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Archive by Sue Sillitoe

The Music Producers Guild Holds Its Second Scottish Speakeasy

Following on from the success of its regular Speakeasy networking evenings in London and the East Midlands, the Music Producers Guild is now extending the initiative to Scotland where a Caledonian MPG Speakeasy was held to tie in with goNorth.

MPG Executive Directors and producers Mick Glossop and Andrew Hunt hosted the event, which was held at McPhabb’s bar in Charing Cross, Glasgow, and was organised by Caroline Cooper and Stewart Henderson of the Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA).

“Andrew and I were in Scotland, having once again taken part in the annual goNorth conference and festival in Inverness,” Mick Glossop says. “We held a Speakeasy after last year’s goNorth and it was such a success that we decided to hold another this year. It was the perfect way to end our trip and we welcomed the opportunity to reconnect with producers we had met in the past and forge stronger links with other recording professionals north of the border. We hope that there will be many more opportunities in the future.”

This year’s goNorth attracted over 100 leading industry players from the fields of music, screen, broadcast and gaming. The conference included daytime panels and workshops, and provided showcasing opportunities for artists and bands from all over Europe.

Mick Glossop and Andrew Hunt were there to promote the value of music production to artists, musicians, producers, recording engineers, record company executives, publishers and managers. They took part in a lively discussion panel entitled Meet The Producers, which was moderated by Mick Glossop and featured contributions from producers Tony Doogan, Simon Gogerly, Gilles Perring and Scottish recording artist, Roddy Hart.

“There is a strong, vibrant and incredibly enthusiastic music industry in Scotland, supported by several organisations, including the SMIA, Creative Scotland and Highlands and Islands Enterprises, with which the MPG now has strong links,” says Andrew Hunt. “The sense of community in Scottish music is markedly apparent – something that you don’t often witness in London, which is a real shame.”

Glossop adds: “MPG will continue to develop the links we have established in Scotland, and make every attempt to create further opportunities to promote the MPG and the value of music production, north of the border.”

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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

The Music Producers Guild Criticizes YouTube

London, UK: The Music Producers Guild is lending its support to Independent record labels as they battle YouTube for a better deal for continued access to YouTube’s online video platform.

In a statement issued today, the MPG board says:

“With regards to the recent dispute between YouTube and independent labels and the unfavourable terms which YouTube seeks, without negotiation, to impose upon independent record labels, the Music Producers Guild is deeply concerned about Google’s apparent abuse of its monopoly and associated market power and the adverse effect this will have on the wider industry and funds available for innovative and creative content production in the future.

“Independent record producers everywhere, in common with recording artists, rely upon the income from sales and streaming of music files, the production of which they have been responsible, often with little or no credit (itself ironic in this digital age). Attempts by international media conglomerates to throttle negotiation and impose unfavourable and unjust terms upon independent record companies, whom they perceive to be “small fry” and thus “fair game”, should be opposed at every opportunity.”

For more information on this subject and the MPG’s response to it, please visit
www.mpg.org.uk

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.

3TS Capital Partners Invests 7.2 million US$ into Visual Unity

Leading OTT platform and multiscreen solution provider, Visual Unity announces an investment of 7.2 million US$ (5.2 million Euros) by 3TS Capital Partners, the growth capital technology fund. This investment will strengthen Visual Unity’s delivery of end-to-end OTT solutions on a global scale.

The investment of 3TS, into Visual Unity is from their Cisco, EBRD, EIF and OTP backed growth capital fund, which focuses on investments in fast growing technology companies primarily in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). Visual Unity will use the investment to support the growth of an international customer base for vuMedia™, its flagship OTT platform. vuMedia™ enables content owners and distributors to monetize their video assets over the Internet.

The company’s goal is to be the leading provider of OTT and multiscreen solutions. This investment will hasten leading-edge development of vuMedia™, Visual Unity’s world-class digital content delivery and smooth-multiscreen-user-experience product. 3TS is initially acquiring a minority stake in Visual Unity and commits to supporting the company at both a strategic and operational level.

Tomas Petru, Visual Unity’s Founder and CEO, says: “This is an exciting time for Visual Unity, with 3TS taking a key role in the future success of our company. Our robust, end-to-end product is already used by our customers worldwide. We support close to 10.000 different screens and devices in conjunction with every conceivable monetization method. 3TS’ diligent examination of, and investment into our product portfolio not only attests to its innovation, but will be instrumental in fueling our sales, marketing and development expansion.”

