Contents June 2012
F e at u r e s Department s 9 Input “Investing In The Future” By Greg Rushton 10 Signals Prolight + Sound NAMM Russia Debuts, Radial Increases Focus On Export, Hires New Sales Manager, PAG Canada Ltd. Repping Whirlwind Products In Canada, En Coulisse Shines In 2012, Set To Grow For 2013, Celemony Wins Technical Grammy Award… and more news inside! 18 Profile Robert Doidge Antony Chliaropoulos Robb Hall 22 Product Tests Community D6 In-Ceiling Speaker Radial Engineering ProRMP, Reamp JCR & X-Amp Aviom AllFrame Multi-Modular I/O System 48 Products RME Fireface UCX Standard Edition Audio/ MIDI Interface, Altinex TNP162/TNP162C Interconnect Boxes, Lectrosonics SPNDNT ASPEN & Dante Network Processor, Hosa Technology CBT-500 Cable Tester, DPA d:facto Vocal Microphone … and more products inside! 57 Advertisers’ Index 60 Sound Advice 62 Itinerary 64 Classifieds 66 Project File Cover Photo: Solotech members from En Coulisse 2012 by Andrew King Contents Photo: Theatre at the TELUS Spark Science Centre in Calgary courtesy of Bose.
35 Years Of Innovation & Inspiration
By Andrew King Coming from virtually any direction, the trip towards Solotech’s new 265,000 sq. ft. Montreal headquarters in the city’s Hochelaga-Maisonneuve district entails a sighting of the iconic Olympic Stadium. Sitting only a few blocks apart, the proximity of the two facilities offers executives, employees, and visitors a constant reminder of the renowned production company’s humble beginnings 35 years ago.
35 ans d’innovation et d’inspiration
Par Andrew King Quelle que soit la direction empruntée, le trajet menant vers le nouveau siège social de 24 620 m2 de Solotech permet d’observer la vue du célèbre Stade olympique. La proximité des deux bâtiments du quartier Hochelaga-Maisonneuve à Montréal n’est pas sans rappeler aux administrateurs, employés et visiteurs les modestes débuts de l’illustre entreprise d’intégration et de location de son, d’éclairage et de vidéo il y a 35 ans.
By Kevin Young The Mirvish Productions iteration of War Horse currently installed at Toronto’s Princess of Wales Theatre has been an incredible success, though telling it properly from the standpoint of a sound designer involved a number of challenges unique to this production.
Science & Sound Collide In Calgary
By Andrew King Dubbed the New Science Centre, TELUS Spark welcomes guests of all ages to put their imagin ations into action. Helping deliver content to visitors in some keys spaces are some inter-operable sound systems installed by Adams Technologies.
editor ANDREW KING email@example.com assistant editor CRAIG LEACH firstname.lastname@example.org contributing writers COLIN BERNARD, CHAD BROWN, ETHAN RISING, GREG RUSHTON, KEVIN YOUNG art director JULIE FLEMING email@example.com production manager KAREN BASHURA firstname.lastname@example.org consumer services director MAUREEN JACK email@example.com publisher JIM NORRIS firstname.lastname@example.org business services representatives RYAN DAVID email@example.com business manager LIZ BLACK firstname.lastname@example.org advertisers’ index For more information on products advertised in Professional Sound, please see page 57 or visit www.professional-sound.com.
Send all press releases and news to: email@example.com. Professional Sound is published bi-monthly by Norris-Whitney Communications Inc. All rights reserved. Contents may not be reprinted without written permission from the publisher. Subscription rates: Canada - 1 year $20.33, 2 years $37.67, 3 years $56.00. Outside Canada - 1 year $26.95, 2 years $42.95, 3 years $60.95. Single copies: $5.00. Canadian residents add 5% GST, HST (13%), BC (12%), NS (15%) to be added where applicable. To change your subscription address, please send your new address with your old address to Subscription Dep’t., Professional Sound, at least six weeks before moving. Unsolicited manuscripts, photos and artwork are welcome but Professional Sound takes no responsibility for the return of such items. Printed in Canada. PUBLICATIONS MAIL AGREEMENT NO.0040069300, RETURN UNDELIVERABLE CANADIAN ADDRESSES TO CIRCULATION DEPT., 23 HANNOVER DR., #7, ST. CATHARINES, ON L2W 1A3, 905-641-3471, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Distributed & supported in Canada Exclusively by: Audio Distributors International Tel: (450) 449-8177, www.adi-online.net
Ever y Meyer Sound loudspeaker must finally be measured against the sonic void of our anechoic chamber. Here, away from ticking clocks and creaking floorboards – and cheering fans – it must demonstrate absolute linearity, delivering only the frequencies sent to it from the upstream source. Now, there is a low-frequency solution that can fully stand up to the scrutiny, a solution based on three decades of R&D th at b r i n g s u n m atc h e d p owe r to g eth e r w i th u n p a r a l l e l e d f i d e l i t y. CORPORATE IDENTITY COLORS Introducing the silence-forged 1100-LFC low-frequency control element. MAIN
DESIGN & COMMUNICATION
CORPORATE IDENTITY TYPEFACES MAIN
l o w - f r e q u e n c y c oHelvetica n t r o l Neue e l e 57 m eCondensed nt Helvetica Neue 57 Condensed Oblique Helvetica Neue 77 Bold Condensed Helvetica Neue 97 Black Condensed
Meyer Sound is distributed in Canada by GerrAudio Distribution • 613.342.6999 • www.gerr.com • firstname.lastname@example.org DESIGN & HIGHLIGHTS TBD
By Greg Rushton
The Future Isn’t What It Used To Be e see it time and time again that audiovisual projects are implemented based upon an organization’s current needs. Simply put, this is the wrong approach. Rather, innovative audiovisual designers or contractors (consultants) should inform the client of all available technologies and trends in the market place. This approach will be the perfect precursor to encouraging an assessment of current needs and setting a roadmap for the future. This information is invaluable to consultants, regardless of when implementation is being planned; furthermore, knowing where the client is headed will mitigate risk associated with premature replacement of components as well as substantially reduce the time required to add additional technology and, subsequently, downtime. Don’t Be Afraid To Pony Up There is no way around it – implementing a well-designed and well-integrated audiovisual system comes at a cost. It is best to view this as an investment in corporate culture. Although the initial price tag may be rather high, implementing appropriate technology will immediately begin to pay off. Many organizations make the mistake of “cheaping out” on components or feature sets; time and time again we see this as one of the worst mistakes that can be made as it often compromises reliability, quality, functionality, and usability. The return on investment (ROI) will be seen almost immediately through increased productivity and attentiveness during meetings, in addition to enhanced workflow processes through collaboration and video conferencing. The key to maximizing the ROI is high levels of support and training for staff. This is sure to set the tone and help change the corporate culture to embrace audiovisual technology. What, When, Where, Why & How? Coordination and implementation are two factors that have the ability to make or break any project. Professional audiovisual systems are meant to be fully integrated and aesthetically pleasing; components should be subtle and not “stick out.” Coor-
dination and implementation also impact timelines between various trades and client deliverables; often timelines are critical to the successful implementation of these systems. A consultant’s ability to insert themselves at key points in the design process to coordinate location, suspension, and integration of components into feature rooms, spaces, and pivotal millwork pieces is key to avoiding nightmares on the construction site. Consultants should be chosen based upon a proven track record to minimize delays associated with poor coordination and implementation. It’s OK To Be A Control Freak If technology-based systems are not consistent within the facility, intuitive, and easy to use, people will almost always revert to old habits, thus wasting the time and expense invested in an audiovisual system. Programming scope of these systems should be determined with the user groups directly. When other stakeholders make assumptions and decisions without consulting the user group, items are frequently missed or misjudged. These small hiccups or inefficiencies will lead to rejection of new technologies and workflow. Certain organizational structures may not lend well to consulting the user group directly; however, there are ways to get the best of both worlds through the use of focus groups, questionnaires, and demo suites. Form MUST Follow Function At the end of the day, the chosen technology and its implementation must be exclusively determined by current and anticipated uses or needs. Having a knowledgeable consultant guide a client through the process is an invaluable tool. A quality consultant will have successfully implemented installations similar and divergent to the one at hand, effectively alleviating any tunnel vision. “An Investment In Knowledge Pays The Best Interest” – Benjamin Franklin The second major key to the successful implementation of any technology-driven solution is corporate education. This starts off with appropriate training provided by the system contractor; however, once off-
site, training of new staff and re-training of seasoned staff often falls between the cracks. If this key investment in time and education is not made, systems will not be used to their full potential and thus productivity may suffer. There are several models that can ensure education is maintained including but not limited to the following: an internal training model, annual service/training agreements, or an à la carte option. Walk The Walk, Talk The Talk Miscommunication and misinterpretation can cause an otherwise great project to go awry. Bringing a knowledgeable consultant into the mix that has the vocabulary to deal with all of the parties at the table – architects, engineers, project managers, general contractors, trades, landlords, owners, and user groups to name a few – will make the project run far more smoothly. The Sky Is The Limit With the fast-paced nature of the electronics industry, virtually anything is possible. New technologies are generating new avenues for increased productivity and revenue. Buzzwords such as “collaborative,” “immersive,” and “convergence” are becoming more popular; however, they all have many levels of meaning to different parties. Understanding these terms in a given corporate culture and applying them to technology is where the “rubber meets the road.” For technologies such as content sharing, video conferencing, and IP-based technologies, consultants can bridge the knowledge gap and explain the pros and cons of each. Engaging reputable and experienced professionals will certainly aid greatly in project design and implementation, lifting a load off both the client and end users.
Greg Rushton is an Associate at Mulvey & Banani International Inc. He also runs e-Q Group (Studio and Management) while working as a freelance technical director, production manager, and audio engineer.
Professional Sound 9
he 11th annual PAL Show, which took place over two days at Toronto’s International Centre from May 13-14, 2012, offered a smaller footprint and lower exhibitor numbers when compared to last year’s event. As with previous years, the seminar and training sessions proved to be of value for those in attendance, offering information on the latest technologies and trends affecting the industry. In total, 30 exhibitors representing segments of the pro audio, lighting, and event production markets presented products and services, down from the nearly 50 exhibitors who were in attendance last year. Although official attendance numbers from the two-day event have not been released, initial impressions are that they reflect a smaller show total than in previous years. “We were a little worried about how attendance would be leading up to the show,” comments Erikson Audio’s VP, Jeff Carman. “As it turns out, we had excellent attendance at our booth, and I can honestly say that we had a great show. We were busy from start to finish and the quality of those stopping by was very good.” For first time exhibitor IsoAcoustics Inc.’s President Dave Morrison, attendance at the show proved to be valuable. “This was our first year at PAL, and we were very pleased with the format and the cross section of people that visited our booth. Our initial indications show we will surpass expectations.” Attendees were less enthusiastic about the layout and offerings of this year’s show. “I go every single year, and to be honest with you, I was very, very upset to see that it was reduced. I take a specific time off from my family because I want to see the new
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exhibits, and when something like this happens, I am thinking, ‘Are you kidding me?’” says George Nikolakis, President of Torontobased Universal Light & Sound, adding: “Everybody I’ve spoken to in my industry [had similar feelings].” P.A. Plus Productions President Gabor Szepesi felt that having the PAL and MIAC shows share the same floor space did a disservice to both, saying: “I didn’t think it worked. I know the shows were put together because a lot of exhibitors bailed, but I think both shows would be better served in two smaller venues.” Lui Rizzuti, Principal at Rizzuti Productions, noted that while the show did appear smaller than in previous years, he still appreciated seeing all the displays and new product showcases. Plans for next year’s show will be posted at www.thepalshow. com as they become available.
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Pure Class A superb sonic per formance Introducing the new V5 Roc Bubel & Steve McKay
Radial Increases Focus On Export, Welcomes New Sales Manager Radial Engineering Ltd. has announced that Steve McKay will be transitioning from Sales Manager to fill a newly-created position as Export Sales Manager while Roc Bubel has joined the Radial team as its new Sales Manager. “Steve has been managing our domestic sales team for several years while also investing what time he had available on developing our export distribution channels,” says Radial President Peter Janis. “With the global economy shifting to emerging markets like China, India, Turkey, south-east Asia, the Middle East, and Brazil, we feel that the time has come to invest more energy into these important markets. As Steve has already been working with our international distributors, the move here is natural.” To fill McKay’s shoes, Radial has appointed Bubel, who previously held the position of National Sales Manager for Fender Musical Instruments Corp. in Canada, as Sales Manager. “I have known Roc for nearly 30 years,” comments Janis. “When Roc decided to get back into the industry it was an opportunity that we could not pass up. During his 22 years with Fender, Roc gained a tremendous reputation as being a top-notch manager and was very well respected by his peers. We are very excited about these changes and look forward to a very exciting year.” For more information, contact Radial Engineering Ltd.: 604-942-1001, FAX 604-942-1010, info@radialeng. com, www.radialeng.com.
also available in black.
V5 The new V5 introduces a fifth generation of high-voltage, Pure Class A, multi-purpose instrument, line and microphone pre-re-amplifier incorporating a unique passive TONE SHAPER network. The V5 is loaded with professional features including low noise, high gain, 100% discrete, DC coupled, Pure Class A amplifiers for “Deep and Controlled Bass” together with a “Musical Midrange” for enhanced Vocal and Instrument resolution. With REAMPING options, the passive TONE SHAPING network and multiple output choices...the Avalon V5 will capture every magical performance and continues Avalon’s passion and commitment to SONIC EXCELLENCE ! • Low noise, high-gain, Pure Class A thoroughbred Avalon Design. • Dual impedance ideal for ribbon-dynamic and high level condenser microphones. • 10 meg.ohm instrument DI input with zero impedance loading, ideal for sensitive acoustic pickups. • +36dB input capability for active pre-amp-line sources including acoustic and electric guitars, basses, keyboards and synthesizers. • Transformer isolated REAMPING output offers multiple input-output configurations with ALL inputs available, including polarity reverse.
• Sealed silver relays provide transparent signal path routing while custom, ultra-high performance rotary switches deliver smooth gain control in accurate 2dB steps. • Unique PASSIVE TONE selector allows ten contours (six from the U5 tone bank) including two passive high pass filters and two vocal-instrument enhanced passive AIR-LIFT low frequency curves. • Passive low pass hiss & buzz filter, wide range, professional analog VU meter with expanded scale -30dB to +18dB with twin peak LED’s for fast signal capture.
also available in black.
U5 Legendary Mono 100% discrete, Pure Class A Instrument DI / Preamplifier. Features + 30dB variable-gain, noise filter, headphone out and 6 bank tone selector. This is the world’s most powerful DI box preamp, unsurpassed for electric and acoustic instruments. “The Mother of all DI Boxes…” “The Best Sounding Direct Interface I Have Ever Heard” Ron Skinner – Professional Sound
M5 Award winning, Pure Class A, High Voltage 100% discrete mono microphone preamplifier with DI instrument input and 2dB step precision gain control, 48V, phase reverse and pad. Adds clarity and life to any voice…A Classic in the Avalon Design family.
Avalon Design is distributed & supported in Canada Exclusively by:
Audio Distributors International, 1275 Newton St., Unit 6, Boucherville, Quebec J4B5H2 Tel: (450) 449-8177 • Fax: (450) 449-8180 • www.adi-online.net • email: email@example.com
Professional Sound 11
Prolight + Sound NAMM Russia Debuts
The inaugural launch of NAMM Musikmesse Russia and Prolight + Sound NAMM Russia welcomed 6,275 visitors including industry professionals, manufacturers, distributors, retailers, media, and more to Moscow from May 16-19, 2012. “The first edition of NAMM Musikmesse Russia and Prolight + Sound NAMM Russia saw a constant flow of visitors from all segments of the industry,” says Detlef Braun, member of the Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH executive board. “We are very happy with the results of this first event and look forward to the second edition in May next year.” For more information, visit www.prolight-namm.ru.
12 Professional Sound
Celemony Wins Technical Grammy Award
Toronto-based Music Marketing Inc. President Ray Williams, as part of the Celemony Software group, was on hand to accept the software developer’s 2012 Technical Grammy Award at the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards in Los Angeles earlier in 2012.
Electro-Voice Live For Sound Demo Gets Loud Bosch Canada, in conjunction with
Photo: Chad Brown
PAG Canada Ltd., presented the Electro-Voice Live For Sound Demo on April 11, 2012. The event took place at the Meadowvale Theatre in Mississauga and attracted a cross section of the live sound industry including audio dealers, consultants, venue representatives, AV companies, integrators, and sound and lighting companies. “Building upon an 80 year heritage of audio design excel(L-R) Mark Kulas, Bob Rieder, Paul Carelli, John McArthur, Eric Prevost, Norm Hoefler & Antony Chliaropoulos. lence, we were thrilled to be able to demonstrate our diverse speaker portfolio to the expert audience that joined us at the Meadowvale Theatre,” remarks Norm Hoefler, Country Manager for Bosch Canada. “With our talented team from PAG Canada, our Grand Speaker Demo covered our (entire) line, providing system designers with the building blocks to address the needs of a wide range of venues and acoustical challenges. We look forward to continuing our tour to other major centres across Canada.” For information on future events and Electro-Voice products, visit www.pagcanada.com.
Professional Sound 13
Wireworks Launches Video Series Wireworks Corporation has launched a new video series on its YouTube channel.
Called Wireworks InView, the series offers practical advice and technology overviews of the audio and audio/video cabling systems manufacturer’s product lines. Visit the channel at: www.youtube.com/user/wireworkscorp.
PAG Canada Ltd. Repping Whirlwind Products In Canada PAG Canada, Ltd. has taken over
all sales representation for Whirlwind products in Canada. “We are very humbled to be chosen to represent Whirlwind,” says John McArthur, VP of Sales John McArthur and Marketing at PAG Canada. “Whirlwind offers the largest range of professional interfacing products in the world as well as the finest, most extensive custom service capabilities available. Canadian dealers now have a direct line to the factory and it’s a level playing field when it comes to pricing.” Daryl Greenway, Canadian Sales Manager for Whirlwind, explains: “All Canadian dealers can buy direct from Whirlwind and pay no brokerage fees. We wanted a firm that could reach out to the industry in Canada and deliver this message consistently. PAG fit the bill perfectly.” For more information, contact PAG Canada: 866-972-4226, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.pagcanada.
