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Archive by Sue Sillitoe

Hawthorn Names DPA As Its Microphone Brand of Choice

Ben McAlonan and Jon Curnew

Hawthorn, the UK’s largest independent supplier of technical production services, has named DPA as its primary microphone brand.

Established in 1987, Hawthorn employs over 120 staff from offices around the UK and handles over 1,000 events every year, including gala dinners, product launches, conferences and parties. The company’s product portfolio has seen a 4.4 EUR investment over the last two years and now includes state of the art lighting, sound, AV, rigging, staging and drapes.

Among this phenomenal inventory are a wide range of DPA microphones including d:fine™ Headset Microphones, d:screet™ 4060 lavalier microphones and d:vote™ 4099 Instrument Microphones.

Audio quality is very important to Hawthorn, which bases its reputation on delivering exceptionally high standards. It was this desire to use the best that initially brought DPA to the company’s attention.

“It all started a few years ago when we were looking for headset microphones to replace the brand we had previously been using,” says Jon Curnew, Hawthorn’s Head of Sound. “We discovered the DPA d:fine Headset Microphone range and were immediately taken with the fact that they came with single and dual ear attachments. That really appealed to us because it made them so versatile. We now have a stock of about 35 d:fine microphones and we use them all the time. They are much easier to position than any other headset mic we have tried and our customers love them.”

Although Hawthorn also offers DPA d:screet™ 4060 lavalier microphones, most of its customers prefer headsets because they don’t have to worry about accidentally knocking them – or forgetting to take them off when they go off stage.

“Headsets are also better at picking up weaker voices because the microphone is positioned so close to the mouth and doesn’t have to compete with background noise,” Curnew says. “Once they are in place, they tend to stay in place – we even had a guy wearing one while he was doing aerobics and it managed to survive that.”

For musicians, Hawthorn stocks DPA d:vote 4099 Instrument Microphones and now has 17 in its microphone cupboard.

“We use them with a variety of clips and they are great because they deliver such a clean, transparent sound,” Curnew says.

Hawthorn recently added six DPA d:facto™ Vocal Microphones toits stock, which it bought from DPA’s UK distributor Sound Network.

“We saw the d:facto Vocal Microphones at PLASA two years ago but we needed the right event to inspire us to buy some,” Curnew says. “This turned out to be SunWalk in London’s Battersea Park – a charity event raising money for breast cancer research, for which we delivered full technical production.”

Four wired and two wireless d:facto’s were immediately put to use on the SunWalk live music stage.

“Everyone loved them,” Curnew says. “They sounded amazing and we had no issues with feedback or rejection – they worked well across a range of artists and really brought out the subtlety in the vocalists’ voices. We have since used them on other events including an opera. It’s interesting to note how often they are cropping up on artist’s riders – that’s another reason why we felt the time was right to invest in some.”

Although most of Hawthorn’s DPA microphones are used for in-house productions, they are also available for dry hire and Curnew says the DPA d:facto Vocal Microphones, in particular, are already making a name for themselves amongst dry hire customers.

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About DPA
DPA Microphones is the leading Danish Professional Audio manufacturer of high quality condenser microphone solutions for professional applications. DPA’s ultimate goal is to provide you – whether you’re in live sound, recording, theater or broadcast – with the absolute finest possible microphone solutions for your tasks. DPA takes no shortcuts in the design processes nor makes any compromises in manufacturing, which is all done at the DPA factory in Denmark. As a result, DPA’s products are globally praised for their exceptional clarity and transparency, unparalleled specifications, supreme reliability, and above all, pure, uncolored and undistorted sound.
For more information, please visit www.dpamicrophones.com

DPA Microphones Innovates In The Meetings World

DPA’s new d:screet™ Omnidirectional Necklace Microphone is to feature in the Innovation Zone at the forthcoming EIBTM Global Meetings and Events Expo after it was recognised as a ground-breaking product by an independent jury appointed by the EIBTM.

EIBTM takes place in Barcelona from November 18-20, 2014. The Meeting Design Institute (MDI), a non-profit association that brings together education, tools and services to produce better meetings, is project managing EIBTM’s Innovation Zone and was represented on the EIBTM’s jury. MDI, of which DPA Microphones is now a member, represents a global community of companies and professionals that deliver meeting support or are involved in meeting design.

EIBTM attracts more than 15,000 international professionals involved in the meetings, events, conference, incentives and business travel industry. The exhibition’s Innovation Zone is a dedicated area on the show floor that offers visitors an educational, entertaining and inspirational experience by showing them revolutionary products that are designed to move the industry forward.

