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Archive of the AES Newslink Category

DK-Technologies Appoints Anders Kjempff As New Sales and Marketing Director

DK-Technologies has announced the appointment of Anders Kjempff to the position of Sales and Marketing Director, with responsibility for promoting the company’s range of audio and video metering products including the award winning DK Meter. He will be based at DK-Technologies’ head office in Herlev, Denmark.

Kjempff brings extensive management experience to the role having previously run his own IT sales company, which he sold earlier this year. Prior to that he spent nine years with broadcast transmission company ProTeleVision Technologies (PTV) where he was Sales and Strategy Director.

Karsten Hansen, CEO of DK-Technologies, says: “There is a real sense of ‘Sliding Doors’ about Anders’ appointment because, in a parallel dimension, he should have joined the company in 2001 when DK bought the Studio Products Division of PTV. At that stage he was working for the part of the company that we didn’t buy, and that’s why he didn’t come across then. I am really delighted that our paths have finally come together. Anders has so much industry experience and is such a consummate sales and marketing professional that this is really great news for the future of DK-Technologies.”

Commenting on his appointment, Anders Kjempff adds: “I have known about DK-Technologies for many years and have always admired its approach to product design and development. DK products are conceived from a blank sheet of paper – there are no third party algorithms or components because everything is designed from scratch with no compromise. That is why the company has such a strong international reputation for quality. I am delighted that I am now part of this because I share the same values. Coming to DK really does feel like coming home.”

Under Kjempff’s guidance, DK-Technologies will be looking to promote its world class products and expand its sales network on a global scale.

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About DK-Technologies
DK-Technologies develops and produces audio meters, video sync and test signal generators, as well as video waveform monitors and colour analysers both for LCD and CRT monitors. Alongside its worldwide distributor network, DK-Technologies also operates branch offices in Denmark, Germany, UK and USA. www.dk-technologies.com

Full Compass Hosts NUAGE Demo, Nuendo Master Class

BUENA PARK, Calif.—A Yamaha NUAGE Demo and Nuendo Master Class will be held by Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems and hosted by Full Compass on Tuesday, September 23rd at 9770 Silicon Prairie Parkway, Madison, WI. The event is free of charge. Product tours will begin promptly at 6:00pm, 7:00pm and 8:00pm.

A joint collaboration between Yamaha and Steinberg, the NUAGE Advanced Production System is the brainchild of workflow efficient hardware and Nuendo 6 software operating together in perfect harmony. Offering unprecedented productivity and flexibility as well as premium audio quality in an innovative design, NUAGE is making waves across the world.

David Lees and Marcel Mauceri from Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc. will be on hand to demonstrate the new Yamaha NUAGE production system along with Full Compass Systems staff and discuss the latest news, tips and tricks of Nuendo recording software.

For more information and to register, email rsvp@fullcompass.com.

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Fairlight Showcases 3D Audio Workspace at IBC 2014

At IBC 2014, Fairlight will showcase 3D Audio Workspace (3DAW), a new platform for immersive and object oriented 3D Sound Production.

Aimed at the film and television post production market, 3D Audio Workspace reinforces the industry’s drive for the ultimate in cinematic and immersive sound delivery by providing a comprehensive and diverse environment for 3D audio production.

“Fairlight has always had a reputation for pushing the boundaries of technology, but even by our high standards 3DAW is one of the most exciting products we have launched in many years,” says Tino Fibaek, Fairlight’s CTO.

One of the features that make 3DAW so unique is AirPan – a brand new concept that allows operators to use a Virtual Reality (VR) style input to position and control images in a 3D space.

“This feature is incredibly cool because you can literally reach out into the airspace monitored by the controller and by just moving your fingers in the air, you can pan, rotate, tilt and spread your sound in space,” Fibaek adds.

Fairlight’s 3DAW adds immersive sound capabilities to an existing digital audio workstation, whilst remaining fully compatible with an established workflow. This open platform configuration support VST® and RTAS® plugins, as well as ASIO® for I/O and sync sharing.

“The philosophy behind Fairlight’s 3DAW is to give sound mixers a post production solution that works with all platforms,” Tino Fibaek adds. “Different deliverables require different technologies, so Fairlight’s immersive platform provides the best of both worlds, supporting object orientated implementations such as Dolby’s Atmos and DTS’ MDA and fixed bus formats in 2D and 3D, from stereo through to 5.1 and all the way up to NHK’s impressive 22.2 format.”

Fairlight has ensured post production facilities can easily connect to their studio workspace. Integrated, user definable B-chain processing supports up to 34 discrete speaker outputs allowing sound mixers to switch instantly between different surround formats, different speaker sets, speaker muting and soloing and comprehensive metering.

