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Archive of the New Products Category

Tenor Saxophonist Keith Anderson Relies On HARMAN’s AKG C519 On Tour With Prince and Solo

VIENNA, Austria – Full of Soul—that’s the name of tenor saxophonist Keith Anderson’s band and a fitting description of the man himself. The Texas-based Anderson is a musician’s musician with an enviable high-profile gig—he’s currently playing in the horn section with Prince. He has worked with musical legends like Erykah Badu, Les McCann, Kanye West and many more. Anderson relies on the AKG C519 professional miniature clip-on condenser microphone, having become a convert to its rich sound and ability to deliver on every live gig.

Anderson and all 11 members of Prince’s horn section have been using the C519 for a variety of gigs with the Minneapolis maestro, including the last Montreux Jazz Festival and one-off and private gigs. Anderson also has plenty of other work playing with Full of Soul and top-caliber musicians like Roy Hargrove and his band RH Factor, and Marcus Miller. He’s also mixing his upcoming as-yet-untitled live album, which has the C519 all over it.

The AKG C519 microphone clips gently onto the bell of a saxophone, trumpet or any other wind instrument. Its tight cardioid polar pattern makes the C519 ideal for use near monitor wedges, and its flat 20Hz-20kHz frequency response makes it ideal for woodwind and brass instruments. The C519 can be used with a variety of wireless body-pack transmitters.

“Playing onstage with Prince can be loud, especially with 11 horn players. The C519 can handle the stage volume from the monitors without feeding back,” said Anderson, who noted that the horn section doesn’t use sound baffles or microphone stands on stage “because we have intense, calorie-burning choreography!” The C519’s small size and ability to easily mount onto a horn makes it a perfect dance partner. Anderson clips his PT 470 body pack onto a key guard rail on the side of his Cannonball tenor sax and neatly wraps the cable from the C519 around the bell of the horn.”

Anderson finds the AKG C519 works well for all the horns in the section, which include five saxes, four trumpets and two trombones. “All the guys really like it, although I have to say it’s particularly well suited for tenor sax—it really complements the frequency range of the tenor.”

Nevertheless, Anderson wasn’t a complete convert at first. “On my own gigs I used to use a microphone that had too much bottom end and every time I played out, I had to tell the sound engineer to EQ the microphone and roll off the bass drastically. One night, the front of house guy just wasn’t getting it and I struggled with the sound the whole night.”

A friend happened to be in the audience that and lent Anderson a C519. “I looked it and said, ‘Wait a minute, this is the same microphone I’ve been using with Prince!’” Anderson found the C519 to be just what he was looking for, and that its clear, natural sound brings out all the nuances of his tenor sax and his alto sax, whether he’s playing smoothly or going for grit and squeal.

The AKG C519 has been totally reliable on every gig. “I only had to change my wireless frequency one time for one show, and that has nothing to do with the microphone itself, which has been a flawless performer. The sound engineers are very happy with it and I can hear myself better than ever before in the monitors and in my in-ears when I use them.”

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

John ‘Sax’ Williams Inspires Next-Generation Woodwind Players With HARMAN’s AKG Microphones

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania – Woodwind specialist John “Sax” Williams devotes his life and career to being a professional recording artist, performer, and educator. Whether it’s in the studio, on stage or during instructional sessions with students, Williams uses HARMAN’s AKG WMS4500 and C519L microphones as his tools of choice.

With experience touring in the United States Army Band, Williams has performed for multiple presidential administrations such as that of George H.W. Bush, Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter. Currently, when he’s not focused on live and production work with renowned artists such as Mary J. Blige and Jay-Z, he passes his love and passion for music onto others through one-on-one instruction.

Williams’ AKG microphones allow him to project his sound during shows and recordings as best as possible. “AKG produces high-quality, world-class microphone systems, which make all the difference for me,” said Williams. “The WMS4500 wireless system and the C519ML saxophone microphone are awesome products that I constantly use for my live performances and recordings. The sound is sincere and warm, and I can tell that it is the result of long hours of refinement, where the development of the product was clearly thought out.”

