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Archive by Sue Sillitoe

Max Gilkes Upgrades His Mastering Facility with SADiE 6 and Prism Sound

Producer Max Gilkes has upgraded his Brighton-based mastering and post production facility 1 Sonic by installing SADiE 6 software for Mastering and a Prism Sound Orpheus FireWire audio interface.

Gilkes, who founded 1 Sonic eight years ago, says the support offered by Prism Sound was a key factor in his decision to invest in the company’s products.

“I was previously using Peak as a playlist editor and doing most other things on Pro Tools,” he explains. “But as it was time for an upgrade I decided to go with a company that I knew I could have a good working relationship with, and one that was also based in the UK.”

With a client list that includes Ninja Tune, Big Dada, Sony (France), Smart Move Productions, Mr. Bongo, Keep Up, Silverland and Mission, Gilkes is rarely out of the studio. His recent credits have included Fink, Dobie, Roots Manuva, The Skints, Deco Child, Raffertie, Eliza Carthy and Prince Fatty.

The facility itself is mainly used for mastering and mixing, but it also boasts a live room with 8 tie-lines that is large enough to record drums.

“The outboard in the studio is primarily for tracking, so there are some nice pre’s and compressors,” Gilkes says. “I also have a master section by Audient, PMC and Yamaha monitors, Pro-Tools, various classic guitar and bass amps and a range of microphones – not to mention an over-used tea pot!”

Moving from one software platform to another can be intimidating, but Gilkes says he has found the transition to SADiE 6 far less painful than he anticipated.

“It’s always hard work making the transition from one system that you are particularly well versed with to a whole new environment, but SADiE 6 is very intuitive and easy to use,” he says. “I’m really enjoying the facilities it provides. The editing facilities, in particular, are great and I like the PQ and DDP tools. However, the sound quality is the most outstanding feature and I am really impressed by that.”

Sound quality also played a part in Gilkes’ decision to buy a Prism Sound Orpheus FireWire audio interface.

“It was a no brainer, really,” he says. “The studio needed to make a significant step up in convertor quality and Orpheus delivered the transparency and clarity I was looking for, both as an A/D and a D/A converter. It has great sounding pre’s and I like the interface features for multi-tracking in Pro Tools.”

Gilkes is now using SADiE 6 and Orpheus on a variety of projects, including mastering an album for French artist Mayra Andrade on Sony (France), recording tracks for Congo Natty, completing a debut album for Chevron, recording drums for the next Grasscut (Ninja Tune) album, finishing backline tracking for a band called Bentcousin, which is releasing a three-track single through Team-Love NY and completing an album for a local brighton band called the Meow Meows.

And if that work schedule isn’t intensive enough, Gilkes is also producing and co-writing with the legendary Russell Stone of R&J Stone fame.

“The Russell Stone project is very interesting as all tracks are vocal/non-verbal and based on free improvisations.” He says. “The album, which is called HUMU, is very nearly finished and should be out in September.”

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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 range now includes SADiE digital audio workstations and location recorders. Prism Sound also manufactures audio test and measurement products such as the DSA-1 and the dScope Series III audio analyzer.

For more information please visit www.sadie.com or www.prismsound.com

DPA Microphones Appoints Niels Jørgen Øhrgaard

In a move that will significantly strengthen its market position, DPA Microphones has appointed Niels Jørgen Øhrgaard as its new Executive VP for Sales.

Øhrgaard joins DPA Microphones from Reson where he was Executive VP Global Sales and Marketing. He has also held similar positions at other high tech companies including Hasselblad A/S and ScanView A/S – Purup Eskofot A/S.

Christian Poulsen, CEO of DPA Microphones, says: “Niels Jørgen has spent the last 20 years developing and growing sales globally for a range of companies and we are delighted that DPA will now benefit from this extensive experience. His appointment comes at an exciting time for DPA. We have recently introduced the new d:facto™ Vocal Microphone, which has been well received by the audio industry, and we are also introducing other new product ranges that will appeal to a wide variety of industry sectors. Having Niels Jørgen on board will allow us to capitalize on existing business channels and extend into new business areas.”

After completing a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering, Jørgen Øhrgaard moved into R&D and then sales where his negotiation skills and ability to motivate staff produced outstanding results for the companies he worked for. Now based in Copenhagen, he has travelled extensively and has lived in various countries including the Philippines, Chile and Kenya.

