A virtual press conference from Sound & Video Contractor

Archive of the New Products Category

The Australian Pink Floyd Show Plays On Its Legacy with HARMAN’s AKG Microphones

ADELAIDE, Australia – The Australian Pink Floyd Show (TAPFS), a cover band for the iconic Pink Floyd, is fully equipped with a diverse range of HARMAN’s AKG microphones for its band members. Having sold over four million tickets in 35 countries, The Australian Pink Floyd Show is currently touring the globe over the course of five months to bring its ‘Gold Standard’ to the rest of the world.

Having tried condenser microphones with larger polar patterns, guitarist/vocalist Steve Mac of TAPFS noticed they picked up the drums in the background, which introduced too much noise into the FOH mix. Dynamic microphones, on the other hand, don’t suffer as badly from drum spill, so after much experimentation, the band purchased an AKG D7 for each vocalist and the keyboardist/MC, which offers tremendous sound quality while meeting the band’s other criteria.

“The D7 has great isolation, which not only keeps our monitor mixes tidy, but preserves our voices,” said Mac. “Our keyboard player doubles as the MC and uses a chrome-plated D7 for a bit of fun and a touch of class!”

AKG C414, C518 and D40 microphones are used for the drums. “We use the AKG C414 microphones on the overhead and ride cymbal, because they just sound so natural. For the toms and roto toms, we use the AKG C518 microphones, because their small stature and stunning sound allows for more accurate positioning in tight spaces. We also use the AKG D40 on the lower floor tom and also on the gong to capture the rich bass,” Mac said.

Mac uses AKG C451/CK1 microphones on his Fender Twin Reverb amps, which “really bring out the detail of the top end and capture the glassy bite of a Twin,” he said. Mac also uses AKG C214 microphones on his Hiwatt 4 x 12 speaker cabinets, because “they have a large diaphragm and they capture the low end naturally and add ‘size’ to the guitar sounds.”

AKG C518 microphones with AKG radio packs are used for the tenor, alto and soprano saxophones. The Baritone saxophone is captured by an AKG D40 large diaphragm “to bring out the warmth in the sound without the risk of feedback,” according to Mac.

TAPFS ambitiously recreates Pink Floyd album tracks as closely as possible on a live stage. “We approach this show differently to most live shows, because to some degree we are taking a recording studio on tour. With AKG microphones, we are able to recreate the sounds of a studio environment, while maintaining isolation and high feedback rejection,” said Mac.

Besides sounding just the way vocalists want them to, AKG microphones are designed to stay consistent and endure severe punishment across all stages of a tour, so bands can focus on the show. “The consistency is extremely important, because the audience is familiar with the sounds of original Pink Floyd songs,” said Mac. “These microphones allow us to accurately maintain the amazing sounds of Pink Floyd’s albums, regardless of the venue and environment. That is why we have been using AKG microphones for 31 years in both studio recording and live music production.”

HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures, and markets a wide range of infotainment and audio solutions for the automotive, consumer, and professional markets. It is a recognized world leader across its customer segments with premium brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, and Mark Levinson® and leading-edge connectivity, safety and audio technologies. The Company is admired by audiophiles across multiple generations and supports leading professional entertainers and the venues where they perform. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of 15,200 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $5.1 billion for the last twelve months ended March 31, 2014.

Mexican Rock Band Zoé Travels the World with SSL Live Console

“The SSL Live is totally different than other consoles: much warmer, far superior”

MEXICO CITY – One of Mexico’s most popular rock groups, the platinum-selling, Latin Grammy® Award-winning band Zoé is world renowned, having played concerts across North America, Europe and South America. For their latest world tour, which has already made more than 40 stops in the U.S. and Mexico, the band’s monitor engineer, Gustavo Zertuche, is using an SSL Live console to drive the group’s wedges and in-ear monitors. Supplied by Meridian Proaudio, the first rental company in Latin America to offer SSL Live, the console’s ease of configuration makes it perfectly suited to handle monitoring for a fast-paced tour such as Zoé’s.

“The board is really amazing,” Zertuche says of the SSL Live, which allows an engineer to choose their own balance of touch screen and hardware functionality. “You can use the control surface the way you want to, put any channel in any place and configure it the way you want. It’s great for an engineer because you’re not limited; you don’t have to conform to somebody else’s workflow.”

After selecting the SSL Live for Zoé’s world tour, Zertuche, owner of Audioarquitectura and considered one of Mexico’s leading engineers, flew to Los Angeles for a training session. “Live is very simple to learn,” he says. “I was taught how to use it in two days! I was very grateful that the training didn’t require a lot of time; the console is just that great. I used to use a different digital console, but when I heard the SSL, I said ‘no more!’ This is perfect for me now.”

