A virtual press conference from Sound & Video Contractor

Archive of the NSCA Newslink Category

ASHLY AUDIO’S FREE IPAD® REMOTE CONTROL APP A REAL VALUE FOR JIMMY’S FAMOUS AMERICAN TAVERN

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 2013: The success of Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern in San Diego inspired owner and restaurateur David Wilhelm to open a second location an hour north in Dana Point, California. Both establishments effuse a hip, industrial vibe accented by a touch of mid-century modern and offer great regional American comfort food, wines, craft beers, and creative cocktails. Dana Point patrons can relax at the centrally-located bar, on the expansive patio (with two fireplaces and a living wall), or in the main restaurant itself. One of the luxuries afforded the staff and management at the new location is the new (and completely free) Ashly Remote App for the Apple® iPad®, which provides customized control of the two Ashly ne8250pe network eight-channel amplifiers with onboard Protea™ DSP processing that power its high-fidelity, eight-ohm sound system.

Based on the success of its work at the San Diego location, Wilhelm asked No Static Pro Audio of Burbank, California to design and install the sound system at the new location. No Static CEO Eugene Gordon personally commissioned the system. “I brought my own wireless router and iPad with me to make tuning the system easier,” Gordon said. “I showed the Ashly Remote iPad App to one of the managers, and he was intrigued. He pulled out his iPad and in literally ten to fifteen minutes, I had designed a custom interface made to order from scratch. It was incredibly simple. And because it’s zero cost to me and zero cost to them, it’s purely value added.” The Ashly Remote iPad App is available from Apple’s iTunes® store (a link from the Ashly website makes finding it a snap). The app can control all Ashly Network amps with onboard Protea DSP processors and the NE-series DSP processors.

“The Ashly iPad app is absolutely perfect for a restaurant,” said Wilhelm. “I can walk into any part of the restaurant with it and immediately adjust the volume to the appropriate level without having to run back and forth to a control panel in the back. The app has plenty of capacity for multiple circuits and changes the volume instantly. I wouldn’t use anything else now that I’ve tried the Ashly iPad app, and I plan on using it in all the new locations that we open.”

The core of the system is a straightforward restaurant/bar design with plenty of focus on fidelity and impact. Inputs include a music server, audio from the selected television channel, a DJ or band input, and a wireless microphone, all of which feed two Ashly ne8250pe network eight-channel x 250W amplifiers. The built-in Protea DSP Processor lets No Static replace an entire rack of separate components with two 2U boxes. The outputs feed seven zones – bar, dining area, private buffet, patio, private patio, restrooms, and kitchen – covered by twenty-one Community Veris 2-8B loudspeakers, four JBL SB210 subwoofers, and a handful of ElectroVoice Evid c8.2 in-ceiling loudspeakers for the restrooms and the kitchen. Three Ashly WR-5 wall-mounted remotes provide backup control.

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

FSR’s Jon Melchin to Present at Smart Building Conference in London

Woodland Park, NJ – Jon Melchin, FSR Inc.’s Director of Architectural Development, will share his in-depth expertise on Building Information Modeling (BIM) with delegates at the second Smart Building Conference. The event, which debuted in January in Amsterdam, will be held at Dexter House in London on 15 October. The Conference calls upon experts from different industries to unite behind the common cause of thinking, working and building smarter to drive the future of Smart Buildings forward.

The Smart Building Conference comprises an audience of building systems professionals including architects, facilities managers, consultants, developers and other groups who gather to enhance their knowledge and skill in integration, room and building control systems, fire and security, CCTV, networking, energy management, lighting and more.

Melchin’s presentation – Building Information Modeling: Designing better, faster and smarter with BIM – will explore BIM – a 3D design, modeling and simulation technology that has changed the way architecture is practiced. Melchin will discuss how BIM is becoming increasingly instrumental in smart building initiatives and highlight its ability to draw various parties together to share information about a building, its components and the energy efficiency performance assessment of the intelligent environment. The session is scheduled for Tuesday, 15 October at 2:30 PM.