Intellimix Appoints New Sales Agent
Intellimix Corp. has appointed Adrian Plant of APC Marketing as Sales Agent for its Elation Professional Lighting, Eurocom, Behringer Contractor, Road Ready Flight Cases, Intellistage Portable Staging, and DB Technologies Line Array product lines for the province of Ontario, the Maritimes, and western Canada. In his new role, Plant will continue to represent KAD Fabrications’ line of professional trussing, portable staging, and soft goods. “We feel that KAD Fabrications’ production-oriented product lineup combined with Intellimix’s high technology audio and lighting lines are an ideal synergy of professional products we can offer the entertainment industry in Canada,” remarks Stephen Kosters, President of Intellimix. “Furthermore, we believe Adrian’s extensive sales experience in retail, distribution, and manufacturing combined with his solid work ethic and commitment to excellence will be an asset to all Intellimix dealers in his territory.” Plant can be reached my email at email@example.com or on his cell phone at 416-937-3611. For more information, contact Intellimix Corp.: 514-457-9663, FAX 514-457-0575, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.intellimix.com. 14 Professional Sound
En Coulisse Shines In 2012, Set To Grow For 2013 The 2012 edition of Solotech’s En Coulisse trade show came to
a close after as successful two-day run between May 2-3, 2012. This year’s show featured 70 exhibitors, having been sold out since December 2011. Plans are in-place to expand next year’s show at the Palais des congres from 50,000 sq. ft. to 67,000 sq. ft. This year’s show featured product training and demo sessions from a number of manufacturers, along with an address by Solotech President and Founder Denis Lefrançois celebrating the company’s 35 years in the industry. End-users and dealers from across Quebec and beyond were also invited to get acquainted with the latest offerings from Solotech’s array of sound, lighting, and video suppliers. For more on the 2012 edition of En Coulisse, check out our feature story celebrating Solotech’s 35 years in business. For more information, contact En Coulisse: 877-514-7656, ext. 5624, email@example.com, www.encoulisse.com.
PreSonus Releases Studio One Free PreSonus has made available for free download its Studio One Free DAW, a new entry-level version of its DAW for Mac and Windows. Intended for beginners who don’t yet need the advanced features in Studio One Artist, Producer, and Professional, Studio One Free provides all of the recording and editing features needed for basic music production. To download PreSonus Studio One Free, visit: http://studioone.presonus.com.
New Canadian Distribution Partnership For Outline Outline s.r.l., the European manufacturer of loudspeakers and allied tech-
Outline Engineer Giulio Gandini (second from left) with the Martech team.
nologies, has recently appointed Martech as its new distribution partner for Canada. “Outline’s line array products will allow us to expand our influence in Canada’s pro audio production and installation markets,” says Nathan Smith, Martech’s Web Sales and Marketing Manager. “Outline gives Martech’s team the ability to work in new market verticals like large-scale live entertainment productions, arenas, outdoor concerts, entertainment events in convention centres, and theatres.” For more information, contact Martech: 800-461-0006, sales@driving strategicsales.com, www.drivingstrategicsales.com.
Professional Sound 15
RODE Opens RODEWORKS Design Studio
RODE Microphones has officially opened its RODEWORKS design studio, a self-sufficient design studio in Surry Hills, Australia. RODEWORKS houses both RODE’s in-house product design and marketing teams. “RODEWORKS is an incredibly exciting venture for the whole team here at RODE,” comments Founder and Managing Director, Peter Freedman, following his opening address. “It represents so much more than just another office; it is both an acknowledgement to the success of Australian design and a commitment to further investment and expansion for RODE.” RODE Microphones are distributed in Canada by Audio Distributors International: 450-449-8177, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.adi-online.net.
Alan Parsons Master Class A Success
Nearly 50 producers, engineers, technicians, and audiophiles attended the recent Art & Science of Sound master class hosted by legendary producer/engineer Alan Parsons (The Beatles, Pink Floyd) and Global Music Depot at Noble Street Studios in Toronto. “We had about 48 people on hand at the master class and about 80 people joining in for the VIP Reception Saturday evening,” says Stephen Whittaker, CEO at Global Music Depot. “Attendees arrived from across Canada and parts of the United States to enjoy a full day in the studio learning production and engineering techniques.” Shawn Bradley, Owner, Producer, and Engineer at Ottawa’s Fadernoise Recording remarks that “the master class was without question a fabulous event for all,” Alan Parsons in-studio adding: “Alan had everyone completely engaged throughout the day, which was evidenced by the fact that the session ran two-and-a-half hours overtime. No one wanted to leave until the track was absolutely perfect.” For more information, visit: www.globalmusicdepot.com.
GearPolicy Rental Insurance Launches
Toronto AES Tours Revolution Recording Studios For the May edition of its monthly meetings, the Toronto Section of the Audio Engineering Society (AES) was invited to tour Revolution Recording Studios, an 8,000 sq. ft., three-room facility located in Toronto and designed by Martin Pilchner. Toronto AES members were privy to presentations by Pilchner, the Principal Partner of Pilchner Schoustal International Inc., and Joe Dunphy, a Co-Partner of Revolution Recording Studios, who both outlined the design, build, features, and philosophy behind the studio. “By all accounts it was extremely inspirational to see people take a leap of faith in the city again to build a studio of that calibre and size,” remarks Toronto AES Chairman Rob Divito. For more information on the Toronto AES, including upcoming meetings, visit: www.torontoaes.org. 16 Professional Sound
Photo: Heather Pollock
Shephard Ashmore, a Canadian entertainment and special events insurance provider, has recently launched GearPolicy, a web service for production rental houses that generates on-demand, short-term insurance for customers. “GearPolicy covers rented gear with full replacement cost up to $1 million in value for up to 120 days,” says Craig Arnatt, Shephard Ashmore CEO. “It’s ideal for production companies and touring bands who rent gear and wish to avoid expensive annual policies.” For those who purchase a policy, a certificate is sent directly to the rental warehouse providing immediate proof that insurance is in place. The service boasts a worldwide territory and smart phone-enabled access. For more information, contact GearPolicy: 800-988-7868, www.gearpolicy.ca.
Ron Skinner in his studio.
Done On Bradstreet’s Long-Lost Debut Nominated For Award 40 Years After Being Recorded
Calgary band Done On Bradstreet’s recently-released album The Time Capsule was nominated for Best Rock Album at the New Mexico Music Awards, which were handed out at a ceremony in Albuquerque, NM on May 20th. The album was recorded in the early 1970s with producer Norman Petty and was recently unearthed by the band and mastered and released by Toronto’s Heading North Music. Professional Sound shared Heading North mastering engineer Ron Skinner’s story of the mixing and mastering process over the course of our last three issues’ Sound Advice pages. Visit www.professional-sound.com/online to read all three parts.
ALMA Winter Symposium 2013 Call for Papers
The Association of Loudspeaker Manufacturing & Acoustics (ALMA) has issued a call for papers for ALMA International’s 2013 Winter Symposium. The program theme is “Acoustic Development in the Global Paradigm: Loudspeaker Modeling, Measurement, and Manufacturing in the Modern Marketplace.” Technical papers are invited and abstracts will be evaluated on the basis of their overall quality and relevance to the theme of the symposium, relevance and value to the loudspeaker industry, and practical feasibility and usage of topic and information presented. The closing date for the submission of abstracts is October 15, 2012 and presenters will be notified by October 31, 2012. The 24th ALMA Winter Symposium will be held in Las Vegas from January 6-9, 2013. For more information, visit www.almainternational.org. Professional Sound 17
Antony Chliaropoulos By Chad Brown
he old saying,“When you can’t be with the ones you love, love the ones you’re with” certainly holds true for BOSCH Sales Application Specialist Antony Chliaropoulos. Travel is a big part of the industry and Chliaropoulos is no stranger to it. Between trade shows and training sessions, you can find Chliaropoulos frequenting all of the major trade show hubs in addition to cities scattered across the continent, including frequent trips to BOSCH headquarters in Minnesota. The time spent traveling takes Chliaropoulos away from his wife, Lyne, and two children, Thomas and Sara. As a musician and music fan, Chliaropoulos is beginning to introduce his children to music. “My daughter is starting to learn guitar and vocals, and my son is very interested in the drums. I’m looking forward to the day when we’re all going to get together and jam,” he says. Chliaropoulos is more than happy to discuss his relationship with music. The avid bass and guitar player has been playing in bands since he was 17 years old. For the past 12 years he’s been picking up his bass for gigs at local clubs with his band Big 12 Inch, obviously referring to the diameter of old vinyl records. While he can openly discuss his involvement in music, he has a tough time choosing between Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon and The Beatles’ Revolver as his favourite albums of all time. Chliaropoulos was born and raised in Montreal, QC. As Sales Application Specialist he covers the technical and sales support components for BOSCH Communications Division’s entire Canadian customer base. “I cover the BOSCH communications line of products which includes Electro-Voice and BOSCH-branded PA and conferencing products. I am also the sales rep for Telex and RTS intercom systems in Canada,” he explains. Learning and thinking on the fly is an aspect of the job to which Chliaropoulos has become accustomed. Having studied
Architectural Tech at Vanier College and earned certification in construction landscaping, he gained a lot of his experience working in sales. Although he has no formal training in audio, Chliaropoulos managed his contacts and gained knowledge from working at Steve’s Music in Montreal from 1996-2003. Through his contacts he landed a job as a sales rep with Solotech from 2003-2007 where he learned a great deal about business practices and sales strategies from the company’s President, Denis Lefrançois. He was picked up by BOSCH in 2007 and has been there since, saying he owes his success to many of the people he’s met in the industry along the way. It’s these relationships that Chliaropoulos has appreciated most over the years. “It’s something I’ve put most of my efforts into. I’m very proud of my relationships, past and current, in the industry,” he says, listing those with his dealers, end users, distributors, the team at PAG Canada, and colleague Norm Hoefler and the whole BOSCH team as being particularly fruitful. It was during a small-scale trade show that Chliaropoulos notably made his ability to go with the flow an asset. “Because of a miscommunication I was not aware that I was slated to give a seminar at the show,” he says. He put his presentation together as quickly as he could and decided to make it an open forum for the people in attendance. “It actually turned out to be quite a success. I had some people stay past my time period so… I was able to save the situation and make it a success at the same time,” he adds. Being involved in sales for a number of years gave him the confidence to face the situation – along with some skills he acquired as a musician. “Being a musician all my life has taught me a lot of improvisation and performance
skills which are very valuable day-to-day,” he notes. Avoiding last-minute stress is the prerogative for Chliaropoulos during trade show season as he’s tasked with the job of coordinating BOSCH’s presence at trade shows in Canada. He’s excited to work with his colleagues from across the country and the satisfaction he gains from seeing his plan come into fruition is something to feel good about. “There’s a really great satisfaction when I’m able to take something that seems complex and wrap my head around it to come up with a great solution,” he says. Although he’s not at liberty to discuss some of the new products being developed by his employer, Chliaropoulos has been spending much of his time working on what he describes as “very large upcoming projects” in the various fields relevant to his products. He adds: “We have a big year coming up. There are a lot of projects we’re working on which I’m really looking forward to completing, just because of the scope of work and level of quality that we’re hoping to provide.”
Chad Brown is an Editorial Assistant with Professional Sound. 18 Professional Sound
ProFile Robb Hall By Chad Brown
aking the road less travelled was an idea boasted by American poet Robert Frost. And if turning your passion into a realistic career is one step towards winning the real game of life, this Robb will tell you it’s worth veering off the beaten path. Robb Hall is an in-demand freelance audio technician. Specializing in radio frequency coordination, Hall has managed to build quite the resume. He is currently the tour manager, technical director, audio/wireless technician, and monitor tech for the Halifax spectacle that is DRUM! Hall’s freelance career stretches from live shows in and around his home province of Nova Scotia to lengthy tours with many artists, notably The Rankin Family. His latest excursion sent him across Canada touring with Scottishborn songwriter and entertainer Johnny Reid. He also works on the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo and has been doing so for a number of years. Hall was born just an hour outside of Halifax in Truro, NS. As a drummer for Cobequid High School’s band, he soon began to learn that sound was more than banging on a drum set. “I moved from playing drums to becoming the sound guy for the school choir and band,” he says. After moving behind the scenes Hall never looked back. He finished high school and moved to Halifax, scoring a job working for Tour Tech East. Although he can’t remember his first professional gig, he never struggled to bring his understanding of sound to the next level. Establishing himself as a freelance audio technician is something Hall doesn’t take for granted, ranking it as his greatest achievement in his career. Through his work as a freelancer, he has had the opportunity to work as the RF technician for Live With Regis and Kelly when the show came to Prince Edward Island for a string of broadcasts, as well as working monitors for Mickey Rooney’s one-man-show when it came to Halifax. He adds: “They’re all special events and I learn from every single one of them.” The downside of being a freelance audio tech is the time devouring nature of touring. “I’m away from my wife quite a bit,” he says, adding: “I’ve been on the road more than I’ve been home this year.” When Hall gets home from touring the bulk of his time is spent with his wife and pets – a 3-year-old boxer and a cat. Touring can bring you to some interesting places and put you in front some interesting people. Time on the road gives Hall ample opportunity to exercise his interest in photography. He enjoys taking pictures of the places he travels and some of the artists with whom he works. One of the more interesting places he’s been, Hall says, he's been with Dolly Parton’s Dollywood. He describes the theme park and the singer’s impact on the community as simply “surreal.” “It’s just odd, too. They’ve built this whole theme park around her; everything is just Dolly there.” Hall owes much of his knowledge and success to two mentors; sound engineer Carl Gosine and award-winning producer Al Strickland have given Hall opportunities and “taken [him] under
their wings over the years,” he notes. Strickland has worked with Hall mixing the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo while Gosine has taken Hall on a number of tours, including those with The Rankin Family, which he enjoys above all else. The Cape Breton-based family of musicians has been a staple of the Canadian music scene since the ‘90s. Hall credits them as “good people to work with,” adding: “I really enjoy laughing while I’m working and they make it a lot of fun.” For Hall, the job of an audio technician comes down to passion. Music has always been and continues to be a critical element in his life. Being able to relay the love of his craft into the quality of his work is the most satisfying part of his job. “Depending if I’m doing monitors or mixing FOH, I like being able to bring the experience of whomever I’m working with to the crowd,” he explains. Hall notes the future only offers more potential for exciting work opportunities. “I love working and, in our business, you’ve got to take advantage of what’s available. I’m just trying to do as much as I can so I can enjoy the summer.”
Chad Brown is an Editorial Assistant with Professional Sound. 20 Professional Sound
ProFile Bob Doidge By Chad Brown
or 35 years Hamilton, ON’s Grant Avenue Studio has been a benchmark for sound production in the Canadian music industry. Sitting at the head of the table as an Owner, Producer, and Engineer is Bob Doidge. He remains, unarguably, one of the most contributive talents in the Canadian recording industry. Doidge’s lustrous career is overshadowed by his humble nature. Over the years, he’s worked on recordings from artists such as Gordon Lightfoot, U2, Johnny Cash, Bruce Cockburn, Bob Dylan, and many others. Reflecting on his various achievements over the years, he cites his work on the double platinum-selling album The Ghosts That Haunt Me from Crash Test Dummies and Lightfoot’s latest two albums as some of his most memorable experiences. The admitted Lightfoot fanatic has also just finished a series of recordings by the prolific Canadian folk artist from his shows at Massey Hall over the last 15 years. To record the performances, he positioned himself underneath the venue’s iconic stage in a small loading area with a portable set-up. He continues: “All I have is a split of the mic lines off the PA console. I’ve remixed the album twice. Gord still likes the original live mixes better – and he’s right to a large degree.” Since a very young age, Doidge has been personally invested in music. At age three he started playing the piano. A year-anda-half later he picked up the trumpet. As a young teenager he aspired to play bass guitar. His dad refused to let him buy one so he did the next most logical thing: he built one. “At first I found an old electric body. I made a neck out of walnut in my father’s basement workshop. I didn’t know how to put frets on, so I just played it fretless,” explains the inventive soundman. The prospective musician became good friends with another soon-to-be heavyweight in the Canadian music industry, Dan Lanois, in grade 10 at Ancaster High School. They even played together in a psychedelic rock band, though Doidge would later depart after a successful audition with Ian Thomas’ band Tranquility Base. It was during a session at the former RCA studio in Toronto with Tranquility Base that Doidge became interested in the recording aspect of music. “I’d never heard good speakers and I sat at the back, listened, and went: ‘This is what I’m going to do for the rest of my life,’” he says. After tracking his bass he would sit in the control room with producer Mark Smith and learn tricks of the trade while the rest of the band rehearsed. Shortly after Doidge’s stint with Tranquility Base, he, Dan, and Bob Lanois set up a small recording studio in the Lanois family basement. The basement studio was responsible for Bruce Cockburn’s demos as well as children’s music recording artist Raffi’s first album. Moving to a larger facility was a natural progression. They found what is now Grant Avenue Studio in the urban residential area that is Grant Ave. between Main and King St. in Hamilton. The goal was to have a smaller, more intimate recording environment big enough for six people. "When you walked in the front door
there was no front desk. There was a coffee machine, a hallway, there’s the control room, and there’s the studio,” explains the practiced producer. The story of Grant Avenue Studio is very much Doidge’s success story. Learning his craft with friends and developing an interest into an immensely successful and reputable recording business is his lifeblood. Although he plays a major role in the studio’s operations, the avid hobbyist can feel confident leaving the day-to-day up to Producer and Engineer Amy King while pursuing some of his other interests. Owning a small two-seat aircraft is a “dream come true” he says, noting: “I wanted to be a professional pilot but my eyes weren’t good enough, so I fly all over the place just for the sheer fun of it.” This jack-of-all-trades is also a licensed archeologist. He spends 30 days of his summer in Northern Ontario where he has “uncovered native sites which have included many artifacts that have never been known in Canada.” Among those unique finds were a number of drums crafted out of stone. Busy as ever, Doidge is confident the age of under-experienced basement studios is on the decline. “They’re realizing they spend twice as long, twice as much money, and they’re not satisfied in the end,” he says of many today’s recording artists. A potential second option? Leave it to Doidge and the professional team at Grant Avenue.
