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Archive of the New Products Category

Matrox to Feature Multi-channel SDI Card for 4K and Live Streaming and Recording Products at Inter BEE 2014

X.mio3 OEM card, VS4Recorder Pro multi-camera recording app and Monarch HD streaming/recording appliance to be showcased

At Inter BEE 2014 (Chiba City, Japan, Nov. 19-21, Hall 6, Booth 6302), Matrox® Video and local distributor Japan Material will feature the X.mio3 family of high-performance, multi-channel SDI cards for developers, the new VS4Recorder Pro™ multi-camera recording and multiviewer app and the popular Matrox Monarch™ HD video streaming and recording appliance.

Also on display will be the Matrox Mojito™ 4K video monitoring card, the Matrox MicroQuad™ multiviewer, the Matrox Convert™ DVI Plus scan converter, the Matrox MXO2™ family of editing devices and the Matrox MC-100™ SDI to HDMI mini converter.

Matrox X.mio3 PCIe cards offer developers up to 12 reconfigurable I/Os, from SD to 4K, along with support for AES/EBU, LTC and GPIO. Multi-channel hardware processing accelerates compute-intensive operations including motion-adaptive de-interlacing, up/down/cross scaling and mixing/compositing for all resolutions including 4K. The cards provide the ideal hardware platform for OEMs who need to create advanced yet compact channel-in-a-box systems, video servers, broadcast graphics systems, encoders, transcoders, multiviewers, switchers and other digital media equipment. Comprehensive development tools in the Matrox DSX SDKs for Windows® or Linux® include versatile file reading/writing, memory management, streaming synchronization, and a large selection of effects and software codecs including ProRes encode/decode and XAVC decode in UHD. A prototyping tool provides a graphical representation of all hardware components so developers can simulate and test their use cases within minutes, before writing a single line of code. From a single development effort, broadcast equipment manufacturers can create a variety of products at a full range of price/performance levels.
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Designed for use with Matrox VS4™ quad HD capture cards, each VS4Recorder Pro system frame-accurately captures up to four video and audio inputs to create files for use with popular editing apps from Adobe, Apple and Avid and for archiving. H.264 is provided in either MOV or MP4 wrappers. AVI files can be created using the high-quality Matrox MPEG 2 I-Frame codec. MOV QuickTime files can be created using DV, DVCPRO, DVCPRO50 and DVCPRO HD. VS4Recorder Pro also functions as a multiviewer, offering pristine video quality even when monitoring interlaced sources on progressive computer monitors. VS4-based systems are also ideal for multi-camera live production streaming with Telestream® Wirecast® for Windows® or StudioCoast vMix software.
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Matrox Monarch HD is a small, easy-to-use H.264 encoder designed for professional video producers who need to simultaneously stream a live event and record a mastering-quality version for post-event editing. From any HDMI input source such as a camera or switcher, Matrox Monarch HD generates an H.264-encoded stream compliant with RTSP or RTMP protocol. While encoding the video at bitrates suitable for live streaming, Matrox Monarch HD simultaneously records a high-quality MP4 or MOV file to an SD card, a USB drive, or a network-mapped drive. The Monarch SDK, an HTTP-based API, includes documentation and sample code that let AV and broadcast equipment developers write applications to configure and control Monarch HD streaming capabilities, giving them a very straightforward way to include a high-quality webcasting service as part of their overall product offerings. Monarch HD can also be integrated with a Crestron® controller, which allows operators to easily start and stop streaming and recording from within the familiar Crestron interface.
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About Matrox Video
Matrox Video is a technology and market leader in the field of 4K, HD and SD digital video hardware and software for accelerated H.264 encoding, realtime editing, audio/video input/output, streaming, A/V signal conversion, capture/playout servers, channel-in-a-box systems and CGs. Matrox’s Emmy award-winning technology powers a full range of multi-screen content creation and delivery platforms used by broadcasters, telcos, cable operators, post-production facilities, live event producers, videographers and A/V professionals worldwide. Founded in 1976, Matrox is a privately held company headquartered in Montreal, Canada. For more information, visit www.matrox.com/video.

