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University of Utah is Taking Care of Business with Matrox Monarch HD

Matrox_Monarch_HD_UofUtah_student_350pix

Picture this. Salt Lake City. Three feet of snow and wind blowing outside, cold and fever, and to top it off, having a bad hair day. Enough reasons for even the most diligent student to stay in bed! But there is one important class at the David Eccles School of Business that simply can’t be missed. Not to worry, with the new classroom studio enabled by Matrox Monarch HD, all classroom activities, including lectures and white board content are captured and streamed live so students don’t miss a single thing. The classes are made available online on demand as well for future reference.

At the core of the classroom studio is the Matrox Monarch HD streaming and recording appliance. The School of Business was looking for a nice and simple process where they could take the recorded class content and provide it to its video distribution and streaming services with a quick turnaround. Software based applications fell short of expectations. In addition, the school wanted to have high quality recordings that could be edited by non-linear editors and uploaded online as course content that the students could view on demand.

Mark Fowles, AV and Technology Support Specialist at the David Eccles School of Business, summed up the reasons why he homed in on Matrox Monarch HD:

• With software based applications, the computer that the software was running on would lock up in the middle of a recording, and all data was lost. A decision was made to find a product that worked more like an appliance.

• Software based uncompressed video capture produced large sized files – about 500 GB for an hour’s worth of video. With Matrox Monarch HD, a two hour lecture produced compressed files less than 2 GB in size.

• When compression was available with software based applications, the overall quality of the video suffered. With Matrox Monarch HD’s H.264 encoder, pristine quality recordings were produced.

• Other options considered limited the encoding and streaming to be done at the same bit rate only. Matrox Monarch HD was the only option that provided the flexibility to record videos at a much higher quality, independent from the streaming bit rate. One could record at up to 25 Mbps if required and stream at up to 5 Mbps simultaneously.

Fowles states, “With its video recording and streaming capabilities, stability, and competitive price, I am pleased with the Matrox Monarch HD. For us, the biggest criteria were reliability and simplicity – and the Matrox Monarch HD fit both of those very nicely.”

The Set Up
Classrooms where the courses are recorded are fitted with two remote cameras mounted on the wall and another camera on a tripod, all connected to a production switcher placed on a cart. The input to the Matrox Monarch HD appliance is connected to the output of the production switcher. The video recording settings are pre-configured to capture at 1280 x 720 resolution, 4 Mbps bit rate, and 30 frames per second.

In addition, a simpler, more portable solution is also conceived using a second Monarch HD. The HDMI output of a portable JVC camera is connected to the input of the second Monarch HD. A SATA (laptop) hard drive is used to store the recordings and it easily plugs into the output (USB port) of the Matrox Monarch HD appliance.

An AMX control room system is used to remotely control the computer and projectors in the classroom setting. By using the simple Monarch HD Control API, the Monarch HD appliance as well can be controlled by the AMX system.

The Process
Within minutes, a facilitator in the class, usually a Teaching Assistant, can be taught to take on the role of a production crew – to switch cameras, and easily control the recording and streaming by pushing the one touch Stream/Record buttons conveniently located on the front of the Monarch HD.

The classroom recordings are captured as MP4 files. At the end of the class, the SATA drive with the captured video files is simply unplugged, taken to the lecturer’s office, reviewed, edited, and processed with quick turnaround times. The NLE (non-linear editor) of choice is Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2014. The edited class content files are then uploaded to a video sharing platform called Kaltura which is used to store and stream the video. To build online course content, files from Kaltura are embedded into a course management system called Canvas. The students then get access to the courses through the Canvas system.

Using the RTMP protocol and Matrox Monarch HD, the School of Business is streaming live through YouTube at 1.2 to 1.5 Mbps, and it is working beautifully, “just gorgeous”, according to Fowles. They do this by creating a profile in YouTube and uploading the XML file into the Matrox Monarch HD appliance.

Fowles comments, “Matrox Monarch HD does such a nice job of capturing content at higher compress rates, giving us smaller files, that it really makes our turnaround process for recordings faster, smoother, and that’s why we have gone that way.”

The Results
The School of Business has gone from streaming one or two classes a year to two or three classes a week now! Given the increased interest, over the next year, they see the possibility of two or three classes being streamed simultaneously.

Currently providing online courses, the School of Business is looking to expand into providing an online degree.

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The Wave Builds With Martin Audio Subs

The Wave WS218Xs

Las Vegas, NV––Specializing in audio production, rentals and sales, The Wave recently added a dozen of Martin Audio’s popular WS218X subwoofers to its growing inventory.

Asked about the purchase, owner Scott Fisher responds, “We wanted additional low end reinforcement for live shows and DJ events and chose the Martin Audio WS218X because it’s a good sounding, high output subwoofer from a brand known and respected by engineers and audio people around the world. Getting these was a win-win all the way around.”

