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HARMAN’s Studer, JBL and AKG to Showcase World-Leading Broadcast Audio Technology at TAB Convention & Trade Show

AUSTIN, Texas — At the Texas Association of Broadcasters (TAB) 61st Annual Convention & Trade Show, HARMAN Professional will be showcasing an extensive array of world-class audio products for the broadcast industry, including Studer digital consoles, AKG microphones and JBL studio monitors.

Taking place at the Renaissance Austin Hotel, the TAB Convention & Trade Show is the largest state broadcast meeting in the United States, featuring one-and-a-half days of management, engineering and sales programs, plus a 127-booth trade show with industry vendors from around the country.

Studer will be showcasing its Vista 1 all-in-one digital mixing console, with integrated control surface, I/O system, DSP and power supplies consoling one compact footprint. This makes it the ideal choice when space is restricted, such as in OB and small control rooms or ENG vans. The Studer Vista 1 also features a redundant PSU for peace of mind, and RELINK integration with other Studer Vista and OnAir consoles which means the Vista 1 can easily share signals across an entire console network. Two expansion slots for standard Studer D21m I/O cards may be used for interfaces connecting to popular formats, including CobraNet or Aviom A-Net, Ethersound, Dante, Dolby E and MADI I/O.

AKG will feature a variety of microphones and headphones for broadcast applications, including the C4500 BC. This large-diaphragm condenser microphone in front-addressed format is specially designed for on-air broadcast work. It provides a cardioid pickup with voice-friendly tuning and a low proximity effect, as well as high RF/EMI insensitivity.

In addition, JBL Professional will show off its award-winning 3 Series studio monitors, which are now available with the LSR310S powered studio subwoofer. Driven by an integrated 200 Watt Class D power amplifier, a new 10-inch high excursion woofer works in concert with JBL’s patented Slip Stream Port™, delivering impressive low-frequency response below 27 Hz, with peak output of 113 dB SPL.

For more information on the TAB Convention & Trade Show, please visit www.tab.org

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.

CLEAR-COM LAUNCHES FREESPEAK II™ DECT-BASED DUPLEX WIRELESS INTERCOM SYSTEM

At IBC 2014 Clear-Com® will announce the launch of FreeSpeak II™ wireless intercom system, an enhanced DECT-based offering that operates in multiple license-free DECT bands from 1.897-1.933GHz. FreeSpeak II delivers improved roaming capability for reliable wireless connections, superior digital ‘Clear-Com Sound’ for clear intelligibility and ultimate audio comfort, and innovative intercom features that make it a high performance wireless option.
The system is ideal for deployment across large-scale, multi-zone production areas typically required in live events, broadcast and sports production.

More Users, Same Flexibility

FreeSpeak II allows large numbers of wireless beltpack users to simultaneously roam across an expansive production area without compromising on performance. Similar to
its predecessor, FreeSpeak II can be implemented as a standalone base station wireless
system or as an integrated wireless solution within Eclipse HX matrices, known
as FreeSpeak II Integra. When using the base station, up to 20 full-duplex wireless
beltpacks can be connected; in an integrated matrix setup, as many as 50
full-duplex wireless beltpacks can be used at the same time by strategically
placing 10 or more distributed remote antennas to create an expansive coverage
zone. These beltpack users are then able to directly communicate with any other
remote or local matrix panel or other wireless or wired beltpack user who is on
the Eclipse HX Matrix System network.

New Hardware, Better Experience

FreeSpeak II leverages the existing base station from its predecessor that has been updated to work with the new beltpacks and new active antennas. All-new five-channel,
full-duplex FS II-BP wireless beltpack was uniquely designed for the rigorous
demands of large-scale operations and continuous communication use. Ergonomically
positioned controls, intuitive operation and rugged housing make the beltpack
ideal for extended use under harsh conditions. Beltpacks are IP-65 rated for
water and dust resistance for mobile productions. The Li-Ion battery for the
beltpack can last over 18 hours on a full charge. Beltpack operations including
battery health, RF status and Antenna link can be monitored in real-time via
the base station or Eclipse HX version 7.6 software.

The newly-designed Active Antenna provides the cellular roaming capability that keeps wireless users connected to the base station or to the Integra Solution. Enhancements to
the antenna systems now offer a much improved wireless performance and thereby
delivering a reliable wireless connection for mobile intercom users. Locally-powered
Antennas can be positioned up to 3,200ft away, or 800ft away when centrally
powered from the base station. Five way Antenna Splitters extend the base station
to create an expansive coverage area with up to 10 antennas.

Crystal-clear Sound, Ultimate Audio Comfort

FreeSpeak II beltpack users can continue enjoying the highly-intelligible and digitally-clear “Clear-Com Sound at 7kHz “commentator” audio bandwidth. This level of sound
quality offers excellent audio experience and reduces the strain on the user’s ears after extended usage.

