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Amptec and DPA Host Microphone Workshop With Balthazar

Belgium rock band Balthazar recently threw open the doors to one of their sound checks so that 45 audio engineers and musicians in Brussels could see how DPA microphones are used during the band’s live shows.

This unique workshop, organised by DPA’s Belgium distributor Amptec, was supported by Balthazar’s Front of House engineer Filip Tanghe who took part in a question and answer session with the invited audience, during which he discussed microphone and mixing techniques.

Dany Meeuwissen, Pro Audio Sales Manager at Amptec, says: “The workshop took place at the Ancienne Belgique concert hall where the band were playing a gig later that evening. After a general introduction to DPA’s microphone technology, the audience was able to listen to the band soundchecking and hear solo examples of the various DPA microphones that they use on stage. These include four d:facto™ Vocal Microphones, two d:dicate™ 4011C Compact Recording Microphones, which are used for overheads, and three d:vote™ 4099 Instrument Microphones, which are used on the snare and floor tom drums.”

Originally from Ghent and Kortrijk, Balthazar is a five-piece rock band that has been receiving fantastic reviews across Europe as the support act for Editors. The band is now touring in its own right and has made DPA microphones an integral part of its tour equipment.

“When it comes to vocal microphones, DPA’s d:facto is my first choice because it has such great resistance to feedback without sacrificing any detail,” says Filip Tanghe. “The sound it produces is very full and rounded, with no harshness at all. I find it incredibly musical.”

Tanghe engineers approximately 130 live gigs a year for Balthazar and now uses DPA microphones all the time. When Balthazar are not touring he works with Belgian singer songwriter Hannelore Bedert, who tours with an 11-piece band consisting of horns, strings, drums, guitars, keyboards and backing vocalists.

“I use DPA microphones for Hannelore’s live gigs as well and they certainly make those set-ups a lot easier,” Tanghe says.

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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

Euroshow Deploys HARMAN’s Martin Professional To Bring A Fairy Tale To Life At Moscow’s Olympisky Arena

AARHUS, Denmark — In conjunction with the beginning of Russia’s longest school holiday, Moscow’s famous Olympisky Arena hosted a 2-week children’s project, Circus of Ded Moroz – 2 (Father Frost’s Circus), at the end of December 2013. In order to showcase a stunning, mystical fairy tale light show, Euroshow and lighting designer Alexey Zhuravlev deployed a world-class lighting system featuring HARMAN’s Martin fixtures.

Euroshow supplied lighting fixtures for the event surrounding a large Christmas tree which included: 36 MAC Viper Profile, 20 MAC 2000 Wash XB, 12 MAC III Air FX, 48 MAC Aura, 96 MAC 101, five Atomic 3000 DMX, 30 RUSH MH3 Beam and three Jem Ready 365 Hazer fixtures.

The New Year’s project for children at Olympisky has gained a traditional status already, but for Zhuravlev, it was his debut. Producers of the event knew about Zhuravlev due to his successful work with numerous clubs and concerts, so they invited him to implement the basic idea of creating a dynamic event that children would love and remember.

The main story of the Circus of Ded Moroz – 2 was influenced by an enormous event – the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Fairy tale characters from different stories and different countries met each other on the arena space to compete for the highest sports prizes. This story needed a bright and colorful setting, something totally different from traditional theatrical drama.

Zhuravlev analyzed the individual elements of the script together with the director of the show, highlighting the key moments and offering an individual decoration for each. “I had a few ideas for this show,” explained Zhuravlev. “For example, I put the MAC 101’s around the arena at the bottom and made a ‘mirrored’ installation at the top, so that each fixture was above another fixture. This scheme allowed us to create a lot of different, interesting lighting pictures for numerous events.”

Because some events in the program featured aerialists in the space below the roof, it was necessary to change the lighting concept and make accents on the flights in midair. Zhuravlev chose the powerful MAC III AirFX fixtures based on a 1500W lamp and the new Jem Ready 365 fog generators in order to work with the challenges.

“It is my first work experience with MAC III AirFX”, Zhuravlev explained. “I had seen these fixtures before and I have known what I could get from them. Of course, I was attracted by their functionality to create midair and beam effects. MAC III AirFX is a perfect fixture to make magnificent decor for aerialists’ routines. Besides, these fixtures are very bright, so in other words, they were the perfect solution for this project.”

For the circus arena area, Zhuravlev deployed the MAC 2000 Wash XB, MAC Aura and MAC 101, along with the MAC Viper Profile with the gobo #1, which served as the main lighting tool.