Scott also has a full Martin Audio monitor rig consisting of 14 x LE1200s, which he likes because “they’re rider friendly, work well and are very reliable.”

The first outing for the new subwoofers was a country concert at Drai’s Nightclub at the Cromwell Las Vegas and Casino featuring Texas artist Pat Green as headliner and opening act The Dirty River Boys.

As Scott explains, “the concert took place during National Finals Rodeo, a 10-day event when Las Vegas gets very country because the event sells out the Thomas and Mack Center which seats over 18,000 people.

“In terms of the show, everything went really well with the subs even though it was the first time out. The FOH engineers for both bands, Luke Wilbanks for the Dirty River Boys and Braxton Henry for Pat Green, were super happy. They thought everything sounded great.

“The guy in charge of sound at Drai’s, who usually prefers another brand of speakers, thought the WS218X’s sounded really good and tight. He we was so impressed that we already have other shows booked in the room.”

“After the show,” Scott concludes, “my systems tech, who was also very impressed, told me that we’d made a really good purchase. I knew the WS218X’s were going to perform well, but the overall reaction has been way more positive than I expected.”

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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DPA Microphones Help Cats On Trees Deliver A Great Live Sound

Cats On Trees 2

Live sound engineer Verlaine Levis used to think that DPA microphones were only suited to classical music and never imagined that they were also great for pop rock tours. But since using a selection of DPA mics on the current Cats On Trees tour, Levis is the first to admit that his initial perception was entirely wrong.

“When DPA’s French distributor Audio² gave me the opportunity to try the company’s microphones with Cats On Trees, I was happy to accept the challenge,” Levis says. “It didn’t take long to dicover that these great microphones have beefy pickups and are perfectly suited to rock and pop acts. We’re now using three d:facto™ Vocal Microphones, as well as a d:dicate™ ST2011C Stereo Pair with 2011C Compact Cardioids and a number of d:vote™ 4099 Instrument Microphones for drums and violins.”

Levis, who began his career with French sound company Audio-Lum, started working as a live sound engineer in 2001 and has toured with the likes of Sidilarsen, Claude Sicre, Bombs 2 Bal, Zebda, Magyd Cherfi and Mouss and Hakim. He is also building a strong reputation as a recording engineer, having been asked by a number of artists to assist with studio sessions.

Cats On Trees, a French musical duo consisting of Nina Goern and Yohan Hennequin, specialise in ambient indie pop and have released one self-titled album and a number of singles including Sirens Call, which reached No. 3 in the French charts in 2013. The band is now half way through a European tour that will see them play nearly 200 dates in various countries including France, Germany, England and Spain.
“The tour is awesome and they are playing to virtually full houses every time,” Levis says. “Since September they have been performing with a string quartet, but because we have such a busy touring schedule there hasn’t been much time for residency work or to prepare the mix. Therefore the show is being built as we go along.”

Levis runs the Front of House sound, the mix for the In Ear Monitors and the shipment of sequences since he mixes upstream.

“With the help of our lighting person, we have set up a network between sound, light and stage,” he explains. “Yohan controls the lights and video via a MIDI controller, but I am the master of the Mac, which manages the sequences and the network. Feeling comfortable is of ultimate importance to the artist so I try hard to achieve that, but with this duo it is very difficult to create a show that is the same every time because they are constantly changing things.”

The progressive evolution of the show was a key reason why Levis decided to switch to DPA microphones. He had previously used DPA omnidirectional microphones to record voice ensembles and orchestras in churches, therefore he knew of their ability to faithfully recreate the acoustics of a venue. After speaking to Audio², he was able to try out various combinations until he found the microphones that worked for him.

“I had a very clear idea of how each instrument should sound,” he explains. “I wanted to bring a lot of omnidirectional microphones on tour so that I could capture the natural colour of the instruments, but given the on-stage proximity of the drums and piano, this was not possible. As it stands, only the ambient microphones are omnidirectional.”

Levis eventually opted for DPA d:vote 4099 Instrument Microphones for the drum kit and was immediately impressed by the sound, which he describes as ‘very powerful and very natural’.
“These microphones really pick up extreme levels – they are great,” he says. “We now have DPA d:vote 4099s on the bass drum, snare, toms and violin. I even had them as under-cymbals this summer. I am most impressed with the way they capture the sound of the bass drum. I position the mic at the entrance of the drum and slightly inside it. Although the capsule is very small, it still delivers the most amazingly deep, accurate bass.”

Levis is also using DPA d:facto Vocal Microphones, which have solved the feedback issues he was having with other mics. The band has three on stage – one for Yohan on drums and two for Nina as she sings in two different locations.

