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Archive by Sue Sillitoe

The Band The xx Joins DPA Microphones d:facto™ Vocal Mic Fan Club

Award-winning band The xx has bought two DPA d:facto™ II Vocal Microphones after being impressed by their audio quality and ability to deliver an incredibly natural sound during a recent tour of the US.

The band, which comprises Oliver Sim, Romy Madley-Croft and Jamie Smith, won the 2010 Mercury Music Prize for their debut album xx. They were introduced to DPA’s d:facto Vocal Microphones by their live sound engineer Rik Dowding who was keen to find an alternative to the microphones Oliver and Romy had been using.

“One of the most important things about working with this band is the translation of the very intimate, late night vocals of the albums to a live situation,” Dowding says. “Higher mic gains introduce unwanted stage noise into the microphones, especially in smaller venues. In order to get that ‘in your face’, yet delicate sound, I needed a mic that had great feedback rejection. In truth, I’d been looking to improve our microphone choice for some time.”

Dowding’s solution was to hold a microphone shoot-out to see what else might work. His monitor engineer, Craig Donaldson, recommended including the new DPA d:facto vocal microphone after reading an article about them in the trade press.

“DPA has a great reputation for audio quality so we were interested to see what this new vocal microphone was capable of,” Dowding says. DPA’s UK distributor Sound Network was happy to supply a demo unit and the battle began.

“It was immediately obvious that the d:facto was the best microphone on show, especially for Romy who has a very warm, breathy and distinctive voice with some sibilance,” Dowding says. “To deal with that we needed a microphone that could deliver exceptional audio clarity, yet not display the usual Rock n’ Roll coloured sound associated with proximity effect and artificial high mid boosting. The d:facto was perfect – in fact Romy noticed the difference immediately, noting how much clearer her voice sounded when she heard it through her in-ear monitors. It was also noticeable to me how good the mic’s feedback rejection was.”

The DPA d:facto Vocal Microphone was tested even more thoroughly at a pre-US tour gig at Brixton Academy, London, and once again it performed flawlessly.

“At that point we decided to use it for Oliver’s vocals as well because we were so pleased with the sound we were getting,” Dowding says.

The xx toured the US with d;facto vocal microphones and are using them on the next leg of their tour which takes place in Australia. They also used them for a gig at Abbey Road Studios where they were recorded for a live session on Absolute Radio.

“There is no doubt that the d:facto Vocal Microphone does take a while to get used to because it doesn’t colour the sound and has a flat response,” Dowding adds. “But once you realise how good it is in dealing with proximity effect, and how much clarity it delivers, you quickly become a convert. Add to that the ability to use it with most wireless systems without compromise and you have a very powerful package.”

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Editors’ information:

DPA Microphones is the leading Danish Professional Audio manufacturer of high quality condenser microphones and microphone solutions for professional applications in studio, broadcast, theatre, video/film and sound reinforcement environments. All DPA microphones and components are manufactured at the company’s purpose-built factory in Denmark.
For more information on DPA Microphones, please visit www.dpamicrophones.com

ITV Chooses DK-Technologies Waveform and Audio Monitoring For Three New Facilities

After successfully implementing Multichannel Waveform and Audio Monitoring systems from DK-Technologies into its new ITV Meridian facility, ITV has now rolled out the same solution to its News broadcast facilities in Leeds and Manchester.

All three facilities are now equipped with five DK Waveform Monitoring systems comprising a PTO760 with HDSDI input core, a PTO760-I/P-8A analogue audio input module and a PTO760M-O/P-8A analogue output module. Each system is augmented with a matching secondary passive display unit. ITV News Leeds and Manchester facilities have an additional PTO710 Waveform Monitor, which is being used for its studio vision control position.

ITV Meridian was the first of the regional News operations to install DK-Technologies equipment, specifying the system as part of its 2011 move into a totally new facility.

Gerard Jennings, ITV News and Regions’ Engineering Manager, says: “With the ITV Meridian move, we took the opportunity to replace most of the core broadcast infrastructure with new HD compliant equipment.”

