A virtual press conference from Sound & Video Contractor

Press Releases For : November 3, 2014

McGill University’s Schulich School Students Tackle Loudness Control with RTW TM3 TouchMonitor

Renowned Recording Engineers Richard King, Martha de Francisco and George Massenburg Count on Audio Meter to Help Students Create Dynamite Mixes

MONTRÉAL, QUÉBEC, CANADA, NOVEMBER 3, 2014 – RTW, a leading vendor of visual audio meters and monitoring devices for professional broadcast, production, post production and quality control, is pleased to announce that the sound recording department at McGill University’s prestigious Schulich School of Music now uses the company’s TM3 TouchMonitor audio meter to instruct students in the art of loudness control.RTW_SchulichSchool_TM3_Students

Recording engineer and inventor George Massenburg, an adjunct professor of recording arts and sciences at McGill, the largest university-based school for professional music training and music research in Canada, sees loudness normalization as the next major trend to hit the music industry. He points out that Apple iTunes, for example, already features controls for normalizing the sound across one’s library of songs (“Sound Check”). “Normalization for music is spreading, and we want to educate students to take advantage of this trend the best way they can,” he says. “We want them to be able to make good mixes so they can work going forward.”

The RTW TM3 is one way sound recording at The Schulich School of Music is helping his students prepare for this future. With its easy-to-use 4.3-inch touchscreen and large number of graphical and numerical instruments showing single-channel and summing-loudness bargraphs, PPM, true peak, SPL, loudness range (LRA), dialnorm and correlation, the TM3, part of RTW’s TouchMonitor line of audio meters, is a perfect tool for students learning how to measure loudness control for the first time. Its flexible user interface enables the selection of up to 10 presets with the swipe of a finger, allowing students to focus energy on training their ears for loudness differences.
RTW_TM3_DE_027_Stereo_Num_ATSC_web
“Another benefit of having the TM3 readily accessible is when the students are working with multiple projects at once,” explains Massenburg. “To give the students references when they’re learning how to mix, we’ll have them do a new mix but refer to another piece of work. It may not even be the same song—it may be something else, but to reference that on an equal playing field—meaning equal loudness—they’ve got to measure the loudness of that external file. So it’s very useful to have the meter right there. It’s not software. It doesn’t come and go with the project. It’s a part of the setup.”

That setup is located in the Schulich School’s Studio A, where the RTW TM3 is part of a range of solutions the students use to conduct mixes. These include Euphonix MC mixers, Merging Technologies Pyramix, Avid Pro Tools, ATC, Genelec and JBL loudspeakers and monitoring systems, among others.

“The TM3 helps the students adjust the loudness of a mix until it’s roughly in the ballpark of their reference mix,” adds Massenburg. “Then they can move ahead with making better mixing decisions. We find that elements that are punchier, such as a snappier snare or kick drum, really don’t affect the loudness as much as a constant, dense mid-to-upper frequency range, so students don’t have to squash their mixes to make them stand out. It leads to more dynamic mixes. It’s a tool that we think is going to be more and more important to students and practitioners [as loudness normalization becomes more prevalent in the music industry].”

Massenburg says his students find it easy to work with the TM3. “It’s very clear. We have it pre-set so that 85dB SPL is the target playback level, and -24dBFS is the target recording level. Since its relative between their work and an outside work, we can just kind of stay in that one setup. It’s nice that it’s flexible, but we don’t want it to change too much, so everyone is already up to speed on how it is set up.”

For Massenburg, much of his work at the Schulich School ultimately comes down to training students to be excellent critical listeners. “We train our students to listen hard and to pay attention to detail,” he says. “The better they’re trained in critical listening and evaluation skills, the better they’re able to deal with the more varied situations they could encounter out in the workplace.”

This training is obviously a resounding success, as graduates of the Schulich School have gone on to successful, high-profile careers in many different fields. One former student, for example, is the chief engineer of Symphony Hall in Boston. Another handles sound for some of the most popular musical shows in Las Vegas, including Cirque du Soleil’s Beatles LOVE presentation.

