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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.

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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.

Studio Tenn Chooses Hitachi for Tennessee Performing Arts Center Production

Nashville, Tennessee, May 20, 2014 – Hitachi’s CP-WX8265 projector was instrumental in Studio Tenn’s critically acclaimed debut of Charles Dickens’s classic A Christmas Carol at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center’s Polk Theater.

Located in Nashville, the James K. Polk Theater is an intimate proscenium theater for its size, with a maximum seating capacity of 1,075. The distance from the projection booth to the back wall of the set is 102 feet and the projection area is approximately 56 x 20 feet.

“We found the Hitachi projector to be very bright and quite simple to use—it was a perfect solution for our needs,” said Mitch White, Technical Director, Studio Tenn. “The image was fantastic despite the long throw using the standard lens.”

The Hitachi CP-WX8265 was instrumental in adding “strikingly modern twists” to TPAC’s rendition of the classic Christmas play which featured an 18-member cast, a full orchestra and fog effects. Traditionally performed in the more intimate Franklin Theater, this was the first year that TPAC used the Polk Theater for A Christmas Carol.

The Studio Tenn Theatre company was established in 2009 in order to combine talent from Nashville and Broadway, bringing classic works of drama and musical theatre to life in Middle Tennessee.

“Peter Vaque of SpringTree Media Group in Franklin, TN suggested Hitachi when we told him what we wanted to do,” said Jake Speck, Managing Director, Studio Tenn. “Video elements are an integral part of what we put on stage and that simply can’t be compromised. Needless to say, we were thrilled with the Hitachi projector’s performance.”

The Hitachi CP-WX8265 3LCD projector features 6,500 ANSI lumens brightness, motorized lens shift, Perfect Fit (which allows easy shaping of the projection to fit to the projecting area) and setup memory, which allows for quickly changing lens and focus settings for specific scenes.

For more information on Studio Tenn, visit http://www.studiotenn.com/

For more information on SpringTree Media Group, visit http://www.springtree.net/

For more information on TPAC, visit http://www.tpac.org/

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.

Hitachi, Ltd. (TSE: 6501), headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is a leading global electronics company with approximately 326,000 employees worldwide. The company’s consolidated revenues for fiscal 2012 (ended March 31, 2013) totaled 9,041 billion yen ($96.1 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 material & components, automotive systems and others. For more information on Hitachi, please visit the company’s website at http://www.hitachi.com/.

Martin Audio MLA To Grace Pyramid Stage At Glastonbury

Glastonbury is regarded as the mother of all festivals with arguably the most iconic of stages. The Pyramid Stage showcases the world’s greatest talent and therefore needs to sound loud, proud and faultless, but it also needs to meet the strict criteria set in stone by the license.

Attempting to quantify exactly what makes Glastonbury so special is always difficult, but this year there is one further special ingredient being added to the mix: Martin Audio’s ground-breaking MLA, courtesy of RG Jones Sound Engineering, will grace the Pyramid Stage for the first time.

The fact that Martin Audio is teaming once again with RG Jones builds on a Glastonbury relationship that started back in 2008. Glastonbury has become the largest green space open-air festival in the world, attracting more than 150,000 attendees who expect pristine sound, and where artists can make, break or further their careers.

So when RG Jones first specified Martin Audio speakers for the iconic Pyramid stage back in 2008, their combined reputation was put to the ultimate test. But successive years of using the Longbow system proved more than a match, with the powerful full-frequency sound stirring the crowds, the proprietary software system Display™ helping to maintain off-site noise limits, and the combined expertise of the companies delivering consistently standout moments.

Key to the longevity and pedigree of Glastonbury, however, is that founders and organizers, the Eavis family, have always demanded the festival remain true to its roots and absolutely up-to-date at the same time. It is therefore fitting that Martin Audio’s MLA will debut this year, bringing forth its reputation for sound quality alongside its scientifically proven ability to direct sound evenly and consistently across the audience and to control leakage beyond the audience perimeter.

