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Press Releases For : November 21, 2014

SHURE WIRELESS SYSTEMS SPARK SUCCESS AT 2014 CMA AWARDS

NILES, Ill., Nov. 19, 2014— The live ABC telecast of the 48th Annual CMA Awards from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena was a huge success in the ratings, drawing more than 16 million viewers. The three-hour program also set standards for production, with 21 music performances captured, mixed, and broadcast by an A-list production team, who are all veterans of the demanding award show circuit.

To ensure quick transitions between acts, the production team employs as much wireless technology as possible. As is customary, a mix of the major wireless microphone brands was available to the performers, while Shure PSM® 1000 personal monitors were the exclusive choice for all performances as stage in-ear monitors.

Production mixer Mark King, a Los Angeles-based freelancer, has been providing the final broadcast mix for the past six CMA telecasts. As the person who provides the live mix of music, host microphones, and crowd noise to the network, he is acutely aware of the need for quality audio.

“We want the performers to be comfortable on stage, so the choice of vocal microphones for live performance is largely decided by the artists themselves,” he notes. “Year in and year out, the vast majority of those performers turn out to be Shure users, which is really great. From a product standpoint, Shure wireless is my preference in general. It really is a great product.”

Shure users took home a lot of major awards this year, including Entertainer of the Year for Luke Bryan, Song of the Year for Kacey Musgraves, Vocal Group of the Year for Little Big Town, and Vocal Duo of the Year for Florida Georgia Line. All performed live during the show.

Led by audio producers Tom Davis and Paul Sandweiss, the production team for this year’s CMA Awards was strictly A-list. The systems provider was ATK Audiotek, which brought in the PA system, wireless mics and in-ear systems, and backline gear, with wireless frequency coordination and system design handled by James Stoffo. The broadcast music mix in 5.1 surround was again provided by M3 (Music Mix Mobile), with Jay Vicari and John Harris at the controls. Inside the arena, the music was mixed by Rick Shimer, while Pat Baltzell handled the production mix.

Monitors for all music performances were mixed by the team of Jason Spence of Nashville’s J Sound Services and independent engineer Tom Pesa. “We had 100 percent Shure PSM 1000 in-ears again this year,” says Spence. “Tom and I had 20 channels available, and we used upwards of 60 wireless beltpacks during the show. We also had four hardwired in-ear systems, mainly for drummers. Those were powered by the Shure P6HW bodypack.”

With the diversity design of Shure’s PSM 1000 bodypacks, Spence reports no interference problems in the all-important in-ear mixes. “The PSM 1000 provides the RF performance required on hostile events such as award shows. And it doesn’t hurt that they have the cleanest sound and the widest stereo image of any IEM system. I received numerous compliments on the ear mixes again this year, and I attribute a lot of that to the sound quality and performance of the Shure PSM 1000.”

House sound mixer Rick Shimer is also a big fan of Shure wireless. “Whether they are using a classic SM58 head or the KSM9 condenser, I know I’m going to get that signature Shure sound. And RF-wise, they are solid as a rock,” he says. “It’s amazing how far we’ve come with wireless systems. They are so reliable, we don’t think twice about using them everywhere, even backing vocals, which is a huge help in terms of production and staging. We moved 21 music performances on and off of two stages during a three-hour show, and there was never a glitch.”

While Shimer loves the way advanced technology helps him as a sound engineer, it was actually a new take on an old school product that impressed at the 2014 CMAs. “This was the first year I used Shure headphones at front of house – the SRH440 –and it was a refreshing change for me. They were provided by ATK, along with the console, and they were really comfortable and sounded great.”

With the event complete, the production team scattered, knowing they would soon meet again. “We literally had the same production team this year as last at the CMAs, which really helps to create a smooth show,” says Mark King. “Those of us who specialize in live broadcast award shows love what we do, and working with great people and great products is a big part of that.”

NASHVILLE, TN - Kacey Musgraves and Loretta Lynn perform during the 48th annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 5, 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)

NASHVILLE, TN – Kacey Musgraves and Loretta Lynn perform during the 48th annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 5, 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)

About Shure Incorporated

Founded in 1925, Shure Incorporated (www.shure.com) is widely acknowledged as the world’s leading manufacturer of microphones and audio electronics. Over the years, the Company has designed and produced many high-quality professional and consumer audio products that have become legendary for performance, reliability, and value. Shure’s diverse product line includes world-class wired microphones, wireless microphone systems, in-ear personal monitoring systems, conferencing and discussion systems, networked audio systems, award-winning earphones and headphones, and top-rated phonograph cartridges. Today, Shure products are the first choice whenever audio performance is a top priority.

