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Masque Sound Custom Audio Equipment Package Helps Audiences Discover Charming New Musical, FOUND

NEW YORK, NY, OCTOBER 30, 2014 – When the ambitious and original new musical FOUND opened at the Atlantic Theater Company’s Linda Gross Theater on October 14, Sound Designer Ken Travis enlisted the services of Masque Sound, a leading theatrical sound reinforcement, installation and design company, to provide a custom audio equipment package to help audiences discover this Off-Broadway gem. FOUND at Atlantic Theater Company. Photos by Kevin Thomas Garcia. Photo 1

FOUND isn’t just based on a true story; it’s based on hundreds of them. FOUND is an original musical featuring scores of surprising and eccentric discarded notes and letters that have been “found” in the real world by every-day people. Inspired by actual events, the show follows Davy who, along with his two best friends, is lost and broke. When he finds a strangely revealing note on his windshield meant for someone else, it sparks an outlandish idea that finds him and his companions on a wild, comedic journey. By bringing a host of real notes and letters from Davy Rothbart’s popular FOUND Magazine to irreverent theatrical life, this insightful new musical tells a story of ambition, betrayal and loyalty while celebrating the weirdness in us all.

Travis’ biggest challenge in designing the sound was adhering to the very quick amplification changes in the theater, which was previously an old church. “Because of its architectural design, you can’t really hit the walls and you can’t activate the room,” says Travis. “We needed to be able to go from really loud to super intimate within a second and allow the audience’s ears to settle into that adjustment. It took a little while to figure out how we would accomplish that without losing any energy and without having the audience members miss a single word.”
FOUND at Atlantic Theater Company. Photos by Kevin Thomas Garcia. Photo 2
For Travis, equipment selection proved essential to the show’s success. He found what he was looking for with a speaker system featuring d&b audiotechnik products. The sound system features a Q-Series rig, along with E3 loudspeakers for delays and B2 subwoofers. “In a matter of one minute, the actors can go through 10 songs, and, stylistically, each song is 100 percent different,” adds Travis. “It can range from something that pays homage to Queen and Bruce Springsteen, to 80s metal bands and country music. Dynamically, the shifts are huge, and the d&b system allowed us to really bring out the style of the various music genres in a rapid succession.”

Additionally, Travis wanted to ensure that no microphones were visible on the cast during the production, so he relied on Sennheiser MKE1 Professional Lavalier Microphones, along with one of Masque Sound’s pre-built Sennheiser 2000 Series wireless transmitter kits. Designed for quick and easy dispatch, Masque Sound’s pre-built kits provide 24 wireless channels and are targeted for the Off Broadway and regional markets. The orchestra was mic’ed with DPA 4011 Cardioid Microphones, DPA 4099 Instrument Microphones, Schoeps MK4 Cardioid Capsules and Beyerdynamic M 160 Hypercardioid Ribbon Microphones. Masque Sound also provided an Avid VENUE SC48 digital console.

Since the orchestra is present on stage, with musicians spread between a few small pods, Travis wanted the sound design to creatively capture and evoke a natural and intimate sound. To accomplish this, he utilized a Meyer Sound LCS LX-300 delay matrix. “We wanted the orchestra to be able to go from a chamber sounding musical, involving violin, cello, guitar, bass, drums and piano, to a heavy rock sound,” he says. “We used the delay matrix to time every single instrument on stage so that when we were amplifying it, it really sounded like it was coming from the specific instrument. We also divided the stage into zones, which ensures that the engineer has a lot of cues for the actors.”
FOUND at Atlantic Theater Company. Photos by Kevin Thomas Garcia. Photo 3
Furthermore, with regards to timing, this production requires that the audio is perfectly synched up to the show’s video images. Travis relied on MIDI to achieve this, using one big MIDI loop to ensure that the design teams could send information back and forth. This was an easy way to simplify a very technically challenging show on an Off-Broadway budget.

“This was a great team effort,” concludes Travis. “My associate, Justin Stasiw, A1 Jillian Walker and A2 Laura Brauner all did a wonderful job, and it was terrific that the whole design team was able to come together for this fun and original production. Masque Sound was once again great to work with and very accommodating in providing me with the equipment I wanted to use.”

FOUND began previews on September 18 and is slated to run through November 9 at The Atlantic Theater Company’s Linda Gross Theater, located at 336 West 20th Street in Manhattan. To learn more about FOUND, visit atlantictheater.org.

About Masque Sound
Founded in 1936 by a trio of Broadway stagehands, Masque Sound evolved into one of NYC’s most successful theatrical sound reinforcement, installation and design companies specializing in theatrical, house of worship, sporting, corporate, TV broadcast and live concert events. Celebrating more than 75 years in the industry, the company is lead by Geoff Shearing, the firm’s 3rd generation owner, and Vice President and General Manager Stephanie Hansen. The company also operates Florida-based Professional Wireless Systems, a leader in the development and implementation of wireless technology. Credits range from major Broadway shows and tours including “Phantom of the Opera,” “Mamma Mia!,” “Lion King,” “Jersey Boys,” “Memphis,” “The Book of Mormon,” “Newsies,” “Once” and “Kinky Boots” to yearly Super Bowl broadcasts and installations of varying sizes, including New York’s New Victory Theater and historic St. Bartholomew’s Church. Masque Sound’s 70,000 sq. ft. corporate headquarters and main assembly facility is located at 21 East Union Ave., East Rutherford, NJ, 20 minutes from midtown Manhattan. For more information, call (201) 939-8666 or visit www.MasqueSound.com.

