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October 2016

www.psneurope.com

Phantom power! Scary specifications and haunted houses of worship – a Hallowe’en special! p32 P8

P38

P44

PSAWARDS GONGFEST!

AT THE CORR OF IT

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THE WINNERS, THE RECEPTION, THE BALLOON HATS!

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A CELEBRATION OF THE LEGACY OF JAMES B. LANSING

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Welcome

PSNEUROPE Editor Dave Robinson drobinson@nbmedia.com

Advertising manager Ryan O’Donnell rodonnell@nbmedia.com

Deputy Editor Sarah Sharples ssharples@nbmedia.com

Account manager Rian Zoll-Khan rzoll-khan@nbmedia.com

Group managing editor Jo Ruddock jruddock@nbmedia.com

Designer Kelly Sambridge

Content director James McKeown jmckeown@nbmedia.com

Contributors: Kevin Hilton, Marc Maes, Dave Wiggins, Mike Clark, Phil Ward, SImon Duff, David Davies

PSNEurope NewBay Media, Emerson Studios 4th Floor, 4-8 Emerson Street London SE1 9DU Editorial: +44 20 7354 6002 Sales: +44 20 7354 6000 Press releases to: ukpressreleases@nbmedia.com Circulation and subscription: Refunds on cancelled subscriptions will only be provided at the publisher’s discretion, unless specifically guaranteed within the terms of the subscription offer. NewBay Media may pass suitable reader addresses to other relevant suppliers. If you do not wish to receive sales information from other companies, please write to Circulations and Subscriptions, NewBay Media, Curwood CMS Ltd, The Barn, Abbey Mews, Robertsbridge TN32 5AD

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© NewBay Media 2016. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior permission of the copyright owners. The contents of PSNEurope are subject to reproduction in information storage and retrieval systems. NewBay Media is now the Data Controller under the Data Protection Act 1998 in respect of your personal data. NewBay Media will only use your data for the purposes originally notified and your rights under the Data Protection Act 1998 are not affected by this change. The publishers reserve the right to refuse subscription applications considered inappropriate and to restrict the number of free copies sent to a company or organisation. 2016 subscription rates for nonindustry/non-European readers are: UK: £39/€62 Europe: £54/€86 Other countries: £106/$170 Printing by Pensord Press, Tram Road, Pontlanfraith, Blackwood NP12 2YA

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PSNEurope is published 12 times a year by NewBay Media, Emerson Studios 4th Floor, 4-8 Emerson Street London SE1 9DU ISSN: 0269-4735 (print) 2052-238X (digital)

P3 OCTOBER 2016

Cover image: Is that an apparition, or just some suspicious mood lighting?

DAVE ROBINSON Editor

@PSNEurope

H

ave you ever seen a ghost? No, of course you haven’t, you fool, because they don’t exist. As I’ve said to my aged parents (who do believe in such entities) many times, in this age where there are digital cameras EVERYWHERE, if there were such things as aliens, ghosts, yetis or considerate parking enforcement officers, they’d have been framed in a photo by now. Still, that didn’t stop Jon Chapple (our SHADOWY ex-dep ed) having some fun with our Hallowe’en feature this month. Jon talked to as many installation companies he could about their work in SPOOKY places... combine that with a little bit of local knowledge and you have a TERRIFYING read. And I write this as a former native of Cannock in Staffs, which, according to the Daily Star newspaper, is regularly visited by BLACK-EYED GHOST CHILDREN. Yes, it is, google it! (No, it isn’t.) We also published Genius!2 this month, most of which will be appearing online via our website soon. It’s another collection of ‘lightbulb moments’, celebrating inventors and innovation in the pro-audio industry. And, on a serious note, something occurred to me while we were trying to compile photos of certain ‘geniuses’ who are no longer with us. People such as Dave Harrison, of console fame, or amp man David Hafler, or James Giles of Penny & Giles, the fader people. We strove and struggled to find decent (in some instances, any) images of these influential icons. This shouldn’t be the case: we shouldn’t be relying on the ‘ghosts’ of people no longer with us; we need to archive and preserve the memories of the leaders of our industry as much as we can. Right? Finally, congratulations to all the winners at the Pro Sound Awards 2016. We had a fantastic evening – in fact, we think it was the best one yet (a lot of our guests told us that, too). It was a thrill to have Simon Nicol from Fairport come along especially to present an award; I’ve been listening to their winsome ’70s folk quite a lot since, and who knew, eh? (I always thought it was a lot more ‘finger in the ear’ guff.) And lovely to see the very stylish trio of Stefania, Monica and Nico all the way from Italy on behalf of Angel’s Wings. Grazie, and better luck next year, guys! Now, let’s go haunting... BOO! n

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P4 OCTOBER 2016

Contents

In this issue... P50 KICKSTARTING PRODUCTS THE ALTERNATIVE WAYS TO FINANCE

P22 DEFYING DEATH THE WAKE UP CALL TO START CROWN LANE STUDIO

P58 Q&A: STAF VERBEECK LIFE AFTER JET STUDIO

Studio P54 INSIDE THE TATE MODERNISING THE STARR

Business 6 7 8 12 14 16 19

Riedel’s acquisition of ASL NAMM captures music industry’s history PSAwards 2016: ALL THE WINNERS! Financial regulation changes and their impact Movers and shakers: industry appointments PSNTraining: what’s on Blackmagic’s purchase of Fairlight

Technology 18 20 32 50

New products Cake, car tracks and more at IBC2016 FEATURE: Halloween special: the ghosts of church installs FEATURE: The adventures of crowdfunding

22 24 26

Meet Morden-based Crown Lane Studio The final chapter of the Great European Organs series Rednet helps capture the Salzburg Festival

Broadcast 28 30

Radio Chrétienne Francophone’s new studios Ramping up coverage of The Ring Circle

Live 38 42 44 48

Sound for Celtic music at the Lorient Interceltic Festival Belgian soldier-king’s spectacular musical 70 years of JBL Italy’s Ravenna Festival employs RAVENNA and Lawo

Installation 54

The new Tate Starr auditorium

Back pages 57 58

Hither and balloons! Q&A: Staf Verbeeck

www.psneurope.com 04 PSNE Oct16 Contents FIN.indd 1

27/09/2016 17:16


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27/09/2016 08:15:51 9/26/16 2:55 PM


P6 OCTOBER 2016

Business

GERMANY/NETHERLANDS

Riedel assimilates ASL The super-quick deal marks Riedel as a new player in the live sound and theatre environments, suggests Sarah Sharples

A

fter talks in June this year, German intercom specialist Riedel announced at IBC2016 it had acquired the Netherlandsbased company, ASL Intercom BV. ASL will remain in its Utrecht headquarters, but with the support, capital and infrastructure of Riedel, ASL’s sales and marketing director Susan McLohon reveals. It means that ASL jumps from a team of 10 to combine with the 450 strong staff at Riedel. McLohon says: “For ASL, it’s a very good move because you get the Riedel background, the power Riedel really has in business and the technology background, but you expand your market. Riedel, for example, also expanded their market – we are good in live sound and theatre installation so there we have our big name – and they have a very big name in the broadcast. Now they can cover everything. For ASL, it’s also a continuation; we were a small company, now we have much more oomph behind us.” ASL was established in 1985 by current managing director, Eric de Bruyn, who continues in the role after the acquisition. The Intercom brand will also be maintained. Talking about the deal, de Bruyn says the broadcast and AV world are getting closer together. “If you notice at [the] ISE [show], for example, you see more and more broadcast people and at IBC you see more and more AV people, but if you think about it, it’s a logical consequence. Riedel is moving more and more towards the installation market and we are not just doing broadcast anymore. For a few years now,

Below (L-R): Eric de Bruyn, Susan McLohon, Serkan Güner and Rajveer Singh

ASL managing director Eric de Bruyn and CEO Thomas Riedel

we’ve been doing fixed installation, such as cruise ships like the Anthem of the Seas by the Royal Caribbean, we are doing the new Olympic stadium and are also doing operas and theatres,” he says. “The install market is at an interesting point, it isn’t just broadcast anymore and ASL is a really strong brand in the market of install for theatre and live sound and fixed installations, so it can only help us to be more integrated with this market.” It also means that the company now has a product that challenges the nearest rival, suggests de Bruyn. “Riedel has something that can compete easily with Clear-Com,” he says. The company’s flagship ASL FLEXUS intercom

system allows multiple standards – Dante/AES67/AVB and RAVENNA – to coexist in a single system. CEO Thomas Riedel says: “ASL Intercom has a strong portfolio in digital partyline technology, and the company’s products adapt readily to a wide variety of applications, both small and large. Intercom applications remain a core element of our business, and we are confident that we’ll quickly be able to leverage the complementary technologies of ASL Intercom to serve an even broader array of customers that can benefit from exceptional communications systems.” In an acquisition double-header at the Riedel press conference at the annual Amsterdam broadcast fair last month, the Wuppertal-based operation revealed it had also acquired DELEC Audio- und Videotechnik GmbH, maker of the Oratis intercom systems, Unito Dante audio-networking interfaces, and digital PA systems.n www.riedel.net

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P7 OCTOBER 2016

WORLD

NAMM captures music industry history An ambitious project to chronicle the people in the business has seen the 3,000th interview recorded and some heartwarming moments saved for posterity, Sarah Sharples writes

W

ith interviews from the likes of BB King, Elvis Presley’s guitar player Scotty Moore, piano company founder Henry Steinway and songwriter Marilyn Bergman, the NAMM Oral History Program clocked up a recent milestone with its 3,000th interview. Since 2000, the ‘program’ has aimed to preserve the history of the music products industry through first-person accounts from retailers, suppliers, sales representatives, publishers, instrument and product creators, innovators, founders and artists. NAMM’s music historian Dan Del Fiorentino has conducted each interview, including the first that featured industry pioneer, Ted McCarty. He served as the president of Gibson Guitars and signed Les Paul, which led to the creation of the Gibson SG electric guitar. Del Fiorentino says interviewees are chosen based on a wishlist generated by the industry, with people over 80 a priority, while interviews average an hour “A percentage of the questions are about a person’s background, their

parents and music in the house while growing up, what inspired them as young child, their first instrument, music education … while the rest is about their first job, what companies they worked for, who have been their mentors, big changes in the industry and the innovations,” he says. Participants have come from 46 countries and were born in the years between 1903 and 1988. The 1,000th interview was with Dennis Houlihan, president/CEO of Roland, while the 3,000th captured 22-Grammy winner and jazz musician Chick Corea. The oldest living interviewee at 103 is Viola Smith, a drummer and product endorser. Del Fiorentiono can’t believe how lucky he is to do his job and while it might be difficult with 3,000 interviews, he does have his favourites. As an Elvis Presley fan, he says one of his all time favourites was Scotty Moore, who was a hero of his growing up. “Back then they talked about Elvis’ clothes and hair and rarely talked about people playing behind him,” he says. “Scotty was Elvis Presley’s first

guitar player when they started out as teenagers and he went on to be a pioneer, his playing was a major influence on people like the Beatles and Jimmy Page has specifically singled out Scotty as an influence.” Moore continued as a recording engineer and helped to design Gibson guitars, but sadly passed away a few months ago, Del Fiorentiono says. That is another humbling part of the job, he says, when he hears from children, whose parent have passed away, and they discover a NAMM video. “The person may not tell their kids or

their kids may have forgotten, but when they are reminded and see this, it’s a precious, priceless gift now to have these images and this memory of their loved one. When I get cards like that it brings me to tears – in addition to documenting history – we are also touching human lives,” he adds. Del Fiorentino admits it is becoming tougher to find people to interview. But after 1,000s of interviews, a person born on every day of the year has been filmed with exception of one: October 15. Know anyone? n www.namm.org

Dan Del Fiorentinoi interviewed piano company found Henry Steinway when he was 90 Inset; Del Fiorentino with his childhood hero, Scotty Moore

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27/09/2016 11:34


P8 OCTOBER 2016

Our awards! in association with

UNITED KINGDOM

Now be thankful!

The great and the good gathered at the Ministry of Sound for the fourth outing of the Pro Sound Awards

C

apital Sound Hire grabbed the Grand Prix at the end of September as the pro-audio industry came together to celebrate the Pro Sound Awards 2016. Focusrite’s Phil Dudderidge was applauded and awarded for his Lifetime Achievement in the studio equipment industry and beyond. Simon Nicol, founder of English folk legends Fairport Convention (with hits Now Be Thankful and Who Knows Where the Time Goes) was on hand to present the award to the band’s former roadie. The awards, in association with headline sponsor Tannoy, recognised excellence in four categories of installed, studio, broadcast and live/touring sound, along with four special awards. It was hosted by Canadian comedian Sean Collins once again (“This is what an awards night would look like if it was illegal,” he quipped). Trade body and event organiser PLASA sponsored the drinks reception, while Audio-Technica sponsored fun in the photo booth. The after party drinks were sponsored by Renkus-Heinz. Other sponsors can be spotted below! Catering was once again supplied by festival food specialist Anna Mae’s, with its delicious mac’n’cheese and pulled pork. After a presentation by Lee Dennison on behalf of industry support charity Backup, the fourth Pro Sound Awards got underway. In the Live/Touring Sound category, sponsored by d&b audiotechnik, Engineer of the Year went to Gary Bradshaw for is FOH work with Jeff Lynne’s ELO; Best Tour/Production Sound went to SSE Audio for the Reading Festival; Best Theatre Sound to Funktion-One for the Broadway production of Once at the Olympia Theatre. In the Studio category, sponsored by Focusrite, Engineer of the Year went to Wes Maebe; Brighton Electric Recording Co won Best Studio; Best Sound (Post-Production) was presented to Glenn Freemantle’s Sound24/Avid for work on the movie Everest. Next up, Installation. Best Permanent Installation Project went to the Parc Olympique Lyonnais and Powersoft of Italy. Best Temporary Installation Project was won by the UK Pavilion at the Milano Expo, and Meyer Sound. Martin Audio took home the installation Team of the Year trophy for the success of the CDD (Coaxial Differential Dispersion) range.

