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Michael MacDonald Joins ATK Audiotek as President

Michael MacDonald, New President of ATK Audiotek

Valencia, California (September 25, 2012) – Leading audio production company, ATK Audiotek, is proud to welcome Michael MacDonald to take over the duties as President and leadership of the company’s business development, sales and marketing programs, coincident with the retirement of outgoing President Michael Stahl.

MacDonald joins ATK Audiotek with over three decades of experience in the professional audio industry, most recently having served for five years as Vice President of Sales and Marketing at HARMAN Professional. Prior to HARMAN, Michael operated a successful consulting business at Pilot Business Strategies, where he worked with over 30 professional audio clients and trade organizations on product and program development, business planning and marketing and sales, where he built strong relationships with a diverse array of industry stakeholders. MacDonald has held senior roles at other professional audio manufacturers, including as President of JBL Professional and 10-years in various executive positions with Yamaha International.

Michael MacDonald began his career in the audio business in the production industry working as lead audio engineer on a host of major tours and projects including Olympics Opening and Closing Ceremonies, the GRAMMY® Awards and Presidential debates.

“Having Michael MacDonald join the company is a natural extension of the relationships we have enjoyed for over 30 years,” commented Mikael Stewart, Partner and Vice President of Special Events, ATK Audiotek. “We’re very pleased to welcome him onboard and look forward to his ideas and his energy just as we are appreciative of Mike Stahl’s massive contribution to ATK since its foundation!”

Scott Harmala, Partner, CTO and Vice President of Engineering, ATK Audiotek, concurs “Michael not only brings decades of experience and industry contacts but a proven, high energy, creative approach to building new business. We share a considerable history together but also a strong vision for the future potential of the production industry and of ATK Audiotek!”

Michael MacDonald noted, “I am really excited to be moving to ATK Audiotek for the next phase of my career,” add Michael MacDonald on his new role. “ATK Audiotek is a great company that has been a pioneer in the live event industry and has built a solid business by focusing on superb customer service. I am really flattered that Mikael and Scott have given me the chance to join the team as an ATK partner and I also appreciate the support Michael Stahl has provided to make this possible.”

About ATK Audiotek
Founded in 1983, ATK Audiotek is the foremost sound reinforcement provider in the professional audio industry. ATK Audiotek provides unparalleled quality and reliable service to all of its clients. ATK Audiotek’s client roster includes hundreds of television productions, special events, industrial conventions, permanent installations and concert tours. ATK Audiotek has received many awards including four nominations and two wins of the prestigious TEC Award for outstanding technical achievement. For more information please visit http://www.atkcorp.com/about.html

METRIC HALO RELEASES PRODUCTION BUNDLE FOR WINDOWS AAX AND MAC AUDIO UNITS, CELEBRATES WITH SALE

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 2012: This past weekend, at IMSTA Festa, Metric Halo announced the release of the Metric Halo Production Bundle for Pro Tools 10 for Windows, as well as Macintosh Audio Units. The software will be available 9/25/12 and consists of seven plug-ins compatible with AAX Native and AAX DSP Pro Tools systems and any Macintosh DAW that supports Audio Units: ChannelStrip 3, Character, HaloVerb, Multiband Dynamics, Multiband Expander, Precision DeEsser, and TransientControl.

This bundle provides all the tools necessary to sculpt a mix. Four of the plug-ins contain audio analysis tools from Metric Halo’s SpectraFoo software, giving the user visual feedback of the plug-in’s processing. “We’re excited to release the Production Bundle for Pro Tools on Windows,” said Allen Rowand of Metric Halo. “The introduction of the AAX plug-in format has made it possible for us to offer our software on Windows for the first time. We’re also thrilled to make the Production Bundle available to all of our longtime Macintosh users. The great thing about the Production Bundle is that one iLok license works cross-host and cross-platform – so if you prefer to edit audio in Pro Tools but compose in Logic, you only need one license. Or if you work in Pro Tools in Windows at home and Mac in the studio, you’re covered as well.”

The MSRP for the bundle is $699 USD, with individual plug-ins priced at $199 USD each. Upgrades from ChannelStrip 2 to ChannelStrip 3 are available for $49, and upgrades from ChannelStrip 2 to the Production Bundle cost $549. Owners of Metric Halo’s +DSP software may purchase the Production Bundle for $549, and may purchase the Bundle for $399 if they own licenses for both +DSP and ChannelStrip 2. Customers who have purchased ChannelStrip 2 Native since October 1, 2011 are eligible for a free upgrade to ChannelStrip 3.

In order to celebrate the release of the Production Bundle, Metric Halo is offering special pricing from 9/25/12 to 10/25/12; the Production Bundle and individual plug-ins are 25% off. See http://mhlabs.com for more information.

