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A virtual press conference from Sound & Video Contractor

Archive by Heather Davis

Ashly Audio Appoints Sound Directions Ltd as Its Exclusive Distributor in the United Kingdom

Ashly_SoundDirectionsWEBSTER, NEW YORK – FEBRUARY 2015: Ashly Audio, manufacturer of high-value, high-performance amplifiers, signal processors, and user-interfaces for the installed sound market, announces the appointment of Sound Directions, Ltd. as its exclusive distributor in the United Kingdom. Closing in on two decades at the forefront of the education, hospitality, house of worship, theater, government building, and museum sectors for installed sound, Sound Directions caters to consultants and A/V integrators with peerless systems knowledge and a free system designing and programming service. The Chessington, Surrey-based company will distribute Ashly’s entire line of products, including Ashly’s networked multi-channel amplifiers, Protea DSP-equipped amplifiers, and customizable user interfaces, such as Ashly’s client-dazzling iPad app.

Stanislas Boivin-Champeaux founded Sound Directions in 1998. “From the very start, we’ve worked closely with our customers to demystify the vast array of technologies that are available in the installed A/V market,” he said. “When it benefits our clients, we happily design and program systems that work flawlessly under the pressures and challenges of the real world. We’ve seen countless systems designed by others that left end-users with a system that they did not understand and could not operate. We go the extra mile to ensure that this is never the case for the systems we design. A job is never complete until everyone is perfectly satisfied.”

The effort Sound Directions puts into system design and programming for its audio professional clients is unique among distributors,” said Mike van der Logt, EMEA sales manager with Ashly Audio. They have a strong technical team that has depth of experience in the markets their customers operate in. They understand the pressures their customers face and work alongside them to create on-time solutions, within budget. That ultimately wins more projects for everyone involved. We’re pleased to partner with such a well-respected and forward-thinking distributor. Our existing UK customers will be pleased, and we expect Sound Directions’ reach to win legions of new Ashly fans.”

“We have travelled the world to pull together a portfolio of products that work flawlessly together, and Ashly Audio has a well-deserved reputation for building reliable, well-engineered solutions at exceptionally competitive prices,” said Boivin-Champeaux. “Ashly’s hardware, software, and user interfaces complement our existing partner brands perfectly, and their products are very flexible and Dante- and CobraNet-compatible, allowing us to leverage Ashly solutions in a huge range of designs.”

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 40-year old company is headquartered in Webster, New York U.S.A.

www.ashly.com

Producer/Engineer Jack Miele Finds the Right Tools with Daking

DCIM100GOPRONEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – FEBRUARY 2015: Based in New Orleans, Jack Miele is a talented producer, engineer, and multi-instrumentalist with several Grammy nominations, and Emmy and Silver Telly wins to his name. His long list of high-profile clients includes Blues Traveler, Zac Brown Band, John Oates, Better Than Ezra, and Ani DiFranco; a list that just so happens to include a handful of the projects that have benefitted from Miele’s discovery of Daking analog processors. Miele works out of Music Shed Recording Studios and his own project studio both of which are now well stocked with Daking equalizers and compressors.

Part of Miele’s success derives from his ability to clearly articulate his goals. “My goals as a producer are different from my goals as an engineer,” he said. “When I’m producing, I’m almost working as a psychologist to get the artist to forget about the stress and technology of the studio so that they can deliver an authentic performance that will connect with listeners on an emotional level. It’s all about believability and honesty, and when you get it right, you allow the artist to transfer a message to the listener. As an engineer, I’m trying to find a recording chain with gear that complements the artist. Just as everyone’s voice is different, everyone’s playing and performance is different. Their attack, their release, how hard they hit the strings or the drums or their own vocal cords. It’s all touch and feel and it’s all different for every artist. Somewhere out there exists a piece of gear with electrical characteristics that work best with a particular artist’s nuances.”

He continued, “So in my view, a big part of being a good engineer is knowing the characteristics of the tools I use. Just as a carpenter or a surgeon knows which particular tools are best for a particular situation, the engineer has to size up the talent and build a signal chain that will bring out their best qualities.” Miele’s friend, accomplished mastering engineer Bruce Barielle, introduced him to the Daking Mic Pre/EQ. “Bruce said that Daking had come out with an EQ in the spirit of the Trident A-Range, and so I obviously got excited,” Miele said. “The minute I turned the knobs, I knew I had to have it. Nothing else in my collection, which includes API, Neve, SSL, Universal Audio, Summit, Empirical Labs, had the same sound. The Daking Mic Pre/EQ is a unique tool.”

