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HARMAN’s Studer Infinity Series and Vista Digital Consoles get Lexicon PCM96 and UAD Plug-Ins Support and Significant Feature Upgrade

AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands – At IBC 2014, HARMAN’s Studer is introducing the version 5.2 software upgrade to its Vista X, Vista V, Vista 1 and Vista 5 M3 digital consoles. This new software provides Vista operators with even greater versatility and ease of use, creating a more efficient mixing experience.

New to the 5.2 software are: the ability to assign Strip Setups as CUE events; support of the Soundcraft Realtime Rack (UAD plug-ins); support of Lexicon PCM96 Surround reverbs with Infinity Core; Input Gain unfold for multi-format channels; Spill Zone for contributing channels; GUI enhancements and new patch groups; A-Line embedded Ethernet; and contribution PAN in stereo channels to mono Aux busses.

With the 5.2 software, saved Strip Setups can be assigned as CUE Events in the CUE List. Recalling CUEs that have these events assigned, will automatically load the specified Strip Setup onto the desk’s surface. This feature is a great help for users who are mixing in a “scene”-based workflow like in application such as theatres and pre-programmed shows. Loading the CUEs for the next scene will also bring the currently needed channels onto the surface.

Up to four Soundcraft Realtime Racks, loaded with high quality Universal Audio (UAD) Plug-Ins, can now be connected to every Vista system. All plug-in parameters are saved and recalled by CUE events. The CUE events are also organized in a library and can be re-used for other CUE events. The individual CUE events can be enabled and disabled, and can be updated at any time.

Vista FX quality reverb is now also available for Vista X and Vista V running on Infinity Cores. Up to six (in pairs of two) original Lexicon PCM96 Surround reverb units can be connected over AES/EBU. Parameter control works over HARMAN HiQnet™ directly from the mixer’s Vistonics™ user interface.

In addition, stereo and 5.1 input channels will have individual digital input gain parameters for each channel leg. Pressing the button next to the ‘Main’ digital input gain Vistonics rotary will flip the input page into a view, where the individual digital input gain parameters (L, R, C, LFE, Ls, Rs) are accessible.

Channels contributing to any type of busses can immediately be brought up within a user-definable ‘Spill Zone’, on top of the desk’s active fader layer. Pressing the Contribution button of any bus channel in the control bay will line up all channels in the predefined Spill Zone, which are contributing to this bus, allowing full processing parameter access of these member channels. The user can quickly define the size, position and spill direction of the Spill Zone at any time from the Strip Setup page.

The 5.2 software’s User GUI is also enhanced with the well-known Ribbon Bar, giving a better overview and easier access for the operator. With the Infinity Core’s power, a huge amount of channels can be organized and controlled. To simplify this task, new user-definable Patch Groups, comprising easy-to-handle filtering options as well as customizable Source and Target views have been added.

For Infinity Core with D23m, the Ethernet control signal can be tunnelled together with the audio stream from the CoreLink card through the A-Link ports to the D23m’s HD cards. This means that no additional Ethernet cable has to be connected to the D23m’s Ethernet card anymore (although this option is still available).

Finally, in stereo channels, all contribution paths to mono Aux busses now have a PAN control before the mix-down to mono. This not only enables assignment of the channel’s left or right leg to the Aux bus, but also sends a user-defined mix of the stereo channel to the mono Aux bus. This dramatically expands the possibilities of signal contribution to loudspeakers, especially in theatres

HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures and markets premier audio, visual, infotainment and integrated control solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets. With leading brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon® and Mark Levinson ®, the Company is admired by audiophiles, musicians and the entertainment venues where they perform. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of approximately 16,000 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $5.3 billion for the twelve months ended June 30, 2014.

New Infinity Core 200 Processing Engine Drives HARMAN’s Studer Vista V Digital Console

AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands – With the introduction of its Vista V digital console, HARMAN’s Studer is also unveiling the new Infinity 200 processing engine that drives the console. The Infinity 200 is designed for smaller facilities that require lower channel counts and full system redundancy.

