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HOSANNA LUTHERAN CHURCH GOES HI-FI WITH DANLEY

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

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

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

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

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

ABOUT DANLEY SOUND LABS Danley Sound Labs is the exclusive home of Tom Danley, one of the most innovative loudspeaker designers in the industry today and recognized worldwide as a pioneer for “outside the box” thinking in professional audio technology.

www.danleysoundlabs.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

www.transaudiogroup.com

Florida Baptist Church Converts (A/D) with Symetrix

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ABOUT API (AUTOMATED PROCESSES, INC.) Established more than 45 years ago, Automated Processes, Inc. is the leader in analog recording gear with the Vision, Legacy Series, 1608 and the BOX recording consoles, as well as its classic line of modular signal processing equipment.

www.apiaudio.com

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

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

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

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

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

ABOUT ASHLY AUDIO Ashly Audio Inc. is recognized as a world leader in the design and manufacturing of high quality & high performance signal processing equipment and power amplification for use in the commercial sound contracting and professional audio markets. The 40-year old company is headquartered in Webster, New York U.S.A. 

www.ashly.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ABOUT DANLEY SOUND LABS Danley Sound Labs is the exclusive home of Tom Danley, one of the most innovative loudspeaker designers in the industry today and recognized worldwide as a pioneer for “outside the box” thinking in professional audio technology.

www.danleysoundlabs.com

API’s BOX FILLS IN THE “MISSING PIECE” AT THE CASINO IN NASHVILLE

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE – AUGUST 2014: The BOX has settled into a new home in a Nashville studio – The Casino. Owned and operated by Eric Masse, The Casino records LPs and EPs for signed artists and bands within the city. Masse consulted Chad Evans at Vintage King while he upgraded his studio, and now admits that the “feels like the missing piece” to his former setup.

“I had been craving the next step up for my sixteen I/O studio for a while,” said Masse. “When I heard about the BOX last year, I started gearing up for it.” The Casino, which also houses two lunchboxes®, six 512c mic pres, a 5500 dual equalizer, and a 2500 stereo compressor, stayed in the API family when looking to gain control over pans and add inserts.

“Enter stage right – the BOX,” jokes Masse, who is amazed by the capabilities The Casino is now able to fulfill. “I can hardly contain my head from exploding from all the options. It’s the center of my studio. I can route things in the mix like never before, and parallel compress things all analog. I can add outboard effects post-conversion to individual tracks, and I don’t have to use my converters to feed the hear-back headphone hub. I can instead build a mix with the sends, and use the inserts for direct ‘more me’s’ and use all sixteen converters for audio. I’m digging it.”

Apart from the functions, the customizable 500 Series inputs allow The Casino to create its own unique sound. “I like that I can utilize the 500 Series slots on the program bus, while still using the input channels. So far, to be honest, I like everything about it.”

Since installing the BOX, Masse has put the final touches on singer/songwriter Rayland Baxter’s second album, and is currently mixing alternative artist Mikky Ekko’s record. He is also ready to record the second country music album Charlie Worsham. The versatility of the BOX helps meet the needs for each unique artist, and allows Masse to utilize the space he needs to record and grow. “I like that it’s a console, and not a console.”

ABOUT API (AUTOMATED PROCESSES, INC.) Established more than 45 years ago, Automated Processes, Inc. is the leader in analog recording gear with the Vision, Legacy Series, 1608 and the BOX recording consoles, as well as its classic line of modular signal processing equipment.

www.apiaudio.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ABOUT ASHLY AUDIO Ashly Audio Inc. is recognized as a world leader in the design and manufacturing of high quality & high performance signal processing equipment and power amplification for use in the commercial sound contracting and professional audio markets. The 40-year old company is headquartered in Webster, New York U.S.A.

www.ashly.com

DANLEY LOUDSPEAKERS DELIVER AUDIO HORSEPOWER AT CHURCHILL DOWNS

LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY: Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky held the very first Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks horse races in 1875, the year it opened. The track acquired its now-iconic twin-spires grandstand in 1895 and subsequently added to it on either side in pieces during the last century, bringing the grandstand’s current capacity to 52,000. In anticipation of the 2014 Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs commenced installation of a 171-ft. by 90-ft. video screen, the largest 4k video board in the world. Because the facility’s low-fi sound reinforcement system had been designed ages ago for only spoken word reproduction, the new screen would require a serious sound system upgrade to realize its full potential and impact. Dallas-based Marsh/PMK International, LLC designed the new sound reinforcement systems for all of the outdoor areas including nearly sixty clusters in the grandstands comprised of Danley Sound Labs SH50, SM96 and SM60F loudspeakers as well as TH212 subwoofers.

Encompass Develop, Design & Construct oversaw the installation of both the new video board and the new sound systems and they hired Marsh/PMK. Dave Stearns and Tim Lindstrom worked with Marsh/PMK to execute the sound system project from conception to completion. “The timeline for such a large-scale project was incredibly short – only six-and-a-half months from start to finish,” said David Marsh, owner of Marsh/PMK. “We were selected as the consultant in early October and delivered the design to Encompass at the end of December with two addenda following in January. Siemens was awarded the installation contract at the beginning of February. They won the bid in part because they have an ongoing contract to operate and maintain the sound systems at Churchill Downs. As such, they were already familiar with the facility and all the relevant operational aspects. Minor installation work and punch list corrections were still going on after the opening of Churchill Downs’ spring meet on April 26. Final testing and adjustments followed to make the system fully ready for the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby race days on May 2nd and 3rd.”

