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Archive of the Line Array Category

Williams Arena’s Sound Is on the Rebound With HARMAN’s JBL Loudspeakers

NORTHRIDGE, California – It’s called “The Barn,” officially known as the Williams Arena, home of the University of Minnesota’s Golden Gophers men’s and women’s basketball teams. The Barn’s 14,625-capacity main arena has been renovated with an all-new sound system that includes more than 100 HARMAN’s JBL loudspeakers. Parsons Electric of Minneapolis, Minnesota was the systems integrator for the project. Parsons collaborated with Richmond, Virginia-based audio/video consulting and architectural services firm Anthony James Partners.

According to Tim Habedank, System Specialist for Parsons Electric, Williams Arena is a large, reverberant space, making it a challenge from a system design standpoint. “We had a reverberation time of about seven seconds,” Habedank said.

“The shape of Williams lent itself to a line array system because the hanging points were far enough away from the seating that we needed speakers that would cover a large area,” Habedank noted. “Williams has three seating levels, so we were able to direct the boxes to the different levels as needed.”

Parsons Electric installed eight line arrays, each comprised of six JBL VRX932LA-1 Constant Curvature loudspeakers, along with two additional arrays of four VRX932LA-1 loudspeakers each for court coverage. The system also features four subwoofer clusters, each containing three JBL ASB6128 subs, while 20 Control 30 loudspeakers are installed for upper balcony fill with 48 Control 29AV loudspeakers for lower balcony fill.

In addition, Parsons Electronic separated the VRX system into three zones—one for each level—so each zone can be controlled discretely with a touchpanel. “Williams is a multi-purpose arena, so for events that don’t require the full system, the top two levels of speakers can be turned off if only the lower level speakers are required,” Habedank said. “Or the top level can be turned off if only the lower and middle levels need to be reached. The system is easily configurable depending on the requirements of each event.”

“The VRX system really packs a punch and covers Williams Arena very well,” Habedank added. “We did some level shading on the system to ensure that every seat in the arena is separated by less than a few dB. We have really nice, even coverage with the VRX line arrays.”

For more information on Parsons Electric, please visit www.HARMAN.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 25 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 net sales of $4.4 billion for the twelve months ending June 30, 2012.

Prism Sound Hosts Audio Design Workshop LIVE

Some of the most experienced engineers in the audio industry will be sharing their knowledge and practical expertise in active loudspeaker design at a unique workshop being hosted by Prism Sound and Oxford Digital, in partnership with the Audio Engineering Society, LOUDSOFT and TTid.

Audio Design Workshop LIVE will take place at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, on March 25th 2013 and will be open to engineers, engineering managers, students and academics involved in audio engineering.

“The seminar sessions will cover aspects of analogue and digital audio system design and optimization, with a major emphasis on real-world, practical problem solving,” says Simon Woollard, Test & Measurement Product Specialist at Prism Sound. “Our audience will have a unique opportunity to learn from our panel’s many decades of collective experience, plus there will be plenty of opportunity for hands-on experimentation, and for networking with the presenters and other participants. This is a fantastic chance for everyone involved in audio engineering to learn the tricks of the trade from luminaries of the audio industry.”

Audio Design Workshop LIVE will feature seminar sessions presented by Peter Eastty and John Richards of Oxford Digital; Peter Larsen of LOUDSOFT; Ian Dennis and Simon Woollard of Prism Sound; plus a guest presenter to be announced shortly. There will also be a panel discussion/Q&A where delegates will have the chance to ask the panellists for answers and advice, a hands-on session with evaluation units and demonstrations, and plenty of opportunities to network. All delegates will also receive an audio engineering gift pack.

“We are encouraging delegates to bring along their own loudspeakers for evaluation and enhancement using Oxford Digital’s DSP tools,” Simon Woollard adds. “And for those who can’t physically attend, there will be the opportunity to watch the proceedings live via a global webcast.”

Places for Audio Design Workshop LIVE are limited and anyone wishing to take part is encouraged to register now. This can be done online via the Prism Sound website: www.prismsound.com/ADWLCambridge2013, or by calling +44 (0)1353 648 888.

