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Dante™ card and new firmware for Sennheiser’s Digital 9000 Series now available

1Old Lyme, CT, November 25, 2014: Audio specialist Sennheiser has announced the availability of its Dante™ card for the EM 9046 receiver, enabling the top-of-the-range Digital 9000 wireless microphone system to be integrated into Dante™ audio-over-IP networks. Also available are – as free downloads – the associated new Digital 9000 firmware version 3.0.3, and the new Wireless Systems Manager 4.2 with a set of optimised monitoring functions.

“With the EM 9046 DAN extension card, broadcast and live audio engineers can now easily integrate Sennheiser’s top-of-the-range wireless microphone system into a Dante™ network,” says Claus Menke, Head of Portfolio Management Pro for Sennheiser. “They benefit from the system’s exceptional sound with the incredible convenience of routing high-definition audio data via Audinate’s Dante™ Controller.” Dante™ works with existing network infrastructure using IP and Ethernet standards and offers hundreds of channels of high-quality audio. The networking solution is currently used by more than 155 pro audio manufacturers worldwide.

2The EM 9046 DAN extension card is simply inserted into the expansion slot of the EM 9046 eight-channel receiver. Internally, the card features sixteen audio inputs to send the digital audio and command signals over the Dante™ network. Connection is via two Gbit RJ45 sockets that serve to either establish two redundant network circuits or daisy-chain the signals. The card works with sampling rates of 44.1/48/88.2 and 96 kHz at a resolution of 24 bits.

New Digital 9000 firmware
The new firmware version 3.0.3 for Digital 9000 can be downloaded free of charge at http://en-de.sennheiser.com/service-support-services-software-downloads. With this firmware update, the receiver’s clock menu will be expanded to include a “MAN” (multichannel audio network) option, enabling the receiver to synchronize to the word clock of the Dante™ network.

3Additional benefits of the new firmware version include the monitoring of up to four daisy-chained receivers via any of the receivers’ monitoring outputs and the automatic assignment of frequencies after a scan. Engineers are now also able to scan just a 24 MHz portion of the spectrum instead of the entire booster range of 168 MHz. This increases speed in critical frequency situations.

The new firmware also includes the highly sophisticated refinements made by Sennheiser to address the near impossible conditions experienced during the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest. The event took place in a super-reflective venue with a near all-metal construction but the capabilities of the Digital 9000 system were enhanced still further to be able to detect and cope with this extremely reflective environment. In addition to this advance, version 3.0.3 also ensures improved network capability with managed enterprise environments.

New Wireless Systems Manager software
4Sennheiser has adapted its Wireless Systems Manager software to include a monitoring function for the Dante™ card. The new version 4.2 allows users to monitor the EM 9046’s Dante™ audio streams from any point in the network, and to listen to the headphone monitor audio stream of connected EM 9046 receivers without any additional hardware.

WSM (Sennheiser Wireless Systems Manager) Software Version 4.2 is available from the same download address as the Digital 9000 firmware, or from http://en-de.sennheiser.com/service-support-services-wireless-systems-manager.

About Audinate and Dante™
Dante™ is the digital audio networking solution of choice for over 155 professional audio manufacturers in the broadcast, live sound, commercial installed and conferencing markets. Audinate’s Dante solution builds on existing Internet (IP) and Ethernet networking standards and offers a migration path to emerging standards like AES67. Dante networking replaces point-to-point cabling and matrix switching solutions offering hundreds of channels of high-performance audio, control and monitoring across existing network infrastructure. Installation and management is simplified through a unique combination of plug and play technologies, saving enormous installation and long-term ownership costs. Audio sources attached to any network port are available everywhere throughout the network with signal routing defined by software, not physical cabling. Audinate also offers a comprehensive set of interfacing options for PC and Mac equipment (Dante Virtual Soundcard and Dante PCIe card) enabling simple integration of existing software applications with the audio network.

About Sennheiser
The Sennheiser Group based in Wedemark near Hanover, Germany, was founded in 1945 and has gone on to become a leading manufacturer of microphones, headphones and wireless transmission systems. Sales in 2013 totaled 590.4 million euros. Sennheiser employs more than 2,500 staff worldwide and operates plants in Germany, Ireland and the USA. The company has a worldwide network of subsidiaries in France, Great Britain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Liechtenstein, Germany, Denmark (Nordic), Russia, Hongkong, India, Singapore, Japan, China, Australia and New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, and the USA. It also has long-established trading partners in other countries. Georg Neumann GmbH, Berlin, a maker of studio microphones and monitor speakers, and Sennheiser Communications A/S, a joint venture making headsets for PCs, offices and call centers, are also part of the Sennheiser Group.

More up-to-date information about Sennheiser is available on the internet at www.sennheiser.com.

Captions:
1: Sennheiser’s top-of-the-range Digital 9000 wireless system is now Dante™-ready
2: Claus Menke, Head of Portfolio Management Pro for Sennheiser (Photo credit: R. Kruse)
3: The EM 9046 DAN card simply slots into the Sennheiser receiver, enabling Digital 9000 to send uncompressed HD audio data over a Dante™ network

EM 9046 DAN includes license from Audinate Pty Ltd under U.S. patent number(s) 7747725, 8005939, 7978696, 8171152 and other patents issued, see www.audinate.com/patents.

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Sennheiser Helps Inspirational ‘Skid Row Marathon’ Documentary Come to Life with Pristine Audio

MKH Shotgun Microphones Serve as a Key Storytelling Tool as a Superior Court Judge Leads Homeless Citizens on The Road to Recovery

judgeOld Lyme, Conn. – November 24, 2014 – In early 2013, Director Mark Hayes read a story about a Los Angeles Superior Court Judge, Craig Mitchell, who started the Midnight Mission running club consisting of former substance abusers, ex-convicts, homeless people and others who fell on hard times — either by making the wrong choices at earlier points in their lives, or by simple misfortune. Immediately sensing the emotional gravity and compelling human dimension of the story, Hayes and his partner, producer Gabriele Hayes, requested a meeting with Judge and began the journey towards creating their feature documentary, Skid Row Marathon.

