A virtual press conference from Sound & Video Contractor

Archive of the AES Newslink Category

ASHLY AMPLIFIERS PREFERRED IN THE MASKING SYSTEMS OF DYNASTY SOUND

HOUSTON, TEXAS – SEPTEMBER 2012: Leon Cortese is the owner of Dynasty Sound, a Houston, Texas-based company that specializes in providing sound masking solutions for buildings and offices both large and small. Cortese himself has been in the business for over forty years. Now his children and grandchildren work for Dynasty Sound, giving the company’s name a very literal spin. In recent years, Cortese has designed his masking systems using Ashly multi-channel amplification, often with integrated processing, citing its cost-effective pricing, bulletproof reliability, and flexible functionality, not to mention the affable Ashly staff.

“There are a few exceptions, but basically all we do is masking,” said Cortese. “Some people say that’s boring, but not to me. Every time someone says they need a masking system – which is common and becoming more common – my cash register rings!” Cortese has installed literally thousands of masking systems, and today, Dynasty Sound installs between 10,000 and 15,000 loudspeakers a year.

“In the old days, everybody had an office, which made masking much less critical than it is today,” explained Cortese. “Today, companies put people in cubicles, and all of their conversations float throughout that space. Masking serves two purposes. First, it alleviates the potential distractions caused by so many conversations, and second, it brings companies in line with privacy laws. It used to be that companies piped in music to create an ‘environment,’ but music is much more personal today than it was then. If you pipe music into an office of workers these days, you’re pretty much guaranteed to have a large fraction of them hating what you’re playing.” In contrast, employees won’t argue over whether you should play pink or brown noise.

When he started out in the business, the amps that Cortese worked with were all tube-based. He has thus witnessed the tremendous technological advances that led to the modern amplifier. “There are several reasons why we only install Ashly amplifiers,” said Cortese. “First and foremost, they make one of the few eight-channel, two-rack space amplifiers that deliver greater than 125 watts per channel. Using the Ashly ne8250.70pe allows me to install twice as many loudspeakers, and I can avoid buying and installing a separate DSP by using the ne8250.70pe’s optional onboard DSP. It is a tremendously cost-effective solution.” Cortese reports that his company has installed between 400 and 500 Ashly amplifiers and that only one of them didn’t work perfectly right out of the box. “The people at Ashly are wonderful,” he said. “They are very easy to work with and are always ready to lend assistance.”

Every job is different and comes with its own idiosyncrasies and nuances, but they also share many commonalities. For example, a well-distributed masking system requires a loudspeaker for approximately every 144 feet, and except for where architectural concerns prevent it, Cortese places the loudspeakers above the hung ceiling. “Instead of pointing downward like a normal speaker, they point up,” he said. “That way the noise fires up, hits structure, and rains down like a sprinkler.”

Dynasty Sound most recently completed masking systems in the new 28-story building of Hess Oil Company in Houston. Delivering masking to every office space required 28 eight-channel Ashly ne8250.70pe amps and 10 four-channel Ashly ne4250.70pe amplifiers. “For that job, we mostly used loudspeakers that were placed in the sheetrock,” Cortese said. “With Ashly’s optional DSP tools built right into the amps, it’s very quick to install them, give them a quick EQ curve, and rock and roll.”

Now well into his 60s, Cortese shows no signs of slowing his active lifestyle, and his enthusiasm for creating functional masking systems has never been greater.

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

SYMETRIX SOLUS 16 AUTOMIXES ST. ANTHONY CLARET CATHOLIC CHURCH

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 2012: The modest sanctuary of St. Anthony Claret Catholic Church in Anaheim, California is of an airy and lovely modernist design. It was at the height of architectural fashion when it was built in the late 1950s and has again come into vogue in the new century. However, its unintelligible sound reinforcement system was hardly state-of-the-art when installed decades ago, and unlike a fine wine, time did not make it sound any better. As the church’s musical ambitions and spoken word requirements grew through the years, Reverend Rudolph Preciado contacted Newport Beach-based 7K Solutions to remedy the antiquated audio. Paul Dexter, owner of 7K Solutions, used an open-architecture Symetrix SymNet Solus 16 processor to create a system with twelve open inputs that could automix itself.

“Reverend Preciado will be retiring soon, and he wanted to do something great for the church before he left,” said Dexter. “The old sound reinforcement system was not performing well. An early-1980s rack of analog processing and amplification that had become ever-more ‘Frankensteined’ through the years drove a ceiling full of eight-inch, full-range loudspeakers.”