Michael Feinstein and the Pasadena POPS Take to the Stage with DPA Microphones for Summer Concert Series

Company’s d:facto™ Vocal and d:vote™ 4099 Instrument Mics are mainstays for all recent performances

LOS ANGELES, CA, OCTOBER 30, 2014 – Michael Feinstein and the Pasadena POPS recently concluded their 2014 Sierra Acura Summer Concert Series at the LA County Arboretum to an audience of nearly 5,000 people. DPA microphones was among the star-studded lineup, not only for this concert series but for Feinstein’s additional performances, with its d:facto™ Vocal Microphone and d:vote™ 4099 Instrument Microphones for Piano.Michael Feinstein Pasadena dfacto 1

Michael Feinstein’s long-time Production Manager and FOH Engineer Andy Brattain was introduced to DPA Microphones a few years ago at a show at the Palladium in London. Brattain secured the mics for Feinstein’s Jazz at Lincoln Center Series and has been using the microphones ever since.

“We were heading out on the road and had a lot of different types of shows scheduled throughout this past summer, which included everything from the outdoor symphony shows to a small trio show in a club setting,” says Brattain. “I made sure that I had a couple of DPA mics with me and this is when we really started liking them, as they worked perfectly in so many different applications with all different types of sound systems.”
Michael Feinstein Pasadena dfacto 2
As a baritone, DPA’s d:facto Vocal Microphone matches well with Feinstein’s voice. “He can get a little hot on the low end, but the d:facto is able to smooth some of that out without any coloration,” adds Brattain. “Also, the proximity of where Michael holds the mic in relation to his mouth, whether really close or really far away, works nicely with the d:facto. He has the freedom to move around and the d:facto evens out the sound, leaving me with minimal EQing.”

In addition to the d:facto, Brattain relies on DPA’s d:vote 4099 Instrument Microphones for Piano. “We play with the piano lid closed for 99 percent of our performances and with most microphones you are fighting the low end that produces a harsh sound. With the d:votes you can position the mics exactly how you want and when you close the lid you have this great open and natural sound,” continues Brattain. “I’ve had an engineer tell me it’s the best sounding close-lid piano they’ve heard. It’s such an easy installation too, some pianists don’t want me to tape mics to their piano, but with the d:vote magnet mounts I don’t have to worry about scratches or a gluey mess, it leaves everyone happy.”Michael Feinstein Pasadena dfacto 3

Not only is Brattain happy with the quality of DPA’s microphones but the system tech and other FOH engineers that were at the Pasadena POP performances commented on how well they sounded. “Everyone was pretty blown away about not having to do a lot of EQing, just take the high pass up a little bit and call it a day, it was great,” concludes Brattain.

Feinstein is a multi-platinum-selling, two-time Emmy and five-time Grammy® Award-nominated entertainer dubbed “The Ambassador of the Great American Songbook.”

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 always provide its customers with the absolute finest possible microphone solutions for all its markets, which include live sound, installation, recording, theatre and broadcast. When it comes to the design process, DPA takes no shortcuts. Nor does the company compromise on its manufacturing process, which is 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 on DPA Microphones, please visit www.dpamicrophones.com.

Deutsche Welle Calls on RTW TouchMonitor Range

Broadcaster Selects RTW TM3, TM7 and TM9 Units to Ensure EBU-R128-Compliant Program Levels at Berlin and Bonn Production Sites

COLOGNE, GERMANY, OCTOBER 27, 2014 – When Deutsche Welle, Germany’s premier international broadcaster and a member of the ARD network of German public broadcasters, sought to make its programming compliant with the EBU-R128 loudness mandate, it turned to RTW, the market leader in visual audio meters and monitoring devices, and the company’s TouchMonitor line of audio meters, to make the transition. With their ability to offer intuitive, precise monitoring, along with their ease of installation, RTW’s TM3, TM7 and TM9 TouchMonitor meters were the perfect fit for the job.RTW_TM3_DE_IB_134_Stereo_Num_ATSC

Deutsche Welle first took delivery of the RTW TouchMonitor units last September, employing a combination of 65 TM3, TM7 and TM9 meters with various configurations and feature sets in several recording studios, editing suites and workplaces in its Bonn and Berlin facilities. AVS Medientechnik GmbH, based in Berlin, oversaw the procurement and implementation of the units.

According to Hannes Brandt, technical assistant at Deutsche Welle’s Berlin site, the broadcaster chose RTW on the recommendation of an ARD working group that had tested loudness meters from several manufacturers. He also noted his company had previous experience with the RTW metering systems. “Our production workplaces were already using digital and/or analog peak meters by RTW, as well as metering instruments from their PortaMonitor series, and the positive experience we had with those products, along with RTW customer support, also contributed to the decision to go with RTW.”

Engineers working on various broadcast shows Deutsche Welle’s Berlin and Bonn sites currently employ the RTW TM3 units in a combined setup with the existing RTW PortaMonitor, which is used for monitoring level, loudness, frequency response and phase of analog and digital signals systems, as well as the RTW TM7 units at the company’s dubbing suites (mainly the TM7-VID version, which is installed in the company’s Tektronix mainframes). The TM9 units are being used with an installed radar option, for a more detailed look into the composition of the metering data.

