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Press Releases For : February 18, 2015

Ashly Audio Appoints Sound Directions Ltd as Its Exclusive Distributor in the United Kingdom

Ashly_SoundDirectionsWEBSTER, NEW YORK – FEBRUARY 2015: Ashly Audio, manufacturer of high-value, high-performance amplifiers, signal processors, and user-interfaces for the installed sound market, announces the appointment of Sound Directions, Ltd. as its exclusive distributor in the United Kingdom. Closing in on two decades at the forefront of the education, hospitality, house of worship, theater, government building, and museum sectors for installed sound, Sound Directions caters to consultants and A/V integrators with peerless systems knowledge and a free system designing and programming service. The Chessington, Surrey-based company will distribute Ashly’s entire line of products, including Ashly’s networked multi-channel amplifiers, Protea DSP-equipped amplifiers, and customizable user interfaces, such as Ashly’s client-dazzling iPad app.

Stanislas Boivin-Champeaux founded Sound Directions in 1998. “From the very start, we’ve worked closely with our customers to demystify the vast array of technologies that are available in the installed A/V market,” he said. “When it benefits our clients, we happily design and program systems that work flawlessly under the pressures and challenges of the real world. We’ve seen countless systems designed by others that left end-users with a system that they did not understand and could not operate. We go the extra mile to ensure that this is never the case for the systems we design. A job is never complete until everyone is perfectly satisfied.”

The effort Sound Directions puts into system design and programming for its audio professional clients is unique among distributors,” said Mike van der Logt, EMEA sales manager with Ashly Audio. They have a strong technical team that has depth of experience in the markets their customers operate in. They understand the pressures their customers face and work alongside them to create on-time solutions, within budget. That ultimately wins more projects for everyone involved. We’re pleased to partner with such a well-respected and forward-thinking distributor. Our existing UK customers will be pleased, and we expect Sound Directions’ reach to win legions of new Ashly fans.”

“We have travelled the world to pull together a portfolio of products that work flawlessly together, and Ashly Audio has a well-deserved reputation for building reliable, well-engineered solutions at exceptionally competitive prices,” said Boivin-Champeaux. “Ashly’s hardware, software, and user interfaces complement our existing partner brands perfectly, and their products are very flexible and Dante- and CobraNet-compatible, allowing us to leverage Ashly solutions in a huge range of designs.”

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


Christie wins top technology awards at ISE 2015

Christie® earned two highly prestigious awards for technical innovation at this year’s ISE Show in Amsterdam last week. Christie’s 6P laser technology was voted the “AV Innovation of the Year” by leading British based trade journal, “AV News.” The award recognizes the contribution made by individuals and teams to the development of the AV business, and marks the arrival of new technologies that will have a significant effect on the AV industry.
The mission set out by Christie 6P laser projection was to redefine the 3D cinema experience by delivering the optimum 14 fl to 3D along with no motion artifacts. It provides unprecedented brightness and smooth, natural viewing with stunning uniformity and detail.
“Christie’s decision to use the dual headed projection system for providing the most comfortable 3D viewing experience and delivering the brightest picture is reinforced by this award,” said Don Shaw, senior director, product management for Christie. “It is also a testament to our engineering capability and our knowledge of what the market truly needs. As a result, Christie’s 6P laser projection is setting the standard for cinemas and other 3D projection applications by providing the ultimate viewing experience.”
Christie GS Series wins prestigious InAVation Award
Christie’s GS Series of laser phosphor projectors picked up a major global award for “Most InAVative Projector” at the highly prestigious annual “InAVation Awards.”
Sponsored by InAVate Magazine and held at the Gashouder, Amsterdam during the annual ISE Show, this category recognizes a remarkable technology that avoids the downtime, cost of lamp and filter replacements, and the maintenance associated with lamp-based projectors. It further acknowledges that laser phosphor illumination provides an impressive 20,000 hours of low-cost operation, with wireless connectivity, a small footprint, low-weight, quiet operation and a full suite of lenses.
“We deliver what our customers want and this award demonstrates our ongoing commitment to developing high quality products,” said Curtis Lingard, product manager, Christie. “With our GS Series, I think we are seeing the start of a new technology in the market  and I hope we will see a lot more  with Christie leading the way.”

Christie GS Series - Laser Phosphor Projector

Christie GS Series – Laser Phosphor Projector

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Professional Wireless Systems Teams Up With ATK Audiotek And The NFL To Tackle Frequency Interference At The Pro Bowl And Super Bowl XLIX

L to R - The PWS team, including Jim Van Winkle, PWS general manager, James Stoffo, PWS RF lead, Evan Hall and Richard StocktonPHOENIX, AZ, FEBRUARY 18, 2015Professional Wireless Systems (PWS) teamed up with ATK Audiotek and Versacom for the 19th consecutive year to deliver fumble free RF management of the assigned frequencies for several of the entertainment portions surrounding Super Bowl XLIX. Working directly with the NFL Game Day Frequency Coordinators (GDC) and Karl Voss, the NFL’s lead frequency coordinator, PWS offered its on-site frequency management support not only for the Super Bowl pre-game and half time entertainment segments, but also for the referee mics and the big game’s Pro Bowl predecessor.

