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Archive by Vanessa Sanchez

Sound Devices Latest Firmware Adds Additional Inputs to 664 Production Mixer

Unit offers 12 Analog Inputs and 16 Recording Tracks

REEDSBURG, WI, NOVEMBER 5, 2013 — Sound Devices, experts in portable audio and video products for field production, continues its tradition of adding significant features to its products through regular firmware updates. The latest update, Version 2.00 for its flagship 664 Production Mixer, unlocks six additional line-level inputs on this already powerful field mixer. The 664 now offers 12 analog inputs and 16-track recording without requiring the CL-6 Input Controller.

Sound Devices 664 features six ultra-low-noise, high-dynamic-range preamps that accept mic- or line-level signals and include analog peak limiters, high-pass filters, and input trim control. Version 2.0 firmware provides access to six additional, menu-controlled, line-level inputs for a total of 12 inputs. Inputs 7-12 appear on TA3 connectors shared with the direct outputs. Inputs 1 and 6 can be set to accept AES3 or AES42 for digital microphones, each with its own SRC for simplicity in system clocking.

With version 2.00, the 664 can record 16 track files, which include all 12 inputs plus its four outputs, without requiring the CL-6 Input Controller. The CL-6 continues to be an important accessory for users requiring hardware fader control of inputs 7 through 12. Firmware revision 2.00 also brings additional LCD metering modes to support the expanded input capability. Three menu-set metering modes are selectable from the front panel meter button. Meter modes offer combinations of input and output levels.

The 664 records 16-track monophonic or polyphonic broadcast WAV files or stereo MP3 files to SD and/or CompactFlash cards. All inputs and outputs are individually selectable for recording, and feature up to three seconds of record pre-roll. With its dual card slots, the 664 can record content to either or both cards simultaneously, with the ability to assign different tracks to each memory card. With cards not optimized for multi-channel monophonic file recording or if the monophonic 10-track limit is exceeded, a warning message is displayed on the LCD display when starting a recording. In addition, when formatted in the 664, SD cards 64 GB and larger are automatically formatted as ExFAT (in accordance with the SD Association’s recommendation). All CF cards and lower-capacity SD cards remain FAT32.

The 664 offers greater flexibility and ease-of-use with its “LCD Daylight Display” mode, which incorporates a daylight-specific color scheme and solid-bar metering option for improved readability in direct sunlight. In addition, it includes a high-precision, Ambient-based timecode generator/reader for multi-camera and double-system sound applications.

Existing 664 users can download version 2.00 for free by visiting http://www.sounddevices.com/download/664-firmware/.

Sound Devices, LLC designs and manufactures portable audio mixers, digital audio recorders, and digital video recorders and related equipment for feature film, episodic television, documentary, news-gathering, and acoustical test and measurement applications. Founded in 1998, the company designs and manufactures from their Reedsburg, Wisconsin headquarters with additional offices in Madison, WI and Highland Park, IL. For more information, visit the Sound Devices website, www.sounddevices.com.

Professional Wireless Systems (PWS) Savors the Moment at Inaugural Life is Beautiful Festival

When the first-ever Life Is Beautiful music, art and food festival, took over 15 square blocks of downtown Las Vegas on Oct. 26th and 27th, Professional Wireless Systems (PWS) was on location providing frequency coordination for the more than 80 musical acts, performers and media outlets throughout the two-day celebration.

In its inaugural year, the Life is Beautiful festival featured a diverse lineup of musical acts from a variety of genres including The Killers, Kings of Leon, Beck, Vampire Weekend, Imagine Dragons, Janelle Monae, Passion Pit, Jurassic 5, Danny Brown, Childish Gambino Pretty Lights, STS9 and Empire of the Sun, to name a few.

“PWS was happy to be part of this new festival, and while we have extensive experience in providing frequency coordination for events of this size and scope, it was not without its challenges,” says Jim Van Winkle, general manager, PWS. “There was quite a bit to consider logistically, because the festival was situated over a large area right in the middle of downtown Las Vegas near Fremont Street.”

