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Australia’s Trackdown Studios Expands With HARMAN’s JBL and Crown

SYDNEY, Australia — Since its humble 1980s beginnings as a cramped recording studio with mattresses on the walls for sound absorption, Trackdown Studios (www.trackdown.com.au) has evolved to become a fixture on the Australian pro audio scene, working with artists like INXS, One Direction, Justin Bieber, Will.I.Am and many more and growing to two locations offering music and film recording and post-production. Trackdown’s Moore Park facility recently expanded with the addition of “Theatre One,” a new 20-seat room with audio post, mixing and 3D screening capabilities. Rather than equipping the theater with conventional studio monitors Trackdown chose HARMAN’s JBL Professional ScreenArray™ cinema system powered by Crown DSi Series power amplifiers.

Working with HARMAN Professional Australian distributor JANDS (www.jands.com.au), Trackdown installed a complete multichannel surround sound system with three JBL 3722N 2-way ScreenArray loudspeakers as the left, center and right channels, each employing dual 15-inch woofers and a horn-loaded compression driver. Four JBL 8340A 2-way surround loudspeakers and a JBL 3635 18-inch subwoofer complete the speaker complement.

The loudspeakers are driven by three Crown DSi 2000 amplifiers, which include presets for JBL cinema loudspeakers to make configuration quick and easy and provide on-board signal processing to handle crossover points, EQ, speaker delay and output limiting. Rounding out Theatre One’s equipment is a host of impressive video gear including a Christie Digital projector, Harkness Screens projection screen, Doremi ShowVault 4K video server and other equipment.

Right from completion (“we finished painting in the morning and started working in the afternoon,” noted Trackdown general manager Elaine Beckett) the studio launched into high-profile activity on films including The Great Gatsby, Forbidden Ground, Warwick Thornton’s new film The Dark Side and a concert documentary on Australian music legends Paul Kelly and Neil Finn (Split Enz, Crowded House).

Response to the Theatre One has been extremely enthusiastic. “One sound mixer in particular was thrilled to be working in Theater One, using it as a premix space,” noted Beckett. “It’s quite common to have small monitors in premix rooms and he was very impressed to be working with true theater sound for monitoring. What he mixed in Theatre One translated really well when doing the final mix in a large theatre.” With customers that include the elite of Australia’s film community and a growing number of international clients, Trackdown is confident they’ll be mixing a future Award-winning soundtrack sooner rather than later.

HARMAN (www.harman.com) 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 15,200 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $5.1 billion for the last twelve months ended March 31, 2014.

Raiding the Rock Vault Continues to Thrill Audiences with HARMAN’s AKG Microphones

LAS VEGAS, Nevada – Recently rated by The Las Vegas Review Journal as “Best Musical 2014”, “Raiding the Rock Vault” uses HARMAN’s AKG Microphones to provide the ultimate classic rock concert experience in Las Vegas. Written by GRAMMY™-winning producer David Kershenbaum and John Payne of Asia, this 2-hour experience weaves an entertaining storyline with some of the greatest rock hits of the ‘70s and ‘80s.

The full microphone system for “Raiding the Rock Vault” comprises 16 DMS700 V2 wireless channels connected to all the guitars through PT700 V2 transmitters, 12 WMS4500 wireless channels for vocals, with HT4500 D5 and D7 capsules for the singers and PT4500 transmitters for the actors. Twelve channels of IVM4500 are used for in-ear monitoring, while AKG’s HELICAL antennas take care of transmission.

“Everything has worked great, and that’s the most important thing,” said Keith Marks, production coordinator for “Raiding the Rock Vault.” “When we listened to the quality of AKG’s wireless microphones, we found that even artists who have never worked with wireless microphones before are loving it. The DMS system sounds perfect, on par with the quality of wired microphones.”

The “Raiding the Rock Vault” cast, which recently added Doug Aldrich of Whitesnake and Dio, performs over 200 shows annually. Naturally, the intensity and repetition of these shows require the production crew to maintain an inventory of extremely durable sound equipment.

“It’s a testament to the quality of the equipment, when it keeps performing great, day in and out,” Marks said. “Also, AKG provides incredible customer service: I can get Joe Wagoner or anyone else at AKG on the phone whenever I need them, which is an invaluable benefit.”

HARMAN (www.harman.com) 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 15,200 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $5.1 billion for the last twelve months ended March 31, 2014.

