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PAG Canada Ltd. 1-866-9 PAG CAN (972-4226) • E-mail:

26 Bedside Studios

Cover Photo: Greg Rushton, Shaili Patel & Devy Breda of Mulvey & Banani International Inc. at Ryerson University’s Mattamy Athletic Centre in Toronto by Lana Pesant. Contents Photo: Bedside Studios’ control room by James Forsman.

Manitoba’s Award-Winning Musical Hub

By Anthony Altomare The freedom that comes with operating a private studio has helped Len Milne to create one of the most popular and unique locations where Manitoba musicians can record. With a proven track record that has earned him numerous awards and nominations, Milne continues to produce recordings that keep clients coming back to Bedside.

Departments June 2013 • Vol.XXIV No.3

9 Input Website Marketing, Part 3 By Pierre Louis Landry 10 Signals Registration Now Open For The PAL Show 2013; Riedel Names Daniel Huard As Sales Manager For Canada; Engineering Harmonics Announces New Partners; Sounds Now Distributing VMB Lift Products In Canada; Solotech Announces Expansion At En Coulisse 2013 … and more news inside.



34 38

Mattamy Athletic Centre

From Abandoned Arena To Technology-Rich Training Facility

By Kevin Young Completed in time for the beginning of Ryerson University’s 2012/2013 school year, the Mattamy Athletic Centre is impressive technologically and aesthetically, providing those who may never have attended a game or concert at Maple Leaf Gardens with a cutting-edge sporting facility that carries on the tradition and legacy of the original venue.

Rath Eastlink Community Centre Linking Spaces & Citizens In Truro, NS

By Andrew King The Rath Eastlink Community Centre opened its doors in early 2013 and welcomed residents of its home community to a host of new recreational opportunities aided by some sophisticated yet user-friendly linked A/V systems.

Britain’s Greatest Live Band?

Out Front & Underneath The Stage With Muse’s Sound Crew

By Michael Raine While Muse earns much attention for their futuristic stage productions, no band can be this lauded for its live performance with lacklustre sound. After all, sound crews are akin to referees; when they’re on their game, you don’t notice them. Luckily for fans, there haven’t been bad nights on The 2nd Law Tour as the crew came well prepared.

18 Profile • François Corbin • Brad Dugas • Jody Perpick 22 Product Tests • Behringer X32 Digital Mixer • Dangerous Music Source Portable Monitor Controller • Shure Beta 181 Side-Address Microphone 44 Products Avid Pro Tools 11; K.M.E. MCX15 Monitor; Four Audio DBS1 Dante Breakout Box; Sennheiser 9000 Series Digital Wireless System; Axia iQ IP Console … and more products inside. 53 56 58 60 62

Advertisers’ Index Sound Advice Itinerary Classifieds Project File



assistant editor MICHAEL RAINE

contributing writers


art director


consumer services director MAUREEN JACK



business services representative RYAN DAVID

digital marketing coordinator MELISSA LOSIER

business manager LIZ BLACK

administration assistant HEATHER DUNCANSON

advertisers’ index

For more information on products advertised in Professional Sound, please see page 53 or visit 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%), 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,

HEAD OFFICE 23 Hannover Dr., #7, St. Catharines, ON L2W 1A3 905-641-3471, FAX 888-665-1307,, US MAILING ADDRESS 4600 Witmer Industrial Estates, #6, Niagara Falls, NY 14305 6 Professional Sound

Keeps getting better...

SD9 Rack-Pack

The all inclusive 72 mic input system now operates at 96kHz, (among other things). The sonic excellence and feature packed operation of the Digico SD9 gets expanded and improved – again. For the over 75 Canadian SD9 owners who rely on their Digico SD9’s to deliver a state of the art mixing experience, these new features and capabilities will simply add value and performance to an already award-winning console. For those who are evaluating their best investment in a Digital Mixing System we invite you to call for an in-depth discussion or a feature-packed SD9 demo.  6kHz, Networking via Optics, Broadcast & Theatre specific expansion Software, What’s changed: 9 iPADTM App, 64 Channel built-in MADI Router and lots of other cool stuff. What hasn’t: 48 Flexi Channels (Stereo or Mono, equivalent to 96 channels of DSP), 47 Busses comprised of 16 Flexi Busses (Stereo or Mono) plus L/R, L/C/R Master, 2 Stereo Solo Busses and 12 x 8 Matrix 8 (each) DiGiTube Emulation, Dynamic Eq, Multiband Compressors & EFX Sixteen 31-band Graphic Equalizers (with new assignment features) Multi-channel Folding and Buss Reordering Full WavesTM plug-in integration (optional) 48 Channel Recording & Playback via (Optional) USB-MADI device Two 32 In by up to 16 Out 96kHz Remote Stage D-Racks Two Digital Snakes Dual Power Supplies all round (SD9 Surface plus both D-Racks) Touring Flight Case with Dust Cover and LED Littlelites The price ! Everything above and more for $29,950 CDN LIST. In Stock.

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 DiGiCo is distributed in Canada by GerrAudio Distribution • 613.342.6999 • • iPad is a registered trademark of Apple. Waves is a registered TRADEMARK of Waves Audio ltd.

Website Marketing

Part 3 – Nurturing Successful Google Visibility By Pierre Louis Landry Creating and maintaining a business presence online is more practical than ever before. Having interesting, original content relevant to your potential customers is part of your brand building. Seduce your customers by providing them with what they want to know. Why Nurture Search Engine Visibility? Achieving visibility by having your webpages show up in search engine results pages (SERPs) for related web search queries provides you with new business opportunities. To ensure this free placement, you need to provide search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo with easy-to-read webpages. I make reference to webpages because Google searches for new pages, not websites. It cannot read the text in Flash animations nor displayed in images. More importantly, it can’t guess what you do if you never write it in plain text. To ensure that all your webpages are visible to search engines, you need to follow some simple optimization steps. On-Page Optimization & Source Code On-page search engine optimization (SEO) provides both best practices for your content structure as well as instructions to search engines on how to identify the key elements and keywords of your webpages. The tasks are divided between page formatting tricks and instructions found in each page’s HTML source code. All web design software provides access to this hidden source code, which is basically text commands (instructions) on how a website page is displayed on your computer. To see any webpage source code, right click on any web page in your browser and choose “View Source Code” or “Show Page Source.” Though it may seem like gibberish to you, it’s the webpages’ operations manual that search engines need to read. Treat Each Webpage Like A Book, With Its Own Table Of Contents Every book aims for an attractive, sellable title, the author’s name, a nice looking front cover, a summary of the book on the back cover, and a table of contents showing the chapters and subjects related to those

chapters. As you scan through the chapters, you find the content and supportive media such as diagrams, images, and logos. If you follow the same practices for every webpage, not only will it be easier for customers to read by being more visually appealing, but you’re also making your pages visible to search engines. They can now extract (or index) the pertinent and most relevant information related to your business.

The 4 Key Webpage Elements To Gain Search Engine Visibility 1) Give each page title a great book name For each new page, add the name of the title in three different places: • At the end of your domain name’s URL. If this article was a website page, it would read • The page’s actual <title> in source code, and • Your first top page heading formatted as H1. Heading 1 is comparable to a book title. 2) Provide your summary to both search engines and customers Your summary is a 155-character compelling description of the webpage we place in the Meta name=Description in source code. It serves as an advertisement for the page, so include the page’s most important keywords. It is extremely important since the Meta description is text that is shown on the SERPs and needs to convince someone to choose your site. Facebook also uses this description when you provide a link to one of your pages. 3) Separate your article as if providing a visual table of contents with Heading Tags h2 to h6

When search engines analyze your site, they pay particular attention to what lies between the HTML heading tags, especially <H1>, <H2>, and <H3>. In other words, titles and subtitles are important positions for keywords and synonyms. We only use one H1 as our page title. Each subsequent heading (or section titles – also comparable to a chapter) is considered an H2 tag, so expect to have several. If I have sub sections within the main sections, then they become H3 tags of that particular H2. 4) Describe all media that supports your content If you are using images, logos, graphics, or videos, identify them in the source code with “Alt Text,” which is an alternative text description for that media. Don’t call your logo “logo.” It could easily be your company name or short slogan. You would be surprised to see how many websites don’t actually have their company name in plain text anywhere. This mini-book approach offers search engines the appropriate page set-up for naturally indexing the key elements of your story, which assures your visibility. Consider Website Visibility Audits or Competitive Visibility Reports, which become a blueprint for your online business strategy for increased search visibility, tips and ideas to increase your ranking, and best practices to provide pertinent content for your potential customers. Achieving search engine visibility is one of the biggest keys to continued success. The best part? You own this relatively low cost online marketing vehicle ( your website) and have complete control over its success.

Pierre Louis Landry is the Founder of Landry Solutions, an online marketing firm specializing in website optimization (SEO), creation, revamping, management, and business development for production technologies clients. He provides services like the Website Visibility Audits and Competitive Visibility Reports mentioned in this article. He also pursues his passion for photography for personal enrichment, family, corporate customers, and musicians. He can be reached at or by visiting

Professional Sound 9

Industry Happenings...

Registration Now Open For The PAL Show 2013 Registration is now open for the 12 annual PAL Show at www. th This year’s PAL Show will take place Sept. 8-9 at the International Centre in Toronto. Organizers have handed over show management duties to Matrix North Events while Norris-Whitney Communications (publisher of PS) is handling seminars, marketing, and social events. The PAL Show’s Technical Seminar Program is designed to give attendees a chance to learn about current issues and emergent trends. Confirmed seminars to date include “Production Tips For Event Planners,” presented by Rob Sandolowich of Westbury National; “Broadcast Audio” presented by Michael Nunan of CTV BellMedia; and a Producers Panel featuring Terry Brown, Richard Chycki, Dan Weston, and Jon Drew. Many more sessions will be announced in the coming weeks. Networking events and industry approved training programs are also in the works as organizers promise the 2013 PAL Show will be a marked improvement over the 2012 edition. For more information as it becomes available, contact The PAL Show: 416-490-1871, FAX 866-524-0037,, Also, check out the next issue of PS for our Focus on The PAL Show 2013.

Engineering Harmonics Announces New Partners Philip Giddings, Founder and President of Toronto-based A/V

(L-R) New Engineering Harmonics partners Martin Van Dijk, Claude Bedard, Gary Tibshirani & Andrew Kozak 10 Professional Sound

design firm Engineering Harmonics, announced a new partnership at the company’s 2013 annual general meeting, naming Claude Bedard, Andrew Kozak, Gary Tibshirani, and Martin Van Dijk as partners and directors with the company. “Claude Bedard, Andrew Kozak, Gary Tibshirani, and Martin Van Dijk are industry leaders in complementary areas of the business and together now as partners and directors, they will continue to raise the bar at Engineering Harmonics,” Giddings says. For more information, contact Engineering Harmonics: 416465-3378, FAX 416-465-9037,

The Number Are In For NAB 2013 The National Association of Broadcasters has

Charles Bolden, NASA Administrator at the NAB Technology Luncheon.

released preliminary figures from the 2013 NAB Show. NAB reported exhibit space grew nearly 10 per cent over 2012. The event comprised of 1,600 exhibitors spanning 900,000-sq.-ft. of exhibit space, up from 815,000 in 2012. The total numbers for the 2013 NAB Show were: Total Registered Attendees: 92,414 International Attendees: 24,461 Countries Represented: 155 For more information, visit

2013 Canadian DJ Show The Largest & Most Diverse Yet The 2013 Canadian DJ Show Presented by

Pioneer DJ was held at the International Centre in Toronto on April 13 and 14. With the larger location came more people and more features to the show. The show included an exhibit hall featuring 30 exhibitors displaying over 100 brands of DJ, lighting, and sound gear. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We went into this obviously much bigger venue and had much more going on during the show so adding all of that additional content, we were hoping for a larger turnout and we definitely got it,â&#x20AC;? CDJ Show co-found Ryan Schroeyens tells PS, adding that many of the 20 educational seminars were filled to over-capacity. One major highlight was the one-onone DJ battle featuring 2012 DMC World Supremacy and Canadian Champion DJ Vekked and 2004 DMC Canadian Champion and JUNO Award-winner DJ Brace. For more information, visit www. Professional Sound 11


Photo: Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH 2013, Pietro Sutera

Photo: Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH 2013, Jochen Günther


Prolight+Sound 2013 Sets New Attendance, Exhibitor Records Prolight + Sound 2013, which took place in Frankfurt, Germany from

April 10-13, hosted a record setting 901 exhibitors, up from 878 in 2012, from 41 countries. The visitor numbers also set a new record with 42,713 trade visitors from 114 nations, up from 40,894 in 2012. “From the point of view of exhibitors and visitors, Prolight + Sound was an excellent international marketing platform and order fair. The numbers on the exhibitor and visitor sides are unequivocal confirmation that the concept of the fair is spot on,” says Detlef Braun, Member of the Executive Board of Messe Frankfurt GmbH. The event combined an extensive range of products and services with complementary programming, including information events such as the Prolight + Sound Conference, the Eventplaza Conference, and the International Event Safety Conference, as well as the integration of related product groups. For more information, go to …The Society of Motion Picture & Television Engineers (SMPTE) Executive Director Barbara Lange has announced the formation of the Joint Task Force on Networked Media (JT-NM) in collaboration with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and Video Services Forum (VSF). Working with stakeholders, the JT-NM plans to map out a strategy for developing a packetbased network infrastructure for the creation, storage, transfer, and streaming of professional media.

Solotech Announces Expansion At En Coulisse 2013 At the 14 edition of the En Coulisse trade show, which took place th

(L-R) Eric Bourgeois, Bill Lawlor, Denis Lefrancois, Larry Medwin & Brian Konechny at En Coulisse 2013.

May 1-2 at the Montreal Convention Centre, Solotech President Denis Lefrançois announced the opening of two new Sales and Integration offices in Vancouver and Halifax. The new Vancouver office will operate under the leadership of live entertainment industry veteran Brian Konechny. Larry Medwin, who brings experience with lighting, audio, and video sales in Western Canada, is handling integration sales. Eric Bourgeois will manage the company’s new Halifax operation, with Bill Lawlor overseeing sales. Bourgeois and Lawlor bring collective experience in A/V sales and integration in Atlantic Canada. Solotech also announced the addition of Rob Lanthier to the Sales

and Integration team in its Ottawa office. Solotech’s 2013 En Coulisse trade show was the largest in the company’s history, with 30 per cent more exhibitor space than previous years. Organizers say they’re planning on expanding again next year due to customer and exhibitor demand. Additional information on all three of Solotech’s announcements can be found at, www.solotech. com/halifax, and 12 Professional Sound

Photo: Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH 2013, Pietro Sutera

Nimbus Offering New Live Sound, Post Production & Game Audio Courses Nimbus School of RecordSounds Distribution President Rohan Persaud.

Sounds Now Distributing VMB Lift Products In Canada Sounds Distribution has announced that it is now the Canadian

distributor for VMB lift products. The distribution agreement is currently in effect. Sounds Distribution President Rohan Persaud tells PS,â&#x20AC;&#x153;On VMB, because we do a lot of sales with aluminum truss and also with line array speakers from RCF, we needed to have something that would facilitate and add to the sales of those products. VMB, being made in Spain, offered high quality, good pricing, and we thought it was a good fit for us.â&#x20AC;? For more information, contact Sounds Distribution: 800-267-6863, FAX 877-686-3329,,

ing Arts in Vancouver is now offering several new hands-on, mentorshipbased audio programs and course options. The courses include: Live Sound, Post-Production & G a m e Au d i o, a n d Advanced Music Business. Live Sound will give students hands-on training and mentorship in live venue mixing and recording. Post-Production & Game Audio will train students in film and television sound creation, mixing, recording, and the technique of audio design for interactive gaming environments. The new programs and course options will be available for students entering the school in the fall of 2013. For more information, go to

Professional Sound 13



Adamson Celebrates 30 Years & Welcomes New Applications Engineer Port Perry, ON-based loudspeaker developer and manu-

facturer Adamson Systems Engineering is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2013. Adamson was founded in 1983 by Brock Adamson, who envisioned a method of reproducing sound that, even at extremely high levels, would retain the integrity of the original waveform and preserve the subtleties of symmetry, coherency, and intelligibility. Over the next Les Paul (left) with Adamson Systems two decades, Adamson’s continued innovation led to a Engineering Founder Brock Adamson. number of published patents in loudspeaker technologies. From those patented principles emerged complex sound chambers, highly engineered drivers, as well as rigging and cabinet designs. Brock Adamson has driven the evolution of Adamson Systems Engineering from a small speaker shop to a company invested in its own factory, with a broad engineering base and a wide range of computer controlled manufacturing machinery. Presently, Brock Adamson continues to spearhead the engineering department and advance Adamson’s manufacturing facilities with automation and high-tech machinery. An expansion of the facilities is also planned for the near future. Meanwhile, Adamson has also announced the addition of Applications Engineer Brian Fraser to the sales and support team. Fraser brings his experience in production management, front of house, and monitors to the post. For more information, contact Adamson Systems Engineering: 905-982-0520, FAX 905-9820609,,

Adamson Applications Engineer Brian Fraser.

