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Saddleback relies on VENUE and Pro Tools|HD

On Easter Sunday 1980, Saddleback Valley Community Church in Lake Forest, California held its first public service, with just over 200 people in attendance. Twenty-eight years later, Saddleback is touted as one of the nation’s largest congregations, with a weekly attendance of over 22,000 and more than 200 ministries serving the church and community.

Saddleback now encompasses four campuses, each equipped with state-of-the-art audio and video systems, and the church maintains an active presence on the web, thanks to the efforts of a media-savvy technology department. Saddleback’s Lake Forest sanctuary was recently treated to a major audio upgrade, with the help of Case Sound Solutions and the church’s former senior audio engineer, Wally Grant. Grant and Case Sound installed two 96-input VENUE Profile systems into the church – one at FOH and one at the monitor position – along with a Pro Tools|HD system at FOH. They also installed a 96-input Pro Tools|HD system and Avid ICON D-Command console in the church’s recording room, which also features a dozen Avid PRE microphone preamp units that feed six Avid 96 I/O audio interfaces.

After researching all the live sound options, Wally Grant and FOH/monitor engineer John Wilson, both long-time Pro Tools users, found VENUE to be the best overall choice for the church’s varied audio needs. “I believe the VENUE system is as good, or better, than any console on the market today, digital or analog,” Grant offers. “The D-Show software allowed us to have the system configured even before we received our consoles. Since the systems have been in place, their performance has been 100% reliable.”

John Wilson adds that the dual VENUE systems are ideally suited to the church’s wide-ranging needs. “Any given week here can include sermons, services, concerts, conferences – you name it. VENUE’s snapshot automation enables us to save and recall settings for individual songs and speakers. We have a number of engineers using the system, and the ability for them to store their shows on their own flash drive is very helpful.”

Wilson says the church’s pastor of worship, Rick Muchow, prefers the monitor console to be at FOH position during weekend services, so the room was designed with that flexibility in mind. “The system is configured so we can relocate the monitor desk at the traditional stageside position when needed, and the Profile console is light enough to easily move it.”

The church’s recording engineer Mike Mierau, another Pro Tools veteran, says the move to VENUE and ICON systems was a logical choice. “We’ve recorded on Pro Tools for some time now, and being able to take a feed directly from the (VENUE) FOH system into the ICON in the studio is a huge advantage.” Mierau then edits the sessions on the recording room’s Pro Tools|HD system using a D-Command console, streaming the services live and archiving them for future downloads. The Pro Tools|HD system at FOH also records the services for use with VENUE’s Virtual Sound Check.

The system at front of house features a VENUE Profile console that handles 96 inputs and 16 outputs, plus two HDx Option Cards installed in the system’s FOH Rack that allow for up to 128 tracks of audio recording or playback through the connected Pro Tools|HD system. The monitor system features a Profile console configured for 96 inputs and 24 outputs, plus two ANO A-Net Output Cards installed in the system’s Stage Rack that provide a direct interface between the VENUE system and Aviom remote mixers for personal monitoring. A Pro Co Sound Momentum digital snake provides line and mic signals to both the front of house and monitor Profile systems, as well as to the Avid PREs in the recording room.

Feedback from Saddleback’s technical crew has been overwhelmingly positive, though no one is surprised. “We knew in advance this was the right way to go,” says John Wilson. “The only surprise at this point is discovering that we can do even more than we’d anticipated with the systems.”

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TC Furlong Helps Parkview’s Christian Church Transition to Digital with HARMAN’s Soundcraft Vi6™ Console

ORLAND PARK, Illinois — In order to upgrade the Parkview Christian Church in Orland Park, Illinois, with a full digital sound system, TC Furlong, Inc. of Lake Forest, Illinois, recently supplied the church with a HARMAN Soundcraft Vi6 digital console.

Jeff Cech, General Manager at TC Furlong, assisted the church in the research process and believed the Vi6 would provide an easy transition to a digital console. “The learning curve is easy, and one of the best options for the budget,” stated Cech.

