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Archive of the AV Control Systems Category

Visualization Just Got Real: CAST Software Releases wysiwyg R32

Lighting designers and production professionals the world over continue to rely on wysiwyg to get the industry’s most realistic virtual previsualizations, ensuring that indeed what you see is what you get!

CAST Software launches version R32 of its wysiwyg design suite. It includes Phase 2 of a major graphics upgrade, ensuring that wysiwyg is the most comprehensive precuing and previsualization graphic application software tool available in the market today.

A demo version of wysiwyg R32 is available at www.cast-soft.com/wysiwyg/demo. Current wysiwyg subscribed users can download the full version of R32 immediately from the ‘Members’ Only Area’ at www.cast-soft.com.

Users agree that apart from the constant adding of new features and other improvements by CAST, what sets wysiwyg apart from others is the realism in previz which means they can precue and test their ideas ahead of time with the confidence that ‘What You See Is What You Get’! This is vital because when a lighting designer proposes new ways of using advanced lighting technology to wow and engage audiences the production team and sometimes the client want to review it in advance. At all levels, the CAST Team takes great pains to help these professionals become more productive, more profitable and more professional. Updated Library Objects includes the newest technology in lighting fixtures, that perform in wysiwyg exactly onscreen as they do on stage. Users are reassured that CAST invests heavily in research and development, driven largely by requests and feedback from them.

Realtime Reflections in Shaded Views

wysiwyg shows reflections in realtime onscreen which means professionals can manage operational costs efficiently because they need fewer renderings of their presentations.

New Volumetric Light Beams
Regardless of which lights are used from wysiwyg’s proprietary library, the new beams and flare are so real that pre-visualization cannot be easily distinguished from a video. This means that professionals can precue with absolute confidence, make their creative decisions, get buy-in and signoff from the team, artists and execs in advance, without even going to the venue.

Light Emission Enhancements and Per Element Static Light Emission
For greater detail and accuracy – and even more wow factor – professionals can use wysiwyg to cue light emissions on only selected parts of an object for all sorts of effect which puts serious creative power at the user’s fingertips.

Over 300 Library Objects
wysiwyg is a unique tool in the industry because of its proprietary library objects that include thousands of moving and fixed lights. There is no other graphic application software tool with the breadth of resources to deliver this reliable precision and extreme realism in previsualization that professionals require. The 300 library additions in R32 include a look at Robin® Pointe, Martin MAC Viper Profile™ and Martin RUSH™ Series.

Hot New Tools in R32
The Wall Tool provides a simpler way to create scalable props and walls. The new Room Builder makes it easy to produce a CAD of a special set or a room. Users with a few clicks can transform into 3D work from scratch, or by tracing over or importing a 2D floor plan. A simple click can insert room height, floor and ceiling.

What Do Some Users Say About R32?

wysiwyg R32 was used for the ‘French TV’ production at France 2, DOP: Patrick Neufond, Set Design: Miguel Hernando. © Patrick Neufond.

Director of Photography, Patrick Neufond uses wysiwyg software for every project ranging from lighting creation to technical scenery. Neufond also uses R32 for his senior lecturer work at Paris-based technical performance arts institution, the Centre de Formation Professionnelle Aux Techniques du Spectacle (CFPTS) and for French-broadcaster France 2 in a recent television production ‘French TV’.

“wysiwyg allows every production to meet technical and financial feasibility. The new R32 adds even more realism and improves my work sessions. Creating lights really do make our productions come to reality!” said Neufond.

Prelite Studios, LLC, San Francisco has been providing realtime previsualization services to the entertainment and architectural industries since the year 2000. Tom Thompson at Prelite Studios said: “We have used wysiwyg throughout the duration of our existence. R32 certainly looks more realistic than any other previz software, with realtime controls to tweak the visualization to look more realistic or improve performance.”

wysiwyg visualizations for Indonesian broadcast productions © Adhi Suresh.

