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SMPTE to Produce Documentary on Evolution of Motion-Imaging Technology and the People Behind It

Treatment Completed by Chris Kenneally, Randall Dark to Begin Production With Director Howard Lukk

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — Dec. 11, 2014 — The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers(R) (SMPTE(R)), the worldwide leader in motion-imaging standards and education for the communications, media, entertainment, and technology industries, is producing a documentary on the intriguing history of motion-imaging technology to celebrate the Society’s centennial anniversary in 2016. SMPTE has named motion-imaging technology and creative visionary Randall Dark as producer. Howard Lukk, former vice president of production technology at The Walt Disney Studios, will serve as director on the initial project. Chris Kenneally, who is best known as the writer and director for the acclaimed documentary “Side by Side,” produced by Justin Szlasa and Keanu Reeves, already has completed the initial treatment for the film.

“For this project we specifically selected a team with both production expertise and firsthand knowledge of the innovations and inventions that have influenced the art and science of the motion-imaging industry ecosystem,” said SMPTE Documentary Committee Chair and Past President Peter Ludé. “I am excited that the unique personal perspective that Randall and Howard bring to the project will bring this exciting story to a large general audience, as well as cinema buffs, history enthusiasts, and industry experts.”

The documentary, which goes by the working title “Moving Images,” will explore the excitement surrounding the development of motion-imaging technology from the turn of the 20th century through the present while inquiring about what the future has in store. Through interviews with top filmmakers, historians, entrepreneurs, and engineers, the documentary will investigate the influence that art and science have on one another.

“SMPTE has played a vital role in the advancement of movies and television for nearly 100 years,” said Dark. “I’m so honored that I get to help tell the story of the people who literally invented the technology that I’ve built my entire career.”

The film will expose the human element behind epic engineering feats and technological achievements, examining the ways it has advanced the artistic element of content creation. The documentary will serve as a celebration of the ingenuity, invention, and personalities that are responsible for many important works of art while demonstrating how SMPTE’s important work on industry education and standards has guided the technology.

“Technology inspires, thrills, and defines us. It teaches us to dream and helps us communicate,” said Lukk. “Through this film, we will honor those engineers and technologists who have enabled producers and directors to tell their stories and push the boundaries of their craft.”

The SMPTE Board of Governors has authorized initial funding for the project, which has included Kenneally’s treatment and Dark’s initial production work. The intent is to produce a 90-minute theatrical feature, as well as an abbreviated television version.

SMPTE is now seeking supporters to underwrite the project to fulfill this intention. Supporters will become part of the SMPTE legacy of setting the standard for motion imaging. The Society has set up a verified nonprofit crowdfunding campaign with Indiegogo. Contributions to the campaign will be processed by FirstGiving and may be tax deductible. Learn more about the documentary and become a supporter at http://igg.me/at/smptedoc.

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About Randall Dark
Randall Dark is a pioneer within the digital media industry and renowned expert in emerging technologies. Dark and his companies, including Randall Dark Productions, have been involved in more than 2,000 high-definition (HD) projects including feature films, documentaries, commercials, music videos, corporate presentations, product launches, and live events, and he has received one of the International Electronic Cinema Festival’s (IECF) top honors, The Pioneer Award, in recognition of extraordinary contributions to the success of HD. HD programs directed by Dark have received awards from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), Telly, IECF, Communicator, Aurora, Axiem, WorldFest Houston International Film Festival, Videographer, The American Corporate Video Awards, and Cinema Chicago. In 2007, during the making of “Closing Escrow,” Dark earned an Independent Filmmaker Award for Achievement from the Maxell Corporation. He also served as executive producer of the independent feature “Angels Sing,” released in November 2013. Dark is a member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (ATAS).

About Howard Lukk
Howard Lukk is a SMPTE Standards Director and former vice president of production technology at The Walt Disney Studios, where he was responsible for helping to incorporate new technologies into the workflow of the studio. Prior to Disney, Lukk was director of technology for DCI, where he was responsible for researching and documenting Digital Cinema System Specifications. Lukk has always had a deep passion for film. While earning a living as a motion picture engineer, Lukk, in his spare time, shot short subject dramatic and documentary footage over the years and is now pursuing the craft of filmmaking full time. Lukk has just completed directing his second short film titled “Emma” (2014). This comes on the heels of his directorial debut “Make Believe” (2013) that was shot in 3D with the prototype hybrid 3D camera rig in Berlin. Lukk is a SMPTE Fellow and an associate member of the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC).