“Our strategic investment into Visual Unity will enable a strong focus in product development, while reaching previously untapped markets around the world,” commented Daniel Lynch, Managing Partner of 3TS Capital. “We look forward to establishing Visual Unity as a global leader in OTT and multiscreen products and services.”

“This investment from 3TS is coming at an ideal juncture for Visual Unity, in helping us realize our global expansion ambitions in response to overwhelming customer demand,” comments Tony Hasek, Chief Commercial Officer at Visual Unity. “This investment will provide the resources needed to service key markets around the world, and capitalize on the amazing growth opportunity in OTT and video streaming services.”

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About Visual Unity
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 Los Angeles, Munich, Prague, Moscow, Istanbul, Dubai, Hong Kong. For further information, please visit www.visualunity.com, info@visualunity.com
About 3TS Capital Partners
3TS Capital Partners (www.3tscapital.com) is one of the leading private equity and venture capital firms in Central and Eastern Europe operating through offices in Budapest, Bucharest, Istanbul, Prague, Vienna and Warsaw. 3TS targets investments in growth sectors including Technology & Internet (Software, Hardware, Mobile, Ecommerce, Social, etc.), Media & Communications and Technology-Enabled Services. Investors in the current and earlier 3TS funds totaling over € 300 million include Cisco, EIF, EBRD, OTP, Sitra, 3i and KfW among others.
3TS Capital Partners, 3TS and the 3TS logo are registered trademarks or trademarks of 3TS Capital Partners Ltd. and/or its affiliates. For more Information Please contact Anikó Horváth ahorvath@3tscapital.com, tel. +43-699-10313369 or Managing Partner Daniel Lynch dlynch@3tscapital, tel. +420 225 990 856.

Robben Ford Sounds Spectacular In Asia Thanks To DPA

American blues, jazz and rock guitarist Robben Ford delivered an outstanding live performance when he and his band played Shatin Town Hall Auditorium in Hong Kong recently.

The sound quality was enhanced by the use of DPA microphones, a selection of which played a key role in ensuring the success of the event.

“As a concert promoter for over ten years, I have to say that Robben’s concert was our BEST in terms of sound and audio quality,” says Mr. Clarence Chang, from Jazz World Live Series that organized the concert. “This is all thanks to the great engineer Richard Wheeler and DPA Microphones.”

Named as one of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of the 20th Century by Musician Magazine, Robben Ford was a member of the LA Express and has collaborated with some of the greatest musicians of all time including Joni Mitchell, Miles Davis and George Harrison.

For his Hong Kong performance, Ford used a DPA d:facto™ Vocal Microphone, while his guitar amps and the bass amp were picked up by DPA d:dicate™ 2011C Twin Diaphragm Compact Cardioid Recording Microphones.

Sound engineer Richard Wheeler used a d:dicate 2011C microphone for the kick drum, positioning it half way into the hole where it delivered a clean, punchy and powerful sound. The top of the snare was also miked using a d:dicate 2011C, which was twinned with a DPA d:vote™ 4099 Instrument Microphone positioned on the bottom of the snare. All of the other drums were picked up individually using d:vote™ 4099 Instrument Microphones in close proximity, while a perfect stereo image for the live mix was captured using a pair of DPA d:dicate 4011A stereo matched overhead recording microphones.

Robben Ford’s set also featured a Hammond B3 organ with a Leslie speaker. Two d:vote 4099 Instrument Microphones were used to pick up the top spinning horn rotor in stereo, while the bass rotor was captured using another d:dicate 2011C microphone.

Commenting on the sound quality after the show, Wheeler says: “I was amazed by it, especially the sound from the d:facto Vocal Microphone. It sounded just like Robben himself.”

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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 Help Solve A Challenging Acoustic Problem

As a company that prides itself on delivering great quality sound, Portsmouth-based MLS Audio has no hesitation in specifying the best equipment on the market to achieve its desired results.

It is therefore no surprise that, when faced with a tricky sound reinforcement project, the company turned to DPA Microphones for help.