“For Yohan, the issue was his drum kit,” Levis says. “I was afraid his vocal mic would pick up a lot of extraneous sounds but in fact what I achieved with d:facto was a clarity to his voice that no other mic would have given me. I just had to think carefully about the positioning of his microphone to avoid rear rejection. Furthermore, the d:faco has a very high gain and its gain before feedback is incomparable.”

“As for Nina, well to be honest it was Nina who chose d:facto – not me. We’d tried a number of different mics but it was d:facto that she really liked. I never impose a microphone on a singer and I even made her do a blind test because I wanted to be sure she was 100% comfortable with the way her voice sounded. She immediately noticed the difference and now doesn’t want to sing with any other microphone.”

The fact that DPA microphones deliver a very precise sound has given Levis’ mixes more accuracy and finesse. They have also made everyone more demanding when it comes to sound quality, especially when it comes to tuning drum kits.

“For me, the DPA microphones can be summarized in two words: natural and punchy,” Levis says. “What’s more they are very rugged. I’ve broken three microphones so far on this tour, but not a single one of them has been a DPA.”

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About DPA
DPA Microphones is the leading Danish Professional Audio manufacturer of high quality condenser microphone solutions for professional applications. DPA’s ultimate goal is to provide you – whether you’re in live sound, recording, theater or broadcast – with the absolute finest possible microphone solutions for your tasks. DPA takes no shortcuts in the design processes nor makes any compromises in manufacturing, which is all done at the DPA factory in Denmark. As a result, DPA’s products are globally praised for their exceptional clarity and transparency, unparalleled specifications, supreme reliability, and above all, pure, uncolored and undistorted sound.
For more information, please visit www.dpamicrophones.com

DPA Microphones Go On The Road With Bombay Bicycle Club

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Earlier this month indie rock luminaries Bombay Bicycle Club became the very last band to play London’s legendary Earl’s Court venue, which is soon to be demolished. The band took to the stage as part of an epic world tour, which not only highlighted the success of their So Long, See You Tomorrow album but also allowed them to use DPA microphones extensively on the road for the first time.

And if delivering the last ever gig at Earl’s Court wasn’t enough, Bombay Bicycle Club also happily accepted a special guest when Pink Floyd’s Dave Gilmour joined them on stage. Gilmour first played steel lap guitar on the band’s song Rinse Me Down, before giving an emotional rendition of Wish You Were Here, backed by Bombay Bicycle Club. As with all of the performances that night – and during the entire tour – DPA microphones were on hand to ensure exception audio quality.
Dave Gilmour

Tour Manager Steven Down has been working with the band for five years. He says: “Jon Burton, the previous FoH engineer, brought the DPA d:facto™ Vocal Microphone to our attention while he was reviewing equipment for one of the pro audio magazines. Jack Steadman (lead vocals) gave it a go during the warm up tour we did at the start of this campaign and he was very impressed with the clarity compared to the dynamic mics we had been using previously. Shortly afterwards we obtained a capsule to use on our Sennhesier wireless system for Liz Lawrence who does a lot of backing vocals in the show. More recently we have started using d:dicate™ 2011C Twin Diaphragm Cardioid units on the kick and snare and some d:vote™ 4099 Instrument Microphones on the toms with great results.”

Downs adds that the Bombay Bicycle Club show moves from songs with loud distorted guitars and heavy drums to quiet and intimate piano and vocal solos. “I think the dynamic range and the frequency response of the d:facto really allows Jack to perform with confidence in all situations,” he says.

Steadman himself is certainly a fan of the d:facto Vocal Microphone.

“The wonderfully clear, bright sound of the mic means I don’t have to mess around endlessly with EQ to get the results I want,” he says.

Also happily not messing around with EQ too much is Simon Lutkin, freelance sound engineer and production manager who first took over monitors for the band during their Different Kind Of Fix tour in 2012.

“We have drums, bass, guitars, keys, percussion, backing vocals and a brass section onstage during the show — it can get pretty busy!” he says of the current set-up. “Currently the show is around 40 channels but both Tom Wiggans (FoH) and myself try to keep the channel count down as much as we can. A lot of the shows we do are festivals and rolling in with too much can be a problem for broadcast and patch.”

Everyone has in-ear mics, but Lutkin also uses wedges on the downstage edge and side-fills to add feeling. Add to that up to nine people at any one time and the stage can get pretty full.

“With that many on stage, any help I can get through technology is great,” Lutkin says. “I use scenes for each song to make small changes automatically through the show so I can keep my eye on the band. The d:facto Vocal Microphone really helps control the ambience for the main singers. Compared to other mics, as well as having a pretty tight pickup pattern, the overall tone of the spill is much nicer to listen to. In a live scenario you are always up against bleed from other sources, but with this set of mics the spill is much more pleasant sounding and therefore can be a help rather than a hindrance.”