A classically trained clarinet player, Williams has a deep understanding of the delicate sound elements on the stage and in the studio. But besides accuracy in sound, it is important to have reliable equipment, and the AKG microphones give Williams peace of mind when touring and teaching.

“The SR4500 Receiver and PT4500 UHF Wireless Bodypack Transmitter are extremely durable and last forever,” said Williams. “I’m also impressed by how HARMAN as a company always comes through with technical support, regardless of what time I need it. It’s been amazing every time, receiving honest and reliable support even when traveling on the road.”

Sound engineer of Audio Wave Sound Rob Gordon, a frequent collaborator with Williams and also a proud AKG customer, added: “I’ve recommended AKG microphones to others for a long time, considering their amazing front-end projection and warmth of sound,” said Gordon. “The C1000, C414 microphones sound great and are the perfect choices for top-level musicians such as John.”

For more information on John “Sax” Williams, please visit www.johnsaxwilliams.blogspot.com

For more information on Audio Wave Sound, please visit http://soundwaveaudio.com

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

The Chairworks Adds To Its Prism Sound Roster

Castleford-based The Chairworks, the north of England’s largest residential recording studio complex, has bought two more Prism Sound ADA-8XR multi-channel AD/DA converters to add to its growing roster of the units.

“We’ve got six now,” comments Studio Manager Ryan Jarvis. “We have 32 in 64 out, and everyone who comes here uses them and comments that Prism Sound are the best converters they’ve ever heard.”

The Chairworks has invested heavily in its facilities recently and is proud of the fact that its 96 channels of immaculate Prism Sound ADA-8XR conversion help artists to capture their performances perfectly through a large selection of first class microphones and vintage pre-amps. Recent credits include ex Beautiful South members Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbot’s What Have We Become, Skindred’s Kill the Power, British Steam Power, and even the entire Grimethorpe Brass Band.

Constructed in a late nineteenth century Victorian factory, The Chairworks has been careful to utilise all the space at its disposal. Its phenomenally well-equipped Studio A control room now looks through into its newest live room, which in turn leads into another large space with multiple booths and ‘more keyboards than you can shake a stick at’.

“We finished the new live room, designed by studio legend John Wood, last year,” says Jarvis. “It features a double height ceiling and a large diamond-shaped window. It’s perfect for things like orchestral work. And while the Prism Sound converters are great for everything because of the level of detail you can hear, they’re really good for that,” he adds.

Studio A’s control room is built around an immaculately maintained SSL 4000 G+ with flying faders, Total Recall and Ultimation. To this are added the six ADA-8XRs, a Konnektor synchroniser and several racks of vintage outboard gear.

“To be honest, I think we have enough ADA-8XRs for the moment,” says Jarvis. “Besides, they’re so reliable we don’t need back-ups and the after-sales support from Prism Sound is fantastic. But the ADA-8XRs are fantastic too. What comes out is exactly the same as what goes in, you cannot tell the difference and I don’t know of any other convertor that does that. It’s just completely transparent.”

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About Prism Sound
Founded in 1987, Prism Sound manufacture high-quality professional digital audio equipment for the International broadcast, film, music production, manufacturing and telecommunications sectors. The company’s product range includes the Prism ADA-8XR precision 8-channel converter unit, which is regularly used for music and film soundtrack projects by clients such as EMI Abbey Road, BBC, Sony, Lucasfilm and Walt Disney. Prism Sound also manufactures a range of audio test and measurement products, including the de facto standard DSA-1 handheld digital audio generator/analyser and the dScope Series III audio analyser system.

For more information: www.prismsound.com

Newly Formed Boy Band Cre5cendo Achieves Modern Sounds with HARMAN’s AKG Microphones

MILAN, Italy – Formed around the 15-year old guitar prodigy Gianluca Gentilesca, boy band Cre5cendo ambitiously offers a modern interpretation of Classic Rock, with help from HARMAN’s AKG microphones in one of Milan’s historic studios. While working with producers, KNAGUI of 7:06PM Entertainment Group and Massimo Caso, who also serves as studio engineer, Cre5cendo has found its voice as a band that respects the works of original artists while adding its own unique flavor to the mix.

