A virtual press conference from Sound & Video Contractor

Archive of the Loudspeakers Category

HARMAN Professional and Daktronics Restore Sound at University of Illinois Football Stadium

CHAMPAIGN, Illinois – With a total seating capacity of 60,600, Memorial Stadium at the University of Illinois was built in 1923 and is home to the University’s Fighting Illini football team. While the stadium’s history is a huge part of its charm, the outdated audio system was not. To that end, systems integrator Daktronics recently designed and installed the new audio/video systems at the stadium, implementing HARMAN’s JBL VLA Series loudspeakers along with Crown I-Tech HD amplifiers to power the audio system. The new system is integrated with existing BSS Audio and Crown back-of-house equipment.

The new main bowl audio system is integrated with the new scoreboard and consists of two line arrays, each equipped with six JBL VLA601H and two VLA901H loudspeakers. Two JBL PD5212 loudspeakers are used for downfills. Also, nine AC28’s were installed to fill shadowed areas under the East upper deck.

The system is powered with 12 Crown I-Tech 4×3500 HD and five Crown I-Tech 9000 HD amplifiers. These were installed in accordance with the existing BSS Audio Soundweb London BLU-80 system and Crown CTs amplifiers. The challenge for Daktronics however, was to incorporate the new equipment into the structural appearance of the stadium.

“Daktronics structural engineering had a defined ‘look’ for the entire scoring/audio/video board structure during the beginning design phase of this project. I was tasked with designing a sound system to fit within this look, and thanks to the modular design concept of the JBL VLA Series, this was easily accomplished,” said David Sturzenbecher, Audio Project Engineer for Daktronics.

“The integration with the existing BSS Audio network was crucial to saving cost as there was no need to add additional DSP components. We did provide new user interfaces for the existing BOH system so the customer can easily see any system issues and make quick adjustments,” Sturzenbecher added.

After testing, Sturzenbecher said, “Overall, the system has been performing great. We are experiencing smooth and even coverage across the stadium with plenty of headroom. We have worked with Brad Ricks from JBL and the VLA Series on numerous other projects with great results, and the vertical arrays really fit well within the allotted area.”

HARMAN (www.HARMAN.com) designs, manufactures, and markets a wide range of infotainment and audio solutions for the automotive, consumer, and professional markets. It is a recognized world leader across its customer segments with premium brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, and Mark Levinson® and leading-edge connectivity, safety and audio technologies. 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 14,000 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $4.3 billion for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2013.

Christie’s Premium Cinema Solutions Wow ShowEast Audiences with 4K Laser Projector, Christie Duo, Christie Vive Audio and Professional Services

Christie® today announced its ShowEast presence, reinforcing its position as the industry-leading, one-stop shop for all manner of exhibitors – art houses, multiplexes, drive-in and custom cinemas. All these exhibitors across the world turn to Christie when sourcing impressive technologies and unparalleled support and services with which to immerse their audiences in a premium cinema experience.

Complete Christie Vive Audio System


“Christie is the perfect choice for all their cinema needs, including projection and audio solutions, lobby displays and professional services,” said Craig Sholder, vice president of Entertainment Solutions, Christie. “Specific to ShowEast, of which we are a sponsor, exhibitors who were not able to take in our laser projection demos in Burbank, Beijing or Amsterdam over the past 12 months are in for a visual extravaganza, as we’ve brought one of our laser prototypes to ShowEast. As well, we will delight their auditory senses with the combination of Dolby® Atmos™ and Christie® Vive Audio™ systems.”

Specifically, on Wednesday October 23 at 9.30am in the AMC 19 auditorium, the Christie and Dolby 4K laser projection and audio technology demonstration will set new standards for image and sound presentation. Christie’s prototype 4K laser projector will be fronted by a RealD XL Cinema System and accompanied by Christie Vive Audio speakers and amplifiers configured for Dolby Atmos – a new audio solution that revolutionizes the experience of sound in entertainment – to deliver a premium cinema experience.

Christie leads the industry in the development of cinema laser projectors, having announced in August the supply and installation of the world’s first commercial digital laser projection solution for the Seattle Cinerama Theatre, and was the first to receive a US FDA approval of variance allowing the sale of laser projectors for use in a cinema. Exhibitors will finally have the capability to show movies in 3D projected at 14 foot-lamberts, the standard brightness level for 2D presentations, but virtually impossible to achieve with a single projector for 3D on all but the smallest screens.

