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Contact us for more information www.westan.com.au


Over 30 Years in Business To find your nearest Integrator/Reseller, please visit www.pavt.com.au and click-on ‘Where To Buy’

Production Audio Video Technology Pty Ltd 4/621 Whitehorse road, Mitcham 3132 Victoria Ph: 03 9264 8000 e: sales@productionaudio.com.au


DICENTIS Wireless Conference System 4 design and innovation awards, and counting...

n Demand 2016

Best of ise award

DICENTIS Wireless Conference System – for a truly exceptional meeting experience Combine Wi-Fi, smart wireless management, touch-screen functionality, acoustical excellence and wireless connectivity, and you get the most advanced, flexible and user-friendly conference system on the market. Being wireless, and so quick and easy to set-up and use, DICENTIS systems are ideal for multipurpose rooms, historical buildings and boardrooms where cable clutter is unwanted. Take advantage of the multiple-award winning DICENTIS today. For more information contact us on 1 3000 BOSCH, sales.communications@au.bosch.com or visit www.boschsecurity.com.au


ISSUE 55

REGULARS TERMINATION 58 Exhitionists FEATURES WILD AUDIO AT THE ZOO 16 The African Savannah exhibit at Australia Zoo gets a camouflaged audio system

22

SNAPSHOT: BASEMENT BREWHOUSE 18 The P.A. People install distributed AV in Melbourne’s Bankstown Sports Club GOOD SPORTS 20 Crown Perth’s technical triumph

Advertising Office: +61 (0)2 9986 1188 PO Box 6216, Frenchs Forest, NSW 2086 Australia

BREAKING CONVENTIONS 22 The new $1.5b International Convention Centre Sydney is open. It’s a monster AV job.

Editorial Office: +61 (0)3 9998 1998 PO Box 295, Ballarat, VIC 3353 Australia

Editorial Director: Christopher Holder (chris@avapac.net) Editorial Assistant: Preshan John (preshan@alchemedia.com.au)

GOING THE DISTANCE 32 Derek Powell explains the remote STEM teaching design at UNE, and why it won an AVIA.

32

THE HALL THAT DOES IT ALL 54 Fernando Menis employed five 20-tonne slabs of concrete to control the acoustics at CKK Jordanki Concert Hall

Publisher: Philip Spencer (philip@avapac.net) Graphic Designer: Daniel Howard (daniel@avapac.net) Additional Design: Dominic Carey (dominic@avapac.net)

REVIEWS BOSE DELTAQ SHOWMATCH 42 Bose Professional has thrown its hat back into the concert touring market with this mid-sized line array.

Accounts: Jaedd Asthana (jaedd@alchemedia.com.au) Circulation Manager: Mim Mulcahy (subscriptions@avapac.net)

HIGHER LEARNING 38 Hi-rise education hits Melbourne. Macmor rises to the occasion.

38

ALLEN & HEATH ZED6 46 The baby mixer that’s so useful it’s worth taking everywhere RODE HS2 48 Rode’s new headset will fit into more productions with its superior design YAMAHA YVC-1000 & YVC-300 50 Bluetooth-enables conference phone system

alchemedia publishing pty ltd (ABN: 34 074 431 628) PO Box 6216, Frenchs Forest, NSW 2086 Australia info@alchemedia.com.au All material in this magazine is copyright © 2017 Alchemedia Publishing Pty Ltd. The title AV is a registered Trademark. Apart from any fair dealing permitted under the Copyright Act, no part may be reproduced by any process without written permission. The publishers believe all information supplied in this magazine to be correct at the time of publication. They are not in a position to make a guarantee to this effect and accept no liability in the event of any information proving inaccurate. After investigation and to the best of our knowledge and belief, prices, addresses and phone numbers were up to date at the time of publication. It is not possible for the publishers to ensure that advertisements appearing in this publication comply with the Trade Practices Act, 1974. The responsibility is on the person, company or advertising agency submitting or directing the advertisement for publication. The publishers cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions, although every endeavour has been made to ensure complete accuracy. 02/03/2017

AUDIX PERFORMANCE 40 SERIES 52 Audix’s new wireless mic system throws everything it can at the Sennheiser/Shure duopoly.

54

TUTORIAL INFOCOMM: TROUBLESHOOTING 56 Symptom recognition, localisation & analysis NEWS ISE 2017 OVERVIEW 6 All the ISE product and company news in one place

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06

NEWS

ISE Overview

dLIVE C CLASS

TANNOY CMS 3.0 REINVENTION

DPA ADDS MICROPHONE BASE FOR D:SCREET

Allen & Heath adds to the dLive product family with a compact range of surfaces and mix racks called dLive C Class. It’s founded on XCVI, the same 96kHz FPGA core which drives the flagship dLive S Class mixers, and also shares its DEEP processing architecture. The new range includes the ultra-compact C1500, the first 19inch rack-mountable dLive surface. Another two twinscreen control surfaces, the C2500 and C3500, join the ranks. The C Class surfaces use the dLive Harmony UI with gesture touch control via 12-inch capacitive screens and colour-mapped rotary controls. There are three new MixRacks in the series — CDM32, CDM48, and CDM64. These provide capacity for 128 inputs with full processing and 16 dedicated stereo FX returns, plus a fully configurable 64 mix bus architecture with full processing on all mix channels. Each surface and rack has a 128 channel I/O port supported by an array of networking cards. Technical Audio Group: (02) 9519 0900 or info@tag.com.au Allen & Heath: www.allen-heath.com

The early 1990s saw Tannoy take its Dual Concentric drives and put them into ceiling speakers, giving birth to the CMS (Ceiling Monitor System) range. Now, two decades later, Tannoy has reinvented the Dual Concentric driver with the CMS 3.0, comprised of five models — CMS 403DCe, CMS 503DC, CMS 603DC, CMS 803DC, and the all-new CMS 803DCQ eight-inch model designed for high-ceiling, long-throw applications. The new driver features Omnimagnet technology and a unique Torus Ogive Waveguide assembly to deliver more consistent controlled directivity with notable improvements in the HF range. CMS 3.0 also features mechanical and aesthetic changes to ease the specifying and installation processes. CMS 3.0 utilises a 16Ω driver, making it ideal for use in low impedance systems powering eight CMS 3.0 loudspeakers per channel. Australis: (02) 9698 4444 or www.australismusic.com.au Tannoy: www.tannoy.com

DPA has introduced a new Microphone Base designed for its d:screet SC4098 Podium Microphone. Offering ease of installation for system integrators and electricians, the Microphone Base adds the finishing touch by providing a good-looking versatile stand for the SC4098. In combination with the Podium Microphone, the Base is designed to be placed on a table or podium, attached to the ceiling, even attached to a wall. It is available in both black and white and comes with either a MicroDot connector, an XLR connector, or unterminated leads for connections to Phoenix blocks. The d:screet capsule is mounted on a sleek boom that has a gooseneck at the top and bottom for the tabletop version. DPA has assembled a range of kits to make it easier for installers to choose the right mics and base for their needs. There are three kits for tabletop applications, and three for ceiling applications. Or you have the option to buy the mic base separately to the microphone so you can mix and match connectors, base colours, and gooseneck lengths. Amber Technology: 1800 251 367 or sales@ambertech.com.au DPA: www.dpamicrophones.com

NEWS IN BRIEF:

MIDWICH PARTNERS WITH BOSCH As of 17th January 2017, Bosch Communications Systems has entered into a distribution partnership with Midwich Australia. The partnership will see Midwich provide sales and support for installed audio products from Electro-Voice and Dynacord, including loudspeakers, amplifiers, processors and microphones. Midwich has over 35 years of experience in AV solutions and has gained a name for top-level service, knowledge and support. Midwich: 1300 666 099 or www.midwich.com.au Bosch: 1300 026 724 or stsales@au.bosch.com

DOMOTZ DISTRO PARTNERSHIPS Domotz has announced new partnerships with several worldwide distributors including Avation (Aus) and Visivo (HK/SG). The newly founded partnerships will enable home technology integrators to purchase the Domotz Pro system including cards with credits and the Domotz box from their local distributor for the same low price. The partnerships will also expand the training opportunities and support capabilities for the Domotz Pro system. Avation: (07) 5580 3300 or info@avation.com.au Domotz: www.domotz.com

BLACKMAGIC BUYS FAIRLIGHT Late last year Blackmagic announced its acquisition of Fairlight, creators of digital audio products for live broadcast event production, film and television post production, and immersive 3D audio mixing. Fairlight has an impressive history of designing and manufacturing both audio control hardware and software. For post production solutions, Fairlight creates everything from compact desktop audio post systems to large format mixing consoles with dedicated controls. New Magic: (03) 9722 9700 or sales@newmagic.com.au Blackmagic: www.blackmagicdesign.com

CRESTRON EXPANDS INTO INDIA & ASIA January this year saw Crestron open dedicated physical brand presences in India, North East Asia and China. The new, wholly owned Crestron subsidiary in India includes a HQ in Bangalore at RMZ Ecoworld with a Crestron Experience Centre, plus supporting regional offices. In Hong Kong, the new Crestron facility in Quarry Bay also opened in January 2017 and will be further developed over the coming months to incorporate training facilities, advanced technical support and more. Crestron: www.crestron.com.au

ELB TOTES NUREVA & PROWISE The Nureva Span system transforms a wall into 12m x 1.2m digital workspaces, combining a panoramic projector with software, apps and a cloudbased canvas. Also distributed by ELB, Prowise introduced its new Pro Line and Entry Line flat panels. Pro Line panels offer new pressure-sensitive technology and 4K resolution Entry Line is a value-priced alternative featuring full HD resolutions, a black aluminium bezel, and integrated speakers. ELB: (02) 9433 4444 or sales@elb.com.au Nureva: www.nureva.com


07

NEWS

SAY HI TO SYVA L-Acoustics has launched Syva, a new format, high-power speaker system featuring six mediumfrequency and three high-frequency speakers in a sleek J-shaped progressive curvature format. The transducer arrangement called ‘segment source’ produces directivity pattern of 140°H/26°V, optimised for surface coverage and 35m of throw. L-Acoustics says Syva is an ideal choice for corporate events, fashion and trade shows, and sound reinforcement in amphitheatres or performing arts centres. Syva can be accompanied by the Syva low high power sub or Syva Sub infra extension to achieve 142dB max SPL. Syva Low has two 12-inch drivers and a response down to 40Hz. Syva Sub has a single KS28-grade 12-inch driver to extend bandwidth down to 27Hz. One LA4X amp can drive up to four enclosures. Syva can be wall- or polemounted, as well as flown, standing on a baseplate, or standing on the Syva sub. Hills: (03) 9890 7477 or www.hills.com.au L-Acoustics: www.l-acoustics.com

MADISON TECH HIRES LES GODING Madison Technologies has appointed Les Goding as Consultant - Assistive Listening Systems to its Broadcast & AV Division. Goding is on board in a consulting role to offer specialist advice, training and design assistance with Assistive Listening Systems based on Madison’s Humantechnik/AUDIOropa product range. Les has designed assistive listening systems for commercial buildings, educational institutions, hospitals, airports and places of worship. Madison Technologies: 1800 00 77 80 or www.madisontech.com.au

SHURE OPENS EXPERIENCE CENTRE IN HK Shure Asia has opened its first Shure Experience Centre in Hong Kong, comprised of a boardroom, huddle room, and a large multi-purpose room, each with live product demonstration capabilities to provide varied application examples for Shure customers and partners. Shure Asia also utilises the new facilities for international needs like videoconferences and product training. Products on display include Microflex Advance MX1910 Ceiling Array Microphone, and MXA310 Table Array Microphones. Jands: (02) 9582 0909 or www.jands.com.au Shure: www.shure.com

APTOVISION BLUERIVER NT1000 AptoVision’s new BlueRiver NT1000 is HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2 compliant and can transmit true 4K/60Hz (4:4:4) video with zero frame latency over 100m of CAT-x or 30km of fibre. It supports the complete range of signal types including audio, GbE, USB 2.0, RS-232 and IR, all of which can be routed independently. Audio can be extracted from or injected into any HDMI stream within the network. AptoVision: www.aptovision.com

JTS WIRELESS MICROPHONE SYSTEMS Featuring advanced wireless technology, JTS wireless microphone systems outperform many other systems at the same or higher prices. Wide tuning bandwidth and advanced RF designs maximise the number of simultaneous users, and every system uses JTS REMOSET technology to quickly and simply synchronise transmitters and receivers. UF-20 SERIES

8012DB SERIES

• • • • • •

• • • •

Single or dual channel 75MHz tuning range True diversity Interchangeable capsules Cascade antenna and power Optional drop-in charger

R-4 SERIES • • • • • •

Quad-channel receiver 36MHz tuning range Diversity Interchangeable capsules Cascade antenna and power Optional drop-in charger

Dual-channel receiver 36MHz tuning range Diversity Optional drop-in charger

8011DB SERIES • • •

36MHz tuning range Diversity Optional drop-in charger

8011D SERIES • •

36MHz tuning range Diversity

Talk to the team at Amber Technology to find out more: www.ambertech.com.au 1800 251 367 sales@ambertech.com.au


08

NEWS

ISE Overview

AUDIO-TECHNICA ATUC-50 CONFERENCE SYSTEM

DP’S BIG FIVE

CORIOMASTER MICRO

The new ATUC-50 conference system from AudioTechnica has been designed to simplify conferencing in boardrooms and meeting rooms. The system components include a control unit (ATUC-50CU), discussion units (ATUC-50DU), and two gooseneck microphones (ATUC-M43H and ATUC-M58H). Together the components provide 24-bit/48kHz digital audio that connects over standard Cat5 cabling or above. A complete system can support up to three ATUC50CU control units and 150 ATUC-50DU discussion units, connected in either daisy chain or ring topology. Interpretation channels can be recorded directly to a mass storage device. Control and configuration is done via web browser with no additional software installation necessary. A typical 12-station system would retail for around $12,000. Technical Audio Group: (02) 9519 0900 or info@tag.com.au Audio-Technica: www.audio-technica.com.au

Digital Projection launched five new solid state projectors at ISE 2017. Here’s a roundup in order of brightness. The 27,000-lumen 3-chip DLP Insight 4K dual laser has a contrast ratio of 2000:1 UltraHD resolution. With four 465W lamps, the Mercury Quad projector has a brightness of 20,000 lumens, a 2000:1 contrast ratio, and WUXGA resolution. Also WUXGA, the M-Vision Laser 15K 15,000-lumen projector is a single-chip DLP model with 20,000 hours illumination. The company’s HIGHlite Laser range gets the new 4K-UHD model with 2000:1 contrast ratio, 12,000-lumen brightness, and input options of HDBaseT and DisplayPort 1.2. The E-Vision Laser 10K outputs WUXGA resolution with 10,500 lumens of brightness, 10,000:1 contrast ratio, and 20,000 hours illumination. Its sibling, the E-Vision Laser 4K-UHD, has UltraHD resolution with a brightness of 7500 lumens and contrast ratio of 6000:1. Amber Technology: 1800 251 367 or sales@ambertech.com.au Digital Projection: www.digitalprojection.co.uk

tvONE introduces the down-sized CORIOmaster micro to its video processing product range. But the puny half-rack unit still packs a punch. It delivers the same bandwidth and functionality of its 4RU big brother CORIOmaster and accepts up to three modules for flexible input and output options. Audio support is added, as well as front panel buttons for source routing and preset recall. Designed specifically for ease of deployment but without compromising performance, micro is the ideal, cost-effective solution for fourscreen 2x2 videowalls, projector edge blends, or small multiviewer applications. Its tiny size means it even fits into the ONErack. Usability is straightforward with tvONE’s CORIOgrapher v2 software, from which you can set exact dimensions of your displays down to the millimetre. New additions to CORIOgrapher v2 software include playlisting, button mapping, IP streaming, file playback and audio support. Corsair Solutions: (03) 9005 9861 or sales@corsairsolutions.com.au tvONE: www.tvone.com

NEWS IN BRIEF:

CHIEF RELEASES OVERWHITEBOARD MOUNT Chief has developed the new WBM4E mount for interactive displays that allows easy installation over existing whiteboards or chalkboards. The solution keeps all existing equipment intact while maintaining a stable surface for the optimal touch screen experience. The WBM4E allows installation of XL interactive displays with a heavy-duty weight capacity of 140.6kg. Integrated macro- and micro-height adjustment and lateral shift provide precise positioning for the best user experience. Midwich: 1300 666 099 or www.midwich.com.au Chief: www.milestone.com

EXTRON SOUNDFIELD XD SF 26CT Extron’s new SoundField XD model SF 26CT is a 6.5-inch two-way ceiling speaker with a 20.3cm-deep composite backcan for use in plenum rated ceiling environments. The driver complement includes a 16.5cm woofer coupled to a 1.9cm ferrofluid-cooled dome tweeter. The SF 26CT meets stringent UL requirements for smoke and heat release in plenum air spaces. Extron: www.extron.com.au

BRIGHTSIGN HD3 DIGITAL SIGNAGE MODULE BrightSign launched new displayintegrated hardware at ISE 2017. The HD3 Series built-in module is intended for integration into OEM commercial products and makes it easy for manufacturers to embed market leading digital signage technology directly into their displays. The module is sized 70mm x 100mm and runs a hardware-accelerated HTML5 rendering engine that supports Full HD video. Midwich: 1300 666 099 or www.midwich.com.au BrightSign: www.brightsign.biz

EXTRON QUANTUM ULTRA Extron’s Quantum Ultra modular 4K videowall processor has the brand’s Vector 4:4:4 scaling engine and windowing technology to handle a variety of applications. A single processor can support multiple videowalls with mixed resolutions and screen orientations. RS-232 and Ethernet interfaces provide direct connections for control systems. The highly configurable Quantum Ultra is a future-ready solution for any videowall application. Extron: www.extron.com

THUNDER FROM DOWNUNDER Thunder from Australian innovator iMAGsystems is an uncompromising compressed video over IP solution that leverages standard 1Gb networking technology to reliably deliver audio and video signals. Thunder employs JPEG2000 video compression and is straightforward to commission with easy network switch configuration combined with stepby-step device set up. It’s perfect for applications such as video walls, point-to-point and matrix. Axis AV: 1300 294 728 or info@axisav.com.au iMAGsystems: www.imagsystems.com


NEWS

09

GEFEN DEBUTS NEW MATRIX PRODUCTS

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U510T

Gefen has debuted two new matrix products that fully support the latest HDMI 2.0a and HDCP 2.2 standards. The EXT-UHD600A-44 and EXT-UHD600A-88 include multiple new features for commercial integrators such as analogue and digital audio breakouts that demultiplex the audio stream from each HDMI output, allowing the isolated audio content to be connected to external amplifiers and music distribution systems. Thanks to independent scalers on each output, the EXT-UHD600A-44 has the ability to downscale a 4K signal to HD on two of its outputs, while the remaining two outputs can upscale a HD signal to 4K. Both new matrix products include a Professional API feature that provides previously unattainable data to open the door for exciting interactions between control/monitoring systems and Gefen products. Amber Technology: 1800 251 367 or sales@ambertech.com.au Gefen: www.gefen.com

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5500 Lumens WUXGA Laser Phosphor Projector The ZU510T is a projector offering bright and vivid image quality, advanced optical components, and a low-weight, compact size.

