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DANLEY GETS INTO THE IVY LEAGUE: THE HUN SCHOOL OF PRINCETON UPGRADES THEATER SOUND SYSTEM WITH DANLEY SOUND LABS LOUDSPEAKERS AND SUBWOOFERS

PRINCETON, NEW JERSEY: The Hun School of Princeton is a private school for students in sixth grade through high school. Located near Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey, the school serves five-hundred students from over a dozen states and nearly two-dozen countries. A third of the students board there. School assemblies, dramatic and musical performances, and other events take place in the Hun School’s 350-seat proscenium theater, but a low ceiling and overly-diffuse loudspeakers had given the it poor sound reinforcement for many years. Recently, the school hired local A/V design and integration firm Reid Sound, Inc. to identify the weak links in its sound reinforcement chain and to make strategic improvements on a budget. Reid Sound installed Danley Sound Labs loudspeakers and a subwoofer. Their combination of high fidelity and excellent pattern control elevated the theater’s sound quality from poor to excellent.

“The theater is used for a variety of events, including musicals, dramas, presentations, dance performances, and more,” said Darren R. Sussman, owner of Reid Sound, Inc. Sussman designed the new system together with Timothy Pearce, Reid Sound’s director of installation services. Sussman continued, “Vocal reinforcement was a major concern, but the system had to deliver excellent music reproduction as well. The space is very wide, but it’s not very deep. Moreover, the ceiling height is only around eighteen feet. Because the loudspeakers would be hanging very near the front of the stage, precise pattern control was critical.”

The previous system consisted of a pair of popular commercial powered loudspeakers mounted to the walls next to the proscenium. Although a number of deficiencies existed within the entire system, the project’s budget only allowed for a partial replacement, and Sussman and Pearce identified the loudspeakers as the most significant weakness. “The old loudspeakers weren’t very directional,” Sussman explained. “They spilled a lot of energy onto the walls and ceiling, which contributed to poor intelligibility, and there were seats that were inadequately covered by direct sound.” In short, the coverage was indistinct and uneven.

The team selected a pair of Danley Sound Labs SH-50 loudspeakers for the center cluster. “The arrayed pair gives excellent 100-degree horizontal coverage to the entire seating area, and the tight 50-degree vertical coverage keeps energy off the ceiling and on the seats,” said Sussman. The center cluster is primarily responsible for vocal reinforcement. They also installed a pair of Danley Sound Labs SH-95s, one on either side of the proscenium, for reproduction of program material or reinforcement of musical instruments. Again, the SH-95s deliver pattern control that excites the listeners, but not the space itself.

Although Reid Sound had done a handful of smaller systems involving Danley Sound Labs loudspeakers, this was the company’s first experience with a Danley subwoofer. “Normally, I would have installed a pair of subwoofers, but when I read the Danley TH-118’s specifications, I realized that a pair would be tremendous overkill,” said Sussman. “Those specifications proved to be accurate. A single TH-118 provides an incredible amount of low-frequency extension in the space. It’s not even turned up halfway, and it can shake the room.” In addition to the Danley loudspeakers and subwoofers, Sussman and Pearce installed a new Biamp Nexia processor and new QSC CX-Series amplifiers.

“We completed the job in February and we’ve heard nothing but great comments from the school,” said Sussman. “They just completed a production of Hairspray using the new reinforcement system. Spoken word was perfectly intelligible and music was full-frequency and engaging. The new Danley system is a great improvement for the Hun School of Princeton.”

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

TWO SYMETRIX SYMNET RADIUS 12×8 DANTE NETWORKED AUDIO DSP CONTROLLED BY A CUSTOM IPAD MIXER AT SIGNAL HILL LUTHERAN CHURCH

BELLEVILLE, ILLINOIS: Signal Hill Lutheran Church is located in Belleville, Illinois, southeast of St. Louis. Its sanctuary is gorgeous and inviting, seating 125 people in rows of wooden pews under a natural wood framework that supports a sharply peaked ceiling. Natural light filters through stained glass, and a beautiful alter forms the focus of the cozy room. However, Signal Hill’s sound reinforcement system was not cut from that same fine cloth, a fact made evident by the church’s recent move toward more contemporary music in worship. The sound quality was not very good and a complete lack of user control meant that if something sounded bad, it stayed that way clear to the end of the service. Committed to remedying the problem, Signal Hill hired A/V integration firm Film Otter Inc. and design firm Design and Ideas Inc. The first round of upgrades is now complete, and a pair of Symetrix SymNet Radius 12×8 Dante network audio DSPs provide sophisticated audio processing and, together with a CommandFusion iPad interface, remote user control from anywhere in the pews!