Promotional pricing is available through Metric Halo dealers, as well as Metric Halo’s direct sales site, and may only be combined with customer loyalty discounts. AAX plug-ins require Pro Tools 10 or later running on Mac OS X or Windows, and Audio Units require Mac OS X and Audio Unit hosts. The Production Bundle and individual plug-ins require an iLok for authorization.

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

Season 7 of Rachael Ray Moves to New Studio and Yamaha Consoles Move Along As Part of ‘the Mix’

BUENA PARK, Calif.—On September 17, 2012 the Rachael Ray Show will officially move to beautiful new digs for the Season 7 opener, and broadcast mixer Bob Aldridge and front of house mixer John Bates, are taking along their trusty Yamaha M7CL-48 and DM2000 Digital Consoles. Produced by CBS Television Distribution and KWP Studios, in association with Harpo Studios, Scripps Networks and Watch Entertainment, the hugely successful syndicated daytime program originally launched in the fall of 2006.

“An M7CL-48 and DM2000 are both used for the audience mix,” states Bates. “The DM2000 is the production mix desk while the M7CL is used for the music mix.” Aldridge and Bates are also using the new Dugan-MY16 card with the DM2000 to tighten up the show’s sound, and Aldridge said ‘it works great.’

“Season 1 of the Rachael Ray Show had the M7CL as the audience console and it worked quite well as both the production and music console,” says Bates. “We had 16 RF mics, some production inputs, and support for 24 channels of music inputs. Then the show decided that we should be ready to support 32 channels of music inputs and the M7CL was no longer big enough so we moved it to the monitor position. Shows rarely get smaller as they develop, and it was at that point that we brought in a Yamaha DM2000, some outboard mics preamps fed through a bunch of Yamaha MY16-AT ADAT cards, bringing us up to 56 mic inputs, and mixed both production and music on the DM2000 through the end of Season 6.”

The Rachael Ray Show set has several different locations that Rachael could be in at any point in time,” notes Bates. “We took advantage of the Yamaha DM2000 to recall different scenes depending on where in the studio we were working. The four remote layers enable us to customize the surface layout for the scene at hand. The built-in channel and bus delays allow us to really dial in the mix without the need for any outboard processing.

The number of music inputs the mixers have been asked to support has increased to 48 so the decision was made to add an additional M7CL-48 to the house position to mix music and the DM2000 becomes a production only console. “We now can split 48 mic channels between broadcast mix, FOH mix and monitor mix, a far cry from where we started,” adds Bob Aldridge.
All of the features that made the DM2000 a great fit for the show before are still in play in the new studio and Bates said it’s been fun stripping back the show and building it up again.

For more information on the Rachael Ray Show, visit http://www.rachaelrayshow.com/.

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

-END-

PHOTO ID: L to R: John Bates and Bob Aldridge

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.

Westbury National Show Systems: Years of Success with Yamaha Consoles

BUENA PARK, Calif.—Westbury National Show Systems in Toronto, Canada is the largest Yamaha console rental company in all of Canada. The company recently provided audio production for several high profile events including Fashion Cares featuring a performance by Elton John at the Sony Centre in Toronto. Three Yamaha PM5D-RH consoles were used for the front of house mix along with a DSP5D Expander and an LS9-16. A Yamaha PM5D, PM1D and 02R were used for monitors.

“We have always found Yamaha consoles to be dependable, world-class touring consoles that are requested by many of the world’s top touring acts,” states Bob Groza, audio department manager. “They are intuitive and ergonomically designed; the control surface layout provides ease of operational use.”

Westbury also provided two Yamaha PM5D-RH consoles, a PM5D and DSP5D Expander for the recent Jump For Jamaica event, celebrating Jamaica’s 50 Years of Independence, at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in mid August with approximately 1,500 guests, including Premier Dalton McGuinty, Senator Don Meredith and Jamaica’s High Commissioner to Canada, Sheila Sealy.

And, earlier in August, the company supported audio for the Hillside Festival with performances by Kathleen Edwards, The Arkells, and others. With several thousands in attendance, Westbury provided three Yamaha PM5D-RH digital consoles, a DSP5D expander and a Yamaha LS9-32 digital console.

“We stand by our use of Yamaha consoles because they are proven and dependable, and we never have to worry about performance and durability,” says Groza.

Westbury’s Yamaha digital console arsenal consists of a PM1D, a PM5D-RH, PM5D, DSP5D Expander, three M7CLs, three LS9-32s, six LS9-16s, and a DM2000. For those requiring analog, the company has a PM4000 for FOH and a PM4000M available for monitors.

For more information on Westbury National Show Systems, visit www.westbury.com.

For more information on Yamaha consoles, visit www.yamahaca.com.

-END-

PHOTO ID: Photo 1: Hillside Festival Photo 2: Jump for Jamaica

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.