Working out of Caso’s studio Il Cortile, the producers, who together call themselves GUIMAX Productions, recently cut a cover of “Happy” by Pharrell Williams as one of Cre5cendo’s first songs. Two AKG C12A and two D12 microphones, plus a few 414 and D112 microphones, were used to record the drums, guitar amps and room acoustics for the song.

“What I love about the AKG microphones is that they give a certain life to the recording,” said KNAGUI. “They have a distinct flavor when they pick up the sound, but unlike microphones from some other brands, it’s not so dominant that the microphones only have specific uses. Therefore, the placement is flexible and allows us to bring out the unique qualities of the band.”

The drummer enjoyed a setup of three microphones that covered the overhead, kick and bass, thanks to a cardioid configuration with AKG C12A microphones, which according to KNAGUI is a “modern and realistic approach to the sound. Rather than providing a microphone for each drum, this setup allows the drummer to “be the drummer” and showcase his finesse and proficiency.”

The C12A were the favorite microphones of Caso’s inventory, and also his first choice for the acoustic guitars, providing certain “softness without the dullness. Also, they are able to capture the sounds of electric guitars effectively, which are usually notoriously difficult to record with condenser microphones,” Caso said. “So far, only the AKG C12A and 414 microphones were able to do so!”

While recording the band’s EP this past January, the D12 and D112 microphones were used on the kick drum, while the C12A and 414 were used on the hi-hat and cymbals, providing excellent balance and a natural reproduction of sound in the studio.

“When Cre5cendo was looking for a modern sound with a rock-centric and open approach, I knew the choice and use of microphones would be essential,” said Caso. “This is why AKG’s established heritage in sound is greatly appreciated by me and the band.”

For more information on Cre5cendo, please visit www.facebook.com/cre5cendo

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

Strictly Audio STL Counts on HARMAN’s Soundcraft Si Expression Consoles For Regional Festivals

ST. LOUIS, Missouri – Running a small production company in the heart of Missouri, the owner of Strictly Audio STL Bob Walther provides his services to cover local festivals from St. Louis all the way to southern Illinois. While his HARMAN Soundcraft Si Expression 3 console is temporarily installed alongside the integrated HARMAN audio system at the Atomic Cowboy nightclub, his newly purchased Si Expression 2 is responsible for mixing the sound at some of his region’s most popular festivals.

The owners of the nightclub, which has a capacity of 700 people, were sold on the fact that the Si Expression’s core functions can be remotely controlled via the Soundcraft ViSi Remote 2.0 iPad app. This added functionality allows the 32-channel Si Expression 3 console to be stored away behind a barricaded space, freeing up precious room for customers, while the operator roams free through the crowd.

Besides the console, the audio system at the Atomic Cowboy features one JBL STX825 loudspeaker on each side of the stage and two SRX728S subwoofers under the stage, powered by two Crown I-Tech 6000 amplifiers, as well as three JBL SRX712M monitors powered by two Crown XTI2002 amplifiers. The sound is further enhanced by a dbx DriveRack, which provides optimum control of equalization and loudspeaker management.

“The evening after the installation was completed, a show took place that exceeded the expectations of the club owners and myself,” said Walther. “I knew that going with a full HARMAN setup would eliminate guesswork and result in good synergy, but we couldn’t believe how good the system sounded right out of the box. The owners praised the equipment that was chosen for the club, as the clarity and detail were fantastic. The Crown amplifiers provided plenty of headroom at front of house and the monitors made the band very happy.”

“I was pleased with the performance and audio fidelity of the Si Expression 3, which were my main reasons for purchasing a Si Expression 2,” Walther added. “The Si Expression Series remains far better than anything else within this price range. The lower channel count of the Si Expression 2 is more than sufficient for most of our local festivals and events, whereas the Si Expression 3 is used for regional touring groups, when not in use at the Atomic Cowboy.”