All of the band’s DPA mics were supplied by the company’s UK distributor Sound Network. Alongside the d:facto, the tour configuration sees Lutkin use d:dicate 2011C mics on both kick and snare because they are small enough to be deployed exactly where he wants them and light enough to stay in place without putting any pressure on the stand or clamp. d:vote 4099 Instrument Microphones are also in use for rack, floor, crash, ride and the brass section.

To maintain consistency the group carries all the mics and IEMs with them internationally, simply hiring in consoles locally (a DiGico SD7 for FoH and Midas Pro2c for monitors), thus ensuring that the signal path from source to output is the same each day.
bombay-bicycle-saxophone-VO4099S_w
“In a live scenario you can’t always place mics exactly where you want for a variety of reasons, so having a set of mics that work well wherever you put them is a real positive,” concludes Lutkin. “All the DPA mics we use on Bombay, like all the ones I have used in the past, never fail to impress day after day. Since populating the stage with DPA microphones it has really made a difference to the quality of the overall sound of the show.”
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About DPA
DPA Microphones is the leading Danish Professional Audio manufacturer of high quality condenser microphone solutions for professional applications. DPA’s ultimate goal is to provide you – whether you’re in live sound, recording, theater or broadcast – with the absolute finest possible microphone solutions for your tasks. DPA takes no shortcuts in the design processes nor makes any compromises in manufacturing, which is all done at the DPA factory in Denmark. As a result, DPA’s products are globally praised for their exceptional clarity and transparency, unparalleled specifications, supreme reliability, and above all, pure, uncolored and undistorted sound.
For more information, please visit www.dpamicrophones.com

Tampa Bay Lightning Drives Instant Replays of NHL Game Action with Tightrope Media System

NHL franchise finds operational value in ZEPLAY instant replay system’s speed, reliability, affordability and ergonomic design

ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA, December 16, 2014 — The Tampa Bay Lightning is giving its fans at Amalie Arena more to follow beyond the high-intensity NHL action on the ice. As part of a recent $65 million renovation that includes a new production control room and the largest indoor video board in a North American arena, Tightrope Media Systems’ ZEPLAY slo-mo instant replay solution is delivering impactful, in-game highlights with the same lightning-fast speed as the front line.

amalie

Amalie Arena lightning-hockey-bowl

The Tampa Bay Lightning chose ZEPLAY based on its speed, cost, reliability and streamlined operation, replacing an existing EVS replay system. ZEPLAY’s multichannel capability (four in, four out) makes multiple streams available for playout just seven frames after camera feed selection. The team’s production staff displays replays and highlights on a giant, four-sided Daktronics LED video display positioned high above the ice at Amalie Arena, the 20,000-seat facility—formerly known as Tampa Bay Times Forum—where home games are played. The immense display measures 28 x 50 feet on its larger sides and 28 x 20 feet on the smaller sides facing the goals.

“As the game unfolds, Lightning fans want to see a replay of that save or that goal, or any exciting play moments after it happens. ZEPLAY keeps our fans happy by giving them all the replays they want without delay,” said Jorge Rosell, director of broadcast production systems for the Tampa Bay Lightning.

“The issue of speed goes beyond how quickly the crowd gets to see a replay,” he continued. “Before it becomes part of our live show, our director has to see it first. The faster we obtain his approval, the faster we can get it out to the video board. ZEPLAY simplifies the whole process because the operator only has to look at one screen to see the video choices, and all of the key features and functions are easily accessible from the controller’s T-Bar.”

Speed also comes into play when ZEPLAY is used to furnish official replays to the referees. This occurs often during video production for The Tampa Bay Storm, the Arena Football League (AFL) team that also calls Amalie Arena home. Since there are usually no broadcast trucks or rights holders associated with AFL games, Rosell said they often provide official replays and live-stream their big board show, including ZEPLAY replays and highlight packages, via the team’s website.

During the recent renovation, the production control room—which has a floor to ceiling window overlooking center-ice—went 1080i HD with ZEPLAY, a new Ross Carbonite 24 2-M/E production switcher and a Chyron Lex 3 live graphics system. After discovering that the existing EVS system was too cost-prohibitive to upgrade, Rosell began looking at more affordable options that wouldn’t compromise operational features or reliability. He approached the Ottawa Senators NHL team in Canada to inquire how they liked their two ZEPLAY systems.

“The Senators were the first NHL team to choose ZEPLAY, and they were very happy with it, noting its ease of use in addition to its affordability,” Rosell said. “We jumped at the opportunity to be the second NHL arena to get a ZEPLAY.”

Tampa Bay Lightning games are covered by up to 12 cameras, including studio/field, robotic, goal-cams and wireless units. With four HD-SDI inputs/outputs, ZEPLAY accesses camera signals from a Pesa Cheetah house router. Besides creating instant replays, the system also plays out B-Roll, including highlight packages, directly to the video boards during show opens and intermissions. When lower-third supers, keys, mortices or other video effects are needed, ZEPLAY’s output goes through the Carbonite switcher/Chyron Lex production chain before display on the large board inside the bowl.

