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Delicate And Martin Audio MLA Support Black Crowes

The Black Crowes celebrated a successful tour of outdoor venues with a joyous December concert reunion finale at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco.

Like the tour, the concert featured the Tedeschi Trucks band and The London Souls, with Delicate Productions of San Francisco supporting with a Martin Audio MLA loudspeaker system.

According to Smoother Smyth of Delicate, the tour included sheds ranging from 3,000 to 18,000-capacity with Black Crowes FOH Engineer Bob Coke “over the moon about the MLA system.” Setup for the tour included 11 MLA and one MLD (downfill) per side, 8 MLA Compact per side, and 12 ground-stacked MLX subwoofers.

After the initial summer tour, the Black Crowes continued to tour using local promoter-supplied systems in the fall. But because Delicate and Martin Audio MLA had worked out so well for the band during the summer, the Crowes decided to bring both back for the finale.

The challenge for Delicate was to completely rebuild the disassembled system from scratch so that it was identical to the original touring rig and get it up to San Francisco for an 8:00am load-in and 2:00pm soundcheck with no rehearsal time. As Smoother concludes, “it required a maximum effort on our part, but was well worth it because we were getting a lot of comments the next day about how amazing it sounded. The Graham auditorium is known as a very lively room and MLA allowed us to contain and control the audio really well. It turned out to be a slam-dunk.”

Bob Coke, contacted in France where he lives and works, also had positive comments: “I was initially skeptical about the MLA system. But during my first experience with the MLA Compact at a circular bull fighting arena in the south of France––an acoustically difficult venue––I was truly amazed by the sound quality, color and coverage. An hour before doors we were told that certain sections of the seated area would be vacant. The system tech, Andy Davies, reprogrammed the venue coverage to exclude that section in five minutes. I walked the section and was amazed to hear the difference. It’s what convinced me that the theory behind the MLA system was accurate and reliable. To be able to reprogram where the sound is being sent in a venue without having to physically change how the system is flown is quite remarkable.

“We were touring with the Tedeschi Trucks Band and The London Souls,” Bob continues. ”Each band had their own FOH engineer with different criteria for the system color, but the three of us agreed that the system sounded great. In the mornings when we were loading in the system, we would often hear from the local crews or local sound technicians that the MLA was the best sounding system they had yet heard in their venue. For the size and punch it can’t be beat. It’s also easy to set up and take down.”

Asked about mixing the final concert, he concludes, “The Bill Graham Civic Auditorium is a really decent 7000-seater. I mixed the band for their final show LOUD––louder than the first two acts and the system as well as the venue behaved really well acoustically at that level. I was impressed by the sound of the Tedeschi Trucks band and London Souls, and how sweet the system sounded at their levels. There were a lot of people who stopped by after the show to pay tribute to the sound. The best compliment is when people talk about how great the show was––it’s a sign I’ve done my job well and that people have experienced the music in a direct way without having it ‘filtered’ through a bad sounding system or being distracted by room acoustics or a bad mix.”

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.

DPA Microphones Capture the Sound of Andrea Bocelli’s Orchestra

Andrea Taglia, live sound engineer for the famous Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli, is a huge fan of DPA microphones and rates them as the most technically advanced and sonically transparent microphones on the market.

It is therefore no surprise that Taglia personally owns a selection of DPA microphones and regularly sources additional units whenever he is on tour with Bocelli.

“I’ve been using DPA microphones for many years and bought my first stereo d:dicate™ 4006 Recording Microphone when it was still known by the old Bruel & Kjaer name,” Taglia says. “I first became familiar with the DPA brand when I was using DPA miniature microphones on singers in musical productions. Eventually I began experimenting and started using them on instruments as well, which gave me great results. I’m now a huge fan and have bought quite a few for my own microphone collection, including d:dicate 4006 and 4011 Recording microphones and a selection of d:screet™ 4090 and 4061 Miniature microphones.”

Andrea Taglia began his career in the theatre, mixing audio for plays and musicals and working with directors such as Peter Stein, Bob Wilson, Massimo Castri. He also worked with classical orchestras and jazz musicians and acted as a live sound consultant designing sound systems for touring and fixed installations such as cruise ships.

“I made a conscious decision to stop touring in 2003 when my second son was born, but when I met Andrea in 2006 he persuaded me to go back on the road – although these days I only go on tour with him,” Taglia says.

