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Archive of the AV Control Systems Category

HARMAN’s Crown Provides Upmarket Sound for New Breuninger Mall In Düsseldorf

DÜSSELDORF, Germany — German upscale retailer Breuninger recently opened a 172,000-square-foot (916,000 square meters) department store in Düsseldorf, located in the city’s Kö-Bogen downtown office and retail complex. The striking new facility merges glass surfaces, steel, stone and curving, organic shapes with trees that are inset into the sides of the building and a grass roof. Shoppers can peruse Breuninger’s luxury selection of fashion, accessories and premium goods – the shoe department alone has 25,000 pairs for sale – while listening to music courtesy of a HARMAN audio system featuring Crown amplifiers, BSS Audio networking components and JBL Professional loudspeakers.

Heilbronn, Germany-based HARMAN distributor Audio Pro Elektroakustik supplied the sound system for all five floors of the massive Breuninger mall. At the heart of the installation are 10 Crown DCi 4|600N and 8|300N networkable power amplifiers, which offer networked monitoring and control using HARMAN HiQnet™ Audio Architect system software and BSS Audio BLU link digital transport.

“The new Crown DCi Series amplifiers are ideal for this application because they can be seamlessly networked with the BSS Audio signal processing components, deliver plenty of clean power and can be configured for use in a very large-scale distributed audio system such as the one installed at Breuninger,” said Carsten Peter, Product Manager for Audio Pro Heilbronn.

The amplifiers, loudspeakers and entire audio system are networked using a BSS Audio Soundweb London BLU-160 signal processor with digital audio bus and three BLU-BIB break-out box input expanders. Eleven BSS BLU 6 wall-mount controllers and eight BLU 8 wall controllers are located throughout the Breuninger mall.

Although they are extremely powerful, the Crown DCi 4|600N and 8|300N amplifiers are just 2U rack spaces high, enabling all of the amplifiers to be installed in one equipment rack, with all the BSS Audio networking components located in an adjoining rack.

Covering 172,000 square feet, over 800 JBL loudspeakers were deployed, including approximately 600 JBL Control 24CT in-ceiling loudspeakers, more than 150 Control19CST in-ceiling subwoofers and Control 65P/T full-range pendant loudspeakers.

The Crown DCi Series’ compact size, high efficiency and superior sound quality are made possible by HARMAN’s proprietary DriveCore™ amplifier chip, which combines the amplifier driver stage into the power output along with additional audio-signal functions, yet is about the size of a postage stamp. DCi Series amplifiers can be operated into 8-, 4- or 2-ohm loads and offer direct drive “constant voltage” capabilities for 70vrms and 100vrms amplification without the need for a step-up transformer, yielding higher audio quality in distributed audio applications. In addition, the amplifiers incorporate an exclusive Global Power Supply and a universal AC input, enabling their use in any country.

“The new HARMAN audio system fits perfectly into the store’s luxury environment,” Peter concluded. “Breuninger offers its customers a high-end retail experience in every respect, and the system is an extension of that commitment.”

HARMAN 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 14,800 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $4.7 billion for the last twelve months ended December 31, 2013.

It’s Fiber All the Way for Hillsdale College

 

When it comes to broadband AV, it’s optical fiber all the way for Hillsdale College in Michigan. The independent private college started running high-speed, secure optical fiber across its indoor track using audio optical technology by FiberPlex Technologies in May and is now gearing up for another, longer optical run that will shuttle multimedia across its campus.  

In the next few months, the College will roll out FiberPlex’s WDM-16 multiplexer into existing fiber strands for moving large multimedia files from its auditorium and sports fields to a control studio on campus.

Hillsdale’s Director of Technical Media Ted Matko is working with AVI Systems, headquartered in Eden Prairie, Minn., on the project and expects the WDM-16 active wave division multiplexer to save the college the cost of trenching in new fiber in some areas of the campus by reusing existing optical runs which will generate substantial savings.  

