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Archive of the News Category

SOUND DEVICES 970 EARNS CAS TECHNICAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

REEDSBURG, WI — Sound Devices, specialists in audio and video products for broadcast and film production, is pleased to announce that its 970 rack-mount, multi-track audio recorder won the Cinema Audio Society (CAS) Technical Achievement Award in the Production category.

The Cinema Audio Society was formed in 1964 to recognize innovations in recording technologies, including hardware and software products that are used by sound mixing professionals. Sound Devices has now been a recipient of the prestigious CAS Technical Achievement Award five times. The 744T and 788T Production Recorders, and the 664 and 633 Field Production Mixers are all past winners.Sound Devices - 970 CAS Award

“To be consistently recognized year after year for our new products with CAS Technical Achievement Awards is a remarkable accomplishment,” says Matt Anderson, President of Sound Devices. “At Sound Devices, we continue to push the boundaries by presenting high-quality, innovative tools that make a difference in the demanding workflows of our customers in the motion picture and television industries. We couldn’t be happier that the 970, our first-ever dedicated rack-mount audio solution, is being recognized for doing so.”

Sound Devices’ 970 records 64 channels of monophonic or polyphonic 24-bit WAV files from any of its 144 available inputs, including 64 channels of Ethernet-based Dante, 64 channels of optical or coaxial MADI, eight channels of line-level analog and eight channels of AES digital. The half-rack, 2-U device simplifies any application requiring high-quality high-track-count audio recording, such as drama and reality productions, and live concert recording. The 970 records to any of four attached drives, two front-panel drive bays (behind the screen) and two rear-panel e-SATA-connected drives. Material can be recorded to multiple drives simultaneously or sequentially. With its built-in, rock-steady Ambient™ Recording Lockit time-code technology, the 970 is well-suited to operate as a master clock.Sound Devices 970 - front panel

The 970 also features an embedded Web-based control panel for machine transport and setup control over Ethernet-based networks as well as file transfer over the data network with SMB. Users can perform file metadata editing of scene name, take name, notes, track names and reel folders before, during and after recording across all drives. In addition to RS-422 and GPIO control, the unit also allows for format conversion between analog, AES digital, MADI and Dante. Sound Devices’ 970 is designed with a large five-inch screen for metering of up to 64 tracks and for fast and intuitive menu control.

Additionally, Sound Devices 970 features the company’s proprietary PowerSafe™ technology, which has a built-in 10-second power reserve. In the event of a power loss, the unit continues to operate for up to 10 seconds to safely stop any file operation and then shuts down. This ensures that a complete power loss has no effect on the recording. The 970 also features FileSafe™, which automatically detects and repairs corrupted file headers when drives are mounted. Should this occur when a drive is inadvertently removed during recording, the user can simply reinsert the drive and FileSafe will automatically repair the files.

Sound Devices, LLC designs and manufactures portable audio mixers, digital audio recorders and related equipment for feature film, episodic television, documentary, news-gathering, live event and acoustical test and measurement applications. Video Devices is a brand of Sound Devices for their digital video recorders and related products that address a range of multiple-source video productions, including fast-paced, mission-critical studio applications, live sports, live events, and mobile production.

Founded in 1998, the company designs and manufactures both brands from their Reedsburg, Wisconsin headquarters with additional offices in Madison, Wisconsin. For more information, visit the Sound Devices and Video Devices websites: www.sounddevices.com and www.videodevices.com.

Masque Sound Helps Put Contemporary Spin on Revolutionary Tale of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Much-Anticipated New Musical, Hamilton

HamiltonNEW YORK, FEBRUARY 18, 2015 — When the wildly inventive new musical HAMILTON opened at New York City’s famed Public Theater, Sound Designer Nevin Steinberg collaborated with Masque Sound,a leading theatrical sound reinforcement, installation and design company, on a custom audio equipment package for the eagerly anticipated off-Broadway production.

From the creative team behind the Tony® Award-winning In The Heights comes a wildly inventive new musical about the scrappy young immigrant who forever changed America: Alexander Hamilton. Tony and Grammy Award winner Lin-Manuel Miranda wields his pen and takes the stage as the unlikely founding father determined to make his mark on a new nation as hungry and ambitious as he is. From bastard orphan to Washington’s right hand man, rebel to war hero, loving husband caught in the country’s first sex scandal to Treasury head who made an untrusting world believe in the American economy, HAMILTON is an exploration of a political mastermind. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Eliza Hamilton, and lifelong Hamilton friend and foe, Aaron Burr, all attend this revolutionary tale of America’s fiery past told through the sounds of the ever-changing nation we’ve become. Tony Award nominee Thomas Kail directs this new musical about taking your shot, speaking your mind, and turning the world upside down. HAMILTON features book, music, and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, is inspired by the book “Alexander Hamilton” by Ron Chernow, choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler, and is directed by Thomas Kail.

“Lin is a great theatre artist and fascinating individual full of fantastic ideas, and I am fortunate to once again be a part of the creative team he assembled,” says Steinberg. “I was lucky enough to work on In the Heights and when its director, Thomas Kail, asked me to be a part of this show, I was thrilled.”

In designing the sound for HAMILTON, Steinberg had his work cut out for him. “When you are generating the kind of energy that this style of music demands, the first job is to determine how the audience will hear the lyrics and understand how the words and the story connect to these characters,” he says. “It is important to pay attention to the versatility and premium of clarity, fidelity and linearity in the sound system, while making sure it is sensitive and delicate enough to translate to the ballads and the string quartet, and the more traditional music that rise up out of this environment. To succeed, you have to be very agile and have a very large tool kit at your disposal, and Masque Sound was wonderful in providing us with everything we needed.”

Miranda’s music and the idiom in which he writes is very challenging for audio but is also full of great opportunities to change the game as to how people hear shows in the theatre. The music has its own vocabulary, which emanates from a very contemporary urban feel, so, in designing the sound, there were a lot of challenges in addressing the way the hip-hop-style music would contrast with the show’s more classical undertones, courtesy of the production’s string quartet.

