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DiGiCo Takes Top Honors At GRAMMY® & Academy Awards

UK manufacturer DiGiCo held the coveted position as console provider for the second year in a row at the annual GRAMMY® Awards this year. The 55th installment of “Music’s Biggest Night” was overall a bigger show musically, with 20 acts on the schedule, up from 2012′s 18. As the show’s live performances have expanded, so has its audio footprint. With audio production facilitated by ATK AudioTek (and consoles provided by Hi-Tech Audio), the digital desk count handing both music and production included five DiGiCo SD Series desks: four SD7s (an upgrade from last year’s SD10s) and the addition of an SD5, as well as 11 SD Racks (up from last year’s six).

At the MusiCares event the Friday night preceding the GRAMMYs, engineer George Squires manned a DiGiCo SD7 with four DigiRacks at monitors to provide 170 inputs to 28 stereo ear mixes and 30 wedge mixes. Delicate Productions handled the audio production. On the 85th installation of the prestigious Academy Awards, ATK provided audio production with a Peterson-designed system comprised of three SD Racks, an SD5 at FOH helmed by Pat Baltzel and an SD10 run by Mike Parker. Hi-Tech Audio provided console support for all these events.

The GRAMMY and Oscar systems were both designed by ATK’s FOH Tech Jeff Peterson. On the GRAMMY event, Peterson also served as the system tech with assistance from Andrew “Fletch” Fletcher. The GRAMMY audio team again included consultant Ron Reaves mixing all of the live performance elements at FOH on an SD7, and ATK’s VP of Special Events Mikael Stewart on an SD5 managing all the nonmusical production assets. At stage right (“A”) and left (“B”), respectively, Tom Pesa and Mike Parker facilitated artist monitor mixes using a pair of SD7s (with an additional “guest” rig used for sets by Justin Timberlake and Bruno Mars). [Pictured LtoR: ATK FOH Tech Jeff Peterson; Leslie Anne Jones, The Recording Academy®, Producers & Engineers Wing®; Production Mixer Mikael Stewart, ATK; Andrew “Fletch” Fletcher, Audio Consultant; FOH music mixer Ron Reaves (seated).]

“Overall, we have a massive total of 276 mic preamps and 176 outputs distributed between five consoles and 11 DiGiCo SD Racks,” explains Peterson. “Those four consoles, plus eight SD Racks, are on one optical loop, each connected to one of ATK’s 56-pair splitters. The guest monitor SD7 console is on its own optical loop, with three more SD racks. Also new is JBL’s newest line array, the Pro VTX V25 3-way system (powered by Crown ITech 1200 HD amps).

“In addition, we have more than 50 wireless microphones this year,” he adds, “which take up an entire splitter. We have almost an entire splitter dedicated to what we call high-level items, which are things like playback from the truck, Pro Tools lines, all of the production elements, and the podium mics (that are not for use with a band) are down the fourth splitter. The first two splitters are dedicated just for band inputs, one for stage right and one for stage left. This year we’re using AES outputs directly from SD racks in three locations to drive the amplifiers to the PA system. So it’s a whole digital system path again. What we eliminated was a second optical loop just to do the amplifiers. So everything is on one optical loop, with the SD Racks and the consoles.”

The transformer splits themselves are where the copper stops, Peterson explains, and are the dividing line between the live PA side with the DiGiCo SD racks and the trucks. From the ATK splitters, the signals go on to all of the different head amps: one to the two recording M3/Music Mix Mobile trucks, one to the main Denali broadcast truck, and one to the head amps for the DiGiCo consoles. “From there, it’s all various flavors of fiber, whether it’s Optocore to us or MADI to the M3 truck, or Hydra to the Denali. Once it leaves the transformer split, it’s pre-amped and converted to digital from there on. So the inputs come from the stage and then they are split up and sent to multiple destinations. The broadcast truck gets all of the raw microphones the same way we do. They do their mix, package it together with the broadcast items, the show elements and the production elements and send it out for broadcast. They also generate a lot of signals that we take out here: all of the videotaped packages, all of the music play-ons and play-offs, any band’s Pro Tools backing tracks—all of those are generated and routed from the truck through another splitter system to the rest of our consoles.”

“The SD system worked flawlessly,” sums up FOH production mixer Mikael Stewart. “The flexibility of the SD5 and SD7 are exactly what is needed for a show like the GRAMMY Awards.”