The RTW TM3, TM7 and TM9 units are highly modular, which has made installation into the Deutsche Welle workflow straightforward. The majority of the meters there comprise typical desktop units well-equipped, along with TM7-VID modules supplied with 19-inch rack-mount adapters for waveform monitors as well as TM9 OEM units for installation into mixing consoles. As with all members of RTW’s TouchMonitor family, the TM3, TM7 and TM9 TouchMonitor units can be enhanced with software licenses as future needs arise.
RTW_Touchmonitor_TM9_Screen_web
“We currently use a reference setting of either –17 LUFS or the traditional 0 dB QPPM,” Brandt says. “This allows our users to familiarize themselves with level adjustment based on loudness. However, we currently still support QPPM-based level adjustment. For that purpose, we configured two different layouts on the installed units. As soon as all workplaces are equipped with TM units and all users have undergone appropriate training, we will switch our in-house reference to –23 LUFS by changing the layout presets.

According to Brandt, another major benefit is the unlimited configurability of instrument layouts on the user interface. “This way, we can adjust our meter scales to the requirements at hand,” he notes. “In addition, the constant software refinement and the additional software options ensure maximum protection of our investments.”

The TM7 and TM9 versions offer a 16:9 touch-enabled TFT screen with a display size of 7 or 9 inches, respectively. The operator can quickly scale and place the instruments on the screen for maximum ease of use. With the SW20002 software license installed, the TM7 and TM9 include basic stereo-PPM instruments with analog scales (DIN +5, Nordic, British IIa, British IIb) and digital ones (0 to –60 dB, +3 to –60 dB TruePeak, Quasi-DIN, Quasi-Nordic, Quasi-British IIa, and Quasi-British IIb) as well as peak-hold and correlation meters. Additional features include loudness meters complying with current standards (EBU-R128, ITU-R BS.1770-3/1771-1, ATSC-A/85, ARIB, OP-59) and the MagicLRA instrument used for visualizing loudness range and the integrated loudness. This allows for a unique combined view of all relevant information.

In user mode, the operator can change the parameter settings. Moreover, the units include an SPL view that provides various weighting filters and integration times as well as reference-level parameters for calculating the SPL of an electric input signal. Other loudness-metering specific software modules, such as, for example, the logging-data server (software license SW20014), are unlocked as necessary. This feature adds a logging instrument to the software that allows for transferring metering data from several TouchMonitor units over Ethernet (TCP/IP) to a Windows-based computer running the Loudness Quality Logger (LQL) analysis software. Each TM7 or TM9 unit includes a 16-channel audio interface. Users can choose from a variety of I/O configurations in analog and/or digital formats. Alternatively, a 3G-SDI interface for up to 32 input channels can be implemented. With the SW20001 software expansion for multichannel support installed, the meters on the user interface show each stereo or surround input while the user can monitor and control them.

The compact TM3 features a 4.3-inch touch-enabled screen and a separate interface box. It handles analog and digital stereo signals (TM3) or 6-channel digital audio (TM3-6CH). In its standard configuration, the TM3 offers extensive loudness-metering functions compliant with all globally relevant standards (EBU R128, ITU-R BS.1770-3/1771-1, ATSC A/85, ARIB, OP-59) including single-channel and summing bargraphs, LRA, and numerical displays.

The TM3 offers the same functionality and user-friendly tools as the more advanced TM7 and TM9 at a minimum footprint and lower price. This makes it particularly suitable for journalist cubicles, editing suites, and small control rooms. The TM3 also includes the MagicLRA instruments, used in cooperation with the loudness metering. This instrument provides a quickly and clearly readable view of critical loudness parameters in context supported by its color, shape, and position on the metering scale and thus makes meeting all requirements a breeze.

For more information, please visit www.rtw.com.

About Deutsche Welle (DW)
Deutsche Welle (DW) is Germany’s international broadcaster, providing content in 30 languages on TV, radio, and the Internet. They represent Germany in the international media landscape and offer people on all continents independent information. In addition, they ensure uncensored reporting in restricted media markets and conflict zones. While the Bonn headquarters produce mainly radio features and multimedia contents for the website, their Berlin site is mostly in charge of productions for Deutsche Welle’s six TV channels. In total, Deutsche Welle employs more than 1500 permanent staff plus the same number of freelancers.

About RTW
RTW, based in Cologne (Germany), has nearly 50 years of experience in designing, producing, and marketing advanced recording-studio equipment, leading and innovating the market for high quality audio metering and monitoring tools. RTW operates a worldwide distribution and service network. For more information on RTW, visit www.rtw.com or call +49 221 709130.

SSL Duality Brings La Mansión Recording Studios to Next Commercial Level

“SSL was always the number one option because of the incredible sound and powerful workflow options”

MONTERREY, MEXICO – Originally built 15 year ago as a world-class private recording studio, La Mansión Recording Studios has become one of Mexico’s premiere commercial recording facilities with a Solid State Logic Duality console leading the way forward. Built from the ground up by the Malvicino Design Group, La Mansión is a destination multi-room facility serving the likes of Gordon Raphael, producer for The Strokes and Regina Spektor, 15-time Grammy winning sound engineer Benny Faccone and a long list of top music groups and artists including Intocable, Pablo Montero, Zurdok, PXNDX and Jumbo.

SSL Duality at La MansionSituated on a hilltop overlooking the city, with breathtaking views of the mountains, La Mansión offers four different recording/creative environments, with Duality in Studio A, the largest studio, deluxe hotel-level bedrooms, a kitchen and dining room, with private offices, rehearsal rooms and a home theater entertainment area. The facility is fancied with hand-laid marble, salam wood floors and mahogany-lined walls to provide an elegant creative and living space. Studio owner, Victoria Morales-Kühne, took charge of the facility and opened to the public two years ago.