“We needed capacity to get video from the athletic fields, the auditorium, the fine arts building and elsewhere to our new control studio about a quarter of a mile away. Multiplexing will make it cost effective to do that,” said Matko, explaining that FiberPlex’s WDM-16 lets him multiplex 16 separate channels at 3Gb/s each onto two fiber pairs used by the campus network.

The additional channels are needed to stream the college’s live volleyball, football and baseball games across a quarter-mile distance from its athletic fields to the control studio, which was originally the College’s bookstore but now serves as the command center for media control and the head-end to the LTN feed picked up by the networks. The College also shuttles media to its control room from its auditorium on a regular basis for guest speaker engagements.

Previously, in May, the College installed FiberPlex LightViper optical audio snakes for its graduation ceremony held in its indoor track facility with 5,000 people in attendance –including commencement speaker U.S. Senator Ted Cruz.  A LightViper snake connected the mics on stage to a mixing console at the back of the field some 265 feet away over fiber optic cabling. Another LightViper optical snake routed the audio channels – via optical cable – from the track to the studio control room across campus.

All audio is controlled and networked through Peavey’s MediaMatrix audio control system.

“This is a standalone digitally networked sound system that can handle just about anything they want to do from the field. If they need to change anything, they just click on a control page from their laptop and now they’re switched over to any device or location they want through optical fiber and the LightViper system,” said Andrew Walker with Avtek AV, who designed the system and recommended the LightViper optical snake instead of copper snake because it can transport audio error-free and transparently over greater distances, by a 400:1 ratio compared to copper.

A typical LightViper system includes a FOH breakout unit and 32×8 stage box connected by optical cable for sending and receiving optical signals to a remote location. One fiber cable weighing less than eight pounds can transmit the same data as two, 40-pair copper cables weighing 700 pounds.

In the next few weeks, the College’s LightVipers will be joined by new WDM-16 multiplexers that will take the school’s multimedia endeavors a step further by routing video over optical fiber to the control studio elsewhere on the campus for full head-end control of media files.   

Hillsdale College is just one example of how fiber optic technology can be leveraged for educational and communication purposes. FiberPlex makes fiber optic products and systems for government agencies as well as for houses of worship, corporate facilities, broadcast applications, and K-12 and higher education.  

New Zealand’s Māori Television Upgrades Its Broadcast Facility with HARMAN’s Studer Vista 5 M3 and OnAir Consoles

NEWMARKET, New Zealand – Māori Television provides a range of local and international programming for New Zealand’s audiences across the country and online. Founded in 2004, the station is dedicated to the revitalization and normalization of the Māori language and culture through high-quality, readily accessible programming in both Māori and English. Reflecting its commitment to quality, Māori Television recently upgraded its studios with the addition of HARMAN’s Studer Vista 5 M3 and OnAir 2500 digital consoles.

HARMAN Professional New Zealand distributor Jands Ltd. installed the 32-fader Vista 5 M3 and 12-fader OnAir 2500 consoles in Māori Television studios. The studio needed to replace its aging analogue mixing desks and make the move to digital. They wanted consoles that were flexible and easy to use. “Our studios are used for a variety of shows, including live news and current affairs programs, talk shows, sports programming and more,” said Kane Dickie, sound team leader. “One of the most challenging requirements is doing the sound for a live music show that requires mixing multiple hosts talking at once plus a live band.”

Māori Television wanted to avoid having to patch the consoles into external effects devices, and chose the Studer consoles because they had enough built-in effects to handle all the processing for all the shows that are produced at Māori Television. Ease of use was equally important – “we wanted consoles that were intuitive to use, so that most of the people in our studio would be able to operate them.” In addition, the consoles had to be able to link together so they could share sources between Māori Televisions two broadcast studios. The Vista 5 M3 offers access of up to 240 channels, ensuring the station would have all the inputs it needs. Along with the Vista 5 M3 and On Air 2500, Māori Television purchased three Studer Compact Stagebox expansion units, a 32-in/16-out and two 16-in/16-out models.

