A virtual press conference from Sound & Video Contractor

Archive by Heather Davis

MIX ENGINEER ARIEL BORUJOW EXPANDS HIS METRIC HALO PALETTE TO INCLUDE THE PRODUCTION BUNDLE

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – AUGUST 2013: Ariel Borujow is chief engineer at New York City’s Stadiumred studios (www.stadiumred.com) and a multi-platinum, Grammy-nominated mix engineer who has worked with artist and producers such as Kanye West, Madonna, The Black Eyed Peas, P Diddy, J-Lo, Chiddy Bang, Just Blaze, and others. His success stems from his passion for audio, which makes his typical ten-hour day (clocked seven days a week) the key ingredient in a life well lived. Indeed, when we caught up with him, Borujow was happy to be getting back into that groove after being sick for a few weeks. “I didn’t know what to do with myself,” he laughed. “I was just stuck there, roaming around in my apartment, which is usually just a place to sleep at the end of a long day. I guess the upside is that I got to know my apartment better?” Now back in the studio, Borujow is finishing up projects with Modern Machines, Charlie Red, and Low Country Kingdom using the Metric Halo Production Bundle, which includes ChannelStrip 3, TransientControl, Multiband Expansion, Multiband Dynamics, Character, Precision DeEsser, and HaloVerb plug-ins.

Modern Machines (www.facebook.com/ModernMachines) is a pair of New York City producers who are making some of the most engaging and danceable electronic dance music on the planet, and Borujow recently mixed their single, “We Are the Night.” “They come from an engineering background, so the tracks sounded good coming in,” he said. “Nevertheless, they gave it some grit on purpose, and the challenge was to keep that feel while making sure the music would still translate effectively at a dance club.”

Borujow was a longtime user of Metric Halo’s ChannelStrip 2, and he’s pleased that ChannelStrip 3 retains the same “out-of-the-box sound” while adding features that make it even more functional and flexible. “The size is great and the interface is even more intuitive, but the most exciting improvement is the incorporation of a spectrum analyzer,” he said. “It’s a big deal and it’s on almost all of the Production Bundle plug-ins.” As with all of his mixes, Modern Machines benefitted from plenty of ChannelStrip 3. For the all-important kick drum, he used ChannelStrip 3 to dial in the right timbre and dynamics and then used TransientControl to punch it up. “I’ve used other manufacturers’ transient plug-ins,” Borujow said, “but Metric Halo has given TransientControl something that is noticeably better, but in a subtle and interesting way. I can’t exactly put my finger on it, but there’s no doubt that it really improves the dynamics without over-processing them.”

Borujow is using a slightly different part of his brain to mix Charlie Red [www.wearecharliered.com], a duo that fuses hip-hop, blues, and rock to come up with a very unique style. The music is all live instruments and the band recorded the tracks at home. “These guys are real artists and they go by feel,” Borujow said. “All of the tracks are masterfully performed, but some of the technical stuff needed polishing.” Again, he used TransientControl to add shape and dynamics to the drums, and ChannelStrip 3 found use everywhere. The tracks were also noisy at times and Borujow used the Multiband Expander to carve out the noise. The very accurate spectrum analysis feature allowed him to zero in and position the bands for maximum effect.

Because Charlie Red’s recordings weren’t made in a purpose-built live room there was a certain “boxiness” to the recordings. Rather than EQ out the room mode frequencies, Borujow used Multiband Dynamics to carve them out dynamically. “Again, the spectrum analyzer was a tremendous help,” he said. “To lessen that boxy sound, Multiband Dynamics is preferable to EQ because EQ tends to lose something. Multiband Dynamics leaves the life in the recording. It’s a much more pleasing solution. Metric Halo’s version sounds great and is quick and easy to work with.”