Having cut his teeth on analog equipment, Walther is averse to the cluttered menus found on some of the digital consoles in today’s market. However, the Soundcraft Si Expression consoles are designed with an appreciation for common sense; features such as FaderGlow™, the illuminated and color-coded fader-strip, speed up workflow and improve efficiency of operation.

“This console translates so well from the analog world, because it is designed in a very logical fashion,” Walther stated. “With some digital mixers out there, I almost feel like I’m translating a foreign language when attempting a live mix. With the Si Expression, I don’t even have to look at my hands, thanks to FaderGlow and the intuitive layout. Also, the onboard effects and compressors eliminated the need for a 4-foot-tall effects rack, which saved me a lot of room in the truck.”

Walther has recently used the Si Expression 2 in events such as the annual Crawfish Boil in downtown, where Cajun food is accompanied by a healthy dose of local musical acts. The Si Expression 3 temporarily installed in the nightclub will enjoy more spectacles such as the upcoming Mound City Music Fest over the weekend.

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

Professional Performance Meets Affordability with HARMAN’s AKG Project Studio Microphone Line

AKG Perception P120

VIENNA, Austria – Building on almost 70 years of experience in developing world-class microphone technology, HARMAN’s AKG is adding five new models to its Project Studio line of microphones. The new models are designed for enthusiasts and professionals alike, meeting the needs of makeshift project studios as well as professional environments.

The Project Studio line was built on AKG’s heritage of technical excellence and was developed in collaboration with some of the audio industry’s top professionals. The new Project Studio microphones deliver historical premium AKG sound quality in a classically designed series. “As more and more manufacturers continue to enter the marketplace, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for end-users to identify the best microphones for their needs,” said Erich Gaertner, Product Line Manager, AKG. “Therefore, we chose to update the Project Studio line with professional-grade microphones at accessible prices, thereby making it easier for our customers to find the perfect microphone to meet their demands. Thanks to AKG’s depth of research and development resources, the new Project Studio line of microphones are both high-quality and affordable.”

The new additions to the Project Studio line include: the P120 general purpose recording microphone; the P170 general purpose instrument microphone; the P220 large-diaphragm true condenser microphone; the P420 large-diaphragm dual-capsule true condenser microphone; and the P820 dual-capsule tube microphone.

The P120 is a 2/3-inch diaphragm true condenser microphone that offers durability, outstanding performance and excellent value. The low-mass diaphragm delivers a clear sound with accurate sonic detail for vocals, speech and instrument recording in project studios and for home recording.

The P170 is a small-diaphragm condenser microphone for recording of overheads, percussions, acoustic guitars and other strings. Its lightweight half-inch true condenser transducer diaphragm delivers outstanding clarity and transient response. The P170 utilizes the experience of sound engineers from around the world and is considered an affordable alternative to the legendary AKG C451 B.

The P220 is a large-diaphragm true condenser microphone offering a warm and clear sound for lead vocals, acoustic guitar and brass instruments. A switchable bass-cut filter and attenuation pad make it perfectly suited for use on loud sound sources with sound pressure levels up to 155dB SPL. The rugged and roadworthy design also makes the P220 a perfect choice for on-stage applications. The P220 represents the most popular and successful microphone within the actual Project Studio Line. It comes complete with a spider-type shock mount in an aluminum carrying case.

The P420 is a multi-pattern large diaphragm true condenser microphone for demanding project studio recording applications. Offering high sensitivity and 155dB maximum SPL, the P420 delivers a warm, transparent sound quality perfectly suited for ensemble recording, grand piano, woodwind and brass instruments, as well as drums and percussion. With three selectable polar patterns—cardioid, omnidirectional or figure 8—it is an ideal tool for stereo miking techniques and ambient recording.

The P820 Tube high-performance multi-pattern tube microphone is an excellent tool for highlighting lead vocals, brass instruments, electric guitars and drums. With its dual one-inch diaphragm capsule and the advanced ECC83 dual-triode circuitry, the P820 Tube delivers real tube sound and raises the bar in its class of affordable tube microphones.

