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Archive by Sue Sillitoe

The Music Producers Guild Backs Fair Digital Deals

The Music Producers Guild has expressed its support for the Fair Digital Deals Declaration – a new initiative supported by over 700 indie record labels that want to see fair and transparent accounting of digital revenues for artists.

This massive show of support for artists to be treated and compensated fairly in the digital age has equal significance recording professionals, many of whom rely on royalties for a large proportion of their incomes.

“The music industry has a long history of unfairly exploiting the work of artists without whose creativity the industry would simply not exist,” says producer and MPG executive board member Mick Glossop. “The Fair Digital Deals Declaration is a welcome initiative, which seeks to address those injustices by promoting transparency and accountability.”

The initiative, coordinated by Worldwide Independent Network, states five primary guidelines that signees must adhere to. These include:

1. Ensure that artists’ share of download and streaming revenues is clearly explained in recording agreements and royalty statements in reasonable summary form.
2. Account to artists a good-faith pro-rata share of any revenues and other compensation from digital services that stem from the monetization of recording but are not attributed to specific recordings or performances.
3. Encourage better standards of information from digital services on the usage and monetization of music.
4. Support artists who choose to oppose, including publicly, unauthorized uses of their music.
5. Support the collective position of the global independent record company sector.

For more information about the Declaration and the MPG’s support for this important initiative, please visit www.mpg.org.uk

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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.

Jünger Audio’s IBC 2014 Line Up Delivers Perfect Voice Recording

At IBC 2014 (10.A49), dynamics processing specialist Jünger Audio will show its D*AP4 VAP Voice Processor – a unique unit that is designed to make life easier for engineers working in radio stations, TV production voice-over studios and feature film ADR facilities.

What makes this processor so special is the inclusion of Jünger Audio’s proprietary Spectral Signature™ dynamic EQ – a totally new creative tool that offers automatic and dynamic EQ control to balance spectral differences in real-time. By analyzing incoming audio and comparing its spectrum with individually predetermined voice ‘fingerprints’, this clever unit can automatically apply dynamic EQ corrections to give a consistent sound.

For people working in TV voice over and feature film ADR, this facility is a Godsend because it allows them to deal with any changes in a performer’s voice. For example, if a performer has a sore throat on day three of a recording session and therefore sounds a bit different, this clever unit will look at the tonal characteristics of the actor’s voice on day one and automatically adjusts the frequency until both voices match. This ability to deliver consistent sound means that producers save money and time because they don’t have to cancel voice over or ADR sessions while they wait for an actor’s voice to return to normal.

Jünger Audio’s D*AP4 VAP Voice Processor is equally interesting to radio broadcasters who want to create an aural identity for their radio stations. By using similar spectral sound management principles, the unit measures the running program and uses the station master sound fingerprint as a reference. The Spectral Signature algorithm matches all different program elements to this reference signature, thus creating a dedicated ‘station sound’.

“The D*AP4 VAP draws on our extensive experience with previous Voice Processing devices such as our popular VO2, but adds new tools and algorithms to create an easier and more efficient approach to voice processing with no compromise in sound quality,” says Peter Pörs, CEO of Jünger Audio. “We have also included processing such as HP/LP filtering, versatile dynamics section, full parametric EQ and de-essing, and made the unit really easy to use – even for non-technical radio staff such as producers and journalists.”

Jünger Audio has also provided a dedicated voice leveler combined with an auto-mixer circuit to help mixed voice programs into loudness-based broadcasting on the fly. Using the optional SDI I/O card automated voice over for SDI embedded audio becomes an attractive feature of the D*AP4 VAP.

Connected as either an insert into a mixing desk or as a stand-alone unit, D*AP4 VAP 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.

For more information about Jünger Audio’s D*AP4 VAP, please visit IBC stand 10.A49 or visit the company’s website at www.jungeraudio.com

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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

DPA Gets Up Close And Personal With Scarlett Johansson

DPA microphones turn up in some unusual places, but inside Scarlett Johansson’s t-shirt has to be one of the brand’s more exotic locations.

According to French sound engineer Stéphane Bucher, DPA’s d:screet™ 4060 miniature microphones were absolutely perfect for this role because they offered such exceptional audio quality. He used three of the mics to capture Johansson’s performance during the making of Lucy, a new film directed by Luc Besson that is due for theatrical release later this month.

“d:screet 4060 microphones are very small but that wasn’t the reason why I chose to use them,” Bucher explains. “It was all about their audio fidelity – when it comes to sound quality DPA 4060′s are much, much better than other lavalier mics on the market.”