Chad Brown is an Editorial Assistant with Professional Sound. Professional Sound 21
Aviom Pro64 AllFrame Multi-Modular I/O System By Greg Rushton
o thoroughly understand the present and future of Aviom’s digital transport offerings, one must understand the past. Aviom’s roots have been firmly planted in “multi-track (16 to be exact) musician foldback” systems for quite some time now. This digital stream was transmitted on two conductors of standard UTP cabling using layer 1 of standard networking protocol and thus could not be routed through networking switches or hardware. The input side of the system was limited to 16 while the outputs were virtually endless. The system could be daisychained with retransmission at each device with a low delay of less than one sample. The installation and production markets saw the potential of the multi-track digital audio transports and the need to create a larger channel count was born. Since Aviom was only using two of the eight conductors, there was the capacity to run four simultaneous systems over one UTP cable using a bridge and output devices. With the given limitations such as routing and patching of channels (that must be done in groups of 16), Aviom found its entrance into the digital snake market with the Pro64. The Pro64 Series, including the new AllFrame Multi-Modular I/O System, is Aviom’s answer to the digital snake market with an engineered solution as opposed to a reworking of the Pro16 system to have multiple universes. The Pro64 Series provides a fullyconfigurable input section allowing any channel of any chassis to be assigned to the 64-channel bus in automatic mode operation and 128 channels in manual operation; however, manual operation is typically only used in permanent installations as it is much harder to configure. The number of outputs with the Pro64 is unlimited which allows for the splitting of signals for monitor mixing and recording purposes in addition to the typical FOH console; however, the system is still limited (as most snakes are) with regards to gain sharing. Speaking of gain control, it should be noted that there are three ways to control the preamps: through Yamaha consoles utilizing YGDAI, through the Aviom Network Manager software, and lastly through Aviom’s Mic Control Surface (MCS). For our
evaluation, we used Network Manager exclusively. We found setting gain structure solely in the Network Manager a little daunting as there is no internal meter bridge. We also noticed that adjusting preamp gain was not as responsive as one would like; however, use through the MCS or consoles would eliminate this issue (with patching/routing done through software). One last note regarding Network Manager is that you can only connect via USB to the AllFrame F6 chassis; all other frames must be connected via serial. For this evaluation, the system consisted of an AllFrame F6 frame loaded with a 4-channel mic/line input card, a 4-channel analog input card, a Pro64 6416i 16-channel analog line-level input device, and a Pro64 6416o-v.2 16-channel analog output device. Not formally trained to any degree on AllFrame prior to this review, in true “pro AV” fashion, we used the manual as a coaster and set up the system without its assistance. Within five minutes of familiarizing ourselves with the software, we had successfully configured and routed audio through various interfaces as the software seems very logically designed to anyone with familiarity of patching in the digital domain (with the noted exceptions above regarding meter bridge and gain response). The preamps are rather transparent yet slightly warm in colouration with the outputs being mic or line level selectable. Integration with your favourite preamps, console, and analog gear is easily achieved. With full operation in the digital domain, higher sample rates became more desirable – Aviom easily accommodates this up to 192 kHz. As with many systems, the channel count suffers with higher sample rates due to available bandwidth. Where Aviom differs is that each chassis remains capable of a full channel count as long as the transport has not reached maximum capacity for a given sample rate. Perhaps the most intriguing and versatile component of the AllFrame system is the F6 Modular I/O frame, which has six configurable bays allowing a truly customizable I/O complement at any given location; furthermore, Aviom has really
upped the ante with the F6 with optional kits to convert the unit for use as a stagebox, rackmount, and flush/surface wall installation. The F6 can receive power via several methods such as 4-pin, Euroblock, or POA (Power Over A-Net), making it easy to place in remote locations such as catwalks or boardroom tables. We did simulate severance of the ANet and were surprised at how quickly the device re-syncs and becomes active again. As with all digital snake systems whether installed or portable, we strongly suggest running additional cable for redundancy to aid in resolving catastrophic failure should one line become severed. Other notable features of the AllFrame include backwards compatibility – possibly going from a Pro64 system to multiple Pro16 systems but not vice versa. Also, Aviom designed the electronics in such a way to eliminate possible ground loops, which plague many temporary or aging electrical systems. The Aviom product line is definitely headed down the right path with the release of such a configurable and versatile system as AllFrame. Aviom has also revealed that a digital (AES) I/O card for this system is in the works and will be released in the coming months.
An internal meter bridge to aid in gain setting and structuring is planned for a future release of Aviom’s Network Manager software.
Chandler Collison Director of Marketing Aviom
Greg Rushton is an Associate at Mulvey & Banani International Inc. He also runs e-Q Group (Studio and Management) while working as a freelance technical director, production manager, and audio engineer. 22 Professional Sound
Radial Engineering ProRMP, Reamp JCR & X-Amp By Ethan Rising
eamping is an invaluable recording technique that has been used in major studios as a means to a number of ends. The basic concept is taking a recorded performance and outputting it through a loudspeaker, then re-capturing the same performance in a different context. Often this is to capture a room tone, ambience, or spatial effect not achievable with synthetic reverbs. There are many classic studios with built-in echo chambers for this very reason – most notable in my mind is Motown, where these chambers (one of which is located in a crawl space in the attic) had a great deal to do with establishing the “Motown Sound.” It is also common to route the signal through various effects and amps to find the perfect tone after the musician has left the studio. This can let the engineer/ producer take his or her time in finding the desired outcome without the artist present. It should come as no surprise that this has become a very popular technique with regards to electric guitar and bass. Some typical scenarios where reamping would be employed? The player “tweaked” his amp settings from one take to the next (making comping a nightmare); edits made obvious due to drastic ambience changes; or simply wanting a different tone from that “perfect” amp or pedal. In any such situation, a DI signal (recorded by putting a DI box in the signal chain, typically immediately after the guitar/ bass or effect pedals) is used to keep the performance while the rest of the signal chain is decided by the engineer. Technically, this can be achieved by running a line level output directly into an amp at very low levels. This is not a desirable method as the impedance of a guitar amp input is drastically higher and will cause tonality changes. Major studios in the past have relied upon handy engineers making their own impedance changers to do the job. The most notable of such situations involves John Cuniberti, who developed the Reamp circuit while working
with Joe Satriani in 1994. The circuit has been evolving from its original $5,000 custom-made design to the current Reamp JCR $200 design now being manufactured and sold by Radial Engineering (which purchased the brand and its circuits in 2011). Radial is known primarily for its industry-standard DI boxes and also has the widest range of reamping solutions available on the market. I’ve had the ProRMP, the Reamp JCR, and the X-Amp in my studio for the past month, using all three in different situations. I’ve found them to be indispensable. The first two units (the ProRMP and the Reamp JCR) are both passive boxes retailing for around $100 and $200, respectively. They both use transformers for impedance and level matching while the ProRMP uses a custom-designed transformer that Radial picked for its mass-production style box in order to keep the cost attractive while maintaining a great sound. In 2011, when Radial purchased the Reamp brand, the company released the Reamp JCR, which employs the same transformer that John Cuniberti used in his circuits – “a special custom-wound USA-made transformer with mu-metal can for extra shielding.” In these types of circuits, transformers and the types of metals found within are significant in shaping the tone, especially at higher gain levels. I found slight differences between the two boxes and tended to prefer the more expensive one as it seemed to sound slightly cleaner. With the added functions of a 1/4" TRS input, a mute, and a 180-degree phase flip switch, it was my preferred reamper. Is it worth twice the cost of the ProRMP? I feel it is; however, there are some who would disagree as both boxes do essentially the same thing. Both have a level control and a ground lift, which I found are the most
essential controls needed while reamping. The X-Amp, on the other hand, is an active box retailing for about $200 that requires power from an included adaptor. It has a transformer for noise isolation but uses a Class-A buffer amp for level and impedance matching. Its other features include ground lift, level control, and phase reversal. I found this box to sound the cleanest when turned up, but preferred the sound of the JCR in most cases as I enjoyed the life-like character it had. Reamping is a great production tool. If you keep your favourite pedals and amps handy, you can always achieve that special tone. I found myself getting a little more adventuresome with my tones – like adding radical distortions and then sending it out to the amp making for some really wild and neat textures or finding that strange room tone that just fits the material. Any line level signal will do: piano, drums, vocals… Any way you slice it, $100-$200 for a rock-solid box that opens up a wealth of new options is worth a look.
Ethan Rising is Producer & Co-Owner of Winding Path Media www.windingpathmedia.com Professional Sound 23
Community Loudspeakers Distributed Design Series In-Ceiling Speakers By Greg Rushton
or ceiling-recessed loudspeakers, there are currently two prevailing choices available on the market: the typical “institutional-style” public address loudspeakers and high-quality/ high-performance loudspeakers. Over the past few years, manufacturers have been merging these two classifications into a more general all-purpose loudspeaker. Community Professional Loudspeakers previously offered its now-discontinued Cloud 4 and Cloud 6 ceiling loudspeakers at a relatively humble price point; however with the introduction of the new Distributed Design Series (D-Series), the company has the potential to gain a larger market share in ceiling recessed applications. Community’s D-Series now complements the available CLOUD12 in-ceiling speaker by providing speakers of smaller sizes, up to 10". The new D Series offers a full complement of products including a 4.5" low profile, 4.5", 5", 6.5", 8", 10", and 10" subwoofer model. The D6 in particular features a 6.5" low-frequency transducer and coaxiallymounted 1" compression driver for the high frequencies – each with separate magnets. It is worthwhile to note the D6 demonstration unit we evaluated was missing the grille and thus it would be fair to anticipate a very slight reduction in performance once the grille is installed; however, that reduction may or may not even be audible. Upon our initial listening at moderate volume (approx. 83dB at 1 m) with familiar program material, the D6 loudspeaker performed better than we originally exPrice System
Driver Complement Aesthetics Drivers
Components Form Factor
pected, particularly in the high and low end. We did find the mid range between 250 Hz and 2 kHz to be a little subtler, but not quite lacking. With a bit of equalization, it is possible to flatten out the frequency response through the mids with ease. Further to the “ear” test, we conducted some basic measurements using a Type 1 SPL/RTA meter. The frequency response specifications published by the company are remarkably accurate – conservative even. One can expect a slight boost between 100 and 200 Hz, a dip between 1,000 and 2,000 Hz, and a boost between 6 and 10 kHz. The loudspeaker performed very well when pushed hard. Certain bass-heavy program material did begin to push the limits of accurate bass reproduction where it began to distort and smear. In all reality, though, one cannot expect exorbitant bass frequencies at high volumes from a 6.5" loudspeaker. If the D6s are to be used in an environment demanding music reproduction at high levels, subwoofers should be used. The dispersion did not seem to be quite as conservative as the frequency response. The specifications indicate a dispersion of 115 degrees between 1 and 6 kHz; our ears were telling us closer to 90-100 degrees, though unfortunately, we did not have a chance to verify this with test equipment. Mulvey + Banani A/V, being a past integrator and current Public Address General All Purpose High Quality Ceiling Speaker Ceiling Speaker Ceiling Speaker consultant, has a few $ $$ $$$ insights for improveConstant voltage and Constant voltage and ment on most prodConstant voltage 8-Ohm operation 8-Ohm operation Medium- to high-watt- Medium- to high-wattucts and the D6 is no Low-wattage taps (some age taps age taps different. Although as low as 0.25 W) Coaxial drivers, dome not of major concern Full-range from single tweeter, very few with Coaxial drivers, comdriver/cone complement compression drivers and pression HF driver, some nor performance diwave guides including wave guides minishing, we believe Not overly aesthetically Acceptable grille apAcceptable grille apour insights merit pleasing pearance pearance consideration at in4” or 8” 4”, 6”, 8” 6”, 8”, 10”, 12” Separate component Integral unit or separate Integral unit or separate stallation. (loudspeaker, baffle, and back can and driver/ back can and driver/ Firstly, the safety back box) grille grille Shallow and deep points are easily bent Shallow depth variations Can be rather deep without any mechan-
24 Professional Sound
ical assistance. They can support the weight of the device itself, but attention should be given to ensuring safety measures are taut to avoid jarring in the event of main mounting failure. It is strongly recommended that this practice be followed on all safety lanyards regardless of the mounting point. Secondly, the cable entry point on the rear of the back can is very tight once the cover is placed over 18 gauge wire. Should a larger gauge wire be used to minimize line loss, entry through one of the conduit knockouts is recommended. All things considered, the D6 is a very decent loudspeaker, especially given its price point. Although the price point indicates the classification to be a general all-purpose loudspeaker, the performance could easily be considered closer to that of a high-quality ceiling speaker. To round out Community’s complement of general allpurpose loudspeaker are the DP (pendent) and DS (surface mount) Series, which feature the same driver sets and crossovers of their equally-sized counterparts in the Distributed Design Series. Greg Rushton is an Associate at Mulvey & Banani International Inc. He also runs e-Q Group (Studio and Management) while working as a freelance technical director, production manager, and audio engineer.
Regarding Greg’s comment on the safety points, the points on the D Series Loudspeakers have been tested and verified to offer a 10:1 safety ratio for the heaviest speaker in the series; the smaller speakers have an even higher safety ratio. Chris Barrow Product Manager Community Loudspeakers
35 Years Of Innovation & By Andrew King
Solotech Quebec 465 rue Godin Vanier, QC G1M 3G7 T: 418-682-4155 F: 418-682-2409
Solotech Las Vegas 7465 Dean Martin Blvd. Suite 108 Las Vegas, NV 89139 T: 702-614-8882 F: 702-614-8883
214 – 1725 St. Laurent Ottawa, ON K1G 3V4 T: 613-680-3102 F: 613-680-3178
5200 rue Hochelaga, Montreal, QC H1V 1G3 T: 514-526-7721, F: 514-526-7727, www.solotech.com
Solotech Gatineau 79 Crémazie Gatineau, QC J8Y 3P1 T: 819-777-3681 F: 819-777-0428
Solotech Saguenay 758 rue Alma Saguenay, QC G7H 4E6 T: 418-602-3545 F: 418-602-3547
Coming from virtually any direction, the trip towards Solotech’s new 265,000 sq. ft. Montreal headquarters in the city’s Hochelaga-Maisonneuve district entails a sighting of the iconic Olympic Stadium. Sitting only a few blocks apart, the proximity of the two facilities offers executives, employees, and visitors a constant reminder of the renowned production company’s humble beginnings 35 years ago.
sound to the hundreds of thousands of spectators taking in the events – a job that lasted over 18 months and comprised rented systems from four different companies. One of those companies was Audio Analysts, whose Quebec office supplied the systems for the opening and closing ceremonies as well as 14 other event sites. Following the games, Lefrançois and partner André Riendeau made an offer to purchase Audio Analysts’ Quebec business division – an offer that was accepted and led to the launch of Solotech as an audio sales house in 1977. “Leading up to the Olympics, the Quebec division of Audio Analysts was doing $300,000 per year in business,” Lefrançois recalls. “The first year after that had become Solotech, we made $1 million,” – a remarkable feat indeed, though it stands as only one among a series of acquisitions and expansions that have contributed to the company’s unbridled growth since its inception. Within just a few short years, Solotech had taken considerable control of the audio market in Quebec and reached a metaphorical fork in the road. “At that point,” Lefrançois begins, “we had two choices: to continue doing sound and expanding our market beyond Quebec, or expanding our services for existing customers.”
Solote 650 Dalton Ave., Unit 130 Kingston, ON K7M 8N7 T: 613-545-3885 F: 613-545-9210
An Olympic Start
In 1975, the city’s Olympic Committee approached loudspeaker designer and manufacturer Denis Lefrançois with a business opportunity that would see him leading a team of professionals to install and operate the audio systems at sporting venues across the province for the 1976 Summer Games – including Olympic Stadium. Then building about 2,000 speakers each year, Lefrançois accepted the challenge and assembled a team of 60 audio technicians to bring
26 • PROFESSIONAL SOUND
n & Inspiration
Over The Years… A look at Solotech’s growth and development over the last 35+ years… 1977 – Solotech acquires the Quebec office of Audio Analysts & opens for business renting, selling & servicing audio equipment from a 1,200 sq. ft. location 1979 …acquires Disco Spec 1980 …acquires Radio Services Location 1981 …acquires Hubert Lamontagne 1981 …first supplies equipment for the Montreal International Jazz Festival 1982 …first supplies equipment for Celine Dion 1983 …acquires Location Lubert 1983 …acquires Megatek 1984 …acquires Éclairage Tanguay 1984 …begins renting, selling & servicing lighting equipment 1984 …first supplies equipment for a Cirque du Soleil production
Rapid Expansion In 1984, Solotech acquired Éclairage Tanguay, the province’s largest lighting supplier, and began renting, selling, and servicing professional lighting equipment. Come 1990, the company, now boasting a significantly larger staff, added video equipment to its rental fleet, looking to provide a turnkey solution to its existing and potential clients. In 1995, those offerings grew to include multimedia and A/V systems and introduced the company to the systems integration market where, as it had in the past, Solotech began thriving, primarily within the French province. “At that point, we started growing even faster, acquiring even more businesses,” Lefrançois explains, and that pace has, with a few exceptions, been maintained through to the present with the company acquiring Gatineau, QC’s Specs Audio earlier in 2012, not even a year after taking over Audio Analysts’ entire American operation mid-2011. These later acquisitions carried the additional aim of not only expanding Solotech’s business, but doing so in new English-speaking
1990 …begins renting, selling & servicing video equipment
territories where the company’s profile has been increasing of late thanks to its stellar reputation – and that of some key clients.
