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ACIR Professional Supports Forgotten Veterans at VetRock

Egg Harbor Township, N.J.—Bader Field, Atlantic City was the site for the first VetRock concert, held in honor of those forgotten that served in the Vietnam War. Held the first Saturday in June, the concert featured memorable bands from the 70s including headliners Mark Farner from Grand Funk Railroad, Mitch Rider, the Buckinghams, the Traamps, Soul Survivors, as well as local area bands. Special guest speaker was Lt. Oliver North with Joe Piscopo acting as the event’s emcee. The day’s festivities lasted every bit of 12 hours to tribute to Vietnam Vets; Local Vietnam Veteran organizations will receive 100% of profits from tickets and t-shirts sold that commemorate the day.

The main sound system was provided by ACIR Professional (Egg Harbor Township, N.J.) and included the company’s new d&b Audiotechnik J rig, configured with 16 boxes of J8s, four J12s, two Q7 line arrays that were used for front fills, and 20 B2 subs configured in a “sub array” to achieve even coverage of the entire listening area. A Yamaha CL5 and two Rio3224-D remote i/o racks was used at front of house, a Yamaha PM5D-RH was used for monitors, along with Yamaha P7000 amps. A plethora of mics included Shure, AKG, Sennheiser, EV, A-T, Countryman, along with Shure and Sennheiser wireless systems. ACIR also provided, lighting, backline, staging, rigging, and supervised power, video, and barricade installation.

“The Yamaha CL console was excellent from a festival standpoint, and connectivity of the Rio rack with AES inputs digitally was a big plus,” states ACIR co-owner and front of house engineer for the event, John Grasso. “From all accounts, the entire rig sounded pristine, especially our new d&b J rig. It was an honor to be included in this event in remembrance of our Vietnam Vets.”

This was my first experience as a TD for a show of this size so I needed to hire a company who would cover all production elements,” states Sam Schwartz. “From staging to audio, lighting, video, and band gear, ACIR’s great crew worked flawlessly with our IATSE Local #77. I received a number of complements on the new d&b J8 audio rig and its massive sound, It filled our 10 acres of seating area with no sweat. Being responsible for the entire production, you can’t get a better production company than ACIR Professional. They moved quickly to address all the changes and additions that were presented along the way. They made me look very good.

ACIR co-owner, Ed DiBona chose a Yamaha PM5D-RH to mix monitors. “I chose the PM5D for monitors because I needed a console that could handle a large number of mixes, both wedges and in-ear monitors, with a mixture of mono and stereo outputs. The exceptional sound quality and ability to quickly make changes and mix on the fly made the 5D the only choice for this fast-paced, high- profile show. The desk performed flawlessly all day. The promoter was extremely happy with the entire sound system, and we received many compliments from performers.”

For more information on ACIR Professional, visit www.acirpro.com.

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Photo ID: John Grasso at Yamaha CL5 digital console

DPA Microphones Bring Exceptional Clarity To Suede’s Guitars

Indie-rock stalwarts Suede, which released its sixth album Bloodsports in March 2013, recently recorded a live acoustic session for Absolute Radio at the world-famous Abbey Road studios in London.

The equipment line-up for this important gig incorporated three DPA d:vote™ 4099 Instrument Microphones, which were chosen for their clarity and exceptional audio quality.

Suede’s Neil Codling, who plays keyboards and rhythm guitar, was instrumental in the choice of microphones, specifying them for his own Martin D28 guitar and also for Richard Oakes’ Gibson J200 lead guitar and Matt Osman’s Dean acoustic bass. DPA’s UK distributor Sound Network was happy to supply the microphones.

“In an ideal world, a microphone should almost disappear, allowing the sound source to reach the listener’s ear unimpeded, dissolving the artifice of a recording,” Neil Codling says. “Like the best condenser mics, the DPA d:vote 4099 Clip Microphones capture what is happening in the room with clarity and life, putting you there, in the path of the shifting air. The wonder is that, wherever you place them, d:vote 4099 microphones give you a sound you can build a mix around, or incorporate into a mix without fuss. It’s as if they have one enormous sweet spot.”