Barry Luchene, Director of Audio at the church, confirmed, “I don’t have much experience with different brands, but the network of people I travel and work with love Soundcraft, and suggested I check them out. After extensive research and thought, I agreed with Cech that the Vi6 would fit our needs the best.”

The console is used at front-of-house in the worship center, which seats around 2,000 people, and is used for four services per weekend. The services feature a modern worship style, including a full band.

The Vi6 allows the church to send mixes to external systems and to record feeds for online and off-location viewers. “Ninety percent of the work day to day is consistent, using about 40 inputs between the band and speakers. We just needed a console that would be reliable and easy to use, especially for our volunteers that are operating it,” Luchene said. “I love the larger surface space and how you don’t need to scroll through many layers to change settings. Everything is accessible and extremely easy to use. The sound quality is excellent and our expectations have been met perfectly.”

The install of the Vi6 is part of a million-dollar project to renovate the entire Parkview Christian Church facility. “We moved the FOH mix position from the balcony to the main floor. This presented challenges that were fixed easily with the Soundcraft stage boxes. We would not have been able to run the system as previously set up with all the wires and connections,” Luchene explained. “The Vi6 has given us many options and we look forward to completing the full renovation. Overall, everyone who has used the console is extremely happy and able to pick it up with little experience.”

For more information on TC Furlong, please visit: http://www.tcfurlong.com/

For more information on the Parkview Church, please visit: http://parkviewchurch.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 12,000 people across the Americas, Europe and Asia, and reported sales of $3.8 billion for the twelve months ending September 30, 2011.

Advanced Audio Video Technologies Adds HARMAN’s JBL Loudspeakers to Bible Baptist Church Gymnasium

Advanced Audio Video Technologies provided a JBL VP Series loudspeaker system for the new gymnasium at the Bible Baptist Church in DeQuincy, Louisiana.

NORTHRIDGE, California – Providing pristine sound to the brand-new gymnasium that serves as a multi-purpose space at the Bible Baptist Church in DeQuincy, Louisiana, systems integrator Advanced Audio Video Technologies recently installed an audio system featuring HARMAN’s JBL VP Series loudspeakers. The Church was looking for concert-quality sound within the gymnasium, which hosts sporting events as well as concerts and community functions, and for top-level audio in its surrounding classrooms.

The 75-year-old Bible Baptist Church began renovations in 2007 and now contains a main sanctuary, multiple classrooms, a workout room and an upstairs café, which overlooks the new state-of-the-art gymnasium.

For sound, Advanced Audio Video Technologies installed a combination of three JBL VPSB7118DP-CN, two VP7212/64DP-CN, and one VP7315/64DP-CN powered loudspeakers in the gymnasium. Four JBL MRX512M loudspeakers were added for stage monitors. Two Crown XTi 1000 amplifiers power the stage monitors.

To provide sound in the new classrooms, seven pairs of JBL Control 2PS stereo speakers are used for AV presentations and lessons.

“The JBL VP series loudspeakers were chosen because they are self-powered, and provided an easy-to-install solution while providing great coverage,” stated Ethan Miller, Owner of Advanced Audio Video Technologies. “Early on in the design phase, it was requested that the audio system take up as little space as possible. Considering the price range and how much a non-powered speaker would be with the addition of amplifiers and cables, it just made sense. It also allowed everything to be hung, out of the way so it did not take up any space.”

Miller continued, “With the ability to use a digital snake with one CAT5 cable, it made the whole system digital and allowed for multiple inputs in different ways. The ability of the VP series and included DSP settings to set delays, limiters and crossovers the way the church wanted was a big selling point. We programmed the system and locked it so they would not have any issues.”

A variety of members with little to no audio background use the sound system on a daily basis for music, video, and learning. “Everything connects well to the audio system in the gym and nobody has any problems using it for their own needs,” said Miller. “It’s great to see everybody excited to use the system in different ways, and to expand the learning and involvement that is taking place at the church.”