Preparations began back in mid-October when James Stoffo, PWS RF lead, and Jim Van Winkle, PWS general manager, worked closely with ATK Audiotek’s Paul Liszewski and Versacom’s Matt Campisi to conduct site surveys. Once initial plans were in place, PWS submitted a list of frequency requirements to the GDC, who handled the frequency coordination for the entire event, including coaches’ intercoms, referee mics, network broadcasters, media and entertainment. Karl Voss then allocated the frequencies that PWS needed to integrate the entertainment needs with the other users at the Pro Bowl and Super Bowl.

PWS at the Pro BowlThe two games had very different set ups for their entertainment shows, each which presented its own unique set of challenges. For the Pro Bowl, PWS, led by Stoffo, handled frequency management for both the live national anthem, sung on the field by Jordin Sparks, and the half time show, featuring Nico & Vinz. Distance posed a potential problem, as the PWS team, including Evan Hall and Richard Stockton, needed to configure an equipment setup that would allow both the national anthem, sung on the field, and the half time show, on a bridge behind the end zone, to operate seamlessly.

“We had to remote all of ATK’s mic racks and in-ear monitor racks up to the bridge so that we had a local presence next to the stage,” says Stoffo. “It was additionally challenging for the wireless intercom setup, because we now had to cover a much greater distance, requiring more antennas and zones, so that the intercom could work seamlessly across several locations. It ended up working out perfectly, and it was a terrific show all around.”

PWS at the Super Bowl XLIX - 1

The Super Bowl half time show, during which Katy Perry belted out an array of her hits on stage at the 50-yard line, had its own set of challenges. “Katy Perry used five live Sennheiser microphones throughout her performance, switching microphones every time she went from one location to another,” says Stoffo. “The microphones were all sharing frequencies, which meant that each time she switched to a different microphone, we had to turn off all previously utilized microphones to prevent interference. Thanks to the hard work from Evan and Richard, this whole process was carried out successfully.”

Included in the equipment lineup supplied by PWS and ATK for both the Pro Bowl and Super Bowl were the Shure Axient® wireless system, Shure UHF-Rs and PSM-1000 Series in-ear microphones, as well as PWS Domed and Helical Antennas utilized for the ATK wireless systems on the field. The team also employed Sennheiser 3732 receivers with 5200 transmitters. Versacom provided a mixture of wireless intercoms, including HME PRO850 and BTR800s from Telex for the event. “In addition, the team utilized 24 Radio Active Designs UV-1G VHF Narrow Band™ Beltpacks for the first time, which made frequency management easier than any other time in the past five years. In utilizing VHF, we were able to free up a lot of the spectrum in the UHF band for other uses,” adds Van Winkle.

PWS at the Super Bowl XLIX - 2In total, the PWS team handled more than 70 frequencies in a backdrop of more than 1,000 to ensure that spectrum users were not interfering with one another during the Pro Bowl and the Super Bowl’s entertainment segments. “The PWS team did a great job at anticipating any potential problems and working together to quickly ensure a smooth show,” concludes Van Winkle. “A special thanks to Karl Voss, as well as the ATK and Versacom crew, who were all fantastic to work with and made for another successful year.”

For more information about Professional Wireless Systems, visit http://www.professionalwireless.com.

About Masque Sound
Founded in 1936 by a trio of Broadway stagehands, Masque Sound evolved into one of NYC’s most successful theatrical sound reinforcement, installation and design companies specializing in theatrical, house of worship, sporting, corporate, TV broadcast and live concert events. Celebrating more than 75 years in the industry, the company is led by President Stephanie Hansen and the firm’s third generation owner, Geoff Shearing. The company also operates Florida-based Professional Wireless Systems, a leader in the development and implementation of wireless technology. Credits range from major Broadway shows and tours including “Phantom of the Opera,” “Mamma Mia!,” “Lion King,” “Jersey Boys,” “Memphis,” “The Book of Mormon,” “Newsies,” “Once” and “Kinky Boots” to yearly Super Bowl broadcasts and installations of varying sizes, including New York’s New Victory Theater and historic St. Bartholomew’s Church. Masque Sound’s 70,000 sq. ft. corporate headquarters and main assembly facility is located at 21 East Union Ave., East Rutherford, NJ, 20 minutes from midtown Manhattan. For more information, call (201) 939-8666 or visit www.MasqueSound.com.

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New Advanced Audio for FIS Alpine Junior World Ski Championships

Lillehammer Norway – Hafjell, Norway is hosting the FIS Alpine Junior World Ski Championships this winter and, with the original sound system installed 20 years ago for the Lillehammer Winter Olympics, the Hafjell Nationalanlegg decided a new system was required. The investment is part of a major overall upgrade of the national slalom slope, financed by the Norwegian government.

Hafjell is located just north of Lillehammer and is one of Norway’s largest ski areas, with a starting point 1030 meters above sea level and a vertical drop of 835 meters. During the Winter Olympics in 1994 it was the venue for the slalom and giant slalom events and is now the national arena and training facility for these disciplines. Following the Olympics, the resort was further developed and currently consists of 30 trails serviced by a cable car, 3 chair lifts and 11 ski lifts. Hafjell and its co-owned neighboring venue together form the largest ski resort in Norway with 73 km of runs.

