Issue 18 • April 2009
LIVE • COMMERCIAL • RECORDING • BROADCAST
ks his mind Metallica's FOH engineer Mick Hughes spea
PLUS RIGGING • FRANKFURT • EVENTECH • THRILLER ON STAGE
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ISSUE 18 April 2009
CONTENTS > IN THIS ISSSUE
NEWS BEIRG SPEAKS OUT • 4 Steering committee doubts Ofcom compensation
BRITISH MUSIC EXPERIENCE • 4 Boris Johnson opens 02 music museum
GEARBOX PROBLEMS • 5 Financial difficulties cited in high court notice
TL AUDIO TURNS 20 • 6 UK company celebrates two decades of success
FEATURES SMALL FORMAT PA • 21 The boxes found at mid-sized live events
THRILLER • 24 The sound behind Jacko’s musical
STAGE GEAR • 28 Essential tools for live event rigging, lifting and safety
LIVE SOUND COVER FEATURE BIG MICK HUGHES • 31 An honest discussion of live sound mixing
MIKEY GIBBARD • 34 Britannia Row’s system tech on rising through the ranks of the UK rental leaders
EVENTS EVENTECH • 8 A review of Scattered Media’s Scottish show
THE BRITS • 10 The winners behind the sound at Earls Court
PROLIGHT + SOUND • 12 A preview of the kit and special features at the show
> Regulars: Applications 36 In Session 38 People 40 Distribution 41 Products 42 Mixdown 50
e were lucky enough to meet up with Metallica’s FOH engineer ‘Big Mick’ Hughes at the London 02 arena this month. After talking to Hughes about his opinions on modern audio technology and sitting through over two hours of sound check before the show, it was apparent that Hughes is truly a master of the craft. His technical knowledge, eagle ears, diligence and quest for perfection should be passed on to all corners of the industry. I highly recommend reading the article (pages 31 to 33) and catching a show mixed by ‘Big Mick’. Whether you like the music or not, his technique and engineering skills can benefit even the most seasoned studio professionals. Our sincerest condolences go out to the friends and family of Dolphin co-founder Rob Williams, who died in a snowboarding accident. Intent Media has known Rob and Dolphin for many years and we have grown to admire the friendly and professional demeanour of him and the company. The industry has truly lost a forward thinking businessmen and friend.
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Boris Johnson opens BME Mayor of London thrashes out drum solo to open new interactive exhibition celebrating British music THE MAYOR OF LONDON Boris Johnson marked the opening of the British Music Experience by rocking out on a set of Slingerland Drums. The British Music Experience (BME) is a permanent, hi tech, interactive music exhibition situated within the O2 arena in London. Four years in the making, the BME takes over the 22,000 square feet on the top floor of the O2. A combination of cutting edge audio-visual technology and the most coveted music memorabilia culminate in the creation of one of Britain’s most compelling visitor attractions. The exhibition celebrates the diversity of British music since the early 1940s through to today’s popular artists. Visitors can trace musical trends, learn about music’s influence on art, fashion and politics and allows visitors to download music from the extensive archive. Members of the public can also visit The Gibson Interactive Studio, which offers the opportunity to play on various Gibson and Epiphone guitars, Slingerland drums and Wurlitzer digital pianos. Visitors are given stepby-step video tuition, featuring artists such as KT Tunstall, The Magic Numbers and Amy Macdonald with content supplied by the awardwinning website Nowplayit.com. The studio also houses a vocal booth, sponsored by Sennheiser, to add to the educational experience.
2009’s answer to the mop tops gets to grips with a Slingerland drumkit at the opening of the British Music Experience, sponsored by the likes of Gibson, Sennheiser and Nowplayit.com. Adjacent to the Gibson studio is the Jam Studio, a dedicated space for public and educational programmes with workshops, lectures, masterclasses and concerts. The Jam Studio
has already held two acoustic sets by The View and new girl band, The Saturdays. Following their intimate showcase was a Q&A with local students and invited press.
The idea of the BME is to provide people with the opportunity to watch, listen and learn about the many sectors of the music industry hosted by professionals and artists. Although predominantly an interactive exhibition, the BME exhibits over 500 key pieces of British music memorabilia, including David Bowie’s Ashes to Ashes clown suit and Ziggy Stardust costume, Noel Gallagher’s Epiphone Union Jack guitar, Keith Richards Gibson Les Paul Custom, Marc Bolan’s Gibson Flying V and Roger Daltrey’s Woodstock outfit to name a few. The BME uses RFID technology throughout the exhibition. Traditional tickets are replaced by a Smarticket, which allows visitors to activate the interactive elements of the exhibition and also to register further interest in specific BME features. Visitors can then visit britishmusicexperience.com to access free downloads and further information on parts of the exhibition they want to learn more about. The BME will be administered as a charitable foundation and managed by an independent board of trustees, chaired by Harvey Goldsmith. Paul Lilley, the curator of the project, joined the BME from the EMI Group Archive Trust. The executive curator, Bob Santelli, has worked on the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland and the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles.
BEIRG rebuts Ofcom promises Steering committee responds to Channel 69 announcement and doubts adequate compensation THE BRITISH Entertainment Industry Radio Group (BEIRG) steering committee, which has been lobbying Ofcom with regard to the Digital Dividend Review (DDR), has released the following statement. “THE 800MHZ document is a consultation and no final decisions have yet been made. Ofcom can and frequently does change its mind on many of the issues that surround the digital switch-over. Let’s not forget how, during the previous consultations, channel 69 was awarded to the PMSE sector only to be taken away again due to its financial potential as a harmonised band in Europe for two-way mobile use. “Ofcom has indicated it wishes to provide a funding package, but any such package would still need agreement from the Treasury. Not only that, if any funding is made available there are likely to be strictly controlled eligibility criteria to limit the amount that might be
claimed, who can claim it and for which equipment it might be claimed. If one considers that in this consultation document Ofcom’s high-end estimate for the practical amount required to compensate PMSE is just £18 million to replace the estimated £100 million worth of equipment in use today and you can see that there is a huge gap. “Channel 38 has been earmarked for the replacement for channel 69 but no final decision has been made on this. At this stage it is not known what services will be using the adjacent spectrum and only having a single eight MHz channel as replacement is unlikely to be sufficient to solve the interleaved fragmentation problem, the full extent of which will probably not be known until 2010. And if the push towards licence-exempt use of the interleaved spectrum by ‘cognitive’ devices from giants such as Microsoft, Google and others continues hand-in-hand with the UK Government’s vision for a ‘Digital
Britain’, we would suggest the quality of spectrum is far from assured. “BEIRG has, at considerable cost, employed political consultants to assist the lobbying on behalf of the industry and through attention to the detail of this developing situation, the steering group, assisted by the lobbyists, has been the leading body representing the entertainment industry at Ofcom. “This has been achieved by countless face to face meetings, wading through consultation responses on the various aspects of Ofcom’s plans, drafting responses and applying pressure. "It is no exaggeration to say that without the work of this group we would be in a far more precarious position than we are today, but we are by no means out of the woods yet. “Unlike suggestions in recent articles on Channel 69 compensation, based on Ofcom’s statement, the situation is far from resolved and there is no end in sight for the work of this group.
“One thing is clear: unless the industry as a whole gets behind the work of BEIRG, the struggle to access useable frequencies and financial support for the industry past 2012 will become harder. This is the most important time to support the work of BEIRG, so can we urge all those who read this that, if they haven’t already, they join BEIRG as soon as possible. “The cost of this campaign runs at around £90k per year and the struggle for funds has been monumental. There is a nucleus of companies willing to put hands in pockets every year to keep the fight going. It is a sad fact, however, that for all those donating funds, there are upwards of 200 companies not donating a penny towards their future.” Ofcom expects to publish a statement on this issue in summer 2009, with a view to holding the auction for the UK's digital dividend in 2010. BEIRG.ORG.UK
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A detailed look ahead to Frankfurt 2009
The small format PA sector
Metallica’s FOH man Mick Hughes
Photos by Jaroslav Jindra www.maxphotobank.com
Innovason at top of Dakar Rally
Gearbox appoints administrator Insolvency practitioner Marriotts receives numerous enquiries as trading continues in the short-term AV HIRE AND SALES company, Gearbox, has appointed Mike Grieshaber and Tony Hyams of the London insolvency practitioner, Marriotts, as administrators of the ailing business. In its original notice of intention to appoint an administrator, filed with the high court earlier this month, the company cited current financial difficulties as the major reason for its unfortunate position. Audio Pro International spoke to GearBox’s co-founder, Richard Eastwood, who acknowledged that, sadly, this was the case. When asked about the future of Cream Studios, which he also co-owns along with his business partner and wife, Louise Eastwood, he added: “That’s a very good question and only time will tell. All we can do is hope for the best – watch this space.” Grieshaber added: “The appointment of the administrator was www.audioprointernational.com
confirmed on March 6th. We have a strategy in place that allows the business to continue operating and we intend to continue trading in the short-term while we continue to seek a purchaser for the business and assets as a going concern. We have already had a number of inquiries, which we are now dealing with. Over the course of the next few weeks we will be speaking to those interested parties, hopefully resulting in a sale.”
Cream Studio: watch this space
Czech distributor takes seventh place in intense desert race across South American continent TOMAS OUREDNICEK of Innovason’s Czechoslovakian distributor, MusicData, has won seventh place in the Dakar Rally, a desert automobile race held across South America. The Dakar Rally is touted as being as hard as climbing Mount Everest. It invites any type of automobile to race across extreme desert conditions. Ourednicek and his rally partner Miroslav Zapletal and their Mitsubishi L200 took their place with an overall time of 59 hours and 14 minutes, just 11 hours off the winning time.
Ourednicek was chuffed to win one of the top ten seats. He stated: “We are just amateurs, but we were the first Mitsubishi vehicle to cross the line, coming in ahead of the official Mitsubishi factory team and the BMW factory team.” Innovason’s Xavier Pion congratulated his colleague by stating: “I’m in complete admiration of what they’ve achieved. When you consider that only a fraction of those who start even make the finish line, it puts into perspective the huge achievement – well done Tomas.”
Ourednicek and Zapletal soak up the praise
April 2009 5
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Two decades of tubes at TLA British manufacturer celebrates 20 years of designing and hand-building valve outboard in the UK TL Audio, the British valve outboard manufacturer has celebrated its 20th anniversary. The company designed and built its first products in 1989 and has since prospered in the studio market. Tony Larking, TL Audio founder and company director commented: “Having worked in the pro audio industry for some 33 years, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting some very special people with outstanding enthusiasm for our industry and commitment to the work ethic. I feel very privileged that my association with some of these people allowed me, 20 years ago, to establish my TL Audio brand and, hopefully, in some small way enabled the TL Audio team to
I’ve had the pleasure of meeting some very special people with outstanding enthusiasm for our industry. Tony Larking
Rob Williams 1979 to 2009 ROB WILLIAMS, one of the founders of Liverpool’s Dolphin Music has died, following an Alpine snowboarding accident. A company statement read: “All of those who have worked with Rob knew him to be a gentle man of exceptional dignity. Rob had a real zest for life and accomplished so much in his short time in this world. He was a major driving force at Dolphin Music and continues to be an inspiration to all of us. He will always be part of the team and will remain instrumental in our future success.” Company director Jason Tavaria, who co-founded Dolphin with Williams, added: “He was my lifelong best friend, who will never be replaced.”
contribute towards the pro audio and music industries. We have many new exciting projects under development and the TL Audio team are all looking forward to the next 20 years in the industry.” Larking originally sourced used Neve broadcast consoles which were then serviced and split into channel strips. These were aimed at the studio market in the heyday of ADAT, when many producers and engineers were searching for products to warm up otherwise cold digital recording chains. Since then TL Audio has produced many products, including the flagship VTC console. The first of these consoles was sold to Damon Albarn of Blur and Gorillaz
fame. Since then, many artists, producers and engineers, including Brian Eno and Markus Dravs (who recorded the latest Coldplay album with the board) have used the VTC in their studios. TL Audio now manufactures three ranges of outboard and three different consoles totalling over 30 products. Its latest additions are a 16-channel discrete Class A and tube summing mixer and eight or 12 channel tube mixing console with optional Fireiwire connectivity. TL Audio is one of the last remaining British companies that still manufactures all products by hand in the UK at its Hertfordshirebased factory. tlaudio.co.uk
UA bags a Tech Grammy Bill Putnam accepts award from Bob Ludwig of the Recording Academy Producers and Engineers wing THE 2009 TECHNICAL Grammy Awards were presented to Universal Audio and Clarence ‘Leo’ Fender at the Recording Academy's Special Merit Awards ceremony, held in Los Angeles, the evening before the 51st Grammy Awards. Pictured is the Recording Academy Producers and Engineers Wing former co-chair Bob Ludwig (right) presenting the Technical Grammy Award to Universal Audio CEO Bill Putman Jr. Phyllis Fender accepted the second award from co-chair Glenn Lorbecki on behalf of her late husband. The prestigious awards are presented annually by vote of The Producers and Engineers Wing advisory council and chapter committees, to individuals or companies that have made
Tie of the month award went to Bill Putnam Jr.
contributions of outstanding technical significance in the field of recording. Previous Technical Grammy Award recipients have included Ray Dolby, George Massenburg, Phil Ramone, Geoff Emerick and Shure, among several others.
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> EVENTECH EVENT REPORT February 25-26 Glasgow SECC, Scotland
The show was busy with people making connections and showing off gear
Think globally, act locally EvenTech Scotland is a perfect example of the importance of regional tradeshows. Glasgow’s SECC was ablaze with bright lights and new gear as deals and sales were made. Andrew Low was one of many visitors... he Scottish pro audio community came out to play on February 25th and 26th as Scattered Media hosted the second evenTech Scotland trade fair at the SECC in Glasgow, Scotland. Although a relatively small show, the evenTech halls were filled with high-end pro audio and lighting gear to satisfy the needs of any touring or installation company in the area.
NEW ADDITIONS This year’s offering saw the addition of companies that were previously only visitors. One of these people was EAW’s Moray McMillan. He stated: “I think it’s important to fly the EAW flag outside London. You can’t expect everyone to come banging on the door – there’s too much competition. Scotland and Ireland are important markets, we’ve got a traditional presence in Scotland and I want to maintain that.” Adam Hall was particularly interested in the show as a means of finding a Scottish distributor. It displayed its Dave series of loudspeakers, amplifiers and mixers while networking with visitors and big players in the area. The itinerary of the two-day event also included seminars, which covered a host of topical issues including Mastering for Audio by 8
FACT FILE Venue: Glasgow SECC Date: February 25-26 Exhibitors: 40 Visitors: 611 Verdict: Scattered Media’s
attempt to bring the big players in the area face-toface with the distributors and manufacturers operating in the Scottish pro audio market was largely successful.
