Issue 32 • September 2010
LIVE • COMMERCIAL • RECORDING • BROADCAST
The essential guide to the UK's biggest pro audio event
AUDIO PRO AWARDS • VISTA 9 • FANE • GIZZARD STUDIOS • LARGE FORMAT PA
Inside and out, the new I-TECH HD is one of the most technologically advanced professional touring amplifiers on the market today. Building on the decades of innovation, invention, and insight Crown is known for, the I-TECH HD features five new patents – three on the power supply alone – giving you an amp that goes well beyond the expected. At the heart of the new I-TECH HD is the BSS OMNIDRIVEHD processing engine. Four times faster than its predecessor and featuring Linear Phase FIR filters and LevelMAX™ limiters, OMNIDRIVEHD provides unmatched clarity and sonically pure signal processing. All this, plus the versatility of System Architect software, combine to make the new I-TECH HD truly bad to the bone. Learn more at itechhd.com or call your local Crown representative.
ISSUE 32 September 2010
CONTENTS > IN THIS ISSSUE NEWS HARMAN BUYS NEWSWEEK • 4 Sidney Harman acquires US news publication
VAIZEY RELEASES PACKAGE • 6 SOS UK bemoans Channel 69 compensation
MEA AV WORTH BILLIONS • 6 PALME values region’s sector at three billion
AVID GIVES OFF HEAT • 6 Pro Tools enhancements released
EVENTS 11 • API AWARDS NOMINEES Five finalists listed in each category chosen for our coveted awards
COVER FEATURE 15 • PLASA 2010 The big UK show flexes its pro audio muscles at Earls Court
LIVE SOUND/INSTALLATION GLOBAL GATHERING • 22 SSE Audio’s Miles Hillyard makes the rounds at Staffordshire’s dance music bonanza
WIRELESS FESTIVAL • 31 Sennheiser’s team of problem solvers on-site in Hyde Park
LARGE FORMAT PA • 37 Our third review of the latest and greatest systems blasting over festival fields and arenas
STUDIO/BROADCAST BILL MORRIS • 43 CTVOB’s business director talks from the front line of Channel 4’s The Family
GIZZARD STUDIO • 44 Ed Deegan’s all analog and tape studio in London’s Mile End
HENRIK MICHELSEN • 47 MPG winner on getting started in recording
> Regulars: Behind the Board 52 In Session 54 Products 56 People 59 Marketplace 60 Mixdown 65
must admit that I always dread this time of the year. Between PLASA, the Audio Pro Industry Excellence Awards and our biggest mag of the year, the deadline for this issue keeps me awake at night and taking just a week’s holiday means returning to thousands of emails marked with red exclamation marks. And it seems as though the entire continent of Europe is closed. Having said that, once I had a few cups of coffee, changed my Facebook status to “f**ked for a few weeks” and rolled up my sleeves to get it done, I soon remembered that it is always the most fun, rewarding and eye opening of issues. The response we received for our second annual awards has been even better than last year’s, which was tremendous. The people of this industry really get it, and it is obvious that the innovation and technology integrated in the gear released since last summer is well appreciated. We had an overwhelming number of nominations with passionate explanations of how these (on the face of it) inanimate objects fall only slightly short of establishing world peace. So a big thanks to all those who sent in nominations – believe me, we read each and every one. I was lucky enough to have a chat with Ed Deegan from Gizzard Studio this month (page 44). A former Toe Rag engineer, Deegan was around when the studio was put on the map after the White Stripes’ Elephant was recorded there. Deegan branched off with his own room, which carried the ‘analog sounds better’ philosophy of Toe Rag to a more affordable and approachable room in London’s Mile End. We also have two great new columns this month. Bill Morris of CTVOB documents his time on the front lines recording the latest series of Channel 4’s The Family (page 43), while Peter Eaglesfield of Yellow Technology explains the rise and fall of Yamaha’s NS10 as the ultimate studio reference monitor (page 55). So, yeah, we are very proud of this issue - and we look forward to seeing many of you at PLASA.
Andrew Low - Editor email@example.com A bookmark us in your phone
mobile.audioprointernational.com Contacts for Audio Pro International Editorial: +44 (0)1992 535646 Ads: +44 (0)1992 535647 Fax: +44 (0) 1992 535648 Editor: Andrew Low firstname.lastname@example.org Deputy Editor: Rob Hughes email@example.com Advertising Manager: Darrell Carter firstname.lastname@example.org Editorial Production: Helen French email@example.com Ad Production: Rosie McKeown firstname.lastname@example.org
Subscriptions Manager: Gemma Messina email@example.com Designer: Claire Brocklesby firstname.lastname@example.org Managing Editor: Andy Barrett email@example.com Publisher: Dave Roberts firstname.lastname@example.org
NAMM sponsors Audio Pro Industry Excellence Awards Internationally renowned trade body signs on as Headline Sponsor of API’s innovative awards in 2010 THE NATIONAL Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) has recently signed on as Headline Sponsor of the second annual Audio Pro Industry Excellence Awards. The globally renowned trade association, best known for its show, held at the Anaheim Convention Center every January, will play a leading role in the awards in acknowledging the best pro audio products, companies and people. “We are really pleased to sponsor the 2010 Audio Pro Industry Excellence Awards, celebrating the best in pro audio innovation and creativity,” stated Betty Heywood, director of international affairs. “The NAMM Show has long served as the hub for live sound and recording equipment from around the world and we are proud to provide a supportive business environment for this important sector of our industry. “We’re glad that with the Awards now in their second year, Audio Pro continues to reward excellence in technology and its creative use.”
contributed to the industry over a sustained time period. In the two sector-based categories, awards for exceptional events or projects will go to the person, team or organisation tasked with providing the sound as a product, either through record production, sound system
We’re glad that the Awards continue to reward excellence in technology and its creative use. Betty Heywood NAMM Director
“We are delighted to have NAMM join as Headline Sponsor for this year’s awards. Its backing will further cement them as the true voice of the industry,” explained API’s editor, Andrew Low.
The API Excellence Awards are arranged into two categories: Studio and Broadcast Sound and Live and Installed Sound. There is also a Lifetime Achievement Award presented to an individual who has
installation, hire, deployment or broadcast services. A judging panel, drawn from all sectors, has been assembled and the winners will be announced in API’s October issue and online.
Livingstone backs live music Harman acquires Newsweek London Mayor candidate promises to protect venues KEN LIVINGSTON has promised to launch several initiatives to support and protect London’s live music venues if re-elected as Mayor in 2010, CMU has reported. Among his ideas, stated in the Ken 4 Music plan, is a proposal for a citywide music festival based on the annual South by Southwest event held in Austin, Texas. Livingstone has pointed out that the 2008 SxSW festival brought $110 million into the local economy of host city Austin, and has suggested that his idea will produce similar results. The plan would not be unlike NYC’s CMJ festival held in various city venues. Livingstone commented: “London’s music scene is as much part of the capital’s lifeblood as the buses and trains that take millions to gigs, concerts and festivals in the capital each year. I want London to host a regular music festival, taking the example of the successful Austin, Texas, South By Southwest festival, which generates millions for the local economy and provides a focus for music nationally and internationally. “As well as playing host to signed and unsigned acts representing the multitude of music genres heard around the city, the London Music Festival will be a tool for musicians 4
and the people they work with to develop their careers, and bring together people from a wide area to meet and share ideas. “I believe the Mayor of London must be passionate in backing live music and, today, I’m setting out some new ideas that will ensure that long-term future of live music in the capital. I want the protection of live music venues to be part of the Mayor’s strategy and I am setting out details today of how that would be delivered.” Livingstone garnered support for his new ideas from Dave Okumu of The Invisible, Saint Etienne’s Bob Stanley and Emmy the Great.
Audio magnate acquires mainstream news publication from The Washington Post Company SIDNEY HARMAN has acquired US magazine Newsweek from The Washington Post Company. Harman made the winning bid at auction. Financial terms were not disclosed, but some publications, including the New York Times, have reported that Harman paid just one dollar for the business, but is assuming significant liabilities. “The resulting gain or loss at closing is not expected to be material to the financial position of The Washington Post Company,” an official announcement read. MMR, a US trade publication for the music equipment industry, referred to Newsweek as an “ailing publication” and noted that, according to reports, the magazine could have made a loss approaching $70 million this year. As the founder of Harman International, however, which achieved sales of £1.8bn last year, Harman should have the funds to make a success of Newsweek. The 91year-old entrepreneur retired from the company in 2008, but remains chairman emeritus. In a statement, Harman commented: “Newsweek is a national treasure. I am enormously pleased to
be succeeding The Washington Post Company and the Graham family and look forward to this journalistic, business and technological challenge. Newsweek.com stated the magazine’s editor would be leaving the company after the sale process is complete. CEO Tom Ascheim is expected to remain in his role under Harman’s ownership. www.audioprointernational.com
LIVE & INSTALLED Best live sound event Most innovative installation Best new live sound product Best new installation product Best live sound engineer Best after-sales support Best new company
STUDIO & BROADCAST Best new studio product Best studio engineer Best broadcast sound Best new studio Most original studio initiative Best after-sales support Best new company Plus the Audio Pro Lifetime Achievement Award Winners decided by wide ranging panel of industry experts
Audio Pro award’s nominees revealed
Vaizey reveals compensation plans for wireless Save Our Sound UK and wireless systems manufacturers call Digital Dividend pay-off an 'injustice' ED VAIZEY, the Minister for communication, culture and the creative industries, whose remit includes the ongoing Digital Dividend Review, has indicated that the government’s compensation package to those being evicted from the 800MHz spectrum will only consider six per cent of the frequencies being cleared. The package covers channel 69, but the government appears to be ruling out any payment to the highend users of channels 31 to 37 and 61 to 68, which are also being cleared. Larger scale events are dependent upon the extra channels. The government is claiming that notice of eviction was given and so affected companies have had ample opportunity to make other arrangements. This has angered Save Our Sound UK, the group that has gathered around lobbying government for compensation for the eviction from the frequencies. In a statement to the industry, it said: “What seems to be continually ignored is the fact that no precise alternatives were provided. Even now, they have not yet been published. How can you buy replacement equipment when you
Vague Vaizey: SOS states that no precise alternatives have been provided or published
don’t know what frequencies it can operate on? All this because the government seems to want to line its pockets with mobile network operators’ cash from the radio spectrum auctions.”
MEA AV market to be worth $3 billon by 2012 PALME cites zero contraction in spending THE AV market in the Middle East and Africa is expected to be worth more than $3 billion by 2012, PALME has stated. The company, which runs the region’s only trade event dedicated to the industry, PALME Middle East, noted that the market was among the fastest growing in the industry and that, despite the troubling economic environment last year, has seen no overall contraction in spending. “The purchasing authority of visitors that attended the 2010 edition of PALME Middle East amounted to $1.035 billion, which indicates the size of this burgeoning market,” said Mustafa Iqbal, PALME’s marketing manager. “Market dynamics are now changing and regional buyers are not travelling to Europe or the US to source products and services as they used to. There is an immense potential for business growth and
audioPRO September 2010
finding newer market segments for manufacturers who wish to explore the Middle East as a market. Above all, the extraordinary spending power makes this region unique.” PALME Middle East 2011 is held from April 26th to 28th at the Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre.
The statement went on to say that the government has accepted Save Our Sound’s arguments about the longevity and use-value of equipment, but it is not known what Vaizey’s ‘significant contribution’
actually means. Details from Ofcom are still awaited on that matter. “To call this package ‘generous’ is an abuse of the English language,” continued the SOS statement. “The decision will devastate the small and medium-sized businesses that support the UK’s live events industry. Where are they going to find the extra money to continue to do their job? Without them, the large-scale events sector could collapse like a house of cards. “This shows that the minister simply does not understand how the Programme Making and Special Events sector works. An injustice has been done. But, worse than that, it is an injustice that will have severe consequences for the industry.” The Government has approved a move to clear radio channels 31 to 37 and 61 to 69 of all existing technologies that use them, including over 95 per cent of the UK’s stocks of wireless microphones, in-ear monitor and talkback systems. For further details, call Alun Rees, the campaign co-ordinator for Save Our Sound UK on 020 7828 1603 or contact him by email at email@example.com. > saveoursounduk.com
Avid launches new Pro Tools gear HD interfaces and Heat software add-on revealed AVID HAS launched a series of new hardware and software solutions that increase the performance of its Pro Tools HD software. These include new interfaces – HD I/O, HD Omni and HD MADI – and Heat (harmonically enhanced algorithm technology) software, which allows users to add a vintage analog sound to the Pro Tools mixer. According to Avid, the new HD I/O, HD Omni and HD MADI interfaces for Pro Tools HD will enable its customers to achieve the highest-quality audio possible, with improvements to digital audio conversion quality, a variety of configuration options and increased support for open digital standards. Features include advances in design, filtering, clocking and flexible digital I/O connectivity, which offers support for a variety of formats. Additionally, Curv, a new soft-knee analog limiter
in HD Omni and HD I/O, cuts the time customers spend re-recording and editing by tracking hotter signals when recording, preventing distortion when overloading inputs. Avid’s new Heat software add-on for Pro Tools HD has been designed in collaboration with digital/analog engineer Dave Hill of Crane Song. It is aimed at engineers who value the warmth and other sound qualities of tubes, tape machines and analog consoles, but want to eliminate the complications of using tape and vintage outboard processors, or managing plugin changes across multiple tracks. With the software installed, users can directly add these euphonic qualities to every track in the Pro Tools mixer using a single, global control. Dave Cooley and Butch Vig are among the well known producers praising the new Avid gear. > avid.com˚
Channel 69 to Channel 38
Wireless microphones and in-ear monitors the transition ...
Channel 69 854 to 862 MHZ Channel 38 606 to 614 MHz
Sennheiser Channel 38 Equipment Options G3 Series
G3 Series - Range GB - 606 to 648 MHz
2000 Series - Range GW 558 to 626 MHz
3000/5000 Series - Range L - 168 MHz tuning bandwidth - 470 to 638 MHz - EM3732 II, SK5212 II and SKM5200 II
N.B. Any wireless systems operating in Channel 38 in the UK require a licence. Licences can be obtained from JFMG Ltd. www.jfmg.co.uk 0207 299 8660 Sennheiser UK are a proud sponsor of BEIRG - the British Entertainment Industry Radio Group - working for continued access to sufďŹ cient quantity and quality of spectrum for our industry. www.sennheiser.co.uk
For more information visit our website at www.fane-inernational.com or contact our sales hotline on: 01924 224618
Sovereign House, Gilcar Way, Wakeﬁeld Europort, Castleford, West Yorkshire, WF10 5QS, England. +44 (0)1924 224610
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IN ASSOCIATION WITH
> THIS MONTH IN BROADCAST
DTS Neural Surround lets Super Bowl fans listen in 5.1
Manolo Romero to receive IBC International Honour for Excellence
NFL distributes surround sound in stereo format THE NEW Orleans Saints historic victory over the Indianapolis Colts made them the fourth team in history to win in their only Super Bowl appearance. Held at the Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, the game was broadcast around the world in HD by NFL. DTS Neural Surround was used to process the audio signal so that viewers were able to experience the game in full 5.1 surround. The DTS technology enables networks to distribute 5.1 surround sound over a stereo transmission path. Audio that is encoded and down-mixed using the DTS Neural Surround DownMix can be restored with the correct information that delivers a near-discrete 5.1 surround sound experience. For Super Bowl XLIV, the DTS Neural Surround technology (incorporated in hardware by DaySequerra) allowed the NFL’s on-site broadcast crews to produce the game in 5.1 surround sound and
preserve the integrity of the surround mix before distributing the game live in a stereo format to a global audience. Stereo content that has not been encoded can be translated into width and depth information, to create a comprehensive surround image. Over 60 international broadcasters televised the game in more than 230 countries and territories. It was broadcast live in over 34 languages, with the HD signal going to 19 broadcast partners. “The Super Bowl is one of the most popular and exciting sporting events on television,” said Jon Kirchner, president and CEO of DTS. “We are thrilled to be partnering with the NFL to deliver top-notch surround sound to a growing global audience and make their Super Bowl experience even more immersive and thrilling.” > dts.com
Olympic Broadcast MD to give keynote speech
Innovason moves in with Lawo Final assembly moved to German facilities in response to increasing demand for Eclipse FRENCH DIGITAL console manufacturer Innovason has announced that it has recently moved its assembly process to the Lawo factory in Rastatt, Germany. The move follows Lawo’s acquisition of the majority shareholding of Innovason in April 2008. The company stated that relocating the manufacturing process to Lawo's new state-of-the-art facility from Innovason's HQ in Plougoumelen, Brittany, was a result of the growing demand for its flagship Eclipse digital live console. Innovason now has full use of both of Lawo's production facilities. Innovason’s product manager and customer service director, Hervé de Caro, explained that the benefits of the move will be passed on to Innovason’s customers: “With the constantly increasing demand for Eclipse, we had reached the limits of our manufacturing capabilities at our own premises in Plougoumelen,” he commented. “The move to Rastatt will significantly increase both the speed and efficiency of the production process. We will also be able to take advantage of the fact that Lawo actually manufactures many of its own components, which are naturally of the very highest quality. As a result, the finished product will be of even better quality than before.” www.audioprointernational.com
THE ORGANISERS of the International Broadcasting Convention (IBC) have announced that Manolo Romero, managing director of Olympic Broadcasting Services, will be awarded the International Honour for Excellence at this year’s show. Romero will also deliver the keynote speech at the conference on Saturday, September 11th. The broadcasting figurehead began his career as an engineer with Spanish national broadcaster TVE in 1965. In 1968 he was selected to work on his first Olympic Games in Mexico. Since that date he has been involved in the television coverage of every single Games, summer and winter. Peter Owen, chairman of the IBC Council which selects the recipient of the IHFE, said Romero “ensures that the boundaries are pushed further at each games, without ever risking the core expectations.” Manolo Romero commented: “I have been very fortunate to work with many sports events where we have been able to use state of the art technology and innovations in broadcasting. With the help of many colleagues, we have made important strides in the development of television sports coverage.” Guided by Manolo Romero, this opening session will take a look at the history of Olympic broadcasting and the state of technology today, reflecting on the excellent coverage of the Vancouver games earlier this year. It will conclude with a look to the future, as Roger Mosey, the BBC head of London 2012, introduces some of the next batch of innovations in Olympic broadcasting. > ibc.org
The move to Rastatt will increase the speed and efficiency of production Innovason’s international sales director, Marcel Babazadeh, commented: “Lawo has one of the most sophisticated production facilities in the world, combined with extremely knowledgeable and experienced staff. I am delighted that we are able to benefit from these facilities, which means that our customers will
benefit too. When you combine the resources made available to us at Lawo with the vision and the creativity of the Innovason R&D team, I am confident that Innovason can look forward to a bright and exciting future.” > innovason.com > lawo.de
September 2010 9
BEST AFTER-SALES SUPPORT training SENNHEISER
and 24/7 support.
