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Masque Sound Struts its Stuff for National Tour of Six-Time Tony Award®-Winning Musical, Kinky Boots

Kinky Boots Tour - Photo by Matthew Murphy

Kinky Boots Tour – Photo by Matthew Murphy

Kinky Boots, winner of six Tony Awards® including Best Musical, sings and dances its way across the United States for its year-long national tour with the help of Masque Sound, a leading theatrical sound reinforcement, installation and design company. Tony Award®-winning Sound Designer John Shivers, along with his long-time associate and collaborator, David Patridge, relied on Masque Sound to provide the custom audio equipment package for the tour.

In Kinky Boots, Charlie Price has reluctantly inherited his father’s shoe factory, which is on the verge of bankruptcy. Trying to live up to his father’s legacy and save his family business, Charlie finds inspiration in the form of Lola. A fabulous entertainer in need of some sturdy stilettos, Lola turns out to be the one person who can help Charlie become the man he’s meant to be. As they work to turn the factory around, this unlikely pair finds that they have more in common than they ever dreamed possible… and discovers that when you change your mind about someone, you can change your whole world.

Kinky Boots, directed and choreographed by the Tony Award-winning Jerry Mitchell, is brought to life by music and lyrics from Grammy® Award-winner and Tony Award-winner Cyndi Lauper and a book by Tony Award-winner Harvey Fierstein.

Shivers’ and Patridge’s goal of recreating and delivering the incredible sound that Broadway audiences are accustomed to, due in part to the custom audio equipment package that Masque Sound also supplied for the Broadway show, proved a daunting task. “When designing the audio we had to plan ahead for venues of vastly different sizes and shapes, as is typical when touring Broadway shows,” says Patridge. “One week, the production may run in a large civic auditorium with five levels of seating; the next week, it may be in a house more akin to a Broadway theatre with 1500 to 1800 seats. This tour really runs the full gamut as far as venues, including outdoor theaters and even hockey arenas.”

d&b audiotechnik V-Series line arrays in the speaker towers comprise the main sound system. “We first auditioned the V-Series when we worked on Holler If You Hear Me on Broadway, and we really liked the fact that the speaker was capable of clear, intelligible sound with a lot of impact, despite the compact size of the box,” adds Patridge. “We had a lot of assistance from Gary Stocker at Masque Sound, who created custom speaker tower designs for the tour. He was able to incorporate the V-Series into the towers, which is something that Masque Sound has never done before. Stocker took our ideas and turned them into reality, which saved us a lot of additional engineering, time and work.”

For the console, Masque Sound provided a DiGiCo SD7T, the same live digital console that is used on Kinky Boots’ Broadway production, as the designer wanted to keep the programming intact matching the Broadway show. “The SD7T’s channel count allows our engineers to incorporate all of the monitor inputs into the same console as front of house,” says Patridge. “The SD7T is the only console that would provide the 128 channels that were needed to handle our requirements along with the features that we were looking for. We are very happy that the Masque Sound crew was willing to go the extra mile to accommodate our requests.”

Masque Sound also supplied d&b audiotechnik D80 amplifiers. The amplifiers fit four channels of amplification into two rack spaces, which is an important space-saving feature for a touring production. In addition, the cast utilized a selection of DPA 4061 microphones, along with Sennheiser SK 5212 wireless packs and EM 3732-II receivers for the roughly 40 channels of wireless used on the show.

“As always, Masque Sound was able to provide us with everything that we needed for the tour,” concludes Patridge. “The challenge, with any tour, is making sure that the sound crew is able to translate the sound design that we envision. A lot of it is very subjective, with the team, at the end of the day, relying on the mixers to make the show work across all of the different venues. In this regard, Head Audio Mixer Ben Madden and Assistant Audio Mixer Brian Kallaher are the people who make this production happen from city-to-city and to them we are very grateful.”

Kinky Boots kicked off its national tour on September 4 at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts in Las Vegas. The tour is scheduled to play through most of 2015 and will make stops in 32 cities, including Portland, Seattle, Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Detroit, Nashville, Houston, Dallas, St. Louis, Philadelphia, Chicago, Minneapolis and Boston.

