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Archive of the Audio Playback Category

Premiere Southern California Live Music Venue Steps it Up with VARIA

Long Beach, CA – December 2013…The Gaslamp is one of Southern California’s best-known night spots, with a rich history of great entertainment and an impressively eclectic roster. On any given night, the club’s stage plays host to artists ranging from hard rock and metal to punk, acoustic, and even contemporary classical performances, as well as comedy, DJs, tribute acts, karaoke, and even televised sporting events.

The Gaslamp offers up a full kitchen, with private booths and tables as well as a bar and dance floor, making it a great place for dinner, drinks, and a night out. But as owner Mike Newfeld explains, the club’s acoustics have long been a struggle.

“It’s a very boomy room,” says Newfeld. “It’s got high ceilings, concrete floors, and just not very good sound dispersion — a lot of pockets that are dead space or too loud. The challenge has been to find a system that would deliver consistent coverage and sound good, no matter where you are in the room.”

Engineer Tony Purvis agrees. “It was really, really hard to get a good mix throughout the whole club — to achieve that ‘comfortable loud,’ where everyone can enjoy themselves, enjoy the music and the performance but still be able to hold a conversation.”

The Gaslamp recently upgraded their sound system, installing the new VARIA modular point source line array system from Renkus-Heinz. As Purvis observes, the VARIA system has completely changed the equation for the club.

“The experience that I’ve had with the new VARIA system has been just amazing,” Purvis remarks. “The design of the system has enabled complete coverage. This system makes my life easier.”

“We couldn’t be happier with the new VARIA system,” adds Newfeld. “Our customer base noticed immediately. It’s loud, clear, and clean, without blowing people away. Thanks to the new VARIA system, we are now known as the premiere live music venue in Southern California.”

 

 

 

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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.

Masque Sound Celebrates the Spirit of the Holiday Season with Christmas Live! 2013 at GraceWay Bible Church

As GraceWay Bible Church gets ready to stage its annual holiday program, Christmas Live!, Masque Sound, a leading theatrical sound reinforcement, installation and design company, returns with a custom audio equipment package to support Sound Designer Nathan Schmalbach and Technical Director Kevin Webb’s production.

Now in its fifth year, Christmas Live! is an immersive experience transporting visitors back 2,000 years to the very first Christmas. An hour-long guided walking tour, it features 11 interactive scenes with actors and animals located in and around the church grounds. The cast and crew total 300 people, with 15 involved directly in its technical aspects.

This is Masque Sound’s third year providing rental gear for Christmas Live!. As the program has grown over the past three years, so has the company’s support. In 2011, Masque Sound supplied a large wireless rig to distribute audio throughout the show. Last year, the rental package grew to include a semi-centralized system, and this year, Masque Sound provided a system that will allow the entire program to be centralized.

“Our goal over the past few years has been to centralize all of the controls for the entire program, which is no easy task when you are talking about remotely mixing and controlling 11 different shows, all of which are active at the same time,” says Schmalbach. “We have been working with Masque Sound for months to make sure we have the necessary equipment to execute this. It’s been a challenge, but Masque Sound has done a great job in giving us the gear and support to make our vision a reality.”

In order to mix the show from one central point, Schmalbach and his team will utilize a binaural audio (3D Audio) remote listening system. The system is composed of AKG C414 B-ULS and Earthworks M30 microphones, Genelec 1032A and 8030A monitors, XTA DP448s and Meyer Sound Galileo 616s for processing, XTA DS8000/D splitters, Rational Acoustics Smaart software and a Midas Venice 240 console. Audio is distributed from the control center with a Riedel RockNet 300 digital audio network. The speaker package consists of L-Acoustics MTD108As, 115XTs, SB218 and dB-SUB subwoofers, and Meyer Sound UPM-1Ps, UPA-1Ps and UPJ-1Ps. All of the L-Acoustics speakers are powered via Lab.gruppen fP Series amplifiers.

Figure53 QLab software running on Mac Minis with RME Fireface 800 interfaces handles the show’s effects and music playback. Masque Sound also provided a large wireless rig consisting of a Sennheiser 2000 Series 24-channel kit. To accompany the Sennheiser wireless package, Masque Sound supplied four Domed Helical Antennas from its sister company, Professional Wireless Systems (PWS).