For more information about Fairlight’s 3D Audio Workspace and other innovations in the Fairlight range, please visit us at IBC 2014 – Hall 7, Stand H17. Or visit the company’s website –www.fairlight.com.au

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About Fairlight:
Fairlight has been designing, engineering and manufacturing cutting edge, professional digital audio technology for more than 30 years. Its dedication to innovation, quality and customer service has made Fairlight one of the most respected companies in professional audio. With their integrated control surfaces and intuitive user interfaces, Fairlight’s award-winning media creation tools are renowned for their speed, flexibility and exceptional sonic quality. The company’s products offer full compatibility with virtually all open audio, video and sync standards, making them ideally suited to a wide range of audio post and live broadcast applications.
www.fairlight.com.au

Prism Sound Releases SADiE Version 6.1

Prism Sound has announced the release of SADiE Version 6.1, an update to its highly acclaimed SADiE Version 6.0.0 recording and editing software.

With no dedicated proprietary hardware requirements the SADiE v 6.1 software packs are application based and focus on the core SADiE expertise of Mastering, Radio Production, TV/Film Post, Archiving and Restoration, and high level Sound Design.

Prism Sound has also announced a new and exceptionally competitive pricing structure for its SADiE software packs. With the entry level SADiE PRO now starting at UK £445.00 (plus VAT), the product range is even more cost effective, taking the SADiE brand, reputation and advantages into new markets. The extended compatibility will also significantly reinforce its appeal to professional users around the world.

New SADiE Features

WAV Master
With many more consumers now choosing to buy their music via a download, record labels are increasingly asking mastering engineers to deliver mastered audio as digital WAV files so they can be easily supplied to audio download sites such as iTunes, Spotify and Amazon.
SADiE’s newly introduced WAV Master feature allows users to create WAV files for an entire album, using PQ marks to define the start and end of the WAV file for each album track. Track Titles, Artist Name and other information is automatically incorporated into these files. As a further extension of its WAV Master feature, SADiE has also introduced a new high quality Sample Rate conversion algorithm. This brings the sample rate conversion process in-line with the high quality processing standards for which SADiE’s parent company, Prism Sound, is famous.

This ultra-efficient workflow allows SADiE’s PQ list to be used as a single source to create the WAVs, DDP and CDs that are required by today’s mastering engineers.

ISRC in BWF Files
Prism Sound has also incorporated ISRC in BWF into SADiE’s new WAV Master option. This feature is included as part of the Mastering Suite and Sound Suite packs.

Created and standardised by the European Broadcasting Union, Broadcast WAV (BWF) is an extended WAV format that allows ISRC data to be embedded in the file. ISRC stands for International Standard Recording Code. Every song released, and every version of that song, is allocated a unique ISRC by the record label. ISRC is then used to ensure that the correct files are used for playback and replication. It also ensures that artists and recording professionals who stand to benefit financially from any playback or replication are identified and compensated.

The UK Music Producer’s Guild has led the initiative to get BWF adopted as standard, and in conjunction with the EBU it has produced a Recommended Practice document that lays out methods by which an ISRC can be embedded into a BWF.

Other updates

These include an extension to SADiE’s Wav Master functionality with support for reading and writing a WAV file’s LIST-INFO chunk, and for Track Name and Artist metadata (included in Mastering Suite and Sound Suite packs). Prism Sound has also incorporated 32bit floating point format for recording or bouncing to WAV or BWF, thus allowing engineers to work at the highest possible resolution throughout. There is also the option of creating a profile when making a DDP Image or importing one.
In addition to these upgrades, Prism Sound is now including SADIE MTR (Multi-Track Recorder) software in the SADIE6 installer. This will run without license when using an LRX2 or Prism Sound Lyra, Titan, and Atlas, interfaces, and requires a license for native operation.
Looking to the future, SADiE will soon be offering enhanced video support for BlackMagic Design Decklink cards, as well as timecode support on SADiE Native systems (where the ASIO audio hardware supports timecode functionality). These extended new features will be included in an imminent service update. The software element of this update will be available to all 6.1 users, although some users may require additional hardware.

To try out the software, please visit http://www.sadie.com/support/download_v6.php

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About Prism Sound
Founded in 1987, Prism Sound manufacture high-quality professional digital audio equipment for the International broadcast, film, music production, manufacturing and telecommunications sectors. The range now includes SADiE digital audio workstations and location recorders. Prism Sound also manufactures audio test and measurement products such as the DSA-1 and the dScope Series III audio analyzer.

For more information please visit www.sadie.com or www.prismsound.com

Yamaha Commercial Audio Donates Live System To Nashville HS

Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School in Nashville, Tennessee offers students the opportunity to learn through the lens of the entertainment industry with pathways in audio engineering, broadcasting, record industry, marketing, and image consulting. It is the only entertainment magnet high school in the country. The vision of Pearl-Cohn is to equip its students to realize and achieve their potential while committed to educate the whole person.