“The audio is incredible,” he continues. “Our mic preamps are being split from our FOH console, but that doesn’t affect the sound. It’s the most clarity I have ever heard from a digital console. It’s like you are using an analogue board—the preamps are very accurate and sound excellent.”

Zertuche uses the console for all of his stereo mixes for in-ear monitors and mono mixes for wedges with a complex cue system that routes audio for three or four monitor switch boxes on stage. “I use this wonderful reverse communication function for the SSL Live,” he explains. “I use it for all of my talkbacks through an intercom matrix, which I also use to set my cues. Even if I’m just using one solo, I can still hear the musicians, which is great. It’s a unique way to mix, but it’s helpful for me. For instance, if my stage right technician needs something, he only has to press a button and he can speak to me directly.”

As part of their world tour, Zoé recently brought the SSL Live to the Stereo Picnic Festival 2014, a massive music event in Bogota, Columbia. According to Zertuche, the band members appreciate what the SSL Live has brought to their monitor mixes during this and other performances. “They love it! They are very impressed by the sound,” he says. “Live made its debut on the final day of rehearsals, following the auditions of competing consoles, and the guys could hear a clear difference between them. They said the SSL Live is totally different: much warmer, far superior.”

With nearly two decades of engineering and six years monitoring Zoé under his belt, Zertuche’s current lineup includes the band Caifanes, pop duo Ha*Ash, singer Benny Ibarra and MTV’s World Stage, as well as recording and mix engineer duties at Control Room Studio and MAS Audio Studio. He also serves as audio crew chief and monitor engineer for the Lunas del Auditorio Nacional, an awards show recognizing live musicians and sound companies in Mexico.

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.

Australia’s Trackdown Studios Expands With HARMAN’s JBL and Crown

SYDNEY, Australia — Since its humble 1980s beginnings as a cramped recording studio with mattresses on the walls for sound absorption, Trackdown Studios (www.trackdown.com.au) has evolved to become a fixture on the Australian pro audio scene, working with artists like INXS, One Direction, Justin Bieber, Will.I.Am and many more and growing to two locations offering music and film recording and post-production. Trackdown’s Moore Park facility recently expanded with the addition of “Theatre One,” a new 20-seat room with audio post, mixing and 3D screening capabilities. Rather than equipping the theater with conventional studio monitors Trackdown chose HARMAN’s JBL Professional ScreenArray™ cinema system powered by Crown DSi Series power amplifiers.

Working with HARMAN Professional Australian distributor JANDS (www.jands.com.au), Trackdown installed a complete multichannel surround sound system with three JBL 3722N 2-way ScreenArray loudspeakers as the left, center and right channels, each employing dual 15-inch woofers and a horn-loaded compression driver. Four JBL 8340A 2-way surround loudspeakers and a JBL 3635 18-inch subwoofer complete the speaker complement.

The loudspeakers are driven by three Crown DSi 2000 amplifiers, which include presets for JBL cinema loudspeakers to make configuration quick and easy and provide on-board signal processing to handle crossover points, EQ, speaker delay and output limiting. Rounding out Theatre One’s equipment is a host of impressive video gear including a Christie Digital projector, Harkness Screens projection screen, Doremi ShowVault 4K video server and other equipment.

Right from completion (“we finished painting in the morning and started working in the afternoon,” noted Trackdown general manager Elaine Beckett) the studio launched into high-profile activity on films including The Great Gatsby, Forbidden Ground, Warwick Thornton’s new film The Dark Side and a concert documentary on Australian music legends Paul Kelly and Neil Finn (Split Enz, Crowded House).

Response to the Theatre One has been extremely enthusiastic. “One sound mixer in particular was thrilled to be working in Theater One, using it as a premix space,” noted Beckett. “It’s quite common to have small monitors in premix rooms and he was very impressed to be working with true theater sound for monitoring. What he mixed in Theatre One translated really well when doing the final mix in a large theatre.” With customers that include the elite of Australia’s film community and a growing number of international clients, Trackdown is confident they’ll be mixing a future Award-winning soundtrack sooner rather than later.

HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures, and markets a wide range of infotainment and audio solutions for the automotive, consumer, and professional markets. It is a recognized world leader across its customer segments with premium brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, and Mark Levinson® and leading-edge connectivity, safety and audio technologies. The Company is admired by audiophiles across multiple generations and supports leading professional entertainers and the venues where they perform. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of 15,200 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $5.1 billion for the last twelve months ended March 31, 2014.

