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Archive by Brad Gibson

Lowell Manufacturing Celebrates 65th Anniversary

— Missouri-based, family-owned manufacturer of rack, power and audio products takes a look back, reflecting on their six-and-a-half-decade history —

PACIFIC, MO, June 26, 2012 — Throughout 2012, Lowell Manufacturing Company will be celebrating its 65th anniversary as a U.S. manufacturer of AV and related products. As the company marks its six-and-a-half decades in the industry, those involved are taking the opportunity to look back, reflecting on how Lowell’s founding principles resonate today more than ever, and how those ideals and business practices will guide the company into the next generation.

The company was founded in 1947 by Ben Lowell along with his wife Dorothy, the parents of current company President/CEO John Lowell and his siblings, including Residential Sales Manager Tom Lowell, and Operations Manager Wilhelm Lowell. John reflects on his early years: “As a child, I vividly remember company picnics at the plant with my six brothers and sisters and all the Lowell employees. My father always tried to create a family atmosphere around the company, as we continue to do today. As we have grown in the industry over the last 65 years, we have never lost track of what it means to be a family-owned and -operated company. There are the principles under which my parents started the business, and they have served us well. Close personal relationships with business partners and a company atmosphere that remains focused yet friendly – the value of these things cannot be overstated.”

Today, the Lowell headquarters is located in Pacific, Missouri, about 40 miles southwest of St. Louis. Their core team of employees continues to serve the company with dedication and enthusiasm, and many of the team have been with Lowell for 20+ years. Engineering, metal fabrication, welding, paint and assembly are all located at the Pacific facility. Because the company’s products fall into three major categories (rack, power and audio), its engineering department includes mechanical, audio and electrical engineers.

John Lowell continues, “Our philosophy is – and has always been – to listen to what customers want, to do the job right by designing value-driven products of exceptional quality, and to build them in America, outsourcing as little as possible. Our goal is to provide real value by designing products that install quickly, minimize installation time and contribute to the project’s bottom line.”

John Lowell reflects, “When you provide service that goes the extra step, offering things like custom design and engineering from the ground up, consultants and integrators respond to it in a very positive way. Also, the fact that we use as close to 100 percent American materials as possible in manufacturing, and comply with and support initiatives such as ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act), BAA (Buy American Act) and TAA (Trade Agreements Act) is something we are very proud of. Very few companies can make those claims. Looking ahead, we are going to continue what we’ve been doing for 65 years – to design and build products that save time and labor in the field and provide real value to customers. And to keep building them in the U.S.A. to support the American worker.”

For more information, please visit www.lowellmfg.com or e-mail Lowell at sales@lowellmfg.com.

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Auralex® Acoustics Sets Its Sights On Continued Expansion

— Led by company Founder/President Eric Smith, Auralex Acoustics continues to expand and position itself for ongoing growth in the coming years —

INDIANAPOLIS, IN, June 26, 2012 – Auralex® Acoustics, Inc., the world’s leading brand of acoustical treatments and soon to celebrate its 35th anniversary, continues to thrive due to a leadership vision that incorporates flexibility and an intuitive understanding of the markets it serves. With solid business practices stressing the ongoing development of market-driven products, enhanced customer service and the ability to embrace change, this philosophy continues to be the cornerstone of Auralex’s business for over three decades. Despite the constant technological and business challenges in the markets that Auralex serves, the company continued to experience ongoing growth in 2011 with a continued growth path in Q1 of 2012.

Under the direction of company founder and president Eric Smith, a new long-term comprehensive business plan was instituted that addresses brand positioning, domestic and international sales channels, manufacturing, marketing and customer service. Eight months after its implementation, this multi-pronged strategic plan is proving to be a winner, with much more to come and already unfolding.

One of the first steps was the appointment last year of David Fischer to the position of Auralex CEO. Coming to Auralex from multiple sizable and well-known global organizations, Fischer brings a strong history of exceeding business objectives and growth targets to his role at Auralex. Working closely with Eric Smith, Fischer has been instrumental in implementing the long-term strategic business plan that is driving the company’s worldwide growth and expansion.

