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The Music Producers Guild Gets BPI and AIM Backing For Its Broadcast WAV Initiative

Just months after officially launching its ‘ISRC in Broadcast WAV’ initiative, the Music Producers Guild has received the support of the BPI and AIM, two trade bodies representing the music industry. Both have agreed to adopt Broadcast WAV as standard.

“We are really delighted to have the support of the BPI and AIM,” says Alchemy Mastering’s Barry Grint, who has led the MPG ISRC campaign. “This is fantastic news for all recording artists and copyright owners because adopting Broadcast WAV will make file identification and content tracking much easier and more accurate. It will also help royalty agencies develop more precise systems for payments, thereby safeguarding the incomes of artists and copyright owners when their recordings are played on air.”

With two major UK music industry organisations now firmly behind the new format – and with a number of mastering hardware equipment manufactures also on-board – the Music Producers Guild believes it is only a matter of time before Broadcast WAV is adopted by the music industry world-wide.

“WAV is the standard format for music interchange in the production process, but MPG members were frustrated that there was no method of embedding industry standard ISRC information in the format to enable more accurate identification the content of files,” Grint explains. “Working in collaboration with the European Broadcasting Union, which created a professional version of the WAV format called Broadcast WAV, we have been able to ensure the carriage of ISRC information in this type of file, thus removing the need for it to be re-entered and reducing the opportunity for error.”

The inherent good sense of using Broadcast WAV is now being recognised.

BPI Chief Executive Geoff Taylor says: “BPI is pleased to support this MPG initiative and we’ll be encouraging our members to adopt Broadcast WAV as a standard. By incorporating ISRC data into the WAV file, we can provide a more accurate and reliable means of identifying recordings when they are exchanged between labels and studios.”

James Farrelly, membership manager of AIM, adds: “In an environment where labels of all sizes now understand that effective metadata management is the key to maximising revenue from their master rights, the work MPG is doing to adapt the BWF format will result in a clearer, more accurate approach to identifying tracks and minimising potential mis-allocation of income from repertoire usage. AIM is proud to support this initiative and looks forward to working with the MPG and their partners to build industry wide adoption of the format.”

The MPG is now planning to address mastering engineers by holding a seminar to demonstrate the ease with which Broadcast WAV can be implemented. This will take place in London in early November (see www.mpg.org.uk for more details).

“For engineers using Magix/Sequioa or Merging/Pyramix, switching to Broadcast WAV will simply involve a software upgrade as both of these workstation manufacturers are already backing the Broadcast WAV initiative, ” Grint explains. “Now that this issue is higher up the priority list, we hope other manufacturers will quickly follow their lead.”

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About Music Producers Guild (UK):

The Music Producers Guild (UK) is an independent and democratic organisation that encourages the highest standards of music production, and actively engages with other music industry organisations to campaign and lobby on matters of important mutual interest.

The MPG represents and promotes the interests of all those involved in the production of recorded music, including producers, engineers, mixers, re-mixers, programmers and mastering engineers. www.mpg.org.uk

StreamGuys Powers In-Store Broadcasts for Custom Channels

Cloud-based streaming architecture supports custom music services with dynamic ad insertions for businesses

BAYSIDE, CALIFORNIA, October 15, 2013 — Internet music service Custom Channels is helping retail businesses like Whole Foods Market transform in-store environments with broadcast-quality audio programs, mixing music and dynamic advertising that deliver a branded, radio-like experience. The company is relying on robust, cloud-based streaming services from StreamGuys to support its customers.

Custom Channels brings a rare broadcast perspective to the growing business of in-store audio streaming. Its principal partners, including President/Co-Founder Dave Rahn, launched Custom Channels following years of experience working at and consulting for radio stations. Today, Rahn and his team leverage their professional production skills and broadcast programming knowledge to build custom in-store programs for retailers like Whole Foods Market, for which they support two-thirds of their stores.

