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Archive of the Microphones Category

DPA Microphones Makes Some Noise at the 2014 NAMM Show

Company to feature its latest “d:” branded mic offerings and host performances by SHEL

ANAHEIM, JANUARY 8, 2014 – Folk pop band SHEL will once again be the headlining act for DPA Microphones at the 2014 NAMM Show (Booth 7119). Longtime fans of the company, SHEL is made up of four sisters (Sarah, Hannah, Eva and Liza Holbrook) who will perform using DPA’s d:vote™ 4099 Instrument Mics and d:facto™ II Vocal Microphones equipped with a variety of adapters. Additionally, the company is announcing a full product “d:” branding, which includes the absorption of the current 4060, 4071, 4080 and 4090 Miniature Mics into the d:screet™ Miniature Microphones group and the addition of the ever-popular 4066 and 4088 Miniature Headsets to the d:fine™ Headset Microphone category.

In addition to watching full performances from the group, attendees will have the unique opportunity to hear the true quality of the mics employed in SHEL’s setup at personal listening stations located throughout the DPA Microphones booth. Hailing from the artistic community of Fort Collins, Colorado, these classically trained musicians blend classical music with pop elements for an eccentric sound that is youthful and upbeat, yet highly emotive.

Announced at DPA Microphones’ recent Partner Conference, the unveiling of the new d:screet Miniature Microphone name is another step in the company’s plans for full “d:” branding. With the company’s 4080 Miniature Cardioid Lavalier, 4060 Miniature Omni-series and 4090/91 Recording/Measuring Microphones and the new 4098 Podium Microphones now part of the d:screet line, customers have the ultimate set of solutions.

“A few years ago, we decided to change the names of our new products to make them more recognizable and easy to remember,” says Christian Poulsen, CEO of DPA Microphones. “In the past, our products were branded with numbers, which were difficult to understand and remember unless you were a DPA aficionado. We wanted names that were more meaningful and more interesting, so we found words starting with the letter ‘d’ that fit the significance to the ‘d:’ (colon) branding. Starting product lines with a ‘d’ makes it easier for fans to remember what they are using as it connects the mics to the DPA name. We also felt that leaving out the second letter gave it a graphic element that worked well with our new DPA design.”
Created for use with wireless systems in theater, television and close-miked instrument applications, the d:screet 4060 omni capsule is highly unobtrusive, which lends itself to an exceedingly accurate omnidirectional pattern, while the d:screet 4080 cardioid is acoustically pre-equalized and well suited for broadcast, conference and other live performances in the studio or in the field. The DPA d:screet 4090 is a high-quality omnidirectional condenser microphone with a uniquely natural and open sound, that is suitable for instrument miking applications in the studio, on stage or for system alignment.
Also on display is the company’s d:dicate Recording Microphone line, which combines the company’s best new and existing capsules and preamplifiers to deliver superior sound across many applications where the microphones have not been widely used before, such as live sound applications for touring and installation purposes. Included in the range are the new modular MMC4018 Supercardioid Capsule and the well-known MMC4007 High-SPL Omnidirectional Capsule, now re-launched for modular use.

Rounding out the d:dicate line are microphones from the familiar and well-loved DPA former Reference Standard series, including the modular 4000 and 2000 Series. All of the d:dicate capsules can be combined with the company’s state-of-the-art preamps, including the A, which is a Class A transformerless design; the B, a low cut and high boost filter version; the compact C option for visual unobtrusive miking; and the new modular active MMP-E cable for hanging or table applications. An MMP-F modular boom pole is available for podium or floor stand use of the d:dicate capsules.

In addition to the 4066 and 4088 Headset Microphones, which are available as both classic and d:fine options, users will have a chance to check out the d:facto II Vocal Microphone and d:vote 4099 Instrument Microphones.

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 always provide its customers with the absolute finest possible microphone solutions for all its markets, which include live sound, installation, recording, theatre and broadcast. When it comes to the design process, DPA takes no shortcuts. Nor does the company compromise on its manufacturing process, which is 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 on DPA Microphones, please visit www.dpamicrophones.com

HPA Tech Retreat Celebrates 20 Years of Inquiry and Illumination

Industry Thought Leaders and Technology Mavens Head Back to Palm Springs for Thoughtful Exploration of an Industry in Transition

(Los Angeles, CA) For the past twenty years, the Hollywood Post Alliance(r) (HPA) Tech Retreat(r) has gathered a veritable who’s who in engineering, technology, creativity, and strategic business together for a structured yet informal meeting of the minds; where top industry leaders engaged in all aspects of production, distribution, post production, film, television, web and related endeavors, gather in an environment conducive to the exchange of knowledge and information. This year’s 20th Anniversary confab promises all of that and more from February 17-21, 2014 at the Hyatt Regency in Indian Wells near Palm Springs, CA.