As an internationally acclaimed sound engineer, Bucher has worked with numerous famous actors and directors including Morgan Freeman, Pierce Brosnan and Kevin Costner. In recent years many of the projects he has undertaken have come via major feature film producers such as EuropaCorp. He also owns and manages the Paris-based rental company, A4Audio, which supplies audio equipment to film and TV clients.

“During the filming of Lucy, it was important to take on board Luc Besson’s directing style,” Bucher explains. “He is not the easiest person but I was really happy to work with him. He shoots so fast and wants the actors ready to go when they come to set because he already knows exactly what he wants. Once the actors are here, it is too late, you’ll not have time to put a lavalier on anyone.”

Fortunately, the film’s costume designer Olivier Beriot completely understood Bucher’s problems and was able to work with him to devise a way of permanently attaching a microphone to Scarlett’s main costume.

“Olivier is the best costume designer I have ever worked with and I have huge respect for him,” Bucher says. “Scarlett’s main costume was a white, half translucent T-shirt so we used a white d:screet 4060 microphone which was inserted into the seam of the t-shirt by the dressmaker. We had three t-shirts ready at all times and the solution worked perfectly, giving us great audio but without any visibility issues.”

Bucher adds that this wasn’t the first time he’d used DPA microphones – indeed, he first started using them many years ago when he was recording classical music.

“Like every other sound mixer, my equipment is really important and I’m constantly looking for the best microphones, mixers, recorders, etc,” he says. “When I started working in film and TV sound, I was using the same lavalier microphones as everyone else because I didn’t really have a choice. Now I do have a choice and I can use the best mics available for cinema sound, which happen to be DPA. I originally chose them because I was tired of going to the cinema and hearing that recognizable sound you get with other lavalier microphones. DPA’s sound is really translucent and clear – to the point where sometimes I can’t tell if I’m listening to the boom or the 4060.”

Since completing Lucy, Bucher has been in the USA working with director Olivier Megaton on the film Taken 3, which stars Liam Neeson and Forest Whitaker. As the film requires audio to be recorded inside a car, DPA’s French distributor Audio2 equipped him with a number of d:dicate™ 4018 supercardioid microphones, which are ideally suited to this type of location work.

“They were great,” he says. “I used them for one particular car chase where Liam Neeson is driving very fast on the highway. I needed a very small mic to put into the car’s sun visor. We bought two new sun visors, opened them up and put the 4018 mics inside. This worked perfectly. We also tested them on a much simple car scene, in which Forest Whitaker is driving and talking, and they worked great for that, too.”

Stéphane Bucher is now in France preparing for his next film project, which will undoubtedly feature DPA microphones in a starring role.

“I’ve always been really happy with the audio quality DPA microphones deliver and that’s why I keep going back to them,” he says.

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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

Artspace Studio Buys a Prism Sound Titan Audio Interface

Artspace Studio, one of London’s premier boutique recording, has recently invested in a Prism Sound Titan USB multi-track audio interface for its Brixton-based facility.

“Titan was recommended to me by quite a few people, including mastering engineer Mandy Parnell at Black Saloon Studios and Kirk DeGiorgio (aka As One),” explains mixing and mastering engineer/producer, Tom Gillieron. “We thought we’d test one out, and we were amazed! I do a lot of mixdown work for people and they send me tracks that they’ve mixed down ‘in the box’ in Pro Tools, Ableton or Logic. When I compare the mixes I have done through the Titan and then summed on the SSL Matrix, the clarity in the high end is amazing and the stereo image is far clearer and more impressive.”

Studio owner Olsi Rama agrees that the Prism Sound Titan has been the best purchase Artspace has made this year.

“We have used the pre amps a lot because they are great, and we have also used it to clock from our Digidesign 192s,” Rama says. “We have an 8-track 3M tape machine at the studio and sometimes we like to record drums onto that. With the Titan’s fantastic conversion we can get back into the computer really easily without losing the warm analogue sound.”

Artspace is developing a strong reputation as the place to record in London. Artists who have recently worked in the facility include Jamie T, Marmozets, The Severed Limb and Martyn Ware (Human League). It is a mixed digital and analogue recording facility that offers three rooms, including a large live room, the Octagon, billed as a distinctive space ideal for laying down drums and group recordings.

Rama adds that another feature both he and Gillieron like is Titan’s versatile USB connection.

