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DPA Helps The Voice Australia Deliver a Great Live Experience

Thanks to DPA’s d:facto™ Vocal Microphone, vocal deliveries for the live broadcast of Australia’s The Voice were significantly improved, ensuring an even more enjoyable experience for TV viewers.

As with many TV singing/talent shows, the culmination of The Voice Australia relied on wireless microphone technology to ensure that the contestants could move freely about the stage. DPA’s award winning d:facto Vocal Microphone fitted the bill perfectly thanks to its state of the art adapter system that allows the high quality condenser capsule to be seamlessly integrated with many professional wireless systems or used in conjunction with DPA’s wired handle.

The decision to try DPA’s d:facto Vocal Microphone on the show was taken by Australian rental company, JPJ Audio.

John Simpson, Senior Audio Director of The Voice, says: “JPJ’s Brad Adamson told me he had DPA’s d:facto’s and we were keen to try them on a couple of TV shows we were working on. DPA has a great reputation for high quality mics and this interested me because I hadn’t been happy with any capsules on the RF systems we were using.”

Simpson knew that, being DPA, their pedigree would shine through the moment he brought up the faders.

“I realised we wouldn’t be needing that old EQ curve anymore,” he says. “The sound was natural, present and uncoloured, like having a top notch studio condenser available as RF. We don’t have to process anywhere near as much as we used to and everything sounds better; vocalists and presenters, male or female. The d:facto’s make it much easier to sit voices in a mix.”

Simpson adds that the Vocal Coach for the programme was also a fan. “He thinks they are a significant step up from anything he has heard and is very impressed, as are the operators at Monitors, FOH and Broadcast.”

“Just keep making them,” implores Simpson. “The capsules are the best thing we’ve heard for RF mics in a long time and have been an asset for us.”

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About DPA
DPA Microphones is the leading Danish Professional Audio manufacturer of high quality condenser microphone solutions for professional applications. DPA’s ultimate goal is to provide you – whether you’re in live sound, recording, theater or broadcast – with the absolute finest possible microphone solutions for your tasks. DPA takes no shortcuts in the design processes nor makes any compromises in manufacturing, which is all done at the DPA factory in Denmark. As a result, DPA’s products are globally praised for their exceptional clarity and transparency, unparalleled specifications, supreme reliability, and above all, pure, uncolored and undistorted sound.
For more information, please visit www.dpamicrophones.com

The Music Producers Guild Declares Nominations Open For Its 2015 Awards

The Music Producers Guild has announced that the nominations process for its 2015 Awards ceremony will officially open on September 1st 2014.

This prestigious event recognises the achievements of the UK’s top producers, engineers, remixers and mastering engineers and has rapidly established itself as a must attend event on the music industry calendar. Following a highly successful move to its new venue, the 2015 Awards will once again take place at the Park Park Plaza Riverbank Hotel in Vauxhall, London. The date has been set for Thursday February 12th, 2015.

“The enormous success of this year’s event has certainly set the bar high,” says MPG Chairman Steve Levine. “An exclusive performance by Trevor Horn’s band The Producers, which included a guest appearance from Seal, was really well received and we have every intention of repeating that success in 2015 with yet another exclusive performance from a ‘surprise’ band.

“But star performances aside, what really make the MPG Awards special are the people we celebrate. These are recording professionals who make a massive contribution to the success of the UK music industry but don’t always get their names in lights. On February 12th 2015 they will be firmly in the spotlight and we hope the industry will once again get behind these Awards and give our winners the recognition they deserve.”

Now in its seventh year, the MPG Awards count the likes of Alan Moulder & Flood, Paul Epworth, Brian Eno, Trevor Horn and Sir George Martin CBE amongst previous winners. There are 15 different award categories including UK Producer of the Year, the winner of which automatically wins a BRIT Award for Best Producer. Other categories include International Producer of the Year, Breakthrough Producer of the Year and Outstanding Contribution to UK Music.

The online nominations process runs until September 30th 2014 and is very straightforward. Anyone can nominate record professionals in 12 of the Award categories, while the remaining three are in the gift of the MPG. Nominations can be made via www.mpgawards.com with producers and engineers being actively encouraged to nominate themselves.

