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Archive of the Product Applications Category

Stagecraft Audio Finds Smooth Sailing With Cobalt Digital’s Blue Box Group

Units deliver lightweight, practical conversion solution

Urbana, IL – Cobalt Digital, manufacturer of award-winning 3G/HD/SD-SDI conversion gear, has delivered a practical signal conversion solution to Stagecraft Audio, a full service sound, lighting and AV company located in Newport, RI that specializes in large-scale projects ranging from corporate events to broadcast applications. After evaluating options for lightweight, easy-to-install conversion gear that delivers a pristine signal, Stagecraft chose eight of Cobalt’s Blue Box Group™ BBG S-to-H (SDI to HDMI) and one BBG H-to-S (HDMI to SDI) unit.

The BBG S-to-H units provide direct conversion from SMPTE 259M, 292M and 424M SDI to HDMI and feature easy to use DIP switch sets YPbPr or RGB colorspace and HDMI or DVI output modes. The H-to-S model provides true 3G and HD conversions from HDMI to SMPTE 424M, 292M, or 259M. The HDMI input can also receive and convert DVI-D sources (limited to SMPTE HD formats).

“Cobalt’s BBG units have already proved their value during a recent event in the Arcadia Room of the New York Yacht Club in Newport,” said Frank Dwyer, Stagecraft Audio’s owner. “I’d worked in that same room many times before, but having the boxes this time really made the difference. The BBG took the signal out of the client’s laptop on the podium, sent it through my video switcher and I was able to hit the displays around the room without extension cords and with no signal degradation at all. It was easy and worked perfectly!”

Other features that tipped the scales in Cobalt’s favor are the boxes ability to power directly via USB as well as their lightweight, small footprint. “The boxes are USB powered, and that’s wonderful,” exclaimed Dwyer. “Previously, I had to run cables to hit each TV, now we can run power from USB to each display. The boxes are also light enough to sit on the back of a TV with Velcro. I can just slap it on the TV and leave it there. It’s part of the TV now and has made the process so much easier.”

Dwyer’s experience with Cobalt was also enhanced by excellent sales support. “I got the runaround from other companies because I didn’t want to buy in bulk,” he explained. “I found the Cobalt’s Blue Box Group on their web site, sent an email, and the very next day Anthony Klick, Cobalt’s eastern sales manager, not only contacted me, but came by to discuss the best solution for my needs. I was so impressed with the physical and technical features of the products and with the service that I ordered nine units and have plans for more in the future.”
ABOUT COBALT DIGITAL INC.
Cobalt Digital Inc. designs and manufactures award-winning 3G/HD/SD conversion gear for the broadcast television environment. Distributed through a worldwide network of dealers, system integrators, and other partnerships, Cobalt products are backed with a 5-year warranty. For more information, visit http://www.cobaltdigital.com .

Company Contact: Chris Shaw, EVP of Sales and Marketing
+1-217-344-1243 / chris.shaw@cobaltdigital.com

Press Contact: Desert Moon Public Relations & Advertising / Harriet Diener
+1-845-512-8283 / harriet@desertmoon.tv

Clay Paky Sharpy Washes Turn in Winning Performances at the “Miss America Pageant”

MA 1Fifty-three contestants walked the walk on stage at Boardwalk Hall when the 88th “Miss America Pageant” returned to Atlantic City in September. Two dozen Clay Paky Sharpy Wash fixtures were on hand from Atomic Lighting in Lititz, Pennsylvania for the gala telecast on ABC Television.

Allen Branton was the lighting designer for the “Miss America Pageant” with Felix Peralta and Kevin Lawson the lighting directors and Laura Frank the screens producer and media programmer.

“It was our eighth year doing the pageant,” says Peralta. “It’s always a challenge to recreate the excitement of the show; we’re looking to enhance and improve the previous year’s telecast. With three days devoted to pageant preliminaries, which are not broadcast, we got an opportunity to build the show on site. Friday and Saturday were camera rehearsal days then Sunday was the live show.”

Kevin Lawson was responsible for the key light and audience light – an important role for a show where 53 young ladies take center stage. “The show is ultimately about the contestants, and my primary task was to make sure all of them looked good whether 53 girls were out there or one of them was performing in the talent competition,” he notes. “In a lot of ways the pageant is like an awards show: They want a certain amount of grandeur, and there’s a long-standing tradition behind it. The show has to be exciting but high quality and dignified.”