Miele often uses the equalizer and mic pre sections independently. “The Daking mic pre is brilliant and modern-sounding,” he said. “It’s very open and fast. I find it works great on acoustic instruments – guitar, cello, or grand piano – and female vocals – or really anything that I want to capture with a beautiful, open top end.” Because he has two Mic Pre/EQs, Miele frequently adds their equalizer sections to the mix buss on his Amek console. “I add or subtract a few frequencies and it just snaps the whole mix into place,” he said. “The equalizer section has a beautiful, smooth color. It adds brilliance without being harsh, and the number of bands and their range of parameters makes it tremendously versatile.”

Given his success with Mic Pre/EQ, Miele explored the rest of the Daking product line and fell in love with both the Daking FET II Compressor and the Daking Comp 500, which fits the 500-Series module form factor. “They’re both great, and they’re very different from one another,” he said. “The FET II is my favorite vocal compressor – there are very few vocalists that it isn’t perfectly suited for. In an act of due diligence, I tried ten compressors on John Oates’ vocals, and the FET II – more than any other – brought them to life. The fixed release times are useful and I often dial them in, but the auto-release feature is special. It’s very pleasing to the ear and can get a whole track breathing organically. I love it.”

Although Miele expected a small version of the FET II in the Daking Comp 500, he got more than that. “It’s an incredibly transparent compressor,” he said. “In fact, the first time I put it on, I had to triple check that it was actually working. The gain reduction was flashing and the track was holding in, but I didn’t hear the ‘sound’ of compression that I’m used to. The Comp 500 is incredible on drums. In fact, I wish I had one for every drum! It can grab the transients without squashing the hell out of them. It can get in and get out so that the drums stay punchy.” Miele put the Comp 500’s transparency to good use when he recorded Jessica Lange’s vocals for a sung David Bowie cover scene in American Horror Story. “Unlike records, where listeners expect artifacts, sound for screen has to be a lot more transparent,” he explained. “The Daking Comp 500 gave Jessica’s vocals the sound we needed without giving them an obvious ‘compressed sound.’” Miele also applauds the Comp 500’s Stereo Link feature, which works flawlessly and allows him to apply transparent compression to his mix buss.

“If it sounds good, it is good,” Miele summarized. “There are no rules. Sure, you can learn the ‘rules’ first and then break them, but you ultimately have to trust your ears. As excited as I am about Daking, I try never to fall into a ‘pride of ownership’ mistake… applying a certain piece of gear just because it’s the newest or most expensive. That said, almost everything sounds awesome through Daking. The Daking FET II Compressor and the equalizer section of the Daking Mic Pre/EQ have a definite color and vibe that’s really pleasant. The Daking Comp 500 and the mic pre section of the Mic Pre/EQ are really transparent and colorless. They’re a great set of tools to work with.

ABOUT TRANSAUDIO GROUP TransAudio Group, founded by industry veteran Brad Lunde, has quickly become the premier U.S. importer/distributor and/or U.S. sales and marketing representative for high-end audio. Success hinges on TransAudio providing dealers and end users with a higher standard of product expertise and support far beyond the norm.

www.transaudiogroup.com

Danley’s Massive New Caleb Horn Debuts at the University of Iowa’s Kinnick Stadium

University_Iowa_1IOWA CITY, IOWA – FEBRUARY 2015: The University of Iowa Hawkeyes football team plays all of its home games in the 70,500-seat Kinnick Stadium, which is located on the west side of campus. It is adjacent to residences on one side and to campus buildings on the other side, one of which is the University Hospital. Although it’s fair to say that almost all Iowans stand behind the Hawkeyes (there is no pro team in the state) it’s also true that Iowans who are recovering in the hospital deserve peace and quiet, even on game day. When school officials became disenchanted with the lo-fi sound and poor coverage of Kinnick Stadium’s old sound reinforcement system, they worried that elevating it to modern standards would only increase game day complaints from the hospital. Those worries have been allayed. Kinnick Stadium’s new high-powered Danley Sound Labs system – the first in the world to use the massive Caleb Horn – delivers reference-monitor-quality audio while keeping sound energy in the bowl. The new audio system provides Danley’s famous pattern control, rich low-end, airy high-end, unrivaled speech intelligibility, and prevents appreciable spillover into the adjacent neighborhood and hospital.

“As Hawkeye management and fans traveled to other stadiums, they kept hearing sound systems that were far better than the one they had at home,” said Marvin Smejkal, owner of Sound Concepts (Cedar Rapids, Iowa), the company under retainer with the University for audio system maintenance and operation. “As the complaints mounted, they asked us to research the sound systems in the five best stadiums they had heard. Three of the five were Danley systems, which resonated with my previous experiences involving Tom Danley’s creations – I was a huge fan of his ServoDrive subwoofer back in the 1980s and 1990s. Based on previous experience and a very impressive blind comparison, we recommended a Danley system for Kinnick Stadium.” The design, installation, and commissioning was a collaborative effort by consultant Anthony James Partners (Richmond, Virginia), with input from Sound Concepts and Danley Sound Labs.