The company recently switched to StreamGuys for content delivery support, recognizing its broadcast expertise as well as its shared spirit of customization to meet client needs.

“We have always used an outside CDN because the specialized technical knowledge required to maintain servers, bandwidth and overall infrastructure is frankly beyond our area of expertise,” said Rahn. “The difference with StreamGuys is that they are not forcing us into one business model for streaming services. They instead provide us with the streaming services that are right for our model, and deliver the ongoing recommendations, support and troubleshooting we need. That helps us keep costs low and leaves us to focus on program content and customer relationships — which is what we do best.”

Custom Channels takes program content beyond music by incorporating dynamic ad insertions in the form of “mid-rolls,” which Rahn cites as a particularly strong tool to trigger ads and promos for in-store streaming models. StreamGuys incorporates third-party ad insertion software into its streaming architecture, targeting broadcasters and IP-based music services that wish to incorporate promotional content in the form of pre-rolls, mid-rolls and post-rolls — and potentially generate new revenue streams.

“The ad insertion software in the StreamGuys architecture allows us to manage content at the server side as opposed to just pushing messages to individual players and boxes,” said Rahn. “For example, we work with a large chain of dental offices, Comfort Dental, with offices all over the country. The mid-roll insertions allow us to take a single Comfort Dental radio channel and insert specialized ads for each region, or even down to the local office level. The messages don’t have to live in the origin stream; instead, we create a place in the stream and insert them on a very targeted basis. It’s a very efficient model, and makes for good use of IP delivery.”

Rahn’s broadcast experience also means a focus on audio quality. Custom Channels currently delivers most audio content using the aacPlus codec at bitrates ranging from 64 to 96 kb/s, and uses other high-quality codecs like Ogg Vorbis for specialty services such as ReMix, which allows customers to create their own custom mixes. Rahn will explore Ogg Opus moving forward, the new versatile, open-source audio codec for low-latency, high-quality audio streaming. StreamGuys is the first CDN to announce support for Ogg Opus audio streaming.

“We’re dealing with businesses, and we try to keep as light of a footprint as possible since there are other demands on their bandwidth and technical infrastructures,” said Rahn. “StreamGuys allows us to use various high-quality, bandwidth-friendly formats so we are comparable to FM quality and usually higher than satellite quality — a sweet spot that our clients can easily handle on their networks.”

Rahn also points to several restaurant brands as Custom Channels clients, including the 200-plus Which Wich sandwich shop chain; and the fast casual Mod Pizza chain based in the Seattle region. Another interesting client is Floyd’s Barbershop, which operates more than 70 barbershops around the country. Custom Channels produces a true “retail radio” station in this case, with full-blown professional production, deejays and live requests.

“We focus on music-conscious brands that essentially want custom radio stations, and many of these clients also stream their channels on their websites,” said Rahn. “Ultimately, StreamGuys offers an ideal service for in-store delivery, whether it’s conventional streaming of a radio station or a business that wants something a little more unique.”

More information on Custom Channels can be found at http://www.customchannels.net.

About StreamGuys, Inc.
In business since 2000, StreamGuys is a provider of audio and video streaming toolsets and services. The company has a reputation for outstanding customer service, a robust and reliable network, and competitive rates. More than 600 clients worldwide, across many industries, depend on their mission-critical service. Projects include serving as the technology backbone for live streaming/podcasting for top public broadcasters such as New York Public Radio, WAMU Washington D.C., KQED San Francisco and WXPN Philadelphia; live video events for major auto racing circuits and the British Royal Wedding; audio streaming for government entities such as D.C. Court of Appeals, U.S. Army, and the National Science Foundation; mobile video content for Cisco Systems; and IPTV content for international broadcaster ABS-CBN.
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StreamGuys, Inc – info@streamguys.com – www.streamguys.com – 707.667.9479
P.O. Box 828 Arcata, California 95518 – fax 707.516.0009

Partner Conference Allows Distributors To Get Under DPA’s Skin

More than 120 pro audio distributors, dealers and opinion leaders travelled to Denmark for DPA Microphones’ Partner Conference.