The decision to use DK-Technologies equipment was taken after the project’s technical team looked at systems from various manufacturers to compare features and cost. They eventually chose the PT0760M system because it offered flexible waveform and audio monitoring for the HD environment.

“The multiple inputs, video and audio, removed the requirement for external monitoring switchers, while the flexible configuration features allowed us to create specific presets for each of the user groups,” Jennings explains. “ITV Meridian’s operational staff were also consulted on the configuration features to make the units operator-friendly. An additional benefit to the News division is that they can be fully controlled and monitored over the ITV WAN to enhance nationwide out of hours support. Although these features are implemented in other makes of waveform monitor/rasteriser, the Java interface in the DK-Technologies range produces the best remote response. The DK display is one of the best we’ve seen for clarity and most importantly viewing angle which is critical in the raked upstands of control desks and is an area where some other makes of monitor have been found wanting. The displays are also cheap to service as we can change the backlight ourselves at a modest cost.”

At ITV Meridian, which has become the template for subsequent installations, ITV was keen to standardise monitoring stations so five physically identical sets of DK equipment were installed, each appropriately configured for the different applications required. Two of them are situated in the Traffic area, one is in CAR and the remaining two are in the craft edit suites. Each system is mounted in custom built control room furniture, designed by Lund Halsey to take a 3ru rackmount waveform monitor arrangement. Valuable rack space was saved because ITV Meridian did not have to accommodate any additional monitoring switching.

The success of this set up led ITV News to roll out similar systems to Leeds and Manchester and these are now up and running.

“The DK units do away with need for additional monitoring switchers because they perform that function for us,” Jennings says. “They also control independent loudspeaker and headphone monitoring for each position.”

The equipment choices that ITV News made for its new Meridian premises will not only enable the broadcaster to move seamlessly to HD, but have also formed the basis for the way other ITV News facilities have now been equipped.

“We have rolled out ITV Meridian’s core equipment choices to other regional News sites as we have refurbished them,” Jennings says. “ITV Meridian’s new complex has been a good proving ground.”

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About DK-Technologies
DK-Technologies develops and produces audio meters, video sync and test signal generators, as well as video waveform monitors and colour analysers both for LCD and CRT monitors. Alongside its worldwide distributor network, DK-Technologies also operates branch offices in Denmark, Germany, UK and USA. www.dk-technologies.com

THE MUSIC PRODUCERS GUILD AND PPL HIGHLIGHT THE BENEFITS OF THE ELIGIBLE STUDIO PRODUCER FORM

The Music Producers Guild and PPL hosted a session to explain the value and importance of the Eligible Studio Producer Form which PPL launched last year.

More than 50 people attended the event, which was hosted by MPG Chairman Steve Levine. The panel consisted of Camilla Waite (PPL Head of Legal & Business Affairs), Penny White (PPL Head of Member Services) and MPG’s Tommy D (producer, artist and label owner, who has worked with artists such as Catatonia, Beyoncé, Jay-Z and KT Tunstall).

The Music Producers Guild and PPL have worked closely together to launch the Eligible Studio Producer Form which, while not introducing a change in policy, was designed to provide evidence of a studio producer’s performance at the time of recording. The form, which was launched in June 2012 and is being trialled for one year, allows all parties to agree, at the point of recording, what contributions have been made on a track. This simple form eases the path for producers to make royalty claims with PPL by providing an elegant and transparent process that clarifies future payments.

Steve Levine, chairman of the Music Producers Guild, says: “As this income is an important revenue stream for recording musicians, record companies and producers, we wanted to ensure that our members understood the process so that they don’t lose out on any potential income. This seminar answered many of their queries and we hope it will give them the confidence to make claims for payments using PPL’s new Eligible Studio Producer Form.”

During the debate Tommy D said he hoped the new form would eventually replace the track sheets that were used historically. He pointed out that the form’s main benefit was to identify the role the producer had played during the session in order to avoid future royalty disputes. Where a studio producer does not give an audible contribution (such as vocals or instrumentals) they may still be eligible to receive royalties from PPL if they conduct (or provide a similar musical direction) to another performer’s live performance as it is being recorded. The form is designed to be submitted to PPL as evidence in support of these “non-audible” contributions. If producers have also performed audible contributions, such as vocals or playing an instrument, then PPL recommends that studio producers make claims with PPL for each of these roles (if not already included in the data submitted by the record company).