“Masque Sound is always there for whatever we need. The program would not be as technically advanced as it is without their first-class equipment and support,” adds Schmalbach. “They do a wonderful job, and we can’t imagine working with anyone else.”

Christmas Live! will take place Friday, December 6 and Friday, December 13, starting at 5:30 p.m., and Sunday, December 8 and Sunday, December 15, starting at 4:30 p.m. For more information and to get free tickets, visit www.gracewaybc.org.

About Masque Sound
Founded in 1936 by a trio of Broadway stagehands, Masque Sound evolved into one of NYC’s most successful theatrical sound reinforcement, installation and design companies specializing in theatrical, house of worship, sporting, corporate, TV broadcast and live concert events. Celebrating more than 75 years in the industry, the company is lead by Geoff Shearing, the firm’s 3rd generation owner, and Vice President and General Manager Stephanie Hansen. The company also operates Florida-based Professional Wireless Systems, a leader in the development and implementation of wireless technology. Credits range from major Broadway shows and tours including “Phantom of the Opera,” “Mamma Mia!,” “Lion King,” “Jersey Boys,” “Memphis,” “The Book of Mormon,” “Newsies,” “Once” and “Kinky Boots” to yearly Super Bowl broadcasts and installations of varying sizes, including New York’s New Victory Theater and historic St. Bartholomew’s Church. Masque Sound’s 70,000 sq. ft. corporate headquarters and main assembly facility is located at 21 East Union Ave., East Rutherford, NJ, 20 minutes from midtown Manhattan. For more information, call (201) 939-8666 or visit www.MasqueSound.com.

World Renowned Cathedral Gets World Class Sound with Iconyx

St. Louis, MO – November 2013… Completed in 1914, the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis is renowned for its breathtaking mosaic works — one of the largest in the world. Comprising more than 41.5 million pieces, and covering 83,000 square feet, the mosaics display took more than 75 years to complete, and draws visitors from throughout the world.

The 2000-seat cathedral’s architecture is as exquisite as it is acoustically challenging, capped with a massive dome that soars to 150 feet high at its center. “It’s an exceptionally challenging environment,” explains Gary Haselhorst, President of Valley Park, MO-based Cignal Systems. “There are so many concave surfaces, with 360 degrees of windows, and the dome just exacerbates everything. There’s not a soft surface in there — marble floors, hard pews — and there are transepts on either side that create even more reflections.”

Not surprisingly, the Cathedral has struggled to find a sound system that could cope with such a challenging space. “The old system was simply ineffective,” says Haselhorst. “They had about twenty 12-inch two-way cabinets around the perimeter, hung at about 30 feet in the air. There was a very fine line between enough volume and too much volume. If we brought up the direct feed too high the room would go into feedback.”

The solution presented itself in the form of Iconyx digitally steerable column arrays from Renkus-Heinz. A pair of Iconyx IC32-R-II columns are installed left and right of the altar platform. As Haselhorst explains, the Iconyx was a clear and obvious solution.

“As proof of concept, we took a single Iconyx 32 into the Cathedral, put it stage right of the altar sanctuary area, and steered the beam away from the reflective surfaces. Even with one speaker, we were miles beyond the existing sound system.”

Haselhorst adds that the 32-element column was exactly what was needed in this reflective space. “We didn’t need the SPL, but we needed the low frequency control. Below 250 Hz, the RT in that room is unmanageable.”

A second set of Iconyx IC16-R-II columns are mounted midway back in the room as delays. “We could have easily hit the back of the room with the mains, but the transepts created another issue. If we aimed the beam high enough to hit the back of the room, we were hitting the transepts too. Using the IC16 columns as a delay kept us from having to push the front elements too hard and hitting the transept walls.” Time alignment is handled within the Iconyx software. A pair of Symetrix Radius units provides additional signal processing.

The Iconyx also offered a low-profile, streamlined design that blended well with the decor. “We custom painted them to match the walls,” says Haselhorst.

The new system has made an immense difference, says Haselhorst.  “We took down twenty loudspeakers that were aimed all over the place, and replaced them with four sources that are aimed with precision. You can hear someone now as if you were talking to them ten feet away.”

Haselhorst says the best compliment was from the archbishop himself. “He said that now he can pull up his old sermons and reuse them, and this time people will be able to hear them.”

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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.