Ocean Matrix Introduces New HDMI Over IP Extender / HDMI to CAT5/CAT6 Converter

SAUGERTIES, N.Y. – May 27, 2014Ocean Matrix, a worldwide leader in the design and manufacture of professional broadcast video gear, today announced the availability of a new HDMI Over IP Extender. The OMX-HDMI-2-IP transmitter accepts HDMI and converts it to standard TCP/IP to send the signal over your local area network via CAT5/CAT6. The receiver then converts the signal back to HDMI at the destination point. The transmitter has a static IP address and can pair with multiple receivers (up to 8). Multiple transmitters and multiple receivers can be paired on the same network. Ocean Matrix HDMI Over IP Extender

“With the distance limitations of HDMI and since CAT5/CAT6 infrastructures exist in virtually every facility we wanted to leverage these systems to provide a low cost, long distance HDMI transmission option,” said Dan Coscarella, Product Manager at Ocean Matrix. “Sending HDMI over your entire network frees you of the typical limitations found in send/receive point-to-point systems. The OMX-HDMI-2-IP delivers unparalleled performance in Pro-AV projection networks, digital signage systems and educational streaming applications taking advantage of your existing network and making it your HDMI network.”

The Ocean Matrix HDMI Over IP Extender is available and shipping now. To learn more about the OMX-HDMI-2-IP and other Ocean Matrix products visit www.oceanmatrix.com.

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About Ocean Matrix
Ocean Matrix is both a manufacturer and importer of cost effective interface solutions for video & Pro-AV users. Our in-house engineers evaluate every product with state-of-the-art test equipment to ensure quality results at the lowest possible cost. Every Ocean Matrix product features a 1-Year Product Warranty.

Ocean Matrix is exclusively distributed by TecNec Distributing and is available through the entire TecNec dealer network and online at Markertek.com.

Michael Franks Chooses HARMAN’s Martin Professional For the 2014 NFL Draft

NEW YORK, New York — Held at New York City’s prestigious Radio City Music Hall, the 2014 NFL Draft was the highest rated ESPN Draft telecast in more than two decades. To ensure proper lighting of the players, audience and for the live television broadcast on both ESPN and NFL Network, Christie Lites and Principal Lighting Designer, Michael Franks, deployed HARMAN’s Martin Professional fixtures to provide light to the entire venue.

In total, more than four miles of cable were used to power 14 Martin MAC Auras, 20 MAC Viper AirFxs, 19 MAC Viper Performances and 24 MAC Viper Profiles throughout Radio City Music Hall from Thursday, May 8th – Saturday, May 10th.

What began as a relatively quiet experience in 1936, the NFL’s annual Draft has become one of the largest productions and most anticipated yearly events. As the NFL has continued to grow, so has the emphasis on production quality.

“This was our first year with a complete Martin rig,” Franks said. “Doing this project for 18 years, the Draft has consistently grown into a bigger event. We are constantly looking at how we can make it better each year and this year Martin played a big part in that. With two different networks now covering the event, the challenges grew even more as additional areas needed lighting coverage. It was a lot to manage but having the consistency of one team, we were able to create a uniformed look that worked for everyone.”

Franks decided to make the transition to Martin fixtures after several product demos and side-by-side comparisons with competitors. “We did the entire set-up in a matter of three days so there was definitely a lot of pressure to get it perfect the first time,” he said. “In addition, there is a new red carpet set-up outside the Draft before the first night that we were responsible for lighting. There were a lot of different parts but Martin helped tie it all together.”

Echoing Franks’ statement, John Trowbridge, Gaffer Crew Chief at The Wolf Productions stated that he enjoyed working with a quality product such as Martin. “In prior years,” he said, “we’ve used a selection of different manufactures, so it was nice to tighten things up with just Martin. Christie Lites is a Martin shop with a bunch of great fixtures so it made my life and my team’s life easier dealing with one company.”

At Radio City, the team needed to ensure that every area of the venue, including the hallways and all three balconies, were lit for live television. “Martin’s fixtures helped us to keep a uniform look and they also proved to be really even and bright,” said Franks. “We used a few of Vipers as follow spots which gave us the ability to light the players when they walked into the audience, since the ‘house’ followspots couldn’t reach them there. The Viper AirFXs and Viper Performances were used to light the walls, giving them color and patterns that were shown behind players and correspondents on both ESPN & NFL Network. We also used the Performances to light the tables in a controlled way due to the fact that this year, they were positioned behind the fans.”

Franks said he appreciates the quality of light, and color of the Martin fixtures, as they are different than what he has seen from competing lighting manufacturers. “I’m always one to refer to the phrase that ‘change is the only constant’,” he said. “A project like this never stops changing and the switch to Martin was a great choice for this production. We always need to find ways to be more efficient and Martin has been an improvement and a refinement in how we handle the Draft.”

Chris McMeen, Christie Lites, was the account representative for the package.

