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Bexel Expands Inventory with $13 Million Investment to Support 2014 FIFA World Cup(tm) and Beyond

Company Upgrades Key Products to Service US Rights Holders Host Coverage

BURBANK, Calif. - Bexel, a unit of the Vitec Group's Services Division and a leading worldwide provider of broadcast services and solutions, recently completed a major inventory upgrade to support the company's extensive installations for both the Spanish and English-speaking U.S. rights holders at the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil(tm). The $13 million investment increases Bexel's service offering of products in several key areas, including camera systems, switchers and routers, and servers.

The significant investment is strategically aligned to support Bexel's continuing expansion into the major global sporting event sector. "Bexel has had an incredibly busy year," commented Tom Dickinson, CTO of Bexel. "We came right off doing the winter games in Sochi, Russia, directly into World Cup preparation. This was the largest World Cup effort that Bexel has ever undertaken, as we provided complete turnkey facilities with on-site technical support to two major broadcasters. To support these live events that are international in scope, we invested millions to expand our systems and solutions so that we can service our clients with the technology they require to execute at this level."

Grass Valley and Sony Camera Systems-


Bexel has made a significant investment in the expansion of its camera inventory. Over 50 new camera systems were purchased to support Bexel's increased servicing of global sports arenas. Thirty Grass Valley LDX 80 Compact cameras and 20 Sony HDC-2400 cameras have been added to the Bexel roster. All 50 camera chains were used in Brazil.

In addition to the cameras, Bexel bought more than 50 supporting lenses, ranging from wide-angle lenses to Cannon XJ95x and Fujinon XA99x8.4 super-telephoto lenses. The company's inventory of camera support equipment has also grown, including new Vinten Vector 75 Pan and Tilt Heads and Sachtler tripods.

Evertz Routers and Grass Valley Switchers-

Bexel has undertaken a major upgrade of its routers and increased the quantity to include two new Evertz EQX routing systems from 288x853 up to a full size 394x970. In addition, Bexel has an Evertz EMR router at 288x864. These routers are central to the company's support of its large systems and bigger than what would be found on many mobile trucks.

"The World Cup, being such an expansive event, required host broadcast facilities to have very extensive routing capabilities to manage the signals coming in from all the venues simultaneously," said Dickinson. "This routing of the signals was one of the key requirements, due to the complexity of the event and the large amount of content being managed in a given time period. To support that, and to ensure that both networks had maximum production flexibility, we upgraded our router fleet with two additional, high-end EQX systems, both of which were deployed in Brazil."

Two new 5M/E Grass Valley Kayenne Video Production Centers were also acquired, for an inventory total of six production switchers. "We're continuing to invest in Kayenne switchers, as we build out our flypacks to support massive global events like Sochi and the World Cup," stated Dickinson. "We were able to do both US host facility installations with all Grass Valley Kayennes, which worked perfectly. We had four of our switchers in Brazil with a total of five control panels.

EVS XT3 Video Servers-

Bexel has also upgraded and expanded its entire fleet of EVS servers, as well as acquired a host of EVS support products. With the $5 million purchase of 25 new XT3 video servers, Bexel now has a deployable fleet of more than 50 XT3 units. The servers range from six-channel to eight-channel units, and include a new 10 gigabit Ethernet networking feature that allows users to move files over an IP network much more efficiently.

Both U.S. host providers used Bexel's EVS XT3 servers in Brazil. "The XT3s were crucial to the systems we set up in Brazil," noted Dickinson. "Both broadcasters' workflows were file-based and very EVS-centric. The EVS XT3s were key to how the large amount of content was managed from all the World Cup venues."

To service U.S. hosts' coverage over the course of the entire month-long tournament, Bexel transported approximately 26,000 pieces of equipment and 35 senior engineers and support staff to Brazil.

The Spanish-language rights holder for the U.S., broadcast extensive coverage from Rio de Janeiro in addition to the actual World Cup matches. The Bexel set-up served as the hub supporting their extensive pre- and post-game coverage and entertainment broadcasts of its morning show from Copacabana Beach, and the rooftop of the Atlantico Sul Hotel.

"We put together a total of five control rooms on site in Brazil, and everything worked seamlessly," concluded Dickinson. "The extensive investment we made for the World Cup has positioned Bexel to be able to handle any major sporting event anywhere in the world, with the highest quality of well-built systems. We are already looking forward to upcoming events, and we're confident that this investment will allow us to continue supporting our clients with both the strongest systems and the smartest solutions available."