The Tech Retreat offers attendees the chance to explore the opportunities and the complexities facing an industry in transition, and to investigate new solutions and technologies that impact its many constituents.

The HPA Tech Retreat offers lively conference sessions, networking events and technology demonstrations to an engaged audience of participants and panelists that hail from a pool of the top technical, creative, business and hands-on experts. Topics will take the Tech Retreat audience from the nitty gritty to the very precipice.

For a full schedule, visit http://bit.ly/1cwt7B2. On Monday, February 17th, the event opens for early registration and a pre-Retreat course titled Physics, Psychophysics, and Vision for Advanced Motion Imaging from Charles Poynton and John Watkinson. Tuesday launches the HPA Tech Retreat, with the HPA Supersession: The New Normal is Anything But, focusing on the impact of new distribution platforms in production and post. Wednesday through Friday mornings feature breakfast roundtables where any industry relevant topic goes. The HPA Demo Room opens on Tuesday with demos and cocktails and is a hotbed of new products and technologies that feature curated and expert-demos which illustrate the latest developments. Wednesday focuses on the consumer experience and impact, and Thursday production and post. The Tech Retreat concludes Friday morning, with highlights and an emphasis on engineering. The entire event features many opportunities for one-on-one discussion with industry innovators, technology experts, business executives and other top professionals.

Mark Schubin, Multiple-Emmy-award-winning SMPTE Fellow has been working in television since 1967, writing about it since 1972, and chairing the HPA Tech Retreat program since 1997, commented on the engaging presentations set for next month. “We are dealing with fundamental changes in the very nature of our industry, from changing methodologies – broadcast, cable, DVD, DVR, for example- to the previously unthinkable, such as giving fans in a stadium access to their own instant replays, letting social media shape programming, and all of those things that lay beyond. This is a challenging but expansive time. For example, at the Tech Retreat, we’ll feature a presentation that may appear to be purely tech-focused and narrow (i.e., new display connections) but it will show how the consumer technology is powerfully driving the professional world. As always, we’ll be digging into important topics that are thought provoking, but are also important in terms of our businesses and careers, including two of the most critical issues in our industry: the change from video-specific technology to commodity information technology, and the question of what comes next on the screen, and what delivers the biggest bang for the buck?” Schubin notes, “Maybe it’s something a lot simpler than “4K.” He concludes, “And, we’re spending a day with a provocative dive into one of the most important topics there is – color.”

Leon Silverman President of the HPA noted, “This year is a significant milestone for the HPA Tech Retreat as we look back over the incredible effect that technology has had on our industry over the past 20 years. As the world of film and television became increasingly impacted by computer and digital technologies, the HPA Tech Retreat served as an important common ground for our industry to experience and drive transformative change together. Now more than ever, the Tech Retreat serves as an important bridge between so many of the rapidly changing aspects of our industry. As I do every year, I look forward to spending time with the most interesting people I know, and ones I hope to know, at the HPA Tech Retreat.”

Early bird registration pricing will end on January 10 and the Tech Retreat demo room still has a few remaining spaces left. For full information and registration visit www.hpaonline.com or call the HPA office at (213) 614-0860 or email Eileen Kramer – ekramer@hpaonline.com.

About the HPA Tech Retreat(r)
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 HPA Tech Retreat(r) will be presented with generous support from Foundation Members: Avid, Company 3, Deluxe, Dolby, EFILM, Encore; Gold Sponsor: Rohde & Schwarz and Brand Sponsor: Cloud Sigma.

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.

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Media Contact:
Chris Purse, 818.303.8088
ignite strategic communications
chris@ignite.bz or mimi@ignite.bz

Funky Junk Takes On UK Distribution For Sandhill Audio

Funky Junk, Europe’s leading supplier of new and refurbished professional recording equipment and services, has been appointed exclusive UK distributor by Finnish microphone manufacturer Sandhill Audio.

Established in 2008 by sound engineers Riku Pasanen, Petteri Taponen and Sammy Roiha, Sandhill Audio launched its first product in 2011 – the 6011A ribbon microphone.