Sennheiser has provided highly regarded products and solutions for six decades.
Digico’s experience in digital consoles dates back to 1992 and has resulted in boards such as the SD7.
Sound Tech is one of the largest independent pro audio distributors covering the UK and ROI. ALLEN & HEATH
A&H has been building mixing consoles for 40 years. Today it makes an array of RSA aims to market the most interesting products, it’s flagship being the iLive digital mixing system. and relevant products and provide RED SQUARE AUDIO
The results are in, and the 75 finalists for the best products, people and projects in the second annual Audio Pro Awards are as follows...
>> Live & Installed BEST NEW LIVE SOUND PRODUCT
MOST INNOVATIVE INSTALLATION
features the world's largest Dante network.
BIRMINGHAM O2 , ADLIB AUDIO
Here, L-Acoustics V-Dosc was installed for the first time in the UK by Adlib.
US PAVILION, WORLD EXPO 2010: ELECTROSONIC
VIVA ELVIS AT ARIA RESORT & CASINO: CIRQUE DE SOLEIL
Award-winning AV firm Electrosonic installed a complex Harman system at the $61 million, 60,000-square-foot, glass-walled pavilion
Cirque du Soleil’s Viva Elvis production in Las Vegas features the largest Optocore single ring network.
AVIVA STADIUM: PROJECT TEAM LORD’S CRICKET GROUND: RG JONES
The new system ar the home of cricket BEST NEW INSTALLATION PRODUCT
BEST LIVE SOUND EVENT FULL FAT AUDIO F60Q The F60Q 4-channel, Class D amp is made for Funktion One by FFA.
Project Team oversaw a major Harman installation at the new Dublin stadium. POWERSOFT M SERIES M series amps are designed with DSP for PA systems and monitors.
HIQNET SYSTEM ARCHITECT 2 Version 2’s new philosphy is based on workflow and the use of a diagrammatic BSS BLU-100 A new member of Soundweb London’s representation of the installed or venue. digital signal processors. RENKUS HEINZ IC2 IC2 is a digitally steerable line array that integrates RH’s digital beam steering.
Alcons Audio has brought its proribbon technology to the touring and larger installation markets with the LR24 system launched in Frankfurt this year. FUNKTION ONE RESOLUTION 3
The Resolution 3 is referred to by the company as ‘a Resolution 2 on steroids’. It is a three-way, all-in-one enclosure that renders sub bass extension unnecessary. SOUNDCRAFT VI1
The Vi1 is a smaller, lower-priced Vi desk that still has the acclaimed Vistonics user interface, and the same sound quality as its bigger brothers. DIGICO SD9 'RED SNAPPER'
The SD9 is a compact digital live console that features the same Stealth Digital Processing and Super FPGA technology found in the industry standard SD7. MARTIN AUDIO MLA
Martin Audio’s MLA (Multicellular Loudspeaker Array) system enables six cells per enclosure to be individually addressed by their own DSP and Class D amplification. A 24-box system provides 144 uniquely tuned elements. www.audioprointernational.com
DOWNLOAD FESTIVAL: SSE AUDIO
SSE again provided its highly acclaimed L-Acoustics K1 system for the hugely popular hard rock show, which welcomed acts such as AC/DC and Them Crooked Vultures.
BEST NEW COMPANY Joe Co has revolutionised live music recording with the Blackbox Recorder.
Polar is the new face of Beyerdynamic GB and distributor of pro audio brands, such as Renkus-Heinz, Aviom and XTA.
GLASTONBURY MAIN STAGE: RG JONES
HD PRO AUDIO
A Synco by Martin Audio Longbow system from RG Jones helped entertain 170,000 fans at Worthy farm this year at the world’s most iconic live sound festival
HD is an experiened pro audio sales CUK Audio is the trading name of and distribution company that provides Community UK and already solutions to projects of any budget. distributes brands such Powersoft and Digigram.
METALLICA US TOUR: THUNDER AUDIO
The metal veterans rocked arenas across North America alongside Longtime collaborator Thunder Audio and 200 self-powered Meyer Sound Milo boxes. LEONA LEWIS TOUR: WIGWAM
Wigwam Hire deployed the OptoRack plug and play fibre line system that it co-developed with Optocore on Lewis’ debut tour. WIRELESS FESTIVAL: BRITANNIA ROW
Britannia Row productions took care of sound reinforcement at the central London festival that featured Pink and LCD Soundsystem and Jay-Z.
KK’s speakers are designed by Keith Klawitter, founder of KRK Systems, and Timothy Thornton from Apogee. BEST LIVE SOUND ENGINEER MATT KETTLE Kettle has worked with the White Stripes, the Flaming Lips and others.
‘BIG’ MICK HUGHES Metallica’s FOH engineer for more than 1,500 shows since 1984.
PAUL ‘PAB’ BOOTHROYD Boothroyd is well known for his work with AC/DC and Paul McCartney.
KEN ‘POOCH’ VAN DRUTEN Kenneth van Druten is a three-time Grammy nominated multi-discipline ADAM ‘CLEM’ BENNETT sound engineer who has mixed FOH Bennett has maintained FOH for Funeral For A Friend, Arch Enemy and for Beastie Boys, Limp Bizkit and, most recently, Slash. others since 1997.
September 2010 11
> AUDIO PRO AWARDS
>> Studio & Broadcast BEST NEW STUDIO PRODUCT
BEST STUDIO ENGINEER
SONTRONICS SATURN Saturn is a multi-pattern condenser mic inspired by vocal mics of the 50s. .
RAY STAFF Staff has mastered The Clash, Black Sabbath and Muse.
STUDER VISTA 9 Vista 9 is the new flagship console with an enhanced Vistonics interface.
NICK RASKULINECZ Nick Raskulinecz is a Grammy-winner known for producing the Foo Fighters and Alice in Chains.
AVID HEAT Heat is a Pro Tools|HD software addon that provides an added analog feel to recordings. LEXICON PCM NATIVE REVERB PLUGIN BUNDLE New plugin bundle with seven top reverbs and hundreds of studio presets. NEVE PORTICO II The Portico II is a self-powered 2U channel strip with mic preamp. MOST ORIGINAL STUDIO INITIATIVE METROPOLIS: ON TRACK On Track provides artists the chance to record three songs direct to vinyl, The sessions are played on Channel 4. HOBBY SHOP: LIVE AT THE HB The Live at The Hobby Shop concert series showcases local LA artists to strengthen the studio’s presence. CUTTING ROOM: PARTNERSHIP WITH KEXP The Cutting Room has enabled its artists to appear on KEXP Radio. THE PREMISES: SOLAR POWER The Premises runs Europe’s first fully solar-powered recording studio, created with the help of the Centre for Sustainable Energy. ASTAR STUDIOS: INTEREST FREE RECORDING LOANS Astar runs a unique scheme that provides musicians with interest free loans of up to £5,000 for artists and bands recording at its studios.
ALAN MOULDER Moulder has worked with a host of artists including the Jesus and Mary Chain and My Bloody Valentine. PHILL BROWN Brown learnt from Eddie Kramer and has worked with the likes of Roxy Music and Zero 7. CENZO TOWNSHEND Cenzo Townshend, an award-winning engineer, worked with U2 on No Line on the Horizon in 2009. BEST AFTER-SALES SUPPORT FUNKY JUNK Funky Junk is Europe’s largest stockist of new and used professional audio studio equipment. LAWO Lawo is a leading provider of digital mixing consoles and routing systems around the world.
BEST BROADCAST SOUND BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE: VISIONS OB Visions is covering the 2010 Premier League with its new Gemini 1 and 2 3Gb/s OB ‘super trucks’. WORLD CUP 2010: ABS Audio Broadcasting Services is the rental firm and Lawo subsidiary that installed mobile control rooms at ten World Cup stadiums. RED BULL AIR RACE: GEARHOUSE BROADCAST Gearhouse built flyaways for the air races with state of the art AV, backed by a crew of technicians and engineers for 24/7 technical support across eight venues around the globe. EUROVISION SONG CONTEST: NRK NRK helped present the annual live show to 125 million viewers across Europe, with the idea that it would ‘share’ the event.
HHB HHB is Europe's leading supplier of professional audio technology and a developer of digital recording products. AVID Avid has developed digital media technology that has earned it hundreds of awards, including two Oscars, a Grammy and 12 Emmys.
SNAP London’s Snap Studios recently opened with a rare 1972 Neve 5316 console and both vintage and modern gear. THE POOL London’s The Pool was rebuilt in 2009 and features a brand new control room. LIMEHOUSE Limehouse is an unashamedly in-thebox facility offering acoustic recording, mixing and mastering. ANGELIC UK’s Angelic was opened as a new residential in 2009. It is represented by Miloco in partnership with Toby Smith. ODDS ON Odds On is a multi-million dollar recording/mixing studio located right off the Las Vegas Strip. It has hosted many major labels and recording artists yet keeps its doors open to the indie music scene.
THE PROMS: SIS SIS LIVE provided the TV coverage for the BBC Proms, which enjoyed a record-breaking season last year with more than 12 million viewers.
BEST NEW COMPANY SONIC DISTRIBUTION Sonic Distribution has become a premier UK distributor of Studio equipment by sE and Rupert Neve.
BEST NEW STUDIO
THE MIC STORE The Mic Store is an online microphone retailer that aims to simplify the process of choosing the correct microphone. BRICASTI Bricasti is the manufacturer of the highly regarded M7 digital reverb processor prized by engineers such as Al Schmitt and Chris Lord-Alge. TREE AUDIO Steve Firlotte of Inward Connections and Ian Gardiner of Boutique Audio and Design began Tree Audio in 2007. They have since created the Tree
Audio 500, the world’s first fully customisable ‘500 series’ studio recording console. CARTEC AUDIO Cartec Audio formed in London last year. Each of its products is built, hand-wired and assembled in-house. Products include the EQP-1A equaliser, a replica of the original Pultec model. BAREFOOT SOUND Thomas Barefoot founded this monitor manufacturer as small and mid-sized project studios became more and more prominent in the early 2000s. It has cince created the groundbreaking Micro Main 27.
THE AUDIO PRO LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD MIKE LOWE Mike Lowe has been CFO of Britannia Row since 1987 and was one of the founders of the PSA. TONY ANDREWS Turbosound and Funktion-One founder, Andrews has designed groundbreaking loudspeaker systems 12
including Floodlight, Flashlight and Resolution with the principal motivation of sonic accuracy. CHARLIE WATKINS WEM’s Charlie Watkins is known for creating the first guitar amps, the Copicat Tape Echo and the first festival PA systems.
FRED HUEVES Hueves was the CMO and co-founder of Ampco Flashlight and founder of the Synco Europe network. GEOFF EMERICK Emerick is regarded as one of the best engineers in history. He is best known for his work with The Beatles. www.audioprointernational.com
Mixes the show without maxing the budget
Introducing the latest addition to Soundcraft’s tour and install-proven Vi Series digital live sound console range. The new Vi1 delivers the acclaimed Vistonics operating interface along with 64 channel/24 bus mixing capacity, built-in FX and dynamics, legendary Vi sound quality and optional MADI stagebox interface – all at a price that won’t max out your budget.
Find out more about the digital mixing consoles that live depends on at
www.soundcraft.com Soundcraft T: +44 (0)1707 665000 E: email@example.com Soundcraft US T: 888-251-8352 E: soundcraft-USA@harman.com
PLASA EVENT PREVIEW <
Earls Court, London September 12th-15th
The right place at the right time PLASA events director Nicola Rowland asserts that the continued success of its London-based trade show has much to do with its location, innovation, social atmosphere and dateline. Andrew Low talks to Rowland about the evolution of the show and this year’s highlights… he latest loudspeakers, consoles and wireless systems of the entertainment industry are blinking, humming and buzzing at the idea of being shown at PLASA 2010, held at Earls Court from September 12th to 15th. With a raft of new audio exhibitors, the organizer has designed this year’s show with a strong audio focus and stated that it will be ‘audio heaven’ for all of its pro audio visitors. Known universally as the UK’s leading show for the international entertainment industry, PLASA has been evolving since its inaugural event in 1977, when it launched under the name Discotek 77. Originally based on the emerging disco and club industries, the show has since changed faces to accommodate the latest technologies for the live sound, installation, lighting and leisure industries. This transition began in part in 1982 when it was renamed the British Association of Discotheque Equipment Manufacturers Light &
Sound Show, after its eponymous trade association. The show was soon changed to the Pro Lighting and Sound Association Light & Sound Show in 1984 to fulfill the needs of its increasingly diverse exhibitor and visitor base. This growth was eventually accompanied by a move to its present home in West London’s Earls Court exhibition centre to
accommodating new technologies and over the past few years we have greatly strengthened our pre-show marketing into vertical market sectors and end users to reflect this. “AV and systems integration technology is now the third largest sector served by the show, behind the more traditional PLASA sectors of live concert, touring and theatre
The PLASA Show continues to be the numberone choice for new product launches in the entertainment technology sector because of its location, social atmosphere and dateline. Nicola Rowland PLASA events director
accommodate a growing number of international exhibitors. PLASA events director Nicola Rowland explains how the show has constantly adapted to the emerging technologies in the many sectors both the show and the association covers. “The PLASA show has a policy of
technology. This is a rapidly evolving market and the dedicated seminars and conferences that are taking place alongside PLASA 2010 will bring people together at a critical time. “Another area in which the PLASA Show reflects market and technology changes is the growing Education &
Learning Programme, which tackles major issues head-on. There is, for example, a suite of four sessions this year specifically to address industry concerns about the new EN54 regulations that affect everyone involved in developing voice alarm, public address and loudspeaker systems. And for the first time ever, the show is hosting the launch of two major new conferences. This year’s seminar schedule will be headlined by a masterclass from Gottelier Award winner Alex Cooper, AVP, product development at Midas Klark Teknik, on the Psychology of Sound Engineering. Other classes include a discussion on the AVnu Alliance – E1000 802.1 Audio/Video Bridging (AVB): The Future of Standards-Based AV Networking, and the ISCE’s Voice Alarm Design De-myth-defied as part of the EN54 Focus sessions. The first-ever PLASA International Rigging Conference takes place on Monday September 13th and Tuesday 14th.
