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HARMAN’s BSS Audio Provides Networking for Italy’s MiCo – Milano Congressi Convention Center

BSSMICO2 copyMILAN, Italy — Fiera Milano SpA is the most important trade show organizer in Italy and its MiCo- Milano Congressi convention center is the largest in Europe, with a capacity for 18,000 attendees and 70 different conference rooms. Located in the heart of Milan, the center has a variety of exhibition spaces and its conference rooms feature a complete range of audio and video connectivity including a comprehensive audio upgrade featuring a HARMAN BSS Audio Soundweb™ London networking solution.

The installation, located in the Northern wing of MiCo, was designed and built by Volume Srl, Euphon S.p.A. Group with support from HARMAN Professional Italian distributor Leading Technologies. The installation interfaces with the existing BSS Audio network that Leading Technologies provided for the South Block section of the facility.

The backbone of the system is provided by BSS Audio Soundweb London BLU-806 signal processors, which offer configurable I/O, signal processing, Audinate’s Dante™ audio transport and Harman’s BLU link digital audio bus. Thirty-seven BLU-806 devices are installed in 18 rooms (along with an audio mixer), with each room’s EQ correction programmed into the BLU-806 devices. The BLU-806 was specified because it is the only Dante-supporting DSP device that could handle the required amount of signal routing and processing and enable a dual-redundant Dante network to run throughout MiCo North.

The system utilizes HARMAN HiQnet Audio Architect™ software, which provides comprehensive configuration, control and monitoring of the system.

According to Leading Technologies engineer Roberto Frigerio, the size of the project was matched by its urgency. “In the spring, the Italian Presidency of the Council of the European Union decided to bring various international meetings to MiCo. The organization also wanted to test the waters regarding staging other international corporate events beginning in 2015. Despite our successful installation in the South Block two years earlier, we had to prove we could accommodate these new demands and seamlessly integrate the new installation with the existing one – and under severe time and budgetary constraints.”

In addition to providing audio and video connectivity throughout the convention center, a major requirement was to standardize operation of the system in any room and accommodate a number of diverse A/V sources. “The BSS Audio Soundweb London system takes in the audio inputs from the mixing consoles via Dante and feeds the amplifiers through BLU link,” explained Volume’s project manager Marco Salviati. Users now also have the ability to send A/V from one room to all the others, enabling multiple rooms to share the same content, yet have individual volume levels.

109 JBL Control® 28 loudspeakers deliver audio throughout MiCo’s rooms. The speakers are powered by nine Crown DriveCore™ Install 4I300N amplifiers. In addition, a pair of JBL LSR305 powered studio monitors are used to provide a sonic reference in the master control room.

“For such a complex and flexible installation, it’s really simple to operate,” noted Dick Cranbe, the Audinate consultant on the project. “Every room can be run completely independently, and where rooms are linked together a user can use a single audio mixer to control the volume of all the rooms.”

“The project has lived up to its expectations, which were extremely high,” concluded Frigerio. “Until now, there was no facility in Italy capable of hosting large international meetings, which meant that we lost business to other countries. With the advent of the new BSS Audio system, MiCo is truly in the forefront of the world’s convention centers, and we’ve brought a new level of professionalism and new job opportunities into our domestic market.”

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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Clay Paky Sharpy Fixtures Help Deliver Powerful Message For “Stand Up to Cancer” Blockbuster Special

1When the fourth biennial “Stand Up to Cancer” special aired in the US and Canada on September 5 it raised more than $109 million for its groundbreaking collaborative research efforts. Some 60 Clay Paky Sharpy fixtures were deployed for the event. A.C.T Lighting is the exclusive distributor of both brands in North America.

More than three dozen broadcast and cable networks in the US and Canada telecast “Stand Up to Cancer.” The show, staged at LA’s Dolby Theatre, featured celebrity guests, music by Lupe Fiasco, Jennifer Hudson and Common, The Who, the Dave Matthews Band, and Ariana Grande, and inspiring stories about patients who have benefited from the research supported by the organization. Atomic Lighting of Lititz, Pennsylvania provided the Clay Paky fixtures.

“This show really means a lot to me,” says Brad Hafer, vice president of account management, at Atomic Lighting. “‘Stand Up to Cancer’ is about something real – it’s not just done for ratings. It made us all feel that we were contributing something to the cause.”