With large groups on stage at times Lawson was challenged to not just bathe the scene with light. “I wanted to shape it enough to make the girls look great and be individually visible,” he explains.

Approximately 24 Sharpy Wash fixtures served as the primary stage wash. They were hung across the stage and acted as “workhorses” for the show, bathing the contestants with backlight and color, Lawson says. “They were in pretty much every shot. I love Sharpys Washes: Their field is consistent, their zoom is great. They’re bright, the color is constant; they’re easily manipulated and fast. In fact, they’re good for all shows.”

Felix Peralta, who handled the environment lighting, notes that the Sharpy washes “treated some scenery, too, including the bigger-than-life-size Miss America statue, which had six washes on it.”

John Calkins was the production designer for the “Miss America Pageant.”

Francesco Romagnoli, Clay Paky Area Manager for North and Latin America, added, “What a group of talented lighting professionals. Allen, Laura, Felix and Kevin are so well respected in this industry and it’s a great honor that they like our equipment as much as they do.”

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

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Church of the Highlands Delivers High-Energy Worship Experience For 20,000 Members With HARMAN’s Martin Professional Lighting Fixtures

MARTIN_ChurchoftheHighlandsAARHUS, Denmark — With ten campuses and more than 30,000 active members throughout Alabama, the Church of the Highlands delivers a unique style of prayer that utilizes professional production elements to create a high-energy, high-worship atmosphere. Now in its second decade, the church was in need of a versatile and reliable lighting solution for its weekly services and Lighting Designer, Brian Worster, turned to HARMAN’s Martin Professional lighting fixtures to provide stage and effect lighting across the ten campuses.

Services for the church are held at a variety of campuses ranging from high schools to community centers and entertainment venues and are produced primarily by volunteer “worship teams”. While the sermon is delivered from the Grants Mill main campus in Birmingham, Alabama via the Internet, each campus worship team runs the program and services locally. “We wanted to create a passionate high-energy worship atmosphere with lighting that could be quickly loaded-in and loaded-out by volunteers every week,” said Worster.

The main campus deploys Martin’s MAC Viper moving head luminaires and MAC 250 wash lights. Worster also often specified the Viper series for youth conferences put on by the church, citing their optics and power. “We recently put on a youth conference in which we brought in 28 Auras and 18 Vipers,” said Worster. “The Vipers offer great gobos, they are extremely punchy, and have incredible optics that deliver strong output and framing.”

Martin’s MAC 101 series wash lights are also used at each of the church’s locations to ensure that volunteers can easily update positioning on short turnarounds. Worster also brought in the 101s for their ability to color mix as well as for their efficiency because many of the campus locations have little to no infrastructure for large amounts of power consumption.

“The 101s are super bright and in some locations we are throwing 100 feet or more to the stage and still only at 70-80 percent output,” said Worster. “The lens accessories are great for zooming or narrow the beams to blend the front wash. We also use the 101s during the message portion as a supplement to house lights like in a theater.”

The Tuscaloosa campus features 16 101 RGBs on the upstage floor shooting on the ceiling above the stage, while the Woodlawn campus, a high school theater uses 8 101 WRMs for front wash as well. The Fultondale and Huntsville campuses feature 10 101 RGBs on trusses upstage as well as several 101 CTs downstage for front wash.

“We’ve used the 101s at the Fultondale campus for almost two years and they’ve totally changed the way we approach launching a campus with the church,” said Worster. “They offer more flexibility and provide an atmosphere that we can recreate at every location. Also, budget is an important when launching a new campus and the 101s are extremely bright yet also inexpensive enough that they were a no-brainer for our productions.”

“The service Martin has provided to us has been incredible,” summarized Worster. “The fact that Martin has a team specifically dedicated to the House of Worship market is huge for us—we feel like we have another ally on our team and I could not have imagined the success of our services without their help!”

For more information on Martin’s stage lighting solutions, please visit: www.martin.com

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

HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures and markets 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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Clay Paky Sharpy Fixtures and grandMA2 Consoles Help Deliver Powerful Message For “Stand Up to Cancer” Blockbuster Special

2When 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 with a complement of grandMA2 consoles controlling lighting and media. 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 and grandMA2 consoles.

“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 grandMA2 has been my preferred console for a while,” says Frank. “This show marked just the second time I was using the d3 server driven by grandMA2, and I was beta testing d3′s DMX control interface, which enables the grandMA2 to drive the time line-based d3.”