Jim Van Winkle and John Garrido from PWS arrived two days prior to the event in order to conduct a frequency sweep to identify all frequencies in the area. A total of four PWS staff members were onsite during the two-day celebration to monitor and ensure that any potential issues were kept to a minimum. With six stages and more than 520 frequencies, PWS utilized its proprietary Intermodulation Analysis Software (IAS) and spectrum analyzers to determine occupied bandwidth and track interference sources, ensuring that both the musical acts and attending media were on a safe frequency, once located.

PWS worked closely with Another Planet, the production company for the festival, and all the stage managers, before and during the event to have as much information as possible about the wireless requirements needed by all of the performers and media. PWS also established and coordinated frequencies for the PA companies, including VER Audio and Solotech, to use for the entire weekend.

“Whenever working on an event of this magnitude, there is always a media presence; making sure that they are on the correct frequency is crucial, so that there is no interference with the musical acts,” adds Van Winkle. “You always have to expect last minute changes to arise but our crew works really hard to address these as they come up. The final result turned out great and we look forward to being part of the festival next year.”

In addition to managing frequency coordination, PWS’ Domed Helicals as well as its original Helical Antennas, were onsite for the festival. The PWS Domed Helical Antenna boasts the highly successful circular polarization configuration, pioneered by the company’s original Helical, but with the unit sealed within a unique new compact “domed” design.

In addition to the GX-8 Combiners that are already a part of several of the bands’ rigs, PWS also had extra GX-8 Combiners on-hand in case the need arose. One of the musical acts was so impressed with the GX-8 that the group decided to use the product for its next show. PWS’ GX series of combiners, the GX-4 and GX-8, offer selectable high and low output settings as well as above unity gain on output. Helpful for very anemic transmitters, the combiners in the GX series are considered RF limiters because of their proprietary Automatic Level Control (ALC) circuitry.
For more information, visit www.professionalwireless.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.

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Related Topics: Microphones, New Products |

DPA Microphones Enhances Main Stage Talent at Annual Monterey Jazz Festival

MONTEREY, CALIFORNIA, NOVEMBER 4, 2013 – The Monterey Jazz Festival is one of the longest consecutively running jazz festivals and has featured some of the most riveting performances from such music industry icons as Billie Holiday, Etta James and Louis Armstrong since its inception more than 50 years ago. Since then, the bar has been set high, so that show audiences, which have grown to more than 8,000 at the arena stage alone, now expect the legacy to live on with outstanding performances each and every year. In order to not disappoint, sound engineers work behind the scenes to address the challenges of having to deliver clear sound in an open arena setting with minimal visibility of mics. DPA Microphones’ d:screet™ 4060 Omnidirectional offers just the solution, as its low-profile, natural sound accommodates engineers for every performance or environment.

The activity backstage at the annual Monterey Jazz Festival is usually chaotic as several guest engineers rifle through the festival’s audio inventory to select mics best suited to each performance. Among them is Nick Malgieri, one of the festival’s freelance audio specialists, who always reaches for the mic he says he trusts most, the DPA d:screet 4060. With the ability to amplify the most natural sound, the miniature mic is low profile so as not to distract the performers or audience members.

“I was really happy I was responsible for the main stage, because I had first pick of what mics I wanted to use,” says Malgieri. “I have been using DPA at this event for a few years now. Because jazz musicians all have opinions on microphone placement, and prefer something low profile, I love the DPA 4060. It removes that visual barrier for performers and audiences, so they don’t even notice the microphone is there. That means I get to really do my job and put the mics where I want them.”

Originally designed for the live theater setting, and for close-miked instrument applications, the sound quality of the DPA 4060 is an accurate omnidirectional pattern, and therefore does not need to be aimed directly at the instrument to achieve quality pickup. While Malgieri uses the 4060 primarily for the piano, he relies on it to meet his needs amplifying the pure sound of many diverse instruments at the jazz event.

“Every year there’s at least one act that is a large band, especially with a lot of percussion, and loud stage volume,” continues Malgieri. “Traditionally it’s a really difficult environment for sound engineers, particularly monitor engineers. For the DPAs to work well in that environment really speaks to their versatility.”

Malgieri often finds himself sharing his setup with fellow engineers backstage, who at first may question his choices until they hear the difference in a live performance.

“The 4060’s achieve great gain before feedback,” he explains. “Some engineers underestimate the power of an omnidirectional microphone to handle the job for a large stage. They are more used to directional microphones that have less stage bleed, but once they hear the real instrumental tone on a large PA system, they realize the DPA d:screet 4060 sounds more natural than any other microphone, and then they change their minds and are eager to try DPA themselves.”

