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Fairlight Delivers the Gift of Great Sound at Sky Vision Sound Studios

Robert Thompson Sky Vision

London-based Sky Vision Sound Studios, the international distribution arm of Sky, has recently completed a major upgrade of its Fairlight equipment to bring it in line with Sky’s UK broadcasting facilities in Osterley. The three-studio complex, two mix rooms and a prep room, has upgraded its Fairlight Constellation console with a Fairlight EVO, six of which are already in use at Sky. It has also upgraded its XYNERGI system by installing the latest software version – a move that is already improving workflow.

Sky Vision’s Audio Supervisor and Senior Dubbing Mixer Robert Thompson says: “Although we have handled work for external clients such as the BBC, Universal and Channel 5, the majority of our work comes from Sky Vision. As work often moves between Sky’s sound studios and ours, it made sense for us to have identical equipment. The dubbing mixers at Sky were obviously very happy with their Fairlight EVO’s and this, combined with our own good experiences of Fairlight, meant we had no qualms about upgrading our own desk.”

Tucked away in a Georgian Mews in the heart of London’s Fitzrovia, Sky Vision Sound Studios handles a variety of programming covering wildlife, docudrama, documentary, children’s TV shows, scripted content, sports and comedy. The diversity of the projects Sky Vision Sound Studios tackles is mind-boggling, as is the speed of turnaround this facility achieves.

“Last year we completed over 70 hours of broadcast TV, which for two mix rooms is pretty good going,” Thompson says. “That’s just shy of three hours a month – a lot of work by anyone’s standards. Of course none of this would be possible without the Fairlight systems we have in both rooms. It really is a credit to Fairlight we achieve what we do because you simply couldn’t get through such a large quantity of work without having a system that is so reliable and flexible.”

Sky Vision Sound Studio’s affiliation with Fairlight goes back to 1999 when the facility was first set up by dubbing mixer Trevor Barber. Thompson, who was brought in some years later to help increase the facility’s output, says: “I got switched on to Fairlight by Trevor because he wouldn’t use anything else. I didn’t start out as a Fairlight user – in previous jobs, and as a freelancer, I had mostly used Avid Pro Tools. But when Trevor first set up the studios he installed a Fairlight MFX hard disk recorder in Studio One. As soon as Fairlight introduced their new Xynergi range, Trevor came on board straight away. In fact, the Xynergi system we own and use today is serial number 5. It still works perfectly. The only thing we have changed is the operating software, which we have just upgraded again to the latest version.”

Thompson adds that transitioning from Constellation to EVO has been very straightforward, mainly because all Fairlight systems are very intuitive.

“We have had no issues moving over to the EVO,” he says. “Both Russell Skellon, who mainly works in Studio Two, and myself have been using Fairlight for a long time and we have so much experience that the system is almost second nature to us. I would say the same about XYNERGI and the upgrade to the latest software version. Setting up the XCS controller on the EVO so that it works the way we are used to was very quick to master and it was all so seamless that we were up and running almost immediately. The only thing that is taking a bit of time is exploring the new software features. We are now finding out all the new tricks it can do and it is already offering much greater functionality.”

As many users will testify, one of the main benefits of Fairlight is the ability to build customised workflows.

“We often have to deliver shows to multiple broadcasters worldwide, and with Fairlight I am able to build consoles and workflows that produce all the deliverables I need very efficiently,” Thompson says. “I also find editing on Fairlight incredibly intuitive because I can use the Picture Keys on the XCS to make my own controller and editor, which I design around my personal preference. It’s also really nice to personalise my common functions and assign them a macro so they can be done with just the push of a button. It gets me away from mouse based editing. The whole XCS mentality is quite exciting as it has the potential to operate as a controller across multiple applications.”

Thompson adds that Fairlight’s ability to accept and export multiple file formats is useful when the facility gets project from outside clients, “but to be honest we’ve honed the workflow between ourselves and Sky Vision to a point there this isn’t really relevant,” he says.

“What is useful, though, is Fairlight’s ability to give users two picture tacks at the same time.
If you are re-versioning and don’t get an EDL file that tells you what has been cut where, this can be a very tedious and time consuming process. With Fairlight’s integrated video we can streamline the process by running two picture tracks and comparing them in real time. This makes it much faster to manually make the cuts. It’s a great feature and one that really helps us.