Headline Sponsor

Category Sponsors

The Capital Sound Hire team (Pete Gale, George Kinsella-Pearn, Barney Cushman and Paul Timmins) were the proud recipients of the Grand Prix award, presented by event producer LoudSound’s Dan Craig (right)

Special guest Simon Nicol, founder of legendary English folk band Fairport Convention, presented the Lifetime Achievement award to Focusrite’s Phil Dudderidge

In the Broadcast category, Best Facility went to Goldcrest Post-Production; the Best Broadcast Event UEFA European Championship 2016 (represented by Lawo); Team of the Year went to the many techies from the BBC Springwatch/Autumnwatch Team and Arena TV. The last four gongs were the ‘Special Awards’. Best Marketing Initiative was presented to Calrec Audio for it’s ingenious Periodic Table campaign. Rising Star was sponsored by Harman and was selected by the team at PSNEurope sister title Audio Media International. Harman’s Ed Jackson was on hand to deliver the award to Eastcote Studio’s George Murphy. When it came to Lifetime Achievement, surprise guest Simon Nicol recalled tales of working with a young roadie (and van driver!) Phil Dudderidge in the

Photo Booth Sponsors

BBC sound supervisor on the “…watch” nature programmes Louise Willcox recognised her colleagues and crew for Broadcast Team of the Year (BBC/Arena)

late ’60s. Dudderidge’s family (five of his children, and one grandchild) were on-hand to cheer the patriarch’s accolade. The final gong, the Grand Prix, was presented to Capital Sound Hire, a company nominated for the top award of the night for its busy and impressive roster coupled with a determined initiative to extend and invest in its equipment inventory. Accepting their awards, both Dudderidge and Cap Sound’s Paul Timmins acknowledged their victories were all down to having great teams around them. The evening ended with an after party featuring the fabulous Inflate-A-Belles (balloon benders extraordinaire – see Hither on p58) and dancing to DJ Fos. Where does the time go, eh? See you next year! n www.prosoundawards.com

Drinks Reception Sponsor

After Party Sponsor

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27/09/2016 12:34


P9 OCTOBER 2016 in association with

White Light’s Lee Dennison represented the charity partner, Backup

Host for the evening, comedian Sean Collins

Mike Igglesden collected the Best Theatre Sound gong for Funktion-One’s contribution to Once on Broadway

Helen Alexander pitched up to receive the Best Sound (Post-Production) award for the Sound24/Avid contribution to Everest

Wes Maebe’s partner Deborah received the Engineer of the Year award on his behalf

Meyer Sound’s “blue-eyed boy” (to quote host Sean Collins) Roger Harpum secured the award for Temporarry (!) Installation Project

SSE’s Luther Edmonds picked up the Best Tour/Live Sound Production award for SSE Audio

Representing Powersoft, Alexis Lipoff grabbed the Best Permanent Installation Project award for the Parc Olmpique Lyonnais spec

Brighton Electric elected Best Studio! (L-R): BE’s Amanda Stringfellow, Jimi Wheelwright and James Stringfellow

Martin Audio director of marketing James King took the Team of the Year award for the success of the new CDD range

Kevin Emmott and Ian Cookson, the Calrec Audio Periodic Table alchemists, with their award for Marketing Initiative

Goldcrest bagged the Best Facility award in the Broadcast category: here’s MD Patrick Malone

Ed Jackson of sponsor Harman reveals the Rising Star award, as AMI editor Adam Savage looks on

Dirk Sykora took Best Broadcast Event on behalf of Lawo

...and the winner is George Murphy, fresh from a session at Eastcost Studios that very evening!

AMI’s Adam Savage does his thing

(L-R) Simon Nicol, Dave Robinson and award winner Phil Dudderidge

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27/09/2016 16:14


P10 OCTOBER 2016

Our photos! in association with

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(L-R): Drinks reception

sponsor PLASA’s Sophi e Atkinson and Chris To Audio’s James King; Me ulmin; Martin yer Sound’s Andrew Da vies

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P11 OCTOBER 2016 in association with

The Dudderid ge family turn ed out Achievement! (L-R) Daisy, Ja en masse to support patria rch mie, Tom, Jenn y, Phil, Joanna Phil’s Lifetime , Simon and Ti m

Anna Mae dished up superb mac’n’cheese once more

a Zinutti

auro, Monic

Stefania M el’s Wings’ rico g n A io d u n st rdo and Nico O (L-R): Italia

eering), Robbie erations and engin op of d ea (h y ney Ra Simon tor), Martin Poult (L-R): Goldcrest’s e (managing direc lon Ma r) ck xe tri mi Pa , R h) by (senior AD Scott (mix tec tor) and Mark Apple (commercial direc

Roger Harpum (Meyer), Joel Perry (Wigwam), and Paul Robson (Medialease)

Those Dudde

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27/09/2016 12:35


P12 OCTOBER 2016

Column special: Q&A

Credit control In a change to our normal programme, regular columnist Dave Wiggins talks to Medialease managing director Paul Robson about recent changes to financial legislation that may affect UK dealers, resellers, manufacturers and distributors What exactly are the legislative changes that we should know about? Paul Robson: The Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 created the Financial Services Authority (FSA) as a regulator for insurance, investment business and banking, and the Financial Ombudsman Service to resolve disputes as a free alternative to the courts. The Act was considerably amended by the Financial Services Act 2012 and the Bank of England, then subsequently by the Financial Services Act 2016. It’s the latter set of amendments that most directly affect anyone who introduces clients to third-party financiers. How? It has now been decreed that any firm or individual who carries out a regulated activity in the UK must be authorised by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority), unless they are exempt. Regulated activities are those described in the act and, among others, specifically include the introduction of certain types of client to companies who may potentially provide credit facilities. In layman’s terms, what does that mean to anyone in our business? If a company sells equipment to a sole trader or partnership with less than four partners and introduces them to a third-party finance provider to assist them with the purchase of equipment, then the seller must be regulated by the FCA. Henceforth, the very act of making an introduction is considered to be the act of credit brokering, even if the seller does not receive a commission for the introduction. In short, unauthorised introductions cannot legally be made to the types of client described above.

What is the reasoning behind the new measures? The reason they are clamping down is to avoid more ‘mis-selling’ sagas, many of which have been welldocumented. Given the specialised and somewhat isolated nature of our business one might think that the chances of being caught are slim, but it’s worth remembering that the punishment for making unregulated introductions is pretty severe. If the FCA finds you guilty of unauthorised credit brokering it will be considered illegal and culprits could be dealt with accordingly. Can you be more specific about who this affects and what type of transactions fall under the purview of the act? Firstly, this only applies to introductions where the purchaser is a sole trader or in a partnership of less than four people. So, at least for the time being, sellers can continue to refer limited companies without needing further accreditation. Additionally, if credit is offered as 0 per cent interest for 12 months or less then it doesn’t apply, and various professions (such as solicitors, accountants and actuaries) who run regulated activities alongside their main businesses are exempt from the act. If, however, none of those exceptions apply to any company that regularly sells to sole traders or small partnerships and who wishes to stay within the law when introducing a buyer to an asset financier in order to make a sale, then they must be either a) regulated by the FCA or b) an appointed representative of a business that is regulated by the FCA. Can you offer any guidance for those wishing to become regulated under the Act?

From personal experience I can say that getting authorisation from the FCA is a tortuous process. It can take months of disclosures, financial revelations, audit checks and lengthy procedure writing then once you’re approved, an ongoing monitoring process begins. Are there any legal and viable alternatives? Some asset finance companies (including Medialease) that have been through that difficult process, are now regulated by the FCA and can potentially appoint parties as representatives. This does not tie the seller to any broker or finance company at all, even if finance is subsequently arranged to facilitate the transaction – all the seller has to do is fill in a form then follow some simple rules and a suitably accredited finance provider will essentially ‘lend’ you their regulatory permissions. ‘Simple rules’ – that sounds ominous – how hard is it really? There are some fairly stringent stipulations but nothing that most companies wouldn’t do as a matter of course. Once completed correctly the accredited finance provider will then assume the responsibility of authorisation on behalf of the seller. For reputable and honourable resellers there is a viable and legal option. So, in summary? The legal framework under which introductions may be made to a finance company have changed. All resellers need to be aware of what is going on and should ensure that they understand how this affects their business, but the option to become an appointed representative of a reputable provider, who is suitably accredited under the act ,is potentially there if needed. n www.medialease.com

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27/09/2016 15:53


35 Years xy

d&b is 35. Tobias is d&b.

Tobias Wagner is part of the R&D Software team at d&b. He’s been on board since 2015. “d&b is a crazy bunch, never uptight – and we’re really good at what we do.” In 35 years d&b has evolved from a small garage venture to a worldwide standard in professional sound systems. It’s people like Tobias who make this story possible, and just that bit different from the rest.

Welcome to System reality. Full Page Template.indd 1

26/09/2016 10:15:34


P14 OCTOBER 2016

Movers and shakers

Next stage for Martin Audio? The return of a couple of old friends Staff return to company to suport CDD-LIVE! and BlacklineX

F

ollowing a transformation period to improve organisation and process under new managing director Dom Harter, Martin Audio has appointed Robin Dibble as product support engineer and Bradley Watson to the role of EMEA sales manager. The new roles were established to support revitalised sales growth after the launch of CDD-LIVE! and BlacklineX. Harter says: “We are really building a future at Martin Audio, and with CDD-LIVE! shipping and BlacklineX just launched it is the right time to boost the team. Martin Audio’s core customers know Robin well, I couldn’t think of anyone better to further our credentials in the installation space given his knowledge, reputation and his understanding of Martin Audio products.

“As for Bradley, I’ve known him for many years; he knows Martin Audio well, and most importantly has worked throughout the installed sales channel, which adds skills and market understanding. I knew that he was the right candidate to take forward our position in EMEA.” Dibble, who went to work at RaceTech for six months, says he is looking forward to getting his teeth into some really interesting projects worldwide. Watson, spent time working at Void Acoustics and other AV suppliers over the last six years and comments that he always kept a fond eye on developments. “When presented with the opportunity to re-join, to work with the new team, and to work the territory I always wanted, it was a perfect scenario for me.” n www.martin-audio.com

Rycote has appointed Gerry Forde as their chief commercial officer, where he will be responsible for leading the sales department. www.rycote.com

White Light has appointed Tom Wilkes as business development manager. Previously, he founded Vision SL, a technical production company, in 2009. www.whitelight.ltd.uk

Molinare has recruited Emma Comans as post production manager. She joins from Blue 2.0, where she was a senior post producer. www.molinare.co.uk

Manchester-based company dock10 hired Fabien Robineau as head of platform managed services. He will be part of the senior management team. www.dock10.co.uk

Distributor CUK Audio appointed Steve Barton to the newly created role of retail channel sales manager. He will support the dB Technologies brand. www.cuk-audio.com

Alberto Mantovani is now engineering manager at RenkusHeinz. Mantovani has more than 30 years of expertise in the technology sector. www.renkus-heinz.com

Robin Dibble

Bradley Watson

DEALER NETWORK Danmon Group Norway has taken on distribution of Solid State Logic broadcast products in Norway, including Network I/O, the C Series consoles and the new System T. Sales manager Ketil Morstøl says: “We create systems that are easy for our customers to use. So it’s easy to make great programs really fast. Our new partnership with SSL underlines that philosophy.” Jim Motley, senior vice president of international sales at SSL, comments: “I believe that our shared vision of a networked future for broadcast facilities infrastructure means that together we can truly offer systems that deliver the right results with the right integration and scalability.” www.solidstatelogic.com www.danmonsystems.com British loudspeaker manufacturer PMC Speakers has appointed Systemes Guinois as its distributor in Canada. Based in Montreal, Systemes Guinois has demo facilities on site, and holds stock of twotwo nearfield speakers and IB1S-A and IB2S-A active full range monitors. PMC’s export sales manager Chris Allen says: “PMC could not be happier to be partnering with Francois and the Systemes Guinois team to support the growing demand for PMC professional speakers around the world. The effort and investment they put into the brands they represent is unequalled in Canada.” Francois Guinois, who set up Systemes Guinois, adds: “We pride ourselves on distributing high quality, professional audio equipment and PMC is an essential addition to our range.” www.pmc-speakers.com www.systemesguinois.com UK theatre, event and installed audio specialists Out Board has appointed Polsound as its new Polish distributor for the TiMax SoundHub audio showcontrol matrix and TiMax Tracker performer tracking systems. Polsound’s sales and marketing director Paweł Danikiewicz says: “TiMax is a totally unique sound automation system and it cannot be compared to anything else.“ Out Board director Dave Haydon comments: “TiMax ... have an ideal portfolio of complementary skills and products addressing not just our core theatre and event sectors but also the wide range of new AV installation markets TiMax is now reaching”. www.polsound.pl www.outboard.co.uk

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P16 OCTOBER 2016

IABM responds to ongoing industry skills shortage BY SARAH SHARPLES

October 1-2

AES Convention, Audio Engineering Society Los Angeles, USA www.aes.org

October 27

When AV meets KVM Manchester, UK www.avinteractive.com

November 10-11

HiQnet Audio Architect: Engineers Course Letchworth Garden City, UK www.soundtech.co.uk

Ongoing

Izotope: Pro audio essentials Online pae.izotope.com Two online broadcast and media technology training courses are being offered by the IABM. The international trade association has also launched an initiative to enable members to partner with their customers by passing IABM training places on to those that they supply with equipment and services. IABM has made this move in response to its latest Industry Trends survey, which found of the 123 representative vendors who responded, development capacity and skills and staff shortages were the most important factors limiting companies’

ability to fulfil orders or contracts. The first course is called Understanding IP and File-based Architecture, which explores storage and media management, the use of multiple platforms and analyses different production considerations and delivery requirements. The second is an Introduction to Broadcast Technology and is ideal for anyone working in broadcast and media technology, post production, facilities and other related media businesses. n www.theiabm.org

New guide for site specific theatre safety from ABTT BY SARAH SHARPLES

Focus on sound with pictures at conference BY SARAH SHARPLES Reproduced Sound is being held from 15-17 November at the Holiday Inn, Southampton, which is home to two universities involved in acoustics teaching and research. The conference will include two full days of papers and presentations and a workshop on virtual audio on the Tuesday evening. It will also include sessions on a range of topics including PA systems and loudspeakers, auralisation and 3D audio, intelligibility, cinema/tv sound’s audio quality and artistic concepts, sound measurement, and transducers and amplifiers. Keith Holland, Reproduced Sound chairman says: “The programme includes a wide variety of interesting papers, from practitioners, consultants and academics, along with a number of workshops and demos. We are particularly delighted to welcome back Mark Dodd, a one-time regular at the conference, returning this year to receive the Peter Barnett Award, which recognises excellence in electro-acoustics.”

Dodd will present a session on developments in wide band tranducers and tranducer arrays with single source characteristics. The conference will also include an evening visit to Southampton Solvent University and the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research. It is organised by the Institute of Acoustics’ Electro-Acoustics Group, n ioa.org.uk

Production companies, who wish to perform in spaces and venues that are not equipped as theatres in the conventional sense, will benefit from a new set of guidelines created by the Association of British Theatre Technicians. These spaces may include shops, warehouses, office blocks, promenades and brownfield sites, as well as pop-up sites, and aim to help producers plan for emergencies when the usual safety equipment is not available. The guidance includes advice on the structure of the venue, audience numbers and overcrowding, fire safety, installed equipment and refreshments. It also covers advice on installing sound, including reminders on limitations for loudness and the amount of time noise can be heard. “Having a sound meter might be a good idea. Fit a kill-sound switch for use in emergencies,” the guidance says. A checklist is provided to help as well. n www.abtt.org.uk

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27/09/2016 11:41


The Word Is Out

VENUE | S6L - the next stage in live sound is here “Everything is right in front of me—it resonates with my style of mixing. And the sound is absolutely stunning. I’ve never heard Ozzy’s vocal quality like this!” –Greg Price, FOH engineer, Black Sabbath, Ozzy Osbourne, Van Halen

“As soon as we went into band rehearsals on the first day, John Taylor, the bass player, turned around and said, ‘It sounds incredible!’ They noticed straight away.” –Charlie Bradley, monitor engineer, Duran Duran, Annie Lennox, Snow Patrol

“After just two weeks on tour, I can say that S6L has the fastest and easiest workflow of any console, with the best sounding preamps and a fantastic control surface.” –Gerard Albo, FOH engineer, a-ha, Patti Smith, Tom Jones

National Theatre of Iceland, Reykjavík

Myles Hale, Black Sabbath (monitors)

Rich Steeb, Blue Rodeo (FOH)

Transmix Oy OB Truck, Helsinki, Finland

Rob Allan, Massive Attack (FOH)

Robert Nevalainen, Bryan Adams (monitors)

Discover VENUE | S6L, now with I/O sharing, 128 track Pro Tools recording/playback, Dante and MADI connectivity:

avid.com/S6L

© 2016 Avid Technology, Inc. All rights reserved. Product features, specifications, system requirements, and availability are subject to change without notice. Avid and the Avid logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Avid Technology, Inc. or its subsidiaries in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks contained herein are the property of their respective owners.