“This is great because it allows visiting engineers to just plug in their laptop with their preferred software and make an immediate connection to our vintage outboard processors without losing any of the detail,” he says.

Gillieron adds: “I have mixed down some tracks that I started elsewhere, on different speakers and on headphones and so on. The Prism Sound unit gave all the projects a bit of a boost – to my ears – which was exciting but also made me listen to them more carefully and mistakes became more obvious.”

For the future Gillieron is looking forward to using the Titan on multitrack field recordings of live musicians, but he’s already impressed with what it has revealed through his current and long-standing audio set-up.

“I have mastered a few tracks using the Titan and I find it’s easier for me to pinpoint unnecessary resonance than it was with what we were using before,” he says. “And I’ve been using the same speakers and amp for about 18 years.”

Gillieron has recently remixed PHORIA and his re-mix can be heard at this link: https://soundcloud.com/phoriamusic/emanate-tom-gillieron-remix

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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

Rui Da Silva invests in a Prism Sound Lyra 2 Audio Interface

Rui Da Silva, writer of international number one single Touch Me amongst many other diverse projects, describes himself as a Producer, Engineer, Beatmaker, Remixer, Writer, DJ and Programmer. He can now add Lyra 2 owner to the list as well, having recently bought one of the audio interface units from Prism Sound.

“I first heard about Prism Sound’s Lyra 2 through a magazine article,” he says. “I’ve been a longtime user of the company’s Orpheus audio interface and have also used the Dream AD-2 converter in the past. The Lyra 2 integrates perfectly in my new setup. Studio space is at a premium and while I still use the Orpheus in my studio in Windsor, Lyra 2 is the right fit for my central London studio and for travelling work. It has sufficient inputs and outputs to be able to run most of my sessions and has a small enough footprint for me to just put it in my backpack.”

For Da Silva, this makes Lyra 2 a ubiquitous tool in his kitbag. He not only used the unit to write, record and mix all of the debut album from Lisbon Kid, but also to record Chloe Howl and much of his latest solo productions and remixes.

“In fact, you can hear it on every single release I have put out in this past year,” he says.

The Lyra family of audio interfaces is proving to be an extremely popular one for Prism Sound. Built from a design brief that demanded Prism Sound quality at an even more accessible price point, Lyra has the same no-compromise analogue front and back ends as its bigger brother Orpheus, with the same fully-balanced-throughout architecture and the same isolation barriers protecting the analogue from digital and computer interference. And it achieves all this in a 2.1kg, 2/3 width, 1U 19in rack mountable unit.

“It has also allowed me to not have a mixer in the studio as I use the Lyra Control Panel instead,” comments Da Silva. “And it allows me to give a separate headphone feed to the singers when we are doing vocals. The latency — even if it is not an absolute zero — is very workable for almost every scenario.”

Da Silva adds that Prism Sound support has been brilliant and staff are ‘a pleasure to deal with’. But it’s the Lyra 2′s portability along with that ‘Prism Sound’ that is the real advantage for him.

“I have to make a long trip to Portugal this year to record some new material for Lisbon Kid and, of course, the Lyra 2 will be in the bag with me,” he says.

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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 Confirms its Worldwide Ambitions at IBC 2014

Leading OTT solutions provider Visual Unity will use the IBC 2014 platform (14.F34) to unveil the latest versions of its Award-winning vuMedia™ multiscreen platform and vuEasy™ Online Video Platform.

One of the most important changes will be the introduction of a raft of new languages to vuEasy™’s administrator user interface, including Chinese, Arabic, Spanish and Russian. This significant upgrade broadens vuEasy™’s international appeal and reinforces Visual Unity’s plans to expand sales into new geographic territories.

“Having recently 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 both vuMedia™ and vuEasy™,” says Visual Unity’s CEO Tomas Petru. “Our goal is to be the leading provider of OTT and multiscreen solutions and 3TS’s investment is already helping us to achieve this ambition by enabling us focus on product development and reach previously untapped markets.”

Introduced in 2011 and the winner of the 2012 ConnectedWorld.TV Award for the Best Use of Online Video by a Non-Broadcaster, 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.

