A virtual press conference from Sound & Video Contractor

Archive by Hummingbird Media

SmithsonMartin to Demonstrate Emulator Dual View System, Kontrol Surface 1974 and Emulator 1.0 Software at WMC

MIAMI BEACH, 15 March 2012— Multi-touch software developer SmithsonMartin Inc., announced that it will demonstrate its latest solutions for DJs, producers and lighting professionals at the WMC (Winter Music Conference) in Miami Beach on Wednesday, March 21st. The Emulator Dual View System, Kontrol Surface 1974 and the recently introduced Emulator Modular 1.0 software are among the products that will be featured in a private demonstration hosted by Alan Smithson, CEO of SmithsonMartin.

“The Emulator Kontrol Surface 1974 is a big step forward in multi-touch performance tools. Not only does it look cool, but provides just the right size interface with a small footprint that is travel friendly. I’m looking forward to integrating it into my sets” – Morgan Page, DJ, Producer & Two-Time Grammy Nominee

The new Emulator Modular 1.0 software extends the functionality and flexibility of the Emulator control platform, allowing users to leverage an unprecedented degree of control and flexibility over settings and parameters. Details on the event are below. For RSVP information, please contact Corey at 1-305-482-3005 or contact corey@korlighting.com.

– What: Private demonstration of the SmithsonMartin Emulator Dual View System, Kontrol Surface and Emulator Modular 1.0 software by CEO Alan Smithson
– Where: KOR Media and Lighting Studio, 2021 NW 1st Place, Miami, Fla. 33127
– When: Wednesday, March 21, 2012between 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.
– Who should attend: DJs, Producers and Lighting Professionals

Separately, to coincide with its latest software release, SmithsonMartin announced a price restructuring on its Emulator software. Effective immediately, all Emulator software costs just $99 for a lifetime license, including all upgrades and future updates of Emulator for MS Windows X86. Between now and March 31st, SmithsonMartin will offer a $500 discount on any of its hardware to customers who have purchased software at the previous price of $499.

“Even though we have just launched Emulator Modular 1.0, it has already become very well received in the press and wildly popular among users in the DJ universe and beyond,” commented Alan Smithson. “The next logical step for us its to make it more economical and widely accessible to an expanded user base. As a measure of goodwill to customers who have already purchased licenses at the higher price, we are offering very significant discounts on any of our hardware items.”

For more information on attaining a lifetime license on Emulator software or to learn about the discount program for prior purchases, please visit http://www.smithsonmartin.com/software

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Red Rooster Harlem Combines Cultural Diversity, American Roots Cuisine and Compact, Powerful Sound by K-array

New York – March 12, 2012: Red Rooster Harlem is a new restaurant named after the legendary Harlem speakeasy that once stood on 138th Street and Seventh Avenue, which was frequented by prominent musicians, poets and politicians of the day including Nat King Cole, James Baldwin, Adam Clayton Powell Jr. and many others. Today’s Red Rooster Harlem embraces the spirit of Harlem’s past, while incorporating the latest technology advancements from K-array, an Italian loudspeaker brand distributed by Sennheiser .

Red Rooster Harlem’s chef is Marcus Samuelsson — a Harlem resident who is regarded as one of “The Great Chefs of America” by the Culinary Institute of America. Samuelsson serves up a menu as vibrant as Harlem’s diverse population. Like the food, the music there is equally as colorful, representing the entire gamut of musical genres — on any given night, you might hear hip-hop, gospel, jazz, soul or Latin. The chosen sound system had to perform equally well across each of these.

Justin Lizama, Managing Partner of The Solidman Group (TSG), was responsible for the system design and chose K-array to ensure the best possible audio experience for both patrons and musicians. “We were looking fora versatile system that could provide even sound dispersion and a sleek visual profile,” he recalls. “I wanted to build something that was exciting from a technology perspective that would keep the aesthetic visuals in balance with the room. The K-array KK 50s were the perfect choice.”

Attaining clear, even dispersion wasn’t easy in an environment fraught with acoustic challenges: “The space includes pillars and very low ceilings, so there is not a lot of room for high speaker placements,” observes Jim Feeney, account executive at The Zeo Group, which assisted in specifying and integrating the audio system. “To keep everything covered, we were able to tuck and hide several KK50s — so there was no longer an issue with clearance.”