“For example, the nature of our work is that we do quite a few versions of a specific programme mix. With the new software, we can easily conform all of our edits, including the mix, which was something we couldn’t do with previous versions. We’ve always had a good dialogue with Fairlight and this is something we’ve been specifically asking them to do, so having it now is just fantastic because it means we can work even faster as the whole reversioning process is now far more automated. Most other systems rely on third party software for this.”

Thompson adds that he is also looking forward to exploring the latest software’s new background recording feature, which offers lots of sound design potential.

“I’m still checking this out but it looks like another really useful feature,” he says. “You can record while you are scrolling and jog shuttling. It basically records anything passing through a specified output as a background task. I can also see this being useful for ADR because it saves the timeline becoming littered with takes.”

Having proved that Sky Vision Sound Studios can handle an annual output of more than 70 hours of broadcast TV on Fairlight’s previous software, Thompson is confident this can be exceeded now that the new version is in place. But despite all the time saving features the new EVO console delivers, he still feels the best thing about Fairlight is its sound quality.

“I suppose I’m a bit of a musician at heart,” he laughs, “which is why I really like the smoothness of the Fairlight I/O. Some of our clients are composers and musicians as well so it’s no surprise they also comment on how good this system sounds.”

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About Fairlight:
Fairlight has been designing, engineering and manufacturing cutting edge, professional digital audio technology for more than 30 years. Its dedication to innovation, quality and customer service has made Fairlight one of the most respected companies in professional audio. With their integrated control surfaces and intuitive user interfaces, Fairlight’s award-winning media creation tools are renowned for their speed, flexibility and exceptional sonic quality. The company’s products offer full compatibility with virtually all open audio, video and sync standards, making them ideally suited to a wide range of audio post and live broadcast applications.
www.fairlight.com.au

DPA Microphones Makes Incognito’s Percussion Sound Crisp and Clear

Joao Caetano Incognito 1

Jazz Funk band Incognito celebrates its 35th anniversary this year and to mark the occasion the band was recently filmed at London’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire for a live convert DVD.

To ensure that the sound was as a tight as possible, Incognito’s percussionist Joao Caetano took along his own selection of DPA microphones including four d:vote™ 4099 Instrument Microphones and a stereo pair of d:dicate™ 4011A cardioid microphones, which were used as overheads for the recording.

“Normally I use d:dicate™ 4011A Cardioid microphones for studio work and rely on the d:vote 4099 Instruments Microphones for live performance. But on this occasion we were recording audio for a DVD so I supplemented the line-up with the d:dicate 4011As because I wanted to capture the best sound possible. Our front of house engineer, Chris Lewis, was very happy that I had brought them out of the studio for the task. He always insists that I use my DPAs on all our gigs.”

25-year-old Caetano is a fully fledged member of Incognito having joined Jean Paul ‘Bluey’ Maunick’s band in 2010. Originally from Macau, he came to the UK to study Music at Chichester University. Since graduating he has worked as a professional percussionist in the UK and has also composed and recorded music for television. Alongside his Incognito projects, Caetano has also worked and performed with the likes of Chaka Khan, Leona Lewis, Jessie J, Dionne Bromfield, Mario Biondi.

“Although I am primarily a percussionist, I am also very melodic because I studied violin for 12 years and guitar while I was at university,” he says. “I incorporate an awareness of other instruments into my work and I do like to capture the best sound possible, both in the studio and on the live stage. This is the main reason why I invested in my own selection of DPA microphones – in my opinion they are the best microphones in the world. They wipe the floor with everything else.”

Incognito tours every year and 2014 is no exception. The band are currently performing at various venues around Europe and Caetano takes his trusted d:votes with him wherever he goes.

“I use them on my congas and bongos because they deliver a really crisp, clear sound,” he explains. “They are very reliable and, of course, very portable because they are so small. I love the fact that they are well engineered and that they can be used on a range of instruments thanks to the clips that DPA has designed for them. Everything about them is good – even down to the cables and the case they come in. Compared to other microphones, they are streets ahead and once you have tried them you never go back to anything else.”

Joao Caetano is also working on a solo album project and says this will be recorded with DPA microphones because he wants it to sound ‘beautiful’.