The MPG 2015 Awards categories open for public nomination are:

UK Producer of the Year
International Producer of the Year
Breakthrough Producer of the Year
Recording Engineer of the Year
Breakthrough Engineer of the Year
Mix Engineer of the Year
Mastering Engineer of the Year
Re-mixer of the Year
UK Album of the Year
UK Single Song Release of the Year
Studio of the Year
The A&R Award

The MPG 2015 Awards categories in the gift of the MPG are:

The MPG Innovation Award
The MPG Inspiration Award
Outstanding Contribution to UK Music

Tickets for the MPG Awards 2015 are now available to order through the website, including a limited number of ‘early bird’ discounted tickets. For full details of prices and offers please visit www.mpgawards.com/tickets.

Sponsorship opportunities are also available for the MPG Awards 2015 and any company that would like to be part of this exciting event should contact Joe Edwards at FM First Monday. Telephone: +44 (0) 7701 030 513 / Email: joe@fmfirstmonday.com.

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About Music Producers Guild (UK):
The Music Producers Guild (UK) is an independent and democratic organisation that encourages the highest standards of music production, and actively engages with other music industry organisations to campaign and lobby on matters of important mutual interest.
The MPG represents and promotes the interests of all those involved in the production of recorded music, including producers, engineers, mixers, re-mixers, programmers and mastering engineers. www.mpg.org.uk

Westlake Pro Hosts Mixing Master Class with Andrew Scheps

First videos in series now available on YouTube

Los Angeles, CA – Westlake Pro, a leading retailer of professional audio, video, broadcast equipment, recording, and live sound equipment, technical services and musical instruments, recently hosted a Mixing Master Class with legendary audio engineer Andrew Scheps. The seminar, which took place at The Village Studios in Los Angeles, was filmed and edited into a video series, with the first of 13 now available for viewing on Westlake Pro’s YouTube channel.

Known for his distinctive mixing style and ability to bring the emotion out of songs, Scheps has engineered and mixed for some of the biggest rock bands in music: Metallica, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Weezer, Audioslave, Linkin Park, Green Day and U2. He’s also worked with icons such as Johnny Cash, Neil Diamond and Iggy Pop, as well as many independent artists.

Having successfully mixed with computers and software, or “in the box”, and on large format analog consoles, Scheps brings a unique perspective to mixing workflow, which he demonstrates by deconstructing some of his current work using Avid Pro Tools and S6 Control Surface.

The Mixing Master Class video series is divided into 13 videos of five to eight minutes in length and cover a wide variety of mixing topics as well as a Q&A session with the audience of around 150 people, most of which are working audio professionals. New videos in the series will be posted on Westlake Pro’s YouTube channel over the next several weeks. Please visit https://www.youtube.com/user/WestlakePro1.

About Westlake Pro
Based I Los Angeles, Westlake Pro specializes in business-to-business and retail sales of professional audio and video equipment, broadcast equipment, video editing software, recording software, computers, musical instruments and live sound application products. The company also provides technical services from complete studio design to live sound system design. Westlake Pro serves the Post Production, Broadcast, Music Production, Educational, House of Worship and Government markets.
For more information, visit www.westlakepro.com.

Prism Sound Shows New Audio Products at IBC 2014

Prism Sound will be attending this year’s IBC convention (8.E34) with a range of new audio products aimed at post production and broadcaster engineers.

The company’s family of audio interfaces has been extended to include Titan and Atlas, both of which will be on show for the first time in Europe.

Titan and Atlas are multi-channel audio interfaces offering recording professionals ultimate quality analogue and digital I/O for Mac or Windows PC at sample rates up to 192kHz via a simple USB interface. In addition to a USB host interface, both units feature the new MDIO interface expansion slot, which can be used to expand its connectivity, for example by adding a direct connection to Pro Tools|HDX systems.

Titan has four microphone inputs, while Atlas has eight and is aimed at multitrack recording applications. Both are designed with Prism Sound’s latest and award-winning CleverClox clocking technology.

At IBC 2014, Prism Sound will also be showing the latest upgrade to its acclaimed SADiE 6 software, the audio recorder and editor of choice by countless national broadcasters. This new version delivers even greater benefits to the mastering community thanks to the inclusion of a brand new toolset for today’s ‘digital download’ age.