Conviction to HARMAN’s Soundcraft Si Expression

ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico – Since the introduction of HARMAN’s Soundcraft Si Expression Series, houses of worship have enjoyed the consoles’ ease of use and unmatched sound quality. Albuquerque, New Mexico-based Conviction, which delivers Christianity to convicted inmates, recently upgraded its audio inventory with an Si Expression 1 digital console.

When Eddie Baird, owner of Conviction, used the Si Expression for the first time, he was amazed at the quality of the sound from the console. As a musician with decades of experience in sound equipment, Baird toured more than 500 prisons in the US over the past year, and recognized the difference between a console from Soundcraft and those from other brands immediately when he fired up the Si Expression for the first time.

“It is simply amazing,” Baird said. “The different sounds that can be mixed in this board are incredible. I also love the Lexicon effects, which are the perfect additions for our needs right now. I feel like I can do so much with just the Si Expression.”

To complement the channel and bus processing, all Si Expression consoles integrate four stereo Lexicon FX processors based on the MX400, boasting 29 presets each, user-adjustable parameters and dedicated tap-tempo keys.

For the touring artist, the Si Expression 1 also offers a compact form factor with fast setup times. With the built-in Cue system, the 24 recallable mic pre amps can be saved for convenience.

“Setup times are incredibly fast,” Baird noted. “We arrive at detention centers and are ready to go immediately, which is fortunate due to the limited time constraints they give us. The transition from analog to this digital console was smoother than expected, because it feels just like an analog board, but with the added digital features. I absolutely love the experience, and look forward to recording with it.”

HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of audio and infotainment solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets – supported by 15 leading brands, including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon® and Mark Levinson®. 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 14,600 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $4.5 billion for the last twelve months ended September 30, 2013.

Hob Sound Adds HARMAN Soundcraft Si Expression To Its One-Man Show

FRAMINGHAM, Massachusetts – Rob Bernstein, the sole owner of Hob Sound, recently purchased a HARMAN Soundcraft Si Expression 2 to accommodate his production and mixing needs. As a one-man business that provides sound equipment for a wide range of events, Bernstein requires an equally versatile console to match his needs.

The Soundcraft Si Expression console is the complete solution for all of Bernstein’s mixing requirements. Versatility is an understatement when it comes to this digital board with recallable features and analog-type controls. In addition, the Si Expression Series comes with GEQ effects on every bus as well as built-in Lexicon effects.

Within 15 minutes of working with the Si Expression, Bernstein was amazed at the quality of the console. “Its versatility blows anything else out of the water,” he said. “Having the graphic EQ’s available to all the buses is a huge advantage, and combined with the availability of compressors on each channel, this console replaces a lot of gear. This is critical to my operation, since I cannot haul all those additional racks by myself.”

The Soundcraft Si Expression comes with tons of features that make it easy to use and convenient to set up, which is highly appealing to sound engineers managing multiple events. ‘1 Control = 1 Function’ ensures that there is never any layering of controls. The One Touch Easy Mix (TOTEM) allows a single key to mix to an AUX, FX or Matrix bus. The Si Expression also features FaderGlow™ color-coded illuminated faders and a range of connectivity and network cards. It combines the utility of a digital console with the simplicity of an analog one.

“I love how much faster it is to set up for an event, due to the recallable features,” Bernstein added. “Even though this is my first digital board, it retains the simple feel and authentic sound of an analog board that I have grown accustomed to in my decades of experience. Also, I no longer have to worry about choosing which channel gets compressed or gated.”

Hob Sound recently mixed a show with the local band The Fools in the Boston area. “The Si Expression sounded great, and it is everything that I need from a console,” according to Bernstein.

The Si Expression 2 console was purchased through Pro Audio Star (www.proaudiostar.com).

HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of audio and infotainment solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets – supported by 15 leading brands, including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon® and Mark Levinson®. 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 14,600 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $4.5 billion for the last twelve months ended September 30, 2013.

Renkus-Heinz Helps Schengenfest Cap the Summer Season

Vinica, Slovenia – November, 2013…. Now in its sixth year, Schengenfest has quickly become Slovenia’s largest and most popular summer music festival. Held in the world-renowned Krajinski Park on the banks of the River Kolpa, the show’s three-day ticket includes dozens of bands and DJs on three stages, as well as free camping, an amusement park, a theater, games, workshops, and more.

