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Archive of the Microphones Category

Hawthorn Names DPA As Its Microphone Brand of Choice

Ben McAlonan and Jon Curnew

Hawthorn, the UK’s largest independent supplier of technical production services, has named DPA as its primary microphone brand.

Established in 1987, Hawthorn employs over 120 staff from offices around the UK and handles over 1,000 events every year, including gala dinners, product launches, conferences and parties. The company’s product portfolio has seen a 4.4 EUR investment over the last two years and now includes state of the art lighting, sound, AV, rigging, staging and drapes.

Among this phenomenal inventory are a wide range of DPA microphones including d:fine™ Headset Microphones, d:screet™ 4060 lavalier microphones and d:vote™ 4099 Instrument Microphones.

Audio quality is very important to Hawthorn, which bases its reputation on delivering exceptionally high standards. It was this desire to use the best that initially brought DPA to the company’s attention.

“It all started a few years ago when we were looking for headset microphones to replace the brand we had previously been using,” says Jon Curnew, Hawthorn’s Head of Sound. “We discovered the DPA d:fine Headset Microphone range and were immediately taken with the fact that they came with single and dual ear attachments. That really appealed to us because it made them so versatile. We now have a stock of about 35 d:fine microphones and we use them all the time. They are much easier to position than any other headset mic we have tried and our customers love them.”

Although Hawthorn also offers DPA d:screet™ 4060 lavalier microphones, most of its customers prefer headsets because they don’t have to worry about accidentally knocking them – or forgetting to take them off when they go off stage.

“Headsets are also better at picking up weaker voices because the microphone is positioned so close to the mouth and doesn’t have to compete with background noise,” Curnew says. “Once they are in place, they tend to stay in place – we even had a guy wearing one while he was doing aerobics and it managed to survive that.”

For musicians, Hawthorn stocks DPA d:vote 4099 Instrument Microphones and now has 17 in its microphone cupboard.

“We use them with a variety of clips and they are great because they deliver such a clean, transparent sound,” Curnew says.

Hawthorn recently added six DPA d:facto™ Vocal Microphones toits stock, which it bought from DPA’s UK distributor Sound Network.

“We saw the d:facto Vocal Microphones at PLASA two years ago but we needed the right event to inspire us to buy some,” Curnew says. “This turned out to be SunWalk in London’s Battersea Park – a charity event raising money for breast cancer research, for which we delivered full technical production.”

Four wired and two wireless d:facto’s were immediately put to use on the SunWalk live music stage.

“Everyone loved them,” Curnew says. “They sounded amazing and we had no issues with feedback or rejection – they worked well across a range of artists and really brought out the subtlety in the vocalists’ voices. We have since used them on other events including an opera. It’s interesting to note how often they are cropping up on artist’s riders – that’s another reason why we felt the time was right to invest in some.”

Although most of Hawthorn’s DPA microphones are used for in-house productions, they are also available for dry hire and Curnew says the DPA d:facto Vocal Microphones, in particular, are already making a name for themselves amongst dry hire customers.

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About DPA
DPA Microphones is the leading Danish Professional Audio manufacturer of high quality condenser microphone solutions for professional applications. DPA’s ultimate goal is to provide you – whether you’re in live sound, recording, theater or broadcast – with the absolute finest possible microphone solutions for your tasks. DPA takes no shortcuts in the design processes nor makes any compromises in manufacturing, which is all done at the DPA factory in Denmark. As a result, DPA’s products are globally praised for their exceptional clarity and transparency, unparalleled specifications, supreme reliability, and above all, pure, uncolored and undistorted sound.
For more information, please visit www.dpamicrophones.com

Empire PRO To Host QSC, Shure, and Yamaha Commercial Audio Training Day

empire_logo-transparent

LOS ANGELES—On Thursday, December 4th, QSC, Shure, and Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc., will present a powerful day of live-sound training at Empire PRO, 5675 Mansfield Way, Bell, CA. A professional production of the training will also be streamed live at http://www.mldistrict.com/empirepro, courtesy of DataVideo. Empire PRO is a leading national Pro Audio, Video & Lighting distribution partner.

The training, appropriately titled “Modern Technology For Today’s Production” will cover line arrays, digital consoles, monitors, amps, wireless and digital microphones, and in-ear monitors along with how they optimally work together for applications from small to mid-size production. Presenters will focus on system design, networking, Dante and RF landscape, coordination, and antenna setup as well as best practices, special tools, and tips.

“Our goal is to provide the Pro AV community with support and resources that empower them to grow their business, states Edmond Khanian, VP Sales at Empire PRO. We are more than a great place to get the products you need, when you need them, and at the prices you expect; we are a partner whose top priority is the success of our dealers’ business. We are proud and grateful to have strong relationships with industry leaders like QSC, Shure, and Yamaha Commercial Audio, who share and support our vision.”

Empire PRO continues to prove its commitment to be the most supportive Pro Audio, Video and Lighting wholesale distribution partner for AV Professionals through training and educational opportunities like this.

