A virtual press conference from Sound & Video Contractor

Archive by Heather Davis

FOR THE LAST TWO YEARS ED CHERNEY HAS USED HIS ATC SCM25As TO MIX EVERYTHING

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – JULY 2014: Ed Cherney needs no padding on his resume. A veteran producer and engineer with 35 years logged in the control room, Cherney has worked with the top talent in the industry, including Iggy Pop, Bob Seger, Bette Midler, Bonnie Raitt, Eric Clapton, Jann Arden, Jackson Browne, Keb’ Mo, Bob Dylan, and the Rolling Stones, to name just a few. His work has earned him six Grammy nominations and three wins, along with seven TEC nominations and five wins. He is a founding member of Producers and Engineers Wing of The Recording Academy and served as the Governor of the L.A. Chapter of The Recording Academy. Until last year, Cherney was also an avid, collector of studio reference monitors, learning to work around the faults of each model before relegating it to the closet when a newer model came through the door. That cycle ended with the arrival of a pair of ATC SCM25A 3-way nearfield monitors. Cherney now uses his ATC SCM25As for almost everything he does because they’re exciting to listen to and because the work he does on them translates flawlessly on any other pro or consumer system.

“I am always looking for speakers because they’re my eyes in the studio, my window to the world,” said Cherney. “I get a lot of inquiries from younger engineers, asking me if I can recommend a good pair of monitors for five-hundred bucks. I can’t. And it’s crazy that they’ll spend thousands on microphones and outboard gear without first giving themselves the one tool they need to actually hear what they’re doing. It’s like an artist buying expensive paints and then turning out the lights. That said I’ve had a hard time finding the ideal speaker at any price. I guess I’m something of a collector now.”

Cherney first heard a pair of ATC SCM25As at a studio in New York, and he liked what he heard. Shortly thereafter, he was working at a studio in his hometown of Chicago that had no good options for monitors. “I spoke to Brad [Lunde] at TransAudio Group [ATC’s U.S. distributor] and he sent out a pair of ATC SCM50ASLs for us to try. They were spectacular as well! We could turn them up loud, and the low end was defined, the midrange was smooth and silky, and the high end was sweet. The sound was thrilling; it could wash over me and punch me in the chest. These were the first mid-size speakers that could give me the experience of the soffit-mounted loudspeakers that the big studios have.”

He continued, “I’ve been dissatisfied with 2-way speakers in the past. The challenge is always to get the right vocal tone and volume, and it often depends on which side of the crossover the vocal is sitting. Sometimes the same singer can be below the crossover in the verse and above it in the chorus. In the past, I always took my mixes around to different systems – different speakers, my house, my car – to make sure the vocals were sitting in the mix correctly. Now that I have the ATC SCM25As, I rarely have to do that anymore. The vocals sit nicely in the midrange driver, and I’m always within a half dB. Every song. For the first time, I really trust the quality of the mixes in the studio. I don’t have to take them out and check them. I nail it and they translate to the rest of the world. That’s a huge improvement.”

Cherney has already used the ATC SCM25As on a number of projects. He produced, recorded, and mixed the main title for the Disney film Planes called “Nothing Can Stop Me Now,” as well as Robben Ford’s Bringing It Back Home and Eric Burdon’s Till Your River Runs Dry. He mixed Love for Levon on DVD, CD, and broadcast using the SCM25As, and he mixed Road to Forever by Don Felder of the Eagles. Currently, he’s working on a debut album from Athena Perez, a rising country artist from Chicago, and a new Bette Midler album.

In addition to how well his mixes translate on the ATC SCM25As, Cherney is also inspired by their clean, fatigue-free volume. “If I’m recording drums, I like to turn it up!” he said. “If the band’s in the control room, I have to turn it up! When I’m doing the final balances, I may be down around 75dB, but getting there, I want to feel it pop, physically! I want to move air in the room! With the 25s, I can. And I can do it all day long and still be as clear-headed and energized at the end of the day as I was at the beginning. My ATC’s make recording and mixing music much more fun.