“In the stage design we rarely use this gobo, but in this project it was very useful for me,” Zhuravlev said. “The action takes place in a circular arena, and it is very difficult to make smooth wash effects and stay within the borders, and I had to think about how not to confuse the audience. With gobo #1 of MAC Viper Profile, I could wash the necessary parts of the arena without compromising the main texture aspect.”

The MAC Viper also played a familiar role for Zhuravlev, creating bright and powerful projections that draw beautiful pictures on the surface.

“This fixture is very bright with excellent projection quality,” he continued. “Of course, I used this instrument at 100%. For example, when I needed to ‘move’ artists on the pavement in Sweden, I used gobo-imitating pavement, creating a very realistic effect. Another example is a traditional Russian theme, followed with the appearance of Samovar with cups. By the way, MAC Viper Profile has a very suitable gobo for this scene, as if designed especially for Russia.”

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 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 14,800 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $4.7 billion for the last twelve months ended December 31, 2013.

UK Studio Rimshot Productions Continues its Dreams with Decades-Lasting HARMAN AKG Microphones

Artist King Size Slim of UK label Tree House 44 recording through a pair of AKG microphones. Photo Credit: ©Graeme Miall

KENT, United Kingdom – As one of the few boutique music production companies operating in the Kent countryside of the UK, Rimshot Productions is uniquely positioned to cater to a wide variety of recording artists. Having provided production, studio and mastering services for many years, owner Mike Thorne has equipped the studios at Rimshot Productions with AKG microphones to ensure world-class quality of service throughout the company’s history.

Situated in the countryside just an hour away from London, Rimshot Productions was built a few years ago, and relied completely on word of mouth to grow to the dependable facility it is today: a large and creative space where international clients achieve the best productions and recordings. Thorne has complete confidence that his in-house studio offers world-class recording and provides the requisite equipment for any artist to succeed.

The studio at Rimshot Productions features a pair of AKG C414 B-ULS microphones, which have reached legendary status since their introduction in 1971; a D112 egg-shaped bass microphone perfect for bass instruments; a D12 large-diaphragm microphone that makes everything from the drums to the vocals sound better; and C1000 microphones that can withstand any level of vocal abuse.

“I’ve acquired these microphones over the years and slowly built up my AKG collection,” said Thorne. “During my 20-plus years of experience, I haven’t had an AKG microphone fail on me, as they truly last forever. I’ve really grown to appreciate the quality of AKG products.”

When asked what prompted him to purchase AKG microphones, Thorne quotes from personal experience that “during sessions at another studio, a guy had AKG C414 microphones, which sounded absolutely great!”

Just like his studio and the services Thorne offers, the quality of AKG speaks for itself and is appreciated by Thorne’s clients. “The D12 is what I like to call the ‘make it better’ microphone,” said Thorne. “I like to use it for vocals, drums, and all kinds of recording, because it produces truly exceptional sound quality. As for the C1000, these things just don’t break! They were my first microphones and have been used for recordings for 15 years.”

AKG is known for its award-winning quality in both sound and build. There is no replacement for a microphone that will last this long, and yet maintain its output consistency. Companies like Rimshot Productions rely on the belief that musicians can record an electrifying track with the AKG C414, or kick up a crisp beat with the AKG D112.

“I like the multiple pickup patterns of the C414 AKG microphone,” Thorne continued. “There’s loads of space in the studio, so we can be creative with microphone placements. I don’t have to put the microphone very close to a specific instrument. This results in a sound with more depth and character.”

“There is a lot to be said about the consistency of these microphones,” Thorne concluded. “They’re indeed the workhorses that I expect them to be and work great every time.”

For more information on Rimshot Productions, please visit http://www.rimshotproductions.co.uk.

HARMAN 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 14,800 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $4.7 billion for the last twelve months ended December 31, 2013.

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Nova Entertainment Deploys Matrox Avio KVM Extenders in Audio Production Studios

Zero-latency, zero-compression Avio 125 KVM extenders transmit dual-HD video and multiple USB 2.0 signals to production studios 120 meters from control room

Matrox® Graphics Inc. today announced that Nova Entertainment recently deployed Matrox Avio™ F125 KVM extenders to transmit high-resolution, multi-display desktops in their production studios with computing resources centralized in a separate area. Nova Entertainment operates commercial radio networks broadcasting in metropolitan and regional areas and was looking to provide their audio engineers with an uncompromised remote audio production workflow. By selecting Avio F125 solutions to extend dual-HD video and multiple USB 2.0 signals, their engineers can now produce high-quality promotional spots and commercials without latency or interruption.

