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Archive of the News Category

Justin Ruka Joins Alcorn McBride as Support Technologist

RukaAlcorn McBride is pleased to announce that Justin Ruka has joined the company as a Support Technologist. His hiring follows other recent additions to the growing staff roster at Alcorn McBride, the leading manufacturer of show control, audio and video equipment for the themed entertainment.

Scott Harkless, Alcorn McBride’s Director of Sales, met Justin at an event held by the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA). The TEA is an international non-profit association representing the world’s leading creators, developers, designers and producers of compelling places and experiences. Justin was a member of the association’s NextGen program which helps students and recent graduates break into the industry.

“We are very happy to welcome Justin on board,” says Harkless. “He has the perfect combination of personality and talent, making him an ideal match for our unique company culture. We are grateful to the TEA for making this connection and expect him to be a big asset to our team.”

A 2013 graduate of Lakeland College with a B.A. in Computer Science, Ruka worked in a number of positions at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando before joining Alcorn McBride as a Software Engineering intern last fall. His internship led to his full-time appointment as Support Technologist.

As a self-described creative technologist and futurist who loves the themed entertainment industry, Ruka says his new post combines many of his favorite pursuits. “After graduation, I had hopes of making my way into a creative, technology-oriented role in the themed entertainment industry,” he says. “I’ve had the opportunity to work in one of the most visited entertainment destinations in the world, Walt Disney World Resort, and I was privileged to be on the opening operational team of ‘Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts’ in Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida. Now, I’m proud to have joined the wonderful and talented team at Alcorn McBride.

“Technology is the perfect complement to my fascination with the themed entertainment industry, as it is being used more and more in both high-end destination and local attractions.”

About Alcorn McBride:
Founded in 1986, Alcorn McBride is the leading manufacturer of show control, audio and video equipment for the themed entertainment industry, and a rapidly growing provider of audio and video systems for retail environments and transportation applications. Staffed by some of the industry’s best engineers and backed by outstanding customer support, the company has demonstrated great agility in bringing new designs to market. A hallmark of Alcorn McBride products is their durable, zero maintenance design. The company’s products provide consistent, reliable operation for audio and video playback applications worldwide. For more information, visit www.alcorn.com.

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Cabletime unveils new MediaStar synchronisation feature at ISE 2015

Cabletime Synchronisation FeatureWith just one week to go before Integrated Systems Europe (10-12 February 2015, RAI, Amsterdam) opens its doors, Cabletime has announced that it will be launching and demonstrating a significant new product feature – synchronised live video streaming. The new enhancement to the company’s popular IPTV distribution solution, MediaStar, will provide intelligent and auto-adaptive synchronised play-out of any live video stream regardless of the number of screens being used.

“This is a significant development, which we are excited to be showing for the first time at ISE,” said Mike Cuckow, Sales Director, EMEA Asia Pacific at Cabletime. “There has long been an issue around accurately synching video and audio delivered over IP to multiple screens. The feature, which will be incorporated in all new products, and will be easily upgradeable by existing users of MediaStar, will ensure that both the video and audio on multiple screens are fully harmonised.”

Digital signage and support for 4K
Along with presentations (on booth 10-P116) of the new synchronised live video streaming feature, Cabletime will also be demonstrating its digital signage platform which now supports 4K, multi-zones and advanced browsing.

New MPEG Encoder
The new, competitively priced MediaStar Multi-Format Encoder (785-I) will be shown for the first time at ISE. This robust, solid state standalone unit has an MPEG2/H264 and HLS encoding capability and a unique auto-select input facility for all baseband, component, HDMI and SDI sources. Its compact size, low power consumption and input flexibility makes it the ideal solution for use in live events, theatres and presentations as well as for mobile camera applications. The 785 also features Power over Ethernet, so no PSU is required when connected to PoE switches and measures just 215 x 133 x 35 mm.