RG Jones was the first UK Company to invest in the system in 2012 and has witnessed the systems growing reputation first hand. As Managing Director John Carroll said, “We were not content to follow the crowd when it came to choosing our flagship system. MLA is the next generation and there’s nothing out there to match it. The timing seemed right this year and our continued support from Martin Audio is second to none”. With Simon Honywill, Senior Project Consultant for RG Jones, having such extensive experience of the system also helped convince the Glastonbury production team that MLA had earned its rightful place on the Pyramid stage.

Summing up, Jason Baird, R&D Director for Martin Audio, said, “It was my career highlight back in 2008 working on our very first Glastonbury, but I think with MLA this year, it may well be topped. It’s a great endorsement of our system not just for its coverage and control, but because it has a reputation for being such a neutral, uncolored canvas for engineers to mix upon. With such an eclectic line up once again this year, MLA will more than do justice to everything from Dolly Parton to Kasabian, which is good news for the artists, visiting engineers and of course the audience.”

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.

TNDV Applies Diverse Mobile Production Skillset for Academy of Country Music Events

Specialist tackles live broadcast, live image magnification and “live to tape” projects simultaneously in Las Vegas

NASHVILLE, May 19, 2014TNDV has five mobile production trucks and several flypacks crossing the country every week, with production teams working across multiple cities and locations on any given day. Occasionally, the stars align and several TNDV productions converge on the same city on the same date. This was the case in April, when the company sent its two largest trucks and a flypack to Las Vegas for three shoots, each with very diverse production requirements across live TV, post and professional AV environments.

The shoots were all tied to the Academy of Country Music, which held its annual ACM Awards and second-ever ACM Party for a Cause Festival in two separate city locations. TNDV was tapped for the live ACM Red Carpet show at the MGM Grand in advance of the ACM Awards. The all-HD, multi-camera production aired live on the Great American Country Network, with TNDV handling all live acquisition, graphics, switching and instant replay of country’s biggest stars as they descended on the venue.

Six blocks away at The LINQ, a new open-air outdoor entertainment venue, the Party for a Cause kicked off a weekend-long concert—and the venue’s maiden event—with headliners Rascal Flatts and Keith Urban. TNDV handled image magnification for the entire festival using one of their new 2ME, 36-input a mobile production flypacks, producing stunning HD projections of the live performances across several high-quality video boards at stage left and stage right.

On Day 2, TNDV relocated its Aspiration expanding side truck—which handled the ACM Red Carpet production—to The LINQ for a 10-camera shoot under the direction of Nashville-based production company Taillight TV. That shoot turned into the “Outnumber Hunger Concert,” a special one-hour event that aired April 18 on more than 30 Gannett Co. TV stations and select Gannett web portals.

TNDV’s dedicated audio truck, Vibration, joined Aspiration for this special shoot, creating a mobile production infrastructure to accommodate all professional video and audio production requirements for the HD broadcast special. TNDV configured a central routing infrastructure to connect the two trucks, sharing video, audio and intercom feeds across front of house, camera operators and other production personnel.

For TNDV owner and president Nic Dugger, the “triple threat” scenario was a master class on how flexible broadcast equipment has become across multiple live production needs. For example, Dugger used Chroma de Monde chip charts to balance his cameras for each event, noting the requirement for consistent lighting across the varying daytime and nighttime shoots.

“Today’s broadcast tools aren’t pigeonholed into a single application,” said Dugger. “Whether it’s our Hitachi cameras, Imagine Communications router, Ross production switcher or RTS intercom system, these tools exist in the mobile production space to achieve the final output for any deliverable, whether live to in-venue screens, live to television or post-produced for later broadcast. There are differences in each approach, but the attention of detail has to be consistent whether the end purpose is to entertain the live audience or the viewers at home.”

And some of the differences were very clear. For in-house image magnification, Dugger and his team switched between, and simultaneously projected, up to five live angles to entertain concert attendees—a production element that was unnecessary for the associated TV shoot.

