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June 2017

Virtually there How VR technologies will transform the way we experience live music P36 P20









An evolution in digital mixing Drawing on 30 years of digital mixing know-how, Yamaha’s flagship RIVAGE PM10 system continues to evolve with a new compact control surface, support for 400-channel single-mode optical fiber and V1.5 firmware updates including Eventide H3000 Live UltraHarmonizer and Dan Dugan Automatic Mixing plug-ins.

NEW CS-R10-S Compact Control Surface

For more information please visit

Inspired sound #42626 - PM10 strip ad.indd 1

01 PSNE June 2017 FIN.indd 1

19/04/2017 15:39

24/05/2017 15:30

ULTRA-COMPACT MODULAR LINE SOURCE Packing a 138 dB wallop, Kiva II breaks the SPL record for an ultra-compact 14 kg/31 lb line source. Kiva II features L-Acoustics’ patented DOSC technology enhanced with an L-Fins waveguide for ultimate precise and smooth horizontal directivity. WSTŽ gives Kiva II long throw and even SPL, from the front row to the back, making it the perfect choice for venues and special events that require power and clarity with minimal visual obtrusion. Add to that a 16 ohm impedance for maximized amplifier density and a new sturdy IP45 rated cabinet, and you get power, efficiency and ruggedness in the most elegant package.

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18/04/2017 12:26:34 10:19:13 10/10/2016

PSNEUROPE Editor Dave Robinson

Group Commercial Manager, Music Ryan O’Donnell

Deputy Editor (so long and thanks!) Sarah Sharples

Senior Account Manager Rian Zoll-Khan

Content Director James McKeown

Sales Executive Alex Goddard

Head of Design Jat Garcha

Production Executive Jason Dowie


P3 JUNE 2017

DAVE ROBINSON Editor Contributors: Kevin Hilton, Marc Maes, Phil Ward, David Davies, Marc Miller, Mike Clark, Mel Lambert PRINT SUBSCRIPTIONS To subscribe to PSNEurope please go to should you have any questions please email Please note that this is a controlled circulation title and subscription criteria will be strictly adhered to.

@PSNEurope NewBay Media Europe Ltd is a member of the Periodical Publishers Association Copyright NewBay Media Europe Ltd 2017 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or any information storage or retrieval system without the express prior written consent of the publisher. The contents of PSNEurope are subject to reproduction in information storage and retrieval systems.

NewBay subscriptions: The Emerson Building 4-8 Emerson Street London SE1 9DU Email:

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2017 subscription rates for nonindustry/non-European readers are: UK: £39/€62 Europe: £54/€86 Other countries: £106/$170

Accreditations to memberships of industry associations and media partnerships

is published 12 times a year by NewBay Media Europe Ltd, The Emerson Building, 4th Floor, 4-8 Emerson Street, London SE1 9DU

ISSN number 0269-4735 (print) 2052-238X (digital)

When you have finished reading this magazine please, why not give it to someone else to read, too? Or recycle it properly. Don’t just sling it in the bin. I mean, come on!


ike many editors and commentators at this time, I am struggling to convey my horror at the atrociy that unfolded on the evening of 22 May at the Manchester Arena. So, I’ll keep it brief, as, by the time you read this, I’m hoping the country will have found some healing, and there will be no further acts of terrorism to grieve over. But, paraphrasing what I wrote on Facebook shortly after waking to all those horrific and harrowing radio reports: “How totally without regard for any notion of society, or hope, or love, must a person be to commit a crime so evil?” Brit Row’s Bryan Grant stated, for our online story: “This will probably be the first and last time that I agree with [a tweet by] Donald Trump. [The perpetrator] was a loser who cruelly picked the softest of targets. To call him a monster would be to give him too much credit.” And, you know what, Bryan? It’s the only time I’ll endorse a Trump tweet too, but the man nailed how many people feel in 140 characters. First Paris, now the Bataclan: once again, the live/production industry will have to think again about how it can improve safety at large public events. Let me throw this out there: one way perhaps – which we may or may not be on the practical/ affordable brink of – is the whole concept of the mainstream VR/AR gig. Of course, David Davies had no inkling of the forthcoming Manchester tragedy when he wrote the feature: but contained within his extensive and piece (p36) are the seeds of how some ‘experiences’ might be transformed by technology in the not too distant future. Sam Westerberg of LiveLike’s comment that “the opportunity to sell one million virtual tickets to Justin Timberlake at Madison Square Garden is pretty powerful” now has a startlingly new resonance for those who might be too worried to go to gigs. But – and let’s be quite clear here – I hope it never comes to ‘concert fear’ taking hold on any sort of scale. Finally, we say goodbye to our deputy editor as she leaves the mag after 12 months for a fresh adventure elsewhere. Thanks for all your hard work, Sarah, and good luck – you shall be Sharpley missed. n

dns2 anywhere

the dialogue noise suppressor that anyone can use θξσκςζζϊιξτψτθξκωώ


location studio live 03 WelcomeLeader FIN.indd 1

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P4 JUNE 2017




Studio 28 30 32




34 35

Business 6 7 8 9 10 14 26

SSE Audio sells Melpomen and Brit Row partners with Clair Global DAFT Studios launches with huge party and Audio XL’s Garden Sale The news from the 142nd AES Convention PSNPresents 5 on the future of the studio and broadcast audio Movers and shakers: industry appointments PSNTraining: what’s on Strategic position: David Claringbold


Rome bar transformed for radio show with Avid consoles The new broadcast player in town – FAC365

Live 42 44 48 52

A bigger and better Music Inside Rimini expo RSH Audio gets the beats going at Peckham Rye Festival Untangling the technology of Paolo Morena’s amazing live show Bat Out of Hell helped by TiMax SoundHub spatial audio

Installation 54

Technology 16 20 36

Grouse Lodge and the collective sessions with RecFest ART’s restoration of an original Neumann VMS-70 disc-cutting lathe School time at Thomas More University College and the Ghent School of Arts

Sennheiser enhances 50 years of Pink Floyd at the V&A

Back pages 57 58

Hither and dither Q&A: Dan Neale 04 Contents FIN.indd 1

24/05/2017 15:32

35 Years xy

d&b is 35. Sara is d&b. Sara Sowah is Head of Marketing Communications at d&b. She’s been on board since 2014. “Being part of the d&b team is like being surrounded by your brothers and sisters – they’re annoying, they’re fun, they’re determined. It’s a big passionate family totally obsessed with sound. I feel like it’s where I belong.” In 35 years d&b has evolved from a small garage venture to a worldwide standard in professional sound systems. It’s people like Sara who make this story possible, and just that bit different from the rest.

Welcome to System reality. Full Page Template.indd 1 35yrs_09_(PSNE)_220x290_100517.indd 1

10/05/2017 09:43:16 10/05/2017 10:16


P6 JUNE 2017


Brit Row “finds its partner” with Clair Global By Dave Robinson


ollowing a strategic alliance which has been in place since the beginning of 2017, Britannia Row Productions, AKA Brit Row, has announced its acquisition by Clair Global, the world’s largest live production house. “Both companies see this as the perfect way to expand and strengthen their worldwide client base, allowing them to offer consistent service in all major territories,” Britannia Row directors Bryan Grant and Mike Lowe said in a statement. Added Troy Clair, president/CEO, Clair Global: “The synergies we’ve experienced with the entire Britannia Row team have been overwhelmingly positive. Culturally and professionally, we are on the same page. We are excited to bring this new level of global support to our clients and better serve their passions to advance this industry.” In an interview with PSNEurope in February 2017, following the announcement of the strategic alliance, Grant said his PA hire company – formed from the production needs of Pink Floyd in 1975 – had been

looking for a partner in the USA since the late ‘90s. “We got talking to Clair last year, and although they have their own preferred kit, and we are mainly [L-Acoustics] K1 and K2, we were more concerned about strong back-up [in both territories]. “Clair Bros – Troy, Shaun and Matt – they are just very easy people to deal with. And we seem to share a common philosophy. Clair’s number one priority is looking after the client, as is ours. Some people don’t think like that; they think, ‘who’s gonna pay for that?’ There isn’t time for that [thinking]. If there’s a problem, you deal with it, and sort out it out afterwards. Is that old school? I don’t know. But it’s the mentality we have.” Grant added that Clair Global – formerly Clair UK – moved their operation into the Twickenham-based Brit Row facility when its lease in Luton came to an end. “So [Clair UK’s] Andy Walker, Tim Boyle and their team moved in. It’s good fun, they’re nice people!” In February, Grant also offered: “[Clair] are still the biggest and the best in terms of providing service,

Bryan Grant

in the world! Clair are into the third generation, and their still going, they’re still the biggest. They’re getting something right! That’s really all it is.” n


SSE parts ways with Melpomen By Sarah Sharples


rench production house Melpomen, part of SSE Audio Group since 2001, has been acquired by B Live. Founders of B Live, Yannick Bétis and Eric Barthélemy say: “Melpomen’s extensive experience in the installation and integration market and its track record with prestigious clients such as the Stade de France and Parc Asterix, will allow the newly enlarged Group to reach a critical size in this developing market sector.” SSE Audio’s MD, John Penn adds: “Melpomen has gone from strength to strength in recent years with the purchase of the French event lighting company MES, the addition of a video department and the expansion of [its] sales [arm]. We’ve been reviewing the position of Melpomen in the French market for some time and we concluded that for it to continue to expand, Melpomen needs to be part of a larger group – just as we have been building SSE Audio Group here

in the UK.” Penn continues: “We met the B Live people a couple of years ago and discovered that their founders have very similar views to our own and a similar vision for the future. It became clear to us that Melpomen was the (L-R): Thierry Tranchant (MD Melpomen), Yannick Bétis (B Live), perfect fit for [them].” Heather and John Penn (SSE Audio) and Eric Barthélemy (B Live) With this acquisition, B Live, which has revenue of approximately 75 million euros, becomes one of the and B Live’s teams will come together to integrate all top three live event suppliers in France, reports SSE. of our talent, energy and technical expertise and to Thierry Tranchant, founder and managing director develop synergies in sales, generate new business of Melpomen remains in charge of the Nantes-based opportunities and further improve the quality of the company, and joins the board of directors of the B Live services we offer to our customers.” n Group. He notes: “In the coming weeks, Melpomen 06 News SORT BRYAN PIC AND OK.indd 1

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P7 JUNE 2017


DAFT officially crazy for business! By Marc Maes


AFT Studios received its official launch on 6 May, with officials, producers, musicians, equipment suppliers and family guests gathered to celebrate with the engineer/ developer behind the ambitious project, Stijn Verdonckt. After more than three months of trials and adjustments, one of Europe’s biggest recording studios (as featured on the cover of the PSNEurope March 2017) officially opened its doors: a 220sqm main hall, a huge recording ‘wood’ room, four additional recording booths, and a spacious control room featuring the country’s first Rupert Neve 5088 console. The result is simply overwhelming – both from the outside and inside the huge building. “This recording studio is a bonus for a city like Malmédy,” enthused Jean-Paul Bastin, the mayor of the region. “We don’t get prestigious projects like this on the drawing board every week. It has become a 21st century building, replacing the farms and barns from the past. I dare to express a message of hope that it will attract new investment to the area.” With DAFT already offering an impressive working environment – plenty of daylight and a view over a forest – the studio’s vintage back-line and outboard gear collection is another forte, the result of a strategic partnership with Ives Mergaerts, founder of Rental Company KICK APS. “Some 300 rare instruments are ready to be moved to DAFT,” Mergaerts revealed. “We hope that the world will soon discover Malmédy next to [Rock] Werchter on the

The brains behind the DAFT idea, Stijn Verdonckt

musical map.” During the opening, Mergaerts had an original (1967-68) Keith Moon “Pictures of Lily” Premier drumkit and a rare Hammond B3 plus Leslie on display in the recording room, plus vintage Marshall, Ampeg and Fender amps. Verdonckt and spouse Tine welcomed guests and hosted a party that lasted until the next morning: testing the acoustic insulation of the adjacent lodging house was not an issue! n

The local mayor hopes the studio will attract investors to the area


Another excellent Audio XL garden sale By Marc Maes


or 10 years now, Benelux sound equipment distributor Audio XL has been organising its annual ‘Garden Sale’ event, offering a substantial inventory of pro audio gear at rock bottom prices. With a catalogue including top brands like AKG, Harman, Crown, dbx, JBL, Lexicon, Soundcraft and Nexo, Audio XL is one of the low countries’ leading distributors. Over the years, it has become a tradition

to offer a range of B-stock gear at bargain prices. “The Garden Sale is an annual phenomenon attracting the touring and retail clients,” explains Taco Jellema, business development manager. “Alongside the B-stock sales, we seize the opportunity to strengthen our business relations during the informal contact and the garden barbecue. The event attracts some 60 to 100 Audio XL clients from both Holland and Belgium.”

Audio XL Benelux general manager William Van Druten keeps his eye on the clock: on the stroke of 1pm, he opens the entry to the AV company’s vault and the crowd storms in to get the most out of the B-stock inventory. This year’s edition included a special series of AKG headphones and dynamic microphones as well as a Nexo GEO M6 system, plus JBL VTX-V20 and VTX-V25 line array kit. n 07 News FIX TOP PIC AND OK.indd 1

24/05/2017 16:10

Show review: 142nd AES Convention

P8 JUNE 2017


Berlin belter!

Mel Lambert reports from the recent European convention, held at the Maritim Hotel in the German capital at the end of May


he AES returned to Berlin after a three-year absence, and proved once again that the Society’s talented committees can organise a series of well-attended paper programmes, seminars and workshops, in addition to an exhibition of familiar brands. Held at the Maritim Hotel in the creative heart of Berlin from 20-23 of May, the 142nd AES Convention was co-chaired by Sascha Spors from University of Rostock and Nadja Wallaszkovits from the Austrian Academy of Sciences. Reported attendance, according to AES executive director Bob Moses, was 1,800 – a figure at least 10 per cent higher than last year’s gathering in Paris - with visitors from a number of overseas countries, including China and Australia. “Our All Access advance registration also was up 10 per cent compared to last year,” he told PSNEurope. Moses also announced that the next European convention will be held in Milan “during spring 2018,” and that the society is planning a new format for its autumn convention in New York, by aligning with the National Association of Broadcasters; while next January in Anaheim, CA, “we will we holding a new type of event to be titled ‘AES at NAMM,’ more details of which will be unveiled in June.” There will be no west coast AES Convention next year: instead the Society will return to New York in autumn 2018 for a joint AES/NAB confab at the Jacob K Javits Convention Center. The Berlin opening ceremonies included an address from current AES president Alex Case, who stated that the “AES conventions represent an ideal interactive meeting place for audio professionals. Social media lacks the one-on-one contact that enhances our communications bandwidth with colleagues and co-workers.” After awarding The AES Distinguished Service Award to Mark Yonge, who this year retires as AES standards manager, and who previously worked at SSL, Dolby Labs and Granada TV in the UK, AES past-president John Krivit introduced the convention’s keynote speaker, Dr. Alex Arteaga, whose research integrates aesthetic and philosophical practices, together with the relationships between aurality, architecture and the environment. Currently head of the Auditory Architecture Research Unit at the Berlin University of the Arts, Professor Arteaga argued that, in terms of the difference between soundscapes, “our experience depends upon the listening environment”, and “aural interactions between listeners and vibrating bodies shape a chrono-topology”. While Arteaga’s language was decidedly abstract, his underlying message was that to full appreciate the way