LIGHTWARE MX2 MATRIX SERIES Lightware introduces the new MX2 Matrix Series. With full 4K @ 60Hz 4:4:4 and HDMI 2.0, the 8x8 matrix is the first of the new Lightware MX2 standalone matrix switcher series with HDMI 2.0 that supports uncompromised 4K UHD resolutions at 60Hz 4:4:4. The device can handle chroma subsampling transforming 4K UHD signals to YCbCr 4:2:0. Lightware: www.lightware.eu

SOLSTICE 3.0 WITH MULTIROOM Mersive’s Solstice 3.0 now features Multi-Room. This allows users who aren’t in the same room to connect, share, and control unlimited content collaboratively across their enterprise via WiFi/Ethernet networks from their laptops and mobile devices. Meeting participants can mirror their device screens, stream individual application windows, share videos and more. Solstice Multi-Room is additive to existing conferencing AV solutions. Midwich: 1300 666 099 or www.midwich.com.au Mersive: www.mersive.com

SILICONCORE QUICK CONNECT RANGE SiliconCore launched its Quick Connect range at ISE 2017, designed for permanent and rental applications. It features a new truss framing system so the tiles can quickly interlock into the desired size and shape, making the manufacturer’s Common Cathode LED suitable for life on the road. The Quick Connect range was showcased through a Peony 2.6mm pixel pitch display, presented in a 3x5 tile formation equating to a 115-inch diagonal measurement. Silicon Core: www.silicon-core.net

Combined with DURACORE laser light source and IP5X-certified dust resistance rating for its optical engine, it is reliable, cost-efficient and low maintenance, with no need for lamp and filter changes. It provides up to 20,000 hours of light source operation and is perfect for boardroom, higher education, houses of worship, and small entertainment venue use. •

4 corner correction for basic stacking

360° and portrait mode operation

Light source life up to 20000 hrs, IP5X certified engine

H/V lens shift and keystone

Maintenance free - no filters needed

Delivering superior color with DURACORE laser technology

www.ambertech.com.au 1800 251 367 sales@ambertech.com.au


010

NEWS

ISE Overview

LIGHTNING STRIKES AT ISE

PLANAR QE SERIES

JPEG2000 CODEC SUPPORT FOR INGEST

iMAGsystems used its presence at ISE 2017 to debut Lightning, an advanced new encoder/decoder that delivers uncompressed, zero-latency digital video at up to 4K resolution using standard 10GbE infrastructure, allowing Ethernet networks to truly become the backbone of AV systems. Based on the next-generation AptoVision Blue River NT2000 chipset, the technology routes high-resolution video to multiple destinations retaining every pristine detail of the original source. The integrator-friendly system allows video walls of up to 5×5 (25 displays), and any combination of asymmetrical matrix switching can be accommodated within the one system. New features include multisource video compositing, video wall processing with bezel correction, broadcast quality scaling, and no-compromise support for IP-based switching and extension of true 4K/60Hz (4:4:4) video over 100m of CatX or 30km of fibre. Lightning networks are easily configured and operated by the Lightning Control Centre software. Axis AV: 1300 294 728 or info@axisav.com.au iMAGsystems: www.imagsystems.com

Planar’s new QE Series of Ultra HD LCD displays are available in 75-inch, 86-inch and 98-inch sizes. They incorporate an embedded media player and software and offer 4K video performance, with support for native 4K at up to 60Hz, with HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort 1.2. Multi-touch models are also available for those seeking to collaborate or interact with the displays. The displays allow for four sources to be simultaneously viewed in quadrants, making them perfect for collaboration or huddle environments in conference rooms as well as digital signage applications. They can be oriented in landscape or portrait and come with a logo-free, all-metal bezel design. Audio is built into each with two internal 10-watt speakers. The QE Series displays also come with an embedded Planar ContentSmart 4K Media Player, allowing users to easily deploy and manage digital signage displays. The media player includes two USB ports and an internal time clock for scheduling playlists. Midwich: 1300 666 099 or www.midwich.com.au Planar: www.planar.com

The Metus Ingest 4.9.2.0 update brings GPU-based JPEG2000 codec support from Comprimanto which allows for multi-channel ingest of SD, HD and 4K sources to JPEG2000 in Lossy, Visually Lossless and Mathematically Lossless formats. With Comprimanto’s technology integrated into Ingest, Metus offers faster encoding with better image quality. When encoding JPEG2000 contained MXF OP1a media files, Metus Ingest can reduce overall workflow processing by as much as 50%. If you’re a current Metus user, you can upgrade your Ingest license to include the new JPEG2000 codec. Other new features introduced with the 4.9.2.0 update include AJA deck control (RS-422) support, frame-accurate VTR control, MOV container support for NVENC compression, de-interlace option for NVENC compression, improvements to the audio mixer algorithm, better de-interlace options for Intel profiles, querying encoder signal state command added to telnet API, and the addition of Deltacast Companion LTC card support. Corsair Solutions: (03) 9005 9861 or sales@corsairsolutions.com.au Metus: www.metus.com

NEWS IN BRIEF:

SYMETRIX COMPOSER UPDATE Symetrix Composer now includes integration of the Shure Microflex MXA910 and MXA310 products and the Audio-Technica ATND8374 Dante mic module. An upcoming Comoposer release will bring support for AES67 with Symetrix Dante-enables DSPs. The company also announced a USB interface card for Radius and Edge DSPs supporting up to eight input and eight output channels for multi-channel recording applications. PAVT: (03) 9264 8000 or www.pavt.com.au Symetrix: www.symetrix.co

VISION FREESPACE IN LG HARDWARE Launched at ISE, Vision’s Freespace will move to new LG hardware which hides cables more effectively, and adds Power over Ethernet (PoE) functionality so only one cable needs to be run. The new LG device, designed for digital signage, has a 10-inch touchscreen and runs Android. Vision’s MD Stuart Lockhart says, “It makes Freespace the most flexible and cost-effective room booking system available.” Vision: www.visionaudiovisual.com

SONY 4K 3D MEDICAL MONITORS Sony’s LMD-X550MT (55-inch) and LMD-X310MT (31-inch) LCD monitors support delicate surgical procedures through their large screen size, providing generous HD images. Both monitors have Sony’s original OptiContrast Panel which replaces the air between the panel and glass with a layer of resin. The LCD monitors can also display 2D images in sub-screens in Picture-in-Picture (PinP) mode. Sony: www.sony.com.au

INPUT MODULES FOR CORIOMASTER tvONE introduces new input modules for CORIOmaster. The Streaming Media module handles provides CORIOmaster systems with the ability to bring two network streams up to 1080p60 @ 25mbs into just one slot, along with 4K playback and 16GB internal storage. The 4K HDBaseT input module allows for the input of uncompressed, high resolution 4K video and audio from standalone transmitters located up to 150m away. Corsair Solutions: (03) 9005 9861 or sales@corsairsolutions.com.au tvONE: www.tvone.com

WILLIAMS SOUND DIGI-LOOP Williams Sound introduces the new Digi-Loop Simulation Software – a custom tool to provide in-depth, realistic modelling and simulation of your venue's acoustics and loop system performance. Success is definitely in the details. Digi-Loop Simulation Software will help you visualise how the desired magnetic field fills your space, determine fall off of the field from the design pattern, and factor in speech transmission index (STI) and crest factors. Hills: (03) 9890 7477 or www.hills.com.au Williams Sound: www.williamssound.com


dot2

THE ESSENCE of MA Lighting

EASY OPERATION | CLEVERNESS | SUITABILITY | MULTILINGUAL | DESIGN | MA DNA

The new Range of Lighting Control Solutions from MA Lighting: www.ma-dot2.com

Sydney • Melbourne • Brisbane • Perth • Auckland projects@showtech.com.au | www.showtech.com.au | www.facebook.com/ShowTechnologyAus


012

NEWS

ISE Overview

QSC GETS TO THE CORE

QSC SINGLE-BOX CARDIOID SUB

PANASONIC THIN & SLIM-BEZEL DISPLAYS

QSC’s new Q-Sys Core 510i Integrated Core Processor leverages the latest Intel platform using a QSCdeveloped Linux real-time operating system for powerful audio, video and control solutions. The Core 510i offers the most flexible audio I/O configuration options of any other Q-Sys processor, with cardbased I/O as well as native Q-LAN network channel and AES67 capabilities. It’s ideal for applications that require a diverse mixture of analogue, digital and networked audio connectivity. The Q-Sys Core 510i can be deployed in two modes. Q-Sys Core mode handles all AVC processing including extensive resources for builtin acoustic echo cancellation and more. Secondly, I/O Frame mode supports up to 128 x 128 audio channels as an I/O peripheral into the Q-Sys system for processing on a separate Q-Sys Core processor. It can accomodate any combination of Q-Sys Type-II I/O cards including Dante, CobraNet, AVB, and more. Technical Audio Group: (02) 9519 0900 or info@tag.com.au QSC: www.qsc.com

QSC’s newest family member is the K Cardioid subwoofer. Typically cardioid subwoofer configurations are obtained by stacking two subs on top of each other in opposing directions. The K Cardioid Subwoofer represents a first-in-class single-box powered cardioid subwoofer solution that’s targeted to the entertainment and installation markets. With innovative design, 1000W Class D QSC amplification and advanced DSP in a single compact enclosure, the new sub has dual 12-inch longexcursion drivers arranged in a 6th order bandpass chamber. These elements combine to produce 15dB more output at the front of the cabinet than at the rear. The cabinet is designed to be highly portable with aluminium handles and rear-mounted castors. Two M20 sockets are provided to accept a 35mm speaker pole in either vertical or horizontal deployment of the sub. The K Cardioid Subwoofer is expected to have a street price of US$1399. Technical Audio Group: (02) 9519 0900 or info@tag.com.au QSC: www.qsc.com

Panasonic’s new 55-inch ultra-thin video wall has a bezel-to-bezel width of just 1.8mm and suits applications from showrooms to exhibitions, control rooms, shopping malls and more. The 700 cd/m2 direct-lit LED panel shines bright even in well-lit retail or staging environments, while pixel-free Full HD resolution positions the TH-55VF1H for multi-screen use in monitoring rooms. Its IPS display does a good job preserving natural colour accuracy and high visibility when viewed off-axis. Anti-glare screen surface treatment reduces reflections from artificial lighting. Panasonic also introduced new 84-inch and 75-inch digital signage displays, both with a built-in USB Media Player. The slim-bezel EF1 Series models have plenty of connectivity options with 2 x HDMI, DVI-D, USB, PC/ Components, and Video inputs joining LAN, RS-232C, and IR In/Out terminals, supporting a total of 59 PCcorrespondent signal types. Panasonic: 132 600 or www.panasonic.com.au

RENKUS-HEINZ C SERIES LOUDSPEAKERS

CRESTRON DMPS3-4K

WYRESTORM H2X SERIES MATRIX SWITCHERS

There’s a whole new family of speakers from RenkusHeinz called the C Series — a reinvention and evolution of the company’s CF/CFX Series. Designed with permanent installation applications in mind, the speakers are ideal for use in theatres, performing arts spaces, houses of worship, multi-use venues, public spaces, and the like. Bearing the Renkus-Heinz badge, the C Series doesn’t fall short of delivering superior pattern control. With the latest generation of Complex Conic Horns and updated drivers, sound is dispersed with a consistent beamwidth over a wider frequency range. The C Series will be available in both amplified (CA Series) and passive (CX Series) models, in black or white finish. The CX42 stairstep loudspeaker will only be available in a passive design. Hills: (03) 9890 7477 or www.hills.com.au Renkus-Heinz: www.renkus-heinz.com

Crestron is now shipping the DMPS3-4K-300-C and DMPS-4K-200-C 3-Series 4K60 DigitalMedia Presentation Systems. The new models feature 4K60, full support for HDCP 2.2, and Control Subnet. The DMPS3-4K-300-C and DMPS3-4K-200-C combine an IP-based 3-Series Control System with a 4K/60 multimedia switcher, mic mixer, and audio DSP in a single rack mountable package. Setup and touch screen control are simple using the web-based configuration tool, with no programming required. The two additions have scaled HDMI outputs to transmit any resolution source to any resolution display. Wireless BYOD presentation capability can be added by connecting Crestron AirMedia to the HDMI port. “Crestron set the industry standard with all-in-one DigitalMedia Presentation Systems. Now, the DMPS3 Series resets the standard,” said Steve Samson, Executive Director, Business Development at Crestron. “With the addition of these two new flagship models, the entire DMPS3 Series family delivers 4K60 high-performance.” Crestron: 1800 555 040 or anzhq@crestron.com

WyreStorm has leveraged its switching expertise in the design of its first HDBaseT 4K UltraHD matrix switchers to include dedicated audio matrix switching. Both 16x16 (MX-1616-HDBT-H2X) and 10x10 (MX-1010HDBT-H2X) models will be launched at ISE 2017. The H2X Series offers an integrated audio matrix with three possible source inputs per zone in the form of audio de-embed of HDMI video sources, ARC from zones up to 5.1, and adjustable line level audio only sources via S/PDIF audio input — tailor-made for digital audio streaming on Sonos, Apple AirPlay, and DLNA devices. This amounts to support for a total of 30 potential separate audio inputs on the 10x10 H2X model and a huge 48 individual audio inputs on the 16x16. SmartEDID dynamically detects and reacts to display and source capabilities to output the highest possible resolution for each individual source. Video performance is the same as WyreStorm’s current H2 matrix platform. Hills: (03) 9890 7477 or www.hills.com.au WyreStorm: www.wyrestorm.com


www.christiedigital.com

A

CHAMPION IN

EVERY CLASS

In the world of display and projection systems, hardly a name comes across so powerful as Christie. Backed by numerous world firsts and a multitude of industry awards, it's time to stand on the shoulders of a giant and be in focus. Speak to us and find out how Christie can help you be the next champion.