“The studio was first built by my family and we used it as a private studio for 13 years,” explains Morales-Kühne. “This studio was world-class in every respect, with very pricey, but not very commercial, digital consoles in each room, and, while a creative haven for us and our musician friends, we didn´t really have to consider a client’s needs. After asking for ways to improve our offerings as a commercial studio, SSL was always the number one option because of the incredible sound and powerful workflow options. That is what led us to Duality being installed in our largest room.”

The industry-leading sound of Duality was apparent on the initial recordings of Morales-Kühne’s new project. “In the first week with Duality, I recorded the vocals for my upcoming single with Alejandro Rosso from Plastilina Mosh producing and we were both very excited about the workflow of the console. The second week saw Latin Grammy nominees A Band of Bitches recording and mixing their new single and they were extremely happy with the sound. We also had the opportunity to playback previously recorded material from our high grade digital console, and the quality difference was immediately obvious. The sound through Duality was noticeably tighter, wider and it really packed a punch.”

While having a great console is a necessity, equally important is having the manufacturer at the ready to back up the purchase. This is a hallmark service of SSL. “We were keenly aware of buying a product that not only moved us forward on the sonic front, but that was hands down backed by the manufacturer. SSL came highly recommended by everyone we spoke to and working with them has been a complete pleasure. All our clients are very anxious to use our Duality room.”

Solid State Logic is the world’s leading manufacturer of analogue and digital audio consoles and provider of creative tools for music, broadcast, live and post production professionals. For more information about our award-winning products, please visit: www.solidstatelogic.com.

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Classical Sensation Chad Lawson Reinvents Chopin with DPA Microphones

Unique Muted Hammer and Felt Sound Captured by Company’s d:dicate™ 4011A Cardioid Stereo Kit

DPA Microphones_Chad LawsonCHARLOTTE, NC, OCTOBER 23, 2014 – Debuting on iTunes Classical at #1 even before its official release and raising in the ranks on the Billboard Classical charts, The Chopin Variations by celebrated pianist and composer Chad Lawson, violinist Judy Kang and cellist Rubin Kodheli, takes the familiar sounds of Chopin and recasts each composition in a new light. To accomplish this, Lawson used his Steinway piano to create a slightly muted, ethereal sound, captured entirely by DPA microphones. The positioning of d:dicate 4011A Cardioid Stereo Kit was critical to translate the desired mood into Lawson’s latest recording.

Lawson wanted a mic solution that would illustrate the internal workings of his Steinway for his latest album, which was recorded in his home studio using the d:dicate 4011A Cardioid Stereo Kit. Introduced to him by an engineer during his previous record, Lawson now relies on the mics for projecting the most accurate natural sound of his piano.

“I have used many great microphones in major recording studios, and the pair of DPA 4011As really did the job by capturing every nuance of each note, giving me the exact sound I was looking to portray,” says Lawson. “I was trying to find a way to really highlight a certain sound, in addition to the movement of the piano action itself, and I found the 4011As simply recreated the entire life of the performance.”

DPA Microphones_Chad Lawson 3Breaking away from more traditional piano miking schemes where a stereo pair would be placed over the harp and sound board, Lawson experimented with the 4011As by placing the stereo pair over the hammers, just close enough to deliver a sense of the mechanical workings of the piano, but far enough away for the listener to hear the full, albeit muted, frequency range of the instrument.

“I worked with several placements for the microphones, especially concerning the stereo field. DPA’s microphones are so accurate that I simply placed one mic over the treble strings and one over the bass section,” continues Lawson. “I give full credit to the 4011As, they’re just so unbelievable in the way they rendered the tone of what I was trying to do. Since using the 4011A microphones, I have definitely become an advocate for DPA and its products.”

The Chopin Variations is Lawson’s fourth album. Additional albums include his first solo album, Set on a Hill (2009), produced and recorded by Grammy® Award-winner and founder of the Windham Hill Label, Will Ackerman, The Piano (2011) and The Space Between (2013).

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 always provide its customers with the absolute finest possible microphone solutions for all its markets, which include live sound, installation, recording, theatre and broadcast. When it comes to the design process, DPA takes no shortcuts. Nor does the company compromise on its manufacturing process, which is 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 on DPA Microphones, please visit www.dpamicrophones.com.

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Berklee College of Music Expands Its Music Production Facilities with SSL Duality

“Duality is a fine example of what happens when a quality company produces a quality product, and that is why we have two”

BOSTON – Rising 16 stories above the hustle and bustle of Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood, Berklee College of Music has completed its first-ever built-from-the-ground-up residence, rehearsal, performance and educational tower. Dedicated to the art of contemporary music, live performance, music production and engineering in all its forms, the building features a two-story state-of-the-art 10-studio complex designed by Walters-Storyk Design Group (WSDG). Among the largest of its kind in the United States, the facility features scoring and dubbing stages, large tracking and mixing rooms and a mastering studio, along with production suites and a multi-seat tech lab. To ensure students are learning on the latest professional tools, the school installed its second new SSL Duality for tracking and mixing in Studio 3 (aka “The Bridge”), purpose-built for advanced students. Duality delivers the company’s signature sound through an analogue workflow, elegantly integrated with a sophisticated DAW controller, making it ideal for teaching students to work in a hybrid production world.SSL Duality at Berklee College of Music

“Duality nicely bridges the gap between teaching on our traditional in-line analogue consoles, and our DAW controllers,” says Dan Thompson, Assistant Chair of Music Production and Engineering at Berklee College of Music. “The console is an extremely interesting teaching tool because it can act as an advanced analogue console alongside comprehensive control layer for DAW-based projects. In our advanced tracking and mixdown curricula, Duality perfectly illustrates this hybrid workflow and professional paradigm.”