From their earliest conversations in the Judge’s chambers to the finish line of the Accra International Marathon in Ghana, Africa last year, Sennheiser microphones were there to capture every last detail of the journey — including all the challenges, struggles, dreams and successes each of the runners experienced. The struggles were almost overbearing — but the successes were overwhelming: After completing the International marathon in Ghana, some of the runners went on to complete the 29th Los Angeles Marathon last March, while others are now training to compete in the Marathon of Rome this spring.

benshirleyAmong the characters in the film are Ben Shirley, a former heavy metal musician whose career was destroyed by drug and alcohol addiction; Rafael Cabrera, who was sentenced to life in prison after shooting a rival gang member; and Brian Langston, whose family lived out of a car after his father became ill with diabetes and was no longer able to work. Each of these club members have their own heart wrenching stories of how they fell on hard times, yet were able to pick themselves up by overcoming the immense physical and emotional challenge of a marathon.

“The sweet spot of this story is the Judge, who is also a big runner,” explains Mark Hayes. “Here is a guy whose job it is to rule on legal matters and hands out sentences to people, mostly involving prison terms. But when he is not working, he is helping people who fell into hard times get a fresh outlook on life by training for and running marathons.” The Midnight Mission running club — named after the century-old human services organization — began after a defendant finished his prison term, came back to visit the judge and subsequently invited him to Skid Row to meet some of his friends. “He went down and spoke to a few of them, and realized that starting this running club was something positive he could do,” Mark explains.

Sennheiser Shotgun Mics: The Ultimate Storyteller’s Tool
boomAt the earliest stages of the production, Mark and Gabriele both knew that the audio production would play a key role in the storytelling; and based on the unpredictable nature of the content and dialog, there would often be no ‘second chance’ to get it right. They contacted Christopher Currier of Sennheiser, who was eager to help and recommended a microphone package consisting of the MKH 416 shotgun microphone, HD 25-II headphones for monitoring and EW 112-PG3 G3 wireless systems. “Mark and Gabriele were already very familiar with our gear and had been using the older MKH 415 for their past work. Adding the MKH 416 and a few other tools just rounded out their equipment list for this amazing project,” Currier said.

Once the project began, Mark and Gabriele were told by the Judge that they would have to run with the club. “Thankfully Gabi is a runner, so she would run alongside them with a camera and an MKH 415 microphone mounted on top to capture all the action,” Mark says. Twice a week, the group would complete a seven mile run and then gather on a street corner to check on how everyone was progressing — both with the running and in their personal lives. “To capture these important conversations, Gabi would have an MKH 415 on a boom pole connected wirelessly, and I would be shooting with a camera with an MKH 416 on a shoe mount,” Mark explains.

One of the most important audio segments the team captured was an early interview with the Judge in his chambers at the Superior Court of Los Angeles, during which he explained why he started the club. “Once again, we used the boom pole with the MKH 416, and also a lavalier microphone (the MKE2-EW Gold) on the Judge’s collar, connected to a G3 wireless transmitter,” Mark recalls. “After we finished the shoot, we took the audio back for editing and it just sounded fantastic. When the audio is perfect, it can make up for a shaky camera or other visual imperfections that may occur.”

equipmentAfter the marathon training phase was completed, the running club and production crew flew to Ghana, West Africa, where the environmental conditions became harsh and challenging: “When we got there, it was like 100 degrees and very dusty,” Mark recalls. “A lot of the roads were not paved, and we were right by the ocean. It was probably the worst situation for equipment you can imagine.” Gabriele and Mark began to notice rusting and wear on the camera equipment. “I was really worried because we were under the most extreme circumstances of heat, dust, humidity and salty air. Despite all this, the audio performed flawlessly, and the Sennheiser gear we had was no worse for the wear.”

While recording location audio on the streets of Los Angeles and Ghana, the Mark and Gabriele appreciated the super cardioid pickup pattern of the MKH 416, which enabled them to focus more narrowly on the subjects they were trying to capture — without unwanted ambient noise. Audio was fed into a Sony FS700 camera, and the pair monitored on Sennheiser HD 25-1 II headphones.

“The HD 25 headphones provided an incredible amount of isolation so we could hear every detail of the dialog, just as we were capturing it,” Mark says. “Also, since there was a lot going on around us including other members of the production crew speaking, we appreciated being able to rotate the earcup so we could listen to outside activity when we were not shooting.”

With production to be wrapped up next March, the film is now scheduled to be released in September of 2015. Looking back on the production phase, Mark appreciates having had Sennheiser at his side: “We never had to worry about the audio — this enabled us to put our focus where it needed to be: on the content and storytelling.”

The Sennheiser Group based in Wedemark near Hanover, Germany, was founded in 1945 and has gone on to become a leading manufacturer of microphones, headphones and wireless transmission systems. Sales in 2013 totaled 590.4 million euros. Sennheiser employs more than 2,500 staff worldwide and operates plants in Germany, Ireland and the USA. The company has a worldwide network of subsidiaries in France, Great Britain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Liechtenstein, Germany, Denmark (Nordic), Russia, Hongkong, India, Singapore, Japan, China, Australia and New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, and the USA. It also has long-established trading partners in other countries. Georg Neumann GmbH, Berlin, a maker of studio microphones and monitor speakers, and Sennheiser Communications A/S, a joint venture making headsets for PCs, offices and call centers, are also part of the Sennheiser Group.

More up-to-date information about Sennheiser is available on the Internet at www.sennheiser.com.

Captions:
1) The crew sets up the Sennheiser G3 wireless system on Superior Court Judge Craig Mitchell during filming of Skid Row Marathon.

2) A member of the Midnight Mission running club, Ben Shirley, speaks on camera during filming of Skid Row Marathon.

3) The Skid Row Marathon crew filming on location in Ghana, West Africa.

4) The Sennheiser audio equipment performed flawlessly despite challenging environmental conditions on location in Ghana, West Africa.