AUSTRALIA

+61 (0) 7 3624 4888

ask-australia@christiedigital.com


014

NEWS

EYEVIS AT ISE Eyevis has introduced its new TRP rear projection cubes, the first to feature ‘Tilt&Roll’ chip architecture by Texas Instruments. A 4K LED videowall with a narrow pixel pitch of 0.9mm welcomed visitors at Eyevis’s ISE stand. The company’s new 46and 55-inch LCD monitors of the ESN-series have a videowall-friendly bezel size of ≤2mm, full-HD resolutions, and a robust housing setup. Finally, new netPIX-series split controllers were introduced, along with new versions of its wall management solutions eyeCON and eyeUNIFY. The netPIX-series, now classified as Motion, Core and Range versions, has modified housings and new type designations. Latest generation IT hardware for the CPUs and graphic boards for input and output signals makes the controllers a good fit for handling multiple sources and displays. ITI Image Group: (02) 9477 5709 or www.iti-imagegroup.com.au Eyevis: www.eyevis.de

INSTALL

KLARK TEKNIK DM8000 PROCESSOR

WIRELESS

Klark Teknik is now shipping the new DM8000 digital audio processor. Designed for installation in boardrooms, council chambers, courtrooms and more, the DM8000 integrates with computer-based conferencing systems, audio networking via USB, and the 1U rack mount chassis can also be remote controlled using built-in Ethernet and RS232 ports. The free DSP Designer software contains a comprehensive library of processing modules, and you can create custom configurations for any application. Multiple DM8000s can be linked for system-wide programming and control of a variety of input sources. Eight onboard channels of wide-band AEC detect and eliminate secondary room reflections from the signal path for cleaner reproduction of speech, music or multimedia. The DM8000’s Auto Mixer modules automatically adjust and balance levels for up to eight inputs and combines them into any output. A built-in Feedback Suppressor surgically notches out feedbackprone frequencies before they become an issue. Music’s three-year limited warranty program included. National Audio Systems: (03) 8756 2600 or sales@nationalaudio.com.au Klark Teknik: www.klarkteknik.com

STAGE

SDvOE ALLIANCE LAUNCHED

HEADPHONES

STUDIO

Audio

NOW DISTRIBUTED BY CMI MUSIC & AUDIO P/L CONTACT US AT CMI@CMI.COM.AU

AptoVision, Aquantia, Christie Digital, Netgear, Sony and ZeeVee have formed the SDVoE Alliance to standardise the adoption of Ethernet to transport AV signals in professional AV environments, and to create an ecosystem around SDVoE technology that allows software to define AV applications. The Alliance's founding members bring different perspectives to the SDVoE initiative spanning the entire ecosystem with expertise in chipsets (AptoVision, Aquantia), switches and storage (Netgear), and AV end points (Christie Digital, Sony and ZeeVee). SDVoE technology provides an end-to-end hardware and software platform for AV extension, switching, processing and control through advanced chipset technology, common control APIs and interoperability. SDVoE network architectures are based on off-the-shelf Ethernet switches thus offering substantial cost savings and greater system flexibility and scalability over traditional approaches such as point-to-point extension and circuit-based AV matrix switching. SDVoE: www.sdvoe.org


Laser Projectors

Designed for Exceptional Performance Epson L Series large venue laser projectors take image quality to new levels with game-changing laser light sources, WUXGA resolution and 4K enhancement technology. Create powerful images with outstanding reliability and minimal maintenance that are ideal for staging and rental applications. Features include: • Up to 25,000 lumens and WUXGA resolution for bright, colourful, brilliant images • 20,000 hours of virtually maintenance-free operation for continuous and reliable use • Versatile connectivity including HDBaseT, HDMI, SDI and DVI-D • Easy integration with Crestron ®, AMX® and Extron compatibility • Full suite of lens options for virtually any staging and rental application For more information visit www.epson.com.au/LaserProjectors


016

FEATURE

CRIKEY! ZOO AUDIO GETS WILD

GEAR LIST

L

Ashly nX8002 amplifier

SoundTube SM590i-II-WX speakers

Cloud CX261 single-zone mixer

SoundTube XT850-SS speakers

Inter-M CD-6208 CD/media player

Maximum SPD250 speaker cable

ocated on Queensland’s beautiful Sunshine Coast, Australia Zoo is best known as the home of Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter. But you’ll find more than just reptiles on the Zoo’s extensive premises. Steve Irwin had a dream for Australia Zoo, which included the creation of an African Safari Park where guests could see animals roam together on open plains, just as they would in the wild. This dream has been realised in the form of the African Savannah, now home to giraffes, rhinos, zebras and cheetah. The open-range African Savannah is a key attraction at Australia Zoo and therefore, the team wanted to enhance the visitor experience by adding authentic African background music throughout the guest viewing areas. AV & Production Manager, Kris Berndt, contacted Brendon McDonald at NAS for assistance in designing a PA system that would fit the bill. Being a large space and entirely outdoors, the installation required a creative (and weather-proof) solution that would provide clear audio across the whole viewing area without detriment to aesthetics. Initially, Kris suggested IP-rated, outdoorfriendly music horns mounted on poles throughout the fenced area. However once Brendon inspected the exhibit, he recommended SoundTube’s XT850-SS coaxial outdoor speakers, placed both

in front of the fence and in the garden areas. This was for a few reasons: firstly, the 360° dispersion of the XT Series would mean greater coverage over the wide viewing area, and secondly, the unique weatherproof enclosure of the units would be far more discrete than horns on poles while offering the superior sound of an eight-inch driver and one-inch tweeter. The three undercover viewing areas needed their own audio reinforcement. Here, Brendon specified SoundTube’s SM590i-II speakers in the ‘Weather Xtreme’ variant. These feature a duallayer hydrophobic material inside the speaker grille to keep water away from the drivers and internal electronics. The SoundTube speakers are powered by a 1600W Ashly nX8002 two-channel amplifier. One channel supplies power to the XT850s in series, and the other takes care of the SM590i-IIs. A Cloud CX261 single-zone mixer receives audio from an InterM CD-6208 multi-source media player and sends it to the amp. Australia Zoo’s own audio visual team managed the installation in consultation with NAS. As part of this, they custom-painted the XT850-SS speakers to blend inconspicuously with the surroundings, adding to the visual appeal of the finished project. Installing an audio system at a zoo has its unique

set of hurdles, one of which was acclimatising the giraffes to the sound! All up, it took the team one week to install — a commendable effort considering more than 350m of speaker cabling had to traverse fencing, concrete, garden beds, and climb three 6m-high gazebos. Visitors to Australia Zoo’s African Savannah can now enjoy a fitting audio experience when visiting the African animals. The Australia Zoo crew couldn’t be happier with the final product. The uniquely shaped SoundTube XT850s proved a flawless solution both visually and sonically for the area and the consistent coverage provided by the SM590i-II gazebo speakers, even in a crowd ten rows deep, has impressed the Zoo and its patrons. Looking ahead, the zoo already has plans to utilise the system to run talks via wireless microphone from the centre gazebo. Chiayo’s WXLR product will likely be installed, with the base station situated in the amp rack and a Cat5 cable run to a close-range receiver placed in the gazebo.  National Audio Systems: www.nationalaudio.com.au


CORIOmaster micro - small, but mighty The CORIOmaster family’s newest addition

Front panel control: recall presets and source routing

Audio support: S/PDIF output from any source

Ultra compact but with monumental performance, CORIOmaster micro is set to revolutionize the video processor market for small and creative set-ups. At only 1RU and half rack in size, this ultra compact solution can be mounted in a room, in a rack or behind the video wall itself. CORIOmaster supports almost any I/O type, including media streams, 4K and even USB sticks. Operated through the user friendly CORIOgrapher software, you can create stunning video experiences to wow your clients! The 4K streaming media card allows for additions such as playlisting, button mapping, streaming, and audio support for the CORIOmaster micro. Make CORIOmaster micro your processor of choice for boardrooms, retail, lobbies, compact control rooms, events and multiviewer applications – it’s that flexible!

www.corsairsolutions.com.au

We Engineer Confidence


018

FEATURE

Snapshot: Bankstown Sports Club Basement Brewhouse

T

he Basement Brewhouse, inside Bankstown Sports Club, features its own microbrewery with 30 craft beer and cider taps, a tap wine selection for those who favour the grape over the grain, as well as a delicious burger menu and a gourmet delicatessen. “The brief given to The P.A. People in the leadup to the Brewhouse project, was to provide us with a high quality distributed sound system, high definition vision and a simple, yet intuitive control system. They have exceeded expectations in their delivery, with some very positive feedback from early on,” said Jason Klippel, Audio Visual Team Leader. The Brewhouse was a challenge from the outset, working within the confines of a fully operational club, ever conscious of noise and an existing structure. “We were in constant contact with the Club’s AV team to give final approvals on all site locations as we would not get a second go at getting it right,” observed Ross Ford, Project Manager for The P.A. People.

The TVs around the outer walls of the venue were an early challenge. Curtains ran behind each one and the desired outcome was not to see fixpoints etc. The P.A. People designed a single-point swivel bracket that the curtain could be fitted around (with the TV sitting just in front) hiding all fixings and cables. TV screens inside the barrel booths were an even bigger issue. The original design required single-sided units, mounted to a round pole. During the process, the club decided to enhance these specs, which required mounting them on both sides of a square pole fixture. Our team then came up with the mounting idea complete with tinted acrylic trim to hide all the cables and connections; a very neat result and presentation. “We were on site most days to ensure we were not ‘built-out’ of any areas; thankfully we were mostly in front of where we needed to be and completed the install task days before the official opening,” said Ross Ford. “In the process of this install, we upgraded

the entire sitewide MATV system from analogue to digital. The Brewhouse was running digital for Melbourne Cup Day!” added Brett Steele, Manager – Installed Systems.  P.A. People: www.papeople.com.au or (02) 8755 8700

THE GEAR • • • • • • • • •

12 × 32-inch LG displays in the booths 5 × 55-inch LG displays 1 × 98-inch Philips display All controlled by AMX 28 × Bose FS40 surface mount speakers and 3 × Bose Freespace subs in the main areas 2 × private Lounges with 4 × Bose FS40 flushmount speakers and a Freespace Sub in each Univox hearing loops in the main bar areas Shure ULXD radio mics Surface Touch Panel Control


From the largest stadiums to the smallest boardrooms...

Q-SYS Covers It All TM

The Q-SYS Platform is trusted by some of the world’s largest installations to create seamless, integrated AV experiences. Trust the same rocksolid software/hardware platform for your next corporate boardroom installation. Discover how Q-SYS solves the most common conference room challenges, from BYOD functionality for soft-codec applications, to VoIP/POTS integration, third party control and so much more.

qsc.com/conferencing

Š2016 QSC, LLC all rights reserved. QSC, Q-SYS and the QSC logo are registered trademarks in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and other countries.


020

FEATURE

Good Sports Crown Perth’s technical triumph Text:/ Christopher Holder

A

V Asia Pacific caught up with Crown Perth’s AV team to learn more about the new Sports Bar, which is heavy on the screen count and the Recaro comfort. Crown Perth’s AV Development Analyst, Jeremy Prestwood, talks us through the brief behind the AV design. Jeremy Prestwood: The aim was to deliver something that we hadn’t seen before. We wanted to create a dynamic AV experience for our customers. The main screen can split into 16 separate displays with the ability to show numerous channels at any given time. We currently have up to 64 different sources expandable to 128. These vary from satellite sports channels, IPTV content, internet streams, signage and in-house event feeds. We have an amazing AV team here at Crown Perth, and the primary tech solution was developed by utilising in-house resources and skills including LED screen requirements. AV and screen installation was overseen by the in-house AV and Projects departments. The main Crestron DM128 covers the signal routing across the sports bar and the main gaming floor. This is with a mixture of Crestron DM8 cable and fibre. AV Asia Pacific: What was the toughest nut to

crack in getting the bar to function as planned? Cameron Delaney – Crown Perth’s AV & Technical Manager: Probably the biggest hurdle was to figure out a way to hang a five-tonne LED screen within the existing infrastructure. This required additional steel work and temporarily removing sections of the roof in order to install hanging points. In addition, we had to find a way to route 6.5km of signal cable to run the system. The system has a lot of varied sources which was challenging to integrate. The result was to give seamless control of the screen and sound system to staff working behind the bar with minimal day to day AV involvement. AV Asia Pacific: How’s the AV leveraged when the bar is at capacity? Jeremy Prestwood: As an example, for the EPL Cup Final we had 10 different matches simultaneously on the large screens and we had well over 1000 customers in the area for a major sporting event like that. AV Asia Pacific: What are some of the tech heroes of the install? Cameron Delaney: We utilise a lot of tvONE equipment across the complex as we find it reliable and suitable for our needs. The tvONE CORIOmaster was chosen as a primary main screen window processor as it fulfilled the flexible

input and window layout requirements, such as rotation of digital signage to portrait mode, multisource preview and confidence monitoring, and the ability to be used for live events in this space. We have found this beneficial on large-scale events such as sporting launches and promotions. AV Asia Pacific: How do you address audio for a Sports Bar with so many different source? Cameron Delaney: Actually, our main challenge with the audio was to provide sufficient coverage over a large crowd without interfering with general gaming operations. Primary audio is from a line array that covers the bar area and can be fed from any signal source. There are two additional zones that cover the smaller side bar and TAB outlet. The room also has auxiliary inputs for live events. This ensures the patron playing nearby gaming machines can still enjoy their experience while a major sporting event is happening in a close proximity.  Crown Perth: crownperth.com.au Corsair Solutions (TVOne): (03) 9005 9861 or www.corsairsolutions.com.au


022

FEATURE

Breaking Conventions The new $1.5b International Convention Centre Sydney is open. It’s a monster AV job. We take an exclusive tour. Text:/ Christopher Holder

P

riorities have changed. Go back 10 years and ask any SCEC exhibitor what their highest priorities were and at the top of the list would be ‘Clean Toilets’ closely followed by ‘Fresh Sandwiches’. Ask those same exhibitors today and while good food remains high on the list, another answer is always, always on the tip of their tongue: technology — AV technology and ICT. Okay, if we’re going to be more specific, the answer is ‘wi-fi’. But the point remains: exhibitors and showgoers want to be connected; seamlessly connected: to their normal array of contacts and social media; to other attendees; and to other exhibitors. So, just to calm the nerves, let’s cover off wifi in the new International Convention Centre Sydney: there are 1000 access points. Next up, let’s find out what those WAPs are plumbed into: a 10Gbit network. There’s fibre between the decentralised rack rooms and then Cat7 from the racks to the meeting rooms and

data pits in a ‘wheel and spoke’ arrangement. The rack rooms are generously proportioned… capacious even; and are strategically positioned to ensure even Cat7 cable runs, including to rooms above and below. And the other big question you want answered? Yes, it’s a converged network. AV shares the same pipe as ICT. Except for some point-to-point HDBaseT video that runs to and fro meeting rooms to Crestron DM switches. “We determined during the design stage, two years ago, that we couldn’t risk going with an IP-based live presentation video system — the technology hadn’t been proven in any other major project we could point to at that time. IP was, and is, not the answer for everything in video.” DESIGN PRINCIPLES

That’s the principal AV consultant Mark Shaw talking. For three and a half years he was with Audio Systems Logic (ASL), devoting his professional life and, I’m guessing, a significant

chunk of his personal life to the $1.5b ICC Sydney build. He mentions the ‘design stage’… there were two. Design Stage 1 provided the building blocks while the audiovisual Design Stage 2 (DS2) was the big one; the document to lean on throughout the build process, and, in fact, is still being referred to. ASL and Mark Shaw was responsible for the drafting of both (DS1 saw significant input from James Galloway, and DS2, large input from James Moutafidis and Aleksandra Deren. All done under the eye of Director Simon Lappas). Mark Shaw has the demeanour of a man whose world has revolved around ‘process’ for nearly four years and how the only way to ensure the successful delivery of the result documented in DS2 was to diligently, assiduously adhere to process. AND THE WINNER IS

The big winners out of ICC Sydney are d&b Audiotechnik, with large quantities of V and T Series loudspeakers systems in the theatres;


FEATURE

Crestron, with all the HDBaseT video switching via DM frames; Pansonic projection; ACA Cotag Media that runs the ‘smart building’ aspects of ICC Sydney; Shure, with its new MX wireless; Digico consoles; and Jands, which took care of all the staging, lighting, rigging, drapery, and lighting control. But arguably the real star of ICC Sydney AV show is QSC. QSC got its foot firmly in the door thanks to Q-SYS. A huge site using a converged network? There was no argument from anyone — Q-SYS was a unanimous choice. From there it wasn’t difficult to countenance the use of QSC’s highly regarded networked multi-channel amps and its ‘Acoustic Design’ series in-ceiling speakers. It’s a monumental account for QSC. And it all started with acknowledgement that AV would share the data network. “Knowing it would be a converged network didn’t concern me,” recalled Mark Shaw. “This is a large project but it’s not a complex network. The topology of the ICC Sydney buildings is massive. There’s a 10Gbit fibre backbone, there’s redundant fibre running to every single switch in the whole venue. If we were to run a separate AV network you’d have twice the maintenance, twice the cabling, twice the hardware and staff. A converged network was the only practical approach.” As mentioned, the fibre links the machine rooms, with Cat7 feeding meeting rooms and other floor boxes which are designed in clusters across floors of the building. Having this ‘wheel and spoke’ approach certainly made commissioning easier than working with a super control room sending fibre out to every meeting room — chunks of the building could be completed without impacting on the rest of the venue. There was also an operational advantage to grouping the meeting rooms, according to Head of AV Services Brian Nash: “There’s a feeling of intimacy rather than being a massive building. Smaller events are crucial to us, and ICC Sydney is grouped such that you can have your plenary session in an appropriately sized theatre [the largest accommodates 8000+ delegates, down to the 1000-cap Pyrmont Theatre] with the requisite complement of meeting rooms for that session. We cater for different sizes and it works.” The Lendlease Technology Division had a man on staff for the duration (ICT Project Director, Darren Page) to help ensure everyone played nicely on the network. “That’s how important it was,” observed Mark Shaw. “As far as services go in the building, AV is by far the largest network dependency, which is why Darren and I basically shared a desk for 12 months!” The network is futureproofed as much as it can be: “You do what you can with the technology you have. We have a super-fast 10Gb network backbone using Cisco hardware installed by Telstra. The unknown is how much of the network will be occupied by wi-fi in the future.”

