability, made the Jupiter 8 the right choice.”

The Symetrix Jupiter 8 takes its inputs from each of the fellowship halls, and sends outputs back to each of the fellowship halls. Additionally, three hard disc recorders stand ready to capture events that take place in the fellowship halls. Users execute room combining by opening the matrix from within the Jupiter software application. Any input can be sent to any output, and by incorporating input from and outputs to the main sanctuary system, all four rooms can be combined in any desired configuration.

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.

MONTREAL’S ANALOG RECORDING SCENE DEFINED BY STUDIO 270’S API LEGACY PLUS

MONTRÉAL, CANADA – MARCH 2013: Studio 270 has proven that the purest sound cannot be digitized with their 48-channel API Legacy Plus with API Vision automation. Nearly two years ago, François Hamel and Robert Langois decided to reconnect with recording’s analog roots by purchasing the Legacy Plus for their Montréal-based studio. They were the first to acquire an API Legacy Plus with API Vision automation, an investment that Hamel claims was the best they have ever made.

When Studio 270 set up shop in 1987, the digital tsunami had yet to make landfall. Now, twenty-six years later, it is thriving in a world where most of its clients regard inexpensive and omnipresent digital technology as an extension of their organic being. It is for precisely that reason that the studio decided to distinguish itself by committing to time-tested, analog technology. That decision has paid off in dividends as area musicians discover that the API sound far exceeds the limited capabilities of their digital gadgetry.

“We predicted that ‘mid-level’ recording studios would have a hard time surviving as more and more inexpensive digital technology became available, and we were right.” Hamel said of Studio 270. “But in addition, young musicians have no basis for understanding the difference between a $125 interface and a $125,000 digital console. To them, digital is digital, and if they can buy a digital product that promises them the moon for $600, then in their eyes, why should they book a digital studio for $600 a day?”

Hamel likened his younger clientele’s experience to that of fine dining. “The API Legacy Plus is like a five-star restaurant,” he said. “An inexpensive digital rig is like a microwave. You have a microwave at home, and you eat at home most of the time. But on special occasions, it’s good to get out and go to a five-star restaurant, where maybe you don’t exactly understand how the cook pulls it off, but the difference is obvious.”

“They’ve never seen moving faders before,” he said of the younger clientele. “It’s a revelation to them that they can – and should – mix with their eyes closed. They’re used to staring at screens. Apart from its immense functionality and stability (the software never crashes), API automation is worth it strictly from a marketing perspective.”

When his clients hear the API Legacy Plus, they’re often taken aback. Since Studio 270 installed it, many bands have booked a few days without making future plans to return. They have a remarkable experience, and then they’re back a few months later. “They want to relive the experience!” said Hamel. “It’s API’s headroom and separation. When you mix on an iPad or whatever, everything is smashed in. Once they hear the openness and liveliness of the Legacy Plus, they’re hooked. They’ll work jobs on the weekends to get back in here.”

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

NEW YORK’S ALTO NYC BELIEVES IN THE METRIC HALO PRODUCT AND SERVICE PHILOSOPHY

NEW YORK, NEW YORK: Alto NYC is Alto Music’s New York-based professional audio retailer that truly nurtures a reciprocal relationship with the studio owners, musicians, composers, producers, and engineers who list among its clients. Its Manhattan showroom would be better described as a fully-functioning control room, complete with structural isolation, acoustic treatment, and almost every piece of gear imaginable – all just a patch away from a test drive or shootout in a real working environment. Alto NYC treats its clients to a one-on-one experience, with working professionals serving as audio gurus to help guide clients to their ideal, situation-specific solutions. The company sells a wide range of audio converters, and the Metric Halo ULN-8, LIO-8, 2882, and ULN-2 converters have found favor among clients looking for high-end sound and tremendous flexibility.

