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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.

Iconyx Makes it Clear at Mizzou Aquatic Center

Columbia, MO – November 2013…. The University of Missouri has a well-deserved reputation for going the extra mile for its student body, and their Student Recreation Center is a case in point. With a range of indoor and outdoor facilities to meet almost any discipline, their Mizzou Aquatic Center is just one of several jewels in the crown. The Aquatic Center’s 50 meter pool and Diving Well have hosted numerous high-profile competitions, including Big 12 Swimming and Diving Championships, USA Swimming Series, and NCAA meets.

Since its opening in 2005, the Aquatic Center had also been known for its problematic acoustics. With its soaring glass and concrete walls, massive steel roof, and abundance of reflective surfaces, announcements were literally drowning in the din. That is, until the Center installed their new Iconyx digitally steered column array system.

“The original audio system never really provided the coverage they needed,” explains Brian Noerlinger, with the Overland Park, Kansas offices of Conference Technologies, Inc. “The speakers were mounted at about 56 feet high, and the intelligibility factor was close to nil.”

The ceiling’s height created strategic challenges as well. “One of our biggest obstacles was taking the old speakers down,” says Noerlinger. “The largest lift we could get into the building only went to 40 feet. Erecting a scaffold would have called for draining the pool, which wasn’t an option. So I put a couple of pieces of conduit together with a couple of pulleys and a spring and a rope, and essentially made a big long tree trimmer. I threw a rope around the speakers, pried them off and reached up and cut. I had one heck of an audience watching from below.”

As challenging as it was to get the old speakers down, installing anything else at that height would have proven impossible. “The original plan had been for the Iconyx to be part of the design, along with hanging additional speakers to replace the old ones,” says Noerlinger. Instead, CTI worked with the Renkus-Heinz engineering team to design a system to cover the entire space using only three Iconyx columns.

The system is comprised of a single Iconyx IC16-R-II column in the center, flanked by IC8-R-II columns on either side. “One of the IC8 columns covers the diving well area, with the IC16 at dead center and the other IC8 down at the far end of the pool,” says Noerlinger. “With just those three columns, we were able to achieve a consistent 110 dB coverage across the entire seating area.” A CFX218S dual 18 inch subwoofer adds low end punch and power to pump up the crowd.

Intelligibility is also dramatically improved, Noerlinger adds. “Having the ability to control our point sources and direct the sound exactly where we wanted it — and more importantly, to steer it away from the places we didn’t want it — made a tremendous difference. The sound in there now is crystal clear.”

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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.

Red TX Help Capture This Year’s Barclaycard Mercury Prize

Broadcast audio specialist Red TX provided the technical facilities to capture the audio at this year’s Barclaycard Mercury Prize, which took place at London’s Roundhouse on October 30th.

Hosted by Lauren Laverne, this year’s Awards Show featured live performances by many of the 2013 shortlisted artists including Arctic Monkeys, Laura Mvula, Jake Bugg, Rudimental and overall winner James Blake.

Red TX worked closely with PA company Plus4Audio and Outside Broadcast company CTV to deliver television coverage of this prestigious event, which was broadcast on both More4 and Channel 4.

Barclaycard Mercury Prize Executive Producer Dan Ford says: “Red TX was commissioned to handle the broadcast audio because the company has a strong reputation for delivering great live sound. We worked with them last year and were very happy with the results they achieved. It therefore it made sense to invite them back as part of our tried and tested production team.”

For this event, Red TX supplied its Red II music recording truck which is designed to cater for 3D and 7.1 surround sound productions. Sound Supervisor Simon Wall, now based at London’s The Hospital Club, has been mixing the audio for the Barclaycard Mercury Prize for a number of years and once again he was the man behind the controls of red II’s Studer Vista 8 mixing console. Red TX’s engineer Ollie Nesham was also on board acting as his technical assistant.

Nesham says: “A great deal of preparation went into this show. We arrived at the venue on Monday 28th and spent the next three days setting up, rehearsing and carrying out extensive sound checks to make sure everything was perfect. There were two stages, each with 48 lines of splits that we plugged up to so that all the inputs were available on the desk at the same time. This enabled us to create a set-up for each part of the show, in which typically three bands were performing, so that Simon only had to recall one set-up for each part and one snapshot for each band. Working this way also allows Simon to line check all the bands in each break, which gave us confidence as we could check that we had all the inputs for each band before we started that part of the show.”