In recent months, Visual Unity has upgraded vuMedia™ so that it now features an improved modular architecture and enhanced API integration for faster OTT integration into existing infrastructures. There is also support for Live Time-Shifting so that subscribers can rewind while watching live broadcasts. This user experience is enhanced with the inclusion of a Timeline Thumbnail Preview (vuMedia™ TTP), which makes it faster and easier for consumers to navigate within streamed content.

vuMedia™ is now fully integrated with Visual Unity’s vuEasy™Cloud-based service that allows Enterprise and Media companies to manage and monetize their audio, video and image libraries. vuEasy™ supports live streaming of up to 4K video and allows graphics and other audio and visual material to be associated with video or audio files, for brand promotion or to generate advertising revenue. Quick and easy to use, vuEasy™ alleviates the need for businesses to build an expensive, in-house and resource-intensive media library, by allowing them to publish their content online.

At IBC 2014, Visual Unity will show a new, white label version of vuEasy™ that gives partners the opportunity to sell the product under their own brand by changing the colours and logos on the user interface. 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 vuEasy™ to dedicated groups. It also allows vuEasy™ to support different re-seller and seller models and relationships.

Alongside support of live streams that can easily be added into an OTT trough, vuEasy™ also allows customers to record their own live events, include them in their content management systems and automatically published them on VoD portals.

Since first launching its vuMedia platform, Visual Unity has supported video delivery to iOS and Android devices. At IBC 2014, the comany will show a new, native application for iOS devices that enables delivery of VoDs that are DRM protected. This upgrade, which supports Widevine DRM in iOS applications, will give end users and even better experience.

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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

DK-Technologies Steps Up The DK T7 Game At IBC 2014

DK-Technologies has once again upped the functionality of its competitively priced DK T7 audio, loudness and logging meter by adding Loudness Automation, a software update that is free of charge to existing and future DK T7 users.

On show at DK-Technologies’ IBC 2014 stand (8.E60), this latest upgrade is based on SMPTE timecode and allows the DK T7 to instantly recalculate the Integrated Loudness value up to four hours back in time. For audio engineers, this exceptionally useful time saving function is a major improvement as it means they no longer have to re-run programme material to hit their Loudness target value.

Uffe Kjems, Product Marketing Director for DK-Technologies, says: “Every engineer working with broadcast audio knows that hitting the Loudness measure Bulls Eye can be a very tedious and time consuming process. For this reason, we know they will really appreciate our new Loudness Automation feature because it will save them so much time. Loudness Automation adds yet another cool and practical feature to the DK T7 – and at no additional cost – making it the strongest, most competitive and most affordable Loudness meter on the market today.”

DK-Technologies has also added USB mouse operation to the Multi touch screen DK T7, allowing for fast and easy on screen access or operation using the HDMI external monitor output. A number of other improvements have also been incorporated, including headphone volume control and more screen setup functions.

The DK T7 allows end-users to adapt to virtually any format including 3G SDI I/O. The unit also offers 8 AES/EBU input/output channels, 2ch Analogue input channels, headphone output and HDMI monitor output.

At just 20 x 135 x 180 mm (depth, height and width), the DK T7’s compact design allows it to be highly portable and easy to position, while its intuitive multi touch interface makes it very straightforward to use.

The meter is currently available in two different models – the DK T7 costing €3495 and the entry level DK T7 Stereo, costing €2895. Both models are available with or without balanced digital AES inputs as well as in 19” rack mountable versions.

For a demo and more information please visit DK-Technologies at IBC 2014 (8:E60) or visit www.dk-technologies.com.

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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. Alongside its worldwide distributor network, DK-Technologies also operates branch offices in Denmark, Germany and USA.

DPA Shows Its New d:screet™ Necklace Microphones At IBC 2014

DPA Microphones has always been renowned for its ability to deliver superb audio, even in the most challenging conditions. Now, thanks to a new range of body worn microphones, the company has overcome the biggest challenge of all – how to give control of mic placement to non-technical actors or reality show contenstants without compromising sound quality.

DPA’s solution, which will be on show at IBC 2014, is the d:screet™ Omnidirectional Miniature Necklace Microphone – a cleverly designed mic that houses a legendary d:screet 4061 Omnidirectional Miniature Capsule in a soft rubber necklace.


“These microphones are perfect for situations where fast costume changes are necessary – or for reality TV shows where the contestants have to place microphones without help from a trained audio engineer,” says DPA’s CEO Christian Poulsen. “The necklace design ensures that the microphone sits in exactly the same place on the body every time, so there is no need for EQ-ing between different recordings.”

The d:screet Necklace Mic is already being used in the Danish adaptation of Big Brother and DPA anticipates plenty of interest from other reality TV productions. The mic comes in black, white and brown and in lengths of 47 or 53 com (18.3 or 20.9 inches).