“The starting point is always obtaining a clear understanding of what exactly a client hopes to achieve,” said Shane Koss, Alto NYC’s audio guru. “Are they building a home studio? A public studio? What are the inputs? The outputs? And of course, what is the budget? I find that a lot of people come in because they have read about this or that magic solution in an online forum or review, and they think that getting it will solve some large issue problem they’re having. Sometimes that’s true and sometimes it’s not. Although it’s probably counterproductive to my bottom line, I often recommend against particular purchases because I honestly don’t believe the gear they’ve set their sights on will address the issue.”

Koss keeps one foot in the retail business and the other foot in the activities that led him to the retail business in the first place: writing music for TV and movies, working with bands, and producing/engineering projects. “Along with my schooling, that real-world working experience has been, and continues to be, invaluable for the work I do at Alto,” he said. “I wouldn’t be able to do what I do if I didn’t actually use the stuff. Background is critical.” Koss recognizes that many aspects of professional audio are irreducibly subjective, but that there is also a large degree of objectivity in the way professional audio equipment is made and priced. “Unless you’re a total cynic and believe that a $4,000 piece of gear is designed and manufactured in the same way that a $500 piece of gear is designed and manufactured, then there is some objective difference between them,” he said. “So the question becomes, ‘what is that difference and is it worth the money?’”

He continued, “Metric Halo converters excel in situations where audio transparency and configuration flexibility are paramount. I have clients come in who need a converter that can do A, B, and C all of the time, D and E when they’re on the road, and F on Tuesdays! Once they learn Metric Halo’s MIO Console, that kind of extreme flexibility is not only possible, it’s easy to implement.” Alto Music sells all of Metric Halo’s interfaces, from the flagship ULN-8, with eight channels of latest-generation preamps and converters, to the original 2882 (updated to accommodate current operating systems and communications protocols, of course).

“The fun part of my job is working with clients to meet their needs,” Koss said. “The unpleasant part is working out the behind-the-scenes details – finding out, for example, why this or that didn’t ship, when such and such will be in stock – that kind of thing. Fortunately, I never get that with Metric Halo. Although they’ve moved to Florida, they still have that New York attitude that I appreciate. It’s no BS – get it done right and get it done fast. Metric Halo is one of those companies that makes a solid product that I believe in – and that’s easy to work with.”

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

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BROOKLYN-BASED KEMADO RECORDS INSTALLS 32-CHANNEL API 1608

BROOKLYN, NEW YORK: Kemado Records is the latest studio to install a 32-Channel version of API’s popular 1608 console. Kemado, long known for bringing national attention to innovative artists spanning the spectrum from indie rock to heavy metal, choose the 1608 to complement its recent plans for expansion, which included the creation of two new labels (Mexican Summer and Software), a brick-and-mortar record store, and a recording studio in 2009.

Kemado’s founders Andrés Santo Domingo and Tom Clapp are happy to report that the recording studio has seen near continual use and offers clients over 1,000 square-feet of tracking space. Kemado’s new 1608 is housed in the larger of two separate control rooms.

Deciding what would replace the existing console became increasingly clear as the choices were analyzed and rejected, explained Clapp. “We figured that if we were going to replace a classic vintage console, we had to replace it with something in the same respected sonic family. But at the same time, we wanted to avoid the near-constant servicing required of some older consoles. So we decided we wanted something new but still classic, which made the 1608 the perfect fit; it’s a classic console with a classic sound. Plus it’s designed to be in constant use, and the modular design ensures that it can be serviced when that time comes. The other options we looked at were not in the same sonic league with the 1608, nor were they built for the long haul.”

Clapp and colleagues burned the midnight oil and installed the new console in just three days, and synched the 1608 into a fully-decked Pro Tools HD rig with 48in/48out, a Studer 827A tape machine, and a Studer A80 VU mix-down deck. And with so many engineers coming through the door, part of the 1608’s allure was its straightforward topology and signal flow, as was its gain structure. “The 1608 definitely has a modern gain structure, in contrast to many of the choices we reviewed,” said Clapp. Choosing that classic API sound was, in Clapp’s words, a “no-brainer”.