“I have continued my love affair with the DiGiCo console,” adds Ron Reaves, “having done quite a few gigs this last year on both the SD10 and the SD7. We started using these last year, and decided that this is all we wanted to use moving forward. This year, both monitor mixers switched from SD10s to SD7s, and that worked out great. The SD7 continues to be the best tool for my particular job at the GRAMMYs, and helped contribute to another great-sounding show out at FOH. I’ve particularly enjoyed the new dynamics package, and feel that between the new de-essers, and the dynamic EQ (a gift from the sound gods), that there’s no vocal ‘problem’ that can’t be tamed with this console. I’ve enjoyed some of the best vocal sounds I’ve ever gotten, too, thanks to this console.

“This year, there was a bit of extra pressure put on us at FOH to get mixes together faster in soundcheck,” Ron continues. “The demand has grown to have the first pass of a song be as close to the full band sound as possible and the console has helped me to accomplish this with the use of presets. I use a lot of presets and pre-dial pretty much everything so I’m never starting from scratch when we start rehearsing a band. That’s been a very helpful tool to have. The addition of the “presentation performances,” where a performer does a song and then introduces another performer, was also tricky and another place where the console excelled. I wrote separate snapshots in order to switch between these segments instantaneously and that worked great. For example, Hunter Hayes performed out on that dish stage in the middle of audience. When he finished, he immediately introduced Carrie Underwood—and bang, snapshot change. The console did what we hoped it would do with no glitches in the audio. In the time it took the audience to applaud, the console had already switched and we were ready to rock on the next act. It was really cool. That was a great example of how quickly this console can switch snapshots and turn on a dime.”

After two years of working on a DiGiCo SD10, the process of building snapshots was made much easier for engineer Tom Pesa, who handled the inner monitor workings on an SD7 this year on the A-Stage at stage right. “It begins with a strong template,” he explains, “a snapshot that is laid out to accommodate anything that comes down the pike with 10 A-stage acts to soundcheck. The common functionality between the DiGiCo platforms means that session structuring, labeling, grouping, building macros, etc., is all very familiar. I had only two days to dive into my SD7 on-site and plan a basic template based on the volumes of band info. Each act provided input lists, band plots, monitor layouts and in-ear requirements. Once my fellow monitor crew created the plan on monitor wedge quantities and in-ear assignments, I added that info to the input list to create the snapshot for that band. Each act is so different when it comes to instrumentation, microphone type, mono mixes and stereo mixes, but the ability to truly customize each snapshot with every parameter being specific to that act means that almost any request can be satisfied. If time permits I try and get ahead of the game by focusing on individual processing for each input, high-passing, EQ and compression as well as FX presets and mix content. The availability of powerful processing onboard the SD7, including the dynamic EQ and multiband compression, allows me to keep things well contained and sonically tight, which is important, especially when creating smooth, coherent in-ear mixes. There is no doubt how good the dynamic range is with the new generation of DiGiCo consoles. I knew how good mixes sounded on SD10 and the SD7 continues this experience for me, just on a much larger and customizable platform.

“Once again this year at GRAMMYs, the entire FOH and monitor consoles were on an Optocore loop utilizing shared head amps. Monitors were in charge of band input gain and FOH was in charge of RF vocal and production mics as well as Pro Tools inputs. We have worked hard the last two years to create a system of trust when trimming each other’s gain while soundchecking, and it has worked well. Once everyone is happy with where the individual inputs of gain are, we switch to digital trim and can fine-tune our own inputs and not affect anyone else. This whole symbiotic relationship of all the mixers at the GRAMMY Awards is why session saving, snapshot updating and recall scope is so important, and all of us have done well in making sure everything is as it should be through soundchecks, dress rehearsal and show. All in all, the use of the DiGiCo systems at GRAMMYs continues to be a leap forward in how everyone’s mixes sound and the sheer utility of how they create those mixes.”

“Honestly, no other console is touching what DiGiCo can do right now,” declares Peterson, who, since last year’s GRAMMYs, has also worked extensively on SD5s and SD7s for a host of award and music shows, from the Oscars to The X Factor. “You can’t network the other consoles the way you can the DiGiCos, so there’s really no other game in town. On shows like these, half the engineers coming in that we work with are jealous that they don’t have a DiGiCo, and the other half come in and are thankful that we’re using them now.”