Boland, who heads LA’s Team Boland Productions, Inc., has been using grandMA desks for a decade or more. He deployed a full-size grandMA2 on “Stand Up to Cancer” where he programmed the key and audience lighting.

“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.”

Especially handy for Boland was the grandMA2′s special menu for using shutters on spots. “If the fixture has shutters you just choose the shutters menu and angle them easily by dragging your fingers,” he explains.

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.

Peralta used a grandMA2 light to “make sure the environment complemented the video and gelled with it,” he points out. He’s been using MA family consoles for about 15 years. “It’s the only choice,” he says. “This was one of the first shows we did with the new 3.0 software, and we were very pleased with the additional features and improvements.

“For ‘Stand Up to Cancer’ we had the luxury of a good amount of time on site so we could program there at a very human pace,” he adds. “It’s uncommon to have that kind of time and we were very grateful for it so we could create a real hand-craft look.”

About A.C.T Lighting

A leading importer and distributor of lighting products, A.C.T Lighting, Inc. strives to identify future trends and cutting-edge products, and stock, sell and support their inventory. The company provides superior customer service and value for money to all of its clients.

For more information call 818-707-0884.

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Culture Club Kicks Off Reunion Tour with HARMAN’s Soundcraft Vi3000 Console and the Realtime Rack, Soundcraft’s UAD Plug-In Engine

Scraft_CultureClubLONDON, United Kingdom – More than 30 years since winning the world over with pop classics like “Karma Chameleon” and “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me”, Culture Club is reuniting for a string of concerts throughout North America, to be followed by a multi-arena tour in the United Kingdom. The band’s longtime front of house engineer, Jimmy Sarikas, aka “Mixologist”, recently purchased a HARMAN Soundcraft Vi3000 console, which he put to use for a private Culture Club performance at the Heaven nightclub in London. The console was sold through SSE Audio Group, Soundcraft Vi Select dealer.

Jimmy purchased the Vi3000 for multiple purposes, including live mixing as well as studio and mobile recording. “I’m a one-stop shop, so I needed a console that could perform multiple functions,” he said. “I can roll up to a festival and do live multi-track recording and broadcast, and I have multiple duplication systems in my truck, so I can give you 200 CDs in a half-hour after the show.”

The first task for Jimmy’s new desk – was a private performance from the group at the Heaven nightclub in London.

Alex Penn, Sales Director for SSE Audio Group commented, “As SSE Hire has been working with Culture Club on various recent events, and SSE Audio Group has been long term suppliers of Soundcraft Vi consoles for both Hire and Sales, Jimmy got in touch with SSE Sales when he decided that the Vi3000 was his console of choice. As Jimmy really wanted to use all of the available features of the console we had to develop some customised packaging solutions, housing two screens (record overview and Realtime Rack) in the case, as well as the Realtime Rack itself and a UPS.”

According to Jimmy, the Vi3000 offers multiple benefits compared to other consoles on the market. “For starters, the sound quality of the Vi3000 is just amazing,” he said. “Vi Series consoles have always had an amazing sound and that’s the case with the Vi3000. The second major factor is ease of use. I personally feel that manufacturers are making boards that are too small. I want some faders! My arms are more than capable to open as wide as 24 faders, so it’s Soundcraft all the way for me.”

For the Culture Club shows, Jimmy is running 53 channels to accommodate the multiple vocals and diverse instrumentation on stage, which includes two piano players, several guitars, a brass section and a variety of percussion. Jimmy is also utilizing the Soundcraft Realtime Rack, a 1RU box that features a library of Universal Audio plug-ins.

“I’m loving the Dante connectivity because I record 64 channels in and 64 channels out for virtual sound checks as well as my multi-track recordings,” Jimmy noted. “I’m working with two machines for that [Mac Minis with SSD hard drives]. Both computers fit in a 1RU rack located in the flight case of the Vi3000: one is my recording device and the other is the Realtime Rack.” The computer with the “Realtime Rack” software also records a redundant 64 channels of multi-track audio via the secondary Dante output. The two screens also slide into compartments in the case. Can you believe all this and the Vi3000 in one box on wheels?”

In addition, Jimmy’s positive experience with Soundcraft boards in the past played a factor in his decision to add the Vi3000 to his arsenal. “I’ve used Vi6 consoles at festivals before and they always felt a bit daunting at first, but the truth is that Vi consoles are probably the easiest control surfaces to use,” Jimmy said. “There aren’t any hidden pages—what you need is right in front of you.”

