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Archive of the Loudspeakers Category

DANLEY LOUDSPEAKERS DELIVER AUDIO HORSEPOWER AT CHURCHILL DOWNS

LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY: Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky held the very first Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks horse races in 1875, the year it opened. The track acquired its now-iconic twin-spires grandstand in 1895 and subsequently added to it on either side in pieces during the last century, bringing the grandstand’s current capacity to 52,000. In anticipation of the 2014 Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs commenced installation of a 171-ft. by 90-ft. video screen, the largest 4k video board in the world. Because the facility’s low-fi sound reinforcement system had been designed ages ago for only spoken word reproduction, the new screen would require a serious sound system upgrade to realize its full potential and impact. Dallas-based Marsh/PMK International, LLC designed the new sound reinforcement systems for all of the outdoor areas including nearly sixty clusters in the grandstands comprised of Danley Sound Labs SH50, SM96 and SM60F loudspeakers as well as TH212 subwoofers.

Encompass Develop, Design & Construct oversaw the installation of both the new video board and the new sound systems and they hired Marsh/PMK. Dave Stearns and Tim Lindstrom worked with Marsh/PMK to execute the sound system project from conception to completion. “The timeline for such a large-scale project was incredibly short – only six-and-a-half months from start to finish,” said David Marsh, owner of Marsh/PMK. “We were selected as the consultant in early October and delivered the design to Encompass at the end of December with two addenda following in January. Siemens was awarded the installation contract at the beginning of February. They won the bid in part because they have an ongoing contract to operate and maintain the sound systems at Churchill Downs. As such, they were already familiar with the facility and all the relevant operational aspects. Minor installation work and punch list corrections were still going on after the opening of Churchill Downs’ spring meet on April 26. Final testing and adjustments followed to make the system fully ready for the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby race days on May 2nd and 3rd.”

“I’ve been listening to Danley systems at trade shows for years now,” said Marsh. “I like the company’s philosophy of building large horn systems instead of adding to the already flooded market of line arrays. We see line arrays used in many permanent installations where properly designed horn arrays would work better. People have the idea that line arrays are a panacea, the cure-all for every situation, because they can throw sound long distances and because the main sound lobe can be electronically shaped and steered. True, but there is another side to that story.” Marsh goes on to explain, “Constructive and destructive interference that makes line arrays work also causes noticeable variations in tonal quality. Interference also produces lobes of sound in unintended directions, including behind the array. Lastly, most line arrays have wide horizontal dispersion, the angle of which is usually fixed by the basic building block of the array. In such cases, it is not possible to vary the horizontal dispersion angle along the length of the array to optimally match the intended coverage area.”

Marsh said, “I’ve been looking for the right project for Danley. Churchill Downs became the one. Danley clusters positioned along the front edge of Level 300 serve the largest covered seating tier and all the trackside sections in front of the grandstand building from one end to the other. A tight vertical pattern with sharp cut-offs was critical in our long-throw situation. We had to throw sound all the way down to the edge of the track without ‘sizzling the hair’ of people seated below the clusters where Level 200 protrudes out from the building. The system performs as intended. I was also pleased by the performance of Danley’s TH-212 subwoofers. This is a tapped horn design that delivers an impressive amount of bass in a relatively small package.”

Our original design was based on a different loudspeaker manufacturer, but they couldn’t guarantee that their products would be delivered on time,” said Marsh. “Danley had slightly greater vertical coverage patterns in similar box sizes [to those of the other manufacturer], which allowed us to modify our design to use one less box per cluster. That would ultimately be a cost savings. Danley emphatically stated that the boxes would be delivered on time and that sealed the deal. They made good on their promise.”

Danley Sound Labs, Inc. President and CEO Mike Hedden commented, “One of the things we are very proud of is our U.S.-based manufacturing. From the time we got the order until it was shipped complete was four weeks; 250 fully weatherproofed loudspeakers in four weeks, that’s unheard of in this day of off shore production! During this time the south got hit by two severe snowstorms that wreaked havoc on the region. Even with raw goods being lost in logistics which delayed shipments, we still delivered the products in organized pallets so that each load represented a finished cluster on the job site in four weeks.”

