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Masque Sound Brings the Songs of Jeff Buckley to Life in the New Rock Musical, The Last Goodbye

Masque Sound - The Last Goodbye1 - Photo by Matthew Murphy

When The Last Goodbye said hello to The Old Globe in San Diego on October 6th, sound designer Ken Travis wanted to make sure that the audience knew this wasn’t going to be your typical musical. In order to create the edgy, evocative sound he was looking for, he turned to Masque Sound, a leading theatrical sound reinforcement, installation and design company, to provide a custom audio equipment package.

The Last Goodbye is a new musical fusing Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet with the incendiary songs of the legendary singer-songwriter and late rock icon, Jeff Buckley. Conceived and adapted by Michael Kimmel, the rock musical is directed by two-time Tony Award nominee Alex Timbers (Peter and the Starcatcher, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson). This unique work of theater is a remarkable synthesis of the classic and the modern, melding Shakespeare’s tragedy, in its original text, with Buckley’s no holds barred rock music.

Masque Sound - The Last Goodbye2 - Photo by Matthew Murphy

Travis’ goal in designing the sound was to go big. “Even though the theatre is only 600+ seats, the show calls for a large rock and roll rig,” says Travis. “It’s definitely not musical theater sounding, and that was something I was adamant about. We hung probably three times the amount of PA than they previously had in the house and the producers were great about it. I never have to worry about the equipment with Masque Sound. They are one of those family companies that you just call up and they are there, and that is one of many reasons why I use them for most of my shows, and knew they were the right choice for this rock musical.”

In addition to a large rig, Travis also wanted a flexible system that allowed him the ability to be edgy, while remaining somewhat conventional, without compromising the audio. His vision required additional equipment and in order to achieve the flexibility he was looking for, Travis utilized a d&b speaker rig from top to bottom. Travis used five d&B line arrays across the proscenium, instead of sticking to the traditional left, right and center setup. “The stage is zoned, so every position is timed out,” adds Travis. “At points in the play when we need to convert back into the traditional music theater world, it transitions really well and doesn’t sound like a rock PA. Then, when it’s time to go into overdrive, it’s really easy for us to open up the whole PA and go for it. My sound team, including engineer Cassy Givens and associate Justin Stasiw, did a fantastic job.”

Masque Sound also provided Travis with a Digico SD10T digital console, which he likes for its quick programming capabilities. Since The Last Goodbye is an extremely physical show with lots of sword fights, smaller but powerful Sennheiser MKE-1 mics were employed and hidden in the hairline of the actors, allowing Travis to capture the vocals over the action. Travis also employed a wireless package from Sennheiser.

One unique aspect of the sound design is the large band source speaker system on stage. “We have a d&b Q7 rig on stage built into the set, which is not typical for a musical,” adds Travis. “But since we feature a rock band on stage, it is necessary. There are times when that system is really ripping to make sure everyone knows the band is playing. We can’t have the guitar amps on stage, because the actors wouldn’t be able to hear, so all of the guitars and amps are remote.”

When using such a large speaker rig in a small theatre that is not designed for a rock and roll style musical, there are always going to be challenges. Since The Old Globe has a very wide stage and not a lot of height to hang the PA, one of Travis’ biggest obstacles was getting even coverage everywhere. In order to overcome that challenge of the height restriction, the PA had to break the portal, and although not ideal, nothing was obstructed visually and the show still sounds great.

Masque Sound - The Last Goodbye3 - Photo by Matthew Murphy

“Dennis Short, Scott Kalata and the rest of the team at Masque Sound always make sure that everything is taken care of and we get all the gear that we need,” says Travis. “For The Last Goodbye, we had a limited budget and Masque Sound made sure that we didn’t compromise on anything, and that’s rare when working on an out-of-town show. They did a great job once again. The audience is enthralled and every performance plays to standing ovations.”

The Last Goodbye’s limited engagement run officially opened on October 6 and is slated to close on November 3 at The Old Globe in San Diego.