Allen Branton was the lighting designer for the special with Felix Peralta, Daniel K. Boland and Darren Langer the lighting directors. Peralta worked closely with Branton on the show design. “We’ve been associated with ‘Stand Up to Cancer’ before; its message is a very powerful one and the show has high production values, but not flashy ones,” he explains.

The Sharpys were used as strong beam lights and for their Sharpy dappling technique, Peralta points out. “Giant white walls acted as video projection surfaces, which we enhanced with accents of color or Sharpy dappling – treating the scenic pieces with the high-output fixtures to create a nice effect that you can’t get with a hard-edged light. It was a big part of the look of the show.”

Since the special was “a strong, video-driven show,” Peralta teamed with Laura Frank, screens producer and media programmer, on the media canvas. “She and I like to make sure the lighting and video stories come from the same center, that the transitions are the same, the color schemes complementary or matching,” he explains. “When lighting and video play together both are much more powerful.”

Frank, who is the principal of Minneapolis-based Luminous FX, says Kurtis Kennington of Digital Flodur designed the media content creating “about a dozen looks for the show, plus the band. The entire set was projection mapped so the environment was video driven.” Looks included themes of science and technology to support certain speakers; the band was often accompanied by photomontages of cancer survivors.

“The show was as much about lighting the people in the audience as those on stage,” says Boland. “We made sure everyone was lit, the color temperature was fine. During rehearsal we keyed at least six positions for the people making speeches and introducing the videos, including one on a round extension into the audience.”

Darren Langer, the floor lighting director, worked closely with Boland to ensure consistent exposure levels for the talent and the audience and a “polished” look, Peralta says.

Peralta himself was responsible for lighting the environment for the show, including the scenic pieces and architecture of the house. He says production designer John Calkins partnered with Branton to create a “tasteful and powerful” environment that helped deliver the show’s strong message.

Francesco Romagnoli, Clay Paky Area Manager for North and Latin America, concluded, “This was a very important show for a lot of reasons and we were proud to be a part of it. All the lighting professionals involved in this show are great talents and we always enjoy working with them.”

A.C.T Lighting is the exclusive North American distributor for Clay Paky.

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HARMAN’s Lexicon Hardware and Software Gets in the Mix at Right Coast Recording

Bobby-SittingSALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Since 1990, Columbia, Pennsylvania’s Right Coast Recording has been a haven for area and national artists, from local luminaries like Burning Bus, Beru Revue and Jump the Gun to top artists like Billy Joel, the Dixie Chicks and Yes. Built around a 42′ x 35′ x 16′ main studio space that encourages live tracking sessions, the central PA studio combines the best of old-school and cutting-edge recording technologies – with HARMAN’s Lexicon plug-ins and processors as key sonic elements.

“We’ll use whatever it takes to get the right sounds for our artists and corporate clients,” said Bobby Gentilo, Manager at Right Coast. “More often than not, Lexicon reverbs and effects find their way into the final mix.” Right Coast’s Lexicon arsenal includes the PCM Native Reverb Plug-In Bundle, two 224 digital reverbs, an MX200 effects processor and a classic PCM 70 digital effects processor. Gentilo first started recording at an early age by bouncing tracks from one cassette tape deck to another. “I got into writing songs and needed to know how to get the sounds I wanted to hear on tape. As a young musician I realized early on that sometimes people had one specific way to get a sound that I didn’t necessarily care for or agree with.” As a result Gentilo became a self-confessed “studio rat,” building a rudimentary studio with fellow band members in a subleased space. When the band ended up “being kicked out literally overnight,” Gentilo knew it was time to make the next move, eventually and perhaps inevitably connecting with Right Coast studio owner Dave Natale.

Gentilo notes that “Dave was doing what I had always envisioned,” as owner of Right Coast and front of house engineer for artists including Olivia Newton-John, Tina Turner, Lionel Richie and many more (he currently mixes shows for The Rolling Stones). “His approach to getting recordings to sound somehow natural and ‘right’ and with dynamics, clarity and punch was what I had been trying to achieve.” At the time Right Coast was totally analog. “I knew computers and knew there were benefits to both analog and digital. I felt that Right Coast could move to a combined old-school meets new-school approach. Besides, Dave liked my band,” Gentilo laughed. Natale agreed and the two of them have been working together ever since.