“The design of the new sound system presented a number of significant challenges,” said acoustician and Director of Danley University Doug Jones, who designed the speaker system using Danley’s new Direct modeling software. “Architectural considerations ruled out a distributed system, so we were asked to throw sound eight hundred feet across the stadium… without affecting the hospital just beyond. The only way to do that is with highly directional horns, which is Danley’s specialty.”

Although a range of Danley components – including Jericho Horns and BC-415 subwoofers – contribute to coverage of the entire bowl, the real hero in Iowa is Danley’s new Caleb Horn. Measuring ten feet tall by four feet wide by five feet deep, the Caleb Horn delivers precision pattern control to extremely low frequencies and provides seemingly magical coverage of the opposite stands – and little else – at Kinnick Stadium. It is a single, massive horn with 108 drivers (12 x 18-inch drivers, 32 x 6-inch mid-range drivers and 64 x one-inch high-frequency compression drivers, 40 x 15 degree coverage pattern) with a frequency response that extends down to 30Hz.

“Danley’s Caleb Horn is a game changer,” said Larry Lucas, director of audio engineering at Anthony James Partners. “Given the architecture of Kinnick Stadium, the Caleb’s default 15 by 40 degree beam width was perfect to hit the far section, but Danley was willing to modify the horn exit to hit any target we required. Apart from the precision coverage, which extends to vastly lower frequencies than can be obtained with any other solution, the Caleb shares another Danley feature: clean, musical sound without comb filtering or other interference issues.”

Kinnick Stadium is the first project to use Danley’s new freely available Direct modeling software from conception to completion. Unlike other modeling software, Direct makes predictions down to subwoofer frequencies, which allowed Jones to predict the low-frequency interactions around the bowl and, critically, at a point where the stadium is open to the hospital. By carefully adjusting the timing and phasing of the subwoofers relative to the Caleb’s substantial low-frequency content, Jones placed a low-frequency null near the hospital within the Direct software. The predicted null translates to reality; although the crowd will still enjoy abundant bass, the nearby hospital is significantly spared. “In addition to being accurate across the spectrum, Direct is very quick to render and easy to use,” commented Jones.

University_Iowa_2To either side of the Caleb Horn, a Danley J3 Jericho Horn paired with a Danley J4 Jericho picks up the distant sideline seating. The J4 is a highly-directional, high-frequency array of 64 compression drivers that compensates appropriately for atmospheric losses. Mike Hedden, Danley president commented, “The J4 is a very unique product. Sound from 64 compression drivers seamlessly exits the large format horn via a patented combiner system. This allows unprecedented audio quantity and quality to be provided at extremely long distances. The J4 is capable of reproducing audio several octaves higher than the competition, sounds much more natural, covers a larger area, and is a better value.” Another pair of J3 Jericho Horns, one on each side, provide near-throw coverage of the main seating areas. Despite their placement on the scoreboard, which is right above the near end zone seating, Danley’s exceptional pattern control allows them to operate “without liquefying the fans immediately below,” in the choice words of Hedden. Four Danley SH-64s are time-aligned and balanced on the near side to complete the even and consistent audio coverage in the stadium. Adding icing on the cake (for those who love a little bass) are four Danley BC-415 subwoofers that complement the Caleb’s low-end output and can shake the press box windows down to 21Hz. Arranged two tall by two wide, the configuration provides a favorable front-to-back output ratio, again keeping energy in the bowl and off the street. Lab Gruppen amplifiers with integrated Lake processing power the system with nearly 150,000 watts.

“Unlike the stadium’s old system, the new Danley system provides independent zone control,” said Smejkal. “Special events used to be a nightmare because we had to more or less engage the whole system, which added to the noise complaints. Now, we’re able to fire up only certain components of the Danley system. It sounds better, doesn’t waste energy, and keeps the neighbors happy. Even with the entire bowl audio system operating, we found in recent testing that areas around the stadium, where noise complaints used to be frequent, that sound from the stadium is now unmeasurable over ambient background volumes. The reduction in sound spill out of the stadium is truly amazing.”

With the new Danley Caleb Horn paired with six Jericho Horns, four Danley SH-64s, and four BC-415 subwoofers, Kinnick Stadium is capable of SPLs it will never have the opportunity to tap into. But all that sheer muscle – usually taken as the primary measure of a sound system’s mojo – is really just a side effect of the system’s extreme pattern control. “There’s no other way to get that kind of pattern control down to such low frequencies,” said Jones. “That was a huge issue at Kinnick Stadium. As a bonus, they will run the system considerably below its potential, which will keep components cool and extend its lifetime.”