“The Voice of Indonesia”, “Gebyar BCA, “Akademi Fantasi Indosiar (AFI)”, “Take Me Out Indonesia”, “Putri Indonesia (PPI)”, “Indosiar Glory Festival 2013″ and the 19th anniversary of Indosiar TV are just some of the productions in which broadcast engineer Adhi Suresh utilizes wysiwyg. The software is used for the presentation, lighting planning, lighting plotting and visualization for pre-programming as well as video and stage design. Suresh has also used wysywig for the Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) multi-sport event involving 11 nations. Here, Suresh utilized wysiwyg to visualize and simulate the look and feel of the production that managed 1,200 intelligent lights, 32 Christie Roadster S+22K-J 3-chip DLP® digital projectors and a giant LED screen measuring 64 meters-wide by 10 meters-high.

“wysiwyg is the best software for me and it has been popular with Indosiar TV as well as other broadcasters. wysiwyg is part of my business and it’s the very best tool for the job,” said Suresh.

“Our design team used the new Volumetric Light Beams feature of R32 which has proven to be very accurate. I love all the new features of wysiwyg R32 and are lucky to have put them to the test in my work for Indonesian broadcasters. I enjoy the constant updates of wysiwyg which will further enable my business to meet the growing demand for spectacular and memorable productions witnessed by audiences of millions,” concluded Suresh.

A video highlighting the power and graphic enhancements of wysiwyg version R32 can be found at: http://bit.ly/1d1JZzC

www.cast-soft.com

Arsenio Audio Staff (Fist) Pumped About Yamaha CL Digital Consoles

BUENA PARK, Calif.—The Arsenio Hall Show premiered in September 2013 and features a mix of comedy, music and celebrity guests, adding a new perspective to the late-night scene. Hosted by comedian and actor Arsenio Hall, the daily, one-hour nationally syndicated late-night talk show is anchored by the Tribune Broadcasting Station Group and produced by CBS Television Distribution.

Peter Baird is the sound system designer as well as the music mixer for The Arsenio Hall Show and together with the production mixer, house and monitor engineers, chose five Yamaha CL Digital Audio Consoles and six Rio3224-D input/output boxes to kick off the season. Two CL5s and one CL3 are used at front of house with two CL5s at the monitor mix position.

“When production mixer Ish Garcia asked me to come in as the show’s music mixer, we spent some time together strategizing about what an ideal system would look like, states Baird. We knew the show would be very music-heavy and wanted the system requirements to check four main boxes: 1) 160 inputs available to split between the house band, guest artists, and production, 2) tight integration and future-proofing, 3) stability and reasonable immunity from buzzes, hums, and grounding issues, and 4) incontestably great sound.”

Baird said he did a lot of research and was surprised to find that most major professional audio manufacturers still think in terms of single consoles with local input/output resources rather than integrated, networked systems. “It’s true that some manufacturers have implemented various modes of moving audio around including MADI and EtherSound, but only Yamaha had really perfected the relationship between separate console operators using shared resources. And, the more I read about Dante, the more I thought a large Dante network might be the best answer for us.”

Garcia and Baird have been through the audio selection process before, having been the mixing team on Lopez Tonight and, explains Baird, “in a project like The Arsenio Hall Show, the audio team needs to be able to move inputs and outputs around quickly and flexibly to deal with whatever the production team might throw at us. For example, we need to be able to quickly integrate any number of players suddenly showing up to sit in with the house band, while at the same time keeping the whole system as simple and understandable as possible for the operators. Yamaha’s incremental approach to console operations and CentraLogic™ meant that our FOH and Monitor Mixers, James Young and Greg Keslake, were already largely familiar with the console surface conventions from the very first day.”