“Being asked to present at this prestigious event is a significant honour,” said Melchin. “The Smart Building Conference brings together professionals from various but complimentary fields to provide an incomparable resource pool for those responsible for the future of Smart Buildings. I’m more than delighted to be able to make a contribution.”

Melchin, an accomplished speaker and a Passport Provider with the American Institute of Architects Continuing Education System (AIA-CES), works nationally with the architectural and design community to facilitate the specification of FSR products. Melchin has authored numerous articles that have been published in international trade publications targeting the construction and audiovisual industries, and has over 12 years of experience in the AV business.

Further information regarding all FSR products can be found at: www.fsrinc.com.

About FSR
FSR, established in 1981, manufactures a wide variety of products for the audio / video, education, hospitality, government, and religious markets, including AV floor, wall, table, and ceiling connectivity boxes, as well as a full line of interfaces, distribution amplifiers, matrix switchers, seamless switchers and CAT-5 solutions.

The company is an Energy Star Partner and complies with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to demonstrate its deep commitment to preserving the planet. FSR offers live 24/7 technical and sales support throughout the country from expertly trained technicians and sales representatives. For more information: www.fsrinc.com.

FSR Contact: Jan Sandri
973-785-4347 • sales@fsrinc.com

Press Contact: Desert Moon Communications
Harriet Diener • 845-512-8283 • harriet@desertmoon.tv

Blaze of Glory: Yamaha CL5 Installed at NEP Studios

NEW YORK—NEP Studios in New York City recently installed a Yamaha CL5 in Studio 47, and TheBlaze has made it their home for production of many of its shows. TheBlaze is a news, opinion and entertainment network dedicated to delivering high quality programming 24/7. TheBlaze is available on over 25 television providers including DISH and Optimum TV. TheBlaze is also available as an online video streaming network.

The Yamaha CL is currently being used for production of Real News, Wilkow!, Liberty Treehouse and The B.S. of A. The exclusive provider of Glenn Beck’s daily television broadcast, TheBlaze offers a full slate of thought-provoking original news and opinion shows, enlightening documentaries and original specials.

The Yamaha CL5 in NEP 47 is equipped with four Rio 3224-D input/output boxes. “I had exhausted the analog console’s I/O,” states John Ariz, broadcast audio mixer for TheBlaze TV. “NEP and TheBlaze agreed to upgrade the studio and loved the cost-for-power ratio of the CL5. Having prior experience on Yamaha PM5D, LS9, and M7CL consoles, I could tell Yamaha had really listened to their user’s feedback and incorporated some of the best features in this model.”

Ariz cites features like the Dante Network’s ease of use, the console’s 24 mix busses, the ability to choose the direct outs and insert points, and its preamps. “The console sounds great. Lots of clean headroom, very dynamic and the new premium effects are exciting,” says Ariz.

“We had been looking for a digital console to replace the current analog console, and was pleased that Yamaha was able to provide an on-site demo of the CL5 and DANTE IO for our engineers and management,” adds Alex Joyce, Tech Manager for TheBlaze. “After the decision was made, NEP’s talented engineers pre-wired all patch bays and remote IO during our normal production schedule to allow for the installation of the CL5 over a three-day weekend, replacing the current analog console. We were under a very tight deadline to resume full production, and Yamaha provided an experienced technical rep on the launch day to ensure it was a success. We are very pleased with the Dugan-MY16 card option, as this feature greatly improves the intelligibility of our productions. Our staff and freelance audio engineers have been quite happy with the ease of operation and robust features of the CL5.”

For more information on NEP Studios, visit www.nepinc.com.

For more information on TheBlaze, visit www.TheBlaze.com.

For more information on the Yamaha CL5 Digital Audio Console, visit www.yamahaca.com.

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PHOTO ID: John Ariz at Yamaha CL5

About Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc.:
Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc. (YCAS) provides a full line of integrated professional audio products offering complete systems solutions for the broadcast, sound reinforcement/installed sound, touring, commercial recording, and post production markets. With the addition of NEXO to the product line, the company remains the official U.S. and Canadian distributor for all NEXO speaker models. YCAS offers comprehensive in-house and field product training for its customers, a dedicated dealer network, and 24/7 technical support.

