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Archive by Vanessa Sanchez

Three SSL Live Consoles Deployed for Chess in Concert

“I was stunned by the exceptional audio quality and dimensionality of sound from the SSL Live”

TROMSØ, NORWAY – What better music to accompany the 41st World Chess Olympiad tournament than the soundtrack to Chess the musical? Under the direction of Andrew Eljas (who also wrote the original score to the music by Benny Anderson and Bjørn Ulvaeus), the performance included the Norwegian Arctic Philharmonic Orchestra along with a choir and ensemble of leading Norwegian musical performers. This full concert version of Chess demanded a massive audio system. The production tapped the power of three SSL Live consoles, supplied by Bary Sales AS in Oslo, to handle the inputs from the live band, choir and the Arctic Philharmonic. This application is among the largest implementations of SSL Live thus far.

FOH and monitor consoles shared 64 inputs from the band and soloists on stage, while the third Live was used to submix 86 orchestra channels down to six stereo stems. Engineer Espen Andersen was at the helm of the orchestra console, delivering the stem mixes to the main FOH console. The layering, VCA and snapshot automation capabilities of Live were utilised to control both the mix and solo portions.

Additionally, FOH engineer David Solheim and monitor engineer Stig Kamonen each took advantage of Live’s highly flexible automation system to store and recall scenes. This was especially helpful for Kamonen whose monitor console was running a total of 71 mix busses, feeding effects, in-ear monitors, wedges and personal monitoring systems.

“I was stunned by the exceptional audio quality and dimensionality of sound from the SSL Live,” adds Solheim. “The console provides tremendous detail and the response of the controls is very precise. At the Olympiad ceremony, a competitor console was being used at FOH to mix two guest artists who were also playing with the orchestra. The same six stereo orchestra stems were sent to this console; so it was very interesting to have the opportunity to compare the audio quality through my SSL Live as well as the guest console. I think we all were a bit surprised by the difference in quality. Listening to it through the SSL Live was like hearing a stereo mix compared to a mono mix.”

Each of the Live consoles used for this special staging of Chess in concert included onboard Blacklight II I/O. The system was also comprised of six 32 channel ML 32.32 analogue stageboxes, a D 32.32 AES/EBU stagebox and two BL II.D MADI Concentrators. The analogue stageboxes provided the engineers with shared access to a total of 192 remote-controlled SSL Super Analogue™ mic/line inputs and 192 line outputs, while the AES/EBU stagebox facilitated use of 16 pairs of AES/EBU digital I/O at 96 kHz for driving the PA mains. SSL’s BL II.D MADI Concentrator ensured bullet-proof reliability through redundant pairs of SSL’s proprietary Blacklight II connections, each of which are capable of carrying 256 channels of 96 kHz digital within a single armoured fibre cable.

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

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Sound Devices Opens New European Service Center

New Berlin Location Provides Shorter Repair Turnaround Time for European Customers

REEDSBURG, WI, AUGUST 20, 2014 – Sound Devices is pleased to announce the establishment of Sound Devices Europe GmbH and the opening of its new European Service Center in Berlin-Adlershof, Germany’s leading science and technology park. The new facility has been established to extend product service and repair to the company’s growing international customer base.

With the opening of the new repair facility in Berlin, European customers can expect shorter turnaround times and lower shipping costs. In addition, local users will also have closer contact with Sound Devices technicians. The facility is stocked with a full inventory of parts and features brand-new, state-of-the-art repair equipment, and Sound Devices factory-customized test stands to ensure the highest quality service and repair possible.

“This new Service Center is a big step for us and a testament to our commitment to our European customers,” says Matt Anderson, President of Sound Devices. “We are not only committed to creating the finest video and audio products, but also providing unrivalled service to our customers. It is further proof of our continued growth and evolution as a company.”

Effective immediately, the European Service Center will perform factory service and repair for all Video Devices products, warranty and non-warranty, sold in the EU. For Sound Devices audio products, it will provide this service for the following EU countries: Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Sweden. Distributors with established audio service repair facilities will continue to service Sound Devices audio products at this time, including Ambient Recording, Audio Electronics Mattijsen, JBK Marketing and Shure Distribution UK. Over time, all warranty service repairs will be moved to the Berlin facility.