Shure Incorporated is headquartered in Niles, Illinois, in the United States. The Company also has regional sales and marketing headquarters in Eppingen, Germany, and Hong Kong, China, with more than 30 additional manufacturing facilities and regional sales offices throughout the Americas, EMEA, and Asia.

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SSL Matrix and Sigma Deliver EDM Heat For Las Vegas Studios

“There is a creative trust in knowing you’re working on an SSL”

LAS VEGAS Luca Pretolesi and partner Ronnie Lee of mixing, mastering and studio design company Studio DMI (Study of Digital Music Innovation), rely on a Solid State Logic Matrix Console/Controller to deliver EDM heat for the company’s development project at Wynn Studio. The luxury hotel complex is home to a literal who’s who of A-list DJs performing in its suite of world class clubs and the location of Wynn Studio, an EDM production/recording studio designed and built by Pretolesi. With the hotel’s world-renowned clubs featuring the talents of artists such as Avicii, David Guetta, Afrojack, Deadmau5, Zedd, R3hab, Diplo, Dillon Francis and Jermaine Dupri, building a private space for these artists to use for tweaking current projects and creating the next generation EDM tracks became obvious. Employing an SSL Matrix was equally obvious for Pretolesi as was his choice of the Sigma Remote Controlled Summing Engine, which he uses at Studio DMI’s own workspace.

Luca Pretolesi with SSL Matrix2“In the beginning we looked at different options to find a compact console because Wynn Studio has great acoustics, but lives in a small space,” says Pretolesi. “The idea was to create a studio that was multifunctional and could service the needs of EDM/Dance DJs and the way they like to work. What led us to Matrix was the incredible amount of powerful features packed into a small frame. Total Recall™ was a must for us because we needed to be fast and able to jump from one session to another within a few minutes. The analogue summing side was essential because I was looking for a proper analogue mixer. The added bonus with Matrix is that it also has excellent DAW controller capabilities. The full integration of these items was the selling point of the Matrix.”

Pretolesi is the founder/engineer of Studio DMI also located in Las Vegas, and a Grammy-nominated EDM mixing/mastering engineer who has worked with the likes of Tiësto, Skrillex, Diplo, Lil Jon, Major Lazer, Bruno Mars, Iggy Azalea, Morgan Page, Calvin Harris, Pharrell Williams, 2 Chainz, Macklemore and Imagine Dragons, to name but a few. It is this pedigree that landed the job of designing and installing Wynn Studio. Pretolesi is known for his artistic touch and fresh approach to bring the highest level of quality to each project. For Studio DMI’s location, Pretolesi has added an SSL Sigma, which provides 32 channels of remote controllable SSL summing to his mixing/mastering rig.

“The Sigma at Studio DMI’s location gives me the same summing amplifiers that are found in Matrix,” continues Pretolesi. “We deal with an avalanche of in-your-face-types of sounds with EDM, so having the capability to hear the full range of what is there to make accurate, informed sonic decisions is critical for both facilities. The SSL sound is very transparent but has depth and character, and is capable of handling our extreme transients. This is essential for producing EDM. For Wynn, Matrix is also easy to use. Many times we will offer an assistant engineer for routing and patching support, and then let the clients do their thing. Sometimes different artists might collaborate and handle a session themselves without help. Once they are familiar with Matrix, these sessions progress nicely. When the artists come into the room they like seeing the Solid State Logic name. There is a creative trust in knowing you’re working on an SSL.”

Pretolesi and Lee, CEO of European Music Market, the parent company of Studio DMI and an entertainment service company providing management, business, studio, publishing and marketing services in the music industry, also offer experienced engineers an extended workshop in the subtleties of creating compelling EDM productions. These presentations are based on the over 25-years of experience Pretolesi has gained creating various techniques for mixing EDM.

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.

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HARMAN’s BSS Audio Provides Networking for Italy’s MiCo – Milano Congressi Convention Center

BSSMICO2 copyMILAN, Italy — Fiera Milano SpA is the most important trade show organizer in Italy and its MiCo- Milano Congressi convention center is the largest in Europe, with a capacity for 18,000 attendees and 70 different conference rooms. Located in the heart of Milan, the center has a variety of exhibition spaces and its conference rooms feature a complete range of audio and video connectivity including a comprehensive audio upgrade featuring a HARMAN BSS Audio Soundweb™ London networking solution.