Southfield Jazz Orchestra Upgrades to HARMAN’s Soundcraft Vi1 For Jazz Ensembles

SOUTHFIELD, Michigan – Having founded the sound reinforcement company EBR Providers LLC. in 2012 to support regional events in Michigan, Eric Rayford recently purchased a HARMAN’s Soundcraft Vi1 digital console for local acts such as the Southfield Jazz Orchestra, which began in 2010 in collaboration with the City of Southfield Parks and Recreation Department. The Vi1 will serve as a powerful upgrade that not only fits into the budget of the orchestra, but also the modest spaces of its venues.

The Southfield Jazz Orchestra performs mostly as a jazz ensemble playing tunes such as “In The Mood”, “Teach Me Tonight”, “Love For Sale”, and many more. Privileged to have saxophonist George Benson and vocalist Barbara Ware perform in the band as artists-in-residence, Rayford wanted to move into the digital age with the Vi1 console.

“Sixteen channels are sufficient for what we need and the Vi1’s size is ideal for the small venues that we play in,” said Rayford. “The ability to control some venues remotely on the iPad is great, because sometimes we don’t have enough room for a board near the stage. With the Soundcraft ViSi Remote App, I am able to keep the system in a protected area when performing in a bar, out of harm’s way from the audience.”

Moving away from the analog consoles he used previously, Rayford appreciates the familiar analog-like controls on the Vi1. Every knob and button correspond to only one function, eliminating the layering of controls. Although it is the smallest member of the Vi Series, the Vi1 console still packs the intuitive Soundcraft FaderGlow™ for color-coded illumination of the motorized faders, and the Vistonics™ touchscreen user interface for all other surface controls. The Southfield Jazz Orchestra also uses JBL Professional EON Series portable loudspeakers for many of its performances.

“This board is so well-designed and packed with so many functions, I won’t ever need a larger one for this act,” said Rayford. “The dedicated buttons for EQ’s and effects are very useful, and the layout is not cluttered at all. I can finally put EQ on an individual channel, which is great!”

Besides generating more success for the band with the brand new digital console, Rayford also assists with managing the sound at three different church sites under the Third New Hope Baptist Church, one of which is equipped with a 32-channel Soundcraft Vi3. He also would like to see the remaining two locations to be outfitted with Vi Series consoles as well.

HARMAN (www.harman.com) 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 15,200 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $5.1 billion for the last twelve months ended March 31, 2014.

Daystar Television Network Reaches Viewers Around the World with HARMAN’s Studer Digital Consoles

BEDFORD, Texas – Since 1997, Marcus and Joni Lamb have owned the Daystar Television Network, the fastest-growing Christian television network in the world. Daystar currently operates 70 TV stations across the United States and broadcasts globally. It also operates significant online and mobile broadcast services. Underlying the network’s success is an unwavering commitment to quality, as evidenced by its reliance on HARMAN’s Studer Vista digital audio consoles.

Daystar is a Christian, family-friendly network, featuring specifically religious programming as well as other content, including family-oriented films and music programming. In addition, the Lambs host the network’s flagship program, Marcus & Joni, a variety/chat show that focuses on guest interviews and music, with an in-house band and several guest bands throughout each episode.

David Ribb, Daystar’s Director of Audio, uses a Riedel MediorNet system as the hub and router for its three Studer Vista consoles (two Vista 9 consoles and one Vista 5). One of the Vista 9 consoles is for Daystar’s broadcast mix, while the other Vista 9 is for the studio and band mixes. The Vista 5 is used on a secondary studio/sound stage but is also road-ready, so it can be used on location production.

“Because of our output requirement—auxes and mixes, the combination of interview talent, IFB, house band and singers, guest bands and satellite feeds, the Vista 9 was an ideal solution,” Ribb said. “The all-Studer solution means that if personnel have to change out between the broadcast side and the studio side, they’re already familiar with the console.”

Core wireless requirements in the system total 42 channels, including 28 channels of wireless microphones and belt packs attached to the system, and 14 wireless in-ear belt packs for the band mixes and IFB. There are many more wired mixes allocated to band members. In addition, the studio Vista 9 provides another 10 foldback mixes for each of the sets around the sound-stage, through loudspeakers mounted in the lighting grid.

The Daystar team doesn’t rely much on cue lists or snapshots during the show. They set the consoles up for the day’s work by reallocating I/O as necessary, and operating all sets from a single setup. The consoles also provide multitracking facilities to attached ProTools systems.

“It’s another thing that we’ve integrated into the Studer system,” Ribb said. “We multi-track each program in ProTools on both the broadcast side and the studio side, depending on what the need is. It means we can go back in and fix anything in post or index, or whatever needs to happen.”