Nova Entertainment Deploys Matrox Avio KVM Extenders in Audio Production Studios

Housed in a master control room, Avio F125 transmitters attach locally to Apple® Mac Pro® workstations running Avid® Pro Tools® software. OM3 multi-mode fiber-optic cables connect Avio F125 transmitters to Avio F125 receiver units stationed in different audio production studios up to 120 meters away. At the operator location, each Avio receiver unit connects two 1920×1080 Samsung® monitors and high-speed USB 2.0 peripherals including a keyboard, mouse, CD/DVD burner, and external hard disc drive (HDD). According to Luke McKew, Technology Manager at Nova Entertainment, the new workspace allows users to productively record, edit, and mix the latest audio projects.

“Working off a higher-resolution setup makes it easier for the audio engineers to see small changes within the editing software, while the ability to quickly burn a CD or plug in an external HDD without having to walk back to the control room greatly improves workflow and efficiency,” said McKew. “We highly recommend Avio to other stations that are looking to upgrade or install KVM solutions for their own audio production facilities as it is a truly worthwhile investment.”

To read the complete story and view pictures, visit Nova Entertainment Fine Tunes Audio Production Workflow.

Matrox Avio KVM extenders will be demonstrated live at NAB Show (Las Vegas, April 7-10, booth SL5019) and InfoComm (Las Vegas, June 18-20, booth 2247).

About Matrox Graphics Inc.
Matrox Graphics is a leading manufacturer of graphics solutions for professional markets. In-house design expertise, top-to-bottom manufacturing, and dedicated customer support make our solutions the premier choice in industries that require stable, high-reliability products. Founded in 1976, Matrox is a privately held company headquartered in Montreal, Canada, with representation and offices in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. For more information, visit www.matrox.com/graphics.

Boulevard Pro Adds L-ACOUSTICS KARA System to Rental Inventory

Anthony (left) and James Cioffi

RIDGEFIELD PARK, New Jersey — Boulevard Pro, a leading NYC metro area audio systems and backline provider, has been assuring clients of great sound since 1986, when owners Anthony and James Cioffi came off the road as musicians, backing up artists like Gary U.S. Bonds and Mink Deville. It’s where they learned the value of having the right technology products for the markets they were working in, from renting out classic Fender Twin amps that clients of their rehearsal studio business in the 1980s knew to come to them for, to more recently having the in-demand products and systems that their live event and touring customers require. Boulevard Pro’s latest addition to that latter category has been the recent addition of a full L-ACOUSTICS KARA package. more

HARMAN’s Crown Provides Upmarket Sound for New Breuninger Mall In Düsseldorf

DÜSSELDORF, Germany — German upscale retailer Breuninger recently opened a 172,000-square-foot (916,000 square meters) department store in Düsseldorf, located in the city’s Kö-Bogen downtown office and retail complex. The striking new facility merges glass surfaces, steel, stone and curving, organic shapes with trees that are inset into the sides of the building and a grass roof. Shoppers can peruse Breuninger’s luxury selection of fashion, accessories and premium goods – the shoe department alone has 25,000 pairs for sale – while listening to music courtesy of a HARMAN audio system featuring Crown amplifiers, BSS Audio networking components and JBL Professional loudspeakers.

Heilbronn, Germany-based HARMAN distributor Audio Pro Elektroakustik supplied the sound system for all five floors of the massive Breuninger mall. At the heart of the installation are 10 Crown DCi 4|600N and 8|300N networkable power amplifiers, which offer networked monitoring and control using HARMAN HiQnet™ Audio Architect system software and BSS Audio BLU link digital transport.

“The new Crown DCi Series amplifiers are ideal for this application because they can be seamlessly networked with the BSS Audio signal processing components, deliver plenty of clean power and can be configured for use in a very large-scale distributed audio system such as the one installed at Breuninger,” said Carsten Peter, Product Manager for Audio Pro Heilbronn.

The amplifiers, loudspeakers and entire audio system are networked using a BSS Audio Soundweb London BLU-160 signal processor with digital audio bus and three BLU-BIB break-out box input expanders. Eleven BSS BLU 6 wall-mount controllers and eight BLU 8 wall controllers are located throughout the Breuninger mall.