Berklee College of Music has been on the forefront of innovation for more than 65 years, reflecting state-of-the-art of music and music business education, leading the way with the world’s first baccalaureate studies in jazz, rock, electric guitar, film scoring, songwriting, turntables, electronic production and more than a dozen other genres and fields of study. The school’s alumni have won more than 270 Grammy and Latin Grammy Awards (27 of which were won by alumnus Quincy Jones), along with numerous Emmy and Academy Awards. With this pedigree, the new studios need to represent the highest quality available for degree course work.

“We have had a great relationship with SSL over the past 20 years,” says Rob Jaczko, Chairman of Music Production and Engineering at Berklee. “Part of the mission here is to always train students on definitive professional equipment that they are going to encounter in commercial studios in New York, LA, London, Nashville and the world. Solid State Logic is obviously one of the principal platforms we need our students to train on, and Duality is the logical choice for our advanced studies.”

Berklee purchased its first Duality in 2010, primarily for teaching advanced mix techniques. With the expanded footprint of Berklee’s production facilities, both Duality consoles are now installed in tracking rooms (Studio B and The Bridge) and service advanced recording and mix classes and projects.

“Duality certainly represents multiple modalities and different ways to work,” continues Jaczko. “You’re not locked into a singular workflow in the room and, now that we’ve positioned both of the consoles in tracking spaces, we’re exploring the new variable harmonic front-end on the mic pres and using them in mix situations where they serve as controllers or as straightforward analogue consoles as we know them. The Duality consoles provide a lot of flexible options on how they get used, to the benefit of our students.”

“The Duality’s signal path and sound is pristine,” adds Thompson. “It offers clarity, separation, punch, extension and depth, whether used for tracking or mixing. Duality is a fine example of what happens when a quality company produces a quality product, and that is why we have two.”

Solid State Logic is the world’s leading manufacturer of analogue and digital audio consoles and provider of creative tools for music, broadcast, live and post production professionals. For more information about our award-winning products, please visit: www.solidstatelogic.com.

Sound Devices Streamlines Production Workflows with Launch of Firmware 2.10 for Rack-Mounted Recorders

Latest Firmware Update Incorporates New Release Candidate Screening Program

REEDSBURG, WI, OCTOBER 21, 2014 – Sound Devices, specialists in portable audio and video products for field, live event and studio production, introduces Firmware 2.10, the latest software update for its 970 audio rack-mounted and PIX 250i, PIX 260i and PIX 270i video rack-mounted recorders. New features and upgrades include enhanced metadata functionality, sound report creation and improved file/folder formats. In addition, Sound Devices now offers a Release Candidate Screening Program, which gives existing end users of its rack-mounted recorders a sneak peek into new features and changes under development in the firmware.Video Devices PIX 270i

Firmware 2.10 features a new Metadata screen so users recording audio can quickly access and edit the Scene, Notes, Take and Circle status of Previous, Current and Next takes. It also provides the same metadata editing functionality from PIXNet, the Web browser interface. Additionally, the PIXNet clips tab has been enhanced to display useful information about recordings, including start timecode, fps, user-bits, duration, codec and audio format.

With regard to reel folder formats, in previous iterations of the firmware, a Custom option enabled users to edit reel folder names with any alphanumeric value, whereas the 2.10 firmware offers a second Daily option. If set to Daily, new reel folders will automatically be named with the current system date in the YYMMDD format. These daily reel folders, which are containers for the recordings, are helpful in organizing deliverables for projects that span multiple days. This latest firmware also features a new Phrase List Manager, which lets end users create a list of commonly used phrases and then use them to quickly edit the Notes field of recorded WAV files. Users can also now enter notes from either the File list or the new Metadata screen, for the next recording.

For those devices operating in Audio Only Mono mode, it is now possible to have the system append the actual audio track name to the end of the file name. While recording, track names can now be edited from the audio screen and from PIXNet. This assists those in post production in determining which audio file is associated with which member of the cast, a feature that is particularly useful in high-track-count reality shows. In addition, the new Sound Reports feature creates CSV files based on WAV-file metadata.
Sound Devices 970 - front panel
Sound Devices’ new Release Candidate Screening Program provides the company with direct customer input on the usability of its updates, ensuring the stability of firmware updates in real-world applications. Initially, the program will target the Video Devices and Sound Devices rack-mount products, with the company planning to expand the program to other product lines over time.

“The goal of our new screening program is to work together with end users to identify and resolve any potential stability issues and get feedback on product performance in real-life workflows, so the best possible firmware makes it into upcoming official releases,” says Dan Desjardins, Manager of Software Development and Quality Assurance, Sound Devices. “Sound Devices enjoys a highly regarded, open-door relationship with its customers worldwide, and this program promises to expand on that bond.”

Each Release Candidate will come with a pre-determined expiration date and limited technical support. Firmware 2.10 is available as a free download for all existing rack-mount products. To download this firmware and offer feedback on the Release Candidate firmware version, participants simply need to fill out a convenient online form located at www.sounddevices.com/download/release-candidate/.