It was standing room only at some of the Paper Sessions

in which we hear sounds in a 3D environment requires a deeper understanding of how we, as listeners, interact with that space. Also to be seen in the show’s ‘expo’ component were technological developments from pro audio brands, together with several network-capable offerings. Lawo demonstrated the new mc²96 Grand Audio Production Console, an IP-based networkable design, available with up to 200 on-surface faders. Innovative features include automatic gain control across multiple channels; and miniature TFT color screens above each fader that display LiveView thumbnails of the incoming channel sources. Stage Tec presented new processing features for its Crescendo Platinum TV production console, courtesy of V4.3 software, including an automixer based on gain sharing that can be used on every input channel; loudness metering to EBU R128 for sum and group channels; a de-esser on every channel path; plus, scene automation with individual user-adjustable blend curves and times for each channel. Avid Technology showed native support for the new 7.1.2 Dolby Atmos channel-bed format – basically, the familiar 9.1-channel bed with two height channels – for editorial suites and consumer remastering, plus several upgrades for Pro Tools, including new panning software for object-based audio and the ability to switch between automatable object and buss outputs. Also to be seen: a new update to Nugen Audio’s popular Halo Upmix plug-in for Pro Tools which, in addition to stereo to 5.1, 7.1 or 9.1 conversion, is now capable of delivering 7.1.2-channel mixes for Dolby

Atmos soundtracks. A dedicted Dante Pavilion featured six manufacturers that offer network-capable products, including Solid State Logic, whose Tempest multi-path processing engine and router is now fully Audinate Dante-capable for both T Series control surfaces and Live Series consoles; Klang, whose Fabrik 3D in-ear monitor systems are currently being used on tour with the likes of Justin Bieber and Linkin Park; Bosch RTS, whose intercom systems feature Dante connectivity with OCA system control; HEDD/Heinz Electrodynamic Designs, whose Series One monitor speakers feature both Dante and AES67/Ravenna ports for enhanced networking; Focusrite, whose RedNet series of modular networked pre-amps and converters offer “enhanced reliability, security and selectivity” via Dante, according to product specialist for EMEA/Germany, Dankmar Klein; and NTP Technology’s DAD Series DX32R and RV32 Dante/MADI router bridges and control-room monitor controllers. My “Can-I-really-believe-what-I’m-Seeing?” Prize goes to Recording The Masters, which unveiled the new Kerwax Replica. As the name suggests, the unit is based on a classic, all-valve console installed at the residential studio of the same name in Brittany, north-west France. The new dual-channel line pre-amplifier features a pair of 12AX7 valves per channel for the pre-amp/ EQ and overdrive signal paths, plus MS and left/right merge controls. The company’s new non-tape division is dedicated to the development of similar products that “extend our expertise in analogue audio connectivity,” according to product manager Frederic Menteri. n 08 Berlin AES FIN.indd 1

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P9 JUNE 2017


The future of studios and broadcast audio

Following the hugely successful evening of fat-chewing and beer-drinking in November 2016, PSNEurope announces the fifth PSNPresents…

Andy Wright Producer


TommyD DJ/producer

wo panels of leading producers and engineers will discuss the current state of the studio and the future of broadcast audio on June 6 at Sway Bar, London. The first panel on the future of the studio features, Andy Wright, producer (Simply Red, Simple Minds), TommyD, DJ/producer, (KT Tunstall, Corrine Bailey Rae) and Ian Dowling , mixer/producer (Adele, Catfish and the Bottleman, Blaenavon) Fresh from consecutive Radio 2 “Albums of the Week” with Simple Minds’ Acoustic and Nell Bryden’s Bloom, Wright’s recently back from his latest project in Japan. Beginning with Simply Red (he has production credits on all of their albums since 1995), stints with Dave Stewart, The Eurythmics and Annie Lennox, led to chart success with the likes of Atomic Kitten, S Club 7 and Natalie Imbruglia as well as high-end projects with artists like Jeff Beck and Luciano Pavarotti. Recent highlights include the raw rock’n’roll of Imelda May and the critically acclaimed Simple Minds release Big Music. TommyD travelled to New York as a teenage DJ and he was influenced by the house music of the Paradise Garage. On his return to London, he became an early resident at the nascent Ministry of Sound. His production break came through Right Said Fred’s irresistible I’m Too Sexy; he went on to produce two huge albums for Welsh pop act Catatonia, including the bestselling International Velvet and Equally Cursed and Blessed, and other indie acts too. Since 2009 he’s been recording as Graffiti6 with Jamie Scott, and three years ago he launched his own drinks company. Dowling started his career at Strongroom in the early 2000s and followed the traditional runner through to inhouse engineer path until 2008 when he left to engineer and mix for producer Jim Abbiss. During his time with Abbiss he has engineered and/or mixed records by

Ian Dowling Mixer/producer

Catherine Robinson The BBC

Kasabian, Bombay Bicycle Club, KT Tunstall and Adele (which won him a Grammy in 2011 for engineering and mixing 2 songs on 21). In the last year, Wright has produced the debut album from Hull punks LIFE, mixed and produced singles for newcomers Black Honey, engineered tracks for McBusted and One Direction, and mixed albums by Blaenavon and The Orwells. The second panel on the future of broadcast audio features Catherine Robinson, radio/sound at The BBC, Mark Briscoe, head of audio at dock10 and Eddie Veale of Veale Associates. The session will delve into the innovations and developments taking place within audio technology and how they are equipping broadcast productions in the current climate and for the future. Attendees can hear first-hand perspectives from those at the cutting edge of broadcast audio development (BBC R&D), live production, and post production as they discuss how innovations such as object-based, spatial, and immersive audio technology is having an impact on their professions. Robinson has worked in radio sound for the BBC since 2000. Her specialism is sound design for radio drama, binaural audio and 3D sound for 360 video and VR. She created the sound design and binaural mix for Ring, a horror radio drama for Radio 4. Following the success of that, she set up the first operational 3D sound studio in the BBC outside Research and Development, using their tools. Some of the binaural productions that have been created in the 3D studio are: The Russell T Davies adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which was the first ever binaural feature film; six 360 films for Planet Earth 2 using dynamic binaural sound design; and Doctor Who episode called ‘Knock Knock’ which is the first binaural tv drama made available on BBC iPlayer.

Mark Briscoe Head of audio at dock10

Eddie Veale Veale Associates

Briscoe has been dock10’s head of audio since 2014. Whilst at dock10 he has mixed such series as The Five, Scott and Bailey, Last Tango In Halifax, Danny and The Human Zoo, Victoria Wood’s That Day We Sang and Happy Valley for which he was nominated for an AMPS (Association of Motion Picture Sound) Award and won the 2014 TVB Award, beating the likes of Sherlock and the Honourable Woman. Prior to joining dock10, Briscoe was senior dubbing mixer at ITV Manchester. His credits include: The Accused, The Street, Last Tango In Halifax, Bedlam, Appropriate Adult and Hit and Miss. He started his career at ITV as a trainee sound editor before becoming a dialogue editor and finally a dubbing mixer. Veale has a career spanning nearly 50 years and is acclaimed as one of the UK’s most influential studio designers. He has been responsible for designing and building Europe’s first professional home recording studio for John Lennon and pioneering the presenterdriven radio station for Beacon Radio. Some of the studios that Eddie has designed include Sarm, The Mill, Roundhouse, Lansdowne, Trident, Decca, Global Radio, GMG Radio, Virgin, Channel 4 and Carlton TV. Phil Ward, previous editor of PSNEurope and now freelancer to titles including Installation, Lighting & Sound International, Pro Audio Asia and AV Magazine, will host the first panel, while the second will be chaired by Barney Jameson, director of The Inside Story, an independent agency delivering marketing, public relations strategy and business development support for leading brands within professional audio. The night kicks off at 7pm with registration and drinks, before the first panel starts at 7.30pm, with the second panel on at 8.45pm and more drinks afterwards. n Tickets are free and people should register online. 9 PSNPresents ONE CHANGE AND OK.indd 1

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P10 JUNE 2017

Movers and shakers

Focusrite forms Commercial and Pro Audio business unit Former Avid director leads the new team


ocusrite has appointed Rich Nevens as vice president of worldwide sales for the company’s newly formed Commercial and Pro Audio business unit, which consists of RedNet, Red interfaces and the ISA range of products. Nevens joins Focusrite from Avid, where he held a number of positions over the last 12 years, most recently director strategic solutions, worldwide audio sales. Focusrite Group CEO Tim Carroll – also formerly

of Avid – states: “Rich Nevens is a highly respected professional audio business leader with many years of experience operating at the senior decisionmaker level. Rich will initially be focused on developing a world-class network of distributors, resellers and system integrators to accelerate our growth in the broadcast, post-production and professional markets.” n


The Adam Hall Group has hired John Kaukis to its UK sales team. His responsibilities will include the continuation and development of business activities in the UK and Ireland and increasing market penetration. He spent almost four years at Polar Audio and prior to that was with Loud Technologies.

FBT Audio (UK) has appointed Robert Griffiths as northern business development manager. Hailing from Manchester, but set to support customers of both FBT and JTS, Griffiths is a life-long audio enthusiast. “We wanted someone who’s new, fresh and hungry, and this is the man,” enthused FBT Audio managing director, Mark Parkhouse.

The National Film and Television School has appointed Naomi Climer, IBC council chair, to its board of governors. She joins the board at a time when the School is expanding its technology and engineering remit to tackle a growing skills gap in the industry with a new Production Technology MA.

Designer and product specialist Martin Drumm joins the Penn Elcom team, where he will be designing and developing new products. His initial project includes the organisation of a whole new production range of flightcase hardware, where customers who are building their own products can get all materials from a single source.

Clear-Com has appointed Simon Browne to vice president of product management. He will continue to oversee product brand development, lifecycle management and positioning for all Clear-Com and now the Trilogy Communications products. Browne has been at Clear-Com for 28 years.

POLAR has appointed Will Turney to the post of business development manager. With seven years experience in the AV industry, he joins the company from Harman-owned AMX, a manufacturer of control and switching equipment, where he was a channel account manager concentrating on the higher education sector.

In response to growing sales in Northern Europe, Meyer Sound has appointed two new distributors in the region. Moscow-based Major Sound is the new distributor for Russia, while Sonus Exsertus, based in Lithuania will represent Meyer Sound in its home country as well as the other Baltic states of Latvia and Estonia. Major Sound was recently formed exclusively to provide sales and technical support of Meyer Sound products in Russia. The company is launching a new education program, translating marketing materials into Russian, representing Meyer Sound at trade shows, creating online events, and backing all sales with certified service technicians and local parts inventory. Audiologic has been appointed by AED Distribution as a QSC pro supplier for the UK. Kenneth Bremer, business development manager at AED Distribution says: “Audiologic come to us with long-term experience in supporting large scale system design and installation companies, and furthermore are well known for their comprehensive after sales support.” Audiologic designs audio systems for a host of diverse sectors including education, retail, corporate, houses of worship and live events. Peavey Commercial Audio has signed a new UK distribution deal with Barnes & Mullins after ending a three-year partnership with the Midwich Group. Barnes & Mullins are distribution partners for Peavey’s musical instrument portfolio and this new deal will see the full Peavey Commercial Audio range join their offering, including Crest Audio, MediaMatrix and the full line of Peavey Professional products. Barnes and Mullins Pro Audio will see further development, with a dedicated pro audio area sales manager position with full technical backup from Peavey Commercial Audio’s UK office, as well as creation of a B&M Pro Audio website with trade prices, stock levels and online ordering capabilities. 10-12 Appointments FIN.indd 1

24/05/2017 14:26


ShowMatch™ DeltaQ™ loudspeakers provide better coverage for outstanding vocal clarity. ©2017 Bose Corporation.

With DeltaQ technology, new ShowMatch array loudspeakers more precisely

Full Page Template.indd 1

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


17/01/2017 10:26:18

P12 JUNE 2017

Movers and shakers

Kevin McNally returns to installation sales He joins Old Barn Audio as their new business development manager


ith over 25 years’ experience working in the professional audio industry – for companies such as Martin Audio, EAW and Bose, and more recently the Music Group – Kevin McNally has joined Old Barn Audio as the company’s new business development manager. Seeking a return to his roots of installation and professional sales, he was approached by OBA owners, Phil Clark and Neil Kavanagh, whom he has known for many years, with the new position in mind. He will be responsible for the install business,

as well as professional audio dealers for many top blue-chip brands. The introduction of unrepresented professional audio brands to the UK market will also be something McNally will spearhead within his role. Says McNally: “Neil, Phil and I go back to my days at EAW and Martin Audio, and we have always had a great and open relationship. We have completed many site visits and system designs together over the years and when they asked me to join them I could see that this could be a great opportunity to strengthen the Old Barn Audio team and match my aspirations.” n

Fohhn Audio has announced a change to its supervisory board as Heinz Schwarz steps down after 16 years at the helm. He is to be succeeded by Richard Nestel. Schwarz‘s involvement with Fohhn Audio dates back to the company’s foundation in 1993. Nestel is no stranger to the company having served as its tax advisor for many years.

APG has appointed Rodolphe Portet to the newly-created role of sales engineer for the Southern region of France. With experience in electroacoustic R&D and technical support, Portet matches APG’s new sales organisation, as the company is now fostering a direct approach with integrators and rental stagers in the French territory.

Renkus-Heinz has appointed Joe Fustolo as eastern regional sales manager. He is an engineer with roots in live and installed sound. Previously, he provided applications support for Eastern Acoustic Works and has also worked for FBT and Outline, as well as on production roles with major concert and theatrical companies.

DPA Microphones announced that Evan MacKenzie has joined the team as the new marketing and communications manager for the United States. His responsibilities will include branding execution, augmenting marketing collateral for the region, media planning and buying, event planning and artist relations. He previously held marketing positions with QSC Audio, Allen & Heath, KRK and Cerwin Vega.

Theatreplan has welcomed Matt Kingslake to its growing team of consultants. He worked on Holiday on Ice, touring the world for eight years and was then the technical manager at Grimsby Auditorium before becoming the first technical manager for the Grove Theatre. He is already working on Theatreplan projects including the new Oldham Coliseum Theatre and Heritage Centre, Copenhagen Opera House and the Helsinki City Theatre.

Dynaudio has hired Rune Jacobsen as its VP of sales. He has worked with the pro-audio division for the past seven years as export manager at its former worldwide distributor TC Group International. He says: “Since I was a teenager, I’ve been avid about high-quality audio, so combining sales of Dynaudio’s professional line with my personal interest as an audiophile makes this a perfect match.”