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

(Photo Credit: © 2014 Lynn Fuston)

SCOTT PETITO PRODUCTIONS ADDS A 1608 CONSOLE “THE BEST PIECE OF GEAR FROM API”

WOODSTOCK, NEW YORK – JULY 2014: Musician, audio engineer, and studio owner Scott Petito has roots in the jazz and acoustic genres that go back to the early 1980s. His studio, Scott Petito Productions, has worked with major acts including James Taylor, Keith Richards, Pete Seeger, Bela Fleck, and Brian Setzer. In an effort to return to his roots in analog recording, Scott consulted Alto Music in Middletown, New York, who directed him toward an API 1608.

“It’s the best piece of gear I have ever used from API,” said Scott. “I have mixed on the Vision and Legacy consoles, as well as several vintage consoles. This has that same sound, but in a compact, simple and reasonable affordable design. It’s new, reliable, and has a great warranty.” The console has 24 channel inputs and 32 slots, providing over 48 reruns from Pro Tools. “It quickly became clear that it’s the only choice for uncompromising analog sound, and a familiar character and layout.”

With a degree from Berklee College of Music and countless hours in the studio, the sound generated by the 1608 is held to a high standard by Scott. “I already can feel and hear the added depth and dimensionality. It makes it easier to get what I want, I use fewer plug-ins, and being a smaller footprint the short signal path is always pristine and clear. It also has great headroom.”

Also among his favorite features and functions, Scott appreciates the Channel Strip and lunchbox implementation. “It lets me keep a lot of flavors on hand. The routing is wonderful. We have everything coming up on the patchbay.”

Scott and his crew wasted no time in getting to know the capabilities of the 1608. “The first session even before everything was wired to the patchbay or furniture was installed, we recorded a new album with Tony Levin, the bassist for Peter Gabriel and King Crimson among others. It’s turning out great! We are now mixing it.”

Next, the new 1608 will be used to mix the new album from Mercury Rev, whose fourth studio album Deserters Song was voted as one of the top twenty most influential albums of the last twenty years by Mojo Magazine. Scott will also use the new console to mix a new album of his own.

ABOUT API (AUTOMATED PROCESSES, INC.) Established more than 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

PLATINUM MIX ENGINEER ERIC RACY DEPENDS ON METRIC HALO PLUG-INS IN THE STUDIO AND ON THE ROAD WITH KATY PERRY

SAFETY HARBOR, FLORIDA: Eric Racy made his entrance into the world of high-profile mixing and producing via the underground world of dance music, a pivot that allowed him to leverage skills and perspective honed by the diverse tones and influences of EDM. He has gone on to mix Robin Thicke, Lil’ Wayne, Pharrell, and Busta Rhymes, along with dozens of other big name artists, and a host of indie and underground artists that deserve to have “big” names. His intuitive, yet technically precise mixing on Tyga’s “Faded” helped propel it to Platinum status, and his affable nature and unfailing ability to work magic with all things audio earned him mission-critical playback positions on tours with 2NE1 and, most recently, Katy Perry. He’s also half of boutique analog signal processing manufacturer Black Box Analog Design and thus aware of tone on a level transcending that of most mix engineers. Racy’s faithful reliance on Metric Halo’s ChannelStrip plug-in, which has been present on most channels on every (yes, every) song he has mixed since discovering it four years ago, speaks to ChannelStrip’s unique musicality and usability.

“ChannelStrip is incredible,” Racy stated flatly. “I’ve used it on every single mix since I discovered it. Although I go out of the box for EQ sweetening on a few critical channels, everything else that needs equalization gets Metric Halo’s ChannelStrip. In fact, those critical channels often get ChannelStrip, too.” Racy has an established methodology in which ChannelStrip plays a key role. When he first opens up a new mix, he combs through each channel, carefully listening for unpleasant resonances and low or high frequency content that can be filtered out. He uses ChannelStrip to then notch out the resonances and filter the unnecessary extremes.

“I’ve tried this with a million plug-ins and outboard EQs,” he said, “but nothing is as effective as Metric Halo ChannelStrip. It doesn’t mangle the audio around the notch or filter, and it doesn’t make it sound like there’s a hole in the frequency range. It gets rid of the annoying frequencies and content, and it does it transparently.” For vocals, Racy often automates the notch frequency to keep the resonance from peeking out when the vocalist changes his or her mouth shape. “The results are well worth the effort,” he said. “Nothing else I’ve found can compare with this technique.”