Like other Danley systems, Kinnick Stadium was comparatively easy to commission. “Line array systems involve a huge numbers of boxes, all of which interfere with each other in complicated ways,” continued Jones. “They require delicate aiming, endless tweaking, and plenty of DSP manipulation. Even after all that, the results are never satisfying to an audiophile – they involve huge compromises, especially at larger distances. In stark contrast, we can simply point Danley’s horns where they need to go, and we’re most of the way there. I used only five EQ points for the entire system! We mainly adjusted levels so that the small overlap zones were consistent. The whole process took only six hours.”

Kinnick stadium currently houses the best point source, long throw audio system ever assembled, until the next Danley Sound Labs innovation again changes the playing field.

ABOUT DANLEY SOUND LABSDanley 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

Highland Park Baptist Church Prepares for the Future with Danley Speakers and Ashly Processing and Amps

HighlandPark_Church_InteriorCOLUMBIA, TENNESSEE: As it approached its hundred-year anniversary as a congregation, Highland Park Baptist Church in Columbia, Tennessee sought to revamp its four hundred-seat sanctuary. It hired Church Interiors of High Point, North Carolina to help design and organize the work, which included structural and aesthetic improvements, as well as a new Sharp/Extron video system based around three huge LED screens and a cutting-edge sound reinforcement system. Now, Danley Sound Labs horn-loaded loudspeakers and subwoofers deliver musical and highly intelligible sound, with power and processing supplied by rock-solid Ashly Audio amplifiers and digital signal processors. The sound system is zero compromise, exceeding Highland Park’s hopes for fidelity and quality while still meeting their budgetary requirements.

“Highland Park’s old sound system had an undersized sixteen-channel board and frustratingly uneven coverage,” explained Wayne McKinney, sales engineer with Church Interiors. “They have solidly traditional services with a strong choir, piano, and organ, but they’re looking to incorporate more contemporary elements. They needed the new sound system to deliver better coverage and intelligibility for their existing program material and to facilitate (and not hinder) their anticipated growth.” Although McKinney was able to repurpose or reuse some of the old system’s components, such as a CD player, a CD recorder, and several up-to-date wireless microphones, most of the system had to be replaced.

HighlandPark_Church_Speakers“We ran several models and found that Danley loudspeakers and subs gave us much better coverage with significantly fewer boxes than the alternatives,” continued McKinney. “The performance would be better, particularly in terms of pattern control, and the cost would be lower. You can’t beat that. Moreover, the fewer Danley boxes give an overall cleaner look. It’s neat and tidy. Because the sanctuary has an over-balcony and an under-balcony, we used a delay system to supplement the main cluster.” Two flagship Danley SH-50s provide main seating coverage from above the stage, with a Danley TH-118 subwoofer mounted in the organ chamber for low-end support. Two delayed Danley SH-Micros cover the lower balcony while three cover the upper balcony.

Two Ashly 4.8SP four-by-eight Protea™ DSP system processors handle the output from an Allen & Heath GLD 112 console to deliver the perfect dynamics and frequency domain characteristics for the Danley loudspeakers and subwoofer. Six dual-channel, 1,000-watt-per-channel Ashly KLR-2000 amplifiers and three dual-channel, 1,600-watts-per-channel Ashly KLR-3200 amplifiers power the system. “I’ve been a fan of Ashly processing and power for over twenty years,” said McKinney. “They’ve always maintained excellent build quality and always come through with knowledgeable, fast customer service. The Ashly KLR-Series amplifiers give the Danley system the punch it needs at a very competitive price point. The Ashly processing is super easy to use, and all of the algorithms are transparent.”

With its newly renovated sanctuary up and running, Highland Park Baptist Church is well positioned for its next century of service.

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 40-year old company is headquartered in Webster, New York U.S.A. www.ashly.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

Tropical Oasis Houses API 1608 in Studio Getaway

Gileah_Chris_TaylorDESTIN, FLORIDA: Destin, Florida, already a destination getaway, is now even better thanks to the efforts of Ocean Reef Resorts owner and recording artist Chris Taylor, who recently added a private studio to the Miramar Beach location. He and his wife, Gileah, wanted a place to record music and experiment with sound without leaving their beach-side home and they knew API could help them create such a unique space. The idea was especially attractive because it eliminated the need for them to travel to Nashville or Los Angeles as they had in the past to achieve high-quality recordings.

The new studio is set apart not only because of its location, but also because the Taylors want it to remain private for as long as possible. “The resort is a family-owned business but this is just going to be for me and my wife. Hopefully it won’t ever have to become a commercial space.” Instead, Taylor hopes that if others come to use the studio, they will find it relaxing and rejuvenating. “We’d like to host writers’ retreats for specific people down at the beach. It’s really, really cool to just hang out, and it’s beautiful inside.” The space is currently unnamed, though the Taylors unofficially refer to it as “War Horse Studio.”