Before Māori TV purchased them, Jands set up the complete system on their premises to allow Kane and his team to try them out. The Māori TV staff took to the consoles immediately, giving high marks to the consoles’ easy, fast and responsive operation, accessible control layouts, convenient Vistonics™ and Touch’n’Action color touch screens, and variety of useful built-in effects. “

Now that the Vista 5 M3 and On Air 2500 are up and running at Māori Television, Kane confirms their initial positive experience with the consoles at Jands. “The transition from analogue to digital consoles went smoothly. In addition to doing everything we need them to and then some, we’ve noticed that the Studer consoles’ preamps have made all of our mics sound much cleaner. In addition, all of the old analogue buzz we could never get rid of in the past has disappeared.”

In Māori it’s called “Kia Tika” – being professional and maintaining high standards. It’s one of Māori Television’s core values, and the Studer Vista 5 M3 and On Air 2500 reflect the station’s commitment to “Kia Tika.”

HARMAN 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 14,800 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $4.7 billion for the last twelve months ended December 31, 2013.

From Outdated to Outstanding: Clair Brothers Updates Audio System at NYCB Theatre At Westbury with HARMAN’s JBL Professional Loudspeakers and Crown Amplifiers

WESTBURY, New York – The NYCB Theatre at Westbury is one of Long Island’s best-known music venues, growing from its less-than-glamorous origins in 1956 as an unheated outdoor tent to the premier Live Nation-owned concert hall it is today. Formerly the Westbury Music Fair, the current 3,000-seat venue was built in 1966 and has since undergone multiple renovations—the most recent being an upgrade to its audio system with HARMAN’s JBL Professional VERTEC® line arrays powered by Crown I-Tech HD amplifiers.

“The former audio system was 30 years old, was underpowered and had significant issues in many areas,” noted Dustin Goen, system designer and project manager for systems integrator Clair Brothers. The venue is a theater in the round with 360-degree seating surrounding a circular stage that rotated during most performances. The main loudspeakers, lighting and video screens were mounted on a truss ring hanging above the stage, with fill loudspeakers placed around the front of the stage and at other locations in the hall. The main loudspeakers were pointed downward but because of the design of the truss ring, they could not deliver adequate coverage to all the seats.

“To supplement the main loudspeakers, a kind of patchwork arrangement of fill loudspeakers was installed throughout the venue in an attempt to get adequate coverage,” Goen noted. “As a result, no matter where someone sat they heard a mixture of up to four different loudspeakers, all with different timings and sonic characters.” Patrons in the first row might have scored the best seats to see the show but they heard the worst audio mix—almost no sound from the PA and too much from the stage monitors and amplifiers. The low-frequency reinforcement was inadequate—only four subwoofers mounted on the overhead truss. There were a number of nodes in the room where the bass was almost inaudible.”

“On top of all that,” Goen commented, “the old system didn’t actually cover the front of house mixing position. The engineer had to walk out of the sound booth and down the aisle to hear the mix! You basically had to use your imagination to figure out how things sounded.”

It was no stretch of the imagination for Live Nation’s Dan Schartoff to know something had to be done. As vice president of production for House of Blues/Clubs and Theatres, Schartoff spearheaded the audio system renovation effort and determined that not only would an all-new sound system have to be installed, the overhead cage of trusses would have to go. Goen and crew had to complete the job in two weeks start to finish, from tearing down and installing the new truss to mounting the loudspeakers, lighting and six 80-inch video monitors.

Goen worked with Schartoff and Chris Barbee of lighting contractor Bandit Lites to design and build a new truss ring over the stage with six hangs of six JBL VERTEC VT4887A compact line array loudspeakers, powered by Crown I-Tech 4x3500HD multichannel amplifiers.

