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Archive of the Audio Playback Category

HARMAN’s Soundcraft® Vi1 Digital Console Can Mix Sound Anywhere In LA County’s New Grand Park Using Unique Fiber-Based A/V System

LOS ANGELES, California – Opened in 2012, Grand Park is a 12-acre oasis of lawns, courtyards, fountains and plazas located in the heart of Los Angeles County. The new park is host to music, performances and entertainment year-round, under the auspices of The Music Center, one of the world’s largest premier arts destinations. Performances can be held in a number of Grand Park’s multi-use stages, spaces and lawns, thanks to a unique system of “media hydrants” connected by fiber optic cable and a HARMAN Soundcraft Vi1 digital live sound console that can be quickly moved into place to any location where it’s needed.

Matt Saltzman, Grand Park’s event manager, noted that the entire park is wired with fiber optic cable, buried underground and running to media hydrants located throughout the park that are linked to the main control room. The media hydrants provide digital audio and video connections via a Riedel light pipe data network and are terminated with Cat 5e for audio, video and control. The media hydrants are embedded in concrete and the connectors face outward horizontally for durability and waterproofing. The units are locked with a steel gate when not in use.

“In planning the A/V system for Grand Park, the County wanted to ensure live music and entertainment would be accessible in the widest variety of areas throughout the park,” said Saltzman. “They devised the underground fiber optic system to enable us to do this, rather than have to restrict performances to the stage area. However, to make this idea work we needed to be able to move the mixing console to each area. The Soundcraft Vi1’s digital connectivity enables us to do that.”

With its compact footprint, the Vi1 is relatively easy to move from place to place—and it’s easy to connect the Vi1 to the audio system using a Soundcraft Compact Stagebox. The Vi1 connects to the Compact Stagebox using a single Cat 5e cable, and the output from the Stagebox is then plugged into a media hydrant via Cat 5e. Saltzman notes that this arrangement eliminates the need for anywhere from 15 to 30 XLR cables. In some instances, Saltzman doesn’t even have to move the board—he or one of his staff will use an iPad to control front of house mixing from a remote location.

The Vi1’s built-in processing, reverb, compression and comprehensive EQ and effects eliminate the need for outboard effects racks, further adding to the mobility of the setup. Saltzman notes that all the Vi1 draws very little power, as much as a laptop. “All we need at front of house is literally a single power strip,” he said.

Saltzman points out that the Soundcraft Vi1’s comprehensive control and configuration flexibility make it comfortable for both the in-house staff and visiting sound engineers to use. “It can be set up to ‘feel’ like a traditional analog console, or you can use its tremendous amount of processing and flexibility to take advantage of all of its digital features, like assigning input groups and saving cues on the console’s cue/snapshot system.”

In fact, Saltzman discovered an unforeseen advantage of the Vi1 minutes before one particular performance. “Ten minutes before show time I accidentally pulled the AC power to the console at the end of sound check—without bothering to save my settings. Luckily for me the Vi1 had backed everything up and recalled all my settings. The show went off without a hitch.”

Photo Credit: Javier Guillen

HARMAN (www.HARMAN.com) designs, manufactures, and markets a wide range of audio, lighting and infotainment solutions for the automotive, consumer, and professional markets. It is a recognized world leader across its customer segments with premium brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, and Mark Levinson®, and leading-edge connectivity, safety and audio technologies. The company is admired by audiophiles across multiple generations and supports leading professional entertainers and the venues where they perform. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with Harman audio and infotainment systems. Harman has a workforce of about 14,300 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $4.4 billion for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2012.

Muzika InStore Selects Barix as Exclusive IP Audio Playout Vendor

Barix helps Muzika InStore, retailers and other businesses enhance in-store atmosphere and expedite return on investment

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND, July 16, 2013 — IP audio specialist Barix is supporting audio streaming and delivery for Muzika InStore, the new Croatia-based in-store audio service that allows customers to manage their own content. Muzika InStore exclusively uses the Barix Exstreamer 100 IP audio device to receive and decode programming at retail stores and businesses, citing exceptional audio quality, reliability, ease of use and low energy consumption.