On the audio side, bringing Vibration to Party for a Cause meant that TNDV could produce a broadcast-quality audio mix for the TV special, encompassing more than 100 inputs via the truck’s Studer Vista 9 console and ProTools rig. TNDV also added more than 20 audience microphones to ensure viewers at home would experience the feeling of being in the crowd.

“Video without audio is just surveillance, so we needed to make sure that every one of the 100-plus inputs were recorded cleanly and with the correct gain structure,” said Dugger. “That way, upon returning to the studio for audio post our client could achieve the sound levels and quality they desired for the broadcast. For the ACM Red Carpet Show, a multichannel intercom and IFB infrastructure audio ensured that everyone involved could clearly communicate as live interviews happened. The audio requirements were more diverse than video across the three events, though the common theme of flexibility and attention to detail for the client remained.”

ABOUT TNDV: Television
Formed in 2004, TNDV: Television represents the culmination of many years of broadcast and live production for Nic Dugger, owner and president; and his staff of full time engineers. TNDV produces events from small single-camera productions all the way up to multi-million dollar international TV events, and takes pride in building custom solutions for challenging productions of any size, in any situation. Recent productions include the live concert productions at the NCAA Final Four, the live Red Carpet specials for the CMA, ACM, and CMT Country Music Awards, and the Emmy winning Bluegrass Underground on PBS. Please call 615-585-6528 or visit www.tndv.com for more information.

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DPA Miniature Microphones Chosen For The Bodyguard

The hit stage musical of The Bodyguard, currently playing at the Adelphi Theatre in London, is relying on DPA’s d:screet™ 4060 Omnidirectional Miniature Microphones to provide amplification for all members of the cast who have spoken lines.

Written by Alexander Dinelaris and based on the 1992 film starring Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner, the stage version of The Bodyguard features Beverley Knight in the role of Rachel Marron, with former X Factor winner Alexandra Burke taking over from June 2nd 2014.

DPA microphones have long been popular with the sound teams working on theatre productions, particularly those in the West End and on Broadway. The rugged nature of the company’s miniature microphones, combined with their ability to deliver great quality audio even when hidden in wigs and costumes, have made them enduring favourites.

Ania Klimowicz, Deputy Head of Sound for The Bodyguard, says DPA’s d:screet 4060s were chosen because sound designer Richard Brooker and director Thea Sharrock didn’t want any microphones to be visible to the audience. The microphones were supplied by Autograph.

“We use paint, tape and make-up on the mics to make them look as invisible in the actors’ hair or wig as possible,” Klimowicz explains. “We mainly use ‘mic clips’ and occasionally elastic to fix the mics to the performer’s head. Male actors with shaved heads are probably our biggest challenge – in those cases we abandon the usual centre top of forehead fitting and fit the mic over the ear.”

There are 32 actors involved in this current production of The Bodyguard, with 22 performing in each show. There is also a 10-piece band, a three person sound crew and a backstage cast of 45. When it comes to sound, the show is operated by one person who live mixes the band and vocals, as well as firing the sound effects.

“Three members of the cast are ‘double mic-ed’ meaning they wear a main and backup DPA d:screet 4060 head microphone,” Klimowicz says. “Some of the girls wear a headset, a head-mic and use a handheld microphone at various points during the show. Generally the sound for the spoken parts of the show is reinforced but remains naturalistic. This contrasts with numbers such as Queen of the Night or So Emotional, which are set during concerts and therefore need to feel big and more rock ‘n’ roll.”

Klimowicz adds that most of the show jumps in dynamics, except for a couple of numbers such as Run to You which is mixed more like a musical theatre number.

“We use the head-mics here as the song moves as part of the story and a hand-held would somewhat break with the audiences’ suspension of disbelief,” she explains.

Although sweat and make-up can be an issue for some stage productions, Klimowicz says they are not really a problem on The Bodyguard. None the less, the entire sound system including all the microphones are carefully checked before each performance to make sure everything works.