About the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers(R) (SMPTE(R))
The Oscar(R) and Emmy(R) Award-winning Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers(R) (SMPTE(R)), a professional membership association, is the preeminent leader in the advancement of the art, science, and craft of the image, sound, and metadata ecosystem, worldwide. An internationally recognized and accredited organization, SMPTE advances moving-imagery education and engineering across the communications, technology, media, and entertainment industries. Since its founding in 1916, SMPTE has published the SMPTE Motion Imaging Journal and developed more than 800 standards, recommended practices, and engineering guidelines.

The Society is sustained by more than 6,000 members — motion-imaging executives, engineers, creative and technology professionals, researchers, scientists, educators, and students — who meet in Sections throughout the world. Through the Society’s partnership with the Hollywood Post Alliance(R) (HPA(R)), this membership is complemented by the professional community of businesses and individuals who provide expertise, support, tools and the infrastructure for the creation and finishing of motion pictures, television, commercials, digital media, and other dynamic media content. Information on joining SMPTE is available at www.smpte.org/join.

All trademarks appearing herein are the property of their respective owners.

Photo Link: www.wallstcom.com/SMPTE/SMPTE-HowardLukk.jpg
Photo Caption: Howard Lukk, Director at Pannon Entertainment, Inc.

Photo Link: www.wallstcom.com/SMPTE/SMPTE-MOVINGIMAGES.jpg
Photo Caption: Moving Images Graphic

Photo Link: www.wallstcom.com/SMPTE/SMPTE-RandallDark.jpg
Photo Caption: Randall Dark, President at Randall Dark Productions LLC

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Sonnet Introduces New Family of Optical Thunderbolt Cables

Fiber Optic Cables Span Longer Distances Without Loss of Performance

IRVINE, Calif. — Dec. 10, 2014 — Sonnet Technologies today introduced a new line of optical Thunderbolt(TM) cables designed to connect computers and devices over longer distances in a wide variety of production environments. With support for both 20Gbps Thunderbolt 2 and 10Gbps Thunderbolt connections, the Sonnet Optical Thunderbolt Cables are thin, lightweight, and durable, with performance equivalent to copper Thunderbolt cables at distances of up to 60 meters.

The Sonnet Optical Thunderbolt Cables are ideal for use in situations requiring the computer to be segregated from other equipment without a loss in functionality or data-transfer speed. One example is when a computer and other peripherals must be remotely located in a secure equipment room, with the cable running out to a desktop with a Thunderbolt dock that supports a display, mouse, keyboard, and other peripheral devices. Another example might be an audio production workflow that requires a particularly quiet operating environment. The longer optical Thunderbolt cable allows devices with fans to be located in another room and out of earshot.

“Thunderbolt technology has been an amazing enabler of high-performance device and display connectivity with any computer that has a Thunderbolt port,” said Robert Farnsworth, CEO of Sonnet Technologies. “Optical Thunderbolt cables literally extend those benefits over very long distances, a capability that is essential for many of our customers.”

Available in 5.5-, 10-, 30-, and 60-meter lengths, the Sonnet Optical Thunderbolt Cables feature Optical(TM) Cable technology by Corning. They provide dual-channel, bidirectional connectivity for 10Gbps Thunderbolt devices, or 20Gbps bidirectional support when used with a Thunderbolt 2 host and Thunderbolt 2 devices. The cables are hot-swappable, and each can carry both data and video.

Sonnet’s Optical Thunderbolt Cables are available now with prices starting at $179. More information on Sonnet’s Optical Thunderbolt Cables is available at www.sonnettech.com/product/opticalthunderboltcables.html.

More information about Sonnet’s complete product family is available at www.sonnettech.com.

