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You Say You Want More Resolution – Renault’s CAVE Raises the Bar for Virtual Reality Design

Paris, France – August 2014…Virtual Reality (VR) technology first appeared on the virtual horizon several decades ago, but it’s safe to say that the past few years have seen a quantum leap in its evolution. With ever-increasing processing power and ultra-high resolution display technologies, the cartoon-ish, low bitrate virtual worlds of yesterday have given way to stunningly realistic environments shockingly close to the real thing. And VR technology has become an integral aspect of so many of our most prolific industries, from military and pilot training, architecture, and medical research, to aerospace and automobile design.

French automobile manufacturer Renault has long been ahead of the curve in embracing new technologies. Most recently, the company has implemented a new CAVE (Cave Automatic Virtual Environment) facility at the Paris headquarters. While other auto manufacturers have also implemented CAVE technology, Renault’s facility boasts the highest resolution ever realized in a VR environment, with five sides of Sony-based imaging that can deliver up to 16k resolution.

Renault partnered with Mechdyne, a leader in VR and visual technologies, to design and implement the new CAVE facility. “Renault approached us to bid on the project, because we had already built a six-sided CAVE of that resolution, and we understood the challenges,” explains Mechdyne’s Richard Cashmore. “They had a very clear concept of what they wanted to do.”

“We wanted to work with a company who could provide us with a holistic, integrated system, including structure, projection, and computers,” explains Andras Kemeny, founder and head of Renault’s Virtual Reality and Immersive Simulation Technologies Group. “While many of the leading manufacturers have provided exceptionally good support and advice, we found that Mechdyne was not bound to a specific technology. They were able to look at the entire technological landscape, and consider combinations of different brands and products. Their approach was very focused on our specific goals, rather than on whatever technology they favored.”

The system includes five sides of Sony SXRD 4k projectors at 5.5k lumens, scalable to 16k — the first 16k VR environment anywhere in the world. “While there were some other options using newer DLP projection, ultimately, the Sony system delivered the fastest performance and the highest resolution, both of which were critical factors,” observes Cashmore.

Kemeny adds, “In this case, the Sony projector Mechdyne specified was originally designed for cinema-based solutions. Calibrating multiple projectors was not something Sony had addressed. Sony provided us some data, and then our engineers at Renault and Mechdyne collaborated for several months to design a calibration protocol. We’ve been quite happy with the results.”

Indeed, the collaboration between Renault and Mechdyne created a powerful synergy. “Originally, the relationship was that of client and provider, but over time it really evolved to where we were all really part of the same team,” says Kemeny.

“I think that’s one thing that’s unique about our approach,” observes Cashmore. “We really try and look at the project through the eyes of the end user. We’re not trying to sell whatever technology we’ve got in stock. We can recommend what we feel is best for them, given their goals and the technologies available.”

Though Renault’s CAVE was initially created for interior ergonomic design, Kemeny reports that the technology has become popular with other departments within the organization.

“One thing that was very exciting for us was the fact that the CAVE was being embraced by various departments within Renault,” he says. “Ultimately, this is enabling us to build a better vehicle.”

In fact, the Renault CAVE has led to discussions with Daimler (parent company of Mercedes Benz) on a new collaborative project. “There has long been a strong working relationship between Renault and Daimler,” says Kemeny.

“The collaboration with Mechdyne has given us the most state-of-the-art facility in the automotive industry,” Kemeny concludes. “It’s a system we can be very proud of.”

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About Mechdyne 
Mechdyne is one of the world’s leading providers of innovative visual information technologies.  We bend technology to our will in ways that transform complex data into insights and ideas.  To ensure our customers succeed, we provide comprehensive, customized solutions that include consulting, software, technical services, and hardware integration.
With offices around the world, Mechdyne serves a global customer base.  Our customers include: leading government laboratories, energy companies, universities, manufacturing and design firms, U.S. armed forces, and other users of visual information technologies.