Brian Nash nods in furious agreement: “"We're aware of the incredible demand for wi-fi and we believe our robust backbone means we are more than ready for it.” ANYTHING TO ANYWHERE

Fredon Technology was the AV integrator, led by Director Nick Orsatti. Being on the front line, installing and commissioning the AV, more than anyone it was Nick and his team who became intimately acquainted with the advantages of Q-SYS. Nick Orsatti: “Early on, the advantages of adopting Q-SYS was all about a robustness for the operator — getting a mic to an amp to a speaker, that couldn’t be inadvertently re-routed or otherwise intercepted. Q-SYS was the only choice really. We use Shure MX wireless in the meeting rooms. MX has Dante capability, Q-SYS has Dante capability, all that’s there, but we have analogue outputs from the MX receivers feeding into Q-SYS inputs that feed into QLAN. That way someone can’t come in with a Dante controller and decide to re-route audio or record it. So the Dante layer is there for the operators’ use, but we’re not reliant on Dante for paging to the foyers etc. Mark Shaw: The horsepower of a single Q-SYS core — its single I/O count and processing speed — is unbeatable in a venue this large. I’ve not dealt with a venue with the sheer quantity of ICC Sydney’s I/O, and we’ve explored the limits of the Q-SYS Core’s capacity, and it’s working well. Nick Orsatti: That processing grunt has meant Q-SYS can take care of the the meeting room conferencing as well. The original brief from the State mandated the need for VC in every meeting room, which means we need echo cancellation in every meeting room. We’re unsure at this stage just how much conferencing is going to be done in the rooms, but regardless, Q-SYS can take care of the processing natively in software. I don’t need hardware dedicated inputs in the room. Mark Shaw: Redundancy was another big factor in the decision. Each of the Q-SYS 1100 cores has 256 ins and outs, and we have six cores, each with a redundant backup — 12 in total running the venue. Nick Orsatti: The simplicity of the redundancy capability was second to none. The way it’s configured, if a core fails it switches over automatically. Nothing else does it with that simplicity. Coupled with the QSC networked amps, we have full load monitoring. If a speaker line is compromised, we have that monitoring capability right through the venue on every zone. Q-SYS also deals with general paging (a zoned paging solution for the reception desks to the rooms etc) and distributed audio everywhere. Thanks to Q-SYS, it helped QSC secure the loudspeaker business as well. Mark Shaw: The QSC AD series of in-ceiling speakers have performed well. Initially, the available product data gave me confidence. We’ve modelled every PA zone, meeting room.

023

WHO’S WHO AEG Ogden: Venue Operators of ICC Sydney NSW State Government: The Owner/Client Audio Systems Logic: The AV consultant led by Mark Shaw who was full time on the project for three and half years. Darling Harbour Live (DHL): The delivery partners. DHL is a consortium of Lendlease, Hostplus, First State Super, Capella Capital, AEG Ogden & Spotless FM. Lendlease Technology department also provided support for the ICT design. Stowe Fredon Joint Venture (SFJV): Formed for the project to be the key electrical, data and AV contractor. Hassell + Populous: Project architects AEG Ogden Technical Architect: Gary Thomas Head of AV Services: Brian Nash Audio Systems Logic AV Consultant: Mark Shaw AV Project Director: Nick Orsatti SFJV Project Director: John Brumec AV Project Manager: Justin Anders AV Lead Engineers: Cameron Mitchell, Adrian Halstrom, Matt Thomson, Lucan Sinclair, Stephen Roberts LED: Toby Waley, Big Screen Projects

Every space has been EASE modelled using the data from QSC and d&b, and we’ve found through our on-site measurements that the data has been extremely accurate. Which is not always the case with other manufacturers’ data. In fact, the QSC data right down the line has been very accurate: from the loudspeakers matched to the networked amp, speaking over the Q-SYS network… through to the brilliant Q-SYS whitepapers that we could provide to Telstra and Lendlease Technology, which helped them roll out the packets across the network. It’s been a very solid end-to-end solution. ELECTROACOUSTIC PRIORITIES

You’d expect a consultant with ASL’s credentials to take its acoustic modelling and measurements seriously. But what was unexpected and heartening for a large project such as ICC Sydney was that the initial State brief took electroacoustics — the amplified sound of the venue — very seriously indeed. And as touched on by Mark Shaw, not just the showpiece plenary theatre but every space. Mark Shaw: Every hireable space was electroacoustically modelled. ASL’s Aleksandra Deren performed an enormous amount of EASE modelling. We factored in the room finishes, specified the speaker model, the locations, specified the angles, and the acoustic treatment, all to be approved by the independent verifiers of the State then installed and tested.


024

FEATURE

ICC SYDNEY THEATRE PA DETAILS The NAS Projects Team provided support during the commissioning phase. Gert Sanner from d&b HQ flew out for the commissioning as well. Dave Jacques is head of the NAS Projects Team: “The biggest part of our job was in the implementation; as the gear went in we worked with Fredon to help get the most out of the PA. It was a great experience in that regard: the Fredon team was very keen to get a good result. Sometimes there’s a temptation on behalf of the installer to knock something like this out and not worry too much about the detail. In this case everyone was very focussed on the detail. “The ICC Sydney Theatre PA is based on two large d&b V Series arrays per side. The side arrays aren’t much shorter than the main hangs, and this is down to just how large and wide the theatre is: you have to push a lot of energy to the sides to cover those areas. “The SPL targets of the brief were lofty. Fortunately, the

design provided an adequate number of loudspeakers and wasn’t cut back at any stage, as is often the case — we needed a serious system to meet those targets (105dBA ±10dB with 10dB headroom). “We hit those SPL targets with something to spare. That was really nice to see in the flesh; to see that the modelling and the EASE data is trustworthy.” Along with the four speaker arrays the design encompasses a flown array of V Subs either side of stage. Flying, rather than stacking, the subs was always going to be the preferred method, given the tiered design of the theatres. The long array of subs provides greater pattern control and more efficiency in the far field. The sub array sits in behind the main hang and not so far from the side hang. The distances are such that the three arrays operate as one line source in the lower frequencies. Dave Jacques: I’ve had feedback from people who have mixed in ICC Sydney Theatre and they’ve commented

that they’ve looked at the space and looked at the arrays and thought ‘I’m going to need a pile of ground stacked subs’, but it’s not the case — it fills the space nicely. I was very pleased with the results — there’s an even fullrange feel. Often the lower tier of seating will be retracted but when those seats are deployed, there are some additional V Subs in the inventory that can be ground stacked to fill in the nearfield. There are also a number of additional V Series array boxes that are positioned at stage level and shoot into the lower bowl. Sound for the stage level V array boxes are timed to arrive slightly earlier than the main arrays to pull the image down to the stage. d&b D80 power the whole system. It’s effectively a touring system with touring amp racks, allowing for easy reconfiguration.


025

FEATURE

ICC SYDNEY THEATRE The ICC Sydney Theatre is immense. Not only does it host significant conference plenary sessions it also supersedes the role of the Sydney Entertainment Centre — few tears were shed when the wrecking ball hit the SEC. The space adheres to the key ICC Sydney tenets of multi-use and ease of set up/break down. In a few short months since its debut, ICC Sydney Theatre has played host to Keith Urban, PJ Harvey, Nick Cave, a tennis Fast Four match, and of course a plenary session or two. Brian Nash: “All of our theatres have an advanced broadcast and technical panel infrastructure. From OB truck, to control rooms, to FOH positions to stage sides, to the catwalk level, there’s a massive infrastructure, some 650km of cable just in the technical plates alone.” The wall plates carry SDI and SMPTE 311M for video, a structured Cat cable, fibre, as well as traditional audio tielines. To distinguish the AV cabling in and between the theatres, they’re all colour-coded purple. If for whatever reason, cables are inadvertently cut, the purple hue of the cabling will signal ‘Danger Will Robinson!’ for Brian and his team. There’s a retractable tier of seating at floor level, that raises the capacity to a maximum of 9000 people when deployed. In its plenary mode, often a conference will feature a large (14m-20m) edge-blended backdrop on stage and two large screens either side of the proscenium for IMAG. Two 20K Panasonic projectors take care of that task. From a PA perspective, the brief was for the house system to be capable of managing the sound for at least 70% of booked events. The full gamut of Theatre events will take in largescale concert touring acts which will simply want to know where the loading dock is, the location of

Some of the measurements ASL took of ICC Sydney Theatre. The diagram shows the speaker positions while the plots show the all-important STI numbers and SPL coverage.

the power and the rigging points. Others, such as the DJ during the Fast Four exhibition tennis event will happily plug straight into the house rig without additional sound reinforcement. Still others will bump in the main left/right rig and hire the house side hangs and delays. Mark Shaw: “ICC Sydney Theatre was designed to be a thoroughbred auditorium for amplified sound. It needed to be very absorbent and super-easy to use. The electroacoustic modelling we did back in 2013 included the carpet and seats; we modelled it twothirds full, we modelled the wall panels, the entire soffit insulation, the plant room insulation, the stage drapes, the under balcony treatment… and in reality The Theatre is almost exactly as modelled by ASL. The STIs are the same. Normally there will be a litany of alterations during the design and build process. Not so with The Theatre: it’s a true multifunctional theatre and from Day 1 the design has not changed.” The DS2 specified a d&b V Series PA with d&b amplification and touring carts so the rig can be quickly deployed or removed. According to Brian Nash, the full house PA can be rigged and ready in under three hours. SFJV and d&b measured the Theatre’s sound from 96 different locations. The State brief mandated 105dB ±10dB for every seat and a speech intelligibility metric of at least 0.5. Thanks to a well-designed venue — acoustically and electroacoustically — The Theatre boasts an STI of 0.7-0.8 throughout… even under the balconies. Nick Orsatti: Credit should go to Lendlease, Jerome Johnson in particular, in having the wisdom to listen and act on ASL's (Simon Lappas in particular) advice on getting the room right. I think as an industry it’s good to acknowledge when the client/builder understands the importance of these details.


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If ICC Sydney Theatre is an electroacoustic thoroughbred, then the second largest theatre in the complex, the Darling Harbour Theatre, allows a greater emphasis on good looks. It’s a stunning looking venue thanks to the work of ICC Sydney architects Hassell + Populous.

DIGITAL SIGNAGE & INTERACTIVE DISPLAYS The main public entry to the theatre building is lined with LED. Dubbed the Bird’s Mouth (right), there’s some 250sqm of LED intricately installed in and around the entrance way. The media and pixel mapping is managed by a Christie Coolux server. A system of convention cooling helps the Bird’s Mouth to breathe, allowing hot air produced by the display to efficiently exhaust to ensure smooth operation. All up, there are 28 LED exterior screens throughout the precinct including the freestanding blade structures on the harbourside. A real highlight is a 100m-long artwall in Moriarty Walk. The digital artwork was commissioned by Rioji Ikeda. The aspect of the LED wall ensures it doesn’t receive any direct sunlight, and means the screens chug away at no more than 15% of its available brightness. Big Screen Projects was engaged as the digital signage installation specialists, headed up by Toby Waley. Nick Orsatti: Big Screen Projects’ live events expertise was instrumental to the success of the digital signage execution. They know how to build these structures in such a way that they can be easily serviced and managed. These aspects can be overlooked in a permanent installation, but can really bite you down the track if you’re not careful.


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If we were to run a separate AV network you’d have twice the maintenance, twice the cabling, twice the hardware and staff. A converged network was the only practical approach. The level of detail in the specifications meant if the integrator proposed the use of an equivalent product they would have to remodel everything from scratch. The selection process was detailed and exhaustive. Every product was selected with a number of factors in mind — performance, aesthetics, EASE date, budget, and single vendor risk mitigation — and it was all decided on early in the piece. HIGH STAKES

Demolishing SCEC and starting again was a brave move. The brand new ICC Sydney had to be demonstrably superior to SCEC and indeed to any of the alternatives in Australia. MCEC won’t be panicking; it’s booked out for years to come. But being booked out isn’t necessarily the main game, it’s attracting the super-primo events. It’s the Bill Clinton keynote, the world congress of anaesthetists, the international launch of the next Tesla luxury coupe… The cachet of staging Australia’s highest profile events and concerts is significant. AV has never been more crucial to the success of event production. Being seen and heard is obviously the baseline requirement, but now it’s just as important to ensure that the event buzz ripples through cyberspace. ICC Sydney showcases the AV state of the art. It's a posterboy for making good on the ‘convergence promise’. Fascinatingly, convergence didn’t require a blindfolded step off the cliff in faith, nor did it see a bunch of traditional AV roles being fulfilled by IT professionals with no deep knowledge of AV. Success is reliant on product vendors who understand ICT constraints and ensure their product suite works within that framework, and system specifiers and integrators that share the same deep knowledge of both AV and IT, and have the knowledge and experience to design and implement them to meet the client's requirements. A truly landmark project provides an AV milestone — a yardstick for the industry. In 2017, ICC Sydney is that AV monument. 

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FEATURE

QLAN NETWORK Ewan McDonald, Technical Audio Group’s Q-SYS System Sales Specialist, reflects on the task of ensuring AV is given its best chance on the network. Ewan McDonald: The biggest issue we come across is getting the network guys to understand how important QoS is on the network. The way QLAN is set up, audio clock packets have the highest priority on the network, the actual audio packets, then the control packets. Most network guys are just not used to QoS and managing multicast on the network. They’ll look at the bandwidth and think — well that doesn’t look like much — but don’t realise that there are 48,000 clock packets they need to get from end to end in 333 microseconds across the network. If the QoS is not set up properly and the multicast not managed properly on the network, then it can be a real problem.

STANDING UP FOR THE PRESENTER: THE SMART LECTERNS Mark Shaw and Nick Orsatti have reflected on the fact that ICC Sydney is one of those ‘once in a lifetime projects’ and there are many reasons to bask in some professional pride. Interestingly, it was the ICC Sydney lectern design that rates highly as something they’re most pleased with. Nick Orsatti: The design was a real team effort. The lecterns had to look great, be functionally very capable and reflect the needs of a contemporary BYOD client. Mark Shaw: Think of it as a portable equipment rack for the room, housed in an architecturally designed smart lectern. In other words it’s a super-smart, custom-made, oakclad, 19-inch rack housing. Nick Orsatti: On the low-tech side, there’s space for 2 x A4 pieces of paper, a glass of water, and somewhere to put a laptop (conspicuously on top or tucked away), and a USB port for somewhere to plug in a device.

There’s a built-in NUC-style computer, networked back to as a presenters’ preparation area, which means they can test their presentation and put it on the network ready to pick up when they’re in the meeting room. Or they can bring in a USB stick or plug in their own laptop. Audio is all wireless. Using Shure MX series, operating in the 2.4GHz range. They’re network based and operate outside the traditional wireless spectrum, which has advantages. There are a number of wireless mic scenarios catered to. We can provide a lectern mic, a lapel or both. There are racks for two wireless channels, four channels or eight. A generic tablet running Crestron X Panel software provides easy control for the presenter. For the theatre lecterns the fascia can accommodate a display for dynamic branding. With it sitting on the network it’s simply another IPTV end point. All that’s within the lectern and plugs into the floorbox via

a power lead, and two Cat cables — one for the Crestron HDBaseT DM video and the other for everything else. The set up provides flexibility in terms of how large or sophisticated the presentation is and how self sufficient the presenter is. Brian Nash: The events will have presenters of varying technical proficiency. One presenter might be happy muting their own mics and won’t need an operator. Others will need an operator. In that case we can grab the mic kit and connect to a floor box at the back of the room. The video input can be plugged into the back of the room as well. The rooms sound good and the smaller one in particular won’t always need sound reinforcement. If you remove the cart from the lectern you still have the video capabilities available.


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FEATURE

PRODUCTION EQUIPMENT HIGHLIGHTS ICC THEATRE

DARLING HARBOUR THEATRE

PA

PA

Front Hangs: 44 x d&b V8 boxes 8 x d&b V12 boxes 16 x d&b V Subs

Front Hangs: 16 x d&b V8 boxes 4 x d&b V12 boxes 6 x d&b V Subs

Delays: 10 x d&b V8 boxes 10 x d&b V12 boxes 5 x d&b V Subs

Under Balcony: 8 x d&b xS 8s Boxes

Under Balcony: 8 x d&b T10 boxes

Mixing Consoles: Digico SD8 (FOH), SD8 (monitors) SD11 (control room)

Floor Mounted In-Fill: 2 x d&b V8 Boxes 6 x d&b Xt10 boxes 8 x d&b V Subs Mixing Consoles: Digico SD10 (FOH), SD8 (monitors) SD11 (control room) Vision A combination of 12.2m x 6.8m or 20m x 6.8m screens. 20k Panasonic projectors and vision switching Lighting Large inventory of Selecon fresnels & ETC Source 4 profiles Martin Mac Quantum profiles & XLED 3019 wash moving lights Jands HPC12 dimmer racks and 48-way dimmer racks Chroma Q LED batons 4 x Robert Juliet Merlin follow spots

PYRMONT THEATRE PA Front Hangs: 20 x d&b T10 Boxes 4 x d&b T-Subs Delay: 8 x d&b T10 boxes Floor Mounted Frontfill: 8 x d&b xS 4S boxes 2 x d&b V Sub Mixing Console: Digico SD9 Vision 6.1 x 3.3m centre screen 20k Panasonic Projector Lighting Large inventory of Selecon fresnels & ETC Source 4 profiles Martin Mac Quantum profiles & XLED 3019 wash moving lights Jands HPC12 dimmer racks and 48-way dimmer racks Chroma Q LED batons 2 x Robert Juliat ‘Horrigan’ follow spots.