The Muzika InStore service is a classic “store and forward” operation that includes two in-house developed web applications to support program development and management. The first application, MIT AddSite, gives customers complete freedom to create in-store audio programs that enhance the retail experience or business atmosphere. The second, MIT FTPstats, focuses on network-wide monitoring and troubleshooting. Current clients include KTC d.o.o, a Croatian chain of retail store and restaurants for which Muzika InStore produces 210 weekly promotions and advertisements, and Bluesun hotels and resorts; as well as retail businesses Metro, Emmerzeta, Trgocentar and Trgostil.

Robert Malekovic, CEO of Muzika InStore, says that the Barix devices help to ensure continuous playout of all in-store audio programs, while delivering a quick return on investment for both his company and his in-store clients.

“No operator in the world can guarantee 100 percent availability of the live internet stream, so we developed our ‘forward and play’ operation with Barix so that we do not have to depend on constant connections,” said Malekovic. “Barix devices are extremely reliable for playout and since each device consumes less than 4W of electricity, customers with multiple devices experience a return on investment in less than one year.”

Muzika InStore’s MIT AddSite application assists the creative process, allowing customers to freely and easily add, schedule and delete music, announcements and local advertisements through a central admin section. It also retains all customer information for simple ongoing management, including hours of operation as well as databases, playlists and musical preferences down to specific genres. Users can also generate reports to show proof of play for advertisers.

Once live at a business, the overall system refreshes itself at the same time each day, creates a playlist for the next week and then disconnects from the Internet to save network resources, ensuring that credit card authorization, point of sale systems and other primary retail systems are unaffected.

Malekovic adds that the ease of setup and installation further reduces his cost of investment. Muzika InStore configures the Barix devices for each client, preloading Exstreamers with Barix FTPMP3 firmware and shipping the plug-and-play devices direct to clients. Muzika InStore also preloads USB sticks, which are attached direct to the Exstreamer 100 to provide secondary, local audio source. This is especially helpful upfront to reduce the initial download needs and minimize network congestion. Meanwhile, newly installed devices automatically connect to Muzika InStore’s network.

“We find the new Barix devices on our servers so that the client can immediately start with creation of music programs and management of ads and promos,” said Malekovic. “The devices start and stop playing based on information the client has input within the AddSite application, so there are no manual interactions required by employees of the shop.”

About Barix AG (www.barix.com)
Barix AG, headquartered in Zurich Switzerland, specializes in research and development of state of the art IP based communication and control technology. Barix products are stand-alone and able to remotely connect worldwide over standard networks / Internet offering new and improved solutions to the professional audio distribution, communication and automation industry. Barix products provide solutions in audio over IP (audio distribution and monitoring, communication, security) and automation (remote controlling, monitoring and maintenance).
# # #
Barix AG, Seefeldstrasse 303, 8008 Zurich, Switzerland
Phone: +41 43 43322 11, Fax: +41 44 2742849
Barix Technology Inc, St. Paul, MN – (866) 815-0866

http://www.barix.com

http://www.ip-audio.info

Delicate And MLA Take Control Of Audio At BottleRock Festival

Far from your typical summer rock gathering, the BottleRock Napa Valley festival combined the best in music with exceptional food, wine, beer and comedy to provide a whole new multi-sensory experience for sophisticated concertgoers.

Fittingly, the festival was held in one of the country’s greatest wine regions at the Napa Valley Expo fairgrounds in the heart of downtown Napa, California, just blocks away from restaurants, wine tasting rooms, art galleries and hotels.

The eclectic musical lineup of over 80 bands was easily on par with the finest regional wines in terms of taste and variety, including Kings of Leon, The Black Keys, Zac Brown Band, Train, The Black Crowes, Jane’s Addiction, Alabama Shakes, Jackson Browne, Charlie Musselwhite, Primus, Richard Thompson, Mavis Staples, Blues Traveler, Brandi Carlile, The Flaming Lips, Violent Femmes, The Wallflowers, X, Dwight Yoakam and too many more to name here.