The installation went smoothly according to Miller, due in large part to the system being approached from a design aspect instead of merely sales. “We understood the needs of the Church and were able to communicate with the customer to ensure that the system would be perfect for the Church,” Miller said. “HARMAN is easy to deal with and they have excellent support, and we only sell products that we trust with good support. The Church hired us with a clean slate and no requirements except to provide high-quality audio. With all the support of JBL and the Church I believe we accomplished the goal.”

For more information on Advanced Audio Video Technologies, please visit: http://www.advancedav.biz/main.htm

For more information on the Bible Baptist Church, please visit: http://www.bbcdq.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 12,000 people across the Americas, Europe and Asia, and reported sales of $3.8 billion for the twelve months ending September 30, 2011.

Canadian Indie Music Fest Rifflandia Gets Amped With DiGiCo

Canada’s Rifflandia Festival has been called Victoria’s version of SXSW, featuring some of the best and brightest Canadian and international indie artists. This year’s stellar lineup included 4 days of 110 artists on 9 stages and showcased bands from City and Colour and Cold War Kids to De La Soul and Blackalicious. Doug Lyngard of Victoria’s D.L. Sound & Lighting Productions handled three stages of the audio production for the event, rounding up two DiGiCo SD9s from its inventory, supplemented by an additional SD9 and SD11 provided by Vancouver’s Gerr Audio. The feedback from engineers handling the event—as well as the guest engineers who sat in with their bands—was nothing short of glowing, with all citing the ease of use and stellar sound among their favorite DiGiCo traits.

Lyngard purchased the SD9s back in 2010 and has used them on myriad festivals and events over the last year with great success. “The sonic quality of the console is the main reason why I purchased them,” he explained, “and of course, the DiGiCo name. I also like the fact that once you learn one SD console, you’re good to go on the rest of the series.”

At FOH on the festival Side Stage was Craig Brittain on an SD9. No stranger to DiGiCo, he’s been using DiGiCo consoles handling monitors for the better part of the last four years with Michael Buble. “After falling in love with DiGiCo and a D5 on a European tour with Michael, it became my go-to console of choice for any tour/artist. I am a big fan of the DiGiCo sound and currently am using an SD7 as we tour around the world.

At Rifflandia, having a chance to spend a bit of time on the smaller SD9, I was impressed at how DiGiCo have managed to keep the sonic quality utilizing the Stealth Digital Processing. It’s nice with the DiGiCo to know what you are getting yourself into and how things are going to sound. From the SD9 to the SD7—and now the new additions to the SD line—nothing matches where DiGiCo is at sonically. Having taken the next step in processing using Stealth technology, it’s easy to forget the limits of traditional DSP chip configurations. I have said it before and will repeat it until I am blue in the face, but nothing on the market compares to that of any DiGiCo consoles!”

“When looking at the festival line-up I was responsible for, and knowing I was going to be using an SD9, I simply came up with a template the day/night before the first day of shows that I programmed in to accommodate all of the bands and was good to go for the first soundcheck the following day. I knew that my knowledge of the console would aid the visiting engineers with little or no experience on the desk. Any artist with the luxury of a morning soundcheck, I simply stored the snapshot and carried about the rest of the day!”

Over at the Metro Theatre stage on an SD11, it was FOH engineer Jim Kent’s first time on a DiGiCo. With only a day of preparation prior to the fest, he found the console’s interface and layout extremely intuitive to use. “The graphic interface was fantastic! I found it very helpful that the screen was speaking to me in an analog/graphic way. I really liked the channel layouts and found them very natural for mixing on the fly. I had some guest FOH engineers with a few of the bands and they found it very easy to navigate. We all particularly liked the fact that the controls were right below the compressor graphics, i.e. threshold/ratio/attack. I also found the FX rack to be very easy to manipulate the same way, and was able to pull live echo repeats and reverb effects on the fly. Being a festival setup, we went from 4 channels to 32 in less than 30 minutes… add a vintage guitar pedal as a vocal effect and a video feed, and all was accomplished well within time. The SD9 performed perfectly and did not get in the way of the creative process. The DiGiCo, too, sounded great. I had a solo artist on stage at one point and the console was able to reproduce voice and guitar with all the meat one needs and get the spit in the throat that I like to hear on an intimate vocal.”

