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Rogue Element Embraces an Open Source Philosophy

Dan Mulligan

Rogue Element has become one of the first digital cinematography companies in the UK to adopt an Open Source policy for its rental division by providing Open Source Digital Camera Solutions.

In a move designed to unleash and encourage creativity, the Soho-based company is ensuring that 4K cinema is fully open to everyone by making AXIOM Beta Open Digital Cinema Cameras available to its rental customers.

AXIOM Beta cameras are the first products to be developed by apertus°, an Open Source cinema organisation founded by film makers and financed through crowd funding. The people behind apertus° were galvanised into action when they became concerned with the expensive and limited tools they were forced to work with every day. Instead, they wanted access to affordable devices and technology that delivered the highest possible image quality and could be customised to exactly suit their needs.

Since its formation in 2007, the apertus° project has applied an Open Source philosophy to everything it has developed. As no patents have been filed, anyone can access the technology behind its cameras and people are actively encouraged to adapt, modify, repair and even replicate them. To date, reaction has been very positive. Not only has the company achieved – and exceeded – its initial crowd funding target but it also has the backing of some very important film makers and cinematographers.

ASC and AIC Cinematographer Roberto Schaefer, who was responsible for films such as Quantum of Solace, Finding Neverland and Stranger Than Fiction, says: “I believe than an Open Source camera will allow us to customize the digital camera to our personal liking. That should include ergonomics and hopefully give the ability to get rid of the shoebox, front heavy trend of current designs. I look forward to using custom elements to create the new Digital Aaton, even though they are no longer in business. The design possibilities that I’ve seen from the apertus° project are exciting, as are the image creation possibilities. Not being locked in to any one company’s idea of what the images should look like is a breath of fresh (film) air. Currently in order to switch film stocks we have to change camera systems. The AXIOM will hopefully change all of that and allow us to change stocks with a physical switch.”

His views are shared by Emmy and Academy Award-winning DOP and Visual Effects Supervisor David Stump, who says: “The spirit of Open Source frees up the creative spirit to do something that no one else thought of,” while IMAX cinematographer Lee Ford Parker adds: “Open Source cameras are a step back toward the dark room, in which making the tools is part of the joy of making the art.”

The AXIOM Beta camera has just been released and is currently only available at cost to the community that backed the initial crowd funding campaign. Rogue Element was one of those backers and Managing Director Dan Mulligan says: “Open Source is a fantastic concept and we are delighted to be supporting apertus° by making this format available to the UK rental market. In taking on the Open Source philosophy, we hope to facilitate unfettered access to the technology and free up the creative spirit so that the cinema industry can engage in practices that encourage freedom of expression and is no longer limited by who can contribute.”

Established by Mulligan in 2001 firstly with camera rentals, Rogue Element then pioneered tapeless and file-based digital workflows and onset correction with 3D LUTs, S.two & Codex data recorders and Filmlight colour timing suites until 2011.
Now starting an Open Source operation for 2014 onwards Rogue will offer new camera solutions and options for the Broadcast & Features markets.

Rogue Element can also provide dailies and workflows for Arriraw (Alexa 16:9/4:3 sensors) RED RAW (RED Epic & Dragon 6K),Sony S-Log3 (Sony F65), Canon RAW (Canon C100/300/500), Cinema DNG (Blackmagic), GoPro and many other of today’s professional and niche camera systems. With this new operation for 2014 we want to pursue new avenues for the market.

Dan Mulligan, who has recently returned to Rogue Element after a three year stint at Technicolor, says: “The Arriraw format is now well established and there are a raft of high-end products catering for this market. We are still providing our customers with access to these workflows as they continue to develop, but thanks to our investment in the apertus° project we can now bring a very high quality Open Source 4K camera to the market at a much lower entry cost.”

Mulligan adds that for many film makers, cost can be an ongoing issue and the price of using high end equipment does bar many talented people from entering the market.

“This is why it is good to see the appearance of an Open Source camera system that has a much lower entry point,” he says. “The ability to create your own 4K camera and your own workflow is hugely beneficial for the film and broadcast industry because it will encourage content creation and allow people to get involved at much less cost.”

Rogue Element is not initially consider charging for the rental of its AXIOM Beta cameras. Instead, it will make its income through consultancy and through supplying additional new sensors, lenses, tripods etc., and add on services such as storage and workflow.