Bexel will also utilize the new broadcast solutions and equipment on upcoming telecasts of the U.S. Open, NCAA Football, MLB, and the NFL, as well as other live events.

Yamaha YCATS Training Moves Toward Future In Networking

BUENA PARK, Calif.—Yamaha Commercial Audio Training Sessions (YCATS) is moving in a new direction with their console training programs. This year, YCATS has created two new console classes in order to eliminate the repetition between the CL, QL, M7CL and LS9 seminars as these consoles share many of the same software features. The new classes will initially be held at HB Live during the first week of August, HB Live is sponsoring a CL/QL Series Essentials Class in North Haven, CT and ATR/Treehouse is sponsoring the same class in Warwick, RI.

HB Live, a division of HB Communications will host new sessions Tuesday, August 5th between 8:30 – 5:00 pm at 60 Dodge Avenue, North Haven, CT. For more information, call 800-331-1804. Registration details below.

ATR/Treehouse sessions will be held Thursday, August 7th between 8:30 am – 5:00 pm at the Ocean State Theater, 1245 Jefferson Blvd, Warwick, RI. Complementary breakfast and lunch will be served. For more info, contact ATR/Treehouse at 401-751-3121. Registration details below.

“The new YCATS training direction will be much for efficient and streamlined for our customers,” states Marc Lopez, Marketing Manager, Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc. “We are improving the YCATS programs for networking and acknowledge that our end user customers operate different Yamaha digital consoles from time to time with many common paradigms between the various models that enables us to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our training programs.”

Console Operation – Level 1 is for those with little or no familiarity with Yamaha live sound consoles. Console Operation – Level 2, is more of an intermediate to advanced class designed for those familiar with the basic functions of Yamaha digital consoles. This new training format will allow YCATS more efficiency in terms of customer time. It will also reinforce that the software of Yamaha digital consoles is the same, and a user familiar with one should have no problem operating another. Right now, the largest demand is for training on CL, QL, M7CL and LS9; all sharing similar software.

In addition to the new Console Operation Levels, YCATS is adding “Digital Sound Reinforcement – Dante” and “CL/QL Series Essentials”. “DSR – Dante” is a one-day class covering design and use of Dante networks with Yamaha products as well as several third party products (i.e. Shure ULX-D and Aviom D800). “CL/QL Series Essentials” is a class for those who have been trained on the M7CL and LS9 and covers all new features with the CL and QL consoles and the set up of Dante networks.

For an end user looking for more in depth information on a particular console, YCATS has produced an online video series that can be used as a reference. New videos and webinars are on the docket for later this year.

Detailed descriptions of the new classes can be found online at:

Console Operation – Level 1: http://www.yamahacommercialaudiosystems.com/training_class_desc.php?courseID=33
Console Operation – Level 2: http://www.yamahacommercialaudiosystems.com/training_class_desc.php?courseID=34
Digital Sound Reinforcement – Dante: http://www.yamahacommercialaudiosystems.com/training_class_desc.php?courseID=35
CL/QL Series Essentials:
http://www.yamahacommercialaudiosystems.com/training_class_desc.php?courseID=32

Look for the new YCATS classes coming in Chicago, IL; Hayward, CA’ Long Island City/Queens, NY; and Nashville, TN. A full list of locations for this year can be found at: http://www.yamahacommercialaudiosystems.com/training.php?catID=11001.

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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.

Masque Sound Custom Audio Solutions Take the Stage at New York City’s Famed Public Theater

NEW YORK, JULY 21, 2014 – As the curtain rose on the 2014 summer season of The Public Theater’s free Shakespeare in the Park at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, Masque Sound, a leading theatrical sound reinforcement, installation and design company, was once again on-hand to offer its support to one of New York City’s most beloved traditions, providing custom audio equipment packages for this year’s lineup, as well as for The Public’s array of other shows and events hosted throughout the year.

The Public Theater, the only theater in New York that produces Shakespeare, the classics, musicals, contemporary and experimental pieces in equal measure, boasts several expansive venues, including its landmark downtown home on Astor Place, which houses five theaters plus Joe’s Pub; the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, home to its beloved, free Shakespeare in the Park; and the Mobile Unit, which tours Shakespearean productions for underserved audiences throughout New York City’s five boroughs.