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Antelope Audio Offers Black Friday Discounts on Selected Top Sellers

Award-Winning Multi Channel Audio Interfaces, Orion32 and Zen Studio to Be Discounted Through December 7th; Free Rack Mounting Kit is Included with Purchase of a Zen Studio

Santa Monica, CA, November 24, 2014: For the third year in a row, Antelope Audio announces an attractive package of Black Friday discounts in North America, effective from November 24th until December 7th. During this period, customers can purchase an Antelope Audio Orion32 Multi-Channel AD/DA converter at a promotional price of $2,795 [discounted from a regular price of $2.995], or a Zen Studio portable pro audio interface at a promotional price of $2,295 [regular price of $2,495]. In addition, Antelope is offering a free Zen Studio Rack Mounting Kit with any purchase of a Zen Studio audio interface.

1The new, custom rack mounting kit – Z-Rack – combines both form and function in an aesthetic 2U design with dedicated vents. Sold separately, Z-Rack is valued at $79.

“Each year during Black Friday, we provide more customers the chance to experience the premium quality of our products through special discounts,” said Marcel James, Director of Sales and Marketing for Antelope Audio USA. “The Orion32 and the Zen Studio bring the finest audio quality to just about any application, whether you are a touring musician, recording engineer, mobile producer or broadcast professional. The Black Friday special is a great opportunity to get gear from Antelope Audio into your rack.”

Both the Orion32 and the Zen Studio have been recognized with Outstanding Technical Achievement nominations by the TEC Foundation — in 2013 and 2014 respectively. More recently, the Zen Studio won an Innovative Product Award in Mix/PAR’s first Reader’s Choice awards and Orion32 was nominated for a Sound on Sound 2015 Award.

To learn more about Orion32 or Zen Studio, please visit Antelope Audio’s Professional AD/DA Converters and Interfaces.

About Antelope Audio
Antelope Audio is a leading manufacturer of high-end professional audio equipment and the pioneer in the adoption of Atomic clock generators.

The company utilizes Igor Levin’s more than 20 years’ experience in digital audio to develop professional and consumer high-end products with the signature Antelope Audio sound. The company employs proprietary clocking and jitter management technologies as well as custom-designed digital and analog circuits to provide both professional audio engineers and music aficionados with unprecedented musicality, sound stage and clarity.

Antelope is the first to design a 1U 32-channel audio interface and a multi-channel portable interface with 12 mic pres. Antelope’s breakthrough technologies are offering both studio and live audio engineers great productivity and flexibility.

The company’s customers include many Grammy award-winning sound engineers and some of the most renowned recording, mastering and post-production facilities around the globe.

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Powersoft Captures Nuance and Detail of The Earth Harp and Other Artistic Performances at Pennsylvania’s Mercyhurst University

Clean and Pristine Audio is the Name of the Game for Fact AV Technologies at The Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center and Other Venues within the University’s Institute for Arts & Culture

Erie, PA, November 21, 2014: For Eric Johnson, owner of Erie-based Fact AV Technologies, Inc., the emotional impact of music is all in the nuance and detail. When he started his small company more than 25 years ago, Johnson set out to raise the standards of live sound for small scale and intimate venues, raising audio quality to levels more typically found in larger halls and higher seating capacity performance spaces. To stand out in a crowded market of AV solution providers, Johnson decided to come in at the ‘high end’ and build the foundation of his audio rack around Powersoft amplification,

1One of Johnson’s mainstay clients, Mercyhurst University, routinely draws national touring talent for its three intimate venues including two smaller spaces geared towards acoustic performances, and the spectacular 792-seat capacity Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center — which opened in 1996 as part of the University’s Institute for Arts & Culture (MIAD). To ensure the space is enveloped in uncompromising, pristine audio, Johnson relies on a selection of nimble, yet powerful, Powersoft amplifiers, in addition to EAW loudspeakers and digital mixers from Midas and Digico.

Typically, performances at MIAD might include jazz and orchestral concerts, but the University also attracts unconventional and artistically innovative acts such as Malibu, CA-based William Close, maestro of the Earth Harp — the longest stringed instrument in the world, and Ugandan artist Simite, who plays the Kalimba — a type of thumb piano. “These artists, and all the artists that play here, have a very specific idea of what their art and their presentation should sound like,” commented Eric Johnson. “My goal is to try to reproduce their vision as closely as possible using the tools that I have. My amplifiers from Powersoft are an important component in reproducing that performance.”

“The Secret Sauce” is Powersoft

2For performances at the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center, Johnson relies on just four rackspaces of Powersoft amplifiers to cover FOH: (2) K10s for the subwoofers, and (2) K3s for mid and high frequencies and an M50Q for the balcony. Considering such a small amplification footprint, his Powersoft rack packs a punch: “I can hit 110 dB on the back wall if I want to,” he exclaims. In addition to his Powersoft amplification at FOH, he typically has four EAW loudspeaker cabinets on stage and another pair of loudspeakers off of the balcony, all running through a Midas Pro 2 48-channel digital console. At monitors, he has a rack with (3) Powersoft M50Qs, and other with (3) Powersoft M30s, with audio running through the Digico console.

For Ugandan artist Simite, it was a ‘bare minimum’ performance with just (7) channels, but the nuance of the audio was absolutely critical to the performance. “I was unfamiliar with most of the instruments in his arsenal except for the acoustic guitar,” Johnson admits. “So I simply approached it like I might approach a jazz band, trying to make the performance as transparent and full sounding as possible without making it sound forced.” Johnson is convinced that his high end Powersoft amplification helped him capture exactly what the artist wanted to hear. “As he played the Kalimba, the guitar player intertwined melodies in such a way that you really needed to hear every single note they were playing. While this was going on, Samite was singing with loops and creating very complex harmonies.” By the end of the show, Johnson says, audience members were dancing on the stage and Simite himself was very pleased.

