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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

BROOKLYN-BASED KEMADO RECORDS INSTALLS 32-CHANNEL API 1608

BROOKLYN, NEW YORK: Kemado Records is the latest studio to install a 32-Channel version of API’s popular 1608 console. Kemado, long known for bringing national attention to innovative artists spanning the spectrum from indie rock to heavy metal, choose the 1608 to complement its recent plans for expansion, which included the creation of two new labels (Mexican Summer and Software), a brick-and-mortar record store, and a recording studio in 2009.

Kemado’s founders Andrés Santo Domingo and Tom Clapp are happy to report that the recording studio has seen near continual use and offers clients over 1,000 square-feet of tracking space. Kemado’s new 1608 is housed in the larger of two separate control rooms.

Deciding what would replace the existing console became increasingly clear as the choices were analyzed and rejected, explained Clapp. “We figured that if we were going to replace a classic vintage console, we had to replace it with something in the same respected sonic family. But at the same time, we wanted to avoid the near-constant servicing required of some older consoles. So we decided we wanted something new but still classic, which made the 1608 the perfect fit; it’s a classic console with a classic sound. Plus it’s designed to be in constant use, and the modular design ensures that it can be serviced when that time comes. The other options we looked at were not in the same sonic league with the 1608, nor were they built for the long haul.”

Clapp and colleagues burned the midnight oil and installed the new console in just three days, and synched the 1608 into a fully-decked Pro Tools HD rig with 48in/48out, a Studer 827A tape machine, and a Studer A80 VU mix-down deck. And with so many engineers coming through the door, part of the 1608’s allure was its straightforward topology and signal flow, as was its gain structure. “The 1608 definitely has a modern gain structure, in contrast to many of the choices we reviewed,” said Clapp. Choosing that classic API sound was, in Clapp’s words, a “no-brainer”.

“I’ve worked with API gear before, and I love the fast transients and headroom,” he said. “We even tried 500-series modules from a range of high-end manufacturers to fill out the 1608’s API 500-Series slots, but we kept coming back to the API sound.” To date, eighteen of the available 32 slots have been filled with API 550b 4-band and API 560 graphic EQs. “We’re going to slowly fill the rest of the slots with API EQs down the road,” Clapp promises.

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

ASHLY PROCESSORS AND AMPS EARN AN ENCORE

COLUMBUS, OHIO: Encore is a new, high-spirited nightclub located in the Crosswoods neighborhood of Columbus, Ohio. Its strategy for success is to show patrons such a fantastic time that they quickly return to enjoy an encore. Tasteful bar food, a wide range of drinks, and elegant décor and lighting provide the perfect frame for Encore’s daily upscale party. But the heart of the party resides in an articulate, high-SPL, bass-rich sound system designed and installed by local A/V integrator Demmer Audio Video Solutions. Two Ashly 3.6SP Protea digital speaker processors and six Ashly KLR Series amplifiers drive the sound system – and thus Encore’s enthusiastic patrons – nightly.

The new club occupies approximately 2,500 square-feet on a single floor, with a large main room and dance floor complemented by a handful of smaller rooms that are available for private functions. “The owners were looking for a very reliable sound system with solid fidelity and bass,” said Ken Demmer, owner of Demmer Audio Video Solutions. “Moreover, they wanted to be able to come in, turn it on, and know that it would work as expected. They didn’t want to worry about adjusting this or that, and they wanted the minimal access necessary to simply plug in a DJ, select a source, and adjust the volume. That’s it.”

Inputs to the system include a DISH Satellite interface, a cable interface, an iPod dock, a computer media player, and, of course, a DJ input. Because the owners requested it based on their familiarity with systems at their other establishments, Demmer installed a DBX ZonePRO processor for input selection and volume control. However, the meat of the processing at Encore resides within two Ashly 3.6SP Protea digital speaker processors.

“The Ashly Protea processors have excellent sonic quality,” Demmer said. “They’re very clean, the equalization is smooth, and the conversion is nice. The programming software is easy to use, and I can save the configuration program on my laptop, load it via a straightforward USB connection, and lock out the front panel of the unit so that no one fiddles with the settings. That’s a big selling point for my clients – it protects their investment.”

Six Ashly KLR-2000, two Ashly KLR-4000, and three Ashly KLR-5000 amplifiers power the system. Six Community S-3294 three-way twelve-inch speakers, four Community VLF212 dual twelve-inch subwoofers, and six Community VLF118 single eighteen-inch subwoofers comprise the new sound reinforcement system for the dance floor. Existing distributed ceiling-mounted loudspeakers contribute to even coverage throughout the establishment.

“When I first heard of the Ashly KLR Series, the price seemed too good to be true,” Demmer said. “But I still see classic Ashly amps still running day-in and day-out in the field. They build things to last. So I bought a pair of KLR-5000s to power some subwoofers, and they were beat to death. But they held their own, and now I’m happy to install them to deliver high-performance systems on a budget. In addition, they are lightweight and energy-efficient, which are both great selling points.”

Demmer once had a service issue with an Ashly amplifier. “I understand that even well-made things break every so often,” he said. “What impressed me was how great and speedy Ashly’s service was. They turned it around immediately and got it back to me in a matter of a few days.”