“My biggest challenge was to honor the dynamic range of both the energy and the emotion contained in the score that Lin writes,” says Steinberg. “The show encompasses an extraordinary range. We go from generating the kind of environment that you might experience at a hip-hop concert to the most delicate ballads supported by only a piano and violin, and that’s always a challenge, but it’s also the most exciting part.”

In order to take on the aforementioned challenges, meet the requirements of the show, and adhere to a specific budget, Steinberg worked closely with Masque Sound to come up with an initial equipment list. “Because the theatre is off-Broadway and very small, seating less than 300 people, we are not covering a ton of seats even though there are a lot of speakers in the room, so the back-end of the system isn’t particularly extensive compared to a big Broadway house,” he adds. “We were able to concentrate a lot of our resources financially into the front end of the system, including the console and wireless sides as well as on the input side for the band and monitoring. Working with a shop like Masque Sound that understands those kinds of decisions based on financial considerations and is sensitive to them is essential.”

For his console, Steinberg chose to go with the DiGiCo SD7T Live Digital Console. “We quickly realized that this production, taking into account the flexibility required in terms of the input, monitoring and control, needed a flagship console,” he adds.

The custom speaker package Masque Sound provided Steinberg features Meyer Sound UPQ-2Ps and L-ACOUSTICS® ARCS, which he chose because he felt that the classic speakers would work well in the Newman Theater’s long and narrow design. For the delay system, Masque Sound provided an assortment of speakers from Meyer Sound, EAW and d&b audiotechnik. The microphone package includes both DPA d:screet 4061s, along with a few DPA d:fine headsets, as well as DPA d:dicate 4011s for the musicians. A selection of Shure and Audix mics were used for the drums and percussion, as well as Radial Engineering direct boxes for keyboards, bass and guitars.

For his wireless needs, Masque Sound provided Steinberg with a 30-channel custom package from Sennheiser. “Sennheiser tends to be my first choice,” he says. “We received a great wireless package, which always plays to Masque Sound’s strengths. It has always been one of their best departments and the system that they delivered to us is working flawlessly.”

“I was thrilled to be able to work with Masque Sound on HAMILTON,” concludes Steinberg. “In addition to Masque Sound, my team did an amazing job, from my engineer, Justin Rathburn, to my associate, Jason Crystal, to my backstage staff of Matthew Walsh and Anna Lee Craig, as well as the entire Public Theater team. HAMILTON is a big project in a small theater and we are looking forward to what will hopefully be a very bright future.”

HAMILTON began preview performances on January 20 and officially opens on February 17 at the Public Theater’s Newman Theater, located at 425 Lafayette Street in Manhattan. This limited engagement runs thru April 5, 2015. For more information, visit www.publictheater.org.

About The Public Theater
Under the leadership of Artistic Director Oskar Eustis and Executive Director Patrick Willingham, The Public Theater is the only theater in New York that produces Shakespeare, the classics, musicals, contemporary and experimental pieces in equal measure. The Public continues the work of its visionary founder, Joe Papp, by acting as an advocate for the theater as an essential cultural force, and leading and framing dialogue on some of the most important issues of our day. Creating theater for one of the largest and most diverse audience bases in New York City for nearly 60 years, today the Company engages audiences in a variety of venues—including its landmark downtown home at Astor Place, which houses five theaters and Joe’s Pub; the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, home to its beloved, free Shakespeare in the Park; and the Mobile Unit, which tours Shakespearean productions for underserved audiences throughout New York City’s five boroughs. The Public’s wide range of programming includes free Shakespeare in the Park, the bedrock of the Company’s dedication to making theater accessible to all; Public Works, a new initiative that is designed to cultivate new connections and new models of engagement with artists, audiences and the community each year; new and experimental stagings at The Public at Astor Place, including Public Lab; and a range of artist and audience development initiatives including its Public Forum series, which brings together theater artists and professionals from a variety of disciplines for discussions that shed light on social issues explored in Public productions. The Public Theater is located on property owned by the City of New York and receives annual support from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; and in October 2012 the landmark building downtown at Astor Place was revitalized to physically manifest the Company’s core mission of sparking new dialogues and increasing accessibility for artists and audiences, by dramatically opening up the building to the street and community, and transforming the lobby into a public piazza for artists, students, and audiences. Key elements of the revitalization an expanded and refurbished lobby; the addition of a mezzanine level with a new restaurant lounge, The Library, designed by the Rockwell Group. www.publictheater.org

The LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust provides leadership support for The Public Theater’s year-round activities; Bank of America, Proud Season Sponsor of Shakespeare in the Park; The Harold & Mimi Steinberg New Play Development Fund at The Public Theater Supports the Creation and Development of New Plays; The Philip and Janice Levin Foundation -Lead Supporter of The Public’s Access and Engagement Programming; The Time Warner Foundation, Founding Sponsor of The Emerging Writers Group; Delta Air Lines, Official Airline of The Public Theater; New York Magazine is the official print sponsor of The Public Theater’s 2014-2015 downtown season; Public support is provided by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency; and the National Endowment for the Arts, an independent federal agency.

About Masque Sound
Founded in 1936 by a trio of Broadway stagehands, Masque Sound evolved into one of NYC’s most successful theatrical sound reinforcement, installation and design companies specializing in theatrical, house of worship, sporting, corporate, TV broadcast and live concert events. Celebrating more than 75 years in the industry, the company is led by President Stephanie Hansen and the firm’s third generation owner, Geoff Shearing. The company also operates Florida-based Professional Wireless Systems, a leader in the development and implementation of wireless technology. Credits range from major Broadway shows and tours including “Phantom of the Opera,” “Mamma Mia!,” “Lion King,” “Jersey Boys,” “Memphis,” “The Book of Mormon,” “Newsies,” “Once” and “Kinky Boots” to yearly Super Bowl broadcasts and installations of varying sizes, including New York’s New Victory Theater and historic St. Bartholomew’s Church. Masque Sound’s 70,000 sq. ft. corporate headquarters and main assembly facility is located at 21 East Union Ave., East Rutherford, NJ, 20 minutes from midtown Manhattan. For more information, call (201) 939-8666 or visit www.MasqueSound.com.