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At full speed: The Art of Light uses wysiwyg for Armin Only – Intense world tour

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wysiwyg enables a spectacle for each and every visitor

The Art of Light, a Netherlands-based creative light designing, programming and operating company, used wysiwyg version R33 to previsualize lighting design and effects for DJ Armin van Buuren and his ‘Armin Only – Intense’ worldwide tour.

“A completely original lighting design was designed by Marc Heinz. The Art of Light was in charge for all the programming and used wysiwyg R33 to previsualize the tour,” said André Beekmans, founder of The Art of Light.

“Because the design includes 388 moving lights, 67 strobes, 100 LED fixtures and some conventional lighting, we needed to pre-program the lighting design in our studio before we started the rehearsals. The 6 hour show includes 25 timecode tracks including live performances and dancers.

“wysiwyg is realistic and reliable. When used in combination with all paperwork and drawings, it proved to be a really powerful previsualization tool for Armin Only – Intense,” enthused André Beekmans.

The Art of Light was established by André Beekmans in 2011. Today, a highly skilled design and engineering team works on the biggest, brightest and technically complex high profile events around the world. Their scope includes a number of world firsts including all shows for Hardwell, Afrojack and Armin van Buuren. Festivals such as Dance Valley, Tomorrowland, Amsterdam Music Festival and tours including A State of Trance, Revealed and Fusion Cube.

“The projects that we work on are inspired by creativity and we are always pushing the boundaries of what can be achieved with lighting. In saying this, we rely on wysiwyg previsualization to see, to tweak, to test, to cue as well as to provide to clients and the contractors, technicians and musicians we work with. Watch this space as there are many more spectacular events on the horizon.”

Images: © The Art of Light.

http://theartoflight.nl/

About CAST Software
Established in 1994, Toronto Canadian-based software and hardware developer, CAST Software celebrates its 20th year in business in 2014. CAST Software serves its core markets in entertainment production, special events and meetings. Its award winning flagship software products are wysiwyg design and previsualization suite, and Vivien — Event Designer. All products are designed and created in-house and supported by an established global distribution and reseller network.

CAST Software Ltd. is a member of the CAST Group of Companies Inc.

www.cast-soft.com

PESA XSTREAM C22 Compact Streaming System Now Shipping, Delivers Customized Content Sharing Between Facilities

Huntsville, Alabama – PESA, a leading designer and manufacturer of professional audio and video distribution solutions, is now shipping the PESA XSTREAM C22 compact streaming system. As part of a larger hybrid broadcast system or standalone streaming appliance, the C22 allows AV professionals to compress, stream and share high-quality content. Two units can also be paired to allow bi-directional live interaction between sites.

According to John T. Wright, senior vice president of sales and business PESA XSTREAM C22 Front JPEGdevelopment, the first C22 units have been delivered to a current PESA customer and will be used to facilitate mission critical live streaming between two geographically separated sites within the United States.

“The PESA XSTREAM C22 is a great solution for sharing content between facilities, because its two video streams can be PESA XSTREAM C22 Front JPEGtailored for a variety of applications,” he added. “That level of flexibility, combined with its dollar-to-stream value, makes the C22 a very appealing solution for a number of markets.”

The latest addition to the PESA XSTREAM family of multi-channel HD IP streaming devices, the C22 can be configured as a two port video encoder or two port decoder, or can include one of each. It includes HDMI, coax and Ethernet (IP-based camera) video inputs, and optional SFP modules allow multiple configurations (fiber, HD-BNC, A-to-D and more) for expanded connectivity. During an event, two external audio sources can be synchronized to either or both video streams.

Video signals can be locked to an external source using built-in frame sync for glitch-free video switching in broadcast and pro AV applications. An HDMI out allows for local preview, while an integrated Web server provides full remote control, so no personnel are required on site for streaming content to another facility.