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P18 OCTOBER 2016

New products

SCHERTLER GROUP ARTHUR

What is it? A modular mixer, designed for studio or live use, which can be configured and built by the user. Details: The mixer is created from a choice of different Class-A input and output modules - Mic Input, Mic Input Ultra Low Noise and Mic Input x4 units, Yellow instrument input unit, Stereo Input unit, L/R Master, Aux Master and external Power-In units. These can be combined in any order and quantity to form both compact and large-scale mixer configurations. And another thing… Users have total freedom to design their own personal channel sequence, as there are no mechanical or electrical restrictions, with the exception of ensuring that the appropriate power supplies have been purchased. Configuring and ordering can be done online, where the virtual build can be previewed along the way as different components are added or removed. www.schertler.com

AUDIO PERFORMANCE

HARMAN

TASCAM

What is it? Described as the new ‘Swiss army knife’ by AP as is it manufactured in Switzerland, the loudspeaker systems are aimed at audio professionals for both the fixed installation and rental production markets.

What is it? A portable PA system, with wireless control and DSP, so live sound professionals and musicians can set up and configure a system from a mobile tablet.

What is it? A digital stereo recorder for location recording and sound design, which simultaneously captures a lower level safety track to safeguard against unexpected source level spikes.

MX SERIES

Details: Three different models containing 8”, 12” or 15” coaxial drivers, the MX Series is suited to sound reinforcement applications in halls, live concerts, auditoriums, conference rooms and theatres. And another thing… Thel loudspeaker systems have been designed for use with the AP5000 amplified controller. www.audio-performance.com

JBL PROFESSIONAL PRX800W

Details: Featuring integrated 1,500W Class-D power amplification and patented JBL Differential Drive woofer technology, which reduces magnet mass, while increasing power handling. The redesigned Crown input panel offers XLR, 1/4” and RCA inputs plus XLR loop-through and professional outputs. And another thing… The system has undergone a 100-hour torture test. www. harman.com

DR-100MKLLL

Details: Recordings up to 192kHz/24-bit resolution, with a109dB S/N ratio, temperature-compensated clocking and high-performance dual-mono AKM velvet sound converters. And another thing… The recorder has dual stereo mics in both AB and omnidirectional patterns for maximum versatility, www.tascam.com

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The strategic position

P19 OCTOBER 2016

AUSTRALIA

Blackmagic and Fairlight IBC 2016 was more about the business side than products, with a number of high-profile acquisitions. Key among these was Blackmagic Design buying Fairlight. Kevin Hilton looks at the backgrounds of both companies and the reasons behind the deal and what it might bring in the future

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hen Fairlight announced it was putting its audio business up for sale at the beginning of August there was a surprised reaction among the industry. There was a fair amount of surprise again at the start of IBC when Blackmagic Design (BMD) revealed it had bought the name, product line and intellectual property of the audio manufacturer. While the first reaction was reasonable, the acquisition makes sense when BMD’s corporate history, development and track record of adding brands to its portfolio are considered. Founded in Melbourne in 1984, the company made its name with a range of high definition video cards and interface units. It came to the fore in the late 1990s/early 2000s with products such as the DeckLink capture card, a reasonably priced device for working in 10-bit uncompressed video on Macintosh OS X. During the 2000s BMD developed a range of digital cameras and further expanded its product lines through acquisition. The first big name bought was DaVinci, the colour correction specialist, in 2009. At the time these products were hardware-based and expensive. BMD reworked the range, making it more software oriented and cheaper, with regular downloadable upgrades. Since then BMD has acquired Teranex (video processors), Cintel (telecine and film scanners) and eyeon Software (image compositing). Fairlight’s roots go back to Sydney in 1975, when Peter Vogel and Kim Ryrie began developing microprocessor-based music systems and samplers. This led to the CMI (computer musical instrument) synthesiser, which became a key part of the electronic music boom of the 1980s. In the 1990s, as Fairlight ESP

Philip Belcher of Fairlight: said the current ownership wasn’t large enough for the audio technologies potential

(Electric Sound and Picture), the company moved more into broadcasting and post-production with a series of combined DAWs and mixing controllers/consoles. During the 2000s Fairlight produced digital on-air broadcast desks and worked with Japanese broadcaster NHK on the development of the 22.2 immersive audio system. Fairlight recently announced a range of AES67 audio distribution units and had moved into video with a patented picture key work system. In the statement announcing the divestment of its audio products, the company said it would now concentrate on the latter technology, which it licenses to “manufacturers of highly user interactive tactile equipment”. Explaining the decision to move away from sound, chief executive Philip Belcher noted: “The potential for Fairlight’s professional audio technologies is much larger than can be achieved under the

Fairlight EVO.live production console

current ownership.” The need to give Fairlight’s audio business more commercial support and room for expansion ties in with BMD’s strategy of offering a full range of broadcast and postproduction equipment. It announced at the same

time that it had bought Ultimatte, which produces green/blue screen compositing systems, but, as BMD spokesman Patrick Hussey explained during IBC, the Fairlight acquisition adds a new dimension. “The opportunity with Ultimatte came about over a number of years but Fairlight was slightly different,” he says. “We were looking to expand into professional audio and this business opportunity arose. It’s a great time to round out our portfolio, allowing us to encompass the different aspects of production and post from acquisition to delivery.” Hussey acknowledges that BMD has “never really done audio”. Buying Fairlight means BMD does not have to start from scratch with costly R&D into a field it previously had little experience in. It also gives the company a new offering for post-production customers, with the potential to fit alongside the DaVinci Resolve online editing and colour grading system. Although Fairlight is established in the broadcast and post markets, it has not been able to break the grip of competitors such as Avid and Apple. “The challenge for Fairlight has been the manufacturing and distribution,” Hussey comments. “This means they have lacked the ability to take ideas forwards. We can bring the manufacturing and industrial design aspects, along with economies of scale, to make products on a larger basis.” As part of the deal BMD has bought Fairlight’s intellectual property and will retain the name and staff, including chief technology officer Tino Fibaek. “Tino has 20 years of knowledge and experience,” Hussey says. “Things like that are the reason why we take the people and intellectual property. We tend to retain the heritage of companies we buy – it would be foolhardy to do away with the names, for example.” At IBC “the ink was still wet” on the deals to buy both Fairlight and Ultimatte. Hussey says: “There are opportunities to integrate across the lines but we don’t know yet.” There could be some clues as BMD has developed the DaVinci Resolve range, which now incorporates video editing and compositing features as well as the core colour correction capability. It also offers 16-channels of audio and while Hussey acknowledged that Fairlight technology could be integrated into Resolve he said it was still too early to know. n www.blackmagicdesign.com www.fairlight.com.au

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P20 OCTOBER 2016

Business: IBC Show review

Managing director of Sound Devices, Jon Tatooles, demonstrates the new app Wingman

At the show, the new Route66 family of routers featured from BroaMan

Francis Duggan of the JoeCo production team with BlueBox range of workstation interface recorders

Thomas Valter of TC Electronic shows off the Clarity M desktop meter

The BroaMan Scalextric was up and running too! Here are members of the press seeing who’s the most skillful…

NETHERLANDS

IBC2016 round-up Some of the highlights from Europe’s premier broadcasting show in Amsterdam

I

BC2016 is over, but a number of new products were launched for the first time at the show, while others were recognised with awards. The headline attendance figure for IBC2016 was 55,796 over the six days of the conference and people came from over 160 countries. The exhibition featured over 1,800 exhibitors, including 249 companies at their first IBC. Michael Crimp, CEO of IBC says: “This year (keynotes) included Sir Martin Sorrell on the global future for advertising, Erik Huggers on online broadcasting, and Mr Ang Lee on the new realism that the latest technology brings movie-makers. But IBC, above all else, is about bringing people together to share knowledge and to do business.” At this year’s IBC, BroaMan found the perfect platform from which to springboard its new Route66 family of routers into the broadcast markets and associated sectors. Supporting DiGiCo, as well as standalone Optocore systems it closes the ring automatically once a mobile stagebox is added or removed from the system.

Available in three versions, the latest Route66 series will provide single channel, non-blocking 40 x 40 router ports in three versions – all with directly accessible fibre SFP (Small Form Factor Pluggable) or SDI. Additionally each new Route66 features fibre ports which can be used to access built-in CWDM or DWDM multiplexers. CEDAR Audio’s DNS 2 dialogue noise suppressor won an IABM Design & Innovation Award 2016 at an awards reception and ceremony at IBC. Commenting on the DNS 2, one judge says: “This small device is a game-changer for edit suites or recordists who need a flexible cost-effective 2-channel quick fix for difficult environments.” Gordon Reid, CEDAR Audio’s managing director says: “We have always been confident that the DNS 2 offers the ideal combination of form (basically, it’s small, light and convenient), simplicity, and efficacy, but it’s hugely gratifying that the IABM has recognised it in this way.” The BlueBox range of Workstation Interface Recorders was officially launched from JoeCo. The BBWR24MP provides 24 channels of individually switchable mic/line inputs, while the BBWR08MP has

Yes, we know, we’d all like to look as fashionable as Calrec’s Kevin and Ian, with their (award winning) Periodic Tabards

Clive Osborn from Cedar Audio, accepts the award, for its DNS 2 dialogue noise suppressor

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P21 OCTOBER 2016

eight channels of individually switchable mic/line inputs and 16 channels of dedicated balanced line inputs. In a studio environment, a BBWR24MP will deliver 24 channels of audio at 24-bit/96kHz both to and from a workstation, with near-zero latency and simultaneously back up of all audio at the same quality. In the field, all of the mic preamps become available to deliver a fully stand-alone, multi-channel audio acquisition recorder with near-zero latency and 24-bit/96kHz performance. “After the success of the BlackBox Recorder, we were asked to create an interface based on the same award winning technology. BlueBox is that and much more besides,” comments JoeCo managing director Joe Bull. “It’s a powerful high-end interface platform with the best preamps available, and it’s also the best insurance policy against losing work that any DAW-based studio can choose.” Sound Devices used the show to unveil Wingman, its new wireless remote control option for the 6-Series mixer/recorder line. Wingman is an iOS-based application that, when paired with the new WM-Connect Bluetooth Smart USB accessory, lets users start and stop audio recordings, enter and edit metadata, as well as arm, disarm, and rename tracks. It also gives users touch-screen access to manage sound report information, create sound reports on the mixer, and the ability to email those sound reports (.csv files) directly from an iPhone or iPad. “The Wingman app offers a production team very affordable convenience and workflow functionality on set or in the field,” says Matt Anderson, president of Sound Devices. “Wingman gives users a clear view of their metering and timecode display on a larger touchscreen. The interface is easy to use and

puts control in the palm of your hand. For workflows requiring remote-control access, this is an economical and seamless option.” TC Electronic released Clarity M, a new stereo and 5.1 audio meter for mixing, mastering and postproduction, at the show. Designed as a ‘veritable audio toolbox’ to assist users in making crucial mix and mastering decisions, Clarity M offers a 7” high-resolution display, seamless DAW integration and precision meters that the company says will help greatly improve mixes and ensure compliance when delivering to specs. The dedicated stereo and surround tools make the Clarity M equally ideal for music production and film, and is suitable for a wide range of studio environments. Having spent 30 years exhibiting at IBC, a highlight for Technica Del Arte at the 2016 show was the launch of uMi, a professional location broadcast and recording USB microphone interface, designed with the mobile reporter and musician in mind. The compact uMi was designed in response to a number of key requests, says TDA president Joost Bloemen. “Feedback from users in the field told us that the audio interfaces in smartphones, tablets and laptops are simply not high enough quality to satisfy broadcast demands. In addition, with users often needing to work in a hectic outside environment, presets can be changed to accommodate any condition with the simple touch of a button. This means that whatever microphone you choose to use, your results will always be the same,” he reports.. See you there next year! n www.ibc.org

GLENSOUND MARKS 50 YEARS Celebrating at IBC was Kent-based company Glensound, which began 50 years ago. An ISDN mixer cake and Trigger beer from Musket Brewery helped the party kick off. The company was set up the year that England won the football world cup by BBC engineer Len Davis. Started in a shed at the bottom of the garden, Glensound can boast over developing some 600 products: the first official Glensound branded design came in 1969, a distribution amplifier, for the Prince Charles Investiture. Last year Glensound launched the first dedicated network audio commentary unit using Dante, and several further Dante based units are in the pipeline. Len Davis semi-retired in 2005 but is still chairman, and his son Gavin Davis (pictured) took over as managing director. Gavin Davis says: “The house my father lived at the time was called Glenside, so he called the company Glensound. The company is really these

days about designing and manufacturing high quality audio broadcast kits specialising in commentary ad communication products… and making cakes.” ”There are only 25 of us in total at the company and we manufacture ourselves in our own premises, and we have got more than enough work – as much work as we cope with doing broadcast. We are not trying to take over the world, like some of these other companies have tried: we just want to carry on making good reliable kit for the next 50 years.” www.glensound.co.uk

BEST OF SHOW WINNERS Richard Morson, broadcast product manager for Harman Professional Solutions

Recognising new and outstanding pro-audio equipment, NewBay’s IBC 2016 Best of Show Awards for PSNEurope were given to Harman and Phonak. Harman won for its Glacier customisable audio control surface, an update of the OnAir desktop console for live broadcast operations. The Central Screen Module features a vibrant display for assigning and accessing graphical user interface controls, while the Fader Vistonics Module provides simplified tactile control for quick multitasking and features Studer FaderGlow for easy function or channel identification. Phonak was recognised for its Roger Earpiece, which enables TV and film studio professionals to communicate without being seen by the camera. It uses 2.4GHz band and adaptive frequency hopping to avoid possible interference, weights 1.3g and has up to 12 hours of battery life. Both products won due to the impressive specs and an innovative approach to addressing certain issues in the broadcast sphere.

