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SSL Live Joins the 2014 World of Music, Arts and Dance (WOMAD) Festival

“The flexibility of surface offered by the SSL is unparalleled”

MALMESBURY, ENGLAND, U.K. – Celebrating its 34th year, World of Music, Arts and Dance (WOMAD) is an annual eclectic world-music festival of “artists whom we might not get to hear anywhere else” and the largest and most prestigious event of its kind. As with WOMADs of the past, Britannia Row Productions Ltd. once again provided sound services for the festival. But this year had a new team member – SSL Live consoles at FOH for two stages: the main Open Air Stage and at WOMAD’s new Society of Sound marquee.

Having worked as front of house and system engineer in WOMAD’s Siam Tent last year, New Zealander Johnny Keirle returned to mix FOH at the Open Air Stage. An SSL Live console was used by Keirle to mix acts travelling without a FOH engineer. “The SSL Live provides an intuitive, logical workflow and is very easy to use in a festival situation,” he says. “Despite the time restrictions and last minute changes that can prove difficult and stressful at a festival, the console proved to be perfect for our setup.”

The collection of acts that Keirle mixed included the eight-piece traditional Cuban ensemble Septeto Santiagero, Italian folk traditionalist Anna Cinzia Cillani and her Macuran Orchestra and Ethiopian jazz master Mulatu Astatke, who performed just before founding WOMAD headliner and Senegalese icon Yousou N’Dour. Over on the Society of Sound stage Live was coupled with the unique Bowers & Wilkins ‘Sound System’ to deliver pristine high fidelity audio to a discerning audience who enjoyed an impressively diverse collection of experimental artists including: Radiophonic Workshop, Beardyman, 9Bach, Justin Adams and Iarla Ó Lionárd.

For Keirle, the most appealing feature of Live was the customisability of the surface. “On analogue consoles, you always have everything in front of you at all times,” he says. “Obviously, with digital consoles, this is not the case. So, it’s essential to have channels where they’re needed. The flexibility of the control surface offered by the SSL is unparalleled.”

Keirle also mentions the secondary screen on the Channel Control Tile and its Focus Fader below, which together form the right-hand ‘Focus Channel.’ “The combination of direct-access buttons, push-button rotary encoders and touch screen offer full control across all channel processing,” he continues. “I could work on channel processing while simultaneously using the primary screen for other functions.”

Many engineers begin by mainly using Live’s large, central multi-touch screen but like Keirle quickly started to see the benefits of its Channel Control Tile. “As I familiarised myself with the console’s layout and workflow, I found I preferred to use the secondary, smaller screen with its direct access buttons and associated rotary encoders,” he adds. “The Focus Channel offers quicker access to various channel functions and has the added benefit of physical knobs, which I find preferable to the touch screen or a fader flip for fine-tuning and tweaking.”

With a new digital console it can be a challenge to understand its workflow and find the best method of operation but not so for Keirle with Live. “For me, the simple comfort of being able to have my faders laid out exactly as I wanted, in conjunction with full control over channel processing on the second screen, made it easy to quickly get underway,” Keirle says. “This meant I could spend more time working on my mixes, rather than learning how to operate the console. The ability to easily change the console’s configuration is fantastic. Changing inputs or outputs from mono to stereo, or changing auxiliaries from pre- to post-fader is fast and easy, making the creation of suitable mix templates effortless.”

It wasn’t long before Keirle was comfortable pushing the limits of the console. “I began to get more experimental with my show file structuring and layout,” he remarks. “I would change the configuration; make use of multiple stems as subgroups for parallel compression; use various effects units inserted on channels, stems and auxiliaries; run inputs into multiple channels for dedicated effected channels and so on.”

Keirle also found the customisable fader banks and layers very useful for WOMAD’s festival situation. “I found that I could easily reorder channels to work in our festival-patch scenario,” he adds. “So, I adopted a layout that worked well for the bands I was mixing.”

SSL Live’s surface provides three 12-fader banks, or Fader Tiles, each with multiple layers that can be customised with any combination of inputs, outputs, stems, groups, auxiliaries or VCAs. He dedicated the lower, Left Fader Tile to band and instrument inputs and stems on various banks. The Central Fader Tile was used for vocal inputs and dedicated FX send fader and the Upper Fader Tile was used for auxiliary masters and VCA faders.