Already proving popular in the broadcast world where it has been used on a number of reality television shows including the Danish version of Big Brother, DPA’s d:screet Omnidirectional Necklace Microphone is also perfectly suited to the meetings and events industry because it is so rugged and reliable. Featuring the company’s legendary d:screet 4061 Omnidirectional Miniature Capsule in a soft rubber necklace, the microphone offers fast, repeatable, ‘do-it-yourself’ mounting and is designed specifically for use by non-technicians.

“We are really delighted that our d:screet Necklace Microphone has been recognised as an innovative product for the meetings industry,” says DPA’s CEO Christian Poulsen. “This microphone was specifically designed to be very easy to use. Anyone can mount and remove it, which makes it ideal for meetings situations where participants are unlikely to have access to a trained sound engineer. With this product you don’t need any audio training because all you have to do is put it around your neck and fasten the clasp. The microphone’s clever design ensures that the microphone capsule is always in the right place to achieve the best possible sound.”

EIBTM chose to feature the DPA d:screet Omnidirectional Necklace Microphone in the Innovation Zone because it is a product that helps improve the outcome of meetings, conferences and events by making them more effective.

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About DPA
DPA Microphones is the leading Danish Professional Audio manufacturer of high quality condenser microphone solutions for professional applications. DPA’s ultimate goal is to provide you – whether you’re in live sound, recording, theater or broadcast – with the absolute finest possible microphone solutions for your tasks. DPA takes no shortcuts in the design processes nor makes any compromises in manufacturing, which is all done at the DPA factory in Denmark. As a result, DPA’s products are globally praised for their exceptional clarity and transparency, unparalleled specifications, supreme reliability, and above all, pure, uncolored and undistorted sound.
For more information, please visit www.dpamicrophones.com

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The Music Producers Guild Announces Its 2015 Awards Shortlist

Jake Gosling, Paul Epworth, Pharrell Williams and T-Bone Burnett are just some of the hugely influential producers who have made it onto the short list for the 2015 Music Producers Guild Awards.

The list, which was announced today, highlights many of the year’s major recording projects with artists such as Paolo Nutini, Ed Sheeran, George Ezra, Royal Blood and Lana del Rey delivering nominations for their respective producers, engineers and remixers.

Steve Levine, chairman of the Music Producers Guild, says: “Once again we had a fantastic response to our request for nominations, with many new names featured in just about every awards category. MPG Full members have now cast their votes to create our shortlist for 2015 and the Award winners will be decided by a panel of judges who will meet before the end of this year.”

The Music Producers Guild Awards recognises the enormous contribution made by recording professionals to the success of the UK’s music industry. The winner of the Music Producers Guild’s Producer of the Year Award also receives a BRIT Award for Best Producer, and both awards will be presented at the Awards ceremony, which takes place at the Park Plaza Riverbank Hotel in Vauxhall, London, on Thursday February 12th. 2015.
The shortlists for each category (in no particular order) are as follows:
• UK Producer of the Year, sponsored by The BRITS 2015:
Paul Epworth
Flood
Alison Goldfrapp & Will Gregory
Jake Gosling

• Recording Engineer of the Year, sponsored by RØDE:
Neil Comber
Cameron Craig
Mark Rankin

• Mix Engineer of the Year, sponsored by Solid State Logic:
Andy Bradfield
Guy Massey
Mark ‘Spike’ Stent

• Mastering Engineer of the Year, sponsored by Apollo & Transco Blanx:
Matt Colton
Mandy Parnell
Tim Young

• UK Album of the Year:
Ed Sheeran – X
Goldfrapp – Tales of Us
London Grammar – If You Wait

• UK Single Song Release of the Year, sponsored by Shure:
Arctic Monkeys – Do I Wanna Know?
Royal Blood – Come On Over
Sam Smith – Stay With Me

• Re-mixer of the Year:
Chvrches
Jon Hopkins
James Rutledge

• Breakthrough Producer of the Year:
Cameron Blackwood
Tom Dalgety
Jungle

• Breakthrough Engineer of the Year, sponsored by Alchemea:
Olga FitzRoy
Robbie Nelson
Alexis Smith

• International Producer of the Year, sponsored by Lewitt Audio & JHS:
Dan Auerbach
T-Bone Burnett
Pharrell Williams

• Studio of the Year, sponsored by KMR Audio:
Abbey Road Studios
AIR Studios
RAK Studios

• The A&R Award:
Chris Briggs
Phil Christie
Korda Marshall

The winner of the Outstanding Contribution to UK Music Award, sponsored by PPL, will be announced in December, while the recipients of the MPG Innovation Award and the MPG Inspiration Award will be announced at the Awards ceremony in February, 2015.
Tickets for the MPG Awards 2015 are now available to order through the website. For full details please visit http://www.mpg.org.uk/mpg-awards/tickets/.

