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Archive of the AES Newslink Category

Rock & Roll’s Top Artists & Icons Get Amped With Firehouse & DiGiCo

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Ceremony returned to the West Coast for the first time in 20 years this April, to induct a new class of musicians and industry icons in a nearly 5-hour evening of music and merriment at Los Angeles’ Nokia Theatre. The class of 2013—Public Enemy, Rush, Heart, Randy Newman, Donna Summer, Albert King, Quincy Jones and Lou Adler—were honored by a who’s who of music past and present. For the 13th year, Firehouse Productions handled the audio portion of the show, with Mark Dittmar spearheading the onsite crew comprised of Production Mixer Barry Warrick, Music Mixer Ron Reaves (on a DiGiCo SD7) and Mike Parker handling monitors (SD7).

The show has grown exponentially over the years into what Dittmar calls ‘fast and stupid.’ “And I don’t mean that in a derogatory way,” he laughs. “It’s just that this is the sort of show that keeps growing and giving and growing and giving, and they will never get smaller. There’s so much more desire for content, and there’s a lot more figuring it out on-site. Ten years ago you would spend a huge amount of prep time. Now you fly in and the producer’s like, “Oh, I just added a band.’ Last year they added Green Day, literally two days before the show and we’d already loaded in. We don’t get to say, ‘I’m sorry you didn’t tell us that three weeks ago, we can’t do it.’ You say, ‘OK, we have an hour to set them up.’ You look at what we do routinely now, and if you had asked us to do it 10 years ago, we would have freaked out. We simply didn’t have the tools or the technology to accomplish it. Two years ago we outgrew our Yamaha PM1Ds at FOH and in monitor world because the show kept adding inputs to the point that our only choice in inventory were the DiGiCo SD7s, and it was a logical move for doing these shows. The pace has become very, very fast and we have a great team and great tools in place now that can get the job done easily.”

The show’s drive system is all on fiber optics now with the SD7s and a trio of SD racks networked via Optocore. “Everything is digital, front to back,” Dittmar adds. “The signal path from the input of the SD7 into the amplifier is digital the entire way. You couldn’t easily accomplish that 10 years ago; we would’ve run out of horsepower with the consoles. Several yeas ago, we thought that we’d probably never fill a 96-input desk, and then we filled a 96-input desk… and more. Now that these things can do hundreds of inputs, the question is, ‘how much can a guy like Ron mix?’ You know, where does your brain give out and say, ‘I can’t find the fifteenth snare drum?!’ We’re doing things very powerful and very fast now, and a key component is the SD7, which allows us to do these shows. The SD7 is powerful and you can put a lot of inputs and outputs into it. Once you’re into an SD7, you no longer need to think about the layout. We just go very, very large with the splits, we give the mixers everything instead of having to repatch in the middle of the show. Parker and Ron don’t have to have a conversation about what they want to see where. We simply send everything to everyone and it’s very easy for them to deal with.”

“The challenge for me on a show like this, where I have a house band and artists walking on and off—as compared to one that’s a bit more ordered like the Grammys, where you have 20 separate bands and 20 different snapshots—is that you have to be a bit more flexible here because it’s all going to change… sometimes multiple times. This is an outstanding band, with some of the top session players, who’ve played on tons of hit records: drummers Steve Ferrone and Jim Keltner, bassist Will Lee, guitarists Waddy Wachtel and Ray Parker Junior, Greg Phillinganes on keys under the direction of Paul Shaffer… it sounds amazing! But for example, on day one of rehearsals, we were on version 10 of our input list. And it changed even more before we took the stage.”

“I’m using my basic Grammy template file because it’s a good starting point for music,” Reaves continues, “and I can just switch the inputs around from there. I’m landing about 112 inputs for the music performance. I do a lot of pre-dialing and I use a lot of presets on this desk, which enables us to go very fast, which is very important for doing TV. And as long as I have plenty of faders, I’m good. And that’s the beauty of the SD7. I can make it as big as I need it to be and can have 256 faders if I need them. I can put everything in the entire show in the console and have it there all night long. And no matter what anyone calls for at the last minute, it’s there. That’s why this is the perfect tool for jobs like this. You can build yourself a giant console so to speak, in terms of layers, and have everything right at your fingertips. These shows keep getting bigger and bigger because we keep pulling it off, but it would never have fitted on the consoles we were using previously. This is the perfect example of how the hardware helped fix the problem.”