Reverb is an essential recording technique, and Gentilo is adamant about using it properly. “When you use reverb, it has to be believable, whether you’re trying to create a sonic space that sounds like an actual room or hall would sound like or making a voice or instrument stand out with some type of special effect. The reverb still needs to have that natural quality, and that’s one of the many areas in which Lexicon excels.” He noted that sometimes the best use of reverb is when it’s sonically invisible. “Some of the Lexicon reverb types can really enhance a track even if you don’t realize they’re there – but then when you take them away the track loses something.”

Whether he’s working with analog or digital, Gentilo finds Lexicon’s versatility enabled him to get just the right reverb for either. He uses the Right Coast’s two Lexicon 224 digital reverbs as an overall bus to the studio’s analog mixing console, with one dedicated entirely to vocals. He uses the Lexicon PCM Native Reverb Plug-In Bundle to add what he calls “depth of field” to individual instruments or to the overall mix and to fine-tune the reverb on guitars. He also likes the fact that he can instantly recall a reverb setting using the plug-in, whether he’s set up with an analog or a digital mixing board for a particular recording or mixing session. “I’ve been using the Lexicon hardware reverbs for a long time and am comfortable with them, but if I didn’t have them I would be fine using just the Plug-In Bundle.”

Gentilo notes that from one day to the next Right Coast might be recording a current indie band, a 90 year-old bluesman from Mississippi, a gospel group, a hip-hop group rapping over beats and samples or something completely unexpected. “No matter what I’m recording, I don’t want to use reverb just for sonic ‘sweetening’ or for its own sake. I want to achieve a certain vibe or an emotion. With Lexicon, I know I can create that.”

“Bobby is a great example of how to successfully mix old school hardware with newer plug-ins to give clients the best of both worlds. Right Coast is a model studio and its great to see Lexicon continue to be such a central element to the work they are doing at Right Coast Recording,” stated Jason Kunz, Market Manager, Portable PA, Recording and Broadcast, HARMAN Singal Processing.

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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University of Sydney Launches “X-Lab” with Dante Media Networking

PORTLAND, OR – November 20, 2014 – The University of Sydney in Australia recently unveiled the X-Lab, a 40×20 meter space that houses up to eight classes using advanced live lecture streaming. Using a multipoint distribution strategy based on a Dante network from Audinate, the IP-based architecture efficiently streams lecture audio to ensure as many as 240 students receive a targeted, immersive, engaging and uninterrupted educational experience.

Similar instructional laboratories previously relied on streaming live lectures to radio headsets, which created usability and safety concerns. The University of Sydney instead chose to use Dante to stream audio to hyper-directional loudspeakers positioned above each student. The Dante network delivers ultra-low latency streams over a standard network infrastructure, maintaining signal integrity and quality across the architecture to guarantee exceptional speech intelligibility at all loudspeakers.

“It was essential to digitize audio as quickly as possible from the source – and keep it digitized all the way to the output, which is the amplifier rack driving the loudspeakers,” said Paul Menon, technical manager, audio visual services, information and communication technology at the University of Sydney. “Dante is providing the scalability and modularity we require to achieve these goals, while playing a major role in the noise immunity across the various student benches.”

The university partnered with Sydney-based systems integration firm Fredon Technology to build out the entire AV system, which also includes key video encoding and streaming systems at each workstation. Both parties agreed that the X-Lab’s success was critically dependent on choosing the right audio technologies, given the complex challenges of managing audio for eight classes in the same lab. For the networking solution, they wanted to move beyond CobraNet, used elsewhere on campus, to a Layer 3 technology like Dante that can seamlessly integrate a variety of products and support future scalability.

“A Layer 2 protocol with networking limitations was not going to work in the X-Lab for a number of reasons, including channel count, latency and future-proofing,” said Nick Orsatti, general manager, Fredon Technology. “We very quickly decided that a Dante network was the right option, especially with the wide variety of Dante-enabled products available.”