Phonak MD Joerg Windhorst

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P22 OCTOBER 2016

Studio

UNITED KINGDOM

Crowning glory

The Crown Lane Studio team. L-R: Engineer Alexi McNulty-Bakas, mastering engineer Bill Sherrington and directors Ruth and John Merriman

A near death experience prompted John and Ruth Merriman to abandon their day jobs and follow a dream to open the ‘green’ Crown Lane Studio, reports Sarah Sharples

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hen John Merriman was 14-yearsold he sat down and designed his own studio on a piece of paper. But it wasn’t until he survived a terrifying experience 10 years ago in his late twenties – that he finally realised his dream. Merriman was driving in his VW with wife Ruth during a major storm in the UK – and their car was swept into a river. While the car started to fill with murky, brown water, bizarrely Lily Allen was still playing on the radio and the warm air continued blowing. Eventually, the couple were forced to scramble onto the roof and Merriman dived into the water, but was immediately dragged under. Ruth thought she would never see him again. Luckily, Merriman was able to make it to the riverbank and collect Ruth, who was not a confident swimmer, once the car hit a tree. Merriman says: “We were incredibly grateful and said ‘What is it we are meant to be doing with our lives as life is quite precious’, so we handed in our resignations at our jobs and started construction of the studio.” Based in Morden in south London, Merriman and his wife, opened Crown Lane Studio, a complex with recording, rehearsing and edit rooms, nine years ago. The studio is ‘green’ and tries to reduce its environmental footprint as much as possible through a number of initiatives. Merriman says the music industry is known for not being very environmentally friendly, in particular with music festivals, and they wanted to

change the situation. In 2013, they swapped their energy supplier to a small business that is based in Scotland, called LoCO2 Energy, which uses hydro electricity. LoCO2 have also sponsored a series of local music events, says Merriman, meaning a benefit for the whole community. Also part of the ‘green’ studio is an energy meter, timed lighting, full insulation so that some areas aren’t even heated, while their policy is to check the energy rating of every company used. Recently, Crown Lane also became a recycling drop off point with Through a Dream Cymbals initiative, because even if old gear is cracked, the value of the metal is maintained, Merriman comments. “All our products are chemical free, everything is either recycled or made from sustainable sources, and all our assets such as drum kits and electronics we try to buy from the UK. Our cables are made in the UK from one of the only manufacturers (called Canford) that still does it,” he says. The studio’s custom built gear includes a Liberty drum kit and a console by John Oram, which includes a latching talkback button. A small feature maybe, but one which means staff don’t have to continuously hold down the button to use it, which Merriman says has revolutionised their lives. “It means we are all hands free and all mixing desks should have that. Other things is the desk is really compact, its got 48 channels built

into it and the way its routed is we have got two different rooms that come in to use the same desk and we can wire two rooms, so the desk is half the physical size footprint it should be, so it’s cleverly designed.” The studio also has Genelec 8040 monitors and Westlake Audio speakers as well as microphones from Sontronics and SSL XLogic’s MADI-AX. In 2015, Crown Lane went fully carbon neutral. Part of this has been piloting a scheme where orchards are planted on council wasteland by a local charity called Sustainable Merton, with the project funded by offsetting the carbon used by the studio, for things like fuel and transport costs. “They can’t plant trees quick enough and the pilot is entering its second year, Once the second year of the pilot scheme is complete, Wimbledon Theatre – part of the Ambassador Group – will also be entering into the scheme, and we are hoping it will be taken up by all arts organisations across the borough, then across London,” Merriman says. “Within five years, these orchards will not only be fully owned by the communities, but they will be fully funded by the arts in the borough.” It also means that every music release and rehearsal from the studio is carbon neutral. And the studio is being recognised for its green credentials too. Crown Lane won the Best Green Business and Best Overall Business of the Year at the Merton Best Business Awards – the first time a business outside of Wimbledon has scooped it – and

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P23 OCTOBER 2016

was runner up at the London Federation of Small Businesses Awards. Merriman is passionate about the local area and is keen to put it on the map. He wants to compete alongside studios in central London, but he says the issue is complex, not just in terms of price, but because people want a quick turnaround and are not going to travel 30 minutes on the tube. He recently joined the board of the Merton Chamber of Commerce and runs a group called Love Morden, a community of business owners, who want to make the area a place to go. “I’ve realised that if I’m going to locate myself out here, I have to endorse the area. People will go to Soho for voiceover, for creative endeavours to Camden, so Morden isn’t on the map … I also met (London Mayor) Sadiq Khan very recently to chat and he was very keen on supporting small arts ventures and music venues and he wants to make a borough

WE WOULD LOVE OUR SUSTAINABILITY STORY TO BE ONE THAT GROWS EXPONENTIALLY FROM OUR TINY STUDIO

JOHN MERRIMAN of culture and invest in it … so I need to be involved in decisions and work out how to get Morden to be the first borough of culture,” he comments. Part of putting Morden on the map was the studio introducing a user loyalty scheme, so if musicians rehearse, they get points towards using the recording facilities for a cheaper price, Merriman says. The launch of this scheme also coincided with a new look studio, which was refurbished in August, including implementing 47 suggestions requested by users. Merriman admits a lot of the changes were aesthetic, including things like geometric shapes on one wall, but this is part of a clever marketing strategy. “Instagram is overtaking most social media platforms and we were realising the way we promote the studio is through people seeing pictures of bands rehearsing. We had

A refurbishment of the studio included this design wall from director Ruth Merriman

The control room features a custom-built console by John Oram

a studio that was functional but was ugly, now every angle and space has something quirky and something artistic,” he says. But it’s not just the studio that is keeping the Merriman’s busy. The couple have an ethical cafe, called Tariro Coffee House, which is not only the daytime entry for the studio, but it also converts into a hidden music venue called the Secret Live Lounge in the evenings. There is also their partnership with the charity Zimkids, which works with children in Zimbabwe whose parents have died of AIDS. It aims to make families self-sufficient, such as helping them to build beehives to sell honey or keep chickens for their eggs. Merriman says he has been going out to Zimbabwe for the last 10 years, but 2016 was the most exciting yet, as they helped to build a studio. “The teenagers are able to learn skills in recording, creating music, using music, photography and with everything getting smaller and cheaper we can do things that even five years ago were impossible,” he explains. “So we can take a battery powered device that can record really well and it can run for hours and hours and if power comes on then brilliant, then we get

Tariro Coffee House is owned by the couple and converts into a secret music venue at night (and is also the entry to the studio during the day!)

charged. It was about access to opportunities on this last trip … to build a space where people can learn skills that can cross pollinate globally.” Meanwhile, even the music recorded at Crown Lane is global, with a focus on folk, world and jazz and recent projects with artists have included Sello Molefi, an actor from the Lion King musical, and Australian harpist, Tara Minton. “World music is the music I love. I’m not one for people with egos – I would rather hear something that makes my heart move, and we see a lot of musicians from around the world not looking at hitting the top 40,” Merriman says. For Merriman, the studio is not aiming to be big, just a fabulous experience from beginning to end for each artist who comes through their doors. “We would love our sustainability story to be one that grows exponentially from our tiny studio; although apparently ‘community’ and ‘efficiency’ are opposite ends of a spectrum, we would like to do the impossible and continue to make Crown Lane the most efficient, and yet the most community minded studio on the planet.” n www.crownlanestudio.co.uk

The microphone cupboard including gear from Sontronics

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P24 OCTOBER 2016

Studio

UNITED KINGDOM

Piping hot for Album #100! Priory Records, a SoundField microphone and the Liverpool Anglican Cathedral organ: fugue-ing 'ell, exclaims Simon Duff

Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral contains the biggest pipe organ in the UK, and inset: Neil Collier

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iverpool’s Anglican Cathedral was the setting for the recently recorded final installment – the 100th edition, in fact – of Priory Records’ highly successful Great European Organs series. The album features works by British composers Elgar, Bridge, Walton, Percy Whitlock and Herbert Howells played by David Poulter on the cathedral’s Henry Willis & Sons organ. Regarded as one of the finest organs in Europe it was constructed between 1923 to 1926; it’s the largest pipe organ in the UK (it contains 10,268 pipes) and its set in an exceptional acoustic, with a reverb time of some eight seconds. For Neil Collier producer, engineer and director of Priory Records, it was the perfect setting to record the last and number 100, in the label’s Great European Organs series. Recording took place over three days in August 2015 using a SoundField SPS 422 microphone, and Sound Devices 722 2-Channel High-Resolution Portable Recorder, running at 44.1kHz and 24 bits. Monitoring was on Sennheiser HD 650 headphones or BBC LS3 5A loudspeakers. Collier has previously recorded the cathedral’s organ, the pipes of which are spread around several areas of the building. He explains the approach for the sessions: “Deciding where to put the SoundField single source point microphone, all be it one with four separate mics, and finding the sweet spot, was obviously critical. I want to put the listener in the best seat in the house. The intention was to get as close as possible to the level of the organ’s pipes. But because of the huge acoustic if you put the mic too far back you will just get a mush and if you get it too close you will lose the acoustic. So I was balancing the instrument with the acoustic.” A steel hydraulic telescopic tripod was used to

Works by Elgar, Bridge and Walton are on the recording made at the cathedral

position the SoundField mic, with placement in the Crossing underneath the tower, raised to a height of around 16m. The SPS 422 consists of the microphone and a signal processor, producing two distinct sets of audio signals (A-Format and B-Format). The sound processor can be either dedicated hardware, or a computer running software. Collier explains the advantages of using the

MAKE SURE THE ORGANIST FEELS CALM BEFORE YOU RECORD

NEIL COLLIER

SoundField for the recording. “It is a clever device because it has four closely-spaced microphone capsules arranged in a tetrahedron. Each can be set to a different response pattern and can point in four different directions. "At Liverpool I had each one set to cardioid. So looking towards the main organ the front two mics picked that up. The other two at the back pointed to the rear of the building, thus we captured an all round sound. The beauty of the mic is that you can tilt it, record upside down, at any angle you want, depending on the source and then afterwards you can adjust how much sound you want to come from each individual microphone. And of course it can be taken a stage further because you can actually use it in surround sound format.” Having worked for 35 years since forming Priory Records what are some of Collier’s golden rules for

recording? “One of the most important things is to make sure that the organist feels calm and relaxed. I like to motivate and think it is something that I am good at. And thinking very hard about what sort of sound you want to produce. What are the acoustics of the building like? Is it a dry building, has it got a huge acoustic? But apart from that I think it really is about putting your personality on the recording and making the performer feel comfortable. Selling and marketing is then of course critical to success." Editing and mastering for the CD was undertaken by Paul Crichton, engineering on his SADiE system. Crichton has worked with Collier on many albums. He explains: “The entire editing process, creation and verification of a Master CD and download files takes about 20 hours, though this is very flexible and dependent on how many versions I need to produce before the performer is satisfied. I usually apply a small amount of Cedar noise reduction to reduce some of the wind and background noise. "I use Izotope RX5 Advanced to reduce or eliminate unwanted extraneous noises. Final monitoring is done using Quad ESL63 electrostatic speakers with Gradient sub woofers, driven by a modified Vellemann valve amplifier of my own construction.” Other cathedral organs featured in the series include King’s College Cambridge, Durham, Westminster Abbey, Bordeaux, Ely and Milan. What’s next for Collier, now the series is complete? “Well, Notre Dame is an organ that I have always wanted to record so maybe that would be a good place to begin a new series. We will see.” n www.prioryrecords.co.uk www.liverpoolcathedral.org.uk

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27/09/2016 12:49


M-5000 & M-5000C LIVE MIXING CONSOLES

A NEW ERA IN LIVE MIXING CONSOLES MAD I In a rapidly changing world, the ability to adapt is needed to excel. OHRCA brings the power of adaptability to the world of live audio mixing. It conforms to the needs of both the application and the operator by delivering 128 freely definable audio paths, flexible user interface and workflow, expandable protocols, and multi-format I/O choices -all delivered at a pristine 24-bit / 96kHz sound quality.

roland.proav.com

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P26 OCTOBER 2016

Studio

AUSTRIA

Faust, Focusrite and fibre A new Salzburg production gets the RedNet treatment with a clever set-up, writes Mike Clark

Photo Credit: Monika Ritterhaus

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his year’s Salzburg Festival included a new highly original production of Gounod’s Faust, a four-hour opera directed by Reinhard von der Thannen, which along with a talented cast of soloists, featured the Philharmonia Chor Wien and Vienna Philharmonic. The opera was broadcast live and recorded for airing at a later date, as well as for production of a DVD by Italy’s MASClassica, a company specialising in opera and symphonic works, which deployed its mobile Focusrite RedNet based system for the project. The MASClassica team, whose work takes it to European theatres and as far afield as Beijing, comprises Claudio Speranzini (audio producer and musical consultant), Antonio Martino (sound engineer), Marco Gorini (technical assistant), Michele Conti (technical assistant – RF tech) and Wiebke Maderlechner (RF tech). Martino explains: “In the large festival hall (Grosses Festspielhaus) we used 14 microphones for the orchestra (a combination of Schoeps MK2 4, MK4, MK21, AKG 414 and Neumann KM140), six stagefront microphones, seven ORF Schoeps mics flown from the ceiling (five MK 2S for the flown front mics (A/B stereo, front C and wide A/B stereo) and two MK 2H (LS and RS) halfway up the room for surround). For the solo singers, we used eight Sennheiser 5000 series wireless systems with MKE 1 capsules.” The microphone signals from the stage to the orchestra pit were fed to Austrian broadcaster ORF’s patch panel on stage and from there to MASClassica’s five nearby RedNet4 units, interconnected by means of a Cisco switch and making use of the Dante network. By means of an Ethernet/fibre converter outside the switch, the signals were fed from the stage patch panel to another identical one in the audio control room below the small festival hall, located 500m along the road.

Stunning scenes from Gounod’s Faust, a four-hour opera directed by Reinhard von der Thannen

There, using the inverse procedure, the team reconverted the signals to Ethernet and hooked up to the Dante network via Cisco, which distributed them to an iMac, with a RedNet PCIe card and the Yamaha CL5 digital console used for mixing, carrying out HD recording for future broadcast and the inevitable DVD. The majority of MASClassica’s work is carried out in venues, which are not equipped like cabled in-house studios, where it is possible to set up a full-scale audio control set-up for recording, streaming and TV broadcasts. The company frequently have to use theatre’s boxes, backstage areas or even dressing rooms, often located quite some distance from the stage and orchestra pit, as was the case in Salzburg. Martino says: “So, when we had to choose a system that could be adapted to meet our requirements and enabled us to save time during move-in and set-up, we opted for the RedNet system, which, as well as its

extremely transparent preamps, allows us to position the preamp/converter units as close to the musicians as possible and limit deployment of analog cables. He adds: “The various RedNet units are connected to a network switch with a single cable (fibre in this specific case) and from the switch all the signals can be taken for HD recording and/or connection to mixer(s) or other equipment compatible with the Dante system. Through time, it has proven to be an extremely reliable system, as well as being is modular and open to future integration. “The Salzburg project differed from other similar ones we have worked on the past, insofar as we used fibre cable, since the considerable distance between the hall and our control room meant we were unable to entrust data transmission to the Ethernet cables we normally use.” n www.operarecording.it

Photo Credit: Monika Ritterhaus

MASClassica team, L-R: Michele Conti, Antonio Martino and Claudio Speranzini in the “improvised” control room

The opera was broadcast live, recorded and will also be put on DVD

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MAGDALENA | BERLIN

GS-WAVE SERIES Bringing energy back to a former power plant in Berlin, the phenomenal sound system at techno club Magdalena comprises eight 3-metre GS-WAVE stacks plus extra subs and lenses, and eight tweeter pods above the dance floor. This huge installation, driven by Powersoft’s K Series amps with built-in DSP, provides total coverage of a modestly sized 800-capacity room. Keeping most of its power in reserve, the system can run effortlessly when the club is open for days at a time.