At monitor world, it was only Mike Parker’s second time on an SD7, although he’d mixed numerous times on SD10 for events ranging from the Grammys to the Video Music Awards. He found the console’s updated software features exceptionally powerful in managing approximately 130 inputs and 84 outputs for the show.

“The DiGiCo platform is so versatile you can layout any show they throw at you and it can handle it,” he offers. “Not only does it sound good, but it’s probably the most advanced live mixing console in use today. I love the functionality and how you can route things… its quick, easy and very helpful. It enables me to sketch out the console in rehearsals and start dialing up the EQ.

“Monitors are in a critical place for shows like this,” Parker adds. “If the artist is happy with their monitors, chances are you’re gonna get a better performance. But it requires everyone: that means the house mix is good, the crowd reacts and the artist reacts off the crowd… it’s a loop. It creates a great energy that is not seen, but felt. When the monitors and house couple together it’s called a ‘lock’—when everything locks together. I’ve witnessed it several times and it’s magic.”

“This is one of my favorite shows,” Dittmar muses. “I’ve been doing this show longer than anything else in my career and it’s a night of amazing talent. The house band is incredible and you’re getting to hear your favorite bands growing up. Go on YouTube and watch Prince doing “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” from the ceremony several years ago… everyone’s jaw was just on the floor, including Eric Clapton’s!

“When we do large shows like this, I like having the cool tools like the DiGiCos. I like pushing the technological barriers and having the slick setup. But we also like when they work and the SD7s have been flawless for us. We also had a pair of them on the Tony Awards and not only do you have an immensely powerful platform, but you also have the reliability and that makes them very viable. They’re certainly the most popular desk right now, too!”

Pictured LtoR: Production Mixer Barry Warrick, FOH Tech Michael Bove, Music Mixer Ron Reaves and Production manager Mark Dittmar.

BOX HILL INSTITUTE CHOOSES API 1608 FOR STUDIO R

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – MAY 2013: When the Box Hill Institute’s Centre for Creative Industries console needed replacing, they looked no further than the API 1608. The 32-channel console can be found in Studio R of the Institute’s Whitehorse campus in Melbourne, Australia. Here, students use the console to earn degrees in Applied Music, specializing in audio production courses that teach both analog and digital recording techniques.

Adam Quaife, former freelance engineer and producer, who is now a lecturer in audio production, heard of API in past professional experiences with other respected engineers and producers. “We searched for a new console that would give our students the very best experience of what analog audio could offer.” he said. The obvious choice was the API 1608.

The API 1608 was chosen for its quality of sound, level of control and solid build, as well as the reliability and timelessness of API’s products. “We are very happy with our choice of an API 1608. The sound of the console and the 550A EQ is awesome. The whole thing feels and functions like a high-quality studio instrument,” said Quaife. The department also uses other API products such as the 2500 stereo bus compressor, 5500 dual equalizer and the A2D mic pre amplifier.

“Box Hill institute has long been regarded as a great institution to study creative arts, audio production and music,” said Quaife. “Our students immediately appreciate the flexibility and quality of sound that this console brings to their productions.”

ABOUT API (AUTOMATED PROCESSES, INC.) Established more than 40 years ago, Automated Processes, Inc. is the leader in analog recording gear with the Vision, Legacy Series and 1608 recording consoles, as well as its classic line of modular signal processing equipment.

www.apiaudio.com

DPA’s d:facto™ II Vocal Microphone Wins New Fans In Belgium

Belgian sound engineer Joris Verniest, from betterliVe.be, has been introducing DPA Microphones’ new d:facto II Vocal Microphone to some of the country’s top bands after being blown away by the natural sound quality it delivers on the live stage.

DPA’s Belgian distributor Amptec gave Verniest the first DPA d:facto II Vocal Microphone in the country to demo and since then he has been using it for a wide variety of gigs and with many different artists.