After the panel discussion, which generated some lively debate, attendees were able to access personal advice from PPL‘s member services team who were on hand to help with PPL-related queries.

The new Eligible Studio Producer Form can be downloaded from: http://www.ppluk.com/I-Make-Music/Studio-Producers/

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About Music Producers Guild (UK):

The Music Producers Guild (UK) 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. www.mpg.org.uk

About PPL

PPL is the UK-based music licensing company which licenses recorded music for broadcast, online and public performance use. Established in 1934, PPL carries out this role on behalf of thousands of record company, producer and performer members. In 2011, the last year for which numbers are currently available, PPL collected revenue of £153.5m

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du and Visual Unity Partner to Deliver Turnkey Solutions to Middle East Broadcasters

The UAE’s integrated telecom service provider – du, and leading international Multiscreen Solution Provider – Visual Unity, announced signing a strategic partnership agreement in order to extend service offering and experience to a wider broadcast industry customer base in the UAE.

This agreement will enable du to strengthen its position as the preferred provider of content delivery solutions for Middle East broadcasters by offering them end-to-end delivery solutions to execute their online strategy.

Under the terms of the agreement, du will resell Visual Unity services as part of an integrated solution together with its connectivity, satellite, playout and content delivery network (CDN) capabilities. du’s extensive experience and strength in satellite and CDN delivery, combined with Visual Unity’s vuMedia™ solution and experience in broadcast system integration, will ensure that du’s current and new broadcast customers can look to the telecom as a single provider offering an end-to-end content delivery platform. With Visual Unity’s Broadcast System Integration and Multiscreen Solution, du customers will now have further visibility and control of their end to end content delivery flow.

Farid Faraidooni, Chief Commercial officer, du, says: “Ever since we took ownership of the Samacom teleport in 2007, we have established ourselves as a market leader in satellite services. While we are emphasizing our position as a satellite service provider, we are undertaking several initiatives to address the complete set of functionalities required by our broadcast customers, by taking away the heavy lifting and investment to fit content to multiple devices. This will allow them to concentrate on their core business – content. Our partnership with Visual Unity is a proof of this commitment.”

Gabriel Dusil, Vice President Marketing and Corporate Strategy, Visual Unity, says: “Through this strategic partnership with du, we are able to extend our existing turnkey systems and solutions to a wider number of customers across the Middle East region. Visual Unity has over twenty years of experience in designing such systems, and we are confident that, with du’s infrastructure and connectivity, we will be able to grow together to better service the needs of broadcasters across the region.”

du is one of the largest satellite service providers in the region, currently serving over 270 channels and more than 60 broadcasters. Extending its scope to the digital realm, du successfully launched its Content Delivery Network (CDN) offering in 2011 and is today delivering Middle Eastern broadcasters’ content over the web through a secure cloud-based delivery network. The World Teleport Association’s (WTA) ranking of the Top Teleport Operators of 2012 has UAE-based du in the top 20 of its three listings. The WTA’s listing has du positioned at the 8th, 13th and 19th in the Top Twenty, Fast Twenty and Global Top Twenty categories respecitively.

The both companies will showcase their solutions at CABSAT, the biggest broadcast exhibition in the Middle East 12th – 14th March in Dubai, du – Hall 4 stand No.D4-10, Visual Unity – Hall 8 stand No.E8-22.
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About du
We opened for business in 2006. We offer mobile and fixed telephony, broadband connectivity and IPTV services to individuals, homes and businesses. We also provide carrier services for businesses and satellite up/downlink services for TV broadcasters.
As a rapidly-growing enterprise, we have a team of experts working to enhance and expand our bouquet of service offerings. Our people come from over 60 countries – we mirror the rich cultural diversity of our nation, while being able to serve our customers in a variety of languages.
Over 50% of our senior management team and customer-facing employees are UAE nationals, and we remain committed to providing fulfilling opportunities for quality talent in a cosmopolitan working environment.
By the end of 2012, more than 6.45 million people and over 50,000 businesses have chosen to use our services. In a survey conducted by ARC Chart, we were named the Best Mobile Broadband Network 2012 in the Middle East and Africa region. We also ranked first in MENA’s Standard & Poor/Hawkamah Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance Index in 2011.
du is 39.5 percent owned by Emirates Investment Authority, 20.081 percent by Mubadala Development Company PJSC, 19.5 percent by Emirates Communications and Technology LLC and the remaining stake by public shareholders. du is listed on the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) and trades under the name ‘du’.