“We’re continuously working on new designs and prototypes and eventually the range will grow,” says co-founder Petteri Taponen. “However, any product we release has to justify its existence. We will not put out anything just to have more items in the catalogue.”

Taponen adds that Funky Junk was chosen to handle Sandhill’s UK distribution because it has a strong reputation for handling innovative pro audio products.

“Funky Junk’s catalogue is exceptional and, being a high-end studio microphone, the Sandhill 6011A fitted nicely into their product range,” Taponen says. “I was also really impressed with Mark Thomson (Funky Junk’s Managing Director), who sent me a long email in response to my initial enquiry even though he was on holiday in Italy at the time. His straightforward way of communicating suited our approach to doing business and it also helped that the company came highly recommended by a number of our contacts.”

Sandhill Audio’s 6011A Ribbon Microphone is designed to sound exceptional while being free of the usual limitations of ribbon microphone technology. Although primarily designed for high end studio applications, the microphone is sufficiently versatile that it can also be used in live environments.

Mark Thompson, Managing Director of Funky Junk, adds: “The guys at Sandhill have achieved the seemingly impossible; they’ve designed a microphone that retains the airy warmth of the best ribbon mics with a rugged construction capable of coping with a kick drum, a jumbo jet or a producer screaming at a tape op. The Sandhill 6011A isn’t cheap, but great performances demand great microphones. We carry demo stock for discerning tests.”

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About Funky Junk:
Funky Junk is Europe’s leading supplier of new and refurbished professional recording equipment and services. It has offices in London, Paris, Milan and Spain and has been in business for over 20 years. The company is renowned for its high level technical knowledge, backed by extensive workshop facilities. As well as handling sales and repairs, Funky Junk also acts as a distributor to a number of equipment brands and deals with their service and warranty.

For more information please visit www.proaudioeurope.com

HARMAN’s JBL 3 Series Studio Monitors and AKG Microphones Improve Greater Media NJ’s Statewide Broadcasts

NORTHRIDGE, California – Finalizing a station-wide renovation, Greater Media, Inc.’s New Jersey-market facility WRAT-FM (The RAT) recently installed two pairs of HARMAN’s JBL LSR studio monitors. With a pair of LSR305 studio monitors in a small production room and LSR308 studio monitors in the main production room, the creative department now has a more accurate reference for the commercials, music programs, and promotional announcements they produce. Regional manufacturer’s representative Sigmet Corporation provided the JBL equipment.

“We had what I like to call a ‘snowflake collection’ in our studios in that building – no two pairs of anything were the same,” stated Keith Smeal, Director of Technical Operations, Greater Media New Jersey. “We’re currently working on getting every station on the same platform and the initial installation of the LSR’s has been a very successful starting point. The LSR monitors are a major improvement from our legacy equipment. They produce a nice, crisp and clear high end and remarkably full bottom.”

Leveraging new technology developed for JBL’s flagship M2 Master Reference Monitor, the 3 Series studio monitors feature JBL’s patent-pending Image Control Waveguide, which enables the listener to hear greater depth and ambience in recordings.

An additional pair of LSR305’s is installed in the home studio of the program manager of WJRZ, New Jersey’s Greatest Hits-another Greater Media New Jersey station.

Sigmet also delivered three pairs of JBL Control 5 loudspeakers for portable use during radio station-sponsored events. The loudspeakers’ rugged construction and high-performance capabilities provide a clear sound for event participants, whether Greater Media sets up its portable broadcast station on a boardwalk or in a parking lot for a store opening.

During the renovation, Smeal demoed numerous AKG microphones to help improve the sound of the station. A set of microphones provided by Sigmet consisting of C414s, C214s, 4500 BCs, C3000s and a D12 VR was delivered to the broadcast facility. According to Smeal, the AKG microphones were a hit at the station—a nice in-between solution for the DJs while the renovation continues. “We want to ensure we’re sending out the best sound, whether our listeners are in the car or in front of a hi-fi system,” he said

Smeal has plans to use 60 AKG C414s in his studios for a full microphone upgrade in 2014.

HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of audio and infotainment solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets – supported by 15 leading brands, including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon® and Mark Levinson®. The Company is admired by audiophiles across multiple generations and supports leading professional entertainers and the venues where they perform. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of 14,600 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $4.5 billion for the last twelve months ended September 30, 2013.