This year’s lineup included UK rockers Skunk Anansie, Belgium’s Triggerfinger, and German reggae artists Gentlemen and the Evolution, as well as an all-star roster of DJs from the US and Europe. Performances spanned three stages, with audio provided by one of the country’s largest concert providers, Turjak-based Akustika Pirman.

The Main Stage was outfitted with a massive Renkus-Heinz line array, with 16 VLX3 cabinets and 24 DRS18-2B subwoofers per side. Five PN102 cabinets provided front fill, with six PN102LA boxes per side deployed from the FOH roof to cover the area shaded by it. Analog and digital were represented at FOH, with DiGiCo SD8 and Soundcraft MH-3 48 consoles. Xilica XP-4080 processors handle system processing, with Lab.gruppen amplification. Stage monitors were also Renkus-Heinz, including 12 PNX151 wedges, side fills with DRS18-2B subs, and a PNX121 and DRS18 rig for drum fill.

The Electro Stage was an ongoing DJ party, pumped up with left and right arrays of 12 STXLA/9 cabinets, with bass amply covered by 16 DRS18-2B subs. Monitors for the DJ included an IC Live SUB IC215 and two PN102LA cabinets per side, along with six more PNX121 boxes for additional monitoring. A DiGiCo SD11 console handled FOH mix, with XTA processing and Lab.gruppen amps.

Over at the smaller, more intimate riverfront Beach Stage, a single TRX151T and DRS18 sub per side handled PA duties, with PNX121 boxes for monitoring.

“I knew we needed a truly powerful setup for this event, as we were expecting a huge crowd,” says system engineer Ales Dravinec. “We wanted to create a system that would deliver excellent throw across the entire frequency range, and we came up with a system that gave us not just great coverage, but headroom to spare. Setup was straightforward and effortless as well. Bravo, Renkus-Heinz!”

Akustika Pirman’s Metod Komatar adds, “As one of Slovenia’s largest rental companies, we work on a wide range of events, from national celebrations and congresses to concerts, TV shows, and many others. We use Renkus-Heinz systems exclusively because they deliver powerful performance, they are dependable, and they sound great.”

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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.

The (r)evolution is Here with the Introduction of HARMAN’s dbx DriveRack® PA2 Loudspeaker Management System

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – HARMAN’s dbx today announced the introduction of its DriveRack® PA2 Loudspeaker Management System, which enables a loudspeaker system to be quickly and accurately optimized for the best-possible sound quality. The PA2 is ideal for bands, musicians and artists who carry their own PA and for a wide range of installed sound applications.

The Original DriveRack PA revolutionized audio for bands all around the world by providing all of the processing you needed between your mixer and amplifiers to optimize and protect your loudspeakers. The DriveRack takes this to a whole new level. A brand new Wizard allows for faster and easier set-up, new AutoEQ and AFS give you professional touring quality room EQ and incredibly accurate Advanced Feedback Suppression (AFS™), and finally all can now be controlled on the fly with your mobile device or laptop using Ethernet control via an Android®, iOS®, Mac®, or Windows® device. The DriveRack PA2 continues the DriveRack legacy of great-sounding, powerful, and affordable loudspeaker management processors for a whole new generation.
The DriveRack PA2 can be set up and operated from a compatible tablet or smartphone. An all-new Wizard utility makes setup easier and faster than ever, and users have access to a host of configuration menus and on their mobile device, with full-color graphical displays that give ready visual indications of the parameters being adjusted. The DriveRack PA2 can also be operated via its front-panel controls and display.

The DriveRack PA2 provides a comprehensive suite of system tuning and optimization tools. Its improved AutoEQ™ enables automatic and precise equalization of the loudspeakers to the venue in which they’re installed to achieve smoother, more accurate in-room frequency response. A new AFS™ Advanced Feedback Suppression feature automatically finds and dials out any problematic feedback-producing frequencies.

The PA2 offers numerous additional system-tuning and sonic optimization capabilities, including dbx compression, graphic and 8-band parametric EQ, dbx’s exclusive Subharmonic Synthesis for enhanced low-frequency response, a built-in loudspeaker crossover (for full-range, 2-way and 3-way systems), limiting, loudspeaker time alignment and time delay and many additional features.