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In the Eye of the Beholder: A True “Solution”

Canon REALiS WUX400ST

Like many of you, I get sick and tired of hearing industry “buzzwords” that should have meaning but in AV today is the word “solution”. By definition a solution is the act of solving a problem or a question, as in “the situation is approaching solution”. That being said, I have to back pedal a bit with the irritation. The word “solution” is still overused but I have in my possession the new Canon REALiS WUX400ST Pro AV Short Throw Compact Installation LCOS Projector that truly is a solution. Because in the end, if the word and the reality match, then using the word is appropriate – especially in this instance.

As many of you know, we have come a long way in video projection development over the years, but today the area that excites many of us the most is the development of truly high performance short throw optics and projectors specifically designed to use those capabilities. From the beginning we have had projectors with long throw capabilities and wide angle lenses, but true short throw close focus projectors as a high performance solution has been a development of recent times. This being the case we must ask ourselves if this is going to become a trend in AV design or a nice option as a footnote in a projector manufacturer’s line-up.

If we look at the latest market research we see that there are three factors of significant growth in projection. One is that the sweet spot of light output is now in the 3,000 to 4,000 lumen range. In terms of resolution, XGA has ruled the roost for years driven by the relatively low resolution requirements of the educational community – but this is now migrating to higher resolutions since source material at those higher resolutions is more affordable and more readily available. Last but not least we are seeing significant growth in the use of short throw projectors. The question jumps out at you. Is there a projector that excels in all of these growth areas?

The answer is a resounding yes and it is the Canon REALiS WUX400ST. We will get into all the individual details and how they perform, but for a first glance it is a compact installation projector that uses LCOS technology featuring the highest fill factor in the digital display industry, boasts a high resolution of 1920 x 1200, produces 4000 lumens of light output, and features a .56:1 short throw optic. Sounds pretty good, but in our testing we found it looks even better than it sounds – so stay tuned.

Picture Quality
Lets state at the outset – no matter what a specification says, if the projector does not produce a stellar picture, all else is gilding the lily and simply marketing chatter. In short, it is and always will be about the image on screen and the WUX400ST does not disappoint in any sense. Based on LCOS technology that uses the best of both reflective and transmissive elements in the core chip, you get excellent resolution and high contrast for two basic reasons. As noted earlier, LCOS has the highest fill factor of any digital display technology so the active area on the screen is maximized while minimizing the screen door effect of other display technologies, and coincident with that there is the unparalleled quality of the Canon optics that go a long way to improve contrast.

Let’s pause just a moment on optics and light and look at how this relationship fits into the picture. If you think about it, projection is actually based on the control and manipulation of light. And as we all know ambient light falling onto the screen surface, and a lack of lighting control, is to be filed under the heading of a bad thing and one that degrades the image on screen. Now think about light control inside the projector and depending upon the manufacturer there will be various degrees of success at controlling and utilizing available light. This is another area where Canon excels not just in their exit optics (aka projection lenses), but inside the projector with their newly improved AISYS Optical Engine. This group of optics is designed as a system to collect, combine, control, and maximize the individual components of light as they help create the images that transmit through the lens. In the new system they have found creative ways to enhance contrast and transmit more of that elusive electromagnetic spectrum that humans see.

Color Accuracy
While we are still inside the projector I want to address the concept of color processing. You can have great optics and the most advanced core chip technology, but what if the color processing is inferior? To the first order, this is related to color bit depth stated as so many bits. For the uninitiated, a bigger number is better. Many projectors use 8 bit processing and yet others are more advanced and use a 10 bit system. The folks at Canon take their resident bit depth very seriously and increase it to a class leading 12 bits of processing power incorporating an advanced color processing system that is very sophisticated in terms of how it “handles” each color. Not to get to techy, so think about it this way, as the number of bits increases, the number of possible colors that can be displayed becomes larger. In side by side comparisons with projectors using lower bit depth processing, the difference is quite noticeable. Combine the film like quality of LCoS with advanced color processing and excellent contrast, and this produces image fidelity that is fully optimized in terms of replication content in an accurate manner. Suffice it to say that the WUX400ST produces an outstanding picture and we pay homage to that – but there is even more to consider in this tutorial about being a total solution in the broadest sense.

Outstanding Short Throw Optics and Lens Shift
Excellent image quality is the price of entry in the upper echelons of this category but we would be remiss if we did not speak of the physical nature of short throw capability in some detail. The specification states that this is a .56:1 lens and that tied into Canon quality is quite impressive. This translates into a projector that can produce a 100” image from as little as 4 feet away. Pretty impressive numbers, but I urge you not to stop there. What is truly unique, and takes this projector to a completely different level, is the mechanical lens shift capability that provides for the image to be raised vertically from 0 to 75% and horizontally plus or minus 10%. This compares with other short throw projectors on the market that have as little as 50% vertical lens shift. To all the skeptics out there concerned about how Canon’s extreme lens shift will affect image quality – as a point of reference, in our testing with both cross hatch and geometry test patterns the WUX400ST performed extremely well with virtually no distortion!

Impressive as those numbers are, imagine what you can do with this in terms of a practical solution to problems you could not address before. You can now tuck the projector underneath the lip of a traditional conference table and literally take the projector out of the environment. Just try finding a better way to create a high quality image of 100” or larger for the price and the added benefit of no visible display device to distract you from the interior design. Another one of my favorite applications is to mount a series of these projectors along the ceiling or hallway and, thanks to the built in edge blending with an overlap capability of 0 to 960 pixel horizontal and 0 to 600 pixel vertical, create a continuous and seamless series of images as far as you want. And thanks to the aforementioned short throw capabilities, the viewers are out of the light path of the projectors. Even for those of us who are, shall we say, less imaginative, there are still benefits. You can now mount the project closer to the screen in front or rear projection in a more traditional sense while reducing installation time and costs (long cable runs). One can then simply fine tune with manual lens adjustment to fit perfectly on the screen.