Photographs courtesy of The Recording Academy®/Wireimage.com © 2013.

MS1600X Powers Multiple Digital Signs with Dynamic Full High Definition ~ One Multi Screen Appliance Powers up to 16 Displays including Multi-Zone Management for Each Screen

MS1600X Powers Multiple Digital Signs with Dynamic Full High Definition

One Multi Screen Appliance Powers up to 16 Displays including Multi-Zone Management for Each Screen

Digital Signage Expo, Las Vegas & San Jose, CA – February 27, 2013 – DT Research™, Inc., an industry leader in the development of information appliances for vertical markets, today announced the release of the MS1600X, a new signage appliance in the WebDT Signage System line, capable of powering content over up to 16 screens. The MS1600 Multi Screen Appliance enables powerful content streaming on anywhere from 2 to 16 displays, and offers content blending, or tiling, across screens. The MS1600X, along with WebDT Content Manager, provides a fully integrated system with 1080p over up to 16 screens and multi-zone management for up to 16 zones.

The MS1600X is powered by the IntelÒ Quad-Core i7 processor, and provides full HD (1080p) video quality to every screen. Running MicrosoftÒ WindowsÒ operating systems, the WebDT Multi Screen Appliance displays content files in native resolution, so images are sharp and true to original properties, even when presented on multiple displays or large screens, maintaining optimal picture quality.

The MS1600X is ideal for applications that require high-resolution on multiple screens including digital signage walls, menu boards, flight/transportation information, and creative display arrangements. The MS1600X enables dynamic digital signage deployments in spaces where multiple screens are indoors and viewed in shopping malls, entertainment venues, and airports.

Each of the screens powered by the MS1600X can be remotely managed with the WebDT Content Manager software, which is bundled with the appliance. This intuitive interface software is used for organizing, scheduling, and deploying content to the digital signage network. The WebDT Content Manager provides multiple zone support and planning for each display, so that a screen can be divided into up to 16 zones with different content in each zone. With WebDT Content Manager, all screens can show the same content, each screen can play different content, or content can be blended over several screens. The user-friendly WebDT Content Manager also allows users to create many combinations across multiple screens, such as four zones on two screens, two zones on five screens, and hundreds of other possible screen layouts.

The MS1600X Multi Screen Appliance brings top quality performance and is available now.

About DT Research

DT Research™ develops and manufactures web-enabled information appliances for vertical applications. The WebDT family of products is based on embedded computing platforms for secure, reliable, and cost-effective computing. WebDT products include digital signage solutions, wireless tablets, point-of-service handhelds, compact modular systems, and display-integrated information systems. These systems emphasize mobility, wireless connectivity and touch displays. Powered by Windows® Embedded and Windows XP operating systems, WebDT devices offer durability and ease in integration, leading to solutions that can be remotely managed with the comprehensive WebDT Content Manager and WebDT Device Manager software. For more information, visit www.signage.dtri.com

MS1600X Multi Screen Appliance

http://signage.dtri.com.

DT Research and WebDT are trademarks of DT Research, Inc. All other brands and product names may be trademarks and/or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

SYMETRIX JUPITER APP BASED TURN-KEY DSP AND ARC-WEB KEY TO SPEAKER CONTROL AT UTAH’S LIBBY GARDNER HALL

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH – FEBRUARY 2013: The University of Utah’s Libby Gardner Hall is large enough to comfortably accommodate a 200-member choir, an 80-piece orchestra, and nearly 700 audience members. It is acoustically and aesthetically stunning, with a warm, rich reverb conveyed by wood panel walls arranged in a spectacular geometry. For years, the school struggled to provide the hall with sound reinforcement for spoken word, solos, and non-classical musical forms that matched the splendor of unamplified instruments. That struggle ended with the purchase of a high-end K-Array mobile PA system, but the fact that it would be placed at different areas of the stage for different types of events meant that well-balanced equalization in one location would be unbalanced at another. A simple, cost-effective, and equally high-fidelity Symetrix Jupiter 12 DSP solved that problem by allowing straightforward selection of different equalization curves from authorized users’ smartphones and other Internet-connected devices via Symetrix’ ARC-WEB user interface.