About PESA
As a leading provider of audio/video (A/V) Baseband and IP connectivity products, PESA offers a wide selection of multi-path streaming products, routing switchers, matrix switchers, extenders, converters, media extenders, and signal processing gear to support government, military, industrial, commercial, medical, broadcast, and mobile truck applications. From large to small-scale A/V routing and extender products to multiple IP streaming appliances, PESA offers a diverse suite of AV products, all of which are supported by 24/7 technical support. PESA is located in Huntsville, Ala., with regional sales offices throughout North America and China. Our cost effective solutions are available around the world through our industry leading team of Channel Partners offering local support and installation. All products mentioned herein are trademarked property. Learn more about us at www.pesa.com. Follow us on Twitter: @PESA_ONLINE.

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Control Everything From Anywhere with the All-New Mackie DL32R™ Digital Live Sound Mixer

Delivering complete wireless control of a powerful 32-channel digital mixing platform

MAC-1DL32R_main copyWOODINVILLE, WA, USA – OCTOBER 15, 2014 – Mackie today introduces a powerful new 32-channel digital mixing system completely controlled wirelessly from Mackie’s intuitive Master Fader iPad® app, freeing users to get in the mix like never before — the DL32R 32-Channel Wireless Digital Mixer with iPad Control. Featuring complete wireless control over everything, including fully-loaded DSP and multi-track recording/playback, you can control everything from anywhere with the DL32R.

“Early on, Mackie believed that we can bring the user incredible benefits if we just let go of old conventions,” commented Ben Olswang, Mackie Senior Product Manager. “By ensuring that each and every feature can be controlled wirelessly without compromise, we are delivering benefits to users that were simply not possible before now.”

The Mackie DL32R features a mix of flexible, professional I/O in an ultra-compact 3U rackmount design. Each of the 32 inputs (24 XLR, 8 XLR/TRS combo) feature Mackie’s all-new Onyx+ recallable mic preamps, with remote control over preamp gain and phantom power. The new Onyx+ preamps outperform the industry-proven Onyx design, which has garnered rave reviews for its boutique-quality sound and performance.

“You get frequency response that goes all the way down to 20Hz within 1dB at all gain settings,” remarked Olswang. “Noise is minimized at every gain setting, not just minimum and maximum like other mixers. Designed for the rigid standards of professional live sound, DL32R’s gain changes are completely silent.”

 Fully-assignable using the Master Fader control app, there are 14 XLR outputs great for anything from stage monitors to matrix outputs. The front panel also features a stereo AES digital output for connecting gear like speaker processors. A dedicated stereo monitor output is ideal for connecting an in-ear monitor system for detailed listening from anywhere in the venue.

With complete wireless control of the system using Mackie’s Master Fader iPad app, a new world of mixing possibilities opens up. There is no longer any need for a fixed FOH position. Place the mixer where it works best — be it next to the stage, backstage or even tucked away in a utility closet. This can also eliminate the need for an expensive, bulky analog snake.The DL32R does away with troublesome FOH positions such as under a balcony, behind a pillar, etc.  The user can tune the room right from the problem spots and get on stage to ring out monitors or work with the band to dial in the perfect monitor mix.

Multiple engineers can work wirelessly from a single DL32R mixer using their own iOS device, including monitor engineers and performers who wish to control their own monitor mixes. The lead engineer can apply access limiting to additional control devices, keeping the user from making unwanted changes.

Multi-track recording and playback are critical for professional applications and the DL32R features two flexible methods for multi-track recording and playback. The first of these is direct to USB hard drive, which is currently a 48 kHz, 24-bit, 24 input by 24 output platform. This will be expanded soon to 32×32 via a free firmware update. The direct-to-disk option delivers unprecedented wireless control over your multi-track recording and playback

“Just connect a USB hard drive loaded with your media directly to the DL32R and you can control it all from anywhere in the venue,” remarks Olswang. “It’s an amazing way to control things like backing tracks and intermission music all while recording the show. Plus, who wants to run back and forth to a separate recording rig?”