Bocelli’s most recent concerts have taken place all over the world and in each venue Taglia has supplemented his own DPA collection with additional microphones supplied by DPA’s Italian distributor M. Casale Bauer.

“We used DPA d:screet 4061 Miniature microphones as close proximity mics for the strings – four on first violins, three on second violins, three on violas and three on cellos,” he explains. “We have also been using them for our guest violin soloists and for our guitar duo CARisMA, who usually play at Bocelli’s concerts.

“In large and reverberant venues where the noise floor can be pretty high, it is important to have good close proximity microphones to help reduce feedback and deliver more attack and a more present and detailed sound. This is especially important when the orchestra is playing over pre-recorded tracks.”

Taglia adds that DPA’s wide range of instrument clips and accessories adds an extra dimension to the versatility of the company’s products.

“DPA has always been very careful about providing the correct accessories so that users can get the best from their products,” he says. “For example, the DPA MHS6001 rubber suspension, which we use on strings with the 4061, is a real problem solver as it is universally accepted by every musician, even on very expensive instruments. They are happy to use it because it doesn’t actually touch the instrument. Instead it allows the microphone to float under the strings on the rubber mount.

“I’m also a big fan of the DMM0007 rubber holder as it allows me to position a 4061 miniature microphone very close to the strings on an acoustic guitar without annoying the musician playing it. With this solution I can get the full sound of the instrument in a way that wouldn’t be possible with a pick-up.”

Taglia adds that he uses his own DPA microphones on a daily basis as they are invaluable for live recording work and for aligning sound systems, which is what he does when he isn’t on tour.

“Over the years I have used literally tons of DPA miniature microphones on singers in the theatre and I’ve also used my fair share of d:vote™ 4099 Instrument Microphones on double basses and cellos,” he says. “Every time I need a linear, true microphone that is capable of handling high SPL, I always choose 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

Mumbai’s YRF Studios Equips its Latest Dolby Atmos™ Film Mix Theatre with HARMAN Professional’s JBL and Crown Cinema Systems

MUMBAI, India — YRF (Yash Raj Films) Studios is one of India’s premier film studios and entertainment companies, well known for producing many of the country’s biggest blockbusters and as the number one film distribution house in India. Located in Mumbai, YRF Studios is one of the world’s most well equipped film production studios, boasting three sound stages, two recording theaters, a film mixing studio/theater, dubbing, Foley and tracking suites and a full complement of technical facilities and personal amenities.

YRF Studios’ 116-seat film mixing theater is the largest of its kind in Mumbai and features the best-available audio and video equipment, including a HARMAN JBL 6.1 surround sound loudspeaker system powered by Crown amplifiers, state-of-the-art Dolby Atmos™ 3-dimensional multichannel audio processing, leading-edge digital projection and other advanced technologies.

JBL ScreenArray™ 4632 3-way bi-amplified loudspeakers are installed as the main front, center and right speakers. The JBL 4632 employs a 1.75-inch titanium-diaphragm tweeter, four 6.5-inch midrange drivers and two 15-inch woofers to deliver high volume, superior coverage and uniform power output along with exceptional clarity and resolution. The tweeter and midrange drivers operate into a second-generation Optimized Aperture Waveguide for ultra-low distortion and uniform frequency response while the 4632’s Focused Coverage Technology provides an asymmetrical coverage pattern tilted 10 degrees downward from the horizontal to deliver uniform coverage in either traditional or stadium-seating auditoriums.

“Sound & visual are the two integral parts of cinema, that cannot be treated in isolation. Before we even broke ground on YRF Studios our mandate from Mr. Aditya Chopra was to build and equip it with the finest audio and video components available,” said Anuj Mathur, Chief Recording Engineer at YRF Studios. “We auditioned a number of products on the market and it was clear that HARMAN offered not only the best brands and best performance – they also provided the best customer and technical support. In fact, Ashish Barje, one of the HARMAN Professional engineers based in their Mumbai office, was a key collaborator in the design and installation of YRF Studios.”

The main speakers are complemented by 42 JBL 8340A and 8350 surround speakers, whose high power output and smooth coverage over a wide area make them ideally suited for the stringent sonic demands of Dolby Atmos soundtrack reproduction. Introduced in April 2012, Dolby Atmos has been embraced by all the major Hollywood studios. Dolby Atmos unleashes the potential of sound in storytelling by providing sound experts the creative freedom to easily place or move specific sounds anywhere in the movie theatre. The result is what moviegoers have described as the most engaging and lifelike cinema sound experience ever. The 8340A and 8350 speakers are mounted along the sides and rear and from the ceiling to provide a true three-dimensional sound field. Four JBL 4642A dual-18-inch subwoofers provide powerful and extended low-frequency response, and all the speakers are driven by Crown DSi 4000, DSi 2000 and CTs2000 power amplifiers.