HOSANNA LUTHERAN CHURCH GOES HI-FI WITH DANLEY

MANKATO, MINNESOTA – AUGUST 2014: Growing with the community since its founding in 1972, Hosanna Lutheran Church is now a cornerstone of religious life in Mankato, Minnesota. With four contemporary services a week, plus one traditional service and plenty of high-SPL youth events, its sanctuary sound and video systems were tapped to provide a huge range of content. Despite having loudspeakers made by a respected manufacturer, intelligibility and low-end extension were poor and a regular source of complaints until recently, when Audio Video Electronics (AVE) (Maple Grove, Minnesota) renovated the system. Citing their excellent fidelity and intelligibility, AVE installed a pair of Danley Sound Labs SH-60 loudspeakers. To give Hosanna Lutheran Church plenty of bass when needed, AVE also gave the church a beefy Danley DBH-218 subwoofer.

“Before AVE’s renovation, we always had complaints,” said Matt Kotthoff, technical director at Hosanna. “The system was muddy, and a lot of our disciples, especially some of the senior members, had a hard time understanding what was being said depending on where they were sitting. Also the system lacked intelligibility and power.” Stefan Svärd, president of AVE, added, “Not only that, the low-frequency extension was simply missing. This was despite its big name components and the fact that it looked like a good system on paper. It simply didn’t translate to real-world performance.”

Svärd designed an elegantly simple new sound reinforcement system for Hosanna. An exploded mono cluster of two Danley SH-60s leverages Danley’s excellent pattern control to cover all of the seating without energizing the rest of the structure. Between them, also on the ceiling, is the Danley DBH-218 subwoofer. Svärd repurposed Lab.gruppen C-series amplifiers for the mains and added a Lab.gruppen FB14000 for the subwoofer. An existing Biamp Nexia and EV-DC1 processor condition the system, albeit less now than with the previous components, as the Danley boxes are naturally flat and transparent. A new Midas Pro 3 mixer gives Kotthoff and his techs control of the system for complex services, and a Crestron control system provides simple control of audio, video, lighting, and HVAC via iPad or iPhone. Finally, a new 8000lumen Digital Projection HD projector gives the congregation crisp imagery.

“I’ve had a lot of experience with loudspeakers from all sorts of manufacturers,” said Svärd. “To me, Danley’s unique designs offer the smoothest, most ‘studio-monitor-like’ performance in the sound reinforcement market. They have accurate phase response, great pattern control, and true hi-fi sound. The Danley DBH-218 subwoofer delivers a lot of clean output, and because it’s horn-loaded, it affords a degree of pattern control. For the youth services, they have that subwoofer shaking the whole building! Together, the whole system sounds phenomenal.”

Kotthoff agrees, “The Danleys sound great! Everything sounds crisp, clear, and clean. Nothing sounds harsh or painful. The intelligibility in the whole worship space is outstanding, everything from feeling the bass guitar rhythm to the clear natural sound of both singing and speaking voices. The DBH-218 subwoofer is awesome, every chance I get I love to crank the kick drum and feel the beat go right through me! I have received so many compliments, from ‘the audio is so clear’ and ‘now that’s an HD presentation’ to things like ‘I got bass in my butt!’ and ‘can you turn it louder?’ The system is amazing! It totally enhances Hosanna Lutheran’s strong music ministry in so many ways!!”

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

JOEL HAMILTON RECORDS & MIXES “PUSS N BOOTS” DEBUT USING ATC SCM25A’s

BROOKLYN, NEW YORK – AUGUST 2014: Puss n Boots is a three-piece, all-female, alt-country band led by singer-songwriter Norah Jones and backed by accomplished vocalists Sasha Dobson and Catherine Popper. All three women learned new instruments for five years before recording their debut album with engineer/musician/producer Joel Hamilton (Tom Waits, Black Keys, Sparklehorse, Elvis Costello) at Studio G Brooklyn. Titled No Fools, No Fun, the album was recently released on Blue Note Records. As co-owner of Studio G Brooklyn with Tony Maimone, Hamilton installed ATC SCM25A three-way reference monitors and ATC SCM0.1-15 subwoofers in Studio A, a change that happily coincided with his first Grammy nomination (Pretty Lights, A Color Map of the Sun), a Latin Grammy nomination (Bomba Estereo, Elegancia Tropical), and a Latin Grammy win (Gaby Moreno, Postales). The ATCs were purchased from Audio Power Tools in New York.