On the domestic front, having moved into a new office complex last year that houses enhanced distribution operations and warehousing, as well as ergonomically designed office space, the company continues to drive and focus on existing markets with better penetration but also has refocused key sales personnel and is in the process of augmenting the sales team. With this move, in addition to allowing its sales force to concentrate on the Auralex brand, the company will be better equipped to gather market feedback so future product introductions and enhancements draw not only on engineering developments, but also market-driven factors. The new structure will help position Auralex’s distinctive brand identity to its global dealer and distributor network, but also reinforce the brand in the minds of customers.

The company is also expanding its international sales channels with additional distribution and sales forces, with a dedicated effort in Europe, the Middle East, Asia/Pacific and Latin America. This will facilitate more direct contact with key accounts and participation in overseas trade shows. In addition, as part of an overall operations upgrade, a new Director of Operations has been appointed and a new distribution workflow has been implemented, providing an even quicker turnaround time for customer orders.

From a product standpoint, Auralex continues to design and manufacture market-driven products providing innovative sound control solutions for the various markets it serves. At InfoComm 2012, the company is launching several solutions for contractors and system integrators, including the QuadFusor™ Sound Diffusor, a versatile and affordable Class A diffusor that mates four of Auralex’s MiniFusors™ in a 2-foot-by-2-foot array that is perfect for ceiling or wall mounting; the SheetBlok-AF™, which is a finish-grade isolation product that requires no messy construction and is perfect for retrofit applications; and UtiliTek™ sound absorbers, which are based on Auralex’s popular ProPanel™ series, but offer contractors and system integrators a great-looking yet more cost-effective solution in acoustical control.

Commenting on the long-term goals Eric Smith stated, “We have begun implementing the next phase of our plan, which focuses on such vital aspects as enhanced distribution, brand positioning, domestic and international sales, customer service, and product development as well as overall marketing strategies to grow market awareness for the Auralex brand. What we’ve implemented thus far has been exciting, but the best is yet to come.”

For more information, please visit www.auralex.com.

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Aphex® Launches EX·BB 500™ Module

— EX•BB 500™ module combines Aphex®’s legendary Aural Exciter® and Big Bottom® technologies with the portable and convenient 500 Series format —

BURBANK, CA, June 26, 2012 — Aphex®, the leader in sound enhancement technology, has launched the EX•BB 500™ module, which introduces the company’s legendary Aural Exciter® and Big Bottom® patented audio enhancement technologies to the portable and convenient 500 Series format. The mono EX•BB 500 module is the first release in a new line of 500 Series products being launched in 2012 by Aphex.

Aphex’s Aural Exciter technology – often imitated but never duplicated – has been used in recording studios, broadcast facilities, concert arenas, musicians’ equipment racks, DJ systems, houses of worship, auditoriums, theaters and sports venues worldwide since 1975 to enhance detail, clarity and imaging to a wide variety of sources. The new EX•BB 500 module offers discrete Tune, Harmonics and Mix controls that enable users to increase intelligibility to vocals, add punch and presence to individual instruments, and add detail and airiness to mixes.

Optical Big Bottom processing extends low frequency power and spectrum, providing a richer and more percussive sound, even at very low volume, while avoiding the level build-up associated with traditional equalization. The module includes Tune, Drive and Mix controls, allowing the user to dial-in just the right “thickness” and dynamically enhance the low frequency range.

The 500 Series form factor of the EX•BB 500 module enables users to configure a system incorporating as many or as few channels of Aphex’s Aural Exciter and Big Bottom processing as required or as the budget allows. The EX•BB 500 module fits all current 500 Series racks, including those from A Designs, API, Empirical Labs, Radial and Tonelux.

Aphex Chairman/CEO David Wiener stated, “Everyone at Aphex is really excited about where we’re heading. And it gets better! I promised that the best was yet to come. We’ve never sounded so good – and we’re going to keep rolling out the hits.”