For more information on Jimmy Sarikas, please visit www.mixologist.co.uk or www.payperviewconcerts.co.uk

For more information on Culture Club, please visit www.culture-club.co.uk

For more information on SSE Audio Group, please visit www.sseaudiogroup.com

Soundcraft and Harman products are distributed in the UK and ROI by Sound Technology Ltd, for more information, please visit www.soundtech.co.uk

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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Brand New Metropolitan West Space Debuts with Versace Event and Extensive WorldStage Installation

versace-party-web-preview-5-1252One of the most glittering events during New York’s Fashion Week was the Anthony Vaccarello x Versus Versace Spring/Summer 2015 runway show and after-party at the new Metropolitan West venue. Signaling the notoriety of the event, Naomi Campbell, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Lady Gaga, Bella Thorne, Rachel Zoe and Victoria Justice all made appearances. Metropolitan West is a new event facility designed and built by the Metropolitan Pavilion organization and is the sister facility of Metropolitan Chelsea. Both facilities utilize WorldStage as the exclusive provider of audio, video/staging and lighting services.

The x Versus Versace 8 pm runway show, spotlighting the young diffusion line of the Versace fashion house, and after-party marked the first event since the new space opened its doors. During the months prior to opening, WorldStage had installed a comprehensive audio, video and lighting system to meet the demands of prospective Metropolitan West clients. The systems represent provide state-of-the-art performance while being cost effective, providing clients a wide range of configurations and minimal visual interference as much of the hardware is finished in white to match the interior design.

x Versus Versace utilized both the first and second floors of Metropolitan West. “Since we were supporting not only a full runway show on the first floor but a large party and concert performance on the second floor, we augmented the installed system with additional gear from our warehouse inventory. However, for almost all events we’ll see at the space, the built-in system will be able to handle it.” says WorldStage account executive/project manager Frank Mejia. “Scenically, the client brought in additional walls for the party and we provided the AV package for the performance by St. Vincent.”

KCD partnered with Todo Productions on the creative for the evening. “Anthony (Vaccarello) wanted a clean, modern, white light venue for the show,” says Susan Schroeder with Todo Productions. “He used a lot of graphic patterns in his collection, which we adapted for the graphic design of the runway. Upstairs at the party we used lighting and projection to get that graphic look in the very modern, white space. We also played with the infinity of reflections of the models in a lot of mirrors.”

Frank Mejia notes that WorldStage met the twin challenges of readying Metropolitan West for its debut as well as ensuring it met the needs of KCD and Todo for x Versus Versace’s dual events. “John Ackerman, Vice President – Systems Integration, Barry Grossman, Chief Engineer and I worked hand in hand with the management and operations team of the venue to make sure everything was at 100 percent by the load-in day,” he says.

For the high-profile fashion event WorldStage was charged with implementing the creative visions of lighting designer Joe Saint of IMCD Lighting and audio designer Eric Bechtel of Audible Difference Inc. (ADI).

In all, nearly 100 moving lights, 150 conventional lights and various LED fixtures were used to light the fashion show, party and performance. For sound 40 Yamaha and 34 d&b speakers were used, running from Avid and newYamaha QL1 mixing desks.

“We were the first production at Met West, and WorldStage was great about working together with us to make everything happen for our show,” says Schroeder. “WorldStage really impressed me by putting our needs first.

WorldStage Inc., the company created by the merger of Scharff Weisberg Inc and Video Applications Inc, continues a thirty-year legacy of providing clients the widest variety of entertainment technology coupled with conscientious and imaginative engineering services. WorldStage provides audio, video and lighting equipment and services to the event, theatrical, broadcast and brand experience markets nationally and internationally.

Pro Sound Effects Releases Enhanced Hybrid Library + Expansion Program

100 Units Available for Freelance Sound Designers through Dec. 31

NEW YORK, NY – Pro Sound Effects®, the next level sound library company, has released its enhanced Hybrid Library™ and new Expansion Program for freelance sound designers and independent media creators worldwide.

Since 2012, Pro Sound Effects has supported freelancers by providing access to a big feature, big studio library ($10,000 value) at an affordable price ($1,500).

Now through December 31st, Pro Sound Effects is making 100 more Hybrid Library units available to qualified sound designers who apply and qualify for freelancer pricing. In addition, all Hybrid Library owners gain access to the Expansion Program, which ensures the Hybrid Library is continually updated.