In the AMC 17 auditorium, Christie has installed two Christie Solaria CP4230 4K projectors in a
Christie® Duo™ configuration, fronted by the RealD XL-DP Cinema System and connected to a
Dolby Atmos system. Again, this configuration allows movies in 3D to be projected at 14 foot-lamberts, a brightness level typical of 2D presentations but seldom achieved with 3D screenings.

Christie SKA-3D Cinema Processor


The combination of two Christie Solaria projectors and the Christie Duo integration kit is significantly less expensive than other branded ‘big screen’ industry solutions. With lower upfront costs, and no ongoing revenue sharing, Christie Duo is the global solution for creating an affordable, premium large screen movie experience. The RealD XL-DP Cinema System is a pair of matched left- and right-eye polarizing filters featuring a patented XL light-recovery technology. It was designed specifically to be used with dual DLP Cinema® projector installations having larger screens, typically greater than 65 feet wide (20 meters).

Christie’s Booth Showcases Choices for Exhibitors
Visitors to the Christie booth #915 will have the opportunity to experience the firm’s cornerstone digital cinema offerings, whose scope encompasses new formats and technologies, backed by turnkey service and support for all of an exhibitor’s operations.

On the product front, visitors can view and hear the merits of the Christie® Solaria® One, Christie Duo, Christie IMB™ and Christie Vive Audio offerings, the latter including the latest LA3, LA3C and LA3S suite of speakers.

A complete projection solution for screens up to 35 feet, the Christie Solaria One comes with a zoom lens, custom-designed Xenon lamp, and a Christie Integrated Media Block (IMB) with its own easy-to-operate Screen Management Software (SMS). The Solaria One is brightest in its class, since it projects 8000 lumens in the DCI color space, 9000 for alternative content and in its Solaria One+ variation, projects 9000 lumens in the DCI color space and 10,000 lumens for alternative content.

Also on display will be the long-awaited Christie® SKA-3D cinema processor, which makes alternative content – such as preshow advertising and content from Blu-ray Disc players, gaming consoles, satellite receivers, computers and multiple 2D and 3D sources – look and sound as spectacular as feature presentations. This powerful audio and video processor can extract the latest, high-quality, lossless audio from HDMI signals, such as Dolby TrueHD® and DTS-HD Master Audio®, for integrating into cinema audio systems. Christie SKA-3D is now shipping in North America and will be available globally next month.

Christie’s Managed Services Exhibits Service Solutions for Cinema
Christie’s Managed Services offer a wide range of options for managing cinema equipment including projection/audio systems and lobby digital signage. Exhibitors partner with Christie at every stage –from system design to staging and testing, onsite maintenance, remote monitoring and transparent real-time reporting.

A Christie® WeatherAll FHD551-W LCD outdoor display with multimedia will highlight eye-catching, in-lobby digital signage displays, including Allure Global Solutions’ digital box office, showing the latest movie trailers, as well as Managed Services’ expertise in designing, building, deploying and supporting a digital signage network that’s right for exhibitors.

Through video on a Christie FHD461-X HD LCD panel, attendees will experience Christie’s state-of-the-art Network Operations Center (NOC), which monitors and services more than 110,000 remote devices for studio and exhibition customers in more than 2,500 locations in North America and several locations globally including Australia, China, Mexico and Russia. The NOC’s combination of around-the-clock remote monitoring and services help to safeguard customers’ visual technology displays.

The Managed Services team will also have video demonstration of their customized turnkey boothless projection lift system as part of a complete customized solution.

Flexible Financing for the Home Stretch Digital Cinema Conversions, Courtesy of Scrabble
For independent theatres that still need to convert to digital cinema, Christie has established a joint venture with Scrabble Ventures LLC. This venture helps exhibitors finance, over time, the purchase of a Christie digital cinema projector, and has already helped many community theatres make the move to digital, including Viva Cinemas, Villagio Cinemas and the Totem & Roxy Cinemas. Scrabble representatives will be at their booth, #918, across from the Christie booth, to assist exhibitors in understanding their options to convert to digital cinema. For more information, please visit: http://www.scrabbleventures.com.

The annual ShowEast conference, now in its 28th year, is being held at the Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa in Hollywood, Florida, Oct. 21-25.

