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Robben Ford Sounds Spectacular In Asia Thanks To DPA

American blues, jazz and rock guitarist Robben Ford delivered an outstanding live performance when he and his band played Shatin Town Hall Auditorium in Hong Kong recently.

The sound quality was enhanced by the use of DPA microphones, a selection of which played a key role in ensuring the success of the event.

“As a concert promoter for over ten years, I have to say that Robben’s concert was our BEST in terms of sound and audio quality,” says Mr. Clarence Chang, from Jazz World Live Series that organized the concert. “This is all thanks to the great engineer Richard Wheeler and DPA Microphones.”

Named as one of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of the 20th Century by Musician Magazine, Robben Ford was a member of the LA Express and has collaborated with some of the greatest musicians of all time including Joni Mitchell, Miles Davis and George Harrison.

For his Hong Kong performance, Ford used a DPA d:facto™ Vocal Microphone, while his guitar amps and the bass amp were picked up by DPA d:dicate™ 2011C Twin Diaphragm Compact Cardioid Recording Microphones.

Sound engineer Richard Wheeler used a d:dicate 2011C microphone for the kick drum, positioning it half way into the hole where it delivered a clean, punchy and powerful sound. The top of the snare was also miked using a d:dicate 2011C, which was twinned with a DPA d:vote™ 4099 Instrument Microphone positioned on the bottom of the snare. All of the other drums were picked up individually using d:vote™ 4099 Instrument Microphones in close proximity, while a perfect stereo image for the live mix was captured using a pair of DPA d:dicate 4011A stereo matched overhead recording microphones.

Robben Ford’s set also featured a Hammond B3 organ with a Leslie speaker. Two d:vote 4099 Instrument Microphones were used to pick up the top spinning horn rotor in stereo, while the bass rotor was captured using another d:dicate 2011C microphone.

Commenting on the sound quality after the show, Wheeler says: “I was amazed by it, especially the sound from the d:facto Vocal Microphone. It sounded just like Robben himself.”

-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

Clay Paky B-EYEs Elevate Easter Worship Experience for North Carolina’s Elevation Church

Elevation Church, based in Matthews, North Carolina, added Clay Paky A.leda B-EYE K20 LED-based moving lights to the extensive roster of AV equipment it used for a series of Easter worship experiences this year.

Main Light Industries, Inc. in Wilmington, Delaware supplied Elevation Church with 35 B-EYEs for the Easter worship experiences, five for its primary broadcast location and 30 shared among nine other satellite locations.

“We place great importance on excellence in production,” says Andy Bentley, lighting designer for Elevation Church and one of the technical directors. “Three of our locations are permanent facilities with AV and lighting gear installed. The other seven have portable rigs that are set up and torn down every Sunday.”

The Easter worship experience featured seven different elements: four worship songs, an opener, a closer and sermon, each of which were programmed to have a different look. Bentley and a team of Elevation volunteers mounted the B-EYEs on the upstage truss; in addition, nine Clay Paky Alpha Spot HPE 1500s were positioned on the deck upstage.

“The B-EYEs had the same, consistent look at every campus,” says Bentley. “I programmed everything a week before Easter at our broadcast location, then used that as a template for everything else which helped reduce the amount of programming time at the other locations.”

The versatile B-EYEs quickly became his “favorite fixture,” he reports. “They were incredible. We used the ability to control the color of every LED to get some really interesting color palettes, including a patterned, stained-glass look that played off the theme of the sermon.”

Bentley also used the beam shaper to “create some really great, big looks with just a few fixtures.” He particularly liked “the ability of the beam shaper to animate, creating a very angelic, wing-flapping look, which we used in one of our worship songs,” he says.

The wash functions of the B-EYEs also came in handy. “The wash creates an awesome color and, compared to other fixtures I’ve seen, the evenness of the wash is the best,” he notes.

Bentley also praised the performance of the Alpha Spots. “They were great, and I plan on using them again in the near future.”

Main Light came in for kudos, too. “They’re awesome. They go above and beyond every time to make sure we’re taken care of. We do a lot of events with them and love working with their team,” Bentley says.