“We give our students the skills that they can take anywhere,” says Massenburg. “They can continue with music production, work for a classical operation, go into television production, or go further with their research. We provide them the skills to be able to say, ‘Sure, I can do that.’ [Loudness and the RTW TM3 is part of that.]”

Apple and iTunes are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

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.

MAGNANIMITY REIGNS AS SONNOX KICKS OFF “BOGOF” TWO FOR ONE PRE HOLIDAY PLUG-IN PROMO

OXFORD, UK: In anticipation of the swiftly approaching Holiday Season, Sonnox
has announced a “Buy One Plug-in Get One Free” promotion.

For shoppers wishing to avail themselves of this special offer the process is the essence
of simplicity. Select the two Sonnox Plug-ins you most wish for, and enter NOV14 in the Promo Code box. The less expensive of the two plug-ins will be free.

Customers can order as many times as they like, and providing they order plug-ins in pairs, they will save money.

This offer will run until November 30th. Full terms and conditions on the Sonnox website.

###

Sonnox BOGOF Sonnox-BOGOF

For detailed information on Sonnox Oxford Plug-ins please visit: www.sonnox.com

Digg Syndication Del.icio.us Syndication Google Syndication MyYahoo Syndication Reddit Syndication

Related Topics: News

Biamp Systems’ Tesira(R) and Audia(R) Provide Superior Audio Distribution to New Long Beach Courthouse

DSP audio solutions deliver crystal-clear sound across more than 30 courtroom spaces

BEAVERTON, Oregon — Nov. 3, 2014 — Biamp Systems, a leading provider of innovative, networked media systems, has announced that its Tesira(R) digital signal processor (DSP)-based media system and Audia(R) digital audio platform are driving a distributed audio solution for the Governor George Deukmejian Courthouse in Long Beach, California. The recently completed 531,000-square-foot structure replaces the previous outdated courthouse. Among the features in the $347 million state-of-the-art facility is a flawless AV delivery system. (more…)

Platinum Tools® Moves to Larger Facility

NEWBURY PARK, Calif., Nov. 3, 2014 – Platinum Tools (www.platinumtools.com), the leader in solutions for the preparation, installation, hand termination and testing of wire and cable, is proud to announce that it has relocated its base of operation and warehouse to a larger facility, effective immediately. Platinum Tools’ new address is 2450 Turquoise Circle, Newbury Park, CA 91320. Phone, fax, and email addresses remain the same.Platinum Tools new building 2014 HR

“As we continue to expand in both personnel and product lines, it became apparent that we were quickly outgrowing our most recent facility in Camarillo,” explained Lee Sachs, Platinum Tools president. “It’s a good problem to have, and we were lucky enough to find another facility not too far away in Newbury Park that is nearly twice the size of our most recent headquarters. We now have our own building, with the room to comfortably house our staff, plus a much larger warehouse for more efficient logistics to manage our current and projected new SKUs.”

For more information on Platinum Tools and its complete product line, please visit www.platinumtools.com, call (800) 749-5783, or email info@platinumtools.com.

About Platinum Tools
Platinum Tools, founded in 1997, was created based upon two very simple objectives. First, develop the absolute best possible solutions for the preparation, installation, and hand termination of wire and cable. Second, implement an operational infrastructure that can deliver these products in an efficient, timely, and high quality manner.

All of our products must absolutely satisfy three critical benchmark criteria…utility of function; quality of function; and economic value. Our people are our company. They, too, must be focused on and work to satisfy three critical benchmark criteria…customer satisfaction; product knowledge and expertise; and willingness to learn and adapt.