“Setting up a PA can be challenging even under the best of circumstances, and with the introduction of the DriveRack PA2, local musicians, weekend warriors, semi-pro players, wedding bands and even established artists and venues now have a remarkably effective tool for getting better live sound than ever before,” said Noel Larson, Market Manager, Portable PA, Tour, and Recording at HARMAN Signal Processing.

The dbx DriveRack PA2 will be available in December 2013 at a suggested retail price of $499.95.

HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of audio and infotainment solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets – supported by 15 leading brands, including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon® and Mark Levinson®. 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 14,600 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $4.5 billion for the last twelve months ended September 30, 2013.

Bexel Completes RF System Integration for Fusion Network and Upgrades WCBS-TV with Managed Antenna System

Custom RF Solutions Meet Broadcasters’ Unique Needs

(BURBANK, CA) Bexel, a unit of the Vitec Group‘s Services Division and a leading worldwide provider of broadcast services and solutions, recently completed major projects for two broadcasters, the new cable network Fusion and WCBS-TV of New York. Bexel provided complete RF system integration for the newly launched Fusion studio located in Doral, Florida. For WCBS-TV, the studio was just upgraded with Bexel’s proprietary Managed Antenna System (MAS). Both jobs were overseen by the company’s Audio Specialties Group (ASG), whose unique RF services deliver the ability to communicate over longer distances and with more information than was previously available to the broadcast market.

Fusion, a joint venture between ABC News and Univision, launched October 28. The English-language network features news, information and lifestyle programming aimed at Latinos and young Millennial viewers. Bexel was contracted by The Systems Group to provide complete RF system integration for the new facility that was built from the ground up to support Fusion, as well as Univision’s news programming. The entire process, from the planning stages to final installation, took nearly a year.

Bexel’s skilled engineers provided a MAS to facilitate the use of all wireless production equipment throughout the entire Fusion facility, allowing the complete network of equipment to work in all studios as a shared resource. The project required eight zones of RF coverage, and installed equipment included five Bexel IS8 Combiners, five PA1 Distribution Amps, five UHPS1X8 Power Splitters, three UMC16X16 Receive Multicouplers, 28 Shure Axient Systems, 54 Lectrosonics IFB systems, and nine Telex BTR800 Wireless Intercom systems. Approximately 20,000 feet of coax cable was deployed for the job, along with nearly 80 antennas.

“It is always a tremendous opportunity when we can get in on the ground floor of a project,” says Jim Dugan, senior project engineer, Bexel. “With Fusion’s new studio, we were able to start with a blank canvas, and our experts were really able to configure a system that was right for their specific and varied needs. Beyond consulting on all the RF in the facility, we provided project management, frequency coordination, bandwidth planning, and equipment purchasing as well.”

For WCBS-TV studios in New York, Bexel recently upgraded the MAS for this market’s top-rated news station, which is also home to local area talk show “The Couch.” The system allows talent to roam from their home studio, CBS Studio 46, to the adjacent newsroom and the soon to be completed Studio 55. The wireless antenna solution at WCBS accommodates 16 Sennheiser wireless microphones, eight Lectrosonics IFB systems, and two Telex BTR800 Wireless Intercom systems on a single, four-zone system.

WCBS is located in the CBS Broadcast Center, a million-square-foot production facility in Manhattan that serves as the headquarters of CBS News and CBS Sports. Over the last two years, Bexel has also installed Managed Antenna Systems in all five of the complex’s other studios.

“We are proud to continue our work at the CBS Broadcast Center. With our Bexel MAS installed in Studio 46, the WCBS news team is going to enjoy a whole new level of flexibility and freedom. Our RF configurations streamline audio communications for the production workflow.”

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About Bexel
Bexel is the pre-eminent worldwide provider of broadcast services including video and audio equipment rentals, fiber services, new audio sales, used equipment sales, and repairs/maintenance. Bexel provides brilliantly designed and flawlessly executed systems and solutions to all customers – including producers of the biggest and most important televised events in the world. For more information, visit www.bexel.com, and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

About the Vitec Group
Capture the moment(tm)
For over 100 years, through every innovation in photography, film and digital image-making, Vitec businesses have developed a powerful portfolio of brand and products that have enabled some of the most amazing moments to be captured under some of the most challenging conditions. Vitec is an international Group principally serving customers in the broadcast photographic and military aerospace and government (MAG) markets. Vitec is based on strong, well-known premium brands on which its customers worldwide rely. Vitec is organized in three divisions: Videocom, Imaging and Services. Videocom designs and distributes systems and products used in broadcasting and live entertainment, film and video production and MAG. Imaging designs, manufactures and distributes equipment and accessories for photography, video and events. Services provides equipment rental, workflow design and technical support for camera, video, audio, fiber optic and wireless technology used by TV production and film crews. More information can be found at www.vitecgroup.com.

