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Core Brands Unveils New Brand, Training and Sales Management Organization at CEDIA 2012

Moving swiftly to integrate its product development and marketing functions into a dynamic new brand management organization that drives both innovation and collaboration, Core Brands LLC today announced the implementation of a focused management structure comprised of eight individual brand managers. The brand management team will report directly to Core Brands Senior Vice President of Marketing Paul Starkey.

“The formation of Core Brands combines the expertise of ten iconic brands into one powerful new business organization that will bring more opportunities to our more than 4,300 dealers and integrators around the world,” Starkey said today. “Our new brand management structure makes a focused team responsible for driving the innovation in the areas of control, audio, and power management.”

According to Dave Keller, Senior Vice President of Sales, Core Brands is taking the additional step of moving its field support team and six trainers closer to dealers and introducing an expanded training schedule that more than quadruples the number of face-to-face training sessions over the next 12 months. “What’s more,” Keller emphasized, “face-to-face training is also being combined with new online training initiatives and electronic mini communications programs in ways that will provide dealers and integrators with the necessary product information that will help them to sell and install solutions more efficiently and profitably than ever before.”

Regarding the overall sales organization, Keller said today that Core Brands will retain its four current United States sales rep networks to keep consistency and the best level of ground support for its dealers. “In order to maximize our effectiveness at the local level, we are moving to six U.S. sales regions each with a Regional Sales Manager. “Our goal is to make the decision point for dealers and reps very accessible at the local level,” Keller explained, emphasizing that two immediate impacts are expected by these changes. First, the company expects dealers to have easy access to the lines in the Group to maximize efficiency and profits for all dealers. Secondly, the field support organization allows more factory support at the local level, thus increasing the productivity of the dealers with all of the Core Brands product lines.

Headquartered in Petaluma, California, Core Brands is a division of the Nortek Technology Solutions Segment (www.nortek-inc.com). Core Brands combines the product and marketing strengths of ten iconic audio, power management and control brands into a single business unit that includes ATON®, BlueBOLT®, ELAN®, Furman®, Niles®, Panamax®, Proficient®, SpeakerCraft®, Sunfire® and Xantech® brands. Core Brands has more than 190 years of combined experience in the residential, commercial and professional markets and over 4,300 direct customer accounts in multiple distribution channels in the United States and around the world.

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NOVA Group Improves Its Viewer’s Audio Experience With Jünger Audio’s LEVEL MAGIC™ Technology

TV Nova, the biggest commercial television station in the Czech Republic, has replaced its former audio processors with Jünger Audio’s LEVEL MAGIC™ technology to help prevent surprise level changes when switching from one audio source to another.

The Prague-based station, which began broadcasting in 1994, is now owned by Central European Media Enterprises (CME). It reaches 98% of the country’s population of 10.2 million and provides a programme mix that includes its own fiction and non-fiction productions, foreign acquisitions, entertainment shows and news.

In 2008, Nova Group began broadcasting in High Definition via its Nova HD and Nova Sport HD channels. It also has a strong internet presence. It is now broadcasting five FTA channels and two online channels.

Nova Group initially invested in 10 Jünger Audio frame-based C8086 LEVEL MAGIC™, which were installed across four of its broadcasting channels. This summer, the broadcaster undertook an upgrade of its loudness processing systems by installing Jünger Audio’s new C8086+ 8ch LEVEL MAGIC™ II modules with R128 loudness processing. This means it can now comply with all current loudness recommendations.

Josef Uher, Technical Director of Nova Group, says: “It is clear to us that the decision to switch to Jünger Audio’s LEVEL MAGIC™ audio processing was the right one.”

Lukáš Kobl, Broadcast Maintenance Manager Nova Group, adds: “LEVEL MAGIC™ provides a safe algorithm for controlling audio level and is functionally very reliable. Our engineers are very pleased with the performance of these units and with their overall sound quality.”

Nova Group’s LEVEL MAGIC™ system was supplied and installed by Jünger Audio’s Czech distributor Mediatronik.