“I’ve worked with API gear before, and I love the fast transients and headroom,” he said. “We even tried 500-series modules from a range of high-end manufacturers to fill out the 1608’s API 500-Series slots, but we kept coming back to the API sound.” To date, eighteen of the available 32 slots have been filled with API 550b 4-band and API 560 graphic EQs. “We’re going to slowly fill the rest of the slots with API EQs down the road,” Clapp promises.

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

ASHLY PROCESSORS AND AMPS EARN AN ENCORE

COLUMBUS, OHIO: Encore is a new, high-spirited nightclub located in the Crosswoods neighborhood of Columbus, Ohio. Its strategy for success is to show patrons such a fantastic time that they quickly return to enjoy an encore. Tasteful bar food, a wide range of drinks, and elegant décor and lighting provide the perfect frame for Encore’s daily upscale party. But the heart of the party resides in an articulate, high-SPL, bass-rich sound system designed and installed by local A/V integrator Demmer Audio Video Solutions. Two Ashly 3.6SP Protea digital speaker processors and six Ashly KLR Series amplifiers drive the sound system – and thus Encore’s enthusiastic patrons – nightly.

The new club occupies approximately 2,500 square-feet on a single floor, with a large main room and dance floor complemented by a handful of smaller rooms that are available for private functions. “The owners were looking for a very reliable sound system with solid fidelity and bass,” said Ken Demmer, owner of Demmer Audio Video Solutions. “Moreover, they wanted to be able to come in, turn it on, and know that it would work as expected. They didn’t want to worry about adjusting this or that, and they wanted the minimal access necessary to simply plug in a DJ, select a source, and adjust the volume. That’s it.”

Inputs to the system include a DISH Satellite interface, a cable interface, an iPod dock, a computer media player, and, of course, a DJ input. Because the owners requested it based on their familiarity with systems at their other establishments, Demmer installed a DBX ZonePRO processor for input selection and volume control. However, the meat of the processing at Encore resides within two Ashly 3.6SP Protea digital speaker processors.

“The Ashly Protea processors have excellent sonic quality,” Demmer said. “They’re very clean, the equalization is smooth, and the conversion is nice. The programming software is easy to use, and I can save the configuration program on my laptop, load it via a straightforward USB connection, and lock out the front panel of the unit so that no one fiddles with the settings. That’s a big selling point for my clients – it protects their investment.”

Six Ashly KLR-2000, two Ashly KLR-4000, and three Ashly KLR-5000 amplifiers power the system. Six Community S-3294 three-way twelve-inch speakers, four Community VLF212 dual twelve-inch subwoofers, and six Community VLF118 single eighteen-inch subwoofers comprise the new sound reinforcement system for the dance floor. Existing distributed ceiling-mounted loudspeakers contribute to even coverage throughout the establishment.

“When I first heard of the Ashly KLR Series, the price seemed too good to be true,” Demmer said. “But I still see classic Ashly amps still running day-in and day-out in the field. They build things to last. So I bought a pair of KLR-5000s to power some subwoofers, and they were beat to death. But they held their own, and now I’m happy to install them to deliver high-performance systems on a budget. In addition, they are lightweight and energy-efficient, which are both great selling points.”

Demmer once had a service issue with an Ashly amplifier. “I understand that even well-made things break every so often,” he said. “What impressed me was how great and speedy Ashly’s service was. They turned it around immediately and got it back to me in a matter of a few days.”

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

SYMETRIX ARC-WEB USER CONTROL INTERFACE AND JUPITER APP-BASED TURN-KEY DSP CLINCHES THE TITLE FOR SAM’S SPORTS GRILL

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE: Sam’s Sports Grill opened in 2000, and Nashvillians have voted it the Best Sports Bar in the city for ten years in a row. Clearly, Sam Sanchez and his team know how to deliver a great sports bar experience. Food created from scratch (with gluten-free options!), dozens of beers on tap, and a whopping 70-inch flat screen TV with all the major sports packages, make Sam’s Sports Grill a winner. However, like any establishment, Sam’s Sports Grill had room for improvement. Recently, Sam chose Darrin Fabish, account manager at Nashville’s Audio Electronics, Inc. (AEI), to overhaul the existing sound system at the Hillsboro Village location. The overhaul resulted in replacing all the speakers and adding a Symetrix Jupiter 8 App Based Turn-Key DSP. The Symetrix Jupiter 8 DSP delivers multi-zone content with user control achieved through Symetrix’ forward-thinking ARC-WEB interface for smartphones and other Internet-connected devices.

