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UC Irvine’s Celebrated Sound Design Program Adds DiGiCo SD9 To Curriculum

The University of California, Irvine is home to a celebrated Sound Design program created in 2006. Under the umbrella of the Drama department at the university’s Claire Trevor School of the Arts, the program is spearheaded by Mike Hooker along with Vincent Olivieri, who is the head of the undergraduate sound design program. Late in 2012, the department added a DiGiCo SD9, DRack and UB MADI into its inventory, which made its debut on a series of student-designed programs this spring. One of those shows was the Festival of New Musicals, a unique partnership between the university and the Academy for New Musical Theater, a three-decade-old creative incubator. The alliance paired the talents of professional writers and composers affiliated with the ANMT with UCI students to create the fourth annual festival, staged at UCI’s xMPL – Experimental Media Performance Lab (featuring a flexible seating capacity of 25-150) this spring. One of the festival pieces, ‘Digital Natives’, featured sound design by second year MFA student, Matt Glenn. [Pictured L to R: UCI MFA student, Matt Glenn; Karli Blalock, Assistant Sound Designer; Vincent Olivieri, head of UCI's undergraduate sound design program.]

“One of the interesting things about the way we run our sound design program here is that, with little exception, all of the equipment we own is independent of venue,” explains Olivieri. “Most of the equipment is kept in storage, in workshop rooms, and when a show is being developed, the sound designers are able to choose the tools that they need for their particular project, and can spec what they need and just plug in and play.”

The SD9 was the first DiGiCo purchased by the school and was chosen by Mike Hooker, UCI’s Head of Sound Design, in conjunction with RSPE Audio Solutions. “We knew that we were looking for a digital console of a certain size,” Olivieri recalls, “something that was beefy and designed for live playback and mid-range in size. The SD9 fitted that bill perfectly as it’s great for a mid-size show like this.”

The ‘Digital Natives’ piece comprised a juxtaposition of technology and digital feeds against a backdrop of singers and piano accompaniment for a total of 27 inputs (mics, iPod feeds, playback audio off of multiple computers) and a dozen outputs. Glenn configured a deceptively complex playback system, complete with different sounds and setups configured on different templates within the console. Having the ability to recall these different scenes at the push of a button was huge. Additionally, the SD9 was the perfect console not only for its expandability and versatility, but also for its diminutive size for the small theatre space. And, for a first-time user, Glenn was able to get up to speed quickly by watching the online product videos prior to getting hands-on with the console.

“I wanted to keep the console size down, but I also couldn’t sacrifice the number of channels,” adds Glenn. “Back in the planning stages of this show, before I really knew what it was going to be, I didn’t necessarily know how many mics I would have or how big the pit would be but I wanted to keep open my options with the stage box. With the DiGiCo console, I could have up to 32 inputs from stage from just one D-Rack with the expandability for the future of adding another and you wouldn’t necessarily get that with other consoles. I also wanted an interface that I could intuitively navigate around. The SD9 has a structure similar to Pro Tools and other digital audio workstations (DAWs) and when I started playing with the SD9—my first time using a DiGiCo in a real setting—the way it’s laid out just made sense to me. I didn’t want to be fighting my own brain in the middle of tech, especially with this show, where it’s a really fast turnaround of only three-days. That, the expandability and the ability to write snapshots so quickly and easily, it just all came together with the SD9.”

Onstage, I have six Meyer loud speakers that make up the main system and a subwoofer, plus an additional six loudspeakers placed around the stage for various effects. I’m also using two different internal stereo reverbs that are feeding some of the main speakers. I’m also sending my playback channels to various places around the space to kind of give a surround sound for some of the cues, and they also add a bit of warmth for some of the voices onstage. During pre-production, every time I want to change an EQ or I how much reverb is on a person, I was able to program a macro to update the current snapshot I was working in, and quickly get to it without having to think twice about it. Having eight macro buttons is one of the things I love about this board. Beyond that, there’s so much more to explore with this console but honestly, this show is so fast-paced, I don’t get much of a chance to!”