“It doesn’t matter what situation I put it in – whether it is a small club, a big outside stage such as the Pukkelpop festival, with wedges or in-ear – I have consistently got great results,” Verniest explains. “The vocals are incredibly clear through my mix and there is very little crosstalk from the drums or guitar amps. I even recorded some gigs in multitrack to compare the d:facto with other microphones and there was a huge difference in terms of crosstalk, with the d:facto coming out much better.”

Joris Verniest’s recently used the DPA d:facto II Vocal Microphone at a concert for Belgian Indie Rock band Het Zesde Metaal at the Ancienne Belgique in Brussels. The band was playing with a string quartet and acoustic piano, both of which were also miked with DPA – d:vote™ 4099 Instrument Microphones for the string quartet and a stereo pair of DPA 4021 Compact Cardioid microphones for the piano.

“In general I use the d:facto II Vocal Microphone with DPA’s wired handle, but I do like the concept of the adapter system that makes it compatible with most commonly used wireless systems,” Verniest says. “I’ve always been a big fan of DPA’s sound quality and have quite a collection of DPA mics. That’s why I was so interested to try the new d:facto Vocal Microphone.”

Among the bands that Verniest has introduced to the DPA d:facto Vocal Microphone are Customs, The Bony King of Nowhere, Renée and Sherman.

“All of these artists have really noticed a difference and have been very happy with the clarity d:facto delivers to their vocals,” he adds. “Sherman, for example, wanted his vocals to be very loud and clear and the d:facto helped me achieve that without sounding hollow or being on the edge of feedback.”

Verniest adds that although some singers take a little while to get used to the d:facto Vocal Microphone, they soon realise that what they are hearing through the wedges or in-ear is far superior in terms of sound quality.

“I’ve even had house technicians and monitor engineers commenting on the great sound,” he says. “And when you even get members of the audience telling you they appreciated the quality of the vocals, you know you are on to a good thing!”

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Editors’ information:
DPA Microphones is the leading Danish Professional Audio manufacturer of high quality condenser microphones and microphone solutions for professional applications in studio, broadcast, theatre, video/film and sound reinforcement environments. All DPA microphones and components are manufactured at the company’s purpose-built factory in Denmark.
For more information on DPA Microphones, please visit www.dpamicrophones.com

Prism Sound Ships Lyra – A New Audio Interface For The Studio Producer, Musician and DJ Market

The good things in life are always worth waiting for and after months of anticipation internationally renowned British manufacturer Prism Sound has finally shipped the first Lyra audio interfaces to its worldwide dealer network.

“We were hoping to ship Lyra earlier in the year but due to some manufacturing issues this was delayed until now,” says Prism Sound’s Sales and Marketing director Graham Boswell. “Testing Lyra on all of the software and hardware platforms took longer than anticipated, but now we have commenced deliveries I am confident that this new family of audio interfaces will delight all audio content producers including musicians, composers, project studio owners, DJs and re-mixers.”

Lyra, which made its debut at the 2012 AES Convention in San Francisco, brings to an even wider audience Prism Sound’s high performance audio converter technology. This technology is used in the world’s leading recording facilities by recording artists and for blockbuster movie soundtracks such as Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit. Based on the award-winning and critically acclaimed Orpheus interface, 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 more affordable price point.

Lyra connects seamlessly with both Macs and PCs via a simple USB interface, making it ideal for recording professionals who don’t need eight channels of analogue I/O.

Prism Sound plans to launch a number of different variants of Lyra and has started the ball rolling with Lyra 1 and Lyra 2. Both incorporate new ARM Cortex processor design offering class-compliant USB interfacing, plus DSP and a low latency ‘console-quality’ digital mixer for foldback monitoring. Both products also have optical SPDIF capability and Lyra 2 also supports ADAT.

Lyra 1, which retails in the UK at £1,349 plus VAT, will be of particular interest to the musician and project studio market. This unit offers two analogue input channels – one for instrument/line and one for mic/line – plus two DA output channels and optical-only digital I/O. With Lyra 1, musicians can connect a guitar and a microphone through the input channels, plug into their software mixer via a simple USB connection and start laying down basic tracks in a matter of minutes.