With another “this meets that” description, Borujow finds Low Country Kingdom (www.lowcountrykingdom.com) at the intersection of Gorillaz meets the Beastie Boys. “These guys are just super musical! They produced all the music in Logic and sent me the stems,” he said. “To give it more of a ‘sound,’ I used Character. I especially like the ‘American Solid State’ algorithm. It’s subtle and not overboard, and it doesn’t sound digital. It sounds authentic. It’s been a go-to plug-in and setting for me lately. It’s all over the Low Country Kingdom album.” He also used the Precision DeEsser quite a lot. “I use it a lot of the time for vocals, sure, but I use it for a lot of other instruments as well,” he explained. “For example, the Low Country Kingdom snare sound was a little too bright at times. Rather than EQ it out, which kills those frequencies even when they’re not annoying, the Precision DeEsser allows me to keep them down only when they’re too much. I put the TransientControl behind it, and the snare sounded awesome.”

All three projects benefitted in roughly equal degrees by Borujow’s newfound access to HaloVerb. “I’m a huge fan of the ‘Sizzly Plate’ preset,” he said. “I find that as I get older, I use reverb as much as I used to, but I want to hear it at the front of the mix less and less. It’s more effective as a subconscious thing – an element that puts instruments in a common space. I don’t want to hear it, I want to feel it.” He used HaloVerb for Modern Machines’ synths, Charlie Red’s guitars and drums, and Low Country Kingdom’s vocals.

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 IN BRAZIL – VISOM DIGITAL AUTHORIZED AS 1608 DEALER

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – AUGUST 2013: Brazil’s Visom Digital has become the latest of authorized API 1608 dealers. Joining the ranks of other API distributors in South America, Visom began carrying the API product line back in 2012. “After their obvious success with API module products, it was logical that Visom now take on representation of the 1608,” said Gordon Smart, API’s managing director.

Located in Rio de Janeiro, Visom Digital is a working studio, audio technology development center, and audio equipment dealer specializing in high-quality, high-profile sound recording. “We only sell what we use and this makes all the difference in credibility for our people,” said owner, Carlos de Andrade.

With a wide range of clients, Visom Digital caters to everything from independent and major recording studios to TV and radio stations. “As an engineer I have always used API, as a salesman I believe in the product, and as a businessman it’s just a good seller,” said de Andrade of the API product line. Visom stands behind the products they represent, while aiming to understand the needs of their customers and partners in order to offer appropriate solutions. They also offer after-sales services, such as warranty, installation and training.

“For most distributors a line like API is a gem to be catered to with great consideration of its tradition,” said de Andrade. “For Visom, API is not a brand. It is a passion and a bit of our history. We will not just sell API. We will evangelize and educate our clients on the ownership of an important part of professional audio.”

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

DANLEY SOUND LABS LOUDSPEAKERS AND SUBS WIN THE SHOOTOUT FOR INCLUSION AT MT. MORIAH BAPTIST CHURCH’S NEW SANCTUARY

CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA – AUGUST 2013: Lou Jones, president of NBS Media Systems in Charleston, South Carolina, has been working with the members of Mt. Moriah Baptist Church for over twenty years. He helped to design and install their previous three sound systems, each a response to the church’s continued growth. Recently, Mt. Moriah expanded yet again, building a new 2,250-seat sanctuary on its property. Again, Jones and his company helped the church meet all of its audio/visual needs. He arranged a sound reinforcement system shootout, pitting three well-regarded line array systems against a Danley Sound Labs point source system. Danley came out on top sonically and, as a bonus, was the least expensive system under consideration. The church used some of the money it saved to add a few extra Danley boxes, which absolutely guaranteed clear, high SPLs required for the full impact of its energetic gospel services.

“They wanted to be absolutely certain that they would have a sound system capable of delivering high-end, concert-quality SPL and low-frequency output for their full production, which includes a 150-voice choir, drums, bass, guitar, sax, keyboards, B3, and soloists,” said Jones. “And they wanted to be rider-ready for touring Christian acts.” It was destined to be an impressive sound system, and the church wanted to be sure it would get the best components available. At the request of the church officials, Jones arranged a loudspeaker/subwoofer shootout, sequentially bringing in four well-respected manufacturers, including Danley Sound Labs.