“Also, the music the in-house band has played in the shows is often released to albums during the year, and we do some music specials directly from the music that’s captured during the show, using those ProTools sessions to mix them. We try to go in and give them extra attention.”

For more information on the Daystar Television Network, please visit www.daystar.com

HARMAN (www.harman.com) 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 15,200 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $5.1 billion for the last twelve months ended March 31, 2014

TDC provides core video expertise for largest-ever light festival Vivid Sydney

Aquatique Show International, Vivid Aquatique, Darling Harbour, Photography by Rodney Campbell.

TDC – The Technical Direction Company is proud to be deploying the full range of its professional and technical expertise in providing core technology and services to Destination NSW for the sixth annual Vivid Sydney festival running from 23 May to 9 June.

Anthony Bastic, Vivid Light Festival Director said: “Vivid Sydney is a unique celebration of light, music and ideas that will see the centre of New South Wales’ vibrant capital transformed by a series of state-of-the-art visual and creative art installations. There are two components to Vivid Light. The first is the Light Walk, which is the public interface of Vivid Sydney. This includes numerous light installations by artists. Secondly, also forming part of the Light Walk, are projections onto some of Sydney’s most iconic buildings including the Museum of Contemporary Art and Customs House. We are thrilled to work with TDC in bringing the artists’ vision to light.”

“This is our third year of working with Destination NSW on Vivid Sydney, providing a huge range of technologies including 3D media servers, 3D mapping, video projection equipment, projection tower infrastructure and sound installations, not to mention our highly skilled crews to manage the technology,” comments Kain Jones, Special Projects Manager at TDC. “We have used our experience of working on Vivid Sydney for the last three years to apply the insights with have learned to how to adapt and continue to make sure that the elements TDC is involved in are amazing.

“As Vivid Sydney grows, new buildings and locations are added, so initially we spend considerable time analysing which technology is best-aligned to meet the artists’ vision. We get involved from the outset in installation design, mapping the buildings to enable the designers to create content specific to the outline of those buildings. We then work on optimal locations for projector placement, media server selection, lens selection and the number of projectors required to meet specific brightness (lux) output for each installation.”

“Vivid Sydney is a great challenge for our company, the scale of this event is enormous in regard to projection technology required to bring it all together,” comments Michael Hassett, TDC’s Managing Director. “This year over 50 Barco projectors will be deployed in total, ranging from the brightest projector in the world, the HDQ-2K40 (40,000 lumens brightness) along with Barco HDF-W26 (22,000 lumens brightness) and FLM-R22+ (22,000 lumens brightness) projectors. This is a projection technology feat and not something that any company globally could pull together easily. We’re proud to be working with the great team at that Destination NSW again this year, and we look forward to the continued success of Vivid Sydney.”

• Over 50 Barco projectors will be deployed in total, ranging from the brightest projector in the world, the HDQ-2K40 (40,000 lumens brightness) along with Barco HDF-W26 (22,000 lumens brightness) and FLM-R22+ (22,000 lumens brightness) projectors. Photography Rodney Campbell.

The TDC team preparing for Vivid Sydney. Photography by Rodney Campbell.

TDC getting ready for Vivid Sydney. Photography by Rodney Campbell.

And the last word goes to Olin Winton, Technical Manager at TDC who says: “It’s always a joy to work on large format projection projects and Vivid Sydney is no exception. The opportunity to display images on iconic buildings takes months of planning and long nights of alignment. This year we have added several new projects to our list, which we are extremely pleased with. Seeing it all come together, working with world class technicians and seeing the end result of people interacting with the buildings is extremely rewarding.”

World firsts from TDC

This year’s Vivid Sydney programme includes a number of significant technological and creative firsts.

Dichroic Dimensions

Digital Shamans, Dichroic Dimensions, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (Mordant Wing). Photography by Rodney Campbell.

Kain Jones points to one aspect of a unique interactive installation at the new building of the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA), where artist-in-residence Ross Manning has collaborated with multidisciplinary artistic collective, The Digital Shamans to give visitors the chance to projection-map the façade of the building using only their voice.

“There’ll be two microphones on a slightly raised platform. As the audience uses their voice to interact with the installation, various hidden layers of visuals and soundscapes will be revealed based on pitch,” explains Michael K Chin at The Digital Shamans. “TDC are an amazing company with the technical know how and equipment to cope with the subtleties in our work. Especially with the HD video taken of dichroic filters producing subtle gradients in tones and colour shifts, strong contrast and vivid colour. It’s been a pleasure working with TDC for the first time. They are very professional and their experience with past Vivid Sydney festivals has been invaluable.”

