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Archive of the Audio Playback Category

Moya Benefits from HARMAN’s Soundcraft ViSi iPad Monitor Mix

LONDON, United Kingdom – Whether by accident or design, the partnership of sound engineer Bryony October and tour manager Tim Boardman has made a speciality of starting a number of emerging acts on the road to success—supporting them with their expertise if not the luxury of full production. Touring at this level, where for both economic reasons and venue size production real estate is reduced to the bare minimum, is anything but glamorous.

On many occasions in this past six months, HARMAN’s Soundcraft Si Performer 3 and Si Expression consoles have come to the pair’s rescue on low budget tours around Europe. And when Bryony suffered a freak accident in Dortmund recently, leaving her at the A&E department of the local hospital, Boardman found himself piloting the Performer 3 for the first time and to his immense relief found it an intuitive ‘walk-up’ experience like so many sound engineers before him. On many other occasions he has simply taken October’s show files and performed the mix for other artists on an Si Expression. “It’s amazing what can be achieved, mixing FOH and monitors together and delivering a big sounding show from a desk that sits in a 19in rack,” he said.

Since finishing her long stint with the Noisettes, Bryony has worked with artistes such as Billy Ocean, Laura Marling, Delilah, Marika Hackman, Bo Bruce and now Moya—a 4-piece band fronted by lead singer Emily Andrews, who have been supporting Rod Stewart on his current arena tour.

Earlier this year Moya played equally large venues in an acoustic setting supporting Mick Hucknall—but this time the band wanted to plug in. And it has been Soundcraft’s ViSi Remote app for iPad, enabling the band to control their monitor mixes from the FOH desk, that has shown the true value of touring economics.

With their stripped down, Splitter van-friendly production consisting of little other than a router, CAT5 multicore and the compact Performer 3 (a convenient one-man lift), they persuaded Stewart’s Major Tom production team that rather than perform again in an acoustic context, they could carry a line system for the 30-minute support stint without compromising the main event.

With 29 of the 32 recallable inputs working the board to near capacity (along with 13 outputs) October is blessed that she that she can see all activity on the top Layer of the Si Performer with no page changes necessary. At the same time the desk’s FaderGlow™ and colour backlit name displays on every channel provide her with a definitive colour reference of what monitor mixes are being sent. “It means I never make a mistake when moving from FOH to monitor mixes and I can clearly see the dynamics present,” October said.

She has been using the Si Performer’s output processing to send post-fade FX to the stage so the reference sound heard in the band’s in-ears match the audience experience. “I am using ambient mics, reverb and panning to give them a feel that they are right there in the mix—providing an open sound so that they feel what the audience feels. I really like the ease in which I can change the panning on each mix using the same encoder as panning for the main mix. It means I can space things out in each band member’s mix depending on their position on stage.”

As to how she builds the soundscape, Bryony uses vocal reverb, drum reverb, slapback delay and tap delay (on Moya’s voice). “Although she has an incredible voice I also want the dynamics to be present in everything else, producing a good full range sound.”

But the sound engineer admits to having had concerns about mixing five in-ears from FOH in arenas and even a stadium at Dublin’s RDS— until the iPad idea struck her. “I upgraded the desk at production rehearsals with the new firmware and latest version iPad operating system—and the band were all over it.”

Nevertheless, on the first tour date they were tight for time. “We didn’t know we had to provide our own complete line system until night day before the first show so I had to build my looms and wire up the patch during the first day’s soundcheck. Thankfully Rod Stewart’s team allowed us to set up on stage before Rod’s soundcheck, which gave us a lot more time. He was happy to work around our gear which is very unusual.”

The drummer and keyboard player used small mixers to facilitate hardwired in ears and a separate click channel which was split from the playback system. “If the drummer loses click, there’s no show,” October said, “so he has to have total control over that. We also gave him one of the two stage iPads as he is sat down and can access it most easily.”

