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Archive of the AES Newslink Category

DK-Technologies Releases New LTC Engine for the PT5300 Master Sync Generator at IBC 2013

DK-Technologies is using IBC 2013 as the platform to release its latest LTC and 3G additions to the field proven PT5300 Master Sync Generator (Hall 8, Stand B60).

In master sync applications, the new LTC fallback function allows the PT5300 to align with the internal high precision clock – a feature that is of huge importance to users working in situations where GPS coverage is patchy or inadequate.

In slave sync applications the LTC engine enables the PT5300 to genlock to VITC time-code derived from the black-burst input.

The new LTC engine will be shipping as an integral part of the PT5300 by September 2013. The improved functions are available to existing PT5300 users as an upgrade module.

DK-Technologies has also announced that the PT5300 Master Sync Generator and its change-over companion product, the PT5211, will both be 3G compatible by the end of 2013.

“With years of experience and thousands of field hours under the PT5300 hood, we feel that 3G is a natural progression,” says DK-Technologies’ COO, Jacob Christensen.

The 3G upgrade will be available as an optional hardware module and will be backwards compatible with all existing PT5300 and PT5211 units.

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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.

DK-Technologies Steps Up Audio and Waveform Monitoring at IBC 2013

DK-Technologies is using the IBC 2013 platform to launch the PT0800 Audio and Waveform Monitor. This flagship addition to the DK range introduces a unique combination of Audio, Loudness and Waveform monitoring at the highest precision, allowing it to blend into virtually any metering application.

On show at DK-Technologies’ IBC 2013 stand (8.B60), the PT0800 offers broadcasters an extended collection of high quality video and waveform monitoring tools. The video section is flanked by an audio toolbox, complete with Bargraphs, Moving Coil Emulation, DK’s proprietary StarFish™ display technology, FFT spectrum analysis and much more. In addition, the PT0800 complies with all major broadcast standards and includes Loudness and True Peak logging.

The DK-Technologies’ PT0800 is highly customizable and allows for virtually any combination of audio and video tools to be viewed and adapted to the specific application and use. The user interface functionality can be tailored to accommodate the functions, views and features desired by the end-user.

“The PT0800 is the most flexible and customizable high quality metering unit on the market today,” says Uffe Kjems, DK-Technologies Product Marketing Director. “This product will make audio and video engineers’ lives much easier and will help broadcasters cope with the fast changing requirements that they face.”

The PT0800 hardware is modular and allows for input/output choices of AES, HD SDI, Analogue, and Dolby E formats, enabling up to 4 camera inputs alongside up to 64 audio inputs and 16 outputs, all under preset control.

DK-Technologies will start shipping the new PT0800 Audio and Waveform Monitor from October, 2013. If you would like more information about this product, please visit www.dk-technologies.com or visit the company at IBC 2013 – Hall 8, Stand B60.

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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.

Masterlabs Chooses a Prism Sound Lyra Audio Interface For Dedicated Analogue Conversion

Masterlabs, Ireland’s leading audio mastering facility, has invested in a Prism Sound Lyra audio interface, which it is using in conjunction with its SADiE 6 digital audio workstations.

The facility has attached Lyra to its analogue tape machines and Dolby units where it is performing dedicated high end stereo AD/DA conversion. This configuration allows Masterlabs to capture 192kHz files and feed them directly into its SADiE 6 workstations.

Masterlabs’ founder and managing director Aidan Foley says: “Prism Sound’s new Lyra audio interface is fantastic. Apart from being incredibly easy to use, it is providing us with very high quality audio conversion and an extremely stable clock. By keeping it separate from my mastering chain AD/DA converters, I can use it directly at the analogue source.”

Based in Dublin, Masterlabs operates from a purpose built facility that was designed from the ground up to meet exacting specifications. Since its formation in 1996, initially under the name of Digital Pigeon Mastering, the company has tackled mastering projects for some of the best Irish and International talent.

Prior to acquiring a Lyra, Foley put the unit through a shoot-out against other renowned converters to ensure that he was making the right choice.