A Symetrix Radius AEC was specified for digital signal processing, given its higher channel count capacity and built-in support for local echo cancellation of incoming Dante channels. The Symetrix architecture includes a Radius at eight instructional locations, each feeding to a Radius EDGE that routes Dante audio to a central amplifier rack. The audio is then distributed to 45 loudspeaker zones, reproducing high-quality lecture audio at each student workstation.

The Dante network extends to instructional communications, where Shure Microflex Wireless microphones establish flexible two-way audio paths between an instructor and an assistant, or between instructors and students.

Orsatti notes that the Dante network implementation simplified the overall integration process, reducing costs and eliminating the complexity of running wire and cable throughout the lab. Having worked with the university on many previous projects, the process of integrating Dante for the X-Lab was simple and straightforward.

“Dante enabled the University of Sydney to deliver a unified system that took advantage of the existing network, with an uncomplicated integration based on standard IT principles,” said Orsatti.

“Dante is a Layer 3 system leveraging the existing network infrastructure, which saves on audio-specific cabling,” added Menon. “The installation of the Dante X-Lab network was fast, cost-effective, and more importantly, delivered a very flexible solution. It is a dynamically switchable architecture with highly directional sound immersion, and the user experience blows people away.”

Videos of the X-Lab installation can be seen at the following links:

http://sydney.edu.au /ict/videos/x-lab-student.mp4
http://sydney.edu.au/ict/videos/x-lab-demonstrator.mp4

Case study for this unique Dante application can be viewed at the link below:
http://bit.ly/sydney-xlab

About Audinate

Lab Tables at Sydney University X-Lab

Lab Tables at Sydney University X-Lab


Audinate revolutionizes AV systems to enable customers to thrive in a networked world. Audinate’s Dante™ media networking technology has been adopted by the leading OEM manufacturers and has become the standard and dominant networking technology in the professional AV industry. Dante is used extensively for live performance events, commercial installation, broadcast, recording and production, and communications systems. Audinate offices are located in the U.S., U.K., and Australia. Visit www.audinate.com for the latest news and information on the company. Dante is Digital Media Networking Perfected.

Dante is a trademark of Audinate Pty Ltd. Audinate is a registered trademark of Audinate Pty Ltd. All other trademarks and trade names are the property of their respective owners.

Encompass Digital Media Chooses DigitalGlue for Middleware Solution to Enhance Media Server

LAGUNA NIGUEL, Calif. — Nov. 18, 2014 — Encompass Digital Media (Encompass), a global provider of mission-critical media capture, management, and distribution services, has chosen DigitalGlue to provide a custom software solution for its deployment of the Harmonic Spectrum ChannelPort(TM) integrated channel playout system at Encompass’ Stamford, Connecticut, facility. ChannelPort speeds the cost-effective deployment of new SD and HD television channels by integrating branding and master control switching with clip playback. The DigitalGlue solution creates port profiles that reduce operational errors and increase reliability for broadcast clients.

“It’s critical for us, as a major service provider, to minimize risk and maximize the reliability of our service-level agreements with our clients. The new software layer for Spectrum is a perfect example of how DigitalGlue can assist in the continued improvement of our operations and our customers’ experience,” said Steve Saville, vice president of engineering, Encompass. “DigitalGlue was the ideal partner for this project due to its unique relationship with Harmonic and knowledge of the company’s products, as well as its established track record of creating intelligent, easy-to-use, and intuitive software.”

The new DigitalGlue solution provides a custom software layer between the Spectrum ChannelPort playout system and the Harmonic NMX(TM) digital service manager, which manages the Spectrum ports for Encompass. The software creates operator and port profiles to automate the process of limiting the number of users that have change-level access to the Service Manager. In this manner, the solution helps Encompass substantially reduce risk and errors that can affect the on-air product for its clients.

“The Encompass solution is only the latest example of our commitment to helping our clients improve operations and reduce downtime so that they can delight their own clients and improve revenues,” said Sean Busby, president and co-founder of DigitalGlue. “Our motto is ‘It Can Be Done,’ and we pride ourselves on tackling solutions that our competitors shy away from and on our ability to create intelligent, easy-to-use software solutions for better workflows and more reliable operations.”

More information about DigitalGlue and its services can be found at www.digitalglue.com.