Sam Dunlop, Studio Manager of the Hospital Club Studio, adds: “The Hospital Club treasures its longstanding relationship with Dan Ford and the Barclaycard Mercury Prize, which we have collaborated on since 2007. Throughout that time, Simon has mixed all the Sessions filmed at the Club, as well as the Prize gigs and all the live mixes on the awards night itself. We’re extremely lucky to have him, and it’s a privilege to be able to work together to produce such fantastic new music content throughout the year with Dan and his team.”

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About Red TX:
Red TX provides a comprehensive concert recording and broadcast service to the music and television industries. The company has state-of-the-art mobile recording facilities and can handle projects of any size or complexity. As well as recording audio for broadcast, the company also records live music events for subsequent release on CD or DVD. It is headed by Ian Dyckhoff and Tim Summerhayes, both of whom have extensive experience in delivering high-quality audio for broadcast. www.redtx.com

Slovak National Theatre Upgrades to IC Live

Bratislava, Slovikia – November 2013… Completed in 1886, the Slovak National Theatre was designed by Viennese architects Ferdinand Fellner and Hermann Helmer. Since 1920, the ornate, 1,000-seat building has been the seat of the Slovak National Theatre opera and ballet ensembles. The hall has also hosted performances by some of the world’s top opera and ballet talents.

Its acoustics, however, have come under more scrutiny. The room’s very short reverberation time, while acceptable for opera, doesn’t suit orchestral performances. Its narrow stage faces a long auditorium where the rear seats are 75 ft (22 m) away. Uneven sound coverage confronted its numerous balconies.

A subtle sound reinforcement system, effectively invisible to the audience, was needed, and the theater approached MediaTech, Bratislava’s largest pro audio company.

EASE analysis led to them recommending the IC Live digitally steerable system by Renkus-Heinz. Its clear, uncolored musical sound, the ability to steer multiple sound beams into specific areas of the audience offered precisely the solution that was needed. And its slim, low profile design — complete with a custom paint finish – complemented the theatre’s décor perfectly.

The system includes extra reverb for orchestral shows via a TC Electronics M6000, with a Yamaha PM5D console linked directly to the IC Live system via CobraNet. “The audience had to be unaware of sound reinforcement,” says MediaTech’s project manager Miroslav Paciga. “IC Live allowed us to achieve that subtle effect while being visually unnoticeable.”

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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.

Pro Audio Technology Appoints Aim High Audio Sales as Manufacturers Representative

Aim High Audio Sales will bring PRO’s line of cinema-quality audio products to the Southeastern U.S. region.

Huntington Beach, CA – October 31, 2013 – Pro Audio Technology (PRO), the leading supplier of loudspeakers and DSP-programmable amplifier systems, today announced the appointment of Aim High Audio Sales as a manufacturer representative. Aim High will bring PRO’s cinema-quality audio solutions to its dealer partners in the southeastern U.S. region, including Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi and North and South Carolina.

“Pro Audio Technology offers an extensive line of products that deliver incredible dynamics and unmatched SPL levels, all while keeping the dialogue intelligibility crisp and clear,” said Chris Gilray, president of Marietta, GA based Aim High Audio Sales. “In addition, its SoundTools setup and calibration software makes audio system programming and performance optimization simple for installations of all sizes.”

PRO’s multiple speaker series are voiced to a common performance standard, allowing installers to select models based on application, gaining greater flexibility when designing an audio system. A hallmark of PRO engineering technology, each system is field-configurable and employs the company’s proprietary PRO SoundTools software via its PMA amplifier product range. All crossover functions, high-resolution frequency response shaping, and time correction are achieved in DSP, eliminating restrictive passive filter networks from the signal path. In addition, the integrator is given a powerful suite of DSP controls to compensate for environmental influences, such as speaker placement behind viewing screens or stretch fabric walls, secondary boundary loading, and other factors.

“Our dealers appreciate our flexible sales model and intuitive programming tools, both of which are unique to PRO and contribute to more profitable installations,” said Pro Audio Technology founder Paul Hales. “We’re glad to have the knowledgeable team at Aim High Audio Sales bringing this message to dealers and we look forward to growing with them.”

