A virtual press conference from Sound & Video Contractor

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SYMETRIX LAUNCHES SYMNET TELEPHONE INTERFACE CARD

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – APRIL 2013: Symetrix announces the release of the 2 Line Analog Telephone Interface Card for SymNet. The card integrates a complete set of PSTN telephony functions into SymNet Edge and Radius AEC systems configured for teleconferencing. The initial rollout includes US FCC Part 68 certification and Industry Canada CS-03 Part I.

The telephone card’s robust feature set includes incoming call detection and answering, DTMF-dialing, speed-dialing, re-dialing, DTMF decoding, do not disturb, caller-ID reception, call progress detection, and continuous line status and fault monitoring.

Telco connections use standard RJ-11 jacks with parallel set connections per line for a physical handset, a dialer, or an ADA-compliant visual or audible device. As with all SymNet modular cards, the 2 Line Analog Telephone Interface Card may be installed in the field by a certified technician.

Beyond teleconferencing, the card is also intended for use in paging, broadcast feed, and remote system monitoring applications.

Paul Roberts, Symetrix CEO, noted, “The 2 Line Analog Telephone Interface Card is the nextstep in our audio teleconferencing product developments. Integrators and consultants in North America can now design and deliver teleconferencing systems using SymNet AEC and analog telephone interface technology deployed on our Edge and Radius AEC hardware platforms.”

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.

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SYMETRIX DEBUTS DEDICATED AEC PROCESSOR

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – APRIL 2013: Symetrix announces delivery of the SymNet Radius AEC, a core acoustic echo-cancelling device for deployment in teleconferencing installations of any size. The 1U rack unit contains eight mic/line wideband echo cancellers, eight line outputs, and four auxiliary line inputs. Application specific input or output expansion of a single Radius AEC is facilitated with a configurable slot supporting any SymNet I/O card including the recently released 2 Line Analog Telephone Interface.

As a building block in larger systems Radius AEC uses Dante for network audio connections to additional Radius or SymNet Edge DSPs, and to the cost-effective SymNet 12-channel I/O expanders.

Paul Roberts, Symetrix CEO was quick to point out, “We designed mega DSP into this box. In addition to the eight full-band, low-latency channels with direct outputs, we have a flexible general purpose DSP to handle all the other processing that is truly required to support high-intelligibility speech and effective communications. Corporate and educational end users are raising the bar every day. We purposefully designed Radius AEC to stay ahead of the curve.”

As with all SymNet DSP products using Composer open architecture software, Radius AEC supports an array of user controls including the ARC-WEB browser, ARC wall panels, SymVue custom user screens, and third party touchscreens.

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.

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POST KATRINA, JOE BROWN MEMORIAL PARK RE-OPENS WITH SR SYSTEMS CENTERED ON ASHLY

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – APRIL 2013: Hurricane Katrina and the levee failures it caused left Joe W. Brown Memorial Park in east New Orleans under seven feet of water. The water sat for weeks, leaving everything below its depths to rust and rot. The march toward full recovery has advanced slowly but steadily, and now Joe Brown Park is not only back, it’s better than it was in the summer of 2005, before the fateful hurricane made landfall. Nike, the Allstate Sugar Bowl, and the Drew Brees Foundation joined the city to help fund the $23 million rehab, which includes a new football field and a new track and soccer field. Local A/V integration firm Technical Services Group (TSG) designed and installed sound reinforcement systems for both areas, relying on Ashly Audio processing, amplification, and user control to provide a pair of complementary system that – although different “under the hood” – function identically from the user’s perspective.

“I grew up in New Orleans, and I played high school baseball at Joe Brown Park,” said Patrick Meek, vice president of sales and marketing at TSG, who, together with A/V designer, Scott Richard won the bid and saw the project through to completion. “Being a part of this project was important to me personally. Moreover, it’s a high-profile job that’s being funded by some very big organizations. We worked hard to create a powerful, reliable system on budget, and Ashly’s performance per dollar, for processing, amplification, and user control, was a significant part of our success.”