“We want people to try them so we are making them as easily available as possible,” Mulligan says. “With the Axiom Open Source we now have a camera solution coming from an opposing end of the release spectrum with a differing approach to its target audience. There should be more than enough room for both this and the higher end systems.”

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About Rogue Element:
Rogue Element provides digital cinematography filming services plus data and dailies, to the Film and Broadcast industries. A pioneer in tapeless and file-based digital workflows and on-set colour correction, the company’s growing rental division also supplies and supports a wide range of professional Digital Cameras including RAW camera systems and workflows, apertus° AXIOM Beta Open Source cameras and new solutions for RAW workflows.
www.rogueelementdigital.com

Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) IBC2014 Wrap-Up

SMPTE News from IBC2014 more

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Matrox to Feature Multi-channel SDI Card for 4K and Live Streaming and Recording Products at Inter BEE 2014

X.mio3 OEM card, VS4Recorder Pro multi-camera recording app and Monarch HD streaming/recording appliance to be showcased

At Inter BEE 2014 (Chiba City, Japan, Nov. 19-21, Hall 6, Booth 6302), Matrox® Video and local distributor Japan Material will feature the X.mio3 family of high-performance, multi-channel SDI cards for developers, the new VS4Recorder Pro™ multi-camera recording and multiviewer app and the popular Matrox Monarch™ HD video streaming and recording appliance.

Also on display will be the Matrox Mojito™ 4K video monitoring card, the Matrox MicroQuad™ multiviewer, the Matrox Convert™ DVI Plus scan converter, the Matrox MXO2™ family of editing devices and the Matrox MC-100™ SDI to HDMI mini converter.

Matrox X.mio3 PCIe cards offer developers up to 12 reconfigurable I/Os, from SD to 4K, along with support for AES/EBU, LTC and GPIO. Multi-channel hardware processing accelerates compute-intensive operations including motion-adaptive de-interlacing, up/down/cross scaling and mixing/compositing for all resolutions including 4K. The cards provide the ideal hardware platform for OEMs who need to create advanced yet compact channel-in-a-box systems, video servers, broadcast graphics systems, encoders, transcoders, multiviewers, switchers and other digital media equipment. Comprehensive development tools in the Matrox DSX SDKs for Windows® or Linux® include versatile file reading/writing, memory management, streaming synchronization, and a large selection of effects and software codecs including ProRes encode/decode and XAVC decode in UHD. A prototyping tool provides a graphical representation of all hardware components so developers can simulate and test their use cases within minutes, before writing a single line of code. From a single development effort, broadcast equipment manufacturers can create a variety of products at a full range of price/performance levels.
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Designed for use with Matrox VS4™ quad HD capture cards, each VS4Recorder Pro system frame-accurately captures up to four video and audio inputs to create files for use with popular editing apps from Adobe, Apple and Avid and for archiving. H.264 is provided in either MOV or MP4 wrappers. AVI files can be created using the high-quality Matrox MPEG 2 I-Frame codec. MOV QuickTime files can be created using DV, DVCPRO, DVCPRO50 and DVCPRO HD. VS4Recorder Pro also functions as a multiviewer, offering pristine video quality even when monitoring interlaced sources on progressive computer monitors. VS4-based systems are also ideal for multi-camera live production streaming with Telestream® Wirecast® for Windows® or StudioCoast vMix software.
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Matrox Monarch HD is a small, easy-to-use H.264 encoder designed for professional video producers who need to simultaneously stream a live event and record a mastering-quality version for post-event editing. From any HDMI input source such as a camera or switcher, Matrox Monarch HD generates an H.264-encoded stream compliant with RTSP or RTMP protocol. While encoding the video at bitrates suitable for live streaming, Matrox Monarch HD simultaneously records a high-quality MP4 or MOV file to an SD card, a USB drive, or a network-mapped drive. The Monarch SDK, an HTTP-based API, includes documentation and sample code that let AV and broadcast equipment developers write applications to configure and control Monarch HD streaming capabilities, giving them a very straightforward way to include a high-quality webcasting service as part of their overall product offerings. Monarch HD can also be integrated with a Crestron® controller, which allows operators to easily start and stop streaming and recording from within the familiar Crestron interface.
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About Matrox Video
Matrox Video is a technology and market leader in the field of 4K, HD and SD digital video hardware and software for accelerated H.264 encoding, realtime editing, audio/video input/output, streaming, A/V signal conversion, capture/playout servers, channel-in-a-box systems and CGs. Matrox’s Emmy award-winning technology powers a full range of multi-screen content creation and delivery platforms used by broadcasters, telcos, cable operators, post-production facilities, live event producers, videographers and A/V professionals worldwide. Founded in 1976, Matrox is a privately held company headquartered in Montreal, Canada. For more information, visit www.matrox.com/video.