Omar Khan and The Funktion-One Story by Tony Andrews. Alcons Audio also hosted a seminar on its pro-ribbon transducer technology. EvenTech also provided a wide variety of newly released products from manufacturers like Allen & Heath, Sure, Sennheiser, Alcons Audio, Tannoy, Adam Hall, EAW, RCF Mc2, Funktion-One and many others. Ward Steedsy Associates of Bvo’ness had its latest gear for the rental market, including a range of Funktion-One speakers, the new MC2 E90 amplifiers, signal processing gear by XTA and Allen & Heath’s ILive digital live mixers. Allen & Heath had its own booth, which served as a demo and exhibition space for its new iLive-T Series, a new compact digital mixing system added to the ILive series. It also showed the new Xone:22, a two-channel analog DJ mixer that provides the same feature set and high quality audio found in its professional line at an entry-level price point. RCF returned to exhibit its products in association with The Warehouse. The companies met and agreed to an exclusive Scottish distribution deal at last year’s show. RCF was showing its comprehensive range of pro products, including the new ART 7 and the NX Series, and TT+ Touring and Theatre line.
Tannoy displayed its QFlex range of digital beam-steering array loudspeakers. QFlex is a series of selfpowered, digitally steerable loudspeaker arrays using ‘beamsteering’ DSP technology designed to help with intelligibility inherent to highly reverberant surroundings. Sennheiser UK was showing off many products, including the WiCOS Wireless Conference System, which is designed for intuitive use by nonprofessional users. It also displayed gear from its distributed brands, including Apart and DAS, in addition to making the Scottish debut of the extraordinarily compact K-Array loudspeakers and amplifiers. A SHURE THING Shure’s booth represented the latest offerings from its own lines in addition to amplifiers, speakers, audio and network control products from QSC, ServoReeler, Sound Devices, SKB, Phonic and Radial. As a complement to its seminar, Alcons Audio had its latest innovations on hand, including its new LR7 small format pro-ribbon line arrays, described as a ‘micro pro-ribbon line array’. The company also gave visitors a demo of its VR8 pro-ribbon compact monitor, driven by the ALC amplified loudspeaker controllers. > eventech-scotland.com www.audioprointernational.com
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> BRITS EVENT REVIEW February 18 Earls Court, London
The best of
British Britannia Row once again provided an innovative sound system for this yearâ€™s Brit Awards. Andrew Low walked the red carpet to bring you this report... ow in its 29th year, the Brit Awards took over Londonâ€™s Earls Court on February 18th to bring the UK its most publicised music awards events. Hosted by Kylie Minogue and Gavin & Stacey stars James Corden and Mathew Horne, the evening saw performances from Coldplay, Duffy, Estelle and the Ting Tings, Pet Shop Boys, Girls Aloud, Kings Of Leon, Take That and U2. Britannia Row designed a flip flop FOH and monitor set-up to maintain fluidity in the changeovers between the live acts. The bandsâ€™ engineers mixed their songs on one of the Digico D5 or Digidesign Venue consoles provided for the event. The consoles were both connected to the stage via a MADI bridge, a new system used this year that allowed the FOH boards to be placed 150 metres away from the stage. This flip flop philosophy was also implemented in the monitor world, where Yamahaâ€™s DME64N digital mix engine was used as a monitor mix matrix. The DME64N enabled the monitor engineers to access all monitor settings, allowing monitor channels to be switched between either of the two desks via the Yamaha unit.
Over 20 Turbosound TFM450s were used for monitoring, powered by Crown amplifiers and mixed on additional D5 and Venue consoles. Playback and presentersâ€™ audio was handled by a Yamaha PM5D The live audience at Earls Court listened to the show through 48 of EVâ€™s XLine series Xvls cabinets. Of these, nine Xvlt cabinets were used for downfill with 20 EV X-subs in place to handle the low end. In addition to the EV speakers, Outlineâ€™s Butterfly array was used as infill. The entire system was controlled from FOH using EVâ€™s IRIS-Net communication control software on the NetMax Digital Matrix System. Sennheiser provided microphones and in-ear monitoring systems for the awards, its seventh year working with The Brits. Britannia Row also provided its new Sennhiser SKM 5200 microphones with Neumann KK 105 heads for Kylie Minogue and the other presenters, while on the performance stages Take That used SKM 5200 with KK 105 heads. The Ting Tings chose e935 wired mics, Kings of Leon used
FACT FILE Venue: Earls Court London Date: February 18th Verdict: The 2009 Brit Awards highlighted the best of the UKâ€™s favourite commercial music acts. A notable moment of the event was Iron Maidenâ€™s acceptance of Best Live Act Award.
their e945 wired mics and the lovely ladies of Girls Aloud used their custom SKM 935 radio mics. Britannia Row said it was a flawless event, with no reported problems or complaints from any of the divas and rock stars performing on the night. The only reported diva behaviour was from U2, who brought in two of their own Digidesign consoles and monitor set-ups. Perhaps the aging rockers needed the system to be extra loud. > britanniarow.com
2009 Year Anniversary
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> EVENT PREVIEW PL&S
April 1-4 Frankfurt, Germany
The frank truth Prolight + Sound will see the debut of the products that will soon revolutionise the industry as we know it. Andrew Low examines what can be found in the halls of Messe Frankfurt… isitors to this year’s Prolight + Sound trade show hoping to see the latest in pro audio gear and technology will be heading to Halls 4 and 8 of Messe Frankfurt when it all kicks off from April 1st to 4th. The organisers of Prolight + Sound have designed the show to be the premier tradefair for event and communication technology, AV production and entertainment. In addition to exhibitors, it will offer a vast array of workshops, product presentations and discussion events. With so many things happening throughout the enormous grounds of the show, it is easy to miss the many unique elements of Prolight + Sound. The show’s Concert Sound Arena is set up on the outdoor exhibition to allow eight exhibitors to show off their latest PA technology in a practical situation. The Pro Stage is another outdoor area where seminars and workshops take place to demonstrate the latest in outdoor concert technology. Experts in the design and development of pyrotechnics, lighting technology, mixing and public-address systems, stage construction and rigging use this area to demonstrate ideas, techniques and the capabilities of their equipment, with a particular reference to safety aspects. > pls.messefrankfurt.com
ALLEN & HEATH HALL 8.0, B22 Allen & Heath will unveil a new broadcast console, which will be introduced from the ZED range of small-format USB mixers. It will also announce updates to the new iLive-T Series compact digital mixing system, which can now interface with networking standards such as EtherSound, ADAT and Aviom, and the new Xone:22 two-channel analog DJ mixer. Its entire Xone DJ range will also be displayed, including the Xone:D Series of MIDI controllers alongside a cross section of mixers from the ZED, MixWizard, GL, iDR and iLive ranges. FUNKTION-ONE – HALL 4.1, F10 Funktion-One is to exhibit its new RM18 triple concentric stage monitor. The all-new triple concentric arrangement has an ultra-fast 18-inch driver with five-inch coil and a Neodymium magnet. A special fiveinch driver with a built-in HF compression driver passively crossedover at 9kHz. The 700Hz crossover point and natural materials used in the cab’s mid-device give an enhanced clarity and definition to the vocal range. The bass response of the 18-inch driver also makes it well suited for use as a drum monitor.
ADAM HALL – HALL 4.1, D45 LD Systems will announce a new addition to its range of LD Systems speakers with the LD Premium Series. The Premium Series features an eightinch, ten-inch, 12-inch and 15-inch multi-purpose speakers in addition to the VA4 and VA8 line array systems and subwoofers from 1 x 15-inch, 2 x 15-inch and up to 2 x 18-inch. Premier series speaker cabinets are all made of 18mm multiplex and coated with the DuraCoat LX coating. JTS – HALL 4.1, B30 Japanese company JTS will debut its new TG-10 wireless microphone system, designed for live touring applications. TG-10 works in a UHF band with 16 preset channels, with an operation distance of over 60 metres. It allows at least 12 systems to work simultaneously, while built-in Lithium batteries allow over 14 hours of continuous use. A cabin baggage-sized charger with 36 slots is also available. SONIC DISTRIBUTION HALL 5.1, B66 Sonic will show SE Electronics new sE4400a and Rupert Neve RNR1 microphones this year. The sE4400a has four polar patterns: cardioid, hypercardioid, figure of eight www.audioprointernational.com
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PL&S EVENT PREVIEW <
powered PA speakers, the K-Series. The company is boasting that the new series will redefine the standard in portable powered PA. ALCONS AUDIO – HALL 8.0, F 41 The Dutch loudspeaker manufacturer will demonstrate numerous new products, including the A/V ready LR7, the micro-sized addition to its L-series pro-ribbon line arrays. It will also show extensions to its L-series line arrays. Its booth will house a new ‘design study’, providing a glimpse of the company’s R+D activities by displaying assembled prototype developments in addition to low-SPL demos with the VR8 compact monitor and the BF151 bass system.
and omni, in addition to two bass cuts at 60Hz and 120Hz and two pads at ten and 20dB. The RNR1 active ribbon microphone is the result of collaboration between sE and Rupert Neve. Neve has integrated concepts from the 5088 consoles into the mic’s design, namely Discrete Single-Sided Circuits and customdesigned transformers. A limited run of 20 chromed 4400a mics will be available as a special show deal.
SHURE – HALL 4.1, D12 Shure will unveil a raft of new products at the show, including the PG27USB and PG42USB microphones, which are designed to allow users to connect professional standard microphones to a USB port for use with computers and laptops. It will also unveil the SM27 and SM137 microphones, its latest additions to the SM microphone range. On show too is the X2U Adaptor, which allows any XLR microphone to be connected to a USB port for professional recording on PCs and laptops. They are also available as a bundle with the SM57 and SM58.
RSG – HALL 8, D54 Roland Systems Group will show the new RSS M-48 Live Personal Mixer and RSS S-4000D Splitter and Power Distributor. The M-48 complements its existing V-Mixing system, while being suited for use in recording studios. It provides 16 assignable stereo groups with level, pan, solo and three-band eq featured on each group, in addition to high-quality built-in reverbs and an ambient mic for communication with band members. VMB – HALL 8, B70 Spanish manufacturer, VMB will show the new Rainbow v1.1 prediction software for VMB and Lynx cabinets. Rainbow v1.1 provides features designed to calculate the SPL response of cabinets and interactions between them, taking in to account the magnitude and phase response of each one, thus enabling the user to correct or even create cancellation if the design requires. It will also show a range of products with DSP control features, including the powerful and lightweight DSX amplifiers and its ADP PA speakers series, alongside a new ADP stage monitor. QSC – HALL 4.1, D12 QSC will unveil a new series of
Shure will unveil a raft of new products at the show, including the PG27USB and PG42USB microphones, which work with USB ports.
ADAMSON – HALL 8.0, F21 Canadian loudspeaker manufacturer Adamson will be releasing a brand new product range at the show. It will also show its new M12 stage monitor. The M12 features the ND12L, Adamson’s first lightweight, long-excursion 12-inch Kevlar Neodymium driver. The monitor offers a symmetrical trapezoid design and 65-degree conical waveguide, which allows any two cabinets to operate as a mirrored pair. With a HF section featuring a three-inch diaphragm and 1.4-inch exit, the M12 is fitted with an Adamson waveguide, resulting in a package measuring only eight-inches x 25.125-inch x 11-inch and weighing in at 51lbs. OHM – HALL 8.0, A56 Ohm Europe is showing its full range and several new products, including a mini line array, the Ersa Minor. It has dual six-inch neodymium main drivers, with a high frequency waveguide that provides a dispersion of 120 x 40 degrees and a power rating of 250 Watts
rms. Cabinets are 425mm wide and can be hung in multiples, singles or pairs. A switch in the crossover circuit changes the high frequency characteristics to facilitate single or multiple use. It will also show the newly released BR range. New additions to the range include a wide dispersion dual six-inch BR-7 cabinet, the new single eight-inch plus one-inch BR-9 cabinet and rotational horns for the BR-10, -12 and -15. LAB.GRUPPEN – HALL 8.0, C16 Lab.gruppen will give the first public display of its products featuring its newly acquired Lake technology. The LM 26 is a full-featured two-in/six-out Lake Processor in a compact 1U frame. It will also show the PLM 14000, which provides 7000W per channel into two Ohms and 4350W per channel into four Ohms, making it ideal for demanding subwoofer and low-end applications. Lab.gruppen will debut three new models in its FP+ Series as well, including the FP 14000, the FP 9000 and the FP 4000, which are optimised for sustained performance into extreme low frequency loads. New versions of its NomadLink control and monitoring suite for C Series and FP+ Series products will be on display, too. TANNOY – HALL 8.0, D18 Tannoy will unveil the VQ Live series of speakers for professional touring/live sound sector. Developed in partnership with live sound veteran Paul Nicholson, who’ll be at the show, VQ Live speakers will be on stand and in a dedicated demonstration room. Tannoy will also show the latest additions to the existing VQ Series range, including new PSW horn formats and a new 15-inch sub module. Its QFlex digital beam-steering array range will be on show too, as well as a wide range of in-ceiling, in-wall and surface mount speaker solutions, including the latest updates to the weatherproofed Di Series. NEUTRIK HALL 8.0, E48 The highlight of Neutrik’s booth will be the opticalCON 4 designed for multichannel point-to-point connections in broadcast and pro audio applications. With four integrated fibers, the opticalCON 4 is based on the wellestablished opticalCON 2 and is just as dust-proof and compatible to LC connectors. It will also display its multimedia product series which includes USB, HDMI and Firewire
April 2009 13
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> EVENT PREVIEW PL&S feed-through chassis connectors, as well as locking USB and HDMI cable connectors; The HD version of the XX series with protection class IP67; the Neutrik Trouble Shooters, including the EMC XLR with enhanced RF screening. The REAN Mini XLR Neutrik, designed with a compact cable connector and a corresponding chassis connector will also be on show. TRANTEC – HALL 8.0, A16 Trantec will preview its new S6 Wireless system. S6 takes the 19-inch, eight-way concept from the S6000 to a higher level while a comprehensive interface on the front panel allows users to configure and monitor all channels, with or without an external PC. The S6 system operates from 590MHz to 865MHz to cope with the imminent regulation changes within the industry. The company will also show the new SD7000 professional digital wireless system, which benefits from over 20 user channels in an 8MHz TV band with no degradation and digital transmission and 24-bit audio resolution. MC2 – HALL 8.0, F42 The two-channel, Class D amp E90 amplifier will be on show at MC2’s booth. Designed to delivering an enormous 8,000 Watts RMS per channel into two Ohms or 4,500 into four, the E90 has already seen action on tour with The Pigeon Detectives, powering WE Audio's 24-stack Turbosound Aspect TA-890 and TSW218 system in venues such as Belfast City Hall. YAMAHA – HALL 8.0, F50 Yamaha CA will show the SB168ES, a true networked stage box solution for the LS9 and M7CL consoles and other Yamaha digital consoles. It will also exhibit the new IMX644 Installation Series rackmount mixer, the eightchannel IPA 8200 amp, its Installation Series loudspeakers, including the IS1112 compact subwoofer, the K&M I-Series brackets, plus the versatile XP, XH and multichannel XM amplifier ranges and the EMX, IM and MG ranges of analog consoles.