Because an endless parade of different, non-technically-inclined teachers, park officials, parents, and others would need to be able to reliably use the systems, they had to be completely intuitive. TSG therefore led with the Ashly RW-8C, a four-gang wall plate with eight programmable channel faders and a programmable master fader, each with an on/off button. “The two systems operate as equals from the user’s perspective,” said Meek. “They can walk into either one and understand that the various available microphones and input sources, all labeled on the RW-8C, can be turned on or off and turned up or turned down. Behind the scenes, the processing, amplification, and loudspeakers are different between the two systems, but that’s invisible to them.”

The football field uses an Ashly ne24.24M processor configured with twelve inputs and eight outputs. A Denon CD player joins two Sennheiser HMD-Series headset microphones, a handheld Sennheiser e 935 microphone for vocals, and two Lectrosonics Venue-Series wireless microphones (a belt-pack transmitter lavalier system) and a handheld microphone transmitter at the inputs. Three QSC ISA-Series amplifiers power a Community array composed of two R2-77z, two R2-94z, and two R2-52z loudspeakers. In contrast, the track and field uses an Ashly Pema 8250.70 combination amplifier/processor together with a Protea processing-equipped Ashly ne2400.pe for both signal conditioning, mixing, and power. Again, a Denon CD player allows for music playback, a Sennheiser HMD-Series headset, and a wired Sennheiser e935 microphone provides input for vocals, but this time those inputs are joined by Sennheiser ew-Series wireless lavalier and handheld microphones. Two Community R.5-66TZ and two Community R.5-94TZ loudspeakers complete the 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

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AudioXperts 4TV 2112 is the Recipient of the Prestigious 2013 red dot Award for Product Design and Innovation

BOSTON, Mass. – April 23, 2013 – AudioXperts, the luxury audio brand committed to delivering unique audio solutions and “exceeding expectations”, has been honored as the recipient of the prestigious red dot award for product design for the 4TV 2112 Audio Entertainment Console.

Since 1955, the red dot award’s international panel of renowned experts has recognized products for their innovation and industrial design. AudioXperts’ 4TV 2112 Audio Entertainment Console will join an elite family of previous winners that includes the Range Rover Evoque by Land Rover, the Apple® iPadTM 2, the Dassault Falcon 2000S transcontinental jet, the Geograph Rainforest Watch by Les Ateliers Louis Moinet among others.

“We are incredibly honored to receive this highly coveted design and innovation award,” said Eli Harary, president of AudioXperts “It’s especially gratifying to our entire team because the 4TV 2112 is the very first product that our new luxury audio brand has introduced to the market.”

The 4TV 2112 Audio Entertainment Console was amongst 4,600-plus entries in pursuit of the “red dot award: product design 2013”. The sophisticated, yet elegant design of the 4TV 2112 impressed the discriminating panel of 37 judges and allowed the product to stand out among the rest.

Prof. Dr. Peter Zec, initiator and CEO of the red dot, has pointed out that strong design competence and economic success nowadays go hand in hand: “The winners of the ‘red dot award: product design 2013’ are the protagonists of a highly developed design culture and design industry. These days it is becoming more and more difficult to distinguish between well-designed products. It is often only in the details that the special qualities become apparent. However, those product creations that pass the test before the critical eyes of the international red dot jury will not disappear into the crowd and will be able to fend off global competition.”

AudioXperts will be honored at the official red dot award ceremony on July 1, 2013 and will be featured as part of the “Design on stage – winner red dot award: product design 2013” exhibition at the red dot design museum in Essen, Germany.

AudioXperts’ 4TV Audio Entertainment consoles are available for purchase around the world through the finest AV specialty retailers and distributors.

For more information on AudioXperts, visit http://www.audioxperts.com.

About AudioXperts
The AudioXperts Team brings over 100 years of combined expertise and passion in order to provide consumers with products that exceed expectations. By incorporating the finest materials and applying the latest technologies, in sophisticated, flexible and intuitive designs, AudioXperts ensures an extraordinary user experience and unparalleled pride of ownership.