“At Dolby, it has been our constant endeavor to get the best cinematic experiences to the Indian audiences, and HARMAN has been an ideal partner in this ecosystem as it shares a common vision. The association gave us an excellent opportunity to work with HARMAN equipping the renowned YRF Studios with Dolby Atmos. Dolby Atmos is the latest and most innovative cinema sound technology which gives filmmakers unprecedented control over the content, creating a virtual reality of sound by precisely placing and moving sounds within the theatre to make audiences feel as if they too, are in the middle of the onscreen action. In short – Dolby Atmos provides the ultimate in creative control so that audiences in any setting can experience the full impact of your storytelling,” said Mr. Pankaj Kedia, Country Manager, Dolby Laboratories India.

“In order to deliver a truly immersive cinema experience, the audio soundtrack for a film has to be as compelling as the visuals,” said Prashant Govindan, Director, India operations, Harman Professional. It all starts in the production studio – the engineers need to have the right tools to know that what they’re hearing is accurate and will be translated into what moviegoers will enjoy in the cinema. We are gratified that YRF Studios has recognized the superior performance of JBL and Crown in the highly critical application of film sound production and have chosen these products as their sonic references.”

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.

Clair Brothers Gives Cathedral of College Basketball A Righteous Audio Upgrade With HARMAN Professional Components

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania – Dubbed the “Cathedral of College Basketball,” The University of Pennsylvania’s Palestra is one of the country’s most historic college arenas. Founded in 1927, the 8,722-seat Palestra is home to Penn’s Quakers men’s and women’s basketball, volleyball and wrestling teams. It’s known for its unusually intimate seating but not for its sound system—until receiving a new audio system featuring HARMAN’s JBL Professional loudspeakers and Crown amplifiers, courtesy of systems integrator Clair Brothers Audio Systems.

“The existing sound system simply wasn’t meeting the needs of the facility,” said Tim Mazur of Clair Brothers. “It was underpowered and couldn’t compete with the reverberant acoustics of the arena.” After conducting an acoustical analysis of the Palestra, Clair Brothers designed a new system based around JBL VRX932LA-1 Constant Curvature loudspeakers and ASB6118, all powered by Crown amplifiers.

As part of the renovation, Clair Brothers designed and fabricated a custom 2-layer rigging grid that can be raised and lowered from the ceiling, placing it in the optimum position during games and other events and out of the way when not required. The fly grid holds 30 JBL VRX932LA-1 line arrays arranged in six clusters of five each, with eight ASB6118 subs hung from the center. In addition, four JBL AM5212/95 loudspeakers deliver fill sound onto the basketball court. The loudspeakers are powered by one Crown Macro-Tech 5000i and 10 Macro-Tech 9000i amplifiers, linked together by a BSS Audio BLU-160 signal processor with digital audio bus and a BLU-BOB2 break-out box.

“The Palestra is a very difficult acoustic space because it’s highly reverberant, but we were not allowed to apply any acoustical treatment,” Mazur said. Working in conjunction with JBL, Clair Brothers determined the JBL VRX932LA-1 loudspeakers would deliver the most output for the budget thanks to their compact size, ease of installation, and 100 x 15-degree coverage pattern.

“We had a very tight turnaround on the project – only nine weeks from the time of the purchase order was issued to the completion date,” Mazur pointed out. As a result, Clair Brothers hung and tested the entire system at its Manheim, Pennsylvania headquarters before installing it in the Palestra.

“The system sounds great and everyone’s really excited about having it in time for the basketball season,” Mazur concluded.

For more information on Clair Brothers, please visit www.clairsystems.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.

Prism Sound’s Titan Is An Instant Hit With Supa Dups

Grammy Award winning producer and DJ, Supa Dups, has just added a Prism Sound Titan USB multitrack audio interface to his equipment roster, complimenting the Prism Sound Lyra 2 audio interface that is already an integral part of his studio set up.