When it was constructed, the church used a charming pipe organ as the sole musical source and had only modest spoken word requirements. Today, the pipe organ is joined by a choir and, for some services, by a band that mixes itself on stage. Three microphones cover the choir, and Dexter replaced the band’s old mixer with an Allen & Heath MixWizard. Instead of a boundary mic at the altar, St. Anthony Claret now uses three wireless headset microphones for the priests, one wireless handheld microphone, and four optional podium microphones.

The Symetrix SymNet Solus 16 is an open-architecture, stand-alone unit that provides sixteen mic/line inputs and eight outputs. The routing, logic, and signal processing that Dexter programmed was quite involved and reflected the specific uses and contexts of each input. For instance, the band’s input will not duck for any other input. In contrast, all of the microphones will duck in response to the headset microphones. Dexter used Symetrix’ time-tested auto-gain algorithm on all of the microphones to ensure that individuals with both quiet and loud speaking voices receive ideal reinforcement.

“I started using Symetrix processing several years ago,” said Dexter. “I’m not the sort of person who’s into taking classes and certifications, so I appreciate how really intuitive SymNet Designer is. But things always come up, and I can call the Symetrix support staff any time and speak with someone who is knowledgeable and interested. My question gets answered and I move on. The SymNet Solus 16 was the perfect solution at St. Anthony Claret because I knew sixteen inputs would be ample and eight outputs was all that were needed. The open-architecture programming would allow me to customize the system for the very particular needs of this church.”

In addition to some clever processing inside the SymNet Solus 16, Dexter corrected the intelligibility problem with a generous helping of acoustical treatment and a single, nearly-point source loudspeaker cluster. “The walls, ceiling, floor, and pews are all quite reflective,” he said. “It was originally meant to amplify the pipe organ.” Dexter placed absorptive panels on the ceiling, sidewalls, and back wall, taking care to match colors so that the aesthetic of the church wouldn’t be compromised. He placed several panels on the ceiling near the central loudspeaker cluster so as to minimize intelligibility-degrading early reflections. The loudspeakers are Fulcrum Acoustic DX1265s, powered by Powersoft amplifiers.

Just a single Symetrix ARC-2e wall panel remote provides all of the user control for the system. Dexter fixed the sanctuary’s output volume and then provided ten steps of volume control for wireless microphones (as a group), the podium microphones (as a group), the choir microphones (as a group), and the band’s on-stage mixer. Additional menu pages provide output volume for the choir monitor (which contains all content except the choir mics) and the cry room. Behind the scenes, the SymNet Solus 16 provides additional zone control for the foyer and each main loudspeaker. Zoning out the loudspeaker cluster allowed Dexter to shade and tune each element to deliver even coverage from the front seat to the back wall.

“Taken together, the system is very effective,” said Dexter. “It sounds great, and they don’t need an audio tech on hand. Reverend Preciado tested the system with us, and he walked all around the room, overjoyed by how clear everything sounded. And it’s so easy to use that we never had to provide a formal training session. The Reverend just pushed some buttons on the ARC-2e, and he understood exactly how it works.”

ABOUT SYMETRIX
Sound professionals rely upon the performance, value and reliability of audio mixing, routing and processing products from Symetrix. For more information on Symetrix professional audio products, please visit www.symetrix.co or call +1 (425) 778-7728.

IC Live Turns The Tables For Oslo’s Modern Church

Oslo, Norway, September 2012… The Sofiemyr church in Oslo is a striking modern building, with bare brick walls, a tiled floor and wooden ceiling. Light pours in from a huge stained glass window and other windows in the corners.

The audio solution, supplied by Benum A/S, is equally striking, with a pair of inverted IC Live arrays, flown from the ceiling alongside the matching subwoofers, above a small performance stage. The technique has been used before – England’s Stage Audio Services was possibly first to experiment with it, flying a pair of IC Live arrays upside down at trim height for a standup comedy tour of UK theatres, which allowed the beams to be angled at the ground floor audience as well as the balconies. But this is almost certainly the world’s first permanent installation to use the configuration, which has many benefits in a tall space.

Geir Kristoffersen, manager of the consulting department of COWI for Acoustics and Electro Acoustics, Sound and Vision, who designed the system for the church and frequently mixes it, explains: “This room is a cube, essentially, 16 by 16 metres with a height of about 12 metres, so it’s very interesting acoustically. But it’s turned 90 degrees so that you get some angles towards the speakers.” Slots in the ceiling provide low frequency absorption.