The loudspeaker system at the Open Air Stage consisted of one dozen L-Acoustics K1s per side, supplemented with 16 SB28 subs and a dozen KARA front-fills. “Using the SSL with the K1 system made for an extremely effortless mix. I never struggled to get anything sounding how I wanted,” Keirle says. “I found SSL Live’s internal effects very easy to dial in and never had any issues with quality of effects sound, which I’ve commonly found to be a weak point in other touring consoles.”

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

RapcoHorizon Joins the “Soundtrack of Summer Tour” with Foreigner, Styx and Don Felder

Engineers for All Three Acts Rely on Custom RoadHog and SilverHog Cables and Connectors for Legendary U.S. Concert Series

JACKSON, MO, AUGUST 13, 2014 – RapcoHorizon, an RHC Holdings brand and leading manufacturer of audio/video interfacing and cable equipment, has once again hit the road for another legendary tour. Custom runs of the company’s RoadHog and SilverHog touring cables are serving a variety of needs for the “Soundtrack of Summer Tour,” featuring Foreigner, Styx and special guest Don Felder of the Eagles.

As the group began to prepare for this highly anticipated tour, Lorenzo Banda, monitor engineer for Foreigner and a long-time RapcoHorizon fan, recommended the cables to the Styx and Felder audio teams. Though Foreigner and Styx are co-headliners and Felder is the opening act, each band required its own unique cabling requirements. For Foreigner and Felder, they exclusively are relying on RapcoHorizon – from instruments to speakers – all arranged in custom runs, while the engineers for Styx created their own runs using several of the company’s cables and connectors.

“We started using RapcoHorizon a while back, when the SilverHog cables first came out, and have used them for every performance since,” says Banda. “When the time came for us to plan the Soundtrack of Summer Tour, I knew the cables would be a perfect fit for Styx and Don Felder. When we met up for a gig at Fox News’ Fox & Friends in New York to promote the tour, I introduced the guys to some of their products.”

The stage design for this tour is complex since each group has its own setup, including lasers and special effects for Foreigner, large video walls for Styx and Felder opening each show by descending onto the arena. “Don is completely on board with the cables,” says Banda. “His engineers love it. Their whole stage setup is now using RapcoHorizon, and I think his studio is even starting to fill out with the cables as well. As for Styx, they’re also really stoked about the quality and sound of the cables.”

All RapcoHorizon cables are designed for the working musician. The custom instrument and speaker cables are road-ready and tour tough, employing the most rugged constructions without sacrificing sound quality. The SilverHog cables offer the bands the same durability for which RapcoHorizon is known, but with an even more enhanced sound range.

“I noticed the high-end definition and fidelity on these cables, as it’s much more pristine than others I have heard,” says Banda. “I use a lot of RapcoHorizon’s twisted pair cables, which have great resistance and a high-quality sound. I don’t know all the technical nuances that go into making the cables, but I can definitely hear the difference.”

By the time the tour concludes this September, the RapcoHorizon cables will have made more than 50 stops across the country. “All of the cables have been really slamming and durable,” adds Banda. “We have backups and redundancies, just in case, but we haven’t needed to use them. Sound is our first priority and to have that kind of quality product behind us is one less thing that we have to worry about.”

Banda credits RHC Holdings and RapcoHorizon as being among the best audio companies in the industry with which to work. “Everyone at RapcoHorizon bent over backwards to make sure all of the bands received what they needed in a timely manner,” he says. “They always make us feel like we’re their number one priority and take care of us immediately. They care about us 100 percent whole-heartedly. We’ve worked with other cable companies and you can’t get that level of customer service with anyone else; it really makes a difference.”

RHC Holdings, located in Jackson, Missouri, is one of the world’s largest manufacturers and suppliers of audio, video, home theater, data and telecommunications interfacing products. Comprising RapcoHorizon, Momentum, Pro Co, Pro Co Data, RAT, RoadHog and StageMASTER, each RHC Holdings brand has developed a reputation in many industries for reliability, and superior sound performance. Used worldwide by concert touring sound companies, video and sound contractors, recording studios, system integrators, audiophiles and musicians, the company’s products provide optimal flexibility and premium performance. RHC Holdings also has a state-of-the-art Custom Shop to modify existing products or build new devices to meet any need.