“The DPA d:screet 4060 microphones sound great and are also very reliable. We rarely have an issue with them,” she says. “Given the amount of wear and tear they face on a daily basis, they are incredibly rugged. They are also very small, which makes them much easier to hide in hair and wigs.”

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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

Prism Sound Assists With Gavin Harrison’s Drum Masterclass

Internationally acclaimed drummer Gavin Harrison who has worked with a wide range of artists including Iggy Pop, Sam Brown and King Crimson, recently held a drum workshop at Ananda Studios in Cambridge, during which he revealed the secrets of creating a great drum take.

Hailed as a unique and inspiring event by those who attended, the workshop focused on the demands of being a session player and how to deliver a great performance, even when under pressure.

After starting the session with some basic coordination exercises, Harrison, explained the drum part in a specific song and described the techniques he would employ to deliver and capture the sound. Afterward, those taking part were given the opportunity to play the drum part on his kit and have it recorded in Logic by Ananda Studio’s engineer Neil Cowlan so that they could review their performance with Harrison.

“The opportunity to play along with Gavin and then have him critique my performance was great,” said drummer Russ Tarly, one of the 24 people who attended. “This is the first time I’ve come across such a hands-on event and it worked really well. I knew I wanted to do it because it was so specialized. I’d love to see more events like this because I’m sure there are plenty of other drummers who would enjoy going through this experience.”

To ensure the highest possible audio quality throughout the recording chain, Ananda’s Neil Cowlan deployed two recently acquired Prism Sound Atlas audio interfaces, which were used to track 9 microphones from the drum kit into Logic.

As the latest addition to Prism Sound’s professional USB interface family, Atlas is aimed squarely at multitrack recording applications. Atlas benefits from Prism Sound’s 27 year history in digital audio processing and interface design and incorporates the company’s latest award-winning CleverClox dual hybrid clocking technology as well as eight of the company’s acclaimed microphone preamplifiers as standard. The Prism sound mic preamps are based on the very successful Orpheus preamps, but are upgraded with 20dB pads now available for all inputs. Atlas offers recording professionals ultimate quality analogue and digital I/O for Mac or Windows PC at sample rates up to 192kHz. In addition to the USB host interface, Atlas also features Prism Sound’s new MDIO interface expansion slot, which was first incorporated into Titan and announced at AES New York in October 2013. Using this miniature expansion slot users can, for example, directly connect to Pro Tools|HDX systems and can also run with Apple and Windows native applications over USB. Other expansion cards are slated for future expansion of computer interface options.

For Gavin Harrison’s workshop, Prism Sound also loaned Ananda Studios a Lyra audio interface for additional monitoring. The microphones used for this project included a Shure SM91 and AKG D12VR for the kick drum; a Shure SM57 (top) and a Beta 57 (bottom) on the snare, an AKG C451 on rack toms and a Shure SM57 on floor toms.

Cowlan says: “The Prism Sound Atlas interfaces performed flawlessly, both during the Gavin Harrison workshop and at a private seven hour session that took place the day before. They are truly amazing AD converters and mic-pre’s that sound fantastic. It is no surprise that Prism Sound units are found in some of the finest recording studios in the world and the fact that we can now offer them, too, gives people another great reason for coming to record here.”

Located in the Cambridgeshire village of Littlington, Ananda Studios is a purpose built facility housed in the old Neve factory. Originally designed by Andy Munro, the studio was once used for R&D purposes and to demonstrate Neve consoles. Today, it is popular with a variety of artists who appreciate the combination of tranquil surroundings, great room acoustics and an extensive equipment list.

“The live room is a fully acoustically designed space that sounds wonderful for anything you can imagine recording. Drums, string quartets, guitars, vocals, percussion – it all sounds great,” Neil Cowlan says. “We also have a large range of microphones, pre-amps, EQ’s and other equipment to cater for almost any project, along with a huge collection of guitar and bass amplifiers including Marshall, Fender, PRS, Orange and Matamp.”