Ohm (left) and Adamson (right) will have some exciting new product at PL+S
INNOVASON – HALL 8.0, A11 Innovason will focus on its new Eclipse console and particularly on the MARS recording option, which provides 64track digital recording to a hard disk on the back of the console. The hard disk can be removed and used for post show mixing and editing. The Eclipse builds on the success of the Sy48 and Sy80 consoles, featuring a 48-fader layout and a SmartPanel with an extra 48 channel strips on 12 knobs in four layers, resulting in a total of 96 faders. DB TECHNOLOGIES HALL 4.1, F11 The company’s new Flexsys F212 and F313 will be on show. An active twoway system, F212 is listed as an efficient and powerful mid-/high-range unit designed to be combined with active subwoofers to construct highperformance PA systems. The new active three-way Flexsys F313 system renders the full frequency range with powerful features that do not require the use of an added subwoofer. Visitors will also see the company’s wide range of active, passive and PA speakers in addition to its IEMs, wireless systems, amplifiers and controllers. OPTOCORE – Hall 8.0, G32 Optocore will unveil its control software version 2.12 and associated firmware upgrades. It will also introduce Alberto V. Leiva Soulages, sales manager for Spain. Optocore has been at many highprofile events lately, including Echo 2009 where it transmitted 180 inputs to 170 outputs; audio, Ethernet, video and control data of various audio devices where exchanged between FOH, stage, monitor desks and loudspeaker systems. DIGICO – HALL 8.0, F42 Digico will be present on the Atlantic Audio booth this year. Technical representatives will be available to show visitors its new small format SD8 console. It has a fixed architecture that employs a smaller Super FPGA than the SD7, while benefiting from all the major features and versatility of its D Series, in addition to the advances made in the SD7. This gives a superlative performance to price ratio,
allowing Digico to offer an entry-level console, with remote pre amps, at a price point not previously possible.
After drawing big crowds with the release of the Si3 at PLASA08, Soundcraft will now show its companion desk, the Si2.
SOUNDCRAFT – HALL 8, G42 Soundcraft will now show its smaller companion desk to the Si3, the Si2. Designed to offer a large feature set at a competitive price, the Si2 has 48 mic inputs mapped on 24 faders. It also features four dedicated stereo line channels, four dedicated FX returns from the four stereo Lexicon FX processors, eight-balanced insert sends and eight balanced insert returns. Si2 contains 24 Group/Aux busses available at all times, eight matrix busses and a full complement of monitor talkback and main bus outputs. Every input and output of the console has its own dedicated input (output) socket on the back of the console. JOECO – HALL 5.1, A79 The Blackbox recorder offers full DAW capabilites for live sound applications. It plugs into any standard live mixing console via the normal insert points and to capture live audio and records sound check to help set the foldback mixes and allow the performers to hear the live mix. 24 tracks of audio can be recording directly onto a removable USB2 disk drive that can be immediately plugged into a DAW for further processing after the gig.
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> INSTALLATIONS VOID
Scandinavia Having fitted nearly every venue in Bergen with a Void system, Artistgruppen is turning its attention to the high profile clubs of Oslo. General manager Morten Paulsen explains why Void is fast becoming Norway’s favourite sound system… he Norwegian town of Bergen is fairly low on the list of places you might associate with dance clubs sporting the kind of sound systems used by scientists to intentionally trigger earthquakes. But Bergen is, after all, Norway’s second largest city, at least in terms of its population, a fair chunk of which, it turns out, hankers for the kind of bass that could separate the Scandinavian Peninsula from the rest of Northern Europe. This issue could not have been stressed enough when the management of the town’s 1,300 capacity Mood nightclub contacted local installation and events heavyweight Artistgruppen for advice. It was 2005 and, having just become the national distributor for Void Acoustics, Artistgruppen wasted no time in flying the club’s directors to London and Earls Court for the PLASA show, where the British manufacturer was earnestly represented with one of the most eye-catching pro audio booths there, backed up by a decibelridden demo room. “After five minutes in the demo room, I had to leave because it was so loud,” recalls Artistgruppen’s general manager, Morten Paulsen. “The SPLs were so high, I just couldn’t be in there. I’ve worked in the pro sound industry since 1987, but this was just crazy. So I left, but after ten minutes they came out and, well, let’s just say we had a deal. We signed a contract as soon as we landed in Bergen and that became the first big system installation we did in the town.” Although the first big Void installation for Artistgruppen, it was far from the easiest and its location within an old banking hall meant that the venue’s acoustic characteristics were
anything but ideal, as Paulsen explains: “There wasn’t a 90degree angle in the whole place, with circles everywhere. It was a real mess. When you play from the stage, you get reflections from all over and the concrete ceilings and pillars throughout made it one of the most difficult installations we’ve done.”
The Mood installation was very loud. The Paraflex 360 subs go from 30 to 60Hz and you feel it more than you hear it. Morten Paulsen
LASTING LOUDNESS Mood’s acoustic problems went some way to explain why the club’s previous two sound systems had failed to deliver the kind of sound quality required in order to leave any lasting impression on Bergen’s clubbing fraternity. To ensure that this would be the system to finally put some solid SPLs in the room and punters on the dancefloor, Void Acoustics’ director Alex Skan flew in to lend an ear. Subsequently, four Air Motion speakers, four Paraflex 640 bass units and four Paraflex 360s were installed, amplified by Infinite 8, 6, 5 and 4 (two of each) with processing via Void’s LiveDrive. As police threatened to close the club down on its reopening night due to the imposing sound levels, Paulsen realised that he had a serious system on his hands: “That was one grand opening,” he recalls. “The Mood installation was very loud. At midnight, the DJ did as he normally did and turned the system up to the level he was used to playing at. Some of the bottles and glasses behind the bar came off the wall. The Paraflex 360 subs that we put in there go from 30 to 60Hz and you certainly feel it more than you hear it – it’s incredible. It was an enormous system, but then they got what they were looking for.” www.audioprointernational.com
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VOID INSTALLATIONS < Paulsen is quick to point out that, with regular visits from high profile jet setting DJs, a world-class sound system was actually a prerequisite for the venue. These artists presumably spread the word about Void in their respective countries, but for Artistgruppen’s purposes, it was the word of the local DJs that counted and, to the company’s delight, it soon found itself signing contracts with venues throughout Bergen. PAINTING THE TOWN RED In the years and months that have passed since the Mood project, Artistgruppen has supplied and/or installed Void systems for over 25 establishments in Bergen – almost every licensed premises in the town. Most recently, the company fitted out Ricks, a local discotheque that wanted a powerful system on the dance floor, which also allowed clubbers to talk around the edges. To achieve this, ceiling speakers were directed toward the middle of the dance floor, with only one side stacked with Stasys 8 subs and powered by Infinite 8, 7 and 5 amplifiers. In the disco area, four Axsys 12 array elements and L2s enclosures were hooked up to Infinite 8 and 7 amplifiers and two DigiDrive processors. For the bar, smaller format Airtens were used alongside Mycro bass boxes. “Unlike at Mood, we had no problems at Ricks, because after working with the speakers for so long we are very familiar with them and we tend to know exactly what is required for specific venues based on what kind of sound they want,” Paulsen explains. “It only took us two days to get the system in. The only problem really, was that it was a building once used by the Gestapo, with swastikas still on the walls. That was a little bit strange, but in terms of sound, it was all fine.” In fact, the only problem the company currently faces is that after three and a half years, there is no one left in Bergen to sell Void systems to. “Now we have actually filled up Bergen with Void systems,” Paulsen continues. “There are very few clubs left in the town that don’t have Void in them. So, for the first time, we exhibited at the LLB trade show in Oslo in February. We had a lot of people interested because we brought the Air Motion system. When you go to a trade show everybody is just looking at the same black boxes, so we thought that we would bring the most amazing-looking system from Void. We also had some pictures of our installations in Bergen. And it worked really well – everybody came in and asked us what it was, and we were able to tell them. Now we are in contact with several companies that want to talk to us more about new systems in other parts of Norway.” SOUND SELLS Paulsen is currently in discussions with what he refers to as a very high profile club in the Norwegian capital of Oslo, which has its eye on the coveted Air Motion mid-high elements and associated Paraflex subs. He feels that it is only a matter of time before the club buys them. As in the case of his previous customers, while people may be attracted by the stunning appearance of the speakers, what they will ultimately be sold on is their sound. “We have a rental department for which we use Martin Audio, but for installation it’s always Void. The clubs want a fancy look and that’s where it scores a lot of points, because when a nightclub owner sees the speakers, he likes them right away. Then when you actually connect the speakers up and he hears the sound of them, they are two steps ahead of the competition. The price is very good but the sound of it is amazing. The high frequency is very defined and it doesn’t hurt your ears when you play it loud. “We just have to work at it for a while longer,” he concludes. “More and more people around Norway are talking about Void after they have been and played on the systems in Bergen – bands, DJs and so on – they really like it. Hopefully in the next three to five years we can have big clubs in Oslo, Stavanger and Trondheim as well. This takes time; you need time for the system to become well known. But I am quite certain that it will be.” > artistgruppen.no > voidaudio.com www.audioprointernational.com
Void systems look amazing, but it is the sound that sells them in the end
Ruthless ,MÄJPLUJ` Killer:V\UK Unleashed :VVU WHEN A SINGLE ENCLOSURE DELIVERS COMPARABLE SPL COVERAGE, CLARITY AND CONTROL AS A 4 BOX LINE ARRAY, IT’S TIME TO STOP AND THINK. ONE VQ LIVE 60 IS CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A SUSTAINED SPL OF 138KB (144KB PEAK) WITH A TIGHTLY CONTROLLED 60° DISPERSION PATTERN ACROSS THE FULL FREQUENCY RANGE. UNLEASHED AT FRANKFURT PROLIGHT+SOUND, STAND D18, HALL 8. A)
DIRECT SPL @4kHz OF VQ LIVE 60 (A) AND 4 X BOX LINE ARRAY (B). PLACED 5M ABOVE FLOOR LEVEL IN LINE WITH THE FRONT OF THE STAGE AREA IN 30M X 40M ROOM. TA N N O Y . C O M
April 2009 17
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BEHIND THE BOARD WITH…
Rob Magoolagan The Futureworks mentor tells API about his digital/analog timeshare and a dislike of studio snacking... Magoolagan has over 15 years experience as an audio professional working on both studio and live music productions. His credentials boast full producer credits on over 40 commercial album releases. In addition to his studio work, he has spent the last 14 years as a front of house engineer on many of the major UK and European summer festivals. Through working at Futureworks, a leading UK education establishment offering training in music production, he is guiding the next generation of music producers to success. Which band/project are you currently working on?
My current project is the ninth My Dying Bride album, which is set for release in March. We’ve been in the Futureworks studio since April – now it’s at the mastering stage. Where are you at the moment?
What audio console are you utilising? My current project is split between two consoles, a 32-fader Digidesign D-Ctrl and a 60-channel Neve VR Legend. What decision process was behind the choice of this console?
and GTR tracks (Urei 1176 & Pultec EQ). Favourite console?
It depends on the job in hand; if I want big fat sounds then it has to be Neve. Whenever I need speed and precision then I use Digidesign Icon, as it’s the best there is.
“If I want big, fat sounds then it has to be Neve. When I need speed and precision then I use Digidesign Icon.” Rob Magoolagan
spark of a new idea still sends a shiver down my spine. It doesn’t matter which system or piece of equipment you are using, absolutely nothing can replace creativity. Best toy you take on tour or have in the studio…
My phone – I would just be completely lost without it. What’s been your worst professional experience to date?
Failure is not an option. What pisses you off when working?
The D-Ctrl is king when it comes to mix workflow and automation, whilst the Neve VR is wonderful to record and balance the automated stems. Do you utilise any outboard effects/eq, and if so, what are they used on and why?
Yes, I am currently using outboard compression and eq mainly for Vocal
Favourite PA or monitoring system?
Anything by DnB. Favourite venue/festival/studio?
Grasspop in Belgium, Sziget in Budapest and Metalcamp in Slovenia.
People eating crisps while you’re trying to mix. With hindsight, what job would you have chosen for yourself?
Anything related to Lord of The Rings – I’m a huge fan.
What makes you happy when you’re working?
Finally, if you weren't working now, you'd be...?
That moment of inspiration; the
audioPRO April 2009
se at us es 3 e M A3 Se ik 5.1 us and M st
Studio E - Metropolis Studios, London, UK owners of more than 20 ADA-8 and ADA-8XR interfaces.
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RECORD | MIX | MASTER Prism Sound has been supplying successful high quality analogue and digital studio products for 22 years and has continued to lead the way in technical excellence and personal customer service. The near fanatical loyalty of Prism Sound users is a testament to the success of its product range. Whether it be Multi-track recording, mixing, cd-mastering or on location Prism Sound products deliver robust, reliable performance every time.