Guests from around the world attended three days of meetings and seminars in Copenhagen and at DPA’s headquarters in Allerød. They were also taken on a tour of DPA’s production facility in Asnæs where they were shown the different processes involved in making a DPA microphone. The conference culminated in a live, hands-on workshop at the Nørrebro Theatre in Copenhagen, where a singer/actor and a band demonstrated various DPA microphones.

DPA Microphones’ CEO Christian Poulsen says: “The conference was a huge success as it allowed those attending to really get to know the company. DPA has changed a great deal in recent years thanks to the introduction of a new management team and significant developments in R&D that have led our product range in new and exciting directions. We held this conference because we wanted our distribution partners and invited guests to get a real sense of the DNA of the new DPA – a company with true forward vision.”

Among those attending was sound engineer Chris Ekers, who was involved with the London Olympics 2012 Opening and Closing Ceremonies.

Commenting on his time in Denmark he says: “I use DPA microphones all the time for theatre and classical opera work, so I know what they can do. However, I was very interested to see the production facility and learn more about how they are made. I was amazed at the amount of work and care that goes into each microphone. I met one lady who had personally touched every DPA 4060 miniature microphone ever made – and that must be an awful lot of microphones.”

Ekers adds that the seminars and demonstrations were extremely useful, even for an experienced engineer. He also enjoyed meeting the DPA team and learning more about the company’s approach to design and manufacturing.

“This is obviously a young and vibrant company with lots of good ideas for expanding its product range in an intelligent way,” he says. “It was a privilege to be invited to DPA’s Partner Conference and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and DPA’s hospitality.”

His views were echoed by Rui Lisboa, DPA’s Portuguese distribution partner. “I was surprised to learn that every DPA microphone is hand-crafted, and also amazed by the rigorous test procedure each one goes through,” he says.

Sound engineer Bernard Schmid, who attended the partner conference as a guest of DPA’s Austrian distributor, adds: “For me, the practical demonstrations were the most useful as these gave me a chance to compare different models. I have been using DPA microphones for many years yet I still learned a new and easier way of hiding a miniature microphone in the hair.”

Another guest was Akira Fukada, the inventor of the surround standard Fukada Tree, who says: “Being able to participate in the conference was a great honour and a very stimulating experience. I now understand the direction in which DPA is aimed and I learned about the quality control of these wonderful products. DPA is an indispensable microphone for my music production, and I look forward to new developments at DPA.”

Other attendeed included artist and sound engineer Seigen Ono; Takeru Yamazaki, product manager at DPA’s Japanese distributor Hibino Intersound and Chul Hoon Choi and Soo Hwan Kim from DPA’s South Korean distributor Best Leading Solutions.

“It was a fascinating experience and I came away with a much better understanding of DPA, its business philosophy and its approach to R&D and product design,” says Soo Hwan Kim, sales manager at BLS. ”We got a few hints about some of the new products that are coming along next year and these look really exciting. DPA already has a strong reputation for quality, but seeing the care that goes into the manufacture of each and every microphone leaving its factory makes you realise just how exceptional these products really are.”

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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

SADiE Helps Producer Steve Portnoi Capture Elgar

Producer and engineer Steve Portnoi used a SADiE LRX2 to produce Elgar’s The Apostles – a double CD that was recently awarded a much coveted Gramophone Classical Music Award.

Portnoi’s recording of the Hallé Chorus and Orchestra, conducted by Sir Mark Elder, won the 2013 Gramophone Award in the Choral category. Earlier this year, the CD also won BBC Music Magazine’s Recording of the Year and Choral Recording of the Year Awards.