K-array: “King of Coverage”

With two stage set-ups — one for everyday use and the other for larger performances — it was important to uphold the visual appeal of the high-end boutique room, while providing high quality audio for both audiences and performers. The system was comprised of seven K-array KH15s and seven KK50s compact line-array elements, two KL 18 loudspeakers, two KL12 MA powered subwoofers and two KL21 MA powered subwoofers. The KK 50s, with a dispersion pattern of 120 x 7 degrees, were placed so they could precisely reach difficult areas.

The sound of the new K-array system is described by Lizama as “super tight and transparent. We see a lot of new equipment every year, and I definitely think that the K-array products are a great advancement in technology,” he says. “If we had used a traditional system, it would not have been aesthetically pleasing — trapezoidal boxes are not fun to look at.”

If you are trying to build a sophisticated room, the audio should be just as sophisticated,” Lizama concludes. “In New York City, space is always at a premium, and in this business, coverage is king. At Red Rooster Harlem, whether patrons are seated by the back wall or in a corner, they hear the same definition and audio quality that everyone else is hearing in the room.”

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Reliable Sennheiser RF Equipment Supports Super Bowl XLVI

Indianapolis, Indiana – March 8, 2012: In the fractured and multifarious landscape of modern media, the Super Bowl stands as a monolith, gathering the nation together before its television sets to partake of common experience. Indeed, this year’s game between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots was the most-watched program in television history, earning 111.3 million viewers. Of course, the modern Super Bowl experience includes much more than football. In addition to the multi-million dollar commercials, many are drawn to watch the celebrities and celebrity performances. This year, Country Music’s first couple, Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton, kicked things off with a rousing duet. Shelton was later featured in his judge’s chair on the season premier of NBC’s hit, The Voice. At halftime, Madonna starred in a richly choreographed medley of her chart-toppers (to the tune of 114 million viewers – more than the game itself!). Rock-solid Sennheiser RF equipment gave everyone involved as much peace of mind as one dare hope at this, the most critical of all mission-critical events.

With a stirring rendition of “God Bless America,” Lambert and Shelton gave the Super Bowl a patriotic commencement. Lambert sang into a new custom-made pink Sennheiser SKM 2000-XP handheld mic with an MMD 935-1 capsule that was created for this event. Shelton sang into a Sennheiser SKM 5200-II handheld mic with an MD 5235 capsule. “On such a high-pressure show with so many top-of-their-field experts managing such a massive logistical undertaking, one has to be adamant to get the mics you want,” observed Brad Baisley, the duo’s monitor engineer. ”Of course, Miranda used her new pink Sennheiser microphone, and Blake the Sennheiser SKM 5200. The top end is always superb, the sound is natural, and Miranda and Blake know how to work those capsules. Of course, Sennheiser’s RF has always been rock-solid for us, and that was proved once again at the Super Bowl. In addition to their great products, the assistance from Sennheiser’s Tim Moore was fantastic. He was extremely helpful in ensuring we had the equipment we needed in the appropriate frequency ranges.”

To put the magnitude of the Super Bowl in perspective, Madonna’s 2008-2009 Sticky & Sweet tour – the highest grossing tour by a solo artist and the fourth highest grossing tour of all time – played to 3.5 million people in just over a year’s time. If you crunch the numbers, Madonna would have to play over thirty such tours back-to-back to match her one-time TV-land attendance at the Super Bowl! “Once the show starts, there’s not a lot you can do if something goes wrong,” said Matt Napier, Madonna’s longtime monitor engineer. “The best – and really the only – thing you can do in a situation like that is to have the best equipment available and to prepare thoroughly. I trust Sennheiser in Madonna’s high-stakes concerts, and that trust was rewarded with a perfect performance at the Super Bowl.”