PRO audio systems deliver the visceral sensations of today’s music and motion picture soundtracks to people who want to experience true cinematic or concert-level performances. For more information about Pro Audio Technology products, please visit www.proaudiotechnology.com

About Pro Audio Technology
Through thoughtful combination of consumer and professional engineering technologies, Pro Audio Technology designs and manufactures a complete range of high-power loudspeakers and DSP-programmable amplifiers for high-end residential installations. PRO products unite lively dynamics, high maximum output level, and rugged durability with the refined acoustic performance you’ve come to expect from contemporary home audio equipment. The sound system of choice for discerning music and home theater enthusiasts, Pro Audio Technology products are available globally through an elite group of high-end residential custom installers. Pro Audio Technology is the brand name of Professional Home Cinema, LLC.

Yamaha Steinberg Networkable Recording System Makes AES Debut: ‘NU’ Components Added

NEW YORK—A joint collaboration between Yamaha and Steinberg, NUAGE will make its AES 2013 debut in the Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc. booth #2623, at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City. A hardware and software system that adds the power of the Dante audio network to world-class recording, post production, live to tape broadcast, and house of worship recording for re-broadcast, NUAGE is a complete, flexible system that allows engineers to choose and combine components to perfectly match individual application and workflow requirements. The system is currently shipping, and more features have been added to those previously announced.

The first truly networkable recording system, NUAGE consists of hardware work surface components, sleek interface, comprehensive visual feedback, networkable audio interface units, and a software-based digital audio workstation. It offers advanced processing capabilities and superior sonic quality. The Yamaha control surface features a combination of fader and main control units allowing for various system configurations. At the core of NUAGE is Steinberg’s award winning Nuendo digital audio workstation software. Coupled with the power of Dante, this advanced production system provides mix engineers a truly synergistic studio solution. Dante audio networking provides unrestricted system design and expandability both in the studio and in situations where audio is to be shared with live mixing systems.

Yamaha has added two new components to NUAGE. The ADR Mode for the NUAGE Master allows the operator to quickly and easily enable the Nuendo 6 ADR Taker functionality on the Ncs500-CT to provide transport control for the Rehearse, Review and Record modes via the NUAGE Master Transport section. Insert Marker and Insert Cycle Marker buttons are conveniently assigned in the touch screen as well as marker information like Start/End points for cycle markers, Take No. (Number), Character Name, and Dialog. Cue Bus Control is editable from the touch sensitive encoders and the user can easily toggle the ADR functions to the user define buttons and back to the previous assigned functions. The “Marker” button in the numeric keypad section now toggles between “Marker ID” and “Take No.” for easy content location. User Assign Groups of 1-12 and 13-24 from the four banks can now be toggled to the User Define Keys.

The second new feature added is a Yamaha AD8HR mic preamp can now be controlled from the NUAGE Multi-Function Knobs when the “PRE” Button in pressed in the control section. HA Gain, HA Trim, HPF and 48V phantom power can be edited along with LC (Low Cut), HC (High Cut), and Digital Gain. The AD8HR connects to a PC or MAC via a serial connection and is configured in the NUAGE Workgroup Manager.

NUAGE modular architecture and network audio interface enable broad system flexibility. Two types of control surface units can be used individually or in combination, according to system needs. Three types of high-end audio interfaces are available, used individually or in combination for up to 128 channels. 16-channel analog, 16-channel digital, and 8-channel analog + 8-channel digital can be controlled at once with two encoders per channel, or all encoders can be mapped to one or two highlighted channels in the Channel Setting Mode. NUAGE I/O also features advanced JetPLL™ jitter reduction technology for extremely low jitter and superior AD/DA resolution.

NUAGE benefits lead to uncompromised product quality and include 32-bit/192 kHz support for superior sonic quality (Nuendo 6 supports sampling rates up to 384 kHz). Advanced audio interface DSP hardware offers “True Integrated Monitoring” for ultra-low-latency monitoring. The DSP surround processing capabilities provide all the essentials for state-of-the-art surround sound including speaker/level display adjustments and base management. The power of native system processing allows a large number of plug-ins to be used simultaneously across multiple channels/tracks. Nuendo Syncstation provides sample-accurate synchronization for audio and video.

A Dante Accelerator audio interface card can be installed in the computer running the Nuendo DAW to provide extra-low latency multi-channel audio data transfer capacity, advantageous when communicating with NUAGE I/O units. A secondary port can be used to provide redundant connections for failsafe reliability.

NUAGE provides intuitive operation and visual organization for enhanced efficiency. Any 24” monitor can be used with the system. The system incorporates the computer LCD displays for “Extensive Console View” channel strip extension, customizable Nuendo shortcuts that can be freely assigned to numerous User Assignable Keys, Touch Slider functionality for instant channel navigation, touch sensitive faders and encoders, Channel Name Display, and Channel Color Bar. A precision jog wheel supports accurate, error-free editing on the master section. Computers and monitors are not included in the system components.