HARDPOP CLUB ELEVATES TO DANLEY SOUND LABS SUBWOOFERS AND LOUDSPEAKERS

JUÁREZ, MEXICO – SEPTEMBER 2013: The Hardpop Club in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico is both a source of immense local pride and a beacon to serious DJs and electronic musicians around the world. Indeed, the hard-partying citizens and electronic music fanatics of Ciudad Juárez regularly fill the Hardpop Club to its 500-person capacity, and international DJ and club publications consistently rank it within the top one hundred clubs globally. Over the past two years, the Hardpop Club has – with the help of North Carolina-based Clarity, Inc. – switched out its old sound system for a cutting-edge Danley Sound Labs system with abundant headroom, crystalline fidelity, and honest, chest-crushing bass. The improvement over even the best conventional club sound systems is obvious, and artists and fans alike are hailing the new sound at Hardpop Club. In addition, Danley’s new optional club aesthetic makes a bold visual statement that underscores the unique sonic characteristics of Tom Danley’s innovative designs.

As a border town that was especially hard hit by Mexico’s drug war, Ciudad Juárez is both a city and a rallying point, and the returning health of its vibrant cultural life is a metric of hope for its citizens. “The owner of Hardpop Club is in a city that is attempting to recover from its bad reputation,” said Bill Weir, vice president of technology at Clarity and the mastermind behind the club’s sound design. “He feels that he has to go above and beyond to attract A-list performers from around the world. He wanted a new sound system that would be unique and that would reinforce Hardpop Club’s position as a leader in the industry.” With its focus squarely on the music – most of the club’s patrons are electronic music fans first and club-goers only second – that meant taking the new sound system to the next level.

“Clubs are obligated to refresh their sound and look every so often and Hardpop Club was due for an upgrade,” explained Rich Mason, president of Clarity. “Electronic dance music is one of the most demanding forms of music on a sound system because its creators fully and deliberately exploit the entire frequency range – from 20Hz to 20kHz. Rather uniquely, Danley offers a lot of legitimacy in the low end, particularly the bottom octave. Beyond supplying a ton of bass, Danley subwoofers are truly musical. Because Danley full-range boxes are horns, we can keep energy off the walls, and their phase coherency is phenomenal. Hearing a loud Danley system is a unique experience because it is devoid of the distortions inherent to conventional subwoofer and loudspeaker designs.”

Four Danley SH-96HO full-range boxes paired with four Danley DBH-218 subwoofers comprise the main output of Hardpop Club’s new system. Because of their excellent pattern control, which extends octaves below conventional designs, Weir was able to toe the SH-96HOs in to keep energy off the walls and on the main floor, reducing the room’s decay time by 300ms. Four Danley SM-96 full-range boxes paired with four Danley TH-118 subwoofers fill in the sound from the back of the room. Weir was careful to use the DSP capabilities of the Powersoft K- and M-Series amplifiers to properly delay and phase all of the system components so that everything sums in phase in the middle of the room and so that no components are fighting. A pair of Danley SH-46s and a pair of Danley TH-212 subwoofers at the DJ booth inspire great performances. A Lake LM44 DSP provides modest overall system tuning.

“Working with Danley on this project was great,” said Mason. “We suggested a number of add-ons or options that would raise the Danley brand in the eyes of club owners, and they took us up on every one. The most conspicuous suggestion was a bold color contrast between the horn and the rest of the box. For Hardpop Club, the horns are red and the boxes are black. It doesn’t even look like a speaker!”

“High-SPL sound reinforcement systems are typically either forgiving and lack resolution; or they have the resolution but are merciless and unforgiving of material produced in a less than stellar fashion. The greatly reduced distortion in the mid-band Danley means that even with material that’s less than perfect there is a level of effortlessness that is always present. And since the large format horns are full range and have no convergence error, the sound in the venue is exceptionally warm, friendly and consistent,” says Weir.