New features include WAV Master, which allows users to create WAV files for an entire album using PQ marks to define the start and end of the WAV file for each album track. Track Titles, Artist Name and other information is automatically incorporated into these files. Prism Sound has also introduced a new high quality Sample Rate conversion algorithm and ensured that resolution changes can be applied during the bounce process used to create WAV files.

The new version of SADiE 6 now caters for engineers who want to work with Broadcast WAV (BWF) files, which incorporate ISRC data. An ISRC in BWF feature is included in SADiE’s WAV Master option and is in the SADIE version 6.1 update as part of the ‘Mastering Suite’ and ‘Sound Suite’ packs.

Finally, SADiE has enhanced video support for BlackMagic Design Decklink cards, as well as timecode support on SADiE Native systems where the ASIO audio hardware used supports timecode functionality.

Finally, Prism Sound is showing its full range of Test & Measurement solutions, including the versatile dScope Series III Audio Analyzer. This award-winning unit features a freely-available test suite that can be used to evaluate the performance and compliance of any loudness meter on the market and ensure that a chosen product can deliver both ATSC and ITU BS.1770 compliance.


To find out more about the Prism Sound/SADiE range and to demo the new Titan and Atlas interfaces, please visit stand 8.E34.

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About Prism Sound
Founded in 1987, Prism Sound manufacture high-quality professional digital audio equipment for the International broadcast, film, music production, manufacturing and telecommunications sectors. The company’s product range includes the Prism ADA-8XR precision 8-channel converter unit, which is regularly used for music and film soundtrack projects by clients such as EMI Abbey Road, BBC, Sony, Lucasfilm and Walt Disney. Prism Sound also manufactures a range of audio test and measurement products, including the award-winning dScope Series III audio analyser system.

For more information: www.prismsound.com

API’s BOX FILLS IN THE “MISSING PIECE” AT THE CASINO IN NASHVILLE

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE – AUGUST 2014: The BOX has settled into a new home in a Nashville studio – The Casino. Owned and operated by Eric Masse, The Casino records LPs and EPs for signed artists and bands within the city. Masse consulted Chad Evans at Vintage King while he upgraded his studio, and now admits that the “feels like the missing piece” to his former setup.

“I had been craving the next step up for my sixteen I/O studio for a while,” said Masse. “When I heard about the BOX last year, I started gearing up for it.” The Casino, which also houses two lunchboxes®, six 512c mic pres, a 5500 dual equalizer, and a 2500 stereo compressor, stayed in the API family when looking to gain control over pans and add inserts.

“Enter stage right – the BOX,” jokes Masse, who is amazed by the capabilities The Casino is now able to fulfill. “I can hardly contain my head from exploding from all the options. It’s the center of my studio. I can route things in the mix like never before, and parallel compress things all analog. I can add outboard effects post-conversion to individual tracks, and I don’t have to use my converters to feed the hear-back headphone hub. I can instead build a mix with the sends, and use the inserts for direct ‘more me’s’ and use all sixteen converters for audio. I’m digging it.”

Apart from the functions, the customizable 500 Series inputs allow The Casino to create its own unique sound. “I like that I can utilize the 500 Series slots on the program bus, while still using the input channels. So far, to be honest, I like everything about it.”

Since installing the BOX, Masse has put the final touches on singer/songwriter Rayland Baxter’s second album, and is currently mixing alternative artist Mikky Ekko’s record. He is also ready to record the second country music album Charlie Worsham. The versatility of the BOX helps meet the needs for each unique artist, and allows Masse to utilize the space he needs to record and grow. “I like that it’s a console, and not a console.”

ABOUT API (AUTOMATED PROCESSES, INC.) Established more than 45 years ago, Automated Processes, Inc. is the leader in analog recording gear with the Vision, Legacy Series, 1608 and the BOX recording consoles, as well as its classic line of modular signal processing equipment.

www.apiaudio.com

DPA Microphones Capture The Kyteman Orchestra

Front of House engineer Sjoerd Terpstra used a selection of DPA microphones to capture the unique sound of the Kyteman Orchestra when they played six concerts at the Utrecht Tivoli in Holland recently.