“The ATCs have changed the way I work and improved the quality of my work,” said Hamilton. “I’m lucky to have a nicely tuned control room with an SSL and plenty of vintage outboard gear, and with the ATCs, I’m suddenly able to make decisions that are smaller – and yet more critical – than I have ever been able to make before. I have the ability to resolve a finer shade of the colors I’m hurling at the end-listener, and it’s been a revelation. It’s not a small thing, and that’s why I’m reaching for dramatic words like that. It’s tectonic. The entire continent has shifted.”

The glorious harmonies delivered by Jones, Dobson and Popper are a huge part of Puss n Boots’ magic. They form the emotional foreground. “The balance of those harmonies is crucial,” said Hamilton. “You’ve got these three gorgeous women with gorgeous voices, and they’re all coming at you like gangbusters because they can all project. We recorded everything live to analog tape, including the vocals. That gives a particular nuance to how the instruments sit against the vocals. You can feel the beat push and pull so beautifully. I needed to make sure that all of that nuance would come shining through for the listener. Striking the right midrange balance of those harmonies is critical, and I had to make sure all of that beauty would be immediately apparent to, say, my mom!”

While Norah Jones’ existing albums might safely be described as “polished” and most classic country albums might safely be described as “rough,” Hamilton had to walk the line between those extremes. “The balance is deliberately raw, which is perhaps unexpected by traditional Norah Jones standards, but it also has to be informed,” he said. “We were shooting for a tiny bulls eye, but we also had to make sure that everything felt unfettered and natural; just on the edge of scratchy so that it felt rough but didn’t actually hurt people. With the ATCs, I could find that line and make adjustments with confidence. I could tell where I was overcooking it on purpose. I could dial in just the right amount of ‘road house.’”

With the introduction of the ATCs, gone too is the need to translate for the client how a mix will sound outside of the studio. “After spending a lot of time in front of other monitors, I could tell when certain things would sound bad in the studio but fine outside of the studio,” Hamilton said. “The challenge beyond that, however, was convincing the client that those bad things would be fine later on, which is just one more thing to heap onto the already-skittish nature of an attended mix session. And so clients would ask, ‘why don’t you just get monitors that sound like it will sound like?’ It seems so simple, but of course it’s not.”

Hamilton used to switch between a number of monitors and loudspeakers all day long, but now he just hangs out on the ATCs. Depending on the task at hand, he can turn the ATC subwoofer on or not. “With the sub on and the volume cracked, the ATCs rock and serve as ‘mains,’” he said. “When I’m listening closely and resolving small moves, the ATCs are my nearfields. Either way, I now have complete confidence in what I’m hearing and doing. When a mix sounds good on the ATCs, I know it will sound good everywhere else. With Puss n Boots, we were able to make solid decisions that stuck. We totally avoided the hell of endless revisions!”

ABOUT TRANSAUDIO GROUP TransAudio Group, founded by industry veteran Brad Lunde, has quickly become the premier U.S. importer/distributor and/or U.S. sales and marketing representative for high-end audio. Success hinges on TransAudio providing dealers and end users with a higher standard of product expertise and support far beyond the norm.

www.transaudiogroup.com

Florida Baptist Church Converts (A/D) with Symetrix

OCALA, FLORIDA – AUGUST 2014: The sound system at Trinity Baptist Church in Ocala, Florida is quite sophisticated for a sanctuary that seats approximately 800 congregants. It delivers left-center-right imaging to nearly every seat from multiple loudspeaker positions, including six time-delayed left-center-right zones that cover the areas farthest from the pulpit. This system was installed by Pro Sound & Video in 2004 and although the loudspeakers and amplifiers have held up well, the original DSP processing system that performed the complex routing and filtering did not. Florida-based Pro Sound & Video, Inc. replaced the original processing system with two Symetrix Radius 12×8 Dante™ network audio DSPs and augmented their sixteen combined outputs with two SymNet xOut 12 audio output expansion boxes. All of the units network seamlessly via Dante and replace all of the old analog processing, with plenty of processing power to spare for improvements.