Unlike a typical baseball or football stadium, the grandstand building at Churchill Downs has seating tiers that are stacked vertically, straight up and down. Moreover, various expansions have occurred over the years adding sections on either side of the historic “twin spires.” All of these sections have slightly different profiles. There are varying ceiling heights, seating depths and column spacing. It was a unique situation that required careful planning. Unfortunately, Churchill Downs did not have CAD drawings of the facility. In fact, PDF drawings provided to Marsh/PMK trickled in over a period of weeks and none of them were to scale. “This put the already tight design schedule in serious jeopardy.” Marsh said. “How were we going to get this project into EASE [for coverage modeling] and how were we going to produce usable CAD backgrounds?”

Tim Lindstrom worked with Melvin Saunders, another consultant working on the Marsh/PMK team, to meet the challenge. Tim used dimensions obtained during the initial site survey to create re-scaled PDFs. Melvin used Google Earth to confirm or correct the dimensions and then created a SketchUp model of the complicated grandstands. The SketchUp model was imported into EASE, which finally allowed Dave Stearns to get into the detailed loudspeaker system design. Tim subsequently set about creating the necessary CAD backgrounds. “I was very proud of our team’s resourcefulness.” Marsh declared.

Two basic cluster types alternate along the length of the grandstand, just under the front edge of the Level 300 ceiling. There are nearly sixty clusters in total. The first type of cluster includes a Danley SH50 long-throw box and a companion TH212 subwoofer. The SH50 covers the seating in front of the grandstand building all the way out to the edge of the track. The second type of cluster replaces those boxes with a Danley SM96 to provide near coverage in between the horizontal cut-off angles of the SH50s in the adjacent clusters. Both cluster types include a rear-firing full-range SM60F aimed toward the top of the Level 300 seating tier and a more-or-less down firing SM96 with its woofer removed.

Marsh/PMK expanded existing Q-Sys DSP and QSC amplification to power the system. Existing Renkus-Heinz and QSC loudspeakers were repurposed and added to as necessary to improve coverage on the “porches” in front of upper level suites and on Level 200 of the grandstand building. Renkus boxes were also used on the front edge of Level 200 to cover walkways in front of the building and the rear of Level 100 seating where the Danley coverage is shadowed by overhangs. Existing Community loudspeakers were repurposed and added as necessary on poles to cover seating that extends beyond the building as well as the track infield, the entry plaza and the paddock area. “Re-use of existing equipment where possible was a goal of our design, but Danley now provides the major audio horsepower for the grandstands at Churchill Downs,” said Marsh, claiming no pun intended.

ABOUT DANLEY SOUND LABS Danley Sound Labs is the exclusive home of Tom Danley, one of the most innovative loudspeaker designers in the industry today and recognized worldwide as a pioneer for “outside the box” thinking in professional audio technology.

www.danleysoundlabs.com

Essence Electrostatic Speaker Systems Finds Subwoofer Harmony with SVS

SVS sealed subwoofers were chosen for their musicality, quickness, style, and value befitting the Model 1200 and 1600 Electrostatic Speakers and will now be available via the Essence website and through dealers worldwide.

Girard, OH – July 29, 2014SVS, a worldwide leader in high performance home audio products, was chosen to be the exclusive subwoofer brand recommended and sold by Essence Electrostatic Speaker Systems. The SVS Gloss White SB-1000, SB-1000 in Black Ash, and the SB13-Ultra Gloss Black sealed subwoofers were chosen for having qualities that complement the unique sound profile of the Essence 1200 and 1600 electrostatic speakers and will be available from the Essence website and its audio/video dealers worldwide.

“After conducting exhaustive research on every subwoofer brand we could think of, it became clear that SVS sealed subs were more articulate, musical and transparent than any others we tested,” said Bob Rapoport, vice president sales and marketing for Essence Electrostatic. “We call the Essence Electrostatic speakers the “ultimate listening experience” because they are capable of producing a palpably realistic stereo image, something that’s easy to hear and gives you the goosies. SVS sealed subwoofers will only enhance this experience.”

Unlike traditional speakers with magnets and woofers, electrostatic speakers use an ultra low-mass thin-film Mylar diaphragm suspended in an electrostatic field between two perforated acrylic panels called “stators” to propagate sound out the front and back of the panel. Electrostats are known for rendering astonishing clarity, resolution, transient response, and image specificity in the mid to high frequency ranges. As a result of this design, electrostatic speakers don’t generally move enough air to fill a listening room with visceral bass output. Knowing its strength is in electrostatic speakers, Essence chose SVS to fill in the low frequencies, the bottom two octaves of bass.

SVS sealed subwoofers feature sophisticated Class D amplifiers with custom DSP (digital signal processing) for effortless performance and refinement at all volume levels. Sealed subwoofers are known for providing cleaner, tighter bass than ported models with heightened musicality, articulation and transient response. SVS sealed subwoofers integrate with both electrostatic and traditional speakers.