The installation, located in the Northern wing of MiCo, was designed and built by Volume Srl, Euphon S.p.A. Group with support from HARMAN Professional Italian distributor Leading Technologies. The installation interfaces with the existing BSS Audio network that Leading Technologies provided for the South Block section of the facility.

The backbone of the system is provided by BSS Audio Soundweb London BLU-806 signal processors, which offer configurable I/O, signal processing, Audinate’s Dante™ audio transport and Harman’s BLU link digital audio bus. Thirty-seven BLU-806 devices are installed in 18 rooms (along with an audio mixer), with each room’s EQ correction programmed into the BLU-806 devices. The BLU-806 was specified because it is the only Dante-supporting DSP device that could handle the required amount of signal routing and processing and enable a dual-redundant Dante network to run throughout MiCo North.

The system utilizes HARMAN HiQnet Audio Architect™ software, which provides comprehensive configuration, control and monitoring of the system.

According to Leading Technologies engineer Roberto Frigerio, the size of the project was matched by its urgency. “In the spring, the Italian Presidency of the Council of the European Union decided to bring various international meetings to MiCo. The organization also wanted to test the waters regarding staging other international corporate events beginning in 2015. Despite our successful installation in the South Block two years earlier, we had to prove we could accommodate these new demands and seamlessly integrate the new installation with the existing one – and under severe time and budgetary constraints.”

In addition to providing audio and video connectivity throughout the convention center, a major requirement was to standardize operation of the system in any room and accommodate a number of diverse A/V sources. “The BSS Audio Soundweb London system takes in the audio inputs from the mixing consoles via Dante and feeds the amplifiers through BLU link,” explained Volume’s project manager Marco Salviati. Users now also have the ability to send A/V from one room to all the others, enabling multiple rooms to share the same content, yet have individual volume levels.

109 JBL Control® 28 loudspeakers deliver audio throughout MiCo’s rooms. The speakers are powered by nine Crown DriveCore™ Install 4I300N amplifiers. In addition, a pair of JBL LSR305 powered studio monitors are used to provide a sonic reference in the master control room.

“For such a complex and flexible installation, it’s really simple to operate,” noted Dick Cranbe, the Audinate consultant on the project. “Every room can be run completely independently, and where rooms are linked together a user can use a single audio mixer to control the volume of all the rooms.”

“The project has lived up to its expectations, which were extremely high,” concluded Frigerio. “Until now, there was no facility in Italy capable of hosting large international meetings, which meant that we lost business to other countries. With the advent of the new BSS Audio system, MiCo is truly in the forefront of the world’s convention centers, and we’ve brought a new level of professionalism and new job opportunities into our domestic market.”

HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures and markets premier audio, visual, infotainment and enterprise automation solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets. With leading brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, Mark Levinson ® and Revel®, the Company is admired by audiophiles, musicians and the entertainment venues where they perform. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of approximately 16,600 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $5.6 billion for the 12 months ended September 30, 2014.

New H.264 Streaming Media Processor with FlexOS Now Shipping

Extron SMP 351Extron Electronics is pleased to announce the immediate availability of the SMP 351 Streaming Media Processor with FlexOS, an H.264 streaming media processor that captures and distributes live AV sources and presentations. With five available inputs, the SMP 351 creates high-impact content by combining two high resolution signals, a background image, and metadata, into dynamic layouts that enhance a presentation’s message. It supports both live streaming and recording capabilities, delivering presentations to anywhere a network can reach. With Extron’s FlexOS embedded operating system, the SMP 351 adapts easily to new requirements. Extron FlexOS applications on the SMP 351 can be configured to interface with control ports and automate system operation. It is easy to use, and with no licensing fees, has a low cost of ownership. The SMP 351 is a flexible, cost-effective way to deliver presentations to a larger audience. (more…)

HARMAN’s Martin Professional Introduces New LED Video Solutions For Dynamic Designs and Exterior Installations

MARTIN_VDO Fenix 6LAS VEGAS, Nevada — Today at LDI 2014, HARMAN’s Martin Professional introduced a range of new LED Video solutions for creating more dynamic lighting designs and exterior installations that include the Exterior PixLine™ family, the VDO Fenix 6™, and the VDO Sceptron™ family.