Bryan Lenox of Lenox Productions facilitated the arrangement with Yamaha, who in turn, enlisted the services of J Sound Services (Nashville) to add a new Yamaha CL1 Digital Audio Console and Rio 3208-D input/out box to its 413-seat auditorium. Yamaha IS and DXR speakers, and TXn amplifiers were also installed. J Sound Services specified the system for its easy operation by student volunteers. Auditorium productions at Pearl-Cohn can be anything from assemblies with announcements and presentations that include video to full-on theatrical events.

J Sound Services has had a lot of experience installing Yamaha Installation Series Speakers, so they were the obvious choice for the installation. “Once we understood the scope of the project, we determined a Yamaha MTX5D processor and DCPS wall-mount controller would also be required,” states Jason Spence, owner, J Sound Services. The design approach was based on the fact that there is limited acoustic treatment in the school auditorium. “It was important to minimize the amount of energy on the walls, says Spence.

Time was spent using Yamaha’s YS3 Sound System Simulator and EASE acoustic modeling software to focus the mid-high and subwoofer-arrays. Deployed end-fire arrays both in L-R and Center allow pattern control on how wide the throw would be in the room and also provides a Cardiod pattern measuring 12db down on stage behind the arrays. “By deploying the subs this way we have significantly reduced the low-end energy on the stage and what would have reflected off the walls in a typical Omni pattern, Spence adds. The room can easily handle and extends below 40Hz without the low-end building up, leaving the room also very articulate and musical. The house is nice and big with lots of sub. The design is very unique and it clearly looks different. The staff and Bryan Lenox were quite impressed with the results of the end-firing arrays.”

Lenox assisted in the set up and adjustments of the CL1. “The system sounds really good. The school had a unique need for a system that can handle intimate speaking all the way to low-end thumping Hip Hop music. And, this system definitely delivers. The CL1 is a great sounding console and one that the students can learn on in order to prepare for the real world so they can jump into any situation with confidence.”

The new auditorium’s multi-purpose system is all Dante connected with the Yamaha CL1 taking control of presets for theatrical productions using the consoles Nuendo Live software. Pearl-Cohn ran cat5 cable to their multi-track room to record the events taking place in auditorium. A.Cisco switch is used to network and import multi-tracking in studio. An old projection booth above the auditorium now has the capability of adding a Nuendo recording suite with infrastructure and cables already in place.

“Our students needed professional-class live production facilities in order to complete our vision to equip our students with real-world skills that will transfer to the marketplace or college when they graduate, states Sam Lorber, Instructional Designer at Pearl-Cohn. Thanks to Yamaha’s generous donation, these students will now be able to walk into any venue: club, church, college auditorium, or arena with a skill set advantage no other school can provide.” The principal commented on how she loves that she can touch one button and it just works.

J Sound Services also installed a Vivitek High-Definition 6K lumen projector with remote HDMI interface. To update the theatrical lighting system, JSS enlisted the consulting services of Chris Lisle Lighting Design and installed Elektralite LED PAR fixtures, Watson raceway and ElektraHazer, an Altman spotlight, and Chauvet Datastream; all of which integrated with the existing ETC dimmers. As part of the lighting system update the existing Fresnels and Lekos were reconditioned and focused.

J Sound Services also installed four Yamaha C115VA and two C112VA Club Series Speakers using a MTX3 processor and the same DCPS wall-mounted controller as in the auditorium. Spence said the system installed could be operated in the same manner, with a touch of a button, making it extremely simple and consistent for staff and students to operate the systems in either location.

For more information on Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School, visit www.pearlcohnhs.mnps.org.

For more information on J Sound Services, visit www.jss.net.

For more information on Yamaha Commercial Audio products visit, www.yamahaca.com.

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DPA Helps Ivan Rutherford Bring Broadway to Hong Kong

Internationally acclaimed artist Ivan Rutherford turned to DPA’s d:facto™ Vocal Microphone to help him give a truly emotional performance during a recent one-off show in Hong Kong.

The actor and singer, who has performed the role of Jean Valjean in Les Miserables over 2,000 times on Broadway, was looking for a microphone that could deliver exceptional sound quality and clarity through a large venue sound system. He also wanted a hand held microphone so that he could move freely on stage while he sang a series of Broadway hits dating from the 1930s to the present day. DPA’s d:facto Vocal Microphone fitted the bill perfectly. Rutherford used the microphone in a wireless configuration with a Sennheiser Wireless System, which made movement possible and allowed him to deliver a vocal performance that was memorable for the audience.