Codling was introduced to DPA Microphones by Front of House sound engineer Jamie Orchard-Lisle, who is closely involved with the chamber orchestra Penguin Café, of which Codling is also a member.

“When I have downtime from Suede, I play in Penguin Cafe, which has a different acoustic flavour: violins, viola, cello, double bass, ukuleles, Venezuelan cuatros,” Codling says. “Whatever you point the DPA d:vote 4099 at, they seem to capture the essence of the instrument, its subtle timbres and the full breadth of its dynamic range. You get warmth without boom, intimacy without overpowering mids, clarity without brittleness. You just point them at the sound source and they sound great.”

Getting the opportunity to use DPA d:vote 4099 Instrument Microphones for the Abbey Road session was something Neil Codling jumped at – and he also enjoyed being able to acquaint other members of Suede to DPA’s high-end audio quality.

“When you introduce someone to DPA microphones for the first time, there’s always an exchange of looks on first hearing that says ‘wow, this sounds special!’” he says. “Even when you first set them up, it’s as if you’ve reached that point where you say ‘don’t touch a thing: that’s perfect.’ It’s a happy knack, and you just have to hit ‘record’ and enjoy it.”
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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

ASHLY RATED THE TOP AUDIO ENTRÉE AT CHEF ROB’S CARIBBEAN CAFÉ

SANDY SPRINGS, GEORGIA – MAY 2013: Located in Sandy Springs, Georgia, Chef Rob’s Caribbean Café has been a culinary destination for Atlantans since 2006. The restaurant’s success inspired Chef Rob to open a sister establishment next door, Chef Rob’s Upscale Lounge. Of course, the lounge would need an authoritative sound reinforcement system and a high-end video system, and because the two establishments share staff, customers, and a wall, it was also an excellent time to update the café’s audio and video system. Local A/V integration firm T. Magee, Inc. designed and installed a new value-engineered sound and video system based on Ashly Audio processing, amplification, and user control that gives both establishments access to the same source material and yet provides each establishment with independent source selection and volume control.

Todd Magee, the eponymous owner of T. Magee, Inc., spent decades behind a live mixing console before concentrating his attention on the more geographically-rooted profession of A/V integration. Nevertheless, he continues to tour the world (though less occasionally now) and has worked with seventeen Grammy-winning artists, including Gladys Knight, OutKast, and Loretta Lynn. To be sure, Magee knows what it takes to make audio sound great. “Chef Rob’s Caribbean Café used to use a home-grown stereo receiver with long loudspeaker runs,” he explained. “They wanted to upgrade that to a commercial system and to tie it into the video system. On the lounge side, they wanted access to all the same music and video inputs that they had on the café side, plus inputs for a DJ.”

Stereo inputs to the system include a DMX Pandora receiver, two satellite receivers, and three floor boxes on the lounge side. Each floor box includes stereo XLR inputs, stereo ?-inch inputs, and stereo RCA inputs. An Ashly ne24.24M modular processor, configured with twelve inputs and eight outputs, provides input processing, matrixing, and loudspeaker equalization and delay. Because it is so easy to add inputs or outputs to the ne24.24M, Magee will soon add four more inputs to accommodate the lounge’s recent request for a few handheld wireless microphones.

Five Ashly KLR 2000 amplifiers, three on the lounge side and two on the café side, power the system. High fidelity Australian Monitor loudspeakers and SoundTube subwoofers complete the system. “One unique aspect of this installation is the rack system we used,” said Magee. “There are four racks recessed into an area near the entranceway. It’s an elegant, out-of-the-way place to put them, and when we need access, they pull out and rotate 90-degrees. Very cool.”

He continued, “I’ve been an Ashly fan for years. I first worked with Ashly’s analog crossovers, GQX series equalizers, and compressors in live audio. Now their digital equipment reflects the same commitment to quality that I heard so many years ago. The sound quality is comparable to units from other manufacturers that cost twice as much. The IP-based control and communication is also very nice.” A pair of Ashly neWR-5 wall remote controls provide all of the system management required – source selection and volume control.