“I’m playing guitar on this album and I’m definitely using my d:dicate 4011A microphones to capture that,” he says. “I have also been recommending DPA microphones to other musicians that I work with and am more than happy to point them in the direction of DPA’s UK distributor Sound Network, who were a great help when I was buying my own microphones.”

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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

Foo Fighters Headline With Martin Audio MLA At Invictus Games

Invictus Games - Closing Ceremony 14th September 2014

Martin Audio’s award-winning MLA (Multi-cellular Loudspeaker Array) PA system enjoyed its busiest weekend of the year, with two huge simultaneous London events on either side of the capital.

While rental/production company Capital Sound was fielding no fewer than 170 enclosures at the perennial Proms in the Park (Hyde Park), over in the east at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, the Prince Harry inspired Jaguar Land Rover Invictus Games Closing Concert also featured MLA.

The five hour extravaganza combined a celebration of medallion presentations to the wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women who competed in the Games, backed by a full concert line up with Foo Fighters headlining and supporting acts Kaiser Chiefs, Ellie Goulding, Ryan Adams, Bryan Adams, The Vamps, Rizzle Kicks and James Blunt.

A crowd of over 25,000 people heard Prince Harry deliver a heartfelt speech that roused the spirits of the crowd, culminating in a Mexican wave, before introducing the Foo Fighters for their triumphant return to London.

Invictus Games - Closing Ceremony 14th September 2014

The event was promoted by AEG Live, with Capital working for site managers, Loudsound, with whom they have enjoyed a long relationship (most recently at British Summer Time in Hyde Park).

But unlike Hyde Park where sound leakage is at its most sensitive, there was optimism MLA would be able to produce an even bigger sound. “This was a totally new situation and the promoters were keen to see what we could get out of it, sound wise,” commented Paul Timmins, Capital Sound Account manager. “[Loudsound site production manager] Dan Craig really understands audio and was confident he could achieve proper rock and roll levels.”

With the closest residence still within 850 ft. of the stage and with Vanguardia measuring propagation at four separate offsite locations, the production team was still able to hit the FOH SPL’s demanded by the Foo Fighters, playing at well over 100dB(A) as the level ramped up incrementally through the day; at the same time the sound comfortably tapered off below the offsite restriction of 75dB(A) at the nearest measurement point — and recorded values as low as the mid 60’s.

The main front facing PA comprised two hangs of 14 MLA per side and two MLD Downfills, while for sidefills, because of the site topography, Capital was able to field 12 MLA Compacts on one flank and 16 on the other—an asymmetric solution that worked particularly well. This enabled the shorter hang to fire into the VIP grandstand without straying beyond into the large block of apartment buildings behind.

Two Martin Audio W8LCs were deployed for center front fills and there were two masts of delays, set 245 ft. back from the stage (midway from the site perimeter), each containing eight Martin Audio W8L Longbow enclosures. Meanwhile, 12 Martin Audio LE1200 low profile wedge monitors were provided as floor monitors onstage.

Invictus Games - Closing Ceremony 14th September 2014

The real customization came in the 32-enclosure MLX sub array. In order to meet the Foo Fighters tour spec they deployed Philip Reynolds, who has worked extensively with Martin Audio US partner Delicate Productions and is familiar with MLA.
Along with Martin Audio R&D director, Jason Baird, and Capital Sound technical manager, Ian Colville, Reynolds adapted the sub array into a Left/Center/Right design, which included cardioid elements to contain coverage, while bringing even more low-end transient attack to the central section.

Having been involved with the Foo Fighters since their Wasting Light album back in 2011, Reynolds confirmed: “That sub design was exactly as I wanted and for the band it delivered the high impact in the mix” — a mix that was delivered by veteran sound engineer Craig Overbay, piloting a DiGiCo SD10.

But the planning of the event was to throw a final curve at the Capital Sound team as Paul Timmins explained. “Although we had designed the audio for the closing concert, since we had the infrastructure already in place, at short notice we were asked to also handle the Invictus Games Opening Ceremony. We had to come up with a system we could change in a day, and throughout the opening ceremony there was an element of rapid reconfiguration as we had to make it work for every dignitary on stage.”