The European Service Center is in direct contact with all European distributors, further ensuring timely delivery of service. To have product repair or service undertaken, customers should contact their local distributor directly to receive authorization.

The Berlin facility is headed by Ginetta Fassio, an accomplished Tonmeister (sound master) and Sound Devices product user for more than a decade. The expert technician team comprises highly qualified German electrical engineers, all of whom have received special training at the Sound Devices corporate headquarters in Reedsburg, Wisconsin.

“Our doors are officially open and we are ready to begin handling repairs.” says Fassio. “As an extension to the team headquartered in the U.S., we will provide the personal one-on-one service that Sound Devices is known for, to those customers and distributors in Europe and the surrounding region.”

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. Established in 2014, Sound Devices Europe GmbH is a wholly owned subsidiary headquartered in Berlin. For more information, visit the Sound Devices and Video Devices websites, www.sounddevices.com; www.videodevices.com.

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SSL Live Joins the 2014 World of Music, Arts and Dance (WOMAD) Festival

“The flexibility of surface offered by the SSL is unparalleled”

MALMESBURY, ENGLAND, U.K. – Celebrating its 34th year, World of Music, Arts and Dance (WOMAD) is an annual eclectic world-music festival of “artists whom we might not get to hear anywhere else” and the largest and most prestigious event of its kind. As with WOMADs of the past, Britannia Row Productions Ltd. once again provided sound services for the festival. But this year had a new team member – SSL Live consoles at FOH for two stages: the main Open Air Stage and at WOMAD’s new Society of Sound marquee.

Having worked as front of house and system engineer in WOMAD’s Siam Tent last year, New Zealander Johnny Keirle returned to mix FOH at the Open Air Stage. An SSL Live console was used by Keirle to mix acts travelling without a FOH engineer. “The SSL Live provides an intuitive, logical workflow and is very easy to use in a festival situation,” he says. “Despite the time restrictions and last minute changes that can prove difficult and stressful at a festival, the console proved to be perfect for our setup.”

The collection of acts that Keirle mixed included the eight-piece traditional Cuban ensemble Septeto Santiagero, Italian folk traditionalist Anna Cinzia Cillani and her Macuran Orchestra and Ethiopian jazz master Mulatu Astatke, who performed just before founding WOMAD headliner and Senegalese icon Yousou N’Dour. Over on the Society of Sound stage Live was coupled with the unique Bowers & Wilkins ‘Sound System’ to deliver pristine high fidelity audio to a discerning audience who enjoyed an impressively diverse collection of experimental artists including: Radiophonic Workshop, Beardyman, 9Bach, Justin Adams and Iarla Ó Lionárd.

For Keirle, the most appealing feature of Live was the customisability of the surface. “On analogue consoles, you always have everything in front of you at all times,” he says. “Obviously, with digital consoles, this is not the case. So, it’s essential to have channels where they’re needed. The flexibility of the control surface offered by the SSL is unparalleled.”

Keirle also mentions the secondary screen on the Channel Control Tile and its Focus Fader below, which together form the right-hand ‘Focus Channel.’ “The combination of direct-access buttons, push-button rotary encoders and touch screen offer full control across all channel processing,” he continues. “I could work on channel processing while simultaneously using the primary screen for other functions.”

Many engineers begin by mainly using Live’s large, central multi-touch screen but like Keirle quickly started to see the benefits of its Channel Control Tile. “As I familiarised myself with the console’s layout and workflow, I found I preferred to use the secondary, smaller screen with its direct access buttons and associated rotary encoders,” he adds. “The Focus Channel offers quicker access to various channel functions and has the added benefit of physical knobs, which I find preferable to the touch screen or a fader flip for fine-tuning and tweaking.”