Moving forward, Oliveiri says the console will serve them in myriad ways, for different productions in varying venues. “We do a lot of shows in a lot of different spaces, and the SD9 is going to be an excellent tool for us for mid-sized musicals and musical events. It’s also going to be useful for us on workshop productions, where the technical needs aren’t always completely known in the early planning stages. For those kinds of productions, the flexibility of a console like the SD9 is essential in order to allow the sound team to quickly respond to unexpected needs.”

dB AUDIO AND VIDEO INTEGRATES A/V AT FORWARD-THINKING HALL COUNTY SCHOOLS

ATLANTA, GEORGIA – MAY 2013: Exceptional by any standard, the Academies of Discovery and the Da Vinci Academy are pioneering schools in Hall County, just northeast of Atlanta, Georgia. The Academies of Discovery is dedicated to multi-cultural and language education, whereas the Da Vinci Academy is dedicated to the arts, technology, and science. The schools occupy opposite sides of the same building and share a common area between them. A/V integration firm dB Audio & Video also of Gainesville recently helped the schools update their educational technologies. The classrooms now possess innovative instructor and student computer displays, and the common area now possesses theatrical, musical, and distributed audio, broadcast video, control/automations, a video wall, and multifunctional tabletop connectivity for various laptop and wireless tablet usage. Each component of the renovation has a specific purpose, yet all function within an integrated whole.

At first glance, each classroom looks like any other classroom. However, a closer inspection reveals a 65-inch Samsung ME65B with touch screen overlay and two “input stations,” one for the student and one at the teacher’s desk. These inputs go to the FSR CB-22 ceiling box with both a Pocket Navigator VGA with audio switching device, as well as a HDMI switcher. From these devices, a user can display laptop content and annotate over, save, and recall any document or video from the school’s server.

The commons area is a unique combination of black-box theater, corporate presentation center, and public transportation hub. Its most obvious attraction is a huge video wall composed of Samsung’s ultra-thin bezel UD55A HDTV monitors. This video wall content is fed from multiple input locations around the wall via the Crestron DM-MD8x8 Digital Media matrix switcher. These inputs include multiple HDMI and VGA with audio inputs, as well as the school’s Safari streaming media systems, a Samsung BD-E5700 Blu-ray player, and a mixed camera feed from a Panasonic TV Studio. All the resources are controlled from a Crestron Pro2 via a TPS-6X dockable wireless touch panel. Audio resources include a Tascam CD-200i CD player and iPod dock, two wired microphone inputs, and two Sennheiser wireless microphone systems. A 64-channel Allen & Heath GLD digital mixer comes on line in theatrical mode.

The commons area audio speaker system consists of a single Danley SH-100B full-range loudspeaker for the main content, two Danley SH-100 loudspeakers for fill, and a single Danley TH-112 subwoofer. The unparalleled performance of the Danley boxes delivers tremendous gain before feedback (a must in black box theater performances), as well as unmatched frequency response and phase coherency. The net effect is increased intelligibility in the vocal range and heart-pounding low end. The speaker system is driven by a complement of Crown amplifiers and Bi-Amp Nexia CS DSP. In the theatrical mode, the commons area uses the Allen & Health GLD-80 digital mixer with full automation and scene recall. The ZED mixer and Genelec monitors are used in the TV production studio with their own mix of all the audio inputs and sources.

The all-LED Elation EAR495 theatrical lighting system provides for numerous scenes of display as well as colors, while delivering the school’s request for low power consumption efficiency. Included in this “green” initiative project are also two Design Spot 250P moving lights for programmed lighting effects, as well as spot light positioning for the talent anywhere on the floor. Two options for controlling these LED lights are from either a simple DMX Operator192 light board or a more involved computer-based CompuLive program.

The school’s full HD broadcast television studio rivals many higher education facilities. Primarily a Panasonic project, this system touts two AG-AC160 studio HDSDI cameras and two AW-HE50SN pan/tilt/zoom cameras with AW-RP50 controller connected via a router to the AWHS50 sub-compact HDSDI live switcher with multi-viewer output. An AJA KI-PRO-Ro provides digital file recording on Apple ProRes 422 format, allowing students to shoot nearly any program, presentation, or theatrical performance, stream it live to the school’s Safari system, and then edit for archival or streaming later. A Clear-Com MS-232 two-channel communications system allows the producer to communicate with the video camera operators and the audio production team. The audio production team uses an Allen & Heath ZED22FX mixing console and two Genelec 8030a studio monitors.

“This has been an incredibly challenging project,” stated Neil Philpott, dB Audio & Video’s Systems Advisor for the entire project. “We spent countless hours discussing the project with Aaron Turpin, Hall County’s technology director, working through construction and infrastructure issues, and determining exactly what functionality would be required to meet the vision of the schools’ and county Administrators’ expectations. All in all, this was a project that raises the bar, not only for dB as a company, but also for the entire state. I believe this is the blueprint for many schools to come.”