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About Prism Sound
Founded in 1987 in Cambridge, UK, Prism Sound manufactures a range of high quality professional test equipment for audio applications. The company is organized in three divisions and in addition to audio test equipment, Prism Sound also manufactures equipment for high-quality recording and production for music and sound applications and for voice-logging recorders used in law enforcement, legislative and business applications. Prism Sound audio test equipment is used by many major consumer electronics brands in automotive, home entertainment, personal mobile, communications and other market sectors as well as most of the world’s leading broadcasters including the BBC. Prism Sound’s music recording products are widely used by leading professionals in music and film sound such as the legendary Abbey Road Studios in London.

For more information: www.prismsound.com

Yamaha Commercial Audio Provides Sound System for Concert Celebrating Company’s 125th Anniversary

BUENA PARK, Calif.—Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc. (YCAS) played a major role in parent company’s 125th anniversary celebration, providing the sound system used at a concert held at the Disney’s Hyperion Theatre during the NAMM Show in Anaheim. YCAS managed all live audio production equipment requirements including the design and implementation of a large-scale Dante network from inputs to speakers and were on hand for assistance to guest artist engineers.

The concert, which featured performances by Amy Grant; Chaka Khan; Dave Grusin; Earth, Wind & Fire; David Foster; Dave Koz; Michael McDonald; Sarah McLachlan; Toto; Lucy Schwartz; new artist LEOGUN; the USC Marching Band; and house band, under the musical direction of Nathan East.

Three Yamaha CL5 digital consoles were used at front of house (one for the orchestra, one for the house band, and one for guest bands) for a total of 150 inputs, two CL5s were used at monitors, two DME64N digital mix engines were used for Dante Network Bridging and FOH speaker system processing, NXAMP4x4s for amplification with NX-DT104 Dante cards, NEXO RS18 and S118 subwoofers, NEXO PS10 speakers for front fill, NEXO 45N-12 stage monitors, LS600 and DXS15 subwoofers for drum mix subs, and, for flown for the first time in the U.S., the new NEXO STM line array used as FOH Mains.

“The new CL5 console is amazing,” states front of house engineer Bryan Lenox, who mixed many of the guest artists as well as the house band. “The three CL5s were linked together and talking to one another during a very complex show. We had a multitude of artists, background singers, multiple pianos, horns, percussionists, a multi-track recording truck, and a live broadcast stream of audio and video. The console is very user friendly and quick to get around; the flexibility, touch screen, and color-coding groups of faders are very helpful especially when having to make quick moves. The console routing is great, and although you can do just about anything with the routing, the layout can even be customized by the engineer.” Lenox said the Neve and Pultec plug-ins sounded great on kick, snare, bass, and vocals. “The new NEXO STM rig sounded unbelievable and very rich sounding while retaining detail, clarity, and punch. It was very easy to get a great sound with the combination of the consoles and the STM.”

The night’s crescendo, however, was Sir Elton John who ended the concert with an amazing five-song set. A historical evening for Yamaha Pianos as John played a Disklavier reproducing piano onstage, accompanied by a 60-piece orchestra, as his actual piano keystrokes were faithfully played, note for note, in real time (via MIDI data) on remote Disklavier pianos all over the world. He and the orchestra were visible on adjacent monitors in perfect sync with the remote piano performance, and even fans from around the world without a Disklavier were able to witness the event via a live streaming feed.

“I enjoyed using the CL, in fact, when we have solo shows with Elton similar to the Yamaha event, it will be my desk of choice,” states Matt Herr, front of house engineer for Elton John. “I’m a fan of Yamaha desks and have been for many years. The product reliability and global service is second to none.” Herr has been using a PM5K when the band performs with John. “The CL is very user friendly and sounded really good in my opinion. The Neve inserts sounded fantastic; I used one of the compressors on Elton’s vocal. Normally, I use an outboard compressor, but this one worked quite well. As far as the NEXO STM line array, it sounded nice and smooth, and I’d like to get my hands on it with the band and really drive it to see what it can do. It seems like it would be a good large line array as opposed to some of the smaller ones out there.”