Taylor started considering the API 1608 for himself around 2007. “I was tracking a record of my own at EMI in Nashville and Allen Salmon had a lunchbox® and some of the [API] EQs. I thought it was really powerful and from then on I started noticing API everywhere!” By the time Taylor tested the 1608 at Vintage King’s demo facility in Nashville, he knew he’d need one of his own. “The time frame and the footprint on the 1608 impressed me more than others I was considering, but it was really as simple as using one. It’s easy to work with and that’s the whole goal!” The 1608 is not Taylor’s only piece of API gear; he also has an 8-slot lunchbox and a JDK R22 compressor, and he says ease-of-use is a shared trait among his API equipment. “With the lunchbox, I have EQs and compressors loaded in, and recording is as easy as just turning it on.” He adds, “You can tell the 1608 is a solidly built piece of gear. It’s like having a Range Rover parked out front.”

For more please see chrisandgileah.com and oceanreefresorts.com

ABOUT API (AUTOMATED PROCESSES, INC.) Established 45 years ago, Automated Processes, Inc. is the leader in analog recording gear with the Vision, Legacy Series, 1608, and THE BOX recording consoles, as well as its classic line of modular signal processing equipment.

www.apiaudio.com

Ashly Pema Processor/Amp Revives Tornado-Torn Church and School

Joplin_StMarys_CatholicChurch_ExteriorJOPLIN, MISSOURI: Together with the rest of the community, St. Mary’s Catholic Church and Elementary School in Joplin, Missouri has faced the difficult, but heartening, task of rebuilding after one of the worst tornados on record destroyed its buildings in 2011. The church and school relocated southwest of the city, where it has more room to comfortably accommodate a larger congregation and a larger student body. Although unwelcomed, the school capitalized on the opportunity to build new infrastructure, including a multipurpose cafeteria with a flexible sound reinforcement system. A cost-effective, multi-channel Ashly Pema 4250.70 network Protea™ matrix processor combined with a four-channel amplifier delivers the flexibility that allows even non-technical staff to set the system up using Ashly neWR-5 remote controls.

David Walters, president and principal consultant at Diversified Design Group (Lincoln, Nebraska) designed the system for St. Mary’s Elementary School, and local A/V integration firm Total Electronics Contracting installed it. In all, 48 JBL Control 26-DT in-ceiling loudspeakers deliver sound to the cafeteria in three separate zones, strategically aligned to facilitate different uses. Inputs to the system include a CD player, a DVD player, three hardwired microphone jacks, and a Shure wireless microphone system. The system resides in a Middle Atlantic rack with Middle Atlantic power conditioning.

Joplin_StMarys_CatholicChurch_TornadoThe backbone of the system is the Ashly Pema 4250.70, which provides a fully-functional 8×8 Protea™ matrix processor and a four-channel network amplifier that delivers 250 Watts per channel into each 70V zone, as well as all the processing necessary for customized user control. A handful of networked Ashly neWR-5 remote controls mounted with the equipment rack allow users to select inputs and adjust their volumes.

“The Ashly Pema’s simplicity is amazing,” said Nate Pugh, A/V Specialist at Total Electronics Contracting. “The Ashly Protea processing software was easy to program and will be easy to maintain, and it fits all of the system’s processing and amplification in just two rack spaces. The range of options is also impressive. It was great to get the 70-volt option with the right power delivery and still have the 8×8 DSP up front. It’s an excellent, go-to product for installations like St. Mary’s. The fact that we could customize the neWR-5 remote controls cinched it. We were able to give them controls that anyone will be able to walk up to and use. Again, perfect for a situation like this.”

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 40-year old company is headquartered in Webster, New York U.S.A.

www.ashly.com

ATC Presents the SCM45A Active 3-Way Reference Monitor at NAMM 2015

ATC_SCM45A_MonitorsLAS VEGAS, NEVADA – JANUARY 2015: ATC, the English loudspeaker manufacturer led by Billy Woodman and renowned for building reference monitors that are unflinchingly truthful, is introducing the ATC SCM45A at NAMM 2015.

The SCM45A is a completely new design but shares many features with the highly-successful SCM25A. It fills a gap in ATC’s product range for a mid-size three-way that can be used in near- or mid-field positions, has high output and extended low frequency for its size but without compromising the overall balance for which ATC is so well known.