In the near future, ZEPLAY will also send replays to a custom app that lets fans view them on their smartphones and mobile devices inside the arena.

About Tightrope Media Systems

Founded in 1997, Tightrope Media Systems is the pioneer of web-centric digital signage and broadcast automation systems. It provides station automation, video servers, internet video on demand, live streaming, the Carousel Digital Signage system, and ZEPLAY, a multi-channel instant replay machine for stadiums, arenas and Outside Broadcast vehicles. Tightrope’s award winning systems are used throughout the world. You can reach Tightrope Media Systems at (866) 866-4118 or visit them on the web at http://www.trms.com.

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DPA Microphones Get a ‘Royal’ Seal of Approval

Royal Blood 3

Mercury Prize nominees Royal Blood, one of the breakthrough bands of the year, have been using a range of DPA microphones on their recent UK tour.

“We use DPA’s d:facto™ Vocal Microphone on vocals and d:vote™ 4099 Instrument Microphones on snare bottoms and toms,” says Front of House engineer Phil Jones from Output Audio. “I was never a fan of snare bottom and now literally can’t imagine not using one.”

Jones adds that he is now a confirmed fan of the quality that DPA microphones deliver.

“They just sound great. The d:facto Vocal Microphone is genius. Even in a small club I can get it as loud as most dynamic mics without hideous feedback, but the sound quality and ‘intelligibility’ is still there. Both the d:facto and the d:vote 4099s sound very natural without having to use any obvious big cuts and boosts. It makes for a far better starting point EQ and processing-wise, as long as your source is good.”

Brighton-based Royal Blood consist of bassist & vocalist Mike Kerr and drummer Ben Thatcher. Jones started off playing the drums himself and so has a fine appreciation of the amount of spirited abuse Thatcher gives his kit.

“Honestly, I didn’t think the d:vote 4099s would survive with the way Ben plays drums,” Jones says. “A couple of times in the summer he pushed the whole drum kit over and I was mildly terrified what I would find when the risers got pushed round. But, fingers crossed, no problems so far. The d:vote 4099s are so small and discreet they just stay out of the way, which is extremely important. They sound very natural; they sound like the drums! I do very minimal EQ work and that’s what we like — natural sound.”

Working with a duo, even one as energetic and sonically bombastic as Royal Blood, brings a certain degree of precision to Jones’ work. “With only 17 channels to work with, it has to be perfect,” he says. “You’re not going to get away with losing the third keyboard or second backing vocal in a mix. If something is slightly off, you’re in big trouble; there’s nowhere for anything to hide. I’m constantly on my toes, but it does leave quite a bit of room for interesting FX and creativity.”

As part of that creative experimentation Jones has been using a DPA d:discreet™ 4091 Omni-Directional Miniature Microphone on Thatcher’s kick for a couple of months now and says that it has been an eye-opening experience.
“I come from more of a jazz background and for that, it would be amazing,” he says. “Outdoors, with lots of sub, and control of the sub especially, it’s brilliant. I get some extra bottom end that I can’t put my finger on and I love it.”

Royal Blood’s autumn tour and subsequent clutch of European dates were thrown into disarray when Kerr went down with tonsillitis. However, dates are being rescheduled, and it’s almost easier to find places where they aren’t playing in 2015 than where they are, with a support slot on a North American tour with the Foo Fighters being one of the highlights.

And where Royal Blood goes, from Europe to North America, Australia and beyond, Jones and his DPA mics go too.

“All of our DPA microphones were supplied by the company’s UK distributor Sound Network,” Jones says. “We now fly the mics round the world and use them for everything. We have some very expensive mics, but the results are fantastic and consistency is key. That’s especially true for broadcast when we can’t have total control, but we just turn up, turn it all up, and basically it sounds great.”

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About DPA
DPA Microphones is the leading Danish Professional Audio manufacturer of high quality condenser microphone solutions for professional applications. DPA’s ultimate goal is to provide you – whether you’re in live sound, recording, theater or broadcast – with the absolute finest possible microphone solutions for your tasks. DPA takes no shortcuts in the design processes nor makes any compromises in manufacturing, which is all done at the DPA factory in Denmark. As a result, DPA’s products are globally praised for their exceptional clarity and transparency, unparalleled specifications, supreme reliability, and above all, pure, uncolored and undistorted sound.
For more information, please visit www.dpamicrophones.com

Discovering New Uses For The Martin Audio MLA Mini

MLA Mini J Roddy Walston 1

By E. Wayne Sowder

My ultimate goal as a Front of House engineer is to make sure the artist has a clear pathway to each member of his or her audience. That’s why I’m always researching new products, networking with other techs and remaining my own toughest critic as I work to sharpen my skills.