“We already own a number of Prism Sound products, including a Maselec MEA-2 mastering equalizer and a Maselec MLA-2 mastering compressor limiter, so we knew from experience that the company’s products were well made and extremely reliable. This reputation for engineering excellence was one of the key reasons why we chose Lyra for our facility.”

Based on the award-winning and critically acclaimed Orpheus interface, Prism Sound’s Lyra allows music recording professionals to access the power and sophistication of the Orpheus audio path and clock circuitry, but in a smaller package and at a much improved price point.
Masterlabs is using a Lyra 1 interface, which has two analogue input channels – one for instrument/line and one for mic/line – plus two DA output channels and optical-only digital I/O. Prism Sound also offers Lyra 2, which has two AD input channels with switchable microphone, instrument or line input modes and four DA output channels. Both versions incorporate new ARM Cortex processor design offering class-compliant USB interfacing that allows for seamless integration with both Macs and PCs. Both versions also offer digital volume control, a low latency ‘console-quality’ digital mixer for foldback monitoring and optical SPDIF capability.
Masterlabs handles between eight and 10 projects a week, ranging from classical and Jazz to Dance and Rock.

“We are fortunate to handle all of the Irish output for Sony Music and Universal Music,” Foley says. “We also service the ever growing vinyl record pressing explosion that is occuring at the moment, and we have just purchased a second Neumann VMS70 lathe to keep up with that demand.”

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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 company’s product range includes the Prism ADA-8XR precision 8-channel converter unit, which is regularly used for music and film soundtrack projects by clients such as EMI Abbey Road, BBC, Sony, Lucasfilm and Walt Disney. Prism Sound also manufactures a range of audio test and measurement products, including the de facto standard DSA-1 handheld digital audio generator/analyser and the dScope Series III audio analyser system.

For more information: www.prismsound.com

Last.fm and Local Radio Station Hold Festival at Tinley Park

Elk Grove Village, Ill.—The First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre is located in Tinley Park, Illinois, forty minutes south of Chicago. Owned by Live Nation, the First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre is Chicago’s largest outdoor amphitheater with a capacity of approximately 28,000.

Celebrating over 17 years of music history, the First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre typically hosts 25 concerts each summer season. Last.fm, a music service powered entirely by its community of listeners, along with local radio station Q87.7 Piqniq, hosted a 10-act festival at the end of June using Gand Concert Sound (GCS) aka “the NEXO guys” for audio production. Festival line up included the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Bush, Silversun Pickups, AWOLNATION, and Atlas Genius.

GCS brought in a NEXO GEO T system along with assorted audio gear including a new Yamaha CL5 digital audio console and DME64 used as part of the front of house mix rig. Main hangs consisted of 21 GEO T 4805s and three GEO T 2815s per side, seven GEO T 4805s and one GEO T 2815s per side used for out fills, along with 24 CD18s, six PS10R2s for front fills, and eight NX 4X4 amps.

Vincent Casamatta, front of house engineer for AWOLNATION said, “I told GCS tech Adam Rosenthal that the GEO T rig was spec’d, implemented and tech’d perfectly. I had a slamming show, one of the best sounding of this year.”

President Gary Gand said, “This will be a record breaking month for GCS. Our investment in NEXO puts us at the top of the call list when the big venues and national acts need pristine audio to the very farthest seat.” Gand was an early adopter of the NEXO GEO T tangent array system and its associated software.

For more information on Gand Concert Sound, visit www.gandconcertsound.com.

For more information on NEXO and Yamaha products, visit www.yamahaca.com.

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About Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc.:
Celebrating 125 years of Passion and Performance, and 25 years in the manufacturer of high quality digital audio consoles, Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc. (YCAS) provides a full line of integrated professional audio products offering complete systems solutions for the broadcast, sound reinforcement/installed sound, touring, commercial recording, and post production markets. With the addition of NEXO to the product line, the company remains the official U.S. and Canadian distributor for all NEXO speaker models. YCAS offers comprehensive in-house and field product training for its customers, a dedicated dealer network, and 24/7 technical support.

Prism Sound’s Audio Design Workshop LIVE Travels To Helsinki

High profile guest speakers from Texas Instruments and Klippel are joining the next Prism Sound/Oxford Digital Audio Design Workshop LIVE, which takes place in Helsinki on August 21st, 2013. In an industry first, this groundbreaking event will be webcast live from the 51st AES Convention to audiences around the world.