F-Stop
One final point on lensing is the fact that the .56:1 lens has an f stop of 2.7. Before I lose you, this actually is extremely important and relates to depth of field. This feature facilitates the use of the projector on curved or spherical surfaces – as this allows the projector to remain in focus as the screen surface curves. To test this we placed the projector on a curved screen and measured focus and uniformity in the center of the screen and on the curved extremities. With typical projectors having less depth of field capability, the curved areas become out of focus and with the WUX400ST this was simply not the case.

4 Point Independent Keystone Correction
Another useful but unsung tool on several of the Canon REALiS projectors is 4 point independent keystone correction, with “independent” being the critical word. On some other projectors, keystone correction has a tendency to degrade the image in some manner. And although digital keystone correction has improved over the years, by design this feature uses fewer of the available pixels on the display (which should always be avoided if possible). Canon has taken this to the next level of performance and their 4 point system actually permits each corner of an image to be adjusted independently allowing for true diagonal projection. Couple this will high quality moiré reduction and you get clear images without the loss of apparent resolution.

Advanced Features
Recognizing that the performance on screen is first and foremost followed by the expanded physical installation parameters of the short throw optics, if it all stops here then the solution limits itself and is not all it could be. Once again the Canon REALiS WUX400ST goes the extra mile in this regard in several areas. For example, the WUX400ST has 5 color temperature options and more than 25 built in test patterns to assist in the calibration of the projector so no external test pattern generator is required. With healthcare being one of the fastest growing segments of the display industry, it’s also important to note that Canon offers a REALiS WUX400ST D version of this product which includes a DICOM Simulation Mode ideal for the viewing of medical images such as X-rays and CT Scans for educational and training purposes (not to be used for diagnostic applications).

Other Features (Networking, Low Power Consumption, etc.)
Under the heading of nice to have, there is picture by picture capability, a USB memory stick feature so you do not have to have the projector hooked up to a PC or other source, decent sounding 5 watt audio built in, and from a networking perspective there are full controls over IP. For the ecofriendly crowd, Canon caters to you as well. In comparative testing, the WUX400ST consumed less than .081W per lumen, and the standby power consumption was a mere 0.2 W, which are both very favorable when compared to similar products. Furthermore, its filter design provides for up to a lengthy 12,000 hours of operation before needing replacement. Wrap all of this up in the smallest physical form factor in its class and cover it with a 3 year parts and labor warranty and I suggest that all of this adds up to the definition of a true solution.

The parting thought is this. Take a look at some of the problems you face in AV design and also look at some of the things you have wanted to do but didn’t have the right solution to accomplish the task, and now consider the REALiS WUX400ST. If the specifications don’t convince you then get a unit in house to look at for yourself. You will see what we saw and that is outstanding performance with installation options that open up new opportunities for you to satisfy your customers.

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RH Consulting Whitepaper Predicts “The Death of Analogue and The Rise of Audio Networking”

Portland, OR – February 17, 2015 – RH Consulting has released a new whitepaper examining the current state of the audio networking market and trends among the various audio networking solutions. The independent report, titled “The Death of Analogue and The Rise of Audio Networking,” was commissioned by Audinate and takes a detailed look at the number of audio networking products presently available, the growth rate for various protocols, and the market forces affecting their adoption.

“This whitepaper is the most comprehensive analysis of the audio networking market to date,” states Roland Hemming, principal audio consultant for RH Consulting. “Rather than just focus on technical differences, our goal was to provide a deep dive from the overall market perspective. We analyzed the products that are really shipping and the factors that are driving the growth, or lack thereof, of the various protocols.”

Key takeaways from the whitepaper include:

• Audinate’s Dante audio networking solution has had significant growth in licensees over the last 24 months, nearly 4 times the next largest protocol.
• Over 700 networked audio products are currently available, with the number of Dante-enabled products introduced in the last 12 month significantly outpacing all other networking protocols.
• The number of Dante-enabled products is forecasted to grow by 75% in 2015, and 130% by 2016.

In addition to looking at the total available networked products on the market, RH Consulting examined the factors contributing to the rapid growth of Dante and where audio networking sits on the technology adoption curve.

“Audio networking is following the same pattern as most new technology,” adds Hemming. “The success of Dante is consistent with easy-to-use, end-to-end solutions driving the market when technology is in the early growth phase.” He continues, “Overtime networking has become less about specifying a protocol and more about specifying products that work together.”

The report indicates that the uptake of Dante and audio networking in general is an indication that the market is undergoing a dramatic shift. “History has shown us that when a digital technology comes within 20% of the price of its analogue equivalent, the latter dies,” according to Hemming. “While audio networking is not to that point yet, the rapid growth we are seeing now would indicate that analogue’s days are numbered.”

To download the full whitepaper, visit: www.audinate.com/rise-of-audio-networking

About Roland Hemming
Roland Hemming is a principal audio consultant at RH Consulting, an independent audio consultancy offering system design, compliance, product development and project management services. In his 28-year career he has managed the two largest audio projects in Europe. He has presented papers to the Audio Engineering Society and has been an advisor to InfoComm. He is a regular speaker at industry conferences, a judge for many industry awards and regular author of articles for industry magazines. Roland is a member the AES and ISCE and he sits on the British and European committees for voice alarm systems including EN54 and the IET committee for Connected Systems Integration in Buildings.

About Audinate

forecasted Growth of Dante Enabled Products

forecasted Growth of Dante Enabled Products


Audinate revolutionizes AV systems to enable our customers to thrive in a networked world. Audinate’s Dante media networking technology has been adopted by the leading manufacturers and has become the de facto standard networking technology in the professional audio/visual industry. Dante is used extensively for live performance events, commercial installation, broadcast, recording and production, and communications systems. Audinate offices are located in US, United Kingdom and Australia.