Baird added that the economics of networked audio are not insignificant. “Traditionally a show like The Arsenio Hall Show would have at least three 56 pair of three-way transformer splitters with all of the associated interconnect copper between them, and in some cases, hundreds and hundreds of feet. Those 504 outputs (3 x 56 x 3) would feed separate consoles, with each output requiring a separate head amp. As mixers, we know that the best-sounding consoles are the ones with the best head amps, and a console with 64 top-drawer head amps costs more money than one with 64 mediocre head amps. But a networked system only needs one really great head amp per channel no matter how many consoles it’s connected to! With the CL series having only 8 head amps on board, Yamaha was able to spend time and money making the console as ergonomically correct as possible rather than trying to re-engineer head amp design to fit a small footprint. Also, in the case of Dante, local interconnects are on Cat 6 cable, with point-to-point connections on fiber, a monumental savings over the same capabilities in copper. And to clarify, the head amps in the Rio3224-D input/output box are spectacular! They are clear and detailed, yet with great body, warmth, and musicality; a great foundation for a system in a critical installation like The Arsenio Hall Show.”

Monitor Engineer, Greg Keslake says he’s a big fan of Yamaha digital consoles having been introduced to digital over 15 years ago with the Yamaha 01V, and since that time, has extensively used all of the larger format consoles. “We are using Dante exclusively for FOH, Monitors and Music Production, and I am even using a Dante MY16 Card in my house monitor console for high level returns from production.”

Keslake said for monitors he’s using one CL5 dedicated to the house band and one dedicated to the guest bands. “The house band is using the new Aviom 360′s, and I am sending the band each a mixture of direct outs, mixes and matrices. This has given them the comfort of being able to adjust the instruments of their choice very quickly but hasn’t limited my ability to supplement their mixes as needed. The Yamaha CL has also made it extremely easy to swap around what channels I send the house band based on weekly sit-in artists via Dante patching.”

On the guest band console, Keslake has dedicated mixes 1-16 as stereo in-ears, 17-24 as wedges, matrix’s 1-7 are effects sends, and matrix 8 is a drum sub mix. “The dedicated mixes have allowed me to have a very good starting point for almost any guest band with very little information. I have found the ability to map my own channels to custom fader banks immensely valuable specifically on the CL5 guest band console. I am using the C5 and C6 banks to map my daily used mixes enabling me to bounce around very quickly between them. I was also extremely impressed with the addition of the Premium Rack in the CL Series.”

With an audience of 201, James Young, front of house engineer is using a CL3 for the house band with six stems to the CL5 production console: left, right, sub, two vocal stems, lead and BGV, and a ‘guest’ stem for when someone sits in with the house band. Guest bands land in a separate CL5 with a similar 6 stem set up. “The Dante network has been very stable, and the Yamaha CL consoles are very easy to set up and use with classic Yamaha reliability. I also appreciate the extra DCA’s, effects rack, and custom fader banks.”

For more information on The Arsenio Hall Show, visit www.arseniohall.com.

For more information on Yamaha CL Digital Audio Consoles, visit www.yamahaca.com.

-END-

PHOTO ID: Left to right: Greg Keslake, Peter Baird, James Young

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.

Thunder Audio Helps Donny and Marie Christmas Tour Celebrate the Holidays With Harman’s JBL VTX Line Arrays

NORTHRIDGE, California – This season the Donny and Marie Christmas tour brought the Osmonds’ family-friendly blend of music, dancing, comedy and entertainment to audiences across the US. The 15-city arena tour featured the Osmonds performing holiday music, hit songs and more—even mixing in classic clips from 1970s holiday TV broadcasts that hadn’t been seen in decades. The all-out entertainment extravaganza delivered with the help of a HARMAN JBL VTX Series line array audio system provided by Livonia, Michigan-based Thunder Audio.

“Donny and Marie are known for their spectacular production values, musical variety, costume changes and unstoppable energy and the Donny and Marie Christmas Tour was no exception,” said Greg Snyder, Business Development Manager for Thunder Audio and project engineer for the tour. “They want to make sure every single person in the audience feels like they’re an intimate part of the show, even if they’re at the back of a 20,000-seat arena. That’s why we used the JBL VTX line arrays for sound reinforcement on the tour—more than 75 of them including tops and subs.”