“Jünger Audio’s LEVEL MAGIC™ technology is providing Nova Groups channels with a viable solution to the problem of surprise audio level changes, “ says Mediatronik director Lubos Novacek. “The automated nature of the system makes it very easy for broadcasters to operate. All they have to do is install it into the transmission chain and set the correct parameters – after that there is very little to do because the system effectively looks after itself.”

LEVEL MAGIC is a sophisticated adaptive loudness control algorithm that is designed to adjust the loudness from any source at any time, with no pumping, breathing or distortion. It is based on a simultaneous combination of an AGC, a Transient Processor for fast changes and a “look ahead” Peak Limiter for continuous unattended control of any programme material, regardless of its original source.

Capable of using any kind of I/O (Analog and Digital) sources, as well as SDI, HD/SDI, Dolby 5.1 and all its related metadata, LEVEL MAGIC is available in a variety of configurations to suit different applications.

-ends-

About Jünger Audio
Established in Berlin in 1990, Jünger Audio specialises in the design and manufacture of high-quality digital audio dynamics processors. It has developed a unique range of digital processors that are designed to meet the demands of the professional audio market. All of its products are easy to operate and are developed and manufactured in-house, ensuring that the highest standards are maintained throughout. Its customers include many of the world’s top radio and TV broadcasters, IPTV providers, music recording studios and audio post production facilities.

The LIBRARY! Gets Tecom TecPodium Lecterns

Tecom TecPodium WorkStation PodiumTecom TecPodium WorkStation PodiumThe Library is a co-working space for start-up founders, located in the heart of Tel Aviv, which offers facilities, networking events, Meetups, and professional infrastructure for young technological visionaries. Tecom is proud to be part of this important educational and technological space.

The LIBRARY was fully equipped with TecPodium solutions. In the main meeting space, the TecPodium WorkStation Podium Style, a compact cabinet that accommodates all the Audio-Visual equipment, allows presenters from all over the world to look good in front of their audience!

TecPodium Workstation is equipped with Tecom breakthrough control panel for seamless operation and easy switching between the different AV sources.
In the smaller meeting rooms, TecPodium controllers, Tecom new cable management solutions, Video conference devices and Samsung Professional LCD displays were used. The LIBRARY has been a remarkable success since it’s opening, receiving great worldwide reviews.

Micworks Masterminds “Genius” Sound with KARA

L-ACOUSTICS system deployed on 80th annual Pageant of the Masters

LAGUNA BEACH, California – September 2012 — Celebrating its milestone 80th season this year, Pageant of the Masters is an annual summer festival where life truly does imitate art. Staged at the 2,700-seat Irvine Bowl in Laguna Beach, the Festival of Arts event is best known for its “tableaux vivants” in which classical and contemporary works of art are recreated onstage through an elaborate mix of costumed models, props, backdrops and lighting.

This year’s production, known as “Genius”, focused on the works of numerous visionaries like Michelangelo, Vincent van Gogh, and Leonardo da Vinci. But the visual aspect of the event was only half of the story. Accompanying the 90-minute show of “living pictures” each night throughout July and August were a professional narrator, vocalists singing period pieces, and a 30-member live orchestra, all sonically reinforced via a new L-ACOUSTICS KARA system. more

StudioLive Helps Florida Church into the Digital Age

Sanford, FL, September 2012… Josh Walker is a self-described “professional creative.” From music and recording to live sound and systems integration, Walker works with bands, musicians, and organizations, helping to create a powerful musical and visual experience.

In addition to his regular duties as Creative Arts Director at Morgantown, West Virginia’s, Catalyst Church, Walker is an AV consultant to churches and institutions across the US, helping their users to design and get the most from their systems. As he puts it, “I love technology, and I love simplicity.”

Walker recently talked about an interesting project at Safe Harbor Christian Church in the Orlando suburb of Sanford, Florida. The church’s 250-seat sanctuary was plagued by a number of challenges, both environmental and operational. “The room itself is actually pretty good, other than a rather high ceiling,” he observes. “But they had some rather outdated and ineffective technology, and that’s where we started.”