Simon Browne, Director of Product Management, Clear-Com, said, “FreeSpeak is a proven duplex wireless solution for large-scale, multi-zone production areas. The introduction of the redesigned FreeSpeak II Beltpack and Antenna provides rugged and ergonomic operation, together with greatly improved radio and audio clarity that will delight our wireless users.”

The FreeSpeak II family of products, together with a wide range of other Clear-Com solutions, will be available for demonstration on Stand 10.D29 at IBC 2014.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ASHLY AUDIO PROCESSING AND MULTI-CHANNEL AMPS REVAMP CHICAGO AREA MALL

VERNON HILLS, ILLINOIS: Built in the early 1970s, Westfield Hawthorn Mall is located in the Chicago suburb of Vernon Hills. Its classic mall architecture boasts 4 anchor stores, 180 retail spaces, and 1.3 million square feet of space. However, until recently, its sound system possessed the lifeless quality of 1970s-era contractor-grade components. Music was low-fidelity, speech was of poor intelligibility, and volume throughout was too loud during slow times and too quiet during busy times. Renaissance Communications Systems, located nearby in Franklin Park, Illinois, overhauled Westfield Hawthorn Mall’s sound system. In addition to replacing the ceiling speakers, Renaissance also gave the mall modern auto-leveling control and multi-zone support using two Ashly Audio ne8800M 8-In x 8-Out Protea™ DSP System Processors and two 8-channel Ashly ne8250.70 Network Amplifiers.

“Certainly, one big issue was the sound quality itself,” said Mike Shares, CEO with Renaissance. “The components needed to be modernized. Beyond that, they were having problems with the volume control. First, the system wasn’t zoned properly, so low-ceiling areas had to share the same volume with high-ceiling areas such that neither area could be ideal. Moreover, traffic in the mall varies widely; it’s very slow on a weekday afternoon but very busy on a weekend afternoon or in the rush up to the holidays. The management wanted the sound system to play at appropriate volumes without having to manually track it. They have enough other things to worry about.”

Shares divided the system into thirteen zones based on location, purpose, and ceiling height. Input sources to each zone may be selected independently, and the target volume-over-noise in each zone may also be selected independently. Sensing microphones in several of the zones feed the pair of Ashly ne8800M Protea™ Digital Processors, which analyze the ambient noise and adjust the music or paging output to hit the target sound pressure level. A pair of Ashly ne8250.70 8-Channel Network Power amplifiers deliver 250-Watts per channel to all thirteen zones while taking-up only 4 rack spaces. Nearly 200 full-fidelity Community D6 loudspeakers now deliver the background music with modern impact and convey pages with crystal-clear intelligibility. Of course, paging and alarm overrides provide Westfield Hawthorn Mall patrons with a secure environment.

“I’ve been using Ashly for twelve years now, and I’ve always had excellent results,” said Shares. “The equipment is extremely reliable, and its five-year warranty was a selling point for the client. I have a good relationship with the Ashly support staff, and they helped with the most efficient plan for Westfield Hawthorn Mall. The ambient noise detection and adjustment feature in the Protea software works very well, and the fact that we could fit all of the processing and amplifier channels into just 8 rack spaces was great. That saves space and power consumption.” Based on the success of Westfield Hawthorn Mall, Renaissance has already secured another mall renovation job, where Shares will again use Ashly processing and amplification to deliver excellent performance at a fiercely competitive price.

ABOUT ASHLY AUDIO Ashly Audio Inc. is recognized as a world leader in the design and manufacturing of high quality & high performance signal processing equipment and power amplification for use in the commercial sound contracting and professional audio markets. The 40-year old company is headquartered in Webster, New York U.S.A.

www.ashly.com

Sonnet Now Shipping Award-Winning New xMac Pro Server

New 4U Rackmount Enclosure Securely Houses the Latest Mac Pro, Connects Three PCIe Expansion Cards Via Thunderbolt 2, and Provides 5.25-Inch Mobile Rack Expansion

IRVINE, Calif. — July 29, 2014 – Sonnet is now shipping its new xMac(TM) Pro Server with a Thunderbolt(TM) 2-to-PCI Express(R) (PCIe(R)) expansion system and 4U rackmount enclosure for the latest generation of Mac Pro(R) computers. The xMac Pro Server securely mounts the computer horizontally inside a specially designed 4U modular enclosure, connects three PCIe 2.0 slots via Thunderbolt 2 technology, and provides space to install additional equipment in two 5.25-inch mobile rack bays. Unveiled at the 2014 NAB Show, the xMac Pro Server has already garnered industry awards.