The system’s space-saving keyboard/mouse editing capabilities as well as compact rack-mount dimensions round out the unique NUAGE system.

A basic NUAGE system has an MSRP of $18,000.

For more information on NUAGE, visit the Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc. booth #2623 at AES N.Y. or on the 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.

Red TX Captures Stephen Lawrence’s Tribute Concert

Broadcast audio specialists Red TX was at London’s O2 Arena on September 29th, 2013, to capture the broadcast audio for Unity – A Concert For Stephen Lawrence.

Artists including Rita Ora, Beverley Knight and Jessie J were joined by Emeli Sande, Ellie Goulding and Ed Sheeran for the concert, which was held to mark the 20th anniversary of Stephen’s death in southeast London.

Red TX was commissioned to handle the broadcast audio by Paul Dugdale, who was directing the project on behalf of ACME TV. Dugdale previously worked with Red TX during the summer when the company recorded The Rolling Stones in Hyde Park.
For the Unity concert, which was broadcast on BBC 2, Red TX used its main Red 1 outside broadcast vehicle, with engineers Tim Summerhayes and Ollie Nesham at the controls.

“We knew the event was going to be challenging due to a tight schedule and the shear amount of artists and tracks involved,” Paul Dugdale says. “As a director, it’s such a blessing having someone like Tim involved, not only because I know he’s great in those high pressure situations, but that you know the finished product will come out sounding amazing, too.”

Tim Summerhayes adds: “We recorded the concert as live because we had enough time to create snap shots during the sound check. We also had some time the following day to tidy up the audio before delivering it to The Farm where it was dubbed and made ready for broadcast on the evening of Tuesday October 1st. Although there were a large number of artists involved, it was a relatively straightforward project and we were all really pleased with the results.”

The concert was part of the SL20 Campaign, which is celebrating Stephen’s life with a series of awareness-raising events through the year. Funds from the show will go to The Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, which aims to create brighter futures for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

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About Red TX:
Red TX provides a comprehensive concert recording and broadcast service to the music and television industries. The company has state-of-the-art mobile recording facilities and can handle projects of any size or complexity. As well as recording audio for broadcast, the company also records live music events for subsequent release on CD or DVD. It is headed by Ian Dyckhoff and Tim Summerhayes, both of whom have extensive experience in delivering high-quality audio for broadcast. www.red-tx.com

Red TX Mixes the Audio for Morrissey’s New Film


Broadcast audio specialists Red TX played a pivotal role in the production of MORRISSEY 25: LIVE FROM HOLLYWOOD HIGH, recorded at Hollywood High, a legacy concert film that celebrates 25 years of this enigmatic performer’s solo career.

Filmed live at the Hollywood High School in Los Angeles in March 2013, this intimate gig provided the material for the first authorised Morrissey film to be released in nine years. Red TX worked closely with Nineteen Fifteen and Eagle Rock Productions, the producers for Eagle Rock Entertainment, to ensure a great soundtrack. As well as liaising closely with the US recording crew, the company was also responsible for mixing the concert – a task that took place back in the UK on board Red TX’s main Outside Broadcast vehicle, Red One, with director Tim Summerhayes at the controls.

Nineteen Fifteen producer Vicki Betihavas says: “I have worked with Tim and the Red TX team for many years and they are my first choice for all my music projects, in particular live shows. On this occasion we had entirely local support for the filming, with only the producer, director and DOP coming in from the UK. However, Red TX knew the audio crew in Los Angeles so I knew we were in safe hands as Tim and the US team coordinated what we needed. Tim also mixed the Theatrical, TV and DVD versions for us and the sound was great – as always.”

Tim Summerhayes adds: “I was really happy to be involved in this project. We arranged to have the concert recorded by Guy Charbonneau and his son Ian who run Le Mobile in Los Angeles. I’ve known Guy for years and was entirely confident that he would do a great job. The multitrack arrived back in the UK as a disc drive of .WAV files. I mixed it over a period of five days and it was a very straightforward task since the recording had been so well done. The band was excellent and, because it was a small venue, the sound was really honest.”

The film opens with tributes from fans who talk about their unwavering devotion to Morrissey. They also discuss the unique appeal of the unusual venue, which offered a striking contrast to the sold out arena concert at the Staples Center where Morrissey had played the previous night. Tickets for the concert in the 1,800-seater school auditorium were sold out in 12 seconds and this now legendary concert became Morrissey’s penultimate performance on his US Tour.