“I joined the University of Utah faculty twelve years ago,” said David M. Cottle, music tech specialist and director of the electronic music and recording studios. “I was responsible for recording and sound reinforcement in our three performance halls. The first week I was here, I disconnected the existing speakers in Libby Gardner Hall, our premier performance space. The hall is built for acoustic performance, and the installed speakers did no more than muddy the speaker’s voice. From then on, we made announcements without a microphone until we could find a better solution. We started to investigate phased arrays, which have a wide horizontal, but narrow vertical pattern. The first system we tried was a clear improvement: extremely low feedback, even distribution, clear response across the spectrum, and very little reflection. But it was also flawed. It had weak low end, was noisier than I had hoped, and proved bulky to move.”

Salt Lake City-based Performance Audio stepped in with a better solution: a K-Array KK 200 full-range tower, KK S50 subwoofer, with KA 40 and KA 10 amplifiers, all in a stereo set. “As expected, the K-Array system has the same positive properties as the previous phased array,” said Cottle. “Feedback is practically non-existent, and the dispersion is even and horizontal. The system controls the reverb in the room very well. But in addition, the K-Array subs are solid enough for occasional student talent shows and the system is quieter, and easier to move.”

When the new system would be used as the primary source of sound for a performance, it would have to be located toward the front edge of the stage. In contrast, when the system would be used to augment a mostly-acoustic performance, it would be located behind the performers. “When located behind the performers, the sound is less like a PA and more like a richer, blended ensemble,” explained Cottle. “For example, a mic’d piano with orchestral accompaniment isn’t noticeably louder. It can simply be heard with all the other instruments.” However, the system gets a pronounced low-frequency buildup when located behind the performers.

“By providing the school with a Symetrix Jupiter 12 app based turn-key DSP, we were able to give them the EQ curves to match the two locations, along with the flexibility to accommodate other positions should they need them in the future,” said Jake Peery, system design and installation expert with Performance Audio and the individual responsible for designing Libby Gardner Hall’s new reinforcement system. The system currently uses eight of the Jupiter 12’s twelve inputs and two of its four outputs. Many of the inputs combine using Symetrix’ sophisticated automixing algorithm, and mixer inputs accommodate larger, multi-mic performances. A hardwired Symetrix ARC-2e wall panel remote controls the volumes of two Sennheiser G3 wireless microphones used for announcements and spoken-word events.

In addition, Peery used Symetrix ARC-WEB to give Cottle and other authorized users control of the system from their smartphones, iPads, or other Internet-connected devices. “They can select the proper EQ curves for the loudspeaker locations and control the volumes of the wireless microphones or other inputs right from their phones,” said Peery. “They really liked that idea.” Since the new system’s installation, Cottle has received numerous compliments from faculty, students, and audience members. “The other night, we mixed a jazz band, which is one of the most difficult ensembles to control, even without a PA,” he said. “The Director said that it was the best the band had ever sounded in Libby Gardner Hall. The solos were present, but not piercing, and the rhythm section sounded homogeneous.”

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.

SYMETRIX JUPITER 12 APP BASED TURN-KEY DSP AND ARC-WEB BRING SMARTPHONE SOUND TECHNOLOGY TO PARK CITY’S GRUB STEAK RESTAURANT

PARK CITY, UTAH – FEBRUARY 2013: Families and friends love to convene at Grub Steak Restaurant in Park City, Utah, and the establishment carves out a unique niche by providing flexible meeting and event space for local businesses, clubs, and revelers. Grub Steak’s spacious dining room is adjoined by the Miner Room and the even larger Moose Room. However, an aging, patched-together sound reinforcement system was making it hard for the management to accommodate the multimedia needs of the restaurant’s rental clients. Performance Audio, of nearby Salt Lake City, designed and installed a new system centered on a Symetrix Jupiter 12 App-Based Turnkey DSP loaded with nearly forty customized presets to cover every conceivable configuration.” Grub Steak’s managers and regular clients select the presets and adjust input and output volumes from their smartphones using robust Symetrix ARC-WEB technology.

“Grub Steak originally had a zone for each of the three main dining and meeting spaces,” explained Jake Peery, system design & installation expert with Performance Audio. “But its collection of old mixer/amps was making it difficult or impossible to get signal from one place to another. We integrated everything with a Symetrix Jupiter 12, which delivers a tremendous feature set for a very affordable price. In addition, we gave them another zone for the restroom and lobby area. Now they can combine, distribute, and adjust inputs any way they like.” The inputs include iPod docks, line level jacks, microphone jacks, a pair of wireless microphones, background music sources, and a live feed from the main dining room’s modest stage.

