A virtual press conference from Sound & Video Contractor

Archive by Sue Sillitoe

Prism Sound Assists With Gavin Harrison’s Drum Masterclass

Internationally acclaimed drummer Gavin Harrison who has worked with a wide range of artists including Iggy Pop, Sam Brown and King Crimson, recently held a drum workshop at Ananda Studios in Cambridge, during which he revealed the secrets of creating a great drum take.

Hailed as a unique and inspiring event by those who attended, the workshop focused on the demands of being a session player and how to deliver a great performance, even when under pressure.

After starting the session with some basic coordination exercises, Harrison, explained the drum part in a specific song and described the techniques he would employ to deliver and capture the sound. Afterward, those taking part were given the opportunity to play the drum part on his kit and have it recorded in Logic by Ananda Studio’s engineer Neil Cowlan so that they could review their performance with Harrison.

“The opportunity to play along with Gavin and then have him critique my performance was great,” said drummer Russ Tarly, one of the 24 people who attended. “This is the first time I’ve come across such a hands-on event and it worked really well. I knew I wanted to do it because it was so specialized. I’d love to see more events like this because I’m sure there are plenty of other drummers who would enjoy going through this experience.”

To ensure the highest possible audio quality throughout the recording chain, Ananda’s Neil Cowlan deployed two recently acquired Prism Sound Atlas audio interfaces, which were used to track 9 microphones from the drum kit into Logic.

As the latest addition to Prism Sound’s professional USB interface family, Atlas is aimed squarely at multitrack recording applications. Atlas benefits from Prism Sound’s 27 year history in digital audio processing and interface design and incorporates the company’s latest award-winning CleverClox dual hybrid clocking technology as well as eight of the company’s acclaimed microphone preamplifiers as standard. The Prism sound mic preamps are based on the very successful Orpheus preamps, but are upgraded with 20dB pads now available for all inputs. Atlas offers recording professionals ultimate quality analogue and digital I/O for Mac or Windows PC at sample rates up to 192kHz. In addition to the USB host interface, Atlas also features Prism Sound’s new MDIO interface expansion slot, which was first incorporated into Titan and announced at AES New York in October 2013. Using this miniature expansion slot users can, for example, directly connect to Pro Tools|HDX systems and can also run with Apple and Windows native applications over USB. Other expansion cards are slated for future expansion of computer interface options.

For Gavin Harrison’s workshop, Prism Sound also loaned Ananda Studios a Lyra audio interface for additional monitoring. The microphones used for this project included a Shure SM91 and AKG D12VR for the kick drum; a Shure SM57 (top) and a Beta 57 (bottom) on the snare, an AKG C451 on rack toms and a Shure SM57 on floor toms.

Cowlan says: “The Prism Sound Atlas interfaces performed flawlessly, both during the Gavin Harrison workshop and at a private seven hour session that took place the day before. They are truly amazing AD converters and mic-pre’s that sound fantastic. It is no surprise that Prism Sound units are found in some of the finest recording studios in the world and the fact that we can now offer them, too, gives people another great reason for coming to record here.”

Located in the Cambridgeshire village of Littlington, Ananda Studios is a purpose built facility housed in the old Neve factory. Originally designed by Andy Munro, the studio was once used for R&D purposes and to demonstrate Neve consoles. Today, it is popular with a variety of artists who appreciate the combination of tranquil surroundings, great room acoustics and an extensive equipment list.

“The live room is a fully acoustically designed space that sounds wonderful for anything you can imagine recording. Drums, string quartets, guitars, vocals, percussion – it all sounds great,” Neil Cowlan says. “We also have a large range of microphones, pre-amps, EQ’s and other equipment to cater for almost any project, along with a huge collection of guitar and bass amplifiers including Marshall, Fender, PRS, Orange and Matamp.”

Following on from the success of the drum workshop, Cowlan plans to host similar events at the studio and will be announcing these very soon.