With a new digital console it can be a challenge to understand its workflow and find the best method of operation but not so for Keirle with Live. “For me, the simple comfort of being able to have my faders laid out exactly as I wanted, in conjunction with full control over channel processing on the second screen, made it easy to quickly get underway,” Keirle says. “This meant I could spend more time working on my mixes, rather than learning how to operate the console. The ability to easily change the console’s configuration is fantastic. Changing inputs or outputs from mono to stereo, or changing auxiliaries from pre- to post-fader is fast and easy, making the creation of suitable mix templates effortless.”

It wasn’t long before Keirle was comfortable pushing the limits of the console. “I began to get more experimental with my show file structuring and layout,” he remarks. “I would change the configuration; make use of multiple stems as subgroups for parallel compression; use various effects units inserted on channels, stems and auxiliaries; run inputs into multiple channels for dedicated effected channels and so on.”

Keirle also found the customisable fader banks and layers very useful for WOMAD’s festival situation. “I found that I could easily reorder channels to work in our festival-patch scenario,” he adds. “So, I adopted a layout that worked well for the bands I was mixing.”

SSL Live’s surface provides three 12-fader banks, or Fader Tiles, each with multiple layers that can be customised with any combination of inputs, outputs, stems, groups, auxiliaries or VCAs. He dedicated the lower, Left Fader Tile to band and instrument inputs and stems on various banks. The Central Fader Tile was used for vocal inputs and dedicated FX send fader and the Upper Fader Tile was used for auxiliary masters and VCA faders.

The loudspeaker system at the Open Air Stage consisted of one dozen L-Acoustics K1s per side, supplemented with 16 SB28 subs and a dozen KARA front-fills. “Using the SSL with the K1 system made for an extremely effortless mix. I never struggled to get anything sounding how I wanted,” Keirle says. “I found SSL Live’s internal effects very easy to dial in and never had any issues with quality of effects sound, which I’ve commonly found to be a weak point in other touring consoles.”

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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RapcoHorizon Joins the “Soundtrack of Summer Tour” with Foreigner, Styx and Don Felder

Engineers for All Three Acts Rely on Custom RoadHog and SilverHog Cables and Connectors for Legendary U.S. Concert Series

JACKSON, MO, AUGUST 13, 2014 – RapcoHorizon, an RHC Holdings brand and leading manufacturer of audio/video interfacing and cable equipment, has once again hit the road for another legendary tour. Custom runs of the company’s RoadHog and SilverHog touring cables are serving a variety of needs for the “Soundtrack of Summer Tour,” featuring Foreigner, Styx and special guest Don Felder of the Eagles.

As the group began to prepare for this highly anticipated tour, Lorenzo Banda, monitor engineer for Foreigner and a long-time RapcoHorizon fan, recommended the cables to the Styx and Felder audio teams. Though Foreigner and Styx are co-headliners and Felder is the opening act, each band required its own unique cabling requirements. For Foreigner and Felder, they exclusively are relying on RapcoHorizon – from instruments to speakers – all arranged in custom runs, while the engineers for Styx created their own runs using several of the company’s cables and connectors.

“We started using RapcoHorizon a while back, when the SilverHog cables first came out, and have used them for every performance since,” says Banda. “When the time came for us to plan the Soundtrack of Summer Tour, I knew the cables would be a perfect fit for Styx and Don Felder. When we met up for a gig at Fox News’ Fox & Friends in New York to promote the tour, I introduced the guys to some of their products.”

The stage design for this tour is complex since each group has its own setup, including lasers and special effects for Foreigner, large video walls for Styx and Felder opening each show by descending onto the arena. “Don is completely on board with the cables,” says Banda. “His engineers love it. Their whole stage setup is now using RapcoHorizon, and I think his studio is even starting to fill out with the cables as well. As for Styx, they’re also really stoked about the quality and sound of the cables.”

All RapcoHorizon cables are designed for the working musician. The custom instrument and speaker cables are road-ready and tour tough, employing the most rugged constructions without sacrificing sound quality. The SilverHog cables offer the bands the same durability for which RapcoHorizon is known, but with an even more enhanced sound range.