At IBC 2014, DPA is exhibiting alongside its Dutch distributor Amptec on booth 8.D70. At 5pm every evening it will be holding a prize draw, which will give one lucky show visitor the opportunity to win a DPA d:screet Miniature or d:fine™ Headset Microphone. At that same time, the company will challenge one of its mics to see exactly how much stress it can withstand. Could it be used as a drumstick, for example? IBC visitors need only come along to 8:D70 at 5 pm to find out.

While there, they can also see DPA’s new heavy-duty d:screet™ 4060 Omnidirectional Miniature Microphones and classic d:screet 4060 Omnidirectional Miniature Mics with reinforced cable relief, making them even more durable for demanding use. These microphones satisfy market demand for high-quality sound combined with a highly-durable housing and cable.

“Incorporated on all d:screet Miniature Microphones, our new robust strain relief version brings much needed reassurance to people who are not used to handling miniatures,” Christian Poulsen adds.

The heavy-duty 4060 microphone is ideal for people who require even more security and for whom the visual appeal is of less importance. It is perfect for placement in rigorous filming situations, such as incorporated into a combat suit for a fight scene or under a horse saddle in a period piece. Featuring a stainless steel housing, sturdy cable relief and a thicker 2.2 mm (.09-inch) cable, both enhanced versions are exceptionally durable and ideally suited to the rigors of broadcast productions.

DPA will complete its IBC 2014 line-up with its new d:fine™ 66 and 88 Headset Microphones, which are ideal for broadcast productions with vocal performers who need to move freely without obstructions from a handheld mic or one on a stand.

Combining the flexible mechanics of DPA’s modern d:fine ear mount solution with the sound qualities of the legendary 4066 Omni and 4088 Cardioid headworn mics, the new d:fine™ 66 and 88 Headset Microphones join the original d:fine as well as the traditional 4066 and 4088 Miniature Headset Microphones under the company’s d:fine family. With so many sound handling and size options to choose from, DPA’s d:fine family now addresses every need that actors, musicians and singers face when working in a live television environment.

“There is a growing need for durable body worn microphone solutions with excellent sound reproduction for stringent use in live environments and similar settings,” Poulsen adds. “When we launched the d:fine Headset Microphones we believed that they would define a new generation of headsets. They have certainly met our expectations, which is why we have decided to expand the d:fine Headset Microphone series with this brilliant solution to give users a broad assortment of styles and features.”

For more information please visit DPA at IBC 2014. Hall 8, Stand D70.

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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

PPL Extends Support to the 2014 Music Producers Guild LIPA Prize Winner

The Music Producers Guild is delighted to announce that PPL will this year sponsor the expenses of the recipient of its 2014 Prize.

Launched in 2010, the MPG Prize is awarded annually to the most promising student to graduate from The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA) Sound Technology degree programme.

The Prize brings enormous benefits to the winning student as it offers an opportunity to work alongside some of the UK’s top recording professionals. Prominent MPG Awards winners continue to be very supportive of the initiative, which also brings sponsorship opportunities from pro audio companies such as Avid.

MPG Education Representative Tony Platt says: “We are very grateful to PPL for the financial contribution they are making to our next winner. This prize comes with lots of work experience opportunities, such as being able to attend mastering and orchestral sessions at studios in London, and being able to shadow top producers in commercial facilities. PPL’s support will contribute towards the cost of our recipient’s travel and accommodation expenses while he or she is taking up these opportunities.”

Jonathan Morrish, Director of PR and Corporate Communications, PPL says: “It’s a pleasure for PPL to be able to help the MPG in some small way. These are tough times and it is entirely appropriate to have an award that celebrates the next generation of performers and helps them hone further their skills in recording and production. We wish the next MPG Prize recipient all the very best of luck with their career and hope that they are able to make the most of this fantastic opportunity.”

The name of the 2014 recipient will be revealed at LIPA’s graduation ceremony, which takes place on July 31st, 2014.

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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 LIPA

LIPA is located in Sir Paul McCartney’s old school, the Liverpool Institute for Boys, which underwent a multi-million-pound renovation to turn it into a state-of-the-art performing arts higher education institution. It was founded by Sir Paul and Mark Featherstone-Witty and opened in 1995 with the aim of providing the best teaching and learning for people who want to pursue a lasting career in the arts and entertainment industry, whether as performers or those who make performance possible. www.lipa.ac.uk

About PPL

PPL is the music licensing company which works on behalf of over 90,000 record companies and performers to license recorded music played in public (at pubs, nightclubs, restaurants, shops, offices and many other business types) and broadcast on TV radio and online) across the UK. Our members include major record labels and independents as well as globally successful performers and session musicians, ranging from orchestral players to percussionists and singers. The majority are small businesses, all of whom are legally entitled to be fairly paid for the use of their recordings and performances.