September 2010 15
> EVENT PREVIEW PLASA Renkus-Heinz will also host manufacturer sessions on digital beam steering, in addition to the first Ecovenue feature, in association with the Theatres Trust. Seminars will be complemented by a new interactive Innovation Gallery, which will showcase all products nominated for the 2010 Awards for Innovation. Manufacturers will be demonstrating their new products on a live stage in the gallery to the awards judges throughout the day on Sunday 12th. It will also open early to visitors every morning from 9.30am to highlight new products launched at the show. The recent merger with US-based ESTA and the success of the regional PLASA Focus event are seen as elements that will expand the international presence of the organisation and its activities. “The PLASA Show continues to be the number one choice for new product launches in the
entertainment technology sector because of its location, social atmosphere and dateline,” says Rowland. “The show has always been the place where equal numbers of company chairmen, owners and decision makers, engineers, installers, programmers and technicians come to find out what’s new after the busy summer season.” > plasashow.com
PLASA ESSENTIALS 2010 KLOTZ AUDIO 1-J30 In addition to its broad range of cable products and solutions for the fields of fibre optics, cable systems, camera/video cable systems, installation systems, multicore systems, Klotz will be highlighting the new LT lighting connectivity range alongside the PCF1825C mains multicore cable for stage lighting. Also on show will be the new HC51P15 and HC52P15 Hybrid
cables for computer-controlled components and the Quad DI box DI44, a multi-functional four-fold DI Box that offers balancing in addition to sub-stagebox functionality with DI options. TRANTEC 1-F28 Trantec will focus on its latest Channel 38-compliant offerings, including the 16-channel S4.16 system and the S5.3 12-channel system. Its 24-channel S5.5 will also be on show to provide several alternatives for Ofcom’s phasing out Channel 69 for wireless mics in 2012. RCF - ISCE15 RCF will be showing new products from its commercial audio and installed sound product ranges. Among them will be the VSA 2050, a multi-amplified, vertical, steerable array with advanced digital technology. It will also highlight new models in its P series, including the P8015-S weatherproof bass reflex subwoofer equipped with a 15-inch, low frequency neodymium transducer with four-inch voice coil and the weatherproof full range, wide dispersion, IP55 compliant P4228 two-way speaker equipped with a double eight-inch woofer and a 1.4inch neodymium compression driver. The company will also introduce the DXT 9000, a new EN 54-16/2008 compliant voice evacuation system. SAMSON 1-K23 Samson Technologies is introducing a number of new products to the UK market. Among these is the new Air Line Micro wireless earset system, its smallest wireless
system, which couples small, highquality audio components with the latest lithium ion battery technology. Samson’s Expedition series of portable PA solutions, which features the flagship XP510i, will be displayed in addition to the new Auro active speaker systems. The Auro D412 and D415 are lightweight, two-way active loudspeakers, which are said to combine superior components with meticulous engineering. HK AUDIO 1-E5 The JHS stand will feature HK Audio’s latest and most compact Elements PA system and the large format Cohedra line array system along side its other distributed pro audio brands. Using six individual components, Elements can be configured for use from a small conference PA to a full band stage rig. An integrated, cablefree internal E-Connect coupler provides quick set up and versatility. New gear from Lab.gruppen, Allen & Heath and LA Audio will also be on show. JOECO LIMITED 1-J16 JoeCo will move to a bigger stand this year to display the new digital I/O options for its Blackbox Recorder, which now provides interfacing with AES/EBU and lightpipe equipped consoles. The new iXML software option developed for film and TV sound recording specialists will also be on show. A preview of the Blackbox Player option for secure failsafe live playback for music, installation and theatre applications will be available.
PLASA EVENT PREVIEW < DIGICO (UK) LTD 1-E4 Digico UK will be showcasing its entire range of SD series consoles, including the SD7, SD7T, EX-007, SD8, SD8-24, and the new SD9 featuring Stealth Digital Processing. We are also told that Digico will be making a big announcement at its press conference on September 12th. ELECTRO-VOICE/RTS TELEX 1-G28 Electrovoice and RTS/Telex will be exhibiting together to show several new products. The newly launched RTS MH series headsets single and dual-sided headsets will be on show, including the MH-300 – single-sided headset without active noise reduction (ANR), MH-302 – dualsided headset without ANR and the MH-402 – dual-sided headset with ANR. Then there’s the RTS MADI16+ scalable multi-channel audio digital interface card, the DM-1 Dante audio network card for Netmax and the BTR-700 systems single-channel UHF synthesized wireless intercom base station with A4F headset connector. APEX 1 L-39 Apex will launch the Intelli-X2 series of audio system management devices. The new Intelli-X248 (four in, eight out) and Intelli-X226 (two in, six out) are both built on a 192kHz digital processing platform have studio-grade analog circuits, sample rate converters with bypass facility (operating to 216kHz), AES3 and analog I/O. The Intelli-Ware software control platform (designed primarily for use on tablet and touch-screen computers) allows multiple Intelli-X² devices to be integrated into any wired or wireless Ethernet network.
ALCONS AUDIO - 1-J11 Alcons Audio will be exhibiting its pro-ribbon based sound system program, from point-source, through line-source to line-array solutions, all of which are based around proprietary and multiple-patented pro-ribbon transducer technology. The company will highlight the LR7 micro line-array system, the BC543 self-contained triple 18-inch cardioid subwoofer and systems from the ACO Architect Colour Option program. As always, the company will be holding low-SPL demos with the VR8 compact monitor and the BF151 bass system. EAW 1-F4 EAW will introduce additions to the KF, KFNT, JF and JFNT series loudspeakers as part of the Loud Technologies stand. The newest additions to the KF series include the KF364, KF394, KF200NT, KF364NT and KF394NT. KF364 and KF394 provide premium neodymium components, a coaxial mid/high frequency component and optimised crossover design. The KFNT models integrate 1500W of amplification, EAW Focusing processing, softwareaccessible DSP and the proprietary U-Net network. All new models in its JF Series feature premium neodymium components and
crossover design. The JFNT provide the additional features listed in the KFNT series. OHM UK 1-J10 Visitors will be able to see a ground stack version of the Ersa Major line array system and the newly developed Class D amplifier modules along side Pukk 218, 215 and 212 subs. Also on show will be its new series of Saturn full range cabinets, coaxial stage monitors and a range of DSP controllers with a software platform common to all future Ohm digital products. ALLEN & HEATH 1E9 Allen & Heath will introduce the GS-R24 analog console studio. The new console is aimed at busy project studios, with key mixer functions of preamp and eq, combined with a choice of interface modules, motorised faders for automated mixing and MIDI controllers for tactile interfacing with software DAWs. The first interface module available is a 32-channel Firewire interface with ADAT optical connectivity. It will also be displaying the latest developments in the iLive digital mixer family, including new I/O hardware, and audio networking plug-in cards for Dante and Rocknet.
ADAM HALL LTD 1-J23 Adam Hall UK distributes a wide range of well-known audio, event, installation and industrial products from LD Systems, Eminence and Defender cable crossovers to Audac and Palmer Audio Tools, its broad range of flight case hardware and fittings and its own stands and cables. New products on display will include the LD Dave G2 portable PA Series, Palmer’s Fat 50 tube guitar amplifier, the new LD Deep 2 amp series and the Audac R2 multi-zone audio system. FUNKTION-ONE RESEARCH LTD 1-F36 Funktion-One will occupy its longstanding position on the periphery of the main PLASA Bar area on booth F36. It will also occupy a ‘permanentpress office' on mezzanine level 1 to give demonstrations of its full range of professional loudspeaker systems for the touring and install markets. The company states that the exceptional transient capability of its loudspeakers is a cornerstone of its technology, which provides sonic results of unique purity and realism. SENNHEISER UK LTD 1-F6 Sennheiser UK will celebrate its 20th anniversary as a subsidiary of its German mother company at the show. Its product focus will revolve around the wireless frequency move from Channel 69 to Channel 38 in 2012 as a resulkt of the government’s Digital Dividend Review. Channel 38 solutions on show will include the G3 series range GB (606 to 648MHz), 2000 series range GW (558 to 626 MHz) and 3000/5000 series range L
September 2010 17
> EVENT PREVIEW PLASA
(168MHz tuning bandwidth, 470 to 638MHz, EM3732 II, SK5212 II and SKM5200 II) products. Products from Sennheiser’s third-party distributed brands including Rane, DAS, Apart and K-Array will also be on show. ROLAND SYSTEMS GROUP UK LTD 1-F5 Roland Systems Group will display its range of RSS audio and Edirol video products from Roland. The RSG portfolio includes the new M-300, 32channel digital audio mixer, S-MADI (REAC-MADI Bridge), V-1600HD multi-format video mixer/switcher plus professional audio and video field recorders, presenters and processors. Visitors to its booth will have the opportunity to experience, hands-on, the workflow and flexibility of having 'your mix, your way’ as RSG puts it, through scheduled live music and video presentations. MARTIN AUDIO 1F4 Martin Audio is pretty thrilled to be debuting its multicellular speaker array touring system. Touted as the ‘most intelligent live sound system ever constructed’, MLA combines Martin Audio‘s legacy with unique optimisation software and a breakthrough cellular array design to deliver coverage and consistency not previously possible with touring line arrays. Its OmniLine – a modular, scalable, and micro-line array system, the MA series power amplifiers and the DD6 Differential Dispersion, compact, multi-angled bass driver.
MACKIE 1-F4 Mackie will display additions to its line of HD high-definition powered loudspeakers with the HDA arrayable loudspeaker system, plus the ultracompact HD1221 and two new HD powered subwoofers. Also on show will be the VLZ3 four-bus mixers with built-in FX, compression and four-track recording via USB. Visitors will be able to demo the new Onyx Blackbird and Blackjack recording interfaces. RIEDEL 1-G7 Riedel Communications designs, manufactures and distributes intercom, fibre, audio and radio technology for the broadcast, proaudio, event and theatre industries from its nine locations across Europe, Australia, Asia and North America. It will highlight the new Rocknet RN.345.IL expansion card for Allen & Heath digital mixing consoles. INNOVASON 1-L39 Innovason will show off its latest Eclipse live digital mixing console on Red Square Audio’s booth. New features of the board include the new Nova 1.1.5 software, which has control for ES100 Ethersound modules. Eclipse is listed as the first console in the world to incorporate on-board multi-track recording via Innovason's MARS facility. Eclipse’s final assembly process was recently moved to Lawo AG’s new state of the art facility in Germany, which has given the company access to multitude of new resources.
MC2 AUDIO 1-F2 MC2 and XTA will be present on Polar Audio with its E100 and iCore2 from MC2 and a surprise product from XTA. The E100 is MC2’s latest fourchannel amp providing 2,500 Watts per channel at fourOhms or 3,200 Watts per channel at two Ohms. POLAR AUDIO 1-F2 Polar Audio will be exhibiting a number of new products from its large range of distributed products. It will hold live demonstrations of the latest in digital networked audio from across its product portfolio, in addition to developments in live audio and PA. Exclusive UK products from Dynacord, Renkus-Heinz, beyerdynamic, Australian Monitor, Aviom, MC2, XTA & Biamp will be on show along side gear from ASL, Cue and Novasonar. NEUTRIK UK 1-H18 Neutrik will feature its wide range of professional entertainment connectors and the DIWA (digital wireless audio), which operates at the five gigahertz frequency band with no approval processes, data compression, and three milliseconds latency. XIRIUM is the first product based on the DIWA technology and combines digital receiving and sending lines in one system. The NA2JJ plug adapter for connection of two mono TS plugs will also be highlighted. HARMAN 1-E21 Harman International will have range of new products, including microphones and headphones from
AKG, power amplifiers from Crown, signal processing and networked systems from BSS and dbx, loudspeakers from JBL, recording systems and plugins from Lexicon and mixing consoles from Soundcraft and Studer. The company’s latest acquisition, Selenium will show a range of loudspeaker components and enclosures. HiQnet networked audio and control system will also be displayed. AVID 1-H31 Avid will have the latest products in the Venue line, from the D-Show system, which features the greatest amount of I/O and console expandability to the compact SC48 with I/O, digital signal processing and tactile control combined in a single console. It will also display the Profile system and its Mix Rack system rack processing and I/O component. MAudio brands will also be shown. SADIE 1-D10 Sadie will be shouting about its range of multitrack location recording systems, Sadie 6 editing system and new large format solid state recorder\workstation. Sadie 6 runs on existing Sadie 5 hardware, Asio interfaces and Windows Media devices. It will also show the new LRX2 64track live recording system and new Live H64 solid-state recorder. The new Live 64 and 128 solid workstations were designed to provide robust and reliable recording systems utilising the latest in solid state drive technology, designed to eliminate the element of doubt when recording in today's live environment.
We’ve got the Brands for your Apps!
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> LIVE SOUND JEZEBEL
Purple van man …Well, actually, it’s more of a ruddy colour, but it does sport a great big FunktionOne system. Rob Hughes finds out how Dan Williams and Jade Jagger rose above the roar of Ferrari engines with their Jezebel van… ack in May, the 12th annual Gumball Rally rolled out of London, guided, I imagine, by some kind of diamondencrusted sat nav. For those that didn’t quickly break down or get arrested, Stockholm and a Russian cargo plane bound for the USA beckoned. After a gruelling 3,000 miles, the convoy finally came to a stop in New York, where drivers worn out as much by the parties as the roads, stumbled out of prestige marques. As always, flash motors abounded on the glammed-up road trip. But not everyone suffered for their art in cramped cockpits – Mick Jagger’s daughter Jade and her boyfriend, DJ Dan Williams, rocked up in a Mercedes Sprinter van laden with various homely comforts, including a rather hefty FunktionOne sound system. Emblazoned conspicuously across the side was the name of their fashion and music brand, Jezebel, and if by slim chance you didn’t see them coming, you most certainly would have heard them. Jezebel (Jagger’s middle name) is both a clothing label and club night promotion, founded and run by the couple. In its party guise, Jezebel originated in Ibiza, where it hosted shindigs in the back room of notorious Balaeric club Pacha for six years. Today, Jagger and Williams take their Jezebel events all over the world and still rock Ibiza throughout the summer at venues as illustrious as Space and Amnesia. Not surprising, then, that the organisers of Gumball asked them to entertain the crowds at the various checkpoints along the way. “We were the artists,” recalls Williams. “We were DJing at every stop. Obviously we didn’t want to go in a sports car, so we
came up with the idea of having a sound system in a bus or van. In the end, we basically pimped out a Mercedes Sprinter, got hold of a Funktion-One rig and I just fitted it into the back and hooked some batteries up to it. “The rally set off from London and we fired up the F1 rig at the start line, but as soon as we did, the police came along and shut us down. The system was powered by batteries though, so we could have it switched on even when the van was moving. So as we drove off we opened the back doors and started it up again and all the way through London we were DJing out of the back of the van. Everyone loved it.” On their return from the States, Jason Baker, the FunktionOne distributor who sold Williams and Jagger the system, fulfilled a promise to introduce the pair to Tony and Ann Andrews from Funktion-One. As those who are familiar with the F1 co-founder’s raw enthusiasm and passion for his business might expect, Andrews was delighted to see his loudspeakers used for such a unique application. So much so, in fact, that he was inspired to design a bespoke system for the van. “Well, you know what Tony and Ann are like,” Williams remarks. “They’re super cool and Tony was really interested. I showed him what we’d done and he just loved it, so he said, ‘I’m going to put a better rig in there’. He customised the bass bin – something never made before – then fitted more powerful mid-highs in the corners to project better.” “Initially he had a couple of Resolution 1s and they were really a bit on the low side, so if anyone was to be standing
We pimped out a Sprinter, got hold of a FunktionOne rig, fitted it in the back and hooked some batteries up to it. Dan Williams
JEZEBEL LIVE SOUND < close they’d just be blocking the sound,” explains Tony Andrews. “He also had an MB212, which will put out some bass, but what he wants to do is have a bit of a rave out the back of the van. So I decided to see what we can get in that was a bit more powerful. We could put the bass anywhere we liked because nothing was going to get in the way of that and it turned out that there was a space in between two cupboards and underneath the DJ decks. But the space we had to work with was basically the area of the double doors at the back and I thought, ‘what the Dickens are we going to do here? We’re going to have to use every cubic inch.’” Andrews came to the conclusion that an F218 sub was the order of the day, but that it would have to be modified, since the standard version was too deep to fit between the two cupboards on each side. After half an hour spent huddled around the computer inside the workshop, the F1 team managed to squash the bass bin into a whole new shape, with the drivers positioned back-to-back with one another, the result being that the back plate of the cabinet was triangular, rather than flat as in a standard F218. Once built, the new sub cleared the cupboards and slotted in beautifully. “For the top, I figured that we could squeeze a couple of Resolution 2 SHs into the top corners, which would give a little bit of stereo spread and would be above the heads of the punters and would just work. The SHs already have yokes fitted and Yann [Favret] here did a quick bit of woodwork to integrate it into the doorframe and then Bob’s your uncle, really. We powered the whole system with a four-channel Full Fat Audio F60 and we lent them an XTA crossover for the summer.” Feeling like ‘a new van’ Jezebel trundled on to Glastonbury and then to the Lovebox festival at Victoria Park in London, where its presence was actually endorsed by the organiser, making it something of an official stage at the event. There it commanded an audience of 300 electronic music fans, much to the delight of the Jezebel crew. While there might not be many more sanctioned festival appearances for the van this summer, Williams says that, in the meantime, they plan to ‘get a bit renegade with it’. Good on ‘em. > funktion-one.com > iwantjezebel.com
September 2010 21
> LIVE SOUND GLOBAL GATHERING
The Global Gathering team celebrated a decade of multi-arena electronic music events this summer with a tenth birthday spectacular. Rob Hughes spoke to a few of the guys who helped make it happen… -shaped logos scattered liberally around the Staffordshire airfield at this year’s Global Gathering festival left no one in doubt that the event had reached it’s tenth birthday. And it hadn’t merely scraped past the milestone either – the steady ascension of the festival to its current position at the top echelon of electronic music events hasn’t evaded the attention of its regulars. While others, such as Glade and the Summer Sound System have sadly fallen victim to increasingly stringent councils or general market saturation, Global has soldiered valiantly on, growing organically each year. SSE Audio took care of the sound at the event for the fifth year on the trot this summer. The firm first won the contract for the festival in 2005; the year that Global Gathering radically diversified its music policy, added a rather substantial outdoor stage and welcomed an extra 5,000 people. Since that time, deploying and managing world class sound systems at the event has become somewhat second nature to SSE’s team, which includes senior project manager Miles Hillyard and system tech/crew chief Nick Pain. “The first year I did it, it was the biggest show I’d ever done,” recalls Hillyard of his early days at Global. “I’d never seen anything like that before, there were seven articulated trucks of gear and six massive arenas full of PA. But of course, five years later it just seems like a walk in the park. I don’t even feel as though I have to be there the whole time. I’ll walk around the site with my crew boss and make sure I’m happy with the way everything sounds, but I don’t really have to check on the crew because I can trust them all implicitly. It really is so much easier than it used to be. “Global Gathering this year was the third week in a row that I’d worked with the same team of people. We did Lovebox together, then we did High Voltage and then we all went to Global Gathering. From a logistics and execution point of view, we’ve all got it nailed. We all know each other well and it’s become a relatively simple job. For such a big show – I had eight trucks – it just flies in. The main stage goes up in a couple of days and everything else goes up in one day.