Sound engineer and MLS Audio founder Guy Morris says: “The car manufacturer Bentley was holding a private corporate event at the Royal Exhange in London and we were approached by event organiser, Beyond Certainty, to handle the audio. The original brief was for ‘a few singers and a band’. This became ‘a few singers placed around the room on podiums with a band at one end’ to the final translation of ‘six opera and West End show artists and a 10-piece orchestra’.”

Given the architecture of the Royal Exchange this wasn’t as easy as it might seem. The roof alone is 50m high, while the interior has 95% reflective surfaces thanks to ample use of glass, marble, stone and tiles.

“The artists had already specified that their preference was to use headset microphones and immediately chose single ear versions of DPA’s d:fine™ Headset Microphones,” Morris says. “The orchestra, however, was another issue because we had 10 instruments to amplify in a space that was acoustically very challenging. We also had very limited set up time because the Royal Exchange is open to the public until 6pm and Bentley’s event was due to start at 7pm.”

A lot of discussion took place, during which various microphone placement options were considered. Despite the temptation to deal with the time constraints by going for a simple spot mic set up, it was obvious that the acoustics of the venue – and the fact that the artists were on IEMs – demanded a different solution.

“The artists required total clarity from different parts of the orchestra for their performances and spot mics in that acoustic environment just weren’t going to deliver that,” Morris says. “We spoke to James Lawford at LMC Audio Systems, our preferred equipment supplier, and he suggested DPA d:vote™ 4099 Instrument Microphones.”

MLS Audio bought DPA’s recently introduced d:vote™ Classic 10 Touring Kit, which incorporates 10 d:vote microphones, adapters and cables, as well as a selection of 25 clips for a variety of instruments.

“The selection of instrument mounts was marvellous,” Morris says. “There were even two magnetic mounts for placing inside a piano with the lid open or shut. This was very useful as our orchestra was using a Baby Grand piano (shut), three violins, a viola, a cello, an upright bass, a flute and an Oboe.”

Musicians are notoriously precious about their valuable instruments and are understandably wary of using clips in case they cause damage. However the DPA mounts were so intuitive that Guy Morris had no trouble persuading this orchestra to use them.

“The mounts are made of a non-abrasive rubber material that every musician was happy to use,” he says. “In fact, I got the feeling they had used d:vote 4099 Instrument Microphones before because they were all able to place and fit the mount themselves with hardly any guidance from the sound crew.”

Morris adds that the benefits of using DPA microphones was obvious from the outset.

“With every mic offering the same consistent neutral sound, it was a simple tweak of EQ to suit each instrument. The gain was ample with a quiet noise floor, and the placing of the mic (although critical for some instruments as they are of a directional, supercardioid pattern) offered excellent results.”

Morris used the included XLR connection, via DPA’s microdot connector, which allows for various interfaces and wireless systems.

“This was really useful as each violinist needed to easily unplug between their performances and take their instruments away to ensure they were correctly tuned for the next set,” Morris says. “Getting a good balance of so many instruments close miked in a very limited time for both the orchestra on the FOH and for the singers hearing it in their IEMs would normally take far more time than we had available. The d:vote 4099 Instrument Microphones played a big part in getting us ready in time before the doors opened and the guests came in.”

Apart from sound quality and versatility, Morris says the other advantage of using DPA d:vote’s was that the orchestra looked very tidy on stage. No mic stands were visible and the singers were able to hear their key instruments, while guests were treated to some excellent renditions of West End show classics.

“The DPA d:vote microphones were a true problem solver for our challenging scenario and the all important factor was a satisfied end client,” Guy Morris adds.

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

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Jesse French Wins the Chance To Convert To Prism Sound

Delicious Audio subscriber Jesse French is now the proud owner of a Prism Sound Titan audio interface after taking part in a competition that ran in a recent edition of the online newsletter ((http://audio.thedelimagazine.com/).

“I wanted to upgrade my audio interface and when I saw the competition I realised this was the perfect opportunity,” Jesse French says. “I’ve researched the company’s products and I’m very excited about winning a Titan.”