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

SYMETRIX ARC-WEB USER CONTROL INTERFACE AND JUPITER APP-BASED TURN-KEY DSP CLINCHES THE TITLE FOR SAM’S SPORTS GRILL

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE: Sam’s Sports Grill opened in 2000, and Nashvillians have voted it the Best Sports Bar in the city for ten years in a row. Clearly, Sam Sanchez and his team know how to deliver a great sports bar experience. Food created from scratch (with gluten-free options!), dozens of beers on tap, and a whopping 70-inch flat screen TV with all the major sports packages, make Sam’s Sports Grill a winner. However, like any establishment, Sam’s Sports Grill had room for improvement. Recently, Sam chose Darrin Fabish, account manager at Nashville’s Audio Electronics, Inc. (AEI), to overhaul the existing sound system at the Hillsboro Village location. The overhaul resulted in replacing all the speakers and adding a Symetrix Jupiter 8 App Based Turn-Key DSP. The Symetrix Jupiter 8 DSP delivers multi-zone content with user control achieved through Symetrix’ forward-thinking ARC-WEB interface for smartphones and other Internet-connected devices.

Sam’s Sports Grill’s Hillsboro Village location (there are three others in Hendersonville and Murfreesboro, TN and Florence, AL) is just a short walk from the AEI offices. “I meet some friends there for lunch regularly,” said Darrin. “As sometimes happens, I was talking to them about upgrading another client’s sound system when Sam overheard me. Although the bar has a great visual setup with plenty of high-definition screens, the audio system lacked zoned audio. Although they could have different games on at the bar and on the patio, the whole place had to listen to one or the other – or music.”

After determining that AEI could give Sam’s Sports Grill a fresh start, Darrin suggested replacing components of the old system. “Eight-ohm speakers were wired for 70-volt and vice versa,” he said. “Residential and commercial components were mixed. This system really needed attention.” Darrin retained the original inputs to the system, two DirecTV receivers, a jukebox, and a music source, and added a microphone input for use on bar trivia night. In addition, a pair of TOA amplifiers and the existing equipment rack were repurposed in the new system.

With eight mic- or line-level inputs and eight outputs, a Symetrix Jupiter 8 DSP forms the core of the new system and leaves a few inputs and outputs for the bar to grow into. “The Jupiter 8 has all of the necessary processing facilities, including easy zone management,” said Darrin. “And given everything that it can do, it’s very competitively priced.” Three zones now comprise the system so that the patio, bar, and seating areas can all have different input sources and volumes. When music is selected, the background music source plays unless a customer plays the jukebox, in which case the background music is muted until the jukebox song is finished. A Bose FreeSpace 3 combined subwoofer/full-range system provides output for each of the zones, and Bose DS-100 surface mounted speakers in the patio lure customers from the sidewalk outside.

“Symetrix’ ARC-WEB technology was a huge selling point at Sam’s,” said Darrin. “Both the owner and the manager are running ARC-WEB from their phones. There’s really something to the fact that these guys can just walk over to a zone and adjust the input and volume right then and there. No more adjusting the volume and then walking over to see if it’s loud enough (or too loud). They seem to really like it. I’m starting to pitch this Symetrix-based solution at other locations. A lot of the owners are young and hip, and they love the ARC-WEB technology.” For those rare occasions when the owner or manager isn’t around, staff can still make necessary adjustments from a hardwired Symetrix ARC-2e wall panel remote.

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 UPS THE SPLS ON ITS SH SERIES OF SYNERGY HORNS

GAINESVILLE, GEORGIA: Not content to rest on its laurels, Danley Sound Labs announces improvements to many of its already highly-regarded SH-Series full-range loudspeakers. The new versions are identified by the suffix “HO,” which stands for “high output.” For example, the if one wishes to get the most performance out of the Danley SH-96 they should order the Danley SH-96 HO. The new designs use a more powerful two-way high frequency. As a result, the low- and mid-frequency drivers can now be driven to their full potential while still maintaining Danley’s characteristic frequency response, phase response, and fidelity. In conjunction, the new designs use a new crossover and have additional options for bi-amping and for changing the low-frequency impedance. Because the cabinets themselves haven’t changed, the new versions retain the coverage and frequency loss patterns of the originals. The new models include the SH-95 HO, SH-96 HO, SH-64 HO

“The original versions can be easily modified to become the new ‘High Output’ versions,” explained Ivan Beaver, lead engineer at Danley Sound Labs. “It just takes the new high frequency driver, a new crossover, and a new switch panel.” In addition, the midrange drivers are also wired a little differently, which is incorporated as part of the new crossover wiring harness. “There are two options on the new switch panel,” said Beaver. “First, there’s a biamp/passive switch. In passive mode, the new cabinets run pretty much like the old versions, except that the mid/high section will be relatively louder than the woofers, assuming the woofers are running at 8ohms.”

He continued, “And that’s the second option. Users can select a woofer impedance of either 2ohms or 8ohms. Some people do not like to run at 2ohms, whereas others may need the additional output when using smaller amplifiers. The wire run should also be considered when choosing the impedance. With a 2ohm load there will be more loss across the wire. How much loss will depend on the size of the wire and the length of the run. An 8ohm load will have a higher damping factor than a 2ohm load, and it is of course easier to bridge an amp into an 8ohm load than into a 2ohm load.” In biamp mode, the mid/high section takes the crossover circuitry and the low section thus has no built-in crossover.

Because the new switch panel cannot be expected to operate reliably if left exposed to the elements, weatherized versions of the new High Output loudspeakers must be pre-ordered with specified biamping and impedance settings.

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

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.

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