PPL also operates an international royalty collection service. With 68 reciprocal agreements in place in 34 countries with other international collecting societies – or Collective Management Organisations (CMOS) as they are commonly known – PPL helps members to get paid when their music is played internationally. ppluk.com/@PPLUK.

After the deduction of PPL’s running costs, all licence fee income is distributed to members. PPL does not retain a profit for its services. In 2013 PPL paid £152.2m in revenues to its members.

White Mark Designs A New Foley Studio At Moscow’s CineLab

Studio design consultancy White Mark Ltd played an important role in creating a new Foley studio for Russia’s state of the art film sound facility CineLab Ltd. Unashamedly designed to be the best in the world, CineLab’s Foley studio is already attracting projects from both local and international clients.

Based in Moscow and housed in a completely renovated former cold store building on the banks of the Moskva River, CineLab already has 14 studios including three dubbing theatres, a 5.1 mixing room for pre-mixes and TV/DVD work, multiple edit and pre-production suites and sound design rooms. Three of CineLab’s dubbing theatres have Dolby Premier Licenses, and one of these was recently upgraded by White Mark to Dolby Atmos 3D spec.

The facility’s new Foley studio was designed to cater for two very distinctive approaches to Foley recording, says CineLab’s Managing Director Vadim Nerukov.

“Some Foley artists want to close mic everything and then add effects, compression, reverb, etc. afterwards in the control room,” he explains. “Others prefer a more ‘naturalistic’ approach where they use the space and air in the room and real reflections from the walls. In our opinion neither approach is the best – they are simply different. We wanted a room that could cope with both.”

To achieve this result, White Mark worked closely with internationally acclaimed and award-winning Foley artist and sound designer Nicolas Becker, whose credits include Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, The Ninth Gate, The Pianist, Oliver Twist, The Ghost and Venus In Furs, all directed by Roman Polanski.

White Mark’s managing director, David Bell says: “We designed and built the room from scratch, including every conceivable kind of indoor and outdoor surface. We also incorporated motorized ceiling panels and wall curtains that can be used to modify the room acoustics, and a special floor mounted on acoustic pads that can be tuned to different frequencies by tightening or loosening screws.

Bell adds that White Mark obviously included a conventional control room in its design but after speaking to Becker and watching him work, the company also positioned an additional mixing and recording area in the centre of the live room with a line of sight into each of the studio’s four working zones.

“This dedicated space allows the artists like Nicolas who prefer to work naturally to move around the studio and create sounds to the picture in real time,” David Bell says. “The picture is projected onto screens and the engineer working with him has five microphone positions at his disposal and can literally mix live, building up each scene, sound by sound.”

White Mark installed a 5.1 surround sound system in the Control Room, while the live room, which has four screens in different positions, has a theatrical-style loudspeaker system (Left-centre-Right) behind the main screen. This allows the Foley artist to work to picture and hear exactly what a cinema audience will ultimately hear.

Naturally the studio is filled with props and devices to create new sounds – and there is a dedicated large storage room with a car access dock so that bigger props can be brought in.

“This is, without doubt, the most impressive Foley room I’ve ever seen – and certainly the most impressive we’ve ever built,” David Bell adds. “Of course, having carte blanche to create something special did help – as did the fact that CineLab was effectively built from the ground up so we could incorporate features like the very thick cast concrete floor, incorporating deep pits and water pools of different depths, and the loading dock very early on in the design process.”

Vadim Nerukov says that completing CineLab’s Foley studio involved the most innovation in terms of ideas, design and workflow.

“As our design partner, White Mark has achieved great results with all of the rooms in the facility,” Nerukov says. “In our view they are the best acoustic design company on the market and we’re thrilled with the Foley room – it is quite simply magnificent.”

Recent projects undertaken at CineLab include the mix for the feature film Stalingrad, carried out by Vincent Arnardi, and the mix for Viy, carried out by four times Oscar winning sound engineer Bob Beemer. CineLab has also recently completed the Russian dub of The Amazing Spiderman 2, one of the first projects to take place in its newly accredited Dolby Atmos theatre.

-ends-

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

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