An additional USB 2.0 computer audio interface is available for 32×32 recording and playback that can directly connect with any DAW, great for studio applications and rehearsal spaces. Both methods provide the ability to record the band and perform a virtual soundcheck at the next show. This is a powerful and professional way to dial in a mix at any venue.

 The DL32R is loaded with powerful DSP that eliminates the need for racks of expensive outboard processing. Each of the 32 inputs features a 4-band parametric EQ with a separate high-pass filter plus gating and compression. Four return channels feature dedicated EQ and compression. Each of the 14 aux sends, six matrix busses and main L/R busses feature a 4-band parametric EQ, 31-band GEQ, a compressor limiter and alignment delay. Six subgroups feature EQ and compression. Each processor features Modern and Vintage voicing options, delivering sonic choice to the user. Three separate effects processors with dedicated sends allow for two reverbs and one delay with tap control. 6 VCAs and 6 Mute Groups round out the processing.

“Only the DL32R delivers professional mixing tools like VCAs, subgroups and matrix busses at this price point,” comments Olswang. “And there’s no configuration or tradeoffs. Every input and output has all the processing you need for your professional application.”

Designed from the ground up for live sound, Mackie’s Master Fader iPad app delivers total wireless control over the DL32R. True to Mackie’s ongoing commitment to creating mixers that are extremely easy to learn and to master, Master Fader provides fast navigation and very powerful tools for mixing 32-channels of audio.

“One of the most powerful features of Master Fader is our user-definable view groups,” remarks Olswang. “Simply select the channels for each of the six view groups to easily switch between things like drums, guitars or vocals. This means no swiping and no remembering what bank to select. Just go right to what you need.”

Master Fader is loaded with a wide array of factory presets that are ideal for novice users and a great starting point for any professional, requiring little to no tweaking depending on the application. Users can also create their own custom presets, simplifying and minimizing setup when working with common and familiar sources. There’s also the ability to share these presets via email or Dropbox, which is a powerful new tool for the Mackie mixing community. Plus, with frequent and simple App Store updates, Master Fader will get better over time with more features planned for the future.

“With the Mackie DL32R, you control everything from anywhere. You get the freedom to mix how you want, where you want and get results that truly benefit the audience,” concludes Olswang.

The new Mackie DL32R 32-Channel Wireless Digital Mixer with iPad Control will be available worldwide in Q4, 2014. The DL32R will have a U.S. MSRP of $2499.99.

The Master Fader app is available for free download from the App Store.

The My Fader app is available through iTunes.

For more information, visit http://www.mackie.com/DL32R

iPad is a registered trademark of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.
Wi-Fi router and iPad required for operation. Not included.

 

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CIFAP Installs NETIA Radio-Assist Radio Automation System to Support Highly Competitive Training Program

Leading Audiovisual Training Center Chooses to Teach on the Same Radio-Assist Software Used by Top-Tier Radio Broadcasters more

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New Clear Series 2 HDMI Packaging from ICE Cable Systems Blends Retail Beauty with Custom AV Functionality

Los Angeles, CA – October 14, 2014 – ICE Cable logo_webICE Cable Systems, a leading manufacturer of premium low-voltage wire and cable products, has begun shipping its Clear Series 2 HDMI cables in smart new packaging that makes a great first impression and benefits the installation process (storing, jobsite and client presentation phases).

”Most wire and cable companies in the custom channel ship their HDMI cables in clear bags which are either heat-sealed or zip-locked,” says ICE Cable Systems President Brian Rizzo.

”Integrators prefer bags because they can easily be stored in a work truck where space is a premium. The problem is that they look like sandwich baggies; this doesn’t make for a great presentation to your client.”

”We set out to design a bag that has an upscale feel while offering enhanced functionality,” furthers Rizzo. “We landed on a re-sealable package that with its lush artwork and glossy-coating captures the premium look-and-feel that ICE Cable Systems is recognized for, while also incorporating hang-holes for an impressive presentation at retail.”

”From a functionality perspective, we incorporated a really tough plastic exterior that can take a beating and protect against water damage too. All these features combined make for a bag that exceeds the daily demands of the integrator,” concludes Rizzo.