Because the theater is in the round, Goen realized distributed cardioid clusters of subwoofers weren’t going to work. “You’d get a response plot that looked like a raspberry instead of an apple,” he said. In response, Clair Brothers opted for a central cluster of six JBL STX828S subwoofers in a triangular stack, driven by three Crown I-Tech 12000HD amps.

Clair Brothers was able to use the existing front and stage fill loudspeakers, which are linked to the main system via a BSS Audio BLU-160 signal processor with digital audio bus. The VT4887A clusters can be used either as three alternating stereo pairs or in mono depending on the preferences of the FOH mixer and artist. An added benefit is that the new truss ring is smaller and doesn’t block the sightlines across the venue, making the hall seem bigger than it was before.

“We wanted every listener to hear one clear and coherent sound source no matter where they were sitting, and that’s what the VT4887A line arrays deliver,” Goen stated. “Thanks to their smooth, controlled dispersion pattern, the coverage is seamless from the first row to the back in 95 percent of the room.”

Goen considers VERTEC and Crown I-Tech HD amplifiers to be a perfect combination since the amps’ DSP incorporates VERTEC V5 preset tunings. “The V5 presets really bring the VERTECs to life and make them sound like a whole new loudspeaker.”

JBL HiQnet Performance Manager™ software is in place to calibrate and control the system. “Performance Manager helped us get everything up and running fast,” Goen said. “We had to be ready in time for a show by Lee Brice so there was no slack. We didn’t get a chance to test the wiring until two days before the show.” The system didn’t require a lot of tweaking—Goen noted that the VERTECs sounded great out of the box and that tuning was more a matter of gain shading than applying EQ. “We had two days to ring out the system, tune it and train the house engineers, and we did it.”

“Horizontal coverage is seamless all around the ring, the low end is solid and even around the room and yes, it sounds great at front of house,” Goen concluded. “In fact, front of house engineer Charlie Trantum has been working at Westbury for more than 20 years and he was very impressed when he first heard the new system.”

HARMAN 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 14,800 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $4.7 billion for the last twelve months ended December 31, 2013.

Yamaha CL5 Howls at Mohegan Sun’s Wolf Den

BUENA PARK, Calif.—Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut opened in 1996 by the Mohegan Tribe of Connecticut, and is one of the world’s most amazing destinations with some of New England’s finest dining, hotel accommodations, retail shopping, live entertainment and sporting events. Located in the center of the action, in Casino of the Earth, the popular 350-seat Wolf Den offers a state-of-the-art sound system for nightly performances. The Wolf Den seats 350 and entrance is on a first come, first served basis. Recently, two Yamaha CL5 Digital Audio Consoles were installed to enhance the sound system, one at front of house and the other at the monitor position including Rio 3224-D and 1608-D input/output boxes.

Mat Diamond, lead audio technician for entertainment at the resort said the decision to add two Yamaha CL consoles to the entertainment arsenal was a departmental decision. “As the head of the department, I had the final say, but I don’t get to use the equipment as much as the rest of the department which is why it is important to make the decision as much a group decision as possible. We already own two Yamaha M7CL-48 digital consoles, two Yamaha LS9-16s and an LS9-32 so between that and the price point, the CL5s seemed like the next logical step.”

Diamond said the custom knobs and fader banks, storing system scenes that can be recalled, EQs, and built-in Premium Rack that can be used together or independently are all valuable features. “I love the idea of the Premium Rack and hope that more effects will be added down the road. I personally like to use the Portico 5033 as my EQ for masters. I really like using the dynamic EQs for vocals. I love how the Yamaha CL allows me to control certain frequencies without eliminating them entirely.”

With regard to the CL learning curve, Diamond said his staff picked it up fairly quickly but since they own several Yamaha consoles, they just needed to learn their way around the CL. “Most of the visiting engineers just need a quick walk through if they haven’t used a CL in the past.”