“Signal Hill is a traditional church with a sound system that was not only old, but no longer an appropriate fit for their style of service,” said Phil Mahder, the semi-eponymous owner of Film Otter Inc. “The most difficult issue was that they have no tech booth and no tech person. The sound system equipment was in a closet that no one touched. If the system worked, it worked. But if it didn’t, there was no recourse.” The church contacted Mahder, a commercial A/V veteran of three decades, keenly aware of their problems but unsure whether an affordable solution existed.

Given the church’s budget constraints, Mahder will execute a complete renovation in stages, only the first of which is completed. Signal Hill’s existing amplifiers, loudspeakers, and lighting will be upgraded as funds become available, but for now things are sounding worlds better with just the inclusion of two Symetrix SymNet Radius 12×8 Dante network audio DSPs. Inputs to the system include spoken word microphones at the pulpit, lectern, and altar, as well as wireless microphones, Praise Band inputs, with microphones for up to five vocalists. The reason for two Radius 12x8s is was to get the input count necessary. The processed outputs feed the amplifiers for the speakers in three independent zones, monitor lines for powered stage monitors, ALS, and a digital recorder. The inputs and outputs at each Radius 12×8 meld via the Dante network into a fluid whole, and their open architecture design allowed for a powerful, customized processing and user control.

“Symetrix processing is excellent, and – critical for this job – the Symetrix automix/gain-sharing algorithms are stellar,” said Mahder. “The Radius 12×8 allowed us to create a predominately automatic system with convenient and simple manual controls that communicate wirelessly via a custom configuration of CommandFusion’s iViewer 4 iPad app. This solution is better than giving them a dedicated tech booth because the operator can sit with his family in the pews! Moreover, the tool is simple enough that an usher can easily run sound for the more traditional service and, by simply including additional pages on the iPad app, complex enough to mix sound for the band, multiple singers, and two monitor mixes.” CommandFusion iViewer 4 software integrates robustly with the Symetrix hardware and software to provide that customized iPad control.

Mahder continued, “This small traditional church with a small budget had the foresight to invest in tools that will allow them to grow not just in their musical expressions, but also in the technical infrastructure that enables those expressions. They went from an archaic system to one that is way ahead of the curve. The credit for this change goes to the church leadership’s willingness to trust advice even though it is something that they had never heard of, and especially to the system design and programming genius of the system designer, Philip Houser of Designs and Ideas. He not only programmed the DSPs, but actually built a custom interface that provides all the functions that they needed from a traditional audio mixer using the CommandFusion platform. There is no conventional audio mixer in the system; it is entirely the iPad app wirelessly controlling the two DSP units. The church was even able to select fader size, color, labeling, layout, and much more. Have you ever before seen a church that was able to have a mixer built to perfectly meet their needs and imagination?”

ABOUT SYMETRIX Symetrix engineers high-end professional audio solutions, specializing in DSP hardware and software. Symetrix products are distributed worldwide, and designed and manufactured in the U.S. at the Seattle area headquarters. Since 1976, customers have enjoyed the benefits of Symetrix’ independent ownership and management.  For more information on Symetrix professional audio products, please visit www.symetrix.co or call +1 (425) 778-7728.

Sure Shot Adds DiGiCo’s SD10B Console To Its Newest Mobile Broadcast Truck

Sure Shot Transmissions is a mobile production and satellite services outfit with offices located in New York, Dallas, and Youngstown, Ohio. Last fall, owner Dennis Kunce added a fourth 40′ full-service expandable truck to its offerings. The Cynthia Lee, outfitted with DiGiCo’s SD10B console, will handle sporting and entertainment events under the direction of EIC Kory Loy. Kunce picked the SD10B based on a recommendation from one of the audio principals at ESPN, as the console has been a mainstay in X Games’ submix trucks for the past several years at events around the globe.

Since hitting the road back in September, the Cynthia Lee has made its debut handling install feeds at a host of high-profile events including the 39th Ryder Cup for the UK’s Sky Sports News, the 2012 Allstate BCS National Championship and the Daytona 500 for ESPN in the U.S., as well as the 2013 Super Bowl for Nippon TV in Japan. The console’s ability to interface with the other trucks via MADI and fiber networks, as well as its easy learning curve, made it a natural fit for these fast-paced events.