Media Contacts:
ignite strategic communications
Lisa Muldowney – lisa@ignite.bz / 760.212.4130
Sally Christgau – sally@ignite.bz / 415.238.2254

Austrian Space Forum’s Mission Control Relies On HARMAN’s AKG Headsets For Mars Mission Simulations

VIENNA, Austria – During World Space Week, more than 1,000 events in 80 countries celebrated space exploration with the motto, “Exploring Mars. Discovering Earth.” Headquartered in the Austrian Space Forum’s mission control room, each event was tactfully coordinated to help educate researchers, students and space enthusiasts on the science behind future missions to Mars. With 20 sets of HARMAN’s AKG HSC271 headsets and K171 MKII headphones, field tests, simulated Mars expeditions and international communications were successfully accomplished and transmitted.

The headsets were used for the flight controller consoles at Mission Control, in addition to teleconferences in classrooms worldwide on every continent with the exception of Antarctica.

“Like in any space mission, real or simulated, communication is everything. Loss of communication is one of the worst things to happen on a mission, whether it’s a space walk or during a critical experiment,” stated Dr. Gernot Groemer, President, Austrian Space Forum. “The AKG headsets were not only high quality from a manufacturing point of view, but also provided a high degree of ergonomics and crystal clear audio quality for those wearing the sets for hours at a time. The technology’s ability to block the noise from neighboring consoles was also very helpful for our missions.”

The space organization researched and deployed a vast communications program for the World Space Week celebrations, ensuring redundancy of the communications within Mission Control. With numerous missions in progress during the events, several field teams around the world were simultaneously transmitting into Austria. It was necessary for flight controllers to speak to their teams with clear audio without disturbing their neighbors, who also were directing missions. “With normal, off-the-shelf headsets, this would have been a recipe for disaster,” continued Groemer.

Throughout 2013, the Austrian Space Forum was testing several technology candidates for a new organization-wide headset. The flight directors decided on AKG headsets permanently.

Activities during the week included the WSW 2013 Mission to Mars – a 4-day simulation of a human Mars expedition at the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah and a 5-person crew led by Dr. Jon Rask from the Space Biosciences Division at NASA Ames Research Center in California. Other highlights included field tests of the ExoMars Rover in Chile, rover testing by teams in the US, Poland, Germany and Hungary, as well as laboratory tests of the Gandolfi space suit in France and the Aouda.X spacesuit in Austria.

For more information on the AKG HSC271, please visit http://www.akg.com/HSC271-828.html?pid=926, and K171 MKII, http://www.akg.com/K171+MKII-827.html?pid=1145.

HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of audio and infotainment solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets – supported by 15 leading brands, including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon® and Mark Levinson®. 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 14,600 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $4.5 billion for the last twelve months ended September 30, 2013.

Martin Audio MLA Goes Above And Beyond At “Ally Pally”

Capital Sound easily overcame Alexandra Palace’s notoriously challenging acoustics in late October when they brought in their Martin Audio MLA Multi-cellular Loudspeaker Array to the glazed venue for the first time.

Notorious among the sound community for producing violent reflections inside the venue (and receiving noise complaints from the neighbors), would the Above & Beyond Group Therapy 050 live radio broadcast prove too great a challenge for the award-winning sound system, which promises ultimate pattern control? As for A&B, this was to be one of the biggest events in the dance music trio’s calendar.

So just how unforgiving is Ally Pally? In the words of Capital Sound account manager, Martin Connolly, “The Great Hall is a beautiful space; but when it was built in 1873, no one ever envisaged that the building would need to play host to the high volume of a modern day concert. Unfortunately, the amazing domed glass roof is only a minimal barrier to sound propagation.”

Martin Audio R&D Director, Jason Baird, puts it more succinctly, stating: “Just think of a marble and glass shoebox, 130 ft. wide, 52 ft. high and 278 ft. deep.”