Since the Yamaha CL consoles have been installed, artists that have performed in the Wolf Den include Macy Gray, Starship featuring Mickey Thomas, Foghat, G. Love & Special Sauce, Walk Off the Earth, Chuck Negron, Gin Blossoms, Uncle Kracker, Los Lonely Boys, and Eddie Money.

For more information on the Wolf Den at Mohegan Sun, visit www.mohegansun.com/poi/venues/wolf-den.html

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

-END-

Photo ID: Standing Mat Diamond, Lead Audio Technician
Seated: Curt Wade, Front of House Engineer – Wolf Den

Photo Credit: CM Photos

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.

HARMAN’s AKG Aids International Understanding: New CSX IRS10 Infrared Language Distribution System from AKG Ensures Uncompromised Security and 10 Channels of Digital Transmission

VIENNA, Austria –HARMAN’s AKG introduces the new CSX IRS10 infrared language distribution system. Ideal for conferencing, tour guide and assistive listening applications, the CSX IRS10 offers 10 channels of digital infrared transmission and uncompromised security.
The next-generation AKG CSX IRS10 is based on a 10-channel PPM (Pulse Phase Modulation) technology, ensuring absolute security. The system is easily expandable to any room size. PPM also always uses the whole LED panel, regardless of whether someone is using one or 10 channels, which leads to the same radiation power and coverage area even if one is changing the number of needed channels.

The heart of the system is the CSX BIR10 breakout box. It takes either the channels of an AKG CS5 system or any other 10 channels fed to it and modulates them on the infrared carrier. Two new radiators transmit the IR light into the room. The two radiators (CSX IRT3 and CSX IRT4) differ in terms of radiation angle. AKG now offers a floodlight for lower ceilings and a spotlight to cast the IR signal a greater distance, making it the ideal solution for any kind of room.

The receivers offer two jog dial selectors to select the requested channel and to adjust the output level to the headphones. Both functions, as well as battery status, are shown on the OLED display. A standard 3.5mm stereo jack plug enables connection to headphones. A charging/storage case for 50 units is available to charge the 2700mAh NiMh rechargeable batteries (up to 20 hours operation time).

HARMAN 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 14,800 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $4.7 billion for the last twelve months ended December 31, 2013.

HARMAN’s dbx Is Now Shipping Its DriveRack® PA2 Loudspeaker Management System With Mobile App Control

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – HARMAN’s dbx is now shipping its DriveRack PA2 Loudspeaker Management System, which enables a loudspeaker system to be quickly and accurately optimized for the best-possible sound quality. The PA2 is ideal for bands, musicians and artists who carry their own PA and for a wide range of installed sound applications. The DriveRack PA2 makes it easier than ever to set up a system and control it on the fly using via an Android®, iOS®, Mac®, or Windows® mobile device or laptop.

The original DriveRack PA revolutionized audio for bands around the world by providing all of the processing they needed between their mixer and amplifiers to optimize and protect their loudspeakers. The DriveRack PA2 takes all of this functionality to an entirely new level, at a price point that offers outstanding value. A brand new Wizard allows for faster and easier set-up, new AutoEQ™ provides professional touring-quality room EQ and incredibly accurate Advanced Feedback Suppression (AFS™) ensures freedom from feedback in any room.

The DriveRack PA2 can be set up and operated from a compatible tablet or smartphone via Ethernet using the free dbx PA2 Control App, available at www.dbxpro.com, the iTunes® Store and Google Play. Users have access to a host of configuration menus and on their mobile device or laptop, with full-color graphical displays that give ready visual indications of the parameters being adjusted. The DriveRack PA2 can also be operated via its front-panel controls and display.

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

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

“Setting up a PA can be one of the most challenging aspects of ilve performing, especially for local and semi-pro musicians who have to do it themselves, but the DriveRack PA2 makes the process fast, accurate and stress-free,” said Noel Larson, Director of Marketing, HARMAN Signal Processing. “Getting great live sound is now as easy as reaching for your phone or laptop.”

The dbx DriveRack PA2 is currently available at a suggested retail price of $499.95.