Similarly, Racy claims to obtain results with the keyed gate on ChannelStrip that he cannot get with any other plug-in or hardware. “I love that I can adjust the key on the gate and that those adjustments are so effective,” he said. “I’ve been working on a forthcoming Killbot album, which involves members of Korn, Sluggo, and Tyler Blue making some aggressive rock meets dubstep. As with any live recording, there’s tons of bleed on the live drums (especially the snare and toms), and – as almost always happens with drum kits – any drum or cymbal can accidently trigger any other drum’s gate. It’s a mess that often required hand-editing in the past; no other gate could get it right. But with Metric Halo ChannelStrip, I can effectively key each drum’s gate so that it only opens for its intended target. I know that other gates have that same functionality, but none of them work nearly as well as ChannelStrip.”

Racy has all of the software and hardware tools he could want in his LA-based studio, but he knew he wouldn’t have access to that gear if he took the job building the audio tracks and doing Pro Tools playback on the Katy Perry “Prismatic World Tour.” “I’m a mix engineer first and foremost, and I certainly didn’t want to give that up on the road,” he said. “Metric Halo plug-ins formed one of the essential components of my mobile rig; ChannelStrip of course, but also Metric Halo’s Character plug-in. Given everything they can do, the Metric Halo plug-ins are very efficient and wouldn’t drain DSP resources on my native rig.”

He continued, “The Character plug-in is great. It models different kinds of analog signal paths, and just like real high-end studio hardware, the effect is critical, but also subtle. Placing different Character settings on a few different channels really adds up to something. It was especially useful to have on the road when I didn’t have access to my outboard gear, but I’ve continued to find plenty of uses for it now that I’m back in my studio.” Racy looks forward to dipping into the rest of Metric Halo’s Production Bundle of plug-ins as time in his busy schedule permits.

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

SWEDEN’S UNIVERSITY OF ÖREBRO INSTALLS AN API 1608

ÖREBRO, SWEDEN: With 17,000 students, the University of Örebro is one of the fastest growing universities in Sweden. Its school of music, theatre and art provides the growing student body with an array of course subjects, including recording music technology. In its quest to prepare students for moving on to a modern recording studio, the university has commissioned an API 1608 console.

Situated in the heart of Sweden, the university’s proximity to Stockholm, Gothenburg and Oslo offer students a wide range of cities to seek employment after graduation. It is a young, modern and rapidly growing university with an ambitious agenda for the future. The university also offers courses in English and a foreign exchange program, attracting students from across the globe.

ABOUT API (AUTOMATED PROCESSES, INC.) Established more than 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

FIREHOUSE 12 UPGRADES TO AN API LEGACY PLUS CONSOLE

NEW HAVEN, CONNECTICUT: Firehouse 12, a recording studio, live music venue, and record label, located in New Haven, Connecticut, recently commissioned a 32-channel Legacy Plus console. The 24-bus, 12 aux, dual-input console replaces the API Legacy that had previously been installed.

In April, a team of API engineers and service technicians accompanied the console to Connecticut, and the team remained on hand for several days to ensure a smooth transition as the console was integrated into the newly-renovated control room.

“Prior to the Legacy Plus, I had an API Legacy installed at Firehouse 12,” shares studio owner Nick Lloyd, who has a Master’s Degree in Music Theory from neighboring Yale University. “I fell in love with the sound of that console, but realized that the flow and layout of the control room would benefit from a smaller footprint board. The 32-input Legacy Plus provides that smaller size, along with significant workflow enhancements over the Legacy.”

Located in the Ninth Square District of New Haven, Firehouse 12 is an integral part of the southern New England music scene. Nick and his crew record music in a variety of styles, but tend to work on improvised music and jazz. The commissioning of the new console is part of a larger renovation and upgrade to accommodate longer-term residential bookings at Firehouse 12. The acoustics in the main recording space remain pristine, and can accommodate anything from a rock band to the most delicate acoustic music. Equipped with its own bar, the venue also hosts live shows with up to seventy-five audience members.