Presentation Schedule

• 9:40-10am: Introduction
• 10-11:15am: Shure – RF (spectrum update/incentive auction)
• 11:15-12:30pm Shure – RF coordination using Shure gear (highlighting BLX, QLXD, ULXD, AXT600 and WWB6) and how to choose the right antenna
• 12:30-1:30pm QSC – Line Array (specification and deployment) / Amp Technology
• 1:30-2:30pm LUNCH
• 2:30-3:30pm QSC – Touchmix (for production)
• 3:30-4:45pm Yamaha – CL Consoles (who, what, where, when, why and how)
• 4:45-6pm Yamaha – QL Consoles (who, what, where, when, why and how)

Don’t miss this opportunity to develop your Pro Audio knowledge. Space is limited, so RSVP now at http://www.empirepro.com/qsc-yamaha-shuretraining.php, or tune into the live streaming at http://www.mldistrict.com/empirepro. For information on how to become an Empire PRO dealer, call Omer Saar at 213.748.5200 x 112 or via email at omer@empirepro.com.

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About Empire PRO:
Empire PRO is among the largest distributors of Professional Audio, Video and Lighting equipment nationwide and highly regarded worldwide. We take pride in providing our clients with a reliable, supportive and efficient source of optimal full-system solutions by distributing leading audio, video and lighting brands, stocking deep inventory in-house, and being centrally located in the heart of Los Angeles for prompt delivery.

Our goal is to provide you with the most valuable support services and full-system-solutions to help you close deals and provide your clients with an experience that exceeds their expectations. Our Sales Executives are experts in helping you define and design optimal system-solutions for your clients. Our service is personal & professional and we offer full technical and sales support to insure satisfaction.

Masque Sound Struts its Stuff for National Tour of Six-Time Tony Award®-Winning Musical, Kinky Boots

Kinky Boots Tour - Photo by Matthew Murphy

Kinky Boots Tour – Photo by Matthew Murphy

Kinky Boots, winner of six Tony Awards® including Best Musical, sings and dances its way across the United States for its year-long national tour with the help of Masque Sound, a leading theatrical sound reinforcement, installation and design company. Tony Award®-winning Sound Designer John Shivers, along with his long-time associate and collaborator, David Patridge, relied on Masque Sound to provide the custom audio equipment package for the tour.

In Kinky Boots, Charlie Price has reluctantly inherited his father’s shoe factory, which is on the verge of bankruptcy. Trying to live up to his father’s legacy and save his family business, Charlie finds inspiration in the form of Lola. A fabulous entertainer in need of some sturdy stilettos, Lola turns out to be the one person who can help Charlie become the man he’s meant to be. As they work to turn the factory around, this unlikely pair finds that they have more in common than they ever dreamed possible… and discovers that when you change your mind about someone, you can change your whole world.

Kinky Boots, directed and choreographed by the Tony Award-winning Jerry Mitchell, is brought to life by music and lyrics from Grammy® Award-winner and Tony Award-winner Cyndi Lauper and a book by Tony Award-winner Harvey Fierstein.

Shivers’ and Patridge’s goal of recreating and delivering the incredible sound that Broadway audiences are accustomed to, due in part to the custom audio equipment package that Masque Sound also supplied for the Broadway show, proved a daunting task. “When designing the audio we had to plan ahead for venues of vastly different sizes and shapes, as is typical when touring Broadway shows,” says Patridge. “One week, the production may run in a large civic auditorium with five levels of seating; the next week, it may be in a house more akin to a Broadway theatre with 1500 to 1800 seats. This tour really runs the full gamut as far as venues, including outdoor theaters and even hockey arenas.”

d&b audiotechnik V-Series line arrays in the speaker towers comprise the main sound system. “We first auditioned the V-Series when we worked on Holler If You Hear Me on Broadway, and we really liked the fact that the speaker was capable of clear, intelligible sound with a lot of impact, despite the compact size of the box,” adds Patridge. “We had a lot of assistance from Gary Stocker at Masque Sound, who created custom speaker tower designs for the tour. He was able to incorporate the V-Series into the towers, which is something that Masque Sound has never done before. Stocker took our ideas and turned them into reality, which saved us a lot of additional engineering, time and work.”

For the console, Masque Sound provided a DiGiCo SD7T, the same live digital console that is used on Kinky Boots’ Broadway production, as the designer wanted to keep the programming intact matching the Broadway show. “The SD7T’s channel count allows our engineers to incorporate all of the monitor inputs into the same console as front of house,” says Patridge. “The SD7T is the only console that would provide the 128 channels that were needed to handle our requirements along with the features that we were looking for. We are very happy that the Masque Sound crew was willing to go the extra mile to accommodate our requests.”

Masque Sound also supplied d&b audiotechnik D80 amplifiers. The amplifiers fit four channels of amplification into two rack spaces, which is an important space-saving feature for a touring production. In addition, the cast utilized a selection of DPA 4061 microphones, along with Sennheiser SK 5212 wireless packs and EM 3732-II receivers for the roughly 40 channels of wireless used on the show.