For additional information on Christie Lites, please visit: www.christielites.com

For additional information on The Wolf Productions, please visit: www.thewolfproductions.com/

As a world leader in the creation of dynamic lighting solutions for the entertainment, architectural, and commercial sectors, Martin lighting and video systems are renowned the world over. Martin also offers a range of advanced lighting controllers and media servers, as well as a complete line of smoke machines as a complement to intelligent lighting. Martin operates the industry’s most complete and capable distributor network with local partners in nearly 100 countries. Founded in 1987 and based in Aarhus, Denmark, Martin is the lighting division of global infotainment and audio company HARMAN International Industries. For more information please visit: http://www.martin.com.

HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures, and markets a wide range of infotainment and audio solutions for the automotive, consumer, and professional markets. It is a recognized world leader across its customer segments with premium brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, and Mark Levinson® and leading-edge connectivity, safety and audio technologies. The Company is admired by audiophiles across multiple generations and supports leading professional entertainers and the venues where they perform. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of 15,200 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $5.1 billion for the last twelve months ended March 31, 2014.

D-Tools Workflow-Enhancing Native iOS Mobile Quote App Now Available

Companion app to SIX 2013 enables electronic systems integrators to remotely generate bids and later import them into the D-Tools SIX 2013 software platform for full project design and management

CONCORD, CA, USA  MAY 27, 2014 — D-Tools, Inc., the worldwide leader in electronic system integration software, announced today that the new D-Tools Mobile Quote app—an iOS-based companion app for its flagship software, SIX 2013—is now available for D-Tools users worldwide. This mobile extension of SIX 2013 provides mobile project quoting capabilities that enable Commercial and Residential Audio, Video, and Security systems integrators to generate quotes natively on an iPad®, then import them into the full D-Tools SIX 2013 software platform for further project design and management. Delivering on D-Tools’ commitment to timely product updates and enhancements, this new D-Tools Mobile Quote app will immediately extend the highly functional D-Tools SIX 2013 workflow to mobile sales and specification teams.

A native iOS application, the D-Tools Mobile Quote app leverages D-Tools’ extensive manufacturer product library by enabling system integrators to access and integrate product category, sub-category and package information and price range from their SIX 2013 catalog while working with customers in the field. Integrators can enter client and contact information into the Mobile Quote app, then walk prospective customers through available installation scenarios in order to create a quote for approval. Once complete, the resulting quote can then be imported into the full SIX 2013 software application for additional design work and synchronization.

A highly efficient productivity solution, the Mobile Quote app uses many of D-Tools’ workflow concepts, extending them to the mobile environment where customer interaction often takes place. Enabling the specification of locations and systems provides integrators the ability to provide packages or pre-configured systems for inclusion in the quote. Labor and general pricing is automatically calculated, and customers are provided an accurate proposal that in many cases can be signed off for approval on the spot.

By using D-Tools mobile quoting software, integrators give their customers a professional and impressive solution that illustrates both their commitment to the latest in cutting-edge technology and respect for their clients’ time by offering fast bids on-site. An integrator’s customer no longer has to wait anxiously until the integrator gets back to the office and spends hours pounding out a quote. Solutions are quick, easy, and professional, allowing the integrator to get started on their project right away. Available to D-Tools customers via the Apple App Store, the Mobile Quote app will carry a monthly subscription fee of $25.00 per user/device.

“We’re pleased to make the D-Tools Mobile Quote app available to our global user community,” said Adam Stone, President and Founder of D-Tools. “Providing our users the ability to create quotes in the field is a natural evolution for our platform, and the Mobile Quote app is an important component that ensures D-Tools continues to meet the growing needs of our expanding electronic systems integration customer base. The Mobile Quote app release is the first release of our mobile capabilities roadmap to significantly enhance and complete our project workflow. As we have demonstrated since the release of SIX last year, this new platform enables us to deploy new features as part of rapid and regular release cycles, which ultimately provides our customers a clear path for sustained growth.” 

More than 4,500 companies worldwide use D-Tools Systems Integrator Software to streamline the estimation, design, and project management processes associated with the installation and integration of low voltage systems.

iPad® is a trademark of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

About D-Tools, Inc.
D-Tools, founded in 1998 and based in Concord, California, is a worldwide leader in accessible, highly accurate system design and documentation software platforms. The company’s flagship product, System Integrator™ (SI), is a robust solution that utilizes Autodesk® AutoCAD and Microsoft® Visio to facilitate comprehensive system design, documentation and project management. D-Tools enables residential and commercial integrators to streamline business processes and increase revenues while reducing the time and cost associated with the installation and integration of low-voltage electronic systems. More than 4,500 leading companies currently use the award-winning D-Tools platform to reduce time, costs and to streamline the system integration process. Product updates and related information can be obtained by following D-Tools on Twitter and on Facebook.