This also provides reassurance for Moya herself (since she has no direct contact with her sound engineer) although she quipped, “The idea of trusting my life to my drummer was scary at first. But the setup has been quick and easy—and provides both confidence and consistency.”

After nearly two decades of honing her craft on the road, Bryony October has seen most things. But today, products like the Soundcraft Si Expression and Si Performer 3 are easing the burden. “The Si Performer has made this tour an absolute joy. It is the first time I have used Soundcraft’s iPad app—and having the band control their own levels has completely freed me up to concentrate on the FOH sound.”

Soundcraft and other HARMAN Professional products are distributed in the UK by Sound Technology Ltd.

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.

Great Sound is Heard but Barely Seen at Chicago’s Union League Club

Chicago, IL – July 2013… The roots of Chicago’s Union League Club date back to the Civil War, when an elite group of northerners formed the Union League of America as a defense against radical Confederate sympathizers in the north. The Club, which boasts locations in several major cities, has evolved to become one of Chicago’s most prominent social clubs, playing a major role in establishing such cultural institutions as The Art Institute of Chicago, Orchestra Hall, the Field Museum, and the Harold Washington Library Center.

The historic 20-story building sits prominently on Chicago’s Loop, somewhat dwarfed by its larger skyscraper siblings but exuding an air of Old World class. Inside, the building’s Main Hall plays host to events ranging from formal dinners to addresses by heads of state and other national and international dignitaries. It’s an exquisitely appointed room with high ceilings and massive mahogany beams and columns. As David Hecht, Managing Principal at Wheaton, IL-based Sound Planning Associates explains, the room’s architecture is impressive to behold, but creates some rather interesting acoustical challenges. 

“The columns are literally around four or five feet square, and their size does make it a challenge to achieve uniform coverage everywhere in the room,” says Hecht. “In addition, the room is used for a range of different events, and the stage and seating setup can vary from one event to another. Inevitably someone will end up sitting behind a column.” 

To meet the challenge, Sound Planning Associates designed a multi-faceted audio system based around 28  Renkus-Heinz CFX81 8-inch two-way complex conic loudspeakers. The system offers several different matrixing options. “It’s essentially three systems,” says Hecht. “Depending on where the stage is set up, the speakers fire from that direction, and the others are delayed across the room. So different groups of speakers are set up to work together, depending on the event.”

DSP is provided by a BIamp Audia with RED-1 controller. “The Biamp DSP enables us to reconfigure the system for a variety of scenarios, depending on the event,” says Hecht. “They can just select a ‘stage setting’ – north, south, east, west – from the RED-1 touch screen, and it sets up the speaker delays and EQ, selects the correct mic inputs, sets input levels for the wireless mics, everything. It’s a very easy system to use.” A Yamaha LS9 console with wireless iPad control handles mixing duties, with Shure ULX wireless systems for the presenters.

Not surprisingly, aesthetics played a prominent role in specifying the system. “They wanted nothing that would be visually intrusive,” says Hecht. “Nothing around the windows or near the artwork, and anything below at least ten feet high wasn’t an option. That was one of the main reasons we chose the CFX Series – they offered great pattern control and they don’t have a ‘hot spot,’ so coverage is nice and even across the entire space.” The speakers were custom painted to match the beams, and all wiring is concealed. 

“This is a very distinguished club, catering to clientele accustomed to the best,” observes Hecht. “They wanted to know that they were getting the best. And they have been very, very pleased with the system. It sounds great, it looks great, and it does exactly what they needed it to do.”

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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.

Iconyx Brings Clarity to the Art of Living Foundation

Boone, NC – July 2013… Founded in 1981 by spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the Art of Living Foundation has evolved to become one of the world’s largest volunteer-based humanitarian and educational non-governmental organizations. Working with the United Nations Economic and Social Council, the Foundation offers programs dedicated to health, education, eliminating stress, and restoring human values in more than 140 countries worldwide.