Delicate Productions of Camarillo and San Francisco was in charge of audio, lighting and LED for what was the inaugural run of the festival. Simply controlling audio in a fairground located in the heart of Napa with houses just across the street was enough of a challenge for any production company, not to mention supporting the festival’s five stages for four full days of music.

The need to provide exceptional coverage while eliminating noise spillage in such a tightly defined area was a critically important factor for BottleRock, which explains why the MLA (Multi-cellular Loudspeaker Array) system was chosen for the main stages along with a full complement of Martin Audio for the other stages.

Delicate’s design team for the system was comprised of lead audio engineer Brian Basilsky working with company President Jason Alt and General Manager George Edwards. The main (Sliverado/Willpower) stage consisted of a L/R hang with16 MLA and 4 MLD Downfill cabinets per side, a left-left side hang of 6 MLA Compact (no right-right side hang because of nearby houses); 12 W8LM for front fill; 24 ground-stacked MLX subs, and 16 MLA Compact enclosures for delays. The Monitor/Stage system included L/R hangs of 4 W8C; 4 W8CS compact subs; and two WS218X subs for side fills, along with four WS18X drum subs.

Rounding out the full complement of Martin Audio at the festival was a MLA Compact system with DSX subs at the second stage; W8LC systems for the third and comedy stages and a smaller trapezoid WT3 system for the local stage.

Commenting on why they chose MLA for this situation, Jason Alt says, “There’s no system out there that could duplicate what we achieved in terms of audio control with MLA. The way we were able use to steer the subwoofers and the system, our ability to determine an accurate end point and really have audio die off before the end of the property line was so important. The only audio that people heard at a distance was because of the immersion layer in the atmosphere. It had nothing to do with audio really spilling that far.”

Considering all of the challenge at the BottleRock event, what was the biggest specific problem Delicate had to face?

“The fact that the fairgrounds property line is literally 100 feet across the street from houses,” Jason responds. “And those residents were very concerned at the beginning that having a big rock concert going on that close would cause all kinds of problems in terms of the noise and even their paintings falling off their walls. But by the end of it, because of what we did with steering the system and especially the subs, there were no problems.

“Even though the stage was only 200 feet from the end of the property line,” Jason explains, “we were able to get the subs down to -35dB fifty feet from stage right––the low end dropped off that dramatically. If you stood across the street it was hardly even noticeable. But if you walked to the side of the stage feeding into the fairground, there was full-on 90º bass coverage. It all came down to really impressive calculations from Brian and Ferrit (MLA specialist Martyn “Ferrit” Rowe) that produced those results. We had interaction and worked with all of the people on that street throughout the festival and not one of them complained. Most sat on their porch and enjoyed the show.”

Looking back at the festival and the need to fulfill the needs of 80 acts within necessarily tight time frames, Jason acknowledges MLA’s many other advantages: “Besides the control, MLA helped us work much more effectively with all of the different acts at BottleRock. The system gives you such a blank canvas for what each artist wants the system to sound like; we were able to accommodate all of their sonic wish lists quickly and effectively. Deploying MLA and getting it up happened in a timely fashion so that every artist had enough time to set up and the headliners were all able to tune the system, take a good listen to it, and adjust it to their specific needs.

“Coverage-wise, we didn’t do a typical right-right hang because of the neighborhood’s proximity, but we did cover 30,000 people very well with a decent amount of boxes. I don’t think we could have achieved the same sonic goals with another system, especially with the county’s noise ordinances. One of the headliners, Zac Brown, carries MLA as their touring rig and their system tech didn’t make a single change to the way we deployed it. They didn’t even have to EQ it that much.

“We actually got very positive feedback from all of the artists and engineers,” Jason adds, “including those smaller bands who were opening up the main stage. Even though they were only playing to a few thousand attendees because it was early in the day, the crowd wasn’t getting blown away because the engineers didn’t have to mix too aggressively. MLA really did its job of working with every artist on every level.”

Asked to sum up about the overall performance of Martin Audio at BottleRock, Jason concludes, “As the largest Martin Audio house in the country, we’re fully committed to all of their products, especially for an event like this. Every place we deployed it, every version of every Martin Audio box we have was used, whether it was speakers on a stick, WT2s, WT3s or W8LMs, we pretty much used everything everywhere to fill in every need the festival had.