NEW SYMETRIX SYMNET RADIUS 12X8 PROCESSOR RUNS HAGMYREN – A SWEDISH HORSE RACING TRACK

HUDIKSVALL, SWEDEN – SEPTEMBER 2012: Hudiksvall is a medium-sized city of 15,000 on the Gulf of Bothnia, and one of its major attractions is Hagmyren, a horse racing track situated north of the city’s center. The main track at Hagmyren is 1,000 meters, and the sprawling area that the public uses to watch the races, and to enjoy the facility’s other events, covers seven acres and can comfortably accommodate the city’s entire population. In addition to races, Hagmyren hosts fun events, like car bingo (where participants sit in their cars and play bingo) and horse exhibitions. Because of its multiple uses and because quality sound reinforcement was deemed an important component of the track’s continued success, the track sought to renovate its aging system. A new system centers on a pair of Symetrix’ newly-released SymNet Radius 12×8 processors, which feature open-architecture programming, fixed I/O, Dante networking, and a competitive price.

“These days, a modern horse racing track depends on excellent sound reinforcement that is flexible and easy to use,” said Börje Jälmefors, sales manager with Visono Media AB, the company that sold the SymNet Radius 12x8s. “There are many other amusements vying for people’s attention and money, and horse racing is competing with them. Moreover, the races are broadcast around the region and around the globe, so the sound quality must be superb.” The requirements set forth by the track owners were that the new system must be future-proof, scalable, flexible, and intuitive to operate, even for a non-expert. The track owners hired sound installation company DAT AB to develop and install an appropriate solution. “After investigating the options available on the market, DAT AB recognized the advantage of going with the SymNet Radius 12×8,” said Jälmefors. “A pair of SymNet Radius 12x8s could handle all of the processing, sharing signals via the Dante bus, at a very competitive price point.”

Inputs to the system include the referee’s wireless microphone, the commentators’ microphones, a paging system, various pre-recorded music feeds, audio from various pre-recorded video feeds, and output from a live mixing console. Both of the Symetrix SymNet Radius 12x8s accept either mic-level or line-level inputs. Because they are networked together via the Dante bus, signals input to one unit can be sent to the output of the other unit with truly negligible latency. Their combined sixteen outputs feed a rack of QSC amplifiers, which power loudspeakers by TOA, RCF, and Phillips throughout the facility in appropriate zones.

“Robert Nilsson of DAT AB told me that the two SymNet Radius 12x8s, with their built-in Dante bus, made it easy to meet all of the complicated requirements of this installation,” reported Jälmefors. “For my part, I have been working with Symetrix equipment for twenty years – including an installation I did a few years ago on another horse racing track that used Symetrix open-architecture DSP – and so I feel very confident recommending Symetrix. The Dante bus used by the new SymNet Edge and SymNet Radius system is easy to set up and represents an excellent standard for installed, live, and broadcast audio.”

Currently, users control the system via Symetrix modular wall panel remotes – the ARC-SW4e and ARC-K1e. “We are very satisfied with the solution Robert Nilsson came up with,” said Mats Österberg, the manager of Hagmyren. “The most crucial aspect for us was a control interface that is user-friendly and easy to understand. The wall panels Robert gave us meet that requirement.” Jälmefors added, “There are so many user control options available for the SymNet Radius 12×8 system. They range from a simple contact closure to the range of ARC panels and from the customized SymVue computer interface to many third-party solutions. But the staff at Hagmyren is most excited about Symetrix’ ARC-WEB, which places user control of the system on any smartphone! DAT AB will give them ARC-WEB in the coming months.”

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.

KanexPro Introduces Mini Audio Amplifier with Mic Mixer

KanexPro the leading A/V Connectivity solutions provider is proud to introduce the Mini Audio Amplifier is a quarter-rack width digital amplifier (Class D) with equalizer control and Mic mixer. It’s a simple yet powerful device delivering 2×20 Watts@4Ohm default output with built-in volume/ bass feature. It also supports dual mono-output with 2 stereo audio selectable inputs. The Microphone mixer includes independent volume control with balance switching. Supports balanced/ unbalanced signals.

This Mini Audio Amplifier is mainly used during lectures, house of worship centers and various musical events where mic mixing together with equalizing audio is critical.
Mini Class D audio amplifier

Features:

• Fast switching audio amplifier
• 2×20 Watt@4Ohm as the default amplifier output
• Bridge connection supported by switching the amplifier to be 1x40Watt@8Ohm
• Supports Dual-mono output
• Built-in Microphone mixer (separately controllable)
• Line audio output, with volume controllable.
• MIC input supports 48V phantom power
• MIC port with balanced switching suppress
• Supports balanced/ unbalanced signals
• Supports Ducking power technology
• Ultra low inrush current
• Two stereo audio inputs, switchable by button, remote or RS232.
• Volume/Bass/Treble controllable by buttons or RS232
• Optional control by IR remote
• Convection cooled, antistatic case design
• LED indicator, for power and operating status
• IR remote (optional) not included
• Internal Universal power adaptable (100-240 volt AC, 50/60Hz)

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.

