A virtual press conference from Sound & Video Contractor

Archive of the NAMM Newslink Category

API 1608 CONSOLE INSTALLED AT UPSTATE NEW YORK’S SOUNDSCAPE STUDIO

BUFFALO, NEW YORK – APRIL 2013: James Calabrese, owner of Soundscape in Buffalo, New York has purchased a 32-channel 1608 with an expander. The veteran composer, engineer and studio-owner chose the 1608 console as the prized piece of his upstate New York dwelling.

“I first heard an API when I was in New York helping to cut tracks for Miki Howard’s debut album Come Share My Love and the engineer used a Lunchbox to EQ the massive electric piano part,” says Calabrese. He has been in the market ever since.

His studio also features other API gear such as the 3124 four-channel mic pre, a 500V rack, and four 550 EQ’s, as well as two 525 compressors, now in the console. The console was purchased from API rep, Vintage King of Detroit.

James started as a composer, where he recorded original music for commercials, corporate and broadcast video scoring, in pop, rock, jazz, and classical styles. Some clients include Fisher Price, Hasbro, Xerox, Kodak, Phillips Electronics, and artists like Pointer Sisters, Ray Charles, and the Goo Goo Dolls. He even co-wrote the track, Where You Are on Whitney Houston’s multi-platinum second album, Whitney. “I’ve collaborated with New York composer Ken Higgins to score a few films and documentaries along with the globally-syndicated miniseries Hemmingway for Daniel Wilson Productions,” he says of his experiences.

As of late, he has completed sessions on his new 1608 with pianist arranger transcriber Krista Seddon, remixed a tune for LA-based guitarist Michael Campagna for a Varese Sarabande library, and has also mixed an Old Navy commercial.

“There really wasn’t any other choice,” says Calabrese. “I’m still only at the beginning of my knowledge of the 1608; still learning the center section, love the sound, love the build quality and I’m looking forward to some larger tracking sessions in the next few months. I liked the fact that API was going to be around a while. I wanted a desk that I’d probably keep the rest of my career.”

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

METRIC HALO DONATES ULN-2 CONVERTER AND SPECTRAFOO SOUND ANALYSIS SOFTWARE TO THE WOMEN’S AUDIO MISSION (WAM)

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – APRIL 2013: The Women’s Audio Mission (WAM) is a San Francisco-based, non-profit organization “dedicated to the advancement of women in music production and the recording arts,” a worthy undertaking given women’s serious underrepresentation (less than 5%) in professional audio. To that end, WAM operates a professional recording studio staffed by women and intermixes its operation with collegiate-level classes for women, as well as introductory-level classes for girls. In addition, WAM sits at the center of an online network of aspiring and established women in the professional audio industry, which provides support and community to members around the world. Recently, Metric Halo, maker of boutique audio interface technology and professional audio software, donated a two-channel ULN-2 preamp/AD/DA interface and eight SpectraFoo Complete sound analysis software licenses to WAM in support of its mission.

“WAM exists to get more women and girls into audio because we feel that the more they have access to and participate in production, the more they can influence music, media, the Internet, and, ultimately, popular culture,” said Terri Winston, veteran musician, engineer, and producer, as well as Founder and Executive Director of WAM. “The more access our students have to high-quality production, the more prepared they will be to participate and the more successful they will be in professional audio. That’s why we’re excited to receive support from Metric Halo. We’re big fans of their gear and software, and our students will benefit from their exposure to the ULN-2 and SpectraFoo.”

The Metric Halo ULN-2 will be used within WAM’s studio environment for mic preamplification, as well as conversion into and out of Pro Tools. “Our students often ask, what’s the difference between the very inexpensive pro-sumer gear and the more expensive professional-grade equipment?” Winston said. “Rather than give them a theory, we say, ‘let’s listen to the difference.’ It’s important for them to gain exposure to as much as they can. Apart from being a useful high-end tool for our studio, the Metric Halo ULN-2 will serve as a reference for high-quality preamplification and conversion.”

In WAM’s classes, Metric Halo’s SpectraFoo sound analysis software will provide a visual reference for the audio manipulations that students are learning about. “A picture is worth a thousand words,” said Winston. “When students are equalizing a source, SpectraFoo shows them the effect of the equalization and cements the physical reality of what’s actually happening. It’s an eye-opener for them. They appreciate that there’s a science and a reality to what they’re hearing.”