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Matrox at Content & Communications World, Streaming Media West and Government Video Expo — Product Preview

VS4Recorder Pro multi-camera recording app and Matrox Monarch HD video streaming and recording appliance to be featured

At three upcoming tradeshows, Matrox® Video will feature the new VS4Recorder Pro™ multi-camera recording and multiviewer app and the popular Matrox Monarch™ HD video streaming and recording appliance.

Designed for use with Matrox VS4™ quad HD capture cards, each VS4Recorder Pro system frame-accurately captures up to four video and audio inputs to create files for use with popular editing apps from Adobe, Apple and Avid and for archiving. H.264 is provided in either MOV or MP4 wrappers. AVI files can be created using the high-quality Matrox MPEG 2 I-Frame codec. MOV QuickTime files can be created using DV, DVCPRO, DVCPRO50 and DVCPRO HD. VS4Recorder Pro also functions as a multiviewer, offering pristine video quality even when monitoring interlaced sources on progressive computer monitors. VS4-based systems are also ideal for multi-camera live production streaming with Telestream® Wirecast® for Windows® or StudioCoast vMix software.

Matrox_VS4Recorder_Pro_180pix

Matrox Monarch HD is a small, easy-to-use H.264 encoder designed for professional video producers who need to simultaneously stream a live event and record a mastering-quality version for post-event editing. From any HDMI input source such as a camera or switcher, Matrox Monarch HD generates an H.264-encoded stream compliant with RTSP or RTMP protocol. While encoding the video at bitrates suitable for live streaming, Matrox Monarch HD simultaneously records a high-quality MP4 or MOV file to an SD card, a USB drive, or a network-mapped drive. The Monarch SDK, an HTTP-based API, includes documentation and sample code that let AV and broadcast equipment developers write applications to configure and control Monarch HD streaming capabilities, giving them a very straightforward way to include a high-quality webcasting service as part of their overall product offerings. Monarch HD can also be integrated with a Crestron® controller, which allows operators to easily start and stop streaming and recording from within the familiar Crestron interface.

Matrox_Monarch_HD_angled_180x92

See the products in action at Content & Communications World (New York City, Nov. 12–13, booth 1163), Streaming Media West (Huntington Beach, Nov. 18–19, booth 216) and Government Video Expo (Washington DC, Dec. 3–4, booth 434).

At Government Video Expo, Matrox will also present a deep-dive technology session with interactive Q&A on the topic “Anything Worth Streaming is Worth Recording”, Wednesday, Dec. 3 at 2 pm in the presentation theater at the back of the exhibit hall. All GVE attendees are welcome.

About Matrox Video
Matrox Video is a technology and market leader in the field of 4K, HD and SD digital video hardware and software for accelerated H.264 encoding, realtime editing, audio/video input/output, streaming, A/V signal conversion, capture/playout servers, channel-in-a-box systems and CGs. Matrox’s Emmy award-winning technology powers a full range of multi-screen content creation and delivery platforms used by broadcasters, telcos, cable operators, post-production facilities, live event producers, videographers and A/V professionals worldwide. Founded in 1976, Matrox is a privately held company headquartered in Montreal, Canada. For more information, visit www.matrox.com/video.

HPA Announces Power-Packed Line Up for SMPTE 2014 Symposium, “Making Do With More”

SMPTE 2014 Pre-Conference Event Explores the Impact of Image and Sound Advancements for Content Creators
HPA_Logo2
(Los Angeles, CA/White Plains, NY) – The Hollywood Post Alliance(r) will for the first time, host the SMPTE(r) Symposium, “Making Do With More,” in advance of the SMPTE 2014 Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition. The day-long event is set for Monday, October 20, 2014, at Hollywood’s historic El Capitan Theatre. The event brings together top technology experts and leading filmmakers to explore the impact of enriched image and sound technologies for today’s content creators.

As the changing techniques and workflows in production and post meet an equally evolving environment in distribution and audience options, the HPA plays an invaluable role in helping to make sense of an increasingly complex and evolving content ecosystem. The SMPTE 2014 Symposium will include creative sessions with renowned filmmakers, cinematographers, visual effects artists, sound specialists, and colorists providing an in-depth discussion on the challenges they face and the expansive opportunities now open to them with new tools to support their vision.