Sponsorship opportunities are also available for the MPG Awards 2015 and any company that would like to be part of this exciting event should contact Joe Edwards. Telephone: +44 (0) 7701 030 513. Email: joe@ilikethesoundofthat.com

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About Music Producers Guild:
The Music Producers Guild is an independent and democratic organisation that encourages the highest standards of music production, and actively engages with other music industry organisations to campaign and lobby on matters of important mutual interest.

The MPG represents and promotes the interests of all those involved in the production of recorded music, including producers, engineers, mixers, re-mixers, programmers and mastering engineers.

DPA Microphones Capture the Sound of The Girl From Nagasaki

Burhan Ocal in Girl From Nagasaki

One of the highlights of this year’s Sundance Film Festival was The Girl from Nagasaki, a feature-length directorial debut by celebrated photographer Michel Comte. This dazzling retelling of Madame Butterfly reframes the familiar haunting story of romance and loss through the lens of a Nagasaki survivor married to an American astronaut.

It’s a bravura debut which, as you would expect from Comte, has won plaudits for its visually sumptuous style and structure. But equally impressive is the superb audio work throughout the title from sound designer Maurizio Argentieri and a battalion of DPA microphones.

DPA’s d:dicate™ 4041-SP Large Diaphragm, 4011 Cardiod and 4006 Omnidirectional Recording Microphones were all used in the sound production of the film. Argentieri also used a DPA d:screet™ 4091 Omnidirectional Microphone and a d:dicate™ 5006-11 Matched Microphone Kit with an S5 surround mount. He was so impressed by the performance of the latter that he decided to invest in one for his own microphone collection.

“All of the DPA microphones I used sounded amazingly good,” he says with disarming simplicity. “I need a microphone capable of handling high SPL but one that still delivers a fantastic sound: this is why I chose DPA.”

The project itself, however, was anything but simple and pushed both his skills and the capabilities of the DPA microphones to the limit. Maurizio was first briefed by Michel at his home in Los Angeles where it was decided that there would be no ADR.

“There was not a word in the movie that was to be replaced, so all the actors’ performances in the movie are real and original,” says Argentieri. “There were a lot of challenging situations. We had a band with a singer performing a couple of songs live while the actors were speaking; a long dialogue scene filmed on the top of Stromboli, an active volcano in Sicily with a very strong wind and real eruptions going off in the background; dialogue under real rain and the sound of the cockpit of a jet fighter while it was flying. This last scene we filmed for real: I put a couple of d:dicate 4006 Omnidirectional Recording Microphones in the jet and hit the record button. The rest is in the movie.”

After initially training in classical guitar, Argentieri started his career as a sound engineer in the music industry. After a couple of years though he realised that being shut away in a studio was no longer for him and, with the aid of a friend who was working as an assistant film editor at the time, they began to pull images out of the trash can and put them together on a Moviola with the music they loved.

“Sometimes we would stay long into the night at the studio, just him and me; we were like kids at home without parents. He was mostly working on documentaries at that time and we had plenty of huge nature shots and beautiful images. For me it was like an illumination: I realised the power and the magic of sound to change the meaning of an image simply by changing the music.”

Argentieri quit his job in the recording studio and became a sound mixer for documentaries. Several years of projects followed, including work for Greenpeace, before he got his break on movies. And he’s certainly made the most of it since, working with the likes of Mario Monicelli, Marco Bellocchio, Bernardo Bertolucci, Giuseppe Bertolucci, Woody Allen, Mel Gibson, Spike Lee, Ridley Scott, and now Michel Comte.

The Girl From Nagasaki was shot in Los Angeles, Berlin, Rome, Stromboli, and Japan.

“As sound designer I’ve had different roles: production sound mixer, sound editor, and re-recording mixer,” he explains. “I recorded the production sound always using a stereo couple or a surround rig to bring home the ambience, then I had a second moment all by myself going around just with the surround kit recording all the necessary ambient sound to put in the movie. And then we had all the recording of the music to do.”

Argentieri adds that the DPA surround kit was really useful when he and the film crew were tackling a scene in Sofia that involved recording an orchestra.