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About Encompass Digital Media
Encompass, a leader in content services, owns and operates state-of-the-art broadcast facilities throughout the United States, Latin America, United Kingdom and Asia. The company’s mission-critical media services provide broadcasters, cable networks, corporations and government entities with customized solutions for the management and distribution of content. With global access to large satellite and fiber footprints, Encompass has 24/7/365 Teleport facilities and technical personnel in Atlanta; Buenos Aires; Burbank, Calif.; Lino Lakes and Minneapolis, Minn.; London; Los Angeles; New York; Singapore; and Stamford, Conn. Please visit www.encompass.tv.

About DigitalGlue
DigitalGlue is an industry-leading systems integrator for all things digital video — contribution, postproduction, distribution, broadcast, cable, and streaming. Decades of experience coupled with in-house, expert software development capabilities equip the company to turn any concept into reality. Long-standing relationships with top-of-the-line manufacturers dedicated to open standards and a team of highly skilled engineers enable DigitalGlue to create custom solutions with today’s technology with an eye on the future. More information is available at www.digitalglue.com.

Product and company names used herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

Sonnet and Audinate Partner to Certify PCIe Sound Cards for Sonnet Thunderbolt 2-to-PCIe Expansion Systems

Audinate’s Dante PCIe-R, Focusrite’s RedNet PCIe Card, and Yamaha’s Dante Accelerator PCIe-R Soundcard Now Work Seamlessly With Sonnet’s Echo Express, xMac mini Server, and xMac Pro Server Solutions

IRVINE, Calif. — Nov. 18, 2014 — Sonnet Technologies today announced a collaboration with Audinate, inventor of the Dante(TM) family of digital media networking solutions, to certify compatibility of the Dante PCIe-R, a PCI Express(R) (PCIe(R)) sound card, with Sonnet’s full range of Thunderbolt(TM) 2-to-PCIe card expansion chassis. The Dante PCIe-R, also available as the Focusrite(R) RedNet(R) PCIe Card, and Yamaha’s Dante Accelerator PCIe-R Soundcard, is now seamlessly compatible with Sonnet’s full range of Echo(TM) Express products (excluding the Echo Express SEL due to size limits), as well as the Sonnet xMac(TM) mini Server and xMac Pro Server solutions.

“As cost-effective solutions for high-performance recording and audio processing workflows, Audinate’s Dante PCIe-R and Focusrite’s RedNet PCIe Card are very popular with our customers. As a result, they have been anxiously waiting for these cards to be certified as compatible with our Echo Express and xMac product lines,” said Greg LaPorte, vice president of sales and marketing, Sonnet Technologies. “Now, customers can build highly versatile and cost-effective audio workstations that enable the cards to be connected directly to any Mac computer with a Thunderbolt port - including the new Mac mini and the new Mac Pro.”

The Sonnet Echo Express product line enables any Mac(R) computer equipped with Thunderbolt 2 or Thunderbolt ports to interface with high-performance PCIe cards such as the Dante PCIe-R and Focusrite RedNet or the Yamaha Dante Accelerator PCIe-R Soundcard. The Echo Express family includes the Echo Express SE II two-slot desktop chassis and the Echo Express III-D (desktop) and III-R (rackmount) three-slot solutions. The xMac mini Server extends Thunderbolt 2-to-PCIe expansion to a Mac mini with a Thunderbolt port and provides a 1U rackmount enclosure for the computer. In similar fashion, the xMac Pro Server provides a 4U rackmount enclosure to securely mount a Mac Pro computer and connect three PCIe 2.0 slots via Thunderbolt 2.

Dante PCIe-R and Focusrite RedNet sound cards are designed to meet the needs of the most demanding audio professionals by enabling a simple, self-configuring, true plug-and-play digital audio network over standard IP and Ethernet networks at Gigabit speeds. The cards provide 256 channels of uncompressed digital audio with near-zero latency and glitch-free redundancy.

“Our partnership with Sonnet is an important link in our strategy to make the Dante PCIe-R available to sound professionals in the complete range of on-location as well as studio workflows,” said Gary Southwell, Audinate’s vice president of product management. “With Sonnet’s Thunderbolt 2-to-PCIe expansion systems, our customers will be able to take advantage of Thunderbolt’s lightning-fast connectivity by connecting the high-performance Dante PCIe-R to any computer lacking expansion slots.”