“Our intention when we built the truck was to meet ESPN’s need for a mid-level production truck; one that was more like a 6-8 camera production rather than the typical 10-15 one,” explains Sure Shot owner, Dennis Kunce. “We worked closely with ESPN to determine what audio board would be suitable for them in this specific application and DiGiCo is what they recommended and gave us their blessing. The people at DiGiCo worked with us to meet our price point to stay within the budget. But more importantly, the SD10B’s footprint, versatility, and power—all those things came into play in our decision. DiGiCo was also very supportive with their training; they came to our facility in Ohio and worked with Kory and our chief engineer Scott Tucker to show us the things needed to make the board workable out in the field. You’ve got to have a console that is very user-friendly or else you’re in trouble and the DiGiCo console offers us the kind of flexibility and versatility we have to have as an independent contractor working with all the major networks including NBC, Fox, Turner, ESPN, Sky Sports… right down the line. The exposure we’re getting by having the board in our truck has been very positive. Overall, it has been a very positive experience across the board.”

“As the engineer in charge of the mobile unit,” explains Loy, “I’m tasked with ensuring that all the pieces of equipment in the truck are up and running for the freelance crew to operate—everything from the audio console to the video switchers to the cameras. So, even though I’m not one of the hands-on operators at these events, I do have to train, or at least show the different operators how to use the console, with only a couple days training. A lot of our events are setup, shoot and strike and in a single, 10-hour day and I’ve got to give individuals that have never operated the console before a generic overview in 45 minutes to an hour time before I have to move on to doing other functions in the truck. And I believe I’m able to do that rather well because the console is very easy to use.”

This spring, Sure Shot will be covering a host of major league baseball and basketball events for the major networks and ESPN, as well events as for the NHK channel in Japan. “We will be handling a lot of split feeds for them, the same thing as we did for the Super Bowl,” Loy says. “Nippon TV operator Shuhei Anraku took generic feeds from the NFL, supplemented by several of their own cameras, to create and produce their own game with their own announcers, which was fed to the broadcast headquarters in Japan.”

Loy says the fact that everything can connect via fiber is a huge bonus for them. “Another benefit is that the console is scalable, you can literally have as many inputs/outputs as you want. So, if we ever find a need for more ins or outs, we can add a few and connect them via fiber. Having MADI available in and out (the SD10 has 2 MADI ins and 2 MADI outs), also makes it very flexible to integrate either into a router or an intercom system. Another added benefit of DiGiCo is being able to assign any input to any fader on the console.”

For Janice Stief, a 30-year audio veteran who has worked on sporting and entertainment events ranging from the Olympics to the most recent Ryder Cup in the Sure Shot truck, this was her first outing on a DiGiCo of any variety. “I was handling cut-ins for the Sky Sports news show back in London. I had about 8-10 mics set up around the course, from stick and RF mics to in-studio lavalieres. I was handling EVS inputs into my console for playbacks, as well as program feeds from NBC and the world feed, which added up to about 36-40 inputs on the console in addition to mikes I was controlling. Prior to getting started, I was given a quick tutorial from Kory, who was fantastic and very knowledgeable. There’s a lot to the console that clearly you have got learn over time; you can’t learn it all on one show. It has a lot of depth. I liked that once I would attention a fader, I could do most of my adjustments to that fader input right from the corresponding touchscreen strip, without moving to other areas of the console. Adding delay, which we often need to do on golf in order to sync up on-air talent to RF cameras, is quick and easy.”

“I think the neatest feature of the DiGiCo SD10B is the ability to have MADI interfacing to the trucks and Optocore to the SD Racks,” adds Shawn Peacock, who was the main console operator for the Daytona 500 and has worked with DiGiCo consoles on several X Games events in Los Angeles. “The ability for us to talk across MADI in these situations is huge.”

Ultimately, however, the measure of a good manufacturer goes beyond that of its gear, and Loy says DiGiCo’s customer support is stellar. “When every single thing in the truck is a computer, chances are stuff is going to fail. It’s how a manufacturer supports its products after the gear is sold and installed that gives a good or bad impression. DiGiCo’s training and customer service in that area is exceptional.”