Malgieri has mixed the past several Monterey Jazz Festivals as a freelance audio specialist for McCune Audio/Video/Lighting. He originally discovered DPA Microphones while mixing in a theatrical setting, and has been a fan ever since.

Founded by San Francisco jazz radio broadcaster Jimmy Lyons in October 1958, the Monterey Jazz Festival features over 500 artist performances nonstop on eight stages for three nights and two days spread on 20 acres of land at the Monterey County Fairgrounds in Monterey, California. The annual event is one of the longest consecutively run jazz festivals.

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.

Masque Sound Helps Audiences Have the Time of their Lives at North American Tour of Smash Hit Musical, MAMMA MIA!

When the 2013/2014 North American touring production of the smash hit musical MAMMA MIA! kicked off at Clemson University’s Brooks Center on September 30th, Associate Sound Designer David Patridge turned to Masque Sound, a leading theatrical sound reinforcement, installation and design company, to provide a custom audio equipment package to bring Sound Designers Bobby Aitken and Andrew Bruce’s vision to the stage.

Since 1999, the musical MAMMA MIA! has been captivating audiences in London, Toronto, Broadway and all over the world, as it tells the story of the dynamic relationship between a carefree mother and her daughter. The daughter, hoping to build a bond with the father she’s never known, decides to invite him to her upcoming wedding, only to discover that her father could be one of her mother’s three past suitors. A story full of laughs, love and lust, MAMMA MIA! features the hit songs of the Swedish pop group ABBA.

This mark’s Patridge’s 12th MAMMA MIA! production in 14 years, as associate sound designer, and although he is intimately familiar with the show, the 2013/2014 North American tour was not without its obstacles.

“The challenge for this incarnation of the musical was to take the signature MAMMA MIA! sound and put it into a more compact, fast-moving production without cutting the things you need to make the show sound big,” says Patridge. “Just because the show is moving from city to city quickly doesn’t mean the size of the venue is going to be small. It was important that we did not downscale the brand or incur any kind of loss of feel for the amazing show that MAMMA MIA! is. Thanks to the help of the talented professionals at Masque Sound, we didn’t compromise on anything. The show looks and sounds great.”

In order to keep that big sound Patridge was looking for, Masque Sound provided Meyer M’elodie speakers, the largest speakers that could feasibly be put in a tower footprint, yet still fit in all of the smaller theatres on the tour. “We took the footprint that we were allowed based on the technical director’s specs and then we looked at speaker choices,” adds Patridge. “We went with self-powered M’elodie speakers, so we wouldn’t need amplifier racks, which take up extra room in the truck and extra time to connect. We used the M’elodie and Meyer 500HP powered speakers in a tower arrangement, giving us a lot of impact for the size of the footprint. Whether we need to figure out the sizes of trussing needed, engineering concerns, dolly selection, etc., Masque Sound has always been fantastic with figuring out all of the details and on a traveling production that is extremely important.”

In addition to the Meyer M’elodie and 500HP speakers, Patridge also used Meyer 700HP subs, as well as Meyer UPM-1Ps for front fills and under the balconies. Masque Sound provided a DiGiCo SD10 digital console, because the compact size and powerful features of the console make it ideal for a traveling production. In addition, the actors are outfitted with DPA 4060-61 omnidirectional mics. Masque Sound also provided Sennheiser 5212 radios with Sennheiser EM3532 receivers.
“One of the things about Masque Sound that I like is that there is a valuable brain trust of people,” says Patridge. “Professionals like Gary Stocker are not afraid to help partner with us as designers and invent solutions, so I don’t have to be on my own when I’m trying to figure out how to support these speakers and towers, especially on a production that moves from city to city. I know I can ask Gary what we can do to facilitate my vision, and the people at Masque Sound will design and fabricate whatever I need. In addition, Eric Rivera at Masque Sound does an excellent job of coordinating the frequencies from stop to stop. He has the itinerary in hand and is constantly forwarding the list of frequencies to our road personnel. Fortunately, Masque Sound uses all the tools at hand, including FCC charts and intermod study programs, and if there is a problem with anything, I know that they will pick up the phone or answer an email to get us out of a bind.”