Time is the most unforgiving factor in live sound production, and everyone has fought a losing battle against the clock trying to solve unexpected problems. So discovering tools that increase audio performance and reduce the amount of system set up and tuning time is really exciting. These tools are especially important to regional sound companies who provide systems and techs for a diverse mix of musical genres and venues on a one off basis.

When RMB Audio added Martin Audio MLA Mini enclosures to an inventory that already included the MLA Compact system, the sound techs started evaluating the system using the factory presets for basic “speaker on a stick” configurations. It wasn’t until Matt Johnson began testing the VU-NET network features that we discovered the software had presets for “Single” and “Double” front fills.

Typically, we’d used Martin Audio W8LM cabinets equally spaced on the downstage edge. Substituting the powered MLA Mini speakers for lip fills would allow the entire system to be controlled on the same network, saving setup time and facilitating control, eliminate the need to carry an amp rack, occupy a smaller footprint on the stage and in the truck pack.

At the time, the next show requiring lip fills was at the Red Hat Amphitheater in Raleigh, North Carolina for the “Rock and Roll Marathon” with New Politics, a Danish Dance-Rock band, headlining and Love Canon, a regional bluegrass band, opening the show. We decided to use the MLA Mini in the single configuration since it was the closest to our normal front fill package.

MLA Mini Love Canon 2

The first thing we noticed after turning on the Minis was the voicing similarity between the MLA Compact main hang and the front fills. Walking from the coverage of the main hang into the coverage of the front fills the clarity remained constant without adding additional EQ.

Moving onstage, we immediately noticed that the MLA Mini also mirrored the excellent rear rejection characteristics of larger MLA systems. This was very helpful since the Love Canon microphones were in close proximity to the front fills.

We chose to deploy the MLA Minis in double-stacked mode for artists with a louder stage volume, such as Parliament Funkadelic and J Roddy Walston & The Business. The results were impressive, using the “Double” program in VU-NET compensated for any variations caused by adding additional cabinets and provided a front fill package that caused several FOH engineers to comment that they’d mixed shows where the mains weren’t that strong or sounded that good.

For a Nickel Creek concert at the Roanoke Performing Arts Theater, we worked with their FOH Engineer David Sinko who has a very interesting process of sound checking where he mixes in mono, plays 30s music and is very discerning. When I told him that the less you do to the MLA system, the happier you’ll be if distance and elevation data is drawn correctly, that’s exactly what he wanted to hear. He doesn’t like to spend the entire day tweaking a system.

We were walking the room with David before the show and it seemed like in the center three or four rows back the front fills seemed to be in front of the system and the Main hangs were disappearing or being overpowered by MLA Minis. We decided to shorten the start of the main coverage and David asked if we’d have to rehang the speakers and I told him we could do it all on the computer via the VU-NET system, which definitely surprised him.

MLA Mini New Politics

Matt Johnson, RMB Audio’s MLA tech for that show quickly changed the start coverage of the main hang using only the MLA software and moments later David re-walked the coverage and was very pleased with the results. The group had the chance to an extended rehearsal that day which allowed all of RMB’s techs to evaluate and experience the performance of the combined MLA systems. Walking and sitting in various parts of the venue from front row to the last row in the balcony confirmed that each audience member would hear the same mix that David was hearing at the FOH position.

RMB Audio also deployed the MLA Mini in a unique way at the Koka Booth amphitheater for a performance by Josh Groban and the North Carolina symphony. The venue has an area of tall trees that provide shade from the sun at house right where many patrons have begun seating themselves. Because the area was too far off axis from the main hang to provide quality audio, Robert Weddings of RMB suggested that we use an additional MLA Mini four-box, one sub system to provide coverage for the area. I wasn’t on the show, but I heard from all of the techs that the boxes were projecting far back into the house, with full range coverage 150 feet back.

The fact that the MLA Minis are on the VU-NET network makes them an integral solution for any changes in terms of EQ, time alignment and the ability to monitor how hard the system’s being pushed or how much headroom you have.

MLA Mini J  Roddy Walston 3

When we first set up the MLA Mini at the Red Hat amphitheater in Raleigh, we were walking house left to house right and the transition from the main hangs to front fills was transparent retaining all of the clarity and intelligibility. The surprising thing was when we did groups with more stage volume and used the double front fills, there was a nice low mid energy coming off of them, so it never sounded thin nor overwhelmed by the stage volume.

The Mini front fills can keep up with some pretty loud stages. They are surprisingly powerful boxes that easily carry from edge of stage to front of house position.

Overall, MLA lets the laws of physics work for us by only putting sound where people are instead of sending it to every part of the room and generating reflections and other noise. The technology has become a game-changer in delivering sound and how the system should sound because without all of the room reflections and clutter, the mix becomes much cleaner and more defined, especially in terms of getting a better stereo field throughout the house.