ABOUT dB AUDIO AND VIDEO dB Audio and Video is a Gainesville, Georgia-based design/build technologies integrator specializing in audio and acoustics, broadcast and presentation video, digital signage, and control automation for houses of worship, schools, sports arenas, government and military. For more information visit: www.dbaudioandvideo.com

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

SEE DANLEY AT INFOCOMM BOOTH #143 • COME TO HEAR THE OS80 IN DEMO ROOM W203B

CARVER SPORTS COMPLEX HITS A TRIPLE: ASHLY PROCESSING, ASHLY AMPLIFICATION, AND ASHLY USER CONTROL

NEOSHO, MISSOURI – MAY 2013: Neosho, Missouri serves as the western gateway to the Ozark Mountains. Recently, the Neosho R-5 School District initiated a multi-phase plan to convert an open field adjacent to Carver Elementary School into a sports complex with two baseball/softball diamonds and a soccer field. Lance Brummett at Warren Smith & Associates, Consulting Engineer P.C. (Tulsa, Oklahoma) designed the electrical infrastructure for what will be known as the Carver Sports Complex. Nate Pugh, project supervisor and Vince Hightower, installation foreman of Total Electronics Contracting (Joplin, Missouri) oversaw its installation. In order to provide the district with reliable, affordable sound reinforcement for the sports complex, Ashly Audio processing, amplification, and user control forms its core.

“Although they only have the first softball field completed, we have already installed the audio systems that will cover both ball fields,” said Pugh. A pair of Community R.5 loudspeakers covers each field (four loudspeakers total) from atop a concessions stand that resides between the two fields. A single Ashly KLR-2000, rated at 1000W on each of two channels, powers the system, one channel per field. An Ashly ne24.24M processor handles all of the input management, signal processing and routing logic for both fields. Because it has a modular I/O design, the ne24.24M is perfectly tailored to the complex’s needs. Twelve inputs collect six identical sources from each field, and four outputs feed the amplifier with two spares.

“This was my first experience using the Ashly ne24.24M processor,” said Hightower. “After just an hour with it at the shop, I felt completely comfortable and ready to take it to the field. It went in easily and without a hiccup. The fact that it’s modular is nice; we were able to give them what they needed without wasting a lot of untapped potential. The Ashly KLR-2000 is a great sounding amp. It’s nice and clean and promises to deliver reliable sound for a long time to come.”

A pair of Ashly FR-8 Network 8-Channel Remote Faders provide simple, intuitive user control of source volume and muting, as well as output volume for each field. Because the FR-8 connects to the ne24.24M with just a simple Ethernet jack, installation was a snap. Input sources are identical for each field and include a tuner, a Marantz CD/iPod player, an ElectroVoice wireless microphone, a Shure wired announcer microphone, and an additional microphone jack. Furman sequencing provides power to the system in a Middle Atlantic rack.

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

STOP BY AND SEE ASHLY AT INFOCOMM BOOTH #335

SYMETRIX PROMOTES HOCK THANG TO REGIONAL SALES MANAGER ASIA/PACIFIC

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – MAY 2013: Spurred by Symetrix’ increasing global presence and the rise of a robust Asian market, former Symetrix Technical Sales Engineer Hock Thang has been promoted to the newly-created position of Regional Sales Manager – Asia / Pacific. Based in Singapore, Thang’s mastery of the Symetrix product line – including Jupiter app based turn-key DSP, Solus standalone fixed I/O DSP, as well as Edge and Radius Dante network audio DSP – has been winning Symetrix converts throughout the region.

“Since 2006, Hock has been an invaluable resource for Symetrix in Asia,” said Mark Ullrich, Symetrix international sales manager. “From his home base in Singapore, Hock has been providing trainings and superior support to the Asia-Pacific Symetrix distributor network. He will continue with this fully but will now also add new focus on strategic sales activities, territory management, and increased connection and support for our distribution partners.”

“I’m privileged to work with such a great team at Symetrix,” said Hock Thang. “Together with our extremely committed distribution partners I look forward to growing Symetrix further in my new role. As our products evolve and become more sophisticated and competitive, we must have the presence and sales infrastructure in place to support it. With the recent release of SymNet Radius AEC Dante network audio DSP, for example, I’ll be focusing heavily on growing the awareness of our full range of conferencing solutions. I look forward to working even more closely with distributors, consultants, and end-users alike, to continue to install superior Symetrix DSP products in the Asia-Pacific region.”