Sound Devices, LLC designs and manufactures portable audio mixers, digital audio recorders and related equipment for feature film, episodic television, documentary, news-gathering, live event and acoustical test and measurement applications. Video Devices, a brand of Sound Devices, produces digital video recorders and related products that address a range of multiple-source video productions, including fast-paced, mission-critical studio applications, live sports, live events and mobile production.

Founded in 1998, the company designs and manufactures both brands from their Reedsburg, Wisconsin headquarters with additional offices in Madison, WI. For more information, visit the Sound Devices and Video Devices websites, www.sounddevices.com; www.videodevices.com.

Extra! Extra! Masque Sound Delivers High-Energy Sonic Explosion to Touring Production of Tony Award-Winning Hit Musical, Newsies

Custom Audio Equipment Package Hits the Road to Take Broadway Sound from Coast to Coast

PHILADELPHIA, PA, OCTOBER 21, 2014 – When the Tony® Award-winning Broadway musical NEWSIES flies off the rack to begin its North American tour on October 11, Sound Designer Ken Travis relies on Masque Sound, a leading theatrical sound reinforcement, installation and design company, to deliver a dynamic custom audio equipment package for the smash hit.Liana Hunt and Company. Broadway company of NEWSIES. CDisney. Photo by Matthew Murphy

NEWSIES, the new American musical, features a Tony® Award-winning score with music by eight-time Academy Award® winner Alan Menken and lyrics by Jack Feldman, a book by four-time Tony® Award winner Harvey Fierstein and is produced by Disney Theatrical Productions. NEWSIES is directed by Tony® nominee Jeff Calhoun and choreographed by Christopher Gattelli, who won a 2012 Tony Award® for his work. The entire creative team is reuniting to bring the break-out smash musical to audiences across North America.

Having designed the sound for NEWSIES’ Broadway run, Travis has a deep understanding of the show’s audio requirements. His goal for the tour was to replicate the remarkable Broadway sound in each of the different venues and theatres, all of which have their own unique characteristics and challenges. In order to accomplish this, flexibility in the sound system was a key component.
Newsies, the musical
To achieve the all-encompassing range that Travis was looking for, Masque Sound provided a DiGiCo SD10 Live Digital Console. “The SD10 is a much smaller console than the SD7 that was initially used on Broadway, which makes it easier to travel with throughout the tour,” says Travis. “Its footprint in the front of house is half the size; yet, it still provides us with incredible flexibility without compromising any of the show’s audio capabilities.”

One of the biggest challenges that Travis faced in preparing for the tour were the varying sizes and shapes of the theatres. While the Nederlander Theatre on Broadway is a small house with a relatively smooth soundscape to navigate, a majority of the theatres throughout the tour are much larger and deeper, with wider prosceniums, and require greater amplification from the sound system.

“Since we cannot block the seats with sound towers, we had to alter our delays and add some extra fill speakers to accommodate the wider venues,” Travis continues. “In some locations, we specifically aimed the audio toward a section that was extremely left or right. We needed to make sure the system was as comprehensive as possible, and with Masque Sound’s vast equipment expertise, we were able to create a system that worked in multiple locations.”
Kara Lindsay as -Katherine Plumber- and Jeremy Jordan as -Jack Kelly- and the Broadway company of NEWSIES. CDisney. Photo by Deen Van Meer
Travis utilized a d&b audiotechnik Q-Series speaker system for the tour for its compact size, articulate sound quality and superior sound pressure level. “I am very familiar with the Q-Series and know how it plays in 2,500-seat rooms versus 4,000-seat rooms,” he says. “NEWSIES is a pop tour, so there are moments throughout the production in which the stage gets really loud and full of dynamic dialogue and movement. I feel comfortable knowing that the Q-Series speaker system can handle the workload.”

Masque Sound also provided Travis with a custom microphone package, featuring a selection of DPA microphones as well as a Sennheiser radio microphone package for the more than 20 channels of wireless that will be used for the show.
NEWSIES Ensemble. Broadway company of NEWSIES. CDisney. Photo by Deen Van Meer
“The team at Masque Sound has once again been great to work with,” Travis concludes. “As soon as we found out about the tour, we sat down with the crew and started to plan. The team at Masque Sound knows what I like to use, and they were able to quickly and efficiently help me to purchase the orchestra audio equipment package, ensuring that each piece of equipment would perfectly address my needs in creating this sound vision. The collaboration with Masque Sound and Alex Hawthorn, my associate sound designer, allowed us to create a wonderful audio package that sounds amazing.”

The NEWSIES North American tour’s scheduled stops include Cleveland, Louisville, Baltimore, Chicago, Atlanta, Miami, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Dallas, Boston, Washington, D.C. and Toronto. It makes its official opening in Philadelphia in late October. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit www.NewsiesTheMusical.com.

About Masque Sound
Founded in 1936 by a trio of Broadway stagehands, Masque Sound evolved into one of NYC’s most successful theatrical sound reinforcement, installation and design companies specializing in theatrical, house of worship, sporting, corporate, TV broadcast and live concert events. Celebrating more than 75 years in the industry, the company is lead by Geoff Shearing, the firm’s 3rd generation owner, and Vice President and General Manager Stephanie Hansen. The company also operates Florida-based Professional Wireless Systems, a leader in the development and implementation of wireless technology. Credits range from major Broadway shows and tours including “Phantom of the Opera,” “Mamma Mia!,” “Lion King,” “Jersey Boys,” “Memphis,” “The Book of Mormon,” “Newsies,” “Once” and “Kinky Boots” to yearly Super Bowl broadcasts and installations of varying sizes, including New York’s New Victory Theater and historic St. Bartholomew’s Church. Masque Sound’s 70,000 sq. ft. corporate headquarters and main assembly facility is located at 21 East Union Ave., East Rutherford, NJ, 20 minutes from midtown Manhattan. For more information, call (201) 939-8666 or visit www.MasqueSound.com.