Two main left and right hangs of 14 V25 fullsize line array elements were flown per side, along with two outfill hangs of nine V25 elements per side, two side fill clusters of two V25 elements per side, six S28 subwoofers hung at each end of the stage and a center cluster of four V25 elements. On the ground, six S28 subwoofers per side and four JBL VERTEC® VT4888 midsize line array elements up front provided additional low end and center fill.

The loudspeakers were powered by 72 Crown I-Tech HD 12000 amplifiers housed in proprietary Thunder Audio rack systems. JBL HiQnet Performance Manager™ was used for system control, with JBL’s Line Array Calculator II employed for loudspeaker setup. FOH engineer Lucas “Rico” Corrubia used a Soundcraft Vi6 digital mixing console on the tour.

The sound crew for the show included monitor engineer Joe Webster, Thunder Audio’s FOH systems engineer Johnathon Winkler, monitor systems engineer Ron Hurd and fly tech and stage patch technician Paul Villarreal. “As one of the first sound companies to purchase JBL VTX Series line arrays, we’ve gotten to know what they can do in an arena setting in every respect,” Snyder pointed out.

“This rig is phenomenal, Paul Bauman and the JBL team did a great job designing VTX,” Corrubia noted. “It has so much horsepower, it can go for days.”

Systems engineer Jon Winkler is extremely well versed in the operation and deployment of this system and in using Performance Manager and the JBL Line Array Calculator II to optimize its performance. “Jon has a very keen ear and he was really the key to fine-tuning the system to the ‘nth’ degree,” Snyder added.

“To me, the definition of a good loudspeaker is when the sound of the box itself disappears—that you almost forget you’re even listening to a loudspeaker,” Corrubia added. “That really started to happen with the VTX system as we got a sense of tuning it. We could go anywhere in any arena and it would still sound crystal-clear and transparent.”

Snyder noted that even though the Donny And Marie Christmas Tour played in large arenas, the show felt more up close and personal, thanks in large part to the clarity and smooth, focused coverage of the VTX line arrays even over larger distances. “Donny and Marie are two of the warmest and most inviting performers around and we wanted to make sure that audiences were drawn into the more intimate parts of the show like their quieter solo numbers, yet dazzled by the energy of the all-out production numbers,” he said. “The JBL VTX line arrays are as unstoppable as Donny and Marie when everyone’s singing, playing and dancing their hearts out.”

Corrubia echoed this sentiment. “Donny and Marie have so much variety in their shows, going from rock and roll to Broadway and opera, that you need a system to handle that versatility,” he said. “VTX did an incredible job.”

For more information on Thunder Audio, please visit www.thunderaudioinc.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.

Spring 2014 Stampede Big Book of AV Tour Highlights The Internet of Things and Tie-Ins With InfoComm and ITRA

2014 will kick-off with a very loud bang on January 23rd in Austin, Texas when the Spring 2014 Stampede Big Book of AV (BBOAV) Tour makes the first of seven scheduled stops at the Woodward Conference Center at Wyndham Garden.

According to Stampede Presentation Products Inc. President & COO Kevin Kelly, 2014 tour attendees can expect to see more product demonstrations of new and innovative solutions from more participating exhibitors than ever before, along with tie-ins with InfoComm Regional Roundtables and the International Technology Rental Association (ITRA).  “More companies and industry associations presenting more products and more strategic business-building information than ever before — that’s what our dealers can expect to see when they turn out for the tour this year,” Kelly promised. “In particular, we will be highlighting how dealers can immediately begin profiting from the new era of The Internet of Things.”
The 2014 Stampede Big Book of AV Tour will include four stops co-located with InfoComm Roundtables and one stop co-located with ITRA. As a result, AV professionals will get the opportunity to meet with AV industry manufacturers, attend CTS certified trainings and participate in industry-focused roundtable events. The InfoComm Regional Roundtables provide networking and business education opportunities free to InfoComm members. On tour, participants will be able to receive management advice tailored to AV businesses.

“We’re excited to include InfoComm and ITRA training sessions and presentations to give our dealers the maximum value when attending the tour. We are as committed as ever to educating our dealers on industry best practices and keeping them informed of the latest products and trends,” Kelly said.