Peery also created nearly forty custom presets to cover every possible input selection and routing scenario the restaurant management requested. He also created four Symetrix ARC-WEB panels that, with password clearance, can be accessed from any smartphone or other Internet-connected device. Each ARC-WEB panel provides individualized control of a specified zone. “They also recognized that with so much flexibility, they had the potential to dig themselves into trouble,” said Peery. “So we also gave them a hardwired Symetrix ARC-2e wall panel remote in the office with a ‘reset’ selection that recalls a sensible default setup and gain structure.”

A new Ashly TRA-4150 amplifier delivers 250W to each of the four 70V zones. A handful of blown loudspeakers made way for new Atlas replacements, whereas the rest were in good shape and remain with the new processing and amplification.

“I’ve never created so many presets as I did with this job,” said Peery. “But it was easy to do with the Jupiter’s app based programming, and the client is very happy with the system’s new functionality. In fact, it’s so simple to use that Grub Steak has shared the ARC-WEB password with a few regular clients, such as the local Rotary Club.” Chris Haymond, Grub Steak manager agreed, “Yes, the new system is easy, flexible, and reliable. We’re now set up to make excellent use of our meeting and event space.”

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.

NEW COLUMBIA HIGH SCHOOL STAYS ON BUDGET WITH PERFORMANCE DRIVEN ASHLY AMPS AND DSP

COLUMBIA, MISSOURI – FEBRUARY 2013: The population of Columbia, Missouri grew by over twenty-percent between 2000 and 2010 and is on pace to continue that growth in the current decade. Responding to the obvious need for increased classroom space in a school system designed for a smaller citizenry, the Columbia School District secured funds to build a fourth high school, which will relieve crowding in the existing high schools and middle schools. Muriel Williams Battle High School will open in fall 2013, but already many of its facilities are nearly completed, including band and music rooms that will help jumpstart new musical traditions for the fledgling school. An Ashly ne1600pe amplifier with onboard Protea DSP in each of those rooms will facilitate playback of instructional audio, including stereo recordings of the students themselves.

Lonnie Theer & Associates (Omaha, Nebraska) designed the modest band and music room audio playback systems with an eye toward performance, reliability, and transparent user control, all while meeting the school district’s budget. Each system is an exact duplicate of the other so that faculty and staff need only learn one system to learn them both. “Including only the necessary controls within a robust design make these twin systems just the right speed for the new high school,” said Paul Jonas, director of installations at Theatrical Media Services (Omaha, Nebraska), who installed the system.

A 16-channel Yamaha MG166C mixer provides an intuitive user interface in each room. A handful of microphones, a CD player, and a solid-state recorder form a manageable and flexible input set that’s useful for benchmarking students’ performances against both professional performances and against the students’ earlier performances. One Ashly ne1600pe amplifier with onboard DSP resides in each room, providing equalization, limiting protection, and power for Renkus-Heinz CFX121 full-range loudspeakers. A pair of CFX121s in each room deliver full stereo playback.

“The ease and simplicity of the Ashly ne Series with optional onboard DSP is a real benefit in a job like this,” said Jonas. “Having Ashly’s flexible Protea™ software inside the amp lets us install the system with less wiring and with less time spent wiring. Moreover, there’s a cost savings to having the DSP housed within the amplifier. A separate unit would add significantly to the expense. Ashly’s reputation for building reliable equipment also factors into the benefits.”

The school district will take possession of the new building in the summer, on schedule and on budget.

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

Four DiGiCo Consoles Are Manna From Heaven

In 2012, a DiGiCo SD7 was installed in Jiguchon Church in the South Korea’s Bundang New City. Such was its success that four more of the company’s mixers have now been installed in another church in the city, demonstrating how DiGiCo mixing consoles are making significant inroads into the country’s house of worship market.

Featuring a state-of-the-art technical specification, the new Manna Methodist Church has a seating capacity of 4,000, with around 10,000 worshippers attending each week. Services feature a live band, choir, organ and orchestra, so the audio system needed a high input channel count, as well as facilities to mix live audio for broadcast on its own Internet channel.