SAMMY HAGAR’S RED ROCKER STUDIO CONTINUES TO ROLL OUT THE PROJECTS WITH ITS API 1608

JESSUP, MARYLAND – MARCH 2013: The original plan was simply to upgrade Sammy Hagar’s project studio – Red Rocker – so that he and his super group Chickenfoot could deliver decent-sounding demos, but in consultation with his engineer, John Cuniberti (Stevie Wonder, Dead Kennedys, Joe Satriani), Hagar ended up purchasing a 16-channel API 1608 analog console. They recorded Chickenfoot’s first demo on the 1608 several years ago, and, owing to the magic of a few takes and the sonic integrity imparted by the 1608, several of those demo recordings made it to the album. Inspired by what they could accomplish at Red Rocker, they did the entire recording for the ironically-named follow-up album, Chickenfoot III on the 1608. Currently, Hagar is tracking on the 1608 for an as-yet unnamed solo project.

“We’re an old school bunch, it’s true, and we wanted the feel and sound of an analog console for Red Rocker,” said Cuniberti. “We weren’t going to go so far as to roll in a two-inch tape machine – we’re not that old school! We appreciate the virtues of digital recording and editing when it’s handled properly. But a nice analog console would tie things together with a workflow and a sound that we were all comfortable with.”

Cuniberti has spent over three decades behind vintage consoles of all stripes. “They have their charms, of course, but they’re also a pain in the ass,” he said. “You really need full-time maintenance. I didn’t want to burden Sammy or myself with that level of investment. We wanted something new, and I was therefore happy that API released the 1608. API is one of my favorite console manufacturers of all time, but I don’t think we could have justified the jump to one of their large-format consoles. It turns out that the 1608 was an excellent choice. In four years, we’ve never had a single issue with it – not even a burned out light! Having spent so many years dealing with unreliable vintage consoles, it’s nice to know that when I show up to the studio, everything will be working.”

Cuniberti finds the sound of the API 1608 meets the high expectations he had from his previous work on other large API consoles. “It’s classic API,” he said. “It has clarity and punch, and it’s very pleasant sounding. I don’t want to say it’s transparent; I just want to say that it has a great sound. It passes signal like nothing I’ve ever heard. It has tons of headroom. You can abuse it and it still sounds great.”

The 1608’s architecture allows Cuniberti to maximize his productivity with just sixteen channels. “API worked hard to optimize the flexibility of the 1608’s signal path,” he said. Its modular design allows one to swap 500-series processors to suit the needs of a project, and Cuniberti replaced the four stock API 560 graphic EQs with four API 550b four-band sweepable EQs. Because it’s been such a pleasure to work on, Hagar and Cuniberti are currently contemplating adding a 16-channel expansion unit for their 1608 to bring Red Rocker up to 32 channels.

ABOUT API (AUTOMATED PROCESSES, INC.)
Established more than 40 years ago, Automated Processes, Inc. is the leader in analog recording gear with the Vision, Legacy Series and 1608 recording consoles, as well as its classic line of modular signal processing equipment.

www.apiaudio.com

SYMETRIX JUPITER 8 APP BASED TURN-KEY DSP JOINS THE JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA – MARCH 2013: When the new owner of the National Football League’s Jacksonville Jaguars sought to boost team morale and solidify team camaraderie, he focused on renovating the locker room – the place where the team members gear up, hang out, and let off steam. It’s a sign of the times that perhaps the most critical and appreciated improvement came in the form of a brand new, high-impact audio-visual system. Under the direction of Neil Cooper, senior project manager for Florida Sound Engineering, they designed and installed the Jaguar’s new A/V system, which relies on a dependable and cost effective Symetrix Jupiter 8 app based turn-key DSP for critical signal conditioning and routing.

“The team came to us with a simple request,” Cooper explained. “They wanted a rockin’ sound system with plenty of screens to go with it. They really wanted to give the players a place to associate with… a place to retreat to and enjoy. Because we pride ourselves on building long-lasting systems, I place a premium on reliability and quality. When I looked at my options for processing, the Symetrix Jupiter 8 DSP was an obvious choice. It’s powerful and easy to set up, and nothing else comes close to matching its feature set for the price. And since I’ve already used a number of Jupiters on other jobs, I know they’re reliably solid. I never have to go back.”

In addition to the literal locker room, the new system covers all of the more extensive facilities that go with it, including the showers, the drying area, the restaurant, the cool- and hot-tanks, the therapy room, the equipment room, the manager’s area, and more. All thirty-three of the inputs, only two of which are audio-only, are fully matrixed such that any input can be selected in any zone. Apart from the locker room itself, which uses a DBX Drive Rack processor, the rest of the system relies on the Symetrix Jupiter 8 DSP, which takes its inputs from a Crestron control and matrixing system. Its eight outputs feed separate zones. QSC amplifiers, loudspeakers, and subwoofers fill the audio portion of the new system.