Commenting on his appointment, Øhrgaard says: “DPA’s microphone products have an international reputation for audio accuracy, reliability and superb engineering and this heritage offers enormous potential for the company to grow its global business. There are numerous applications for DPA’s technology and this gives us plenty of scope to develop new business channels. I hope that my experience in dealing with strategic sales will ensure the profitability of the company and extend that profitability to DPA’s partners around the world.”

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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

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DPA’s d:facto™ II Vocal Microphone Wins New Fans In Belgium

Belgian sound engineer Joris Verniest, from betterliVe.be, has been introducing DPA Microphones’ new d:facto II Vocal Microphone to some of the country’s top bands after being blown away by the natural sound quality it delivers on the live stage.

DPA’s Belgian distributor Amptec gave Verniest the first DPA d:facto II Vocal Microphone in the country to demo and since then he has been using it for a wide variety of gigs and with many different artists.

“It doesn’t matter what situation I put it in – whether it is a small club, a big outside stage such as the Pukkelpop festival, with wedges or in-ear – I have consistently got great results,” Verniest explains. “The vocals are incredibly clear through my mix and there is very little crosstalk from the drums or guitar amps. I even recorded some gigs in multitrack to compare the d:facto with other microphones and there was a huge difference in terms of crosstalk, with the d:facto coming out much better.”

Joris Verniest’s recently used the DPA d:facto II Vocal Microphone at a concert for Belgian Indie Rock band Het Zesde Metaal at the Ancienne Belgique in Brussels. The band was playing with a string quartet and acoustic piano, both of which were also miked with DPA – d:vote™ 4099 Instrument Microphones for the string quartet and a stereo pair of DPA 4021 Compact Cardioid microphones for the piano.

“In general I use the d:facto II Vocal Microphone with DPA’s wired handle, but I do like the concept of the adapter system that makes it compatible with most commonly used wireless systems,” Verniest says. “I’ve always been a big fan of DPA’s sound quality and have quite a collection of DPA mics. That’s why I was so interested to try the new d:facto Vocal Microphone.”

Among the bands that Verniest has introduced to the DPA d:facto Vocal Microphone are Customs, The Bony King of Nowhere, Renée and Sherman.

“All of these artists have really noticed a difference and have been very happy with the clarity d:facto delivers to their vocals,” he adds. “Sherman, for example, wanted his vocals to be very loud and clear and the d:facto helped me achieve that without sounding hollow or being on the edge of feedback.”

Verniest adds that although some singers take a little while to get used to the d:facto Vocal Microphone, they soon realise that what they are hearing through the wedges or in-ear is far superior in terms of sound quality.

“I’ve even had house technicians and monitor engineers commenting on the great sound,” he says. “And when you even get members of the audience telling you they appreciated the quality of the vocals, you know you are on to a good thing!”

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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

Jünger Audio Unveils the V*AP Voice Processor To Asian Broadcasters

Dynamics specialist Jünger Audio will be showing its new V*AP two channel voice processor at Broadcast Asia 2013 (Booth 5E6-01). This will give broadcasters in the region their first opportunity to view a product that is specifically designed to make life easier for engineers working in radio stations and TV production voice-over studios.

V*AP, the latest addition to Jünger Audio’s award-winning *AP family of products, draws on the company’s extensive experience with previous Voice Processing devices such as its v-series, but adds new tools and algorithms to create a new, easier and more efficient approach to voice processing with no compromise in sound quality.

V*AP’s main task is to offer perfect control of microphone recordings. Jünger Audio has also included processing such as HP/LP filtering, dynamic section, full parametric EQ and de-essing. All of the V*AP functions can be easily set up by the audio engineer, making it hassle free for any journalist or reporter to use it. Jünger Audio has also provided a dedicated leveler combined with a voice over circuit to help auto-mix voice programs into loudness-based broadcasting on the fly. Using the optional SDI I/O card automated voice over for embedded audio becomes an attractive feature of the V*AP.

Available as either an insert into a mixing desk or as a stand-alone unit, V*AP offers interfaces that allow integration in existing environments via an AES insert. The unit can also be used with an optional analogue board that adds two high quality mic-preamps.