Media Vision Ranked Fastest-Growing Company in Pro-AV Products in 2013

December 23, 2013 – With a 3-year growth rate of 853%, Media Vision has received much recognition in 2013 bringing the tremendous value of conferencing microphone systems to light.

Media Vision ranked #39 on Inc. 5000 list of Top 100 Business Products and Services Companies, higher than any other player in the pro-AV industry. They also ranked #535 for overall Fastest Growing Private Companies in America and were awarded the 31st position in the Bay Area by the San Francisco Business Times, a much sought-after prize for this Silicon Valley-founded company.

The team is sharing some of the secrets of this growth and how they are steadily bringing a niche technology to the mainstream. “It is about the product, the people and most of all about fostering a mindset that embraces challenges, innovation, service and continuous improvement” says Fardad Zabetian, Media Vision’s Founder and CEO, “Within our team and similarly for our manufacturing partner TAIDEN, we are all driven with a goal and a passion for reaching it.”

Media Vision is well positioned to experience further growth in 2014 beyond North America. The company has recently expanded into Europe with offices in Switzerland and France.

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Professional Wireless Systems (PWS) Frequency Coordination Scores Touchdown with Arena Football League Spectators

When Action Audio Apps helped put spectators on the field by enabling them to listen to the comments of the Arena Football League’s Orlando Predators players and coaches, Professional Wireless Systems (PWS) was on the sidelines providing frequency coordination for this game-changing experience.

The technology behind this new media application is a partnership between Q5X’s innovative player mics and transmitters, the only PlayerMic® solution approved by the NBA, and PWS’ expert RF coordination. The system was deployed at all Orlando Predators home games this season and was also used at this year’s Arena Bowl.

The app from Action Audio not only allows users to dial into a particular player or coach but also offers several combined channels, such as the offense or defense channel. Typically four or five players from the offense and four or five players from the defense, along with the coaches and select referees, are mic’d for the games. The free app can be pre-installed or downloaded once the user arrives at the venue. Within a few simple clicks, fans can access the interactive app’s multi-channel keypad and select specific channels for continuous action. In addition, if a user is unable to attend the game, he or she can tune into the “locker,” which offers replay clips from the previous week’s game.

“Signal interference has the potential to be a huge disruption for our apps, so having the frequency coordination experience and expert knowledge of Jim Van Winkle and the PWS team is a huge asset to us,” says Sebastian Failla, Action Audio Apps president. “As we see and envision our company growing into different sports and leagues and arenas around the country, it’s nice to have partners like PWS and Q5X working with us.”

At the heart of the system is Q5X’s QT-5000 RemoteMic. The QT-5000 is a rubberized, flexible, water and sweat resistant body pack that will not injure the wearer even if the player falls on it or takes a direct hit. The QT-5000 RemoteMic is part of the Remote Control Audio System (RCAS), a revolutionary way to control transmitter settings. All aspects of transmitter operation (audio level, change the frequency, etc.) can be remotely monitored and controlled from a computer interface, which allows the transmitter to be adjusted remotely without the need to contact the player. This is a stand-out feature for Action Audio Apps since once the game starts, the company typically does not have access to the players to make adjustments.

With a lot more radio devices in use these days, congestion and competition for the RF spectrum is at an all-time high, and PWS has frequency coordination down to an art form, so we always enjoy working with them,” says Q5X CEO, Paul Johnson. “PWS is really unparalleled in its ability to manage wireless frequencies and keep everything running without interference.”

For more information, visit www.professionalwireless.com.

About Action Audio Apps
Action Audio Apps’ founder, Sebastian Failla, first invented this system in 1999. Through further years of development, their new proprietary technology can now deliver this long awaited enhancement to every single seat in the venue. No matter where you are seated or what the event, from live sports to behind the scenes interviews, you the fan get to be a part of it all! For more information, visit Action Audio Apps at www.actionaudioapps.net.