“As always, Masque Sound was able to provide us with everything that we needed for the tour,” concludes Patridge. “The challenge, with any tour, is making sure that the sound crew is able to translate the sound design that we envision. A lot of it is very subjective, with the team, at the end of the day, relying on the mixers to make the show work across all of the different venues. In this regard, Head Audio Mixer Ben Madden and Assistant Audio Mixer Brian Kallaher are the people who make this production happen from city-to-city and to them we are very grateful.”

Kinky Boots kicked off its national tour on September 4 at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts in Las Vegas. The tour is scheduled to play through most of 2015 and will make stops in 32 cities, including Portland, Seattle, Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Detroit, Nashville, Houston, Dallas, St. Louis, Philadelphia, Chicago, Minneapolis and Boston.

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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Related Topics: Large Venue, Loudspeakers, Microphones, News |

DPA Microphones Capture the Sound of The Girl From Nagasaki

Burhan Ocal in Girl From Nagasaki

One of the highlights of this year’s Sundance Film Festival was The Girl from Nagasaki, a feature-length directorial debut by celebrated photographer Michel Comte. This dazzling retelling of Madame Butterfly reframes the familiar haunting story of romance and loss through the lens of a Nagasaki survivor married to an American astronaut.

It’s a bravura debut which, as you would expect from Comte, has won plaudits for its visually sumptuous style and structure. But equally impressive is the superb audio work throughout the title from sound designer Maurizio Argentieri and a battalion of DPA microphones.

DPA’s d:dicate™ 4041-SP Large Diaphragm, 4011 Cardiod and 4006 Omnidirectional Recording Microphones were all used in the sound production of the film. Argentieri also used a DPA d:screet™ 4091 Omnidirectional Microphone and a d:dicate™ 5006-11 Matched Microphone Kit with an S5 surround mount. He was so impressed by the performance of the latter that he decided to invest in one for his own microphone collection.

“All of the DPA microphones I used sounded amazingly good,” he says with disarming simplicity. “I need a microphone capable of handling high SPL but one that still delivers a fantastic sound: this is why I chose DPA.”

The project itself, however, was anything but simple and pushed both his skills and the capabilities of the DPA microphones to the limit. Maurizio was first briefed by Michel at his home in Los Angeles where it was decided that there would be no ADR.

“There was not a word in the movie that was to be replaced, so all the actors’ performances in the movie are real and original,” says Argentieri. “There were a lot of challenging situations. We had a band with a singer performing a couple of songs live while the actors were speaking; a long dialogue scene filmed on the top of Stromboli, an active volcano in Sicily with a very strong wind and real eruptions going off in the background; dialogue under real rain and the sound of the cockpit of a jet fighter while it was flying. This last scene we filmed for real: I put a couple of d:dicate 4006 Omnidirectional Recording Microphones in the jet and hit the record button. The rest is in the movie.”

After initially training in classical guitar, Argentieri started his career as a sound engineer in the music industry. After a couple of years though he realised that being shut away in a studio was no longer for him and, with the aid of a friend who was working as an assistant film editor at the time, they began to pull images out of the trash can and put them together on a Moviola with the music they loved.

“Sometimes we would stay long into the night at the studio, just him and me; we were like kids at home without parents. He was mostly working on documentaries at that time and we had plenty of huge nature shots and beautiful images. For me it was like an illumination: I realised the power and the magic of sound to change the meaning of an image simply by changing the music.”

Argentieri quit his job in the recording studio and became a sound mixer for documentaries. Several years of projects followed, including work for Greenpeace, before he got his break on movies. And he’s certainly made the most of it since, working with the likes of Mario Monicelli, Marco Bellocchio, Bernardo Bertolucci, Giuseppe Bertolucci, Woody Allen, Mel Gibson, Spike Lee, Ridley Scott, and now Michel Comte.

The Girl From Nagasaki was shot in Los Angeles, Berlin, Rome, Stromboli, and Japan.

“As sound designer I’ve had different roles: production sound mixer, sound editor, and re-recording mixer,” he explains. “I recorded the production sound always using a stereo couple or a surround rig to bring home the ambience, then I had a second moment all by myself going around just with the surround kit recording all the necessary ambient sound to put in the movie. And then we had all the recording of the music to do.”

Argentieri adds that the DPA surround kit was really useful when he and the film crew were tackling a scene in Sofia that involved recording an orchestra.

“We placed the kit right in the middle of the orchestra to have a different point of view,” he explains. “From the very beginning Michel wanted to give the audience an extraordinary aural experience, so everything was recorded in a way that allowed the microphones to be surrounded by music and sound. Of course we had to do a lot of sound editing and mixing to achieve that.”

The DPA microphones were also used extensively in recording the dialogue of the film. Argentieri used two boom operators mounting DPA d:dicate 4017 Shotgun Microphones that fed into a Manley dual microphone Tube preamplifier.

“If you want to get an idea of the quality of these microphones you only have to listen to the long dialogue scene at the beginning of the movie between Sir Christopher Lee and the older Gheisha,” he says. “Hearing that, you will be absolutely astonished.”