“Certification of Sonnet’s wide array of Thunderbolt 2-to-PCIe expansion systems with our RedNet PCIe Card means our customers now have more ways than ever to easily integrate RedNet Ethernet audio interfaces into their workflows,” said Ted White, Focusrite RedNet product specialist. “With Sonnet’s rackmount and desktop expansion solutions at users’ disposal, the lack of internal expansion card slots in a computer no longer matters. Users can use any modern computer with a Thunderbolt port instead.”

More information on Sonnet and its products is available at www.sonnettech.com.

# # #

About Audinate
Audinate revolutionizes AV systems to enable customers to thrive in a networked world. Audinate’s Dante(TM) media networking technology has been adopted by the leading OEM manufacturers and has become the standard and dominant networking technology in the professional AV industry. Dante is used extensively for live performance events, commercial installation, broadcast, recording and production, and communications systems. Audinate offices are located in the U.S., U.K., and Australia. Visit www.audinate.com for the latest news and information on the company. Dante is Digital Media Networking Perfected.

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

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.

For your convenience, links to French, German, and Spanish translations have been provided.

Link to French translation: www.wallstcom.com/sonnet/141118FR.htm
Link to German translation: www.wallstcom.com/sonnet/141118GM.htm
Link to Spanish translation: www.wallstcom.com/sonnet/141118SP.htm

Photo Link: www.wallstcom.com/sonnet/sonnet-echo_family_audinate_pcie.jpg
Photo Caption: Sonnet Echo Express Family with Audinate PCIe-R Sound Card

NEG EARTH’s Lighting Crew Speaks of Life on the Road and Working With HARMAN’s Martin Professional

robbie_backstageTwo weeks into Robbie Williams’, Swings Both Ways Tour, some of the lighting crew members from NEG EARTH talked about their jobs, their lives and their experience of touring and working behind the scenes on a major production with HARMAN’s Martin Professional.

Lighting Electrician, Peter ‘Kiss’ Horne and Lighting Technicians, Davide Palumbi, Mike Maslen and Alessandro Schillaci gave some insight on the behind the scenes. Different circumstances got them to where they are today. Davide had done a bit of lighting in his native Italy, fell in love with a Brit and came over to the UK and applied to work for NEG EARTH. Kiss was originally supposed to study civil engineering, but got involved with the stage crew at his university. Alessandro, also an Italian, and Australian Mike both worked with local crews in their home countries and both aspired to eventually work for NEG EARTH, as NEG EARTH is known for working with the very best equipment.

To see people enjoying themselves and to have a show that runs without any problems is a nice bonus, but to the crew a good day is when nothing goes wrong and no one gets hurt. “That being said, NEG EARTH is one of the best companies in the business and we always do our best to ensure optimal safety and performance,” Schillaci added.

As opposed to a lighting designer, this crew’s primary concern is not the brightness, output or color-mixing of a fixture. They are more preoccupied with the physical characteristics of a fixture. “When I’m faced with a new fixture, initially I’m interested in two things,” said Kiss. “How much does it weigh and will I be able to lift it? I’ll grab the handles and if I’m able to pick it up easily, I like it.”

Another crucial point for the crew is the reliability of a fixture. When they have finished loading, they don’t want to be spending all afternoon fixing broken fixtures. “There’s very rarely any issues with the MAC Quantum,” explained Maslen. “When we do have to make repairs, they are easy to fix, easy to get to, easy to service and easy to replace. Basically, Martin fixtures and particularly the MAC Quantum Wash makes our lives simpler.”

Although the quality of light is not the crew’s priority, they are able to appreciate the MAC Quantum for it’s sublime lighting qualities. Compared to older LED fixtures, where the individual RGBs were visible, the front of the Quantum looks nice with its converged light source.

Also, when asked what lighting added to a performance, all were in agreement that lighting played a huge role in major productions such as the Robbie Williams tour. “Without lighting, it’s just a performance. Add lighting to the equation and then it becomes a show,” Kiss stated.

Life on the road is not for the faint-hearted. It can be tough to be away from family and loved ones for long periods of time. “To thrive in this job, it is very important to have good people around you; to feel part of a family,” said Schillaci. There isn’t much privacy with 12-16 people on a tour bus, and so it is imperative with mutual respect and an understanding of each other’s boundaries and that there’s room for individuality and personal quirks and traits.