The Infinity 200 offers the same benefits of the original Infinity DSP Core, which is found in the Vista X console, introduced earlier this year. The Infinity 200 enables up to 200 audio channels to be processed in a single CPU-based board.

The Infinity 200 features Studer A-Link high-capacity fiber digital audio interfaces, and D23m I/O frames are used to break out these A-Link connections to standard analog, digital, Audio over IP (AoIP) and video interfaces. The A-Link interface also provides direct connection to the Riedel MediorNet distributed router, allowing many Infinity systems to be connected together with router capacities of 10,000 square or more.

HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures and markets premier audio, visual, infotainment and integrated control solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets. With leading brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon® and Mark Levinson ®, the Company is admired by audiophiles, musicians and the entertainment venues where they perform. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of approximately 16,000 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $5.3 billion for the twelve months ended June 30, 2014.

Technology preview at IBC: Ball Chaser from HARMAN’s Studer Enables Sports Broadcasters to Bring Viewers Closer to the Action

AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands – Addressing a specific need in the sports broadcast market, HARMAN’s Studer is unveiling a prototype unit designed to provide a more rewarding audio experience for television viewers. Known as the Studer Ball Chaser, this unique product allows broadcast engineers to use a joystick to open the shotgun microphone closest to the action on the playing area, while keeping the other microphones closed.

In efforts to bring the game closer to the viewer, sports broadcasters often place 12 or more shotgun microphones around the playing area to pick up as much of the action as possible. However, leaving all 12 microphones fully or partially open for the whole match results in a lack of detail in the audio mix. Manually opening the microphone closest to the action and closing all the rest for the length of a game is virtually impossible, but the Studer Ball Chaser simplifies this complex task.

Ball Chaser connects directly to any Vista console and is a simple joystick mounted on a small, portable box. The operator configures
the unit with a simple web GUI interface, setting the layout of the physical microphones around the pitch (up to 24 microphones may be used) and linking these to the faders on the desk (mono and stereo faders may be controlled). During the game, simply moving the joystick opens and closes the relevant faders with smooth cross fades. The operator can simply watch the pitch events and open the necessary microphone without looking down at the joystick. Desk faders will respond in real time to the joystick movement and open only the microphone fader nearest to where the action is taking place. In fact, the faders do not even have to be on the active layer of the desk, freeing up valuable fader space.

The Ball Chaser link to the desk is a simple Ethernet connection, so the operator can be some distance from the Vista desk, even watching the action from the stand rather than taking space in the OB truck.

A key advantage of this unit is that it allows more gain to be given to the on-field FX microphones, as the unit always has the equivalent of one open microphone to air. This “single” microphone can have higher gain without the crowd pickup swamping the overall mix.

HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures and markets premier audio, visual, infotainment and integrated control solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets. With leading brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon® and Mark Levinson ®, the Company is admired by audiophiles, musicians and the entertainment venues where they perform. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of approximately 16,000 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $5.3 billion for the twelve months ended June 30, 2014.

SunBriteTV’s HD Transceiver is First of Its Kind: Universal, Weatherproof and Wireless

DENVER, Colorado, September 13, 2014— SunBriteTV has broken the wireless HD barrier with a universal outdoor transmitter module for both residential and commercial applications. Completely weatherproof and wireless, the SunBriteTV HD Wireless Transceiver (SB-HDWT) is capable of transmitting full 1080p content up to 100 feet (30 meters) and will be on display at SunBriteTV’s booth at CEDIA EXPO 2014 (booth #664).

The point-to-point device features an HDMI-in and HDMI-out transceiver, making it compatible with all SunBriteTV models as well as other HDMI-featured products. The SunBriteTV HD Wireless Transceiver eliminates the need for expensive cable installations and creates new revenue opportunities for dealers by bringing the total cost of outdoor television within reach of more consumers.

“Consumers don’t want to fuss over wiring and connectivity,” said Jonathan Johnson, Director of Brand Marketing, SunBriteTV. “The HD Wireless Transceiver simplifies the installation process for both homeowners and professional installers seeking to send an HD signal to an outdoor TV anywhere in the outdoor living area.”