To further address the “Internet of Things” phenomenon, the BBOAV Tour will feature a designated area for IOT manufacturers, identified by pop-up banners and stands. As Kelly previously predicted, a new personalized industry built upon the ideas of connecting, integrating, and sharing devices is maturing. The tour will identify and distinguish emerging IOT manufacturers who are seeking to implement innovative go-to-market strategies.

At the January 23rd stop in Austin, Sony and Hitachi will make presentations on video conferencing and the wireless transmission of hi-def video. Each session will earn attendees .5 CTS RU Credit. Additionally, Stampede will be offering event incentives such as $500 Stampede credit, a $100 Restaurant.com gift card and a $50 gift card for attending the BBOAV Tour. Every attendee will also be entered into a drawing to win a 42” LG LCD HD television.

After its inaugural stop in Austin, Texas, the Stampede Big Book of AV Tour continues through the spring on the following schedule:

—   February 13, 2014 in Scottsdale, Arizona (with InfoComm and ITRA)
—   February 20, 2014 in Montreal, Canada
—   March 6, 2014 in Cincinnati, Ohio
—   March 13, 2014 in Irvine, California (with InfoComm)
—   April 17, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts (with InfoComm
—   May 15, 2014 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida (with InfoComm)

For more information about each event and to register to attend, dealers should go to http://www.bigbookofavtour.com/.

GREG SUCHOMEL JOINS SYMETRIX TEAM AS TECHNICAL SALES ENGINEER

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – JANUARY 2014: Symetrix – a world leader in the development and manufacturing of digital audio signal processing (DSP) systems and accessories – announces experienced A/V engineer Greg Suchomel has joined the team as a Field Technical Sales Engineer. Based in New Jersey, Suchomel will promote Symetrix products in the East and Northeast regions in North America by delivering technical certification and specialization training to Symetrix partners and supporting Symetrix partner eco-system with both remote and on-site design and installation help.

“We are excited to welcome Greg to our growing Symetrix sales and support team,” said Craig Richardson, vice president of global sales. “He has over twenty years of real-world A/V experience and a broad background in conferencing and audio system design and installation. His expertise will be a key component in our strategy to increase focus and technical coverage for our partners in the East and Northeast.”

“Symetrix has a great history in the industry with current and future forward-thinking products and solutions and is focused on making life sound better, a philosophy that very much appeals to me,” said Suchomel. “Audio is a critical piece of the puzzle and I’m looking forward to helping Symetrix build the best solutions possible.”

Symetrix designs and sells DSP equipment for managing audio in a broad range of commercial applications used by large and small businesses, retail establishments, houses of worship, hotels, restaurants, sport venues, schools, and more. Symetrix DSP expertise and software design tools are the preferred solution for thousands of unique applications in venues worldwide. As an acknowledged provider of best in class DSP management products, Symetrix is dedicated to making life sound better.

ABOUT SYMETRIX Symetrix is dedicated to making life sound better. As a world leader in the development and manufacturing of digital audio signal processing (DSP) systems and accessories, Symetrix provides best in class audio management solutions to businesses, schools, non-profits and government organizations.

For more information on Symetrix products visit www.symetrix.co

Top Canadian Venue Hart House Aims Higher with HARMAN Soundcraft® Si Expression 1

TORONTO, Canada – Located at the University of Toronto, Hart House is one of the largest and busiest event spaces in Canada, hosting a variety of conferences, concerts, corporate and social events. To accommodate the 7,000 annual event bookings, AV Manager Ira Cohen recently designed a new audio installation for the Hart House’s Great Hall (the signature space at the venue), featuring a HARMAN Soundcraft Si Expression 1 to control the system.

To optimize the audio installation, Cohen also designed the system to include HARMAN BSS BLU-80 signal processing with a CobraNet expansion card for a full HARMAN integration with the Soundcraft Si Expression console. Cat5 connections were also installed in the hall to patch in the console for full control over the entire equipment rack.