# # #

Digg Syndication Del.icio.us Syndication Google Syndication MyYahoo Syndication Reddit Syndication

Related Topics: News

STEWART FILMSCREEN® APPOINTS THE ENRIGHT COMPANY AS COMMERCIAL SALES REPRESENTATIVE FOR SOUTHWEST REGIONS

For Southwest territory including Arizona, California, Hawaii, and Nevada, Stewart Filmscreen® signs experienced and respected commercial AV rep firm to deploy new dealer education and training programs, sales strategies, and strategic marketing initiatives

TORRANCE, CA – NOVEMBER 3, 2014– Stewart Filmscreen Corp., the leading international manufacturer of projection screens and specialty optical coatings for residential and commercial applications, today named The Enright Company as its independent commercial sales rep firm for the Southwest stewart_logo_sfc08region, including Arizona, California, Nevada, and Hawaii. The Enright Group has been building its reputation as the commercial industry’s rep firm of choice since 1985 when principal Logan Enright started the company.

“We’ve been aggressively adding rep firms in key markets to ensure that Stewart Filmscreen’s highly differentiated product offering is brought to the forefront. This is critical, as Stewart’s US-based manufacturing facilities cater to seamless, large-format, complex screen solutions for a wide variety of commercial and industrial applications. Now, with The Enright Company on board as our commercial reps, those serving the commercial AV markets in the Southwest region will have access to the most extensive offering in the projection screen category,” says Peter Brown, vice president of sales and marketing for Stewart Filmscreen. “We rely on those who represent us in the field to not only raise awareness of Stewart Filmscreen’s unique attributes but to deliver world-class service and support, and The Enright Company is just the firm to do that.”

With a Buying Power Index (BPI) of 15% for its territory, The Enright Company is poised to boost Stewart’s sales by deploying key programs to integrators in the area. These initiatives include Stewart’s renewed and streamlined approach to education and training, focus on successful sales strategies and programs, and strategic marketing initiatives. In addition, the firm will provide considerable assistance and support for local Stewart integrators in the region.

“We are thrilled to represent Stewart Filmscreen—the market leader in 4K+ projection screens since 1947,” says Logan Enright, of The Enright Company. “Stewart is uniquely suited for the Pro AV channel with a complete offering of handcrafted, high-performance projection screens that can be customized for any application. The attention to detail inherent in Stewart Filmscreen products is unparalleled, and it shows in every aspect of its product line.”

Stewart Filmscreen products will be showcased during The Enright Company Roadshow, taking place November 5, 2014, at the Doubletree Hotel in Tempe, Arizona. Those interested in learning more about Stewart Filmscreen, its differentiated product offering, and the undisputable benefits of integrating projection screens into installations large and small, are encouraged to contact request@stewartfilmscreen.com, call (800) 762-4999, and follow @StewartFilm.

The Enright Company is headquartered in Santa Ana, California, with sales associates in Los Angeles, Orange County, and Northern California. For more information about The Enright Company, visit the company’s website, www.enrightcompany.com or e-mail logan@enrightcompany.com.

About Stewart Filmscreen Corp.
Headquartered in Torrance, Calif., with additional manufacturing and satellite sales facilities in Ohio, Singapore, and Denmark, Stewart Filmscreen has been the consistent choice of discerning clientele around the world for more than 65 years. An Academy Award-winning manufacturer of projection screens and specialty optical coatings, aesthetic-conscious architects, consultants, systems designers, and property owners rely on Stewart Filmscreen for the perfect combination of superior quality, flexible design, and dedicated support, and we consistently deliver. Providing the most immersive experience in the industry, Stewart can custom engineer a projection screen solution to meet nearly every need. Proprietary material science and innovative manufacturing methods allow Stewart to produce some of the most optically immaculate screens in the world, ultimately delivering an immersive experience that’s unrivaled in the marketplace. Simply put, if a screen can be imagined, Stewart Filmscreen can deliver it. www.stewartfilmscreen.com | @StewartFilm

Stewart Filmscreen Media contact
Katye (McGregor) Bennett | KMB Communications | (425) 328-8640 | Katye@KMBComm.com | @katyemcgregor

Images
Images for use in publication can be downloaded from this link, using the following caption: Logan Enright (pictured) of The Enright Company, Stewart Filmscreen’s newly appointed Commercial sales rep firm for the Southwest region.