“On tour, we have our own dedicated RF tech,” said Napier. “But as a general rule, we keep things simple and reliable by using Sennheiser wireless exclusively and their Wireless Systems Manager software, which is an effective tool for managing our frequencies.” Madonna used the Sennheiser HSP 4headset at the start of the medley and then switched to a Sennheiser SKM 5200-II handheld Blake and Mirandatransmitter with an ME 5005 capsule for the remainder. All of Madonna’s guests (Nicki Minaj, MIA, LMFAO) used Sennheiser SKM 5200-II handheld transmitters with Neumann KK 104 capsules. Cee Lo Green’s mic used the MD 5235 capsule. Sennheiser EM 3732 receivers captured the on-stage magic for the wired world beyond. Finally, Sennheiser 2000 Series wireless personal monitors rounded out the equipment list for Madonna at her request.

“No matter where we’re playing, the combination of the Sennheiser SKM 5200-II transmitter, ME 5005 capsule, and EM 3732 receiver delivers fantastic audio quality and reliable, flexible RF performance,” said Napier. “Together with Sennheiser’s 2000 Series wireless personal monitors, we’re high fidelity start to finish, with rock-solid reliability and easy frequency coordination. In addition, having the full support of Sennheiser affords me peace of mind. We needed a gold-plated SKM 5200-II transmitter for Madonna and a chrome SKM 5200-II for Cee Lo. With no time to spare, Kristy Jo Winkler and Tim Hunten, Sennheiser, and Jason Bellamy at Soundtronics arranged the delivery of these transmitters. The mics were on their way the same day. That kind of service means a lot in this industry. A big thanks goes out to the Sennheiser team!”

K-array Makes its Debut at the Boston Opera House, Architectural Jewel and Boston Ballet’s Sole Performance Venue

Boston, March 7, 2012– The Boston Opera House is a striking example of the finest theatre architecture set in opulent French and Italian styles. Originally constructed in the late 1800s but extensively renovated in 2002, the 2,677-capacity theatre has been the sole performance venue of Boston Ballet since fall 2009 and was originally constructed as a tribute to vaudeville’s greatest impresario: Benjamin Franklin Keith. As a credit to both the original design its recent painstaking renovation, the Opera House is nothing short of stunning, featuring outstanding acoustics and superb craftsmanship throughout.

Recently, this landmark performance facility took its breathtaking natural acoustics one step further by installing a discrete and ultra-compact K-array sound reinforcement system for the Boston Ballet, customized and painstakingly finished to match the luxurious décor of its interior. The system, designed and installed by Talamas Broadcast Equipment, includes Sennheiser distributed K-array KK100 and KH15 speaker arrays plus KL18 and KS4 subwoofers, together with KA10 and KA40 Class D power amplifiers — all of which have been installed to maintain the visual and sonic integrity of the original space.

Nick Jabour of Talamas Broadcast Equipment, a Boston-based company serving the audio and video needs of New England’s film, television and broadcast production industries, worked with Boston Ballet’s Ben Phillips, production manager and technical director, and Benjamin Young, sound designer, on the design of the system. “There are three KK100 vertical arrays on each side of the proscenium arch,” explains Jabour. “Those are primarily for the orchestra level and the first few rows of the balcony.”

To allow shading of the coverage patterns of the KK100s, two arrays are driven from each channel of a KA10 amp. The KK100 is an ultra-slim vertical line array comprised of multiple two-inch neodymium transducers in a stainless steel chassis. Two KL18 subs, which each feature an 800W, 18-inch driver, are positioned below the left and right main arrays to provide low frequency reinforcement.

Flown systems provide additional coverage of the orchestra and balcony seating sections of the 2,500-capacity theatre. “There are two KH15 arrays and a KS4 sub array on a truss that’s flown above the downstage lip of the stage,” says Jabour. “The KH15s mostly cover the balcony. There’s another KH15 positioned behind the KS4 pointing straight down at the orchestra level to complete the stereo image.”

The self-powered KH15 is an ultra-compact two-way line array that provides consistent 120-degree horizontal coverage. The self-powered, ultra-compact KS4 subwoofer offers a unique dipole figure-8 coverage pattern capable of delivering very high SPLs.