The company’s Clear Series 2 HDMI cables in lengths from .5 to 30 meters are available in the new packaging at no additional up-charge.

ICE Cable Systems' new Clear Series 2 HDMI Packaging

ICE Cable Systems’ new Clear Series 2 HDMI Packaging

For more information please contact ICE Cable Systems at 310.444.1950.

About ICE Cable Systems
Founded in 2004 by president Brian Rizzo, ICE Cable Systems is a leading manufacturer of premium low-voltage wire and cable products serving the Audio Video, Alarm and Security, Commercial, Electrical Contracting and Data Center channels. The company’s products are available to integrators both directly and through more than 50 distributors in North America and internationally. ICE Cable’s success is driven by ingenuity and its desire to make superior products that offer more value to installers. www.icecable.com

Atlanta-Based Composer/Sound Designer Feels ‘At Home’ With Yamaha NUAGE

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BUENA PARK, Calif.—John Penn is an independent film/music composer, 3D sound designer, producer, media-tech entrepreneur, and owner of Undercurrent Labs, the company he founded in 2011. Part of the Atlanta tech community, the company is focused on virtual and augmented reality and content development for web and mobile applications. Working with several innovative companies that are pushing the boundaries on immersive surround, a networked infrastructure is key to the Company’s development. A software and content development company, it is focused on enterprise mobile apps for the MedTech and streaming video markets, and also currently developing augmented reality and location aware technology for mobile devices to help medical device manufacturers and hospitals reduce the risk of accidents, complications, and costs of operating complex medical equipment.

“I believe music is an important form of medicine and I’ve been researching the application of 3D sound and music as a more natural application to improve medical conditions that affect the brain, nervous system, and chronic pain conditions. Harnessing song, sound frequencies, and rhythm as another tool in treating physical ailments is an emerging field, states Penn. Fundamentally, our biological existence is closely tied to vibrational energy, and tapping into 3D space and other dimensions that is hard for us to consciously perceive, but our core being understands, can ultimately render medically beneficial outcomes previously not thought possible. There is a connection between dimensional sound vibration, m-theory physics, and medicine that we have barely scratched the surface on.”

Penn says the company’s strategy to provide full-service and on-time delivery is built on the best network infrastructure available for audio and video that helps to scale dynamically to each project with post-production talent, workflow, and equipment. For that reason, Undercurrent Labs purchased the new Yamaha NUAGE Advanced Production DAW System. “I was sharing my studio upgrade plans with my brother Mark, also a Nuendo user, and had just seen the Yamaha announcement for NUAGE. “For years, we waited for the right control surface for Nuendo, so when we saw the pictures and specs for NUAGE, we knew the wait was over.”

NUAGE dealer RSPE recommended a demo, and so Penn reached out to Yamaha’s Chris Hinson for that purpose. “You don’t have a real appreciation of the presence and feel of NUAGE just by looking at pictures until you see it in person, touching the surface and realizing the freedom of not being confined to a box of semiconductors. Sitting at the NUAGE console and looking at the new Nuendo 6, I actually felt at home again, in a musical sense. The design is that good!”

The collaboration of Yamaha and Steinberg to harmonize the workflow of an established DAW like Cubase/Nuendo and Yamaha’s deep portfolio of digital mixers and their combined design and engineering philosophy helped Penn to affirm NUAGE as a great result, since he was already comfortable with Nuendo since Version 2 and the Yamaha 01V and 01V96 mixers. “It is kind of like mixing peanut butter and chocolate, for most folks, you’re going to get something great.”

Penn said he put NUAGE to the challenge on its maiden voyage in his surround mix room where he served as supervising sound mixer for Hollywood veteran actor and director, Tommy Ford (Martin on Fox; New York Undercover, UPN; The Parkers), editor Kevin Christopher, producer Shannon Nash and executive producer Bryant Scott of Tyscot Films, for a new film being released this year entitled “Switching Lanes”, starring Michael Lerner (GLEE), Marla Maples (Executive Decision), Terri J Vaughn (Steve Harvey Show), Victoria Staley (Raising Izzy), Doc Shaw (House of Payne, Pair of Kings), LisaRaye McCoy (All of Us, Single Ladies), and Fred Hammond, talented gospel artist, musician and friend of Penn’s from the Detroit music scene.