Legendary Engineer and Producer Bruce Botnick Outfits His Studio with Three of HARMAN’s JBL Professional M2 Master Reference Monitors

NEW YORK, New York – To anyone in the pro audio industry, it’s not much of a secret that Bruce Botnick is one of the industry’s most accomplished engineers and producers. He secured his reputation in the 1960s as the producer of the Doors’ classic LA Woman album, engineer of the first two Love albums and co-producer of the band’s masterpiece, Forever Changes. Botnick has worked on records by the Rolling Stones, Eddie Money and many others and as an engineer for film composer Jerry Goldsmith on more than 100 movie soundtracks. Recently, Botnick purchased three JBL M2 Master Reference Monitors for use as Left/Center/Right loudspeakers in his studio. The M2 is a 2-way large-format loudspeaker designed to set new standards for sonic accuracy and dynamic range in professional monitoring environments.

Botnick has always kept an eye on recording technology advancements and first encountered the M2 at the 2012 AES Convention, when it was still in the development stage. “I heard these loudspeakers in a less-than-ideal environment and they still sounded amazing,” said Botnick, who then told JBL’s Peter Chaikin he’d like to try them and judge them in his studio as soon as they were in production. In early 2013, Botnick visited the JBL Professional headquarters in Northridge for a second listen and found the sound exceptional. “At that point I made the decision to simply go ahead and buy them without ever having mixed on them in my studio,” he said. After the M2’s arrived, Botnick immediately began a project to mix the score for the historical drama Parkland. In preparation, his newly installed L,C,R M2 system was tuned by the Dolby staff, accessing the filters in the BSS Soundweb London BLU800 processor which in Botnick’s system, serves as the M2 crossovers and also the system’s room EQ. All parameters in the Soundweb London can be accessed from a laptop using HARMAN London Architect™ software. The M2’s system tune-ability ensures an extremely accurate tonal balance in a broad range of mix environments.

“I loved mixing on the M2 system right off the bat,” Botnick added. “I was able to mix for many hours and not get ear fatigue. The sonic images that came out of the M2 were really big, so when we subsequently went into the main dubbing theater at post-production facility Todd AO in Hollywood and put the music up, it translated incredibly well.” The correlation between the sound heard in Botnick’s studio and the Todd AO sound stage meant he could trust his mixes more than ever before in going from the studio to the cinema.

Another advantage Botnick finds is that he doesn’t have to restrict himself to listening in a narrow sweet spot, thanks to the excellent off-axis response made possible by a new Image Control Waveguide, designed specifically for the M2. The Image Control Waveguide provides a seamless transition between the M2’s newly developed D2 high-frequency driver and the woofer and delivers an accurate tonal balance and superlative imaging and detail to a broad area of the listening room. “I can turn sideways to work on something and still hear the balance. It’s not ‘pointy’ and the speakers don’t buzz on the high end,” Botnick noted.

Botnick can play the M2 at a relatively loud level and still be confident of hearing accurate reproduction. “Film music mixing should be done at an 85dB level and I’m very strict about that,” he said. “The image size of the M2 is just breathtaking, and you don’t’ feel like your hearing the speakers as separate entities in the room—you get the sense that you’re hearing everything in the correct proportions behind the screen as you would in the cinema.”

“The M2 speaks to you effortlessly,” Botnick added. “It’s a much easier loudspeaker to listen to than most and I can get a good balance almost instantly. If it doesn’t sound good on the M2, it doesn’t sound good, period—for me a great speaker also lets me hear if something isn’t working.”

In mixing Parkland, Botnick went into the final mix with 10 5.1 surround sound stems. “Even with 10 stems totaling 60 tracks, the M2 let me hear into the mix, perfectly layered on top of one another no matter how complex the mix became. Hearing that deeply into the score enabled me to tailor all the reverbs and ambient sounds so they translated really well and created the perfect sonic environment for every scene.” Parkland had its theatrical release this month.

Botnick recognizes the engineering effort that went into the JBL M2. “I appreciate the fact that the people who worked on the M2 actually listen to music and know what it’s supposed to sound like, and can trust their ears and not just a measurement graph. They know how a good mix should sound.”

HARMAN (www.HARMAN.com) designs, manufactures, and markets a wide range of infotainment and audio solutions for the automotive, consumer, and professional markets. It is a recognized world leader across its customer segments with premium brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, and Mark Levinson® and leading-edge connectivity, safety and audio technologies. 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 14,000 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $4.3 billion for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2013.