Talamas worked closely with power distribution specialists Motion Labs and Sennheiser, exclusive distributor of K-array products in the U.S. and Mexico, on the unusual A.C. power set up for the system. “KA10s and a KA40 amplifier power the KK100s and the KL18s,” Jabour elaborates. “The KA10 and the KA40 amps are being run at 120 volts, but so that we could use a more standard style cable for the power run to the truss we run those speakers, which are self-powered, at 230 volts.”

The theatre’s acoustics were originally designed to deliver the spoken word to every seat in the house in an age before microphones and amplifiers. “So Boston Ballet wanted something that they could use very, very subtly,” comments Jabour. “But they have a choreographer who, for one of his pieces, requires the theatre to get very loud. So we had to be able to cover both extremes.”

“The K-array system helped us accomplish everything we set out to achieve,” says Benjamin Young. “The subtle reinforcement of a gentle orchestra is undetectable, and the intricacies of more modern electronic orchestrations are clear as can be, while powerful at the same time. I am certain that the majority of the patrons don’t even realize that they are there; they are the ninjas of speakers!”

“The key point in our original directive was that the speakers could not interrupt the aesthetic of the stage — and Talamas and Sennheiser worked with us to achieve that goal,” he adds. “All in all the system has turned out to be a huge success for us.”

The newly installed K-array system made its debut on March 1 with the opening of “Play With Fire.” The production features “Rooster,” choreographed by Christopher Bruce to the music of the Rolling Stones.

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Sennheiser Partners with UniqueSquared to Bring Mobile Studio to Austin During World-Famous Music Week

AUSTIN – March 06, 2012: Audio specialist Sennheiser announced that it has partnered with music retailer UniqueSquared to bring a 45-foot mobile recording studio bus to Austin during its world-famous music week between March 14th and 16th. The UniqueSquared Mobile Studio, which will make stops at various locations in downtown Austin during its music festival, is being co-sponsored by Sennheiser and features a control room, isolated vocal booth / tracking room, a listening lounge and plenty of gear from Sennheiser and Neumann. Music fans are encouraged to attend and admission is free.

The UniqueSquared Mobile Studio will feature an assortment of world-class microphones from Sennheiser and Neumann and several dedicated listening stations equipped with a selection of the latest headphones from Sennheiser — including the HD 800, which many audiophiles consider to be the best-sounding headphone in the world. Following is a selection of the audio equipment that the mobile recording studio will have on hand for musicians and fans to demo:

– Sennheiser e 906, e 914 and MK 4 instrument / vocal microphones
– Sennheiser e 835 and e 935 dynamic vocal microphones
– Neumann TLM 103 condenser microphone
– Sennheiser Amperior, HD 25, HD 205, HD 280, HD 650,HD 800 headphones and others
– TRUE Systems P2 Analog preamplifier (distributed by Sennheiser)

“We are happy to co-sponsor the UniqueSquared Mobile Studio this year in Austin,” commented Tim Moore, artist relations manager, Sennheiser. “It is exciting to interact with so many diverse music fans in one place, and the Mobile Studio enables them to try out a wide range of Sennheiser and Neumann products in a professional environment before making a purchasing decision.”

The UniqueSquared Mobile Studio, which will also have products for sale, is being presented in conjunction with the Sennheiser / Paste party at The Stages on Sixth — where 33 artists will perform over the course of three days.

Over the course of the showcase event, one pair of Sennheiser HD 800 headphones will be given away each day to three lucky registered showcase attendees and hundreds of cards will be given away featuring free music downloads of Sennheiser artists. A dedicated, interactive listening station will be provided for the duration of the event so music fans can experience Sennheiser’s latest products including the Amperior DJ-style headphones, which were recently unveiled at CES 2012.

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Sennheiser Rocks (and Rolls in the Deep) with Big Grammy Winners

Los Angeles, California, March 1, 2012: This year’s Grammy Awards event, hosted by LL Cool J, celebrating music’s biggest night, went down in history as the second highest rated telecast since the show’s inception in 1959. It was a phenomenal undertaking showcasing nearly thirty diverse musical performances on multiple indoor and outdoor stages, along with a very last minute tribute celebrating the late Whitney Houston. So when Sennheiser artists took the stage, their engineers knew they had to have Sennheiser microphones to assure their performances would go off without a hitch.