About Quantum5X Systems Inc.
Quantum5X Systems Inc. (Q5X®) is an award-winning London, Ontario, Canada corporation that specializes in the creation of leading edge, wireless audio solutions for the broadcast, sports and entertainment sectors. Breakthrough products include the QT-256® the world’s smallest wireless microphone, the QT-1000 PlayerMic® the world’s only rubber wireless microphone, and the QT-5000™ the world’s first RF remote-controlled wireless microphone transmitter. Q5X clients include ESPN, FOX, Comcast, Turner, Disney, TSN, CTV, ABC and CBS, as well as MLB, the NHL and the NBA. For more information visit www.q5x.com

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” and “Once” 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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Masque Sound Welcomes Blockbuster Musical MAMMA MIA! to New Broadway Home with Custom Audio Equipment Package

When the blockbuster musical MAMMA MIA! recently moved six blocks south to its new Broadway home at the Broadhurst Theatre, Masque Sound, a leading theatrical sound reinforcement, installation and design company, welcomed the smash hit show to its new digs with a custom audio equipment package.

MAMMA MIA! tells the story of the dynamic relationship between a carefree mother and her daughter. The daughter, hoping to build a bond with the father she’s never known, decides to invite him to her upcoming wedding, only to discover that her father could be one of her mother’s three past suitors. A story full of laughs, love and lust, MAMMA MIA! features the hit songs of the Swedish pop group ABBA. MAMMA MIA! spent the past 12 years on Broadway at the Winter Garden Theatre, and for the show’s veteran Sound Designers Bobby Aitken and Andrew Bruce and Associate Sound Designer David Patridge, the move was not without its challenges.

The Broadhurst Theatre’s design itself was one of the biggest challenges that the team faced. Although many Broadway theaters share this situation, the box seating on the left and right near the proscenium extends out quite far into the sight line and therefore, slightly overshadows the speakers for some of the seats.

“In order to provide the best listening experience we could for every seat, we used a fairly substantial speaker package,” says Patridge. “We placed d&b audiotechnik E8 loudspeakers both near the proscenium and further back along the sides of the room to give the audience complete coverage. The d&b speakers compliment a main left and right line array of Meyer Sound MINA’s, and extends the coverage to the shadowed areas. It’s very smooth as you go from one side of the house to the other and something we really worked hard to achieve. It’s a smaller house, and in many ways it’s more pleasing. You don’t have as big of a room to fill with a speaker system. That was our biggest challenge, and Masque Sound was once again able to provide us with the gear we needed.”

The move to Broadhurst Theatre also provided an opportunity for the team to upgrade to a digital console and strengthen the front of house mix. “At the Winter Garden Theatre, we were using a Cadac console, one of the last analog consoles left doing Broadway musicals,” adds Patridge. “Although the Cadac has been a reliable workhorse for us, we felt it was time to retire the console and modernize the show, in that sense. Masque Sound provided us with a DiGiCo SD7 digital console for the Broadhurst production. The digital console allows us to eliminate the monitor desk, and with the SD7, we actually mix the monitors to an Aviom system directly through the console. We now have one console mixing both front of house and monitors. In addition, the SD7 takes up only about six seats as opposed to the Cadac, which took up 15 seats in the orchestra.”

As the full time vendor for MAMMA MIA!, Masque Sound also provided a wireless package of Sennheiser SK5212 transmitters and EM3532 receivers, coordinated by Eric Rivera and the Masque Sound wireless department. Since Broadhurst Theatre is sandwiched in between the show Matilda to the east, Phantom of the Opera to the west and a block of theaters just to the north, Masque Sound’s expert frequency coordination team worked hard to ensure there were no signal interference issues between the shows, as theatre walls are not enough to cut off the transmission.

“The spatial considerations in the venue dictate, to a large extent, what equipment you are able to use, and asking Masque Sound to discard the existing rental system and provide us with all new equipment was quite a tall order,” adds Patridge. “They were extremely generous and offered us new gear for the show without having to incur a ton of extra cost. It’s this type of service and support that gives Masque Sound the longevity it has experienced with MAMMA MIA!. The show continues to sound wonderful, and we are now excited to be in our new home.”

In addition to Masque Sound’s equipment, Patridge also credits his talented team with making the move such a success. Production Sound Engineer Kevin Kennedy and longtime original Broadway show Mixer Craig Cassidy were instrumental in ensuring that the move went smoothly. The show brought the same crew over from the Winter Garden, which, according to Patridge, was a godsend in terms of making sure that the move was glitch free.

Seen by over 54 million people around the world, MAMMA MIA! is celebrating 5,000 performances on Broadway and is the 10th longest running show in Broadway history. The original West End production of MAMMA MIA! is now in its fifteenth year and has celebrated more than 6,000 performances in London and the international tour has visited more than 74 foreign cities in 35 countries and been seen by more than 4.3 million people. The blockbuster feature film adaptation of MAMMA MIA! is the most successful movie musical of all time grossing $600 million worldwide. Seen in 38 productions in 14 different languages globally and with a worldwide gross of over $2 Billion, MAMMA MIA! is acclaimed by the Associated Press as “quite simply, a phenomenon.”