The DPA microphones even have a starring role in one of the key opening scenes, where Burhan Öcal is playing Japanese percussion.

“This scene is visually like a beautiful art installation and again Michel wanted to give the audience the sensation of being seated close to the percussionist himself, so I had to record his performance live while we were filming,” Argentieri says. “That meant the microphones needed to be part of the installation and the elegance and sobriety of the DPA microphones allowed them to be completely integral to the scene.”

Commenting on his decision to invest in his own DPA d:dicate™ 5006-11 Matched Microphone Kit with S5 surround mount, Argentieri says: “DPA’s surround kit is perfect for modern sound design. In this kit you have three beautiful omnis and two beautiful pure cardioids that you can use together or as singles in other situations. Given the quality of these microphones, why would you want to send them back?”

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About DPA
DPA Microphones is the leading Danish Professional Audio manufacturer of high quality condenser microphone solutions for professional applications. DPA’s ultimate goal is to provide you – whether you’re in live sound, recording, theater or broadcast – with the absolute finest possible microphone solutions for your tasks. DPA takes no shortcuts in the design processes nor makes any compromises in manufacturing, which is all done at the DPA factory in Denmark. As a result, DPA’s products are globally praised for their exceptional clarity and transparency, unparalleled specifications, supreme reliability, and above all, pure, uncolored and undistorted sound.
For more information, please visit www.dpamicrophones.com

Italian Superstar Pino Daniele Chooses DPA Microphones

Pino Daniele with DPA 1

Pino Daniele, one of Italy’s best known singer/songwriters and a man whose career spans both genres and decades, has recently started using a range of DPA microphones, including the company’s ground-breaking d:facto™ Vocal Microphone.

Fabrizio Facioni, Daniele’s sound engineer, jumped at the chance of using d:facto when the opportunity presented itself.

“I like its sound. It’s so ‘present’ and natural,” he says. “This microphone reproduces exactly what it is given in terms of the vocal, and that greatly simplifies my job.”

The d:facto Vocal Microphone joined a range of DPA mics that were used over the summer for the NERO A META’ tour, which reunited Daniele with band members from the 1980s alongside special guests. For his forthcoming theatre tour, the line-up is more intimate and includes Pino Daniele on vocals and acoustic guitar, a second acoustic guitar, an upright bass, piano and drums played by internationally acclaimed producer and arranger Alfredo Golino, who regularly works with artists such as Laura Pausini.

Facioni says: “The decision to use DPA microphones initially came about when I needed a microphone for Pino’s acoustic guitar. I spoke to Agora, our PA rental company, and they recommended DPA’s d:vote™ 4099 Instrument Microphones. After trying one, I knew it was perfect for the task. Both Pino and I were so impressed that we decided to use d:vote 4099s on his guitar and on the second acoustic guitar.”

Facioni adds that the improvement in sound made him question the microphones he was using on the other instruments in Daniele’s intimate line-up. It was at this point that Alfredo Golino suggested he got in touch with Salvatore Zocco from DPA’s Italian distributor M. Casale Bauer for more advice on the DPA range.

Salvatore Zocco says: “Alfredo is a great ambassador for DPA and has used the company’s microphones for a long time, so it was perfectly natural for him to put Fabrizio in touch with me. I was able to recommend the most appropriate microphones for Fabrizio’s requirements.”

The final choice came down to d:vote 4099 Instrument Microphones for the high hat, snare (top and bottom) and toms. DPA d:dicate™ ST4011C and ST4015C Recording Microphones were respectively chosen to handle overheads and percussion. The acoustic guitars and upright bass are also miked with d:vote 4099s, while Pino Daniele has two d:facto Vocal Microphones – one for when he’s standing and the other for when he performs with his acoustic guitar.

“I have been very satisfied with the results these microphones have delivered,” Facioni adds. These were exactly the mics I needed to give me a natural sound. I am a studio engineer as well, so I already knew DPA mics for piano and orchestra and I like them a lot. But this is the first time I have tried them for percussion and bass and I am definitely impressed.”

And perhaps more importantly, Pino Daniele himself has also been impressed with the performance of the d:facto Vocal Microphone which he used consistently during his summer tour of Italy’s sports arenas.

“We are now planning more dates in smaller theatre venues during November and December and the d:facto will once again be part of our microphone set up,” adds. “It has worked for Pino and he really like it. He says he now recognises his own voice!”

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About DPA
DPA Microphones is the leading Danish Professional Audio manufacturer of high quality condenser microphone solutions for professional applications. DPA’s ultimate goal is to provide you – whether you’re in live sound, recording, theater or broadcast – with the absolute finest possible microphone solutions for your tasks. DPA takes no shortcuts in the design processes nor makes any compromises in manufacturing, which is all done at the DPA factory in Denmark. As a result, DPA’s products are globally praised for their exceptional clarity and transparency, unparalleled specifications, supreme reliability, and above all, pure, uncolored and undistorted sound.
For more information, please visit www.dpamicrophones.com

Earthworks Now Shipping 40kHz High Definition FlexMic™ Podium Microphones

Milford, NH – Earthworks expands its FlexMic™ Series of podium microphones to include 40kHz High Definition models, which feature an extended frequency response from 50Hz to 40kHz.