“The system at Trinity Baptist is really nice with almost every seat getting a left-center-right experience,” said Michael Frazee, project manager with Pro Sound & Video. “However, the old processing system was based on a system of five digital processors that were cross wired with analog and AES patches to share various signals between the processors. This worked well for a long time, but one of the main processors went bad, and since the original components are out of production, it became clear that a new system would be required. To say the least, the Symetrix new generation of open architecture, Dante networking processors would afford us a considerable amount of signal handling flexibility to handle the complex processing tasks required for the multi-zone LCR system.”

The required processing includes equalization, distribution, and crossovers for the various speaker zones, which are comprised of the main house system, distributed LCR systems, stage monitors, and additional recording and general distribution mixes. Two Radius 12×8 DSP and two xOut 12 audio output expansion units form one integrated processing network via Dante with 24 inputs and 40 outputs. Programming the system, despite its complexity, was straightforward using Symetrix’ Composer software. “Circumstances in this case necessitated my involvement at the programming level. The Composer software was very predictable, but when I ran into a few snags, I contacted the tech staff at Symetrix, and they were very helpful in resolving programming issues.”

ABOUT SYMETRIX Symetrix is dedicated to making life sound better. As a world leader in the development and manufacturing of digital audio signal processing (DSP) systems and accessories, Symetrix provides best in class audio management solutions to businesses, schools, non-profits and government organizations.

For more information on Symetrix products visit www.symetrix.co

WIND OVER THE EARTH ADDS AN API 1608 TO ITS DEMO ROOM STUDIO

BOULDER, COLORADO – AUGUST 2014: Situated in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Wind Over the Earth (WOTE) offers recording sessions for local bands, singer/songwriters, and voice-overs, as well as post-production and training services within its demo studios. It doesn’t promote itself as a commercial studio, but rather uses its space as a base of knowledge to be shared with the community. As a longtime user of API gear, WOTE has now commissioned an in-house 1608 console to offer real world knowledge and applications to its customers.

“Jumping into the 1608 is something we wanted to do for quite some time,” stated Mark Venezia, studio manager at WOTE. “The classic sound of API is something WOTE has been advocating for years, so when we were making the decision to install a console, the 1608 was the right fit.”

Since the commissioning, the 1608’s headroom, imaging, and overall depth of sound have made an immediate impact. “The 1608 has brought us up to another level of visibility,” shared Venezia. “It has made our life that much easier. The work flow on everything we do is smoother.”

Part of what makes the 1608 a success at WOTE is the setup. “We have everything wired into four bays as of right now, and the ease of use revealed itself in our first session. We custom-build all of our cables here at WOTE, and the last two 1608 consoles we have sold have included custom wiring packages for specific client needs,” explained Venezia. “In each case, customers who have been in our demo room learned first-hand the ease of use. The versatility of moving modules around is nice as well.”

With some post-production projects, recording sessions, and a series of live shows using the 1608 already complete, WOTE is eager to pursue further trainings. “We are putting together a series of master’s mixing seminars, where we will be flying out some high-profile engineers for an evening of knowledge sharing in the mixing environment. We love hosting seminars like this, as community is our number one priority,” shared Venezia. Part of the glue that holds all the future works together is the knowledge WOTE is able to pair with the gear it offers. “The 1608 is the centerpiece of the room, and everything is based around it.”