“Running hard wire can be difficult, time consuming, and costly to the homeowner. The HD Wireless Transceiver is a cost-effective solution that reduces overall cost for both the consumer and the integrator,” said Johnson. “In this way, outdoor TV will become even more accessible to thousands of homeowners.”

The SB-HDWT carries an MSRP of $595 and is available through SunBriteTV’s Authorized Dealer Network or online at www.SunBriteTV.com. To see the HD Wireless Transceiver and SunBriteTV’s complete line of outdoor televisions, please visit SunBriteTV at booth #664 at CEDIA EXPO 2014.

For more information on SunBriteTV please visit www.SunBriteTV.com or call the sales department directly at 866.357.8688.

Follow SunBriteTV on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SunBriteTV

About SunBriteTV

SunBriteTV engineers and manufactures award-winning televisions and displays built specifically for outdoor use. SunBriteTV developed the industry’s first all-weather TV in 2004 and its products have been time-tested in home installations, outdoor sports arenas, restaurants, hotels, amusement parks, colleges, and airports. All models are available through SunBriteTV’s network of Authorized Dealers. To inquire about becoming an Authorized Dealer, contact SunBriteTV at 866.357.8688, or visit the Dealer Inquiry page at www.SunBriteTV.com.

RTW Announces Mastering Tools PlugIn at IBC 2014

Second Addition to Masterclass PlugIns Line of Software Offers Extensive Analysis and Display Functions

AMSTERDAM, 12 SEPTEMBER, 2014 – RTW, the market leader in visual audio meters and monitoring devices, will introduce RTW Mastering Tools, the second plugin in its Masterclass PlugIns line of software-based metering solutions, at the 2014 IBC Show (Hall 8, Stand D92). Ideal for post production, TV, film and music recording, the new addition brings extensive analysis and display functions for mastering, metering and loudness measurement for single- and up to eight-channel applications as a standard-format plugin for Windows and Mac OS platforms.

Designed for simple, intuitive operation by a broader user base, RTW Mastering Tools offers a wide range of PPM scales, displays and TruePPM measurements. It provides support for many of the leading global loudness standards including ITU BS.1770-3/1771-1, ATSC A/85, EBU R128, ARIB, OP-59, AGICOM and CALM Act. Other key features include numerical or bar graph-type readout, plus MagicLRA and correlator display, audio vectorscope, RTA (Real Time Analyzer), SSA (Surround Sound Analyzer) and multicorrelator. For added convenience, users can choose from up to six selectable window frame sizes and multiple instances.

“RTW’s development of the RTW Masterclass PlugIns Mastering Tools plugin is part of the company’s continuing efforts to give a wider range of our customers access to high-quality audio metering and measurement,” says Andreas Tweitmann, managing director, RTW. “It puts a very powerful tool for mastering, metering and loudness measurement into a convenient, easy-to-operate software package, adding further efficiency to the overall workflow.”

The RTW Mastering Tools plugin is the second product in RTW’s Masterclass PlugIns line, which provides users with software versions of some of the company’s most popular metering and measurement solutions. The first product in the series, the RTW Loudness Tools plugin, was announced earlier this year.

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

SunBriteTV Debuts Full Line of Rugged Pro Series Outdoor Televisions, Direct Sunlight Readable

DENVER, Colorado, Sept 12, 2014 — SunBriteTV, manufacturer of the world’s best-selling outdoor television, will be exhibiting its direct sunlight readable Pro Series outdoor TVs at CEDIA EXPO 2014 (booth #664). Designed for permanent outdoor installation, SunBriteTVs feature high-grade weatherproofing technology that protects internal components from rain, snow, dust, insects, humidity, and salt air.

Intended for direct sunlight installations in residential or commercial settings, SunBriteTV’s rugged Pro Series models heave ultra-bright high-NIT panels with Enhanced Solar Tolerance. This technology prevents isotropic blackout, a common problem with indoor TVs in bright sunlight that causes temporary on-screen black fading. The TVs are equipped with anti-glare tempered glass protecting the LED panel from impact damage and are designed to operate in temperatures as low as -40° and as high as 122°F thanks to an internal multi-fan heating and cooling system.