Prism Sound’s sales director Graham Boswell, who attended the workshop with Bernhard Nocker from the company’s sales and marketing team, adds: “We were delighted to be able to support this event by loaning the studio equipment and look forward to working with Neil again in the future.”

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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

Mandy Parnell Goes Green

Black Saloon Studios in East London is flying the flag for environmental awareness by using solar power to fulfil all of its electricity needs.

Award-winning mastering engineer Mandy Parnell, owner of internationally acclaimed facility, says: “We are using solar panels to power the entire studio and part of the attached living space. This is quite an achievement, considering we operate on a 24/7 basis and run an assortment of amplifiers, electronic instruments, microphones and studio hardware. If we can do it, I don’t see why other music industry companies shouldn’t follow suit – everyone should be looking at ways to reduce their carbon footprint and for businesses like ours solar energy also makes economic sense.”

Parnell says the transition to greener energy was very smooth and the panels are now providing enough power to sell a surplus back to the National Grid.

Based in Walthamstow village where Parnell has been a resident and business owner for 13 year, Black Saloon Studios hosts projects for a wide variety of artist including The XX, Feist, Sigur Ros, Bjork, The Knife, Frightened Rabbit, Brian Eno. Current projects being mastered at Black saloon include Glass Animals, Jungle, Bjork and Philip Selway.

Mandy Parnell’s presence in the Walthamstow Village has contributed to the ever-expanding creative and artistic community, by introducing a diverse range of artists to the area. “We are becoming a greener borough and my neighbours have really embraced our solar panel initiative,” she says. “The artists love it, too. I think everyone should be doing it.”

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For more information please visit www.blacksaloonstudios.com

Will Holland Invests in Prism Sound Titan Audio Interface

Globally itinerant musician and producer Will Holland is the latest high-profile buyer of Prism Sound’s increasingly well-regarded Titan USB multi-track audio interface.

Holland, aka Quantic, is currently setting up his latest studio in New York, after spells on the UK’s south coast in Brighton and seven years spent in Bogota, Columbia. His background encompasses a wide range of music styles – he started his career in instrumental hiphop and electronic music before expanding into producing soul, jazz and Latin music.

“Over the last couple of years I’ve been trying to centre on the concept of clarity and quality in the mixing setting,” he says. “My recordings comprise of different elements, often from a variety of sources. These may be recordings from tape, record and various sounds recorded on location, so it’s important to maintain a noise free, clear and undistorted sound at all times. I’m also doing a lot of work with very tonally rich sounds, acoustic instruments and percussion with a lot of upper register harmonics. It’s important to have a soundcard that makes the musicality shine and not have harsh digital edges or muddy sound.”

This, says Holland, is precisely where the Titan comes in. The interface is ideal for music and sound recording, mixing, multi-tracking, overdubbing, stem-based mastering, analogue summing and all critical listening applications. It provides Prism Sound’s renowned performance, sound quality and state-of-the-art clock technology in a dedicated unit compatible with both Windows and Apple platforms (Apple in Holland’s case) and once configured with a computer, Titan can also operate as a stand-alone interface.

Holland has used Prism Sound converters in various mastering sessions before, but this is the first time it has appeared in his own studio set up.

“What really appealed to me was the software management and the fact that all of the mic and input pres were software controllable,” says Holland. “This makes the unit very attractive to travel with because it is so quick and easy to set up. I find everything works instantly and the setup is quick and without glitches or tech issues. In my studio, space is also important, so the fact that Titan comes in a 1U package is very important.”

Holland’s most recent large-scale recording and music production was for a group called Ondatropica, a collaboration between himself and Mario Galeano, a fellow musician and arranger from Bogota. The initial album was recorded in Medellin at the legendary Colombian studio Discos Fuentes and has since been toured for two years. He also has his fifth solo record, Magnetica, about to be released on the Tru Thoughts label and is currently touring with various European gigs scheduled during May (www.quantic.org for full details).