1994 …acquires Half Nelson 1995 …begins renting, selling & servicing A/V equipment
Client-Driven “Cirque du Soleil and Celine Dion are both international names, but they started out as local artists in Quebec,” Lefrançois says of Solotech’s best-known longtime clients, both of whom benefitted greatly from Solotech’s support during their formative years. In fact, Dion’s current manager and husband René Angélil first approached Solotech prior to the singer’s first major tour of Quebec hoping to land a break on pricing. Recognizing the potential, Solotech’s rental department obliged and, in doing so, planted a seed for an abundantly fruitful relationship that still holds strong. Other now-revered clients like the Montreal International Jazz Festival and the Just For Laughs Comedy Festival were early benefactors of Solotech’s support
1996 …acquires Canadian Staging Project 2001 …acquires Bruit Bleu 2003 …acquires Reflet Son & Lumieres
2007 …acquires New World Audio 2008 …acquires Axion
2011 …acquires Audio Analysts (entire operation)
2011 …moves into new 265,000 sq. ft. headquarters on rue Hochelaga in Montreal
2012 …acquires Specs Audio
PROFESSIONAL SOUND • 27
Solotech “The key to our growth in the US and, since blossoming into major entertainment has been the integration of our primary entities, have continued to rely on the solutions services – sound, lighting, and video,” provider’s services. This has created an ongoing explains Mario Duschene, the company’s cycle that helps the company support artistic VP of International Sales and an employee and cultural projects in its home province while of over 30 years. “You don’t see that in creating future business opportunities. As many other markets.” The ability to deliver a François Ménard, President of the Rental Division turnkey product is one that’s benefitted the explains: “We buy the latest equipment for these company’s global operations over the years as major tours and events, and when that gear it can save any client money, time, and many comes back in two years, we can service our local other resources. customers with this top-end equipment. Without these bigger artists, we couldn’t supply that technology to local, smaller projects.” A few years into the new millennium, thanks in large part to Dion’s residency at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace and Cirque du Soleil’s increasing number of permanent shows taking over the city, Solotech opened a Each spring, Solotech En Coulisse invites end users 30,000 sq. ft. office in Las and dealers to see, hear, and try the latest equipment offered Vegas and launched a by Solotech and its supplier partners in the professional audio, lighting, separate American and video worlds, as well as new audiovisual and multimedia technologies for entity, Solotech US corporate and digital signage applications. In addition to getting up-close and hands-on Corp., to spearhead experience with the latest wares, attendees can benefit from a full program of conferences and workshops where the experts share their knowledge with the community. its push into new En Coulisse premiered in 1999 and, since its inaugural edition, has been captained by North American Chantal Daoust, the Director of the trade show. The show has grown from hosting 23 exhibitors and international in ’99 to completely filling the hall at the Palais des congres in Montreal with 70 exhibitors in 2012. territories.
h En Coul c e t iss lo o e S
“Solotech has been a partner of Cirque du Soleil for most of our creative endeavors. They have always been part of our creative challenges and risen to the occasion offering what we expect: the very best in terms of expertise and quality. I consider them friends.”
“The first show came together in about four months,” Daoust recalls. “Now, it takes about eight months to prepare and put on.” Despite having occupied 50,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space in 2012, demand has exceeded the current venue and, for 2013, Solotech plans to add an additional 17,000 sq. ft. “We even had to refuse some exhi bitors this year because we’ve been booked solid since December 2011,” adds the show’s Director. The space takes about two-and-a-half days to prepare for the two-day show, “and amazingly,” Daoust notes, “the whole thing comes down in about six hours thanks to all of our staff.” Daoust adds that the event is valuable to the industry in its home province as not everyone has the time or resources to attend the international trade events, but shouldn’t miss out on seeing the latest advances in the marketplace. “Exhibitors come from all over the world to be here,” Daoust says, “so people know they’re seeing the best of what’s available globally.” As for the most rewarding part of bringing the event into fruition, Daoust comments from the floor on the second day of the 2012 edition: “People enjoy what we bring them; they enjoy Montreal. It’s a great partnership between Solotech and its suppliers, and that’s what makes it so successful.”
Solot Guy Laliberté, Founder/CEO Cirque du Soleil
28 • PROFESSIONAL SOUND
“From myself and the MDG family, I’d like to wish the best to Solotech and Denis Lefrançois – aMeyer mentor of mine who taught me much “Solotech and Sound have been working closelyduring my six years with Solotech. Congratulations. I hope the next 35 years are as successful as the past 35 years.” since 1992 and our adventure together has been amazing.
S olote ch By The Numbers
Martin President MDG Fog Solotech hasMichaud a strong willingness to take technology oneGenerators step further in all of their projects and together, we’re able haswith been a partner of Cirque duand Soleil for mostand of our to “Solotech experiment new application ideas solutions creative endeavors. They have always been part of our creative team up with the most creative professionals in the business. challenges and risen to the occasion offering expect: for theSolotech and we We’re very excited aboutwhat this we milestone very best in terms of expertise and quality. wish them every success in years to come.” I consider them friends.” Guy Laliberté Founder/CEO Cirque du Soleil
Helen & John Meyer, Founders & Owners Meyer Sound
Solotech Today The company’s current operations are segmented into the Rental and Sales divisions. The Rental division provides top-end technological solutions for various festivals, artists, television shows, and major corporate events. On the international level, the company has provided both equipment and specialized staff for artists including Michel Bublé, André Rieu, Kanye West, and many others with the mission of bringing “clients’ projects to life by working together to turn their visions into realities,” combining state-of-theart technology with skilled minds to deliver quality results. The Sales division, on the other hand, allows the company to supply and integrate the latest in entertainment and communications technologies for a wide array of clients. Services include integrated design services, engineering services, a custom fabrication division for a project’s special requirements, after-sales maintenance, and an import-export and customs documentation department. Each project is assigned a project manager who liaises with the client and the company’s various departments to ensure the job always meets its client’s needs. The Sales department also comprises a pair of boutique shops within the Montreal and Quebec City facilities that provide clients with the latest in recording, live sound, lighting, video, and DJ technologies along with a selection of used and clearance equipment. In addition to its facilities in Montreal, Quebec, Gatineau, QC, and Las Vegas, Solotech also has satellite locations in Ottawa, Saguenay, QC, and Kingston, ON. The company’s signature stamp emerges in the level of creativity and quality behind any delivered job and is largely the product of Solotech’s talented team of
ontreal, Quebec, • 7 locations (M Gatineau, a, Las Vegas, Ottaw ) on st ng Ki , Saguenay . headquarters • 265,000 sq. ft in Montreal t employees • 375 permanen eelancers • 200 regular fr -ft., e road (11 x 53 • 48 trucks on th tracks, be 2 x 26-ft., 8 x cu ice trucks, x serv 2 x pickups, 10 trucks, 14 x installation uck) ng tr 1 x manufacturi atts of lighting • 7.2 million w ventory equipment in in tures tional lighting fix • 4,000 conven head fixtures • 1,500 moving res 2,000 LED fixtu
s • 50 followspot nsoles • 80 lighting co uipment ens of video eq • 4 million lum in inventory ls LED video pane • 1,000 sq. m of between 10,000 • 150 projectors 30,000 lumens mens under 10,000 lu • 75 projectors meras • 30 HD video ca screens • 150 projection ers • 150 video serv atts of audio • 3.5 million w ventory equipment in in y speakers • 1,000 line arra ixing consoles • 100 digital m itoring systems • 400 in-ear mon ic systems • 400 wireless m ones • 2,500 microph length truss in various of es ec pi 00 ,0 • 10 otors • 750 rigging m annually cabling produced of . ft 0 00 0, 75 • ly projects annual • 200 installation
PROFESSIONAL SOUND • 29
Solotech Solutions • • • • • • •
Audio Lighting Videoconference Video Projection Digital Signage Paging Systems Intelligent Transportation Systems • Video Encoding • Control Centres
Services • • • • • • • • • • •
Sales & Integration Order Desk Customer Service Custom Fabrication Service Department Maintenance & Service Contracts Installation & Project Management Financing Boutique Sales Used & Clearance Sales Rentals
Sectors • • • • • • • • • •
Broadcast Educational Institutions Government Health Hospitality Trade & Conventions Museums & Exhibits Retail Stadiums & Arenas Theatres & Live Entertainment • Transport
30 • PROFESSIONAL SOUND
professionals. With its roots firmly planted in the province of Quebec, largely known and celebrated for its cultural and artistic flair, the company easily maintains the reputation of its home province while also adding to it in what’s become a cyclical relationship. “We’ve really been able to benefit from Quebec’s pool of talent – in a big way,” says Duschene. Having outgrown its previous facility, in 2010, Solotech purchased its current facility in Montreal. It was important that the facility remain within the city limits to keep jobs and re sources in tact. The massive space comprises warehousing for the company’s elaborate rental inventory, an express rentals department, the boutique, a huge staging area where tours can be prepped in advance, and plenty of office space to maintain operations. In addition, the company manufactures its own cables and cases in-house, and thanks to its own CNC machine, is able to create custom plates and enclosures for various projects. Outside of Quebec, explains François Leroux, Executive VP of International Business Development, the company is “looking at strategies on how to develop new markets and how to better cover existing international markets.” Considering the size of the US market, Leroux feels Solotech can occupy a much larger share considering its reputation and full-service solutions. A significant component of that growth is bringing the Solotech culture to these new markets, but relying on local talent and resources to help relay it. “It’s very important that we offer a boost to the markets where we’re getting established. Instead of going into them as pioneers from elsewhere, we’re being invited into these new regions by people who look forward to working with us and gaining from our expertise. ” The bottom line, explains Leroux, is to “bring the best of what Solotech offers to the existing culture of that area, thus finding the best of both worlds.”
Solotech “On behalf of Yamaha Com mercial Audio Systems, I would Recent and upcoming projects of note include supplying all of the production technology for the upcoming like to extend our residency for Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour at Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino, major tours congratulations and by Bruce Springsteen and Beyonce, install projects ranging from the new hall for the Montreal Symphony best wishes to Solotech th Orchestra to theatres in Macau, China for new productions, television studios for major broadcasters in on their 35 anniversary. Venezuela and Mongolia, and plenty more. “Our drive is always technical,” Lefrançois asserts. “Whether it’s We’ve enjoyed a long and for a show or for the Montreal Airport, where we installed 8,000 loudspeakers in 267 different zones with fruitful relationship with an IED system, we specialize in technology.” Solotech, which has been a key element in our success over the years. They represent the kind of innovation and If the company’s stellar reputation in the industry wasn’t enough of a testament to its significance, its professionalism that set growth over the years – even during economic recessions – certainly is. “We hit a recession and it’s time standards for our industry. to work,” Lefrançois says rather nonchalantly. He continues on the company’s philosophy: “We never Here’s to Solotech’s next 35.” change the level of service we give to the customer. It’s not always about price; people want to be sure.
Larry Italia, VP/GM Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems
“Thanks to Solotech for making us sound and look so good for all these years!” André Ménard Founder & Artistic Director Montreal International Jazz Festival
32 • PROFESSIONAL SOUND
It’s about efficiency – the right people in the right places.” For the near future, the company’s rate of growth isn’t expected to diminish – least of all by its executives. Through acquisitions but also a more organic, grassroots push, Lefrançois says he hopes to see Solotech twice as big a mere five years down the road “without ever losing focus on the quality of work or the result.” It’s a mentality that’s led this operation to unprecedented heights in the Canadian and international market, and only time will tell how it will evolve before celebrating 50.
35 ans d’innovation et d Solotech HQ
5200 rue Hochelaga Montreal, QC H1V 1G3 T: 514-526-7721 F: 514-526-7727 www.solotech.com
Solotech Quebec 465 rue Godin Vanier, QC G1M 3G7 T: 418-682-4155 F: 418-682-2409
Solotech Las Vegas 7465 Dean Martin Blvd. Suite 108 Las Vegas, NV 89139 T: 702-614-8882 F: 702-614-8883
Solotech Ottawa 214 – 1725 St. Laurent Ottawa, ON K1G 3V4 T: 613-680-3102 F: 613-680-3178
79 Crémazie Gatineau, QC J8Y 3P1 T: 819-777-3681 F: 819-777-0428
758 rue Alma Saguenay, QC G7H 4E6 T: 418-602-3545 F: 418-602-3547
Quelle que soit la direction emprun tée, le trajet menant vers le nouveau siège social de 24 620 m2 de Solotech permet d’observer la vue du célèbre Stade olympique. La proximité des deux bâtiments du quartier HochelagaMaisonneuve à Montréal n’est pas sans rappeler aux administrateurs, employés et visiteurs les modestes débuts de l’illustre entreprise d’intégration et de location de son, d’éclairage et de vidéo il y a 35 ans.
Un début olympique
compagnies. Une de ces compagnies se nomme Audio Analysts. Son bureau de Québec est responsable de la fourniture des systèmes pour les cérémonies d’ou verture et de fermeture, ainsi que pour l’emplacement de 14 autres événements. Dès la fin des Jeux, M. Lefrançois et son associé André Riendeau font une offre d’achat de la division québécoise d’Audio Analysts. L’offre est acceptée et mène à la fondation de Solotech en 1977. À ses tout débuts, l’entreprise est vouée à la vente d’équipement de sonorisation. « Jusqu’aux Jeux olympiques, le bureau de Québec d’Audio Analysts avait un chiffre d’affaires de 300 000 $ par année. À la fin de la première année d’existence de Solotech, nous avions atteint 1M$ », relate M. Lefrançois. Un exploit remarquable, en effet, même si celui-ci n’en reflète qu’un parmi plusieurs, dont une série d’acquisitions et d’agrandissements qui ont tous contribués à la croissance effrénée de la compag nie depuis sa création. » En l’espace de quelques années, Solotech prend un contrôle considérable du marché de la vente et de la location d’équipement de sonorisation du Québec et arrive à la croisée des chemins : « À ce point, commente M. Lefrançois, nous avions deux choix : continuer de faire de la sonorisation et agrandir notre marché à l’extérieur du Québec ou développer de nouveaux services pour nos clients existants. »
Solote 650 Dalton Ave., Unit 130 Kingston, ON K7M 8N7 T: 613-545-3885 F: 613-545-9210
Tout a commencé en 1975 alors qu’un jeune concepteur et fabricant de haut-parleurs, du nom de Denis Lefrançois, se voit offrir une occasion de travail par le comité olympique responsable des Jeux olympiques d’été de Montréal. On lui propose alors de diriger une équipe de professionnels chargée de l’installation et de l’opération des systèmes de sonorisation pour les événements sportifs ayant lieu à différents endroits de la province et au Stade olympique. Déterminé, il accepte le défi et recrute près de 60 techniciens. À cette époque, M. Lefrançois construit près de 2 000 haut-parleurs par année. Afin que les centaines de milliers de spectateurs présents aux événements puissent profiter d’une bonne sonorisation, plus de 18 mois de travail seront nécessaires et quatre différents systèmes audio seront loués à d’autres
34 • PROFESSIONAL SOUND
En 1984, Solotech achète Éclairage Tanguay, le plus grand fournisseur d’éclairage de la province. Dès lors,
et d’inspiration Par Andrew King
Au cours des années… Regard sur la croissance et le développement de Solotech au cours des 35 dernières années... 1977… Solotech acquiert le bureau de Québec d’Audio Analysts et ouvre ses portes pour la location, la vente et l’entretien d’équipement de sonorisation d’un bâtiment de 110 mètres carrés. 1979 …acquisition de Disco Spec 1980 …acquisition de Radio Services Location 1981 …acquisition de Hubert Lamontagne 1981… fournit l’équipement du Festival International de Jazz de Montréal pour la première fois 1982 …fournit l’équipement de Celine Dion pour la première fois 1983 …acquisition de Location Lubert 1983 …acquisition de Megatek 1984 …acquisition de Éclairage Tanguay 1984… commence à louer, vendre et entretenir de l’équipement d’éclairage 1984 …fournit l’équipement du Cirque du Soleil pour la première fois
l’entreprise commence à louer, vendre et faire la maintenance d’équipement d’éclair age professionnel. En 1990, la compagnie qui compte maintenant plus de personnel, poursuit son développement et décide de doter sa flotte de location d’équipement vidéo. Cette nouvelle avancée permet de fournir une solution clé en main aux clients existants et potentiels. En 1995, Solotech offre de l’équipement multimédia et des systèmes audiovisuels et s’est initiée au marché de l’intégration de systèmes au même endroit qui l’a vue prospérer, particulièrement au sein de la province du Québec. « À ce moment-là, nous nous sommes mis à croître encore plus rapidement et à acheter encore plus d’entreprises, explique M. Lefrançois. De plus, à quelques exceptions près, ce rythme s’est maintenu jusqu’à au jourd’hui avec l’acquisition de Specs Audio à Gatineau en 2012. Un an auparavant, nous avions fait l’acquisition de toute la division américaine d’Audio Analysts. Ces dernières acquisitions rencontrent notre nouvel objectif qui est non seulement d’accroître les affaires de Solotech, mais également d’ouvrir de nouveaux secteurs anglophones où la présence de l’entreprise a augmentée dernièrement grâce à son excellente réputation et à celle de certains clients importants. »
1990 …commence à louer, vendre et entretenir de l’équipement de video
Axé sur la clientèle « Le Cirque du Soleil et Céline Dion ont tous deux une renommée internationale, mais il ne faut pas oublier qu’ils ont fait leurs débuts au Québec », déclare M. Lefrançois. En effet, les deux clients de longue date, et les plus connus de Solotech, ont tous deux profité du soutien de l’entreprise au cours des premières années de leur carrière. En fait, René Angélil, gérant et mari de Céline Dion, a fait affaire avec Solotech pour la première fois avant la première grande tournée de la chanteuse au Québec dans l’espoir d’obtenir un es compte sur la facture. Le bureau de location de Solotech, ayant reconnu le potentiel de l’artiste, a accepté les conditions et ainsi jeter les fondements d’une relation très fructueuse qui dure depuis ce temps. D’autres clients de Solotech sont deve nus des incontournables, dont le Festival International de Jazz de Montréal et le Festival Juste pour Rire. Ces organisations ont rapidement profité du soutien de Solotech à leur début et étant devenus des événements culturels majeurs continuent de compter sur les services du fournisseur de solutions. Ceci a créé un cycle continu qui permet à la société
1994 …acquisition de Half Nelson 1995 …commence à louer, vendre et entretenir de l’équipement audio-visuel 1996 …acquisition de Canadian Staging Project 2001 …acquisition de Bruit Bleu 2003 …acquisition de Reflet Son & Lumieres
2007 …acquisition de New World Audio
2008 …acquisition de Axion
2011 …acquisition de Audio Analysts
2011 …déménage à son nouveau siège de 24 620 m2 sur la rue Hochelaga à Montréal
2012 …acquisition de Specs Audio
PROFESSIONAL SOUND • 35
de soutenir des projets artistiques et culturels Solotech aujourd’hui dans sa province d’origine tout en créant des Les opérations de l’entreprise sont occasions d’affaires pour le futur. Comme actuellement réparties entre la division l’explique François Ménard, Président de la des ventes et la division de la location. Cette division Location : « Nous achetons l’équipement dernière fournit des solutions à la fine pointe dernier cri pour ces tournées et ces événements de la technologie pour différents festivals, artistes, majeurs et, lorsqu’il revient après deux ans, nous émissions de télévision et grands événements pouvons l’offrir à nos clients locaux. Sans ces corporatifs. À l’international, l’entreprise fournit des grands artistes, nous ne pourrions pas assurer équipements et du personnel spécialisé pour des artistes cette technologie aux plus petits projets. » tels Michael Bublé, André Rieu, Kanye West et plusieurs Au cours des premières années du millenium, autres. Les spécialistes ont pour mandat de concrétiser les en grande partie grâce au spectacle permanent projets des clients en en contribuant à réaliser leur vision. de Céline au Colosseum du Ceasars Palace et Des résultats de qualité sont rendus possibles grâce à la à l’accroissement du nombre de spectacles combinaison de la dernière technologie et d’un personnel permanents du Cirque du Soleil dans cette ville, expérimenté possédant une grande expertise. Solotech a ouvert un bureau de 2 787 m2 à Las Vegas. Une nouvelle entité américaine voyait le jour sous le nom de Solotech US Corp. qui permettra de prendre de l’expansion sur le marché nord-américain et international. « La clé de notre croissance aux États-Unis a été l’intégration de nos Chaque printemps, services principaux – sonorisation, Solotech En Coulisse invite les utilisateurs et éclairage et vidéo, » explique les distributeurs à voir, entendre et essayer les derniers Mario Duchesne, vice-pré équipements offerts par Solotech et ses associés fournisseurs du sident aux ventes inter monde de la sonorisation, de l’éclairage et du vidéo, ainsi que les nouvelles nationales et employé technologies audiovisuelle et multimédia pour les entreprises et les applications de Solotech depuis d’affichage numérique. En plus d’obtenir une expérience pratique et personnelle avec plus de 30 ans. « On les derniers équipements, les invités peuvent bénéficier d’un programme complet de con ne voit pas ça dans férences et d’ateliers où les experts partagent leurs connaissances avec la communauté. beaucoup d’autres Depuis son inauguration en 1999, En Coulisse est dirigé par Chantal Daoust, directrice marchés. » La du salon professionnel. Le salon est passé de 23 exposants en 1999 à remplir le hall du Palais des capacité de fournir congrès à Montréal avec 70 exposants en 2012. « Le premier salon s’est organisé dans une période un produit clé en d’environ quatre mois, se souvient Mme Daoust. Maintenant, cela prend environ huit mois pour le main a profité au préparer et le monter. » fonctionnement En dépit d’avoir occupé 4 645 m2 d’espace d’exposition en 2012, la demande a dépassé l’em général de la placement actuel et, pour 2013, Solotech planifie d’ajouter 1 579 m2. « Nous avons même dû refuser société au fil des quelques exposants cette année parce que nous affichions complet depuis décembre 2011 », ajoute la ans, comme elle directrice du salon. L’espace nécessite environ deux jours et demi de préparation pour un salon de deux permet au client jours et « notre équipe réussit miraculeusement à tout démonter en approximativement six heures, » d’économiser explique Mme Daoust. du temps, de Elle ajoute que l’événement est utile à l’industrie, car il se déroule ici au Québec. Comme l’argent et beau tout le monde n’a pas le temps ou les ressources pour assister aux salons internationaux, ils coup d’autres peuvent tout de même avoir la chance de voir les dernières avancées technologiques sur ressources.