Adele, the big winner of the evening, tied the record, set two years ago by Beyoncé, for the most awards won by a female artist in one year. The 23-year-old pop-soul singer won the night’s most prestigious awards, including Album of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Album for 21, Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Short Form Music Video for the single “Rolling in the Deep,” and Best Pop Solo Performance for “Someone Like You.”

The most highly anticipated performance of the evening finally arrived when Adele took the stage to perform “Rolling in the Deep.” Her favorite nickel-finish Sennheiser SKM 2000-XP wireless handheld transmitter with MMK 965-1 capsule conveyed her beautiful voice to the adoring crowd. Dave McDonald, Adele’s front-of-house engineer, said, “It’s a great microphone. We started using it just after the Brit Awards in February of last year, and she’s loved it ever since.” He adds, “Ninety-nine-point-nine percent of the equipment we use is Sennheiser – and the point-one percent is Neumann.” Her performance brought the Grammy audience to its feet for the longest standing ovation of the evening.

Foo Fighters, nominated in a total of six categories, swept the entire rock category, winning awards for Rock Song and Rock Performance for “Walk,” Rock Album for Wasting Light, Hard Rock/Metal Performance for “White Limo,” and Best Long Form Music Video for “Foo Fighters: Back and Forth.”

The band rocked the stage twice during the Grammy broadcast, performing “Walk” from a tent on Nokia Plaza, adjacent to the Staples Center, then returning to play “Rope” during the electronic dance music segment with David Guetta, Chris Brown, Lil’ Wayne, and deadmau5. Frontman Dave Grohl made use of his usual Sennheiser MD 431 II vocal mic on both songs. Ian Beveridge, Foo Fighters’ longtime monitor engineer, spoke highly of Dave’s vocal mic: “I love that microphone to death. That microphone is so unbelievably flat in the high-end, and incredibly stable with moisture and temperature. During their shows, we used to have terrible instability problems with other microphones, and I was going through maybe four, five or six microphones a show with Dave, swapping them out. Now, I keep the 431 for the whole show. I can’t remember the last time there was any feedback during Foo Fighters’ show. And these Grammy performances were no exception.”

Bruno Mars, channeling James Brown with his energetic, throwback performance of “Runaway”, had the singer using an SKM 2000-XP with MMD 945-1 capsule. James Berry, monitor engineer for Mars shared, “Sennheiser products have great sound and reliability. We could not have done it without Sennheiser. I’m always grateful for their gear and support in making it happen under the stress of a live event like the Grammys.”

Other Sennheiser users got to shine during the show, too, including the evening’s host, LL Cool J, who made use of an SKM 5200. Alicia Keys sang a duet with Bonnie Raitt in memory of Etta James through her SKM 5200-II vocal mic with MD 5235 capsule. Katy Perry made a memorable entrance, descending in a glass box with her baby blue hair and her SKM 5200-II/MD 5235 combination to perform her new post-divorce song, “Part of Me.” During a medley honoring and featuring Glen Campbell, Blake Shelton performed the songwriter’s “Southern Nights” using his SKM 5200-II /MD 5235 vocal mic. Tony Bennett, in a duet with Carrie Underwood on “It Had to Be You,” also used an SKM 5200-II.

(Photo Credit: © 2012 FilmMagic)

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Uncompromising Classical Audiophile Label 2L Relies on Antelope Audio’s Zodiac Gold DAC to “Proof Listen” its High Resolution Masters

Oslo, Norway, February 28, 2012 — Morten Lindberg is well-known in the audiophile community as head of 2L (Lindberg Lyd), a recording label based in Oslo, Norway that has been exporting its premium classical and folk recordings from Scandinavia for over a decade. Lindberg, who insists on extremely high quality production values throughout the entire recording, manufacturing and packaging processes, uses the Antelope Audio Zodiac Gold to ‘proof’ the carefully recorded 352.8 kHz/24-bit stereo master files before they are ever duplicated or distributed to the company’s discriminating international customers.

2L has garnered no less than 12 GRAMMY Award nominations over the last six years — seven of them in categories including “Best Engineered Album” and “Best Surround Sound Album.” These releases, which feature Norwegian composers and musicians, are recorded in spacious concert halls, cathedrals and churches throughout Scandinavia. One of the greatest challenges is to ensure that performances are reproduced in the living room of the listener as accurately as possible, therefore, 2L is always exploring the best mediums, file formats and technologies available: including Antelope Audio’s Zodiac Gold DAC.