“Nuendo’s ADR mode enables me to accomplish more in vocal and Foley sessions by allowing multiple takes in one batch for scenes, providing more freedom for greater spontaneity in performance by the artist and guidelines from the director or producer, says Penn. “I’m currently test driving Yamaha’s Rio 32-channel I/O box to remotely control the head amplifiers from either the NUAGE Master and Fader control surfaces, by-passing my analog patch bay and cable snakes.”

“Touch is everything to me when I’m in a creative vibe, a real break from flat glass. I love the natural texture of the hand rest, stainless steel jog wheel and the frame accurate precision it provides as I nudge video or audio tracks. Designing in 3D space in real-time on a Sci-Fi Q-Bik Muz soundtrack “PsychoPlasmic” was nearly impossible without JL Cooper’s Surround Panner, enabling three axis of control and automation manipulating audio objects around 9 monitors. The integration of NUAGE to manage 3D audio for real-time 3D motion graphics for live video production, animation, and content branding, using virtual sets, and augmented reality, brings a level of creative collaboration to Georgia usually exclusive to LA and UK studios,” adds Penn.

“One of my film dialog editors, Elliot Glenn, a Pro Tools user said he never thought he’d be able to learn a new DAW using a control surface specifically created for that DAW. The integrated approach Yamaha has perfected not only sped up the learning curve but revealed many features of Nuendo sometimes hidden in software. Believe me when I say that the NUAGE integration with Nuendo is truly seamless.”

Penn is currently working on several projects including music scoring, sound design and technical consulting for his daughter, Maya Penn whose animation series has captivated a vast audience of tweens and adults alike. He is also producing an EP for an indie rock band The Endangered Species, producing and composing the first Q-Bik Muz sci-fi film and music release entitled “Anti-Gravity Machine.” “It’ll be a lot of fun as I’m approaching this music project from the POV of a film director and sound designer focusing on next generation audio that includes both surround, layered height channels, and 3D space including Soundfield, Auro 3D, Dolby Atmos and 3D Link.”

For more information on Undercurrent Labs, visit www.undercurrentlabs.com.

For more information on NUAGE, visit www.yamahaca.com.

-END-

About Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc.:
Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc. (YCAS) provides a full line of professional audio products offering complete systems solutions for the sound reinforcement, touring, broadcast, commercial recording, and post-production markets with a complete line of digital mixers, amplifiers, speakers, processors, networking capabilities, and NUAGE Advanced Production DAW System. YCAS is also the official North American distributor for NEXO speaker products. With the new CIS Series that includes ceiling and surface mount speakers, mixer and power amplifiers, and matrix processors, the Company furthers is commitment to their commercial installation solutions customers. All market sectors receive comprehensive in-house/field product training, a dedicated dealer network, and 24/7 technical support.

Technotrix Acquires Martin Audio MLA For Improved Coverage

Technotrix

Chicago, IL––Specialists in Audio, Lighting, Staging and Rigging, Technotrix Inc. recently became a valued member of the growing worldwide MLA Network with the purchase of an MLA System 24.

The System 24, which consists of 14 MLA and 2 MLD (downfill) enclosures and 8 MLX subwoofers, was acquired prior to the summer festival season on July 1st and immediately pressed into service for the Taste of Chicago food and music festival, Summer Set Music & Camping Festival, Riot Fest in Chicago and a concert with The Replacements headlining in Minnesota.

Asked about the impact of the new system, Technotrix Senior Account Executive Kevin Kiefer responds, “The MLA technology is really exceptional. The system coverage is much better than anything we’ve ever used. For The Replacements concert, the last show at Midway Stadium in Minneapolis, we used a larger System 36 and the most noticeable thing was the phase coherence and stereo imaging. We were between 400 and 500 feet away from the PA and it sounded like listening to the concert in your living room.