“I had never used a DPA microphone before and I was very pleased with the experience,” Rutherford says. “I was impressed with the intensity of the sound and the mobility it allowed onstage, which gave me great freedom to make unobstructed connections with my audience. I also enjoyed the feel and weight of the microphone in my hand, and found that it helped give me the necessary confidence for a one man performance. I would very much enjoy working with a DPA mic again.”

Rutherford’s show, entitled A Taste of Broadway, took place at the Academic Community Hall in Hong Kong. Mr. Clarence Chang, from Jazz World Live Series that organized the concert, says: “The only instrument on stage was a grand piano, which was also miked with DPA – a matched pair of d:dicate™ 4011A Cardiod Microphones in A-B configuration to capture the main piano signal and d:vote™ 4099 Instrument Microphones in a stereo piano kit configuration to provide additional percussive effect from the hammers. This proved to be a very successful formula because the piano sounded fantastic – really crisp and lively, yet with all the body and warmth one would expect from a top of the range instrument.”

Ken Kimura, DPA’s General Manager for the APAC region, and Ricky Wan, from DPA’s Hong Kong distributor Digital Media Technology, were on hand to ensure the optimal microphone set up.

“The d:facto Vocal Microphone in a wireless configuration was a perfect match for Ivan Rutherford as it enabled him to move freely, while capturing every nuance of his voice,” Kimura says. “When you have a two hour show that only consists of a singer and grand piano, you really need that artist to be super talented and to have a great voice. Ivan Rutherford had both of these attributes in abundance and gave a fantastic performance.”

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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 provide you – whether you’re in live sound, recording, theater or broadcast – with the absolute finest possible microphone solutions for your tasks. DPA takes no shortcuts in the design processes nor makes any compromises in manufacturing, which is all 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, please visit www.dpamicrophones.com

Southwestern Assembly of God U Installs Yamaha NUAGE DAW System

BUENA PARK, Calif.—Located in Waxahachie, TX, Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) began as a regional bible school and later, added a junior college program. The university has experienced phenomenal enrollment increases from 596 students in 1991 to approximately 2,200 today. In 2013, the academic divisions of the university realigned into three colleges: the College of Bible & Church Ministries, the College of Business and Education, and the College of Music and Communication Arts. All colleges maintain Bible-based curriculum to fulfill the mission of SAGU. Since 2000, SAGU has added 24 new academic programs, bringing the total to more than 60 programs.

Recently, SAGU added a 48-Fader Yamaha NUAGE Advanced Production DAW System, purchased through Audio DAWG of Irving, Texas. The system is installed in a dedicated studio for commercial production that is available for rental and an academic learning lab for Digital Media Arts students. Internships are being offered for students in the program, but they will also have to complete at least one major audio project using the studio, with staff engineer assistance.

“I started using Nuendo 2.0 in 2003 as an upgrade from Cubase SX which I was strictly using for MIDI programming, states John Cookman, Chief Engineer and Director of Media Services and Production. My DAW at the time was a PARIS system that had been discontinued, and I needed a DAW that could keep up with where I was leaving off. Wow! Nuendo really did that and more.”

Cookman purchased NUAGE primarily because he had grown tired of recording/editing/mixing with a mouse and keyboard. “I always sensed that my creativity was being stifled due to the inefficient ways of keyboard and mouse work flow, Cookman says. I had originally planned to purchase a Euphonix system because of its acclaimed integration with Nuendo, but once I demoed the NUAGE at NAB 2013, I decided it was much more practical to buy a console that was specifically made for the Nuendo platform and would also be supported by Nuendo’s parent company, Yamaha. From the first minute I sat down with the NUAGE, I have felt at home.”

The Digital Media Arts BA degree is the path for all of SAGU media students, and the department is moving toward an audio recording degree path. They do offer an audio recording class that is mandatory for all DMA students. Each student will be doing at least one project on the NUAGE. SAGU averages roughly 20 students in the audio recording class per semester.

Technically, SAGU is not a house of worship but they do have daily chapel services. “My department has started up a live and on-demand outlet to view and listen to services (www.SAGU.tv chapel channel), notes Cookman. This is a multi-camera and multi channel audio mix for broadcast TV using our DMA students as student workers. We also do sports broadcasting as well.”

Two main facilities are used for broadcasting, the largest auditorium seats approximately 2,300. During the school year the auditorium is occupied mostly by students. The other auditorium is a new performing arts theater seating 625. “Our NUAGE system is directly integrated to this room so that we can use it as a sound stage to record from,” adds Cookman.

Cookman appreciates the NUAGE state-of-the-art approach adding in the elements of the analog workflow to a digital non-linear workflow. “Now I am able to access the best of both worlds concerning work flow. Yamaha has done an outstanding job at connecting the user to efficient workflow systems. The way they have integrated NUAGE with the DAW (especially Nuendo) has empowered the engineer with hands-on tools that are unprecedented in our industry.”