“We placed the kit right in the middle of the orchestra to have a different point of view,” he explains. “From the very beginning Michel wanted to give the audience an extraordinary aural experience, so everything was recorded in a way that allowed the microphones to be surrounded by music and sound. Of course we had to do a lot of sound editing and mixing to achieve that.”

The DPA microphones were also used extensively in recording the dialogue of the film. Argentieri used two boom operators mounting DPA d:dicate 4017 Shotgun Microphones that fed into a Manley dual microphone Tube preamplifier.

“If you want to get an idea of the quality of these microphones you only have to listen to the long dialogue scene at the beginning of the movie between Sir Christopher Lee and the older Gheisha,” he says. “Hearing that, you will be absolutely astonished.”

The DPA microphones even have a starring role in one of the key opening scenes, where Burhan Öcal is playing Japanese percussion.

“This scene is visually like a beautiful art installation and again Michel wanted to give the audience the sensation of being seated close to the percussionist himself, so I had to record his performance live while we were filming,” Argentieri says. “That meant the microphones needed to be part of the installation and the elegance and sobriety of the DPA microphones allowed them to be completely integral to the scene.”

Commenting on his decision to invest in his own DPA d:dicate™ 5006-11 Matched Microphone Kit with S5 surround mount, Argentieri says: “DPA’s surround kit is perfect for modern sound design. In this kit you have three beautiful omnis and two beautiful pure cardioids that you can use together or as singles in other situations. Given the quality of these microphones, why would you want to send them back?”

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About DPA
DPA Microphones is the leading Danish Professional Audio manufacturer of high quality condenser microphone solutions for professional applications. DPA’s ultimate goal is to provide you – whether you’re in live sound, recording, theater or broadcast – with the absolute finest possible microphone solutions for your tasks. DPA takes no shortcuts in the design processes nor makes any compromises in manufacturing, which is all done at the DPA factory in Denmark. As a result, DPA’s products are globally praised for their exceptional clarity and transparency, unparalleled specifications, supreme reliability, and above all, pure, uncolored and undistorted sound.
For more information, please visit www.dpamicrophones.com

Italian Superstar Pino Daniele Chooses DPA Microphones

Pino Daniele with DPA 1

Pino Daniele, one of Italy’s best known singer/songwriters and a man whose career spans both genres and decades, has recently started using a range of DPA microphones, including the company’s ground-breaking d:facto™ Vocal Microphone.

Fabrizio Facioni, Daniele’s sound engineer, jumped at the chance of using d:facto when the opportunity presented itself.

“I like its sound. It’s so ‘present’ and natural,” he says. “This microphone reproduces exactly what it is given in terms of the vocal, and that greatly simplifies my job.”

The d:facto Vocal Microphone joined a range of DPA mics that were used over the summer for the NERO A META’ tour, which reunited Daniele with band members from the 1980s alongside special guests. For his forthcoming theatre tour, the line-up is more intimate and includes Pino Daniele on vocals and acoustic guitar, a second acoustic guitar, an upright bass, piano and drums played by internationally acclaimed producer and arranger Alfredo Golino, who regularly works with artists such as Laura Pausini.

Facioni says: “The decision to use DPA microphones initially came about when I needed a microphone for Pino’s acoustic guitar. I spoke to Agora, our PA rental company, and they recommended DPA’s d:vote™ 4099 Instrument Microphones. After trying one, I knew it was perfect for the task. Both Pino and I were so impressed that we decided to use d:vote 4099s on his guitar and on the second acoustic guitar.”

Facioni adds that the improvement in sound made him question the microphones he was using on the other instruments in Daniele’s intimate line-up. It was at this point that Alfredo Golino suggested he got in touch with Salvatore Zocco from DPA’s Italian distributor M. Casale Bauer for more advice on the DPA range.

Salvatore Zocco says: “Alfredo is a great ambassador for DPA and has used the company’s microphones for a long time, so it was perfectly natural for him to put Fabrizio in touch with me. I was able to recommend the most appropriate microphones for Fabrizio’s requirements.”

The final choice came down to d:vote 4099 Instrument Microphones for the high hat, snare (top and bottom) and toms. DPA d:dicate™ ST4011C and ST4015C Recording Microphones were respectively chosen to handle overheads and percussion. The acoustic guitars and upright bass are also miked with d:vote 4099s, while Pino Daniele has two d:facto Vocal Microphones – one for when he’s standing and the other for when he performs with his acoustic guitar.

“I have been very satisfied with the results these microphones have delivered,” Facioni adds. These were exactly the mics I needed to give me a natural sound. I am a studio engineer as well, so I already knew DPA mics for piano and orchestra and I like them a lot. But this is the first time I have tried them for percussion and bass and I am definitely impressed.”