Design of the new system was handled by Bjørn Fjeld of Norsk Lydteknikk AS and the installation was completed by Lillehammer-based Østbye og Sletmoen. The new system was specified to be designed for the highest quality for speech and music with the possibility of future expansion in mind. With these requirements, the Symetrix Radius was chosen for its studio sound quality and Dante network compatibility. “We chose Community R SERIES loudspeakers based on many years of experience using them on ski slopes across Norway,” said Fjeld. “They provide outstanding audio quality and unequalled reliability in this type of environment. The coverage patterns and throw are also excellent, and critical for accurately covering large outdoor areas.”

Community’s digital FIR filters are programmed into the loudspeaker management module of the Symetrix Radius 12×8 for optimal system performance and the system is powered by Ecler DPA 2000 and DPA1400 amplifiers. Clockaudio mics are used for commentary and announcement.

Fjeld commented, “The original system, considered the best in its time, comprised two massive racks of electronics. One 20U rack with a modern DSP-based loudspeaker system has now replaced that and will provide Hajfell with a system we’re confident will meet their needs for the next 20 years. For the participants and audience alike, the new system also substantially raises the audio quality for their involvement and enjoyment.”

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REEDSBURG, WI — Sound Devices, specialists in audio and video products for broadcast and film production, is pleased to announce that its 970 rack-mount, multi-track audio recorder won the Cinema Audio Society (CAS) Technical Achievement Award in the Production category.

The Cinema Audio Society was formed in 1964 to recognize innovations in recording technologies, including hardware and software products that are used by sound mixing professionals. Sound Devices has now been a recipient of the prestigious CAS Technical Achievement Award five times. The 744T and 788T Production Recorders, and the 664 and 633 Field Production Mixers are all past winners.Sound Devices - 970 CAS Award

“To be consistently recognized year after year for our new products with CAS Technical Achievement Awards is a remarkable accomplishment,” says Matt Anderson, President of Sound Devices. “At Sound Devices, we continue to push the boundaries by presenting high-quality, innovative tools that make a difference in the demanding workflows of our customers in the motion picture and television industries. We couldn’t be happier that the 970, our first-ever dedicated rack-mount audio solution, is being recognized for doing so.”

Sound Devices’ 970 records 64 channels of monophonic or polyphonic 24-bit WAV files from any of its 144 available inputs, including 64 channels of Ethernet-based Dante, 64 channels of optical or coaxial MADI, eight channels of line-level analog and eight channels of AES digital. The half-rack, 2-U device simplifies any application requiring high-quality high-track-count audio recording, such as drama and reality productions, and live concert recording. The 970 records to any of four attached drives, two front-panel drive bays (behind the screen) and two rear-panel e-SATA-connected drives. Material can be recorded to multiple drives simultaneously or sequentially. With its built-in, rock-steady Ambient™ Recording Lockit time-code technology, the 970 is well-suited to operate as a master clock.Sound Devices 970 - front panel

The 970 also features an embedded Web-based control panel for machine transport and setup control over Ethernet-based networks as well as file transfer over the data network with SMB. Users can perform file metadata editing of scene name, take name, notes, track names and reel folders before, during and after recording across all drives. In addition to RS-422 and GPIO control, the unit also allows for format conversion between analog, AES digital, MADI and Dante. Sound Devices’ 970 is designed with a large five-inch screen for metering of up to 64 tracks and for fast and intuitive menu control.

Additionally, Sound Devices 970 features the company’s proprietary PowerSafe™ technology, which has a built-in 10-second power reserve. In the event of a power loss, the unit continues to operate for up to 10 seconds to safely stop any file operation and then shuts down. This ensures that a complete power loss has no effect on the recording. The 970 also features FileSafe™, which automatically detects and repairs corrupted file headers when drives are mounted. Should this occur when a drive is inadvertently removed during recording, the user can simply reinsert the drive and FileSafe will automatically repair the files.

Sound Devices, LLC designs and manufactures portable audio mixers, digital audio recorders and related equipment for feature film, episodic television, documentary, news-gathering, live event and acoustical test and measurement applications. Video Devices is a brand of Sound Devices for their digital video recorders and related products that address a range of multiple-source video productions, including fast-paced, mission-critical studio applications, live sports, live events, and mobile production.

Founded in 1998, the company designs and manufactures both brands from their Reedsburg, Wisconsin headquarters with additional offices in Madison, Wisconsin. For more information, visit the Sound Devices and Video Devices websites: www.sounddevices.com and www.videodevices.com.

Masque Sound Helps Put Contemporary Spin on Revolutionary Tale of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Much-Anticipated New Musical, Hamilton

HamiltonNEW YORK, FEBRUARY 18, 2015 — When the wildly inventive new musical HAMILTON opened at New York City’s famed Public Theater, Sound Designer Nevin Steinberg collaborated with Masque Sound,a leading theatrical sound reinforcement, installation and design company, on a custom audio equipment package for the eagerly anticipated off-Broadway production.