Specific features that were attractive in SAGU’s decision process were the motorized faders, one-touch navigation to any parameter, and the ability to edit each parameter microscopically with professional grade encoders. “Faders and buttons impact our work environment everyday. Being able to reach over and instantly access channel data makes workflow so efficient. Now, I don’t have to spend time scrolling with my mouse and keyboard keeping me from really getting into that creative zone. The NUAGE is a “Must Have” for every DAW.”

John Cookman has been in the industry for 30 years, and 18 of those were spent in the non-linear DAW world. “Since I started working with NUAGE, I finally feel like I am tapping into the top layer of my potential as a engineer and producer. In May, we released a Christian music project for an outside artist (I was hired to produce and record/edit/mix). Within 45 days, we charted at #10 on the Billboard Hot Christian charts and the next week, we topped out at #8. The artist was the only independent artist in the top 100 at that time. I attribute a lot of that to the flexibility the NUAGE brought us to use more of our creative brain rather than engineering brain.”

Cookman says he is budgeting for a smaller NUAGE setup for broadcast remix in SAGU’s master control room currently using Nuendo.

For more information on SAGU, visit www.sagu.edu.

For more information on Audio DAWg, visit www.audiodawg.com.

For more information on NUAGE, visit www.yamahaca.com.

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PICTURED: John Cookman

About Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc.:
Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc. (YCAS) provides a full line of professional audio products offering complete systems solutions for the sound reinforcement, touring, broadcast, commercial recording, and post-production markets with a complete line of digital mixers, amplifiers, speakers, processors, networking capabilities, and NUAGE Advanced Production DAW System. YCAS is also the official North American distributor for NEXO speaker products. With the new CIS Series that includes ceiling and surface mount speakers, mixer and power amplifiers, and matrix processors, the Company furthers is commitment to their commercial installation solutions customers. All market sectors receive comprehensive in-house/field product training, a dedicated dealer network, and 24/7 technical support.

HOSANNA LUTHERAN CHURCH GOES HI-FI WITH DANLEY

MANKATO, MINNESOTA – AUGUST 2014: Growing with the community since its founding in 1972, Hosanna Lutheran Church is now a cornerstone of religious life in Mankato, Minnesota. With four contemporary services a week, plus one traditional service and plenty of high-SPL youth events, its sanctuary sound and video systems were tapped to provide a huge range of content. Despite having loudspeakers made by a respected manufacturer, intelligibility and low-end extension were poor and a regular source of complaints until recently, when Audio Video Electronics (AVE) (Maple Grove, Minnesota) renovated the system. Citing their excellent fidelity and intelligibility, AVE installed a pair of Danley Sound Labs SH-60 loudspeakers. To give Hosanna Lutheran Church plenty of bass when needed, AVE also gave the church a beefy Danley DBH-218 subwoofer.

“Before AVE’s renovation, we always had complaints,” said Matt Kotthoff, technical director at Hosanna. “The system was muddy, and a lot of our disciples, especially some of the senior members, had a hard time understanding what was being said depending on where they were sitting. Also the system lacked intelligibility and power.” Stefan Svärd, president of AVE, added, “Not only that, the low-frequency extension was simply missing. This was despite its big name components and the fact that it looked like a good system on paper. It simply didn’t translate to real-world performance.”

Svärd designed an elegantly simple new sound reinforcement system for Hosanna. An exploded mono cluster of two Danley SH-60s leverages Danley’s excellent pattern control to cover all of the seating without energizing the rest of the structure. Between them, also on the ceiling, is the Danley DBH-218 subwoofer. Svärd repurposed Lab.gruppen C-series amplifiers for the mains and added a Lab.gruppen FB14000 for the subwoofer. An existing Biamp Nexia and EV-DC1 processor condition the system, albeit less now than with the previous components, as the Danley boxes are naturally flat and transparent. A new Midas Pro 3 mixer gives Kotthoff and his techs control of the system for complex services, and a Crestron control system provides simple control of audio, video, lighting, and HVAC via iPad or iPhone. Finally, a new 8000lumen Digital Projection HD projector gives the congregation crisp imagery.

“I’ve had a lot of experience with loudspeakers from all sorts of manufacturers,” said Svärd. “To me, Danley’s unique designs offer the smoothest, most ‘studio-monitor-like’ performance in the sound reinforcement market. They have accurate phase response, great pattern control, and true hi-fi sound. The Danley DBH-218 subwoofer delivers a lot of clean output, and because it’s horn-loaded, it affords a degree of pattern control. For the youth services, they have that subwoofer shaking the whole building! Together, the whole system sounds phenomenal.”