Although on the face of it a highly reverberant space, the actual reverb time is just 1.7 seconds with a very well controlled low end. “But still, 1.7 seconds is significant,” he points out. However, the bare brick walls are an inevitable challenge in view of their capability to deliver slapback echo to the stage.

The church is also equipped with a pipe organ, which is quite frequently played together with a band and a grand piano, as well as a movable pulpit, which is taken out during modern-style worship services.

“The loudspeaker system is flown in the form of a pair of Renkus-Heinz IC Lives,” says Kristoffersen. “We’re very happy with the sound of it. In fact, I’ve never worked with a system that’s so easy and quick to get good sound out of,” he says.

“It works exceptionally well for this kind and size of room and with such a wide variety of music. Together with the choir, we often have a worship team of eight people singing with their vocal microphones. Last Sunday, for example, the choir was seated directly in front of the loudspeakers and I had my measurement system at the desk and I was pumping 90db A weighted but flat out it was giving 101dB. Yet there was no issue with feedback,” he continues.”With these digitally steerable arrays we get tightly controlled beams, which allow us to deflect the sound away from these noisy brick walls,” he explains, adding, “While there is some reverberation, of course, if you shoot straight into these walls then you’d have a big problem with slapback.”

The system is configured with two beams from each IC Live, one pair aimed at the front part of the congregation, the others at the rear. The result, says Kristoffersen, “is that the sound is completely uniform wherever you are standing or sitting.”

“What I like the most about this system – and I’ve worked with good systems all my life – is that because it’s a true line array and not a banana hang it creates a cylindrical wave, which means that it doesn’t excite the room as much as a traditional three-box system, which would have been our obvious alternative,” he says, and adds, “Another thing is that, with a choir, the choir bench is high, which means the microphones are right in front of the loudspeakers, yet we have never had any feedback problems. Because it’s so even sounding across the frequency spectrum you don’t get response spikes which then become the problem, especially with the choir-mic scenario.”

Tuning is performed using both RHAON and in an Allen & Heath IDR8 DSP processor with an Allen & Heath T112 control surface, allowing it to be controlled from two different places.

A small delay system provides extra coverage into a small annexe at the rear and in the side halls, using CFX-61R cabinets, again controlled over RHAON and CobraNet. These are matched with six CF-121M cabinets for monitors, which can also be deployed as a portable PA in the larger side room of the church, or outside during the summer.

He continues, “It’s also very good for the monitoring because despite it being so loud up there it doesn’t feedback even when it’s rock’n'roll loud. Also,” he adds, “we work a lot with the grand piano and, for me, a grand piano has to sound good. If the grand piano doesn’t sound good then it’s nearly worse than having the drum kit not sounding right, but even when we’re pushing rock’n'roll levels and there’s a monitor there next to it, if you do push it to feedback it’s not high-end feedback but a just rumble, which tells you that the total room is just playing too loud. It’s very impressive and we’re extremely happy.”

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Headquartered in Foothill Ranch, California, Renkus-Heinz, Inc. is the worldwide leader in the design and manufacture of audio operations networks, digitally steerable arrays, powered and non-powered loudspeakers, system specific electronics and fully integrated Reference Point Array systems.

 

 

DPA Microphones Help The Fukada Tree To Bloom

Internationally renowned recording engineer and lecturer Akira Fukada made an enormous impact at the New York AES Convention in 1997 when he unveiled the Fukada Tree seven microphone arrangement – a totally new technique for recording orchestral music in surround sound for subsequent broadcast or CD release.

Developed to resolve some of the problems engineers had encountered when trying to record spatial environments with traditional omni-directional microphones, the Fukada Tree clarified microphone positioning and also incorporated directional microphones for main and environmental sounds.

Akira Fukada originally developed the Fukada Tree while working for Japanese state broadcaster NHK, but since 2011 he has been CEO of his own company, Dream Windows Inc., that consults on a wide range of music recording, special sound design and audio issues. From the outset, Mr. Fukada specified DPA microphones as best suited to his Tree arrangement because they offer a rich bass and high frequency sound that doesn’t blot during the recording process. These were supplied by DPA’s Japanese distributor Hibino, with whom Mr. Fukada has subsequently presented a number of seminars and workshops explaining the Fukada Tree.