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

HARD HIT BY SANDY, LONG BEACH HIGH SCHOOL REBUILDS ATHLETIC FIELD USING ASHLY AUDIO

LIDO BEACH, NEW YORK – AUGUST 2014: Long Beach High School is situated on a barrier island on the southern side of New York’s Long Island, where it received a terrific pounding from Hurricane Sandy in late October 2012. For more than a year afterward, student athletes had to pass the trashed and unusable athletic field as other rebuilding efforts took precedence. The job would be large. In addition to rebuilding the field itself, the school had to replace the field’s fatally damaged sound reinforcement system. Installed by Advance Sound of Farmingdale, New York, the new system centers on an Ashly ne24.24M modular processor and two Ashly ne8250 eight-channel amplifiers. Advance Sound installed a similar system at Long Beach Middle School prior to Hurricane Sandy, and that system weathered the fateful storm and remains functional to this day.

“Long Beach High School was very hard hit by Sandy,” said Thomas DePace, chief operations officer at Advance Sound. “The wind, the sand, and the water turned what was once a grassy field into a swampland. The goal of this rebuilding effort was to prevent such loss to a future storm. We’ve had great success with the robustness of Ashly gear, so that was easy to specify. In addition, the school wanted to move to a more distributed system to avoid noise conflicts with neighbors that had been a source of some tension with the old end zone-fired system. We needed a lot of amplifier channels, and Ashly’s two-rack space, eight-channel ne8250 filled that need perfectly.”

Inputs to the system include a CD player, an iPod input, and a handful of wired and wireless microphones, all of which feed an Ashly ne24.24M modular processor outfitted with eight analog inputs and twelve analog outputs. Two Ashly ne8250 amplifiers deliver sixteen 250W channels to drive six bi-amped One Systems 212CIM loudspeakers and a collection of indoor loudspeakers for the press booth. The 212CIMs are weatherproof, and Advance Sound was allowed to install each speaker on its own dedicated sound pole. Thus, coverage was not constrained by the locations of existing structures, and the SPL at the adjacent residences is significantly lower than with the previous system.

“With an eight-fader Ashly RD-8C remote control, the new system is also very easy and intuitive for the non-technical staff to operate,” said DePace. “That’s important because we’re an hour away from the school, and troubleshooting on game day is not something we want to be engaged in. With the RD-8C, all they have to do is turn the fader up for the input they’d like to hear. That’s as easy and repeatable as it gets!”

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 40-year old company is headquartered in Webster, New York U.S.A. 

www.ashly.com

L.A.’s CHALICE RECORDING GETS DOWN WITH DANLEY

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA – AUGUST 2014: The client list at Chalice Recording Studio in Hollywood, California is so extensive that it is challenging to think of a celebrity who is not on it. For example, the “B” section includes the Backstreet Boys, Barbara Streisand, Beastie Boys, Justin Bieber, Beyoncé, the Black Eyed Peas, Blink 182, and Britney Spears and the “P” section includes Paris Hilton, Perry Farrell, Prince, and Puff Daddy. Those clients use Chalice Recording Studio as the medium through which they turn ideas into platinum albums and Grammy Awards. So Chalice is always humming – almost literally – with the next big thing. Because top-volume monitoring (think 120dB+) and deep, authentic bass at those extreme SPLs have become so critical to so many hip-hop and top-40 artists, engineers, and producers, Chalice Recording Studio has installed Danley Sound Labs TH-115 subwoofers in studios A and B.

“Before we installed the Danley subs, we were blowing our subwoofer drivers once or twice a week,” said Lowell Pickett, head studio tech at Chalice. “It’s because the monitoring volume is often really extreme; more and more, our clients are using the main system to gauge the music’s impact at club volumes. It’s a visceral thing – they want to feel it as much as hear it. Anyway, I did some research, and more than one person suggested that I check out Danley.”