And perhaps more importantly, Pino Daniele himself has also been impressed with the performance of the d:facto Vocal Microphone which he used consistently during his summer tour of Italy’s sports arenas.

“We are now planning more dates in smaller theatre venues during November and December and the d:facto will once again be part of our microphone set up,” adds. “It has worked for Pino and he really like it. He says he now recognises his own voice!”

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About DPA
DPA Microphones is the leading Danish Professional Audio manufacturer of high quality condenser microphone solutions for professional applications. DPA’s ultimate goal is to provide you – whether you’re in live sound, recording, theater or broadcast – with the absolute finest possible microphone solutions for your tasks. DPA takes no shortcuts in the design processes nor makes any compromises in manufacturing, which is all done at the DPA factory in Denmark. As a result, DPA’s products are globally praised for their exceptional clarity and transparency, unparalleled specifications, supreme reliability, and above all, pure, uncolored and undistorted sound.
For more information, please visit www.dpamicrophones.com

Visual Unity Shows vuMedia™ at NAT Expo 2014 and Inter BEE 2014

multiscreen_devices_vu

Leading OTT solutions provider Visual Unity is showing the latest version of its Award-winning vuMedia™ multiscreen platform at NAT Expo in Moscow (November 19-21, 2014) and Inter BEE in Tokyo (November 19-21, 2014). The software will include a new, white label version that gives partners the opportunity to sell the product under their own brand by changing the colours and logos on the user interface.

“Having secured an investment of 7.2 million US$ (5.2 million Euros) from 3TS Capital Partners, we are now able to support the growth of an international customer base for vuMedia™,” says Visual Unity’s CEO Tomas Petru. “We are positioning Visual Unity as the leading provider of OTT and multiscreen solutions and to this end we are very focused on both product development and expanding into previously untapped markets.”

The company, which will be exhibiting on booth B23 at NAT Expo in Moscow, while at InterBEE it will be exhibiting in conjunction with its Japanese distributor DSP-Japan (Booth 5380).

Visual Unity’s updated vuMedia™ platform now includes a raft of new languages that have been incorporated into the software’s administrator user interface. This significant addition broadens its international appeal and reinforces Visual Unity’s plans to expand sales into new geographic territories. Also new is Multi-level account administration, which allows Visual Unity customers to collaborate on OTT projects, share resources or limit access to specific parts of vuMedia™ to dedicated groups. It also allows vuMedia™ to support different re-seller and seller models and relationships.

Introduced in 2011 and the winner of the 2012 ConnectedWorld.TV Award, Visual Unity’s flagship vuMedia™ is an end-to-end OTT platform that allows broadcasters and content owners to control how their brand and assets are managed, delivered and monetized in the multiscreen environment. Highly scalable and flexible, vuMedia™ delivers a cutting-edge live viewing experience on the web or any mobile or connected device. vuMedia™ also enables comprehensive Video on Demand services, social network integration and secures the distribution of content – all of which can be deployed into existing workflows and business processes.

vuMedia™ can be bought in two formats – Platform as a Service (PaaS) or Software as a Service (SaaS) for customers who don’t want to invest in new hardware.

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About Visual Unity

Visual Unity is a global provider of video and digital media solutions, enabling our clients to deliver premium quality video content. Our clients can measure, analyze and optimize their libraries over time and achieve optimal business success. Our platform capabilities inspire our clients to deploy their assets across multiple devices, screens, and media formats. Visual Unity helps clients manage, deliver and monetize their digital content.

Visual Unity is a Multiscreen Solution Provider, bridging the gap between linear broadcast, IT and IPTV to help clients reach and engage audiences on any screen. Since 1991, the team has been designing and delivering turnkey broadcast and complex multiscreen solutions worldwide – from HD outside Broadcast (OB) vehicles and major playout facilities to live internet streaming and Video on Demand services. Visual Unity’s award-winning vuMediaTM platform helps broadcasters and content owners control how their brand and assets are managed and monetized in the multiscreen environment. vuMediaTM is a highly scalable and a modular architecture, delivering a cutting-edge live viewing experience on the web or any mobile or connected device – all of which can be deployed into existing workflows and business processes.