SYMETRIX SYMNET RADIUS 12×8 DSP BREATHE FRESH LIFE INTO ST. LUCY PARISH

CAMPBELL, CALIFORNIA – APRIL 2013: For nearly a century, St. Lucy Parish has been a cornerstone of religious life in Campbell, California. Its congregation grew steadily throughout the 1900s, prompting moves to ever-larger facilities, and culminating in the construction of a 1,200-seat sanctuary in 1967. Today St. Lucy Parish holds daily mass in that sanctuary, and on the weekend it is filled repeatedly for multiple masses, many of which use different musicians and groups that tailor their messages to different groups. Recently, the church hired local A/V integrator Zamar Media Solutions of San Jose to replace its decades-old sound reinforcement system. The new system is centered on a pair of cost-effective Symetrix SymNet Radius 12×8 DSP, which network together seamlessly using the Dante protocol and provide customized, open-architecture programming.

“St. Lucy Parish had been limping along with an insufficient sound system that was twenty- or thirty-years old,” explained Michael Dow, president of Zamar Media Solutions. “It was characterized by rack mixers with big knobs and inadequate ceiling speakers. I drew up a proposal for them a few years ago, but they decided to wait.” However, the old system recently failed completely, and they called me up. I dusted off my earlier proposal and made a few edits to bring it up to date.” For example, Dow had originally specified Symetrix SymNet Express DSP, but with the new Symetrix SymNet Radius 12×8 now available, he recognized that it would provide more processing power, a better I/O count, and near-zero latency Dante networked audio.

In addition to the new DSP, Dow and Zamar Media Solutions customer, system Programmer Tim Fairbairn equipped St. Lucy Parish with an entirely new front end and an entirely new loudspeaker system. Four new Shure ULXD digital wireless microphones replaced their old wireless mics. In addition, new Audix MG15 podium microphones and a pair of Audix M1255 condensers for the choir provide full-frequency capture worthy of the system’s back end. Music playback devices, an on-stage PreSonus band mixer, and multiple input jacks complete the input list. Powersoft’s M-series amplifiers power Martin Audio OmniLine loudspeakers and subwoofers, arrayed as left-right main, left-right side fill, and center subs. Distributed sound provides coverage throughout the building. Additional outputs include a Listen Technologies assisted listening system and a Denon PMD580 MP3/Wave recorder.

“There are a lot of differences from service to service, both in terms of the musicians present and in terms of the audio media required, and St. Lucy Parish is benefitting from the SymNet Radius 12×8’s ability to customize the processing on each of the many input channels,” said Dow. “Between the two boxes, we have twenty-four inputs and sixteen outputs, and any input can be sent to any output because they are networked together using Dante. We’re happy to see that Dante is being embraced by the industry because it’s easy to use and has almost no latency.” Fairbairn and Dow programmed the SymNet Radius 12x8s using Symetrix’ SymNet Composer software, which proved to be a transparent upgrade in feature set from the previous design software, SymNet Designer. “Users control the system using an Extron TLP 1000MV ten-inch touchscreen, which communicates with the SymNet Radius 12×8 system, the Furman power sequencing, the Denon PMD850 recorder, the music playback devices, and the entire dual screen projection system.

Fairbairn was present at the choir’s first experience with the new system. “The choir members were absolutely floored by the quality of the new sound system,” he said. “Indeed, this marks the first time ever that the choir can be heard by the rest of the congregation. During practice, the choir members took turns touring the seating area while the rest kept singing so that everyone could hear how well the choir can be heard now. Also, while the organist was playing for the choir, the choir could be clearly heard over the organ, a new experience! I overheard a lot of happy responses to the system at the following mass, such as ‘night and day!’ and ‘remarkable!’”

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.