Lyra 2, which retails in the UK at £1,849 plus VAT, takes the concept a little further by offering two AD input channels with switchable microphone, instrument or line input modes and four DA output channels. Both optical-only digital I/O and copper S/PDIF are available on this version of Lyra, which also offers wordclock In/Out enabling synchronization with other digital devices.

Both products are ergonomically designed to look as good as they sound. The front panel has a master volume control assignable to selected output channels, while the unit’s small size – just 11 inches wide – makes it very easy to transport for musicians, producers and DJs on the road. For studio use, Prism Sound can supply dedicated rack mounts as an extra.

“We know there is a market for Lyra because our customers have been demanding this product ever since we launched Orpheus,” Graham Boswell adds. “However, we are very protective of our reputation for delivering the highest possible audio quality so we were not going to bring any product to market until we were sure that it could live up to our exacting specifications. Lyra does just that, and we are very proud to introduce it.”

Lyra is fully supported by Prism Sound’s acclaimed technical and after-sales service staff.

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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

New NEXO STM Line Array and Yamaha Consoles Put Finishing Touch on Funshine Festival

TAMPA—More than 30 acts performed over five musical stages during Funshine Fest, held May 3-5 on the fairgrounds of Florida State in Tampa with an attendance of 20,000. Main stage artists included Train, the Smashing Pumpkins, REO Speedwagon, Styx, the Wallflowers, Cheap Trick, New Found Glory, Gary Allen, and Chris Carrabba of Dashboard Confessional.

ESI Audio of Tampa provided audio production, and this year, the new NEXO STM was used as the Live Nation Amphitheatre main stage line array. Company President, Erick Celeiro, functioned as FOH tech and Ozzy Giron acted as monitor tech on the rig. The system consisted of 15 M46 per side flown, 15 B112 per side flown, 32 S118 subs ground stacked, 10 NUAR racks that included 2x 4×4 NXAmps, and four M46s stacked on S118 subs for front fills. The entire system was running from front of house via the Dante network to the amp racks. A Yamaha PM5D was at the front of house mix position.

About the new STM system, Live Nation Amphitheatre production manager Andy Martinez said, ” I have seen many systems come in and out of here, and never had a system that rigs and flies so easy and sounds amazing.” And, REO front of house engineer, Neil Schaefer, added, “I had the pleasure of using the NEXO STM, and having had plenty of time in front of NEXO rigs over the years, my expectations were high. The STM PA is very tidy with clever rigging. Most important, it sounded very good. Smooth, powerful, and responsive; a very nice rig indeed!”

The NEXO STM Series (Scale Through Modularity) loudspeaker cabinets are the first of its kind on the market and combine the best of Alpha functionality with the technical innovation of GEO waveguide designs, delivering a powerful, flexible, and easy to use system. STM enables line array systems to scale up or down depending on event audience size, from 1,000 to 100,000 people. STM is unique in that it is the first vertical array system to offer scalable LF, making it easy to add extra bass cabinets for increased power and headroom, without introducing unwanted phase anomalies.

The outdoor Pavilion Stage used a NEXO GEO T line array along with a Yamaha CL5 at front of house used by mix engineer Jan Javier, with a CL1 at monitors for engineer Rob “DH” Durkee. “I felt very comfortable taking the CL out for the three-day festival with multiple bands, some with their own engineers, some without,” states Javier. The CL screen is like the difference between a regular VHS tape and a Blue-Ray DVD. I was using AES outs all the way to the amps. The system sounded great, the desk was very easy to use from the first day. The next day, I put the Premium Rack’s Portico Compressor in stereo in the left and right, and what a difference, just passing through the unit; smooth and warm become the words to best describe the sound. I used the DCAs, as I am used to mixing that way. Assignments are very easy, and finding my way around the desk is simple and very intuitive.”

“The guest engineers were amazed at the sound of the desk and how friendly it is, notes Javier. All who used it said they would tour with it.” Javier said they ran the stage rack onstage, and ran a cat6 snake out. He also said he noticed the pre-amps are much more responsive and a lot warmer out of the box. The Pavilion Stage hosted Lone Bellow, Tonic, Big Sam’s Funky Nation, and Dead Confederates. “They all loved the sound.”