Forbidden and Take 1 Partner to Integrate Transcription Capabilities With Forscene

LONDON — Aug. 12, 2014 – Forbidden Technologies plc (AIM: FBT), the AIM-quoted owner and developer of the market-leading cloud video platform Forscene, and U.K.-based Take 1 Transcription, provider of transcription, captioning, and translation services, today announced a partnership that connects Take 1′s transcription capability to Forscene. Now Forscene users will be able to access Take 1′s service directly from the Forscene interface with the touch of a button. This integration eliminates the need to prepare and transport large files or other media manually for transcription, and also helps to create thorough transcripts that can accelerate the post-production process.

“Many of our customers rely on time-coded transcripts as a valuable source of information during post-production, but getting those transcripts in hand can be a cumbersome process,” said Greg Hirst, business development director, Forbidden Technologies plc. “Our partnership with Take 1, which serves many of the major production companies, studios, and networks in the U.K. and the U.S., means our customers can skip the manual steps involved with initiating a transcription and just push a button instead, leaving them well on their way to a more efficient workflow.”

Unlike the usual transcription process, which requires producers to transcode clips, create and transport DVDs, or send files via FTP to a transcription vendor manually, the integration between Take 1 and Forscene creates an automated process. Producers select the content in Forscene to be transcribed, and then simply click a button to send proxy files to Take 1. Take 1 receives the transcription order, where it is processed immediately by the company’s highly trained, distributed workforce. Once completed, the transcript is imported back into Forscene as an XML file so that it gets linked back to the master video in the Forscene cloud.

At that point, production teams can use Forscene’s powerful logging functions to add even more metadata around visual descriptors, locations, and other key information. From there, Forscene’s robust search tools can be used to scan the transcript and the additional metadata to find just the right clips. Then teams can use Forscene to complete some or all of the editing process, from stringouts to publishing, with review and approval cycles throughout.

“More and more of our clients are embracing cloud-based post-production and using platforms like Forscene, so we needed to ensure our service was accessible directly from the cloud,” said Dom Bourne, CEO of Take 1. “By integrating our transcription service into Forscene, we are removing an entire step in the workflow, allowing content to flow seamlessly from Forscene to Take 1 for immediate transcription with resulting transcripts importing back effortlessly. This integration helps further compress the time between the shoot and the edit, so clients can focus on making TV programmes and not worry about logistics.”

Visit Forbidden at IBC2014 in booth 8.B38e to find out more.

More information about Forscene can be found at www.forscene.co.uk. More information about Forbidden Technologies can be found at www.forbidden.co.uk. More information about Take 1 Transcription can be found at www.take1.tv.

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About Take 1 Transcription
Founded in 1998, Take 1 Transcription is the trusted provider of transcription, captioning, and translation services to all the major production companies, studios, and networks in the U.K. and the USA. Take 1 Transcription has a strong understanding of broadcast technologies, file-based workflows, and FTP and has developed sophisticated internal systems to maximize use of its distributed workforce. Take 1 Transcription is a privately held company and is headquartered in Cranbrook, Kent. More information about Take 1 can be found at www.take1.tv.

About Forbidden Technologies plc
Forbidden develops advanced technologies that enable media makers and broadcasters to create and distribute compelling viewing experiences to demanding worldwide audiences. Forbidden’s flagship product, Forscene, is the world’s most advanced cloud-based video post-production platform. It allows post-production professionals to make and deliver stories with high quality and production value in demanding, fast-paced landscapes. Quoted on the London Stock Exchange Alternative Investment Market, Forbidden partners with high-profile media and technology organisations, including Atos, BIM, deltatre, EVS, and Key Code Media. More information about Forbidden can be found at www.forbidden.co.uk. More information about Forscene can be found at www.forscene.co.uk.

Siggraph 2014 Platinum Sponsor Christie Powers Up Screens and Award-Winning Visual Displays

Christie®, the global leader in visual displays and audio technologies, will be powering the screens that are showing some of the visuals effects of several of the year’s biggest blockbuster films and advances in computer graphics at Vancouver’s 41st International Conference and Exhibition on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques, SIGGRAPH 2014, August 10 – 14. Christie will also lead a discussion on the latest projection mapping techniques at the NVIDIA Visual Computing Theater. Titled, “Virtual Automotive: Projection Mapped Graphics for Automotive Design,” Christie will display its latest digital “sandbox,” a fully three dimensional visual pipeline designed to automatically calibrate and maintain a customized projection mapped display, such a Corvette or other template model of any size.