“The xMac Pro Server builds on the success of our rack-mountable xMac mini Server and Echo Express III-R Thunderbolt 2-to-PCIe expansion products to provide much-needed expansion capabilities for the latest Mac Pro, which on its own lacks storage expansion and PCIe slots,” said Greg LaPorte, vice president of sales and marketing, Sonnet Technologies. “By supporting every Thunderbolt-compatible PCIe card available, the xMac Pro Server enables audio-video professionals to fully leverage their investment in the new Mac Pro and still use the high-performance PCIe cards they need.”

The xMac Pro Server’s PCIe card expansion module incorporates ultrafast 20 Gb/sec Thunderbolt 2 technology, providing sufficient throughput to support many of the highest-performing PCIe cards, including pro audio, Ethernet, and Fibre Channel, as well as SAS/SATA RAID controllers and video capture and editing cards. The expansion system supports up to three full-length PCIe cards with one x16 and two x8 PCIe slots. Along with an integrated 300-watt power supply, the system includes one auxiliary 75-watt PCIe power connector for cards that require supplementary power, such as the Avid Pro Tools | HDX or the RED ROCKET-X cards. Two remarkably quiet, temperature-controlled, variable-speed fans manage the airflow path according to the Apple operating guidelines for the Mac Pro, ensuring cool, reliable operation in noise-sensitive environments.

The xMac Pro Server’s Computer Mounting Module secures the Mac Pro in a protective steel cocoon covered inside with soft-touch padding, holding the Mac Pro firmly in place while protecting its mirror finish. The module extends the Mac Pro’s Gigabit Ethernet, USB 3.0, and HDMI interfaces to panel-mounted connectors on the back of the unit for easy external cable connection, while a USB 3.0 interface and power switch are mounted on the front to enable the user to conveniently connect a USB peripheral and activate the computer’s power switch. Because panel-mount connectors for Thunderbolt cables do not exist, the Computer Mounting Module provides cable management tie-downs for securing all Thunderbolt cables that are connected to the Mac Pro during installation. An included Thunderbolt cable connects the Mac Pro to one of the xMac Pro Server PCIe expansion system’s two Thunderbolt 2 ports, and an included lock secures the Thunderbolt cables in place when connected to the expansion system. These features make the xMac Pro Server ideal for use in both fixed and mobile applications.

The xMac Pro Server provides space for additional expansion equipment. With the optional Mobile Rack Device Mounting Kit (Basic Edition), users can install two 5.25-inch mobile rack devices of their choice in the outer enclosure and connect them easily to cards installed in the PCIe slots. Without taking up additional rack space, the kit supports a wide array of devices such as an internal LTO tape drive, four or eight swappable 2.5-inch SSDs, a Blu-ray burner, a Sonnet Qio(TM) MR pro universal media reader, or three swappable 3.5-inch hard disk drives. Sonnet also offers preconfigured Mobile Rack Device Mounting Kits that include the basic kit; one or two devices such as those mentioned above; a high-performance PCIe controller card to support the devices; and the necessary cables to connect them together. Users need only add their own hard drives, SSDs, or LTO tape drives to complete the package.

The xMac Pro Server (part number XMAC-PS) is now shipping at a suggested retail price of $1,499. The basic-edition Mobile Rack Device Mounting Kit (formerly named Echo(TM) Express III-R Mobile Rack Kit, part number EXP3FR-MRM) has a suggested retail price of $199 and is available now; preconfigured Mobile Rack Device Mounting Kits are also available now at retail prices ranging from $699 to $1,899. An extensive list of PCIe cards compatible with the xMac Pro Server is available on Sonnet’s website, with the list continually expanding as more cards are tested and certified. Like Sonnet’s Echo Express family of Thunderbolt 2-to-PCIe expansion systems, the xMac Pro Server was designed, engineered, and built by Sonnet in California.

More information on these products and Sonnet’s complete product family is available at www.sonnettech.com.

# # #

About Sonnet Technologies
Sonnet Technologies Inc. is a leading provider of Thunderbolt(TM) 2-to-PCIe(R) card expansion systems; pro media readers; RAID storage systems; and storage, network, and other interface cards for pro users in the audio, video, and broadcast industries. Sonnet’s Thunderbolt expansion products enable the use of pro audio I/O and DSP cards, pro video capture and transcoding cards, network and storage interface cards, and other high-performance PCIe cards with Thunderbolt technology-enabled computers. For nearly 30 years Sonnet has pioneered and brought to market innovative and award-winning products that enhance the performance and connectivity of Mac(R), Windows(R), and other industry-standard computers. More information is available at www.sonnettech.com.

All trademarks appearing herein are the property of their respective owners.