“I noticed the high-end definition and fidelity on these cables, as it’s much more pristine than others I have heard,” says Banda. “I use a lot of RapcoHorizon’s twisted pair cables, which have great resistance and a high-quality sound. I don’t know all the technical nuances that go into making the cables, but I can definitely hear the difference.”

By the time the tour concludes this September, the RapcoHorizon cables will have made more than 50 stops across the country. “All of the cables have been really slamming and durable,” adds Banda. “We have backups and redundancies, just in case, but we haven’t needed to use them. Sound is our first priority and to have that kind of quality product behind us is one less thing that we have to worry about.”

Banda credits RHC Holdings and RapcoHorizon as being among the best audio companies in the industry with which to work. “Everyone at RapcoHorizon bent over backwards to make sure all of the bands received what they needed in a timely manner,” he says. “They always make us feel like we’re their number one priority and take care of us immediately. They care about us 100 percent whole-heartedly. We’ve worked with other cable companies and you can’t get that level of customer service with anyone else; it really makes a difference.”

RHC Holdings, located in Jackson, Missouri, is one of the world’s largest manufacturers and suppliers of audio, video, home theater, data and telecommunications interfacing products. Comprising RapcoHorizon, Momentum, Pro Co, Pro Co Data, RAT, RoadHog and StageMASTER, each RHC Holdings brand has developed a reputation in many industries for reliability, and superior sound performance. Used worldwide by concert touring sound companies, video and sound contractors, recording studios, system integrators, audiophiles and musicians, the company’s products provide optimal flexibility and premium performance. RHC Holdings also has a state-of-the-art Custom Shop to modify existing products or build new devices to meet any need.

SSL to Host Free Live Console Training at U.K. HQ

OXFORD, ENGLAND, U.K. – Solid State Logic, the world’s leading provider of tools for creative audio professionals, is proud to announce its Live Console Operator Training Days. Aimed at serving as an introduction to the SSL Live console, these free one-day courses will include hands-on experience for all participants. The training sessions will take place at the company’s Oxford, England-based headquarters on 17th and 18th September, 1st and 2nd October and 5th and 6th November. While these events are completely free, numbers are strictly limited. All interested parties are encouraged to apply via the online application form, found online at store.solidstatelogic.com/forms/live-training.

Currently featuring its V2 Software, SSL Live is the company’s first console for live sound production, suited to touring or installation, FOH or monitor systems for venues, arenas, houses of worship and concert halls. Reception to the console by the industry has been extremely positive since its announcement last year, with Live already appearing on tour with The Killers, Jason Aldean and Flogging Molly as well as at various music festivals, such as WOMAD and Live at Edinburgh Castle.

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 Gives Back to the Community with Donation to Industry Charity, ROAD RECOVERY

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ, AUGUST 11, 2014 — Masque Sound, a leading theatrical sound reinforcement, installation and design company, recently presented a charitable contribution to ROAD RECOVERY, a non-profit organization devoted to helping today’s youth overcome addiction and other adversities. With this donation, ROAD RECOVERY will continue its mission of empowering the younger generation to face their adversities through its range of music-focused programs and events.

An organization that is important to Stephanie Hansen, vice president and general manager at Masque Sound, ROAD RECOVERY was founded in 1998 by music industry veterans Gene Bowen, a tour manager and recovering addict, and Jack Bookbinder, an artist manager who struggles with Type II diabetes, to help young people battle addiction and other adversities by harnessing the influence of entertainment industry professionals who have confronted similar crises and now wish to share their experience, knowledge and resources.

“Currently in its 16th year, ROAD RECOVERY, a non-profit organization rooted in the music industry, needs our support more than ever in order to reach the ever-growing numbers of young people and their families who are seeking help,” says Hansen. “We understand how important it is to be able to give back to the community and couldn’t be more proud to give our time and capital to an organization from our industry that needs the support in order to make a difference. We strongly encourage and hope that others in our industry get involved and offer their support to this great organization.”

With assistance from leading professionals in the mental health field, ROAD RECOVERY provides hands-on mentorship training, educational/performance workshops, peer-support networking, and “all access” to real-life opportunities by collaborating with young people to create and present live-concert events and recording projects.