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

Jünger Audio Helps TVN in Chile Comply With International Loudness Legislation

In today’s broadcast world where content is monetized through international sales and television signals often cross geographic boundaries, controlling audio levels is just as important for TV broadcasters in countries with no Loudness legislation as it is for those in countries that do.

TVN in Chile is just such a broadcaster. Although Chile has no Loudness legislation, TVN has an international channel – TV Chile – that is broadcast around the world via satellite and therefore needs to comply with the regulations in place in various countries including the USA.

Mauricio Rojo, TVN’s Deputy Manager of Engineering, was charged with the task of finding a loudness control solution that would meet this challenge and, after carrying out tests with several manufacturer’s products, he chose T*AP Television Audio Processors from German Loudness Control specialist Jünger Audio.

“We already had a loudness processor from another manufacture but we wanted something that was more flexible in the final audio chain and has a sophisticated algorithm that could deliver very high quality audio,” Rojo explains. “The Jünger Audio T*AP processor won the test hands down because it was so simple to use and, thanks to Junger Audio’s LEVEL MAGIC™ II algorithm, was able to deliver the audio quality we were looking for.

Rojo adds that price was also a consideration.

“There are entry level products available from other manufacturers that are cheaper but they didn’t offer the same audio quality,” he says. “Considering their performance, the T*AP units were very cost-effective and we had no hesitation in ordering two of them.”

Founded in 1969 as a public channel, TVN is Chile’s main broadcaster with a reach that extends to 98% of the country. With its main facilities in Santiago, TVN also broadcasts a news channel, 24 Horas, and an international channel, TV Chile, which is received via satellite around the world.

“Our international channel is available in Europe, all the Americas and Oceania so it was important that our broadcasts complied with the legislation in place in those territories,” Rojo says. “T*AP’s compliance with all international standards and regulations (ITU 1770/1/2/3, ATSC A85 or EBU R128) was a key point in our final decision making.”

TVN has now installed one T*AP processor on TV Chile’s transmission chain and it will be installing its second T*AP on TVN’s main transmission chain very soon. Both units were supplied by Jünger Audio’s distributor in Chile, Intervideo Ingeniería y Telecomunicaciones Ltda.

“We are very happy with the way the first T*AP processor is performing, particularly with the quality of the audio,” Rojo adds. “Our sound engineers are very satisfied because their final mixes are controlled without compromising the aesthetic of the sound.”

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About Jünger Audio
Established in Berlin in 1990, Jünger Audio specialises in the design and manufacture of high-quality digital audio dynamics processors. It has developed a unique range of digital processors that are designed to meet the demands of the professional audio market. All of its products are easy to operate and are developed and manufactured in-house, ensuring that the highest standards are maintained throughout. Its customers include many of the world’s top radio and TV broadcasters, IPTV providers, music recording studios and audio post production facilities. www.junger-audio.com

Hackenbacker Takes TV Audiences Back To The Sound Of the London Blitz

Multi-Award winning facility Hackenbacker has completed the entire audio post production for Murder on the Home Front, a new two-part drama series produced by Carnival Films for ITV and directed by Geoffrey Sax.

Starring Patrick Kennedy (Boardwalk Empire, Parade’s End), Tamzin Merchant (Jane Eyre, The Tudors), James Fleet (Four Weddings and a Funeral, The Vicar of Dibley) and Emerald Fennell (Any Human Heart, Anna Karenina), Murder on the Home Front is set during the Blitz of 1940 and recounts details of crime in London during the Second World War.