LDAP Security
Updates to Media Manager, Cabletime’s core schedule, control and monitoring software, will also be showing, including the latest security solution supporting LDAP/Active Directory; and changes to delegated administration rights, enabling a Global System Administrator to selectively delegate sub administration capability to regional offices, departments or individuals.

The Cabletime team is hosting a drinks reception on its booth (10-P116) on Tuesday 10th February at 4.30pm; and also welcomes visitors to charge their smartphones and refresh themselves with English tea, freshly ground coffee and fresh milk throughout the show.

The MediaStar range provides TV/AV and multimedia distribution products primarily for medium to large enterprises, which require future-proof, stable and proven solutions for live TV, corporate communications, multicasts, music TV, training and digital signage.

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Highland Park Baptist Church Prepares for the Future with Danley Speakers and Ashly Processing and Amps

HighlandPark_Church_InteriorCOLUMBIA, TENNESSEE: As it approached its hundred-year anniversary as a congregation, Highland Park Baptist Church in Columbia, Tennessee sought to revamp its four hundred-seat sanctuary. It hired Church Interiors of High Point, North Carolina to help design and organize the work, which included structural and aesthetic improvements, as well as a new Sharp/Extron video system based around three huge LED screens and a cutting-edge sound reinforcement system. Now, Danley Sound Labs horn-loaded loudspeakers and subwoofers deliver musical and highly intelligible sound, with power and processing supplied by rock-solid Ashly Audio amplifiers and digital signal processors. The sound system is zero compromise, exceeding Highland Park’s hopes for fidelity and quality while still meeting their budgetary requirements.

“Highland Park’s old sound system had an undersized sixteen-channel board and frustratingly uneven coverage,” explained Wayne McKinney, sales engineer with Church Interiors. “They have solidly traditional services with a strong choir, piano, and organ, but they’re looking to incorporate more contemporary elements. They needed the new sound system to deliver better coverage and intelligibility for their existing program material and to facilitate (and not hinder) their anticipated growth.” Although McKinney was able to repurpose or reuse some of the old system’s components, such as a CD player, a CD recorder, and several up-to-date wireless microphones, most of the system had to be replaced.

HighlandPark_Church_Speakers“We ran several models and found that Danley loudspeakers and subs gave us much better coverage with significantly fewer boxes than the alternatives,” continued McKinney. “The performance would be better, particularly in terms of pattern control, and the cost would be lower. You can’t beat that. Moreover, the fewer Danley boxes give an overall cleaner look. It’s neat and tidy. Because the sanctuary has an over-balcony and an under-balcony, we used a delay system to supplement the main cluster.” Two flagship Danley SH-50s provide main seating coverage from above the stage, with a Danley TH-118 subwoofer mounted in the organ chamber for low-end support. Two delayed Danley SH-Micros cover the lower balcony while three cover the upper balcony.

Two Ashly 4.8SP four-by-eight Protea™ DSP system processors handle the output from an Allen & Heath GLD 112 console to deliver the perfect dynamics and frequency domain characteristics for the Danley loudspeakers and subwoofer. Six dual-channel, 1,000-watt-per-channel Ashly KLR-2000 amplifiers and three dual-channel, 1,600-watts-per-channel Ashly KLR-3200 amplifiers power the system. “I’ve been a fan of Ashly processing and power for over twenty years,” said McKinney. “They’ve always maintained excellent build quality and always come through with knowledgeable, fast customer service. The Ashly KLR-Series amplifiers give the Danley system the punch it needs at a very competitive price point. The Ashly processing is super easy to use, and all of the algorithms are transparent.”

With its newly renovated sanctuary up and running, Highland Park Baptist Church is well positioned for its next century of service.