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About Sonnet Technologies
Sonnet Technologies Inc. is a leading provider of Thunderbolt(TM) 2-to-PCIe(R) card expansion systems, pro media readers, RAID storage systems, and storage, network, and other interface cards for pro users in the audio, video, and broadcast industries. Sonnet’s Thunderbolt expansion products enable the use of pro audio I/O and DSP cards, pro video capture and transcoding cards, network and storage interface cards, and other high-performance PCIe cards with Thunderbolt technology-enabled computers. For nearly 30 years Sonnet has pioneered and brought to market innovative and award-winning products that enhance the performance and connectivity of Mac(R), Windows(R), and other industry-standard computers. More information is available at www.sonnettech.com.

All trademarks appearing herein are the property of their respective owners.

Photo Link: www.wallstcom.com/sonnet/sonnet_optical_thunderbolt_cable.jpg

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DPA Microphones Get a ‘Royal’ Seal of Approval

Royal Blood 3

Mercury Prize nominees Royal Blood, one of the breakthrough bands of the year, have been using a range of DPA microphones on their recent UK tour.

“We use DPA’s d:facto™ Vocal Microphone on vocals and d:vote™ 4099 Instrument Microphones on snare bottoms and toms,” says Front of House engineer Phil Jones from Output Audio. “I was never a fan of snare bottom and now literally can’t imagine not using one.”

Jones adds that he is now a confirmed fan of the quality that DPA microphones deliver.

“They just sound great. The d:facto Vocal Microphone is genius. Even in a small club I can get it as loud as most dynamic mics without hideous feedback, but the sound quality and ‘intelligibility’ is still there. Both the d:facto and the d:vote 4099s sound very natural without having to use any obvious big cuts and boosts. It makes for a far better starting point EQ and processing-wise, as long as your source is good.”

Brighton-based Royal Blood consist of bassist & vocalist Mike Kerr and drummer Ben Thatcher. Jones started off playing the drums himself and so has a fine appreciation of the amount of spirited abuse Thatcher gives his kit.

“Honestly, I didn’t think the d:vote 4099s would survive with the way Ben plays drums,” Jones says. “A couple of times in the summer he pushed the whole drum kit over and I was mildly terrified what I would find when the risers got pushed round. But, fingers crossed, no problems so far. The d:vote 4099s are so small and discreet they just stay out of the way, which is extremely important. They sound very natural; they sound like the drums! I do very minimal EQ work and that’s what we like — natural sound.”

Working with a duo, even one as energetic and sonically bombastic as Royal Blood, brings a certain degree of precision to Jones’ work. “With only 17 channels to work with, it has to be perfect,” he says. “You’re not going to get away with losing the third keyboard or second backing vocal in a mix. If something is slightly off, you’re in big trouble; there’s nowhere for anything to hide. I’m constantly on my toes, but it does leave quite a bit of room for interesting FX and creativity.”

As part of that creative experimentation Jones has been using a DPA d:discreet™ 4091 Omni-Directional Miniature Microphone on Thatcher’s kick for a couple of months now and says that it has been an eye-opening experience.
“I come from more of a jazz background and for that, it would be amazing,” he says. “Outdoors, with lots of sub, and control of the sub especially, it’s brilliant. I get some extra bottom end that I can’t put my finger on and I love it.”

Royal Blood’s autumn tour and subsequent clutch of European dates were thrown into disarray when Kerr went down with tonsillitis. However, dates are being rescheduled, and it’s almost easier to find places where they aren’t playing in 2015 than where they are, with a support slot on a North American tour with the Foo Fighters being one of the highlights.

And where Royal Blood goes, from Europe to North America, Australia and beyond, Jones and his DPA mics go too.

“All of our DPA microphones were supplied by the company’s UK distributor Sound Network,” Jones says. “We now fly the mics round the world and use them for everything. We have some very expensive mics, but the results are fantastic and consistency is key. That’s especially true for broadcast when we can’t have total control, but we just turn up, turn it all up, and basically it sounds great.”