Floor Mounted Infill: 8 x d&b xS 8S boxes

Vision 9.1m x 4.9m motorised screen (centre) 2 x 24.0 x 13.5m flown side screens Combination of 20k and 12k Panasonic projectors and vision switching Lighting Large inventory of Selecon fresnels & ETC Source 4 profiles Martin Mac Quantum profiles & XLED 3019 wash moving lights Jands HPC12 dimmer racks and 48-way dimmer racks Chroma Q LED batons 3 x Robert Juliet ‘Merlin’ follow spots

GRAND BALLROOM PA Front Hangs: 12 x d&b V8 boxes 2 x d&b V12 boxes 6 x d&b V Subs Vision Combination of screens including 7 x 5.5m x 3.1m projection surfaces with 12k Panasonic projectors 20m blend screen also available Lighting Large inventory of Selecon fresnels & ETC Source 4 profiles Martin Mac Quantum profiles & XLED 3019 wash moving lights Jands HPC12 dimmer racks and 48-way dimmer racks 200 x XLED3007 moving heads to pin spot tables

VENUE WIDE All spaces equipped with ClearCom FreeSpeak II comms systems 200 x Movecat pluslite 1000kg and 500kg chain motors Hundreds of F34 and F54 3m-length truss


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FEATURE

Going The Distance Remote STEM teaching has to keep up with the ‘why is it so?!’ moments – big and small. AV Asia Pacific senior writer and AVDEC consultant Derek Powell explains the design and why it won an AVIA. Text:/ Derek Powell

T

he University of New England has always specialised in distance education; a style of teaching that has seen, and continues to see, massive innovation as it migrates to an online environment. With more than 18,000 offcampus students, UNE is ranked No.1 by Online Study Australia in its national list of Australia’s best online universities.That position is hard won and to continue its mastery in this space UNE launched the Virtual Institute for Teaching & Learning (UNE VITAL) in 2015. UNE VITAL is tasked with researching better ways to deliver online education STEMMED DELIVERY

Delivering Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Medicine and Education (STEMMEd) courses online is particularly challenging; especially the need to illustrate practical science experiments. It was in response to this need that the School of Education commissioned a best-practice facility; specifically to deliver science and technology subjects interactively to remote students. This marked the start of our AVIA award-winning project. Two nondescript tutorial rooms were identified for renovation and Head of School, Professor Steve

Tobias, called in Kesha Riley from the University’s Information Technology Department, alongside audiovisual consultants AVDEC, to create a STEMMEd ‘distance education laboratory’. CLASSROOM STUDIO

The starting point for the design of an educational facility is to understand the kind of teaching (universities use the word ‘pedagogy’) that will take place in the space. In this case, as the deputy Head of School, Associate Professor Judy Miller explained, we were creating a television studio as much as a classroom. Many of the activities within the new classroom would include practical experiments and the facility needed to transmit the activities undertaken by the class in the room to remote students so they could see, understand, and be involved with the experiment. To assist, A/ Prof Miller drew up a number of diagrams and floorplans for typical teaching scenarios. Part of the challenge was that these experiments could be small scale, such as a chemical reaction in a test tube, or much larger, such as a physics experiment that involved rolling bowling balls from one side of the room to the other. This would be straightforward for a crew in a television studio, but we needed to create a system that was familiar

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WHAT THE JUDGES SAID Best Application of AV in Education – $100k & $500k AVDEC, for the University of New England’s VITAL STEMMEd Space By design, AVIA award-winning projects don’t need to have massive multi-million dollar budgets. The awards set out to recognise innovation in AV and specifically look for both large and smallscale projects where good ideas are employed to meet the client’s brief in innovative ways. AVDEC’s flexible, well-designed and easy-tooperate solution impressed both the client and the judging panel with the quality of the design and the implementation of this pilot project. The judges were also impressed with the level of client satisfaction and enthusiasm about the value of this project as a template for distance education over the web.


FEATURE

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Primary Display Large screen on wall in centre allows flexible gathering

Secondary Displays Pole Mounted, swivel covers adjustable area

Other Displays Connection for Mondopad Use as main or preview or can use a number as stand alone

Audio Facilities Radio mics for team teaching Fixed mics for videoconference Zoned loudspeakers

Camera Coverage Two ceiling PTZ cameras. Recording, VC or PC transmission via software

Camera Coverage GoPro for close-up work

Camera Coverage Two experiment cameras

Touch Screen Control Control point for team teaching and research


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FEATURE

EQUIPMENT LIST: VIDEO Main Monitor: Samsung DM-82D 82-inch Monitor Ceiling Mounted Monitors: Samsung DH-48D 48-inch Monitor Foyer Wall Mount Monitor: Samsung DH-48D 48-inch Monitor Preview Monitor: Samsung S27C45KBS 27-inch Preview Monitor Wireless Connection Appliance (Laptop): Extron ShareLink 200N Wireless Connection Appliance (Apple): Apple MD199XA Apple TV Experiment Camera Systems: Lumens DC-192 Document Camera GoPro Hero 4 / Music Ultra HD 4K Camera Kramer VP410 Scaler

to, and easily operated by, teachers — rather than media specialists. And then there was the question of a somewhat limited budget! Kesha Riley, UNE’s Technical Manager – Audio Visual Services, has worked with me (in my role as a Senior Consultant with AVDEC) for three years. Together we had reviewed UNE’s audiovisual standards and carried out a program of upgrades to the major teaching spaces. Kesha was also intimately familiar with the equipment and practices currently used by the academics in the school — vital information that we put to good use. We started by mapping out a set of guidelines for the technology to be used in the new space. Whatever we came up with had to have an acceptable learning curve for the users, it needed to have low ongoing running costs and be easily maintainable in the event of faults. BACKS TO THE WALL

Next, we reviewed the strengths and weaknesses of the chosen space. One side was lined with windows. On the plus side, the windows ensured a light filled space but could also provide contrasty, backlit video if we weren’t careful about camera placement. With the light in mind, we settled on a large bright LCD monitor as the main display. We kept the display wall and the main presentation locations opposite the windows. As there was a row of storage cabinets under the windows, we commandeered space in the centre of the wall for two, half-height equipment racks with a broad shelf above it on which to mount a control station. To avoid backlighting, we mounted the two videoconference cameras on the window side, which allows for shooting away from the light.

Camera locations were confirmed by spending time with a stills camera, taking shots of room zones we knew we needed to cover with the video cameras. It soon became apparent that mounting the cameras on the ceiling produced a ‘helicopter’ view of activities that resulted in unsuitable eyelines. Because of the windows, however, there wasn’t any wall space to mount PTZ cameras. The compromise was to pole mount our cameras above the benchtops at standing eye height, using custom manufactured ceiling pole mounts. These cameras would be used for recording activities, but also (and crucially) for live video and web conferencing of the activities to remote students. To provide the correct eyelines for twoway conferencing we made sure the monitors that would show the ‘far-end’ view were located close to the cameras. These were fixed on swivel mounts so they could be easily adjusted to be visible regardless of where the teachers were in the space. The monitors were specified to be bright (450 nit) to allow for easier viewing against the light from adjacent windows. EXPERIMENTAL AV

To film the experiments, we decided on two flexible and easy-to-use cameras. The first was the familiar ‘Ladybug’ style of document camera. Its bendable gooseneck head could be twisted to cover anything from benchtop experiments to test tube reactions. Larger-scale practical experiments on the vinyl floor area would be covered in the wide shot by the nearest PTZ camera. But we also wanted a close-up option. For this we decided to use a GoPro since it had higher resolution, good high or low light performance, and was small

Room Controller/Switcher: AMX Enova DGX 800 Enclosure Digital Transmitter/Receivers: AMX DXLink Recorder: Echo 360 SafeCapture HD Content Recorder Video Conferencing System: Polycom Group 700 Video Conferencing System Vaddio RoboSHOT 12 PTZ Camera System Vaddio EZ Camera Control Adaptor

EQUIPMENT LIST: AUDIO Microphone – Lapel Wiresless: Shure MXW1 Bodypack Transmitter Microphone – Handheld Wiresless: Shure MXW2 Handheld Transmitter (w/SM86) Microphone – Boundary Effect: Shure MX690-L4 Wireless Boundary Microphone Receiver & Network Interface: Shure MXWAPT8 Access Point Transceiver Shure MXWANI8 Audio Network Interface Microphone – Question Mics: Audix M55W Ceiling Microphones Audio DSP/Router: Biamp Tesira Forte Digital Signal Processor Biamp 4-channel Input Expander Box w/AEC Power Amplification: Powersoft PWS1204 Amplifier Loudspeakers: Bose RMU105 RoomMatch Loudspeaker Hearing Assistance: Williams Sound WIRTX75 Infrared Transmitter

EQUIPMENT LIST: CONTROL Programmable Master: AMX Enova DGX-800 Interfaces: AMX EXB-COM2 ICSLan Serial Interface Control Panel: AMX MST-1001 Touch Control Panel Equipment Racks: Middle Atlantic ERK Series


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enough to be handheld whenever it was needed. All the switching between cameras and control of the PTZ camera presets was handled by a familiar interface on a 10-inch AMX touchpanel. To make it easy for teachers to be sure they had good shots of the action, any camera could be switched to the large 48-inch swivelling confidence monitors, clearly viewable from anywhere in the room. TEACHING TWO WAY

All would be lost, though, if we couldn’t provide good, echo-free, two-way audio between the classroom and the remote students. Audio problems are the most common reason that video conference teaching sessions aren’t effective, so we invested a great deal of design time to devise bulletproof coverage for any possible scenario. Shure Microflex wireless microphones formed the backbone of the system. Two Shure radio lapel mics were chosen to cover the teacher and demonstrator, along with a handheld mic – that was the easy part. To pick up discussions at group tables, we settled on three of the new Shure Microflex wireless boundary microphones while the rest of the space was covered by four ceiling-mounted Audix wired mics. Rather than conventional ceiling speakers, we chose to use ten RMU105 speakers from the Bose RoomMatch range. Wired in five zones, these produced excellent, controlled coverage patterns along with great articulation of spoken word sources. A Biamp Tesira Forte DSP provided horsepower for mixing, EQ and the all-important echo suppression duties. The care and effort invested by our integrator, Videopro, really made this AV design work, especially the time invested in tuning the audio system. During testing, we set up a three-way test scenario from our new space to an existing VC room and also to a typical student laptop in another room. We spent several hours testing

FEATURE

from every part of the space and fine tuning both the speaker and microphone levels until we had a system that worked everywhere without needing constant volume adjustments. IT JUST WORKS

All the effort in planning and testing really paid off when it came time for the initial training sessions with the academic staff. They instantly understood the familiar touchpanel interface and were already at home with using the document camera to show small-scale images. Even using the GoPro proved intuitive as they could handhold the camera and easily see the images on the confidence monitors. The best plaudits came when the teachers realised that the audio was genuinely ‘plug ’n’ play’. Simply clipping on a lapel mic and placing boundary mics at any of the group tables instantly facilitated natural real-time Q&A interactions for everyone. The sense of relief amongst the teachers was palpable as they realised “it just works!”  TEAM DETAILS UNE: Kesha Riley, Technical Manager – Audio Visual Services Information Technology Directorate Angie Hendrick, Associate Director IT Client Services, Information Technology Directorate Lorraine Jenkyn, Project Manager – Information Technology Directorate Craig Dussart, Project Manager – Facilities Management Services Consultant: Derek Powell, AVDEC Integrator: Videopro Project Manager: Peter Tattersall Commissioning: Darran Cowling, Cameron McGuffie, Craig Upton Regional General Manager: Graham Cherry

CLIENT FEEDBACK Sue Gregory (Chair – Research, School of Education) UNE: Thanks to the diligence in the planning stage, the UNE-VITAL STEMMEd lab is a relatively easy to use technological environment. It has already been utilised extensively by academics, as well as preservice teachers and in-service teachers. Here is just one example of what the STEMMEd lab is capable of: The labs have been set up so that several groups can link to each other from afar, at the same time. Recently, a group of pre-service teachers were undertaking a workshop with a lecturer. They were using iPads and a special app while linked to a classroom where a teacher was giving a geography lesson with a class of primary school students. In that classroom were other preservice and in-service teachers being beamed in from a Pacific Island who were contributing to the lesson. Altogether, there were two groups of pre-service teachers from different locations; two groups of in-service teachers from different locations; one lecturer and one group of primary school students, all in the one lesson! This would be a difficult feat indeed if it wasn’t for the technology in our new Lab. This lesson was also being viewed by an audience (physically present) of approximately 50 people, demonstrating the kind of innovative remote teaching the technology makes possible.


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FEATURE

Hi-rise education hits Melbourne. Macmor rises to the occasion. Text:/ Christopher Holder

W

ith the growth in inner city living comes the need for inner city education. Upwardly mobile urban couples embracing a downtown Melbourne lifestyle now have a blue-ribbon downtown private education provider. Back in 2013 Haileybury College purchased a hi-rise city building opposite Flagstaff Gardens in the Melbourne CBD. The aim: to provide a primo education option, preschool to Year 12, for inner-city dwellers and international students. Haileybury didn’t invent the wheel. Other providers have tried and mostly have lost their shirts on a CBD experiment. Haileybury was taking a calculated risk that it could succeed where others had failed. In 2014 Haileybury established an early learning centre on the ground floor. This was followed by junior school spaces ready for the 2016 academic year. In 2016, three levels of middle school classes came together along with the boardroom level on the top floor. TECH PROGNOSTICATION

It’s not every day that a big school embarks on such a large project involving so much AV and IT. As manager of all of Haileybury’s AV and IT, Dale Eaton rode shotgun from the get-go. It was clear he was looking to standardise his equipment spec and have a sense of what tech a

classroom would include for the next five years or more. “It was about minimising variation,” Dale summarises. “We standardised a lot of the AV kit in the rooms to make it easier.” Every AV manager’s crystal ball is a bit cloudy on slow-burn jobs such as this — predicting the future tech of a classroom is especially difficult and it’s hard to resist the allure of the bleeding edge. Dale Eaton: When I started five years ago we had a problem with ‘the next shiny new thing’ regularly finding their way into our classrooms. It created so much variation and became a support nightmare. Variation is a tech staff’s main enemy, especially when staff need to be IT and AV skilled. It’s really rare to find someone that’s actually good in both areas. Across the four campuses we have more than 600 teaching spaces to look after. So when they were all so varied, it was a serious problem. We’re now working towards standardising each campus as we go through an annual rolling refresh program. THREE-YEAR PROJECTIONS

Projection or LCD screen? What was to be the principal classroom presentation tech? It occupied the brains of Dale Eaton and his team more than most decisions in the lead up to the CBD fitout.

five years ago we had a problem with ‘the next shiny new thing’ regularly finding their way into our classrooms. It created so much variation and became a support nightmare. Macmor: (03) 9545 5454 Westan (Epson): 1300 963 963 or www.westan.com.au


FEATURE

Dale Eaton: In discussions three years ago there was a lot of talk about putting panels up everywhere. They were almost at a stage where they were cost-effective to consider. During our research, we discovered that Epson was bringing out the EB595Wi ultra shortthrow, which gave us the interactivity we were after. We felt that was the right combination – mature, proven technology, in the Epson projection, and the very latest interactivity. We’ve immediately seen the benefits in classes, such as those in the music department — writing musical notes on the board, then routing it straight back to the computer to be saved. Two students writing notes either side of the board… From there the teacher can pop the next lesson up on the board and they’re building a valuable stockpile of materials and resources as they go. The Epson 595 projectors has taken us way beyond simply projecting onto a screen. The students coming through from junior school are accustomed to interactivity, and that interactivity brings educational advantages. AV Asia Pacific: How important is it to the school to be perceived as a technological innovator? Dale Eaton: It’s one of the main goals of the school. We want to be on the cutting edge of technology but we’re also happy to take our turn – we have no desire to be on the bleeding

edge — it’s worth learning from other people’s mistakes and successes, and roll that into something we can develop and deploy ourselves. We’re constantly appraising new product, the fully-interactive touch panels, presentation recording products and the like. But testing and appraising is different to installing into a classroom. Teachers are not tied to the one classroom above the junior school level. They might be in six different classes throughout the day. If you’ve got six different technical room it’s slowing the teacher down. That’s not a good outcome for the school. CONTROL IN TOUCH

Macmor has been Haileybury’s main electrical contractor for over a decade. Interestingly, a friendship between one of the Macmor directors and experienced systems integrator Steven ‘Steff’ Longmuir spawned the plan to add an AV side to the Macmor offering. With Steff on board leading the charge, Macmor has provided the school with a one-stop AV and electrical point of contact across all its campuses. As the new integrator, one of the first tasks Steff tackled was what Haileybury was doing about its control systems and room management. Steff Longmuir: Haileybury had a performance space at its Brighton campus equipped with

039

Haileybury’s premier presentation space has all the features of a regular flat floor performance theatre — high quality PA, two well-populated lighting bars, twin Epson G Series projection — only with a non-negotiable city block ceiling height.