Supa Dups, who began DJ-ing at the age of 11 and producing at 16, has worked with some of the biggest names in the music business. A member of the influential Black Chiney Sound System, a nod to his Chinese Jamaican heritage, Supa Dups’ breakthrough came in 2004 when he produced Nina Sky’s Turnin’ Me On. He is now one of the most sought after writer/producers around and has worked with numerous artists including Eminem (one track on the Grammy Award winning ‘Recovery’), Mary J Blige, John Legend and Bruno Mars.

“Prism Sound is the Rolls-Royce of converters and there’s nothing else that sounds like it,” he says of his kit. “There is other equipment and then there’s Prism Sound. In fact, the Lyra 2 is my mobile rig now.”

Although he is exceptionally busy, Supa Dups prefers not to name the artists he’s currently working with because not everything recorded in his studio always sees the light of day. But he is very keen to talk about his Prism Sound converters – Titan, which he only recently took delivery of and Lyra 2, which he uses all the time.

“I haven’t had a lot of time to play with Titan yet, but I keep having excellent experiences with Lyra,” he says. “The other day I was working with a band and plugged the guitar and bass into it at the same time and used it right there on the spot. It sounded excellent. We finished everything on it, even the demo vocal. Basically it has become the centrepiece of the studio. Everything about it is awesome.”

Supa Dups spends a lot of time working out of Circle House studios in Miami, and credits the city with having a fantastically diverse music scene.

“It’s like London minus the dub-step, but with an additional overall Caribbean influence which collides with the American sounds. It’s definitely got a style all of its own,” he says.

Proving he’s a man of much versatility, Supa Dups recently finished an entire live reggae album. “I didn’t know I could do that,” he says. “It was a challenge for me but I’d definitely like to be involved in more entire projects in the future and writing classic albums that people will be listening to in decades to come.”

And the Lyra 2 and his new Titan will be with him every step of the way. “There is a lot more to explore with them,” he says. “I’ve used the Lyra 2 for hours and hours and technically I’m not sure I’ve broken the back of it yet. There’s still a lot to learn and play with, but it always sounds awesome.”

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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 de facto standard DSA-1 handheld digital audio generator/analyser and the dScope Series III audio analyser system.

For more information: www.prismsound.com

SZMG TV Network Station Receives Studio Upgrade with HARMAN’s Studer OnAir 3000 Console

SHENZHEN, China – Spanning 200 square meters, Shenzhen’s SZMG TV Network recently underwent a massive overhaul, significantly increasing the audio and mixing capabilities of its two studios. To keep up with the network’s popularity, contractor Anheng Li Company installed a HARMAN Studer OnAir 3000 digital console in each studio to boost audio quality and capacity. The consoles were supplied by HARMAN’s distributor Advanced Communication Equipment Co Ltd. (ACE).

The Studer OnAir 3000 console is equipped with 30 motorized faders, three master faders and the Studer SCore Live processing engine connected to a D21m I/O audio interface system. With the addition of a GPIO card, the OnAir 3000 console can support up to 16 channels, which enable audio and video functionality to be used in two live studio shows and broadcasting programs. According to the operators, this feature reduced the SZMG TV Network’s workload considerably.

To prove the OnAir 3000 mixing console’s system reliability, safety and stability, Shenzhen TV Studio went through a series of rigorous tests from August 26 through September 29.

The OnAir 3000’s powerful snapshot recall ability helps broadcast multiple news programs, sports broadcasts and guest programs by switching between different mixer settings. Each profile can be loaded onto the 33 faders quickly and accurately, for efficient and safe control over the audio signals.
While large video content can sometimes lead to a delay in sound signal, the OnAir 3000 5-second delay function allows the operator to cope with a variety of screen time delay conditions, for a perfect synchronization between video and audio.

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.

Christie Lights Up TCL Chinese Theatres as Official 4K Digital Projection Partner, with Christie Duo Anchoring State-of-the-Art 932-Seat Auditorium

Christie®, a world leader in advanced cinema technologies and visual displays, announced that it is the official 4K digital projection partner of TCL Chinese Theatres for the renovated TCL Chinese Theatres in Hollywood, with the acclaimed 4K Christie® Duo™ two-projector system anchoring that theater’s 932-seat auditorium and lighting up its massive screen.

Christie digital cinema projectors have also been installed exclusively at the adjacent TCL Chinese 6 Theatres, making the famous Hollywood Walk of Fame a “walk with Christie.” TCL Chinese Theatres reopened to the public on September 15, following extensive renovations, with the world premiere of the remastered “The Wizard of Oz: An IMAX 3D Experience.”