Gamma World

Jess Johnson & Spinifex, Gamma World, Original Façade, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia. Photography by Rodney Campbell.

Bringing together the worlds of live performance, interaction and visual art onto the original façade of the Museum of Contemporary Art, ‘Gamma World’ combines isometric designs, old school gaming, pop up 3D books and forced perspective using 3D and animation tricks that powerfully takes the viewers on a journey through changing worlds.

Stella Carmody, Producer at Spinifex Group Sydney says: “What makes this projection so special this year is that we were able to combine our love of story-telling with the wonderfully inspiring artwork of Jess Johnson to create an abstract, engaging and playful piece of moving art on this iconic building. Hardware and projection mapping was undertaken by our good friends, large-scale projection experts, TDC.”

Urban Tree Project

Urban Tree Project, Ample Projects – MLC Centre, Martin Place. Photography by Rodney Campbell.

If you ever find yourself wondering what grew in the CBD before monuments of glass and steel, Urban Tree Project in Vivid Sydney 2014 will show you. The CTA building in Martin Place will grow out of the ground to become a magnificent living tree within the surrounding urban environment to celebrate and reflect on Sydney’s original green landscape. Design and animation company, Ample Projects turned to TDC to provide the projection solution.

“This project had unique technical challenges, so the natural choice for us was TDC. Ample designed a complex 3D mapping solution in collaboration with the TDC team. They were highly professional, providing projection design solutions for a cylindrical architecture screen with extreme focal planes. We look forward to working with them again soon,” says Ample Creative Director, Nicholas Tory.

“The shape of the structure was great to work on. We decided that the best solution was to map the projection to the curves of the building using Coolux Pandoras Box Media Servers,” comments Pete Lynn, TDC’s Media Server Specialist. “We’re very happy with the results.”

The projections for the Urban Tree Project are synchronised with a stunning laser lighting show as is the case with TDC’s projections for the Vivid Aquatique Water Theatre installation.

Spirit of Patyegarang

•	Patyegarang, Bangarra Dance Theatre Company – Vivid Light Walk Tour, Harbour Bridge Southern Pylon. Photography Greg Barrett.

Bangarra Dance Theatre is Australia’s leading Indigenous performing arts organisation celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. To mark this milestone the company presents its new production at the Sydney Opera House Patyegarang until 5 July and participates for the first time in Vivid Sydney with The spirit of Patyegarang. Projected onto the southern pylon of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, The spirit of Patyegarang is a video installation marking the first Indigenous contribution to the Vivid Light Walk.

Bangarra’s Executive Director, Philipe Magid, said: “TDC is providing equipment and video expertise enabling our company to project a stunning work of art on to a section of the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge. Through a fusion of dance movements and music soundscape and thanks to video projections supported by TDC, the important story of Patyegarang will awake and inspire with the sensations and emotions of ‘first contact’”.

Play Me

Play Me, Customs House, Photography by Rodney Campbell.

In a poetic explosion of colour, light and sound, ‘Play Me’ will transform the façade of Customs House into a series of massive ‘musical sculptures’ that are individually selected and manipulated by the audience.

“Each of these ‘sculptures’ depicts a family of musical instruments which the audience can ‘play’ in real-time using a touch screen located on a platform in front of Customs House bringing it to life in glorious torrents of ever-changing colour, light form and sound,” says Sergio Carrubba, director and projection designer at Danny Rose, the design team for this project. “We’ve worked with TDC before on the ‘Move Your Building’ exhibit at Vivid Sydney 2013. In all cases, TDC offers exceptional support during planning phases, onsite technical support and the very best in projection equipment to assist with our designs which will all be brought to life at Vivid Sydney.”

Ignatius Jones, Creative Director, Vivid Sydney, comments: “Vivid Sydney is a strange beast: on the one hand it is a major government initiative designed to drive visitation and tourist expenditure during the year’s lowest season, and on the other a celebration of the fusion of Art and Technology that is changing our world forever and for the better. As Creative Director I must split my focus between the exacting contractual and economic demands of government, and the necessity to provide cutting-edge technical solutions to all the issues of larges-scale – or should I say vast-scale – public entertainment.

“TDC has an instinctive and comprehensive understanding of these issues. They are the perfect collaborators: calm, creative and totally competent. I would have no qualms in recommending them to anyone in the tough world of live mass entertainment, and hope to be working with them for a long time to come.”