Internationally acclaimed company Prism Sound specialises in manufacturing high-quality professional digital audio equipment for the broadcast, film, music production and telecommunications sectors. The company’s product range includes the award-winning 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’s family of audio interfaces includes Orpheus, Lyra (I and II), Atlas and Titan, which was launched to huge critical acclaim at the AES Convention in New York in October 2013. This multi-channel interface offers recording professionals ultimate quality analogue and digital I/O for Mac or Windows PC at sample rates up to 192kHz via a simple USB interface. Titan has eight analogue inputs, eight analogue outputs and S/PDIF and TOSLINK optical digital I/O ports. The optical ports can also be used for ADAT, giving Titan a maximum capability of 18 concurrent input and output channels plus dual stereo headphones. The unit also features Prism Sound’s new MDIO interface miniature expansion slot, which can be used to expand its connectivity, for example by adding a direct connection to Pro Tools|HDX systems.

For Jesse French, the opportunity to own a Prism Sound audio interface couldn’t come at a better time as he is soon to graduate from Hampshire College in Massachusetts where he has been studying music performance and production.

“I am currently working on my thesis, which is on alternative ways to distribute music online,” he explains. “I also play in a band – Young Tricksters (http://youngtricksters.bandcamp.com/) – and I plan on continuing to play out and record after a graduate.”

Prior to acquiring his Titan, Jesse was using a low end 8-channel interface and running Logic. The ability to record 16 channels means that he can now upgrade his recording set up.

“When I heard I’d won the competition, it took a while to sink in,” he says. “I didn’t really believe it until the unit arrived and now I’m really excited to own it and want to say a big thank you to everyone at Prism Sound and Delicious Audio who made this possible.”

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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 Miniature Microphones Chosen For The Bodyguard

The hit stage musical of The Bodyguard, currently playing at the Adelphi Theatre in London, is relying on DPA’s d:screet™ 4060 Omnidirectional Miniature Microphones to provide amplification for all members of the cast who have spoken lines.

Written by Alexander Dinelaris and based on the 1992 film starring Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner, the stage version of The Bodyguard features Beverley Knight in the role of Rachel Marron, with former X Factor winner Alexandra Burke taking over from June 2nd 2014.

DPA microphones have long been popular with the sound teams working on theatre productions, particularly those in the West End and on Broadway. The rugged nature of the company’s miniature microphones, combined with their ability to deliver great quality audio even when hidden in wigs and costumes, have made them enduring favourites.

Ania Klimowicz, Deputy Head of Sound for The Bodyguard, says DPA’s d:screet 4060s were chosen because sound designer Richard Brooker and director Thea Sharrock didn’t want any microphones to be visible to the audience. The microphones were supplied by Autograph.

“We use paint, tape and make-up on the mics to make them look as invisible in the actors’ hair or wig as possible,” Klimowicz explains. “We mainly use ‘mic clips’ and occasionally elastic to fix the mics to the performer’s head. Male actors with shaved heads are probably our biggest challenge – in those cases we abandon the usual centre top of forehead fitting and fit the mic over the ear.”

There are 32 actors involved in this current production of The Bodyguard, with 22 performing in each show. There is also a 10-piece band, a three person sound crew and a backstage cast of 45. When it comes to sound, the show is operated by one person who live mixes the band and vocals, as well as firing the sound effects.

“Three members of the cast are ‘double mic-ed’ meaning they wear a main and backup DPA d:screet 4060 head microphone,” Klimowicz says. “Some of the girls wear a headset, a head-mic and use a handheld microphone at various points during the show. Generally the sound for the spoken parts of the show is reinforced but remains naturalistic. This contrasts with numbers such as Queen of the Night or So Emotional, which are set during concerts and therefore need to feel big and more rock ‘n’ roll.”

Klimowicz adds that most of the show jumps in dynamics, except for a couple of numbers such as Run to You which is mixed more like a musical theatre number.

“We use the head-mics here as the song moves as part of the story and a hand-held would somewhat break with the audiences’ suspension of disbelief,” she explains.

Although sweat and make-up can be an issue for some stage productions, Klimowicz says they are not really a problem on The Bodyguard. None the less, the entire sound system including all the microphones are carefully checked before each performance to make sure everything works.

“The DPA d:screet 4060 microphones sound great and are also very reliable. We rarely have an issue with them,” she says. “Given the amount of wear and tear they face on a daily basis, they are incredibly rugged. They are also very small, which makes them much easier to hide in hair and wigs.”

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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

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

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Stay up to date on the latest technology news. Select press representatives post company news several times a day. Check back often to get the latest news on product releases, mergers and acquisitions, and product applications. To be included in this virtual press conference, please contact The Wire.

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