Another DiGiCo newbie was engineer Tim Herron, stationed on an SD9 at monitor world at the Alix Goolden Hall. Given the task of operating both lights and monitors for multiple bands an evening—and with no hands-on time prior to the event—Herron found the console allowed him to work quickly and efficiently. “Arriving at 1pm we did the first show at 9pm and that was without even having seen the board before. I was able to learn how to navigate everything I needed and get up to speed relatively easily without having to have a dumbed-down feature set, and the SD9 had a nice combination of great features combined with pure usability. I felt like the board was working for me and not the other way around (which is not always the case with digital consoles). The SD9 had the look and feel of an analog console with its ability to label and save during soundcheck. During the festival, we had some very hardcore analog-console-using FOH engineers. One said that it was the best-sounding digital board he had encountered and another said that it was the most sonically transparent console she had used. My impressions were that the sound quality was superior to the other digitals I have used and that the console certainly was an excellent choice for an event like Rifflandia where sonic quality was the major consideration in intimate event venues. I know that I will be looking forward to using this console again.”

Mixing FOH at the Alix Goolden Hall was Paul Gatien on another SD9. Gatien’s extensive experience mixing on the console for the 2010-2011 summer seasons at Victoria’s Butchart Gardens proved invaluable—with a diverse entertainment schedule showcasing around 64 shows from folk and Jazz to classic rock and the Victoria Symphony. “The SD9 proved handy especially for the store and recall ability when dealing with the repeat and weekly shows, both at Butchart and Rifflandia. The sonic quality of the SD9 was amazing, too; it didn’t have that ‘digital edge’ that I have encountered with other digital consoles.”

Handling up to 32 channels of inputs from the stage at Rifflandia, Gatien opted for a basic festival stage microphone patch as they were missing some of the technical riders from the artists. Fortunately, most bands were able to soundcheck prior to their sets, which helped with changeovers.

“To avoid gain sharing, we used a passive splitter snake and sent a monitor split to a D-Rack located at the monitor mix position and another split to a D-Rack located at the FOH position. At FOH I used 2 line outs from the D-Rack for the Left and Right speaker mains and 1 output for the lip fill speakers. I also used 2 line outputs for the balcony fills. I ran all of these outputs as Matrix outputs off the Master fader. Being able to store the soundcheck and then recall the settings for the show was probably my favorite feature of the SD9. I stored each soundcheck as a session file and then recalled it for the show. In order to be consistent, I made up a session file template and at the end of each soundcheck made sure that I was consistent in what channels I had muted and/or left turned on, such as the music from the laptop. This way as I was loading the next band’s session file all parameters would stay the same and there was no noticeable transition from one bands session file to the next.”

AURALEX PROVIDES EXQUISITE DINING EXPERIENCE AT NEW YORK’S TRENDY EMPELLÓN TAQUERIA

NEW YORK, NY — Auralex® Acoustics, Inc., the industry leader in innovative sound control solutions, recently retrofitted the ceiling of Empellón Taqueria, a premier casual-dining Mexican restaurant in New York City, with Auralex ELiTE™ C44 ProPanels™. The ELiTE C44 ProPanels help absorb additional sound energy throughout the busy restaurant, providing a memorable dining experience for all the senses.

Dan Ross at Dale Pro Audio consulted for the project in terms of placement and quantity of panels, to optimize the effects of the product. “This install was a retrofit, based on the need to reduce the sound level of the restaurant, as it was very reflective,” says Ross. “The restaurant was getting great reviews, food wise, but the common complaint was the noise level. After installing several Auralex C44 panels on the ceiling, the owner and customers have heard a discernable difference in the sound level.”