The Concourse Stage housed a Yamaha CL1 at front of house with mixing by Bryan Rogers and Justin Lenards. An LS9 was used for monitors. Rogers said the CL1 was “like butter… smooth and creamy.” Lenards who mixed FOH and Monitors said “Love it, great little console.”

For more information on ESI Audio, visit www.esiaudio.com.

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

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Photo ID: NEXO STM and Yamaha PM5D during FOH mix for Styx
Photo ID: L to R: Pat Clark, VP ESI, Yamaha’s Brian Coviello, Andy Martinez, Live Nation Amphitheater Technical Director

Kinky Boots Has Broadway On Its Feet With DiGiCo

With songs by rocker girl Cyndi Lauper and story by celebrated actor/playwright, Harvey Fierstein, Kinky Boots has Broadway on its proverbial feet. Based on the 2005 British flick about a struggling shoe factory that reinvigorates business by making fetish footwear for drag queens, the show opened to rave reviews—and a TONY award nom on the horizon. In keeping with many award-winning shows on the ‘Great White Way,’ sound designer John Shivers opted for a DiGiCo SD7T to handle the production, after becoming familiar with the system on his previous productions for Bonnie & Clyde, Sister Act and The Lion King overseas. The SD7′s powerful system and diminutive size made it a perfect fit for the new show.

“A few years ago, I saw a brief demo at Masque Sound when the SD7 first became available,” he recollected. “Seeing the feature set and the redundant engine and power supply all onboard got me interested. When designing The Lion King for Singapore in 2010, part of my negotiation involved suggesting that we swap out the Cadacs with SD7s in New York and London for both creative and financial reasons. Before I knew it, I’d gotten an email telling me to move forward. Within 6 weeks of that conversation we were implementing the SD7s on the New York show and a month after that we were doing the same in London. I’ve been using SD7s pretty much on every show since.”

Shivers says the console offers a lot of flexibility, especially with the new “T” software, which he says brings features and functionality specific to our 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 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 SD7 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.”

“The SD7 with the ‘T’ software option has indeed proven to be a very good investment for Masque Sound,” says Masque’s Scott Kalata. “It has near-universal client acceptance, unlimited flexibility and its small footprint make it the ideal choice for today’s theatrical sound designer.”

The show’s Associate Sound Designer & Production Sound Engineer David Patridge has mixed on virtually every make and model DiGiCo has offered since the D5 in his two decades on Broadway. He, too, raves about the increased functionality that the Theatre Software offers.

“This is the number one reason for using SD7 in my opinion,” he offers. “We really appreciate all of the work that DiGiCo has undertaken, in tandem with Andrew Bruce, in developing a purpose-built version of the SD7 software for the theatrical market. DiGiCo has been very responsive in listening to end-users and new features are added and perfected constantly along with the elimination of oddities and bugs.

“I could fill pages on all of the features and how we use them. Specifically, the Auto Update is a great feature on its own but when it is employed as part of the theatre software it is really powerful and allows the desk to remain automated to a much larger degree than other types of desks. Typically, when using a recallable desk, you would need to dumb-down many of the features in order to avoid constantly recalling entirely new settings each time a scene is recalled. With the theatre software, you can expect the desk to operate in a ‘manual’ way but with full and selectable recall ability from moment to moment. On other productions such as The Lion King, we have enjoyed using the Gain Tracking ability of the desk in a creative new way. There is no other desk that I know of where you can assign headamps to a redundant set of control channels dedicated to band monitoring and then have the digital trim of those redundant channels track changes to the headamp. DiGiCo has really stepped up by providing a console that provides us with the greatest creative freedom when doing theatrical sound designs.”

“We use the onboard processing extensively for band reverbs and dynamics, which really cuts down on the real estate at the FOH position. The only outboard gear we’re using is a couple of Avalon Tube Compressors for our lead vocalists to fatten up their vocals. We also have a TC6000 System and Eventide H3000 for Vocal Effects/Reverbs etc. We are not using Waves yet, but I am interested in doing this in the future.”

The show’s system inputs total 116 analog and 6 AES, in addition to 60 analog outputs and 14 AES outputs. The production uses a pair of DiGiCo SD Racks along with the local I/O and MADI for the QLab playback system. They took advantage of the onboard MADI Split on the SD Rack in order to provide audio to a Yamaha PM5D monitor console. “The new racks offer a host of features positioning them well for use where audio is being split to a number of places like OB trucks etc., without needing to tap into the topology of the SD7 audio engines.”