Francesco Romagnoli, Clay Paky Area Manager for North and Latin America, commented, “It’s great to see our B-EYEs used in so many markets and I’m pleased that Elevation Church was able to get such a great bang from them for their Easter worship.”

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

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NEW JERSEY STUDIO ADDS THE BOX

MIDDLETOWN, NEW JERSEY – JUNE 2014: Studio owner and musician Greg Padrusch, better known as LEK, has just commissioned THE BOX by API for his northern New Jersey studio. This becomes the latest sale from Calistro Music, API’s distributor in the tri-state area.

Since purchasing THE BOX, LEK has kept busy reconstructing his studio. Throughout that process, he has still managed to immerse himself in some of THE BOX’s recording features. Soon, his studio will feature state-of-the-art acoustics in its new building, creating the ideal surroundings for mixing.

Early this summer, LEK is also planning on releasing new original singles.

ABOUT API (AUTOMATED PROCESSES, INC.)
Established more than 45 years ago, Automated Processes, Inc. is the leader in analog recording gear with the Vision, Legacy Series, 1608 and THE BOX recording consoles, as well as its classic line of modular signal processing equipment.

www.apiaudio.com

THE FREQ ZONE ADDS API’s THE BOX

JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA – JUNE 2014: The final steps are being taken in constructing a brand new recording studio in Jacksonville –The Freq Zone. Studio owner Nathan Hamiel lives a double life as a sound engineer and computer security analyst. To fit the needs of his new recording and mixing space, Hamiel has commissioned THE BOX to provide the rich, classic sound it achieves in an all-inclusive small-format package.

“I love THE BOX. It provides the sonic character of a large format console in a smaller footprint,” shares Hamiel, who was guided through the decision process by Craig Calistro of Calistro Music. “The sound is everything you’d expect from API – big and punchy. I also like the fact I can have it be the centerpiece and augment it with outboard gear of my choice, creating my own personal sound.”

The studio is undergoing its final preparations, including a new mix/master/production room, as well as a custom desk, which will be completed in June.

ABOUT API (AUTOMATED PROCESSES, INC.) Established more than 45 years ago, Automated Processes, Inc. is the leader in analog recording gear with the Vision, Legacy Series, 1608 and THE BOX recording consoles, as well as its classic line of modular signal processing equipment.

www.apiaudio.com

COOL PONY MEDIA USES THE BOX TO CREATE MUSIC “HAND-DIPPED IN API SECRET SAUCE”

COLLEYVILLE, TEXAS: Located outside Dallas, Cool Pony Media is a record label and artist development company that works with various music genres, as well as score-to-picture work. Brothers and co-founders, Mark and Mike Stitts, recently did a massive upgrade in part of their studio, with help and guidance from API. The team now uses THE BOX console on a daily basis for writing, tracking, creating stems, and mixing.

“We’re amazed,” shares Mark. “We have quite a bit of other API outboard gear, EQ’s, compressors, channel strips, and summing. THE BOX integrates seamlessly. I often wonder – mustn’t there be elves inside creating some kind of magic here?”

The duo was looking to upgrade their composing room when they first heard about the new small-format console from API. “It was really a no-brainer. The sound and flexibility of a full-fledged API console, with that footprint? We must be dreaming, right? BOOM! This thing is a complete home run!”

The brothers have been creating and recording professionally since the 1980s, and say that not much has changed other than the technology. Their careers have included production work for labels, children’s albums, independent artists, and beyond. The experience they’ve had so far with THE BOX stacks up well with their previous experience with the brand. “We’ve always been API fans. The sound is just so fantastic and unique. I remember the first time we ran audio through anything API. It was so dramatic. The punch, depth, clarity, presence – it was almost like removing wool blankets from in front of the speakers. THE BOX is more of the same.”

Cool Pony purchased the gear earlier this year, and appreciated the support they received during commissioning. “The packaging was impeccable, and the support is off the chain. These guys really are the Apple of the recording console industry. We couldn’t recommend API or THE BOX more highly.”