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.

JAY RUSTON, AN ESTABLISHED CHANNELSTRIP USER, ADDS METRIC HALO’S PRODUCTION BUNDLE PLUG-IN COLLECTION TO HIS UPDATED RIG

SAFETY HARBOR, FLORIDA – MAY 2013: Apart from being a seriously nice guy, veteran engineer and producer Jay Ruston is a monster talent behind a mixing console, be it physical or virtual. He’s been at it for twenty years and recently leveraged his seasoned perspective and sonic-smashing tricks to mix Anthrax’s return-to-form masterpiece Worship Music and Steel Panther’s much-lauded mocurockery Balls Out. Ruston took to Metric Halo’s ChannelStrip plug-in for those efforts, citing its musical sound and useful presets as part of what made those works so effective.

Even more recently, Ruston relented to the rising tide of incoming Pro Tools sessions that were incompatible with his “if-it-ain’t-broke-don’t-fix-it version” 7.4 and upgraded to 10. Associated with that giant leap and given Pro Tools 10’s move to AAX, he had to reconsider his plug-in pallet. “I was pleased with the results I was getting with Metric Halo’s ChannelStrip, and I saw that the company was now selling a Production Bundle of plug-ins,” he said. “I needed a de-esser, a multi-band compressor, an enhancer, and more. Coming from the same minds that made ChannelStrip, I figured the Production Bundle would be a good bet.” As it turns out, it was.

The upgrade to Pro Tools 10 was happening just as Ruston was finishing the mixes for the debut album from The Winery Dogs, a super group composed of Richie Kotzen (Mr. Big, Poison), Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big, David Lee Roth, Steve Vai), and Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater). He held on to the 7.4 mixes in order to give them one more tweak with the new system and the new Metric Halo plug-ins. “The vocals were critical, and after doing some basic equalization and compression with ChannelStrip, I used the Production Bundle’s Multiband Dynamics to smooth out the top end and upper midrange,” he said. “I’ve always used multiband compressors, and Metric Halo’s version is very effective. In addition, I cleaned up some sibilance with Metric Halo’s Precision DeEsser, and I’ve since found that it works just as well with female vocalists.”

Ruston used Metric Halo’s HaloVerb on Portnoy’s otherworldly drum tracks. “All of these Metric Halo plug-ins are so easy to use,” he said. “HaloVerb has only a handful of well-labeled knobs, and it immediately sounds good using any of the presets. I dialed in the sound using the presets as a starting point.” Those statements about HaloVerb generalized: “The Production Bundle is simple to look at and understand. The parameters are sensibly labeled with meaningful descriptions like ‘release’, ‘attack’, ‘Q’, and so on; none of those weird parameter names I find in other manufacturers’ plug-ins.” Despite the fact that The Winery Dogs recorded the album in Kotzen’s house, Ruston couldn’t be happier with the way the final mixes sound.

Of course, well-labeled parameters would only be appreciated on a plug-in that sounded fantastic, and Ruston described the Production Bundle by way of ChannelStrip. “ChannelStrip is so useable because it sounds so musical and pleasant,” he said. “I can slide the EQ curves around and it all sounds good. It’s just a matter of finding the most effective position given the track and everything else that’s happening in the mix. It can go from extremely broad and smooth to extremely tight and clinical, depending on what I need. All of the Metric Halo plug-ins share that same sonic quality – smooth, musical, and yet precise. They do what they’re supposed to do, like a piece of high-quality analog equipment. In that way, they’re also speedy, which is important because I like to work as quickly as possible.”

Ruston also used Multiband Dynamics, Precision DeEsser, HaloVerb, and, of course, ChannelStrip for the drums and vocals on Steel Panther’s follow-up to Balls Out. In addition, he’s had a chance to try out some of the other goodies in the Production Bundle. “The Character plug-in is versatile and sounds, to me, like tape emulation,” he said. “I can use it on bass, which adds some nice grind and really lets it tear. That’s especially useful with Steel Panther because they don’t always lay a rhythm guitar underneath a solo. Another trick I found was putting the snare and kick on a separate bus, compressing with ChannelStrip, and adding Character for drive. Then I mix that back in with the clean tracks to get a really punchy sound.” In addition, Ruston uses TransientControl to dial in percussive attack where needed.