“I use the LRX 2 at every stage in the process,” explains Portnoi. “I record both the live concert in the Bridgewater Hall and the rehearsal direct to the LRX. We want to keep the excitement that you only get at a live performance, so what ends up on the CD is essentially the concert recording. The rehearsals are only used to cover points where audience noise is obtrusive, or where there are minor blemishes, which could become annoying on repeated listening.”

Portnoi’s LRX configuration is two mic input cards, giving him 32 mic amps, and an AES card which he uses to connect to external devices and to give him extra track inputs for large projects such as this. Using a 16 channel A to D increases his track count to a possible 48 – he used 44 tracks on The Apostles.

“There were a lot of elements in this recording,” Portnoi says. “Not only did we have a full symphony orchestra to contend with, but we also had two choirs, six soloists, and for the first time on a recording of this work, a separate Apostles chorus, not to mention an offstage Shofar (a Hebrew horn).

Back at his studio, Portnoi used the LRX to create his stereo mix.

“For such a small box, the LRX is a remarkably powerful mixer, enabling me to create the sound-world that I require, as well as matching the sound of the empty hall to the concert mix,” he says. “Also, any shift in perspective of the soloists can be smoothed out using the LRX automation.”

Any patch editing is also carried out on the LRX. At this stage Portnoi uses Izotope RX2 to remove some of the noises inherent in a live performance, meaning that he can use less of the rehearsal patches and more of the live performance.

Portnoi has been a Sadie user since the early 80s and upgraded to Sadie 6 at the first opportunity, having helped with the Beta testing. “Of course, I also use Sadie for the final, mastering stage. Sound Suite gives me full PQ and DDP mastering facilities.”

Gramophone Magazine described The Apostles as ‘a set not to be missed’ and reviewer Andrew Aschenbach drew particular attention to Steve Portnoi’s production, which he described as ‘astutely balanced’, ‘thrilling’ and with a ‘colossal dynamic range’. This is the second of the great Elgar Oratorios that Portnoi has recorded for the Hallé Label and the second time his efforts have been rewarded with a Gramophone Award.

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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 range now includes SADiE digital audio workstations and location recorders. Prism Sound also manufactures audio test and measurement products such as the DSA-1 and the dScope Series III audio analyzer.

For more information please visit www.sadie.com or www.prismsound.com

DPA Microphones Are Chosen For New Jazz Venue The Standard

Danish Jazz legend, producer and internationally acclaimed pianist Niels Lan Doky has teamed up with Claus Meyer, co-owner of the Michelin-starred noma restaurant, to launch The Standard, a new Jazz club in Copenhagen that includes two bars and three world-class restaurants.

Officially opened on October 3rd, 2013, The Standard’s audio equipment list highlights another famous Danish name – DPA Microphones.

“We have between 10 and 15 DPA microphones permanently in the venue and we will be hiring in more when larger ensembles are playing,” says Niels Lan Doky, who is musical director of the new venue. “When our stage was completed in September we conducted a series of rehearsals and tests on site with the DPA team to determine exactly which microphones we needed. The list, which is exclusively DPA, includes various d:vote™ 4099 Instrument Microphones and a selection of d:dicate™ 4011 and 4006 Recording Microphones.”

As The Standard features vocalists as well as instrumentalists, Doky and his team have also invested in a new DPA d:facto™ Vocal Microphone that will be made available to every singer performing at the club.

“We are very excited about this microphone, which is the perfect microphone for us,” Doky says. “Our highly experienced house sound engineer, Jonas Nakel, tried it and was very impressed because it has the trademark qualities of DPA, coupled with the specific needs of a vocal mic.”

The choice of DPA Microphones reflects Doky’s philosophy that, at The Standard, it is the quality of the performance, the music that emanates from the stage, the sound of the room and the overall experience shared by the musicians and audience that matters, not the reputation or image of the artist performing.