HARMAN Professional Audio System Overcomes Acoustical Challenges at India’s Dharmaram College Chapel

BANGLAORE, India – Dharmaram College, part of the CMI Congregation in Bangalore and home to the Dharmaram College Chapel, recently underwent a complete redesign of the audio system to overcome the chapel’s architectural design challenges. With an insufficient existing sound system and a reverberation time of nearly three seconds, local systems integration firm Acoustic Control was presented with a major sonic challenge. To help overcome it, Acoustic Control turned to products from HARMAN’s JBL, Crown, BSS Audio, Soundcraft and AKG brands for a complete audio system solution.

The chapel has had more than three different sound systems installed over 35 years in attempts to provide clear speech and tame the tough acoustical environment created by the domed roof . The team at Acoustic Control conducted a study on the current PA system and the acoustics in an effort to identify possible areas for improvement.

Although the chapel was plagued by excessive reverberation, acoustical treatments were not an option, as it would detract from the domed chapel’s beautiful appearance. Acoustic Control had to provide a system that would compensate for the chapel’s highly reverberant acoustics and would also easy to use for unskilled operators.

“We had to install a brand new audio system from the ground up, as the existing PA could not be re-purposed,” said Sanjay Mudartha, Director, Acoustic Control. “The speakers were placed at the sides of the chapel, which was not a proper location and made it impossible for the system to deliver adequate coverage and directivity.” Mudartha and his team conducted an acoustical analysis of the chapel using EASE (Enhanced Acoustic Simulator for Engineers) software, which provides the ability to model specific loudspeakers and determine the speakers’ interaction with the room being modeled.

“We have vast experience with the JBL VerTec range of loudspeakers and we were confident we could achieve a great-sounding solution in the Dharmaram College chapel,” noted Mudartha, “but we had to validate their performance within EASE modeling software and also fit within a budget before we could present our recommendations to the client.” JBL VERTEC VT4886 subcompact line array elements, powered by Crown I-Tech HD Series amplifiers, met the performance parameters specified by Acoustic Control.

“We achieved an STI Speech Transmission Index of around 0.7 with the system able to deliver a target SPL of no less than 100dB across the chapel in a smooth, consistent manner,” said Mudartha. “Considering the acoustical, architectural and budgetary challenges we had to deal with, the measured and audible results are especially impressive.”

In order to ensure that the system would be easy to use, a BSS Audio BLU-100 device was configured to provide processing and necessary signal management features such as automatic mixing. The main AKG D5 microphone inputs were automated so that the chapel would have consistent sound for public speaking. A dedicated Soundcraft MFXi 20 console was provided with which to mix music inputs.

Commenting on the successful project, Prashant Govindan, Director, India Operations, HARMAN Professional said, “The venue’s limitations and project challenges were systematically and expertly handled by Acoustic Control, without disturbing the chapel’s aesthetics. The new system had to deliver better results despite the existing acoustics. The selection of Harman equipment has perfectly complemented the design specifications with higher levels of satisfaction for the system users in the chapel, and the visitors who are now able to more clearly hear both speech and music.”

HARMAN (www.HARMAN.com) designs, manufactures, and markets a wide range of infotainment and audio solutions for the automotive, consumer, and professional markets. It is a recognized world leader across its customer segments with premium brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, and Mark Levinson® and leading-edge connectivity, safety and audio technologies. 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 14,000 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $4.3 billion for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2013.

CTSI Chooses Martin Audio For W Washington D.C. Hotel Upgrade

The W is a popular luxury stopover in our nation’s capital located “next door to the White House” on 15th Street in the heart of W Washington D.C. The hotel was remodeled in 2009 and designed with contemporary interiors and color schemes that combined seamlessly with the original beaux-arts exterior, which was carefully preserved.

CTSI (Corbett Technology Solutions, Inc.), a leading area integrator based in Chantilly, VA, was originally brought in to work on the hotel’s Crestron lighting systems because they have a master programmer fully certified in the technology.

From that point, CTSI was asked to update the original audio systems put in by a competitor in the W’s celebrated P.O.V rooftop lounge, terrace and lobby. Over recent years the lounge has morphed into a nightclub and CTSI initially began the audio upgrade by modifying the DSP and replacing speakers that had been damaged by DJs.

It soon became apparent that a comprehensive audio system upgrade was required and CTSI specified a range of new equipment including Martin Audio OmniLine arrays and AQ Series speakers for the lounge, terrace and lobby.