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

Christie Previews First 4K Laser Illuminated 3-Chip DLP Projector Running at True 120HZ

Christie® is previewing the latest addition of its Mirage 4K platform, the Christie Mirage 4KLH. This new model builds on all the benefits of the Mirage platform, but adds Christie Solid State Laser illumination technology, driving a new range of brightness and flexibility. The Mirage 4K platform is ideal for 3D applications for advanced visualization in automotive, location-based entertainment, government, military, oil and gas and more.

Christie laser projectors provide industry-leading brightness, wider color gamut capabilities, higher contrast, and dramatically reduced maintenance requirements, resulting in a better experience for all 2D and 3D applications.

Christie Mirage 4KLH laser 3-chip DLP® projector at true 120Hz

The Mirage 4KLH supports both full 120Hz active stereo and passive stereo with optional external filters and polarized passive glasses with 3P illumination. The Mirage 4KLH system is also configurable with Christie’s latest 6P illumination source, providing support for an unprecedented 120Hz per eye when used in a 6P passive configuration.

Like the existing lamp based Mirage 4K projectors, the Mirage 4KLH is anchored by the unique Christie TruLife™ electronics platform with proprietary 1.2 Gigapixel per second, floating point architecture, offering full 4096 by 2160 resolution at 120Hz for 3D and integrated Christie Twist for warping and blending. The preview of the Mirage 4KLH takes place in the Christie 3D showroom located adjacent to the IVR conference at the Tokyo Big Sight, Japan’s largest exhibition technology and high definition image technology, June 25-27.

“Christie, as the global leader in the visualization market has the first and only projector in the world to provide full 4K DLP® resolution at a true 120Hz. With this new Mirage 4KLH, Christie has raised the benchmark even higher with high performance visualization solutions currently available on the market,” said Larry Paul, senior director of Technology and Visualization Solutions, Christie.

Mamoru Hanzawa, director of Christie Digital Systems, Japan, added, “Christie designs the most functionally-advanced and intuitive 3D projection for visualization display solutions. Enhancing the Mirage 4K with laser illumination will expand the capabilities for new applications. Christie once again is demonstrating its leadership position and dedication to customers with solutions and services that our customers have come to expect. Our mission at Christie is to help our customers create the world’s best shared experiences.”

By introducing the world’s first stereoscopic 3-chip DLP® projector in 2001, Christie set new standards for 3D performance and changed the way people looked at stereoscopic images. For 12 years Christie has led numerous Mirage innovations to facilitate the use of 3D visualization for multiple applications, including visualization of advanced computer-generated models, and presentation of engaging content at location-based entertainment venues, opening the doors to enhanced human perception and understanding.

Mastering Engineer Eric Boulanger Extolls the Benefits of SADiE’s New Mastering Toolkit

The new mastering features that SADiE has incorporated into its popular SADiE 6 editing and production software have been hailed as a major improvement by internationally acclaimed mastering engineer Eric Boulanger – not least because they are saving him an enormous amount of time.

Eric Boulanger is based at the world famous The Mastering Lab (TML), which was America’s first independent mastering facility when it was opened in 1967 by Doug Sax. Originally in Hollywood but now based on Ojai, California, TML remains a revolutionary state-of-the-art company that uses unique concepts of signal flow and electronics pioneered by Doug’s brother, Sherwood Sax. All of its custom electronics and console are all purpose designed and handcrafted, and this attention to detail has earned TML more Grammy nominations for engineering than any other mastering facility.

As well as being an eminent mastering engineer, Boulanger is also responsible for ensuring TML’s custom analogue equipment stays in tip-top shape. In keeping with TML’s pioneering spirit, Boulanger was the first Mastering Engineer to produce a ‘Mastered for iTunes’ release (in 2011) – a format that is now the mainstay for all major record label releases on iTunes thanks to the popularity of digital downloads.

When Boulanger isn’t working, he lets his creativity loose in the studio as a professional violinist. He is also on the Steering Committee of NARAS, the GRAMMYs Producers & Engineers Wing.

Boulanger has been a SADiE user since 2007 when he started working at TML.