“We are aiming to capture the timeless values that define jazz and that the greatest artists in jazz have in common,” Doky explains. “What counts is the quality of the music performed, so we will be working with incoming artists to help them prepare and enhance their shows in order to go beyond themselves and reach new levels of artistry. We also have a great sounding room with top level equipment and this is a very important part of the equation because although we are creating a classic jazz atmosphere, we are also ensuring that the room’s equipment and acoustics reflect professional recording studio standards so that we can give our audiences an exceptional sonic experience.”

Doky adds that choosing DPA was an easy decision for him to make as he already owns a selection of DPA 4011 and 4021 microphones that he uses for all his concerts and recordings.

“I have never done a recording without a large selection of DPAs,” he says. “They are the most transparent and precise microphones I know because what you put in is exactly what you get out at the other end of the chain. In the old days people didn’t always appreciate this as they were used to hearing the transformed and sometimes aesthetically altered sound that many other microphones produced. However, in our increasingly technically sophisticated world, especially in the world of A/V production, it is very important to get as close as possible to a natural sound. I believe that was DPA’s vision from the start and I am glad that they have stubbornly stuck to it.”

Doky has an elegant touch when it comes to studio work and his recordings are renowned for their superior technical quality. His latest album, Scandinavian Standards, will be released on Parlophone to tie in with the opening of the new club, which will host an album launch party.

“Like all my albums, Scandinavian Standards was recorded using DPA microphones,” Doky says. “I play piano and, given how hard it is to record and amplify that instrument, I don’t think the quality of my recordings would have been possible without the clarity and precision of my loyal travel companions, my DPA microphones.”

The opening of The Standard brings the worlds of gastronomy and music into close orbit and focuses attention on Copenhagen’s unique jazz history, which dates back to the 1950’s when many American ex-patriot jazz legends settled there.

“We take deep pride in Copenhagen’s jazz legacy and we want to reflect it in The Standard’s creative choices and decisions whenever possible,” Niels Lan Doky says. “We will be looking to bring in dynamic, vibrant and engaged jazz artists who know how to be daring and courageous without compromising integrity and quality.”

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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 on DPA Microphones, please visit www.dpamicrophones.com

Prism Sound Helps Composer John Lunn Create His Unique Sound

Noted TV and film composer John Lunn has recently acquired a Prism Sound/Maselec MEA-2 analogue equaliser, which he has been using to create the score for the ITV/Carnival Films and Television period drama Downtown Abbey.

Lunn, who received Emmys in 2012 and 2013 for Downton Abbey, has a highly intelligent and sensitive approach to sound that allows his compositions to hit at the emotional heart of a piece. His award tally also includes an RTS Award in 2010, nominations for a BAFTA and Ivor Novello for Sky’s Going Postal and a BAFTA Award for the BBC Dickens adaptation, Little Dorrit. Classically-trained yet contemporary in attitude, he combines the highest production values with a continual desire to discover new colours and sounds, and is continuously in great demand.

Lunn’s audio setup embraces an eclectic mix of equipment, which has been assembled to suit his needs.

“Most of it analogue, as I’m not convinced by digital emulations,” he explains. “A couple of months back, I bought the Maselec MLA-2 tri-band compressor for a project I was working on, The White Queen, which used lots of low percussion and sound design, plus a real orchestra. However, the mastering EQ I had been using up to that point suddenly needed repair and I thought I would take the opportunity to try a few things out.”

As an existing Prism Sound user – he already owns a Prism Sound ADA-8XR multichannel converter and an Orpheus FireWire interface – Lunn needed little persuading to try the company’s Maselec MEA-2. Once he did, he says it was immediately obvious that this was the Equaliser he was looking for.

He explains: “It was particularly relevant for Downton Abbey where I needed a very clean and totally transparent treble boost for the piano and strings to cut through the dialogue. KMR gave me the unit to demo and it worked immediately with absolutely no problems.”

Lunn says that he now uses his MEA-2 unit as mastering EQ for all of his film and TV work. The latest series of Downton Abbey, mixed using Lunn’s MEA-2, has been a runaway ratings hit, peaking at 10.4m viewers, a 39.4% market share of the British TV market (source: The Hollywood Reporter).