Pioneerproaudio | pioneerproaudio.com | #madeintheuk

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P28 OCTOBER 2016

Broadcast

BELGIUM

A commitment to Axia

This summer, radio station RCF Liège started broadcasting from its new studios. Two on-air studios, a production studio and an interview studio provide a professional, future-proof configuration, and consolidate the station’s commitment to Axia, notes Marc Maes

W

ith over 60 stations and 250 frequencies in France and Belgium, the RCF network (that’s Radio Chrétienne Francophone – French language Christian radio – not to be confused with the Italian speaker manufacturer!) has a daily audience reach of over 500,000 listeners. RCF was founded in Lyon in 1985 and is financed by media activities, partnership and audience donations. In Belgium, RCF operates three stations in Liège, Brussels and Namur – the latter covering both the Namur and Bastogne area. Since 2006, RCF commissioned the integration and installation of their Belgian radio studios to WNM Audiovisual Solutions. In May, WNM were asked to refurbish and upgrade the RCF Liège on-air landscape, explains Maxime Van Gorp, sales manager. “Four new studios, equipped with Axia consoles and connected via Livewire+,” he says. The new studio configuration is built around Axia PowerStation console engines serving Axia Element consoles. “We could have opted for the newer Axia Fusion desks, but since we had put in one Element console before we preferred to remain with the Element series and have three identical consoles benefiting the user-friendliness of the studios,” says Baptiste Mohr, WNM project manager. “The fourth room, for production and interviews is equipped with an Axia virtual mixer. We put in place Audiotechnica microphones and Genelec 8020 series studio monitors. The interview rooms share an analogue Eela Audio EA915X telephone hybrid, the on air studios use a digital Telos ONE plus ONE hybrid, all controlled by the Axia console.” In view of the future option to have ‘visual radio’, RCF opted for DAVID Systems’ Turbo Player play-out software. The on-air studio’s are equipped with Sound4 IP Connect. Mohr adds: “The big advantage of Axia is the Livewire+ feature – instead of having to install analogue cables in all studios, or multiple cables for AES digital signal, we now have one network cable connecting the PowerStation units, with Livewire+ linking all sources. This allows RCF to use either one of the interview rooms as extension of the on-air studios, and a swift interchange of audio sources, and programme files between the studios.” “The Livewire+/Axia configuration adds to our flexibility,” echoes Christophe Brüls, technical director of RCF Liège. “Our broadcast licence stipulates that we

Christophe Brüls, Patrick Tchouta (engineer) and journalist/presenter Éric Cooper

should air 70 per cent of locally produced content. But the 13.00 and 18.00 hours international news bulletins are inserted directly from our French headquarters in Lyon – and in the afternoon, the vesper (or evensong) prayers are broadcasted from Lourdes. All audio sources are channelled through Livewire+.” The radio output signal is routed via IP to a Deva

Christophe Brüls

Broadcast DB9000 audio codec. The Deva’s output is channelled to a Telos Omnia One antenna processor and connected via an MPX connector to the FM-transmitter on the Liège citadel (fortress). Another innovation with RCF Liège, and a Belgian first for the RCF stations, is the introduction of a compact “mobile kit”. “This lightweight solution will be used for broadcasts from churches and religious events,” explains Mohr. The kit consists of an AETA Scoopy+ HD and an integrated 3G card holder allowing direct mobile network access alongside an ISDN connection. There’s also a Yamaha 01V96i digital mixer, a Tascam DD-CR 200 CD reader, Audio-Technica microphones and

Beyerdynamic DT790 headphones. Alongside the DAVID Systems play-out software, the Brussels studio also uses Sound4 IP Connect. “We can easily transfer programme content from one studio to another, with direct import in the Axia consoles. The next step is that we set up, via Sound4, a remote control option between the main Liège on-air studio and the Brussels studio. This option will undoubtedly bring RCF to a professional level and axe the cost of ISDN lines and codecs,” explains Mohr. Brüls adds that the investments in the Belgian stations boost RCF’s programming abilities. “Our maximum capacity in Liège is nine microphones on-air, which is less than the national broadcasters, but our technology lifts us in the premier league,” he says. n rcf.beChri

VPN AND SOUND4 The upgrade of the Belgian RCF stations is part of the RCF group’s overhaul and digitalisation, one of France’s biggest radio projects today. “Until now, all local RCF stations in France and Belgium were connected with the ‘national’ RCF studio in Lyon via satellite or ISDN, using codecs. This was not very efficient and the objective of RCF’s overall digitalisation and network project is to facilitate the connection between all stations by means of VPN and Sound4 software,” reveals Christophe Brüls.

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P30 OCTOBER 2016

Broadcast

GERMANY

Ring Cycle goes live for historic broadcasts In August leading OB service provider TV Skyline was involved in a groundbreaking live 5.1/HD broadcast of the entire Ring Cycle by Wagner. David Davies finds out more about this challenging production

OUR AIM NEXT YEAR IS TO DO A 4K PRODUCTION

ROBERT KIS, TV SKYLINE

The Ring Cycle is a highlight of the Bayreuth Festival

and limiters, and Riedel Artist intercom technology. Inside the Festspielhaus auditorium, TV Skyline oversaw a fully automated camera system (“the aim is for this to be as invisible a production as possible,” says Kis) based around Ikegami cameras and TV Skyline’s own QUBE-CAM and QUBE-CAM II remote cameras. Other key contributors to the project included ChyronHego (three GFX systems for German/English/Italian subtitles, credits and Sky Arts break coverage) and Rem, who were responsible for the graphics, while TMT provided fibre transmission. The broadcasts went off smoothly, and Kis reports an enthusiastic reception from Wagner, who is frequently found in the audio area checking to see “if her expectations of the sound are being met”. Meanwhile, conversations are already taking place about further progress in 2017. “Our aim next year is to do a 4K production,” says Kis, for whom Bayreuth is clearly an annual highlight with its “extraordinary, special” atmosphere. More imminently, TV Skyline is mulling the prospect of a further 4K-capable truck to add to its existing two. n www.tv-skyline.de www.bayreuther-festspiele.de

TV Skyline used a 4k-capable OB8 truck for its operations

This year, it was a live HD/5.1 production Photo credit: Bayreuther Festspiele / Enrico Nawrath

Suffice to say, the bar was raised in 2016 with the decision to produce a complete live HD/5.1 production of The Ring Cycle, as well as the separate, three-act opera Parsifal. While Parsifal was viewable live in more than 100 cinemas across Germany – as well as being recorded for subsequent broadcast by NHK Japan and BR/3Sat – Der Ring was viewable live on Sky Arts in Germany, and then broadcast subsequently by Sky Arts channels in Austria, Italy, UK and Ireland. TV Skyline’s centre of operations for these historic broadcasts was the 4K-capable OB8 truck. The specification in the extensive audio area includes a Lawo mc2 56 MkII audio console with 56 channel strips, Dynaudio Air 6 5.1 speaker system, K+H M51 speaker system, Wohler Audio Controller, 2 x128 channel multitrack recording capability, TC Electronic processors

Photo credit: Bayreuther Festspiele / Enrico Nawrath

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ith a total duration of more than 16 cycles, Richard Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelungen) – or The Ring Cycle, as it is often referred to – is definitely not one for the operatic dilettante. Undoubtedly one of the core works of the classical music canon, The Ring Cycle is a regular highlight of the Bayreuth Festival – the celebration of Wagner’s music that takes place in Germany during July and August every year. Robert Kis is managing director of TV Skyline, the Mainz-based company that has supplied OB services to the festival for many years. Kis and his team work closely with Katharina Wagner, Richard’s great grand-daughter, who is an acclaimed opera director and the festival’s current co-director. “There is an ongoing conversation about how we can improve and enhance the production in order to bring the most out of the operas for people watching at home,” says Kis.

Scenes from The Ring Cycle

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P32 OCTOBER 2016

Technology feature

Houses of horror! Forget trick-or-treating this Halloween – join Jon ‘Haunted’ Chapple for a ghost walk through the spookiest church installs in pro audio

A

udio installations in houses of worship are rarely simple affairs. Technicians face a multitude of challenges, from the discreet placement of speakers to the difficulties of

achieving maximum intelligibility in reverberant, oftenmediaeval, buildings. And then, of course, there are the ghosts, ghouls and armies of the undead…

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P33 OCTOBER 2016

Haunted Hitchin As the UK market leader in audio for houses of worship, DM Music is no stranger to eerie installs in ancient churches. However, given the location of Hitchin’s St Mary’s Church – whose audio architecture the Harpenden-based company recently overhauled – it would be no surprise if the project gave even the haunting-hardened installers of DM pause for thought. Hitchin, you see, is not just a quiet Hertfordshire market town. Hitchin is ghost central. Staying in the Sun Hotel? Watch out for Lord Havisham (he killed himself in his room and now spends his days scaring guests). Visiting the ruins of Minsden Chapel? Don’t go at midnight or you’ll probably bump into a ghostly monk climbing a staircase that’s no longer there. Need some fine home furnishings? Don’t go to Philpotts. There’s apparently a ghost upstairs. In a furniture shop. Yep. But deceased aristocrats are small fry when you’re doing the work of the original ghost – the Holy one – so DM duly strapped on its collective proton pack and got to work. Tasked by St Mary’s with replacing an “outdated radio mic set-up” in favour of fixed, hard-wired microphones, DM opted for six Audio-Technica ES915S cardioid condenser goosenecks and a pair of A-T U891RX cardioid condenser boundary mics for the clergy, and six A-T AT897 shotgun condenser mics to be positioned above the church’s pipe organ, to allow for the recording of choral concerts. The church’s new audio complement also includes a four-channel A-T System 10 Pro wireless set-up, which operates outside UHF frequencies (BEIRG will be happy), an Allen & Heath Qu-Pac digital mixer, Apart Audio MASK4T-W two-way loudspeakers and a trio of Apart Revamp 4240T power amps.

DM Music spirited an Allen & Heath Qu-Pac mixer and Audio-Technica mics into St Mary’s, Hitchin

Hell’s Own install While DM Music grappled with the supernatural in Hertfordshire, in the Black Country one installer risked the wrath of Beelzebub himself to update the

Zion Christian Centre: Each of those emoticons is in fact a tortured soul seeking salvation…

sound system of a Pentecostal church on the Prince of Darkness’s home turf: Hell’s Own – aka Halesowen – in Worcestershire. (“Hell’s Own” is actually a folk etymology: the town’s name is derived from the AngloSaxon Hala Owen – Owen’s Valley – but we’re ignoring that for dramatic effect.) After an appropriately diabolical fire gutted Halesowen’s Zion Christian Centre, destroying its existing PA and console, Dudley-based Centrepiece Productions – whose managing director, Gareth Davies, is a member of the church – was charged with sourcing

IN THE BLACK COUNTRY, ONE INSTALLER RISKED THE WRATH OF BEELZEBUB HIMSELF TO UPDATE THE SOUND SYSTEM OF A PENTECOSTAL CHURCH and installing the replacement sound-reinforcement system. “Wigwam initially supplied us an Allen & Heath Qu-32 digital mixer to get us up and running after the fire in August,” explains Davies. “I and the other sound team volunteers – none of whom are professional engineers – took to it very quickly, so when it came to investing in our permanent system, it made sense to stick to the Allen & Heath brand…” Davies opted for the new dLive 7000 – A&H’s “nextgeneration” FPGA-based digital mixer, launched last July – “partly for its channel count, expandability and future-proof nature”, and partly for its vast array of faders: 36 over six layers, or 216 assignable strips in total. “The number of faders on the S7000 has been great for us – I’ve been able to programme the console in such a way that all of the channels the engineers need for normal Sunday-meeting usage are on one layer,” says Davies. “This is important for the volunteers, as they don’t have to flip between layers and pages to get a mix up and running.”

to face with the least scarily named ghost in all spectre-dom: the Man in the Top Hat. Mr Top Hat, so the story goes, was first sighted in 1922 by archaeologist, explorer and ghost enthusiast TC Lethbridge, then a student at Cambridge. According to the Paranormal Database, “he mistook the figure as a porter, though upon reflection realised that the man was wearing a top hat (which porters only did on a Sunday, and it was not Sunday!). Lethbridge’s friend, who was in the same room during the sighting, failed to perceive the figure.” Chilling stuff. The RG Jones team – who were, thankfully, untroubled by the phantom not-a-porter – were tasked with installing Trinity’s chapel’s first soundreinforcement system, for which they specified 127 miniature JBL Control 52 satellite loudspeakers. Working under English Heritage restrictions, the installer was given a brief that called for the speakers to be installed discreetly on shelving under the pews, with the transformer distribution boxes similarly concealed. To complement the Control 52s (supplied by UK Harman distributor Sound Technology), RG Jones project manager Jeff Woodward and installation manager Jon Berry chose a networked BSS Soundweb DSP set-up to broadcast sound from seven fixed mic positions at the lectern to 14 speaker zones around the chapel. When two people are speaking from different positions, explains Berry, two Soundweb BLU-100 devices, programmed by Soundweb’s London Architect, will automatically recall a different preset compromising between the two mic positions. “The system simply auto-configures and triggers the delay time via the Logic preset recalls,” he says. New speaker and star-quad mic cabling was also run from the organ loft (Trinity has a Metzler Orgelbau – one of only two in Britain), where the equipment cabinets

Hat trick Another company clearly staffed by paranormal unbelievers is RG Jones Sound Engineering, whose 2011 installation at the listed 16th-century Trinity College, Cambridge, had the potential to bring it face

Trinity chapel: Where’s that ghostly wailing coming from? From under the pews, or from some other place…?

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P34 OCTOBER 2016

Technology feature

are located, concealed under the pews and colourmatched to its surroundings. “This was the first time the chapel had used sound reinforcement, and given the restrictions and number of mic positions it proved to be a particularly challenging

ONE RATHER MACABRE DISCOVERY HAS BEEN OF SKELETONS IN WHICH THE TOPS OF THE SKULLS HAVEBEEN NEATLY SAWN OFF

BRISTOL POST

project. But thanks to the discreet and versatile nature of the Control 52s, and programming flexibility of London Architect, we have been able to deliver an optimum localised sound to every seat in the room via a simple interface,” explains Berry.

Back to school Four years later – having clearly grown weary of not living in fear of crap ghosts at England’s great universities – Sound Technology donned its cap and gown once more to supply AKG mics, Crown amps, a Soundcraft mixer and another Soundweb DSP for an installation by City AV at All Souls College, Oxford. Faced with a chapel whose reverberation times varied wildly depending on how full it was, City AV proposed an amplified system centred on a pair of AKG C747 shotgun condenser mics installed in the lectern. Also sourced from Sound Technology’s Harman portfolio were Crown CT 475 four-channel amps and a BSS Soundweb London BLU-101 DSP, with a Soundcraft EFX8 eight-channel mic mixer for manual override. “By providing the Chapel with system presets and the correct AKG microphones, we succeeded in making a massive difference to the sound quality,” comments City AV’s managing director, Peter Gunn, who at press time could not be reached for his thoughts on the rather more important matter of local spectre the ‘White Figure’, which is said to float from the rear of the chapel to All Souls’

library before vanishing without trace.

“A strong smell of burnt toast” While Sound Technology demonstrated an admirable scepticism towards ghoulish goings-on in its spooky Oxbridge installs, the ghosts of All Souls and Trinity haven’t been spotted for a number of years – almost 100, in the case of the latter – making it difficult to judge the level of peril in which its hardy technicians willingly placed themselves. That the gung-ho installers of Production AV have balls of steel, however, can be in no doubt. Descending upon the quiet English seaside town of Clevedon in 2013 in the midst of a full-blown haunting, the Gloucestershire-based company threw

A terrifying appearance in Clevedon: that’s right, he’s not wearing a hard hat

caution to the wind to install a new AV system at Christchuch Clevedon while all around them local media buzzed with lurid tales of “ghostly figures” on Clevedon Pier, and, most terrifyingly of all, a “strong smell of burnt toast lingering in the air”, as reported by piermistress – apparently a real job title – Linda Strong. Working with architect Chedburn Dudley and construction contractor CS Williams, Production AV installations director Stephen Roskilly specced a Roland M-380 digital desk, eight-inch Electro-Voice Zx1i speakers (mounted on either side of the nave, and additionally on the balcony for fills) and E-V EVID ceiling speakers for the grade II-listed church, which is shared between local Anglicans and Methodists. The “ergonomic” M-380, explains Roskilly, and accompanying digital multicore system, were selected for “ease of use” and to “enable rapid recall of presets via push-button interfaces” from a control position in the church’s balcony. He’s also satisfied with the E-V boxes, which “give good sound throughout both the main room … allowing the service to be relayed clearly” to congregation and charred-bread-smelling ghosts alike.