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

THE ICE PLANT STEPS INTO THE MODERN MUSIC FRONTIER WITH AN API 1608

BROOKLYN, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 2013: When Wayne Silver and Adam Zirkin chose the analog API 1608 console as the sonic centerpiece of The Ice Plant, they knew they would deliver big-studio sound at rates that working musicians could afford. Recently established at the heart of a thriving New York City music scene in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, The Ice Plant is the creation of these long-time friends. Both owners are accomplished multi-instrumentalists, composers, and arrangers, as well as effective producers and engineers. Drawing on those strengths, The Ice Plant offers everything a musician could hope for, from straight-up recording to full production, arrangement, and performance services.

The project has a rich history. Zirkin and Silver formed their friendship when they were just ten years old. In the decades between then and now, they have mastered their instruments. Silver prefers the guitar and Zirkin favors the piano, but both are proficient on a range of instruments. Now studio owners, they both have plenty of experience – some good and some bad – in the musicians’ role.

“My passion for great gear started a long time ago,” said Zirkin. “I purchased some of The Ice Plant’s equipment well over ten years ago, and for as long as I’ve been collecting gear, Wayne and I have been talking about what a modern studio should be and what it should offer. Ultimately, we want the room itself to serve as a creative tool. We want not only to get great recordings, but we want to inspire better performances and better songs.”

In stark contrast to the live room/control room paradigm, The Ice Plant gets its creative vibe by placing almost everyone – including the producer/engineer – in a single room. “It’s a warm, comfortable atmosphere,” said Silver. “There are different stations, such as guitar, keyboard, and bass, as well as an isolation room for the drums. Everything is out in the open and ready to play. A musician could walk in here empty-handed and be ready to go. We’ve got everything.” And yet the duo deftly organized the room so that it doesn’t feel crowded. “The idea,” explained Zirkin, “is to create an environment that is conducive to creativity and communication. Whatever we may lose in terms of isolation, we more than make up for in vibe and collaboration.”

The 16-channel API 1608 shares the space with the musicians and is loaded up with twelve API 550A EQs, four API 560 EQs, a vintage API 525b compressor, and a handful of other processors that fit the API 500-series protocol. “The API 1608 is a small-format board with large studio quality, and that was very attractive to us,” said Silver. “It has an earthy vibe – that true warm analog sound. I basically harvest all of the music that’s happening in the room through the 1608, and everything sounds better through it. With the sonic part of the process taken care of, I can focus on helping the musicians stay in their zone.”

The Ice Plant’s API 1608 is flanked by one of the most eclectic collections of gear in the industry. The outboard racks and microphone cabinets include many studio staples alongside products from some of the industry’s best up-and-coming “boutique” manufacturers. Zirkin is an avid guitar and keyboard collector, and he and Silver have made their entire collection of nearly fifty instruments available to clients. With seemingly everything from sixty-year-old Guilds and Gibson, to modern-day Suhrs and McInturffs, Zirkin and Silver hope The Ice Plant’s instruments will inspire ideas and performances that were elusive in their client’s rehearsal spaces and writing rooms.

On the brave new frontier of modern music, The Ice Plant is stepping outside the box to maintain focus on the most important link in the chain: the music itself.

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

To learn more about The Ice Plant visit: www.theiceplant.com
To “Like” them on Facebook: www.facebook.com/IcePlantMusic

SPARTAN STORES HEADQUARTERS SOUND MASK WITH ASHLY PEMA 4250.70 DSP/AMPLIFIERS

GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN – SEPTEMBER 2013: Spartan Stores operates over one hundred locations throughout Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana under the Family Fare, Glen’s Market, D&W Fresh Market, Felpausch Food Center, and VG’s Grocery brands. Its operations are headquartered Grand Rapids, Michigan, where the company originally opened as a coop in 1917. Spartan Stores continues to flourish in the 21st Century, and it recently added office space at its corporate headquarters to accommodate additional personnel. Because cubicles would populate the open space, Spartan Stores hired ASCOM Communications Contractors of Holland, Michigan to design a masking system that would allow its employees to focus amid the noise of conversations, as well as afford them privacy in those conversations. ASCOM used the Ashly Pema 4125.70 combination processor/four-channel amplifier to give Spartan Stores a reliable and cost-effective sound masking system.