Another key feature of V*AP is the inclusion of Spectral Signature™, Jünger Audio’s automatic spectral sound management algorithm that dynamically controls spectral balance to create consistent voice recordings meeting a dedicated station sound. Spectral Signature™ can automatically analyze the recording of the voice to create a sound fingerprints that become the reference the algorithm matches to on all subsequent live recordings.

At Broadcast Asia 2013, Jünger Audio will also show its ground-breaking M*AP audio loudness processor, which combines an audio monitor controller and a loudness measurement device in one unit, thus providing comprehensive quality control and loudness monitoring for anyone working in a production or broadcast environment.

Designed for quality checking surround (5.1) and/or stereo programs, M*AP can be used for live monitoring and also to ensure compliance with today’s standards and regulations (ITU 1770-3, ATSC A/85 or EBU R128).

The unit comes with alarm signals that alert the operator when pre-set loudness thresholds are exceeded, and these signals can be delivered by simple GPOs and/or SNMP traps, which carry actual loudness values. Loudness measurements can be performed over a long run or over a fraction of a program, or both. These measurements can be triggered by automation systems via GPIs or via the network – or even manually by buttons of the X*AP remote panel.

Alongside loudness measurements, M*AP also offers functionality for acoustical QA. It has eight speaker outputs that allow for A/B checking of stereo compatibility of a surround downmix through alternative speakers, as well as via L/R front speakers.

Peter Pörs, Managing Director of Jünger Audio, says: “By incorporating 3G, HD and SD auto detection, M*AP gives users the option of dealing with all 16 channels of SDI embedded audio at the same time. This means that you can listen to one program while permanently logging the loudness of two (5.1 +2 mode) or four (4×2 mode) programs. It is also possible to send further embedded programs to M*AP’s AES outputs to feed a third party instrument for analyzing and/or display.”

For no extra cost, the M*AP’s SDI board acts as an embedder as well and comes with video delay to compensate for any kind of audio delay. This feature is ideal for those looking to maintain lip sync in QA suites or control rooms. M*AP also features a built-in Dolby® Metadata generator and an optional Dolby® decoder that allows users to decode Dolby-E, Dolby-D (AC-3) and Dolby Digital plus (E-AC-3).

Jünger Audio will complete its Broadcast Asia line-up with the Award-winning T*AP TV Audio Processor and Loudness Logger, a powerful tool that offers customers of all Jünger Audio levelling processors an easy way to monitor the development of the loudness over time. Using this new software, broadcasters can monitor in real time or by analyzing previously stored loudness log files. This innovation is critical as all broadcasters now need to show precisely how their audio levels are performing in order to comply with new legislation on Loudness.

If you would like more information about these products please visit Jünger Audio at Broadcast Asia 2013 – Booth 5E6-01 – for a demo.

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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.jungeraudio.com

Prism Sound Ships Lyra – A New Audio Interface For The Studio Producer, Musician and DJ Market

The good things in life are always worth waiting for and after months of anticipation internationally renowned British manufacturer Prism Sound has finally shipped the first Lyra audio interfaces to its worldwide dealer network.

“We were hoping to ship Lyra earlier in the year but due to some manufacturing issues this was delayed until now,” says Prism Sound’s Sales and Marketing director Graham Boswell. “Testing Lyra on all of the software and hardware platforms took longer than anticipated, but now we have commenced deliveries I am confident that this new family of audio interfaces will delight all audio content producers including musicians, composers, project studio owners, DJs and re-mixers.”

Lyra, which made its debut at the 2012 AES Convention in San Francisco, brings to an even wider audience Prism Sound’s high performance audio converter technology. This technology is used in the world’s leading recording facilities by recording artists and for blockbuster movie soundtracks such as Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit. Based on the award-winning and critically acclaimed Orpheus interface, Lyra allows music recording professionals to access the power and sophistication of the Orpheus audio path and clock circuitry, but in a smaller package and at a much more affordable price point.

Lyra connects seamlessly with both Macs and PCs via a simple USB interface, making it ideal for recording professionals who don’t need eight channels of analogue I/O.

Prism Sound plans to launch a number of different variants of Lyra and has started the ball rolling with Lyra 1 and Lyra 2. Both incorporate new ARM Cortex processor design offering class-compliant USB interfacing, plus DSP and a low latency ‘console-quality’ digital mixer for foldback monitoring. Both products also have optical SPDIF capability and Lyra 2 also supports ADAT.