“We really stepped up our features this year,” says Douglas Price, Founder & President of Pro Sound Effects. “Our goal is to continually improve our Hybrid Program so it lives up to its reputation as both the ‘Robin Hood of Sound Libraries’ and ‘the Sound Designers Secret Weapon.’”

Hybrid-Library-Sound-Effects-Hard-Drive-2014

Hybrid Library Key Features:
- 56,477 Sound Effects on Hard Drive: 338 GB of professional sound delivered on flashy Hybrid-branded USB 3.0 hard drive
- Spans the Sonic Spectrum A to Z: Categories include Ambiences, Animals, History, Nature, Science Fiction, Technology, Warfare and beyond
- World-Class Recordists : we curate sound effects content from the top recordists and sound designers including Blastwave FX, BBC, BOOM, Foundation, Sound Control SE, and beyond
- Online Access to 215,000+ sounds from any computer through the Pro Sound Effects Online Library
- Masterful Metadata for lightning fast, pinpoint searches
- Free Annual Updates: 2014 Update includes 400 new sounds (6.4 GB) from Blastwave FX plus enhanced metadata
- 100% Royalty-Free Lifetime License

View full Hybrid Library features, videos, audio demos & reviews here.

Hybrid-Library-Sound-Effects-Expansion-Flash-Drive-2014

Expansion Program Key Features:
The Expansion Program provides freelancers with a simple, cost-effective way to ensure that their sound effects selection and software toolset is continually refreshed. Developed with feedback from Hybrid Library owners and curated by the PSE Library Team, Expansions 1 and 2 are robust sound effects compilations available only to Hybrid Library owners.

- Expansion 1: New Room Tones, Ambiences, Footsteps, and Foley; 10,856 sounds (54 GB) on 64 GB USB Flash Drive.
- Expansion 2: 1,000 hand-picked BBC Ambiences, Outdoor Impulse Responses, and Production Elements; 2,721 sounds (62 GB) on 64 GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive.
- Soundminer Add-On: Search, Audition, Drag-n-Drop to application

View Expansion Program features & demos here.

Pricing & Availability:
Through December 31, 2014, 100 Hybrid Library units are available for $1,500 ($10,000 value). Expansions 1 and 2 are available $500 each ($2500 value each).

Existing Hybrid Library owners will be emailed the 2014 Free Update and this will also be posted in the Hybrid Library Owner Forum.

See http://www.prosoundeffects.com/pse-hybrid-library for more information.

About Pro Sound Effects:
Pro Sound Effects curates and delivers the Next Level sound effects library for media producers worldwide. The Pro Sound Effects Library is 220,000+ royalty-free sounds effects available both online and on hard drive. The Library spans the entire sonic spectrum and is continually updated. Founded in 2004, Pro Sound Effects is relied upon by top freelancers and big media production companies worldwide.

The Linq’s High Roller Observation Wheel Enhances The Iconic Las Vegas Skyline with HARMAN’s Martin Professional Lighting

Martin_Linq High RollerLAS VEGAS, Nevada — In March 2014, The LINQ Resort by Caesars Entertainment altered the Las Vegas skyline when it completed the world’s tallest observation wheel. The High Roller, shaped like a giant floating hoop, now rises above the cityscape of Las Vegas, illuminated from sunset throughout the night by fixtures from HARMAN’s Martin Professional’s Tripix range of products.

Commissioned by Caesars Entertainment in 2009 with an overall vision to change the Las Vegas Skyline with a new iconic landmark, construction on the world’s tallest observation wheel began. On the lighting side of this extravagant architectural project, NYXdesign teamed up with Martin Professional, systems integrator 4Wall Entertainment and electrical contractors Bombard Electric.

The installation includes 1,120 Tripix 300 fixtures, 1,008 Tripix Wash fixtures, 560 Tripix Power IP66 power supplies and four MAC Viper fixtures.

“Working with Henrik Kristensen from Martin and the rest of the team was very rewarding,” said Buddy Pope, Senior Systems Project Manager, 4Wall Entertainment. “We had to make sure everything would be able to withstand being turned upside down every 30 minutes over and over again. Also, everything had to be designed down to the last hole before we were able to test anything. Martin’s willingness to come up with customized solutions was a key success factor in these early stages.”