Kotthoff agrees, “The Danleys sound great! Everything sounds crisp, clear, and clean. Nothing sounds harsh or painful. The intelligibility in the whole worship space is outstanding, everything from feeling the bass guitar rhythm to the clear natural sound of both singing and speaking voices. The DBH-218 subwoofer is awesome, every chance I get I love to crank the kick drum and feel the beat go right through me! I have received so many compliments, from ‘the audio is so clear’ and ‘now that’s an HD presentation’ to things like ‘I got bass in my butt!’ and ‘can you turn it louder?’ The system is amazing! It totally enhances Hosanna Lutheran’s strong music ministry in so many ways!!”

ABOUT DANLEY SOUND LABS Danley Sound Labs is the exclusive home of Tom Danley, one of the most innovative loudspeaker designers in the industry today and recognized worldwide as a pioneer for “outside the box” thinking in professional audio technology.

www.danleysoundlabs.com

JOEL HAMILTON RECORDS AND MIXES “PUSS N BOOTS” DEBUT USING ATC SCM25A’s

BROOKLYN, NEW YORK – AUGUST 2014: Puss n Boots is a three-piece, all-female, alt-country band led by singer-songwriter Norah Jones and backed by accomplished vocalists Sasha Dobson and Catherine Popper. All three women learned new instruments for five years before recording their debut album with engineer/musician/producer Joel Hamilton (Tom Waits, Black Keys, Sparklehorse, Elvis Costello) at Studio G Brooklyn. Titled No Fools, No Fun, the album was recently released on Blue Note Records. As co-owner of Studio G Brooklyn with Tony Maimone, Hamilton installed ATC SCM25A three-way reference monitors and ATC SCM0.1-15 subwoofers in Studio A, a change that happily coincided with his first Grammy nomination (Pretty Lights, A Color Map of the Sun), a Latin Grammy nomination (Bomba Estereo, Elegancia Tropical), and a Latin Grammy win (Gaby Moreno, Postales). The ATCs were purchased from Audio Power Tools in New York.

“The ATCs have changed the way I work and improved the quality of my work,” said Hamilton. “I’m lucky to have a nicely tuned control room with an SSL and plenty of vintage outboard gear, and with the ATCs, I’m suddenly able to make decisions that are smaller – and yet more critical – than I have ever been able to make before. I have the ability to resolve a finer shade of the colors I’m hurling at the end-listener, and it’s been a revelation. It’s not a small thing, and that’s why I’m reaching for dramatic words like that. It’s tectonic. The entire continent has shifted.”

The glorious harmonies delivered by Jones, Dobson and Popper are a huge part of Puss n Boots’ magic. They form the emotional foreground. “The balance of those harmonies is crucial,” said Hamilton. “You’ve got these three gorgeous women with gorgeous voices, and they’re all coming at you like gangbusters because they can all project. We recorded everything live to analog tape, including the vocals. That gives a particular nuance to how the instruments sit against the vocals. You can feel the beat push and pull so beautifully. I needed to make sure that all of that nuance would come shining through for the listener. Striking the right midrange balance of those harmonies is critical, and I had to make sure all of that beauty would be immediately apparent to, say, my mom!”

While Norah Jones’ existing albums might safely be described as “polished” and most classic country albums might safely be described as “rough,” Hamilton had to walk the line between those extremes. “The balance is deliberately raw, which is perhaps unexpected by traditional Norah Jones standards, but it also has to be informed,” he said. “We were shooting for a tiny bulls eye, but we also had to make sure that everything felt unfettered and natural; just on the edge of scratchy so that it felt rough but didn’t actually hurt people. With the ATCs, I could find that line and make adjustments with confidence. I could tell where I was overcooking it on purpose. I could dial in just the right amount of ‘road house.’”

With the introduction of the ATCs, gone too is the need to translate for the client how a mix will sound outside of the studio. “After spending a lot of time in front of other monitors, I could tell when certain things would sound bad in the studio but fine outside of the studio,” Hamilton said. “The challenge beyond that, however, was convincing the client that those bad things would be fine later on, which is just one more thing to heap onto the already-skittish nature of an attended mix session. And so clients would ask, ‘why don’t you just get monitors that sound like it will sound like?’ It seems so simple, but of course it’s not.”

Hamilton used to switch between a number of monitors and loudspeakers all day long, but now he just hangs out on the ATCs. Depending on the task at hand, he can turn the ATC subwoofer on or not. “With the sub on and the volume cracked, the ATCs rock and serve as ‘mains,’” he said. “When I’m listening closely and resolving small moves, the ATCs are my nearfields. Either way, I now have complete confidence in what I’m hearing and doing. When a mix sounds good on the ATCs, I know it will sound good everywhere else. With Puss n Boots, we were able to make solid decisions that stuck. We totally avoided the hell of endless revisions!”