“It’s an exciting time for us with so many products launched recently and so many new to be launched today at LDI in Las Vegas,” said Peter Skytte, Head of Product Management, Martin Professional. “We’re bringing a variety of new products to the Market across our entire product range, including controllers, atmospheric effects, LED video, lighting and RUSH by Martin.”

VDO Fenix 6™

The VDO Fenix 6 is a touring-friendly outdoor LED video panel with 6 mm pixel pitch and full cross-rental compatibility. The robust and ergonomic frame eliminates the need to use an add-on touring frame and allows for fast and easy build-up of LED video walls. Easy to assemble and configure, set up of the VDO Fenix 6 requires just one person.

“The VDO Fenix 6 marks the start of our third generation of LED video panels,” said Wouter Verlinden, Product Manager – LED Video, Martin Professional “ It is set to become an industry standard for rental companies that focus on quality and cross-rentability.”

The Fenix 6 is controlled by Martin’s P3 System Controller family, which also controls Martin’s creative LED video products, ensuring bright and optimal image quality in a variety of outdoor (and indoor) applications. Every Fenix 6 panel is calibrated to match Martin’s existing LED video panels, ensuring easy and seamless integration with previous models.

For more information on the VDO Fenix 6, please visit: http://youtu.be/fXefXV6ZUSc

VDO Sceptron™
The VDO Sceptron family features linear outdoor-rated LED video fixtures with 10, 20, or 40 mm pixel pitch and an extensive range of field-exchangeable optical accessories that offer a wide variety of looks. Controlled by the Martin P3 System Controller family, VDO Sceptron fixtures boast simple configuration, mapping and setup. The Sceptron family is also backwards compatible with DMX for smaller setups. Integrated power and data cabling allows for long daisy-chains with many fixtures per cable-run, while the power supply can be located backstage (up to 50 m away) for a clean setup avoiding messy cabling and several driver boxes.

For more information on the VDO Scpetron Family, please visit: http://youtu.be/ERCRRFASA64

Exterior PixLine™
Martin’s Exterior PixLine is a family of linear LED video fixtures for media-facades and creative installations. Featuring a rugged outdoor-rated design, a range of pixel pitches (10, 20, and 40mm), and fully customizable length and color capabilities, the Exterior PixLine ensures seamless integration with any design or application.

The family is driven by the Martin P3 System Controller family for easy configuration, mapping and setup, and is also backwards compatible with DMX for smaller setups.

For more information on Martin’s creative LED Video solutions, please visit: www.Martin.com

As a world leader in the creation of dynamic lighting solutions for the entertainment, architectural, and commercial sectors, Martin lighting and video systems are renowned the world over. Martin also offers a range of advanced lighting controllers and media servers, as well as a complete line of smoke machines as a complement to intelligent lighting. Martin operates the industry’s most complete and capable distributor network with local partners in nearly 100 countries. Founded in 1987 and based in Aarhus, Denmark, Martin is the lighting division of global infotainment and audio company HARMAN International Industries. For more information please visit: http://www.martin.com.

HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures and markets premier audio, visual, infotainment and enterprise automation solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets. With leading brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, Mark Levinson ® and Revel®, the Company is admired by audiophiles, musicians and the entertainment venues where they perform. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of approximately 16,600 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $5.6 billion for the 12 months ended September 30, 2014.

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Catalyst AV Distribution Network Member HCA Distributing Opens Salt Lake City Branch

Denver, CO – November 21, 2014 – Catalyst AV distribution network member-company HCA Distributing, today announced the grand opening of its Salt Lake City distribution facility. This represents the 2nd location for the company, which is headquartered in Denver, Colorado.

Located only minutes from the junction of I-15 & I-80

Located only minutes from the junction of I-15 & I-80

The branch encompasses 5,500 square feet of which 2,000 sq ft is allocated to showroom with 3,500 sq ft for warehouse space.

The branch is located only minutes from the junction of I-15 and I-80 in South Salt Lake City. Hours of operation are 7:30AM – 5PM, Monday – Friday. Branch manager Michael Thompson can be reached at michael@hcadist.com and 801.228.0027.

Displayed and stocked are all of the Catalyst AV network lines: Nest, Dropcam, APC, EnGenius, Atlona, TiVo, IC Realtime, ClearView CCTV, Vivitek, ICE Cable, Perfect Path, Vanco, Rapid Racks and Mounts and Catalyst Wire & Cable – as well as several dozen more leading audio, video and accessory brands.