“There’s simply a good plan in place,” he continues. “The production manager knows exactly what he’s doing, the structure guys know what they’re doing – over the past few years, we’ve built up a plan whereby everybody knows exactly what’s going on. For some people it probably seems very complicated, but for us, it’s a piece of cake now.” Regardless of how much easier SSE’s job at the festival has become over the years, it remains that, according to the people that depend on the firm, the team pulls it off with no small amount of aplomb. Neil Macdonald, production manager for the event, who also handles Download and Radio Onextra gave a nod to the company’s efforts, particularly with regard to its control over offsite noise. This, together with the ability to maintain healthy dB levels in the arenas, is helping companies such as SSE hang on to contracts and win new ones, particularly where volumehungry music fans are concerned. It’s worth pointing out that Global Gathering revellers are more hooked on SPLs than most. “With five tented arenas and the main stage to service on a site with some stringent noise levels, attention to detail is vital and SSE didn't spare any effort in getting it right,” notes Macdonald. “Levels in two tented arenas were perfected by using teepees to fly the PA. In the remaining three, a combination of SEGL masts and EFP rigging ensured that the correct number of boxes were flown in the right places, with exceptional results. On the main stage on Saturday, the LAcoustics K1 system battled manfully with the wind, rain and scrims and on Sunday, Dizzee Rascal rounded things off in fine fashion. A special mention must go to Miles Hillyard and Nick Pain for their hard work and professional approach.” “We even got it a bit louder this year,” adds Hillyard. “They want it loud and they want it to sound great, but you have to be able to guarantee that you can manage that situation and make sure that you’re not going to be in breach of your license. That specific site has a low frequency limit and it has a changing, rolling limit and as the evening goes on it gets
We’ve built up a plan for Global, so everybody knows what’s going on. It probably seems very complicated, but for us it’s a piece of cake. Miles Hillyard SSE Audio
GLOBAL GATHERING LIVE SOUND < lower. With the temperature drop as well, when it comes to early evening and the early hours of the morning, it becomes harder and harder to make it work. You can be fine during the day, but just as the evening part of the show is going off, it becomes really difficult to maintain loud levels. “I haven’t been debriefed yet, but no one has phoned me up to have a moan, so it must be okay. I’m not worried about it though – when we were walking around I thought we had a really good result this year. I changed some of the sub arrays, which helped a lot with the low frequency limit. And really it’s about good communication with the freelancers. Because I design everything, I have to go around and make sure they do everything exactly as I have planned.
“The Global/Carl Cox Arena probably had the best sound. We got a really good level in there, we got it peaking at 104dB and it sounded really coherent. My guys had time-aligned it perfectly and there was no loss in the crossover frequencies between the subs and the arrays, no cancellation, no phasing – it was a good job.” Interested to hear what the engineers thought, I contacted Sean Rampton, FOH for drum and bass duo Chase and Status. As a subheavy act, the band’s show depends on solid low frequency performance and Rampton was in agreement that, with SSE’s touch, the L-Acoustics K1 system in Global/Carl Cox Arena delivered. He commented: “I forgot to ask Nick how he configured the subs, because the bass was really tight. SSE is at the top of its game, I trust the guys implicitly.” > sseaudiogroup.com
September 2010 23
> BROADCAST VISTA 9
Studer recently added a new flagship model to its range of broadcast and live production consoles, the Vista 9. Product manager Peter Weber talks Andrew Low through the many new features of the board… uring a recent trip to see the new Soundcraft Studer museum and facilities, we stumbled across something very secret in the Potter’s Bar HQ – a giant new Studer console that we would later learn was the Vista 9. And while product manager Peter Weber was bursting to show us the new desk, we were politely told to wait until the official release of the new flagship console. Shown for the first time at the Broadcast Equipment Exhibition of the Shanghai TV Festival, the Vista 9 answers the broadcast sector’s cry for back up and more back up. Redundancy is so crucial for live events that this year’s Eurovision Song Contest’s HD and audio trucks each had a complete backup truck. Broadcasters aren’t taking any chances, so the Vista 9 has dual power supplies as standard, with dual PSU’s and a dual control system to ensure that component failure doesn’t lead to loss of control over the mix. A redundant network system is also in place to maintain vital communication to the DSP core with optional bridge card redundancy. Another visually captivating feature is an overhaul of the console’s meter section to include TFT meter screens. Weber explains: “Vista 9 incorporates the best features of all the Vista consoles, based on feedback from our customers. It has a lot of the good functionality from the Vista 5 and shares a lot with the Vista 8. We can do a lot to enhance the existing Vista desks because those products are 80 per cent software. However, the Vista 9 offers much in the way of new functionality, ergonomics and monitoring. The Vistonics screen is a bit closer and steeper for better sight and the whole mechanical concept is new and has been designed to look nice, with a slim, illuminated meter bridge.” The VI fader glow concept has also been borrowed from the Souncraft Vi series.
“These can be used in a session oriented way, so the engineer can assign channel strips with certain colours. They can group channels that belong to each other and mark them with a colour,” Weber states. “It also still features many physical knobs for touch control elements and faders.” Additional features of the board include a new ‘history’ view, which incorporates an audio waveform displayed with metering history on each channel strip, thus allowing the user to glance across the console to view the history of the channel to troubleshoot problems. “During live broadcast the engineer might hear a problem, but not be quick enough to determine where it has originated from. The history view provides diagrams to locate spikes, signal drops or overloads. The operator can then review which channel had such an event, no more than 30 seconds after the event has occurred.” All stereo inputs and stereo masters have a correlation meter bar above the graph display. The control bay on the Vista 9s meter section provides the ability to be configured to show any choice of output busses and input channels and display up to 40 meters. Weber explains that Vista 9 has an open format that can include further upgrades: “The display of the meter data is all software based. This allows us to adapt to emerging channel formats and other future metering requirements,” he added. It is difficult to find an area where the Vista 9 does not offer multiple options. Its DSP engine can have up to nine DSP cards, and its I/O system provides interfaces for all possible audio formats such as AES, MADI and embedded audio on 3G SDI. Also, it can accept cards from third-party manufacturers, such as Cobranet, Aviom, Dolby, Digigram and Riedel, among others. The Vista 9 will be exhibited at the forthcoming IBC convention in Amsterdam.
Vista 9 incorporates the best features of all the Vista consoles, based on feedback from our customers. Peter Weber Vista product manager
> studer.ch www.audioprointernational.com
> LIVE SOUND FANE
Fane and able
As British driver brand Fane returns to prominence, Rob Hughes looks at how its fortunes were reversed under the Barnes family and alongside Precision Devices…
We make highquality components where performance is the key criterion.
Neil Barnes Fane September 2010
hat Fane has been re-launched with no small amount of success should come as little surprise when you consider that the father and son team behind it, the industrious Arthur and Neil Barnes, have had it in their crosshairs since Barnes senior was last at the helm of the company in 1989. As managing director, it was he who skippered the firm through its glory days in the 70s, before watching it fall on hard times under Wharfedale, despite a resolute attempt to buy the firm. The pair pressed on within the driver sector and two decades later, after successfully establishing Eminence outside its native US and building up enough clout to buy the then obscure
British speaker maker Precision Devices, the Barnes family at last found itself in a position to acquire Fane and, in a well deserved fists in the air moment, did just that. Less than a year after it had triumphantly re-located Precision Devices nearly 250 miles from Cornwall to Castleford, taking on Fane, a business that was just a short drive from its new factory put the wind in the Barnes’ sails after many years of sheer hard graft to establish the family as a major force in the industry. “When we purchased Fane in 2007 it was a perfect fit for us,” explains Neil Barnes. “The manufacturing plant was in Leeds, just 12 miles from our new factory at Wakefield. www.audioprointernational.com
FANE LIVE SOUND < This had several positive advantages – one of the biggest problems we encountered after the re-location of Precision Devices was the training and retention of staff that had the necessary skills to perform the assembly and intricate production techniques involved. Fane had a team of skilled employees with years of experience and the skills required for the manufacturing of high-quality loudspeakers. They also had an OEM customer base, which aligned with our PD order book and gave us a strong foundation on which to build a sustainable UK manufacturing operation.” In the wake of the acquisition, Barnes and his father discovered that some of the original workers they employed during the firm’s halcyon days were still at the company. This included the lady that oversees the winding of Fane and PD voice coils, who was originally employed to wind the coils by hand in 1974. Although the process is now fully automated, there are still a number of operations that require skills that take many years to perfect and, with over three decades of experience, she is perfect for the job. Technical director Mark Oldroyd has been working for Fane since he was just 16 and production manager Susan Goodyear is now back at the company after leaving during the previous ownership. The Barnes’ managed to sell their vision of the future Fane and she rejoined the team. She is now in charge of the entire production process, falling back on experience gained at the firm in the 70s and 80s. “Having both Fane and Precision Devices under the same ownership really assisted us in driving the business forward and developing a sustainable and successful future for both brands,” continues Barnes. “They each complement each other perfectly, yet have their own flavour and identity, which allows us to offer loudspeaker solutions for both the mid and high end sectors of the market. “Although they are manufactured in the same facility, we ensure that each retains its established character. “We handle sales and admin from the same office, but each brand has its own website, sales lines and suite of marketing materials designed specifically for their respective market sectors.” Fane, of course, has the longest, most colourful heritage of the two, as well as the broadest target market, offering drivers for cabinets of countless descriptions. The company was founded in 1958 at the birth of rock n roll and during the early 1960s, as the electric guitar was still forming its global influence, took the decision to specialise in high-power loudspeaker manufacture. It soon became the largest UK manufacturer, supplying more than 75 per cent of all speakers used in the UK at this time. Its drivers often found in backline made by the likes of WEM and Orange. Today, Fane targets both the high and middle sectors of the loudspeaker market. Its famous Colossus models, something of a Fane legacy, still have a fanatical following and the firm has acknowledged this and demonstrated its commitment to the brand with the development of second-generation versions of the driver. In fact, the Barnes’ feel that the Fane component catalogue now offers the finest range of components in the company’s history. Not only that, but after many months of development it has launched its own range of complete enclosure systems that will launch in the UK in September. The company is also in the process of establishing an international distribution network for the range and will soon be looking to establish a UK sales network. Not exactly a contrast, but positioned very differently nonetheless, Precision Devices is, as its name clearly states, what Barnes likes to describe as the ‘Rolls Royce of loudspeaker driver manufacturers’. The products are targeted at high-end applications that require components built via a painstaking manufacturing processes using the finest of materials. PD was originally founded in 1987 to manufacture loudspeakers for Turbosound and, unlike any other loudspeaker manufacturer, it was purposely established to produce www.audioprointernational.com
loudspeakers for the touring market. Every component apart from the magnet is manufactured in the UK and, perhaps unsurprisingly, it is the first choice of revered loudspeaker manufacturer, Funktion-One. While Precision Devices’ products are manufactured exclusively in the UK, production of Fane is split between England and China, where the Barnes family made a major financial investment to establish a second facility in 2009. This allows the company to achieve high volume manufacturing at price points that some OEM clients require, without compromising quality, since the same processes – and predominantly the same components – are involved. All the drivers that emerge from the Chinese facility are manufactured on Fane chassis, mostly utilising British manufactured cones. This investment is considered chiefly responsible for Fane regaining its market share and once again becoming a major player in the international market. Barnes makes no bones about it; he will happily tell you that, since 2009, business has pointed skyward. “We have complete flexibility,” he says. “We can now supply from our China factory direct to our OEM partners also located in China and other markets. But we are tremendously proud of the fact that Fane and Precision Devices remain British, family-owned businesses that, despite the changing economic and commercial landscape, continue to manufacture in the UK. “At our West Yorkshire facility, we have the opportunity to manufacture high-quality components where performance is the key selection criterion. Price is always an issue, but we have a team that prides itself in producing the finest loudspeakers in the world without compromise. We are able to work with very high-end companies that need their own unique products and we can achieve this without the need for the high manufacturing volumes that are required when manufacturing in China. And we have the manufacturing capacity to continue our development.”
Every component of Fane’s drivers apart from the magnet is manufactured in the UK
> faneinternational.com > precision-devices.com
September 2010 27
MACKIE HD LIVE SOUND <
Defying the laws of physics The Mackie HD series of high-definition powered loudspeakers has been developed with a new type of processing that, Mackie says, defies the laws of physics. Audio Pro talks to the company and finds out what the new series offers for both live sound engineers and installers… he R&D departments of Mackie and EAW have put their heads together to develop a new series of highdefinition powered loudspeakers. Named the HD series, Mackie is comparing the sonic clarity of the loudspeakers to the added detail present in HD video. More specifically, HD is the result of the combination of Mackie active electronics (precision cross-overs, phase and time alignment) and EAW’s acoustic expertise and patented acoustic correction processing. Mackie’s active processing is now performed through DSP (vs analog) to provide greater accuracy and consistency from box to box. Mackie feels that even the most expensive horn-loaded loudspeakers tend to have a ‘honkiness’ to them with reflections in the horn and transducers causing physical resonances in the upper range of cone drivers. HD processing has been developed to solve these problems. The key to Mackie’s HD audio processing is the detailed measurement and analysis of these inherent problems. EAW developed proprietary measurement tools and software for acoustical analysis which it used to investigate the unprocessed responses of the loudspeakers. Next, custom DSP algorithms, specifically engineered to correct loudspeaker anomalies, were applied. These patented acoustic correction algorithms cannot be applied universally to just any loudspeaker, let alone be set up by users themselves. The anomalies and resonance problems they cure are very specific to each loudspeaker design. Thus, the internal physical details must be known, the anomalies must be carefully analysed and appropriate processing must be custom designed by EAW engineers along with the rest of the loudspeaker system. The company is stating that the result is clean, intelligible midrange and a smooth detailed HF that never gets harsh when cranked.