 

### ENDS

Vaddio’s Most Advanced Camera Series Featuring True Broadcast Technology – Now Shipping

web-robo30robo12Vaddio is now shipping its premier product line – the RoboSHOT 30 and RoboSHOT 12 PTZ camera systems featuring Tri-Synchronous Motion, advanced image signal processing (ISP) and its pioneering, and now industry-standard, CAT-5 integration system.

The RoboSHOT family is a powerful and professional PTZ camera system with the highest quality imaging in its class, exceptional detail and true color reproduction. The RoboSHOT 30 was designed for large venues with a 30x zoom and 63.7-degree wide horizontal field-of-view while the RoboSHOT 12 is optimized for small-to-medium sized conference rooms, training rooms or classrooms that require a wider angle-of-view with its 12x zoom and up to 73-degree wide horizontal field-of-view.

A major innovation to the RoboSHOT camera systems is its revolutionary camera robotics called Tri-Synchronous Motion. This new, industry first, robotic design is based on a smooth, direct drive motor system that incorporates optical positioning encoders for absolute camera control. In addition, Vaddio has developed an innovative camera protocol that allows simultaneous control commands. Pan, tilt and zoom are now a single command resulting in smooth and repeatable “On-Air” broadcast quality production. From preset-to-preset or with an operator-controlled joystick, Tri-Synchronous Motion provides broadcast quality production in any application including House of Worship, corporate communications and distance learning.

“Our customers requirements are increasing, and we as an industry leader are responding. Vaddio’s commitment to ‘The Art of Easy,’ is at the heart of the RoboSHOT’s design,” explains Ed Ellett, CEO of Vaddio. “The RoboSHOT’s revolutionary new camera design allows the operator to deliver production quality ‘On-Air’ camera motion while the integrator friendly Quick-Connect system technology provides the flexibility needed in the diverse world of AV design.”

In addition to the camera robotics the RoboSHOT series features a 1/2.8” Exmor CMOS imaging sensor with true native HD resolution of 1080p/60. New ISP functions include advanced noise reduction, skin tone correction, razor sharp auto-focus and automatic light management. As a result, the camera produces vivid, detailed video images with accurate color reproduction at all HD video resolutions. Like all of Vaddio’s camera solutions, the RoboSHOT family is designed to work with its pioneering and industry standard Quick-Connect camera interface systems that allow integrators easy CAT-5 cable installations.

###
About Vaddio:
Vaddio is the leading manufacturer of specialty PTZ cameras and camera control systems used in the audiovisual, videoconference and broadcast industries. Your customers demand cutting-edge technology that’s simple to use. You want equipment that’s easy to install and reliable to operate. Vaddio serves integrators and operators alike – with broadcast-quality PTZ cameras and control systems that deliver the performance you need with the convenience you demand. More information can be found on the Vaddio website, www.vaddio.com or at (800) 572.2011.

Digg Syndication Del.icio.us Syndication Google Syndication MyYahoo Syndication Reddit Syndication

Related Topics: News

Margarita Mix of Santa Monica Adds Fourth Fairlight EVO System

Sound Mixer Paul Hurtubise at the Fairlight EVO Audio Production System, Margarita Mix, Santa Monica, CA.

Sound Mixer Paul Hurtubise at the Fairlight EVO Audio Production System, Margarita Mix, Santa Monica, CA.

SANTA MONICA, CA (Nov 3, 2014) — Margarita Mix of Santa Monica, a FotoKem company specializing in audio post services for commercials and advertising media, has installed a fourth Fairlight EVO integrated audio production system for their award-winning team of sound designers, mixers and composers. With the upgrade, the facility’s accomplished sound mixers Paul Hurtubise, Jimmy Hite, Nathan Dubin and Jeff Levy are now working on identical audio post platforms in their HD mixing suites.

“The facility was already working extensively on Fairlight, and after careful evaluation and testing, I made the transition,” says Hurtubise, who joined Margarita Mix in late 2012 with over 20 years of experience in commercial audio post.