“I believe the Titan will add a new dimension to my work,” he says. “I mixed a song with it last night and the whole mixdown process was infinitely easier than normal. The clarity in sound was excellent. It made the whole process much easier and quicker. I’m very satisfied with my Titan and am now looking forward to trying it out in some live sessions.”

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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 helps Joel Compass Perfect His Microphone Technique

Emerging UK artist Joel Compass has become the latest in a long line of singers to join the DPA Microphones’ fan club.

Compass, a 21 year old from South London who is rapidly making a name for himself as an up and coming R&B star, was switched on to DPA’s award-winning d:facto™ Vocal Microphone by his tour manager Mark Portlock and his engineer Liam Halpin.

“DPA microphones are renowned for their audio quality and very low noise floor, so I initially considered the d:facto Vocal Microphone for another artist I am working with who has a particularly quiet voice,” Portlock says. “However, once Liam and I demo-ed it we realised it would also work really well for Joel’s voice, which has a great dynamic range. We introduced him to the microphone and he absolutely loved it. He is now using d:facto for all his live vocal performances.”

Liam Halpin adds that DPA’s d:facto Vocal Microphone has made his life as an engineer much easier because he can use it with any professional wireless microphone system.

“DPA’s UK distributor Sound Network supplied us with an adapter that gives us seamless integration with all of the professional wireless systems we usually encounter,” Halpin says. “I am a big fan of Shure’s wireless system but that doesn’t preclude me from using other brands of microphone. There is a correct microphone for every situation and in Joel’s case, when it comes to live vocals, it’s the DPA d:facto. With this microphone all I need is an adapter, a capsule and a grill and I can walk into any venue and use any wireless system – I don’t have to take in my own. That saves us having to rent in a wireless system and allows us to use the right microphone for the artist and the performance space.”

Joel Compass has been making waves in the UK after getting an early buzz from media outlets such as MTV and Digital Spy. As well as performing his own material, Compass also writes for other artists and is making a name for himself as a producer – indeed his ballad, Run, was written with Rihanna in mind. His latest single Forgive Me is currently climbing the UK Top 50 and he has been making high profile appearances at the MTV Brand New awards, at London’s Red Bull Studios and live support shows with Rudimental and US star J Cole. He is also working on projects with established artists and his own debut album Science. A busy summer including live shows at Glastonbury and Wireless and secret garden festivals awaits.

Mark Portlock and Liam Halpin believe that introducing Compass to the d:facto has had a number of hidden benefits, not least helping him redefine his microphone technique.

“DPA’s d:facto Vocal Microphone seems to work best when artists use In Ear Monitors, because that’s when they can really hear the difference it makes to their voice,” Halpin says. “With Joel, we started out using wedges but this was a real pain because he would sing right off the mic, often with his hands covering parts of the grill. Eventually, when we switched to d:facto, we persuaded him to move to IEMs, which he now has in both ear. The change this made to his mic technique was dramatic. Suddenly he could hear his own voice properly and he got right on the microphone because he was enjoying the improved sound so much. It’s made a huge difference to his performance and to the consistency of his sound – in fact I would go so far as to say that this microphone has done more than anything else to get his live performance to where it is now.”

DPA’s d;facto Vocal Microphone now features on the equipment rider for every gig that Joel Compass does and as a result Portlock and Halpin’s favoured rental company, Encore, has invested in its own stock. The microphone is also proving popular with the studio and broadcast engineers the team have encountered during the filming of some of Joel Compass’ gigs.

“It’s really funny how their faces light up when you tell them your artist is using a DPA microphone,” Halpin laughs. “Studio and broadcast engineers are usually pretty disdainful about live mics but with this one they are more than happy. They know all about the audio quality of DPA so the d:facto gives us credibility.”

Portlock adds that the d:facto Vocal Microphone also gives Joel Compass credibility, especially among other artists who recognise that it is a significant investment. He gives DPA’s UK distributor Sound Network much of the credit for making it possible to move Compass onto a d:facto – and for supporting the team while they made the switch.