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

DiGiCo/Optocore System Streamlines Complex 2013 TED Conference

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BNY PRODUCTIONS ELIMINATES IEM DROPOUTS WITH RF VENUE’S CP BEAM ANTENNA

SIOUX CITY, IOWA – APRIL 2013: Fed up with in-ear monitor signal dropouts, popular Christian rock band Bread of Stone’s lead guitarist Bill Kirstijanto set out to find the best IEM remote antenna to end his band’s wireless headaches once and for all. And with a packed schedule for The Promises Tour with Sanctus Real, JJ Heller, and Unspoken, those headaches were starting to feel like migraines.

“On our last tour, I was getting a lot of complaints from the guys about drop-outs on our ears monitors,” said Bill. “We were having trouble getting a consistent signal with our paddle antenna, so that led us to seek out a solution for our IEMs.”

Whenever Bill isn’t on tour with Bread of Stone, he’s at the helm of Sioux City, Iowa-based live production and consulting company BNY Productions. Equally at home configuring wireless systems for clients as he is on tour using IEMs in Bread of Stone, Bill follows a common routine for system setup. “We always perform an RF scan a couple times before setting up, and then walk the stage area to see if there are any dropouts,” explained Bill. “I also try and place the pack beside our belts, instead of on our backs, so that the signal has fewer objects to travel through and ideally has line of sight when the transmit antenna is positioned at the side of the stage. IEM antenna placement is important; side stage versus rear stage can make a big difference and influence where IEM packs should be positioned.”

Bill found time in between shows to transform the BNY shop back in Iowa into a wireless test range, comparing the leading directional antennas on the market to the CP Beam from RF Venue.

“We did a normal field test – where the CP Beam performed very well – and then we did something a little more rigorous. We tuned the IEMs to occupied frequencies, and recording each antenna’s performance from the same spot. This was to test the worst case scenario.” As a result of their extensive shootout, BNY Productions now recommends the CP Beam to its clients, and Bread of Stone relies on it for The Promises Tour.

“Under extreme conditions, using the paddle antenna, we got pretty spotty performance- like we’d experienced on tour. With other helical antennas it was much worse, dropping out for ten seconds or more at time. The CP Beam was hands down the best antenna we tested,” remarked Bill.

The circularly polarized CP Beam is designed for IEM systems as well as long range wireless microphone applications, providing high gain and consistent signal, all in a lightweight foldable design that fits in a 2RU rack drawer. RF Venue CEO Chris Regan commented, “We are encouraged to see live production companies and artist monitor teams adopting the CP Beam for their IEM systems. Last year was really the first full tour season for the CP Beam, and while performance is paramount for any wireless equipment, the portability and lightweight design of the CP Beam has made a big impression on monitor engineers who are used to hauling heavy flight cases.”

“Since we’ve been using the CP Beam no one has said anything about dropouts,” commented Bill. “And in fact we’ve noticed there isn’t as much background noise with the CP beam either, so audio quality in general has improved.”

ABOUT RF VENUE RF Venue manufactures wireless audio equipment including remote antennas, RF distribution equipment, and cable assemblies. The company’s primary antenna products include the interference mitigating RF Spotlight, the lightweight foldable helical antenna CP Beam, and the polarization diversity antenna dubbed Diversity Fin. For more information visit: www.RFvenue.com

ABOUT BNY PRODUCTIONS BNY Productions provides turnkey production services for an extensive list of worship, entertainment, and commercial clients in the Midwest. The company specializes in live audio systems, video projection and distribution, as well as staging and production consulting. For more information about BNY Productions, visit: www.bnypro.com

JD PRODUCTIONS TO INSTALL 32-CHANNEL API LEGACY PLUS IN NORTH CAROLINA STUDIO

SANFORD, NORTH CAROLINA – APRIL 2013: A new API Legacy Plus Console with Vision automation will find a home at JD Productions in Sanford, North Carolina later this year. The 32-channel console is being built by API with many custom features for the Raleigh-area space. The recording studio’s design is being overseen by the legendary Wes Lachot of Wes Lachot Design for well-known producer John Davenport.

John Davenport grew up in Sanford, where his passion for music soon took him to New York, where he learned the recording business from the ground up. When he began in the late 70s at Secret Sound Studio, he learned the craft from some of the best engineers and producers of the times.

John spent the 80s as a recording engineer at the iconic Hit Factory in New York where he worked with a variety of impressive acts such as the Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, John & Yoko, Cindy Lauper, Judy Collins, and Little Steven. He received Platinum Album awards from the United Nations for Little Steven’s Sun City, where he was chief engineer. Now returning to his hometown, it seems John has come full circle, in more ways than one.

Aside from returning to his old stomping grounds, it appears as though John will also be returning to his analog roots. Being a former staff engineer at the Hit factory, John was trained on analog consoles exclusively. After a period in digital, he will connect with his analog past using the API Legacy Plus.