“Despite the complexity of the Jaguar’s new A/V system, programming the Symetrix Jupiter 8 DSP was super easy,” said Cooper. “I used the Sound Reinforcement #6 App, which gave me great sounding equalization and dynamics. I know that there are other manufacturers who make 8 x 8 processors of good quality, but the price isn’t there. The Symetrix Jupiter DSP delivers the quality, flexibility, reliability, and affordability that makes my clients smile.”

The Jaguar’s new video system is comprised of two 80-inch, five 52-inch, four 46-inch, and seven 42-inch full-HD Sharp flat screens. Inputs include ten Comcast TV sources, a Blu-ray player, Apple TV, and two wall plate inputs. The Crestron DM system scales everything appropriately such that the full screen is filled for any input/output combination. A 15-inch Crestron interface in the equipment manager’s area provides total system control, and a smaller nine-inch Crestron interface in the locker room allows selection of presets, such as “pre-game,” “half-time,” and “post-game.”

ABOUT SYMETRIX Symetrix engineers high-end professional audio solutions, specializing in DSP hardware and software. Symetrix products are distributed worldwide, and designed and manufactured in the U.S. at the Seattle area headquarters. Since 1976, customers have enjoyed the benefits of Symetrix’ independent ownership and management. For more information on Symetrix professional audio products, please visit www.symetrix.co or call +1 (425) 778-7728.

ORMOND BEACH PERFORMING ARTS CENTER GETS NEW DANLEY SOUND SYSTEM

ORMOND BEACH, FLORIDA – MARCH 2013: Over twenty years ago, the city of Ormond Beach, Florida purchased an old church building and had it retrofitted. In 1991, the gorgeous space opened as the Ormond Beach Performing Arts Center, with capacity for 600 in a fan-shaped auditorium. Today, it hosts national, regional, and local musicians, theatrical troupes, dancers, and other performing artists, as well as school groups, seminars, and other events. Since veteran pro audio designer and engineer Marc Schwartz became the center’s director several years ago, he longed to elevate the room’s sound reinforcement capabilities to equal its stellar acoustics. Recently, that wish came true as local integration firm and new Danley dealer Protechs installed a system comprised of Danley Sound Labs loudspeakers and subwoofers. Schwartz designed the system with input from Danley’s application engineers.

Schwartz owned his own sound production company for decades before settling down to direct the Performing Arts Center. “I was a regular on Pro Sound Web, and that’s where I first heard about Danley Sound Labs,” he explained. “Of course, I knew about Tom Danley through his ServoDrive subwoofer technology, which was a very advanced idea. I was impressed by that sort of innovative engineering. Then I heard that he and Mike Hedden got together to form Danley Sound Labs and would be introducing a range of new designs. I was intrigued, but I didn’t have the opportunity to hear Danley loudspeakers or subwoofers for a while.”

It was a few years later that Schwartz attended InfoComm with his supervisor from the city’s parks and recreation department. “Danley had a demo room that we checked out,” he said. “Of course it was a convention room, which was terrible, acoustically-speaking. Nevertheless, when they fired up, my supervisor turned to me and said, ‘we need some of these for the Performing Arts Center.’ I couldn’t have agreed more. What was really impressive was the pattern control – I felt like I was listening only to the loudspeakers; the room was out of the equation.”

In anticipation of the old sound reinforcement system’s eventual replacement, Schwartz had the room modeled in EASE five years ago. That proved useful because it allowed him to pick the ideal coverage patterns from Danley’s now-extensive catalog, patterns that would allow him to provide uniform coverage over the seating area without energizing the walls. Danley’s application engineers assisted, directing him to the right models and helping to keep the project on budget.

Most of the seating is covered by a stereo pair of Danley SH-60s, which are 60-degree versions of Danley’s flagship SH-50. Flanking them are two single-fifteen Danley TH-115 subwoofers, which Schwartz asserts deliver as much bass as most other manufacturer’s double-eighteens, but with far less distortion. Finally, two Danley SH-100s occupy the outside positions to provide front- and side-fill. An existing 40-channel Soundcraft console provides input to the system, and new QSC and Crown amplifiers power it.