DEALER NETWORK JoeCo is set to experience significant growth in France with the appointment of Paris-based distributor Audiopole as its new exclusive French representative. The agreement heralds the beginning of a new drive to raise the profile of JoeCo within the French market. Currently, Audiopole represents brands including Studer, Clear-Com, Genelec, Beyerdynamic and MC2. K-array has welcomed SOONN as the company’s distributor for the Czech Republic. Founded in 2011, SOONN’s main focuses are distribution, consulting, project design and installations in the field of professional audio equipment and system integration, contributing to applications in theatres, social halls, music clubs, hotels, multifunctional spaces, recording and postproduction studios. SOONN is also active in the broadcast market, where it cooperates with partners in the Czech Republic, and the rental market, where they collaborate with small and medium sized rental companies. FACE – the Foundation for Audiovisual Commerce & Engineering – has taken on distribution of Solid State Logic Broadcast consoles for Benelux (The Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxemburg), and Live consoles in Belgium and Luxemburg. These will include Live L200, L300, and L500 digital consoles, the System T networked broadcast production environment, and the SSL range of Network I/O products. To support this new partnership, FACE will be running various launch events for both Live and Broadcast markets at its Boom, Belgium headquarters, starting with a series of broadcast technology sessions on the 7 and 8 June. Renkus-Heinz has appointed On The Road Marketing as their new manufacturer’s representative for the US Northeast. Founded more than 30 years ago with a focus on music retailers in New York and New England, On The Road Marketing has grown to become one of the region’s largest manufacturers’ rep firms, representing leading manufacturers in the music retail, live sound, pro audio and video, and installed AV sectors. 10-12 Appointments FIN.indd 2

24/05/2017 14:27

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P14 JUNE 2017

Home of Walt Disney’s Neve desk to host PMC tour BY SARAH SHARPLES PMC Speakers has added a new date to its Hear More seminar tour, which gives musicians and producers the opportunity to explore the intricacies of its professional monitoring systems. On June 6, Powerplay Studios in Zurich – home to an SSL 4000 and Walt Disney’s original Neve 8016 mixing desks – will host the event, which PMC is holding in conjunction with MGM, Switzerland’s pro audio outlet, and pro audio manufacturers SPL and Waves. PMC will be bringing its flagship MB3 XBD-A main monitor system featuring Class-D amplification and unique Advanced Transmission Line design. German visionary manufacturer SPL, whose product line-up includes processors such as Vitalizer, Transient Designer and state-of-the-art mastering devices based on its 120V rail op-amp designs, will demonstrate its IRON Mastering Compressor and PQ Mastering Equaliser. There will also be a sneak peek into the future of SPL’s mastering and recording products. Waves completes the line-up with its latest suite of plugins and Soundgrid hardware for both studio and live applications. All attendees will be automatically entered in a prize draw to win one of several prizes, including a pair of PMC twotwo.6 powered nearfield monitors and an SPL Phonitor mini 20V Rail Headphone Monitoring Amplifier. n

Shure Audio Institute adds clarity to the networking debate BY SARAH SHARPLES

A recent edition of Shure Audio Institute’s Audio Networking Mastered seminar, held at London’s ExCel Centre, proved its most popular yet, with a record number of integrators, consultants, and engineers attending the free one-day event. Audio Networking Mastered covered all aspects of networking, from a history of digital audio networks to the future interoperability offered by standards such as AES67. This ensured attendees left with a comprehensive understanding of the standards commonly used in today’s audio transport protocols. Delegates were also able to get hands on with a range of products, including Q-Sys from QSC and Shure Microflex networked microphone solutions.

Shure’s Tom Colman comments: “By keeping the training sessions relevant and informative, we are able to address the most current issues and needs of our customers and provide useful insights to keep them ahead of the rapidly evolving technologies that lead these industries.” Delegates could also attend certification seminars for Microflex Advance and QSC Q-Sys, as well as benefit from bespoke training on wireless microphones in installed applications and live events. The next seminar, Audio Networking, will be held in Leeds on June 28. n

June 14-15

HiQnet Audio Architect Letchworth, UK

June 14

Design & Installation of Hearing Loop Systems Manchester, UK

June 28

Yamaha console training Reading, UK

July 19

Soundcraft VI Series Letchworth, UK

Powersoft to host DSP training session BY DUNCAN PROCTER

Powersoft has announced it will host an on-site training session during InfoComm 2017. The training will teach attendees how to design and specify fixed install systems using DSP integrated Class D power amplifiers. Powersoft has been named an official InfoComm International Renewal Unit (RU) Provider. This will allow the more than 10,000 professionals holding InfoComm International’s Certified Technology Specialist (CTS) credential to earn renewal units. The session is entitled How to Optimise Fixed Install Design Using DSP in Class D Amplifiers, and will take place on 15 June from 1pm to 2:30pm. Attendess will learn about the digital tools for system design and the fundamentals of Powersoft’s switch mode technology, advanced DSP features, and networking functionality within the context of installed system design. Session registration is required and is open on a first-come, first-served basis for trade show registrants. n 14 PSNTraining FIN.indd 1

24/05/2017 14:31









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23/05/2017 10:40:48 23/05/2017 10:17

P16 JUNE 2017

New products


What is it? This latest preamp offers unprecedented audio quality for live and mobile journalists in the field, the company says. Working together with any iOS device, Mac or PC computer, it makes broadcasting or recording easy. Details: It is a two-channel microphone preamp and A/D converter offering mono, dual and stereo capabilities. The d:vice comes with interchangeable lightning and USB cables for connectivity. Its MicroDot inputs allow the d:vice to be connected to all DPA miniature microphones, including the d:screet Miniature, d:fine Headset, d:vote Instrument and even the d:dicate Recording microphones, with the optional MMP-G preamp. And another thing… At about two inches in diameter, it easily fits in the user’s pocket. An app can also be downloaded allowing users to store gain settings and low-cut filters for future use in dedicated presets.




What is it? Audio recorders with integrated USB audio interface – the lightweight, ultra-portable MixPre-3 and MixPre-6 – are designed specifically with musicians, sound designers, podcasters and videographers in mind.

What is it? A new digital wireless monitor designed and developed for professional touring, installation, theatre, filmmaking and broadcast.

What is it? Waves has released two new Nx combos with multiple Nx Head Trackers: the Nx Virtual Mix Room plugin + 6 Nx Head Trackers, and the Nx Head Tracker 5-Pack. The combos enable improved headphone monitoring during recording and mixing sessions with multiple participants.


Details: The MixPre-3 features up to a 5-in/2-out USB audio interface with three discrete mic preamps, and the ability to stream up to three analogue inputs, plus 2-channel mix over USB. The MixPre-6 offers up to a 8-in/4-out USB audio interface with four mic preamps, and streams up to six analogue inputs (including four high quality mic inputs) plus 2-channel mix over USB to a Mac or Windows computer. And another thing… The Advanced mode offers access to multi-channel recording and advanced settings, such as metering, routing, timecode, preamp gain, stereo channel linking and headphone presets.


Details: Consisting of the M2T dual-stereo half-rack transmitter and M2R diversity belt pack receiver, the Duet covers the UHF frequencies of 470-608MHz in a single range, uses digital modulation for transmission, and can accept analogue or Dante digital inputs. Both the M2R and M2T units have 2-way IR sync, so scanned data from the receiver can be sent to the transmitter and onto the Ethernet network, for use by wireless designer software for frequency planning and coordination purposes. And another thing… The system includes a FlexList mode, where a number of names and associated frequencies can be stored in the receiver. This way, a monitor engineer can quickly find and listen to any of the performers’ mixes on the stage.


Details: Waves Nx Virtual Mix Room is a virtual monitoring plugin that simulates the ideal acoustics of a highend mix room inside any set of headphones. Nx technology lets users hear the same natural depth, reflections and panoramic stereo image that would be heard from speakers in an actual room. And another thing… The Nx plugin has now been updated to work with up to six Nx Head Trackers at the same time. This allows as many as six musicians (or five musicians and one engineer) to hear Nx simultaneously in their headphones while recording. Alternatively, two (or more) mixing engineers can now use Nx. 16-18 New Products FIn.indd 1

24/05/2017 15:33



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P18 JUNE 2017

New products


What is it? The world’s smallest three-way coaxial monitors to create a complete compact coaxial range that redefines nearfield monitoring, the company says. Users can make mix decisions with confidence while also listening for longer due to a dramatic reduction in unnatural imaging meaning listener fatigue is reduced, it adds.


Details: The 8331 and 8341 are housed in enclosures no larger than a traditional two-way 8030 or 8040, which wipe away the previous constraints of coaxial point source set-ups. Directivity Control Waveguide is combined with a concealed dual woofer design, resulting in less coloured reflections. Both the 8331 and 8341 can be orientated horizontally or vertically using an adjustable IsoPod base for isolation. And another thing… Innovations include a motor assembly that sees both the midrange and the tweeter share the same compact magnet system, reducing size and weight with no reduction in response.




What is it? A plug-in for the DFC3D console, providing a simple solution for Machine Control integration with Pro Tools.

What is it? Perfect for live sound engineers, houses of worship, bands, club owners and corporate customers that want affordable remote-controlled I/O for their Soundcraft Si series console, says Scott Wood, solutions manager, mixing at HARMAN.

What is it? The company’s smallest and lightest professional recorder to date. It can record professional quality audio as a stand-alone device without the need of additional transmitters or receivers.


Details: The plug-in provides instant lock from the Pro Tools timeline to the DFC3D automation so that audio, video, and console automation instantly roll together without any delay, and without complicated synchronisation setups. DAWSYNC also provides a virtual 9-pin interface for transport commands, track arming, and PEC/ Direct switching from the DFC3D to the DAW. And another thing… The DAWSYNC plug-in connects to the DFC3D via Ethernet making installation simple and convenient, and is already currently in use on major mix stages in the USA, the company says.


Details: The Mini Stagebox 32i and Mini Stagebox 16i have dedicated XLR mic pre inputs, which allow 32 or 16 simultaneous channels of external analogue input. The products provide multiple channels of MADI I/O via standard Cat5 cabling, eliminating the need to run expensive and heavy analogue snakes from the stage to front-of-house mixing positions. And another thing… No local hardware configuration or option cards are needed or required – engineers can simply plug in, power on, select inputs and control remotely.


Details: Audio is recorded internally onto a microSD card using the highly reliable Mobile Audio Recording Format that eliminates file corruption common to recordings due to dead battery or early card removal. Files are then instantly copied to Broadcast Wave Format (BWF) or MP3 via ZaxConvert, free software available for MAC or PC. And another thing… The battery provides up to 10 hours of run time and its door is magnetically latched and sealed to protect it against the harshest of production environments. 16-18 New Products FIn.indd 2

24/05/2017 15:33

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2/24/2016 11:31:42 AM

Business feature: Brexit update!

P20 JUNE 2017


The Brexit battles

Disagreements exist on what should happen at the negotiating table in terms of trade deals, while there are worries about the impact on the UK’s image and culture once it leaves the EU, discovers Sarah Sharples


year on from the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union, there is not a day where Brexit doesn’t dominate news headlines. Since the somewhat unexpected ‘Leave’ result on 23 June, 2016, UK prime minister Theresa May has triggered Article 50 in March 2017, starting two years of negotiations. She also called a snap election for 8 June and in unveiling the Tory manifesto she said Britain would face “dire consequences” if it does not secure a clean departure from the EU, adding that if her party won – which, as PSNEurope goes to press, seems likely – that the Government would “not seek to fudge this issue – to be half-in and half-out of the EU”. She committed the Tories to taking Britain completely out of both the single market and the customs’ union, and cutting net immigration into the UK to fewer than 100,000 a year. She added that securing the best deal for Britain outside the EU was the single most important challenge facing her Government over the next five years Of those companies operating in the pro-audio industry that were canvassed by PSNEurope, pricing – both negatively and positively – has been the major impact since the vote to Brexit. And while some continue to be concerned over the uncertainty surrounding

negotiations and the final form of Brexit, others have the attitude that it’s best just to get on with things.

Pricing fluctuations The pound has endured a bumpy ride since the EU referendum, falling dramatically after the vote, and since then has been trading around 15 per cent lower compared to the dollar and 12 per cent lower compared to the euro. David Bruml, sales director at Funktion-One, the UK loudspeaker designer and manufacturer based in Surrey, says since the Brexit decision, there has been clear inflationary pressure on pricing, due to the weakened pound, and this has primarily affected the importation of goods into the UK. “We have seen some of our suppliers increasing their pricing as a result. As our products are all made in England, the impact hasn’t been as significant as if we were importing finished products from outside the UK. We have bided our time and haven’t increased prices as much as many of our competitors, but higher costs do seem unavoidable,” he explains. But in terms of export, the weakened pound works in favour of Funktion-One’s international customers, which balances any increase in costs here, adds Bruml.



“As our technology is market leading, the political changes aren’t really influencing those who seek the best sound for their venues or events, so FunktionOne’s growth continues despite the uncertainty caused by Brexit and the subsequent negotiations,” he adds. “We are supporting our customers by keeping any price increases to a minimum. We obviously continue to monitor developments closely, but we’re taking a considered approach.” RH Consulting co-founder Roland Hemming, who was a ‘remain’ voter, says the company has been affected both positively and negatively by currency fluctuations, 20, 21, 22 24 Brexit special FIN.indd 1

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P21 JUNE 2017

Chris Scott, MD of Nottinghamshirebased pro-audio and premium integrated systems developer Inspired Audio

but it has been implementing some practical changes for the future. “We have opened a bank account in another EU country so that we have the option of an EU-based subsidiary in the event of trade becoming more difficult,” he says. “We have also opened up a Euro account in the UK to accompany our Sterling account and we have also converted our accounts system to be multi-currency.” An immediate impact after the vote for John Merriman, co-owner of Crown Lane Studios in Morden, London, was a project being cancelled, but luckily he says that has been a one-off – so far. “As yet no other implications of the Brexit negotiations have been noticed on a day-to-day basis, other than stock costs increasing – which can’t be proven to be a directly linked correlation to Brexit,” he says. Firmly in the leave camp, Chris Scott, MD of Nottinghamshire-based pro-audio and premium integrated systems developer Inspired Audio, says Brexit has had little to no effect on the company. “We have concluded distribution deals in Singapore and South Korea, where the low pound will be a help, but in honesty I think these arrangements would have happened anyway,” he observes. “The cost of components bought in the EU have risen, but not to a level that has instigated any price rises. Being more attractive outside Europe due to a lower valued pound has certainly offset anything negative from European purchasing.” However, their sister company that deals in the retail market has seen price instability from suppliers – much of it out of synch with sterling value and perhaps more speculative than based in reality, he adds. Medialease managing director Paul Robson agrees with Scott that the decision to Brexit has had no impact. “We have seen a 20 per cent increase in import pricing since 29 June and a big drop in the value of sterling… Yet this has had no effect on UK companies buying foreign goods – without changing anything we do as a finance co, Medialease just went from £20m to £35m in a year and it’s thanks to loyal returning customers and suppliers that enabled the opportunity for us – so stop all

Funktion-One’s Sales Director, David Bruml

RH Consulting co-founder Roland Hemming

John Merriman (far right), co-owner of Crown Lane Studio

Negotiation wishlists



your moaning and despondency,” he exclaims (originally, in a posting to Facebook). “This is your opportunity to make something of the year ahead and face challenges if and when they appear – please don’t make challenges and obstacles that aren’t there. I don’t see anything but a positive future and am going to grow this company further despite all the negative [mainstream] press [about Brexit].”

For Merriman, he feels smaller businesses like his – Crown Lane has a double room studio, plus a rehearsal and recording room and edit suite – remain powerless during the negotiations. “The time-consuming nature of creating a deal that will be accepted by the other EU nations means less focus on areas like the arts here in the UK,” he says. He believes compromises in negotiations are at risk of harshly affecting industries like the arts too. “Results from the music and arts sector are harder to quantify than the financial industries for example, and being more fragmented, there is not a unified voice representing the arts,” he says. Merriman would like the government to consider what kind of society they are aiming for post-Brexit, and to subsequently ensure the negotiations don’t jeopardise these areas. “Currently negotiating seems to be concerned solely with financial issues and immigration; both important, but could distract from what culture will be lost in the process,” he adds. In an ideal world, Bruml says Funktion-One would 20, 21, 22 24 Brexit special FIN.indd 2

24/05/2017 16:14

P22 JUNE 2017

Business feature: Brexit update!