“The amount of time we spent and the level of detail we worked with in the mockup stage really was worth it,” said Lighting Designer, Abigail Rosen Holmes. “It allowed us to know the choices we were making would work as we intended when installed. This information had to be carried through to the drawings, and eventually construction, as it would not be possible to adjust the fixtures’ mounting positions.”

One major challenge that had to be considered in the early stages of the project was to accommodate the user experience from both inside the cabins and from various angles and viewing distances make the lighting design successful from every possible perspective. The Tripix products were chosen because at the time it was the only fixture on the market with a converged light source, also known as a tri-color chip, meaning that when you look directly at the light source you only see the color that the fixtures is programmed to show. As visitors would be able to see directly into the light source from the cabins, a traditional RGB light source was not an option.

“Apart from the difficulty in getting to the fixture locations, our involvement was a ‘bolt-up’ and ‘plug and play’ installation of a well-designed lighting system,” said Mike Gurule, Bombard Electric. “It is clear to us that Martin places a high emphasis on quality control.”

The guidelines for the lighting design was that it had to respect the beauty and simplicity of the structure while at the same time embracing its kinetic qualities. In contrast to a lot of Las Vegas lighting, the design for the High Roller was not meant to be flashy and carnival-like.

“The vision of everybody involved allowed me to treat the object very simply, because in its pure form the structure is extraordinarily beautiful,” said Holmes. “They had this clear idea and vision and were very consistent on keeping it all the way through.”

Even though the fixtures are moving around with the rim, it is possible to program the fixtures to make the wheel appear to be one color in the bottom half and another in the top half. The programming frequently returns to white to reestablish the pure form of the object and there are subtle design choices that may not all be perceived by spectators, but contribute to the overall perception of the design.

As the sun goes down a slightly different time every day, there are 365 individual cues timed to actual sunset. It starts with a sequence designed to play from sunset to dark. When darkness falls another set of sequences carry on all through the night. Sets of special sequences are designed for holidays and special events, including, according to Holmes, an awesome one for Halloween.

There is an obvious challenge in lighting up a structure like The High Roller. Unlike The London Eye, which is designed as an open truss structure, The High Roller is a massive white object that has to be illuminated from the outside.

“The 2,000 Martin fixtures were individually mapped and numbered to provide the detail and variety we wanted in the programming,” said Holmes. “This formed the basis of the varied movement patterns and groups which play out in the programming for the wheel lighting.”

Holmes, working with programmer Jason Badger, created the initial wheel lighting sequences using an offline 3d visualizer, allowing the project team to further review and develop the feel and aesthetic of the programming in advance of installation. For onsite programming, a position was set up on a hotel balcony overlooking The High Roller. All the fixtures are wirelessly DMX-controlled and during this phase all the pre-programmed sequences were tested and more were developed.

More than a year into its completion, many believe The High Roller has become an integral part of the Las Vegas Skyline with its beautiful shape and elegant lighting design, making it fully deserving of its status as the latest and greatest Vegas landmark.

“To me the most exciting moment was the first day when we were able to turn everything on and knew that it worked,” said Pope. “Three years of work and planning turned out successfully but you can’t help but hold your breath right up until the moment you turn it on. To me it is magical when, at night the wheel comes to life with light and turns into something different.”

Video: http://youtu.be/QTlA5PV5B0k

Image credit: Denise Truscello

Lighting Team
4Wall Entertainment
NYXdesign
Bombard Electric
Martin Professional

The High Roller project also features a complete Harman audio solution provided by JBL, Crown and BSS.

Full story: http://www.martin.com/en-US/View-Case?itemId=CaseStory:14169

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 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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DPA Microphones Capture the Sound of The Girl From Nagasaki

Burhan Ocal in Girl From Nagasaki

One of the highlights of this year’s Sundance Film Festival was The Girl from Nagasaki, a feature-length directorial debut by celebrated photographer Michel Comte. This dazzling retelling of Madame Butterfly reframes the familiar haunting story of romance and loss through the lens of a Nagasaki survivor married to an American astronaut.

It’s a bravura debut which, as you would expect from Comte, has won plaudits for its visually sumptuous style and structure. But equally impressive is the superb audio work throughout the title from sound designer Maurizio Argentieri and a battalion of DPA microphones.