Recently named Audio Supervisor of the famed establishment, Corrine Livingston manages upwards of 20 plus shows and productions throughout The Public Theater’s different venues in a given year, including Shakespeare in the Park. In order to ensure that each show provides audiences with the clear, dynamic audio that they have come to expect, Livingston relies exclusively on Masque Sound’s custom audio equipment packages to meet The Public Theater’s vast sound requirements.

“With all of the logistics, managing and planning that goes into running all of these venues and associated shows, knowing that Masque Sound is providing all of our audio equipment is one less thing I have to worry about,” says Livingston. “I am always looking for ways to take our productions to the next level and build upon the wonderful work my predecessors have created. With Masque Sound’s extensive inventory and expert team, I am afforded the opportunity to do so.”

Shakespeare in the Park moved to its permanent home at the Delacorte Theater in 1962, and, since then, over five million New York natives and visitors alike have enjoyed free Shakespeare performances each summer season. The majestic, open-air theater has a seating capacity of 1,800, and each season, more than 100,000 people attend performances produced by The Public Theater. Since Shakespeare in the Park’s inception, more than 150 productions have been presented for free at the venue.

“Masque Sound has enjoyed a long and successful relationship with The Public Theater, especially the Delacorte and its summer productions of free Shakespeare in the Park,” says Stephanie Hansen, vice president and general manager, Masque Sound. “Having served as the Delacorte’s audio equipment provider since its first production, which took place more than 50 years ago, is quite an accomplishment and something we take great pride in. With the support of Corrine and everyone at The Public Theater, we look forward to continuing to provide our custom audio solutions to The Public Theater’s multitude of productions in the years to come.”

This summer’s free Shakespeare in the Park performances include Much Ado About Nothing, directed by Jack O’Brien, which ran from June 3 to July 6 and King Lear, directed by Daniel Sullivan, which is slated to open on July 22 and conclude on August 17. All performances begin at 8pm. For more information on The Public’s free Shakespeare in the Park, as well as the full line-up of events produced by The Public Theater, visit http://www.publictheater.org/.

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.

Quantum IBC2014 Preview, Stand 7.B26, Sept. 12-16, Amsterdam

Quantum Products at IBC2014

Quantum StorNext(R) is the market-leading storage technology for media and entertainment workflows, enabling high-performance, real-time collaboration and keeping content readily accessible for reuse and remonetization. For more than a decade, the world’s top studios and broadcasters, along with thousands of cutting-edge content creators, have put their trust in Quantum for their most demanding media workflows.

All StorNext solutions are built on the power of StorNext 5, the new generation of Quantum’s award-winning storage platform. StorNext 5 solutions empower media professionals to rethink their workflows for higher performance and cost-effective efficiency. With StorNext 5, they can ingest more content from multiple camera sources, create more content, deliver it on time, and preserve owned content for future monetization.

StorNext(R) Pro Solutions High-Performance Workflow Storage
At IBC2014, Quantum will showcase its StorNext(R) Pro Solutions, which offer postproduction and broadcast professionals three complete high-performance workflow storage solutions.

StorNext(R) Pro 4K addresses the performance and scalability demands of true 4K production. With flash-based metadata performance using the StorNext M445 SSD metadata appliance and scalability provided by StorNext QX-1200 RAID Storage (144 TB raw capacity), this rock-solid storage solution enables efficient 4K workflows, including ingest, post, and delivery. StorNext Pro 4K empowers users to ramp up 4K production and meet aggressive deadlines while staying within budget.

StorNext(R) Pro Studio refreshes or extends existing Xsan deployments with 100 percent compatibility. A complete solution for storage deployment in the production studio, StorNext Pro Studio is ideal for postproduction facilities with aging Xserve(R) systems or with any other aging storage system that is incapable of expanding to meet the user’s growing demands. The solution combines the StorNext M441D metadata appliance with the StorNext QX-1200 RAID storage (48 TB raw capacity) in an integrated solution that is cost-effective and easy to deploy.

StorNext(R) Pro Production enables content owners to manage workflows ranging from production to the creation and maintenance of long-term content libraries. The solution combines the powerful StorNext M662XL metadata appliance, StorNext QX-1200 RAID storage (96 TB raw capacity), and a StorNext AEL500 41-slot LTO-6 library with 102.5 TB raw capacity for cost-effective archiving automated by StorNext Storage Manager. The solution facilitates control, monetization, and long-term management of content by uniting production, review, archive, and LTFS sharing functions in one system, thus offering incredible storage capacity and very high performance.