THE POUND, EUROS, DOLLARS AND BITCOIN Miloco began as a single London studio in 1984, but has grown to a directory of 90 studios worldwide. It has also expanded with Miloco Builds, which comprises studio builds, design and installs; Miloco Gear which incorporates brand new and secondhand audio gear sales, brokerage and financing and Miloco Repairs which fixes audio gear, among other things. James Bronte-Stewart, director at Miloco says that as a result of having studios all over the world, the devaluation of the Sterling due to Brexit, has meant increased profits for the company from foreign earnings, due to the cheaper exchange rate. But when buying and selling studio equipment through subsidiary Miloco Gear, a lot of the deals abroad are priced in euros and dollars. “When this happens, Robbie Dunne, head of Miloco Gear, and myself keep in close contact to ensure we are top of any exchange rate risk,” he explains. “For example, if we agree to buy a console from a studio in LA for say $300k and then the GBP/USD rate drops five per cent before we have bought the currency, then that is a five per cent increase in price to us. It is for that reason exactly why we stay on top of every foreign deal and physically buy the required currency as soon as we agree terms.” Bronte-Stewart says that at the moment, the dollar is losing value as markets lose faith in Donald Trump and the euro is a key beneficiary. “The euro like trading to remain as close as possible to what it was before the EU referendum, although this seems unlikely considering May’s pledge in her election manifesto. “The free trade through the single market, which we have enjoyed within Europe for many years, and the trade agreements between the EU and countries such as Egypt, Turkey, Lebanon, Israel and South Korea have certainly been beneficial for export,” he comments. “We do not want to see increased tariffs or bureaucracy because of Brexit, but it seems that international trade will not be as simple in the future as it is now.” But Scott supports May in her push for a hard Brexit, adding that uncertainty during negotiations is having absolutely no effect. “You can either bluster on about instability, or simply get on with it, which is what we will be doing at Inspired. Personally, I would be looking for a hard Brexit to ensure that we have freedom to conduct free trade deals, which remaining in the single market or customs house would preclude,” he says. “If we are coming out then that is what we should be doing, a halfway house is no solution and the EU have far more to lose from not concluding a free trade deal than we do. Ultimately, they will have to come to the table and talk sense.” But Karel De Piere, CEO of FACE (Foundation For Audiovisual Commerce & Engineering), which has offices in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany and offers

has overcome the big potential shock of a victory for Marine Le Pen, but is by no means out of the woods, with unemployment still above 10 per cent. In the future, I am pessimistic about the Dollar’s ability to maintain dominance in 2017 and so as a company we have decided to hedge this risk and have already

sold some USD on a forward contract to the end of this year.” Milico is a big investor in electronic currencies like Bitcoin and Ripple and are shortly going to begin accepting payments in these currencies, he adds. and changes, protectionism will slow down your fall but won’t break it,” he says.



services throughout Europe, says the biggest issue with Brexit is that nobody really knows what it means. “How will it work, what will exactly change, when will changes be effective? A clear example of the ‘sloganesque’ times we currently live in. Let’s not get to the bottom of it, but let’s act under single digit simplified statements, as long it makes people believe the solution is fast and easy,” he says. Business-wise it will only make trading more complex, more costly and restrict freedom of exchanging goods and services, asserts De Piere. “If you close your doors for strangers or different influences, you consequently also close your exit road to get out, to export and to share your own knowledge. If you fail to handle differentiation

The future Despite Bruml’s hope for the UK to operate as much like it did when it was part of the EU, he is realistic about the potential consequences once Brexit is complete. “An increase in ‘red tape’ as a result of Brexit seems certain to impact our dealings with Europe. It’s hard to see any positives flowing from this decision,” he says. De Piere remains optimistic despite saying business will become more difficult for FACE in the UK. “But we also trade with other more isolated countries close by and we will make it work both for import and export. There is simply still too much beauty in the UK to give in to a ruthless Brexit. We have always been very positive about the business with the UK and as “harder the Brexit” goes, the harder we will push to keep the doors open or we just will find another door,” he exclaims. As part of his audio and AV consultancy business, Hemming sits on a European standards committee and says with a good deal of certainty that standards won’t change. But he has plenty of longer-term concerns about Brexit. “Whether we can attract foreign workers? Whether there are special deals for some industries: healthcare or car manufacturing, but I’m sure the audio industry won’t be considered a special case,” he says. 20, 21, 22 24 Brexit special FIN.indd 3

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P24 JUNE 2017

Business feature: Brexit update!

FACE CEO, Karel De Piere

Merriman is concerned about the message the UK is sending to the world. “As a studio focusing on world music, jazz and folk, my hope is that Brexit doesn’t make the UK appear as a closed door to unity and to other cultures,” he says. “As an example, we have a popular twice weekly drum school run by an Eastern European, who says for her and her friends, it’s more about a perception of rejection. It makes it harder for her

to feel like her contribution to our society is valued and appreciated.” De Piere also wonders how Brexit voters are feeling with the perceptions and impacts the decision has created. “Are they happy with seeing global companies transferring step by step companies and jobs to mainland Europe? Are they happy their villas in Europe are costing them much more then they anticipated? That travelling abroad suddenly became so expensive? Are they happy with the new image Brexit is creating for the nation?” he asks. “The higher echelon English rich population will easily overcome this but what about the middle class, not to mention normal working class…” The very real personal ramifications are also reverberating on Hemming (and millions of others) as his wife is Dutch and his eldest son is 17. “My son cannot apply for residency because my wife cannot yet because she hasn’t always worked. By the time she qualifies for residency our son will be 18 and won’t qualify to remain here as he will just be a Dutch adult applying to live in the UK,” he explains. “It is this sort of uncertainty and (so far considerable legal) cost that may have a bigger impact than anything. People like us may be forced to leave the UK just so we can remain a family.” The EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, has pencilled



in 19 June for the first formal day of talks with Britain about its withdrawal, with any future trade deals not expected to be discussed until December 2017. n 20, 21, 22 24 Brexit special FIN.indd 4

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24/05/2017 11:22:32

The strategic position: David Claringbold and d&b audiotechnik

P26 JUNE 2017


Natural selection Phil Ward talks to d&b audiotechnik’s new choice of marketing chieftain


he Sydney Opera House often crops up on those simplistic timelines of history: look how far we’ve come from wattle and daub, being the suggestion. Well, it may stand for progress of one kind but as this industry evolves we might heed the words of one man whose frame of reference starts in Sydney but extends all the way to Wiltshire – and a place where the druids, if they were putting on Elektra, used real blood. David Claringbold has joined German loudspeaker pioneer d&b as chief marketing officer, and brings a wealth of experience from the Sydney Opera House and elsewhere. “When I decided to leave the Opera House it was all about taking on the really big challenge with the support of my family,” he reports. “It was also on the agenda to have another spell living in Europe, having been here before with Euphonix, although we didn’t realise those two things would come together so perfectly. We’re delighted they have.” Having already left ‘the House’ in 2015, Claringbold set up a consultancy that included d&b among its callers, leading to lengthy conversations and eventually a position on the board of directors. When a global marketing position became vacant, Claringbold seemed the natural choice for a manufacturing company going through its own genetic drift. “I’m very happy to be in a space that encompasses marketing, communication and branding because there’s so much to say,” he continues. “My predecessor had laid the foundations of a much-improved new structure for these resources, and it’s set up perfectly for my particular blowtorch to get working.” Claringbold follows several luminaries into the d&b camp after a period of feverish recruitment, including familiar faces from around the world like Mike Case, Christian Stumpp, Gianni Abruzzese and Xavier Pion. He’s based in Germany at the Backnang HQ, but will be familiarising himself with all the d&b acolytes globally and, especially, the UK operation in Nailsworth that played such a crucial role in putting d&b audiotechnik on the international map. “I have a huge amount of respect for Simon Johnston and the marketing team in the UK,” he confirms, “and we’re now melding the way we think as I get to know the DNA of the brand.” Claringbold had branched out from Sydney Opera House before, and in Europe, by joining the Euphonix team in the UK. By 2006 he was back to oversee a

huge change in the venue’s culture and resources, not to mention technical upgrades, and it was an experience that deepened his understanding of the human dimensions in an arts organisation of such iconic status. “It was pretty clear from the board of directors that the whole business was being held back by some ingrained thinking, and I moved back from London because this provided me with an opportunity to do many of the things I’d always wanted to do. I was able to change business systems, the way things got presented to clients, the skills, the leadership, the services… things that hadn’t been addressed properly for 20 years or more. Once they were delivered I was able to put forward a really far-reaching technical vision for the place – not just stage systems but the whole venue.”

Indeed the technical agenda was only part of Claringbold’s expanded brief as director of theatre and events as he took command of 500 staff in his mission to establish a modern service culture throughout the complex. It included ticketing, marketing, commercial programming, recording, broadcast, event operations, technical management and front of house – as in welcoming customers, as opposed to mixing. Bringing this empirical knowledge to the d&b table can only strengthen the routes to market for the German manufacturer’s rapidly expanding portfolio of application-specific products. “I don’t have a traditional marketing background,” Claringbold admits, “but it’s not just technical either and I have good instincts for what the market needs. We’ve had long discussions at d&b about our vision for the future and I see my role as emerging from 26-27 The Strategic position FIN.indd 1

24/05/2017 15:35

that vision. I have formulated my ideas about this into a presentation called Sound Futures, which I made at Prolight + Sound in Frankfurt. It’s what I advocate for the sound community.” Claringbold’s presentation illuminates the vital role sound plays in human life, with an unflinching perspective of some 60,000 years. “Acoustics has played a role in why Stonehenge is the shape it is, why cathedrals are the size and shape they are,” he points out. “And in our own time the evolution of the venue usage model also indicates how non-linear the employment of sound has become, with bands branching out from night clubs to become an important revenue stream for formal concert halls, churches being re-purposed as nightclubs, and stadium arenas doing so much more than sport. This evolution provides the opportunities for our technology partners to empower those business models for the future, nothing less.”

Speak Dante. Make New Connections.



At one stage in Claringbold’s career Euphonix represented a very far-seeing integrated solution for the kind of cultural epicentre that Sydney Opera House is, and it’s hard not to see a similarly holistic campaign within d&b to elevate its advanced sound reinforcement offer to the very highest level. The venues, Claringbold believes, are ready for it. “These places are going to be more and more dependent on being acceptable for all levels of programme,” he says, “to sustain their business models. You can’t say you have an excellent venue just because the design of it looks cool; every aspect of the customer’s experience needs to be fantastic, from your first arrival and the first things you see, hear and touch. This is all before the performance even starts…” Sound can be a brand definition tool, according to Claringbold, not only for venues and destinations, but also retail and other enterprises. “What they should take seriously is the emotive power of audio to communicate,” he adds, placing sound in a challenging new context. This is clever: audio becomes no longer a luxury, on the one hand, nor a routine service alongside air-conditioning on the other. It’s put onto an agenda that investors will recognise and that will touch them where they are most sensitive – where, in the end, it really hurts. And that agenda is the ability to generate profits, without which the most glittering crystal palace may as well be a mud hut. If audio can be identified as a powerful conduit to revenue, it’s going to get a lot more attention from the suits. “Investment bears no relation to the importance of the human senses, pro rata,” continues Claringbold. “Sight gets nearly all of it, even though touch, sound and even smell are critical in identifying your relationship with a brand. This gives us a huge opportunity to increase our level in that ratio – but only if we can convey our value proposition.” It should help, in theory, that greater synergy between video and audio is promised in the immersive future of virtual and augmented reality – a roadmap that Claringbold identifies as essential not only to d&b’s fortunes but to those of the entire industry. “The future of multi-dimensional sound experiences is the path we’re on,” he confirms, and you’d have to be caveman not to see it – although, if you are a prehistoric sound designer, you should be very happy with Stonehenge. n

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P28 JUNE 2017



Grouse season

The renowned Irish residential is offering an exciting new recording model, finds Phil Ward


talian-born songwriter, sound engineer and record producer Filippo Gaetani gets about. Having run a bucolic little slice of heaven called Le Bozze for a while – as a unique Tuscan recording hideaway – he began collaborating with songwriters in Vienna, LA and London to build up a freelance production network that eventually prompted a move to Austria. Freelance work also took him to Ireland and to boutique residential complex Grouse Lodge, notably with singer-songwriter Peter Doran and acoustic trio Arrow In The Sky. It was conversations with Doran about new funding models that gave birth to the idea of a ‘pooled’ hire of the multi-roomed residential in County Westmeath that would make full use of the distributed facilities and bring down the costs of recording for each individual act. “We arranged a collective session,” explains Gaetani. “It’s charged by the day, so why not? We split the hire and decided to devote three days of track-laying to each project and four days of mixing and collaboration. That’s how the idea of collective recording got started, and it worked really well.” Grouse Lodge owner Paddy Dunning approved, but the question remained: how to find and select participating talent in an equitable and reliable way? Some sort of screening process was necessary, and Gaetani came up with the notion of a web portal representing what he called the Recording Festival (RecFest). It’s an online application forum that flagged up a specific two-week period during the summer that promised all the delights of Grouse Lodge, along with all the advantages of joint subsidy. “Instead of me picking bands and calling them cold, I set up the website with the idea that bands and solo artists would post links to samples of their songs,” Gaetani recounts. “At the same time I got together a network of judges from people I respect in the industry, and by 2014 we were up and running.” Another partner is Sonicbids, the US management portal that has pioneered the use of online resources to connect talent with promoters and publishers, alongside a suite of marketing and legal advice. The applications soon ran into the hundreds, with a small registration fee covering the maintenance of the sites and the legitimacy of the links. Eventually three acts were chosen to join Gaetani, Aussie-born engineer Cameron Craig, Canadian producer Jordon Zadorozny and the Grouse Lodge team over two weeks in July 2015. A second RecFest took place just last month. “We had way more applications this time,” reports Gaetani,

Cameron Craig (left) and Filippo Gaetani at the Neve VR60 console at Grouse Lodge

“which easily covered the costs of the web site and also our contribution to the flights – we pay 75 per cent of flight costs. The bands have to co-invest in the accommodation, and if they want they can bring gear, but backline is provided anyway. We make sure it’s a great session! “It’s like a summer camp,” Gaetani says. “We’re locked in the studios for 10 hours each day and then we just enjoy the fantastic setting and all the attractions of the location. We use all three studio spaces: the main studio with its Neve VR60 console, large control room and two live rooms. Studio 2 which has a mobile Pro Tools set up with the latest preamps and interfaces; and the whitespace writing room where the bands set up their own laptops; and we operate a rota – one full day in Studio 1 for each band in turn, while the others are writing or preparing files, so each gets four or five days in there. “It’s very easy to transfer the session files on a removable hard drive from one studio to another. The guys here are expert in making sure there are backups, nothing gets lost and everything is compatible and updated to the latest version of the song you’re working on. We’ve never had any technical issues. The important thing is to assign one person to each main task, and there are four highly experienced producers, engineers and techs always on hand – guys that are used to working with the likes of Snow Patrol and Muse. There’s always one person spare to fly around and just make sure everything’s running smoothly.” The judges include renowned US engineer and Grammy-winner Al Schmitt, and there’s no doubting

US band Nightmare Air discuss matters in Studio 2’s control room

that the standards set by RecFest should attract many more serious acts, sponsors and other residual support as the concept gains traction – not the least of which may be zeitgeist-defining reality television deal. “I had a meeting in Milan with a production company called Magnolia,” reveals Gaetani, “and they do a lot of talent shows. There’s a real interest in following the story of each band through to the Recording Festival and afterwards, maybe syndicated through Sky Arts, and combining the reality and talent elements. If that happens, the promotional and sponsorship opportunities will be amazing…” Gaetani spends a lot of time based at Tic Studio in Vienna, now part of the ever-expanding Miloco roster, producing more acts and sustaining a presence that includes a role within Miloco’s web-based information model. Yes, he gets about – and that’s exactly what today’s European recording industry is about. n 28 Studio FIN.indd 1

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19/04/2017 15:51:57

P30 JUNE 2017



The year of the lathe It took Simon Griffett and ART nearly 12 months to repair a unique vinyl-cutting lathe discovered abandoned in Africa. Dave Robinson gets his groove on