Designed for home and professional studios of all sizes, THE BOX delivers the classic sound that API is known for, and handles all the functions needed for production not provided by most DAWs. “All the releases from Cool Pony Media are hand-dipped in API secret sauce. It’s very much the Swiss Army knife of audio production. Really, THE BOX is the kind of piece you wonder how you ever lived without.”

ABOUT API (AUTOMATED PROCESSES, INC.) Established more than 45 years ago, Automated Processes, Inc. is the leader in analog recording gear with the Vision, Legacy Series, 1608 and THE BOX recording consoles, as well as its classic line of modular signal processing equipment.

www.apiaudio.com

(PHOTO CAPTIONS) (top) Mark Stitts with THE BOX console at Cool Pony Media; (bottom) Mike Stitts with the large array of API modules at Cool Pony Media.

Masque Sound Fills Charleston with Sweet Music for 38th Season Of Spoleto Festival USA

Custom Audio Equipment Package Turns on the Charm for Celebration of America’s Premier Performing Arts Gathering

CHARLESTON, SC, JUNE 10, 2014 – When the 38th annual Spoleto Festival USA, America’s premier performing arts festival, kicked off on May 23, Masque Sound, a leading theatrical sound reinforcement, installation and design company, was on-hand to provide Sound Supervisor Lew Mead with an extensive custom audio equipment package for the multi-venue, two-week long celebration.

For 17 days and nights each spring, Spoleto Festival USA fills Charleston, South Carolina’s historic theaters, churches and outdoor spaces with performances by renowned and emerging artists and performers in opera, theater and dance, as well as chamber, symphonic, choral and jazz music.

As sound supervisor, Mead is given the incredibly challenging task of piecing together all of the different equipment and staffing needs of the various companies at each venue, to not only provide them all with exactly what they need for their shows but also to allow them the flexibility to coordinate with multiple performers in one space. In order to pull this off, Mead begins his pre-planning as early as November of the previous year and works with an audio staff of 10 engineers during the festival.

“Months before the festival, we compile all of the drawings and requirements for each artist and performer,” says Mead. “I then work with the venues directly to discuss which equipment we can place in each location. Lighting Supervisor Andy Cissna, Special Projects/Carpentry Coordinator Paul Hunter, Director of Production at Spoleto Festival Rhys Williams and I are in constant communication to try to blend all of the different requirements for each venue together so that it works for all parties involved.”

In addition, Festival Engineer Kate Foretek spent two weeks in the Masque Sound shop, piecing together the various custom equipment packages that the festival events required before shipping the packages to Charleston.

“The crew at Masque Sound has been fantastic to work with and incredibly helpful in terms of assisting our team through the engineering and extensive planning that goes into all of the different events,” adds Mead. “Everyone at Masque Sound is very forward-thinking, and they were all quick to anticipate and address our needs. Additionally, the depth of their inventory is great. They are always able to provide us with the exact equipment we are looking for.”

One particular instance in which Masque Sound was able to provide Mead with specific equipment to accommodate a performer’s request occurred during preparations for acclaimed recording artist Lucinda Williams’ performance. “Lucinda Williams requested two DiGiCo SD10 Live Digital consoles for her performance at the TD Arena,” says Mead. “We haven’t used the SD10s in the past, because they’ve been quite a rare commodity in the industry, but Masque Sound stocks them in its inventory and ensured that the consoles would be made available to my team. We were thrilled to be able to supply Ms. Williams with these fantastic consoles, as the sound quality was impeccable.”

Mead also credits Masque Sound’s customer service and hands-on approach as a big part of the festival’s success. “When I’m looking at these venues, I try to do it with an open mind, envisioning the different equipment that Masque Sound can offer me and seeing if I can make it work. Scott Kalata, from Masque Sound, came down to Charleston and toured all of the venues with me and came up with some suggestions, which was very helpful. The fact that I can call anyone on the team—whether that person is Scott, Gary Stocker or Dennis Short—and quickly be offered equipment advice is a huge benefit. It is really great to be able to rely on them as a resource, and it is very reassuring to know that with their extensive inventory, they can accommodate my needs for an event of this size and scope.”