There’s a real sense of team spirit among the crew and most of them go way back. The lighting crew and half the video crew have been working together since 2009 when they were on tour with Muse, then with Take That, then with Muse again and now with Robbie Williams. So when started it didn’t take long before everything was running like a well-oiled machine, before everyone had found their place and work routines were fully optimized.

When asked what the crew’s best piece of advice would be to people wanting to get into the industry, their answers were unanimous: get a degree first, so you have something to fall back on. As they explained it, chances are that touring life won’t suit a person forever. But then again, some people can’t stay away from it once they’ve had a taste. Some people even swear that they would jump at the chance to stop touring but at the end of the day, touring becomes a way of life. “I must say that none of us think of ourselves as stars – we’re just the crew behind the backdrop,” concluded Kiss.

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

HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures and markets premier audio, visual, infotainment and integrated control solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets. With leading brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon® and Mark Levinson ®, 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 16,000 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $5.3 billion for the twelve months ended June 30, 2014.

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Red TX Standardises HARMAN Studer Consoles in OB Vans for 96kHz Format

Studer_RedTXLONDON, United Kingdom – A little over three years after commissioning its second mobile recording unit, with 3D and 7.1 surround sound, premier location recording company, Red TX has upgraded its original Red 1 OB to give it 96kHz capability. Both Red I and Red II are equipped with HARMAN Studer Vista 8 consoles, with 96 mic amp capacity as standard; but by streamlining their original recording truck, with a new Studer SCore Live engine and faster computer, the Beaconsfield-based facility is able to maintain its high profile live event, film and television recording facilities at the cutting edge.

Chief engineer, Ollie Nesham says the move was largely driven by customer demand and that both vehicles — while slightly different in wheelbase — are similarly configured and are now virtually interchangeable. “We were getting more call for projects in 96K,” he admits. “Every few years there is a call for a greater number of inputs. Ten years ago we could get everything, including audience mics, into 56 tracks; today there can be 100 mic amps and considerations such as 5.1 stems, Studer VistaMix etc, — and the desk couldn’t handle it, so we decided to act.”

He contacted Studer Technical Sales Manager, Europe, Simon Roome. “Although we are largely self-sufficient Studer are brilliant at support — they upgraded the computer in the desk and provided a new Core.”

Other than the overdub area (fitted on Red II) the two trucks are now operationally identical. “To have this flexibility and be able to build up 96K configs for both trucks is important to reflect changes in the industry.

“At festivals we are taking MADI and analogue of over 100 inputs in some cases, along with audience mics and comms; so having six MADI cards in each truck allows us to have three stage boxes on each truck, and record 192 tracks.”

With all microphone inputs now 24bit/96kHz with full DSP on every channel Red TX has already carried out a number of projects since the fit-out of its original vehicle, including Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens) at Eventim Apollo Hammersmith, Red Bull Culture Clash and MTV Europe Music Awards in Glasgow.

For more information on Red TX, please visit www.red-tx.com

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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Matrox Maevex Streams Full HD Camera Footage from Hong Kong International Airport to Off-Site Aviation Gallery

Maevex H.264 encoders and decoders selected to distribute high-quality, low-bandwidth video over the existing network infrastructure—simplifying integration and reducing project costs

Matrox® Graphics Inc. today announced that the Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department (HKCAD) has successfully installed Matrox Maevex™ H.264 encoders and decoders to stream live, low-bandwidth, 1080p60 ATC tower camera footage to its HKCAD Education Path aviation gallery 2 km (1.2 mi) away. Selected for its ability to distribute high-quality video at low, user-definable bit rates (100 Kbps to 25 Mbps), the Maevex AV-over-IP platform lets HKCAD present a dynamic air traffic control exhibit to the gallery’s visitors.

AV-over-IP-Hong-Kong-Airport-H.264-Encoders-Decoders

After evaluating several third-party AV-over-IP options, HKCAD brought in local IT solutions provider Amara International Ltd. Amara recommended the cost-effective Maevex encoder/decoder system. Amara demonstrated how the bundled Matrox PowerStream™ software can be used to easily customize the bit-rate limit to the existing infrastructure’s available 8Mbps. As a result, HKCAD was able to stream smooth and uninterrupted traffic footage from a 1080p60 HD camera in Hong Kong International Airport’s ATC tower to the off-site Epson® HD projector, giving gallery visitors a highly engaging air traffic controller experience.