-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

BenQ Announces New Product Lineup for the 2015 International CES

New treVolo Electrostatic Bluetooth(R) Speaker, Pro Gaming Monitors, Design-Focused Displays, and Colorific(TM) Projectors Let Users Do It All With Flying Colors

COSTA MESA, Calif. — Dec. 11, 2014 — BenQ America Corp., an internationally renowned digital lifestyle solutions provider, today announced its exciting new product portfolio for the 2015 International CES. Unveiling an all-new showcase that lets users do it all with flying colors, the company’s latest innovations include the official launch of BenQ’s treVolo electrostatic Bluetooth(R) speaker, a new line of fast-paced professional gaming monitors, design-focused photography and CAD/CAM displays, and Colorific(TM) projectors which produce color accuracy that goes far beyond the imagination. more

Fairfax Media Takes Xsan Environment to the Next Level With Quantum StorNext Platform

Redesigned Workflow Enables 40 Percent Increase in Productivity and Greater Scalability While Maintaining Open Systems Collaboration

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Dec. 9, 2014 — Quantum Corp. (NYSE: QTM) today announced that Fairfax Media, a leading media company in Australia and Asia, has moved from an Apple Xserve-based Xsan to a workflow centered on Quantum’s StorNext(R) platform. The upgraded solution has provided Fairfax with the high-performance storage and scalability it needs to meet growing content collaboration demands and ever-shorter production cycles. In addition, the company was able to make the transition seamlessly because of StorNext’s 100 percent compatibility with Xsan.

Aging Xserve Spurs Search for New Solution
Fairfax’s production system was based on Xsan metadata controllers running on Xserve hardware for collaboration, Xserve RAID storage and Mac workstations running Final Cut Pro as the primary production tool. However, with Apple no longer supporting Xserve, Fairfax decided it needed to look for a new solution partner that would allow the company to maintain 100 percent Xsan compatibility for current Xsan workstation clients while providing enterprise server-quality metadata appliances for rapidly growing collaboration.

As the company looked for a viable alternative, high performance and scalability were not the only critical factors. Fairfax wanted a partner with deep storage experience in media and entertainment, a visionary roadmap for improving workflow efficiency and productivity and a long-term commitment to the market. Other major requirements were an open systems approach and assurance that refreshing the current Xsan network would not disrupt the tools and processes Fairfax’s editors were already using.

“We chose Quantum partly for technical reasons — the products were just what we needed — but also because the Quantum team understands the video production environment like no one else we talked to,” said David McMillan, head of production, Metro Video at Fairfax.

Seamless Transition with Immediate Benefits
Working with Computers Now, an experienced integrator, Fairfax chose a complete StorNext high-performance storage system for collaborative file storage and sharing. The transition required no retraining and was achieved with no downtime.

Fairfax immediately began to see the benefits of deploying StorNext with high-performance Quantum disk storage. Multiple editors can share high-resolution content more easily and efficiently. In addition, because StorNext — like Xsan — supports heterogeneous environments, editors have the flexibility to work with their preferred Mac- and Windows-based clients and applications. All of this has enabled the company to increase the number of clips it can publish per week by approximately 40 percent.

Going forward, StorNext’s scalability will allow Fairfax to accommodate growing demand for its production services. Also, the company is planning to take advantage of StorNext’s uniquely integrated archiving capabilities.

“StorNext AEL Archive libraries are attractive in that they will let us make copies of our content on tape automatically, both to protect it and archive it, while keeping it accessible for rapid re-use,” said McMillan. “This next phase in our StorNext deployment will further speed up our production process and give us a much more economical platform than one built only on disk storage.”

“Fairfax is a great example of a leading media company evolving to meet new content demands and business opportunities,” said Alex Grossman, vice president, media and entertainment at Quantum. “Helping customers make this transition is a key focus for Quantum, which is why we offer a range of customized storage systems specifically designed for advanced media workflows, from Xsan refresh to 4K operations to end-to-end content production and management.”

Additional Resources
* Read more details about Fairfax Media’s move to StorNext: www.quantum.com/customerstories/fairfax/index.aspx
* Learn about Quantum’s StorNext Pro(TM) Solutions for Xsan and 4K environments: www.stornext.com/solutions/stornextpro

About Quantum
Quantum is a leading expert in scale-out storage, archive and data protection. The company’s StorNext 5 platform powers modern high-performance workflows, enabling fluid, real-time collaboration and keeping content readily accessible for future use and re-monetization. More than 100,000 customers have trusted Quantum to address their most demanding content workflow needs, including top studios, major broadcasters and cutting-edge content creators. With Quantum, customers can Be Certain(TM) they have the end-to-end storage foundation they need to manage assets from ingest through finishing, and into delivery and long-term preservation. See how at www.stornext.com.