“The Ashly Pema 4250.70 gives us all of the processing power we need – including the noise source itself – and four 250-Watt amplifier channels in just two rack spaces,” said Tim Vandermeer, project manager at ASCOM. “We divided the space up into multiple zones so that each could be precisely equalized to meet the sound masking NC 40 standard. Moreover, if they come back to us to request paging functionality or music playback, we can simply add the feature. That’s always a much better answer than, ‘sure, but it will cost you a bunch extra.’ We can also add scheduling, if they like.”

In addition to the Ashly Pema 4250.70 and the necessary wiring, the only other component in the system is a collection of forty Atlas M1000 loudspeakers. For more effective masking, the loudspeakers are installed above the suspended ceiling facing up. “Although the DSPs and amplifiers of some other manufacturers can often be challenging to connect to, the Ashly products are always fast and trouble-free,” he added. Vandermeer used SysTune to tailor the Pema 4250.70’s equalization curves to precisely match the prescribed sound masking frequency response.

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

Unique Yamaha AFC System Installed at Buffalo State

NEW YORK—SUNY College at Buffalo recently installed a Yamaha AFC (Active Field Control) system in its 200-seat Ciminelli Recital Hall. The recital hall, located within Rockwell Hall, has been designed to accommodate small ensemble and solo performances by students of the Music Department and research in multi-channel sound diffusion. Rockwell Hall is one of four of the original buildings encompassing Buffalo State and houses the departments of music and art conservation as well as an 850-seat performing arts center.

AVL Design of Penfield, N.Y. designed the initial system with installation assistance from subcontractor AV Solutions (Rochester, N.Y.). Boynton Pro Audio of Norwich, N.Y. provided the system components. Joe Rimstidt of Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc. and engineers from Yamaha Japan completed the final AFC design, and with assistance from colleague Steve Seable, completed system tuning in late August. Brian Wittmer, head of the College’s facilities department, functioned as project manager.

“The recital hall is located in a section of an existing building that had limited height, states AVL’s Seth Waltz. The room also expanded during design and became quite long. Room design was targeted to provide a diffuse sound field, but even with our best efforts, it was apparent from the models that the design would not allow extended low frequency warmth or good lateral energy in the back of the room due to the limited cubic volume and length of the space. The length of the room was also challenging, as we wanted the experience in the rear seats to mimic the front sections. The Yamaha AFC System was introduced to allow tuning for RT60 as well as added ER (early reflection) and lateral ER to the rear of the room, which would be missing due to the length.”

The AFC3 system designed specifically for the Ciminelli Recital Hall includes four permanent microphones, 38 speakers plus 2 subwoofers. Some of the speakers serve multiple purposes, being AFC speakers when in AFC mode, and being part of the hall’s 7.1 Surround system when in that mode. The original design included four AFC2 processors, but after the release of AFC3, the school opted to upgrade two of the AFC units to AFC3. In total, there are five AFC units, five IPA8200 amplifiers, three Dante cards, and one AD8HR mic preamp. The school was very interested in being able to route signals to individual speakers for their electronic music program so the Dante cards were added to the AFC units to allow them to route signals that would be mixed with the AFC signals and output to any of the individual AFC speakers they may select.

The complete system includes both an early reflection system and reverberation enhancement system. The two systems are intertwined so the 20 audience speakers can receive a mix of the ER and REV signals. On the stage/ performance area, there are six speakers on the sidewalls that receive ER signals only and 12 speakers overhead for the reverberation enhancement.
Several Yamaha DME (Digital Mixing Engine) units equipped with various MY cards facilitate an extensively flexible routing system enabling signal routing from various consoles or computers to the recording studio, the AFC speakers, or any of the speakers in the house surround system.