The drama tells the story of Dr. Lennox Collins, a pathologist new to murder cases, who is paired with Molly Cooper, the very first female secretary to a pathologist. When they discover a serial killer at large under cover of the Blitz, Lennox has his work cut out convincing his unsympathetic boss to have faith in his methods and theories. The novel approach of preserving a crime scene, treating every bit of physical evidence as the key to a break-through and not just relying on intuition, may help Lennox and Molly convince DI Freddie Wilkins that they are about to hang the wrong man.

Loosely based on the memoirs of the late Molly Lefebure, who was secretary to the Home Office Pathologist and pioneer of modern forensics, Keith Simpson, Murder on the Home Front shines a compelling light on early forensic investigations.

All audio post production for Murder on the Home Front was carried out at Hackenbacker’s Soho-based facility, with founder Nigel Heath in charge of the mix. The project is the latest in a string of high profile television dramas that have come to Hackenbacker, including Any Human Heart and Downton Abbey.

Producer Christopher Hall says: “I worked with Nigel some years ago and was particularly keen that Murder on the Home Front should be handled by him and his team. I take particular care in the post production of any project that I am associated with and as far as I am concerned Hackenbacker, in a fiercely competitive market, are the Rolls Royce of sound facilities. There can be no better way to not only polish a film, but also to achieve the most elegant and creative storytelling sound-wise. Geoff Sax, our director, and I are thrilled with the end result. Murder on the Home Front has been given a much better chance of being re-commissioned as a series thanks to a terrific Hackenbacker mix.”

Nigel Heath adds: “”All of us at Hackenbacker were really excited to work on Murder on the Home Front. The scope for interesting sound design was immense. The task of making the sometimes ‘explosive’ action retain its excitement within a TV environment was a challenge, but it seems to work well. Geoffrey Sax, the director, was a complete joy to have with us in the studio and it was both a privilege and delight to work with Chris Hall once again…all in all it was a very happy experience.”

Murder on the Home Front is set to premiere on ITV in the spring of 2013.

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About Hackenbacker:
With more than 25 years experience in the audio post production business, Hackenbacker provides a first class service to the film and television industries. Its award-winning team of sound editors, designers and mixers combine a thorough knowledge of today’s technology with an understanding of the importance of deadlines in order to deliver an exceptional service to all Hackenbacker clients. The facility offers full time technical support and access to the very latest equipment as well as some more esoteric specialist devices. www.hackenbacker.com

DPA Microphones Help Morgan Ågren Demonstrate Drum Miking

DPA Microphones played a vital role in helping nearly 100 studio engineers get to grips with the black art of miking a drum kit during a workshop seminar given by Grammy award-winning drummer Morgan Ågren.

Entitled Producers Seminar: Drums with Morgan Ågren, the seminar took place in Stockholm and was hosted by Swedish Studio Magazine, in conjunction with DPA Microphones and Avid/Pro Tools. Opus3 label founder and “Microphone Doctor” Jan-Eric Persson was also a guest speaker.

“The aim of this workshop was to show how to record and mix drums and percussion,” Morgan Ågren explains. “There was a strong focus on sound ideals and I used examples from my own Pro Tools sessions, with and without software plugins, to demonstrate the points I was making. I also played some CDs that I have mixed and some that I simply find inspiring.”

Ågren used a DPA d:vote™ 4099 Instrument Microphone on his kit-pig compact drum kit. To demonstrate transient response he conducted a test with a similar microphone from another manufacturer and the audience reaction to the DPA d:vote was incredibly positive. He also explained the advantages of having as few different types of microphones as possible so that the sound blended together better. His personal preference is for DPA microphones, which he likes to use for all of the instruments he is recording.

Ågren also discussed the importance of recording as cleanly as possible, and referred this back to his own experiences where he is often recording for people who are not 100% sure of the character they want for the final version of the track. He explained that it was important to leave that decision to the person who was going to mix the track so that they could decide on the sound they wanted.