“Christie CP4230 Digital Cinema® projectors are essentially powering the amazing Computer Animation Festival (CAF), enabling the leading VFX and film studios to exhibit their best work in two large presentation halls, including AMPAS’ award-winning content in film and animation,” said Jeevan Vivegananthan, senior director of engineering, Christie. “The CP4230 projectors will also showcase cutting-edge, real-time interactive technologies and techniques in the CAF’s Production Sessions as well as three sold-out evening shows of the incredibly popular Electronic Theater which features the finest work in computer graphics from the past year. And our 4K projectors will display a special screening of DreamWorks Animation’s ‘How to Train Your Dragon 2’.”

Christie's 3D projection mapping Corvette

The auditoriums for the CAF and the Production Sessions will each feature two auxiliary screens, flanking the main screen, which will show close-ups of event speakers to the audience. These will be powered by Christie Roadster HD20K-J and Christie Roadster HD14K-M projectors, respectively.

Christie will also illuminate the SIGGRAPH Studio and SIGGRAPH Art Gallery, each of which will feature two Christie G Series projectors and the Art Gallery, which will include a 65-inch LCD touch panel display.

HARMAN’s Studer To Showcase Its OnAir 3000 Digital Mixing Console At International Radio Festival 2014

ZURICH, Switzerland – HARMAN’s Studer will be showcasing its OnAir 3000 digital mixing console at the International Radio Festival (IRF) 2014 in Zurich, Switzerland, August 21 through September 7. The IRF is the world’s largest public on-air festival and conference and brings together industry professionals and radio stations from around the world, which will be broadcasting shows to a worldwide audience and giving attendees the opportunity to “Listen to How the World Sounds.” The Studer OnAir 3000 will also be featured at SwissRadioDay 2014, which will take place during the IRF on September 3.

The Studer OnAir 3000 is a highly versatile digital console designed for radio and TV broadcasting and production. It features Studer’s exclusive Touch-n-Action color touchscreen user interface that provides intuitive operation and ready access to all key functions, and offers a comprehensive array of cueing, routing, signal processing and metering options.

“Our OnAir 3000 is ideal for the medium to upper segment and combines exceptional flexibility with the pristine sound quality that has made Studer the industry standard in broadcast consoles worldwide,” said Keith Watson, Marketing Director, Soundcraft Studer. “At IRF and Swiss Radio Day, attendees will have a unique opportunity to see and hear the OnAir 3000 first-hand and experience what it can do in live broadcast situations.”

The Studer OnAir 3000 is based on a completely modular concept. The fader module includes six fader strips and up to eight fader modules can be fitted for a maximum console size of 48 faders. A variety of layout options are available, to perfectly tailor the OnAir 3000 for any radio or TV broadcast application. Available modules include fader, motorized fader and fader assign modules; monitoring and talkback modules; main screen and fader screen modules and more. The console provides a host of digital and analog connectivity options.

The OnAir 3000 provides three main stereo mix busses plus an audition facility, four stereo AUX busses and three independent studio monitoring circuits with a talkback speaker built into the console. The console offers assignable rotary controls and complete EQ, dynamics processing, noise gate, de-esser and other processing and input/output routing for each channel. The OnAir 3000 integrates completely with radio playout systems and the Studer CMS Call Management System that allows the operator to easily manage incoming phone calls on a single screen.

“We are honored to have Studer as our radio studio partner at this year’s IRF 2014,” said Darryl von Däniken, Festival Director of IRF and event organizer for the SwissRadioDay 2014. “Studer is known worldwide as a leader in digital consoles for radio and TV and the company’s presence at IRF validates the growing importance of the event also as a ‘must-see’ technology showcase for broadcast professionals and attendees.”

HARMAN designs, manufactures and markets premier audio, visual, infotainment and integrated control solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets. With 15 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 global workforce of 15,200 people and reported sales of $5.1 billion for the last 12 months ended March 31, 2014.

d3 Technologies’ Media Servers Enable Mammoth Projection Mapping For “Marvel Universe LIVE!” North American Show Tour

It’s impossible not to use superlatives to describe “Marvel Universe LIVE!” the new arena spectacular – and first-ever live Marvel tour – produced by Feld Entertainment, Inc., which just made its 85-city debut with previews in Tampa, Florida. The live-action, movie-style production features amazing stunt performers, motorcycle chases, pyrotechnics, moving stages and astonishing projection mapping that features a three-story wall purported to be the largest projection surface ever built.

d3 Technologies media servers control a sizable array of projectors and LED for the immersive projection mapping, which has been praised in press reviews for enhancing the audience experience. Projections allow characters to seamlessly travel between The Avengers’ tower and Loki’s fortress; they showcase Tony Stark’s lab, a landslide in the Himalayas and the top of the Statue of Liberty.