The sanctuary’s analog console lacked many of the features the church needed. “Even at its best, they could only get two monitor mixes out of it,” Walker explains. And the aging mixer had apparently seen better days, with several channels either partially or fully inoperable.

The multi-channel snake fared little better. “The snake had been spliced with what looked like residential copper wiring to extend it to the 250 feet needed to reach the desk,” says Walker. “It was pretty down and dirty and just a bit dangerous.”

Walker recommended the PreSonus StudioLive 24.4.2 digital console. “I had mixed live shows on the PreSonus on a couple of occasions and was pretty impressed,” he says. “For its size and price, it’s surprisingly powerful. It’s ideal for small to mid-sized churches.” Apparently it wasn’t hard to convince the church either. “They had been researching consoles, and the StudioLive was at the top of their list.”

Not surprisingly, the butchered snake was a goner. “There was no way to salvage it, so we installed a new 200-foot multicore,” says Walker. “Between the snake and the StudioLive, we immediately raised their available monitor mixes from two to five. The snake enabled us to go up to eight, and the console allowed for ten.”

Another challenge plaguing the church was a lack of proper training. “Outside of their core team, it’s largely a volunteer crew,” Walker explains. “One of the guys had run the sound at a larger venue for about 20 years, so he knew audio but he didn’t know digital. The rest of them were folks who wanted to help out, but had no audio experience.”

Walker says the StudioLive made training the crew an easy undertaking. “We had to go through everything, from how to use a digital console down to the basics of how to mix, use EQ, compression, and so on. I think we did a total of around six hours of hands-on training, and when I left I was fully confident that they had a good grasp of things,” he says. “The console makes it so easy. The Fat Channel is so intuitive – all the information is right in front of you. There are no layers of menus. In fact, there’s almost nothing you can’t get to within two button presses or two turns of a knob.”

He points to the StudioLive’s expandability as another asset. “If their production grows twofold in the next couple of years, they can get another one and connect them via FireWire.”

“To be able to give them a console that takes up less space and does more than two of their old consoles is just a no-brainer,” he concludes.

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Founded in 1995, PreSonus Audio Electronics, Inc., is a leading designer and manufacturer of audio-recording software, hardware, and related accessories. PreSonus software, microphone preamps, signal processors, digital audio interfaces, mixers, control surfaces and other products are used worldwide for recording, sound reinforcement, broadcast, sound design, and Internet audio.

Dubai-Based Showtech Upgrades Pro Rental Line With HARMAN’s JBL VTX Loudspeakers

Members of the GSL and Showtech teams with Showtech’s new VTX line array system. Left to right: Glen Kershaw, GSL; Shaji George, Showtech; Wasim Shaikh, Showtech; and Jan Tarakji, GSL.

NORTHRIDGE, California – Showtech Sound & Light Design, based in Dubai, UAE, has become the first company in the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) to purchase HARMAN’s JBL VTX line array system, adding to its existing JBL VERTEC® line array system and wide range of HARMAN products.

Showtech purchased the system from Dubai-based HARMAN distributor GSL Professional LLC. The system consists of 24 VTX V25 line array loudspeakers along with 16 VTX S28 subwoofers. To power the VTX system, Showtech purchased 32 Crown I-Tech HD 12000 amplifiers.

Several years ago, Showtech was also the first company in the GCC to purchase JBL’s VERTEC VT4889 arrayable loudspeakers and the addition of VTX creates new opportunities for upcoming concerts, shows and other events.

As the first VTX system in the Middle East, GSL and Showtech are proud to demonstrate the latest technology introduced by JBL, including the D2 Dual Drivers found in the V25 cabinets. GSL believes that this system will bring a new standard to the rental and touring market due to JBL’s constant advancement in technology and vision towards the future.

Showtech’s HOD-Sound, Wasim Shaikh, commented, “We made this decision because of the performance of the products but also because of the ways in which the loudspeakers, amplifiers and other components are designed to work together. The purchase was made based on the professional and reliable performance of our VERTEC line arrays and we look forward to using the new system at upcoming concerts and events.”