Although they are extremely powerful, the Crown DCi 4|600N and 8|300N amplifiers are just 2U rack spaces high, enabling all of the amplifiers to be installed in one equipment rack, with all the BSS Audio networking components located in an adjoining rack.

Covering 172,000 square feet, over 800 JBL loudspeakers were deployed, including approximately 600 JBL Control 24CT in-ceiling loudspeakers, more than 150 Control19CST in-ceiling subwoofers and Control 65P/T full-range pendant loudspeakers.

The Crown DCi Series’ compact size, high efficiency and superior sound quality are made possible by HARMAN’s proprietary DriveCore™ amplifier chip, which combines the amplifier driver stage into the power output along with additional audio-signal functions, yet is about the size of a postage stamp. DCi Series amplifiers can be operated into 8-, 4- or 2-ohm loads and offer direct drive “constant voltage” capabilities for 70vrms and 100vrms amplification without the need for a step-up transformer, yielding higher audio quality in distributed audio applications. In addition, the amplifiers incorporate an exclusive Global Power Supply and a universal AC input, enabling their use in any country.

“The new HARMAN audio system fits perfectly into the store’s luxury environment,” Peter concluded. “Breuninger offers its customers a high-end retail experience in every respect, and the system is an extension of that commitment.”

HARMAN 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 14,800 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $4.7 billion for the last twelve months ended December 31, 2013.

DK-Technologies Launches Entry Level DK T7 Audio Meter at NAB 2014

Just months after launching its versatile DK T7 audio meter, DK-Technologies is using the NAB 2014 platform to launch a brand new, entry level version of this ground-breaking product (Booth N1202 in conjunction with Ward-Beck).

The DK T7 Stereo is aimed squarely at engineers who are only working with stereo audio, whether that be in radio, post production or recording music for subsequent CD release. Designed to be intuitive, the DK T7 Stereo has an easy to use, fast responding touch interface that makes it a breeze to set up and operate. Like its DK T7 big brother, the DK T7 Stereo offers high precision features and functionality at a highly cost effective price – just €2895 or USD 4890 MSRP. Its extensive feature-set includes industry compliant Loudness readings, Vectorscope, FFT spectrum analysis and Loudness Logging and Reporting.

“We recognized that our DK T7 audio meter was perfect for engineers working in stereo, but that we could reduce the cost to them by removing multichannel capabilities and SDI interface,” says Uffe Kjems Hansen, Product Marketing Director of DK-Technologies. “Therefore we have targeted the same tools for stereo metering, and made it a much more cost-effective bargain.”

The DK T7 Stereo includes balanced and unbalanced AES I/O, Analogue stereo inputs, headphone outputs as well as HDMI for external screen view. It is available as a stand-alone desktop or a 19” rack mounted unit. DK-Technologies can also offer in-console mounting options for console manufacturers and customers who prefer their meter to be integral to their desk.

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About DK-Technologies
DK-Technologies develops and produces audio meters, video waveform monitors and video sync and test signal generators. Alongside its worldwide distributor network, DK-Technologies also operates branch offices in Denmark, Germany, UK and USA. www.dk-technologies.com

3G Productions Supports Marc Anthony In The Round At Barclays Center

Marc Anthony recently capped off a series of successful engagements at Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall, the Mohegan Sun Arena and Prudential Center with a triumphant Valentine’s Day weekend performance in the round at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

After successfully providing audio for the first three venues, 3G Productions was faced with the task of ensuring even coverage for Anthony and his 15-piece orchestra performing in the round from a revolving stage in the cavernous arena.

Asked about the challenges, 3G Crew Chief Will Taylor explained, “the biggest was taking the tour from a typical end stage configuration with 70 boxes to over 128 enclosures in the round. We used d&b J-Series during the tour and for Barclays, we flew four hangs of 14 for the longer throws at the ends of the arena and four hangs of 18 for the sides to get the vertical coverage we needed because the building is so tall, over 110 feet to the top seats. We also had 16 d&b J-sub and 8 J-Infra subwoofers that we combined with the barricades because the concert was sold out and we didn’t have the real estate to put them where we normally would.”

“The show sounded great,” Taylor continues, “but we had so many amps for the 360 degree coverage, we needed about 150 ft. of cable bridge to get from one end of the arena to the other with upwards of 400 ft. cable runs per cluster. But even with all of the musicians, background singers, boxes, cable, inputs and additional techs, the client was very happy with the coverage and how the show turned out.”