“The smile on my face is because, after three decades of working at professional and makeshift studios, I finally have the opportunity of building my own dream studio,” he says. “It didn’t take long to select my choice of console. API, the sound and workmanship, is like no other. Thank you, Dan Zimbelman (of API), Wes Lachot Design, and the craftsmen at API making my dream possible.”

John’s recording studio is located along the Deep River in North Carolina where he continues to develop artists and produce films. His skills as an engineer, producer, and artist developer have led him to the title of Co-Founder and Vice President of Music of JD Productions.

The studio will be built from the ground up as a 1,300 square foot space designed by Wes Lachot of Wes Lachot Design. “I can say that I recommend API consoles to my clients because they represent the very best in analog design and sound quality and always make the room sound the best,” said Lachot. “Very best sounding rooms are nothing without the best sounding gear.”

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

Sure Shot Adds DiGiCo’s SD10B Console To Its Newest Mobile Broadcast Truck

Sure Shot Transmissions is a mobile production and satellite services outfit with offices located in New York, Dallas, and Youngstown, Ohio. Last fall, owner Dennis Kunce added a fourth 40′ full-service expandable truck to its offerings. The Cynthia Lee, outfitted with DiGiCo’s SD10B console, will handle sporting and entertainment events under the direction of EIC Kory Loy. Kunce picked the SD10B based on a recommendation from one of the audio principals at ESPN, as the console has been a mainstay in X Games’ submix trucks for the past several years at events around the globe.

Since hitting the road back in September, the Cynthia Lee has made its debut handling install feeds at a host of high-profile events including the 39th Ryder Cup for the UK’s Sky Sports News, the 2012 Allstate BCS National Championship and the Daytona 500 for ESPN in the U.S., as well as the 2013 Super Bowl for Nippon TV in Japan. The console’s ability to interface with the other trucks via MADI and fiber networks, as well as its easy learning curve, made it a natural fit for these fast-paced events.

“Our intention when we built the truck was to meet ESPN’s need for a mid-level production truck; one that was more like a 6-8 camera production rather than the typical 10-15 one,” explains Sure Shot owner, Dennis Kunce. “We worked closely with ESPN to determine what audio board would be suitable for them in this specific application and DiGiCo is what they recommended and gave us their blessing. The people at DiGiCo worked with us to meet our price point to stay within the budget. But more importantly, the SD10B’s footprint, versatility, and power—all those things came into play in our decision. DiGiCo was also very supportive with their training; they came to our facility in Ohio and worked with Kory and our chief engineer Scott Tucker to show us the things needed to make the board workable out in the field. You’ve got to have a console that is very user-friendly or else you’re in trouble and the DiGiCo console offers us the kind of flexibility and versatility we have to have as an independent contractor working with all the major networks including NBC, Fox, Turner, ESPN, Sky Sports… right down the line. The exposure we’re getting by having the board in our truck has been very positive. Overall, it has been a very positive experience across the board.”

“As the engineer in charge of the mobile unit,” explains Loy, “I’m tasked with ensuring that all the pieces of equipment in the truck are up and running for the freelance crew to operate—everything from the audio console to the video switchers to the cameras. So, even though I’m not one of the hands-on operators at these events, I do have to train, or at least show the different operators how to use the console, with only a couple days training. A lot of our events are setup, shoot and strike and in a single, 10-hour day and I’ve got to give individuals that have never operated the console before a generic overview in 45 minutes to an hour time before I have to move on to doing other functions in the truck. And I believe I’m able to do that rather well because the console is very easy to use.”

This spring, Sure Shot will be covering a host of major league baseball and basketball events for the major networks and ESPN, as well events as for the NHK channel in Japan. “We will be handling a lot of split feeds for them, the same thing as we did for the Super Bowl,” Loy says. “Nippon TV operator Shuhei Anraku took generic feeds from the NFL, supplemented by several of their own cameras, to create and produce their own game with their own announcers, which was fed to the broadcast headquarters in Japan.”

Loy says the fact that everything can connect via fiber is a huge bonus for them. “Another benefit is that the console is scalable, you can literally have as many inputs/outputs as you want. So, if we ever find a need for more ins or outs, we can add a few and connect them via fiber. Having MADI available in and out (the SD10 has 2 MADI ins and 2 MADI outs), also makes it very flexible to integrate either into a router or an intercom system. Another added benefit of DiGiCo is being able to assign any input to any fader on the console.”