One of the Foundation’s most treasured retreats is The International Center for Meditation and Well-Being, located in the lush, rolling hills of the Great Smokey Mountains. It’s an idyllic piece of Planet Earth, where visitors can immerse themselves in the grandeur of nature, while retuning their bodies and minds with yoga, meditation, and organic diet. 

The retreat’s Meditation Hall is a large, multi-purpose space that is used for everything from yoga and meditation classes to dance events and performances. As Jeff Hedgecock, Project Manager for AVI-SPL in Charlotte, NC explains, the room is visually appealing but acoustically challenging. 

“It’s a very large space, very bright and airy and open, with nice high ceilings,” says Hedgecock. “But when they have someone leading a yoga or mediation class, intelligibility is quite an issue. And that’s not a scenario where one wants to shout, so for people at the back of the room it’s very difficult to concentrate on the instruction being given.” 

A single pair of Renkus-Heinz Iconyx IC16-R-II provided an ideal solution for the room’s sonic challenges. “They hold some dance events and performances there as well, so the musical performance of the Iconyx was equally critical,” says Hedgecock.  

The Iconyx’s multiple steerable beams can be individually attenuated to provide uniform coverage and SPL across even the most challenging spaces. “That’s one of the things that’s great about the Iconyx – we were able to steer the beam to make the whole hall sound great,” says Hedgecock.

The design-build system is streamlined and uncomplicated. A Biamp Red One handles simple volume and source selection, with all audio routed directly to the Iconyx columns. As Hedgecock observes, aesthetics was also a consideration here. 

“The fact that we were able to paint the speakers to pretty much blend into the walls was a major advantage for them,” he explains. He points to his own previous experience with Iconyx as instrumental in trying them at the Foundation. “I’ve used Iconyx on a couple of other problematic spaces, and was pretty certain it would be a good fit here.” 

 

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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.

Bexel Broadens Equipment Offerings with New Dealer Partnerships

Company Expands Video and Audio Product Lines for Purchase or Rental

(BURBANK, CA) Bexel, a unit of the Vitec Group‘s Services Division and a leading worldwide provider of broadcast services and solutions, has expanded its new equipment offerings of high-end video and audio products. Bexel’s Technical Sales & Solutions (TSS) business segment is now the first authorized U.S. reseller of Lawo, and has added five new product lines, including: Lawo’s V_pro8 video processors, AJA acquisition/edit/conversion products, Grass Valley production solutions, Harris Broadcast, and Panasonic professional video products and displays. These brands join over 200 products available from Bexel TSS to the broadcast and production segments of the industry.

These products will also be incorporated into Bexel’s Engineered Systems & Solutions (ESS) business segment, which designs and implements solutions for the broadcast industry, including systems integration, fiber, engineering expertise, and technical production support.

“This strengthening of inventory and manufacturing relationships builds on Bexel’s long history of supporting the broadcast industry with new and pre-owned equipment for purchase or rental,” says Bexel President and General Manager Halid Hatic. “These new partnerships make it possible for content creators and production pros to leverage Bexel’s wide-range of offerings for all their needs.”

As the first certified reseller for Lawo’s new V_pro8 video processor in the U.S., Bexel is able to provide robust features for the video engineer in a small 1RU form factor. The V_pro8 combines a number of different tasks into one tool, including eight 3G/HD/SD-SDI video channels with frame synchronization, variable video and audio delays, and 128 audio channels via MADI or RAVENNA for embedding, de-embedding and shuffling. Additionally, the V_pro8 offers high-quality up/down/cross and AR conversion, RGB color correction with Proc Amp and quadsplit monitoring including waveform and vectorscope display as supplementary options. All features are configured via an intuitive html5-based touch user interface.

“At Bexel, we pride ourselves on knowing how video and audio products service the broadcast and engineering needs of the community, because we rent and integrate systems all the time,” adds Joyce Bente, director of sales, Bexel TSS. “We don’t just sell equipment; we use it in real-world environments, offering our customers unmatched expertise about product performance.”