Updated Edition of Industry Standard Book Released – Show Networks and Control Systems by John Huntington

Author, educator, and industry veteran John Huntington has released Show Networks and Control Systems, the completely updated and revised edition of his industry standard reference text, which was previously titled, Control Systems for Live Entertainment. The book includes an in-depth examination of the control and networking technology used in lighting, lasers, sound, stage machinery, animatronics, special effects, and pyrotechnics used in concerts, theme parks, theatre, themed retail, cruise ships, museums, interactive performing arts, and special events.

“With the increasing impact and ubiquity of networking in our market, I felt a new edition with an expanded networking focus was important,” comments Huntington. “So, I completely reorganized the content; checked, updated, and expanded the information; and added a lot more information. And, to reflect the changes in the market I also changed the title.” There are 30 new pages of material including dramatically expanded show networking technology along with real-world examples for reference and graphical aids have been added to help navigate through the information, as well as a glossary. Huntington has presented the information in a form readable straight through by motivated, independent readers, while also making the structure modular enough to be useful for working professionals, educators, and students. In addition, Huntington is now posting supplemental video lectures for each chapter on his website, www.controlgeek.net.

As in the previous editions, he focuses not on gear, which constantly becomes obsolete, but on techniques and standards, because Huntington thinks it’s critical that people know not only the ‘what’ but the ‘why’ of entertainment technologies. “Though I’ve tried not to be extremely technical, this is a field of ever-increasing technological complexity,” comments Huntington. “It’s important for the average technician to learn how to put together reliable systems and make sure the show actually happens.”
The well-received book is quickly becoming an industry ‘must read’ for both working professionals and educators, as noted in much of the praise of Show Networks and Control Systems:

“We also tell our newly hired engineers that they should be conversant with the entire contents of this book because it covers the core knowledge commonly needed in the design of show control systems.” – Glenn Birket, P.E., President, Birket Engineering, Inc.

“This book is the definitive guide for designing and using network technology across a wide range of live performance applications. It’s a must-read for designers, technicians, and engineers of all experience levels.” – Steve Terry, VP of Research & Development Electronic Theatre Controls

“Most technicians can learn to use show networking and control equipment. They accomplish this by reading manuals and taking classes. Exceptional technicians understand how their gear works inside and out. They accomplish this by reading John Huntington’s book.” – Jason Potterf, Cisco

“John Huntington’s book provides an invaluable introduction to networking for entertainment systems, helping students build a foundation and vocabulary for systems integration across lighting, sound, media, scenery, and more.” – David Boevers, Professor, Carnegie Mellon School of Drama

“This book presents these indispensable techniques and concepts in clear, concise terms and examples. It’s easily the best resource for anyone needing a better understanding of where entertainment control technology is today and where it’s headed in the future.” – Scott Fisher, President, Fisher Technical Services

Show Networks and Control Systems retails for $50 USD and is available through John Huntington’s website at www.controlgeek.net.

Book Information
List Price: $50.00
7.5″ x 9.25″ (19.05 x 23.495 cm)
Black & White bleed on white paper
492 pages
Zircon Designs Press, ISBN-13: 978-0615655901

About the Author
John Huntington, a trusted expert in the field of entertainment and show control, is a professor at New York City College of Technology/CUNY (“City Tech”), and has worked with major companies and venues throughout the entertainment industry, including The Metropolitan Opera, Radio City Music Hall, Production Arts Lighting, Associates and Ferren, Thoughtful Designs/PRG, the Yale School of Drama, and the Tribecca Film Festival. Huntington has had more than 40 articles published in magazines such as Lighting and Sound America, Protocol, Live Design, Lighting Dimensions, TD&T, and Theatre Crafts. He is a member of IATSE Local #1, has a CCENT certification, a New York State Class B Laser Operator’s Certificate of Competence, was a Subject Matter Expert for the PLASA ETCP Entertainment Electrician certification exam, and is an ETCP Recognized Electrical Trainer. He lives and works in New York City and blogs at www.controlgeek.net.

NEW DANLEY SM-80 DELIVERS FIDELITY AND OUTPUT ON A STICK

danley_sm_80.JPGGAINESVILLE, GEORGIA – SEPTEMBER 2012: Danley introduces the SM-80, the latest in its SM-series of lightweight, cost-effective molded-horn loudspeakers. Tom Danley and the crack engineering team at Danley Sound Labs created the SM-80 for anyone who needs loud, and yet highly-articulate sound in a lightweight, portable package. Indeed, the SM-80 weighs in at a mere 65 lbs., a comfortable mass to perch atop more

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.

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