Marty Beath, a seasoned MLA tech, was part of the crew, and this is where his MLA experience, and knowledge of the audience geometry in the MLA software, was brought to bear. “The area that became the audience zone at the Closing Concert was set out like a military tattoo,” he explained. “We needed a new solution for MLA which covered the competitors’ section—set 20ft in front of the stage—so we optimized the system in the software to use the bottom part of the main PA to cover the front.

(left to right): Jason Baird, Marty Beath; Philip Reynolds

(left to right): Jason Baird, Marty Beath; Philip Reynolds

“When Prince Harry was at a lectern in the PA zone I loaded a new snapshot in MLA which enabled us to get another 8dB of gain before feedback; so by using MLA’s software to set a hard avoid I could direct the sound over the lectern, which was fantastic.”

The entire production seemed more than satisfied with the levels and quality achieved. Phil Reynolds was enthusiastic: “I enjoy how far MLA has come. I was happy with the deployment, everything matched Foo Fighter specs, the PA did exactly as planned, and it’s been exciting hearing the band today playing through a full MLA for the first time.”

Dan Craig added, “Once again MLA displayed all we know and love about the system and delivered effective, even coverage. It’s my third major park event of the summer and yet again MLA has demonstrated its flexibility to create a system design network.

“Since I have been using the system it has solved three very different problems and I am happy to be working with Ian [Colville] and the Capital team to provide the solutions which MLA enables us to implement.”

And describing the concert as “a fitting end to an inspirational four days of Games,” Jim King, Director of Events, AEG Live said: “AEG are very proud to have played our part in producing the Invictus Games Closing Concert.”

Or as the Foo Fighters put it, “What a perfect way to finally return to the UK for the first time in years…it’s been waaaay too long! Thanks for having us; it is truly an honor to come play for these incredible men and women….”

For more about Martin Audio, please click to www.martin-audio.com.

Photo credit: Jessica Gilbert

Prism Sound Announces A Drum Masterclass In Germany

Gavin Harrison

Internationally acclaimed drummer Gavin Harrison is collaborating with Prism Sound to deliver a unique Drum Masterclass, which will take place at KMR Audio in Berlin on Saturday November 1, 2014.

Harrison has worked with a wide range of artists including Iggy Pop, Porcupine Tree, Sam Brown and King Crimson. His Masterclass in Germany will focus on techniques for recording drums in a studio and will give those attending the opportunity to record a track on his Sonor drum kit.

Harrison recently gave a similar Masterclass at Ananda Studios in the UK, which was hugely successful. Prism Sound supported that event by providing audio interface equipment.

Bernard Nocker, Prism Sound’s sales representative in Germany, says: “We were so inspired by it that we decided to host another event in Germany where there is enormous demand for this kind of hands-on workshop. Gavin is an inspiring teacher and during the Masterclass he will focus on the demands of being a session player and how to deliver a great performance, even when under pressure. He will also give each attendee individual feedback so that they can raise their game to another level.”

To ensure the highest possible audio quality throughout the recording chain, Prism Sound will once again deploy a number of its Atlas USB audio interfaces to track the microphones from the drum kit into Logic. Aimed squarely at multitrack recording applications, Atlas benefits from Prism Sound’s 27 year history in digital audio processing and interface design. It incorporates the company’s latest award-winning CleverClox dual hybrid clocking technology and 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. With eight acclaimed Prism Sound microphone preamplifiers as standard, Atlas is ideally suited to the needs of drummers.

Gavin Harrison’s Prism Sound Drum Masterclass runs for three hours and is not suitable for beginners. Capacity is limited to a maximum of 12 participants and the cost of the session is €150 per person. Anyone wanting to attend should visit:

http://www.prismsound.com/music_recording/store/store_offers3.php?lng=de

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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

3G Productions Supports Juan Gabriel With Martin Audio MLA

Photo: Robert Hacman

Photo: Robert Hacman

When Mexican singer/songwriter Juan Gabriel had to interrupt his U.S. “Volver 2014” tour for two weeks due to illness, his engineering staff prevailed upon 3G Productions to switch over to a Martin Audio MLA system for the remaining arena dates.

As 3G’s System Engineer Manny Perez describes the changeover, “The other system was working just fine, but Juan’s FOH Engineer Rodrigo Lopez had attended an MLA demo in Mexico and was really interested to see how it would perform.”