Leon Silverman, President of the HPA, noted, “The Symposium is HPA’s ‘coming out party’ for our partnership with SMPTE and in typical HPA fashion, we hope to provide a forum for these important industry discussions. Technology, filmmaker options and consumer choices are driving us to learn how the Hollywood professional community can better understand how to evolve our current workflows to meet the demands and characteristics of next generation content and delivery platforms. These sessions demonstrate the value of HPA working together with SMPTE to create a powerful forum to drive greater awareness, industry knowledge and understanding.

The SMPTE 2014 Symposium lineup includes:

“How Come You Always Want More” – Leon Silverman, HPA President
An inquisitive look at the burning questions facing the entertainment community: What is happening? What is driving it? What role does consumer electronics play? What part do content creators play, and where do filmmakers fit in?
“So Tell Me More About More” – Mark Schubin, The Schubin Café

An insightful overview of the technical considerations required to get a clear understanding of topics including resolution, contrast, color, frame rate, screen brightness and immersive sound.

“What We Want to Do With More” – Creative Session
Participants to include: Carolyn Giardina, The Hollywood Reporter; Chris deFaria, Executive Vice President, Warner Bros.; Laura Jans-Fazio, Senior Colorist; Joe Kosinski, Director (Oblivion and Tron: Legacy); Steven Poster, ASC, President ICG; Steven J. Scott, Senior Colorist.

A real world discussion about what is missing from today’s workflow and what content creators need from the HPA/SMPTE community. Filmmakers, along with leading industry executives and artists, share their views on new tools, techniques, and what still might be missing.

“Filmmakers Preview: Emma” – Creative Session
Participants to include: Howard Lukk, Director; Daryn Okada, ASC
An exclusive preview of one of the first films made with enhanced dynamic range, color, and resolution in mind. The film’s director, Howard Lukk, and cinematographer, Daryn Okada, bring a unique perspective to discussion of this groundbreaking project.

“Listen Up – Immersive Sound” – Creative Session
Participants to include: Moderator, Sara Duran-Singer, Post Executive/ Supervisor Dennis Baxter, Sound Designer; David E. Fluhr, Re-Recording Mixer, Disney Digital Studio Services; Hanne Stenzel, Sound Engineer and Tonmeister, Fraunhofer IIS; Ben Wilkins, Supervising Sound Editor, Technicolor.

Active sound professionals discuss the creative options available to them today and the challenges associated with the proliferation of audio deliverables. With the need for elements in 2.0, 5.1, 7.1, Atmos, Auro and IMAX for both the theater and the home, sound design and mixing need to take a creative approach to accommodate modern realities.

“Bringing It HOME – the Future of MORE Delivery” – Creative Session
Participants to include: Jerry Pierce Technologist, Mitch Singer President, DECE Ultraviolet and Pete Putman, President, ROAM Consulting

What does the future of home entertainment look like? The panel will discuss Blu-ray, Cable, OTT, OTA, and more in an insightful look at how the next generation consumer experience will be delivered.

The SMPTE 2014 Symposium is among the first joint efforts by SMPTE and HPA as they move forward with plans for full organizational consolidation by May 2015. In addition to an illuminating day of panels and presentations, the SMPTE 2014 Symposium will provide an opportunity for networking with representatives from leading companies while exploring the latest technologies. Technology demos and experts will be hand during the Symposium. Session breaks will also facilitate networking and further engagement with speakers and other industry experts.

For tickets or further information on the SMPTE 2014 Symposium, please visit www.smpte.org/smpte2014/symposium.

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About The SMPTE 2014 Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition
Taking place October 20-23, 2014, at the Lowe’s Hollywood at Hollywood & Highland, SMPTE 2014 is the premier annual event for motion-imaging and media technology, production, operations, and the allied arts and sciences. Beyond the SMPTE 2014 Symposium, other highlight events of the week include the SMPTE 2014 Honors and Awards Ceremony on the evening of Oct. 23. A detailed event schedule for SMPTE 2014 is available online at www.smpte2014.org.