ABOUT TRANSAUDIO GROUP TransAudio Group, founded by industry veteran Brad Lunde, has quickly become the premier U.S. importer/distributor and/or U.S. sales and marketing representative for high-end audio. Success hinges on TransAudio providing dealers and end users with a higher standard of product expertise and support far beyond the norm.

www.transaudiogroup.com

METRIC HALO GEAR NO MYTH FOR FOH ENGINEER SUNE SNELLMAN JAKOBSEN

COPENHAGEN, DENMARK – AUGUST 2014: Sune Snellman Jakobsen is a live mix engineer stationed in Copenhagen, Denmark whose credits include world tours with The Raveonettes, Mew, Mercury Rev from NY, Kashmir from Denmark, and, most recently, Trentemøller. An avid Metric Halo user, Jakobsen owns a ULN-8 interface and a LIO-8 interface and regularly uses their SpectraFoo sound analysis software to set up shows and to help identify and solve problems while mixing. His interfaces carry Metric Halo’s optional +DSP, which allows him to run their powerful plug-ins on critical live channels (including the whole mix!).

Jakobsen’s entry into the industry was not so worldly, nor so high-tech, but it set him on the right path. “I became interested in audio as a member of the underground punk scene in Copenhagen during my teenage years,” he said. “I played guitar in punk bands and hung out in a punk club where some older guys taught me the basics of mixing consoles, multi-way speaker systems, stage monitors, and all that. Neither the bands nor the audience cared too much about fidelity or clarity, so I could mix shows night-after-night and no one complained about my dreadful mixes. It was hard on the ears but good practice for a novice.”

One of Jakobsen’s punk rock mentors recommended him for a job with one of Denmark’s leading PA companies, and he spent the next several years prepping outboard racks, packing house-boxes for rentals, driving trucks, rigging PAs, and patching microphones on tours and festival stages. “The whole time I was looking over the shoulders of all the experienced and skilled monitor and FOH engineers,” he said. “I soon moved from rigging and miking to actually operating the boards, which was exciting. I got pretty good at mixing monitors, and I was able to mix FOH for a few up-and-coming acts.”

As his skills and industry contacts grew, more bands hired Jakobsen to engineer their shows, prompting him to make the move to full-time freelance. After some years of regional touring with local bands, he signed on to a worldwide tour with The Raveonettes. “The band had just landed a major label deal and had a lot of hype going so we went back and forth from European to U.S. club tours and festivals,” he said. “We performed on the Late Show with David Letterman a few times, Conan, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, numerous radio sessions, and support-tours with Depeche Mode, Interpol, The Strokes, Supergrass and many others. Those support tours were great because they gave me new opportunities to learn from great live engineers.” When The Raveonettes finally took a break after six years of constant touring, Jakobsen signed on with Mew and, later, Trentemøller.

“As a FOH engineer, I think it’s important to embrace the sonic ideals of the artist,” Jakobsen said. “I don’t see any point in applying my own favorite flavor if it doesn’t appeal to the artist. Along those lines, it’s critical to build a relationship of trust so the artist feels I have an understanding and appreciation of what their music should sound like. It was an interesting transition to go from The Raveonettes’ minimal, noisy, and reverb-y soundscape to Mew’s big sonic universe, with big pounding drums and layers of pads, guitars, and backing vocals.” Although still working with Mew, Jakobsen began touring with Trentemøller in 2010, which took him to European arenas in support of Depeche Mode, 3,000-seat headlining gigs, and plenty of European festivals. “I’m still fascinated by the way a good mix can lift a music experience (and how a bad mix can ruin a show), and I’m still intrigued by how difficult it is to reinforce audio and to mix,” he said. “I like the combination of creativity, technical skills, and science. It’s an ongoing learning experience, and that’s cool.”

SETTING UP THE SHOW
Jakobsen seldom has more than a short window to load in, set up, check the PA, and sound check before doors open. One of the first things he addresses is the PA system performance: “The frequency response should be full range and both level and response should be as uniform as possible throughout the audience area. I use Metric Halo SpectraFoo sound analysis software on most every gig to analyze and help tune the PA system.” He typically sends pink noise to one side of the PA, feeds the same signal to SpectraFoo’s Transfer Function source channel, places his Earthworks M30 measuring mic somewhere on-axis, and feeds its output to the Transfer Function response channel. He then time aligns the two signals with SpectraFoo’s Delay Finder and takes a snapshot of the response. He repeats this process with the mic at several other locations – a little farther or closer, and on or off axis. He marks the snapshots in SpectraFoo’s overlay list and asks it to calculate an average.