A basic DBX unit handles straightforward processing. “We only really needed the processor to filter out subharmonic content for the subs,” explained Joseph Carpenter, principal at Protechs. “It’s a great sounding room by itself, and the Danley’s are naturally well-balanced. Of course, we’re still tweaking things here and there, but it doesn’t take much.”

Given the Ormond Beach Performing Arts Center’s busy schedule, Carpenter took advantage of the MLK holiday weekend to quickly pull the old system out and put the new system in. “I’m accustomed to having happy clients,” he said, “but this one’s special. Marc is a true audiophile, and he was certain that Danley was the way go. Indeed, the system sounds fantastic!” As a bonus, Carpenter gets to use the new system from time to time when the center hires him as a guest engineer.

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

BROOKLYN HISTORICAL SOCIETY LEAPS FORWARD WITH ASHLY AMPS

BROOKLYN, NEW YORK – MARCH 2013: The Brooklyn Historical Society is dedicated to illuminating how the past has affected the present and how it will contribute to the course New Yorkers will chart in the future. To that end, it is part library, part museum, and part venue for lectures, meetings, and other events. Designed by architect George B. Post and completed in 1881, the Brooklyn Historical Society’s four-story building is in the U.S. National Register of Historic Places and is an example of living history in its own right. The society renovated the building a decade ago, and it continues to make improvements to ensure and enlarge its mission. Recently, it expanded the building’s event space to two hundred seats and overhauled its A/V system and that of an adjoining classroom and gallery space. A pair of eight-channel Ashly ne8250 amplifiers forms the electrified heart of the new system and – by dint of power, fidelity, and reliability – prepare the Brooklyn Historical Society for a bright future at the center of the borough’s cultural scene.

“The Brooklyn Historical Society wanted a high-performing A/V system with a lot of flexibility and simple, foolproof operation,” said Peter Starr, owner and chief designer at the Starr Entertainment Group, the firm contracted to design and install the new system. “That’s the trend these days. Not only will the society use the space for its own artists, lecturers, and musicians, but it plans to rent the space for any conceivable event type. It’s therefore competing with hotels and other venues with event spaces.” To succeed, the Brooklyn Historical Society must present its event space as a jack-of-all-trades – and a master at each.

“Because the building itself is so historic and architecturally stunning, we had to be very careful in our design so as not to damage or spoil the gorgeous columns, wood, and soffits,” said Starr. “That constrained us to placing the loudspeakers twenty-two feet in the air. Nevertheless, the society wanted the ability to provide small concert-volume sound reinforcement when needed. Their list of request was extensive, and we had to be ready for everything from a simple background music system for a gallery opening to a full-on rock show! In previous installations, the Ashly ne8250 amplifier has proven itself to be tremendously reliable and powerful. At 250Watts per channel, they have a lot of ‘oomph’ and stand up to scrutiny in demanding listening situations.” The Starr Entertainment Group worked very closely with architect Thomas Ryan of Christoff:Finio Architecture and the Brooklyn Historical Society’s Associate Director, Janice Monger.

Inputs to the system include a Blu-Ray player, a DVD player, iPod docks, and XM Satellite Radio together with a bevy of sound reinforcement and wireless microphones. A sixteen-channel Soundcraft FX16 mixer on a rolling rack helps with live music events and the performing arts. A Peavey Media Matrix NION N3 system handles all of the processing and routing. At the heart of the video system is a Crestron Digital Media DM-MD8x8 video matrix processor, two video projectors, and various flat screens. Crestron DM input panels provide auto switching between HDMI and VGA/PC. Video signal transport is accomplished digitally via CAT6 cable. A Listen Technologies assisted listening system exceeds ADA requirements. The stage floor monitor system featuring four JBL wedge floor monitors, dbx EQs and a QSC RMX2400 amplifier provides crisp, clear sound to stage performers. A second roll around rack with automated and manual mixers, and other facilities for tabletop conference style usage, allows setup of conference and lecture mics anywhere. The two eight-channel Ashly ne8250 amplifiers power fourteen JBL AC 1895 two-way loudspeakers and a pair of EAW UB82s. Four QSC RMX 2400 amplifiers power the four EAW SB180 subwoofers.