HD FlexMics

The original FlexMic™ models feature a 50Hz to 20kHz frequency response, while the new High Definition models have 50Hz to 40kHz response that provides even greater clarity and intelligibility than the 20kHz models.

All FlexMic™ and HD FlexMic™ models feature a new slimmer 7mm diameter gooseneck, and a shorter tip, providing an overall lower profile.

The FM & FMHD models feature a fully flexible gooseneck, while the FMR & FMRHD models have a rigid center with flex at both ends. All FlexMic models are available with either cardioid or hypercardioid polar patterns in 13, 19, 23 and 27 inch overall lengths.

Every standard and HD FlexMic utilize Earthworks’ patented polar technology, which allows orators to move as much as 90 degrees off-axis to either side, above or below the mic and still maintain the same pristine sound quality with high intelligibility.

All FlexMic™ and HD FlexMic™ models are currently shipping.

earthworksaudio.com

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Bexel Supports a New Season of the Best in Reality TV

From “Chopped” to “The Apprentice,” Company Provides Services for a Host of Non-Scripted Shows
Bexel
(BURBANK, Calif.) – As the Fall television season rolls out, a wide array of reality programming is being supported by Bexel, a leading worldwide provider of broadcast services and solutions. Bexel can be found behind the scenes on a veritable who’s who of non-scripted programming, including Chopped and The Apprentice, providing them with the equipment, state-of-art systems, and engineering support needed to meet the highest broadcast standards.

The span of Bexel’s services in reality television covers the entire gamut the genre has to offer. From competitions like American Idol, Dancing with the Stars, Hell’s Kitchen, RuPaul’s Drag Race, and Utopia; to the real world exploits of Beyond Scared Straight, Black Ink Crew, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, The Real Housewives of Orange County, Vanderpump Rules, Watch What Happens: Live, and White Girl Problems; to sports-based shows including The Big Break, Deadliest Catch: The Bait, and Hard Knocks, Bexel contributes expertise, support, and solutions to some of television’s most entertaining shows.

Bexel provides a variety of premier technology solutions to these shows, including complete ENG camera packages with wireless monitoring, full ENG audio packages with multi-track recording, Cat-5 monitoring for offstage production offices, fiber booth kits, flypack systems, director/DP monitoring solutions, and much more. The company’s services also incorporate on-site design and installation, overall project management of the technical production, customized communication systems, and frequency coordination and consultation.

Chopped, which will soon begin airing its 22nd season, has been working with Bexel from day one. The popular cooking competition works with a 12 ENG camera flypack from Bexel, utilizing 10 Panasonic AJ-HDX900s cameras and two Panasonic AK-HC1500G robotics systems. The show is provided with CopperHead and SMPTE fiber cable, as well as Bexel’s custom camera harness, to make the ENG cameras work as needed in a studio application.

“From season one, we’ve worked with the great team at Chopped to build a camera package specific to their needs,” says Ernesto de la Torre, business development manager for Bexel. “To be cost effective, they need a very versatile system. With their 12 cameras, they have the flexibility to do what they need in the fast-paced Chopped Kitchen, while still being able to go ENG, which they do for the contestant bio packages. We’re also able to support their Steadicam Operator, who uses a Teradek Bolt Pro system. It allows him to record onboard with the Bolt, and transmit his signal to the control room integrating it into the full production process.”

Bexel also provides hands-on engineering support, delivered in a way that is uniquely integrated with the production. Timothy Quinn, a system engineer for Bexel, serves as the Engineer in Charge on Chopped. In that role, Quinn oversees the technical engineering aspects of the entire production. “Tim is an integral part of the show, and he’s truly considered to be a member of the Chopped crew after all these years,” notes de la Torre. “We also provide a Video Operator who’s charged with making sure all the cameras are matched when the show is being produced, which helps manage time and budgets during the editing process. Bexel’s commitment to our clients is exemplified by Tim and the complete services and support we’re proud to provide for Chopped.”

“Bexel’s support has been invaluable on Chopped,” comments Notional’s Loe Fahie, Line Producer for Chopped. “As an equipment and services provider, they’ve been with us every step of the way. Even when we moved studios a few seasons ago, everything went seamlessly. The team at Bexel knows our production requirements and anticipates our technical needs, which helps keep our production on schedule. I love this team. Ernesto and Tim act as if our show is their show as well. Bexel is part of the Chopped family!”

Bexel has also enjoyed a longstanding relationship with The Apprentice franchise. The popular series, featuring Donald Trump, will soon begin airing its 14th season (The Celebrity Apprentice 7), and Bexel has been in “the boardroom” from the very beginning. Each season the company sends a team of engineers to execute and oversee the entire installation in The Apprentice’s Trump Tower studios. For the upcoming season, the production is utilizing 24 cameras from Bexel, including 18 Sony PDW-F800s cameras and 60 channels of wireless audio from Sennheiser and Lectrosonics.