The registration page for the live webcast can be found here:

http://audiodesignworkshoplivehelsinki-SS.eventbrite.com

The event, which is held in conjunction with the Audio Engineering Society (AES), is open to all engineers, engineering managers, students and academics involved in audio engineering. It will feature seminar sessions and workshops hosted by some of the most experienced engineers in the audio industry who will share their knowledge and practical expertise in active loudspeaker design, providing the audience with an opportunity to learn from their many decades of collective experience.

“The seminar sessions will cover aspects of analogue and digital audio system design and optimization, with a major emphasis on real-world, practical problem solving,” says Simon Woollard, Test & Measurement Product Specialist at Prism Sound. “Our audience will have plenty of opportunity for hands-on experimentation, and for networking with the presenters and other participants. This is a fantastic chance for everyone involved in audio engineering to learn the tricks of the trade from luminaries within the audio industry.”

Prism Sound and Oxford Digital, who have joined forces to organise the Audio Design Workshop LIVE series, have extensive experience in the field of audio engineering.

Prism Sound has been developing audio measurement solutions for over 25 years and has pioneered many major innovations in this field. The company offers high quality audio analyzers that are suited to a wide range of test and manufacturing environments.

Oxford Digital specialises in digital audio signal processing for mobile and consumer equipment. Its products include an extremely compact audio DSP core with a rapid programming and development environment and Sonic Tuning Tools that allow rapid optimisation of the sound reproduced by compact loudspeaker systems. The complete toolset is targeted at reducing time-to-market and lowering software maintenance costs.

Audio Design Workshop LIVE will feature seminar sessions and Q&A opportunities where delegates will have the chance to ask the panellists for answers and advice.

Places for Audio Design Workshop LIVE are limited and anyone wishing to take part is encouraged to register now. This can be done online via the dedicated registration page: http://audiodesignworkshoplivehelsinki-SS.eventbrite.com or by calling +44 (0)1353 648 888.

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About Prism Sound
Founded in 1987 in Cambridge, UK, Prism Sound manufactures a range of high quality professional test equipment for audio applications. The company is organized in three divisions and in addition to audio test equipment, Prism Sound also manufactures equipment for high-quality recording and production for music and sound applications and for voice-logging recorders used in law enforcement, legislative and business applications. Prism Sound audio test equipment is used by many major consumer electronics brands in automotive, home entertainment, personal mobile, communications and other market sectors as well as most of the world’s leading broadcasters including the BBC. Prism Sound’s music recording products are widely used by leading professionals in music and film sound such as the legendary Abbey Road Studios in London.

For more information: www.prismsound.com

DiGiCo SD10 Tames Mega Monitor Mixes On Frampton’s ‘Guitar Circus’

Peter Frampton reclaims his guitar throne on the blockbuster ‘Frampton’s Guitar Circus’ tour, which kicked off at the end of May in Nashville, TN at the Ryman Auditorium. The guitarist-turned-frontman/singer is sharing the stage and going toe-to-toe with a dizzying array of axemen on the summer outing including Steve Cropper, Dean DeLeo (Stone Temple Pilots), Don Felder (formerly of The Eagles), Mike McCready (Pearl Jam), Vince Gill, David Hidalgo (Los Lobos), Davy Knowles, Roger McGuinn (founder/lead guitarist of the BYRDS), Richard Thompson, Vernon Reid (Living Colour), Vinnie Moore (UFO) and Rick Nielsen (Cheap Trick), with B.B. King, Steve Lukather, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Sonny Landreth trading off opening the shows.

With Clair Global providing the consoles and a full stage package, Frampton engineer Matt Fitzgerald—who has worked with Frampton for the past four years, and with Ringo Starr and Blue Man Group prior—kicked off the tour with a new audio footprint at monitor world to handle all of the ramped-up monitoring requirements. Fitzgerald chose a DiGiCo SD10 for Frampton’s 5-piece band and the guest guitarists.