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

ASHLY GETS THE MESSAGE AND MUSIC TO STUDENTS IN THE ROCHESTER HIGH SCHOOL CAFETERIA

ROCHESTER, NEW YORK – MARCH 2013: The principal at John Marshall High School in Rochester, New York had a simple request. He just wanted to be able to speak over the commotion of excited students that always seemed to overwhelm the school’s cafeteria at lunchtime. A sound reinforcement system with a simple microphone was the solution. But since a sound reinforcement system would also be capable of playing music – and perhaps because music might soothe the raw spirit of rambunctious youth – he also wanted the ability to play music over the system. Rochester’s AAA Sound stepped in to install a cost-effective, high-performance system centered on an Ashly Pema 4125 integrated processor/amplifier combo and an Ashly RD-8C remote fader user interface.

“The principle told our technician that the kids were simply too loud at lunchtime,” said Rich Petty, AAA Sound president. “It was a really straightforward request for a really straightforward sound reinforcement system. The ability to play music at lunchtime was a bonus.”

Inputs to the system include a pair of Mipro handheld wireless microphones, a wired microphone, a tuner, and a Tascam combination CD player and iPod dock. The inputs feed the Ashly Pema 4125, which has eight DSP inputs and outputs with full processing and matrixing capabilities, as well as four integrated amplifier channels rated at 125W each. Each amplifier channel drives a single Community MVP-12 loudspeaker, and the four loudspeakers are distributed around the room. An Ashly RD-8C provides nine software-assignable faders, one of which is separated in the style of a master fader. The system at John Marshall High School uses the simplest possible configuration: each of the eight faders controls an input volume and the master fader controls the output volume.

“The Ashly Pema is a cost-effective solution for a situation like this,” said Petty. “The pricing is very favorable and very competitive. Our company specs jobs with a number of different processors, and the feedback that I get from my techs is that Ashly processing is the easiest to work with. It doesn’t take a lot of training to become familiar with the operation… literally five minutes in the shop with a tech that’s not familiar with Ashly is all it takes for him to feel comfortable enough to go out and install it. Every now and then they run up against something that takes a minute; they either figure it out or a quick call to Ashly’s service department clears up the matter.”

“For a school cafeteria,” proclaimed Petty, “John Marshall High School has a really nice sound system.”

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

TANGLES TAMED AT OKLAHOMA CHURCH WITH SYMETRIX JUPITER 12 AND JUPITER 8 APP BASED TURN-KEY DSP

OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA – MARCH 2013: Since its founding during the hard dustbowl years, Oklahoma City’s Southwest Church of Christ has grown steadily in membership. A series of buildings and sanctuaries of ever-growing capacity trace a path from the church’s first meeting, which took place in a member’s living room, to its modern 700-plus-seat sanctuary. Although only a decade old, Southwest Church of Christ’s latest building quickly amassed an ad hoc collection of sound reinforcement equipment that strained the capacity of the technician’s booth and often flummoxed the volunteer technicians who attempted to use it. Hoping to maintain its functionality while greatly simplifying the user interface, the church contacted Robert Rogers, senior design consultant with Audio Video Designs (AVD) of nearby Moore, Oklahoma. AVD used a cost-effective Symetrix Jupiter 12 app based turn-key DSP to replace all of the analog clutter. The church was so pleased with the improvement that they asked AVD to integrate their three fellowship halls, and AVD obliged using a Symetrix Jupiter 8 running the Sound Reinforcement #6 app configured to do room combining.

“The audio booth was cluttered with consoles, switches, and dials, with a few computers and screens thrown in for good measure,” explained Jeff Brocaw, design consultant with AVD. “They just kept adding on as new needs presented themselves. Not only was the sanctuary system controlled from the booth, so too were the more modest systems in the three fellowship halls.” Because the input sources and loudspeakers were all still in fine shape, AVD was able to leave them in place. However, new Crown and ElectroVoice four-channel amplifiers now power the system.

“Of course, money was a huge factor, and the Symetrix Jupiter 12 DSP was the logical choice,” said Brocaw. “We could eliminate all that clutter with the processing power in that single rack space unit, and they wouldn’t have to spend $20K on a digital console.” The twelve inputs of the Jupiter 12 collect outputs from all of the stage microphones, as well as from video playback devices and a pair of ambient microphones for use in recording. The Jupiter 12’s four outputs send signal to the main sanctuary system, the three fellowship halls, and a computer-based recorder, as well as hallways and other areas of the building. One of the outputs is currently unused and awaits future expansion.