Auralex’s Elite C44 ProPanel is a 4′x4′ absorption panel with a 2″ thickness, providing a cost-effective and professional broadband treatment option when a significant amount of coverage is needed. Its overall NRC of 1.05 makes it the perfect choice for controlling many common acoustical problems at a wide range of frequencies. C44 ProPanels are available in sandstone fabric and are typically available for immediate shipment.

“We love the Auralex ProPanel product and it is working out great at our restaurant,” says Empellón Taqueria Operating Partner David Rodolitz. “The panels have drastically cut down the noise and sound in the restaurant, making it a much more enjoyable dining experience for our guests. Not only are the panels extremely functional, but they also look quite nice and add to the overall design of the space.”

Founded in 2011 by head chef and owner Alex Stupak, Empellón Taqueria opened its doors with the intention of treating tacos with a high level of respect and serving them in an unpretentious and social environment. Empellón offers a diverse selection of tacos and other casual Mexican fare. Empellón’s approach to cuisine is informed by authenticity and tradition but is not limited by it.

“I am so impressed with Auralex, that I have already ordered additional panels for our new restaurant Empellón Cocina, which is slated to open in the early months of 2012,” adds Rodolitz.

About Auralex Acoustics, Inc.
Located in Indianapolis, Auralex Acoustics was founded in 1977 with a mission to provide top-performing acoustical treatment products at the best value. Since then, thousands of satisfied Auralex customers have experienced improved acoustics, expert advice and exceptional customer service. Auralex products enjoy widespread use among prominent artists, producers, engineers, corporations, celebrities and government agencies.

Auralex Acoustics has become the industry leader in innovative sound control solutions and continues to enjoy rapid growth through an international network of authorized dealers. Visit the Auralex Web site at www.auralex.com. Auralex can be reached via email at auralexinfo@auralex.com or by calling 1-800-959-3343.

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Mt. San Antonio College Prepares For Full HARMAN Upgrade With Addition of Soundcraft Vi1™ Consoles

WALNUT, California — Mt. San Antonio College, located in the city of Walnut, California, needed a console that could satisfy all of its audio needs around campus. In order to do so, Chris Rodriguez, Head Audio Engineer at the College, advised the school to purchase a pair of HARMAN’s Soundcraft Vi1 consoles and large stage boxes for respective uses in broadcast mixing and in the new Design Technology building, which is home to a 400-seat theater.

The first console, purchased for permanent use within the broadcast truck located on campus, is ideal for broadcast mixing and with the optical MADI card, can be synced in order to do splits with the other Vi1 console. The second console, housed in the new theater, is used for many of the performances in the theater, arts, music, and dance departments, along with graduations both on and off campus.

“I am aware that Studer is the broadcasting standard, however, with that being out of our price range, I looked for the next best thing,” stated Rodriguez. “The ‘bang for the buck’ was perfect with the Vi1. The console easily supports MADI, which is huge because it allows us to do everything using fiber, and connect the consoles. Other consoles I’ve seen in this price range do not have an easy solution for this.”

Sound quality also led Rodriguez to the Vi1. ”The first time I heard the console, I liked the way it sounded,” he said. “To sound as good as it does at that price is simply amazing. It responds well and works well with the large stage boxes, and all the functions are smooth and easy to manage. I can’t get everything I need while fitting in the budget with any other machine.”

The Soundcraft Vi1 consoles are the first step in what Rodriguez hopes will become a major upgrade to all HARMAN products for the College. “We hope to get everything together in order to integrate the system with HiQnet System Architect™. It will be a major upgrade to our whole system and we look forward to that in the future,” Rodriguez explained.