Visual Unity is based in Prague, London, Munich, Moscow, Nairobi, Dubai, Istanbul, Ottawa, Los Angeles and Hong Kong. For further information, please visit www.visualunity.com

Chartmakers Mastering Stocks Up On Prism Sound Kit

Henkka Niemisto photo credit Christoffer Relander (1024x683)

High profile Finnish mastering studio, Chartmakers Mastering, recently bought both a Prism Sound Dream AD-2 A/D converter and an MEA-2 EQ for its state-of-the-art facility in the Töölö district of the nation’s capital, Helsinki.

Established by Svante Forsbäck together with long-term associate Henkka Niemistö, the studio is celebrating its tenth birthday this year and is as dedicated to high-quality audio mastering services as ever.

“All music styles are more than welcome to use our services,” says Niemistö. “I usually work with pop, dance, hip-hop and electronic music and some metal and rock groups. My clients are mainly Finnish bands and include Husky Rescue, Pepe Deluxe, Sofi De La Torre, Machinae Supremacy and many more.”

Chartmakers currently runs three studios in Helsinki itself and a satellite about 20 minutes to the west in Espoo. Niemistö is a firm believer that the simplest mastering chain of very high-grade equipment delivers the best results. As such, he says that the AD-2 and the MEA-2 have both been on his mind for a long time.

“It was time to finally give them a go,” he says. “Svante and I have gone through pretty much everything on the mastering market, and Prism Sound was, for me, the last largely untested equipment to try.”

The kit was supplied by Finnish distributor Qualitron and Niemistö says that as soon as the converter and the EQ were connected he felt right at home with them.

“They are a joy to use. The converter continues to surprise me, almost every day,” he says. “The EQ has some strange way of adding a sort of ‘glue’ to the master sound — I can’t really explain it. They both definitely bring the game to the next level.”

Niemistö adds that he particularly likes the fact that the converter can drive two different sample rates to different AES/EBU outputs.
“The clock also sounds very nice,” he says. “Since I do a lot of bassy electronic music I love the fact that the EQ goes down to 19Hz and up to 27k.”

Niemistö is using his Prism Sound equipment on all of his current projects where it meshes well into his existing set-up.

“I personally use three Amphion Two18 speakers and two One18s in the back for full surround, and I have a Maselec MTC-2 mastering console,” he explains.

And there might well be more Prism Sound kit added into the Chartmasters slate in the near future.

Niemistö says: “We just got the Prism Sound compressor in to test, and we might have to get that one as well…”

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About Prism Sound
Founded in 1987, Prism Sound manufacture high-quality professional digital audio equipment for the International broadcast, film, music production, manufacturing and telecommunications sectors. The company’s product range includes the Prism ADA-8XR precision 8-channel converter unit, which is regularly used for music and film soundtrack projects by clients such as EMI Abbey Road, BBC, Sony, Lucasfilm and Walt Disney. Prism Sound also manufactures a range of audio test and measurement products, including the de facto standard DSA-1 handheld digital audio generator/analyser and the dScope Series III audio analyser system.

For more information: www.prismsound.com

Jason Phats Changes Direction with Prism Sound’s Orpheus

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Writer, producer, remixer and DJ Jason Phats has become the latest high-profile musician to purchase a Prism Sound Orpheus Firewire Recording Interface.

“The sound is extremely detailed and transparent. Clarity, depth, separation and stereo imaging is breath-taking – my jaw hit the floor when I first heard it,” he says. “I found myself kicking back in the sweet spot and going through my music collection. Suddenly everything made sense.”

Phats runs the Orpheus through a SSL Sigma summing mixer and likes the unit primarily for its ability to lever both Prism Sound quality conversion and mic preamps into a 1U box and then cram it full of features. These include line, microphone and instrument inputs, selectable RIAA Equalization for turntables, a built-in premium-quality monitoring mixer for each output providing for performer foldback and surround monitoring, and concurrent ADAT and switchable S/PDIF or AES3 digital I/O plus support for outboard MIDI devices.

Phats, who has sold over 5m records in a career spanning nearly quarter of a century. adds that the Orpheus has fundamentally altered the way he works.

“From the moment I started working with the Orpheus I could see myself getting closer to the sound I had been searching for,” he says. “I decided to stop releasing tracks and focus on a goal: a new sound, a new direction.”

Pursuing the new path took time but now, eight months later, Phats and his management are in the process of releasing his new material.

“With the Orpheus I could instantly identify where I was going wrong in my mixes and productions. Once I could understand the mixing process with such detail and depth I was able to achieve exactly what I wanted,” he says.

The first track from the new ‘Phats & Orpehus’ partnership was Jason Phats & Fenton Gee’s \ \ H I T E \ \ A T E R (White Water), which caused a real buzz in Ibiza over the summer. There is plenty more to come too.