The HD series includes a range of options for live sound and installers alike, from 12 to 15-inch options with matching subs. The HD1521 two-way and HD1531 three-way were the first products introduced in the series, representing the pinnacle of Class D amplifier technology and delivering up to 1,800W of peak system power. The most compact loudspeaker in the series is the 12-inch HD1221 two-way powered loudspeaker, built on the same design as its larger counterparts and delivering 1,200W of peak system power. The 15-inch HD1501 and 18-inch HD1801 subwoofers offer Class D fast recovery amplifier technology, delivering up to 1,600W of peak power. Mackie has added a new product to the series – the arrayable HDA powered loudspeakers. These are 12-inch, two-way loudspeakers powered by 1,200W of peak system power, with a constant curvature coverage pattern of 110 x 20-degrees. Designed with the same patented HD audio processing as the rest of the HD Series in a compact and easily configurable enclosure, its acoustic and mechanical design integrates the input of the engineering experts at EAW and is said to offer proven line array performance and technology at a price point attainable by more users than ever before. Ben Olswang of Mackie explains: “EAW are the serious line array experts, so they lead the design both acoustically and mechanically, specifying transducers and a custom horn; designing the cabinets; redeploying a simple, road-proven rigging design and tuning the system. The HDA system supports single to four box per side applications, both with and without the HD1801 subwoofer, flown, pole mounted and ground stacked.” The HDA Powered Loudspeaker will begin shipping in Q4. The rest of the HD series is available now. > mackie.com/products/hdseries
Septemebr 2010 29
WIRELESS FESTIVAL LIVE SOUND <
Support act Sennhesier UK’s customer support base is a common fixture backstage at festivals these days. Rob Hughes headed to Wireless at Hyde Park to find out how it provides a unique safety net… or most of the last decade, Sennheiser UK, with a smile on its face, has routinely shared the mud and portaloos with its customers at some of the UK’s biggest festivals. Its presence solely to ensure that help is at hand for any Sennhesier-related problem. This has involved everything from replacing a dead battery to transplanting an entire circuit board, but as long as the equipment has a Sennheiser badge, the support crew, stationed in its humble portakabin behind the stage, will do whatever it takes to get it up and running, and the artist back in front of the crowd. “Sennheiser spends a lot of time and effort supporting its artists, the endorsement policy and getting the product out into the field,” explains Mark Saunders, Sennheiser UK artist relations. “For the last seven to eight years we have focused on being out and about and available to the artists, engineers and hire companies during the summer. The big advantage of this is that it allows us to do things that a lot of other manufacturers can’t. It costs us a lot of money to be here, but it’s worth doing because it means that we can repair stuff on site and that’s a huge plus for the artists. Already today we’ve helped people from Pearl Jam and repaired equipment for Pink and various other bands. Andy Lillywhite, Sennheiser UK’s chief engineer, can have something apart, fix it and have it back to them within ten minutes.” This year, Sennhesier has been on hand at numerous big outdoor events, including the Radio One Big Weekend in Bangor and, of course, the Wireless festival, where Audio Pro was present. At Wireless, Sennhesier could be found adjacent to the steps leading to the main stage – an ideal location from an artist’s perspective, given the veritable labyrinth that was
the backstage area. The firm was there throughout the ten-day duration of the festival, with the approval of promoter Live Nation and production company Brit Row, to which, Sennhesier had supplied the majority of main stage radio gear from its loan stock. This, combined with a selection of equipment stored in the portakabin, enables the team to ‘bail people out’ in most cases by supplying alternative equipment. Where this is not possible, Lillywhite will resort to his workbench and soldering iron. “It’s all about supporting the artists and engineers that use our equipment,” says Lillywhite. “It’s about giving them confidence. In an ideal situation, we don’t have to do very much, but we are prepared for a lot of maintenance situations. For example, while we’ve been here, we’ve been able to do a few running repairs that we knew about in advance. So instead of them having to send stuff into a service centre, we’ve been able to come to them. It saves them the logistical nightmare of having to get equipment back off the road. Things that can take days or weeks to sort out can be done in a matter of minutes sometimes. Our service is on demand; people know we’re here if they need us.” With live audio specialists Brittania Row Productions overseeing proceedings at the Wireless festival, Sennheiser found that most RF issues were handled by the experienced onstage team. Nevertheless, the support unit is still well prepared for most eventualities. Lillywhite explains that common problems include poorly selected cables used to connect antennas with transmitters or receivers. This can mean thousands of pounds worth of equipment rendered useless by a
September 2010 31
> LIVE SOUND WIRELESS FESTIVAL
£10 cable. As most of us have discovered at some point, invariably to our dismay, one cable looks very much like the next and it’s very difficult for the guys on the road to test them. But for Lillywhite, at his workbench with his equipment around him, it’s a very straightforward task. Other problems the team regularly deals with include frequency selection (apparently, some people don’t realise that they have to change frequency according to location). The help and advice that the support team provides is not just prized by the techophobes; even the professionals find the presence of Sennhesier’s portakabin incredibly reassuring. At the Wireless festival. Brit Row’s RF tech Pavel Zakrzewski appreciated having a second opinion, while, at previous events, many a visiting engineer has breathed a sigh of relief following a visit. During Audio Pro’s visit to the support base at Hyde Park, both Chris Madden, FOH for Pink, and Jimmy Nicholson, monitor engineer for the Ting Tings dropped by, not to report any problems, but to tell us what a fantastic job the team was doing. “Pink is handled by Roger Davis Management,” begins Madden. “He has a formidable roster of clients and I need to be able to go to him and say: ‘this is the thing; we need to use one of these. The gear is really good and if there’s a problem, they’ll fix it’. I need to know that I can say that without having my
fingers crossed behind my back and with Sennheiser, I know I can do that. “The company’s support is invaluable, it’s a safety net. It’s the level of attention that makes it so special and that’s why I’ve always been a fan of Sennheiser – there’s always someone I can phone if I need something, it’s like a big comfort blanket. When you’re in a field in the back end The gear is really of nowhere, who are you going to call if there’s a problem? With some other good and if manufacturers, I wouldn’t even know there’s a problem, who to speak to. Who else has got a portakabin here today? We’re sitting they’ll fix it. I need in a workshop, there’s a bloke next to know that I can door with a meter and a soldering iron. It speaks for itself really. And say that without it’s not just because I’m with Pink, having my fingers because when I was with previous bands I’d phone Mark Saunders and crossed behind he’d get me out of a hole.” my back. With “I’ve yet to find out where the Sennheiser, I can generosity ends,” adds Nicholson. “The support starts way before anything do that. goes wrong, if it ever does. I can just ring Chris Madden Saunders and he will provide me with any Pink’s FOH mics and in-ear systems that I need and I’m not carrying on tour. And I know that if something goes wrong, which it rarely does, they will be there here to fix it. It would be a complete nightmare and a lot of prep work to do it without them. They’re working today with Brit Row, so I don’t have to even think about frequency management and I don’t have to worry about anything like that. Its just complete peace of mind.”
Nicholson knows Sennheiser will
do anything for the Ting Tings www.audioprointernational.com
HAND HELD AUDIO LIVE SOUND <
A mic in the hand
Hand Held Audio is celebrating its 20th year as a UK wireless audio specialist. Audio Pro talks to Mick Shepherd about how keeping on top means staying afloat… and Held Audio owners Mick Shepherd (above) and Nick Bruce-Smith (right) started the company when they bought their first radio mic systems after touring with the Thompson Twins. In the light of their experience with this emerging technology, the pair decided to start a firm that specialised in wireless and provided fully committed support. Not long afterwards in-ear monitoring (IEM) came on the scene and this, along with custom-moulded earpieces, presented a natural new direction for the business. And as the first engineers to work with bands using IEMs only – Shepherd with Erasure and BruceSmith with the Pet Shop Boys – who better than them to take the lead on the new technology. 20 years later and HHA is now juggling the issues that surround Ofcom’s decision to auction off Channels 31-37 and 61- 69 of the frequency spectrum in July 2012. Mick Shepherd explains: “We have to stay right up to date with developments in spectrum availability and make sure we are in a position to serve our customers with the best advise and equipment. Ofcom’s announcement earlier in the year regarding the replacement of Channel 69 with Channel 38 has at least allowed us to do some planning and investment. “The issue before the industry now is the compensation package for owners of equipment that will be made redundant by the changes. Everyone hopes that the new government will honour the pledge from the previous administration to ‘leave owners no better or worse off’. Beirg (British Entertainment Industry Radio Group) is working hard on behalf of the industry to secure this and we urge everyone concerned to support it and the Save Our Sound UK campaign.”
Since its early days HHA has stocked a comprehensive range of equipment from top manufacturers, such as AKG, DPA, Samson, Sennheiser, Shure, Sony and Trantec. In addition to wireless kit, it handles custom and generic fit pro earphones and is the UK distributor for Ultimate Ears, JH Audio, Future Sonics and Westone. Evolving from the touring sector, HHA’s area of business now also envelopes supply for outside broadcasting, corporate events, theatre and the AV sector. It has kept ties with the Brit Awards and Glastonbury for years, as well as many televised sporting events and the record-breaking 160-way radio mic system for T-Mobile’s Flash Mob in Trafalgar Square series of adverts. The company also is involved in sales as well as the rental market. Shepherd says: “To sell wireless systems these days you have to update the customer on the whole Ofcom/spectrum availability business. To be honest, unless they’re in the industry, most don’t want to hear about all the new regulations, but you have to make sure they understand the latest developments to deter them from investing in equipment that would be unusable in two years. “Going forward we want to maintain our position as the best supplier of wireless gear in the live, OB and corporate sectors. While that might sound like standing still, we have to work hard at investment, keeping stock up to date, anticipating the changes in 2012 and constantly tailoring the hire stock to give the customers what they want. The live music market is buoyant, lots of bands are finding that touring provides a good revenue stream, while music fans want to go to shows and escape the doom and gloom for a night.” > handheldaudio.co.uk
We have to stay up to date with developments in spectrum availability and make sure we are in a position to serve our customers with the best advise and equipment. Mick Shepherd HHA audioPRO
Septemebr 2010 35
SEE US ON STAND 1-F5
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LARGE FORMAT PA LIVE SOUND <
Large and in charge The third edition of our yearly round up of the giant hangs, stacks, boxes and bins that preside over the world’s biggest stages and festival fields.... here is nothing like standing in front of massive PA and hearing the powerful high-end snap and feeling the rumble of the low end with vocals hitting you in the face. The technology has been developed to the point that some of these mammoth systems have the clarity of a hi-fi. This is Audio Pro’s third large format line array feature, and some of the boxes reported on back in 2008 are still as widely used as ever. There have been several new additions to the market over the past 18 months and, surely, as the live sector continues to thrive, more will follow.
OHM ERSA MAJOR Ohm’s Ersa Major line array has successfully undergone road testing this summer, notably at the Premier League Stoke City’s Player of the Year event in the Britannia Stadium, on tour with Genesis guitarist Ray Wilson and LZY and at an outdoor concert celebrating 100 years of the City of Stoke on Trent. The Ersa Major line array cabinet is a three-way fully horn loaded mid/high loudspeaker with two ten-inch woofers and a two-inch plus one-inch compression driver. The system’s accompanying PUKK -218 sub is a dual 18-inch reflex cabinet with a flat frequency response down to 22Hz. The complete system is powered by new Ohm class D amplifiers. The threechannel amplifier has one 1,800W output and two at 600W, which will power up to four Ersa Major cabinets. Each amplifier features built-in DSP with Ethernet connections and analog/digital signal inputs. A single channel class D option is available for the PUKK subs either rack mounted or contained in the cabinet. Ersa Major was sucessfully used for a festival in June celebrating one hundred years of the City of Stoke on Trent. Some 10,000 people were at the all-day concert featuring Graig David, Gabriella Cilmi, Diana Vickers, Tiffany Paige, The Hoosiers and ten other acts. > ohm.co.uk
HK AUDIO COHEDRA CDR 208 HK Audio’s Cohedra line is lead by the CDR 208 S/T, which features two 8/1.4-inch line-array mid/high units with 80degree horizontal coverage pattern. Cohedra Acoustic Lens, CD-horn design, and compression chambers for the midrange drivers provide optimised dynamic response and extended throw. Two versions of the CDR 208 cabinet housings are available (S and T) so that curvature can be optimised and sidelobes minimised. Integrated 800Hz passive crossover. Its frequency range is 88Hz – 16kHz (+/- 3dB), with a max SPL @1m of 139dB (ten per cent THD). www.audioprointernational.com
Horst Heinze’s Bad Dürrenberg-based company Pro Sound deployed a Cohedra system at the Handel Festival at Halle on the Saale River, an outdoor classical music festival, honouring composer George Frideric Handel. > hkaudio.com
EAW KF740 The new KF740 line array system recently had its UK debut at North Weald airfield where, much to the dismay of the neighbours, the mighty boxes overpowered the sound of aeroplanes taking off. The KF740 delivers high output, three-way performance in a compact format by incorporating dual 62mm voice coil HF compression drivers and dual eight-inch Concentric Summation Array (CSA) loaded MF transducers integrated through a common horn occupying the entire face of the enclosure. Pattern control is extended down to 160Hz as the MF devices are transitioned to a spaced array of four 2.5-inch voice coil and teninch woofers. The pair of LF devices integrated within the MF/HF horn combined with the pair of side-mounted devices to provide up to 18dB of off-axis rejection. The new array element produces a frequency response from 50 Hz to 20kHz with a dispersion of 90-degrees H and 12-degrees V. Power handling specs are as follows: (LF) 1,400W (four Ohms) or 700W x2 (eight Ohms each) – 124dB SPL; (MF) 625W (eight Ohms) – 135dB SPL; (HF) 200W (eight Ohms) – 133dB SPL. > eaw.com
MARTIN AUDIO MLA Martin Audio is stressing that, while it shares physical aspects of a line array in terms of its touring-friendly format and articulated hanging architecture, MLA goes beyond line array, as it does not share the early line array concept of producing flat, isophasic and vertical wavefronts. Rather than utilising three or four stepped zones, with increased level and HF eq applied at the top of the array, MLA has 72 individual HF cells, each automatically phase, eq and level optimised by dedicated software. MLA has 24 times more HF control resolution than a three-zone line array. The multi-cellular format features six individual cells in each enclosure, each with its own onboard DSP and power amplification. A 24-enclosure array will feature 144 cells, which is too great a number to optimise manually or by ear. As such, Martin Audio’s proprietary Display 2.0 system design software automatically calculates FIR DSP filters for each cell and a redundant-ring audio network (U-Net) downloads the settings into each array enclosure. Martin‘s VU-Net software provides real-time control and monitoring of the system.
Septemebr 2010 37
> LIVE SOUND LARGE FORMAT PA Features of the MLA include even frequency response and SPL over audience areas, high system output (140dB peak, per cabinet @1m), automatic optimisation of array, both physically (splay angles) and electronically (DSP), computer control and monitoring of the entire system, and total control of sound system balance for engineers and sound technicians. Additional features include 90 x 7.5-degree dispersion, a compact size, one-box-fits-all application range and a global voltage, power factor corrected power supply. MLA has already been put to use on the Fettes Brot European tour, in London at the iTunes Festival and in American with the the Zac Brown Band. > martin-audio.com
ALCONS AUDIO LR24 Alcons Audio has announced the introduction of its pro-ribbon technology to the touring and larger installation markets with the launch of the LR24 system. The new line array system was designed to deliver the same SPL of equivalent products in the mid-size line-array category, but with 15dB less distortion. Components of the system include the LR24 mid-size three-way line-array, featuring an all-new pro-ribbon mid-high transducer platform, the LM24 low-frequency arrayextension, BQ211 high-impact sub, BC543 self-contained cardioid sub and the ALC Sentinel – a four channel DSP-based controller with full class D amp stages. > proribbontechnology.com
RCF TTL55-A RCF’s TTL55-A is a high power, three-way, active line array module designed with high output for use in large outdoor spaces. It features six neodymium transducers and the integration of a 3,500W four-channel digital amplification and advanced digital processing. Additional features include a highquality analog input board, 96kHz, 32 bit DSP processing and remote monitoring and control. Airone chose the TT+touring system for Italy’s Maximal festival this year. Maximal’s stages were equipped with TTL55A line array modules and TTS56-A high power subwoofers, for the main stage, and TTL33-A line arrays and TTS28-A subs for smaller stages. TT25-SMA coaxial stage monitors were used for the monitoring of the DJs’ consoles. > rcf.it
TANNOY VQ NET 60 The VQ Net 60 from Tannoy’s VQ Live series is a full range, three-way loudspeaker system integrated with state-of-the-art digital signal processing, network control and dual channel class D amplification. Tannoy’s VNet technology allows the Live series to implement system setup and ongoing venue network control and with real-time diagnostics. Its low frequency extends to 90Hz, with a continuous SPL of 138db (144db max), and is said to have optimised coverage and pattern control and more than sufficient rear rejection. Midas Pro Sound debuted the finished VQ Live system at the Namfest in Chippenham, UK, in addition to supplying the Tannoy speakers for Tiesto at the SECC in Glasgow. > tannoy.com
DB TECHNOLOGIES DVA T4 DB Technologies DVA T4 vertical arrays are said to offer all relevant criteria for the line array market, including weight, acoustic handling, while price and additional transport and flying costs have been well considered. The system’s individual curving is optimised to the demands of the event, enabling the acoustic advantages and shows the flexibility of DVA. T4’s HF section features two one-inch RCF neodymium compression drivers, 1.4-inch voice coil; MF 6.5inch RCF neodymium sealed basket, phase plug and an eight-inch RCF neodymium LF driver, allowing its frequency response to range from 80Hz to 19kHz [+/- 3dB]. > dbtechnologies.com RENKUS HEINZ VERSYS VLX3 Renkus Heinz’s Versys VLX3 is marketed as providing exceptional output to weight ration, as it is capable of outputting in excess of 133dB SPL while weighing 190 lbs. The element utilises dual 12-inch neodymium woofers and dual custom CDT-15V CoEntrant MF/HF devices with 6.5inch carbon fibre coned mid drivers and a 1.5-inch exit diaphragm units. Its mid high device is mounted on a compound phase plug attached to an isophasic plane wave generator providing 60, 90 or 120-degree horizontal dispersion. Its frequency response ranges from 45Hz to 20KHz. Class D PM3R tri-amplifier, full digital dynamics, networked audio over Cobranet and loudspeaker monitoring and remote control over Cat5 cable are also provided. The Renkus Heinz audio operations network, Rhaon, is integrated with the system. Sure Sound and Lighting provided a massive Renkus-Heinz line for the 25,000 punters at the Lazerfest. Two hangs of 12 Versys VLX3 line arrays were used on either side of each stage, and two hangs of 12 STLA9 line arrays on the inner sides. Four PN102 cabinets in front of each stage provided front fill. A total of 40 MT4 subwoofers – each sub sporting four 18-inch speakers, or 160 woofers in all. > renkus-heinz.com
FUNKTION-ONE RESOLUTION 5 The sound reproduction and unique design of Funktion-One’s Resolution 5 loudspeakers made it one of the most well known boxes in the touring and installation sectors. The 12-inch Res 5 provides a frequency band of 114Hz to 445Hz, 105dB sensitivity, 300W and a nominal impedance of eight Ohms. Audio Plus supplied the annual Czeh trance music event, Transmission, with Glastonbury-sized loudspeaker clusters of Res 5s and the largest configuration of Funktion-One F221 bass bins ever used. Audio Plus system tech Mark O’Neill comments: “There was huge expectation on us supplying this system; not only did we have to out-perform the L-Acoustics’ VDosc system used before, we also had to get a chest-pounding bass response to the back of a 15,000-strong audience. The 58 Res 5s were used to www.audioprointernational.com
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> LIVE SOUND LARGE FORMAT PA control dispersion and allowed us to ensure mid/hi coverage throughout the arena with plenty of headroom. We had two main clusters consisting of 20 Res5 and five R4D (downfill) with two delay points at approximately 50m, each consisting of nine Res5s. We knew they wanted the ‘wow’ factor, so we used 37 F221A twin 21-inch bass enclosures compared with the 12 we would normally use on a rock n roll show in this type of space.” > funktion-one.com
DAS AERO 50 The second in the Aero series, the Aero 50 is an externally powered, high efficiency line array module that integrates low, mid and high frequency transducers in a single unit. Two new 15GNR loudspeakers in a bass-reflex configuration handle the low frequency reproduction while the 15GNR speaker incorporates a 102 mm (four-inch) edge-wound flat wire (EFW) voice coil and lightweight neodymium magnet assembly to ensure that the dynamic response produces deep and precise LF. A redesigned motor structure, which utilises an internal neodymium ring focuses magnetic energy in the gap where it is needed, ensuring reduced magnetic leakage and lower component weight. Four purpose-built 8MN, eight-inch cone transducers incorporating neodymium magnetic assemblies and 62mm (2.5inch) voice coils are used for mid frequency reproduction. These components take advantage of the Total Air Flow (TAF) cooling scheme, which aids in evacuating voice-coil heat minimising power compression. High frequency reproduction is handled by two M-75N compression drivers coupled with a pure titanium diaphragm featuring 75mm copper-clad aluminum EFW voice coil yielding high sensitivity, low distortion and extended frequency response. A copper shorting ring surrounding the pole piece effectively reduces eddy current induced distortion with the added benefit of increasing the very high frequency output by reducing the inductive rise of the voice coil. Acustic Crom recently used the system on the main stages of the ten day Arenal Sound festival, which featured Cranberries and Simple Minds (see page 51). > dasaudio.com
JBL VERTEC VT4889 The JBL Vertec series VT4889 is a three-way line array element featuring Differential Drive, neodymium magnet, dual voice coil and the high output, lightweight Direct Cooled cone transducers. JBL claims that the VT4889 features the industry’s smallest, lightest and most powerful 1.5-inch exit, three-inch diaphragm high-frequency compression driver, while its proprietary waveguides couple to create a precision HF vertical slot aperture. The patented Radiation Boundary Integrator incorporates output of individual bandpass elements. The VT889’s frequency output ranges from 40Hz to 18kHz (-10 dB), with a continuous power rating of 2,000W for LF, 1,400W for MF and 225W for HF. Its sensitivity specs reveal 99dB for LF, 102 dB for MF and 116 dB for HF. Adlib Audio flew over 90 VT4889 line array elements at the 2009 Leeds and Reading festivals, with identical systems supplied for the Radio 1/NME stage at both sites. The main hangs inside were ten Vertec VT4889s per side with 16 ground stacked Vertec 4880A subs. Two delay hangs of three VT4889s were also used. > soundtech.co.uk
EV X-LINE XVLS Electrovoice’s Xvls line array element from the popular X-Line series provides a 90-degree horizontal coverage pattern. The Xvls high-frequency section is comprised of three neodymium ND6 high-frequency compression drivers, dual, eight-inch, neodymium ND08 MB woofers mounted on a wide mid-bass horn, and dual, 15-inch EVX155PL (plate) low-frequency woofers. EV Hydra time synchronised, highfrequency vertical plane wave generator provides far-field summing. The Xvls element produces a frequency response of 40Hz to 16kHz (3dB) max SPL/1m (calc) of 142dB and coverage of (nominal -6 dB) 90-degree H and five-degrees V. The West Holts stage at this year’s Glastonbury festival featured an EV XLine system with X Subs running in cardioid mode for the stage, complemented by an EV N8000 Netmax system for distribution supplied by APR Audio. > electrovoice.com
MEYER SOUND MILO Meyer Sound’s Milo system is a four-way system with 140dB SPL peak output, which contains three dedicated very-high frequency transducers that extend its operating range to 18kHz. Thomas Mundorf of Meyer Sound designed an inthe-round system of Milo arrays with the subs flown in the middle for Mettalica’s recent world tour. > meyersound.com
D&B AUDIOTEKNIK J-SERIES The J12 features a frequency response of 48Hz to 17kHz (-5dB), dispersion of 120-degrees H, power handling of (Watts RMS/Peak) 500/2,000 for HF, MF 200/800. Skan PA used d&b Audioteknik J-series as main hangs on the Other Stage at Glasto 2010. Twenty speakers were used per side aside, with 14 for side hangs, in addition to six Q1s for the centre hang and 24 J-Subs and 10 J-Infras in a sub array to handle the LF. The d&b M2s, C7 and M2s were used for monitoring with and Q-Subs for drumfill. > dbaudio.com
ADAMSON Y-AXIS Y-18 Adamson’s y-Axis Y-18 frequency response of 40Hz to 18kHz (full range preset), dispersion of 100-degrees H (-6 DB), 90degrees (-3 dB), power handling of (Watts/RMS) 1,200 LF, 700W MF, 150W HF, while producing a max SPL (dB) of 138 continuous, peak 144. The Y-Axis system can be seen in use on tour with Status Quo. > adamsonsystems.com
NEXO GEO T The Geo features unique cardioid dipole midbass, as well as the GEO Hyperboloid Reflective Wavesource. It has been used on main stages internationally including Glastonbury and Reading and Leeds.