A comprehensive assortment of leading  AV solutions for today's integrator

A comprehensive assortment of leading AV solutions for today’s integrator

“There is a tremendous amount of new home building taking place in the Salt Lake City area,” says HCA principal Ron Perron. “With HCA’s expertise, top-notch product lines and ongoing training programs, the new facility will serve our dealers and manufacturer partners quite well.”

The HCA Distributing Salt Lake City branch is located at 427 Lawndale Drive, Unit A, South Salt Lake City, Utah 84115.
Phone: 801.228.0027 / Internet: www.hcadist.com.

About Catalyst AV Founded in 2012, Catalyst AV is a network of 11 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

Clay Paky Sharpy Fixtures Help Deliver Powerful Message For “Stand Up to Cancer” Blockbuster Special

1When the fourth biennial “Stand Up to Cancer” special aired in the US and Canada on September 5 it raised more than $109 million for its groundbreaking collaborative research efforts. Some 60 Clay Paky Sharpy fixtures were deployed for the event. A.C.T Lighting is the exclusive distributor of both brands in North America.

More than three dozen broadcast and cable networks in the US and Canada telecast “Stand Up to Cancer.” The show, staged at LA’s Dolby Theatre, featured celebrity guests, music by Lupe Fiasco, Jennifer Hudson and Common, The Who, the Dave Matthews Band, and Ariana Grande, and inspiring stories about patients who have benefited from the research supported by the organization. Atomic Lighting of Lititz, Pennsylvania provided the Clay Paky fixtures.

“This show really means a lot to me,” says Brad Hafer, vice president of account management, at Atomic Lighting. “‘Stand Up to Cancer’ is about something real – it’s not just done for ratings. It made us all feel that we were contributing something to the cause.”

Allen Branton was the lighting designer for the special with Felix Peralta, Daniel K. Boland and Darren Langer the lighting directors. Peralta worked closely with Branton on the show design. “We’ve been associated with ‘Stand Up to Cancer’ before; its message is a very powerful one and the show has high production values, but not flashy ones,” he explains.

The Sharpys were used as strong beam lights and for their Sharpy dappling technique, Peralta points out. “Giant white walls acted as video projection surfaces, which we enhanced with accents of color or Sharpy dappling – treating the scenic pieces with the high-output fixtures to create a nice effect that you can’t get with a hard-edged light. It was a big part of the look of the show.”

Since the special was “a strong, video-driven show,” Peralta teamed with Laura Frank, screens producer and media programmer, on the media canvas. “She and I like to make sure the lighting and video stories come from the same center, that the transitions are the same, the color schemes complementary or matching,” he explains. “When lighting and video play together both are much more powerful.”

Frank, who is the principal of Minneapolis-based Luminous FX, says Kurtis Kennington of Digital Flodur designed the media content creating “about a dozen looks for the show, plus the band. The entire set was projection mapped so the environment was video driven.” Looks included themes of science and technology to support certain speakers; the band was often accompanied by photomontages of cancer survivors.

“The show was as much about lighting the people in the audience as those on stage,” says Boland. “We made sure everyone was lit, the color temperature was fine. During rehearsal we keyed at least six positions for the people making speeches and introducing the videos, including one on a round extension into the audience.”

Darren Langer, the floor lighting director, worked closely with Boland to ensure consistent exposure levels for the talent and the audience and a “polished” look, Peralta says.

Peralta himself was responsible for lighting the environment for the show, including the scenic pieces and architecture of the house. He says production designer John Calkins partnered with Branton to create a “tasteful and powerful” environment that helped deliver the show’s strong message.

Francesco Romagnoli, Clay Paky Area Manager for North and Latin America, concluded, “This was a very important show for a lot of reasons and we were proud to be a part of it. All the lighting professionals involved in this show are great talents and we always enjoy working with them.”