Prism Sound’s MEA-2 is a stereo or two-channel, four-band precision analogue equaliser with stepped Q/shelf, frequency and cut/boost controls on each band. Designed for recording and mastering applications where ultimate sonic performance, musicality and precision are required, it provides fully-stepped controls for precision and repeatability, across all parameters.

The MEA-2 is extensively used in mastering but also works well on an insertion point in recording or mixing. The MEA-2 features a fine 0.5dB gain adjustment at low cut/boost settings, and a maximum cut/boost per band of 8dB. The MEA-2 can provide precise equalisation with minimal side effects, as it is designed to provide a very transparent signal path where only the desired equalisation effect is obtained without adding any particular sonic signature.

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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

Mandy Parnell Adds A Prism Sound Lyra 2 Audio Interface To Her Mastering Set Up

London-based mastering engineer and Black Saloon Studios founder Mandy Parnell has acquired a Lyra 2 audio interface from Prism Sound. The unit has already been used on remixes for Bjork, The xx, Hejira, Medieval Babes Christmas Album and Johann Johannsson’s soundtrack for the film Prisoners.

“I love being the facilitator for artists and helping them realise their dreams in audio,” says Parnell. “It is an immense feeling when I hear the tracks I have worked on and see how much pleasure it gives the listener.”

Based on the award-winning and critically acclaimed Orpheus interface, Prism Sound’s Lyra allows music recording professionals to access the power and sophistication of the Orpheus audio path and clock circuitry, but in a smaller package and at a much improved price point.

The Lyra 1 interface has two analogue input channels – one for instrument/line and one for mic/line – plus two DA output channels and optical-only digital I/O. Lyra 2 includes two AD input channels with switchable microphone, instrument or line input modes and four DA output channels. Both versions incorporate new ARM Cortex processor design offering class-compliant USB interfacing that allows for seamless integration with both Macs and PCs. Both versions also offer digital volume control, a low latency ‘console-quality’ digital mixer for foldback monitoring and optical SPDIF capability.

Mandy Parnell says she evaluates new equipment constantly and is very particular when it comes to introducing new gear into the Black Saloon environment. However, in the case of Lyra 2, she was happy to include it because it contained features she liked.

“First and foremost, it has Prism Sound’s clear and neutral sound,” she says. “I also like the USB connection and its compact size.”

A long-time user of Prism Sound and SADiE equipment, Mandy Parnell says she is also constantly comparing AD/DA converters to ensure she has the best.

“Some AD/DA convertors, in my opinion, add a distortion into the sound that I do not find acceptable,” she explains. “Artists, producers and engineers often describe the sound I bring to their mixes as ‘dynamic’ and ‘wide’. Prism Sound products play an integral part in helping me to achieve what my customers want because they deliver a very neutral sound that is wide and has great separation. The company’s kit is also very reliable and I can have complete confidence in what I am hearing via my playback and record systems. That is invaluable for me. I have never doubted the sound of Prism Sound.”

Black Saloon has a client roster as long as it is diverse, featuring artists such as Bjork, Matthew Herbert, Feist, Max Richter Frightened Rabbit, The xx, Lianne La Havas, Jónsi, Mount Kimbi and Brian Eno.

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About Mandy Parnell
Mandy Parnell became interested in music aged five, listening to records on a portable Dansette player. She studied music and music technology, trained and worked in recording studios and landed an internship at a mastering studio where she became a world-renowned mastering engineer. After establishing her name in the music industry, Mandy launched her own Black Saloon Studios. Her 24 years of experience have allowed her to discover and develop her philosophies in analogue and digital audio, while working with an amazing array of artists. She is a Grammy Award winner, a Music Producers Guild Award winner and has been nominated or numerous other awards. She is also an active member of the AES, Grammys, APRS and MPG, frequently lecturing on mastering and the music industry.