Crestron control. It wasn’t the best integration — a bit messy and unintuitive. So when I first came onboard to start the Macmor AV division we looked at that space, and reprogrammed the control using a trusted Crestron programmer I knew from way back. And as soon as we did that, the school saw the value — it made the space easier to run and manage… the teachers and students love it. From there we discussed making Crestron control as a standard feature of larger spaces on all the campuses. Maintaining a standard look and feel breeds confidence in the staff. Any staff member can go to any campus, in any high-end room, and the touchpanel will look and function exactly the same. Dale Eaton: Apart from ease of operation, the other advantage of the Crestron system is it gives us the ability to problem solve remotely. If a projection screen isn’t coming down, we can pull out an iPad and generally fix the issue. I don’t need to get in a car and drive across town to fix it. That sort of capability is pure gold when our main campus, in Keysborough,


040

FEATURE

The Epson EB595Wi ultra short-throw interactive projector in action in the school’s science wing. The only reason for the seam in the whiteboard is the limitation of what can be brough up in the lift!

WI-FI SATURATION Dale Eaton: We don’t have problems with dropouts. We’ve got a very stable and solid wi-fi network in here. In fact, it’s at saturation point — we have saturated the whole building. Technically speaking, you can pick up our outdoor wi-fi at Flagstaff Station 200 metres across the carpark. AV Asia Pacific: I’ll have to grab your password before I leave. I imagine you could offer the best education in the world but if you have a wi-fi dropout then all hell would break loose. Steff Longmuir: That’s when Dale’s phone starts to ring! Dale Eaton: Luckily there’s another guy whose job it is to solely concentrate on wi-fi! He’s very, very good at what he does. AV Asia Pacific: What WAPs do you use? Dale Eaton: We use Aruba. It’s a very, very good product. A lot of places are picking up on Aruba because of the control you’ve got over it from an IT perspective. What you can lock out, for example. It’s a very, very good tool. AV Asia Pacific: Do you use wi-fi to track student traffic flow? Dale Eaton: We have the ability to do that but at the moment we don’t. We can track an iPad to within about 30cm using the wi-fi network. We’re now starting to put RFID chips into equipment which will have its advantages. That’s a 2017 project and another story altogether.

is an hour’s drive away, and we only have five tech staff to service all the campuses. We like the control system so much that we’re in discussions with Crestron about taking the next step to introducing Crestron Fusion for a more comprehensive room management system. Steff Longmuir: And from my perspective the fact the Crestron product works seamlessly with Epson projectors has been brilliant. They natively talk to each other, in terms of control and functionality, it’s really simple for me as an integrator and also for the programmer it’s pretty straight forward. Dale Eaton: Crestron’s Air Media has also been great in the presentation areas. It’s a very easy system to use — you hardly need to show people how to operate it and it saves a lot of headache — it really doesn’t care what sort of device you’re trying to present with. We see all manner of laptops here. We recently had a gentlemen from China and couldn’t connect his little OEM notebook to anything, but we could wirelessly connect him to AirMedia, mirror his screen and see his presentation. It saved the day. AV Asia Pacific: Do you think touchpanel control will eventually be ubiquitous in the classroom? Steff Longmuir: Over the years we’ve tried and tested a lot of different products, just small

wall controllers for a standard classroom. In Dale’s experience they’ve all systematically fallen over for one reason or another. So in the classrooms we’re happy with no control whatsoever. A teacher can switch on the system with a remote control, but then the Epson 595 is fully interactive from that point on. So you can change input, change volume, switch the projector off etc from the touchscreen.The need for an external wall controller was not only a big cost, but not required by the teachers in the classroom. COOKIE CUTTING EDGE

Now that the classroom AV spec has been agreed on, adding classrooms is administratively a smooth process as well as taking the headache out of the design process. Steff Longmuir: In terms of rolling the project out, the spec is already done. We just have to ‘rinse and repeat’, so it makes it really easy for me as an integrator, while the end result is predictable for Dale and the teachers. AV Asia Pacific: Predictability and dependability is a positive thing, in this case, and keeps the costs down as well, I imagine. Dale Eaton: It’s a case of: here’s a new room, raise a purchase order and say ‘go make it look the rest of them’. It’s all about removing variation. It really is. 


PROFESSIONAL

ShowMatch™ DeltaQ™ loudspeakers provide better coverage for outstanding vocal clarity. With DeltaQ technology, new ShowMatch array loudspeakers more ©2017 Bose Corporation.

precisely direct sound to the audience in both installed and portable applications. Each array module offers field-changeable waveguides that can vary coverage and even create asymmetrical patterns. The result is unmatched sound quality and vocal clarity for every seat in the house. Learn more at SHOWMATCH.BOSE.COM

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042

REVIEW

Bose DeltaQ ShowMatch Touring PA

Bose Professional has thrown its hat back into the concert touring market with this mid-size line array. Who wants it and why? Text:/ Christopher Holder

T

alk to any sound guy over the age of 50 and they’ll regale you with tales of Bose 802. Bose 802s for days. Rental companies with sheds of Bose 802. Hanging strings of Bose 802 as long as the Rialto North Tower. These tales are now rooted in live sound’s dark ages when Bose last had a significant presence in live touring sound. Since then Bose Professional has played in the permanent installation space. More than that, Bose has in many ways been the dominant installation speaker. Its banana speaker (the 502) has for years been a defacto standard fixture of airports and other public spaces, for example. Five years ago, Bose made a significant entrance back into the main PA market with RoomMatch. Designed for permanent installations, RoomMatch comprises 42 different boxes that provide various dispersion characteristics. The idea is to more capably match the array’s dispersion pattern with the geometry of the room it’s filling. And given it’s a job that only needs to be done once (as a permanent installation) there’s no advantage in having a once-size-fits-all full range line array element, it’s better to have the luxury of many. FROM ROOM TO SHOW

The other significant difference between RoomMatch and other line source systems is in just how physically large a number of the RoomMatch modules are. The largest is the 120° x 60° behemoth — 60° coverage in the vertical! The hero is the HF device and Bose manifold. With the 120° x 60° element venues that don’t need 110dB+ levels in the room can attain excellent/even coverage with one box instead of, say, four. Conversely, RoomMatch can allow you to leverage more boxes to provide you with more level and greater degree of pattern control — it all depends on your budget and SPL requirements. RoomMatch is classic Bose. While Bose has plenty of haters, mostly I think people resent Bose’s marketing slickness in the domestic

world; almost a case of ‘how dare they play in the pro sector!’ Whatever you think of the sound of Bose professional product there’s no doubting the company values its R&D and engineering. RoomMatch could have been done far more parsimoniously and cynically; it wasn’t. It’s certainly not a slick, style-over-substance solution to the install problem, far from it… the Bose RoomMatch whiteboard markers were most definitely in engineering’s hands, not marketing/PR’s. As far as I can tell, RoomMatch’s success has been solid without being world-beating. It has given installers loyal to Bose another string to their bow — allowing them to spec the theatre as well as the foyers of a venue. I’m not entirely sure it’s had those ambivalent or hostile to Bose reaching out to demand a demo. One piece of RoomMatch feedback Bose has been getting from contractors is the larger proportions of RoomMatch have been an occasional sticking point; and it’d be good to have a streamlined rental version. MATCH MAKER

ShowMatch is Bose’s response. It takes RoomMatch’s philosophy and refines it into an everyday arrayable, truckable concert PA system. ShowMatch comprises three full-range loudspeaker models (5/10/20° vertical) in a compact two-way design, that includes four improved Bose EMB2S compression drivers and two Bose eight-inch neodymium LF devices. Each model ships with two sets of field-changeable horizontal waveguides for narrow or wide pattern control. An additional horizontal waveguide can be purchased separately. To change a waveguide you need to remove the grille and undo four screws. (The waveguides come in two sections, which means you can have asymmetrical horizontal dispersion patterns.) It’s not something you’d do once you’ve arrayed the system but something taken care of in the shed after you’ve mapped the venue in Bose

A ShowMatch element without the grille revealing the waveguide. It comes in two pieces allowing for asymmetrical horizontal throw.

WHAT’S DELTA Q? Bose’s term DeltaQ, combines ‘Delta’ or Greek for ‘change’ and ‘Q’ for directivity. Using ShowMatch’s combinations of three vertical pattern boxes and three waveguides for a variety of horizontal control, system engineers have more ways to physically match the PA to the room. DeltaQ offers the ability to build traditional (J-Array or Constant Curvature) and DeltaQ array configurations, allowing both portable/rental and installed applications to deploy selectable coverage control. ShowMatch arrays are capable of generating a maximum SPL of “up to 145dB (peak)”, or when SPL is less critical, they offer the ability to achieve full coverage with fewer modules for significant weight, height and cost savings.

Modeller. In other words, the waveguide options will reward the conscientious operator. As an aside, it would have been great if Bose could make it outwardly obvious which waveguide is installed in an element. Funktion-One colour codes its boxes, perhaps Bose could have some small (coloured?) part of the waveguide protruding from the grille to make the box easy to interrogate. Removable rigging-guard/handle side caps allow ShowMatch modules to be suitable for both installation and portable applications. FIT FOR LAUNCH

ShowMatch is a big deal for Bose. Certainly the carefully-choreographed worldwide launch was an impressive thing to behold. Australia was the last leg of a tour that saw Bose take over a venue, bring in a hot live band, and allows sound professionals to hear the system perform without any apparent smoke and mirrors.


043

REVIEW

The Bose SMS118 ShowMatch sub. The sub can be flown or stacked and features a front-mounted NL4 connector for easy wiring of cardioid configurations.

The HF manifold joined to four EMB2S compression drivers. More than anything, it's this baby that defines the ShowMatch sound.

Well-regarded Australian sound engineer Anatole Day was engaged to babysit the rig for the Melbourne and Sydney dates. AV Asia Pacific last caught up with Anatole while he was on a Guy Sebastian regional tour. What I like about Anatole is he’s a pragmatist and he trusts his ears and instincts. Anatole is just the kinda pro that Bose is hoping to speak to: he loves mixing on the million dollar rigs whenever he can but will take a new PA as he finds it — he can see past the badge. The demo was quite impressive. The system comprised seven elements a side and four single 18-inch subs a side in an end-fire configuration. (A front grille-mounted NL4 connector on the sub enables easier wiring for cardioid configurations.) We were assured the system was set flat, with only some low-Q 4-5kHz gently removed by Anatole to slightly smooth out the rig, which was oversized for the room at Chapel Off Chapel. They’d run the same-sized array at the Sydney

SECOND OPINION; FIRST IMPRESSIONS FOH Engineer, Anatole Day, offers his thoughts on the Bose ShowMatch. “First impressions? Pretty amazed actually. Straight out of the box it sounds good. “It rigs easily — two guys can get it in the air, no trouble. That may not be the first thing you think of with a new PA but as a touring engineer, a systems engineer, as a rigger, it’s vitally important that it goes up quickly and easily. “After flying the PA I began playing tunes I know well and it was good, I was impressed. “The things I was expecting, and inherent in many new PAs were not there: not a lot of barkiness or harshness in the HF and not too boxy in the low mids either — nice and clean across the board. “We were giving it some good level at times. It was a good test in Sydney in a large room. We were sitting on 110dB at the console and it was doing that easily. We could have gone to 120-125dB without it

anywhere near limiting. Personally I don’t want to get near that sort of level but if you have lots of elements rigged high and you’re asking a lot of it, well, it’s nice to know the PA and the amps can handle it. “Bose has moved the crossover point away from the vocal range. A lot of PAs have a crossover point in that 1-4kHz vocal range and you often get a dip or some summation around that crossover point. ShowMatch doesn’t have that problem. It sounds simple but talking to engineers that know better, it’s a hard thing to achieve. “I like the fact that Bose has done its demo with a live band. Almost any system will sound good with particular tracks chosen to highlight certain positive attributes of a PA. But no matter how hard you drive a track you don’t get the same SPLs as you do from a live band, with open mics and instruments. It gives people a much better idea of what this PA is capable of.”


044

REVIEW

(left) The seven-element Delta-Q array used at the ShowMatch Australian launch. (right) A detail of the rigging pins that set the inter-box array angles.

event, which was held in a much larger bay at Carriageworks. There Anatole said the top end was spot on, and he only took out a little low mid to offset the room’s natural buildup. So, ‘out of the box’ ShowMatch sounds like a proper line source concert PA. As I mentioned earlier, the HF units are the heroes. The four EMB2S compression drivers are matched to a Bose proprietary manifold (pictured right). What makes them special is their wide frequency range — from 18kHz all the way down to 300Hz. It’s an impressive feat. Crucially the EMB2S takes care of all the vocal frequencies. And this has been one of Bose’s key design philosophies since the 802: make the vocal the hero, and make it easy for the sound person to lift the vocal out of the mix. The EMB2S is the sound of ShowMatch. Everything rests on its performance and it’s a winner: efficient, loud and still sweet-sounding at lower levels. WHO’S FIRST?

Bose isn’t the first to market when it comes to preaching the variable dispersion gospel. Some 10 years-plus ago L-Acoustics released Kudo which had/has adjustable dispersion vanes. More recently the variable dispersion cat can be skinned in software, with systems such as EAW’s Anya and Martin’s MLA doing some fancy footwork in DSP to match the rig to the room. My gut feeling is that the ShowMatch’s DeltaQ variable dispersion smarts (which has been so pivotal to the RoomMatch success) won’t be the ShowMatch dealmaker for Bose — it’s a cool feature, but not one that small to mid level, shoot-

from-the-hip, rental companies will be exploiting on most jobs. (That said, ShowMatch’s neat low profile design will ensure it finds its way into plenty of installations where the DeltaQ flexibility will be used to the max.) So if my surmising is well founded, what’s ShowMatch got going for it? Easy. It’s a properly engineered, well resolved, mid-size line array that’ll take care of a wide range of gigs. Fly it (up to 24 in an array), ground stack it, put it in a constant curvature array (for pseudo line array performance) if you have to, hang it in a conventional J array for that outdoor festival, or get your geek on and design the best DeltaQ array to tame that tricky (or not so tricky) room. THE APPEAL

Finally, in a market like Australia (small and tribal) the question isn’t necessarily “is the PA any good?”, it’s “who’s the customer?”. I don’t see too many rock ’n’ roll rental companies sticking their necks out to gobble up the first shipment of ShowMatch — until ShowMatch makes it onto technical riders that’s unlikely. But for rental companies that do most of their work on corporate and AV gigs, Bose ShowMatch is a very appealing choice. And, finally, the real kicker. The price: it’s keen. Interestingly, Bose hasn’t built a road-ready amp. They’re recommending the Powersoft X Series (specifically the X8 Dante model), probably in recognition that Powersoft’s price/performance is hard to beat. It’s always difficult to price a ‘system’ as such (given the myriad permutations) and hard to get an ‘expect to pay’ price on something like

this but I’ll let you do the maths on what a RRP module price of ~$5900 might mean to you if you’re ‘in the trade’. Definitely at a price point that gets the cogs turning. 

MORE INFO Price: $5895: full-range module $5425: SMS118 sub Bose Professional: 1800 023 367 or pro.Bose.com Pros: Flexible dispersion characteristics Well priced Sounds accomplished straight out of the box Cons: Could be easier to switch out waveguides Tricky to quickly determine which waveguide is installed Summary Five years ago Bose Professional re-established its PA credentials with RoomMatch and now it hits the road with ShowMatch. Well engineered, versatile and priced right, ShowMatch won’t immediately jump onto Australian rock ’n’ roll tech riders but will soon be a favourite in the AV staging sector.


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046

REVIEW

Allen & Heath ZED6 Compact Mixer

I

’ve been taking some kinda baby-mixer challenge for a while now. My rationale is every sound guy or gal should have a mini mixer in their kit bag. It can potentially get you out of all sorts of problems; problems that, in and of themselves, may well be trivial, but 30 minutes prior to go-time can disproportionately occupy your mind or even scuttle an otherwise great gig. A mini mixer can act as a stand in sex changer on a lead, or provide a quick extra monitor send, or be a defacto signal splitter etc, etc. So we’re agreed then: a micro mixer is a good thing to have in your back pocket. Fortunately there’s no end of choice and the options are good. Generally these mini mixers will all have a couple of mic preamps and a couple of instrument inputs and/or stereo inputs. The mixer will have some basic EQ. There will be main output metering and headphone monitoring. This leaves you with some choices to make: Do I want channel faders rather than level pots?; Do I want XLR main outputs or jacks?; How much metering do I need (channel metering as well as main output metering)?; Do I want an internal power supply? Allen & Heath’s Zed range has been around for a

while and the GS mic preamp is a proven performer, so the Zed6 sounds good and is a safe choice as far as build quality and reliability is concerned. I was immediately reassured when busting the Zed6 out of its packaging. There’s something about the fairing around the folded steel mixer that feels good. The knobs all feel solid, everything is as it should be. I was also immediately pleased with the fact it had an internal PSU. There’s nothing inherently wrong with a ‘lump in the lead’ PSU but it is potentially another thing to lose or otherwise be separated from the mixer during a pack down. I don’t mind the fact the Zed6 has level pots on the channels rather than short-throw faders. I don’t see myself actively mixing on the Zed6, it’s more a set and forget unit. Thankfully the main fader has some resistance to it, as this mixer will find itself in situations where it’s more likely to be knocked and the traditional A&H ‘hair trigger’ fader unit would give me constant low-level anxiety. The preamps sound good and there’s plenty of gain. As you’d expect there’s a global 48V phantom switch, an HPF on each mic channel and serviceable two-band EQ. A headphone button allows you to solo a channel through your cans.