Showtech’s Managing Director, Shaji George, commented, “We share a relationship of trust with GSL Professional and have been happy with JBL and HARMAN products over the years. HARMAN’s reliability makes our decision much easier when new products are introduced to the market.”

“This truly is a great sale for GSL Professional and will reflect highly for the HARMAN Professional brands in the Middle Eastern market,” said Shaikh.

For more information on GSL Professional, please visit: www.gslprofessional.com

For more information on Showtech, please visit: http://www.showtechme.com

HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of audio and infotainment solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets – supported by 15 leading brands, including AKG, Harman Kardon, Infinity, JBL, Lexicon and Mark Levinson. The company is admired by audiophiles across multiple generations and supports leading professional entertainers and the venues where they perform. More than 20 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of about 13,400 people across the Americas, Europe and Asia, and reported sales of $4.4 billion for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2012.

Benedum Center for the Performing Arts Upgrades to Digital with HARMAN Studer Vista 5 Console

PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania — The Benedum Center, a project of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and a renowned performing arts venue in the heart of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania’s cultural district, recently added a HARMAN Studer Vista 5 digital audio mixing console with 42 faders to support a variety of theatrical productions and live music performances. The console was purchased through New York-based Sound Associates (www.soundassociates.com).

Chris Evans, House Sound Engineer for the Benedum Center, first saw the Vista series of consoles at the AES Convention in San Francisco in 2010. Evans, who has been with the Center since its renovation and re-branding in 1987, ultimately chose the Vista 5 because he believed no other board felt closest to analog.

“The relationship I have with HARMAN also helped,” Evans said. “After a valuable discussion with Studer, who were very helpful in navigating the system, it felt like the right choice.”

During the summer, the Benedum Center hosts at least one performance per day—a very busy schedule with little time to adjust to a new console. “The Vista 5 was easy to install and is even easier to use. More importantly, it sounds great,” Evans noted. “The transition to the Vista 5 has been seamless and it’s given me greater flexibility with far less hassle than our previous analog board.”

With a variety of performances and acts hosted by the Center including Blue Man Group, Fiddler on the Roof, A Chorus Line and more (including a recent performance by The Beach Boys), the ability to move audio around the building is something that Evans relies on constantly. “I can patch something downstage right to FOH and go through the system without having to touch the console,” Evans stated. “It can operate as a mixing console and routing matrix. The Vistonics™ surface is so easy to navigate. I also use all the built-in features, from compressors to EQ to delay.”

Evans also noted the console’s Snapshot function as a key asset during live events. “I’ve done a number of shows where there are two or three different bands, so I am able to save a snapshot of each band’s settings and be ready to go with my input list,” he said. “It’s always set up as either I or the touring engineer left it.”

During the Center’s own theater and opera productions, the Vista 5’s cue list has been another great asset for Evans. “It’s easy to program and I use it extensively,” Evans noted. “We included two racks of 48 channels of DSP which I can put anywhere with additional fibers if needed. This is a real flexible solution for what we are doing.”

Since the purchase of the Vista 5, everyone at the Benedum Center has been pleased with the console. “Studer’s support is on a whole other level, it’s easy for me to do my work and count on the performance of their products,” Evans concluded. “The value of the Vista 5 was apparent immediately and the whole team here adapted to it right away.”

For more information on the Benedum Center for the Performing Arts, please visit www.trustarts.org

HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of audio and infotainment solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets – supported by 15 leading brands, including AKG, Harman Kardon, Infinity, JBL, Lexicon and Mark Levinson. The company is admired by audiophiles across multiple generations and supports leading professional entertainers and the venues where they perform. More than 20 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of about 13,400 people across the Americas, Europe and Asia, and reported sales of $4.4 billion for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2012.