HARMAN 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 14,800 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $4.7 billion for the last twelve months ended December 31, 2013.

ASHLY AUDIO POWERED PROCESSORS AT CORNELL UNIVERSITY’S SAGE CHAPEL CONDENSING SEVEN FEET OF PROCESSING & AMPLIFICATION INTO SEVEN INCHES

ITHACA, NEW YORK – MARCH 2014: Erected in 1875, Sage Chapel sits near the center of the picturesque campus of Cornell University in upstate New York. It is expressly non-denominational, and its interior is adorned by symbols of all the major and minor religions from around the world. For services and other events, Sage Chapel seats over 700 people, plus a large choir. To help voices carry with intelligibility in the large space, its sound reinforcement system has evolved with the state of technology over the decades. Apart from the chapel’s two organs, the system also provides reinforcement for any musical instruments used. Its latest upgrade condensed seven feet of rack space used for 1990s-era processing and amplification into just seven inches using an Ashly Pema 8250 and an Ashly ne4250pe. Each unit combines Ashly’s Protea signal processing with clean, high-powered amplifier channels – twelve in all.

“We put the previous system in over twenty years ago to deal with issues of intelligibility that were plaguing them at the time,” said Barny Cole, president of Calf Audio, also of Ithaca. “We put in three sets of loudspeakers arrayed in stereo pairs on delays running from the front of the chapel to the back. It delivered great sound quality, but it took a ton of processing to dial in. In those days, that meant a lot of separate rack units to individually equalize and time align each component. That system took seven feet of rack space! The university approached us recently to ask if we could condense all that processing because the closet was coveted by the janitorial staff. Of course, they didn’t want to lean their mops against a bunch of electrical equipment, so if we could condense it down and raise it up, everyone would be happy.”

With its fully-implemented front-end processing capabilities, the Ashly Pema 8250 now takes care of all of the “everyday” mixing and processing chores. It also delivers eight 250-Watt amplifier channels, all within two rack spaces. Because the Pema 8250 also includes line-level outputs from the processing section, it feeds the four-channel Ashly ne4250pe amplifiers with optional processing. All together, the system provides twelve 250-Watt amplifier channels and all of the processing they require in a tamperproof package. “I’m predisposed to choosing Ashly,” Cole admitted. “The company is a close neighbor – they’re just an hour-and-a-half down the road – and I like the individuals who work there. Ashly’s products are famously solid and reliable, and their service is spectacular. Since they deliver all of that at a huge price advantage, it would seem silly to bother with anyone else!”

An Ashly neWR-5 wall panel remote control provides simple selection of several presets. At its most basic, the Ashly Pema 8250 auto-mixes all of the usual inputs. The presets also allow selection of arrangements for other common event scenarios. For more complicated events, a console can patch in and take control of the inputs. Calf Audio is usually called in to provide sound engineer support for those more complicated events.

ABOUT ASHLY AUDIO Ashly Audio Inc. is recognized as a world leader in the design and manufacturing of high quality & high performance signal processing equipment and power amplification for use in the commercial sound contracting and professional audio markets. The 37-year old company is headquartered in Webster, New York U.S.A.

www.ashly.com

Bexel Connects the Academy Awards(r) with Extensive Fiber Network

Company’s Fiber Optic Infrastructure Eliminates Logistical Challenges for Global Broadcasts

(BURBANK, Calif.) – Bexel, a unit of the Vitec Group‘s Services Division and a leading worldwide provider of broadcast services and solutions, provided the conduit for the live broadcast of the 86th Academy Awards(r), as well as all of the ancillary global productions from the site, with a logistics-defying fiber infrastructure constructed exclusively for the event. Working with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), Bexel implemented a comprehensive fiber optic network. The customized solution connects multiple production locations beyond the Dolby Theatre, including the Hollywood & Highland Center, the Red Carpet on Hollywood Blvd., Loews Hollywood Hotel, and the domestic and international television compounds located more than a block away behind the El Capitan Theatre.