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FOH Mix Engineer Rob “Cubby” Colby Looks to Genelec 8250A Monitors for the Ongoing Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo Tour

— Colby relies on the Genelec 8250A Bi-Amplified DSP Monitoring System to maintain a consistent perspective for balance and sound quality, no matter where the show takes him or what’s between him and the PA —

— Colby’s use of the 8250A’s demonstrates an ongoing trend that sees more
studio-quality pro audio components integrated into live mixing environments —

NATICK, MA, June 21, 2012 — At a time when live music has become the financial backbone of the music industry, more emphasis is being put on the quality of the sound of concerts, including at that most critical point in the monitoring chain: the front-of-house position, where the FOH mixer can hold the key to the quality of the entire concert experience for the artist and the audience. So when award-winning live-sound mixer Rob “Cubby” Colby needs to ensure he’s hearing everything and hearing it absolutely accurately at a show, he’s developed a technique in which he integrates studio-quality speakers into his monitoring protocol at the FOH position. And there’s only one brand of speaker that Colby will use for this unique but highly effective technique: monitors from Genelec. For instance, on the current Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo tour, which will continue into the fall of 2012, Colby has been using a pair of Genelec 8250A Bi-Amplified DSP speakers at the FOH mix position, supplied by tour SR systems provider Sound Image. “This approach, using Genelecs as part of the monitoring solution for a live show, has made a huge difference in the quality of the live-sound mix for everyone,” he says.

This is a technique that Colby, who has mixed live sound for artists including Prince, Juanes, Shakira, Phil Collins/Genesis and Janet Jackson, and who has won an EMMY® Award and numerous other plaudits for his work, has been using for several years. He recalls the first time he employed it, at the Viña del Mar International Song Festival in Chile, where the FOH position is located in a concrete blockhouse 170 feet away from the stage and with only a narrow aperture through which the FOH mixer can see and hear. To deal with this challenging monitoring environment, Colby brought in studio-quality monitor speakers – a pair of small Genelec 6000 Series speakers that he often carries on the road for mixing recordings of shows. “I time-aligned them and ran them through a solo bus on the console; as the show got louder and the ability to hear it got harder, I would bring them up slowly, to compensate what I was losing as a result of the position of the mixer,” he explains.

The result was so successful that Colby continues to listen through speakers as he mixes live shows, adding the speakers into his field of hearing as the physical situation in front of the FOH console changes, such as when crowds stand up. “As the artists get into the back half of their shows, as the hits start being played one after another, more of the audience stands up and stays standing, and how I can hear the direct sound changes with it,” he says. “So I add more of the Genelecs into what I’m hearing. It assures me that I’m always hearing accurately what’s coming off the stage, and it really reduces the amount of listening fatigue, because I’m not straining to hear anymore.”

Colby makes use of Genelec’s renowned GLM™ and AutoCal™ technologies of Genelec DSP Monitoring Systems, accurately and automatically time-aligning the speakers for the environment they’re in. “The Genelec speakers and the Genelec DSP are my secret weapon for live sound mixing,” he says. “They bring the mix closer to me and keep it realistic. They take all of the guesswork out of the monitoring situation. And Genelec is what I use in the studio, and we’ve been seeing more and more studio-level products find their way into live sound lately, such as the ribbon microphones that I use. So having Genelec at the front of house with me just feels very natural.”

For more information, please visit www.genelecusa.com/.

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Once Again, Carl Tatz Design (CTD) Goes to the Head of the Class as Mix Magazine Honors CTD with the “Class of 2012” Studio Design Award

— Nashville’s MontAnna Mix Room personal studio, featuring the Carl Tatz Design Signature Series by Auralex and CTD PhantomFocus™ System monitor tuning protocol, is chosen as one of the hottest new studios for Mix’s annual “Class Of” Studio Design Issue —

Nashville, TN: “It’s clearly the leading technology in monitoring,” comments uber-successful songwriter/producer Monty Powell about the new-generation PhantomFocus™ System (PFS) in his new MontAnna Mix Room designed by Carl Tatz Design LLC (CTD). “If I build ten more studios, which I hope I don’t,” jokes Powell, “everyone of them will have a PhantomFocus System in it – I can’t imagine mixing without it.”

Multi-award-winning, Billboard chart-topping songwriter/producer Monty Powell and wife, jazz artist Anna Wilson, called on personal studio guru Carl Tatz for a second time when they decided to downsize and move from their beloved Nashville home that housed a beautiful Carl Tatz Design studio with 20’ tall ceilings in the tracking room into a posh new townhouse mix room nearby. The mix room design features a custom application of the Carl Tatz Signature Series by Auralex acoustic treatment system, with its now-familiar trademark Acoustic Lens™ modules.