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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McGill University’s Schulich School Students Tackle Loudness Control with RTW TM3 TouchMonitor

Renowned Recording Engineers Richard King, Martha de Francisco and George Massenburg Count on Audio Meter to Help Students Create Dynamite Mixes

MONTRÉAL, QUÉBEC, CANADA, NOVEMBER 3, 2014 – RTW, a leading vendor of visual audio meters and monitoring devices for professional broadcast, production, post production and quality control, is pleased to announce that the sound recording department at McGill University’s prestigious Schulich School of Music now uses the company’s TM3 TouchMonitor audio meter to instruct students in the art of loudness control.RTW_SchulichSchool_TM3_Students

Recording engineer and inventor George Massenburg, an adjunct professor of recording arts and sciences at McGill, the largest university-based school for professional music training and music research in Canada, sees loudness normalization as the next major trend to hit the music industry. He points out that Apple iTunes, for example, already features controls for normalizing the sound across one’s library of songs (“Sound Check”). “Normalization for music is spreading, and we want to educate students to take advantage of this trend the best way they can,” he says. “We want them to be able to make good mixes so they can work going forward.”

The RTW TM3 is one way sound recording at The Schulich School of Music is helping his students prepare for this future. With its easy-to-use 4.3-inch touchscreen and large number of graphical and numerical instruments showing single-channel and summing-loudness bargraphs, PPM, true peak, SPL, loudness range (LRA), dialnorm and correlation, the TM3, part of RTW’s TouchMonitor line of audio meters, is a perfect tool for students learning how to measure loudness control for the first time. Its flexible user interface enables the selection of up to 10 presets with the swipe of a finger, allowing students to focus energy on training their ears for loudness differences.
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“Another benefit of having the TM3 readily accessible is when the students are working with multiple projects at once,” explains Massenburg. “To give the students references when they’re learning how to mix, we’ll have them do a new mix but refer to another piece of work. It may not even be the same song—it may be something else, but to reference that on an equal playing field—meaning equal loudness—they’ve got to measure the loudness of that external file. So it’s very useful to have the meter right there. It’s not software. It doesn’t come and go with the project. It’s a part of the setup.”

That setup is located in the Schulich School’s Studio A, where the RTW TM3 is part of a range of solutions the students use to conduct mixes. These include Euphonix MC mixers, Merging Technologies Pyramix, Avid Pro Tools, ATC, Genelec and JBL loudspeakers and monitoring systems, among others.

“The TM3 helps the students adjust the loudness of a mix until it’s roughly in the ballpark of their reference mix,” adds Massenburg. “Then they can move ahead with making better mixing decisions. We find that elements that are punchier, such as a snappier snare or kick drum, really don’t affect the loudness as much as a constant, dense mid-to-upper frequency range, so students don’t have to squash their mixes to make them stand out. It leads to more dynamic mixes. It’s a tool that we think is going to be more and more important to students and practitioners [as loudness normalization becomes more prevalent in the music industry].”

Massenburg says his students find it easy to work with the TM3. “It’s very clear. We have it pre-set so that 85dB SPL is the target playback level, and -24dBFS is the target recording level. Since its relative between their work and an outside work, we can just kind of stay in that one setup. It’s nice that it’s flexible, but we don’t want it to change too much, so everyone is already up to speed on how it is set up.”

For Massenburg, much of his work at the Schulich School ultimately comes down to training students to be excellent critical listeners. “We train our students to listen hard and to pay attention to detail,” he says. “The better they’re trained in critical listening and evaluation skills, the better they’re able to deal with the more varied situations they could encounter out in the workplace.”

This training is obviously a resounding success, as graduates of the Schulich School have gone on to successful, high-profile careers in many different fields. One former student, for example, is the chief engineer of Symphony Hall in Boston. Another handles sound for some of the most popular musical shows in Las Vegas, including Cirque du Soleil’s Beatles LOVE presentation.

“We give our students the skills that they can take anywhere,” says Massenburg. “They can continue with music production, work for a classical operation, go into television production, or go further with their research. We provide them the skills to be able to say, ‘Sure, I can do that.’ [Loudness and the RTW TM3 is part of that.]”