Lyra 1, which retails in the UK at £1,349 plus VAT, will be of particular interest to the musician and project studio market. This unit offers two analogue input channels – one for instrument/line and one for mic/line – plus two DA output channels and optical-only digital I/O. With Lyra 1, musicians can connect a guitar and a microphone through the input channels, plug into their software mixer via a simple USB connection and start laying down basic tracks in a matter of minutes.

Lyra 2, which retails in the UK at £1,849 plus VAT, takes the concept a little further by offering two AD input channels with switchable microphone, instrument or line input modes and four DA output channels. Both optical-only digital I/O and copper S/PDIF are available on this version of Lyra, which also offers wordclock In/Out enabling synchronization with other digital devices.

Both products are ergonomically designed to look as good as they sound. The front panel has a master volume control assignable to selected output channels, while the unit’s small size – just 11 inches wide – makes it very easy to transport for musicians, producers and DJs on the road. For studio use, Prism Sound can supply dedicated rack mounts as an extra.

“We know there is a market for Lyra because our customers have been demanding this product ever since we launched Orpheus,” Graham Boswell adds. “However, we are very protective of our reputation for delivering the highest possible audio quality so we were not going to bring any product to market until we were sure that it could live up to our exacting specifications. Lyra does just that, and we are very proud to introduce it.”

Lyra is fully supported by Prism Sound’s acclaimed technical and after-sales service staff.

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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 Microphones Goes On Tour With Priscilla

An Italian touring production of The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert – The Musical has arrived at the Politeama Rossetti theatre in Trieste, where audiences are enjoying great sound thanks to the extensive use of DPA Microphone’s 4066 Omnidirectional Headset Microphones and 4060 Omnidirectional Miniature Microphones.

DPA’s Italian distributor M. Casale Bauer has supplied the production with a total of 34 DPA Headset Microphones, which are being used for every member of the cast (plus a few spares). The show’s sound engineer Cristiano Grassini says the microphones are performing flawlessly every night and are proving very popular with cast members because they are so light and comfortable.

“The original Australian production of the musical specified DPA Headset Microphones and, having previously experienced the quality of these microphones on other productions, I was more than happy to use them for the Italian tour,” Grassini says. “Their quality is absolutely phenomenal. They sound great, they are very resistant to high sound pressure levels and obviously, because they are so small and discrete on the actor’s faces, they are good for the audience because they don’t detract from the performance.”

The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert – The Musical tells the story of two drag queens and a transsexual woman who travel through Australia on a tour bus called Priscilla. Along the way they encounter many different people and have a variety of hilarious adventures. The musical first opened in 2006 in Sydney, Australia, before travelling to New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Canada and New York’s Broadway. Since beginning its run in Italy last December it has been to Milan and Rome and has notched up more than 250 performances.

“It is an amazing musical – full of colour and drama, and very funny,” Grassini adds. “However, it does involve a lot of costume changes and this is another reason why the DPA Headset Microphones are so useful. More than 500 costumes are used in this production and having a microphone that is comfortable for the actors to wear and very quick to remove does make it much easier to deal with the quick costume changes.”

Grassini has been a fan of DPA Headset Microphones for many years and has used them in numerous theatre productions in the past. “They always sound good and are just so easy to use,” he says. “In many situations they are simply ideal and, for me, the only microphone choice.”

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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

DPA Microphones Helps UEFA Deliver the Roar of the Crowd

As every football fan knows, the roar of the crowd at a major game is just as important as the action on the pitch when it comes to truly experiencing the excitement of the event. With this in mind, Outside Broadcast specialist United chose DPA Microphones’ 5100 Mobile Surround Microphone to capture the ambience of the Amsterdam Arena when SL Benfica played Chelsea in the 2013 UEFA Europa League Final.

Huub Lelieveld, Senior Sound Supervisor for United Outside Broadcast and Studios, says: “UEFA was adamant that the broadcast quality had to be top class as this was a huge 35 camera production that was going out to broadcasters all over the world. We wanted to make sure the audio quality would be as high as possible and that we captured the ambience of the stadium in phase coherent surround so that it sounded huge in surround, but also still sounded great in stereo and even mono.”