“This is no ordinary AFC3 system, states Tom Kostusiak, Production Manager for the Performing Arts Center who also teaches classes in sound recording and reinforcement for the Music Department. The recital hall is in a renovated art gallery space on the third floor of Rockwell Hall. The ceiling height was limited to 16 feet, so there was no way to achieve the “space” required to allow natural acoustics to occur.”

When not being used for its intended purpose (AFC), Kostusiak said they would have the ability to address each speaker independently over the Dante network designed by Yamaha. “This is going to allow our electronic music faculty to utilize the speakers as a 52.1 Surround mix system directly from Tomas Henriques’ (head of the Digital Music Program) computer as well as our Yamaha DM1000 or Avid SC48 consoles. In fact, we will be able to utilize multiple computers as well as both consoles as input devices feeding directly to any speaker in the room. In addition to the AFC3 system, we can also use the room as a 5.1, 6.1 or 7.1 mix room and, of course, the 52.1 configuration. The associated recording studio at Rockwell Hall allows the school to use the recital hall as a live room for sound recording classes as well.”

“We have given the Music Department access to each and every one of the speakers in the space, so they are composing for a multi-channel audio system.” said Mickey Ames, one of the project managers for AV Solutions. “You can isolate the clarinet in speaker 42 and the drums in speaker 10, for example, and that is what makes this particular installation so incredibly unique.”

The initial idea of converting the space to 52.1 developed out of a suggestion from Henriques. “The modification of Yamaha’s AFC system to allow the integration of all the speakers in the Ciminelli Recital Hall as a 52.1 surround system, effectively turns the hall into a unique space for research in sound diffusion as well as a performance venue for works that feature multi-channel sound, Henriques states. The 52.1 surround system will enable student composers to write film scores that use a high number of discrete output channels, a trend increasingly found in today’s movies. It will also provide the means for the Music Department to foster international conferences and colloquia in the area of sound diffusion, virtual acoustics and psychoacoustics.”

Buffalo State Music Department offers a minor in Digital Music Production with a track in Electronic Music Composition and a track in Sound Recording. This program also features a very sought after Digital Music Ensemble that uses state-of-the-art electronic instruments. The growing popularity of the minor is steering the department into offering a major and a Master’s degree in Music Technology. “The Ciminelli Hall with its 52.1 surround system is a great addition to the department’s facilities, one which will attract students nationwide,” adds Henriques. (For info on Henriques research in new electronic instruments visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NEDAJY92gt4.)

“This is the first time we have incorporated the mixing of audio signals with the AFC signals for routing to the AFC speakers, enabling the music program to experiment with the very creative ideas they have for performances in the space,” notes Joe Rimstidt, Systems Design Engineer, Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc.

For more information on the Buffalo State Music Department, visit www.music.buffalostate.edu.

For more information on Yamaha AFC, visit web www.yamahaca.com.

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About Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc.:
Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc. (YCAS) provides a full line of integrated professional audio products offering complete systems solutions for the broadcast, sound reinforcement/installed sound, touring, commercial recording, and post production markets. With the addition of NEXO to the product line, the company remains the official U.S. and Canadian distributor for all NEXO speaker models. YCAS offers comprehensive in-house and field product training for its customers, a dedicated dealer network, and 24/7 technical support.

API 1608 GRADUATES TO NUREMBERG UNIVERSITY OF MUSIC

NUREMBERG, GERMANY – SEPTEMBER 2013: The API 1608 serves as the perfect teaching tool in many interesting places in the world, and now, one can be found in Studio 214 at the Hochschule für Musik Nürnberg (Nuremberg University of Music). Here, creativity is the focus and hands-on experience is the goal. The equipment available to the students offers unequaled opportunities with both vintage and modern effects, all in a school that dates back to 1821.

The decision to purchase the 1608 came to fruition with the help of API’s German distributor Erwin Strich. Toni Hinterholzinger, head of the recording department, believed that the punchy and clear sound of the API preamps would make this the ideal learning tool for teaching classic recording techniques. Most of the recording projects are student-based, but on occasion, there are some commercial projects where students assist and often take part as musicians. Some who have recorded on the 1608 include Wolfgang Buck, Nevio, Johannes Ludwig, Tilmann Herpichböhm, Steffen Schorn, and Olivia Solner.