To complete the seminar, Ågren gave a practical demonstration of drum kit miking using DPA 2011 Twin Diaphragm Cardioid Microphones. Designed to offer a linear off-axis response in a smaller frequency bandwidth, DPA 2011 microphones make stage separation and gain-to-feedback higher and microphone level easier to control.

“I always use DPA microphones because they sound better than any other mike I’ve tried,” Ågren says. “They even sound better on the snare, which is rare for a condenser mike. I now own 12 DPA microphones and during this seminar I was happy to tell the audience why I like them so much.”

Born in Umeå, Sweden, Ågren has been a drummer since the age of four and first performed live when he was seven. In conjunction with blind keyboardist Mats Öberg, he formed the Mats/Morgan Band in the mid-1990s and began releasing CDs on his own label, Ultimate Audio Entertainment. The band has subsequently toured in Europe, Asia and the USA where Ågren and Öberg’s superb playing ability has amazed progressive jazz/rock audiences.

As a drummer, Ågren has also played and recorded with many internationally acclaimed artists including Frank Zappa, Bill Laswell, Steve Vai, and Mike Keneally. He was also voted No.1 in Modern Drummers reader’s poll in the Fusion category and is widely admired by professional drummers on both side of the Atlantic.

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Editors’ information:
DPA Microphones is the leading Danish Professional Audio manufacturer of high quality condenser microphones and microphone solutions for professional applications in studio, broadcast, theatre, video/film and sound reinforcement environments. All DPA microphones and components are manufactured at the company’s purpose-built factory in Denmark.
For more information on DPA Microphones, please visit www.dpamicrophones.com

The British Library Invests In Prism Sound ADA-8XR Converters to Digitise Its Multitrack Collection

Prism Sound ADA-8XR multichannel audio converters are being used to help the British Library digitise its collection of multitrack audio tapes in order to ensure the future of these valuable and historic recordings.

To tackle this project the British Library has acquired two more ADA-8XR converters, bringing the total number of units in its sound facilities to seven. It has also acquired a Prism Sound Orpheus interface.

Nigel Bewley, the British Library’s Operations Manager Sound & Vision, says: “We have a relatively small collection of 200 multitrack tapes and we think it will take about 20 weeks to complete this project, including the preparation of the resultant files, metadata compilation etc. We will also be using a third Prism Sound ADA-8XR converter, which we already own, to digitise 24 track tapes and to ingest all tracks simultaneously.”

Bewley adds that it is much more cost effective for the British Library to undertake this project in-house, rather than to out-house it. Also, by carrying out the work in-house, the British Library’s curators and content specialists can readily advise on the project.

“We use multiple ingest techniques with other analogue carriers such as tape and cassette,” Bewley explains. “The Prism Sound ADA-8XR units allow us to input 4 stereo channels or 8 mono channels (or any permutation) simultaneously. We use Prism Sound ADA-8XR converters because of their high audio quality. Furthermore they are 8 channel so support our multiple ingest workflows. Another important reason is that the Prism Sound ADA-8XR supports a wide range of sample rates including 32kHz. Once this project is completed, the new units will be used on other projects throughout our sound facilities.”

Multitrack tapes are notorious for their ability to degrade over time. In cases where the oxide is shedding they have to be ‘baked’ to return them to a stable condition so that they can be transferred onto a more secure medium.

“We do bake tapes when required and some of the multitrack tapes we are currently dealing with may need baking,” Bewley says. “The multitrack project is a preservation project – we want to preserve the individual tracks. Researchers may want to listen to just one track to hear a bass guitar part, for example, isolated from the mix. Many of the multitracks will have been mixed and made available as published CDs, LPs etc, but some have not, in which case we will need to work out how we are going to do a mixdown (if at all) for access purposes.”

The Sound Archive at the British Library is a resource with enormous national and historical importance. Its history can be traced back to 1905, when it was first suggested that the British Museum should have a collection of audio recordings of poets and statesmen. The Gramophone Company started donating metal masters of audio recordings, among them recordings by Nellie Melba, Adelina Patti, Caruso, Lev Tolstoy, Ernest Shackleton and Herbert Beerbohm Tree.
However, the British Museum was not maintaining a comprehensive archive and this worried Patrick Saul who, in 1955, started the British Institute of Recorded Sound. A public appeal was launched and thousands of shellac discs were donated, which started off the collection.