3Earlier this fall, global touring artist William Close and the Earth Harp Collective also performed in Erie at the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center. In contrast to the diminutive Kalimba ‘thumb piano’, the Earth Harp had its audio reproduction challenges, albeit on a much larger physical scale. As the largest stringed instrument in the world with brass strings spanning hundreds of feet, the Earth Harp was actually strung from the stage to the balcony of the theater. The tones created by the Earth Harp —which are rich with harmonics and complex overtones — are unlike any other instrument and require the finest audio equipment to capture every detail. According to Johnson, Powersoft amplification stood up to the challenge.

“As William began stringing his Earth Harp from the stage to the balcony of the theater, I was scratching my head wondering what in the world this was going to be like,” Johnson recalls. “With a jazz band, you have preconceptions and can anticipate what it is going to sound like, but with someone like William, who is a true innovator, there is no basis because it’s never been done. Thanks in large part to my Powersoft rig, I was able to accurately represent those sounds, and in this case that really made the show.”

“Mercyhurst is one of my favorite places to perform and the sound system is amazing,” commented William Close. “The harmonic tones of my Earth Harp were so clear and powerful; there is no doubt in my mind that the Powersoft amplifiers helped bring this instrument and all the other instruments to a whole new level of sonic splendor. The concert hall itself really became the instrument, and the sound system brought out all the musical magic and detail.”

For Johnson, the right amplification is a critically important choice. “In my work, it all comes down to my tools, and Powersoft plays a big part of this,” he concludes. “These performances as subtle and delicate, so it is critical to have equipment that is going to perform that way. With my K and M series amplifiers, I don’t have to spend a lot of time getting it to sound just like the artist wants.”

About Powersoft:

Powersoft is the world leader in lightweight, high power, single rack space, energy efficient amplifiers for the professional audio market. Founded in Italy in 1995, headquartered in Florence, Italy, with offices in Ventura, CA, Powersoft couples the experience and precision of its production department with exceptional components to deliver products with perfect audio response and high performance reliability. Its state-of-the-art amplifiers can be found in an array of markets, ranging from stadiums, sporting arenas, theme parks, performance venues and airports to convention centers, churches and clubs, and are used by the world’s leading tour sound companies. For more information, visit the Powersoft website @ www.powersoft-audio.com.

Captions:
1) William Close and the Earth Harp Collective perform at Mercyhurst.
2) System Engineer Nick Corsi (L) and Eric Johnson, Founder of Fact AV Technologies, Inc.
3) William Close strung his Earth Harp from the stage to the balcony of Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center.

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Antelope Audio Zen Studio Wins Mix/PAR 2014 Innovative Product Award

Zen Studio is Chosen as the Most Innovative Interface in Publication’s First Readers’ Choice Awards

PARlogoSanta Monica, CA, November 19, 2014: Leading professional audio gear manufacturer Antelope Audio announced that its Zen Studio won an ‘Innovative Product Award’ in the first Mix/PAR reader’s choice awards. The Zen Studio audio interface was nominated in the Interface category alongside equipment from several other leading audio manufacturers. Each of the winning products were selected by readers of Pro Audio Review and Mix Magazine.

“We are pleased that Zen Studio has been recognized with an Innovative Product Award by readers of Pro Audio Review and Mix Magazine,” commented Marcel James, Director of US Sales and Marketing, Antelope Audio. “We believe the many innovations in Zen Studio and our other products like Pure2, MP32, Orion32, Satori and others are raising the bar and shaping the expectations of pro audio consumers, who are demanding greater flexibility and uncompromising audio quality in the products they choose.”

zenfrontIn recognition of outstanding technical achievement, Zen Studio recently received a nomination for the 30th Annual TEC Awards. Zen Studio is a professional portable audio interface, clock, preamp, and monitor controller. It is built with the purpose to be a powerful professional mobile recording studio, but its features such as 20 analog inputs, 12 world-class mic preamps, Antelope’s acclaimed conversion and clocking, onboard DSP effects, multiple monitor mixers, custom high-bandwidth low-latency USB, and Mac/PC control software make it a perfect recording solution not only for location but studio recording as well. Since its launch in May, Zen Studio, has received multiple recognitions from the media, users and Grammy Award winning engineers across the Globe.
Zen Studio was designed and manufactured based on proven conversion, clocking and USB technologies used in Orion32, the company’s best selling product. Orion32 is part of the critical audio signal path in a number of large live shows and prominent studios. For its diminutive size, Zen Studio delivers a breakthrough number of mic pres and DI instrument inputs in a mobile interface, along with exceptional monitoring and tracking DSP capabilities more commonly found in high end, commercial studios.

For more information on Zen Studio, please visit http://antelopeaudio.com/en/products/zen-studio-portable-audio-interface.

About Antelope Audio:
Antelope Audio is a leading manufacturer of high-end professional audio equipment and the pioneer in the adoption of Atomic clock generators.

The company utilizes Igor Levin’s more than 20 years’ experience in digital audio to develop professional and consumer high-end products with the signature Antelope Audio sound. The company employs proprietary clocking and jitter management technologies as well as custom-designed digital and analog circuits to provide both professional audio engineers and music aficionados with unprecedented musicality, sound stage and clarity.

Antelope is the first to design a 1U 32-channel audio interface and a multi-channel portable interface with 12 mic pres. Antelope’s breakthrough technologies are offering both studio and live audio engineers great productivity and flexibility.

The company’s customers include many Grammy award-winning sound engineers and some of the most renowned recording, mastering and post-production facilities around the globe.

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BB4 Studios Launches: World-Class Mixing & Mastering Facility Brings Innovative New Audio Resource to New York City

‘Brooklyn Born Brooklyn Bred’ Williamsburg Room Opens Up Fresh Creative Options for Mixers, Mastering Engineers, Producers, Artists & Labels

BROOKLYN, NEW YORK CITY – November 18, 2014: It’s not easy to bring something new to the music production scene, but BB4 Studios has accomplished just that. Shorthand for “Brooklyn Born Brooklyn Bred”, this just-launched Williamsburg facility is providing producers, engineers, artists, and labels with an innovative audio resource.

