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Archive by Vanessa Sanchez

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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Sound Devices Introduces Improved Features for 664 Production Mixer at AES 2013

Latest Firmware Update Offers Enhanced Functionality

NEW YORK, OCTOBER 17, 2013 — Sound Devices, experts in portable audio and video products for field production, presents expanded recording capabilities, along with greater flexibility and ease-of-use outdoors for the company’s flagship 664 Production Mixer. Sound Devices showcases the benefits of the 664’s latest firmware update, Version 1.05, at the 135th International AES Convention (Gotham Sound and Communications, Booth 2738).

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, input trim control and direct outputs per channel. Featuring full analog audio paths for high-performance audio and superb power efficiency, the 664 also has numerous digital capabilities. Inputs 1 and 6 can be selected as AES3 or AES42 inputs for digital microphones, each with its own SRC for simplicity in system clocking. The 664’s analog output compliment includes four output buses. The L and R buses are on balanced XLR, 10-Pin and TA-3M connectors and on unbalanced TA-3M or 3.5mm connectors. Secondary output buses X1 and X2 are available on balanced TA-3M connectors. Users can route inputs and buses to four AES3 connections for eight digital outputs on the XLR and 10-pin connectors.

Firmware version 1.05 brings additional features to the already-powerful mixer, including greater flexibility and ease-of-use outdoors. The “LCD Daylight Display” mode incorporates a daylight-specific color scheme and solid bar metering option for improved readability in direct sunlight. Sound Devices has also incorporated additional front panel button shortcuts, including “LCD Daylight Display” mode (HP + SELECT encoders) and Phrase list (HP + RTN B/C) for fast entry of metadata notes. Version 1.05 also incorporates the shortcut for activating different setup tone modes. Users also have new “Track Names in Meters” options (without color gradient/ramp) that are selectable for either right- or left-side display.

With version 1.05, 664 now offers users Monophonic Broadcast WAV file support, with the ability to record up to 10 tracks to two cards, with up to three seconds of record pre-roll. If a card not optimized for multi-channel monophonic file recording is used, or if the monophonic 10-track limit is exceeded, a warning message is displayed on the LCD when starting a recording. Polyphonic mode or reducing track count is recommended. In addition, when formatted in the 664, SD cards 64 GB and larger are now automatically formatted as ExFAT (in accordance with the SD Association’s recommendation). All CF cards and lower-capacity SD cards remain FAT32. Version 1.05 also enables a Headphone Volume or Headphone Preset default option, which sets the HP encoder to operate as headphone level or to select HP presets when rotated. Pressing the headphone encoder momentarily activates the alternative function.

Existing 664 users can download version 1.05 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.

RTW Delivers 145 TM3 TouchMonitor Units to WDR

Feature-Rich Pro-Grade Loudness Meters Prove to Be Practical Administration Solution

COLOGNE, GERMANY, 17 OCTOBER 2013—RTW, a leading vendor of visual audio meters for professional broadcast, production, post production and quality control, has delivered 145 TM3 TouchMonitor units to German broadcaster WDR, Europe’s second-largest broadcaster after the BBC. The units, which WDR has installed in its regional studios and editing suites, enable the broadcaster to comply with EBU R128 loudness metering.

With the development of EBU R128, the audio metering reference has shifted from PPM to loudness, with a peak level (QPPM) of –9 dBFS to a loudness target of –23 LUFS (Loudness Unit Full Scale). Since August 2012, when all German broadcasters agreed to implement EBU R128-compliant loudness metering, WDR has employed a large number of TM7 and TM9 units. Installing the TM3 for EBU R128-compliant loudness metering in smaller editing suites was a natural next step.

WDR opted for the TM3, the smallest member of the TouchMonitor family, because it offers not only PPM and true-peak meters, but also supports all current loudness metering functions compliant with the major international standards (including EBU R128, ITU-R BS.1770-3/1771, ATSC A/85 and ARIB) for up to six channels. The broadcaster also liked that the TM3 could display measurements by single channels, summing bar graphs, loudness range or numerically, with the capability of separating displays as needed for easy viewing by multiple users. The TM3’s flexibility and easy-to-use setup software, which offers customizable administrative support, was also a factor in its purchase.
“The display provides excellent readability and the software offers great views for a large number of applications,” says Friedrich Neher, head of the master unit service group at WDR. “In addition, the similarity to the TM7 and TM9 units already in use at WDR was an attractive point. Also, we liked the idea of using the TM3 as a standalone device. The separation of the display unit and the breakout box were critical, as this considerably increases the flexibility compared to competing products.”
Martin Leuenberg, head of sales at RTW, also noted that while plug-in solutions might seem like a realistic alternative, they have two major drawbacks. “First, any user can change presets or the setup. Second, this would have added another GUI to an already cluttered screen area,” he says. “While you might think that an integrated plug-in would ensure clarity, it comes at the cost of precious display area.”
As freelancers and full-time employees share the same work areas at WDR, the company requires a powerful administration solution to ensure seamless workflows. The Devicer DC1 setup software component for the TM3 allows for preset customization, allowing users to configure administration rights for the application, making sure that only authorized employees can change the setup.
RTW’s TM3 TouchMonitor comprises a horizontally or vertically mounted display unit for easy readability along with a separate interface box. The meter handles analog (balanced or unbalanced) as well as digital stereo signals (AES, S/PDIF). The TM3-6CH version accepts up to six AES3 input signals. The easy-to-use interface ensures fast and intuitive touch operation. The supplied factory presets provide a good set of samples for the supported applications, connection options and standards, and also allow for out-of-the-box operation. Plus, the existing presets can be customized easily using the Devicer DC1 software for Windows and Mac OS.