In this case, the client was Production Supervisor Roly Garbalosa who oversaw the tour for Marc Anthony and CMN (Cardenas Marketing Network). Roly was also fully aware of the challenge: “This was Marc’s first U.S. performance in the round with an orchestra that included 3 trombones, 2 trumpets, 3 percussionists, 3 background vocalists, keyboard, bass, guitar and piano rotating 360 degrees back and forth all night. Besides the eight J-Series hangs, we had 8 sidefill points hung with 3 d&b Q10s each because Marc relies heavily on those, especially for this situation.”

“I’ve known 3G Productions for a long time and typically they do a great show and are very professional. The key to this concert was the advance planning which we needed because we were hanging over 100 points on the same day. We came in at 5am, marked the floors, started working a six and were still polishing details at doors.

“As it turned out, the show sounded amazing and everyone really enjoyed it, including Marc. He brought us in after the show––which is rare––and gave us all high fives. He loved the sound and had a lot of fun.”

The overall system for this massive undertaking also included “racks and racks” of d&b D12 and D80 amps for house and monitors; d&b M2, M4 and Q1 speakers and B2 subwoofers for monitors; a DiGiCo SD7 for Front of House and SD10 for Monitors; Shure PSM 900 and Sennheiser G2 in-ear monitors; Shure, Sennheiser and Audix wired mics, and Shure Axient and Sennheiser 5200 wireless mics.

In addition to Marc Anthony’s Front of House/Band Engineer Jose Rivera and Monitor Engineer Eric “Pyle” Ramey; the 3G Productions crew included System Engineer/Crew Chief Will Taylor, Assistant Engineer Jon Daly, Monitor systems tech Joe “Big Joe” Ramos, and stage technicians Kevin Fuller, Robert “Boy” Valdez, and Jimmy Ibanez.

Summing up the show, Jose Rivera added: “It sounded a lot better than I expected. I’ve worked the room different times––never in the round––and it’s challenging from a coverage standpoint because it’s very high and steep. We wanted to make sure everyone who pays for a ticket enjoys the show. We went in with a very large rig and 3G made sure their pre-design work was done and we had the right amount of boxes to cover the room correctly.

“I had the opportunity to walk the room and the coverage sounded really good. Before we selected a vendor, we narrowed it down to two speaker systems and we’re happy we chose d&b.

Marc was ecstatic,” Rivera concludes. “There aren’t too many shows where he has the opportunity to listen to the band during soundcheck from the audience. For this show, he came in early to familiarize himself with the stage because he hadn’t done one in 360. And when I turned on the PA he was blown away and really impressed with the sound. He was comfortable and happy knowing the people were going to enjoy the show because the reinforcement represented what he and the band were going to do on stage.”

For more about 3G Productions, please call 702.948.0459 or click to www.3glp.com

Photo Credit: Carlos Escobar

About 3G Productions, Inc.
Founded in 2004, 3G Productions, Inc. is a multifaceted audio company focused on providing the highest quality of service in live production, sound equipment rental, sales, and installed sound. Located in Las Vegas and Los Angeles, the company operates through two divisions: Live and Pro Audio.

It’s Fiber All the Way for Hillsdale College

 

When it comes to broadband AV, it’s optical fiber all the way for Hillsdale College in Michigan. The independent private college started running high-speed, secure optical fiber across its indoor track using audio optical technology by FiberPlex Technologies in May and is now gearing up for another, longer optical run that will shuttle multimedia across its campus.  

In the next few months, the College will roll out FiberPlex’s WDM-16 multiplexer into existing fiber strands for moving large multimedia files from its auditorium and sports fields to a control studio on campus.

Hillsdale’s Director of Technical Media Ted Matko is working with AVI Systems, headquartered in Eden Prairie, Minn., on the project and expects the WDM-16 active wave division multiplexer to save the college the cost of trenching in new fiber in some areas of the campus by reusing existing optical runs which will generate substantial savings.  

“We needed capacity to get video from the athletic fields, the auditorium, the fine arts building and elsewhere to our new control studio about a quarter of a mile away. Multiplexing will make it cost effective to do that,” said Matko, explaining that FiberPlex’s WDM-16 lets him multiplex 16 separate channels at 3Gb/s each onto two fiber pairs used by the campus network.

The additional channels are needed to stream the college’s live volleyball, football and baseball games across a quarter-mile distance from its athletic fields to the control studio, which was originally the College’s bookstore but now serves as the command center for media control and the head-end to the LTN feed picked up by the networks. The College also shuttles media to its control room from its auditorium on a regular basis for guest speaker engagements.