Asked about the acoustic challenges for each space in the W Hotel, Mike Wilson, CTSI Director of Systems Engineering explained, “The P.O.V. lounge is on the roof or 11th floor of the building and consists of a nightclub and outdoor terrace area with an awning that faces out onto the Treasury building across the street. The hotel’s VIP suites are right underneath the lounge on the 10th floor and the increased SPL levels would either bounce down to the street or back to the side of the hotel off of the Treasury and disturb the guests on the lower floors.

“Because the sound systems were cranked as loud as they could be, the original wall-mounted speakers and subs throughout the room sent vibrations down through the original plaster walls, which was also a problem. Our clients wanted to maintain a ‘nightclub’ sound within the space without affecting the lower floors below so we chose a Martin Audio OmniLine array because it provides enhanced intelligibility, has a very small, non-intrusive form factor and can be hung from the ceiling without adding a lot of weight.”

“The lounge is a rectangle and the bar is located in the center of the long side of that rectangle,” continues Wilson. “With the help of Martin Audio’s software we designed a system with a left-right array on each side of the bar comprised of an AQ210 sub and an 8-module OmniLine array with optimum splay angles for each cabinet underneath. This gave us the full range we needed to cover the room while controlling the volume and vibrations and keeping sound off the floor and back wall. The AQ cabinets were chosen for their effective mid-bass sound and ultra-compact design.”

Another major challenge for CTSI was carrying the nightclub sound from the lounge outside onto the rooftop terrace while controlling it so guests in the VIP suites below weren’t disturbed. Their solution was mounting eight Martin Audio AQ10 two-way cabinets high up on the exterior brick wall to provide the necessary coverage without overspill problems down the sides of the building. As Wilson points out, “We were able to aim the AQs down using better mounting and alignment techniques while providing improved DSP control with the software. That plus the 10” woofer gave us lower end sound to better simulate the club-like sound from the lounge onto the terrace.”

The majestic W hotel lobby presented another distinct challenge with a 25-foot ceiling, hard plaster walls and ceiling and marble floors. CTSI needed to design a system with exceptional clarity and articulation far beyond the original recessed 70-volt speakers that created non-intelligible sounds at normal listening heights.

Again, Martin Audio OmniLine arrays were selected for their small form-factor design and lighter weight to overcome the drawbacks implicit in older plaster walls. According to Wilson, “Every Friday and Saturday night they put up velvet ropes for entrance to the lounge and feature a guitarist and singer so they wanted a better sound system that would allow guests to enjoy that.

“So the OmniLines were a good choice because of their coverage and range and the music in the lobby was acoustic so we didn’t have to worry about the low end as much. We wall-mounted two hangs of 4-module arrays about 15 feet off the ground and the software helped us figure out the different angles we needed for the room. We supplemented the low end by tweaking the DSP and making the full-range ceiling speakers more midrange to fill out the bass end.”

In addition to the full complement of Martin Audio speakers, the upgrade also included Biamp DSP systems and Lab Gruppen amplification. To make them even less visually intrusive all of the speakers were custom-painted by Custom Refinishing Solutions located in Baltimore, MD to specifically match paint sample numbers provided by the hotel; clean white for the terrace, black for the lounge and off-white for the lobby.

Summing up, Wilson says, “OmniLine was the right choice, mainly because of their small footprint and excellent coverage. The Hotel wanted the upgrade to be as clean and ‘invisible’ as possible. Ultimately, they were very happy with the audio levels, clarity, intelligibility, coverage and overall sound quality of the Martin Audio system we provided.

“As for the lounge itself, the speakers sound great and fit very well into the environment in terms of what they need. They bring in big name DJs and are happy because they now have a real nightclub-sounding environment with a stereo left/right point source as opposed to a 70 volt-distributed system around the room. According to reports from the hotel, even guests have commented positively on the upgrades.”

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

Corbett Technology Solutions, Inc. (CTSI) is a Chantilly, Virginia based corporation that provides communication technology solutions to commercial, government, healthcare and educational settings in the Northern Virginia, Washington DC and Maryland marketplace. Since 1969, Corbett Technology Solutions, Inc. designs, installs and implements customized turnkey communication solutions in audiovisual (AV), healthcare and education technologies, videoconferencing, networking, professional sound, security & fire, and voice systems. By combining innovative, high-performance technologies and dedicated professionals they are able to provide the highest quality in complete customer care. From boardrooms and hospitals to classrooms and command centers, CTSI solutions Engage, Inspire and Deliver. For more information on Corbett Technology Solutions, Inc., please call 703-631-3377 or visit www.ctsi-usa.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.