RT (Audio Related Technology) Ltd, the repair and technical services business based in Chesham, has just restored –and sold! – a unique, original Neumann VMS-70 disc-cutting lathe. The machine is believed to have been left, unloved, in a Nigerian studio for around 20 years, reports ART’s Simon Griffett. “During this time it saw little use as far we know. It just sat, unused, in the country’s hot, humid and dusty conditions.” Proprietor of rare and secondhand gear supplier Funky Junk, Mark Thompson came across the lathe while looking for a Neve 8086 MkII console. Knowing the importance of his find, he contacted Griffett to see if the machine could be brought back into service. “With only two photos to go on, the condition could not be judged with any accuracy,” says Griffett, “but after speaking to fellow ART director Duncan Crimmins and long-time friend and associate Sean Davies, we decided we had to give it go.” Thompson arranged for his Neve, a Studer A80 multitrack and the VMS-70 to be shipped back to the UK. “After opening the shipping crates, on first glance, it looked like we had got lucky,” continues Griffett. However, first impressions can be deceptive: “The electronics rack containing the amps and signal conditioning processors all appeared to be in good condition, with the exception of the power supply. “Then it dawned on us, the two signal processing modules and the limiter were completely missing!” One option was to find another rack and, luckily, ART knew where to locate one – it was just a matter of fixing it. In the meantime, the team started to dig a little deeper into the mechanics of the lathe: then things grew steadily worse… “Thirty years of hot humid conditions by day and cooling at night meant the condensation on the screw joints and the ferrous metals had really taken its toll. The switch contacts, mounting points, even the aluminium pulleys had becomes pitted and flaky.” A project such as this requires a variety of different

housing. The whole process took two weeks but we did get them all out!” Back went the cutter head to the specialist to have the coils replaced, this time with a bag of screws. “It came back beautifully restored,” reports Griffett. Trouble with the head wasn’t the only surprise the African treasure delivered: “When we opened the wooden housing containing the vacuum pump, we found the remains of a termite nest! It was solid and required a hammer and chisel to remove it…” Griffett notes that the audio and control rack had to be completely recapped, and all transistors replaced, many of which had to be sourced from small suppliers from all over the world. “In all approximately, that was 1,000 caps and transistors replaced,” says Griffett. Then there was a genuinely shocking moment: “When we first applied power we found the chassis was live with 240V – that certainly woke me up when I leaned against it!” The culprit? The insulation in the turntable motor had broken down to such a extent it was leaking 240V direct to earth: “Not a good idea,” Sean Davies (rear) and Duncan Crimmins in the ART workshop warns Griffett. skills some of which need the help of a real specialist. Eventually, the ART crew were in a position to One such was Peter Knott, a semi-retired toolmaker, measure and, finally, test the machine in action. who re-skimmed and balanced the vacuum plate “When we measured the head against its and disc platter, “exceeding Neumann’s original manufactured specifications we found [the numbers] specification,” says Griffett. were significantly improved, so much praise must go to “The other specialism we required was someone to Roberto at, a great source of lathe rebuild the cutter head. We knew that one feedback and facts and info for anyone interested in learning more.” one drive coil were broken, so we sent it off to one the And the test cuts? “They went really well, with only few people in the world who can fix it. However it wasn’t some minor adjustments required.” long before we got a call saying it was not possible to So well in fact, at the end of March, a closed auction repair because the corrosion around the tiny screw for all those interested saw an Argentinian company mounts was so bad they could not be worked loose.” called Morellosa SA – a printer wishing to move This was potentially a major problem: “A vinyl into vinyl mastering – make a successful bid for the lathe without a cutter head is very big paper weight!” completely restored lathe. jokes Griffett. On return of the head to ART, Griffett’s The project had taken a total of 11 months of colleague Duncan Crimmins set about testing various problem-solving and ingenuity, but ultimately, penetrating oils to see what effect each would have on perseverance saw the team come good. the metal components (in order to loosen the screws Back in April when Mark Thompson first approached without causing further damage). One product was ART with the broken lathe, Griffett told him it would take chosen and delicately applied to each screw in turn to a year to complete: “With luck, maybe 8-10 months. I soak overnight. “With some modification of standard don’t think he believed it would take so long!” n size screwdrivers, the screws were coaxed out of their The original Neumann VMS-70 lathe in the corner of the Nigerian studio 30 studio lathe FIN.indd 1

24/05/2017 15:36

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20/04/2017 14:02:05 20/04/2017 11:59

P32 JUNE 2017



Educational upgrade fuels recording and radio investment With education for audiovisual jobs gaining importance, specialised faculties are constantly upgrading their working environment and investing in new equipment, reports Marc Maes Schools of Art’s AWS console

Thomas More’s on-air studio

The outside of Thomas More’s on-air studio


oth the Mechelen-based Thomas More University College as well as the Ghent School of Arts have recently opened a new learning environment, catering for the needs of the professional broadcast and audio recording industry. And whereas, in Ghent, analogue is the keyword, the radio studio in Mechelen opted for digital. At Thomas More, the Bachelor of International Journalism’s higher education programme added a new radio studio. “This year, the radio classes count twice as much for students then the ‘print’ education – I suppose the popularity of radio stations like Q adds to the fact that more and more youngsters are attracted to radio,” says Nelles De Caluwe, coordinator of studio and editing at Thomas More. As a result of the course’s popularity, with over 130 students signing up for the 2016/2017 academic year, De Caluwe had to expand the programme’s radio landscape. “The idea is that our students learn the practice of making radio. Their Bachelor degree should allow them to work in any radio studio. Thomas More’s radio education lecturers all have a professional radio background,” he explains.

The current radio inventory consists of a basic mobile radio studio, used for location broadcasts, which consists of a D&R Airmate USB portable console and 2 RØDE Broadcaster microphones. A second radio studio is equipped with an analogue Datec BC50 console, an RME Fireface 802 60-channel, 24-bit 192kHz USB/FireWire Audio Interface, plus three RØDE Broadcaster microphones. “With some 30 students in the third degree, we absolutely needed an extra studio, using one specific studio configuration in each year of the education,” De Caluwe says. The new on-air studio was built around an Axia QOR.16 integrated console engine, using an Axia Radius IQ8 digital radio desk supplied by radio equipment distributor TVV Sound. “The main reason we opted for Axia is the brand’s user-friendliness,” underlines De Caluwe. “And we absolutely wanted a digital console in the new room. With the new Axia desk we have the option to attribute dedicated user rights: our students log in to both the console and software and get access to certain functionalities like interviews, phone-in or a music programme, without changing the basic settings of the system.” Two RØDE Broadcaster mics, controlled by an Audio-Technica ATMX341b 4 mic mixer, a Tascam headphone amplifier MK40 MkII, one Tascam CD-500

19” CD player and two JBL SR305 monitors complete the set-up. The connectivity between the console, automation software and streaming software is effected through Livewire – the audio signal is channelled through an Omnia ONE Studio Pro processor before the actual streaming and live output in the college hall. De Caluwe says students are encouraged to use the studios as much as possible, including outside class hours (“Radio is something you do” is De Caluwe’s adage) and in this respect, the third radio studio is a valuable asset. The on air studio is used to produce programme content for the college’s 21BIS media platform and radio stations like Radio Randstad, FM Brussel and Urgent. “The choice for Axia and LiveWire is part of our idea that content prevails over technicality – we’re not a studio engineer education, although our students must be prepared for today’s on-air radio studios,” he says. “These days, we’re preparing the second year’s group practices: the assignment is to produce a one hour radio show, including music, interview, editing, presentation and engineering.” In Ghent, the School of Arts’ Music Production education programme renewed its recording studio landscape and put in place an SSL AWS924 console. 32-33 Studio FIN.indd 1

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P33 JUNE 2017

Students practising a radio interview at Thomas More

(R) Gert Jacobs lecturing in the SSL studio

(L-R) Producer-lecturers from the School of Arts Werner Pensaert and Peter Lesage with a student on the SSL

The current School of Arts unites two ancient and renowned institutions; the Royal Academy of Fine Arts (KASK) and The Royal Conservatory – departments of the University College Ghent since 1995, which has more than 18,000 students, and the largest university college in Flanders. “The Music Production programme is part of the Bachelor and Master of Music education, and is quite unique,” explains Gert Jacobs, coordinator of the education. “We stand out because we combine both the musical, as well as the technical aspect of music production. All students get a thorough music theory education, focusing on composing music, as well as arranging and producing for other artists.” In the first two years of the education, students mostly work in a small studio using a Toft ATB32 analogue console. In the third year, a digital D-Command console was the student’s workstation, and is now replaced by the SSL AWS924, supplied and installed by Benelux SSL distributor Joystick Audio. “We have been one of the School Of Arts’ partners from the very start of their Music Production course, equipping the studio with the highest level of outboard gear, microphones and monitoring. For the upgrade of the centrepiece of the studio, the SSL AWS console came out as the ideal solution, meeting both their educational demands as well as offering the best sonic quality, in line with the rest of the studio,” comments Mathijs Indesteege, product support engineer at Joystick Audio. Jacobs points out that the upgrade was essential for the future of the education. “We built the first studio in 2005 but, today, we feel it’s time to catch up with the evolution in the professional studio sector. We also got feedback from students on internships in studios that they felt there was a vacuum between our studio and the big studios with large format consoles,” he explains. “The AWS924 is the logical next step after having learned to work with the Toft. We want to continue challenging our students to take critical decisions, routing, recording and summing before entering Pro Tools. The analogue signal flow is an absolute bonus.”

In 2015, the studio upgrade was initiated when the control room was completely stripped. Dutch company Audioworkx was assigned for a completely new acoustic treatment. Last year, the Pro Tools Accel was upgraded to a Pro Tools HDX system with AVID HD I/O interface. “We issued critical parameters for the new studio configuration,” continues Jacobs. “It had to offer room for at least a dozen students and be operational round the clock. Students usually work in the studio in four to five-hour blocks and the clock is ticking… That’s why we opted for a compact console with a straight link to the professional studio world.”



Jacobs says the SSL AWS924 therefore was the best choice. “The console has all the features of a bigger desk; extensive routing options, an uncomplicated and clear one-on-one signal flow, comprehensive metering with analogue VU meters, the SSL Bus compressor and, of course Total Recall,” he says. “The Total Recall option comes in handy because students very often work in multiple sessions – they can now record the session and continue their homework or task after the lecturer’s feedback. In addition to all this, the AWS is very userfriendly for our students, making it the best option for educational purposes.” The console was expanded with an SSL X-Rack

with 8 Dynamics modules and the AWS’s onboard channel compressors. With an outboard set including among others a Bricasti 7M reverb, a Gyraf Audio EQ and compressor, API and Slate Pro Audio preamps, two Distressors and a Thermionic Culture – Culture Vulture distortion enhancer, plus PMC IB1S and AML monitoring, Jacobs is convinced the faculty has reached a professional level for studio education. The faculty also continues to invest in high quality microphones and recently added a Josephson Engineering C700S, e22S, C42MP, C617set to their inventory. Consequently, two API 3124 preamps were relocated to the Toft console studio, resulting in a ‘light’ upgrade of that facility, which was recently expanded with two Warm Audio WA76 compressors and two Warm Audio EQP-WA tube equalizers. A crucial part in the Production programme roster are assignments like recording external bands or musical ensembles – Jacobs cites the examples of Belgian bands Balthazar and Amatorski, where former students combined the role of musician and producer in their band. With lecturers like Jacobs, who formerly worked as in-house engineer at Galaxy Studio, and guest lecturers such as engineer/producers Werner Pensaert, Jan Chantrain and Reinhard Vanbergen, the music production faculty brings expertise to the class control rooms. For the faculty’s master exam, each student has the option to pick a professional mentor guiding him through the test. “Personally, I think that the new control room is a dream come true for everyone. Plus the fact that students can learn to use the analogue signal flow process, and the grip on analogue thinking and decisionmaking. From thinking ‘in the box’ with a mic and preamp they now deal with producing sound ‘on the spot’,” concludes Jacobs. n 32-33 Studio FIN.indd 2

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P34 JUNE 2017



Anyone for coffee? Italy’s Fiorello transmits live from Rome bar with three Avid consoles, writes Mike Clark


op Italian showman Rosario Fiorello is currently hosting an extremely original TV show entitled Edicola Fiore. It is aired weekdays at 7.30am from a bar in central Rome. It was initially webcast in 2011, then aired via radio, and is now on its second year at Sky HD. On the show, Fiorello, with his vocal talent and hilarious imitations, is joined by his regular verbal ‘sparring partner’, sports journalist Stefano Meloccaro, a group of bar regulars and famous guests who drop in or hook up via FaceTime, where they comment on the latest news in an ironic manner. Improvised sing-a-longs (there’s a resident keyboard player), banter and comments from the bar’s clients must be fully intelligible in spite of the noisy location, so microphones – a combination of AKG, Audix, Schoeps, Sennheiser and Shure models – and audio diffusion are of fundamental importance. Entrusted with the challenging task of fitting all the necessary hardware – two Avid S3 consoles and an S6L – into the very limited space is Fabrizio Bacherini. He explains: “I worked with Fiorello for the first time on his 2011 TV show on state broadcaster RAI’s flagship channel 1, handling studio sound reinforcement, then as monitor engineer on his live show L’ora del Rosario, which was touring for about two years. On this project, I’m responsible for playout audio and configured the audio set-up.” Audio equipment for the show, produced by R.O.S.A. and Sky, was supplied by rental firm Agorà of L’Aquila, which is led by coordinator Giulio Tortoli. Since the ‘studio’ is very small and full of people, the main difficulty was finding compact consoles and speakers, which would ensure quality audio. Part of the square in front of the bar is also a set, so had to be covered by a (Sennheiser) RF set-up, diffusion and monitoring, as Fiorello wanted to interact with anybody outside. The zones involved are the main ‘studio’, where the majority of people gather round the table at which Fiorello reads the papers, as well as the bar, the tea room, the garden and a petrol pump outside the studio, where young guest bands perform. “We developed a setup based on two Avid S3L digital mixing systems linked via AVB for diffusion in the studio and the adjacent areas,” continues Bacherini. “The system’s redundant AVB network ensures reliability and our passive splitters also feed the signal to the S6L playout desk, located in a sound-proofed container in the garden behind the bar.

Rosario Fiorello and Stefano Meloccaro (sitting centre & right) with bar regulars and guests.

All photos credit: Sebastiano Stringola

A second S3L is in the tea room

Fabrizio Bacherini is responsible for audio and the hardware

“In the studio, an S3L is used to mix speech mics and music. The system consists of a L-Acoustic 8XT and a Meyer Sound M1D sub for the music and Proel Edge 25PB for speech, powered by two LA8 amps whose on-board DSP enable us to accurately align the entire set-up. The amps are connected in digital AES-EBU to the console and, in the event of a signal failure, automatically switch over to their analogue input, to which a ‘spare’ program is connected from the playout control set-up. So if the desks crash, the show can continue nevertheless.” A second S3L is in the tea room, which has a small stage complete with backline for guest artists. This room has a Meyer Sound UPJ1P system and M1D sub and, while the bar itself has L-Acoustic 8XT. There is also a Denon Envoi portable speaker used with an IEM bodypack to take an audio return anywhere in the square. Two boom operators with Sennheiser MKH416 and TX SKP2000 mics ensure additional coverage.