“The d:facto is not cheap and there is no way we would have committed a developing artist to such an expensive microphone if we hadn’t had fantastic distributor support,” he says. “The fact that Sound Network was able to lend us the d:facto Vocal Microphone in various forms so that we could try them all out – with cable bodies, adapters, different coloured grills etc – made a huge amount of difference. It gave us the confidence to go with the microphone and it also inspired our rental company to buy stock of its own so we now have access to mics that we can rent through them.”

To see Joel Compass in action at Transmitter Live using DPA’s d:facto Vocal Microphone, please follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7stBS5lYtI

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

DPA Microphones Fly The Flag For Denmark At Eurovision

As Europe braces itself for the annual spectacle that is Eurovision, DPA is already playing a key part in this musical extravaganza by providing the podium microphones in the official press room.

The venue for this year’s Eurovision Song contest is the B&W Halls in Copenhagen and all of the press conferences are taking place in a separate auditorium that has been specially equipped for this purpose.

Bent Iversen, Key Account Manager for leading Scandinavian PA company DPA Soundco (which, despite the similar name, is not affiliated with DPA Microphones) is the main sound technician for the press room. He says: “We have installed 20 d:screet™ Supercardioid Miniature Podium Microphones, which were specified by broadcast rental company Best Broadcast Hire (BBH). These are positioned on the press table where they are mounted on K&M Table Bases.

Iversen adds that DPA Microphone’s new podium microphones are ideally suited for the job and for the room acoustics.

“Most of the people taking part in the press panels are musicians and they have a tendency to be quite loud,” he explains. “We needed a microphone that could cope with a loud monitor system and with sudden changes in volume. We also wanted microphones that could handle a situation where singers decide to sing as well as speak, which does sometimes happen with Eurovision press conference.”

Introduced last year, DPA’s new podium microphones give AV installers and conference organisers the clear, transparent and precise sound for which the company is famous.

Christian Poulsen, CEO of DPA Microphones, says: “As a Danish company, we are naturally delighted that our new podium microphones are playing an important part in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. Of course we would have loved to see the artists also using our d:facto™ Vocal Microphones or d:fine™ Headset Microphones on stage, but sadly this isn’t possible due to contractual reasons. However, we can guarantee that the sound coming from the press room will live up to DPA’s – and Denmark’s – high standards.”

Iversen adds that DPA Soundco has an extensive stock of DPA products that are used for music festivals, band tour production and corporate events.

“The main Eurovision show won’t be using any instrument microphones because 99% of what the audience hears is playback,” he explains. “The hand held artist mics are specified by Eurovision as part of a deal they have with another manufacturer but if it was my choice I’d be using the new DPA d:facto Vocal Microphones on a Wisycom wireless system.”

The Danish Broadcasting Corporation, Danish Radio, which is hosting the event, already owns more than 200 wireless Wisycom systems, so it would have been the natural choice if contractual circumstances hadn’t made this impossible.

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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

The West Ocean String Quartet Choose DPA Microphones

The West Ocean String Quartet, winner of The Irish Times/The Ticket’s Trad CD of the Year 2013 for their album An Indigo Sky, are now using DPA d:vote™ 4099 Instrument Microphones to capture their unique sound.

The microphones, which were supplied by DPA’s Irish Distributor Big Bear Sound, were chosen for their ability to deliver a true string sound with exceptional clarity.

“For us, the assurance of knowing that wherever we play in the world, the DPA 4099 Instrument Microphones’ warmth and accuracy will be consistent is everything,” says violinist Niamh Crowley. “We need only be concerned with making music. To now perform without them would be unthinkable.”

The West Ocean String Quarter recently appeared at Ceiliúradh (Celebration), a special evening of music, spoken word and dance which was held at London’s Royal Albert Hall to mark the historic occasion of the first State Visit to the UK by the President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins. For this concert, which was watched and heard by millions globally, the Quartet played several traditional Irish pieces, arranged by Neil Martin who not only plays in the quartet but also writes and arranges most of their music. During the London show they were joined by singer Eimear Quinn and actor Fiona Shaw, ending with a powerhouse performance alongside the all-star house band, and Army bands and pipers from both Ireland and the UK.