Except for Danley, the other three systems were all line arrays, consistent with the size and format of the room. All of the systems sounded good, but the church’s task was to pick the best. “They were impressed by the Danley system,” said Jones. “They liked its warm, hi-fi quality. The subs were also tremendous and more than capable of putting out the kind of solid low end that they were hoping for. They had the money in the bank for even the most expensive of the four systems, so their decision was based purely on performance. Nevertheless, the Danley system would save them some money. In addition, the Danley point-source system affords them better sight lines than they would have had with a line array.”

Engineers at Danley Sound Labs assisted Jones with a system model. Three Danley SH-96 HO full-range boxes provide main coverage in an exploded LCR arrangement. The new “HO” suffix on many of Danley’s full-range loudspeakers denotes a new high-frequency element that allows the entire box to operate at higher SPLs with Danley’s characteristic flat, undistorted response. A pair of Danley SH-95-HOs provide delay on either side, and two more SH-95 HOs deliver down-fill for the choir. Two Danley SH-Micros serve as apron fills, and two SH-Minis fill in the dead zones on the Deacon and Deaconess boxes on the platform. Eight Danley SH-LPMs serve as stage monitors. A pair of flown Danley DBH-218 subwoofers convey ample low end from either side of the stage. The DBH-218 is Danley’s nuanced take on conventional subwoofer design. Finally, forty-five Tannoy ceiling-mounted loudspeakers distribute sound throughout the rest of the building. A Yamaha M7CL accepts 48 of 96 possible inputs at a time, and three Biamp Nexia processors provide routing, crossovers, and loudspeaker conditioning. Crown CTs-Series amplifiers power the system. He system also includes a full compliment of stage microphones and six Shure SLX combo wireless mic systems – each including a Shure SM58 handheld mic and a Countryman E6 head-worn mic with belt-pack.

NBS also designed and installed the HD video system for the project. This system includes three two Vaddio HD-19 and one Vaddio HD-20 1080p remote PTZ camera (and they are adding a fourth), controlled by Vaddio’s joystick controller. Video processing and distribution is done using a Roland V1600HD video switcher. Camera inputs are all HD/SDI and outputs to projectors and flat-screens are DVI. There are five Digital Pro E-Vision 7,000 lumens/WUXGA DLP projectors. Two projectors are “stacked” per side to illuminate 16’x10’ VU Easy fixed screens on either side of the proscenium. The fifth E-Vision projector illuminates a Draper 137-inch 16:10 ratio screen above and in front of the choir seating position and behind the proscenium arch (not visible from the audience). Additional flat-screen monitors are located in various areas on the platform on rolling low-profile mounts so that the celebrants can see the video presentation. There are also flat-screens installed in the Pastor’s Study and conference room with numerous other locations in the building being “roughed-in” for the addition of future displays.

The theatrical lighting system was designed and installed, in partnership with NBS, by High Output with local offices in Charleston and headquartered in Boston. Mark Shore from the Boston office was High Output’s lead engineer and designer on the project.

The theatrical lighting system includes twelve LED Prism Projection RevEAL Profile 14 degree color-changing fixtures at the front of house pipe batten position. There are three lighting pipe battens suspended over the platform area, behind the proscenium with thirty LED Elektralight ElektraLED 1018 color-changing wash fixtures with Source 4 barn doors. The system includes a 1×12 opto-splitter, a programmable wall controller and a Leprecan LPC-96V 96-channel console with touch-screen at front of house.

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

DUKE ENERGY POWERS CONFERENCE ROOM WITH SYMETRIX SYMNET EDGE DSP WITH AEC

CLIFFSIDE, NORTH CAROLINA – AUGUST 2013: Duke Energy’s Cliffside Steam Station dates back to the 1930s. It was renovated several times over the decades. It’s most recent renovation, costing nearly $2 billion and incorporating advanced pollution control technologies, went on line recently. The project also included major upgrades to the 1930s-era office space and conference room. The 75-seat venue is now fully-modernized based on a teleconferencing system built around a SymNet Edge Dante network audio DSP, with four-channel AEC card providing state-of-the-art acoustic echo cancellation and noise reduction.