Photo Link: www.wallstcom.com/Quantum/Quantum-StorNextProStudio.jpg
Photo Caption: StorNext(R) Pro Solutions

StorNext(R) Connect Monitoring and Management
For the first time at IBC, Quantum will introduce StorNext(R) Connect, a new way to monitor and manage StorNext deployments. StorNext Connect dramatically simplifies the process of configuring systems and eases ongoing system management and health monitoring. Through StorNext Connect, customers can install StorNext software, upgrade StorNext clients and servers, restart clients, check status on automated tasks, and troubleshoot performance issues through real-time graphs.

Quantum StorNext(R) Demonstration at IBC2014

During the IBC2014 exhibition, Quantum will feature a demonstration of its StorNext(R) technology in cloud-enabled environments. By building on its leadership in moving media workflows to the cloud and by working closely with its extensive partner ecosystem of leading media management and production automation vendors, Quantum has developed StorNext cloud solutions. These solutions enable wide-scale collaboration on content stored in the cloud without disrupting users’ existing and familiar workflows.

Photo Link: www.wallstcom.com/Quantum/Quantum-SNintheCloudSlide.jpg
Photo Caption: Quantum StorNext(R) in the Cloud

Company Quote:

“IBC is always a great place to engage closely with current and prospective customers and to demonstrate how the latest StorNext developments can benefit their businesses and operations. This year we look forward to showcasing not only the power and robust functionality of our StorNext Pro Solutions, but also the convenience and control that come from StorNext Connect. Attendees also will have the chance to examine ‘StorNext in the Cloud.’ They will see how it allows people to collaborate on content in a secure, private cloud within a familiar, natural workflow.”
– Alex Grossman, Vice President, Media and Entertainment at Quantum

Company Overview:

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

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

Johnny D’s Serves Up A Superior Sound Experience with HARMAN’s Soundcraft Si Expression 3

SOMERVILLE, Massachusetts – For a 300-seat nightclub that is 45 years old and doubles as a restaurant in David Square, Somerville, Massachusetts, Johnny D’s required a renovation of its outdated sound system. While MJ Audio integrated the front end of the new system, which features HARMAN’s Crown amplifiers and BSS signal processors, Technical Manager Dana Westover has installed a Soundcraft Si Expression 3 to improve upon its existing analog consoles.

Given the popular area in which Johnny D’s is situated, its stage enjoys many touring bands and guest engineers in addition to local artists. Therefore, Westover needed a reliable console that is not only within the venue’s budget and able to accommodate the various performers, but also one that is user-friendly for the various engineers working at the club.

“We’ve been running analog mixers up until now, and have had a slow transition towards digital technology, because we get a lot of guest engineers who come from the analog world,” said Westover. “However, the Si Expression 3 is perfect as an upgrade, because it helps people transition to digital due to its logical layout and ease of use. For example, we had a guest engineer who has never worked on a Soundcraft board before, and within 15 minutes, he was ready for the show.”

The room housing the new equipment contains no parallel surfaces, thus leading to unique acoustics and an intimate layout of the venue. With a Soundcraft Si Expression 3 console, a sound engineer can ensure that guests enjoy the most distinctive sounding shows. In addition, FaderGlowTM illumination of the faders prevents any unwanted mistakes in dark club environments that might hamper the audio experience.

“I think the audio quality is very solid, especially considering the price of the console,” said Westover. “I’m very happy that we have a great sounding venue, and now we have a great sounding board that any traveling engineer can do well with. I especially like how FaderGlow allows me to identify everything clearly, but I can also adjust the intensity of the LED’s depending on the lighting of the venue.”

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.

Jünger Audio’s IBC 2014 Line Up Delivers Perfect Voice Recording

At IBC 2014 (10.A49), dynamics processing specialist Jünger Audio will show its D*AP4 VAP Voice Processor – a unique unit that is designed to make life easier for engineers working in radio stations, TV production voice-over studios and feature film ADR facilities.

What makes this processor so special is the inclusion of Jünger Audio’s proprietary Spectral Signature™ dynamic EQ – a totally new creative tool that offers automatic and dynamic EQ control to balance spectral differences in real-time. By analyzing incoming audio and comparing its spectrum with individually predetermined voice ‘fingerprints’, this clever unit can automatically apply dynamic EQ corrections to give a consistent sound.