Seen by over 54 million people around the world, MAMMA MIA! is celebrating 5,000 performances on Broadway and is the 10th longest running show in Broadway history. The original West End production of MAMMA MIA! is now in its fifteenth year and has celebrated over 6,000 performances in London and the international tour has visited more than 74 foreign cities in 35 countries and been seen by over 4.3 million people. The blockbuster feature film adaptation of MAMMA MIA! is the most successful movie musical of all time grossing $600 million worldwide. Seen in 38 productions in 14 different languages globally and with a worldwide gross of over $2 Billion, MAMMA MIA! is acclaimed by the Associated Press as “quite simply, a phenomenon.”

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.

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Related Topics: Large Venue, Microphones |

BT Sport selects Autoscript E.P.I.C. prompting units for new studios

All-in-one prompter and monitor units provide many efficiencies

Twickenham, UK: 28 October 2013Autoscript, part of Vitec Videocom, a Vitec Group company, supplied three E.P.I.C. (Enhanced Prompting Information Centre) units to BT Sport, the new sports entertainment network, for its brand new studio facility at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London.

BT Sport transformed the former Olympic International Broadcast Centre into the new home of BT Sport 1, BT Sport 2 and ESPN in just 21 weeks, and began broadcasting on 1 August 2013. The impressive facility includes three large TV studios, seven sports production galleries, a master control room, 20 edit suites, a dubbing theater, and an audience holding area.

An E.P.I.C. unit was installed in each of the three studios, and the units are being used on a variety of programme genres including live sports coverage, post-event analysis shows and entertainment programmes.

Andy Beale, Chief Engineer, BT Sport, said, “With such challenging timescales our technology strategy required us to select the right equipment and vendors. Autoscript’s prompters instill confidence in our on-screen talent and also integrate easily into our production workflow. The design of the E.P.I.C. with its all-in-one prompter and talent monitor set-up provides many efficiencies, and the units were delivered and installed in accordance with our strict schedule.”

Robin Brown, Product Manager, Autoscript, said, “Prompting is a crucial element to any sport or live production workflow which is subject to rapid change throughout a programme. Autoscript systems enable the producers to effortlessly make those changes to the script or run-order on the fly and transfer those changes seamlessly to the prompt output, allowing presenters to concentrate on what they do best. The E.P.I.C. offers all these advanced features and functions that our customers have come to expect of any Autoscript system while also vastly simplifying the studio equipment required.”

About Autoscript
Autoscript is the world leader in the prompting industry, providing professional teleprompting equipment to broadcasters across the globe. Established in the UK in 1984, with headquarters in the UK and the US, Autoscript designs and builds innovative hardware, PC cards and software to meet real world needs and continually enhance the production process. A prime example of this is Autoscript’s latest product, the E.P.I.C. (Enhanced Prompting Information Centre), an all-in-one prompter display and on-air talent monitor that vastly simplifies studio equipment, reduces power consumption and enables easier location prompting. Autoscript is a member of the Vitec Group.
For more information visit www.autoscript.tv

About Vitec Videocom
Vitec Videocom brings together some of the most respected, most innovative and most sought-after brands in the industry: Anton/Bauer, Autoscript, Litepanels, OConnor, Petrol, Sachtler, Vinten and Vinten Radamec. It acts as an endorsing brand for these market-leading broadcast, film and pro video products, encouraging multi-brand system sales and simplifying the way that customers worldwide do business.

Vitec Videocom is an operating division within the Vitec Group, an international business serving customers in the broadcast, photographic and military aerospace and government markets. Vitec is based on strong, well known, premium brands on which its customers rely on worldwide.

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Masque Sound Brings the Songs of Jeff Buckley to Life in the New Rock Musical, The Last Goodbye

Masque Sound - The Last Goodbye1 - Photo by Matthew Murphy

When The Last Goodbye said hello to The Old Globe in San Diego on October 6th, sound designer Ken Travis wanted to make sure that the audience knew this wasn’t going to be your typical musical. In order to create the edgy, evocative sound he was looking for, he turned to Masque Sound, a leading theatrical sound reinforcement, installation and design company, to provide a custom audio equipment package.