ABOUT ASHLY AUDIO Ashly Audio Inc. is recognized as a world leader in the design and manufacturing of high quality & high performance signal processing equipment and power amplification for use in the commercial sound contracting and professional audio markets. The 37-year old company is headquartered in Webster, New York U.S.A. www.ashly.com

PLEASE STOP BY AND SEE US AT INFOCOMM BOOTH #335

2013 API VISIONARY SCHOLARSHIPS AWARDED

JESSUP, MARYLAND – JUNE 2013: API has once again presented its annual Visionary Scholarship to several students in different academic institutions. The scholarships are available to those who are currently enrolled in audio engineering programs equipped with an API Vision, Legacy Plus or 1608 console.

To qualify, applicants must submit a comprehensive questionnaire and essay and are encouraged to include a recording they have engineered or produced. After much deliberation, API decided on four deserving winners. API would like to thank all students who applied and wish all applicants success in their future audio engineering and production endeavors.

THE WINNERS OF THE 2013 API VISIONARY SCHOLARSHIPS ARE:

Robert Bisel – University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Carlie “Myles” Everett – Clive Davis School of Recording at the Tisch School of the Arts
Irving Gadoury – University of Massachusetts, Lowell
Zachary Lizzio – University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Congratulations and best wishes from API!

For a complete list of eligible schools and more information about the Visionary Scholarship and how to apply, please visit http://www.apiaudio.com/schol_info.html

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

New WebDT Content Manager 6.0 Pro Improves User Experience and Adds New Streamlined Features

New WebDT Content Manager 6.0 Pro Improves User Experience and Adds New Streamlined Features

WCM New Content Manager Software

Dynamic Content Management Simplified


Efficient Management of Digital Signage Networks from Any Location

InfoComm, Orlando, FL & San Jose, CA – June 12, 2013 – DT Research™, Inc., an industry leader in the development of information appliances for vertical markets, today announced the release of WebDT Content Manager version 6.0 Pro, a key tool for managing a digital signage network. WebDT Content Manager (WCM) software provides inclusive tools to schedule content files and create layout designs for media displayed on digital signs. With WCM, a network manager can manage how and when content files are played on a digital signage network from any location. The new WCM 6.0 Pro streamlines operations, enhances security, and offers scalability and rich feature sets.

The newest WebDT Content Manager release, WCM 6.0 Pro, offers an improved user experience with an even more user-friendly and intuitive interface, making the process of managing digital signage content more efficient. A digital signage content manager can now edit a content playlist with single or multiple scenes using Playlist Editor, a 3-step process to publish content in a few minutes. The new calendar interface enables convenient management of playlist schedules, with drag-and-drop operation and a mini-menu to edit schedules. WCM 6.0 Pro supports a wide variety of multimedia formats, as well as built-in Widgets, real-time video-in, executable applications and remote URLs, and files can be edited and previewed in the Media Library.
The Widget Editor allows content managers to quickly create or edit content for playlists, and apply common widgets such as clock, date, time and weather to playlists directly.

The new Player tools allows a content manager to create and monitor player groups, and check the settings, download and playback status, take snapshots, and execute on/off commands for a grouped set of media players. The updated Urgent Cast feature now has three pre-set buttons to assign different Urgent Cast content to multiple player groups, and the Urgent Cast can now be in the form of a playlist or widget. When there is an urgent situation that requires immediate broadcast, clicking the preset Urgent Cast button will publish the content as defined to all target players. Another new tool with WCM 6.0 Pro is an open canvas multi-screen layout designer, with pre-loaded attributes for popular commercial display models for quick content publishing with multiple display groupings.

Beyond content management, WCM 6.0 Pro can also monitor the status of each player, track all activity, and generate reports for network reviews and advertising proof-of-play billing. Additionally, administrators can remotely update patch, restart and shut down the player appliances.