We used 58 Res 5s to control dispersion, which allowed us to ensure the mid/hi coverage throughout the arena with plenty of headroom. Mark O’Neill Audio Plus
> nexo-sa.com 40
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COLUMN BROADCAST <
Letter From The Front CTVOB’s Bill Morris starts his new monthly column with a letter from the set of Channel 4’s The Family… ir Thomas Beecham once stated: “try everything in life once, except folk dancing’’. It was with this in mind that I was given the chance to try the Joeco Blackbox digital recorder to back up our trusty Tascam x48, used to acquire the multi-track audio strands for the current series of The Family, produced by Dragonfly for Channel 4. Unlike the Tascam, the Joeco does not give you a linear track by track VGA status display. Instead, the clear and concise front panel LCD tells you only what you really need. As a back-up device, all the sound supervisor needs to know is that what is being inputted is being laid down to hard disk. It’s simple to set up, does not drop out of record every time you look away and multiple units can be combined if show requirements exceed its 24-track capability. For the previous series of The Family, we laid down over 16,000 hours of multi-track audio, which was edited down to five one hour programmes. These durations, coupled with 24hour operation mean the internal memories on the Tascam and Joeco are more or less irrelevant. We use them merely as a transitory conduit, with layoff happening in real time with very little latency to 500GB Glyph Drives. As with all OB operations, it’s all about back-up, therefore the audio crew back up the Glyph drives to 2TB G-Raid storage. Life on location at The Family is an odd existence. Tucked away in a small townhouse is a hive of TV activity. Behind the greyed and tired net curtains of the basement window is a complete outside broadcast operation in a very small space.
We deploy around 30 remote pan and tilt cameras throughout the home – all of them monitored, directed and operated from a full gallery in a nearby location. The audio gallery has a Yamaha PM1D at its core, with just enough active faders to provide the multiples of ambient sub mixes and RF mic sources required. It’s not the most compact desk, but its wide linear layout and ease of operation is essential. We use multiple directional and pendant omni-directional microphones throughout the location. We tend to use Sennheiser SK5000 series personal mics for their excellent dynamics and build quality. Hiding multiple pairs of active antennaes in a domestic environment can be a problem, but the CTV crews have learned to improvise and adapt. As with many of our shows, the product invariably ends up being ingested onto Avid Unity or Final Cut Pro for post production. The traditional product in our case has always been acquired using HD Cam tape (and before that Digi Beta). These days however, given the constraints of time and tighter budgets, more of our shows are being done tapeless. Using EVS and XFile combinations, we are gradually taking our friends and colleagues into this new world. Producers embracing this technology are growing and those that have experienced these workflows will never go back. These systems have been used for thr Burghley Horse Trials, V Festival, The World Poker Tour, Guinness Music Festival and Market Kitchen. Within two years, tapeless workflow will be the norm.
Life on location at The Family is an odd existence. Tucked away in a small townhouse is a hive of activity. Bill Morris CTVOB
Septemebr 2010 43
> STUDIO GIZZARD
Proof in the process Gizzard Recording studio is one of the only studios in London still working outside the digital domain. Andrew Low talks to Ed Deegan about how he finds plenty of time for patching and tape machines… he London recording scene was turned on its head when garage rock duo the White Stripes recorded their major label debut Elephant, not at one of the big expensive city studios, rather at Liam Watson’s Toe Rag Studios in Hackney. Soon after, Toe Rag engineer Ed Deegan set up his own space in Mile End and Gizzard Studio was born. Coming from the ‘computers are evil, analog only’ ethic of Toe Rag, Deegan set up the studio with a Studer A80 twoinch, 16-track machine with a 1970s Alice Stancoil, AM series quad mixer – originally designed by Ted Fletcher from Virgin Records’ the Manor Studio. The tape machine and desk were complemented by his autodidacticism on room acoustics and a pair of BBC Ls5 monitors given as a gift by Watson. The wave of bands wanting to make the legendary trip to Toe Rag became much more than Watson could handle and he began recommending people to Gizzard. While many modern recording engineers settle for a digital set up, claming they do not have time to change tapes, rewind them or, god forbid, make patches, Deegan explains that he saves time by making decisions with the band before the tape even begins to roll. “With only 16 tracks at my disposal I have to make sure I know what the client wants by constantly communicating with them during the recording process. That way we don’t get into a situation where the band wants to add extra tracks, but I don’t have any left because I have used them all on the drums,” he says. “So there are many processes that the band might not be aware of, but I know from doing it day in and day out that I have to make sure it happens, and that speeds things up. All the time I might spend patching I may be talking to the client about another part of the recording. If you are used to it and love the process, the artist’s vision can be realised. “Some people really want to work on tape, but also want to use loops, so I tell them to carry on working at home and do all the editing there. It would be silly to spend all day splicing tape in the studio when they could have just done it in ten minutes at home. But they want to get something out of this gear because it sounds great, so I suggest bringing it in here to mix.”
Vintage gear aside, Deegan feels that the processes he uses at Gizzard encourages musicians to physically play in a room together. “Often, song writers sit in their bedrooms recording music and get stuck in this little world,” Deegan explains. “I find that if you can get the band together in a room where everyone can communicate, work together and come out of that world, you really get the best take on a song. They might find the studio environment oppressive and there might be some awkward moments and disagreements, but most of the time it is brilliant; I think the positives far outweigh the negatives. To get people out of that computer-led format and encouraging them to play their instruments well is a lost art, and those disciplines have been forgotten to a large degree. “I harp on more about the process than the gear. I’d rather people played and worked in more traditional processes, rather than being sat in their room with an SM57 and a PC with a sound card or buying a Pro Tools HD system or a pointless Neve and copy and paste all day. That is the key of what is really missing, not the gear, but the real crux of it lies behind missing the sound of a band in a room. People had to do it back in the day and there is no substitute for that.” Although the recording industry has fallen on tough times as of late, Deegan is certain that the analog way will be embraced by generations to come. “Everyone loves that old sound. I am certain that generations to come and today’s younger musicians who have never used tape will eventually figure out that their favourite records would have been recorded on tape. They get obsessed with music from the 60s and 70s, look in Mojo Magazine, see all the old pictures, hear those old records just like we did and want some of that. At the same time they may not have a huge budget. I am always trying to find ways to make it happen for bands and musicians at all levels.”
I harp on more about the processes than the gear. Ed Deegan Gizzard
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HENRIK MICHELSEN STUDIO <
A JEM in the rough Henrik Barman Michelsen, LIPA graduate and one-third of songwriting trio JEM, has become the first person to receive the MPG Prize. Rob Hughes caught up with the young producer to get the low down on his snowballing career… here is now so much news coming out of the MPG stable that its numerous announcements are generally collated on a newsletter, but even that seems to land in my inbox on a fairly regular basis and is always a worthwhile read. So it was with some interest that I perused a recent press release dedicated to just one story, as well it might be, since it concerned the organisation’s inaugural ‘Prize’. To my mind a little overdue, this new honour acknowledges and rewards the most promising student to graduate from the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts’ sound technology degree course each year – a fitting move by the guild with newfound clout in the industry. The first recipient of the MPG Prize was 24-year-old Henrik Barman Michelsen who was presented with his award by MPG chairman Steve Levine and fellow producer and MPG director Tony Platt during LIPA’s annual graduation ceremony recently. Sir Paul McCartney, who co-founded LIPA in 1996 as part of a plan to save the Liverpool Institute for Boys building (his former school) was also in attendance, as was Barman Michelsen’s head of discipline Jon Thornton, who recommended the standout student for the prize. Platt, who himself was honoured by LIPA with a Companionship last year, in recognition of his contribution to the world of arts and entertainment, noted that he and his peers looked forward to mentoring Michelsen as he established himself in the industry. As part of the award, Michelsen will be given a number of amazing opportunities, most notably, the chance to spend two days working alongside leading producer Paul Epworth, winner of this year’s MPG Producer of the Year and BRIT Producer of the Year awards. He will receive mentoring from heavyweight producers such as Levine, Platt, Mick Glossop, Nicky Graham, Andrew Hunt and Russ Hepworth-Sawyer, and spend two weeks as an intern at Kore Studios, London (winner of this year’s MPG Award for Best Studio). Air Mastering engineer Ray Staff and orchestral recording expert
Haydn Bendall will also give up their time to help him hone nascent skills gleaned at LIPA – and he will undoubtedly gain many more. Born and raised in Norway, Michelsen was introduced to music at a very young age by his father, who kept an extensive record collection. Monthly trips to Tower Records resulted in an additional hefty stack of CDs for the youngster. Before long, at the age of ten, he took his first tentative musical steps when he began playing the guitar. Soon after he was experimenting with songwriting and by the age of 15 had turned his hand to basic recording. “I was just using a multi-track Zoom thing,” Micelsen recalls, “trying to programme drums and not really knowing at all what I was doing. But I recorded my own stuff then and soon recorded some friends. It seemed to work okay.” After high school, the budding producer and musician enrolled in a music technology course in Trondheim, Norway, where he also played in several bands and recorded constantly. Upon graduation, he was accepted into LIPA where he enrolled to study for an arts degree in sound technology and was quickly identified as an outstanding student by his teachers. When one of them received an email requesting bright young producers from a management student, also at LIPA, who was working part time for EMI sub-label, Virgin Relentless, Michelsen’s name was mentioned. He and his production partner sent off their showreel for appraisal. The record label gave them a test project, from which they emerged triumphant, before awarding them a gig with the Canadian band the Mission District. The pair handled production and tracking, while Mark Needham (no less) took care of the mixing duties. Evidently, this opportunity represented a sturdy kick up the arse of Michelsen’s career, delivered before he had even completed his education.
I’m definitely looking forward to shadowing Paul Epworth, he seems to be a hugely talented guy. Henrik Michelsen audioPRO
Septemebr 2010 47
> STUDIO HENRIK MICHELSEN All this, however, was somewhat external to his studies at LIPA and is unlikely to have been the sole influence on Jon Thornton’s decision to nominate him for the MPG Prize. So when I got Michelsen on the phone, the first question I asked him was: ‘what made you stand out from what was without doubt an exceptional bunch of young engineers at LIPA?’ “Working hard and being a nice guy basically,” came the reply. “Hard work outside of school as well as in school. But, importantly, being somebody that other people want to work with and trying to understand the people that you’re working with so that you can work better with them.” I don’t know why, but his answer surprised me. I guess I expected him to tell me that his grasp of audio engineering concepts was very good, or that he really knew his way around a Duality or something. The hard work part stood to reason, but the thought that his success at LIPA might have had something to do with the way he interacts with others had never really entered my mind. And the realisation of this was a little embarrassing, because I am acutely aware that the way an engineer – and especially a producer – interacts with the people they are working alongside is one of the most critical aspects of recording. Michelsen’s appreciation of this probably has a lot to do with his newfound success as one part of JEM, a production and songwriting outfit that he founded with fellow Norwegian LIPA students, Christoffer Jenssen and Edvard Erfjord. The team has already undertaken work for a number
of record labels including EMI, B-Unique Records, Roasting House Publishing and Rock Mafia Records, in studios such as Assault and Battery in London and Giant Wafer in Wales. “I enjoy the production side of things the most,” explains Michelsen. My background in writing music has definitely helped that along. It gave me an understanding of the people that I’m working with. If you’re working with an artist and you’re familiar with the process of creating music and being a musician in a situation where people are recording you, it just makes for a better understanding and grasp of the process and situation as a whole. And that might help you anticipate problems, find solutions and be a step ahead of what the artist wants during a session.” An astute observation indeed and one that dovetails nicely with Platinum Tones’ Tony Platt Michelsen’s understanding of what made him such a fine student. It follows that his perception of what he stands to gain from the time he is due to spend with some of the world’s most talented producers is more about a wider understanding of the studio situation, rather than just technical ability – something many presume to be the most important factor, which is fairly useless in the absence of great source material. “I’m definitely looking forward to shadowing Paul Epworth, he says. “I really like the records that he has done and he seems to be a hugely talented guy, so that will be very exciting. It will be cool to see the way Epworth interacts with the people he is working with. To see his general approach to things and how he solves problems, stuff like that, which is on Levine with one of the turns the deep side of production – the psychological stuff.”
Synco divisions collaborate for Massive Attack Serbia’s Audio Konstruktor and Romania’s Paradigma team up to provide audio production on arena dates SYNCO EUROPE Network members, Audio Konstruktor of Serbia and Paradigma Group of Romania, recently joined forces to provide audio production for the Eastern Europe leg of Massive Attack’s international tour. The tour rolled into the region in late June and saw the band play the Belgrade and the Bucharest Zone Arenas. Paradigma Group’s production manager Christian Singer commented: “It was a great opportunity to provide the sound system for Massive Attack for the Bucharest and Belgrade shows. The band’s sound crew were really happy to work with the Synco equipment and they enjoyed the good coverage and accurate spread, both indoors at Belgrade and outdoors in Bucharest.” The PA consisted of 50 Synco by Martin Audio W8LC line array loudspeakers, flown in hangs of 16 cabinets per side, with a further nine per side in outfield arrays. Main LF was provided by 18 WS318X triple 18inch subwoofers, while front fills comprised six W8LM mini line array units complemented by six Synco by Renkus-Heinz 18RR subwoofers. The whole system was driven by Synco amp racks with XTA and Lake processing. It delivered more than 140kW of power.