Symetrix Appoints Craig Richardson As VP of Global Sales Symetrix has appointed Craig Richardson to the position of VP of Global Sales. Richardson

assumes responsibility for management of the company’s worldwide sales and business development. Speaking to the Canadian market, Richardson tells PS, “I’ve always been impressed with the resourcefulness and high quality design and install work from our Canadian partners. Their skills are a great match for the flexibility and capability of Symetrix’s products and I look forward to getting into the territory and learning how we can best help our partners with their design and install challenges.” Symetrix products are distributed in Canada by SF Marketing. For more information, contact Symetrix: 425-778-7728,, Atlona Senior Sales Manager, Americas, Mike Grubb.

PCS Now Distributing Atlona Integration Solutions In Canada Atlona has announced an expansion to its North American network by forming a distribu-

tion partnership with Pacific Cabling Solutions (PCS), a specialty distributor of connectivity products and solutions. Under the agreement, PCS will distribute Atlona’s entire range of integration solutions across Canada. “PCS prides itself on selecting partners that have a strong desire to support their distributors in the same way that we support our dealers,” says PCS National Sales Manager Rick Ganga. “With Atlona, we gain a flexible, innovative partner that is committed to excellence in addition to a portfolio of high-quality digital connectivity products that will keep our customers on the cutting edge.” For more information, contact PCS: 604-946-0669,, 14 Professional Sound

HHB Canada Assumes Canadian Distribution of Drawmer Electronics HHB Communications Canada has been appointed the exclusive Canadian distributor of Drawmer Electronics products. Based in the

U.K., Drawmer Electronics designs and manufactures analog and digital audio processing equipment for live, installed, broadcast, and studio sound applications. Dave Dysart, President of HHB Canada, comments, “I have always had great respect for Drawmer products, and am honoured to be presented with the opportunity to represent the brand. Our strong team of sales reps across the country will ensure that there will be good visibility for Drawmer in the pro audio, MI, contracting, and live sound markets.” The transition from Gerr Audio, the former distributor, to HHB will be seamless, with all parties working towards a smooth changeover. Gerr President Bob Snelgrove comments, “As our business model changed, it became obvious we needed to find a new Canadian home for Drawmer. I immediately thought of our friends at HHB. We wish them great success.” For more information, contact HHB Communications Canada: 416-867-9000, FAX 416-867-1080,,

Riedel Names Daniel Huard As Sales Manager For Canada Riedel Communications has announced

the appointment of Daniel Huard as Sales Manager for Canada. In this role with Riedel, Huard will work to increase awareness and adoption of the company’s products in broadcast, entertainment, and sports event applications, and to continue the growth of Riedel’s rental services. “Daniel has been actively involved in audio and video production for more than 25 years, with an exclusive focus on A/V equipment sales and rental over the past decade,” says Christopher Street, GM of North and Central America for Riedel Communications. Huard, who is fluent in both English and French, will be based in Quebec and can be reached at 514-299-1000, daniel., Professional Sound 15



Professional Sound Next Generation Survey

Professional Sound surveyed pro sound professionals across the country to get their thoughts and impressions on the younger generation working in the industry as well as the schools/programs that have trained them. Here are the results: How optimistic/pessimistic are you about the skills, knowledge, and ambition of newcomers (under 30) to the pro sound industry? Very optimistic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10% Slightly optimistic. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36% Indifferent. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12% Slightly pessimistic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28% Very pessimistic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8% Do you believe the industry would benefit from a stronger focus on educating and stimulating the younger generation of talent entering the pro sound industry through trade shows, publications, online resources, etc.? Absolutely. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44% Possibly . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28% I don’t think it would make a difference. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22% No Answer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6% Based on your own experience or through observation of the recent grads that you’ve worked with, do you feel college/university programs are doing a good job of preparing young professionals for the job? Most schools/programs do a fine job. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8% It depends on the school/program. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46% In general, I don’t think it makes a difference. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12% Most schools/programs do a poor job. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22% I don’t know. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12% Would you ever consider enrolling an employee in a training or workshop program tailored to young professionals entering the pro sound industry? Absolutely. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22% Possibly. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40% Probably not. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24% No. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8%

Speaking Out In your experience, what is your general impression of the newcomers (under 30) to the Canadian pro sound industry? Are they more qualified and/or knowledgeable than they were, say, 5-10 years ago? “Generally they seem to think they have it all mastered already simply because they went to school but they have no real world experience, which results in terrible trouble shooting and client skills. There aren’t many good paying jobs for them either so it’s hard to motivate them when the pay sucks and there is no real up side.” “The knowledge and expertise is 10 times better than 5-10 years ago. More attentive and they know their stuff.” “Most newcomers are less knowledgeable than 5-10 years ago. I believe some young guys taught themselves the trade in order to possibly start their own business with their own system; however, I don’t see that many new guys taking that route any more. Most want to fast track without the background…. That said, there are always a few shining stars that come along, but they will succeed without formal schooling.

16 Professional Sound

Erikson Commercial’s New Ontario Sales Rep, Dan Durbin.

Erikson Commercial Announces Retirement & Hiring Of Ontario Sales Rep

Erikson Commercial, a division of JAM Industries, has announced the retirement of its Ontario Sales Representative John Merchant, effective May 31, 2013. At the same time, the company has announced that Dan Durbin has assumed the role vacated by Merchant. After many years of service to Erikson Commercial, and many more years devoted to the audio industry, Merchant has decided to spend more time with his real interests – music, photography, astronomy, and his family, according to the company. Durbin can be reached at dan., or on his cell at 416-833-2405. For more information, contact Erikson Commercial: 514-457-2555, FAX 514-457-0055,, www.

NWC Appoints New Digital Marketing Coordinator Norris-Whitney Communications

has announced the appointment of Melissa Losier as Digital Marketing Coordinator. Melissa brings an extensive background in broadcasting and software development and education in sales, marketing, accounting, computer technology, and graphic design. She will be overseeing NWC’s digital marketing operations as well as providing customer service to NWC’s advertising and marketing clients. NWC President Jim Norris states, “We are pleased to have someone with Melissa’s background and experience join our company. This will allow us to launch several new online initiatives, improve our digital marketing program, and provide superior service and support to our clients.” Norris-Whitney Communications publishes Professional Lighting & Production, Professional Sound, Canadian Musician, Canadian Music Trade, and Music Directory Canada, operates Music Books Plus, and provides marketing services to clients in the entertainment industry. For more information, visit Contact Melissa at 905-641-3471 or

Aviom Announces Sales & Marketing Promotions Aviom has announced several promotions

in its sales and marketing departments. Promotions include naming Chandler Collison the VP of Sales & Marketing, Kim Collison the Director of International Sales & Marketing Communications Manager, and Mark Meding the Director of Sales for the U.S. and Canada. Meding has been responsible for much of the company’s U.S. and Canadian sales. Going forward he will manage all rep firms in the U.S. as well as distribution Aviom Director of Sales in Canada. for the U.S. & Canada, Mark Meding. “This new role as Director of Sales for the U.S. and Canada gives me a unique opportunity to align the resources and tools in these markets and to use the experience with the U.S. market as an opportunity to increase sales and better serve the Canadian personal mixing and digital audio networking markets,” Meding tells PS. “Working with our new distributor, Techni+Contact, will also allow us to reach a broader dealer network and to serve more customers.” For more information, contact Aviom: 610-738-9005, …The TEC Foundation for Excellence in Audio has formally entered into an agreement to become part of the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM). All TEC activities, including the Technical Excellence & Creativity Awards, will join other activities, events, and efforts within the NAMM Foundation portfolio. Professional Sound 17

ProFile Brad Dugas By Rick De Vries


hether it’s the product of divine intervention or just a good old helping of hard work and natural ability, Brad Dugas has a knack for what he does. His work as a recording engineer at Guelph’s Revelation Sound, the studio he and his wife founded in 2001 and continue to run, occupies a great portion of his days. It isn’t just about finding the right sounds and striving for the perfect record, though, as the engineer alludes to having some secret pleasures outside of the studio. “As simple as it sounds, I love cooking,” he admits. “Sunday evenings with friends dropping in for some good food is about as good as it gets for me.” He says a great jazz record, a good glass of wine, and lots of steak is usually about as far away from “work” as he gets. “I couldn’t give a rip about any sports other than my kids’ baseball games,” says Dugas, adding that guitar shopping is also a guilty pleasure. “If I could find the time, I would easily hit a few cool guitar shops every week. I love trying out new amps and pedals.” Dugas says music is the central driving force in his life, and that traces back to copies of AC/DC’s Back In Black and Highway To Hell – records given to him by a cousin when he was eight years old. “I would listen to those records for hours, reading the liner notes over and over again, just to feel closer to the music,” Dugas recalls. “I noticed the name ‘Mutt Lange’ and, over the years, I’d kept seeing it on records I loved. His work always had a sound that hit home with me, even at a young age.” It was not until after high school, however, that Dugas truly fell in love with the atmosphere inherent to a studio. “Being in a band and recording with a great engineer in a cozy studio is such a

18 Professional Sound

high,” he opines – and it’s a high he’s since been pushing on others. “Before I knew it, I was recording friends’ demos,” he says, recalling his start in the business on the other side of the glass. “Over the years, I really felt a calling to quit my day job and step out on faith to see where it would lead.” He believes you have to be willing to say goodbye to good things to see what great things lay ahead. “I find that if you just do what you’re passionate about, and help others first, the doors seem to open up for you.” he says. His passion has only left him with an unshakable faith in the path he has taken. Dugas claims it was not a matter of simply chasing a dream. It was about finding ways to keep music in his life. “I loved teaching guitar as a kid, so I just taught anyone who would listen and then job opportunities just opened up,” he shares. “I never actively tried to get a job in [the music industry], but people just see your passion by what you do everyday and end up wanting to work with you. I have people call me all the time asking how to get jobs in this changing industry and I always ask them what they do every day to make that dream materialize, or why they want to be in this line of work.” Sadly, he reveals, most times the answers are lacking in ambition and even self-centered in nature. “It’s always for money, fame, or because they’ve watched too many episodes of

MTV’s Cribs,” he explains. “This is the wrong kind of work to try and do if you don’t eat, sleep, and breathe music.” Aside from trying to convince people there’s more to it than those materialistic things, Dugas says the recent undertaking of learning the Nashville number charting system has been a rewarding challenge. On top of its obvious strengths in being able to see the whole song at a glance, Dugas says it really helps develop your ears. “It’s a great exercise to chart songs without your instruments nearby,” he offers. Having recently completed work on a slew of projects by local artists, Dugas is in a position to expand his operations and will be looking into doing so later this summer, with the possibility of adopting a larger facility. “We’re still working out the details,” Dugas explains, “but the idea is to offer a very inspiring and relaxing atmosphere in the country that fosters creativity and artist growth.” His studio name is inspired by the Book of Revelation, and Dugas says it’s the poetry, imagery, and hope found within its pages that have always offered a dominating source of inspiration. Clearly, he is a man who understands the messages written between the lines, which are so easily obscured in today’s desensitized world, and his example makes taking things on faith all the more alluring.

Rick De Vries is a former Editorial Assistant with Professional Sound.

ProFile François Corbin By Stacey Thompson


inding the balance between managing a business and tinkering with audio technology is an ongoing challenge for François Corbin, GM of d&b audiotechnik Canada, but it’s also a welcome one. The double duty allows him to continually hone two skill sets and draw excitement from a wider array of undertakings. “As you can see, I’m working in two worlds,” says Corbin, excitedly. “I need to do technical things like presentations and demonstrations, and I need to manage the whole thing. I like the balance in between these tasks.” Working with audio technology became his calling, but like many in that business, he started off with aspirations of being a musician. Corbin says when he was young and living in his parents’ home, he would constantly be tapping out drumbeats on the furniture. Chairs turned to snares and, eventually, Corbin manned the kit in a garage band – only to realize shortly thereafter he wasn’t cut out for life as a performing musician. When that proverbial door closed, though, another one opened, as during the few gigs his band performed, Corbin would interact with the experienced technicians working the shows. “They were older than I was,” he recalls, “but seemed to really enjoy what they did and I thought it was an interesting subject.” His curiosity towards the world of audio technology led Corbin to start studying the subject in college. While attending school, he landed a job with sound, lighting, and video equipment supplier Lumilab in Quebec City. What he studied during the day helped him become even more skilled and valuable at night. “I’m a technician,” he states proudly. “I have learned by setting up sound systems for the mobile industry and also for permanent installations; that is what I have in my blood. But I also managed a business for more then 20 years, so I have those skills, too.” That business was a Quebec City-based sound company he co-founded called Transi-Son, which became Axion SEA in 1999 after a merger with a likeminded lighting company. In 2005, before later being absorbed by Solotech, Axion discovered d&b products, planting the seed for the career shift that followed. Currently, Corbin’s management role involves some semipsychic abilities. “My main responsibility is to develop sales and increase the market share for d&b audiotechnik in Canada,” he says, “so I need to have a business plan – a long term business plan – to establish priorities for the market.” He has to create effective presentations and demos for the product range to attract new clients and properly serve the current ones. Application design, commissioning, and sound optimization are all key duties that he must perform on a weekly or monthly basis to keep the company’s Canadian operation driving forward. The keys to maintaining the balance between all of his duties, he believes, are good communication and detailed long-term planning. “For me, it’s to plan well in advance for the long term, and stick to that,” he says. “I have a solid business plan for the next year, or

20 Professional Sound

the coming three or five years, and can communicate that with my closest customers and keep them informed about our plans and how we can help them.” It sounds like all work and no play, but that isn’t the case for Corbin. Travel is essential for the business, but that isn’t to say Corbin can’t enjoy the sights, sounds, and stories of the many places he gets to visit. “I really liked the western part of Canada,” says Corbin of some of his more recent travel. “I mean, in my previous job, it was very easy to visit Ontario or New Brunswick, so these provinces are well known to me. I’ve been around the country many times. I guess you could say that anywhere there is a passion for audio, I like to be there.” In the first year of Corbin’s career with d&b, he had the chance to visit the company’s headquarters in Backnang, Germany several times and quite enjoyed immersing himself in the country’s culture. All of d&b audiotechnik’s products are still designed and built in Germany as they have been since 1981. Being surrounded by the people who create the products he represents allows him to better understand how to use the technology to optimize virtually any application. Balance is essential for what Francois Corbin does. Managing a company while still working with the technology you love can be a tough thing to tackle, but he makes it work, and he will continue to make it work because a passion such as his simply doesn’t go stale.

Stacey Thompson is a writer for Professional Sound.