Gabriel, an internationally acclaimed Latin American musician who’s sold over 100 million albums, resumed the second leg of his sold-out tour at Miami’s American Airlines Arena, which presented some challenges of its own.

According to Perez, “As soon as I walked into the arena, their staff expressed concerns that they’d been having trouble covering the top rows of the nosebleed section for the last few shows and had to provide refunds. We assured them that we had it covered and the show would sound great everywhere. Then we put the MLA system up and tuned it really quickly even though it was a big rig designed to provide 270-degree coverage. Rodrigo, the band’s music consultant and I all walked the room from top to bottom and front to back, and there were absolutely no problems in terms of coverage and balanced sound.”

The 270-degree system for American Airlines Arena consisted of a main hang with 32 MLA and 4 MLD; side hangs with 36 MLA Compacts; a third hang with 24 MLA Compacts; 10 ground-stacked MLX subs, and 4 DD12s on the front of the stage for front-fill to the first six rows.

Photo: Robert Hacman

Photo: Robert Hacman

Describing the system in greater detail Manny points out, “The ratio of MLX to the rest of the system seems a bit light, but Rodrigo didn’t want a bass-heavy mix for the show because of all the acoustic instruments and high end frequencies. Also, we were using the new two-way DD12 powered speakers from Martin Audio for the first time and they’re really good. I would usually have to do a lot of cleaning up with EQ because they’re positioned so close to the subs, but they didn’t need a thing. The DD12s throw further than we needed them to and were more than perfect for what they had to do.”

The rest of the system consists of SSL and Avid Profile consoles for FOH and monitors, LM44 Lake processing, Smaart 7 software, Shure UFH-RD wireless and DPA microphones.

Asked about mixing on MLA, Rodrigo Lopez responds, “For me, it’s definitely the best speaker out there with more control of the sound and how it projects to the audience. The system provides the same amount of sound pressure and coverage from the front seat to the back with correct phasing throughout the arena.

“It’s been perfect for the tour,” Lopez continues. “The audience hears exactly what I’m getting out of the console. It’s challenging with Juan Gabriel because he’s playing with a lot of Mariachi and there are a lot of acoustic instruments that don’t have as much power. But with MLA, the audience can hear all of those instruments clearly, as if the musicians are playing right in front of them.”

Photo: Robert Hacman

Photo: Robert Hacman

Summing up, Perez adds, “I like the MLA’s clarity and imaging which is amazing when you pan the percussion and keyboards left to right. The speakers sound 30 feet wide where the sound moves across the space. The high end and high mids for vocals and snares are so clear; you can really hear the sizzle of the snare bottoms and high hats.

“A lot of people keep telling me how MLA is a really smooth, natural-sounding system that’s very satisfying to the ear. The staff and production crew, Juan’s musicians and his music consultant are stoked. Everybody really likes it which has been a real plus for the tour.”

Photo credit: Robert Hacman www.roberthacman.com

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.

Point Source Audio SERIES8 Microphones Chosen by Chase Oaks Texas Mega-Church

Audio engineer and leadership team select PSA’s low-profile mics after extensive evaluation.

Chase Oaks' Senior Pastor Jeff Jones relies on Point Source Audio’s CO-8WD headset microphone to deliver to his congregation

Point Source Audio (PSA), an innovator of the original and one-of-a-kind “Unbreakable Boom” miniature microphones, announced that its SERIES8 miniature microphones have been adopted by the three campuses of Chase Oaks Church of Plano, Texas—serving greater Plano’s population of 720,000.

SERIES8 headset mics are well-suited to the church community, particularly those with large congregations and physical dimensions to match. Chase Oaks’ expansive campuses made servicing their microphones a growing challenge and expense. “Our old headsets were continually snapping. It was very frustrating,” recounts Chase Oak’s Audio Engineer Kevin Sanchez before discovering Point Source Audio’s SERIES8 and its unique “Unbreakable Boom”. “The help I received from PSA’s customer support CHAT just blew me away,” Kevin added, “every question I asked came back with a ‘yes’ and a ‘here’s how you can do it.’”

The SERIES8 collection of headset, earworn and lavalier microphones is Point Source Audio’s next generation of miniature microphones. Its flagship 360° bendable boom feature is one of four features the company touts to be unique in combination with their mics’ IP57 waterproof rating against water, sweat and makeup; 148 dB max SPL; and interchangeable X-connectors for swapping wireless terminations.