“We have five operational systems that range from the early Artemis to our current SADiE 6.1 systems,” he says. “These are our workhorses, but when we are working with DSD, we use an older SADiE 5 DSD8, which is still the finest DSD editor I’ve encountered.”

TML’s decision to upgrade its SADiE 6 software to the latest version, which includes the new mastering tools, came as a result of changes within the music business. Boulanger explains: “These days, artists and labels are mainly releasing Hi-res files (for example HDTracks); MFiTs, 16Bit digital downloads, and (maybe) CDs. Thanks to the new mastering features in SADiE 6, I can generate all of these files with just a few clicks of the mouse. The new software will also generate WAV file masters that are cut gapless and therefore maintain any track spacing, or fancy crossfades between tracks (like Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, for example, or a live concert with applause segues). Now all the different products will match track length, etc.”

The main benefit the new version of SADiE 6 has brought to Boulanger’s workflow is time saving.

“It is literally saving me hours and hours of production time because I no longer have to recreate separate EDLs and jump through hoops to create WAV bounces that match other sample rate or CD products,” he says. “I also don’t have to bounce grouped clips with extra space tagged on to maintain correct gapless track spacing.”

Boulanger adds that, thanks to the efforts of the European Broadcasting Union and the UK Music Producers Guild, SADiE 6 also supports Broadcast WAV, an extended WAV format that allows ISRC codes to be embedded into the XML Metadata of WAV files.

“This is a solid step forward in making WAV file masters a professional format,” Boulanger says. “Prior to getting this new software I had to manually rename files – and, of course, there was no possibility of including ISRC codes in the metadata.”

Since installing the latest version of SADie 6, Boulanger has been working on various albums, all of which have benefitted from the speed at which he can now turn project around.

“The day I received the new features, I was working on a popular Christian group’s live album,” he says. “They had attended the session and were in a rush to make a flight, so I gave the new features a whirl since there were many edits and crossfades to create the live album experience. To my delight, everything worked perfectly right off the bat, and the band made their flight, masters in hand.”

Boulanger, who has worked with artists such as Eric Burdon, Colbie Caillat, OneRepublic, The Plain White T’s, Serena Ryder, Chris Botti, Sarah Jarosz, and Jackson Browne, has most recently finished an album with multiple formats for singer Anais Mitchell. Produced and mixed by Gary Paczosa, it will be released on Wilderland Records later this year.

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About Prism Sound
Founded in 1987, Prism Sound manufacture high-quality professional digital audio equipment for the International broadcast, film, music production, manufacturing and telecommunications sectors. The range now includes SADiE digital audio workstations and location recorders. Prism Sound also manufactures audio test and measurement products such as the DSA-1 and the dScope Series III audio analyzer.

For more information please visit www.sadie.com or www.prismsound.com

HARMAN Brands Unite To Power Up Dierks Bentley’s 2014 RISER TOUR

Photo Credit: Tim Duggan

GLENDALE, California — Country music star Dierks Bentley is currently out headlining his 2014 RISER TOUR through the fall with VER Tour Sound supplying the audio reinforcement system featuring HARMAN’s JBL VTX line arrays and Crown I-Tech HD amplifiers. In addition, Christie Lites is providing a full Martin rig for the dynamic lighting system, highlighted by MAC Quantum fixtures.

The audio system features a left-right hang of 16 JBL VTX V25 line array loudspeakers per side, with six VTX S28 subwoofers per side in cardioid configuration. For side fill, VER has supplied supplying eight V25 loudspeakers per side, along with six G28 ground-stacked subwoofers per side. Powering the V25 loudspeakers are Crown I-Tech 4×3500 HD amplifiers, with I-Tech 12000 HD amps powering the subwoofers.

“Dierks really combines country and rock together and this show is very much like a rock and roll production,” said Chance Stahlhut, Account Manager, Tour Sound, VER. “At the same time, he’s true to his musical roots and the country element comes through in his performances.”