“I insist on using DPA microphones because I like the transparent feel they deliver,” he explains. “When recording piano, for example, they give me the clear attack sound and the beauty of reverberation when the sound attenuates. Their wide dynamic range and rich bass vigorously catches the expression of an orchestra, while for string ensembles recorded in a studio, they capture the rich overtones and give a better feeling of air.”

Since first announcing the Fukada Tree arrangement, Akira Fukada has made a number of positioning modifications to improve front localization, but his choice of microphones remains constant and continues to be DPA.

He says: “The LL/RR microphones on both sides are intended to pick up the orchestrated sound expanse and a smooth sound envelope covering the front and rear sections of the hall. However, I don’t use LL/RR microphones for small music ensembles. My arrangement incorporates DPA 4011A directional microphones and DPA 4006A omnidirectional microphones from the Reference Standard Microphone Series. The configuration of the tree can vary depending on the hall’s acoustic characteristics, while the intervals at which the microphones are placed can also change to conform to the size and formation of the orchestra.”

Ken Kimura, DPA Microphones’ Regional Sales Director, Asia Pacific, says: “Following the upgrade and release of our finest Reference Standard Microphones, and given Mr. Fukada’s requirement for the best audio equipment, I’m very pleased to see that he continues to rely upon our 4006A, 4011A, and 4015A mics for his recording sessions under Dream Windows Inc.”

In recent months Mr. Fukada has used DPA microphones and The Fukada Tree to record a number of prestigious projects including capturing Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5 with the Saito Kinen Orchestra, directed by Seiji Ozawa.

“I also use DPA microphones for projects that don’t require the Tree,” he says: “Recently I used a DPA 4006 on a Decca Tree stereo configuration to pick up string ambience in a studio setting. I also use a DPA 4015 wide cardioid ORTF for piano, and if I am recording acoustic guitar I like to use a DPA cardioid 4011 XY. For me, DPA microphones are indispensable because they suit any musical instrument and provide all the accuracy that I need.”

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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

Allstage Pro Adds Yamaha Networking System to Extron’s THE RANCH Restaurant & Saloon

BUENA PARK, CA–THE RANCH Restaurant & Saloon is Anaheim’s premier dining and country music venue. A restaurant and upscale saloon with separate entrances, it comprises 20,000 square feet of restaurant, wine cellar, live country music, and dancing.

THE RANCH is the longtime dream and vision of Andrew Edwards, president and owner of Extron Electronics, a leading manufacturer of professional AV system integration products for over 29 years. A passion for food, wine, country music and dancing prompted Edwards to create THE RANCH Restaurant & Saloon. In developing a live music venue like THE RANCH Saloon, all sound quality and design was handpicked by Edwards. Allstage Pro (Santa Ana) owner, Ian Ingram worked closely with Edwards and Extron Electronic’s Application Engineer Consultant, John Fish, in selecting an elaborate EtherSound networking system in the saloon.

The system includes two Yamaha M7CL digital audio consoles, using the M7CL control surface at front of house connected to a Yamaha NAI network interface, AD8HR mic pre amp, and EtherSound cards, all running off a Yamaha DME64 digital mixing engine.

“Andrew wanted us to design and install a system that would be both analog and digital, user friendly, acceptable for most riders, and one that he could be proud of,” said Ingram. “The idea of using the M7CL control surface to NAI and AD8HR gives us the best of both worlds.”

Allstage Pro also designed and integrated a comprehensive lighting system to provide a wide variety of lighting scenes and visual effects for featured concert acts. A total of 83 lighting fixtures, the majority of which are LED based, were installed in conjunction with the elaborate electrical infrastructure.

Ingram said using Yamaha’s EtherSound networking system was essential in creating a great system with an amazing light show that would make everyone say “Wow!”

For more information on THE RANCH, please visit www.theranch.com.

For more information on Allstage Pro, visit www.allstagepro.com.

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

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Photo ID: L to R: House engineer Mark Bjork and Allstage Pro’s Ian Ingram

About Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc.:
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.

API APPOINTS SOURCE DISTRIBUTION NEW UK DISTRIBUTOR

Pictured from left to right: Dan Zimbelman, API Director of Sales; Steve Angel, Source/HHB Director of Sales; Ian Jones, Source/HHB Managing Director; and Gordon Smart, API Managing Director posing behind the vintage API Legacy console at British Grove Studios, owned by Mark Knopfler.