Having used a number of platforms over the course of his career, Hurtubise notes, “I simply think Fairlight sounds better. It’s less fatiguing on the ears, and I seem to hear things more clearly and definitively.

“The EVO workstation is also very ergonomic and easy to operate,” he adds. “I feel like I’m on a system that’s been developed for humans to work on. EVO’s jogger fits my hand, and its keyboard fits my fingers. I’m running sessions more efficiently because I’m not as focused on all the clicking.”

Hurtubise also points out that the graphic displays are less fatiguing. “It’s much easier for me to be on the Fairlight all day. I noticed immediately that I wasn’t as physically tired at the end of the day. The displays are comfortable to work on, too.”

According to the talented mixing team at Margarita Mix, there are plenty of features to like about the system. They like that the picture has a home in the system, versus floating around the screen. “The picture’s right there when I want it—I love the Pyxis,” Hurtubise says of the dual-channel HD video recorder that is integrated into EVO as standard. “I also like the streaming Pyxis video frames along the bottom of the timeline display, and being able to see the picture frames before and after the playhead. This way, I can see how many frames I have until my next edit.”

When the mixers need to face the voiceover booth with a script in front of them rather than face the EVO surface, they’ve created a macro that puts “Record” on different sides of the controller so that it’s ergonomically easier for them. Fairlight’s one-button record function also helps in VO sessions when the talent starts to speak. “We don’t want to interrupt them; if we press our ‘Record’ macro button, the disk recorder immediately stops one take and goes right into another one in the span of a 1/10th of a second,” Hurtubise explains.

Custom fader sets are another admired attribute of the system. “I’ve never been on a system where I can so easily lay out faders to my liking,” says Hurtubise. “Sometimes I’m knee deep into a session and I really wish I had my beeps next to my mic, right next to my music stem, right next to my sound effects stem, next to the dialog stem next to my headphone send—then I can mute and level them very easily. I can create that quickly with Fairlight.”

There are several features on the Fairlight that the Margarita Mix team hasn’t had available on previous DAWs. “For example, I like the way Fairlight solos tracks: I can solo a set of tracks, un-solo them by holding control and pressing one button, and then re-solo that same set by pressing one button,” Hurtubise reports. “I like being able to memorize zooms. Say I have 128 tracks with 70 music stems and 40 sound effects stems. I can zoom to the music tracks and store it in U1; I can go to the sound effects tracks and store that in U2. If I hear something in the music I just press U1, and instantly I’m looking at the music stems. It is super easy.”

All four Fairlight operators at Margarita Mix use similar console control templates for uniformity. Nathan Dubin has been at Margarita Mix for over a decade recording VO, mixing for television, ADR recording for film and commercial mixing for TV and radio that has earned several industry accolades. Working with clients such as Nissan, Activision, Disney, AT&T, Kaiser Permanente, and UPS, Jimmy Hite has over 30 years of experience in sound mixing for the commercial and advertising industries, and has won numerous awards throughout his career. Paul Hurtubise focuses on commercial mixing as well as ADR and commentary recording. His recent credits include spots for Google, eHarmony, Old Navy, Hyundai, and Toyota, among others. Jeff Levy has been part of the team for 20-plus years, also earning multiple awards for mixing and sound design.

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. To learn more about Fairlight please visit www.fairlight.com.au

FairlightUS Inc. is the exclusive North American distributor for Fairlight products. For more information visit: www.fairlightus.com

Encompass AV Outfits Irish Alehouse With Martin Audio

Square Celt_1 web

The product of a complete renovation and remodeling on the site of an old restaurant near Orland Park Mall in suburban Chicago, the Square Celt Alehouse and Grill features an extensive Martin Audio sound system courtesy of Encompass AV.

A popular sports bar, restaurant and part-time club destination, the Square Celt is run by a family that owns seven other Irish-themed bar/restaurants around Chicago, all known for exceptional audio and video capability.