1BB4 has created a studio unique to New York City, executing an acoustically excellent environment that is optimal for both mixing and mastering. Designed by owner Rafael “Raf” Planten and Christos Tsantilis (P. Diddy, Mary J. Blige, Mobb Deep, Mos Def, Brandy, Big Pun, Queen Latifah, Patti LaBelle, Saigon), BB4 provides mixers, mastering engineers, producers and labels with an exciting option for perfecting projects. World-class recording capabilities for vocals and overdubs are also onsite.

An Advanced Audio Environment
Built from the ground up as a brand new studio on Williamsburg’s famed Bedford Avenue, BB4 channels the artistic energy of its surrounding neighborhood into its precisely tuned space. A multi-platinum engineer, producer, quality-control expert, as well as an accomplished studio designer, Tsantilis focused his decades of audio experience into making BB4 a first-choice room for honing the best possible mixes and masters – accomplished via thoroughly modern workflows within a welcoming environment.

The goal with BB4’s design was straightforward: Make a neutral room with as flat a sweet spot as possible. Only the highest-grade acoustical treatments and wiring were specified, combined with a custom mastering-style console outfitted with elite dynamics, EQs, and effects gear, plus a huge collection of plugins.

“Once upon a time, mix rooms and mastering suites were built to the same specs,” Tsantilis points out. “But at some point mix rooms had to get bigger, to accommodate the larger tracking consoles that were being brought in. The BB4 approach gets mixers back into a room that’s optimized for accuracy – this is a mastering-grade environment where they can mix. Having this purpose-built environment provides an extreme upgrade in your ability to hear the music, and make much more informed decisions.”

Equipping the Right Environment
Freelance producers, mixers, and mastering engineers alike will feel well-supported at BB4, which provides an assistant engineer for all sessions. With the gear selection that’s on hand, audio professionals should feel immediately inspired to get to work on their sounds.

BB4’s sweet spot begins with a custom mastering-style console designed by renowned studio designer Ken Capton (Eminem, Kid Rock, Music Works NYC, Yessian Music New York). Avid Pro Tools 11 and SonicStudio’s SoundBladeHD serve as the mixing and mastering DAWs, respectively, connecting to the hardware and monitors via Prism Dream and Avid HD Omni converters.

Outboard is extensive without being overwhelming. Compressors include dual RAD 4K-CS SSL’s, Manley SLAM!, Tube-Tech CL 2A, Alan Smart C2, TK Audio BC1, and custom 1176. EQs include four channels of Vintech 473, API 553, Nightpro EQ3-D, and a Weiss Eq1-LP/DYN combo. An Orban Stereo Synthesizer model 245e and classic Yamaha Spx90 are on hand for outboard FX. A Manley 16×2 tube mixer is available for summing.

For tracking and overdub sessions, microphones include a Manley Reference, stereo Audio-Technica ATM450’s, and a Shure SM7B. Mic pre’s are populated by the likes of four Vintech 573’s, two API 512c’s, and a stereo Melcore AML-27. Hardware can also be swapped in and out at a visiting engineer’s request.

Available plugins include Eventide Anthology, Waves Diamond Bundle including Platinum, Restoration, and Transform Bundles, Sonnox Oxford Elite, SoundToys with Eleven, Altiverb XL, and Lexicon – PCM Native Total Plug-In Bundle.

All mixing and mastering decisions go through the meticulously planned monitoring system, which features a PMC ib2 passive 3-way system flanked by dual ADAM Sub12 subwoofers. Bryston 4bst and THX amps power the system, all calibrated by a White Instruments Room EQ.

The attention to detail in BB4’s high-grade dead soft annealed solid pure silver (4N) wiring – overseen by wiring guru Mike Donahower (Jungle City, Robert Clivilles, Five Towns College) — illustrates the extreme care taken to deliver the truest possible sound. “The wiring makes all the difference in the world – it definitely affects the sonic character, depth and dimension that you can hear in a stereo recording,” says Tsantilis. “We strictly employed Furutech and Oyaide connectors, which are optimized for music by cryogenic freezing: That process changes the molecular makeup of the metal for less distortion, noise and resistance.”

Brooklyn and Beyond
While the emphasis is wholly on the music, BB4 is a comfortable place to work for hours at a stretch. A couch is behind the mix/master position in the main room, while a well-appointed lounge completes the experience for all clients and artists in attendance. The vibe is minimalist and stylish at the same time, deleting distractions while maximizing creative inspiration.

BB4 realizes Rafael Planten’s commitment to converging audio and art on a Brooklyn block that he loves deeply – he was literally born in the building whose ground floor the studio occupies. His room doesn’t just fill a need in New York City’s densely crowded studio scene, it creates a new category. That makes BB4 Studios bigger than just another business: it’s a way of contributing to the community, the local economy, and global music.

“Sound makes a difference in people’s feelings,” Planten says, summing it up. “If you’re hearing something good, it will feel good.”

For more information on BB4 Studios, visit http://www.bb4studios.com/.

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Sennheiser Portable Speakerphones: Exceptional Design and Outstanding Quality in a Premium Conferencing Solution

The SP 10 and SP 20 Speakerphones from Sennheiser Deliver an Outstanding Communication Experience From Just About Anywhere

Old Lyme, CT, November 13, 2014: Sennheiser, a leading provider of premium headset and speakerphone solutions, announced the availability of its new range of SP 10 and SP 20 portable speakerphones for business professionals. The new SP 10 and SP 20 are flexible, completely portable conferencing solutions that feature excellent sound and user-friendly functionality in an elegant design. With the SP 10 and SP 20, it is easy to facilitate both personal or small group conference calls in the office or while traveling.

1The Sennheiser Speakerphone Series features Sennheiser’s renowned high definition audio quality in a stylish, eye-catching design. A winner of both the prestige 2014 red dot and 2014 iF design awards, the new Speakerphone Series elevates the anonymous meeting room conference phone to the level of ‘must have’ workplace innovation. Both the SP 10 and SP 20 showcase Sennheiser’s sound heritage and iconic design, while bringing a stylish visual element to just about any work environment.