“The MLA Compact rig on the second stage was especially impressive. We debated back and forth on the distance coverage for that area, but the Compact outperformed even what we thought it would do and covered an area 300 ft. out. And once again, we could control it to keep the sound inside the property line, so it all worked out really well with MLA and Martin Audio, which was not surprising for us.”

For more about Delicate Productions, please click to www.delicate.com

For more about Martin Audio, please click to www.martin-audio.com

About Martin Audio®
Founded by audio engineer David Martin in 1971, Martin Audio pioneered the use of all-horn-loaded bass designs in world-class touring loudspeaker systems for groups such as Pink Floyd, ELP and Supertramp. Located outside of London, Martin Audio now embodies a sophisticated mix of acoustic design, research, mathematical modeling and software engineering for a wide range of products in the installation, cinema and touring sound markets.

DPA Microphones Help Bill Gates Address the Big IF Rally

DPA Microphones played a significant role at the recent Big IF rally in London’s Hyde Park by ensuring that celebrities and VIPs such as Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates and film director Danny Boyle were clearly heard by the 45,000-strong crowd.

Sound, lighting and power for the event was supplied by Ethix Management, which has many years’ experience in event production.

Ethix Management’s Managing Director Paul Jones, says: “We took 12 DPA d:fine™ Headset Microphones to the event and used them to mic various speakers, including Bill Gates. Apart from the fact that they sit so well on the user’s head and are incredibly comfortable, they were also chosen because they offer the best sound reproduction. When you are dealing with the spoken word there is absolutely no room for error as it is vital that the speakers are heard by everyone in the crowd. DPA d:fine Headset Microphones allow us to deliver loud and clear audio and, in our opinion, nothing beats them.”

The DPA d:fine Headset Microphones for this event were supplied by the company’s UK distributor Sound Network. Ideally suited to a wide range of applications, d:fine Headset Microphones offer impressive gain before feedback and are extremely rugged and reliable. These unobtrusive microphones are easy to fit and are renowned for their audio accuracy. The microphones are available in both directional and omnidirectional options and in single or dual-ear designs with a choice of three lengths of microphone booms.

“We use d:fine Headset Microphones at many of the events we handle because we know we can rely on them to deliver the results we want,” Paul Jones adds. “We are now planning to invest in a DPA d:facto™ Vocal Microphone so that we have an alternative available for speakers who don’t like to wear headset mics.”

The Big IF rally was organised by the ‘Enough Food For Everyone IF’ coalition with the aim of raising awareness about global hunger. Throughout the day speakers such as Bill Gate, Danny Boyle, the former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Willliams and Nelson Mandela’s wife Graça Machel pressed for Government action to end hunger and save the lives of millions. Their comments were particularly directed to G8 leaders who were about to meet for a summit in Northern Ireland.

-ends-

Editors’ information:
DPA Microphones is the leading Danish Professional Audio manufacturer of high quality condenser microphones and microphone solutions for professional applications in studio, broadcast, theatre, video/film and sound reinforcement environments. All DPA microphones and components are manufactured at the company’s purpose-built factory in Denmark.
For more information on DPA Microphones, please visit www.dpamicrophones.com

BTX Now Distributing Optical Cable Corporation’s Connectivity Products

Partnership Brings OCC(R) Custom Fiber-Optic Cables to BTX’s Complete Configuration Solutions

HAWTHORNE, N.Y. — July 9, 2013 — BTX Technologies, a value-added distributor and manufacturer of interface, integration, and system products, today announced that it is now an authorized distributor of Optical Cable Corporation’s (OCC(R)) cable and connectivity products. more

Atlona(R) Announces 10-Year Anniversary Celebration With Launch of Industry-Leading 10-Year Product Warranty

Atlona(R) Announces 10-Year Anniversary Celebration With Launch of Industry-Leading 10-Year Product Warranty

SAN JOSE, Calif. — July 10, 2013 — Atlona(R), a leading digital connectivity solutions provider, today announced the company is marking its 10-year anniversary by introducing its new Atlona Advantage 10-year limited warranty for all electronics and hardware products. Designed to support the AV industry’s demand for long-term product reliability and performance in residential and commercial systems, the new warranty program demonstrates Atlona’s focus and commitment to providing industry-leading levels of support to its customers and partners worldwide. more

RG Jones And Martin Audio Maintain Winning Formula For Glastonbury

After a one-year break, it was business as usual back at the Worthy Farm site for this year’s Glastonbury Festival. RG Jones once again turned to the tried and true Martin Audio W8 Longbow system, which again dominated the Pyramid Stage.