ProFile Jody Perpick By Stacey Thompson


oing to a concert is a thrilling experience for most – being able to see the much-hyped new band or the one you’ve loved for years surrounded by a crowd of loud, likeminded, energetic people; the beaming lights and booming sound blaring from the speakers. For some, a ringing in the ears is a welcome short-lasting reminder of the entire experience; for Jody Perpick, that was always a deterrent, which is ultimately what drove his desire to become a live sound engineer. “I’ve always loved a great-sounding recording or mix,” Perpick says. “I hated going to concerts and not being able to hear what was going on. So, I thought I would try and do a better job.” It was that simple. Early in his life, Perpick was a performing musician. What set him apart was that he was always in charge of manning the sound system. This ultimately informed his change in careers. “Eventually, I gave up playing and ended up mixing,” he says. Since, he’s enjoyed a successful career that constantly brings him to new places and introduces him to new challenges. “I love the challenges of taking a tour to new, unconventional places like Pakistan, Nepal, Egypt, or the top of a mountain on a ski hill complete with snow and fog,” he says, obviously referencing specific jobs he’s taken on. Some challenges are a little harder to handle. There are times when a touring production might roll into a venue last-minute, with little time to do anything but fire up the console and start mixing. It’s a stressful scenario, to be sure, but one that’s less so thanks to his common partner in crime. “Jim Staniforth and I have been working together off and on for well over 20 years,” Perpick says of his frequent systems technician. “He really knows his stuff and how to get the best out of whatever pile of black boxes we have to work with on any given day.” But while a hand at FOH is always welcome, Perpick is no onetrick pony when it comes to his career. “Depending on the tour, I could be doing just about anything,” he shares. “Some tours, I could just be out to mix; others I may take on more duties. I find it very easy to get bored on the road, so I like to wear more than one hat. It keeps me busy.” Learning and understanding how to keep comfortably busy only comes with experience. Perpick has 35 years of sound mixing under his belt plus production and tour management to boot. Over the years, he’s had the opportunity to work with artists such as Bryan Adams, Jann Arden, Coldplay, and Michael Buble. “Bryan Adams takes up most of my time now as we tend to work one week every month,” Perpick says, “which means going out and doing seven days in a row, so no days off, and then going

home. It is an intense week, and add in the travel and advance work, and it does not give much time for anything else.” He also continues to work with Arden when he can. “The timing can sometimes work out that I get a one-off or a short tour with her,” he shares. “Last year I finished a Bryan Adams tour of Japan and started with Jann in Victoria the next day. I was quite jet lagged. When her tour ended, I started with Bryan the following day for a week of acoustic shows. It made for a long six weeks, but I really like the contrast of the two.” Having worked with Adams for over 30 years, Perpick has his share of stories from the rocker’s early years. “You could say we have experienced it all, from empty clubs where nobody knew who he was to the first night jitters of opening on the Foreigner 4 Tour,” he says. “Or the sheer panic when his vocal mic failed at Live Aid to wondering ‘How the hell did we end up here?’ when we played in front of the pyramids.” While their shared history isn’t as extensive, Perpick says working with Arden is always a laugh a minute. Her band is world-class and always makes for a great musical experience. He may not have known it at the time, but Perpick’s choice to move away from musician-hood and focus on mixing was indeed a prosperous one. Who knew that bad sound could inspire something so good?

Stacey Thompson is a writer for Professional Sound. Professional Sound 21

Behringer X32 Digital Mixer By Nathan Petrie


n this day and age, one of the most important tools that any audio tech, bar owner, or studio engineer can have is a functional, practical audio desk. Most want something light and portable but with all the bells and whistles needed for the application at hand. Earlier this year, I was hired to mix the Shivering Songs festival in Fredericton, NB. A few days prior to the festival, I spoke with the production supplier and was told I’d be mixing with a Behringer X32. Having heard some buzz about this product, I was anxious to try it out for myself. Come show day, I decided to arrive at the venue a few hours early to wrap my mind around this new board – mainly because I was new to it and can’t stress enough how embarrassing and stressful it is to have a musician or promoter asking you to change an effect or sound, and it taking you 10 or 15 minutes to do it. Once I arrived and had a chance to sit down with the X32, it only took me a few minutes to become familiar with how the interface was laid out. I really enjoyed how easy it was to navigate through the menu as most features can be accessed with no more than three page changes. By having this simple layout, you can tweak your house or monitor mix in mere seconds. One of the first things I will always do with an unfamiliar console is play a .WAV file or plug in a microphone to see how the head amps sound. The X32 sounds like a million bucks, with a warm analog tone that isn’t brash or harsh like some other digital consoles and no quick jumps or snaps in the audio signal as I adjusted the gain pots. This isn’t really surprising as the head amps and EQs in this board are powered by Midas and Klark Teknik engineering. With the click of a few buttons, I could apply my main left and right graph to the master fader section. This gave me eight of the 31 bands right at my fingertips, along with the ease of scrolling through all 31 bands with a single button push. I also loved the large pots on this board, as they feel both sturdy and silky smooth when adjusted. During the first day of sound check, I had a guest engineer

arrive at the venue who had never used an X32 before. This engineer wanted to set up a multi-track recording of the band’s set to archive and possibly use to “virtual sound check” in case he came across the X32 again. We achieved this by setting up a Mac with Reaper already installed and connected it to the X32 via FireWire 400. Reaper automatically detected the Behringer and installed the console driver, as well as applying the patch one to one for us. This feature is compatible with many DAWs, including Pro Tools, Cubase, and Logic. The next thing we attempted was to label and colour code all of our channels. This was rather time consuming as the X32 doesn’t work with a standard USB keyboard. So, in order to label a channel, you have to scroll through a keyboard screen. In the end, the old trick of electrical tape and a Sharpie got the job done. Despite the challenge, the console has a neat feature of colour coding input channels and output masters. This means you’re able to have one colour for drum channels, one for vocals and guitar, and another for outputs. This makes detecting which fader level you’re manipulating easy at a quick glance, and it looks pretty neat, too. I started digging deeper into the X32 and noticed that in the effects return layer, there is a pre-programmed channel labelled USB playback. Intrigued, I consulted the manual and learned that I could put my house music on a USB key and play tracks of various popular formats via the desk’s USB slots. The X32 offers a great playlist menu where you can view the name and length of your tracks and select which to play. I have to say that as simple as this feature sounds, it’s a godsend! I didn’t have to carry my expensive MP3 player or try to find a secret hiding place for it while in use. At the end of the day, I was really impressed with the Behringer X32. It was everything I needed to mix a great show and boasts a really impressive price point. It’s extremely user friendly, easy to use, and sounds amazing. So, if you’re looking for a light, inexpensive sound board, I would highly recommend testing out the X32 for yourself.

Nathan Petrie is an audio technician for Tour Tech East and has toured with acts such as Hedley, Cancer Bats, Rain – A Tribute to The Beatles, and The Rankin Family. 22 Professional Sound

Shure Beta 181 Side-Address Microphone

By Michael Saracino


f you have ever had the chance to mic up a drum kit or do a multi-mic set-up on an acoustic guitar or other stringed instrument, it becomes apparent rather quickly that space is an asset. Enter the Beta 181 ultra compact side address condenser microphone from Shure. The microphone can be fitted with four interchangeable polar pattern capsules (cardioid, supercardioid, bi-directional, and omni-directional), which greatly increase the suitable applications for this rugged yet compact studio workhorse. It’s tiny at just over 5 in. but its performance belies its small frame. We’ve had a pair of these microphones in the Winding Path Media studio for over a month now and have had the chance to extensively put them through their paces. Our first test was overhead miking on a drumkit using the cardioid capsules and the mics fared quite well. We found the results well balanced, with good stereo imaging and without any harshness in the 8-16 kHz range, which is always my primary concern when choosing overhead mics. Mixed with a pair of boundary mics on the far walls for “room tone” and mics on the kick, toms, hats, and on top and below the snare, we achieved an excellent drum sound for an alternative/grunge rock EP by Paige Kopp we’ve been working on. Our next test, due to its compact nature, was on the snare drum itself and in this respect the microphone really shined. Its compact design allows it to be unobtrusive to the drummer yet flexible in terms of positioning for the engineer. The high dB/SPL handling combined with the rich detail of the mic made it an excellent choice for capturing the rich tonal characteristics of the brass and maple snares we recorded. Tuning the snare’s ringing overtones to be short enough and work with the material was key but the results were stunning. While many have come to enjoy the slow response of a dynamic mic for taming the harsh transients of a snare drum, if I have a great sounding snare, I’d rather capture all of its tonality and do some minor subtractive equalization or multi-band limiting when necessary. I would see myself using the 181 often for this application.

I also had a chance to use the mic in combination with a Neaumann TLM in a multi-mic configuration on an acoustic guitar, mandolin, and 6-string banjo. I enjoyed this combination very much and having such a compact microphone as my second mic allowed for more experimentation with positioning, which is key when balancing tonal and phase relationships in a multi-mic set-up. On the acoustic guitar I had best results when using the Beta 181 about 2 in. past the sound hole towards the bridge and the TLM aimed at the 10th fret. I also combined this with the direct output of the Fishman pickup on the guitar I was recording. In the mix, the D.I. and TLM were panned out slightly while the 181 stayed centre and the result was very satisfying. For the mandolin and banjo, I essentially used my ear for a nice stereo placement and then made subtle adjustments until the phase relationship was in sync. Both instruments sat well in the folk EP I was producing for Derek Roche amongst a myriad of percussion, acoustic guitars, and harmonies. Though the SPL handling is superb with this microphone, I did find the flipside of this was the need for quite a bit of preamp gain when miking quiet stringed instruments. Luckily, our preamps have a very low noise floor but this could prove an issue on some

noisier preamps at higher gain settings. My final test was percussion. I used the 181s on tablas, shaken percussion, and bongos and I will say that these would be my go to percussion mics if they were to take up residence in my mic park. The compact design, detail, and high SPL handling make them ideal for anything percussive. As a spaced pair they were fantastic on tablas and bongos. For egg and can shakers as well as a tambourine, a single cardioid 181 performed perfectly as well. The highs don’t seem too hyped; in fact nothing seems too hyped. It’s almost a softer result for a condenser, taming some harshness on sources that other mics exacerbate while still maintaining rich detail unlike many dynamic alternatives. If you record drums and percussion often, I would seriously consider a pair of these mics, especially when you consider the fact that you can purchase interchangeable capsules as your needs grow. I liked having these mics around as an option and they proved themselves by making their way onto quite a few recordings in a studio with quite a few options. I’d recommend these to any recording studio and even as a secondary or tertiary mic to the home recording enthusiast. They would certainly be used often.

Michael Saracino — Producer, Engineer, Studio Owner, Singer/Songwriter • Professional Sound 23

Dangerous Music Source Portable Monitor Controller


ver unity. It is said that it can’t be achieved; that we can never get out more than what we put in. Having run a mix through the Dangerous Source, though, I’m tempted to think the opposite is true. The folks at Dangerous Music are end users just like you and I who have a philosophy of “audio integrity: non-negotiable.” They don’t design to a price-point or have their products made 6,000 miles away. All of their products are made “without compromise” resulting in the best equipment and the best results. I am well aware of Dangerous Music’s reputation and am honoured to be reviewing the company’s award-winning monitor controller. Let’s get into the ins and outs of this beauty. There is a stereo analog input which runs through two 1/4-in./XLR combo jacks, a stereo 1/8-in. analog, which is perfect for plugging in your iPod, an AES/SPDIF in on an additional combo jack, an AES/ SPDIF through on a male XLR jack, a stereo analog out on two male XLRs, a secondary speaker out on two 1/4-in. jacks, a stereo line out on two additional 1/4-in. jacks, a USB connection, and two headphone jacks on the front panel – both 1/4-in. with enough gain to blow your eardrums! I used this box to record vocals and my vocalist loved it because I could really crank up the mix for him. So the Source has a healthy amount of inputs. Now, what can we do with them? First off, you can monitor any combination of inputs from either section. Either set of speakers can be selected or you can even select both. This was great for me. I was using both speaker outs at the

same time. When I’m writing riffs, I like to turn things up pretty loud. I get some drums programmed, loop them, and see what happens. It was really nice to be able to set up another amp and be able to switch from regular working mode with just two monitors to my inspiration mode, adding in my two (now relocated) living room big box speakers at the flick of a switch. It was also really nice to be able to link to the Source via USB – a direct digital connection to the Dangerous convertors. These are just some of the cool things you can do with this box. I strongly recommend trying one out to see how it can fit into your musical workflow. As with all Dangerous Music products, this one is built to last a lifetime. The portable, rack-mountable box itself is made of solid metal. The six 1/4-in. jacks seem heavy-duty and the two pots on the front are sturdy and outstandingly smooth. I had a mix I’d been working on for a while and wanted to hear if the Source would change my perspective on it. From the second I listened to the mix through the Source, it was as if, after staring at a painting for hours on-end, all of the sudden I could finally see what it was all about. This may sound a little ridiculous, but it actually happened this way. My room is very dead; it has a ton of 4-in. rock board bass traps in the corners and on the walls so I hear almost 100 per cent directly from my monitors. I think this is why I was able to notice what a drastic sonic difference the Source made. The mix had room to breathe; the Source really does restore the headroom that is so lacking in today’s standard

Joe Mullen is the founder of JoeDown Studios and the drummer of Ontario-based melodic metal band Odium. He is currently on tour supporting Odium’s second release, Burning the Bridges to Nowhere, and has a solid recording schedule when the band is off the road. 24 Professional Sound

By Joe Mullen

home studio interfaces. You get more punch, a clearer stereo image, a ton more detail, and headroom that seems to go on forever. This is not your typical monitor controller. The Dangerous Source changes how you hear your work in a big way and reveals the information you need to create a truly informed and inspired mix. One specific feature worth mentioning is the on-the fly switching performance.The 10 selection switches on the front panel each have their own relay. This gives the unit that much more of an analog feel; you hear the relay click and it feels like you are actually switching something. When you have multiple sources plugged in and switch between them, there is no undesired noise. I have used other monitor controllers and small pops or some lag aren’t uncommon. This switching is 100 per cent transparent. They also give the user great feedback as the buttons themselves light up. As musicians and audio engineers, we strive to capture the magic, the essence of an idea. This is a process where there must be no compromise – part of the philosophy that the folks at Dangerous Music embody. Dangerous Music has introduced a product that does in fact prove you can get more out than what you put in. Over unity is reality.

Manufacturer’s Comment

The Dangerous Source ships as a portable desktop unit but is designed for the desktop or the studio rack. Source fits perfectly under a 13-in. laptop in its desktop configuration, or can be rack-mounted for the studio with the alternate 1 RU faceplate. The faceplate is available directly from Dangerous Music and is user installable. Bob Muller President Dangerous Music

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By Tony Altomare • Photos by James Forsman


ver 30 years ago, Len Milne began his career in the recording industry laying down original guitar tracks on a small tape deck in a dark basement. Now a seasoned veteran in his field, Milne grew weary of performing in cover bands and began experimenting with his own recordings, which eventually led him to his calling. “I was probably 16 or 17 years old, and I had a couple of tape decks. I was just bouncing stuff back and forth with guitar ideas,” recounts Milne. “Eventually, by the time I was 22, I started getting into reel-to-reel machines, bought a board for it, and, by that point, I started getting clients.” From that point on, Milne became heavily immersed in his craft. Buying and selling equipment led the engineer to set up shop in a home studio and begin recording local talent. Two decades and four locations later, Milne, sole owner and main engineer at Bedside Studios, finds himself among the elite studios that comprise the core of the recording industry in Winnipeg. Although there are hundreds of private recording studios in the province, Milne says that Bedside Studios is the only studio of its size that operates in an independently owned commercial space. “At the time I built the studio, there were no big rooms in the city. There were three studios being built at the same time, and this is actually the only studio of this size that is actually owned and not leased. So the building is


mine to pick at. Anything I want to do in here I can, as long as I keep in mind the city building codes,” jokes Milne. The freedom that comes with working in his private studio has helped him to create one of the most popular and unique locations where Manitoba musicians can record. With a proven track record that includes three JUNO nominations and five Western Canadian Music Awards, Milne continues to produce quality recordings that keep clientele coming back to Bedside.