Like the SCM25A, the new SCM45A is an active three-way with an unprecedented linear response across the critical mid-range, as well as across the rest of the audible range. In contrast to the SCM25A, the SCM45A a second woofer for deeper bass response and increased SPL capability, as well as ATC’s new proprietary dual-suspension tweeter for increased resolution in the top-end. In addition, the SCM45A is physically symmetrical (not mirror imaged) and sized for placement on a meter bridge. The SCM45A is thus ideal as a center speaker between other SCM45A or ATC SCM50ASLs.

“Apart from the strategic fit of the SCM45A within the ATC product line, I must add that this new reference monitor offers stunning performance,” said Brad Lunde, president of TransAudio Group, ATC’s U.S. distributor “Price-wise, the SCM45A sits between the smaller SCM25A and the larger SCM50ASL. It includes ATC’s new tweeter and dual woofers, which improve both top-end and low-end performance. Reports trickling in from beta users suggest that the SCM45A’s transparency and feature set will make it a perfect fit in a variety of situations, from dedicated near-fields to larger multi-channel systems. There is every reason to believe it will be as popular as the SCM25A, and maybe even more so.”

The ATC SCM45A uses ATC’s new one-inch dual-suspension “Super” tweeter, the first to be designed and built by the company and the result of six years of research and design by Billy Woodman, managing director and Richard Newman, R&D engineer. The mid-range driver is ATC’s hand-built three-inch soft dome and two 6.5-inch bass drivers that deal with the lower frequencies. All of the drive units are powered by ATC’s proprietary active amp pack, a three-channel discrete MOSFET class A/B design with 150/60/25 for the bass/mid/HF respectively.

ABOUT TRANSAUDIO GROUP
TransAudio Group, founded by industry veteran Brad Lunde, has quickly become the premier U.S. importer/distributor and/or U.S. sales and marketing representative for high-end audio. Success hinges on TransAudio providing dealers and end users with a higher standard of product expertise and support far beyond the norm.

The ATC SCM45A monitors will be in stock and ready to ship February 1, 2015.
US MAP $11,490

www.transaudiogroup.com

STOP BY AND SEE US AT NAMM 2015 BOOTH #6945

Italian Composer Stefano Lentini Chooses the Purity of Metric Halo Converters

StefanoLentini_1SAFETY HARBOR, FLORIDA – JANUARY 2015: “For me, nothing is more exciting than working on music,” says composer and multi-instrumentalist Stefano Lentini. “It’s a privilege, a magical job. Composing, working with musicians, recording – it’s all exciting.” Based in his native Italy, Lentini is a composer for film and TV who is perhaps best known for his collaboration with Chinese director Wong Kar Wai on the Oscar-nominated feature The Grandmaster. His music for the film, Stabat Mater, plays a pivotal role, and Lentini – though an affable collaborator – is proud of having successfully handled every aspect of its production, from the composition and arranging to the recording and mixing. Lentini is also known for challenging himself with new genres and sounds to suit the feel of a particular film. “I don’t like music standards in soundtracks and I’m not interested in repeating genres,” he explained. “For every project, I seek a new dimension, a new musical universe.” His latest work is for Nicola Campiotti’s new documentary, Sarà Un Paese, which Lentini recorded and mixed using a pair of Metric Halo LIO-8 converters and a host of Metric Halo plug-ins.

Lentini’s involvement in music – and the tools that make it – runs deep. “My grandfather was a skilled carpenter who worked in the Italian Defense Ministry building chairs, desks, and other office furniture,” he said. “He met a luthier, and the two of them started building guitars. So I had my first guitar when I was twelve years old; it was made out of an old wardrobe! I took to the guitar immediately and wrote songs as I learned. I made my first recording overdubbing guitars on a tape recorder using a Walkman’s earpiece as the microphone. From there, I graduated to a four-track tape recorder that allowed me to arrange my compositions. Step by step, I discovered everything about audio and music through the process of playing, writing, and recording.” Lentini supplemented his self-taught education with studio work as a sound engineer, participation in choir and bands, and a formal collegiate study of ethnomusicology and ancient music.

StefanoLentini_2These days, Lentini’s studio is decidedly state-of-the-art. At the front end, he has a Neumann TLM49 and a small collection of other specialty mics that feed into a handmade Arrel Audio AL121 quad microphone preamplifier. From there, a pair of Metric Halo LIO-8 converters input and output audio between Apple Logic Pro, hardware, and an Arrel Audio AL-266 sixteen-channel summing mixer. He monitors through a passive Dynaudio M1. Lentini uses Metric Halo plug-ins in two ways. First, he uses them in Logic as channel inserts. Second, he uses them during mastering via Metric Halo’s proprietary routing software – MIO Console. During mastering, he splits his LIO-8s as well, using one for playback conversion and the second for recording conversion at 44.1kHz, 16-bit.