ABOUT ASHLY AUDIO Ashly Audio Inc. is recognized as a world leader in the design and manufacturing of high quality & high performance signal processing equipment and power amplification for use in the commercial sound contracting and professional audio markets. The 40-year old company is headquartered in Webster, New York U.S.A. www.ashly.com

ABOUT DANLEY SOUND LABS Danley Sound Labs is the exclusive home of Tom Danley, one of the most innovative loudspeaker designers in the industry today and recognized worldwide as a pioneer for “outside the box” thinking in professional audio technology. www.danleysoundlabs.com

Tropical Oasis Houses API 1608 in Studio Getaway

Gileah_Chris_TaylorDESTIN, FLORIDA: Destin, Florida, already a destination getaway, is now even better thanks to the efforts of Ocean Reef Resorts owner and recording artist Chris Taylor, who recently added a private studio to the Miramar Beach location. He and his wife, Gileah, wanted a place to record music and experiment with sound without leaving their beach-side home and they knew API could help them create such a unique space. The idea was especially attractive because it eliminated the need for them to travel to Nashville or Los Angeles as they had in the past to achieve high-quality recordings.

The new studio is set apart not only because of its location, but also because the Taylors want it to remain private for as long as possible. “The resort is a family-owned business but this is just going to be for me and my wife. Hopefully it won’t ever have to become a commercial space.” Instead, Taylor hopes that if others come to use the studio, they will find it relaxing and rejuvenating. “We’d like to host writers’ retreats for specific people down at the beach. It’s really, really cool to just hang out, and it’s beautiful inside.” The space is currently unnamed, though the Taylors unofficially refer to it as “War Horse Studio.”

Taylor started considering the API 1608 for himself around 2007. “I was tracking a record of my own at EMI in Nashville and Allen Salmon had a lunchbox® and some of the [API] EQs. I thought it was really powerful and from then on I started noticing API everywhere!” By the time Taylor tested the 1608 at Vintage King’s demo facility in Nashville, he knew he’d need one of his own. “The time frame and the footprint on the 1608 impressed me more than others I was considering, but it was really as simple as using one. It’s easy to work with and that’s the whole goal!” The 1608 is not Taylor’s only piece of API gear; he also has an 8-slot lunchbox and a JDK R22 compressor, and he says ease-of-use is a shared trait among his API equipment. “With the lunchbox, I have EQs and compressors loaded in, and recording is as easy as just turning it on.” He adds, “You can tell the 1608 is a solidly built piece of gear. It’s like having a Range Rover parked out front.”

For more please see chrisandgileah.com and oceanreefresorts.com

ABOUT API (AUTOMATED PROCESSES, INC.) Established 45 years ago, Automated Processes, Inc. is the leader in analog recording gear with the Vision, Legacy Series, 1608, and THE BOX recording consoles, as well as its classic line of modular signal processing equipment.

www.apiaudio.com

Ashly Pema Processor/Amp Revives Tornado-Torn Church and School

Joplin_StMarys_CatholicChurch_ExteriorJOPLIN, MISSOURI: Together with the rest of the community, St. Mary’s Catholic Church and Elementary School in Joplin, Missouri has faced the difficult, but heartening, task of rebuilding after one of the worst tornados on record destroyed its buildings in 2011. The church and school relocated southwest of the city, where it has more room to comfortably accommodate a larger congregation and a larger student body. Although unwelcomed, the school capitalized on the opportunity to build new infrastructure, including a multipurpose cafeteria with a flexible sound reinforcement system. A cost-effective, multi-channel Ashly Pema 4250.70 network Protea™ matrix processor combined with a four-channel amplifier delivers the flexibility that allows even non-technical staff to set the system up using Ashly neWR-5 remote controls.

David Walters, president and principal consultant at Diversified Design Group (Lincoln, Nebraska) designed the system for St. Mary’s Elementary School, and local A/V integration firm Total Electronics Contracting installed it. In all, 48 JBL Control 26-DT in-ceiling loudspeakers deliver sound to the cafeteria in three separate zones, strategically aligned to facilitate different uses. Inputs to the system include a CD player, a DVD player, three hardwired microphone jacks, and a Shure wireless microphone system. The system resides in a Middle Atlantic rack with Middle Atlantic power conditioning.