“That,” he said, “is then my visual reading of the system. I immediately get an idea of the PA at hand and whether it’s reasonably linear or not. Sometimes I’ll spot an issue even before I listen to music. For example if there’s a broad dip in the 1k-6k range it could indicate the gain settings in the system crossover aren’t right and the hi-mid drivers are gained too low. Or a dip at the crossover frequency of the sub and the low-mid could indicate phase or timing issues with the subs. It’s of course important to listen to reference music and tune with the ears in addition to the SpectraFoo output, but the visual plot is a great help in locating problem frequencies.” He uses SpectraFoo’s Delay Finder along with the phase response of the Transfer Function to time-align subwoofers, fills, and delay speakers if necessary. During sound check, he uses its Correlation Meter and Phase Torch to verify phasing between sources (e.g. bass DI and bass mic). Ringing the system with Spectragraph allows him to quickly identify and notch out problem frequencies with the Metric Halo EQ plug-in.

MIXING THE SHOW
Jakobsen described his mix philosophy: “The mix itself must complement the music and should hopefully impress and overwhelm the audience. All of the instruments should be well-defined within the mix. Vocals should almost always be on top of the mix, and lyrics should be audible. I tend to favor ‘wall of sound’ mixes, with gaps in the soundscape filled by anything available from stage, perhaps by mixing guitar parts up very close to the vocal or adding lush reverb to drums or percussion. I like to be overwhelmed by sound when I’m in the audience, so I aim to do the same when I’m mixing. I think one key to an interesting mix is to feature supporting roles as much as lead roles, be it a rhythm guitar or a tambourine or whatever; I think it helps keep people’s attention when all the different roles are well defined.”

Jakobsen uses his Metric Halo ULN-8 and LIO-8 along with the free Metric Halo MIO Console control software as an audio “multi-tool.” MIO Console allows him to route signals and to operate the DSP resources he has installed on the interfaces. With Trentemøller, he reserves the Metric Halo gear for the tracks that need the most processing: vocals, kick drum and snare drum. “I’m not aware of any other interface that has the combination of such great-sounding preamps, transparent converters, sublime mix bus processing, and all of the DSP tools necessary: unlimited bands of precise EQs, compression, limiting, delay, and ‘character’ modeling. At the same time, it gives me a straightforward interface for recording and playback.”

For vocals, Jakobsen uses Metric Halo’s “Classic British Mic Pre” character, followed by a “MIOstrip” loaded with a six-band EQ for sweetening, two compressors with complementary fast and slow settings, a second six-band EQ for notching out problem frequencies, and a very fast compressor with a side chain high-passed at 5kHz to serve as a de-esser. “In addition, I use the ‘California Vocal Box’ character on the vocal’s master strip, which I find adds a nice grainy texture,” he said. “For the current tour, Trentemøller asked for a vocal distortion for a few songs. I made a virtual MIO channel and tried different combinations of the Pedal and Amp macros. I ended up with a combination of the ‘Screamer’ into the ‘MHClean’ with some delay and a lot of compression and EQ. It sounds great!”

Jakobsen uses similar processing for the kick and snare drum. ” I almost always mix drums into a group and insert a stereo ULN-8 or LIO-8 input, split that into two stereo channel strips in MIO Console – one with no processing (or perhaps just Metric Halo’s Transient Designer) and one with a hard squashing compressor, Transient Designer, and often a bit of soft clip to give the drums an edgy character,” he said. “Those channels sum to a stereo output that’s a killer parallel compression drum group insert. I even have the option to add different characters to the drum group, for example the ‘Soft-Saturation’ character for a fatter and more punchy sound, and I have an EQ on the output bus that allows me to cut boomy frequencies in the low end or add high-end brilliance on the fly.”

Finally, Jakobsen sends the entire mix into a stereo MIO Console channel that gets routed to two auxiliary groups, one with “SoftSat” Character applied and one without. “I can then mix between these two depending on the PA system of the day,” he said. “It’s like having a wet/dry control on the SoftSat Character, which can really make the PA system sound like it’s ‘in your face.’ Then I route that mix to multiple master busses with different EQs and delays for the main PA, the subs, fills, and delays.” During the performance, Jakobsen keeps SpectraFoo open with a Level Meter on the house sound, a Spectragram and a Spectragraph on the mix bus, and a Spectragraph on the solo bus for quickly diagnosing problems with individual channels. “It’s especially helpful for getting the low-end even. If I hear a boomy note in the bass, it’s easy to identify with SpectraFoo,” he concluded.

ABOUT METRIC HALO Now based in the sunny city of Safety Harbor, Florida, Metric Halo provides the world with high-resolution metering, analysis, recording and processing solutions with award-winning software and future-proof hardware.

www.mhlabs.com

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