ABOUT API (AUTOMATED PROCESSES, INC.) Established more than 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

STUDIO MUSICIAN, PRODUCER, AND SONGWRITER SETH GLASSMAN ADDS DAKING FET III TO HIS STUDIO

NEW YORK, NEW YORK: Seth Glassman is an accomplished bass player and multi-instrumentalist whose thirty-plus year career has included work and performances with James Brown, Paul McCartney, Diana Ross, Elvis Costello, Brian Wilson, and literally dozens of other industry luminaries of equal star-power, along with hundreds of wildly talented musicians who populate the vanguard in their respective genres. He is currently the musical director and band leader for 1960s icon Darlene Love. Like many musicians who have a knack and interest in the technical side of things, Glassman branched out into songwriting and production decades ago. He maintains a well-equipped project studio in his New York City home that includes his go-to Daking preamps and compressors, which were recently supplemented by a borrowed Daking FET III compressor to mix a forthcoming album by all-girl power trio New Myths.

“Although I started out strictly as a musician and continue to play that role, I always had an interest in producing and writing songs,” Glassman said. “Being a studio musician put me in the privileged position of watching some of the best songwriters, producers and engineers in the world work their magic. Early on, I made a conscious effort to be a sponge – to pay attention and soak up all of their knowledge, perspectives and techniques. As I got older, I deliberately moved into songwriting and production and put everything I learned into action.”

Glassman grew to know Geoff Daking, maker of Daking gear, as they repeatedly crossed paths in NYC studio sessions: Glassman on bass and Daking behind the console. “I really respect that Geoff is a musician [he played in the 1960s platinum-selling band Blues Magoos], a sound engineer, and an electrical engineer,” said Glassman. “He knows what good music sounds like, and he understands the entire path, from the instruments, through the gear, to the final product. That obviously had – and continues to have – a huge influence on how he designs gear. For example, he selected the center frequencies on his EQs based on his decades of experience behind the console. Those are the frequencies that would be most useful for him if he were using the gear.”

Glassman is a self-avowed microphone junkie, a partial consequence, he says, of the fact that no microphone is ideal for every singer. “Vocal microphones are a study in themselves. There’s a magic that can work between a vocalist and a microphone, and it’s stunning when it happens. The sound becomes almost holographic; it has dimension and texture. Of course, that helps the vocals sit prominently in the mix.” Although certain microphones, like his Bock U99, more commonly deliver that magic, there is enough variation and enough surprise that Glassman, as a rule, tries out all his pricey vocal mics on every new singer that comes into his studio.

In contrast however, Glassman has learned that the best preamp for vocals will always be his Dakings, which stands head and shoulders above his other big name preamps. “Geoff’s preamps have a body and clarity that’s unmatched,” he said. “His preamps sound better on more instruments and with more microphones than any other preamp I’ve ever used. It’s a totally different situation from the mics, where I always have to try them all out. Geoff’s preamps always sound the best.” In fact, Glassman seldom goes to any other preamp unless he has too many inputs to use just his Dakings. He also has early model Daking FET limiters that he uses as an insert on his stereo bus whenever he mixes with his Pro Tools HD system, citing its transparent but effective dynamics control, provided he doesn’t push it too far (“It’s easy to get an affected sound by driving it, which is exactly what you want for some other uses,” he clarified).

Glassman’s work with New Myths is in his blood. His daughter, Rosie Slater, plays drums with the band in the space between her live and studio work with other artists. “It’s a very textually sophisticated album,” he said, “and getting the drums to fit within that tonally and dynamically was challenging and critical. With my Daking compressor on the mix bus, I tried all of the other tools in my arsenal to get the drums where I wanted them to be, but to no avail.” Glassman called in a favor and got a loaner Daking FET III Stereo Compressor from Geoff via Daking’s U.S. distributor, TransAudio Group. “The FET III gave me the sound I was after. The drums had control but they weren’t noticeably squashed-sounding. After some early criticisms of the drum sound, Rosie loved how things came together with the Daking FET III.”