Compared with conventional designs, Danley Sound Labs’ patented Tapped Horn (TH) subwoofer technology delivers deeper low-end extension, a more even frequency response, and much lower distortion. Indeed, few people understand how distorted conventional subwoofers are until they hear a Danley Tapped Horn subwoofer. To help make their decision, the Chalice staff A/B’d the Danley TH-115s against their existing big-name subwoofers in Studio A.

“The Danley subs were way, way better,” Pickett said flatly. “Previously, there was no place in the room where the bass seemed focused. With these subs, I could really hear what was going on in most places in the room. Everything tightened up and became clearer, and our low end got even lower.” “There’s a magic that happens when the Danley subwoofers at Chalice pair up with the full-range system,” added Kenny Andrews, the area Danley rep. “It’s a very musical sound.”

As part of the Danley installation, Chalice did something very few studios are willing to do (yet). They put the entire monitoring signal through a Danley DSLP48 digital processor, which provided clean crossovers, as well as flexible equalization and filtering for tuning the room. “We were nervous,” Pickett admitted. “We had previously used high-end analog crossovers and equalizers. This was a jump, but everyone agrees it has been all up side and no down side. The sound is as transparent as ever, and the uniform channel processing has tightened up the stereo imaging. The DSLP48′s equalizers are great and have helped the acousticians who tune the room.” As a bonus, Chalice uses the DSLP48 to provide different presets to different clients.

Output from the Danley DSLP48 feeds a Danley DSLA3.3K dual-channel amplifier, which in turn powers the two Danley TH-115 subwoofers. The processor output also feeds the existing full-range system, an Augspurger GA215H with 15-inch TAD 1601 B woofers and TAD 4002 beryllium compression drivers. All the loudspeaker components, as well as the Danley TH-115 subwoofers, are soffit mounted.

“Our clients noticed the improvement right away, and we stopped replacing subwoofer drivers on a weekly basis,” said Pickett. “With the Danleys, the volume can be so great that the light fixtures fall from the ceiling! That really tickles the clients!” With Studio A booked out completely, Chalice made the same change in Studio B. Now Studio B has a pair of Danley TH-115s, backed by additional Danley processing and amplification.

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

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

Symetrix Jumps Into Space-Age Sound and Control at Manhattan’s Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – AUGUST 2014: Space Shuttle Enterprise was the first reusable spacecraft ever built in the United States, and the extensive prototyping and experiments that it underwent led directly to the construction of space shuttle Columbia and the rest of NASA’s fleet. After the retirement of the space shuttle program, NASA awarded Space Shuttle Enterprise to Manhattan’s Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, where it was installed after a much-publicized NYC flyby and Hudson River barge ride. Leo Garrison, senior integration specialist at Metro Sound Pros, designed and installed a flexible sound reinforcement system for the museum’s purpose-built Space Shuttle Pavilion using the cost-effective Symetrix Jupiter 8 DSP with smartphone-based control provided by Symetrix ARC-WEB. Unfortunately, Hurricane Sandy badly damaged the pavilion a few short months after it had opened to the public, but the Intrepid Museum rebuilt the exhibit with several improvements, including a second Symetrix Jupiter 8 DSP for expanded functionality.

Garrison used the Symetrix Jupiter 8 hardware, which has eight inputs and eight outputs, together with the Priority Zone Mixer #1 App, which automatically configured the Jupiter hardware for routing and processing needs of such a system. “The Symetrix Jupiter DSP delivered a lot of processing power at an affordable price,” said Garrison. “The budget was very tight, and the client selected powered loudspeakers that required a lot of the Jupiter’s processing capabilities in order to sound properly tuned.” The museum’s AVP of technology opted to rely on Symetrix’ robust ARC-WEB Internet-based control, with one Symetrix ARC-2e wall panel remote for backup. Garrison custom designed the ARC-WEB interface just as he would a hardware ARC interface and gave the museum the ability to select different input sources in the Pavilion’s entryway and in the Pavilion itself.