The Replacements

The Replacements

“Apart from all of the control that you have over the volume and level of sound throughout the listening area,” Kevin adds, “is the area beyond that. With MLA, you can be sitting on a hillside beyond the audience area and the experience is much better than any other system we’ve ever heard.

“I have to say that the MLA system has performed exceptionally well in these outdoor environments so far. It met with a universally positive response this summer, especially at some of these other festivals where we’ve been able to hear the other large format systems that are out there. It’s very apparent with MLA, especially over large distances, how the coverage remains consistent throughout the entire listening area from front to back. This is something we noticed right away when evaluating the rig. MLA doesn’t act like a typical loudspeaker system.

“What I tell everybody is that the cellular drive in the design of the MLA is the technology destined to replace current line arrays as we know them. The system looks and rigs like a line array, but much the same way line arrays replaced conventional PA systems for over 95% of the large shows these days, cellular drive will eventually replace line arrays. Once you do festivals with MLA, other systems just don’t sound right.

“We’re trying to educate our clients as to all the stuff we can do with this system that no one else can do,” Kevin concludes, “and it takes time to have people understand these capabilities are even available to them because they’re so advanced.”

Technotrix team photo caption:
From the left: Brian Levy, Andy Kuhlmann, Rosie, Matt McQuaid, Kevin Kiefer, Michael Schroeder, Brent Bernhardt, Beau and Chris Bonifas

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

About Martin Audio®
Founded by audio engineer David Martin in 1971, Martin Audio pioneered the use of all-horn-loaded bass designs in world-class touring loudspeaker systems for groups such as Pink Floyd, ELP and Supertramp. Located outside of London, Martin Audio now embodies a sophisticated mix of acoustic design, research, mathematical modeling and software engineering for a wide range of products in the installation, cinema and touring sound markets.

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

Fairlight Delivers the Gift of Great Sound at Sky Vision Sound Studios

Robert Thompson Sky Vision

London-based Sky Vision Sound Studios, the international distribution arm of Sky, has recently completed a major upgrade of its Fairlight equipment to bring it in line with Sky’s UK broadcasting facilities in Osterley. The three-studio complex, two mix rooms and a prep room, has upgraded its Fairlight Constellation console with a Fairlight EVO, six of which are already in use at Sky. It has also upgraded its XYNERGI system by installing the latest software version – a move that is already improving workflow.

Sky Vision’s Audio Supervisor and Senior Dubbing Mixer Robert Thompson says: “Although we have handled work for external clients such as the BBC, Universal and Channel 5, the majority of our work comes from Sky Vision. As work often moves between Sky’s sound studios and ours, it made sense for us to have identical equipment. The dubbing mixers at Sky were obviously very happy with their Fairlight EVO’s and this, combined with our own good experiences of Fairlight, meant we had no qualms about upgrading our own desk.”

Tucked away in a Georgian Mews in the heart of London’s Fitzrovia, Sky Vision Sound Studios handles a variety of programming covering wildlife, docudrama, documentary, children’s TV shows, scripted content, sports and comedy. The diversity of the projects Sky Vision Sound Studios tackles is mind-boggling, as is the speed of turnaround this facility achieves.

“Last year we completed over 70 hours of broadcast TV, which for two mix rooms is pretty good going,” Thompson says. “That’s just shy of three hours a month – a lot of work by anyone’s standards. Of course none of this would be possible without the Fairlight systems we have in both rooms. It really is a credit to Fairlight we achieve what we do because you simply couldn’t get through such a large quantity of work without having a system that is so reliable and flexible.”