Formed in 1999, the West Ocean String Quartet’s vision, eclectic repertoire and style have won them global praise. Their music lies somewhere between the worlds of classical and traditional music. Disregarding rules and boundaries, they have found for themselves a unique voice, and have collaborated with many leading artists, both on stage and in the studio, including Christy Moore, Mary Black, Liam O’Flynn, Matt Molloy, Maighread Ní Dhomhnaill and Brian Kennedy.

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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

Red TX Boosts Its Team With A Key Promotion

London, UK: With booking already filling its diary for summer 2014, broadcast audio specialist Red TX has strengthened its team by promoting Ollie Nesham to the position of Chief Engineer.

An award-winning broadcast music mix engineer, Ollie Nesham has a wealth of experience in coordinating music recording and broadcast requirements for major live festivals, shows and stadium concerts. Prior to joining Red TX in 2008, Nesham had recorded some of the biggest music events of the 21st century, including the Concert for Diana and Live Earth at Wembley Stadium and led Zeppelin at the O2. Life at Red TX has been equally busy, recording numerous projects including The Rolling Stones in Hyde Park, Monsters of Rock at Donnington; Nelson Mandela 46664 Concert; Unity – A Tribute to Stephen Lawrence at London’s O2 Arena and Chime For Change at Twickenham.

Tim Summerhayes, CEO of Red TX, says: “Ollie is an extremely talented music mix engineer who is liked and respected by all our broadcast and production company clients. His in-depth technical knowledge and his calm approach to even the most stressful of situations mean that he can always be relied on the capture the sound perfectly. When you are dealing with the live broadcast of a major music event there are no second chances – the sound has to be right first time, and our clients know that this is what Ollie will deliver.”
Nesham began his career in sound by engineering at local venues for small bands. After completing a course in Sound Engineering at Gateway/Kingston University, Nesham worked in television as a sound recordist on various documentary programmes. In 2004 he joined Sanctuary Mobiles, which became Fleetwood Mobiles in 2006. In 2008 he left to join the newly formed Red TX. Nesham’s award-winning projects have included Girls Aloud’s Tangled Up DVD, which won him an MPG Award for Best Live Sound Recording and The Cream Reunion, which won a TEC Award for Excellence in Remote Recording.
Red TX is now gearing up for the summer festival and concert season, traditionally its busiest time of year, in which it typically records up to 400 bands.

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About Red TX:
Red TX provides a comprehensive concert recording and broadcast service to the music and television industries. The company has state-of-the-art mobile recording facilities and can handle projects of any size or complexity. As well as recording audio for broadcast, the company also records live music events for subsequent release on CD or DVD. www.red-tx.com

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Visual Unity and XroadMedia Deliver OTT Personalization Through vuDiscovery™

Leading OTT platform and multiscreen solution provider, Visual Unity Global has announced a strategic partnership with XroadMedia, a leading provider of content discovery, recommendation and targeting services. In this partnership XroadMedia will be delivering its advanced personalization services to power vuDiscovery™, the new content discovery service of Visual Unity’s award winning vuMedia™ platform.

vuDiscoveryTM will be powered by Ncanto, XroadMedia’s distinctive content discovery software that finds relevant content according to the consumers’ behavior, interest and social profiles. Service providers and content owners will be able to maximize their revenue streams by blending business goals with user profiles. This provides operational cost savings, thanks to the unique architecture and standards based API connectivity of vuDiscoveryTM.

vuDiscoveryTM will offer the following benefits to companies in the broadcast, media and Internet industries:
• Reducing churn through engaged and satisfied consumers
• Enabling new revenue streams in the monetization of OTT content or targeted advertising services
• Flexibly adapting to available metadata and subscriber behavior
• Dynamic scaling from small trial installations to millions of users
• Enhancing the user experience of TV-everywhere deployments
• Shortest time to market and lowest total cost of ownership – quick deployment, straightforward integration and easy customization thanks to the flexible architecture and pre-integration into vuMediaTM

Tomas Petru, CEO of Visual Unity Global says, “XroadMedia has some of the most experienced experts in recommendation engines and targeting technologies. This partnership will take our vuMediaTM platform to the next level. The new vuDiscoveryTM service will provide our clients with best-in-class search and discovery capabilities in digital media today.”