In addition to the support ROAD RECOVERY has received from leading companies in the audio and music industries, such as the late Phil Ramone and Steve Lillywhite, Road Recovery has garnered support from several celebrities who have rolled up their sleeves and plugged in, giving so much of themselves to the charity’s kids including Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne, Slash, John Varvatos, Denis Leary, among others.

“Organizations such as ROAD RECOVERY play a vital role in the support of our youth today, as they face so many adversities and struggles,” adds Hansen. “We are inspired by the amazing work that Gene, Jack and the rest of the wonderful people at ROAD RECOVERY have done since 1998 and are thrilled to support the organization’s efforts, so that they can continue their exceptional community outreach in the years ahead.”

“We are extremely thankful to Stephanie Hansen and the team at Masque Sound for their generous donation,” says Gene Bowen. “Masque Sound’s commitment and support, along with that of the many artists and music industry companies we work with, is what allows ROAD RECOVERY to continue its mission. I further express our thanks for Masque’s willingness to spread the word, and opportunities concerning Road Recovery, to companies in the music industry and professionals who might be looking to get involved.”

To learn more about the organization and how to get involved, visit www.roadrecovery.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.

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Solid State Logic Live at Edinburgh Castle

“I actually said out loud, ‘wow, this is amazing’”

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND, U.K. – This summer’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow were preceded by Live at Edinburgh Castle, a 2.5-hour multi-act concert, televised live on the BBC from this unique location that dominates the Edinburgh skyline. The line-up for the event was extensive and included Culture Club, OneRepublic, Kaiser Chiefs, Motown legend Smokey Robinson, Jessie J, Paloma Faith and Il Divo. Various acts were backed by a 12-piece house band and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. To keep up with the fast-paced nature of the high-profile event, two SSL Live consoles were provided by Britannia Row Productions Ltd.

Though the event was headed by Brit Row Project Manager Lez Dwight, with Stefan Krista managing the inputs and cross-patch from scores of 12-way sub-snakes, Nahuel Gutierrez operated one SSL Live for the 75-member orchestra, generating group stems for FOH, monitors, BBC broadcast and 16 personal monitor stems for the orchestra. Niccolo Antonietti used the second SSL Live console to mix monitors/IEMs for the house band, along with guest vocals, guest backline and Pro Tools® tracks, totalling 60 outputs for 30 stereo mixes. Both SSL Live consoles were located remotely with only a BBC program shot to watch. As freelance engineers, rehearsal for the Edinburgh Castle concert was the first time Gutierrez and Antonietti had the opportunity to use an SSL Live console.

Antonietti’s console handled the house band, made up of drums, bass, guitars, two keyboards, percussion and three backing vocals, as well as director Mike Stevens’ keyboard and guitars. He also controlled the handheld microphones for guests, ambient microphones, intercoms, BBC feeds and 16 channels of Pro Tools, bringing Antonietti’s desk to 120 input channels. The two SSL Live consoles also had a MADI connection between them to feed stem subgroups back and forth.

“The orchestra was using personal monitors, so I sent them band stems, like guitar, rhythm section, keyboards and vocals, as well as Pro Tools stems,” Antonietti explains. “I then received a premix of the orchestra and of all of the other channels that I couldn’t get on my desk.”

Antonietti found the stems feature extremely advantageous. “The stems are especially important when you have that much to mix, with guests coming and going that you have to mix for and keep track of in such little time,” he says. “I could just mix the guest IEMs using stems, so it was really, really helpful. It was one of the best features on SSL Live for this show, because you can have a lot of channels that don’t need full processing.”

Over on the orchestra’s SSL Live console, Gutierrez used channel delay to synchronize the orchestra’s inputs. “The delays made everything sound a lot fatter and we loved it,” he says. “We measured the distances on stage and then put natural time delays from back to front, so percussion had the biggest delay and the first violins and cellos up front had the shortest delay.