While using the consoles, especially in an education atmosphere where there are constantly events and performances taking place, Rodriguez explained how nice the digital aspect of the console helps on a day-to-day basis. “The ISO feature is also extremely helpful as it loads every time with the certain aspects pre-routed, always the same way. Whoever is using the system doesn’t have to worry about patching even when loading a new show, which is nice to know that it’s always ready to go.”

“I am extremely excited to explore all the options that are now available with both the Vi1 consoles. It is a small step in a long process of a complete upgrade which will help to benefit all departments of the college,” Rodriguez summed up.

For more information on Mt. San Antonio College, please visit: http://www.mtsac.edu/

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 12,000 people across the Americas, Europe and Asia, and reported sales of $3.8 billion for the twelve months ending September 30, 2011.

Frutigen Free Church Upgrades With HARMAN’s Soundcraft Vi1™

FRUTIGEN, Switzerland – The FMG ‘Ekklesia Movement’ free church in Frutigen, Switzerland has updated its technical infrastructure with the purchase of a Soundcraft Vi1 digital desk.

With a strong emphasis on youth work, the church is no stranger to Soundcraft’s signature sound and design ergonomic, as head technician Micha Grimm explains.

“In the year 2000, we bought some new equipment, largely for modern youth services, including a Soundcraft Ghost 32,” he said. “I purchased this because having worked with a Ghost as sound engineer on different youth choir tours, I was completely satisfied with the EQ’s and the possibilities offered by the Mix B input path.”

More than a decade later, it was time for an upgrade. After contacting Soundcraft’s Swiss distributor, Dr. W.A. Günther, they were persuaded that the time was right to step into the digital age. But first they wanted to evaluate a number of different market-leading brands, including Soundcraft’s new Si1 and Si Compact 32 platforms (alongside the Vi1).

After considering several key factors such as size, usability, price and flexibility, they constructed a short list and arranged an assessment day with all their engineers present.

“There were merits in all three desks that we reviewed,” admitted Grimm, “but all our engineers were excited by the easy way of working on Soundcraft’s Vistonics™ surface. Even our most critical analogue technicians were happy with the Vi1. There was never an instance in which anyone was unclear about the actual layer or function of the desk and almost every function could be carried out without reading a manual. After just an explanation of the overall concept, everybody was pushing to get on it.”

By the evening they had reached a unanimous decision. “It was the surface and Vistonics interface—along with the Soundcraft FaderGlow™ concept [which illuminates the fader slots, according to function, with clearly-defined colours]—that won it for us,” said Grimm.

Grimm added that technical issues were also taken into consideration. “We have read comments in many trade magazines and on forums about the quality of the sound, which enhanced our preference for the Vi1.” But the main attribute was the analogue way of working since their sound engineers, in most cases, are non-professional.

The activity takes place in two halls—the larger, used for special events, generally accommodating between 700-1000 people, and the smaller regularly packing in 500. Every second weekend, the volunteer mixing engineers take charge of a major event in the larger hall, integrating service, worship and concerts with popular bands. “Confronted with this, the last thing they needed was a super-complicated desk,” said Grimm.

Supplied by local Frutigen-based dealer, tonwerkstatt GmbH the Vi1 was installed on a Saturday and immediately went ‘live’ with it for the Sunday morning church service.

“It was a complete success,” Grimm reported. “A quick soundcheck, a perfect and smooth mixing job during the service – and people were coming up to me with a glow in their eyes, asking, “What have you done with the sound? It was outstanding!”

And all this without the technicians at FMG Frutigen opening the handbook!

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 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of about 12,500 people across the Americas, Europe and Asia, and reported net sales of $4.0 billion for twelve months ending September 30, 2011.

MLA Makes Spectacular Albert Hall Debut

MLA System at Royal Albert Hall

Sound rental company RG Jones has been producing sound reinforcement infrastructure for the challenging Raymond Gubbay Classical Spectaculars at the Royal Albert Hall since 1993.