“We have one of the most diverse types of clientele with a massive variety of events,” Cohen said. “Together with the CobraNet expansion card, this one-of-a-kind system offers an incredible amount of flexibility with the ability to run any type of event or show imaginable. Factoring in the expansion capabilities, it is a system that Hart House has longed for and one that we are truly proud of.”

“I have always held Soundcraft in high regard, and over the years I have had the pleasure of mixing on various analog and digital boards and have always trusted the level of sonic quality and control you get with Soundcraft,” Cohen continued. “At this price point, there is no other board in the market with as many top quality features as the Si Expression. It allowed me to present a proposal design at half the cost that external companies offered.”

Soundcraft makes it easy for any user to operate the Si Expression console; with its touchscreen U/I and FaderGlow™ that illuminates faders with color-coded LED’s, there is no need for a manual. Also, Soundcraft consoles are known for their analog-like feel and operation. Whether a beginner to live mixing, or a seasoned sound engineer, any operator can mix straight out of the box within minutes, thanks to its intuitive design.

“The console has exceeded performance expectations,” according to Cohen. Its ease of use right out the gate has been a pleasure to work with; I am mostly impressed with the layout, because it’s quite nice to have the physical controls of your channel strip and dynamics right in front of you. Overall, it is a very economical and straightforward board to operate, which is great for new users. All the advantages of digital are literally at your fingertips, rather than through page layers.”

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.

Trade IN, Trade UP Program Announced by Yamaha

BUENA PARK, Calif.—Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc. has announced a Trade IN, Trade UP program that will take place January 8 – March 31, 2014. This program is available to all customers who own a Yamaha M7CL-48 (this configuration only) Digital Mixing Console. The trade-in console must be in acceptable* condition. Upon proof of condition and return, the customer will receive a $15,000 credit toward the purchase of a new Yamaha CL5 Digital Mixing Console. This promotion is on a first-come, first serve basis, while supplies last.

“This limited time program will provide end users with the opportunity to own a new Yamaha CL5 console that they may not have had the budget to purchase,” states Marc Lopez, Marketing Manager, Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc. “The trade UP to a CL5 will fulfill many of the features and benefits engineers have been asking for in an affordable package.”

End users should contact their preferred Authorized Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc. (YCAS) Dealer for more details. A complete listing of YCAS Dealers, Terms and Conditions as well as all other pertinent information can be found by visiting www.yamahaca.com/cltradeup.

*Yamaha has the sole right to determine if your M7CL-48 console is in an acceptable condition to participate in the program. If it is determined to be unacceptable, they will contact you to arrange its return to you.

-END-

FSR’s George V. Fournier Jr. Brings Joy To Kids Affected By Sandy

“Santa” Arrived Via Helicopter to Raise Spirits in Storm Ravaged Seaside Heights

Woodland Park, NJ – FSR’s elves were at it again during the 2013 holiday season. This time, George V. Fournier Jr., FSR senior sales engineer, donned red robes, boarded a helicopter and brought joy to hundreds of kids still suffering the effects of Superstorm Sandy on December 21st as part of the “Christmas on the Island” initiative in Seaside Heights, NJ.

Fournier, a volunteer firefighter in Pequannock NJ is a member of Santa’s Rooftop Response, an organization that provides Christmas gifts to the children of Ortley Beach, Toms River, Lavallette, and the Seaside areas of the Jersey Shore who were displaced by Superstorm Sandy. In 2012, with the help of local churches, Boy’s and Girl’s Scouts, senior and social associations, local Police and Fire Departments and businesses, the group arranged clothing and toy drives, and set-up donation boxes throughout North and Central New Jersey to bring Christmas to over 700 children.

In 2013 Santa’s Rooftop Response and Pequannock Fire Department’s Engine Company 2 teamed up with “Christmas on the Island”, an event started by Courtney Chibbaro, a local resident forced from her home after Sandy, to bring a free fun-filled day to the residents of Ocean County including a Christmas Parade, gifts, and a visit with Santa. Staffed by volunteers and supported with donated food, gifts and even transportation, “Christmas on the Island”- in its second year, honors the people who have struggled and sacrificed since the storm damaged or destroyed much of the New Jersey Shore over 14 months ago.