TDC staff working on this project:

Kain Jones – Special Project Manager
Olin Winton – Technical Manager
Steve Cain – Head Technician/Media Server Specialist
Pete Lynn – 3D Media Server Specialist
Drew Ferors – Projectionist
Gareth Marsh – Projectionist
Katrina Harding – Projectionist
Isaac McKenzie – Projectionist
Adam Fiddler – Technician

TDC are working with following designers for Vivid Sydney:
• Urban Tree Project, Ample Projects – MLC Centre, Martin Place http://www.vividsydney.com/events/urban-tree-project
• Aquatique Show International – Vivid Aquatique, Darling Harbour, http://www.vividsydney.com/events/vivid-aquatique
• Patyegarang, Bangarra Dance Theatre Company – Vivid Light Walk Tour, Harbour Bridge Southern Pylon, http://www.vividsydney.com/events/the-spirit-of-patyegarang
• Starry Night, Brad Miller – Pier 8, Walsh Bay Wharf, http://www.vividsydney.com/events/starrynight
• Digital Shamans – Dichroic Dimensions, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (Mordant Wing), http://www.vividsydney.com/events/dichroic-dimensions
• Danny Rose – Play Me, Customs House, http://www.vividsydney.com/events/play-me
• Heinz Kasper – Mystery of Creation (Fragments of The Seasons), Cadman’s College, http://www.vividsydney.com/events/mystery-of-creation-fragments-of-the-seasons
• Jess Johnson & Spinifex – Gamma World, Original Façade, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, http://www.vividsydney.com/events/gamma-world-mca-original-facade

TDC equipment supplied:

• Over 50 Barco projectors will be deployed in total, ranging from the brightest projector in the world, the HDQ-2K40 (40,000 lumens brightness) along with Barco HDF-W26 (22,000 lumens brightness) and FLM-R22+ (22,000 lumens brightness) projectors.
• Coolux Pandoras Box Media Servers
• Dataton WATCHOUT™ multi-image display and presentation software

Bellevue’s Bake’s Place Boosts Business By Increasing Entertainment Value With Hitachi Projector

Bellevue, Washington, May 27, 2014 – Like its home city of Bellevue, bar/bistro Bake’s Place has grown from quaint beginnings into a high-tech destination. Bake’s Place serves up delicious food, special event nights and frequent concerts, which are boosted by a Hitachi CP-WX8255A projector.

Owner and founder Craig Baker, who has been in the music and restaurant business for 16 years, wanted to improve his venue’s traffic on slow weeknights. Perfectly timed with the Seattle Seahawks’ stellar NFL season, he bought a Hitachi CP-WX8255A projector to show Monday night games on a 24 x 14-foot screen inside the restaurant. After seeing an increase in sales, he began using the projector for special events like the Academy Awards and the Super Bowl, the latter of which amassed a 100-person waitlist after selling out quickly.

“We’re not a sports bar, but people were more than happy to pay for a ticket during the Super Bowl,” said Mr. Baker. “Businesses will often rent out the restaurant and they’ve been grateful for the ability to easily project presentations. We use a special backdrop with custom ripples, colors and special effects that’s definitely boosted several band performances.”

Located a few blocks away from the center of downtown Bellevue, Bake’s Place features a 3,500-square-foot patio. Its indoor dining area, also 3,500 square feet, boasts 18-foot floor-to-ceiling windows and casts a sophisticated atmosphere, complemented by the Hitachi projector.

“Our customers have been very impressed by the projector’s image clarity, especially on such a large screen,” said Mr. Baker. “It has definitely helped Bake’s Place create a unique experience for both regular and first-time customers.”

The Hitachi CP-WX8255A 3LCD projector features 5,500 ANSI lumens brightness and an aspect ratio of 16:10 (WXGA).

For more information on Bake’s Place, visit http://bakesplacebellevue.com/

For more information on Hitachi projectors visit www.hitachi-america.us/projectors

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About Hitachi
Hitachi America, Ltd., headquartered in Tarrytown, New York, a subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., and its subsidiary companies offer a broad range of electronics, power and industrial equipment and services, automotive products and consumer electronics with operations throughout the Americas. For more information, visit www.hitachi-america.us. For more information on other Hitachi Group companies in the United States, please visit www.hitachi.us.

About Hitachi, Ltd.
Hitachi, Ltd. (TSE: 6501), headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, delivers innovations that answer society’s challenges with our talented team and proven experience in global markets. The company’s consolidated revenues for fiscal 2013 (ended March 31, 2014) totaled 9,616 billion yen ($93.4 billion). Hitachi is focusing more than ever on the Social Innovation Business, which includes infrastructure systems, information & telecommunication systems, power systems, construction machinery, high functional materials & components, automotive systems, health care and others. For more information on Hitachi, please visit the company’s website at http://www.hitachi.com.