Classic Church Gets Modern Update

Brigantine, NJ, August 2012….  Like most of New Jersey’s seaside communities, life on this resort island near Atlantic City is affected by the seasons. In the summer months, the sun seekers and beach lovers help to swell the congregation at St. Thomas the Apostle from 1,000 to more than 3,000 – well beyond what their existing sanctuary can handle. As Bobby Harper, VP of Sales at Egg Harbor-based ACIR Professional explains, the church came up with a creative solution.

“It’s an older structure, and it has some history, and they didn’t want to just tear it down and build something bigger,” says Harper. “So they opted to renovate the original building and also build an event center, which could handle the overflow, as well as other functions.”

The idea of connecting the events center to the sanctuary via audio and video was suggested early on, but a complex digital matrix with touch panels was simply not feasible. “We wanted to create a solution for them that would meet their needs without getting into complex and expensive networking,” Harper explains. In the end, a bit of creativity was all it took.

Using the seasonal population shifts to their advantage, the project was carried out in two phases. “The first summer, they used the (just-completed) events center as just that – a multi-purpose events center,” explains Harper. When fall approached, the event center was pressed into service as temporary sanctuary while the original 1920s-era building was then renovated, expanded, and tied in with the events center via audio and video feeds. “This summer they are finally enjoying it as an expansion space.”

The new sanctuary presented some challenging acoustics. “The sanctuary is pretty reflective inside,” says Harper. “They replaced the carpet with granite and marble, which increased the reverberance.” The addition of naves to the left and right of the altar also impacted the room’s acoustics.

“We decided to go with a distributed system,” Harper continues. “We didn’t want to energize the space with a large system, and we wanted clarity and consistency in coverage.”

The room’s audio includes a pair of Community VERIS 28 dual 8-inch systems at left and right of the altar, with another three VERIS 8 single 8-inch loudspeakers along each side. Yamaha 3500 and 5000 amplifiers power the system. “The church has a full praise band, with drummer, bass , keyboard, organ, a couple of violins and flute, and musicality was an important consideration,” says Harper. “We had been looking into the VERIS systems, and it seemed like a perfect fit.”

System drive and processing is covered by Community’s dSPEC™ networked loudspeaker processor. “The dSPEC is a great piece of gear,” says Harper. “We’re hardly pushing the amps – that’s the beauty of it. We use the dSPEC  to calibrate the limiters on the amps for maximum efficiency with the loudspeakers. And it’s very user friendly. I plugged it in, had no training on it, and had it sorted out in less than an hour.”

Space to the left and right of the altar have been converted into naves, each of which are served by a pair of MX10 compact monitors as wedges. “We custom-painted them to match the wall, and mounted them where the wall meets ceiling,” says Harper. “They look fantastic and they sound great.”

A Yamaha MG16 console is installed at the sanctuary’s mix position, with a Yamaha MG24 for the choir monitors. Sennheiser mics and wireless systems cover the choir loft, altar and musicians. A Sony PTZ70 camera captures the service and sends the signal via Ethernet to the event center.

Over in the event center, another Yamaha MG16 console covers mix position. Connected pairs between each of the three consoles enables each to receive aux send audio feeds from the others. As Harper observes, “the system is not quite foolproof, but fortunately the church’s technical personnel are savvy enough not to route things into a feedback loop.”  A smaller 5.1 consumer system covers most of the room’s audio needs, and an Eiki LCWB42NA projector gets the Sony PTZ’s video feed to a ceiling-mounted DaLite screen.

As Harper points out, the event center was conceived from the outset as a multi-use venue, with flexibility a key requirement. “We installed audio I/O panels throughout the room, and they can easily configure the system for whatever event they’re holding. They can take the audio and video feed from the sanctuary, or they can host a power point demonstration, or watch a movie, or Monday night football,” he says. “It also made it easy to configure a portable church while the main sanctuary was under construction.”

While A/V interconnectivity is more often the province of contemporary churches, Harper says the implementation of it in this older, more traditional setting was worth it. “There were certainly some challenges in terms of running cable and working out logistics, but the end result is exactly what we wanted.”