About the Hollywood Post Alliance(r)
Hollywood Post Alliance (HPA) serves the professional community of businesses and individuals who provide expertise, support, tools and the infrastructure for the creation and finishing of motion pictures, television, commercials, digital media and other dynamic media content. Through their partnership with the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers(r) (SMPTE(r)), the leader in the advancement of the art, science and craft of the image, sound, and metadata ecosystem, the HPA continues to extend its support of the community it represents. Information about the HPA is available at ww.hpaonline.com.

About the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers(r) (SMPTE(r)
The Oscar(r) and Emmy(r) Award-winning Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers(r) (SMPTE(r)), a professional membership association, is the preeminent leader in the advancement of the art, science, and craft of the image, sound, and metadata ecosystem, worldwide. An internationally recognized and accredited organization, SMPTE advances moving-imagery education and engineering across the communications, technology, media, and entertainment industries. Since its founding in 1916, SMPTE has published the SMPTE Motion Imaging Journal and developed more than 800 standards, recommended practices, and engineering guidelines.

The Society is sustained by more than 6,000 members – motion-imaging executives, engineers, creative and technology professionals, researchers, scientists, educators, and students – who meet in Sections throughout the world. Through the Society’s partnership with the Hollywood Post Alliance (HPA), this membership is complemented by the professional community of businesses and individuals who provide expertise, support, tools, and the infrastructure for the creation and finishing of motion pictures, television, commercials, digital media, and other dynamic media content. Information on joining SMPTE is available at www.smpte.org/join.

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Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Recorded with DPA Microphones

Simon Hayes 2

Oscar-winning production sound mixer Simon Hayes relied on DPA lavalier mics to record Marvel’s film adaptation of Guardians of the Galaxy, directed by James Gunn.

Hayes, who first used DPA microphones as Production Sound Mixer for the film adaptation of Mamma Mia in 2008, has turned to DPA d:screet™ 4061 and 4071 miniature mics on every film he’s worked on since then. Recently these have included Les Miserables (for which Hayes picked up the Oscar and BAFTA for Best Sound Mixing) and upcoming releases Tarzan, directed by David Yates and Kingsman: The Secret Service, directed by Matthew Vaughan.

Hayes chose DPA miniatures for Guardians of the Galaxy so that he could capture original dialogue, right at the point of shooting. Given that Director James Gunn’s vision for the film was to preserve the authenticity and emotion of the actors’ performances, he felt this was the best way to serve the film and its creative team.

“It was clear from the first meeting with James Gunn that he wanted to capture original performances, which of course isn’t always easy when you’re talking about large budget special effects and action-driven visual effects type movies,” Hayes says.

“We knew that we were going to be shooting three or four cameras at all times so the DPAs took precedence over the booms on a lot of scenes. This meant that, in the final mix, at least 75% of the dialogue that made its way into the movie was recorded on DPA [d:screet] 4071s and DPA [d:screet] 4061s.”

Leading man Chris Pratt was fitted with the DPA d:screet 4061 omnidirectional mic. “We felt that the 4061 added a little something extra in the bass region for his voice, which was quite exciting,” Hayes continues. “All of the other characters used 4071s on their chest rigs and if we were rigging microphones in their hair or in their helmets, we used 4061s to increase the bass.”

As the title suggests, the sets for Guardians of the Galaxy were not going to be small. Finding regular-sized Sound Stages a little small, set designer Charlie Woods had sets housed in old Ministry of Defence buildings to allow enough space. This provided Hayes with a few hurdles to overcome sound-wise.

“That kind of environment isn’t as easy to record sound in as a sound stage, so I had a lot of background noise and a lot of reverb to contend with,” he says. “Again, the DPA mics excelled at rejecting that reverb and just capturing dry, up-front vocals for me.”

One of the things that really sets Guardians of the Galaxy apart from its kin in the superhero film genre is its esoteric 70′s soundtrack, which was integral to the way the sound was mixed. Hayes explains why this was a huge consideration when recording:

“Mixed in with the huge space sound-effects that the sound design team built for us, we really wanted close-up dry dialogue so that we could push the music and the effects harder, and that’s what the DPA mics helped us to do,” says Hayes, who collaborated closely with Alexandra Byrne (costume designer) and Dan Grace (costume supervisor) to design the mic placements used within the actors’ costumes.

“We had some really interesting rigs. For instance, Lee Pace, who plays Ronan, was wearing a helmet for his whole performance and we actually placed two 4061 mics into the helmet because the microphones were creating a tiny bulge. We wanted to have the bulge uniform, so we put one above each eyebrow, which not only gave a uniform look to the helmet, but it also gave us the opportunity to have two tracks running on Lee Pace’s dialogue.”