The Pixies Tour the World with HARMAN’s Martin Professional Lighting

BOSTON, Massachusetts — Legendary alternative rock band The Pixies have made quite the comeback after their revival 10 years ago, and are now on a worldwide tour with a full lighting rig from HARMAN’s Martin Professional.

Full service lighting, sound and rigging rental company based in New York, See Factor, worked with Myles Mangino, Lighting Designer for The Pixies, to create a rig featuring 15 MAC Viper Profiles, 12 MAC Auras, four RUSH MH3s and three Jem K1 Hazers.

The Pixies, who recently stopped at the renowned Coachella Music Festival after their reunion tour began nearly 10 years ago, needed a versatile lighting solution designed for different venues, stages and festivals.

“The real challenge was to have a show that could be as closely as possible duplicated in markets across the world,” stated Mangino. “Having a kit that was small enough to fit in a container, and also using fixtures that could be sourced in different markets was paramount.”

The upstage truss has 8-foot tail down bars for the MAC Vipers that went over the back screen. “The second we saw the Viper fixture we were impressed with its capabilities,” said Alban Sardzinski, See Factor. “It’s a compact light with a large zoom and high output which really helps Myles due to the fact that he can position it super close while still be effective. The first time we tried it at New York’s Bowery Ballroom and we only had a few feet behind his screen but it worked perfectly!”

“The Viper is currently my favorite fixture,” said Mangino. “The optics are wonderful and the speed of the zoom is unmatched. For a show like the Pixies, I run everything live, off temp faders. There are no cues or chases running so the responsiveness is critical for me. The Martin fixtures pan, tilt and the wheels seem to respond to manual movements with faders better than anything else I’ve tried.”

At first, Mangino was skeptical of the RUSH MH3s, but after just one show they were part of the rig. “I love the colors! They all match and we more or less use them as the bands key light by reflecting them off the mirrored domes above the stage.”

“The Auras, in my opinion, are the most essential element,” mentioned Sardzinski. “I knew Mangino had used them prior to the Pixies and they would fit in perfectly with the rest of the rig. I love the look of the beam and the colors they create. They are perfect for the backlight effect we were going for.”

“When the tour first launched we weren’t using Martin hazers,” Sardzinksi continued, “but they were so loud and obnoxious that we swapped them out for the K1s and we couldn’t be happier.”

“We’re proud to work with Mangino and with Martin,” said Sardzinski. “We’ve always found Martin to have very durable fixtures and whenever we have them out there we know we’ll have a perfect show, every time!”

Photo Credit: Robert Fuller

For more information on See Factor, please visit: www.seefactor.com

As a world leader in the creation of dynamic lighting solutions for the entertainment, architectural, and commercial sectors, Martin lighting and video systems are renowned the world over. Martin also offers a range of advanced lighting controllers and media servers, as well as a complete line of smoke machines as a complement to intelligent lighting. Martin operates the industry’s most complete and capable distributor network with local partners in nearly 100 countries. Founded in 1987 and based in Aarhus, Denmark, Martin is the lighting division of global infotainment and audio company HARMAN International Industries. For more information please visit: http://www.martin.com.

HARMAN (www.harman.com) 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 15,200 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $5.1 billion for the last twelve months ended March 31, 2014.

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Renowned Audio Engineer Dave Natale Finds the Right Reverb With HARMAN’s Lexicon PCM Native Reverb Plug-In Bundle

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – As one of the top audio engineers in the business, Dave Natale has been the front-of-house engineer for a who’s who of artists, including Yes, Olivia Newton-John, Tina Turner, Joe Cocker, Lionel Richie and many more. He currently mixes shows for The Rolling Stones, but when he’s not on the road you can find him at Right Coast Recording, which he established in 1990. One of the factors that’s made it one of the oldest and well-equipped recording studios in central Pennsylvania is Natale’s commitment to making sure that nothing goes into Right Coast unless it sounds right. The most recent component to pass Natale’s rigorous test is HARMAN’s Lexicon PCM Native Reverb Plug-In Bundle, which he recently selected as his reverb software.

“I’ve relied on Lexicon since my days in the early 1980s working for Clair Brothers Audio on a Yes, Tour” said Natale. “We must have been one of the first sound companies to use the Lexicon 224, Lexicon’s first digital reverb that became an industry classic. I memorized the manual.”

Since then, Natale has gone from the 224 to other equally revered Lexicon hardware offerings, such as the 200, 480L and the PCM80, 81, 90 and 91, which he still uses today on tour with The Rolling Stones with Clair Global.