JESSUP, MARYLAND – AUGUST 2012: API, manufacturer of professional analog recording consoles and outboard processors, has appointed London-based powerhouse Source Distribution as exclusive distributor for its full range of products throughout the United Kingdom. Source, a division of HHB Communications, brings over 35 years of industry experience to the partnership, as well as a client list that includes the BBC, Sky, CNN, and Abbey Road, among others. The company is well known for serving its clients not only with great products and equipment, but also with comprehensive educational and technical support. The addition of API signal processing modules and consoles significantly extends the breadth and depth of high-end analog processing available to Source and HHB clientele.

“We’re very pleased to be working with the great people at Source/HHB,” said Dan Zimbelman, director of sales at API. “HHB Communications has been in this business for almost as long as API has, and the staff’s consistent professionalism and unfailing habit of exceeding expectations has earned HHB a large and loyal client base throughout the UK. It’s a great time for API to broaden our reach throughout the UK market.

“API is a legend in the world of professional recording, and we’re proud to sell its punchy, ‘American’ analog sound on our side of the pond,” said Ian Jones, owner and managing director at HHB Communications. “From its modular lunchbox series to its dedicated rack mount gear, and from its small-frame 1608 to its large-frame Legacy and Vision consoles, API occupies a unique niche in the industry. After all, every audio professional knows what is meant by the phrase, ‘the API sound.’ Is there any other company with this type of name recognition or reputation in this industry? Just watch us run with API.”

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

SYMETRIX PROMOTES BROOKE MACOMBER TO DIRECTOR OF MARKETING

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – AUGUST 2012: Symetrix announces that its former Director of Business Development, Brooke Macomber, is now Director of Marketing. In her new role, Macomber will manage the planning and execution of Symetrix’ worldwide promotional efforts so as to support the company’s continued growth. Macomber possesses nearly a decade of experience in the professional audio industry, familiarity with Symetrix’ operations, and both an MBA and a Global Business Certificate from the University of Washington, which together put her in an excellent position to increase Symetrix’ market share in the United States and abroad.

“Brooke came to Symetrix in 2006 to serve as our Sales and Marketing Manager,” said Paul Roberts, who recently vacated the Vice President of Sales and Marketing position to assume the responsibility of CEO for Symetrix. “After that, she rose to become Director of Business Development, and I’m very pleased that she will now serve as our Director of Marketing. Brooke’s personality and expertise will undoubtedly guide Symetrix to ever greater success.” Macomber will report directly to Roberts. Her expanded department is will be responsible for all areas of marketing, advertising, PR, communications, and business development.

“I am eager to take on the Director of Marketing role,” said Macomber. “Symetrix’ strength is founded on an unwavering commitment to empower customers with robust, affordable, forward-thinking professional audio DSP hardware and software. We listen to what audio professionals want, we deliver brilliant products that answer those calls, and we stand behind our work. The coming year will undoubtedly be one of our biggest. Our R&D calendar is packed with amazing new product releases, and with the recent introductions of SymNet Edge and SymNet Radius, there is a lot for me and my team to promote. I look forward to working with the extremely talented individuals in the Symetrix sales and marketing department, and I look forward to supporting our customers and end users in every way possible through honest and engaging marketing and communications.”

ABOUT SYMETRIX Sound professionals rely upon the performance, value and reliability of audio mixing, routing and processing products from Symetrix. For more information on Symetrix professional audio products, please visit www.symetrix.co or call +1 (425) 778-7728.

MSM Gives Bowlus Fine Arts and Cultural Center a Jump Start

BUENA PARK, Calif.—In 1960, when local citizen and banker Thomas H. Bowlus directed that his estate be used to benefit a cultural arts center, he may not have imagined that the Bowlus Fine Arts and Cultural Center (Iola, Kansas) would celebrate its 48th anniversary this year and a major audio upgrade.

MSM Systems (Lawrence, Kansas) was chosen to complete the upgrade in time for the center’s anniversary celebration. The 750-seat Bowlus Fine Arts and Cultural Center mission is defined as “to broaden the cultural background of area youth and make available to the citizens of the area facilities, programs and entertainment not otherwise available.” When the Center originally opened its doors in 1964, it welcomed such artist luminaries as Count Basie, Marcel Marceau, Jungle Jack Hanna, and Lionel Hampton, and more recently Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, to name a few.