With visiting artists and sound engineers so complimentary about the sound system two years ago, specialist sound company RG Jones had no hesitation in fielding a similar PA rig, knowing that this would meet all compliances and propagation tests set by the acoustics consultants and organizer Michael Eavis while satisfying the vast crowds of around 150,000 who converge on the site for the four day extravaganza.

The Longbow hangs are now a familiar sight, book-ending either side of the iconic Pyramid, having fulfilled similar duties for the previous four festivals.

Once again dual inner and outer PA hangs comprised of 14 W8L Longbow elements per side, with two W8LD Downfills at the base provided the full range dynamic––making 64 boxes in total. However, this year RG Jones changed the subwoofer design from the Martin Audio WS318X (3 x 18in) subs fielded in 2011 back to 54 of the WS218X (2 x 18in) enclosures used previously––still maintaining an electronically curved, cardioid broadside array configuration.

With the subs delayed incrementally from the center outwards, the overall wavefront was tuned to fill the Pyramid Stage area, and ensure that spillage beyond the site perimeter was minimized.

According to RG Jones’ project manager Ben Milton, a Glastonbury stalwart who was taking on the role of project manager for the first time, “We have tried various configurations of the bass array and this solution––with two enclosures front facing and one reversed––works particularly well; the rejection from the stage is great and it enables us to bend, shape and steer the sound.”

In addition, two clusters of four W8LC Compact Line Arrays, situated at each end of the crash barrier, provided nearfield infills, and four delay masts each comprising a further 16 x W8LC’s were positioned 330 ft. back from the downstage center, split into an arc.

“This solution worked great,” said Milton. “The organizers wanted to leave nothing to chance when it came to maintaining levels and this was virtually a carbon copy of the 2011 system. We had plenty of opportunity to walk the field and conduct measurements to ensure the accuracy of the system,” he said.

One advantage was the additional zoning that could be applied for tighter control. “All the tops were on individual circuits so we could turn them down very discreetly if necessary and sculpt the system. When the sun goes down the air temperature changes and we back off the top boxes; and as it cools we can bring them back up again.”

This is the domain of seasoned PA system technician Mark Edwards, who has extensive experience with all Martin Audio’s premier systems. He was an essential member of RG Jones’ specialist team, which included Steve Carr and Damian Dyer at FOH (with the experienced Simon Honywill occupying more of a ‘floating’ role this year). Down at the stage logistical duties were shared by Ben Milton (who also mixed monitors for some acts) and Mark Isbister. Supporting the system throughout was Martin Audio’s R&D director, Jason Baird.

Summing up, Glastonbury veteran, Simon Honywill, could not have been more positive, “This year’s Festival was the most professional, slick, and calm, enjoyable experience I can remember at an event of this stature.

“The Rolling Stones sounded absolutely incredible, with all the requisite punch and fidelity you could have wished for. Coverage was superb––the Stones FOH team was extremely happy, and the punters were testament to that. As a neutral platform for all the acts, it would be very difficult to criticize the sound, and I was proud to be associated with such a brilliantly well delivered system.”

Ben Milton added, “We now have bands and their technicians fully confident in the system and happy to use our racks, stacks and control. It makes for a great British synergy: a British production company using a British PA system at the greatest of British festivals.”

The only thing Glastonbury lacked, reflected Honywill, was [sound engineer] Steve Watson, who sadly died the weekend before. “He is sadly missed, and the industry won’t be the same without him,” he said in tribute.