With just a minimal amount of time to acquaint themselves with SSL Live at southwest London’s CATO Rehearsal space, Antonietti and Gutierrez had no trouble getting a feel for the console. “I felt very comfortable because SSL sent product specialists to help us out; after they showed me how to get into the system, it was really easy,” explains Antonietti. “We set up on Wednesday before the show on Saturday, so we only had a few days for the guests to rehearse with the orchestra and band. The quick learning curve of the SSL helped made rehearsals simple.”

Antonietti mentions SSL Live’s sound quality as his favourite feature. “The sound quality on the console is amazing; its preamps and its stereo capabilities are great,” he says. “I only needed to make slight gain adjustments to make it perfect and some EQ’ing to the really high and low ends to make it sound balanced for the IEMs. The console just sounded really good.”

“The most amazing thing about the desk is the sound,” echoes Gutierrez. “I’ve never played with an SSL before and the sound is crisp and very, very nice. It also has a wider stereo image than other desks. Don’t ask me why; that’s what I’m hearing with my ears.”

Gutierrez also mentioned SSL Live’s cueing. “One of the things that really amazed me was the solo feature,” he adds. “Being able to route the solos on any output, once you get your head around it, is really brilliant. Not having to preset the solo is really amazing. I actually said out loud, ‘Wow, this is amazing.’ ”

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 Returns to the Berkshire Mountains to Celebrate 60th Season of the Williamstown Theatre Festival

Efficient Custom Audio Package Features Dante-Enabled Equipment

WILLIAMSTOWN, MA, AUGUST 4, 2014 — When the Berkshire Mountains of western Massachusetts recently came alive for the 60th season of the Williamstown Theatre Festival, Masque Sound, a leading theatrical sound reinforcement, installation and design company, returned to celebrate its 11th season of providing audio equipment and services for the highly acclaimed summer theatre.

Since 1955, the Williamstown Theatre Festival has been bringing together America’s finest actors, directors, designers and playwrights as they present a unique opportunity for artists and audiences alike to revisit classic plays with innovative, new productions. This summer, two internationally renowned powerhouse performers—soprano Renée Fleming and multiple award-winning actress, dancer and singer Chita Rivera—will make their respective Williamstown Theatre Festival Main Stage debuts. The festival’s 2014 season kicked off with the opening of June Moon on the Main Stage and A Great Wilderness on the Nikos Stage. Now playing on the Main Stage are Living on Love and The Visit, while Fool for Love and The Old Man and the Old Moon will round out the Nikos Stage’s summer productions.

To ensure a successful season, Masque Sound provided a comprehensive custom audio equipment package for each of the two stages’ three summer shows. “Prior to the season opening, we start from scratch and work with Masque Sound’s talented crew to map out and create what we envision for the season’s equipment packages,” says Ben Truppin-Brown, sound supervisor, Williamstown Theatre Festival. “This year, we installed a fairly comprehensive, overarching audio system, designed to provide a front end PA that will work across the board, adequately addressing the audio requirements for each of the six shows between the two spaces, while also taking into account the particular needs of each individual show. The challenge is that when one production ends, we only have 24 hours to changeover for the next show. Masque Sound did a great job in helping us lay out the general infrastructure, so that we could very easily drop in the additional components that we needed for the next production.”

New to the Williamstown Theatre Festival this year is the addition of Dante-enabled equipment to Masque Sound’s custom package. “Masque Sound has always been incredibly accommodating to our needs, and when we asked about using the Dante™-enabled equipment for this season, they were happy to oblige,” adds Truppin-Brown. “Using the Dante network makes the distribution of the signal unbelievably simple and efficient. It’s an amazing addition and one that we are thankful Masque Sound made possible for us.”

In addition to the Dante-enabled custom audio equipment package, Masque Sound is also once again managing frequency coordination for the Williamstown Theatre Festival. The company’s expert wireless service team has been on-hand providing approximately 15 channels of wireless for the start of the summer and will be expanding to about 56 channels of wireless for the final two musicals.