“I had worked with MSM in the past and have been very pleased,” states Jeff Jordan, Technical Director at the Bowlus Center. “In determining a bid winner, customer service weighed in very high! Almost all of our shows occur in the evening and on weekends, so we needed a company that would answer the phone at 9:00 pm on a Saturday night if we had a problem. Working with MSM systems has turned out to be a great choice for the Bowlus Fine Arts Center. Everyone at MSM, from the owner to the intern, was on site and did a fantastic job. I wish every company we dealt with had this much passion and a great work ethic as the guys at MSM. The best people to work with are the ones that find solutions to problems they encounter that were unforeseen.”

“I chose NEXO speakers as the line array because they were the exact fit for the space,” states Kent Clasen, President of MSM Systems. “I demonstrated a GEO S12 system for Jeff, and he loved what he heard. When I told him it fit the Center’s budget, he was very excited.”

The main audio upgrade consists of a Yamaha M7CL-48 digital audio console, two Yamaha P3500 amps, ten NEXO GEO S12 line array boxes hung in a vertically arrayed formation five per side, two NEXO RS18 Ray Subs located in the pit, two NEXO PS8s used for front fills, JBL SRX721M monitors, and a Clearcom Intercom system. Two NEXO 4×4 NXAmps were also installed to power the system. “The integrated NXAMP system has over 30,000 watts in eight rack spaces with FIR filters,’ says Clasen, ‘and the new presets in the NXamp are really great with a flat phase response.”

Clasen added that the Yamaha M7CL was a great choice for the Center because it can be used with ease at either front of house or monitors by visiting engineers. “The Bowlus’ previous system was in operation for almost 50 years, so we had to come up with a system that would last!”

Director Susan Raines and Jordan were very hands on in making sure they got the best system. “The decision to enhance our system was based on the requirement for increased clarity and coverage with the ability to do everything from just one presenter on stage to a full band and everything in between,” adds Jordan. “The Bowlus has a very dynamic season every year; we do the local high school’s play, a community theatre musical, our local community college’s annual musical, the Bowlus’ Five Series Shows, and a Gospel concert series. The Bowlus needed an installed sound system that could do it all, rather than continuing to rent a system, and I believe we got one! This year will be the first time our local clients will be able to use a sound system of this quality,” says Jordan.”

The Bowlus Fine Arts and Cultural Center will host the 20th Annual Buster Keaton Celebration this September. For more information on the Bowlus Fine Arts Center, visit www.bowluscenter.org.

For more information on MSM Systems, visit www.msmsystemsinc.com.

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

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About Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc.:
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 sup

Dual DiGiCo SD7s Drive Monitors On Springsteen World Tour

It’s been nearly forty years since Springsteen’s debut Greetings From Asbury Park, NJ, and judging from the 3-hour-plus shows, sold-out arenas, and glowing critical reviews, both rocker and band [minus the late, beloved saxophonist Clarence Clemons and keyboardist Danny Federici] are still regaling in their ‘Glory Days.’ With the Wrecking Ball Tour, in support of their 17th studio album, Springsteen & Co are heading into a two-month U.S. fall stadium tour following a massive world tour that started in March of 2012 taking them around the globe. Solotech US Corp. is the tour’s production provider.

Critical monitor mixes for the 18-piece band are split in two between engineers Monty Carlo and Troy Milner and for the first time ever they’re employing a pair of DiGiCo SD7s outfitted with the Waves SoundGrid bundle. At stage left is Carlo, who’s been with Springsteen since ’92, handling a mix of wedges and in-ears for Bruce, guitarists Steven Van Zandt and Patti Scialfa, keyboardist Roy Bittan, background vocalists, and a five-piece horn section. Milner, onboard since 2001, is at stage right taking care of drummer Max Weinberg, guitarist Nils Lofgren, bassist Garry Talent, keyboardist Charlie Giordano and multi-instrumentalist, Soozie Tyrell.

The engineers specifically chose the SD7 for its flexibility and ability to grow with the size of the production, including the massive amounts of I/O capabilities that it offered. Onboard features from snapshots to multiband compressors and the Waves pro plug-in bundle offered lots of extra functionality.

“From 2002-2009 we used Yamaha PM1D’s for monitors,” Carlo explains. “Since then, our band has grown from 9 musicians to 18 on this tour with the occasional guest on top of that. We needed something that could handle a large number of inputs, (over 100), and a massive amount of outputs, about 56 on each side of the stage. The DiGiCo SD7 was the only console I found that could accomplish what I was going to ask of it. Before this tour, I’d never actually mixed on a DiGiCo of any variety. I spent some time in the past year building the console with the Offline Editor and getting familiar with its layout and feature set. In November 2011, I got together with Troy in Nashville and we spent a couple of days with Matt Larson getting a hands-on training session with the desk. Following that, we spent the first 3 months of 2012 in rehearsals and doing some small promo events (Grammy’s, Jimmy Fallon and SXSW Festival). With the addition of a horn section and percussionist a lot of songs ended up with slightly different arrangements and we spent a fair amount if time working through the new album since not many of the band members had worked on it in its entirety.”