With a production harnessing cannons, pyro and lasers in a festival type ‘Proms’ atmosphere, it has taken all of FOH engineer Simon Honywill’s expertise to keep the show’s audio fidelity evolving with each generation of new technology.

Honywill is no stranger to Martin Audio proprietary line array platforms, introducing W8L Longbow systems to the Glastonbury Pyramid stage, and taking the new MLA (Multi-Cellular Loudspeaker Array) system on tour with Jeff Wayne’s War Of The Worlds.

Rigging the MLA at the Royal Albert Hall for the first time ever this month, he knew the Classical show would experience the same dynamic range and sudden transients as War of the Worlds––and in a venue notoriously difficult to control, he also knew it would clean up the room’s inherent reflections. But the performance, he said, was breathtaking, and even beyond his expectations.

“We’ve made a massive leap forward with the MLA … the results were remarkable,” reported Honywill.

At the RAH, the two front arrays comprised 16 element MLA hangs per side, with no downfill enclosures, since the rig’s trim height was 40 ft. (from the lowest box) to accommodate the huge lighting rig. Side hang arrays of nine Martin Audio W8LM mini enclosures were balanced with a single W8LMD underneath to bring coverage down as far as possible; at the same time, a central sub-bass array of six WLX was recessed under the stage apron, which was electronically curved to optimize coverage.

Martin Audio’s Nigel Meddemmen became de facto systems engineer, walking the entire room to verify uniform sound balance. “The challenge was to match the warmth and smooth response of the MLA, a tricky task particularly on some of the operatic pieces with shrill soprano vocals which have a tendency to really show up deficiencies in the high frequency of a system.”

Meddemmen recounted that the design software was critical in ensuring optimum performance. “The calculations were based on Simon’s model of the slice through the venue, and with the advantages of the new Display 2.1 software, Ambrose [Thompson, Martin Audio Electroacoustic Engineer] was able to design a system with the correct splay angles.”

Stated Simon Honywill, “The fact that it sounded so astounding is testament to the software. In fact I have never heard a system [in the RAH] that sounded so similar upstairs as down. Ambrose was also able to rationalize the coverage to effectively reduce the amount of energy hitting the balcony fronts––other systems have claimed it but this is the first to deliver.”

The design prediction created ‘voids’ precisely where necessary––including the elimination of any stage spill, as Simon Honywill was quick to attest. “You could stand under the MLA on stage and not hear a thing!

“But at the same time this is the loudest I have been able to drive a system here without the orchestra moaning!”

The program combined the traditional ‘greatest hits’ from the classical canon with new works such as Karl Jenkins’ Benedictus from The Armed Man; A Mass For Peace. The latter swings from the gentlest of solo cello to five percussionists hitting a variety of drums extremely hard and the choir adding weight to a huge sonic picture.

“We had ten mics on the choir and I found I could keep opening them up massively, with no coloration whatsoever,” noted Honywill. “We’ve never had the amount of level, definition and control––particularly with the low strings––as we achieved with the MLA, and that is what makes it sound really fat. It was a pleasure and absolute joy to mix.”

Summing up, the sound engineer said, “To get the sonic quality and level required by the promoters you can’t afford for the system to be in any way obtrusive. It has to sound really sweet when loud, warm and powerful––and intelligent and delicate at the same time. MLA was all of these things and more.”

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

About MLA™ (Multi-cellular Loudspeaker Array)
The result of many years of intensive R&D, MLA’s methodology replaces trial-and-error array design with intelligent numerical optimization of the array’s output based on a highly accurate acoustic model. The multi-cellular format has six individual cells in each enclosure, each with its own DSP and amplification.

With up to 24 enclosures, each MLA array has up to 144 cells — too great a number to optimize manually, or by ear. Instead, Martin Audio’s proprietary Display2™ system design software automatically calculates FIR DSP filters for each cell and a redundant-ring audio network (U-NET™) downloads the settings into each array enclosure. Martin Audio’s VU-NET™ software provides real-time control and monitoring of the system.