Encompass AV President Tim Pickett describes the layout: “There are two major rooms, a large bar area, and a dining room with another big bar and lots of booths with tables. We were tasked with providing the sound and video systems, as well as security cameras and some of the architectural lighting.

Square Celt_3 web

“The owners insisted on Martin Audio from the get-go because they wanted a very high quality sound that was reliable and would last,” Tim explains.

“We used 26 Martin Audio AQ8’s mounted on the walls and beams throughout the site. The whole place has lowered ceilings with lots of trim, soffits and beams to give it the feel of an old Irish pub. We mounted the speakers strategically in the best places we could put them for optimal sound quality.

Square Celt_2 web

“There are also two AQ28s where the owners planned a dance area in the main dining room. We supplemented those with two AQ210 subs plus two F12+ and four S15+ subs for maximum low energy reinforcement in that area. They bring in a DJ on Friday and Saturday nights, so they wanted the place to have a nightlife with a system they could crank up and really feel the music, which we accomplished with the Martin Audio subs.”

Square Celt_4 web

The audio system also includes Lab Gruppen E12:2 and E4:2 power amplifiers along with Symetrix Jupiter 8 standalone DSP processing. Square Celt’s expansive video system, so critical to any modern sports bar, starts with a four-panel video wall consisting of large Philips 55” displays in the bar/dining room and an eight-panel video wall made up of Philips 46” displays in the bar area. There are also 14 Sharp 70” displays and 16 55” LG displays with the whole system run by a Vivitek D5190HD 1080p 3D multimedia projector.

Summing up the audio system’s impact, Tim adds, “The owners think the sound is ‘even, clean and crisp.’ They definitely got more than they expected with Martin Audio and it’s flexible enough to give them everything they need in terms of volume, coverage and sound quality. Plus the system is easily capable of transforming the dance area into a real nightclub just by cranking up the volume. They couldn’t be any happier with the choice they’ve made.”

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

About Martin Audio®
Founded by audio engineer David Martin in 1971, Martin Audio pioneered the use of all-horn-loaded bass designs in world-class touring loudspeaker systems for groups such as Pink Floyd, ELP and Supertramp. Located outside of London, Martin Audio now embodies a sophisticated mix of acoustic design, research, mathematical modeling and software engineering for a wide range of products in the installation, cinema and touring sound markets.

SSL Duality Delivers Real-World Education Experience for Algonquin College

“Duality is used to illustrate a wide variety of modern recording methods and techniques”

OTTAWA, CANADAAlgonquin College has installed a Solid State Logic Duality Console to deliver real-world experience for students enrolled in its Music Industry Arts (MIA) program. Located in Canada’s capital, Ottawa, Algonquin College began its music production and business diploma program in 2010, recently constructing a large studio with a teaching-oriented control room to house the Duality.

SSL Duality at MIA Algonquin College“The aim of the MIA program is to prepare students for the myriad of Music Industry employment possibilities that the real world has to offer,” says Colin Mills, Program Coordinator and Professor of Music Business Program for the MIA. “To that end, as the centrepiece of the MIA control room, Duality is used to illustrate a wide variety of modern recording methods and techniques. The console is uniquely flexible in that it can be configured to emulate console architectures ranging from traditional analogue to contemporary DAW controller. Between group sessions and personal studio time, students learn how to apply these skills in order to create professional-calibre recordings.”

The MIA is considered a “non-semestered diploma program,” according to Mills, which essentially condenses the normal two-year, four-semester learning regimen into three semesters that run over 12 consecutive months. Each year, the program intakes up to 75 students who receive their diploma after a single, very busy year. Duality became the best choice for this intensive program because of its ability to address all aspects of music production with a straightforward, industry-standard user interface and powerful DAW controller.

“The mission of the MIA program is to prepare students for a career in the Music Industry,” states Mills. “The content of our program is about 60 percent audio production and 40 percent the business of music. We find that giving our students a full understanding of how the industry works will prepare them for various career options. On the production side, Duality delivers a ‘best of all worlds engineering experience’ that is consistent with our mission.”