FOH Engineer James “Pugsley” McDermott has been working with Bentley for approximately nine years, and on this tour is working with monitor engineer Scott Tatter, system engineer Kennith Sellars, and RF tech Ashley Zapar. “With Dierks, how it sounds on stage is exactly how he wants it to sound out in the audience,” McDermott said. “He knows his crowd and he wants it to be an energetic show. He’s spent a lot of time putting the show together and he keeps you on your toes as an engineer. He’s the kind of client you want: someone who will push you to be as good as you can be and will make sure you’re always on your game.”

In his approach to mixing Bentley’s shows, McDermott’s priority is finding the perfect balance. “I treat this as a true rock and roll setup,” he said. “I want to mix to my audience, so if the crowd is loud I want to be just as loud. I want the first downbeat of the very first song to knock people back, to be impactful and surprising. That way the people know they’re in for a high-energy show. The PA and console are my instruments in that regard.”

McDermott added that he has worked with JBL throughout his entire career. “I’ve seen their products evolve over several decades and I’ve spent the past five years working with every loudspeaker you can name,” he said. “I’ve never had issues with JBL because I always know what to expect. They’re workhorse products in this industry.”

McDermott first heard the VTX system two years ago and was impressed, to say the least. “I think it’s an accumulation of line array concepts and processing and drivers and design working together to get a good product,” he said. “It’s not too heavy, you can fly it in most places; you can hang more boxes compared to other speakers. I love the top end of it, I think it’s the most brilliant sounding speaker that JBL has developed.”

“The VTX is just a really great box, it’s very consistent and we’ve had great results with it,” Stahlhut said.

On the lighting side, Chris Reade, Lighting Designer for Dierks Bentley, uses Martin’s MAC 2000 Wash, MAC 700 Profile, MAC Viper Profile, MAC Aura and MAC Quantum, all provided by Rod “Red” Gibson of Christie Lites. The Lighting Crew Chief is Marc “Chainsaw” Wuchter and the Production Designer is Bruce Rodgers of Tribe, Inc.

Reade mentioned that he was impressed right away with the MAC Quantum after seeing it at the LDI trade show in November, and decided he wanted to make it the workhorse in his rig. “The Quantum has powerful looks that can be used in a dramatic fashion,” Reade continued. “This fantastic set and video design by Bruce Rogers has big rock and roll features, but also some subtle theatrical elements as well. It was fun to work together with Bruce, and together make the complete design with the Quantums in mind.”

“The Quantum light has a lot of effect possibilities and narrowing it down to get powerful, unique looks, without overdoing it was a challenge,” Reade said. “I believe effects are more powerful if they are not used over and over throughout a show.”

“The Quantum is a great pairing with the Viper because the output is amazing, and after I showed Reade the fixture at LDI, we immediately found a way to incorporate it into his design,” said Gibson. “Reade and the Dierks Bentley tour have been great, loyal clients. We work well together and I always try to provide him with the latest products. I gave him the Auras a couple years ago and then the Vipers last year, and I’m proud to say that he is now one of the first tours with the Quantums!”

Reade mentioned that the MAC Viper is a powerhouse, being extremely bright and very fast with great optics and color mixing; it’s his number one choice.

Reade also said he enjoys the MAC Auras as well and typically uses them in groups to add to the effect, while the MAC 700 Profile is used for front key lights to provide a great look. He also uses the standard MAC 2000 Wash for color wash and punchy stabs when they are zoomed in.

“The reactions have been amazing,” Reade added. “Everything came together really well between all the departments, it was a great collaborative effort. I think we’ve been able to create something powerful and unique, and I’m really proud to be a part of this. I think the Quantums get a great reaction from the audience when they go from being used as a wash light to then being used as an effect. It’s pretty cool and unexpected and to be able to quickly transform from one type to another is pretty incredible.”

“The support from Martin has been outstanding,” Gibson said. “Grif Palmer was a huge help in making sure we had the Quantums in time for the start of the tour, and we couldn’t be happier!”