DPA’s d:dicate™ 4041-SP Large Diaphragm, 4011 Cardiod and 4006 Omnidirectional Recording Microphones were all used in the sound production of the film. Argentieri also used a DPA d:screet™ 4091 Omnidirectional Microphone and a d:dicate™ 5006-11 Matched Microphone Kit with an S5 surround mount. He was so impressed by the performance of the latter that he decided to invest in one for his own microphone collection.

“All of the DPA microphones I used sounded amazingly good,” he says with disarming simplicity. “I need a microphone capable of handling high SPL but one that still delivers a fantastic sound: this is why I chose DPA.”

The project itself, however, was anything but simple and pushed both his skills and the capabilities of the DPA microphones to the limit. Maurizio was first briefed by Michel at his home in Los Angeles where it was decided that there would be no ADR.

“There was not a word in the movie that was to be replaced, so all the actors’ performances in the movie are real and original,” says Argentieri. “There were a lot of challenging situations. We had a band with a singer performing a couple of songs live while the actors were speaking; a long dialogue scene filmed on the top of Stromboli, an active volcano in Sicily with a very strong wind and real eruptions going off in the background; dialogue under real rain and the sound of the cockpit of a jet fighter while it was flying. This last scene we filmed for real: I put a couple of d:dicate 4006 Omnidirectional Recording Microphones in the jet and hit the record button. The rest is in the movie.”

After initially training in classical guitar, Argentieri started his career as a sound engineer in the music industry. After a couple of years though he realised that being shut away in a studio was no longer for him and, with the aid of a friend who was working as an assistant film editor at the time, they began to pull images out of the trash can and put them together on a Moviola with the music they loved.

“Sometimes we would stay long into the night at the studio, just him and me; we were like kids at home without parents. He was mostly working on documentaries at that time and we had plenty of huge nature shots and beautiful images. For me it was like an illumination: I realised the power and the magic of sound to change the meaning of an image simply by changing the music.”

Argentieri quit his job in the recording studio and became a sound mixer for documentaries. Several years of projects followed, including work for Greenpeace, before he got his break on movies. And he’s certainly made the most of it since, working with the likes of Mario Monicelli, Marco Bellocchio, Bernardo Bertolucci, Giuseppe Bertolucci, Woody Allen, Mel Gibson, Spike Lee, Ridley Scott, and now Michel Comte.

The Girl From Nagasaki was shot in Los Angeles, Berlin, Rome, Stromboli, and Japan.

“As sound designer I’ve had different roles: production sound mixer, sound editor, and re-recording mixer,” he explains. “I recorded the production sound always using a stereo couple or a surround rig to bring home the ambience, then I had a second moment all by myself going around just with the surround kit recording all the necessary ambient sound to put in the movie. And then we had all the recording of the music to do.”

Argentieri adds that the DPA surround kit was really useful when he and the film crew were tackling a scene in Sofia that involved recording an orchestra.

“We placed the kit right in the middle of the orchestra to have a different point of view,” he explains. “From the very beginning Michel wanted to give the audience an extraordinary aural experience, so everything was recorded in a way that allowed the microphones to be surrounded by music and sound. Of course we had to do a lot of sound editing and mixing to achieve that.”

The DPA microphones were also used extensively in recording the dialogue of the film. Argentieri used two boom operators mounting DPA d:dicate 4017 Shotgun Microphones that fed into a Manley dual microphone Tube preamplifier.

“If you want to get an idea of the quality of these microphones you only have to listen to the long dialogue scene at the beginning of the movie between Sir Christopher Lee and the older Gheisha,” he says. “Hearing that, you will be absolutely astonished.”

The DPA microphones even have a starring role in one of the key opening scenes, where Burhan Öcal is playing Japanese percussion.

“This scene is visually like a beautiful art installation and again Michel wanted to give the audience the sensation of being seated close to the percussionist himself, so I had to record his performance live while we were filming,” Argentieri says. “That meant the microphones needed to be part of the installation and the elegance and sobriety of the DPA microphones allowed them to be completely integral to the scene.”

Commenting on his decision to invest in his own DPA d:dicate™ 5006-11 Matched Microphone Kit with S5 surround mount, Argentieri says: “DPA’s surround kit is perfect for modern sound design. In this kit you have three beautiful omnis and two beautiful pure cardioids that you can use together or as singles in other situations. Given the quality of these microphones, why would you want to send them back?”