The church consulted DiGiCo’s South Korean distributor Soundus Corporation, who supplied and installed an SD7 console at Front of House, with four SD-Racks and an SD8-24 to take care of the live broadcast mix. In addition, Soundus supplied an SD9 for a mobile audio system and an SD11 for the church video editing suite.

“The decision to use DiGiCo consoles was based on the SD7’s ability to handle more than 200 input channels, the dual engine offering stability, reliable redundancy and excellent sound quality,” says Soundus sales manager Byung Chul Park. “The church also needed additional mixing consoles and it was an obvious decision to stay with the same manufacturer.”

Utilising an Optocore fibre optic network, this solution made for a seamless solution throughout the church.

“The system is very versatile and is easily expandable for any future requirements,” concludes Byung Chul. “The church is very happy with it.”

OPTOCORE TECHNOLOGY SUPPORTS AUDIO FOR THE 2013 U.S. PRESIDENTIAL INAUGURATION

Maryland Sound International Utilizes Optocore Network Rings for Signal Distribution and Monitoring

WASHINGTON D.C., FEBRUARY 19, 2013 – When audio integrator Maryland Sound International (MSI) was once again tasked with supplying the main audio system for President Barack Obama’s second presidential inauguration on January 21, 2013, the company employed two Optocore Networks. MSI, a longtime user of Optocore technology, a leading choice for powering professional audio, video and data transmission networks in a variety of markets, including broadcast, post production and AV, chose the networks for their multiple levels of redundancy and reputation of superior reliability. This marks the third presidential inauguration in a row for which MSI has chosen Optocore equipment for the critical audio distribution.

With the ceremony taking place on the grounds of the Capitol in Washington, D.C. in January, MSI was faced with unpredictable winter conditions as well as a long transmission path back to MSI’s Front-of-House position, nearly 2,000 feet from the last speaker tower. MSI and audio designer Patrick Baltzell needed a way to distribute audio signals with as few conversions as possible in order to ensure the approximately 1,000,000 attendees of the ceremony heard every word.

MSI chose Optocore Network technology in order to drive the signal chain directly from the Yamaha PM5D FOH mixing console using Optocore YG2 Yamaha cards that were connected with redundant fiber cabling to the locations of the loudspeaker processors and amplifiers. This provided MSI with lossless digital transmission, which is critical in order to properly transport the audio with crisp sound and clarity over such a long distance transmission path without any glitches.

“The Optocore Networks we put in place for this year’s ceremony certainly made access to all of the amplifiers, signal processors and overall signal distribution far easier and more reliable than in the past,” says Brian Bednar, system technician, MSI. “This time around, everything was more streamlined and faster to set up and tear down at the end of the event.”

The main Optocore Network consisted of one YG2 card in the Yamaha PM5D FOH mixing console connected to an Optocore DD32 networked AES/EBU device on stage right and another DD32 on stage left. Each DD32 was connected to an Optocore X6P-8/8 analog converter and a Dolby DLP loudspeaker processor via AES. The X6P converters gave MSI the ability to feed all the devices that were not AES and/or not driven through the Dolby processor units.

The second Optocore Network consisted of one YG2 card in the PM5D connected to an Optocore DD32R-FX networked AES/EBU device at delay zone 1 (700 feet away) and another DD32R-FX at delay zone 2 (1500 feet away). Each DD32R-FX was connected to an Optocore X6P-16IN analog converter and a Dolby processor via AES. Both networks featured redundant fiber connections.

The DD32R-FX proved to be a helpful add-on for this year’s sound system, with its built-in network wide Ethernet switch. The Optocore Network allowed MSI an easy access to the Dolby DLP loudspeaker processors and amplifiers located off the main site. With a broad part of the sound system offsite, it was then easy to maintain control and monitoring of all the devices on the network to see if they were functioning to MSI’s specifications.

“It is my role to help the FOH engineer tune the system, so having access to all parts of the system at all times in order to make changes without my needing to leave the FOH position is invaluable,” says Art Isaacs, project manager, MSI. “The X6P-16IN converters gave us the functionality to run measurement microphones from multiple city blocks away back to the FOH position. Using the Optocore system proved itself to us in many ways. The sound system was extremely quiet due to the all-AES based drive system. Ethernet access to all of the online devices proved extremely helpful and provided great flexibility. I can only hope that in 2017 that we can continue to work with Optocore systems and further enhance the sound system.”