After working with AJA for many years, Bexel TSS now offers the complete Ki Pro Family of file-based recording and playback devices, Io Family hardware and software for on-set editorial and graphics capabilities, KONA cards, and conversion solutions. According to Bente, the Ki Pro recorders have become a go-to product for file-based recordings due to their easy file compatibility for editing.

Grass Valley brings broadcast technology to teleproduction facilities, independent video professionals, and emerging content creators and distributors. Bexel represents their full line of cameras, switchers, converters, servers, replay systems and other tools for broadcast, sports and venue applications.

For nearly 100 years, Harris Broadcast has been a leading source for professional audio and video equipment for the broadcast industry. Bexel now offers their portfolio of automation products, editing systems, networking and encoding, servers, and signal processing solutions.

Panasonic offers a range of professional video solutions. This wide selection of gear provides Bexel’s customers with comprehensive equipment from camcorders and camera systems, to mixers, switchers, video recorders, displays and digital media. From ENG and field production to the studio, Bente notes that Panasonic’s advanced solutions complement a plethora of sports, news, and entertainment equipment needs.

Bexel is also the exclusive U.S. distributor of TSL and SoundField audio products. As part of the Vitec Group of companies, Bexel has access to a wide range of industry standard product lines including Anton/Bauer, Vinten, Litepanels, Sachtler and Petrol Bags. Additionally, Bexel TSS offers its own line of intercom and audio products made in house under the Bexel ASG business segment.

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About Bexel TSS
Bexel Technical Sales & Solutions (TSS), a business segment of Bexel Broadcast Services, a Vitec Group Brand, has offered the latest new and pre-owned professional broadcast video and audio products since 1991. Over the years, Bexel TSS has expanded to include exclusive dealerships with top-of-the-line manufacturers. The company is the exclusive U.S. distributor of TSL and SoundField audio products, as well as the only U.S. dealer for Lawo. As part of the Vitec Group of companies, Bexel has access to a wide range of industry standard product lines including Anton/Bauer, Vinten, Litepanels, Sachtler and Petrol Bags. Bexel TSS also offers its own line of intercom and audio products made in house under the Bexel ASG brand. Bexel’s specialists offer product training and support before and after the sale, as well as in-house equipment maintenance and repair. In an effort to supply the broadcast industry with unequaled service and product solutions at exceptional prices, Bexel TSS represents over 200 product lines, including AJA, Canon, Clear-Com, DiGiCo, Evertz, Fujinon, Grass Valley, Harris, Lawo, Lectrosonics, Panasonic, Sennheiser, and TSL/Soundfield, among many others.

For more information about Bexel, visit www.bexel.com, or follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

University of Wisconsin’s Schofield Auditorium Gets Next Gen IC Live

 

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Eau Claire, WI... UW-Eau Claire’s oldest building, the stately brick façade of Schofield Hall dates back to the beginnings of this storied campus in 1916. In addition to the University’s main administration offices, the building is home to the Schofield Auditorium, a 600-seat multi-purpose venue that was recently treated to a complete renovation, from new seating and décor to modern, high-performance audio and video systems. 

“The room is primarily used for lectures, guest speakers and small group performances, and our primary focus was on achieving superior intelligibility,” explains Nancy Carlson of Audio Architects in Chippewa Falls. “But there are also a number of smaller musical groups and other performances in there, and we wanted to design a system that would be flexible enough to adapt to a wide range of programs and performances.”

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The system includes one of the first installations of the new generation of Iconyx IC Live digitally steered column arrays. As Carlson explains, the hall’s new architectural design enabled the two ICL-FR-TRIP columns to be completely concealed.

“They wanted a classic look, much like when the auditorium was built in 1916, and they didn’t necessarily want to see the speakers,” Carlson says. “They had designed some decorative columns on either side of the proscenium, which provided us with a perfect location for the Iconyx columns.” Four DR18-2R dual 18-inch powered subwoofers are also concealed in cavities in the front wall. “We had to have a general contractor reinforce the platforms, but we were able to hang a sound-transparent panel in front of them, making them equally unseen,” Carlson adds.