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

ADVERTISING AND POST STUDIO, MICAH KOVACS AUDIO, WINS AWARDS USING A METRIC HALO ULN-2 INTERFACE

BRONXVILLE, NEW YORK: Although the path to Micah Kovacs’ relatively new and successful freelance venture, Micah Kovacs Audio, was not clear to him at the outset, his dedication, professionalism, and knack for making audio work transparently with images guided him down it, nonetheless. Already, his ten-plus years in the advertising and film post industry have earned him Addy, Promax, and Mercury awards, and several awards at juried film festivals. His clients include the Sundance Channel, VH1, L’Oreal, Verizon, NBC, and many other high-profile brands. Whether working out of his home studio for smaller projects or temporarily relocating to a client’s facility for more involved projects, Kovacs relies on the superlative audio quality and reliability of his Metric Halo ULN-2 mic-preamp/converter to maintain a pristine signal path at all times. Moreover, Metric Halo’s commitment to future-proofing the ULN-2 with software and, when necessary, firmware upgrades – together with Metric Halo’s commitment to making the ULN-2 work robustly with any and every piece of audio software in the Mac universe – guarantees that Kovacs’ investment will continue to work for him indefinitely.

Like so many in the audio industry, Kovacs stumbled across recording technology while in a high school band. “I was fascinated by the process of recording very early on,” he said. “In college, I joined some other bands and we recorded ourselves with 4-tracks or with digital workstations when they were available. It wasn’t anything close to what I do these days; we weren’t using Pro Tools, for example. But the craft of recording and mixing captivated me.” An art major, Kovacs gravitated toward video in his coursework and secured an internship at a video post-production house after graduating. He worked his way up from production assistant to assistant video editor. “The whole time, I was the go-to guy for any audio work that needed to be done,” he recalled. “I really enjoyed the mix process and learned, through my work there, that there were companies dedicated solely to audio for video.”

From there, Kovacs took a job at NYC’s Pink Noise, where he worked his way up from glorified runner to head engineer in a span of eight years. Then he took a position at NYC’s Verbatim Sound as head engineer and music producer, and a while later – sated with industry contacts and know-how – he shifted to full-time freelance under the Micah Kovacs Audio flag. “Going freelance, I knew I had to upgrade my audio hardware,” Kovacs said. “Most of the audio interfaces on the market, including the one I owned at the time, had a nasty reputation for quickly becoming obsolete as computers and audio software progressed. I needed something that would be portable and more accepting of software upgrades. Moreover, I work with a number of audio programs, including Pro Tools and Nuendo, and I wanted something that would work seamlessly with all of them, now and in the future.”

He continued, “The Metric Halo ULN-2 was the natural choice. Metric Halo is famous for supporting its products [original versions of the company's first interface, the 2882, are still supported for all the latest Mac hardware and software]. In addition, its sound quality and reliability are consistently praised as among the best on the market.” With countless hours logged at his earlier jobs, Kovacs learned what gear was indispensible and what was not. He outfitted his personal studio with a lean, but powerful collection of gear that could travel when necessary. A small rack of outboard gear serves a variety of functions and interacts with a MacBook Pro and iMac via the ULN-2. The ULN-2 also sends signal from the computers to the gear and to a pair of KRK monitors and a pair of Yamaha NS-10s. On the far front end, Kovaks maintains a collection of studio-grade musical instruments for use in original recordings. When necessary, Kovacs can move his studio to a client’s space to complete long-term or quick turnaround jobs.

Understandably, Metric Halo’s free audio routing software, MIO Console, plays a large role in Kovacs’ setup. “I love MIO Console,” he said. “With it, I can switch between my monitors internally, and I can route signals in elaborate ways between internal software programs and my external hardware. I also like the processing the ULN-2 ships with; I’ve been experimenting a lot with the ‘Character’ signal path modeling plug-in. Finally, I was pleased with the service I received from Metric Halo. There’s a ton to learn, especially with MIO Console, and the tech support zeroed in on my particular setup to get me up and running quickly. I had clients wanting service right away, so I didn’t have time to experiment. Metric Halo understood that.”

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

www.mhlabs.com

ASHLY AUDIO PROCESSING AND USER CONTROL STREAMLINES NEW MICHIGAN FUNERAL HOME

HOMER, MICHIGAN: Long established in Michigan, the Craig K. Kempf Funeral Home recently expanded to Homer, Michigan, where it purchased a small funeral home. Kempf immediately brought in contractors to revitalize the existing structure, which itself had originally been a residential house, and ordered an expansion to provide a modestly larger chapel than the existing 30’ x 15’ room. Local A/V firm Crookston Audio designed and installed a new sound reinforcement system for the new chapel and for the remodeled rooms. Based on its simplicity of installation, competitive pricing, and intuitive user interfaces, company president John Crookston specified an Ashly Pema 4125.70 integrated processor & four-channel amplifier together with Ashly RD-8C and WR-2 user controls.