Heading into rehearsals with the new system, Fitzgerald was a bit hesitant at first, but his fears were allayed once he powered up on day one. “This was my first experience using one of the new SD consoles in-depth,” he explains. “I’d had lots of mixing experience on a D5 working with opening acts. But for this summer tour, I opted in favor of a smaller footprint and more flexible solution by trading up two linked digital desks that I was using prior for an SD10. Not only was it difficult mixing inputs between the two desks, but it was sluggish also as I had to treat each one as an individual mixing surface.

“Obviously making a big switch was a bit nerve-wracking. Peter’s the kind of guy that wants to be able to walk into rehearsal and just go. I did a lot of research and spent time with DiGiCo’s Ryan Shelton in Nashville and worked with the offline software to build my big session files. We had a decent amount of rehearsal time, about two weeks, because the band was learning the other guitar players’ material, so that was of huge benefit to me. I was able to get really comfortable on the desk, storing snapshots, making scene-to-scene files, etc. Literally after the first day, I was shocked and awed at how easy it was to get around on the desk and how small the learning curve was. I felt like a burden was lifted off my shoulders and I was able to just concentrate on mixing, not on the new gear. I was really blown away by the desk and really liked that everything was laid out so naturally. The buttons were right where I needed them, not to mention that the features are fantastic and you can have the channel strip wherever you want and create the desk to make it the way you want it to be. It’s really comfortable and I really enjoy it.”

With all of our band on Westone ES2 in-ears, Fitzgerald was looking at a lot of variables with the guest guitarists—some would be on ears, some on wedges; some had big stereo rigs and others had simple combo amps, acoustic guitars, etc. “I wanted to have a lot more flexibility and room to grow. With the SD10, I’m able to build a bigger show file as well as have extra wedge and ear mixes built-in. And it’s been awesome as far as changing the layout of the desk from show to show. For instance, we just played with Steve Cropper, who uses wedges, and I was able to move my wedge mixes to my top layer and restructure my file, and it was so cool and easy.”

Fitzgerald makes use of all of the onboard effects from the desk: reverbs for drums, acoustic guitars and keys, slap delays for vocals, plus a bit of multiband compression for vocals and DiGiTuBes on the bass for a little bit of drive. The only external effects he’s employing is an Eventide H3000 harmonizer for the acoustic guitars.

One of the challenges is creating a controlled environment on a day-to-day basis, blending the audience mics and stage sounds in everyone’s in-ears. “The tonality, spaciousness and imaging are really great and big-sounding on this desk. There’s a real clarity to the sound. Any inputs like Peter’s LCR Marshall and stereo Leslies for is his guitar rig, the Hammond organs and keyboards that are hard-panned left and right, sound so clear and natural. The imaging is excellent and sounds like you don’t have ears in at all. I’m able to fine tune the EQ of the audience mics to each room, so the audience sounds the same even though you’re in an arena, theater, or event hall… When someone in the audience yells in between songs I want Peter to be able to look into the audience and know where and who is yelling and make eye contact with them. With the SD10s imaging and clarity I can pan audience mics exactly where I want. It’s as if I’m mixing the audience just as much as I mix the band. Peter’s mix is a very full range, dynamic mix of the entire band with his inputs just top,” he adds. “He wants to hear everybody and what they’re playing. If someone solos I ride my programed control groups to give them a nudge in his ears so he hears all important parts of the songs…”

With the tour well underway, the feedback on the new console among band and front man has been unanimously positive. “This band is so great to work with because they respect my input and ideas as we move forward with this new console. I try to open up the spectrum in their ears and create a ceiling for them instead of monaural mixes. I want it to sound as natural as possible and at the same time have full control of what’s going on onstage so I’ve created a big open stereo spectrum with Peter in middle and the guitar players panned on each side to create that image of what’s really going on onstage. If you take your ears out, that’s what it’ll sound like. And the fact that I’m able to recreate all of this in the in-ear monitors and have it sound so natural is really cool.

“And Peter, being an audio guy himself is great to work with, he is very particular about his sound,” Fitzgerald continues. “He’s involved in a lot of choices in the audio spectrum and loves this desk, too. He’s blown away with it and loving the sound of the desk in his ears. Peter and his band are all on in-ears monitors and we have a couple of subs onstage for feel. I’m able to have a nice, controlled environment and a lot of good mixing. So far, it’s been a seamless transition and awesome!”