Link to Spanish translation: www.wallstcom.com/sonnet/140729SP.htm
Link to German translation: www.wallstcom.com/sonnet/140729GM.htm

Visit Sonnet at IBC2014, Stand 7.G02

Photo Link: www.wallstcom.com/sonnet/sonnet-xmacproserverwithmobilerackdevicemountingkit.jpg
Photo Caption: Sonnet Technologies’ xMac(TM) Pro Server PCIe(R) 2.0 expansion system/4U rackmount enclosure for new Mac Pro(R) with Thunderbolt(TM) 2 ports, shown with optional Mobile Rack Device Mounting Kit (Mac Pro computer not included).

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DANLEY LOUDSPEAKERS DELIVER AUDIO HORSEPOWER AT CHURCHILL DOWNS

LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY: Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky held the very first Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks horse races in 1875, the year it opened. The track acquired its now-iconic twin-spires grandstand in 1895 and subsequently added to it on either side in pieces during the last century, bringing the grandstand’s current capacity to 52,000. In anticipation of the 2014 Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs commenced installation of a 171-ft. by 90-ft. video screen, the largest 4k video board in the world. Because the facility’s low-fi sound reinforcement system had been designed ages ago for only spoken word reproduction, the new screen would require a serious sound system upgrade to realize its full potential and impact. Dallas-based Marsh/PMK International, LLC designed the new sound reinforcement systems for all of the outdoor areas including nearly sixty clusters in the grandstands comprised of Danley Sound Labs SH50, SM96 and SM60F loudspeakers as well as TH212 subwoofers.

Encompass Develop, Design & Construct oversaw the installation of both the new video board and the new sound systems and they hired Marsh/PMK. Dave Stearns and Tim Lindstrom worked with Marsh/PMK to execute the sound system project from conception to completion. “The timeline for such a large-scale project was incredibly short – only six-and-a-half months from start to finish,” said David Marsh, owner of Marsh/PMK. “We were selected as the consultant in early October and delivered the design to Encompass at the end of December with two addenda following in January. Siemens was awarded the installation contract at the beginning of February. They won the bid in part because they have an ongoing contract to operate and maintain the sound systems at Churchill Downs. As such, they were already familiar with the facility and all the relevant operational aspects. Minor installation work and punch list corrections were still going on after the opening of Churchill Downs’ spring meet on April 26. Final testing and adjustments followed to make the system fully ready for the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby race days on May 2nd and 3rd.”

“I’ve been listening to Danley systems at trade shows for years now,” said Marsh. “I like the company’s philosophy of building large horn systems instead of adding to the already flooded market of line arrays. We see line arrays used in many permanent installations where properly designed horn arrays would work better. People have the idea that line arrays are a panacea, the cure-all for every situation, because they can throw sound long distances and because the main sound lobe can be electronically shaped and steered. True, but there is another side to that story.” Marsh goes on to explain, “Constructive and destructive interference that makes line arrays work also causes noticeable variations in tonal quality. Interference also produces lobes of sound in unintended directions, including behind the array. Lastly, most line arrays have wide horizontal dispersion, the angle of which is usually fixed by the basic building block of the array. In such cases, it is not possible to vary the horizontal dispersion angle along the length of the array to optimally match the intended coverage area.”

Marsh said, “I’ve been looking for the right project for Danley. Churchill Downs became the one. Danley clusters positioned along the front edge of Level 300 serve the largest covered seating tier and all the trackside sections in front of the grandstand building from one end to the other. A tight vertical pattern with sharp cut-offs was critical in our long-throw situation. We had to throw sound all the way down to the edge of the track without ‘sizzling the hair’ of people seated below the clusters where Level 200 protrudes out from the building. The system performs as intended. I was also pleased by the performance of Danley’s TH-212 subwoofers. This is a tapped horn design that delivers an impressive amount of bass in a relatively small package.”

Our original design was based on a different loudspeaker manufacturer, but they couldn’t guarantee that their products would be delivered on time,” said Marsh. “Danley had slightly greater vertical coverage patterns in similar box sizes [to those of the other manufacturer], which allowed us to modify our design to use one less box per cluster. That would ultimately be a cost savings. Danley emphatically stated that the boxes would be delivered on time and that sealed the deal. They made good on their promise.”

Danley Sound Labs, Inc. President and CEO Mike Hedden commented, “One of the things we are very proud of is our U.S.-based manufacturing. From the time we got the order until it was shipped complete was four weeks; 250 fully weatherproofed loudspeakers in four weeks, that’s unheard of in this day of off shore production! During this time the south got hit by two severe snowstorms that wreaked havoc on the region. Even with raw goods being lost in logistics which delayed shipments, we still delivered the products in organized pallets so that each load represented a finished cluster on the job site in four weeks.”