Natale is impressed with Lexicon’s move from hardware to software-based reverb processing. “To my ears, because of the quality and consistency of their algorithms and the sounds they’ve delivered, they’ve made the leap with complete success,” he said.

Natale’s appreciation of the Lexicon components is based on his in-depth understanding of the complexity of reverb. “I think what impresses me the most about Lexicon is the fact that reverb is the hardest thing to model and get to sound right,” he said. “There are too many parameters. When you think about how complex real-life reverb is, with all its variables and decay characteristics, you start to realize how hard it is to make really great-sounding reverb units.”

Needless to say Natale had high expectations when he decided he needed to hear the Lexicon PCM Native Reverb Plug-In Bundle. He said that while there’s nothing like the sound of Lexicon hardware processors, it’s hard to beat the convenience of software plug-ins. “Now that I’ve had a chance to work with the PCM Native Reverb Plug-In Bundle I can tell you that it’s equally impressive and I’m hearing the same quality as I’m used to from the hardware,” he said. “We have been using a 224 and a PCM 70 at Right Coast and I’ve worked with many other Lexicon processors, and the Plug-In Bundle absolutely meets the level of quality I’m looking for.”

Bobby Gentilo, engineer at Right Coast Recording and manager of the studio’s day-to-day operations also considers Lexicon an essential sonic tool. “I trust Lexicon,” he said. “The reverb we’ve always relied on in the hardware has translated nicely to the software in recent years. We work with a variety of artists including some with very critical ears who aren’t shy about telling you what they do and do not like. Lexicon reverbs always pass the test with our clients.”

“Dave is not only one of the most talented audio engineers out there today, he is also one of the great people in our industry,” stated Jason Kunz, Market Manager, Portable PA and Recording & Broadcast for HARMAN Signal Processing. “ It’s a great feeling to knowing that whether he is out on the road with some of the biggest names in music or in his own studio, Lexicon is an integral part of his work.”

HARMAN (www.harman.com) 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 15,200 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $5.1 billion for the last twelve months ended March 31, 2014.

Multi Image Group Upgrades to HARMAN’s JBL VTX Line Arrays and Crown I-Tech HD Amplifiers

Andy Kakas (left) and Edward Gonzalez (right).

BOCA RATON, Florida – Multi Image Group (MIG) is a full-service corporate communications company with resources to produce events worldwide. MIG supplies complete sound, lighting, video projection, digital signage, set design and technology for events ranging from 50-person sales meetings to 50,000-seat stadium concerts. The Boca Raton-based company employs 150 people and prides itself on providing its clients with nothing less than the very best—to that end, the company recently upgraded its audio system inventory with HARMAN JBL VTX Series line array loudspeakers and Crown I-Tech HD amplifiers.

Multi Image Group has been a HARMAN Professional dealer and user for nine years. “I’ve always been a fan of JBL and have used their loudspeakers since 1981,” said MIG Audio Department Manager Andy Kakas. “I’ve been blown away by their VERTEC® line arrays, especially the way they maintain a stable sonic image in a variety of situations. I really wanted to put the newer VTX line arrays through their paces because in my experience JBL loudspeaker systems just keep getting better.”

Kakas’ interest dovetailed with Multi Image Group’s need to acquire another loudspeaker system for arena events—in the last two years MIG had been doing more and more arena and stadium events along with ballroom and theater productions. Kakas had heard a VTX V25 line array system at an Orlando stadium concert and was impressed by the way it sounded, how easy it was to rig and the way the sonic image stayed intact even from 200 to 250 feet away. Soon after, JBL introduced the smaller V20 loudspeaker and Kakas knew it would be even more adaptable to the type of venues MIG services.

Knowing from his own experience the benefits of upgrading to the I-Tech HD amplifiers, Kakas believed the VTX rig would represent another major step forward. “We weren’t using Crown amplifiers when I joined the company. I didn’t agree with this because I had been using Crown since I started in the professional sound industry back in 1981 and they were always bulletproof.”

However, Kakas first had to convince MIG’s owner. Kakas pointed out that in eight years of owning VERTEC VT4888 line arrays they had almost no driver failures, and had recouped their investment on them in three years. An audition of the V20 at the recent Winter NAMM show sealed the deal: “We heard them and realized, that’s the way a PA should sound.”

Since taking delivery of the JBL VTX V20, MIG’s initial impressions have only been reinforced. “The size of the V20 is perfect for what we do, the loudspeakers sound exceptionally good and the V20 is loud for its size, so in situations where I’d normally have to bring a bigger box, I can stick with the V20,” said Edward Gonzalez, Audio Engineer and System Designer at Multi Image Group. “In a lot of the corporate events we do, I’m fighting height–I have to work around low ceilings in ballrooms, so the smaller size of the V20 is a major advantage.”