The original Symetrix Jupiter 8 hardware survived Hurricane Sandy, which collapsed the inflatable dome due to loss of power. Because the museum had to start over again, they had the opportunity – unwelcomed as it was – to redesign the exhibit with knowledge of what worked and what could have worked better,” said Garrison. The second Symetrix Jupiter 8 was added to the system and also uses the Priority Zone Mixer #1 App. One analog output was dedicated to feed into the first unit’s priority input 1. That allows single source material from the second Jupiter to feed the entire exhibit, when desired. Together, the two units possess sixteen outputs, with roughly half feeding audio induction loops for assisting the hearing impaired. For day-to-day use, different zones loop zone-specific audio, such as recordings of radio transmissions between NASA ground control and Enterprise during test flights or educational movie content.

ABOUT SYMETRIX Symetrix is dedicated to making life sound better. As a world leader in the development and manufacturing of digital audio signal processing (DSP) systems and accessories, Symetrix provides best in class audio management solutions to businesses, schools, non-profits and government organizations.

For more information on Symetrix products visit www.symetrix.co

ASHLY AUDIO PROCESSING AND MULTI-CHANNEL AMPS REVAMP CHICAGO AREA MALL

VERNON HILLS, ILLINOIS: Built in the early 1970s, Westfield Hawthorn Mall is located in the Chicago suburb of Vernon Hills. Its classic mall architecture boasts 4 anchor stores, 180 retail spaces, and 1.3 million square feet of space. However, until recently, its sound system possessed the lifeless quality of 1970s-era contractor-grade components. Music was low-fidelity, speech was of poor intelligibility, and volume throughout was too loud during slow times and too quiet during busy times. Renaissance Communications Systems, located nearby in Franklin Park, Illinois, overhauled Westfield Hawthorn Mall’s sound system. In addition to replacing the ceiling speakers, Renaissance also gave the mall modern auto-leveling control and multi-zone support using two Ashly Audio ne8800M 8-In x 8-Out Protea™ DSP System Processors and two 8-channel Ashly ne8250.70 Network Amplifiers.

“Certainly, one big issue was the sound quality itself,” said Mike Shares, CEO with Renaissance. “The components needed to be modernized. Beyond that, they were having problems with the volume control. First, the system wasn’t zoned properly, so low-ceiling areas had to share the same volume with high-ceiling areas such that neither area could be ideal. Moreover, traffic in the mall varies widely; it’s very slow on a weekday afternoon but very busy on a weekend afternoon or in the rush up to the holidays. The management wanted the sound system to play at appropriate volumes without having to manually track it. They have enough other things to worry about.”

Shares divided the system into thirteen zones based on location, purpose, and ceiling height. Input sources to each zone may be selected independently, and the target volume-over-noise in each zone may also be selected independently. Sensing microphones in several of the zones feed the pair of Ashly ne8800M Protea™ Digital Processors, which analyze the ambient noise and adjust the music or paging output to hit the target sound pressure level. A pair of Ashly ne8250.70 8-Channel Network Power amplifiers deliver 250-Watts per channel to all thirteen zones while taking-up only 4 rack spaces. Nearly 200 full-fidelity Community D6 loudspeakers now deliver the background music with modern impact and convey pages with crystal-clear intelligibility. Of course, paging and alarm overrides provide Westfield Hawthorn Mall patrons with a secure environment.

“I’ve been using Ashly for twelve years now, and I’ve always had excellent results,” said Shares. “The equipment is extremely reliable, and its five-year warranty was a selling point for the client. I have a good relationship with the Ashly support staff, and they helped with the most efficient plan for Westfield Hawthorn Mall. The ambient noise detection and adjustment feature in the Protea software works very well, and the fact that we could fit all of the processing and amplifier channels into just 8 rack spaces was great. That saves space and power consumption.” Based on the success of Westfield Hawthorn Mall, Renaissance has already secured another mall renovation job, where Shares will again use Ashly processing and amplification to deliver excellent performance at a fiercely competitive price.

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 40-year old company is headquartered in Webster, New York U.S.A.

www.ashly.com

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

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