“The playout control set-up features an AVID S6L, Genelec 8030 monitors and a Pro Tools system, which enables us to record a virtual soundcheck in order to remix any part of the program if necessary,” explains Bacherini. “The live morning edition is aired from 7:30 to 8:00, after which Fiorello stays on for another half hour or so, recording interaction with his guests. He then goes with the authors to the editing room and edits the show for evening airing, which has the majority of the live recording and a selection of the conversations with the guests.” Satisfied with results obtained, Bacherini concludes: “On transmissions like this, with a considerable amount of live music, there are normally two control set-ups – one for music, the other for playout. In this case, thanks to the Avid desk’s powerful snapshot management facilities, we’re handling 66 channels with a playout mixer manned by a single op.” n 34 Broadcast FIN.indd 1

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P35 JUNE 2017


Across the board

Phil Ward discovers a broadcast service that has consoles, networking… and Alex Hadjigeorgiou


or the past 18 months respected digital audio expert Alex Hadjigeorgiou – whom many people will know from his pioneering 10 years as a technical specialist at Lancashire-based rental company Wigwam Acoustics – has been quietly building a new profile. With many of the techniques of digital audio networking crossing over between the touring and broadcast sectors as the mixing landscape evolves, he’s been able to bring his live sound experience with Wigwam to a fresh enterprise set up by ex-ITV department head Mike Hayes in 2009 to address broadcast directly. With a nod to local legend Tony Wilson’s Factory Records legacy, as well as a Latin root for adaptable service, the company was christened FAC365. “I’d done broadcast work before, going back to my days at Yamaha Commercial Audio, and it was a chance to take on a fresh challenge,” says Hadjigeorgio. “FAC365 had been getting on with it under the radar for four or five years, and the client base was building up nicely. I’ve made so many friends in sound reinforcement and this absolutely does not mean I’ll lose contact with them – in fact, it’s entirely complementary.” One major spur was the deal between DiGiCo and Calrec – also including Allen & Heath – that created the Pro Audio Group in 2014. Hadjigeorgiou’s long association with DiGiCo through Wigwam included some groundbreaking achievements. “I think the system we created for the George Michael tour in 2006 was the first proper network integration in live sound,” he says, “adding value in recording, virtual soundchecks and that whole dimension. It paved the way for so many others. At FAC365 we specialise in broadcast but where appropriate I will help with integrating broadcast and live sound applications – the ‘bits between the bits’, if you like – provided it doesn’t conflict with any colleagues’ interests. “So many people approach me for advice and in this world of crossover techniques you have to be flexible. We don’t own any large amounts of PA, but if clients need to build a digital infrastructure for their large PAs I will get involved. We’re more about providing the expertise than renting or selling the kit.” Although FAC365 has strong links with senior management within Wigwam, the company is independent of the SSE Audio Group of which Wigwam is a member. Nevertheless Hadjigeorgiou has maintained close ties with key SSE clients, such as Coldplay, in order not to destabilise the strong relationships that have been built up over the years. In fact, the Wigwam connection has helped to maintain

Hadjigeorgiou: “So many people approach me for advice”

those ties with touring professionals who regard Hadjigeorgiou as a reliable go-to advisor and “a comforting pair of old slippers”, as he puts it. “We’re not competing with Wigwam or anyone else in the SSE Group,” Hadjigeorgiou explains. “In fact they are clients of FAC365 as a consultancy – although I’m not going to begin charging them as soon as I pick up the phone – and we rent a fair bit of equipment from them. There’s a lot of goodwill to go around. I’m grateful that everyone’s worked out a way that I can take on something new while still being involved with projects I’ve been associated with for so long.” To some extent, the touring systems that Hadjigeorgiou had been working on had become saturated, and only broadcast seemed to offer the kind of technical horizons he was drawn to. “For me, when you’ve used up every possible resource in a live system, the natural progression is into broadcast,” he says. “They’re building systems in studios that have got 3,000 channels, taking was I was doing up to a whole new level. I wanted to learn about this…” This is a world of modular networking, with concepts such as control surface, I/O and routing breaking out

from the traditional hardware chassis into independent resources on some kind of ring, often software-driven via touchscreens. Furthermore, distribution of the audio extends far beyond the studio using AoIP and webbased control. Two months ago the new Calrec Brio 36 console arrived at FAC365, with an operating system and networkability that Hadjigeorgio hails as a new benchmark. “We’re moving that integration forward,” he enthuses. “Just last week we had a DiGiCo S21 joined via a Hydra network to a Brio console – in the real world, not at a trade show! Integrating the Waves solutions into the Calrecs is another part of this; the advantages of using plug-ins are clear, especially with the DTS up-mix and down-mix options. “The balance of DiGiCo and Calrec and how they integrate is directly the means by which we integrate live sound and broadcast, in a way that engineers can recognise and deal with on a daily basis. It’s almost a marriage of music and speech, in broad terms. But it’s the clients who tell us what combination they need. We’re here to make it happen.” n 35 Broadcast FIn.indd 1

24/05/2017 15:38

Feature: VR and AR

P36 JUNE 2017


VR for live: Are you experienced? The creative and financial opportunities emerging from virtual reality are already generating huge excitement in museums and some other fixed install environments. But to what extent is VR being applied to live music now, and what are the long-term possibilities, asks David Davies?


asting aside all ominous rumblings, the global music industry statistics published at the start of 2017 made for unambiguously positive reading. The continued buoyancy of the live sector – never in much doubt, in all honesty – was underlined by global revenues in 2016 of £25 billion, according to IBISworld figures. Somewhat more surprisingly, the worldwide recorded music industry – having finally got to grips with the practicalities of streaming, if not yet the reluctance of some leading platform providers to remunerate artists in a way that can even be vaguely described as ‘fair’ – experienced its strongest year of growth for 15 years, registering a $1.1bn increase to reach £16.1bn. But economically (if not morally!) the outlook for the industry is bright – and about to get even more so if the present hype around Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) is to be believed. In a genuine example of new technology shaping creative practices, VR and AR promise to make it possible to fuse personal and collective entertainment experiences. Initially, this will be primarily through apps and streaming services that allow remote viewers to experience and interact with live music events via phones and headsets. Increasingly, though, some event producers and technology providers are talking about the possibility of large-scale live ‘onsite’ VR experiences.

Concert in Deichtorhallen Hamburg, Germany, April 2016 involving L-ISA, which expects immersive audio, rather than VR for audio experiences, to dominate for a while yet

There is no doubt that this is an emerging area of technology, and one in which the business models that allow it to be effectively monetised are still taking shape. But with some exciting projects and tech trials on the horizon, PSNEurope decided it was high time to speak to some of the leading proponents of VR in the live space

– and in the process to try and determine whether it is likely to become a major new ‘discipline’ in its own right.

‘Natural match for VR’ It is to be expected that the newer firms specialising in VR are among those exhibiting the greatest enthusiasm 36-40 Feature virtual reality FIN.indd 1

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G’Audio says the interest in VR/AR is intense, particularly in the entertainment industry

for its long-term potential. Samuel Westberg is sales director EMEA of LiveLike, a company whose immersive VR platform – which has been developed to support broadcaster workflows and offers mobile compatibility with cardboard for iOS, Android and Samsung GearVR – has initially resonated most strongly with the sports community. But as Westberg sees it: “Live music and entertainment are definitely a natural match for VR. It is telling that one of Samsung’s first VR ads was structured around a concert. Major companies have not missed out on that potential and have already tried different set-ups at a number of high-profile events. But I would suggest that – as in many other industries trying VR – there is still a lot to be done in order to come up with the ‘right solution’ for music entertainment.” More of which anon – but as Westberg indicates, current examples of what might be termed ‘VR concerts for remote viewing’ do abound. In March, underground music streaming operation Boiler Room released its first VR stream – a 15-minute set from Berlin DJ trio FJAAK – designed for Pixel, Google’s first phone, and compatible with the Daydream View headset. Entitled VR Dancefloors: Techno in Berlin, the experience makes it possible for users to move through a Berlin club, interact with their surroundings, and explore different spaces. In a slightly more mainstream context, the Coachella Festival is continuing to build on its extensive experimentation with VR. In 2016, ticketholders received cardboard headsets in advance of the event that worked with the Coachella VR mobile app from virtual reality event team Using their headsets and phones, users were able to wander through grounds and look at art, food and selected stages. For the 2017 Festival – which took place in April – an updated VR app incorporated AR installations and filters. Further confirmation that the ‘big hitters’ are



increasingly getting behind VR is provided by a recently announced partnership between banking group Citi, VR-for-broadcast specialist NextVR and global live events giant Live Nation. As part of the ‘Backstage with Citi’ initiative, the collaboration will deliver a series of up to ten live virtual reality concerts to Citi’s card members. Separately from the Citi link-up, Live Nation delivered its first VR concert with NextVR in December 2016 when it streamed a show by Thievery Corporation.

‘Dissatisfaction with regular stereo’ Given the above, it is unsurprising that Henney Oh – CEO and co-founder of G’Audio Lab – characterises the current level of interest as “in a word – intense. That intense interest isn’t just limited to the VR/AR-specific events we’ve exhibited at or attended over the last several months.” Currently supporting cinematic VR, 360 video and VR gaming, G’Audio Lab’s suite of tools enable precise placement and integration of sound throughout a three-dimensional space. Live music “will be one of the biggest and best applications for VR”, suggests Oh, but aforementioned attendance at recent industry events has provided “a glimpse into some of the biggest problems that still need to be addressed”. Oh continues: “As a company focused on premium

Astro Spatial Audio A critical element of any live entertainment VR system is being able to generate and receive latency-free, highly accurate positioning data for any and all performers. For this, a system named Astro Spatial Tracking is already capturing attention. Brought to the market alongside the ground-breaking, object-based, immersive Astro Spatial Audio system, Astro Spatial Tracking is based on Stagetracker II, developed by Norway’s TTA, and using RF to deliver three dimensional performer tracking to an impressive accuracy of just 20mm. “Extremely accurate, fast and multi-dimensional tracking makes Stagetracker II perfectly suited for VR applications, allowing you to immerse the user in a virtual experience in real time with no latency,” comments Astro Spatial Audio director Bjorn Van Munster. TTA managing director John T. Skjelstad adds: “All of our Stagetracker II Tags deliver inertial data such as rotation and velocity, which when combined with ultra-fast and precise tracking makes Stagetracker II a killer in any VR application”. sound experiences, we notice that one of those biggest issues is a dissatisfaction with regular stereo offerings. VR experiences that only contain stereo audio, and not high quality spatialised sound, leave the user without a feeling of true immersion. With more interest, investment and knowledge pouring into this field than ever before, audiences will no longer tolerate sub-par audio for VR and AR – they want premium experiences to get immersed in. This hunger is driving creators in the entertainment industry to demand premium sound technology like binaural rendering and spatial audio, and it’s easy to see that VR and AR will only keep getting hotter.” G’Audio is seeking to support various stages of the production chain with products such as the Pro Tools plugin G’Audio Works: “Content creators can use Works to manipulate any combination of object, channel and [surround sound technique] Ambisonics tracks, allowing them to craft more specific, pinpointed sound than they could with strictly stereo-based or Ambisonics mixes.” Beyond the creation stage, “rendering these object-based mixes used to be complicated due to a lack of universal format or platform, so we developed our proprietary GAO format and Sol renderer to simplify everything.” As well as G’Audio, the number of major players bringing audio mixing or mastering tools for VR is constantly increasing. For example, Dolby Atmos provides a number of tools for VR production – including a panner plug-in for Pro Tools, a renderer, a monitor application and a video player – as the platform 36-40 Feature virtual reality FIN.indd 2

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The TiMax SoundHubVR

Samuel Westberg, sales director EMEA of LiveLike

continues to expand beyond its initial movie theatre base. Fraunhofer IIS, meanwhile, continues to evolve tools that reside within an ‘end-to-end suite for the next generation of virtual reality audio’. The willingness of leading technology developers to rise to the challenge of VR is not in any doubt, then. But the implementation of truly interactive VR in support of music raises some other fundamental issues that may need to be grappled with for many, many years to come. Oh comments: “To successfully compose a song, musicians have to consider each instrument’s pitch, loudness and timing. This will still be true in VR music, but they will have the added dimension of virtual location to deal with.” As with any substantial new area of technology, a tipping point of some kind will have to be achieved before mass adoption can take place. “Lowering the costs of consumer VR hardware will help to grow the user base to some extent,” says Oh, “but even prior to buying a device of any price, people want to know that their money’s worth it. They want compelling content in this format that they couldn’t find anywhere else.”

mic. Featuring an ambisonic microphone fitted with four matched KE 14 capsules in a tetrahedral arrangement, AMBEO VR Mic makes it possible to capture ‘fully spherical ambisonics sound’ to match VR video/ spherical 360 content. The starting point for this latest innovation, says Sennheiser’s director AMBEO Immersive Audio, Veronique Larcher, was the question “wasn’t it time VR audio became an equal partner to VR video? [Ease of deployment is optimised] by the technology that accompanies the microphone, which includes a number of accessories designed to support a smooth workflow.” These include an A-B encoder software that works as a plugin, which can be seamlessly embedded into the post-production process. For Larcher, there is no doubt that VR for remote consumption is a “real game-changer” and one that will lead to “tremendous opportunities”. But for now, “there is still much work to be done [by the industry as a whole]. The pipeline of transmission and playback needs to be on a par with what we expect, and of course more people need to own the goggles… So I think it will be a few more months before it really takes off.”

VR audio capture Oh reveals that – having hitherto focused on postproduction – G’Audio Labs is now working to add “effective sound capture to [its] toolbox”. Indeed, this is an area in which an increasing amount of R&D is taking place – just look at Sennheiser’s recent endeavours in this area for proof. Unveiled in early 2016, Sennheiser’s AMBEO technology has been devised to bring 3D immersive audio to a wide range of applications, including gaming, recording and broadcasting. AMBEO has already been the subject of a number of high-profile showcases, including the current Pink Floyd Exhibition: Their Mortal Remains’ at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum, where it is part of a 25-speaker immersive mix of Floyd classic Comfortably Numb (see p54). Presented at a number of recent industry events, the newest addition to the AMBEO family is the AMBEO VR

On-site VR potential? Whilst the outlook for VR streaming of live music appears relatively rosy, there is more uncertainty over the extent to which actual on-site, in-person VR experiences can be applied to music. If these are to achieve traction, then robust synchronisation between audio and video will be absolutely critical. Fortunately, a number of vendors are already making significant progress in this area. For example, new from Out Board is a fresh variant on its TiMax SoundHub spatial audio system, TiMax SoundHubVR. Designed to address a specific need in the theme park and ‘experience’ marketplaces for mobile, tightly-synchronised, low-latency immersive audio locked to multimedia VR content, TiMax SoundHub VR is configured in a compact half-depth 2U rackmount

chassis. The integrated TiMax SoundHub VR playback server, spatial processor and showcontrol hub features instantaneous playback of 16 random-access tracks; EQ/delay/zoning DSP; 16 analogue or Dante outputs; 12-24VDC or 90-230VAC PSU options; and the new TiMax Portal MicroServer multimode showcontrol hub and custom GUI server, enabling touch-screen control and multi-format links to external show control. As well as theme parks and museums, Out Board director Dave Haydon envisages opportunities for such solutions in several areas of the corporate market. As to whether there is scope for mass adoption in the live music space, he suspects that “much of it will be down to what people can afford and be arsed to do! [By contrast] if you look at the corporate event market, which is to some extent a messaging or infotainment environment, then [the commercial imperative] is very evident.” Out Board’s existing TiMax SoundHub solution has already been deployed at a number of major festivals, including Glastonbury and Creamfields, while “there has also been interest from mainstream arena touring acts, [although to date these potential projects] have fallen at the last hurdle due to budget or logistics.” But as a result of the inherent costs and complexity of applying VR to live performances, Haydon suspects that it could be “more immersive than VR sound that we are talking about” for a good while yet. Guillaume Le Nost, head of R&D at L-Acoustics group company L-ISA, expresses similar thoughts. “The logistics of organising an event for, say, 10,000 people with full VR are quite complex,” says Le Nost, “so I am not sure that VR for big shows adds up nicely just yet.” But immersive audio that complements a wide variety of visuals in different venues is an area of great opportunity already, confirms Le Nost, which means huge potential for L-ISA. Based around a comprehensive multi-channel audio architecture, L-ISA installations combine ‘Frontal’ and ‘Optional’ speaker systems and are designed for venues with capacities of 100 to 10,000 36-40 Feature virtual reality FIN.indd 3

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Sennheiser’s AMBEO VR mic in action

Sennheiser’s director AMBEO Immersive Audio, Veronique Larcher

people or more. As well as live performance spaces, the L-ISA solution is also being applied to museum and exhibition spaces, hence a recent project list that includes Coachella and Tate Modern, among others.