The concerts, which took the form of elaborate jam sessions, were all multitrack recorded for subsequent mixing and broadcast on the internet.

“Our aim was to create a library of completely original Kyteman material,” Sjoerd Terpstra says. “None of the songs were written in advance – they were all improvised on the spot.”

Founded by Colin Benders (aka Kyteman), the Kyteman Orchestra plays a mixture of hip-hop, opera and jazz laced with melodies and raw beats. Its first album, The Hermit Sessions, was released in 2009 and was a great success in the Netherlands where it reached the top five of the Dutch Album Charts and sold over 75,000 copies.

Sjoerd Terpstra, who has been working with Kyteman for the last five years, says he chose DPA microphones for this project because he knew they were capable of delivering studio quality from the live stage. The microphones were supplied by Amptec, DPA’s distributor in the Netherlands.

“There are approximately 18 musicians in the orchestra,” Terpstra explains. “We used a lot of DPA d:vote 4099™ Instrument Microphones on strings and horns, a d:dicate 2011A on the drums and percussion and a set of d:screet 4061 Miniature Microphones on the upright piano because they sound amazing, especially at low noise levels. One of the snare drums initially gave me a lot of trouble because it was so low pitched and I just couldn’t get it to sound right, but eventually I used another d:vote 4099 and then it sounded great. The d:vote could handle the low pitch well and gave me enough ‘snap’ to make it cut in the mix.”

Terpstra adds that the d:vote 4099 Instrument Microphones were especially useful because they were able to deliver very isolated sound.

“We were recording on an exceptionally cramped stage so this was an important feature,” he says. “The isolation they achieved gave me tons of possibilities in both the FOH and studio mixes.”

With the latest Kyteman Orchestra project now completed, Sjoerd Terpstra is now working with a number of bands from the Middle East.

“I am hoping to use DPA microphones for some of those projects, too,” he says. “I am always happy with the results I get from DPA so have no hesitation in recommending them to all the bands I work with.”

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About DPA
DPA Microphones is the leading Danish Professional Audio manufacturer of high quality condenser microphone solutions for professional applications. DPA’s ultimate goal is to provide you – whether you’re in live sound, recording, theater or broadcast – with the absolute finest possible microphone solutions for your tasks. DPA takes no shortcuts in the design processes nor makes any compromises in manufacturing, which is all done at the DPA factory in Denmark. As a result, DPA’s products are globally praised for their exceptional clarity and transparency, unparalleled specifications, supreme reliability, and above all, pure, uncolored and undistorted sound.
For more information, please visit www.dpamicrophones.com

LIPA Graduate James Mellor Receives The 2014 MPG Prize

This year’s Music Producers Guild Prize has been awarded to James Mellor, confirming him as the most promising student to graduate from The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA) Sound Technology degree programme.

Launched in 2010, the MPG Prize gives winning students from LIPA an opportunity to work alongside some of the UK’s top recording professionals. Prominent MPG Awards winners continue to be very supportive of the initiative, which also brings sponsorship opportunities from companies such as Avid and a bursary to help with expenses from PPL.

MPG Chairman Steve Levine and MPG Education Representative Tony Platt presented James Mellor with his prize during LIPA’s annual graduation ceremony, which took place on July 31st, 2014. Also present was LIPA lead patron Sir Paul McCartney.

The aim of the Music Producers Guild Prize is to recognise the student who, in the opinion of his or her tutors, has shown the most exceptional talent, initiative, commitment and consideration to the art of music recording and production.

Jon Thornton, who heads LIPA’s three year BA (Hons) Sound Technology programme, says: “Throughout his time studying with us, but most especially during his final year, James has proven to have that ‘special sauce’ of attributes – technical skill, creative thinking, attention to detail, and an interest in pushing the boundaries of what is achievable. I’m sure that he will make the very most of the opportunities that this award will open up for him.”