From the creative team behind the Tony® Award-winning In The Heights comes a wildly inventive new musical about the scrappy young immigrant who forever changed America: Alexander Hamilton. Tony and Grammy Award winner Lin-Manuel Miranda wields his pen and takes the stage as the unlikely founding father determined to make his mark on a new nation as hungry and ambitious as he is. From bastard orphan to Washington’s right hand man, rebel to war hero, loving husband caught in the country’s first sex scandal to Treasury head who made an untrusting world believe in the American economy, HAMILTON is an exploration of a political mastermind. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Eliza Hamilton, and lifelong Hamilton friend and foe, Aaron Burr, all attend this revolutionary tale of America’s fiery past told through the sounds of the ever-changing nation we’ve become. Tony Award nominee Thomas Kail directs this new musical about taking your shot, speaking your mind, and turning the world upside down. HAMILTON features book, music, and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, is inspired by the book “Alexander Hamilton” by Ron Chernow, choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler, and is directed by Thomas Kail.

“Lin is a great theatre artist and fascinating individual full of fantastic ideas, and I am fortunate to once again be a part of the creative team he assembled,” says Steinberg. “I was lucky enough to work on In the Heights and when its director, Thomas Kail, asked me to be a part of this show, I was thrilled.”

In designing the sound for HAMILTON, Steinberg had his work cut out for him. “When you are generating the kind of energy that this style of music demands, the first job is to determine how the audience will hear the lyrics and understand how the words and the story connect to these characters,” he says. “It is important to pay attention to the versatility and premium of clarity, fidelity and linearity in the sound system, while making sure it is sensitive and delicate enough to translate to the ballads and the string quartet, and the more traditional music that rise up out of this environment. To succeed, you have to be very agile and have a very large tool kit at your disposal, and Masque Sound was wonderful in providing us with everything we needed.”

Miranda’s music and the idiom in which he writes is very challenging for audio but is also full of great opportunities to change the game as to how people hear shows in the theatre. The music has its own vocabulary, which emanates from a very contemporary urban feel, so, in designing the sound, there were a lot of challenges in addressing the way the hip-hop-style music would contrast with the show’s more classical undertones, courtesy of the production’s string quartet.

“My biggest challenge was to honor the dynamic range of both the energy and the emotion contained in the score that Lin writes,” says Steinberg. “The show encompasses an extraordinary range. We go from generating the kind of environment that you might experience at a hip-hop concert to the most delicate ballads supported by only a piano and violin, and that’s always a challenge, but it’s also the most exciting part.”

In order to take on the aforementioned challenges, meet the requirements of the show, and adhere to a specific budget, Steinberg worked closely with Masque Sound to come up with an initial equipment list. “Because the theatre is off-Broadway and very small, seating less than 300 people, we are not covering a ton of seats even though there are a lot of speakers in the room, so the back-end of the system isn’t particularly extensive compared to a big Broadway house,” he adds. “We were able to concentrate a lot of our resources financially into the front end of the system, including the console and wireless sides as well as on the input side for the band and monitoring. Working with a shop like Masque Sound that understands those kinds of decisions based on financial considerations and is sensitive to them is essential.”

For his console, Steinberg chose to go with the DiGiCo SD7T Live Digital Console. “We quickly realized that this production, taking into account the flexibility required in terms of the input, monitoring and control, needed a flagship console,” he adds.

The custom speaker package Masque Sound provided Steinberg features Meyer Sound UPQ-2Ps and L-ACOUSTICS® ARCS, which he chose because he felt that the classic speakers would work well in the Newman Theater’s long and narrow design. For the delay system, Masque Sound provided an assortment of speakers from Meyer Sound, EAW and d&b audiotechnik. The microphone package includes both DPA d:screet 4061s, along with a few DPA d:fine headsets, as well as DPA d:dicate 4011s for the musicians. A selection of Shure and Audix mics were used for the drums and percussion, as well as Radial Engineering direct boxes for keyboards, bass and guitars.

For his wireless needs, Masque Sound provided Steinberg with a 30-channel custom package from Sennheiser. “Sennheiser tends to be my first choice,” he says. “We received a great wireless package, which always plays to Masque Sound’s strengths. It has always been one of their best departments and the system that they delivered to us is working flawlessly.”

“I was thrilled to be able to work with Masque Sound on HAMILTON,” concludes Steinberg. “In addition to Masque Sound, my team did an amazing job, from my engineer, Justin Rathburn, to my associate, Jason Crystal, to my backstage staff of Matthew Walsh and Anna Lee Craig, as well as the entire Public Theater team. HAMILTON is a big project in a small theater and we are looking forward to what will hopefully be a very bright future.”

HAMILTON began preview performances on January 20 and officially opens on February 17 at the Public Theater’s Newman Theater, located at 425 Lafayette Street in Manhattan. This limited engagement runs thru April 5, 2015. For more information, visit www.publictheater.org.