The two main stages at the Williamstown Theatre Festival are equipped with an array of Meyer Sound and d&b audiotechnik speakers. The 511-seat Main Stage theatre features a Yamaha CL-5 Digital Mixing Console and the 173-seat Nikos Stage is equipped with a Yamaha CL1 console. All of the signal processing takes place digitally from the consoles to the Yamaha DME64 Digital Mixing Engine before breaking out to analog outputs. For wireless needs, Truppin-Brown utilized the Sennheiser 3000 series transmitters and receivers, supplementing it with Sennheiser SK 5012 and SK 5212 transmitters and EM 1046 receivers.

“One of the reasons why Masque Sound is such a reliable, well-respected company in the industry is because the crew offers a high-level of support to its customers, one that is unparalleled,” adds Truppin-Brown. “We produce shows of a high caliber, and we do it with a young, but talented, crew whose experience levels greatly vary. Equally as important as the production quality of the festival is the educational experience that we provide interns and staff. For most of the people on the Williamstown crew, this shop build was their very first. Masque Sound supports that educational mission through its staff’s willingness to teach and by allowing us to expose our crew to some of the best equipment available. It is an experience that I don’t think any other summer stock theatre can offer and that I don’t think any other shop can give. We could not be as successful as we are without Masque Sound, and we value our relationship with them.”

In addition to the two main stages, Masque Sound also provided custom audio equipment packages to the Goodrich Hall, for the festival’s cabaret performances; the Directing Studio’s workshop productions; and numerous rehearsal and performance spaces in and around the greater Williamstown area. To learn more about the Williamstown Theatre Festival, visit http://wtfestival.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.

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Masque Sound Blows the Roof Off The Acorn Theatre for Explosive New Musical, Atomic

Custom Audio Equipment Package Brings the Story of the Creation of the First Nuclear Bomb to Off-Broadway Stage

NEW YORK, JULY 30, 2014 — When the highly charged, new rock musical, Atomic ignited the stage at The Acorn Theatre at New York’s Theatre Row, Masque Sound, a leading theatrical sound reinforcement, installation and design company, was on-hand to provide a custom audio equipment package to support Sound Designer Jon Weston and his team.

Atomic is a thrilling new off-Broadway musical that blasts open the doors of The Manhattan Project, a Government-funded program of top scientists who were faced with the task of creating the world’s first Atomic Bomb. The production depicts Hungarian American physicist and inventor Leó Szilárd as the mastermind behind atomic power whose heart has reservations. Ethics, scientific progress and true love are tested as Szilárd discovers exactly what he’s capable of when someone believes in him.

One of Weston’s biggest challenges in designing the sound for Atomic was the theatre’s layout itself. “The space we were dealing with is very wide and shallow, so coverage was a big concern,” says Weston. “In order to address those issues, equipment selection and its placement within the theatre, was critical. To accommodate the large scale of the show, we created an extensive sound system with Masque Sound’s assistance and support. Working in such a vast space, it was important to both the composer and director that the sound accurately depicts the many different emotions that run throughout this production, and I think that this custom audio equipment package allowed us to achieve that.”

In order to attain the soundscape he desired, Weston turned to the Avid VENUE Profile Console, which provides the sound quality, flexibility and reliability he was after. The main speaker system is comprised of a pair of d&b audiotechnik C7-TOP 15-inch two-way speakers. “The C7-TOP is a very musically-inclined, accommodating speaker,” Weston says. “It doesn’t wrap around or spill everywhere; its range goes exactly where it’s intended to and not much comes off the sides. It really is an excellent speaker and ideal for this production. We rounded out the main system with EAW JF200s and Meyer Sound UPA-1Ps, and it really sounds great.”

The surround system features RE Audio MT18s and Meyer Sound UPQ-1Ps that are also used as part of the effects system. The large, low end of the system includes d&b audiotechnik B4s and Q-subs, and Meyer Sound 650Ps. “The goal in the design of this surround system was to have an abundance of speakers working well within their set range, as opposed to having fewer speakers set up in a way that they sound draining,” adds Weston. “The system appears loud because of the contrast, but in reality it isn’t that loud.”

Additionally, Masque Sound supplied a microphone package featuring Sennheiser MKE-2s for the cast, as well as a wireless package featuring Sennheiser 5212 and 3532s. Masque Sound also provided frequency coordination for the 14 channels of wireless used for the show.