SSL Live for Oprah’s ‘The Life You Want’ Weekend 2014

“The clarity and the ‘air’ on the top end are remarkable.”

BRENTWOOD, TN – Oprah Winfrey has taken ‘The Life You Want Weekend’, a high-profile two-night self-help show on the road for eight weekends this fall. Along for the ride is CTS Audio, who is providing sound for the tour including a SSL Live. L500 console at the mix position, operated by CTS veteran front of house engineer Jon Schwarz.

Jon Schwarz with SSL Live. L500This two-night event starts the first night with Winfrey offering the inspirational story of her life’s journey. She speaks about identifying life’s purpose and leads exercises on taking action to reach goals. The second night, Oprah introduces motivational speakers from her network, who each give their own monologues in turn. “Eat, Pray, Love” author Elizabeth Gilbert, pastor Rob Bell and OWN TV personality Iyanla Vanzant are joined in some cities by alternative-medicine guru Deepak Chopra as well as DJ performances.

‘The Life You Want’ employs two stages; a traditional endplay arena stage with a multi-tiered set, multiple video and a stereo line-array music and playback system and a small B stage in the arena’s center, where monologues are delivered via a second, separate ‘in the round’ system. With the majority of the audio originating from the speakers and DJ performances, input count is small, under 30 channels, but when combined with the other performances elements, the show became a real undertaking. “They [the Oprah Tour] have a lot of video content,” explains CTS Vice President Mike Taylor. “It’s a very complicated show in terms of video cueing and audio because of all of the sources.”

The real challenge for this tour was generating a high-quality audio feed to ensure that all inspirational messages were heard both in the venue and for future TV Broadcasts and DVD’s. “Most, if not all of the show, is being recorded for TV, so we wanted to pass along the highest quality audio,” adds Schwarz. “They’re just taking analogue audio output back to the video world but they’ve noted how clean and warm it sounds and the dynamic range is fantastic.”
Though this was Schwarz’s first major tour where he was working with the L500, he had a chance to experience the dramatic difference in sound quality at a few previous CTS events and knew it would be an asset to this minimalist production. “The very first time I heard SSL Live, we had a show in a stadium and there was a moment with a person singing and playing the acoustic guitar,” Schwarz says. “I’ve done plenty of shows in stadiums with many different consoles and the very first thing I noticed with this one, was the clarity and the top end ‘air’ on it. I’ve never heard that, especially in a space that large with that much reverb time in the room. The clarity and the ‘air’ on the top end are remarkable.”

Schwarz points out that the L500’s input list can be organized by operator workflow and how banks of faders are programmed, which ended up being an asset for each show’s varying programs. The console has two lower 12-fader banks, or ‘tiles’ in the left and center positions, plus a third, 12-fader tile on the upper left of the console. “On most consoles, the sequence of inputs dictates workflow,” he explains. “With SSL Live, input list order just doesn’t matter as much. The concept of layers and banks is very cool; the first night’s show varies from the second night’s show, so I layer my banks based on what I need on the surface for each day. I also lay out what I need for different parts of each show in other layers on the center tile.”

Due to the setup of the event, redundancy becomes a key factor. “Because the format is predominantly one input, one person, I can’t have enough redundancy and back-ups,” he explains. “To accomplish this, several hardwired emergency microphones are placed at different stage locations, as well as a few others that are all controlled from a layer on the top left tile. I also have my master faders for the music PA and the vocal PA on the top left with the emergency mics due to the dual system design.”

Console operators of corporate-style events, such as Oprah’s, must man their consoles for much longer periods of time than with typical concerts. The design and layout of the SSL Live helps Schwarz to handle his job without fatigue. “On Saturday I sit behind the console for close to 10 hours straight,” he says. “With the SSL Live, operators can sit in one place without having to move around a lot. Having everything within arm’s reach is a huge convenience.”
He also mentions the Focus Channel section on the L500′s right side as being an asset during the tour. “At first I used the main, central touch screen a lot, but over time I find I touch the Focus Fader and Channel Control Tile more and the main screen less,” he says. “Grabbing hotkeys and using its small screen is fast and accurate and there’s a lot of information there. When I have to ride gain or EQ, based on what’s happening on the show with something really dynamic, I use it a lot.”

Schwarz also points out that the sound of the console allows him to mix differently than on another console. “Between the preamps and EQs, it reacts differently than other consoles I’ve used, so I can lean on them more than I would with others,” he says. “I’ve also found that the EQ is so musical, I’m able to do things that I’ve never been able to do with other consoles and the results are exciting. I had someone speaking, and the way that I could shelf one side and boost the other allowed me to cut the sibilance out and add air on the back side, which was something I hadn’t experienced on other consoles.”