Doctor’s orders

More Sound Technology kit went into the All Souls, Oxford. Local phantom fave, the ‘White Figure’, failed to show

Q: What’s scarier than the ghosts of dead men? A: Their mangled, decomposed, stinking BODIES! A ongoing £5.5 million extension to St George’s – a ‘Waterloo church’-turnedconcert hall in Bristol, where since the 19th century ex-Bristolians have been quietly killing time until the Second Coming in its now-disused graveyard – has necessitated the exhumation of over 275 bodies, many of which are believed to have been dissected by medical students after their deaths. As the Bristol Post reports, “one rather

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Champs du Sound: Behind the scenes of Bastille Day 2016 in Paris

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P36 OCTOBER 2016

Technology feature

macabre discovery has been of skeletons in which the tops of the skulls have been neatly sawn off. […] Their relatives were presumably promised a decent burial in return for the ‘loan’ of the corpse.” Still, Bristol’s insatiable thirst for high-brow live music must be quenched, and according to Charcoalblue, which carried out acoustic testing on St George’s in preparation for its redevelopment, the venue is almost acoustically perfect. “Looking at the objective results of our reverberation time measurements… we [found] that the clarity and detail of sound that the hall provides trumps the traditional standards for reverberation,” says Charcoalblue team leader Ian Stickland. So there you have it – acoustics worth risking a zombie apocalypse for. This we have to hear… n www.akg.com/pro www.allen-heath.com www.apartaudio.com www.audio-technica.com www.charcoalblue.com www.electrovoice.com www.jblpro.com proav.roland.com www.soundtech.co.uk

ROYAL TREATMENT Left: Technical director Phill Beynon specified Pan Acoustics, JBL and a BSS Soundweb DSP kit in Leicester and right: Richard III would be particularly impressed with the directivity and intelligibility of the audio, if he’d not been dead for hundreds of years

Leicester acoustics consultancy NoiseBoys is, to PSNEurope’s knowledge, the only church installer to have hobnobbed with the ghosts of royalty. Following the discovery and subsequent reinternment of the remains of King Richard III in Leicester Cathedral, NoiseBoys was – as featured in the April 2015 issue of PSNEurope – contracted by the cathedral to completely overhaul its AV system, for which technical director Phill Beynon specified Pan Acoustics Pan Beam and JBL CBT 50 column speakers and a BSS Soundweb DSP system. Shortly after the completion of the installation, a 58-year-old medium and “psychic artist” called

Christine Hamlett spotted Richard’s face, ‘Jesus toast’ style, staring out of a slab in the floor. Hamlett, who visited the cathedral as a tourist, tells news agency Caters: “I always take pictures and send out my thoughts when I visit places, and when I looked back at the pictures of the slabs afterwards I was stunned – I saw Richard’s face staring back at me.” But don’t worry – everyone’s favourite dead king (who murdered his nine- and 12-year-old nephews in cold blood) is enjoying the afterlife: “It felt like he was finally at peace and in his rightful place,” says Hamlett. “A car park is no place for a King to be buried.” Well, quite.

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Steerable sound isn’t just about being heard, it’s about being understood.

ICONYX Gen5 steerable loudspeakers deliver clarity to every seat. It didn’t matter how far back their seats were. Or how cavernous the hall was. All they heard – all they felt – was sound that was warm, intelligible and personal. With clear, precisely-controlled sound from Iconyx Gen5 steerable loudspeakers, their seats were the best in the house. To learn more or for a demo, visit www.renkus-heinz.com.

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©2016 Renkus-Heinz

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The Corrs closed the festival at the fishing harbour. Picture credit: Michel Renac

FRANCE

Capturing the Celtic sound With 17 different locations – from stadiums to a fishing harbour – Guillaume Schouker reports on setting up the audio systems at the Festival Interceltique de Lorient

N

o other festival in France has an identity as strong as the Festival Interceltique de Lorient (FIL – Lorient Interceltic Festival) in Brittany, featuring Celtic culture, arts and music. Ten years after first hosting them as guests of honour, the FIL invited Australia back this year, with the festival’s poster mixing Celtic and Australian symbols, such as the boomerang, as well as honouring Aboriginal art. Around 40 per cent of Australians have Celtic roots (is is reported) and the Australian diaspora – the furthest in the Celtic population – is also one of the richest in terms of history and cultural diversity. The festival’s 46th edition saw 750,000 visitors during the ten days, from 5 -14 August, and was the perfect occasion to celebrate the 350th anniversary of Lorient city being founded. The five fantastic Interceltic Nights, which happened within the Stade du Moustoir, made the 2016 edition a very special one – turning a 15,000-seat stadium into a gigantic stage area with an incredible sound installation, video projections on huge outdoor LED screens displays, as well as special effects and splendid fireworks. Celtic music at FIL is offered at over seventeen

different locations, with concert venues hosting from 200 to 15,000 people. Apart from the Moustoir Stadium, the main concert venues include: the fishing harbour where 9,000 people attended the outdoor closure concert with The Corrs; the 5,000-seat Espace Marine where Joan Baez, Alan Stivell and Dan Ar Braz, to name

THE PUBLIC ATTENDING THE CELTIC NIGHTS DO NOT COME FOR A ROCK CONCERT AND CASCADES OF DECIBELS

JOSE NEDELEC

a few, performed; the 2,500-person capacity Espace Bretagne; Le Grand Théâtre and its 850 seats and the 800-person capacity Palais des Congrès. José Nedelec, FIL technical production director and technical consultant says there are several audio rental companies used for FIL, but for small venues, they

recommend local companies. Paris-based Potar Hurlant rental company provided all the audio equipment for the Stade du Moustoir and Espace Marine. Siwa rental in Quimper brought the sound installation for Espace Bretagne, Lorient Palais des Congrès and extra gear at Le Grand Théâtre. Galloud Sonorisation handled the smaller venues in town. With headquarters in Landerneau, Audiolite Sonorisation rental company was in charge of the closure concert at the fishing harbour this year. At the Stade du Moustoir, the SR installation consisted of no less than 24 L-Acoustics K2 enclosures, 10 KARA and 12 KUDO. The front-of-house design included systems distributed in three different areas: the corporate box was made up of 4x4 K2 and 2x2 KARA, the North side stand consisted of 2x4 K2 and 1x3 KARA for the angle, while the South side stand incorporated 3x4 KUDO and 1x3 KARA for the angle. Nedelec explains: “The stadium configuration consists of a mono diffusion on three sides, with stacks of four K2’s regularly spaced and smaller KARA stacks to fill in the gaps in between the K2 stacks.”

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Modularity made ultra compact ... Uniline Compact covers it all Aussie artists including Archie Roach featured, as Australia was the ‘guest country of honour this year

With the original Uniline, APG revolutionised the industry with true modularity and the ultimate benefits of scalability. Now, APG’s Uniline Compact delivers those same benefits in an ultra-compact format. From intimate venues to mid-sized shows, APG’s Uniline Compact is the one system that will cover it all.

Tommy Emmanuel was another Australian artist on the bill

He continues: “The great surprise was the extremely soft and natural K2 system in the stadium, which, coupled with the SSL L500 console, rendered an exceptional sound that left me stunned during the rehearsals and up until the first evening show.” “Several challenges were presented at the stadium. We first needed to obtain a natural and homogenous sound when more than 40 condenser microphones were simultaneously opened on the stadium. Furthermore, the public attending the Celtic Nights do not come for a rock concert and cascades of decibels. Yet, bagpipes and bombards are incredibly powerful music instruments, with direct sound that comes in to interfere with the diffused sound. The major challenge, in fact, is trying to blend this with natural sound, along with other constraints, due to the distances in the stadium.“ Live sound engineer Fred Lucas was at the front-of-house position with a SSL L500 Plus console. Nedelec reveals that: “The choice of SSL is essentially due to its sound quality. The reliability of remote locating via fibre cable, when compared with Dante for example, for the racks remote system, and especially its open architecture, enables us to optimise its ergonomics for this uncommon show and thus to get more in fluidity on the different sequences.” He adds: “We have lots of contrast between a pipe band and a bagad band, whose acoustic sound is close to 110dB, and acoustic instruments, such as violins and flute, that do not generate a lot of power.“ Capturing the sound of a bagpipe is not an easy task, but Nedelec recalls: “The bagpipes sound is omnidirectional. It consists of a chanter (a melody pipe), with a levriad (a double-reeded chanter), and drones above the musicians. Drones generate

THE UNILINE COMPACT RANGE UC206W - UC206N - UC115B

www.apg.audio APG South East Asia Singapore

APG France Paris

APG North East Asia Hong Kong

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Live

low frequencies and are captured with condenser microphones, such as a Neumann or AKG C414. The chanter is often captured on the desk together with Neumann KM 184 condenser microphones.� The sound reinforcement installation at the fishing harbour for The Corrs gig consisted of an Adamson

WE HAVE LOTS OF CONTRAST BETWEEN A PIPE BAND AND A BAGAD BAND ... AND ACOUSTIC INSTRUMENTS, SUCH AS VIOLINS AND FLUTE THAT DO NOT GENERATE A LOT OF POWER

FRED LUCAS

system: two 3-way line arrays with sixteen E15, six SpekTrix 5, eight T21 subs and four MH121, along with Lab.gruppen PLM10000Q (x3) and PLM20000Q (x3) amplifiers. While two delay clusters were placed behind the front-of-house position to cover the public in the rear, a DiGiCo SD10 console was the centrepiece, situated

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So many screens!

Rehearsals produced some stunning sound

Main stage set-up

35m away from the front stage. A second SD10 was standing on the monitoring side. Members of The Corrs band used in-ear monitoring along with L-Acoustics 115XT HiQ stage monitors. In the Espace Marine, live engineer Nicolas Rouvière was behind a SSL L500 Plus console. Diffusion was made through L-Acoustics K2 systems, with no less than 24 modules and with the addition of four SB28 subwoofers, ass well as Twelve KARA for the delays. When asked about how the live industry is doing right now, Nedelec states: “(It’s) doing well, the digital tools allow live recording and people prefer the concerts, so they can look back on a recording, which they heard and lived.” This year’s edition of Festival Interceltique de Lorient also highlighted artists from Australia such as Archie Roach, Eric Bogle, Jane Rutter, Tommy Emmanuel, The Claymore and Saoirse big band. Cheers to King Arthur and Merlin the magician, with a Celt-hic-cup….! n www.siwa.fr www.potar-hurlant.com www.audiolite-sonorisation.com www.galloud-sonorisation.fr www.festival-interceltique.bzh

Kling & Freitag GmbH | www.kling-freitag.com

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P42 OCTOBER 2016

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The night view of de Merorde castle

BELGIUM

King Albert I revived! Life of Belgian soldier-king celebrated with DiGiCo, Waves and d&b kit, writes Marc Maes

T

he 15th century de Merode castle provided a unique setting for Albert I, a historical music spectacular on the Belgian King-soldier’s life in the Great War, the world economy crisis and, eventually, his death in 1934. Over 200 dancers, acrobats and extras backed a cast of professional singers and actors. Event-support and rental company Demon provided the comprehensive audio kit for the open air event, staged between 12 August and 2 September. “The whole production, both FOH as well as monitoring, was steered by a DiGiCo SD10 console with Waves Server One,” explains Tom Vissers, responsible for monitoring and wireless in the productions. “The SD10 carries a Waves SoundGrid card allowing us to control our Waves plug-ins from the console. In addition we used three MacBook Pro portables. The

THE MUSICAL STAGE, PLACED IN FRONT OF THE CASTLE, PROVIDED AN EXCELLENT SETTING ... OFFERING GREAT VIEWS FOR THE 1,900 PEOPLE CAPACITY first was deployed for multitrack recording at FOH, and used for virtual soundcheck and as a back-up for plugins. On stage we used a second MacBook with QLab Live show control software, controllable from either the FOH or monitor position, or on stage. A third MacBook served as redundant back-up for the on-stage portable.” A backstage computer,

working in remote mirror mode simultaneously with the SD-10, allowed the independent control of monitors and in-ears during rehearsals and shows – without having to bother the FOH desk or engineer. Albert I’s big cast also urged Vissers to use an impressive inventory of wireless gear. “In total, the production has 24 Sony DWX wireless headsets, eight channels of Sennheiser 2000 in-ears and four Shure UR4D wireless receivers for the instruments used on stage,” he says. “Above that, we used 12 Sony DWRRO2DN wideband receivers, a WD 850 antenna splitter, two Sony RMU-01 cross remote function antennas and two AN-01 antennas.” Demon are a dedicated d&b audiotechnik rental company. “For the FOH we had flown clusters of six (3x 2) C4 top speakers and 6 C4 subs, on either side of the stage,” continues Vissers.

Principals with Prince de Merode

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P43 OCTOBER 2016

Lucas Van den Eynde as Albert I

WW1 scene in Albert I

Stage view with speaker clusters

opticalCON fibre optic connection system

View from stage to stands

“Two more C4 top cabinets served as side fills next to the stands. And under the stands, we installed four B2 subs switched on INFRA to be used as Infrabass for subs and effects with the C-series speakers.” For monitoring, a combination of eight C18 speakers (main stage) and four E0 speakers (upper stage) were put in place, carefully camouflaged in the stage. The audio system was powered by three d&b D6, four x D12, and three x D80 amplifiers. An automated talk-back system was connected with the SD-10 console, allowing crew members and the director to select specific staff on the FOH position, monitors, cast on stage, lighting and backstage. The musical stage, placed in front of the castle, provided an excellent setting for the Albert I spectacle. Offering great views for the 1,900 people capacity stands, the stage floor, surrounded by the castle moat, served as battle field during the WW1 scenes and was rapidly reshaped into a more ‘traditional’ stage. Albert I was organised by Historalia, and produced by Prince Simon de Merode – the shows attracted some 30,000 visitors. n www.demonnv.be www.historalia.be

The opticalCON system safeguards fibre optic cable with exceptional protection against dirt contamination. An all-metal ruggedized housing, with heavy-duty strain relief, secures the cable using a spring loaded locking mechanism and automatically operated seal cover. Available in custom pre-assembled lengths, packed either in a case, on drum or airspool.

DirectCable

Systems Ltd

DirectCable

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17/11/2015 22:15

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P44 OCTOBER 2016

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VTX at Rock in Rio

UNITED STATES

Jolly Big Legacy! Loudspeaker giant celebrates 70 years of speaker innovation

J

BL has proven to be a leading driver of audioindustry loudspeaker innovation for 70 years – a legacy that spans hundreds of patents, countless category-defining products and a global reach of more than 130 countries. To celebrate this milestone date of 2016 – the diamond anniversary – we asked the team at JBL to come up with a list of iconic, market-defining designs, one from each decade of the company’s existence (and one for luck, in the later decades). This is what they came up with…

1930s Even before JBL was founded in 1946, originator James B. Lansing (born James Martini) developed pioneering products that would lay the foundation for future innovations to come (for the Lansing Manufacturing Company and Altec Lansing, for instance). Lansing started out creating components for the world’s first cinema standard loudspeaker, and by 1937 had developed the Iconic System – a loudspeaker system designed to meet the needs of film and audio production control rooms. Comprising a 2-way, 15” woofer and compression driver high-frequency section, the Iconic is noted as the world’s first studio monitor and set the standard for studio monitor systems today. The Iconic System was so influential that it was inducted into the TEC Hall of Fame on January 15, 2011 at the NAMM show in Anaheim, California.

1950s JBL D130 is the loudspeaker that defined the sound of the 1950s. Originally released in 1948, the D130 15” cone speaker was personally designed by James B. Lansing, using cutting-edge materials and production methods. In order to achieve the sensitivity, range and dynamic response Lansing was looking for, he incorporated state-of-the-art Alnico V magnets, an aluminum diaphragm and a 4” flat wire voice coil attached to a curvilinear cone.