h En Coul c e t iss lo o e S
Solote << “Merci à Solotech d’avoir su traduire en son et lumière l’excellence du Festival depuis toutes ces années! >>
André Ménard Fondateur et Directeur artistique Festival International de Jazz de Montréal
36 • PROFESSIONAL SOUND
le marché. « Les exposants viennent des quatre coins du monde pour être ici, explique Mme Daoust, les gens savent donc qu’ils voient le meilleur de ce qui est disponible sur la planète. » « La partie la plus enrichissante de la réalisation de cet événement, mentionne Mme Daoust, est que « Les gens apprécient ce que nous leur présentons. Ils aiment Montréal. C’est une excellente association entre Solotech et ses fournisseurs et c’est ce qui en fait un succès. »
“From myself and the MDG family, I’d like to wish the best to Solotech and Denis Lefrançois – a mentor of mine who taught me much during my six years with Solotech. << Solotech et Meyer Sound collaborent conjointement depuis 1992 et notre Congratulations. I hope the next 35 years are as successful as the past 35 years.” aventure a été incroyable jusqu’à ce jour. Solotech a une forte volonté d’amener Martin Michaud President MDG Fog Generators la technologie toujours plus loin dans tous leurs projets. Nous avons l’opportunité de faire équipe avec les professionnels les plus créatifs de l’entreprise et “Solotech has been a partner of Cirque du Soleil for most of our d’expérimenter avec eux des idées nouvelles d’applications et de solutions. creative endeavors. They have always been part of our creative challenges and risen to Nous sommes très heureux de souligner cette étape marquante pour Solotech the occasion offering what we expect: the et nous leur souhaitons le meilleur des succès pour les prochaines années. >> very best in terms of expertise and quality. I consider them friends.” & John Meyer, Fondateurs et Cirque propriétaires, Meyer Sound GuyHelen Laliberté Founder/CEO du Soleil
La division des ventes, quant à elle, permet à la compagnie de fournir et d’intégrer la fine pointe des technologies du divertissement et des communications pour une grande variété de clients provenant de différents marchés. Les services comprennent la conception intégrée, l’ingénierie, un atelier de fabrication personnalisée pour les exigences particulières des projets, un atelier de réparation et de service aprèsvente, et un bureau d’import/export et de documentation douanière. Solotech assigne un chargé de projet qui assure la liaison entre le client et les différents bureaux de l’entreprise pour s’assurer que le travail respecte toujours les besoins du client. La division des ventes comprend également deux boutiques. Une est située dans les bureaux du siège social à Montréal et l’autre dans les bureaux de Québec. Les Boutiques Solotech offrent aux clients la fine pointe de la technologie en matière d’enregistrement, de sonorisation, d’éclairage, de vidéo, d’équipement DJ en plus d’offrir un vaste choix d’équipement usagé et de liquidation. En plus de ses installations à Montréal, Québec, Gatineau (QC) et Las Vegas, Solotech possède aussi des bureaux satellites à Ottawa (ON), Saguenay(QC) et Kingston (ON). La signature de Solotech réside dans le niveau de créativité et de qualité derrière chaque projet livré. Elle est devenue le produit de son équipe de professionnels talentueux. Grâce à ses racines fermement plantées au Québec, province reconnue et célébrée pour sa culture et son talent artistique, l’entreprise québécoise participe au maintien de la réputation de sa province tout en y apportant une valeur ajoutée. « Nous avons vraiment pu tirer profit du bassin de talent au Québec, et ce, de façon considérable », mentionne M. Duchesne. Puisque ses anciennes installations étaient devenues trop petites, Solotech a acheté l’édifice qui allait devenir son nouveau siège social à Montréal en 2010. Il était important que le nouvel établissement demeure dans les limites de la ville afin de conserver les emplois, les ressources et l’accessibilité de la clientèle. Les nouvelles installations comprennent deux entrepôts qui contiennent le grand inventaire de location et de vente de
Par les numéros…s
tréal, Québec, La • 7 locations (Mon tineau, Saguenay, Vegas, Ottawa, Ga Kingston) mètres carrés • siège de 24 620 à Montréal rmanents • 375 employés pe • 200 pigistes camions 53’; • 48 camions (11 s; 2 comionnettes; 2 de 26’; 8 cube service; 14 pour le 10 camions pour la fabrication) ur po 1 l’installation; watts en éclairage • 7.2 millions de s conventionnels • 4 000 projecteur s robotizés • 1 500 projecteur» s ht « moving lig s de type LED • 2 000 projecteur de poursuite • 50 projecteurs lairage • 80 consoles d’éc mens en vidéo • 4 millions de lu ns LED entre • 1 000 m2 d’écra de résolution 6 mm et 25 mm vidéo entre • 150 projecteurs 0 lumens 10 000 et 30 00 vidéo de 10 000 • 75 projecteurs lumens et moins • 30 caméras HD ojection • 150 écrans do pr x 30’) 0’ 12 (de 6’ x 8’ à déo • 150 serveurs vi watts en son • 3.5 millions de e array » leurs de type « lin • 1 000 haut-par elles gitales professionn • 100 consoles di écouteur sans-fil • 400 systèmes d’ « in-ears » micro sans-fil • 400 systèmes de • 2 500 micros es longeurs crochage de tout ac d’ s nt po 0 20 2 • et capacités accrochage • 750 moteurs d’ d’accrochage de • 10 000 manilles et capacités toutes longeurs ngeurs acier de toutes lo • 17 000 cables d’ et capacités
PROFESSIONAL SOUND • 37
Solotech Solutions • • • • • • •
Sonorisation Éclairage Vidéoconférence Projection video Affichage dynamique Système d’appel public Systèmes de transport intelligent • Encodage video • Centre de contrôle
Services • • • • • • • • • • •
Ventes et integration Bureau des commandes Service à la clientele Atelier de fabrication Atelier de reparation Contrat de service Installation et gestion de projet Financement Boutique Liquidation et vente d’équipement usage Location
Secteurs • Commerces de detail • Établissements d’enseignement • Institutions gouvernementales • Industrie hôtelière & Centres de congrès • Musées et expositions • Radiodiffusion • Santé • Stades et arenas • Théâtres et salles de spectacles • Transport
38 • PROFESSIONAL SOUND
l’entreprise, un comptoir de location express, la boutique, un atelier de réparation et centre de service autorisé, une immense aire de montage où est effectué la préparation des tournées, un laboratoire spécifiquement dédié à la simulation, aux tests de fonctionnement des systèmes et à la formation technique, ainsi que des espaces de bureau occupé par le personnel afin de maintenir le fonctionnement de toute la structure administrative et technique. De plus, Solotech possède un atelier qui fabrique ses propres câbles et coffres et qui, grâce à sa propre machine commandée par ordinateur, peut fabriquer des plaques et des enceintes sur mesure pour différents projets.
<< Au nom de Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, je tiens à exprimer nos félicitations et nos meilleurs vœux à Denis Lefrançois, Président, Solotech Solotech pour leur 35e anniversaire. Au fil des ans, nous avons bénéficié d’une longue et « À l’extérieur du Québec, explique François Leroux, Vice-président exécutif au développement inter national, l’entreprise est à la recherche de stratégies sur la façon de percer de nouveaux marchés et de mieux fructueuse relation qui servir les marchés internationaux existants ». En ce qui concerne la taille du marché aux États-Unis, M. Leroux a été un élément clé de croit que Solotech peut occuper une bien plus grande part considérant sa réputation et ses solutions notre succès. Solotech a complètes. établi les standards Une composante significative de cette croissance est d’intégrer la culture de Solotech à ces nouveaux de notre industrie par marchés, mais de compter sur le talent et les ressources locales pour la transmettre. « Il est très important leur professionnalisme pour nous de stimuler le marché où nous nous établissons. Plutôt que d’entrer chez eux comme des et leurs innovations. Aux pionniers venus d’ailleurs, nous sommes invités dans ces nouvelles régions par des gens qui sont 35 prochaines années impatients de travailler avec nous et d’apprendre de nos compétences spécialisées. Le résultat, ex de Solotech! >> plique M. Leroux, est d’offrir le meilleur de Solotech à la culture existante de l’endroit, trouvant ainsi Larry Italia, le meilleur des deux mondes. » Vice-président et Les grands projets récents et à venir comprennent la fourniture et l’installation de l’équipement directeur général, de production pour la résidence du spectacle Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour au Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino, les grandes tournées de Bruce Springsteen et de Beyonce, << Solotech a été un partenaire du Cirque du Soleil pour la majorité de nos projets créatifs Ils ont toujours fait partie de notre processus créatif et se sont montrés à la hauteur de nos attentes: les meilleurs en termes d’expertise et de qualité. Je les considère comme des amis. >> Guy Laliberté Fondateur et PDG Cirque du Soleil
l’installation de projets allant de la nouvelle salle de l’orchestre symphonique de Montréal aux théâtres de Macau en Chine, la production de nouvelles pièces, en passant par des studios de télévision pour de grands diffuseurs au Vénézuéla et en Mongolie, et plus encore. « Notre carnet de commandes est toujours technique, affirme M. Lefrançois. Que ce soit pour un spectacle ou pour l’aéroport de Montréal, où nous avons installé 8 000 haut-parleurs dans 267 endroits différents avec un système d’IED, nous nous spécialisons dans la technologie. »
Regarder vers l’avant Si l’excellente réputation de l’entreprise au sein de l’industrie n’est pas un assez bon testament de son importance, sa croissance au fil des ans – même lors de récessions économiques – l’est certainement. « Nous faisons face à une récession et il est temps de travailler », déclare M. Lefrançois. Il continue en parlant de la philosophie de l’entreprise: « Nous ne changeons jamais la qualité du service que nous donnons au client. Ce n’est pas toujours une question d’argent; les clients veulent être certains du résultat. C’est une question d’efficacité – les bonnes personnes aux bons endroits. » Dans un avenir proche, Solotech ne prévoit pas ralentir son rythme de croissance – encore moins ses dirigeants. M. Lefrançois dit qu’il espère voir Solotech doubler au cours des cinq prochaines années par des acquisitions, mais aussi par une croissance plus organique, et ce, « sans perdre de vue la qualité du travail ou le résultat. » C’est une mentalité qui a mené cette compagnie à des sommets inégalés sur les marchés canadiens et internationaux et seul le temps dira comment les choses évolueront avant de fêter le 50e. n PROFESSIONAL SOUND • 39
When the National Theatre of Great Britain first began adapting Michael Morpurgo’s novel, War Horse, for the stage, it was part of a project aimed specifically at creating a family-oriented show for its 2007 Christ mas season at London’s Olivier Theatre. As such, it presented a perfect opportunity for Co-Directors Tom Morris and Marianne Elliott to bring South Africa’s Handspring Puppet Company to the UK to work on a production blending live actors and tradit ional storytelling techniques with Hand spring’s unique brand of puppetry. Like previous productions of War Horse, the Mirvish Productions iteration of the show currently installed at Toronto’s Princess of Wales Theatre has been an incredible success. The story, which deals with the relationship between horses and their riders and the challenges they faced together during the first truly mechanized war in Europe, is compelling in itself and the level of production brought to bear in delivering it from the stage, equally so. Telling it properly from the standpoint of a sound designer, however, particularly in view of the two dramatically different settings in which the story takes place – the pastoral countryside of Devonshire and the battlefields of World War I-era France – involved a number of challenges unique to this production. Although technically a play, the sheer amount of live and pre-recorded music and sound effects and
War Horse Canadian cast 2012. the importance of their role in providing audiences with a truly immersive exper ience led UK-based sound designer Christopher Shutt to treat the production as if it were a musical. In doing so in Toronto, Shutt depended heavily on a rig including d&b audiotechnik and Meyer Sound loud speakers, a DiGiCo SD7T digital console, Sennheiser wireless systems, and Q-Lab audio playback, all provided by New York’s Sound Associates Inc. It was an ambitious undertaking for all of those on the creative team, Shutt says, and one to which close collaboration between he and his Associate Sound Designer John Owens, Basil Jones and Adrian Kohler of Handspring Puppet Company, Designer Rae Smith, LD Paule Constable, Animation/ Projection designer 59 Productions, and Directors Tom Morris and Marianne Elliott was absolutely critical.