About The Public Theater
Under the leadership of Artistic Director Oskar Eustis and Executive Director Patrick Willingham, The Public Theater is the only theater in New York that produces Shakespeare, the classics, musicals, contemporary and experimental pieces in equal measure. The Public continues the work of its visionary founder, Joe Papp, by acting as an advocate for the theater as an essential cultural force, and leading and framing dialogue on some of the most important issues of our day. Creating theater for one of the largest and most diverse audience bases in New York City for nearly 60 years, today the Company engages audiences in a variety of venues—including its landmark downtown home at Astor Place, which houses five theaters and Joe’s Pub; the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, home to its beloved, free Shakespeare in the Park; and the Mobile Unit, which tours Shakespearean productions for underserved audiences throughout New York City’s five boroughs. The Public’s wide range of programming includes free Shakespeare in the Park, the bedrock of the Company’s dedication to making theater accessible to all; Public Works, a new initiative that is designed to cultivate new connections and new models of engagement with artists, audiences and the community each year; new and experimental stagings at The Public at Astor Place, including Public Lab; and a range of artist and audience development initiatives including its Public Forum series, which brings together theater artists and professionals from a variety of disciplines for discussions that shed light on social issues explored in Public productions. The Public Theater is located on property owned by the City of New York and receives annual support from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; and in October 2012 the landmark building downtown at Astor Place was revitalized to physically manifest the Company’s core mission of sparking new dialogues and increasing accessibility for artists and audiences, by dramatically opening up the building to the street and community, and transforming the lobby into a public piazza for artists, students, and audiences. Key elements of the revitalization an expanded and refurbished lobby; the addition of a mezzanine level with a new restaurant lounge, The Library, designed by the Rockwell Group. www.publictheater.org

The LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust provides leadership support for The Public Theater’s year-round activities; Bank of America, Proud Season Sponsor of Shakespeare in the Park; The Harold & Mimi Steinberg New Play Development Fund at The Public Theater Supports the Creation and Development of New Plays; The Philip and Janice Levin Foundation -Lead Supporter of The Public’s Access and Engagement Programming; The Time Warner Foundation, Founding Sponsor of The Emerging Writers Group; Delta Air Lines, Official Airline of The Public Theater; New York Magazine is the official print sponsor of The Public Theater’s 2014-2015 downtown season; Public support is provided by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency; and the National Endowment for the Arts, an independent federal agency.

About Masque Sound
Founded in 1936 by a trio of Broadway stagehands, Masque Sound evolved into one of NYC’s most successful theatrical sound reinforcement, installation and design companies specializing in theatrical, house of worship, sporting, corporate, TV broadcast and live concert events. Celebrating more than 75 years in the industry, the company is led by President Stephanie Hansen and the firm’s third generation owner, Geoff Shearing. The company also operates Florida-based Professional Wireless Systems, a leader in the development and implementation of wireless technology. Credits range from major Broadway shows and tours including “Phantom of the Opera,” “Mamma Mia!,” “Lion King,” “Jersey Boys,” “Memphis,” “The Book of Mormon,” “Newsies,” “Once” and “Kinky Boots” to yearly Super Bowl broadcasts and installations of varying sizes, including New York’s New Victory Theater and historic St. Bartholomew’s Church. Masque Sound’s 70,000 sq. ft. corporate headquarters and main assembly facility is located at 21 East Union Ave., East Rutherford, NJ, 20 minutes from midtown Manhattan. For more information, call (201) 939-8666 or visit www.MasqueSound.com.

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Press Releases For : February 17, 2015

In the Eye of the Beholder: A True “Solution”


Like many of you, I get sick and tired of hearing industry “buzzwords” that should have meaning but in AV today is the word “solution”. By definition a solution is the act of solving a problem or a question, as in “the situation is approaching solution”. That being said, I have to back pedal a bit with the irritation. The word “solution” is still overused but I have in my possession the new Canon REALiS WUX400ST Pro AV Short Throw Compact Installation LCOS Projector that truly is a solution. Because in the end, if the word and the reality match, then using the word is appropriate – especially in this instance.

As many of you know, we have come a long way in video projection development over the years, but today the area that excites many of us the most is the development of truly high performance short throw optics and projectors specifically designed to use those capabilities. From the beginning we have had projectors with long throw capabilities and wide angle lenses, but true short throw close focus projectors as a high performance solution has been a development of recent times. This being the case we must ask ourselves if this is going to become a trend in AV design or a nice option as a footnote in a projector manufacturer’s line-up.

If we look at the latest market research we see that there are three factors of significant growth in projection. One is that the sweet spot of light output is now in the 3,000 to 4,000 lumen range. In terms of resolution, XGA has ruled the roost for years driven by the relatively low resolution requirements of the educational community – but this is now migrating to higher resolutions since source material at those higher resolutions is more affordable and more readily available. Last but not least we are seeing significant growth in the use of short throw projectors. The question jumps out at you. Is there a projector that excels in all of these growth areas?

The answer is a resounding yes and it is the Canon REALiS WUX400ST. We will get into all the individual details and how they perform, but for a first glance it is a compact installation projector that uses LCOS technology featuring the highest fill factor in the digital display industry, boasts a high resolution of 1920 x 1200, produces 4000 lumens of light output, and features a .56:1 short throw optic. Sounds pretty good, but in our testing we found it looks even better than it sounds – so stay tuned.

Picture Quality
Lets state at the outset – no matter what a specification says, if the projector does not produce a stellar picture, all else is gilding the lily and simply marketing chatter. In short, it is and always will be about the image on screen and the WUX400ST does not disappoint in any sense. Based on LCOS technology that uses the best of both reflective and transmissive elements in the core chip, you get excellent resolution and high contrast for two basic reasons. As noted earlier, LCOS has the highest fill factor of any digital display technology so the active area on the screen is maximized while minimizing the screen door effect of other display technologies, and coincident with that there is the unparalleled quality of the Canon optics that go a long way to improve contrast.