For users who work with Microsoft Active Directory, rather than creating new usernames and passwords for WCM, the data can be directly imported to WCM, including already assigned account roles and access privileges.

WebDT Content Manager software is included with purchase of WebDT digital signage single-head and multi-head hardware appliances, greatly expanding the value and deployment efficiency. Also available is the WebDT Software Development Kit (SDK) for customization and integration with third party applications.

The WCM 6.0 Pro release improves the process for a creative, timely digital signage network deployment, and adds enhanced tools for users to deliver the most dynamic and customized communications.

Availability
The WebDT Content Manager 6.0 Pro software is available directly through approved resellers and partners. For more information, visit DT Research in Booth 5343 at InfoComm in Orlando on June 12-14, or go to http://signage.dtri.com.

About DT Research
DT Research™ develops and manufactures web-enabled information appliances for vertical applications. The WebDT family of products is based on embedded computing platforms for secure, reliable, and cost-effective computing. WebDT products include digital signage solutions, wireless tablets, point-of-service handhelds, compact modular systems, and display-integrated information systems. These systems emphasize mobility, wireless connectivity and touch displays. Powered by Windows® operating systems, WebDT devices offer durability and ease in integration, leading to solutions that can be remotely managed with the comprehensive WebDT Content Manager and Device Manager software. For more information, visit http://signage.dtri.com.

DT Research and WebDT are trademarks of DT Research, Inc. All other brands and product names may be trademarks and/or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

###

NEXO STM Rocks the Range

BUENA PARK, Calif.—Columbus Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio was the place and mid-May was the date of this year’s Rock On The Range Festival, marking the seventh annual rock festival expanded to three-days this year due to its success and interest by bands to be part of the line up.

Once again, Logic Systems Sound and Lighting of St. Louis handled audio and lighting production for the 105,000+ concertgoers treated to music over three stages by Love & Death, Hollywood Undead, Buckcherry, Cheap Trick, Korn, Pop Evil, All That Remains, Halestorm, Papa Roach, Three Days Grace, Smashing Pumpkins, Sevendust, Bush, Alice In Chains and Soundgarden, to name a few.

The crowd was treated to superb sound as this year Logic Systems brought in the new NEXO STM line array to the main stage that consisted of 36 STM M46 main cabinets, 36 B112 bass cabinets, 36 S118 subs, 10 NUAR racks, 12 GEO-Ts, and 12 CD-18s. A Yamaha PM5D-RH was used as the primary monitor console for the main stage.

“The overall response to the new NEXO STM system by guest engineers was very good,” states Chip Self, President, Logic Systems Sound and Lighting. “Everyone was duly impressed by the sound quality and the overall SPL achieved with so few boxes. The rigging on the STM is exceptional, and very fast. We were able to fly each side of the main PA with just four crew in less than 20 minutes!”

In related Logic Systems news, the company brought in their NEXO GEO T rig for the Carolina Rebellion Festival that took place in the beginning of May at the Rock City Campground located at the Charlotte Motor Speedway.

For more information on Rock On The Range, visit www.rockontherange.com.

For more information on Logic Systems Sound and Lighting, visit www.logicsound.com.

For more information on the NEXO STM, GEO T or Yamaha PM5D-RH, 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.

Red TX Helps Chime For Change Reach Out To The World

Broadcast audio specialists Red TX played a vital role in ensuring that last Saturday’s Sound of Change Live concert at London’s Twickenham Stadium was successfully broadcast to more than 150 countries around the world.

With both its Red I and Red II trucks on site, not to mention a crew of seven, Red TX was more than able to cope with the complexity of the live broadcast and the fast turnaround between acts performing on four different stages.

Billed as a feminist Live Aid, Sound of Change Live was a focal point for the Chime for Change campaign, which aims to improve education, health and justice for women around the world. The campaign was founded by Gucci’s designer Frida Giannini, Beyoncé and Salma Hayek and Saturday’s concert raised over £2.6 million to fund approximately 200 projects in 70 countries. It also provided a great day out for more than 50,000 people who flocked to Twickenham Stadium to watch Beyoncé, Rita Ora, Jessie J, Haim, Ellie Goulding, Jennifer Lopez and Florence and the Machine take to the stage to champion the cause. Even Jay-Z put in an appearance, performing Crazy in Love with his wife, Beyoncé.