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ASHLY AUDIO LICENSES AUDINATE’S DANTE™ DIGITAL NETWORKING

WEBSTER, NEW YORK – APRIL 2013: Ashly Audio, maker of powerful, high-performance, cost-effective signal processors and amplifiers, have licensed Dante digital media networking solution from Audinate. With low latency, robust synchronization, I/O scalability, and simplicity of installation via standard IT technology, Dante will significantly enhance the power and value of Ashly’s range of signal processors and amplifiers.

Dante is built on IT standards, and is a complete media networking solution. Dante delivers a low-latency, tightly-synchronized, sample-accurate playback, while simplifying installation and configuration of A/V networks. Dante has become the leading solution of choice for a variety of professional applications as it demystifies audio networking.

“Ashly Audio is known in the industry as a leader in networked power amplification and signal processing, addressing multiple professional audio applications,” says Director of Sales at Audinate, Dave Anderson. “We are pleased that Ashly has recognized Dante as the most interoperable networking solution available, and look forward to a range of products as they come to market.”

Noted President, Ashly Audio, Mark Wentling, “Ashly is excited to be able to offer our customers yet another option in digital connectivity for our DSP processors and DSP enabled power amplifiers. Dante from Audinate currently brings the best in flexible, yet robust digital audio transport, to the pro-audio and commercial-sound installation markets.”

Audinate revolutionizes the way that A/V systems are connected, by transporting high-quality media over standard IT networks. Dante is robust proven solution which is widely deployed in hotels, transportation centers, shopping centers, public address systems, live sound reinforcement, theaters, concert halls, stadiums, athletic venues, corporate boardrooms, universities, broadcast facilities, recording facilities, houses of worship, government facilities, and courtrooms.

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

ABOUT AUDINATE Audinate’s patented Dante media networking solution has been adopted by eighty OEM manufacturers in the professional audio/visual industry and is a Promoter Member of the AVnu Alliance™. Audinate offices are located in US, United Kingdom and Australia. Visit www.audinate.com for the latest news and information on the company. Dante is Digital Media Networking Perfected. www.audinate.com

Dante is a trademark of Audinate Pty Ltd. Audinate is a registered trademark of Audinate Pty Ltd.

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SYMETRIX TEAM FEEDS THE HUNGRY

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – APRIL 2013: Symetrix is recognized worldwide as one of the leading manufacturers of high-end professional audio solutions. What most audio professionals don’t know is that the company also has an ongoing program in place to provide up to two hundred meals each month for local families in need. The Symetrix team orders supplies, assembles sack lunches, and delivers them to local food banks and shelters. “Sometimes a good meal can make all the difference and we feel it is important to share our good fortune with others,” said Symetrix CEO Paul Roberts.

There is a great team-building aspect to the mission, as well. Symetrix employees gather together from all departments of the company and participate in packing the lunches and having fun interacting. “It’s fun to help others and to get to know the people we work with a little better,” said Mark Ryals, Symetrix marketing coordinator.

This project started more than ten years ago when a Symetrix employee had an extra holiday ham and decided to turn it into sandwiches for the homeless. After making sack lunches as a family project for several years, the Chairman of Symetrix, Dane Butcher, suggested bringing the project into the company. The response from the Symetrix employees was tremendous and ‘many hands make light work’ has made it easy for us to continue with this important work on an even larger scale.

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.

DANLEY LOUDSPEAKERS: A PERMANENT SOLUTION FOR BUFFALO STATE STUDENT UNION

BUFFALO, NEW YORK – APRIL 2013: For over sixty years, the Campbell Student Union has been the central campus venue for meetings, relaxation, and events at Buffalo State, the State University of New York. To keep pace with the shifting needs of its students and to take advantage of new technologies, the university secured funds for a $6 million renovation. The centerpiece of the renovation is a vastly improved social hall, where approximately four hundred people can attend a huge diversity of events, from national touring rock bands to fashion shows and from performing arts to lectures. Even roller skating is on the list! Prior to the renovation, Buffalo State rented a PA for the space whenever it was needed at great expense and with imperfect results. Now, a permanent sound reinforcement system comprised of Danley Sound Labs loudspeakers and subwoofers delivers any kind of program material with fidelity and punch.