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Photo 1: Matt Herr, Photo 2: Bryan Lenox

About Yamaha CAbout Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc.:About Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc.:
Celebrating 125 years of Passion and Performance, and 25 years in the manufacturer of high quality digital audio consoles, Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc. (YCAS) provides a full line of integrated professional audio products offering complete systems solutions for the broadcast, sound reinforcement/installed sound, touring, commercial recording, and post production markets. With the addition of NEXO to the product line, the company remains the official U.S. and Canadian distributor for all NEXO speaker models. YCAS offers comprehensive in-house and field product training for its customers, a dedicated dealer network, and 24/7 technical support.

HARMAN’s JBL Professional VTX Line Array Series Wins GOOD DESIGN™ Award From the Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design

JBL Professional’s VTX line array loudspeakers (including the V25, pictured) earned a 2012 GOOD DESIGN Award from the Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design.

NORTHRIDGE, California – HARMAN’s JBL Professional today announced that its VTX Series line array loudspeakers have won a 2012 GOOD DESIGN™ Award from the Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and the European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies. Founded in 1950, GOOD DESIGN is the world’s most prestigious, recognized and oldest design awards program and covers new products designed and manufactured in North and South America, Europe, Asia and Africa.

“We are honored to have received a GOOD DESIGN award for our JBL VTX Series loudspeakers,” said Paul Bauman, Senior Manager, Tour Sound for JBL. “This award validates our efforts to create a new standard in line array technology with a series of products that exemplify the goal of ergonomic, innovative design in the service of exceptional audio performance.”

The JBL VTX Series is the company’s new flagship range of line array loudspeakers and subwoofers for tour and installed sound and incorporate JBL’s most advanced components, materials and technologies. At the heart of VTX is the D2 Dual Driver, a revolutionary device developed by JBL that dramatically improves the sound and performance of high frequencies. The D2 driver operates in conjunction with a host of additional JBL technologies to set new standards in fidelity, clarity, power density and musical accuracy in professional sound reinforcement applications.

For more information on the GOOD DESIGN Awards, please visit www.chi-athenaeum.org/gdesign/

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 13,400 people across the Americas, Europe and Asia, and reported net sales of $4.4 billion for the twelve months ending June 30, 2012.

HARMAN’s JBL Professional Loudspeakers Give Sound to the Stars at the 55th Annual GRAMMY® Awards

(Left) Bryan Bradley, Vice President, General Manager of the HARMAN Professional Loudspeaker Business Unit and (right) Mark Ureda, Vice President, Strategy and Technology, HARMAN Professional, in the Television Committee Room at the GRAMMY Awards.

NORTHRIDGE, California – HARMAN’s JBL loudspeakers were at the heart of Sunday’s 55th Annual GRAMMY® Awards, with JBL VTX line arrays comprising the live sound reinforcement system at the STAPLES Center and an LSR6300 Series 5.1 surround sound studio monitor system used in the Television Committee Room.

The annual GRAMMY Awards telecast, known as Music’s Biggest Night®, is presented by The Recording Academy® to honor outstanding achievements in the production and performance of recorded music. The GRAMMY Awards were broadcast live in HDTV and 5.1 surround sound on the CBS Television Network. More than 28.1 million people watched this year’s Awards telecast, the second-largest audience for the GRAMMY Awards since 1993.

This year’s Awards were hosted by LL Cool J and featured performances by The Black Keys, Mumford & Sons, Rihanna, Taylor Swift, among others. The rock band fun. earned Best New Artist and Song of the Year for “We Are Young,” while Gotye won Record of the Year for “Somebody That I Used to Know,” along with two other GRAMMY Awards. Mumford & Sons earned Album of the Year for Babel.

ATK Audiotek supplied the live sound reinforcement system for the Awards, which featured left-right columns of 12 VTX V25 fullsize line array elements per side for the main PA, with additional left-right columns of 12 V25 per side for out fill, along with a center cluster of 18 VTX S28 arrayable subwoofers in cardioid mode (two arrays of nine S28 subs each), for a total of 66 VTX loudspeakers. Six VRX932 Constant Curvature loudspeakers served as front fill, with left-right rear delay arrays of eight VERTEC® VT4889 fullsize line array elements each. Powering the loudspeakers were 16 Crown Audio VRack 2000 and four VRack 4×3500 and the entire system was configured using JBL HiQnet Performance Manager™ software. The house sound system at the STAPLES Center, featuring VERTEC VT4888ADP-DA powered line array elements, was used to supplement the live sound system with five enclosures from the center end array used for rear upper deck and VIP box coverage.