By its very nature, Patridge explains, the SD7T solves many of the issues that crop up when dealing with a theatrical piece. “The cuelist structure, MIDI implementation, onboard input and output dynamics, the desk footprint and the Auto Update features not to mention the desk’s excellent sonic characteristics make choosing an SD7T a no-brainer. And in terms of flexibility and ease of use, I would say that DiGiCo is at the top of the ladder. There is no other digital desk that offers the same degree of theatrical features. The desk is also designed in such a way that it is very simple and intuitive to explain it to a new operator. Sonically I would say that that DiGiCo is on par with the top of the marketplace. Often the weakest link in any sound design is things like the content, mic positions or the room architecture. I don’t get the sense that any of the available top-of-the-line digital consoles add much of a sonic signature, although certainly you get what you pay for. We have been very pleased with the results that we get from DiGiCo desks.”

New cost–effective KanexPro HDMI Matrix with up to 32×32 I/O’s

May 16, 2013. Getting ready for InfoComm? Don’t forget to check our new, best-in class HDMI™ Matrix Switcher for all your AV integration needs.

The KanexPro HDMI 32×32 (also available in 4×4, 8×8 & 16×16) matrix is an ultra-high performance, digital matrix switcher engineered to route HDMI signals from 32 inputs to 32 outputs. The unit provides full HDCP internal management for today’s integration in commercial A/V market, ensuring HDCP key authentication, and administering the handshake internally. It maintains resolutions up to 1920 x 1200, 1080p or 2K, supporting full cross point switching. The matrix supports smart EDID management for rapid integration of sources and displays.

HDMI, Matrix, EDID, HDCP


Fully controllable through RS-232 commands, IR remote and front-panel buttons, this switcher includes 10-global presets for I/O configurations which allows saving and recalling via the front-panel, IR or through serial control at any time.

Today’s Applications

The KanexPro HDMI 32×32 matrix switcher is ideal for countless commercial applications such as military, medical and government environments where swift, reliable switching and distribution of high-resolution DVI/HDMI signals is critical to meet pixel-by-pixel needs.
To get a quote or for more information please call us at 888-644-4149 or visit KanexPro.com

About KanexPro™

Leveraging our core strength in professional A/V products, KanexPro carries a complete selection of A/V connectivity needs. When planning digital installations you will find that we carry a broad line of A/V connectivity products enabling you to broadcast, extend, split, or multiply HD signal transmissions; simply and cost-effectively. KanexPro is a registered trademark. All other trademarks and registered trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.

CRAIG RICHARDSON, Ph.D., JOINS SYMETRIX AS V.P. OF GLOBAL SALES

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – MAY 2013: Symetrix announces today the appointment of Craig Richardson to the position of Vice President of Global Sales. Richardson assumes responsibility for management of the company’s worldwide sales and business development. Richardson most recently served as Vice President of A/V Integrator Market Development with Polycom and prior to that was the Vice-President and General Manager of Polycom’s Installed Voice Business for many years. According to Symetrix CEO, Paul Roberts, “Craig Richardson is a major player in the world of audio for voice and video conferencing. We’re extremely excited to have a person of his caliber on board as we rapidly add teleconferencing products to our complete range of digital signal processors and accessories.”

“At Symetrix, I found a company with talented and dedicated people, a reputation for great products and customer-support, and a palpable level of enthusiasm for their new products and direction,” said Richardson. “It’s exhilarating to experience the passion and focus a rapidly growing company like Symetrix has for creating best-in-class products and services.”

During InfoComm Richardson will deliver a session called, “Designing and Troubleshooting Audio Conferencing Systems” on Wednesday, June 12th from 8 am to 10 am.  The session will focus on the lifecycle of an audio conferencing system: from the needs assessment and design guidelines to troubleshooting during installation and commissioning. “This session will streamline participants’ installation efforts and allow them to finish an installation sooner and with greater customer satisfaction,” said Richardson. “From a solution perspective, Symetrix’ new conferencing products, including SymNet Edge, the SymNet 4 Channel AEC Input Card, and SymNet Radius AEC, have a number of unique strengths including audio performance, audio routing options, form-factor, and price points. Their flexible architectures support both cost-effective smaller conferencing systems typically with eight or fewer microphones, and large, complex, conferencing systems connected via a Dante network over Ethernet.”