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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Funky Junk Supplies Royer Mics For The Stereophonics Latest Tour

The Stereophonics, one of Britain’s most instantly recognisable bands, have just completed a major UK arena tour to promote their new album Graffiti On The Train.

The equipment list for the tour included three Royer R-121L ribbon microphones, which were supplied by Royer’s UK distributor Funky Junk.

Royer’s R-121 Ribbon Microphone is renowned for its ability to bring an extremely natural and realistic analogue sound to digital recording and live stages. The TEC Award winning R-121L, the ruggedized and more road-worthy ‘live’ version of the microphone, has been specifically designed to withstand the rigours of live touring. Royer won the prestigious 2013 Technical Grammy partly for their R-121, the first ribbon microphone suitable for close-miking electric guitar and other high SPL sound sources.

The microphones were chosen for the Stereophonics tour by FOH engineer Dave Roden who wanted to continue with their ongoing ethos of constant improvement of the overall sound quality at their live gigs.

“I haven’t used Royer R-121 microphones in a live situation before, but the band have used them in the studio and been very happy with the results they have achieved,” Roden says. “I have also heard them being used by other FOH engineers whom I greatly admire, (Jim Ebdon and Marc Carolan for example) and have always been really impressed with the results. I decided to use them, too, in order to up our game.”

Dave Roden was confident that incorporating Royer R-121 ribbon microphones into his live equipment arsenal would help him capture lead vocalist/guitarist Kelly Jones and lead backing vocalist/guitarist Adam Zindani’s individual guitar tones, as well as the raw energy for which the Stereophonics are famous.

“The band members have all moved on to IEM’s (in ear monitors) and they were hearing things completely differently to the way they’ve been used to with wedges,” Dave Roden explains. “In order to adapt, some of the on-stage sources required a more hi-fi approach. This was a challenge for everyone involved, but was a very positive and necessary step in respect to the future performance capabilities of the band, and gave our Monitor Engineer Dave Retson and myself the perfect opportunity to significantly upgrade our mic stock. Both the band on stage and the audience in the arenas were very happy with the guitar sounds they were hearing when we used the R-121L’s on the tour.”

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About Funky Junk:
Funky Junk is Europe’s leading supplier of new and refurbished professional recording equipment and services. It has offices in London, Paris, Milan and Vigo and has been in business for over 20 years. The company is renowned for its high level technical knowledge, backed by extensive workshop facilities. As well as handling sales and repairs, Funky Junk also acts as a distributor to a number of equipment brands and deals with their service and warranty.

For more information please visit www.proaudioeurope.com

DPA Microphones and Steinway Pianos in Perfect Harmony for ‘Keyboards at Christmas’ Event

Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary teams up with DPA and Steinway for large-scale holiday performance featuring 17 grand pianos

FORT WORTH, DECEMBER 12, 2013 – The School of Church Music at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary recently enlisted the help of DPA Microphones and Steinway Hall of Dallas, Plano and Fort Worth to put on Keyboards at Christmas — a performance of “grand” proportions. With 17 Steinway Grand Pianos on stage, student and professional musicians performed holiday songs for the packed house at the 3,500-seat venue.

Already DPA Microphones enthusiasts for the ability of its mics to reproduce the natural beauty of a Steinway, the music staff at Southwestern Baptist knew it wanted to equip all 17 pianos with three d:vote™ 4099 Instrument Mics each, for a total of 51 mics. A clear, pristine sound was the school’s primary requirement when searching for a mic, and it was obvious that the DPA d:vote was the only choice.

“The Steinway instruments have a very beautiful, very unique sound that other instruments can’t touch, so we didn’t want to recreate the sound, but rather amplify it for the audience to hear in this very large hall,” says Luke Byford, Assistant Director of Musical Productions for the school. “We had experimented for a while with how to mic the piano in this hall and we knew it had to be the DPA d:votes. We previously tried a pickup system, but it just didn’t provide the live sound of the piano. It actually sounded pretty dead. Then we tried a variety of other mics and positions. Nothing seemed right, until our sound techs presented the idea to try the d:votes we had for string instruments in the piano. We were very pleased with the natural reproduction of the DPA mics as they gave us a much more accurate picture of how the pianos sound and the beauty that they put out.”