In 1983, the British Institute of Recorded Sound became part of the British Library, which had split off from the British Museum. Later renamed the British Library Sound Archive, it eventually acquired the metal masters originally collected by the British Museum when these were transferred to the Archive in 1992.
Situated near London’s Kings Cross, The British Library has 10 transfer studios and one recording studio, which is designed for speech recording. The audio suites are named after pioneers in audio technology and techniques from across the years and include Emile Berliner (1851-1929), Alan Blumlein (1903-1942), Thomas Edison (1847-1931), Fred Gaisberg (1873-1951), Michael Gerzon (1945-1996), George Gouraud (1841-1912), Arthur Haddy (1906-1989), Martin Hannett (1948-1991), Jean Jenkins (1922-1990), Joe Meek (1929-1967) and Alec Reeves (1902-1971).

All of the transfer studios are equipped with Digital Audio Workstations running SADiE or Wavelab and most also have Prism Sound ADA-8XR converters. The majority of these transfer suites are used for archival transfers but the rooms are also designed for more complicated transfer work, combined with restoration and editing, which is carried out by specialist audio engineers. The facilities have been used to train archivists from other organisations in audio archiving methodology and techniques.

“The larger studios have analogue kit to deal with a variety of formats,” Bewley explains. “We also have an Artefact Collection representing the history of recorded sound. We often ‘raid’ this collection to deal with obscure formats such as short-lived dictation formats, wire recordings, dictabelts and others. We also have a custom made cylinder player and we can deal with a wide range of legacy analogue formats, but we do have a wide range of digital kit, too.”

The British Library’s recording studio is used for podcasts, oral history interviews and audiobook recording for the British Library’s CD publication programme. Alongside its fixed facilities, the British Library has a busy location recording programme that takes in theatres, poetry and literary events, soundscape recording, wildlife, sound effect recording, oral history interviews in the interviewee’s home, workshops and seminars, music concerts and performances.

With such a wealth of recorded material in the archive, Nigel Bewley says real gems can be discovered when material is being transferred from one format to another.

“We recently discovered a collection of recordings made by the Swiss psychotherapist and psychiatrist Carl Jung that were made on wire during the 1960s,” he says. “Obviously it is very exciting when we unearth recordings like that – and it’s surprising how often it happens.”

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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

DPA Brings d:facto™ II Vocal Mic to Frankfurt Prolight + Sound 2013

With the launch of the new d:facto II Vocal Microphone, which will be on show for the first time in Europe at Prolight + Sound 2013 (Booth 8.B60), DPA Microphones has now broadened its range of products for the live stage by introducing a high quality vocal microphone that gives users unlimited possibilities for their performance.

This eagerly awaited addition to the DPA condenser microphone range brings true studio sound to the live stage by offering an extraordinarily natural sound, superior gain before feedback and extreme SPL handling. In addition to use with the new wired DPA handle, the d:facto II provides singers and engineers with the added benefit of a state-of-the-art adapter system that allows for seamless integration with many professional wireless systems.

“The launch of the d:facto II Vocal Microphone is a major step for DPA as it means that we now have a microphone for every acoustic miking situation, whether you are amplifying or recording,” says DPA’s CEO Christian Poulsen. “Our highly regarded Reference Standard microphones have long delivered superb audio quality to musicians who want to use a microphone on a stand, while our innovative d:vote™ 4099 Instrument Microphones and our range of miniature microphones are ideal for those who prefer to have their microphone mounted on their instrument. With d:facto II we can now offer the same renowned DPA sound to vocalists who can choose the wired d:facto II or the wireless d:facto II if they prefer the freedom of movement that a wireless microphone delivers. And, of course, for an even more mobile solution we have the lightweight, easy to wear d:fine™ headset microphones that are so popular with theatre and musical productions and is demanded for more and more live concerts where the singers require superior sound while dancing and performing.”