Unlike a typical baseball or football stadium, the grandstand building at Churchill Downs has seating tiers that are stacked vertically, straight up and down. Moreover, various expansions have occurred over the years adding sections on either side of the historic “twin spires.” All of these sections have slightly different profiles. There are varying ceiling heights, seating depths and column spacing. It was a unique situation that required careful planning. Unfortunately, Churchill Downs did not have CAD drawings of the facility. In fact, PDF drawings provided to Marsh/PMK trickled in over a period of weeks and none of them were to scale. “This put the already tight design schedule in serious jeopardy.” Marsh said. “How were we going to get this project into EASE [for coverage modeling] and how were we going to produce usable CAD backgrounds?”

Tim Lindstrom worked with Melvin Saunders, another consultant working on the Marsh/PMK team, to meet the challenge. Tim used dimensions obtained during the initial site survey to create re-scaled PDFs. Melvin used Google Earth to confirm or correct the dimensions and then created a SketchUp model of the complicated grandstands. The SketchUp model was imported into EASE, which finally allowed Dave Stearns to get into the detailed loudspeaker system design. Tim subsequently set about creating the necessary CAD backgrounds. “I was very proud of our team’s resourcefulness.” Marsh declared.

Two basic cluster types alternate along the length of the grandstand, just under the front edge of the Level 300 ceiling. There are nearly sixty clusters in total. The first type of cluster includes a Danley SH50 long-throw box and a companion TH212 subwoofer. The SH50 covers the seating in front of the grandstand building all the way out to the edge of the track. The second type of cluster replaces those boxes with a Danley SM96 to provide near coverage in between the horizontal cut-off angles of the SH50s in the adjacent clusters. Both cluster types include a rear-firing full-range SM60F aimed toward the top of the Level 300 seating tier and a more-or-less down firing SM96 with its woofer removed.

Marsh/PMK expanded existing Q-Sys DSP and QSC amplification to power the system. Existing Renkus-Heinz and QSC loudspeakers were repurposed and added to as necessary to improve coverage on the “porches” in front of upper level suites and on Level 200 of the grandstand building. Renkus boxes were also used on the front edge of Level 200 to cover walkways in front of the building and the rear of Level 100 seating where the Danley coverage is shadowed by overhangs. Existing Community loudspeakers were repurposed and added as necessary on poles to cover seating that extends beyond the building as well as the track infield, the entry plaza and the paddock area. “Re-use of existing equipment where possible was a goal of our design, but Danley now provides the major audio horsepower for the grandstands at Churchill Downs,” said Marsh, claiming no pun intended.

ABOUT DANLEY SOUND LABS Danley Sound Labs is the exclusive home of Tom Danley, one of the most innovative loudspeaker designers in the industry today and recognized worldwide as a pioneer for “outside the box” thinking in professional audio technology.

www.danleysoundlabs.com

TRANSAUDIO GROUP TO DISTRIBUTE BETTERMAKER’S UNIQUE ANALOG EQUALIZERS WITH PLUG-IN REMOTE CONTROL

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA: TransAudio Group, U.S. distributor of high-end professional recording equipment, is pleased to partner with Bettermaker, the creator and manufacturer of the world’s first analog equalizers that can be controlled, automated, and recalled from a plug-in or Eprom. The Bettermaker’s flagship EQ232 possesses two (strictly analog) audio channels, each with a mastering-quality switchable high-pass filter, Pultec-style passive equalization, and clean parametric equalization. The modular 500-series EQ502P and EQ542 possess only the passive equalizers and only the parametric filters, respectively, and are also stereo.

Although its 100% handmade construction and stunning sound quality puts it in league with the very best boutique analog equipment on the market, Bettermaker’s unique niche is plug-in control (available in RTAS, 32-bit or 64-bit VST, and AU), which gives it all of the convenience of a digital plug-in, including automation and recall. The plug-in provides an A/B comparison feature, which goes beyond “bypass/in” to allow comparison of two separate equalizer settings. It’s also worth noting that engineers who aren’t using the plug-in can still store up to 399 presets for instant recall from the front panel via Eprom.

Marek Walaszek, an accomplished mix engineer, producer, and DJ based in Warsaw, Poland and the chief engineer and owner of Addicted to Music Studios, conceived, prototyped, and is now manufacturing the Bettermaker. “It started with the dream of a stereo Pultec that I could use on my stems or my master bus,” explained Walaszek. “Because I’m a mix engineer, I mostly work with other people’s session files. I recognize the convenience of recall – I can work on a mix, send it to the client, and then make requested changes weeks later. I wanted that same convenience in my outboard gear.” Walaszek got together with a friend and began prototyping his vision for a best-in-class analog equalizer that could gracefully accommodate the modern workflow.