A/V integration firm A Sound Experience of Boiling Springs, North Carolina, designed and installed the system. “Duke is an enormous company and they perform training in different locations,” said Preston Hinson, owner of A Sound Experience. “They required an easy way to assemble people and the conference room was the place to do it.” Even before Duke officials requested teleconferencing capabilities, Hinson had planned to use a SymNet Edge DSP for the room’s audio processing and sound reinforcement. His decision was based on the ease of design and configuration with SymNet Composer software and the fact that SymNet Edge is Dante network enabled. “It’s a large building and there were a lot of scenarios they want to explore in the future,” said Hinson. “We wanted to give them a Dante system so that we can move audio with simple CAT5 wiring which, combined with SymNet Edge, future proofs the system.”

A video presentation system for training was the driver for the conference room renovation. “They didn’t think they had the budget for teleconferencing,” said Hinson. “But with the SymNet Edge frame as the basis for the design, it was a simple and cost-effective to add a SymNet AEC Card to the Edge frame’s modular I/O structure. That relatively small addition gave them all of the hardware and software necessary for state-of-the-art teleconferencing, including acoustic echo cancellation. The result was clean, clear, intelligible audio in the Cliffside room and in the remote locations it connects to.”

Inputs to the system include wireless lavalier and handheld microphones, remote location audio, a DVD player, and VGA and HDMI video. URC KP 4000 in-wall touch panels control A/V source selection, as well as individual and overall volumes. Self-powered ISP Technology SM 650B/W loudspeakers fill the room with sound, and a BenQ 6000 lumen projector delivers crisp video. A Furman sequencer powers the system.

“The system was designed to be simple and end-user friendly – it’s transparent and straightforward,” said Hinson. “There’s a lot of processing going on inside the SymNet Edge and the AEC card that makes it simple and robust. If Duke wants to expand the system in the future, it will be easy for us to move audio via Dante on CAT5 cable.”

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

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

ASHLY AUDIO APPOINTS NATIONAL AUDIO SYSTEMS (NAS) AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR

WEBSTER, NEW YORK – AUGUST 2013: Ashly Audio, longtime American manufacturer of professional audio signal processors, amplifiers, and end-user controllers, has appointed National Audio Systems (NAS) to distribute its products throughout Australia. Headquartered in Melbourne, and with satellite offices in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth, NAS has grown in the fifteen years since its founding to become one of Australia’s most trusted audio suppliers for the professional, commercial, and MI vertical markets. Ashly will join NAS’ prestigious line card, which includes d&b audiotecnik, Midas, Klark-Teknik, Cloud, SoundTube, Listen, Chiayo, and inDesign.

“We are happy to work with Ashly because we like the direction they are heading and the range of products they make,” said Richard Hulston, commercial audio sales specialist with NAS. “Ashly just licensed Audinate’s Dante Digital Network, and they are issuing a new DSP and amplifier series that meet the evolving needs of integrators. We see Ashly as a company developing relevant and new products that will satisfy the needs of our customers. We look forward to developing the Ashly brand within our portfolio and within the Australian market. We will build brand awareness amongst our customers through support and training and establish Ashly as a preferred product.”

“National Audio Systems is small enough to care and big enough to matter, without losing focus on the fact they are in business for their customers and suppliers,” said Anthony Errigo, Ashly’s director of marketing communications. “They have an established reputation of looking out for the needs of their customers and commanding an authoritative knowledge of the latest in audio equipment and trends. We at Ashly are pleased to be partnering with them in Australia.”

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

METRIC HALO ANNOUNCES IMMEDIATE AVAILABILITY OF MIO CONSOLE 5.6

SAFETY HARBOR, FLORIDA – AUGUST 2013: Metric Halo announces the immediate availability of MIO Console v.5.6, a free software upgrade for all users of the Mobile I/O family of audio interfaces, including the award-winning 2882, ULN-2, LIO-8 and ULN-8. Version5.6 includes the following new features: I/O inserts for accessing external hardware from within the MIO Mixer, ConsoleSync hardware/software synchronization technology, AAX ConsoleConnect plug-in for compatibility with Pro Tools 11, saving of system boot states and support for EuCon 3.0. In addition to these new features, v.5.6 continues to improve stability and compatibility with current and future versions of Mac OS X.