“Essence Electrostatic speakers provide a sense of realism and transparency that is unique in the world of audio and there’s no doubt the new models are an impressive achievement,” said Gary Yacoubian, president and CEO of SVS. “Most subwoofers would muddy the experience of listening to electrostatic speakers, so we’re flattered to be chosen and consider it a real validation of the engineering we put into our sealed subwoofer designs.”

Essence loudspeakers and SVS sealed subwoofers are available now from www.Essenceelectrostatic.com and from select specialty AV retailers.

For more information about SVS, please visit www.svsound.com  or like them on Facebook or Twitter.

About SVS

SVS is a global leader in high performance home audio products; designing, manufacturing and selling subwoofers and speakers through its Internet direct business. Founded in 1998 by a group of audio enthusiasts seeking to develop an alternative to traditional audio manufacturers, SVS was forged out of a passion for the science of sound married to a disruptive, forward-facing go-to-market strategy. Today, SVS takes a radical approach to how audio products are developed. Built on collective decades of experience, SVS is redefining performance and value for people who love music and sound.

Press Contact:  Caster Communications, Inc. at 401.792.7080

Nicholas Brown: nbrown@castercomm.com

Kimberly Lancaster: klancaster@castercomm.com

For digital images log on to: www.castercomm.com

 

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Slamhammer and Martin Audio Step Up At All-Star Game Concert

Minneapolis, MN––The Target All-Star Concert was held at the TCF Bank Stadium on the University of Minnesota campus a few days before the 2014 Major League Baseball All-Star game.

Slamhammer Productions provided audio, staging and video for the sold-out show that featured Grammy Award winner Imagine Dragons and local hip-hop phenomenon Atmosphere playing to an enthusiastic crowd of over 30,000.

To get the depth and impact of coverage required, Slamhammer set up a Martin Audio loudspeaker system consisting of 16 W8LCs a side for the main hangs; 10 (stage right) and 14 W8LCs a side as outfill; a hang of 2 W8LMDs as center downfill; 4 W8LMs across the front lip of the stage for additional front fill, and 40 WSX subs ground-stacked in front of the stage. Two delay towers with 12 W8LM speakers each were set up 175 feet back in the audience.

Even though Slamhammer had done three smaller shows at TCF Bank Stadium, there were still particular challenges given the size and high profile nature of the event.

According to company President Peter Skujins, “We were faced with long throws of over 400 feet and were limited in terms of rigging capacity. The mobile stage we were using is a beautiful structure with a huge total capacity, but you eat that up pretty quick with multiple hangs weighing over 6400 lbs on the roof. We were also concerned about having a major sightline problem with the delay towers because it was a seated house.

“Fortunately, these all turned out to be non-issues because the W8LM is a very compact box and the Martin Audio system did what it’s supposed to do. It sounded great and everyone was really happy with the coverage and audio quality, including our client Major League Baseball who called the concert ‘a huge success.’”

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.

Dreamsound Is Poland’s First Post-Production Studio to Adopt Dolby Atmos Powered By HARMAN’s JBL and Crown

WARSAW, Poland — Since 2007 Warsaw-based Dreamsound (www.dreamsound.pl) has been one of Poland’s top film post-production studios, offering a complete range of services from recording sound on set through sound editing, mixing and audio mastering. Since its inception Dreamsound has been committed to offering its clients the very latest in film sound technologies, as evidenced by the fact that it’s the first post-production house in Poland licensed to produce film soundtracks using the leading-edge Dolby Atmos surround-sound system, heard at its full potential thanks to a system based around HARMAN’s JBL ScreenArray™ loudspeakers and Crown DSi and XLS DriveCore Series amplifiers.

Dolby Atmos is a next-generation surround-sound technology that employs overhead speakers as well as traditional surround speakers to create a remarkably realistic and immersive sonic environment. Dolby Atmos employs up to 64 speakers to heighten the enveloping sonic atmosphere and impact of movie theater sound. The Dolby Atmos JBL and Crown system is installed in a new 280 square foot, 15-seat screening room that opened in January 2014. Dreamsound co-owner Kacper Habisiak worked closely with JBL and Crown brand manager Wojtek Kopytek at HARMAN Professional distributor ESS Audio and with Dolby personnel in designing and installing the screening room.