About Masque Sound
Founded in 1936 by a trio of Broadway stagehands, Masque Sound evolved into one of NYC’s most successful theatrical sound reinforcement, installation and design companies specializing in theatrical, house of worship, sporting, corporate, TV broadcast and live concert events. Celebrating more than 75 years in the industry, the company is lead by Geoff Shearing, the firm’s 3rd generation owner, and Vice President and General Manager Stephanie Hansen. The company also operates Florida-based Professional Wireless Systems, a leader in the development and implementation of wireless technology. Credits range from major Broadway shows and tours including “Phantom of the Opera,” “Mamma Mia!,” “Lion King,” “Jersey Boys,” “Memphis,” “The Book of Mormon,” “Newsies,” “Once” and “Kinky Boots” to yearly Super Bowl broadcasts and installations of varying sizes, including New York’s New Victory Theater and historic St. Bartholomew’s Church. Masque Sound’s 70,000 sq. ft. corporate headquarters and main assembly facility is located at 21 East Union Ave., East Rutherford, NJ, 20 minutes from midtown Manhattan. For more information, call (201) 939-8666 or visit www.MasqueSound.com.

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L-ACOUSTICS Delivers Sweet Sound for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Reporters and ticket winners outside the Wonka factory gates in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (photo credit: Brinkhoff/Mögenburg)

KARA chosen for live production at London’s Theatre Royal Drury Lane

LONDON — Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, a musical production based on the classic 1964 book by Roald Dahl, has been delighting audiences of all ages at London’s Theatre Royal Drury Lane following its premiere in May 2013. Directed by Sam Mendes and starring Douglas Hodge as Willy Wonka, 70,000 people saw the musical in its first month with its premiere attended by top celebrities from the acting world, and its run has now been extended until May 2014.

For sound reinforcement, L-ACOUSTICS equipment was specified by award-winning sound designer Paul Arditti following his successful shows – including London Road and The Magistrate – using the product in the Olivier Theatre since its installation in July 2012. “Having heard L-ACOUSTICS KARA in the challenging environment of the Olivier Theatre in London, I knew that this was the loudspeaker system I wanted to specify for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” he says. more

HARMAN Professional’s Crown and JBL Professional Provide Major Improvement to Minor League Stadium

SOUTH BEND, Indiana – South Bend, Indiana’s Four Winds Field at Coveleski Stadium is the home of the South Bend Silver Hawks minor league baseball team. The 5,000-seat stadium, known locally as “The Cove,” opened in 1987 with a sound system that was good by 1980s standards, but not up to the requirements of the stadium’s recent renovation and expansion. When systems integrator Communication Company of South Bend Inc. (www.communication-co.com) was contracted for the stadium’s sound system upgrade, it turned to HARMAN’s Crown and JBL to meet the specific audio needs of the project.

“Our goals for this project were not just to significantly improve the sound quality at the stadium but to make the games a better, more fun-filled experience and equip the stadium to accommodate other events that are held throughout the year,” said Rick VandenBossche, Systems Engineer at Communication Company. The renovation ran from 2011 through 2013.

All the speakers inside the stadium were replaced with 16 JBL Control 29AV full range indoor/outdoor loudspeakers to cover the main seating areas, complemented by 31 Control 24CT in-ceiling loudspeakers in the upper deck and 48 Control 25AV high-power compact loudspeakers in the walkways and on light poles. A series of luxury suites and an area for private parties and meetings were added to the stadium, all equipped with JBL Control 24CT loudspeakers and high-definition video displays.

One of the key components of the renovation was the creation of a park-like environment that surrounds the facility and allows patrons to walk a full circle around the stadium. The walkway is lined with video screens, loudspeakers and lighting that are designed to bring the play-by-play action inside the ballpark to the outside of the property and 30 JBL Control 29AV loudspeakers are deployed throughout this area.

All the loudspeakers are powered by five Crown CTs 2000 and four XTi 4000 amplifiers, which are connected to the facility’s system control network by three Crown IQ3 PIP-USP3 network interface modules.

“With all outdoor facilities you are going to encounter acoustical challenges,” said VandenBossche. “First, we needed to respect the residents in the neighborhood next to the facility. Second, with outdoor venues it’s best to distribute audio from multiple points instead of hurling sound from one place and blowing some people out while others don’t hear enough sound.” Hence the use of multiple smaller JBL loudspeakers, deployed in a distributed audio system that took into account areas with reverberant sound and outdoor walkways with high environmental wind noise into account. The output of the loudspeakers was time-delayed as necessary according to their locations.

VandenBossche chose JBL Control Contractor Series outdoor loudspeakers for their presence, clarity and ability to deliver wide coverage from smaller enclosures. “They’re dynamic loudspeakers with great sound.” Crown amplifiers were used exclusively because he feels they offer the best quality and value on the market.

Another curveball for Communication Company was the fact that they had to install the system in the offseason and not interfere with season play, which meant all the work had to be done in Indiana’s late winter. “Let’s just say the installation would have been more fun if it wasn’t so cold out!” VandenBossche noted.