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To arrange a free demo or talk about your requirements contact us now. firstname.lastname@example.org | www.prismsound.com The Old School | High Street | Stretham | Cambs CB6 3LD | +44 (0)1353 648888 NOTE: Pro-Tools | HD is a trademark of Digidesign, a division of Avid Technology Inc
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> SECTOR SPOTLIGHT SMALL FORMAT PA
Super middleweight boxes Got a small to mid-size live music venue? Stage devoid of speakers on either side? Looking for more driver for your dollar? Rob Hughes looks at the systems that punch above their weight… here was a time, of course, when the proprietor of a small (and I use the term broadly) gig venue had only one basic option when it came to loudspeakers. Early line array developments were generally put to use in big cabinets sporting 12 or 15-inch transducers. Some smaller systems were marketed, with various degrees of success, but by and large, the technology was initially pointed squarely at hefty long-throw touring systems that staggered the masses on huge US metal tours. These days the situation seems reversed, with every live music establishment that isn’t small enough to have an animal in its name, earnestly taking the line array route, facilitated by the availability of elements with LF transducers of 6.5 inches or combined low/mid radiators as small as three inches. Such ever-shrinking line arrays have been a godsend to many, but for some – to the frustration of many a system tech worth his salt – they bring nothing but problems, as Brit Row hotshot Mikey Gibbard (see page 34) will attest. “So many production managers and engineers will say it’s got to be line array, but sometimes in smaller rooms, it just doesn’t work,” he explains. “Because of the dispersion of the boxes, normally 90 to 110 degrees, you get so many issues with the sound hitting the walls and bouncing back that it’s pointless. Get over it and go and get a system that you know will work in there. So, as to the question line array or point source, I wouldn’t say I prefer one or the other, it’s all about having the right PA for the room.” Needless to say, the wholesale penchant for line array does have its reasons. Appropriately deployed arrays will achieve comprehensive coverage. So how does the ‘sound guy’ make an informed choice? Unfortunately, room size and shape aren’t the only factors involved. A space that, at first glance, seems to warrant a line array, may actually benefit from the ability of deftly positioned point source boxes to cover balconies and so on. Conversely, a small room that at once seems to require point source could actually be ‘dead’ enough to thwart some reflections and permit the use of arrays. It doesn’t end there of course and this introduction is no place for a discussion on acoustics – we’ll save that for another issue. We leave our plucky engineer to his room plans and sums and have a look at the offerings from both camps...
1. OHM THE HUGE popularity of Ohm’s TRS range has prompted it to introduce a complete plug and play solution, with speakers, DSP-A3, amps, patch panel, power distribution, flight cases and cabling. The basic three-way system, consisting of three TRS-118H bass bins and two TRS-112H mid/high cabinets per side, can all be powered using the three light DSP amplifiers (housed in an 8U rack) with a patch panel that features routing for signal inputs, speaker outputs and remote Ethernet DSP control. The use of eight-ohm single driver speakers simplifies the amplifier requirements allowing the complete system to be powered from three amplifiers. Cabinet design ensures the sound pressure levels are very similar to dual speaker units. The bass cabinet is horn-loaded and the mid/high utilises a single piece molded horn mounted with a 12-inch mid and a 1.5-inch compression drivers providing a long throw. Ohm will also be launching a new mini-line array at the Frankfurt show. Called the Ersa Minor, this two by six-inch cabinet has a 120 by 40-degree waveguide horn and an integral flying system making it ideal for smaller venues. 2. FUNKTION-ONE COMPRISING THREE main variants: Skeletal (installation), Enclosure (stacks or install) and Touring (with quick-fly system), F1’s point source Resolution 4 has 12, eight and oneinch drivers with a combined frequency response of 114Hz to 18kHz and power handling of 300, 200 and 50 Watts RMS. The R4E and R4S versions are available with ceramic or lightweight neodymium magnets and an optional passive midhigh crossover. The R4E is also available in powered form. In line with the company’s purist approach, the compression driver is not introduced until almost 6kHz with the mids handled by very high-efficiency cone drivers (108db 1W @ 1m) with significantly less distortion content compared to systems using compression driver midrange. No corrective system equalisation is required and transient accuracy is outstanding. Funktion-One recommends that the Resolution 4 is used in conjunction with either its F218 (double 18-inch) or F121 (single 21-inch) bass enclosures.
April 2009 21
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> SECTOR SPOTLIGHT SMALL FORMAT PA
3. SOUND PROJECTS FROM THE COMPANY’s Compact range, the SP3-90 is a true full-range system within the small format cabinet design of the SP3 series. Primarily designed to perform in fixed installations, especially where little space is available, it is an ideal solution for situations where additional subs are not feasible. Housing a 15-inch bass, ten-inch mid and one-inch compression driver, the SP3-90 is perfectly suited for fullrange applications in medium-sized venues. A beefed up version, the SP3-90D is also available and exchanges the lower octave for an extra 6dB and a punchy, warm low/mid-band response, along with the transparent, crispy sound that can be expected from a properly matched ten and one-inch combination. Frequency response of the SP3-90D is 80Hz to 20kHz and maximum peak is 134dB. 4. ELECTRO-VOICE THE LAUNCH OF the Phoenix series marked the return of Electro-Voice’s Manifold technology. Designed for huge SPLs and sonic headroom, as well as easy transport and set-up, Phoenix is targeted at users that find the X-Array too much and QRx not enough. The output of the boxes is optimised for rock, pop and dance music genres. Using dual ND2 neodymium compression drivers on a manifold horn and state-of-the-art DVX woofers, the speakers can operate at high levels for sustained periods with minimum stress on system components. Passive and bi-amp selectable, the dual two-way PX2152 features twin DVX3150 15inch, ND2 low-frequency transducers with forced air cooling, two-inch voice coil, and one-inch, exit neodymium compression drivers. Maximum SPL is 136dB with a 60 by 45 degree rotatable coverage pattern. Power handling is 1,200-Watt continuous or 4,800-Watt peak.
5. DB TECHNOLOGIES DB TECHNOLOGIES’ active DVX series pairs the company’s Digipro power amp with RCF speaker components such as neodymium woofers with double-wound voice coils for high load handling and minimum power compression. High-quality tweeter cones are made from Mylar or titanium and rotatable HF horns from aluminium, keeping drivers cool. The two-way DVX D15 is the enclosure of choice for use as a full-range FOH. Its 1.4-inch driver with a 2.5-inch titanium voice coil is designed to handle high loads and is capable of throwing punchy signals across medium-to-longer distances. Its integrated Digipro digital power amp delivers high SPLs and with the 15-inch RCF low/mid woofer, will deliver a dynamic response and tight low-end reproduction. DB also offers the Entire Active system design (EASD), in which DVX models may be combined with DVA line array active subwoofers for sound that requires no controllers.
6. ALCONS AN ASYMMETRICAL enclosure and revolvable 90 by 40degree wave-guide make Alcons’ two-way VR8 ideal as a compact FOH system. It has the multi-patented RBN401 four-inch pro-ribbon driver with ‘Real-90’ horizontal dispersion and eight-inch vented mid-bass driver. Frequency response is 74Hz to 20kHz with a peak output of 125dB. The 800-Watt peak handling of the HF pro-ribbon features a 16:1 peak-to-RMS ratio (traditional HF transducers bring a 2:1 ratio). This caters for a virtually unlimited dynamic range of 1kHz to beyond 20kHz. Pro-ribbons have a naturally flat impedance, negating the use of impedance-correction circuitry in the passive filter and considerably shortening the signal path. Production tolerances are within one dB, so that any two VR8s can be regarded as a matched pair. If line array is required, Alcons also offers the LR7, which features the same RBN401 pro-ribbon diver. With a frequency response of 74Hz (-3dB) to above 20kHz, the LR7 enables a full-range deployment without the necessity of additional bass systems. 7. LD SYSTEMS FOLLOWING THE SUCCESS of its MI-targeted PA equipment, including the pleasingly named Dave series of portable systems, LD is now gearing up to launch its first range of speakers aimed at the pro market. Prolight+Sound 2009 will mark the official debut of the LD Premium line, which promises to inherit the same ‘bang for 6 buck’ appeal that the MI products have built a solid reputation on among some of the hardest working musicians. Details are thin on the ground at this stage, but the range will comprise two-way full range loudspeakers, array systems and subs. The flagship LD VA-8 and VA-PS215 sub offer a frequency response of 70Hz to 19kHz, 34Hz to 400Hz and a peak power handling of 1,200 Watts and 2,400 Watts. 8. VOID ACOUSTICS PORTABILITY and rigging that requires no specialist knowledge were central to the design of Void’s Arcline 6 line array. In order to prevent using multiple enclosures to ensure a wide horizontal dispersion, the box was conceived with 120degree coverage. This improves quality and definition by reducing phase interactions from adjacent enclosures to zero. A new design of waveguide has been employed for the Arcline 6 with a common feed point for a flat response up to 21KHz, even with multiple enclosures to form a cylindrical wave front. Frequency response is 60Hz to 20kHz, efficiency clocked at 101dB and power handling, 800 Watts RMS. Maximum output is 129dB continuous and 132dB peak. The associated Arcline X bass enclosure boasts a sub 40Hz f3 cut off – remarkable for a box with a volume of just 300 litres.
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SMALL FORMAT PA SECTOR SPOTLIGHT
9. JBL SHARING COMPONENTS with the touring standard Vertec line arrays, JBL’s VRX900 series comprises two eightinch and 12-inch formats, including a powered option in the latter. The VRZ928LA has a frequency response (±3dB) of 87Hz to19kHz and peak power of 1,600 Watts and the VRZ932LA-1 of 75Hz to 20kHz 3,200 Watts, respectively. Both 15 and 18-inch, bass-reflex subs form part of the range The VRX accomplishes a consistent sound field with JBL’s Array Configuration Selector, a series of switches on each enclosure that control the output of each HF section in the array. With the VRX’s amplitude shading you can set the upper enclosures in an array configuration to deliver more output for reaching a distant balcony, while the lower enclosures can be ‘shaded back’ with less output for the front rows of the venue. Each section of the venue can be fine tuned for balanced coverage. 10. VMB VMB’S LYNX LX-F6 is a small-format powered line array module with a folded ribbon HF unit, 1,500 Watts of integrated Class-D amplification, digital processing and networking capabilities. Two six-inch neodymium transducers provide LF, with cones and suspensions made out of Nomex, a high-temperature material used in fire fighting that helps the driver maintain consistency at varying temperatures. “Measurements show that our HF transducer exhibits a reduction of 20dB in intermodulation distortion and 10dB in third harmonic distortion,” states Joel Damiano, VMB’s applications manager. “Spectral contamination is 15dB down in vocal ranges and transient response decay is twice as fast.” The LX-215S is the sub complement for the LX-F6, with two neodymium 15-inch woofers with four-inch interleaved sandwich coils, each powered by a 1,000-Watt amp. A bandpass topology is used to provide maximum performance.
11. QSC THE ILA LINE array system is designed specifically for installation and doesn’t require set up by an expert user with sophisticated acoustical measurement equipment. By cutting out features required only for touring boxes, QSC can offer the sound quality, coverage and power of high-end touring line array systems at a greatly reduced price. Frequency response (+⁄–3 dB) is 80Hz to 20kHz, sensitivity (1W @ 1m) 106dB and 97dB of the HF and LF drivers, respectively. Each ILA element uses a pair of neodymium magnet, eightinch LF drivers. Both woofers produce low frequencies, but only one covers the mid-range resulting in more uniform directivity in the crossover region. For HF, a pair of 1.75-inch neodymium compression drivers with titanium domes are mounted on a multiple aperture diffraction waveguide that provides extremely wide coverage (140 degrees).
So many managers and engineers say it’s got to be line array, but sometimes it just doesn’t work.
12. ADAMSON THE CANADIAN line array specialist offers two compact series of loudspeakers, the SpekTrix and Metrix series, which possess true line-source array characteristics, made possible by proprietary wave shaping sound chamber technology. The larger SpekTrix is a three-way enclosure exhibiting a significant output to size ratio. The sound chamber has a defined coverage pattern of five-degrees vertical by 120degrees horizontal and produces a slightly curved, iso-phase wave front. The Metrix is a two-way enclosure with the same coverage pattern as the SpekTrix. Both speakers use the same components – Adamson 8.5inch Kevlar neodymium drivers and B&C DE 900 compression drivers – and are 15-degree trapezoidal cabinets for extreme downward angles at the bottom of arrays. The SpekTrix Sub is equipped with two 18-inch AW18 Kevlar neodymium bass drivers mounted in a tuned, vented and fully braced cabinet.
Mikey Gibbard Britannia Row
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> INSTALLATION THRILLER MUSICAL
Shure fire Th The new West End musical Thriller documents the life and work of Michael Jackson. Living in a crowded area of the city made finding a free radio frequency a tricky battle. Andrew Low talks to sound designer Chris Whybrow on how he properly backs Jacko’s sounds…
ichael Jackson has recently made headlines for breaking UK ticket sales records. Known as the king of pop, Jackson has a dedicated fan base that has bought over 750 million of his albums. He also has a new musical called Thriller, which is based on the events and music of his tumultuous life. Held at the Lyric theatre in London’s famous West End district, sound designer Chris Whybrow was tasked with creating a system that would accurately reproduce everything from Jackson’s rock anthems to his smooth ballads. Thriller is held in a very crowded RF area, which made finding a free radio frequency for the show a difficult task. Whybrow worked with spectrum management company JFMG and Shure to find a free frequency and design wireless systems that would not suffer from interference from other shows in the West End. This led JFMG to create Q5, a brand new radio frequency developed specifically for the show. Whybrow comments: “The West End is so crammed with different frequencies, so we are using the new Q5 band, which, at the start of the show, was only given to us. Shure was really good at making certain that we were out of the way of other
theatres. They programmed our system and we have no intermodulation from any of the shows near us. Our signal is so strong in the building that I don’t think anything could get through it.” Shure provided six of its UR4D wireless receivers, complemented by seven UR2 KSM9 mics and five UR1 wireless body packs. Two of its UA845 antenna distribution units are also in use along with the UA870WB Active antenna system. Up to 12 cast members use the wireless mics during the show. Its UR4D dual-channel wireless receiver provides 2400 selectable frequencies across 60 MHz bandwidth, up to 60 preset compatible systems/band (140 w/multiple bands, region dependent) and flash memory capable of storing six 60-channel custom frequency groups. It also features Shure’s patented audio reference companding, built-in USB and Ethernet network compatibility and track tuning filtering technology. Featuring a dual-diaphragm design unique to handheld mics, Shure’s KSM9 dual-diaphragm condenser microphones provide switchable cardioid and supercardioid polar patterns and www.audioprointernational.com
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INSTALLATION THRILLER MUSICAL <
hriller Don’t stop ‘til you get enough An outline of the gear that gets people dancing at Thriller THRILLING KIT
FOH: Yamaha PM5D digital console
WIRLESS SYSTEMS: 6 x UR4D dual wireless receiver 6 x UR2/KSM9 Black 1 x UR2/KSM9 Champagne 5 x UR1 Wireless Body Pack 2 x UA845 Antenna Distribution 2 x UA870WB Active Antenna
advanced two-stage shock mount suspension designed for rugged performance. The mics also feature a frequency response ranging from 50Hz - 20KHz and uniform polar response for natural offaxis response. After securing radio frequencies for the show, Whybrow was further tasked with providing uniform coverage for the four-tiered 900+ capacity venue. Another detail standing in the way, literally, of providing coverage to all seats in the theatre involves the audience’s propensity to get up and dance during the performance. “It is hard to cover all the different levels in the Lyric,” states Whybrow. “We used a lot of calculations because there are a lot of different heights for the audiences when they are all sitting down, but when the audiences gets up to dance during the show you have to get those high frequencies to the back of the room. We had to configure the best heights for the rigging so that we could still get the sound to the back of the theatre in both instances.” Mixed on a Yamaha PM5D at FOH, the main PA for the show is a d&b Audiotechnik Q-Series line array system with Q and B2 subs. Additional d&b Q7 boxes are used as sidefill. The company’s E3 speakers are also on stage to provide monitoring for the cast, mixed on Yamaha’s LS9 desk. Whybrow explains: “We definitely had to have a system that had enough balls so people can feel the music when it is really driving, as well as one that would keep it nice and warm for the ballads. I used The Q-Series on the European tour of this show and it adapted nicely to every venue. The Lyric is a four-level theatre, so we are covering each level with Q1s split into pairs so that we get maximum output control, because the songs are so different from one another.” A traditional seven-piece rock band provides the soundtrack for the show along with the extra effects and percussion played on a computer with Logic Pro. The PM5D is equipped with an Aviom card and the band members each have Pro 16 mixers. Having worked with the PM5D on the touring version of the show, Whybrow has enjoyed using the Yamaha board specifically for its scene storing features and warm sound, stating that its compact format is essential to the show. “We are using all the boards effects and dynamics. The space where you have to fit the mixer in the theatre is very limited and we literally only have room to fit the PM5D between the two pillars with a couple of racks underneath. I have really learned to like Yamaha’s digital consoles. The technology is now at the point that you don’t get the feeling of isolated sounds that are hard to stitch together. I can just up the word clocks so they are handling more sampling rates and it sounds a lot smoother.” The systems chosen for the set up at the Lyric is mirrored on the road as Whybrow’s satisfaction with the system lead him to spec it for the touring version of the show. He feels that the versatility of both the d&b Q-Series and Yamaha’s consoles make setting up the system easy and allows sight lines and a small footprint to be maintained in each venue. As for the West End show, the daily performances continue to run smoothly without interference from outside theatres due to Shure’s technical diligence and support. > shure.co.uk > yamahacommercialaudio.com > dbaudio.com
MONITOR WORLD: Yamaha LS9 digital console Aviom Pro16
PA: d&b Audiotechnik Q-Series line array system
Shure’s UR4D dual wireless receiver helps give Thriller impenetrable RFs
E Series. Touring Class. High Calibre Audio Amplifiers
Built for a life on the road, E Series amplifiers combine audio quality and assured reliability. Featuring a lightweight aluminium construction, robust digital power supply, advanced protection technology and intelligent limiter, E Series amps deliver their full power across the entire audio bandwidth. Discover the complete range at www.mc2-audio.co.uk
24834 - Si Series DPS API
When going digital is this You know what a channel strip looks like. So does the Si. In Channel Mode, there’s a rotary encoder for every function. Then switch to Global mode and all your Pans, Input Gains, etc. are right there in a row.