“We needed consoles that could handle a lot of inputs and outputs and be flexible,” adds Milner. “Before rehearsals began, we still didn’t have a concrete plan for what was going to be needed as far as band members and layouts. Things were constantly changing even into the first run of shows. I used the SD7 last year with Garth Brooks—and the D5 on numerous tours with Michael W. Smith, Mercy Me, and Amy Grant—and it performed perfectly.”

With approximately 96 inputs alone coming from the stage, plus effects and talkbacks, Carlo is managing about 112 inputs total from stage left. Being able to mix mono and stereo sources on the same fader bank as I want to see them on the desk is a huge deal for him. “I love not losing two faders to a stereo input or output as used to happen on the 1D. The level you can customize the surface is so flexible and easy to change that as your input list and band grows you aren’t stuck simply adding channels at the end of the console. Being able to rebuild the desk in a way that better suits your workflow in mid-tour is a great luxury. Plus, the multiband compressors on each channel are a great tool that I’ve been using more than I thought I would.”

Carlo’s got his favorite Waves plug-ins. “On my in-ear mixes I use the C-6 compressor and Kramer PIE compressor across the mixes. I’m using the H-EQ as an insert on Bruce’s vocal channel to allow me to get a few additional bands of EQ that I can use for tight notches on troublesome frequencies. For effects I’m using H-Delay, TrueVerb and Renaissance Verb. I’m also using GTR Stomp and Amp plug-ins on Bruce’s guitar lines in case of a problem with his amps/cabinets on stage.”

Over at stage right, Milner mixes a staggering 140 inputs, comprised of a fair amount of effects for drums and guitars, in addition to a combo of wedges and in-ear systems, including Shure PSM1000′s for ears and a mix of Audio Analysts wedges consisting of SLP115, SLP212, plus a couple of double Audio Analysts 18″ sub cabinets for drum subs.

“I double assign the drum inputs so I can tailor them for the drummer independently from everyone else. Again, another great super easy feature on the SD7. One of the biggest challenges on this tour is just the large amount of inputs and outputs we have to deal with up onstage. We have settled in now but we still have plenty of options to easily add, change or move things around without reinventing the wheel. We also have a great Talk Back system for all the techs and backline guys that are in our ears at all times, so we can be attending to issues before anyone is even aware what is happening.”

Milner’s found a plethora of onboard features and functionality helpful in his day-to-day workflow. “Being able to assign the rotary knobs on each bank to a specific function is very handy. I’m using one row for Compressor Thresholds and on my drum input bank I use one row at my Gate Threshold. Max Weinberg is a very dynamic player and I’m constantly adjusting those gates for each song and throughout each song to keep things under control for him. Also, having the ability to move any fader to any place on the desk is so great. After mixing a few shows, I learned that just moving a few inputs to other banks and reordering my outputs could vastly improve my current layout. Such a great feature! I’m also finding all kinds of new things to use the Macro Keys for now. One is that between songs when the stage is dark, it can be a little hard to see the band onstage, so I have macro key that dims all the lights and monitors down so its easier to see what they might need. Also, using a Macro Key to switch the extra video monitor inputs. I’m getting a full production feed as well as other feeds and I can just use a macro to select the one I need for any given song.”

“For most of my reverbs I’m using the Renaissance Reverb and it sounds great in every application—from drums to background vocals to horns. I’m also using the SuperTap for some delay/slap effects on the drums and horns. The Waves C6 is one of my go-to plug-ins for just about anything, and I’m using it on the snare and toms to shape the sound in the ears and also on some vocals. The CLA-76 Bluey is another favorite, and the list goes on and on. It’s great to be able to easily try out all these fantastic plug-ins on inputs and or outputs to see what works for each application.”

One of the biggest challenges with the Springsteen show is the set list, which they receive literally 5 minutes prior to the start of the show. Not only does it change from night to night, but also during the show, Bruce can veer off the list at a moment’s notice. The snapshot feature has become invaluable for both engineers.