AVL Designs of Penfield, New York designed the system. “Several people at the school had their hearts set on a line array solution when we first became involved in the project,” said Seth Waltz, owner and chief designer at AVL Designs. “Of course, I want to provide them with the best sounding, most durable solution available. I felt that a Danley system would be best in that regard, but I also knew it would be financially smarter than a line array. To help persuade them, I sent a Danley loudspeaker for a demo. A few days later, I received their short but telling reply: ‘Yeah, we’re fine. We don’t need a line array.’ Once you hear it, you can’t really argue with Danley’s sound quality.” Operating out of its Rochester, New York office, Ronco Specialized Systems handled the installation.

For concerts, DJs, plays, and other stage-based or high-volume events, Waltz designed a stereo system, with identical clusters flown above either side of the stage. Within each cluster, a Danley SH-60P and a Danley SH-50P merge their coverage patterns to provide an even blanket of sound to the main floor. Additionally, each cluster contains a Danley SH-95P for downfill. All six boxes make use of Danley’s optional self-power. Two Danley DBH-218 subwoofers provide abundant bass from either end of the stage. “We had originally designed the system with four DBH-218s,” said Waltz. “But after hooking up just two, we knew four would be complete overkill. With just two, we could deliver a tremendous amount of clean, amazing bass.”

“Our technicians love working on Danley projects,” said Al Colucci, account manager at Ronco Specialized Systems. “Their loudspeakers and subwoofers sound great, and the people at Danley are easy to work with. The pattern control is excellent and as advertised.” Waltz added, “We started incorporating Danley into our designs about three years ago, after hearing them at InfoComm. They are, hands down, the most natural-sounding vocal boxes we’d ever heard. And not only do they sound great, they require little EQ and translate a wide range of musical styles well.”

For dinners and lectures, Waltz specified nine Danley SH-100s, which are distributed around the room and fire straight down. An eight-channel Ashly ne8250 amplifier powers them (with two SH-100s tied together on one of the channels). “When we were tuning the system, I had someone walk around with a Countryman headset microphone,” said Waltz. “For the first time ever in my experience, we didn’t need any filters. The distributed system sounded even and natural right out of the box.”

An Ashly ne24.24M processor handles all of the input and loudspeaker conditioning. “I put an Ashly processor in almost every job I do,” said Waltz. “In terms of functions per dollar, Ashly can’t be beat. And the audio path is clean and nice sounding, which is of course critical. Here, it handles all of the system equalization and dynamics.” An APB DynaSonics console provides a versatile analog front end, and a collection of Shure and Countryman microphones supply the primary inputs.

Recently, Buffalo State celebrated the completion of the Campbell Student Union renovations with a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by university officials, state lawmakers, faculty, and students. Multiple events, including a live band and a fashion show, demonstrated the new system’s ability to work across styles for maximum effect.

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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DiGiCo/Optocore System Streamlines Complex 2013 TED Conference

Leading thinkers and doers from around the globe recently gathered in Long Beach, California, for the annual TED Conference. The topical event, which was held February 25-March 1, 2013, was structured around a theme: “The Young. The Wise. The Undiscovered.”

The fast-paced format of 50+ TED Talks and musical performances presented a dizzying array of talent exploring science, business, the arts and global issues facing our world, and introduced attendees to people who are collectively shaping the future. The production was recorded live, simulcast throughout the Long Beach Performing Arts Center and a satellite location in Palm Springs, and also mixed down for broadcast via webcast to a worldwide audience.