Distributed Display Technology. Clearly a better idea. Doesn’t it make sense to have your visual feedback right where you’re working? That’s why we gave Si consoles a series of super-bright, hi-res OLEDs instead of a single, central screen.
In no time, it’s showtime. With an Si console, how you work is up to you. Put your VCA groups wherever you want them – Soundcraft’s revolutionary FaderGlow™ will always remind you what mode you’re in.
Soundcraft T: +44 (0)1707 665000 E: email@example.com Soundcraft US T: 888-251-8352 E: soundcraft-USA@harman.com
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> SECTOR SPOTLIGHT STAGE GEAR
The Outsiders Andrew Low looks beyond the boxes and boards and points out some essential, yet overlooked, elements of rigging and stage gear for touring theatre and live events… echnology for the live event and touring industry is being developed at incredible speed – possibly because the increased popularity of live events creates the need for innovation in product development. With line arrays, pyrotechnics and stage props aimed at spectators, safety has become a prime concern for this area of the market.
POLAR FOCUS TURNKEY SYSTEMS While most manufacturers create custom rigging structures for their line arrays, companies like Polar Focus offer turnkey systems, which are complete kits designed to form the link between a venue’s roof structure and the speakers being installed, based on the speaker models, their aiming angles and characteristics of the roof structure. Polar boasts that its turnkey systems are complete, with every wire rope assembly specifically made for numerous applications and further insists that its systems are not just boxes of hardware pieces. They arrive labelled and grouped by speaker, cluster and room for each project, thereby decreasing setup time for each application. > polarfocus.com VMB TOWERLIFTS Spanish manufacturer VMB offers line array flying equipment for small to medium-sized outdoor events. Its TL-A420 and TLA320 are quickly becoming a favourite for rental companies around the world. The firm’s Towerlifts can fly up to eight line array boxes (300 to 320 kg) after only 20 minutes of setup time. The TL-A240 and TL-A320 can lift 240kg and 320kg, respectively to a height of six metres. Manufactured from aluminium, the series is designed to provide sustained front and lateral stability, while assuring fixed and safe positioning of line array speakers. The advantage of its system over its competitors is the fact that the line array can be situated at half a metre. Javier Matali, VMB’s marketing director, explains: “With conventional front loading towerlifts the maximum weight is reduced the further along the forks you place the load. For example, a lift that has a maximum weight capacity of 300kg can only safely carry 190kg when that load is placed at half a metre from the lift. The TL-A320, however, can lift 320kg at half a metre from the lift. 28
The design of the base has also, for the first time, made it possible to load a line array directly next to the towerlift body without the outriggers getting in the way. This also means the subs can be placed between the outriggers when the top cabinets are up and the system is ready to play. All these features are the result of a very long design process and that is what really marks the difference between these lifts and other front loading lifts and is why they are specifically designed for flying line array.” > vmb.es LIFTER SYSTEMS GROUND LIFTING SUPPORT SYSTEM Lifter Systems offers a hydraulic Ground Lifting Support System. Its GSLS40 is capable of lifting ground support towers up to 15m and 40x40, while the GSLS9 can up lift up to 12m and 30x30 or 10m and 40x40, and the GSLS52 has the capability of lifting up to 20m and 76x76. Lifter Systems has designed the line for quick setup and safety for operators and spectators. > liftersystems.com ADAM HALL DEFENDER SERIES Safety at live events is as important in the air as it is on the ground. As such, Adam Hall has been producing the Defender series for over ten years. The Defender Nano is a light, professional, wheelchair-accessible and universally applicable cable protection system with six channels that are 18 millimetres in diameter. Designed to protect cables running along the floor at live events with heavy traffic, including vehicles, the Nano series weighs just four kg and is resistant to oils, acids, and petrol, plus it has a patented self-cleaning hinged closure. At a length of 100cm, Nano is 28cm wide and 3.2cm high, with a load bearing capacity of around two tons for a surface area of 20 by 20 cm. > adamhall.com
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Presenting the latest in theatre technology
THEATRE SHOW 10th & 11th June Royal Horticultural Halls London SW1
Register NOW for free admission: www.abtt.org.uk/theatreshow
If you are unable to register online call our helpline on 01628 789052
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> INTERVIEW MICK HUGHES
Crash course in brain surgery Metallica’s FOH engineer ‘Big Mick’ Hughes has the PA equivalent to two stadium systems on a world tour to promote the band’s latest album: Death Magnetic. Andrew Low talks to Big Mick about how he manages to wrap his head around the tour, the gear and the latest technology available to the live sound engineers… www.audioprointernational.com
>> April 2009 31
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> INTERVIEW MICK HUGHES
nyone who has seen Metallica’s documentary Some Kind of Monster knows that the LA monsters of metal are far from the macho, god-hating headbangers that their image would assume. The band have been victims to criticism in recent years, but despite all of this, Metallica continue to reign supreme in the hard rock genre by selling out arenas and festivals all over the globe. As guitarist Kirk Hammett says: “Damn right we sell out. We sell out every seat in every arena we play.” ‘Big Mick’ Hughes, Metallica’s friend and FOH engineer, has been with the band for 25 years. At first glance one would assume that Hughes himself is an LA native, heavy metal hippy with the gear and hair to follow, but it is immediately apparent that the friendly bloke from Birmingham, UK is a smart and innovative engineer. Audio Pro chatted with Big Mick at the band’s recent gig at London’s O2 Arena. Over his years with Metallica, Hughes believes he’s tried every piece of gear from every manufacturer out there. The system currently on the road with the band was provided by US tour supplier Thunder Audio and shipped in crates on a boat from the States for the UK and European shows. Mick takes us through it all.
THE BOARD We are using a Midas XL8 with over 80 channels of input. The number of inputs has swelled over the years and the XL8 has handled them effortlessly. If the band wants to add an extra instrument to a song I’m not left saying, “Shit, I don’t have any holes to plug it in”. The only limitation is my lack of imagination. Also, we do this thing with triggers. There are noise gates on the tom toms and normally you adjust the threshold knob on the noise gate to open when the drum is hit. When the gate opens it lets the sound through, but of course in a situation where you have a lot of noise around on stage, these gates will keep opening. If you make them too sensitive, then sometimes they won’t open at all. About 15 years ago I stuck these little tape-on pickups on the drum with a wire leading to the multichord that is inserted into the key input of the gate. The gate no longer reacts from volume on the microphone, rather it works on the vibration, so you can blast a load of noise at it and it won’t open until it’s vibrated. I got an email from Eddie Map who does sound for Evanescence saying that he has had success by delaying the
tom tom. So you then have look-ahead gating, which means that the gate will be open in anticipation of the sound coming through. You slow the tom tom down with delay on the channel, leave the trigger in real time so the gate opens immediately into the drum, but it then allows the gate to be fully open and you don’t lose any of the leading edge from the tom hit. The XL8’s onboard gate is so fast that it didn’t make any difference at all, but obviously Eddie has a problem with it on the D-Show console he is using. So it is down to the quality of the gate. It shows that there are differences between gates and features on the different consoles. GUITAR SOUND I use a lot of sub groups. I will configure all the aux 1 -16 sends as sub groups so I can use a six-band parametric or 31-band graphic eq across the group. I have many guitar amps that make up a guitar sound. James uses six channels and Kirk has four. If I have a little bit too much frequency, like a bit of 2K, instead of going into each channel and tweaking that frequency, I can go to the group and eq the whole thing, so that has become inherent to the guitar sound. THE PA We are using the Meyer Milo system and we are doing a new thing where we fly the subs in the middle. We are calling it the TM array because Thomas Mundorf of Meyer Sound designed it. ‘In the round’ is such a miserable task for a sound engineer because of the multiple arrival times and reflections and previoulsy we were are not able to put loads of subs together to get coupling. We can only put little clusters on the stage because more boxes would interfere with sight lines. We couldn’t put any under the stage because it is only three foot-high because the band wants to be close to the audience. To fix this problem, Thomas came up with a plot with four columns of ten hung as close together in the middle of the arena. It is fantastic because you get the coupling that you would if you had all the subs in one place, so you get a point source.
If the band wants to add an extra instrument to a song I’m not left without holes to plug it in. The only limitation is my lack of imagination. Mick Hughes - on the Midas XL8
PLAYING IN THE ROUND The band likes it because it creates four fronts to the stage, so each section of the audience feels like they are in the front row as opposed to the band being at one end of the arena looking like tiny cockroaches to the people in the back, but it
Hughes feels that the XL8 effortlessly handles the expansion of Metallica’s live show
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MICK HUGHES INTERVIEW
is horrible for us. Speaker-wise we have probably two stadium systems in this venue – over 120 Milo boxes. It’s still hard to get coverage in all areas of the venue, but we just have to make it work. We always strive for better because ‘in the round’ can be really bad. I have seen other ‘in the round’ shows that have been awful. I really sympathise with the engineers because I know how hard it is. All the reflections just kill you. You are your worst enemy because you fire sound equally away from the centre of the room and all those reflections that you are creating end up bouncing back at you. The only plus side is that a lot more people are still listening in the near field then the far field, which gives you a bit more control. MICS We are pretty cast in stone for a lot of the gear we use on tour. In 25 years of doing this I have done a lot of experimenting to get to the point we are at with microphones. I have tried an awful lot and unless some new innovation comes along, why deviate? It’s not broken so why fix it? I have switched to Earthworks SR25s on the hi-hat and snare bottom because I like how crisp they are, but other than that we predominantly use Audio-Technica’s mics. It’s not like I have only tried the Audio-Technica range, I have tried all the other manufacturers, but A-Ts work the best for Metallica’s sound, so in turn they work for me. MAKING THE SWITCH TO DIGITAL Switching to digital just made sense for us. I made up my mind when I was doing a festival in Japan. I got an XL4 from the biggest rental company you can think of and the bloody VCA faders were seized. It was getting pretty apparent as I spec'ed XL4s around the world that, unless we were carrying one that I knew worked, they were just going to get worse. And there have been a few times where I have had to nurse the console throughout the show because there was something wrong with it. In those instances you end up compensating for its weaknesses and are afraid to push the recall button for fear that it will do something weird. Eventually I had to move on, and where do you go from an XL4? It had to be an XL8. I am only going to use Midas because I like how they sound. GOING BACK TO ANALOG I could do this tour with an analog desk, but it would have to be a much bigger system. I would need a lot more racks at FOH because I have seen the benefits of certain things that I would like to bring back to the analog world. I still love the XL4; I used it for 13 years. It’s not an XL8 though, and there are good things and bad things about that. The XL8 has so much intelligibility and you have to be careful because instruments end up sounding too isolated, but you just have to play around and make them sound more cohesive. I was always at the extremes with the XL4. We would go out for years and years and do the same thing, but we were never going to do any more with it. If you wanted to do more you had to plug something into it. With the XL8 I feel like I am at the point where the XL4 left off, so it is down to me again. Before my limitation was the XL4 – what it could deliver – but now the ball has been knocked back into my court. I always strive for perfection. It is like being a painter. If you only have black and white then you are going to get a black and white picture, but if suddenly you have millions of colours to choose from then you are going to have a different painting and more choices to make, so you end up learning more and progressing. STEPPING UP HIS GAME The older you get the harder it is to learn new things, so going to a new digital format can be hard, but you get to learn a lot of new tricks, which makes you feel like you can achieve more. The bottom line is that today’s audience expects a lot. It used to be the case where the PA would be pointed towards the sound engineer so it sounded good to them, but audiences aren’t having it anymore. As such, you had better deliver more, because a lot of people go to see many different bands in the same venues and you have to sound as good as everyone else because people can hear the difference. Nowadays, if you have a shitty show they can broadcast it to the whole world on the internet. Now that the technology is there, the engineer has to perform to a higher standard. >midasconsoles.com >meyersound.com >audio-technica.com www.audioprointernational.com
April 2009 33
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> COMMENT MIKEY GIBBARD
Ruling the sound waves As the Pussycat Dolls flew back to the States, API caught up with system tech and FOH young gun Mikey Gibbard to talk us through how one rises through the ranks at Brit Row...
used to DJ a lot when I was a kid and I got sick of going into clubs and listening to really crap sound systems. So I went and bought my own and I’ve never looked back. Nothing makes me happier than driving a great sound system and getting the best sound I can out of it. It brings a massive smile to my face. I remember when I did Earls Court a few years ago; we had 17,000 people in there and it sounded amazing. We had an EV X-Line out front and L-Acoustics VDosc delays. There wasn’t a seat in the house that couldn’t hear it crystal clear and to be in control of that sort of large format system and make it sound good is an incredible feeling. I don’t mind doing studio work, but to be honest it kind of bores me. I’m not really interested in spending two days listening to the same snare drum and changing the reverb by milliseconds. I’m much more inclined to think: “let’s just do this on the fly and go for it and nail it first time”. Half the time, I find that when I’m in the studio, I’m never quite as happy as I should be with something. There’s always a niggling thing that makes me wonder if I can make it sound a little bit better. There’s nothing wrong with that but you always walk away thinking “I could have done this” or “I could have changed that”. When you’re doing it live it’s more like: “right, let’s just f***ing go for it and get in there and make it the best we can for the moment that we’re doing it.”