“Working with Masque Sound allows me to maximize my available options and budget,” says Weston. “It’s all about the relationship with the shop. I usually deal one-on-one with department personnel at Masque Sound, and they are always willing to go that extra step to help, which is critical to the success of a production’s sound design. I am very specific in my visions, and I know that can sometimes slow things down a bit, but they are always happy to oblige me, which is wonderful. The equipment Masque Sound provides, especially the microphones, are always top-notch. Even legacy equipment, which I like to use, is in stock and always in great shape. In addition to Masque Sound, I could not do what I do without the hard work of my personal team. Mixer/Associate Josh Millican and Assistant Sound Josh Staines do a great job of bringing it all together every performance.”

Atomic, running for a limited eight-week engagement, officially opened on Sunday, July 13 and is slated to run through August 16 at The Acorn Theatre at Theatre Row (410 West 42nd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues). To learn more about Atomic, visit www.atomicthemusical.com.

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

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Nouvelle Star’s Amel Bent Takes SSL Live on the Road for 2014 Instinct Tour

“This is the console I have been waiting for; it gives me the utmost in flexibility, ergonomics, sound and options”

PARIS – Pop star Amel Bent first took France by storm as a semi-finalist on the pop idol television show Nouvelle Star in 2004. Ten years later, she’s still going strong. Currently in the midst of her Instinct Tour, Bent is performing to enthusiastic audiences across France and Switzerland, where a pair of SSL Live consoles, supplied by SGroup’s Alès location, are handling FOH and monitors.

Having previously worked with Christophe Willem, Zazie and 1789 Les amants de la bastille as PA tech, FOH engineer Thibault Maestracci joined Bent in November 2013 at the start of the tour. For this production, he takes approximately 50 channels from the stage and handles FOH mixing with a system that incorporates two Pro Tools® HD rigs.

“The first Pro Tools system is used as a ‘toolbox,’ mainly for effects for ‘stem group’ processing,” he explains. “The second system functions primarily as a backup during the show, but I can also use it as a multi-track recorder/player for rehearsals. The microphone preamplifiers are located on stage and are connected to the FOH console using SSL’s Blacklight II audio transport on two optical fibre connections. Alex [Maggi, the monitor engineer] and I have independent control over preamp gain for each desk.”

Maestracci is very happy with the results he gets with the SSL Live. “The sound quality is excellent and preamplifiers have the headroom to accept high input levels,” he adds. “I don’t need an external preamplifier with this desk — even for the lead vocal! The fader and encoder layout is great, and the way you can deploy the channels on different banks is very useful. You can put what you want where you want it. Once you understand the logic behind the desk, it is very easy to customize, and the ability to use both screens simultaneously is a powerful feature.”

According to Maestracci, the Instinct tour began indoors with a PA system that was configured for audiences between 500 and 1200. “For the summer, we’ve switched to an outdoor configuration with a local ‘festival-style’ PA,” he continues. “With this setup, the main output of the SSL Live is sent at 96 kHz via the AES output to two system processors, then distributed via Dante to the power amps.”

Meanwhile, Maggi, whose credits include Lara Fabian, Nolwenn Leroy and the production of Les Victoires de la Musique, mans his SSL Live from stage left, feeding monitor mixes to wireless IEM transmitters and wired IEM amplifiers. He met the Parisian pop sensation in 2004 while working on Nouvelle Star and soon after began touring as her monitor engineer.

“I’ve been waiting for a new generation of digital mixing consoles that could provide a higher number of output buses and increased reliability over the older digital desks I had been using,” he says. “The SSL Live gives me all of that, plus more. A big strength of the desk is that I can operate it in any number of methods. I can use the large touch screen or the small touch screen with its associated knob controllers, to access parameters for any input or output channel — whatever way is best for me. I find that I mainly use the small touch screen and the Channel Control Tile, which gives me rotary controls for the parameters and dedicated buttons to quickly access EQ, dynamics, panning and inserts. This is the console I have been waiting for. It gives me the utmost in flexibility, ergonomics, sound and options.”

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

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