Learn more about the D-Tools MVP Program, D-Tools System Integrator, or the undeniable benefits of using a streamlined system design, proposal, and estimation software platform at www.d-tools.com(866) 386-6571, ext. 1, or e-mail info@d-tools.com ormvp@d-tools.com.

Press Contacts
Tim Bigoness, D-Tools, Inc., +1 (925) 270-4102, timb@d-tools.comwww.d-tools.com

Katye (McGregor) Bennett, KMB Communications, +1 (425) 328-8640katye@kmbcomm.com

MVP Contact
Josh Carlson, D-Tools, Inc., +1 (925) 270-4105joshc@d-tools.com

Link to accompanying images for use in publication:
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/e99zhtd1lhkb2h6/AAAtJc2LeZpbWLXKv42LGp3Fa

 

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Raiding the Rock Vault Continues to Thrill Audiences with HARMAN’s AKG Microphones

LAS VEGAS, Nevada – Recently rated by The Las Vegas Review Journal as “Best Musical 2014”, “Raiding the Rock Vault” uses HARMAN’s AKG Microphones to provide the ultimate classic rock concert experience in Las Vegas. Written by GRAMMY™-winning producer David Kershenbaum and John Payne of Asia, this 2-hour experience weaves an entertaining storyline with some of the greatest rock hits of the ‘70s and ‘80s.

The full microphone system for “Raiding the Rock Vault” comprises 16 DMS700 V2 wireless channels connected to all the guitars through PT700 V2 transmitters, 12 WMS4500 wireless channels for vocals, with HT4500 D5 and D7 capsules for the singers and PT4500 transmitters for the actors. Twelve channels of IVM4500 are used for in-ear monitoring, while AKG’s HELICAL antennas take care of transmission.

“Everything has worked great, and that’s the most important thing,” said Keith Marks, production coordinator for “Raiding the Rock Vault.” “When we listened to the quality of AKG’s wireless microphones, we found that even artists who have never worked with wireless microphones before are loving it. The DMS system sounds perfect, on par with the quality of wired microphones.”

The “Raiding the Rock Vault” cast, which recently added Doug Aldrich of Whitesnake and Dio, performs over 200 shows annually. Naturally, the intensity and repetition of these shows require the production crew to maintain an inventory of extremely durable sound equipment.

“It’s a testament to the quality of the equipment, when it keeps performing great, day in and out,” Marks said. “Also, AKG provides incredible customer service: I can get Joe Wagoner or anyone else at AKG on the phone whenever I need them, which is an invaluable benefit.”

HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures, and markets a wide range of infotainment and audio solutions for the automotive, consumer, and professional markets. It is a recognized world leader across its customer segments with premium brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, and Mark Levinson® and leading-edge connectivity, safety and audio technologies. The Company is admired by audiophiles across multiple generations and supports leading professional entertainers and the venues where they perform. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of 15,200 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $5.1 billion for the last twelve months ended March 31, 2014.

Daystar Television Network Reaches Viewers Around the World with HARMAN’s Studer Digital Consoles

BEDFORD, Texas – Since 1997, Marcus and Joni Lamb have owned the Daystar Television Network, the fastest-growing Christian television network in the world. Daystar currently operates 70 TV stations across the United States and broadcasts globally. It also operates significant online and mobile broadcast services. Underlying the network’s success is an unwavering commitment to quality, as evidenced by its reliance on HARMAN’s Studer Vista digital audio consoles.

Daystar is a Christian, family-friendly network, featuring specifically religious programming as well as other content, including family-oriented films and music programming. In addition, the Lambs host the network’s flagship program, Marcus & Joni, a variety/chat show that focuses on guest interviews and music, with an in-house band and several guest bands throughout each episode.

David Ribb, Daystar’s Director of Audio, uses a Riedel MediorNet system as the hub and router for its three Studer Vista consoles (two Vista 9 consoles and one Vista 5). One of the Vista 9 consoles is for Daystar’s broadcast mix, while the other Vista 9 is for the studio and band mixes. The Vista 5 is used on a secondary studio/sound stage but is also road-ready, so it can be used on location production.

“Because of our output requirement—auxes and mixes, the combination of interview talent, IFB, house band and singers, guest bands and satellite feeds, the Vista 9 was an ideal solution,” Ribb said. “The all-Studer solution means that if personnel have to change out between the broadcast side and the studio side, they’re already familiar with the console.”

Core wireless requirements in the system total 42 channels, including 28 channels of wireless microphones and belt packs attached to the system, and 14 wireless in-ear belt packs for the band mixes and IFB. There are many more wired mixes allocated to band members. In addition, the studio Vista 9 provides another 10 foldback mixes for each of the sets around the sound-stage, through loudspeakers mounted in the lighting grid.