Previously, in May, the College installed FiberPlex LightViper optical audio snakes for its graduation ceremony held in its indoor track facility with 5,000 people in attendance –including commencement speaker U.S. Senator Ted Cruz.  A LightViper snake connected the mics on stage to a mixing console at the back of the field some 265 feet away over fiber optic cabling. Another LightViper optical snake routed the audio channels – via optical cable – from the track to the studio control room across campus.

All audio is controlled and networked through Peavey’s MediaMatrix audio control system.

“This is a standalone digitally networked sound system that can handle just about anything they want to do from the field. If they need to change anything, they just click on a control page from their laptop and now they’re switched over to any device or location they want through optical fiber and the LightViper system,” said Andrew Walker with Avtek AV, who designed the system and recommended the LightViper optical snake instead of copper snake because it can transport audio error-free and transparently over greater distances, by a 400:1 ratio compared to copper.

A typical LightViper system includes a FOH breakout unit and 32×8 stage box connected by optical cable for sending and receiving optical signals to a remote location. One fiber cable weighing less than eight pounds can transmit the same data as two, 40-pair copper cables weighing 700 pounds.

In the next few weeks, the College’s LightVipers will be joined by new WDM-16 multiplexers that will take the school’s multimedia endeavors a step further by routing video over optical fiber to the control studio elsewhere on the campus for full head-end control of media files.   

Hillsdale College is just one example of how fiber optic technology can be leveraged for educational and communication purposes. FiberPlex makes fiber optic products and systems for government agencies as well as for houses of worship, corporate facilities, broadcast applications, and K-12 and higher education.  

New Zealand’s Māori Television Upgrades Its Broadcast Facility with HARMAN’s Studer Vista 5 M3 and OnAir Consoles

NEWMARKET, New Zealand – Māori Television provides a range of local and international programming for New Zealand’s audiences across the country and online. Founded in 2004, the station is dedicated to the revitalization and normalization of the Māori language and culture through high-quality, readily accessible programming in both Māori and English. Reflecting its commitment to quality, Māori Television recently upgraded its studios with the addition of HARMAN’s Studer Vista 5 M3 and OnAir 2500 digital consoles.

HARMAN Professional New Zealand distributor Jands Ltd. installed the 32-fader Vista 5 M3 and 12-fader OnAir 2500 consoles in Māori Television studios. The studio needed to replace its aging analogue mixing desks and make the move to digital. They wanted consoles that were flexible and easy to use. “Our studios are used for a variety of shows, including live news and current affairs programs, talk shows, sports programming and more,” said Kane Dickie, sound team leader. “One of the most challenging requirements is doing the sound for a live music show that requires mixing multiple hosts talking at once plus a live band.”

Māori Television wanted to avoid having to patch the consoles into external effects devices, and chose the Studer consoles because they had enough built-in effects to handle all the processing for all the shows that are produced at Māori Television. Ease of use was equally important – “we wanted consoles that were intuitive to use, so that most of the people in our studio would be able to operate them.” In addition, the consoles had to be able to link together so they could share sources between Māori Televisions two broadcast studios. The Vista 5 M3 offers access of up to 240 channels, ensuring the station would have all the inputs it needs. Along with the Vista 5 M3 and On Air 2500, Māori Television purchased three Studer Compact Stagebox expansion units, a 32-in/16-out and two 16-in/16-out models.

Before Māori TV purchased them, Jands set up the complete system on their premises to allow Kane and his team to try them out. The Māori TV staff took to the consoles immediately, giving high marks to the consoles’ easy, fast and responsive operation, accessible control layouts, convenient Vistonics™ and Touch’n’Action color touch screens, and variety of useful built-in effects. “

Now that the Vista 5 M3 and On Air 2500 are up and running at Māori Television, Kane confirms their initial positive experience with the consoles at Jands. “The transition from analogue to digital consoles went smoothly. In addition to doing everything we need them to and then some, we’ve noticed that the Studer consoles’ preamps have made all of our mics sound much cleaner. In addition, all of the old analogue buzz we could never get rid of in the past has disappeared.”

In Māori it’s called “Kia Tika” – being professional and maintaining high standards. It’s one of Māori Television’s core values, and the Studer Vista 5 M3 and On Air 2500 reflect the station’s commitment to “Kia Tika.”

HARMAN 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 14,800 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $4.7 billion for the last twelve months ended December 31, 2013.

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