ABOUT SYMETRIX Symetrix engineers high-end professional audio solutions, specializing in DSP hardware and software. Symetrix products are distributed worldwide, and designed and manufactured in the U.S. at the Seattle area headquarters. Since 1976, customers have enjoyed the benefits of Symetrix independent ownership and management. For more information on Symetrix professional audio products, please visit www.symetrix.co or call +1 (425) 778-7728.

STOP BY AND SEE US AT INFOCOMM BOOTH #922

His Heart Is In New York: H.S. Concert Hall Gets ‘Thumbs Up’ From Tony Bennett

BUENA PARK, Calif.—In 1999, singer Tony Bennett and his wife Susan Benedetto, then a public school teacher, were inspired to start a public high school for young artists and envisioned a school that would integrate the arts with rigorous academics, require a commitment to community service, and help students cultivate a lifelong love of, and dedication to, their artistic passions and crafts.

With assistance from the New York City Department of Education and the not-for-profit Exploring the Arts (ETA) who assisted in raising the necessary funds required, the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts (named for Bennett’s long-time friend) opened in 2001 at a temporary space. In 2009, the school moved to its permanent home on the Kaufman Astoria Studios complex, in Astoria, Queens. Ennead Architects LLP (New York City, formerly Polshek Architects) designed the school, under lead architect Susan Rodriguez.

The Tony Bennett Concert Hall is a state-of-the-art performance 800-seat venue built specifically for use by the students. Tom Young, long-time front of house engineer for Mr. Bennett, was brought in at his bequest to specify the theatre’s sound system. “The original audio design by David Harvey (Harvey, Marshall, Berling Associates) and myself was initially a typical value-engineered system required by any New York City school but with our added mission of creating a good sounding space,” says Young. After Young took the Bennett’s to hear a demo of the Yamaha Active Field Control (AFC) system, they all agreed, that AFC would be a key component of the concert hall. Active Field Control is a reverberation enhancement system that adjusts and enhances the acoustic characteristics of a facility while preserving natural characteristics.

The theatre’s AFC system is a hybrid AFC3/LAP3 system with both the standard AFC3 system utilizing a new AFC-FIR card for processing and the enhanced option of using a dedicated FIR processing computer with the LAP3 external computer. System 1 is used for reverberation enhancement in the house and under balcony areas. System 2 is designed for reverberation enhancement/energy exchange on the stage adding a sense of spaciousness to the normally “dead” sounding stage area, aiding performers to hear others on the stage.

The main loudspeaker system in the concert hall is based around a NEXO GEO S12 line array, NXAMP4X4 amplifiers equipped with EtherSound cards connected to the existing EtherSound network; four Yamaha DSR115 self-powered Yamaha speakers for stage fills/monitors, and a Yamaha M7CL-48ES digital audio console.

In a joint statement the Bennett’s said: “Putting the finest sound system in the Tony Bennett Concert Hall at Frank Sinatra School of the Arts has turned it into one of the best sounding halls in the United States. How fortunate we are that both Tom’s team and Yamaha were able to create this for the public school children of New York City.”

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

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Photo ID: Cheri Walsh, Director of Exploring the Arts, Larry Italia, VP/GM Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Tony Bennett and his wife Susan, and Tom Young

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.

White Mark Designs A New Audio Facility For Extreme Music

Studio and design consultancy White Mark Ltd has completed a major project for Extreme Music to design and install an entire audio complex at the company’s new headquarters in London. The complex includes a large mastering studio, a mixing studio that can also be used for tracklaying and three self-contained audio editing suites.

Extreme Music, the production music arm of Sony ATV, was obliged to move premises to accommodate its rapid business growth.