The installation employs a total of 32 JBL loudspeakers including ScreenArray 3731-T 3-way tri-amplified loudspeakers and 4642 dual-18-inch subwoofers arranged behind the 20-foot wide projection screen in a left-center-right configuration. JBL SCS 12 and SCS 8 Spatially Cued Surround 12-inch and 8-inch coaxial loudspeakers are mounted on the ceiling, side and rear walls, augmented by two JBL 4181 18-inch subwoofers. The loudspeakers are driven by a complement of Crown DSi 1000 and XLS 2500, XLS 2000, XLS 1500 and XLS 1000 amplifiers.

“JBL speakers are the standard in Polish cinemas, and they match perfectly with Crown amplifiers, so it was a logical move for us to implement these components in our Dolby Atmos screening room,” said Habisiak. “Equally important, the performance of the speakers and amplifiers meets Dolby’s licensing requirements, which are extremely stringent regarding specifications including sound pressure levels, frequency response, coverage relative to room size and other parameters.”

JBL’s ScreenArray 3731-T loudspeakers are designed for critical sound reproduction requirements in small to medium cinemas and studio production and post-production applications. The 3731-T incorporates a host of design and engineering advancements including Optimized Aperture Waveguide and Focused Coverage Technology for ultra-low distortion and extremely uniform frequency response over a precisely controlled coverage area. Crown’s DSi amplifiers are specifically designed for cinema applications with features including onboard DSP, EQ, delay, output limiting and presets for JBL loudspeaker systems. XLS Series amplifiers combine performance and flexibility featuring both Crown’s proprietary DriveCore™ Technology and PureBand™ Crossover System allowing users to select crossover points from 50 Hz to 3kHz.

“The JBL and Crown system far exceeds our expectations,” Habisiak noted. “It’s one thing to meet the Dolby Atmos specs, which are admittedly quite demanding – but it’s another thing to actually experience what this system can do. The combination of the clarity, dynamic power and seamless integration of the speakers and amplifiers with the three-dimensional width, depth and height localization of the Dolby Atmos process is truly remarkable to hear.”

HARMAN designs, manufactures and markets premier audio, visual, infotainment and integrated control solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets. With 15 leading brands, including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon® and Mark Levinson ®, the Company is admired by audiophiles, musicians and the entertainment venues where they perform. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a global workforce of 15,200 people and reported sales of $5.1 billion for the last 12 months ended March 31, 2014.

Crutchfield Designs Loud and Bulletproof Sound System for Trinity Irish Pub With HARMAN’s JBL Professional Loudspeakers

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Virginia – As a popular dance club near the campus of the University of Virginia, Trinity Irish Pub garnered a great amount of attention when word spread of its upgraded sound reinforcement system, featuring HARMAN’s JBL loudspeakers and Crown amplifiers. Systems integrator Crutchfield Corporation of Charlottesville, Virginia designed and installed the unique system.

Two design goals were set for the new system at the Trinity Irish Pub: the loudspeakers needed to produce twice the amount of output power than the old system while attaining proper coverage in the room. In addition the entire system needed to be bulletproof and able to withstand any amount of power surges as well as physical abuse. Hence, the team decided on four JBL PRX412M portable loudspeakers and one PRX418S subwoofer, powered by one Crown XTi4002 and one XTi2002 amplifier, with additional management from a dbx DriveRack PA+ system.

“We wanted to tailor the sound to the room, and with the HARMAN gear working so well together, we were able to do just that,” said Brian Madison, Pro Audio Buyer of Crutchfield Corporation. “The HARMAN brands are certainly known as industry leaders, and everyone here at Crutchfield appreciates their products’ build quality and performance. Thanks to the output and integration of HARMAN gear, we were able to suspend the loudspeakers above the crowd to get enough power and headroom for many years.”

Dallas Simon, an AV Design Specialist for Crutchfield, was one of the engineers on-site who assessed the installation. The team was forced to adjust for an asymmetrical layout, so in order to eliminate dead spots on the dance floor, a conventional rectangular pattern in loudspeaker alignment could not be used. With proper tweeter alignment to the dance floor, Simon inverted the loudspeakers so the horns were on the bottom, which produced the perfect angle.

“The owner wanted the loudspeakers as high as possible and as close to the wall as possible, which limited the degree of tilt we could accomplish,” said Simon. “We still wanted to hang the system so that the loudspeakers fired inward at the dance floor, without pushing excessive volume at the bar, for obvious reasons. For such a unique installation, the PA sounds fantastic and the owner as well as the house engineer are very pleased with the results.”