“This is, for sure, one of the best equipped rooms in Europe – a place where audio magic actually happens and sonic dreams come true!” said Hinterholzinger.

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

SYMETRIX SYMNET RADIUS 12X8 DANTE NETWORK AUDIO DSP TUNES THE AUDIO FOR THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE’S LARGEST SHOPPING CENTER

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – SEPTEMBER 2013: With over five hundred stores, the Chadstone Shopping Centre in Melbourne, Australia is the largest shopping center in the southern hemisphere. In the run up to the recent holidays, Chadstone’s owners hired Corporate Initiatives of Nunawading, Victoria to install a massive video wall and sound system. The video wall would run advertisements for select stores in the shopping center, and the owners wanted audio support to make the advertisements as compelling as possible. However, the sound had to be focused. It had to be vibrant and punchy right in front of the video wall but it couldn’t interfere with the ambiances of the nearby stores. Corporate Initiatives designed and installed a sound reinforcement system centered on a Symetrix SymNet Radius 12×8 Dante network audio DSP, which tunes the system perfectly.

The video wall is an NEC 6mm Pixel Pitch LED array. Videro Digital Signage provides content via a redundant pair of MAC Video Playback devices, each with Dante Virtual Soundcards. Because the Symetrix SymNet Radius 12×8 has two Gigabit Switch ports, both playback devices are connected to the system via the Dante network, and the backup is always on standby. Additional analogue inputs include two Shure wireless microphones and a flexible XLR input plate for use at events in the large public space in front of the video wall.

Robust automatic gain control is a critical component in the success of the installation. The volume of foot traffic – and hence the volume of background noise – varies tremendously depending on the day and time. An appropriate volume on a Wednesday morning would be completely drowned out on a Saturday afternoon, and an appropriate volume on a Saturday afternoon would be overwhelming on a Wednesday morning. Two ambient noise-sensing microphones complete the input count, to provide information to the Radius 12×8’s automatic gain control algorithm.

“The Symetrix SymNet Radius 12×8 was the perfect processor for Chadstone’s video wall,” said Michael O’Connor from PAVT. “For an affordable price, the Radius 12×8 provides Symetrix’ broadcast-quality audio path and algorithms, including automatic gain control, and Dante audio capabilities. Moreover, our experience has been that Symetrix builds the most reliable DSPs on the market. We have been distributing Symetrix for about ten years now, and in that time we have sold hundreds of Symetrix units for corporate installations, stadiums, broadcast facilities, and nightclubs.” Because the audio content is delivered from a variety of sources and because the level is not always consistent between those sources, the Symetrix SymNet Radius 12×8 also delivers uniform content level using a number of dynamic processing modules.

Two dual-channel Powersoft K2 DSP+AESOP amplifiers provide biamped power to a pair of EAW QX full-range loudspeakers. Because the system runs ten hours a day, seven days a week on average, the K2’s Power Factor Correction maximizes the system’s efficiency by drawing only as much power as is actually needed. The QXs provide precise directivity so as to keep energy focused on potential viewers and away from the nearby shops. An AMX Netlinx Processor and user interface allows intuitive source selection and volume control.

“This difficult audio environment in a large shopping center was a first for us,” said Chris Gauci, director at Corporate Initiatives. “But with the assistance of Production Audio Video Technology, we were able to design and install the perfect audio system within this acoustically complex environment. We had to have the right audio level covering just the right public space, without impeding on any of the shop spaces very close by. The carefully-calibrated ambient noise sensing is perfect, and the customer is ecstatic with the final result.”

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

Renkus-Heinz Helps Prairie Meadows Cut to the Chase

Renkus-Heinz Helps Prairie Meadows Cut to the Chase

Altoona, IA – September 2013… In 1989, Prairie Meadows Raceway opened its doors with the goal of giving central Iowa residents a horse racing facility of their own. Twenty-five years later, Prairie Meadows has grown to include a 168-room hotel with state-of-the-art amenities, live and simulcast horse racing, a massive casino with table games and more than 2,000 slot machines, restaurants, lounges, and a busy concert venue.