Photos: New Politics, Love Canon, J Roddy Walston & the Business,

For more about Martin Audio, please click 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.

DPA Appoints New Distributors In South East Asia and Taiwan

AV-United, Ken Kimura & Chin Foo Heng

DPA Microphones has reorganised its distribution channels in South East Asia by appointing new distributors in Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and Taiwan.

Ken Kimura, DPA’s general manager for the APAC region, says the appointments reflect the company’s ongoing commitment to develop new business channels and support DPA’s influential customer base.

“Sales in virtually every APAC country are showing growth as the market recognises the quality and breadth of DPA’s product range,” he says.

Francis Lai, DPA’s Regional Sales Manager, continues: “With our new distribution channels in place, we are now better able to promote DPA microphones and increase brand awareness in many industry areas including broadcast, film, theatre, installation, conferencing and security.”

The new appointments include AV United in Malaysia (www.av-united.com); Vision One Co. Ltd in Thailand (www.visionone.co.th); Pro AVL in Vietnam (www.proavl-group.com); Promedia in Indonesia (www.promediasolution.com) and Shin Lee Sheng Music Corp. (SLS) in Taiwan.

Chin Foo Heng, Managing Director of AV United says: “We are very proud to be appointed as DPA distributor in Malaysia as this not only enhances our company status but also enables AV-United to deliver unique high quality microphones and thereby lead the industry to a higher standard. DPA Microphones is a reference, a standard, a MUST-HAVE item in the audio solution.”

Tanapat Mongkolkosol, Managing Director of Vison One, Thailand, adds: “We guide our customers by identifying which equipment is the best solution for them. DPA is one of these solutions because it offers high quality microphones that are easy to use, with great sonic results fit for recording and live sound productions.”

For more information please contact Ken Kimura at kek@dpamicrophones.com.
-ends-

About DPA
DPA Microphones is the leading Danish Professional Audio manufacturer of high quality condenser microphone solutions for professional applications. DPA’s ultimate goal is to provide you – whether you’re in live sound, recording, theater or broadcast – with the absolute finest possible microphone solutions for your tasks. DPA takes no shortcuts in the design processes nor makes any compromises in manufacturing, which is all done at the DPA factory in Denmark. As a result, DPA’s products are globally praised for their exceptional clarity and transparency, unparalleled specifications, supreme reliability, and above all, pure, uncolored and undistorted sound.
For more information, please visit www.dpamicrophones.com

Prism Sound Makes Its Audio Interfaces Even More Affordable

Prism Sound Atlas

As part of its commitment to offering customers the best possible value, Prism Sound has introduced a new pricing structure for three of its critically acclaimed audio interfaces.

The new pricing structure, which significantly reduces the cost of purchasing a Prism Sound Lyra 1, Lyra 2, Titan and Atlas audio interface, has been applied globally and is being backed by a special Christmas offer of a further 5% discount.

“We are adjusting our pricing to reflect the continuing evolution of the pro audio market,” says Prism Sound’s Sales and Marketing Director Graham Boswell. “This area of the pro audio business has exploded in recent years with vast numbers of musicians, producers, DJ’s and others entering the market with project or home studio and mobile applications for audio interfaces. These changes mean that we can offer lower prices and enable many more people to enjoy the premium sound quality that we strive for in our products.”

The new prices see the cost of a Lyra 1 audio interface dropping to just £995 plus VAT $1,745). Equally large reductions have been applied to the other interfaces, especially the Atlas which is reduced by more than £1,000 ($1,700).

“All of our audio interface products have been carefully designed to meet customer needs, and every one of them incorporates the same no-compromise design and acclaimed converter performance that users have long come to expect from Prism Sound’s high quality audio products,” Graham Boswell adds. “By making these units even more affordable, we aim to help spread the word about improving the quality of digital audio for today’s consumers. This is a cause that has been championed by leading figures in the global music business such as Sir Paul McCartney, Neil Young and many others.”

Prism Sound’s Lyra 1, Lyra 2, Titan and Atlas USB interfaces incorporate Prism Sound’s latest and award-winning CleverClox clocking technology and the company’s popular mic pre’s as standard. Each one offers recording professionals the ultimate in audio quality and ease of use.

Prism Sound will be showing its entire product range, including its flagship ADA-8XR modular converter, at CES Suites #29-217 and 219, at Venetian Towers, Las Vegas from January 6th – 9th 2015, and at NAMM 2015 in Los Angeles, from January 22nd – 25th (Booth 7120).

For more information about Prism Sound products and the new pricing structure, please visit www.prismsound.com or contact your nearest Prism Sound dealer.

-ends-

About Prism Sound
Founded in 1987, Prism Sound manufacture high-quality professional digital audio equipment for the International broadcast, film, music production, manufacturing and telecommunications sectors. The company’s product range includes the Prism ADA-8XR precision 8-channel converter unit, which is regularly used for music and film soundtrack projects by clients such as EMI Abbey Road, BBC, Sony, Lucasfilm and Walt Disney. Prism Sound also manufactures a range of audio test and measurement products, including the dScope Series III audio analyser system.