After the usual false starts and an abundance of tinkering, the Bettermaker emerged and quickly found an eager audience. Grammy Award-winning engineers, such as Bob Katz, Jaycen Joshua, Dave Pensado, and Jimmy Douglass, as well as mastering engineers, such as Tim Boyce and Ludwig Maier, immediately put the Bettermaker in their “indispensible” racks and praised it loudly. The industry as a whole took notice as well: the Bettermaker earned a Resolution Award nomination in 2013 and won the Music Tech Excellence Award in 2012 and NAMM’s Best In Show award in 2013.

“As often happens with great inventions, it may seem obvious in hindsight,” said Brad Lunde, president of TransAudio Group. “There is, of course, tremendous value in great analog processing paired with plug-in control, automation, and recall. But I should also emphasize that the Bettermaker is not merely a gimmick. The Bettermaker’s sound quality would win converts and awards in its own right, and the plug-in functionality is well designed and robust. These two zero-compromise features come together in the Bettermaker to create something extraordinary. We at TransAudio Group were excited to learn that Marek is already cooking up new Bettermaker products that will pair analog audio circuitry with plug-in control!”

In addition to the three “stock” Bettermaker models (the EQ232P rack mount with all equalizer channels, the modular EQ502P Pultec section, and the modular EQ542 parametric section), Bettermaker offers two optional modifications of the flagship EQ232P. The first option converts its dual mono operation into M/S operation, a popular choice among mastering engineers. The second option forgoes the front panel controls entirely (at a cost savings) for users who plan to use plug-in control exclusively. These two options can also be combined.

ABOUT TRANSAUDIO GROUP TransAudio Group, founded by industry veteran Brad Lunde, has quickly become the premier U.S. importer/distributor and/or U.S. sales and marketing representative for high-end audio. Success hinges on TransAudio providing dealers and end users with a higher standard of product expertise and support far beyond the norm.www.transaudiogroup.com

The Bettermaker products are now shipping.
MSPRs: EQ502P: $1,775.00 • EQ542: $1,775.00 • EQ232P: $6,100.00

UK MIX ENGINEER MICHALIS “MsM” MICHAEL OPTS FOR METRIC HALO PLUG-INS FOR QUICK, GREAT-SOUNDING ITB PROCESSING

LONDON, ENGLAND: Michalis “MsM” Michael is a UK-based mix engineer with a growing and eclectic list of credits that includes several Top-20 singles, a number-one single, notable work on Diddy’s Last Train to Paris and going on to assist the chief engineer of the Grammy Award-winning J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League. His work while assisting necessitated travel, which motivated Michael to shift his workflow from reliance on hardware processing. These days, he mixes almost entirely in the box (ITB) and relies on Metric Halo plug-ins to deliver sonically-solid sounds with zero hassle. His recent work on Tom Prior’s Bad Advice EP to be released later this summer, which was produced in part by former Arctic Monkeys bassist Andy Nicholson, exemplifies Michael’s new workflow.

Born into a family of professional guitar and bouzouki players, Michael was immersed in music from an early age. “My dad taught me to play guitar, but I was always more fascinated with the amp and the guitar effects than with the instrument itself,” he said. “That led to early experiments with DJ’ing (bedroom DJ’ing as I was only 14!) that got me deeper into technology. Then a friend of a friend told me he was selling a Soundcraft 32-channel mixer, and I was so impressed by how it looked that I gave him my bike for it. I didn’t really know what I was going to do with it, but curiosity eventually led to me recording.” Michael built himself a good reputation for engineering that organically morphed into a mixing career. “Once I started mixing, I just never really stopped.”

That Soundcraft 32-channel mixer grew, so to speak, into a full-fledged studio that, until a few years ago, was loaded with sought-after hardware. “Once I started working for Edward Nixon, the chief engineer of the J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, I was assisting rather than running a studio and slowly I saw a more efficient way of mixing and found I simply didn’t need most of my hardware,” Michael said. “That stuff was more about indulgence. So I literally sold it all and mix mainly ITB now. I’m slowly adding some bits of gear that I LOVE, but I almost had to strip it back to the basic fundamentals and learn to use just my ears. That was a great lesson for me. Any hardware I use is an ‘extra’ now. I rely on good plug-ins.”

However, in an industry awash in plug-ins, few qualify as “good.” “I like plug-ins that let me get on with work without thinking about the details too much,” he said. “Mixing is about instinct, and if there’s something that stands in the way and slows me down, I don’t want to know about it. I like to hear good sounds and I like to hear them fast. I get that from Metric Halo plug-ins: simple layouts and quick results. In the hardware world, if a compressor was too fiddly or not doing what I wanted, I’d quickly move on until I found one that worked. Then I’d rely on it and it would become a staple of my workflow. That dynamic is accelerated in the plug-in world because it’s much quicker to just change a plug-in than it is to re-patch hardware. That makes instant gratification with plug-ins very important. Metric Halo plug-ins sound great right away and it’s easy to dial in the right parameters.”