The sonic backdrop for War Horse consists of highly diverse elements: composer Adrian Sutton’s orchestral score, sound effects ranging from distant birdsong to close-up explosions, and a series of traditional folk songs created by song maker John Tams and performed live in Toronto by Melanie Doane (as Song Person with Violin) and Tatjana Cornij (as Song Person with Accordion). Each is integral in conveying the emotional and physical landscapes in which the story plays out. “Adrian Sutton’s musical landscape reflects the English music of the period such as Walton and Elgar and uses full orchestral arrangements, while John Tams’ English folk tunes were woven into the show from the beginning to help tell the story,” Shutt says. “It became clear to me that the epic scale of the story and the music required production on an epic scale, so I began thinking of it as essentially a musical,
the many bombardments and gun battles while also presenting a full orchestral score at the highest quality and dialogue that is crystal clear and can be heard through the ‘fog of war,’ hence the need for the show to be fully miked. I knew the d&b boxes could do that and they were compact enough for me to spread them around the open stage without creating hazards for the actors or the puppeteers, which is always a concern on this show.” The choice of playback, console, and processing was based on both their versatility and Shutt’s ability to achieve what he needed quickly during the show’s fast-paced technical rehearsals. “The puppeteers are carrying life-sized, wooden horse puppets – and often a rider as well – for extended periods of time, so they have to take frequent breaks. QLab helped me cram as much work in as possible before the puppets got hung up again. Also, the DiGiCo SD7 desk is very flexible and has a lot of processing power, which enables me to make crazy timing or processing decisions on the fly. The Yamaha DME64 digital mixing engines are also great for use in an unfamiliar venue to make system delay and EQ choices and adapt them as the space becomes more familiar.” Toronto’s Princess of Wales Theatre is the largest venue the show has been mounted in so far – “Twice as big as any other, in fact,” Shutt says. “It’s also the first conventional proscenium arch venue we’ve performed in. All of the others have been thrusts, which offer a more inclusive, less presentational way of performing. In Toronto, we had to build a thrust because we think it is more exciting for audiences to see these amazing puppets at close quarters. They arrive and depart down the aisles and the thrust brings them right into the audience’s laps.” The Princess’ traditional layout also offered more options for speaker placement, Shutt continues. “It has boxes, as traditional theatres do, and which we’ve never had before, so those became prime real estate for sub woofers, moving lights, and certain elements of scenery. Also, the stage is very wide at the proscenium opening, which
requiring it to be fully miked.” With each incarnation, Shutt and the entire creative team have put the audience more and more in the thick of the action, particularly during the battle scenes in the second half. “The scale and the open nature of the staging mean there is a lot of gear used in the show and I’ve had to be quite creative with positioning, but I’m pleased to say that the show never stands still. Whenever the creative team works on a new version, there’s nothing we like better than polishing and reinvigorating it for a new audience.” In doing so, Shutt continues to fine tune his efforts in drawing a stark contrast between the two different landscapes in which that action takes place to make the journey undertaken by both the human and equine characters – from the idyllic setting of the English countryside to the furious battles raging across the channel in France – all
the more poignant. “For the rural scenes, I wanted to paint an evocative picture of the natural surroundings. The stage is essentially a black box and the show is partly about man’s connection to his fellow animals and the land, so I wanted it to be rich and romantic – very English in feel and redolent of a bygone age. Conversely, the war scenes needed to be highly dramatic from a sound point of view. I wanted audiences to feel caught up in the tension and feel as if they are under bombardment themselves, so I use an extensive surround rig and very high levels for the music and effects.” The degree of precision necessary to create that environment was a major driver in Shutt’s choice of gear. “The rig had to deliver high SPLs and fast transients to cope with the demands of
B y K evin Y oung
Songpersons Melanie Doane (fiddle) & Tatjana Cornij (accordion). War Horse Canadian cast 2012. PROFESSIONAL SOUND • 41
means the horse puppets can be seen galloping across greater distances.” While that’s more interesting for the audience it tends to push the speakers farther out, making it a bit more challenging to cover seats front and centre on the orchestra level. “I got around that by driving the whole show from upstage so that, as in cinema, the sound originates from within the stage picture. This is a crucial element for me on most shows. The Princess’ auditorium has three levels, all very deep and ornate unlike any other venue we played, so that brings its own challenges. Some of the bombs that fall during the show originate from behind the audience and fly over their heads. Finding a position to make that happen was quite tricky, but the thrill of having a high speed missile fly over you before landing on top of the people onstage is quite something to experience, so it was well worth pursuing.” In bringing Shutt’s vision to life night after night in Toronto, achieving the sheer volume necessary during battle scenes while still ensuring the dialogue remains highly intelligible is key, says Lead Audio Engineer/ Operator, Aaron Hanna. “That’s really important. There are times during that show when you have bombs flying over your head and at 85 or 90dB, you just wouldn’t get the same feeling.” Also central to the show’s success is the portrayal of the horses, as played by three puppeteers whose combined move ment and combined voices are equally integral to convincing audiences to see them as living, breathing creatures rather than life-sized puppets operated by highlyvisible puppeteers. “Throughout the whole show you look at the horses and you can see the puppeteers. That was actually a choice the creative team made. If you try and hide something the human brain tries to figure out what you’re hiding and how it works, but if you just let people see what’s happening – that there are people operating the horses – the people seem to go away and it draws you in a little more.” That’s true even if your view of the show is as intimate as his, he adds: “We’re coming close to our hundredth show and, to me, the horses are 42 • PROFESSIONAL SOUND
Backstage racks, including amplification for the complement of d&b audiotechnik loudspeakers.
still horses. They’re not puppets that people are operating.” Cast members, including the puppet eers and song people, are miked using DPA 4061 Microphones wired for use with a Sennheiser wireless system, which consists of 21 EM 3732-II dual receiver units, four ASA 3000 antenna splitters, 42 SK 5212 transmitters, and is managed via a rackmounted Windows PC running Sennheiser Wireless Systems Manager. Miking each puppeteer, Hanna continues, was critical in order to create a realistic voice for the horses. “The way the horse sounds sit in the human vocal range makes it difficult to for one person to generate all of them simultaneously, so each puppeteer – the ‘head,’ the ‘heart,’ and the ‘hind’ – will make a specific sound, but together we get the sound of the horse whinny, or a grunt, or whatever.” Hanna describes the result as being similar to singers harmonizing. “It’s something they do as a team, working together to generate one sound. There are snapshots in the console, but they pretty much blend the sounds themselves. The difference between having one person do it and three people is amazing.” Predominantly the effects and music are played back using Q-Lab, Hanna continues: “It’s an RME MADI interface from QLab into an Autograph XUSB changeover unit, which then comes into the SD7. We run about 40 channels of effects and music playback on the DiGiCo SD7T – the ‘T’ is a software option that allows you do a lot more with your control groups and the scope of your snapshots.”
Part of the reason for using the SD7 has to do with the company’s dedication to the theatre market specifically, Hanna believes. “They’ve put a lot of time and energy into building specific software functions for theatre and when you go back to DiGiCo and say: ‘Look, we’d really like it to do this,’ if you have a good reason and enough people believe that would be a good option, they’ll write it into their next software revision.” The degree of care necessary to choreograph sound, lighting, and video meant that many of the lighting and video cues programmed into the ETC Eos 8000 lighting console had to be triggered from Q-Lab via MIDI. “We spent a lot of time making sure that when we hit a sound cue that triggers lighting and video, a bomb for example, that it lands on video exactly when it’s supposed to and the lights flash exactly when they’re supposed to. It comes down to fractions of a second.” Localizing the sound to the source was of particular importance in achieving the cinematic effect Shutt envisioned. “But there’s a fine line to ride,” Hanna says. “We don’t want to hear, or we try not to hear, the PA. Because this is a play, with music, it’s important for it to not sound like it’s amplified. It’s like mixing an old school musical where you hear the PA when you need to, but when there’s dialogue it all needs to come from the stage. If the dialogue is right in your face, that can create the feeling of ‘We’re watching something’ as opposed to ‘We’re in the middle of something.’ One thing I find amazing is how well you can hear the show from the balcony without it
DiGiCo SD7T in the FOH position at the Princess of Wales.
sounding like it’s coming from the PA. With the work that John and Chris did with levels and delay timing, you really feel the show is coming off the stage but you can still hear every word that’s spoken.” Between the loudspeakers placed onstage and throughout the house as surround elements, Hanna estimates the total box count at well over 200 loudspeakers. Thirty-one Meyer MINAs are deployed as the production’s main vocal PA, hung stage left and right and in two centre clusters, one covering the orchestra and the stalls and the other covering the upper balcony. d&b C7TOPs and two d&b C4-SUBS are also used for reinforcement of music. Two C7s are flown left and right on the proscenium, two are ground stacked on top of the C4s, and two are flown upstage of the cyc – a triangular projection screen that represents a piece of paper the human lead, Albert, rips out of a sketchbook during the play. Additional reinforcement of music and effects is handled by eight d&b Q7s placed within the “Nashscape,” a set piece com prised of a jumble of debris and girders in spired by the works of WW1 artists such as John and Paul Nash. Four d&b B2s are also placed to the left and right of the orchestra level and in the balcony as effects subs. On stage foldback is provided via six d&b E6s and five T10s mounted to the rear of the cyc and two E8s placed stage left and right, firing upstage. The main surround system is composed of 89 d&b E0s hung along the sides and back walls of the theatre as well as on the
balcony rails to cover the front half of the audience. “Then we have four d&b Q10s hung at the sides and at the rear of the balconies to get a little more ‘oomph’ out of the surround system, four E12Ds for house left and right and four E12 Subs as surround subs, two on each level,” Hanna adds. Two E8s are also mounted in the rear of the balcony and used as an additional set of surround speakers. For under-balcony delays, 56 Meyer UPM-1Ps are arranged in five rings through out the theatre – two rings above the orches tra level, two more above the first balcony, and one above the upper balcony. The entire system is powered by a combination of d&b D12 and D6 Amplifiers. “With the d&b loud speakers all of the processing is in the ampli fier, so there’s different programming in the different amplifiers for different speakers. You have to use an amp that’s matched to the specific speakers.” The production also employs a pair of Yamaha DME64 digital mixing engines. “We have a variety of different zones and use cross point delays so if there are people stage left speaking stage left and people stage right speaking stage right, they’re assigned to those positions. So we have LCR positioning and then, with the cross point delays, they’re routed out through the PA, leveled and timed to their location on stage.” The localization of sound sources such as machine guns, conventional bombs, and chemical weapons helps intensify the feeling of horror men and horses faced together in battle during The Great War and extends to
one of the key set pieces used in Act 2: a tank that lead horse, Joey, faces muzzle to muzzle at the play’s climax. Like the horses, the tank is operated by people you can see clearly between its wide, almost skeletal silhouette, but unlike the horses, the lion’s share of the sound the audience hears from the tank isn’t coming from the PA, but from its own dedicated sound system that includes two Tannoy i12 loudspeakers and a car stereo sub bass unit. “The tank has a stereo amplifier and a mono amplifier for the sub and two transmitters in mono mode, so if something should happen we can switch one to stereo mode. There’s also a little 12volt mixer in there and a DMX relay so we can remotely turn the tank on and off.” Some of the ambient sound during the scene is delivered via the PA, though most of what’s heard by the audience originates from the tank itself. “It really is put together very much like an old school musical,” Hanna continues, “only it’s tougher to mix. With a musical, you have clearly-defined sections of dialogue and music and you can count through to get your fader throws right whereas this is dialogue through 95 per cent of the show, so if a scene is being played a little bit differently one night, you really have to work with what the actors are doing as opposed to being able to mix, in-time, to music.” War Horse was first presented on stage at London’s Olivier Theatre in 2007. In 2008, it was transferred to London’s West End to meet ongoing demand. Since, with productions in London, New York, and now in Toronto, the show has become a truly global sensation and won multiple Tony Awards in 2011 including Best Sound Design for a Play. Additional productions are currently being developed for Australia and continental Europe, and should those incarnations be half as successful as the latest in Toronto, audiences worldwide will be delighted by the breathtaking experience this play delivers. n Kevin Young is a Torontobased freelance writer. PROFESSIONAL SOUND • 43
Science & Sound Collide At Calgary’s New Science Centre
With the grand opening of TELUS Spark in late 2011, the city of Calgary and its citizens were treated to the fruits of a 10-year, $160-million investment – the first new science centre built in Canada in over 25 years.
The centre was first opened as the Calgary Centennial Planetarium during the summer of 1967. Come 1983, a group operating as the Calgary Science Centre Society launched a bid to bring an immersive science centre to the city and, in 1987, that wish was granted with an operating agreement that would transform the planetarium into the Calgary Science Centre. In 2005, thanks to a $9 million donation from the national telecommunications giant, the centre was renamed the TELUS World Of Science Calgary. Over its last few years of operation, the original location on 11 St. SW in 44 • PROFESSIONAL SOUND
Calgary’s downtown west end would offer a slew of travelling and permanent exhibits, both educational and exciting, to over 300,000 visitors each year; however, plans had been in place since the turn of the new millennium to bring the World of Science experience to a new facility with state-of-the-art architecture and technology. The new TELUS Spark, located on an 18-acre site at the junction of Deerfoot Trail and Memorial Dr. in the east end of the city, benefitted from the support of the federal, provincial, and municipal government as well as from private and corporate donors from
By Andrew King
within the city and beyond. The 153,000 sq. ft. facility is home to four exhibit galleries – Energy & Innovation, Earth & Sky, Being Human, and the Open Studio – in addition to an expanded Creative Kids Museum, a Feature Gallery, Learning Centre, 164-seat Presentation Theatre, the HD Digital Dome theatre, and a 10,000 sq. ft. atrium space. With the intention of using the atrium space for everything from concerts and presentations through to gala dinners and corporate events, the senior team at the facility made plans to outfit the space with a very capable
and flexible audio and video system that could complement any programming the atrium would be hosting. Barry Crean, now the VP of Operations for TELUS Spark, oversaw the technical components of the
220 Saint Georges Dr. NE Calgary, AB T2E 5T2 403-817-6800 email@example.com Facing south end of atrium with Bose RoomMatch hangs suspended.
installation for the new facility in the capacity of Project Director during the build. Though a larger contracting firm was charged with providing and installing the general paging speakers throughout the facility, for the more advanced needs of the atrium space and presentation theatre, Crean and Spark A/V Manager Dennis Cheng decided to put the install out to tender for a more specialized technology firm. “We wanted a sound system in the atrium that was unique to that space,” Crean explains. “We were doing our utmost to get reverb time down in there during the construction process, running regular acoustic tests to ensure the finishes we chose would bring that to a minimum and, once we were satisfied, we went on a hunt for the right system to occupy the space.” One of the two primary goals of Spark administration for the atrium system – because of the room’s size, shape, and reflective build materials – was maximizing intelligibility. “I’ve been in too many big, cavernous spaces like that with too much echo and reverb that muddies up the sound,” Crean explains about what had to be avoided. The second of those goals, which also applied to the Presentation Theatre’s system, was connectivity. “That was a fundamental goal for this entire centre to begin with,” Crean elaborates. “We wanted to be leading edge in terms of connectivity across all of these spaces so that, should we have an event in the atrium, we could overflow those audio and video signals into any other room.” With a very general spec for the job out to tender, Martin Topp, Territory Manager for Western Canada with Bose Professional Systems Division, was in touch with Gerry Adams of Calgary’s Adams Technologies. Topp arranged a meeting between Adams, a longtime Bose dealer and advocate, and Crean and colleague Brad Struble to discuss potential solutions for the space. Recalls Adams of their initial meeting: “Brad was adamant that he didn’t want to see loudspeakers in his atrium. I twigged on this instantly and knew exactly what I
was going to do and how.” The outlined systems from Adams were anchored by key components from Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems and Bose, interconnected by an Optocore redundant fibre optic distribution ring. Working in tandem with one of Bose Professional’s top field engineers, Brian Kam, Adams performed a number of acoustic tests to ensure his initial proposal that featured some of Bose’s latest technologies was feasible. He was vindicated, and invited Spark personnel to see why. At the 2011 edition of InfoComm, Bose conducted the first public demon strations of its new RoomMatch and PowerMatch products, and Adams sug gested that Cheng and Crean attend the show in Orlando for the unveiling. After the general demonstration, the Spark team was able to spend some intimate time with the gear, going through their own test material and having questions answered by Bose representatives. “We were impressed and quick to the conclusion that they’d be the ideal choice,” offers Crean. The result for Adams Technologies was the contract from the centre and a subsequent PO. Adams Technologies’ proposal initially comprised two general compo nents: the lower atrium system which comprises everyday reinforcement via enclosures concealed around the perimeter and the system in the 164seat Presentation Theatre, which is completely compliant with current topof-the-line digital cinema standards; however, after experiencing the Info Comm demo, Crean approached Adams with the proposal of duplicating the Pre sentation Theatre’s system for a larger reinforcement package for the atrium to be deployed for more significant events. As the facility had already been constructed and close to finished by the time Adams Technologies was brought into the fold, one of the key challenges faced at the offset was that the team was quite limited as to where product could be placed. Another was the project’s timeline. “The logistics on this were a nightmare as we didn’t get approvals on a lot of parts until quite late in the process,” Adams says – a challenge augmented by the fact that Adams Technologies is essentially a boutique operation with four key staffers behind the project along with a few subs. “Kudos to my guys,” he offers. “They stepped up and never said die.” Once again working with Kam out of Massachusetts, a model for the atrium was built working out all of the idiosyncrasies of the cabling infrastructure that would employ Bose’s MA12 EX modular line array loudspeakers along the perimeter of the space. A total of 18 MA12EXs were used, double-stacked in nine offset locations around the obscurely-shaped room with a 502B sub below each stack for general reinforcement. The system is driven by three PowerMatch PM8500N networkable amplifiers, each offering 4 kW with 500 PROFESSIONAL SOUND • 45
watts for each of its eight channels with full DSP. On the front end of that system is a Bose ESP-88 engineered sound processor and control is provided by Bose’s CC-64 control centre GUI. “These speakers allow us to avoid all of the hard surfaces in the space and reflect sound into the walls with acoustic treatment,” Crean explains of what made the MA12EXs more attractive than standard in-ceiling options. Regarding the workflow for this later phase of the project, Cheng notes that any challenges that arose were approached by identifying a number of potential solutions and weighing the effects of each. One of those challenges was the integration of the sound systems with the facility’s preexisting architecture in the least obtrusive manner. The larger event system comprises left and right arrays, each featuring five RoomMatch high-mid cabinets per manently mounted to the steel structure at the south end of the atrium – the wider end of what’s essentially a long wedge. The arrays are configured with a number of different horizontal and vertical patterns to accommodate the odd dimensions of the room and avoid slapback and unwanted reverberations. “Acoustically, the atrium was a major challenge,” Cheng begins. “The amount of glass and hard flooring in there would make you want to pull your hair out trying to properly set up a sound system.” He adds that since the system has been operational, a number of sound-savvy professionals from the area have come through the space to have a listen and admittedly expected a sub-par sound because of the shape and make-up of the room; however, they’ve been surprised with how the sound has been contained and even takes on a warm character. The hangs are driven by seven 4 kW PM8500Ns. Covering the low end are eight RMS215 subwoofers loaded
onto carts and wheeled out into the atrium for events that call for them. To make for a fast and efficient setup, quick connects on breakout panels are loaded at stage left and right for the subwoofers. The special event reinforcement system also employs ESP88 processors and a CC-64 for control. Finally, reinforcement for the pre sentation theatre also comprises a pair of RoomMatch arrays, this time with three mid-high boxes and two RMS215 subs per side, as well as a complement of 402 Series II and DS-100SE speakers and Panaray Modular MB-4 subs moun ted around the upper perimeter of the ceiling as side fills to take advantage of the theatre’s multi-channel surround capabilities. “The main focus of that space was to allow it to host live or theatrical demonstrations,” Crean ex plains. “We also wanted to be able to show 3D films with 5.1 surround and relay that programming elsewhere in the facility if the situation called for it.” The system can take eight channels of discreet cinema sound or relay 5.1 via TOSLINK for any consumer sources. A pair of Yamaha M7CL digital mixing consoles drive the Presentation Theatre and atrium systems – one perm anently installed in the presentation theatre’s control room and the other on a mobile cart that can hook into any of the Optocore nodes strewn across the atrium for its various potential con figurations. “The big seller (of the M7CL) was the fact that it’s very familiar to a lot of people, and if not, it’s a very easy board to pick up, whether you’ve been an analog user or are accustomed to other digital boards,” offers Cheng. As Project Manager for Adams Technologies, Gene Sydor oversaw the building’s integration design, HD-SDI video distribution, master control room design and build, and worked in tandem with Bill and Brandon Coons of Contact Distribution and Optocore North America
Presentation Theatre on the extensive fibre network. Explains Sydor: “We wanted complete function ality between the three systems and beyond throughout the facility. We want ed an infrastructure that would allow the centre to host a variety of events well into the future.” Though all of the equipment for this leg of the job was commissioned before the end of summer 2011, installation of the atrium and theatre spaces began in September 2011 with the centr’s soft opening set for the end of October of that year. “As we commissioned the sys tems,” explains Sydor, “we configured the hardware to work in the manner they needed for these various purposes.” A total of nearly 20 km of fibre, coaxial, and multicore cable was added to the infrastructure already in place through out Adams’ phase of the project. With a total of eight locations between the atrium and presentation theatre requiring signal distribution, Adams Technologies decided to employ the Optocore ring to ensure consistent reliability. “We looked at a number of manufacturers and ended up choosing Optocore,” Sydor begins. “We have a mission-critical undertaking for the highprofile events, so we wanted something proven. What was demonstrated to us in terms of the calibre of facilities and events that have used the fibre system in the past gave us total confidence.”