“This DiGiCo desk is amazingly ‘analog’ sounding,” raves Frampton. “It’s very warm and, with its full band width, has incredible smooth high-end response. Matt can run monitors and multi-track record every show with ease. This is due to the foresight of design. It’s like not having ‘ears’ in but instead, listening to a really great pair of studio monitors. But… I’m playing live on stage!”

The variety of the material from night to night and city to city has kept Fitzgerald on his toes and had made for a musically stimulating tour. “The fact that we’re doing both Peter’s material but also songs from the other guitarists, has been a bit of extra work for me and the band, but it’s been really fun overall. It’s made for an exciting, unique and fun tour. Again, having the flexibility on this desk has allowed me to simply have fun mixing… Needless to say, I’m really in love with this desk.”

Nashville’s Riverfront Park Stage Stocked with NEXO STM, Yamaha CLs for the 42nd Annual CMA Music Festival

BUENA PARK, Calif.—This year’s CMA Music Festival took place June 6-9 in Nashville’s Riverfront Park, with Morris Light & Sound (Nashville) handling audio production for the event’s largest outdoor free stage with one of the biggest opening day crowds on record of 44,000. More than 162,000 fans passed through the gates to watch performances at the Chevrolet™ Riverfront Stage, outfitted with the new NEXO STM line array, PS15s, RS18 Ray Subs, 4×4 NXAmps, 45 N-12 line monitors, Yamaha CL5 digital consoles and Rio3224 input/output boxes all connected via a Dante network.

With nearly 50 artists performing, the Chevrolet Riverfront Stage was the hot spot for the daily concerts that took place over five days in downtown Nashville. The stage kicked off on Wednesday with the Block Party concert featuring headliner, Joe Diffie. Thursday was a full day of performances that began with a high energy show from CMA Award-winning recording artist Sara Evans followed by performances from Keith Anderson, Greg Bates, Blackberry Smoke, Craig Campbell, Mark Chesnutt, Brett Eldredge, Rachel Farley, Tyler Farr, Colt Ford, Gloriana, The Grascals, Steve Holy, Casey James, Kristen Kelly, Aaron Lewis, Lonestar, Love and Theft, Dustin Lynch, Jo Dee Messina, Ronnie Milsap, Craig Morgan, David Nail, Joe Nichols, Jerrod Niemann, Paslay, Maggie Rose, Corey Smith, Tate Stevens, Sunny Sweeney, Phil Vassar, Chuck Wicks, Gretchen Wilson, and Darryl Worley.

Eric Elwell mixed front of house for Joe Nichols and said, “I was really looking forward to an opportunity to drive the new NEXO STM rig. My good friends, David Haskell and John Mills at Morris Light & Sound, have ears I trust implicitly, and I’ve always had fantastic experiences with NEXO, so when they showed me the rig and the design behind it, I couldn’t wait to mix on it. Wow! It’s detailed, but not in a hard or hyped-kind of way. It felt like an F1 racecar… just so responsive. I worked there on the second day at the River Stage, and by then the Yamaha/NEXO team really had the rig singing. It was fantastic, with rich warmth and detail all the way to the top of the hill! Very hi-fi, which I love.”

“I was very impressed with the consistency of the definition of all the vocals, even with all the different engineers that mixed over the course of the four days,” states David Haskell, President, Morris Light & Sound.

Elwell also said he used the new Yamaha CL5 digital console once before, subbing for a friend on a tour last fall. “I was impressed then by the purity and clarity. The mic pre’s are fantastic, and the plug-ins give you everything you need to add ‘a little something’ extra. On the Joe Nichols mix for CMA Fest, I got to use the Rupert Neve Design Portico 5043 compressor across the stereo buss just to add that final “glue” to the mix. The sounds of the plug-ins are just like the real hardware I’ve used in the studio… glorious!”