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Community Professional Loudspeakers is a manufacturer and supplier of professional audio equipment.  Since 1968, Community has led the pro-audio industry with technological innovations which have become industry standards. Today, Community offers over 150 professional loudspeaker products, including installed loudspeaker systems, weather-resistant outdoor loudspeaker systems, ceiling loudspeakers, high level voice paging systems, and portable entertainment systems.  Visit www.communitypro.com for more information. 

Video Equipment Rentals Continues to Deliver World-Class Audio With Purchase of HARMAN’s JBL VTX Series Line Arrays

NORTHRIDGE, California – VER (Video Equipment Rentals), one of the largest AV/audio/broadcast equipment rental companies providing AV/tour solutions, recently added HARMAN’S JBL VTX Series line arrays to its world-class inventory of products for the rental, staging and broadcast industries. The purchase of VTX line arrays builds on VER’s existing inventory of JBL VERTEC® line array systems.

VER is one of the world’s leading “dry-hire” equipment rental providers, with more than 25 locations across the United States, Canada and Europe. “VER began in 2000, specializing in video rentals for the broadcast industry and corporate AV applications,” said Joe Casanova, National Audio Sales/Product Manager for VER (East). “Around 2002, we discovered there was a huge opportunity to supply audio equipment as well, so from that point on we have been a complete gear resource for all facets of production.”

VER’s purchase of JBL VTX line array loudspeakers includes 96 of the flagship V25 loudspeaker and 64 S28 subwoofers, along with 32 Crown Audio VRack complete amplification systems.

“We bought our first VERTEC system in 2005, with VT4888 and VT4889 loudspeakers and VT4880 subwoofers, so this was a natural migration to VTX,” Casanova said. “We’re a client-driven company, so our initial decision to purchase VERTEC was a result of the demands of our clients. We’re already seeing a similar demand for VTX.”

Casanova first heard the VTX system at the HARMAN Business and Technology Conference in January 2012, where he listened to a shootout between VTX and some competitive loudspeaker models. “We really liked the way the VTX system sounded and knew we needed to add VTX to our inventory when they became available,” Casanova said.

“It makes sense that VTX sounds so good because Paul Bauman [Senior Manager, Tour Sound for JBL Professional] was the brainchild behind this product, and his work with the VERTEC V5 DSP tunings marked such a dramatic improvement to the VERTEC sound that we knew he was onto something good with VTX,” said Brady Belavek, National Audio Sales/Product Manager for VER (West).

“Really, between VTX and the V5 tunings for our VERTEC system, it’s almost like we have two new PA systems!” Casanova added.

“It has great high end and the design is terrific,” Belavek said. “When you consider the power behind the speakers and the smoothness of the new D2 drivers, we expect VTX to be on the majority of riders of the biggest touring acts in the world.”

“We have worked really closely with Paul and [Field Engineer, JBL Professional] Raul Gonzalez in purchasing this system, and they have been tremendous in getting us what we need and making sure our product worked well out of the gate,” Casanova said.

“Our VTX products have been in use every day since we purchased them, so it’s staying extremely busy and being used constantly,” Casanova noted. “We have had a lot of success with it right off the bat.”

For more information on Video Equipment Rentals, please visit www.verrents.com

HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of audio and infotainment solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets – supported by 15 leading brands, including AKG, Harman Kardon, Infinity, JBL, Lexicon and Mark Levinson. The company is admired by audiophiles across multiple generations and supports leading professional entertainers and the venues where they perform. More than 20 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of about 13,400 people across the Americas, Europe and Asia, and reported sales of $4.4 billion for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2012.

Dual DiGiCo SD7s Drive Monitors On Springsteen World Tour

It’s been nearly forty years since Springsteen’s debut Greetings From Asbury Park, NJ, and judging from the 3-hour-plus shows, sold-out arenas, and glowing critical reviews, both rocker and band [minus the late, beloved saxophonist Clarence Clemons and keyboardist Danny Federici] are still regaling in their ‘Glory Days.’ With the Wrecking Ball Tour, in support of their 17th studio album, Springsteen & Co are heading into a two-month U.S. fall stadium tour following a massive world tour that started in March of 2012 taking them around the globe. Solotech US Corp. is the tour’s production provider.