“They originally asked for two zones, one for the new chapel and one for the existing chapel, the lobby, and the fellowship hall combined,” explained Crookston. “They wanted the ability to reinforce a small keyboard, a soloist, audio from DVD or CD, plus, of course, the spoken word from the person officiating the funeral or delivering a eulogy. Those inputs would be reinforced within the new chapel, and they would also be sent to the old chapel and the fellowship hall, which could serve as cry rooms or overflow. We explained that using four zones, one for each room, would give them greater flexibility, with the promise that using the system would be so intuitive that staff would be able to confidently negotiate source selection and volume control with little or no training.”

A two-rack space, four-channel Ashly Pema 4125.70 resides at the heart of the system and delivers 125 watts to each of the four 70-volt systems. The new chapel, which is still a modest 25’ x 35’, has four mic-level inputs, enough for soloists, vocalists, and spoken word. The audio system also takes input from the room’s CD and video sources. A single Community V2-28 two-way loudspeaker provides coverage in the new chapel, whereas Community D5 ceiling speakers provide coverage in the old chapel, the lobby, and the fellowship hall.

User control consists of two complementary controls. First, an Ashly RD-8C remote desktop fader bank allows anyone to sit within the new chapel and mix the input sources in real time. A single cable ties the RD-8C to the Pema 4125.70, which allows the operator to sit anywhere in the new chapel and discretely mix. Second, an Ashly WR-2 resides near the equipment rack and allows staff to send audio from the new chapel to any (or none) of the other rooms.

“As a contractor, I not only have to deliver a great final product, I also have to make money doing it,” Crookston laughed. “Ashly is a great help with that! Ashly equipment is totally reliable. We’ve been using it for years and never had a problem. Moreover, Ashly’s Protea™ signal processing software is common to the entire Ashly line. So my staff can learn Protea, which is quite intuitive, and then install any Ashly product in any size system. There’s no learning curve. As a result, all of our installations are predictable and as easy as they can be, which is the way I like it.”

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

EDEN HIGH SCHOOL PUMPS UP HOME GAMES WITH ASHLY GEAR

EDEN, NEW YORK – JUNE 2014: Eden High School graduated its first class in 1899, when the small town of Eden was not a suburb of Buffalo, New York, eighteen miles to the north. Since then, the high school has been consistently recognized for its academic achievement and for the tenacity of the Eden Raiders sports teams. Indeed, the girls’ volleyball team is vying for its fifth straight state championship! In addition to volleyball, the school’s 1,300+ seat gymnasium hosts home basketball games and wrestling tournaments, but until recently, its sound reinforcement system was underpowered and frequently unintelligible. Harvey Electric and Sound of nearby Hamburg, New York designed and installed an abundantly powered and highly-intelligible sound reinforcement system using an Ashly nX-Series amplifier and a ne-Series processor.

“The previous system wasn’t particularly old, it just didn’t meet the needs of the space,” explained Greg Harvey, owner of Harvey Electric and Sound. “The Eden All Sports Boosters raised the funds for a replacement because it was so obvious to everyone that a vast improvement was needed. The system couldn’t overcome a cheering crowd, and even when everyone was quiet, it was still difficult to understand what was being said.”

The inputs to the system are simple and a mere update from the previous system: a new Shure wireless microphone, a new Shure announcer microphone, and an auxiliary input. It’s what happens after that point that makes all the difference. The inputs feed an Ashly ne4400 4-in x 4-out Protea™ DSP System Processor. “The old system was a simple mixer-amp, and the Ashly ne4400 is a vast improvement,” said Harvey. “It gave us the ability to shape the sound with compression, limiting, equalization, and filtering. We also gave them feedback suppression modules on the microphone inputs.”

Outputs from the ne4400 feed a four-channel Ashly nX 1.54 amplifier, which packs four channels of 1500W output into just two rack spaces. “This is our first experience with Ashly’s nX-Series amplifiers, and we chose the nX 1.54 for its tremendous output capacity,” said Harvey. “It sounds great and delivers as promised.” Right now, only two of the amplifier channels are in use. They power two EAW VFR159i loudspeakers, which will be doubled for the other side of the room once the funds become available. The remaining two channels on the Ashly nX 1.54 will power them.