The Duality is mainly used for all three levels of the program’s “Recording, Engineering, Production” course, which runs all year. “Students are in the studio with the SSL for 10 hours per week in the Recording, Engineering, Production course alone,” relates Mills. “We offer other classes that reference Duality workflow that include our ‘Digital Audio Concepts’ and ‘Production Theory’ courses, each of which has two levels. Additionally, after the halfway point of the first 15-week semester, each student is required to give 15 hours of studio time on the Duality per semester. Most of these student sessions run immediately after class, overnight and all weekend, so our studio ends up in use 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The console works flawlessly, day-in and day-out, delivering great sound. It’s also great that the console is backed by SSL, a company that actually responds immediately to any question or problem. With our schedule, there really is no other console but Duality for our program.”

Solid State Logic is the world’s leading manufacturer of analogue and digital audio consoles and provider of creative tools for music, broadcast, live and post production professionals. For more information about our award-winning products, please visit: www.solidstatelogic.com.

Digg Syndication Del.icio.us Syndication Google Syndication MyYahoo Syndication Reddit Syndication

Related Topics: News

Napa’s Palmaz Vineyards Uses Vista Systems’ Spyder in Unique Projection System Designed to Aid Winemakers in their Work

01_DomeShot_entryLevels_00001No doubt about it, winemaking is an art and a science. Perhaps nowhere is this more evident that at Palmaz Vineyards in Napa, California where winemaking and aging takes place within the living rock of Mount George, in a maze of tunnels and lofty domes. Vista Systems’ Spyder plays a key role in the advanced technology Palmaz uses to aid winemakers in creating complex, elegant, super premium wine.

Palmaz Vineyards has reinvented winemaking on the site of the Cedar Knoll Vineyard and Winery, founded in 1881 by Henry Hagen, one of the Napa Valley’s pioneer winemakers. The Palmaz family bought the forgotten stone winery and introduced true gravity-flow winemaking in a wine cave equivalent to an 18-story building. Gravity-flow winemaking eliminates the violent agitation of pumping, which can change the wine’s intra-molecular structure. Instead, the gentle treatment allows the finest nuances of flavor to develop naturally.

The cave’s fermentation dome is the world’s largest reinforced underground structure with dimensions spanning 72 feet in diameter and 54 feet high. Twenty-four fermentation tanks rotate on a massive custom-designed carousel. Temperature stays constant at 60 degrees and humidity at 75 percent, the perfect atmosphere for aging wine.

“What makes a winemaker great has little to do with the ability to ferment wine and everything to do with the seemingly inhuman ability to sense the subtleties in wine,” says Christian Gastón Palmaz, president of Palmaz Vineyards. “The only instrument we want them to have in hand is a glass. Up to 50 percent of their time is spent determining how far along they are in fermentation. The more tanks you have the less often you check and make critical adjustments and decisions.”

Palmaz partnered with Acrolon Technologies and aerospace metal fabricator Rodney Smith to create the first fully algorithm-based fermentation control system featuring proprietary intelligent instrumentation in each tank which image more than 10 million points of temperature inside the tank space, providing the winemaker a live visual thermal representation of the tank. “With this powerful information they can better steer the artistic ship – and make great things happen to the color, texture, flavor and aroma of the wine,” says Palmaz.

To gain a full understanding of the state of each tank, however, the winemakers need to constantly review the tank data. “How could we put the data in front of them?” asks Palmaz. “An iPad accompanies the process but referencing 30 days worth of data across 36 fermenters on a 9.7″ screen can be cumbersome. Positioning the data so that critical information could be observed without having to search for it became the goal.”

Palmaz envisioned a projection system. After all, he had the huge curved surface of the dome available. “But we had been told for years that edge blending wouldn’t work in that space,” he says. “Even the best planetarium consultants in the world discouraged us from projection.”