Ash Nehru of d3 Technologies, says the size and complexity of “Marvel Universe LIVE!” represents an “unparalleled” usage of d3 media servers for projection mapping where scenic locations and effects map the set, props and arena itself. “There hasn’t been a show of quite this dramatic scale before with this kind of high-quality content,” says Nehru. The production is believed to feature the largest, most sophisticated video projection rig ever taken on tour. It utilizes 27 Barco HDF-W26 DLP projectors, each with 26,000-lumen output.

“Marvel Universe LIVE!” pits 25 Marvel characters in an epic battle over the Cosmic Cube, the source of ultimate power in the Marvel Universe, which has been shattered by Thor to prevent it falling into enemy hands. When his villainous brother Loki schemes to clone the Cube’s powers and threaten world domination Marvel’s biggest Super Heroes – including Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk, Spider-Man and Wolverine – must work together to retrieve the fragments from such adversaries as Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus, Red Skull, Madame Hydra, Aldrich Killian and Electro and reunite them.

In development and engineering for two years, the innovative production not only utilizes the entire arena floor but also a multilevel aerial space that puts audiences right in the middle of the action. “Marvel Universe LIVE!” has its world premiere in New York City’s Barclays Center, August 13. The first leg of its North American tour calls for stops in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Nashville, Miami and Atlanta.

Unprecedented Size and Scope

“Live representation of the Marvel Universe hasn’t existed successfully until this point,” says Bob Bonniol, video system and content designer for the production. His company, MODE Studios, provides turnkey video solutions for complex installations and consulted on the video system design for “Marvel Universe LIVE!” and supplied the projectors, d3 media servers and signal path equipment along with the expert content management, creation and design staff.

“When Disney bought Marvel it was very natural for live manifestations to be explored. It was equally natural for that exploration to ultimately be done by Feld Entertainment, a family-owned company that produces family entertainment,” he says. “They have enjoyed decades of successful collaboration with Disney producing live entertainment, they own and produce the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, and their motorsports division produces supercross, ‘Monster Jam’ and the enormously successful ‘Nuclear Cowboys’ stunt shows. This represents a ‘perfect storm’ of expertise that adds up to a tremendous show for Marvel.”

Bonniol says that from the outset director Shanda Sawyer and Kenneth Feld and Juliette Feld “were clear that we needed to completely immerse the audience in the show – that it needed to happen in front of them, around them, above them. We were going to have to convincingly endow real humans with super powers and place them in environments where cataclysmic battles would take place with flying, stunts, combat. It kept me awake at night wondering if we could really do this. And I’m sure I wasn’t alone!”

Bonniol had used d3 servers on a world tour for Mexican singer Paulina Rubio and a Vancouver Opera production of Mozart’s “Don Giovanni,” and his experience convinced him that, with d3 Technologies’ support, he could meet the unique demands of the show.

“We knew we had to track moving scenery, props and performers with mapped content. We were going to be the main ‘engine’ for imparting locations, combat effects and environmental effects and also for taking the audience on astonishing transitional journeys to get us from scene to scene. We needed a serving system that would do all of this, as well as move from city to city and efficiently be re-aligned.”

BlackTrax Integration and Previs

Bonniol worked closely with his associate Pablo Molina to conceive new ways to use localized content. Ash Nehru partnered with Bonniol, Molina and Cast BlackTrax development team to use the tracking data “across enormous resolutions with extraordinary accuracy and limited latency,” Bonniol says. BlackTrax is a comprehensive tracking technology solution that delivers precise 3D and 6D positioning in realtime from BTBeacons (attached to performers, vehicles and moving scenery) to controllers for automated/robotic technologies.