The factory machine room in the mid 1950s (mid-’50s)

The distinctively pure sound of the D130 first found its place at home, defining the home hi-fi phenomenon by appearing in more systems than any other speaker of that era. The D130 went on to become the driver used in some of JBL’s first commercial systems. And as the electric guitar was revolutionising music, Leo Fender offered JBL D130 speakers as a factory upgrade for many amplifier models. The applications for the D130 continued to grow throughout the ’50s, and it became the most famous of all JBL speaker components.

1960s As smaller, independent studios explored new ways of recording, the need for more compact monitors became

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Jazz legend Benny Goodman with a Paragon speaker

crucial. JBL worked closely with prominent New York studio owner, Bob Fine, to create the 4310 – a studio monitor that would facilitate the latest eight-track recording techniques. The compact form factor of the 4310 allowed producers and engineers to install a monitor for each individual track (a total of eight units) in one control room, which yielded more accurate mixes. The JBL 4310, and later its 4311 version, also informed how studios dealt with room acoustics by giving engineers a way to directly mount speakers on the console bridge as nearfield monitors. This configuration delivered higher proportions of sound straight from the monitors with vastly lower levels of reflected sound.

The Cabaret Series 4680 was an updated version of the 4682 thermoplastic “strong box” and featured four K110 10” speakers and dual 2402 bullet tweeters in a line array configuration. Just as the JBL 4560 bass bin and radial horn elements formed the basis for tour sound systems, the Cabaret Series established the portable PA market segment that continues to grow.

1980s The 1980s saw JBL take studio monitor technology and installed cinema sound to new heights. Introduced in 1981,

An early image of the JBL factory anechoic chamber

the 4430 and 4435 studio monitors delivered constant directivity control with Bi-Radial horn technology. The advent of Bi-Radial horns allowed JBL to develop products with specific coverage angles that optimised sound for given applications (90° x 40° horns were used for theatre applications, while the wider 100° x 100° models were used as studio monitors). The Bi-Radial horn technology set the tone of professional sound systems for nearly two decades and is employed in some of the most successful JBL professional loudspeaker systems ever produced. As the 4430 and 4435 monitors led the charge in music and cinema studios, another JBL product was changing

JBL and James B. Lansing Sound

1970s Inspired by the popularity of large-scale rock touring and festivals, JBL set out to provide the sound quality of large tour sound systems to bourgeoning musicians. The Cabaret Series was launched at the 1979 NAMM show in Chicago, establishing one of the first full lines of portable PA systems for musicians and music stores. In addition to providing PA elements specifically designed for guitarists, bass players and vocalists, the Cabaret Series featured an early line array configuration.

Lansing Sound, Incorporated in 1946. Altec Lansing, his former employer, disliked the name’s similarity to trademarked brands it had developed, so the engineer renamed his new company to James B.

Lansing Sound, Incorporated – as shown in this 1955 photo. Eventually, this became shortened to JBL on product branding and eventually was adopted as the company name.

JBL 4300-Series Monitors (mid 1970s)

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The Grateful Dead’s Wall of Sound, featuring over 500 JBL speakers!

how theatregoers experienced sound. The JBL 4675 Cinema System, which also used the Bi-Radial horn, improved on existing systems by providing a smaller form factor, increased performance and a more manageable price.

Linkin Park on tour with JBL VTX

Due to the quality of the new design, the 4675 system was installed in the Motion Picture Academy’s Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills, the industry’s reference theater. Eventually, the Harman engineers who developed the 4675 system received a Scientific and Engineering Award from the Motion Picture Academy “for the concept, design and engineering of the modern constant-directivity, direct radiator style motion picture loudspeaker systems.”

1990s Musical trends were shifting throughout the ’90s. The arrival of portable CD players and an influx of independent bands playing pop-up venues meant music was on the move. In 1995, JBL introduced the EON line of portable products to provide small-scale music and speech reinforcement for people on the go. The EON moulded-enclosure, fully integrated powered sound system revolutionised the portable PA market (literally, millions sold).

2000s C50SMS7 ssystem designed for Capital Records

JBL made a splash in the new millennium with a landmark contribution to line array systems – the

Into the future… Since the beginning, JBL has sought out state-ofthe-art materials and production methods to provide superior quality products. Moving forward, JBL promises to continue thinking outside the box in order to deliver next-generation audio solutions. “JBL has been part of the biggest advancements in audio technology history,” says Bryan Bradley, senior vice president and GM, Entertainment Division, Harman Professional Solutions. “Our cinema products have innovated the motion picture industry from the dawn of talking pictures in the 1930s to modern immersive audio systems. And JBL tour sound systems have powered the world’s most

OUR CINEMA PRODUCTS HAVE INNOVATED THE MOTION PICTURE INDUSTRY FROM THE DAWN OF TALKING PICTURES IN THE 1930S TO MODERN IMMERSIVE AUDIO SYSTEMS

BRYAN BRADLEY

Woodstock stage from the back of the audience

iconic festivals, from Woodstock to Coachella. As JBL continues to grow and affect billions of people around the world at the Super Bowl, Grammy Awards, Academy Awards and other signature events, we hold firm to our guiding principle to provide state-of-theart products that define the future of audio.” “The diversity of JBL’s 70-year history allows HARMAN to connect all aspects of the music experience,” continues Bradley. “With JBL and other industry-leading brands, HARMAN is the only company with integrated solutions to seamlessly transition from initial creation to the recording process and all the way to landmark performances.”

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P47 OCTOBER 2016

VerTec at the Academy Awards earlier this year

Peter Chaikin is champion of the M2 monitor (rigjht)

VerTec Series. By implementing JBL-patented Differential Drive transducers and a new structural design, VerTec provided a safer, more lightweight way to suspend arrays in public places. VerTec also gave users a way to observe estimated directional response and build systems according to their needs with its associated design modeling program. The new series was deployed at the 2000 Democratic convention, 2002 Super Bowl and 2002 GRAMMY Awards. While VerTec was touring the world, JBL continued to expand the Control Contractor Series product line of smaller installation speakers with multiple sizes and configurations for restaurant and retail background and foreground applications.

F��ed��.

2010s

Credit: John K. Chester

With the growing need for high dynamic range and referencemonitor accuracy in a broad range of studios, JBL released the M2 Master Reference Monitor. The M2 represents the next generation of JBL innovation, including the D2 dual-diaphragm compression driver and low-TCR voice-coil Differential Drive dualcoil woofer. Also using the D2 and Differential Drive transducer technology, the VTX Series was introduced as JBL’s latest linearray development. There’s plenty more to come in 2020 and beyond. n www.jblpro.com

With its tiny size and feather weight, the Lectrosonics SSM bodypack transmitter gives you the freedom of placement on your talent. Wig? Ankle? No problem. And the SSM never heats up, so it can even go against the skin. The patented, compandor-free Digital Hybrid Wireless® transmission gives you the freedom to choose your favorite lav or headset mic without concern for coloration. And Lectrosonics has always been famous for freedom from RF problems, with the SSM being no exception. Then there’s the ability to use a smartphone app for changing settings, the wide 75 Mhz (3-block) tuning bandwidth, and the choice of 25 or 50 mW RF power, right in the menu. Of course, you have the freedom to spend quite a bit more than the SSM on other minature bodypack transmitters, but why would you? Demo the Lectrosonics SSM and prepare to be amazed.

<< Scan here to learn more about the SSM

www.lectrosonics.com or 1-800-821-1121 In Canada, call 877-753-2876 Made in the USA by a Bunch of Fanatics.

In Europe, call +33 (0) 78558-3735

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ITALY

RAVENNA …in Ravenna! Top classical festival uses a Lawo set-up for its “3D” sound, writes Mike Clark

Concert at Pala de Andrè. Photo credit: Zani-Casadio

The Pala de Andrè

S

ince its 1990 inauguration, Italy’s Ravenna Festival has gained a reputation as one of Europe’s most prestigious events, hosting a wide range of performing arts in venues ranging from UNESCO listed monuments to the Pala de Andrè indoor sports arena and Dante Alighieri theatre. This year, at the last two venues, the festival’s longstanding audio contractor – BH Audio – used a Lawo system based on the manufacturer’s mc2 36 console, Compact I/0 stagebox and the RAVENNA IP network. BH partner Massimo Carli explains how the project came about: “BH specialises in classical and contemporary music, opera and jazz, providing sound reinforcement rental and recording facilities, but this project came about through MediaCare AudioVisual, a company I founded two years ago, to target the installation market. I contacted Lawo for a couple of important projects on which I considered their mc2 56 and mc2 36 consoles to be ideal. “When we met at Frankfurt, we spoke about BH and suggested using a Lawo system at the Festival (with numerous musicians, world famous conductors and a critical audience) and at Riccardo Muti’s Academy courses and final show, staged at the Dante Alighieri theatre.” Carli was put in touch with Italian distributor Aret Engineering, and demonstrator/trainer Massimiliano Salin carried out the initial setup and held an intensive two-day training course at the venue, after which Carli

was able to carry out all the work at the Pala de Andrè and the Academy without any problems. The PA wasn’t standard fare, as Carli tested a “3D sound” processor (due for presentation at Frankfurt in 2017), thanks to which, spectators – no matter where they’re sitting, even stageside seats only covered by side hangs – hear the sound of the orchestra’s instruments as if it was coming from their positions on stage. Including subs and FX speakers, the impressive d&b audiotechnik system had a total of 85 enclosures (from various series, plus Y-Subs). At the arena, the mc2 36 was connected via RAVENNA in Cat-6 to a Lawo mc2 Compact I/O stagebox and via MADI to the 3D processor. The compact I/O was used to take all the mic signals from the stage to be mixed and distributed to the processor using the console’s DSP configuration, creating thirty output groups. “As well as performing excellently in terms of sound quality,” says Salin, “thanks to the mc2 36’s full-blown on-board 512 x 512 matrix, I connected the 3D processor to the console, and then directly to the Compact I/O outputs, to which the amps were connected, eliminating multicore cable used in the past, when BH deployed outboard matrices.” At the Academy, on the other hand, the mc2 36 was used to record nine hours’ work a day on three digitally connected systems and provide a ‘service’ mix for the video team.

Lawo mc2 36 at FOH

Italian state broadcaster RAI produced an arena concert and, instead of having to use a splitter for their mics, gave BH a MADI feed which was connected to the Compact I/O, inserting a sample rate converter in the chain to bypass RAI’s clock and greatly simplifying the whole process. Salin continues: “There were no technical problems, but, as is often the case with sound engineers who normally work on live events, we had to explain that the console is not just a ‘mixer’ but a real matrix, so there’s no need to go through input procedure to ‘feed’ an output – just connect it and it’s ready to go. Massimo was therefore able to leave half the gear he brought in the past to the festival at home.” Carli enthuses: “After using more or less the same set-up for the last three years at the venue, the first thing that struck me was the sound – we’d used a top-grade analogue desk in the past, so the comparison wasn’t between products of a different level, and we hadn’t changed PA or microphones, but we immediately noticed the difference in timbre. My impressions were confirmed by several other people.

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“For example, during rehearsals for a concert conducted by Riccardo Muti, his wife Cristina came to the FOH platform and asked me what we’d changed, as the system seemed to sound better than usual, and when Muti asked how the sound was, Cristina told him it was beautiful and better than previous years, explaining that I was using a new audio console.” The power of the console, which is the smallest in the Lawo range, and the number of channels and outputs at users’ disposal “put many live consoles to shame”, says Carli. “I was positively impressed by the software’s flexibility, which ensures absolute freedom to set up just as I want, with limitless ‘patching’ possibilities not normally possible with live consoles. The mc2 36 is the perfect system for this kind of event.” The Lawo console is now at the top of Carli’s “shopping list”, as he explains, “I was reluctant to hand it back and realised it would’ve made the difference on several jobs I did after returning it; not only from the point of view of sound, but the system’s set-up and flexibility.” Based in the province of Milan, Aret Engineering was appointed Lawo distributor in March and has over

Massimo Carli

Sanka Juku Japanese ballet

40 years’ experience in the broadcast field, designing and delivering over 400 OB vans of various sizes and installing studios. The firm’s vice president Alessandro Asti explains the decision to take Lawo on-board alongside the other prestigious brands distributed: “We were struck by the firm’s strategic vision, which has led to the conception of ground-breaking products and all-round product excellence and competitiveness, even in its smaller consoles.” For the Rio Olympic Games, Aret supplied Italian state broadcaster RAI three Lawo mc2 56 audio consoles with Audio and Audio/Video interfaces via Lawo V_Pro8, with Dolby Codec on-board, a remote IP production system

www.psneurope.com/live

Picture credit: Zani-Casadoi

OCTOBER 2016

based on Lawo V_Remote 4 and a VSM management system. Asti says: “At Ravenna Festival we were able put leading edge technology at the service of top level live performances and BH saw that, in spite of its small footprint, the console is very powerful and able to handle the resources necessary for productions of this type and size, ensuring unbeatable signal quality in its category, flexibility and reliability.” n www.aret-engineering.com www.bhaudio.it www.dbaudio.com www.lawo.com www.ravennafestival.org


P50 OCTOBER 2016

Technology feature

WORLD

Pro-audio’s new adventures in ‘alt-finance’ Crowd-funding and other methods of alternative finance are increasingly providing pro-audio and MI companies with a new route to realising their innovations. David Davies speaks to some of those who have made this approach work to their advantage.

T

he rise of alternative finance – in other words, those financial channels and instruments to have taken shape outside of the traditional financial system – has been one of the notable online trends of recent years. Peer-to-peer consumer and business lending as well as so-called ‘cryptocurrencies’ (such as Bitcoin) are among the many developments to be covered by this catch-all term, but arguably the most salient to the general public – to this point, at least – has been crowdfunding. Historians might argue that the crowdfunding phenomenon can be traced back to the 18th century, when the publication of some books would be determined by levels of response to subscription schemes. But in a modern context the genuine trailblazer is none other than the post-Fish incarnation

KICKSTARTER AND OTHER SUCH SITES HAVE BECOME A SORT OF PROOF OF CONCEPT TO SUBSEQUENTLY GET PRIVATE INVESTMENT

BRUNO ZAMBORLIN, MOGEES

of prog-pop favourites Marillion, who underwrote a 1997 US tour via an internet campaign. Subsequently, they issued the first fully fan-financed album, Anoraknophobia, setting a precedent for recording artists that would see acts as diverse as Amanda Palmer and De La Soul head down the crowdfunding route. People in many other artistic disciplines have followed suit, but more recently the impact on manufacturing and other areas of business – particularly those active in more niche, lower-volume areas – has been similarly acute. Indeed, a recent report entitled ‘Pushing Boundaries: the 2015 UK Alternative Finance Industry Report’ and available via the www.nesta.co.uk website, found that 254,721 individuals, projects, not-for-profits

Mogees’ Bruno Zamborlin with this Mogees vibration sensor, and here set up to trigger the synth engine software on an iPad

and businesses raised finance via online alternative finance models last year, while a remarkable 1.09 million people invested, donated or lent through alternative finance platforms in the UK. Kickstarter is the best-known of the crowdfunding platforms, but RocketHub, PledgeMusic, Indiegogo and Razoo are among the many others to have achieved traction. The pro-audio and MI sectors have certainly not been immune to the trend, so PSNEurope spoke to a few of the companies who have made crowdfunding work for them…

‘Kickstarter served as a POC to get private investment’ Based in east London, audio technology company

Mogees is the brainchild of Bruno Zamborlin. Its eponymously-titled initial product combined an app and vibration sensor to transform any object into a unique musical instrument – the aim being, explains Zamborlin, “to help democratise music-making and enable non-musicians to learn the basics”. Its first fully commercialised offer, Mogees Pro, is built around a smart sensor and bespoke software that allows all manner of surfaces to become musical instruments. Subsequent product Mogees Play attaches to a phone or tablet and turns the world around the user into an interface for playing games, creating music and more, while the company’s latest release is a new app for iOS Mogees Pro and Play users, entitled Mogees KEYS. The concept occurred to Zamborlin during five

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years of research at IRCAM/Pompidou Centre in Paris and Goldsmiths University London, but it wasn’t until early 2014 that he began to contemplate going into production via an initial campaign on Kickstarter that lasted one month and aimed to raise £50,000. In fact, says Zamborlin, “we got twice that, so the response was really positive. That translated to 1,641 backers and about 3,000 units, with some buyers purchasing two or more Mogees.” With this tangible evidence of the concept’s appeal, Mogees has been able to secure $1.5m of private investment to date and embarked upon full commercial production with Mogees Pro. The rapid nature of this trajectory underlines what Zamborlin feels to be the primary benefit of crowdfunding for technology startups. “Kickstarter and other such sites have become a sort of proof of concept to subsequently get private investment,” he says. “In a lot of cases, if you go to an incubator or [angel investors] now they will actually ask you to see if there is any traction by doing a crowdfunding campaign – and if there is then they will fund you.” A further Kickstarter campaign, for Mogees Pro, again comfortably exceeded its target, and Zamborlin anticipates going the crowdfunding route again. “It is a very direct way of raising visibility and gauging the interest in a project,” he observes.