Partly because there are a lot of open microphones on stage, Brocaw used the “Gating Automixer” app with the Jupiter 12. The gates effectively eliminate feedback problems that the church was having with the old system. For Sunday service, the system operator makes adjustments from a computer running the Symetrix Jupiter software. “Now it takes very little effort to run a service,” said Fred Lowery, with the church. “When needed, we mix from within the app. For the simpler Wednesday service, the pastor can make any necessary adjustments from a Symetrix ARC-2e wall panel remote. He doesn’t even have to turn on the computer! The church fell in love with the simplicity of the new Jupiter-based system.”

In fact, they were so pleased that they requested a similar transformation of the ad hoc room combining system that they had constructed. With eight inputs, eight outputs, and an app easily-made to perform room-combining (Sound Reinforcement #6) the Symetrix Jupiter 8 was the obvious cost-effective solution. “As with the Jupiter 12, the Jupiter 8’s interface is sufficiently simple that church staff and volunteers can use it reliably,” said Brocaw. “That simplicity, together with processing power and affordability, made the Jupiter 8 the right choice.”

The Symetrix Jupiter 8 takes its inputs from each of the fellowship halls, and sends outputs back to each of the fellowship halls. Additionally, three hard disc recorders stand ready to capture events that take place in the fellowship halls. Users execute room combining by opening the matrix from within the Jupiter software application. Any input can be sent to any output, and by incorporating input from and outputs to the main sanctuary system, all four rooms can be combined in any desired configuration.

ABOUT SYMETRIX Symetrix engineers high-end professional audio solutions, specializing in DSP hardware and software. Symetrix products are distributed worldwide, and designed and manufactured in the U.S. at the Seattle area headquarters. Since 1976, customers have enjoyed the benefits of Symetrix’ independent ownership and management. For more information on Symetrix professional audio products, please visit www.symetrix.co or call +1 (425) 778-7728.

MONTREAL’S ANALOG RECORDING SCENE DEFINED BY STUDIO 270’S API LEGACY PLUS

MONTRÉAL, CANADA – MARCH 2013: Studio 270 has proven that the purest sound cannot be digitized with their 48-channel API Legacy Plus with API Vision automation. Nearly two years ago, François Hamel and Robert Langois decided to reconnect with recording’s analog roots by purchasing the Legacy Plus for their Montréal-based studio. They were the first to acquire an API Legacy Plus with API Vision automation, an investment that Hamel claims was the best they have ever made.

When Studio 270 set up shop in 1987, the digital tsunami had yet to make landfall. Now, twenty-six years later, it is thriving in a world where most of its clients regard inexpensive and omnipresent digital technology as an extension of their organic being. It is for precisely that reason that the studio decided to distinguish itself by committing to time-tested, analog technology. That decision has paid off in dividends as area musicians discover that the API sound far exceeds the limited capabilities of their digital gadgetry.

“We predicted that ‘mid-level’ recording studios would have a hard time surviving as more and more inexpensive digital technology became available, and we were right.” Hamel said of Studio 270. “But in addition, young musicians have no basis for understanding the difference between a $125 interface and a $125,000 digital console. To them, digital is digital, and if they can buy a digital product that promises them the moon for $600, then in their eyes, why should they book a digital studio for $600 a day?”

Hamel likened his younger clientele’s experience to that of fine dining. “The API Legacy Plus is like a five-star restaurant,” he said. “An inexpensive digital rig is like a microwave. You have a microwave at home, and you eat at home most of the time. But on special occasions, it’s good to get out and go to a five-star restaurant, where maybe you don’t exactly understand how the cook pulls it off, but the difference is obvious.”

“They’ve never seen moving faders before,” he said of the younger clientele. “It’s a revelation to them that they can – and should – mix with their eyes closed. They’re used to staring at screens. Apart from its immense functionality and stability (the software never crashes), API automation is worth it strictly from a marketing perspective.”

When his clients hear the API Legacy Plus, they’re often taken aback. Since Studio 270 installed it, many bands have booked a few days without making future plans to return. They have a remarkable experience, and then they’re back a few months later. “They want to relive the experience!” said Hamel. “It’s API’s headroom and separation. When you mix on an iPad or whatever, everything is smashed in. Once they hear the openness and liveliness of the Legacy Plus, they’re hooked. They’ll work jobs on the weekends to get back in here.”

ABOUT API (AUTOMATED PROCESSES, INC.)
Established more than 40 years ago, Automated Processes, Inc. is the leader in analog recording gear with the Vision, Legacy Series and 1608 recording consoles, as well as its classic line of modular signal processing equipment.

www.apiaudio.com

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