The Red TX teams consisted of Tim Summerhayes, Ben Summerhayes and Matt Silverston on board Red I; Ian Dyckhoff, Huub Lelieveld and Rohan Igoe on board Red II and Christian Postna as back up between the two trucks.

Red TX was commissioned to handle the broadcast audio by Splinter Films. Splinter’s Emer Patten was Chime’s Broadcast Producer co-ordinating the mammoth production for global transmission.

She says: “As I’ve been working with Red TX for such a long time now, they really were the only choice for the job and I knew they wouldn’t let me down. We had our usual experience of a crazy busy schedule, coupled with a lot of fun and mutual respect. I love working with Tim and Ian, and it was great that we were able to bring in Huub for Red II, who took care of the C&D stages so fantastically for us.”

According to Red TX director Tim Summerhayes, Sound of Change Live was the biggest and most complex live broadcast event the company has handled for quite a while.

“It was a little nerve wracking knowing we were responsible for a live broadcast audio feed that was going out to over 150 countries, but we just got on with it and tried not to think about how many people were potentially listening to our output,” Summerhayes says. “We had three engineers on each truck, plus an additional sound man as a spare pair of hands. Mainly we were switching between trucks, from one performance area to another, but there were a couple of occasions where one team had to do back to back performances on the same stage and that meant we only had six minutes to turn everything around. It was complex, but thanks to a lot of careful preparation everything ran like clockwork and everyone was delighted with the end result.”

Red TX worked closely with Britannia Row, which was in charge of the live sound, and Visions, which has its own OB truck at the event. Sub mixes from each music mix truck were fed to Gary Moore on the Visions truck, who mixed in presentation audio. Gary also submixed the 24 audience mics and distributed this to himself and the two music mix trucks.

“Britannia Row and Visions are companies we know and trust as we have worked with them on many occasions in the past,” Summerhayes adds. “I was particularly impressed with Britannia Row and have no idea how they held it all together. Every detail was worked out in advance with military precision – even down to having all the vocal mics and radio packs individually labeled for each artist so that nothing was left to chance.”

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About Red TX:
Red TX provides a comprehensive concert recording and broadcast service to the music and television industries. The company has state-of-the-art mobile recording facilities and can handle projects of any size or complexity. As well as recording audio for broadcast, the company also records live music events for subsequent release on CD or DVD. It is headed by Ian Dyckhoff and Tim Summerhayes, both of whom have extensive experience in delivering high-quality audio for broadcast. www.red-tx.com

New Hope Baptist Church Goes Digital with Yamaha CL1: Adds to DSR Arsenal

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J.—Initially opening in 1941, the 250-seat contemporary-style New Hope Baptist Church in Atlantic City, New Jersey recently wanted to switch their analog mixer out for a digital mixer and chose a Yamaha CL1 equipped with a Rio3224-D input/output box. ACIR Professional (Egg Harbor Township, N.J.) was responsible for the installation and at the same time, upgraded their current DSR speaker system. In 2012, the church added a few Yamaha DSRs and DSR subs, and craving for even more coverage, they just added two DSR115s, four DXR12s, and two more DSR118 subs.

“The church fell in love with the CL1,” states Bobby Harper, Vice President/Sales, ACIR. “They wanted to be able to easily record to multi-track and utilize the Dante networking functions.” Harper also said the church staff is thrilled with the DSR and DXR coverage (the DSRs are flown).

“Our new Yamaha speakers gives us an overall bigger, but controlled sound,” states Minister John W. Howard, Jr., Director of Worship and Arts. “Bands and groups from outside of our church are now renting our space because of our new sound system! The recording capabilities and functionality of the Yamaha CL1 is priceless and easy to use. Our audio staff loves the new system and has learned the CL1 very easily. We work with a number of bands and gospel groups, so the console’s ability to save scenes, saves a lot of work. I would recommend our Yamaha system to anyone.” Minister Howard noted that on any given Sunday, there are 2-3 musicians and 9-20 in the choir.