Dante is a trademark of Audinate Pty Ltd, Audinate is a registered trademark of Audinate Pty Ltd.

PRS for Music Installs PMC Speakers In New Listening Room

Steve3 (640x393)

PRS for Music, the organisation that represents over 100,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers, has chosen PMC loudspeakers for the listening room in its new offices in Kings Cross, London.

PRS for Music relocated to Two Pancras Square at the end of 2014. Moving to this prestigious new building gave the organisation the opportunity to create a working environment that was ideally suited to its needs. Part of that process involved installing a dedicated listening room that could be used for any critical listening tasks, including judging entries for the annual Ivor Novello Awards, which celebrate the best British music writing.

PRS for Music director and Music Producers Guild Chairman Steve Levine was responsible for the listening room project and for the choice of PMC monitors. As a multi-platinum music producer, Levine has crafted hits for artists such as The Beach Boys, Culture Club, the Creatures, Gary Moore and Westworld and has won numerous awards including a BRIT Award for Producer of the Year, a Grammy for his work with Deneice Williams and a Sony Radio Award.

“When PRS asked me to oversee the design and build of its new listening room, I want to ensure that it was as good as it could possibly be,” Levine says. “For this reason I insisted that the architects installed a floating floor to prevent reverb issues and that it was as acoustically accurate as possible. The choice of monitors was easy because I already have PMC speakers in my own studio and am therefore familiar with the way they sound and the high quality audio they deliver. PMC speakers are renowned for being exceptionally accurate and that is what I really like about them – the fact that you can hear all the nuances of the music you are listening to and you don’t miss even the tiniest detail.”

As the PRS for Music listening room is compact, PMC recommended twotwo.5 active speakers that are specifically designed for situations where space is at a premium but quality must not be compromised. The smallest members of the twotwo family, these ultra-compact nearfield monitors feature the same technology as their larger siblings allowing them to perform way beyond expectation. Resolution and neutrality is provided by sophisticated DSP, dual power amplifiers, PMC’s new 27mm tweeter and a 140mm (5.5”) bass unit, all housed in an ATL™ labyrinth cabinet. The result is a monitor that delivers exceptional dynamics, musicality and depth of bass despite its small cabinet size.

About PMC
PMC is a UK-based, world-leading manufacturer of loudspeaker systems, the tools of choice in all ultra-critical professional monitoring applications, and also for the discerning audiophile at home, where they provide a transparent window into the recording artist’s original intentions. PMC products use the best available materials and design principles, including the company’s proprietary Advanced Transmission Line (ATL™) bass-loading technology, cutting-edge amplification and advanced DSP techniques to create loudspeakers that present sound and music exactly as it was when first created, with the highest possible resolution, and without coloration or distortion. For more information on our clients and products, see www.pmc-speakers.com.

DPA Delivers Pristine Audio During The Filming Of Taken 3

Stephane Bucher on Taken 3 set

Capturing high quality audio for a blockbuster film is always crucial as dialogue between the actors must be heard if the story is to be understood. But when the sound crew also has to contend with action-packed scenes featuring car chases and shoot outs, recording comprehensible audio becomes an even more complex challenge.

This was the situation French sound engineer Stéphane Bucher found himself in when he started working on Taken 3, the third and final instalment of the Taken film trilogy starring Liam Neeson, Forest Whitaker and Maggie Grace.

“I knew we had a lot of dialogue taking place in difficult conditions where using a boom mic just wasn’t going to work, so there was only one thing for it,” he says. “I reached for my stock of DPA d:screet™ 4060 miniature microphones and asked the wardrobe team to help me figure out where we could hide them.”

Bucher is no stranger to the versatility and exceptional sound quality afforded by these tiny DPA mics as he used them to great effect last year on the Luc Besson film Lucy, which starred Scarlett Johansson. On that occasion they were sewn into the seams of Scarlett’s t-shirt and delivered great audio without any visibility issues.

“When we were filming Lucy, Luc Besson only used one camera so we did have the option of using a boom mic for some scenes,” Bucher says. “The big difference with Taken 3 was that Olivier Megaton [the director] used three cameras at the same time so that he could capture numerous different angles. In tight situations, such as inside the police station where Forest Whitaker had five pages of dialogue to record, we couldn’t use only a boom because of the wide and tight angles. That was when the DPA mics became so indispensable. Their sound matched perfectly when the boom couldn’t be used. We recorded fantastic audio that came across loud and clear in the mix. By the end of the film I’d say that 80% of the audio was recorded using these mics.”

Internationally acclaimed as a sound engineer, Bucher has worked with numerous famous actors and directors including Morgan Freeman, Pierce Brosnan and Kevin Costner. In recent years many of the projects he has undertaken have come via major feature film producers such as EuropaCorp. He also owns and manages the Paris-based rental company, A4Audio, which supplies audio equipment to film and TV clients.

Bucher believes that good preparation was key to the success of the audio in Taken 3. Before shooting started in the USA, he spent four days with wardrobe staff figuring out the best places to hide the DPA d:screet 4060 mics.

“Unlike Lucy where the action took place over a very short timeframe, this film spans a longer stretch of time so there were more costume changes to content with,” he explains. “Hiding microphones in clothing only works if you can avoid scratching or chaffing noises. We did pretty well with most of the costumes until we came up against a waterproof jacket that Liam wore in a few scenes. This was made from really noisy fabric, so the wardrobe department put a noiseless soft tissue into the jacket to prevent the mic from picking up the crackling of the cloth. Luckily the 4060 was sufficiently sensitive to be able to pick up the sound we did want without any problems.”

For scenes where the action took place within a car, Bucher used DPA d:dicate™ MMC4018-ES supercardioid microphones with MMP-ES active cables with side cable, which were supplied by DPA’s French distributor Audio2.

“They were great,” he says. “I used them for the first time and for one particular car chase where Liam Neeson is driving very fast on the highway. I needed a very small mic to put into the car’s sun visor. We bought two new sun visors, opened them up and put the 4018 mics inside. This was possible because the cable comes out of the side of the mic and it worked perfectly that way. We also tested them on a much simpler car scene, in which Forest Whitaker is driving and talking, and they worked great for that, too.”