“For some of these kids this was the only celebration they have had since Sandy hit last year,” said Fournier. “With tears in his eyes, one 6-year old expressed concern that Santa wouldn’t be able to land on his (still) damaged roof. Following intense negotiations, it was decided the sleigh could park on the street with Rudolf directing traffic. My heart melted when he hugged me, relieved and grateful that Santa would indeed visit him on Christmas Eve.”

Santa arrived at the Seaside Heights Fire Department courtesy of a MONOC helicopter to reassure more than 800 kids that he knew where they were. “It’s not just the gifts. So many still aren’t home, I wanted to give them a moment,” said Fournier. “Smiles, even in dark times, are what it’s all about.”

Happy New Year from all at FSR.


Photo captions:
FSR’s George “Santa” V. Fournier Jr. and Susan “Mrs. Claus” Popolo-Becker prepare to meet children displaced by Superstorm Sandy. Photo courtesy of Meredith Miller.
MUNOC pilot Keith Dunbar and FSR’s George “Santa” V. Fournier Jr. arrive at the Seaside Heights Fire Department.

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

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

# # #

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

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

Top Recording Artists, Talented Children and HARMAN Soundcraft Vi4 Console Collaborate at LIVE ART: Tree of Life Event

(Left) Bryan Hargrave, monitor engineer (staff engineer, computer technology specialist), Soundworks of Virginia; and Grant Howard, FOH engineer (vice president, senior engineer), Soundworks of Virginia.

RICHMOND, Virginia — LIVE ART: Tree of Life is a unique collaboration that brings prominent recording artists, musicians and children together. Held at Richmond, Virginia’s 3,200-seat Landmark Theater and produced by the School of the Performing Arts in the Richmond Community (SPARC), this winter’s LIVE ART: Tree of Life featured GRAMMY-award winner and SPARC alumnus Jason Mraz, along with k.d. lang, Christina Perri and other artists performing with more than 200 children of all abilities. Soundworks of Virginia handled the live sound for the event, using two HARMAN Soundcraft Vi4 digital consoles for front of house and monitor mixing duties.

Any show with multiple performers is always a challenge, but the LIVE ART: Tree of Life event presented an unusual and daunting logistical hurdle: the monitor console was located behind some of the scenery, which blocked monitor engineer Bryan Hargrave’s view of the pit band and the bands and performers at one side of the stage. The fact that the house band was positioned in the orchestra pit, right in front of the main PA system, did not make his or FOH engineer Grant Howard’s job any easier. A group of children in the box seats at stage left were also in front of the PA and had to be miked for the show.

Thanks to some careful aiming of the PA speakers and the Soundcraft Vi4’s functionality and its ViSi Remote iPad control, the show went off without a hitch even though it was, in the words of Howard, “like performance art, musical theater and bands playing all rolled into one,” and mixed seasoned veterans with children with little or no experience in front of an audience.

Soundworks used 62 inputs in the FOH console and configured the output with left/right/subs on an aux configuration for the main outputs plus two more feeds going to the under balcony and a feed dedicated to the hard of hearing. In addition to the complex live mixing duties, it was necessary to generate 62 channels of audio for a multi-track recording to be used for a planned PBS documentary film. “It was about as simple a hookup as I’ve ever seen for such a complex routing scheme,” Howard noted. “We just plugged in the MADI interface, turned on the consoles, assigned things accordingly, and that was it.”

“The ability of the Vi4 to be controlled by an iPad was an absolute lifesaver,” noted Hargrave. “In any other situation, not being able to see the performers during the show would have been a severe disadvantage.”