The company’s Senior Vice President, Dan Pounder, says: “We have been growing at a rapid rate and needed more space to accommodate staff and to provide more audio facilities. Fortunately we were able to take over offices vacated by another Sony company and the move gave us the opportunity to re-design the space so that it exactly suited our workflow. The open plan design is now split between work stations for marketing and administrative staff and the audio suites. Thanks to the exceptionally high standards employed by both White Mark and BNP Paribas, which handled the design of the non-technical space, we now have a working environment that exceeds our expectations and has the wow factor we were looking for.”

The audio complex flows along one side of the building and consists of a large mastering room with natural daylight that is equipped with a Pro Tools system, PMC monitors and a range of audiophile processing equipment from Analaogue Tube, Avalon, Manley, Weiss and T.C. Electronics. There is also a secondary multipurpose room equipped with Universal Audio, Sonnox and T.C. Electronics processing with PMC monitors capable of mixing, tracklaying and mastering duties. The two rooms can work in tandem for larger tracklaying projects, with the mastering room doubling up as a live space. The complex also houses three self-contained edit suites of varying sizes, all of which are linked to a common DDP audio server in a separate machine room so that work can easily be transferred between any of the five audio rooms.

Extreme Music’s Chief Mastering Engineer Nick Cooke says: “We chose White Mark for this project because we had worked with them in the past and knew they could deliver the results we wanted. As our new premises are located in a mixed tenancy building, we had to ensure that all of the studios and edit suites were really well isolated to avoid causing noise nuisance to our neighbours. White Mark was able to completely isolate all of the rooms and ensure that the completed facilities sounded great and were acoustically accurate.”

White Mark’s previous involvement with Extreme Music involved upgrading the mastering studio in its old premises to improve the sound of the room and create more space. That project, which was completed in just four weeks in order to minimise downtime, involved the use of White Mark’s Fast Studio construction method that allows producers, composers and studio owners to build high performance facilities in far less time and at far less cost than would normally be anticipated. This unique system uses properly constructed and individually specified acoustic modules that are assembled off-site, making them very quick and easy to install. Fast Studio panels are ideal for rooms using free-standing monitors and in which there is no need for full isolation.

White Mark’s managing director David Bell says: “Although Extreme Music’s new facility required a more traditional approach to studio building to achieve adequate isolation, we were able to incorporate the company’s existing Fast Studio panels into our design for the acoustic treatment of the edit rooms.”

Established in 1997, Extreme Music is renowned for the quality of its production music and is committed to delivering an unrivalled roster of talent. Among its stable of Award-winning producers and composers are Timbaland, Hans Zimmer, Quincy Jones, Snoop Lion, Vince Clarke, Xzibit and Steve Jablonsky.

“All of our mastering is handled in-house and because we are committed to excellence, we need audio facilities that reflect this philosophy,” Nick Cooke adds. “White Mark has achieved remarkable results with our studios and we are delighted with them. Being able to feed work between all five rooms has significantly improved our workflow and increased flexibility. The additional space has also made it possible for composers to come in and be truly involved in the mixing and mastering process.”

Dan Pounder adds that the move has not only given Extreme Music the extra space it needed, but also helped integrate the audio side of the business. “The layout works really well,” he says. “Everyone enjoys working here and the look and feel of the new premises also creates a very good impression for visitors because they can literally see our workflow in action.”

-ends-

About White Mark:

Established in 1997 by David Bell, John Dunnill, Derek Buckingham and Alan Cundell, White Mark Ltd specialises in production facilities for music recording and the film and television industries. Over the last fifteen years it has designed and supervised the construction of over 500 production suites worldwide. The company’s impressive client list encompasses some of the world’s most famous music recording facilities including Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios in the UK, Germano Studios in New York, Hit Factory/Criteria Recording Studios in Miami, Strongroom in London and private studios for producers and musicians such as William Orbit and Damon Albarn. In the area of audio post production, White Mark has completed over 140 audio studios and many broadcast and video editing facilities for more than 60 companies in Soho alone. The list of clients includes Grand Central, Hackenbacker, Envy, De Lane Lea, Scramble, Lipsync, Molinare, DeLuxe, 750mph, NBC/Universal, Wave, Unit and Boom. Advertising agency clients include worldwide facilities for Hogarth International and AMV/BBDO on four continents.www.whitemark.com

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