While this is the second year of the event, the school’s 2012 performance was held in a smaller, more acoustically tuned venue, so the staff did not require microphones. For this year’s Keyboards at Christmas, the school increased the number of pianos. To ensure that audience members had a clear view of every musician, the stage had three elevated platforms, which allowed them to place five pianos at the top, six in the center and six in the front.

“For a great deal of the program, all of the pianos were played at the same time,” says Jerry Aultman, Professor of Music Theory, who worked with Byford on the event. “Sometimes there were two pianists per piano, so a total of 34 pianists playing simultaneously. Bottom line, it was imperative in this hall, as you can imagine with this many instruments and musicians, for the artists to hear each other separately and without delay. From an audience perspective, I noticed that the DPA d:votes just made the Steinways sound the way they are supposed to sound. It was a true representation of the pianos. They don’t need improvement, they’re wonderful the way they are, we just wanted to amplify them and reproduce an accurate sound. With a program of this magnitude, using this many pianos in a hall this large, it is impossible to overemphasize the importance of this requirement.”

It wasn’t just the microphones that drew Byford and Aultman to the DPA d:vote. As the microphone is designed to be heard and not seen, the tiny capsule size enabled the mics to be positioned where the staff wanted them, without any visible signs of a mic being in place.

“We like that you can’t see them,” adds Byford. “They were in the pianos and we ran the lines out of the back, so the audience did not even know they were there. The magnetic piano mounts were great because once they were attached to the brass, they didn’t bounce or rattle. They stayed exactly where we put them, and the fact that they are on goosenecks allowed us to get the mounts in the proper spot on the piano, but then move the microphone to get them in the best position to pick up the exact area of sound we wanted to highlight. They were so hidden and so natural that many of our audience members later told us they didn’t even realize the pianos were being amplified until we mentioned it to them.”

The school had only one day of prep time to mic up the pianos and do an audio run through with students to ensure the EQ was perfect, so the size and maneuverability of the d:votes also afforded the quick setup that was needed. With only a limited in-house supply of d:votes, the school sought to rent an additional 35 microphones to fulfill their need for 51 d:votes. A tall order for any rental house, Byford found himself in direct contact with Eric Mayer, President of DPA Microphones, Inc.

“I think it’s great that a company that makes this kind of product would want to get behind a production like ours and help out the way they did,” adds Byford. “Everyone we worked with at DPA, seemed really excited to help us and support this project.”

In addition to the large supply of d:votes, the company loaned the school two d:facto™ Vocal Microphones for the soloists who accompanied the pianists. DPA’s Sales and Marketing rep, James Capparelle, also attended the event to help with setup and make certain everything ran smoothly.

The Keyboards at Christmas event hosted Southwestern Baptist students and faculty, as well as school-aged children who played three songs, including excerpts from the classic “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” Guest artists Becky Lombard, professor of music at Truett-McConnell College, and T. Bob Davis, a former Southwestern Seminary trustee also performed. In addition to Byford, Aultman and Capparelle, the event was also run by Matthew Bennett, Will Schaefer, Caleb Wallace and Cody Meuer, who are student employees of the school’s A/V Communications department and were key players in making sure the program operated effortlessly.

Video from the event can be found at: http://youtu.be/-D0JsLg2IDw.

ABOUT DPA MICROPHONES:
DPA Microphones is the leading Danish Professional Audio manufacturer of high-quality condenser microphone solutions for professional applications. DPA’s ultimate goal is to always provide its customers with the absolute finest possible microphone solutions for all its markets, which include live sound, installation, recording, theatre and broadcast. When it comes to the design process, DPA takes no shortcuts. Nor does the company compromise on its manufacturing process, which is 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 on DPA Microphones, please visit www.dpamicrophones.com.

Masque Sound Makes Triumphant Return to Lincoln Center Theater for New Production of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth

When the curtain rose on William Shakespeare’s Macbeth at Lincoln Center Theater, Masque Sound, a leading theatrical sound reinforcement, installation and design company, was on-hand to provide Sound Designer Mark Bennett and Associate Sound Designer Charles Coes with a custom audio equipment package that would ensure complete and pristine audio surround sound and coverage throughout the venue for the famed scribe’s powerful and dark tragedy.