“I know that a lot of mix engineers are anti-preset,” said Ruston. “Not me. I want the maker to show me what a plug-in was designed to do. I want to learn all the secret weapons and tricks that they built into it. The Metric Halo presets are totally usable. I can use the presets for a particular task or I can fire through them and listen for something that catches my ear. Either way, I usually dial things in from there.”

Ruston is excited to use the new Metric Halo Production Bundle on a live DVD for Anthrax that was recorded in Santiago, Chile. Previously, he had to rent rooms to do surround work, but now his system is set up for surround. “For the first time, I’ll be able to use all of my own stuff on a surround recording,” he said. “It’s gonna be great!”

ABOUT METRIC HALO Now based in the sunny city of Safety Harbor, Florida, Metric Halo provides the world with high-resolution metering, analysis, recording and processing solutions with award-winning software and future-proof hardware.

www.mhlabs.com

Rock & Roll’s Top Artists & Icons Get Amped With Firehouse & DiGiCo

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Ceremony returned to the West Coast for the first time in 20 years this April, to induct a new class of musicians and industry icons in a nearly 5-hour evening of music and merriment at Los Angeles’ Nokia Theatre. The class of 2013—Public Enemy, Rush, Heart, Randy Newman, Donna Summer, Albert King, Quincy Jones and Lou Adler—were honored by a who’s who of music past and present. For the 13th year, Firehouse Productions handled the audio portion of the show, with Mark Dittmar spearheading the onsite crew comprised of Production Mixer Barry Warrick, Music Mixer Ron Reaves (on a DiGiCo SD7) and Mike Parker handling monitors (SD7).

The show has grown exponentially over the years into what Dittmar calls ‘fast and stupid.’ “And I don’t mean that in a derogatory way,” he laughs. “It’s just that this is the sort of show that keeps growing and giving and growing and giving, and they will never get smaller. There’s so much more desire for content, and there’s a lot more figuring it out on-site. Ten years ago you would spend a huge amount of prep time. Now you fly in and the producer’s like, “Oh, I just added a band.’ Last year they added Green Day, literally two days before the show and we’d already loaded in. We don’t get to say, ‘I’m sorry you didn’t tell us that three weeks ago, we can’t do it.’ You say, ‘OK, we have an hour to set them up.’ You look at what we do routinely now, and if you had asked us to do it 10 years ago, we would have freaked out. We simply didn’t have the tools or the technology to accomplish it. Two years ago we outgrew our Yamaha PM1Ds at FOH and in monitor world because the show kept adding inputs to the point that our only choice in inventory were the DiGiCo SD7s, and it was a logical move for doing these shows. The pace has become very, very fast and we have a great team and great tools in place now that can get the job done easily.”

The show’s drive system is all on fiber optics now with the SD7s and a trio of SD racks networked via Optocore. “Everything is digital, front to back,” Dittmar adds. “The signal path from the input of the SD7 into the amplifier is digital the entire way. You couldn’t easily accomplish that 10 years ago; we would’ve run out of horsepower with the consoles. Several yeas ago, we thought that we’d probably never fill a 96-input desk, and then we filled a 96-input desk… and more. Now that these things can do hundreds of inputs, the question is, ‘how much can a guy like Ron mix?’ You know, where does your brain give out and say, ‘I can’t find the fifteenth snare drum?!’ We’re doing things very powerful and very fast now, and a key component is the SD7, which allows us to do these shows. The SD7 is powerful and you can put a lot of inputs and outputs into it. Once you’re into an SD7, you no longer need to think about the layout. We just go very, very large with the splits, we give the mixers everything instead of having to repatch in the middle of the show. Parker and Ron don’t have to have a conversation about what they want to see where. We simply send everything to everyone and it’s very easy for them to deal with.”

“The challenge for me on a show like this, where I have a house band and artists walking on and off—as compared to one that’s a bit more ordered like the Grammys, where you have 20 separate bands and 20 different snapshots—is that you have to be a bit more flexible here because it’s all going to change… sometimes multiple times. This is an outstanding band, with some of the top session players, who’ve played on tons of hit records: drummers Steve Ferrone and Jim Keltner, bassist Will Lee, guitarists Waddy Wachtel and Ray Parker Junior, Greg Phillinganes on keys under the direction of Paul Shaffer… it sounds amazing! But for example, on day one of rehearsals, we were on version 10 of our input list. And it changed even more before we took the stage.”