Symetrix Simplicity at Italy’s Opera Universitaria

Opera Universitaria's new theatre in Trento, facing the rake

Opera Universitaria's new theatre in Trento, facing the rake

LAVIS, ITALY: 15 OCTOBER 2013 – Widely regarded as the educational, scientific, financial, and political hub of Northern Italy, Trento is proud to boast of its excellent college – the Opera Universitaria. Ranked as first in the country by the Ministry of Education, Opera’s mission is to ensure that a student’s full potential can be realised – whether that stems from sport, academic work, or the arts. After enlisting the help of AV integrators A&T Multimedia, and distributors, Adeo Group, the college’s new theatre has been equipped with a comprehensive technical installation, enabling complete control over audio, lighting, and video.

Opera’s consultant specified that the theatre must be multi-functional, and that the technical system needed to offer standalone use by anyone, trained or not, without the assistance of the college’s AV department. As a result, A&T was required to design a system which allowed flexible mixing for musicals and plays, whilst also delivering simple and user-intuitive control for lecturers and presenters.

“Our goal was to find a digital signal processor which could directly link to a theatre-sized mixing console” commented Alessandro Baroni of A&T. “This would allow the end-user to control all audio via a simple preset recall, but should more complex mixing be needed, the console could simply be activated and off they’d go.” After discussing the idea with distributor, Adeo, the integrator settled on a combination of Symetrix’ open-architecture Radius 12×8 DSP for ‘standard use’, with a Yamaha LS9-32 looking after performance audio.

As both mixer and DSP feature Audinate’s award-winning Dante protocol, Baroni chose to connect all inputs into the rear of the Radius before channelling them over Cat5e cable into the LS9’s optional MY16-AUD card, and then back to the DSP again for loudspeaker processing. This allows seamless switching between ‘lecture mode’ and ‘performance mode’, and provides the means for non-technical staff to control audio via either the Radius’ front-panel, or through the SymVue touchscreen control software configured by A&T’s Symetrix-certified programmer.

With the new theatre space being designed to handle the most impressive occasion, Adeo recommended Renkus-Heinz’s IC-live loudspeakers (four ICL-FRs and 4 ICL215S-FRs) to provide seamless coverage, with Beyerdynamic wireless microphones (OPUS 910s) enabling wire-free movement. Lorenzo Seneci of Adeo Group states that the system ”needed to provide a very high SPL to cater for the wide range of different events, but to achieve this we would traditionally have to employ point-source loudspeakers or line arrays. However, due to the aesthetic restraints in place, it demanded a beam-steering solution.”

Panasonic projectors were also brought in to handle video content and are controlled by an Extron video distribution unit. “We are totally satisfied with the end-result” remarks the university’s spokesperson. “The Radius’ preset recall is very simple and completely suitable for the range of different situations we encounter.” The performance space is seeing rave reviews by the student body and the general public, both of which appreciate the careful design and installation work carried out to enhance Trento’s latest shows.

www.symetrix.co

Clearwing Productions Chooses Technomad for Phoenix Zoo Audio Improvements

Technomad loudspeakers enliven “water lagoon experience” for visitors while giving zoo long-term outdoor audio solution

BOSTON, October 16, 2013 – The systems design and integration experts at Clearwing Productions last year overhauled the Phoenix Zoo’s annual seasonal spectacular “ZooLights,” transforming a linear roadside display into an immersive, 360-degree audio and lighting experience that encircled the zoo’s central water lagoon. The advanced audio system from Technomad performed so well that zoo officials opted to use the system year round, delivering multi-zone background and event music to visitors across the lagoon area.

The Phoenix Zoo initially hired Clearwing Productions to increase the production value of the annual lighting show, though the two teams quickly determined that the audio system was underperforming ¬– not to mention falling apart.

“The Phoenix area is inundated with sun and UV rays, which is very tough on outdoor products,” said Nick Pitman, service and systems engineer, Clearwing Productions. “The previous speakers were dry rotted or full of water, and most had cracks from UV rays. They wanted something that would produce great audio and last more than a year. That’s when we looked at Technomad.”