The audio system also includes a large-format Yamaha M7CL 48-channel digital console at Front of House. “We provided inputs at several different points in the room, and on stage, all wired back to the FOH console,” says Carlson. A Biamp AudiaFLEX CM unit handles system DSP. 

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Carlson says the IC Live’s steered beam technology provided an ideal solution for one of the room’s biggest challenges.”We needed to find a way to provide sound to the under-balcony seating, which was only about seven feet from floor to ceiling, while also providing even coverage to the upper balcony area. The Iconyx enabled us to direct individual sound beams both above and below the balcony, giving us consistent and even coverage to every seat in the house, without the need for under-balcony fills.” 

 

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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.

Revolabs Expands Presence in Europe With New Nimans Partnership

Distribution Agreement Augments Availability of Award-Winning Revolabs FLX(TM) Conference Phone

SUDBURY, Mass. — July 23, 2013 — Revolabs Inc. today announced its partnership with Nimans, a leading telecommunications and data distribution specialist based in the United Kingdom. Effective immediately, the company will carry the Revolabs FLX(TM) wireless conference phone, expanding the availability of the award-winning solution throughout Europe. Designed for conference rooms, executive offices, and small office/home office (SoHo) settings, FLX brings Revolabs’ renowned large-room wireless audio performance to smaller spaces at an incredibly low price. more

Greater Faith Gets Varia

Indiana Church is Home to One of the First Varia Systems in the US

New Albany, IN… The Church of the Greater Faith is an active and forward-thinking Pentecostal congregation that has been growing by leaps and bounds, thanks in no small part to their contemporary approach to worship. Indeed, Greater Faith’s rapid growth has been a source of both joy and challenges, and as their numbers have swelled, their modest 700-seat sanctuary now hosts two Sunday morning services, with a third service added in the afternoon.

The peaked, metal A-frame structure has long suffered from challenging acoustics, and as Jason Ryder, General Manager of Lake Charles, LA-based Porche Advance Systems explains, efforts over the years to improve the situation have only made things worse.

“Their original system was poorly designed and underpowered to begin with, and they spent the next 11 years trying to fix it,” says Ryder. “The end result was a patchwork of mis-wired, out-of-phase components, and a room with dead spots and really poor, uneven coverage everywhere.”

“They knew they ultimately needed to replace the entire system, but they had been reluctant to do so because they were looking at moving to a larger venue within the next couple of years,” adds owner Jacob Porche. “But with Varia, we were able to design an expandable, flexible system that would work for them now, and become part of their new system later. When they build the new sanctuary, these three cabinets will become the bottom three cabinets in a larger, eight-cabinet array. The fact that this was an investment that could grow with them was a huge plus.”

The new system comprises left and right arrays, each with three Varia cabinets. “The top box has a 90 by 7 degree horn pattern, the middle cabinet has the transitional horn that goes from 90 to 120 degrees wide by 15 degrees vertical, and the bottom unit covers 22 degrees vertical by 120 degrees wide,” says Porche. “That tapered approach enabled us to cover the entire space without resorting to EQ and processing, and to achieve a remarkably flat response from left to right. There is not a single dead spot in the entire sanctuary now.”

Ryder says the congregation’s response to the new system has been unmistakable. “They were all singing louder and moving with the music – the energy level in the room was fantastic.” And the message is getting across now too. “One of the church’s board members came up to me after a service to thank me,” adds Porche. “He said it was the first time he’d ever been able to hear every word of the sermon, and every instrument in the band.”

“With Varia, Renkus-Heinz has developed a system that can truly adapt to any environment,” Porche concludes. “The system’s variable coverage means it can work in any room, and its modular, expandable design means that the system will not become obsolete once the church moves to larger quarters.”

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).
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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.

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