“This year we used the newest evolution of the JBL line array,” said Jeff Peterson of ATK Audiotek. “The V25 had a very clear and smooth high end which didn’t distract our attention. All of the low-end power we’re accustomed to with the VT4889’s was there and then some. The S28 sub is so efficient we never came close to using all of the available power. Tying it all together, Performance Manager gave me all the control and monitoring I needed.”

In the Television Committee Room, Michael Abbott, Audio Director for the GRAMMY Awards, along with Recording Academy executives, relied on JBL LSR6300 Series studio monitors to listen to the mix of the show in real time. “We were able to take advantage of the LSR6300 Series’ RMC Room Mode Correction technology to ensure that we were accurately hearing the subtleties in the mix,” Abbott said. “As has been the case for several years, the LSR6300 Series performed flawlessly at the GRAMMY Awards.”

For more information on ATK Audiotek, please visit www.atkaudiotek.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 25 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 net sales of $4.4 billion for the twelve months ending June 30, 2012.

HARMAN’s JBL Professional Loudspeakers Fill Out the Sound System at Penn State’s Beaver Stadium

NORTHRIDGE, California – Beaver Stadium, home to Penn State University’s Nittany Lions football team, is one of the largest in the country with a capacity of almost 107,000. In fact, it is the second-largest stadium in the Western Hemisphere. The stadium has expanded six times in its history and recently, systems contractor Clair Brothers upgraded Beaver Stadium’s sound system with the installation of more than 140 HARMAN’s JBL loudspeakers to improve its performance in a number of coverage areas.

“We had already replaced the main PA system in 2007 with a comparatively small JBL VLA601 and VLA301 line array system, but work still needed to be done to address areas in the North and South end zones of the stadium where the sound from the main PA is blocked or where we determined that additional coverage was needed,” said Jim Devenney, Sr. Systems Designer and Project Manager at Clair Brothers. “The balconies are large and present significant acoustical barriers. There were already speakers in place in these areas but they had been there for a while and needed to be upgraded.”

“In the South end zone there are three separate areas, the main PA does not cover since the PA shoots over the top of the entire area. The tight down angle from the top of the scoreboard makes it impossible for the main PA to adequately reach those areas.”

“The lower level is used mostly for student seating, we mounted 16 JBL All Weather Series AW295 all-weather speakers on the face of the balcony to cover these seats between the balcony and the field. In addition there are 36 of JBL’s All Weather Series AWC82 outdoor speakers positioned in two alternating rows of 18, with 18 pointed straight down and another 18 placed in between them and aimed back away from the field to cover the area under the balcony.”

“The Club Level is the next level up and here the balcony directly blocks the sound from the main PA. To remedy this, 14 AW295 speakers face toward the field and 52 AWC82 speakers are placed facing down. There’s a seating area under the scoreboard that also needed attention. We added 24 JBL Control 25AV indoor/outdoor speakers to deliver sound to the people sitting under the scoreboard.”

“The top of the lower level seating in the North end zone is also shaded from the main system by an overhanging balcony. We installed 10 AWC129 speakers here.”

When it comes to installation challenges Clair Brothers has seen it all, yet the Beaver Stadium upgrade threw the proverbial fly in the ointment for Devenney and crew. “Putting up the speakers was the easy part,” Devenney said. “Our installers loved the speakers as they were well-designed and easy to mount. However, we had to install them during the Penn State football season so we had to put up and take down the scaffolding after every game. The schedule was also so tight that we had the speakers flown from the plant as soon as they were manufactured! We still were able to complete the installation in four weeks. The stadium’s operations staff was very helpful with logistics, ensuring the system installation would stay on schedule.”