Technomad delivered an advanced outdoor audio solution comprising 24 loudspeakers, 12 subwoofers and multiple wired power amplifiers, all fully weatherproof to protect against UV rays and other outdoor elements. The Clearwing design included 12 speaker poles surrounding the lagoon, each with two Paris weatherproof loudspeakers pointing in opposite directions from a height of 16 feet. One Technomad Chicago subwoofer and two PowerChiton amplifiers were added to the base of the pole.

The PowerChiton amplifier modules simplified the installation for the Clearwing team and ultimately reduced project costs for the Phoenix Zoo, eliminating lengthy complex underwater wiring jobs to connect traditional indoor amplifiers to outdoor loudspeakers.

“We knew that we wanted an outdoor amplifier that was simple in design but offered longevity,” said Pitman. “This solution gives us 120 volts and a speaker line output in a compact, outdoor-rated package. One PowerChiton feeds the Paris loudspeakers and another feeds the subwoofer on each pole. Most importantly, the PowerChiton design has no fans, eliminating any heat-related performance problems. They just keep working.”

The end-to-end distributed audio architecture includes Harman or BSS equipment to route, zone and delay signals for everyday use or special events as required. Network protocol signals are converted back to balanced audio en route to the PowerChitons. From there, the Paris loudspeakers deliver full-range musical reproduction with broad dispersion across the entire lagoon, with the Chicago subwoofers filling in the low end with additional bass output.

“The zoo had previously used rock speakers, and after the lighting upgrade they made it clear they wanted to add real audio,” said Pitman. “The Paris loudspeakers cover the area thoroughly, while the subs emphasize specific points in the music or dramatic show scenes without pushing the bass to nightclub levels. Everyone involved agrees that this was the most effective outdoor audio solution for the job.”

ABOUT TECHNOMAD
Technomad LLC, founded in 1995, designs and manufactures loudspeaker systems for the professional audio and security/military technology industries. The company invented the first reliable full-range weatherproof loudspeaker and now offers nine models ranging in power from 60-watt loudspeakers to 1250-watt subwoofers — most available in Turnkey PA System packages featuring amplifiers, mixers and other signal processing equipment in pre-wired racks. The company also manufactures a variety of audio infrastructure and communications equipment including playback and recording systems, weatherproof power amplifiers and turnkey remote audio systems. Contact Technomad at 617-275-8898 or visit www.technomad.com for more information.

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Historic Italian Venue Gets Martin Audio MLA Upgrade

Paul McCartney’s Out There tour recently landed in the Arena di Verona, the historic amphitheatre that has provided entertainment spectacles for the people of Verona for thousands of years.

Touring logistics meant that Paul McCartney’s regular PA system could not make the Verona date, so local supplier Amandla Productions stepped in to provide a Martin Audio MLA system, supported by All Access, the owners of Italy’s largest MLA rig.

Paul McCartney’s long-standing FOH engineer Paul ‘Pab’ Boothroyd was at the helm for the show, ably assisted by his touring system tech Chris Nicholls. Both were impressed by the system’s performance.

“I had heard a lot of good things about the new Martin Audio rig and was happy to use it for this show,” said Boothroyd. “Everybody was really happy with the show, the coverage was great and the detail and clarity in the system made it an enjoyable show to mix. It’s great to see Martin Audio right at the front of new design––the first systems I mixed on were Martin Audio Philishave rigs and that powerful musical sound got me going in my career.”

All Access system tech, Red, was able to demonstrate the unique control of the MLA to Chris Nicholls: “The way the system was able to cover a steeply raked venue with relatively few boxes was very impressive. It didn’t look as though they had enough curve on the array, and we gave them a really tight weight target to hit so they couldn’t add more boxes; yet the flatter array shape was great for the throw required. With a quick adjustment in the software they had the system covering great right up to the back seat without adjusting its angles and that’s something I’ve never heard a system do before.”

The system deployed in Verona included 12 MLA per side for main hangs, six MLA per side for out hangs and two MLD in the orchestra pit for front fill. The out hangs were particularly challenging, as they had to be flown from the ancient stepped seating within a scaffolding structure. The manageable weight and size of the MLA cabinets made this difficult maneuver possible. “The MLA is less than 194 lbs,” reported Red, “and being based around horn loaded 12’s meant we could physically lift the cabinets and fit them in between the steps and the scaffold structure; anything heavier or taller simply would not have been possible in the space available.”