Ronan has a particularly dynamic part in the film, as Hayes continues: “This placement allowed Lee Pace more creativity in the way that he was playing Ronan and I was able to assure him that because we had the two 4061 mics on him, he could literally go from a whisper to a shout without us having any trouble whatsoever.”

Dave Bautiste, whose character Drax the Destroyer goes through the whole film topless, presented another challenge altogether, which meant finding an ingenious solution.

“We collaborated with the Special Makeup FX department and were able to have a [d:screet] 4071 basically rigged into the special makeup effects, which was applied to his upper body so it became part of a scar in the middle of his solar plexus,” Hayes says. “This meant that even though we had a topless man through the whole movie, in every single scene we were able to have a perfectly placed 4071. DPA’s are so reliable that you can have it buried under makeup and you know that it’s going to work all day, you’re not going to have any problems from them.”

With a run of over 18 films on which he’s used DPA microphones, Hayes concludes, “In the marketplace today there aren’t any lavalier mics that sound as natural and as transparent as DPAs. I feel that when I’m using a DPA microphone, I’m hearing actors through their performance rather than the microphone factoring it.”

After the box-office success of Guardians of the Galaxy, a sequel has already been announced, due for release in 2017.

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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

Fairlight Delivers the Gift of Great Sound at Sky Vision Sound Studios

Robert Thompson Sky Vision

London-based Sky Vision Sound Studios, part of the BSkyB/Sky Vision family, has recently completed a major upgrade of its Fairlight equipment to bring it in line with BSkyB’s UK broadcasting facilities in Osterley. The three-studio complex, two mix rooms and a prep room, has upgraded its Fairlight Constellation console with a Fairlight EVO, six of which are already in use at BskyB. It has also upgraded its XYNERGI system by installing the latest software version – a move that is already improving workflow.

Sky Vision’s Audio Supervisor and Senior Dubbing Mixer Robert Thompson says: “Although we have handled work for external clients such as SKY, the BBC, Universal and Channel 5, the majority of our work comes from Sky Vision. As work often moves between BskyB’s sound studios and ours, it made sense for us to have identical equipment. The dubbing mixers at BSkyB were obviously very happy with their Fairlight EVO’s and this, combined with our own good experiences of Fairlight, meant we had no qualms about upgrading our own desk.”

Tucked away in a Georgian Mews in the heart of London’s Fitzrovia, Sky Vision Sound Studios handles a variety of programming covering wildlife, docudrama, documentary, children’s TV shows, scripted content, sports and comedy. The diversity of the projects Sky Vision Sound Studios tackles is mind-boggling, as is the speed of turnaround this facility achieves.

“Last year we completed over 70 hours of broadcast TV, which for two mix rooms is pretty good going,” Thompson says. “That’s just shy of three hours a month – a lot of work by anyone’s standards. Of course none of this would be possible without the Fairlight systems we have in both rooms. It really is a credit to Fairlight we achieve what we do because you simply couldn’t get through such a large quantity of work without having a system that is so reliable and flexible.”

Sky Vision Sound Studio’s affiliation with Fairlight goes back to 1999 when the facility was first set up by dubbing mixer Trevor Barber. Thompson, who was brought in some years later to help increase the facility’s output, says: “I got switched on to Fairlight by Trevor because he wouldn’t use anything else. I didn’t start out as a Fairlight user – in previous jobs, and as a freelancer, I had mostly used Avid Pro Tools. But when Trevor first set up the studios he installed a Fairlight MFX hard disk recorder in Studio One. As soon as Fairlight introduced their new Xynergi range, Trevor came on board straight away. In fact, the Xynergi system we own and use today is serial number 5. It still works perfectly. The only thing we have changed is the operating software, which we have just upgraded again to the latest version.”

Thompson adds that transitioning from Constellation to EVO has been very straightforward, mainly because all Fairlight systems are very intuitive.

“We have had no issues moving over to the EVO,” he says. “Both Russell Skellon, who mainly works in Studio Two, and myself have been using Fairlight for a long time and we have so much experience that the system is almost second nature to us. I would say the same about XYNERGI and the upgrade to the latest software version. Setting up the XCS controller on the EVO so that it works the way we are used to was very quick to master and it was all so seamless that we were up and running almost immediately. The only thing that is taking a bit of time is exploring the new software features. We are now finding out all the new tricks it can do and it is already offering much greater functionality.”