Widely regarded as a surround ambience adder, DPA’s 5100 Mobile Surround Microphone was perfect for the task because its compact size and ease of use comes at no sacrifice to stunning sound quality. Ideal for bringing truly engaging surround ambience to sport events, documentaries and other ambience applications, especially for HDTV production, these microphones require no external signal processing and are versatile enough to be mounted on a camera or microphone stand, suspended, or simply handheld via a hand grip.

Lelieveld, in conjunction with his colleague Mischa Kortleve, tested the DPA 5100 microphone during one of the UEFA preliminary rounds in the Amsterdam Arena to ensure they were the right choice for the important Cup Final event on May 15th. The microphone was supplied by DPA’s Dutch distributor Amptec.

“We recorded all our microphones to multitrack and decided, after extensive listening tests, that the 5100 was perfect for the Cup Final,” he says. “The DPA 5100 was rigged in the catwalk of the stadium where it was able to capture the whole arena in surround. We complemented this system with four DPA 4006A Omni Microphones, which were hung from the catwalk in each of the four corners of the stadium, and we also used two DPA 4017B Shotgun Microphones positioned on our two Steadicams as these were smaller and lighter than the microphones we usually use.”

Based in Hilversum, Holland, United is part of the huge Euro Media Group that has production and post-production facilities in Belgium, France, England, Germany, Italy and Switzerland. United operates nine state of the art Outside Broadcast vehicles and mobile control rooms and provides broadcast facilities to capture major sporting events and live music concerts all over Europe.

“We were really delighted with the performance of all of our DPA microphones, but in particular the 5100 Mobile Surround Microphone, which sounded fantastic,” Lelieveld says. “It was incredibly easy to rig and protect from bad weather and was significantly less expensive than other microphone systems. Thanks to the DPA 5100 Mobile Surround Microphone, we achieved a rich, smooth and fully enveloping sound that was great in its coherence, channel separation and localization accuracy.”

For the UEFA Europa League Final, United provided the live broadcast feed to Infostrada Sports, which distributed it around the world. And for anyone who didn’t see the game, the final score was 2-1 to Chelsea.

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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

White Mark Designs A New Audio Facility For Extreme Music

Studio and design consultancy White Mark Ltd has completed a major project for Extreme Music to design and install an entire audio complex at the company’s new headquarters in London. The complex includes a large mastering studio, a mixing studio that can also be used for tracklaying and three self-contained audio editing suites.

Extreme Music, the production music arm of Sony ATV, was obliged to move premises to accommodate its rapid business growth.

The company’s Senior Vice President, Dan Pounder, says: “We have been growing at a rapid rate and needed more space to accommodate staff and to provide more audio facilities. Fortunately we were able to take over offices vacated by another Sony company and the move gave us the opportunity to re-design the space so that it exactly suited our workflow. The open plan design is now split between work stations for marketing and administrative staff and the audio suites. Thanks to the exceptionally high standards employed by both White Mark and BNP Paribas, which handled the design of the non-technical space, we now have a working environment that exceeds our expectations and has the wow factor we were looking for.”

The audio complex flows along one side of the building and consists of a large mastering room with natural daylight that is equipped with a Pro Tools system, PMC monitors and a range of audiophile processing equipment from Analaogue Tube, Avalon, Manley, Weiss and T.C. Electronics. There is also a secondary multipurpose room equipped with Universal Audio, Sonnox and T.C. Electronics processing with PMC monitors capable of mixing, tracklaying and mastering duties. The two rooms can work in tandem for larger tracklaying projects, with the mastering room doubling up as a live space. The complex also houses three self-contained edit suites of varying sizes, all of which are linked to a common DDP audio server in a separate machine room so that work can easily be transferred between any of the five audio rooms.

Extreme Music’s Chief Mastering Engineer Nick Cooke says: “We chose White Mark for this project because we had worked with them in the past and knew they could deliver the results we wanted. As our new premises are located in a mixed tenancy building, we had to ensure that all of the studios and edit suites were really well isolated to avoid causing noise nuisance to our neighbours. White Mark was able to completely isolate all of the rooms and ensure that the completed facilities sounded great and were acoustically accurate.”