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Quantum, the Quantum logo, Be Certain, StorNext and StorNext Pro are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Quantum Corporation and its affiliates in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

“Safe Harbor” Statement: This press release contains “forward-looking” statements. All statements other than statements of historical fact are statements that could be deemed forward-looking statements. Specifically, but without limitation, statements relating to 1) benefits and value to customers from using StorNext solutions and 2) customer demand for and Quantum’s future revenue from such solutions, are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Safe Harbor. All forward-looking statements in this press release are based on information available to Quantum on the date hereof. These statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause Quantum’s actual results to differ materially from those implied by the forward-looking statements. More detailed information about these risk factors are set forth in Quantum’s periodic filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including, but not limited to, those risks and uncertainties listed in the section entitled “Risk Factors,” in Quantum’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on November 7, 2014 and in Quantum’s Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on June 6, 2014. Quantum expressly disclaims any obligation to update or alter its forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by applicable law.

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Texadia Systems celebrates a successful first year in business, forecasts continued growth in 2015.

DALLAS, TX. –  Texadia Systems, an emerging audio visual integration firm located in Dallas, Texas, celebrated its one year anniversary this month with over 150 commercial and residential design-build installations completed.

“We are incredibly excited about the projects we’ve completed and the growth we have experienced this year.” states Steve Burke, the company’s President and Founder. ”Our team’s ‘Commitment to Excellence’ was displayed throughout several large scale corporate relocation projects and high-end residential systems. By continuing to offer our clients a single point of contact for the design, installation, and continued maintenance and support of the solutions we provide; we stand apart from our competition.”

Texadia expects to continue its growth next year as more and more corporate and residential customers become aware of their services and offerings. “There are many corporate clients that have not yet made the transition from analog to digital in the conference room.” states Scott Birdsong, VP of Engineering. “And now with the increased demand for 4K technology, cloud based conferencing solutions, IP based video distribution, etc.; our customers are challenged with understanding what technologies will help to improve their business. Our focus next year will be to continue to identify those needs and deliver innovative designs, quality installations, and provide the highest level of service to our customers.”

Texadia Systems, LLC is an audio-visual design and integration firm that specializes in both commercial and high-end residential solutions. The company is located in Dallas, Texas and currently supports clients across the U.S. and Canada.

For more information, contact Luz Rodriguez, Executive Services Administrator, at lrodriguez@texadiasystems.com or 214.956.5820.

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Harmonic Enhances Polaris Playout Management Suite With Cost-Effective Integrated Master Control Functionality

Polaris Play Automation Software Offers Rich Application Toolbox for Scheduled and Live Playout in Channel-in-a-Box Environments

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Dec. 9, 2014 — Harmonic (NASDAQ: HLIT), the worldwide leader in video delivery infrastructure, today announced its new Polaris(TM) Play channel-in-a-box (CIAB) automation software for the company’s Polaris playout management suite. Tightly integrated with Harmonic’s market-leading Spectrum(TM) media server system, Polaris Play blends a rich set of automated ingest, media preparation, and playout workflow capabilities that enable efficient and cost-effective management of up to four fully branded SD or HD channels, each with matched simulcast channels, in a single rack unit.

“Designed specifically for broadcasters with modest playout requirements and budgets, Polaris Play gives users a breadth of control capabilities that enable straightforward management of the critical elements that support an on-air channel,” said Tom Lattie, vice president, product management at Harmonic. “Users can leverage Polaris Play to drive a cost-effective CIAB model for their playout channels.”

Polaris Play provides a suite of master control room (MCR) tools that enable ingest, content preparation, segmentation, preview, and channel playlist control. Scheduled operations can be driven by traffic or by manually created playlists. Coupled with the Spectrum MediaDeck(TM) integrated media server and its high-density I/O capabilities, integrated file services, and native codec and file wrapper support, Polaris Play simplifies deployment and operation of the playout workflow.

The Polaris suite represents Harmonic’s evolving offering in the emerging Media Orchestration category, which is important as workflows consolidate and simplify. Within this suite, Polaris Play offers broadcasters a robust, yet attractively priced, CIAB solution powered by the industry’s most trusted server platform, enabling users to reduce both capital and operating expenses.