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 13,400 people across the Americas, Europe and Asia, and reported net sales of $4.4 billion for the twelve months ending June 30, 2012.

OPTOCORE TECHNOLOGY SUPPORTS AUDIO FOR THE 2013 U.S. PRESIDENTIAL INAUGURATION

Maryland Sound International Utilizes Optocore Network Rings for Signal Distribution and Monitoring

WASHINGTON D.C., FEBRUARY 19, 2013 – When audio integrator Maryland Sound International (MSI) was once again tasked with supplying the main audio system for President Barack Obama’s second presidential inauguration on January 21, 2013, the company employed two Optocore Networks. MSI, a longtime user of Optocore technology, a leading choice for powering professional audio, video and data transmission networks in a variety of markets, including broadcast, post production and AV, chose the networks for their multiple levels of redundancy and reputation of superior reliability. This marks the third presidential inauguration in a row for which MSI has chosen Optocore equipment for the critical audio distribution.

With the ceremony taking place on the grounds of the Capitol in Washington, D.C. in January, MSI was faced with unpredictable winter conditions as well as a long transmission path back to MSI’s Front-of-House position, nearly 2,000 feet from the last speaker tower. MSI and audio designer Patrick Baltzell needed a way to distribute audio signals with as few conversions as possible in order to ensure the approximately 1,000,000 attendees of the ceremony heard every word.

MSI chose Optocore Network technology in order to drive the signal chain directly from the Yamaha PM5D FOH mixing console using Optocore YG2 Yamaha cards that were connected with redundant fiber cabling to the locations of the loudspeaker processors and amplifiers. This provided MSI with lossless digital transmission, which is critical in order to properly transport the audio with crisp sound and clarity over such a long distance transmission path without any glitches.

“The Optocore Networks we put in place for this year’s ceremony certainly made access to all of the amplifiers, signal processors and overall signal distribution far easier and more reliable than in the past,” says Brian Bednar, system technician, MSI. “This time around, everything was more streamlined and faster to set up and tear down at the end of the event.”

The main Optocore Network consisted of one YG2 card in the Yamaha PM5D FOH mixing console connected to an Optocore DD32 networked AES/EBU device on stage right and another DD32 on stage left. Each DD32 was connected to an Optocore X6P-8/8 analog converter and a Dolby DLP loudspeaker processor via AES. The X6P converters gave MSI the ability to feed all the devices that were not AES and/or not driven through the Dolby processor units.

The second Optocore Network consisted of one YG2 card in the PM5D connected to an Optocore DD32R-FX networked AES/EBU device at delay zone 1 (700 feet away) and another DD32R-FX at delay zone 2 (1500 feet away). Each DD32R-FX was connected to an Optocore X6P-16IN analog converter and a Dolby processor via AES. Both networks featured redundant fiber connections.

The DD32R-FX proved to be a helpful add-on for this year’s sound system, with its built-in network wide Ethernet switch. The Optocore Network allowed MSI an easy access to the Dolby DLP loudspeaker processors and amplifiers located off the main site. With a broad part of the sound system offsite, it was then easy to maintain control and monitoring of all the devices on the network to see if they were functioning to MSI’s specifications.

“It is my role to help the FOH engineer tune the system, so having access to all parts of the system at all times in order to make changes without my needing to leave the FOH position is invaluable,” says Art Isaacs, project manager, MSI. “The X6P-16IN converters gave us the functionality to run measurement microphones from multiple city blocks away back to the FOH position. Using the Optocore system proved itself to us in many ways. The sound system was extremely quiet due to the all-AES based drive system. Ethernet access to all of the online devices proved extremely helpful and provided great flexibility. I can only hope that in 2017 that we can continue to work with Optocore systems and further enhance the sound system.”

The relationship between Optocore and MSI goes back for almost a decade. “Optocore has been part of MSI’s rental inventory since 2004,” says Tine Helmle, director, Optocore. “We are proud to provide MSI with the solutions it needed to ensure the audio was heard loud and clear during such an important and historic U.S. event as the presidential inauguration. We look forward to working with them well into the future.”