Even better than the real thing? Whilst the deployment of VR for on-site patrons is likely to be fairly experimental for some years to come, there is no doubt that VR of concerts for streaming is now beginning to resemble a very solid business in its own right. For venues, promoters and artists, in particular,

it will give rise to multiple new revenue streams, as Westberg observes. “The opportunity to sell one million [virtual tickets] to Justin Timberlake’s concert at Madison Square Garden is pretty powerful on a number of different levels,” he says. “The construction of an artist is much more than just their music these days; they may wish to expose their whole artistic universe. So with VR you could have access to the live concert as well as additional content, video clips, tour information, exclusive 360° material and much more, all in one place. And if you take it up a level and consider the music group or label behind the artist, you could also contemplate cross-sales of different artists, suggest other concerts the user might be interested in, and so on.” The business deals that underpin VR growth are therefore bound to be extensive and complex. But could it be that, in time, VR for streaming might even affect the way that people think about their conventional live concert attendance? Oh suggests that, “if done creatively and correctly, we may even find that people prefer a VR concert over a real one. Someone who has tickets for a real concert with terrible seats might want to see it in VR instead. He could be live onstage, just feet away from his favourite singer and could even hear the singer’s voice louder than the other instruments in the band.” Having recently concluded that (to paraphrase Jean-Paul Sartre rather loosely) ‘hell is other people… on their smartphones’ when it comes to live events, the

Woolf Works Royal Ballet Photo credit: Tristam Kenton

possibilities of VR for avoiding some of the other more unpleasant aspects of the concert-going experience can’t help occurring to PSNEurope, either. But whatever the long-term ramifications, this is already a hugely exciting area of R&D and one that is destined to yield a steady stream of innovations over the next few years. n 36-40 Feature virtual reality FIN.indd 4

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Live Sven Vath plays the Music Inside Festival, held alongside the expo (Photo Credit: Simone Marte)


A return to Rimini for reborn Italian expo

Mike Clark takes the temperature in the coastal playground


rganised by Italian Exhibition Group (the company formed by the merger between Rimini Fiera and Fiera di Vicenza), the second outing of the Music Inside Rimini expo featured several new sections for 2017: Professional Video and Broadcast, Integrated Systems, and Music Inside Education, featuring workshops and conferences. A fundamental role in the Rimini event was played by Live You Play, a format launched by industry veteran Gianni Fantini, for which three of the venue’s 6,000sqm halls hosted three fully equipped stages (audio, lighting, video, and lasers!). Every hall had a resident band, which played a 25-minute set on each of the stages in turn. The three live shows were followed by three virtual shows, during which all the hardware installed was presented. These shows ran all day, giving trade members the opportunity to hear and see all the latest equipment at work under real-life conditions in nine different combinations. Among the sound engineers drafted in to helm the consoles for the occasion were veterans Paolo Talami and Klaus Hausherr, Davide Lenci and Valeria Barbini. In Hall A3, Stage 1 featured a Bose Show Match rig powered by a quartet of Powersoft X8 amps. Stage 2 was the Electro-Voice domain (X2 Advance line array), with monitoring courtesy of six Dynacord AXM 12 and MyMix personal monitors. Stage 3 featured two Nexo arrays: one based on STM M28 boxes, the other on GEO M10s.

Turning to Hall A5: Stage 1 was Adamson territory, an S10 system (mainly) powered by four Powersoft X4 amps. Stage 2 hosted L-Acoustics KIVA II; Stage 3 spotlighted JBL VTX kit and Crown iTech amps. Finally in hall C3, Stage 1 hosted one of the three Italian rigs, namely FBT fielding its new MUSE line array. There was also a MITUS 206LA line array with relative subs. On Stage 2, Outline’s Mantas 28 was to the fore. Stage 3 hosted two rigs: one by K-Array, the other QSC. Several top distributors and manufacturers gave their insight on the event, confirming the visitor quality and the important role played by the event as the only ‘real-life’ trade showcase in Italy. All confirmed the attendance of numerous rental firms, many of which were from central and southern Italy, perhaps because the trip to Prolight + Sound wasn’t feasible (it’s over 1,300 miles from Palermo to Frankfurt!). “As a leading manufacturer and distributor of event technology solutions, Music Inside Rimini is a very important trade fair for us,” says Adam Hall Group’s Gabriel Medrano, international sales manager for southern Europe/South America. “MIR fair has become an industry event for the Italian market, with well-known rental companies, retailers and installation companies looking for innovative products.” The stylish MAUI P900 powered column PA system was one of the stand’s eye-catchers. “We’ve always done good business with the live industry, but now that we’ve entered the installation

market, things are going really well,” comments Stefano Rocchi, MD for distributor Audio Sales.“On the stand, there was a lot of interest in the Green-Go digital intercom. We’re exclusive Italian distributors for Powersoft’s rack power amps, and a lot of interest was shown in the X4 and X8 units.” “At the live stages, they were all pros, including important sound engineers, but as far as Bose is concerned, the installation market is our main business in Italy,” says Paolo D’Innocenzo, sales manager, Bose Professional Italia.”However, letting visitors hear what our ShowMatch system can do was very important. We also introduced a new product for the conferencing sector.” “There’s room for growth, particularly in the installation field, to which the organisers should pay more attention,” notes Graziano Sommaschini, BU manager, for Exhibo. “Our top attractions were the C-Class Allen & Heath dLive console and Sennheiser’s D6000 new-generation wireless mic.” “Around 80 per cent of FBT products are exported and although this year’s first quarter as far as Italian audio sales go, was poor, we’re hoping for an upswing over coming months,” reveals FBT Audio’s sales director Mauro Tanoni. FBT had the misfortune of losing both of its founders, Vinicio Tanoni (92) and Bruno Baldoni (88), in the first three months of this year. Assunta Fratocchi, managing director of Link, told PSNEurope: “About 20 per cent of our turnover is generated by Italian sales, so the market’s important for 42-43 Live FIN.indd 1

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Gianni Fantini organised the Live You Play live demo stages

Leading sound engineer Klaus Hausherr (top) and Paolo Talami (below) were in attendance

Audio Sales MD Stefano Rocchi

us, particularly the live event sector. “The product that attracted the most attention among the new products on show was the new LKO hybrid optical/power connector, able to provide configurable solutions for the transport of power, Ethernet, audio, video, DMX and GPI/O.” “Our products were exhibited by our Italian distributor Mods Arts,” says Giorgio Biffi, CEO, Outline. “About 80 per cent of the visitors I spoke to were from the live event field. Italian sales account for slightly less than 20 per cent of the turnover and this year our top-selling Mantas enclosures were featured on the live stage.” Andrea Guerranti, technical manager for Sisme, says: “We recently launched a video division, as the AV integration is becoming increasingly important and the product that attracted the most attention was a brand we recently began distributing, Visionary Solutions, with its Duet encoder.” “Our turnover is more or less equally divided between retail, live, installation and conference markets and the product that attracted most attention was the Dynacord TS400 Vertical Array,” comments Pierfranco Galeone of Texim. “Although the live stages were the centre of attraction, there was also considerable interest in the products targeting the system integration market,”

The MUSE line array on the FBT stand

remarks Marco Roveri of Leading Technologies. “On the stand, Harman’s Connected PA app attracted great interest on behalf of visitors.” One product that was neither seen nor heard, but attracted considerable interest was a series of panels mounted on the stage with the Adamson rig. As well as considerably reducing sound pollution (particularly at outdoor events), the panels are manufactured from recycled plastic bottles, can be very rapidly installed and also improve listening conditions for the bands on stage. Simultaneously to MIR, Rimini expo centre also hosted the Music Inside Festival, two nights organised by Lemmo’s Agreement featuring top DJs such as Sven Vath, Ralf and Chris Liebing. The AV and lighting contractor Amandla Productions kept the decibels high with an impressive array of speakers by Rome manufacturer Loud Professional, powered by Powersoft at all three stages (Green, Blue and Red). Green featured 24 3-way line array elements and 32 hybrid sub/bass enclosures, powered by ten 10 Powersoft X8, plus 10 front-fills driven by another X8. For the 24 line array elements, 24 subs and 10 frontfills installed at the Blue Stage, system designer Michele Azzimonti configured 8 Powersoft X8 and four Digam 7000 (the area’s VIP zone speakers were powered by a pair of K3 DSP).

Red Stage hosted 16 2-way line array elements, 8 hybrid infra/bass enclosures with Push Loop Technology and two front-fills powered by four X8 and an X4. After the event, Azzimonti was enthusiastic regarding the result of the Loud Technology/Powersoft combination. “I immediately noticed the difference during the first soundcheck after fine-tuning: a fantastic, powerful deep sound that was well controlled at the bottom end. I also found the X series’ limiters particularly ‘musical’, it was impossible to hear when they intervened, keeping the sound clean and coherent, no easy job at EMD festivals. “The Input/Advanced EQ section was also really great and other Powersoft features that enabled me to handle the system better than usual included the Active Damping Control, which I didn’t use to compensate long cable runs, but to add impedance, obtaining a controlled effective bottom end in particularly reverberant environment such as the expo centre’s halls. “Another important aspect is that to drive the same system with other platforms we’d have need twice or three times the number of amp racks!” After the events, the organiser reported a total attendance figure of over 30,000 for MIR and MIF and confirmed the next edition for May 2018. n 42-43 Live FIN.indd 2

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Getting Peckham right RSH Audio Limited supplied Funktion-One, d&b audiotechnik PA and Yamaha consoles for a cutting edge urban dance festival. Simon Duff reports


he Peckham Rye Music Festival, held over two weekends in May, is a new addition to London’s summer music festival season. Designed for some 1,000 revelers it aims to present a variety of dub, reggae, electronic and folk acts across four main stages: the Outdoor Stage, Indoor Stage, Roof D and The Nines. Featured artists for 2017 included nine-piece Essex reggae act New Town Kings, folk artist Jess Farley, dubstep pioneer Kode9 and Balearic party outfit Secretsundaze. RSH Audio Limited provided audio kit across the site, including the DJ equipment. The Bromleybased company is fast becoming a leading supplier of engineering skills and sound consultancy for the south-east and beyond. Established in 2009 by Joe Haycocks, a man with a wealth of industry experience behind him, RSH owns an extensive stock of Funktion-One kit: Resolution 4 loudspeakers, F218MKII and F221 bass enclosures and more. RSH’s d&b audiotechnik range includes V, E and M Series cabs; Haycocks can supply Martin Audio boxes too. The console inventory includes Yamaha CL and QL and, for mics, Shure ULX-D. “Our work is a healthy balance between the music world and corporate sector,” says Haycocks. At the festival, on the Outdoor Stage, RSH Audio supplied a d&b audiotechnik PA ground four d&b V8 and three V Subs per side, ground-stacked, plus a J-Sub deployed under the stage. All subs were used in cardioid mode, helping to reduce noise spill at the back of the stage, which was close to a business and residential area. Mixing all the bands on that stage at FOH was Haycocks himself on a Yamaha CL3, picking up inputs off the Yamaha Rio rack via Dante networking tech. Stage monitors were d&b audiotechnik M4s fed off the CL3, with an iPad on stage used by the monitor engineer to control the M4s. The largest channel count for the acts was in the region of some 30 inputs. The Indoor Stage provided the focus for the dance acts, including a Hyperdub record label night. Since 2006 the label has released cutting edge dubstep and experimental electronica, including three albums by Steve Goodman’s Kode9 who topped the bill at Peckham. Other Hypderdub acts on the bill included Cooly G, Okzharp and Skratcha DVA. The stage itself featured a simple DJ set-up: Pioneer CDJ-2000 NXS2 players and Pioneer DJM-900 Nexus 2 mixers

DJ Okzharp rocks the joint

On the Roof D stage, a Funktion-One F101 + BR118 set-up

supplied by RSH from their extensive DJ stock. A Yamaha QL1 took the L-R DJ feed with RSH’s regular freelance engineer Ciaron Harty at the helm. The PA was based around F-1 Res 4s over a F-218 bass

enclosure in a four-corner stereo set-up, driven by MC2 E100 amps with NST Audio processing. Haycocks explains the Funktion-One set up. “It is a full-on warehouse vibe. Resolution 4 really do suit 44-46 Peckham Rye FIN.indd 1

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Hyperdub label owner, Kode9’s Steve Goodman

the sound of electronic music and we will always keep them for that. There is so much energy and power in the low-mids. It’s their efficiency in that area that keeps them winning in my mind. I do think that dance music aficionados really do understand that Funktion-One defines an amazing visceral audio experience. “Level-wise having a quad point system means that the audience is always near a speaker so we can be mindful of sound levels,” he continues. “It also gives a really great vibe and immersive feel.” The Roof D stage, was situated on top of the site complex, some five floors up from the main festival site on a roof area overlooking a residential area. It’s an outdoor dance floor, with bar area able to accommodate some 200 partygoers – and the site Haycocks was most concerned about for potential noise-spill. Funktion-One F101s, each with BR118 subs, featured in a four-point quad stereo set-up again. The Nines stage was a small bar affair, based on Martin Audio Blackline loudspeakers and Martin Audio WSX Subs. RSH’s full time staff working on the Peckham Music Festival were Ben Harrison Baker, Jack Greenfield, and Dan Coia. The crew shares a hard

working ethos to Haycocks, and “a passion for dance music and a desire to deliver high-quality sound”. RSH Audio is clearly a force to be reckoned, with an impressive client list firmly established already. The company does a lot of subcontracting of PA and consoles to Eclipse Presentations, Aztec, Zero Degree Events and Bassline productions, working with brands such as Coca-Cola, GQ magazine and Arsenal FC. RSH will supply kit to the Social Festival in Kent, a boutique cutting edge event held at Kent County Showground, Maidstone later in the year (Nic Fanciulli and Sven Vath are on the line-up). Haycocks concludes. “I’m personally very pleased that we’re working with the Peckham Rye Music Festival and providing what I see as one of southeast London’s best-programmed events. “It’s fantastic to be working on a local project. Having invested heavily in growing our business since we started in 2009, these kind of smaller, more ‘underground’ shows are the reason why I got into this industry.” n 44-46 Peckham Rye FIN.indd 2

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More and more and Morena Not seen this unique performer do his live looping show yet? It’s only a matter of time, suggests Dave Robinson


SNEurope is sat in a garden shed studio, listening to a performance of acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass, drums, keyboards, backing vox and lead vocals. All being created ‘as it happens’. By just one man. Welcome to the world of Paolo Morena, a one-time drummer turned multi-instrumentalist who is creating quite the stir with his amazing live shows based around a couple of Boss Loop Stations. “Because it’s live, there is always that capacity that things won’t go exactly as expected, but also that you never hear the same thing twice,” says Morena’s manager, Martin Jeffries, as the song ends. “Even for an audience that have heard the songs a lot – and I’ve heard them hundreds of times – there’s always an added excitement on the night.” For the past six years or so, Chelmsford-based Morena has been honing his artistry, working with his compact set-up so, on stage, he can perform something just short of miracles. The musician generally begins with a simple click and guitar, then uses the Boss RC-50 Loop Station to build up drums, keyboards and guitar. Next, it’s backing vox and lead vocal, having moved over to the RC-300 (synched to the RC-50). Morena creates songs based on loops, maybe: but with an intimate knowledge of his kit, and clever manipulation of the pedals, he can drop parts in and out at will. With his songwriting and arrangement skills, his vocal ability and his sheer bloody talent, he creates a performance that is always dynamic, unexpected and ever so slightly ‘edgy’. It’s certainly never, ever boring to watch him at work – crowds will stare at his movements on stage as he flips between items of kit, building up the tracks one by one, shining light on the magic but still leaving his techniques almost impossible to emulate. “We’ve had someone step on to the stage in a pub – yes, cross that line – and come over and lift Paolo’s hand off the guitar because they don’t believe he’s doing it live,” reveals Jeffries. Morena describes his set-up: “All the instruments run through the mixing desk, Soundcraft Compact mixer with a couple of simple FX and a compressor added. There’s a stereo line out to the first loop pedal, the RC50, for all the instruments. That goes to a little PA mixer. Similar for the RC-300 and my vocals.” Simple set-up, complex results. “What Paolo does live is unique,” says Jeffries. “This [technology] aspect is what’s given us the opportunity to present his music to a wider audience. If you’re just a

Paolo Morena in action

The performer reckons he knows up to a 1,000 covers

singer/songwriter, there are zillions of those around. But to be able to show off the technology gives us an edge.” Morena started his solo career own around seven years ago with a DigiTech JamMan. “I started writing songs for the pedal: I thought, that’s the best way to learn how to use it. I then built the songs as I added instruments to put through the pedal. I upgraded to an

RC-50, and once I had enough songs, I went out to play live… and accidentally bumped into Martin!” The musician is also a goldmine of cover songs – Morena reckons he has up to a 1,000 in his repertoire. (How does he recall them all? Practice, practice, practice! ….and, he was a busker in Amsterdam for two years.) “I’ve got to the point now, where I can hear a 48-50 Paolo morena FIN.indd 1

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P50 JUNE 2017

The studio set-up

song, and on the first hearing, I can cover it, pretty much, if you give me the words.” The key to his cover versions is doing them in a way you wouldn’t normally expect. At a recent gig, he did a 25-minute version of the Doobie

Brothers’ Long Train Running, riffing and rocking out as the audience got into the grooves... for a whole 25 minutes! (“That was a bloody freight train mate,” laughs Morena. “It never got to the station!” joins in Jeffries.)