Polaris Play can be combined with the recently announced Harmonic Polaris Live manual device control application, enabling the Spectrum ChannelPort(TM) integrated channel playout system to fulfill both production and master control requirements for many live-to-air workflows. The resulting hybrid environment offers powerful and highly efficient integrated master control room (iMCR) capabilities, allowing users to switch between scheduled playout and manual playout of live events based on the schedule or on an ad hoc basis.

“The iMCR model can be a game-changer in that it enables users to drive graphics-intensive live-to-air workflows,” said Lattie. “Together, Polaris Play and Polaris Live offer the benefits of CIAB solutions — reduced equipment costs and workflow complexity — while providing the power and flexibility critical within the most demanding production environments.”

In addition to reducing hardware costs, the iMCR model supports highly flexible and efficient workflows that users can customize with Polaris Live’s simple touch-screen interface.

Polaris Play will be available in the first quarter of 2015. Further information about Harmonic and the company’s products is available at www.harmonicinc.com.

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About Harmonic
Harmonic (NASDAQ: HLIT) is the worldwide leader in video delivery infrastructure for emerging television and video services. The company’s production-ready innovation enables content and service providers to efficiently create, prepare, and deliver differentiated services for television and new media video platforms. More information is available at www.harmonicinc.com.

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, including statements related to the anticipated capabilities and benefits of Harmonic’s Polaris(TM) Play software, Spectrum(TM), Spectrum ChannlePort(TM), and Spectrum MediaDeck(TM) products. Our expectations and beliefs regarding these products may not materialize and are subject to risks and uncertainties, including the possibility that the products may not meet some or all of their anticipated capabilities or provide some or all of their anticipated benefits, such as cost-effectiveness, giving users a breadth of control capabilities, simplification of deployment and operation, flexibility, and efficiency.

The forward-looking statements contained in this press release are also subject to other risks and uncertainties, such as those more fully described in Harmonic’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended Dec.31, 2012, its Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and its Current Reports on Form 8-K. The forward-looking statements in this press release are based on information available to Harmonic as of the date hereof, and Harmonic disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements.

EDITOR’S NOTE – Product and company names used herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

Photo Link: www.wallstcom.com/Harmonic/Harmonic-PolarisPlay_Screenshot.jpg

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HARMAN’s Studer Comes Dancing at the Tower Ballroom

TX8 LIVE SHOWBLACKPOOL, United Kingdom – When BBC’s flagship Saturday night Strictly Come Dancing entertainment show relocates once a year from Elstree Studios to the coruscating Blackpool Tower Ballroom, all the production infrastructure likewise heads north, with the OB recording trucks set up in a co-opted scanner park. With the hit show now in its 10th year, BBC Studios and Post Production’s Andy Tapley, and lead Sound Supervisor, Tony Revell, evolved an elegant workflow in Blackpool, mixing the show entirely on three HARMAN’s Studer digital consoles. For the first time on a Strictly OB, the topology was based on a conjoined Vista 8 and Vista 5, alongside a Vista 1, which handled the surround sound mix within Red TX’s reconfigured Red II 3D/7.1 OB truck. This also housed a dedicated grams area.

Both the Vista 1 and Vista 5 were provided by Terry Tew Sound & Light, along with 60-70 channels of radio mic and IEMs. Tew also handled RF frequency management.

States Andy Tapley: “Linking the Studer Vista 8 and Vista 5 Cores via HD provided 96 channel tie-lines, as well as 64 bi-directional MADI streams between the Vista 1 and Vista 5; this meant it was easy to sub-mix and main mix between the two.”

Mixing live in the ballroom was FOH sound engineer Nick Cook. Three of the fibre stageboxes were located by the splits for radio mics and band circuits with the fourth assigned to audience mics. (FOH also took its feeds from these splits).

The multis on the OB’s resident Vista 8, operated by Andy Tapley, carried all band, orchestra and music circuits as well as the dancers’ radio mics, while two fibre multis to Tony Revell’s Vista 5 ran 26 audience mics, presenters’, judges’ and vocal mics.