Simply Plug in for Great Sound

The Sennheiser Speakerphone Series enables business professionals to easily make personal or small group conference calls. Each model features ‘plug in and talk’ simplicity, with the SP 10 connecting to PC/softphone and the SP 20 connecting to PC/softphone via USB cable or mobile phone/tablet via 3.5 mm jack plug. Furthermore, the SP 20/20 ML versions allow call participants to be connected via mobile phone and PC.

2Tori Seliokas, Channel Manager, Telecommunications of Sennheiser Electronic Corp., said: “Mobile professionals crave greater flexibility for collaborations and small group conferences, whether they are moving around office complexes, or holding ad hoc teleconferences while travelling. With the introduction of the Speakerphone Series, Sennheiser adds an important new category of portable conferencing solutions to its product portfolio, designed to enhance productivity in the office and the field.”

Both the SP 10 and SP 20 variants of the Speakerphone Series use Sennheiser’s high definition sound quality, voice clarity and echo cancellation to ensure an outstanding communications experience for user and listeners. The Speakerphones’ ‘dual talk’ function enables users to interrupt a conversation more naturally, ensuring better call interactions.

The intuitive user interface on the SP 10 and SP 20, with its clear call and volume control and mic mute buttons, ensures easy call management and ‘hands free’ control, no matter where the location. When not being used for calls, the Speakerphone Series can also be used for playing music.

Compatible with all main UC providers, the Speakerphone range is also Optimized for Microsoft® Lync® on both Microsoft® Windows® and Mac® and compatible for use with UC providers such as Avaya, IBM and Cisco.

The SP 10 [$179.95] and SP 20 [$199.95] are available now.

Sennheiser:

Sennheiser is a world-leading manufacturer of microphones, headphones and wireless transmission systems. Established in 1945 in Wedemark, Germany, Sennheiser is now a global brand represented in 60 countries around the world with U.S. headquarters in Old Lyme, Conn. Sennheiser’s pioneering excellence in technology has rewarded the company with numerous awards and accolades including an Emmy, a Grammy, and the scientific and engineering award of the academy of motion picture arts and sciences. For more information, please visit www.sennheiserusa.com.

Photo captions:
1) The Sennheiser SP 10 Speakerphone
2) The Sennheiser SP 20 Speakerphone

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Ottawa Hills School District Taps Powersoft K Series for Reliability, Sound Quality and Remote Capabilities

Powersoft Helps ‘The Green Bears’ Raise Quality of Audio Performance in Sonic Makeover of Gymnasium, While Keeping Equipment Footprint Lean and Mean

Toledo, OH, November 12, 2014: The Ottawa Hills Local School District, based just outside of Toledo, OH, is highly regarded for both its academic and athletic programming. The district, which is comprised of an elementary and a junior / senior high school and roughly 400 students, is home of the Green Bears — and considers its athletic program to be an integral part of students’ overall learning experience. As an academic institution focused on providing students with a comprehensive college preparatory curriculum, The Green Bears’ athletic program has won multiple state titles and excels in sports such as football, soccer, volleyball and basketball.

gymwideThe athletic program at Ottawa Hills is not only appealing for enrolled students, but also for fans and spectators including alumni, staff, visiting teams and the broader community at large. The high school’s gymnasium, an important venue that hosts basketball games, volleyball games and many other district activities and events, was constructed roughly a decade ago and has a capacity of 2,000 persons. This year, the gymnasium was outfitted with a new, state of the art PA system comprised of Powersoft and EAW components.

The catalyst for the sonic upgrade was lack of intelligibility, reports Eric Harter, President of Montpellier, OH—based Harter Sound. “They have a fairly young gymnasium as compared to most other schools,” he observes. “But the problem was that all the spectators, especially alumni and athletic directors, complained that they could not hear or understand any of the announcements in the gym.” Since the gymnasium is routinely used for commencement activities, meetings and other district related events, achieving audio intelligibility was a primary concern for the administration.

Out with the Old, In with K Series

Harter’s firm was given the nod at the recommendation of one of the administration’s technical directors who had worked with him in the past. The first order of business was for him to evaluate the existing environment, the legacy sound system and determine what needed to be done differently to achieve greater intelligibility. Harter notes that the legacy sound system consisted of four powered cabinets placed at center court, each with an estimated frequency range of between 500 Hz to 12 kHz. The speaker placement proved to be inefficient and cumbersome, and the technical crew tried to adapt it to different events by merely aiming speaker cabinets in various directions depending on the activity in the gymnasium. “Unfortunately, system had been put into place without taking into consideration speaker positioning, time alignment, EQ and power requirements,” Harter says.

kseriesThe acoustic environment itself was sound however, so after removing the existing components Harter’s team was soon able to focus on equipment choice and integration. “We did not have to do much acoustic work outside of choosing the right equipment components, putting them in the right places and powering them properly,” he recalls. After determining the different locations where the audience would be seated and each respective distance from the sound source, Harter selected a two-way point source system consisting of ten speakers in three different ‘zones’ across the length of the gymnasium. Each speaker was placed horizontally rather than vertically approximately 18′ from the floor, enabling the system to maintain a relatively low profile. The speaker height and horizontal orientation also made it less likely to be struck by an errant ball, intentionally or unintentionally.

At the core of the new system were three K series amplifiers, each driving respective zones consisting of 12″ woofers and for high frequencies, a single 1.75″ driver. According to Harter, one of the reasons Powersoft was chosen was because of its ability to drive such a substantial amount of power while taking up just three rack space units. Another reason was that the system amplifiers could be set up in a secure location and controlled remotely using Powersoft’s Armonia software. “We set it up so that if someone gets access to the rack, they can’t change anything unless they know exactly what to do and how to do it,” explains Harter. “The sole person with the ‘key’ is technology director, who we’ve trained how to use the system and the software.”