The Zodiac Gold is a D/A converter, pre-amp and headphone amp engineered to deliver pristine audio with keenly articulated pitch and a spectacular soundstage. The unique sound of Zodiac DACs is based on Antelope’s Oven Controlled Oscillator and 64-bit clocking technology used by the world’s top audio engineers.

“Working daily with the finest European AD and DA converters on venue recording, our standard is set to the extreme,” says Lindberg. “I was hardly prepared for the overwhelming moment when I found that the sonic qualities of the Zodiac Gold immediately recalled my memory of the recording sessions.” The Zodiac Gold, which is now a key component in Lindberg’s monitoring chain, is also convenient to use on-location. “With the USB, I am able to use the Zodiac Gold in true plug-and-play fashion with my MacBook Pro. This makes it perfectly suited for portable playback in workshop environments.”

“More than 50% of our total revenue as a label now comes out of Hi-Res FLAC file distribution, with international partners like Hdtracks.com, Highresaudio.com and e-ONKYO,” Lindberg continues. “The Zodiac Gold is a perfect match for domestic customers searching for the best sonic values in computer playback of these super-high resolutions.”

While still a relatively young recording label from a classical music perspective, 2L’s accomplishments are very impressive nonetheless. When 2L began its own studio operations 15 years ago, its core business was contracting recordings out to other labels such as EMI/Virgin, Naxos, Linn and Philips and others. Since 2001, there have been well over 50 recordings issued by 2L and among the highlights for 2012 will be a landmark release of TrondheimSolistene – SOUVENIR, which is being released in two parts and will appear on both vinyl and Pure Audio Blu-ray.

While nothing can replicate the exact sensory experience of listening to a recording session in-person, the Zodiac Gold DAC can help listeners come just a little bit closer: “There is no method available today to reproduce the exact perception of attending a live performance,” concludes Lindberg. “As recording engineers and producers we need to do exactly the same as any good musician; interpret the music and the composer’s intentions and adapt to the media where we perform.” For 2L, the Zodiac Gold continues to perform.

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Sennheiser and Paste Magazine to Present 33 Bands in Three Days for Ultimate Music Lovers’ Showcase at Stages on Sixth in Austin

AUSTIN – February 28, 2012: Audio specialist Sennheiser announced that it has partnered with Paste Magazine to present an ultimate music lovers’ showcase during Austin’s famous music week on March 14, 15 and 16. All in all, there will be 33 performances over the course of three days by an eclectic mix of new and established acts held at the Sennheiser-endorsed The Stages on Sixth.

The marathon lineup at Austin’s The Stages on Sixth will include indie rock veterans The Wedding Present, The dBs and Built to Spill, as well as newer acts such as We Were Promised Jetpacks, Blitzen Trapper and Lumineers. Each of the two indoor and outdoor stages will feature sound delivered by premium audio brand Sennheiser.

Sennheiser Returns to Austin

Sennheiser will be sponsoring a showcase at The Stages on Sixth during Austin’s most revered music week for the second time in a row. Sennheiser will have its latest headphones on display, including the Amperior DJ-style headphones unveiled at CES earlier this year, as well as its famous evolution wired microphones. Following are details on locations and times:

· What: Sennheiser & PastePresent The Stages on Sixth, Austin
· When: Wednesday, March 14-16, noon to 6:00 p.m.
· Lineup (may be subject to change without notice)
o Wednesday, March 14: MyNameIsJohnMichael, River City Extension, Apparat, Caveman, Typhoon, The Chain Gang of 1974, Rich Aucoin, Hospitality, Tennis, Van Hunt, Ben Kweller
o Thursday, March 15: Dinosaur Feathers, Howler, Vintage Trouble, JC Brooks, Of Monsters and Men, The dB’s, Rubblebucket, We Were Promised Jetpacks, Blitzen Trapper, Japandroids, Built to Spill
o Friday, March 16: Barr Brothers, Crooked Fingers, Lumineers, The Belle Brigade, Reptar, Rhett Miller, Idle Warship, Alberta Cross, The Wedding Present, Punch Brothers, Glen Hansard

For more information and to RSVP, visit www.sennheiserusa.com/paste.