Critical monitor mixes for the 18-piece band are split in two between engineers Monty Carlo and Troy Milner and for the first time ever they’re employing a pair of DiGiCo SD7s outfitted with the Waves SoundGrid bundle. At stage left is Carlo, who’s been with Springsteen since ’92, handling a mix of wedges and in-ears for Bruce, guitarists Steven Van Zandt and Patti Scialfa, keyboardist Roy Bittan, background vocalists, and a five-piece horn section. Milner, onboard since 2001, is at stage right taking care of drummer Max Weinberg, guitarist Nils Lofgren, bassist Garry Talent, keyboardist Charlie Giordano and multi-instrumentalist, Soozie Tyrell.

The engineers specifically chose the SD7 for its flexibility and ability to grow with the size of the production, including the massive amounts of I/O capabilities that it offered. Onboard features from snapshots to multiband compressors and the Waves pro plug-in bundle offered lots of extra functionality.

“From 2002-2009 we used Yamaha PM1D’s for monitors,” Carlo explains. “Since then, our band has grown from 9 musicians to 18 on this tour with the occasional guest on top of that. We needed something that could handle a large number of inputs, (over 100), and a massive amount of outputs, about 56 on each side of the stage. The DiGiCo SD7 was the only console I found that could accomplish what I was going to ask of it. Before this tour, I’d never actually mixed on a DiGiCo of any variety. I spent some time in the past year building the console with the Offline Editor and getting familiar with its layout and feature set. In November 2011, I got together with Troy in Nashville and we spent a couple of days with Matt Larson getting a hands-on training session with the desk. Following that, we spent the first 3 months of 2012 in rehearsals and doing some small promo events (Grammy’s, Jimmy Fallon and SXSW Festival). With the addition of a horn section and percussionist a lot of songs ended up with slightly different arrangements and we spent a fair amount if time working through the new album since not many of the band members had worked on it in its entirety.”

“We needed consoles that could handle a lot of inputs and outputs and be flexible,” adds Milner. “Before rehearsals began, we still didn’t have a concrete plan for what was going to be needed as far as band members and layouts. Things were constantly changing even into the first run of shows. I used the SD7 last year with Garth Brooks—and the D5 on numerous tours with Michael W. Smith, Mercy Me, and Amy Grant—and it performed perfectly.”

With approximately 96 inputs alone coming from the stage, plus effects and talkbacks, Carlo is managing about 112 inputs total from stage left. Being able to mix mono and stereo sources on the same fader bank as I want to see them on the desk is a huge deal for him. “I love not losing two faders to a stereo input or output as used to happen on the 1D. The level you can customize the surface is so flexible and easy to change that as your input list and band grows you aren’t stuck simply adding channels at the end of the console. Being able to rebuild the desk in a way that better suits your workflow in mid-tour is a great luxury. Plus, the multiband compressors on each channel are a great tool that I’ve been using more than I thought I would.”

Carlo’s got his favorite Waves plug-ins. “On my in-ear mixes I use the C-6 compressor and Kramer PIE compressor across the mixes. I’m using the H-EQ as an insert on Bruce’s vocal channel to allow me to get a few additional bands of EQ that I can use for tight notches on troublesome frequencies. For effects I’m using H-Delay, TrueVerb and Renaissance Verb. I’m also using GTR Stomp and Amp plug-ins on Bruce’s guitar lines in case of a problem with his amps/cabinets on stage.”

Over at stage right, Milner mixes a staggering 140 inputs, comprised of a fair amount of effects for drums and guitars, in addition to a combo of wedges and in-ear systems, including Shure PSM1000′s for ears and a mix of Audio Analysts wedges consisting of SLP115, SLP212, plus a couple of double Audio Analysts 18″ sub cabinets for drum subs.