Now that the mission is accomplished, The Trinity Irish Pub has become an even more popular destination for the college crowd, having to often turn people away at the door. Each night the PRX loudspeakers rock the entire venue, and the system will last for years to come.

For more information on the installation, please visit http://www.crutchfield.com/trinitypub

Crutchfield Corporation, which celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2014, is one of the nation’s leading catalog and Internet retailers of consumer electronics products. Crutchfield brings a legacy of remarkable customer service to the pro audio marketplace. Last year, Crutchfield.com earned its 14th straight “Circle of Excellence” Platinum Award for website performance and customer service from Bizrate Research, a division of Shopzilla. Of the more than 5,100 online retailers in the Bizrate network, Crutchfield stands alone as the only one to win the “Circle of Excellence” Platinum Award for 14 consecutive years.

HARMAN designs, manufactures and markets premier audio, visual, infotainment and integrated control solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets. With 15 leading brands, including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon® and Mark Levinson ®, the Company is admired by audiophiles, musicians and the entertainment venues where they perform. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a global workforce of 15,200 people and reported sales of $5.1 billion for the last 12 months ended March 31, 2014.

DANLEY EXPANDS LINE OF OS “OUTDOOR SERIES” FULLY-WEATHERIZED LOUDSPEAKERS

GAINESVILLE, GEORGIA: Danley Sound Labs, maker of innovative loudspeakers and subwoofers, announces the expansion of its OS “Outdoor Series” of fully-weatherized loudspeakers, including a new fully-weatherized subwoofer. Although all Danley products are optionally available with level-2 weatherization, which includes fiberglass seams, stainless steel hardware, and protective coatings over all wooden components, the fact remains that those wooden components will have a shorter life span in the elements than they would have had in an indoor installation. In contrast, Danley OS products are constructed of molded plastic with a custom injection molded shell rated to last fifty-years. The cabinet is sealed so the inner components are also protected from harsh outdoor elements. The materials are sourced from within a half-hour of Danley’s Gainesville, Georgia headquarters – a boon for large orders and/or short lead times.

“Like all of our Synergy Horn loudspeakers, the Danley OS-80 sounds fantastic,” said Mike Hedden, president of Danley Sound Labs. “Fidelity is excellent and distortion is remarkably low at all SPLs, and the OS-80 has the same highly-articulated coverage pattern and arrayability for which Danley is known. What sets the OS-80 apart is that its construction and materials make it impervious to the weather, for years and decades to come. Our local sources and molding machinery make it easy for us to turn over large Outdoor Series orders on short notice. Moreover, the molding process itself is very efficient, which allows us to sell the OS products at fiercely competitive prices.”

Soon, the OS-80′s versatile 80-degree conical coverage pattern will be joined by other OS models with a diversity of coverage patterns that will give designers greater flexibility to meet the needs of a range of outdoor situations. These will include the OS-90 and OS-100. In addition, the new Danley OS-115LF subwoofer will extend the bottom end of the OS line and the OS Nano will be the power of Danley in the palm of your hand.

ABOUT DANLEY SOUND LABS Danley Sound Labs is the exclusive home of Tom Danley, one of the most innovative loudspeaker designers in the industry today and recognized worldwide as a pioneer for “outside the box” thinking in professional audio technology.

www.danleysoundlabs.com

Seattle’s Iconic Comet Tavern is Reborn with Mackie DLM Series Sound

Seattle, WA – July 2014… Since 1935, the Comet Tavern has been a fixture of Seattle’s storied Pike/Pine corridor. The well-worn wood bar of this venerable Capitol Hill pub has bent the elbows of generations of locals and visitors, and its stage has played host to multiple decades of Seattle music and culture.

When the Comet was shuttered late last year, many long-time Seattle residents feared it was another nail in the coffin of what local entrepreneur Dave Meinert refers to as the city’s “black hole of gentrification.” But thanks to Meinert and partner Jason Lajeunesse, the Comet has opened its doors once again. The landmark pub’s atmosphere remains relatively unchanged, though the club has added a food menu, and the old sound system has been replaced with a new distributed system featuring Mackie’s DLM Series loudspeakers.

As Lajeunesse explains, the new owners placed a high priority on continuing the Comet’s legacy. “The Comet has always served as a living room and gathering place for a lot of the local community, including musicians, artists, writers, actors, and other creative people,” he says. “We had the opportunity to step in and restore the club, and in doing so we knew we really wanted to pay homage to its history, including games, pool, and hosting live music. It was important to us that the Comet still resonates as a cultural gathering place for the community, and I think we’ve embraced that. It’s still a neighborhood living room.”