Sanchez was wowed by Point Source Audio’s miniature headset that was both bendable and waterproof. After purchasing the CO-8WD through his trusted dealer, Rat Sound Systems in Camarillo, California, he verified the boom didn’t break after bending it 90° and after wearing for 30 minutes, it passed the comfort challenge. But the definitive factor for Sanchez and the leadership team was the headset mic’s performance quality. “I was shocked at how much gain I could get before feedback and the clarity of the headset,” remarked Sanchez.

Chase Oaks Church joins other distinguished venues such as Universal Studios, the Kravis Center, and Shiki Theater Company Tokyo to have compared and chosen Point Source Audio’s SERIES8 microphone. With an MSRP starting at $389, Point Source Audio’s SERIES8 miniature microphones are available for purchase at a number of resellers and distributors worldwide. More information about Point Source Audio’s various audio solutions can be found by visiting www.point-sourceaudio.com.

About Point Source Audio
Point Source Audio (PSA) manufactures and distributes worldwide their SERIES8 miniature microphones—a unique line of headset and earworn microphones known for their robust bendable boom and waterproof features. As a result of PSA’s pro-audio expertise and its admired reputation for sales and service support, the company was also named Digigram’s Master Distributor for the Americas. The world renowned brand of Digigram sound cards, IP audio and video codecs, and Ethersound audio networking technology are now available from Point Source Audio. Founded in 2004, Point Source Audio is headquartered in Petaluma, Calif. For more information call (415) 226-1122 or visit www.point-sourceaudio.com.

Zac Brown Band Headlines Wrigley Field With Martin Audio MLA


Chicago, IL––SES (Special Event Services) set up what President Jim Brammer terms as “the largest outdoor MLA system deployed in North America thus far” for a sold-out Zac Brown concert at Wrigley Field of 40,000.

The event also marked Zac Brown Band’s first as a solo headliner in a major league ballpark, having shared staging earlier this summer with Billy Joel at Boston’s Fenway Park. Both shows were part of the band’s successful “Great American Road Trip” tour that runs until the middle of October.

The massive Martin Audio MLA system consisted of 170 enclosures: A Main Hang of 22 MLA over 2 MLD per side; 24 MLA Compact per side for Outfill; 8 flown MLX subs per side and 24 MLX in 12 stacks of two across the entire downstage area; 4 MLA Compact in a straight array per side for Off Left/Right front fill; 6 W8LMD across the downstage edge for Lip Fill, and 24 MLA for delays.

Asked about the event, Brammer responds, “The challenge with Wrigley and most ballparks is getting sound up under the overhangs in the upper deck. We were able to solve that with a delay system that consisted of four SES audio carts, each with six MLA, arrayed at home plate, first and third base near the seats.”

In terms of audio quality, “the show was off-the-charts good,” Jim adds. “Everyone was extremely pleased and we had visiting major league ballparks to look at the MLA setup and see if they might be able to use it, and they were very happy with the way it sounded.

Tour Veteran Warren Cracknell from the SES Nashville office summed it up with one word, ”Outstanding!”

When asked what he thought, FOH Engineer/Production Manager Eric Roderick said, “It was Bad to the Bone!”

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.

Fairlight Unveils the Next Generation of Audio Post Production

Internationally acclaimed as the first company in the world to introduce FPGA technology to the audio post production business, Fairlight has now consolidate its position as an innovator with the launch of its second generation Crystal Core (CC-2) technology.

Hailed as the most powerful post production audio engine ever created, CC-2 incorporates an impressive 1000 playback channels, 100+ output buses and 100 live inputs. When teamed with Fairlight’s new V5 operating software, it offers the ultimate professional solution for the demanding delivery requirements of today’s broadcast industry.

In keeping with Fairlight’s long tradition of seamless upgrade paths, CC-2 is entirely compatible with the audio hardware currently operating with the company’s established CC-1 engine.

Tino Fibaek, Fairlight’s Chief Technical Officer, says: “Future proofing our technology has always been at the heart of our business philosophy. With the launch of CC-2, we have ensured that existing Fairlight customers can easily upgrade without having to replace their current audio interfaces or control surfaces. This means they can extend the life of their original hardware investment, whilst benefiting from the increased capacity that CC-2 brings.”