The project was completed in July in time for the film’s Global Theatrical release. Distributed by More 2 Screen (UK) and SpectiCast (North America) on behalf of Eagle Rock Entertainment, the film is still being shown in various territories and regions, particularly in the US where it is playing encore performances in many cities. The DVD/Blu-ray version will be released on October 21st 2013.

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About Red TX:
Red TX provides a comprehensive concert recording and broadcast service to the music and television industries. The company has state-of-the-art mobile recording facilities and can handle projects of any size or complexity. As well as recording audio for broadcast, the company also records live music events for subsequent release on CD or DVD. It is headed by Ian Dyckhoff and Tim Summerhayes, both of whom have extensive experience in delivering high-quality audio for broadcast. www.red-tx.com

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

HARMAN Professional Enhances Architectural Media Systems With Release Of HiQnet™ Audio Architect™ Version 1.1

NORTHRIDGE, California – HARMAN Professional today announced the introduction of its HiQnet Audio Architect version 1.1 professional audio configuration and control platform, an upgrade that brings new functionality and features, including control of Audinate Dante™-enabled devices, enhanced functionality for BSS Audio and Crown products, better on-screen control interfaces and other improvements.

Audio Architect is the software element of HARMAN’s Architectural Media Systems, and is a single control platform for all devices in a HiQnet sound system, from microphone to speaker. HARMAN Architectural Media Systems combines the processing power of BSS Audio and Crown Audio’s category leading amplifier technology with the configuration and control capabilities of HiQnet Audio Architect. This solution provides audio professionals with the most complete, versatile platform available for small to large-scale AV system design, with the single point accountability of one-stop comprehensive support and logistics. Architectural Media Systems provides networked audio connectivity via the designer’s choice of AVB, HARMAN’s proprietary BLU Link bus, Cirrus CobraNet or Audinate Dante.

To facilitate system setup, Audio Architect 1.1 utilizes graphical, diagrammatic representations of the installed or live sound venue, and the components and loudspeakers in the system. Devices “understand” both their physical and logical placement – in racks, arrays and rooms – and the software “learns” how they are to be used in the real world, while offering extensive setup and configuration capabilities, now further enhanced with version 1.1.

Audio Architect 1.1 now supports the Audinate Dante-enabled BSS Audio Soundweb London BLU-806 signal processor and BLU-326 I/O expander devices. Version 1.1 also enables signal naming and signal following in the software’s BSS Soundweb London Route Audio Mode, giving users the ability to trace signals quickly and easily through the open architecture of a BSS Soundweb London device and between Soundweb London devices over the network.

“The release of Audio Architect 1.1 reflects HARMAN Professional’s continued commitment to offering universal networking solutions with multiple transport options – HARMAN’s own BLU link bus, Audinate Dante and CobraNet® are all configurable in Audio Architect today. In a future version, AVB support will also be added, rounding out Audio Architect’s readiness for any networking application,,” said Adam Holladay, Market Manager, HARMAN System Development and Integration Group.

Further incorporating London Architect functionality, Audio Architect version 1.1 offers Soundweb London devices both 96kHz support and adds a FIR Filter Processing Object. In addition, Soundweb London Parameter presets and Device presets and can be dragged directly into controls in the Custom Panel Designer.

Version 1.1 now provides support for the Crown DCi 8|600N model of the DriveCore Install Network Series networkable amplifiers, which have BLU link connectivity and point-to-point audio networking compatibility with the Soundweb London family. Version 1.1 also supports the Crown USBX accessory that enables Crown XTi, CDi and DSi Series amplifiers with a USB port to be operated via an Apple iPad or iPhone.

Audio Architect 1.1’s Full Screen Mode has been improved, enabling it to more effectively run as a control application. Full Screen Mode is designed for the day-to-day operator and makes essential control panels and options readily available for each user, application and project.

HARMAN Architectural Media Systems is engineered to provide the best user experience for the designer right through to the operator. The systems are built upon a foundation of over 40 years of combined networking expertise, and provide category-leading scalability via distributed DSP architecture and the most transport-agnostic, flexible approach to audio network design.

Version 1.1 provides a number of additional enhancements and capabilities; more details are available at http://archimedia.harman.com.

HARMAN (www.HARMAN.com) designs, manufactures, and markets a wide range of infotainment and audio 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 14,000 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $4.3 billion for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2013.

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