The Studio

Now occupying its fourth and presumably final location, Bedside Studios has settled into a more permanent and impressive home. Prior to Bedside taking up residence, the building once functioned as a dance and social hall. With approximately 5,000 sq. ft. of space to work with, the studio is a large step up from the last incarnation. Having spent the majority of its existence in various basements, Bedside’s new commercial location provided the space for Milne to finally implement his own design ideas. One major change for Milne was the sheer size of the new building. “Our last studio was a home studio in a basement,” Milne explains. “The [current] control room itself is probably about the size of our home studio. There might have been 400 or 500 sq. ft. combined between



the control room and the playing area.” Working with Scott Pinder, Owner of Polyphonic Mastering Labs and carpenter by day, Milne set about doing most of the design and construction on the new space firsthand. “The building dictates what you can do and what you can’t,” shares Milne. “Some of the ideas were shot down based on what we could actually achieve in the building.” Because the facility was originally designed as a dance hall, the main performance room is a free-spanned area, unobstructed by support beams, which could’ve affected the room’s acoustic properties. Milne also incorporated some features of the old building into his current studio by choosing to keep the original stage intact for use in the control room, which offers a unique perspective for engineers. “It just looked cool to have that much of a height for any of the producers to sit at the back PROFESSIONAL SOUND • 27



and see down into the playing area,” says Milne. The control room is comprised of a spacious 420 sq. ft. The use of the original stage helps to provide a raised separation between a lounge area and the recording gear, rather than have the two intertwined in one room. As far as the dimensions of the live room go, Milne says it is difficult to narrow it down to exact measurements because of the many “weird angles” it contains. Both the control room and playing area are covered by 80 per cent cedar, Milne’s wood of choice which contributes to the signature sound of the room. “It’s a soft wood and you get not so fast of a reflection, but still some, which helps to dampen the room. Also, if you’ve ever been in a room with cedar, you know it smells good, too,” says Milne, laughing. “Everybody says it smells like a sauna in here. You’re in the middle of the city but it’s like you’re out at the cabin.”  The 1,020-sq. ft. playing area is one massive, free spanned room, which Milne believes to be the reason that so many musicians specifically seek out Bedside. “There have been quite a few different freelance producers and engineers that have come here just for the drum sound,” says Milne. “It’s such an open, ambient room that is also well diffused.” Milne attributes the tonal qualities of the room to the lack of parallel surfaces present, both vertically and horizontally. Details in the planning for the room even involved installing the ductwork at an angle to try and break up the sound on the 12-ft. ceilings.


Ward-Beck Custom-Built - 16 M470 Preamps - 6 M460 Preamps - 4 Stereo M471C Line Amps - 3 M466 Comp/Limiters - 21 Various Ward-Beck EQs Soundcraft 800b (for headphone/ monitor mixes)

Analog Tape Machines

Ampex ATR100 2-Track 1/4-in. MCI JH100 16-Track 2-in. MCI JH110 2-Track 1/4-in. MCI JH16 24-Track 2-in (1979) Studer A807 2-Track 1/4-in. (playback only)


Alesis ADATS (x2) Blackface Alesis HD24 Fostex D-5 DAT Pro Tools 8 HD2 Accel with 2 192 I/Os Pro Tools 8 LE DIGI 002 28 • PROFESSIONAL SOUND


AKG 414 EB (x2) AKG C1000 (x2) AKG D 707e AKG D-12 AKG D1000e AKG D3700 Audix F9 (x2) Fostex M80RP (x2) Kel Audio HM-1x (x2) Kel Audio HM-2D Neumann M149 Tube Neumann TLM 49 Neumann U87ai Rode NT2 (x2) Rode NTV tube Sennheiser MD 421 (x3) Sennheiser MD 441 Shure Beta 91 Shure Beta 98 Shure SM57 (x7) Shure SM58 (x3, one Beta) Shure SM7 Shure Vntage 55s


API 512c (x2) Bellari RP533 (x2) Focusrite ISA110 (x2) Summit TPA 200B Telefunken 672 (x2) Telefunken 720 (x2) TL Audio 2051 Mono Valve Voice Processor (x2) Universal Audio LA-610 Ward Beck 460 (x4 in 500 Series Style) Ward Beck 470 (x2) in 500 Series Style)


Alison Research Gain Brain (x4) Alison Research Kepex (x4) Audio Arts 1200 (x2) CBS Audimax 3 DBX 160xt (x2) DBX 163 (x2) DBX 166 Drawmer DL 421 Inovonic 201 Orban 424A Orban 464A

The result was a very open and ambient-sounding playing area. “You can put a mic almost anywhere and it will sound good in this room,” says Milne. “I’ve had quite a few engineers say the same thing.” Because of the ambience of the room, Milne says he prefers recording live off the floor – a sentiment that most of his clients share with him. “The main thing that a lot of people are attracted to here is the fact that live-off-the-floor recordings get done here all the time and they always sound really, really good.” In addition to the first floor recording studio, there is also an isolation booth for applications that call for one. The lower level of the studio houses cabinets for Milne to use for amplifiers and, possibly in the future, a larger isolation booth in order to capture more of the room’s natural ambiance.

The Guts

To the people of Winnipeg, he’s known as the “Analog Man.” Milne got his start in recording working in a basement studio with reel-to-reel

UREI 1176 Blackface UREI LA4 (x2) Valley People 440 Valley People 610


Akai PEQ6 NTP 182-150 (x2) Orban 674A


BBE 802 Eventide H3000 Lexicon LXP-1 Lexicon PCM 60 Lexicon Prime Time Yamaha REV 500 Yamaha REV 7 Yamaha SPX 50D Yamaha SPX 90


JBL 4311 JBL 4412 JBL Control 5 KRK Rokit 8 Yamaha NS-10M


Aria Pro TSB 400 Bass Epiphone Casino Fender Stratocaster (x4) Gibson Firebird Gibson Les Paul Hammond B3 with Leslie 122 Hammond L111 with Leslie 47 Heintzman 1927 Upright Piano Rhodes Mark 1 73 Stage Piano Rickenbacker 4001 Bass Warwick Corvette Bass


Bugera 6262 Head Fender Bassman Head 1963 Fender Deluxe 1957 Garnet Special Edition Combo (Guillotine Distortion Built-In) Garnet Special Edition Head Hiwatt Custom 100 DR 103 Marshall JCM2000 Dual Super Lead Marshall JCM800 50-Watt Combo Rokdog Series 2 Combo Traynor YBA200 Bass Head Vox Lil Night Train

tape – a method and mentality he tries to preserve in his recordings at Bedside Studios. Although the market seems to be shrinking for tape recording, Milne says there are always a few clients who entertain the idea of analog recording. “From year-to-year it seems to be declining a bit, but there always seems to be about four to half a dozen clients a year who decide to track to tape,” says Milne. “They’re always very interested in it, but once they go through the financial scenario, bands find they don’t want to go that route because of the cost of tape.” Milne still finds a way to incorporate it into his work, recording many of his clients live to tape and then running directly to Pro Tools HD in order to preserve some of that tape sound. In terms of preferences, Milne strikes a compromise between the two mediums.  “I like both because the editing capability of Pro Tools is good,” explains Milne. “The idea of recording on to tape and then putting it into Pro Tools is ideal for me and I have a choice of mix down decks. I can go either to an [Ampex] ATR-100 or an MCI110. If they want to get a bit of the tape sound then we do the mix down to tape.” When Milne takes his place in the control room, it’s behind his Ward Beck L2042 console, custom built with 16 M470 preamps, six M460 preamps, four stereo M471C line amps, three onboard M466 comp/limiters, and 21 various Ward Beck equalizers. With a good portion of his recordings coming as live performances, Milne outfits the studio in order to work with the sound of the room. For vocals, Milne says he favours both a Neumann M149 tube mic, as well as the TLM 49 of the same make; however, of late, he has also become involved in beta testing mics for Winnipeg-based mic manufacturer Kel Audio, becoming one of the first studios to use the mics for multiple genres. “They’re really good and really open,” says Milne of the mics. “The one mic I use is the HM-1X. It has a very wide cardioid pattern, a little wider than most mics, and I like to use them for the rooms. When I’m using an ambient mic on anything, chances are it’s one of those.” Although Milne tries to preserve the analog methods, Bedside is on the cutting edge of recording technology with an abundance of new equipment that moves in and out of the studio to keep up with the times. Recent additions to the studio include a Pro Tools HD 2 Accel set-up with two 192 16-channel I/O interfaces. Milne also keeps the studio stocked with a variety of instruments for musicians to use during their stay. Fender Stratocasters, Warwick and Rickenbacker basses, and two well-maintained Hammond organs are only a portion of the gear decorating the live room. In addition to the new gear that comes through the studio, there is no shortage of vintage and hard-to-come-by items. Milne has a selection of vintage gear that would impress any aficionado, including a Heintzman 1927 upright piano, a special edition handmade Garnet amp with built-in

Guillotine distortion box, and multiple compressors and EQs, such as a UREI 1176 Blackface compressor, the Allison Research Gain Brain, and NTP Mastering EQs. 

The Clientele

Although Bedside operates in a relatively small music market, there is no shortage of upper echelon talent that has come through the studio. Milne has been on the receiving end of five Western Canadian Music Awards and three JUNO nominations for his work with artists such as Romi Mayes, Sue Foley, Big Dave McLean, The Perpetrators, and Little Miss Higgins. He was nominated for a 2013 JUNO in the Aboriginal category for his work with the band Burnt Project 1 and has also had a hand in recordings by prairie punks Propagandhi and local upstarts The Revival. Rock outfit Goddo also filmed part of their upcoming documentary at the studio. Bedside has played host to its fair share of international artists passing through Winnipeg as well. Milne has done work for numerous American artists who seek out the studio because of its status in Winnipeg. Rowdy rockabilly outfit The Weber Brothers, hip-hop duo Black Violin, and even actress Tea Leoni make up just a sample of the bigger names that have made their way into Bedside. The studio’s reputation as one of the province’s premier spots for live-off-the-floor recording has helped attract numerous artists, as well as engineers and producers from across Canada and the globe. Milne says Bedside has received accolades for its sound quality, especially the live recordings, because of the room’s acoustic character. “We’ve had engineers from all over come through here, including Richard Chycki, who works with Rush, that say they really like the sound of this room.” Milne says he meets the majority of his clientele by working live sound for larger venues in Winnipeg, but the local talent tends to flock to the studio because of its reputation. “Most people come just from word of mouth. I know a lot of traveling musicians based on the clubs that they go to, because I know a lot of the club owners. I’m usually the guy they phone to do live sound when they have bigger acts coming through Winnipeg,” says Milne.  While the majority of his clients in the past have been local artists, Milne says he has noticed a shift recently with the amount of outside artists visiting the studio. Artists from all over the country have come in lately and given Milne a chance to

work in a variety of genres from blues to folk to hip-hop. When asked about the current status of the music industry in Manitoba, Milne says the province is thriving with an abundance of talent. “There is pretty much everything in Winnipeg. It’s very diverse as far as the scenes go. There’s a good pool of really good players that are in Winnipeg, but a lot of them have to leave to become known.”

The Future Of Bedside

As far as the future of Bedside is concerned, Milne hopes that in 10 years he will still be behind the console doing what he loves. As for now, Milne says the studio is complete and functioning well, but in the future, some updates may come in the form of more amplifier cabinets and larger isolation booths in the lower level. “Everything’s working here. I’m pretty much done the main level and I pick at it here and there because you’re always going to add things to it,” says Milne. “It’s functional and the construction is pretty much done but I’m always adding to it. I’m always buying and selling gear because that situation never seems to stop. You always have to keep up with the times and get the latest gear that everybody is dealing with.” Milne says his goal when the studio was constructed was to bring international talent to Manitoba, and to stop the exodus of musicians to larger markets in Canada. His efforts to preserve and enhance the state of the music industry in his home province are apparently paying off. According to Milne, the change has already begun with producers making the trek from outside of Winnipeg to work with the local talent. “Producers have been coming to work with bands in Winnipeg that would normally travel outside Winnipeg,” explains Milne. “Now, instead of having that upper-end clientele leave, they’re actually starting to stay here and bring in producers instead, which is one of the things I was trying to achieve with the studio.” And all that effort is paying off for Milne as well. Bedside Studios has attained a reputation in Winnipeg as a hot spot for both local and international talent, and that is music to Milne’s ears. “I find myself getting busier all the time,” he shares, and for anyone that truly relishes his work, that’s the penultimate professional payoff. n   Tony Altomare is a contributing writer and musician based in the Niagara region. PROFESSIONAL SOUND • 29


By Kevin Young. Photos by Lana Pesant.


yerson University’s Mattamy Athletic Centre (MAC) inhabits a large portion of one of Canada’s true national shrines, the former Maple Leaf Gardens. Located at the corner of Carlton and Church in downtown Toronto, it was an iconic hockey and concert venue, home to the Maple Leafs from 1931 to 1999, the site of multiple Stanley Cup victories, the first annual NHL All-Star Game (1947), and a variety of Toronto-based basketball, soccer, and lacrosse franchises. Additionally, the Gardens hosted game two of the 1972 Summit Series – the only game held on Canadian soil in which Canada beat the U.S.S.R. A host of personalities have also performed and appeared at the arena, among them, Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Muhammad Ali, and Winston Churchill. Built by Conn Smythe in only seven months, when it first opened its doors on Nov. 12, 1931, the Gardens was the largest arena in the country. Since, it has been designated a heritage site under the Ontario Heritage Act by the City of Toronto (1991) and added to the list of Canadian Heritage sites by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada (2006). Following the closure of the Gardens in 1999, the future of the facility became a matter of speculation and, when word got out it might become a supermarket/retail space, reaction was, unsurprisingly, less than favourable. Ultimately, Loblaws and the LCBO did end up inhabiting a portion of the building, but the lion’s share of space is dedicated to a facility that not only retains some of the infrastructure of the original Gardens, but also serves as a training facility for athletes from Ryerson and the surrounding community. In all, the MAC comes in at 222,970 sq. ft. and features a 2,539-capacity NHL-sized ice rink, a multi-purpose gymnasium with seating for over 1,000, a fitness centre, a variety of multi-purpose studios and conference rooms, and various other spaces including the Ryerson Rams Athletics Store and a café/juice bar. One of the concerns for all those undertaking the conversion was ensuring that as much of the original physical infrastructure remained intact as possible, particularly the building’s exterior. The project began in December 2009 and in January 2010 the arena was gutted, although care was taken to preserve the exterior walls, original roof, and, in the rink, the rafters and existing catwalk. Among the companies tapped to convert the Gardens from an abandoned arena to a cutting edge sporting facility: Turner Fleischer Architects, BBB Architects Inc., contractors Buttcon Limited, heritage consultants ERA, and project management firm Genivar. Additionally, Mulvey & Banani International Inc. (MBII) was contracted to design the MAC’s IT/communications and A/V systems, for which Westbury National was awarded the installation contract.

From Abandoned Arena To Technology-Rich Training Facility

Regardless of budget, one of the key concerns on a project of this magnitude is allocating the available funds appropriately and according to the type and use of the venue, says Devy Breda, lead designer of the MAC’s A/V systems and Senior A/V Designer at MBII. Breda first became involved in the project in early 2010 and collaborated on the design with Greg Rushton, Associate at MBII. “Obviously sound is very important, so you look at loudspeakers and make sure you have the right ones, but you build out from the core – from the basic infrastructure. Once you define those elements, everything else starts to fall into place systematically,” Breda says. “Consoles, playback, and recording devices can be updated. The important thing is to build a robust, flexible backbone for the sound system. You start off with a good design, the right type and placement of loudspeakers, and then work backwards through issues like amplification, functionality, and how you’re going to transport audio.” Ultimately, such considerations led to the choice of three QSC Q-Sys Core DSP 1000s as the heart of the facility’s sound system. “I’ve had previous experience with the brand and the Q-Sys Cores are more than DSPs; they’re active audio servers. I was comfortable with my ability to design a system around them and build a ring of audio transport over fibre without over-thinking the complications of the job.” Although familiar with QSC in general, Breda had no previous experience with the Q-Sys Core. In fact, the system was one of the first of its kind to be installed in Canada. Each Core 1000 serves a separate area of the facility – one for the hockey arena, the gymnasium/court area, and one for the remainder of the facility. In total, four Q-Sys I/O Frames are also included in the system. “The Cores are connected via fibre, which allowed us to work each area on its own and yet look at the whole space as one audio system. So for paging, for example, we were able to allow paging to any zone or space,” Breda notes. During a tour of the facility, Breda is quick to point out the way in which the existing infrastructure in the rink impacted his choice of technology. “If you look at the catwalk, it’s fairly narrow, so I had to find loudspeakers that would plumb mount straight down and didn’t take a whole lot of rigging upwards. We were looking at quality, compactness, durability, mass, and, obviously, audio performance and intelligibility. When we modeled the loudspeaker fly in CAD, it seemed to have a nice, natural, plumb fit from the catwalk. That was a challenge right from the get go. We had to look at lighting as well as sound because we didn’t want loudspeakers causing any shadowing or distraction.” Those factors informed the choice of loudspeakers throughout the MAC, specifically the One Systems 112IMs flown around the perimeter of the arena and SoundTube