“With the PM1D, I had a sheet with all my scenes that I would have to jump around during the show,” Carlo recalls. “With the SD7′s snapshot panel, I can order the list as Bruce intends to do the show, but then when he decides to jump to something off the list, it’s as easy to get to as typing the first letter of the song until I get to the desired snapshot. Right now, I’m at around 130 snapshots.”

“We never know what Bruce will do next or what song he will pull out, so being able to load those snapshots quickly is a challenge,” adds Milner. “I use the keyboard and just type the first letter of the song and it will jump through all those snapshots starting with that letter. Then you can fire the snapshot with the space bar very quickly. This is usually not a problem on other tours but with over 150 snapshots it can take time to go through them all. I have an external monitor hooked on the ‘B’ engine so with everything mirrored to the ‘A’ engine I can make sure I’m running in complete redundancy at all times.”

For both engineers, the SD7 has proved to be a reliable and accommodating asset for this complex and unpredictable production.

Carlo says he’s found the SD7 to be one of the most flexible consoles out there. “I can configure it to look and operate exactly the way I need it to depending on what type of show/band I’m going to be mixing on it. It sounds great, it’s warm and full without any brittle or sterile characteristics that other consoles sometimes have. Looking ahead, and depending on the show, I might be inclined to try something a bit smaller than the SD7, however, the redundancy inherent in the SD7 with its dual engines and power supplies is a solid feature.”

Milner agrees. “Absolutely, I’ll be using DiGiCo again. They sound great and are so flexible to use especially with a large number of inputs and outputs and with all the different SD console options out now, it makes finding the right desk for each application simple. On this tour, the band seems to be really happy—and with 18 people on stage and all those open mics things can get messy really fast. We seem to have found a good balance for each band member and what works for them on any given song. The SD7 sounds great and is very neutral-sounding. It doesn’t seem to color the sound at all which is nice. You can start with the source and if that sounds good, then you know things will sound great with the console. I don’t know of any other desk out there right now that can do what we are asking of these consoles. With 140 inputs, 52 outputs and around 150 snapshots (and that number is always growing) we are making these desks earn their keep!”

SYMETRIX EXPANDS SYMNET AUDIO DSP WITH RADIUS 12×8

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – AUGUST 2012: Symetrix announces the Radius 12×8, a Dante™-networkable, fixed I/O, open-architecture digital signal processor expanding the innovative SymNet platform.

Radius may be installed as a standalone processor or used in conjunction with SymNet Edge or third party Dante(tm) network-enabled devices to achieve the scalability and flexibility needed to meet the specifications of the simplest to the most complex installations.

“The Radius 12×8 is an extremely powerful installed sound DSP making use of one of the industry’s most popular input/output form factors – 12×8,” said Paul Roberts, CEO. “In response to integrator feedback, the SymNet Radius 12×8 includes ARC-WEB, our simple, yet powerful, browser-based user-control technology, compatible with Apple and Android smartphones and tablets.”

Audinate’s award-winning Dante technology is leading the way networks are connected by transporting high-quality media over standard IT networks. Dante delivers a no-hassle, self-configuring, true plug-and-play digital audio network that uses standard Internet Protocols.

Lee Ellison, Audinate’s CEO remarks “Symetrix has done their research and is seizing the opportunity with the launch of the Radius 12×8, their second Dante-enabled product to hit the market this year. ” Ellison adds, “With the new Radius, customers will be able to easily connect to the many other Dante-enabled products now available which in turn offers a broader networked solution for everyone.”

KEY PRODUCT BENEFITS AND FEATURES
• Plug-and-play networking enables multiple Radius and Edge units to function as building blocks in a scalable system design, from one DSP to many.
• Easy transition to Radius 12×8 with advanced training available online 24/7 and Symetrix technical support staff available for design assistance.
• Twelve mic/line inputs, eight line outputs.
• Configure with SymNet Composer software with over 600 DSP modules.
• Internal gigabit and 10/100 switches eliminate the need for third-party switches in most systems.
• Network audio expansion using Dante protocol over standard IT networks. 64 transmit and 64 receive channels. Ultra low latency.
• User control: Symetrix ARC wall panels, ARC-WEB web app, SymNet SymVue, third-party touch screens.

ABOUT SYMETRIX Sound professionals rely upon the performance, value and reliability of audio mixing, routing and processing products from Symetrix. For more information on Symetrix professional audio products, please visit www.symetrix.co or call +1 (425) 778-7728.

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