Fairlight’s CC-2 engine features a processor chip that is five times more powerful than the chip in its CC-1 engine. It also has four times the PCIe bandwidth, new dual channel memory architecture, an on-board expansion slot and almost twice the MADI connectivity.

Augmenting Fairlight’s renowned editing model, V5 sees the addition of Clipbender, an enhanced time compression and expansion feature allowing audio within a single clip to be aligned to picture, with multiple bend points and real time non-destructive processing.

Fairlight’s V5 software has advanced to a full 64-bit application, allowing unrestricted access to the full power of Intel’s latest processors. The associated increase in memory and speed delivers more simultaneous plug-ins, more video formats and larger media files. When used in combination with CC-2, this platform delivers faster than real-time, offline mixdown.

Also developed a part of the new 64-bit architecture is a brand new video engine, leveraging GPU acceleration for real-time video processing, offering support 4K video resolution, and features built-in HEVC decoding.

For more information about Fairlight’s new CC-2 audio engine and V5 software, please visit www.fairlight.com.au

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About Fairlight:

Fairlight has been designing, engineering and manufacturing cutting edge, professional digital audio technology for more than 30 years. Its dedication to innovation, quality and customer service has made Fairlight one of the most respected companies in professional audio. With their integrated control surfaces and intuitive user interfaces, Fairlight’s award-winning media creation tools are renowned for their speed, flexibility and exceptional sonic quality. The company’s products offer full compatibility with virtually all open audio, video and sync standards, making them ideally suited to a wide range of audio post and live broadcast applications.

www.fairlight.com.au

Martin Audio MLA Mini Lifts Spirits At IDC Church

Chicago, IL––Encompass AV recently installed a Martin Audio MLA Mini loudspeaker system at the Inspirational Deliverance Center Church of God in Christ as part of a major technical upgrade for its 500-seat worship center.

Tim Pickett, President of Encompass AV, explains that his company was chosen because “the church liked the fact that we could deliver a turnkey system with sound, lighting and a video network, the whole package.

“And they insisted on really good sound,” Tim adds. “The church has a very energetic Gospel choir and two Leslie cabinets hooked up to the Hammond organ that really push the audio system to the limits. Plus the worship center has highly reflective surfaces so they needed a system with exceptional output control.

“We specified several systems for them and they chose the Martin Audio MLA Mini because of the system’s state of the art technology and phenomenal sound quality. Also, the coverage had a nice tight pattern to it, and that was a huge selling point for MLA. In fact, we set up a demo and they liked it so much, they bought the demo units!”

The installed audio system includes two four-block MLA Mini arrays driven by MSX mini sub power plants. Two Martin Audio AQ8s provide additional fill with four C6.8T ceiling speakers installed in the low ceiling above the choir as monitors. Two Behringer S16 digital snakes supplement a Behringer X32 digital console with programmable MIDAS preamps.

There are three video displays in the sanctuary, two 80” Sharp LEDs left and right and a 70” Sharp LED facing the choir, with two Sony 1080P PTZ HD cameras driving the video network system. Lighting is provided by 60 Elation LED PAR-style lighting systems with six Elation LED architectural floods.

Asked about the MLA Mini’s performance, Tim enthuses, “I love it. The sound quality is amazing. Everybody that’s heard it comments on how crystal clear it is and the Church is ecstatic about the system.”

Rob Hofkamp, Martin Audio Director of North American Operations adds, “The MLA Compact has already made significant inroads in Church installations and the MLA Mini should also enjoy considerable success in the House of Worship market given its compact size, control and exceptional performance.”

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.

Steely Dan’s Pursuit of Perfection with MLA

Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Walter Becker and Donald Fagen took Steely Dan’s “Jamalot Ever After” tour across the U.S. and Canada this summer, with OSA International, Inc. providing Martin Audio’s Multi-cellular Loudspeaker Array (MLA) sound system.

Steely Dan has a reputation among audiophiles and throughout Pro Audio for their fastidious attention to sound production, so much so that many FOH engineers and system techs use a Steely Dan track to tune a system. When it comes to live sound, their expectations for the PA are no less demanding.