Michael heard a lot of buzz about Metric Halo’s flagship ChannelStrip plug-in, which combines multi-band parametric equalization with flexibly-keyed dynamics processing. “There’s a lot to be said about ChannelStrip, and that’s why it’s been a go-to for over a decade,” he said. “I expected great things – and I wasn’t disappointed, but I was surprised by how great the gate works. I’ve struggled to find a gate that works well on poorly recorded drums, which I have to deal with from time to time. ChannelStrip’s gate works faster than anything I’ve tried before with no compromise in sound quality.”

Michael’s other Metric Halo plug-in favorites are Character, Precision DeEsser, and TransientControl. “Character is great,” he said. “I just throw it on a dull source and drive it – simple. There are plenty of ‘characters’ to choose from and it works without affecting the gain, which is always a mind game. The Precision DeEsser lets me de-ess precisely – how ironic! It’s my go-to. I’ve tried lots of de-essers; some are simple and fast but affect the sound too much. Others sound good but take too much time to set up properly. Precision DeEsser strikes the right balance. TransientControl helped me out on Tom Prior’s EP. There were a few synth bass lines that were a bit too ‘stabby.’ I needed more sustain without losing the impression that they were supposed to be ‘stabby.’ TransientControl worked perfectly.”

“It’s easy for audio professionals to get into the techy details of sound, and that’s fine. But I always try to remind myself that the majority of the world doesn’t care HOW the record was made – they just want to enjoy music. Remembering that music is about emotion and not technical details is an invaluable perspective when mixing,” he concluded.

ABOUT METRIC HALO Now based in the sunny city of Safety Harbor, Florida, Metric Halo provides the world with high-resolution metering, analysis, recording and processing solutions with award-winning software and future-proof hardware.

www.mhlabs.com

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT MICHALIS MICHAEL
www.msmengineer.com
www.zman.co.uk/clients/michalis-’msm’-michael.aspx

Symetrix Appoints Millar Electronics as Rep in Southeast U.S.

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON: Symetrix, manufacturer of a wide range of DSP solutions for the installed sound market, from turnkey Jupiter processors to Dante-based, open architecture Radius and Edge processors, announces the appointment of North Carolina-based Millar Electronics as its rep in the Southeast. Millar Electronics will cover North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi, where it has a deep history and a well-established network of connections. Millar Electronics was founded ninety years ago – in 1924 – as a components company selling capacitors, resistors, and the like. Over the decades, it grew with the times to become an audio/video manufacturers rep firm.

“Millar Electronics has built its success on relationships,” said Craig Richardson, vice president of global sales with Symetrix. “When I talk with people who do business with Millar Electronics, they always relate the trust they have in the salesmen they work with. Those salesmen are always out in their territories, talking with their clients, and keeping on top of what’s going on. They help their clients make the right choices for success now and in the long run.”

“We’re excited to work with Symetrix,” said Pete Petty, sales manager with Millar Electronics. “Symetrix builds cutting-edge DSP solutions, and its Edge and Radius products use Dante as a networking platform. Of course, Dante is becoming a big part of the industry, and Symetrix’ native Dante capacity will work hand-in-hand with a lot of the other equipment we represent and provide our clients with a complete solution. Moreover, great people work to make Symetrix what it is, and, having personally worked with them before, I know they’ll make it easy for us to go out and do our job. We’re looking forward to delivering a substantive increase in Symetrix’ market share in our territories.”

ABOUT SYMETRIX Symetrix is dedicated to making life sound better. As a world leader in the development and manufacturing of digital audio signal processing (DSP) systems and accessories, Symetrix provides best in class audio management solutions to businesses, schools, non-profits and government organizations.

For more information on Symetrix products visit www.symetrix.co

COLUMBIA PERFORMING ARTS CENTRE DANCING TO ASHLY’S NX-SERIES AMPS

COLUMBIA, MISSOURI: The Columbia Performing Arts Centre in Columbia, Missouri is a private, not-for-profit dance school for children founded in 1998, and its students range in age from toddlers through college age. The school recently completed a major addition including four new studios. The addition replaced the nearby, but separate, studio annex allowing them to have all eight studios under one roof creating a safer environment for the students. Local A/V integration firm Sound Concepts Inc. was hired to design and install high-fidelity sound systems, both for the new studios and to preemptively replace the older components in the existing studios. Sound Concepts Inc. delivered an impactful, energy-efficient sound system centered on the Ashly nXp8002 two-channel Network Amplifier rated at 800W per channel with a built-in Protea™ DSP Processor. All nX Series amplifiers can be programmed to trigger a defeatable sleep mode where the amp draws less than 1 Watt of AC power.