Featuring brighter LED panels, a rust-proof powder-coated aluminum exterior and Ambient Light Sensors to automatically adjust brightness based on environmental conditions, the new Pro Series models improve upon all of the features that made predecessor models a top choice for rugged direct sunlight installations.

Starting at $2,995, Pro Series models are available in 32-, 47- and 55-inch sizes in black, silver and white. All Pro Series Consumer models include a weatherproof detachable 20W speaker bar, weatherproof remote control and 2-year warranty.

Incorporating over 10 years of SunBriteTV’s research and design, the new Pro Series models are the most durable, affordable and rugged outdoor televisions for direct-sunlight installations.

To see the Pro Series, please visit SunBriteTV at booth #664 at CEDIA EXPO 2014.

For more information on SunBriteTV please visit www.SunBriteTV.com or call the sales department directly at 866.357.8688.

Follow SunBriteTV on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SunBriteTV

About SunBriteTV
SunBriteTV engineers and manufactures award-winning televisions and displays built specifically for outdoor use. SunBriteTV developed the industry’s first all-weather TV in 2004 and its products have been time-tested in home installations, outdoor sports arenas, restaurants, hotels, amusement parks, colleges, and airports. All models are available through SunBriteTV’s network of Authorized Dealers. To inquire about becoming an Authorized Dealer, contact SunBriteTV at 866.357.8688, or visit the Dealer Inquiry page at www.SunBriteTV.com.

HARMAN’s Studer Heads the AoIP Race with AES67 Integration via Digigram Interface

AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands – Delivering more versatility and speed than ever before, HARMAN’s Studer is announcing AES67 integration for Infinity Core, which drives the company’s flagship Vista X and Vista V digital audio consoles. This breakthrough will enable broadcasters to efficiently and cost-effectively deliver their Audio over IP (AoIP) requirements over the widest range of protocols available from a single manufacturer.

“AES67 is a standard for interoperability and Studer places a high priority on making sure it’s consoles are able to interface with as many suitable standards in the industry as possible,” said Keith Watson, Marketing Director, Soundcraft Studer. “With the additional products and processing announcements we are making at IBC, we think Studer is now the ‘most connected’ digital broadcast console manufacturer in the market”.

AES67 compatibility makes Studer’s Infinity Core the first x86-based AoIP core, incorporating standard off-the-shelf IT components and a Linux operating system. Infinity Core also features a real-time mixer application for standard servers, while allowing distributed DSP processing on the customer’s platform. It also utilizes the Digigram LX-IP AES67 PCIe Sound Card to interface with real time AoIP networks.

“We are really impressed by the new Studer Infinity Core which delivers 800+ audio channels with superb sonic quality and more than 5000 inputs and outputs,” said Philippe Delacroix, President and CEO at Digigram. “We are proud to enable it for high channel count ultra-low latency AoIP conforming to the new AES67 interoperability standard. Our Digigram LX-IP PCIe Sound Card is based on a rock solid embedded design with 2 Gigabit ports allowing the exchange of as many as 128/128 channels from/to multiple AES67 AoIP streams with less than 1ms latency.”

With AES67 compatibility, Studer is now able to share I/O signals across its Vista and OnAir digital console ranges and over different audio networks. Moreover, this can all be done in real time with the lowest latency, enabling broadcast engineers to work on the fly, with no delays in workflow.

HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures and markets premier audio, visual, infotainment and integrated control solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets. With leading brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon® and Mark Levinson ®, the Company is admired by audiophiles, musicians and the entertainment venues where they perform. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of approximately 16,000 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $5.3 billion for the twelve months ended June 30, 2014.

About Digigram
Positioned at the convergence of professional audio and video with IT, Digigram offers IP-based solutions that enable users worldwide to increase their competitiveness through change.