Macbeth tells the story of the title character and brave Scottish general who receives a prophecy from a trio of witches that one day he will become King of Scotland. Consumed by ambition and spurred to action by his wife, Macbeth murders King Duncan and takes the throne for himself. He is then wracked with guilt and paranoia, and he soon becomes a tyrannical ruler as he is forced to commit more and more murders to protect himself from enmity and suspicion. The bloodbath and consequent civil war swiftly take Macbeth and Lady Macbeth into the realms of arrogance, madness and death. In this new production, Ethan Hawke plays Macbeth opposite Anne-Marie Duff as Lady Macbeth.

Bennett and Coes’ goal in designing the sound was to create a flexible system that was capable of delivering a surround sound experience, while also providing complete coverage for every seat in the large, extreme three-quarter Vivian Beaumont Theater. Since Macbeth is a play, and not a musical, Bennett and Coes wanted to create an environment that was as natural sounding as possible.

“The audio solutions that we were able to come up with in collaborating with Masque Sound were great,” says Bennett. “Masque Sound was always able to find alternative ways to achieve our vision, if they didn’t immediately have the ability to do that with their existing inventory. The quality of the equipment that Masque has provided is consistently excellent.”

The Vivian Beaumont Theater has one of the deepest stages in New York City, rivaled only by The Metropolitan Opera and Radio City Music Hall. As a result, Bennett and Coes were able to create tiers of sound in off-stage areas, giving them the ability and flexibility to pinpoint where they wanted the sound to source from in a very large environment.

Another important component of the sound was O’Brien’s desire to have the supernatural world play a large part in the play. O’Brien wanted the show’s “Three Witches” to be able to use the weather as a force to be reckoned with throughout the piece. In order to move the weather and other sound effects around the theater, Bennett and Coes used a combination of heavy Yamaha DME processing and a variety of Meyer Sound loudspeakers, as well as tapping into the Beaumont’s SIAP system, to create rings of surround throughout the theater.

At the heart of the custom equipment package, provided by Masque Sound, was a Yamaha PM5D digital mixing console with a DSP5D editing side car. According to Coes, “The PM5D gave us the most flexibility. It integrated very well with the Yamaha DME’s, which allowed us to accomplish the very transparent vocal reinforcement that we were shooting for. It also provided for a lot of deep control using the delay matrix.”

Bennett and Coes also utilized a 32-channel playback system to further move the sound fluidly around the surround channels as well as a Meyer Sound Matrix3 Audio Show Control unit. A Meyer Sound-based loudspeaker system was used for vocals including UPA-1P’s coupled with a USW-1P subwoofer, and an array of M1D orchestra and balcony delays. The music system consisted of an array of Meyer Sound UPA-1P’s, USW-1P’s and an additional Meyer 650-P effect subwoofer. For the fills, which were very close to the audience, a passive d&b E-Series array was used.

In deciding on microphone selection, Bennett and Coes began with the idea that they were going to use foot mics throughout with the occasional body mic. As the design progressed, they discovered that by using nearly equal amounts of both, they were able to provide that intimate feel needed for many of the scenes while also aiding in the final transparency of the piece. Masque Sound provided Sennheiser MKH 8040 cardioid microphones and AKG E460 pre amps for the foot mics. Sennheiser SK5012 transmitters and DPA 4061 lavalier elements were used for the body mics.

“We chose the gear we did because conceptually it allows us to work with the music by installing each cue with a variety of splits,” adds Coes. “This really allows us to separate out what the bass is doing, what the percussion is doing, what the mid-range fills are doing, and then where we are placing the solo instruments per cue. With 15 delayed individual foot mics to every speaker in the vocal reinforcement system and each of the RF mics existing in one of 12 zones on the stage, Mixer Marc Salzberg does a great deal of switching of zones, for individual mics, at any given moment to keep everybody in as accurate a zone as possible.”

Masque Sound also worked with the show’s RF Engineer Adam Smolenski to provide frequency coordination for the 20 channels of wireless plus 12 wireless intercoms that are utilized during each performance.

According to Coes, “With more than 1700 lines of code in QLab, around 300 cues taken for content-only and an additional 30-40 taken for reinforcement, there is an incredible intricacy of the musical and playback content of the show. Masque Sound understood the needs of the project and provided us with gear that can deliver night after night with reliability and stability; that is one of the great aspects of working with them.”

Macbeth opened to rave reviews on Thursday, November 21 at the Vivian Beaumont Theater. The limited engagement of Macbeth is scheduled to run through January 12, 2014.

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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