“We started with a small upstairs bedroom and broke through the rear wall to create a very effective wide-band low frequency absorber partition that separates the mix room from the equipment room,” explains Tatz. “And then we broke through the left wall into the former laundry room to add a very comfortable vocal/overdub booth with floor-to-ceiling glass that is mimicked on the right wall with the Acoustic Lens.”

The fit and finish of the room is very polished, but as Carl points out, “Even without the high customization that Monty and Anna requested, the combination of the PhantomFocus System along with my basic Signature Series by Auralex, audio professionals can have a truly world-class mix room, way beyond anything they could imagine, at an affordable price point.”

Since this successful couple is spending most of their time now in their Utah home when they are not gigging around the country at various jazz venues with Anna or songwriting on the road with the likes of country superstars Keith Urban, Rascal Flatts, Lady Antebellum and others, it makes perfect sense to make this transition. The move reflects a trend where many personal studio owners prefer to track in a commercial studio that has all the amenities you would expect in a professional tracking room and spend the remaining 90 percent of the time overdubbing and mixing in their own facility.

“It’s always a great compliment to be asked back by your client to design a second room, and Monty and Anna are so much fun to work with, both being very creative people with lots of enthusiastic ideas,” says Tatz. “And upgrading their PhantomFocus System was the maraschino cherry on top of the cake. They were very happy with their existing PFS, but when I convinced them that they should experience the new system at another studio, their mouths dropped – it sold itself.”

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Zeehi’s CueCast Technology Allows User File Conversion Between Mixing Console Platforms

— Revolutionary new file conversion service streamlines workflow for front-of-house and monitor engineers, sound reinforcement companies, broadcasters, performing arts facilities, and production managers —

BOULDER, COLORADO, June 13, 2012 — Danny Abelson, Co-Founder of Zeehi, an entertainment technology company dedicated to developing solutions to improve the workflow of global entertainment production professionals, announces the Beta Release of the CueCast Digital Mixing Console User File Conversion Service. CueCast provides front-of-house and monitor engineers, sound reinforcement companies, broadcasters, performing arts facilities and production managers the ability to quickly and easily convert show files between different digital audio mixing console formats.

The current Beta Release of CueCast converts the most commonly used features and functions including bussing, sub-group assigns, control group assigns, routing, labeling, mutes and mute groups, EQ and dynamic in/out settings, aux. send on/off/and assigns, and effects and matrix on/off and assigns. Future releases will support additional console platforms, and will provide conversion of variable settings, snapshots, and many other features.

The web-based service solves a fundamental challenge: how to take user settings from one mixing console to another without the time-consuming headache of entering those settings manually, according to Abelson, a thirty year veteran of the pro audio community. “Thanks to the console expertise and software savvy of our development team, converting the user data is reliable and takes just three easy steps,” notes Abelson. “Simply upload your file to our secure site – www.cuecast.com – specify the format you need, and download the converted file for installation in the new console. If you like, we’ll store your files on our secure cloud for safekeeping. CueCast technology supports files from 24 to 196 inputs, and the Beta release supports file conversion between the Avid Venue, DiGiCo SD8 and SD10 and Yamaha PM5D platforms. Soon you can expect us to add many other formats and features to the service.”

“We are very fortunate in our industry,” continued Abelson. “The manufacturers have designed mixing consoles with remarkable features and sound quality. Unfortunately the formats in which user data is stored in these different platforms are not compatible with one another. Our research with some of the world’s most prestigious sound companies, veteran sound engineers, broadcasters, and leading production managers indicates that this incompatibility results in a significant burden to users. For a variety of reasons engineers often need to transfer those settings to a different brand or model of mixer depending on touring conditions, a venue’s installed equipment, or the availability of a particular console. These users identified a number of different scenarios, including festivals, touring without a console, change of production truck, unexpected equipment loss or failure, or availability where switching consoles is simply a necessity.”

“The opportunities digital has given us have been remarkable, but with these improvements come greater expectations by performers and management for crews to do more in less time. On a surprising number of occasions, digital solutions unintentionally create obstacles for the production team. Our goal is to improve workflow for entertainment industry professionals by streamlining this process, and make changing to another desk fast and easy.”

Information on CueCast can be found at info@zeehi.com

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Lowell Manufacturing InfoComm 2012 Press Kit

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EAW infoComm 2012 Press Kit

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Bose InfoComm 2012 Press Kit

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Audio-Technica InfoComm Press Kit

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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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