The company’s products enable the reliable capture, production and delivery of high-quality audio and video over IP networks. Its innovative IP audio codecs, professional sound cards, and audio processing software are used by thousands of journalists, broadcasters, and audio engineers worldwide. Digigram’s all-IP video product line provides advanced contribution and distribution solutions to broadcast, IPTV, Web TV, and OTT operators. The company also delivers key audio/video technologies and OEM solutions to software vendors and manufacturers.

For more than 25 years, through constant innovation and the development of fruitful partnerships, Digigram has been influential in energizing the industry, raising standards, and pushing forward technological development.

Further information on Digigram and its product portfolio is available at www.digigram.com.

SunBriteTV Debuts Weatherproof Media Box, Adds Affordable Option for Streaming Wireless Media Outdoors

THOUSAND OAKS, California, Sept. 12, 2014 — SunBriteTV’s new Outdoor Media Box (SB-HDME), a universal weatherproof housing for wireless media players, furthers SunBriteTV’s mission of creating high-quality products designed for long-term outdoor use. Featuring a clear polycarbonate window for transmission of IR signals, the SB-HDME lets consumers take their favorite wireless media outdoors and allows integrators to provide their customers with expanded outdoor viewing options.

Compatible with all leading streaming media players including Roku, AppleTV, Google Chromecast and Amazon Fire, the SB-HDME protects the wireless media player from outdoor weather conditions. The player then connects to an existing wireless Internet signal (required). The SB-HDME can be mounted to a SunBriteTV outdoor television or any nearby surface. Like SunBriteTV’s outdoor-rated televisions, the SB-HDME is designed for permanent outdoor installation, completely resistant to severe weather conditions including rain, snow, dust, insects, humidity, and salt air.

“Similar to our weatherproof HD Wireless Transceiver (SB-HDWT), the Outdoor Media Box makes it easy to watch your favorite content outside,” said Jonathan Johnson, Director of Brand Marketing, SunBriteTV. “Its compact size allows it to safely house all major wireless media-streaming devices in any weather.”

For more information on SunBriteTV please visit www.SunBriteTV.com or call the sales department directly at 866.357.8688.

Follow SunBriteTV on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SunBriteTV

About SunBriteTV
SunBriteTV engineers and manufactures award-winning televisions and displays built specifically for outdoor use. SunBriteTV developed the industry’s first all-weather TV in 2004 and its products have been time-tested in home installations, outdoor sports arenas, restaurants, hotels, amusement parks, colleges, and airports. All models are available through SunBriteTV’s network of Authorized Dealers. To inquire about becoming an Authorized Dealer, contact SunBriteTV at 866.357.8688, or visit the Dealer Inquiry page at www.SunBriteTV.com.

Yamaha CL/QL V3.0 Boast New Features for Broadcast, Live Sound

BUENA PARK, Calif.—Announced during IBC in September, Yamaha CL and QL Digital Audio Consoles will release V3.0 updates available in early 2015.
Version 3.0 adds features and functionality that will increase the appeal of all CL and QL Series models for broadcast applications, including 5.1 panning and monitoring for surround broadcasts, and a newly developed buss compressor that is ideal for insertion in the stereo mix buss.

For live sound applications, V3.0 will add the benefit of a new 8-band parametric EQ and real time analyzer. There will not be a QL Series V2.0 so that the CL and QL Series Consoles will be at the same V3.0 level. CL and QL files are interchangeable, making it easy to choose and combine models to best accommodate live sound front of house and monitoring as well as broadcast relay and recording, from the most basic to large scale applications.

Notable new CL/QL V3.0 features for broadcast include 5.1 Surround Panning.
Pan positioning can be set via the touch panel or knobs. Mix to Matrix can be used for international feed production, and Mix to Stereo can be used for stereo mix down. In addition to surround mixing, CL/QL V3.0 adds basic surround monitoring. Monitor alignment capability is also provided, with adjustment of relative speaker levels and delays.

Also for broadcast applications, Dan Dugan Sound Design highly regarded automatic microphone mixers already included in QL Series is now included in CL Series consoles. Gain distribution for up to 16 speech microphone channels is automatically optimized in real time, achieving smooth, natural level control.