Following on from the success of the drum workshop, Cowlan plans to host similar events at the studio and will be announcing these very soon.

Prism Sound’s sales director Graham Boswell, who attended the workshop with Bernhard Nocker from the company’s sales and marketing team, adds: “We were delighted to be able to support this event by loaning the studio equipment and look forward to working with Neil again in the future.”

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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

MerleFest 2014: The Tradition Continues with DiGiCo

SE Systems deploys numerous SD series consoles for 27th annual event

WILKESBORO, North Carolina — Country music superstars Alan Jackson and Merle Haggard, as well as bluegrass icons Dr. Ralph Stanley and Ricky Skaggs, were among the 130 acts over four days in late April whose tunes wafted pristinely from MerleFest 2014. As has been the case for the past 26 years, DiGiCo consoles processed much of the music emanating from the Wilkesboro, NC festival’s 13 stages, helping to cement MerleFest’s reputation as a highly celebrated perennial American music event.

MerleFest was founded in 1988 in memory of Eddy Merle Watson, son of bluegrass legend Doc Watson, as a fundraiser for Wilkes Community College and to celebrate “traditional plus” music, a term coined by Doc Watson to describe the wide variety of musical genres and styles celebrated at MerleFest.

Since the festival’s beginnings, Greensboro-based SE Systems has been handling sound for MerleFest. SE Systems CEO and Founder Cliff Miller was working with Doc Watson at the time and helped put the audio production in place for the first MerleFest, which was quaintly mounted on the back of a flatbed.

Sound quality is SE Systems’ primary consideration in anointing DiGiCo as its console supplier of choice. “The SD10s have been our workhorse for the last few years; they just sound great,” says Miller, a pro sound pro, as well as a first-rate musician himself; after Merle died in a tractor accident, Miller started filling in on guitar at many of Doc’s gigs.

DiGiCo consoles, according to SE Systems Media Relations Director Bryan Smith, are ideally suited for country music and bluegrass. “Acoustic instruments come across in a very natural way,” he says. “When you put acoustic instruments in front of a mic, you don’t want the preamps, effects or processing to change the sound. Cliff carried the DiGiCo SD10s on tour with Alison Krauss and we currently have two out with her now. When you’re mixing the number one female Grammy Award winner, it better sound good. The DiGiCos have proved that night after night.”

He goes on to explain that the DiGiCo boards are “very transparent and sound like the old analog desks.” When comparing digital consoles, DiGiCo’s 96KHz performance was “what also helped us decide on the SD10s. All of the plug-ins and effects work perfectly and it’s a fairly easy console for guest engineers to mix on in a festival situation. We also see DiGiCo on many of the artist’s riders.” This detail was underscored by the fact that headliner Alan Jackson brought in a DiGiCo SD8 for his Thursday night set.

On the main Doc & Merle Watson Theatre stage this year, two DiGiCo SD10-36 consoles were used for mains and monitors. The adjacent Cabin stage, which was used for smaller acts while the primary stage was reset, featured a compact SD11 to mix mains and monitors and was positioned next to the primary stage SD10 FOH desk. Smith describes the SD11 as “a great small rack mount mixer with all of the ‘big boy’ features.”

The Creekside stage used two SD10-24s for mains and monitors, while the Dance stage used two SD9s for mains and monitors. “This was the first year we used the SD9 at this stage,” Smith notes. “It worked fantastic; all the guest engineers loved it.”

An additional DiGiCo SD9 was used in the recording trailer. With every DiGiCo console deployed using either a D-Rack or SD Rack, all stages had fiber runs and SE recorded everything to a Live Tracker for archival purposes.

That DiGiCo still figures prominently in the MerleFest gear complement is hardly a surprise. Three years ago Miller bought two SD10s – SE Systems’ first DiGiCos, not to mention the first SD10 desks in the US – sight unseen. “I have been in the industry for a very long time and this was the first time that I ever purchased two new consoles without even putting my fingers on the faders! The sound quality is the best I’ve ever heard in a digital console, surpassing most analog consoles. The SD10 can be configured to operate like any old favorite console, but with hundreds more features,” he says.