“Pristine image quality, low-bandwidth consumption, high stability…these are the qualities that make Matrox Maevex a unique AV-over-IP solution,” said Miss Michelle Siu, Project Officer at the Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department. “Matrox Maevex was instrumental in helping us stream video over our existing IP network and we are very satisfied with the equipment’s performance so far.”

To read the complete story and view pictures, visit Matrox Maevex Streams Live Airport Traffic Footage to Off-Site Aviation Gallery.

See Matrox Maevex demonstrated live at ISE 2015 (Amsterdam RAI, NL, February 10-12, stand #11-F68).

About Matrox Graphics Inc.
Matrox Graphics is a global manufacturer of reliable, high-quality ASICs, boards, appliances, and software. Backed by in-house design expertise and dedicated customer support, Matrox products deliver stellar capture, extension, distribution, and display. Engineering high-quality products since 1976, Matrox technology is trusted by professionals and partners worldwide. Matrox is a privately held company headquartered in Montreal, Canada. For more information, visit www.matrox.com/graphics.

Hawthorn Names DPA As Its Microphone Brand of Choice

Ben McAlonan and Jon Curnew

Hawthorn, the UK’s largest independent supplier of technical production services, has named DPA as its primary microphone brand.

Established in 1987, Hawthorn employs over 120 staff from offices around the UK and handles over 1,000 events every year, including gala dinners, product launches, conferences and parties. The company’s product portfolio has seen a 4.4 EUR investment over the last two years and now includes state of the art lighting, sound, AV, rigging, staging and drapes.

Among this phenomenal inventory are a wide range of DPA microphones including d:fine™ Headset Microphones, d:screet™ 4060 lavalier microphones and d:vote™ 4099 Instrument Microphones.

Audio quality is very important to Hawthorn, which bases its reputation on delivering exceptionally high standards. It was this desire to use the best that initially brought DPA to the company’s attention.

“It all started a few years ago when we were looking for headset microphones to replace the brand we had previously been using,” says Jon Curnew, Hawthorn’s Head of Sound. “We discovered the DPA d:fine Headset Microphone range and were immediately taken with the fact that they came with single and dual ear attachments. That really appealed to us because it made them so versatile. We now have a stock of about 35 d:fine microphones and we use them all the time. They are much easier to position than any other headset mic we have tried and our customers love them.”

Although Hawthorn also offers DPA d:screet™ 4060 lavalier microphones, most of its customers prefer headsets because they don’t have to worry about accidentally knocking them – or forgetting to take them off when they go off stage.

“Headsets are also better at picking up weaker voices because the microphone is positioned so close to the mouth and doesn’t have to compete with background noise,” Curnew says. “Once they are in place, they tend to stay in place – we even had a guy wearing one while he was doing aerobics and it managed to survive that.”

For musicians, Hawthorn stocks DPA d:vote 4099 Instrument Microphones and now has 17 in its microphone cupboard.

“We use them with a variety of clips and they are great because they deliver such a clean, transparent sound,” Curnew says.

Hawthorn recently added six DPA d:facto™ Vocal Microphones toits stock, which it bought from DPA’s UK distributor Sound Network.

“We saw the d:facto Vocal Microphones at PLASA two years ago but we needed the right event to inspire us to buy some,” Curnew says. “This turned out to be SunWalk in London’s Battersea Park – a charity event raising money for breast cancer research, for which we delivered full technical production.”

Four wired and two wireless d:facto’s were immediately put to use on the SunWalk live music stage.

“Everyone loved them,” Curnew says. “They sounded amazing and we had no issues with feedback or rejection – they worked well across a range of artists and really brought out the subtlety in the vocalists’ voices. We have since used them on other events including an opera. It’s interesting to note how often they are cropping up on artist’s riders – that’s another reason why we felt the time was right to invest in some.”

Although most of Hawthorn’s DPA microphones are used for in-house productions, they are also available for dry hire and Curnew says the DPA d:facto Vocal Microphones, in particular, are already making a name for themselves amongst dry hire customers.

-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

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