In total, the festival utilized more than 200 microphones, 100 speakers and 5 digital consoles from some of the audio industry’s top manufacturers, including DiGiCo, Sennheiser, JBL and Meyer, all adding up to an incredibly successful premier performing arts festival.

About Masque Sound
Founded in 1936 by a trio of Broadway stagehands, Masque Sound evolved into one of NYC’s most successful theatrical sound reinforcement, installation and design companies specializing in theatrical, house of worship, sporting, corporate, TV broadcast and live concert events. Celebrating more than 75 years in the industry, the company is lead by Geoff Shearing, the firm’s 3rd generation owner, and Vice President and General Manager Stephanie Hansen. The company also operates Florida-based Professional Wireless Systems, a leader in the development and implementation of wireless technology. Credits range from major Broadway shows and tours including “Phantom of the Opera,” “Mamma Mia!,” “Lion King,” “Jersey Boys,” “Memphis,” “The Book of Mormon,” “Newsies,” “Once” and “Kinky Boots” to yearly Super Bowl broadcasts and installations of varying sizes, including New York’s New Victory Theater and historic St. Bartholomew’s Church. Masque Sound’s 70,000 sq. ft. corporate headquarters and main assembly facility is located at 21 East Union Ave., East Rutherford, NJ, 20 minutes from midtown Manhattan. For more information, call (201) 939-8666 or visit www.MasqueSound.com.

National Civil Rights Museum Reopens in Memphis With New Audio-Visual Systems by Electrosonic

Following a $27.5 million renovation, the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis held its grand reopening on April 5, nearly 50 years after the passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act. Although the museum has retained the iconic Montgomery Bus, sit-in lunch counter and Memphis sanitation truck, the renovation features new spaces, films and interactive audio and video exhibits with AV design, installation and programming by Electrosonic.

For the past 20 years, the National Civil Rights Museum has been located at the site of the former Lorraine Motel, where Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. Electrosonic worked closely with exhibition designers Howard+Revis Design Services on numerous new displays and exhibition spaces.

The motel’s courtyard was renovated to house five interactive Listening Posts, which comprise portrait-oriented 10-inch outdoor-rated touch screens, waterproof speakers and network-enabled video players with touch screen interfaces.

Visitors enter the museum at the Slavery & Culture of Resistance exhibit, where they wait for the orientation show in the Introductory Theater. The “Mapping Slavery and Resistance” exhibit features an ultra short-throw NEC projector and an 85 by 53-inch rear projection screen.

In the newly-enlarged Introductory Theater a 12-minute movie introduces visitors to the museum and recaps the history of the civil rights movement. Electrosonic outfitted the theater with a 6,000-lumen, ceiling-mounted Christie 3 chip DLP projector, which makes an image on a 20 by 11.25-foot screen, which is part of a door, supplied and installed by L.A. Propoint. At the end of the show, the screen, door assembly moves to usher visitors into the main exhibit area.

Electrosonic also provided the theater’s surround sound system and the AV system controller, which times and commands the show. A control touch panel is next to a lockable wall-mounted box containing a hand-held paging mic for docents. An FM wireless assisted listening system has also been supplied for visitors.

In addition to operating in film mode, the theater is equipped for presentations with a small portable rack featuring a Blu-ray player and AV switcher. A custom plate enables connection to an Ethernet network and the VGA output of a laptop; remote control is provided on an Apple iPad.

The main exhibit area is packed with compelling displays conveying the struggles of the civil rights movement. “Living Under Jim Crow” features 30 portraits, which deliver testimonials when touched. “Brown Versus Board of Education” has a 67 by 50 inch front projection screen, a 3,000-lumen ultra short-throw NEC projector, and wall and ceiling-mounted speakers. Three 55-inch monitors, in portrait mode, fitted with a multi-touch overlay frame help visitors engage in “Mapping School Desegregation” across the country.

“Albany Freedom Songs” is highlighted by a 6,000-lumen ceiling-mounted Panasonic projector, four wall-mounted speakers in the ceiling alcove and a 10 by 7.6-foot screen wall painted with Screen Goo. A similar projector displays photos from the “Children’s Crusade” on a screen made from a special film applied to a glass substrate so images can be viewed from the front or back.