For people working in TV voice over and feature film ADR, this facility is a Godsend because it allows them to deal with any changes in a performer’s voice. For example, if a performer has a sore throat on day three of a recording session and therefore sounds a bit different, this clever unit will look at the tonal characteristics of the actor’s voice on day one and automatically adjusts the frequency until both voices match. This ability to deliver consistent sound means that producers save money and time because they don’t have to cancel voice over or ADR sessions while they wait for an actor’s voice to return to normal.

Jünger Audio’s D*AP4 VAP Voice Processor is equally interesting to radio broadcasters who want to create an aural identity for their radio stations. By using similar spectral sound management principles, the unit measures the running program and uses the station master sound fingerprint as a reference. The Spectral Signature algorithm matches all different program elements to this reference signature, thus creating a dedicated ‘station sound’.

“The D*AP4 VAP draws on our extensive experience with previous Voice Processing devices such as our popular VO2, but adds new tools and algorithms to create an easier and more efficient approach to voice processing with no compromise in sound quality,” says Peter Pörs, CEO of Jünger Audio. “We have also included processing such as HP/LP filtering, versatile dynamics section, full parametric EQ and de-essing, and made the unit really easy to use – even for non-technical radio staff such as producers and journalists.”

Jünger Audio has also provided a dedicated voice leveler combined with an auto-mixer circuit to help mixed voice programs into loudness-based broadcasting on the fly. Using the optional SDI I/O card automated voice over for SDI embedded audio becomes an attractive feature of the D*AP4 VAP.

Connected as either an insert into a mixing desk or as a stand-alone unit, D*AP4 VAP offers interfaces that allow integration in existing environments via an AES insert. The unit can also be used with an optional analogue board that adds two high quality mic-preamps.

For more information about Jünger Audio’s D*AP4 VAP, please visit IBC stand 10.A49 or visit the company’s website at www.jungeraudio.com

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About Jünger Audio
Established in Berlin in 1990, Jünger Audio specialises in the design and manufacture of high-quality digital audio dynamics processors. It has developed a unique range of digital processors that are designed to meet the demands of the professional audio market. All of its products are easy to operate and are developed and manufactured in-house, ensuring that the highest standards are maintained throughout. Its customers include many of the world’s top radio and TV broadcasters, IPTV providers, music recording studios and audio post production facilities. www.jungeraudio.com

HARMAN’s JBL VTX Line Arrays Go Into “X Mode” for the 2014 Miss USA Interviews

BATON ROUGE, Louisiana – As 51 contestants competed in one of the country’s most widely viewed beauty contests, Baton Rouge, Louisiana-based Premier Sound Services (PSS) provided the sound reinforcement for the Miss USA Pageant. The event is part of Miss Universe, which is owned by Donald Trump and was televised nationally live on NBC. As always, PSS stuck with its inventory of HARMAN’s JBL VTX line arrays to generate the best coverage and superior sound quality.

The main PA system consisted of 13 JBL VTX V25 line array loudspeakers per side in long-throw “X Mode” (35Hz high pass filter) and were powered with 24 Crown I-Tech 12000 HD and two Crown I-Tech 4×3500 HD amplifiers. The system also featured 45-degree outfill arrays, which featured nine VTX V20 loudspeakers in long-throw 60Hz mode that were powered by six Crown I-Tech 4×3500 HD amplifiers. On the floor, 16 bi-amped JBL SRX712M stage monitors were used with five Crown I-Tech 4×3500 HD amplifiers.

Two JBL VTX V20 loudspeakers were provided for the judges, with an additional two V20 loudspeakers per side for front fill, powered by two Crown I-Tech 4×3500 HD amplifiers. The downstage side-fill hangs featured six JBL VERTEC® VT4886 subcompact line array loudspeakers per side, powered by a single Crown I-Tech 4×3500 HD amplifier. The upstage side fill hangs also featured six VT4886 loudspeakers per side, powered with one Crown I-Tech 4×3500 HD amplifier.

“Keeping the loudspeakers hidden from the camera angles as much as possible was the main challenge of this event,” said Brian Gordon, Co-Owner and Head Audio Engineer of PSS. “Originally, we wanted to hang 14 units per side for the main PA, but thanks to the sheer power of the VTX Series we got the output we needed with fewer units, and we never hit the limit on any of the amplifiers.”