The Daystar team doesn’t rely much on cue lists or snapshots during the show. They set the consoles up for the day’s work by reallocating I/O as necessary, and operating all sets from a single setup. The consoles also provide multitracking facilities to attached ProTools systems.

“It’s another thing that we’ve integrated into the Studer system,” Ribb said. “We multi-track each program in ProTools on both the broadcast side and the studio side, depending on what the need is. It means we can go back in and fix anything in post or index, or whatever needs to happen.”

“Also, the music the in-house band has played in the shows is often released to albums during the year, and we do some music specials directly from the music that’s captured during the show, using those ProTools sessions to mix them. We try to go in and give them extra attention.”

For more information on the Daystar Television Network, please visit www.daystar.com

HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures, and markets a wide range of infotainment and audio solutions for the automotive, consumer, and professional markets. It is a recognized world leader across its customer segments with premium brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, and Mark Levinson® and leading-edge connectivity, safety and audio technologies. The Company is admired by audiophiles across multiple generations and supports leading professional entertainers and the venues where they perform. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of 15,200 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $5.1 billion for the last twelve months ended March 31, 2014

More realistic than ever before: CAST releases beta version of wysiwyg R33

Ahead of its general product release, expected before the end of June, CAST Software announces the distribution of the beta version of wysiwyg R33 design and previsualization software suite – the second instalment in the graphics upgrade — with three of its new and significant features, many of which were evaluated and requested by CAST Software’s partner base.

LED Video Walls / Screen Virtual Point Light
As content changes on screens such as LED video wall displays, they emit a light ‘glow’ into the surrounding environment. wysiwyg perfectly replicates this effect so lighting designers will be able to produce the most accurate previsualization and deliver stunning designs for their clients.

Shaded View Profiles
Promising greater workflow efficiency, Enhanced Shaded View Profiles allows users to save a combination of lighting settings under a profile for future use.

200 Lighting Universes
Saving perhaps the best new feature of R33 to last, CAST Software has doubled the number of universes giving wysiwyg users access to 200 universes. This translates to 102,400 DMX lighting channels, ensuring that no project is too big for wysiwyg.

But what does an industry professional see when looking at wysiwyg for the first time? Really virtually real super rich graphics driven by the ultimate software application that is so comprehensive that it deals with all aspects of lighting, including those things, which affect lighting like moving props, LED video walls, and reflective surfaces. wysiwyg lets them design and pre-cue, and then previsualize, run a sequence or take screen shots to test or share, ultimately delivering a design that can be faithfully replicated for real.

One lighting designer working with the beta version is Emiliano Morgia who said: “On seeing the beta version of wysiwyg R33, my first impression was ‘Wow’. In our lighting design projects we are often working to very tight deadlines so the Shaded View feature will ensure that we’re even more efficient. Additionally R33 packs some punch in creating realistic previsualizations for clients, especially those who are increasingly requiring LED video wall displays.”

“R33 represents a huge leap forward in functionality and the next instalment of the on-going graphics upgrade. The speed enhancement, file handling and navigation improvements are a result of the direct feedback from our professional customer base. R33 continues to unleash creative lighting for today’s needs and exemplifies what we are prone to say around CAST: it just keeps getting better!” explained Bruce Freeman, Chairman at CAST Group.

Meanwhile, over 100 beta testers, representing a cross-section of lighting professionals, are busy putting R33 through its paces and will be communicating their findings to CAST over the next weeks.

A full set of R33 features will be announced when the general release version of wysiwyg R33 becomes available, likely before the end of June.

R33 Beta LED Video Wall Glow Video: http://youtu.be/rQaoazMZ7dI

Twitter & Facebook: @CASTsoftware

CAST Forum: http://forum.cast-soft.com

www.cast-soft.com/blog

TDC provides core video expertise for largest-ever light festival Vivid Sydney

Aquatique Show International, Vivid Aquatique, Darling Harbour, Photography by Rodney Campbell.

TDC – The Technical Direction Company is proud to be deploying the full range of its professional and technical expertise in providing core technology and services to Destination NSW for the sixth annual Vivid Sydney festival running from 23 May to 9 June.

Anthony Bastic, Vivid Light Festival Director said: “Vivid Sydney is a unique celebration of light, music and ideas that will see the centre of New South Wales’ vibrant capital transformed by a series of state-of-the-art visual and creative art installations. There are two components to Vivid Light. The first is the Light Walk, which is the public interface of Vivid Sydney. This includes numerous light installations by artists. Secondly, also forming part of the Light Walk, are projections onto some of Sydney’s most iconic buildings including the Museum of Contemporary Art and Customs House. We are thrilled to work with TDC in bringing the artists’ vision to light.”