Photo Credit: Tim Duggan

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

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SSL Live Hits Summer Festivals with The Killers

“This console is the most analogue-correct digital console; it sounds phenomenal”

SAN FRANCISCO – Following The Killers’ wildly successful 2013 Battle Born world tour, performing in 50 countries and headlining arenas on six continents – including a sold-out Wembley Stadium show for which they wrote The Wembley Song – the Las Vegas-based phenomenon is back on the road this summer in support of their Direct Hits greatest hits compilation. With appearances at North American and U.K. music festivals, the band’s FOH engineer, Kenny Kaiser, is delivering their chart toppers with help from the new SSL Live console.

Kaiser works for Delicate Productions of Camarillo, California, serving as PA tech or system tech for Selena Gomez, Train and as monitor tech and crew chief for The Foo Fighters, among others. After moving to the Killers’ camp last year, he took over the helm for their 2014 tour. However, Kaiser was not fond of their previous FOH console and knew instantly that he’d need to make a switch.

“Delicate is a great partner of Hi-Tech Audio [supplier of the SSL Live console for the tour] in San Francisco, where I’m based,” he says. “Louis Adamo, president of Hi-Tech, called to say they had a new SSL console, so I went down and played with it. I found it fluid and the surface very intuitive. I also had a chance to take a class for engineers and production companies. After I took the class, I found the console even more intriguing. One thing that stuck in my mind was actually taking it apart and looking inside at how it’s made – it’s built like a tank. Plus, with the name SSL, you can’t go wrong; that’s a great name in consoles.”

As Kaiser is part of a new breed of engineers, The Killers’ previous mix platform just wasn’t his style. “There was too much button pushing to get to certain places and it was too spread out,” he continues. “There were fader banks on either side, so I had to do a lot of left and right movements. With Live, it’s more centralized. I don’t have to move around the console and I can stay in one spot, hit one button and quickly do what I need to do.”

Kaiser, who will occasionally use other consoles for events supported by Delicate, finds SSL Live to be more convenient to work on due to its flexibility and the manner in which an engineer can customize the fader banks. “It’s very intuitive and user-friendly,” he adds. “There are a lot of options as to how you can set up SSL Live.”

The accuracy of the console also stood out to Kaiser. “Because my background is a system tech, I’m an audio measurement and phase dork,” he explains. “Some engineers might have an eight or 10 dB boost or cut on an EQ band and my thought, if you have to do that, is that something is wrong – either the wrong mic or the console isn’t doing what the engineer needs. I now find that certain things I used to do, I don’t have to do anymore because the EQ does what it says its doing. When you’re on the first band and you want a cut at 120 Hz, it actually does 120. Some consoles say they’re doing 120, but then when you actually plug it in and check, it’s not quite there. Sometimes the Q isn’t quite what it says; with this console, it’s precise.”

Another big hit was Live’s onboard effects. “Everything is built-in, the reverbs sound glorious and it’s all on board,” says Kaiser. “I don’t have to go out and buy a console and then say, ‘Okay, now I need some external piece of software or hardware to get what I want.’ Everything I need is right there in one box to make the sound how I need to make it, which makes my job easier.”

But it doesn’t just stop at the effects, the console’s all-pass filters were also a big selling point for Kaiser. “As a system tech, I use all-pass filters to align side hangs to the mains,” he explains. “Being able to have that on inputs to align a pair of kick or snare drum mics is a huge tool to get the phase just right.”

Kaiser also mentions the clarity and distinctness that each instrument has in his mix. “On other consoles, once you start adding more stuff, you hear them start to overload and hear the coherence start to go away, but not with the SSL Live. SSL definitely did their homework to make it sound as analogue as possible. This console is the most analogue-correct digital console I’ve ever encountered. It sounds phenomenal.”

The Killers recently headlined the Hangout Festival on the sandy beaches of Gulf Shores, Alabama where the console was put to the true test of the weather. Kaiser notes, “despite the heat, high humidity, wind and sandstorms that we encountered that weekend, the console was just great.”

Solid State Logic is the world’s leading manufacturer of analogue and digital audio consoles and provider of creative tools for music, broadcast, live and post production professionals. For more information about our award-winning products, please visit: www.solidstatelogic.com.

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