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

Producer Steve Pageot And HARMAN’s Lexicon PCM Total Bundle Try Their Best to Make James Harden Sound Good

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Houston Rockets basketball star James Harden is one of the world’s most talented players. If only he was as talented a singer. In his entertaining 2013 Foot Locker commercial, Harden spoofs the desire for sports figures to branch out into other areas – whether they should or not – by attempting to record an R&B single and torturing the engineer’s ears in the process. The wildly popular “Foot Locker – Harden Soul Featuring James Harden and Stephen Curry” commercial has received more than five million hits on YouTube and was mixed by artist and multi-platinum producer Steve Pageot with the help of HARMAN’s Lexicon PCM Total Bundle.

Pageot got the call to mix the spots from music composer Wendell Hanes, author of “The 30-30 Career: Making 30 Grand In 30 Seconds!” Pageot wrote the chapter “Mastering the Commercial Mix” for the book, and Hanes knew Pageot could do the job under the almost-impossible deadline constraints. “Wendell called me and told me he needed the mix done immediately and e-mailed me the Pro Tools files,” said Pageot. “I dropped what I was doing and a few hours later the mix was done.”
Pageot knew he could rely on the Lexicon PCM Total Bundle to get the sounds he needed quickly and dependably. For the mix, he first created an auxiliary stereo channel and inserted the plug-in’s “Simple Delay” and “Large Plate 1” presets, then tweaked the presets to his liking. The stereo sends from Harden’s vocal track were used to send the vocal signal to the auxiliary effect channel to simultaneously engage both effects.

“I continue to go back to the Lexicon PCM Total Bundle because of its rich, lush, pretty and unique sounds that I can dial up within seconds to take my mixes to the next level,” Pageot noted. “The goal of mixing a song is to make it sound like a masterpiece – but I had to keep Harden’s vocal mix close to raw and not to process it too much. Because the Lexicon reverbs sound so magical, with each preset I would dial up I kind of found myself going against what we had to do in the commercial!” Pageot wound up using some subtle effects processing throughout the track to give it its broadcast-worthy “finished” quality. “I truly feel that the subtle reverbs and delays I used made this commercial mix a hit.”

But even Pageot’s talents couldn’t get Harden to sing in tune or do anything about that paint-peeling voice. As Stephen Curry says to James Harden in the remix video: “You should probably not quit your day job!”

“We applaud Steve’s work on this very unique and entertaining project,” stated Noel Larson, Market Manager, Portable PA, Tour and Recording, HARMAN Signal Processing. “We are always excited to hear about new and exciting ways that talented producers like Steve are using Lexicon and this is certainly one of the more memorable projects I’ve heard about!”

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 about 14,000 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $4.3 billion for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2013.

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VGTRK Takes HARMAN Studer Vista 1 for New Samara OB Van

SAMARA, Russia – The project team of RTV-RTC has carried out the installation of a new OB van for Russian broadcaster, VGTRK at its Samara base, featuring a HARMAN Studer Vista 1 all-in-one console.

The 12-camera van was commissioned in September this year with the audio and intercom design masterminded by RTV-RTC’s Alexander Yankovsky.

The Studer system comprises a 32-fader desk with optical MADI card and Studer Compact Stagebox, with 32 mic/line inputs and 16 line outputs. An Si Compact 16 with optical MADI card, from HARMAN Professional sister company Soundcraft, has been supplied as a backup audio mixer.

RTV-RTC won the tender for the design and construction of the mobile television studio for VGTRK back at the end of 2012. This 10+2 HD camera truck has been designed for all types of OB filming and recording of social and political events, concerts and performance as well as shooting sporting events throughout the Middle Volga region.

“We recommended Vista1 to our customer based on the excellent quality of the sound and the inbuilt sound processing,” stated Yankovsky. “It offers one of the best price/function ratios — and this was a very important aspect, as it allowed us to put into practice the customer’s requirement, namely, flexible and cost-effective sound for video production possibilities.