Four interactive stations, featuring mini PCs, Elo 15-inch touch screens, headphone amps and handsets, bring the “March on Washington” to life. The momentous “Freedom Summer of 1964” is illustrated by a 3,000-lumen ultra short-throw NEC projector mounted below and behind a rear projection screen made of a rigid material with an image size of approximately 62 by 44 inches.

For “Join the Movement” Electrosonic installed four 55-inch ultra-narrow mullion monitors into a touch table with eight active mini array speakers in the table surround. The four monitors are sourced by PCs and turned on and off by the AV control system.

Martin Luther King, Jr. makes his famed “Mountain Top Speech” on a 55-inch monitor and four ceiling speakers. Gospel singer Mahalia Jackson is heard over four ceiling speakers, which gradually increase in volume as visitors enter the space between the rooms where King and his guests stayed that fateful night in Memphis.

The museum tour ends almost as it began, this time in the new Ellipsis Theater where a 6,000-lumen 16:9 ceiling-mounted Panasonic projector displays images on a 183 by 103-inch wall-mounted screen. One long speaker is installed under the screen along with eight ceiling speakers and two ceiling-mounted subwoofers. An FM wireless assisted listening system is available for visitors.

1220 Exhibits was the exhibit fabricator; Cortina Productions and Second Story were the media designers and producers.

About Electrosonic
Electrosonic, celebrating its 50th anniversary, is an international audio-visual company that creates tailored, state-of-the-art solutions for a wide range of markets including theme parks, museums, control rooms, and corporate meeting rooms. Since its founding in 1964, Electrosonic has built a strong reputation for working on complex projects, both large and small, and has developed lasting partnerships with customers and suppliers. Beyond complete integrated systems, Electrosonic provides a comprehensive scope of services including technical design, projector lamp sales, maintenance and operational support.

Learn more about Electrosonic. Visit http://www.electrosonic.com

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Huntsville, AL Church Relies on Muzeek World for Dual Yamaha CL5s

BUENA PARK, Calif.—First Seventh Day Adventist Church in Huntsville, AL relied on supplier Muzeek World of San Juan Capistrano, CA to provide dual Yamaha CL5 digital audio consoles for their new sanctuary. The new sanctuary seats approximately 1,300 and has a congregation of 1,500.

Two Yamaha CL5 Digital Audio Console were installed along with two Rio3224-D input/output boxes. One Rio is located on the stage and the other is located at the FOH CL5 location. “The purchase of the dual CL consoles was based upon the fact that the church previously owned a Yamaha console in their former sanctuary and had a wonderful experience using it,” states Muzeek World’s John Sardari.

“There are several new features in the CL5 which helped us decide this was exactly what we needed for the new sanctuary, states Julian Ray at First Seventh Day Adventist who designed and installed the audio system. For starters, the expandability of the number of channels we can use. We enabled the board with 64 channels initially, and if necessary, we can expand in the future to its maximum. Second, the ability to have the sound engineer control the monitor mix on stage with the musicians, and while doing a sound check using an iPad, he/she can fine-tune and make changes on the monitors and have an accurate overview of the monitor mix. This eliminates the potential discrepancies between what the vocalists’ need and what they get in the monitors. We use floor monitors for the vocalists while the entire band is on in-ear system.”

Ray said the third reason for our selection of the CLs was based on the framework of their previous Yamaha console. We used an M7CL for about six years and had the team already trained on the same software, so the learning curve moving to CL5 was a breeze. Other than the initial network programming and a few changes in the setup, we had the entire team up to date very quickly.”

The contemporary worship service at First Seventh Day uses on average five to nine musicians at any given time during sermons. There is also a seven-member praise team and several choirs ranging between 30 and 100 members. The church has two additional rooms where they have installed audio-visual equipment. While a CL5 FOH console is in the center of the sanctuary on the balcony level, a second CL5 is in a room used to mix sound for recordings and video streaming over the Internet, using the Yamaha CL Nuendo Live software to capture the multi-track recordings.