MLA delivers a frequency response and SPL consistency never before achievable; a very high system output (140dB peak, per cabinet @1m); Automatic optimization of the array, both physically (splay angles) and electronically (DSP); Computer control and monitoring of the entire system, and total control of sound system balance for engineers and sound technicians.

MLA is fully integrated, with Class D amplification, DSP and U-NET digital audio
network built into each enclosure. MLA complete systems are ready-to-use, with MLA, MLD and MLX enclosures, flying hardware, software, cabling and training all supplied. Everything needed is included. All ancillary items — from tablet PC and Merlin™ controller to network interconnects and mains distro — are also included in the complete system package. This ensures full compatibility worldwide, down to cabling and accessories.

Additional features include 90° x 7.5° dispersion; a compact size (1136mm wide x 372mm high x 675mm deep), one-box-fits-all (festivals to theaters) application range and a global voltage, power factor corrected power supply.

MLA’s compact size and very high output allows it to be shipped using smaller trucks, offering considerable savings and reduced carbon footprint. The system also includes the MLX powered, flyable subwoofer capable of an unprecedented measured peak output of 150dB @ 1m; MLD downfill cabinet, and Merlin 4-in/10-out system controller and network hub. Audio input is via analog, AES3 or U-NET.

By adopting these principles and system components MLA is optimized for every member of the audience — from a 2,000 capacity theater, to a 20,000-seat arena, to a 100,000-person festival site. It will deliver the engineer’s exact mix to every seat (up to over 150 meters) with precision, exceptional power and clarity.

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.

KM Productions Upgrades Inventory With HARMAN’s Soundcraft Vi1™ Consoles

ALBERTSON, New York — In order to fulfill the demands of a variety of events, Kevin Mignone, President of Albertson, New York-based KM Productions, recently purchased two HARMAN Soundcraft Vi1 consoles. Mignone felt it was necessary to upgrade to more reliable, cost-effective consoles that could provide greater flexibility for his clients, which includes Vali, a high-end event band.

Vali, an exclusive performance band that typically plays at large wedding events weekly, including Chelsea Clinton’s wedding in July 2011, relies on KM Productions to provide its audio systems, and front-of-house and monitor mixing.

After using a demo model of the Vi1, Mignone was pleased with the results and purchased two consoles in order to allow one console to permanently travel with Vali.

“In venues of all sizes, it is great to have the flexibility and the option to do anything. Even lighting companies can integrate with the console easily,” explained Mignone. “There is so much capability in such a small package; it definitely is one of the more loaded consoles for the price point without sacrificing any features. The Vi1 has everything that we need and more, allowing us to be as flexible and reliable as possible.”

Some of the challenges when servicing high-end events such as weddings include providing the proper sound while being hidden from guests and viewers. It is extremely important that the technology be as discreet as possible. “The footprint is so convenient and is small enough that it can be used in a closet to be kept out of the way,” Mignone said.

“Overall the user interface is excellent,” Mignone continued. “Some venues can be unpredictable, and the Vi1 allows so much more instantaneous flexibility to do whatever is required to get the job done. It’s great that any engineer can pick it up so easily and be ready to go. Our purchase of the second desk not even a month after the first one goes to show how much we rely on it.”

For more information on KM Productions, please visit: http://www.km-productions.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 12,000 people across the Americas, Europe and Asia, and reported sales of $3.8 billion for the twelve months ending September 30, 2011.

L-ACOUSTICS KARAi Helps Bring New Life to New Life Community Church

Oxnard's New Life Community Church

OXNARD, California — After outgrowing its previous worship facility of ten years, New Life Community Church of Oxnard, California has now moved into its new home–a renovated 50,000-square-foot industrial building on Rice Avenue. To accommodate the sound reinforcement needs of the much larger space, New Life called upon Rutherford Design of nearby Northridge, which specified the installation of an L-ACOUSTICS KARAi loudspeaker system. more

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