Sky Vision Sound Studio’s affiliation with Fairlight goes back to 1999 when the facility was first set up by dubbing mixer Trevor Barber. Thompson, who was brought in some years later to help increase the facility’s output, says: “I got switched on to Fairlight by Trevor because he wouldn’t use anything else. I didn’t start out as a Fairlight user – in previous jobs, and as a freelancer, I had mostly used Avid Pro Tools. But when Trevor first set up the studios he installed a Fairlight MFX hard disk recorder in Studio One. As soon as Fairlight introduced their new Xynergi range, Trevor came on board straight away. In fact, the Xynergi system we own and use today is serial number 5. It still works perfectly. The only thing we have changed is the operating software, which we have just upgraded again to the latest version.”

Thompson adds that transitioning from Constellation to EVO has been very straightforward, mainly because all Fairlight systems are very intuitive.

“We have had no issues moving over to the EVO,” he says. “Both Russell Skellon, who mainly works in Studio Two, and myself have been using Fairlight for a long time and we have so much experience that the system is almost second nature to us. I would say the same about XYNERGI and the upgrade to the latest software version. Setting up the XCS controller on the EVO so that it works the way we are used to was very quick to master and it was all so seamless that we were up and running almost immediately. The only thing that is taking a bit of time is exploring the new software features. We are now finding out all the new tricks it can do and it is already offering much greater functionality.”

As many users will testify, one of the main benefits of Fairlight is the ability to build customised workflows.

“We often have to deliver shows to multiple broadcasters worldwide, and with Fairlight I am able to build consoles and workflows that produce all the deliverables I need very efficiently,” Thompson says. “I also find editing on Fairlight incredibly intuitive because I can use the Picture Keys on the XCS to make my own controller and editor, which I design around my personal preference. It’s also really nice to personalise my common functions and assign them a macro so they can be done with just the push of a button. It gets me away from mouse based editing. The whole XCS mentality is quite exciting as it has the potential to operate as a controller across multiple applications.”

Thompson adds that Fairlight’s ability to accept and export multiple file formats is useful when the facility gets project from outside clients, “but to be honest we’ve honed the workflow between ourselves and Sky Vision to a point there this isn’t really relevant,” he says.

“What is useful, though, is Fairlight’s ability to give users two picture tacks at the same time.
If you are re-versioning and don’t get an EDL file that tells you what has been cut where, this can be a very tedious and time consuming process. With Fairlight’s integrated video we can streamline the process by running two picture tracks and comparing them in real time. This makes it much faster to manually make the cuts. It’s a great feature and one that really helps us.

“For example, the nature of our work is that we do quite a few versions of a specific programme mix. With the new software, we can easily conform all of our edits, including the mix, which was something we couldn’t do with previous versions. We’ve always had a good dialogue with Fairlight and this is something we’ve been specifically asking them to do, so having it now is just fantastic because it means we can work even faster as the whole reversioning process is now far more automated. Most other systems rely on third party software for this.”

Thompson adds that he is also looking forward to exploring the latest software’s new background recording feature, which offers lots of sound design potential.

“I’m still checking this out but it looks like another really useful feature,” he says. “You can record while you are scrolling and jog shuttling. It basically records anything passing through a specified output as a background task. I can also see this being useful for ADR because it saves the timeline becoming littered with takes.”

Having proved that Sky Vision Sound Studios can handle an annual output of more than 70 hours of broadcast TV on Fairlight’s previous software, Thompson is confident this can be exceeded now that the new version is in place. But despite all the time saving features the new EVO console delivers, he still feels the best thing about Fairlight is its sound quality.

“I suppose I’m a bit of a musician at heart,” he laughs, “which is why I really like the smoothness of the Fairlight I/O. Some of our clients are composers and musicians as well so it’s no surprise they also comment on how good this system sounds.”

-ends-

About Fairlight:
Fairlight has been designing, engineering and manufacturing cutting edge, professional digital audio technology for more than 30 years. Its dedication to innovation, quality and customer service has made Fairlight one of the most respected companies in professional audio. With their integrated control surfaces and intuitive user interfaces, Fairlight’s award-winning media creation tools are renowned for their speed, flexibility and exceptional sonic quality. The company’s products offer full compatibility with virtually all open audio, video and sync standards, making them ideally suited to a wide range of audio post and live broadcast applications.
www.fairlight.com.au

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