Russell Fischer, freelance monitor and FOH engineer who has mixed front of house for Taylor Swift, The Mavericks and Toby Keith, to name a few, mixed monitors for several different bands at the Chevrolet Riverfront Stage, said he liked working on the Yamaha CL5 in this large festival situation. “I like the flexibility and ease of use of the Custom Fader Banks; it made for very quick navigation of critical inputs during the festival at the monitor mix position. Also, I found the Premium Rack devices very useful.”

For more information on the CMA Festival, visit www.cmaworld.com/cma-music-festival/2013.

For more information on Morris Light & Sound, visit www.morrislightandsound.com.

For more information on the NEXO STM and Yamaha CL5, visit www.yamahaca.com.

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PHOTO ID: Eric Elwell

About Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc.:
Celebrating 125 years of Passion and Performance, and 25 years in the manufacturer of high quality digital audio consoles, Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc. (YCAS) provides a full line of integrated professional audio products offering complete systems solutions for the broadcast, sound reinforcement/installed sound, touring, commercial recording, and post production markets. With the addition of NEXO to the product line, the company remains the official U.S. and Canadian distributor for all NEXO speaker models. YCAS offers comprehensive in-house and field product training for its customers, a dedicated dealer network, and 24/7 technical support.

Alicia Keys Sets The World On Fire With DiGiCo & Clair Global

With over 50 international dates on the horizon in support of her latest outing Girl on Fire, Grammy award winning artist Alicia Keys has surrounded herself with an adept team of engineers with support from Clair Global and DiGiCo mixing systems. With a total of five SD racks (two for FOH, two for monitors, and one for opening artist, Miguel), they’re also carrying a pair of SD10s (one at FOH and monitor world) to handle the eight-member band including the headliner. Newly positioned at FOH is Tim Colvard, who took over the European leg of the tour. Although Colvard’s employed DiGiCo consoles for many of his clients international tours, this was his first time on an SD10 (as well as his debut outing with both the artist and with Clair Global). He joins Clair FOH tech Randy Weinholtz and monitor mixmaster Antonio Luna for the already-in- progress global tour.

The challenge of a one-day rehearsal prior to his first live show could’ve been cause for a bit of nail-biting. However, Colvard’s extensive previous hands-on experience on an SD7 with Madonna, Usher and others lent itself to getting up and running quickly on the new console and Keys’ eight-piece outfit, comprised of keys, bass, drums, guitar, and a trio of background singers.

“A phone conversation with Alicia convinced me that she really cares about her sound,” says Colvard. “And being intrigued by her music made joining an already-in-progress tour an easy decision. With Alicia having one of the most powerful and dynamic voices in the industry, DiGiCo’s dynamic EQ really came in handy for smoothing everything out, especially when she’s really belting it out in the high-end. Also, I’m maximizing all of the dynamic compression available on the SD10 for all of the Pro Tools channels.

“It is also important for me to use snapshots, which I time to run consecutively. This allows me to do certain mutes on the piano, particularly when it goes down the lift in the middle of the song and gets disconnected, as well as for other microphones in different parts at the stage. Using these features gives me more time to mix instead of trying to remember what inputs should be muted or un-muted.”

Colvard’s also carrying a rack of external effects, including a TC Electronic 2290, TC D2, Eventide H3000 ES, a couple of Yamaha 990s and a Lexicon 960L, which gives him “a variety to cover most algorithms needed to do duplicate the album effects.”

“We love the flexibility of the SD10 desk,” adds Weinholtz. “The dynamic EQ is really nice and having the ability to create a fader bank of multiple input/outputs, and whatever your brain can think of, is great.”

But perhaps the most interesting aspect of the tour’s audio specs is Antonio Luna’s employment of an Aviom personal monitor mixing system—typically found in House of Worship, theatre and studio settings primarily, but not so much in touring. Luna’s using this in tandem with his SD10 to allow the band to customize and control their own individualized monitoring needs.

“The Aviom has been pretty cool,” he says. “I didn’t think I’d ever use it again after Aerosmith in 2009 but the musical director wanted to and so we figured out a way to incorporate it and it’s been working well since day one. I’m able to send 16 sends to the primary band members, who are all able to mix themselves, which means I get left alone to mix the three background vocalists and the singer. The band doesn’t ask me for anything during the show, so I can concentrate 100% on the artist. I would assume there are other engineers out there using Aviom, although I just don’t know anyone off-hand who’s doing it. It’s definitely made my job easier and I’m still able to deliver quality mixes to the band via that source. The band seems really happy with it, and if they’re happy I’m happy.”