Joplin_StMarys_CatholicChurch_TornadoThe backbone of the system is the Ashly Pema 4250.70, which provides a fully-functional 8×8 Protea™ matrix processor and a four-channel network amplifier that delivers 250 Watts per channel into each 70V zone, as well as all the processing necessary for customized user control. A handful of networked Ashly neWR-5 remote controls mounted with the equipment rack allow users to select inputs and adjust their volumes.

“The Ashly Pema’s simplicity is amazing,” said Nate Pugh, A/V Specialist at Total Electronics Contracting. “The Ashly Protea processing software was easy to program and will be easy to maintain, and it fits all of the system’s processing and amplification in just two rack spaces. The range of options is also impressive. It was great to get the 70-volt option with the right power delivery and still have the 8×8 DSP up front. It’s an excellent, go-to product for installations like St. Mary’s. The fact that we could customize the neWR-5 remote controls cinched it. We were able to give them controls that anyone will be able to walk up to and use. Again, perfect for a situation like this.”

ABOUT ASHLY AUDIO
Ashly Audio Inc. is recognized as a world leader in the design and manufacturing of high quality & high performance signal processing equipment and power amplification for use in the commercial sound contracting and professional audio markets. The 40-year old company is headquartered in Webster, New York U.S.A.

www.ashly.com

Powersoft Unveils New Ottocanali Series and Fosters Training & Education at ISE 2015

Ventura, CA, February 2, 2015: Powersoft announces the expansion of the successful Ottocanali Series, with the addition of three new high-performance 8-channel power amplifiers — under the series Ottocanali DSP+D. The Italian manufacturer will be exhibiting at ISE 2015 (10-12 February) for the sixth consecutive year through its Dutch partner TM Audio with a dedicated area (Hall 7, K175), and will present for the first time at ISE the award winning X Series amplifier, set to revolutionise the amplification market.

OTTOCANALI DSP+D
OttocanalisEven more flexible and reliable, the new Ottocanali Series DSP+D offers a wide range of system control and monitoring functions as well as sound shaping options, a total of up to 12,000 W output power at 4 ohm over 8 channels for lo-Z or distributed line systems — all neatly packed into a double rack unit.

As with former versions of Ottocanali, the new DSP+D versions feature switchable main and aux signal inputs per channel, adequate GPIO, alarms, Lo-Z and Hi-Z output connections as well as mono-bridgeable channel pairs. These 2 RU models implement two redundant universal switch mode power supplies with PFC (Power Factor Correction) and patented SRM (Smart Rails Management) technology that maximises the efficiency of the system as well as drastically reduces power consumption.

With two redundant Dante™ by Audinate® digital streams, the Ottocanali 4K4 DSP+D, Ottocanali 8K4 DSP+D and Ottocanali 12K4 DSP+D will fit any venue as ‘stand-alone’ unit, making it ideal for multi-zone applications in mid to large-scale installs.

ottocanaliExcellent sound quality and ample output power stem from Powersoft’s unique approach to Class D amplification and DSP technology, making the Ottocanali Series DSP+D the ideal main system in any venue where performance is priority.

Powersoft’s legendary efficiency saves valuable energy, keeping both operational cost and ‘carbon footprint’ at a minimum: the new Ottocanali Series shines with outstandingly low power consumption and heat dissipation; this dramatically reduces costs from the AC mains supply and air conditioning/cooling systems – not to mention the benefits to the environment for a greener planet.

X SERIES
Also on the Powersoft stand will be the revolutionary X Series, the first amplifier that doubles as a system tool, integrating a large amount of functionality generally only found in separate outboard units. This includes an innovative system of channel routing, a truly universal mono, bi- and three-phase balancing power supply (from 85V AC up to 440V AC without the need for manual selection), and a revolutionary fully-featured DSP.