“I’m using my basic Grammy template file because it’s a good starting point for music,” Reaves continues, “and I can just switch the inputs around from there. I’m landing about 112 inputs for the music performance. I do a lot of pre-dialing and I use a lot of presets on this desk, which enables us to go very fast, which is very important for doing TV. And as long as I have plenty of faders, I’m good. And that’s the beauty of the SD7. I can make it as big as I need it to be and can have 256 faders if I need them. I can put everything in the entire show in the console and have it there all night long. And no matter what anyone calls for at the last minute, it’s there. That’s why this is the perfect tool for jobs like this. You can build yourself a giant console so to speak, in terms of layers, and have everything right at your fingertips. These shows keep getting bigger and bigger because we keep pulling it off, but it would never have fitted on the consoles we were using previously. This is the perfect example of how the hardware helped fix the problem.”

At monitor world, it was only Mike Parker’s second time on an SD7, although he’d mixed numerous times on SD10 for events ranging from the Grammys to the Video Music Awards. He found the console’s updated software features exceptionally powerful in managing approximately 130 inputs and 84 outputs for the show.

“The DiGiCo platform is so versatile you can layout any show they throw at you and it can handle it,” he offers. “Not only does it sound good, but it’s probably the most advanced live mixing console in use today. I love the functionality and how you can route things… its quick, easy and very helpful. It enables me to sketch out the console in rehearsals and start dialing up the EQ.

“Monitors are in a critical place for shows like this,” Parker adds. “If the artist is happy with their monitors, chances are you’re gonna get a better performance. But it requires everyone: that means the house mix is good, the crowd reacts and the artist reacts off the crowd… it’s a loop. It creates a great energy that is not seen, but felt. When the monitors and house couple together it’s called a ‘lock’—when everything locks together. I’ve witnessed it several times and it’s magic.”

“This is one of my favorite shows,” Dittmar muses. “I’ve been doing this show longer than anything else in my career and it’s a night of amazing talent. The house band is incredible and you’re getting to hear your favorite bands growing up. Go on YouTube and watch Prince doing “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” from the ceremony several years ago… everyone’s jaw was just on the floor, including Eric Clapton’s!

“When we do large shows like this, I like having the cool tools like the DiGiCos. I like pushing the technological barriers and having the slick setup. But we also like when they work and the SD7s have been flawless for us. We also had a pair of them on the Tony Awards and not only do you have an immensely powerful platform, but you also have the reliability and that makes them very viable. They’re certainly the most popular desk right now, too!”

Pictured LtoR: Production Mixer Barry Warrick, FOH Tech Michael Bove, Music Mixer Ron Reaves and Production manager Mark Dittmar.

BOX HILL INSTITUTE CHOOSES API 1608 FOR STUDIO R

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – MAY 2013: When the Box Hill Institute’s Centre for Creative Industries console needed replacing, they looked no further than the API 1608. The 32-channel console can be found in Studio R of the Institute’s Whitehorse campus in Melbourne, Australia. Here, students use the console to earn degrees in Applied Music, specializing in audio production courses that teach both analog and digital recording techniques.

Adam Quaife, former freelance engineer and producer, who is now a lecturer in audio production, heard of API in past professional experiences with other respected engineers and producers. “We searched for a new console that would give our students the very best experience of what analog audio could offer.” he said. The obvious choice was the API 1608.

The API 1608 was chosen for its quality of sound, level of control and solid build, as well as the reliability and timelessness of API’s products. “We are very happy with our choice of an API 1608. The sound of the console and the 550A EQ is awesome. The whole thing feels and functions like a high-quality studio instrument,” said Quaife. The department also uses other API products such as the 2500 stereo bus compressor, 5500 dual equalizer and the A2D mic pre amplifier.

“Box Hill institute has long been regarded as a great institution to study creative arts, audio production and music,” said Quaife. “Our students immediately appreciate the flexibility and quality of sound that this console brings to their productions.”

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

Kinky Boots Has Broadway On Its Feet With DiGiCo

With songs by rocker girl Cyndi Lauper and story by celebrated actor/playwright, Harvey Fierstein, Kinky Boots has Broadway on its proverbial feet. Based on the 2005 British flick about a struggling shoe factory that reinvigorates business by making fetish footwear for drag queens, the show opened to rave reviews—and a TONY award nom on the horizon. In keeping with many award-winning shows on the ‘Great White Way,’ sound designer John Shivers opted for a DiGiCo SD7T to handle the production, after becoming familiar with the system on his previous productions for Bonnie & Clyde, Sister Act and The Lion King overseas. The SD7′s powerful system and diminutive size made it a perfect fit for the new show.