Among the horse racing community, Prairie Meadows has gained considerable recognition as an exceptionally well-designed and well-run facility, drawing racing fans from across the state and the region. Among the Raceway’s many amenities is a massive four story glass pavilion that offers comfortable indoor seating on multiple levels. It’s a treat for spectators but with all the makings of a sonic nightmare, explains Mike Pedersen, Senior Staff Engineer at Marshalltown, IA-based Mechdyne, the audio video integrators behind this state-of-the-art project.

“It’s a challenging venue,” says Pedersen. “It was built in phases over 20-plus years, and has a mix of seating styles, with stadium seating on one level, grandstand seating on another, as well as a multi-tiered dining area with tables. The original sound system has been expanded in a piecemeal fashion throughout the years, and had become untenable — coverage was inconsistent and intelligibility was next to nil. They were actually cranking up the volume on each individual TV monitor just so people could hear the race.”

“They originally came to us with concerns about the quality and coverage of the tiered seating areas overlooking the racetrack,” explains Mechdyne Designer Tim Taylor. “But they were also in the process of mapping out an expansion of the entire casino, which was going to require an audio system too. At that point it made far more sense to suggest that they implement a larger system with networked distribution and processing.”

“It made sense from a budgetary perspective, certainly,” adds Pedersen. “There was very little by way of documentation on the existing system, so just identifying where things were would have been very time consuming. We were able to design them a networked system that would give them DSP control, monitoring, and expandability, as well as providing them with full documentation going forward.”

The 70V distributed audio system is based around more than 40 TRX-121 two-way Complex Conic loudspeakers, with DSP and amplification handled by Biamp Tesira and Vocia networks. As Pedersen explains, one of the objectives behind the complex signal processing is to increase intelligibility and directionalize the sound source.

“When things get exciting, when the announcers get excited, we want the spectators to be turning their heads toward the direction of the audio,” he says. “The goal was to draw the ear, and the eye, toward the racing action. So even though the speakers are mounted where the glass and ceiling meet, we needed to create the sonic impression that the sound was coming from down on the track.”

In the casino area, several dozen TRX81 loudspeakers are flown from the ceiling to provide music and paging coverage. “It’s a very high, open, unfinished ceiling, which limited our choices of loudspeakers,” says Taylor. “The TRX81 has a very tight, controlled dispersion pattern, and by mounting them in a grid pointing straight down, we were able to achieve seamless coverage across the entire open seating area, with no overlap or dead zones.”

The system is designed for flexibility, providing everything from background music and paging to zoned functionality. “We’ve set up a number of snapshots, enabling them to zone off various meeting rooms and ballrooms,” says Taylor. “And of course, the Vocia amps are rated for emergency paging functions as well.”

The decision to go with Renkus-Heinz and the TRX series was an easy one, says Pedersen, based on past experience with the brand. “We have for many years seen Renkus-Heinz as one of the leading companies in quality and service, so when the time came and it was clear they were interested in a high-quality product, we didn’t hesitate to recommend it.”

For Mechdyne, the Prairie Meadows project was something of a departure; the company is known for its expertise in Virtual Reality and 3D visualization technology, as well as complex IT and networking projects. “It’s true that our company crew out of a certain niche in virtual reality and simulation type systems,” says Pedersen. “And typically we find that clients and designers of VR systems tend to consider audio a lower priority, which is unfortunate considering how much a part of the overall experience audio represents. For us, Prairie Meadows was an exciting project, because it enabled us to design an audio-only system where the sound pretty much disappears into the experience. That would have been far more difficult without the pattern control of the TRX loudspeakers.”

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Headquartered in Foothill Ranch, California, Renkus-Heinz, Inc. is the worldwide leader in the design and manufacture of audio operations networks, digitally steerable arrays, powered and non-powered loudspeakers, system specific electronics and fully integrated Reference Point Array systems.

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