Apple and iTunes are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

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

SSL Duality Delivers Real-World Education Experience for Algonquin College

“Duality is used to illustrate a wide variety of modern recording methods and techniques”

OTTAWA, CANADAAlgonquin College has installed a Solid State Logic Duality Console to deliver real-world experience for students enrolled in its Music Industry Arts (MIA) program. Located in Canada’s capital, Ottawa, Algonquin College began its music production and business diploma program in 2010, recently constructing a large studio with a teaching-oriented control room to house the Duality.

SSL Duality at MIA Algonquin College“The aim of the MIA program is to prepare students for the myriad of Music Industry employment possibilities that the real world has to offer,” says Colin Mills, Program Coordinator and Professor of Music Business Program for the MIA. “To that end, as the centrepiece of the MIA control room, Duality is used to illustrate a wide variety of modern recording methods and techniques. The console is uniquely flexible in that it can be configured to emulate console architectures ranging from traditional analogue to contemporary DAW controller. Between group sessions and personal studio time, students learn how to apply these skills in order to create professional-calibre recordings.”

The MIA is considered a “non-semestered diploma program,” according to Mills, which essentially condenses the normal two-year, four-semester learning regimen into three semesters that run over 12 consecutive months. Each year, the program intakes up to 75 students who receive their diploma after a single, very busy year. Duality became the best choice for this intensive program because of its ability to address all aspects of music production with a straightforward, industry-standard user interface and powerful DAW controller.

“The mission of the MIA program is to prepare students for a career in the Music Industry,” states Mills. “The content of our program is about 60 percent audio production and 40 percent the business of music. We find that giving our students a full understanding of how the industry works will prepare them for various career options. On the production side, Duality delivers a ‘best of all worlds engineering experience’ that is consistent with our mission.”

The Duality is mainly used for all three levels of the program’s “Recording, Engineering, Production” course, which runs all year. “Students are in the studio with the SSL for 10 hours per week in the Recording, Engineering, Production course alone,” relates Mills. “We offer other classes that reference Duality workflow that include our ‘Digital Audio Concepts’ and ‘Production Theory’ courses, each of which has two levels. Additionally, after the halfway point of the first 15-week semester, each student is required to give 15 hours of studio time on the Duality per semester. Most of these student sessions run immediately after class, overnight and all weekend, so our studio ends up in use 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The console works flawlessly, day-in and day-out, delivering great sound. It’s also great that the console is backed by SSL, a company that actually responds immediately to any question or problem. With our schedule, there really is no other console but Duality for our program.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ABOUT DPA:
DPA Microphones is the leading Danish Professional Audio manufacturer of high-quality condenser microphone solutions for professional applications. DPA’s ultimate goal is to always provide its customers with the absolute finest possible microphone solutions for all its markets, which include live sound, installation, recording, theatre and broadcast. When it comes to the design process, DPA takes no shortcuts. Nor does the company compromise on its manufacturing process, which is done at the DPA factory in Denmark. As a result, DPA’s products are globally praised for their exceptional clarity and transparency, unparalleled specifications, supreme reliability and, above all, pure, uncolored and undistorted sound.

For more information on DPA Microphones, please visit www.dpamicrophones.com.

Deutsche Welle Calls on RTW TouchMonitor Range

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SSL Duality Brings La Mansión Recording Studios to Next Commercial Level

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Classical Sensation Chad Lawson Reinvents Chopin with DPA Microphones

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ABOUT DPA:
DPA Microphones is the leading Danish Professional Audio manufacturer of high-quality condenser microphone solutions for professional applications. DPA’s ultimate goal is to always provide its customers with the absolute finest possible microphone solutions for all its markets, which include live sound, installation, recording, theatre and broadcast. When it comes to the design process, DPA takes no shortcuts. Nor does the company compromise on its manufacturing process, which is done at the DPA factory in Denmark. As a result, DPA’s products are globally praised for their exceptional clarity and transparency, unparalleled specifications, supreme reliability and, above all, pure, uncolored and undistorted sound.

For more information on DPA Microphones, please visit www.dpamicrophones.com.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Latest Firmware Update Incorporates New Release Candidate Screening Program

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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