The second room housing the Yamaha CL5 is also hosting all video equipment where the live streams occur. The video equipment includes HD Sony VPLFH500L Projectors, Panasonic AWRP50 cameras and controller, Panasonic AWHE120K – HD video cameras, a Teradek – video encoder, Fostex/Tascam/JVC used for recording and playback, and Blackmagic design for monitoring, recording, mixing, routing, fiber optics transmission, and converters.

First Seventh Day also installed Leviton lighting fixtures for the stage and house lights with Elation EPAR QW and Mega Lite NE Color FX LED fixtures throughout the sanctuary for stage light effects and on the surrounding sanctuary walls. Dimmers are from Lightronics, and the church uses LumiDesk Live Control software and ETC Source 4 JR lighting fixtures.

For more information on First Seventh Day Adventist Church, visit www.first-sda-church.org.

For more information on Muzeek World, visit www.muzeekworld.com.

For more information on Yamaha CL Digital Audio Consoles, visit www.yamahaca.com.

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About Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc.:
Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc. (YCAS) provides a full line of integrated professional audio products offering complete systems solutions for the broadcast, sound reinforcement/installed sound, touring, commercial recording, and post production markets. With the addition of NEXO to the product line, the company remains the official U.S. and Canadian distributor for all NEXO speaker models. YCAS offers comprehensive in-house and field product training for its customers, a dedicated dealer network, and 24/7 technical support.

Alcorn McBride is on a Roll – the High Roller – in Las Vegas

The aptly named High Roller, the world’s tallest observation wheel, has opened in Las Vegas where it serves as the focal point of The LINQ, the innovative shopping, dining and entertainment district on the Las Vegas Strip developed by Caesars Entertainment. The 550-foot tall wheel has 28 glass-enclosed cabins that hold up to 40 passengers each. The 30-minute ride, scheduled day and night, offers unparalleled views of the Strip and surrounding valley. The experience includes a dynamic video and music show that fades away as the wheel ascends along with a colorful nighttime light show. Running behind the scenes is a full suite of Alcorn McBride gear.

“It was a challenge to work with a system spread over a 550-foot tall wheel and a 30-minute ride,” says Kevin M. Ruud, a consultant with Design Horizons who served as the design engineer and programmer for the High Roller, the pre-ride building and The LINQ. “It took a lot of rides for us to get all the cues and programming worked out. The programming was especially complex with 28 different timelines for the cabins running simultaneously. We knew the only gear that could handle this accurately and reliably was Alcorn McBride.”

When visitors arrive at the wheel’s pre-ride building they meet Lucas, the narrator of the High Roller experience. Two Alcorn McBride A/V Binloop HD units feed monitors throughout the facility. In the security area, visitors see five consecutive portrait-mode monitors where Lucas’s image is locked together and interacts with five different feeds of himself. In the reception and bar areas sets of monitors feature graphics and pricing for the ride. A photo area allows visitors to get their pictures taken with the wheel.

The departure concourse houses a 270º curved screen measuring 121 x 13 feet. Six video projectors display a giant, edge-blended image across the screen offering a glimpse of the adventure to come. Moving lights enhance the space and a 12-channel plus subwoofer sound system delivers the audio. An additional screen is over the ride entrance that leads out to the platform. All of the imagery and audio are run from Alcorn McBride V16 Pro and LightCue Pro systems.

Each cabin on the High Roller has a dedicated V16 Pro and A/V Binloop HD, which feed eight monitors wrapped above the windows of the cabin. They display content relevant to the position of the wheel at that moment, such as what sights visitors are seeing and how high in the air the wheel is; a celebratory piece displays when they reach the zenith of the ride. Dedicated AM4 units in each cabin play background music and announcements. All 28 cabins talk back to another V16 Pro on the platform that sends information to each cabin when the wheel is rotating.

When visitors finish riding the High Roller they can stroll along the quarter-mile LINQ, which features a sound system along its entire length. A V16 Pro runs the time-of-day routines, sets levels and adjusts music types. Announcements are run through an AM4, controlled by the V16 Pro.

“I’ve had experience with Alcorn McBride products and have found them to be reliable and cost effective – just what we needed for the High Roller and the LINQ,” says Ruud. “The people at Alcorn are always great to work with, too. They’re always available and more than willing to help.”