Adolf Proidl, CEO and Co-Founder of XroadMedia says, “Ncanto has been developed with the ultimate goal to solve the biggest problem for consumers – how to find and enjoy the content they are really interested in – anywhere and anytime. Being part of a world class platform such as vuMediaTM allows us to offer content discovery services on a much larger scale and to a wider audience.”

First products and services with vuDiscoveryTM are currently in the rollout phase. More partnerships and projects will be announced throughout 2014.

Gabriel Dusil, Chief Marketing and Corporate Strategy Officer, adds: “A recommendation engine is not just about content suggestions, it’s about meaningful and personal engagement with subscribers. vuDiscoveryTM is not just a feature that enhances the user interface in our OTT platform, it is ultimately an enabler of incremental revenue streams for content owners and distributors.”

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About Visual Unity Global

Visual Unity Global is a global provider of video and digital media solutions, enabling our clients to deliver premium quality video content over the internet. Our clients can measure, analyse 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 vuMedia™ platform helps broadcasters and content owners control how their brand and assets are managed and monetized in the multiscreen environment. vuMedia™ is a highly scalable and a modular architecture, delivering a cutting-edge live viewing experience on the web or any mobile or connected device – all of which can be deployed into existing workflows and business processes.

Visual Unity is based in Prague, London, Munich, Nairobi and Los Angeles.

For further information, please visit www.visualunity.com, info@visualunity.com

About XroadMedia

At XroadMedia (pronounced “Crossroad Media“) we have developed the next generation of content discovery, recommendation and targeting solution – Ncanto. Based on more than a decade of product and market research, as well as customer deployments in the Internet, media and broadcast industries, Ncanto is an innovative back-end solution, which is optimized for cloud- and server-based deployments. Ncanto boosts our customers’ profits and revenues by uniquely combining user taste with our customers’ requirements and business models. Thanks to our flexible architecture and standards based API connectivity we even help our customers to reduce integration costs and time-to-market to an absolute minimum compared to competitive solutions in the market.

XroadMedia was founded by leading industry experts in the areas of content discovery & navigation and former management team members of APRICO Solutions, a venture of Royal Philips Electronics. Our core business is to help our customers strengthen their existing revenue streams and to generate new opportunities by assisting their customers – the consumer – in mastering the flood of digital assets and diversity of content consumption devices. XroadMedia is headquartered in Vienna, Austria, with a second office in London, United Kingdom.

For further information, please visit www.xroadmedia.com, info@xroadmedia.com

DPA Microphones Helps Steve Browell Capture Unique Car Sounds

Recording audio for film and TV within the confines of a car is hard enough, but actually capturing the sheer range of sounds that comprise car noise is an entirely different level of challenge. This, however, is something of a specialty for freelance sound effects editor Steve Browell who uses a range of DPA microphones and a variety of techniques to achieve spectacular results.

Browell, whose recent projects have included recording sound effects for Scarlett Johansson’s latest film Under the Skin, directed by Jonathan Glazer, says: “What I love about the job is that it’s so varied. From enhancing the physical sounds on screen to bringing inanimate objects to life; from designing effects to add to the emotion of the story to recording original sounds for each film, there is always a new challenge.”