For more information on ACIR Professional, visit www.acirpro.com.

For more information on the Yamaha CL1 and DSR and DXR speakers, visit www.yamahaca.com.

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PHOTO CREDIT: Digital Warmth

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.

Max Gilkes Upgrades His Mastering Facility with SADiE 6 and Prism Sound

Producer Max Gilkes has upgraded his Brighton-based mastering and post production facility 1 Sonic by installing SADiE 6 software for Mastering and a Prism Sound Orpheus FireWire audio interface.

Gilkes, who founded 1 Sonic eight years ago, says the support offered by Prism Sound was a key factor in his decision to invest in the company’s products.

“I was previously using Peak as a playlist editor and doing most other things on Pro Tools,” he explains. “But as it was time for an upgrade I decided to go with a company that I knew I could have a good working relationship with, and one that was also based in the UK.”

With a client list that includes Ninja Tune, Big Dada, Sony (France), Smart Move Productions, Mr. Bongo, Keep Up, Silverland and Mission, Gilkes is rarely out of the studio. His recent credits have included Fink, Dobie, Roots Manuva, The Skints, Deco Child, Raffertie, Eliza Carthy and Prince Fatty.

The facility itself is mainly used for mastering and mixing, but it also boasts a live room with 8 tie-lines that is large enough to record drums.

“The outboard in the studio is primarily for tracking, so there are some nice pre’s and compressors,” Gilkes says. “I also have a master section by Audient, PMC and Yamaha monitors, Pro-Tools, various classic guitar and bass amps and a range of microphones – not to mention an over-used tea pot!”

Moving from one software platform to another can be intimidating, but Gilkes says he has found the transition to SADiE 6 far less painful than he anticipated.

“It’s always hard work making the transition from one system that you are particularly well versed with to a whole new environment, but SADiE 6 is very intuitive and easy to use,” he says. “I’m really enjoying the facilities it provides. The editing facilities, in particular, are great and I like the PQ and DDP tools. However, the sound quality is the most outstanding feature and I am really impressed by that.”

Sound quality also played a part in Gilkes’ decision to buy a Prism Sound Orpheus FireWire audio interface.

“It was a no brainer, really,” he says. “The studio needed to make a significant step up in convertor quality and Orpheus delivered the transparency and clarity I was looking for, both as an A/D and a D/A converter. It has great sounding pre’s and I like the interface features for multi-tracking in Pro Tools.”

Gilkes is now using SADiE 6 and Orpheus on a variety of projects, including mastering an album for French artist Mayra Andrade on Sony (France), recording tracks for Congo Natty, completing a debut album for Chevron, recording drums for the next Grasscut (Ninja Tune) album, finishing backline tracking for a band called Bentcousin, which is releasing a three-track single through Team-Love NY and completing an album for a local brighton band called the Meow Meows.

And if that work schedule isn’t intensive enough, Gilkes is also producing and co-writing with the legendary Russell Stone of R&J Stone fame.

“The Russell Stone project is very interesting as all tracks are vocal/non-verbal and based on free improvisations.” He says. “The album, which is called HUMU, is very nearly finished and should be out in September.”

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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

UC Irvine’s Celebrated Sound Design Program Adds DiGiCo SD9 To Curriculum

The University of California, Irvine is home to a celebrated Sound Design program created in 2006. Under the umbrella of the Drama department at the university’s Claire Trevor School of the Arts, the program is spearheaded by Mike Hooker along with Vincent Olivieri, who is the head of the undergraduate sound design program. Late in 2012, the department added a DiGiCo SD9, DRack and UB MADI into its inventory, which made its debut on a series of student-designed programs this spring. One of those shows was the Festival of New Musicals, a unique partnership between the university and the Academy for New Musical Theater, a three-decade-old creative incubator. The alliance paired the talents of professional writers and composers affiliated with the ANMT with UCI students to create the fourth annual festival, staged at UCI’s xMPL – Experimental Media Performance Lab (featuring a flexible seating capacity of 25-150) this spring. One of the festival pieces, ‘Digital Natives’, featured sound design by second year MFA student, Matt Glenn. [Pictured L to R: UCI MFA student, Matt Glenn; Karli Blalock, Assistant Sound Designer; Vincent Olivieri, head of UCI's undergraduate sound design program.]