“A few years ago, I saw a brief demo at Masque Sound when the SD7 first became available,” he recollected. “Seeing the feature set and the redundant engine and power supply all onboard got me interested. When designing The Lion King for Singapore in 2010, part of my negotiation involved suggesting that we swap out the Cadacs with SD7s in New York and London for both creative and financial reasons. Before I knew it, I’d gotten an email telling me to move forward. Within 6 weeks of that conversation we were implementing the SD7s on the New York show and a month after that we were doing the same in London. I’ve been using SD7s pretty much on every show since.”

Shivers says the console offers a lot of flexibility, especially with the new “T” software, which he says brings features and functionality specific to our needs on theatrical productions as well as a solid sounding foundation in a very compact package.

“The SD7T software has added these very beneficial features thanks to [award-winning sound designer] Andrew Bruce’s involvement in the development. Having onboard compression, gating and delay—along with the programmability and recallability of those parameters on every channel—opens up possibilities that you just can’t have with an analog console. It’s definitely been an upgrade for us from that standpoint. A positive byproduct has definitely been the size of the console, which allows you to get into smaller spaces and require less seats and has served as a large financial windfall for producers. For me, from a purely creative and design standpoint, it’s about the capabilities of the console. I’m not one to follow the crowd necessarily, but the SD7 has become a standard of our industry and the reason everybody’s using them seems clear. It has proven itself to be a very capable and reliable console.”

“The SD7 with the ‘T’ software option has indeed proven to be a very good investment for Masque Sound,” says Masque’s Scott Kalata. “It has near-universal client acceptance, unlimited flexibility and its small footprint make it the ideal choice for today’s theatrical sound designer.”

The show’s Associate Sound Designer & Production Sound Engineer David Patridge has mixed on virtually every make and model DiGiCo has offered since the D5 in his two decades on Broadway. He, too, raves about the increased functionality that the Theatre Software offers.

“This is the number one reason for using SD7 in my opinion,” he offers. “We really appreciate all of the work that DiGiCo has undertaken, in tandem with Andrew Bruce, in developing a purpose-built version of the SD7 software for the theatrical market. DiGiCo has been very responsive in listening to end-users and new features are added and perfected constantly along with the elimination of oddities and bugs.

“I could fill pages on all of the features and how we use them. Specifically, the Auto Update is a great feature on its own but when it is employed as part of the theatre software it is really powerful and allows the desk to remain automated to a much larger degree than other types of desks. Typically, when using a recallable desk, you would need to dumb-down many of the features in order to avoid constantly recalling entirely new settings each time a scene is recalled. With the theatre software, you can expect the desk to operate in a ‘manual’ way but with full and selectable recall ability from moment to moment. On other productions such as The Lion King, we have enjoyed using the Gain Tracking ability of the desk in a creative new way. There is no other desk that I know of where you can assign headamps to a redundant set of control channels dedicated to band monitoring and then have the digital trim of those redundant channels track changes to the headamp. DiGiCo has really stepped up by providing a console that provides us with the greatest creative freedom when doing theatrical sound designs.”

“We use the onboard processing extensively for band reverbs and dynamics, which really cuts down on the real estate at the FOH position. The only outboard gear we’re using is a couple of Avalon Tube Compressors for our lead vocalists to fatten up their vocals. We also have a TC6000 System and Eventide H3000 for Vocal Effects/Reverbs etc. We are not using Waves yet, but I am interested in doing this in the future.”

The show’s system inputs total 116 analog and 6 AES, in addition to 60 analog outputs and 14 AES outputs. The production uses a pair of DiGiCo SD Racks along with the local I/O and MADI for the QLab playback system. They took advantage of the onboard MADI Split on the SD Rack in order to provide audio to a Yamaha PM5D monitor console. “The new racks offer a host of features positioning them well for use where audio is being split to a number of places like OB trucks etc., without needing to tap into the topology of the SD7 audio engines.”