Mattamy HP1290is for the gym. For the 70-volt distributed audio throughout the MAC, Atlas Sound 6- and 8-in. coaxial in-ceilings were used, with the exception of the rink area, in which additional Atlas Sound 4-in. coaxial pendant speakers were deployed. “Before Westbury was awarded the contract and before I was even finished the design, construction was underway, so I had to rough in devices for the electrical contractors,” Breda adds. “Given that Atlas Sound in-ceilings were specified throughout, the Atlas pendants were a natural choice.” As our tour progresses, the pride both Breda and colleague Shaili Patel, MBII’s Principal in Charge on the project, take in the finished build is evident. That pride is well deserved. It’s an impressive facility all around, but the rink in particular is a testament to the efforts all of those involved in the project took to ensure the venue’s rich history and legacy were preserved. “The roof, the rafters, and catwalks have been painted white, but they’re all

pre-existing elements,” Patel explains. “Obviously, the floor and seating are new; the previous infrastructure just didn’t work with the new facility.” Given the real estate available, the rink could have had a larger capacity, but one of the conditions of the sale of the Gardens by former owner Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment was that, upon completion, it could not compete directly with the Air Canada Centre. But while the rink may not have the capacity of the ACC, like the Gardens, it functions as both a concert/event venue and sporting facility. As Patel explains, the rink can be set up in two configurations for live events, with the stage in the centre of the rink or at one end. Additional production is brought in according to the client’s needs as necessary, she adds. Next, Breda calls attention to the level of connectivity provided throughout the venue. “That’s one of the key elements in a project of this nature; not only providing the connectivity infrastructure for A/V, but future proofing the venue as much as possible,” he says, pointing out the open-air media bays on each side of the concession level. “Here we have inputs for mic and line level audio and audio outputs so audio and video can be fed to the media bays. There are also two channels of production intercom and fibre so we can connect and send any media from one point to another.” 32 • PROFESSIONAL SOUND

That level of connectivity extends to the Alumni Lounge, a multi-purpose space located at the north end of the rink with its own dedicated equipment room. Sound is provided via Atlas loudspeakers that may be tied into the rink’s mains for games and other events, used by a DJ, or for various presentations for which the lounge’s A/V can be operated as a separate, discreet audio zone. Additionally, the lounge features large sliding windows through which games can be viewed. Across the length of the rink, at the southwest corner, is the main control room, which houses a wireless system comprised of Shure’s UA870WB Wideband active directional antenna, UA844SWB antenna DA, six ULXP24/Beta58s, a UA600 Antenna Extension kit, four SM58-S Dynamic Cardioid handheld mics, two of the Q-Sys I/O units, and multiple Corning PCH-01U fibre optical patch bays. The console, a PreSonus StudioLive 24.4.2, provides control over the main system and was chosen for its onboard capabilities in terms of FX, EQ, and DSP, its compact footprint, and price point. Additionally, the control room contains JBL Control 5 near field monitors powered by an Extron XPA2002 200 W amp, a playback rack featuring a Denon DN-650R Solid State Audio Player/Recorder and CD players, as well as full A/V connectivity over a variety of audio ports and Cat-5 cable. Control for the overall arena system is provided via a Crestron touch panel.

For Breda, as previously mentioned, the challenge of the build was more about anticipating the needs of the venue long-term than what peripheral elements – consoles, playback/recording sources, and so on – would be included in the system. “We looked at the key spaces of the facility, the control rooms and equipment rooms, where they were going to be, so we could associate the A/V with those spaces.” Doing so pre-construction, he admits, did involve looking into the proverbial crystal ball at some points. “I wanted to ensure we had enough space, particularly in the rack rooms. Going forward, people have to maintain the gear in these rooms and you want the racks to breathe. Often, those spaces are an afterthought or have to be shared with other infrastructure – but, in this case, these are very generously sized rooms.” Two rack rooms are located on the fourth/concession level at the northwest and southeast corners of the rink, each servicing one side of the rink; one contains the Q-Sys Core for that area. “Everything is connected via fibre that runs from here to back-of-house for broadcast, so any media can be transmitted to any other point it’s needed. It’s bulletproof in terms of redundancy and bandwidth.” The remaining two amp rooms are on the second level; one serves the gymnasium and another is located off an ancillary hallway and houses the audio infrastructure – including the remaining two QSC Q-Sys Core 1000s – for the remainder of the facility. Breda offers up a tour of a variety of these rooms. Among them: conference rooms, which have their own small A/V racks and Denon Universal Audio Video Players for presentations, and the Rams’ dressing room. Like the Alumni Lounge and the conference rooms, the dressing room is equipped with a discreet equipment rack and Atlas in-ceilings, which can be tied into the main system or used by the players to listen to their own music during practice and games. In each, control is exercised via dedicated Crestron control panels. The systems inhabiting the gymnasium’s control room are virtually identical to those

in the rink, Breda explains, “so people using the gear only need to learn one workflow for both rooms.” Additionally, as in the rink, there are two media bays. Also, just off the gym, there is a small student lounge for presentations and small social events, boasting similar A/V connectivity and its own small amp rack, also tied into the distributed audio system. In all, 20 QSC CX-902 two-channel power amplifiers and four CX602V two-channel power amps drive the One Systems and SoundTube loudspeakers in the rink and gymnasium. Additionally, eight QSC 204V four-channel amps are installed to power the 70-volt distributed audio systems throughout the MAC. Once the design was completed, the task of installing the system fell to Scott Wouters, Westbury National Project Manager, who was assisted by Westbury engineer David VanVeldhuisen, Systems Installation Manager Guy Wallace, and Head of Engineering Andy Foord, who provided the 3D mockup drawings for Westbury’s custom speaker mountings in the arena bowl. The central challenges of the project from an install perspective, Wouters explains, were primarily due to the fact the project was a retrofit and, owing to the layout of the facility, required audio to be transported over long cable runs. “Every retrofit has its inherent challenges. In this case, the fact that it was an 80-year-old building and

the fact there was a third floor rink and second floor gymnasium made it impossible for any cable conduits to travel through the centre of the building. All the cable had to travel around the perimeter, so there were a lot of long cable pulls and, really, that was the majority of the challenge. Even with the lines going up to the catwalk for the speakers in the rink, we ran individual conductors instead of jacketed cable. It was large pipe, but because of how vertical the pulls were, they were actually quite difficult.” Also, mounting the One Systems loudspeakers in the rink presented challenges. “Lift access was difficult,” Wouters continues. “Really, the only mounting points that we could get to were from the catwalks themselves, so we modified our speaker locations slightly so everything could be mounted from the catwalk, or newly-installed handrails on the catwalk.” That said, for the most part the speakers were installed as specified, Wouters says. In the end, 41 One Systems loudspeakers were deployed in all: five clusters of three 112IMs per seating section along the sides of the rink and three speakers, equally spaced, covering what were once the “Blues” at each end above the goals. “The one challenge we ran into with those three end zone speakers was, once installed, they obscured the sightlines from the Alumni Lounge so we had to raise them up two feet. That’s part of the reason we mounted the speakers to the catwalk, so that you can actually pull them up to the catwalk and don’t have to use a lift to work with them.” The only significant alteration Westbury had to make to MBII’s design, Wouters adds, was due to site coordination issues and had to do with the way in which the corner clusters were mounted. “The original spec drawing showed clusters of three loudspeakers in the corners, but we broke those out into a pair, then moved the third one out slightly and altered the angle so it would provide more coverage to the corners.” For Wouters’ team, most of the challenges they had to meet presented themselves during the construction phase. The primary issue, he says, was running conduit and access-

ing the main spaces’ high ceilings. In both the rink and gym, a fair amount of acoustic treatment was necessary, but, owing to the use of the gym and rink as sporting venues, it was applied exclusively to the ceilings. That acoustic treatment was provided by the lead architectural firm, BBB Architects. “The rink was the most prominent space,” says Jason Kwok, Project Director for BBB. “Because of the deterioration of the structure and roofing material we applied a new membrane to the roof. Then we added 1 in. of a product called EchoTouch, a fully recycled material made from cotton, using roughly the same spacing as the original decking in the interior. The lower portion of the ceiling is almost fully dressed, but for the upper two-thirds we placed the treatment in alternating rows.” The same material was used for the ceiling of the gymnasium, applied in 1-in. strips to a layer of drywall, crosswise, above the court. In the gymnasium, however, there is a lot going on above the visible ceiling including HVAC and electrical infrastructure and cabling. Also, because of the timeline of the build and the ceiling construction, it was necessary for Westbury to not only work around the other tradesmen installing that infrastructure, which is what they often do, but to work on the same schedule. “Because of the ceiling that was going in, we had to do a lot of the speaker mounting early on. The contractor had a large, movable scaffold that spanned from the west to the east side of the court and literally rolled to the next position as the construction

progressed. Coordinating that part of the installation was challenging because we were following the electricians. As soon as they finished their work, we’d get our mounting points in, then after that was done, go back along to put cables in and finish the speaker installation. That scaffold passed over that gym four or five times from when we started the speaker installation to when it was complete.” Additionally, the SoundTube loudspeakers had to be installed in narrow channels between the acoustically-treated ceiling segments. “The speakers were chosen for their dispersion pattern, so we got adequate coverage and, aesthetically, they work very well. We were diligent in ensuring they were flush with that acoustic ceiling so that they didn’t become part of the décor, if you will. They very much vanish into that space. Overall,” Wouters concludes, “it was a challenging project but it turned out very well.” Breda agrees: “Future proofing comes down to infrastructure and the QSC Q-Sys Core was key to that. It’s a fresh product that’s gaining traction in the marketplace and has the capability for expansion without a major outlay of capital. There were many stakeholders participating in the design and development, not least of which were Ryerson’s athletic, broadcast, and A/V departments. We wanted to ensure the systems not only met their needs, but that they could live with them and grow with them for years to come.” Completed in time for the beginning of Ryerson’s 2012 school year, the result is impressive technologically and aesthetically and, equally as important, provides those who may never have attended a game or concert at Maple Leaf Gardens with a cutting-edge sporting facility that carries on the tradition and legacy of the original venue. n

Kevin Young is a Toronto-based musician and freelance writer. PROFESSIONAL SOUND • 33

Rink at the RECC with flown JBL speakers & subs.

By Andrew King The Town of Truro is well known in its home province as the Hub of Nova Scotia. The shire town of central Nova Scotia’s Colchester County, Truro is at the junction of a number of railway lines and a pair of the province’s primary highways. When several central Nova Scotia communities initially came together in hopes of attracting the 2011 Canada Winter Games to the region, all eyes were on the Hub. A need for new and updated facilities was soon revealed, and subsequently, the concept for a new community centre and recreational facility was born. Though it was the provincial capital, Halifax, that successfully landed the 2011 Games, interest in developing the new centre remained high within the region and became a priority for the town and municipal councils. In 2008, the County of Colchester and Town of Truro councils confirmed their partnership and a financial commitment to the construction of the new facility. Funding was secured through the federal and provincial governments as well as through local contributors via a capital campaign and, just a few years following its inception, the project became a reality. Construction of the Rath Eastlink Community Centre (RECC) 34 • PROFESSIONAL SOUND

Linking Spaces & Citizens In Truro, NS began in August 2010 and less than three years later, in early 2013, the centre opened its doors and welcomed residents of its home community to a host of new recreational opportunities. The RECC is comprised of a 2,500-capacity NHL-sized rink and event venue, an aquatic centre with both a therapeutic leisure pool and a competitive pool, a fitness and wellness centre, multipurpose rooms and meeting spaces, a rock climbing wall, and various administrative and operational support spaces. Also of note is that, since the early planning phases for the project, there was a strong focus on minimizing the centre’s carbon footprint. Every effort was made during the design process to meet the Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) Silver Designation. LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system and its designations are based a building’s adherence to a number of measures and targets for energy efficiency. Part of the appeal to land LEED certification came through the building’s lighting and A/V systems. A/V consultant Brad Fox, the namesake behind Enfield, NS-based Fox Technologies, was tasked

with designing a user-friendly set of systems that could provide building-wide paging and information sharing and also address specific usage requirements for the purpose-built areas in the building that carried unique requirements unto themselves. Fox Technologies was welcomed into the project by the building’s engineering consultants, with which the firm has collaborated frequently in the past. “Once the client consultation was complete, our official work flowed through them,” Fox says, and that meant minimal contact with the sub-trades. The decentralized system as a whole is essentially divided into five smaller ones, which Fox dubs “nodes,” all interconnected via an all-page and dbx ZonePro 1261m DSP units. Each node can then be divided into zones – for example, in the aquatic centre, the zones would include the change rooms, water slide, spectator seating, and so on. “We were trying to deliver high-quality, intelligible sound to the listener while providing value and longevity to our client,” Fox comments. “The overall system had to have a non-technical overlay with enough control depth so that more complex issues could be handled by experienced technicians as needs arose or changed.” Employing a decentralized model, he continues, means potential upgrades and expansions can be more easily addressed. Jeff Somers, the head of the installation arm of Dartmouth, NS-based Tour Tech East, which handled the sale and installation of the system components, explains that this set-up made programming the building-wide paging distribution rather easy. “I was able to log into the DSP of a zone in another part of the building and also send test audio from the source,” he says. “The main reception paging microphone is sent to an audio distribution system that sends independent signals to each of the other DSP units on their priority input for easy paging.” The system also has battery backups that allow the paging portions of each space to function even during a power outage.

The main reception desk on the first floor houses the equipment rack that feeds audio to the general public spaces – washrooms, corridors, and the walking track around the upper level of the arena – as well as the building-wide paging, with an emergency all-page for the other zones. The sources feeding the reception area’s reproduction system – comprised mainly of Bogen and Electro-Voice wall-mounted and JBL in-ceiling speakers with Crown CTS82000VCA amplification – include a Shure 450 Series II paging microphone, a media player input, and a Tascam TU-690 radio tuner and CD-200i CD player. Rane’s DA216S distributes the paging feed. The emergency page-all allows the building paging system to override all zones and all loudspeakers for dire situations. It targets a specific input on the local DSP within each node with the individual nodes fed via an analog line amplifier. The multi-purpose room can be divided into two smaller spaces with an air wall and rented to members of the community for meetings, seminars, or even parties. A single rack, featuring Crown CDi2000 amplifiers for the JBL in-ceiling speakers and an AKG WMS450, feeds the entire space, though it can be run as two completely separate systems. The Centre’s fitness facility is also sub-divided into two zones. One is a cardio theatre with various exercise machines and free weights with four LG 42LD520C video displays and wireless receivers with headphone inputs loaded into the machines for patrons to watch television as they exercise. For the rest of the room, JBL CSS8008 in-ceilings will play audio from a radio, CD, or MP3 source selected at the reception desk. The second fitness zone is the aerobics studio, loaded with JBL Control328CT speakers to handle the higher output levels required for the various classes it hosts. In addition to an AKG WMS-450/ C555L wireless headset system, it welcomes the familiar set of CD, radio, and MP3 sources.

Aquatics centre with overhead reinforcement. Primary equipment rack at reception desk. PROFESSIONAL SOUND • 35

The aquatics facility relays audio for daily classes, general swims, or swim meets and tournaments. AKG WMS-450/C555L wireless headsets are available for instructors to be hands-free while poolside. The JBL AC-2215 AWC boxes suspended from the overhead steel are arranged to evenly cover the pool itself, the poolside bleachers, and the upper gallery seating. There is also a localized set of Community R.5-Z speakers for the waterslide area. The various components for this system are housed in a water-resistant casing. “We knew we were dealing with issues beyond the hard surfaces and background noise typical of that environment,” Fox says. Those issues were addressed using directional and relatively high-powered speakers aimed at specific spectator areas. Fox adds that submerged sound sources were considered, but in the end were intentionally left out of that phase of the project. Some of the other challenges inherent in the design included pool chemical deposition and the humidity of such an environment. Measures taken to address these included keeping equipment racks clear of wet zones, using wireless microphones to eliminate the need for patch points, and only using equipment with high IP ratings in areas where splash could be an issue. Somers explains that the speaker configuration in the pool was challenging in that the areas that needed coverage were relatively spread out within a large space. “The poolside bleachers are on the opposite side of the pool as the upper viewing gallery, so the coverage area was very wide and at different levels, as the gallery is 15 ft. above the pool deck,” he shares. “The pool speakers are hung all facing one direction to allow time alignment to reduce stray acoustic reflections that would result in the loss of intelligibility.” The physical installation also came with a unique set of circumstances. “It was interesting installing speakers over a pool with a rapidly approaching deadline so as to not impede the other trades,” he shares. “There were limitations of only being able to have a certain-sized lift on the pool deck, requiring the lift operator to maneuver with much more concern for placement to get to his work area while staying back from the pool edge and away from the wall so the lift could pivot and not run out of space.” Finally, the arena system has its main rack located in the gondola. In the control room, the operator has a Soundcraft EFX12 mixer for control of the system during hockey games and other events. There is also a wall controller in the lobby to allow staff to play music for general skates or groups renting the rink for practice and recreation. Both the lobby and timekeeper’s box have MP3 inputs along with a Tascam AM/FM receiver in the gondola that can be selected from the lobby source as inputs. The bowl’s reinforcement system is comprised of JBL AC2215/00 loudspeakers and ASB6128 subs powered by Crown CDi2000 amps. “The speakers in the arena needed to cover the areas they were assigned to cover without spilling into highly reflective areas. The 36 • PROFESSIONAL SOUND

beauty and dichotomy of this design approach is that as the target surface NRC [noise reduction coefficient] goes up as your audience increases, unfortunately, so does your background SPL. The system needs to be dynamic enough to handle these changes.” The system is tuned and time aligned to the sub

Bogen wall-mounted speakers wrapped around the walking track.