The Last Goodbye is a new musical fusing Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet with the incendiary songs of the legendary singer-songwriter and late rock icon, Jeff Buckley. Conceived and adapted by Michael Kimmel, the rock musical is directed by two-time Tony Award nominee Alex Timbers (Peter and the Starcatcher, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson). This unique work of theater is a remarkable synthesis of the classic and the modern, melding Shakespeare’s tragedy, in its original text, with Buckley’s no holds barred rock music.

Masque Sound - The Last Goodbye2 - Photo by Matthew Murphy

Travis’ goal in designing the sound was to go big. “Even though the theatre is only 600+ seats, the show calls for a large rock and roll rig,” says Travis. “It’s definitely not musical theater sounding, and that was something I was adamant about. We hung probably three times the amount of PA than they previously had in the house and the producers were great about it. I never have to worry about the equipment with Masque Sound. They are one of those family companies that you just call up and they are there, and that is one of many reasons why I use them for most of my shows, and knew they were the right choice for this rock musical.”

In addition to a large rig, Travis also wanted a flexible system that allowed him the ability to be edgy, while remaining somewhat conventional, without compromising the audio. His vision required additional equipment and in order to achieve the flexibility he was looking for, Travis utilized a d&b speaker rig from top to bottom. Travis used five d&B line arrays across the proscenium, instead of sticking to the traditional left, right and center setup. “The stage is zoned, so every position is timed out,” adds Travis. “At points in the play when we need to convert back into the traditional music theater world, it transitions really well and doesn’t sound like a rock PA. Then, when it’s time to go into overdrive, it’s really easy for us to open up the whole PA and go for it. My sound team, including engineer Cassy Givens and associate Justin Stasiw, did a fantastic job.”

Masque Sound also provided Travis with a Digico SD10T digital console, which he likes for its quick programming capabilities. Since The Last Goodbye is an extremely physical show with lots of sword fights, smaller but powerful Sennheiser MKE-1 mics were employed and hidden in the hairline of the actors, allowing Travis to capture the vocals over the action. Travis also employed a wireless package from Sennheiser.

One unique aspect of the sound design is the large band source speaker system on stage. “We have a d&b Q7 rig on stage built into the set, which is not typical for a musical,” adds Travis. “But since we feature a rock band on stage, it is necessary. There are times when that system is really ripping to make sure everyone knows the band is playing. We can’t have the guitar amps on stage, because the actors wouldn’t be able to hear, so all of the guitars and amps are remote.”

When using such a large speaker rig in a small theatre that is not designed for a rock and roll style musical, there are always going to be challenges. Since The Old Globe has a very wide stage and not a lot of height to hang the PA, one of Travis’ biggest obstacles was getting even coverage everywhere. In order to overcome that challenge of the height restriction, the PA had to break the portal, and although not ideal, nothing was obstructed visually and the show still sounds great.

Masque Sound - The Last Goodbye3 - Photo by Matthew Murphy

“Dennis Short, Scott Kalata and the rest of the team at Masque Sound always make sure that everything is taken care of and we get all the gear that we need,” says Travis. “For The Last Goodbye, we had a limited budget and Masque Sound made sure that we didn’t compromise on anything, and that’s rare when working on an out-of-town show. They did a great job once again. The audience is enthralled and every performance plays to standing ovations.”

The Last Goodbye’s limited engagement run officially opened on October 6 and is slated to close on November 3 at The Old Globe in San Diego.

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.

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Related Topics: Loudspeakers, Microphones |

Masque Sound’s Custom Audio Equipment Package Docks at New York City’s Vineyard Theatre for New Musical, The Landing

TheLanding_Frankie Seratch and Paul Anthony Stewart - Photos by Carol Rosegg

When The Landing, the first collaboration between legendary theater composer John Kander and gifted playwright Greg Pierce, arrived at New York’s Vineyard Theatre on October 3rd, Masque Sound, a leading theatrical sound reinforcement, installation and design company, was on board to provide sound designer Nevin Steinberg with a custom audio equipment package for the new musical.

A beautiful and haunting new musical, The Landing comprises three thematically connected tales of desire, love and loss. Starring Tony- and Emmy Award-winner David Hyde Pierce, along with Julia Murney, Paul Anthony Stewart and Frankie Seratch, and directed by Tony Award-winner Walter Bobbie, The Landing is the recipient of an Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award.