“It’s just so transparent, it really is,” says Taylor about the sound quality of Live. “Whether hearing an acoustic guitar and vocal or a full band for an event in a stadium with 30,000 people was stunning. We’ve also done a worship conference with 12,000 attendees and the sound was just incredible for just a vocal and a piano. Then to take it on a TV shoot of an awards show with full bands and hear what it could do was a testament of the flexibility and consistency of this console. The console is just so clear.”

www.ctsaudio.com

Solid State Logic is the world’s leading manufacturer of analogue and digital audio consoles and provider of creative tools for music, broadcast, live and post production professionals. For more information about our award-winning products, please visit: www.solidstatelogic.com.

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The Dalai Lama Presents 2014 Kalachakra Prayer with DPA Microphones

Reynolds Sound & Lighting Services relied on the company’s d:fine™ Dual-Ear Cardioid Headset Microphone for the 10-day Buddhist ceremony

DPA Microphones_Dalai Lama CrowdLEH, LADAKH, INDIA, OCTOBER 15, 2014 – Earlier this year, His Holiness the Dalai Lama hosted Kalachakra, a religious event that takes place at various locations around the world every few years. With a now 79-year-old religious figure at the helm for the nearly two-week long Kalachakra 2014 prayer meeting, high importance was placed on finding a microphone that would project his voice to the nearly 200,000 followers who attended. The solution was found in DPA Microphones’ d:fine™ Dual-Ear Cardioid Headset Microphone, which was supplied from the company’s U.S. office. The microphone was such a success that it is now the preferred microphone for His Holiness for all of his speaking engagements.

As the sound company of choice for the Dalai Lama, Reynolds Sound & Lighting Services supported this year’s prayer ceremony, which was held in Ladakh, up in the Himalayas, 16,000 feet above sea level. In addition to braving the treacherous travel to the location, the audio team from Reynolds was also faced with properly miking a person who would be speaking for long periods of time and whom they themselves could not physically contact.

33rd Kalackakra by His Holiness the 14. Dalai Lama, Ladakh, J&K, India,  July 2014. Photo by Manuel Bauer 2014. This picture is Copyrightprotected and only for use by the Private Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and internal use by the Organising Committee for use in direct connection with the 33rd Kalachakra.“One of the biggest challenges for us was that the Dalai Lama would speak for about five hours every day, so we needed a high quality microphone that would provide excellent gain before feedback, excellent off axis rejection and low noise floor,” explains Felix Remedios, owner of Reynolds Sound & Lighting Services. “This event focuses on His Holiness speaking to a crowd of 100 to 200 thousand people over a period of 10 to 12 days. This would be stressful on anyone’s voice, and required the assurance of long term comfort and the ability to maintain critical placement. The DPA d:fine made it possible for us to ensure that his voice was loud and clear, and that all of the attendees could hear every word he spoke.”

The Kalachakra 2014 event was held in a field equivalent to the length of four soccer fields, with the audience almost a kilometer away from the stage. “We had to be really careful to ensure that his voice was heard across the whole venue,” explains Remedios. “In addition to needing perfect reliability, given only one mic for a large audience, there was a high level of stage monitoring requirements for the surrounding Monks. I had contacted my friend and colleague Ron [Lorman] in New York, and explained that I was unsure that my previous mics would have the amount of gain that I needed. We additionally discussed the unique monitor needs for this event, as it was mandatory that the source element provided a flat response with substantial rear rejection. Ron recommended the d:fine products and he put me in touch with the company during a visit to the U.S.DPA Inc. supplied me with four mics to try out, which I brought back to India. My team was extremely happy with the quality.”

33rd Kalackakra by His Holiness the 14. Dalai Lama, Ladakh, J&K,Once the mics traveled up into the Himalayas, Reynolds’ audio team, led by Sound Engineer Suresh J, were able to put them to the test for the first time. “We chose to use the cardioid version of the mic for the Kalachakra,” adds Remedios. “We had never used DPA mics before, but one of the first things we noticed was that there was no coloration in the signal. His Holiness’ voice sounded extremely natural and transparent, and we were able to get the gain levels we wanted. The DPA d:fine is certainly a big quantum leap from what we are used to, both in signal levels from the mic and overall quality of the design.”

In addition to the location of the prayer meeting, the overall setup of the stage and personal preferences of His Holiness also provided a unique set of challenges. The Dalai Lama sits on a high throne, surrounded by several senior monks both in front of and to each side of him. “Since we have worked with him for several years, we know that the microphone must always be placed beside him on stage so he or a member of his team can put it on him,” continues Remedios. “In order for a mic to get the perfect amount of gain it must sit exactly in the correct position. Luckily, the DPA d:fine is designed in a manner that even an untrained person can affix the mic. The Dalai Lama’s media team representative, Jigme Tsering, was able to fit it onto His Holiness each day. It worked out so well that on the last day the Dalai Lama put the microphone on himself and was very pleased.”

DPA Microphones_dfine_Dalai Lama3His Holiness wasn’t the only one impressed by the DPA d:fine Headset Microphones. “The Dalai Lama’s media team was so pleased with the quality of the microphone that they asked to keep it for his smaller prayer meetings,” concludes Remedios. “Of course we obliged and gifted them one. We also decided to follow suit. As one of the largest audio rental companies in the country, we work with the biggest corporate houses for several important, large-scale events. We plan to use DPA on all of them. It is definitely going to be our microphone of choice moving forward.”

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 always provide its customers with the absolute finest possible microphone solutions for all its markets, which include live sound, installation, recording, theatre and broadcast. When it comes to the design process, DPA takes no shortcuts. Nor does the company compromise on its manufacturing process, which is 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 on DPA Microphones, please visit www.dpamicrophones.com.

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