“We’ve been working with BlackTrax for some time. For our needs, it is the most advanced system that we know of.” Nehru reports. “On prior shows we had tracked 10-12 BTBeacons, but ‘Marvel Universe LIVE!’ requires 60. It was a learning experience to scale up and develop a system that could be easily managed by the user. But that has set us up well to provide solutions for other large-scale projects. Cutting-edge projects like Marvel Universe LIVE! really brought this feature we were already developing in d3 to a mature level so this will be something everyone will be able to benefit from soon.”

A d3 media server was also deployed during the previz process. “Since the show required an extended development period for content we were going to have to demonstrate easily and accurately what it would look like for Marvel, Disney and the Felds,” explains Bonniol. “I engaged The Antfarm to create most of my content, and we placed a d3 there at the beginning of the process. There were so many challenges in the content development process: understanding spatial relationships, making perspective work for multiple locations in the arena, sorting out how effects would transition among surfaces. D3 proved invaluable not just for client approvals but also for the content team to visualize all of these challenges and efficiently find solutions.”

“Viewing the content in 3D as they created it meant they were always working in a 3D environment and able to make critical decisions long before show time,” says Nehru. “When you use d3 in previs the savings in sweat, stress and money can be astronomical.”

Dynamic Soft Edge Launches

d3 Technologies also developed a new projector blending tool for the media server, which makes its debut with “Marvel Universe LIVE!” and will be standard in the system moving forward. “Typically, when you have multiple overlapping projectors there are bright areas where they overlap,” Nehru explains. “So you have to use a mask to blend them. It’s a manual and static process; you can’t have surfaces that move through the projector beam. With 27 projectors on ‘Marvel Universe LIVE!’ this would have been impossible.”

d3 Technologies had already been developing a solution to this problem. Marvel Universe LIVE! is the first large-scale implementation of this feature, called Dynamic Soft Edge. “With Dynamic Soft Edge we can generate masks automatically and dynamically so we’re able to move projection surfaces through multiple projector beams and come out with a flat color,” says Nehru. “This has huge implications for productions with moving scenery where there were always restrictions before.”

Bonniol says that “tracking scenery and performers through three dimensional space, having the server system understand how this was happening and be able to adjust on the fly how the projectors were blending and projecting the content is a deceptively simple thing to ask for but devilishly complicated to achieve. We asked for a very difficult thing to be achieved, and in the end it was.”

d3 Technologies also offers quick projector calibration – a huge advantage for a touring production with 27 projectors. “Each venue requires recalibrating, which takes five to ten minutes per projector,” Nehru says. “With 27 projectors, some of them moving-head projectors, more than 50 different calibrations have to happen in a few hours. The d3 media server is the only system that can handle this quickly and effiiciently by allowing multiple people to work in parallel on separate laptops.”

Bonniol calls d3 his “media server of choice when faced with sets that need projection mapping. I find d3′s programming interface to be intuitive and powerful and, right now, I think it’s absolutely the best choice for a media server that provides robust tools and process for mapping video onto non-traditional shapes and structures.”

Emmy Award-winner Joe Stewart is the production designer for “Marvel Universe LIVE!” and Norm Schwab is the show’s lighting designer.

About d3

d3 is the world’s first fully integrated visual production system for video professionals, combining a real-time 3D stage visualizer, timeline, video playback engine and projection mapping tools into one product. d3′s unique integrated workflow assists the designer at all stages of the project, from pitch through development to final delivery. www.d3technologies.com For more information contact Judith Hornman at d3 Technologies: +44 207 234 9840 / judith.hornman@d3technologies.com

About BlackTrax

CAST BlackTrax is the multi-award-winning realtime tracking technology solution that delivers precise streaming 3D & 6D positional data to controllers for targeting the connected automated robotic technologies already used extensively in event and entertainment production, and houses of worship. www.blacktrax.ca. For further information, please contact Katinka Allender, Publicist, k.allender@k-communications.com.

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WorldStage Provides 4k Solution for Adobe Connect Now Event at Lincoln Center

As part of its Creative Cloud 2014 event, a collective update of its entire line up of desktop and mobile apps for creative professionals, Adobe staged Adobe Connect Now, which debuted the 4K video capabilities of its Premiere editing software platform. WorldStage provided extensive 4K video and engineering support for the headline-making gathering at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall.

Adobe Connect Now is the latest in a series of Adobe events in which WorldStage has played a key role, including multiple AdobeMAX events and Digital Marketing Summits. PIX PRODUCTIONS, the producer for this event as well as past Adobe events, brought in WorldStage to handle the complex and exacting video display requirements of the show.