The X Series consists of two models equally suitable for concert touring and fixed installations: the X8 (eight channels in a 2U chassis), and X4 (four channels in a single rack unit). Both models share the same power density and can deliver up to 5200W @ 2 ohms per channel.

Powersoft looked at what amplifiers will require for the next 10 years and made a platform capable of meeting these needs as well as building in ‘future proof’ expandability. The X Series natively supports AES3, two redundant Dante by Audinate digital streams and analogue inputs, providing up to four different selectable input sources per channel.

The set-up parameters of the Powersoft X Series are fully integrated into Armonía Pro Audio Suite™ which offers an intuitive interface for parameter adjustment, a comprehensive control over the digital audio processing and complete real-time monitoring of the system performance. An integrated WiFi connection permits the Powersoft X Series to be accessed and managed via any smartphone or tablet through a user interface specifically developed for local monitoring.

COLLATERAL EVENTS AT ISE
The award winning X Series will be running for two other industry accolades at ISE as the finalist in the Audio category for the InAVation Awards and also for NewBay Media’s ISE Best of Show Awards. The first European installation took place at the end of 2014 at the gebr. de Nobel music venue in Leiden, Netherlands.

In addition, Powersoft will be sponsoring the 5th Dante AV Networking World by Audinate on February 9 at the Amsterdam Holiday Inn near the RAI Convention Center. The free all-day event will feature presentations, training workshops and interactive panel discussions led by industry design consultants, AV installation contractors and IT networking experts.

In addition, a hands-on Dante workshop will bring together teams of participants to demonstrate how quickly and creatively a Dante network can be designed. In this context, the Powersoft X8 will be placed on Dante’s Wall of Fame.

Finally, Powersoft will also sponsor the AudioForum by Connessioni, which will take place on the afternoon of February 9 in Room G001at the RAI Convention Center and is free to attend. Created in 2013 to make the link between audio manufactures and integrators, AudioForum is a full day educational event to disseminate knowledge and contents, and investigate the tools that can help professionals in correctly designing their audio systems. The Powersoft demo will be chaired by Luigi Chelli, Powersoft Sound Engineer, who will show X4 performance, focusing on the highest level DSP with multi-stage signal processing.

About Powersoft:
Powersoft is the world leader in lightweight, high power, single rack space, energy efficient amplifiers for the professional audio market. Founded in Italy in 1995, headquartered in Florence, Italy, with offices in Ventura, CA, Powersoft couples the experience and precision of its production department with exceptional components to deliver products with perfect audio response and high performance reliability. Its state-of-the-art amplifiers can be found in an array of markets, ranging from stadiums, sporting arenas, theme parks, performance venues and airports to convention centers, churches and clubs, and are used by the world’s leading tour sound companies. For more information, visit the Powersoft website @ www.powersoft-audio.com.

Captions:
1) Powersoft is unveiling three new high-performance 8-channel power amplifiers at ISE, as part of the Ottocanali DSP+D Series.
2) The new Powersoft Ottocanali 12K4 DSP+D Pro takes up just two rack spaces.

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CAD Audio Debuts Versatile MH100 Headphones

MH100R high rez

Solon, OH––CAD Audio is introducing the new precision-built multipurpose MH100 headphones for studio, DJ and general playback use.

The MH100s are a closed-back, midsized design headphone equipped with high output 40mm Neodymium drivers that offer increased power and an extended frequency response of 20Hz-18kHz with exceptional detail and clarity.

Available in black (MH100) and red (MH100R), the MH100s are designed to provide hours of listening comfort with effective isolation from surrounding noise. Their excellent performance for price and solid construction make it an essential tool for superior studio performance, DJs and professional musicians.