When AMPAS moved the Oscars to the Dolby Theatre (then the Kodak Theatre) in 2001, they turned to Bexel to help solve the logistical challenges inherent in the new location. Knowing that traditional copper cable would not work, Bexel installed a permanent fiber network that included four miles of multi-strand cables from the Hollywood & Highland and Dolby Theatre complexes, as well as under Hollywood Blvd. That underlying backbone is enhanced each year by Bexel to meet the show’s specific and unique complexities, as the number of feeds changes every year, in addition to the fact that the industry has moved from standard definition to high def over the last decade. The required infrastructure has effectively tripled in size.

For the 86th Academy Awards, more than 17 miles of temporary fiber was also deployed to successfully transport massive amounts of HD/SD video, audio, data and communications signals.

“The structure we put in place has to support so much more than the Oscar broadcast itself,” said Bexel’s Craig Schiller, vice president of engineering and operations. “We’re tasked with enabling point-to-point connections for more than 50 different entities, to ensure live, simultaneous broadcasts of all of the Red Carpet pre-shows, the backstage media and photo rooms, the pre- and post-show programs, Oscar.com, and the official Governors Ball, in addition to the Academy Awards(r) telecast itself.”

The venue does not have one large parking lot to accommodate all of the satellite and production trucks, so the physical footprint of the production areas are spread out into nearby available parking lots, onto Hollywood Blvd, and the Orange Motor Court adjacent to the Dolby Theater. “Our fiber network is really the conduit for the entire production, and it gets larger every year,” Schiller adds.

In addition to the fiber optic infrastructure, Bexel contributed key elements to coverage of the Red Carpet arrivals. The company deployed its RF-Over-Fiber antenna system, which has become a staple of the official pre-show broadcast, to provide unprecedented wireless communications coverage not previously available with a conventional wireless system. Bexel’s RF base camp was located at the 90-degree turn of the Red Carpet, and was used as the head-end position. Multiple RF fiber-site boxes enabled connections for dozens of antennas to ensure there was no loss of signal, as the production staff required a seamless communication system.

The often tight turnaround between the pre-show and the official broadcast is also supported by the system, enabling communication signals to transition from the Red Carpet up into the theatre for the show opening. Bexel also supplied three Sony HDC-2500 cameras, which were used by AMPAS as pool cameras for arrivals, fashion and the main press room. The feeds were then provided by Bexel to domestic and international broadcasters for enhanced show coverage around the world.

To support a live event of this scale, Bexel had a credentialed staff of more than 40 fiber engineers and support technicians onsite. Senior teams arrived two weeks before the show to begin set-up for the main broadcast and to clean and test the permanent fiber network. The majority of the staff arrived the Tuesday before the awards to prepare for the hundreds of domestic and international broadcasters who arrived on Friday.

Live broadcasts from the Red Carpet started as early as Friday morning, and ran continuously until late Sunday night, with Bexel engineers onsite around the clock. The team enabled the transport of 200 video signals, 125 audio signals, and 100 intercom signals over fiber for the Academy’s broadcast partners.

“Our incredible team of professionals really delivers for the Oscars,” says Schiller. “Over the past 13 years, we’ve had a number of the same talented people on the project, and the guys have really gotten to know the location and understand the complexities of this event. We’re able to do so much more in advance now. Most of the fiber demarc racks are preconfigured in our shop and delivered already tested, which increases our efficiency every year. We’ve also upgraded the permanent installations every two to three years, allowing us to minimize what we need to layer on top of the existing infrastructure. It’s a tough few weeks, but our team’s focus and passion for this event enables us to service all of our customers effectively. And in the end, our customer’s successful productions are the only award we need.”