“One of the interesting things about the way we run our sound design program here is that, with little exception, all of the equipment we own is independent of venue,” explains Olivieri. “Most of the equipment is kept in storage, in workshop rooms, and when a show is being developed, the sound designers are able to choose the tools that they need for their particular project, and can spec what they need and just plug in and play.”

The SD9 was the first DiGiCo purchased by the school and was chosen by Mike Hooker, UCI’s Head of Sound Design, in conjunction with RSPE Audio Solutions. “We knew that we were looking for a digital console of a certain size,” Olivieri recalls, “something that was beefy and designed for live playback and mid-range in size. The SD9 fitted that bill perfectly as it’s great for a mid-size show like this.”

The ‘Digital Natives’ piece comprised a juxtaposition of technology and digital feeds against a backdrop of singers and piano accompaniment for a total of 27 inputs (mics, iPod feeds, playback audio off of multiple computers) and a dozen outputs. Glenn configured a deceptively complex playback system, complete with different sounds and setups configured on different templates within the console. Having the ability to recall these different scenes at the push of a button was huge. Additionally, the SD9 was the perfect console not only for its expandability and versatility, but also for its diminutive size for the small theatre space. And, for a first-time user, Glenn was able to get up to speed quickly by watching the online product videos prior to getting hands-on with the console.

“I wanted to keep the console size down, but I also couldn’t sacrifice the number of channels,” adds Glenn. “Back in the planning stages of this show, before I really knew what it was going to be, I didn’t necessarily know how many mics I would have or how big the pit would be but I wanted to keep open my options with the stage box. With the DiGiCo console, I could have up to 32 inputs from stage from just one D-Rack with the expandability for the future of adding another and you wouldn’t necessarily get that with other consoles. I also wanted an interface that I could intuitively navigate around. The SD9 has a structure similar to Pro Tools and other digital audio workstations (DAWs) and when I started playing with the SD9—my first time using a DiGiCo in a real setting—the way it’s laid out just made sense to me. I didn’t want to be fighting my own brain in the middle of tech, especially with this show, where it’s a really fast turnaround of only three-days. That, the expandability and the ability to write snapshots so quickly and easily, it just all came together with the SD9.”

Onstage, I have six Meyer loud speakers that make up the main system and a subwoofer, plus an additional six loudspeakers placed around the stage for various effects. I’m also using two different internal stereo reverbs that are feeding some of the main speakers. I’m also sending my playback channels to various places around the space to kind of give a surround sound for some of the cues, and they also add a bit of warmth for some of the voices onstage. During pre-production, every time I want to change an EQ or I how much reverb is on a person, I was able to program a macro to update the current snapshot I was working in, and quickly get to it without having to think twice about it. Having eight macro buttons is one of the things I love about this board. Beyond that, there’s so much more to explore with this console but honestly, this show is so fast-paced, I don’t get much of a chance to!”

Moving forward, Oliveiri says the console will serve them in myriad ways, for different productions in varying venues. “We do a lot of shows in a lot of different spaces, and the SD9 is going to be an excellent tool for us for mid-sized musicals and musical events. It’s also going to be useful for us on workshop productions, where the technical needs aren’t always completely known in the early planning stages. For those kinds of productions, the flexibility of a console like the SD9 is essential in order to allow the sound team to quickly respond to unexpected needs.”

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Stay up to date on the latest technology news. Select press representatives post company news several times a day. Check back often to get the latest news on product releases, mergers and acquisitions, and product applications. To be included in this virtual press conference, please contact The Wire.

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