Front of TCL Chinese Theatres


The installation of the 4K Christie Duo solution at TCL Chinese Theatres is among the highlights of the extensive, multi-million dollar renovation that have helped the famous landmark make the move to digital. The reopened theater features the brightest 2D and 3D 4K-resolution images in the industry, with the auditorium playing host to a wide range of high-profile events, from world premieres and gala performances, to some of the entertainment industry’s most glamorous celebrations and awards shows.

“The TCL Chinese Theatres is an iconic institution that has played a significant role in the legends and traditions of the entertainment history worldwide,” noted Alwyn Hight Kushner, president and chief operating officer for TCL Chinese Theatres. “The TCL Chinese Theatres’ multi-million renovation efforts included a respectful acknowledgement of the theater’s history, while bringing it into the digital age, thanks to our digital cinema partners, which include Christie. We are also pleased that Christie projection systems are lighting up our TCL Chinese 6 Theatres’ screens nearby. For us, Christie was the clear solution for our non-IMAX 2D and 3D showings.”

Craig Sholder, vice president of Entertainment Solutions at Christie, noted that “The TCL Chinese Theatres is part of American history, as is Christie, with our record of more than 80 years service to the cinema exhibition industry. As the official 4K digital projection partner, Christie is proud to ensure that all the content shown at the TCL Chinese Theatres is always thrilling, magical and memorable – the way movies are meant to be.”

The Christie Duo two-projection system, selected and installed through Christie integration partner Southern California Cinetech Services, offers twice the brightness of conventional systems for enhanced 3D, 4K resolution and High Frame Rate (HFR) screenings, enabling TCL Chinese Theatres to deliver an enhanced movie-viewing experience. It features an innovative design that perfectly aligns every pixel on the giant screen for optimal 2D and 3D screenings.

Jim Dukes, Christie senior product manager, noted that the massive screen at TCL Chinese Theatres is an excellent canvas for demonstrating the enormous power and brightness of the total solution that Christie Duo and two Christie Solaria® CP4230 projectors deliver.

“Large screens such as the one at the TCL Chinese Theatres present a challenge to most dual projection systems when it comes to the convergence of the image, which must be perfectly aligned to ensure the sharpest results possible. The Christie Duo’s configuration options solve that challenge by making image convergence quick, easy and consistent,” said Dukes. “Since its introduction, the Christie Duo has been highly acclaimed for addressing the biggest issue faced by exhibitors when screening 3D movies: that is, the delivery of ample brightness to the screen to make the experience memorable.”

Dukes also observed that the dominance of the Christie brand in theaters is also reflected in the exclusive use of Christie digital projection systems in the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres nearby.

“Christie digital projectors are used by leading exhibitors around the globe and are found in more digital cinema installations than any other brand,” he said.

Behan’s Pub Raises The Bar With Martin Audio

Bronx, NY––Located on Katonah Avenue that runs through the heart of Woodlawn’s Irish section, Behan’s Public House is a popular stopover in the neighborhood.

During the day, older patrons stop by for drinks and soccer watching before Behan’s turns into a nighttime dance club with DJs that appeals to a much younger crowd with music that can he heard a block away.

Following a fire this summer, the pub was totally renovated with a new bar, furnishings, millwork and a Martin Audio loudspeaker system installed by New York City’s Foundation Audio.

Asked why he chose Martin Audio, Foundation owner Justin Shafran said, “When considering the speaker system for Behan’s Pub, I wanted to use a product that would ensure the customer would be extremely happy in terms of performance and value.

“Because the venue functions as a local bar and nightclub,” Justin continued, “I had to spec a system with exceptional clarity for the bar that could also provide the SPLs and low end required for dance music. This project was the first time we used Martin Audio. The other speaker brands I had been using were OK, but always sounded a bit muffled. I had heard good things about Martin Audio so I figured I would give them a try.

“We installed eight Martin Audio AQ28’s and four AQ212 subs at strategic locations throughout Behan’s,” adds Shafran. “The sound is so clear and the system has the power we needed while the sound remains undistorted and clean even at the upper limits of the system when it’s used for the nightclub.

“Finally, I was very happy with the response of Martin Audio because this project was very fast track from the start. Knowing a company stands behind their product is very important for me and they really went the extra mile to ensure we would meet our deadline. I’m now specifying Martin Audio on several new projects.”

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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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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