Concentrating on Alicia, Luna keeps the effects to a minimum, relying mostly on the internal effects, with the exception of a TC Electronics M4000 plug-in via AES at 96kHz. “That reverb sounds really good on her vocal and we really like it. But everything else I’m using with her is internal. I find I use a lot of compression on her vocals. She has a lot of dynamic range, so I need to take that down a little bit to make it fit when she’s singing loud or soft. Because she’s primarily a piano player, the mix is very important. The piano can easily get lost or washed out if you have too much vocal or too much ambient sound. So the vocal and piano are the important parts of the mix, and the rest follows those two key elements. I make sure I can always hear the vocal and the piano, and if I can always hear the vocal and the piano, with the band fitting in nicely underneath, we’re going to have a great day!”

They’re also tracking 80 inputs on Nuendo at monitor world and FOH and 80 channels of Pro Tools to split off the stage racks.

Another technological advance on the tour is the use of a Signal Hound RF Spectrum Analyzer. “When we were deciding the gear spec, Scott Evans introduced me to the product and we decided to get one for the tour,” says Luna. “We’re getting really good results and the manufacturer has been fantastic. They’re excited for the feedback because apparently no one in our industry is using it, so it’s kinda cool to be breaking new ground like that.”

Both the artist and management have been happy with the production, both onstage and off…. And are verbal about it. “We’re getting a lot of compliments,” Luna offers, “and a couple of shows ago Alicia said it sounded wonderful at soundcheck… I’m not used to getting that kind of positive feedback from artists, so it’s refreshing, especially coming from Alicia, because she’s such an awesome talent.

“Other than that I’m really grateful that I’ve got a good relationship with the vendors, not just with sound company, Clair Global, but with DiGiCo as well,” continues Luna. “It’s a killer combination for service. I feel confident that no matter where I am in the world, if I need something, it’s going to happen. Thanks to both Clair and DiGiCo for helping me out on this tour… it’s very been appreciated.”

“In today’s touring industry where cost of gear and truck and rack space are ongoing issues,” adds Colvard, “it’s important to have a console that can solve many of these challenges, the DiGiCo SD10 meets all of the needs for getting on the road—from the sonics of the sound to the dynamic EQ, dynamic multi-band compression overdrive [DiGiTubes] and delay on channels, to its great gates and ducking capabilities. Having these tools makes the selection of DiGiCo consoles live an easy choice for me.”

Photo Credit Tim Colvard: Kathy Beer

DiGiCo SD8 Brings Oktophonie Opus To Light At NYC’s Park Avenue Armory

Karlheinz Stockhausen‘s electronic masterpiece OKTOPHONIE made its New York premier at the end of March at Park Avenue Armory in Manhattan. Stockhausen was a compositional pioneer who grappled with spatial music as he bent the rules and redefined the listening experience. The German composer’s magnum opus “Licht” (or “Light”) OKTOPHONIE is a trailblazing electronic musical experience where the audience is surrounded by eight groups of loudspeakers, enveloping them in a sonic environment. The piece was performed by Kathinka Pasveer, an early Stockhausen collaborator, and Igor Kavulek who has been Stockhausen’s personal sound technician since 1998. A DiGiCo SD8 and Meyer sound system was specified by Kavulek for the show and provided by Production Resources Group.

Staging the work as the composer originally intended—in outer space—artist Rirkrit Tiravanija was commissioned by the Armory to create a ritualized lunar experience, a floating seating installation within the Armory’s soaring drill hall that heightens the listeners’ octophonic experience and transports them to another realm. The audience donned white cloaks for the journey, carried along by the all-encompassing score, which was broadcast from the SD8 console placed at center stage.

Pasveer has worked with DiGiCo consoles (SD7s, SD8s and D5s) over the last several years on previous performances around the globe and has been impressed with their ease of use, flexibility and reliability.