Both stereo mixes and surround mixes were created in the OB. Stems were provided to Sound Supervisor Richard Sillitto who produced a surround mix on the Vista 1 via the Dolby E encoder and Dolby Audio Tool. The resulting downmix was then compared to Tony Revell’s stereo mix. “I could precisely match the stereo dynamics Tony was using by simply interpreting his mix,” states Sillitto. “But the aim of the surround mix is to put everyone in the best seat in the house; it’s why you want to hear the audience around you.”

Running the I/O architecture via optical fibre were four Studer D21m stage boxes — two each assigned to the Vista 5 and Vista 8 where McBusted were joined by Shirley Bassey (plus a 12-piece string section and backing vocals). This was in addition to resident band leader Dave Arch’s 15-piece ensemble, fed via MADI to the Vista 8, which also handled the string submixes. The Vista 5 provided Grams feeds to FOH and monitors (sound beds, voice overs, tracks for McBusted and couples’ rehearsals).

Other add-ons to the sound desk technology proved equally useful in supporting a first class production. For example, ‘Virtual Vista’ was used to build the desks and the Vista ‘Config’ tool used to design the number and type of channels as well as busses and I/Os for each of the three desks.

“This was really the key to enabling the Vista 5 and 8 to link cores,” explained Tapley, “It meant I could build the desk titles with ‘Virtual Vista’ from the comfort of my sofa! It enabled us to drop our Configs into Dropbox and compare tie-lines and MADI routing so that by the time we arrived here we could virtually load the files on USB sticks, and save as snapshots.” These were used to save band and vocal mixes and prefade routings to VT of couples’ mics while dancing. Each snapshot on the Vista 8 fired off a MIDI trigger to the Vista 5 so that the snapshots on each desk would change in unison.

The production team also called on the Studer VistaMix Plus software resource, assigning four separate busses and automixing with the Cedar DNS-8 dialogue noise suppressor. “It makes a huge difference to be able to place the person talking in the centre of the mix and duck any others rather than having something swimming in open PA,” Revell remarked. “Each presenter’s and judge’s mic had it’s own Cedar channel inserted — and this ‘cleaned’ audio was then fed to the VistaMix channel to further improve the signal.”

The eventual mix transmission was sent via MADI to the adjacent CTV OB truck where all vision mixing and VT routing take place.

Tony Revell said: “With this technology, we are able to build the mix accordingly and it is easy because of the MADI connectivity. I can write a custom config for the surround and via an extra MADI card, link all three desks.”

It also enabled the sound supervisor to fire off different reverbs, running QLab on a MacBook Pro, with the ‘Theatre Cue’ list containing the snapshots programmed with MIDI cues.

In summary, both Andy Tapley and Tony Revell say the experience of the conjoined Vista 8 and Vista 5 had been “like having one big desk, requiring just two CAT5 cables to link them. We were able to replicate the studio operation on the OB and it enabled us to concentrate on the content without having to worry about the technical aspects.”

Tony Revell believes that the Studer set up had been given “the biggest workout we’ve ever known,” adding, “to be able to sit down and decide how many channels and mix busses we needed and then customise it for a particular event was really useful.

“It is certainly a huge step forward for us in delivering a show like Strictly live to air from an OB,” he concluded.

HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures and markets premier audio, visual, infotainment and enterprise automation solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets. With leading brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, Mark Levinson ® and Revel®, the Company is admired by audiophiles, musicians and the entertainment venues where they perform. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of approximately 16,600 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $5.6 billion for the 12 months ended September 30, 2014.

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Broadcast Pix Offers Trade-In Promotion for Slate Systems

Billerica, Massachusetts – Broadcast Pix™ has announced its Slate Upgrade Promotion, which allows current customers to trade in an existing Slate™ integrated production switcher for a new Granite™ or Mica™ system. The new systems offer a number of improvements over Slate, including native HD production, dual-channel clip servers that hold up to 180 hours of graphics and animations, and expanded production toolsets.

“Since 2006, Slate has been a solid integrated production switcher for thousands of video professionals around the world,” said Steve Ellis, CEO of Broadcast Pix. “This trade-in promotion provides Trade-In Promotionthose customers with an easy upgrade path to native Trade-In PromotionHD production and enhanced workflow tools – and they can save more than $4,000.”