About Optocore
Based in Munich, Germany, Optocore is the world market leading provider of scalable, high-bandwidth, low-latency fiber-optic networks for the transmission of audio, video and data. For 19 years, Optocore has been continuously innovating and setting new standards with regards to digital network technology. Optocore builds and develops synchronous optical fiber and CAT5 based network solutions for broadcast professionals, fixed installations and live event applications. Utilizing leading-edge technology and high-quality components Optocore guarantees durability and therefore long-term market and customer satisfaction. Due to the open system architecture, Optocore’s platform offers other manufacturers the option to transfer conventional standard audio, video and data formats used in the pro audio industry, via a fiber and CAT5 network. Technical expertise, QoS and an extensive support structure are guaranteed to all customers, together with the highest level of quality controls. For more information, visit www.optocore.com.

HARMAN’s BSS Audio, Crown and Soundcraft Take Pole Position at New Circuit of the Americas Grand Prix Racetrack

AUSTIN, Texas — It’s enough to set any motorsports enthusiast’s pulse racing – the newly completed Circuit of the Americas (COTA) is the first purpose-built Grand Prix racetrack in the U.S. The complex hosted the 2012 Formula One United States Grand Prix, and upcoming races will include the MotoGP, FIA World Endurance Championship and American Le Mans Series. The 300-acre Austin, Texas facility is built around a state-of-the-art 3.4-mile circuit track with a capacity for 120,000 fans. An integral part of COTA is its public address and Emergency Communication System (ECS), featuring HARMAN’s BSS Audio networked digital signal processors and Crown power amplifiers which also receive input from the venue’s Soundcraft mixing console to serve a variety of sound reinforcement needs throughout the venue.

“Although the audio system is used for announcements and music during races and other activities, a facility like Circuit of the Americas requires an emergency notification system that meets public safety requirements as mandated by the National Fire Protection Association,” explained Brian Elwell, senior consultant and vice president of design firm Acoustic Dimensions (www.acousticdimensions.com). “The system has to serve as both a PA and an Emergency Communication System.”

“For 51 weeks out of the year COTA is used for purposes other than auto racing, so the audio system also needs to be suitable for concerts, events and activities throughout the entire facility, both indoors and out”, emphasized Elwell. “The Soundweb London network is an integral part of making everything work, acting as a core system that runs all audio signals everywhere including emergency notification to the 20,000-seat amphitheater and 40,000 people in the Grand Plaza area. As an example, we can instantly switch from using the PA system as a music source for a selected area in the complex to taking a single emergency paging mic and feeding it everywhere in the facility in case of a facility-wide emergency. We also have redundant signal paths to all audio components in the system to make sure everything is online, all the time.”

The project required that audio processing and amplification be installed in more than 30 different rack locations around the track as well as the grandstand, pit building, Grand Plaza indoor facilities and COTA’S Tower Amphitheater. A Soundcraft Si Compact 16 digital mixing console with CobraNet™ option card is used to mix various audio sources and integrate the console’s audio outputs with other components in various parts of the installation. CobraNet-compatible BSS Audio signal processing includes seven BLU-800 processors, two BLU-320 and six BLU-120 input/output expanders, three BLU-80 processors and 13 BLU-32 input/output expanders. The system also includes six BLU-10 programmable controllers. Matched to different loudspeaker zones and requirements, more than 70 Crown amplifiers are installed throughout Circuit of the Americas, including CTs 1200 USP4CN, CTs 4200A, CTs 3000 LITE, CTs 2000 LITE, CTs 1200 LITE, CTs 600 LITE, MA5000i, and 1160A models.

“We chose Crown power amps since their onboard DSP is extremely effective, and they work hand in hand with BSS components via HARMAN HiQnet™, noted David Battershell, project engineer for Ford Audio-Video Systems (www.fordav.com). “And in our experience the BSS Audio Soundweb London system enables designers and installers to provide an audio networking and processing solution for large-scale facilities at a price no other system can match. HARMAN’s HiQnet networking protocol links it all together and provides real-time monitoring status for all of the Soundweb London processing, Crown amplifiers and loudspeaker cable runs around the track. This ensures the system meets the emergency communication system standards as specified by the design team.”