This is one of the reasons why I love analog desks. Don’t get me wrong, the Midas XL8 is awesome, but the way I look at it is the same way I look at the Yamaha PM1D. You’ve got this huge desk and loads of racks just to make the thing work and I find that kind of defeats the object of a digital board. I mean it sounds lovely and it is an amazing board, but in terms of setting it up, it’s almost pointless. It’s a little bit boring to tour with. You might as well go back to analog because you’re not really gaining anything. Especially when it comes to the way I like to mix or the way [Brit Row FOH engineer] Ian Laughton likes to mix. He’s an old-school man and actually likes to mix a band rather than do scene recalls and so on. I’m not a fan of doing scene recalls either. If you’ve got something really complicated with massive changes going on in between the songs then it’s useful – we had to do it for the Pussycat Dolls – but how many times do you really do that when you’re mixing a rock band? You don’t, you get on the desk and you’re flying the effects and dialling it in as you go along. That to me is how mixing should be. It should be fun, it shouldn’t be a chore; it should be hands on. Personally, that’s how I love to mix bands, you know, putting some technique into it, rather than just hitting a button that says ‘next’ and then ‘recall’. There’s nothing more satisfying than whipping that delay in and getting the repeats bang on first time.
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MIKEY GIBBARD COMMENT <
As far as the digital world goes though, the Digidesign boards are my favourite to mix on, mainly because the plugins on them are amazing, especially if you’ve got a few quid and you can get the pro pack on there with all the waves stuff. The echo farm delay is superb. This for me is just the most fun I’ve had mixing a band on a digital board. Every amazing hardware outboard or effect you can get, you can get it as a plugin for this desk – all the Fairchild stuff, all the Bombfactory gear, Pultec eqs for the kick drum and the snare. Most of the time, I don’t bother with the onboard eqs, I just put Pultecs on every channel. I sometimes use the Waves seven-band eq, but I tend not to use the desk eqs that much. If you’ve got good mic placement and the pultecs, you don’t really need them. If you’ve eq’d the room well enough, then its surprising how little you need to do – a bit of high-passing here and there, but if the room and the system are good enough, it should sound great. NO TIME TO PROCESS I’m a big fan of using as little processing as possible, because nearly every time you use it, you’re adding something unnecessary to the chain. When I start – with drums – I’ll find the drum tech and, as much as it probably annoys them, I’ll just sit there for a good hour until I’ve got them sounding right acoustically, even before I’ve turned the system on. If you’ve got the drums sitting right, everything else should just fall into place really. Everyone starts with drums, but I spend a little bit more time on them than anything else. Some drum kits can sound really shit. If the toms aren’t tuned properly it’s horrible. What I tend to do is get my rack tom and pan it in, centre the first floor tom, pan in the second, then send that to a stereo group, pan that and put a Summit compressor over it; you’ve never heard a tom sound like it, it’s amazing. I know it’s an old school trick but so many people have forgotten how to do things like that. I still think it’s wicked if you can get the eighties rock drum sound on the drums. I always get people coming up to me and asking me how I get that sound. I tell them to spend a bit of time and learn from the older boys. I didn’t get to where I am today by doing it all by myself. I’ve learnt from more experienced people by really paying attention to what they are doing.
Brit Row has been a massive support to me. I have to say that it definitely gave me a lot of the tools I’ve needed to do my job and it continues to support me and help and train me alongside different engineers, including Ian, of course. He is a really good mate of mine and when he goes out on mixes I almost kind of co-engineer it with him. We work really closely together to get a good sound, rather than him just diving on and me just tuning a system for him. I’ll be in there with him saying: “why don’t we try this”, and he’ll ask me what I think of something and if I can suggest anything to improve it, I will. We just vibe off each other and try to get the best sound we can. YOUTH OF TODAY I’m only 26, but already it’s good to see the youngsters getting through. There are even younger lads than me there now that are going out and doing smaller gigs and training days. The way it works is that they’ll go into the warehouse and work on a casual basis and if Brit Row can see potential in them, then it’ll employ them as an apprentice and they might go out on a five-man tour. The company is really keen on bringing in the younger people and getting them out there. In ten years time, a lot of the older guys aren’t going to be doing this anymore, so it’s investing in the future as well. And it will interesting to see where tour companies that don’t do this will be in a few years time. After working with guys like Ian for some time now, I really need to get my own band. I love system teching, but I’m just gagging to get behind a desk and mix everyday – it’s such good fun. I want to get out there as much as possible, work with as many different people as possible, get mixing more because I can incorporate that with my system knowledge and hopefully get the best sound ever. That’s my goal really. It would be nice to get some of the younger lads under me and train them up as well. There are a couple of guys there that I think have got a really good attitude and are coming on. It would be great to get my own band with Brit Row and take a younger lad out with me, just like Ian did. > britanniarow.com
Brit Row has been a massive support to me. It has given me a lot of the tools I’ve needed to do my job. Mikey Gibbard – FOH
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Yamaha and Crown at the 50 yard line for Superbowl XLIII I-Tech amps and PM1Ds used to support Springsteen’s half time performance
DIEHARD AMERICAN football fans know that the two most exciting things about the Superbowl are not the opponents of the game, rather, the Bud Bowl and the half-time show. The historic event gained even more notoriety after Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson’s famous costume malfunction of 2004. The attention shifted from a breast to the Boss this year as the match between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Arizona Cardinals was complemented by a half time performance from Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.
As always, ATK Audiotek supplied audio production services, this year opting for two Yamaha PM5Ds along with two PM1Ds to mix monitors. Monitor tech Tom Pesa, also an engineer at the Grammy’s and the Oscars, explained that scene recalling has become a standard on multi-act television shows. “Performers and guest engineers travelling into a show expect to be able to have their own scene, fully customisable to their performance and recalled exactly for the live show,” said Pesa. “Yamaha pioneered this on a PM1D.”
After 17 years, we know how hard Bruce Springsteen works to deliver the best show possible to his audience.
Audio Analysts of Colorado Springs used Crown’s new I-Tech amplifiers for the monitor system during the Boss’ set. Company owner Albert Leccese commented: “All wedge amplifiers were Crown I-Tech, we utilised about 32 for the various mixes and they performed great. Having worked with Bruce Springsteen for the last 17 years, we know how hard he works to deliver the best show possible to his audience.” > yamahacommercialaudio.com > harman.com
DiGiCo SD8 goes touring with STS DIGICO’S NEW SD8 has been hard at work on multiple tours with STS Touring Production, most notably, with Cradle of Filth in Europe and on the farewell tour for former Hot Chocolate singer Errol Brown, taking in 21 dates throughout the UK. The company first laid eyes on the console at a Wigwam Acoustics seminar, held at Manchester’s School of Sound Recording. “You get a lot for your money with the SD8 that’s for sure,” said STS Touring’s Paul Collis. “It far outweighs other consoles in its price bracket for value for money and quality. But the bottom line is that it sounds like much more expensive consoles. The MADI ins and outs are 36
also really useful. It was incredibly easy for us to immediately add 48 multitrack recording via Logic on a Mac. “From a business perspective, the initial DiGiCo shipping numbers were very encouraging. Hire companies throughout the world are taking the SD8 into hire stock, which means engineers will become familiar with it quickly and it will be specified on a lot of tours.” “The floating point processing puts the SD8 leaps and bounds above other digital boards I’ve used before,” added Keith Farmer, STS head of audio development, service and repair. “It puts it into a different league to others at the same price point.” > digico.org
>> NEUTRIK HAS… ...donated an ‘Easy Patch’ Patch Panel to help ease NewMediaGear.com’s transition to HD video production. “When we decided to make the transition to HD, Neutrik was the natural choice, as it contributed to the audio connectivity of Studio1A a few years back. Since then we have branded Studio1A as a Neutrik-only studio,” said Mark Jensen, GM and host of NewMediaGear.com > neutrik.co.uk www.audioprointernational.com
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Allen & Heath kicks up a Rock Storm
THE PAD Recent industry deals
Fantasies Show & Light takes IDR10 MixRack with two iLive-112 control surfaces for FOH and monitors on ten-city Vietnamese tour CONSIDERED BY many in the business to be a very promising emerging market, Vietnam has recently hosted numerous internationally recognised events with some high-end audio gear. Allen & Heath has shown a strong presence in the region by supplying Vietnamese PA company, Fantasies Show & Light, with an iLive digital mixing system, which was subsequently used for the ten cities Rock Storm tour. Rock Storm featured a variety of Vietnamese rock artists, including the renowned female singer Phuong Thanh and established bands like Tran Lap and Da Vang, in addition to emerging groups, such as Thuy Trieu Do (Red Tide), Microwave and Ngu Cung. Fantasies Show & Light selected an iDR10 MixRack with two iLive112 Control Surfaces managing FOH and monitors.
Renowned Japanese engineer, Masaaki Azuma was the sound director for Rock Storm. Azuma has previously worked on international shows with Madonna, Oasis, Underworld, Metallica and the Fuji Rock Festival.
My sound engineers love iLive. The ability to use two surfaces with only one stage rack is fantastic
- Mr. Hung PA company owner, Mr. Hung, commented: “I'm very impressed with iLive’s ease of use and audio quality - my sound engineers love it. The ability to use two surfaces with
only one stage rack was fantastic, so we decided to purchase a second iLive-112 surface to manage combined FOH and monitor sound.” Rock Storm began in Hanoi, followed by dates in Hai Phong, Thai Nguyen, Vinh, Hue, Da Nang, Nha Trang, Dong Nai, Can Tho and finally Ho Chi Minh, entertaining more than 200,000 rock fans and millions of radio listeners and viewers nationwide. The opening night at Hanoi’s HangDay Stadium, had a sell-out audience of 20,000. iLive has also been out on the road with newly-reformed American rock band, Extreme. For the European tour, two A&H iLive systems were used for FOH and monitors. Monitor engineer, Jay Phebus, specified the iLive digital systems on all the band’s future worldwide dates. > ilive-digital.com
API 1608 is Charleston’s Sound AFTER OVER a year of construction, Jeff Hodges has finally opened his new state-of-the-art recording studio, Charleston Sound. With the help of award-winning studio designer Wes Lachot, Hodges has designed the space with acoustically controlled rooms and high-end gear, rivaling the famous studios of New York and LA. The Centrepiece of Charleston is a 32-channel API 1608 fully discrete analog tracking and recording console. The console features a customised patch bay that brings together the studio’s new and vintage outboard gear with the 1608’s modular 500-Series design. Despite the popularity of digital consoles, Hodges chose the analog API console to replace his previous digital console. He explained: “We were never quite getting the sound we wanted to get. Sure, the digital www.audioprointernational.com
consoles were great for automating plugins, and we spent many, many hours tweaking plugins with them. But there’s something to be said for a great analog board like the 1608. It gives us the sound we want from the very beginning. And it does so much more quickly and reliably than trying to find it after the fact with plugins.”
Charleston Sound’s particular board includes dozens of additional API eq and preamp modules. The studio has already hosted recording sessions by Hootie & the Blowfish's Mark Bryan, Martin Chalk and violinist Anna Schaad, using its new console.
RCF AND its Croatian distributor, Oktava, have fitted Croatia’s Zadar Sports Arena with a new state-of-the-art audio system. Oktava chose RCF’s TT+ loudspeakers controlled by a DXT7000 digital multi channel active matrix system. RCF’s TT25-A and TT22-A loudspeakers were used to cover seating and playing areas respectively, while the DXT7000 was installed for system control throughout the venue. > rcfaudio.com KAISER CHIEFS are, once again, hitting stages around the world with a selection of Sennheiser equipment. Frontman Ricky Wilson’s mic is now a Sennheiser SKM 935. In addition, the band’s stage is full of Sennheiser instrument mics, ew 300 IEM G2 in-ear monitors and wireless ew 500 instrument systems. > sennheiser.co.uk SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE was filmed with the help of Zaxcom’s Deva 24-bit multidisk recorder, which captured audio during the making of the film. Resul Pookutty, Richard Pryke and Ian Tapp, who received the 2009 Academy Award (that’s Oscar to you and me) for Sound Mixing, used The Deva to backgroundrecord multiple disks throughout the production. The Deva also allowed production staff to immediately reference previous recordings on set. > zaxcom.com PRESIDENT OBAMA’S Neighborhood Inauguration Ball used Aviom’s Pro16 system for personal monitoring and communications. Audiotek’s Andres Arango stated: "With the entire nation watching, missing a cue was not an option. Musicians had to be able to receive the communication and monitoring channels they required to keep the event running smoothly." > polaraudio.co.uk
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> IN SESSION
People and equipment behind studios in the UK and around the world ...