The relationship between Optocore and MSI goes back for almost a decade. “Optocore has been part of MSI’s rental inventory since 2004,” says Tine Helmle, director, Optocore. “We are proud to provide MSI with the solutions it needed to ensure the audio was heard loud and clear during such an important and historic U.S. event as the presidential inauguration. We look forward to working with them well into the future.”

About Optocore
Based in Munich, Germany, Optocore is the world market leading provider of scalable, high-bandwidth, low-latency fiber-optic networks for the transmission of audio, video and data. For 19 years, Optocore has been continuously innovating and setting new standards with regards to digital network technology. Optocore builds and develops synchronous optical fiber and CAT5 based network solutions for broadcast professionals, fixed installations and live event applications. Utilizing leading-edge technology and high-quality components Optocore guarantees durability and therefore long-term market and customer satisfaction. Due to the open system architecture, Optocore’s platform offers other manufacturers the option to transfer conventional standard audio, video and data formats used in the pro audio industry, via a fiber and CAT5 network. Technical expertise, QoS and an extensive support structure are guaranteed to all customers, together with the highest level of quality controls. For more information, visit www.optocore.com.

SYMETRIX SOLUS 16 STANDALONE FIXED I/O DSP PROVIDE UNIQUE, ZONE-SPECIFIC AUDIO SYSTEMS IN 50 BEST BUY STORES

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – FEBRUARY 2013: Starting with a single location in West Saint Paul, Minnesota, in 1966, Best Buy has worked to become the largest electronics retail store in the eastern United States. It currently operates over one thousand stores around the country and in select locations throughout the world. In its rise to the top, Best Buy has innovated and re-conceptualized the way consumers buy electronics, and the company continues to innovate to keep ahead in the fast-paced and ever-changing world of consumer technology. In that tradition, fifty renovated and newly-constructed Best Buy locations are pioneering a new concept in store sound. Rather than blanketing the entire footprint with a wash of music, discrete zones with very little bleed give the stores a feeling of calm and deliberately direct guests’ attention to the sources of the sound. Because of its powerful open-architecture programming, high sound quality, easy networking, and cost-effective pricing, the Symetrix SymNet Solus 16 standalone fixed I/O DSP underpins the new concept.

“They wanted sound in some areas of the store, but not in other areas,” explained Jon Bormann, owner of Bormann Marketing and the designer of the new system. “It is a directed approach, which is very different from the usual approach taken in retail stores. For example, the store’s Magnolia Audio/Video section, which features really high-end equipment, is better served if sound isn’t spilling into it from the ceiling. In another application, they play a video message every fifteen or thirty minutes, and we’ve arranged the sound so that it effectively emanates from the screen’s location. Since our brains are programmed to look toward the source of a sound, the video message is way more effective than if the audio were raining down from wall to wall.”

The new concept identifies four separate zones per store, the output of which is realized via concentric rings of unobtrusive, ceiling-mounted Innovox miniature steerable line arrays. A pair of energy-efficient Lab.gruppen E-Series amplifiers power the system, and their asymmetrical design allows different loads to be placed on each channel. The 16-input/8-output SymNet Solus 16 DSP handles all of the processing, including robust ambient noise sensing and gain compensation, sophisticated equalization for the line arrays, and flexible multi-zone performance. The emergency and telephone paging systems tie into the new system.

“In contrast to the typical store audio system, this system delivers high fidelity, foreground-quality music, and voice,” said Bormann. “Symetrix is well known for building equipment for installed systems that has studio-quality sonics. Moreover, the SymNet Solus 16 is priced right, which helps allow this new system to go into many stores.” Each SymNet Solus 16 is given a unique IP address, and an engineer stationed at Best Buy’s Richfield, Minnesota headquarters monitors and adjusts system performance in all fifty stores. Although it is seldom used, a Symetrix ARC-2e wall panel remote in each store can override the system’s preprogrammed auto-gain in the event that program material appears too quiet or too loud.

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.