For Janice Stief, a 30-year audio veteran who has worked on sporting and entertainment events ranging from the Olympics to the most recent Ryder Cup in the Sure Shot truck, this was her first outing on a DiGiCo of any variety. “I was handling cut-ins for the Sky Sports news show back in London. I had about 8-10 mics set up around the course, from stick and RF mics to in-studio lavalieres. I was handling EVS inputs into my console for playbacks, as well as program feeds from NBC and the world feed, which added up to about 36-40 inputs on the console in addition to mikes I was controlling. Prior to getting started, I was given a quick tutorial from Kory, who was fantastic and very knowledgeable. There’s a lot to the console that clearly you have got learn over time; you can’t learn it all on one show. It has a lot of depth. I liked that once I would attention a fader, I could do most of my adjustments to that fader input right from the corresponding touchscreen strip, without moving to other areas of the console. Adding delay, which we often need to do on golf in order to sync up on-air talent to RF cameras, is quick and easy.”

“I think the neatest feature of the DiGiCo SD10B is the ability to have MADI interfacing to the trucks and Optocore to the SD Racks,” adds Shawn Peacock, who was the main console operator for the Daytona 500 and has worked with DiGiCo consoles on several X Games events in Los Angeles. “The ability for us to talk across MADI in these situations is huge.”

Ultimately, however, the measure of a good manufacturer goes beyond that of its gear, and Loy says DiGiCo’s customer support is stellar. “When every single thing in the truck is a computer, chances are stuff is going to fail. It’s how a manufacturer supports its products after the gear is sold and installed that gives a good or bad impression. DiGiCo’s training and customer service in that area is exceptional.”

SAMMY HAGAR’S RED ROCKER STUDIO CONTINUES TO ROLL OUT THE PROJECTS WITH ITS API 1608

JESSUP, MARYLAND – MARCH 2013: The original plan was simply to upgrade Sammy Hagar’s project studio – Red Rocker – so that he and his super group Chickenfoot could deliver decent-sounding demos, but in consultation with his engineer, John Cuniberti (Stevie Wonder, Dead Kennedys, Joe Satriani), Hagar ended up purchasing a 16-channel API 1608 analog console. They recorded Chickenfoot’s first demo on the 1608 several years ago, and, owing to the magic of a few takes and the sonic integrity imparted by the 1608, several of those demo recordings made it to the album. Inspired by what they could accomplish at Red Rocker, they did the entire recording for the ironically-named follow-up album, Chickenfoot III on the 1608. Currently, Hagar is tracking on the 1608 for an as-yet unnamed solo project.

“We’re an old school bunch, it’s true, and we wanted the feel and sound of an analog console for Red Rocker,” said Cuniberti. “We weren’t going to go so far as to roll in a two-inch tape machine – we’re not that old school! We appreciate the virtues of digital recording and editing when it’s handled properly. But a nice analog console would tie things together with a workflow and a sound that we were all comfortable with.”

Cuniberti has spent over three decades behind vintage consoles of all stripes. “They have their charms, of course, but they’re also a pain in the ass,” he said. “You really need full-time maintenance. I didn’t want to burden Sammy or myself with that level of investment. We wanted something new, and I was therefore happy that API released the 1608. API is one of my favorite console manufacturers of all time, but I don’t think we could have justified the jump to one of their large-format consoles. It turns out that the 1608 was an excellent choice. In four years, we’ve never had a single issue with it – not even a burned out light! Having spent so many years dealing with unreliable vintage consoles, it’s nice to know that when I show up to the studio, everything will be working.”

Cuniberti finds the sound of the API 1608 meets the high expectations he had from his previous work on other large API consoles. “It’s classic API,” he said. “It has clarity and punch, and it’s very pleasant sounding. I don’t want to say it’s transparent; I just want to say that it has a great sound. It passes signal like nothing I’ve ever heard. It has tons of headroom. You can abuse it and it still sounds great.”

The 1608’s architecture allows Cuniberti to maximize his productivity with just sixteen channels. “API worked hard to optimize the flexibility of the 1608’s signal path,” he said. Its modular design allows one to swap 500-series processors to suit the needs of a project, and Cuniberti replaced the four stock API 560 graphic EQs with four API 550b four-band sweepable EQs. Because it’s been such a pleasure to work on, Hagar and Cuniberti are currently contemplating adding a 16-channel expansion unit for their 1608 to bring Red Rocker up to 32 channels.