To Armonia and Beyond

With Powersoft’s Armonia software, all the key features of the new PA system are literally at the fingertips of the technology director. “We put an ethernet system in place and it hooks up to the WiFi — it was very easy to configure,” he says. “We can enable everything from EQ, to delay to trimming different zones up and down. But all they really needed to be able to do was turn the different zones on and off or up and down, and they can now do all this wirelessly using the Powersoft Armonia application. It is incredibly easy to operate during a game or other event.”

gymdetailFrom a broader project perspective, it was important for Harter to ensure that Ottawa Hills Local School District was pleased with the gymnasium sound system, since his company is being considered for a much larger, football stadium project due to kick off in the spring. “We wanted to make sure that whatever we did in the gymnasium left a very good impression so that we are the ones the district wants to partner with on other projects,” says Harter. “In this regard, Powersoft and EAW took us a long way towards achieving our goals.”

Making the Right Choice

While the Powersoft K3s were not the least expensive product under consideration, they were the clear long-term value choice. “We were asked why the Powersoft units were more expensive than other more common brands,’ recalls Harter. “Our response was that the Powersoft units take up less rack space, are extraordinarily reliable, and the power efficiency is spectacular. Once we got past the initial sticker shock, the conversation shifted to value based topics like reliability, intelligibility, power conservation and size and space requirements — soon enough my client agreed that it was the right choice.”

“The administration is just thrilled,” Harter concludes. “They realize they purchased a premium product that is not ‘middle of the road’ and that it delivers precisely what was needed for this installation: plenty of power, headroom and remote capabilities — all in a small physical space that is contained and secure.” Harter says that Powersoft’s premium amplifier solutions help distinguish him from the crowd: “We are not the lowest price guy in this market, but we believe there is a reason for that. We don’t want to compete on cost, but on long-term investment and value. For me and my clients, brands like Powersoft represent an advantage on many levels.”

About Powersoft:

Powersoft is the world leader in lightweight, high power, single rack space, energy efficient amplifiers for the professional audio market. Founded in Italy in 1995, headquartered in Florence, Italy, with offices in Ventura, CA, Powersoft couples the experience and precision of its production department with exceptional components to deliver products with perfect audio response and high performance reliability. Its state-of-the-art amplifiers can be found in an array of markets, ranging from stadiums, sporting arenas, theme parks, performance venues and airports to convention centers, churches and clubs, and are used by the world’s leading tour sound companies. For more information, visit the Powersoft website @ www.powersoft-audio.com.

Captions:
1) The Ottawa Hills Local School District chose Powersoft to drive its new state of the art PA system.

2) The Powersoft K series bring unparalleled efficiency in a single rack space.

3) Detail of the PA installation in ceiling of the gymnasium.

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Sennheiser Encourages Microphone Owners to Petition to the FCC in Light of Impending UHF Spectrum Auction

Company Says FCC Should Retain Two Blocks of Clean UHF for Hypercritical Mics and Ear Monitors, and Mic Owners Should Receive Compensation As a Result of Spectrum Repacking

Old Lyme, CT, October 29, 2014: Audio specialist Sennheiser, which continues to file comments with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in light of the pending spectrum auction now scheduled to take place in early 2016, recently filed a Petition For Reconsideration with the FCC on its Incentive Auction Ruling. The company also encourages microphone owners and customers to write to the FCC in support of the Petition for Reconsideration before the initial reply deadline of November 12th, 2014, and is offering to help with any filing or procedural requirements.

Sennheiser’s recently filed Petition For Reconsideration argues two primary points:

• There should remain two blocks of clean UHF for hypercritical microphones and ear monitors (the FCC plans to eliminate the two reserve mic channels);
• Mic owners should be compensated by the auction winners for their equipment, purchased to comply with the previous 700 MHz reallocation, that will be displaced as a result of this next spectrum repacking.

“The FCC has an enormously difficult task to repurpose spectrum from traditional over-the-air TV broadcast to mobile broadband services — this is a matter of content distribution,” says Joe Ciaudelli, Spectrum Affairs, Sennheiser. “However, spectrum is crucial for content creation as well. It is essential that productions have access to reliable prime spectrum for their most critical wireless links. Also, responsible mic owners invested in new equipment just a few years ago to comply with the Commission’s mandate to vacate the 700 MHz band. They should not be subjected to another premature obsolescence of their gear without some compensation. In our petition we detail options for addressing these important issues.”

Last April, Sennheiser launched a website to keep its customers informed on developments concerning the future of wireless microphones and the UHF spectrum. The website [http://sennheiser.com/spectrum] also contains a template for a sample support letter that microphone owners can download and use to express their own views to the FCC concerning equipment replacement costs they will incur as a result of spectrum reallocation.

In early 2016, the FCC plans to hold an ‘incentive auction” with the intent of transferring spectrum currently allocated for over-the-air (OTA) TV service to mobile broadband. The auction offers TV broadcasters the opportunity to relinquish or share their spectrum license in exchange for a portion of the proceeds generated by the auction. The broadcasters that operate on channels in the 600 MHz range that choose to stay on the air will be moved to a different TV channel during the subsequent repacking process, scheduled to be completed 39 months after the new channel assignments are determined.

For more information, please visit http://sennheiser.com/spectrum or contact Joe Ciaudelli directly at spectrum@sennheiserusa.com.

About Sennheiser:

The Sennheiser Group based in Wedemark near Hanover, Germany, was founded in 1945 and has gone on to become a leading manufacturer of microphones, headphones and wireless transmission systems. Sales in 2013 totaled 590.4 million euros. Sennheiser employs more than 2,500 staff worldwide and operates plants in Germany, Ireland and the USA. The company has a worldwide network of subsidiaries in France, Great Britain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Liechtenstein, Germany, Denmark (Nordic), Russia, Hongkong, India, Singapore, Japan, China, Australia and New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, and the USA. It also has long-established trading partners in other countries. Georg Neumann GmbH, Berlin, a maker of studio microphones and monitor speakers, and Sennheiser Communications A/S, a joint venture making headsets for PCs, offices and call centers, are also part of the Sennheiser Group.

More up-to-date information about Sennheiser is available at www.sennheiser.com.