About WDR
WDR in Cologne, with a broadcast center in Düsseldorf, eleven regional studios, and five regional offices concerns itself with dependable reporting on the current topics of interest in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Events of the day from around the world are chronicled on WDR Television in reports from ARD Network studios in 29 foreign nations. The operation of eight of these correspondent’s offices is the direct responsibility of WDR.

Renowned for its top-quality regional, national and international journalistic excellence, the WDR trademark stands for up-to-the-minute, knowledgeable, and reliable reporting. In addition to news and current affairs, entertainment and cultural programs are also important elements of the programming presented on WDR radio, television, and via the internet at www.wdr.de.

About RTW
For more than 45 years, Cologne-based RTW has accompanied the steady technological progress in the professional audio industry with innovative instruments and technologies for visual audio monitoring in broadcast, production, post production and quality control. Its state-of-the-art audio and loudness metering systems have an excellent reputation throughout the world. With groundbreaking products such as the Surround Sound Analyzer, the company has been a key vendor of professional broadcast and audio metering equipment for decades.

RTW’s ranges of products currently include the SurroundControl series for monitoring, controlling and routing stereo, multichannel and surround audio and the TouchMonitor range, which truly marks a paradigm shift in visual audio monitoring and loudness metering. Combining maximum flexibility and modularity with an intuitive touch-enabled surface and multichannel signal analysis, the TM7 and TM9 units are the essence of many years of experience. The attractively priced TouchMonitor TM3 entry-level system opens new markets, targeting applications such as journalist cubicles, edit suites and small control rooms.
As part of its expansion into the U.S. market, in 2013 RTW established RTW International Corp. in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The new office is the first U.S. location launched by RTW, showing the company’s dedication to supporting its customers and dealer networks in the U.S. The new U.S. office will house all customer service, repair and final product assembly activities for U.S.-based RTW customers.

For more information on RTW, visit www.rtw.de, www.facebook.com/rtw.de or call +49 221 709130. For more information on RTW International Corp., visit www.rtw.com or call 877-938-7221.

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Masque Sound Heats Up Broadway with Modern Take on William Shakespeare Classic Romeo and Juliet

Orlando Bloom and Condola Rashad in Romeo and Juliet - Photo by Carol Rosegg

When William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet made its triumphant return to the Broadway stage for the first time in 36 years, Sound Designer (composer and percussionist) David Van Tieghem and Associate Sound Designer David Sanderson turned to Masque Sound, a leading theatrical sound reinforcement, installation and design company, to provide a custom audio equipment package for the highly anticipated play.

Romeo and Juliet, one of Shakespeare’s most popular plays, revolves around two young star-crossed lovers whose deaths ultimately reconcile their feuding families. This revival, directed by five-time Tony® nominee David Leveaux, retains Shakespeare’s language while moving the setting to contemporary times by portraying the warring Montagues and Capulets as families of different ethnicities.

For Van Tieghem and Sanderson, the overall design goal was to create an eclectic mix of sound drawn from both traditional and modern stagings of the play. “This contemporary Romeo and Juliet is unique in that it’s a play that features a live cello player and live percussionist (Van Tieghem) playing primal drums for a hip-hop feel, so it is quite different then the classic Romeo and Juliet,” says Van Tieghem. “Because various live elements are involved along with previously recorded electronic and orchestral music elements, sound design was a little more complicated and required us to use a larger system than one would expect for a non-musical. Masque Sound did a fantastic job and provided all of the gear we needed to achieve our vision.”

Romeo and Juliet is playing at Broadway’s storied Richard Rodgers Theatre. As the larger venue is usually home to musicals, Van Tieghem and Sanderson wanted to ensure that the actors’ voices projected throughout the entire seating area with absolute clarity. In order to make that happen, Masque Sound provided an extensive vocal reinforcement system. “A lot of times you can hide microphones on stage, but since Romeo and Juliet does not feature a lot of stage props, Masque Sound provided us with DPA vocal microphones, which we placed along the lip of the stage,” adds Van Tieghem.

Among the stage props for Romeo and Juliet is a large amount of sand. To keep the microphones from getting clogged, Masque Sound provided windscreens for the microphones, as well.

In addition to the DPA microphones, Masque supplied several Shure and AKG microphones, as well as Sennheiser cabled and wireless microphones. The custom equipment package also included a Digico SD8 digital console, along with XTA audio management processing systems. The speaker package featured Meyer Sound UPM-1Ps, UPM-2Ps, UPQ-1Ps and a 600-HP high-powered subwoofer. The production crew also utilizes D&B and EAW speakers, and employed Sennheiser and Clear-Com headsets for the show’s intercom. Masque Sound also provided all cabling and associated equipment.

Van Tieghem also appreciates Masque Sound’s reliability and flexibility. “They were renovating the theatre as we were loading in, which drastically reduced our available space on-site. In a project like this, where we are strapped for time and space, Masque Sound really helped us out by not only housing the equipment until we were ready for it, but also taking the time preparing the gear and making sure what we got was what we asked for. We always like working with Masque Sound. They do a consistently great job.”

Romeo and Juliet opened on Thursday, September 19, 2013, and is playing a limited engagement at the Richard Rodgers Theatre through Sunday, January 12, 2014. The production stars Orlando Bloom (Pirates of the Caribbean, the Lord of the Rings) and two-time Tony Award® nominee Condola Rashad (Stick Fly, The Trip to Bountiful) as the title characters. Tickets are available at Ticketmaster.com/1-800-745-3000, or at the Richard Rodgers Theatre Box Office (226 West 46th Street, New York City).

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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