The new d:facto II guarantees users exceptional DPA sound with popular existing wireless systems such as Sony, Lectrosonics, Shure, Wisycom and Sennheiser. To achieve such a high level of audio quality, DPA had tothink differently.

“These systems deliver very limited power to drive our high-end microphone capsule, so we had to be creative and put a huge amount of work and thought into the electronic circuit of the adapter solution,” Christian Poulsen adds. “We are extremely proud to have developed an ingenious adapter range that brings the acclaimed DPA sound out of a wireless system. We wanted to be completely true to the input of the vocalist, and with d:facto II we have reached this goal.”

Equally at home in sound reinforcement and recording applications, the d:facto II is the vocal microphone that the music industry has been waiting for. Its simple plug-and-play features allow it to reproduce an extraordinary natural sound, which reaches the extreme sound level handling of 160 dB. As with all DPA mics, the d:facto II is superbly linear in frequency and phase, both on- and off-axis, while its impressive definition and accuracy reproduces a singer’s voice effortlessly. It also sets new standards its robust three-stage pop protection grid that ensures the removal of unwanted noise.

At Prosound + Light 2013, folk pop band SHEL will be performing on the DPA booth using the new d:facto II vocal microphones in several wireless configurations. Already fans of DPA’s d:vote 4099 Instrument Mics which they use on their violin and djembe drums, SHEL recently took the d:facto II Vocal Microphone on the road for concerts in Denver, Salt Lake City and Los Angeles where they performed at the NAMM show.

Alongside the new d:facto II, DPA will also be showing new solutions for its Reference Standard range of microphones, including a new and unobtrusive gooseneck cable that is available in several lengths. Furthermore, DPA will show the supercardioid d:vote 4099 instrument microphone mounted in an elegant gooseneck – perfect for capturing the sound of drums and other static instruments.

Visitors to the DPA booth will have the opportunity to win a DPA microphone by having their badge scanned and entering a free draw.

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Editors information:
DPA Microphones is the leading Danish Professional Audio manufacturer of high quality condenser microphones and microphone solutions for professional applications in studio, broadcast, theatre, video/film and sound reinforcement environments. All DPA microphones and components are manufactured at the company’s purpose-built factory in Denmark.
For more information on DPA Microphones, please visit www.dpamicrophones.com

Visual Unity Appoints Gabriel Dusil as Vice President of Corporate Strategy

In a move that significantly strengthens it management structure, leading broadcast and multiscreen systems integrator Visual Unity has appointed Gabriel Dusil to the position of Vice President of Corporate Strategy.

Dusil brings a wealth of experience to Visual Unity, having held several regional management roles across EMEA with large multi-nationals such as Motorola and VeriSign. His background also includes VP level sales and marketing roles, with strengths in Cloud-based solution selling and partnership management.

Tomas Petru, President of Visual Unity, says: “Gabriel’s appointment comes at a time when Visual Unity is expanding its product portfolio with the launch of vuEasy™ – a next generation Cloud-based Online Video Platform that allows companies to manage and monetize their audio, video and image libraries. Gabriel’s experience in sales and marketing, combined with his knowledge of video standards, storage solutions and end-to-end IP video services, will considerably help Visual Unity expand its product strategy, global marketing initiatives and international sales and business development.”

Dusil’s role at Visual Unity includes identifying and developing opportunities for the company in international markets. To this end he has already led the team in negotiating and signing a strategic partnership agreement the UAE’s integrated telecom service provider du.

Visual Unity has over 20 years’ experience and expertise in the design and delivery of linear broadcast and multiscreen solutions. Its vuMedia™ integrated content management and delivery platform recently won the ConnectedWorld.tv 2012 Award for the Best Use of Online Video by a Non-Broadcaster, and was also shortlisted for a CSI Award in the Best Content On Demand category.

Developed to help broadcasters and content owners control how their brand and assets are managed and monetized in the multiscreen environment, vuMedia™ delivers 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 an international Systems Integrator 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 vehicles and major playout facilities to live internet streaming and Video on Demand services.
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 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

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