“This is our third year of working with Destination NSW on Vivid Sydney, providing a huge range of technologies including 3D media servers, 3D mapping, video projection equipment, projection tower infrastructure and sound installations, not to mention our highly skilled crews to manage the technology,” comments Kain Jones, Special Projects Manager at TDC. “We have used our experience of working on Vivid Sydney for the last three years to apply the insights with have learned to how to adapt and continue to make sure that the elements TDC is involved in are amazing.

“As Vivid Sydney grows, new buildings and locations are added, so initially we spend considerable time analysing which technology is best-aligned to meet the artists’ vision. We get involved from the outset in installation design, mapping the buildings to enable the designers to create content specific to the outline of those buildings. We then work on optimal locations for projector placement, media server selection, lens selection and the number of projectors required to meet specific brightness (lux) output for each installation.”

“Vivid Sydney is a great challenge for our company, the scale of this event is enormous in regard to projection technology required to bring it all together,” comments Michael Hassett, TDC’s Managing Director. “This year over 50 Barco projectors will be deployed in total, ranging from the brightest projector in the world, the HDQ-2K40 (40,000 lumens brightness) along with Barco HDF-W26 (22,000 lumens brightness) and FLM-R22+ (22,000 lumens brightness) projectors. This is a projection technology feat and not something that any company globally could pull together easily. We’re proud to be working with the great team at that Destination NSW again this year, and we look forward to the continued success of Vivid Sydney.”

• Over 50 Barco projectors will be deployed in total, ranging from the brightest projector in the world, the HDQ-2K40 (40,000 lumens brightness) along with Barco HDF-W26 (22,000 lumens brightness) and FLM-R22+ (22,000 lumens brightness) projectors. Photography Rodney Campbell.

The TDC team preparing for Vivid Sydney. Photography by Rodney Campbell.

TDC getting ready for Vivid Sydney. Photography by Rodney Campbell.

And the last word goes to Olin Winton, Technical Manager at TDC who says: “It’s always a joy to work on large format projection projects and Vivid Sydney is no exception. The opportunity to display images on iconic buildings takes months of planning and long nights of alignment. This year we have added several new projects to our list, which we are extremely pleased with. Seeing it all come together, working with world class technicians and seeing the end result of people interacting with the buildings is extremely rewarding.”

World firsts from TDC

This year’s Vivid Sydney programme includes a number of significant technological and creative firsts.

Dichroic Dimensions

Digital Shamans, Dichroic Dimensions, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (Mordant Wing). Photography by Rodney Campbell.

Kain Jones points to one aspect of a unique interactive installation at the new building of the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA), where artist-in-residence Ross Manning has collaborated with multidisciplinary artistic collective, The Digital Shamans to give visitors the chance to projection-map the façade of the building using only their voice.

“There’ll be two microphones on a slightly raised platform. As the audience uses their voice to interact with the installation, various hidden layers of visuals and soundscapes will be revealed based on pitch,” explains Michael K Chin at The Digital Shamans. “TDC are an amazing company with the technical know how and equipment to cope with the subtleties in our work. Especially with the HD video taken of dichroic filters producing subtle gradients in tones and colour shifts, strong contrast and vivid colour. It’s been a pleasure working with TDC for the first time. They are very professional and their experience with past Vivid Sydney festivals has been invaluable.”

Gamma World

Jess Johnson & Spinifex, Gamma World, Original Façade, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia. Photography by Rodney Campbell.

Bringing together the worlds of live performance, interaction and visual art onto the original façade of the Museum of Contemporary Art, ‘Gamma World’ combines isometric designs, old school gaming, pop up 3D books and forced perspective using 3D and animation tricks that powerfully takes the viewers on a journey through changing worlds.

Stella Carmody, Producer at Spinifex Group Sydney says: “What makes this projection so special this year is that we were able to combine our love of story-telling with the wonderfully inspiring artwork of Jess Johnson to create an abstract, engaging and playful piece of moving art on this iconic building. Hardware and projection mapping was undertaken by our good friends, large-scale projection experts, TDC.”

Urban Tree Project

Urban Tree Project, Ample Projects – MLC Centre, Martin Place. Photography by Rodney Campbell.

If you ever find yourself wondering what grew in the CBD before monuments of glass and steel, Urban Tree Project in Vivid Sydney 2014 will show you. The CTA building in Martin Place will grow out of the ground to become a magnificent living tree within the surrounding urban environment to celebrate and reflect on Sydney’s original green landscape. Design and animation company, Ample Projects turned to TDC to provide the projection solution.

“This project had unique technical challenges, so the natural choice for us was TDC. Ample designed a complex 3D mapping solution in collaboration with the TDC team. They were highly professional, providing projection design solutions for a cylindrical architecture screen with extreme focal planes. We look forward to working with them again soon,” says Ample Creative Director, Nicholas Tory.