By its very nature, Patridge explains, the SD7T solves many of the issues that crop up when dealing with a theatrical piece. “The cuelist structure, MIDI implementation, onboard input and output dynamics, the desk footprint and the Auto Update features not to mention the desk’s excellent sonic characteristics make choosing an SD7T a no-brainer. And in terms of flexibility and ease of use, I would say that DiGiCo is at the top of the ladder. There is no other digital desk that offers the same degree of theatrical features. The desk is also designed in such a way that it is very simple and intuitive to explain it to a new operator. Sonically I would say that that DiGiCo is on par with the top of the marketplace. Often the weakest link in any sound design is things like the content, mic positions or the room architecture. I don’t get the sense that any of the available top-of-the-line digital consoles add much of a sonic signature, although certainly you get what you pay for. We have been very pleased with the results that we get from DiGiCo desks.”

New cost–effective KanexPro HDMI Matrix with up to 32×32 I/O’s

May 16, 2013. Getting ready for InfoComm? Don’t forget to check our new, best-in class HDMI™ Matrix Switcher for all your AV integration needs.

The KanexPro HDMI 32×32 (also available in 4×4, 8×8 & 16×16) matrix is an ultra-high performance, digital matrix switcher engineered to route HDMI signals from 32 inputs to 32 outputs. The unit provides full HDCP internal management for today’s integration in commercial A/V market, ensuring HDCP key authentication, and administering the handshake internally. It maintains resolutions up to 1920 x 1200, 1080p or 2K, supporting full cross point switching. The matrix supports smart EDID management for rapid integration of sources and displays.

HDMI, Matrix, EDID, HDCP


Fully controllable through RS-232 commands, IR remote and front-panel buttons, this switcher includes 10-global presets for I/O configurations which allows saving and recalling via the front-panel, IR or through serial control at any time.

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The KanexPro HDMI 32×32 matrix switcher is ideal for countless commercial applications such as military, medical and government environments where swift, reliable switching and distribution of high-resolution DVI/HDMI signals is critical to meet pixel-by-pixel needs.
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Leveraging our core strength in professional A/V products, KanexPro carries a complete selection of A/V connectivity needs. When planning digital installations you will find that we carry a broad line of A/V connectivity products enabling you to broadcast, extend, split, or multiply HD signal transmissions; simply and cost-effectively. KanexPro is a registered trademark. All other trademarks and registered trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.

DANLEY’S NEW OS80 TAKES THE LEAD AS A FULLY-WEATHERIZED OUTDOOR LOUDSPEAKER WITH PATENTED SYNERGY HORN TECHNOLOGY

GAINESVILLE, GEORGIA – MAY 2013: Danley Sound Labs brings its revolutionary Synergy Horn technology to the great outdoors with the Danley OS80. Like its Synergy Horn siblings, the OS80 delivers tremendous output, both in terms of sound pressure level and transparency, as well as precise pattern control. Unlike its Synergy Horn siblings, however, the OS80 is housed in an enclosure that is utterly impervious to weather, making it the ideal loudspeaker for outdoor installations at sports venues, arenas, athletic fields and complexes, theme and recreational parks, public gatherings, race tracks, community centers, cruise ships, hockey rinks, water parks, swimming areas, and more.

“The Danley OS80 brings high fidelity to outdoor loudspeakers,” asserted Mike Hedden, president of Danley Sound Labs. “Until now, installing a fully-weatherized loudspeaker meant significant compromises in fidelity and impact. But like all Danley products, the OS80 doesn’t play by those rules. The OS80 not only delivers the kind of clarity and power that characterizes our flagship SH-50 loudspeaker, but it can do it in a driving rain or after a winter spent buried under snow. In addition, the OS80’s precise pattern control created by the large horn makes it possible for outdoor sound reinforcement systems to deliver superior Synergy Horn fidelity to every seat.”

The Danley OS80’s coverage pattern is 80 deg conical with an operating frequency range that spans 113 Hz to 18 kHz (+/- 3 dB). It has 101 dB SPL sensitivity and a maximum output that rates 127 dB SPL continuous and 133 dB SPL program. A single high performance 12-inch driver and a single 1.4-inch driver energize the Synergy Horn and are hidden away inside a thermal molded poly-composite exterior measuring 32.25 inches high by 26-inches wide by 14.5 inches deep. Total weight is 51 pounds, and a U bracket is included as are other flexible mounting options which allow the Danley OS80 to make itself at home in any circumstance.

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

SEE US AT INFOCOMM BOOTH #143 – COME TO HEAR THE OS80 IN DEMO ROOM W203B

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