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CARGO Nightclub Brings Unmatched Sound Quality to Reno with Powersoft

‘Power is Everything’ for Newly Redesigned Venue, Which Counts Itself Among the Finest Sounding Small-Scale Venues in Western United States

Reno, NV, October 27, 2014: The newly completed CARGO Nightclub, which opened last June, is an exquisite 1,000 person capacity venue located in the Whitney Peak Hotel in the heart of downtown Reno. The new club, which is powered by several Powersoft M and K series amplifiers, is something of a sonic gem with its best in class audio system and lighting design, created to meet and exceed the discriminating standards of A-level touring artists and engineers.

cargo1The hotel, which is located where the Fitzgerald’s Casino & Hotel once stood, underwent a multi-million dollar renovation before opening to the public as Whitney Peak Hotel on Memorial Day of this year. Now, as Northern Nevada prepares for an impending technology boon with the planned construction of Tesla’s soon to be constructed Gigafactory, CARGO finds itself at the ‘spearhead’ of a ‘rebranding’ that is already underway in greater Reno.

Prior to the reconstruction and rebranding of the hotel, CARGO was located on the third floor, situated as a 700 person capacity venue with a mediocre sound system. With the property under new ownership following the renovation, a new directive was put in place from management that would ultimately raise the audio production and lighting design standards of the venue to an entirely new level. At the core of the audio system is an EAW KF740 3-way array system, powered by Powersoft K10s, K6s and K2 (2) channel high-performance power amplifiers.

powersoftrack“The whole idea of the club was to go high-end on the production side so we could be attractive to larger, nationally touring artists,” comments Dan Bishop, Production Manager at Whitney Park Hotel. “Now, CARGO is able to produce the same or better production quality that artists are used to experiencing in much larger venues. Our choice of Powersoft amplification played a key role in helping us attain both the quality of audio we required, while reducing overall power consumption. Since reopening the club in June, we are getting amazing feedback from both fans and artists alike — everyone is insanely impressed with the quality of production.”

A ‘Big-Sounding Venue’ in ‘The Biggest Little City in the World’:

According to Bishop, there were two fundamental challenges the venue faced during the renovation and rebranding phase. First, the first floor facility to be completely redesigned and rebuilt to accommodate a dedicated HVAC system and decoupled wall construction for the performance venue, which shared the first floor with other ‘quieter’ spaces including the restaurant and hotel lobby. Second, the selection and installation of sound and lighting components was of critical concern.

cargo2“My expectation of the audio system was that it had to be sonically accurate,” says Bishop. “Many times in other rooms, where there is an inferior PA, the sound is muddy coming into the room and this is often compensated for by increasing volume. I wanted to make sure all our program material was accurately represented without depending on ‘more volume’ so it would be heard with great clarity from anywhere in the room.”

To power the EAW KF740 system, which consists of two (6) box arrays suspended from the ceiling at either side of the stage and another (3) across the front of the stage, Bishop chose (8) Powersoft K10 for the subwoofers and low frequency drivers, (4) K6s for the mid-frequency drivers, (4) K2s for the high frequency drivers and Powersoft M50Q four channel amplifier to power the center fill speakers (for mid frequency).

On specifying equipment for the venue, Bishop was surprised to learn about the K-series amazing power efficiency rating. “The efficiency was so high and the power needed to run the Powersoft equipment was so minimal that I actually changed my design for electrical requirements because I knew the system wasn’t going to need as much,” he says. “That actually ended up saving us a significant amount of money in both construction and ongoing utility costs.”

“Once we got the system up and running, everyone was just floored,” Bishop recalls. “The clarity of the audio was amazing. There was no hum, no buzzing, no nothing. It was dead silent until you put something through the system. And once we did put audio through the system, what came out of it was so accurately reproduced, it was just amazing.”

powersoftrack2Bishop says that he initially became interested in Powersoft on hearing an audio demonstration at nearby University of Nevada Reno, which runs its house PA system off of Powersoft amplifiers. “I saw that they were running all of their gear off of a tiny 3U rack system set up in a corner,” he says. “I was impressed with both the audio quality and the small footprint and efficiency of the gear.”

CARGO uses two Midas PRO9 consoles: one at front of house and the other at monitors. Having chosen Powersoft, he is assured that whatever audio is coming out of the audio processing will be completely neutral. “The Powersoft gear does not color the sound in any way, and the audio that gets reproduced in our room is stunning,” he says.

“Power is Everything”:

“From the very beginning of this project, we wanted to make sure that we were achieving the best possible audio for this room, and power is everything,” concludes Bishop. “Now, no matter where you are in the venue, you are going to get a great show. That means we did a good job on equipment selection and integration, and I am really proud of that.”

Since opening, Cargo has hosted nationally prominent acts like Shiny Toy Guns, Johnny Lang and renowned Ukelele player Jake Shimabukuru. The venue continues to rise in prominence in Reno and beyond, and the property itself is planning even more innovations: “We are working on a couple of new projects. And when we begin pricing installations for these, Powersoft is a name that will be at top of my list : I love the brand and the product.”

About Powersoft:

Powersoft is the world leader in lightweight, high power, single rack space, energy efficient amplifiers for the professional audio market. Founded in Italy in 1995, headquartered in Florence, Italy, with offices in Ventura, CA, Powersoft couples the experience and precision of its production department with exceptional components to deliver products with perfect audio response and high performance reliability. Its state-of-the-art amplifiers can be found in an array of markets, ranging from stadiums, sporting arenas, theme parks, performance venues and airports to convention centers, churches and clubs, and are used by the world’s leading tour sound companies. For more information, visit the Powersoft website @ www.powersoft-audio.com.

Captions:

1) Reno, Nevada’s Cargo is powered by several Powersoft M and K series amplifiers,
2) At the core of the audio system is an EAW KF740 3-way array system, powered by Powersoft K10s, K6s and K2 (2) channel high-performance power amplifiers.
3) A camera crew records the television program “Cargo”, live at the Whitney Peak Hotel.
4) Powersoft K2, K6 and K10s power the front of house system at Reno’s Cargo nightclub.

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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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