About DiGiCo
DiGiCo is a UK-based manufacturer of some of the world’s most popular, successful and ground-breaking digital mixing consoles for the live, theatre, broadcast and post production industries and is exclusively distributed in the U.S. by Group One Ltd. of Farmingdale, New York. For more information, go to: www.DiGiCo.biz

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Moody Gardens Chooses D3D Cinema and Christie for 4K 3D Giant Screen 6P Laser Projection System

Christie® and D3D Cinema are pleased to announce that the world’s first museum-based 4K 3D giant screen 6P laser projection system will be installed and premiering at Moody Gardens MG3D Cinema in Q4 2014. The system design and configuration will further distinguish the Moody Gardens MG3D Theater as one of the world’s most premier cinema venues.

“This is the game-changing milestone that the museum giant screen industry has longed to achieve for many years,” said Don Kempf, president and founder of D3D Cinema. “Moody Gardens’ audiences will be the first in the world to have a 6P giant screen laser experience, unarguably the future of cinema presentation. The DCI and DIGSS-compliant Christie laser solution, coupled with 6P glasses technology, will be unparalleled in terms of image quality. D3D has always been committed to designing first-rate giant screen solutions that are built on a more economically viable business model. It’s a great thrill to be able to achieve this goal AND be first to market with such a premium solution.”

John Zendt, CEO of Moody Gardens agrees. “D3D Cinema has proven time and again that they can deliver the goods first, better and more efficiently. We thoroughly researched all known laser options and the D3D/Christie solution beats the competition across the board – including, significantly, the price. We’ll own this laser system outright, which is important to us, saving significant operating dollars over the life of the laser modules. We’re really proud to have our theater represented as a pioneer in digital cinema and invite all museum executives to visit for a demonstration.”

Christie 4K 6PLaser Digital Projection System

The upgrade will replace Moody Gardens’ existing 4K xenon system with a state-of-the-art pair of Christie 4K laser projection heads, a 6P modular laser light farm with fiber optic delivery, Christie 4K 3D high-bitrate server, new giant screen 6P laser glasses, and a new premium white screen. “Our 6P laser design is a huge step forward for the industry,” said Don Shaw, senior director, Entertainment Solutions, Christie. “This particular system is designed to achieve up to 14-foot lamberts onscreen in 3D, far exceeding any ‘ultra-bright’ industry standards. Our non-flashing 6P architecture is by far the most light-efficient 3D technology on the market, providing incredible brightness, enhanced color gamut and a remarkable contrast ratio. On a speckle-free premium white screen, Moody Gardens will deliver a peerless cinematic presentation to their audience. It’s a real feather in our cap to have Moody Gardens as a flagship theater.”

This latest collaboration between D3D and Moody Gardens builds on a longstanding partnership. In January 2011, D3D and Moody co-hosted the first annual Digital Cinema Symposium, showcasing 4K projection technology on a giant screen for the first time, including the first 4K vs. 70mm split screen shootout. The following year, at the 2012 Digital Cinema Symposium, D3D showcased the first 4K 3D demonstration, 11.1 3D audio, high frame rate 3D as well as a prototype laser on a giant screen, all industry firsts. The 2012 event was a milestone, marking the first time that industry professionals overwhelmingly acknowledged a digital presentation exceeded the quality of a 70mm film in a side-by-side comparison. A case study was recently published by D3D & Moody Gardens illustrating the financial benefits and qualitative success of digital presentation and rebranding.

Moody Gardens’ marks the first giant screen laser deal of many for D3D and Christie. “Lasers raise the bar,” adds Kempf. “After Moody Gardens, our first laser dome system is around the corner, which will save our dome clients hundreds of thousands in operating costs per year. The giant screen industry is about to look quite a bit brighter!”

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