White Mark’s previous involvement with Extreme Music involved upgrading the mastering studio in its old premises to improve the sound of the room and create more space. That project, which was completed in just four weeks in order to minimise downtime, involved the use of White Mark’s Fast Studio construction method that allows producers, composers and studio owners to build high performance facilities in far less time and at far less cost than would normally be anticipated. This unique system uses properly constructed and individually specified acoustic modules that are assembled off-site, making them very quick and easy to install. Fast Studio panels are ideal for rooms using free-standing monitors and in which there is no need for full isolation.

White Mark’s managing director David Bell says: “Although Extreme Music’s new facility required a more traditional approach to studio building to achieve adequate isolation, we were able to incorporate the company’s existing Fast Studio panels into our design for the acoustic treatment of the edit rooms.”

Established in 1997, Extreme Music is renowned for the quality of its production music and is committed to delivering an unrivalled roster of talent. Among its stable of Award-winning producers and composers are Timbaland, Hans Zimmer, Quincy Jones, Snoop Lion, Vince Clarke, Xzibit and Steve Jablonsky.

“All of our mastering is handled in-house and because we are committed to excellence, we need audio facilities that reflect this philosophy,” Nick Cooke adds. “White Mark has achieved remarkable results with our studios and we are delighted with them. Being able to feed work between all five rooms has significantly improved our workflow and increased flexibility. The additional space has also made it possible for composers to come in and be truly involved in the mixing and mastering process.”

Dan Pounder adds that the move has not only given Extreme Music the extra space it needed, but also helped integrate the audio side of the business. “The layout works really well,” he says. “Everyone enjoys working here and the look and feel of the new premises also creates a very good impression for visitors because they can literally see our workflow in action.”

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About White Mark:

Established in 1997 by David Bell, John Dunnill, Derek Buckingham and Alan Cundell, White Mark Ltd specialises in production facilities for music recording and the film and television industries. Over the last fifteen years it has designed and supervised the construction of over 500 production suites worldwide. The company’s impressive client list encompasses some of the world’s most famous music recording facilities including Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios in the UK, Germano Studios in New York, Hit Factory/Criteria Recording Studios in Miami, Strongroom in London and private studios for producers and musicians such as William Orbit and Damon Albarn. In the area of audio post production, White Mark has completed over 140 audio studios and many broadcast and video editing facilities for more than 60 companies in Soho alone. The list of clients includes Grand Central, Hackenbacker, Envy, De Lane Lea, Scramble, Lipsync, Molinare, DeLuxe, 750mph, NBC/Universal, Wave, Unit and Boom. Advertising agency clients include worldwide facilities for Hogarth International and AMV/BBDO on four continents.www.whitemark.com

DPA Microphones Spends A Night At The Opera

The sound team at the Parco Della Musica Auditorium in Rome recently turned to DPA Microphones’ Reference Standard 4017 Shotgun Microphones to record the audio for a specially commissioned double DVD of two operas that were being performed as part of the Santa Cecilia Opera Studio, a master programme devoted to Bel Canto.

With high quality audio a prerequisite – and with strict instructions from the director that no microphones were to be seen anywhere in the video footage – sound engineer Giacomo De Caterini was initially struggling to work out how he could comply with the director’s brief.

“The director wanted to avoid any microphones that could be visible because he was determined to maintain strict focus on the performers,” De Caterini explains. “Due to bad experiences in the past, especially on video productions where close-up shots revealed poorly concealed microphones dangling from the singers’ wigs, he was very keen not to have any microphones on the singers’ heads. This ruled out the use of miniature microphones such as the DPA 4061s, which we had initially been considering.”

To add to De Caterini’s difficulties, some of the backgrounds were being video projected, which meant that microphones hanging from the ceiling were also out of the question.

“I was quite worried as the only option left was to use shotgun microphones positioned on the edge of the proscenium,” De Caterini says. “I realized this would only be OK if we had a sufficient quantity and if they were strategically placed to capture the audio properly.”

Luckily, Salvatore Zocco, product manager at DPA’s Italian distributor M. Casale Bauer, was able to come up with a solution. He gave Giacomo De Caterini some DPA Reference Standard 4017 Shotgun Microphones and suggested he tried them out as an option.