“This was the first 4k signal and work flow requirement for an Adobe event and we were delighted that our client PIX PRODUCTIONS called on us for support,” says WorldStage project manager Jack Dussault.

“With industry buzz centered on new, ‘cutting-edge’ 4K video applications, Adobe wanted to do demonstrations with a live audience, as well as have a web-streaming presence,” he explains. “The challenge for us was how to display 4K video, software, video switching and manipulation between several 4K sources for a live audience in a rather intimate theater setting of about 300 people while simultaneously streaming the live feed to an expected online audience of over 60,000.”

Dussault notes that WorldStage has done a lot of 4K – and larger – work in the past with projections up to 20K spanning a city block. “Almost all of our display applications exceed 2k or 4k resolutions,” he says. “But these are typically sourced from multiple HD outputs. Getting 4K out of single source is still relatively unusual.”

For Adobe Connect Now WorldStage “manipulated the four 1920×1080 quadrants of a native 4K signal and switched them via Vista Systems’ Spyder to a true Christie 4K projector,” he says. “Our engineers carefully planned and tested the signal path in our our California office before the event to reassure everyone that the system could manage this much information and behave as planned.”

Christie CP4230 34,000-lumen 4K DLP Digital Cinema Projectors with quad HD-SDI input card were used for the event. New Apple Mac Pro towers provided the 4k source material that was processed through the Vista X20 Spyder system.

The display was a 50-foot screen on stage at Alice Tully Hall where video clips and graphics would showcase how Premiere editing software easily masters 4K content. “One sequence with a snowy owl looked more 3D than 3D,” says Dussault. “The images were stunning, sharp, crisp and life-like.”

WorldStage is known for being in the forefront of emerging technologies, and 4K video is no exception. “3D projection, Pepper’s Ghost applications, wide-screen architectural mapping projections – we take on the cutting edge – and 4k source material will only push us further,” says Dussault.

For Adobe Connect Now, Jeremy Nichols was executive producer, Jamie Cherry was the producer, Jaki Johnsen production designer, John Bettini technical director, Shaun Boyle technical producer, Mark Jepsen camera director, Amy Richards live stage manager, and Lucas Hartog demo technical director.

At WorldStage, Richard Bevan was the account executive; Geof Gibson and Gary Kajikawa were in engineering development; Shane Zinke, Geof Gibson, Oleg Burmenko, Roger Gruchalski and Jeff Gottesfeld were live video engineers; and Paul Bevin, Luis Lojo and Erin Crane live audio engineers.

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.

For more information on PIX PRODUCTIONS, visit www.pixproductions.com.

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Worcester State University Upgrades to HD with FOR-A Video Switcher

Cypress, CA – When Worcester State University began its most recent studio upgrade, the school was looking for video equipment to take them into the world of high definition. In the market for a cost-efficient yet feature-rich switcher to train students, the university found what it was looking for in FOR-A’s HVS-390HS video switcher.

“We’d been using a switcher that limited our production capabilities. FOR-A’s HVS-390HS allows for more creativity and functionality, so we’re able to add an extra dimension into our teachings,” explained Tom White, Assistant Director of Multimedia Services at Worcester State University. “While our FOR-A switcher is HD, we had the option to keep our remaining equipment SD if we had to for budgetary reasons. This gave us some breathing room.”

Worcester State University’s video production studio went completely high definition in November 2013. The school primarily uses the HVS-390HS switcher for educational training purposes, but it also puts the switcher to work for in-house productions, such as student television shows, and announcement and marketing productions for the university.

The university has found the ease of use and design of the HVS-390HS switcher as two considerable benefits. Some of the students who operate the switcher have never done any type of video production before, but they quickly learn the basic functions of the unit. Durability and reliability are big factors of the HVS-390HS for the university, since around 80 students work with the switcher in a given week.

“We’ve been very impressed with the high cost performance of the switcher,” White said. “We’ve also noticed that there’s a great synergy with FOR-A’s HVS-390HS in the way it fits in our studio and works with our other equipment. It took almost no effort to integrate the switcher into our system. It’s just a beautiful unit that has been a great match for our school.”

About FOR-A
FOR-A is a major manufacturer and distributor of video and audio systems to the broadcast, postproduction and professional video markets. For more information about FOR-A’s product line, call 714-894-3311 or visit our web site at www.for-a.com.