Then he heard about two products that looked likely to make his dream a reality. “Christie’s HD14K-M projectors have geometric correction at an unbelievable level and focal depth lengths never seen before. And Vista Systems’ Spyder X20 1608 could create a pixel cloud of unparalleled size. With those products we’d be headed down the right path.”

But Palmaz notes that he’s “a vintner, not an AV specialist.” So he hired commercial integration firm CCS Presentation Systems, Inc., whose San Jose office undertook months of “rigorous testing and custom work” with Christie and Vista to devise a very unique system for the Palmaz Vineyards’ dome. “And the end result is unbelievable,” Palmaz declares. “They took a space inhospitable to projection and delivered projection with extreme high definition, clarity and brightness.”

“The space itself has a big ‘wow’ factor,” says Adam Bahri, senior account executive at CCS. “The AV system now enhances that. You turn it on and the projections deliver an extra ‘wow.’ Changing winemaking through technology – it’s a unique approach.”

The projections give winemakers a graphical representation of control screens showing the thermal state of the tank. That enables them to “focus on fermentation in exquisite detail,” says Palmaz. “During harvest it’s like watching a live movie – the fermentation is active.”

But the system is also designed to take winemakers back through a previous vintage. “You can play back an entire harvest with the tap of a button,” he explains. “There’s an animation of the property then day-by-day sequences showing which vineyards were picked and their fermentation. You can see 240 hours of fermentation in seconds — for all 24 tanks. It’s so visually stimulating. And it helps make an important point of how complex fermentation is.”

Edy Salomon Technical Operations Manager for CCS,says the first challenge faced by CCS was “edge blending six projectors, which is difficult to do. Then edge blending them on a domed ceiling was pretty much unheard of.” Christie did a site survey to determine the number of projectors required, their angles and distances ultimately opting for six projectors custom-mounted on the second floor with the rotating carousel below.

Spyder was selected for its ability to “stretch a single image over multiple projectors,” Bahri explains. “Vista manufactures the best equipment and offers the best customer service. In my 15 years experience with Vista you’re guaranteed a satisfactory result.”

Palmaz wrote a simple custom app for Apple iPhone or iPad that allows the winemaker to trigger projections sourced by a Mac Pro tower running ~sedna Presenter and fed to the six Christie projectors, which perform the warping for the dome, and the Spyder, which handles the edge blending.

The unique visual experience in the dome is not only designed for winemakers, however. Palmaz Vineyards conducts private tours by appointment during which visitors can also view the projections.

“Our ambassador taps a button on the iPhone interface to blank out the system so visitors don’t see it at first,” says Palmaz. “They snake their way onto the balcony reaching into the dome structure. They don’t see the projection system although they are inches from it. Then the ambassador taps the button again and the room explodes with light. It’s an overwhelming experience. It’s like being surrounded by magic.”

In addition, the projection system can turn the dome into an art installation. Famous fashion photographer Nicola Majocchi has been commissioned to create a two-volume coffee table book for Palmaz Vineyards, and he’s also been asked “to take the dome’s pixel space and create an artistic exhibition of motion photography,” Palmaz explains. “He calls it ‘a surreal dreamscape as a grape’ – an artistic perspective from the point of view of a grape. It should be ready this fall when we’ll default to this living art canvas, which will be exhibited continuously on the dome.”

Palmaz gives kudos to CCS and the customer service provided by Vista. “I expected this would be an unbelievably expensive project, but we were able to accomplish everything for a very reasonable price,” he reports. “This was so very different from anything I’m used to doing, but CCS, and Vista were on time and on budget and I really appreciated it. It was a great pleasure to work with them.”

About Vista Systems
Vista Systems’ switchers have become the industry standard for live multiple-destination video and data mixed signal switching with real-time windowing and composition. For more information on Vista Systems, visit their website at www.vistasystems.net.

About

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.

Calendar

November 2014
M T W T F S S
« Oct    
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930

Your Account

Subscribe

Subscribe to RSS Feed

Subscribe to MyYahoo News Feed

Subscribe to Bloglines

Google Syndication