“Although I expected the high quality sound and trustworthiness that invariably comes with DPA microphones, what I did not expect was the ability of these microphones to deliver a sound unlike any other shotgun I have ever tried,” De Caterini explains. “They were much more akin to a pair of traditional cardioids, and with the amazing ability to behave more like ‘wide cannons’ than strict shotguns. In other words, instead of the typically coloured audio that becomes almost unusable as soon as the pickup is slightly off-axis, these microphones delivered great audio that required minimal tweaks and remained readable and clean even when picking up vocalists who were right as the back of the stage. Thanks to their new, dedicated preamps, they also delivered lower noise than any other shotgun microphone I have tried. Ultimately, what set them apart was something you certainly don’t expect from shotguns: sheer musicality.”

The two operas being recorded for this DVD project were Ravel’s “L’Heure Espagnole” and Puccini’s “Gianni Schicchi”. Both were performed in the Petrassi Hall, which has roughly 700 seats and is the smallest of the three halls that form the Parco Della Musica Auditorium complex. The double DVD production was co-produced by the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and Infocamere, the IT company for the Italian Chamber of Commerce, and distributed as a special gift to major Chambers of Commerce clients.

After completing the recordings for the DVDs, Giacomo De Caterini was so impressed with the performance of the DPA 4017 Shotgun Microphones that he refused to return them to M. Casale Bauer.

“They were definitely a keeper,” he says, “and they have now joined the Auditorium’s stock of DPAs. I’ve used a lot of DPA in the past – and B&K before them. I love all the classics like the 4006, 4015, 4011 etc., and I also use the DPA miniature microphones for live work, especially the brilliant d:vote™ 4099 Instrument Microphones and the compact cardioid 4021 microphones, which I consider to be the most treasured tools of my trade.”

Recently, De Caterini had the opportunity to use a pair of DPA 4041s (running at 130V with the dedicated preamp) and was completely blown away by their performance.

“They combine the best features of DPA’s classic omnis with the low/mid ability that has previously been the trademark of DPA’s competitors. Using them for the first time provided me with a rare moment of illumination – not to mention an almost irrepressible urge to reach for my wallet!”

Since completing the opera DVD project, Giacomo De Caterini has been working on a number of other high profile recordings including engineering and post-producing a CD of Verdi’s music for EMI Classics, which features the Orchestra di Santa Cecilia with Sir Antonio Pappano.

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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

DPA Microphones Opens A New Office In Hong Kong

Following a record year for sales in the Asia and Pacific regions, DPA Microphones is consolidating its success by opening a new regional office in Hong Kong.

Headed by Ken Kimura, DPA’s general manager for the APAC region, the new office signals DPA’s commitment to its partners and customers by acting as a hub for sales, marketing and after-sales service. It will also enable the company to expand its sales network and develop new business channels in market sectors that have yet to discover the benefit of DPA’s high quality microphone technology and products.

Kimura, who was previously based in Shanghai, says: “Establishing our new office in Hong Kong makes sound economic and geographic sense. By basing our office here we can significantly expand our reach as well as visibility within the entire region and thereby aim our ambitions much higher.”

During the last trading year, DPA’s sales have been on the increase in virtually every APAC country with some showing growth as high as 40%. This incredible success has been achieved by DPA developing strong partnerships with its distributors and dealers so that they can fully support their customers.

Christian Poulsen, CEO of DPA Microphones, says: “The increased consciousness of good quality in the Asian markets, combined with our ability to develop fantastic products, has resulted in our huge success in this region. To follow up on this we take the next important step by establishing this new office to support our sales partners even more and encourage their commitment to the brand. This support has been delivered in a variety of ways, including listening to our partners’ needs and implementing specific activities such as customer events.”

Renowned for their audio accuracy, reliability and superb engineering, DPA microphones are the first choice for numerous recording and touring artists and sound engineers. The company’s extensive product range also encompasses many other industry areas including broadcast, film, theatre, installation, conferencing and security.

“The breadth and depth of our product range is really quite staggering and gives us plenty of scope to develop our customer base around the world,” Kimura says. “The APAC region is no exception – there are many applications for our technology that have yet to be exploited and our aim is to be highly visible so that we can make the most of these new business opportunities.”

DPA plans to supplement its existing team in Hong Kong with new sales staff and is interested in hearing from any suitable candidates.

For more information please contact Ken Kimura at kek@dpamicrophones.com.

-ends-

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

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