Bucher adds that he is so impressed with the results he has achieved when using tiny DPA microphones that he now wants to use DPA mics on a boom.

“I’ve got some new film projects coming up and I think one of them will be ideal for this,” he says “It’s going to be shot in Denmark later this year, so what could be better than using Danish DPA mics? I have no doubt that I’ll get great audio quality if I do use them because this is what DPA is renowned for – really translucent, clear, natural sound.”

-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

Kramer Welcomes Michael Baker as Collaborative Solutions Consultant

Kramer Electronics is pleased to announce Michael Baker has been appointed as a consultant for Kramer’s Collaborative Solutions Group, headed by Michael DiBella, Director of Collaborative Solutions. Baker will help provide strategic insight and direction for Kramer’s new VIA family of wireless collaboration products.

Baker will be instrumental in the promotion of VIA products by offering his knowledge and previous collaborative products experience within the ProAV and IT industries. Specifically, Baker will be key in developing brand awareness for VIA within vertical markets including corporate and education segments, with both end−users and integrators.

“We believe that Michael Baker is going to help us position our VIA products as the state−of−the−art offerings in all of our targeted vertical markets,” stated Dave Bright, President of Kramer Electronics USA. “The skill sets and previous experience he brings to this position is unparalleled. Michael is known as a pioneer in the wireless and collaboration fields, and he will be a valuable asset to the Group.”

Baker comes to Kramer Electronics USA with a proven track record in AV, IT, and Video Conferencing markets. His most recent experience was as Executive Vice President of WOW Vision, where he created numerous successful opportunities and partnerships within the Education, Healthcare, and Corporate sectors. Kramer has since purchased 50% interest in the ten−year old wireless and collaboration company, WOW Vision.

Baker has vast experience in executive positions, such as strategic market development, sales, product development, and business development both domestically and globally. He has worked at companies such as Polycom, ParkerVision, Sony, and Vaddio. “I am extremely happy to be working with Kramer and the Collaborative Solutions Group,” Baker stated. “The VIA family is one of the most innovative product lines I’ve seen in our ProAV world. There are a myriad of opportunities for VIA to thrive within all vertical markets, and in particular in the higher education and corporate markets, and I am eager to begin pursuing them.”

Baker resides in Castle Rock, Colorado with his wife Shari. He currently serves as a member of the Board of Advisors for Technology to the President of Gallaudet University in Washington D.C. Baker is Past President and Chair Emeritus of the United States Distance Learning Association and continues to serve as a member of the Board of Directors.

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WSDG-DESIGNED APJ AUDIO SCHOOL FURTHERS HAITIAN REVIVAL

Artists For Peace & Justice Sees School As A Catalyst For Growth

JACMEL, HAITI: Some people might say the last thing Haiti needs is a professional recording school, but those naysayers would be way off track. The malevolent hurricane that devastated the troubled island in September 2008 was followed in 2010 by a cataclysmic earthquake. Despite these catastrophes the Haitian people have endured. With the help of the world community (and a number of closer to home good Samaritans), Haiti is building a bridge back from the abyss. The goal of inspiring her resilient people, and helping to resurrect her fragile economy required a confluence of hard work, determination and… connectivity.

Among this disparate group of committed volunteers stand Academy Award-winning filmmaker and Artists for Peace and Justice (APJ) founder, Paul Haggis, Arcade Fire, documentary filmmaker and APJ CEO, David Belle, Electric Lady Studios, and the Walters-Storyk Design Group.

In 2004, David Belle, who lived and worked in Haiti for 18 years, co-founded Féstival Film Jakmel. In 2008, he founded Haiti’s only film school, Ciné Institute, to educate and support young local filmmakers and to help build the country’s creative economy using a successful model rooted in training, employment and professional support. Belle connected with Paul Haggis, joining the board of Artists For Peace & Justice (APJ) at its inception in 2009, to 1. (7),  APJ Audio Inst. Control 3546  LR

2. (8) APJ Audio Inst. Console to rear_3625 LR

3. (9) APJ Audio Inst. Live horiz_3641 LR

4. (10) APJ Audio Inst. Live vert_3654 LR

6. APJ ext

140528 APJ - Building A and C axon presentation drawing

140528 APJ - Building C presentation drawingsupport communities in Haiti with programs in education, healthcare and dignity.

Following the earthquake in 2010, Haggis and Belle allied with Quincy Jones and Lionel Richie, who had formed the not-for-profit We Are The World Foundation to raise money and consciousness for Haiti’s earthquake survivors. Their star-studded 25th anniversary edition of Michael Jackson’s We Are The World anthem provided seed funding to expand the professional school in Jacmel, with its new division, Audio Institute: We Are The World School of Music and Audio Engineering. Together, the film and music divisions now form Artists Institute; Haiti’s only free technical college for art and technology.

“When we began researching studio designers for the school, we reached out to Arcade Fire co-founders Regine Chassagne and Win Butler,” Belle explains. “Regine’s roots are in Haiti, and she has been deeply involved in raising funds and consciousness for the island since the hurricane and earthquake. The group was recording at Electric Lady Studios in NYC when we called. They asked studio manager Lee Foster to suggest an architect/acoustician, and he immediately recommended WSDG, and John Storyk.”

Built with hurricane (and earthquake) secure construction techniques and materials on the 5 acre site of a former ocean front estate, the Artists Institute campus resembles an island village. The Audio Division’s (1432 sq. ft.) Write/Mix/Track Building features four 87 sq. ft. Write/Track, two 149 sq. ft. Mix/Track rooms and 553 sq. ft. support space; A pro audio schoolhouse featuring two (500 sq. ft.) classrooms; and a (1314 sq. ft.) Recording Studio Building with a 579 sq. ft. live room and a 326 sq. ft. Control Room and 409 sq. ft. of support space. Designed to accommodate two simultaneous classes of 35 1st year and 35 2nd year students each, Audio Institute offers hands-on training on contemporary audio production and mixing technology, and classes on entrepreneurship, business, ethics and leadership development, and English.