Above & Beyond, who operate both full band and DJ set-ups (but in this case were operating in the latter mode), had wanted to use MLA, and when they brought in Loudsound’s Dan Craig he readily agreed, having worked successfully with MLA during the Field Day and deadmau5 shows at Hackney’s Victoria Park, as a precursor to this summer’s Hyde Park British Summertime Festival.

Capital Sound Technical Manager Ian Colville immediately set to work on designing the system, with Jason Baird providing supportive input. “We have used Martin Audio W8LC’s here in the past, but whatever system we’ve used, it has always required delays. This time we felt it was time to put our faith in MLA and do away with delays.”

For both Dan Craig, and promoters, Lock ‘N’ Load Events, the decision was fully vindicated. Craig reported that by operating to a 98dB threshold inside, production didn’t receive a single noise complaint. Yet the greatest ‘illusion’ was inside the venue, where by cleverly mapping the venue to optimize and ‘hard avoid’ selected areas, the clarity of the signal gave a distinct impression that the various DJ’s were playing a whole lot louder. And with the venue once again hosting a steady flow of events, with Cap Sound as one of their main service providers, this could prove highly significant.

“We had observed this characteristic from Day 1,” admits Colville. “If a venue is completely resonant free then the sound appears louder.” While the complete system design is conceived ahead, the system tech will always make late adjustments on the fly, he said, such as towing in the PA a fraction. In this case once production got on site, they found the venue was not quite as long as drawings had indicated and so certain measurements needed to be re-evaluated.

Fortunate then, that the system tech on this occasion was Toby Donovan, who worked as the MLA tech on the highly successful Hyde Park concerts.

“I have never encountered a system quite as clever as MLA,” he said. “But you still have to use common-sense in the physical world.”

For this show the L/R system was rigged with 11 MLA elements per side (atop a single MLD Downfill) with two W8C’s each side for outfills and eight W8LM as front fills. The PA was flown fairly high (with slight downward tilt) but then towed in marginally to keep it off the walls, using Delta plates and three motors per hang. “We only needed about 1° to avoid distracting reflections; it’s what we would generally do in noise sensitive venues,” said Donovan.

“We also needed to minimize spill all round—the rear rejection with this system is really good.”

The SPL profile was built over a 5dB spread—using zero at the mix position, +2dB at the crowd barrier and -3dB 275 ft. back at the rear curtain.

With ‘Hard Avoid’ applied uniquely to this back wall the design also utilized the Audience and Non-Audience zones with the appropriate optimization settings—the latter tapering off at the stage (from the drape line to the back wall behind).

Having the 14 MLX subs arranged in a broadside cardioid array allowed Donovan to enter delay times and change the dispersion control—using the software to electronically curve the sound into an arc. “Due to the narrow width of the venue, we were only running at 90°, so this was a pretty tight LF beam,” he noted.

Toby Donovan confirmed the belief of the entire Capital sound crew. “Such was the coherency and lack of distortion, that everyone I spoke to couldn’t believe we were only running at 98dB. It was exactly the same on the Joe Satriani tour where we were running at 99dB but sounding like 103dB. Our ears deceive us into thinking that it’s so much louder.”

All of which was to the benefit of Above & Beyond’s Group Therapy 050 show, fronted by the trio of Jono, Tony and Paavo and also featuring support from renowned DJ’s Arty, Andrew Beyer, Boom Jinx and Guy J.

Paavo Siljamäki, for one, was delighted with the outcome. He stated, “[Capital Sound] made one of the most difficult venues in London sound incredible. Never before in my touring career (with over 500 gigs behind me), has the sound in a venue been such a talking point. I had lots of sound engineer friends complimenting us on the way the place sounded,”

Martin Connolly can also reflect on a highly satisfactory outing. “When we supported Subculture and Come Together at this venue for Lock ‘N’ Load Events two years ago with a hybrid system it worked well.

“But the sound was no match for this. When you are not battling against reflections or ambient noise and can aim the sound off the walls, you will always appear to get more volume from the system at sensitive sites like this. Everyone agreed, particularly Seamus [Morley], the tour manager, who described the sound as ‘epic’ and confirmed that we had made absolutely the right choice of PA.”

Photo credit: Photo by Sebastian Matthes/manox.net”

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

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