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

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Powersoft Captures Nuance and Detail of The Earth Harp and Other Artistic Performances at Pennsylvania’s Mercyhurst University

Clean and Pristine Audio is the Name of the Game for Fact AV Technologies at The Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center and Other Venues within the University’s Institute for Arts & Culture

Erie, PA, November 21, 2014: For Eric Johnson, owner of Erie-based Fact AV Technologies, Inc., the emotional impact of music is all in the nuance and detail. When he started his small company more than 25 years ago, Johnson set out to raise the standards of live sound for small scale and intimate venues, raising audio quality to levels more typically found in larger halls and higher seating capacity performance spaces. To stand out in a crowded market of AV solution providers, Johnson decided to come in at the ‘high end’ and build the foundation of his audio rack around Powersoft amplification,

1One of Johnson’s mainstay clients, Mercyhurst University, routinely draws national touring talent for its three intimate venues including two smaller spaces geared towards acoustic performances, and the spectacular 792-seat capacity Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center — which opened in 1996 as part of the University’s Institute for Arts & Culture (MIAD). To ensure the space is enveloped in uncompromising, pristine audio, Johnson relies on a selection of nimble, yet powerful, Powersoft amplifiers, in addition to EAW loudspeakers and digital mixers from Midas and Digico.

Typically, performances at MIAD might include jazz and orchestral concerts, but the University also attracts unconventional and artistically innovative acts such as Malibu, CA-based William Close, maestro of the Earth Harp — the longest stringed instrument in the world, and Ugandan artist Simite, who plays the Kalimba — a type of thumb piano. “These artists, and all the artists that play here, have a very specific idea of what their art and their presentation should sound like,” commented Eric Johnson. “My goal is to try to reproduce their vision as closely as possible using the tools that I have. My amplifiers from Powersoft are an important component in reproducing that performance.”

“The Secret Sauce” is Powersoft

2For performances at the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center, Johnson relies on just four rackspaces of Powersoft amplifiers to cover FOH: (2) K10s for the subwoofers, and (2) K3s for mid and high frequencies and an M50Q for the balcony. Considering such a small amplification footprint, his Powersoft rack packs a punch: “I can hit 110 dB on the back wall if I want to,” he exclaims. In addition to his Powersoft amplification at FOH, he typically has four EAW loudspeaker cabinets on stage and another pair of loudspeakers off of the balcony, all running through a Midas Pro 2 48-channel digital console. At monitors, he has a rack with (3) Powersoft M50Qs, and other with (3) Powersoft M30s, with audio running through the Digico console.

For Ugandan artist Simite, it was a ‘bare minimum’ performance with just (7) channels, but the nuance of the audio was absolutely critical to the performance. “I was unfamiliar with most of the instruments in his arsenal except for the acoustic guitar,” Johnson admits. “So I simply approached it like I might approach a jazz band, trying to make the performance as transparent and full sounding as possible without making it sound forced.” Johnson is convinced that his high end Powersoft amplification helped him capture exactly what the artist wanted to hear. “As he played the Kalimba, the guitar player intertwined melodies in such a way that you really needed to hear every single note they were playing. While this was going on, Samite was singing with loops and creating very complex harmonies.” By the end of the show, Johnson says, audience members were dancing on the stage and Simite himself was very pleased.

3Earlier this fall, global touring artist William Close and the Earth Harp Collective also performed in Erie at the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center. In contrast to the diminutive Kalimba ‘thumb piano’, the Earth Harp had its audio reproduction challenges, albeit on a much larger physical scale. As the largest stringed instrument in the world with brass strings spanning hundreds of feet, the Earth Harp was actually strung from the stage to the balcony of the theater. The tones created by the Earth Harp —which are rich with harmonics and complex overtones — are unlike any other instrument and require the finest audio equipment to capture every detail. According to Johnson, Powersoft amplification stood up to the challenge.

“As William began stringing his Earth Harp from the stage to the balcony of the theater, I was scratching my head wondering what in the world this was going to be like,” Johnson recalls. “With a jazz band, you have preconceptions and can anticipate what it is going to sound like, but with someone like William, who is a true innovator, there is no basis because it’s never been done. Thanks in large part to my Powersoft rig, I was able to accurately represent those sounds, and in this case that really made the show.”

“Mercyhurst is one of my favorite places to perform and the sound system is amazing,” commented William Close. “The harmonic tones of my Earth Harp were so clear and powerful; there is no doubt in my mind that the Powersoft amplifiers helped bring this instrument and all the other instruments to a whole new level of sonic splendor. The concert hall itself really became the instrument, and the sound system brought out all the musical magic and detail.”

For Johnson, the right amplification is a critically important choice. “In my work, it all comes down to my tools, and Powersoft plays a big part of this,” he concludes. “These performances as subtle and delicate, so it is critical to have equipment that is going to perform that way. With my K and M series amplifiers, I don’t have to spend a lot of time getting it to sound just like the artist wants.”