“Every day is a joy in the studio with the Orpheus and I am very proud of the new material I have lined up for the future,” he says. “The huge leap in quality has led to some great collaboration.”

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About Prism Sound
Founded in 1987, Prism Sound manufacture high-quality professional digital audio equipment for the International broadcast, film, music production, manufacturing and telecommunications sectors. The company’s product range includes the Prism ADA-8XR precision 8-channel converter unit, which is regularly used for music and film soundtrack projects by clients such as EMI Abbey Road, BBC, Sony, Lucasfilm and Walt Disney. Prism Sound also manufactures a range of audio test and measurement products, including the de facto standard DSA-1 handheld digital audio generator/analyser and the dScope Series III audio analyser system.

For more information: www.prismsound.com

Visual Unity Strengthens Its Marketing Team

James Mazur

Leading OTT solutions provider Visual Unity has strengthened its marketing team by appointing James Mazur to the position of Chief Marketing Officer.
Formerly co-founder and leader of a start-up software company and Award winning GoStickman animation studio, James Mazur has extensive experience in online business and digital marketing. As Chief Marketing Officer, he will head the marketing team and take responsibility for company messaging, lead generation, online marketing, and communication. His position is also strategic as he will build and implement a complete digital product strategy for Visual Unity over coming months, and oversee current and future product marketing.
Visual Unity has also promoted Kristyna Sonkova to the position of Marketing Director, with responsibility for the development and delivery of a fully integrated marketing strategy for the company.
A graduate of the University of Economics,. Prague, Kristyna Sonkova has extensive marketing and events experience. Since joining Visual Unity two years ago as marketing manager, Sonkova has played a major role in driving the company’s corporate marketing strategy.
The final appointment to Visual Unity’s marketing team is Barbora Kubickov, who has extensive experience in international marketing gained while working for Czech Airlines.
Tomas Petru, CEO of Visual Unity, says: “Visual Unity is an outstanding company with great broadcast and multiscreen products and services, therefore it is imperative that we have a strong, professional marketing team that can boost our activities, particularly in new digital arenas. With his worldwide experience in the field of digital marketing James Mazur is the ideal person to lead this initiative. I have full confidence in James, and in Kristyna and Barbora who are supporting him.”
Visual Unity has over 20 years’ experience and expertise in the design and delivery of linear broadcast and multiscreen solutions. Its Award winning vuMedia™ integrated content management and delivery platform helps broadcasters and content owners control how their brand and assets are managed and monetized in the multiscreen environment by delivering a cutting-edge viewing experience on any screen or connected device. Among the many national and regional broadcasters and media companies that have adopted vuMedia™ are Al Aan in the Middle East, TV Nova, Czech TV and TopFun.

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About Visual Unity

Visual Unity is a global provider of video and digital media solutions, enabling our clients to deliver premium quality video content. Our clients can measure, analyze and optimize their libraries over time and achieve optimal business success. Our platform capabilities inspire our clients to deploy their assets across multiple devices, screens, and media formats. Visual Unity helps clients manage, deliver and monetize their digital content.

Visual Unity is a Multiscreen Solution Provider, bridging the gap between linear broadcast, IT and IPTV to help clients reach and engage audiences on any screen. Since 1991, the team has been designing and delivering turnkey broadcast and complex multiscreen solutions worldwide – from HD outside Broadcast (OB) vehicles and major playout facilities to live internet streaming and Video on Demand services. Visual Unity’s award-winning vuMediaTM platform helps broadcasters and content owners control how their brand and assets are managed and monetized in the multiscreen environment. vuMediaTM is a highly scalable and a modular architecture, delivering a cutting-edge live viewing experience on the web or any mobile or connected device – all of which can be deployed into existing workflows and business processes.

Visual Unity is based in Prague, London, Cologne, Moscow, Bratislava, Belgrade, Nairobi and Dubai. For further information, please visit www.visualunity.com

Visual Unity: Na hrebenech II 1718/8, Prague 4, 147 00, Czech Republic
T: +420 271 742 111 F: +420 271 742 112 E: info@visualunity.com

Rogue Element Embraces an Open Source Philosophy

Dan Mulligan

Rogue Element has become one of the first digital cinematography companies in the UK to adopt an Open Source policy for its rental division by providing Open Source Digital Camera Solutions.

In a move designed to unleash and encourage creativity, the Soho-based company is ensuring that 4K cinema is fully open to everyone by making AXIOM Beta Open Digital Cinema Cameras available to its rental customers.