“From the very start, versatility was key for this production,” notes Gregory Bragg, vice president of Global Sales for Bexel. “Their field crews are able to use the 18 ENG cameras to shoot the contestants in ‘reality situations’ and set up mini-fly packs with six to ten cameras to cover a ‘task delivery’ in the field. Then all of those cameras are able to come in when they shoot the boardroom material. They get tied into Bexel’s control room facilities and become part of the studio flypack as well. The Apprentice franchise is the reason we originally developed our custom harness system. The only cost effective solution for them was to allow the flexibility of an ENG camera into a flypack situation, and our harness has continued to serve us well on many other shows.”

Bexel has served as a resource to production companies from the initial days of reality television. “Since the dawn of the early MTV shows in the mid-1990′s, including Road Rules and many others, Bexel has been at the forefront of support for reality television,” concludes Bragg. “As the genre has evolved, so have the services and solutions that we offer. The depth of our reach into the reality market is really unmatched. Whether it’s a small two to three camera production, a 24 camera mega-show, the 90 robotics involved in Hell’s Kitchen, or the massive infrastructure of Utopia, Bexel covers the entire range.”

About Bexel
Bexel is the pre-eminent worldwide provider of broadcast services including video and audio equipment rentals, fiber services, new audio sales, used equipment sales, and repairs/maintenance. Bexel provides brilliantly designed and flawlessly executed systems and solutions to all customers – including producers of the biggest and most important televised events in the world. For more information, visit www.bexel.com, and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

About the Vitec Group
Capture the moment(tm)

For over 100 years, through every innovation in photography, film and digital image-making, Vitec businesses have developed a powerful portfolio of brand and products that have enabled some of the most amazing moments to be captured under some of the most challenging conditions. Vitec is an international Group principally serving customers in the broadcast photographic and military aerospace and government (MAG) markets. Vitec is based on strong, well-known premium brands on which its customers worldwide rely. Vitec is organized in three divisions: Videocom, Imaging and Services. Videocom designs and distributes systems and products used in broadcasting and live entertainment, film and video production and MAG. Imaging designs, manufactures and distributes equipment and accessories for photography, video and events. Services provides equipment rental, workflow design and technical support for camera, video, audio, fiber optic and wireless technology used by TV production and film crews. More information can be found at www.vitecgroup.com.

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Media Contacts:
ignite strategic communications
818.980.3473
Christine Purse, chris@ignite.bz

Registration for the 21st HPA Tech Retreat Now Open

The Bellwether Entertainment Technology Event Returns to Indian Wells
HPA Tech Retreat

(Los Angeles, CA) Today at the SMPTE Symposium, produced by the Hollywood Post Alliance (HPA(r), registration for the 2015 HPA Tech Retreat officially opened. For the 21st consecutive year, a veritable who’s who of engineering, technology, creativity and strategic business leaders will gather in the desert to discuss the trends and technologies of the future, while tackling head-on the issues of the present. The HPA Tech Retreat takes place at the Hyatt Regency Indian Wells, near Palm Springs, CA, from February 9th to the 13th, 2015.

The HPA’s preeminent event enjoys a global reach, bringing together the thought leaders and senior practitioners driving the rapidly advancing entertainment technology landscape. The HPA Tech Retreat has consistently proven to be a crucial gathering where technological developments in production, post production and broadcast are unveiled, discussed and debated. During the Tech Retreat, attendees from the media and entertainment industries are uniquely able to share time and ideas with academics from around the world, scientists, and experts in technology from various disciplines. The environment is one of discovery and exploration.

Mark Schubin, who has led the programming for the HPA Tech Retreat for many years, notes, “Each year, we receive submissions from all over the world – about six times more than we can possibly use – and, based on what I’ve seen so far, it’s going to be hard to choose. So many new technologies have been introduced at the Retreat over the years that it’s tough to count them all.”

Over the course of its history, the HPA Tech Retreat has seen a number of breakthrough products and processes previewed in advance of their actual debuts. Surround headphones, full-color full-motion holograms, Sony’s HDCAM SR, SR Memory, targeted-ad production and distribution systems, Panasonic’s Varicam and stereoscopic cameras, Dolby’s high-dynamic-range video monitors, Pencil-beam microphones, and OLED monitors to name just a few of the many “firsts” to be unveiled at the Tech Retreat.

Leon Silverman, President of HPA, notes, “The Tech Retreat is the place you go to see history before it’s made, and to move and shake with the movers and shakers across the technology community. The subjects are always topical, but the real value of this event is the ability to share ideas and challenges, to understand from those who really know and get inspired. While I take away so much from this event each year in program content, an equally important take away comes from mingling with this amazing group – the teachers who teach the teachers. If you have not been to the Tech Retreat, you owe it to yourself to make a pilgrimage to the desert. If you have been, you know exactly what I’m talking about.”

Breakfast roundtables are also a popular part of every HPA Tech Retreat. Schubin comments, “Participants begin hashing out the future of media at the lively breakfast roundtables. Among the topics already confirmed for the 2015 event are net neutrality, content security, workflow complications, and a review of the legislative and regulatory environment.”