As many users will testify, one of the main benefits of Fairlight is the ability to build customised workflows.

“We often have to deliver shows to multiple broadcasters worldwide, and with Fairlight I am able to build consoles and workflows that produce all the deliverables I need very efficiently,” Thompson says. “I also find editing on Fairlight incredibly intuitive because I can use the Picture Keys on the XCS to make my own controller and editor, which I design around my personal preference. It’s also really nice to personalise my common functions and assign them a macro so they can be done with just the push of a button. It gets me away from mouse based editing. The whole XCS mentality is quite exciting as it has the potential to operate as a controller across multiple applications.”

Thompson adds that Fairlight’s ability to accept and export multiple file formats is useful when the facility gets project from outside clients, “but to be honest we’ve honed the workflow between ourselves and Sky Vision to a point there this isn’t really relevant,” he says.

“What is useful, though, is Fairlight’s ability to give users two picture tacks at the same time.
If you are re-versioning and don’t get an EDL file that tells you what has been cut where, this can be a very tedious and time consuming process. With Fairlight’s integrated video we can streamline the process by running two picture tracks and comparing them in real time. This makes it much faster to manually make the cuts. It’s a great feature and one that really helps us.

“For example, the nature of our work is that we do quite a few versions of a specific programme mix. With the new software, we can easily conform all of our edits, including the mix, which was something we couldn’t do with previous versions. We’ve always had a good dialogue with Fairlight and this is something we’ve been specifically asking them to do, so having it now is just fantastic because it means we can work even faster as the whole reversioning process is now far more automated. Most other systems rely on third party software for this.”

Thompson adds that he is also looking forward to exploring the latest software’s new background recording feature, which offers lots of sound design potential.

“I’m still checking this out but it looks like another really useful feature,” he says. “You can record while you are scrolling and jog shuttling. It basically records anything passing through a specified output as a background task. I can also see this being useful for ADR because it saves the timeline becoming littered with takes.”

Having proved that Sky Vision Sound Studios can handle an annual output of more than 70 hours of broadcast TV on Fairlight’s previous software, Thompson is confident this can be exceeded now that the new version is in place. But despite all the time saving features the new EVO console delivers, he still feels the best thing about Fairlight is its sound quality.

“I suppose I’m a bit of a musician at heart,” he laughs, “which is why I really like the smoothness of the Fairlight I/O. Some of our clients are composers and musicians as well so it’s no surprise they also comment on how good this system sounds.”

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About Fairlight:
Fairlight has been designing, engineering and manufacturing cutting edge, professional digital audio technology for more than 30 years. Its dedication to innovation, quality and customer service has made Fairlight one of the most respected companies in professional audio. With their integrated control surfaces and intuitive user interfaces, Fairlight’s award-winning media creation tools are renowned for their speed, flexibility and exceptional sonic quality. The company’s products offer full compatibility with virtually all open audio, video and sync standards, making them ideally suited to a wide range of audio post and live broadcast applications.
www.fairlight.com.au

METRIC HALO ANNOUNCES 2014 FALL SALE!

MetricHalo_2014_FallSaleSAFETY HARBOR, FLORIDA – OCTOBER 2014: Metric Halo announced the start of the 2014 Fall Sale with the best deals ever offered on Metric Halo gear. Save up to 58% off list prices on all products including hardware and software. With this sale, customers will save up to $1,100 off Metric Halo’s award-winning hardware products, and up to $400 off Metric Halo’s award-winning software products.

The Fall Sale celebrates the launch of Production Bundle v.2 which brings VST and Windows support to the Metric Halo Production Bundle, and also introduces a new plug-in – MH Dirty Delay.

Metric Halo products are available from dealers or directly from the Metric Halo website: http://mhlabs.com

The Metric Halo 2014 Fall Sale runs until 10/31/2014.

ABOUT METRIC HALO Based on the Gulf Coast of Florida, Metric Halo provides the world with award-winning software and hardware recording, processing, metering and analysis solutions.

www.mhlabs.com

ATC ANNOUNCES NEW LINE OF POWER AMPLIFIERS – THE P1 PRO AND P2 PRO

ATC_P1_PROLAS VEGAS, NEVADA – OCTOBER 2014: The TransAudio Group is proud to announce the release of two new MOSFET Class A/B design dual mono power amplifiers from ATC – the P1 Pro and P2 Pro. At 150W/ch into 8 Ohms and 300W/ch into 8 Ohms respectively, these fan-less, rack-mountable power amplifiers offer the perfect solution for any studio wishing to get the best out of their passive monitors, including the all-new ATC SCM20PSL Pro.