ConsoleSync is a unique enhancement to the Mobile I/O family that benefits both new and experienced users. ConsoleSync allows MIO Console to read the complete state of any attached hardware seamlessly, automatically and without any disruption of running audio. ConsoleSync auto loads the mixer configuration, complex signal processing chains, Monitor Controller settings, analog I/O configuration and even window layout from the hardware.

With ConsoleSync, new users will experience a dramatically reduced learning curve for accessing the power of MIO Console. Experienced users will value the ability to have MIO Console re-connect to the hardware with exact recall of the current hardware state and no disruption of audio. For live sound and monitoring applications this allows the user to disconnect and re-connect the computer or quit and launch MIO Console without being concerned about introducing dropouts to ongoing primary and backup recordings or to the monitoring paths for talent.

I/O inserts streamline the use of external analog and digital processors within the MIO mixer. This new feature also allows inserting processors that are hosted on the computer directly within the signal flow of the MIO low-latency hardware mixer. This enables the use of host-based reverbs and delays with greatly simplified routing.

This free upgrade continues the Metric Halo tradition of adding value to the Mobile I/O platform as well as enhancing the product for new users. A 30-day money-back guarantee backs Metric Halo’s hardware products so you can try them out in your studio with no risk. All products in the Mobile I/O family are discounted during the Metric Halo 2013 Summer Sale, which runs until September 15, 2013.

Free download from http://mhsecure.com/metric_halo/support/downloads.html

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

CHARLESTON SOUND’S 32-CHANNEL API 1608 TURNS OUT THE HITS

CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA – AUGUST 2013: Four years ago, Charleston Sound set itself apart with a 32-channel 1608 analog console with API’s P-mix automation and additional custom 500-Series expansion slots. Acclaimed studio designer Wes Lachot ensured that the facility’s sonic signature is technically balanced and subjectively stunning. As examples, the live room and isolation booths employ modern conveniences and construction techniques to generate a classic, inviting feel. At the same time, the control room offers creature comforts and an honest, accurate rendering of the auditory work at hand. But the core of Charleston Sound’s success is the 1608.

“The 1608 has been great,” said Jeff Hodges, chief engineer and owner of Charleston Sound. “We have a ton of API 550A and 550b equalizers, and they sound fantastic. The 1608 is also tremendously practical. Its bus architecture is easy to use and flexible, as is the patching. We have, to my knowledge, the only 1608 with sixteen additional 500-Series expansion slots [beyond the sixteen slots afforded by a stock 32-channel 1608]. We’ve loaded those slots up with API modules and a huge range of third-party processors. And there’s still some room to spare.”

Charleston Sound was also the first studio to have automation installed on its 1608. “We love API’s P-mix automation. We rarely do anything in Pro Tools these days,” said Hodges. “It’s so much more intuitive and inspiring to do the fader moves right there on the analog board. It’s actually fun.”

Recently, Charleston Sound attracted country superstar Darius Rucker, American Idol contender Elise Testone, and R&B singer/songwriter Ashanti to lay down some tracks. Many of these are already topping the charts, such as Ashanti’s “Never Should Have” and Darius Rucker’s “True Believers.”

Apart from the console’s sound and functionality, Hodges has also been impressed with the service he has received from API. “They’re fantastic,” he said. “We can always get API service technicians on the phone and they always take care of us… We feel like we’re part of a family, not just a customer.”

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

SIX DANLEY GENESIS HORNS AND FOUR DANLEY SUBS DELIVER FLEXIBILITY  AND UNPARALLELED PATTERN CONTROL TO OLIVET NAZARENE UNIVERSITY’S NEW STUDENT LIFE AND RECREATION CENTER

BOURBONNAIS, ILLINOIS: Located an hour south of Chicago in Bourbonnais, Illinois, Olivet Nazarene University serves over 4,500 undergraduate and postgraduate students. In order to support the campus community and to promote student health and wellness, the university recently completed construction on the new Student Life and Recreation Center. Among many other amenities (including a four-story climbing wall!) the new facility features a 72,000 square-foot field house with four full basketball courts ringed by a running track. Olivet Nazarene University plans to eventually use the space for concerts, ceremonies, and other large events in addition to its day-to-day activities. With that goal in mind, the field house sound reinforcement system is a high-powered combination of Danley Sound Labs GH-60 Genesis Horns (with SH-100 loudspeakers for fill) paired with Danley TH-118 subwoofers which are configured in a steered cardioid array.