About Powersoft:

Powersoft is the world leader in lightweight, high power, single rack space, energy efficient amplifiers for the professional audio market. Founded in Italy in 1995, headquartered in Florence, Italy, with offices in Ventura, CA, Powersoft couples the experience and precision of its production department with exceptional components to deliver products with perfect audio response and high performance reliability. Its state-of-the-art amplifiers can be found in an array of markets, ranging from stadiums, sporting arenas, theme parks, performance venues and airports to convention centers, churches and clubs, and are used by the world’s leading tour sound companies. For more information, visit the Powersoft website @ www.powersoft-audio.com.

Captions:
1) William Close and the Earth Harp Collective perform at Mercyhurst.
2) System Engineer Nick Corsi (L) and Eric Johnson, Founder of Fact AV Technologies, Inc.
3) William Close strung his Earth Harp from the stage to the balcony of Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center.

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HARMAN’s Martin Professional Launches MAC Aura XB™ Wash Light, M-Touch™ Lighting Console, and RUSH Gobo Projector 1™ at LDI 2014

MARTIN_MAC Aura XBLAS VEGAS, Nevada — Underscoring their position as a leading provider of innovative lighting solutions for the live production and installation markets, HARMAN’s Martin Professional today introduced the MAC Aura XB™ wash light, M-Touch lighting console, and RUSH Gobo Projector 1™.

“It’s an exciting time for us with so many products launched recently and so many new to be launched today at LDI in Las Vegas,” said Peter Skytte, Head of Product Management, Martin Professional. “We’re bringing a variety of new products to the Market across our entire product range, including controllers, atmospheric effects, LED video, lighting and RUSH by Martin.”

MAC Aura XB™

Incorporating many new features first introduced in Martin’s MAC Quantum Wash™, the MAC Aura XB™ combines a super compact design and low weight with a new color mixing system and an optimized lens design for tighter beams and more even washes The Aura XB uses a super bright, single lens wash with fully premixed color to provide beautiful and robust color washes. The luminaire also boasts low power consumption and a prolonged service life.

For more information on the MAC Aura XB, please visit: http://youtu.be/94XXX47vUF8

Martin M-Touch
As the latest member of Martin’s M-Series consoles, the M-Touch is an affordable console surface that connects with any M-series console or PC running M-PC for both small shows and professional use. The M-Touch boasts a rugged aluminum design and is the most powerful controller of its class with a full 512 DMX channels that are expandable up to 65,000 channels.

The M-touch features two new innovative technologies never before used in lighting consoles: Force Sensor Resistive Faders (FSR) and Pressure Sensitive Buttons (PSB). The console has 10 playback FSR faders, each with two controller buttons and one PSB Button, while the console’s programming section uses four FSR encoders for easy control over fixture parameters. An additional set of 10 PSB buttons can bet set for playback or other programmable functions.

The console also offers easy control with direct access to common programming buttons including Record, Delete, Group, Cue update, Beat trig, Main Go/Pause/Release and a multitude of others.

For more information on the M-Touch, please visit: www.martin.com/en-US/Product-Details/M-Touch

RUSH Gobo Projector 1™
Ideal for clubs, bars, restaurants, shopping malls, and other applications that require gobo projection, the RUSH Gobo Projector 1™ is a compact LED fixture with silent operation. Easy-touch buttons allow for easy adjustment of focus, speed, and direction, while a magnetic gobo holder allows for simple gobo changes in seconds.

For more information on the RUSH Gobo Projector 1, please visit: http://www.martin.com/en-US/Product-Details/RUSH-Gobo-Projector-1

For more information on Martin’s lighting solutions, please visit: www.martin.com

As a world leader in the creation of dynamic lighting solutions for the entertainment, architectural, and commercial sectors, Martin lighting and video systems are renowned the world over. Martin also offers a range of advanced lighting controllers and media servers, as well as a complete line of smoke machines as a complement to intelligent lighting. Martin operates the industry’s most complete and capable distributor network with local partners in nearly 100 countries. Founded in 1987 and based in Aarhus, Denmark, Martin is the lighting division of global infotainment and audio company HARMAN International Industries. For more information please visit: http://www.martin.com.

HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures and markets premier audio, visual, infotainment and enterprise automation solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets. With leading brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, Mark Levinson ® and Revel®, the Company is admired by audiophiles, musicians and the entertainment venues where they perform. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of approximately 16,600 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $5.6 billion for the 12 months ended September 30, 2014.