Let’s pause just a moment on optics and light and look at how this relationship fits into the picture. If you think about it, projection is actually based on the control and manipulation of light. And as we all know ambient light falling onto the screen surface, and a lack of lighting control, is to be filed under the heading of a bad thing and one that degrades the image on screen. Now think about light control inside the projector and depending upon the manufacturer there will be various degrees of success at controlling and utilizing available light. This is another area where Canon excels not just in their exit optics (aka projection lenses), but inside the projector with their newly improved AISYS Optical Engine. This group of optics is designed as a system to collect, combine, control, and maximize the individual components of light as they help create the images that transmit through the lens. In the new system they have found creative ways to enhance contrast and transmit more of that elusive electromagnetic spectrum that humans see.

Color Accuracy
While we are still inside the projector I want to address the concept of color processing. You can have great optics and the most advanced core chip technology, but what if the color processing is inferior? To the first order, this is related to color bit depth stated as so many bits. For the uninitiated, a bigger number is better. Many projectors use 8 bit processing and yet others are more advanced and use a 10 bit system. The folks at Canon take their resident bit depth very seriously and increase it to a class leading 12 bits of processing power incorporating an advanced color processing system that is very sophisticated in terms of how it “handles” each color. Not to get to techy, so think about it this way, as the number of bits increases, the number of possible colors that can be displayed becomes larger. In side by side comparisons with projectors using lower bit depth processing, the difference is quite noticeable. Combine the film like quality of LCoS with advanced color processing and excellent contrast, and this produces image fidelity that is fully optimized in terms of replication content in an accurate manner. Suffice it to say that the WUX400ST produces an outstanding picture and we pay homage to that – but there is even more to consider in this tutorial about being a total solution in the broadest sense.

Outstanding Short Throw Optics and Lens Shift
Excellent image quality is the price of entry in the upper echelons of this category but we would be remiss if we did not speak of the physical nature of short throw capability in some detail. The specification states that this is a .56:1 lens and that tied into Canon quality is quite impressive. This translates into a projector that can produce a 100” image from as little as 4 feet away. Pretty impressive numbers, but I urge you not to stop there. What is truly unique, and takes this projector to a completely different level, is the mechanical lens shift capability that provides for the image to be raised vertically from 0 to 75% and horizontally plus or minus 10%. This compares with other short throw projectors on the market that have as little as 50% vertical lens shift. To all the skeptics out there concerned about how Canon’s extreme lens shift will affect image quality – as a point of reference, in our testing with both cross hatch and geometry test patterns the WUX400ST performed extremely well with virtually no distortion!

Impressive as those numbers are, imagine what you can do with this in terms of a practical solution to problems you could not address before. You can now tuck the projector underneath the lip of a traditional conference table and literally take the projector out of the environment. Just try finding a better way to create a high quality image of 100” or larger for the price and the added benefit of no visible display device to distract you from the interior design. Another one of my favorite applications is to mount a series of these projectors along the ceiling or hallway and, thanks to the built in edge blending with an overlap capability of 0 to 960 pixel horizontal and 0 to 600 pixel vertical, create a continuous and seamless series of images as far as you want. And thanks to the aforementioned short throw capabilities, the viewers are out of the light path of the projectors. Even for those of us who are, shall we say, less imaginative, there are still benefits. You can now mount the project closer to the screen in front or rear projection in a more traditional sense while reducing installation time and costs (long cable runs). One can then simply fine tune with manual lens adjustment to fit perfectly on the screen.

One final point on lensing is the fact that the .56:1 lens has an f stop of 2.7. Before I lose you, this actually is extremely important and relates to depth of field. This feature facilitates the use of the projector on curved or spherical surfaces – as this allows the projector to remain in focus as the screen surface curves. To test this we placed the projector on a curved screen and measured focus and uniformity in the center of the screen and on the curved extremities. With typical projectors having less depth of field capability, the curved areas become out of focus and with the WUX400ST this was simply not the case.

4 Point Independent Keystone Correction
Another useful but unsung tool on several of the Canon REALiS projectors is 4 point independent keystone correction, with “independent” being the critical word. On some other projectors, keystone correction has a tendency to degrade the image in some manner. And although digital keystone correction has improved over the years, by design this feature uses fewer of the available pixels on the display (which should always be avoided if possible). Canon has taken this to the next level of performance and their 4 point system actually permits each corner of an image to be adjusted independently allowing for true diagonal projection. Couple this will high quality moiré reduction and you get clear images without the loss of apparent resolution.

Advanced Features
Recognizing that the performance on screen is first and foremost followed by the expanded physical installation parameters of the short throw optics, if it all stops here then the solution limits itself and is not all it could be. Once again the Canon REALiS WUX400ST goes the extra mile in this regard in several areas. For example, the WUX400ST has 5 color temperature options and more than 25 built in test patterns to assist in the calibration of the projector so no external test pattern generator is required. With healthcare being one of the fastest growing segments of the display industry, it’s also important to note that Canon offers a REALiS WUX400ST D version of this product which includes a DICOM Simulation Mode ideal for the viewing of medical images such as X-rays and CT Scans for educational and training purposes (not to be used for diagnostic applications).