When asked why no subwoofers were used, Gordon replied, “We didn’t need any subwoofers for this show, because intelligibility and sound cohesiveness were the key objectives, and the VTX Series loudspeakers are superior in those areas over everything else. There was no interference and everything came out exactly as it should. I was especially impressed by the smoothness of the off-axis dispersion of the V20’s, which was just amazing.”

For more information on Premier Sound Services, please visit www.psssound.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.

“The Today Show” Summer Concert Series Launches with Clay Paky B-EYE Fixtures Lighting Top Performers in Rockefeller Plaza

The Summer Concert Series has launched on NBC’s “The Today Show” and Clay Paky’s A.leda B-EYE K20 LED-based moving lights are being deployed on the live music segments, which air at least once a week on the iconic morning show.

The concert series is a popular feature on “The Today Show” every Friday from late spring through the summer; performances are sometimes staged during the week, as well. The concerts launched with Mariah Carey and have showcased Tim McGraw, Cher Lloyd, Rascal Flatts, Sara Bareilles, Train, Little Mix, Fallout Boy and Phillip Phillips.

The night prior to a concert a mobile stage rolls onto Rockefeller Plaza outside “The Today Show’s” picture windows. Lighting is rigged and programmed overnight so a rehearsal can be scheduled for 6:30 am. The concert begins with the first of a three-song set around 8:25 am; two more songs wrap up the show from 8:45 to 8:55. When the program concludes the stage is dismantled.

Peter Greenbaum, who became lighting director of “The Today Show” when the program implemented its new set and look last fall, is working on his first Summer Concert Series. He implements up to 20 B-EYE K20s, supplied by WorldStage, in the lighting rig on the mobile stage.

Greenbaum was introduced to the B-EYEs by programmer and assistant lighting director Brian S. Davis. “I had never used them before, but when we found out that WorldStage was carrying them and that they were able to make them fit into our budget we jumped on them,” says Greenbaum. “The B-EYEs are perfect for a concert rig. We really like them a lot.”

The early-morning outdoor concerts pose several challenges. “We need to keep the video level on the talent from the front while masking the sunlight coming from behind and the buildings around them. We also want to keep the talent kind of even with the audience in the canyon of Rockefeller Plaza. Plus, there’s a roof on the stage,” Greenbaum reports. “My outside lighting director, Phil Grosso, and I do our best to help video engineer Mike Ruiz make great pictures.”

His base package of B-EYEs features 10 fixtures rigged on an arched upstage truss to light the talent and four on a downstage truss for audience lighting and eye candy. If a larger lighting package is required Greenbaum also places B-EYEs on the stage floor, the downstage truss supports and the lip of the stage. “Every concert has a different stage plot to deal with,” he notes. “We try to make it exciting for every band.”

Greenbaum says, “I love everything about the B-EYEs: the flexibility of going from spots to floods, all the colors, the rotating functions, and all the eye candy that comes with the unit – you can go from eye candy to a great video level with the push of a button.”

One of his favorite B-EYE features is daylight color. “We do a lot of interviews with the talent on stage and ‘The Today Show’ hosts with their backs to the audience,” Greenbaum explains. “We go daylight in the B-EYEs and get a beautiful video level so there’s no need for HMIs. Their color temperature is pretty amazing.”

The lighting director is a long-time Clay Paky user. “I remember their moving mirror lights in clubs in the city and Europe,” he says. “Now I’m regularly using Sharpys and Sharpy washes and am delighted to add B-EYEs to my repertoire.”

Francesco Romagnoli, Clay Paky Area Manager for North and Latin America, commented, “The B-EYE is perfectly suited for daylight situations because of the light is bright and the fixture looks so good on camera. It’s great to see it put to such good use on the Today Show.”

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

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DPA Gets Up Close And Personal With Scarlett Johansson

DPA microphones turn up in some unusual places, but inside Scarlett Johansson’s t-shirt has to be one of the brand’s more exotic locations.

According to French sound engineer Stéphane Bucher, DPA’s d:screet™ 4060 miniature microphones were absolutely perfect for this role because they offered such exceptional audio quality. He used three of the mics to capture Johansson’s performance during the making of Lucy, a new film directed by Luc Besson that is due for theatrical release later this month.