The Comet’s new sound system, designed and installed by Kelly Berry of Seattle-based K Berry and Associates, includes ten Mackie DLM8 full range powered loudspeakers. “We’ve configured the system into three zones, covering the bar, balcony, and main seating area,” Berry explains. “It gave us a really great distribution of sound. Right out of the box, it sounded great.” A pair of DLM12S powered subwoofers provide more than enough low end for the room. “The system was really easy to install, too,” Berry adds. “The SWM300 wall mount bracket made it a breeze.”

Versatility was an essential demand for the new sound system, and the DLM Series more than delivered. “We’re open from noon to 2:00 AM, seven days a week,” Lajeunesse explains. “We needed a system that could deliver great sound and consistent coverage 14 hours a day, at times when there are only eight people in the room, and when there are 250. With the new system, we’re able to consistently bring up the volume as needed, as the room fills up, without ever being too loud for one single person or table.”

Lajeunesse says the new DLM system has upgraded the Comet’s sound without affecting the club’s personality. “We were really pleased with the DLM8,” he concludes. “The speakers provided us with all the coverage we needed, but they’re low profile enough that we were able to tuck them into corners and areas where they didn’t interfere with the look and the vibe we were after.”

 

PreSonus Helps Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. Come Alive

New York, NY — July 2014… After nearly half a century, more than 700 comics, and a dozen motion pictures, fan fascination with Marvel’s The Avengers franchise shows no sign of slowing down. The newest iteration, Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. (Scientific Training And Tactical Intelligence Operative Network), has just opened its doors in Manhattan’s Discovery Times Square, in the home of what was once the famed New York Times building.

As the exhibition’s audio supervisor, Mark Edward Lewis, explains, Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N., produced by Victory Hill Exhibitions in association with Marvel Entertainment, is “an amazing, interactive, multimedia integration of Marvel characters that we love, with cutting-edge audio and video technology, in a giant 10,000-square-foot exhibit housed in one of the most celebrated legacy venues in America.”

Visitors to Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. can enjoy a wealth of exhibits that both excite and inform — everything from exploring Captain America’s Birth Pod and the Tesseract Portal Device to soaring in a flight simulator and witnessing a particle accelerator. “It’s very science-oriented,” says Lewis. “Each of the rooms is a different kind of science that is fun, but you’re also learning about DNA and gamma radiation and bio science and all sorts of other things.”

Sound plays an important part of the exhibit’s interactive experience, with Lewis and senior sound designer Frank Serafine creating a powerful sonic environment to complement the exquisite visual experience. As Serafine explains, the challenge was not only to create an amazing sonic experience but to do so in an environment that bore all the earmarks of an acoustical nightmare.

“The biggest problem we had was isolation,” he says. “The space is basically a concrete basement with parallel walls, and we had to find a way to keep the sound from each part of the exhibit from leaking through to the rest of the space.”

Lewis and Serafine found the solution by bringing in a range of PreSonus® near-field monitors, including Eris™ E5 and E8 and Sceptre™ S6. “The PreSonus monitors – the S6 in particular — are some of the most directional speakers I’ve ever heard,” says Lewis. “They enabled us to focus the sound within a really narrow area where people would be standing, while keeping it isolated from the rest of the exhibit.”

The 5.25-inch E5 and 8-inch E8 feature Kevlar® low frequency transducers, low-mass silk-dome tweeters, responsive Class AB amplification, and professional acoustic-adjustment controls. The S6 features a unique coaxial transducer, combining DSP time-correction and point-source design for a symmetrical soundstage and micro-definition imaging.

To handle low frequencies, Lewis and Serafine chose the PreSonus Temblor™ T10 subwoofer. The T10 features a 10-inch, glass-composite, low-frequency transducer and a front-firing, bass-reflex acoustic port. “For us, the T10 was the ideal sub for delivering strong bass frequencies in this kind of enveloping room,” says Lewis. “Because the T10’s port is in the front, sound doesn’t get projected out the back and bounce off the ceiling and walls. Anywhere we had an enclosed space, the T10 was the perfect thing for us.”

The need for multiple tracks of audio playback was another area where PreSonus offered an ideal solution, with Lewis and Serafine opting for AudioBox™ 1818VSL and 22VSL multichannel interfaces.