Input & control station for fitness centre system. cluster above the score clock in the centre of the arena. There are also centre cluster speakers above the score clock; however, those are only used for ice-level announcing and playback for ice dancing. The perimeter speakers covering the seating are positioned so that the sound reaches the first rows of seats. “It’s ironic that in traditional designs, the best seats have the worst sound,” says Fox of the area that’s usually blocked by the glass. “Mid-ice clusters were discarded in favour of portable solutions for the few utility models that would typically use these, like conventions or boxing matches.” The VIP boxes have their own sound systems with local control.

The venue was also supplied with small portable systems to fill any potential gaps and ensure good audio would be available in any space at any time. David Watters, the Systems Analyst for the RECC, notes that the portable systems have already been put to use in more places and applications than anticipated, especially while construction was being finalized in different parts of the facility. Watters adds that his communications with Somers and the Tour Tech team onsite have been both smooth and productive.

g track.

Video displays for gym patrons, with audio outputs loaded into machines.

system. Having been hired on at the RECC midway through 2012, Watters is “playing catch-up on the tail end of the install.” Still, he notes that Somers is quite accommodating and always willing to make the trip from Dartmouth to Truro and ensure things are running smoothly as the RECC team familiarizes themselves with the systems and their capabilities. “He wants to make sure everything is where it needs to be before the final sign-off,” says Watters of the upcoming commissioning. The installation included some components that were relatively new to Somers and the Tour Tech team, despite their years of

fixed installation experience. The project incorporated a significant video signage component that consists of a number of LG 55LD520 displays and LG NC-1100 network media players connected to a signage server computer on which content can be designed and scheduled. The signage is used for everything from food menus to upcoming events and promotions. “Anything the facility wishes to have displayed can be programmed via the LG Supersign software,” Somers says. “Our LG rep and the team at LG Canada helped get the system up and running without any issues. I’m comfortable with video IP-based signage and media server systems and would collaborate with LG on projects in the future. Their products and people made the video component of the installation that much better.” As is common with projects of this scale, there were many levels through which communications had to travel when it came to the onsite work. That meant getting questions answered before showing up onsite was paramount to Tour Tech East’s workflow. Tour Tech was subcontracted for the job by PCL Constructors under Gardner Electric, also based in Dartmouth. Speaking to his communications with Fox, Somers says: “Brad was always available for clarifications and explanations of what his design required to be accurately installed. His design specification was thorough and made the bidding and installation easy.” As for training, there was a contractual requirement built into the tender between the facility and A/V contractor that stipulates ongoing annual training and maintenance of the installed systems. Somers travelled to the facility on several occasions and planned training sessions with John Shead, the project manager with PCL, and facility manager Jim Lambert. Several venue staffers, including Watters, were trained on the systems facility-wide while others took area-specific training on the systems in specific departments with which they’d regularly be interacting. Since opening its doors to the public, the Rath Eastlink Community Centre has hosted community-minded events from the Maritime Junior Hockey League’s Truro Bearcats’ hockey games through to business meetings and children’s birthday parties. Watters says that he hears limited feedback on the A/V systems specifically, though the majority is regarding the walking track and arena systems. “People just love having music when they’re running the track,” he says, “and we like the fact that, with the building sectioned into different zones, we can boost the volume on the walking track if we get a request without affecting anyone else.” But in keeping with the adage of no news being good news, Watters believes the A/V systems are tied so seamlessly into the operation of the building as a whole that patrons don’t really see it as a separate component of the state-of-the-art facility they now enjoy – that the centre as a whole is what’s really impressing them, and that’s ultimately the goal for any installed A/V system; it’s really just another special feature of this new hub for the Hub of Nova Scotia. n

Andrew King is the Editor of Professional Sound. PROFESSIONAL SOUND • 37

By Michael Raine

Out Front & Underneath The Stage With Muse’s Sound Crew

In an era where music pirating is the norm and One Direction rules the air waves, there are very few rock and roll bands that can afford to tour the world, putting on a spectacle that dazzles the eyes and nourishes the ears. U2, Rush, and The Rolling Stones come to mind, but even the Stones have toned down their stage show recently. Luckily for music fans who still love the raw power generated from the classic combination of guitar, drums, bass, and vocals, there remains one modern band that makes it a mission to blow people’s minds, visually and sonically. That band is Muse. A progressive power trio, Muse – made up of boyhood friends in singer/guitarist Matt Bellamy, bassist Christopher Wolstenholme, and drummer Dominic Howard from Devon, England – have released six critically-acclaimed LPs, but it is their live show that sets them apart. On top of countless other awards for their recorded work, Muse has won two Brit Awards, three NME Awards, and three Q Awards all for Best Live Band/Act as well as two UK Festival Awards for Best Headline Act and Anthem of the Year. And while much attention is paid to their futuristic stage productions, and deservedly so, no band can be this lauded for its live performance with lacklustre sound. After all, sound crews are akin to referees; when they’re on their game, you don’t notice them, but boy are they berated on a bad night. Luckily for Muse fans, there haven’t been bad nights on The 2nd Law Tour because the crew came well prepared.

When dealing with a traveling production of this magnitude, a secure power source is top-of-mind, explains Liam Tucker, the Audio Crew Chief from tour audio supplier Skan PA Hire. “We have custom distros because we’re touring worldwide with dual voltage everywhere,” he says, explaining these are made by the U.K.’s SES Entertainment Services. “We can change between star power and delta power by literally moving a couple plates, so we can go from 110 to 240-volt without having to strip out all the distros. Also, all the d&b amps we use are sensing so they can take in 110 or 240. We don’t have to change anything; they just automatically configure themselves.” All the amps and subs are contained in rolling carts, with one on each side of the stage. “These carts weigh 1.8 tons and have all the amps and cable for the PA, which just drops down and coils into a trough at the top. We also have remote controllers all in it. So literally, when we walk into a building, we just plug the mains in and off we go,” notes Tucker. He adds that despite – or because of – the size of the production, everything is designed to be set up and transported as efficiently as possible. The mammoth stage, complete with a robotic inverted pyramid of video screens, is designed by the U.K.’s Brilliant Stages. The stage consists of six parts – the main stage, two parts for the back arc, the front lower deck, and two side bunkers – and impressively, the sound and lighting worlds are built into a cave-like area underneath the stage. Everything is in carts and, when arriving in a new venue, all the crew has to do is unwrap the plastic transport sheets and bolt the carts back into place. “Each cable represents a different backline department,” explains Tucker, “so two of these do drums, one does electronics, one does keyboards, one does guitars, one does bass. Instead of loads of cables trailing all over the place, each backline has a paddle mount in the back of its racks. All the cable runs Muse frontman Matthew Bellamy to the roof of the stage because each stage structure rolls. This stage is built at the other end of the arena. The lighting rig goes up and this rolls with everything in it. The subs in the font are built into the stage and they roll with the stage.”


All electronics are run on a 12-way VEAM system, each connection boasting the equivalent of 12 XLRs. “They all come back to panels like these,” says Tucker, pointing to a custom-built panel underneath centre stage while giving PS a tour of the production. “So you’ve got one [VEAM] that goes up and all the way along the roof of the stage back to a cart, which then splits it into monitors and front of house. From there, we can run in-ears, mixers, time code signals, and we send the feed to the lighting guys who then distribute it.” “Also, you’ll notice there are no guitar amps; it is all electronic, all emulated. One panel connection to do two guitar worlds, two bass worlds, and keyboard world,” explains Tucker. “Once you’ve got it working, it is pretty straight forward. Setting the bloody thing up is not. It is all just a big network. When I was starting to put it together back in August of last year, it was a case of ‘Don’t look at it as a stage set-up; look at it as an audio network.’ Things need to go from zone A to zone C and to zone B so when we were doing cable paths, it was a lot easier to think of it as a network.” Of course, this sort of set up is possible because Muse are one of the rare acts that can afford to have their entire production shipped from one continent to another and then have 15 trucks move it from one city to the next. Hidden away in a covered bunker beneath stage left is Muse’s longtime monitor tech, Adam Taylor, who has worked with Bellamy and Co. since 2001. Because he’s in a bunker beneath the elevated portion of the stage, Taylor has only a small viewing window to see the band. As well, because there are many points throughout the show where the stage goes dark, diminishing his already obscured view, Taylor has an infrared screen so he can track Bellamy. An animated and energetic performer, Bellamy has five vocal mics located around the stage, often using multiple mic positions within a single song, keeping Taylor on his toes. Though Taylor’s conditions are more challenging than most monitor techs’, his approach to mixing is extremely straightforward. “The way I’ve always approached monitors, especially in-ears, is everybody has everything but the drummer has the drums louder and the bass player has the bass louder; it’s as simple as that. That’s the way I’ve always done it and it’s a pretty well balanced mix for all of them.” With so much visually happening on and around the stage, the band wanted to keep a very clean on-stage aesthetic. As such, there are no cables on-stage and all monitor wedges and subs, both used to varying degrees on previous tours, have been nixed in favour of in-ears. In the bunker, Taylor is manning a Midas PRO9 console running 72 inputs. His outboard gear includes a Yamaha SPX 2000, two TC Electronic M2000 effects processors, and a TC D2 delay. Inserted into the bass channels is a Summit DCL-200 compressor while a GML 8200 EQ is used on the IEM mixes and a Little Labs IPB phase alignment tool plug-in



is there for drums. Taylor says the vocals are split into an Avalon VT-737SP and a Tech 21 SansAmp PSA-1 and any of the five mics can be routed to these units. Meanwhile, outside of the cave at FOH is Mark Carolan, the driving force behind any Muse show. Though he has worked with a number of notable British acts, including The Cure and Snow Patrol, Muse is his main client. Like Taylor, Carolan has been manning the console for Muse for over a decade and has a hand in nearly all aspects of the show that involve sound. “The [Midas] XL4 is basically the core of the band,” Carolan begins, running through his FOH set up. “The [Midas] Pro2C sidecar is then handling stuff that is more automated. Although, I’ve come up with a system where, using MIDI from our playback world, I’ve given every song a MIDI note and then strike a MIDI note onto every bar. There’s pages and pages and pages of this stuff and it took a lot of setting up but it’s quite powerful now. I can put any automation points in at any point I need. I can either have the XL4 running slave to this or the XL4 telling this what to do. The Pro 2C is also running all the automation for the outboard effects so it’s kind of an odd system but it’s very powerful.” Tucker says that early into the tour, they were having some issues with execution. “We had teething problems. Because we were going to the limit of what [the console] can do, we were finding issues that no one had seen before purely because we were maxing all the holes out,” he explains, noting he received training from Midas to learn how the desks work, find faults, and troubleshoot so he’d be prepared. “We worked with the manufacturer and found ways around some issues; they’ve been really good and we’ve worked hand-in-hand with them.” To the back right of the XL4 and Pro 2C, Carolan has a number of outboard units to achieve the sounds Muse is known for. His main outboard gear consists of dbx 160s for drums, an XTA G2 on the toms, as well as SPL Transient Designer on the kick, snare, and toms and a TubeTech LCA-2B on the bass and guitars. For vocals, Carolan applies mainly distressors and BSS DPR-901 mk II dynamic equalizers. “I’ve just introduced this SMC 2B; it’s a Tube-Tech multiband compressor I’ve been experimenting with,” adds Carolan. “One thing I’m using it for at the moment is to try and emulate the high-end harmonic distortion you get in [L-Acoustics] V-DOSC and those types of systems. The [d&b audiotechnik] J-Series is a lot cleaner and more powerful but I just miss that little bit of musical colour and this is working out well for that.” For effects, Carolan uses Bricasti M7s as main reverbs. “They’re just fucking amazing sounding units; excuse my French,” he says with a laugh. “Line 6 Echo Pro for delay because, again, it gives me more colour options than just straight-up delays. [Eventide] H 3000 for vocal doubler and then Yamaha SPX 2000 on the snares and the Alan Smart C2 [compressor] on the piano. That’s pretty much it.” Obviously, over the course of 12 years with the band, some things in Carolan’s arsenal have changed, but he’s not one for dramatic overhauls (or even the word “change”). “It’s evolved more than changed. Apart from one half of one tour, it’s pretty much been the XL4. Then different bits have evolved over different tours. It’s been an organic development process.” As The 2nd Law Tour winds its way around North America, band and crew enter one arena after another. And while they all have common character-


Engineer Mark Carolan with Midas XL4 & Pro2C at FOH.

Adam Taylor below stage at Midas Pro9 monitor desk.

istics, Carolan knows not all are built equal when it comes to acoustics. “Some arenas have made an effort and some arenas haven’t. Physically, yeah, they’re quite similar, but a real bee in my bonnet is in some arenas they start pumping air con in. What can end up happening is you get temperature layers within the building and sound travels at different speeds at different temperatures. As well as that, it’s moving air, which blows the sound. It’s not a common experience


1st Choice On The 2nd Law Tour


Desks Midas XL4 Midas Pro2C Effects dbx 120XP Line 6 Echo Pro Bricasti M7 Eventide H 3000 d/se Yamaha Spx 2000 Dynamics 2 x Midas XL42 2 x SPL Transient Designer 4 x Little Labs IBP Junior 9 x BSS DPR 901 mk II 2 x dbx 166xl 3 x dbx 160a 6 x Empirical Labs EL8 Distressor 2 x KuSH EL7 Fatso 2 x XTA D2 Smart C2 Tubetech LCA-2B 3 x Drawmer DS 501 2 x XTA G2


Control Midas Pro9 surface Midas DL371 DSP engine Midas DL351 IO Midas DL451 IO 2 x Leibert 1KVA UPS Midas XL88 Outboard 2 x XTA D2 6 x dbx 160A Summit DCL200A Apogee Rosetta 200 TC Electronic D2 2 x TC Electronic M2000 2 x Yamaha Spx2000 In-Ear Monitors 12 x Sennheiser 2050 dual IEM transmitters 4 x Sennheiser AC3200 4 x Sennheiser A5000CP 32 x Sennheiser 2000 IEM beltpack receivers 2 x generic HW packs Spectrum Analyser Hameg HM5014-2 RF Mics 3 x Sennheiser EM3732 II dual receiver 2 x Sennheiser AD3700 antennae 6 x Sennheiser SKM5200 II handheld transmitters 6 x Sennheiser KK105 capsules 42 • PROFESSIONAL SOUND

Microphones 4 x Beyer M88 2 x Shure B91A 6 x Shure SM57 2 x Neumann KMS105 2 x Neumann KM184 3 x Sennheiser 421 4 x AKG C451 6 x AKG C414 8 x Shure B98 10 x Radial J48 2 x Shure B57A 2 x Sennheiser MKH60 2 x Shure Switched-58 8 x Shure Switched-pg48

Reinforcement Main Hangs 40 x d&b J8/J12 2 x d&b J-BUMP

Sub Hangs 12 x d&b J-SUB 2 x d&b J-BUMP Side Hangs 36 x d&b J8/J12 2 x d&b J-BUMP 270-Degree Configuration Hangs 24 x d&b J8/J12 2 x d&b J-BUMP 360-Degree Configuration Hangs 16 x d&b V8/V12 4 x d&b V-SUB 4 x d&b V-BUMP Centre Hang 4 x d&b V8/V12 2 x d&b V-BUMP Pits & Fills 8 x d&b J-SUB 10 x d&b J-INFRA 4 x d&b Q7 Amplifiers 88 x d&b D12 2 x SES 3-phase 400A head distro