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HARMAN’s Lexicon Hardware and Software Gets in the Mix at Right Coast Recording

Bobby-SittingSALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Since 1990, Columbia, Pennsylvania’s Right Coast Recording has been a haven for area and national artists, from local luminaries like Burning Bus, Beru Revue and Jump the Gun to top artists like Billy Joel, the Dixie Chicks and Yes. Built around a 42′ x 35′ x 16′ main studio space that encourages live tracking sessions, the central PA studio combines the best of old-school and cutting-edge recording technologies – with HARMAN’s Lexicon plug-ins and processors as key sonic elements.

“We’ll use whatever it takes to get the right sounds for our artists and corporate clients,” said Bobby Gentilo, Manager at Right Coast. “More often than not, Lexicon reverbs and effects find their way into the final mix.” Right Coast’s Lexicon arsenal includes the PCM Native Reverb Plug-In Bundle, two 224 digital reverbs, an MX200 effects processor and a classic PCM 70 digital effects processor. Gentilo first started recording at an early age by bouncing tracks from one cassette tape deck to another. “I got into writing songs and needed to know how to get the sounds I wanted to hear on tape. As a young musician I realized early on that sometimes people had one specific way to get a sound that I didn’t necessarily care for or agree with.” As a result Gentilo became a self-confessed “studio rat,” building a rudimentary studio with fellow band members in a subleased space. When the band ended up “being kicked out literally overnight,” Gentilo knew it was time to make the next move, eventually and perhaps inevitably connecting with Right Coast studio owner Dave Natale.

Gentilo notes that “Dave was doing what I had always envisioned,” as owner of Right Coast and front of house engineer for artists including Olivia Newton-John, Tina Turner, Lionel Richie and many more (he currently mixes shows for The Rolling Stones). “His approach to getting recordings to sound somehow natural and ‘right’ and with dynamics, clarity and punch was what I had been trying to achieve.” At the time Right Coast was totally analog. “I knew computers and knew there were benefits to both analog and digital. I felt that Right Coast could move to a combined old-school meets new-school approach. Besides, Dave liked my band,” Gentilo laughed. Natale agreed and the two of them have been working together ever since.

Reverb is an essential recording technique, and Gentilo is adamant about using it properly. “When you use reverb, it has to be believable, whether you’re trying to create a sonic space that sounds like an actual room or hall would sound like or making a voice or instrument stand out with some type of special effect. The reverb still needs to have that natural quality, and that’s one of the many areas in which Lexicon excels.” He noted that sometimes the best use of reverb is when it’s sonically invisible. “Some of the Lexicon reverb types can really enhance a track even if you don’t realize they’re there – but then when you take them away the track loses something.”

Whether he’s working with analog or digital, Gentilo finds Lexicon’s versatility enabled him to get just the right reverb for either. He uses the Right Coast’s two Lexicon 224 digital reverbs as an overall bus to the studio’s analog mixing console, with one dedicated entirely to vocals. He uses the Lexicon PCM Native Reverb Plug-In Bundle to add what he calls “depth of field” to individual instruments or to the overall mix and to fine-tune the reverb on guitars. He also likes the fact that he can instantly recall a reverb setting using the plug-in, whether he’s set up with an analog or a digital mixing board for a particular recording or mixing session. “I’ve been using the Lexicon hardware reverbs for a long time and am comfortable with them, but if I didn’t have them I would be fine using just the Plug-In Bundle.”

Gentilo notes that from one day to the next Right Coast might be recording a current indie band, a 90 year-old bluesman from Mississippi, a gospel group, a hip-hop group rapping over beats and samples or something completely unexpected. “No matter what I’m recording, I don’t want to use reverb just for sonic ‘sweetening’ or for its own sake. I want to achieve a certain vibe or an emotion. With Lexicon, I know I can create that.”

“Bobby is a great example of how to successfully mix old school hardware with newer plug-ins to give clients the best of both worlds. Right Coast is a model studio and its great to see Lexicon continue to be such a central element to the work they are doing at Right Coast Recording,” stated Jason Kunz, Market Manager, Portable PA, Recording and Broadcast, HARMAN Singal Processing.

HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures and markets premier audio, visual, infotainment and enterprise automation solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets. With leading brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, Mark Levinson ® and Revel®, the Company is admired by audiophiles, musicians and the entertainment venues where they perform. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of approximately 16,600 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $5.6 billion for the 12 months ended September 30, 2014.

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