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Lady Antebellum Expands Tour and Sennheiser Endorsement

Old Lyme, Conn.– February 21, 2012: Few need an introduction to Lady Antebellum, who, in the four short years since its formation, has won six Grammys, scored six number one hits on country radio, has sold over six million albums across the globe and is currently on its 2012 Own The Nightworld tour. Sennheiser is supporting the tour with equipment, such as SKM 5200-II wireless vocal microphones and ew 300 IEM G3 wireless personal monitors, along with the expertise to ensure that no glitches ever distract from Lady Antebellum’s spellbinding performance. With an agreement brokered by Tim Moore, artist relations manager for Sennheiser USA, and Kristy Jo Winkler, Sennheiser global relations manager for the Americas and Canada, reigning Country Music Awards and Academy of Country Music Awards Vocal Group of the Year Lady Antebellum is now a Sennheiser Global Relations endorsed artist.

FOH engineer Brett “Scoop” Blanden was careful to select the perfect wireless vocal mic for the tour. “The stage setup includes a forty-foot runway that extends well in front of the house PA,” he said. “I needed a microphone and a capsule that would be well-suited to all six vocalists – who might all be on that runway at the same time! By using the same capsule, with the same frequency response and polar pattern, on all six mics, I am able to tune the PA without fear of the unpredictable interactions that can occur when different capsules are open on stage.” Blanden selected the Sennheiser MD 5235 dynamic capsule, which features a floating directivity that is super-cardioid at high frequencies and cardioid at low frequencies. The Sennheiser SKM 5200-II handheld RF transmitter completes the vocal setup, and two additional SKM 5200-II/MD 5235 combinations go to the opening acts.

Monitor engineer Peter Bowman organizes the RF channels for the show. “I have had zero RF issues since we made the switch to the Sennheiser 5000 series on vocals,” he said. “In addition, I’m also very happy with how useful the Command Function is for Lady Antebellum. Whether they need the guitar turned down or a cup of tea, they can communicate with ease from any point on the stage.”

Instrument mics include the Sennheiser e 901 on kick, the e 904 on rack toms, the e 902 on the floor tom, and a small diaphragm e 614 on the ride. “I’m particularly fond of the e 904 and e 902 on the toms,” said Blanden, who is himself a drummer. “I love the tonal picture of those dynamic mics – it’s familiar and comfortable to me. The frequency response and transient response are perfect. I can run those inputs flat on my channel strip because all the right color is captured by the mic. The convenient mounting hardware on the e 904 is also nice.” For all three guitar cabinets on stage, Blanden uses the classic Sennheiser MD 421-II. “What a standard! Even in my studio days,” he said, “I was always a fan of the MD 421 on guitars. It has the perfect combination of top-end bite and low-end growl to deliver the ideal rock ‘n roll guitar sound.”

In addition to the eight Sennheiser SKM 5200-IIs for vocals (and their associated command channels), Bowman manages eight Sennheiser EK 300 IEM G3 stereo wireless personal monitors, for a total of twenty-eight wireless frequencies. “I set them myself every day,” he said. “And with the scanning options available on both the G3 and 5000 series, that process is fairly simple. I love that when the monitor system is networked together, I have the ability to set all the transmitters to new frequencies using just one bodypack. I usually scan one bodypack during the day, even before I get power to monitor world, and then use it later to synch up all the transmitters.” For antennas, Bowman uses one Sennheiser paddle antenna and one Sennheiser A 5000?CP circularly polarized antenna. “Although I know there are several valid approaches, this system works well for me,” he said. “Our RF performance has been perfect.”

Even the band’s guitars and bass benefit from Sennheiser wireless technology. To navigate the tour’s large stage with the crowd-pleasing confidence that a wire won’t allow, every fretted instrument is equipped with a Sennheiser ew 572 G3 wireless transmitter, save for one acoustic guitar which uses an ew 572 G2 unit. There are eleven units in all. “Our RF performance has been absolutely flawless,” said guitar tech Steve Castro, who formerly worked with Sugarland. “We all work together to maintain clean channels. If someone gets stepped on, it’s a simple matter to use the scan feature to dial in a new clean channel.”