There’s an album already in the bag – The Mighty Small from 2015 – recorded mainly with Logic 9, “a good interface” and an sE Electronics 5600a mic. Another collection is on the way: The 38 – named for his 38th birthday. The performer and his manager talk about plans for a multiple camera, multi video wall: one screen showing him on the guitar, another on the bass and so on, looping and adding to the show, in a similar way to how the Boss pedalboards operate. “It’s crucial to develop what Paolo’s doing as a ‘show’, as we start to get bigger and bigger gigs,” suggests Jeffries. Meanwhile, since this PSNEurope interview, he was voted “Solo Performer Of The Decade” at Chelmsford Panic Awards. While Morena’s songs might be cyclical, this man is about to rise out of the loop of everyday and soar to higher things. Art, even… “My dream would be to produce a piece in 30 minutes at, say, the Tate Modern, and step away from it.. and leave it there. “And when I go back six months later and press the stop pedal, that would be it: you would never hear that music again. I like the idea of having started out in audio and pop, but ending up in an pop artistic sensibility, having crossed over the boundaries…” n

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at st m re o te .c in nts ur se yo re er np st ps gi w. Re w w

s ! et EE ck R Ti e F ar

THE STUDIO IN 2017 6th June 2017, Sway Bar, Holborn, London HOSTED BY

Barney Jameson Director of The Inside Story


Phil Ward Former editor of PSNEurope

Andy Wright Producer (Simply Red, Simple Minds)

Tommy D DJ/Producer (KT Tunstall, Corinne Bailey Rae)

PSNPresents takes place as part of MediaTech 360

5th – 9th June 2017, Central London, UK


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BOOK YOUR PLACE TODAY For more about this event visit


CONTACT US Ticket enquiries Maeve Nicholson 0203 871 7838

Sponsorship enquiries Ryan O’Donnell 0207 354 6047

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P52 JUNE 2017


The show will come to London later this month Photo credit: Specular


TiMax helps ‘Bat’ fly in Manchester Rock opera rethought with bells on. Hell’s bells, in fact…


im Steinman’s Bat Out of Hell has revved up the musical theatre landscape with a rock offering that smashes boundaries. Unleashed in Manchester, before it hits London in June, Bat Out of Hell is an operatic, cinematic, live rock theatre experience, with a subtle touch of TiMax SoundHub spatial audio. Gareth Owen has created a sound design, supplied by London’s Orbital Sound and fully commissioned by Andy Green and the Gareth Owen Sound Team, that cleverly twists the raw energy of Jim Steinman’s meaty masterpieces around the dark and epic tale of a pulsating subculture. With strong long-term links – anecdotally “mainly cocktail-related” – Gareth Owen was the sound designer of choice to create the aural extravaganza to match the visual feast of the production. For Owen, Bat Out of Hell represents his first foray with TiMax SoundHub. He explains: “I wanted the ability to take instruments and voices and throw them around the room at the drop of a hat. After looking at various options on the market I couldn’t find anything that did what I wanted to do so elegantly in a cross platform comparable package.” The highly scalable and adaptable TiMax platform offers a very cost-effective entry level, such as the 16x16 TiMax SoundHub-S16 specified by Owen for Bat Out of Hell, as well as the much higher channel counts required for full integration as main audio show controller for vocal positioning and dynamic spatial effects, rapidly becoming the norm for a variety of recent West End, provincial and Broadway shows. Playback and 3D surround pan triggers are sent to TiMax from QLab via the Avid S6L mixing console. The distributed sound system comprised “small boxes

With TiMax, Gareth Owen can ‘spin exploding guitars around the room’ Photo credit: Specular

and a large number of subs” from d&b V- and J-series. Owen adds: “Microphone-wise I use all the usual suspects – Shure, AKG and Audix, but I’m becoming a huge fan of DPA – it seems there’s nothing you can’t throw a 4099 on these days!” Orbital Sound purchased the TiMax SoundHub-S16 specifically for this production. Orbital managing director, Chris Headlam, states: “TiMax is ideal for handling the complex and integral soundscapes on Bat Out of Hell. The production is a huge operatic piece with a big sound and communications system translated from initial specification by Orbital technical director, Bill Addison. The final system is highly complex due to the fullon nature of the automated redundancy. There were countless challenges and details to perfect, but it’s a process we’re well versed in.”

Owen deployed TiMax on some truly ‘rock god’-style sound effects – but only a few well-placed ones. “We use the TiMax primarily as a glorified auto-panner, using it to spin exploding guitars around the room and to mix in surround.” He goes on: “In this respect I used TiMax as the icing on the cake, rather than as a fundamental building block in this case – an augmenting special effect if you will.” Summing up his first hands-on TiMax experience, Owens concludes: “TiMax did exactly what I hoped for and did it very well. Robin Whittaker and Dave Haydon from Out Board could not have been more supportive. TiMax worked flawlessly in its roles and I now feel that I have the confidence to integrate TiMax more deeply in the future: something I’m very much looking forward to!” n 52 TiMax BOOH FIN.indd 1

24/05/2017 14:23

Register Now! Conference 14-18 September 2017 Exhibition 15-19 September 2017

IBC2017 The World’s Leading Media, Entertainment & Technology Show Join over 1,700 exhibitors showcasing the latest technological innovations, 400+ speakers delivering the latest industry insights and 55,000+ attendees providing unlimited networking opportunities at IBC’s 50th annual conference and exhibition.

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P54 JUNE 2017



Wish you were here! Sennheiser GuidePORT technology once again transforms V&A exhibition. And this time, there’s added AMBEO 3D too, says Dave Robinson


n Saturday 13 May, following years in the making, The Pink Floyd Exhibition: Their Mortal Remains opened at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (V&A). This major exhibition marks the 50th anniversary of the band’s first album, The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn. The exhibition is promoted by Michael Cohl and Iconic Entertainment Studios. Their Mortal Remains, originally conceived by the late Storm Thorgerson and developed by Aubrey ‘Po’ Powell, who worked closely with Pink Floyd’s own Nick Mason, is an audio-visual journey through 50 years of one of the world’s most iconic rock groups, and a rare and exclusive glimpse into the world of the band. The V&A curatorial team was led by Victoria Broackes, whose previous exhibitions include the highly successful David Bowie is, and last year’s You Say You Want a Revolution? The exhibition draws together unique artefacts illustrating Pink Floyd’s relationship with music, art, design, technology and performance from every stage of their career and personal lives. It offers a rare glimpse of the band’s working methods, and plots their transition from a psychedelic pop group in the 1960s to the multi-platinum-selling albums band of the ’70s and beyond. The exhibition also offers an in-depth look at the band’s instruments and technology. Several of David Gilmour’s guitars, including his famous Black Strat, are exhibited, alongside Richard Wright’s early-‘70s era Mini Moog synthesiser and a treasure trove of effects pedals, hand-painted drum heads, echo chambers and more. Filmed interviews with the band members explain how this equipment was used to create Pink Floyd’s ground-breaking and experimental sound on albums such as The Dark Side Of The Moon, Wish You Were Here and The Wall. Meanwhile, the exhibition’s three purposebuilt mixing desks allow visitors to ‘mix’ their own customised version of the classic Floyd song Money. The flow of the exhibition, in chronological order, is enhanced by music throughout and by the voices of past and present members of Pink Floyd, including David Gilmour, Mason, Roger Waters and the late Wright explaining their experiences and musical experimentation via Sennheiser’s GuidePORT system. This culminates in the Performance Zone (fitted with 18 Neumann KH 420 mid-field monitor loudspeakers

Inflatable model of the teacher from The Wall

and seven KH 870 subwoofers), where visitors enter an immersive audio-visual space which includes the recreation of the very last performance of all four members of the band at Live8 in 2005 with Comfortably Numb. The track was specially mixed at Abbey Road using Sennheiser’s ground-breaking AMBEO 3D, an immersive audio technology. Producers Simon Rhodes and Simon Franglen worked closely with Pink Floyd associate and recording engineer Andy Jackson to create the remix. Overall responsibility for the installation and the audio guide programming for Sennheiser lay with Robert Généreux, business director, System Design. “We are aiming at providing an audio experience unlike anything visitors have experienced before,” says Généreux. Ahead of the official opening, newly appointed V&A director Tristram Hunt welcomed guests and collaborators to a special viewing of the exhibition. Sennheiser’s joint CEOs Daniel and Dr Andreas Sennheiser were in attendance, as well as other members and friends of the Sennheiser family. n

The Sennheiser CEO brothers introduce the technology at the exhibition launch

There are many artefacts from the Floyd’s history at the exhibition Image Courtesy of The Pink Floyd Exhibition: Their Mortal Remains 54 PinkFLoyd FIN.indd 1

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Redundant Dante™ and output routing GPO, remote on/off swithc and MAIN/AUX input select In-depth network and remote control Redundant power supply 8x8 Input / Output matrix Highest level DSP with multi-stage signal processing Suitable for mixed lo-Z and 70/100 V loads Up to 1500W per channel @ 4Ω

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Please send all contributions for possible publication to

P57 JUNE 2017

Hither & departure Fitness feats and a termite infestation feature this month

Dan Page isn’t cycling through the desert, but he is riding the length of the UK for cancer charities this July. Support him via 1000milesonabike on Facebook

Here’s NewBay’s Pete McCarthy (left), Ciaran Doran of Deep Blue Sapphire and Joss Armitage of Jump PR (right), victorious after cycling from Santa Monica to Las Vegas ahead of this year’s NAB show. The idiots...

Filip de Vos of Rupert Neve 5088 console distributor Jukebox Ltd enjoys streetfood at the DAFT Studios opening. Blame Marc Maes for this picture, Filip!

ART found this termite nest when they opened up the VMS70 lathe (p30)




Visit to find your local Neve dealer For recording as it’s meant to be heard, it has to be Neve - no question.

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09/02/2017 09:59 57 Hither FIN.indd 1

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P58 JUNE 2017


Native ambition Dave Robinson gets down to the fundamentals of hosting a good showcase with Dan Neale


an Neale is the managing director of Native Music, a music supervision and production company working in partnership with leading London audio post house, Jungle Studios. Every couple of months, they host one of the hottest tickets around: an early evening, intimate ‘unplugged’ music showcase called Native Lounge Sessions. Sixty people – staff, clients, guests, press – cram into the fourth-storey lounge/kitchen at Jungle in Wardour Street and listen to a clutch of songs by the likes of Whilk and Misky, Great Good Fine OK, and today, The Amazons. “We Were Evergreen were one of my favourites,” says Neale. “They have an inherent coolness about them.”

Tell me about your career Dan? I started out as a musician, trying to be in bands and so on. Then I worked in an ad agency (Grey London) as a production assistant; I saw demos come in from companies, and I thought, I could do that! That’s when I became a composer: I did a Guinness ad; an Orange ad; a Galaxy chocolate commercial. After four years, I realised my strength was working with other composers, and helping them interpret a music brief; plus finding existing music was something I was really interested in. I went back into advertising at RKCR/Y&R (now Y&R London), where I was head of music for six years. I oversaw all things music, [particularly] outside suppliers. Eventually I came up with a plan to go independent again. Jungle Studios was looking for opportunities to expand, so we came up with the partnership of Native Music.

Did you bring this business to them? Jungle had a music department, but they hadn’t done licensing and supervision before. So now we have a full range of services.

The Olympics! I worked on the trail, title and broadcast package for the 2016 Rio campaign. Prior to that, in 2012, I worked with Elbow to do a 90-second trail for the London Games (called First Steps, recorded at Abbey Road). Our best-known sync is M&S Food where we placed the Clean Bandit’s Rather Be track. It became quite an iconic sync: other people would come in and ask if they can sound like ‘the M&S ad’.

Amazons were the perfect sound.

PSNEurope joins you today after a showcase, this time for up-and-coming band The Amazons, who were on TV earlier this week and have been tipped for greatness. But what’s the point of these Native evenings? These kind of showcases happen inside other agencies. I used to do them when I worked at Y&R London and I’ve been lucky to see some amazing performances from people. But acts are ONLY exposed to people at that agency. The difference here – for the bands – is that they’re exposed to different people – editors, directors, individuals from different disciplines. They end up in the forefront of people’s minds. It sounds a bit, far-fetched, but, for instance, at Y&R London, we did a showcase with a pianist called Phildel. She got commissioned to write some music and that was used in an ad for 18 months. It’s proof that these events do lead to other things.

Joe is the music researcher at Native Music and also our in-house live music engineer. The most inputs we’ve had here, is Whilk and Misky, they had 12 channels. So, yes, it’s quite simple.

What’s in this for Native? Brand-building. It shows that we are affiliated with these acts, that we are connected, we are prepared to put these events on. When we started the company four years ago, it was an easy way to tell people about the business, without telling them, you know? We don’t have to say we’re a cool company, we just do a cool thing.

Why The Amazons? What’s the biggest campaign you personally have worked on?

I heard the material some time ago. I wanted a showcase that was a bit more raucous than the last few. The

And the bands are hungry for opportunities… It varies with acts. Some are open to showcases, some aren’t.

The performance space is quite straightforward, it seems: an HK Audio compact PA, rig, a Yamaha desk, Van Damme cables, a few mics..?

But that’s part of the magic, right? Unplugged performances, without the usual sheen? The best gigs are the ones where they chat to the room and don’t pretend it’s a gig. Pretty much everyone turns up thinking, this is weird, why am I doing this? And they leave thinking, I’ve had a really good time, I understand the opportunities and the potential for exposure. It’s been interesting to see that transformation.

You’ve had these young, dynamic acts here: but then you had Billy Bragg too one Christmas! How come? He was up for doing it, so we weren’t going to say no. Around Christmas, we try to get a more established act (Labrinth and Ed Harcourt have both played in previous years). Bragg said, people think of him as a political writer, but he just writes about his life… So he played a real crosssection of songs. He was amazing. He played for 45 minutes and the place was rammed. I was a bit nervous about him because of socialism and capitalism and advertising and so on, but he’s a lot more open-minded than people think! n 58 Backpage FIN.indd 1

24/05/2017 14:24

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PSNE June 2017 Digital  
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