Presentation Theatre rack. 46 • PROFESSIONAL SOUND
Graphical layout of the facility’s Optocore fibre optic network.
Double-stacked Bose MA12EXs in the atrium, with panel removed on left to show 502B sub. Video is supplied by Christie MicroTiles. The distribution system transports all mic and line levels around the bulkheads and panels throughout the spaces outfitted by Adams Technologies on a closed system. The rest of the general paging system exists on its own net work, connected through a line level feed to the Adams components. In total, there are over 170 audio inputs available on the optical network. “The versatility we wanted to offer was very easily met as we were able to eliminate any require ments for mechanical patching,” Sydor explains. “Any patching, if you want to call it that, is just a click of the mouse on the software matrix.” This capability makes for efficient set-ups when, for example, the centre closes to the public at 4 p.m. for an event with a unique configuration beginning just two hours later. This efficiency is augmented by pre-loaded macros on the Yamaha desks that bring up patching arrangements for various scenarios. In the atrium, for example, there are three separate bulkhead panels that house Optocore connections as well as the coaxial and Ethernet connections. The FOH area has 16 mic ins and eight line outs; the events stage has 24 mic ins and eight line outs; and the smaller presentation stage in the atrium has 16 mic ins and eight line outs. A fourth Optocore node comes via the atrium’s portable M7CL and its YG2 and YS2 card modules, offering 32 ins and 32 outs of network connectivity. Sydor explains that the choice of both the Optocore network and Yamaha consoles was simultaneous thanks to their inter-operability. Two other nodes are housed within the rack room for the atrium’s larger event and smaller presentation stages. The remaining network nodes outside of the atrium include the theatre’s control room via the second M7CL and its cards and the theatre’s amp processing room which feeds the bulkhead panel with 24 mic ins
and eight line outs on the stage via Cat-5 cabling. The fibre ring offers complete redundancy in the case of any equipment failure or compromise to ensure that Spark programming can continue uninterrupted. Adds Cheng: “We’re even able to operate or mix sound from a separate location if we want – say for a post mix or a recording, for example, in a contained environment for proper listening conditions.” “This was our first time using a fibre optic network and I was more than a little nervous about it, to say the least,” Adams admits about his initial attitude, though it didn’t take long to establish his confidence. After seeing the gear inaction at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Adams says he was a believer. “That was it. These guys do three live acts a day and had nothing negative to say about the stuff. That’s a pretty good testimonial.” Though Adams shares a longstanding professional relationship with both Bill Coons and Mike Davidson of Optocore North America, it was Brandon Coons, Bill’s son, that took on the brunt of the responsibility for design and support on TELUS Spark, working closely with Sydor on the centre’s setup and, in Adams’ eyes, surpassing expectations to ensure everything was thoroughly covered and considered before delivering a final product. “What I strive to deliver to any facility is a future-proof design,” Sydor muses about the package as a whole. “What thrills me most about completing this project is having a facility in place that is fully-compliant with all of today’s audio and video standards in terms of signal distribution. It’s all digital over fibre, so as the centre goes forth adding other spaces and more production equipment for their requirements, it can literally just be layered on. The forethought that went into planning this facility was intense, though our reward is being able to present some
thing state-of-the-art.” Says Cheng about working with Adams Technologies: “I found them to be a great boutique company, if you will. They’re able to adapt and come up with solutions outside of modular thinking when approaching problems.” He adds that the mandate of keeping the system future-proof and expandable was exactly in-line with the ideals behind the entire facility. As his A/V staff comprises an additional three technicians working beneath him, Cheng also notes how the system is not only easily operable for all of its intended uses, but that his team can also train presenters and other non-technical users on basic functions or program easily-accessible presets for further efficiency. The atrium event stage system’s first big test was a charity gala where an outside A/V company put it through what Adams calls a “pretty good test.” The Bose hangs were used as the main PA, though as per the performer’s rider, an external console was brought in. Shares Adams: “They plugged that into our reinforcement system and we had a great event – no issues at all.” That, he says, was the ultimate goal – providing a system that could deliver without fail for virtually any scenario. “Every decision I made on gear for the project came down to one criterion: [which manufacturers] can I absolutely trust without fail?” With TELUS Spark having now been welcoming visitors for over six months and all of the systems fully operational as of spring 2012, there are a few names that have cemented their spot on Adams’ list of such companies. n
Andrew King is the Editor of Professional Sound.
PROFESSIONAL SOUND • 47
RME Fireface UCX Standard Edition Audio/MIDI Interface
RME has made available its Fireface UCX Standard Edition audio/MIDI interface. The Fireface UCX is a half-rack width, 1U unit designed for the studio or remote recording. Features include: 36 total channels of I/O; eight analog I/O; two mic/line digitally-controlled preamps; two line/instrument digitally-controlled inputs; one SPDIF I/O coaxial; one ADAT I/O (or one SPDIF I/O optical); one word clock I/O (BNC); two MIDI I/O (via breakout cable); one FireWire 400 port; one USB 2.0 (USB 3 compatible) port; TotalMix FX mixer application for PC and Mac; latency of 0.4 ms at 48 kHz; and -10 dBV and +4 dBu. Additionally, the UCX offers a class-compliant mode, which allows a direct connection to an iPad or computer running Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux. For more information, contact Music Marketing Inc.: 416-789-7100, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.musicmarketing.ca.
Shure FP Portable Wireless Systems
Shure Incorporated has released its new portable wireless system, FP Wireless, featuring portable receivers and XLR plug-on transmitters. FP Wireless incorporates Shure’s Audio Reference Companding, Automatic Frequency Selection, and Automatic Transmitter Setup and includes receiver and XLR plug-on, bodypack, and handheld transmitters. FP Wireless products are powered by two AA batteries and are compatible with up to 20 systems simultaneously. Additional features include: diversity antennas, XLR and 3.5 mm cable receiver output options, single transmitter and dual transmitter system options, GSM immunity in the bodypack transmitters, and compatibility with Shure SLX wireless components. For more information, contact SF Marketing Inc.: 514-780-2070, FAX 514-780-2111, email@example.com, www.sfm.ca.
Event Electronics 2030 Three-Way Studio Monitoring System
Event Electronics has released its 2030 three-way studio monitor system, combining three discrete drivers to allow for accurate reproduction of the entire audio spectrum. The 2030 features a new wave guide assembly designed to house the speaker’s mid-range and high frequency drivers as well as optimize audio dispersion and power response characteristics. For the mid-range application, a 3.5" cone transducer was engineered using a pressed pulp and polypropylene cone combined with an optimized magnetic circuit. The driver is loaded onto a shallow wave guide that results in increased sensitivity and output while generating very low distortion artefacts. The 2030 also features an aluminum alloy dome tweeter, an optimized set of electronic acoustic filters, and controlled audio reproduction and smooth frequency response performance extending above 20 kHz. A key design feature of the 2030 amplifier is use of a proprietary, soft clipping power amplifier design topology designed to never allow the amplifier’s output waveform to become jagged or harsh. For more information, contact Audio Distributors International (ADI): 450-449-8177, FAX 450-449-8180, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.adi-online.net. 48 Professional Sound
Lectrosonics SPNDNT ASPEN & Dante Network Processor
Lectrosonics has developed the SPNDNT network processor to expand the ASPEN digital matrix processor family. The ASPEN Dante Network Processor is a full-featured DSP processor that can address both the ASPEN and Dante matrices and add mixing, gain, and delay functions to the digital audio signals. Any of the 48 final mixes in the ASPEN matrix can be assigned to any one or more of the Dante channels for transport to other endpoints in the network. Dante signals can also be imported into the ASPEN matrix in a local processor sub-system for mixing with other local and network signals, and then routed onward to other local or network devices. For more information, contact Lectrosonics Inc.: 416-596-2202, FAX 416-596-6648, email@example.com, www.lectrosonics.com.
Sounds Distribution Inc. is a leading distributor of Professional Audio, Video, DJ, and Lighting products. We are seeking a Customer Service Representative. The successful candidate must be energetic, enthusiastic and resourceful while supporting the goals and objectives of the company by providing a full range of customer service. Duties will include, but are not limited to; • Dealing with customers and sales staff by phone, email or face to face • Responding promptly to customer inquiries and requests Taking and entering orders, following up on the status of client orders Requirements: • Minimum 2 years related industry experience (production or retail) • Working knowledge of Sound & Lighting products • Excellent communications skills (written/verbal) and interpersonal skills • Demonstrated organizational ability and follow-through • Demonstrated ability to work in a fast paced, dynamic environment • Demonstrated ability to work harmoniously in a team environment • Exceptional attention to detail • Bilingual (French/English) would be an asset Interested parties should send their resume to
www.soundsdist.com 50 Professional Sound
Alfred Music Publishing Csound Power! Instructional Resource Book
Alfred Music Publishing has begun distributing the pro audio instructional resource Csound Power!, a thorough overview of the Csound system for music synthesis. Csound Power! offers new and existing users a step-by-step guide to making music, designing sounds, and developing complete pieces with Csound. Author Jim Aikin offers tutorials, code examples, diagrams, and tips designed to take Csound users from the essentials of sound synthesis, compositional techniques, and programming to advanced features that unleash new musical possibilities. For more information, contact Alfred Music Publishing: 818-891-5999, FAX 818-830-6259, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.alfred.com/proaudio.
BG Radia R18i On-Wall Loudspeaker BG Radia has begun production of its updated R18i on-wall surround sound loudspeaker. The R18i utilizes Dispersion Pattern Control, which changes the radiation pattern from direct to diffuse, or any combination in between. Additional new features include: 4" woofers; Neo8-S high-output planar ribbon; 3dB higher sensitivity with increased power and lower distortion than the previous model; 80 Hz to 20 kHz frequency response range; and an additional 8dB to max SPL. The speaker is rated to 6 ohms impedance. For more information, contact BG Radial: 775-884-1900, email@example.com, www.bgcorp.com.
Professional Sound 53
Products SoundTube SMi-WX Weather Extreme SurfaceMount Speaker Series
SoundTube Entertainment has introduced its SMi-WX line of Weather Extreme outdoor surface-mount speakers, designed to withstand direct exposure to wet weather conditions. Built using non-corrosive materials (stainless steel or aluminum) for all exposed metal components including grilles, screws, and mounting systems, the speakers feature WX Weather Guard, a dual layer hydrophobic material inside the speaker grille designed to keep water from the drivers and internal electronics. All speakers in the series feature BroadBeamHP waveguide technology developed to provide a consistent dispersion pattern. The SM890i-WX is an 8" high-SPL surface-mount speaker with an 8" treated fibre driver and an offset 1.42" compression horn. The speaker includes a 150-watt low insertion loss transformer and a six-position tap switch for 25-, 70.7-, and 100-volt operation plus transformer bypass. The SM590i-II-WX is a 5.25" high-power coaxial surface-mount speaker with a 5.25" polypropylene woofer and a 1" horn-loaded convex titanium dome tweeter mounted to a cast-aluminum baffle and heat sink and features a six-position tap switch that allows for quick selection of 25-, 70.7-, and 100-volt applications with transformer bypass. The SM500i-II-WX is a 5.25" coaxial surface-mount speaker with a 5.25" polypropylene woofer and a 1" convex titanium tweeter with FerroFluid cooling. It comes with SoundTubeâ€™s bracket mounting system with vertical and horizontal pivoting allowing the SM500i-II-WX to be aimed anywhere within the installation space. A six-position tap switch is provided. For more information, contact Martech: 780-454-2006, FAX 780-452-5734, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.drivingstrategicsales.com.
Professional Sound 55
The all inclusive 72 mic input system at a special introductory price. DiGiCo has ‘Supercharged’ the award winning SD9 with a significant expansion in Channel count, Dynamic EQs, Multiband Compressors and Matrix, and the addition of DiGiTuBes, Reorder of Busses and Multichannel inputs (formerly only available on SD7). Further new features include an expanded Aux Panel, increased Dynamic functions such as a Duck option and expander for the Gate, a De-esser and two types of Knee for the Compressor. There are also new FX types with multitap, ping pong and stereo delay, with different delay times for left and right. A warmth button is provided on each channel for analogue emulation and two types of EQ have been added (Classic and Precision). Plus, the SD9 now features Sets (previously only available on SD7T), which has been enhanced to allow for ‘Set Spill’ allowing the creation of Sets with easy changing of the console layout to display members of that Set. And if that wasn’t enough, to coincide with the Supercharged launch, DiGiCo is offering the Rack-Pack, a 72 mic input system at an introductory total system price. SD-9 Supercharged Rack-Pack. Fully loaded for $29,950 CDN. Shipping Now.