The HPA Tech Retreat is a not to be missed opportunity for industry professionals. The five day, multifaceted event includes dynamic conference sessions, a curated Demo Room with leading-edge technologies, networking events, and parties. The session schedule and programming information will be announced soon.

Earlier this year, SMPTE and HPA became official partners, moving forward with plans for full organizational consolidation by May 2015. Today’s Symposium is the first jointly produced HPA/ SMPTE event, an auspicious time to open registration for the HPA Tech Retreat.

The event has a history of selling out, and timely registration for the 2015 HPA Tech Retreat is recommended. Registration at Early Bird rates is now available, REGISTER. For more information on the event and sponsorship opportunities, visit www.hpaonline.com, call the HPA office at (213) 614-0860, or email Eileen Kramer at ekramer@hpaonline.com.

# # #

About the HPA Tech Retreat
The HPA Tech Retreat(r) is an informal gathering, in the Palm Springs area, of the top industry engineering, technical, and creative talent, as well as strategic business leaders focused on technology, from all aspects of digital cinema, post production, film, television, video, broadcast and related technology areas, for the exchange of information. The 2015 HPA Tech Retreat will take place February 9 to 13, in Indian Wells, California.

About the Hollywood Post Alliance(r)
Hollywood Post Alliance (HPA) serves the professional community of businesses and individuals who provide expertise, support, tools and the infrastructure for the creation and finishing of motion pictures, television, commercials, digital media and other dynamic media content. Through their partnership with the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers(r) (SMPTE(r)), the leader in the advancement of the art, science and craft of the image, sound, and metadata ecosystem, the HPA continues to extend its support of the community it represents. Information about the HPA is available at ww.hpaonline.com.

Media Contact:
ignite strategic communications
p: 818.980.3473
Christine Purse, chris@ignite.bz or
Mimi Rossi, mimi@ignite.bz

ProdyTel and Media Vision’s Alliance Shakes Up Conferencing Systems Offering

October 20, 2014 –

Andreas Martin of Media Vision with Jan Wintersberg and Christian Carrero of prodyTel

Andreas Martin of Media Vision with Jan Wintersberg and Christian Carrero of prodyTel

ProdyTel, lead distributor for the audiovisual market in Europe, and Media Vision, the expert group on conference and interpretation systems, have recently entered into a strategic partnership to supply and support TAIDEN conferencing solutions in Germany and Austria. In addition, Media Vision has announced the appointment of Andreas Martin, industry expert, to work by ProdyTel’s side in support of the German-speaking clientele.

The synergistic partnership aims at creating the strongest pool of technical expertise in the field of conferencing systems. “Our global team of 30 members is exclusively focused on this product range, giving us a unique know-how to respond to complex technical requirements and manage large-size projects” says Fardad Zabetian, CEO of Media Vision, “We have over 10 years of successful track record in supplying TAIDEN equipment”.

With Andreas Martin on board as Media Vision’s Director of Sales for Germany, Austria and Switzerland, the German-speaking network is now armed with even more TAIDEN product expertise and an additional point of contact for local and immediate support. With over 14 years of experience in the conference and interpretation industry, Mr Martin has been involved in the design and management of numerous high profile projects across Europe and beyond.

Jan Wintersberg and Christian Carrero, Managing Directors at ProdyTel, are welcoming the collaboration with Media Vision and its expanded team as a way to set foot more firmly into an area of specialty within the AV industry. “TAIDEN solutions are always a step ahead, offering more flexibility and features to users than any others” says Jan Wintersberg, looking at the newly released Video Monitor Conferencing Unit now in ProdyTel showroom “We have the right technology, and now we also have the additional expertise to take it to the next level and support all size projects”.

“With the new partnership, our network of systems integrators will experience even more resources in design while choosing the right technology for flexible meeting spaces” adds Christian Carrero, “We remain focus on support and training tools in the conferencing field”.

The two companies joining forces is sure to be a driving force for TAIDEN in Europe. The manufacturer already stands out with innovative product lines such as the all-in-one Multimedia Conference System that it was first to bring to market, high-profile references like the United Nations Headquarters or the Council of Europe, very fast response times on complex projects, and a superior 5-year warranty.

###

About Media Vision
Media Vision is a leading provider of professional wired and wireless conferencing solutions for multipurpose meeting rooms, VTC boardrooms, training centers, council chambers and auditoriums. Supported by feature-rich, flexible technologies, powerful software, and a dedicated product engineering team, we work with system integrators and consultants to design conferencing solutions that improve the audio intelligibility in the room and on the far end for distance communication. Additional information can be found at www.media-vision.com

About ProdyTel
ProdyTel Distribution GmbH is an audio-visual distributor based in Stein, Germany. Co-founded in 2005 by Jan Wintersberg and Christian Carrero, ProdyTel provides design, consultation, sales, and logistics services to its domestic and international manufacturers in support of dealers and consultants in Germany and Austria. Market segments include sound reinforcement, audio and video conferencing, signal management and remote control, and presentation technologies. For more information, visit the corporate website at www.ProdyTel.de, telephone +49-911-988189-0, or email us at info@prodytel.de

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Recorded with DPA Microphones

Simon Hayes 2

Oscar-winning production sound mixer Simon Hayes relied on DPA lavalier mics to record Marvel’s film adaptation of Guardians of the Galaxy, directed by James Gunn.