“The Columbia Performing Arts Centre is always brimming with energy and activity, and high-quality sound reproduction is an important component in its success,” said Chris Howe, manager at Sound Concepts Inc. “In addition to supplying the new studios with great, easy-to-operate sound systems, the center’s directors wanted us to harmonize functionality and quality in the existing studios as well. That way, instructors trained in one studio will be able to use any other studio without a hiccup.” Howe completed the installation in stages, beginning with the new rooms and progressing to the existing rooms as class schedule logistics permitted.

As requested, each studio is nearly identical. Each features a Denon DM700C CD player for a primary music source. Howe used its digital output with the Ashly nXp’s optional digital input card. In addition, he gave each system a 1/8-inch iPod-style jack and connected it to the nXp’s analog input. “If an instructor wants to use the CD player, they just use it and it works,” he said. “If they want to connect their digital music source from a player, phone, or computer, they just turn the Denon player off, and the nXp automatically fails over to the analog input. It’s really simple and removes a layer of equipment that we (and they) would have had to deal with.” He used the nXp’s back-panel volume control option to wire a 10k potentiometer for a simple volume control. Depending on the room, the nXp powers either four 8ohm Renkus-Heinz TRX182s or two 8ohm Renkus-Heinz TRX151s. Each room gets the full benefit and liveliness of stereo sound.

“There were a lot of good reasons to go with the Ashly nXp combined amplifiers/processors,” said Howe. “Of course the built-in DSP is one of the first features that drew us to the nXp line, we needed smooth compression and limiting to protect the system as well as a good EQ to fine tune the speaker response to each space. The fail-over functionality was huge, as was the unit’s super low power consumption at idle. That kind of intelligent power management is great in a situation like this! The fact that they’re American made with a huge five-year warranty is excellent. And of course, the sound quality and reliability is tremendous. When we got the first nXp8002 in, we A/B’d it with an amp from our rental stock in the adjacent room. That rental amp’s got a good name and a good reputation. Everything else about the two rooms was exactly alike – same size, same speakers, same everything. I assumed I wouldn’t be able to hear a difference, or if I did hear a difference, I’d have to strain to hear it. I was surprised that the Ashly nXp8002 was obviously better. It was the kind of difference you just hear, no straining needed.”

ABOUT ASHLY AUDIO Ashly Audio Inc. is recognized as a world leader in the design and manufacturing of high quality & high performance signal processing equipment and power amplification for use in the commercial sound contracting and professional audio markets. The 40-year old company is headquartered in Webster, New York U.S.A.

www.ashly.com

DANLEY EXPANDS LINE OF OS “OUTDOOR SERIES” FULLY-WEATHERIZED LOUDSPEAKERS

GAINESVILLE, GEORGIA: Danley Sound Labs, maker of innovative loudspeakers and subwoofers, announces the expansion of its OS “Outdoor Series” of fully-weatherized loudspeakers, including a new fully-weatherized subwoofer. Although all Danley products are optionally available with level-2 weatherization, which includes fiberglass seams, stainless steel hardware, and protective coatings over all wooden components, the fact remains that those wooden components will have a shorter life span in the elements than they would have had in an indoor installation. In contrast, Danley OS products are constructed of molded plastic with a custom injection molded shell rated to last fifty-years. The cabinet is sealed so the inner components are also protected from harsh outdoor elements. The materials are sourced from within a half-hour of Danley’s Gainesville, Georgia headquarters – a boon for large orders and/or short lead times.

“Like all of our Synergy Horn loudspeakers, the Danley OS-80 sounds fantastic,” said Mike Hedden, president of Danley Sound Labs. “Fidelity is excellent and distortion is remarkably low at all SPLs, and the OS-80 has the same highly-articulated coverage pattern and arrayability for which Danley is known. What sets the OS-80 apart is that its construction and materials make it impervious to the weather, for years and decades to come. Our local sources and molding machinery make it easy for us to turn over large Outdoor Series orders on short notice. Moreover, the molding process itself is very efficient, which allows us to sell the OS products at fiercely competitive prices.”

Soon, the OS-80′s versatile 80-degree conical coverage pattern will be joined by other OS models with a diversity of coverage patterns that will give designers greater flexibility to meet the needs of a range of outdoor situations. These will include the OS-90 and OS-100. In addition, the new Danley OS-115LF subwoofer will extend the bottom end of the OS line and the OS Nano will be the power of Danley in the palm of your hand.

ABOUT DANLEY SOUND LABS Danley Sound Labs is the exclusive home of Tom Danley, one of the most innovative loudspeaker designers in the industry today and recognized worldwide as a pioneer for “outside the box” thinking in professional audio technology.

www.danleysoundlabs.com

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