Instead, during rehearsals Hargrave was able to walk away from the monitor console, listen to the mix from anywhere in the theater and make adjustments. “We had 16 powered monitors across the stage and I could walk right up to a performer, the piano player or a group of singers, hear exactly what they were hearing and use the iPad to make adjustments to the monitor mix right on the spot. Without the iPad app, I would have had to walk to and from the console a hundred times.” After dialling in their monitor and FOH mixes, Hargrave and Howard saved their mixes using the console’s Snapshot feature.

Hargrave and Howard only had two days of rehearsals to dial in the sound for the more than 200 people who were onstage at various times, and found the Vi4’s ability to recall scenes indispensible. “By the time the show went on, all I had to do was scroll from one Snapshot to the next and the mixes were right there,” added Hargrave.

“This was the most out of the ordinary show we’ve done on the Soundcraft Vi4, but we found it to be perfectly adaptable to the situation,” Howard pointed out. “In my experience it’s also the easiest console to teach visiting engineers how to operate.”

For Soundworks, none of this would matter much if the Vi4 didn’t sound great. “We’ve demoed a lot of boards and Soundcraft is one of the best-sounding digital consoles,” said Howard. “And aside from being extremely useful, the color-coded FaderGlow™ controls look great in the dark! We got a lot of compliments about how cool the board looks from people in the audience walking by it.”

“Doing the LIVE ART: Tree of Life event is a humbling experience,” noted Soundworks president Steve Payne. “It’s just absolutely astounding to watch these kids perform with artists of the highest caliber. This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Many of these kids have special needs and face challenges on a daily basis. Watching them perform on this stage is like watching a flower blossom. The process is hugely rewarding for all of us—the kids, the performing artists, the crew and the audience alike.”

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.

CTS Audio Shows Faith in HARMAN’s JBL Professional VTX Line Arrays at National Catholic Youth Conference

NORTHRIDGE, California – Continuing a series of high-profile events using HARMAN’s JBL VTX line arrays and Crown I-Tech HD amplifiers, CTS Audio provided a HARMAN Professional audio system for the National Catholic Youth Conference at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Sponsored by the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry, the National Catholic Youth Conference featured a variety of spoken-word, live music and dramatic performances. Given the event’s diverse programming, CTS Audio—which has supplied the sound reinforcement for the bi-annual National Catholic Youth Conference for more than 15 years—needed an audio system that would accommodate this variety in a large stadium environment. Working with production company Declan Weir Productions, CTS Audio designed and deployed a HARMAN audio system featuring JBL Professional VTX line arrays powered by Crown I-Tech HD amplifiers.

The production was configured in the round, with the main PA system including a total of 90 JBL VTX V25 fullsize line array elements (in six columns of 15 each), with 24 S28 subwoofers flown in the center of the main PA loudspeakers in a cardioid setup. Eight VRX932 Constant Curvature loudspeakers provided additional fill. At each end of the stadium, 24 JBL VERTEC® VT4888 midsize line array elements served as delay loudspeakers. Crown I-Tech HD 12000 amplifiers powered the system.

According to Mike Taylor, Vice President of CTS Audio, the main challenges of the event included proper time-alignment of the loudspeakers. “We were faced with a complex task of achieving direct sound rather than reflections in such a large stadium,” said Mike Taylor, Vice President of CTS Audio. “And with the design, coming up with a subwoofer arrangement that was even across the room was also a challenge.”

In addition, CTS Audio configured and monitored the audio system with JBL HiQnet Performance Manager™.

“[JBL’s Associate Director, Tour Sound] Paul Bauman and [HARMAN Professional’s Application Engineer, Live Sound and Rental for North America] Raul Gonzalez helped us develop a solution utilizing Performance Manager,” Taylor noted. “This enabled us to model and program every loudspeaker in the system before even hanging a single box.”

Although CTS Audio has used VTX frequently since adding the loudspeakers to its inventory, this was the first time CTS supplied VTX for the National Catholic Youth Conference. “The event was a huge success,” Taylor said. “Two years ago we used VERTEC and this was an improvement on an already good-sounding system. VTX is a whole different animal—the enclosures and the high-frequency range are amazing.”

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.

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