Browell’s work involves many different locations, from race-tracks to mansion houses, from anechoic chambers to scrap yards. With him go a matched pair of DPA’s d:dicate™ 4011C Compact Cardioid Recording Microphones and a selected pair of d:screet™ 4061 Omnidirectional Miniature Microphones, which were supplied by DPA’s UK distributor Sound Network. Browell also owns a pair of d:dicate 4021 Compact Cardioid Recording Microphones in an DPA X/Y setup that have been customised to fit into a Rycote windshield.

“I have always liked the sound DPA microphones capture,” he says. “When I started my career I was involved in a lot of music recording and I can remember the first time I used a pair of DPA d:dicate 4011s when they were still Brüel and Kjaer. I loved the amazingly detailed and natural sound they were able to capture; it was like hearing the sound from the live source again. From then on I have always wanted to own my own pair.”

Browell first started experimenting with car recordings when he was asked to capture car sounds for a film he was working on. “Cars are fascinating machines that create a symphony of sound,” he says. “Also I liked the physical challenge of where and how to place microphones on a moving vehicle and still get a decent sounding recording with as little vibration and wind buffeting as possible.”


He explains that much of the action in Under the Skin takes place in the interior of a Mercedes Sprinter van. “To get a really authentic sound and the right coverage I spent a day recording the van with a multi-mic setup covering different aspects of the interior, the engine and the exhaust.”

Browell has been able to hone his techniques, not to mention widen the library of different cars he has captured, with work on the Need for Speed computer game franchise. As he says, though, it’s a delicate balance between the shielding stopping wind noise and it starting to colour the source sound.

“I also had to find materials that would withstand the high temperatures and a few Rycote windshields got burnt in the process,” he explains. “The McLaren MP4 12c was particularly bad for this; on overrun you can get a flame of three foot out of the exhaust. It can also be a problem fixing the microphones onto the cars and not damaging the paint and bodywork, which is important when some of them are valued at over $1m. Each car’s shape is so different and I need to be extremely flexible with my methods to get the microphones into a sweet spot: out of the direct airflow around the car but also avoiding some of the high temperatures and trying to dampen some of the vibration.”

For the future he says he would definitely like to own more DPA microphones, but adds that remembering petrol helps, too…

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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

Amptec and DPA Host Microphone Workshop With Balthazar

Belgium rock band Balthazar recently threw open the doors to one of their sound checks so that 45 audio engineers and musicians in Brussels could see how DPA microphones are used during the band’s live shows.

This unique workshop, organised by DPA’s Belgium distributor Amptec, was supported by Balthazar’s Front of House engineer Filip Tanghe who took part in a question and answer session with the invited audience, during which he discussed microphone and mixing techniques.

Dany Meeuwissen, Pro Audio Sales Manager at Amptec, says: “The workshop took place at the Ancienne Belgique concert hall where the band were playing a gig later that evening. After a general introduction to DPA’s microphone technology, the audience was able to listen to the band soundchecking and hear solo examples of the various DPA microphones that they use on stage. These include four d:facto™ Vocal Microphones, two d:dicate™ 4011C Compact Recording Microphones, which are used for overheads, and three d:vote™ 4099 Instrument Microphones, which are used on the snare and floor tom drums.”

Originally from Ghent and Kortrijk, Balthazar is a five-piece rock band that has been receiving fantastic reviews across Europe as the support act for Editors. The band is now touring in its own right and has made DPA microphones an integral part of its tour equipment.

“When it comes to vocal microphones, DPA’s d:facto is my first choice because it has such great resistance to feedback without sacrificing any detail,” says Filip Tanghe. “The sound it produces is very full and rounded, with no harshness at all. I find it incredibly musical.”

Tanghe engineers approximately 130 live gigs a year for Balthazar and now uses DPA microphones all the time. When Balthazar are not touring he works with Belgian singer songwriter Hannelore Bedert, who tours with an 11-piece band consisting of horns, strings, drums, guitars, keyboards and backing vocalists.

“I use DPA microphones for Hannelore’s live gigs as well and they certainly make those set-ups a lot easier,” Tanghe says.

-ends-

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

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