“Igor always specifies DiGiCo consoles and Meyer loudspeakers on our technical rider because they sound fantastic together and translate the music the way the composer wanted it to be heard,” explains Pasveer. “Oktophonie encompasses 64 channels that were mixed down to eight tracks, which were totally spacialized and played back from a laptop into the console. This very simple but sophisticated sound system gave us huge sound but was not too loud. The DiGiCo SD8 being so compact and flexible is very easy to work with and we use it often for our large productions. You can set it up exactly the way you like and individualize all the channels very easily. And the sound was so beautiful in the Armory. I think everyone was impressed by the sound and sound quality.”

About Park Avenue Armory
Part palace, part industrial shed, Park Avenue Armory fills a critical void in the cultural ecology of New York by enabling artists to create—and audiences to experience—unconventional work that cannot be mounted in traditional performance halls and museums. With its soaring 55,000-square-foot Wade Thompson Drill Hall—reminiscent of 19th-century European train stations—and array of exuberant period rooms, the Armory offers a new platform for creativity across all art forms. Since September 2007—Aaron Young’s Greeting Card, a 9,216-square-foot “action” painting created by the burned-out tire marks of ten choreographed motorcycles—the Armory has organized a series of immersive performances, installations, and works of art that have drawn critical and popular attention. Among the highlights are: Bernd Zimmermann’s harrowing Die Soldaten, in which the audience moved “through the music”; the unprecedented six-week residency of the Royal Shakespeare Company, in their own theater rebuilt in the drill hall; a massive digital sound and video environment by Ryoji Ikeda; a sprawling, gauzy, multisensory labyrinth created by Ernesto Neto; the final performances of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company; and the New York Philharmonic performing Stockhausen’s Gruppen with three orchestras surrounding the audience. The most recent project was the event of a thread, a site-specific installation by Ann Hamilton.

DiGiCo-Driven Broadway Shows Take Home Coveted TONY Awards

Building on the success of the DiGiCo D5T, still in current use on shows such as Cinderella, SD7T consoles have become a mainstay in the audio trenches on Broadway and in the West End (UK) for many a year, with their potently powerful hardware, Stealth engine and theatre software kit capable of handling the most intricate demands of theatre audio today. This June, a slew of the newest productions utilizing DiGiCo consoles took home coveted 2013 TONY Awards.

Using an DiGiCo SD7T:
Kinky Boots – Best Musical; Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical (Billy Porter); Best Choreography (Jerry Mitchell); Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics, Cyndi Lauper); Best Sound Design of a Musical (John Shivers); Best Orchestrations (Stephen Oremus).

Pippin – Best Revival of a Musical; Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical (Patina Miller); Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical (Andrea Martin); Best Direction of a Musical (Diane Paulus).

Matilda The Musical – Best Book of a Musical; Best Scenic Design of a Musical (Rob Howell); Best Lighting Design of a Musical (Hugh Vanstone); Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical (Gabriel Ebert).

Since his involvement designing The Lion King for Singapore in 2010, John Shivers has been using DiGiCo SD7Ts on just about every show since. The award-winning sound designer says the console offers a lot of flexibility, especially with the “T” software, which he says brings features and functionality specific to their needs on theatrical productions as well as a solid sounding foundation in a very compact package. 



“The SD7T software has added these very beneficial features thanks to [award-winning sound designer] Andrew Bruce’s involvement in the development. Having onboard compression, gating and delay—along with the programmability and recallability of those parameters on every channel—opens up possibilities that you just can’t have with an analog console. It’s definitely been an upgrade for us from that standpoint. A positive byproduct has definitely been the size of the console, which allows you to get into smaller spaces and require less seats be removed and has served as a large financial windfall for producers. For me, from a purely creative and design standpoint, it’s about the capabilities of the console. I’m not one to follow the crowd necessarily, but the SD7T has become a standard of our industry and the reason everybody’s using them seems clear. It has proven itself to be a very capable and reliable console.”

Additionally, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella, which utilized DiGiCo’s 5DT, was awarded Best Costume Design of a Musical (William Ivey Long).

To discover more about DiGiCo’s line of theatre-ready digital consoles, please visit: www.digico.biz

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