Content for the High Roller attraction was created by the Hettema Group. Hettema Group was also responsible for the design of the wheel, cabins and the building entry. The installation was performed by National Technology Associates; the cabins and cells were built by Leitner-Poma of America, Inc. Building wiring was done by Bombard Electric.

About Alcorn McBride:
Founded in 1986, Alcorn McBride is the leading manufacturer of show control, audio and video equipment for the themed entertainment industry, and a rapidly growing provider of audio and video systems for retail environments and transportation applications. Staffed by some of the industry’s best engineers and backed by outstanding customer support, the company has demonstrated great agility in bringing new designs to market. A hallmark of Alcorn McBride products is their durable, zero maintenance design. The company’s products provide consistent, reliable operation for audio and video playback applications worldwide. For more information, visit www.alcorn.com.

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Astana State Auditorium Goes Big with Renkus-Heinz

Astana, Kazakhstan – June 2014… Designated as the country’s official capital in 1997, Astana is Kazakhstan’s second largest city, and the world’s second coldest capital. Despite its less than balmy climes, Astana has experienced a boom in development in recent years, with millions invested in parks, government buildings, and cultural centers.

One of the most impressive of the city’s newest structures is Astana State Auditorium, a striking structure designed by renowned architects Studio Nicoletti that has been labeled the “Flower of the Steppe” for its petal-like walls that enclose an indoor plaza that is home to restaurants, shops, exhibition halls, two cinemas, and a 3500 seat auditorium that is one of the largest of its kind in the world.

The auditorium’s interior is as dramatic as the building itself. The room’s unique fan shaped wood ceiling panels create a flexible acoustic signature that can accommodate a wide variety of events, from classical music to rock, pop, cinema, and spoken word. As Alessandro Baroni of A&T Media explains, the project was not without its challenges.

“The most important consideration was to achieve a consistent sound coverage across the entire auditorium,” says Baroni. “It’s a very unique design, with multiple levels of seating and an upper balcony that wraps around behind the stage area. The sound system needed to be flexible to adapt to a wide range of performnce material and a wide range of seating configurations.”

The system comprises a main array of 16 Renkus-Heinz PN102LR line array loudspeakers, along with a secondary array of five more PN102LR boxes to cover the upper balcony behind the stage. A center cluster of nine PN212 subwoofers provides ample low frequency reinforcement, and four ST9 cabinets cover lateral fill. The very front rows are covered by seven SGGX42 boxes mounted on the lip of the stage. For even more versatility, the main array can be hoisted up into the ceiling when not in use, and a second complete system comprising 12 IC Live ICL-R digitally steered column arrays on custom brackets can be put into play.

“The Renkus-Heinz systems were a good choice for this project, because the beam steering and built in DSP enabled us to configure the system to cover all the seating, at multiple levels and locations,” Baroni concludes.

A pair of Yamaha M7CL-48 consoles are installed at Front of House and stageside Monitor positions. And four Symetrix Solus 8 units handle system DSP.  Everything is connected via a network of Ethersound, RHAON, and CobraNet.

Video is equally versatile, implementing a dual stack of two Christie Roadie HD+30K DLP projectors for an exceptionally brilliant and high definition picture. “We ran into several challenges,” Baroni reports. “We had too much heat buildup in the rack with two projectors, so we had to work out how to insulate the rack to keep it cool and keep the fan noise down. And we had to design a mounting system that was steady enough to hold the machines so the two images would stay perfectly aligned, pixel-by-pixel, to not lose image quality and definition.” Four Sony BRC3000 HD cams cover the room, with a Panasonic AV-hs400 video console at the helm. There’s even an interpretation system that can provide subtitles in eight different languages.

Not surprisingly, the project also included some logistical challenges. “Of course, it was a challenge to be working in Astana, 6000 km (3700 miles) away from our headquarters in Italy,” says Baroni. “And the winter climate was very severe. And with such a big project, the scheduling and coordinating of different phases and crews is always a bit difficult. But we worked it all out in the end, and the result is nothing short of fantastic.”

###

A version of this article appears in the June 2014 issue of mondo*dr

###

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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