Specifications
Frequency Response: 20Hz-18kHz
Sensitivity: 98dB
Driver: 40mm Neodymium
Impedance: 38ohm
Power Handling: 500mW

For more information about CAD Audio, please call 800.762.9266 or visit www.cadaudio.com<a

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DPA Microphones’ d:screet™ Necklace Microphone Earns Prestigious TEC Award

DPA Microphones’ d:screet™ Necklace Microphone Earns Prestigious TEC Award

DPA Microphones_TEC AwardALLEROED, DENMARK, FEBRUARY 2, 2015DPA Microphones is pleased to announce that its d:screet™ Omnidirectional Miniature Necklace Microphone has earned a prestigious TEC Award in the Sound Reinforcement category at this year’s 30th Annual award ceremony in Anaheim.

“We are very honored to have our d:screet Necklace Microphone presented with a TEC Award for Outstanding Technical Achievement in the Sound Reinforcement category,” says Christian Poulsen, CEO of DPA Microphones. “The TEC Awards are the most respected in our industry and we are quite pleased that our engineering team has been recognized for consistently designing industry-leading equipment that meets the continuously growing needs of professionals in our industry. We would like to thank not only the TEC Awards committee for the nomination, but also our customers and the industry at large for voting for this microphone.”

Released at Prolight + Sound 2014, the d:screet Necklace Microphone can be mounted and removed quickly several times by untrained talent without a sound expert nearby. Especially useful for instances when mounting and consistent audio output are the primary requirements, the d:screet Necklace mic is ideal for situations requiring quick costume changes. Featuring DPA’s legendary d:screet 4061 Omnidirectional Miniature Capsule in a soft rubber necklace, the d:screet Necklace mic offers fast, repeatable, “do-it-yourself” mounting and is designed specifically for use by non-technicians. It is available in black, white and brown and in lengths of either 18.3 or 20.9 inches.

ABOUT DPA:
DPA Microphones is the leading Danish Professional Audio manufacturer of high-quality condenser microphone solutions for professional applications. DPA’s ultimate goal is to always provide its customers with the absolute finest possible microphone solutions for all its markets, which include live sound, installation, recording, theatre and broadcast. When it comes to the design process, DPA takes no shortcuts. Nor does the company compromise on its manufacturing process, which is done at the DPA factory in Denmark. As a result, DPA’s products are globally praised for their exceptional clarity and transparency, unparalleled specifications, supreme reliability and, above all, pure, uncolored and undistorted sound.

For more information on DPA Microphones, please visit www.dpamicrophones.com

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BVE 2015: FOR-A to Present New Vision Mixer and Server

London ExCel, Stand M30, 24-26 February 2015

Chessington, UK - At BVE 2015, FOR-A will present its latest vision mixer, the new HVS-2000, together with its new Broadcast Box (BB-404) four-channel server. BVE 2015 runs from February 24-26 at the ExCeL London Convention Centre.

Introduced at IBC 2014, the 2 M/E HVS-2000 vision mixer is the newest addition to the HVS switcher family. A flexible unit HVS-2000-10.30.14allowing up to 40 SDI inputs and 22 outputs, the easy-to-use HVS-2000 includes powerful features unavailable in other switchers in its class. The unit runs on what has been dubbed a V6 HVS2K engine, ready for SD, HD, Full HD (3G) and 4K production.

The HVS-2000 has a number of ground-breaking features and technologies, including MELite™, which transforms a traditional AUX bus into a functional M/E with cut, mix, wipe and key control. The MELite feature provides the HVS-2000 HVS-2000-10.30.14with the production capabilities of a fully functional 6 M/E switcher.

MELite is the building block for features such as upstream and downstream transition effects. Operators can deploy a MELite as a third M/E, transforming the switcher to a 3 M/E switcher with a 3 M/E panel. Users can also add a 1 M/E panel and allow a second operator to have the added power of a second fully functional switcher in another location, all from the V6 HVS2K engine.