There’s no per-channel mute on/off button — something I missed. At around $220 street price there are cheaper mini mixers on the market — Mackie, Behringer, Yamaha and Soundcraft all have capable offerings. Nevertheless, the Zed6 is an excellent choice. It’s a good-looking mixer, with the internal PSU being a real drawcard, as are the Hi-Z switches on the mic channels (especially handy if you’ve run out of DIs). I wish it had channel mute switches, and RCA inputs would have been handy. But this comes down to individual requirements and building your own personal checklist of ‘must haves’. Certainly the Zed6 ticks most of my boxes. 

MORE INFO Price: $269 Technical Audio Group: (02) 9519 0900 info@tag.com.au


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048

REVIEW

Rode HS2 Headset Mic

Rode’s new headset will fit into more productions with its superior design. Text:/ Christopher Holder

R

ode is best known for democratising audio products. Rode is arguably the first name in home studio condenser mics (although Audio-Technica can make a strong case), and has become undeniably the first name in on-camera mics in recent years after inventing/defining the market. With the Rode Lav/SmartLav, we saw Rode move into micro mics. The HS1 lightweight headset mic applied the micro capsule technology to the presentation market. The HS2 supersedes the HS1 with a range of improvements to the build and ergonomics. The ear strips are the headliners; they’re now more flexible and easier to slip on and stay on without discomfort over long periods. There’s also improvements to how the boom arm functions and there’s a new strain relief system at the back. The whole mechanism now has the look of something that should have a couple of patents pending — hi-tech and supremely adjustable. But it’s not complex to get it fitting just right; there’s an immediate comfort. And with the talent I’ve worked with there was none of that ‘is this thing on right?’ look on their faces that normally comes with a first time fit. For years I’ve been mostly working with a single-ear headset design. That’s mainly out of sympathy for the presenters I work with, to minimise the ‘can I take your order’ stigma of a larger assembly. I haven’t had any pushback with the double over-ear design of the HS2 — the fit, the weight and the comfort are excellent. Like any headset there’s some ‘mic whispering’

required to get it sounding spot on. Mostly the trick is to ensure the omni capsule is positioned spot on — as close to the cheek as possible just up from the mouth. My first attempt saw the capsule a centimetre or so proud of the cheek and I spent more time messing about with compensatory EQ than I’d like. The next time I was wise to my error, and ensured the HS2’s flexible arm placed the capsule right on the skin. The result is a natural voice reproduction, with enough gain and imperceptible self noise. DPA and Countryman dominate the upper echelons of headset mic applications and I don’t see professional musical theatre troupes throwing away their inventory any time soon. This is not where the HS2 is pitching. It’s half the price for starters. And in the spirit of Rode’s ‘democratising’ ethos, the HS2 will find new friends who already have a couple of Rode mics in their Krumpler bags and will appreciate the option because of its price and performance. Headset mics for most applications are as much about fit as they are about sound. When you’ve got half a dozen school kids needing to be miked up for a musical (there’s a smaller kid’s version of the HS2, by the way), audio performance is the last thing on your mind. It’s about getting the mics on securely (so they stay on their heads and keep the same position on their cheeks for the length of the production) without the sort of tedious fine-tuning that leaves the talent feeling unsure of themselves (seeing a presenter or performer fiddling with their headset before a performance

normally makes my blood run cold). In the few weeks I’ve had the HS2, it’s felt solid, reliable and comfortable — the build quality is reassuring. I’m not entirely sure how it’ll react to a severe sweat test but if any headset is to withstand an aerobic workout, best use some rubber flange as a sweat prophylactic. The HS2 is unobtrusive — both to the audience and to the talent; sounds right; ships in two colours and comes with the right selection of accessories, including a windsock and a collar clip for the lead. 

MORE INFO Price: $399 Rode: (02) 9648 5855 or info@rodemic.com Pros: Beautiful ergonomic design Sounds right Well priced Cons: 3.5mm TRS jack only Summary Rode continues to disrupt the headset market with a new-improved superior fit, combined with its proven small capsule performance.


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050

REVIEW

Yamaha YVC-1000 & YVC-300

Bluetooth-enabled conference phone system Text:/ Andrew Bennett

PC-BASED CONFIG While the user interface is minimal for day-to-day operations, installers can use the accompanying Configurator tool (which is developed for both Windows and Mac operating systems) to tweak various settings in relation to the environment that the YVC-1000 finds itself in. These include settings for signal level and gain for external devices, along with how auxiliary equipment and speakers are used and how they and the YVC-1000 fit into the larger installation. Firmware upgrades can also be performed over the USB connection.

The YVC-1000 is a neat looking meeting room solution. You can daisy-chain up to five microphones, allowing A/V staff to cover rooms larger than (the suggested max of) 6.5m by 8m. The unit equalises audio by hitting the ‘tuning fork’ button using Yamaha's automatic audio tuning — applying signal processing advances such as echo cancelling, noise reduction, tracking, gain control, and dereverberation.

M

obile phones are getting smarter and our workplaces more dynamic, flexible and mobile. Isn’t it time our conference phone solution caught up? I’m sure you've been on the end of a call where the other party, or should I say, parties, are gathered around a single smartphone on loudspeaker mode. It’s not the most pleasant communication experience, yet all too common. Words and sentences are lost, along with the subtle nuances of language in an unintelligible mess of sound waves that may as well just be waves crashing on the beach. Yamaha brings a device to the party(line) which will hopefully do away with the awful experience of having a group of people crowded around a smartphone. A device that can integrate into existing AV setups, or will be quite comfortable being the only technology in the room. NOT SO HUMBLE

First up, don’t mistake the Yamaha YVC-1000 for a humble Bluetooth speaker. To understand why, is to understand something of the product’s pedigree. Did you get the memo? Yamaha bought out Revolabs back in 2014. Revolabs is a still relatively youthful audio conferencing specialist and pioneered the

wireless lanyard/lipstick mic system with its neat recharging docking station. Revolabs continues to trade under its own steam but Yamaha is now leveraging its IP to produce a range of Yamaha-badged conferencing systems. So the YVC-1000 does, in fact, use Bluetooth for its connectivity but that’s where any similarities end between it and the slew of generic Bluetooth speakers on the market. The YVC comes packed with attendant DSP, I/O options, automatic acoustic management and a smart flexible microphone system. It’s these extras that earn the YVC-1000 its seat at the table in the conference room. CUT THE CORD

The Yamaha YVC-1000 (and smaller brother YVC-300, better suited to smaller huddle spaces and the like) connects to a phone via Bluetooth, the same way you might pair your phone to an in-car hands-free kit. Once connected, placing or receiving a call is no different to a regular call. There’s no new user interface to learn — just a handful of buttons pushes and a few taps on a smartphone and the user is good to go. The YVC-1000, designed for larger rooms/ teams, allows up to five microphones to be daisy chained from the base unit. Separating the microphone unit from the loudspeaker unit allows

for clearer audio for both parties, there isn't the battle of physics usually associated in single unit devices. Everyone in the meeting room can hear, and can be heard. Daisy chaining the microphones is done via standard Cat5e networking cable, which can, of course, be recessed/concealed in a permanent install — nobody finds excessive cables attractive. YAKKETY YAK

The base unit itself has only a handful of buttons (power, volume, Bluetooth pairing, etc), since the majority of the phone operations are handled by the smartphone itself. An interesting addition to the user interface design is built-in voice prompts called the ‘voice guidance system’. The recommended distance between the microphone and base unit is greater than one metre. If you place the devices in closer proximity, ‘she’ informs you that the two units are too close and ‘she’ has adjusted the settings accordingly. The voice guidance comes in a number of languages including: English, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, French, Spanish and German. INTELLIGENCE

Yamaha knows that not every conference room is acoustically perfect, so they developed a product that adapts to the environment it finds itself in. It


051

REVIEW

does this by automatically measuring the acoustic characteristics of the environment, taking into account considerations of the placement of the microphones and speakers and in turn adjusts the filter settings of the adaptive echo canceller, the automatic room EQ and latency compensation for the speakers (both internally and externally). Upon setting up the unit in a new space, a quick press of the ‘Tuning Fork’ button activates the automatic tuning mode. The unit will emit a series of tuned noise into the space and adjust itself accordingly. While there isn’t a way of seeing (nor manually changing) these settings, at the end of the day it comes down to how the device performs in the real world. The feedback I received while testing this unit was positive with conversations sounding clear to both parties, with an intimacy and fidelity you won’t come close to with a standard Bluetooth speaker. For those tethered to their mobile phone and those accustomed to patching other parties in on a mobile call, the YVC will be a ‘night and day’ improvement. BLUETOOTH: IS THIS THING ON?

Cut the humble PSTN line (or any line for that matter), replace it with a smartphone, and an interesting can of worms is opened. What about the multitude of apps now available to

I/O options include USB for PC interfacing, along with RCA outputs for dedicated external speakers in the room and an In/ Out for integration into additional AV conferencing equipment. Possibly the best I/O option is the one that you can’t see — the Bluetooth connectivity.

The YVC-300 is suitable for smaller conference calls consisting of only a handful of people, such as a huddle space or breakout area. The performance and feature set of the two units is quite similar, however, the YVC-300 hasn’t the audio performance to deal with a larger space.

communicate. I found that the YVC-1000 or 300 didn’t care. So long as the app supported working over Bluetooth, the system worked. As long as Bluetooth stays as the ‘standard’ hands-free offering, new models of smartphone aren’t going to render this device obsolete overnight, nor is there the fear that a particular smartphone manufacturer might change their ‘standard’ connector overnight and make the device instantly redundant.

espresso. Smartphones are essential and many are joined at the hip with their device. Nothing ensures instant acceptance of an audio conferencing system more than to acknowledge this fact. Does using a mobile phone paired to a basestation via Bluetooth guarantee the best possible audio conferencing experience? Of course not. Does it offer the best security? Not especially (although it does depend on the application being run). But the YVC vastly improves the day to day, ad hoc calls people are making every day… every minute in fact. More than that, the portability of Yamaha’s YVC with its echo cancellation and room tuning really does untether the conference call. Go anywhere and enjoy highly intelligible phone calls. 

ROAM IF YOU WANT TO

Freedom is a wonderful thing. Especially for work environments without permanently installed conferencing systems. The YVC-1000 only needs a power point to function and means you can keep a system or two handy to be run between floors or even tucked under your arm when offsite (coffee shop conference call, anyone?). Like I said, all you need is a GPO. This is unfortunate news for those tech start-up/upstarts that prefer their meetings in the park after some alfresco pilates — they’ll need to find a suitable power outlet next to their Tesla recharging station. SMARTERPHONE

For many, a smartphone is as important to getting the job done as a laptop and a properly crafted

MORE INFO Price: YVC-1000: $2299 YVC-300: $799 Hills: 1300 445 571 or customersupport@hills.com.au


052

REVIEW

Audix Performance 40 Series

Wireless Microphone System Audix’s new wireless mic system throws everything it can at the Sennheiser/Shure duopoly. Text:/ Mark Davie

B

y many accounts, Audix’s previous wireless system was a bit of a joke. I never had the opportunity to use it, so I can’t chime in other to point out that it was called RAD 360… RAD 360, it sounds like a white shirted marketing guy trying to ollie in front of a crowd of high school skateboarders and falling flat on his face. Not the best look. Breaking up the Shure/Sennheiser wireless duopoly is hard. Audix’s new Performance system wireless is a confidence builder. Atoning for previous miscues by packing in features not usually seen at this price point. For a start, the name has got all the right components — a number hierarchy, and Performance says ‘serious, but not ULX-D serious’ so we know where it should stand. The base model OM2 dynamic mic single channel system I reviewed is just shy of $1000 at retail, sitting right in the same bracket as the base models in Sennheiser’s 100 G3 series and Shure’s SLX systems if you’re looking at the analogue UHF range. Not a lot has been happening in this space lately. Sennheiser has really got itself sorted with the 100, 300 and 500 ranges, putting more effort into its budget (XS) and high end (9000 series) offerings. Likewise, Shure’s more recent efforts have been the cheaper BLX and the more advanced offering in QLX-D. Perfect timing for a new entrant. STEELY GRIP

There aren’t many greater differentiators between handheld wireless systems than the feel and weight of metal versus plastic. Audix’s H60 mic body feels just right with a completely metal shaft and hard plastic antenna nub. Unscrewing and screwing the handheld elements apart was a little dicey on the pre-production review model, but I’ve since had a go at the production models and they thread into each other with confidence. Its small LED brightly displays the current frequency, group, channel and battery status in normal operation, switching to a simple mute

notification when its power button is momentarily pressed. Powering the mic on and off requires a longer press of around three seconds, which is much safer than a switch system. There was a tiny handling noise click when you mute, and the signal takes a second to re-establish when unmuting, which is a common trait of wireless. Perhaps the biggest feature of the handheld is its interchangeable capsules. Not just because you can swap them out but because Audix has made the thread and connection system compatible with Shure. There’s no alliance here, just Audix realising its customers like choice. There are more than a few bands touring with Audix’s OM7 capsules adapted to a Shure body via a Soundtools adaptor. The new capsules will let them fit straight on, and vice versa with a Beta 58 or KSM9 capsule screwing directly onto the Audix. As it stands, there are options for the OM2, OM5 and VX5 condenser, with an OM7 capsule coming soon. Two AA batteries slide up into the body of the receiver like you’re slotting rounds into a rifle. As well as the mic readout, there’s a big battery indicator on the receiver’s front panel which is fairly easy to read, and battery life is supposed to be 10 hours. I never tested that theory as I have a habit of swapping out batteries before a show, and they never registered a drop over a couple of hours. A dipswitch in the battery chamber lets you choose either 10mW or 40mW of power transmission to the receiver. Counterintuitively, less power can be a good thing. With bigger channel counts, it can stop different systems treading on each other’s toes with intermodulation frequency interruptions. That said, obviously having a 40mW option makes distance applications more stable. The cheaper Shure BLX, for instance, is set to 10mW only. RECEIVING LINE

At the other end of the line, Audix has also made sure its receiver looks and feels solid too. There are two options, the single-channel R41 half-rack unit, or dual-channel R42 full-rack unit, which splits the

antennas so you only need one set for both channels. Both units tune within a 32MHz wide frequency range, with two options — either between 522554MHz or 554-586MHz. There is a range of 60 series receivers coming later in the year, which will cover the entire 64MHz at a 30% premium. It also doubles the recommended channel count to 16 and gives you 2560 tuneable frequencies, as opposed to the 106 pre-coordinated ones of the 40 series. The operating range also jumps from 90m to 137m in the clear blue sky. Both the handheld and bodypack transmitters already transmit over the entire 64MHz range, making it possible to just update the receivers if required. Setting up is breezy, holding either of the up/ down buttons sets off an auto scan function that takes about 30 seconds to scan the lot and settle on a group and channel. While that part was easy, it would be more comforting to get a readout of clear channels in the group to make sure I had enough to work with. It seemed to be unsure of which group was best; every scan would come up with a different result — one with 14 available frequencies, the next with only eight. It also wouldn’t tell me if any of those channels in that group were compromised. A channel list scan would be nicer, especially when setting up multiple units. Syncing the transmitter was super fast, faster than a Sennheiser 100 G3 system. Just drop the transmitter’s pants, hold it up to the infrared node, hit a button and you’re away. You access the menu for further options by holding down the Set button. Frustratingly, after you select and change a parameter, it bounces you right out of the menu altogether, requiring you to press and hold again to adjust something else. It’d also be handy if there were some markings other than Sync and Set. A ‘Scan (Hold)’ marking on one of the Up/Down buttons would save a few questions. The receiver also has squelch, with an adjustable threshold from 5dB to 45dB in 5dB steps. In practise, I found anything above 25dB severely limited my range, with the maximum


053

REVIEW

setting persistently cutting out. Around 25dB was stable to about 15m, and 10dB let me go anywhere I wanted in a large auditorium. There’s also a Pilot Tone Squelch you can turn off if you’re feeling dangerous, and a button lock option if you’re not. WIRED VS WIRELESS

I tested the unit out in a system where I have a variety of wired mics — including Audix OM3xb dynamics and SM58s — as well as Shure BLX wireless with SM58 and Beta58 handhelds. When I was setting up the system in some headphones, the Audix seemed noisier than the BLX. I started investigating levels and found out the receiver comes preset from the factory with +6 (presumably dB) gain on the receiver, which is also the recommended starting point for dynamic mics in the manual. Coincidentally, that setting did match the sensitivity of the wired OM3xb I had on hand. However, when I unscrewed the capsule from the handheld, a dipswitch lets you set a transmitter output level of either 0dB, -6db and -12dB. It was set to -12dB. When I set the handheld output to 0dB and the receiver level to -6dB to compensate, it brought down the noise and the compander seemed to behave more comfortably. Obviously the level you set would depend on how hard your singer is pushing into the mic, but even when I was giving it a red hot go and pushing the meter to the top of its range, there didn’t seem to be any noticeable distortion. Like most analogue compander systems in this

range, it failed the key test, turning the jangle into a deep packet of chips. But other than being a little more excitable than the wired version, it didn’t seem to have a noticeable impact with voice. It responded to sibilance similarly when compared with the wired mic. Overall, the OM2 is a wellbehaved dynamic. Relative to an SM58 and the ‘extended bass’ OM3xb, it sounds like it has a built-in, high-pass filter. It cuts through, makes for a killer, pre-tuned presenter microphone, and is useful on singers you want to cut the mud out of. The provided screw-on antennas are huge, and the optional ADS48 also works with the receiver systems to provide antenna distribution for up to four units (eight channels when combined with the dual-channel units). I did notice that cupping the end of the mic made it struggle to send signal, an issue I couldn’t replicate blocking any part of the BLX handheld. It’s highly unlikely that would ever happen though. On the plus side, the bodypack has a removable antenna, which is not typical of this price range. It also comes with a handy soft carry case; another little perk. BREAKING RADIO SILENCE

Audix has really powered back into wireless with the Performance series. It’s added features here that firmly put it in step with the competition: metal construction and interchangeable capsules are just some of the highlights. PAVT is also bundling rack ears in; an Australian-only special. It looks professional, feels right, sounds great, and the impending 64MHz option will really put the

pressure on. Being able to upgrade or swap out capsules is a great benefit for a simple wireless system, and the native capsule swapping is big news for the hybrid Audix/Shure users out there. 