ASHLY AMPS SERVE UP RARE AND WELL DONE AT PERRY’S STEAKHOUSE AND GRILLE

TEXAS – FEBRUARY 2013: Perry’s Steakhouse and Grille truly is rare and well done. From its humble beginnings as a butcher shop more than thirty years ago, Perry’s has grown to become one of the premier steakhouses in Texas. Today with nine locations, each uniquely customized to the neighboring community, Perry’s Steakhouse is located in greater Houston, Austin, Dallas, and San Antonio.

One of the premier A/V integration firms in Central Texas, Intelligent Lighting Services, has designed and installed state-of-the-art sound systems in the most recent Perry’s Steakhouse locations. Intelligent Lighting Services’ Eric Bernstein recommended Ashly’s ne8250pe eight-channel Network Amp with integrated Protea™ signal processor for the Katy, Dallas and San Antonio restaurants.

“I was already looking to make some changes after the first installation at Austin because the big-name DSP we installed there seemed to time-out every other day,” explained Bernstein. “I’d had previous good experiences with Ashly gear and knew that it was reliable. Since I already knew we’d be using Tannoy CMS801 ceiling-mounted loudspeakers, I had my tech wire up an Ashly ne8250 amplifier and another from the manufacturer we had used at the first location. I did a blind comparison in controlled conditions and came away convinced that their clientele would hear no perceptible difference, at least with those loudspeakers. So there it was: an affordable, great-sounding amplifier with optional on-board DSP that I knew was flexible and reliable. And to top it off, Ashly is a nice, contractor-friendly manufacturer. We went forward in the next three locations – Dallas, San Antonio, and Katy, Texas – with the Ashly ne8250pe at the heart of the design.”

Because ambient live music is an integral part of the Perry’s experience, all three locations feature an Allen & Heath console adjoining a modest stage. Its output joins a handful of cable TV channels, a Muzak player, and a wireless microphone at the input to the Ashly Protea DSP environment. Because each of the Perry’s Steakhouse locations is unique, the Dallas location uses four Ashly ne8250pe eight-channel amplifiers, whereas San Antonio and Katy use three. The Ashly Protea DSP Matrix Mixer is used as a room combiner in the private dining rooms, allowing the restaurant to host any size dinner meeting or event. Other common zones include the bar area, lobby, hallways, restrooms, entry, patio plus four or five private dining rooms. Because the Ashly ne8250pe includes separate processing on each output, Bernstein was able to perfectly signal align all of the zones for maximum impact and coherence.

User control is simple. At the Dallas and Katy locations, each zone features a Ashly WR-5 programmable wall-mounted remote. Its simple push buttons allow selection of different input sources and overall volume. The San Antonio location adds a URC KP-4000 wired controller behind the bar for more in-depth control, along with a URC MX-5000 wireless remote that allows the manager to make changes on the fly from any location.

Perry’s Steakhouse and Grille is currently considering new location sites. Because the owner has fallen in love with the sound of the newest restaurants and the way his team is able to so easily control them, Bernstein’s Ashly-based design will serve as the blueprint for all future Perry’s Steakhouse and Grille locations moving forward.

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

Draper Introduces Video Conferencing Accessories

For effective video conferencing in today’s multi-use conference rooms and other venues, you need the required technology precisely where you need it, when you need it—but out of sight when you don’t. Draper has introduced several new products designed to do just that.

Draper’s Video Conferencing Camera Lift-Ceiling allows the placement of a video conferencing camera directly behind a motorized projection screen; the camera raises and lowers with the screen.

The Video Conferencing Camera Lift–Credenza hides your camera in virtually any conference room furnishing, ready to be raised at any time by simple remote operation.

Draper’s Video Conferencing Camera Adapter Bracket allows a video conferencing camera to be mounted in a Draper ceiling recessed projector lift. The bracket is available with three Draper lift models; choose the lift based on how far down out of the ceiling the camera needs to travel.

Draper also offers three unique types of backgrounds to bring your video conferencing to life, help you communicate more effectively and set your content apart. Draper’s neutral backgrounds come in six muted earth tones, and eliminate distractions, help prevent unwanted interference, control room lighting and ensure a consistent corporate image. Custom printed backgrounds can contain custom artwork, photographs, corporate logos and more. Chroma Key Backgrounds, typically referred to as “blue screen” or “green screen” technology, make it easy to change background images or show live action video footage.

For more information on Draper’s new telepresence line, visit www.draperinc.com/VideoConferencing/index.asp.

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