The Landing_Julia Murney and David Hyde Pierce - Photos by Carol Rosegg

In designing the sound for The Landing, Steinberg wanted to maintain a very natural feel. “The Vineyard is a very small, intimate theater, and the play itself is a four-character musical with a four-piece orchestra, so my hope was to create an unobtrusive amplification system,” he says. “Of course, speaker selection was very important. The speakers I chose for this production supply a very diffuse amplification. It’s just a little bit unfocused, and I find that in a small space that tends to work pretty well.”

Steinberg employed several speakers from L-ACOUSTICS, including the company’s 112Ps and 108As. “These L-ACOUSTICS models provide a very pleasing sound and a very wide dispersion pattern both horizontally and vertically,” he adds. “I knew that they would work well for this project, so I was very specific about what I wanted. As always, Masque Sound was happy to fulfill this request. We’ve worked on various projects throughout the years, and they’ve always been very supportive and attentive to the needs of the production and also to me, the designer. I really value my relationship with everyone there.”

One of the main challenges that Steinberg faced focused on where to put the musicians, since the Vineyard Theatre has no dedicated orchestra pit. To overcome this, Steinberg split the orchestra into two halves and placed them in the balconies on the house left and right side of the audience. He positioned the percussionist and piano player/conductor on one side and the woodwind and cello players on the other. While this is often not the preferred setup as it can make communication difficult, in the case of The Landing, it suited the style of the production very well. Masque Sound was able to assist this unconventional setup by providing each musician with an audio and video monitor, so that each player could clearly see the conductor and have his and her own audio mix.

Masque Sound’s custom audio equipment package also included an AVID SC-48 compact digital console, which Steinberg likes for its great routing and effects options. The orchestra is reinforced using DPA and Neumann microphones. Because the actors are continuously onstage throughout the show, each performer is double mic’d with a combination of DPA and Sennheiser wireless microphones. Masque Sound also provided frequency coordination for the 10 channels of wireless in use.

“One of the nice things about Masque Sound is that when there is a challenge or a budgetary issue, they are very quick to help solve the problem,” notes Steinberg. “They always offer good solutions, and having them as the rental shop on my projects allows me to focus on other issues and not have to worry about anything related to the equipment. They consistently do a wonderful job.”

The Landing had its world premiere on October 3rd and is slated to run through November 24th at the Vineyard Theatre, located on 108 East 15th Street in downtown Manhattan in the heart of historic Union Square.

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.

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Related Topics: Events, Large Venue, Microphones |

Audio System designer Kelly Epperson Employs Clear-Com’s HelixNet® Partyline at the 2013 John Deere Event


Epperson Gives HelixNet a Rave Review after Pushing the System to its Limits and Beyond

ALAMEDA, CA, OCTOBER 17, 2013Clear-Com is pleased to announce that its HelixNet Partyline was a proven intercom solution at this summer’s John Deere Annual Event in Columbus, OH. Even after being pushed beyond its limits, HelixNet rose to the challenge and enabled Kelly Epperson and his production team to deliver a successful and cost-effective show for John Deere.

Epperson, audio system designer and A1 for the event, was hired by the production company, See Our Solutions in St. Louis, MO, to specify the audio and communication equipment for this year’s program. As part of the design and specification process, Epperson selected Clear-Com’s HelixNet as the wired communication solution for this challenging production.

“The John Deere launch meeting is an event at which the company showcases, launches and demonstrates new products across their entire line from commercial lawn equipment to their largest machinery like tractors, combines and sprayers,” says Epperson. “Because the show floor is essentially the stage, and due to the sheer size of the products, the backstage area is quite large. There are long cable runs across the expansive show floor. Scenic entrances and exits utilize extensive show control automation. Safety for crew and drivers is paramount. All these were factors for deciding which system(s) were best for communications.

“At this event, I needed a digital solution that could run a distance of more than 600 feet from Front of House to the operator positions using copper, and I needed to do so without the cross-talk and noise issues that I have experienced with two-wire systems. Because I had a positive experience with the Clear-Com HelixNet system at the 2012 Presidential Debate, I had full confidence this was the best system for this application.