MORE INFO Price: R41 w/OM2 handheld: $967 R42 w/two OM2 handhelds: $1989 Bosch: (03) 9264 8000 or sales@productionaudio.com.au Pros: Solid metal construction High RF power transmission Great battery life Upgradeable capsules & receivers Cons: Channel scan results unclear Summary Audix is getting serious about its wireless systems. The Performance series’ metal build feels reassuring, and it’s a doddle to set up with auto scan and infrared sync. It also features a modular design, with interchangeable capsules, upgradeable receivers, even detachable bodypack antennas.


054

FEATURE

Fancy five 20-tonne slabs of concrete and brick moving over your head? That’s how Fernando Menis controls the acoustics of CKK Jordanki Concert Hall. Text:/ Mark Davie

A

rchitects must hate it when client’s change their mind. Say the brief was to build a retirement home for a sexagenarian couple — a well-considered, modernist abode with all the mod cons a long service leave payout can buy. The architect goes ahead and designs a smaller, easily maintainable home with only a couple of rooms and plenty of wall space for their pre-war art collection. No one mentioned room for the extended family rocking up on the weekend, or the raucous grandkid sleepovers on Friday nights, until the design was already done. Fernando Menis, principal of Spanish-based firm Fernando Menis Architects, seems to handle those kind of last minute requests well. Menis won a 2008 international ideas competition for the new CKK Jordanki concert hall in Torun, Poland under the direction it would only be used for symphonic concerts. When the postcompetition design process started — the time when sketches are turned into accurate drawings — the city decided it actually wanted more than a home for the Torun Symphony Orchestra. It wanted to be able to house all manner of theatre, opera, musicals, concerts, even conventions and television shows. Knowing that a static hall could not cope with such a varied program, Menis went back to the drawing board. He is a student of acoustics, specifically as it relates to the behaviour of concrete. It’s been a heavily researched topic around his office over the last 12 years. They call it ‘liquid stone’, because it allows them to define specific geometry via formwork that controls early reflections. Another material Menis has become intimately familiar with is ‘picado’, a mixture of concrete and chopped up brick which forms an irregular surface for high frequency diffusion (2kHz and

Reverberation time (T30) 3.00 2.50 2.00 1.50 1.00 0.50 0.00 100 125 160 200 250 315 400 500 630 800 1000 1250 1600 2000

T30 (s) Ceiling in lower position, acoustic banners deployed T30 (s) Ceiling in upper position, acoustic banners retracted

above) that Menis says is “very difficult to achieve with other materials.” It softens the hard specular reflection of hard flat surfaces, smoothing out the sound of orchestral early reflections. He attributes the idea to a ‘rationalised’ [archi-speak] version of what Baroque architects would do with décor and ornamentation. The use of picado was a winwin for the design. The heavy concrete and brick surfaces minimise low frequency absorption to deliver fullness in the low end, but it also fits in well with Torun’s World Heritage Site-listed red brick Gothic buildings. MLS (Maximum Length Sequence) diffusors have also been integrated in the movable walls to avoid acoustic glare. That would have all been, relatively speaking, putting lipstick on a pig if Menis’s design was still a standard hall. However, the CKK Jordanki is anything but standard.

The subterranean appearance of the hall is reinforced by its asymmetrical geometry, which “contributes to a completely diffuse reverberant field and a good sense of envelopment, making the audience feel surrounded by sound,” said acoustic design engineer Pedro Cerdá of i2A acoustic & Audiovisual Engineering. “Each surface was carefully sized and oriented in order to enhance lateral reflections and provide a strong spatial feeling to the audience.” To do that, they literally built 1/50th-scale clay models, layered the inner surfaces with aluminium foil and shot laser beams into them. They repeated the process eight times, analysing the reflections, then refined the final shape with computer 3D modelling. The main acoustic feat, and what sets CKK Jordanki apart from a typical concert hall is its


FEATURE

055

operable ceiling. We’ve seen some pretty jawdropping concert hall acoustic feats over the years. In our own backyard, Hamer Hall’s recent addition of operable wings above the stage helps acoustically reinforce different-sized ensembles. Menis has taken that approach with the entire hall. The ceiling is comprised of five gargantuan movable panels that look like meteorite chunks floating in space. Each panel has a surface area ranging from 80 to 140m2 with five anchoring points to hoist it a distance of between 3-5m. With steel skeletons and concrete coating to ensure enough density for the desired acoustic performance, they weigh between 11 and 20 tonnes. By moving the panels individually, the volume of the space can be transformed from a large 8200m3, with a reverberation time of 1.85s (T30, 1.78s when occupied), to a reduced volume of 6800m3 when the ceiling is at its minimum height, knocking down the reverberation time to 1.35s. The panels aren’t interlocked, so the space above and below them is coupled to a degree, adding another opportunity to control the acoustics with retractable acoustic banners in the upper volume. When they’re fully retracted it becomes a lively reverb chamber that adds a fuller reverberant tail. With banners deployed, it further dampens the reverberation time down to 1.2s at the ceiling’s lowest position. “It covers the entire range of possible activities,” said Menis. “1.85 seconds for symphonic music, 1.6 seconds for opera and 1.2 seconds for theatre.” Even with all that malleability, Menis hasn’t sacrificed quality when the hall is used for that early intended purpose — symphonic music. “The intense and innovative acoustic work achieved by Fernando Menis in this concert hall makes it a real ‘world leader’ among buildings of this type,” said Victor Pablo Pérez, conductor of the Symphonic Orchestra of Madrid. “Throughout my experience of all these years, I have never met an architect getting so involved and studying this field so hard in order to achieve good acoustics.” 


056

TUTORIAL

Troubleshooting

Symptom Recognition, Localisation & Analysis

The following is part of several of InfoComm’s online and onsite courses, including CTS Prep and Event setup for AV Techs. For more information about InfoComm education opportunities contact Rod Brown at oceania@infocomm.org Troubleshooting is a process for investigating, determining, and fixing problems. Understanding and following a systematic and logical troubleshooting process will minimise the time required to identify and correct the problem. Using a logical approach helps you identify and isolate the problem more effectively, even in a complex system. Following the steps below will assist you when troubleshooting. First, don’t wait for a problem to arise — familiarise yourself with spaces and systems prior to an event or as part of your preventive maintenance schedule. Practicing while you are not under pressure will help you when the pressure is on. SYMPTOM RECOGNITION

• Have you clearly identified the problem? • Can you tell if this is how the system should be acting or if it is malfunctioning? • If you decide it’s malfunctioning is it truly a malfunction or is it a user error? SYMPTOM ELABORATION

• Locate the power buttons, indicators, and outlets. Is each item of equipment receiving power? • If yes, reboot the system by turning everything off and back on again in proper sequence. This may fix some control panel and computer related problems. • If this does not solve the problem, ask the user to describe the exact sequence of events prior to the symptoms of failure appearing. What happened just before it failed? Remember your customer service skills: listen carefully, don’t blame anyone, carefully repeat the customer's concerns, stay calm, and be professional. • If it appears the problem might take longer than five minutes to solve, stop and talk to the customer • How long are they prepared to wait while you work on the problem? • Estimate the amount of time it will take to fix the problem. Does the customer wish to continue without the functionality, or do they want to wait while you fix the fault?

FAULT LOCALISATION

1. List Probable Faults: • Firstly identify the major functions and subsystems present in the system. What types of failures can occur in these functions and subsystems which will result in the identified symptoms? • Using your knowledge of the system configuration, make a list of where the fault could be • Use this information to create a list of potential causes of the fault • Finally, create a list of the devices or functions which relate to the symptoms. These will be tested during the next step in the troubleshooting process. 2. Localise the Fault: • Test the items from your list to rule out properly functioning areas and identify the faulty areas. Tests can be simple, such as checking to see if cables are connected; or more complicated, like using a multimeter to check for proper output characteristics. • Select the specific sequence of items to test, based on several factors. You can: • Select a function/device which will eliminate other areas as being potentially faulty • Select a test which is easy to perform • Select a specific item to test based on prior experience with the specific system or function/ device • If you can’t create a list of probable faults you can begin to analyse the system in your head. Considering the symptoms, what is most likely to cause the failure? If you are not sure, work through the signal path from one end of the system to the other, for example from a microphone (source) to a loudspeaker (output). • Is it a good time to talk to the user? If so tell them what you have been doing, and what you intend to do next. Ask the user if they want you to continue to troubleshoot the fault, or do they want to implement a back-up plan so they can continue. If you can’t fix the fault within a reasonable time, consider setting up a workaround. Ask your co-workers to help you fix the fault as efficiently as possible. ANALYSIS

1. Analyse & Localise the Faulty Function: • Continue to test to isolate the problem to the specific faulty device/function • While you are tracing the signal check connectors

to make sure they are plugged in properly • Look for exposed wire and damaged insulation. Look for bent/broken pins on connectors. If there is damage, replace the cable. 2. Failure Analysis: • Once you have found the fault, decide how to fix it, and prevent it happening again. Is it the result of: • Improper component selection? • Inadequate preventive maintenance? • Disruption in signal flow? • Inadequate training? • If you’re having trouble determining the cause of the problem, try using your ears and listen to the equipment. Do you hear anything unusual like clicks, hum or buzz? If you hear unusual sounds from a particular component, replace it first. • If the fault hasn’t been fixed and you have implemented a work-around, follow up with your client and apologise for the inconvenience. Ask when they plan to use the system again and ensure it is fixed before that date. Assure them that the problem will be solved as soon as possible. Tell the client only what they need to know to understand the problem. Explain what you intend to do to prevent this problem re-occurring. • Think about what you might do differently next time to speed up the process. • Ask yourself some questions: • What can you learn from the situation? • What can you do to prevent it from happening again? • When can you show the customers how the equipment works? • How could you be better prepared for this situation? • Do you know how the room is wired? • Are there schematics for the system so you can see where the signal should go? • Do you have a “crash kit” of tools, spares and test equipment ready to go? • Are there more items you should include in the kit next time? • Have you created a log of past problems you or others have encountered? • Is this a reoccurring problem? • What solutions have you or others used in the past? • Finally, speak to your colleagues in the industry to see if they have faced similar problems and how they responded. Take time to learn about the system, and the equipment. 


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058

COMMENT

Termination Exhitionists Text:/ Graeme Hague

H

ere’s how exhibitions, conferences and conventions usually play out: On the morning of Day 1 everyone arrives full of beans, super-keen to make stuff happen, excited about what’s on offer at the show. You meet old friends at the registration desk, swap notes on all the seminar speakers that are a ‘must-see’, and agree on the best display stands — especially the ones with excellent coffee machines out front and secret bathtubs filled with beer out the back. Plans are made to join mates for dinner that evening. Discreet deals are cut about obtaining tickets to invite-only events where there’s more free booze and snacks. Day 2, as everybody is shuffling into the show with somewhat less enthusiasm, rumours abound that certain speakers are ‘boring as bat shit’ — an odd comparison, but often used — and not worth seeing. The freebie bags of giveaways are filled with rubbish, or the good ones were snapped up in the first few hours — greedy bastards. The spectacular display stands aren’t quite so spectacular after all, or it’s the ‘same old crap’ the company has been peddling around the country for years, but all the blokes agree the stand babes on the (insert your company of choice) exhibition are a bit of alright. Good news, everyone’s talking about a pub down the road that does awesome fish and chips with $8 pints of beer. At least we can lock that into the calendar. Day 3, the morning crowds are thin and hungover. Presenters are listlessly addressing empty auditoriums. Many of the exhibitors are surreptitiously packing away gear early. The stand babes are complaining about their feet killing them. The organisers are muttering about cutting

the whole thing back to two days next year, and whinging about the costs and attendances. No surprise, it's always been hard to keep the attention of your average conference attendee. On the show floor, the exhibitors need to establish that fine line between visitors who really might buy something — and rate some serious oneon-one time — and tyre-kickers who only want to score a bag of freebies. Inside, the seminar speakers resort to all kinds of technical tricks to keep everyone awake. Years ago, at our venue, one guy insisted on abseiling onto stage from the auditorium lighting catwalks. (Yes, you know who you are...). We quietly considered wringing his neck and instead chucking him onto stage from the weight-loading grid 10 metres above. He got his way and the audience was gobsmacked... for all of about three minutes. Well worth it. At least we've all moved decades on from clattering slide projectors in the middle of the auditorium, including the obligatory upside-down slide, and Powerpoint demonstrations that refuse to work — or desperately need redesigning at the last minute. Otherwise, is anything else really going to change in these new-fangled, hi-tech exhibition halls? It’s a bit odd that modern conference centres place so much emphasis on providing connections, networks, high-speed internet access and wiremelting wi-fi systems —everything needed to be in touch with everybody else — when most of the real deals will still be finalised at the pub, on the back of a soggy beer-coaster over fish and chips, and eight dollar pints. After all, conventions and conferences are supposed to be all about people actually meeting

people. The only real ‘network’ the organisers should care about is a comfortable place to access high-speed coffee, beer and sandwiches that were prepared with last week’s bread. And by ‘comfortable’ I don't mean plastic chairs and Formica tables that need a napkin stuffed under one leg to stop it rocking. All right, I know it’s mostly the exhibitors who demand all the high-tech gumpf. They want to wow the punters with hi-def colour and movement, and blow our minds with jaw-dropping AV. I reckon they’ve got the wrong end of the 4K Ultra HD stick. We don’t want to see anything on a zillion monitors hanging from the ceiling. People go to exhibitions to see the real thing. We want to smear our sticky fingers on the actual touchscreen, pick up the genuine microphone, put on the latest headphones, and mumble “Check 1, 2...” and pretend that amongst all the hullabaloo we can hear anything. We want to poke at buttons, slide faders and toggle jogwheels. And mumble vague promises to the sales dude about maybe wanting to buy one of these things possibly... one day. Then go down the pub and discuss everything properly. So my idea of a modernised exhibition centre would forget about wi-fi and internet, and focus on getting rid of the crap cafeteria, bad coffee and stale sandwiches. Replace them with enormous areas filled with comfy chairs, cheap booze, and food we’re not allowed to eat at home. But let’s not be too hasty about losing the girls in high-heels. I reckon that I was in with a real chance last year. Honest. 


Dante Ready Switches with Visual Network Monitoring

• Optimised for Dante digital audio networks plus V-LAN presets • etherCon/RJ45 network connectivity • opticalCon multi-mode fibre connectivity (SWP1-8MMF and SWP1-16MMF) • Redundant external DC power supply input • Network visibity with the Yamaha Audio Network Monitor application For more information, go to yamahaproaudio.com or contact Yamaha Music Australia at commercial-audio-aus@music.yamaha.com VISIT US ONLINE yamahaproaudio.com

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Make your message go further Our 86BH5C Ultra Stretch has a four-part display and provides a 58:9 ratio. More impressively the Ultra display enhances your retail or corporate messaging making it stand out from the pack. It’s easy to harness the extra screen real estate afforded by the 86BH5C. It comes with:

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To see it in all its glory, scan the QR code or visit us at partner.lge.com/au Screen not to scale.

AV Issue 55  

AV is the magazine for Audiovisual professionals in the Asia Pacific region. www.avapac.net

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