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

About the Vitec Group
Capture the moment(tm)

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

HARMAN Professional and KD’s Southern Cuisine Bring Upscale Dining and Entertainment to Oklahoma City’s Bricktown

OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma – Bricktown, Oklahoma City’s entertainment district, just got a lot more entertaining with the opening of KD’s Southern Cuisine (www.kdsbricktown.com), an elegant dining establishment that serves up Southern culinary favorites for lunch and dinner – and when it’s late in the evening, transforms into a nightclub with DJs, dancing and live music, all served up through a HARMAN Professional audio system.

The design brief given to Norman, OK system integrator Pro Presenters, LLC and its President/CEO, Steve Patrick, was clear: the ownership group wanted KD’s to have an upscale look and feel, and “New York City club-level audio where we could really push some sound pressure levels.” However, to keep the open, contemporary interior design undisturbed, the sound system had to be completely hidden from view.

KD’s is divided into four areas – dining room, bar, private lounge and patio – and the system had to cover the sonic gamut from subtle background music to live bands and DJs pounding out the volume. In the bar area in particular the owners were insistent upon having dance club-capable SPL, but with so much emphasis placed on the décor, there was no room to hang loudspeakers, let alone large ones. There were also some unique architectural challenges and solutions – including a motorized glass window that runs the length of one wall of the dining room. When the window is closed the bar can get loud while the dining room maintains a lower noise level.

For the bar area, Pro Presenters needed a loudspeaker that could fit into the wall behind the bar while delivering the requisite volume. The company went with 12 JBL AC15 ultra-compact loudspeakers, inset into the framework and placed at a height and in locations to ensure even, unbroken coverage throughout the room. The bar has a floating ceiling, which included a cavity where Patrick and his team had room to install four JBL ASB 6112 compact subwoofers.

Adjacent to the bar is a small performance area for DJs and live bands, where four JBL VRX928LA compact constant curvature loudspeakers and two VRX918S subwoofers are mounted on each side of the stage. “These are perfect for this kind of application,” Patrick noted – “they’re small and don’t get in the way of anything but are full-range and sound really good.” Two more VRX928’s and a VRX918 are located in the private lounge.

The main dining room and two private dining areas (which can be combined into a larger private dining room for bigger affairs) required music that could go from a gentle background level to something louder. Patrick wanted to install loudspeakers in the ceiling but had to work around a number of large circular hanging lighting fixtures. However, the ceiling also had several openings in which additional LED lights were installed – and these openings were also large enough to accommodate 14 JBL Control 26C coaxial ceiling loudspeakers and four Control 19CS in-ceiling subwoofers. In addition, two Control 26C loudspeakers were placed in the ceiling in each of the two private dining rooms, and four Control 28 indoor/outdoor loudspeakers are mounted in the outside patio area.

The loudspeakers are powered by a total of nine Crown amplifiers, a mix of DSi 6000, DSi 2000, CDi 1000, CDi 4000, 280A and 180A models. “These amps just made sense for this installation – their onboard processing enabled us to easily tailor their frequency balance, and other parameters to the loudspeakers, subwoofers and room acoustics. The 280A works in conjunction with a push-to-talk mic in the kitchen so the backline workers in the kitchen can hear what’s going on up front, and the 180A is simply one of the best amplifier values out there,” said Patrick.

A Soundcraft Si Performer digital live sound console handles both lighting and sound for the stage and main dining areas. Patrick chose the Performer because “we felt like it was two consoles in one. One person can do it all – mix the sound for both rooms and control all the lights with onboard DMX-based scene recalls. It’s amazing how much capability is built into this console.” He noted that thanks to the console’s built-in reverb, compression and effects, it also eliminated a lot of rack components they would otherwise have needed in the system.

“The ownership group couldn’t be more pleased with the way the KD’s installation turned out,” Patrick concluded. “The system is completely unobtrusive visually, and perfectly suits KD’s dual requirement for a system that can play quieter music during the day and get everybody dancing at night with sound quality that rivals that of any nightclub.”

HARMAN 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 14,800 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $4.7 billion for the last twelve months ended December 31, 2013.

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