Yamaha R&D has created an accurate VCM (Virtual Circuitry Modeling) model of an acclaimed buss compressor that is relied on in broadcast and recording studios around the world. Buss Comp 369 is ideal for inserting on the stereo mix buss for increased loudness, more uniform levels, and warm overall sound. It is an excellent choice for live sound as well as broadcast applications.

Mix minus, considered important for relay broadcast applications, previously available for CL consoles is now available in the QL consoles. The signal from a specified channel can be easily omitted from a specific bus, making it easy to quickly create a mix for the location reporter, for example, that may not include his/her own mic feed. The new Frame Delay capability enables the audio engineer to delay the audio at the console in order to achieve proper synchronization, a necessity in broadcast and in live applications where video is being used. The feature makes it possible to set that delay in frame increments for easy sync with a wide variety of video formats.

Additional live sound features include an 8-band PEQ in the GEQ Rack and Effect Rack making it possible to select 8-band Parametric EQ in the GEQ RACK and EFFECT RACK. With the real time analyzer (RTA) to support room tuning and other operations, the frequency spectrum of cued channels can be shown in the new RTA display as well as in the PEQ or GEQ display to provide visual feedback while adjusting EQ.

Also of note for the live sound market, V3.0 will now provide four banks of enhanced User Defined Keys, not only reducing the possibility of running out of keys, but it also allows keys to be grouped by function for improved efficiency. DCA Assignment Selection for Scene Management has been added to the parameters for Recall Safe, Focus Recall, and Global Paste. Rather than only being selectable with ALL parameters during scene memory management, DCA assignment is now an independent setting. This allows more refined control, such as specifying only Channel Name, Fader, and DCA Assign to be Recall Safe, for example.

We’re very pleased to brings these additional upgrades that have been requested by our users, states Marc Lopez, Marketing Manager, Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc. Our loyal sound reinforcement engineers will benefit from several great tools whether they are mixing on CL or the new QL Series as well as a whole new set of amazing features for our broadcast users. In addition to the new features in V3.0, we are currently working on a number of additional refinements that will provide even greater operability and stability and will continue to deliver products and updates that contribute to the most efficient and comfortable working environment for our customers.”

CL/QL V3.0 firmware will be available as a free download from the Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc. web site, www.yamahaca.com, in early 2015.

For more information, visit Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc. at AES 2014, Los Angeles Convention Center, booth #1401 or on the web www.yamahaca.com.

-END-

About Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc.:
Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc. (YCAS) provides a full line of professional audio products offering complete systems solutions for the sound reinforcement, touring, broadcast, commercial recording, and post-production markets with a complete line of digital mixers, amplifiers, speakers, processors, networking capabilities, and NUAGE Advanced Production DAW System. YCAS is also the official North American distributor for NEXO speaker products. With the new CIS Series that includes ceiling and surface mount speakers, mixer and power amplifiers, and matrix processors, the Company furthers is commitment to their commercial installation solutions customers. All market sectors receive comprehensive in-house/field product training, a dedicated dealer network, and 24/7 technical support.

Steely Dan’s Pursuit of Perfection with MLA

Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Walter Becker and Donald Fagen took Steely Dan’s “Jamalot Ever After” tour across the U.S. and Canada this summer, with OSA International, Inc. providing Martin Audio’s Multi-cellular Loudspeaker Array (MLA) sound system.

Steely Dan has a reputation among audiophiles and throughout Pro Audio for their fastidious attention to sound production, so much so that many FOH engineers and system techs use a Steely Dan track to tune a system. When it comes to live sound, their expectations for the PA are no less demanding.

Returning to mix Steely Dan is Mark Dowdle, whose extensive credits include Elton John, Gloria Estefan, Fleetwood Mac, Tina Turner and Jackson Browne, to name just a few. Last year’s tour included a stop at Ravinia Festival in Chicago, where Dowdle mixed on two 7-box MLA arrays, the first year of a new OSA installation and the first new PA in a decade at North America’s oldest music festival.