Without telling Lentini what he was up to, Lentini’s assistant swapped out the LIO-8s for other converters one day. “It was a kind of blind test he was putting me up to without my knowledge,” Lentini laughed. “But I passed! Without knowing what he was up to, I said, dismayed, ‘Good grief! My tweeters are out of order!’ He let me in on the joke and put things right. It was a good testament to the LIO-8, which is, in my opinion, after listening to many, many converters, the absolute champion of transparency. I think that goes back to Metric Halo founders Joe and B.J. Buchalter’s quest for scientifically-grounded audio magic. It’s not just a business for them, it’s a passion. I like to think that I can ‘hear’ it in the LIO-8.” Lentini also noted that both his mic pre and his LIO-8s boast better than 2Hz – 60kHz performance.

Despite his passion for great audio gear, Lentini is wary of losing sight of his priorities. “For me, the most dangerous thing is to become a slave to the technicalities,” he said. “I love audio engineering, but I have to give priority to creative matters. The music has to be great to begin with, and then the technicalities let it shine. But it doesn’t work the other way around.” As such, he has streamlined his workflow to include only those tools that work in ways that are transparent not only to the signal flowing through them, but also to the process of creation.

“What I demand in a plug-in is firstly precision,” he said. “I want to be able to manipulate the sound with as much detail as possible. That’s what I love about Metric Halo plug-ins.” Lentini most commonly uses Metric Halo Character (a signal path modeling plug-in) and Metric Halo ChannelStrip. He commonly adds Character’s “Soft Sat” preset at the mastering stage to give his recordings an overall analog feel with pleasant harmonic distortion. He uses the precise and responsive equalization parameters of ChannelStrip throughout the recording and mixing process.

“It may seem secondary, but the customer and technical service I’ve received from Metric Halo is excellent,” Lentini added. “It’s not secondary to me because it has allowed me to keep focused on the creative aspects of my work.”

ABOUT METRIC HALO Based on the Gulf Coast of Florida, Metric Halo provides the world with award-winning software and hardware recording, processing, metering and analysis solutions.

www.mhlabs.com

Ashly Audio Appoints Industry Veteran Scott Leslie to the Newly-Created Position of Executive Vice President

Scottt_Leslie_AshlyWEBSTER, NEW YORK – JANUARY 2015: Ashly Audio, leading manufacturer of high-value multichannel amplifiers and processors for the installed sound and related markets, announces that industry veteran Scott Leslie will join the company as Executive Vice President. Ashly and its parent company, JAM Industries, are committed to a new growth strategy and they are drawing on Leslie’s vision, experience, and leadership to help execute it. In the newly-created position, Leslie reports to Ashly CEO and President Mark Wentling and oversees the R&D, marketing, and the North American sales divisions.

Leslie’s roots are deep in the audio industry; his father invented the famed Leslie rotating speaker that has long been an essential component of electric organs. The younger Leslie earned his master’s degree in acoustics from Georgia Tech and, after interning at Fender, took a position as a loudspeaker engineer at Altec Lansing. From there, he pivoted to the computer and software industry with positions at Tektronix, Sun Microsystems, SeeBeyond, and others before starting his own analytics software company. He returned to the pro sound industry as Vice President of Engineering at JBL Pro before launching his own consulting firm, PD Squared, which helped clients with strategy, product development, and product management.

Noted Wentling, “Everyone here at Ashly Audio is excited about taking the company to the next level – what we call Ashly 2.0. To accomplish this we need highly motivated leaders from within our industry, as industry insiders know best how the pro-sound business operates. Leslie brings a great blend of both pro-sound and “outside of” pro-sound experience to the company. With Leslie, we have the best of both worlds. Together with the backing of our parent company, JAM Industries, Ashly’s future is unlimited.

“Ashly has an amazing reputation and a dedicated following based on superior products and unequaled customer support,” said Leslie. “Ashly’s Class D amplifiers are the best designs on the market, and the company is successfully swimming against the current by building competitive products in the USA.”

Regarding Ashly’s new growth strategy, Leslie said, “Ashly has a lot of opportunity to get closer to our customers and increase our value to sales partners and end users. I hope to implement new programs that will give us deeper penetration and pursue a partner strategy that brings all of us new opportunities. Lastly, we will add several new positions in a variety of areas.”