“I’ve been listening to Danley systems at trade shows for years now,” said Marsh. “I like the company’s philosophy of building large horn systems instead of adding to the already flooded market of line arrays. We see line arrays used in many permanent installations where properly designed horn arrays would work better. People have the idea that line arrays are a panacea, the cure-all for every situation, because they can throw sound long distances and because the main sound lobe can be electronically shaped and steered. True, but there is another side to that story.” Marsh goes on to explain, “Constructive and destructive interference that makes line arrays work also causes noticeable variations in tonal quality. Interference also produces lobes of sound in unintended directions, including behind the array. Lastly, most line arrays have wide horizontal dispersion, the angle of which is usually fixed by the basic building block of the array. In such cases, it is not possible to vary the horizontal dispersion angle along the length of the array to optimally match the intended coverage area.”

Marsh said, “I’ve been looking for the right project for Danley. Churchill Downs became the one. Danley clusters positioned along the front edge of Level 300 serve the largest covered seating tier and all the trackside sections in front of the grandstand building from one end to the other. A tight vertical pattern with sharp cut-offs was critical in our long-throw situation. We had to throw sound all the way down to the edge of the track without ‘sizzling the hair’ of people seated below the clusters where Level 200 protrudes out from the building. The system performs as intended. I was also pleased by the performance of Danley’s TH-212 subwoofers. This is a tapped horn design that delivers an impressive amount of bass in a relatively small package.”

Our original design was based on a different loudspeaker manufacturer, but they couldn’t guarantee that their products would be delivered on time,” said Marsh. “Danley had slightly greater vertical coverage patterns in similar box sizes [to those of the other manufacturer], which allowed us to modify our design to use one less box per cluster. That would ultimately be a cost savings. Danley emphatically stated that the boxes would be delivered on time and that sealed the deal. They made good on their promise.”

Danley Sound Labs, Inc. President and CEO Mike Hedden commented, “One of the things we are very proud of is our U.S.-based manufacturing. From the time we got the order until it was shipped complete was four weeks; 250 fully weatherproofed loudspeakers in four weeks, that’s unheard of in this day of off shore production! During this time the south got hit by two severe snowstorms that wreaked havoc on the region. Even with raw goods being lost in logistics which delayed shipments, we still delivered the products in organized pallets so that each load represented a finished cluster on the job site in four weeks.”

Unlike a typical baseball or football stadium, the grandstand building at Churchill Downs has seating tiers that are stacked vertically, straight up and down. Moreover, various expansions have occurred over the years adding sections on either side of the historic “twin spires.” All of these sections have slightly different profiles. There are varying ceiling heights, seating depths and column spacing. It was a unique situation that required careful planning. Unfortunately, Churchill Downs did not have CAD drawings of the facility. In fact, PDF drawings provided to Marsh/PMK trickled in over a period of weeks and none of them were to scale. “This put the already tight design schedule in serious jeopardy.” Marsh said. “How were we going to get this project into EASE [for coverage modeling] and how were we going to produce usable CAD backgrounds?”

Tim Lindstrom worked with Melvin Saunders, another consultant working on the Marsh/PMK team, to meet the challenge. Tim used dimensions obtained during the initial site survey to create re-scaled PDFs. Melvin used Google Earth to confirm or correct the dimensions and then created a SketchUp model of the complicated grandstands. The SketchUp model was imported into EASE, which finally allowed Dave Stearns to get into the detailed loudspeaker system design. Tim subsequently set about creating the necessary CAD backgrounds. “I was very proud of our team’s resourcefulness.” Marsh declared.

Two basic cluster types alternate along the length of the grandstand, just under the front edge of the Level 300 ceiling. There are nearly sixty clusters in total. The first type of cluster includes a Danley SH50 long-throw box and a companion TH212 subwoofer. The SH50 covers the seating in front of the grandstand building all the way out to the edge of the track. The second type of cluster replaces those boxes with a Danley SM96 to provide near coverage in between the horizontal cut-off angles of the SH50s in the adjacent clusters. Both cluster types include a rear-firing full-range SM60F aimed toward the top of the Level 300 seating tier and a more-or-less down firing SM96 with its woofer removed.

Marsh/PMK expanded existing Q-Sys DSP and QSC amplification to power the system. Existing Renkus-Heinz and QSC loudspeakers were repurposed and added to as necessary to improve coverage on the “porches” in front of upper level suites and on Level 200 of the grandstand building. Renkus boxes were also used on the front edge of Level 200 to cover walkways in front of the building and the rear of Level 100 seating where the Danley coverage is shadowed by overhangs. Existing Community loudspeakers were repurposed and added as necessary on poles to cover seating that extends beyond the building as well as the track infield, the entry plaza and the paddock area. “Re-use of existing equipment where possible was a goal of our design, but Danley now provides the major audio horsepower for the grandstands at Churchill Downs,” said Marsh, claiming no pun intended.

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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