Stage & array configuration.

but it does bug the shit out me.” A polite English gentleman, Carolan declines to name the worst offenders but does say that Toronto’s Air Canada Centre stacks up quite well against other arenas on the tour. Additionally, on some stops, though not in Toronto, the band is atop a 360-degree stage configuration with audience members sitting directly behind them. When rigging for a 360 show, 16 d&b V-Series V8s and V12s are added, which are powered by D12 amps. The added reflections took some adjusting for Carolan, but he says he “double programmed” the show so that switching between the two different configurations from night to night does not affect him. “Certainly, the 360 is a little bit more difficult,” he begins, “but the odd thing is, despite the perception, sonically and visually, back there, those are the best seats in the house.” When Bellamy, Wolstenholme, and Howard enter the stage, Carolan knows their reputation as a premier live band precedes them and it’s on him to deliver a show that invigorates and amazes the paying masses while not leaving them deaf to the intricacies of the musicianship. Muse being a progressive rock band, more Rush than AC/DC, the fans get their kicks from the band’s musical gymnastics and less so from straight-up head banging. These ever-changing dynamics in songs like “Knights of Cydonia” keep Carolan on his toes. He can have up to eight scenes for a single song, and it’s his job to ensure the audience is hearing all that the band is offering while still maintaining a rock show vibe. “The overall show dynamic. We’ve been working on that quite a bit,” says Carolan. “What I try to do is give a shade to it. I try to leave the audience at the end where they feel it’s been a big show but they’re not walking out with their ears bleeding. You see a tendency with some people where they fatigue the audience straight away and so all the detailing of what you’re going to do by the end of the show is lost. That’s certainly something that I’ve been working on – making it still feel like a big, big rock show but over the two hours, you’re still getting it all.” Having worked with Muse for as long as he as, there is certainly a level of trust between the two parties, but Carolan says there is constant discussion, especially because the band is very particular about their sound and has the background knowledge to offer informed opinions. “They have an understanding of engineering and a great idea of what they want to sound like,” says Carolan. “That said, they trust me enough to let me do my thing. It’s a perfect kind of working balance that we have.” As fans shuffled out of the Air Canada Centre at the end of the night, the audible statements of amazement were a testament to an outstanding show. Of course, no one was talking about the sound crew, which is a sign that they succeeded in their mission of delivering a great-sounding concert experience. n

Michael Raine is the Assistant Editor of Professional Sound.

4HM MA64 MADI To Multi Format AES Audio Converter

4HM Broadcast has released an updated version of the MA64 MADI to multi format AES audio converter that now provides sample rate conversion. The MA64 accepts both optical and coaxial MADI and simultaneously makes 32 pairs of balanced AES/EBU and unbalanced AES3-id available for interconnection to routers, audio consoles, or any other AES-equipped devices. The MA64 also provides sample rate conversion, enabling the interface to be used in outside broadcast applications or where conversion to a local house clock is required. For more information, contact 4HM Limited: +44 1908-241706,,

RTS OKI User Station Cards

RTS ADAM intercom matrix products and OMNEO professional media networking technology have introduced the first generation of OMNEO-compatible RTS intercom matrix products, including the RTS OKI user station cards. The RTS ADAM OMNEO interface cards are designed to transform the RTS ADAM intercom system into a flexible, IP-based, AVB-compatible intercom network. The OKI keypanel interface cards fit into select RTS user stations and provide native OMNEO IP connectivity for RJ45 Ethernet connections into the OMNEO network with optional single or multimode fibre modules. The cards provide a two-port switch onboard as a pass-thru connection to allow daisy chaining of keypanels if required. For more information, contact Bosch Security Systems Inc.: 877-863-4166, FAX 952-887-5585,,

Avid Pro Tools 11

Avid has released Pro Tools 11, the latest version of its flagship digital audio workstation. Pro Tools 11 incorporates a new Avid audio engine that provides multiple times the processing power of Pro Tools 10, which allows users to work with more virtual instruments and effects plug-ins. The 64-bit architecture also includes more memory headroom. Pro Tools 11 also allows for final mixes to be delivered up to 150 times faster with faster-than-real-time bounce capabilities. Its dedicated input buffer allows users to monitor with plug-ins without latency. In Pro Tools HD 11, new built-in metering standards provide a variety of scale and ballistics options and it plays MXF HD, Avid DNxHD, and other HD video formats directly in the Pro Tools timeline, without transcoding, using the built-in Avid Video Engine. For more information, contact Avid: 818-766-1666,

44 Professional Sound


Eminence Speaker D-Fend SA300 Programmable Loudspeaker Protection & Attenuation Circuit

Eminence Speaker has introduced the D-fend SA300, a fully programmable standalone unit designed to protect passive loudspeakers from excessive power conditions. The user sets the thresholds and D-fend monitors and limits the amount of input power it passes through to the loudspeaker. It is USB compatible, and can be programmed to user specifications from a desktop or laptop. Operating from a standard speaker-level signal, the D-fend SA300 requires no auxiliary power unless being used in low-power applications. For more information, contact McBride Loudspeaker Source Limited: 519-884-3500, FAX 519-884-0193,,

RWT TM7- HW20714 TouchMonitor

RTW has debuted its TM7-HW20714 TouchMonitor, a 7-in. audio metering tool that is compatible with 3G interfacing The TM7-HW20714 accepts all currently available SD, HD, and 3G formats and complements the existing custom input configuration of TouchMonitor units. The through-port of the 3G-SDI interface forwards the SDI input signal. De-embedded SDI signals may be routed to any existing AES output. This model includes four AES3 (eight-channel) inputs and four AES3 (eight-channel) outputs that can be used as direct AES outputs either to buffer or reroute the AES signals or to send out a decoded 3G audio signal. In addition, the TouchMonitor TM7 can display up to 32 channels of audio from any combination of inputs. The TM7 has a 16:9 TFT display and can be delivered as a tabletop or as a 3U rackmount unit. It has two USB 2.0 interfaces, a GPIO-interface, RJ-45 Ethernet connection, VGA output, a connector for 24 V DC supply, as well as a wall plug power supply option. For more information, contact Sonotechnique PJL Inc.: 800-449-5919, FAX 514-332-5537,,

Lyra 1 interface.

Prism Sound Lyra 1 & 2 Audio Interfaces

Prism Sound is now shipping the Lyra 1 and Lyra 2, its first products from the Lyra family of audio interfaces. Based on the Orpheus FireWire interface, Lyra allows users to access the Orpheus audio path and clock circuitry but in a smaller package. Both the Lyra 1 and 2 incorporate an ARM Cortex-based Xcore processor design offering class-compliant USB interfacing, plus DSP and a low latency digital mixer for foldback monitoring. Both products also have optical SPDIF capability and Lyra 2 also supports ADAT. Lyra 1 offers two analog input channels â&#x20AC;&#x201C; one for instrument/line and one for mic/line â&#x20AC;&#x201C; plus two DA output channels and opticalonly digital I/O. Lyra 2 offers two AD input channels with switchable microphone, instrument, or line input modes and four DA output channels. Both optical-only digital I/O and copper S/PDIF are available on this version of Lyra, which also offers wordclock I/O enabling synchronization with other digital devices. For more information, contact Sonotechnique PJL Inc.: 800-449-5919, FAX 514-332-5537,, 46 Professional Sound

Avlex MIPRO ACT-818/828 Wireless Receivers & ACT-80T Bodypack Transmitter

Avlex has introduced the MIPRO ACT-818/828 wideband true digital wireless receivers and ACT-80T true digital encryptable bodypack transmitter. The MIPRO ACT-818/828 Wideband True Digital Wireless Receivers are available in single-channel (ACT-818) and dual-channel (ACT828) configurations. Both models are true diversity digital systems with no companding. These receivers employ 256-bit encryption that can be enabled or disabled as required. The MIPRO ACT-818/828 Wideband True Digital Wireless Receivers operate from 480-698 MHz over three bands, each with expanded 64 MHz bandwidth. With true digital transmission, these receivers employ 24-bit/44.1 kHz audio sampling, a dynamic range of 115 dBA, SmartEQ with capsule emulation, and low latency. Designed for applications requiring a headworn or lapel microphone solution, the MIPRO ACT-80T true digital encryptable bodypack transmitter is ultra-small and can be hidden among wardrobe. In addition to direct mute capability, the ACT-80T offers remote mute capability via the optional MJ-70 remote mute switch control. For more information, contact Avlex Corporation: 877-447-9216, FAX 816-581-9104,,

Professional Sound 47


Axia iQ IP Console

Axia Audio has released the iQ console for IP-audio studios, available in sizes from eight to 24 faders with its own custom-matched sixline Telos telephone system, the iQ6. iQ has four stereo mixing buses, talkback, and automatic per-fader mix-minus, EQ for voice and codec inputs, OLED meter, clock, timer and channel displays, and separate monitor sections for CR and Studio monitor feeds. The iQ can work as a self-contained, standalone console while iQ Simple Networking lets users daisy-chain up to four iQ Cores without the need for an external Ethernet switch. Four Show Profile memory positions let users set, save, and recall snapshots of console settings for later use. High-resolution Organic LED meters are built in, and OLED displays on every fader show source assignments, pan and balance settings, fader options, and more. For more information, contact Telos Alliance: 216-241-7225,

Cerwin-Vega P-Series PA System

Cerwin-Vega has introduced the P-Series professional PA system, which is comprised of two active speaker products, the P1500X and the P1800SX. The main component of the P-Series is the P1500X, a two-way, bi-amped, full-range bass-reflex speaker. It employs a 15-in. woofer and high-frequency compression driver, powered by a custom Class-D amp. It has a rating of 1500 W and a proprietary hemi-conical horn provides enhanced sound clarity over an even and wide coverage area. A built-in mixer with I/O connections is designed to allow for simple and fast set-up, while enhanced EQ, Vega Bass boost, and high-pass filters enhance tuning. The P1800SX is a powered subwoofer employing an 18-in. woofer with a custom 2000 W Class-D amp. The P1800SX has frequency-shaping controls and a high-pass filter switch (as a built-in crossover). For more information, contact Erikson Audio: 514-457-2555,,

Studio Technologies Model 5190 Remote Access Module

Studio Technologies has unveiled its Model 5190 remote access module. The 5190 allows for the remote control and monitoring of key functions of Studio Technologiesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; 5100-Series of audio modules via the Internet from an iPad, iPhone, or other Internet-capable device. The 5190 is designed to allow users in a network master control room to adjust mic preamp gains and related parameters, monitor audio levels, and confirm operating status for 5100-Series modules located at geographically diverse venues. The Model 5110 Mic/Line Input Module can be integrated into media access points to provide two high-quality mic preamps with adjustable gain, 48-volt microphone power, and level metering. With the 5190, users can have access to the 5110 modules, whether onsite or in a remote control room. For more information, contact Sonotechnique PJL Inc.: 800-449-5919, FAX 514-332-5537,, 48 Professional Sound

Four Audio DBS1 Dante Breakout Box

Four Audio has unveiled the DBS1 two-channel breakout box, which is built on Audinateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Dante Ultimo solution. Its metal housing is smaller than 9.5 in. and features two balanced symmetrical analog inputs with programmable sensitivity (-46 to +14dBu), switchable 48 V phantom power, a low cut filter, and has a 118dB dynamic range. The two balanced analog outputs deliver 14dBu maximum output. Dante is built on IT standards and is a complete media networking solution. Dante is designed to deliver a low-latency, tightly synchronized, sample-accurate playback, while simplifying installation and configuration of AV networks. For more information, contact Four Audio: +49 241-4758-3170, FAX +49 241-4758-3169,,

K.M.E. MCX 15 Monitor

K.M.E. has introduced the MCX 15, a coaxial high performance monitor with a low profile casing design. The design enables two set up options â&#x20AC;&#x201C; with a flat angle of 35 degrees for monitoring from near to short distances and a steep angle of 55 degrees for longer distances. The dispersion of 65 degrees vertical and 45 degrees horizontal has been adapted to the monitor angle and can be rotated 90 degrees. Each left and right side includes a connection panel with two Neutrik NL 4 Speakon sockets for efficient cabling and linking of the stage signals. Designed to be multi-functional, the MCX has a highstand flange inside the handle and two K.M.E. vario fix mounting points where the user can install a flying frame without any tools. The MCX 15 can be combined with QLB 215 and QLB 118 X subwoofers. For more information, contact K.M.E.: +49 7467-558-0, FAX +49 37467-558-33, info@,

Professional Sound 49


Lawo Nova73 compact Router

Lawo has premiered its Nova73 compact router, which can be used as a stand-alone device or as a core for the mc2 series in combination with the new mc256 mixing console. The Nova73 compact is 7 U in height and has a capacity of 5120 x 5120 crosspoints. Up to 10 I/O slots can be equipped with MADI, ATM, or RAVENNA interface cards. Alternatively, the same slots can be assigned to two AES3 cards. These in turn can make up to 64 AES channels directly available to the Nova73 compact. In combination with a mc2 series mixing console, a Nova73 compact with its full complement of five DSP cards has over 600 DSP channels. For more information, contact Lawo North America Corp.: 416-292-0078, FAX 416-292-0402,,

Dynaudio M3VE Main Monitoring Solution

Dynaudio Professional has introduced the M3VE main monitoring solution, which is a single-amplifier version of the M3XE that combines driver and cabinet technology from Dynaudio with amplification and signal processing from Lab.gruppen and Lake. M3VE is an upgrade from its predecessor, the M3A 3-way monitor, with speakers powered by a four-channel Lab.gruppen PLM10000Q amplifier, using the integrated active crossover between LF and MF by Lake while passively filtering the MF/HF cross-over point. It uses Dynaudio ESOTAR2 driver technology and is underpinned by a 22 Hz-21 kHz frequency response and beyond 133dB SPL. For more information, contact TC Group Americas Inc.: 519-745-1158, FAX 519-745-2364, inquiries@tcg-americas. com,

Minnetonka SurCode Version 3 For Dolby Pro Logic II

Minnetonka Audio Software has released the third version of its SurCode encoder/ decoder software for Dolby Pro Logic II. The built-in loudness measurement is designed to simplify workflows and yield EBU R 128 and â&#x20AC;&#x153;CALMpliantâ&#x20AC;? deliverables with less reworking. SurCode Version 3 for Dolby Pro Logic II offers complete Dolby Pro Logic II encoding and Pro Logic II, Pro Logic IIx, and Pro Logic IIz decoding of up to eight channels of audio. The product enables auditioning, encoding, and decoding of audio with a Dolby-certified Dolby Pro Logic II codec. Real-time loudness metrics are displayed for the LoRo stream, multichannel source, or the undecoded stereo LtRt stem ensuring that all are CALMpliant. Monitoring and loudness-measurement tools and built-in encoding/decoding features enable mixes to be optimized for all playback situations, regardless of whether the LtRt is decoded into surround or remains in stereo mode as delivered. For more information, contact HHB Communications Canada Limited: 416-867-9000, FAX 416-867-1080,, 50 Professional Sound

Sennheiser 9000 Series Digital Wireless System

Sennheiser has launched the Digital 9000 digital wireless system. The system includes the EM 9046 receiver, SKM 9000 handheld transmitter, SK 9000 bodypack transmitters, and a suite of accessories. The EM 9046 receiver has three display modes to provide an overview of important parameters in live situations and can change settings quickly via an icon-based menu. Channels can be monitored via the headphone output, either individually or in any combination. The modular EM 9046 receiver is a mainframe that accommodates up to eight receivers internally. The receiver system covers the UHF range from 470-798 MHz (328 MHz bandwidth). The user can choose between transformer-balanced analog or digital AES3 audio output modules, or a mix of both. The SKM 9000 handheld transmitter is compatible with all evolution wireless G3 and 2000 Series microphone heads. As well, the handheld can be fitted with four dedicated 9000 Series capsules. The cardioid dynamic MD 9235 live capsule is part of the digital system and is complemented by three permanently polarised condenser microphone heads, the ME 9002 (omni), ME 9004 (cardioid), and ME 9005 (super-cardioid). The SK 9000 bodypack transmitter comes in magnesium housing, can be used with any clip-on or headset microphone with a 3-pin Lemo connector, and has a line input for instruments. The SK 9000 is available in four different frequency ranges (88 MHz switching bandwidth). For more information, contact Sennheiser Canada: 514-426-3013, FAX 514-426-3953,,