Photo credits to Lesley Marino
Rooms: Control room, live room Consoles: 1971 API 2061 Mics: Neumann, AKG, Coles, RCA, Rode, Shure Outboard: Thompson, dbx, Drawmer, TL Audio, Orban, SSL, Presto Monitoring: Auratone, Tannoy, Yamaha
Rooms: Studios 1, 2, 3. Live rooms 1, 2, 3 Consoles: Neve RCA custom, Trident A range Mics: Neumann, AKG, Coles, Schoeps, Beyer, Shure Outboard: Pultec, Fairchild, Avalon, Manley, Teletronics, AMS Monitoring: ATC, Yamaha, ProAc
Chemical Sound, Toronto Eastwest Studio, LA CHEMICAL SOUND IS a 24-track recording studio located in downtown Toronto that’s well known for its vintage analog sound. The owners promise a warm and relaxed vibe, a spacious live room with 20-foot ceilings, a large collection of vintage condenser and ribbon
the city’s east end – up and running by mid-June 2006. Marino has engineered and produced at Chemical Sound since 2003, expanding his production/ engineering credits with acts such as Death From Above 1979 and Tokyo Police Club. Aside from creating pop
As well as weird and wonderful gear on site, including an Orban analog reverb unit, Chemical Sound has experienced staff who can provide creative input. microphones, masses of outboard gear, vintage tube amps and an original first-generation API console. In May 2006, Chemical's original location was demolished to make way for a new condominium complex. This unfortunate event nearly marked the end of an era for the Toronto music scene, as owners Rudy Rempel and James Heidebrecht each concluded that it was time for change in their own lives, turning freelance and moving away from Toronto. The pair put the word out in hopes that the studio could continue as Chemical Sound. Fortunately, longtime in-house sound engineer Dean Marino and his business partner Jay Sad committed to keeping the studio alive. Together, with the aid of Rempel and Heidebrecht, they had the new space – Chemical’s current location in
music, Sad has recorded sound for use in films, television and online. As an engineer, he has worked prolifically with Ian Blurton and as a producer he has been fortunate enough to work with bands like The Elwins, Boys Who Say No and classical musician Rob MacDonald, among others. As well as some weird and wonderful gear on site, including an Orban analog reverb unit, tubular bells and a glockenspiel, Chemical Sound has experienced staff who will gladly provide creative input where requested. The standard studio rates include an engineer (typically Marino or Sad) though outside producers are also very welcome. Entire full-length records have been recorded at Chemical in as few as five days or as many as 20 and the owners are very flexible as to project sizes.
Telephone: +1 416 971 9635 Web: www.chemicalsound.com
LOCATED ON SUNSET Boulevard, Hollywood, Eastwest Studios houses six world-class recording studios and is the new global headquarters for leading soundware developer Eastwest. In January 2006, the company purchased and renamed the legendary Cello (formally United-Western) Studios, commissioning Philippe Starck to radically redesign the non-technical areas of the 21,000-square-foot building. The recording spaces themselves have been left largely unaltered, providing the same superlative facilities that Cello once did. Since its foundation back in 1961, the studio has hosted such musical royalty as Frank Sinatra, Madonna, The Rolling
this legendary facility for the next generation of recording artists. “It was important to us to keep the studios themselves as they were originally, as the acoustics in these spaces have proven themselves over a 50-year period with more engineering awards than any other studios,” explains Rogers. “When we took on renovating the studio, not only were we looking to preserve history, but we were looking to create a whole new creative environment for both our virtual instrument productions and for the artists the studio hosts as well. Every visual element in the entire building is designed to accomplish these goals.” In addition to renovations to the public
“When we took on renovating the studio we were looking to preserve history and create a whole new creative environment.” Doug Rogers – founder and producer Stones and many more. During its tenure as United/Western, under the reign of Bill Putnam (founder of Universal Audio), who was involved in many recording firsts, the studio was developed to incorporate some of the most cutting-edge recording technologies of that time. With this latest transformation, Eastwest founder and producer Doug Rogers is hoping to breathe new life into
spaces, Eastwest has added to the recording equipment, equipping the studios with vintage analog gear that was utilised on the company’s MIPA awardwinning Fab Four Virtual Instrument collection, including a very rare EMI REDD tube desk and EMI REDD47 preamps. An original Trident A Range desk was purchased for the famous Beach Boys ‘Pet Sounds’ control room, Studio 3.
Telephone: +1 323 957 6969 Web: www.eastwestsounds.com
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IN SESSION <
To have your studio featured in this section, please send all details to:
firstname.lastname@example.org or call +44 1992 535646
Rooms: Studio A, Studio B, live room Consoles: 1979 Trident TSM, SSL AWS900
Monitoring: ATC, KRK, Yamaha, Quested
Rooms: Studio A, Studio B, Studio C, live room Consoles: SSL Duality, Digidesign Mics: Neumann, Schoeps, Coles, Royer, AKG, Brauner Outboard: Neve, API, Vintech, Universal Audio, Manley, Chandler Monitoring: Klein & Hummell
The Premises, London
Great City Productions, NY
REFERRED TO AS “the best place in town” by the jazz-pop singer and songwriter, Jamie Callum, The Premises purports to be London's most popular rehearsal and recording studio complex, featuring 14 highspec, low-cost music studios for
GREAT CITY PRODUCTIONS is a boutique audio facility located in the heart of Manhattan’s Chelsea district. Chief engineers Britt Myers and Ian Stynes bring a wealth of knowledge from a wide array of projects to all things audio, including every aspect of post production. An experienced and creative audio producer, engineer, composer and sound designer, Britt Myers has developed an impressive resume of audio production. His work can be heard anywhere from Grey’s Anatomy to Cartoon Network. Myers began his music career working for music producer Harvey Goldberg (Soft Cell, Ramones) on the final solo album from legendary songwriter and founding
Mics: Neumann, AKG, Coles, Geffen, Telefunken. Royer
Outboard: Thermionic Culture, Valley People, Amek, Ashley, Drawmer
Razorlight’s Jonny Borrell, who recorded Funeral Blues in Studio A, says: “I really enjoyed recording my first solar-powered song – the studio made tackling climate change easy." Premises’ Studio B is now a very prestigious mix room, staffed by Nick
“I really enjoyed recording my first solar-powered song – the studio made tackling climate change easy.” Jonny Borrell – Razorlight rehearsal and recording in the heart of London’s East End. One of the most unique recording facilities in the country, Studio A features the coveted SSL AWS900 analog recording console/workstation hooked up to a Protools HD system. Boasting acoustic design by Roger D'Arcy of Recording Architecture, the four integrated studio areas take up the entire top floor of one building. The studio is fully solar powered – the first in Europe – and was built using a high level of recycled materials, with all equipment, including air conditioning, operating on low energy supplies. The studio even comes with a private roof terrace. Adjoining Studio A is a 700 square foot acoustically designed isolation room with natural light, floating floor, drum and vocal isolation booths.
Terry, who mixed the Mercury prizewinning Klaxons album, along with the Libertines and many others. An acoustically precise room offering a huge and eclectic selection of vintage and modern recording equipment, it features a customised 1979 Trident TSM mixing console with 60 mix inputs, four-way ATC main monitoring with sub bass and full suite of outboard, including the entire Thermionic Culture range. For those who get peckish in between mixdowns, the facility has its very own licensed café, serving Turkish mangal grills, daily specials and salads. The café is notable in its own right, having been named the best Turkish restaurant in London by the Evening Standard newspaper and the number one cafe in London for breakfast fry-ups on the Transport For London website.
Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7729 7593 Web: www.premisesstudios.com
including Suzanne Vega, Chairlift, Mates of State, Robbers on High Street and The Essex Green. It serves as the home to many audio post production and sound design projects, including numerous promos for MTV, animated programmes for Cartoon Network and Comedy Central, and TV shows for Much Music and the Yes Network. Myers’ colleague Ian Stynes has worked as an audio mixer, editor, recording engineer, composer and sound designer in New York City for the past ten years. He has mixed, edited and produced audio for The Weinstein Company, HBO, Sony Pictures, MTV, NBC, The Coca Cola Company, IFC, The Discovery Channel, ESPN, Rockstar Games, Spike TV, The Sci-Fi Network,
“Great City has served as a musical oasis to many talented artists and bands, including Suzanne Vega, Chairlift, Mates of State and The Essex Green.” member of the Mamas and the Papas, John Phillips. Following this record, Myers worked with mix engineer Michael Brauer (Coldplay, Luther Vandross) on records for Aimee Mann, David Gray, Starsailor and the Thrills. In 2003, Myers opened his audio facility, Great City Productions, built in a pleasant loft space in Chelsea, New York. Great City has since served as a musical oasis to many talented artists and bands,
AMC TV and Cartoon Network. Great City’s primary studios A and B are nestled between the facility’s new live tracking room, which features four isolation spaces, independent cue mixing and a enticing collection of gear, including vintage and modern instruments and amplifiers. Both studios allow engineers to check their mixes in a perfectly calibrated acoustical environment.
Telephone: +1 212 242 0664 Web: www.greatcityprod.com
April 2009 39
IN BRIEF RED SQUARE AUDIO has hired Fran Hunter as technical sales manager, and to work closely with founder Paul Nicholson on demo and training activities for the Innovason and Tannoy lines. Hunter has been working in studio and live professional sound for over 15 years. He has been involved in work as varied as rebuilding a Neve room for a London studio, working through the night on major tours and festivals, and completing live multi-track recordings for artists such as Prince. > redsquareaudio.co.uk GEPCO INTERNATIONAL has promoted Rick Thompson to Central regional sales manager. He is to work with the existing distributor base and will endeavour to create new business, too. “Rick has shown a tireless work ethic and great leadership skills during his years at Gepco,” stated Glen Powers, national sales manager for Gepco International. “He will ﬂourish in this position as he continues to be a resource and asset to Gepco and its clients.” > gepco.com THE VITEC GROUP’S RF Systems division has appointed Donald Hoeler as its new vice president of sales and marketing. “We are proud to have Donald on our team,” said Stephen Shpock, president of The Vitec Group RF Systems. “His more than 20 years of marketing and sales experience is sure to enhance our sales force and our level of exceptional customer service.” > vitecgroup.com HERVÉ ODINI is now the sales director for Digigram’s international sales division, handling all three of Digigram’s international sales offices: Grenoble which handles the EMEA region; Singapore for Asia and the Paciﬁc; and Arlington, VA for the Americas. He will also head up the Field Marketing department based at company HQ in Montbonnot, France. > digigram.com
DK-Technologies adds regional sales manager Industry vet to support marketing efforts DANISH PRO audio firm DKTechnologies has appointed Peter Harrison to the position of regional sales manager, with particular responsibility for the US and the Far East. Harrison has featured as an Audio Pro International columnist, discussing broadcast audio issues, and he has worked in broadcast since the 1970s, when he joined the ITV company Border TV, leaving some years later as a sound supervisor. His broadcast operational experience is set against his pure
“Peter’s experience and skills make him a valuable asset for the company.” Richard Kelly - DK-Technologies engineering background, which was exploited fully when joining the eponymous Rupert Neve founded mixer company in 1980. There, he commissioned audio and broadcast equipment in studios and OB trucks all over the world. His commercial background was broadened by some years with Amek, founding its broadcast division, and leaving the firm in 1997 as director of engineering.
Stefan Pope joins KMR Audio team
Harrison will be an asset for DK
After some years of self employed consultancy in the areas of design, authoring and engineering, he joined Calrec Audio in 2004 as US regional sales manager. Although more recently the UK market was his target, his international experience is a valuable asset for DK-Technologies. Richard Kelly, sales and marketing director for DKTechnologies, added: “Peter’s experience in the broadcast market, combined with his undoubted engineering and system design skills, makes him a valuable asset for the company. We are delighted to have him on board.” > dk-technologies.com
FORMER DIGITAL Village employee Stefan Pope has joined consultancy and equipment supplier KMR Audio as dedicated sales manager. Pope was added to handle the increased business that the company is enjoying. Pope had previously been manager of the Barnet branch of Digital Village. “We were looking around for a sales manager to help cope with the increase in business we’re currently experiencing,” commented KMR’s managing director, Keith Malin, on the appointment. “Our wish list for a sales manager had the words ‘someone like Stefan Pope’ on it. And that was it. So, when he popped in out of the blue for a chat, it was all rather serendipitous.” > kmraudio.com
Larry puts the O in Optocore OPTOCORE, GMBH has appointed Larry the O of the Toys In The Attic consultancy to support the company’s ongoing marketing and communication efforts. Larry the O is the principal consultant for San Francisco-based Toys In the Attic, a firm that provides a variety of production, consulting and writing services for the music and technology sectors. He will work directly with Optocore’s head offices in Munich, Germany to meet the increasing communications needs of the fast-growing company. “We are delighted to have Larry on our team,” said Optocore’s director of sales and marketing, Tine Helmle. “We’ve been impressed by Larry’s ability to communicate complex technical topics with clarity, while never losing accuracy. This is not an easy thing to accomplish and it is a skill we
require in order to satisfy our own very high standards for communicating with audio professionals about the advantages of Optocore’s synchronous redundant ring topology and openplatform approach.”
Larry the O has worked in the pro audio industry since 1979. He’s held marketing positions at Lexicon, Meyer Sound Laboratories and BIAS, among others. On the content side, he has worked as a sound designer, editor, and composer for films, TV, and video games for companies like LucasArts Entertainment, Electronic Arts, Russian Hill Recording and Big Fat. He is also an accomplished musician, audio engineer and producer. “I’m attracted to companies that are technology leaders and devoted to achieving and maintaining the highest possible level of quality in everything they do,” said Larry the O. “I also enjoy collaborating in a family-like atmosphere. I see all of those things in Optocore and I am happy I can now be a part of what it is doing and contribute to the company’s efforts.” > www.optocore.com www.audioprointernational.com
Full Fat takes on Show Atelier as Russian distie FULL FAT AUDIO has appointed Show Atelier Professional of Moscow to handle exclusive distribution of its products in Russia. Show Atelier specialises in the distribution of professional audio and lighting equipment. The company first saw Full Fat’s amps during a visit to EM Acoustics, another UK company recently added to its roster. Dave Millard of Full Fat commented: “We are pleased to begin this new relationship with Show Atelier. The company contacted us after being impressed with our amps during its visit to EM Acoustics. As a growing UK-based manufacturer, Show Atelier will bring our products farther across the globe then they have ever been.” Based in Hatfield, UK, Full Fat is best known for its development of boutique, hand-built amps that utilise Class D technology, developed inhouse alongside its offering of switchmode power supplies. > fullfataudio.com
Wohler appoints HHB for the UK Exclusive deal reached during BVE 2009 WOHLER TECHNOLOGIES announced that HHB will take on the supply of Wohler’s catalogue for the UK at the Broadcast Video Expo show at London’s Earls Court. A range of products were already on display at HHB’s stand Through this new partnership with Wohler, HHB will be responsible for all sales and marketing activities in this region, servicing existing customers and markets while developing new relationships, particularly with
regard to new video products. HHB will also distribute the full Wohler product line. “HHB is the UK’s leading supplier of professional audio technology to the broadcast and post industry,” said Steve Angel, HHB sales director. “Wohler products are well-designed and well-built, providing a strong feature set and broadcast quality all the way; we anticipate strong demand for this new offering.” > hhb.co.uk
IN BRIEF KAYIMA-CHRIS will now handle Turbosound products in Nigeria. It is a sales and distribution, rental, sound design, installation, sound engineering, training and consultancy agency for the pro audio market. The ﬁrm was introduced to Turbosound during a visit to London’s LaScala nightclub, an experience that company MD Isioma C Odukwe referred to as “breathtaking”. “Bringing Turbosound to the Nigerian pro audio market is a landmark achievement for us. With a growing market and consequential growth in professionalism, more people are beginning to appreciate and seek better options for audio systems,” said Odukwe. > turbosound.com
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NEW GEAR >> Recent releases in audio technology 1
SCV MPA1 mic preamp
The Zaxcom TRX992 wireless recorder
Milab BDM-01 Bass Drum Microphone
Acoustic Energy Pro monitoring system
THEY SAY: The TRX992 performs the functions of an audio transmitter, monitor return receiver, backup recorder, and phantom power supply.