James Mellor’s early interest in music led to him experimenting with many different instruments before he finally settled for the guitar and started playing in bands with friends. Studio experiences with these bands gave him a taste for technology and a desire to know how to operate the equipment he found there. He applied to study at LIPA and has since worked with many local bands including Go Fiasco, with whom he has engineered and produced an entire album, Meet My Mystery. This project took eight months to complete and involved recording, producing and mixing 10 tracks in both stereo and 5.1 surround sound.

Mellor has also been helping out at Liverpool-based studio The Motor Museum and was recently appointed house assistant/engineer.

“Over the next few months I hope to develop my skill set further and am honoured to have the opportunity do so by learning directly from industry professionals whom I greatly admire,” he says. “I am extremely grateful to both MPG and LIPA for everything they’ve done to help me grow as a professional and look forward to the next year with great anticipation.”

Commenting on the Prize, Tony Platt says: “Supporting, nurturing and encouraging young engineers and producers is a vital part of what MPG does and very important alongside the work we do under the auspices of JAMES. Gaining qualifications is only a small step on their journey and our aim is to enable standout students to be able to put their accomplishments to work as soon as possible so they can fully engage with the significant contribution that the UK makes to the global music industry.”

Winning the MPG Prize will give James Mellor the chance to develop and explore the recording techniques he has learned at LIPA and make valuable contacts within the professional sound industry. In addition to a one year associate membership to the MPG, Mellor will also have the opportunity to shadow this year’s MPG Producer of the Year winners Alan Moulder & Flood at Assault & Battery Studios. Mellor will also attend an orchestral recording session with Award-winning engineer Haydn Bendall and a mastering session with John Dent, winner of the MPG Mastering Engineer Award 2014. Added to this will be opportunities to shadow Guy Massey, MPG Engineer of the Year 2014, and Dan Cox, MPG Breakthrough Engineer of the Year 2014. Studio experience will be provided by RAK Studios, winner of the MPG Best Studio Award 2014, while Mellor’s technical expertise will be enhanced by a day at Avid’s UK headquarters where he will receive in-depth tuition on Avid’s flagship controller, the ProTools S6.

PPL has offered to contribute towards the cost of Mellor’s travel and accommodation expenses while he is taking up these opportunities, and throughout the year he will be mentored by various MPG members including Steve Levine, Nicky Graham, Tony Platt and Mick Glossop.

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About Music Producers Guild (UK)

The Music Producers Guild (UK) is an independent and democratic organisation that encourages the highest standards of music production, and actively engages with other music industry organisations to campaign and lobby on matters of important mutual interest.

The MPG represents and promotes the interests of all those involved in the production of recorded music, including producers, engineers, mixers, re-mixers, programmers and mastering engineers. www.mpg.org.uk

About LIPA

LIPA is located in Sir Paul McCartney’s old school, the Liverpool Institute for Boys, which underwent a multi-million-pound renovation to turn it into a state-of-the-art performing arts higher education institution. It was founded by Sir Paul and Mark Featherstone-Witty and opened in 1995 with the aim of providing the best teaching and learning for people who want to pursue a lasting career in the arts and entertainment industry, whether as performers or those who make performance possible. www.lipa.ac.uk

The Music Producers Guild Backs Fair Digital Deals

The Music Producers Guild has expressed its support for the Fair Digital Deals Declaration – a new initiative supported by over 700 indie record labels that want to see fair and transparent accounting of digital revenues for artists.

This massive show of support for artists to be treated and compensated fairly in the digital age has equal significance recording professionals, many of whom rely on royalties for a large proportion of their incomes.

“The music industry has a long history of unfairly exploiting the work of artists without whose creativity the industry would simply not exist,” says producer and MPG executive board member Mick Glossop. “The Fair Digital Deals Declaration is a welcome initiative, which seeks to address those injustices by promoting transparency and accountability.”

The initiative, coordinated by Worldwide Independent Network, states five primary guidelines that signees must adhere to. These include:

1. Ensure that artists’ share of download and streaming revenues is clearly explained in recording agreements and royalty statements in reasonable summary form.
2. Account to artists a good-faith pro-rata share of any revenues and other compensation from digital services that stem from the monetization of recording but are not attributed to specific recordings or performances.
3. Encourage better standards of information from digital services on the usage and monetization of music.
4. Support artists who choose to oppose, including publicly, unauthorized uses of their music.
5. Support the collective position of the global independent record company sector.