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Guitarist/Singer Ben O’Neill Uses HARMAN’s AKG Microphones To Achieve Pure Sound

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania – As a guitarist/singer/songwriter who has performed as a sideman for the likes of Kanye West, Christina Aguilera and Kid Cudi, and has recorded with Jason Nelson, Ben O’Neill relies on HARMAN’s AKG microphones for his own rock/alternative country acts, home recordings, and guitar recording classes at the University of Arts in Philadelphia.

O’Neill is a true jack-of-all-trades, having been nominated for a GRAMMY Award and fulfilling more roles in the music industry than some do in a lifetime. However, his pursuit of clean, organic-sounding tones within the music that he makes or teaches has never changed, which is why he continues to use AKG microphones. Whether it is the AKG C414 XLS microphone for recording, the 415 B in the classroom or the D5 microphone onstage, he has always relied on them for consistency and clarity.

“Unlike simulated sounds on a lot of records you heard on the radio, I try to make real guitar tones that are super-clean,” said O’Neill. “Whether I’m playing Bakersfield country or contemporary R&B, I’m looking for compelling sounds that are beautiful and organic. That’s why I love the C414 XLS microphone, because it gives the vocals and the guitars a level of clarity that you just can’t get from a dynamic microphone.”

O’Neill’s love for AKG is underscored by years of unwavering performance from his microphones. While affordable, AKG microphones are also designed to remain consistent throughout the years, capable of taking abuse that would leave other microphones faulty.

“When teaching, I try to incorporate a technology element in my lessons,” said O’Neill. “We look at amps, guitars, microphones and how they work in conjunction. AKG microphones are great for this purpose, and it’s always a blessing to be able to work with them. I really appreciate the support that I’ve received from the company, and the service has been great.”

For more information on Ben O’Neill, please visit www.benoneillmusic.com

HARMAN designs, manufactures and markets premier audio, visual, infotainment and integrated control solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets. With 15 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 global workforce of 15,200 people and reported sales of $5.1 billion for the last 12 months ended March 31, 2014.

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Galaxy Macau’s Giant Crystals are Covered with Renkus-Heinz

Macau, China – August 2014… Macau is one of China’s hidden gems. Created as a special administrative region of the country, its famed Cotai Strip is modeled after its namesake in Las Vegas, awash with high-end casinos, resorts, and all the glitz that accompanies them.

The Galaxy Macau is one of the largest of the recent crop of major hotel-casino towers on the Strip. Among its amenities, the 2200-room complex offers six pools, including a wave pool with manmade beach.

The Galaxy’s casino hosts more than 1200 slot machines and 600 gaming tables. Visitors are greeted in the lobby by a fountain that transforms into a giant roulette wheel, just before a massive ten-foot (three meter) diamond rises from its top. As designer Jeremy Railton of Entertainment Design Corp explains, “the diamond is a metaphor for wishing casino visitors eternal luck and prosperity.”

The music accompanying the fountain is provided by a series of Renkus-Heinz ICONYX digitally steered column arrays. Eight IC8-R columns and eight more IC16-R columns provide even sound distribution throughout the area, overcoming the noise of the crowds and the fountain in this cacophonously reflective environment. The system, installed by Birket Engineering Ltd. and Audio System Consultants (Asia) Ltd., also includes eight ST8R self-powered three-way systems, with 12 PN112-SUBR 12-inch subwoofers for floor-shaking low frequency coverage. The entire system is digitally networked via RHAON for complete distribution and control.

On the other side of the Galaxy, the bus lobby is home to a series of giant crystals, floating above a shimmering pool. The crystals are designed with advanced motion sensor technology to trigger special visual effects as guests approach them, with good luck symbols flashing from the crystals and reflecting on the water.

The crystal display is also aligned with a Renkus-Heinz sound system, including 16 CF121 two-way systems and another dozen PN121 two-way systems. Nine SG81 speakers provide spot fills, and 12 PN112-SUBR subwoofers complete the system.

The Galaxy Macau opened its doors in 2012, and is presently undergoing the addition of another phase, to be completed in 2015.

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Headquartered in Foothill Ranch, California, Renkus-Heinz, Inc. is the worldwide leader in the design and manufacture of audio operations networks, digitally steerable arrays, powered and non-powered loudspeakers, system specific electronics and fully integrated Reference Point Array systems.

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