The versatile, cost efficient HVS-2000 gives operators the power of 6 M/Es for multiple, independent, on-stage monitor display control. ONStage™ is a newly developed technology designed specifically for staging events, such as house of worship or corporate events where multiple image magnification displays are used, each with independent transitions. The HVS-2000 is the first switcher that allows operators to see mix, wipe, key and DVE changes with full preview control connected directly to the lever arm transition area.

Another feature that provides additional flexibility and customization is FLEXaKEY™. With FLEXaKEY, operators can tailor their production needs by adding and moving key and DVE layers to traditional M/E resources or to MELite resources. FLEXaKEY allows operators to select and multiply the layers and graphics they need, when they need them.

The switcher includes a four-channel media player capable of still image and clip store with memory back-up. Its panel memory system, P-MEM™, includes simple panel snap shot recall or events, sequence and macro memory recalls. Within the HVS-2000 is a new FOR-A-developed menu system inspired from customer feedback around the world. Called Midas Touch™, the menu system allows for easy configuration changes and full system control. The V6 HVS2K includes frame synchronizers on every input, including valuable frame grab for image capture on any input. Re-sizer for SD to HD migration is also included.

The HVS-2000 is ideal for a wide variety of applications, including OB truck, live event, television studio, house of worship and educational settings. The switcher is now shipping.

FOR-A will also show the new versatile, easy-to-use Broadcast Box video server, offering low-cost record and playout. With a range of codecs and based on industry-leading software, Broadcast Box range offers a cost-effective means of ingesting material and generating different versions from the range of available codecs.

About FOR-A
FOR-A is a major manufacturer and distributor of video and audio systems to the broadcast, postproduction and professional video markets. For more information about FOR-A’s products, please visit our web site at www.for-a.com

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Lenny Kravitz Goes Wireless With Shure Axient®

NILES, Ill. Jan. 28, 2015—Throughout his career, Lenny Kravitz has always insisted on accuracy in his guitar tone. “He works hard on getting everything just right, especially his guitar,” says Alex Alvarez, Lenny’s guitar tech of 23 years. “He’s just insistent on his sound, which is why he never went wireless. Every time we would demo something, it would never meet his expectations.”

But all that changed during production rehearsals for Kravitz’s European tour in support of his latest album, Strut. After a demo of multiple high-end wireless systems arranged by Tour Supply, Lenny, Alex, and guitarist Craig Ross agreed that Shure Axient® Wireless Management Network was the one system that could deliver his sonic requirements on stage.

“It started as a conversation with Lenny,” Alex relates. “The subject of wireless guitar came up, and I told him there was a system I wanted him to check out. He said, ‘We’ve been down this road before. I would like to, but you know if it doesn’t sound right, I’m not going to do it.’ So I called Lance at Tour Supply to set up a demo.”

With rehearsals being in Miami, Lance Wascom, CEO of Tour Supply, had two days to set up the requested shootout. “We showed two Shure systems, Axient and ULX-D®, plus two other major brands,” he says. “Everything had to come together quickly and accurately, so I flew to Miami to set up the demo. Being that Lenny and Alex are such great clients, we really wanted to offer every level of support possible.”

Axient was the system that Alex Alvarez had his eye on from the start. “I had heard about it, both from Shure and from other guitar techs,” he notes. “The fact that it can detect interference and change frequencies on its own made it really attractive to me, but I knew that if the sound wasn’t perfect to Lenny’s ears, he would just stick with his cable. But since we already use Shure PSM® 1000 in-ears, I figured it was worth a try.”

The first day of rehearsals, Kravitz was not available, so his longtime guitarist and writing partner, Craig Ross, did the initial testing. “Craig really liked the sound and said, ‘Man, Lenny’s got to approve this.’ So we set up two more units for Lenny to check out the next day, and he was very impressed with both the sound and the technology. It turned out to be an easy decision.”