AVI Systems, of Bensenville, Illinois, designed and installed the system with significant design and commissioning assistance from Johnson AV Engineering of Chicago. The Assistant Director of Audio and Lighting Production, Matt Steinacker already had their heart set on the sound of the Danley GH-60 Genesis Horn,” explained Aaron Johnson, president and principal engineer at Johnson AV Engineering. “AVI brought us on board based on our prior experience with Danley systems. I agreed with their choice. The GH-60 sounds great and, like all Danley boxes, exhibits excellent pattern control. Good pattern control was essential to keep direct energy off of the walls as much as possible.”

The system they arrived at uses six Danley GH-60 Genesis Horns in two groups of three arrayed in a ring at the center of the field house. A Danley SH-100 provides down-fill below each cluster of GH-60s. Depending on the configuration of the room, the university’s A/V staff can use the entire ring of loudspeakers for full 360-degree coverage or they can split the ring in half and use only one side or the other. A line of ten additional Danley SH-100s cover the bleachers along one side of the room.

Initial acoustic models of the space suggested the room would have a very long reverb time. Johnson knew that it would be essential to control the low-frequency energy. To that end, he worked with Danley Sound Labs’ DDT 2D modeling software to design a steered cardioid subwoofer array whose pattern would approximately match the coverage pattern of the GH-60 Genesis Horns. He used two hangs of two Danley TH-118 subwoofers each. Each TH-118 is separately processed and powered, and the net effect delivers low-frequency energy centered at 60Hz in a ring which is steered down towards the floor with very little LF energy radiating up towards the ceiling. When only half the space is used and the GH-60 Genesis Horn ring is cut in half, the subwoofer array can also be cut in half to focus low-frequency energy in the appropriate direction.

Biamp Audio DSP provides all of the system processing, with Lab.gruppen C-series amplifiers providing the power to the Danley loudspeakers and subwoofers. AVI designed the system so that the main GH-60s, the downfill SH-100s, the bleacher SH-100s, and the subwoofers are all capable of independent control. For daily use, a Crestron control system provides intuitive input selection and volume control.

“The reverb time turned out to be close to 5.5 seconds,” said Johnson. “That’s very long, but with the high directivity of the Danley loudspeakers and the subwoofer array, the direct-to-reflected ratio is really good. The original plan called for acoustic treatment, but when the school officials heard the installed system and considered their budgetary priorities, they opted to forestall the acoustic treatment. It’s really to Danley’s credit – a less controlled system would have required significant acoustic treatment just to sound passable.”

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 ZONE MIX 761 TURN-KEY DSP MANAGES ROCK STAR MANSION-THEMED RESTAURANT IN PUNTA CANA’S HARD ROCK CAFE

PUNTA CANA, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Rolling Stone Magazine proclaimed Chef Kerry Simon to be the “Rock ‘n Roll Chef,” a distinction fitting for his latest creation: Simon Mansion and Supper Club. The establishment is part of the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. Beyond an artfully composed menu and spirits list, the lure of Simon Mansion and Supper Club is its unique and imaginative layout, which recreates the decadent, eccentric rooms of a rock star’s mansion. Guests can dine in the living room, the bedroom, the bathroom, the library, the studio, the patio, and, of course, the dining room. A/V integration firm Audio Diseño designed and installed a custom, high-SPL sound system for Simon Mansion and Supper Club using the cost-effective, high-fidelity Symetrix Zone Mix 761 fixed architecture, standalone digital signal processor.