Both models feature a 19-inch rack-mount chassis with front panel mounted standby button and L/R clip indication. The amplifiers incorporate the same gain reduction and loudspeaker protection circuits that are used in the ATC active monitors. These circuits ensure that the amplifier will not clip, even when working at very high volumes, which protects the loudspeakers from damage and improves the subjective performance of the entire system. Importantly, neither amplifier uses a fan, so they can be placed anywhere, including the control room.

The P1 Pro and P2 Pro are of a ‘true’ dual mono design: the power supplies, signal, and return paths are totally separated from each other. This approach maximizes signal separation and minimizes crosstalk. Further, intermodulation between channels via the power supplies is reduced to an absolute minimum at all frequencies, and the power demand from one channel cannot affect the specified power available to the other channel.

Brad Lunde, president of the TransAudio Group, ATC’s U.S. distributor stated, “ATC is famous for building active studio reference monitors that give engineers a consistent, honest reflection of their work. Although ATC’s revolutionary drivers and chasses get most of the credit for the brand’s legendary transparency, ATC’s superbly-designed amplifiers deserve equal credit. Just as the new passive ATC SCM20PSL Pro gives engineers access to ATC’s loudspeaker without the amplification, the new ATC P1 Pro and P2 Pro give engineers access to ATC’s zero-compromise amplification without the loudspeaker itself. Any reference monitor will benefit from the clean power of an ATC P1 Pro or P2 Pro.”

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

STOP BY AND SEE US AT AES 2014 – PLEASE NOTE OUR NEW BOOTH #1014

Annual New England Emerging Technologies & Home Awareness Expo Takes Place October 15th & 16th

Northeast Catalyst AV Network Member Easy Access Distribution Hosts Annual Emerging Technologies & Home Awareness Expo October 15th and 16th

Two action-packed days featuring the latest from 30 brands, a Dolby Atmos demo and trainings from Nest, Luxul, Sonance and Wilson Electronics

Location: Courtyard by Marriot in Billerica, Massachusetts

Burlington, MA – October 9, 2014 – Easy Access Distribution (www.easyaccessdistribution.com) – the Northeast region member of the Catalyst AV distribution network – is hosting its annual Emerging Technologies & Home Awareness Expo at the Billerica, Massachusetts Courtyard by Marriot on October 15th and 16th.

30 manufacturers will participate in the dealer event. They are 2Gig, Alarm.com, APC, Atlona, Boston Acoustics, BrightSign, Catalyst AV Wire & Cable, Chief, ClearView CCTV, DaLite, Definitive Technology, Dropcam, Denon, Dynamat, enerG, EnGenius, Heos by Denon, IC Realtime, ICE Cable Systems, iPort, Launchport, Luxul, Marantz, Nest, Perfect Path, Pro Control, Raxxess by Chief, RTI, Russound, Sonance, TiVo, Vanco, Vivitek, and Wilson Electronics.

Specialized trainings offered include The Internet of Things is Here sponsored by Nest / Dropcam; It’s All About the Network sponsored by Luxul; The Home Theater Experience sponsored by Sonance and Boosting a Better Signal sponsored by Wilson Electronics.

A Dolby Atmos demonstration featuring Vivitek projectors, Definitive Technology, Denon and DaLite will be a main attraction as well.

Food and refreshments will be served throughout the two-day event.

The event takes place from 8:30 AM – 7 PM October 15th and 16th at the Courtyard by Marriot in Billerica, MA. Dealers interested in attending can register by calling 781.893.3999 or email info@easyaccessdistribution.com

About Catalyst AV
Founded in 2012, Catalyst AV is a network of 12-independent consumer electronics distributors serving the residential and professional AV channels in the U.S. Catalyst AV grants manufacturers a consistent and cohesive nationwide distribution model to more than 15,000 professional integration specialists. Catalyst AV benefits integrators by delivering all the products and support necessary to execute the demands of job specifications with confidence. The Catalyst AV Board of Directors consists of Mike Hench (Electronics Source Distributors); Steve Presti (Easy Access Distribution) and Wally Whinna (Allnet Distributing). www.catalystav.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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