“When you’re running 220-plus speakers and 168 discrete channels in a 10,000 square foot exhibit, you’ve got to have DSP,” Lewis observes. “What’s great about the AudioBox VSL is that it’s got more than enough DSP per channel — not just EQ, but compression, limiting, even some reverb. We’ve got discrete control of the sounds, which makes it a great alternative to using a lot of expensive DTS encoders.”

Serafine points to wireless iPad® control as one of the most important advantages in using the AudioBox 1818VSL. “Once the exhibit is set up, all of these workstations will be behind walls,” he explains. “Having the ability to mix and adjust remotely via an iPad means we don’t have to open up a wall to adjust the sound. It’s a huge advantage.”

PreSonus Studio One® DAW was more than up to the task of playing back the multiple tracks of music and effects. “Some of the soundscapes are comprised of a large number of tracks, and stability is not something we can compromise on in a setting like this,” remarks Serafine. “Studio One is one of the most rock-solid programs out there, and it sounds fantastic.”

Lewis sums it up: “As multimedia artists, audio is one of the most immersive tools we have. If it’s done well, it becomes an integral, powerful, but almost unconscious part of the experience — passive but moving at the same time. The sounds we choose, the way we mix them, and the equipment we use to convey that to the audience, are all critical to the experience. And PreSonus is a big part of that experience.”

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About PreSonus

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

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World Bank Counts on ICONYX

Washington, DC – July 2014… Located just blocks from the White House, the World Bank opened for business at 1818 H street on June 25, 1948.  Today, the Bank’s address remains the same, but as the organization’s focus has evolved, so has the footprint of its headquarters.  The Bank’s H Street headquarters is now a multi-building complex covering an entire city block.

The buildings are enclosed by a massive glass atrium more than 150 feet tall and 150 feet wide. The atrium has become a popular setting for World Bank events, including cultural activities, exhibits, presentations and a stage for dignitaries, including the Bank President, to make speeches.

Not surprisingly, the atrium’s reflective surfaces do present some acoustical challenges, and as the space has hosted a growing number of business and theatrical events, it was time for the audio system to evolve to meet these needs. To address this challenge, World Bank officials called on Boulder, Colorado audio consultants K2 Audio.

“It’s a pretty challenging acoustical space, with lots of standing waves and lots of echoes,” said Rodrigo Ordóñez, principal at K2 Audio. “Their original system didn’t deliver adequate performance for much of what they were doing in there now, and they wanted to move to a more versatile sound solution.”

The challenges of a reflective, cavernous space were only the beginning. The system itself needed to be versatile enough to accommodate a variety of performance types – from bands, to dignitaries, to dance troupes. Add to that significant limitations on where the speakers themselves could be located.

“Infrastructure wise, they didn’t want to do any kind of construction work,” Ordóñez explains. “We were limited to re-using existing loudspeaker locations and existing infrastructure for loudspeaker cables and lighting.” The coverage needs also extended to a number of smaller nooks and corners that were largely unserved by the previous system.

The system is comprised of a single Renkus-Heinz ICONYX IC32-R-II digitally steered line array covering the main area, with nine ICONYX IC16-R-II cabinets distributed throughout the covered shaded areas. “We time-aligned the IC16 boxes to the main IC32 in front,” said Ordóñez. “There is no overlapping. Each speaker is covering a specific area. No matter where you are in the space, the orientation towards that front position is amazing. And the ICONYX loudspeakers are very clean — they project little to no sound out the back of it so there are no weird echoes throughout the space.”

2 designed the loudspeaker control system to match the versatility requirements. “There are seven total presets in different modes,” said Ordóñez. “For smaller events, they can take the DSP and mute some of the speakers to direct sound towards one side of the atrium. The system remembers all the different settings and they have a touch panel that sits in the rack and they can change it from there.”

Ordóñez reports that World Bank officials are very happy with the new ICONYX system. “They always had a lot of complaints with that space,” he says. “It never really performed to their expectations. We have heard only positive things since installing the ICONYX. Everybody is happy with the system, from the guys who are operating it on a daily basis, to the highest level.”

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Headquartered in Foothill Ranch, California, Renkus-Heinz, Inc. is the worldwide leader in the design and manufacture of audio operations networks, digitally steerable arrays, powered and non-powered loudspeakers, system specific electronics and fully integrated Reference Point Array systems.