‘It really helped us to raise awareness’ Boosting public profile for a new product was also an important part of the mix for Wiltshire-based Crookwood in deciding to utilise crowdfunding. Established by MD Crispin Herrod-Taylor in 1993, Crookwood’s pro-audio range has included mastering consoles, monitor controllers and remote controlled preamps, among many other products. But with Soundbuckets – which comprises both consumer and pro-oriented active speaker models contained in (you guessed it) a bucketshaped design – Herrod-Taylor wanted to reach a broader demographic. “We became aware that using a site like Kickstarter allowed us to raise finance as well as awareness in hard marketing terms,” he says. “And indeed that proved to be the case, with coverage for the project in blogs, comment pieces and suchlike.” Like Mogees, Crookwood set a one-month timeframe and managed to exceed its target by 50 per cent. Around 95 per cent of those who had pledged actually paid up, and soon after that the company moved into full production of the Soundbuckets, which are available in a host of different colours. “For us the Kickstarter campaign was about the right sort of size to get the first production batches up and running, and overall I would say the whole exercise improved our manufacturing abilities,” he says.

Sense of Flare There are plenty of other examples to be found from

Crookwood’s Crispin-Herrod Taylor

…and his attractive range of Soundbucket portable speakers

the last two years alone. As reported by PSNEurope in June 2015, West Sussex-based Flare Audio went on Kickstarter and raised £177,277 (€241,125) with 1,260 backers – more than 177 per cent of its initial goal of £100,000 – to generate awareness of its “distortion-free” Reference series of in-ear and over-ear headphones and make them available for wider retail. Investors were able to purchase one of three inear R2 models, or the R1 Mk2 over-ear model, at an introductory price that reverted to full price after the campaign concluded. There was a significant spike in pledges towards the end of the 28-day campaign, underlining the fact that constant proactivity and promotion is required for the duration of any such exercise, as Flare’s Naomi Roberts told PSNEurope: “People hold off pledging until they get all the information they are after. Reviews and endorsements helped massively as, after all, we are selling a product visually that people will be using aurally.” In a new interview, Roberts reveals that a separate

Kickstarter campaign for Flare’s ISOLATE ear protectors raised £462K (against a target of just £25K), with a subsequent Indiegogo campaign also proving highly sucessful. “And as far as the earphones go, we have recently secured significant investment which enables us to develop our technology and products further to enter the next stage of our growth strategy. Following the success of the R2s, we are currently working on our latest earphone, due to release in November.” Other notable recent examples include a Kickstarter campaign by Polish company Zylia, via which its 360-degree product AudioImmersion was made available for order last months, with the first shipments due to be made available in Q1 2017. Townsend Labs, meanwhile, has been hailing the ‘runaway success’ of its Sphere 3D condenser microphone, which was launched via an international crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo and raised more than $100,000 in the first 24 hours. By the close of the campaign on 31 August support totalled $317,023 – 789 per cent of its target –

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and 281 backers from across the globe purchasing the systems and pledging their support. Sphere’s creators Chris Townsend and Erik Papp expressed “a huge debt of gratitude to all of our backers and everyone that supported us through the campaign. We have already started on production and are moving to deliver Sphere as soon as we can.”

is paid don’t come to fruition, that could definitely be beneficial. Nearly a dozen emails regarding future crowdfunding projects dropped into the inbox during the week or so in which this article came together, so one can expect plenty more start-ups to chance their hand at a route that has undoubtedly helped to facilitate a welcome wave of innovation. n

Crowdfunding Top Tips

‘Saturation point approaching’ Those keen to steer a calm course through this brave new(ish) world are directed to the ‘Crowdfunding Top Tips’ section (see box-out) . Meanwhile, the concern for prospective MI and pro-audio developers must be that crowdfunding sites are increasingly being saturated by such initiatives, and that potential investors could become exhausted by the process and even switch-off altogether. “Oh yes, a saturation point is definitely approaching,” Zamborlin agrees. One answer to this could be more platforms operating as gatekeepers to a lesser or greater extent; Zamborlin notes that “we are now seeing alternative platforms coming along that do propose to review projects before they are published online”. With some sources suggesting that as many as 50 per cent of crowdfunded projects where the money

Top left: Flare Audio raised £177,277 (€241,125) with 1,260 backers for its R2 in-ear phones Top right: Townsend Labs’ Sphere 3D condenser microphone launched via an international crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo

Polish company Zylia has funded its AudioImmersion microphone through Kickstarter

l Know your product and your target audience inside out. l Be clear on your manufacturing chain and establish how much every aspect will cost, including production, shipping and admin. l Do not underestimate the amount of work and expense involved in progressing from a prototype to a finished product that can be used and sold to the public. l Try to offer ‘rewards’ at a number of different price brackets, if possible. l Once the money is in place, make sure you have the business strategy and personnel to be able to proceed to the next level.

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P54 OCTOBER 2016

Installation

Control room with Yamaha mixer for presentations

UNITED KINGDOM

Starr performance The Tate Modern Starr Auditorium has been rejuvenated as the Starr Cinema, thanks in no small part to the efforts of IPE and Veale Associates, writes Dave Robinson

B

evolve how the system could be used in the future as its requirements change,” reveals IPE MD Colin Judge on PSNEurope’s visit earlier this summer. Before the technology spec could be addressed, the building structure and acoustics had to receive a major refurbishment. “It was a bit basic before,” says Eddie Veale. To whit: a stereo speaker arrangement at the front, plus a reverb time of around three seconds – not good for intelligibility during corporate events. Four fixed supporting columns, and the overall ‘square box’ nature of the space, didn’t help matters. The solution involved stripping the auditorium back to the slab and structural walls, and constructing a more acoustically satisfying room inside that (and one that removed any leakage from the adjoining Tate restaurant kitchen!). “A ‘scalloping’ effect in the new secondary walls, and the ‘sawtooth’ nature of the design in the walls and ceiling, pushes the sound to the back of the room,” says Veale. Bass traps concealed in theses walls help to swallow LFE issues. “We got the reverb down to 0.5-0.6 seconds, with no sweet spots.” The Tate’s architects Herzog and de Meuron had the final say in the overall aesthetic design, including the brief that none of the 44 JBL loudspeakers installed should be visible or exposed, with the exception of the compact JBL line arrays (a CBT70J-1/JE-1 combo) either side of the stage, which also form part of the ATMOS surround

system. Amplifiers hail from the Crown DCi range – over 30kW of power. Regarding ATMOS compliance, Veale says: “The room isn’t high enough to use the standard Dolby arrangement; the columns blocks certain speakers. So, instead, we paired speakers so two share the same audio channel: one of each pair is available to every seat, therefore there is no sound shadowing.” The necessity to be able to map and switch routing preset configurations from the various cinema and AV sources through the multichannel loudspeaker system suggested a BSS-806 Soundweb system, and this was the eventual networking choice. While there is a certain amount of Dante implementation involved in the final spec – for the Shure ULX D radio mic system, and the Yamaha LS9-32 presentation desk, in particular – it’s good old Blu-link that takes the strain here. Some months after its official opening, the Tate Starr Cinema is hosting a full calendar of events, and, no doubt, will establish a revitalised reputation for corporate events and live performances – especially as the Switch House, the new extension, has come online. The final word on the cinema space must go to Eddie Veale. “I’ve wandered around while [demos] have been playing,” he says. “It impresses me. And it takes a lot to impress me!” n www.tate.org.uk

All pictures: Gilead Limor

y the end of 2015, the 15-year-old, 250-seat Starr Auditorium in the iconic Tate Modern gallery was a tired and technically outdated facility. In May 2016, it reopened as a re-vitalised, high-spec, multi-function venue, offering facilities unique within the UK. The new Tate Starr Cinema is the result of the transformative skills of installation specialist IPE ltd, working alongside acoustic consultant Veale Associates, delivering the technical elements of the project and consultation on the acoustics and build design. West One, Tate’s principal building contractor on the project, gave IPE a brief for a state-of-the-art, technological solution that integrated cinema, live performance and presentation into a single facility. The cinema requirements alone ranged from the installation of a pair of Ernemann 15 35mm projectors, allowing full-length 35mm features to be shown without the need to splice precious archive material, through to a full 4K DCP installation with Dolby ATMOS certification. The performance stage needed full multi-channel live sound capability, while the presentation facilities should provide both the capacity for high-profile corporate hire use through to internal AV educational presentations. “It was important from the outset, from our perspective, to deliver a single-system solution that met all these individual briefs, yet offered the Tate the flexibility to

Ernemann 15 35mm projectors, for state of the art screenings

(L-R): Colin Judge, Eddie Veale, and design engineer Mark Whittam

The ATMOS cinema: sawtooth-like secondary walls help transfer sound

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P57 OCTOBER 2016

Hither & … balloons!

At the PSAwards 2016 After Party, sponsored by Renkus-Heinz, you were no one without inflatable headgear…

Balloon artists the Inflate-A-Belles go to work…

What breed is Darryn De La Soul’s new puppy, an inflata-bulldog?

…and Rising Star nominee Dan Langridge (left) and friend are transformed

Martin Audio’s James King with PSNEurope’s Sarah Sharples

Alien chic is in on the dancefloor…

The new thing in accessories: a yellow shoulder dog! Joanna and Daisy Dudderidge – and crown

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Backtalk

Right atmosphere Marc Maes talks to Staf Verbeeck about life after Jet Studio… and the art of recording today

I

n 2010, renowned Belgian studio engineer Staf Verbeeck decided to sell the building housing the legendary Jet Studio (the oldest studio in the country, in fact). He had no choice, he says, because of “hard times”. With his extensive backpack full of recording expertise, Verbeeck boarded the (Brussels concert venue) Ancienne Belgique’s (AB) technical team where he worked as engineer in the hall’s recording studio. Alongside his job at AB, Verbeeck started lecturing at the PXL College of Music in Hasselt and now lectures at two other institutions. Throughout the year, he also hosts master-classes on recording and mixing in music centres all over the country… What were the plans for getting back into the studio? After having moved the gear from one test place to another, I decided to build my own studio at home, in Antwerp. The idea was to go out and record artists in other studios or live settings, and then take the mixing and mastering work to Stiff Studio. One way or another I was quite lucky with the acoustic qualities of the room – I invited Dutch acoustic consultants AudioWorkx who measured the studio and the results were surprisingly good. I added some extra bass-traps and an acoustic ‘cloud’ above the monitor position and there it was: Stiff Studio. Tell us about the gear you are using? Over the years I’ve collected my favourite equipment, which has helped me to define my sound as an engineer. I moulded it all together in a hybrid studio, combining vintage equipment with Avid interfaces and hardware inserts like a pair of EMI RS 124 compressors and an Ampex ATR100 recorder. I further invested in Proacc Studio 100 speakers as main nearfield monitors. The bigger monitors are a pair of Rogers BBC PM-510 cabinets. Stiff Studio is not a recording studio as all recording happens on location.

Who are your clients at Stiff Studio? Despite the fact that people get access to sophisticated home studio gear, I’m convinced that it takes expertise to take the recording to a higher level. I see plenty of young people reaching a high level, thanks to the info available on the Internet and a professional education… But it takes a certain ‘mileage’ to lift the material up – and I’m happy I can contribute there. We take on the full spectrum, from recording (live or on location), to mixing, mastering and production. And we get both established artists as well as young bands like Felix Pallas, Coely, Vuurwerk and Kasablanka coming over to have their material mixed. The bulk of my assignments are external studio recording and mixing, and every now and then, I do location live recording. Which brings us to your most recent project… Singer-songwriter Anton Walgrave asked me to do a live recording for his new album Where Oceans Meet. Last year, we worked in his studio and our collaboration grew quite organically. When he decided to cut his 8th album, before a live audience, I was on his radar… We went out to record in an 18th century chapel. The album is part of a crowdfunding project, with the live audience providing the funds for the recording. How did you proceed? It all starts with the artist – that’s the essence. Secondly, the chapel felt right as a recording area. And then came the equipment: we decided to put together a mobile set-up combining both Anton’s and my gear. We took UAD Apollo audio interfaces, and good pre-amps like vintage API Audio 312 and API 512, Vintech X 1073 and Cartec Audio. To get the chapel’s atmosphere, the choice of the microphones was key. The first step was establishing a good acoustic balance as a basis to start from – the result with a few distant microphones seemed great…

but slightly too ‘wet’ so we eventually opted for the close miking as planned. Over the years, I have put together my own ‘mix’ of microphones I like to work with – the Neumann KM series, the Schoeps CMC5, a vintage C37 Sony tube mike… For this particular recording, I used a Brauner VMX for Anton Walgrave’s vocals – his guitar was recorded with a DPA 4099 mic and an AEA NUVO Ribbon, both channelled through the API 512 pre-amp. How did you manage the chapel’s acoustics? To capture the right performance and the right atmosphere – that’s what, in my opinion, makes a good recording. Being there at the right magical moment and pushing the ‘record’ button… I made sure that we recorded all of the rehearsals for that reason. And although the audience isn’t really audible on the recording, it provides an extra value and boosted the musicians’ focus. We installed tandem microphones on respectively one third and two thirds distance from the stage. A first set consisted of two Neumann KM 184 on either side, the second pair were Schoeps CMC5. For the classic quartet I used an AEA R88 Stereo Ribbon as overhead microphone. The combination of close miking, stereo ribbon microphones and overheads worked great. We also carefully placed a genuine SoundField Mk4 where the musical balance was best. The Mk4 allowed me to dynamically shift the focus from one source to another. We recorded directly into Logic, with the Apollo interfaces, and only used minimal compression. How is the rest of the year looking? 2016 has been the busiest year of my whole career so far. I’ve been doing mixing jobs 24/7. I just finished a live recording session with singer/rap star Coely which I’m currently mixing. And… these days I’ll be returning to the cradle to record rock band Diablo Blvd at Jet Studio n www.stiffstudio.com

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