McCune Audio TED Crew: Pete Bender, project manager, McCune; Nick Malgieri, monitors/head of audio (SD10); Erik Sandberg, Front of House mixer/System Tech (2x SD10); Louis Adamo, assistant broadcast mixer/Pro Tools (SD5); Bill Knight, head broadcast mixer (Stage Tec Crescendo fed via MADI from SD5); Matt Chavez, grounds mixer (SD8-24); John Wolcott, Technical stage manager; Chris ("Crimson Avenger") de la Fuente, wireless mic wrangler; David Roth, RF/asst com; Mike Breckenridge, com/asst RF

McCune Audio/Video/Lighting, one of the oldest and largest rental/sound service companies in the country, has been handling TED’s production since the first Conference was held in 1984. McCune is responsible for cameras, live sound/broadcast mixes, amplification, graphics and video projection, and simulcast.

For the 2013 event, McCune’s Nick Malgieri, with cooperation (and console support) from Hi-Tech Audio’s Louis Adamo and freelance FOH engineer Erik Sandberg, undertook the massive task of retooling the audio footprint to handle the ever-growing demands of the multifaceted conference. The decision to go with an all-DiGiCo/Optocore network offered speed, flexibility and a streamlined infrastructure for the elaborate production. Preproduction alone for the event took nearly a week.

The overall audio system was comprised of two SD10s for FOH, an SD10 for monitors, an SD5 that handled live music mixes for broadcast, an SD8-24 for submixing/distribution, four D racks, and an SD-Rack for all I/O, complemented by an extensive, 12-zone Meyer PA and McCauley wedges.

“The TED Conference is the most technically challenging project that I’ve ever had the privilege to be a part of,” says McCune Project Manager Pete Bender, who has been involved since TED3 back in 1992. “It has become the conference by which all others are measured, and every year they raise the expectations on content and quality. There is such a wide variety of content, and so many different audiences and recording needs that need to be managed, that it requires an extremely flexible audio system. The DiGiCo and Optocore system was an enormous improvement over previous years. The flexibility of the networked DiGiCo consoles, as well as the Stage Tec console in the TV truck, gave us the ability to route submixes and outputs to virtually any location on the stage or in the truck. This streamlined the system and allowed the engineers to respond to every last-minute request that we could possibly throw at them. And we threw them a lot. Additionally, the fiber network contributed to savings in time and manpower on both the install and strike days.”

At FOH, a pair of side-by-side DiGiCo SD10s helmed by Erik Sandberg handled the live audio mix—approximately 200 inputs, including 26 channels of wireless, 24 channels of stereo playback devices (primarily video sources), 48 inputs allotted for guest artists and bands as well as a number of submixes for the other consoles.

One SD10 was set up specifically for the corporate production inputs, while the other managed all the live music inputs. A third monitor SD10 console was housed in a rolling road case and wheeled on and offstage to accommodate six ear mixes and a dozen wedge monitor mixes, as well as backstage monitors and production monitors. At FOH, a D Rack handled all FOH inputs and outboard gear inserts, and an additional two D racks at the A2 position onstage handled production inputs such as wireless mics and outputs to the PA system or monitors. An SD-Rack in video world served all of the I/Os, and a fourth D rack was mounted in the thrust staging to manage on-the-fly presenter and artist inputs, mainly for the musical performers.

“As we started doing rehearsals, I was able to cover all my bases with this setup and jump between the two consoles,” says Sandberg, who has handled TED’s FOH for the past eight years. “I had the console split with mics on the left bank and playback devices on the right – with a show this fast-paced and complex, it’s important to keep the structure of the consoles as simple as possible. On the production console, I pretty much ran it from one snapshot and relied instead on presets for each presenter’s EQ. On the music console, every act had its own snapshot. Often bands will show up [at the conference] with their own engineer, and it made life easier to have a separate console so that they could check PFLs, and check channels before they went on. I had it set up like a typical nightclub system, simple and similar to what they’re all accustomed to: kick, snare, hat, rack, floor, right down the line, effects and delay. We had two foldback lines from FOH but a vast majority of onstage monitoring was done backstage by Nick [Malgieri].”