Configuring the system for all 15 beltpacks was easy and didn’t take long. Each channel was labeled as either ‘production,’ ‘video,’ ‘lighting,’ ‘driver’ or ‘audio.’ Once I fired up HelixNet, it immediately displayed strong signals across the system. Each of the two channels on the beltpacks showed any one of the four labels. I never had to pick up the manual for reference.”

In addition, Epperson was also impressed that he could operate the four-channel system and all 15 wired beltpacks over one XLR cable. With other digital partyline systems on the market, he would have had to lay down new wires or special cabling. HelixNet saved him significant shop-prep time and saved his client the cost of having to rewire the show site.

Furthermore, HelixNet interface modules allowed him to easily link two wireless intercom systems. HelixNet comes with built-in interface module options. Therefore, connecting the system with any external two-wire or four-wire system, as well as linking multiple HelixNet systems over fiber or Ethernet, can be simply achieved with these modules.

“At this event, HelixNet proved to me that it is a solidly developed digital intercom system. It delivers great value—economically and technically—both as a system designer and production member,” says Epperson.

“We are extremely glad that HelixNet was able to help Kelly Epperson and his team deliver a great show for his client,” said Judy Cheng, Director of Marketing, Clear-Com. “To many users’ surprise, HelixNet gives them the same features and functions as a traditional partyline system; but its performance, capabilities, and extensibility are similar to its digital counterparts in the matrix family. HelixNet users do get a lot out of the compact 1RU unit, and users like Kelly Epperson continue to give us this positive feedback.”

About Clear-Com
Clear-Com, an HME company, is a global provider in professional voice communications systems since 1968. We develop and market proven intercom technologies such as Analog & Digital Partyline, Digital Matrix, Wireless and Intercom-over-IP systems for critical communication applications in broadcast, performance venues, military, government and enterprise markets. Recognized for our legacy of intercom innovations, production teams around the world have come to depend on Clear-Com for clear, reliable and scalable communications solutions. For more information, please visit www.clearcom.com.

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DPA Microphones Takes its Final Leap into the d:ep End

Company renames remaining mics in collection to reflect the popular ‘d:’ branding

NEW YORK, OCTOBER 18, 2013 – DPA Microphones is delighted to announce at the 135th International AES Convention (Booth 2551) that its 4060, 4080 and 4090 Miniature and 5100, 5006A, 5006-11A and 5015A Surround Microphones will be joining the ‘d:’ family of names. Building off the success of the company’s new “d:” branding, the current 4060, 4080 and 4090 Miniature Mics now fall into the d:screet™ Miniature Microphones group and the Five-channel surround solutions are henceforth known as the d:mension™ Surround Microphones.

DPA has also chosen to add the ever-popular 4066 and 4088 Miniature Headsets under the d:fine™ Headset Microphone category, and the mics will also receive an upgrade to coincide with the existing d:fines. Additionally, it’s new d:dicate™ Recording Microphone line combines the company’s best new and existing capsules and preamplifiers from the previous Reference Standard series.

“A few years ago, we decided to change the names of our new products to make them more recognizable and easy to remember,” says Christian Poulsen, CEO of DPA Microphones. “In the past, our products were branded with numbers, which were difficult to understand and remember unless you were a DPA aficionado. We wanted names that were more meaningful and more interesting. After some brainstorming, we decided on the ‘d:’ (colon) names. Starting with a ‘d’ made it easier to remember as it connects the mics to the DPA name, and leaving out the second letter gave it a graphic element that worked well with our new DPA design.”

Announced at DPA Microphones’ recent Partner Conference at the DPA Microphones Denmark headquarters, the unveiling of the new d:screet Miniature Microphone and d:mension Surround Microphone names is another step in the company’s plans for full “d:” branding. Each product category has been carefully planned out by the DPA Microphones team.

With the company’s 5100, 5006A, 5006-11A and 5015A Surround Microphone now grouped together under the d:mension Surround Microphone line, customers can easily swap between capsules and boom options. Comprised of the 4080 Miniature Cardioid Lavalier, as well as the 4060 and 4090 Omnidirectional Hi-Sens Microphones, the d:screet line also includes the company’s new 4098 Podium Microphones announced earlier this year.