For more information about the Declaration and the MPG’s support for this important initiative, please visit www.mpg.org.uk

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About Music Producers Guild (UK):

The Music Producers Guild (UK) is an independent and democratic organisation that encourages the highest standards of music production, and actively engages with other music industry organisations to campaign and lobby on matters of important mutual interest.

The MPG represents and promotes the interests of all those involved in the production of recorded music, including producers, engineers, mixers, re-mixers, programmers and mastering engineers.

Clearwing Holds Top Manufacturers, One Event Showcase

BUENA PARK, Calif.—Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc. is one of many manufacturers that will be on hand at Clearwing’s Vendor Showcase on Tuesday, August 26, 2014 between 10:00 am – 4:00 pm. Mike Eiseman, District Manager, will be on hand bringing along the new Yamaha QL5 Digital Audio Console as well as a CL1 digital console, Rio3224-D input/output box, and DXR12 speakers. He will also demonstrate the Yamaha StageMix application and Nuendo Live v1.1.

Manufacturers include Robe, Clay Paky, Shure, Rane and others.

The event is free of charge and will be held at Clearwing, 11101 West Mitchell Street, Milwaukee. For more information, telephone 414-258-6333.

RSVP: http://clearwing.com/html_email/cw_event_vendor_MKE_2014/vendor_MKE_2014_landing.html

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DANLEY LOUDSPEAKERS DELIVER AUDIO HORSEPOWER AT CHURCHILL DOWNS

LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY: Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky held the very first Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks horse races in 1875, the year it opened. The track acquired its now-iconic twin-spires grandstand in 1895 and subsequently added to it on either side in pieces during the last century, bringing the grandstand’s current capacity to 52,000. In anticipation of the 2014 Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs commenced installation of a 171-ft. by 90-ft. video screen, the largest 4k video board in the world. Because the facility’s low-fi sound reinforcement system had been designed ages ago for only spoken word reproduction, the new screen would require a serious sound system upgrade to realize its full potential and impact. Dallas-based Marsh/PMK International, LLC designed the new sound reinforcement systems for all of the outdoor areas including nearly sixty clusters in the grandstands comprised of Danley Sound Labs SH50, SM96 and SM60F loudspeakers as well as TH212 subwoofers.

Encompass Develop, Design & Construct oversaw the installation of both the new video board and the new sound systems and they hired Marsh/PMK. Dave Stearns and Tim Lindstrom worked with Marsh/PMK to execute the sound system project from conception to completion. “The timeline for such a large-scale project was incredibly short – only six-and-a-half months from start to finish,” said David Marsh, owner of Marsh/PMK. “We were selected as the consultant in early October and delivered the design to Encompass at the end of December with two addenda following in January. Siemens was awarded the installation contract at the beginning of February. They won the bid in part because they have an ongoing contract to operate and maintain the sound systems at Churchill Downs. As such, they were already familiar with the facility and all the relevant operational aspects. Minor installation work and punch list corrections were still going on after the opening of Churchill Downs’ spring meet on April 26. Final testing and adjustments followed to make the system fully ready for the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby race days on May 2nd and 3rd.”

“I’ve been listening to Danley systems at trade shows for years now,” said Marsh. “I like the company’s philosophy of building large horn systems instead of adding to the already flooded market of line arrays. We see line arrays used in many permanent installations where properly designed horn arrays would work better. People have the idea that line arrays are a panacea, the cure-all for every situation, because they can throw sound long distances and because the main sound lobe can be electronically shaped and steered. True, but there is another side to that story.” Marsh goes on to explain, “Constructive and destructive interference that makes line arrays work also causes noticeable variations in tonal quality. Interference also produces lobes of sound in unintended directions, including behind the array. Lastly, most line arrays have wide horizontal dispersion, the angle of which is usually fixed by the basic building block of the array. In such cases, it is not possible to vary the horizontal dispersion angle along the length of the array to optimally match the intended coverage area.”