The show consisted of 26 channels of wireless; the first 12 were DPA 4088 headset mics. “TED is known for using the headset mics,” Sandberg explains, “and it’s become part of the look of the TED Talks. The DPAs worked well for that. We also had a series of handheld mics that floated around the audience for Q&As. Onstage, there were five rolling podiums with audio that presenters could plug into with their laptops, plus there was an incoming feed from Palm Springs via Polycom. A lot of playback originated at FOH and I was able to send that as a console send into the network. This made it really easy for everyone to customize their inputs based on what they needed. In the past when we’ve had analog splits, it’s been a challenge because I’d end up with more inputs at FOH and I’d have to do separate snake runs to all the other consoles so they could get what I was getting. It’s one of the reasons we decided to go with the DiGiCo/Optocore network—and it’s made a big difference. It sounds good and it’s easy to use and flexibility is key. Setup time was a fraction of what it used to be.

“The SD10 is a very easy console to navigate. The surface is extremely intuitive, so I was able to organize the desk the way that made sense to me from where I physically sat; I was able to put anything I wanted anywhere, which was invaluable. I was able to put all headset mics on the left side of the console near the Dugan auto mixers, which I inserted on all the channels for panel discussion or multiple mics. They helped to get a clean, lower noise floor. I used a WAVES server on the production console. The plugin was a WNS Noise Suppressor that I inserted into each of my headset mics. It’s a giant, wooden and very reverberant room; the plugin helped knock down reverb. I relied on those noise suppressors quite a bit and they certainly help with intelligibility.”

Backstage, Malgieri found that the Optocore network allowed his monitor console to be mobile and also cut down the amount of gear needed to do the gig. “All risers, band equipment, scenery, grand piano, and whatever else they decided to put onstage went in and out through there, so real estate was a really big deal on stage left,” he explains. “Not running copper snakes this year was huge, and was another benefit of the DiGiCo consoles because I got rid of three split racks and a rat’s nest of cable. We’ve shrunk the footprint from about 50 feet down to half that, to sharing mic pres, no splitters and a lot of fiber—and I was able to leave six to eight large boxes at our warehouse. Also, we used to have this enormous hod [bundle] of cables, and it was a 12-guy, eight-hour ordeal to pull it through the PVC conduit to FOH… This year, with just the two fiber cables and two guys, we were able to save a lot of labor and man-hours. And because I was able to keep the monitor desks tethered down to a loom, it was easy to roll on and offstage for soundchecks. We only had one-and-a-half hours between sessions and, in that time, we had to rehearse four speakers and soundcheck a band in 20 minutes.”

In addition to mixing wedges and in-ear monitors for all the bands and presenters, Malgieri handled Announce from the truck for monitors onstage and off. “I was like the production switchboard for anything around the stage,” he laughs. “Anyone that showed up and needed a temporary speaker, that was me. The stage Announce output from the trucks’ communication system came in and through some creative sidechain-ducking programming I built a Program Interrupt to the backstage monitors, which were time-aligned to the video monitors but fed from the FOH mix, not the broadcast mix. So when anyone was speaking from the truck it cut the monitoring to all the backstage monitors like a TV studio. The flexibility of the console allowed me to do that. I can’t think of any other console that’d allow me to do that in the same way. Another huge thing was that I was able to program a macro to undo that interrupt function without having to get back into my layers and figure out the complicated routing and processing I did. One button press undid it and I didn’t have to think about it on the fly. I just hit the button as an emergency bailout.”
Situated between the venue and the truck, an SD8-24, run by mixer Matt Chavez, with optics on optical loop, served as a distribution hub, routing to lobbies, tents, the plaza, the loge and the balcony. It also broadcast TED’s Walk-in Music at the beginning of each session, and controlled the announcement system that covered the entire venue.

Inside the mobile truck, an SD5 run by Adamo served as an interface between the venue’s audio consoles and truck, running more than 200 I/Os. All channels from the venue were routed over Optocore into the truck and were tied into the main broadcast console via MADI. Additionally, Adamo mixed the musical acts and sent them to the truck, and multitracked to a 128-channel Pro Tools rig via two MADI streams.