Other Features (Networking, Low Power Consumption, etc.)
Under the heading of nice to have, there is picture by picture capability, a USB memory stick feature so you do not have to have the projector hooked up to a PC or other source, decent sounding 5 watt audio built in, and from a networking perspective there are full controls over IP. For the ecofriendly crowd, Canon caters to you as well. In comparative testing, the WUX400ST consumed less than .081W per lumen, and the standby power consumption was a mere 0.2 W, which are both very favorable when compared to similar products. Furthermore, its filter design provides for up to a lengthy 12,000 hours of operation before needing replacement. Wrap all of this up in the smallest physical form factor in its class and cover it with a 3 year parts and labor warranty and I suggest that all of this adds up to the definition of a true solution.

The parting thought is this. Take a look at some of the problems you face in AV design and also look at some of the things you have wanted to do but didn’t have the right solution to accomplish the task, and now consider the REALiS WUX400ST. If the specifications don’t convince you then get a unit in house to look at for yourself. You will see what we saw and that is outstanding performance with installation options that open up new opportunities for you to satisfy your customers.


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RH Consulting Whitepaper Predicts “The Death of Analogue and The Rise of Audio Networking”

Portland, OR – February 17, 2015 – RH Consulting has released a new whitepaper examining the current state of the audio networking market and trends among the various audio networking solutions. The independent report, titled “The Death of Analogue and The Rise of Audio Networking,” was commissioned by Audinate and takes a detailed look at the number of audio networking products presently available, the growth rate for various protocols, and the market forces affecting their adoption.

“This whitepaper is the most comprehensive analysis of the audio networking market to date,” states Roland Hemming, principal audio consultant for RH Consulting. “Rather than just focus on technical differences, our goal was to provide a deep dive from the overall market perspective. We analyzed the products that are really shipping and the factors that are driving the growth, or lack thereof, of the various protocols.”

Key takeaways from the whitepaper include:

• Audinate’s Dante audio networking solution has had significant growth in licensees over the last 24 months, nearly 4 times the next largest protocol.
• Over 700 networked audio products are currently available, with the number of Dante-enabled products introduced in the last 12 month significantly outpacing all other networking protocols.
• The number of Dante-enabled products is forecasted to grow by 75% in 2015, and 130% by 2016.

In addition to looking at the total available networked products on the market, RH Consulting examined the factors contributing to the rapid growth of Dante and where audio networking sits on the technology adoption curve.

“Audio networking is following the same pattern as most new technology,” adds Hemming. “The success of Dante is consistent with easy-to-use, end-to-end solutions driving the market when technology is in the early growth phase.” He continues, “Overtime networking has become less about specifying a protocol and more about specifying products that work together.”

The report indicates that the uptake of Dante and audio networking in general is an indication that the market is undergoing a dramatic shift. “History has shown us that when a digital technology comes within 20% of the price of its analogue equivalent, the latter dies,” according to Hemming. “While audio networking is not to that point yet, the rapid growth we are seeing now would indicate that analogue’s days are numbered.”

To download the full whitepaper, visit: www.audinate.com/rise-of-audio-networking

About Roland Hemming
Roland Hemming is a principal audio consultant at RH Consulting, an independent audio consultancy offering system design, compliance, product development and project management services. In his 28-year career he has managed the two largest audio projects in Europe. He has presented papers to the Audio Engineering Society and has been an advisor to InfoComm. He is a regular speaker at industry conferences, a judge for many industry awards and regular author of articles for industry magazines. Roland is a member the AES and ISCE and he sits on the British and European committees for voice alarm systems including EN54 and the IET committee for Connected Systems Integration in Buildings.

About Audinate

forecasted Growth of Dante Enabled Products

forecasted Growth of Dante Enabled Products

Audinate revolutionizes AV systems to enable our customers to thrive in a networked world. Audinate’s Dante media networking technology has been adopted by the leading manufacturers and has become the de facto standard networking technology in the professional audio/visual industry. Dante is used extensively for live performance events, commercial installation, broadcast, recording and production, and communications systems. Audinate offices are located in US, United Kingdom and Australia.

Dante is a trademark of Audinate Pty Ltd, Audinate is a registered trademark of Audinate Pty Ltd.

PRS for Music Installs PMC Speakers In New Listening Room

Steve3 (640x393)

PRS for Music, the organisation that represents over 100,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers, has chosen PMC loudspeakers for the listening room in its new offices in Kings Cross, London.

PRS for Music relocated to Two Pancras Square at the end of 2014. Moving to this prestigious new building gave the organisation the opportunity to create a working environment that was ideally suited to its needs. Part of that process involved installing a dedicated listening room that could be used for any critical listening tasks, including judging entries for the annual Ivor Novello Awards, which celebrate the best British music writing.

PRS for Music director and Music Producers Guild Chairman Steve Levine was responsible for the listening room project and for the choice of PMC monitors. As a multi-platinum music producer, Levine has crafted hits for artists such as The Beach Boys, Culture Club, the Creatures, Gary Moore and Westworld and has won numerous awards including a BRIT Award for Producer of the Year, a Grammy for his work with Deneice Williams and a Sony Radio Award.

“When PRS asked me to oversee the design and build of its new listening room, I want to ensure that it was as good as it could possibly be,” Levine says. “For this reason I insisted that the architects installed a floating floor to prevent reverb issues and that it was as acoustically accurate as possible. The choice of monitors was easy because I already have PMC speakers in my own studio and am therefore familiar with the way they sound and the high quality audio they deliver. PMC speakers are renowned for being exceptionally accurate and that is what I really like about them – the fact that you can hear all the nuances of the music you are listening to and you don’t miss even the tiniest detail.”