“The shape of the structure was great to work on. We decided that the best solution was to map the projection to the curves of the building using Coolux Pandoras Box Media Servers,” comments Pete Lynn, TDC’s Media Server Specialist. “We’re very happy with the results.”

The projections for the Urban Tree Project are synchronised with a stunning laser lighting show as is the case with TDC’s projections for the Vivid Aquatique Water Theatre installation.

Spirit of Patyegarang

•	Patyegarang, Bangarra Dance Theatre Company – Vivid Light Walk Tour, Harbour Bridge Southern Pylon. Photography Greg Barrett.

Bangarra Dance Theatre is Australia’s leading Indigenous performing arts organisation celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. To mark this milestone the company presents its new production at the Sydney Opera House Patyegarang until 5 July and participates for the first time in Vivid Sydney with The spirit of Patyegarang. Projected onto the southern pylon of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, The spirit of Patyegarang is a video installation marking the first Indigenous contribution to the Vivid Light Walk.

Bangarra’s Executive Director, Philipe Magid, said: “TDC is providing equipment and video expertise enabling our company to project a stunning work of art on to a section of the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge. Through a fusion of dance movements and music soundscape and thanks to video projections supported by TDC, the important story of Patyegarang will awake and inspire with the sensations and emotions of ‘first contact’”.

Play Me

Play Me, Customs House, Photography by Rodney Campbell.

In a poetic explosion of colour, light and sound, ‘Play Me’ will transform the façade of Customs House into a series of massive ‘musical sculptures’ that are individually selected and manipulated by the audience.

“Each of these ‘sculptures’ depicts a family of musical instruments which the audience can ‘play’ in real-time using a touch screen located on a platform in front of Customs House bringing it to life in glorious torrents of ever-changing colour, light form and sound,” says Sergio Carrubba, director and projection designer at Danny Rose, the design team for this project. “We’ve worked with TDC before on the ‘Move Your Building’ exhibit at Vivid Sydney 2013. In all cases, TDC offers exceptional support during planning phases, onsite technical support and the very best in projection equipment to assist with our designs which will all be brought to life at Vivid Sydney.”

Ignatius Jones, Creative Director, Vivid Sydney, comments: “Vivid Sydney is a strange beast: on the one hand it is a major government initiative designed to drive visitation and tourist expenditure during the year’s lowest season, and on the other a celebration of the fusion of Art and Technology that is changing our world forever and for the better. As Creative Director I must split my focus between the exacting contractual and economic demands of government, and the necessity to provide cutting-edge technical solutions to all the issues of larges-scale – or should I say vast-scale – public entertainment.

“TDC has an instinctive and comprehensive understanding of these issues. They are the perfect collaborators: calm, creative and totally competent. I would have no qualms in recommending them to anyone in the tough world of live mass entertainment, and hope to be working with them for a long time to come.”


TDC staff working on this project:

Kain Jones – Special Project Manager
Olin Winton – Technical Manager
Steve Cain – Head Technician/Media Server Specialist
Pete Lynn – 3D Media Server Specialist
Drew Ferors – Projectionist
Gareth Marsh – Projectionist
Katrina Harding – Projectionist
Isaac McKenzie – Projectionist
Adam Fiddler – Technician

TDC are working with following designers for Vivid Sydney:
• Urban Tree Project, Ample Projects – MLC Centre, Martin Place http://www.vividsydney.com/events/urban-tree-project
• Aquatique Show International – Vivid Aquatique, Darling Harbour, http://www.vividsydney.com/events/vivid-aquatique
• Patyegarang, Bangarra Dance Theatre Company – Vivid Light Walk Tour, Harbour Bridge Southern Pylon, http://www.vividsydney.com/events/the-spirit-of-patyegarang
• Starry Night, Brad Miller – Pier 8, Walsh Bay Wharf, http://www.vividsydney.com/events/starrynight
• Digital Shamans – Dichroic Dimensions, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (Mordant Wing), http://www.vividsydney.com/events/dichroic-dimensions
• Danny Rose – Play Me, Customs House, http://www.vividsydney.com/events/play-me
• Heinz Kasper – Mystery of Creation (Fragments of The Seasons), Cadman’s College, http://www.vividsydney.com/events/mystery-of-creation-fragments-of-the-seasons
• Jess Johnson & Spinifex – Gamma World, Original Façade, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, http://www.vividsydney.com/events/gamma-world-mca-original-facade

TDC equipment supplied:

• Over 50 Barco projectors will be deployed in total, ranging from the brightest projector in the world, the HDQ-2K40 (40,000 lumens brightness) along with Barco HDF-W26 (22,000 lumens brightness) and FLM-R22+ (22,000 lumens brightness) projectors.
• Coolux Pandoras Box Media Servers
• Dataton WATCHOUT™ multi-image display and presentation software

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