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.

Martin Audio MLA Covers Wide Range Of Venues On Killers Tour


The recent Killers U.S. tour presented a unique set of challenges for Delicate Productions.

Besides the need to provide consistent coverage in radically different venues ranging from mid-sized arenas to small theaters, casinos and ballrooms, the Camarillo, CA-based production company had to contend with cancellations of major arena shows at New York’s Madison Square Garden, Toronto’s Air Canada Centre and New Jersey’s Susquehanna Bank Center due to lead singer Brandon Flowers’ laryngitis.

That said, the tour was still well received by enthusiastic fans and media, earning praise from Rolling Stone magazine for its “thunderous, meaty sound” at the tour opener in Denver’s 1stBank Center.

The successful six-man band that formed in 2001 and consists of front man Flowers who also doubles on keyboards, Dave Keuning (guitars), Mark Stoermer (bass), and Ronnie Vannucci (drums), was supplemented by two multi-instrumentalists for this critical tour to support their popular Battle Born release.

Delicate actually picked up the tour from Capital Sound in the UK, making a seamless transition in terms of coverage, audio quality and impact. Asked if the systems were similar, Killers Front of House Engineer James Gebhard said, “Absolutely identical. Capital and Delicate worked really well hand in hand. We did some fine-tuning of the system in the UK and Capital communicated directly with Delicate about the details so they could be set up exactly the same. It was a very quick transition from one to the other.”

A veteran engineer who worked his way up from university amateur shows through a variety of bands to the highest level of touring, the Manchester-born Gebhard has been with the Killers since 2004. He had been using other line arrays before the tour, but Delicate was instrumental in getting him onboard with the Martin Audio MLA system.

As described by Delicate’s Smoother Smyth, the process involved several steps. “Once we had teamed with our friends at Capital for MLA,” Smoother recounts, “we got James to see the system in action in the UK and at a Zac Brown Band show in Indianapolis. We then brought him in to our warehouse to discuss MLA theory and spend some hands-on time with the system before he signed off on MLA for the tour. Needless to say, it worked out really well in the end for everyone involved.”

The touring setup included 14 MLA cabinets and two MLD down fill cabinets per side for the main PA; 12 MLA cabinets per side for the side hangs; 20 MLX subwoofers ground-stacked in a cardioid broadside array in front of the stage along with four MLX flown per side to fill in those areas. I10 Martin Audio W8LC cabinets along the stage edge are used for in fill.

In addition to MLA, Gebhard relied on his “ever-trusted” DiGiCo SD7 console with two 56-channel DiGiCo SD racks stage running at 96 kHz along with Waves SoundGrid processing and plug-ins. A variety of microphones were used, starting with a Shure SM58A for lead singer Flowers to a mixture of Shure, Audio-Technica, Sennheiser and E-V, depending on what worked best for the job.

Asked about his maiden voyage with MLA during this critical tour, James was typically candid, “Smoother had to go out of his way to convince me to switch to MLA, but once I was able to work on it, I was amazed.

“One of the most impressive aspects is the phase coherence,” he explains. “Walk the room and everywhere you go it sounds exactly the same. It’s like an audio guy’s dream. You don’t have to start making compromises or second-guessing yourself, searching for holes in the coverage between PA points or the back and front of the room. You can’t believe it actually does what is says it does.”

MLA’s scalability also proved to be very useful for this tour, especially given the radical differences in sizes from venue to venue. As Gebhard points out, “With typical line arrays, you work an artificial X amount of boxes per side to do an arena, but because of what MLA does with all the steering, you can use less boxes for the venue. It all depends on how you predict the room, what you want to do and what the software comes up with. Whether it’s smaller or larger room, you could almost use the same amount of boxes, which definitely makes MLA a very scalable system. And the sound was literally identical everywhere we went, every day. It was fantastic. The pure consistency regardless of the type or size of the room.”

Another useful aspect for Gebhard was MLA’s Hard Avoid feature. “We played around with it a lot during rehearsals in Vegas,” he recalls. “We were in a sound room with very reflective back walls and ceilings so we set it up in there, put on the hard avoids and it made the room sound incredible.