Hayes, who first used DPA microphones as Production Sound Mixer for the film adaptation of Mamma Mia in 2008, has turned to DPA d:screet™ 4061 and 4071 miniature mics on every film he’s worked on since then. Recently these have included Les Miserables (for which Hayes picked up the Oscar and BAFTA for Best Sound Mixing) and upcoming releases Tarzan, directed by David Yates and Kingsman: The Secret Service, directed by Matthew Vaughan.

Hayes chose DPA miniatures for Guardians of the Galaxy so that he could capture original dialogue, right at the point of shooting. Given that Director James Gunn’s vision for the film was to preserve the authenticity and emotion of the actors’ performances, he felt this was the best way to serve the film and its creative team.

“It was clear from the first meeting with James Gunn that he wanted to capture original performances, which of course isn’t always easy when you’re talking about large budget special effects and action-driven visual effects type movies,” Hayes says.

“We knew that we were going to be shooting three or four cameras at all times so the DPAs took precedence over the booms on a lot of scenes. This meant that, in the final mix, at least 75% of the dialogue that made its way into the movie was recorded on DPA [d:screet] 4071s and DPA [d:screet] 4061s.”

Leading man Chris Pratt was fitted with the DPA d:screet 4061 omnidirectional mic. “We felt that the 4061 added a little something extra in the bass region for his voice, which was quite exciting,” Hayes continues. “All of the other characters used 4071s on their chest rigs and if we were rigging microphones in their hair or in their helmets, we used 4061s to increase the bass.”

As the title suggests, the sets for Guardians of the Galaxy were not going to be small. Finding regular-sized Sound Stages a little small, set designer Charlie Woods had sets housed in old Ministry of Defence buildings to allow enough space. This provided Hayes with a few hurdles to overcome sound-wise.

“That kind of environment isn’t as easy to record sound in as a sound stage, so I had a lot of background noise and a lot of reverb to contend with,” he says. “Again, the DPA mics excelled at rejecting that reverb and just capturing dry, up-front vocals for me.”

One of the things that really sets Guardians of the Galaxy apart from its kin in the superhero film genre is its esoteric 70′s soundtrack, which was integral to the way the sound was mixed. Hayes explains why this was a huge consideration when recording:

“Mixed in with the huge space sound-effects that the sound design team built for us, we really wanted close-up dry dialogue so that we could push the music and the effects harder, and that’s what the DPA mics helped us to do,” says Hayes, who collaborated closely with Alexandra Byrne (costume designer) and Dan Grace (costume supervisor) to design the mic placements used within the actors’ costumes.

“We had some really interesting rigs. For instance, Lee Pace, who plays Ronan, was wearing a helmet for his whole performance and we actually placed two 4061 mics into the helmet because the microphones were creating a tiny bulge. We wanted to have the bulge uniform, so we put one above each eyebrow, which not only gave a uniform look to the helmet, but it also gave us the opportunity to have two tracks running on Lee Pace’s dialogue.”

Ronan has a particularly dynamic part in the film, as Hayes continues: “This placement allowed Lee Pace more creativity in the way that he was playing Ronan and I was able to assure him that because we had the two 4061 mics on him, he could literally go from a whisper to a shout without us having any trouble whatsoever.”

Dave Bautiste, whose character Drax the Destroyer goes through the whole film topless, presented another challenge altogether, which meant finding an ingenious solution.

“We collaborated with the Special Makeup FX department and were able to have a [d:screet] 4071 basically rigged into the special makeup effects, which was applied to his upper body so it became part of a scar in the middle of his solar plexus,” Hayes says. “This meant that even though we had a topless man through the whole movie, in every single scene we were able to have a perfectly placed 4071. DPA’s are so reliable that you can have it buried under makeup and you know that it’s going to work all day, you’re not going to have any problems from them.”

With a run of over 18 films on which he’s used DPA microphones, Hayes concludes, “In the marketplace today there aren’t any lavalier mics that sound as natural and as transparent as DPAs. I feel that when I’m using a DPA microphone, I’m hearing actors through their performance rather than the microphone factoring it.”

After the box-office success of Guardians of the Galaxy, a sequel has already been announced, due for release in 2017.

-ends-

About DPA
DPA Microphones is the leading Danish Professional Audio manufacturer of high quality condenser microphone solutions for professional applications. DPA’s ultimate goal is to provide you – whether you’re in live sound, recording, theater or broadcast – with the absolute finest possible microphone solutions for your tasks. DPA takes no shortcuts in the design processes nor makes any compromises in manufacturing, which is all done at the DPA factory in Denmark. As a result, DPA’s products are globally praised for their exceptional clarity and transparency, unparalleled specifications, supreme reliability, and above all, pure, uncolored and undistorted sound.
For more information, please visit www.dpamicrophones.com

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