The Out There tour continued on to Vienna before returning for a run of shows in America. “We’re back to our normal touring PA after this show but I’ll look forward to mixing on MLA again––this rig is right up there with the best in the world,” said Boothroyd at the end of the spectacular two and a half hour set that featured a huge selection of songs from the McCartney, Wings and Beatles back catalogue.

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

Iconyx Tames a Legendary Landmark

Beijing, China – October 2013… An icon of the modern People’s Republic of China, Beijing’s Great Hall of the People is truly a towering architectural achievement. The 1.9million square foot (171,800 sq m) hall, overlooking the city’s Tiananmen Square, was originally constructed in just 10 months, officially opening in September 1959 to mark the 10th anniversary of the PRC. Designed by Zhang Bo, it has since become famous worldwide as the home of the National People’s Congress.

Most recently, the Great Hall was once again on the global stage as the historical 12th National People’s Congress convened in March. But as the world watched Xi Jinping become the new president of the People’s Republic, a small group of audio technicians and specialists were busy ensuring that a very discreet, very special audio system was helping delegates to hear every moment with perfect clarity.

Renkus-Heinz Iconyx digitally steerable column arrays now form the backbone of the sound reinforcement systems within the iconic building. Commissioned by the Management Office of The Great Hall of People and designed by China’s Radio, Film & TV Design and Research Institute (RFT), the new system takes in six large conference rooms and, most impressively, the Great Hall’s famous and striking conference auditorium.

The high-profile, high-pressure project offered a unique set of challenges for contractor Beijing Zhongdahuatang Technology Co Ltd., particularly the Great Hall’s massive conference auditorium. The circular chamber can accommodate an audience of thousands, measuring approximately 130 ft (40 m) in diameter, with a 33 foot (10 m) ceiling. Not surprisingly, the room’s acoustics are less than ideal. As a Beijing Zhongdahuatang Technology Co Ltd. spokesperson explains, “the auditorium has a very difficult acoustical environment, with reverberation problems and reflections.”

With its elaborate and ornate decor recognizable by billions, the room’s aesthetics were also a foregone conclusion. The room would require a system that could deliver clear speech intelligibility and flawless coverage while remaining virtually invisible to onlookers.

A single pair of Renkus-Heinz Iconyx IC32-R-II column arrays provides the ideal solution. Installed to the far left and right side of the Chairman’s position, each column is made up of arrays of coaxial transducers, each with its own triple tweeter array. The Iconyx beam steering technology makes it possible to achieve even coverage in even the most problematic spaces by focusing sound where it needs to be, and away from reflective surfaces.

“The Iconyx IC32-R-II columns now provide consistent SPL wherever an audience member might be, whether they are in the front of the hall, the middle or at the back of the auditorium,” reports Beijing Zhongdahuatang Technology Co Ltd. “Even though the auditorium has such a difficult environment, the Iconyx beam steering technology covers the whole auditorium with evenly distributed sound while avoiding the walls, the ceiling and delegate microphones.”

Nor have the IC32-R-II columns infringed upon the all-important décor. According the technical team, “the thin cabinet design makes the columns easy to conceal within an installation – you hardly notice that there is a column speaker there.”

Iconyx technology has been deployed elsewhere throughout the complex, including the six smaller conference rooms, each measuring 1000 s.f (300 sq-m) seating 90 people. Each room has been equipped with two IC8-R-II columns, concealed within the marble walls to once again ensure the most discreet solution possible. Despite the highly reflective atmosphere within each of the spaces, the Iconyx columns are successfully delivering clear speech in every area.

The completed system is a triumph for the team at Beijing Zhongdahuatang Technology Co Ltd., and for Iconyx technology, solving one of the toughest acoustic environments in one of the highest profile buildings in the world. And while that success will be obvious to all who hear the system in action, the loudspeakers themselves will remain out of sight.

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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.

GRUND AUDIO DESIGN ANNOUNCES GT-SF242R FRONT / SIDE FILL LOUDSPEAKER

**** Photo: Grund Audio Design GT-SF242R ****

Council Bluffs, IA – October 2013… Grund Audio Design, a pioneering manufacturer of loudspeaker and signal processing products for the audio professional, is pleased to introduce the new GT-SF242R Front Fill / Side Fill loudspeaker. Designed specifically for front fill and side fill applications, the new GT-SF242R offers greater versatility in terms of placement and positioning when compared to the typical use of point source loudspeakers for such purposes. more

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