-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

McGill University’s Schulich School Students Tackle Loudness Control with RTW TM3 TouchMonitor

Renowned Recording Engineers Richard King, Martha de Francisco and George Massenburg Count on Audio Meter to Help Students Create Dynamite Mixes

MONTRÉAL, QUÉBEC, CANADA, NOVEMBER 3, 2014 – RTW, a leading vendor of visual audio meters and monitoring devices for professional broadcast, production, post production and quality control, is pleased to announce that the sound recording department at McGill University’s prestigious Schulich School of Music now uses the company’s TM3 TouchMonitor audio meter to instruct students in the art of loudness control.RTW_SchulichSchool_TM3_Students

Recording engineer and inventor George Massenburg, an adjunct professor of recording arts and sciences at McGill, the largest university-based school for professional music training and music research in Canada, sees loudness normalization as the next major trend to hit the music industry. He points out that Apple iTunes, for example, already features controls for normalizing the sound across one’s library of songs (“Sound Check”). “Normalization for music is spreading, and we want to educate students to take advantage of this trend the best way they can,” he says. “We want them to be able to make good mixes so they can work going forward.”

The RTW TM3 is one way sound recording at The Schulich School of Music is helping his students prepare for this future. With its easy-to-use 4.3-inch touchscreen and large number of graphical and numerical instruments showing single-channel and summing-loudness bargraphs, PPM, true peak, SPL, loudness range (LRA), dialnorm and correlation, the TM3, part of RTW’s TouchMonitor line of audio meters, is a perfect tool for students learning how to measure loudness control for the first time. Its flexible user interface enables the selection of up to 10 presets with the swipe of a finger, allowing students to focus energy on training their ears for loudness differences.
RTW_TM3_DE_027_Stereo_Num_ATSC_web
“Another benefit of having the TM3 readily accessible is when the students are working with multiple projects at once,” explains Massenburg. “To give the students references when they’re learning how to mix, we’ll have them do a new mix but refer to another piece of work. It may not even be the same song—it may be something else, but to reference that on an equal playing field—meaning equal loudness—they’ve got to measure the loudness of that external file. So it’s very useful to have the meter right there. It’s not software. It doesn’t come and go with the project. It’s a part of the setup.”

That setup is located in the Schulich School’s Studio A, where the RTW TM3 is part of a range of solutions the students use to conduct mixes. These include Euphonix MC mixers, Merging Technologies Pyramix, Avid Pro Tools, ATC, Genelec and JBL loudspeakers and monitoring systems, among others.

“The TM3 helps the students adjust the loudness of a mix until it’s roughly in the ballpark of their reference mix,” adds Massenburg. “Then they can move ahead with making better mixing decisions. We find that elements that are punchier, such as a snappier snare or kick drum, really don’t affect the loudness as much as a constant, dense mid-to-upper frequency range, so students don’t have to squash their mixes to make them stand out. It leads to more dynamic mixes. It’s a tool that we think is going to be more and more important to students and practitioners [as loudness normalization becomes more prevalent in the music industry].”

Massenburg says his students find it easy to work with the TM3. “It’s very clear. We have it pre-set so that 85dB SPL is the target playback level, and -24dBFS is the target recording level. Since its relative between their work and an outside work, we can just kind of stay in that one setup. It’s nice that it’s flexible, but we don’t want it to change too much, so everyone is already up to speed on how it is set up.”

For Massenburg, much of his work at the Schulich School ultimately comes down to training students to be excellent critical listeners. “We train our students to listen hard and to pay attention to detail,” he says. “The better they’re trained in critical listening and evaluation skills, the better they’re able to deal with the more varied situations they could encounter out in the workplace.”

This training is obviously a resounding success, as graduates of the Schulich School have gone on to successful, high-profile careers in many different fields. One former student, for example, is the chief engineer of Symphony Hall in Boston. Another handles sound for some of the most popular musical shows in Las Vegas, including Cirque du Soleil’s Beatles LOVE presentation.

“We give our students the skills that they can take anywhere,” says Massenburg. “They can continue with music production, work for a classical operation, go into television production, or go further with their research. We provide them the skills to be able to say, ‘Sure, I can do that.’ [Loudness and the RTW TM3 is part of that.]”

Apple and iTunes are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

About RTW
RTW, based in Cologne (Germany), has nearly 50 years of experience in designing, producing, and marketing advanced recording-studio equipment, leading and innovating the market for high quality audio metering and monitoring tools. RTW operates a worldwide distribution and service network. For more information on RTW, visit www.rtw.com, www.facebook.com/rtw.de or call +49 221 709130.

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