The result was worth it. “With a setup like this, the fans find it hard to contain their excitement once the music and game-day sounds start,” concluded VandenBossche. “The ballpark experience is completely transformed and games are much more fun and exciting.”

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.

Martin Audio Appoints Colon As Western Regional Sales Manager

Left to right: Michael Colon, Rob Hofkamp

Waterloo, ONT––Martin Audio has announced the appointment of Michael Colon as Western Regional Sales Manager for North America.

Colon, a respected industry veteran with a highly successful track record in audio, first began his affiliation with Martin Audio in 1998 when his company MC Marketing represented the brand in southern California and southern Nevada.

More recently, Michael served as National Sales Manager for Group One Ltd., working with brands such as XTA and MC2 Audio. He also worked as Eastern Regional Sales Manager for Lake Technologies, Dolby Laboratories.

Prior to that, Colon was Western Regional Sales Manager for Crest Audio where he brought to fruition a number of high-profile sound reinforcement installations in the region, including the convention center at the Mandalay Bay Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas and a series of major live sound venues and night clubs in Hollywood, CA.

Commenting on Michael’s appointment, Martin Audio Director of U.S. Operations Rob Hofkamp said, “Having had the opportunity to work with Michael when he was a rep and later in a factory role, my decision was easy. I am thrilled to have him join our team at Martin Audio and convinced that his knowledge and passion for excellence will work to support our partners.”

Asked about his new position, Colon stated, “I couldn’t be more excited to be part of the Martin Audio sales team. It’s such an honor to be working with one of the most respected loudspeaker manufacturers in the world. I look forward to this opportunity and a great future with the company.”

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.

Hearing is Believing at Grace Evangelical Church

Whether it’s listening to the pastor give the sermon or the choir performing, sound distribution at church services is crucial to maximizing the entire congregation’s worship experience. For Grace Evangelical Church, a 2,000-member church located in the Germantown area near Memphis, Tenn., the unique design of its Worship Center, in tandem with its aging and increasingly inadequate technology, was impeding the audio quality of the church’s weekly service. To address the situation, Grace tapped Elite Multimedia, a professional sound, lighting, and video company based in Memphis.

“While aesthetically pleasing, our fan-shaped sanctuary has presented a number of challenges over the years when it comes to delivering a superior audio experience during church services,” said Carl Caspersen, Minister of Music and Media at Grace Evangelical Church. “We called in Elite Multimedia to help alleviate the issues we were having and were blown away by the solution and service they provided.”

Using a variety of lines from L-Acoustics, including the new Kiva system, Elite Multimedia designed a new sound system to provide full coverage while achieving optimal clarity to support Grace Evangelical Church’s worship and spoken word. To support the Kiva system, Elite also installed the new SB15m subwoofer extension, two SB18 units behind the arrays, ARCS enclosures for side fill, 8xt for delay fills and four 5xt coaxial speakers to fill in the front area. The entire system is powered by a total of four L-Acoustics amplifiers, with Elite utilizing the DSP within the amps to achieve time alignment and filters.

“The biggest challenge for us was the structure above the drywall ceiling,” stated Wade Russell, Relationship Manager at Elite Multimedia. “There was limited space from the deck of the roof to the drywall, so that presented limitations in means of access to be able to properly fit the rig points for the new system. We only had about 2′ to 2.5′ clearance from drywall to ceiling deck. So our rigging team came up with a game plan to install an access panel door in the drywall and was able to get it done.”

According to Caspersen, the difference in performance and distribution was immediately noticeable to Grace churchgoers.

“You’ve got a few people who are actually hearing a kick drum for the first time,” Caspersen commented. “We’re not trying to win any volume awards; we’re just trying to provide our members with a solid representation of what is happening on stage and the solution that Elite came up with is delivering exceptional results.”
To supplement the sound reinforcement they installed, Elite integrators chose the Midas Pro2 console operating on Digital AES and at a sample rate of 96k.

“The clarity and imaging is impressive to hear,” Caspersen remarked. “In keeping with the vision of the leadership team, the goal wasn’t to be louder, it was to professionally proclaim what is so important to us, both musically and in the spoken word. The Elite team put together an unbelievable solution that we are extremely pleased with. We look forward to working with them on additional projects. ”

For more information on Elite Multimedia and its notable integration projects, visit www.EliteMultimedia.com. Follow Elite Multimedia at www.facebook.com/elitemultimedia or @elitemultimedia.

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.

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