“The Sennheiser team has really gone above and beyond for us,” said Blanden. “Tim Moore has been there for us during the last four years. Throughout our trips to Australia, Europe and various television performances, Sennheiser is the gear we rely on for consistency wherever we are performing.”

Winkler added, “For decades, Sennheiser has supported emerging artists as well as mega-stars. All of us on the Global Relations team welcome Lady Antebellum to this special tier of artists and congratulate them on their creativity, musicianship, performance excellence, and industry dedication.”

(Photo Credit: © 2012 Adam Boatman)

Hollywood Casino Joliet Goes First Class with K-array Installation

Chicago – February 16, 2012: Offering the excitement of Hollywood just 45 minutes outside of Chicago, Hollywood Casino Joliet recently underwent a major renovation to its entertainment and dining pavilion, which was destroyed by a fire in March 2009. Hollywood Stadium, a sports bar/entertainment venue located within the pavilion, has since been completely rebuilt and now boasts the latest technology and audiovisual elements, including an 80 x 20-foot screen, over 40 flat-screen TVs and a K-array loudspeaker system, the latter of which is distributed by audio specialist Sennheiser.

“After the fire, we took the opportunity to bring our pavilion up to speed both aesthetically and technologically,” recalls Justin Sattazahn, audio-visual supervisor of Hollywood Casino Joliet. “In Hollywood Stadium, I was looking for a stealthy loudspeaker system that would provide great sightlines and high fidelity throughout the room.” He chose a K-array system, including two KK200 arrays mounted to poles on either side of the stage, four KL18ma subwoofers — each of which was mounted inside the stage — and (4) KF12 self-powered monitors.

A Non-Traditional Solution in a Forward-Thinking Venue
Sattazahn, who has a background in the touring industry and recently made the move to casino entertainment, knew that a traditional horn-loaded P.A. system would not be suitable for Hollywood Stadium — which presented both acoustic and visual challenges. The visual challenges included maintaining unobstructed viewing angles to the stage performers, the massive projector screen and the flat-screen televisions scattered throughout the room.

“My initial design was going to be your standard hanging J-style line array,” Sattazahn recalls. “However, since the sightlines were so important and since I was dealing with a room that was very acoustically reflective, the K-array was by far the best choice.” The room, which measures 60 x 125 feet, has 45-feet-high ceilings and is constructed primarily of concrete. “There were a lot of acoustic challenges that we had to overcome, not the least of which were all the reflective surfaces.”

The precise sound dispersion patterns of the KK200 — which have a horizontal throw of 110 degrees and a vertical throw of just seven degrees — helped Sattazahn and his team overcome the acoustic challenges of the venue while maintaining unobstructed sightlines towards the stage. Moreover, by installing the K-array solution, every seat in the house offers a pristine audio experience.

Smooth sounds in a small, powerful package
When it is not a sports bar, Hollywood Stadium is transformed into an intimate music venue that caters to smooth jazz, country, Top 40 dance music and everything in between. Musicians of all genres regularly pass through the venue, and Sattazahn says that so far, the loudspeaker system has gotten high marks: “One of the bigger regional bands that comes in here is called 7th Heaven. When they first saw the K-array system, they said, ‘Is this it?’ But by the end of the show, they had no doubt that the K-array could handle everything they had and a lot more!”

The new K-array system receives regular praise from both performers and patrons alike: “We get a lot of compliments that this is the best system that they’ve ever heard,” says Sattazahn. “Some bands describe the sound as ‘smooth’, and say that it’s as if they are listening to their performance through a set of studio monitors — but in a live setting.”

Based on the successful performance of the K-array system in Hollywood Stadium, Hollywood Casino Joliet is already planning on installation additional K-array equipment in other locations in the near future. “K-array fits our brand and the high-end feel we are trying to achieve in our casino, so we are looking at adding new elements within the casino and the nightclub. K-array is already at the top of my list,” Sattazahn concludes.

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