THEY SAY: The BDM is a dedicated bass drum microphone that is equally at home in the studio and on the road.
THEY SAY: ProSub and ProSat offer surround and compact desktop monitoring users similar time domain, distortion and compression optimised performance characteristics as the AE22 nearfield monitor.
THEY SAY: MPA1 has been designed to Benchmark standards of transparency, ultra-low distortion and ultra-low noise. SPECIFICATIONS: The MPA1 is a twochannel mic pre designed with high-voltage (+29 dBu) headroom and single-stage gain control. It features a dual-capacitor AC-coupling design and 38-position gain switch with two dB per step. Its total gain range is 0-74 dB. A switchable 40Hz high-pass filter is integrated in the pre amp along with a switchable polarity invert and independently switchable +48V phantom power. The max input of the MPA1 is +29 dBu while its Max. output is +29 dBu. It features ultra-low noise/distortion: THD+N @ 22dB Gain 10Hz-20kHz = 0.00045%. It also has an RF-immunity over a wide bandwidth (500kHz).
SPECIFICATIONS: Designed as a wireless solution for boom pole operators on film and TV sets, the TRX992 is an internal recorder with the capacity to capture 24 hours of audio to a removable mini or micro SD card with back up features to safe guard against loosing audio files. It features a user-selectable power output ranging from 10 mW to 100 mW with a dynamic range of 106 dB. It has a 2.4GHz digital monitor return receiver that relays return audio, time code reference and RF remote control commands. TRX992 can also transmit high-resolution IFB audio instead of time code and remote control signals.
SPECIFICATIONS: Built around the VM44 capsule, the BDM-01 is a cardioid microphone specifically designed to capture the high SPLs from bass drums and other powerful sound sources. Additionally, its frequency curve is modified for enhanced presence around 5 KHz, with a dynamic range, sensitivity and pop filters optimised to handle the bass drum. With a frequency response of 20 - 20 000 Hz, the BDM-01 has a max. SPL (1% THD at 1 kHz) of 155 dB and a sensitivity at 1 kHz of 2 mV/Pa ± 1dB. It also features a gold-plated XLR-connector. Its dimensions are 210g in weight with a length of 142 mm and a diameter of 24/47 mm.
SPECIFICATIONS: The ProSat and ProSub professional compact active monitoring system use closed box bass loading and thermally bonded, black anodised aluminium bass and bass/mid driver cones. The AE ProSat is a four-litre active closed-box monitor featuring a 130mm bass/mid driver and 25mm ring-radiator high frequency driver. The AE ProSub uses two 250mm anodised aluminium cone drivers in a 34 litre closed box, which are powered by a 200 Watt amplifier mounted in mechanical opposition.
EAW JFL118 Subwoofer
Audio-Technica ATCS60 wireless system
QSC CSM Series stage monitors
Furman P-1800 AR voltage regulator
THEY SAY: JFL features EAW’s most innovative line array technologies within a mobile, light weight package.
THEY SAY: The ATCS-60 is the company’s latest in a series of groundbreaking infrared conference system products.
THEY SAY: High power output, clean, transparent sound and rugged reliability are central to CSM Series.
THEY SAY: The P-1800 AR provides stable voltage protection and line noise filtration for any A/V installation application where reliable, comprehensive protection is needed.
SPECIFICATIONS: The JFL118 subwoofer was designed for use with the JFL210 Compact Constant Curvature Line Array systems. It is a single 18-inch, flyable subwoofer weighing less than 100 pounds. Its operating mode is singleamp only with two rear panel NL4 connectors, allowing range system input with a third NL4 for a pass thru connection to full range loudspeakers. The subs frequency response is 31 Hz to 200 Hz. Its 800 Watt LF produces a maximum peak output of >130 dB SPL. The JFL118 has a nominal beamwidth of 360-degree vertical and horizontal, with a LF sensitivity 94 dB 30 Hz to 150 Hz (whole space), 100 dB 30 Hz to 150 Hz (half space).
SPECIFICATIONS: The ATCS-60 is a wireless conferencing system with infrared communication capabilities between mics and a master control unit. The new system features enhanced security features over UHF and 2.5Ghzbased systems, which blocks signals from passing through walls. It allows up to 150 users to access the systems in manual mode (50 in automatic mode). Its components include the ATCS-M60 delegate unit; ATCS-60 hypercardioid condenser mic; ATCS-C60 master control unit; ATCS-A60 IR transmitter/receiver. Separate ATCS-D60 distributor units provide up to sixteen A60 transmitter/receivers.
SPECIFICATIONS: The CSM Series has three models: the CSM10, CSM12, and CSM15, which feature ten, 12 and 15inch woofers respectively. The speakers are horn-loaded, twoway monitors with high-end sound reproduction handled by compression drivers outfitted with neodymium magnet structures. Three-inch voice coils with 1.4-inch exits are in each of its horn-loaded, two-way cabinets. The CSM12 and CMS15 have four-inch voice coil woofers, the CSM10 has a three-inch coil. The series has unique features, like user-adjustable pattern control of 150 degrees H by 50degrees V in multi-purpose mode or 50° H by 100° V (+45°, -75°) in wedge mode.
SPECIFICATIONS: The P-1800 AR rackmount voltage regulator/power conditioner provides consistent 120V output (±5 V) from input voltages ranging from 97 VAC to 137 VAC. A new True RMS voltage regulation technology, featuring an ultra-low-noise, microprocessor-controlled eight-tap toroidal autoformer, is integrated in the systems for use in any A/V environment. The P-1800 AR also offers Furman's own Linear Filtering Technology (LiFT), as well as SMP surge/spike protection and EVS (Extreme Voltage Shutdown) technologies for added protection against spikes and surges.
> furmansound.com www.audioprointernational.com
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Each month, TL Audio’s Sarah Yule offers her personal insights into the world of sound recording, mixed with some hot tips for you to try out...
Stand out from the crowd This month Sarah Yule has some tips on how to ensure your tracks sound fresh and original… IF EVERYBODY HAD the same gear, the same software, used the same sounds, with the same rules, would that be good for music? I think not. Forming your own identity and sound by combining your choice of equipment and forming your own sound bank is how you can really express yourself creatively as an individual. When choosing equipment, you should consider many factors. It is always hard to base purchase decisions on adverts or reviews, but this can be a good starting point for finding out information and narrowing your choices. Base these choices on what you are drawn to, what you understand and what inspires you. Audio shouldn’t be about snobbery either; there are great products and tools out there that do not break the bank. So do not disregard products because you think that low price equals poor quality, as this is not always the case. Research is important. Many people make poor decisions on equipment, as they don’t fully understand which processes the equipment is made for or what they are trying to achieve. Never be scared to ask, but if you have a question about a product, you could consider contacting the manufacturer. They designed and built the product and probably have the gear set up. If anyone should be able to give you an accurate response to your query, I feel it is more likely to be the manufacturer. I always like to consider the end format: where will this music end up and how would I like it to sound? The other day I visited a studio that makes drum and bass and electronic music – it had a PC set up, some cheap 44
PC speakers for monitoring and then general small club PA speakers. The explanation for this was that they didn’t see the point in having ‘three grand’ studio monitors, as the music either ends up on a website, listened to on an ipod, through computer speakers or played out in a club. If they could get it to sound balanced on the PC speakers and it transferred well in the bass frequencies to the PA set up, that was all they needed. The sound they had was indeed very good and you would never know much of it was mixed on £40 computer speakers. EXPERIMENT WITH YOUR GEAR Having your own arrangement of gear should inspire you and help you to create your own sound. Try linking different pieces together, get out those patch cables and take advantage of inserts, sidechains and programmable effects. It is surprising how quickly you can discover new ways of working, new sounds and some cool effects. Do not be scared to experiment with how you connect or use your gear, so long as you understand and respect the different levels of some inputs and outputs and that tweeters can be delicate things – what’s the worst that could happen? Also, try using products for different purposes than they were originally created for. How about feeding your guitar amp or pod with some piano or percussion? Maybe use a vocoder on strings? You can quickly get some interesting sounds that you can use in conjunction with the original audio, instead of the original audio, or just as an effect. Rules are there to be broken
Do not be scared to experiment with how you connect or use your gear. What’s the worst that could happen?
and forcing yourself to go against the grain once in a while can lead to some fantastic creations. It is easy to get caught up in the equipment rat race and also hard to keep up with what’s new or available, so of course we sometimes need to see what others are doing and choosing. Apply logic to your opinions, though, and research the technology and functions the gear offers. If I make denim jeans, it doesn’t matter what logo I put on the back pocket, they are still denim jeans. If I want a tube microphone, ribbon tweeter monitors or a discrete class A preamp, all products in those categories will use the same technology, but some will be mass manufactured, some made by hand, some will have a better frequency response and some will just rely on their ‘back pocket logo’ to pull on the heart strings of the consumer. Choose the products that are right for you and offer you the tools that you need to be creative so to put your individual stamp on the music you make. Technology is advancing daily and more and more options are becoming available to the consumer, but remember, it is all there to get the job done better or more quickly – to make what you do easier. Use it to approach your work as an individual.
Sarah Yule is an experienced audio engineer and Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA) graduate. After graduation, Yule became one of the first sales staff for Dolphin Music. She currently works for TL Audio where she was recently promoted to the position of sales director, which is partially due to the success of her conceptual design of the Fat Track Tube Production Suit.
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CLASSIFIEDS < SUPPLIER SPOTLIGHT
ALCONS AUDIO ALCONS AUDIO is a Dutch company, active in the development and manufacturing of professional sound systems for quality-conscious clients in the cinema, installation and touring industry. Alcons’ systems excel in HiFi sound quality at concert sound pressure levels; The basis for this quality is Alcons’ proprietary highpower pro-ribbon technology. With over 20 years of R&D experience and a vast number of signiﬁcant patents and patentapplications in the ﬁeld, Alcons is one of the leaders in the ﬁeld of pro-ribbon technology. Alcons pro-ribbon technology is today’s real alternative to traditional compression-driver technology, in terms of power handling, efficiency and reliability. All Alcons speakers and ampliﬁers/processors are developed and manufactured in house with traditional craftsmanship combined
with the latest technologies, materials and production processes. Alcons line array users are united in The Ribbon Network, Alcons’ global dry-hire network. The network not only supplies worldwide dry-hire cooperation (with full factory support), but also provides joint product development in addition to worldwide marketing and application support. “We started Alcons Audio in October 2002, with the intention of being in the top sector of the market and ﬁve years later, I think we have achieved that,” says Alcon’s Tom Back. ‘We started by offering pretty general types of products - point source systems - but the difference was in the mid and high frequency transducer technology we use - the pro-ribbon technology.” Recent Alcons ambassadors include: State Opera House Stuttgart Germany, Red Bull Hangar-7 Austria, Glass Factory by Volkswagen, Beauty & the Beast, Cats, Les Miserables, London West End productions, live tours for Randy Crawford (European tour), Al Jarreau, Britain’s Got Talent and X-Factor, to name a few. > alconsaudio.com > theribbonnetwork.net
MARKETPLACE ADVERTISERS INDEX Alcons
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Full Fat Audio
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Leisuretec Distribution Limited Unit L3 Cherrycourt Way Leighton Buzzard Bedfordshire LU7 4UH T: +44 (0)1525 850085 F: +44 (0)1525 852285 email@example.com
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ADVERTISER INDEX A
Adam Hall ................................................................................51 Adamsons Systems ....................................................................2 Alcons Audio ............................................................................19 Allen & Heath ............................................................................7
DBT............................................................................................9 Digico ......................................................................................52
IIR ............................................................................................46 Innovason ................................................................................29
Joeco........................................................................................22 JTS ............................................................................................41
Leisuretec ................................................................................11 Litmus......................................................................................29
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2 studios powered by Pro tools Large live room with three iso booths Logic Pro Digital Performer All styles welcome Residential accommodation available In-house orchestral composition Scores/Film / TV music composition Access to several Philharmonic orchestras for live purposes Mastering / re-mastering 3 Preproduction / rehearsal rooms Fully Licensed Bar with games facilities
Tel: +44 (0) 1992 558800 Fax: +44 (0) 1992 584823 Skype ID: graphicnature www.graphicnature.co.uk Info@graphicnature.co.uk
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The Audio Pro paparazzi is infiltrating all audio events, snapping away for our monthly Mixdown, which features friendly faces of people in the business and shots from industry events. If you have any pictures from an event that you would like us to include, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The last word in Audio Pro PIC OF THE MONTH
IN-HOUSE MUSIC: API’S
editor rocks out with The Splinters at one of the ﬁnal shows at London’s Blow Up Metro. The building is being ﬂattened to make way for a new train station.
A Bullish Move Movie star turned punk rock goddess, turned animal tamer (apparently), Julliette Lewis poses to promote her band’s numerous SXSW gigs. Although this is a pretty random and seemingly unrelated picture, who can deny the bizarre talent that is Lewis. From films such as Natrual Born Killers to her insane and angry live performances, Lewis and her band The New Romantiques bring an in-your-face punk sound previously unheard from the Hollywood darling. The band played at Austin’s legendary venue Emos with additional gigs at Dirty Dog Bar and Bat Bar.
QUOTE OF THE MONTH: “The kids with the tickets deserve the best sound. It’s not just about making sure the FOH guy has a good gig. He might think it sounded amazing but 50 per cent of the audience probably thought it sucked.” Brit Row’s Mikey Gibbard
Mark Stimpson and Lee Barnaby of Adam Hall having a laugh at evenTech Scotland. The company used the show to network and find a new distributor for the area.
Smoke on the water Ex-Deep Purple engineer and EAW’s European ASG manager strikes a pose at evenTech Scotland. Moray McMillin was pleased with the event stating that regional events help the company fly the flag outside London.
7TH IN DAKAR:
Tomas Ourednicek of Innovason’s Czech distributor, MusicData celebrates winning 7th place in the Dakar Rally in South America.
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Published on Mar 24, 2009