Asked to comment on his adoption of the Shure Axient guitar system, Lenny Kravitz stated, “After 25 years of resisting wireless systems, I am finally free from my beloved cables without sacrificing the organic tone of my guitar and amplifiers.”

Kravitz ordered three dual-channel Axient systems: two each for himself, Craig Ross, and bassist Gail Ann Dorsey. To fully realize the system’s networking and control capabilities, the band also purchased an AXT6000 Spectrum Manager and ShowLink Access Point.

Being Axient certified, Tour Supply’s Lance Wascom took on the task of educating the production crew on the system’s extensive monitoring, control, and frequency management capabilities. Along with Alex Alvarez, Wascom conferred with monitor engineer Josh Mellottsi on how to best integrate the new systems into the Kravitz backline.

“I love the technology,” says Wascom. “Axient tends to blow people’s minds. To see their reaction as it switches channels by itself, and to see how excited the monitor engineer gets when you coordinate all their frequencies in less than a minute… it’s just a lot of fun! It’s especially gratifying to know that you’re making an impact on the crew’s day-to-day workload. Frequency coordination and monitoring can be time consuming and stressful. Axient automates much of this, which saves time and allows the guys to focus on other tasks. In that sense, Axient can be as much as a ‘win’ for the crew as it is for the band.”

While the three Axient receivers sit in racks atop each of the guitar and bass rigs, the tour’s total wireless package is networked together and operated from Mellottsi’s monitor position. Frequency coordination is handled through Axient Spectrum Manager and Shure’s Wireless Workbench® software. Each day, Mellottsi scans for available frequencies and deploys them through the system.

“Between microphones, in-ears, and now guitars, we have so many frequencies that it’s best to have one person manage it all,” says Alvarez. “Of course, what I like best about Axient is that it always has spare frequencies ready to deploy in case there’s a problem. I remember the first time the system changed frequencies on the fly, and nobody noticed anything on stage. Very awesome.”

Alvarez is also very enthused about Shure’s rechargeable battery system, which is used for the six Axient transmitters as well as the band’s 11 channels of Shure PSM 1000 in-ears. “That’s another huge saving grace,” he enthused. “We get far more time out of a full charge than alkalines, and the system actually monitors remaining life down to the minute, so there are no surprises. We used to spend $10,000 in batteries for each leg of a major tour, so it’s not just the responsible thing to do, but they also pay for themselves.”

Having used the system on the Lenny Kravitz Strut tour of Europe, Alex Alvarez reports the Shure Axient guitar systems have been a total success. “We’ve literally had zero technical problems with the system,” he reports. “But with Lenny, it always comes back to the sound. He wouldn’t go wireless unless the system didn’t change what he’s worked so hard to sound like. Shure Axient does that for him.”

Photo credit:  Axient Rack, Courtesy of Photographer Alex Alvarez

Photo credit: Axient Rack, Courtesy of Photographer Alex Alvarez

Photo credit:  Lenny Kravitz, Courtesy of Photographer Mathieu Bitton

Photo credit: Lenny Kravitz, Courtesy of Photographer Mathieu Bitton

About Shure Incorporated
Founded in 1925, Shure Incorporated (www.shure.com) is widely acknowledged as the world’s leading manufacturer of microphones and audio electronics. Over the years, the Company has designed and produced many high-quality professional and consumer audio products that have become legendary for performance, reliability, and value. Shure’s diverse product line includes world-class wired microphones, wireless microphone systems, in-ear personal monitoring systems, conferencing and discussion systems, networked audio systems, award-winning earphones and headphones, and top-rated phonograph cartridges. Today, Shure products are the first choice whenever audio performance is a top priority.

Shure Incorporated is headquartered in Niles, Illinois, in the United States. The Company also has regional sales and marketing headquarters in Eppingen, Germany, and Hong Kong, China, with more than 30 additional manufacturing facilities and regional sales offices throughout the Americas, EMEA, and Asia.

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