Gonzalez, Kakas and the rest of the MIG crew are impressed with every aspect of the V20’s sound, yet single out the newly refined Radiation Boundary Integrator™ (RBI) waveguide, which provides broader, more stable horizontal coverage and a more seamless transition between the high-frequency and midrange drivers. “The new HF driver throws really far and sounds incredibly clean and smooth,” Gonzalez noted. Using the V20 with the Crown I-Tech HD Series amplifiers provides another advantage—the amps’ internal processing is designed to optimize the performance of the V20 (and other JBL models) and enables the crew to carry one less piece of external gear.

“With the I-Tech HDs there is a lot of sonic detail. It has a transparent top end, which has an open and natural sound. It maintains the Crown dampening that gives you that punch in your chest. Also, the Cobranet™ integration is quite useful since we have had a need for multiple channels of AES from front of house to the stage and the amp racks,” added Kakas.

MIG controls its systems with JBL HiQnet Performance Manager™, which Gonzalez helped beta test and finds a major step forward from the previous System Architect. Performance Manager now provides pre-configured control panels instead of having to build them from scratch – a significant time saver. The built-in JBL Line Array Calculator II loudspeaker setup and calibration software is improved to the point where Gonzalez can predict the locations of where the loudspeakers should be set up and get them almost dead-on to their final placements. He also likes Performance Manager’s ability to automatically reconfigure itself. “If the number of amplifiers in the system is changed, I don’t have to manually re-address the locations of the amplifiers on the network,” Gonzalez noted. “I’m excited to mix on something that sounds so good. It’s a very high-fidelity system. It doesn’t sound like a PA—it sounds like a high-end audio system you’d have at home.”

HARMAN (www.harman.com) 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 15,200 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $5.1 billion for the last twelve months ended March 31, 2014.

Devoted Fans Celebrate 311 Day with Five Hours of Music and Lighting From HARMAN’s Martin Professional

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana — Devoted 311 fans swarmed to New Orleans this year for the ultimate celebratory concert experience on March 11, better known as 311 Day. Showcasing a culmination of 11 albums, including their most recent studio album released earlier this year, titled Stereolithic, HARMAN’s Martin Professional Atomic 3000 DMX strobes (10) and M6 lighting console were deployed by Joe Paradise, Lighting Designer.

311, an American rock band from Omaha, Nebraska formed in 1988, created 311 Day in 2000 when the band played 47 songs straight. Since then, the band has consistently increased its set list, including over five-and-a-half hours of music this year.

“The biggest challenge is being able to program at a high rate of speed and to be able to have most of the songs programmed ‘cue to cue’,” Paradise said about the M6 console. “I have used Martin consoles since the Maxxyz lighting console came out and have always been impressed with the ease of programming and how simple but diverse the effects engine is.”

“I switched to the M1 because of how solid it is and the familiar syntax and since then have chosen the M6 for the same reason. I really do enjoy the larger format and the numerous playbacks. I am really happy with how modular it is and I really enjoy the variety of playback placement types as well as the playback options. The touch screens are really easy on the eyes but vivid and very accurate. It just keeps getting better!”

On this particular show, Paradise had Martin’s M1 console standing by as a network backup console, but it was never needed. “The goal was to make this a very special event for hardcore fans of 311,” Paradise stated. “I wanted to make the show look a lot larger than it was and make the audience feel as though they were part of it as opposed to just being there. The M6 console makes getting what you see in your mind’s eye to the fixtures very simple and effortless.”

Paradise, who has used just about every Martin fixture since the MAC 250s and 300s came out, utilized the Atomic strobes to create diverse effects for the audience. “The crowd really responded to some of the looks and gags we put together and everyone walked away very happy! It was a great experience and I always enjoy using Martin to showcase my vision.”

As a world leader in the creation of dynamic lighting solutions for the entertainment, architectural, and commercial sectors, Martin lighting and video systems are renowned the world over. Martin also offers a range of advanced lighting controllers and media servers, as well as a complete line of smoke machines as a complement to intelligent lighting. Martin operates the industry’s most complete and capable distributor network with local partners in nearly 100 countries. Founded in 1987 and based in Aarhus, Denmark, Martin is the lighting division of global infotainment and audio company HARMAN International Industries. For more information please visit: http://www.martin.com.

HARMAN (www.harman.com) 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 15,200 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $5.1 billion for the last twelve months ended March 31, 2014.

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