Prism Sound’s Lyra 2 Makes its Las Vegas Debut

Luca Pretolesi

Studio DMI, a private facility that focuses on mixing and mastering electronic music, has incorporated a range of Prism Sound equipment, including a Lyra 2 audio interface that is being used to record mixes and A/B two different sound sources.

Based in Las Vegas, Studio DMI is owned by European Music Market Inc, which also owns two publishing companies and an entry level entertainment service company called Weebang. EUMM also operates The Studio at The Wynn, a high-end recording facility in The Wynn Casino Hotel that is made available to very high end producers and artists performing at The Wynn’s venues.

Ronnie F Lee, CEO of EUMM, says: “Studio DMI is more than a studio – it is a concept based on the engineer lifestyle and creative process. Literally speaking, we have combined the word ‘studio, which means study in Italian, with DMI, which stands for digital music innovation. The basic philosophy comes from the heart, soul and mind of Luca Pretolesi, who is the creative side of our business and handles all the engineering and training of our engineering associates. Luca has 25 years’ experience of producing, performing, mixing, mastering and pioneering electronic music. This has given him a very unique grasp on the EDM industry.”

The choice of Prism Sound equipment was taken by Pretolesi after he visited the Winter Music Conference in 2013. He opted for a Prism Sound MEA-2 Equaliser, an MLA-2 Compressor and a Lyra 2 audio interface, which he installed in Studio DMI along with a new Maselec MTC-1X stereo mastering console.

“The MTC1 serves as the brain for the entire studio. It is like the hub between the mixing and mastering process,” Luca Pretolesi says. “Even before mastering, it acts as a great way to monitor multiple sources with no latency or added colour, check mono compatibility and side information – and it is all done with one finger. During mastering, it is also great to have the ability to flip between inputs, mid/side information and add parallel processing with just your hands. It allows you to make changes very quickly using only your ears rather than a mouse and your eyes.”

Pretolesi adds that, based on his 20-plus years of experience, the Prism Sound MLA-2 is by far the most transparent and musical compressor he has ever heard.

“You can really get it pumping but it doesn’t colour the sound,” he says. “I usually use a low ratio with a slow attack but it is very versatile and you can do a lot of very versatile compression.”

Pretolesi is equally impressed with his Prism Sound MEA-2 Equaliser that, like the MLA-2, is mostly used during the final stage of the mastering process.

“I usually spilt this into two parts,” he explains, “the top end, which I use for more surgical EQ-ing and the low end, between 40-300hz, which gives the sounds a great attitude and weight. The MEA-2 is capable of some very heavy lifting on the low end without losing the transients or the overall sound.”

Studio DMI’s Lyra 2 audio interface plays a bigger role in the recording and mixing process than in mastering.

“We included the Lyra 2 because we were looking for a fantastic converter to capture our mixes with the great high end sound that Prism Sound is known for,” Pretolesi says. “However, we also wanted the ability to A/B two sources, which we can do with Lyra 2 because it is a two in/four out interface.”

Studio DMI is now using its Lyra 2 to record a mix while also comparing it to reference tracks.

“Non-traditionally, I also use it musically by clipping the input to achieve a certain sound on a lot of my mixes,” Luca Pretolesi adds.

Studio DMI is primarily Luca Pretolesi’s facility, while the Wynn Studio operated by Studio DMI attracts high profile producers and artists such as Diplo, Lil Jon, Gareth Emery, MakJ and Morgan Page.

“We are currently in the process of creating an educational division to spread Luca’s passion and knowledge about mixing and mastering electronic music,” Ronnie F Lee adds. “This will be a unique learning opportunity that targets post graduates from more traditional schools and focuses on application more than theory.

The first three day workshop under the Studio DMI.edu brand will run in the first quarter of 2015, in either Las Vegas or Los Angeles. Courses will be offered in English, with other languages made available later in the year.

-ends-

About Prism Sound
Founded in 1987, Prism Sound manufacture high-quality professional digital audio equipment for the International broadcast, film, music production, manufacturing and telecommunications sectors. The company’s product range includes the Prism ADA-8XR precision 8-channel converter unit, which is regularly used for music and film soundtrack projects by clients such as EMI Abbey Road, BBC, Sony, Lucasfilm and Walt Disney. Prism Sound also manufactures a range of audio test and measurement products, including the dScope Series III audio analyser system.

For more information: www.prismsound.com

About

Stay up to date on the latest technology news. Select press representatives post company news several times a day. Check back often to get the latest news on product releases, mergers and acquisitions, and product applications. To be included in this virtual press conference, please contact The Wire.

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