“I double assign the drum inputs so I can tailor them for the drummer independently from everyone else. Again, another great super easy feature on the SD7. One of the biggest challenges on this tour is just the large amount of inputs and outputs we have to deal with up onstage. We have settled in now but we still have plenty of options to easily add, change or move things around without reinventing the wheel. We also have a great Talk Back system for all the techs and backline guys that are in our ears at all times, so we can be attending to issues before anyone is even aware what is happening.”

Milner’s found a plethora of onboard features and functionality helpful in his day-to-day workflow. “Being able to assign the rotary knobs on each bank to a specific function is very handy. I’m using one row for Compressor Thresholds and on my drum input bank I use one row at my Gate Threshold. Max Weinberg is a very dynamic player and I’m constantly adjusting those gates for each song and throughout each song to keep things under control for him. Also, having the ability to move any fader to any place on the desk is so great. After mixing a few shows, I learned that just moving a few inputs to other banks and reordering my outputs could vastly improve my current layout. Such a great feature! I’m also finding all kinds of new things to use the Macro Keys for now. One is that between songs when the stage is dark, it can be a little hard to see the band onstage, so I have macro key that dims all the lights and monitors down so its easier to see what they might need. Also, using a Macro Key to switch the extra video monitor inputs. I’m getting a full production feed as well as other feeds and I can just use a macro to select the one I need for any given song.”

“For most of my reverbs I’m using the Renaissance Reverb and it sounds great in every application—from drums to background vocals to horns. I’m also using the SuperTap for some delay/slap effects on the drums and horns. The Waves C6 is one of my go-to plug-ins for just about anything, and I’m using it on the snare and toms to shape the sound in the ears and also on some vocals. The CLA-76 Bluey is another favorite, and the list goes on and on. It’s great to be able to easily try out all these fantastic plug-ins on inputs and or outputs to see what works for each application.”

One of the biggest challenges with the Springsteen show is the set list, which they receive literally 5 minutes prior to the start of the show. Not only does it change from night to night, but also during the show, Bruce can veer off the list at a moment’s notice. The snapshot feature has become invaluable for both engineers.

“With the PM1D, I had a sheet with all my scenes that I would have to jump around during the show,” Carlo recalls. “With the SD7′s snapshot panel, I can order the list as Bruce intends to do the show, but then when he decides to jump to something off the list, it’s as easy to get to as typing the first letter of the song until I get to the desired snapshot. Right now, I’m at around 130 snapshots.”

“We never know what Bruce will do next or what song he will pull out, so being able to load those snapshots quickly is a challenge,” adds Milner. “I use the keyboard and just type the first letter of the song and it will jump through all those snapshots starting with that letter. Then you can fire the snapshot with the space bar very quickly. This is usually not a problem on other tours but with over 150 snapshots it can take time to go through them all. I have an external monitor hooked on the ‘B’ engine so with everything mirrored to the ‘A’ engine I can make sure I’m running in complete redundancy at all times.”

For both engineers, the SD7 has proved to be a reliable and accommodating asset for this complex and unpredictable production.

Carlo says he’s found the SD7 to be one of the most flexible consoles out there. “I can configure it to look and operate exactly the way I need it to depending on what type of show/band I’m going to be mixing on it. It sounds great, it’s warm and full without any brittle or sterile characteristics that other consoles sometimes have. Looking ahead, and depending on the show, I might be inclined to try something a bit smaller than the SD7, however, the redundancy inherent in the SD7 with its dual engines and power supplies is a solid feature.”

Milner agrees. “Absolutely, I’ll be using DiGiCo again. They sound great and are so flexible to use especially with a large number of inputs and outputs and with all the different SD console options out now, it makes finding the right desk for each application simple. On this tour, the band seems to be really happy—and with 18 people on stage and all those open mics things can get messy really fast. We seem to have found a good balance for each band member and what works for them on any given song. The SD7 sounds great and is very neutral-sounding. It doesn’t seem to color the sound at all which is nice. You can start with the source and if that sounds good, then you know things will sound great with the console. I don’t know of any other desk out there right now that can do what we are asking of these consoles. With 140 inputs, 52 outputs and around 150 snapshots (and that number is always growing) we are making these desks earn their keep!”

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