A few of the conference highlights were the Kinshasa Orchestre Symphonique (introduced by Ben Affleck), a choir that consisted of 100 members onstage and many more coming in via 32 live Skype feeds, Amanda Palmer and her punk rock ukulele, and Wang Li, the extraordinary master of the Jew’s harp. “The awesome DiGiCo EQ shined during the Jew’s harp performance,” Sandberg recalls, “as he was going for loud volume, which (surprisingly) really put my subs to work. There were lots of small notches under 80hz! The Optocore network was amazing. Because we used very little copper this year, we never had a problem with strange buzzes and hums that have popped up during install and rehearsals in years past. Also, the ability of all five consoles to grab any and all inputs was invaluable. All in all it was great, and DiGiCo shone as expected.”

“The system worked fantastically,” Malgieri adds. “We had no failures or issues; no hums or buzzes. This year was the easiest TED conference so far, due in large part to the DiGiCo/Optocore system. It was also the fastest load-out in the history of the show… by a lot! Every year TED gets a little bit bigger and they request a new technology or infrastructure. Every year, with new changes, we add more gear to our inventory to keep up with the changes, and it’s grown at just the right pace so that we can keep up. This gig ended up raising the expectations for our other clients because they see the benefits of the new gear and systems we’re adopting and implementing. This is the first time I’ve done more than two consoles on an Optocore network so anytime this scenario ever comes up again, it will become a new standard for a large McCune show.”

ASHLY AUDIO NE4250 MULTI-CHANNEL AMP/DSP CONNECTS WITH THE NEW JONESVILLE FIREHOUSE

JONESVILLE, NEW YORK – APRIL 2013: For ninety years, the Jonesville Volunteer Fire Department (JVFD) has been protecting the people and property of what was once a farming community and is now a thriving suburb of Albany, New York. In response to the growing population and infrastructure for which it is responsible, the JVFD recently completed construction on a second firehouse. Pro Sound Associates (Guilderland, New York) and Live Sound, Inc. (Troy, New York) worked with electrical contractor Tech Electric (Waterford, New York) and electrical engineers M/E Engineering (Schenectady, New York) to design and install a forward-thinking, robust, sound reinforcement system centered on an Ashly ne4250.70pe combination four-channel amplifier and digital signal processor.

“Of course this was a public bid, and we had to stay very competitive,” said Dominick Campana, owner of Pro Sound Associates. “The two-rack space Ashly ne4250.70pe offered us all the functionality we needed at a very reasonable price. The control room is very small and there was no place for a wall rack. We had to fit all of our equipment in existing cabinetry. Moreover, we had to cover four zones, each with different types of loudspeakers and different acoustics. The Ashly ne4250.70pe has plenty of power to drive the system, and its DSP capabilities allowed us to effectively deal with the different acoustics.”

Two channels of amplification feed three customer-specified Bogen loudspeakers each in the apparatus bay, which is where the trucks are parked and ambient noise is often substantial. The third channel of amplification feeds four more Bogen loudspeakers in the gear room and flex bay, where ambient noise is less of a problem. Finally, the fourth channel of amplification feeds an extended string of eight contractor ceiling speakers in the radio, fitness and training rooms, and the office and corridors.

Inputs to a Shure SCM-262 mixer with priority ducking include a Tascam CD player with iPod input, a feed from the fire radio dispatch, and a desktop paging microphone. In every room, except the apparatus bay, simple wall attenuators provide adequate volume control. Because the apparatus bay loudspeakers were tapped at their highest setting and receiving 250W per string, a wall attenuator wasn’t a good choice. Instead, Campana installed an Ashly WR-1, which provides separate DSP-based control of the apparatus bay volumes via two rotary dials.

“We have a long history working with Ashly and have always found their products to be rock solid,” said Campana. “Moreover, Ashly’s Protea™ DSP software is one of – if not the – easiest to program. They’ve worked out the networking so that all we have to do is plug it and our computer into the network, scan for devices, and it comes right up. You’re right into it. It’s great to have that kind of consistently stable performance to rely on.”

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

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