As the PRS for Music listening room is compact, PMC recommended twotwo.5 active speakers that are specifically designed for situations where space is at a premium but quality must not be compromised. The smallest members of the twotwo family, these ultra-compact nearfield monitors feature the same technology as their larger siblings allowing them to perform way beyond expectation. Resolution and neutrality is provided by sophisticated DSP, dual power amplifiers, PMC’s new 27mm tweeter and a 140mm (5.5”) bass unit, all housed in an ATL™ labyrinth cabinet. The result is a monitor that delivers exceptional dynamics, musicality and depth of bass despite its small cabinet size.

About PMC
PMC is a UK-based, world-leading manufacturer of loudspeaker systems, the tools of choice in all ultra-critical professional monitoring applications, and also for the discerning audiophile at home, where they provide a transparent window into the recording artist’s original intentions. PMC products use the best available materials and design principles, including the company’s proprietary Advanced Transmission Line (ATL™) bass-loading technology, cutting-edge amplification and advanced DSP techniques to create loudspeakers that present sound and music exactly as it was when first created, with the highest possible resolution, and without coloration or distortion. For more information on our clients and products, see www.pmc-speakers.com.

DPA Delivers Pristine Audio During The Filming Of Taken 3

Stephane Bucher on Taken 3 set

Capturing high quality audio for a blockbuster film is always crucial as dialogue between the actors must be heard if the story is to be understood. But when the sound crew also has to contend with action-packed scenes featuring car chases and shoot outs, recording comprehensible audio becomes an even more complex challenge.

This was the situation French sound engineer Stéphane Bucher found himself in when he started working on Taken 3, the third and final instalment of the Taken film trilogy starring Liam Neeson, Forest Whitaker and Maggie Grace.

“I knew we had a lot of dialogue taking place in difficult conditions where using a boom mic just wasn’t going to work, so there was only one thing for it,” he says. “I reached for my stock of DPA d:screet™ 4060 miniature microphones and asked the wardrobe team to help me figure out where we could hide them.”

Bucher is no stranger to the versatility and exceptional sound quality afforded by these tiny DPA mics as he used them to great effect last year on the Luc Besson film Lucy, which starred Scarlett Johansson. On that occasion they were sewn into the seams of Scarlett’s t-shirt and delivered great audio without any visibility issues.

“When we were filming Lucy, Luc Besson only used one camera so we did have the option of using a boom mic for some scenes,” Bucher says. “The big difference with Taken 3 was that Olivier Megaton [the director] used three cameras at the same time so that he could capture numerous different angles. In tight situations, such as inside the police station where Forest Whitaker had five pages of dialogue to record, we couldn’t use only a boom because of the wide and tight angles. That was when the DPA mics became so indispensable. Their sound matched perfectly when the boom couldn’t be used. We recorded fantastic audio that came across loud and clear in the mix. By the end of the film I’d say that 80% of the audio was recorded using these mics.”

Internationally acclaimed as a sound engineer, Bucher has worked with numerous famous actors and directors including Morgan Freeman, Pierce Brosnan and Kevin Costner. In recent years many of the projects he has undertaken have come via major feature film producers such as EuropaCorp. He also owns and manages the Paris-based rental company, A4Audio, which supplies audio equipment to film and TV clients.

Bucher believes that good preparation was key to the success of the audio in Taken 3. Before shooting started in the USA, he spent four days with wardrobe staff figuring out the best places to hide the DPA d:screet 4060 mics.

“Unlike Lucy where the action took place over a very short timeframe, this film spans a longer stretch of time so there were more costume changes to content with,” he explains. “Hiding microphones in clothing only works if you can avoid scratching or chaffing noises. We did pretty well with most of the costumes until we came up against a waterproof jacket that Liam wore in a few scenes. This was made from really noisy fabric, so the wardrobe department put a noiseless soft tissue into the jacket to prevent the mic from picking up the crackling of the cloth. Luckily the 4060 was sufficiently sensitive to be able to pick up the sound we did want without any problems.”

For scenes where the action took place within a car, Bucher used DPA d:dicate™ MMC4018-ES supercardioid microphones with MMP-ES active cables with side cable, which were supplied by DPA’s French distributor Audio2.

“They were great,” he says. “I used them for the first time and for one particular car chase where Liam Neeson is driving very fast on the highway. I needed a very small mic to put into the car’s sun visor. We bought two new sun visors, opened them up and put the 4018 mics inside. This was possible because the cable comes out of the side of the mic and it worked perfectly that way. We also tested them on a much simpler car scene, in which Forest Whitaker is driving and talking, and they worked great for that, too.”

Bucher adds that he is so impressed with the results he has achieved when using tiny DPA microphones that he now wants to use DPA mics on a boom.

“I’ve got some new film projects coming up and I think one of them will be ideal for this,” he says “It’s going to be shot in Denmark later this year, so what could be better than using Danish DPA mics? I have no doubt that I’ll get great audio quality if I do use them because this is what DPA is renowned for – really translucent, clear, natural sound.”


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


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