Sam’s Sports Grill’s Hillsboro Village location (there are three others in Hendersonville and Murfreesboro, TN and Florence, AL) is just a short walk from the AEI offices. “I meet some friends there for lunch regularly,” said Darrin. “As sometimes happens, I was talking to them about upgrading another client’s sound system when Sam overheard me. Although the bar has a great visual setup with plenty of high-definition screens, the audio system lacked zoned audio. Although they could have different games on at the bar and on the patio, the whole place had to listen to one or the other – or music.”

After determining that AEI could give Sam’s Sports Grill a fresh start, Darrin suggested replacing components of the old system. “Eight-ohm speakers were wired for 70-volt and vice versa,” he said. “Residential and commercial components were mixed. This system really needed attention.” Darrin retained the original inputs to the system, two DirecTV receivers, a jukebox, and a music source, and added a microphone input for use on bar trivia night. In addition, a pair of TOA amplifiers and the existing equipment rack were repurposed in the new system.

With eight mic- or line-level inputs and eight outputs, a Symetrix Jupiter 8 DSP forms the core of the new system and leaves a few inputs and outputs for the bar to grow into. “The Jupiter 8 has all of the necessary processing facilities, including easy zone management,” said Darrin. “And given everything that it can do, it’s very competitively priced.” Three zones now comprise the system so that the patio, bar, and seating areas can all have different input sources and volumes. When music is selected, the background music source plays unless a customer plays the jukebox, in which case the background music is muted until the jukebox song is finished. A Bose FreeSpace 3 combined subwoofer/full-range system provides output for each of the zones, and Bose DS-100 surface mounted speakers in the patio lure customers from the sidewalk outside.

“Symetrix’ ARC-WEB technology was a huge selling point at Sam’s,” said Darrin. “Both the owner and the manager are running ARC-WEB from their phones. There’s really something to the fact that these guys can just walk over to a zone and adjust the input and volume right then and there. No more adjusting the volume and then walking over to see if it’s loud enough (or too loud). They seem to really like it. I’m starting to pitch this Symetrix-based solution at other locations. A lot of the owners are young and hip, and they love the ARC-WEB technology.” For those rare occasions when the owner or manager isn’t around, staff can still make necessary adjustments from a hardwired Symetrix ARC-2e wall panel remote.

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.

DANLEY UPS THE SPLS ON ITS SH SERIES OF SYNERGY HORNS

GAINESVILLE, GEORGIA: Not content to rest on its laurels, Danley Sound Labs announces improvements to many of its already highly-regarded SH-Series full-range loudspeakers. The new versions are identified by the suffix “HO,” which stands for “high output.” For example, the if one wishes to get the most performance out of the Danley SH-96 they should order the Danley SH-96 HO. The new designs use a more powerful two-way high frequency. As a result, the low- and mid-frequency drivers can now be driven to their full potential while still maintaining Danley’s characteristic frequency response, phase response, and fidelity. In conjunction, the new designs use a new crossover and have additional options for bi-amping and for changing the low-frequency impedance. Because the cabinets themselves haven’t changed, the new versions retain the coverage and frequency loss patterns of the originals. The new models include the SH-95 HO, SH-96 HO, SH-64 HO

“The original versions can be easily modified to become the new ‘High Output’ versions,” explained Ivan Beaver, lead engineer at Danley Sound Labs. “It just takes the new high frequency driver, a new crossover, and a new switch panel.” In addition, the midrange drivers are also wired a little differently, which is incorporated as part of the new crossover wiring harness. “There are two options on the new switch panel,” said Beaver. “First, there’s a biamp/passive switch. In passive mode, the new cabinets run pretty much like the old versions, except that the mid/high section will be relatively louder than the woofers, assuming the woofers are running at 8ohms.”