SD9 Rack-Pack Features:
48 Flexi Channels (Equivalent to 96 channels of DSP) 47 Busses made up of 16 Flexi Busses plus L/R, L/C/R Master, 2 Solo Busses, 12x8 Matrix 8 DiGiTuBes Available 8 Dynamic Equalizers 8 Multiband Compressors 8 Digital Effects 16 x 31 Band Graphic EQ Multi Channel Folding Reorder Busses Two D-Rack Stage Boxes Two Digital Snakes Flight Case
www.digico.biz DiGiCo is distributed in Canada by GerrAudio Distribution • 613.342.6999 • www.gerr.com • email@example.com
ADVERTISERS' INDEX JUNE 2012 PG. ADVERTISER
ALLEN & HEATH (ERIKSON PRO)................................... www.eriksonpro.com................... firstname.lastname@example.org
ASPEN (LECTROSONICS)................................................ www.lectrosonics.com........................................email@example.com
AVIOM (SF MARKETING).................................................................... www.sfm.ca................................................................. firstname.lastname@example.org
COMMUNITY (MARTECH).......................... www.drivingstrategicsales.com........................email@example.com
CONTACT DISTRIBUTION – SOLOTECH..... www.contactdistribution.com.............................firstname.lastname@example.org
DANGEROUS MUSIC . .......................................... www.dangerousmusic.com.................................. email@example.com
EAW (SF MARKETING)......................................................................... www.sfm.ca................................................................. firstname.lastname@example.org
ELECTRO-VOICE (BOSCH)................................................ www.pagcanada.com............................................email@example.com
ELECTRO-VOICE – SOLOTECH........................................ www.pagcanada.com............................................firstname.lastname@example.org
EVE AUDIO (HHB CANADA)............................. www.hhb.co.uk/hhb/canada........................................... email@example.com
FACTOR ELECTRONICS.......................................... www.factorelectronics.com..............................firstname.lastname@example.org
GERRAUDIO – SOLOTECH..............................................................www.gerr.com...........................................................email@example.com
LECTROSONICS ................................................................ www.lectrosonics.com........................................firstname.lastname@example.org
MARTECH – SOLOTECH........www.drivingstrategicsales.com/audiovideo........................email@example.com
MEYER SOUND (GERRAUDIO)......................................................www.gerr.com...........................................................firstname.lastname@example.org
MLA (MARTIN AUDIO)..................................................www.martin-audio.com............................. email@example.com
RADIAL ENGINEERING........................................................ www.radialeng.com................................................. firstname.lastname@example.org
(RCF) SOUNDS DISTRIBUTION...................................... www.soundsdist.com......................................... email@example.com
ROLAND SYSTEMS GROUP............. www.rolandsystemsgroup.com/vmix...............................firstname.lastname@example.org
SF MARKETING – SOLOTECH..................................... www.shurecanada.com................................................................. email@example.com
SOUNDS DISTRIBUTION.................................................. www.soundsdist.com......................................... firstname.lastname@example.org
TELEX (SF MARKETING)....................................................................... www.sfm.ca................................................................. email@example.com
URC (SF MARKETING).......................................................................... www.sfm.ca................................................................. firstname.lastname@example.org
VELLONE COMMUNICATION..................................................www.vellone.com...................................................... email@example.com
YAMAHA – CL SERIES.......................................................... www.yamahaca.com................................................firstname.lastname@example.org
YAMAHA – M7CL.................................................................. www.yamahaca.com................................................email@example.com
To view the online digital version of Professional Sound, please go to www.professional-sound.com Professional Sound 57
Factor Electronics VMIX Mixer Series
Factor Electronics has released VMIX, a new line of mixers incorporating a microphone pre-amplifier design with a noise spec of -128dB and up to 74dB of clean gain. The new mixers are available from 8 inputs to 32 inputs with the 8- to 18-channel models providing 24-bit editable digital effects with tap tempo features for delay effects, stereo USB in/out, 4-band EQs, and adjustable compressors on all microphone inputs. The VMIX24-4 and VMIX32-4 models provide a complete host of professional features for FOH or monitoring tasks with individually switchable 48 V phantom power polarity switches, 15dB pad, inserts, direct outputs, 100 Hz HPF, 4-band dual mid sweepable EQ with in/out switches, and EQ pre/post fader or EQ switchable in/out on the direct outputs, six AUX sends pre/post fader, mute, solo (PFL) switches, and a 4-segment LED display and 100 mm fader on every input. The master section provides a 4 x 7 monitor matrix, talk back mic with extensive routing matrix, 1 K and pink test tone generator, six master sends with 60 mm faders, LCR, master, and four subgroups with 100 mm faders with 12 segment LED master output displays. Other features include a 2 U rack mount power supply with optional redundant backup power supply port, gold-plated XLRs, and an all-metal chassis. For more information, contact Factor Electronics: 778-574-3883, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.factorelectronics.com.
Dirty Rigger SRT Work Gloves
Dirty Rigger has unveiled its latest work glove, the SRT. The SRT has been designed to withstand vigorous manual labour in all weather conditions, be comfortable, and comply with relevant EN specifications. The SRT features: Daewoo International branded suede leather; ultra-grip silicone on palm and finger key areas; high-density absorbing palm padding; moulded rubber finger guards; and an all black, low profile finish. The gloves are EN 420:2003 compliant. For more information, contact William F. White International Inc.: 416-239-5050 ext. 2250, www.whites.com.
58 Professional Sound
Grundorf Utility Transport Dolly Plates
Grundorf has introduced three new utility transport dollies manufactured from 13-ply Baltic birch wood finished with rounded edges and carpeted surface for protection against damage and splintering. The dollies feature a carry handle and are designed to stand on their side when not in use. The dollies are also outfitted with two brakes that enable them to remain stationary on an incline. These utility transport dollies are available in two plate sizes: small (20.75 x 20.75"), and large (29.75 x 20.75"). The small model is outfitted with a choice of heavy-duty 3" or 4" casters while the large dolly employs heavy-duty 4" casters. For more information, contact Grundorf: 712-322-3900, FAX 712-322-3407, support@ grundaudio.com, www.grundorf.com.
DPA d:facto Vocal Microphone DPA Microphones has launched its handheld d:facto vocal mic, a supercardioid mic featuring a 3-stage pop protection grid built into the microphone. Main features of the d:facto include controlled off-axis response, high separation, and sound level handling. The d:facto is crafted of premium selected materials designed to provide a rugged solution for professional use. For more information, contact DPA Microphones: 303-485-1025, FAX 303485-6470, info-usa@dpamicrophones. com, www.dpamicrophones.com. Professional Sound 59
By Colin Bernard
hen I was first approached to write this article, I must admit my mind did reflect back to the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. During this time, sound designers of mainstream theatre musicals had just started using 24-channel systems that I, as the supplier, was ultimately responsible and on the hook for if they experienced RF interference. That was considered a lot of wireless channels in those days; however, we did have the luxury of a lot more of the RF spectrum being available, utilizing the VHF band and then migrating to the UHF 470-698 MHz and 698-806 MHz bands. The next challenge with which I was involved was in 1993 – a major 32-channel musical which toured 20 US and Canadian cities including Broadway in New York and then ventured to Asia. During that era, this production would not have been possible without large chunks of TV “white space” being unoccupied. Several North American productions touring with 48-channel systems were next to depart our shores. They were crazy times, with some systems moving every six weeks! How time flies, though. It’s now 23 years later and the spectrum landscape certainly has changed quite substantially with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the US outlawing all use of wireless microphones in the prime real estate range of the 698-806 MHz bands. Additionally, the FCC has adopted new rules and opened opportunities for new unlicensed “white space devices,” or TVBDs, for future use in the 470-698 MHz TV bands while establishing essential protections to prevent interference and disruption to important incumbent services, including broadcasting and wireless microphones. Industry Canada is yet to rule on this issue and has been conducting consultations, for
which I was one of many parties that were contacted. In January 2010, Industry Canada permanently allocated the UHF chunks 764776 MHz and 776-794 MHz for “exclusive public safety use.” As a result, no wireless microphone users were permitted to operate
in that range as of March 31, 2011. In the remaining UHF bands (698-764 MHz and 776-794 MHz), “these devices will be allowed to operate until a later date, which will be announced by the department” states the January 2010 document. No more wireless mic device certifications in the 698-706 MHZ bands have been permitted in Canada as of that date. So here we are now in June 2012. Monopolists like the Googles and Microsofts of the world have their eyes pinned on the 470-698 MHz “beachfront property” for possible use for new wireless “SuperWiFi” white space device usage. This range of frequencies provides good propagation characteristics with low power and practical antenna sizes for these types of future devices. Today, Industry Canada informs
me they expect to inform the industry of “their firm policy decision on future TV white space activity in the summer of 2012 in respect to the 470-698 MHz frequency band.” With respect to the below 698 MHz analog to DTV transition in Canada, most major broadcasters in the urban population centres in Canada have completed and vacated their temporary DTV test transmission channel assignments and are now permanently broadcasting in digital, mostly on their original “old” analog TV channel allocations. In some cases, this shifting has freed up some previously occupied TV channels for our use. In dealing with these ongoing shrinking RF spectrum challenges, manufacturers are utilizing high-end, very sensitive selective receiver technologies that utilize extensive front-end filtering combined with frequency agile transmitters that incorporate variable power. Receivers with built-in scanners are a great tool when in a pinch on location and useful if ever in the need to get out of trouble. Utilizing intermodulation analysis software frequency coordination programs and portable RF spectrum analyzers, there is a growing need for qualified Frequency Coordinators. The coordinators are punching out many more compatible frequencies than they did 23 years ago, as the growing demand for more and more IEMs and IFBs including communication systems continues, pushing some productions to the limit. If you plan on expanding your existing setup or purchasing new systems, you need to be aware of the potential for outside interference; however, with thorough initial planning/scanning and more and more readily affordable frequency coordination programs like IAS and RF Guru coming to market, creative productions using more and more wireless devices will prevail!
Colin Bernard is an industry veteran with 23 years in pro audio in Canada and seven years prior to that Managing Sennheiser South Africa followed by a stint managing the Pro Audio Dept of Neumann and Sennheiser in Canada. As the Director of Canadian Operations of Lectrosonics Canada since 2006, Colin specializes in supporting all aspects of the design, sale, deployment, and implementation of wireless microphones, IFB, IEM, and DSP automixer systems in the broadcast, film, theatre, staging, touring, and AV markets. He is always willing to discuss and help out with RF management, so you can contact him at 416-768- 2220 or email@example.com. 60 Professional Sound
PAG Canada Ltd. 1-866-9 PAG CAN (972-4226) â€˘ E-mail: sales@PAGcanada.com
Industry Events & Shows
CITT Rendez-vous 2012 London, ON August 14-18, 2012 888-271-3383, FAX 613-482-1212 firstname.lastname@example.org, www.citt.org
Acoustics Week In Canada 2012 Banff, AB October 10-12, 2012 613-562-5800, FAX 613-562-5248 email@example.com, www.caa-aca.ca
IBC 2012 Amsterdam, Netherlands Conference: September 6-11, 2012 Exhibition: September 7-11, 2012 +44 20-7832-4100, FAX +44 20-7832-4130 firstname.lastname@example.org, www.ibc.org
Prolight + Sound Shanghai 2012 Shanghai, China October 11-14, 2012 +852 2238 9985 www.prolightsound-shanghai.com
PLASA 2012 London, UK September 9-12, 2012 +44 020-7370-8665 email@example.com, www.plasashow.com 2012 Radio Show Dallas, TX September 19-21, 2012 www.radioshowweb.com CCBE 2012 Barrie, ON September 20-23, 2012 800-481-4649, FAX 705-484-2112 firstname.lastname@example.org, www.ccbe.ca NECA Convention & Trade Show 2012 Las Vegas, NV September 29-October 2, 2012 301-215-4506, FAX 301-215-4553 email@example.com, www.necaconvention.org
2012 SMPTE Annual Technical Conference & Exhibition Hollywood, CA October 22-25, 2012 914-761-1100, FAX 914-761-3115 www.smpte.org AVX 2012 Denver, CO October 23-24, 2012 303-771-2000 firstname.lastname@example.org, www.avxpo.biz 133rd AES Convention 2012 San Francisco, CA October 26-29, 2012 212-661-8528, FAX 212-682-0477 www.aes.org 2012 IES Annual Conference Minneapolis, MN November 11-13, 2012 212-248-5000, FAX 212-248-5017 email@example.com, www.ies.org
Digital Hollywood New York City New York, NY November 15-16, 2012 212-352-9720 firstname.lastname@example.org, www.digitalhollywood.com
2013 BICSI Winter Conference & Exhibition January 20-24, 2013 Tampa, FL 800-242-7405, FAX 813-971-4311 email@example.com, www.bicsi.org 2013 NAMM Show Anaheim, CA January 24-27, 2013 760-438-8001, FAX 760-438-7327 firstname.lastname@example.org, www.namm.org AES 49th Conference On Audio for Games London, UK February 6-8, 2013 212-661-2777, FAX 212-682-04477 email@example.com, www.aes.org NAB 2013 Las Vegas, NV April 6-11, 2012 202-595-2052 www.nabshow.com CinemaCon Las Vegas, NV April 15-18, 2013 516-439-5511, FAX 516-439-5512 firstname.lastname@example.org, www.cinemacon.com
Visit www.nor.com/events for more pro audio, lighting, music, and MI events.
62 Professional Sound
Education Training for the Musical Trades Guitar Building and Repair Live Sound Recording Tube Amps C.N.C. Training Courses and Workshops
Summit School of Guitar Building 6114 W. Island Hwy Qualicum Beach, BC V9K 2E2 www.luthiers-international.com 1-888-901-9903
Employment A/V production & rental company based in Alberta is seeking experienced Senior Audio Engineer. The ideal candidate will have 10+ years experience in live sound engineering operating digital audio mixing consoles in large performance spaces such as arenas and outdoor stadiums. 5+ years of worldwide touring experience managing and training sound system technicians is also required. This position offers a competitive annual salary ($55-$60K) and benefit package. Qualified applicants: please send your resume to: email@example.com. Sounds Distribution Inc., distributor of American DJ, RCF, MICROH Professional Products, Odyssey, American Audio and more is looking for an experienced Service Technician. Full benefits and competitive salary being offered. Technical training in the field and full understanding of DMX and Pro Audio products would be an asset along with at least 2 years of work experience. Company situated in Ajax, Ontario. Please send resume to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Sales Representative – Erikson Pro (Central Canada) - Great Work Environment! JAM Industries is a leading distributor of consumer electronic goods, pro-audio equipment and musical instruments. To learn more about JAM Industries, please visit our website at www.JamIndustries.com. We are currently seeking a talented, resourceful, confident candidate to join our team as Sales Representative for our Erikson Pro Division, handling Central Canada (Ontario minus Ottawa). Erikson Pro is a Canadian distributor of Professional touring and installation audio and architectural, entertainment, and touring lighting solutions as well as system control and automation. Our market caters the audio, lighting, and video systems contactors and integrators. Brands distributed include Allen&Heath, Denon & Marantz, and Turbosound to name a few. Working from a Home Office based in the Toronto region and reporting to Montreal’s Headquarters, the Sales Representative will be responsible for growing brands within the prescribed territory by contacting prospec64 Professional Sound
tive customers and strengthening relationships with existing clients. Specific responsibilities will include, but are not limited to: • Servicing existing accounts by maintaining inventory levels, performing staff training seminars, merchandising goods and coordination of store promotions when needed; • Cold calling to prospects and existing customers; • Following up with new/existing customers, leads, and opportunities; • Maintaining up-to-date knowledge of products and ensuring customers are informed of current and new products; • Attending trade shows, educational seminars, and sales meetings, as required; • Completing administrative tasks in a timely manner including weekly activity reports; • Providing excellent customer service and develop strong customer relationship; • Actively participate in weekly conference calls and sales meetings to improve sales efficiency and success;
Requirements: • Completed college; • 2 to 4 years Pro Audio sales experience, ideally in distribution, manufacturing or at the dealer level; • Knowledge of territory and dealers would be an asset; • Valid driver’s license and reliable transportation required and must be able to travel regularly to customers located throughout Ontario; • Able to work with all client levels including dealers, end-users, consultants, etc; • Self-motivated, self starter who is well organized and enjoys a challenge; • Experience with and a strong commitment to customer service is essential and excels at providing excellent customer service; • Can sell – proven track record; • Can handle difficult situations with diplomacy and tact; • Has a hunger to grow and succeed; • Strategic thinker – can think out-of-the-box and able to “think on your feet”; • Able to work closely with management to ensure achievement of sales objectives; • Proficiency with Microsoft Office Applications; • Exceptional verbal, written and presentation skills; • Engaging, likable and confident; • Demonstrated organizational ability and follow-through; • Demonstrated ability to work in a fast paced, dynamic environment; • Demonstrated ability to work autonomously with minimal supervision; • Strong attention to detail; To apply for this position or to learn about all career opportunities at JAM Industries, please visit our career page at the following link: http://tbe.taleo.net/NA11/ats/careers/ requisition.jsp?org=JAMINDUSTRIES&cws =1&rid=209 While we appreciate your interest, please
note that only qualified candidates will be contacted.
Opportunities On the Millpond – live/work opportunity for recording professionals Minutes from the 401, mixed-use building located in Ayr, Region of Waterloo. Enjoy our rural urban lifestyle. onthemillpond.ca. For Sale, Authentic Recording Studio 35 years in the business, Quest in Oshawa is offering its turnkey operation at $460,000, includes land, buildings & all equipment. Info, equipment list and photos, 905-2426049 or email@example.com. Magnificent 2,000 sq. ft. recording studio for sale in Old Montreal, with a view of the St. Lawrence River. Contact Laurent: 514-8782709, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Products NEED SPEAKERS? EMINENCE - B&C - PIONEER - PHILIPS MOTOROLA & tons more! Speakers, crossovers, cabinet hardware, wire, and connectors. Upgrade and/or build your own pro sound or guitar rig and save. WE STOCK SPEAKERS and related accessories for musical instrument, professional sound, home stereo, home theatre, commercial sound, and everything else in between. Visit us on the web and download our catalogues and price lists today. Dealer inquiries welcome. Q-COMPONENTS 638 Colby Dr., Waterloo, ON N2V 1A2 Toll free: 1-800-363-6336 www.loudspeakers.ca email@example.com
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ProJect File In order to record audio while in the field in Mozambique’s Gorongosa National Park for the National Geographic documentary War Elephants, Sound Engineer David Ruddick turned to Sound Devices’ 552 Production Mixer. “The film presented many obstacles for recording great dialogue,” says Ridduck. “When we were filming elephants, we had to position the sound vehicle in just the right place to have good wireless range and be out of the shot while leaving an escape route for the vehicle just in case we met a rogue elephant who wanted to smash the sound vehicle. I had a lot going on but having the 552 riding shotgun next to me made mixing and recording second nature. The 552 is built like a tank, sounds great, and is always reliable in demanding situations. It didn’t miss a take.”
Donny Da Silva, Studio Manager at Toronto’s Noble Street Studios, recently procured some new Royer Labs mics from HHB Canada to add to the studio’s arsenal of recording equipment. “In recent months, Noble Street Studios has handled album projects for two well-known Canadian bands, The Tragically Hip and Billy Talent, as well as having recorded the orchestral soundtrack for the new four-part TV miniseries Titanic,” Da Silva explains. “For these and other projects, it was critical to have the best microphones and, in all cases, we were getting requests for Royer Labs. We already had a pair of R-121 studio ribbon mics, and the addition of the SF-24V and the R-122s really helped solidify our ability to meet the requests we received.”
Quantum5X Systems Inc. hosted the theatrical debut of its Incognito WigMic at a special performance of Hair in conjunction with London, ON’s The Grand Theatre. Sixteen cast members wore the wireless transmitter in Hair, marking the first time a professional theatrical production was miked entirely using Q5X’s Incognito. “Hair is known to be one of the most difficult musicals to stage from an audio design perspective,” says Deb Harvey, Executive Director of The Grand Theatre. “The brief nude scene requires wireless mics for the vocals but makes hiding traditional body pack transmitters very difficult. The Q5X Incognito WigMic is the perfect invisible solution.”
66 Professional Sound
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