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

PACIFIC TELEVISION CENTER UNPLUGS AND GOES WIRELESS FOR THE 2013 AWARDS SEASON

LOS ANGELES, MARCH 21, 2013 – Pacific Television Center (PacTV), a Los Angeles-based independent global transmission and production company, recently equipped its mobile microwave truck with a Vislink wireless camera system, providing its clients with instantaneous live video from the various red carpets during the 2013 awards season. The Canadian Broadcasting Channel (CBC) and Channel 7 Australia were among the broadcasters that used the PacTV service to transmit live red-carpet interviews during the major U.S. film awards that took place in Los Angeles last month.
“What’s nice about using the Vislink wireless camera system with our ENG truck is that it increases our geographical coverage and allows us to perform a single encode throughout our network,” says George Lopez, vice president of operations, PacTV. “Even if a client covering the red carpet action doesn’t have cabling access to our truck, the new camera system allows them to shoot wirelessly and send an ASI feed to Canada, Australia, the Asia-Pacific region or anywhere else. We are excited to offer our clients this upgrade in service.”
The dual band Vislink L1500 is a 5.8-/6.4-Ghz wireless camera system that provides SD/HD with MPEG-2 encoding and offers ultra-low latency with selectable DVB-T and LMS-T digital modulation. PacTV has successfully tested and used the transmitter to reach distances, more than a quarter mile without a drop in signal. A crew can certainly be confident that they will achieve a wireless connection to PacTV’s mobile microwave truck.
“We were thrilled to have PacTV utilize the Vislink system for its awards season coverage,” says Kevin Dennis, regional sales manager, Vislink. “The combination of the diversity receive system and untethered wireless camera operation provided the team with the reliability it needed to capture live events as they unfolded, without interference. By combining the technical strengths of PacTV and Vislink, both companies have been able to come together to offer quality services to clients.”

METRIC HALO USER & DEALER AUDIOGUY EARNS SEVEN KOREAN MUSIC AWARDS NOMINATIONS AND ONE WIN!

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA – MARCH 2013: South Korea’s Audioguy & Partners is an aptly named clearinghouse for all things related to great audio. Headed by the passionate (and terrifically busy!) Jung-Hoon Choi, Audioguy is a world-class recording studio, an audiophile record label for jazz, classical, and world music, and a dealer for high-end pro audio equipment. Choi proudly wears many hats at Audioguy, including CEO, producer, recording/mixing/mastering engineer, and sales manager. His hard work was recently rewarded by winning the 2013 Korean Music Award for “Best Jazz & Crossover – Performance Album” along with six other nominations in the Jazz and Crossover category. Consistent with a tireless pursuit of transparent sound, Audioguy is both a Metric Halo user and a Metric Halo dealer. Indeed, all seven of the KMA-nominated and winning works were recorded and mixed using Metric Halo ULN-8 and ULN-2 preamp/conversion interfaces.

Audioguy & Partners recently opened a state-of-the-art recording facility. Notably, it includes a Hamburg Steinway & Sons D piano, an SSL console, over seventy microphones (many vintage), and multiple Metric Halo interfaces. Although new to the scene, between 30% and 40% of South Korea’s jazz recordings already happen at Audioguy. “I always strive to make recordings that are timeless,” explained Choi. “I don’t want to be part of a trend. I want my recordings to be as engaging decades from now as they are today.” In addition to studio work, Audioguy provides location recording services throughout South Korea, as well as China, Japan, and even Europe. The portability and audiophile quality of the Metric Halo interfaces make them reliable travel companions.

“All of the Metric Halo hardware is great, but I especially love the ULN-8,” said Choi. “The ULN-8’s microphone preamplifiers are outstanding, and the conversion is pristine. I also love Metric Halo MIO Console, the software that controls the routing and DSP of all connected Metric Halo interfaces. It can do anything! Whatever a producer, engineer, or musician can dream up, MIO Console can do.”

Audioguy & Partners is also a record label that releases some of the most innovative and captivating classical, jazz, and world music of South Korea. “Our identity is strong because we handle all of our own planning, producing, recording, mixing, mastering, and promotion,” said Choi. “Metric Halo is a part of most of those stages, and all of our Korean Music Awards nominations and winning work were recorded, mixed, and mastered using the ULN-8 and ULN-2.” Those nominations include three for “Best Jazz & Crossover – Jazz” (Sorefa, Soar, and Ascetic) and four for “Best Jazz & Crossover – Performance Album” (Sorefa, Reverberation, Discover Myself, and Ascetic). To their excitement, Sorefa turned into a win for “Best Jazz & Crossover – Performance Album” during the evening’s awards ceremony.

Everything else that’s happening at Audioguy sets it apart as a pro audio equipment dealer. “All of our staff are recording engineers,” said Choi. “They understand the real-world performance of our products, and they accordingly offer our customers proper suggestions and service. They know more than the manual or the sales pitch; they know how our products operate in the field. Working with the people at Metric Halo is great. They are timely, competent, and always very friendly.”

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

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

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