Granite is Broadcast Pix’s large-scale system with up to 22 SDI inputs and 12 SDI outputs. Mica, the company’s mid-size model, includes eight SDI inputs as well as six SDI and two DVI outputs. Both systems support eight channels of file-based content and can ingest cameras in multiple formats, as well as cloud-based content and data from RSS feeds, Twitter, and other sources. The systems ingest and scale all sources with low latency while maintaining constant lip sync.

Version 4.0 software for Granite and Mica features enhanced control of external devices such as robotic cameras, servers, recorders, and streaming appliances. Other improvements include virtual sets, an enhanced customizable multi-view, and ClearKey, a new, highly adjustable chromakey that delivers robust color correction and more realistic shadow and lighting effects.

The Slate Upgrade Promotion ends Dec. 31, 2014. For more information, contact a Broadcast Pix dealer or sales@broadcastpix.com.

About Broadcast Pix Founded in 2002, Broadcast Pix is the leader in integrated production switchers, with customers in more than 110 countries. Available in several configurations, from compact systems with end-to-end integration to large-scale systems for high-end live productions, Broadcast Pix switchers include CG, dual clip stores, file-based macros, external control software, and customizable multi-view and virtual sets with patented control options. Broadcast Pix also offers ReVue next generation slow motion systems, fX3D real-time 3D graphics, Rapid CG dynamic graphic playout software, and VOX voice-automated live video production, each designed to enhance our highly integrated live production switchers. Customers include leading broadcast, corporate, education, government, religious, sports, streaming, and visual radio studios. Learn more at www.broadcastpix.com.

Broadcast Pix, Granite, Mica, and Slate are trademarks of Broadcast Pix, Inc. Patented. Made in USA.

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Producer/Songwriter Steve Booker Expands Creative Horizons with SSL Duality


“Duality challenges me to be a better songwriter and producer”

LONDON – Steve Booker has expanded his personal production space Cake Sounds Studios, adding a new SSL Duality-equipped control room alongside his existing Matrix powered room. Booker is a Grammy® and Ivor Novello Award-winning songwriter and producer who has worked on numerous hits over the years, including John Newman’s Love Me Again and Duffy’s Mercy, selling in excess of 30 million records worldwide. Building on the creative journey he has had with Matrix, Booker based his new, larger recording and mixing space around Duality; a natural progression that is already bringing added creative and sonic drive to his work.

Steve Booker“Having Duality is a great challenge to me to take the records I make to another level,” says Booker. “I am at the point in my career where I want to make the best music possible, both creatively and sonically, no excuses. Duality has been a lovely revelation for me to move further into the analogue domain. I produce pop music and the sound Duality gives me feels very commercial. I come from a songwriting background and to me the feel of the sound is almost as important as the composition itself. They need to work together. Duality can be aggressive, it’s punchy and that sound quality works back into my writing and arranging through the MIDI stage, the choice of instruments and the kind of music I want to make. The console has so much to offer, it has opened my eyes to another dimension of creative thinking. Duality challenges me to be a better songwriter and producer.”

Booker discovered his producer/writer mojo while finishing his second solo project A Far Cry From Here in 1996, while living in the U.S. He co-wrote Too Far From Texas for Stevie Nicks’ Trouble in Shangri-La album and subsequently worked with Melissa Etheridge, Lisa Marie Presley and Dionne Bromfield, amongst others. Moving back to London brought Booker his initial success with Duffy and a desire to open his own recording space. After some adventures with a purely controller-based approach, his journey into SSL-powered hybrid production began with Matrix.

“When I arrived back in London, I moved from in-the-box productions to a controller situation to expand my capabilities,” says Booker. “I was then encouraged by an engineer friend to take a look at Matrix along with 16 channels of dynamics in two SSL X-Racks, and that made all the difference. Suddenly the sounds I was using came alive. After a time, we realised that our productions were getting increasingly complicated and that is when we conceived of building a larger studio with Duality at its heart. For example, we incorporated more instrumentation and live orchestration for our Jessie J release and here is where Duality really shines. Yes, we could do everything outboard, but the ease-of-use and creative capacity of having everything you need at your fingertips is a beautiful concept. Duality has become a part of the creative process for me and the console can handle anything we can throw at it.”

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

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