He continued, “And that’s the second option. Users can select a woofer impedance of either 2ohms or 8ohms. Some people do not like to run at 2ohms, whereas others may need the additional output when using smaller amplifiers. The wire run should also be considered when choosing the impedance. With a 2ohm load there will be more loss across the wire. How much loss will depend on the size of the wire and the length of the run. An 8ohm load will have a higher damping factor than a 2ohm load, and it is of course easier to bridge an amp into an 8ohm load than into a 2ohm load.” In biamp mode, the mid/high section takes the crossover circuitry and the low section thus has no built-in crossover.

Because the new switch panel cannot be expected to operate reliably if left exposed to the elements, weatherized versions of the new High Output loudspeakers must be pre-ordered with specified biamping and impedance settings.

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 JUPITER APP BASED TURN-KEY DSP AND ARC-WEB KEY TO SPEAKER CONTROL AT UTAH’S LIBBY GARDNER HALL

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH – FEBRUARY 2013: The University of Utah’s Libby Gardner Hall is large enough to comfortably accommodate a 200-member choir, an 80-piece orchestra, and nearly 700 audience members. It is acoustically and aesthetically stunning, with a warm, rich reverb conveyed by wood panel walls arranged in a spectacular geometry. For years, the school struggled to provide the hall with sound reinforcement for spoken word, solos, and non-classical musical forms that matched the splendor of unamplified instruments. That struggle ended with the purchase of a high-end K-Array mobile PA system, but the fact that it would be placed at different areas of the stage for different types of events meant that well-balanced equalization in one location would be unbalanced at another. A simple, cost-effective, and equally high-fidelity Symetrix Jupiter 12 DSP solved that problem by allowing straightforward selection of different equalization curves from authorized users’ smartphones and other Internet-connected devices via Symetrix’ ARC-WEB user interface.

“I joined the University of Utah faculty twelve years ago,” said David M. Cottle, music tech specialist and director of the electronic music and recording studios. “I was responsible for recording and sound reinforcement in our three performance halls. The first week I was here, I disconnected the existing speakers in Libby Gardner Hall, our premier performance space. The hall is built for acoustic performance, and the installed speakers did no more than muddy the speaker’s voice. From then on, we made announcements without a microphone until we could find a better solution. We started to investigate phased arrays, which have a wide horizontal, but narrow vertical pattern. The first system we tried was a clear improvement: extremely low feedback, even distribution, clear response across the spectrum, and very little reflection. But it was also flawed. It had weak low end, was noisier than I had hoped, and proved bulky to move.”

Salt Lake City-based Performance Audio stepped in with a better solution: a K-Array KK 200 full-range tower, KK S50 subwoofer, with KA 40 and KA 10 amplifiers, all in a stereo set. “As expected, the K-Array system has the same positive properties as the previous phased array,” said Cottle. “Feedback is practically non-existent, and the dispersion is even and horizontal. The system controls the reverb in the room very well. But in addition, the K-Array subs are solid enough for occasional student talent shows and the system is quieter, and easier to move.”

When the new system would be used as the primary source of sound for a performance, it would have to be located toward the front edge of the stage. In contrast, when the system would be used to augment a mostly-acoustic performance, it would be located behind the performers. “When located behind the performers, the sound is less like a PA and more like a richer, blended ensemble,” explained Cottle. “For example, a mic’d piano with orchestral accompaniment isn’t noticeably louder. It can simply be heard with all the other instruments.” However, the system gets a pronounced low-frequency buildup when located behind the performers.