“We found words starting with the letter ‘d’ that fit the significance to the product line,” continues Poulsen. “For instance, people are devoted to their instrument and to their sound, therefore our d:vote Instrument Microphones. The d:fine name was selected as we felt the microphone would define a new generation of headsets. The d:facto because the mic sets a new standard within vocal microphones and d:dicate for people who are dedicated to superior sound. Each name was introduced as there was significant updates within each product group.”

Now known as the DPA d:mension Surround Microphone, the 5100 is a compact microphone that provides users with ease of use and stunning sound quality. It is ideal for bringing truly engaging surround ambience to sport events, documentaries and other applications that especially require HDTV production. The d:mension 5006A, 5006-11A and 5015A are complete Surround Kits with five carefully factory-matched d:dicate microphones. The 5006A kit features d:dicate 4006A omni mics exclusively, while the 5006-11A is made up of a combination of the 4006A omni and 4011A cardioids mics and the 5015A is comprised of the 4015 wide cardioids.

Originally designed for use with wireless systems in theater, television and close-miked instrument applications, the d:screet 4060 capsule is highly unobtrusive, which lends itself to an exceedingly accurate omnidirectional pattern. Also a member of the d:screet family, the d:screet 4080 is well suited for broadcast, conference and other live performances in the studio or in the field. It is acoustically pre-equalized, which makes the voice more distinguishable and improves speech intelligibility.

The DPA d:screet 4090 is a high-quality omnidirectional condenser microphone with a uniquely natural and open sound, that is suitable for instrument miking applications in the studio or on the stage. Due to its remarkably linear frequency response in the 20 Hz to 20 kHz range, sound system engineers can also use the 4090 for sound system alignment, testing and tuning.

Additionally, the 4066 and 4088 Headset Microphones are being absorbed into the d:fine category while the company’s existing Reference Standard Microphones, new modular MMC4018 Supercardioid Capsule and well-known MMC4007 High-SPL Omnidirectional Capsule are now in the d:dicate line.

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.

Solid State Logic Launches New and Improved Matrix2 Console at the 135th AES Convention

New Version Adds Powerful Features to Unique Hybrid Production Console

NEW YORK — Solid State Logic, the world’s leading manufacturer of creative tools for audio professionals, launches Matrix2 at the 135th AES Convention (Booth 2821). Since its 2008 launch, the SSL Matrix console has established a high-profile clientele who value its unique capabilities as a genuinely hybrid production platform. Its combination of SSL analogue summing, streamlined integration of boutique analogue outboard mic pre’s and processing (via its software controlled analogue patch system) and advanced DAW control surface, Matrix provides production power and flexibility like no other console. This new version of the Matrix takes feedback from customers and provides a collection of powerful new features.

One of the unique and much praised features of Matrix has always been the integrated software controlled patching of analogue channel inserts, and this has been significantly upgraded in Matrix2. Hardware device inserts can now be loaded directly from the console hardware controls, previously this was done only via the remote browser software, with an intuitive new interface that facilitates loading individual processors, A/B comparison of different processors and building processor chains. The Matrix remote browser software has also been re-designed to provide a new ‘drag and drop’ style interface for loading processors and building chains.

A powerful ‘Fader Linking’ system has been added to the console, which allows two or more faders to be grouped, to facilitate stereo or 5.1 channel control or subgroup style mixing. The A-FADA (Analogue Fader Accesses DAW Automation) summing system used in Duality, AWS and the new SSL Sigma rack has been introduced to enable the analogue faders of Matrix2 to be driven by automation data from a user’s DAW. A-FADA enables channel automation to be performed entirely in the analogue signal path but with the advantages of DAW automation data editing. The addition of A-FADA to Matrix2 facilitates project portability between different SSL products. The previously optional 5.1 output card will now be included as standard pre-fitted in all units.

A collection of smaller new features have also been added including ‘partial TR setup save and import,’ which allows selected parts of the console setup to be saved and imported as setup templates; new Preset insert matrix ‘scenes;’ Preset insert naming tools; “automatic dB readout” for Pro Tools users, allowing the scribble strip to automatically display fader values upon touch; modifier key ‘press and hold’ functionality for Cubase/Nuendo users and new DAW templates for Presonus Studio One and Ableton Live!

Matrix2 will ship in December 2013 priced $23,999, £14,749 and €18,487 + Tax.
All of these new features (excluding the 5.1 output card) will be available to existing customers as a free upgrade.

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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