“d:screet 4060 microphones are very small but that wasn’t the reason why I chose to use them,” Bucher explains. “It was all about their audio fidelity – when it comes to sound quality DPA 4060′s are much, much better than other lavalier mics on the market.”

As an internationally acclaimed sound engineer, Bucher has worked with numerous famous actors and directors including Morgan Freeman, Pierce Brosnan and Kevin Costner. In recent years many of the projects he has undertaken have come via major feature film producers such as EuropaCorp. He also owns and manages the Paris-based rental company, A4Audio, which supplies audio equipment to film and TV clients.

“During the filming of Lucy, it was important to take on board Luc Besson’s directing style,” Bucher explains. “He is not the easiest person but I was really happy to work with him. He shoots so fast and wants the actors ready to go when they come to set because he already knows exactly what he wants. Once the actors are here, it is too late, you’ll not have time to put a lavalier on anyone.”

Fortunately, the film’s costume designer Olivier Beriot completely understood Bucher’s problems and was able to work with him to devise a way of permanently attaching a microphone to Scarlett’s main costume.

“Olivier is the best costume designer I have ever worked with and I have huge respect for him,” Bucher says. “Scarlett’s main costume was a white, half translucent T-shirt so we used a white d:screet 4060 microphone which was inserted into the seam of the t-shirt by the dressmaker. We had three t-shirts ready at all times and the solution worked perfectly, giving us great audio but without any visibility issues.”

Bucher adds that this wasn’t the first time he’d used DPA microphones – indeed, he first started using them many years ago when he was recording classical music.

“Like every other sound mixer, my equipment is really important and I’m constantly looking for the best microphones, mixers, recorders, etc,” he says. “When I started working in film and TV sound, I was using the same lavalier microphones as everyone else because I didn’t really have a choice. Now I do have a choice and I can use the best mics available for cinema sound, which happen to be DPA. I originally chose them because I was tired of going to the cinema and hearing that recognizable sound you get with other lavalier microphones. DPA’s sound is really translucent and clear – to the point where sometimes I can’t tell if I’m listening to the boom or the 4060.”

Since completing Lucy, Bucher has been in the USA working with director Olivier Megaton on the film Taken 3, which stars Liam Neeson and Forest Whitaker. As the film requires audio to be recorded inside a car, DPA’s French distributor Audio2 equipped him with a number of d:dicate™ 4018 supercardioid microphones, which are ideally suited to this type of location work.

“They were great,” he says. “I used them for one particular car chase where Liam Neeson is driving very fast on the highway. I needed a very small mic to put into the car’s sun visor. We bought two new sun visors, opened them up and put the 4018 mics inside. This worked perfectly. We also tested them on a much simple car scene, in which Forest Whitaker is driving and talking, and they worked great for that, too.”

Stéphane Bucher is now in France preparing for his next film project, which will undoubtedly feature DPA microphones in a starring role.

“I’ve always been really happy with the audio quality DPA microphones deliver and that’s why I keep going back to them,” he says.

-ends-

About DPA
DPA Microphones is the leading Danish Professional Audio manufacturer of high quality condenser microphone solutions for professional applications. DPA’s ultimate goal is to provide you – whether you’re in live sound, recording, theater or broadcast – with the absolute finest possible microphone solutions for your tasks. DPA takes no shortcuts in the design processes nor makes any compromises in manufacturing, which is all done at the DPA factory in Denmark. As a result, DPA’s products are globally praised for their exceptional clarity and transparency, unparalleled specifications, supreme reliability, and above all, pure, uncolored and undistorted sound.
For more information, please visit www.dpamicrophones.com

BenQ’s Ultra-Short Throw Projectors Bring Setup Simplicity and Interactive Tools to Classrooms

New MX852UST and Award-Winning MW853UST Combine Flexible Installation, Interactive Software, and Colorific(TM) Image Quality

COSTA MESA, Calif. — July 17, 2014 — BenQ America Corp., an internationally renowned provider of Classroom IQ solutions and the No. 1-selling DLP(R) projector brand in North America(1), today unleashed its newest interactive classroom tools: the MX852UST and MW853UST ultra-short throw projectors. Designed to bring Colorific(TM) image quality, easy installation, and PointWrite(TM) interaction to today’s students, teachers, and learning institutions, the devices deliver more than one billion bright colors, provide impressive cost savings, and enable more collaborative classroom experiences while reducing total cost of ownership (TCO). more

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