AXIOM Beta cameras are the first products to be developed by apertus°, an Open Source cinema organisation founded by film makers and financed through crowd funding. The people behind apertus° were galvanised into action when they became concerned with the expensive and limited tools they were forced to work with every day. Instead, they wanted access to affordable devices and technology that delivered the highest possible image quality and could be customised to exactly suit their needs.

Since its formation in 2007, the apertus° project has applied an Open Source philosophy to everything it has developed. As no patents have been filed, anyone can access the technology behind its cameras and people are actively encouraged to adapt, modify, repair and even replicate them. To date, reaction has been very positive. Not only has the company achieved – and exceeded – its initial crowd funding target but it also has the backing of some very important film makers and cinematographers.

ASC and AIC Cinematographer Roberto Schaefer, who was responsible for films such as Quantum of Solace, Finding Neverland and Stranger Than Fiction, says: “I believe than an Open Source camera will allow us to customize the digital camera to our personal liking. That should include ergonomics and hopefully give the ability to get rid of the shoebox, front heavy trend of current designs. I look forward to using custom elements to create the new Digital Aaton, even though they are no longer in business. The design possibilities that I’ve seen from the apertus° project are exciting, as are the image creation possibilities. Not being locked in to any one company’s idea of what the images should look like is a breath of fresh (film) air. Currently in order to switch film stocks we have to change camera systems. The AXIOM will hopefully change all of that and allow us to change stocks with a physical switch.”

His views are shared by Emmy and Academy Award-winning DOP and Visual Effects Supervisor David Stump, who says: “The spirit of Open Source frees up the creative spirit to do something that no one else thought of,” while IMAX cinematographer Lee Ford Parker adds: “Open Source cameras are a step back toward the dark room, in which making the tools is part of the joy of making the art.”

The AXIOM Beta camera has just been released and is currently only available at cost to the community that backed the initial crowd funding campaign. Rogue Element was one of those backers and Managing Director Dan Mulligan says: “Open Source is a fantastic concept and we are delighted to be supporting apertus° by making this format available to the UK rental market. In taking on the Open Source philosophy, we hope to facilitate unfettered access to the technology and free up the creative spirit so that the cinema industry can engage in practices that encourage freedom of expression and is no longer limited by who can contribute.”

Established by Mulligan in 2001 firstly with camera rentals, Rogue Element then pioneered tapeless and file-based digital workflows and onset correction with 3D LUTs, S.two & Codex data recorders and Filmlight colour timing suites until 2011.
Now starting an Open Source operation for 2014 onwards Rogue will offer new camera solutions and options for the Broadcast & Features markets.

Rogue Element can also provide dailies and workflows for Arriraw (Alexa 16:9/4:3 sensors) RED RAW (RED Epic & Dragon 6K),Sony S-Log3 (Sony F65), Canon RAW (Canon C100/300/500), Cinema DNG (Blackmagic), GoPro and many other of today’s professional and niche camera systems. With this new operation for 2014 we want to pursue new avenues for the market.

Dan Mulligan, who has recently returned to Rogue Element after a three year stint at Technicolor, says: “The Arriraw format is now well established and there are a raft of high-end products catering for this market. We are still providing our customers with access to these workflows as they continue to develop, but thanks to our investment in the apertus° project we can now bring a very high quality Open Source 4K camera to the market at a much lower entry cost.”

Mulligan adds that for many film makers, cost can be an ongoing issue and the price of using high end equipment does bar many talented people from entering the market.

“This is why it is good to see the appearance of an Open Source camera system that has a much lower entry point,” he says. “The ability to create your own 4K camera and your own workflow is hugely beneficial for the film and broadcast industry because it will encourage content creation and allow people to get involved at much less cost.”

Rogue Element is not initially consider charging for the rental of its AXIOM Beta cameras. Instead, it will make its income through consultancy and through supplying additional new sensors, lenses, tripods etc., and add on services such as storage and workflow.

“We want people to try them so we are making them as easily available as possible,” Mulligan says. “With the Axiom Open Source we now have a camera solution coming from an opposing end of the release spectrum with a differing approach to its target audience. There should be more than enough room for both this and the higher end systems.”

-ends-

About Rogue Element:
Rogue Element provides digital cinematography filming services plus data and dailies, to the Film and Broadcast industries. A pioneer in tapeless and file-based digital workflows and on-set colour correction, the company’s growing rental division also supplies and supports a wide range of professional Digital Cameras including RAW camera systems and workflows, apertus° AXIOM Beta Open Source cameras and new solutions for RAW workflows.
www.rogueelementdigital.com

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