“By providing the school with a Symetrix Jupiter 12 app based turn-key DSP, we were able to give them the EQ curves to match the two locations, along with the flexibility to accommodate other positions should they need them in the future,” said Jake Peery, system design and installation expert with Performance Audio and the individual responsible for designing Libby Gardner Hall’s new reinforcement system. The system currently uses eight of the Jupiter 12’s twelve inputs and two of its four outputs. Many of the inputs combine using Symetrix’ sophisticated automixing algorithm, and mixer inputs accommodate larger, multi-mic performances. A hardwired Symetrix ARC-2e wall panel remote controls the volumes of two Sennheiser G3 wireless microphones used for announcements and spoken-word events.

In addition, Peery used Symetrix ARC-WEB to give Cottle and other authorized users control of the system from their smartphones, iPads, or other Internet-connected devices. “They can select the proper EQ curves for the loudspeaker locations and control the volumes of the wireless microphones or other inputs right from their phones,” said Peery. “They really liked that idea.” Since the new system’s installation, Cottle has received numerous compliments from faculty, students, and audience members. “The other night, we mixed a jazz band, which is one of the most difficult ensembles to control, even without a PA,” he said. “The Director said that it was the best the band had ever sounded in Libby Gardner Hall. The solos were present, but not piercing, and the rhythm section sounded homogeneous.”

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.

SYMETRIX JUPITER 12 APP BASED TURN-KEY DSP AND ARC-WEB BRING SMARTPHONE SOUND TECHNOLOGY TO PARK CITY’S GRUB STEAK RESTAURANT

PARK CITY, UTAH – FEBRUARY 2013: Families and friends love to convene at Grub Steak Restaurant in Park City, Utah, and the establishment carves out a unique niche by providing flexible meeting and event space for local businesses, clubs, and revelers. Grub Steak’s spacious dining room is adjoined by the Miner Room and the even larger Moose Room. However, an aging, patched-together sound reinforcement system was making it hard for the management to accommodate the multimedia needs of the restaurant’s rental clients. Performance Audio, of nearby Salt Lake City, designed and installed a new system centered on a Symetrix Jupiter 12 App-Based Turnkey DSP loaded with nearly forty customized presets to cover every conceivable configuration.” Grub Steak’s managers and regular clients select the presets and adjust input and output volumes from their smartphones using robust Symetrix ARC-WEB technology.

“Grub Steak originally had a zone for each of the three main dining and meeting spaces,” explained Jake Peery, system design & installation expert with Performance Audio. “But its collection of old mixer/amps was making it difficult or impossible to get signal from one place to another. We integrated everything with a Symetrix Jupiter 12, which delivers a tremendous feature set for a very affordable price. In addition, we gave them another zone for the restroom and lobby area. Now they can combine, distribute, and adjust inputs any way they like.” The inputs include iPod docks, line level jacks, microphone jacks, a pair of wireless microphones, background music sources, and a live feed from the main dining room’s modest stage.

Peery also created nearly forty custom presets to cover every possible input selection and routing scenario the restaurant management requested. He also created four Symetrix ARC-WEB panels that, with password clearance, can be accessed from any smartphone or other Internet-connected device. Each ARC-WEB panel provides individualized control of a specified zone. “They also recognized that with so much flexibility, they had the potential to dig themselves into trouble,” said Peery. “So we also gave them a hardwired Symetrix ARC-2e wall panel remote in the office with a ‘reset’ selection that recalls a sensible default setup and gain structure.”

A new Ashly TRA-4150 amplifier delivers 250W to each of the four 70V zones. A handful of blown loudspeakers made way for new Atlas replacements, whereas the rest were in good shape and remain with the new processing and amplification.

“I’ve never created so many presets as I did with this job,” said Peery. “But it was easy to do with the Jupiter’s app based programming, and the client is very happy with the system’s new functionality. In fact, it’s so simple to use that Grub Steak has shared the ARC-WEB password with a few regular clients, such as the local Rotary Club.” Chris Haymond, Grub Steak manager agreed, “Yes, the new system is easy, flexible, and reliable. We’re now set up to make excellent use of our meeting and event space.”

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.

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