WSDG Project Manager Joshua Morris reports that, “Despite the school’s secluded location, it was necessary to close the acoustic spaces using low tech but highly efficient split slab techniques. Engaging doublewide masonry walls and independent concrete ceiling slabs we insured that our isolation goals were achieved by using a build language that could be supported by on-site labor. We carefully detailed our design requirements and techniques to make them comprehensible to the local contractor and construction team. Our sensitivity to locally sourced materials inspired us to completely rethink how we detail our acoustic treatments.”

The school’s centerpiece is a professional recording studio featuring an SSL AWS 924 Console, Genelec 1037C speakers and Genelec 8040A + 7070A surrounds. Acoustically treated to support a wide range of styles including traditional Haitian Voodoo rhythms blended with rock, pop and blues (known as Razin), the live room takes full advantage of the island setting, and is graced by a 22 ? ft. high ceiling, a 20 sq. ft. ISO booth, sound lock, storage and machine room. Flooded with natural light from numerous windows, and blessed with breathtaking ocean views, the studio combines inspirational vibes with superb acoustics, and benefits from a clean straightforward, cost-effective WSDG design.

“The apparent simplicity of the studio and live room is misleading,” Morris adds. “We performed extensive acoustic modeling to provide the rooms with sophisticated architectural elements that enhance the sound quality and temper reverberation time. We also sent a WSDG team to Haiti to perform the systems integration. This process enabled us to meet our budgetary and aesthetic directives while assuring students and visiting artists of exemplary recording and playback quality. Thanks to the schools isolated location, it was unnecessary to float the control room or invest in costly acoustic treatments,” he concludes.

Artists Institute has committed its energies and resources to the development of an innovative full-scholarship, 2-year college devoted to providing talented Haitians with an audio (or film) production education, real jobs, and professional support designed to help graduates break the cycle of poverty and grow Haiti’s creative industries. Additionally, the Audio Institute: We Are The World School of Music and Audio Engineering studio is available to local (and international) recording artists and guest engineers seeking a professional recording facility in an inspirational, off the beaten track environment.

“As an educator and guest lecturer at the Berklee College of Music and other leading universities, I’m keenly aware of the needs of both students and instructors,” John Storyk remarked. “Audio Institute reflects lessons we’ve learned in maximizing student line-of-site, in future proofing technology selection and a number of subtle techniques that will benefit everyone involved with APJ. We hope the school launches a number of successful careers, and that the music its graduates make inspires understanding and compassion for this wonderful island, and helps to put them on a more equal footing with the rest of the world.”

Photos 1-2 Artists For Peace & Justice Studio Control Room
3-4 Artists For Peace & Justice Studio Live Room
5-6 Artists For Peace & Justice Exterior – Jacmel, Haiti
(2) Presentation Drawings

###

Walters-Storyk Design Group has designed over 3500 media facilities worldwide. Credits include Jimi Hendrix’s 1969’s Electric Lady Studios; NYC’s Jazz At Lincoln Center and Le Poisson Rouge; broadcast facilities for The Food Network, ESPN, and WNET; major education complexes for NYU and Berklee College of Music Boston (2015 TEC winner) and Valencia, Spain; media rooms for Hoffman La Roche, and other corporate clients. Recent projects include NYC’s Jungle City Studios and private studios for Green Day, Jay-Z, Timbaland’s Tim Mosley, film composers A.R. Rahman & Carter Burwell, Aerosmith, Bruce Springsteen and Alicia Keys. WSDG principals John Storyk (an adjunct professor at Berklee College,) Beth Walters, Sergio Molho. Renato Cipriano, Silvia Molho and Dirk Noy lecture frequently at universities and industry events, and contribute regularly to industry publications. WSDG is a nine-time winner of the prestigious NAMM TEC Award for outstanding achievement in Acoustics/Facility Design. The firm maintains offices in NY, SF, LA, Miami, Buenos Aires, Belo Horizonte, Basel, Beijing, Barcelona, Mexico City, St. Petersburg and Mumbai.

Founded by filmmaker Paul Haggis, Artists for Peace and Justice (APJ) is a non-profit organization that encourages peace and social justice and addresses issues of poverty around the world. APJ’s immediate goal is to serve the poorest communities in Haiti with programs in education, healthcare, and dignity through the arts. APJ’s Artists Institute currently offers programs in film through Ciné Institute, and programs in audio engineering through its newest division, Audio Institute: We Are the World School of Music and Audio Engineering.

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Shure Again Delivers Flawless Wireless at 57th Annual GRAMMY® Awards

NILES, IL, Feb. 11, 2015— The 57th GRAMMY® Awards, broadcast on CBS the evening of Feb. 8 from the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles, featured an unprecedented 23 live musical performances. With so many artists performing in an RF-intensive urban location, the production team was faced with the daunting task of ensuring flawless audio from everyone’s wireless microphones and in-ear monitors.

From the hard-rocking opener by AC/DC to the poignant closing performance of “Glory” by John Legend and Common, Shure wireless microphone systems, wired mics, and in-ear monitoring systems were a near-constant presence. As always, musicians were permitted to use their preferred microphones for their performances.

Although artists brought their own custom earphones, all but one of the in-ear monitoring systems used were Shure PSM®1000, with 24 channels split between two stages. With its unique diversity bodypack receiver, the PSM 1000 offers an extra measure of RF protection with exceptional audio quality.

Both Shure Axient® and UHF-R® wireless systems were in use. AC/DC selected Axient for lead vocals and Angus Young’s guitar, with backing vocals on UHF-R systems with Beta 58A® capsules. Axient handheld systems were also selected by Sir Paul McCartney (Beta 58A), Adam Levine (SM58®), Juanes (Beta 58A), and Pharrell Williams. With its superb sound quality and remote control of all transmitter functions, Axient has the unique ability to detect and avoid interference.