Miguel González del Rey led the installation on behalf of Audio Diseño. “The purpose of the sound system at Simon Mansion and Supper Club is two-fold,” he said. “Most of the time it functions as a background music system, with noticeably higher volume than your average restaurant. At other times however, the system may be driven up to 96dB. After all, this is the Hard Rock Hotel, and this restaurant is a rock star’s mansion! Beyond the necessity of high volume and high fidelity, the style required an unobtrusive installation. Therefore, almost all of the loudspeakers and subwoofers are mounted in the ceiling.”

Inputs to the system include background music from a computer and a music streaming device, as well as two in-ceiling microphones for sensing background music. With twelve inputs, six outputs, and comprehensive processing facilities, the Symetrix Zone Mix 761 sits at the heart of the system. Its outputs feed several separate zones, including the kitchen, the dining room, the bedroom, the bathroom, and the smoking room. ElectroVoice CPS 4.5 and PA2250T amplifiers ably power a distributed array of SoundTube CM890d, CM500i, and SM590i loudspeakers and SoundTube CM1001d-T subwoofers. The restaurant staff and management can select input sources and adjust the volume from a Symetrix ARC wall panel remote.

“The Symetrix Zone Mix 761 has the right input/output count and processing facilities for a job like this,” said del Rey. “Its ambient noise-sensing algorithm is usable and natural, as are the dynamic controls that provide amplifier and loudspeaker protection. Most importantly however, the Zone Mix 761 sounds fantastic. Configuring the Symetrix ARC wall panel controllers was also easy and flexible. The client made several requests for user control, and we were easily able to accommodate all of them.”

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

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

SYMETRIX SYMNET SOLUS 8 OPEN ARCHITECTURE, FIXED I/O DSP GIVES BACKSTAGE PERFORMANCE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF DUBUQUE

DUBUQUE, IOWA: Located in the city of the same name, the University of Dubuque is a private Presbyterian university in Iowa that educates 1,600 undergraduate and graduate students. The school recently finished construction on its new Performing Arts and Campus Center, which features a 1000-seat performance hall and a flexible black box theater that can be arranged to seat anywhere between a twenty- and two hundred-member audience. A flexible backstage paging system centered on a single Symetrix SymNet Solus 8 open architecture, fixed I/O DSP paired with four Symetrix ARC-2e wall panel remotes provides exceptional functionality on a very tight budget.

Threshold Acoustics (Chicago, Illinois) designed the FOH and backstage sound reinforcement systems, and Professional Audio Designs (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) installed them. “This was a challenging project because the building itself ran over budget and the university was forced to make deep cuts elsewhere,” explained Kim Leonard, president of Professional Audio Designs and a Dubuque native. “We worked with Threshold Acoustics to value engineer the system to about half the cost, with as little reduction in functionality, performance, and reliability as possible.”

The auditorium, which will host lectures, ceremonies, dramatic productions, musical productions, and concerts, as well as religious services, features an Allen & Heath iLive console at FOH, with QSC amplification and EAW loudspeakers and subwoofers. The black box theater, which has abundant infrastructure to allow stage positioning in any cardinal direction, as well as theater in the round, features a smaller version of the auditorium’s FOH system. Although there were savings to be found in the FOH systems by a careful reconsideration of the design, savings elsewhere would spare as much of the original FOH design as possible.

The backstage paging system can be shared between the two spaces, or it can be separated. Each venue has its own portable stage manager console, which includes a Symetrix ARC-2e wall panel remote that allows simple push-button user control over page destination. Two additional ARC-2e, located at the tech table position and at the FOH mix position, provide paging system communication. The Symetrix SymNet Solus 8 DSP collects the microphone inputs from those locations, performs the necessary output matrixing as determined by the ARC-2e wall panel remotes, and provides input- and loudspeaker-conditioning to maximize intelligibility. QSC amplifiers power 70-volt Atlas loudspeakers.

“With configurable open architecture programming, the Symetrix SymNet Solus 8 DSP is very flexible and yet also cost-effective,” said Leonard. “It provides a uniform paging environment throughout the facility with all of the intuitive functionality we needed. It allowed us to work within the revised budget without sacrificing performance or reliability.”

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

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

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