Dave Bracey mixed FOH for Massive Attack on a Digico SD7 console, while monitors were mixed on a Digico D5 Live digital console, with a combination of wireless in-ear monitoring and Synco CW152 dual concentric wedge monitors. Sreten Kovacevic commented in Belgrade: “At front of house, which was 30 meters from the stage, we
The sound crew were happy to work with Synco. Christian Singer Paradigma
could achieve between 115dB and 120dB. Dave Bracey said he was more than pleased to be working with this system because of a good past experience with Synco by Martin Audio PA. The sound was also mentioned in the Serbian press as being of exceptional quality for Belgrade Arena.” > synco-network.com
Powersoft drives Adamson rig at Spanish theatre THE PROMINENT Teatre Joventut in Barcelona has installed a number of new Powersoft amplifiers as part of an entire sound system overhaul. Local Spanish installer SeeSound chose three Powersoft K Series amplifiers to drive an Adamson Metrix main system, while three L Series units power monitors and fills. The loudspeaker system comprises four Metrix cabinets and a Metrix sub per side, complemented by Adamson CB1s for front fill and Adamson M12s and 10MXs for use as monitors. Both front of house and stage monitor signals are processed by XTA DC1048s, with Avid’s Venue SC48 providing the main mix. "The theatre demands a multipurpose system that can deal with both speech reproduction and sound effects in theatrical style,” said Artur Gomez, technical manager at the Teatre Joventut, “The Adamson speaker system, with its clarity and controlled dispersion, combined with Powersoft amplifiers to drive it, performs so efficiently.” 50
Gomez also commented on the improvements in efficiency with the venue’s recent system installation: "Upgrading the system didn't mean increasing the cost of running it. While having much more output power available, the new, much smaller system is drawing less power from the mains than before. In times of tight budgets and increasing costs it is highly appreciated to actually spend less on electricity, not to mention obtaining th ‘green’ merit.” > powersoft.it
ALLEN & HEATH HAS… >> ...Supplied its iDR audio distribution system for installation in the Nokia Concert Hall in Tallinn. The state-of-the-art venue, located in the Estonian capital, selected the system, which comprises an iDR-8 16x16 matrix mixer and an iDR-switch to enable the connection of external equipment to manage audio distribution, control and zoning across numerous areas, including conference centre, exhibition space and two multi-screen cinemas. > allen-heath.com www.audioprointernational.com
Acustic Crom and DAS team up for Arenal Sound
THE PAD Recent industry deals THE MCPHERSON Opera House has installed Tannoy Qflex systems as part of a recent revamp. Sounds Great Music was the team responsible for the installation in the 550-seat Kansas venue. â€œWe wanted an impressive system with good aesthetics and a natural sound,â€? said Michael Dunn, designer and installer on the project. â€œIn the end, QFlex made for far less visual clutter, as well as substantial gains in terms of coverage and overall clarity.â€? > tannoy.com
â€˜Formidableâ€™ DAS system provided for one of Spainâ€™s biggest festivals
DAS AND audio rental firm Acustic Crom recently provided a formidable Aero Series 2 line array system at Arenal Sound, one of SpainÂ´s biggest summer festivals. DAS audioâ€™s head of engineering Javier Navarro, who supervised the set-up and operation of the system, commented: â€œThis was the first year the Arenal Sound Festival was being held, so there were a few unknowns. To make sure we didnâ€™t get caught short on output, we decided to supply a system that would provide ample SPL regardless of the audience turnout. It was the right decision, as the attendance was massive.â€?
The system was located on the DAS Stage, where acts such as Cranberries and Simple Minds performed. The two main hangs each consisted of 16 Aero 50 line array enclosures. Low frequency support was provided by eight DAS LX-218 and 16 LX-218A subwoofers that were ground stacked eight units across and three units high, using a cardioid configuration to keep the stage free of bass reflections. Both loudspeaker systems were driven by 16 Lab.gruppen FP 10000Q power amplifiers and four DAS SLA-4000s. Flown alongside the Aero 50s were 16 LX-218A powered subwoofer
systems. The system also included a centre-fill cluster consisting of six DAS Audio Aero 12A self-powered line array modules, flown from the top of the stage. A number of different consoles were used during the event, including a Midas XL3, Digidesign Venue and Digico SD8. The signal outputs of the various mixers were processed and routed using a Dolby Lake processor. DAS Audio DSP-2060 digital processors handled the ground stacked LX-218s and allowed the centre-fill to be divided into clusters of three units. > dasaudio.com
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THE INNOVASON Eclipse digital mixing console was chosen for use as the main FOH console at the Toronto Jazz Festival. The board, with its integrated MARS multitrack recording system, made a positive impact with engineers at the event. Brad Mulligan commented on the flexibility and analog feel of the console: â€œAs an engineer, you get the best of both worlds. The intuitive interface is accessible from the control surface and the MARS multitrack recording system allows for soundcheck mixes to be perfected during playback afterwards. > innovason.com
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BEHIND THE BOARD WITH… JAMES GEBBARD FOH engineer for Brandon Flowers, James Gebbard talks about swapping rotary pots for rotor blades… Which band/project are you currently working on?
I’m currently working with Brandon Flowers in Las Vegas with shows scheduled over the next few months.
Hands down the Digico SD7. It’s just the most amazing mixing board ever made. Favourite PA system?
What audio console are you utilising? And how many channels?
I’m using a Digico SD8 out front and a SD9 on stage. I have only used the SD8 a couple of times because we used a SD7 with The Killers. How many channels? That’s the big question. We are looking at 44 channels at the moment. What decision process was behind the choice of this audio console?
I used the Digico SD8 a couple of times over the summer with other bands that I’ve been working with and it’s just a baby version of the SD7 so, for me, it’s the ideal choice because I love the SD7 to bits. So having a scaled-down version, for me, is a no-brainer. Do you utilise any outboard effects/eq, and if so, what are they used on and why?
No, I’m not using any outboard at all. Every bit of processing is done entirely within the board.
It all depends on the venue. If I was doing The Killers’ show it would have to be the L-Acoustics K1, becasue the whole thing works like a dream. For smaller shows though, it would be a bit overkill. Favourite venue or festival?
I’ll have to say V Festival at the Staffordshire site. I’ve done that a few times and every time it’s just been unbelievable. What’s been your worst professional experience to date?
The Killers headlining Glastonbury. The combination of noise restrictions, the way the PA was hung and the whole system design was atrocious for a professional event like that. We were watching Arctic Monkeys perform the day before and I couldn’t believe the sound. I wanted to make changes to the PA, but the system guys were really inflexible. So, come show time, it just got killed.
What’s been your career highlight?
The most memorable show, for me, was The Killers playing Madison Square Garden in 2007. It was the first time they headlined there. Everything about the show was just absolutely phenomenal. What makes you happy when working?
Good planning and organisation. I like to be on autopilot.
With hindsight, what job would you have chosen for yourself?
I’m training to become a helicopter pilot right now. I wish I had done it earlier, but I’m so glad I’ve been an engineer because I couldn’t have replicated some of the experiences in any other career. Down the line, I hope to have my full commercial license and have the option to tour or to be a fulltime pilot at home with the family.
> IN SESSION
People and equipment behind studios in the UK and around the world...
Rooms: Control room, live room, iso booth Consoles: 30-input Calrec Mics: Neumann, AKG, Coles, DPA, Røde Outboard: Drawmer DS201, API 512c, API 525 Monitoring: Quested, Yamaha, Hafler
Rooms: Studios A, B, C, D, mastering room Consoles: Focusrite, Neve, API, Ocean Way custom
Lightship 95, London
Ocean Way, Hollywood
THE MILOCO studio group has expanded once again with the launch of Lightship 95, a recording facility built into the hull of a ship, permanently moored at Trinity Buoy Wharf, East London – one of the most iconic stretches of the Thames, with panoramic views of the river and the redeveloped London docklands and the O2 arena. This extraordinary new studio has been realised with the help of engineer Ben Phillips and is housed within the area that formally accommodated a very large diesel engine. The ship is reached via a drawbridge and is split between two levels: the recreational and living areas on the upper deck, and the recording studio on the lower deck. A 300 sf, purpose-built control room is daylit through four portholes and features a Calrec console, Protools HD and a selection of outboard. The control room allows a direct line of sight through to a 520 square-foot live room, which is also naturally lit and has a high ceiling, classic 80s finish and, reportedly, excellent acoustics. It includes a large collection of acoustic panels to vary the sound, some unique reverb chambers and an isolation
THE HOLLYWOOD branch of Ocean Way Recording is one of four owned by the company and is the world's most awarded studio complex. Sales of albums recorded there have reached a combined figure of over one billion units. Ocean Way was founded in the midseventies by Allen Sides, who began his career in the business by building custom loudspeakers, for which he leased a garage on Ocean Way in Santa Monica, to use as a hi-fi demo room. Since he knew exactly what sounded most impressive on his speakers, Sides made some limited live to two-track recordings for use as demo material and subsequently sold numerous speaker systems to musicians and others within the industry. Many of Sides’s customers became more interested in the recordings than the speakers and before long, he was being asked to make recordings that sounded like his demo tapes. To meet the demands of an increasing number of such requests, Ocean Way Recording Studios was born – initially constructed within the same garage. Through his quest for a recording console, Sides met with Universal Audio founder Bill Putnam – then owner of the largest independent
booth in one corner. The room can accommodate a whole band for live tracking and is complemented by an enviable collection of microphones and backline, including Fender and Gibson guitars, amps and drums. The recording space also includes some unique reverb chambers. After four years of searching and struggling without success to find somewhere to convert into a studio – an old auction house, a 19th century Morgue, a church, a slightly lessinspiring ex tool hire shop – I decided to look for an alternative space,” recalls Phillips. “In some way or another I was determined to bypass as much as possible: the constraints, seemingly unnecessary expense and encumbrance of conventional tenancies, solicitors, surveyors, planners, local authorities and so on.” Classed as a heritage vessel, Lightship 95 was originally commissioned by Trinity House, a 500year-old company established by Henry VIII, and was built in Portsmouth in 1939. It is one of the finest and last examples of an all-riveted steel ship made to withstand all weather conditions and frequent collisions.
A heritage vessel, Lightship 95 was commissioned by Trinity House, a 500-year-old company established by Henry VIII in 1539. Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7232 0008 Web: www.miloco.co.uk/lightship95
Mics: Neumann, AKG, RCA, Schoeps, Royer, Telefunken
Outboard: API, Avalon, GML, Pultec, Manley, Fairchild, Summit Monitoring: Ocean Way custom, Yamaha, Auratone
recording facility in the country, Universal Recording in Chicago. Putnam would eventually sell his former studio on Sunset Blvd, and the Ocean Way facility has remained there ever since. Ocean Way’s Studio B was the first, and possibly the most interesting, of the Hollywood facility’s recording spaces. It is considered to be the Taj Mahal of drum rooms and its legacy includes classic recordings by Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole. It is home to a custom-built discrete console with 48 channels of GML moving fader automation, OWR and API 550a equalisers on every channel. Ocean Way considers it to be the clearest board in existence. Icons including The Rolling Stones, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Dr Dre have all specifically choosen Ocean Way for its world-class sounding rooms, customised equipment and access to one of the music industry's most famous collection of vintage tube mics. While the studios are frequented by some of the most exceptional producers and engineers, Sides himself has recorded over 400 albums there, for which he has won two Grammy's.
Icons such as the Rolling Stones, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Dr Dre have all chosen Ocean Way. Telephone: +1 323 467 9375 Web: www.oceanwayrecording.com
IN ASSOCIATION WITH
With Reference to What? Yellow Technologies’ Pete Eaglesfield explains the fall and rise of Yamaha’s NS-10 as the ultimate studio reference monitor and why we may never see a replacement… he term ‘reference loudspeakers’ has been used with abandon for many years, although it is no longer as relevant as it once was. The reference loudspeaker was a secondary pair (not always a pair, even) of loudspeakers aimed at providing a reference point closer to the typical loudspeakers used in the domestic situations where the recorded material would ultimately be played. Producers and engineers had realised that it was all very well mixing on big, expensive monitors, but this was just vanity if there was no attention paid to the client’s experience. Next year will be the tenth since Yamaha finally ceased production of the NS-10, after what some might consider to be an undeservedly long term of office. While the familiar white cone can still be found atop large-format consoles in studios worldwide, there are few who would bother to search out secondhand units anymore. After an initial flurry of excitement and panic-buying after the announcement of their demise, we’ve learnt to live without our beloved NS-10 and, despite various attempts, there is no obvious successor. In 2008, Phil Ward wrote an article in Sound on Sound investigating what it was about the NS-10 that gave it pride of place in the world’s finest studios for such a long time, so there is no need to repeat this exercise. It is worth remembering, however, some of the findings of this article and the Newells/Holland paper that it quotes, in order to get a grip on the current situation. In his article, Ward promised that he would ‘never, ever write about the NS-10 again,’ so I don’t need to worry about misquoting him! There are several technical considerations that are proposed as reasons for the NS-10s particular suitability as a reference loudspeaker.
The real-life frequency response of the NS-10 provides a raised mid-range and gentle top-end roll-off
The most notable, to my mind, are the following. • The real-life frequency response of the NS-10 provides a raised midrange and gentle top-end roll-off, which, as the Newells/Holland paper summarises, seems a particularly good characteristic for a reference loudspeaker, giving prominence to the area of the audio spectrum with the most instrumental competition. • The LF decay time is exceptional. This may lead to better bass guitar and kick drum balance. • The sealed box construction (compared with the bass reflex construction used by many similarly sized loudspeakers) tends to provide superior transient response, which may be more important than frequency response for the purpose of ‘reference’. Perhaps the most interesting thing about the NS-10, though, is the fact that it wasn’t designed for purpose. It was designed as a hi-fi speaker and was received very badly by press and public alike in that respect. It was a failure. A chance happening led to its acceptance as a reference loudspeaker and that, perhaps, is why it did the job so well. Somebody tried it and it worked. For whatever reason, it caught on and the NS-10 became a
reference point in its own right. There was no marketing. Nobody was making any claims about the superior sound that it offered. There were no ulterior motives. So what now? Times have changed and only a small fraction of today’s music is produced in big studios with large-format consoles and a second set of loudspeakers is far less common than perhaps it should be. Today’s small loudspeaker needs to fulfil every criteria – it needs to be the main monitor and the reference loudspeaker, but is very often in the nearfield bracket regardless. We want to hear our work in all its glory (the vanity factor), but have the confidence that it will translate across a wide range of user reproduction systems, be they iPod, home cinema or television. Will anyone ever reproduce the characteristics of the NS-10 in a new loudspeaker? It seems unlikely. The gap between the ‘reference’ loudspeaker and the hi-fi loudspeaker has narrowed. Which manufacturer is going be brave enough to introduce a loudspeaker that doesn’t sound great, but is uniquely translatable? It’s one thing to have your failing product rescued from obscurity by fate, but quite another to produce a
loudspeaker whose main selling point isn’t that it sounds good. The story of the NS-10 is unique, not just in the music industry, but in the commercial world. It redefined the meaning of ‘reference’ in the term ‘reference loudspeaker’ as a global rather than a personal reference point. With this global reference point a thing of the past, the audio professionals must now hone their loudspeaker choice through experience, peer review and, of course, trial-and-error to ensure they meet the requirements for professional production – while still accommodating the need for the occasional vanity lapse.
Pete Eaglesﬁeld Peter Eaglesfield is the MD of Yellow Technology, a world-class professional audio consultancy, providing the complete range of services and products from studio design and installation to ongoing maintenance and support.
To contact Yellow Technology Tel: +44(0)1799 542105 Website: www.yellowtechnology.co.uk
NEW GEAR >> Recent releases in audio technology 1
Shure KSM44A studio microphone
Void Acoustics Infinite QX
Peluso P67 microphone
Mackie Onyx Blackbird
THEY SAY: KSM mics deliver worldclass sound reproduction via exquisite electro-acoustical design. SPECIFICATIONS: The KSM44A is a large-diaphragm, side-address condenser microphone that can be used in a variety of live and studio applications. It features Prethos Advanced Preamplifier Technology consisting of transparent internal circuitry architectures. With Prethos the KSM44A achieves four dB of self-noise. It is built with the dual one-inch, externally biased, ultra-thin, 2.5 μm, 24 Karat gold-layered, low mass diaphragms. Internal and external connectors are gold plated. The KSM44A comes with dual large diaphragms with switchable polar patterns, minimized proximity effect and three-position low frequency.
THEY SAY: Responding to the current trend in the market for greater power in smaller lightweight equipment, Void has perfected its series of amplifiers. SPECIFICATIONS: Void’s new fourchannel range, based on the Infinite X architecture, provides three models: Infinite QX4 with four x 600W at fourohms, Infinite QX5 with four x 1,000W at four-ohms and Infinite QX6 with four x 1,200W at four ohms. The QX series makes use of a newly developed advanced mosfet output stage, which allows the highest fidelity and optimised reliability. Each channel also features a fully adjustable crossover filter. Each 24dB/oct L-R crossover can be configured as either Hi Pass or Lo Pass at any frequency between 70 Hz to 5Hs.