“As far as I’m concerned, Martin Audio has reinvented the wheel in terms of PA design with MLA,” he concludes. “It’s just unbelievable.” The biggest problem Martin Audio has is marketing the product. They really need to get the word out because it’s unbelievable.”

Unfortunately, Delicate was never able to fly the full MLA/MLA Compact system due to the cancellation of the major arena shows. Smoother points out that “it was disappointing that we didn’t get to rig the full system, especially hearing it with the MLA Compacts rigged for rear coverage. But we’ll be using it for the makeup dates in May.”

Pressed for his feelings about MLA, Smyth is enthusiastic but judicious in his response. “I don’t claim to know it all, which is why I surround myself with people who know audio, video and lighting in depth and give in to their wishes. We look at what’s out there in the marketplace, evaluate it and the purchases come on the merits of the product. My guys said ‘MLA is a must-have.’ And even though it’s a challenge because of the cost and complexity of the onboard technology. But at the end of the day that’s what separates MLA from all of the competitive products.

“In the end, I always want to be with the leading edge on anything and everything, and MLA truly is in a class of its own. It’s not just being operational at the flick of a switch; it’s a whole other mindset that represents a new learning curve for engineers that go out with this system. Which means hard work on our part in terms of training courses, the software and hardware updates. We’re dealing with a whole new audio concept, which is very different from anything we’ve worked with before.

“When I worked the MusicCares event with Paul McCartney last February, we deployed MLA and it sounded like a Vegas showroom. And no one thanked us for a job well done because it was just accepted that the room must sound that good. It gives us great satisfaction to provide engineers with such a great place to start from.

“Given the size of the MLA, what it puts out is remarkable and stunning,” Smyth concludes.” It’s a midsized box that can outperform all of the large format cabinets in the marketplace. The fact that I can use it in theaters, hotel ballrooms, casinos, arenas and up, speaks volumes.”

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.

ENTASYS Helps Bring Modern Technology to Historic Church

The rolling hills and fertile farmlands along the Delaware River were among the first to be settled by European colonists, and the area is rich in historic buildings and landmarks. Among them is Alexandria First Presbyterian Church, whose main sanctuary was built in the late 1800s, and is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places.

Despite being one of the older buildings in the area, Alexandria First Presbyterian is all modern on the inside, thanks to a sophisticated audio and video system designed and installed by Blackwood, NJ-based JD Sound and Video. The system includes distributed HD video, with multiple screens throughout, as well as a sound system featuring Community Professional Loudspeakers’ ENTASYS column arrays and VLF Series subwoofers.

“It’s not a large building, and it’s not very ornate,” says JD Sound’s Joe DiSabatino. “But they’ve invested wisely with the technology they’ve installed.”

As DiSabatino explains, the building’s old stone walls and hard surfaces make for a highly reflective acoustical environment, and achieving good spoken word intelligibility has long been a challenge. “It’s a large, boxy room with high ceilings, hard plaster walls, and lots of hard wood,” says DiSabatino. “It sounds great for the choir, but not for the sermon.”

JD Sound recommended a pair of Community ENTASYS column loudspeakers to cover the entire space. “We set up a temporary system for them to use during a service, and they were immediately convinced,” says DiSabatino.

The church uses quite a bit of music in their program, and DiSabatino recommended a pair of VLF208 subwoofers to fill out the frequency range. “We built the subs into the altar, underneath the stage,” he says. “They provide just that little bit of extra low end and kick.”

The ENTASYS also addressed the church’s aesthetic concerns. “The columns are painted to match the walls, and are barely visible,” says DiSabatino. Crown amps power the system, and a Rane HAL system provides DSP and enables the church to make multi-channel recordings of their services, with an eye toward webcasting in the future.

The church’s previous system, a pair of Community CSX loudspeakers, has been repurposed. “The kids have a gathering spot down in the basement, and the original Community system is still working fine, so it was perfect for that,” says DiSabatino.

“The ENTASYS system was the perfect solution,” DiSabatino concludes. “Coverage is consistent to every seat, even under the balcony, and we’ve got far more gain before feedback. And they sound terrific.”

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