Mark Dowdle

Late last year, Steely Dan’s road manager, tour sound icon Robert ‘Nitebob’ Czaykowski, introduced Walter Becker to MLA at a demonstration at New York’s Manhattan Center, where they were able to walk around and hear the evenness of its response and coverage. Steely Dan often plays theaters, where the mix position is usually at the back, beneath a balcony. “I go out there every day and listen to it; that’s part of my gig,” Czaykowski said. “What really knocks me out about MLA is that you can really control it so it’s not splattering off a back wall or cluttering up in the lower balcony.”

Present also at the NYC demo was Jim Risgin, Vice President for OSA –owners of the largest inventory of MLA in North America. With offices in Chicago, Las Vegas and now also Nashville, OSA have built an impressive reputation and client list providing complete technical services to some of the largest corporate, sporting events and concert tours in the U.S. The NYC demo was followed by extensive research from Mark Dowdle to confirm that the system would deliver the desired performance, and as a result Steely Dan added MLA to their tour.

Across the demanding 56-stop tour, MLA showed its versatility, control and overall sound performance credentials. Dowdle points out that the MLA provides extremely even front-to-back SPL as well as evenness of frequency response throughout the listening area. “The coverage is very smooth, especially its shading,” he said. “You can walk up on the PA in the front and it sounds just like it does in the back of the room.”

Dowdle also mentions an improvement to the stereo field. “Everything is more defined, so that automatically translates into the stereo field being more discernable,” he said. “MLA gives me dynamic range, clarity and definition so that I’m able to position and layer sounds in the stereo field which you can really hear where they all are.” He adds that the MLA’s sound is extremely coherent and is very responsive from a mixing standpoint. “You make a small fader move and it’s immediately noticeable.”

Furthermore, Dowdle is surprised by the constant comments from the audience. “I’ve been mixing for a long time and usually nobody ever says anything. This particular tour I’ve had more response from the audience than any tour I’ve ever done in my entire career, and it’s always been very positive and it’s always been very poignant. That’s in large part because of MLA allowing me to get it exactly how I want everywhere in the room.”

OSA crew chief and MLA system engineer Martyn ‘Ferrit’ Rowe is well known from his tenure at Martin Audio as an MLA product specialist before leaving to work for OSA as Director of Engineering. The Steely Dan tour travels in two trucks, carrying consoles and backline (including a Steinway grand) in one, and lights and PA in the second. “We’re carrying 26 MLA and 2 MLD down-fills, as well as 18 MLA Compacts, plus 8 MLX subs and 6 W8LMD used as front-fills,” Rowe explains.

The tour played Oklahoma City’s Chesapeake Energy Arena and New Orleans’ UNO Lakefront Arena using the 14-box MLA main arrays and 9-box MLA Compact side arrays that they carry. “The LA Forum was the only venue on our 56-show itinerary where we had to add PA,” said Mitchell Keller, Steely Dan’s production manager for the fourth year running. “It’s quite impressive that on a two truck tour we can carry enough PA to do arenas.”

The rest of the itinerary ranged from sheds and theaters to casinos. “The smallest venue was Humphrey’s in San Diego, putting in two subwoofers and ground stacking six MLA per side,” Rowe explains. “We recently did four shows in a row with single point hangs using ten MLA enclosures.”

As well as MLA’s flexibility and scalability, Rowe is keen to point out the simplicity of its operation. “It’s like fly by wire; you tell it what you want and the software produces a custom preset for your system and the room,” he said. “This isn’t auto EQ, you still have control over all the decisions that are being made, but the computer is doing the heavy lifting for you.”

So, coming full circle, what did Fagen and Becker make of the sound quality? According to Dowdle, “Both have come out into the audience on a number of occasions and have always been positive with their feedback and what was going on.

“More often than not Donald will come out and listen and frequently comments, ‘It sounds great,’ which is probably the highest compliment that I could ever receive in my career.”

For more about Martin Audio, please click to www.martin-audio.com.

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Stay up to date on the latest technology news. Select press representatives post company news several times a day. Check back often to get the latest news on product releases, mergers and acquisitions, and product applications. To be included in this virtual press conference, please contact The Wire.

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