An Ashly WR-5 wall-mounted remote control gives users simple control over input gains and overall volume. Once the system expands to four cabinets, Harvey will reprogram the WR-5 to allow preset selection for different types of events as well. “We went with Ashly for a couple of reasons,” he said. “Ashly’s rep firm in the area, Eaton Sales, does a great job. We’ve worked with them for twenty years. Ashly’s pricing is very competitive, but they don’t make a cheap product. The processors and amplifiers sound great and are very functional and rugged. This is the second installation of Ashly Audio products at Eden High School and we are confident that they will have great sound systems for a long, long time.”

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

Symetrix Radius 12×8 Dante™ Network DSPs Help Revitalize St. Peter Catholic Church

OMAHA, NEBRASKA – JUNE 2014: The Diocese of Omaha erected St. Peter Catholic Church in Omaha, Nebraska in 1926, and the church enjoyed many decades at the heart of Omaha’s Catholic community. However, times changed, demographics shifted, and the church didn’t have the funds to keep up with needed maintenance. It fell into disrepair. However, a recent resurgence in attendance inspired by the leadership of Fr. Damien Cook motivated the diocese to fund a major external and internal renovation at St. Peter Catholic Church. Now complete, the renovation, designed and coordinated by Conrad Schmitt Studios of Milwaukee, Wisconsin has won awards and features a new sound reinforcement system anchored by a Symetrix Radius 12×8 Dante network audio DSP system with Symetrix ARC wall panel remote.

“It was a complete overhaul, from the roof to the floors, from the walls to the ceiling, everything is renovated and revitalized,” said Tim Burkhart, senior systems designer with Omaha-based Midwest Sound & Lighting, the firm that installed St. Peter’s new sound reinforcement system. “It’s really stunning. In the process, they knew they would radically alter the room’s acoustics. They wanted to ensure that the new sound system would give them musical impact and intelligibility.”

Milwaukee-based DSH Audio Visions designed the sound system and partnered with Scott Riedel Associates of Milwaukee for acoustic design. David Hosbach, DSH president and principal design consultant concurred with Burkhart, and added, “Father Cook and Music Director Zachary Turner understand that while the music portion of Mass is really important, if worshipers can’t hear the Word clearly the rest of it – the majestic music, the ornate worship space – really doesn’t matter. I take my hat off to them and the St. Peter congregation for allowing the sound design, the room acoustics and the architectural beauty to work together in harmony, so to speak.”

Two Symetrix Radius 12×8 DSPs form the heart of the system. One unit is located at the front of the room, the second unit is located at the back of the room, and they connect via the Dante network. That way, each unit is near to a collection of inputs and appropriate outputs, and because the system integrates completely via Dante, any of those inputs can be sent to any of those outputs. Redundant Dante connections provide a failsafe in case one of the networks goes down – the other network will pick up seamlessly. The Radius units provide sophisticated processing for Crown amplifiers and a Tannoy QFlex 64 steerable line array.

The Radius units are located in a wall rack at the back of the loft and at the main equipment rack in the sacristy at the front of the room. Two remote sets provide user control, with one mounted in the main rack, and the other in the loft in a custom portable box at the organ console. All told, two Symetrix ARC-K1e, five Symetrix ARC-EX4e, and three Symetrix ARC-SW4e wall panel remote control units provide comprehensive, yet intuitive, control of the system. They primarily select active inputs and allow volume adjustment and configuration preset changes. “We use a lot of Symetrix equipment, and we love the hardware, the software, and its bullet-proof reliability,” said Burkhart. “The sound quality is always top-notch, and the Symetrix open-architecture processing is capable of anything we ask of it. Considering how frequently we use Symetrix products, the failure rate is remarkably low. And if something does go wrong, Symetrix makes it right immediately.”

Hosbach commented, “I like the Symetrix SymNet DSPs for the same reasons as Tim. And I’ll add that they are really easy to program, the site files are fast and convenient to move around in and modify on the fly during setup, and the tuning filters are extremely accurate.”

Burkhart concluded, “St. Peter Catholic Church is very happy with the new sound reinforcement system. They are delighted with its sound quality and with its ease of operation.”

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

BE SURE TO STOP BY AND SEE US AT INFOCOMM BOOTH #C9416

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