“The other attraction was the user-friendly and logical Vistonics™ interface. The work of a sound director in live broadcast can be compared to the work of an aircraft pilot — needing to control numerous parameters in real time, and provide a swift override of the process if something goes wrong. Vistonics can handle this easily.”

The new OB van will produce two independent television programmes, including live broadcast and is designed to work in HDTV format, with the ability to switch to HD / SD. It has been designed on a two-axle trailer chassis with a total body length of 12.3 metres, with dedicated rooms for audio, video, engineering and computer room / rack room. There are also two external commentator positions with two-way signal delivery via Telecast T-POV receiving and transmission sets.

As for audio, the main Vista 1 has been integrated into the MADI router through two optical MADI connections, which provide all the necessary sources. The mixing console, with the Vistonics™ user interface and 40 on-screen rotary knobs, has built-in signal processing, 32 -fader direct access and signal level meters on each channel.

In fact everything is contained within the console — the control surface, I/O system, DSP and power supplies are all in one box making it ideal for restricted space environments such as in OB and ENG vans — or for applications where the console needs to be moved with ease. The back-up Si Compact 16 allows a basic mix of 24 channels.

In conclusion, Alexander Yankovsky added, “By using a main interchange of the sound signals via DOTEC MADI routing, we were able to achieve a very flexible audio structure as well as the integration of the backup mixer into the system.”

Other key people involved in the build were chief project (and video) engineer Evgeny Zaytsev and project engineer (power distribution), Georgy Kozhevnikov.

Further information from:
http://www.rtvcenter.ru/articles/desyatikamernaya_pts_dlya_gtrk_samara/

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 about 14,000 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $4.3 billion for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2013.

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Related Topics: AV Control Systems, Case Studies, News |

Simonds Stadium Installs Australia’s First Ever HARMAN BSS Audio Soundweb London BLU-805 AVB System

GEELONG, Australia – Simonds Stadium has become one of the biggest and most successful multi-purpose venues in Australia’s Victoria Region. The Stadium’s third stage of renovation was recently completed with the addition of a new southern grandstand, increasing seating capacity to over 35,000. During the renovation Simonds Stadium was outfitted with a HARMAN BSS Audio Soundweb London BLU-805 AVB system, making it the first venue in Australia to benefit from the extensive audio-video bridging system. Australian-based Total Events Co. performed the installation.

The Soundweb London BLU-805 combines the proven and respected Soundweb London platform with the industry-supported AVB transport. The BLU-805 provides 64 incoming AVB channels and 64 outgoing AVB channels at 48kHz or 32 incoming AVB channels and 32 outgoing AVB channels at 96kHz. The stadium utilizes the HiQnet™ London Architect software for configuration, control and monitoring of the system. The audio is fed from the Soundweb London devices via BLU link to the HARMAN Crown CTS amplifiers in various rack rooms that drive the speaker system.

“The main audio feed is derived from the existing system control which is about 300 meters away from the new racks, so we used AVB to link from that system to the new zone,” explained Bill Busbridge, Managing Director of Total Events Co. “The BLU-805 picked up its feeds nicely. The BLU-805 also controls three function spaces and it certainly made our job a lot easier.”

Total Events Co. also designed, supplied, and installed the PA system for the new grandstand that includes JBL AWC129 and AWC82 all-weather loudspeakers. In addition, JBL Control 25AV speakers cover the walkways and JBL ceiling speakers cover the functions spaces.

“We installed fourteen JBL AWC129 speakers and sixteen JBL AWC82 speakers for the seating bowl and under balcony fills,” remarked Busbridge. “We chose them as they are robust, high powered and totally suitable for the application. They also fitted in well with the architect’s aesthetic requirements.”

Commenting on the simplicity the BSS Audio system offers, Busbridge said, “I’ve been back a couple of times to tweak the system and it is really simple to patch back in and make changes on the fly.”

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 about 14,000 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $4.3 billion for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2013.

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