Marsh said, “I’ve been looking for the right project for Danley. Churchill Downs became the one. Danley clusters positioned along the front edge of Level 300 serve the largest covered seating tier and all the trackside sections in front of the grandstand building from one end to the other. A tight vertical pattern with sharp cut-offs was critical in our long-throw situation. We had to throw sound all the way down to the edge of the track without ‘sizzling the hair’ of people seated below the clusters where Level 200 protrudes out from the building. The system performs as intended. I was also pleased by the performance of Danley’s TH-212 subwoofers. This is a tapped horn design that delivers an impressive amount of bass in a relatively small package.”

Our original design was based on a different loudspeaker manufacturer, but they couldn’t guarantee that their products would be delivered on time,” said Marsh. “Danley had slightly greater vertical coverage patterns in similar box sizes [to those of the other manufacturer], which allowed us to modify our design to use one less box per cluster. That would ultimately be a cost savings. Danley emphatically stated that the boxes would be delivered on time and that sealed the deal. They made good on their promise.”

Danley Sound Labs, Inc. President and CEO Mike Hedden commented, “One of the things we are very proud of is our U.S.-based manufacturing. From the time we got the order until it was shipped complete was four weeks; 250 fully weatherproofed loudspeakers in four weeks, that’s unheard of in this day of off shore production! During this time the south got hit by two severe snowstorms that wreaked havoc on the region. Even with raw goods being lost in logistics which delayed shipments, we still delivered the products in organized pallets so that each load represented a finished cluster on the job site in four weeks.”

Unlike a typical baseball or football stadium, the grandstand building at Churchill Downs has seating tiers that are stacked vertically, straight up and down. Moreover, various expansions have occurred over the years adding sections on either side of the historic “twin spires.” All of these sections have slightly different profiles. There are varying ceiling heights, seating depths and column spacing. It was a unique situation that required careful planning. Unfortunately, Churchill Downs did not have CAD drawings of the facility. In fact, PDF drawings provided to Marsh/PMK trickled in over a period of weeks and none of them were to scale. “This put the already tight design schedule in serious jeopardy.” Marsh said. “How were we going to get this project into EASE [for coverage modeling] and how were we going to produce usable CAD backgrounds?”

Tim Lindstrom worked with Melvin Saunders, another consultant working on the Marsh/PMK team, to meet the challenge. Tim used dimensions obtained during the initial site survey to create re-scaled PDFs. Melvin used Google Earth to confirm or correct the dimensions and then created a SketchUp model of the complicated grandstands. The SketchUp model was imported into EASE, which finally allowed Dave Stearns to get into the detailed loudspeaker system design. Tim subsequently set about creating the necessary CAD backgrounds. “I was very proud of our team’s resourcefulness.” Marsh declared.

Two basic cluster types alternate along the length of the grandstand, just under the front edge of the Level 300 ceiling. There are nearly sixty clusters in total. The first type of cluster includes a Danley SH50 long-throw box and a companion TH212 subwoofer. The SH50 covers the seating in front of the grandstand building all the way out to the edge of the track. The second type of cluster replaces those boxes with a Danley SM96 to provide near coverage in between the horizontal cut-off angles of the SH50s in the adjacent clusters. Both cluster types include a rear-firing full-range SM60F aimed toward the top of the Level 300 seating tier and a more-or-less down firing SM96 with its woofer removed.

Marsh/PMK expanded existing Q-Sys DSP and QSC amplification to power the system. Existing Renkus-Heinz and QSC loudspeakers were repurposed and added to as necessary to improve coverage on the “porches” in front of upper level suites and on Level 200 of the grandstand building. Renkus boxes were also used on the front edge of Level 200 to cover walkways in front of the building and the rear of Level 100 seating where the Danley coverage is shadowed by overhangs. Existing Community loudspeakers were repurposed and added as necessary on poles to cover seating that extends beyond the building as well as the track infield, the entry plaza and the paddock area. “Re-use of existing equipment where possible was a goal of our design, but Danley now provides the major audio horsepower for the grandstands at Churchill Downs,” said Marsh, claiming no pun intended.

ABOUT DANLEY SOUND LABS Danley Sound Labs is the exclusive home of Tom Danley, one of the most innovative loudspeaker designers in the industry today and recognized worldwide as a pioneer for “outside the box” thinking in professional audio technology.

www.danleysoundlabs.com

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