Professional Sound 51


Sonifex CM-CU1 Commentator Unit

Sonifex has released the CM-CU1 Commentator Unit, which offers the same specification as the CM-CU21 but with a feature set tailored to single commentator applications. The CM-CU1 has a fully featured commentator position and a line-level input. The unit has an individual commentator output, with an additional output providing a mix of commentator and line input audio. A limit indicator on the main panel shows when the adjustable limiter on the main output is active and a 21-segment LED PPM meter, which can be disabled, shows the main output level. The line input can be configured to remain present at the mix output when the commentator is off air. Its presence in the commentatorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s headphones is also configurable to suit the application. Four talkback output channels, with a built in limiter, are available to the commentator and they can be linked to provide simultaneous operation. Activation of one or more talkback channels removes the commentator audio from the main output until all talkback channels are deactivated. For more information, contact Sonotechnique PJL Inc.: 800-449-5919, FAX 514-332-5537,,

Alcons CR3 Three-Way Pro Ribbon Cinema Screen System

Alcons Audio has introduced the CR3 threeway pro-ribbon cinema screen system, which is aimed at medium sized applications where improved projection control and 1:1 accurate, non-compressed digital sound reproduction is required. Alconsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;pro-ribbon transducer technology allows the CR3 to offer a linear response to above 20,000 Hz. The absence of a compression mechanism allows for the same tonal balance from the lowest to highest SPLs and the patented Real-90 horizontal dispersion of the pro-ribbon transducer is designed to provide a stable sound field throughout the operating bandwidth. The driver arrangement consists of a double RBN401 pro-ribbon HF driver array, two 6.5-in. mid-range drivers, and two vented 15-in. woofers for LF reproduction. The CR3 HF section has a 1,600 W peak power input, enabling a 1:16 dynamic range with up to 90 per cent less distortion from 1 kHz to beyond 20 kHz. For more information, contact Alcons Audio: 949-439-8203, info@,

52 Professional Sound

Sound Ideas HD Effects Collections

Sound Ideas has released 16 high definition specialty sound effects collections on hard drive for the high definition audio workplace. Sound Ideas has taken the more than 32,000 sound effects in its General HD and General HD 2 sound effects collections and organized them into 16 specialty collections. All of the sounds on each specialty hard drive were originally recorded at 24-bit/96 kHz. Broadcast .wav files are provided in the original 24-bit/96 kHz format as well as in 24-bit/48 kHz, 16-bit/48 kHz, and 16 bit/44.1 kHz formats. Each file contains complete metadata. Sound Ideas subdivided some categories like Transportation into five separate collections: Aircraft, Boats & Ships, Cars, Motorcycles, and Trucks. There are also separate hard drives for Animals & Birds, Around the House, Atmospheres & Environments, Emergency 911, Foley, Human, Industry, Workplace, Military & Weapons, Musical & Percussion Elements, Science Fiction, and Sports. For more information, contact Sound Ideas: 905-8865000, FAX 905-886-6800,,




















































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Professional Sound 53


Clear-Com Tempest 2400 Digital Wireless Intercom

Clear-Com has launched an enhanced edition of its Tempest Digital Wireless Intercoms, the Tempest 2400. The Tempest 2400 is a 2.4-GHz wireless intercom with either a two- or four-channel offering with RF technologies designed to ensure interference-free communications for tours and performance facilities. The Tempest 2400 offers a Seamless Roaming feature, which provides users with continuous wireless coverage across an expanded production space. The Seamless Roaming feature allows BeltStation users to migrate between 16 different Tempest BaseStations (coverage areas or zones). The Tempest Remote Transceiver Line Extender increases the systemâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s cable run distance of a remote antenna by 914 m with one Line Extender or 609 m per Line Extender if using more than one Line Extender. Three Line Extenders can be connected to provide total coverage of up to 2,286 m. For more information, contact GerrAudio Distribution Inc: 613-342-6999, FAX 613-3428499,,

Acoustics First Sonora Acoustical Ceiling Tiles

Acoustics First has expanded its offerings of acoustical ceiling tiles to include the Sonora line of acoustical tiles. The Sonora line of ceiling tiles includes fabric faced ceiling tiles in either the standard square edge or a tegular edge that reveals below the grid. These tiles are available in a number of fabric colours and can be utilized in a wide range of applications. There are two white options; the Sonora UltraWHITE facing provides a basic smooth white finish while the Sonora Nubby tile provides a texture white appearance. A black scrim version is also available. For more information, contact Acoustics First Corporation: 804-342-2900, FAX 804-342-1107,,

Electro-Voice RMC-28 DSP & Network Module

Electro-Voice has introduced the latest addition to its line of Tour Grade power amplifiers: the RCM-28 DSP and network module. The RCM-28 is a dual-channel digital control module with DSP processing capability equivalent to one channel of the Electro-Voice Dx46 system processor. With an RCM-28 module installed, a Tour Grade amplifierâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s network and system parameters can be supervised and controlled remotely through IRIS-Net. The RCM-28 module is the first EV product to support the OMNEO media networking architecture. Tour Grade series amplifiers with RCM-28 modules installed can be integrated into OMNEO networks of up to 100 other devices that operate over standard Ethernet with standardized protocols. For more information, contact PAG Canada: 866-972-4226,, www. 54 Professional Sound

SSL AWS 916 Console

Solid State Logic has added a new addition to its AWS series consoles; the AWS 916. This console is a combination of a SuperAnalogue console and an advanced DAW controller. The AWS 916 offers identical functionality to the AWS 924 with the only difference being that the frame has 16 channels instead of 24. The AWS is expandable to full AWS 924 specifications by the addition of an eight-channel upgrade package. Utilizing the same 24-fader footprint, the AWS 916 delivers SuperAnalogue summing, 16 SSL SuperAnalogue mic pres, SSL dual-curve EQ on every channel, two assignable SSL Dynamics processors, Stereo Bus Compressor, TotalRecall, and full 5.1 monitoring. In addition to onboard SSL automation, the AWS 916 also features the A-FADA system, with motorized analog faders that follow DAW automation data. For more information, contact HHB Communications Canada: 416-867-9000, FAX 416-867-1080,,

Professional Sound 55

Amplifying Orchestral Instruments At Rock Concert Levels Pt. 1 • By Peter Janis One of the most challenging tasks ever confronted by an audio engineer is amplifying orchestral instruments on a loud stage. Problems abound, including bleed, resonance, feedback, and frustration! To solve the problem, one must first understand the environment and then deal with the challenges. When in a “classical” concert hall, orchestral instruments such as violin, cello, or upright are usually miked using an omni-directional condenser microphone. Omnis are particularly effective at producing a natural sound as they do not focus their attention on a particular area of the instrument, but capture a larger area that includes the bow, strings, F-holes, and so on. During classical concerts, feedback problems are usually not a concern as the PA system is only used for “sound reinforcement” and SPLs rarely exceed 90dB. Problems set in when the rock band hits the stage. Drums, electric guitars, and bass generate significant SPLs that in turn must be compensated for by turning up wedge monitors. The sound generated by the orchestral instruments is lost. To compensate, one can either try close miking the instrument using a directional cardioid microphone that attaches to the instrument or some form of piezo pickup. The cardioid microphone can work reasonably well but is not without issues. A directional mic only

captures the sound from a specific area which may or may not sound right and will inevitably pick up sounds from adjacent instruments, the PA system, and the fold-back monitors. In order to hear themselves on stage, the violins ask for more sound from the wedge monitors and next thing you know, feedback problems set in. Things can get even worse when playing outdoors: feedback due to room acoustics is replaced by wind noise, sound pressures are increased due to lack of room acoustics, and this often pushes engineers to use alternatives such as piezo electric transducers. Brad Madix, FOH engineer for Rush, recently experienced this problem: “For the 2013 Clockwork Angels Tour, the production design called for setting up four violins and four cellos directly behind Neil Peart’s drums. We therefore ruled out miking the strings pretty early on. We did experiment a little with small mics in proximity of the drums and decided we were going to get as much snare in the mic as violin. All of the players were on IEMs so even if we did mic the strings in order to provide a proper mix to the band (not to mention the audience) we would have to also use contact mics. A combination of mics and pickups might be a good solution, but in the end we decided to go strictly with pickups.”

Part 2 will run in the August 2013 issue of Professional Sound. Peter Janis is President of Radial Engineering, a manufacturer of professional audio products used in live touring and recording studios around the world, including the PZ-DI direct box for acoustic and orchestral instruments. Special thanks to Brad Madix for his added input on this article.

K-System v2: A Proposed Loudness Metering Standard For Music Production By Frank Lockwood Where do music productions fit into discussions about loudness standards for broadcast? How loud should music producers and mastering engineers be making their tracks? Broadcast loudness standards and the Sound Check feature found in Apple’s iTunes software could effectively end the loudness war. There is simply no value in attempting to make a song louder than any other since all tracks will be adjusted to a standard level automatically. Hyper-compression just robs music of its natural transients, excitement, and impact. There is also the true peak level. As more music is distributed in the form of data reduced files, more headroom is needed to avoid clipping distortion following conversion to data-reduced formats. Apple’s “Mastered for iTunes” initiative requests that all 96 kHz/24-bit uncompressed files submitted never exceed a maximum peak level of -1 dB true peak. The writing is on the wall; the world must back off the loudness. The question is, can we? Making everything loud is addictive. If we don’t, there’s the fear that clients will abandon us, that our work won’t stand out, that others will judge us for not being competitive. But is there an alternative to going cold turkey? I think there is. 56 Professional Sound

In a white paper by Roland Löhlbach, a proposal is made to combine the metering of the EBU R-128 standard with Bob Katz’s K-System to add some additional measurements to a broadcast loudness meter, allowing the music producer to progress gradually to lower average levels. To honour Katz’s work, Löhlbach named this the “K-System v2.” The TB EBULoudness meter by ToneBoosters is an inexpensive plugin with a full-featured loudness meter with R-128 and ATSC R/85 metering and the K-System v2. Using a meter like this, a gradual path to working with progressively larger amounts of headroom and lower average levels can be introduced slowly, starting with 12dB, then 14, and finally 16 for pop music and 20 for dynamic material like soundtracks and classical music. The results of letting go will be quite apparent once a production is auditioned through a broadcast chain, or as an AAC or MP3 on an iPod. By working with the new volume limits instead of against them, peaks and transients will have punch, dynamics will follow the artistic contour, and the music will breathe more naturally. Fatiguing edginess will have given way to pleasing listenability. Here is a gentle, gradual method to get the loudness monkey off your back. Frank Lockwood is a Location Music Recording Engineer and Owner of Lockwood ARS. He is old enough to be thrilled that after 21 years, My Bloody Valentine released MBV, which he thinks is a textbook example of the artistic use of level and dynamics in music that you wouldn’t think had any. Go to

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Industry Events & Shows International Symposium On Room Acoustics Toronto, ON June 8-11, 2013,

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58 Professional Sound

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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 1-888-901-9903

Employment Audio Distributors International (ADI) is seeking an Ontario Sales Representative for its Pro Audio Division. Leading national distributor of professional audio, sound reinforcement, broadcast, and installed sound products including Rode Microphones, Avalon Design, Event Electronics, Funktion One, Mc2 Audio, XTA, FBT, Galaxy Audio, etc. requires professional sales and representation for Ontario. Applicants must be self-motivated, own a vehicle, be available full time, and located in the GTA (or be willing to relocate). Sales experience as well as knowledge of the music and recording, sound reinforcement, and installed sound markets are an asset. Compensation package and conditions to be discussed. Applicants respond by email to: Montreal-based manufacturer representation and distributor looking for a bilingual sales associate. Position is commissioned-based with a monthly min. draw. The candidate must be available to travel for manufacturer training and trade shows. Please send resume to:

Intellimix Corp. is looking for Sales Representatives for our Eurocom, ContractorInstall product line. We are seeking sales reps for Quebec, Ontario, and Western Canada. Candidates must have a strong background and experience in the Contractor Market. Non-Captive reps are preferred with Eurocom as an additional product line for prospective candidates. Please send resume to: stevek@ Montreal-based manufacturer representation and distributor is seeking a bilingual customer service representative. The candidate must be available to travel for manufacturer training and trade shows. Please send resume to:

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Websites MUSIC BOOKS PLUS – www.musicbooks Your one-stop resource for books, instructional DVDs, CD-ROMS, Digital Downloads Covering Pro Audio, Recording, Live Sound, Lighting, Staging, Safety, and more. The site features over 13,000 titles including an extensive variety of new products. is optimized for mobile browsers, offering a safe, secure shopping experience, and ships worldwide.

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When chef and TV personality Guy Fieri decided to open a new restaurant in New York’s Times Square, he wanted a decidedly rock and roll vibe. To get that vibe at Guy Fieri’s American Kitchen and Bar, he turned to a sound system comprised of over 100 Tannoy loudspeakers and 13 Lab.gruppen C Series amplifiers. Ernie Lake, Chief Creative Officer for EL Media, designer/installer of the system, specified a variety of Tannoy solutions for the 12 individually controlled audio zones and spaces in the restaurant in order to meet the sonic and aesthetic challenges in each. The ground floor’s intimate private dining areas are covered by 12 in-ceiling CMS 601DCs and one CMS 801 sub. The rear bar on the same floor is served by four Tannoy VX 8.2s. “Most of the time, people don’t think about the acoustics of a restaurant,” Lake says, “but it’s a huge part of the atmosphere. Guy came up to me at the grand opening and gave me major compliments. They’re absolutely, 100 per cent happy.”

On reality TV series Big Brother Canada, capturing the interactions of the contestants is a key element of the show and, for audio, much of the responsibility lies in the wireless microphones – all of which rely on Digital Hybrid Wireless technology from Lectrosonics. Toronto’s P.A. Plus Productions is the equipment rental provider for the show. Adrian Sterling and Robert Kennedy of P.A. Plus provided 19 Lectrosonics WM series watertight beltpack transmitters and three fully stocked Venue VRMWB wideband receiver mainframes outfitted with VRT receiver modules. Adrian Sterling, the Audio Systems Operations Manager for P.A. Plus, comments:“The durable build quality of the WM packs was a big seller for us, as they are in use 24/7. The fact that they are watertight – with a watertight connector – sealed the deal and we hope to make use of this feature on future projects.” Dave Vanderploeg, audio mixer and RF technician, adds: “The transmitters have been submerged in water numerous times and not once has there been an issue. They have been dropped, dragged, and generally abused far beyond what would be considered normal for a ‘standard’ television production. We are extremely happy with how robust they are.”

Big Brother Canada audio crew (L-R): John Carlyle, Howard Baggley, Omar Davis, Dave Vanderploeg (kneeling), John Lacina, Dylan Ford & Peter Stoynich.

The annual Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo – with rodeo and concert events known as RodeoHouston – is one of Texas’ largest charities and also one of the world’s largest entertainment and exhibition events. This year, the 72,600-seat Reliant Stadium’s three-week rodeo and concert series was heard via the world’s largest L-Acoustics K1 stadium system provided by Houston’s LD Systems. The company purchased nearly 400 enclosures and 150 amplified controllers from L-Acoustics for the 2013 event. Rob McKinley, President of LD Systems, explains: “This year’s system went well beyond simply being bigger. The fidelity of the L-Acoustics arrays was a huge step up, and the overall impact and pattern control – especially on the low end – were a dramatic improvement over our previous rig. There wasn’t a bad seat in the house.”

Nearly two years ago, François Hamel and Robert Langois of Montreal, QC’s Studio 270 decided to reconnect with recording’s analog roots by purchasing an API Legacy Plus. As such, they were the first to acquire a Legacy Plus with API Vision automation, an investment that Hamel claims was the best they have ever made. “The API Legacy Plus is like a five-star restaurant,” Hamel says. “An inexpensive digital rig is like a microwave. You have a microwave at home, and you eat at home most of the time. But on special occasions, it’s good to get out and go to a five-star restaurant, where maybe you don’t exactly understand how the cook pulls it off, but the difference is obvious.” He continues: “It’s API’s headroom and separation. When you mix on an iPad or whatever, everything is smashed in. Once artists hear the openness and liveliness of the Legacy Plus, they’re hooked.” 62 Professional Sound

Professional Sound - June 2013