For more about Martin Audio, please click to www.martin-audio.com

About Martin Audio®
Founded by audio engineer David Martin in 1971, Martin Audio pioneered the use of all-horn-loaded bass designs in world-class touring loudspeaker systems for groups such as Pink Floyd, ELP and Supertramp. Located outside of London, Martin Audio now embodies a sophisticated mix of acoustic design, research, mathematical modeling and software engineering for a wide range of products in the installation, cinema and touring sound markets.

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Related Topics: Audio Playback, Line Array, Loudspeakers |

EVERY PICTURE TELLS A STORY: DATATON’S PICKUP HELPS SUPERMARKET CHAIN WIN OVER FAMILIES

© Maj Maj Måne Photography by Peter Sporremark

An innovative storytelling experience from a Swedish entertainment company is being rolled out across supermarkets with the goal of keeping children amused while shopping. And it’s already succeeding in this aim, thanks in no small part to PICKUP™ audio-guide technology from Dataton.

Storytrail® is the brainchild of Anna Lantz, CEO of children’s media production company Maj Maj Måne.

“We have worked with and for children for many years, and always emphasized storytelling as an important part of learning,” Lantz explains. “We wanted to find a way to make everyday life with children as smooth as possible, pinpointing the stress factors many families have in their lives – for example, going grocery shopping.”

“We developed Storytrail as a concept that would keep children occupied, entertained and amused in a retail environment, in a way that would keep them with their parents but also relieve much of the parents’ stress.”

In September 2012, the Storytrail idea was taken up by Sweden’s ICA Kvantum supermarket chain. The roll-out has so far involved over 30 stores, with more to come.”

“Families collect the equipment for Storytrail – a pair of headphones and a Dataton PICKUP unit – when they enter the store,” says Lantz. “Throughout the store there are nine ‘Storypoints’ – signs that contain Dataton MICROTAGS to act as the trigger for a new audio chapter in the Storytrail for kids to listen to. To make it easy for the children to find the Storypoints, we designed additional signs around the store and little footprints on the ground, underlining the idea that the kids are following a trail.”

A closer look at the Dataton PICKUP audio guide

For ICA Kvantum, Maj Maj Måne created a story using characters already used by the retail chain in its marketing. New stories involving these characters are recorded every other week, so that children always have a new Storytrail to look forward to when they go shopping.

“Research from Sweden’s Linnaeus University suggests that more than half of children are quieter when using Storytrail in a shopping environment, that parents’ stress levels are reduced by over 20%, and that 85% of parents would choose to shop at a location with Storytrail installed, over one without.”

Lars Sandlund, Chief Operating Officer, Dataton

“Storytrail is a fantastic example of how our PICKUP audio-guide technology can bring tangible and immediate business benefits to our customers,” comments Lars Sandlund, Chief Operations Officer of Dataton. ”

“Affordable, easy to install and above all very simple to use, PICKUP is finding new applications every day.”

www.dataton.com

Atlona(R) Now Shipping New Family of HDBaseT(TM) Extenders

Devices Bring the Simplicity of RS-232, IR Control, and PoCc to High-Resolution Applications

SAN JOSE, Calif. — June 27, 2013 — Atlona(R), a leading digital connectivity solutions provider, today announced that the company is now shipping its new family of HDBaseT(TM) solutions. Designed to provide the ultimate in HD connectivity to both residential and commercial applications over a common connector cable, the HDBaseT extender family offers higher resolutions at longer distances, Power over Category cable (PoCc), and multiple control options. A variety of form factors and connectors are available to meet the exact needs of any installation. more

BlueBOLT(R) Delivers Intuitive Power and Energy Management to Consumer Households

Award-Winning Cloud-Based Power and Energy Management Platform to be a Highlight of CE Week 2013

PETALUMA, Calif. — June 24, 2013 — BlueBOLT(R) today announced that the company will be showcasing its cloud-based power and energy management platform at CE Week 2013. Designed to facilitate the control of household power and energy usage, the company’s hardware and software technology provides an intuitive plug-and-play Web interface where users can control AC outlets to easily schedule, monitor, and manage their energy consumption. The solution will be on display for the duration of CE Week, with live demonstrations taking place directly from BlueBOLT’s booth 14. more

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