THEY SAY: A faithful recreation of the classic Neumann U67. SPECIFICATIONS: The P67 was created using accurate response charts of U67s made in the 60s. The mic has a similar nine-pattern remote switching capability as that of the M269 and features a 34mm gold-sputtered diaphragm and a multi-pattern pickup. The P67 comes as a complete system, with microphone in a wooden box, power supply, new-style eight-pin screw on cable assembly and shock mount, all in a flight case.
THEY SAY: The rackmount Onyx Blackbird delivers studio-grade recording via eight Onyx mic preamps. SPECIFICATIONS: The Onyx Blackbird is a 16x16 Firewire interface, featuring 8x8 ADAT and wordclock I/O. Two front panel ‘Super Channels’ with dedicated low-cut switches, phantom power and true hardware monitoring options for quick zero-latency tracking are in place. Other channels offer further flexibility via the Blackbird Control DSP Matrix Mixer for setup of independent mixes and the ability to route any input to any output. Monitor, main, alt and dual headphone outs with dedicated source selection and level control ensures plenty of mix routing options. Blackbird is Mac/PC compatible, work with most major DAWs and includes Tracktion 3 software.
JZ Microphones pop filter
QSC CMX amplifiers
SSE DDI Digital DJ interface
EAW QX series loudspeakers
THEY SAY: SSE’s DDI addresses problems associated with accommodating guest DJs. SPECIFICATIONS: DDI is a 1U rack mounting patchbox that enables DJs to hook up their scratch hardware/software system to a venue’s audio system. The DJ is able to use the permanent turntable and CDJ installation with their own Serato Scratch, Scratch Pro, Final Scratch or similar system without the need to repatch the venue’s audio system. Its front panels features two balanced XLR mic Inputs, two stereo line inputs, two stereo phono outputs, two stereo CD outputs and a stereo record output. Its rear panel provides two balanced XLR mic outputs, two stereo line outputs, two stereo CD inputs, two stereo CD outputs, two stereo phono inputs and two stereo phono outputs.
THEY SAY: The QX series is optimised for installed system applications that require precise directivity in a powerful low-profile format. SPECIFICATIONS: The QX series passive is wired-for-biamplification. All full-range models have squared, symmetrical, dualtrapezoidal enclosures to provide extensive array flexibility. A centrally located co-axial MF/HF horn and two pairs of phase-aligned neodymium 12inch low frequency transducers team together to ensure that the entire frontal area contributes to horizontal and vertical pattern control capability. The five new models include the QX596 (dispersion pattern: 90 x 60- degrees), QX594 (90 x 45-degrees), QX566 (60 x 60-degrees), QX564 (60 x 45-degrees) and QX544 (45 x 45- degrees).
THEY SAY: After having great success with Black Hole series microphones pop filter, there was no other way than to design the unique pop filter compatible to any mic on the market. SPECIFICATIONS: The JZ pop filter has unique shape designed to maximally reduce plosive sounds coming to the microphones capsule and to avoid altering the harmonic content of the sound source. The pop filter has extended the length of the gooseneck and a special attachment for a fast and easy action when applying the pop filter to the microphone stand.
THEY SAY: The new CMX series amp line offers an economical and rugged power amplifier solution designed to meet the needs of system integrators. SPECIFICATIONS: CMX amps feature high-current toroidal transformers and filtering to ensure generous energy reserves, allowing them to handle highlevel transients, even when driving two-ohm speaker loads. The CMX Series is available in four models the CMX 300V, CMX 500V and CMX 800V, housed in a 2RU chassis design, and the CMX2000V housed in a 3RU chassis design, with power ranges from 185W to 2500W per channel. All models feature constant voltage output for distributed audio systems, with the CMX300V and CMX500V offering it in mono-mode only, while the CMX800V and CMX2000V feature constant voltage output in either mono or stereo mode.
> qscaudio.com 56
September 2010 57
> DISTRIBUTION <
Ward Steedsy adds Full Fat Audio Scottish firm takes on full range of UK manufacturer’s power amplifiers
VMB HAS named Front Technology as ts exclusive distributor for Nigeria. The West African company will be distributing both lifts and audio, having taken stock of various models of VMB lifters, ADP series Cabinets and Lynx line array. Front has already used the VMB kit to welcome Nigeria’s new president, Goodluck Johnson, on a visit to Akwa Ibom State. VMB has expanded into the African market in recent years with line array in Morocco, Angola, South Africa and now Nigeria. > vmb.es DIGIGRAM HAS revealed that Point Source Audio will now serve as its master distributor. It will take over all aspects of distribution and will be the main point of contact for Digigram’s representatives and resellers. > digigram.com PHOENIX AUDIO has appointed Big Knob Audio in Jakarta as its exclusive distributor for Indonesia. Big Knob has already signed up two famous endorsers of Phoenix products – musician and engineer, Indra Qadarsih and Nagaswara Records. Qadarsih is a renowned mixing and mastering engineer in Indonesia, but is perhaps better known as the keyboard player in the band BIP. Of the Phoenix Audio Nice DI, he said: “My VSTIs sound like glass without it. Now, I can’t gig or listen to them without the Phoenix Audio Stereo DI.” Nagaswara Records in Jakarta has recently re-equipped its studios, making the Phoenix Audio Nice DI a key element of its mixes. It is are one of the major labels in Indonesia, with over 200 artists on its roster, including best selling and charting artists such as Wali. > phoenixaudio.net
58 audioPRO September 2010
AUDIO HIRE and sales company, Ward Steedsy Associates will now be distributing the full range of Full Fat Audio power amplifiers to the Scottish market. David ‘Steedsy’ Stevenson and Steven Ward have been using several of the amplifiers to power part of their Funktion-One touring rigs for the past few months. “We initially supplied a fourchannel FFA amplifier to a local school which had managed to find enough budget for a small Funktion-
One system. The four-channel FFA with custom crossover cards fitted allowed us to biamp the system from a two-unit module without any external DSP. Listening to this system convinced us of the audio quality of the Full Fat Audio amplifiers and we ordered some for use in our Resolution 4 systems,” commented Stevenson. “Becoming the Scottish distributor expands our portfolio of quality audio brands we wish to be associated with and we look forward
to adding more of the FFA amplifiers to our stock to enable demonstrations for potential customers. The build quality is superb and with a standard five-year warranty on every unit, these amplifiers are impressive.” Ward Steedsy Associates subsequently used a number of Full Fat Audio amplifiers this summer to power several Funktion-One systems in the campsite at Scotland’s T in the Park festival. > fullfataudio.com
dBTech moves into South Korean market ITALIAN LOUDSPEAKER manufacturer, dBTechnologies has announced the appointment of Dongyang Tave as its distributor for South Korea. Established in 2001, Dongyang Tave has grown to be one the leading pro audio distributors in South Korea after a recent transition from dealer supplier. The company has a 30-member work force specialising in PA, AV, SR and CCTV who have earned a reputation in pro audio consulting and system integration for projects in the region. “It was clear early on in our discussions that dBTechnologies’ range was exactly what we had been looking for,” said Tave president, SeKeun Lee, who met with dBTechnologies at PL+S in Frankfurt this year. “All products are technically advanced and include digital powered speakers; they are at exactly the right quality and at the
30 strong: Dongyang Tave’s large workforce knows its PA, AV and CCTV
right price point.” Lee continued, “We have been monitoring the growth of dBTechnologies and its expanding range for some time and
feel honoured to have the opportunity to represent this strong and professional brand in South Korea.” > dbtechnologies.com
AC-ET becomes Sound Technology sub-distributor Customers to benefit from increased stock and service across Great Britain AC-ET HAS been confirmed as the accredited UK sub-distributor for Sound Technology's Harman Pro brand portfolio. All the Harman Pro brands, including AKG, BSS Audio, Crown Audio, DBX Pro, JBL Professional, Lexicon Pro, are included as part of the deal. AC-ET has been supplying Sound Technology brands to retailers and consumers in the core production market for years. Its sales and warehouse operations in the north and south of England allow customers to benefit from increased stock availability, sales service and backup.
AC-ET holds stock and demo units for a number of important Sound Technology ranges, including Soundcraft’s new Vi1 digital mixing console, which incorporates the wellknown Vistonics user interface. “Having enjoyed a close working relationship for a number of years, we are very pleased to add AC-ET to our sub-distribution network. Thanks to an extensive and diverse customer base, AC-ET is ideally positioned to grow the profile of every Harman Professional brand, expanding the market for our products and system solutions,” said Sound Technology’s Greg Niven.
AC Audio sales manager, Peter Butler added: “We are delighted to be selected by Sound Technology as one of its key sub-distributors. The Sound Technology brands are synonymous with quality and innovation, further strengthening the choice of leading audio solutions we can offer customers, all under one roof, to cater for their differing budgets and technical requirements.” > soundtech.co.uk
Audio Technica appoints sales manager for pro audio and install Simon Druce joins the A-T team from Beyerdynamic and Polar Audio AUDIO TECHNICA has appointed Simon Druce as sales manager for pro audio and installation, a role that will also make him area sales manager for Northern England and Scotland. Druce joins the company from Polar Audio where he was national sales manager. “One of my key tasks will be to focus closely on strengthening our business across the whole of the north of England and Scotland, to make sure our network of customers are properly supported and that together we are performing to our full
potential by re-establishing strong relationships with our customers," Druce said. Isabelle Wear, Audio-Technica’s European sales director added: “We’re delighted to welcome Simon to the team. His extensive experience will allow us to focus on the important pro audio and installation market, where we are committed to strengthening our business and continually improving the way in which Audio-Technica interacts with its customers.” > audio-technica.com
Midas appoints Karl Chapman New sales manager role created for Europe, Middle East and Africa MIDAS KLARK Teknik has announced the appointment of Karl Chapman to the newly-created position of EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) sales manager. Chapman joins the company after 15 years in European sales at console manufacturer Soundcraft. Prior to this, he held positions at Amek, Mitsubishi Electric UK and Neve. “I’m delighted to be joining Midas Klark Teknik,” said Chapman. “It’s clear that the company has been very active in the world of digital and I am looking forward to working with John Oakley and the sales team to establish an even stronger presence
in the markets of Europe, the Middle East and Africa.” John Oakley, general manager of Midas Klark Teknik, added: “Karl is one of the best sales managers in pro audio and I am delighted that the rapidly growing Midas Digital range has tempted him to join us during this exciting phase in the company’s development. I’ve known Karl for many years and he brings a wealth of experience to us. Karl’s appointment fills the biggest gap in our new sales management structure, which has already grown sales substantially in Asia and Eastern Europe.” > midasconsoles.com
Crown names Tour Sound business developer
CROWN AUDIO has appointed Eric Friedlander as business developer, tour sound. Friedlander will be responsible for supporting sales in the tour sound market and working closely with the customer base to provide tailored solutions to meet each customer’s needs. He will report to Crown’s market manager for tour sound, Brian Pickowitz. Friedlander served as a staff audio engineer for LD Systems LP, a major sound, light and video production firm. In this role he was responsible for the production of corporate and special events, designing and deploying specialised sound reinforcement systems as well as mixing live performances. Friedlander also previously held the position of sound engineer and systems tech for Maryland Sound International. > crownaudio.com
Please visit our website www.riedel.net
ROCKNET PERFORMANCE AUDIO NETWORKS The Solution for World Class Events.
RAFT C D N SOU R GOES E STUD KNET ROC
September 2010 59
WILD DISTRIBUTION LTD.
MARKETPLACE ADVERTISERS INDEX Adam Hall
+1574 294 8093
0800 239 2848
www.itechd.com www.dbtechnologies.com www.dvd-testing.com
Full Fat Audio
WILD DISTRIBUTION is a trade distributor of professional microphone related audio products. Set up in January 2007, Wild Distribution was formed as a division of Runway UK, the established pro audio company based in Surrey. Runway UK, which began trading in 1988, has a background of involvement in a number of areas, including A/V, stage sound, lighting, repairs and servicing and recording studio ownership, to name a few. Company MD Andy Wild has a wealth of experience in the industry. He started out as a teenager playing in local rock bands before becoming a full time sound engineer and road manager. At the age of 20, he got his hands on the first Cerwin Vega sound system in the UK and two years later formed his own sound hire company working with top US and UK acts. Wild has always taken a hands-on approach to business, which enables him and his staff to give up-todate advice on most microphones and their suitability for various applications.
Wild Distribution currently supplies a wide selection of microphones used by musicians, podcasters, project recording studios, internet radio stations, theatres, educational establishments, large commercial studios and broadcasters. It is the UK distributor for CAD Audio, Astatic, RoXdon, iSK, and Heil Sound. In 2009, Wild set up its own microphone company, RoXdon. Based in London, it produces high-end, handmade microphones, including condenser, ribbon and tube models. The firm also manufactures other studio products, such as Star Quad mic cables and an adjustable, portable vocal booth. According to the owner, Wild Distributionâ€™s rapid growth has been mainly due to the exceptionally high quality of new microphones made available with new technology and affordability, thereby giving end users a real choice without the hype that certain brands rely on. > wilddistribution.com
01992 558 800
0207 8749 5654
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To advertise call
Darrell Carter on 01992 535647
Active & passive speakers
InEar & Wireless
The sound of experience dBTechnologies UK 16 Whitebeam Close Newhey, Rochdale OL16 4ND Direct: 07595 672157 Freephone: 0800 234 2848 mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www.dbtechnologies.com
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PERFORMANCE YOU CAN TRUST
Your audience deserves to hear every note, every word, and every beat. PRX600 Series speakers were designed from the ground up to perform in the real world where difﬁcult acoustical environments, high ambient noise levels or loud volumes are the norm. And our 60 years of building speakers is engineered into every PRX600. Knowing that you can rely on your system to deliver gives you the freedom to deliver your very best. That’s performance you can trust.
Learn more at www.jblpro.com/prx600 or call Sound Technology Ltd on 01462 480000
MARKETPLACE < MANUFACTURER
Looking for a sound engineer with ALL of these qualities?... Gear Head knows all the gear and all the tricks
A star makes us sound like us, only better
Good communicator quick to understand what we want
Great ears gets fantastic sound
Nice person gets on with everyone, recommended by previous clients
Will travel and speaks four languages
Plays an instrument speaks our language
Great address book good studio and producer relationships
Superficial resemblance to Kid Rock (not a deal breaker)
Feet firmly on ground no big ego, "no prob" attitude
...Better call Wes then Wes Maebe: Freelance recording, mixing, mastering and live engineer T: 07875 401114
E: email@example.com www: wesonator.co.uk
Email Wes for your FREE copy of his 10 Top tips for Optimising Your Recording Session
GET YOUR PRODUCTS OR SERVICES IN FRONT OF THE WHOLE INDUSTRY
CONTACT: DARRELL firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 01992 53647 MANUFACTURER
High Speed Cost effective CD / DVD quality assur ance
NEW to Market - The DVX-3 Ultra High Speed CD/DVD Analyzer is the fastest, most convenient and cost effective test system on the mar ket today. The DVX-3 is a stand alone system employing a touch scr een that needs no PC, keyboar d or mouse - comes with the ‘ Analogue M easur ement M odule’ and 'Quick-Scan' as standar d
The DVX Autoloader option fully automates DVD and CD testing. I t is a standalone system that includes a built-in PC with Windows XP. Just add a monitor, keyboard, mouse and printer and you're ready to go to work. In automation mode, DVD and CD discs ar e tested, and the detailed r esults ar e automatically saved.
With the new QuickScan featur e, it can test a DVD-5 in as little as 38 seconds - DVX -3 also Per for ms bit-for -bit verification on all formats including video, audio & Enhanced CD.
250 Disc Capacity Auto Detect Format - Mix CD's & DVD's Proven Reliable Robotics Standalone System (includes built-in PC)
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 email@example.com.
The last word in Audio Pro I CAN sE YOU
LOUD AND CLEAR, OVER Flight Sergeant Edgar Gallant of the Royal Canadian Air Cadets takes his Sennheiser HME 110 headset for a test flight.
AUDIO FISH OF THE MONTH Producer and engineer Andy Bradfield makes a rubbish effort to conceal himself behind a reflection filter in a studio game of hide and seek. Maybe he was just showing off his sE Gemini mic. “It’s a really big sounding mic,” he says.
EMPTY ROOM OF THE MONTH
This is the Playhouse Theatre onboard P&O Cruises’ new ship, Azura, which boasts a 56-channel Yamaha PM5D-RH. Sadly, all the guests were having fun on the top deck.
Scott Wooding, AKA DJ Envy (right) needs the help of an angling friend to cradle this 98lb catfish – the largest fish ever to come out of an undisclosed lake in France. email your fish snaps to firstname.lastname@example.org
September 2010 65
PIC OF THE MONTH
This month, the audio stork visited Steph Dell to deliver beautiful baby Bea.
A TUBEY GRIN Columbian engineer Julio Reyes Copello is chuffed with his Tube-Tech gear. “All I have to do is plug the Tube-Tech units in and everything sounds better – it’s magic.” Are they paying him?
Musician and producer Eddie Stevens (Freak Power, Moloko, Zero 7) looks like he’s telling a ghost story in this shot. Actually he’s just describing the sound of his new SSL X-Logic Alpha-Link interface. Scarey...
Yes, it’s a pineapple, but we thought: ‘pineapples/speaker cones...’ Okay, so it’s a rubbish headline, but the same can’t be said for this brilliant Glastonbury stage, aptly called the Pineapple area.
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