“We tried the Axient systems in rehearsals and were very happy with the way they sounded on both guitars and vocals,” said “Pab” Boothroyd, FOH engineer for AC/DC and Paul McCartney. “Requesting them for our GRAMMY performances was an easy choice.”

Shure UHF-R systems, which have a long history of GRAMMY success, were used by Sir Tom Jones, John Mayer, Usher, Eric Church, Rihanna, and Common. In addition, the podium microphones were powered by Shure UR1 bodypacks, eliminating the need to run cables across the stage.

Of course, not all vocals were wireless. The Beta 58A was the microphone of choice for Hozier, while the classic SM58 was selected for Brandy Clark’s performance with Dwight Yoakum, for Sia’s theatrical performance, and backing vocals on several numbers.

Another first for this year’s GRAMMY telecast was the use of Shure Beta 181 microphones on acoustic pianos. The move was suggested by co-broadcast music mixer Eric Schilling and FOH music mixer Ron Reaves, who said, “It’s the best piano sound ever, and they were the only piano mics we used on the show.”

Eric Schilling explains, “After Ron Reaves tried them out on the Latin GRAMMY Awards, we both agreed that we wanted to use the Beta 181 in all the pianos on this show. They have such a pleasing top end and great rejection. There was very little we had to do to them.”

Shure Artist Relations Manager Cory Lorentz was in Los Angeles for the event, touching base with the Shure endorsers and users who were present and supporting the audio team. “The GRAMMY Awards always has an amazing production team, and it’s an honor to see them at work from rehearsals through the live broadcast,” said Lorentz.
Along with Schilling and Reaves, audio coordinator Michael Abbott’s crew included production mixer Thomas Holmes, co-broadcast music mixer John Harris, and FOH production mixer Mikael Stewart of ATK Audiotek. The team also included monitor mixers Michael Parker and Tom Pesa, with Dave Bellamy of Soundtronics handling the challenge of RF coordination.

“With 23 live performances this year, this was the most ambitious GRAMMY broadcast ever,” said Lorentz. “It’s always a blast seeing the whole production come together on Sunday night. These guys are total professionals, and it’s great to see them using so much Shure gear to get the job done on Music’s Biggest Night®.”

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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Shure DDS 5900 Digital Discussion System Provides Sound Solution for Regina Town Council

NILES, IL, Feb. 9, 2015— For years, the Regina Town Council struggled with unreliable audio at public meetings, despite having a high-tech wireless system in place. Regional installation and rental experts Professional Audio-Visual Ltd.—better known as Pro AV—were called in to rectify the problem. After assessing the existing system and the council’s need for reliability, intelligibility, and ease of use, Pro AV Director of Sales and Service Derek Yan recommended a dedicated digital discussion system, the Shure DDS 5900.

“The previous system used infrared wireless technology and was just not appropriate in the council’s meeting scenario,” says Yan. “It was clear that a hardwired system was a far better option in nearly every respect— easy to install, easy to operate, and far more reliable. We presented the Shure DDS 5900 as the option that would best address both their current and future needs.”

The DDS 5900 Digital Discussion System uses integrated desktop microphones and speakers to enable up to 250 meeting participants to hear and be heard clearly. For the Regina Town Council, 28 discussion units were required to serve the mayor, the council, and administrative officers. All stations are connected to a single central control unit, the CU 5905, which acts as the “brains” of the system, providing power and automated audio control. Each discussion station combines a personal speaker with a low-profile gooseneck microphone and can be set in four different operation modes.

Derek Yan was impressed with the ease of installation and use of the DDS 5900. “Because the conference tables already had access points drilled in, we chose the portable discussion units (Model DC 5980 P), which literally installed in minutes,” he notes. “All we had to do was plug in a Cat5e cable underneath, going from station to station in a daisy chain leading back to the central unit, which is hidden away. Adding more stations is just as simple, which accommodates future expansion. It also gives us easy access for service, which was an important consideration.”

Ease of operation was another important factor, and one at which the Shure DDS 5900 excels. “The entire system is controlled with browser-based software, which can run on any computer, smartphone, or tablet,” explains Yan. “It’s a simple interface that activates the stations and shows which mics are on and off. I spent about an hour training them on an iPad, and haven’t had a single call with questions or problems. Compared to the previous system, it’s like night and day.”

After the system was in place, the council was immediately impressed with the improved sound quality. With individual speakers for each participant, everyone can hear clearly, with no danger of feedback. The system’s audio output is also ported to a press bridge and to a separate house sound system for the gallery. Audience participation is enabled through a dedicated delegate discussion station.

The council has set up the microphones in Push-to-Talk mode, so anyone wishing to speak simply touches the discussion unit to activate or mute their mic. With the Auto Off feature, available in all modes except VOX mode, the DDS 5900 turns the microphone off after a duration of no sound, which is adjustable from 5 – 60 seconds. This is handy in a Push-to-Talk configuration like this one, because it prevents microphones from being left on accidentally.

Another attractive feature is that each microphone has a light ring around its element. The ring lights up when the mic is active, making it easy for everyone to see who is talking.

“In terms of installation, operation, and overall sound quality, everyone involved is extremely happy,” he says. “Sound quality is vastly improved, with no dropouts, and everything is audible. The software lets them remotely control every station, which was a huge concern for them. And since we installed the DDS 5900, we haven’t had a single callback for training or service, which is a huge change for all concerned.”

The Regina Town Council can expand its use of the system as time goes on. “Obviously, adding more stations is a possibility, but there are other capabilities that might also become useful in the future. They might want simultaneous translation, or they could add a digital recorder to archive the meetings. We can even interface the system for videoconferencing.”

Derek Yan is confident that this was the right choice for the Regina Town Council. “When you look at the design of the DDS 5900, you can tell that it’s stamped with Shure quality,” he says. “It was easy to install, easy to use, it sounds great, and never fails. As a result, our customers are happy, and at the end of the day, that’s what’s important.”

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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