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Related Topics: Large Venue, Line Array, Loudspeakers |

Thunder Audio Rolls and Roars with L-ACOUSTICS

Detroit/Nashville sound company purchases K1 system after taking K2 on Vampire Weekend tour

LIVONIA, Michigan — After putting a new K2 loudspeaker system through its paces – including a recent trek on Vampire Weekend’s North American tour leg – Thunder Audio, Inc. has expanded its inventory with a large-format K1 system from L-ACOUSTICS.

According to Thunder Audio Business Development Manager Greg Snyder, the company is currently taking delivery of 48 K1 enclosures, as well as bringing the rest of its total L-ACOUSTICS inventory up to 36 K2 and 24 KARA elements, 18 K1-SB and 34 SB28 subs, six ARCS II and 22 LA-RAK, each loaded with three LA8 amplified controllers. An additional 48 K2 are also on order for the first quarter of 2015.

“K1 has become the industry’s first choice for live audio reinforcement systems, but K2 is the reason we finally became a member of the L-ACOUSTICS family,” says Snyder. “It’s a stellar system for arena tours, like Vampire Weekend, as well as the perfect support box for K1 on larger stadium and festival shows. We are thrilled with the linearity in performance across L-ACOUSTICS’ entire product range and excited about the solutions that these systems will provide for our clients.”

Client response has, indeed, been very favorable. Neil Heal, Vampire Weekend’s FOH engineer since late-2007, commented on his use of Thunder Audio’s K2 rig. “The typical configuration on our most recent American tour leg was left and right arrays of 14 K2, plus eight KARA outfills and four SB28 per side, all of which sounded fantastic. It seemed odd to be using so few subs, but more than that would have been overkill with K2, which is such a full range enclosure with a really nice usable low end. Vampire Weekend’s mix is all about vocal and instrumental clarity, and I could literally run the rig without subs in most arenas, but having just a few of them more than adequately filled out the low end.”

“We used K2 both indoors and outdoors, with arrays ranging between eight and 14 boxes per side, and I’m very impressed with the sonic consistency we got from night to night,” he continues. “K2′s ‘steerability’ with Panflex is also really nice in the event that Jonny [Winkler, Thunder Audio FOH systems engineer] had to hang the arrays near a glass wall or whatever; we could aim the top end away from it, which is great.”

Thunder Audio’s Winkler appreciates not only the fidelity of K2, but also the ease with which the system flies and strikes. “We flew the rig so fast each day that the lighting guys and carpenters were angry with me,” he laughs. “It takes longer to get the pins pre-set than it does to fly it, and that doesn’t even take that long. We have several other manufacturer’s boxes in our inventory here at Thunder Audio, and this is by far the fastest and easiest. I’ve flown an entire K2 rig totally by myself in less than four hours.”

As for Heal, his only regret is that he didn’t have the system earlier. “The band was out on the road for 17 months and carried another PA for most of the tour because K2 simply didn’t exist when we started,” he says. “But I really prefer K2. It’s awesome. I’d love to have it every night, without a doubt. But it’ll be available on the next tour, and I’ll certainly take it out again. Plus, our festival stops this summer are on K1 mains with K2 outfills, which is just perfect.”

Thunder Audio Vice President Paul Owen sums up his investments by adding, “This was a huge undertaking by Tony [Villarreal, President] and I, and we had to take a lot into consideration before moving forward with K1 and K2: popularity, demand and, of course, availability. K1 is the first choice on the majority of riders that we handle and the predominant system when it comes to festivals. There’s no denying its sheer power and quality. We feel that K1 and K2 are our best venture to date for attracting new customers and facilitating old ones, and we’re very excited for what these systems can do for our clients and company’s future.”

For more info on Thunder Audio, visit www.thunderaudioinc.com.

L-ACOUSTICS is a leading innovator and manufacturer of high-performance loudspeakers, amplifiers and signal processing devices for touring and installed sound markets. Known around the globe for pioneering and championing the modern line array loudspeaker concept with V-DOSC, the company has received numerous accolades for its K1, K2, KUDO, KARA, KIVA, ARCS, XT coaxial loudspeaker systems and SB line of subwoofer enclosures, all powered and processed with the LA4 and LA8 amplified controllers in fulfillment of a “total system approach.” Product distribution and customer service for North America is handled by L-ACOUSTICS’ subsidiary in Oxnard, California.

# # #

Contact:
L-ACOUSTICS US
2201 Celsius Avenue, Unit E, Oxnard, CA 93030
Tel: 805.604.0577 / Fax: 805.604.0858
Email: info@l-acoustics-us.com / Web: www.l-acoustics.com

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