Returning to mix Steely Dan is Mark Dowdle, whose extensive credits include Elton John, Gloria Estefan, Fleetwood Mac, Tina Turner and Jackson Browne, to name just a few. Last year’s tour included a stop at Ravinia Festival in Chicago, where Dowdle mixed on two 7-box MLA arrays, the first year of a new OSA installation and the first new PA in a decade at North America’s oldest music festival.

Mark Dowdle

Late last year, Steely Dan’s road manager, tour sound icon Robert ‘Nitebob’ Czaykowski, introduced Walter Becker to MLA at a demonstration at New York’s Manhattan Center, where they were able to walk around and hear the evenness of its response and coverage. Steely Dan often plays theaters, where the mix position is usually at the back, beneath a balcony. “I go out there every day and listen to it; that’s part of my gig,” Czaykowski said. “What really knocks me out about MLA is that you can really control it so it’s not splattering off a back wall or cluttering up in the lower balcony.”

Present also at the NYC demo was Jim Risgin, Vice President for OSA –owners of the largest inventory of MLA in North America. With offices in Chicago, Las Vegas and now also Nashville, OSA have built an impressive reputation and client list providing complete technical services to some of the largest corporate, sporting events and concert tours in the U.S. The NYC demo was followed by extensive research from Mark Dowdle to confirm that the system would deliver the desired performance, and as a result Steely Dan added MLA to their tour.

Across the demanding 56-stop tour, MLA showed its versatility, control and overall sound performance credentials. Dowdle points out that the MLA provides extremely even front-to-back SPL as well as evenness of frequency response throughout the listening area. “The coverage is very smooth, especially its shading,” he said. “You can walk up on the PA in the front and it sounds just like it does in the back of the room.”

Dowdle also mentions an improvement to the stereo field. “Everything is more defined, so that automatically translates into the stereo field being more discernable,” he said. “MLA gives me dynamic range, clarity and definition so that I’m able to position and layer sounds in the stereo field which you can really hear where they all are.” He adds that the MLA’s sound is extremely coherent and is very responsive from a mixing standpoint. “You make a small fader move and it’s immediately noticeable.”

Furthermore, Dowdle is surprised by the constant comments from the audience. “I’ve been mixing for a long time and usually nobody ever says anything. This particular tour I’ve had more response from the audience than any tour I’ve ever done in my entire career, and it’s always been very positive and it’s always been very poignant. That’s in large part because of MLA allowing me to get it exactly how I want everywhere in the room.”

OSA crew chief and MLA system engineer Martyn ‘Ferrit’ Rowe is well known from his tenure at Martin Audio as an MLA product specialist before leaving to work for OSA as Director of Engineering. The Steely Dan tour travels in two trucks, carrying consoles and backline (including a Steinway grand) in one, and lights and PA in the second. “We’re carrying 26 MLA and 2 MLD down-fills, as well as 18 MLA Compacts, plus 8 MLX subs and 6 W8LMD used as front-fills,” Rowe explains.

The tour played Oklahoma City’s Chesapeake Energy Arena and New Orleans’ UNO Lakefront Arena using the 14-box MLA main arrays and 9-box MLA Compact side arrays that they carry. “The LA Forum was the only venue on our 56-show itinerary where we had to add PA,” said Mitchell Keller, Steely Dan’s production manager for the fourth year running. “It’s quite impressive that on a two truck tour we can carry enough PA to do arenas.”

The rest of the itinerary ranged from sheds and theaters to casinos. “The smallest venue was Humphrey’s in San Diego, putting in two subwoofers and ground stacking six MLA per side,” Rowe explains. “We recently did four shows in a row with single point hangs using ten MLA enclosures.”

As well as MLA’s flexibility and scalability, Rowe is keen to point out the simplicity of its operation. “It’s like fly by wire; you tell it what you want and the software produces a custom preset for your system and the room,” he said. “This isn’t auto EQ, you still have control over all the decisions that are being made, but the computer is doing the heavy lifting for you.”

So, coming full circle, what did Fagen and Becker make of the sound quality? According to Dowdle, “Both have come out into the audience on a number of occasions and have always been positive with their feedback and what was going on.

“More often than not Donald will come out and listen and frequently comments, ‘It sounds great,’ which is probably the highest compliment that I could ever receive in my career.”

For more about Martin Audio, please click to www.martin-audio.com.

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