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 40-year old company is headquartered in Webster, New York U.S.A.

www.ashly.com

ATC Monitors the Choice of Multiple Grammy Winners Gavin Lurssen and Chuck Ainlay for their Current Grammy Nomination

Gavin_LurssenLAS VEGAS, NEVADA – JANUARY 2015: With three Grammy wins and one Latin Grammy win already to his name, renowned mastering engineer Gavin Lurssen has been nominated for yet another Grammy Award this year in the category Best Engineered Album for mastering The Way I’m Livin’ by country music singer Lee Ann Womack (which is also up for Best Country Album). He shares the nomination with fellow Grammy-winner Chuck Ainlay, who recorded and mixed the album using ATC SCM25A active three-way near-field monitors. When the project moved to Lurssen’s L.A.-based studio, his beefy ATC SCM150ASL active three-way mid-field monitors took over and guaranteed that Lurssen’s practiced ears would direct the tweaks and tucks so that Womack’s beautiful melodies would entrance listeners on everything from ear buds to expensive home theaters.

Ainlay installed ATC’s biggest soffit-mounted professional monitors, the SCM300ASLs, at his BackStage Studio around the turn of the century. “ATCs possess tremendous accuracy throughout the vocal range, and the levels I get on ATCs always seem to translate to any other environment” he said. “Since Lee Ann Womack is among the greatest female country music singers ever, I obviously had to make sure that her vocals shined on the new album. It’s also a very dynamic album that comes from the heart; it’s not just about radio hits.” Though happily accustomed to his SCM300ASLs, Ainlay had long been at the mercy of whatever loudspeakers were present whenever he worked away from BackStage. “I heard the relatively new ATC SCM25As at AES a while back and I knew I had to have them,” he said. “I bought the floor models!” Thanks to that purchase, Ainlay was able to record and mix The Way I’m Livin’ at Sound Stage Studios and still rely on his ATC SCM25As’ honesty.

Chuck_Ainlay“Chuck gave me some direction, but mainly he wanted me to do what I do,” said Lurssen, who is well known for delivering masters that retain an organic “chunkiness” that conveys life and dimension even on today’s ubiquitous, and often lossy, digital formats. “I strive to retain and accentuate the depth of field and lower midrange support that ultimately supports the high-end image. The clarity of ATC’s midrange is exceptional and allows me to really hear exactly what I’m doing. Of course, Chuck wanted me to produce a competitive master, but we were both in agreement that it should not be over-slammed or over-cooked.” In part to help ground his vision for the recording with Ainlay’s, Lurssen often flipped back and forth between his larger ATC SCM150ASLs to his pair of smaller ATC SCM25As – the same model that Ainlay had used. “You can never have too much information in these matters,” he laughed.

Although much of Lurssen’s magic is beyond the ability of words to describe, he was able to articulate a few of the critical components that he listened for on The Way I’m Livin’ and why their success helped the recording as a whole. “Lee Ann’s melodic structures simply had to shine,” he said. “In each instance, I had to make sure that the song was really ‘let out,’ and the vocals were usually the critical leverage point. When that melodic structure is presenting itself, it’s important to hear two aspects of the mid range. The first is the upper part, where the song is really going to jump out of the speakers. The second is the lower part that supports that upper part. Determining exactly where those two parts meet is critical for getting the right depth of field, balance, and support. The ATC’s let me zero in on that aspect so that I was sure everything was perfect. Because that balance is correct, Lee Ann’s voice and melody seem to leap from the loudspeakers.”

To get everything sounding just so, Lurssen employs an unusually large number of hardware compressors, limiters, and equalizers. “I’m trying to do as little as possible while still having the greatest impact possible,” he said. “I use a lot of gear, but I use each piece very subtly. A bit of each of the best works way better than a lot of any single piece, no matter how good it is. When everything is said and done, it needs to sound like I was never there – there can be no veil between the artist and the listener.”

Lurssen first heard ATC monitors years ago when a fellow engineer insisted that their team use a pair of ATC SCM50ASLs for a Pink Floyd project. “The rest of us made a fuss because we all had some other speakers that we were already used to,” he said. “But he set them up and within literally three seconds, I knew that I had to have my own pair. There was absolutely no doubt in my mind, which is a rare thing for anyone, I think. That certainty never went away, and so when I set out on my own a few years later, I started with ATC monitors and then built everything else around them. I’ve found that when I get a master sounding right on my ATCs, the master will successfully translate to any other system, pro or consumer.”

Gavin Lurssen will be present at ATC’s NAMM press conference on Friday, January 23 in support of the new ATC product introduction.

ABOUT TRANSAUDIO GROUP
TransAudio Group, founded by industry veteran Brad Lunde, has quickly become the premier U.S. importer/distributor and/or U.S. sales and marketing representative for high-end audio. Success hinges on TransAudio providing dealers and end users with a higher standard of product expertise and support far beyond the norm.

www.transaudiogroup.com

STOP BY AND SEE US AT NAMM 2015 BOOTH #6945

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Stay up to date on the latest technology news. Select press representatives post company news several times a day. Check back often to get the latest news on product releases, mergers and acquisitions, and product applications. To be included in this virtual press conference, please contact The Wire.

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